Dog Zen

It's Monday morning, time to head over to Rule of Dog and see what a sleeping puppy can do to the law of gravity.

Swiss Arrest Roman Polanski, French Government Declares America "Scary"

Does the French Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand really think that arresting a fugitive who fled after pleading guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl is a mark of a scary America or is the Minister just an imbecile? You decide:

The French culture minister has denounced the United States for the arrest of director Roman Polanski in Switzerland, saying it is a "terrible thing and very unfair."

"Seeing him alone, imprisoned while he was heading to an event that was due to offer him praise and recognition is awful, he was trapped," French Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand said at a news conference today. "In the same way there is a generous America that we like, there is also a scary America, that has just shown its face."

It's taken 31 years for U.S. Department of Justice to catch up with Polanski, 76, who was arrested soon after arriving in Switzerland for the Zurich Film Festival on a U.S. warrant stemmming from the 1977 statutory rape of a 13-year-old American girl.

The Academy Award winner has continued a fruitful career in Europe despite fleeing overseas in 1978 after pleading guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse.

Indonesian Woman Delivers 19.2-lb Baby

I hope you do realize that when I come across a story of a bigo baby--an adorable 19.2-lb, 24.4 inches Indonesian neonate, delivered via C/S--there's just no way I can resist posting his pic just to highlight the remarkable event. According to the article both mom and baby are doing fine post-op. [The biggest baby I delivered, vaginally mind you, was a bit over 14-lb.]

I Have Sinned!

And I repent. Despite being a totally cool, suave, and debonair blogger it turns out I've been guilty of a newbie sin--hotlinking pics with abandon--for quite some time now. I've just become aware of this yesterday, read up on it, and I plan to go back through my archive and correct the problem.

For shame, and thank you to the commenter who alerted me to the problem. It won't happen again.

Dog Zen

It's Monday morning, time for a big ol' pinko belly at Rule of Dog.

Hadassah Hospital Protest

Haredi Jews protesting the arrest of a woman who allegedly nearly starved her child to death, Jerusalem. Photo: AP

When it comes to Hasidim protesting in midtown against Hadassah, an Israeli hospital, Reuters brings you the press release.

Your intrepid blogger (intrepid as in the protest is happening half a block away, and it's been going on and on for several hours) brings you pics and impressions from the scene.

The Issue

Briefly, an Israeli woman - a member of the Toldot Aharon hassidic sect, perhaps the most tightly knit, socially cohesive and parochial of the groups that make up haredi society - had, according to the charges, systematically starved her little boy. The 3 yo was hospitalized at the Hadassah Hospital and, apparently, there's video evidence of his mother interfering with his care (possibly a Munchausen syndrome by proxy case). The mother was arrested and subsequently released on house arrest and charges of child abuse are pending.

The Problem

According to today's protesters, doctors at Hadassah hospital are cut[ting] up live people, mostly innocent, religious kids and the Zionist state is persecuting religious Jews. Also, the Zionist mass media feasts on God-fearing Jews. From a report in The Jerusalem Post:

Although many mainstream haredim may still believe police, doctors and social workers that there is reason to suspect that the mother severely harmed her child, they believe the secular news media were too ready to blame and that authorities were insensitive to haredi cultural norms.

The Reaction

Protests and vandalism in Israel, death threats against hospital personnel, and as much inflammatory rhetoric as can fit on a protest flyer.

From The Jerusalem Post:

The Hadassah Medical Organization on Monday expressed its "disgust" about the threats by extreme haredi elements against Dr. Birnbaum.

Birnbaum, an observant Jew with a crocheted kippa and beard who lives in a religious neighborhood, is being protected by security personnel. Other Hadassah staffers have also been threatened.


Meanwhile, Israel Medical Association chairman Dr. Yoram Blachar also denounced the threats against Hadassah, arguing that what is occurring "brings us back to those dark days in which doctors were persecuted for delivering bad news to patients."

The IMA head said he was very worried about the verbal violence and physical threats and the false claims that Hadassah was responsible for the starving of a toddler. "It is slander" against a medical institution that has treated so many people of all walks of life, including haredim, and who owe their lives to the hospital," Blachar added.

To attack Hadassah "causes damage to Israeli society in general," concluded Blachar, who called on the Health, Justice and Internal Security Ministries to stand behind Hadassah and take serious action against those who have been violent and spread slander.

And from today's protest:

According to True Torah Jews, the police arrested [the child's mother] and took her to jail, where they tortured and intimidated her for ten days in the hopes that she would confess to the charges. Bust she remained resolute.


But Hadassah Hospital is not finished. They are still pursuing legal action against the mother which could lead to the court taking all her five children away from her. The Zionist state cannot bear to see its most prestigious and symbolically important hospital be tarnished with the terrible crime of experimenting with an innocent child, so their legal system is cooperating fully with Hadassah to make sure the child's mother gets fully blamed.



The Zionist mass media, which thrives on cannibalizing God-fearing Jews, departed on a wicked crusade with bombastic headlines that "Finally the Torturing Charedei Mother has been Apprehended" [as if to say that in Israel there are no murderers and thieves or stories of top politicians being arrested for criminal acts and therefore they have found nothing else "more important" to discuss on the front pages of their newspapers than this fantastic news about a God-fearing Jewish mother.]

These sworn haters of religious Jews tell us that: "This mother has, for almost 2 years, starved her three year old son."

Today's Hadassah Hospital Protest

About 100 or so Hasidim--all young men in traditional dress--penned in an area half on the sidewalk and half on the street in front of a Hadassah-affiliated building. They were holding signs and listening (and periodically cheering) to speeches made by some elderly men (the rabbis, I assume) on a platform.

The crowd was orderly, bystanders where taking pictures, and I saw about 4 cops around--one was mostly directing traffic and the other three were milling about, supervising him.

The signs were in English but the speeches were in Yiddish which, in my opinion, wasn't a great idea since people outside their group couldn't understand their grievances.

My Yiddish is a bit rusty (as in I speak some German and can understand a word here and there) but I did mange to catch something about "the injustice to the young one" (the patient, I assume), and that "Jews will prevail world wide". There was also something about Polizei (police), and, over and over, one of the speakers kept mentioning the "schwarze Mensch" (black man) which I thought odd. Unfortunately, despite my best efforts, I wasn't able to figure out the context.

The one dramatic flair I noticed was a group of protesters donning white coats and OR caps, carrying signs and marching single-file up and down the street.

All in all, the protest was an interesting spectacle more for its novelty value than its substance. I think the language barrier detracted from its intended aim to inform the public, and the over-the-top signs/claims made it hard to take the protesters seriously. For more on the latest developments in the story go here.

What Is Happening to My Beloved City?

Little Napoleon strikes again:

No puffing in the parks? No lighting up on the lawn? No butts on the beach?

Mayor Bloomberg is taking his cigarette crackdown to the great outdoors with a new plan to ban smoking on all city parkland.

"We don't think that ... parents when they're standing by a soccer game, should have to be breathing in smoke from the person next to them," Health Commissioner Tom Farley said Monday as he introduced a sweeping new plan to make New Yorkers healthier.

"Smoke causes cancer. We don't think our children should have to be watching someone smoke," Farley said.

"We don't think it's too far to say that people shouldn't be smoking in parks and to try to protect our children from getting addicted to tobacco."

Bloomberg banned smoking in city bars and restaurants in 2002, an initially unpopular move that was later copied around the world.

Dog Zen

Time for something completely different this Monday morning at Rule of Dog.

It's Good to Be the Bishop, the Italian Priests Sex Abuse Scandal Version

Here's how you handle accusations of priests and lay religious men sexually abusing deaf children, if you're the bishop of Verona that is:

1) Initially, accuse the former students of fabricating their claims--"lies" and a stunt.

2) After one of the accused admits to sexually abusing students, conduct an internal investigation that excludes the alleged victims and any independent witnesses. [The findings: some abuse occurred, albeit a fraction of what has been alleged.]

3) Have the unmitigated gall to issue the following statement:

"The feeling that prevails is above all one of profound solidarity with the victims of abuse," [the bishop] said in a May statement. "To them and their families, a humble request of forgiveness is made."

It's good to be Monsignor Giuseppe Zenti, the current bishop of Verona. In fact, it's good to be the bishop of Verona, period:

In his declaration, Bisoli [one of the alleged victims] also accused Verona's late bishop, Monsignor Giuseppe Carraro — who is being considered for beatification — of molesting him on five separate occasions while he was a student at Provolo, which he attended from age 9 to 15.

A diocesan probe cleared Carraro of sex abuse. But the investigation interviewed none of the alleged victims, limiting testimony to surviving members of the Congregation, other school personnel and their affiliates, and documentation from the Congregation and Verona diocese.

The late bishop's beatification process was suspended pending the investigation, but is now going ahead to the Vatican's saint-making office.

Obama's Very Own Requirement for a Health Reform Bill: No Public Funding For Abortion

Q: So "Health care for everyone" means health care for men? And Obama's pledge during his entire political career to support a woman's right to choose only refers to women who can afford to choose, who can afford to pay out-of-pocket for reproductive health care?

A: Yes.

Where it not highly inappropriate I would be ROTFLOL with abandon. But it is, so I'm not.

Adiana Permanent Contraception

Adiana [mostly] Permanent Contraception has recently been approved by the FDA. In case you're considering tubal sterilization as your method of birth control, here's a very good animation of the Adiana process.

And if you're considering permanent contraception, don't forget about Essure, another type of [mostly] permanent birth control. Here's the Essure animation (with bonus sperm, I might add).

In Memoriam

9/11 Twin Towers (via)


Adnan Oktar: A Cult Leader Worthy of Congressional Hosannas


From the Reverend Sun Myung Moon to Adnan Oktar (the Atlas of Creation with pic of fishing fly, complete with metal hook, stolen from the internet buffoon) are there any cult leaders left out there that haven't been wined and dinned, endorsed and praised, and gently stroked with peacock feathers and adoringly sprinkled with rose water by our most wise and professional Congress members?


Health Care Reform: The Really Bad vs The Even Worse

Our beloved government is moving to make health insurance mandatory and to fine you and your family up to $3,800 if you don't obey its most competent decree and fail to get medical insurance. (Personally, I'd tack a public flogging to the fine but that's just me.)

So, as a contribution to this most welcomed development, I thought I'd point you to a couple of articles on health care reform. After all you'll need some reading material while you take a break from scrounging the money to pay the fine (or to pay for whatever inadequate and mismanaged plan the politicians come up with, as the case may be).

Matt Taibbi has a very good report on how Washington is screwing up health care reform. The language is a bit crude at times (best to read it at home), but the piece is a very good overview of the:

1. current system and its problems

2. difference between single payer, public option, and the alternatives now being considered by Congress

3. various bills in the House and Senate

4. how the major players involved are gaming the system

5. lousy job performance of both the President and Congress

I strongly recommend you read the article.

There's also a piece from Jonathan Cohn you might find useful. His analysis of the health care reform developments is a bit facile, but, towards the end of the article, he has a good description of the process involved in passing a final bill (whatever that might be).


Actuaries Gone Wild

Who knew that actuaries--crack risk-management experts, toiling in obscurity to keep insurance companies solvent and pensions funded--lead such tumultuous lives?

Dog Zen

Belated Rule of Dog sleeping puppy cuteness.