30 November 2006

Michael Richards: Not a Jew

Meryl tells here the saga of that miserable jerk Michael Richards aka Cosmo Kramer of Seinfeld fame.

First, it appears, the ijit insulted Jews in one of his appearances. Following this, as a sign of repentance, he declared that he is Jewish

"Technically, not having been born by blood as Jewish and not formally going into a conversion, it was purely his interpretation of having adopted Judaism as his religion," Rubenstein told The Associated Press on Tuesday. "He told me, 'I'm Jewish,' when I asked him."
Uhu. Sure, and I am a six foot lizard. Er...

Anyway, what is his plan now, after insulting blacks? I mean, simply converting will not do, after all we have people of color in all religious persuasions, including Judaism.

Here is one idea:

Let him put some on his long tongue as well (beside self-punishment, it is nourishing as well - it says so on the can).

Read more from IsraellyCool.


Free Kareem Amer!

Blogging is a dangerous hobby in some parts of the world, lest we forget.

A great injustice is taking place today in a city that was once as cosmopolitan as our dear Manhattan. Egyptian blogger Abdel Kareem Nabil Suleiman, better known as Kareem Amer, has been detained on and off for a year in Alexandria, Egypt, charged with a series of crimes that include "spreading information disruptive of public order," "incitement to hate Muslims," and "defaming the President of the Republic."

I don't know whether they usually come for bloggers first. But you don't want them to come for anyone, do you? So please go there and sign the petition for release of Kareem.


A bookcase murder mystery?

A woman's body was found wedged upside-down behind a bookcase in the home she shared with relatives who had spent nearly two weeks looking for her.

"I'm sleeping in the same house as her for 11 days, looking for her," her mother, Connie Weber, told the St. Petersburg Times. "And she's right in the bedroom."

"She's a little thing," her mother said. "And the bookcase is 6 feet tall and solid. And she couldn't get out."

The sheriff's office said Weber appeared to have died because she was unable to breathe in the position she was in.
I don't know - it still looks fishy to me. If it were a huge library where a person could get lost in one of the less visited sections, I would be convinced. But...

A professional opinion is required. Calling Miriam and Akaky to investigate.


29 November 2006

Syria - the bloody game continues

This is, purportedly, a Hebrew translation of an article in Al Mustaqbal newspaper (there is no link to the original article, so I am guessing that this is the link and will be grateful for a confirmation from any Arabic-reading guest here). The translation says, more or less, the following:

The Lebanese newspaper (journal) Al Mustaqbal reported today (Nov. 29, 2006) that Lebanese security succeeded to uncover a Syrian plot to kill 36 Lebanese leaders.

According to the newspaper, the plot came to light four days ago, when two members of the group that was sent to the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon - Burg' El Barag'ne and El Badawi, were arrested. During interrogation, the two confessed that they belong to the Fatah-Intifadah movement led by Abu Musa.

The two told that they came to Lebanon as part of a group of 200, 150 of those arrived at the El Badawi camp and the other 50 - at Burg' El Barag'ne.
If this is not a wild exaggeration or a propaganda ploy by one of the many rival Lebanese fractions*, baby Assad has a lot to answer for.

(*) I understand that Al Mustaqbal is owned by the Hariri family, so...

Cross-posted on Yourish.com


So clear the vision...

Guido Fawkes goes all sarcastic here about the latest eruption of Baroness Jenny Tonge.

She's back in the news over her comments at the Lib Dem conference that the "pro-Israeli lobby has got its financial grips on
the Western World" and on "our party". That's right, Jen. They also spread typhus, don't they?
In the Elders' headquarters somebody high up there has decided to put straight (oh well, in the Elders' way, of course) a few issues re the Baroness that got skewed during the last years. So it is up to me now.

First of all, there is nothing wrong with Baroness' vision. Of course, we got the fucking grip on the world! We, the Elders, are no slouches, we. As that anonymous guy on Guido's place says in comments:
The pro-Israeli lobby has got its financial grips on the Western World. To know this is to understand everything.
Right you are, onanimous!

On one count we failed, though. The mission we have been trying to get on its way for many years, namely to get a grip on the Baroness, failed miserably several times. The operatives who succeeded to get close enough either quit of committed suicide. I will refrain from stating the reasons here. We are now training a myopic half wit. So maybe it will work out eventually.

Speaking about suicides, there is another point to clear:
She's the one who opined that if she had been born a Palestinian she'd probably have become a suicide bomber. Go for it, girl!
The Baroness is not guilty. Some time ago we have used our best trained mind control team:

Their mission was to plant in the Baroness' brain a conviction that she is a Palestinian martyr-to-be full of desire to commit suicide. We have provided the explosives, the map, everything (indeed, as Guido mentions, the trigger words were "Go for it, girl") - but there was a hitch: while the desire for suicide was successfully implanted, the belief in being a Palestinian was totally rejected. The reason for it appeared to be painfully simple: every morning our Baroness jumps around her bedroom gleefully shouting "I am a Baroness", thus creating an impenetrable mental block. Very frustrating. But at least you know now the reason our Baroness keeps yakking about the suicide, while never actually getting to it.

Now to the less known episode from the Baroness' life story:
She recently received criticism from George Monbiot for a verbal attack in the House of Lords on the Gana and Gwi Bushmen of the Kalahari. She suggested they were trying to "stay in the Stone Age", described them "primitive" and said they were "holding the government of Botswana to ransom" by refusing to be evicted from their lands.
No, she is not stupid, racist or venomous (well, maybe just a bit of the latter). That is just another proof of Baroness' unerring instinct: our people, these Bushmen, one and all - the best undercover operatives coming from this allegedly lost Hebrew tribe. So you see how clear her vision is by now, I hope.

Any questions?

To Andrew Ian Dodge.


Hey, they read me in Cleveland!

Apparently there is a rag named Cleveland.com out there, it has this "The Plain Dealer" page, where the following has appeared:

Too bad novelist John Le Carre has moved on from Cold War spy tales to the under belly of corporate corruption. This month's bizarre London whodunit of the ex-Russian spy felled by a highly toxic radioactive poison seems right out of the KGB playbook of old, swirling with theories and suspects.
Compare the above with this. Oh boy, that realy tickles my ego...


Good news

We need them for a change, what with all that murky Zionist and anti-Zionist business.

Anyhow - rejoice, ye olde lechers - Pamela is back on the market! So you have a chance of your miserable lifetime.

In fact, your chances are rather nil, but you can always click on that picture. To enlarge it.


28 November 2006

The Human Rights Circus is back in town!

The UN Human Rights Council on Monday passed two resolutions criticizing Israel, but kept its record intact of singling out no other country for human rights abuses.
Shouldn't the "but" in the previous sentence be replaced by "and"?
The 47-nation council, which has censured only Israel since it began operating six months ago, this time took the Jewish state to task for its occupation of Syria's Golan Heights and for building settlements in occupied Arab territories.
Must be one heck of a cushy job, I say. And I could write up a storm on the new, hitherto unknown and unheard of abuses by the Zionists. The whole UN will lick their chops!
The council, which replaced the widely discredited Human Rights Commission last June, has passed resolutions on Israel in regular session and in three emergency sessions, blasting Israel for its military campaign in Lebanon and its treatment of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Oops, they have emergency sessions too. No good for me - surely they drag the members outta bed in the middle of the night.

Consider my application void and canceled, please.

Cross-posted on Yourish.com


Ceasefire - the travesty continues

Palestinian lawmaker Saeb Erekat on Monday condemned a Qassam rocket strike on Israel from Gaza earlier in the day, but said that the day-old cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinians "can work, and I believe we have to make it work."

Speaking to Channel 2 Television, Erekat called for patience regarding the truce violations. "I admit there were Palestinian violations, [and] let me condemn them," he said.
No worries, Saeb, please feel free to condemn them. Let's just read together the following quote from the same article:
The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an armed offshoot of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement, claimed responsibility for the rocket attacks.
Them Al-Aqsa Wannabe Martyrs - are they from your own (Fatah) gang, as it looks? No mistake?

OK, now let's hear the condemnations...

Cross-posted on Yourish.com


FFIPP-International: another bunch of useful... scientists

(It's no use telling self to limit the surfing to places self already knows. Self seems to be incorrigible.)

And so it happened that I have stumbled upon another interesting bunch of people that call themselves (a bit pompously to my simple tastes) "FFIPP, the Faculty For Israeli-Palestinian Peace". On the face of it, not a bad idea: we cannot have enough of cooperation between all Palestinians and Israelis of good will and good intentions.

But then it all went downhill very quickly. Starting with the Guiding Principles (see the link above) that mention the security of Israelis in passing only in item 9:

9. FFIPP-I views the struggle for justice and the support of Palestinian rights as simultaneously a struggle for the security and moral status of Israelis and world Jewry.
The formula is extremely ambiguous. Does it mean that the struggle for justice/support for Palestinians automatically resolves the security and moral status [sic!] of Israelis? And what does "world Jewry" have to do with all of the above? Too mealy-mouthed for my taste. Or made vague intentionally?

Other than the already quoted, the Guiding Principles do not mention the security of the darn Israelis (that, in general, seem to be rather a hindrance to the whole FFIPP business). Well, in fact they do, but in a negative way:
3. FFIPP-I regards academic freedom for Palestinians as a key issue, focusing on the human right of the Palestinians to study free of hardships. This entails a struggle for the immediate alleviation of the conditions of the vast majority of the Palestinians, i.e., an end to checkpoints, dismantling of the Wall, and a complete end of occupation.
Dismantling of the Wall... Surely, this measure is going to improve the security of both sides to no end. Let's see what does a more... er... down to earth, so to say, more practical person, in other words - Secretary General of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist organization - has to say on the subject of the Wall:
Secretary General of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist organization spoke with the Lebanese al-Manar television station and said that the security fence built by Israel has made it very difficult for his people to conduct attacks against the Jewish state.

"The fence is a barrier and has completely changed the situation on the ground," said Ramadan Abdallah Shalah, secretary general of the terror group which operates in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, but is headquartered in Syria.
Of course, it is perfectly possible that the fence (which is a barrier at the same time) described by this expert is not one and the same as the Wall that should be dismantled, according to FFIPP. Notice - it is not that they demand that the "wall" follow the so called Green Line, no - they want it to be removed. Probably to reduce the frustration level of Mr. Ramadan Abdallah Shalah (PBUH) that seems to be mightily displeased with that unfair interference with his plans.

So much about the Guiding Principles. Aside of this interesting exercise in fairness and balance, I have read only one other document: An Urgent Call to Stop Violence and Make Peace. To let you go to your beer and pretzels quicker, I shall summarize it for you: it follows the general line of its first sentence and a half: "The Palestinian people are again subject to horrific violence and unbearable suffering. Particularly critical are the conditions in Gaza..."

That is not surprising. What is surprising indeed is that the whole document does not mention Qassams nor the kidnapping of our soldier. That from a Faculty For Israeli-Palestinian Peace (not just Palestinian Peace, mind you). And then, another "surprise": "While it considers resistance to occupation legitimate, FFIPPI promotes non-violent practices as the best path for justice and peace.". So, Qassams on Sderot are legitimate, but FFIPPI will be willing to consider some non-violent practices as a... what? An alternative? An addition to Qassams? Unclear...

Now to the point. What FFIPPI stands for is more or less clear and hardly surprising. What does take the biscuit in this story is this list of signatures. The number of Jews who have signed it, if indeed they did, is amazing.

I really don't know - does high education and specialization in some narrow area of science harm some basic brain cells? Do I have to be happy for the high moral horse some of my people are riding or to cry that my people seem to give birth to so many useful idiots? Aw, what the heck - mere rhetoric it was, and you and I know it...

Cross-posted on Yourish.com


27 November 2006

Zahra Kamalfar Trapped at Sheremetyevo Airport - true!

My doubts about the story of the Iranian dissident trapped in the Moscow Sheremetyevo airport with her two children are over. The story is undoubtedly true.

Follows and excerpt from the Russian Gaseta.ru:

В пресс-службе аэропорта "Газете.Ru" сообщили, что знают о недавнем задержании Захры Камальфар, однако отказались сообщить какие-либо подробности. Пресс-секретарь не смогла объяснить, как иранка смогла прожить в Шереметьеве без малого три месяца. При этом она перенаправила корреспондента "Газеты.Ru" в пограничную службу аэропорта, которая, по ее словам, и производила задержание. Секретарь погранслужбы отказался отвечать на какие-либо вопросы, сказав, что "руководства нет и будет оно только завтра".
Which, hastily translated, means:
The [Sheremetyevo] airport press-service told that they know about the recent detainment of Zahra Kamalfar, but refused to add any details. The press-secretary could not explain how the Iranian could live in Sheremetyevo for almost three months. At that, she referred the Gazeta.Ru correspondent to the immigration(border) control of the airport that, according to her, carried out the detainment. The border control secretary refused answering any questions, saying that "the managers are absent and will be only tomorrow".
This does not bode well for Zahra Kamalfar. The western press may still be naive or blind enough to believe in good intentions of Russian regime. But, save an immediate and forceful intervention of human rights organizations, governments and press, Ms Kamalfar will be sold down the river as sure as anything.

And the reported presence of these three Farsi-speaking gentlemen with earpieces only adds to the grim picture. There could not be any doubt regarding the future of the Kamalfars. So far the world is mostly indifferent to their plight.

Update: CNN has got into the play, at last (via Pajamas Media via Dick Stanley). And here is the transcript of the CNN clip, with rather good news:
This week, an American law firm began applying for political asylum on their behalf. In the meantime, the Kamalfars take another lap around the terminal. Ryan Chilcote, CNN, Moscow
Europe, where art thou?


Alexander Litvinenko (RIP) and scumbags from Indy

(I just have to start this post the same way as the previous one on the subject) .

It is already five days since Alexander Litvinenko died - a slow and horrible death. And the vultures are circling, getting closer each day.

Now the scumbags are trying to start another line of slander. In a big way too, take a look:

Litvinenko: police probe claims he may have killed himself
No matter that the contents of the article do not confirm in any way the stink bomb dropped in the headline:
Detectives investigating the death of Alexander Litvinenko were last night examining the possibility that the former spy killed himself to discredit Vladimir Putin.
Detectives were examining a possibility. Quite sure going by the book written a heck of a long time ago. And this means that police probe claims suicide? I guess even the police could sue the wretched scum now. Most probably wouldn't.

There are all the necessary telltale signs of intractable stupidity in this article:
Traces of the material - powerful enough to trigger a nuclear warhead - were found on tables...
How does the Indys' troika (Sophie Goodchild, Francis Elliott and Sonia Elks) think polonium 210 triggers that nuclear warhead, I am too afraid to imagine. One thing is clear: not only aren't they nuclear scientists, all three taken together hardly amount to a person literate enough to open a Wiki site and do themselves a favor, instead of disgracing themselves. Or take this one:
Detectives are still no nearer to establishing just how Mr Litvinenko, a fierce critic of President Alexander Putin's regime, came to ingest such high doses of polonium.
How high is "such high" in the opinion of the troika? Do they imagine the late colonel greedily stuffing himself from a heap of polonium on his plate? You know, it is highly probable they do - but do not ask how high, please...

Still, there is a distance between mere stupidity and malignancy. And that headline is nothing but sheer malignancy. And the source powerful enough to trigger this mix of malignancy and stupidity is, apparently, an unattributed Russian one:
Some reports in the Russian press have suggested that Mr Litvinenko's death could have been a "martyrdom operation", on the grounds that no state would want to attract the attention of a radioactive poison plot.
Some reports... Now you can see it - a hack from Indy repeating some slander from a Russian rag, undoubtedly close to the powers that be. Merde.

But the malignancy does not stop at the headline. Here is the shining pinnacle:
One source close to the investigation said: "He was a guy with a colourful past. It's not straightforward."
Now, I can easily agree that a senior KGB/FSB officer collects some colors during his career. And he may have not necessarily been always straightforward. But could he imagine that a liberal and progressive Independent will descend that gutter-low?

Nah - not while alive...

Cross-posted on Yourish.com


The travesty of cease-fire

The CNN article Rockets hit Israel after Gaza cease-fire deadline illustrates exceedingly well the chances of reaching a meaningful agreement with our neighbors:

Palestinian militants in Gaza launched rocket attacks into Israel Sunday, Israeli police and army officials said, hours after a cease-fire in Gaza was agreed upon by the Israeli government and Palestinian factions.
Well, it was expected. One of the long list of the splinter groups - PRC (Popular Resistance Committee - one of the useful and deniable tentacles of Hamas, in fact the biggest tentacle of all) has immediately declared its non-participation in the cease-fire. But PRC is only for starters:
Nabil Abu Rdaina, a spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, said before the Sunday attacks that all Palestinian factions had agreed to stop firing rockets into Israel.
Which is clearly a lie - see the above mention of PRC. But again, it's small change compared to:
The militant group Islamic Jihad and Hamas' military wing both claimed responsibility for the attacks.
So Hamas' own military wing is defying its leaders (yeah, well, if you want to believe it)? And if you want to see hypocrisy, here it comes:
Hamas government spokesman Ghazi Hamad told Israeli Army Radio that an investigation into who fired the rockets and violated the cease-fire will be launched.
And now to the figureheads (or head figures, whatever suits).
Abbas also organized a meeting of Palestinian factions to discuss extending the cease-fire to the West Bank, according to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
Pardon me: extending what?
The meeting will be part of the beginning of "a serious, real, honest and direct negotiation between myself and [Abbas] so we could make a progress towards a full settlement between Israel and the Palestinians," Olmert added.
Yep. Where did we all hear it already? Mmm...
Meanwhile, the Israeli government agreed to withdraw troops from Gaza and cease military operations, said Miri Eisin, a government spokeswoman. "We think that there's the possibility of hope here," she said.
That's really quaint: first we had hope, now it is a possibility of hope. I wonder what is the formula for the next stage: a glimpse of a possibility of hope?

Cross-posted on Yourish.com


26 November 2006

Zahra Kamalfar Trapped At Sheremetyevo Airport - truth or hoax?

I have got this story from Dick the Texas Scribbler. My first reaction (yesterday) was becoming mad for a while.

After sleeping on it, I have started to burn some serious megabits googling the name. So, the story goes like this:

Case in point, Zahra Kamalfar. She is an Iranian dissenter. She has two teenage children. She is in the transit area of Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport and has been there with her children 73 days. She is there because she was able to escape prison when on a 2-day furlough to visit her children. Unless a miracle happens, she will be on a plane on her way to face the not-so-tender mercies of those she protested, including the probability of torture and rape.
There are more details on the plight of Zahra Kamalfar on Petition Online. There is a video clip here with Ms. Kamalfar telling her own story (via an interpreter).

One of the sources reports that "Zahra Kamalfar is under the watchful eye of three Iranian men with ear pieces." If that is true, Russians are keeping their end of Russian-Persian alliance up in the inimitable style that is their trademark.

However, here the question marks start. My roaming of the Internet streets and alleys has not resulted in a single MSM source confirming or denying the story. There is at least one source that doubts the story:
The video about Zahra Kamalfar has been submitted to us several times. The video looks like a spoof of 'The Terminal', the drama loosely based on Merhan Kerimi Nasseri's experience at the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris. Our Russian contact told us the following.

This looks much like fake to me. See, the guy in the comments says the right thing: - This sounds suspiciously like the plot of the 2004 Tom Hanks movie "The Terminal"

I made a quick search in russian search engines for any possible variant of russian transliteration for Kamalfar - nothing. And also (in russinan this has no variants of spelling) "zahra iran sheremet'evo" - nothing. Google returns just 43 results for "Zahra Kamalfar" - can you imagine, if some political activist would be trapped in the airport for 2.5 months there'd be lots more comments on that.

I fucking love the US journalists: Ms Kamalfar is guilty of being an Iranian who wants to live in a free country. This sounds for them as if she is the "good guy" and have all rights to do whatever the fuck she wants. Are they getting wet in their panties when they hear "free country"?

There are some problems with the shot video. Ms. Kamalfar and her children are wearing makeup. The video claims the children have lost teeth and have "brown spots", but they aren't shown. The voice over while informative, doesn't allow for any independant translation of the dialogue.
This source does not sound as if he wants this story to be true, rather the opposite. So, to the pros and cons of the story:

Con: there is nothing about the story in MSM. On the other hand, it is not very surprising for several reasons: most of the "action" was contained in the airports in relatively secure and press-free environment. Especially in the Sheremetyevo Airport.

Con: makeup. Sounds too idiotic really. I cannot claim to be a world expert in female psychology, but why use of makeup invalidates the rest of the story is known only to the author of the brilliant idea.

Con: voiceover. But does the author pretend to knowledge of Farsi?

Con: lack of hits on Internet. By now it is more than 28,000, however it is mostly bloggers. On the other hand - what does this Russian expert expect, when a person is effectively incarcerated in the international terminal of a Russain airport? A big TV show? Such a "naive" reasoning shows rather a prejudiced mind than anything else.

Pro: no independent Iranian source abroad derailed the story so far, and it is difficult to imagine that a person pretending to be a known dissident wouldn't be debunked in a jiffy.

Pro: European MSM are wary of attacking Putin's regime lately - they know only too well where the petrol they fill their car's tanks and the gas they heat their houses with come from.

Pro: The very story of
Merhan Kerimi Nasseri's experience at the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris. Granted, it is no evidence, but could serve as an excellent character witness.

In short - let's wait a bit. Oh - and sign that petition, while it is hardly a savior, it couldn't cause any harm.


What took them so long?

It is already four days since Alexander Litvinenko died - a slow and horrible death. And I have already started wondering why...

But here it comes, no worries:

Yesterday an aide to President Vladimir Putin reacted strongly to suggestions of Russian involvement. "We don't know who killed Litvinenko, but one thing is for sure, it was not the Russian state," he said. "We've got nothing to hide."

The aide implied Litvinenko's death was part of a conspiracy by enemies of Putin who had sacrificed one of their own to discredit the Russian president. "If you ask the question who has the most to gain from all this, the answer can only be [Boris] Berezovsky, a man who by his own admission is out on a campaign to discredit Putin and the Kremlin," he said.
I think that we can mark the first successful move in the eternal Okhranka / CheKa / NKVD / KGB / FSB game "Find The Joo". Hooray!

Cross-posted on Yourish.com


On tokamaks, hungry hacks and imbecility of some Greens

Yesterday I have stumbled on an article with a sensational headline: New global push for super-nuke by 2045. Of course, I couldn't resist reading it. Unfortunately, the article is attributed to "foreign staff", whatever that means. In any case, Reuters and Financial Times mentioned as the source of that piece could do better than employing scoop-hungry hacks who barely understand what they are writing about.

The reactor will aim to turn seawater into fuel by mimicking the way the sun produces energy.
Seawater indeed. Duh. It is Dr. Pepper only that could be a source, my dear "foreign staff"...
But this is only a small part of my pet peeves on the subject.

The ITER project is a rare case of a coordinated international effort to find a source of bountiful non-polluting energy that will reduce the world's dependency on the fossil fuels we are running out of. As a side bonus, this source of energy will also rid us of greenhouse emissions by the existing power plants and, maybe, become an answer to the global warming. Maybe - if we are lucky and on time.

The scientific base for the project was laid out many years ago, and the engineering effort started sometime after the WW II, being declassified in the mid-fifties. Roughly, the idea is to let two nuclei, such as one of deuterium and one of trutium to fuse together, producing a harmless helium atom and a neutron that carries a whole lot of energy. This is, more or less, what is going on in the stars that shine so romantically in the night sky. Or, to be more practical, in our own Sun that provides us with the free heating, sometimes excessive.

There are quite a few engineering problems on the way to producing a stable process and transforming the wild energy of that neutron into electricity. The deuterium and trutium should be kept in a space heated to the temperatures that exist only in stars today and the containing forces must be stable and secure for the process to go on. The materials that the reactor is built of must remain safe under bombardment by the neutrons, and more issues that are partly described here.

However, the research and the engineering efforts continue, and in twenty to thirty years we may see a source of plentiful and clean energy, relatively much safer than the fission power plants that are in use today. That is not to say that the nuclear plants of today are that dangerous. They are demonized to no end by some imbecilic Greens that, while being hardly clever enough to understand the basics, are vocal enough to push their agenda to the forefront of the political life in many countries.

And here we come to my real pet peeve of this post. If you look at the Wiki article on ITER, a good part of it is dedicated to the bleating by the Green people of all kinds (see under "Criticism").
Bridget Woodman of Greenpeace said "Pursuing nuclear fusion and the ITER project is madness, nuclear fusion has all the problems of nuclear power, including producing nuclear waste and the risks of a nuclear accident."
I have looked up Bridget Woodman, from idle curiosity: she is, apparently, a carrier of several degrees: BA (London), MSc (Sussex), DPhil (Sussex). Unfortunately, none of these degrees entitle her to the strong scientific (or scientific sounding) opinion of the kind quoted above. The interests Ms. Woodman pursues, her scientific background notwithstanding, seem to be "energy policy and regulation, in particular renewable energy and nuclear power; distributed generation and decentralised energy systems". Even without going into a deep analysis of these interests, it looks like the energy conservation law has so far escaped Ms Woodman's attention. As it has escaped the attention of many other Greens, yakking incessantly about that renewable energy without a tiniest chance of understanding the meaning of it.

In short - these people will hardly save us from global warming. Or from disappearance of fossil fuels. It is too bad that their understanding of basic physics is barely sufficient to chain themselves to the gates of nuclear power plants in the nude - which act, while being a slight hindrance to the employees coming to and fro, excites mostly the journalists who unaccountably always happen to be around in droves.

Accidentally, that lack of knowledge of physics does not prevent the concerned Greens from buzzing around the planet in private and commercial jets like blue-arsed flies, wasting that precious fossil fuel and polluting the environment.

And, for comical effect, a delicious quote from the same source:
French environmental groups said the project ITER, was "dangerous", "costly", and "not a job generator".
French are nothing if not pragmatic. Oh well, you can't win them all.

To summarize: the way to practical use of fusion as energy source is still long, strewn with many engineering problems and expensive - all this is true. The ITER project may fail. However, success of this project (or others in the same direction) will mean a revolution in energy production, a drastic reduction of pollution and greenhouse effect. And who knows - it even may free some Greens to roam the planet in some more worthwhile pursuits. Like saving the spotted owl. Or blue-arsed fly. Or whatever.

OK, now tagging shlemazl to continue. I know he would like to say a word or two.


My kind of people

Practical jokers in New York waited for hours to buy a PlayStation 3 - then smashed it in front of shoppers behind them in the queue.

The pranksters took a sledgehammer to Sony's latest offering as stunned gamers looked on, reports ITN.

I wish there were more of them. Here are their sites, let's contribute to their success!


John Le Carre - Jew?

Nowadays anyone and everyone is a suspect. No exceptions. See what the murky waves of the Internet brought me today:

Click to enlarge

I am not sure whether Mossad will be happy with this "discovery". Or Mr. Le Carre, for that matter.

I don't even want to mention the rumors I heard lately about the Royal Family...


25 November 2006

Falling out between hyenas

Some predators are not known to keep warm family relationships. It is only their joint interests that get them together, like a prey too big for a single predator or protection from a bigger one. Look at hyenas or sharks for instance: any one of them that gets wounded becomes a legitimate meal for the rest.

Something similar is going on between the small, but hysterical anti-Zionist gangs in UK. The so called "Jews Sans Frontieres" (really Mark Elf, a very disturbed Joo from London) vs. Gilad Atzmon the ex-Israeli ex-Joo. For some reason or other these two distinguished fighters against Israel fell out. And now the sky is the limit to the vitriol, poisoned verbal darts and, of course, the usual Elvish blog paranoia regarding his commenters. A few samples:

So Yocheved Atzmon, let me be clear, Gilad Atzmon is a hardcore anti-Jewish racist, that is, an antisemite, and a lying hypocrite to boot. See you in court Yocheved.
Wow! The clear identification of what Atzmon represents is a good sign, but:
Gilad Atzmon has said that Jews against zionism represents a powerful lobby undermining him because of his stand against Israel. This is a lie as he knows.
It does not and should not change the fact: both parties are valiant fighters against the mere existence of the state of Israel. So we guess, they will kiss and make up. A bit later.
So Yocheved Atzmon, let me be clear, Gilad Atzmon is a hardcore anti-Jewish racist, that is, an antisemite, and a lying hypocrite to boot. See you in court Yocheved.
Fearless, simply fearless - ain't it impressive? Cannot wait for that court appearance. I hope the judge decides to let them fight it out - tooth and nail.
Sorry to go on but the Socialist Workers Party's antisemitic friend, Gilad Atzmon, seems to have gone all quiet here. Having either used his wife or her name to threaten to sue for being called antisemitic or racist he came here in his own name to deny having posted under another name and he then named my blog in Counterpunch yesterday as being a manifestation of Jewish exclusivity or supremacy on a par with the State of Israel.
"...came here in his own name to deny having posted under another name and he then named..." What the heck is going on in Britain with all those names, where is Sherlock? In any case, being called a Jewish exclusive supremacist must be too painful for poor ole Elf. While being exclusive in some ways, supremacist he ain't, and what is Jewish in him has been successfully suppressed to a state of permanent constipation.
The guy's a complete schmock but what on earth is the SWP doing with him?
That one is easy. The statement is correct, and the question easily answered: they are schmocks too, it is time even for another schmock to understand it.
Has Atzmon improved? Or has the SWP deteriorated? It's looking like the latter.
No comments.

Pitiful, really, but go figure them anti-Zionists...

(No links to the parties here, go and Google if interested).


In a cynical mood

Police arrest truck driver after six-year murder hunt, Guardian reports.

Police forces across Europe were yesterday scouring files of unsolved murders after a German truck driver was arrested over the killings of at least five women in two countries.
That's rather good news. One more serial killer is off the streets, hopefully for good. The bastard was roaming the roads of Europe, killing women all over the continent for six years, it appears.
An international police task force has been set up to search for victims after police reported they had found a macabre collection of Polaroid photos of murdered women in his truck. Locks of hair and items of clothing taken as "trophies" from victims were also allegedly discovered.
Good news too, even if macabre a bit - the find will make it easier to nail the maniac.

But there is one point the Guardian has missed: the truck, it seems, was used for at least six years. Reliable and sturdy product, which is also good.

There is no mention of the brand, though. Pity.


Alexander Litvinenko - the day after

On April 23, 2002, Alexander Litvinenko, a former officer of the Russian secret service, arrived at Heathrow, supposedly on a stopover before flying on to the Caribbean. Claiming that he was being persecuted by the Russian authorities, he sought political asylum.
Thus starts obituary of Litvinenko in Times Online. He was not a central figure of our century, simply one of the whistleblowers that are not liked by any side of the political divides in this century.

We may never know who it was that has decided that Litvinenko must die. One thing is clear now: this is not a run of the mill murder by a jealous husband or wife or a business competitor (there simply wasn't one) or any other "regular" police case. The mere fact of the substance used - Polonium 210 - points to high sophistication and knowledge required to carry out the dastardly act. One doesn't just pay a visit to one's neighborhood chemist to buy it like some rat poison. It is clear that the person(s) responsible for this knew that it will take the doctors a lot of time to guess the substance used, and even then it will be too late.

Of course, it is only natural in the circumstances to point the accusing finger to the FSB, whose heredity and ruthlessness make this organization a prime suspect. However, there is no solid proof at the moment and there may never appear any proof. Litvinenko blamed Putin in his last statement, but this is hardly proof. Although lately the behavior of the Russian leader increasingly reminds that of his Soviet predecessors and his old habits hardly died, it is hardly proof as well.

On the other hand, the sheer difficulty of finding the culprit and the sophistication of the dastardly act are a proof of sorts...

Anyhow, Alexander Litvinenko was a brave person. May he rest in peace.

And one more thing: to all the demented surfers who flood the Internet by the searches of "Alexander Litvinenko Jewish": do not bother, he was Russian. Not that it matters (to a normal person, that is).


24 November 2006

You can always tell a diplomat

But you cannot tell him/her much, it appears.

Some 70 foreign diplomats visited in Sderot Thursday, to observe up close what life was like in the Qassam-battered southern town. Five rockets landed across the Western Negev throughout the day, causing no injuries or damage.

A mere 20 minutes after the delegates left the place, two Qassam rockets landed nearby. At that time, the envoys and Livni were already tucked safely at the local community center. The diplomats, who barely heard the "Color Red" alarm system go off, did not panic or appear to comprehend the commotion around them.
Indeed - who can tell with a diplomat when it is just the stiff upper lip or just lack of comprehension?

Whoever hopes the visit has a chance to change the voting in UN... aw heck...

Cross-posted on Yourish.com


Alexander Litvinenko - in the talons of NHS

The drama of lieutenant-colonel Litvinenko, after taking a few serpentine turns, seems to be coming to a sad conclusion.

Doctors treating the Russian former spy Alexander Litvinenko said today there had been a "dramatic deterioration" in his condition overnight but dismissed as "misleading" reports that x-rays had revealed unusual objects in his digestive system. Mr Litvinenko's friend, Alex Goldfarb, said earlier: "He went into cardiac arrest and they put him on a ventilator but he is now stable. He is under sedation and they are not planning to wake him up as yet."
I really feel for the colonel, but the noises produced by the doctors are not encouraging:
In a statement, Geoff Bellingan from University College hospital confirmed there had been a "dramatic deterioration" in Mr Litvinenko's condition overnight and he was critically ill in intensive care. He said the medical team treating the 43-year-old was still unclear about the cause of his condition, despite extensive tests. But it had ruled out thallium poisoning, and thought radiation poisoning was also unlikely.
So the previous version is out of the window and on the way to the garbage bin. What now?

Meanwhile another accusing finger went into action:
Mr Gordievsky, a former KGB station head in London, who still refers to the FSB by its former name, insisted that he did not know the identity of the Russian would-be killer. But he assumed that the man was a former associate of Boris Berezovsky, the former oligarch and Yeltsin confidant, who has been granted political asylum in Britain.

The man came to London, posing as a businessman and a friend. He met Mr Litvinenko at a hotel and put poison in his tea. That was before Mr Litvinenko had lunch at a Japanese restaurant with the Italian he knew as Mario...
So who is this "businessman and a friend"? According to this source:
Litvinenko said he had two meetings on the day he first felt ill. In the morning he met at a London hotel with a Russian, identified only as Vladimir, and Andrei Lugovoi, a former KGB colleague and bodyguard to tycoon Boris Berezovsky.
I thought that the plot thickens earlier. It is already thick enough to make bricks of...

Update. Unfortunately, the poison got colonel Litvinenko eventually. RIP.


Makes you think, doesn't it?

Aside of slow, but sure, destruction of one's brain, surfing sometimes brings small gifts, the value of which is difficult to appraise immediately. About an hour ago I have stumbled on the following quote from H.L. Mencken in the Google home page:

The men the American public admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth.
Being of a cowardly demeanor, I run like a rabbit on amphetamines from every generalization. That one caused me the same initial reaction. Then I slowly came back, crawling there and skulking behind the bushes here, to take another look.

Now I am scared even more, for my sanity this time. Let's assume, just for the sake of the exercise, that this statement is true. Now let's see: who are the people detested most violently in America nowadays? Uhu... And who are the darlings of the public? Ehe... and the conclusion is... yeah.

No, you are wrong, it does not stop here. Now, just for the sake of and to complete the exercise, let's assume that this darn statement is false.

I shall leave you at this point biting your own unsanitary toenails. Take it easy.


23 November 2006

Weekly Lec*

Always turn to strange gods; they will listen to you out of turn.
(*)See here what it is all about.


Know thy enemy

I am re-reading another time the article about the uncertain fate and uncertain news of Zachary Baumel.

Zachary Baumel, captured in Lebanon in 1982, turned 46 on Friday, surpassing the milestone at which he has spent more time in captivity than in freedom if he is indeed still alive.

Baumel, a dual American-Israeli citizen, was taken along with two Israeli members of his tank crew, Yehuda Katz and Tzvi Feldman, during Israel's foray in the Lebanon War. All three were photographed in Damascus on the day of their capture, and several eyewitnesses, including a Time magazine reporter, said they watched a parade in which the tank and crew were led through a major street in Damascus and flaunted to cheering crowds. The ceremony was the last occasion the soldiers were seen publicly.

In March 2005, Yona Baumel told WND that sources he cultivated in Syria told him they visited his son that year at a Syrian military installation just north of the border with Iraq. Baumel was also given a book from a confidante of a family in Syria that contains coded messages Baumel says could have been written only by his son.
While reading these words, one thought keeps buzzing in my head: what is it I can learn or understand about our enemies: the Hezbollah, the Syrians, the Iranians that keep our POWs hidden from their loving family, friends, their country for so many years?

I can understand an enemy that is generous or, at least, correct in treating it prisoners, whether for some ulterior motive or not.

I can understand an enemy that is mistreating the prisoners, making their lives living hell - Geneva convention or not.

I can even understand an enemy soldier that, in the heat of the battle, seeing his friends dying, kills a prisoner.

All of the above is human, whether we accept it or not. But I experience an absolute void trying to get into the minds of people that hide a prisoner of war for years without a snippet of information coming out, like it has happened with Zachary Baumel, Ron Arad, Yehuda Katz, Tzvi Feldman and others that have disappeared - alive or dead - without any trace. There is nothing human, whether benign or malignant, that I can detect. Just a void.

There is nothing to learn and nothing to know.

Cross-posted on Yourish.com


Introducing Sue Helen, ex - trailer trash

I know that for the unsmiling, serious, po-faced pro- and anti- Zionists this will be an unwelcome distraction from their unswerving service of their PoliticalBloggerDuty (no, I am not studying German right now, just mimicking it). But I wouldn't pass this one over for all the links in the world.

Anyhow, I am happy to introduce the blog I was Trailer Trash when Trailer Trash wasn't Cool, that brought me an hour or so of pure, unadulterated happiness.

For all connoisseurs of country talk, this is a great one. Enjoy.

My only problem is that the owner does not have a short enough handle. Really, one cannot call a person IWTTWTTWC. So I shall use Sue Helen for now.

Sue Helen is coooool, folks!

(And she ain't no blonde, I hafta tell ya'll.)

Update: Sue Helen (temporary name till I guess the real one) is still trailer trash! Yes, she is real and authentic - like the apple pie and Bud. And I apologize, but it is too late now to change the header.


Happy Thanksgiving!

To all our US readers and fellow bloggers: be happy, prosperous, multiply and/or visit us frequently!


22 November 2006

Assassination of Litvinenko - the plot thickens

The plot was exciting to start with. Assassination attempt on a senior ex-FSB officer, in London of all places. Hints on connection to the assassination of Russian journalist, thallium, Italian informer - in short, all the elements of a robust thriller.

But now the ante is significantly higher. It is not a journalist, even as famous and as controversial one as Anna Politkovskaya was. The accusing finger is pointed at no more and no less than Romano Prodi, according to this sensational clip from the European Parliament.

UKIP MEP Gerard Batten reveals some interesting information given to him by ex Soviet Agent Alexander Litvinenko concerning Romano Prodi the Prime Minister of Italy and ex-European Commission president. Mr Litvinenko was recently poisoned in a murder attempt in London.
Of course, it could easily be another FSB provocation, in the best traditions of good old KGB. But in any case the story bears watching.

(By the way - could somebody from UK explain that apparent oxymoron: what does a UKIP member do in European Parliament?)

Many thanks to nic.

Update: the thallium that went into Litvinenko's stomach seems to be radioactive, according to the latest news. This is not your run of the mill rat poison anymore, its XXI century, people!

Cross-posted on Yourish.com

Chief Rabbi and the royal "we"

JP reports on another attempt of the orthodox establishment, this time by the Chief Sephardi Rabbi Shlomo Amar, to modify the definition of eligibility to Israeli citizenship in the Law of Return. The eternal fight between of orthodox stream with reform and conservative ones enters another round.

What is grating in the ear (the eye in this case) is the tone of speech chosen by the Chief Rabbi:

"We don't want a situation where the Law of Return and the rights that it grants are being used indiscriminately," Amar said.
"We"? With all due respect, I would think that the Chief Rabbi will do all of us a favor by qualifying that "we". The enmity of the orthodox establishment to any other Jewish religious group is not a secret. But using this "we", the Chief Rabbi really goes over the top. Not in my name, Rabbi, neither in the name of 80% of Israelis. And as far as I heard last, the office of Chief Rabbi does not have a privilege of changing the laws of the state. Yet.
Amar's proposal also offends many American Jewish leaders, who have taken issue with Israel's rabbinical establishment and its efforts to stymie non-Orthodox Judaism.
It offends not only American Jewish leaders, I have to say. Besides, we all know exactly what it is all about - the pecking order, the monopoly on the government-dispensed taxpayers' money. Which should remind all of us that we may be better off closing this pipe for good.

Will do no end of good for Orthodox-Reform-Conservative relationships as well...


Is it really necessary?

I mean, the whole death sentence thing. It is not nice to take a life - after all, as that guy said once, only he who gives life has the right to take it. On the other hand, that guy ended his own life in a cruel and unusual manner, and it is not clear till today whether his own life was taken by him who gave it.

So I don't know: would I be sad when it happens? Or wouldn't I?

(The picture filched from Will for your viewing pleasure)


21 November 2006

Another bold step to the edge

Prominent anti-Syrian Christian politician Pierre Gemayel was assassinated in a suburb of Beirut on Tuesday, his party's radio station and Lebanon's official news agency reported. His fatal shooting will certainly heighten the political tension in Lebanon, where Hizbullah's leading Muslim Shi'ite party has threatened to topple the government if it does not get a bigger say in Cabinet decision making.
The above came from JP. According to Al Jazeera, "...there was panic in Beirut following the assassination, with people rushing to get home." Most of the sources agree that it adds to the tension initiated by Hezbollah blackmail that resulted in all Shia ministers resigning from the government.

Lebanon gets closer to the edge of the abyss, and there is only one interested party: Iran that pulls the strings via its proxy, the chinless wonder of Damascus.

I haven't seen a reaction yet from the Lebanese bloggers, only a prophetic post from yesterday:
I can feel it from here. The fear. The venom. The hatred. I can hear the vitriol in the privacy of homes - it's so loud, it deafens me. If Lebanese were not polarized already, then today, after the speeches given by two of the country's top henchmen, there is no question about it. Druze, Shi'ites, Sunnis and Maronites, cluster together in ever-tighter circles. People ask each other whether they have armed themselves. Wait... what am I saying? They asked themselves that question almost a year ago... . I remember.
The boiling point is nearing.

Cross-posted on Yourish.com


Armenian holocaust - a little known episode

I have received the following comment to the post My genocide vs. your genocide on Meryl's place.

And as someone of Armenian descent, I should note the man who protested the massacres the most was Ambassador Henry Morgenthau, an American Jew.
I have looked up Henry Morgenthau, and here is the story for you:
Henry Morgenthau (1856-1946) was United States ambassador to the Ottoman Empire during the Armenian Genocide. A naturalized American from a German Jewish family, Morgenthau was a successful lawyer active in Democratic Party politics. With the election of President Woodrow Wilson, he was appointed United States Ambassador to the Sublime Porte in 1913.


The accumulating evidence also led Morgenthau to cable the Department of State on July 16, 1915, with his own dispatch that "a campaign of race extermination is in progress." Drained by his failure to avert this disaster, Morgenthau returned to the United States in 1916 and for the remainder of the war years he dedicated himself to raising funds for the surviving Armenians. In 1918 he published Ambassador Morgenthau's Story, a memoir of his years in Turkey, in which he stressed the German influence and role in the Ottoman Empire. He titled the chapter on the Armenians, "The Murder of a Nation." He described the deportations and the atrocities as a "cold-blooded, calculating state policy." He avowed at the time: "I am confident that the whole history of the human race contains no such horrible episode as this."
Notice the last sentence. Ambassador Morgenthau may have been right at the time, but he couldn't know what was in wait for Jews, for Romanies, for Russians, for Chinese, for Cambodians, for Afghans, for...

And come to think of it, both Ambassador Morgenthau and I are wrong. The enlightened monarch of Belgium, King Leopold II, has shown the way in Congo quite a few years earlier.

And the world consistently didn't give a rat's ass...

Hat tip to Colin for the comment.

Cross-posted on Yourish.com


Chainsaw, Godiva chocolate and getting rid of Fidel

Guardian reports on some interesting goings-on in Miami.

Cuban dissidents who were given millions of dollars by the US government to support democracy in their homeland instead blew money on computer games, cashmere sweaters, crabmeat and expensive chocolates, which were then sent to the island.

The Miami-based Accion Democratica Cubana spent money on a chainsaw, Nintendo Game Boys and Sony PlayStations, mountain bikes, leather coats and Godiva chocolates, which the group says were all sent to Cuba. "These people are going hungry. They never get any chocolate there," Juan Carlos Acosta, the group's executive director, told the Miami Herald.
While the chainsaw could be conceivably used by freedom fighters (no, do not expect any graphic details here) and the mountain bikes could assist same freedom fighters in a way, other items are more questionable.

Why, for crying out loud, instead of lifting that stupid blockade - a measure that will cause the whole rotten Castro regime crumble in no time - all successive administrations continue pandering to the hard core right-wingers in Miami? Beats me.


An open letter to John Le Carre

I must confess that John Le Carre is one of my favorite writers. His skill, style and language put him far above the pack of thriller writers and close to the top of the craft in general. That is, in my humble opinion. His acid depiction of British, American and other intelligence and government establishments have no peers after Evelyn Waugh doing a similar job on British upper classes.

Lately his books veered sharply from his beloved domain of espionage into the twilight zone of government conspiracies, dastardly deeds by right-wingers and corporate mayhem and became so politicized that it is sometimes hard to distinguish between a book by John Le Carre and a new production by a site like Prison Planet or WhatReallyHappened. Not that there is no truth in what he talks about, but his inordinate writing powers are doing much more effective job than all the conspiracy theorists together, and the resulting effect is akin to visiting the Devil's kitchen.

I think that this abandonment of the original domain was a bit premature. The old villains haven't disappeared and haven't changed their thuggish ways and their lethal tricks. And here comes a reminder:

A former Russian spy and fierce critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin was fighting for his life in a London hospital after an apparent bid to kill him by poisoning.

Alexander Litvinenko, a former lieutenant colonel in Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) - successor to the Soviet KGB - fell ill after meeting a contact at a London sushi bar who purportedly had information on the murder of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, said the Mail on Sunday newspaper.

He had kidney damage, was constantly vomiting and suffered an almost total loss of white blood cells, The Sunday Times added. The paper said he had been poisoned with thallium and quoted a medical report which showed he had three times the maximum safe limit in his body, a potentially fatal dose. If Russia's security services were behind the alleged poisoning, it would not be the first time that they have tried to silence critics on the streets of London.
Aside of the relatively novel venue - sushi bar (in the olden days it would have been a noisy, dirty and saturated by smoke to almost total invisibility pub) - the plot, the actors and the outcome are as old as Iron Felix. And the chief protagonists are the same, let's not forget the protagonists, please.

So, dear Mr Le Carre, unless you think that colonel Litvinenko fell prey to a sushi that has gone off (surely a possibility, the stories about lethal sushi rolls abound, but thallium?), you may do well to take another look at the old villains. And maybe to shake off the mothballs from good old Mr. Smiley too.

With best wishes from your devoted reader.

P.S. And just in case you need some implausibility to spice the book, here it comes, from the same article:
The Sunday Times said he had met an Italian called Mario at the sushi restaurant, who said he had important information on the death of Politkovskaya.
Sunday Times, an Italian called Mario and a talking sushi restaurant - what else is needed for another super-thriller?

Update: Of course, it's denials time now:
Russia has denied any involvement in the poisoning of a former KGB agent in London as Britain gave the investigation top priority, calling in counter-terrorism police to spearhead the probe.

Cross-posted on Yourish.com


20 November 2006

Global orgasm for peace

Two peace activists conceive Global Orgasm for Peace and set goal of having everyone in world have an orgasm Dec. 22 while focusing on world peace.
That's one blessed initiative. Pity I am a bit too old for this one. On the other hand:
The Global Orgasm for Peace was conceived by Donna Sheehan, 76, and Paul Reffell, 55, whose immodest goal is for everyone in the world to have an orgasm Dec. 22 while focusing on world peace.
Hmm... Well, what do you know? Let's go for it. One small problem, though:
"The orgasm gives out an incredible feeling of peace during it and after it," Reffell said Sunday. "Your mind is like a blank. It's like a meditative state. And mass meditations have been shown to make a change."
Our current leaders have fairly blank minds, and it didn't make any positive change yet.

Anyhow, this plan cannot harm, can it? I have especially liked the following:
The couple has studied evolutionary psychology and believes that war is mainly an outgrowth of men trying to impress potential mates, a case of "my missile is bigger than your missile," as Reffell put it. By promoting what they hope to be a synchronized global orgasm, they hope to get people to channel their sexual energy into something more positive.
A practical conclusion from the above is that the more men get laid, the more peace in the world we'll have. One cannot dislike an idea like that. I bet.


Human shields work - who wins?

Israel aborted planned air attacks on the homes of two militants Sunday after hundreds of Palestinians formed a human shield around the buildings in the Gaza Strip.
This news run over the mass media like brush fire. Most of the bloggers have already picked it up as well. And the reaction to this new military maneuver on both sides is predictable, too:
"This is a great stance by our people," said Nizar Ryan, a spokesman from the Islamic militant group Hamas, which won control of the Palestinian government in parliamentary elections this year. "Women and men will break the power of F16 planes."

Israel's army deplored "the cynical exploitation by the terrorists of uninvolved people as human shields."
And you know what: both sides are right. Women and men (especially women) will stop F16 in many cases. And the use of innocents as human shields is being raised by Hamas and their ilk to new heights of revolting cynicism, as it was already done with suicide bombers. Hamas consistently proves that there is no limit to perversion of morality.

And who is it that calls for protection?
The first human shield gathered just before midnight local time after Mohammedweil Baroud, a leader of the Popular Resistance Committees, was ordered to leave his home in the northern town of Beit Lahiya. Baroud, who coordinates rocket attacks on Israel, ran to a nearby mosque to summon aid.
Of course, it figures: the man who is directing the bombarding of civilians of Sderot is calling for protection of his own fellow civilians.

Now look who is celebrating:
Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas joined the protest on the roof at Baroud's home, which was adorned with black and green flags for the Popular Resistance Committees and Hamas groups.
The only question that remains: what exactly is there to celebrate? It should be clear to Haniyeh that when all other means to protect the civilian population of Israel from Qassams fail, IDF will have to go in. The number of casualties will grow dramatically, including the civilian ones.

On the other hand, this is what the current Palestinian PM wishes for - to enable him to decry the inhuman atrocities committed by IDF. And to run to UN, where his Muslim brethren will do their usual best to pass any resolution he desires, practically unopposed.

And so the wheel turns...

Cross-posted on Yourish.com


Deconstructing Chris Voidis

Warning: another long post. But instructive, if not very funny.

Follows a full transcript of a short discussion in the Elders' Hasbarah Department. Participants: Department manager - the Boss (B), yours truly (STG).

B: You, STG, are clearly shirking your duties.
STG: But Boss, I have done that job already. I mean, how much can one squeeze from that character? This job is a lemon - look at his comments!
B: Lemon - shlemon, I don't care. You left a job unfinished. Go and do it.
STG: But Boss, it's boring. He doesn't have a single original thought to his name. Please!
B: I bet that to serve at our ....... headquarters as a junior guard dog handler will be less boring. There is no protective clothing allotment for junior dog handlers, mind you.
STG: But Boss...
B: Discussion over.

So this is how it came to be that I am sitting here in the stuffy old office churning out this post on Chris Voidis - a poet, a philosopher, a writer and an aspiring publisher. Oh, and a photographer. Here is his picture:

Looking at the picture, I was struck by our resemblance: sans eyeglasses, plus a few warts, a short beard, blue eyes (moved much closer together), quite a bit less of a chin and larger floppy ears, we could have been twins.

Then I was even more dumbfounded by other personal traits Chris freely disclosed in his (over)abundant comments to my previous post. We seem to be twins in the spiritual sense as well, I was amazed to discover:

  • Chris Voidis (CV further in this document) loves Jewish culture. "I am lover of Jewish culture...". Me too.
  • CV has a Jewish girlfriend and he allotted a total of 5 years to be spent with her: "spend five wonderful years in a relationship with a superb Jewish woman". It is unclear how many of these five years have been already used, but it does not matter. I too am deeply involved with a superb Jewish woman, I have to confess.
  • Of course, I have been absolutely correct in that previous post: CV has Jewish friends and, moreover, even a Jewish family! "...and yes, believe it or not, I have both Jewish family and many many Jewish friends." Yes, Chris, I believe, I believe! Oh dear, would the wonders ever cease? It is just the same with me!
  • CV is a forgiving soul: "You can say anything to me and it wouldn't matter." and "In any case, I don't hate you...". Oh boy, how alike we are - I don't hate him either!
  • CV is ready to accommodate other people desires: "Would you rather I cowered in a corner so you could say 'see, I showed him!'" Me too, I shall go out of my way to show him, especially if it is my Boss who desires it(see above).
  • While being of poetic inclination, CV displays a pure scientific approach from time to time: "But you may wonder, why the fuck do I take the time to deal with you? It is purely for research purposes...you are my special little rat that I am studying right now...enjoy it while it lasts...". As you can see, he also likes others to enjoy his research. Same here.
  • CV is easily insulted - a sign of a sensitive and easily wounded soul: "The reason I didn't give a shit that you insulted my being Greek in your original post is that I don't give a shit about being Greek or Canadian.". Me too, and I cannot even claim to be a Greek! Or a Canuck, for that matter.
  • And then, when insulted, CV shows his Levantine temper. This is what happens when he thinks others underestimate him: "Too bad you waisted so much time in misreading my post...what a waste...and as for your slander of Greeks, it just makes you out to be the same kind of garbage as the skinheads in Berlin or in Bumfuck Kentucky...every culture has its trash...". I can assure you that I have a very short fuse too (but my waist is OK).
  • CV is very naive. Only an extra naive person will buy into a pyramid scheme like this. Same here - I own a whole tract on the Moon and a gold mine in the middle of Pacific.
  • CV is really and deeply human, and, as Marx used to say: "Homo sum: humani nil a me alienum puto"* ("I am a human being, so nothing human is strange to me"). To put it simply, CV farts! "I was so scared when i read your response that I think I let a little gas go past my sphincter...". What can I say? I think I better say nothing. Amazing!
That is, more or less, where the similarity stops. Now I just have to list some major differences.

1. While being, just as I am, given to frequent flights of imagination, CV lets these flights to lead him by his nose (admittedly almost as cute as mine). For instance:

"You live in a very claustrophobic closet of paranoia and anti-semitic conspiracy."

Paranoia is OK, it's professional, CV. But anti-semitic conspiracy? Come on, I am very much into Elders' conspiracy, and it is a very pro-Semitic one.

"You have a very devoted audience here and you play to it."

I have lazy bums for readers, they come by once a week and never leave tips, and a slavedriver for a boss (Boss) who gives me the most shitty assignments, Chris (as you know by now). But you should see who the readers are - even you, with your ability to generalize, will be hard put to find a common denominator. Eat your heart out.

2. Building straw men and then fighting them valiantly. Chris is big in this, using his amazing powers of raising far beyond the boring reality and generalizing beyond repair (something he learned from his friends).

"But the fact that Israelis and many Jews in general tend to use the event of the Holocaust as some sort of badge of higher moral standing is appalling, in bad taste and hypocritical. The Holocaust did not somehow immunize the Jews against moral depravity, cruelty and the possibility of acting in a criminal manner against their fellow human being."

See how adroitly Chris creates a straw man, uses it and valiantly defeats it. A real exercise - in spin extraordinaire.

3. Artfully (?) putting words in his opponent mouth, creating a straw man as if by opponent's will:

"I suppose that any criticism of Israel is a sign of anti-semitism for you."

How original. A brilliant attempt, only too banal. It is used so frequently by Chris' colleagues that by now it should be assigned a number - to save space. Think, Chris: how can I accuse a person with a Jewish girlfriend, family and many, many Jewish friends of anti-Semitism? Come on.

4. CV is being more philosophical than it could conceivably be good for him. Two examples.

"The best place to start is in your perspective. Broaden it. See that you are made from the same material the rest are made off and that you are nothing compared to the immensity that awaits all of us..."

No, really, Chris - I mean where does it stop, especially with this ominous ... at the end of each sentence...

"But seriously, you should try thinking without the impediment of your particular cultural-religious and geographic location. After all, who cares?"

You must be kidding, right? I had several impediments as it were before reading this, now I am a total wreck. Cultural-religious location impediment. Finished. Kaput.

5. The last but not the least. Sense of humor CV is sure of possessing. Now this is one dangerous self-delusion, kid.

"If I answer you it is out of sheer humour on my part because I happen to have the time and am in the mood to answer you."

This one could be your undoing, CV. Really - a lot of people died in pub brawls after mistakenly assuming they are going to produce a particularly funny joke. I have roamed through all 6 or 7 blogs of yours, and believe me - nada. You and humor just don't go together. That is my trait as well, but I get these special pills from the Outfit to enable me to deal with people like you, so it all balances out eventually. At home I am barely good for some slapstick - you know, falling on the floor when sitting down, cleaning my teeth with my spouse's face cream, stuff like this. So perish the thought, kiddo - leave the humor alone. Don't even mention it.

You seem to be much better at poetry than in anything else. To quote you:

"...increasingly blurred lines between the real and the virtual..."

(Notice the three dots at the end again). I tend to agree - you are not totally here with us, and poetry should be the clincher. You are made for it. This passage, for instance:

I've found my heart
in this dark city, a handle
on the espresso machine
awaiting the firm grip
that stills the sun
and ushers summer in

moved me very strongly. I was looking for a new espresso machine. Now, after I buy it, I shall call its handle Chris. Guess in whose honor?

"I write poetry, literary fiction, as well as on philosophy, terrorism, foreign policy, and anything else that comes into my head..."

Of course, this is up to you, and besides poetry you could, probably, try to write that which you call "anything else". But leave these other things you mentioned alone, that be my (friendly) advise.

Now to the most important thing (focus, please):

Avoid that gang that calls itself "Thought Mechanics": as a poet you should keep your distance from a mere attempt to mix poetry with mechanics - it must be demeaning for a person with your creative abilitites. And the sad truth is that your arguments look as if created by a mechanical copy/paste gizmo, Chris.

Oh, and re your photography. The composition is not bad, but the result is too gloomy, partly due to your poetic mood, undoubtedly, but chiefly due to underexposure . You must work on the exposure time. Write me off-line, and I shall give you a few tips.

Be well and leave politics to your mechanical friends.

Your STG.

(*) I confess again to stealing a bit of Latin from somewhere to impress the readers. Myself, I would have got boggled down on that "puto" for sure...

P.S. "If you cared less, you wouldn't waste your time with me." There is a lot of truth, Chris, in this short statement that shows the full measure of your suffering. But no can do, amigo - orders, you know... And I care about you, besides.


19 November 2006

Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang?

New to me, and it is not a bad idea. I like it more than all these other nicknames.

Watch it here.