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Voltaire2's Journal
Voltaire2's Journal
December 27, 2023

The case of al-Shifa: Investigating the assault on Gaza's largest hospital

JERUSALEM — Weeks before Israel sent troops into al-Shifa Hospital, its spokesman began building a public case.

The claims were remarkably specific — that five hospital buildings were directly involved in Hamas activities; that the buildings sat atop underground tunnels that were used by militants to direct rocket attacks and command fighters; and that the tunnels could be accessed from inside hospital wards. The assertions were backed by “concrete evidence,” Israel Defense Forces spokesman Daniel Hagari said as he laid out the case in an Oct. 27 briefing.

After storming the complex on Nov. 15, the IDF released a series of photographs and videos that it said proved its central point.

“Terrorists came here to command their operations,” Hagari said in a video published Nov. 22, guiding viewers through an underground tunnel, illuminating dark and empty rooms beneath al-Shifa.

But the evidence presented by the Israeli government falls short of showing that Hamas had been using the hospital as a command and control center, according to a Washington Post analysis of open-source visuals, satellite imagery and all of the publicly released IDF materials. That raises critical questions, legal and humanitarian experts say, about whether the civilian harm caused by Israel’s military operations against the hospital — encircling, besieging and ultimately raiding the facility and the tunnel beneath it — were proportionate to the assessed threat.

WAPO unpaywalled gift link: https://wapo.st/3ttbhRl
December 16, 2023

Indiscriminate Slaughter.

Is the phrase I cannot get out of my head this morning.

The military objectives apparently don’t include actually rescuing hostages as a top priority.

The use of force is so undisciplined that the IDF has reported that 20% of its casualties are from the IDF forces shooting each other.

The IDF also admitted that there is no evidence that Hamas is collapsing, and that instead their operation in Gaza may continue for a long time.

Is the mission objective simply to kill a lot of people? Destroy as much as possible? Is there any end in sight?

Are we ok with that?

December 15, 2023

Does anybody have a nano-scale sad clown violin?

A certain former mayor needs a serenade.

December 15, 2023

3 hostages in Gaza were killed by friendly fire, Israeli military says

Source: CBS News

Three hostages being held by Hamas in Gaza were mistakenly killed by friendly fire, the Israeli military said in a statement Friday.

During combat operations in Shejaiya, a dense neighborhood in the Gaza City area where fighting has been taking place, the Israeli military said troops "mistakenly identified three Israeli hostages as a threat." Troops fired at the three and they were killed, the Israel Defense Forces said.

The Israeli military said the bodies have been returned to Israel and the identities of the three were confirmed.

Read more: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/3-hostages-in-gaza-killed-by-friendly-fire-israeli-military-says/

December 1, 2023

Newsom camp: Hannity, DeSantis cheated. They dispute the charges.

Thursday’s raucous debate is giving way to bitter disappointment with and outright hostility toward Fox News and its host from the California Democrat’s camp.

Before Ron DeSantis could unveil his “poop map,” Gov. Gavin Newsom team’s frustration with Sean Hannity and his crew centered on his promises to them that he would be a fair moderator, only to repeatedly sandbag the governor and give the entire affair a 2-on-1 dynamic — as they saw it.

“The debate was rigged, and Newsom still won,” Newsom adviser Sean Clegg said.


Why do our politicians continue to make this idiotic mistake?
November 22, 2023

Judge finds evidence that Tesla, Musk knew about Autopilot defect

The judge said the accident is "eerily similar" to a 2016 fatal crash involving Joshua Brown in which the Autopilot system failed to detect crossing trucks, leading vehicles to go underneath a tractor trailer at high speeds.

"It would be reasonable to conclude that the Defendant Tesla through its CEO and engineers was acutely aware of the problem with the 'Autopilot' failing to detect cross traffic," the judge wrote.

Banner's attorney, Lake "Trey" Lytal III, said they are "extremely proud of this result based in the evidence of punitive conduct."

The judge also cited a 2016 video showing a Tesla vehicle driving without human intervention as a way to market Autopilot. The beginning of the video shows a disclaimer which says the person in the driver's seat is only there for legal reasons. "The car is driving itself," it said.


Eventually the crapfest of Musk-world is going to catch up to him.
November 22, 2023

Bernie Sanders: Justice for the Palestinians and Security for Israel

There have been five wars in the last 15 years between Israel and Hamas. How do we end the current one and prevent a sixth from happening, sooner or later? How do we balance our desire to stop the fighting with the need to address the roots of the conflict? For 75 years, diplomats, well-intentioned Israelis and Palestinians and government leaders around the world have struggled to bring peace to this region. In that time an Egyptian president and an Israeli prime minister were assassinated by extremists for their efforts to end the violence.

And on and on it goes.

For those of us who want not only to bring this war to end, but to avoid a future one, we must first be cleareyed about facts. On Oct. 7, Hamas, a terrorist organization, unleashed a barbaric attack against Israel, killing about 1,200 innocent men, women and children, and taking more than 200 hostages. On a per-capita basis, if Israel had the same population as the United States, that attack would have been the equivalent of nearly 40,000 deaths, more than 10 times the fatalities that we suffered on 9/11.

Israel, in response, under the leadership of its right-wing prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who is under indictment for corruption and whose cabinet includes outright racists, unleashed what amounts to total war against the Palestinian people. In Gaza, over 1.6 million Palestinians were forced out of their homes. Food, water, medical supplies and fuel were cut off. The United Nations estimates that 45 percent of the housing units in Gaza have been damaged or destroyed. According to the Gaza health ministry, more than 12,000 Palestinians, about half of whom are children, have been killed and many more wounded. And the situation becomes more dire every day.


Non-paywall link: https://www.nytimes.com/2023/11/22/opinion/bernie-sanders-israel-gaza.html?unlocked_article_code=1.AU0.nlYk._zuAP94Gm7Kv&smid=nytcore-ios-share&referringSource=articleShare

November 16, 2023

Point of observation: the IDF has not found compelling evidence that the Al-Shifa Hospital was in fact a Hamas base.

"Here’s what we know:
The Israeli Army has not presented much evidence that Hamas used Al-Shifa Hospital as a base. A military spokesman said the search would take time."
https://www.nytimes.com/live/2023/11/16/world/israel-hamas-gaza-war-news (paywall, sorry)

November 10, 2023

The enshittification of garage-door openers reveals a vast and deadly rot

How could this happen? Owners of Chamberlain MyQ automatic garage door openers just woke up to discover that the company had confiscated valuable features overnight, and that there was nothing they could do about it.

Oh, we know what happened, technically speaking. Chamberlain shut off the API for its garage-door openers, which breaks their integration with home automation systems like Home Assistant. The company even announced that it was doing this, calling the integration an "unauthorized usage" of its products, though the "unauthorized" parties in this case are the people who own Chamberlain products:


We even know why Chamberlain did this. As Ars Technica's Ron Amadeo points out, shutting off the API is a way for Chamberlain to force its customers to use its ad-beshitted, worst-of-breed app, so that it can make a few pennies by nonconsensually monetizing its customers' eyeballs:

Much more here:

November 9, 2023

NYT Normalizing nazis is fit news.

Trump Family Trial Style
Ivanka Trump and her siblings dress for court — and the cameras.

Welcome to the new season of Trump family trial style. It involves a somewhat different look for the brand — one that is notably … well, blue.

The guest star of the week was Ivanka Trump, making a reluctant return to center stage after announcing on Instagram last year that she was stepping out of the political limelight. She was the focus of this week’s final scene, flying up from her home in Florida, emerging from the bowels of a black town car to make her entrance in a navy wool coat and navy pantsuit, a black leather tote clutched in one hand, tiny pearl studs in her ears and with her blond hair falling in soft waves around her face, the picture of gentle, pulled-together professionalism and good will.

Paywalled NYT article: https://www.nytimes.com/2023/11/09/style/ivanka-donald-trump-new-york-fraud-trial.html

This sort of horseshit is shameless. The Trump Crime Family is just entertainment, folks, and fashion too! Now go consume. And get back in the office.

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