“I was instrumental in establishing the Israeli National Skin Bank, which is the largest in the world. The National Skin Bank stores skin for everyday needs as well as for wartime or mass casualty situations. This skin bank is hosted at the Hadassah Ein Kerem University hospital in Jerusalem where I was the chairman of plastic surgery.This is why I was asked to supply skin for an Arab woman from Gaza, who was hospitalized in Soroka Hospital in Beersheba after her family burned her. Usually, such atrocities happen among Arab families when the women are suspected of having an affair.We supplied all the needed homografts for her treatment. She was successfully treated by my friend and colleague Professor Lior Rosenberg, and discharged to return to Gaza. She was invited for regular follow up visits to the outpatient clinic in Beersheba.One day she was caught at a border crossing wearing a suicide belt. She meant to explode herself in the outpatient clinic of the hospital where they saved her life. It seems that her family promised her that if she did that, they would forgive her.”.
Friday, December 31, 2010
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Thursday, December 09, 2010
Wednesday, December 08, 2010
Thursday, December 02, 2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Friday, November 19, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Monday, November 08, 2010
Friday, November 05, 2010
It soon became clear what the problem was. For a hundred miles before and after Albert Lea, Minnesota there are huge wind farms. The great towers with their immense blades stately rotating would daunt even the wildest of Quixotes.
Thursday, November 04, 2010
In the fall of 1992, Basit [Abdul Basit Abdul Karim], accompanied by a man he had recruited, bought a first-class ticket from Karachi to New York City. His passport identified hm as an Iraqi named Ramzi Yousef. He had no entry visa; when questioned at immigration, he admitted that the I.D. was fake. He asked for political asylum and eventually was freed on his own recognizance to await a hearing.Basit quickly made acquaintances through a mosque in Jersey City and recruited men to join him in a plan to bomb the World Trade Center. ... The bomb exploded on February 26, 1993, and although it was insufficient to the intended task, it caused millions of dollars in damage and killed six people.
Tuesday, November 02, 2010
The blasts in Athens on Tuesday began when personnel at the Swiss Embassy who were aware of the thwarted attacks the day before threw a suspicious package out of the building, according to media reports. It exploded.
Monday, November 01, 2010
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
I have been at
It was the wind roaring and rocking the bus (which weighs ten tons and is not easily rocked) which he sang about in the lyric,
If you’re goin’ to the north country far,
Remember me to the one who lives thar,
She once was a true love of mine,
She once was a true love of mine.
See that she has a coat so warm,
To keep her from the howling wind,
That hits heavy on the border line,
She once was a true love of mine,
She once was a true love of mine.
That is all I remember of it from forty years ago, but this place and this wind is the place and the wind in the song.
Not only are the north country, the wind, and the border line poignant but also the pain of modern times. It is all but lost on us that “once was” and “true love” are, or once were, an oxymoron.
In this we can learn about the way things used to be from the graffiti one used to see in and around Mexican neighborhoods in LA - “JR + MG [or some other pairs of initials] por vida”. Whether this meant that Juan Rodriguez actually intended to be with Maria Garcia for life, or just that they both knew that he had to say he did in order to get into her pants, is not for non-Mexicans of that era to know.
But it used to be a given that one fell in love, often quite easily and casually, then stayed together “por vida”. Or at least that was the expectation even if it wasn’t always what happened.
The contrary note was struck by Marilyn Monroe in “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend”. “That’s when those louses go back to their spouses” she sang. Even then, though the louses had been with her, and she had been with them, in the end they went back to their spouses.
One doesn’t fault Dylan for being an ambitious musician and going off to
But it would have been clingy and dependent of her to insist on going. She had other fish to fry anyway – the
I don’t fault Dylan for it and you don’t fault him either. Nor her. That is just how life is. There are lots of women to meet and get involved with and about the same number of men to meet and get involved with. One moves on, as the saying is.
Though the rewards for “moving on” are clear, the costs are also. One is always either alone or about to be.
I am not saying I object. I personally wouldn’t now have it any other way. I am just pausing during the wind and the rain here on the borderline to reflect on the cost.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
The workmen and indeed everyone else in Provence are presented as cartoons, charming for their absurdity, but vastly less than equals to the ever-so-lofty Mayles. The Mayles who have achieved their elevated station in life by making a lot of money in advertising. Can't get more dignified and important than advertising. Especially shitty, primitive, brainless British advertising.
The delays and difficulties pile up and the refurbishing of the house which was supposed to have taken a few weeks or a month or two at most, drags on from Spring until December. Much of the book is taken up with their travails in not getting their house fixed.
At no point does Peter Mayle or his wife ever take it into their heads to pick up a tool for any part of the work whatsoever. Never in the entire year does that seem to have crossed either of their minds. Apparently because people of their class simply don't do such things. The ever-so-cute protestations of helplessness are the thinnest veneer over class pretensions.
Nor does it ever occur to either of them, at least not in the text of this book, that contracts can contain "timely performance" clauses, which impose monetary penalties on contractors who fail to meet deadlines. And that such clauses are standard in construction contracts.
While the workmen may be Provencale, it is the Mayles who are provincial. The disappearing contractor is as familiar as the sunrise in construction work all over the world, and there is nothing quaint or cute about it, nothing particularly Provencale. Which is why there are timely performance clauses. But the condescending and superior Mayles seem not to know that.
So the whole story, which is intended as a whimsical look at the quaint and amusing Provencales by a tolerantly superior English couple, is actually a look at the incompetence, ignorance, and class-pretensions of a pair of condescending morons.
The part of the book that is of interest is the descriptions of the various restaurants and the various meals that the Mayles "et" in them. ("Et" is the pronunciation given when the word intended is one we would render as "ate" or "eaten".)
Only when they are talking about food and wine are the Mayles sincerely appreciative and not condescending. There is LOTS of description of various dishes, of mushrooms gathered in the woods, of terrines, of breads, of all sorts of wines. It is only when they are genuinely appreciative that they are attractive and sympathetic.
My bad attitude and poor attendance in high school were carrying me on the long slow slide to Palookaville when the first of a long series of dumbluck happenstances came my way.
Just about the time I was being expelled from high school (as in "don't come back - ever") I took a battery of tests for an honors program at UCLA and was one of two kids in my school who got in. It meant that my going-down-the-toilet grades no longer mattered because I was admitted to the UC system and attended classes half time during 12th grade.
Further dumbluck was that UC was so bureaucratic that they only had one undergraduate status and could not distinguish high school admissions from regular admissions nor could they distinguish UCLA admissions from Berkeley admissions.
Further dumbluck was that the Russians had just launched Sputnik a few years earlier and Congress had freaked out and passed the National Defense Education Act which provided school loans for poor kids like me. So I went from expelled at the end of 11th grade to freshman at Berkeley a year later.
Between freshman and sophomore years I had a summer job scrubbing zoology lab floors that had not been cleaned in years. (The custodians insisted we do it on our knees with brushes so as not take away their jobs of cleaning with big electric floor scrubbers.) Having had plenty of experience of not spending money I saved what I made and spent it the following summer by taking the very first season of charter flights to Europe. More dumbluck.
In the course of hitch-hiking and wandering around my friend Fritz and I were in a youth hostel in West Berlin when we encountered a kid who had more money than brains - and a sports car. He had been touring the various red light districts because he didn't know what else there was to do in Europe. Fritz and I exchanged a look.
And so it was that in the summer of 1966 at the age of nineteen I learned first hand about what had been an article of conversation and ideological certainty in Berkeley. And it wasn't good. It was a huge eye-opener to actually see what everyone claimed to know all about. It was the origin of all my subsequent political skepticism. Not only had the conservatives lied to us about the Soviet Union, so had the liberals, socialists, and communists. Everyone had lied, and for their own interests.
Including one of my professors, Reggie Zelnik, whose sworn duty it was to teach the truth. But who was a shallow, lying rat-bastard more devoted to his Marxist pretensions than to academic integrity, let alone his students.
From that day to this, I have assumed that anything anyone says about politics or social theory or any such thing is just not true. My view from that day to this is that political speech is born of ignorance, prejudice, self-interest, and even intentional deception. In brief it is my belief that people who speak about politics either literally do not know what they are talking about or are intentional liars. (It does not follow that I necessarily know better. Just that I never believe what I am told.) It was then that I formulated my political philosophy which is summarized in the motto, "Oh, that's bullshit!"
This skepticism has stood me in good stead all my life, although it has gotten me into a great deal of trouble over the years, particularly with authority figures who do not like to have their word doubted or dismissed.