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small red square The restitutions drama continues between the Swiss Banks and the Holocaust Survivors. The Swiss offered 0.6 billion, but 1.5 billion was requested, so negotiations have broken down. "Ugly caricatures have been appearing in editorial cartoons" reported a radio voice, about newspapers in Switzerland. Now the states of New York and California have announced economic sanctions in retaliation. I myself find this idea of reparations to "families of survivors" ridiculous.

small orange square Today's music would've been "Brown Shoes Don't Make It" by the Mothers of Invention - I saw their "Absolutely Free" at Big Al's Record Barn but I didn't get it - I may slip back there tomorrow. It's July now, his final month, so everything (of what's left) is priced rock bottom - $5 for LPs, $1 for 45s - half what it was last month. The original organized-like-a-library stock is gradually being reduced to thrift-store anarchy - whole shelves now contain an unsorted mix of disks. I did get the soundtrack to "The King Of Hearts" and a Dave Clark Five record ("Coast To Coast"). Both had $35 price tags. "The King of Hearts" was a French "cult" film shown frequently in the mid-70's with "Harold and Maude". I much preferred the former, and saw it several times - the tale of an English soldier in a deserted town overrun by the inmates of the local asylum. Didn't even know there was a soundtrack album, 'til now.

small purple square More outrageous behavior from the Republican Right and the Wreligious Wrong: this case from New York where a substitute teacher (Mildred Rosario) led her sixth-grade class in prayer. She was fired. However, various Republican congressmen feel this need to kowtow to the Christian zealots (in order to assure their reelection). In today's Washington Post, according to their columnist Richard Cohen:

...the majority whip, Tom DeLay of Texas, introduced Rosario at a news conference. He was joined by other members of the GOP leadership, including Newt Gingrich, the speaker with multiple personalities. The one on display that day was a homage to the movie 'Dumb and Dumber.' Gingrich condemned the firing and then allowed through his office that he was not familiar with the details of the case. Look, he's a busy man."
In the Bible Belt they're praising this woman loudly. According to Cohen (who's rabidly pro-Israel, just so you know where he's coming from) she asked each of her young charges to "accept Jesus as your personal savior". <1> For previous of my Newt rants see here and here.

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<1> This is one of those odd, loaded Christian expressions which I have difficulty interpreting, perhaps because it/they imply a degree of sincerity which I doubt most folks have, in fact many people seem incapable of having, these days. Thinking about this reminds me of how weird I felt in elementary school, when because of Sunday School I'd be asking my Dad some of those obvious, tough questions, and after a time his responses would get more frustrated and angry and would eventually become simply "Because that's what we believe!"