So here's a picture of produce from the Zhid's garden. It's a basket of apricots, fresh from the tree, as well as the lettuce that has been growing in the salad tray discussed earlier.
We'll probably turn the apricots into preserves and have been eating the lettuce as quick as it grows. Quite delicious, home grown lettuce has a very unique silky texture, unlike store bought. We're still waiting on the tomatoes and grapes to ripen and there are a few persimmons that may make it to the table. Click for a larger image of the luscious fruits and vegetables.
Next, the Zhid took his Springfield M1A to the range today. It was a very windy day and the Zhid has been trying to get the Leupold Mark 4 scope he put atop the M1A dialed in properly. It's been a long process to get the scope set to perfection, as the M1A scope mounts are notorious for their inability to stay set. The Zhid's Smith M21 mount worked itself loose a few months ago and that caused the Zhid to break out the loctite and have to start from scratch with getting that scope set up.
Today, with the wind blowing to 30mph+, the targets were bouncing all over the place (and the bullets were being buffeted a bit too). The first 20 rounds were not acceptable, as the Zhid was dialing that scope up and down, left and right, trying to get it on the bullseye. After the target change, though, with the scope close to being dialed in, things changed.
As you'll see from the picture below, the first five shots (Zhid was using the 5 shot clip to prevent him from blasting off 20 rounds at a time, like the grinning idiot he is) were a bit low and wandering, but the final shot was perfectly lined up from a windage point of view. The second set of five shots were a string to the left of the center of the target, a pretty good group for non-match ammo on a windy day. The third set of five (the set without a retarded box drawn around it) was pretty much dead on center, given the wind whipping things around a bit. Zhid was pleased. Click on the picture to get a larger image that allows you to see the descriptions added to the image.
And here is a picture of the M1A's bore all light up with a fluorescent light stick. Again, click for a large image of this work of art.
Now, on to the news. This first story is one Affe will have to answer for. I'm sure that there will be riots in the streets of Jerusalem, with the chasids urging mohels to use their tools to behead Catholics. Aren't riots and calls for violence the proper response to a perceived religious slight? That seems to be what the NY Times has told us.
Pope to revive 'anti-Semitic' Mass
JPost.com Staff, THE JERUSALEM POST Jun. 30, 2007
The Vatican is expected to publish this week a document authorizing the use of a controversial Latin Mass, parts of which are deemed anti-Semitic, the Holy See announced Thursday.
According to a report in Britain's Independent newspaper, some clergy fear that if the Latin Mass were brought back into common use, it would limit the Church's dialogue with Jews and Muslims, as well as create a schism among Catholics worldwide.
The 16th-century Tridentine Mass - recited every Good Friday - refers to Jews as "perfidious," and claims they live in "blindness" and "darkness." The Mass prays that God might "take the veil from their hearts" so that Jews can come to acknowledge Jesus Christ.
Rev. Keith Pecklers, an expert on Jesuit liturgy, told the Independent that elements in the Church who embraced the old Mass tended to oppose "collaboration with other Christians and [the Church's] dialogue with Jews and Muslims."
Currently, priests who wish to recite the Latin Mass, which was replaced in 1969 with liturgy in the vernacular, must receive permission from their bishops.
Pope Benedict's decision, some believe, is an attempt to bring the ultra-traditionalist Society of St. Pius X group back under the auspices of the Vatican. The move has been opposed by many senior representatives of the Catholic Church in Britain, including Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, as well as Jewish leaders.
The next story is a beaut... Read this and you'll see just how free the Palestinian state would be. How many times has Israel banned the BBC or any of the other news agencies that have a clear anti-Israel bias? Has any reporter ever gone into hiding in Norway to escape threats from Jews in Israel? This is yet another example of the open, free Palestinian society. These people are among the most self destructive beings on the face of the earth.
Tell me, am I the only one shaking my head at this quote, it coming from a Fatah leader? ""Al-Jazeera is a partner in the crimes that are being perpetrated by the terrorists of Hamas's armed wing against our people" Imagine that, all of a sudden the press is a conspirator in terror...but ONLY in this once case. It couldn't be, you know, that for the last, say, 30 years, the media was a "partner in the crimes that are being perpetrated by the terrorists" when Israel and Jews were the target. Right?
Top Palestinian journalist seeks asylum in Norway
Khaled Abu Toameh, THE JERUSALEM POST Jul. 1, 2007
A prominent Palestinian journalist from the Gaza Strip has sought political asylum in Norway, Palestinian journalists said Saturday.
Seif al-Din Shahin, the correspondent for the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya news channel network, left the Gaza Strip together with his family, they said, noting that he had received many death threats over the past few months.
Shahin's request has yet to be approved by the Norwegian government. Several other Palestinian journalists are also reported to have fled the Gaza Strip out of fear for their lives.
Earlier this year, masked gunmen set fire to the offices of Al-Arabiya in Gaza City, causing heavy damage to furniture and equipment. Although no group claimed responsibility, Palestinian journalists blamed members of Fatah's armed wing, the Aksa Martyrs Brigades.
The group was also responsible for beating Shahin in two separate incidents in 2001 and 2004. The second assault followed Shahin's live broadcast of a rally held on Fatah's anniversary. The report angered Fatah leaders who had instructed Shahin and other journalists to report that tens of thousands had participated.
In 2003 he was arrested by the Palestinian Authority security forces because of his reporting. Al-Arabiya's offices in Ramallah have also been attacked by Fatah gunmen on a number of occasions.
Shahin's brother, Muhammad, confirmed that his brother had left the Gaza Strip, but said he was unaware of the reports that he had asked for political asylum. "My brother left for personal reasons," he said.
Shahin's decision to seek political asylum in Norway comes amid a campaign that is being waged by Fatah against Al-Arabiya's rival, Al-Jazeera.
Fatah leaders have even called for closing down the Al-Jazeera offices in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, accusing the Qatari-owned TV station of serving as a mouthpiece for Hamas and other radical Islamic groups.
"Al-Jazeera is openly biased in favor of Hamas," said a senior Fatah leader. "This station must be banned from working in the Palestinian territories."
Muhammad Dahlan, the former Fatah security commander in the Gaza Strip, is said to be spearheading calls for banning Al-Jazeera. Last week he told Palestinian journalists that Al- Jazeera had been doing everything to drive a wedge and encourage schism among Palestinians. "This station has become an organ for Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood," he said.
Yasser Abed Rabbo, a top PLO official closely associated with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, accused Al-Jazeera of endorsing Hamas and its terrorists. "Al-Jazeera is a partner in the crimes that are being perpetrated by the terrorists of Hamas's armed wing against our people," he said.
Muhammad Hourani, a senior Fatah operative in the Gaza Strip, said Al-Jazeera was no longer an independent and objective source for news. "They are a party to the conflict [between Hamas and Fatah]," he said. He said that Al-Jazeera had refused to cover atrocities committed by Hamas in the Gaza Strip over the past few weeks and was providing a platform for Fatah's enemies.
Two weeks ago, Fatah militiamen set fire to the home of Hassan al-Titi, the Al-Jazeera correspondent in Nablus. One of the station's correspondents in the Gaza Strip, Hiba Akileh, came under fire from Fatah for allegedly ignoring the fact that Fatah gunmen had participated in the fighting against the IDF last week.
Fatah gunmen have also torched two vehicles belonging to Al-Jazeera in Ramallah. The attack came after Al-Jazeera ignored demands to cover a Fatah rally in the city.
And finally, this gem. How dare he say that the Japanese gave the US little choice but to drop the nuclear bombs! How dare he imply that if the bombs weren't dropped there would have been far greater casualties from an invasion of Japan! The Japanese were victims, don't you know?
Bombs Ended World War II, Says Kyuma
By CHISAKI WATANABE,AP
Posted: 2007-06-30 14:42:38
TOKYO (June 30) - Japan's defense minister said Saturday that the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States during World War II was an inevitable way to end the war, drawing criticism from atomic bomb survivors.
"I understand that the bombing ended the war, and I think that it couldn't be helped," Defense Minister Fumio Kyuma said in a speech at a university in Chiba, just east of Tokyo.
Kyuma's remarks drew immediate criticism from Nobuo Miyake, director-general of a group of Japanese atomic bomb victims living in Tokyo.
"The U.S. justifies the bombings saying they saved American lives," said Miyake, 78. "It's outrageous for a Japanese politician to voice such thinking. Japan is a victim."
Kyuma said later that his comments were misinterpreted. He told reporters he meant to say the bombing "could not be helped from the American point of view."
"It's too bad that my comments were interpreted as approving the U.S. bombing," he said.
Defense Ministry officials were not immediately available for comment Saturday.
On Aug. 6, 1945, the U.S. dropped a bomb nicknamed "Little Boy" on Hiroshima, killing at least 140,000 people in the world's first atomic bomb attack. Three days later, it dropped another atomic bomb, "Fat Man," on Nagasaki. City officials say about 74,000 died.
Japan, whose military had attacked the United States at Pearl Harbor, surrendered on Aug. 15, 1945.
Bombing survivors have developed various illnesses from radiation exposure, including cancer and liver diseases.
Kyuma, who is from Nagasaki, said the bombing caused great suffering in the city, but he does not resent the U.S. because it prevented the Soviet Union from entering the war with Japan, according to Kyodo News Agency.
In January, Kyuma raised eyebrows in Washington by calling the U.S. decision to invade Iraq a "mistake," saying it was based on the false premise that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction.
He later backtracked, saying he thought the decision should have been more cautiously made.
And just as a test...
Body parts led to Santa Clara suspect's murder trial
By Rodney Foo
San Jose Mercury News
Article Launched:06/18/2007 01:34:59 AM PDT
The cops who were looking for Dolores Gonzales at her Santa Clara apartment thought there was something a bit odd about her boyfriend, Alexandre Laurent Hochstraser.
Officers described him as "emotionless," "evasive" and "spacey" when they asked him if he had talked to or seen her recently. On a couch, they found several Sawzall reciprocating saw blades - one blade's paint was scuffed. The odor of bleach or chlorine permeated the apartment, police said.
Minutes later, officer Earl Amos checked the Volkswagen Jetta that Hochstraser, 48, had borrowed from his mother. A tarp covered the car's floor. Rubbermaid bins, containing plastic garbage bags, sat on the rear seats and a front seat.
Amos lifted the lid off a bin and opened the bag that was inside it. He peered in. Months later, he would testify in a Superior Court hearing about what he saw.
"I found a mound of human flesh," Amos said.
Police had discovered the dismembered remains of Gonzales, a 43-year-old mother.
Now, a little more than two years after his arrest, Hochstraser is about to stand trial in the killing of Gonzales. The case, awaiting to be assigned to an available judge, is scheduled to begin this week. The jury trial is expected to last several weeks.
The prosecution already has a particularly damning piece of evidence: A taped jailhouse phone conversation in which Hochstraser confesses to his mother that he killed Gonzales. The tape was entered as evidence at his preliminary hearing.
One facet of the case - whether police unlawfully entered Hochstraser's apartment and conducted an illegal search - was questioned by Hochstraser's attorney, Kenneth W. Robinson. A motion to suppress evidence based on the officers' actions was denied in January by Superior Court Judge David Cena. An appeal to the 6th District Court of Appeal was denied in April, paving the way for the criminal trial.
Robinson said his client is not guilty of premeditated murder and hinted that Hochstraser, a former admissions and records assistant for De Anza College's international students program, acted in self-defense. The coroner cited blunt-force trauma as the cause of Gonzales's death.
"I think sometimes the coverup is worse than the crime," Robinson said. "Once all the evidence is presented I believe the jury will be in the position to determine what actually occurred in the apartment that evening and who initiated the assault."
But, Deputy District Attorney Ted Kajani said the case is properly charged.
"We see this as a serious case and I don't see it as anything less than murder," Kajani said.
The events surrounding Gonzales's death began on a Saturday evening, June 4, 2005, when she and Hochstraser got into a fight. Gonzales suffered a cut on her chin. Hochstraser would tell police that when they pushed each other, she fell and was cut, according to court documents.
On the morning of June 5, Gonzales, who worked for Mission College's human resources department, called her mother in Hollister to tell her about the fight. Hochstraser told police that Gonzales left the apartment. He took their 2-year-old son, Daniel, to Hochstraser's mother in San Francisco. There, Hochstraser borrowed his mother's Jetta because it was larger than his car and he needed to move some items, court records said.
Meanwhile, Gonzales's mother phoned her granddaughter Christie Gonzales, who lives in the Sacramento area, to tell her about the fight.
Worried about the safety of her mother and Daniel, Christie Gonzales phoned police asking them to check her apartment on Malabar Avenue.
When officers arrived at 9:46 p.m., they found a darkened apartment. No one responded to their shouts or knocks on the door. But an unlocked window was open by about an inch. After conferring with his supervisor, an officer lifted the window up and entered the house. He then opened the front door to let more officers in.
In the dark, they found Hochstraser in a bedroom, sitting on a bed with his back resting against a wall. He wore earplugs. His face was red and there were cuts on his hands, police noted.
Officers asked him if he knew where Gonzales was.
On a table, officers found a fanny pack that contained Gonzales's cell phone, sunglasses, keys and identification. Later, police would inspect the Jetta.
Robinson argued before Cena that the police entry into the apartment through the window violated Hochstraser's constitutional right against unreasonable search and seizure. But Cena thought otherwise.
Cena said the officers entered the apartment on the premise that someone might be injured and unable to respond, not to investigate a crime.
But, the judge noted, "The situation quickly transferred to the belief that the police had stumbled upon the probable scene of a crime."