31 July 2008


Dust is a funny commodity in Israel. I suppose our proximity to the sea, the desert and a million building sites doesn’t help. Its always amusing to see the shape of objects moved from there place when covered with dust. That was a cup, a pen or a paper clip. I hope that was a peice of fruit.

Stacks of files, manila envelopes and loose papers litter the waiting room, the corridors and every desk and office in the building. This certainly is a government office. Three of every piece of paper. Like Noah on steroids, if you don’t have three you wont have the luxury of losing one and having one spare, I was once told.

And then its my term and I sit before the civil servant who will undoubtedly, in his own way, help me with my problem.

I look into his eyes.

Now I don’t want to be the harbinger of bad news and I certainly don’t want to be the messenger boy that everyone takes a pot shot at so don’t call me Hermes, don’t watch Gallipoli and don’t ask me. The fact is if you don’t know you don’t know and if you don’t ask you won’t know but if you do ask there is very little chance I will tell you anyway.

You need to know and if you don’t I will take complete advantage, but if you ask I will know you don’t know and take complete advantage and if you do know I will argue with you until you start doubting yourself and then you wont know anymore. Either way I will have the upper hand.

So how do you know. Well you could be born here, born into the system that allows you to know or have a fighting chance anyway. Its generally genetic, so if your parents were born that will also stand you in good stead.

If you are an immigrant you might as well have ‘prey’ or ‘frier’ stamped on your forehead. I have no time if you can’t speak the language and have no time if you don’t know the system. I will send you on pointless trips to the post office, unknown government offices entrance 3b, fourth floor, room 206. Then I will help you waist the best part of your week while trying to find your way out.

But you can learn. Always argue even if you know I am right. Always ask for more even if you have everything you need, always be confident, and always understand why you are in front of me and what you want. Never be afraid to ask a 100 times if need be and never do anything without questioning exactly why, when, where and how.
Now with the rise of new Aliyah organizations my job has been made much harder. You may not even have to deal with me but I am there ready to find that document not stamped correctly, ready to notice the 106nis not paid into the post office, ready to justify my own miserable existence.

My father drained swamps, lived in a transit camp and built this country. I knew Ben Gurion, fought in 5 wars and have the right to execute my job to the letter.
I am a dying breed, but the legacy is still being passed down to those underpaid workers with big chips on their shoulders just like me.

I am just trying to do my job, feed my family and make sure this country runs as smoothly as possible in triplicate.

And I could tell all that just from looking into his eyes!

Everyone needs a drunk for an uncle

For humility in the mature years, if not for any other useful purpose. She surely didn't have one. Pity.

The flying pig's ordeal

The story told in these series of shots gives a new meaning to the "flying pig". Whether the experiment has been performed as a study step in Russian space program or as part of a development project for the air force ejection seat is unclear. What is clear that use of sweet dessert wine (Kagor or Cahors, as is it's original name) which may look unorthodox to NASA people is, in fact, an extension of the fine Russian tradition - one for the road! Probably the piglet wouldn't take vodka.

One other quaint detail is the label on the bottle. The first line:

  • "ЦУВСЧ" means Central Administration of Military Engineering Corps
  • "ПВО" means Air Defense Command
  • And the last, but not the least - "НКВД" - the People’s Commissariat for Interior Affairs, the precursor of the KGB (FSB these days)
So as you can see, the bottle in question has quite a pedigree!

And the second line says simply "Technical Department". Thus giving a new meaning to the term "technical"...

Gesundheit anyhow!

Via Gnotalex.

Blog challenge "Only Seven" - I give up

Ya'aqov of Esser Agaroth tagged me with a meme, according to which I am supposed to select and name my seven favorite blogs.

After a few days of mulling, I surrender: this is plainly an impossible task. There are close to 250 blogs linked from here. I like most of them, others provide the necessary provocation and each of them produces superb posts from time to time, and there is just no way. Sorry. And, of course, I am not tagging anyone.

As for the following enigma:

Simply Jews: Snoopy intrigues me. I don't know why. He just does. That can be dangerous, I know, but I can't help it.
The why is easy: my natural charm, magnetism and a lovely disposition. And of course, dealing with the Elders is dangerous, it goes without saying. In fact, saying makes it more dangerous.

But so far I like you too, Ya'aqov, so we are OK.

30 July 2008

Olmert's speech - a brief summary of the news

Er... whom do I shoot now, chief?

If this report by Debka is to be believed (well, you know how it is with Debka...), belief in this case is an achievement. Follow some choice quotes:

The Alawites, who dominate the Assad regime in Syria, fought under Syrian military intelligence officers in civilian garb with weapons supplied from Damascus. The anti-Syrian Sunnis are armed by the Lebanese majority bloc led by Saad Hariri.

...Syrian officers have ordered the Alawite fighters to drive Hizballah militiamen out of their district.

Damascus is seen as drawing the line against the spread of Hizballah and Iranian influence from Beirut to northern Lebanon, a region it views as exclusive Syrian turf. The Syrians are at the same time working closely with Iran and Hizballah in central and southern Lebanon opposite Israel and the US Sixth Fleet which patrols the eastern Mediterranean.
How do Lebanese folks decide who to shoot next at? Do they use dice?

(Notice that Amal, several factions of Christians and the Druse are not even mentioned.)

Who is this Olmert?


AP - stoking the fire of anti-Israeli sentiment

The AP falsely reported that Israel is building a new settlement on the West Bank and linked this to a wrong-headed spin on an important national leader visiting Israel.

No, not Obama! He's still just a candidate. I'm referring to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Curiously, Brown's visit was highlighted for its criticism of Israel by the AP though his trip was seen in Israel as incredibly supportive.
While I realize that AP is a fairly loose association and is rather a gathering of all kinds, the frequency of anti-Israeli reports it produces is way above normal. And it's not only loose, but allows its contributors to play loose with facts to score a cheap propaganda point.

More in this article by professor Barry Rubin of GLORIA Center.

Cross-posted on Yourish.com.

29 July 2008

It is more than just a hijab, folks!

A lady (I guess) named Posmena left a comment on this here blog asking for assistance with her shopping site Very Modest Swimsuits. Perusing this admirable British site and then stumbling on this post by Linda Grant about growth of hijab industry in Britain, I have decided to help both Posmena - to make her site better known to the general public; and Linda Grant - to make here aware of a tectonic shift about to hit the British fashion industry.

Hijab - shmijab... Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the one and only Original Ahiida Hijood Burqini:

Maybe some of the viewers will be not immediately impressed by this outfit, but rest assured, this is the future. One has to be shortsighted or simply dumb not to understand that one is facing the coming landslide.

Just look at the arguments in favor of Burqini:

  • A woman might buy a Burqini for better sun protection, to hide weight, cellulite or scars, or simply as an alternative to skimpier beach attire. [Show me a person without at least one of these four issues, and I will throw a stone at you]
  • All Burqini™ swimsuits have ties on the inside and on the tops that tie to loops on the trousers to prevent the tops floating while in the water. [That part was a bit unclear to me, but I have asked SWMBO, at it's OK with me now]
  • For the more active ladies who want to swim the laps, the Ahiida Hijood Burqini is also available in Slim Fit and Active Fit and also Plus Sizes are now available too. [Yeeeha!]
And the most compelling, the absolute deal clincher:
  • Burqini™ swimsuits have quality design heat press prints on chest area, which further detract from your body shape, ensuring your modesty at all times.
Indeed, who want to see another person's body shape? Perverts, that's who!

In short, here it comes and its almost perfect! Of course, nothing is absolutely perfect, and I believe that a few minor improvements could definitely move the Burqini even closer to the unattainable absolute perfection that is permissible only to the deity's handiwork. Here is the basic model:

Of course, it being a British Navy frogman circa 194x. the design is meant (only too obviously) for a male, but the general principle is the same. Of course, rubber gloves and replacement of the mask's glass by a tinted or, even better, reflective glass will make the solution almost full-proof. And the breathing apparatus will allow the wearer to dive in case of a male bather's immodest approach. It will definitely prevent dancing, and this feature of the new outfit will make it highly desirable to the Jewish Haredi community. And then the Amish, some Christian factions... - and the sky is the limit, people!

The gospel according to Garrison Keillor

My attempt to follow this line of thought (you just have to read it!):

Shimmering in a beer-induced haze of intoxication: defrocked cable technicians, pimply-faced connoisseurs of fried Mars bars, emasculated yachtsmen, unwashed solipsists, tweed-clad and horny Eng. Lit. professors, earnest aluminum siding salesmen, card-carrying PETA ghosts, undernourished Lambada dancers, eager but shy Norwegian bachelor farmers and, of course, sensibly shod librarians.

I hope Akaky Akakievich picks up the thread.

Fox strikes again

I am really not after Fox, but it seems that they are too eager to produce a scoop, and look what happened now (click to enlarge):

The text below the red line obviously belongs to an article on the previous Qantas mishap. Somebody was too hasty, it looks like...

Just a few hours after that other "scoop"...

28 July 2008

Faux News find a scoop

That was, probably, a quiet day, so Fox on-line page looks like this:

Of course, nobody knew about that FAA warning. Nobody else but about a 500 news outfits.

It seems that some of the others, though, made a more serious effort to get some info. Like this one:

David Cox, Qantas' head of engineering, told reporters Monday that the FAA directive applies to a different type of oxygen system than the one being scrutinized in the Qantas emergency. Three of Qantas' aircraft were affected by the directive and all were inspected by January 2007, Cox said.
Kind of leaves Faux news with their pants down, doesn't it?

Nothing much to see, move on, folks...

Selahattin Ulkumen, Turkish 'Righteous Gentile' honored

The story is here. Additional, but important, fact on Nazi revenge:

Ulkumen was arrested at the end of 1944 by the Germans after Turkey sided with the Allies. The Turkish consulate on Rhodes was subsequently bombed and his wife, pregnant with Mehmet, and two employees were wounded. His wife died a week after giving birth.
And a bit about the dates from Wiki:
Ülkümen was declared Righteous Among the Nations by the Yad Vashem Foundation of Israel on 13 December 1989, with his name being inscribed and a tree planted in his honor at the "Path of the Righteous."
Why the hell does it takes us 46 years to recognize and honor a hero?
Ülkümen died in his sleep on July 7, 2003 in Istanbul, Turkey. He was 89.
RIP. We owe you.

Now, PooterGeek!

This is what I got trying to read a new post by PooterGeek (click to enlarge):

Really, man - I recall you are up to some software mischief besides being a photography guru. But this is real tasteless. Great Success my foot.

Besides, my cPanel is rusty and needs some treatment by WD-40, not to speak of my WHM Server that is positively stale. Come on...

27 July 2008

Sunday links

For the last two hours I was terribly busy, jumping like a hare from Haveil Havalim #175 — Through the Eyes of Frume Sarah to the Carnival Of The Insanities (click that icon below):

Iranian official: Hizbullah, Hamas our legal sons

No doubt. Can't wait to see the mom, must be a real experience.

Foul and fetid

When Norm, whom I consider to be a golden standard of elegance, understatement and general politeness, says this and then this about another Guardian's "leader", I, being known for an occasional attack of Turret (Tourette) syndrome, could be excused if I go a bit postal.

But then, why add to Norm's superb characterization of this cesspool that wants cleanup so badly for so many years, what with all the stinking shit-for-brains that happily swim in it for so long that they would most probably croak if exposed to fresh air? Offal eaters.

Anyway, exposing them to the fresh air would be a stupid idea. Fresh air is limited, and these stink bugs will contaminate too much of it. Let them wallow in the cesspool.


(*) This is a British term hardly ever grokked outside of Albion. Disregard if not a Brit.


Technorati sometimes put my last few brain cells to a test these cells don't deserve.

Could someone be so kind and enlighten me what is it when it's at home? And why Technorati are having their knickers twisted about it? Cause I am confused. Like this:


26 July 2008

He ventured forth to bring light to the world

On the Seventh Day he walked across the Channel of the Angles to the ancient land of the hooligans. There he was welcomed with open arms by the once great prophet Blair and his successor, Gordon the Leper, and his successor, David the Golden One.

And suddenly, with the men appeared the archangel Gabriel and the whole host of the heavenly choir, ranks of cherubim and seraphim, all praising God and singing: “Yes, We Can.”
This is just the ending. But it's all brilliant. Enjoy.

Cold dish for a hot head

"Revenge is a dish which people of taste prefer to eat cold". There are several variations of this very true saying, I prefer this one. I would modify even this version a bit, replacing "people of taste" by "people of sense". And the reason I am turning to this subject is a story overheard today on the radio - about a new law proposed by MK Limor Livnat. The law is supposed to prevent a possibility that jailed terrorists will be getting education sponsored by the State of Israel (I haven't been able to find an article on the subject so far).

The proposal was without doubt inspired by the example of Samir Kuntar, the child murderer and the new friend of Sheik Nasrallah of Hezballa. During his 29 years in jail Kuntar graduated from the Open University of Israel in social and political science. By the way, the OUI, while being a high level school, is quite an expensive one, so Kuntar's degree cost quite a few shekels to the prison authority.

On purely emotional level, I share Livnat's feelings toward the scum in question. I can even say more: the whole story of Kuntar's imprisonment, subsequent jail time and eventually the swap hurt me as much as the next Israeli. Frankly, the decision of the then commander of the team that attacked and eventually got Kuntar, to spare his life, has been unfortunate, as it appears now. Lawful or not... but it's spilled milk. And on the face of it, the indignation displayed by Ms Livnat is easy to understand.

However, one quality our ex-Minister of education has not displayed in this case is common sense, especially the ability to think one step further than the immediate display of emotion. Once a terrorist is imprisoned, he/she is not left to stew in isolation. The inmates embrace the newcomer and draw him/her into well established network of terrorist education and training. Unless an alternative occupation is offered, a young terrorist novice leaves the jail much better prepared to the next step on the way to eventual martyrdom. Precisely as it happens with criminals, but in a different field of activity.

This is why the prison authority offers the option of education and why security experts (at least the ones I happened to hear being interviewed) were against the Livnat's law proposal. And this is another why our lawmakers would be better off if they thought more about their brilliant ideas. Before these ideas become another stupid law.

Too much surfing will cause ___________

Substitute a malady of your choice. I personally choose "madness".

What else would you feel reading this monumental statement:

The penis is the dipstick of the body's health.

At least it strengthens the foundations of that ancient "doctor/nurse" game.

25 July 2008

Yes, Gaza is still occupied territory

Liza R. of Something something has already defeated one of the uncounted tentacles of UN on the issue of Gaza not being an occupied territory as initially put in their documents (cannot find that post for the life of me).

Update: Liza actually defeated the above mentioned tentacle on another subject, that of the true name of the country to the south of Lebanon. My apologies to all.

There is some sublime irony in this post by Imshin that I have missed before: in fact, Liza (and I and lots of other people) are wrong: we do have one soldier in Gaza. So the creeps in UN could call it occupied territory by rights.

Thanks for the picture: Ya'aqov.

In defence of ogling

Finally someone takes it to heart. Good move.

From my cold dead hands...

24 July 2008

Protester glues himself to British PM

This reminds me that ancient story we used to tell in the kindergarten:

A man with a duck on his head comes into a surgery. "Doctor, look at that turd that got stuck to my ass!", cries out the duck...

Dunno why. Waiting for Olly's explanation of all that.

Hating israel more than loving palestinians

Here. Read. Slowly.

Obama starts worrying me, frankly

After this:

Obama in Sderot: Nuclear Iran would be game-changing

Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama visited the rocket-battered southern town of Sderot on Wednesday, where he warned that a situation in which Iran was capable of making nuclear weapons would be "game-changing," and would have repercussions across the globe.
Isn't change one of Obama's election slogans?


Obama meets Bibi, some things become clear to me

When SWMBO told me she wouldn't be seen dead with me in a red striped tie, I threw it away. Obediently.

Should have burned it, I realize it now...

Ana Karina Soto Sex Video

What could be said on the above sad subject? Nothing essentially new, so why trying?
Instead - concentrate on this:

Open a window - your room smells of unwashed underwear and old pizza boxes. Breath deeply and relax. Now - you don't really need any sex video, do you?

23 July 2008

'Allah meat' astounds Nigerians

This is a first, for me at least. I was already inured to Allah fishes and even Allah tomato caused only a moderate reaction in my stomach, having nothing to do with this fashionable salmonella strain that seems to inhabit some US vegetables.

What looks like the Arabic word for God and the name of the prophet Muhammad were discovered in pieces of beef by a diner in Birnin Kebbi.

The name of the file that carries this photograph in the linked BBC article includes a string "mysterymeat". I think that some interested Islamic parties should sort it out with BBC. I detect a whiff of disrespect here.

But all in all, the whole issue is very encouraging, at least for me. Since the beef was blessed by Allah, I guess it is safe to say now that it will put paid to the vegetarians trying to enforce their creed on the rest of the world.
"When the writings were discovered there were some Islamic scholars who come and eat here and they all commented that it was a sign to show that Islam is the only true religion for mankind," he said.
Yes, I see the light now! As long as my burger and my T-bone and my fried chicken are blessed, I am totally with it!

Lead me, oh chef chief of all kabobs!

Cross-posted on Yourish.com.

Chavez may hug Spain king, but won't shut up

What else is new? This is definitely not:

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez said on Sunday he would like to give the king of Spain a hug when he visits Europe next week, but the outspoken leader, referring to a diplomatic spat last year, said he will not shut up.
How do you stop a motormouth?

Could work, although I am not sure...

And now to something completely different

I wonder who reminded me about all that... oh yes, here it comes.

Ban... shman...

22 July 2008

Sixteen wounded in copycat backhoe attack in Jerusalem

16 Jerusalemites wounded, one of them seriously, as a bulldozer backhoe driver went on a rampage in central Jerusalem Tuesday afternoon in an apparent attempt to recreate the terror attack in the capital earlier this month.

Haaretz (at least in its Hebrew version) knows enough about the terrorist to tell that he belongs to the extended family of Muhammad Abu Tir, one of the Hamas leaders.

Update: this is probably coincidental, but the murder attempt occurred near King David Hotel, where most of the visiting dignitaries, including soon arriving Obama are usually staying in Jerusalem.

Leopard vs crocodile - more on supremacy of felines

I am not arguing - there is no need. Just another illustration:

What can I say? The picture is not clear in this respect, but that cat sure has some stones on him!

And of course, some people just don't dig it. Says the photographer (Hal Brindley):

It just doesn't make sense. The meat you get out of a crocodile is just not worth the risk it takes a predator to acquire. The whole scene happened in the course of about 5 minutes. Then the leopard was gone.
Hey, man, it doesn't make sense only if you don't grok cats. You see - the cat was making a point there. That's all.

H/T - Ozymandias.

Environment-friendly lawn mower

Some people are looking for one, what with Al Gore looming so large in the background.

And here it is.

Er... but for that methane...

21 July 2008

Italians sunbathe after Gypsy girls drown

I don't know, we are quick to blame other people. This pair of the beach doesn't look especially happy to me. Well, they don't dance or sing joyfully.

I hope they didn't forget to fingerprint the girls...

The only game in town

The essay Meditations on Israel is not for "My Israel - right or wrong" crowd, nor is it for "No Israel - right or wrong" crowd, of course. In short, any buffoon who has never doubted anything in the comfortable collection of his/her petrified beliefs, is cordially invited to quit here and now.

Toronto, 2007. As I look out the window today, 63 years later, I no longer see Hitler or his soldiers. Neither do I see his handiwork, as I did in 1945, outside Budapest's ghetto, as frozen corpses were being stacked on handcarts like cords of wood. But I do see his shadow. I have never stopped seeing it all these years -- first, shrinking after the war until the late 1960s, then beginning to loom again.
I have tried to find a quote that will best summarize the author's (George Jonas, a Hungarian-born Canadian writer) point of view . But it's a futile endeavor, the essay is there to be read in its entirety. Reflecting on the long way George, the Hungarian Jewish youngster, torn between "Zionist uncle" and "non-Zionist father", made to Toronto (via the bloody Hungarian 1956), the essay is filled by reflections on Israel and the role it plays in his life.

In my opinion, the reflections are no less important than the conclusion. But it's up to the reader, of course, and for the lazy and impatient here comes the conclusion:
...my father thought Hitler was a bad dream, while my uncle felt that Hitler, in whatever guise, was a recurring reality in Jewish existence. It seems to me uncle isn't just ahead on points: he is close to scoring a knockout. In which case Zion isn't an option, a luxury, a tourist destination for the Diaspora, but a lifeline, a defibrillator, the only game in town.
The essay won the gold award at the National Magazine Awards Gala in Toronto. Terry Glavin, via whose post I got to the essay, won a silver award in the same category with his brilliant Looking For Mr. Bing. Which is a mandatory read too.

NYC - the health food Gestapo strikes again

It appears that the current powers that be in NYC are doing their best to take away any possibility to enjoy life. At least life as we knew it once. Starting with smoking ban in pubs, then the ban on artificial trans fats - and I am only mentioning the major milestones. One has a vague suspicion of NYC being taken over by some cabal of closet Californians. And the press seems to give a helping hand to this gang:

Customers at big fast-food chains in New York City are finally facing the facts about their meal choices. And for some, the truth may be hard to swallow — like 1,130 calories for a Big Mac, medium fries and a medium soda.
Yeah. It is like I eat calories. I have some news for you, dear headlines editor: I have never swallowed a single calorie - not that I have seen, at least. Of course, it could have been hiding somewhere in the lettuce or broccoli (grr...), but otherwise it was all straight no nonsense food I have been chewing upon.

What now? I am not into far-fetched conspiracy domain, but I have a suggestion to Mr. Bloomberg and his health-conscious collaborators: the stickers on food are not enough. You never know where a person have been and what he/she swallowed during a day. Who knows, some of these uncouth New Yorkers may have been scarfing illegal red meat, trans fats or, deity forbid, bacon! One has to be forever vigilant and not rely on stickers.

To this end I suggest checking (starting randomly and then making these checks compulsory for all on, say, weekly basis) the, how to say it gently - output produced by the suspe New Yorkers. I am not a New Yorker, but I think a first shipment of the output could be provided by some volunteers we can scare up. Just let me know the address. On the other hand, don't bother - we'll find it.

20 July 2008

Support Harry's Place

Copy/pasted from NeoConstant.

Harry’s Place, a UK blog dedicated to promoting the ideals of freedom and democracy, is being sued by Mohammed Sawalha, the President of the British Muslim Initiative, which has been linked to Hamas and the Islamic Brotherhood, both terrorist organizations. The blog reports that Mr. Sawalha, according to the BBC…

“master minded much of Hamas’ political and military strategy” and in London “is alleged to have directed funds, both for Hamas’ armed wing, and for spreading its missionary dawah”.

In their revelation of the impending lawsuit against them leveled by Mohammed Sawalha, they write:

Mr Sawalha claims that we have “chosen a malevolent interpretation of a meaningless word”. In fact, we did no more than translate a phrase which appeared in an Al Jazeera report of Mr Sawalha’s speech. When Al Jazeera changed that phrase from “Evil Jew” to “Jewish Lobby”, we reported that fact, along with the statement that it had been a typographical error.

Mr Sawalha has been the prime mover in a number of Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood associated projects. He is President of the British Muslim Initiative. He is the past President of the Muslim Association of Britain. He was the founder of IslamExpo, and is registered as the holder of the IslamExpo domain name. He is also a trustee of the Finsbury Park Mosque….

…Mr Sawalha says that the attribution of the phrase “Evil Jew” to him implies that he is “anti-semitic and hateful”. Notably, he does not take issue with our reporting of the revelation, made in a Panorama documentary in 2006, that he is a senior activist in the clerical fascist terrorist organisation, Hamas.

It looks like Harry’s Place is going up against some pretty top-notch lawyers on this one, and they’ve got guts, but as the post goes on to say:

If Mr Sawalha persists in attempting to silence us with this desperate legal suit, we will need your help.

We won’t be able to stand up to them alone.

This is not a left-right matter and not the time for petty squabbles. The creeps that want to sue HP should be stopped.

To join the fray, go there.

Sunday links

Here comes Haveil Havalim #174 The Fast of the Fourth Month 5768 Edition! But you shall not fast your eyes, at least - there is plenty of good posts.

Look who is talking now!

Talk about Israeli chutzpa. This is redefining chutzpa.

More labor of love

Discovered recently a new and nifty widget in the Blogger. It's called My Blog List. What is does (besides linking your blog to others) is tracking the contents of the blogs you link to and displaying a link to the latest post. It is even able to provide an excerpt from that post, but I shall refrain from using this feature for a while.

The post so displayed is visible to the search engines, so it provides a link to your latest automatically and does some good to your ranking and stuff.

So I have invested a few hours, manually populating the blog list from the one I keep in Blogroll - more than 210 links in all. I hope you all appreciate how much I love you all. Really*.

And if I missed somebody, please let me know and I shall correct the oversight. It was really tiring, I have to add, and if you are not linked back to me, let it be on your conscience. Like forever.

Now, some blogs on my list appear not to have any feed that My Blog List could use to show your posts. Owners of such blogs will be able to see their blogs down in the list (in the bottom of the right column of this here blog). If you want to be in, please let me know how to get a feed from your place.

(*) But you must realize that I strongly disagree with most of the things you say, think and write. And that I may have to put you against the proverbial wall when the revolution comes. Although I am not considering one at the moment, so you may stay calm. For now.

19 July 2008

More dangerous than a cartoon

Infinitely, methinks:

Update: I was asked about the origins of this picture. I don't know and the source doesn't have any explanation. I guess it might be a demo of Thanksgiving turkey chefs protesting against home cooking.

Via Backseat Blogger.

Samir Kuntar: Cruelty and Silence

Another excellent article by Ben Cohen of Z word.

...Makiya asks a question which many people would have been asking themselves yesterday; is there “an Arab uniqueness, or a ‘national’ Arab pathology where violence and cruelty are concerned?” Doubtless there are those who will answer in the affirmative for all the wrong - essentially racist - reasons.
Doubtless the orgy of death cult unfolding for the last few days could bring many to this sad conclusion.

We shouldn't give up, though.

18 July 2008

I, Wildebeest

Wildebeest don’t think, they just run. Follow the herd is the only lesson they learn in life. I never heard of a Wildebeest that stopped and questioned the reason why they had to stampede through the Serengeti as opposed to just a gentle canter. And why should they. Go with the flow.

Like migrating wildebeest, the rumble could be heard for miles around. The rumble turned into a tumultuous groan as the convoy of heavy vehicles reached there destination. Most had Nazareth printed on the back, some Afula and a couple from surrounding Arab villages. This was the charge of the heavy brigade, the juggernauts associated with every type of construction project in Israel. They were the reason the roads remained unfinished as they crushed, pitted and warped the soft baked tarmac of our local streets. With a shriek of squeaky breaks the convoy halted, but the engines continued belching black fumes into the air.

Suddenly there was a lot of shouting, as commands were relayed down the line of vehicles. The engines fell silent; the drivers dismounted, climbed into a mini van and disappeared. Two weeks later the drivers returned, mounted their vehicles, and the herd moved out and that was that. Not even Ephraim Kishon could have envisaged such strange behavior. But of course that’s not the end of the story.

Another two weeks passed and the trucks returned, the drivers parked, dismounted, disappeared and a week later returned and vanished.

This pattern, not that I was counting, but it did turn into a bit of joke, carried on for six months.

Now, I thought to myself, what Israeli logic is behind these happenings, what cultural aspect of Israel society am I missing, what in the name of anything remotely sane is going on?

So I asked and I still, to this day, have not been able to get my head around the insanity of it all. According to one of the drivers this is the very special and secret holy formula that these truckers live their lives by: gas x kilometers x location x job x potential job x time = budget = bread. Go the furthest distance to any job, even if its not a real job, log the kilometers, the time and submit (in triplicate) forms to say you’ve been on a job, or a potential job. This information is collated by an underpaid girl from Kiriyat Malachi with a ‘couldn’t-care-less’ attitude (oh you know her, she gets around). The information is then sent to the local council (Iriya) who, based on the information, pay the outsourced construction company and set a budget based on all the work that was potentially done.

I would love to believe (deep down) that none of the above is true, and for all I know it may not be although to find a better explanation of why these trucks just roam the country, park up and then leave, is beyond me. Maybe it has something to do with climate change or the water shortage, maybe it’s the global credit crunch or food shortages, maybe it’s the war on terror or the Olympic Games. Could be any, or all.

I guess it’s not for us to reason why. And that’s the secret of living here because a true homegrown Israeli wouldn’t even bother to think about it at all. They just go with the flow.

A bloke is not just for Christmas

That's precisely what I feel, never being able to articulate it, though. We, blokes, are more into injured silence, you know. But No Good Boyo did it. Made my week, too.


Molecular Evidence that Broccoli Fights Prostate Cancer

Yeah, well. Molecular, shmolecular - one doesn't argue with boffins, especially where one's prostate is concerned.

Just one small issue - could this darn vegetable be transported to the prostate without all this chewing and swallowing process? There must be a way, surely?

Wait, maybe... hmm...

17 July 2008

Low and lower

The recent do on the border with Lebanon couldn't have passed without the inimitable Fisk checking in with a totally idiotic opus in the captive Indy. Since fisking Fisk is too nineties (simply put - you do not fisk anyone senile to that degree), I shall leave it to you, dear reader. It is quite a sample of gutter-low journalism.

But then there is low and there is low. And no one gets lower than some "assaJew" anti-Zionists. In this case it is the notorious, although much less notorious as he would like to be, Mark Elf. In his latest opus (search for yourself for Jews Sans Frontiers, we here don't link to such dreck) he is advocating for Kuntar:

Now, if Quntar did what he was accused of, then he is no doubt a monster. But did he? The facts leave ample room for doubts. Quntar maintains he did not kill either of his two alleged victims.
Should I comment? Nah...

Cross-posted on Yourish.com.

The new dawn of Lebanon?

One of the banners awaiting the child murderer Kuntar on his way to the beginning of celebrations in Beirut says "Liberation of the captives: a new dawn for Lebanon and Palestine".

I strongly suspect that there is a typo in this banner: it should be "down", which aptly describes the touching moment of national unity, when Muslims, Druse and Christians gather to receive as a hero someone who in normal society will rot in infamy and isolation of a jail.

From a "moderate" Lebanese "The Daily Star":

Speaking to Al-Jazeera television about the returning Lebanese prisoners, Christian opposition leader and head of the Free Patriotic Movement MP Michel Aoun said, "honoring the detainees is a must."
Aoun is a Christian, albeit affiliated with Hezbollah.
Leader of the parliamentary majority MP Saad Hariri meanwhile welcomed Wednesday's swap deal, saying it was "a historical day of national joy."
Hariri - one of the Muslim leaders of an anti-Syrian coalition.
Meanwhile, Defense Minister Elias Murr congratulated Hizbullah and the Lebanese for the swap deal. "Today is a day of victory for the unity of the people, the army and the resistance," he said in a statement.
Murr - a Christian, of anti-Syrian persuasion...

And this is the way it goes. Apparently, people who normally hate each other's guts are united for a cause. Should I explain the cause? Nah...

At least some people in Lebanon think differently. Small consolation.

On a lighter note: the sad day and the whole stomach-turning festival of joy have their moments:

It is not a gun in my pocket, I am real happy to see you, Kuntar!


All in all: it is with great sorrow and gnashing of teeth that I force myself to quote Olmert (nothing to do about it, his speechwriter was real good yesterday):
Woe is the nation that celebrates at this hour the release of a man that crushed the skull of an infant.

South Africa’s False Halo

Anyone who read that revolting crap by Gideon Levy is advised to read this excellent piece by Ben Cohen. The headline gives you only a general idea of the article's thrust, so do not be stingy with your time - read it.

Nazi Flying Saucers

Or just Hitler's sombrero?

Via Regan.

Lindsay Lohan and Samantha Ronson?

No, really - how could this be of interest to anyone? Better look at this one:

Just think about the work that went into that ceiling. And relax.

(Recycled due to some renewed interest in fine photography)

16 July 2008

Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev RIP

By now it is over. The coffins handed over across the border today contain the two bodies they were supposed to contain. The two grieving families will get the closure of their two year long nightmare.

The decision to go ahead with this exchange, with almost total certainty that we'll be paying the price of releasing a baby killer for two bodies, was not an easy one. I wouldn't wish to be one of the people on whose shoulders the decision fell. But it is over and done with.

As for the question that will be debated for a long time: was the exchange worth it? - a lot of hot air and acrimony were already spent and will be spent in the future. Uncounted angles, including the future victims of the "surrender" to the blackmail, the loss of face, the new kidnappings awaiting and the damage to something called "national psyche", whatever it means - all these and more will be thrown into the ring. Surprisingly or not, many of these angles are valid. All, or almost all of them, were part of the excruciating decision process.

There is, though, only one compelling cause. It is the cause of an IDF soldier - the grunt that goes to (and sometimes over) the border, doing his/her job as well as possible. Many of these soldiers leave their wives and children behind to do so, without fanfares and complaints. This is how it is and, unfortunately, this is how it will be for a long time in the future.

As an ex-soldier, I can safely say in the name of most of us that our unshakable belief that IDF and, indeed, the nation, will get us back from captivity, alive or dead, makes the service bearable. Without this belief IDF will not be what it is. The army that does not take care of its POWs is not worth serving in and the nation that forgets it sons is not worth fighting for.

There are a lot of things that could be said against and about the travesty of the current government, about the way the negotiations with Hezbollah were carried out, about the dirty politics and dirty politicians. One thing, however, should not be forgotten - it is not about politics, not about national pride and even not about the grieving families. It is about the soldiers.

As for Samir Kuntar, who will become a most celebrated hero in Lebanon after crushing a Jewish baby's skull against a rock: even in the pain we all feel because of the necessity to release him, there is a silver lining. Look at the people who celebrate release of one of the most inhuman murderers and learn. Look at the sweets being handed around to the crowds in Gaza, at Lebanese president and prime minister receiving the monster, at Shiites and others lining the roads on the way to the vermin's family house, at Palestinian president Abu Mazen congratulating the "hero's" family. Look, learn and remember.

And how could we forget the chief sleazebag pulling the ropes from the bunker, the "mastermind" who became so adept in torturing the minds and the souls of the people he hates? A person who accumulated so much "good will" of so many Israelis should be worried about his future indeed. Where there is a will, there is a way, Nasrallah. Sleep badly.

Cross-posted on Yourish.com.

15 July 2008

Hezbollah: Israel's approval of swap is official admission of defeat

This comes from some Hezbollah flunky:

Hezbollah's commander in south Lebanon, Sheik Nabil Kaouk, said an upcoming prisoner exchange demonstrates Israel's humiliating failure in confronting the resistance both militarily and politically.
So far, no comments were elicited from Nasrallah, due to a serious attack of bunker fever caused by two years spent in a moldy and humid underground shelter.

14 July 2008

Cow farts and the great vegetarian conspiracy

Under the guise of objective scientific research, some dark forces are conspiring against us, the nice and happy carnivores. This is the inescapable conclusion of looking at the recent goings on in some places. Headlines like these:

Scientists are examining cow farts and burps in a novel bid to combat global warming.


Eating beef 'is less green than driving'

cannot but alert us to the danger of continuing to ignore the cloud gathering over our steaks, our burgers and our fried chicken. No more can we pretend that nothing is going to change our ways and our habits. Remember the fate of smokers!

To start with, take a look at this:

In a bid to understand the impact of the wind produced by cows on global warming, scientists collected gas from their stomachs in plastic tanks attached to their backs. The Argentine researchers discovered methane from cows accounts for more than 30 per cent of the country's total greenhouse emissions.
If this is not enough of a warning, I don't have a lot of hope to wake you up. Anyway, here are the first steps to be carried out immediately:
  1. Check out the dietary preferences of these "Argentine researchers" - most probably a cell of secret tofu-munchers and soy worshipers.
  2. Publish their names and addresses - the average Argentine Joe will not take kindly to this perversion.
  3. Organize an anti-vegetarian team of scientists and reuse same plastic tanks the pervs attached to cows on the human vegetarians.
  4. It should be clear to any unbiased observer that a human vegetarian produces more so called "greenhouse emissions" (why not call a fart by its name?) than any cow, cow's stomachs being much more efficient in processing vegetable stuff.
  5. After the stark truth is out there for all to see, start culling vegetarian population. Or, at least, find a way to stop the "greenhouse emissions". Like this.

Carnivores of the world! Before it's not to late, before your health ministry starts stamping your steaks with all kinds of revolting warnings, before the clique of tofu-munchers takes over your life as you know and like it - unite and fight!

Viva Portehouse! Hurray to Steak Tartar! Asado forever!

13 July 2008

Sunday links

Here comes The Wait For Avrech To Name It Edition! Jack has done a tremendous job, bells and whistles galore!

InBev Ups Takeover Offer for Anheuser-Busch

Let InBev get these clowns. After they have withdrawn their sponsorship of St. Louis Cardinals, there is no justification whatsoever in existence of these mass men-poisoners.

I hope InBev will put paid to the horse effluvium known as Bud...

Go Cards, go! With Leffe 9 forever!

Life as I remember it

If you don't grok it - too bad.

Via Theo Spark

12 July 2008

My simple litmus test

Richard Gold of Engage made an amazing discovery when, as a youngster, he thought he is joining an anti-fascist demo, and it appeared that in fact the fascist side is represented (oh the horror of it!) by the socialist British SWP. What can I say? Some of the neuron connections in my brain, created during the intensive brainwashing over there behind the Iron Curtain, are still reacting the way young Richard's did. Nothing to do about it, probably. Even when the avowed socialists shout "We are all Hezbollah" and dreck like this.

I suppose one can even find some humorous side in this unsurprising amalgamation of the BNP - type Nazis, Islamofascists and the ones that are supposed to be the purest of the pure, the progressivest of the progressive - the socialists. Especially when the reason for this touching unity is Jooz.

But then one stumbles on something that could be enlightening. Something that shows where the leaders of the modern British version of socialism are taking their brethren. Something like this:

To put the matter as starkly as possible: from the standpoint of Marxism and international socialism an illiterate, conservative, superstitious Muslim Palestinian peasant who supports Hamas is more progressive than an educated liberal atheist Israeli who supports Zionism (even critically).
I don't want to sound apocalyptic, but there is no way to pass this message but starkly, as comrade Molyneux likes it: if and when the time comes, and comrade Molyneux and his faithful finally join hands with their Nazi and Islamofascist colleagues and come to sort out the educated liberal atheist Zionist supporters and their sympathizers, you better be ready.

You better have the necessary wall to put them up against and the necessary implements to dispatch them. There will be no other way, I am afraid.

And let's put paid to the endearing British penchant for understatement. Hocus pocus in definitely ain't. Fascism it is - pure and simple.

Cross-posted on Yourish.com.

Micro-blogging delights - 300K

Yep, it happened the other day:

In order not to embarrass both the visitor and the blogger here, the nature of the visit will remain confidential. So what, a person looks for some smut - come on, be charitable, at least on such occasion!

Otherwise - TTLB seems to be on the fritz for indefinite period of time, Technorati shenanigans are as usual beyond understanding, and I don't even want to mention that mysterious "We're sorry but we have discontinued the Edit Comment Feature." by Haloscan. Bleh...

And this is the way it goes...

Time to go.

Quietly, too.

11 July 2008

Shock bracelet for airline passengers - the brave new world

No worries, people, it's for our own good:

In order to enhance the security of air travel and to help manage illegal immigration, the Department of Homeland Security has solicited a proposal from a Canadian security company to develop a passenger stun bracelet. Like the pain collars featured in the classic Star Trek episode The Gamesters of Triskelion, Lamperd Less Lethal's electro-muscular disruption (EMD) bracelet is intended to incapacitate wearers on remote command.
Why, Department of Homeland Security just does its job. And you, the prospective passenger - meanwhile you can see that video. Notice the persuasive image used to sell you this idea. Notice the voice, eerily similar to the one you frequently hear in the safety instructions clip you see before the take-off. So habit-forming, so hypnotic...

It is educational to read the comments to this article by Washington Times. For some reason many people see the Canadian company as a chief perpetrator of this horror. Forgetting who is behind this idea.

I would like to suggest to DHS that they haven't yet thought the idea through to its logical end. Why not install a device that already has all the information about the "passenger", the location chip, the immobilizing thingy and whatnot, directly into the backside of every newborn? For his/her own good, of course...

No, I don't go as far as some commentators on this article. I am not at all sure that it's about torture, black helicopters, concentration camps, mass graves and the insidious world government (Zionist owned, of course). But I doubt very much that I'll ever fly with US airlines once this or similar measure comes into force.

And a small reminder to all my American friends:
They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

Remus and Romulus are not the suckers

Scientifically established now - it is the tourists.

10 July 2008

Ask a stupid question...

There is a nice man in Sydney
Who eats only kangaroo kidneys
His questions are good
For hilarious mood
But the laughter is gonna bleed me.

Nah, no good at all, but what do you think about this one:

Hating Islam and Muslims has become legitimate and encouraged. Can we imagine Jews being treated in the same way?
I have a privilege to befriend a few Aussies, and I must say that I like and respect them. The ones I know has succeeded to cope with the burden of living, driving and even drinking beer on the wrong side / upside down and do it admirably.

Not this one, I am afraid...

And don't waste your time trying to comment on his site. He has a thing about censorship...

Via Peter Risdon.

Faux-dor's Guide to Palestine: Food

A very important chapter.

The blatantly pro-Israeli Al Jazeera

Yep. Believe it or not.

And re the question whether MPACUK are the sickest people on the planet, I am not sure about the sickest, but quite certain that they are the dumbest.

Is there another Al Jazeera we don't know about?

Video Porno de Vanessa Guzmán

Of course, will not appear here. I mean, really, people, you should relax there in the beautiful Mexico. The weather is fine, the ocean is blue. If the Atlantic water is too warm to give you some relief, there is always the other side, the Pacific. Otherwise, with your incessant search for porn, you remind me of this picture I recently posted:

Just like that man, you are fishing for something that is not there, and even if it's there it's not for you.

Relax and just jump into the water. Chill out...

09 July 2008

And the truth shall make you free...

Did I ever have an unshakable belief in these words? Maybe. Dunno.

Anyway, here goes Ynet (the article):

And here is Jerusalem Post (the article):

Aside of wondering at some nifty arithmetic, what can one say?


08 July 2008

When we were young

and naive

and easily smitten,

but some of us stay smitten by these two grand dames of Israeli song.

The first: Yehudit Ravitz, the second one: Rivka Zohar.

A partial response to Noga's tag.

Fake priest infiltrates St. Peter's

It's a strange story.

A fake priest was caught trying to hear confessions in St. Peter's Basilica and was tried by a Vatican tribunal, a Vatican judge said in an interview published Saturday.
So the guy dresses in the priest's garb and tries to hear a confession - maybe this is the way he gets his jollies. That would be a serious crime by any means (for some reason impersonation of a police officer comes to mind). But then, if he is not a priest, how come a Vatican tribunal is trying him?

Anyway, it is not a bad idea in itself, it is just that the guy set his goal too low. Should have gone for a fake cardinal. This way no one would dare stopping him. I know I would have.

Oh, maybe, even... hmm... going off-line for now.

The case of the marching morons

A week doesn't pass without a reminder of that powerful image. What caught my fancy this time? Oh, it's simple. Just finished reading a great book: The Road by Cormac McCarthy - yes, the author of No Country for Old Men, disliked by some people (dunno, I am not sure I'll read this one after all).

Anyhow, rumbling when I should be grumbling... the post was meant to be about these endless blurbs that use about ten percent of the paper in that paperback edition. Usually I skip them to protect my digestion, but this one appears at the top of the back cover, so I read it rather involuntary:

The first great masterpiece of the globally warmed generation....
It is by one Andrew O'Hagan who (I have just discovered) is himself a writer of note. To my chagrin, I've never heard of him. But there are other ten million writers I have never... rumbling again, I am afraid.

So what is it about that quote that caused my displeasure? Of course, Cormac McCarthy does not belong to the "globally warmed generation", being born in 1933. Of course, the book itself develops (majestically) on the background of a nuclear winter, which is, I suspect, more of a writer's tool and a writer's privilege. Mere misunderstanding of this technicality shouldn't be counted against Mr O'Hagan.

Yeah, well, it's mostly about morons in general. Morons, you see, could be made marching for any cause, good or bad - or even several cases at the same time. Morons are fed on the current slogans and our deep - seated fears and there is nothing more frightening* than an enthusiastic moron in the throes of the latest political, social or other fad. Because marching morons are easily directed to stomp anything in their way... oops, where does this rumbling end?


Of course, that unfortunate "globally warmed generation" could be just a figure of speech, and Mr O'Hagan didn't really mean... whatever. And of course, it's unfair to judge a person basing on one unfortunate sentence. But there is another problem - doing some minimal background research on the man, I came to an inescapable conclusion: Andrew O'Hagan is a moron, after all. Proof.

(*) It's also a figure of speech. Bad habit. Surely, cockroaches, earthquakes and many other things (to many other people) are more frightening.

Faux-dor's Guide to Palestine

I hate reading good stuff in installments. Still, one has to do what one has to do.
Here and here and here.

With their pants down

For all to see this (click to embiggen if you are visually challenged):

If you are not only visually challenged but also slow a bit, read this explanation.

Via Will.

07 July 2008

Half of UK men would swap sex for 50 inch TV

I don't know how I could have missed this one.

Hardly an earth-shaking discovery, though. Lots of people want to get something for nothing...

History loops

There is nothing new under the sun, as witnessed by this headline:

No, it's not a fake - it's our much admired / much maligned leader of the democratic press, NYT.

Some wisenheimer said once that history moves in a spiral: what has been a tragedy returns later as comedy - or some words to that effect. Unfortunately, this bit of homemade wisdom is absolutely off target. History just mindlessly, as is the manner of humans, repeats the same tragedies again and again.

More in the article Prisoner Rehabilitated; Fifty Million Die by professor Barry Rubin of GLORIA Center.

Congratulation, Seth

But just because there can be no excuses, does not for a minute mean there can be no explanation.
Mazeltov, Seth - now you have become a real Guardianista.

Explain away, buddy.

06 July 2008

Sunday links

Here comes Haveil Havalim #172: The Old Fogey Edition ! Although Daled Amos complains about some rustiness, it's a humongous one and will take a best part of your weekend.

The 43 Group

The 43 Group was a British anti-fascist group set up by Jewish ex-servicemen after World War II. They did this when, upon returning to London, they encountered British fascist organisations such as the Jeffrey Hamm's "British League of Ex-Servicemen" and later Oswald Mosley's reformed British Union of Fascists, or BUF. The activities of these fascist groups included anti-semitic speeches in public places, inciting racial hatred, and from the rank-and-file fascists, violent attacks on London Jews and Jewish property. Group members broke up far-right meetings, infiltrated fascist groups, and attacked the fascists in street fighting.
For details go there.

Schoolboys punished for refusing to pray to Allah

Is it a new high (or low, up to you) point in PC gone wild?

Parents were outraged that the two boys from year seven (11 to 12-year-olds) were punished for not wanting to take part in the practical demonstration of how Allah is worshiped. They said forcing their children to take part in the exercise at Alsager High School, near Stoke-on-Trent - which included wearing Muslim headgear - was a breach of their human rights.
Is British Ministry of Education being merged with Finsbury Mosque? Oh well...

The real Harun Yahya

Maybe this guy, as Olly says, is the next Bond villain. Maybe he is the next uber-prophet.

But I think I have discovered the real Harun Yahya aka Adnan Oktar aka... but see for yourself:

Hollywood, ladies and gentlemen, pure Hollywood!

And its not a case of "separated at birth", no - it's the same man moonlighting as an authority on Islam and Christianity!

Notice the artful migration of that famous wart - where but in Hollywood could they achieve the same level of perfection?

Che Guevara T-Shirt disguises helped fool Colombian rebels during hostage rescue

For many years I was irked by this disgusting and, in most cases, unhygienic habit. Now it seems that the holy stiff served some useful purpose.


05 July 2008

Photohunt: pointed

The theme for this week is "Pointed".

Due to the lack of new material, I have to use some archived stuff from my beachcomber experiences. I'll try to point out a few human follies. Starting with:


It is not that there is no parking lot near the beach. No, some people just have to drive these 100 meters down the sand to display their gas-guzzlers for all to see.


There is no rush of swimmers on these rocks, I can assure you - the sea is a few steps behind the camera...


I can assure you that there is not a single fish in these waters. What does this guy hope to catch - a baby or a babe, I am not sure. Keep trying, though...

Well, I hope that these shots point out something and this something will stay pointed.

If you liked what you have seen (or read) in this post, add your link in the comments:
I promise to visit your place as soon as possible!

To look for other photo hunters, go there.


Man found in WI basement covered in BBQ sauce

Yes, really.

The guy told officers he covered himself in barbecue sauce because he wanted to hide from the government.
For tomorrow: make the mind control team check whether BBQ sauce interferes with mind rays.

Don't touch my falafel!

But we want to. Here:

And here.

Now sue me.

04 July 2008

Good morning, US of A

And congratulations!

(The photo filched from Declan McCcullagh)

Evil Jews or Jewish lobby

Via Andrew Ian Dodge.

Watch the comedy unfold on HP.

I don't know what the brouhaha is about. What is not good enough in "Evil Jewish Lobby"?

Nah... it is "Lobby of the evil Jews".

Or... aw, fuck it.

Update: it is a libel case now. Curiosier and curiosier.

Another reason to hoard fuel

Police Say A Fort Wright Woman Traded Sex For A Gas Card

For the rainy day or whatever...

Say no more: Aderet tops Lebanese song chart

The story is here. The song is here:

Well, what one wouldn't do for peace?

03 July 2008

Family of Jerusalem terrorist says he had no militant sympathies

Yeah, just a criminal, says Dad. Mother, though, has already assigned him the "shahid" rank.

Mom knows better.

Watch the clip.

Ingrid Betancourt is free


The United States was involved in the planning of the operation and provided “specific support,” the White House said. But officials there would not describe the nature of that support.
And to them too, especially taking into account that no blood was spilled.
On Colombian television, Ms. Betancourt wept and smiled as she recounted a chain of events that seemed scripted for film, complete with Colombian agents infiltrating guerrilla camps and borrowing Israeli tracking technology to zero in on their target.
And hurray to Israeli tracking technology!

And re this:
But we must ask ourselves if this imperialist intrusion should be accepted by the countries of the region.
And this:
It would be unfair not to allow Guatemalan and Peruvian helicopters landing in US detention centers for illegal immigrants, so they can rescue their citizens.
You need to lay off this white powder, hombre. It clearly scrambles your brains.

This is not to say that Colombian government is too "sympatico", but there are limits to crapola.

UCU conundrum - remarks of an outsider

David Hirsh, with whom I never disagree (doesn't pay off in the long run, you just end up being shown wrong - mercilessly but politely, as is the way of a true academic) published a call to the UCU (British trade-union of university and college academics, lecturers, trainers, researchers and academic-related staff). Follow three main requests professor Hirsh makes in this article:

The UCU should act quickly to stop Jews and antiracists feeling that they are being driven out of their own union. UCU should:
  1. commission research to find out how many resignations there have been which are connected to the boycott campaign
  2. launch a serious investigation into institutional antisemitism in the union
  3. stop supporting and hosting the campaign to exclude Israelis from the global academic community
To my chagrin, I must relate to the futility of this call. Point by point:
  1. No bureaucracy will willingly publish the true numbers of people leaving it, when the said numbers are the only real measure of its standing and, indeed, its livelihood.
  2. For more or less the same reason (bureaucracy heal thyself is good for science fiction, but not for real life), UCU will never investigate its antisemitism - due to the simple fact that it comes chiefly from its main functionaries.
  3. The boycott campaign, as above, is not exactly a grass-root phenomenon, it comes from the same functionaries who justify their otherwise unhelpful leadership by generating an illusion of activity with these, largely senseless acts of hate.
As for the call to anti-racists and Jews not to resign from UCU, here are my two pennies:

First of all, from what I understand, UCU is not a successful trade-union in the sense that it's mostly unable to negotiate better terms and better work environment for its members (hard to blame them really, since it's a sad fate of all academic trade-unions - no tools to apply pressure). A trade-union that doesn't produce results expected by its members is hardly a thing to hold to.

Precisely for this reason, UCU functionaries have to show some "action" in areas where their impotence is less relevant (still relevant, though, but about it later), such as the boycott, largely supported by UCU medium and low-level apparatchiks.

To the boycott itself: it will have little impact on cooperation between British and Israeli scientists (the real ones, I mean). Of course, I am basing this on hearsay, but coming from the horse mouth in many cases. The main (negative) impact the whole hullabaloo is having is on the Jewish and anti-racist members of UCU. This is what Eve Garrard, an ex-UCU member says, this is what my gut feelings were from the beginning, and this is a very strong argument to do precisely what David objects to - leave UCU to escape the poisonous atmosphere.

Unfortunately, when David calls on UCU members not to resign, he is unwillingly assisting the "Union which is hostile both to its Jewish members and to its non-Jewish members who support the existence of the Jewish state", the union that is largely impotent where it's main role is concerned, the union that will not be swayed from its mostly toothless but belligerent anti-Israeli stance.

Now to the vox populi*: while some of the Jewish and anti-racist members are remaining in UCU, it's clear that many support this move. Here is Dr. Jan Schnupp:
I never joined AUT or UCU because I think that their shambolic and offensive anti-Israel policy is just a symptom of an organisation that is not fit for purpose. The UCU has become a home for wannabe "activists", rather than a group of professional negotiators capable of commanding respect and getting the best deal for academics. I wish Engage would stop dissuading people from doing the only sensible thing, which is to leave the UCU and go elsewhere. Unions are in principle a good thing, but this one sadly ain't!

But, after all is said and done, there is this statement by Eve Garrard:
This Union is no longer a fit place for those who think that Jews have the same rights of self-determination, self-defence, and national identity as other peoples do, and I hereby resign from it.
Moral imperatives and all that, you know...

(*) "Vox populi" is a bit of a misnomer when you consider the population in question, so I hope Dr. Schnupp will not be angry with me for using this term on him and others.

(**) Just loved the shot. Something I have been never able to accomplish.