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Friday, November 16, 2018

Last Rites

Looking Twice,

Cat sent this story of an Israeli soldier giving a visually impaired 74 year old Palestinian woman water to drink during Israel's summer 2014 invasion.
Another soldier took this picture of the humanitarian gesture.
Ghalya was born in 1941. She lived by herself in a room near her brothers’ house in the Abu-Rida neighbourhood of Khuza’a. She had no children. Her neighbourhood was one of the first places invaded by the Israeli army during the aggression...  Ghalya, with her weak body and white hair, refused to leave her house after the Israeli army ordered the residents of Khuza’a to evacuate. She thought her old age would protect her from being a target so she stayed in her home and refused to join the majority of the residents who left the area as the invasion began...  “During the aggression, an Israeli soldier approached the old woman and took a photo for another soldier while giving her water. They then executed her by shooting her in the head from a distance of one metre and let her bleed until she died.”

The US has spent $5.9 Trillion on wars since 2001. I can say it, but I cannot begin to comprehend this number: $5,933,000,000,000. "Exceptional"

After previously on Thursday the Senate killed a proposal by Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) to block $300 million in US arms sales to Bahrain — a key Saudi coalition ally in the Yemen war — Senators proposed another bill that would suspend all US weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and block the refueling of Saudi warplanes bombing Yemen.
Senators on the Foreign Relations Committee, led by Bob Menendez (R-New Jersey) and Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) introduced the “Saudi Arabia Accountability and Yemen Act of 2018” — also with the sponsorship of three Democrats — to hold the Saudis accountable for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.​..
One of Sen. Paul's supporters,  Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), argued that “It is long overdue that we end U.S. complicity in Saudi Arabia’s atrocities,” and said, “We must end all U.S. support for Saudi Arabia’s genocidal war in Yemen now.” Paul's resolution failed 77-21 as it faced a veto threat from the White House and as its opposition argued Bahrain is the wrong target and needed US missile and anti-tank systems to curtail the threat from Iran.
Menendez said the just announced sanctions against 17 Saudi nationals introduced by the White House were “not enough” in response to Khashoggi's death to ensure Riyadh properly investigates and ends its criminal behavior. Menendez described his bill as "putting teeth behind these demands with regular oversight, sanctions and suspension of weapons sales and refueling support.”


Menthol cigarettes are not just "menthol flavored". Menthol kills faster.
The menthol is a topical anesthetic, numbing the airways as the smoke is inhaled much deeper without discomfort, for a much bigger initial nicotine hit to the welcoming brain. Ahhh!
Menthol cigarettes are much more damaging and much more addictive. Almost nobody can quite from menthol. they almost always have to step down to a stinky, cough-inducing regular cigarette, and let the disgust help them wean off.
The FDA is looking at banning menthol, since it is very attractive to teens. This was originally marketed to (targeted at) African Americans, and still is. 
Most menthol smokers I see as a doctor are black. 
Some voices are presenting the menthol ban as racist AGAINST Blacks. 
I say "follow the money".

Solar Minimum has arrived earlier than predicted, with snow in Houston this week, and my tomatoes all dead. 
These minima are of different severity and duration. Will record cold in Texas be any indicator? 
Beats me... I'm planting some "cold tolerant" Mexican avocado trees in Yoakum.

I will be attending a silent meditation retreat for 5 days. Watch the world for me, will ya?

Silent Observer

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