Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Sad Passing

One of my favorite author is John Mortimer, the creator of Horace Rumpole, aka Rumpole of the Bailey.

Unfortunately, he passed away on Friday at the age of 85.

Sir John Mortimer, CBE, QC, was began life as the son of a barrister. Although he intended to become an actor, he followed in his blind father's footsteps and was called to the bar in 1948. For the first 18 years of his practice, he concentrated mainly on work in what we Americans would calls probate and family law (divorces).

That changed, however, once Mortimer was made a silk (made a QC). He began representing people in criminal cases and eventually in civil rights cases. Although frequently misidentified as the defending barrister in the Lady Chatterly obscenity triaBlogger: Wandering Bell - Create Postl, Mortimer did defend several high profile defendants in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He successfully defended publishers John Calder and Marion Boyars for publishing Hubert Selby, Jr.'s Last Exit to Brooklyn in 1968. In 1977, he successfully defended Virgin Records for the use of "bollocks" in the lyrics of the Sex Pistols album Never Mind the Bollocks as well as a record store manager who put up a poster for the album. Mortimer was less successful in 1971 when he defended Richard Handyside, the English publisher of The Little Red Schoolbook and in 1976 when he defended Denis Lemon of the Gay News for the publication of the poem "The Love that Dares to Speak its Name" which was charged with being blasphemous libel.

In addition to his work as a barrister, he was also a writer. His first professional work was a writer of war-time propoganda films during the Second World War. Beginning in 1955, his work was produced on BBC radio and later on stage. Although he worked steadily as a writer, perhaps his most famous creation is Horace Rumpole, the criminal defense barrister he created for his Rumpole of Bailey series.

The Times obituatry wrote of Mortimer stating,

John Mortimer never met a criminal he didn't want to rescue from what he saw as the absurd maze of the law (“Never plead guilty” he told clients), or a liberty he didn't seek to safeguard or heard a story he didn't think could be polished into a wittier anecdote.

He was a man of lively passions, many of which he managed to pursue vigorously and simultaneously (he liked to describe his typical day as “breakfast in a cell with a murderer, lunch with a judge and dinner with an actress”).

The Guardian started their simply with,

The worlds of law and literature yesterday mourned their joint hero, Sir John Mortimer, creator of the immortal Rumpole of the Bailey, the crumpled champion of the common man.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Just did a little math

Apparently I had 5073 visitors in the last year. Of course,... a good chunk of you were here to look at Miley Cyrus' picture back in the summer, ... and a whole other chunk come to see my ranting about why I think IP law is screwy (based on the Red Cross case among others).

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I know this is going to go over so well with people in my area (or my take on the UN in Gaza)

Today, we learned at the IDF struck at Hamas fighters in Gaza City yesterday. In the process, the fight ended up partially destroying the UN headquarters in Gaza City. The UN is outraged. They are demanding that Israel atone for their actions.

They should not be. As a matter of fact, they should either shut up, or better yet, they should apologize to Israel.

Of all the world organizations, the UN has been perhaps the largest supporter of Arab terrorism in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The UNRWA, which is the primary UN operation in the West Bank and Gaza, is perhaps the most failed operation in the history of the United Nations.

UNRWA has been in operation for more than 60 years. Since it was formed, to take in "refugees" (some of whom were and some of whom were not) as a result of the 1948 war, it has managed to foster generations of stateless people. The people who live in the "camps" are the children and grandchildren of those who claimed "refugee" status as a result the 1948 war, making it perhaps the only such "refugee camps" in the world to have 3 generations of "refugees". It does not attempt to move the people out. In fact, the "camps" managed by the UNRWA are actually cities with permanent housing. Today, UNRWA claims jurisidction over 4 million registered "refugees". That is more than

Now, even accepting, arguendo, the argument that the claim of a "right of return" exists, the UNWRA has long since stopped acting as a neutral party in Israeli-Arab politics. UNRWA sponsored schools are virtual breeding grounds for terrorist. The curriculum includes indoctrination into radical Islamistc theology as well as inculcating the Hamas/Hizbollah/PLO ideology which calls for the destruction of the State of Israel. These schools employ militant members of Hamas (not sure if there any other kind) to work in these school. These schools use textbooks which

And UNRWA admits to all of this. And previous heads of UNRWA have stated that they do not find this to be a problem.

Furthermore, UNRWA consistently blames Israel for a variety of problems. Since the current conlfict with Hamas began, UNRWA has stated that it has no food to provide people. Well, that would be a shame, except that UNRWA had plenty of food, it just did not have all the types of food it wanted to distributed. UNRWA admitted that it had tons of rice, cooking oil, and powdered milk read to be distributed. What it was out of was flour. In fact, the standard UNRWA aid packet to Gaza residents is 50-kilogram (110 pounds) sack of sugar, a 50 kg sack of rice, a 50 kg sack of lentils, four jerry cans of cooking oil and a large sack of powdered milk. Depending on the size of the family, each package includes one to three 50-kg sacks of flour.

I guess, that food is not food unless it has flour in it, at least tBlogger: Wandering Bell - Create Posto UNRWA. I wonder how any other refugee group in the world right now would feel about receiving that package without the flour.

Of course, there is another thing about the "impending" food crisis in Gaza. Reporters who actually look around, as opposed to being fed propoganda by Hamas, is that, well, there does not seem to be one. First, Israel, despite being at war with Hamas, has been allowing humanitarian aid through. Since the first day of the war, which would coincide with UNRWA claiming that it could not distribute aid packages, Israel allowed in 63 trucks filled with more than 1496 tons of food (including flour) and medical supplies. As of January 11, 2009, Israel had 19,983 tons of supplies into the Gaza since December 26, 2008. Thats an average of 1175 tons of supplies a day. As of today, that number has risen to just over 26,000 tons.

As a side note, it should be stated what the needs are for flour in the Gaza Strip. According to the UN, it is 450 tons per day. The Arabs, in the form of the Palestinian Authority, have put their own needs in the Gaza Strip at 350 tons per day.

Second, it appears that there is food in Gaza. At least that is what the independent media is reporting.

Somehow, that was Israel's fault because of the blockade. The blockade which did not stop the terrorist organization Hamas from launching rockets into Israel. The blockade which allowed food into the strip, was eased a bit during the six month truce to allow more than just the basic humanitarian needs into Gaza.

So, let's see where that leaves the UNRWA. It allows its schools to be used as breeding grounds for extremists bent on murder. And it withholds food from those it is supposed to "protect" while it lashes out at Israel claiming that Israel is the cause of all the problems.

Yes, that sounds like a fair, neutral party aimed at providing for those less fortunate and not acting as a propoganda adjunct for an organization bent on murder and destruction.

However, because the members of the UNWRA retain that aura granted it by their employment with the United Nations, far too many people consider them to be above reproach. In fact, they have aided and abetted years of murder against the people of Israel. They have apparently actively participated in political action aimed at inflaming passions against Israel by mobilizing school children to protest Israel's actions.

Why do I think the people who spoke at that rally, held in UNRWA's Syrian schools, had something more to say than "Give peace a chance"?

It is also interesting to note that UNRWA is staffed primarily by local Arabs. According to one study, there are 23,000 employees who are local Arabs employed by UNRWA. There are only 100 or so professionals supplied by the UN from regions not covered by UNRWA. UNICEF and other UN organizations typically do not allow for those who benefit from the aid to also be employed or direct the aid to that degree.

Essentially, UNRWA exists as a massive handout program run by the Arabs for the Arabs. Why else would it not care that it has not fulfilled its original mandate to be a temporary organization meant to care for refugees on their way to other status (as other refugee organization strive to) and instead become a self-sustaining industry creating new "refugees" each year. Remember, in 1949, when the first Arab-Israeli war ended (or as the Israelis call it, the War of Independence), there were 711,000. refugeesm, more than quintupling the number they manage.

And it is more than a handout program. The UN sites in Gaza essentially are being used as safe-havens by Hamas. They have regularly fired from positions inside or in very close proximity to these UN enclaves. When IDF forces respond, they sometimes hit the UN facilities and the human shields inside.

And yet, can anyone find a single pronouncement by the esteemed Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon, demanding accountability of Hamas? Demanding that UNRWA do more to prevent its facilities from being used training grounds and bases of operation or as a deathtraps?

No, its just easier and more popular to blame Israel. Because if it is one thing the world is comfortable with, it is blaming the Jews for any problem.

The United Nations was once a good ideal. It is not nothing more than another shield behind which terrorists, totalitarian rules, and thugs hide behind. It has, perversely, allowed some of the greatest abusers of human rights to sit on and chair the

And unfortunately, we still give it money each year, and fail to demand that it live up to the ideals which lead to its founding. Fortunately, that might start to change. Rep. Steve Rothman, D-N.J, has proposed a resolution to cut off funding for UNRWA. Its not much, but at least it is a start. Maybe if someone on Capitol Hill would take a principled stand against hatred, anti-semitism, and the creation of jihadis, then this would be a bill and not a resolution.

In my, humble opinion, the IDF would be justified in striking at more UN buildings in the Gaza and elsewhere. They are bases of operation. They give active aid and comfort to combatants by providing them shelter beyond what is allowed under international law.

(Just wanted to acknowledge that I could not have found some of this information easily without the blogging down by, among others, Israellycool, the Muqata, and Elder of Ziyon. Any mistakes, or overreactions, are mine alone.)

Friday, January 09, 2009

Quote of the Day

Today's quote of the day comes from Mrs. Angrybell's year-end review at her work. There were two reviewers. Reviewer #1 went on and on about how good she did and how valuable an employee she was.

Reviewer #2: Next year, maybe you could shoot for walking on water.

For almost walking on water, the raise was only 3%.

My take on that: Cheap B@st@rds!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Videos on the Conflict

And this one looks like it was from Al Jazeerah. I suppose they didn't bother to make sure he was a card carrying member of "I'm Liberal so I support Terrorism".

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

I almost missed this...

But heeeeeeee's baaaaaaaaack!

That's right, former Administrative Law Judge Roy Pearson has appealed his loss again. Not content with having lost decisively at the trial court and in his initial appellate date, Mr. Pearson has decided to seek an en banc hearing of the entire District of Columbia Court of Appeals. In December, a three judge panel of the D.C. Court of Appeals denied Pearson's appeal.

When he loses, and he will, I'll be sure and update you all on the status of his filing for a Writ of Certiorari with the Supreme Court. He's just crazy enough to do it.

Interesting Video

Of course, I'm wondering how long until YouTube and Google cave to political correctness elements who have written the script that Israel is the oppressor and the Arabs are innocents.