31 August 2006

Sleepless in Beirut

According to JP, "Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah refused to emerge from his bunker on Thursday to celebrate his 46th birthday. Nasrallah said that he preferred to celebrate with his "warriors" when security conditions made it possible to do so."

The above picture that goes with the article shows that this potentially embarrassing situation causes Hassan some headache. We can understand it, after all there are quite a few wobbly buildings in the neighborhood of Hassan's bunker, and who knows when a handy block of concrete may decide to fall down?

On the other hand, the headache and the stuffy air of his bunker may cause Nasrallah's mind to play out the Groundhog Day scenario. To remind you:

In traditional weather lore, if a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day and fails to see its shadow because the weather is cloudy, winter will soon end. If the groundhog sees its shadow because the weather is bright and clear, it will be frightened and run back into its hole, and the winter will continue for six more weeks.

Calm down, Hassan. The winter was over quite a long time ago, and besides - your shadow has been recently observed in Beirut:

See? You can get out. Well, once in a while at least, if you know what is good for you...

The New Man for The New World Order

When some unsavoury things happen in some remote places, people start guessing the reasons or assigning blame without adequate data. This is precisely what happened to The Age reporters who, besides creating a screaming headline UN acts to stamp out sex abuse by staff in East Timor, haven't really checked the situation in depth. It was easy to say:

For years the United Nations attempted to cover up perverted and outrageous behavior by uniformed and civilian personnel who have served in East Timor since 1999.

Or even:

The report revealed that peacekeepers left behind at least 20 babies they had fathered to Timorese women who are now stigmatised and in some cases ostracised by their communities.

This is just simple and straightforward reporting of mundane facts. After all, bring a few hundred soldiers into a place with a hot climate, feed them lots of high protein food and here you are - so what else is new? As the Jewish saying goes, the most important thing is that the babies be healthy...

But the really crucial fact that may have direct bearing on the world's future hides in the following text:

...and in 2001, two Jordanian soldiers were evacuated home with injured penises after attempting sexual intercourse with goats.

This is the turning point and this is were the dark designs of the UN with its black helicopters and jackbooted thugs are focused now. It is true that the current control of the world belongs to the Elders and our trained reptilians*. But some UN apparatchiks are still trying to wrangle the control out of our hands. To achieve this, they have decided to breed a New Man for their miserly NWO dream. Pitiful, but this is life, and we look at it with indulging (but wry) smile. At least for now. We fully understand that this

is the dream of all UN empoyees, but we also know for a fact that the ages old quandary of sticking this:

on that:

remains unsolved, and all the UN think tanks are stuck so far on that problem. Besides, what are the chances of the most hardy breed UN can produce against our reptilians, that are able (for one example) to sit unblinking through 5 hours of Fidel's speech?

But we must give the UN people their due - they are a stubborn lot. We understand that right now they are contemplating to continue with the man / goat plan, raising the ante to about 12,000 UN soldiers in south Lebanon. Knowing that there is no shortage of goats, we wish them luck in this endeavor. In any case nothing good is expected from this bunch, so maybe they will be able to make some progress with that project, at least...

Oh, and regarding the injuries (see the case of Jordanian soldiers) - the article we quoted above adds another piece of information:

A resolution passed last Friday by the UN Security Council urged countries sending personnel to East Timor to conduct pre-deployment awareness training about sexual exploitation and abuse of the local population.

UN has to make sure that the training includes a short lesson on the identification of the female goat and how it differs from the male one.

(*) David Icke has it almost right, he just does not understand the technicalities. For instance, the reptilians are not really live creatures - they are androids that came to the planet Earth with us many millennia ago. They do procreate, but not via some inefficient biological process.

Politically incorrect

But funny nevertheless, so enjoy.
(Click to enlarge)

Hat tip to BB.

To the people of Lebanon

Let's do without Syria, Iran, US, UN and U name it. Let's just do this.

What do you think?

30 August 2006

Jessica Lynch is pregnant.

Via Tinkerty Tonk.

It is not an earth shaking event, but still good luck to the expecting pair.

By the way, why do they say (in the few languages I know, at least) that both future parents are expecting? Isn't it only the father who is expecting - after all, the mother already keeps the baby inside?

Brian and the weed

Usually I approach Comment is free of Guardian in order to get the blood pressure up, to get the juices flowing for some nefarious purpose or other (Elders' business is demanding, you know).

Today, however, it was difficult. Not one of CiF regulars posted something highly controversial so far (the day is young, though), so I decided to head for entertainment. And it came in the form of Brian Whitaker's treatise Is the rise of euro-cannabis necessarily a bad thing? Good ole Brian never disappoints when you need some distraction from the daily mayhem of Hasbara.

Of course, if you like to shoot from the hip, the answer to this question is clear: as long as it is not Amero-cannabis or, deity forbid, Isra-cannabis, a well-meaning progressive left-leaning Guardian reader should be happy with the idea. After all, isn't it the destiny of Europe to provide a counter-balance to the American expansionist imperialism? So why not in form of Euro-cannabis?

But no, rest assured that this was not the intent of Brian's opus. He is rather concerned with lack of acceptance of this attractive plant in his homeland. "What exactly is the crime, and what is the problem?", he asks with heartwarming innocence of a child. Well, he probably knows (or knew) more about cannabis than he lets you know to start with, after all:

I can't imagine I'm the only person who, on reading this report, recalled with a wry smile how I once obtained a few seeds, tended the young shoots on a bedroom windowsill and then transplanted them into the garden.

Wry smile (?) notwithstanding, we'll not judge Brian harshly for that youthful indiscretion. I mean, who is going to cast the first stone? Especially when he employs his irresistible charm in a totally devastating way:

I should make clear that the incriminating evidence was harvested, dried, and consumed many years ago during a weekend in Wales. And with very disappointing results, actually.

Yeah... Indeed, people familiar with the body of Brian's work, will definitely agree with the last sentence. Also it is a bit off-putting how quickly he retreated, putting a legal barrier between himself and the bold statement in the previous quote. Is there a statute of limitations on weed growing, I wonder? Nah, no worries, Brian, I will not grass on you.

Well, to answer that innocent question: "what is the problem?" - see here, for example:

In the short term, marijuana use impairs perception, judgment, thinking, memory, and learning; memory defects may persist six weeks after last use. Mental disorders connected with marijuana use merit their own category in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) IV, published by the American Psychiatric Association. These include Cannabis Intoxication (consisting of impaired motor coordination, anxiety, impaired judgment, sensation of slowed time, social withdrawal, and often includes perceptual disturbances; Cannabis Intoxication Delirium (memory deficit, disorientation); Cannabis Induced Psychotic Disorder, Delusions; Cannabis Induced Psychotic Disorder, Hallucinations; and Cannabis Induced Anxiety Disorder.

Since we are not into medicine here, the learned reader can choose what seems to be the set of maladies matching Brian's specific case. We'll be content with a preliminary diagnose of judgment, thinking and learning disorders. To start with.

One thing is for sure: Brian's orientation is A-OK. Even in this seemingly unrelated treatise, he has not failed to mention Israel. Not too approvingly, it looks like...

Zionism, necrophilia and a bit of a profit on the side

Another day, another interesting Lebanese blog. No, they are not Zionists at all. Thankfully, neither are they the opposite. Just a team of Lebanese folks, sometimes tongue in cheek, sometimes angry, sometimes cool - well, like you and me in fact.

And they have shown me something I would prefer not to know, to tell you the truth. Read the post titled Death Tourism. I am not sure my reaction was exactly the same as that of the post's author, but the mix of titillation by some (real or perceived) dangers of terror ("staring down Hizzboulah terrorists across the Lebanese border"), some romantics ("cruising the Kinneret in the beautiful moonlight") and facing "the key policy makers", all this topped by the goal of helping out the victims of terror (sorry, not the victims directly but a litigation on their behalf) - all this leaves quite a bad taste.

And of course, this travesty was picked up by diverse population of our enemies. Just read the comments to the Death Tourism post. Of course, that racket is now assumed by some to be just another government outfit and of course, according to some, it is just another facet of the insidious Zionist entity. You bet.

Anyway, I came out of it with one new Lebanese blog on our blogroll and one joint Israeli-Lebanese venture here. The more the merrier!

29 August 2006

Say it again, please, Kofi?

The following screen snapshot carries a headline from Breitbart.com - Reuters ticker tape (click to enlarge):

So Annan has finally made up his mind re Israel, and now it is Hizbollah that objects to this capital idea?

I say!

But this Nasrallah chappie is such a contrarian, what else could you expect?

How to deal with egg on your face

Imagine that somebody threw at you lots of eggs (in public, too), most of it ending up on your face. What is the best way to deal with the situation? Run to the closest restroom and clean up to the best of your ability? Try to behave as if nothing has happened and continue mingling with the crowd? Beat up the offender (what if he/she happens to be twice as large as you...)?

No and no and no. It appears that the best way to deal with this embarrassing situation is to: a) use the accumulated eggs for an omelet and b) sell the omelet to the surrounding public.

This is exactly what David Corn, the Washington editor of The Nation and one of the more active anti-Bushists in the Plame affair, is doing quite successfully these days. The man spent so much time and effort, gleefully rubbing his hands in anticipation of the resounding crash of the current administration (most of it, give or take a few members he missed), he is in a dire need of an anti-burn salve to put on his palms.

To see is to believe, and you have to see it for yourself. Go to davidcorn.com and search the site for "Plame affair". I have got ten pages at least. In short - the man is obsessed with the subject. Of course, he was not alone, far from it. Anyone, from the political enemies of the current administration to outright conspiracy loonies, beat their drums. The only difference between the drummers was in the weight they ascribed to the agents of the world Zionism in the whole business.

And here is the way to sell the omelet:

It was Richard Armitage, when he was deputy secretary of state in July 2003, who first disclosed to conservative columnist Robert Novak that the wife of former ambassador Joseph Wilson was a CIA employee. A Newsweek article -- based on the new book I cowrote with Newsweek correspondent Michael Isikoff, Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal and the Selling of the Iraq War -- discloses that Armitage passed this classified information to Novak during a July 8, 2003 interview.

You see - there is no need to refer to the source of the eggs at all. Just mention, in an elegant and not at all pushy way, that there is an omelet and it is on sale.

Of course, some of the yolk will leave its stains, no matter what:

Colleagues of Armitage told us that Armitage -- who is known to be an inveterate gossip -- was only conveying a hot tidbit, not aiming to do Joe Wilson harm.

But hey - who cares, with such a beauty of a meal waiting on the table!

And you know what: Mr Corn is still trying to persuade us that maybe there weren't any eggs in the first place? Look at this unbelievable statement:

The outing of Armitage does change the contours of the leak case. The initial leaker was not plotting vengeance. He and Powell had not been gung-ho supporters of the war. Yet Bush backers cannot claim the leak was merely an innocent slip.

What is that smell, please? Could it possibly be that some of the eggs in that omelet were a bit off?


To clarify: I am not an ardent supporter of the current Washington administration. And yes, the story of the Iraq war is full of shady dealings and major mistakes. And yes, it should be investigated to smithereens.

But from here to the rivers of pointless vitriol and hate spewed by the self-appointed "progressives" and self-assigned "peaceniks" - no, thanks but no thanks.

Annan says... what?

No, it just could not be true. It must be some practical joker from Haaretz, I swear!

Annan told the Lebanese government that he wanted two Israel Defense Forces soldiers abducted by Hezbollah to be handed to the Red Cross, a government source said.

Nasrallah, probably, is already shaking in his boots. Sorry, sandals - it is Middle East, after all.

The source, who attended Annan's meeting with the cabinet, said Annan had also said he would ask Syrian President Bashar Assad later in the week to establish diplomatic ties with Lebanon and to control the Syrian side of their border.

Let me see if I understand the above clearly: Annan asks baby Assad to control... the Syrian side of the border with Lebanon. I see. This is to prevent the smuggling of Romanian rockets via Lebanon to Syrian popular anti-Hindu resistance movement, I assume?

Where is that universal confusion sign?

I feel better already...

Now this trick does it for me

I have belonged to the relatively small fraction of Israeli public opinion that believed in an independent commission of inquiry into the Lebanon war. Such a commission would have had a full authority to delve into any and all matters related to the war and to issue conclusions of a personal nature about the people at the helm. Without restrains and almost impossible to muzzle.

Were Olmert feeling secure and clean of any wrongdoings, he would have gone for such a commission - if only to remove the cloud of blames and suspicions. And what does he do? Here:

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert decided Monday to set up two committees of inquiry into the government's and military's handling of the Lebanon war, rejecting both the option of a more comprehensive, independent state commission of inquiry and a government commission of inquiry.

Sorry, it does not wash. It is a dirty trick worthy of a small town mayor using a local sheriff to investigate allegations about his thievery, while sharing the spoils of the thievery with the said sheriff. As correctly stated Zeev Segal in Haaretz: The committees of inquiry are a national farce.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has pulled out of his hat committees without any real foundation, lacking in public trust, just like hot balloons. Even were these to do their job properly, they would not win the confidence of the public, no matter what their findings might be.

So it is the time for the rope, tar and feathers, ladies and gentlemen. And, as the following "Wanted" ad that is doing its rounds over Internet, says:

Wanted in a country in the Middle East:

  • President
  • Prime Minister
  • Minister of Defense
  • Minister of Justice
  • Chief of Staff
  • Police commissioner.
Experience not required. Good wages.

Cross-posted on Yourish.com

28 August 2006

About sense and sensitivity

Natascha Kampusch, the Austrian giril kidnapped by a psycho who kept her eight and a half years in captivity, released a statement to the press. It is true, as some commenters mentioned, that she seems to be a level-headed person with a strong character. However, the trauma she underwent could be glimpsed in a single quote from her letter:

It is true that my youth was different to the youth of others, but in principle I don't feel I missed anything. On the contrary, there are certain things I avoided, having nothing to do with smoking or drinking to start off with, and I didn't meet the wrong friends.

She continues with a call to the media:

Message to the media: The one thing I would appeal for from the press is a stop to the insulting reports, the misinterpretations of reality, the commentaries that claim to know better and the lack of respect for me.

The letter quoted above comes from the Daily Mail - the same rag that published the article about this tragic story under a headline: Teenage dungeon sex slave defends her captor.

Many thanks, Daily Mail, for your sensitivity and your considerate treatment of the young and fragile soul. I hope that the editor in charge of that headline had tissue ready to clean up...

Update: It is about half an hour since I have posted this. Immediately after publishing this post, I have submitted a comment to the article with this post linked to it. Now say what you want about the power of blogging, but it took only half an hour for the headlines editor in question (or somebody else, while the headline editor was forcibly restrained) to change the headline to the following: Sex slave defends captor and 'mourns his death'. I realise that cutting in half the sleaze in that headline is a brave move of self-sacrifice.

P.S. My comment in Daily Mail was not published so far. I shall keep you updated on the new developments, if any.

Apropos Hezbollah...

A cartoon clarifying easily and succinctly the battle strategy of Hezbollah:

And a hilarious discovery (via Bagel Blogger) of a picture that will definitely (not) enter a pantheon of naval victories depictions:

For a full story go there. It is worth your time, I promise. Has an Australian angle to it too, which is always exciting for some reason.

Blood or knowledge 2

It appears that there are more people who do not necessarily share the blood thirst so popular these days. Olmert gets a leg up from an unexpected direction - JP, in an article In defense of Ehud Olmert by David J. Martin, an "international lawyer based in Tel Aviv and adjunct professor of law at Cardozo Law School in New York".

Hizbullah made three mistakes. It failed to understand the Israeli reaction to a kidnapping (with its implicit visions of torture). There may be cultural reasons for this misunderstanding.

Second, it miscalculated Olmert's response and underestimated his ability to rally both political and public support for strong action in Lebanon.

Third, Hizbullah did not foresee the stubbornness of US support for Israel even in the light of other international pressures.

It is not clear if Olmert was prescient or lucky, but he must be applauded for his success in dealing with each of the above.

Whether Mr Martin is right or not, the article shows clearly the necessity of careful analysis, which is definitely lacking in the current atmosphere of a witch hunt.

Atta boy, Yossi!

In these days of low morale, evaporating morals and the general atmosphere of low expectations of the visible future, a strong stance on anything at all could be a breath of fresh air.

And here comes Yossi Sarid, who decided to show us all an example of principled behavior.

Former MK and Haaretz journalist Yossi Sarid has declined an official offer from the Norwegian government to grant him citizenship so he can attend an international conference on freedom of expression and tolerance in Bali, Indonesia. His invitation was rescinded because he is Israeli.

It is not always that Yossi behaves like a real mensch, you know. The more his example is dear and should be applauded. Of course, it may leave a slight lingering taste of a missed opportunity. For example, an opportunity to look like this in the future:

But hey, we are happy that you have decided to remain an Israeli, Yossi. Really.


27 August 2006

Blood or knowledge?

I have just stumbled on a post by Picow in One Jerusalem that is positively demanding of the "three stooges" (Olmert, Peretz and Halutz) to quit. It is not that this is a new revolutionary approach, but the vehemence of the post is outstanding.

We should take a pause to breath some fresh air. Possibly with assistance of one of these brown bags that help in cases of hyperventilation - in the movies, at least. We should try and remind ourselves that we are, possibly, the most bloodthirsty nation in everything related to our leaders punishment/performance. This doubtful quality could be seen best in our love/hate relationships with our football coaches. There is not a single one of them who has not been crucified at this time or another by the media and the public as one (this is one of the cases where these two work in full synch usually).

Unfortunately, we frequently apply the same "methodology" to our duly elected leaders. This is not to say that I am going to stand in the way of the lynching mob, protecting them by my puny little body. I myself have my doubts about some of these three candidates for lynch. But the demand that they just quit, not preceded by a demand for a commission of inquiry that will have a full freedom of subjects and of recommendations - such a demand is pure and stupid pandering by the crowds to the crowds.

The whole issue of Lebanon war, the related decision-making process, the army preparedness or the lack of it - all these issues are not simple. They are somewhat more complicated than Joe the Public and Sammy the journo would like to see them in their righteous anger. And if the commission of inquiry is not created, if we, instead, revert to a simple lynch - the loss is all ours.

So, my answer to all those baying for blood: not in my name, chaverim. Not in my name.

P.S. If you really want to see the lessons learned and then the justice done, go there and vote for the commission of inquiry. Knowledge of Hebrew might be a pre-requisite.

Cross-posted on Yourish.com

Everyone's a winner?

Everyone's a winner is an incomprehensible headline of a "dialog" organized by BBC some time ago (the date of the article is August 14, so I am quite a bit late with this post).

BBC asks its readers to venture an opinion about the winner of the Lebanon war. To whet the readers appetite, BBC has chosen two bloggers - Lisa Goldman of On The Face and Rania el-Masry, who blogs at Siege of Lebanon, to initiate a discussion.

I am familiar with Lisa's blog and some other activities for quite some time. Lisa is much much more than a fellow blogger. She does more for the dialog between people and for understanding between warring nations of the Middle East than some government-sponsored outfits.

I am not familiar at all with Rania el-Masry, Lisa's partner in this dialog, so I have decided to read the blog to get some first-hand impression. And the more I read, the more my incomprehension of the BBC choice of the partner grew. First of all, it is not Rania's blog - it is a joint venture, welcoming everyone who has some anti-Israeli poison, no matter what quality, to spread. Secondly, Rania's own posts are so full of overused language coins of a typical anti-Israeli propaganda hack that I caught myself looking for the insidious "Zionist entity". So far no lack, but I have not read it all yet. Otherwise: this war is the fruit of Israeli aggression, anything IDF does is a "massacre" and, to top it all, Hezbollah is the "resistance movement". (True, nothing new here, but I dearly wish somebody would explain once and for all what it is exactly Hezbollah is "resisting" and why does this specific resistance require 12,000 Katyushas?)

Anyway, this post is not about the war. So why has BBC made such a doubtful choice of a partner for the dialog for Lisa? A true anti-war peacenik that has a lot of pen-friends and real friends in surrounding Arab countries, including Lebanon, gets a clearly anti-Israeli "my Lebanon right or wrong" hostile opponent instead of a sober and open-eyed blogger (and there is no lack of bloggers like these in Lebanon). Strange indeed.

It is very instructive to read the e-mails exchange in the dialog. Compare the first one by Rania starting with "If victory is defined in the level of destruction one imposes on the other, the level of massacres one commits against the other, the number of families that one forces out of their homes, then clearly Israel has won." against the sober and true Lisa's opening "Nobody won this war. We are all losers." Compare the empty sloganeering by Rania, escalating during the exchange with Lisa's factual commentary.

I agree with Lisa - there are no winners in this war. But there is one in this dialog. Good job, Lisa!

Weekly wisecracks

President Moshe Katzav to a reporter on the ongoing investigation about his alleged sexual prowess: "It is a blood libel".
Well, it may be a libel or it may be not, however it does have nothing to do with blood. It is a sperm libel if anything.

Haaretz: PM convenes advisers over nature of war probe
Not being convened, I still want to offer an advice: make the probe a deep and a painful one.

Haaretz: Italian FM: Int'l force could be deployed in Gaza too
Yeah. To the same end, for sure...

IDF: IAF targeted news van because it acted suspiciously in combat area (Reuters)
My Citroen is also acting suspiciously lately. I wonder if a Hellfire missile in its exhaust pipe will improve its behavior...

IDF arrests 3 Palestinians carrying Molotov cocktails near Ramallah (Itim)
Oh gosh! Now Amnesty International will have a field day. A person cannot even prepare a cocktail without being oppressed by the Zionists!

Third suspect in failed terror attack in Germany identified as Syrian (AP)
No sweat. I hear the dental health program in German jails is something a person outside can only dream about.

Unidentified male body washes ashore in Tel Aviv (Itim)
There is a lot of useless male bodies on Tel Aviv beaches. Being alive and identified does not make a major difference.

Independent: Could Ernesto turn into a Katrina?
And turn in the north-east direction (I have a map already laid out)? Please?

26 August 2006

The books meme conspiracy

ModernityBlog hit me right between the eyes with this meme. Normally, I would run like a rabbit on amphetamines from any meme, but since my vacation came to a premature end, it is back to the yoke. At least I do not have to invent stuff.

It seems only fitting to preface the meme with the following personal information I have received a few days ago, after filling out (truthfully, I must say) a few strange questions:

You Were An Owl

You are stealthy and secretive - no one knows the true you.

You are a seeker of freedom, and you are comfortable with your dark side.

So, at least now you got a hint that you cannot expect a lot from my answers to the books meme. By the way, that "no one knows the true you" applies to your humble servant as well.

Anyhow, being an omnivorous reader, since age of 4 being absolutely resistant to any attempt to get my reading into any sane frame, I have retained the eclectic tastes that no serious person (aside of a psychiatrist) will ever consider.

1. Name one book that changed your life: none. The closest it ever came to was The Great Terror by Robert Conquest.

2. One book you've read more than once: Quite a few. One will be Gargantua and Pantagruel by Francois Rabelais.

3. One book you'd want on a desert island: Joyce's Ulysses. Maybe I will grok it eventually...

4. One book that made you laugh: The Meaning of Liff By Douglas Adams and John Lloyd

5. One book that made you cry: Montauk by Max Frisch - the ending. Both true emotion and envy.

6. One book you wish you'd written: Joseph and His Brothers by Thomas Mann.

7. One book you wish had never been written:
Joyce's Ulysses. Then I wouldn't have to worry about never being able to grok it.

8. One book you're currently reading: In between cheap thrillers by the dozen: The Space Trilogy by C.S. Lewis (with its dreamlike quality it could surely give heebie-jeebies to Dr Freud!), with Seeing by Saramago waiting around the corner. Don't I wish sometimes I hated Saramago's writing? But no, I just have to be smitten by the old coot!

9. One book you've been meaning to read: Always the next book by Pratchett.

10. Tag 5 people: He he. Now let's see:

AbbaGav ("I think a meme is just what the doctor ordered").
Roland of But I am a Liberal (no answers to no meme so far).
Deborah of The Thought Mill (same as above).
Attila of Pillage Idiot ("This meme seemed a good way to introduce myself...")
Miriam of Miriam's Ideas ("I'm only meme-ing guys, we women have been doing this for years.")

Cheers all.

23 August 2006

It's pain, but really it is not so bad. Or is it?

OK - we'd like to erase that smirk of absolute satisfaction from our (the Elders', that is) collective face. But this is difficult to impossible, as the last stage of our diabolical plan (stage 2) of world domination is coming to fruition.

Especially when even the Guardianistas, grinding their teeth, are forced to acknowledge the fact of our total and final victory. Of course, they try to present this fact as some minor local matter, of no import to the rest of the world, but even they could not be that short-sighted. It is no more a matter of denial: we are convinced that they see the near future knocking on their doors already, it is just that they loath to say it loudly and in the open. No matter, we can take this headline for now:

Swazi men queue at clinics to find a cure for Aids - through circumcision

Research cited by Clinton suggests simple procedure reduces chances of infection

This is one of many areas of expertise of the old boy. Besides, he was taken care of by an expert, so no mistakes here.

The procedure takes 30 minutes under local anaesthetic. The patient waits a further 30 minutes to monitor bleeding. An hour after the operation, a pleased Mr Shabange left the clinic. "It's pain, but really it is not so bad," he said.

And Mr Shabange is right - as far as he and his friends are concerned, there is nothing to worry about. However, the procedure could be simplified in some special cases, and then...

The demand for circumcision rose last year when local press reported the findings of a South African study showing circumcised men to be 61-75% less likely to be infected by the virus.

Aids, shmaids - come on, folks, we all know who is behind all this noise, don't we? After all, the Elders were already accused in inventing and spreading the Aids virus, so it does not have to take a big shot Pulitzer level journo to connect the dots, see what I mean?

So, the second half of the match goes to us as well, and there are no replays or penalty time. The globe is ours - why, it is another matter, we are not that sure ourselves...

Now, about the near future knocking on the Guardianistas' doors. We intend to leave you somewhere for the end of the list, guys. Meanwhile, taking into account the possible different levels of pain during and after the surgery, please reconsider your behavior. A list of suggestions will be sent over shortly , and you shall have some lead time to repent and to mend your ways. Just for starters - begin learning the words of Hatikva*. The music is undoubtedly known to you, after all it was stolen from Smetana. And forget bacon and other treif - it is reserved solely for the Elders' operatives in the field from now on.

Oh, and two more things for you to remember:

  1. References to the previously performed circumcision are not taken into account.
  2. Please, no sudden moves during the surgery - the New Administration is not responsible for the results in any way.
  3. * In Hebrew, of course, it goes without saying.

Yet another carnival - men not invited

I had lots of trouble deciding on a header for this post. The idea for the post was to select a subset of bloggers we link to for a mini-carnival, since I cannot read all the linked blogs in one go.

After a short while I have decided to select by gender. After all, no matter what the selection criteria will be, some guardian of political correctness will find a way to accuse, convict and execute me. So I might as well enjoy my favorite kind of people while uncrucified.

Then the problem with the header raised its ugly head. "Female bloggers" - yuck, sounds like chalk scratching on a board. "Girly blogs" - for Hak Mao it's OK, but I will be crucified as sure as death and taxes. Anyhow, "girls" is totally un-PC these days, almost like "broads". Etc etc, so when I got in to the "person of female persuasion", I have decided on another way of tackling the problem.

So here it goes, with a few words of caution: I am not absolutely sure about the gender of some of the bloggers we link to, so if I missed a blog owned by a woman (girl, person of female persuasion, ...), my profuse apologies. Group blogs were skipped on general principle, aside of smallish groups.

Are We Being Ants or Grasshoppers?, asks WestBankMama of West Bank Blog in a great post. I suspect we are closer to donkeys, but the post is good, and my sole remark is somewhere there.

Liorah of Walking on Fire offers a beauty of a poem titled Impulse, Chasdai David Hane'emanim.
(I know that my limited brain gets only about 25% of it, but still...)

Cripes! Please stop!, says Rachel of Tinkerty Tonk about the deluge of animated-gif-filled chain letters, hitting the nail on the head. My sentiments exactly.

Deborah of The Thought Mill caught the hypocrites of UN in UN Permits Wide Use Of Force. Good job, Deborah. (прохиндеи паршивые)

In Blogthing of the day Lesley of The Debris Field discovers that some new-fangled site analyzed her inner "me" and told her: "Congratulations, you are definitely quite emotionally mature.
Although you have your moments of moodiness, you're usually stable and level headed."
You should not believe everything they tell you, Lesley, I swear - the aliens know better.

"I'm melting" is the current problem experienced by Yael of Step-By-Step: making Aliyah. The only advice I can give is too flippant: no sweat, as they say down under. Really, sweating is very good for you - I was told that sweat gets out some bad stuff out of our bodies and this is supposed to be healthy. A worrying thing about Yael's post is that cats are not mentioned...

Scribbles of Small Town Scribbles is in a dark mood right now. When experts attack: Killer theories is her last post, and it's mainly about offing people. I know that having an ailing hubby at home 24x7 could be an irritant. I know it from SWMBO herself, and it definitely inspires a certain direction of thinking, she added.

Noorster of ShutterFool reports on her Armageddon day (August 22). Her Armageddon day came in the form of a regular beach dork, it appears.

When a single death becomes a collective symbol is a superb post Lisa of On The Face dedicates to the death of Uri Grossman. She is right - outsiders just do not get what we feel.

Lay off Halutz, says Imshin of Not a Fish, and she is 150% right, whatever are Halutz's sins - the whole stupid story is just... too stupid. Anyway, why did she disable comments on her blog?

This post made me think twice is a post by Miriam of Miriam's Ideas about the crafty (or, rather, stupid) ways of MSM. A good one, too.

Meryl partially fulfills a Picture request, giving a brief glimpse at the environs of her vacation place. She refuses to provide a picture of the beach (what did the guy really wanted to see?). Apparently she has enough time for a few broadsides at some enemies of Israel, though...

Tanisha/Tova of La Dolce Diva / Journey of a Gera keeps disappearing under a variety of excuses like Just two weeks...

Irina of The Ignoble Experiment got out of the closet in a post In Which She Reveals A Nasty Little Secret. Titillated? I shall leave you in this state, go and read the post...

The Colorless Shades is the name of a poem by Saba of Hope and Beyond I quite loved. The poem, I mean. Er... just to make it clear to interested parties.

Hak Mao of Hak Mao offers a riddle in Russian cheetie and the Rav. I would offer my solution, but the wording that will not cause this blog to be closed forever is escaping me... That Hak Mao gal, she knows how to discombobulate a person when she wants to...

Olah Chadasha of The Greetings from The French Hill is in apocalyptic mood in The Wars To Come... post. Cheer up, OC, it will become much worse before it starts showing the first indications of getting really bad.

This blog has temporarily moved is the latest pronouncement by Rinat of Balagan. Knowing about her mercurial character, she is currently in many more places than just London. Simultaneously, that is...

And finally, Angua of the Angua's First Blog is still silent. Why? Am I linking to a wrong place?

OK, that's it for now. It was hard work, but I enjoyed every minute of it.


P.S. Using the Blogger's spell checker is sometimes a pure delight. This is one of the times. Jumping on the word "uncrucified" created by me on purpose, the spell checker offered a better (in its opinion) alternative: "uncircumcised"...

This is what you call jumping?

GideonSwort rebuked me for the statement made in this post, where I said that Jews can't jump.

He pointed out Alex Averbuch, the pole vaulter:

Israeli athlete Alex Averbuch on Sunday claimed his third successive European Championship gold at the mens' pole vault in Gothenburg, Sweden. He recorded his best jump to date of 5.7 meters.

What can I say about this strange argument?

This is what you call jumping? Sweet jumping Alex on a crutch!

Liger - status: true

I got a message with an amazing story about a liger - a half-lion, half-tiger creature that is a result of an accidental cross-breeding between the species.

He looks like something from a prehistoric age or a fantastic creation from Hollywood. But Hercules is very much living flesh and blood - as he proves every time he opens his gigantic mouth to roar. Part lion, part tiger, he is not just a big cat but a huge one,standing 10ft tall on his back legs. Called a liger, in reference to his crossbreed parentage, he is the largest of all the cat species. On a typical day he will devour 20lb of meat, usually beef or chicken, and is capable of eating 100lb at a single setting. At just three years old, Hercules already weighs half a ton.

It appears that the story is not particularly new:

Ligers have been bred in captivity, deliberately and accidentally, since shortly before World War II.

I have checked this story on Snopes, and it appears to be absolutely kosher. Still amazing.

And the second picture is here just to tell you, boys, that I had a serious problem when focusing my eyes on it. Do I need an appointment with an eye specialist or what?

Respect and suspect?

Reading Debkafile is a mixed pleasure. You never know where the reality starts and the pure fantasy begins with these people, and that is on top of the team being clearly partisan and peppering what is supposed to be reporting with own political agenda.

So, reading this article, I had to apply all available filters, and even after this, the picture is pretty grim. If even a part of what it says is true, it appears that the upcoming (hopefully) commission of inquiry has to investigate not only the internal decision making by our government and IDF top brass, but also the state of absolute dependency on, let us say it straight, a less than brilliant team residing currently in the White House.

The article starts with a reference to a curious spate of calls by some ministers (Amir Peretz, defense, Tzipi Livni, foreign affairs and Avi Ditcher, internal security - at least two of them knowing a thing or two about security) for a negotiations with Syria and a possibility to trade the Golan Heights for peace with Syria and Lebanon. The explanation is coming at the end of the article:

It appears that Condoleezza Rice was not exactly happy with the way the war turned out, nor with the failure of diplomacy to bring Lebanon's hostilities to a satisfactory conclusion or even to deploy an effective multinational force to stabilize South Lebanon. She therefore decided to explore the chances of luring Bashar Assad away from the Iranian fold. This is a tentative idea which has not ripened into a policy - much less gained a White House go-ahead. But as soon as word was leaked to Jerusalem, several Israeli ministers jumped aboard - Peretz first, followed by Livni, who there and then created a Syrian Project Desk at the foreign ministry, the education minister, Yuli Tamir and finally, on Monday, Dichter.

Still, this is from the realm of Machiavellian and happens all the time with politicians. While the end result is some egg on some faces, the story could be regarded as another failed attempt to put a feeler out in the direction of Damascus. The answer to this attempt is known - a series of battle cries (or rather battle squeaks in this case) by baby Assad, here is the latest.

The rest of the article, however, is dealing with deadly matters. It paints a picture of a decision-making process that created a disastrous mix of an army unprepared to the war with politicians dancing to the music hastily composed in the White House, with several composers disagreeing one with another. It paints a picture of total subservience to the masters who are unable to make up their own minds, with the servants asking only "how high?" when the masters suggested another jump in a new direction.

I wouldn't quote too much of the article, it is worth a read whether you believe it or not. But the bottom line is:

Olmert's absolute compliance with Rice's directives without fully comprehending their military import threw Israel's entire war campaign into disorder.

The article may as well be just a part of the usual blame game or a fallout of some internal politics. However, even if partly true, the whole failure requires a good look at Israeli "independence" and ability to do what is good for us even if some of our friends in Washington may be pissed off. It also reminds the good old "כבדהו וחשדהו" (respect and suspect).

Cross-posted on Yourish.com

22 August 2006

Scapegoating as a business

This post is divided into two main parts. Part 1 is addressing the Jews, Part 2 - the rest of the humanity. Both parts could (and should) be read by both parties, because this post will change what is humorously called "life" on this planet.

Part 1

Dear Jews - my brothers, sisters, parents, children, cousins, all the other assorted relatives I am not at all sure I want to know about and all the rest of my brethren!

For several millennia we have schlepped around the world, complaining about being chosen for some inexplicable reason, about the heat, the cold, the hunger, the overeating, the goyim and other Jews, in short - about everything under the Sun. We have tried a lot of professions, including even sports. This proved conclusively that Jews cannot jump and there is no future in jumping-related sports, however we could be lucky in the use of a slingshot, but there is no future in it too, since it is not in the list of the Olympic sports. We did much better in science, philosophy and literature, but these are not good for one's health, requiring long hours of sitting and reading, hence - piles and irregularity.

Commerce went better and has shown much promise, but that alleged and highly advertised deal, when one Jew sold another for only 30 shekels, created a perception of cheapness, clouding the business outlook and inevitably driving the stock down.

But now everything is going to change. Remember: this change is brought to you by your caring Elders, with a push in the right direction coming from one Akaky Bashmachkin, whose blog The Passing Parade you should read on the daily basis without my nagging, link to it at any opportunity and generally cherish. Specifically, the push I have mentioned was done by this post. And these words are going to serve as introduction to yet unwritten Book of Scapegoating, which will be used as a field manual by Jews all over the world:

Now, you maybe asking yourself, why the Jews? Why them and not, say, Eskimos or the Amish? Well, consider the years of experience they've had as scapegoats. We're talking about literally centuries of having to take it in the neck for someone else's complete lack of religious and economic understanding. This means that we are talking about a highly trained, completely professional group of scapegoats here, not some bunch of amateurs who saw your ad in the classified section of the Village Voice, stuck between the ads for unfurnished apartments for rent, transsexual dominatrixes, and all those Korean bordellos in the West 30's, and are willing to try anything at least once. Jews are on the job and ready for scapegoating when you need them, so you are not at the mercy of some fly by night scapegoat who's just in it for the cheap thrills and the money and who will disappear at the end of the week with all of your rubber bands and paper clips in order to set up himself up in the life insurance business. So remember, if your company needs a good scapegoat, don't settle for the second rate; get the best scapegoats money can buy. Remember, get Jews.

Unquestionably, Akaky is going to take the place of Angel of Scapegoating in the future Pantheon of Scapegoating, overshadowed by none (maybe accompanied by a few, no, make it one, Elder). The only reason I do not insist in declaring him a Deity of Scapegoating is that we kind of belong to monotheistic religions, both looking unfavorably at such attempts.

I believe you all understand by now the gist of the proposal: yes, we are going to become a nation of professional scapegoats. We'll reshape our own future together with the future of the rest of the world (not that we care, it is purely accidental). No more nervous breakdowns, no more histrionics, no more wars, no more ineffectual people in blue helmets trying to make themselves as small and as underground as possible while other people are trying to kill one another over their heads... Steady flow of income consisting of millions of micro-payments daily. No eligible Jewish adults remaining unoccupied. No preferred professions such as a lawyer or a doctor - everyone is a scapegoat! No more jealousy and envy, no more hating other's gefilte fish...

Now you are ready for

Part 2

Dear Goyim,

For several milennia you have done your not inconsiderable best to use us, the Jews, as scapegoats for various problems you have experienced during our common history. We are getting quite used by now to getting it in the neck for any imaginable (or unimaginable) reason and, as mentioned by the Angel of Scapegoating, one Akaky Bashmachkin (see Part 1), we got trained in this endeavor to the level hitherto unreached (there are some unconfirmed rumors about Assyrians, but there are no scientific proof, live witnesses or documents, so...).

Unfortunately, the art of scapegoating wasn't put on a really solid scientific/business foundation, leaving a lot of room for improvisation, self-expression and even abuse (see any book on the history of Jews). It was conclusively proved that group scapegoating as it was traditionally practised by the organized religion and politicians (anti-Jewish sermons, pogroms, etc.) does not bring the personal relief that is so sorely lacking. On the other hand, unregulated use and, especially, the lack of use of scapegoating, causes many uninformed people to be left without this vital channel for the relief of frequently unbearable urges. The end result - nervous breakdowns, mass psychosis, violence, wars, etc.

This new service is a final step on the way to total harmony, brotherly love and serenity for all. All of you - the oppressed, the exploited, the abused, the rich, the poor, the healthy, the terminally ill, the downtrodden and just momentarily pissed off - you have a solution now. And the name of the solution is - Personalized Scapegoating. No matter whether you have discovered that your spouse is cheating on you, or your bank account was cleaned out by your associate and best friend, or somebody just stepped on your toe in the bus - Jews will be available to blame.

All you have to do is to fill out a short claim form, available in every post office or a stationery shop nearby and designed in pleasing to the eye and relaxing colors, then put it in a mailbox (no postage required). You should clearly state your name and address, the nature of the offense you want a scapegoat for and your own monetary estimate of the offense level. Of course, a correct number of your valid credit card will greatly facilitate the response.

You will have to answer some questions regarding the contents of the customized scapegoating package to be delivered to you immediately after approval of your claim value and clearance of the payment. For example - do you want a picture of a big-nosed disgustingly looking Jew on the cover page, or, perhaps, you prefer one that depicts a meeting of Elders of Zion? What kind of a voiceover do you want on the movie clip provided in the package (DVD or VCR, possibility of download only in selected areas of the world): a professional artist reciting Mein Kampf, some selected scenes from The Passion of the Christ, Iranian animation for children, etc. If your scapegoating package has to include a simulacrum of a group of Jews for a specific scapegoating activity you have in mind, please specify the size of the group and its demography.

Our highly trained representative will deliver the package and help you with the first steps of its utilization. He or she will be available for some scapegoating activities, according to the attached contract and tariffs.

The world will never be the same again - this is a promise!

  • Approved by the WHO.
  • Yearly subscription available.
  • The scapegoating service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Local taxes not included in the quoted prices.
  • Checks are not accepted.
  • No COD.

Say it again, Elisabeth?

To criticize other bloggers is akin to swatting a fly near a garbage bin - there are plenty more where this one comes from (this imagery is suitable for warm countries only - I realize that for a Dane, for instance, it will be too alien, since flies are not their cup of tea).

However, the case in question is so exceptional that it demands some attention. I have stumbled on this post by mistake, browsing some blog and following a link from a comment. The author calls herself Elisabeth, and claims to be "a former journalist and a current news junkie". She discloses also that she is currently gainfully occupied as psychotherapist. By a dictionary definition, psychotherapist is "A therapist who deals with mental and emotional disorders".

So, the post carries a strong headline:

"Thomas L. Friedman--Racist Again, Wrong Again"

Since Thomas L. Friedman, while not being my favorite source of inspiration, is nevertheless a widely known journalist/author, the headline naturally catches the eye. And the next paragraph does not disappoint, the bomb is dropped immediately:

The egregious Thomas L. Friedman today manages to be both totally wrong and also racist.

The unusual structure of the quoted sentence notwithstanding (strange English for a journalist, I dare say), one is thrilled in expectation of the follow-through, and here it comes:

He claims that after Israel stops bombing Lebanon and international peacekeepers are deployed, the Lebanese will blame Hezbollah!

Even if you take apart the above quote and examine every letter, the proof of Friedman's racism is not there, I can assure you. Amazing, you say? Wait a bit, there is more. I have to copy a whole paragraph now:

Friedman tells Israel not to get too excited about Lebanon because "there's no storybook ending for Israel in Lebanon, and it shouldn't throw more good lives after some elusive knockout blow. It's just not that kind of neighborhood. As they say in the movies, "Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown." In other words: Lebanon is just foreigners, people who aren't worth much and will always be having some type of trouble. That was a racist statement when it was recited in the Jack Nicholson movie (a movie that has not held up well over time in my opinion) and it's a racist statement today.

Due to incoherent use of quotation marks and the lack of link to the quoted article, it is impossible to see where the direct quotation is finished and Elisabeth's commentary resumes. In any case, the brilliant chain of logic: "Chinatown - Lebanon is just foreigners blah blah blah... - racist statement blah blah" left me breathless.

What can I say, Elisabeth? I am both totally thrilled and also confused. Here is our favorite confusion sign to prove that I am telling the truth:

Psychotherapist - heal thyself!

21 August 2006

Annan to give UNIFIL 'teeth'

According to JP:

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan is expected to recommend Monday that the rules of engagement of the enhanced UNIFIL force to be deployed in Lebanon include opening fire on Hizbullah where necessary...

I had a sarcastic remark to make about or related to the above. However, it is after lunch time and it is difficult to concentrate, so I just cannot recall what it was: whether it had to deal with safety of livestock in south Lebanon, with the funny buggers of UN or with some dental issue, so I better let it go for now.


Stomping a baby made attractive

I have already mentioned that fisking lost its appeal when applied to Fisk himself. No matter that the activity took its name from this character, there is virtually nothing left to fisk in Fisk. He is so out of his gourd in the recent years (how many - it is your guess), that his pitiful attempts at journalism are too easy. It is like stomping a baby, which is not an appealing image, you will agree.

However, in his post Robert Fisk Isolates "the Roots of Terror", Scott Burgess succeeds to do it so elegantly that it has almost (but not quite) made fisking Fisk attractive again.

Five-star deal, I tell you. Enjoy.

Does one trick pony change its spots?

There is nothing like a mixed metaphor to get some people angry, and being angry is a good state to start reading this post. Because it will calm you down, I promise.

It all started when I have stumbled on an article When Jews Behave Like Nazis, They Become Nazis on a site aptly named Signs of the Times. The site by itself deserves (limited) attention, being inhabited by some choice loonies. Conspiracy theories galore, the Elders' tentacles choking the whole world (as usual missing the site owners for some reason), all kinds of 9/11 theories, miscellaneous kneebiting; in short, you want it - you name it.

However, this post is only about the author of the article - a certain Khalid Amayreh, already mentioned briefly on this blog. Apparently a run of the mill Holocaust denier, ten for a penny on a market day. Aside of his mug, slightly reminiscent of John Demjanjuk, there really isn't anything unusual in this character. One trick pony, if there ever was one.

But now our friend Khalid is undergoing a serious change of heart regarding Holocaust. True, the external symptoms are hard to recognize, but if you read the article, suddenly it become very clear: Khalid is transforming from the initial pupa stage of Holocaust denial to the mature stage of Holocaust envy!

The general line of the article is to persuade the reader that Jews are now indulging in the same good old genocide the Nazis were so expert in. Which, by inference, negates the credo previously held by Khalid: that the Nazis were actually pure lambs, maligned by the awful Zionists. See where the change starts? How a new and beautiful insect is breaking through the old and obsolete cocoon?

There is no doubt Jews suffered a lot during WWII. Nobody can deny this fact.

Ain't this quote amazing? Such a transformation from the old Khalid that used to offer sentences like this one:

...shouldn't the world, particularly those who have been exposed and victimized by Zionist lies, doubt the Zionists' official stories about other issues, such as the holocaust, for example?

Really, I can already see the next change of heart, the one where we'll become friends with Khalid. Take, for example, this sentence - it almost made me cry tears of happiness:

Well, nobody is claiming that Gaza is becoming a new Auschwitz.

As a matter of fact, there is somebody. Goes by name Jose Saramago, and don't I love his books?
But we are sure, Khalid, that you will talk to the old boy and show him the mistake of his ways, will you? So the next time I reread the Stone Raft, I wouldn't have to guess why the old coot went so totally bonkers.

So, Khalid, I am looking forward to that future harmony. It is true that you are still stuck on that genocide claim. But what is a bit of a genocide between friends?

And the last remark, regarding this complaint of yours:

I know that many Jews get vociferously furious whenever Israeli-Nazi analogies are drawn, especially by Europeans and westerners.

See, Khalid, here is one Jew that doesn't get furious. Want us to look like Nazies to satisfy your newly acquired Holocaust envy? Fine, as long as we remain friends, buddy. Chill out - like the readers of this post.

The stuff that really moves the world


A suspect in the 1996 death of 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey arrived early Monday on a flight from Thailand to the United States, where he will be questioned by investigators.

Karr sat in business class for the 15-hour flight and dined on paté and prawns, drinking a beer and French chardonnay, The Associated Press reported.

WTF? Not a word about his bowel movements?

20 August 2006

Good news / bad news

Another two related news items:

Emboldened by the Hezbollah's "victory", several dictators feel that their time to assert themselves is due.

In response to the US-UK proposal to send 17,000 soldiers to Darfur to end the Arab genocide of Africans in Sudan, President Omar al-Bashir boasts: "?We are determined to defeat any forces entering the country just as Hezbollah has defeated the Israeli forces."

Further, in response to the ceasefire, the Syrian population is increasingly pushing its leaders to attack Israel now. In reference to the Golan Heights, from which Syrians mounted invasions and terrorism, a state-run Syrian newspaper boasts that Syrians "will not allow our land to be occupied forever. You must understand that our people will fight the way the Lebanese resistance fought you."

Some people are seriously deluding themselves or are being deluded. Some people should take heed of the following:

(DailyAlert)According to semi-official sources, Hizballah has undergone total destruction of its logistic and economic infrastructures, and suffered about 1,500 deaths of militiamen and leaders.

(More where it comes from).

Not being a government mouthpiece (we, the Elders, never stoop so low), this blog will not toe the party line Olmert is peddling. The whole Lebanese war was not a victory in many senses. But from here to Hezbollah's trumpets...

Anyway - is a deluded enemy worse than a sober one? So, in this case the bad news could be not so bad, after all.

to Disturbingly Yellow and Elder of Ziyon

The "quiet" terrorist attack in Germany

For some strange reason (Andrew Ian Dodge wonders about it too), the attempt to blow up two large and quite complex sets of explosive substances on two separate trains (but timed to explode simultaneously), passed almost unnoticed by MSM.

Of course, there were no victims (thank heavens) in this case and, besides, the "inhuman atrocities perpetrated by the Zionists" in Lebanon were at the forefront of our progressive media. Still, the case warrants more attention than it has received - if only due to the size and sophistication of the planned mass murder act.

From Deutsche Welle:

The head of the Federal Crime Office, Joerg Ziercke, said the bombs were packed into identical black cases and consisted of gas canisters, alarm clocks, wires and batteries and soft drink bottles filled with a flammable liquid.

"The cases had been supposed to explode 10 minutes before the trains arrived at the stations," Ziercke said. "It's more likely than unlikely that there was a terrorist background," he said. If the around 25-kilo (55-lb.) suitcase bombs had exploded they would have lead to "a fireball" in the train carriages and an "indeterminate number of injured and possible deaths," Ziercke said.
He added that a 100-strong team of investigators was still trying to establish why the devices failed to explode.

A note in the case found in Koblenz contained Arabic writing and a telephone number in Lebanon, and packets of starch with labels in Arabic and English were also found.

The Lebanese connection that is hinted at in several different sources is particularly inexplicable. If, as Ray of David's MedienKritik says, "The bombings were likely intended to "send a message to the West" over the Israeli-Lebanese conflict.", the way of sending the message - via a mass murder of innocent Germans, whose country is one of the least involved in the latest crisis - raises a serious doubt about mental stability of the initiators of this act, let alone the two dummies who went on this "mission".

Anyway, one of the suspects is already in the nick. He was caught, most probably trying to correct his previous mistake.

News reports in Germany said that German police had arrested one of the two suspected suitcase bombers at the railway station in the northern city of Kiel on Saturday. The authorities also found explosives at the station, according to German public broadcaster ARD.

"The person appears to be one of the two suspects that have been sought since yesterday with the help of video footage that was made public," the federal prosecutor's office said in a statement.

I hope that we'll know more about this soon. And that the masterminds behind this dastardly deed will be caught.

Cross-posted on Yourish.com

19 August 2006

A short study of hypocrisy

Noun: hypocrisy

1. An expression of agreement that is not supported by real conviction
2. Insincerity by virtue of pretending to have qualities or beliefs that you do not really have

The definition above comes from my WordWeb dictionary. Effing convenient, you just press a shortcut key and presto! Still, a better definition (by example) of hypocrisy will be "do as I say and not as I do". At least for the purpose of this post here.

It started with a friend (who decided to remain unnamed) sending me a link to an article in Pravda (knowing Russian is a heavy cross sometimes). It appears that the friend does not need my hardly existent expertise in all things Russian, since the article is authored by a person with a double-barreled British name - Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey.

Not knowing Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey from a Brazilian bullfrog and, in general, being wary of double-barreled names and especially their carriers, I have started googling. Thanks deity, Scott Burgess provides here the full and clear definition of this person.

I have just discovered the wonderful Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey of the pravda.ru editorial staff. I really must take readers to task for not having previously informed me of this luminary's work. Mr. Bancroft-Hinchey, who feels that "the main trait that journalists must have is modesty," describes himself as "one of the leading English song-writers of the 1980s." Presumably disenchanted with the glamour of "three Eurovision contests, three albums, two maxi-singles and five singles," he turned to journalism to satisfy his "need to talk and tell."

Scott's article linked above is highly recommended. And hilarious, too.

So, a song writer turned journalist. No problems, it could happen to the best of us. Additional googling, however, shows that, besides being one of the Pravda regulars, our friend Timothy B.H. frequently appears on places like rense dot com, mindfully dot org and other places much, much more odious than even Pravda. And now Timothy makes a case for putting the State of Israel on trial:

The State of Israel is hereby accused of committing War Crimes in the conflict with Hezbollah IN Lebanon (July 12th to August 12th 2006). We present and document four counts where the Geneva Convention has been seriously breached.

Copiously quoting from the Geneva Convention, the man uses a highly polished legal language (does he have another talent, hitherto hidden?). Of course, the vehicle of this article, the infamous Pravda, the same august organ that used to rain fire and brimstone on Chechnya, is hardly suitable for a discussion of Geneva Convention or, for that matter, of anything human or humane. But not being of a legal persuasion myself, I was in a quandary.

Thankfully, another friend send me another article, by another Brit. This time it is Frederick Forsyth. True, Forsyth could not boast about any songs on Eurovision, albums, singles or doubles etc. But he can be proud of a long and colorful career as a reporter and a writer, and is an ex-RAF pilot to boot.

And the article saves me a lot of work answering the odious piece by and odious person in an odious media organ, so here are some key quotes from it:

It must surely be true that the level of lies and hypocrisy that a society can tolerate is in direct proportion to the degeneration of that culture. Personally I am not particularly pro or anti Israel, pro or anti Arab or pro or anti Islam. But I do have a dislike of myth, hypocrisy and lies as opposed to reality, fairness and truth.

Watching the bombing of Lebanon it is impossible not to feel horror and pity for the innocent civilians killed, wounded or rendered homeless. But certain of our politicians, seeking easy populism and the cheapest round of applause in modern history, have called the Israeli response "disproportionate." Among the politicos are Jack Straw and that master of EU negotiations William Hague.


Here is my point. In all those 73 days of bombing Serbia I never heard one British moralist use the word "disproportionate." The entire point of Hezbollah is not to resolve some border dispute with Israel; its aim is to wipe Israel off the map, as expressed by Hezbollah"s master, the crazed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran. That aim includes the eradication of every Israeli Jew; i.e. genocide. Serbia never once threatened to wipe the UK off the map or slaughter our citizens, yet Straw, in office in 1999, and Hague, leading the Conservative Party, never objected to Serbia being bombed.

As an ex-RAF officer I am persuaded the Israelis fighter pilots are hitting civilian-free targets with 95% of their strikes. These are the hits no TV network bothers to cover. It is the 5% that causes the coverage and the horror: wrong target, unseen civilians in the cellar, misfire, unavoidable collateral casualties. Unavoidable? Israel has said in effect, "If you seek to wipe us out we will defend ourselves to the death. You offer us no quarter, so we will offer none to you. But if you choose intentionally, inadvertently, or through the stupidity of your government to protect and shelter the killers among yourselves then with deepest regret, we cannot guarantee your exemption."

That's it. Mr Double-Barrel. Take it and swallow it.

Cross-posted on Yourish.com

Nasrallah you never knew

After being forcibly pulled out of the closet by Will here, sheikh Hassan Nasrallah decided on a new policy: full openness.

Of course, the decision was made that much easier by the photo above, published without Hassan's explicit approval. But the first move was made by Nasrallah himself in this interview to the Turkish Labor Party daily, Evrensel, where he disclosed his latent socialist tendencies.

Being on very friendly terms with Counterpunch, we have asked the comrades to do a follow-up to that interview. Follows a transcript of a recording.

Q: Hassan, we are quite surprised, to put it mildly, to learn that in addition to your socialist aspirations, you have chosen the alternative lifestyle. Can you tell us more?

Hasan Nasrallah: Well, I was a sickly child, and one of my many health problems was severe constipation. The enemas were administered by a male nurse, due to the Sharia rules, and it was probably this fact that made an impression on my young and tender mind at the time. Then I was studying Islam in the Al Najah school - all boys, you know what I mean, and one thing led to another...

Q: But isn't your...er... lifestyle strictly forbidden by Islam?

Hasan Nasrallah: I am as strict follower of Islamic teaching as anyone. But, being an avowed socialist, I am also a strong supporter of a new brand of it, that will be an amalgam of the best in socialist ideology and in prophet Mohammed's (PBUH) teachings. I am writing a book now that will literally change the life of the young generation.

Q: Doesn't that ring in your right nipple carry what looks like David's star? And isn't that an Israely keyholder with a hamsa on your belt? Where do you purchase your stuff anyway?

Hasan Nasrallah: Oh, that's simple. You see, I have many socialist links with the Tel-Aviv Mossad colleagues, and what with my frequent visits to the HQ there, I have a lot of free time to mingle with the crowd, you know. As a matter of fact, my Mossad handler, Chaim, is a "feigaleh" himself, so... [blushes]

As a matter of fact, I have participated once or twice in the gay parade in Tel-Aviv, of course, incognito. Here [produces a photograph] you can see me on the right side of that picture:

I turned to conceal my face, and the bra covers my rings to avoid easy recognition. As for the beard, you may know now that it's a stick-on one from a London shop. High quality stuff, I can tell you, and totally halal.

Anyway, I made a lot of friends in Tel Aviv, and they call me Hezy now. That's a compromise between Hezbollah and Hassan, although to tell you the truth no one knows how to spell that cursed name: Hezbollah, Hizbullah, Hizbollah... who cares, for that matter? But you can call me Hezy too, if you wish.

Q: Wow! Hezy, we are flabbergasted... But what do your Iranian Ayatollahs friends say about all this?

Hezy: Aw, come on, we are all in this jihad business together, you know. What is a small difference of tastes between friends? You say potato, I say... [starts tap dancing, visibly animated by the subject]

Q: But... but... about that promise to remove all the hijabs that person SnoopyTheGoon mentioned in that post here?

Hezy: Oh, that SnoopyTheGoon. One miserable Zionist imperialist running lackey dog of a blogger, AIPAC stooge and whatnot. You wait till I get to him. I have just bought myself a good lash in that S&M shop on Allenby, with barbs in it...

But you were asking... oh, yes, hijabs. To tell you the truth, I could care less about what is hidden under them hijabs. Not my cup of yogurt, as you already know. But as a socialist, one must do what one must do, so it is off with the hijabs.

Let me better show you that new latex underwear I have just bought in the same shop [becomes even more agitated]...

[The rest of the recording is a mix of indecipherable noises]

Another quiet Saturday

From the newsflashes:

Bush: It could take time for world to accept war was a Hezbollah loss (AP)

Yeah. Is there a timetable for that shocking revelation reaching the last corner of the Earth?

IDF: Commando raid in Baalbek meant to thwart arms shipment from Syria (Haaretz).

According to a brief message (radio), "the goals of the operation were met". Other sources report that it was a failure.

Three Hezbollah gunmen killed in IDF commando raid in eastern Lebanon (Reuters)

Well, it wasn't a total loss then, it seems...

Police apprehends the killer of Italian peacenik (Jerusalem, few days ago). The first findings of the interrogation: 21 years old, affiliated with Jihad Islami. (On radio)

Just to think: a "martyr" whose sole wish was to murder a Jew, and what a disappointment: the victim appears to be an Italian volunteer working with Palestinian children.

Abu Mazen storms out of Gaza, enraged by an insulting list of terms conditions presented by Hamas as a pre-requisite to a national unity government. (On radio).

Yep. Storm out a few more times, everyone is deeply impressed.

A big show is made of French military vessels dislodging 50 (fifty) soldiers near UNIFIL headquarters in Lebanon. (On radio)

I am impressed. You are impressed. They are impressed. The whole effing world is impressed. Now fucking what?

French DM: I can`t let it be said that France is not doing its duty in Lebanon (AP)

You cannot? Watch my lips: France is
not doing its duty in Lebanon. It is fucking around and doing its best to wiggle out of its own commitments. Now what?

Suha Arafat vehemently denies Arab press reports that she had married a brother-in-law of Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. (Everywhere)

"I am still available, and may the best man win", was the answer of the merry widow. Prenuptial agreement is a must, added Suha for the record.

UN chief Annan says not to expect UN force to "wage war" against Hezbollah (AP)

And who is expecting that? But will UNIFIL be able to unpack these containers with scented toilet paper from Lion and distribute them to their outposts? "Hizb-Allah willing, we might", was the answer of the PR officer on duty.

Have a nice Shabes, you all...