02 March 2015

Boris Nemtsov murder: the 7 dead cameras mystery

Click on the image to enlarge
More interesting details on Boris Nemtsov's murder. Check out this picture of the crime scene: two CCTV cameras on the right pole and 5 (five) on the left one. Not a single recording surfaced from any on these. I am not a big fan of conspiracy theories, and in Russia there usually are enough good mundane reasons for gadgets not working as they are supposed to work.

The murder scene, however, is plumb in the middle of the most protected and most watched "neighborhood" in the whole of Moscow (should I explain why? - I guess not, the picture is telling enough). 

The Russian blogger Igor (aka "The Sapient") that published this picture, adds:
I have two options: either, during the installation of cameras, the money was stolen and instead of the cameras cast imitation installed, or ... well, let's leave one option only. I promised not to invent versions.

So there.

01 March 2015

עדיף להיות בריא ועשיר מאשר להיות חולה ועני

הכותרת הראשית הבוקר בYNET עוסקת בתחלואי מערכת הבריאות של ישראל.
לא בדיוק מה שאת רוצה לקרוא על הבוקר!
כתבה כזו, אודות אנשים חולים שלא מאשרים להם בדיקות או תרופות, מתפרסמת מידי פעם ותמיד אני תוהה "למה דוקא עכשו".
אני לקוחה של הכללית מאז ומתמיד, וכך גם משפחתי. קרה שנאלצנו לחכות לבדיקה זמן ארוך אבל לא קרה שלא אישרו לנו בדיקה. אבי, שנפטר מסרטן לפני כ-15 שנים, והיה לו ביטוח רפואי פרטי, לא נזקק לביטוח הפרטי וקיבל שירות מצויין מהכללית. כך גם קרובת משפחה קשישה נוספת שמתמודדת עם סרטן.
אבל ברשימה זו אני רוצה לדבר על משהו אחר, שעולם הרפואה רק מייצג ולאו דוקא מהווה את עצם העניין.
אנא קראו את הכתבה המרתקת שכתבה פרופסור אווה אילוז במוסף הארץ.
מתוך סיפור אישי נוגע ללב על מות אביה, שמייצג את מרבית החוליים של מערכת הבריאות הציבורית, היא מוליכה אותנו למסקנה העצובה שאנו חיים בחברה חולה.
ראשית - הרופאים
אמנם בתי הספר לרפואה בארץ נחשבים למעולים ומוציאים רופאים מצטיינים. אבל דבר אחד אין הם מלמדים ואני בספק אם הוא בכלל נבדק בעת שהם בוחרים את התלמידים שלהם וזה "אנושיות".
בשל קדושת החיים הקיצונית שאנו לוקים בה, כל מי שמתקרב לנקודת החיים-מוות מקבל מהחברה (או לוקח לעצמו) משהו מהאלוהות. הרופא מציל החיים באמת חושב שהוא כמעט אלוהים. ובתור שכזה הוא מזלזל בכל מי שמבקש את שירותיו.
הצניעות שאולי היתה בצעיר שהתחיל בלימודי הרפואה מתפוגגת לחלוטין כאשר הוא מסיים את ההתמחות שלו ומצטרף לצוות של בית החולים.
כולנו רוצים לגעת באלוהות
ראש הממשלה שלנו רוצה גם הוא להיות במקום הזה של נגיעה באלוהות בכך שהוא עוסק באיראן ולדעתו מציל את מדינת ישראל משואה שנייה.
וכך גם בצבא שלעיתים יוצא למבצע שגובל בהתאבדות כדי להציל חייל אחד, או מדינה שלמה שמחזירה מספר גבוה של מחבלים תמורת אדם אחד בשבי.
ובשביל הסיכוי הקטן להיות במקום הזה, הפכנו לחברה שדורסת את האדם הפשוט, את זה שבסך הכל רוצה לחיות את חייו בשקט.
הפכנו לחברה שמתעלמת מהשוליים ורואה רק את המרכז - את הקונצנזוס.
תנו לחיות בשקט
ומה בעצם רוצה האדם הפשוט?
שייתנו לו לחיות בשקט.
לא רוצה פאתוס בחיים. לא רוצה לחיות כל הזמן בקצה של ה"חיים או מוות".
רוצה לגור בבית נוח, שיהיה לו די כסף כדי להעניק חינוך טוב לילדיו, שיהיה לו די כסף כדי לאכול אוכל בריא ומאוזן, שתהיה לו עבודה ראוייה שבאמצעותה יוכל להשיג את כל הדברים הללו.

וכמובן, רוצה שתהיה לו מטרייה סבירה של שירותי בריאות הוגנים.

28 February 2015

Boris Nemtzov



We don't know who gave the order to murder Boris Nemtzov.

Here is what we do know:

1. In the past Russian government didn't shy away from breaking the law to compromise Nemtzov. FSB recorded his cellphone conversations and published extracts containing swearing.

2. When Putin murders out of vengeance, he likes to leave a clue that it was him so that he can present it as a lesson to others. Po-210 was used to murder Litvinenko.

Nemtzov was murdered right next to the Kremlin. That would have been very hard for someone without access to Nemtzov's communications and knowledge of his route; ordinary criminals usually kill targets on the porch of the target's dwelling.

3. For that matter, professionals wouldn't select the constantly monitored center of Moscow, unless they had reasons to believe they won't be punished.

The murderer of Litvinenko is an MP in the Russian Duma.

George Galloway: my day ruined by Texans!


Quite a sweet tee hee moment:

They’re all out tonight; the Tory vermin, the UKIP proto-fascists, their Scots counterparts, the actual fascists, even Texans!
Texans... imagine that!

Murder of Boris Nemtsov and "Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?"


It is not that a murder on the streets of Moscow is a rare occurrence these days. Even if it was especially brazen and carried out in the center of the capital, in view of the Kremlin. No one is safe, and the fact that Boris Nemtsov was one of the few remaining opposition leaders doesn't really preclude the possibility of a "mundane" criminal act.

Until you see what Putin's propaganda machine is already churning out, and who better than the slobberingly slavish "Izvestiya"? The blood on the cobblestones is still warm, but the "highly placed sources in the law enforcement" are already up to the task with 3 (three!) possible scenarios of the crime.

Version 1:

The girl who was with Boris Nemtsov at the time of the murder is a citizen of Ukraine. As we have seen, she flew recently from Moscow to Switzerland to have an abortion. Was Nemtsov her only partner? - the investigators will find out, but we do not exclude the possibility of a domestic conflict, because it could be the case - said a senior source in the law enforcement agencies.

Version 2:

Boris Nemtsov himself traveled to Ukraine more than once, and it is no secret that he was in active contacts with representatives of the local political and business elite, belonging to the "war party".

They could provided him the [monetary] means to destabilize the situation in Russia. For the money, Ukrainian oligarchs might well expect that Nemtsov will split the Russian society. However, not only the split did not happen, but the opposite is happening - the consolidation of Russian society. Realizing that they are not getting results, Nemtsov's sponsors could have removed the politician for failing to carry out the task, - says the second scenario.

Version 3:

This could be a contract killing which was aimed as a blow to the powers that be through a provocation. External and internal opponents could have chosen the "victim" to destabilize the situation in Russia. However, the choice of the object for this purpose is surprising. Against the background of the current government's record ratings, Nemtsov was, in fact, an average person, whose role in society was minimal, - says the source.

Some dirt, some cheap political mystery and some doubt: a propaganda machine masterwork, worthy of the best of them. And all that practically in no time...

As for the  "Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?": nah, there is really no need for the royalty to utter something in this vein these days. The sophistication of modern politics is such that a well-trained vassal can read the royal looks, royal twitches and royal farts.

Chapeau, Vladimir Vladimirovich! 

27 February 2015

Naomi Wolf and the flood libel

To make it less of a standard post, I shall start from its end:

Click on the image to read the text

Of course, the tradition of whining about the cruel Zionists opening some (non-existent) dams to flood the poor defenseless Gazans is not going to stop with this retraction by Al Jazz, no matter how unique it is. The libel didn't start this year and it isn't going to stop this year.

Clearly, the pro-Palestinian propaganda masters have learned very well the Nazi maxim: if you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it, and you will even come to believe it yourself. So - invent a lie, add a few tear-jerking photographs (not to forget the Flat Fatima, of course), and you are in business. After a few years, everyone will accept your lie.

And don't mind the absurdities you might commit on the way, like this:
A writer at Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper outdid the other reports, contorting herself into knots to tie the flooding in with Israel’s Electric Corporation temporarily suspending service to West Banks cities Nablus and Jenin.
So the flooding of Gaza will continue every year, as it continues with Israel, to a lesser degree every year I have to add, due to Israeli city planners doing something about the drainage - slowly but still doing. Which brings me to the next issue related to Gaza floods: drainage in Gaza. Somehow almost no one seems to raise that question: how come year after year the same neighborhoods in Gaza keep being flooded without any remedy? After all, all that is needed is concrete and steel in sufficient quantities to build a robust drainage system. Drainage systems are built since times immemorial quite successfully all over the world, so what are the excuses for Gaza not to have some of them? To remind you? Here goes the concrete:




And here goes the steel:

COLLECTION OF QASSAM ROCKETS FIRED AT SDEROT

But again, the Israel-haters aren't to be stopped by trifles like these, and while we speak, the incomparable Naomi Wolf is already busy deflecting the unfortunate Al Jazz retraction by working around it.
As I noted below, we understand the retraction about 'dams'. Several citizen reporters including aid organizations have confirmed the existence or irrigations "channels" or "canals" and as always I think we keep an eye on reporting out the flooding till we confirm the source -- natural, not natural, accidental, etc -- of this very unusual flooding...'Sayumi Takahashi Harb I found this, which indicates that there is a system of pumps used to divert water into irrigation channels. "The top photo shows Naomi and Ornat Morag at a reservoir near theBesor River. The reservoir holds up to 4,000,000 cubic meters of water. The central photo shows the water capturing system along the BesorRiver. Rather than a dam to hold and capture water, some of the water which comes down the river after a rain is diverted into a holding pondand then pumped into the reservoir or into irrigation channels. The bottom photo shows irrigated fruit trees growing nearby.
Then Ms Wolf refers to a blog post about the Israeli flower growers in the Negev desert as some kind of proof of Israelis being able to flood Gaza at will.

All this may sound as an absurd ranting of a brain short of a few grey cells, and it certainly is just that. But check out the amazing retinue Ms Wolf has developed, most of them sworn haters of Israel, and you shall see how quickly and uncritically the most unimaginable crapola produced by this feverish brain is absorbed by the adoring masses.

Vile, Ms Wolf, positively vile.

P.S. Here is another example of Wolfish idiocy:
Colm Maguire:" So is there are is there not a dam and was there or was there not flooding. I asked and I was told you guys verified it from countless sources. Now Al jazzera has retracted, so how exactly did the Daily Cloudt verify this numerous times as stated to me just the other day when I questioned the post?"

Naomi Wolf: "Colm what we do here is show multiple sourcing and try to confirm news stories among other things. I had more than two solid sources so I wrote CONFIRMED which is classical journalism.
Classical journalism? Classical assholery, if I may coin a special term...

And so cheap...

Afterword: I hope  Ms Wolf gets her talons into this story as soon as possible. You flood some, you dry out some...
Click on the image to read the text

26 February 2015

LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM: Wesleyan University leaves pedophiles out in the cold. Protest!

It is with a feeling of discombobulation and chagrin that I follow the latest in the lack of sexual inclusiveness in this hallowed institution of higher learning.

A post on a Wesleyan University webpage advises of an open house for LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM.

No idea what that means? Don’t worry. Wesleyan explained it on its website.

Open House is a safe space for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Queer, Questioning, Flexual, Asexual, Genderf**k, Polyamourous, Bondage/Disciple (sic), Dominance/Submission, Sadism/Masochism (LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM) communities and for people of sexually or gender dissident communities. The goals of Open House include generating interest in a celebration of queer life from the social to the political to the academic. Open House works to create a Wesleyan community that appreciates the variety and vivacity of gender, sex and sexuality.

Oh and be careful of the lead paint.
Lead Paint Disclosure

Housing built before 1978 may contain lead-based paint. Lead from paint, paint chips, and dust can pose health hazards if not taken care of properly. Lead exposure is especially harmful to young children and pregnant women. Before renting pre-1978 housing, landlords must disclose the presence of known lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards in the dwelling. Tenants must also receive a Federally approved pamphlet on lead poisoning prevention. The pamphlet may be viewed at: http://www.hud.gov/offices/lead/library/enforcement/pyf_eng.pdf. The University recognizes that any housing built prior to 1978 may contain lead-based paint and/or lead-based paint hazards. By accepting your housing contract, you are affirming that you have reviewed the pamphlet Protect Your Family from Lead In Your Home.

All Wesleyan housing was built before 1978 with the exception of the following: Bennet Hall, Fauver Apartments, 19 Fountain Avenue, 20 Fountain Avenue, 25 Fountain Avenue, 231 Pine Street, and 14 Warren Street.

Lead Paint Reports for 154 Church Street
In short, whoever stands behind the initiative, has given a thought to everything. Almost everything, aside of poor unappreciated minority of pedophiles, who are left out in the cold, snowed in streets without a shelter and without a hope...

Yes, and this effort fell short of expectation on another account too:

24 February 2015

שוקולוד Anyone?

ביום ראשון בבוקר הופיע סרטון וידאו סרטון וידאו בכמה מאתרי החדשות והיכה גלים כפי שמזמן לא ראינו.
משפחה ישראלית מובחרת של ממש מציגה שפה גבוהה והתנהגות תרבותית כפי שאנחנו רואים  בתגובות בפייסבוק או באתרי חדשות.
ההבדל בין הטקסט הכתוב לקטע וידאו הוא זה מה שהצית את המהומה.
פתאום אפשר לראות איך זה באמת נראה בחיים ולא רק לדמיין איך זה נשמע מתוך קריאת הטקסט.
וכמו שהאמריקאים אומרים - All hell broke lose.
במהדורות החדשות הציגו את הסרטון ונתנו פירושים,
אנשים יצירתיים חשבו על רעיונות מצחיקים,
חרדים צחקו על זהאמנים חיברו שירים,
וה"גיבורים"? מן הסתם רוצים לקבור את עצמם.
כתבו מכתב התנצלות, אמרו שהם בסך הכל אנשים נורמטיבים....
למזלם הבחירות בפתח ואין דבר משעמם יותר מהחדשות של אתמול....


23 February 2015

Peter Beinart and the core message

It's quite an old story, and I recall now that, when I read it first, I have seen pink* and decided to let it stew for a while. I guess that we are after the while now, and the subject could be aired. The Haaretz article by Peter Beinart is titled The next step for liberal Zionists after Gaza: a Freedom Summer with Palestinians. Its lede cuts to the chase:
In an era of direct action, supporters of the two-state solution must start putting their bodies on the line.
The article itself starts with a fairly long and boring discourse on the sorry state of affairs in the sorry domain of the Israeli/Palestinian peace process.

The real meat of the article comes with this "action item" for an undefined body of American Jewish volunteers.
But if thousands of American Jews joined those protests, American Jews would know. Protesters would return home with videos to show their synagogues; hawkish parents would be appalled by the treatment meted out to their children. And the American media, which covers Jews far more intensively than it covers Palestinians, would follow. The model would be Freedom Summer, Robert Moses’ campaign to bring white college students to help register voters in Mississippi in 1964, and thus draw the nation’s eyes to oppression that garnered little media attention when practiced only against blacks.
In short: bring some nice Jewish-American boys and girls into direct contact with easily provoke-able boys and girls of our Border Police, and hey presto: Jewish moms at home will take a look at the iPhone-produced clips of the Border Police depravity toward their babies and raise such a shitstorm - the intractable pro-Zionist AIPAC will just have to become tractable and order Bibi to visit Washington for a spectacular clock cleaning.

You have noticed that I have left unmentioned that crude innuendo of comparing the Israeli/Palestinian situation with the plight of black community in US... and the "preferential" coverage of the Jews by American media. There is some tastier fish to fry in that article.

Here comes a first word of caution re the proposed merger of the American Jewish volunteers with local "freedom fighters":
Such an effort would not be simple. The call for Jewish volunteers would have to come from Palestinian activists themselves. There’s a risk that some protesters would throw stones. Even if American Jews came to support a two state solution, some of the people marching with them would not.
Yeah, definitely a good idea to warn the potential volunteers to avoid throwing stones. Because it is rather unpopular lately in Israel. Might provoke these Border Police fiends even more. But wait, here comes the pearl:
But even if protesters differed on their ultimate goal, the core message—that it is fundamentally unjust to deny people the basic rights that their neighbors enjoy because of their religion or ethnicity—might reach American Jews, and Americans overall, in a way it never has.
Now I think I have seen it all. Well, a good deal of "it", whatever it is. Prof Beinart's methodology is blazing simple. So "some of the people" might not support the two state solution (read "some of the people want Palestine from the river to the sea") - but the core message, the one that both "some people" and Peter Beinart espouse, is just, so the American Jews of conscience might march together with "some people". At least part of the way, and I hope that this "part of the way" is not what I forcibly put into prof Beinart's mouth. As far as no stones are thrown and no direct implementation of "Palestine from the river to the sea" is attempted, why not indeed? Right?

And we can extend this methodology to many other progressive movements that have a potential of carrying a common core message. Take Hamas, for instance: true, some of their messages are difficult to support (for the moment). Like their desire to get rid of the Jews, like all these Qassams and whatnot. But there is a core message of social work, of freedom, of open borders and free movement of goods (only part of which goods will be weapons, so the core message stays clear), of unity and purity etc. Lots and lots of what comprises a solid core message that could be shared by American Jews of good will - for at least part of the way. When Hamas comes to implement the less core bits, they might be better left alone, of course, but for now? The way is clear.

Or take Hezbollah. It's true that they are an illegal cancerous growth in the midst of a sovereign country. But their core message (if you leave aside their penchant for killing infidels, bombing embassies, cultural centers and similar) - isn't their core message good enough to march together with them for quite a long stretch?

Or Mussolini - he has that neat core message of trains... but enough of that. Of course, I have taken the feverish idea of Peter Beinart ad absurdum on purpose. I don't really intend to place any words in his mouth. Just to show that he has seriously crossed the line between the debate on the future of Israel and Palestinians and the domain where different groups of different anti-Zionist shades operate and prosper.

Speaking of crossing the lines, the J-Street, which is so touchingly lauded by prof Beinart in this article, is not averse to schmoozing with BDS supporters. And since prof Beinart himself has already called for a circumcised version of BDS (aimed at settlers only), I wouldn't be surprised if he becomes a fully sworn member of that crowd... but it is early days yet.

In short, dear Peter: it is fine to be worried about the situation here. It is fine to debate and disagree with various Jewish factions in US and Israel. The hallowed Jewish tradition of questioning anything and anybody should be kept up by all means. Joining hands with "some people", euphemistically identified as "ones who don't support two states solution" is far away from being fine.

So there.

(*) I can't say I have seen red when it's about Peter Beinart, can I?

22 February 2015

My Favorite Yiddish Proverbs Applied to the Syrian Conflict


There are many more excellent use cases of the proverbs, Yiddish or not - no matter.

About the author of this post:
Aboud Dandachi is a Syrian from the city of Homs, currently residing in Istanbul. He has been cited on issues relating to the Syrian conflict in the BBC, NPR, LA Times, the Guardian, Al-Arabiya and Turkiye Gazetesi.

Aboud's articles have been republished on numerous media outlets including Daily Sabah, The Jewish Press, EA Worldview, and Frontpage Mag.
Good man that and no doubt.

21 February 2015

The Council Has Spoken!

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

20 February 2015

Bill Gates is blasting men's testicles with ultrasound to help de-populate the Earth!

And you didn't hear it from me - but from a troof seeker of Russian RT:



As far as I understand, Bill G. is also, in cahoots with Monsanto, poisoning the peaceful population in the overpopulated areas by GM plants, vaccinating them with a polio vaccine that causes polio, killing crops and thus starving the population, while simultaneously letting them drink the lethal pesticides he provides gratis.

At some stage I collapsed under the weight of all these horrors, so the list is not complete.

But I am confident that Moscow wouldn't let Bill Gates to walk now...

David Horowitz at UCSD

Frankly, I was more impressed by the openness of the student. It is always nice when a person is frank and straightforward. Enjoy.



This discussion spills some light on UCSD too, I would suggest.

Our Weasel Of The Week



It’s time to present this week's statuette of shame, The Golden Weasel!!

Every Tuesday, the Council nominates some of the slimiest, most despicable characters in public life for some deed of evil, cowardice or corruption they’ve performed. Then we vote to single out one particular Weasel for special mention, to whom we award the statuette of shame, our special, 100% plastic Golden Weasel. This week's nominees were all slime-worthy and disgusting,but in the end the overwhelming winner was....the envelope please...

 http://s3.amazonaws.com/digitaltrends-uploads-prod/2013/11/tom-wheeler-fcc.jpg
Obama's Hand Picked Wanna Be Propaganda Kommissar, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler!!

19 February 2015

General Marie Harf Through History

My personal fave will be that one, probably:

I came, I saw, I provided significant social welfare benefits and jobs for the Gauls.
But there are a lot of other goodies here. Enjoy.

Update: and yes, it is Bush who is guilty in Ms Harf talking nonsense.
Later in the interview she returned to her "not the first person" argument, pointing out that George W. Bush made the same point.
Now, I think, I've heard everything... nah...