Wednesday, March 27, 2024

The Spy Who Came In With a Cold

 Once more for old time's sake. Hey, I got a grandson out of that sort of thing. I wrote this for Debra at She who Seeks I used one of her sketches and promised to give her credit. She does some terrific black and white sketches.

The Spy Who Came In With a Cold

As I have noted before, all my troubles as a PI concern dames. They want someone killed, someone wants to kill them, or they want to kill me. If you saw me sitting in my office, nursing a glass of Johnny Walker Red Label, you would realize that I had fallen on hard times. The sign on my door may say Rick O’Shea, PI, but today PI stands for Poor Idiot.

A knock on the door perked me up. Maybe someone needed my services after all. I reached in the drawer for my gat in case it was someone who didn’t need my services. A brunette in a trench coat, dripping wet from the rain, entered carefully, looking left and right. The right hand in her pocket told me she was carrying, too.

Woman  in a trench coat by
Debra from She who Seeks
Someone must have told her to get stuffed, as she had a head cold to die from. Too much time hiding in the cold and damp

“You hab to helb me”, she gasped. “Deethith and RDMB are abter me. I dow doo mudch for dem to let me libe”.

“OK, lady, calm down, and here, use this. And stay away from me”, I handed her some nasal decongestant spray. I keep it in the same drawer as my gun. Emergencies, you know. Then I poured her a drink, “This will warm you up. Now when you can breathe, tell me your story and we’ll make a plan”.

She collapsed into a chair, used the nasal spray with her left hand and picked up the drink the same way, keeping her right hand in her pocket. In a few minutes she breathed easier but never relaxed.  She was scared.

“Never mind who I work for”, she said, finally, when she could breath. “I accidentally learned of a huge cover up by CSIS and the RCMP of a major political scandal. Heads will roll when it gets out unless they can roll mine first. It is all on this flash drive”. And she pulled her right hand out of her pocket and handed me the flash drive she had been holding onto for dear life. No gun.

“Oh, good”, I thought, “now they will want to kill me too”.

“Can you get this to The Globe and Mail? It must not get to The National Post, or they will bury it deep. I can’t send it from my phone as they are monitoring it for my location.”

Being a sucker for a good deed, I agreed, and took the flash drive. “Now what do I do with you?”

“Get me out of the country,” she said. I can pay cash for the ticket, but I need fake ID that will get me through airport security.” Like I have that in my desk drawer. “That won’t be cheap. Have you enough cash for that?”, I mentally calculated an exorbitant sum and added 20% finders fee for myself. “I know people who know people”.

She pulled out a wad of USD that would choke a goat. I don’t want to know. Her nose was running, I handed her a box of tissues whereupon she did a good imitation of a barge asking the drawbridge to be raised.

I called Pete “the Fence” Picket. “I need a set of ID for a mid-thirties brunette female, that will clear airport security leaving Canada. Where she is going and who she is when she gets there is not my business. Money is no object, I’ll meet you at the cafĂ© across the street from the bus stop at 12th and Crocus. Oh, and bring me two burners”.

“Pete says it will be Five Grand USD in hundreds. Give it to me and I’ll meet him to pick it up. It will take an hour. You have to trust me, you have no choice”.

An hour later I was back with the ID and two burner phones in my pocket, (along with $1000 USD “finders fee”). I gave her one of the burners. “Dump your phone in the sewer grate outside the entrance door.”

I called a taxi and went with her to the airport just in case we were tailed. She went inside alone, and I went back to my office. 

I hooked the flash drive to the burner and downloaded the files. I did NOT read them. Found a number for the paper and fired them off. Ran the flash and the burner through my industrial strength shredder and poured the pieces down the sewer grate. Not foolproof but the best I could do.

Then I went out and bought a bottle of 18-year-old Laphroaig but kept the Red Label in case hard times come again.

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Dear Friends and Followers, it isn't fun anymore

 I have been blogging for 20 years. It has been enjoyable as I have met some good friends through my blog, I have learned a great deal is doing the background work for many of them. But I am tired. Ukraine wears me out. Palestine really wore me out. 

I am reminded of the man going on a honeymoon cruise who stopped to buy seasick pills and condoms. The druggest said, "If it makes you sick, why do you do it?"

I will keep my blog in case I get the urge again. And will drop in on yours from time to time too. 

Many thank for your friendship over the years

Monday, March 11, 2024

The Six-Day War of June 1967

 In the Six-Day War of June 1967, Israel expanded and occupied the rest of the Arab territory of Mandated Palestine, including Jerusalem.  It also took control of and occupied the Golan Heights of neighbouring Syria and the Sinai of Egypt. The 1967 war brought the second great Palestinian exodus. Half-a-million Palestinian people were uprooted and fled, half of them refugees for the second time.

The preemptive war began with an Israeli air assault in Egypt and Syria. An Israeli ground offensive was also launched in the Sinai Peninsula, the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip, and the West Bank. These territories were all captured by Israel, though the Sinai Peninsula was later returned to Egypt. Golan Heights and West Bank gave Israel control over precious water resources.

Source Israel Committee Against Housing 

The war was sold as necessary because Israel faced an existential threat from Egypt and Syria. 15,000 Arab soldiers were killed and only 700 Israelis. Miko Peled examined the minutes of the meeting of Israeli generals, of which his father was one. He learned that the Egyptian army was at least a year and a half away from becoming a fighting force and that the Syrian army was even farther behind. The Six-Day War was one of taking advantage of Arab weakness and of territorial expansion within Palestine

Miko Peled, is an author, writer, speaker, and human rights activist living in the United States. He was born in Jerusalem in 1961. His grandfather, Dr. Avraham Katsnelson was a Zionist leader and signer on the Israeli Declaration of Independence. His father, Matti Peled was a young officer in the war of 1948 and a general in the Six-Day War. General Peled then turned peacemaker, urging a fair settlement with the Palestinians. Miko’s unlikely opinions reflect his father’s legacy.

If you  go to YouTube you can find several presentatins by Miko Peled Also by Ilan Pappe 

Prior to the 1960s Palestinian history was fairly easy to follow. The players were primarily Zionists, Palestinians, British and other Arab states. In the 1960s it gets more complicated. America becomes  involved in a major way as does the UN. There are many oganizations and leaders appearing and many actions, reactions and negotiations taking place. I am still sorting these out as best I can.

I have enough energy for one major physical activity and one major mental activity per day, so I am often behind in reading other blogs or writing my own. Some days I feel like there is something wearing me out from the inside. So far the doctors have found nothing. They even examined my head. (straight line for some wit to capitalize on). They are still looking. Once I get some of that fixed, I am going to go for new knees.

Saturday, March 2, 2024

From the River to the Sea, Palestine Will Be Free

When the events of October 7th led to the Israeli continued genocide of Palestinians in Gaza, I said I would stay out of it. But there are so many Zionist attacks on anyone supporting Palestinians that it made me angry.

The Breach published a long article about the crackdown on pro-Palestinian statements and activities that is happening in Medical Schools and hospitals around the country. . Most of it concerns hospitals and Universities in Ontario but the last part of the article writes about the Medical School at the University of Calgary. That is getting close to home.

Netanyahu was warned a year in advance in great detail by Egypt, exactly what Hamas was planning. He was warned again close to October 7th. He chose to ignore the warnings and leave Gaza more lightly defended than West Bank. It was said that Hamas massacred 1200 Israelis including 400+ IDF in a most horrific fashion, however more reports are showing that many of the people killed were murdered in “friendly fire” by the IDF. To date the IDF has murdered around 30,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children, while many more are injured (70,000) and experiencing famine. Israel fires on starving people as they come for food, the recent one killing and injuring over 1000 people in The Great Flour Massacre. The IDF restrict supplies going into Gaza, banning insulin and restricting medical supplies such that many children have had amputations without anesthetic.

More than half of Gazan homes have been destroyed or damaged, 390 educational facilities damaged, hospitals have been attacked by bombs and IDF dressed as civilians, 267 places of worship have been damaged including some of the oldest Christian churches, and 1.7 million people live in refugee camps as 85% of the population has been displaced. The IDF push the Palestinians southward, crowding  2 million people into tighter and tighter areas, intending to force them into the Egyptian desert.

If Hamas set out to put the Palestinian occupation by Israel back on the front burner, they have succeeded beyond their wildest hopes. Arguments for and against Israel are everywhere and the Israeli genocide is turning world opinion against Israel. However, the Zionists are fighting back to silence support for Palestine, using their favourite weapon, equating anti-Zionism with anti-Judaism. Biden has said he is a Zionist, that without Israel, Jews are not safe anywhere. Jews are not any safer in Israel than in America. Claiming Zionism and Judaism are one and the same has now put Jews in danger all over as many people cannot differentiate. Zionism is a fascist political movement and has more registered evangelical Christian members than Jewish members.

Zionists have always deliberately conflated Zionism and Judaism and to oppose Israel is to be an Antisemite. ADL attacks and smears anyone who dares criticize Israel in Canada and USA. It has the politicians running scared. ADL targets Universities, all media, hospitals, doctors, any people or institutions of importance and credibility. In the USA, Canary Mission doxxes university students and professors whom it perceives as anti-Israel. Where does it get its funding?. “You can help expose hatred by alerting us to anti-Semitic activity on your college campus and beyond”. AIPAC spends millions to primary and defeat any American politician that is perceived as anti-Israel. Canada and some American states have passed laws against BDS which opposes companies doing business in occupied West Bank. The Simon Wiesenthal Centre also asks people to report anyone they perceive to be  anti-Israel.

The Cumming School of Medicine has received over $20 million dollars since 2003 from the Libin Institute, founded by the wealthy Libin family. The main lecture room is called Libin and an entire floor in the main research building also has their name. The current Dean was the Director of the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta from July 1, 2010 to July 31, 2019. 

A collective of medical students put up an art display for a student art show called Names not Numbers, with the names of over 6,500 murdered Palestinians. The display was ordered to be torn down by the Vice Dean.  The Dean claimed seeing the names of dead Palestinians treated with respect harmed students, and while Deans Anderson and Adams did not apologize for ordering the destruction of the art piece, they both did express regret for the manner in which it was removed.

Names, Not Numbers

The destroyed display

After the students met with the Dean, all the Deans from Canadian medical schools met with two American Deans to discuss how to handle current events. We do not know what was said, but a student ethics presentation on censorship was censored.

Several Deans continue to speak about “Jewish” people when they mean Zionist, a form of antisemitism which would be laughable if it wasn’t so insidious. These Deans also continue to ignore that the student collective is multi-faith.

A faculty member who witnessed the destruction of the art display, informed Global Media, who interviewed them for a story. The story never appeared. Fortunately, CBC published an article detailing the chilling effect as people expressing pro-Palestinian views are censured and suspended from work and school.

CBC documented many instances across Canada in which employees and students have faced firings, suspensions or calls for them to not be hired based on their publicly stated political stance on the Israel-Hamas war. It's a trend that has been reported not just in Canada but also in the U.S. and Europe, and across various industries, including media, law, health care and the service sector. "A lot of the time, what's happening to them is a result of anonymous sources reaching out to their employers or to their institutions, raising concerns with either their behaviour or something they have said or [are] alleged to have said."

None of the lawyers who spoke with CBC News had been notified of similar cases relating to expressions of support for Israel. "I've certainly seen stories of people who have chosen to leave jobs where they … don't feel supported as an Israeli or as a Jewish person [or] don't feel comfortable with statements that the organization [they] work for has made.”

Nearly 650 lawyers, law students and professors across Canada allege that some in the profession are "contacting the employers of lawyers and encouraging they be fired for their pro-Palestinian advocacy" and that those engaged in pro-Palestinian advocacy — many of whom are younger and people of colour — are being bullied for it. 

Screenshot sent to CBC News by a member of a closed Facebook group called Canadian Jewish Physicians show a handful of members saying they have compiled a list of 271 medical students who signed an open letter calling for a ceasefire and an end to targeting health-care facilities and workers in Gaza. 

The stated intention is to share this list with program directors ahead of residency interviews.

There are many more examples in the CBC article. And for detailed information about anti-Palestinian Racism see this website Understanding Anti-Palestinian Racism


Sunday, February 25, 2024

Life begins at…?

If you want to drive yourself bonkers, start thinking deeply about life. What is it? What does it mean? What is its purpose? Why are you here? When does life begin?

When does life begin? The question at the heart of America’s abortion debate is the most elemental — and the most complicated. This article from NYT is the most comprehensive look at this scientific, philosophical, and theological question I have ever read. Skip my blog and read this.

Andy Borowitz says life begins when you leave Arkansas. He has a point. The Alabama Supreme Court in deference to the loony tunes who think zygotes and embryos are humans, went one step further and declared 8 cell frozen embryos to be human. This immediately put IVF in jeopardy and IVF clinics started closing shop before they were guilty of murder. The Alabama House and Senate recognized the problem for women from using IVF who wanting to get pregnant but unable to. They are passing laws that declare embryos are only human beings after they are implanted in the uterus.

An 8 cell embryo, ready for IVF transfer

A human embryo or...?

Heretics, recognizing the stupidity of declaring embryos to be human made a great deal of fun asking for example if they could claim child support or be an income tax deduction. The forced-birthers responded. Lawmakers in at least six states have proposed measures similar to a Georgia law that allows women to seek child support back to conception to cover expenses from a pregnancy. Georgia also allows prospective parents to claim its income tax deduction for dependent children before birth, Utah enacted a pregnancy tax break last year, and variations of those measures are before lawmakers in at least four other states.

A few red states are even recognizing that if they are forcing a woman to give birth, they need to provide more in the way of pre- and post-natal care. Which is progress of sorts, I guess.

There is a huge fuss about how late in pregnancy abortions should be allowed. Everyone seems opposed to third trimester abortions. There is no such thing as “late term” abortions, a term crafted by anti-abortion extremists that holds no medical merit. In pregnancy, to be "late term" means to be past 41 weeks gestation, or past a patient's due date. Abortions do not occur in this time period, so the phrase is contradictory," According to Dr. Barbara Levy, vice president of health policy at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Abortions later in pregnancy are typically carried out due to either "lethal fetal anomalies or threats to the health of the mother," and to make the decision to abort is devastating to make but can ultimately save a life.

Pete Buttigieg summed it up better than anyone.

Why am I writing about this? Because Canada has six Conservative Premiers and one Prime Minister wannabe set on destroying Canada.  

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

A Short History of Palestine from 1947

 In early 1947, the British government announced it would be handing over the disaster it had created in Palestine to the United Nations and ending its colonial project there. On November 29, 1947, the UN adopted Resolution 181, recommending the partition of Palestine into Jewish and Arab states.

UN proposal for a two state Palestine

At the time, the Jews in Palestine constituted less than one third of the population and owned less than six percent of the total land area. Under the UN partition plan, they were allocated 55 percent of the land, encompassing many of the main cities with Palestinian Arab majorities and the important coastline from Haifa to Jaffa. The Arab state would be deprived of key agricultural lands and seaports which led the Palestinians to reject the proposal, especially since they had never been asked. Zionists were ecstatic. It was not as much as they wanted but they knew they could and would add to it with their armed militia groups, (Irgun headed by Menachim Begin, Lehi aka Stern, and Haganah).

From the moment the UN passed the two state resolution, the Zionists swung into action. The terrorist groups fused to constitute a 40,000 strong, armed and battle seasoned militia (Haganah) from fighting in WWII and training in Poland. The Palestinians had no armed forces to speak of and fled before the terror inflicted by the Zionist’s ethnic cleansing. From December 1947 to May 15th 1948, half the Palestinian refugees had already been driven from their homes.

On May 15th, the last British soldier left Palestine and the state of Israel was declared. Other Arab nations, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Iraq attacked Israel in defense of the Palestinians. The Arab-Israeli War lasted about a year. Between December 1947 and March 1949, at least 750,000 Palestinians from a 1.9 million population were made refugees beyond the borders of the state. Zionist forces had taken more than 78 percent of historic Palestine, ethnically cleansed and destroyed about 530 villages and cities, and killed about 15,000 Palestinians in a series of mass atrocities, including more than 70 massacres.

The armistice lines established in 1949 left Israel controlling a total of 67 per cent of the territory of Palestine.  Egypt and Jordan administered the remaining territorial portions allotted for the Arab State in the Partition Resolution.  

Palestine after the UN Armastice agreement in 1949

Every year on May 15, Palestinians around the world, numbering about 12.4 million, mark the Nakba, or “catastrophe”, referring to the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and the near-total destruction of Palestinian society in 1948. It is illegal for Israeli Palestinians to observe Nakba.

 United Nations dispatched a mediator, Count Folke Bernadotte of Sweden. His plan included specific territorial adjustments in the borders, return of all Palestinian Arab refugees, and some limitations on Jewish immigration.   He reported that the Arab refugees (later estimated at 726,000) had “fled or were expelled from the area under Jewish occupation”.  On 17 September 1948, Bernadotte was assassinated by the Stern gang.

In December 1948, the United Nations General Assembly affirmed the entitlement of the refugees to return. However, Israel prohibited Palestinians from returning to their homes and refuses to recognize them as refugees.

In December 1949, the General Assembly established the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) to assist the Palestinian refugees who had been displaced and deprived of their homes and means of livelihood.  Until 1967 the world treated the Palestine issue mainly as a refugee problem. By making it specific to Palestinians, donors can control it without it affecting other refugee programs (as they have done since October 17th by cutting funding).

In the war of June 1967, Israel expanded and occupied the rest of the Arab territory of Mandated Palestine, including Jerusalem.  It also took control of and occupied the Golan Heights of neighbouring Syria and the Sinai of Egypt. The 1967 war brought the second great Palestinian exodus. Half-a-million Palestinian people were uprooted and fled.

To be continued