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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Odds & Ends ...3:34 pm


Who can keep up with how crazy the world is at this point? I’m serious. Of-course the world has always been crazy, but I really believe there’s an added edge these days, which brings to my mind an image of a train full of barking lunatics hurtling full speed towards a gorge spanned by a bridge that is busy collapsing.

And that’s my cheerful thought for the day. Related or otherwise, here’s a few odds:

Ron Radosh posts on The New York Times’ favorite 60’s terrorist.

Evidently The New York Times editors have somewhat of a crush about Bill Ayers. First, they legitimized him a few months ago by giving him a space to repeat his many lies in an Op-Ed piece. Deciding that giving him such coveted space was not enough, they have compounded their love affair with the 60’s terrorist by now awarding him a full page in the Sunday edition of The New York Times magazine.

Titled “Radical Cheer,” the interview by Deborah Solomon is compounded by their full page color photo of Ayers—a device that indicates those the magazine chooses to interview are indeed noteworthy important people. Most egregious, however, is that Solomon clearly believes that Ayers’ and his wife Bernard Dohrn’s lifelong agenda is, as she puts it, a “long struggle against racism and social injustice.” With those words, Solomon transforms Ayers’ and Dohrn’s actual lifelong real struggle for overthrow of our capitalist democracy with some form of revolutionary socialism, which they define in traditional Marxist-Leninist terms, into a simple quest for peace and justice.

The story of Travis the Chimp in Stamford, Connecticut is all over the place and despite its absurd elements is truly horrifying. Steve Fagin opines:

So, whom do you feel sorriest for: The hapless Stamford woman who raced to her friend’s house Monday after receiving a frantic call about a runaway chimp, only to be savagely attacked by the 200-pound animal?

The chimp’s owner, who upon first seeing the out-of-control animal escape, managed to lure it back inside and gave it Xanax-laced tea, before it got loose again and attack her friend, at which point the owner stabbed it repeatedly with a butcher’s knife?

The police officer, who after being summoned when the stabbed chimp continued its rampage, was chased inside his cruiser and fired several shots when the wild animal smashed the window, opened the door and entered his vehicle?

The poor chimp, which after being stabbed and shot, staggered back to its living quarters inside the house and died in a bloody heap?

As an antidote to that, here’s just an average heartwarming story of man’s best friend: Hero dog saved dying OAP’s life by waking up his wife after he had a stroke and fell out of bed. (An “OAP” is “old-aged pensioner” in British tabloid-speak.) (An “old-aged pensioner” is the British equivalent of “senior citizen” in the United States. I always thought that it’s a term that makes retired people sound useless and washed-up from the get-go, but there it is.)

Tia woke up Sonia Rampley, 78, in the middle of the night after Roy, 83, suffered a stroke and fell out of bed.

The five-year-old Patterdale terrier began frantically scratching at her hand. The shocked OAP immediately called 999 for an ambulance in the nick of time.

Mrs Rampley, of Norwich, said: ‘It must have been about 2.10am and I was lying in bed when Tia started scratching my hand.

‘I told her to go back to sleep, but she would not stop.

‘She obviously wasn’t getting enough of a reaction with her paw so she got her claws out and I had blood and scratch marks on my hand, she was so determined to wake me up.

‘I said to her “You don’t want to go outside at this time of night do you?” and I took her out to the garden, but she just walked through the door and walked back in again.’

The grandmother added: ‘I went back upstairs to the bedroom and turned the light on and my husband was lying on the floor.


‘If it hadn’t been for Tia I wouldn’t have found him until the morning when it might have been too late.’

See also Toby the Jack Russell terrier who recently protected some children from a poisonous snake, and Benson the Golden Retriever who did the usual trick of alerting people to a house-fire.

Then there’s the story of Tiger, the orange cat, no less, who alerted his owner to a cancerous tumor in his lung the “size of a soda-can.” This story seems to defy my preconceptions as to the usefulness of cats, but not so much as to the reliability of doctors.

And returning to near-apocalyptic craziness, there’s the story that encapsulates so much of it, i.e., the beheading of a woman in Buffalo, New York, by her husband; a man who had started a new TV station for the purpose of portraying Muslims in a positive way.

The founder of a U.S. Muslim television network has been arrested and charged with murdering his wife by beheading her, the network’s Web site and local media reported.

Muzzammil Hassan, founder and CEO of Buffalo, N.Y.-based Bridges TV which launched in 2004 with a mission to show Muslims in a more positive light, was charged after reporting the death of his wife, Aasiya Hassan, 37, on Thursday night.

After Hassan, 44, told police his wife was at the Bridges TV offices, in the village of Orchard Park, they found her body there, beheaded, The Buffalo News reported.

The story defies comment, for me at least, because the story is to such a degree its own commentary.

Yet, how much coverage in the ordinary media is it getting? Usually the media love horror stories with built-in irony, or with hypocrisies exposed. For instance when a tele-evangelist or a Republican politician is found out to be a philanderer or a drug-abuser. Of-course, Muzzammil Hassan is probably not a Republican.

More from this site:

  • New York Post cartoon links stimulus bill to Travis the chimp — Al Sharpton protests A brouhaha has erupted (those things do nothing but erupt, right?) over an editorial cartoon in the New York Post today. As CNN has it: Sharpton blasts Post cartoon linking stimulus bill […]
  • Why you don’t need (or want) a weatherman Ron Radosh writes on The Real Threat Posed by Bill Ayers. It is not that 40 years ago he was a terrorist, and that Barack Obama still associates with him. Even if Obama did not know […]
  • Tough terrier A woman in the county of Northumberland, in the U.K., was walking her fourteen year-old terrier Freddie by the seaside when a sudden thick fog arose. She became separated from her dog and […]


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