31 July 2009

The blood chilling affinity or songs that change color

There is nothing more painful for an indoctrinated old-style communist than this subject. Indeed, such communist will vastly prefer that you stick a fork in his/her eye...

It is a long post, so for the impatient here comes a clip that will give you a brief overview of the subject: the unthinkable (for some folks, mentioned above) affinity between Nazi and Soviet songs of the 1920-1940 period. The clip voice-over is German, but it is not necessary to listen to the words - it is mandatory, however, to listen to the melodies and watch... enjoy.



Vladimir Frumkin, who appears in the clip speaking Russian, is a musicologist and radio journalist, ex-Soviet citizen who touched a raw nerve in two countries by his research into common roots of several Soviet and Nazi songs, most popular during the period and, it should be mentioned, way beyond the period. Unfortunately, his groundbreaking work wasn't translated into English - at least not to the best of my knowledge. So, excerpts* from the linked article, translated (poorly) by me and Google, follow. But even if you don't read Russian, it will be worth your while to browse through the illustrations in the original article that show the same affinity of Nazi and Soviet visual art.



(British cartoon from 1939)

Somewhere in the beginning of 1970-s, year or two before departure from the USSR, I've heard about a sad destiny of one master thesis written in Kiev after the war [WW II] and devoted to music of the Third Reich. The dissertation wasn't approved and its theme have been tabooed. The author, however, has recovered from impact, has changed the theme, made the degree and has served as the senior scientific researcher of the Leningrad's research institute of theater, music and cinematography.

I didn't wish to chafe an old wound of the venerable colleague, but the temptation was great: this theme interested me too strongly, and there was almost no material. Having heard my question: whether anything was left from the old work — the plan, theses, the bibliography? — Abram Gozenpud's eyes have somehow grown dull, he looked away: it's an old business, I don't remember anything, nothing was left. And he had quickly changed the topic.

Business was certainly, old, but the fright looked very much fresh.


I have recollected this dialogue and this fright when, leaving USSR, I passed in March 1974 the border control at the Leningrad airport. Puny, of a semi-intelligent kind, sergeant Zhenya, weeding through my card file, has pulled out from it almost everything related to the culture of fascism — German and Italian. Sergeant reacted to my protests and bewilderment with a reproaching smirk: do not play naive, we understand perfectly — the possible unhealthy associations and other tricks...

I didn't suffer the loss of the cards for too long. In the West everything was recovered quickly enough, and even some new material was found, giving food not only for these "unhealthy associations". Having delved deeper into the theme, I have found out that in the music of Hitlerite Germany and Stalinist Russia, besides similar tendencies (total nationalization of "musical property", rigid decrees on "popularity", "folk lore" and "realism", animosity to higher spirituality and to search for new ways, attacks on jazz, transformation of march into a dominating rhythm of a mass culture), there was also direct borrowing.


The linking element was -
German communists! The borrowing followed mainly [but not solely] one direction: from the East to the West. Quickly growing ideological toddler — national socialism — required force feeding. It was necessary to create urgently a new liturgy — party psalms, chorals and hymns carrying the new faith to the masses. It shouldn't be surprising that some dishes, cooked by chefs of the previous generation, that of Leninist socialism, were used as well.

"We were Marxists before..."

If Lenin, before leaving this world, had visited Germany, he would hear how recently created SA (Sturm Abteilung — assault troops) sing his favorite "
Bravely, comrades, in step". This song sounded livelier in the SA performance than in Russia or by German communists — "Im Flotten Marschenrhythmus". But the melody is recognized easily. As Lenin was delighted in the summer of 1898 when Friedrich Lengnik, who just arrived to the place of his exile, nearly at the threshold of the Lenin's house, presented a surprise — a new song, so long-awaited. It was the first Russian (original, not translated) song with a fighting hymn, sonorous, major, without a shadow of dithering and despondency of "Narodnaya Volya" repertoire. The song came out this way not instinctively, not of pure inspiration: its author, Leonid Radin (1860 — 1900) — a scientist (chemist), a poet, an essayist and a revolutionary — knew very well what songs are needed by the ripening Russian revolution: "It is necessary, that the song's courage roared, / In heart awoke the saving anger". Soon after these verses Radin wrote the song — in the solitary confinement.

He also picked the melody — from a student's song on I.S.Nikitin's words (" time slowly moves"), converting a slow old waltz into a strong-willed and bouncing march. In his cell in Butirky prison, before being exiled, he has shared the new song with his party comrades. And the song spread and has taken a place in the first ranks of Russian Marxist hymns. Its optimism, its unwavering belief in a victory won the day. Ilyich "never got tired to revel in its invigorating sounds". Joseph Dzhugashvili, Lenin's pupil, was enamored with Radin's march too.
...

Then there appeared a German version of the song. It was composed by a prominent conductor Hermann Scherchen. WW I has found him in Riga, he has been interned by Russian authorities and became first an involuntary, and then a sympathizing witness of February and October revolutions. Inspired hymns of revolution were for him, probably, one of the main arguments in its favor. Two songs — "You fallen as victims..." and the Radin's march were brought by the conductor home for the German proletariat and have been included in the repertoire of two choruses organized by him in Berlin. The first march has been renamed by Scherchen "The Immortal Victim", and Radin's march — "Brothers, to the sun, to freedom".

...

In the beginning of 1920-s the Russian communist hymn has been picked up by the Nazi "sturmers". The boys in brown shirts sung the Rot Front song with abandon. They liked its rhetoric, woven from attractive high-level ambiguities, its coarse and simple black-and-white imagery: the Dark Past — the Bright Future, Slavery — Freedom, the Earth — the Sky, Thirst for Battle — Contempt for Death. It was pleasant to call each other "brothers" and "comrades" and to feel self a part of the closely knit mass of the millions rallying for the last resolute fight.
The new fourth stanza that was added soon by the Nazis, was using the same phraseology recipes:
Overthrow the yoke of tyrants,
Torturing you forever.
Raise a banner with a swastika
Above the country of the working people.
Despite the occurrence of an alien detail — a black swastika on a banner (whose color, however, remained red), these new lines are even closer to the Radin's verse, than rather approximate translation by Scherchen: they (intentionally or coincidentally?) almost literally reproduce the last stanza of the Russian original:
Let's overthrow by mighty hand
The fatal oppression forever
And erect above the Earth
The red banner of work.
A Nazi composer Hans Bayer tells how songs migrated from one ideological camp to another (this process continued until 1933) :
"Skirmish in a pub or fight in the street between SА and Mаrxists, who frequently enjoyed numeric superiority, quite often was followed the next day by sturmfuhrer visited by beaten Marxists requesting acceptance by SA. At first they were drawn by respect for people who were braver and were able to fight better. However the ideas of national socialism soon began to inspire them in the same way as they inspired other comrades from Sturm. Horst Wessel was masterful in attracting the best guys from Marxist groups to his command, to spite their former party comrades. Clearly, these people brought with them the songs created in the red camp. After several amendments to the text they were sung in SА. A song 'Brothers, to the sun, to freedom!' has taken roots in СА without any text changes."
... ... to better stress the separation from the "Reds", in a finishing stanza of one of the Nazi variants of the song, the Brownshirts — with a magnificent spontaneity — bellow:
Earlier we were Marxists,
Rot Front and social democrats.
Today — national socialists,
NSDAP fighters!
...
March, march forward...

Introducing in Radin's march the characteristic phraseology — "Great Germany", "German blood", "banners red as blood and black as death", "the Jewish thrones", "dupes of Moscow and Jewry", "SА in the brown uniform", "the red shame", etc., Nazis, nevertheless, kept inviolable the rhetoric and style of the speech developed by communists. And it is significant that all Nazi interpretations keep intact something that operates beyond words, appealing to the subconsciousness of the singers and the listeners. The emotional strong-willed sense radiated by the intonation, by the tone of a song, by its melody which is uniform in all variants...

... [Here a passage of further analysis of the song is skipped]

Another soldiers' song from the times of WW I — about the death of a young trumpeter-hussar went along an even more twisted path. Communists have altered it in 1925 after an Ernest Telman's pre-election meeting, when a stray police bullet has struck a kid bugler Fritz Weineck:
Of all our comrades
Nobody was so lovely and so kind,
As our famous small trumpeter,
Our cheerful red soldier …
After the murder (presumably by communists) of sturmfuhrer Horst Wessel in February 1930, a Nazi variant was born:
Of all our comrades
Nobody was so lovely and so kind,
As our sturmfuhrer Horst Wessel,
Our cheerful swastika-carrier…
During the same time, Soviet pioneers have started singing a Russian version (the free translation by M. Svetlov, musical arrangement by A.Davidenko) where the small trumpeter has turned to the small drummer ("We went under a roar of a cannonade, / We faced the death"). For several ears this lyric-heroic march was widely sung in both countries in all three versions. In 1933 the German Communist variant went silent, in May of 1945 — the national socialist one quit.

Another common Nazi-Communist song appeared to be for some time the sacred for Marxists "Internationale". In the beginning of the thirties brownshirts in Berlin often went to the streets singing … "Hitlernationale".
..

One more "migrating bird": a Tyrolean patriotic song of 1844 "
Zu Mantua in Banden". Nazis sang it in the original version, German communists — in a variant ("Dem Morgenrot entgegen"), and the Soviet people — in the same variant translated by A.Bezimensky: "forward toward the dawn, / comrades in struggle" ("Young guards", 1922).

Have other Soviet songs got into the Nazi repertoire?

Upward and upward...

Soon after arrival to America I have been at a viewing of a documentary film "Triumph of will", created by talented favorite of Hitler - Leni Riefenstahl - about a congress of national socialists in Nuremberg, 1934. From the screen spread self-satisfied voices of orators, thunder of the applause, exulted shouts of crowds, solo and collective chanting of verses and oaths, drumming, copper of fanfares … And marches, parade of marches, slow, moderate and fast, with words and without. Among them there was a stupid military treatment of a theme from Wagner's Twilight of the Gods …

But what is that? Is it possible?


"All upward and upward and upward … "
Our Soviet "Aviamarch" accompanying an idyllic picture: morning in a camp of Nazi SA, well-fed "sturmers" exercise, wash, shave — and all this to the painfully familiar melody...

This song has been written in 1920 by Kiev authors: poet Paul Herman and composer Juli Hait. In the middle of twenties the whole country picked up the "Aviamarch". Its first line "We are born, to make a fairy tale come true" became famous, and initial words of the refrain "All upward..." have become a motto … On August seventh, 1933 newspapers have printed order of the Revolutionary Military Council of USSR: "To establish an aviation march of Air Force "All upward".


The Soviet author relaying this information doesn't mention that the official recognition of "Aviamarch" was preceded by several years of furious persecution. A lefty RАPМ (the Russian Association of Proletarian Musicians) demanded to forbid the song for its shocking pedigree: its beginning (if it were slowed down!) reminds an old Russian romance, and its refrain — absolutely class-wise alien chansonette.

Meanwhile the suspicious march was sung without any interference in Germany, apparently from 1928, and besides in two versions: Marxist and Nazi.

[A fine mix of the Nazi and Soviet versions of the song could be seen here.]

...

[I've skipped a rather long passage proving that, on the whole, the Soviet songwriters were superior, and the last , rather inconclusive, chapter drawing parallels between "Horst Wessel" and the Soviet anthem.]

(*) Where possible, I have added links to some of the songs mentioned.

Hat tip: M.T.

Cross-posted at Yourish.com

30 July 2009

Health Ministry to hypnotists: Stop helping clients explore past lives

Israeli hypnotists were told to refrain from helping clients explore past lives, following a recent decision on the matter by a special Health Ministry advisory committee.

The Advisory Committee on the Law on Hypnosis made the ruling following complaints by clients who said that they had sustained serious emotional damage because of reincarnation hypnosis sessions.
Dunno, I am of two minds regarding the practice. Of course, I am as curious as the next person regarding my previous convi activities. On the other hand, I have already tried to found out some of it, going twice for tests (one is here, the second one I just can't find). The results were: a) a diseased Chilean belly dancer who died of plague and b) a high ranking amazon of fierce nature plus a man-eater and -beater.

Now, what will happen if I went to one of them hypnotists and discovered more and more female incarnations in my past? I mean, where does it stop and should I consider a treatment to get in line with my past?

Nah...

Update: took another quiz to try and balance out the female dominance in my history:


But it doesn't say anything gender-related. Were there female scribes in Egypt?

Rorschach ink blots, gongoozler

There is something in common between these popular search items, but I can't immediately put my finger on it.

Gongoozler is a person who enjoys watching activity on the canals in the United Kingdom. The term is also often used in a more general way to describe those who have an interest in canals and the canal life, but do not actively participate.

Yet in the last few months, the online encyclopedia Wikipedia has been engulfed in a furious debate involving psychologists who are angry that the 10 original Rorschach plates are reproduced online, along with common responses for each.
Of course, I've run to Wiki for the test. The results were crushing and depressing, and as a responsible blogger that cares about public health, I am not going to divulge them. Aside of one conclusion: I am a latent gongoozler!

29 July 2009

Yitzhak and Meir Abergil - no visas for USA required

The extradition of brothers Yitzhak and Meir Abergil to face racketeering charges in the United States was approved on Tuesday. The district court also approved the extradition of three other suspected criminals implicated in the Abergil investigation.
It looks like this line of export to USA is bullish lately. Good.

Only one side issue: why is that a regular citizen has to file tons of paper and waste half a day on an interview in the consulate to get the visa, while these guys get there free... well, relatively free. Unfair.

Do the honorable thing - according to Arafat

From Palestinian Media Watch:

PA (Fatah) Member of Parliament Muhammad Dahlan has publicly stated that Yasser Arafat was deceiving the world when he condemned Palestinian terror. Dahlan made these comments after defending the Palestinian Authority's "right" to use terror, and citing Arafat's behavior as an example.
The triple-tongued and double-dealing ways of the (thankfully) deceased were known for quite a long time. Dahlan, the upcoming star of PA, introduces a refreshing element of straightforward talk - when it suits his purposes:
Arafat would condemn [terror] operations by day while at night he would do honorable things.
Should I remark that Dahlan's (and many others', unfortunately) understanding of honor is hardly what you and I would easily accept?

Should I mention again that peace here is nowhere close?

28 July 2009

Mike Harris vs yahoos

Mike Harris aka DrMike sent a powerful message at San Francisco Jewish Film Festival.



The message, however, was not easily accepted by a significant part of the audience, who, being progressive, interpret the freedom of speech as progressives do lately. Also, it is quite instructional to browse through the remarks on Youtube site where this clip is located. The bigotry is amazing.

And, of course, you could do worse than reading DrMike's report on the proceedings.

Seven Things I Love

Bob from Brockley and The New Centrist ambushed me. Since even Hercules never fought two people at once, I will be prudent and surrender to the tagging attack. With a twist.

The mission is simple: list the seven things you love and tag seven other victims. Simple.

It appears that try as I might, I am unable to improve on Bob's list, so here it comes, with two remarks afterward.

  1. My family.
  2. Relaxing. Ideally on a beach, with an unbroken blue sky, a light breeze, facing West into a perfect blue ocean, perhaps the Bahamas...
  3. A really good book. Something that transports you from wherever you are to somewhere special.
  4. Children being happy.
  5. Good music.
  6. Good food. Ideally eaten by me (others could participate, but from their own plates, please, no sneaking around mine). Ideally built upon carcasses of dead animals. Ideally with a nice claret.
  7. Being slightly drunk.
Bob will notice I've modified #2 and #6 a bit. Now the remarks: ## 2 and 3 could be easily combined. #6 / #7 could be switched around, then, if the cook wasn't up to his/her best, it will be easier to overlook.

Now to the victims: Dick Stanley, Noga, Batya, A. Decker, Incognito, Jams,

26 July 2009

Revolutionary Guard leader: We can hit Israel's nuclear facilities

Oy vey.

In related news: swine flu fears prompt run on UK pharmacies.

25 July 2009

Photohunt: utensils


The theme for this week is "utensils".

Definition of utensil : An implement for practical use (especially in a household).
Tough one, in short. I've decided not to look for an easy way and went to the kitchen (instead of my toolbox), where there are some strange and wondrous things to be found.

And here they are:

I know I shall be ridiculed by some of the viewers here, but I freely confess that I don't have a slightest idea what in the blessed world the first two (from the left) utensils are for. The third one I recognize, since from the toddler's age I was allowed to lick the cream off it, so it always caused me a keen interest.

An explanation of the first two will be welcomed, cause I am too shy to ask SWMBO.

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.

***

24 July 2009

What some Americans think of the health care reform

No matter what (and I am of three minds on the subject) you think about the reform, it is a funny take.

Via Texas Scribbler.

23 July 2009

Mustaf Jama - when a niqab doesn't help

Apparently there still are some cases when the approved dressing code for a Muslim woman doesn't help. Not it the long run, at least.

A gangster who fled to his native Somalia, after taking part in a bungled robbery in Bradford in which Pc Sharon Beshenivsky was shot dead, was jailed for life today.
Here is a mug shot of the vermin:

He went into hiding in Somaliland but was brought back to the UK to face justice in 2007 after an undercover operation to smuggle him out of Africa.
Good job and kudos to whoever did it. But back to the niqab: the article linked above doesn't mention the story of Jama's escape.
Jama was able to sneak on to an international flight at Heathrow dressed in a niqab despite extensive publicity about this murder. His photograph had been circulated to every police force, port and airport in the country. Had he been asked to reveal his face he would have been detected in a moment.
Well, I hope that the British prison will be able to wipe the smile from his face now.

And he could continue wearing the niqab in the prison - could be a good idea...

Cross-posted at Yourish.com

Unarmed man in speedos shot dead by police

An unarmed man wearing only swimming trunks was shot dead by a plainclothes police officer who had confronted him for driving erratically.
Like wearing Speedos isn't sufficient for being shot... why did he have to drive erratically on top of it?

Man Claims He Bit Into Condom in Soup, Sues

SANTA ANA, Calif. — A 50-year-old California man says he ordered French onion soup and bit into a condom instead of melted cheese.

Hodousek's attorney, Eric Traut, says his client wants restaurant employees' DNA tested to find a match to female DNA allegedly found on the condom.
Never eat in places where your past dates work, I would suggest. Especially if a date appeared to be a disaster. And refrain from ordering French dishes, just to be on the safe side.

Then you will never get no French letters in no soup. Schlemiel.

22 July 2009

Hillary Clinton vows to protect Gulf states from Iran

What will she promise next? To clean up the nuclear fallout in the area after the attack?

Bleh...

Suicide over missing iPhone prototype?

Tragic by itself. But killing self over a missing iPhone? I would kill self if someone forced me to use one...

When a woman cries: memo for a man.

The author of the following remarkably clear and handy manual is unknown, the text, as it came to my attention via e-mail, was in Russian, so it's Google and I to blame...

  1. First, try to find out whose woman she is. When this woman is somebody else's, it will be unsafe to try to comfort her. If she's is nobody's woman, get her for yourself. Now, if she continues to cry, it would be quite clear that she is crying from happiness.
  2. When a crying woman is yours, do not leave her alone, because then people all around may think that she's nobody's woman and then - see 1. Be attentive to her and as close as possible in the circumstances, which means that you shouldn't get away farther than the distance where her voice will not be heard. Do not lose the sight of her (see 1.). Use binoculars if necessary.
  3. Questions you cannot ask a women in tears: a) What do you want? b) Who is to blame? and c) What can I do? The answer to the first question could be painful to your purse, while the answer to the second and third - to your pride.
  4. You don't have to flee in response to woman's tears. You don't need to save anyone. You shouldn't punish anyone. Because it will eventually appear that you should have done the opposite of saving and/or punishing.
  5. It is a fallacy to bring gifts to a crying woman. Better hand her a packet of tissues. Remember, gifts should be given only to a happy woman. It develops a useful conditioned reflex and pleasant behavior.
  6. If you followed rules 1-5 and the woman continues to cry, but stays with you and doesn't go to somebody else, then she really needs to be comforted by you. Show her your sad and concerned face. To do this you may have to put aside your binoculars and to come closer.
  7. You do not have to listen to what the crying woman says. The thing to do is to sigh deeply during a pause and to hold her tenderly between the pauses.
  8. To really ace it, let a tear slide down your unshaven cheek. At this point the woman normally forgets about her own troubles, is frightened and starts to comfort you.
Addendum: When a man cries: memo for a woman.
  1. Try to be tactful. Pretend, at least for a while, that you didn't notice the restrained sobbing of the male.
  2. If the sobbing is not restrained - pat the man on the shoulder with the words "Well, well..."
  3. If the man continued to cry, check his diapers and give him your breast
Kudos: DB.

21 July 2009

Rachel Veitch - 45 years and 600,000 miles later

Nearly 600,000 miles later, the 90-year-old Florida woman still drives her 1964 Mercury Comet Caliente every day.
Rachel Veitch back then:

Rachel Veitch now (the photo is not up to date, judging by the mileage):

We could all learn a few valuable lessons on loyalty, automotive care and agelessness from Ms Veitch, I am more than sure.
Asked if she considered trading in her car under President Obama's "Cash for Clunkers" program, which gives $4,500 to motorists who trade in older cars with poor gas mileage, Veitch replied: "He ain't gonna get mine. I'll die fighting for her."
Oh, and let's not forget the lesson on spirit:
Classic car experts say the 1964 Mercury Comet Caliente would likely sell for about $3,000 in mint condition, or up to $12,000 if it was restored to new. But Veitch says she'll never sell, and she packs a .38-caliber handgun in case anyone tries to take her chariot for a ride without her. "Somebody's going to go down with me if I get in that situation," Veitch said. "I'm not going down alone."
Way to go, Rachel! Till 120 to you and your Chariot, dear!

Erin Andrews Peephole Pictures - May Cause Damage

That article really made me smile:

The prurient interest many people have in seeing the "Erin Andrews peephole pictures" may end up with potential peeping Tom's computers needing a visit to the repair shop. That's because malicious hackers have made up a number of web pages designed to lure people in on the promise of satisfying their perverted fantasies but end up instead with installing malware that will quickly wreak havoc on their PCs.
While I had to look up "prurient" and "perverted" in a dictionary, the mere idea is kind of funny. Well, my guests, at ease: no hacking attempts from this here blog beyond the average offered by Google and other widget makers that succeeded to sell their produce here. To make you feel even easier, I prepared another tranquilizer for today:

Just for a brief respite from your usual prurient and perverted surfing. This is not a zoo shot, by the way - it's a free range wild parrot, albeit displaced a bit... the story is too long.

Keep your cool. And take care of your PC...

20 July 2009

David Irving’s Holocaust-Denial Speaking Tour: The Show that Must Not Go On

Here.

Hitler finds out Michael Jackson has died



Hat tip: Adelaide Green Porridge Cafe

19 July 2009

Harry Potter & Haveil Havalim #226

Of course, you will ask why. No doubts whatsoever. So go an read this uber-cool edition.

Gaza's 'Hamaswood' Premieres Feature Film

The Islamic militants' first feature film — an action-packed homage to a top Hamas militant — cost only $200,000 to make and is being shown to segregated audiences of bearded men and veiled women.
I was elated at first by these news, after all its' not every day that a new moviemaker is born. However:
There's no romance, however, and the female actors all wear long robes and headscarves.
Nah... I am staying home then.

Elder of Ziyon demolishes James Zogby

Elegantly, simply and crushingly.

18 July 2009

9-Month-Old Had Blood-Alcohol Level Four Times Legal Limit, Police Say

The youngster wasn't tazered, but the driving license suspended until court appearance.

Photohunt: rocks


The theme for this week is "Rocks". This theme really... rocks for me, cause I love rocks. The problem was which ones to choose.

So I shall start with this:

A humble rock formation in the middle of Beit Guvrin National Park.

A part of 10 monumental megaliths possibly comprising a Canaanite "high place" in Tel Gezer. Quite mysterious.

Just a nice wet rock somewhere in Vietnam.

One of the thousands rocks of Halong Bay, Vietnam - an awesome place.

The amazing Spider Rock from Canyon De Chelly

If you are into grand things, you cannot beat the rocks of Grand Canyon.

As for me, the Bryce Canyon always rocks.

So, what will be your preference?

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.

***

Military robot could feed on dead bodies - NO!

That's what the article says. What it doesn't say is how exactly the robot will differentiate between a dead and a live body before eating it up. And would it even try, especially when equipped by some weaponry that could make the difference temporary?

UPDATE:

Biomass-Eating Military Robot Is a Vegetarian, Company Says

But, contrary to reports, including one that appeared on FOXNews.com, the EATR will not eat animal or human remains.
The speed of reprogramming is nothing short of amazing. I suspect some sinister forces at play here...

17 July 2009

Minister Yisrael Katz, road signs and Zionism

Yisrael Katz was for many years a Likud apparatchik, rarely if ever standing out from the regular crowd of other apparatchiks (aside of his larger than average dimensions). Now, though, with his rise to the lofty throne of the Ministry of Transport, he decided to make his mark in history. And he does it via... a war against Arabic names on road signs. To make the long story short for people who don't want to read the ABC article - under the guise of unification of naming on the road signs, only Hebrew names will be used in three languages (Hebrew, Arabic and English):

"The lack of uniform spelling on signs has been a problem for those speaking foreign languages, citizens and tourists alike," transport ministry spokesman Yeshaayahu Ronen said.
How exactly will "Yerushalayim" (Hebrew spelling) assist the hot and nervous tourists with their malfunctioning GPS and screaming kids, remains unclear. How will this idea improve the driving skills of an Arab driver on his way to Musmus (an Arab village that will, probably, be translated into Mishmish now) is even less clear, if it is at all possible. Etc.

It will be a good time to ask the Hon. Minister a few questions, like:
  • Does Minister Katz know that in bilingual countries it is accepted to put two names on a road sign if the names differ in the respective languages? Brugge/Bruges will be a typical example (right, they don't exactly love one another, but at least they do it in a civil way).
  • Does Minister Katz know what is the main goal of his ministry?
  • Does Minister Katz know how many people died on the roads this year only?
  • Doesn't Minister Katz think that the money wasted on idiotic initiative like this one could be used, for example, to better mark the existing roads, where the criss-crossing of old and new, yellow, orange and yellow lines makes the driving a real challenge?
  • Doesn't Minister Katz realize that pissing off 20% of population by a stupid act like this is a damaging and unnecessary provocation, not justified by any conceivable sane motive?
But of course, Minister Katz in his infinite wisdom, has a generic answer to all these questions, conveyed via his "communications advisor":
The minister's own communications advisor, Barak Sari, said criticism was an "attempt by anti-Israeli and anti-Zionist elements to annul Israel's identity as a Jewish and democratic state. Anyone willing to refer to Jerusalem as al-Quds is collaborating with the Palestinian propaganda."
See, how easy it is? You cannot call a minister names now without becoming automatically an anti-Israeli, anti-Zionist collaborator with Palestinian propaganda.

Ehehe... If Palestinian propaganda didn't have nincompoops like Minister Katz so easily available, it must have created them, methinks.

But, on the other hand, Minister Katz got something he was denied all these years of toiling for the other dudes in Likud - international publicity. And there is no such thing as bad publicity, they say. So, in an attempt to help Minister Katz out I looked for his picture. But what do you know - there is not a one of him smiling, his mug looks more or less like this everywhere:

So - smile, ijit, you are famous now!

But, on the other hand, there is a totally different matter - that of the unknown person (author, editor, who cares?) inventing the subtitle to the article linked above:

Israeli Transport Ministry Accused of Plan to Ethnically Cleanse Road Signs

Goes to show that idiots are not reserved solely for population of various ministries. Instead of inventing my own reply, I will quote what a guy/gal named msr07 said on the subject:
Regardless of whether Israel is wrong for changing the road signs, the headline "Israel to ETHNICALLY CLEANSE road signs" is offensive to me. That is a horrible term that has no business being the headline for this story. The author may think this is a cute play on words but it's not - it promotes anti-semitism.
Indeed.

Iraq, and thoughts on intervention

A person who never doubts is rather a lost case, I always thought.

Roland of But I am a Liberal does have his doubts and does an excellent post on them.

Rabbi Eliyahu warns of rabbis who 'kowtow to women'

Of course, the article didn't mention that his spouse told him to do so...

Ivanka Trump announces engagement to Jared Kushner on Twitter

This is what happens when you are not vigilant enough where your own interests are concerned. Ehehe...

Besides, I haven't mastered Twitter yet.


16 July 2009

Giant mystery blob or the Russians are coming finally?

Fox say: It's big, it's black, it's gooey and it may be alive.

I say: check under the blob, it may be teeming with Russian submarines and whatnot.

The only other giant mystery blob was found by astronomers. It is, most probably, not the same one, since a) it dates back to when the universe was only 800 million years old and b) it was gaseous, big, and emitted a certain type of radiation.

No match. So go for them Russians!

Obama's real Bottomgate

Olly's Onions disclosure.

Demonising Israel is a lucrative business

Here.

Popsicle? Well, fine.




You Are a Popsicle



You are colorful, creative, and expressive.

You are often in your own little world, having the time of your life.



People might be surprised to know that you're actually a bit of a perfectionist.

You like things to be neat and orderly. You can deal with chaos, as long as it's controlled chaos.



Via Lesley.

Quakebuttock definition and O'Reilly



Dunno. I wouldn't call O'Reilly a quakebuttock, it will be a) untrue and b) too long. Buttock will suffice.

15 July 2009

Micky Louis Mayon - a white supremacist waiting on Jews?

There is a happy end to this story:

Micky Louis Mayon, one of the 100 most wanted people in the United States, was taken into custody in southern Tel Aviv after Israel received information from Interpol indicating he was there.
The following went almost unnoticed:
He ... earned money by working part time at several restaurants...
What next? David Duke dishing out falafel at Carmel market in Tel-Aviv? Mmm...

14 July 2009

Zioinists - guilty as charged

Lifted with thanks from Dust My Broom.

Hat tip: Andrew Ian Dodge.

Israel must engage in what?

Obama says that Israel must engage in self-reflection. Cool. We shall start immediately. There is one problem, though: we are already 60+, and it (self-reflection) doesn't come as easy as it used to.

I remember that as teenager I used to... oh well...

13 July 2009

A Mother's Love

No, it's not about a yiddishe mame. Gnotalex's persistent search was crowned by a hilarious discovery:

In the third round of the fight, for a shot at the British light-heavyweight championship, McCarthy punched Wilson to the mat for an 8-count. Wilson's mother climbed into the ring and started beating McCarthy's head with one of her shoes, opening a large wound, which required hospital treatment and forced McCarthy to retire. Under the rules, the referee gave Wilson the victory.
There is a video clip of the event on Gnotalex's place too.

Saudi family sues genie

The lawsuit filed in Shariah court accuses the genie of leaving them threatening voicemails, stealing their cell phones and hurling rocks at them when they leave their house at night, said Al-Watan newspaper.
Try garlic. If garlic fails, try this:

Obama distances himself from Jackson?

This strange headline appeared on CNN. Confused the heck out of me. The latter is already buried or, at least, supposed to be. What exactly do they want from Obama? I mean, isn't it only natural to keep some distance from a person in Jackson's predicament? Confusion...

12 July 2009

Stuart Jeffries reading Hegel to Sarkozy

Stuart Jeffries' outpouring of philosophical thought in the Guardian is titled Brush up your Hegel, Sarko and subtitled "Monsieur Président's burka outburst suggests he can't tell his abstract and concrete freedoms apart". Makes it tough on the French president, whether he read "his" Hegel or not.

This article is full of rare pearls, but the one that left me breathless is:

By those lights [meaning Hegelian ones], a western fashion victim is as much a sartorial prisoner as a woman in a burka.
Wow... no, really, a big wow... it is also supported by a specific example:
The former [abstract freedom] means the freedom to do whatever you want, which, as you know, is the basis of western civilisation and why you can choose between 23 different kinds of coffee in your local cafe, or 32 different kinds of four-inch wedges the glossies tell you look sexy this summer but in none of which you can walk comfortably.
Not that I clearly remember cases of women being shot, maimed or beaten to death for wearing a wrong pair of shoes in the West, but I bow to Mr Jeffries superior knowledge of the subject matter. Especially on account of my Hegel being extremely rusty.

The last passage I wanted to mention is:
French venerate such abstract freedoms. We needn't.
Be useful to know who is meant by "we" here. The enlightened Hegel-munching Guardian scribes? Or somebody else?

Poor Hegel...

11 July 2009

Photohunt: garbage


The theme for this week is "Garbage". Happened to be an easy one this time.

A scene that really made me mad:

It is not even a result of a slobs' picnic - in this case somebody has deliberately carried and dumped it all in the middle of a forest. For some reason visions of a great pile of burning garbage with a writhing body on top keep recurring...

Well, the next one was rather funny. On a sidewalk of a city I would rather not mention:

Somebody abandoned these remains of an armchair directly under a sign that explicitly forbids this same act and threatens a large fine for doing so. Well, here you are...

P.S. That second shot was taken by a phone camera, so...

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.

***

Vasily Pavlovich Aksyonov, RIP


Мгновенная и оглушительная тишина опустилась на Москву, и в тишине этой трепетали миллионы душ, но не от страха, а от Близости встречи, от неназванного чувства.

Сколько это продолжалось, не нам знать. Потом все снова поехало.

Britney Spears wants to convert to Judaism?

Please reconsider this move. You will never sing in Mecca anymore if you do it!

10 July 2009

A random wisecrack

Being a connoisseur of anti-Semitic jokes, I cannot pass an opportunity to make a flippant comment on this post by Norm. He says:

One can't even say of Madoff's crimes that they were acts institutionally or symbolically associated with a collective Jewish body, as when diaspora Jews worry about policies of the Israeli state of which they are critical. Unless, that is, one thinks that financial malpractice is a typically Jewish misdemeanour - not a thought one would expect to find in the Jerusalem Post, that thought being part of the lore of anti-Semitism.
Of course, Madoff is a black sheep in an otherwise healthy family, easily proved by this example and the fact that any Jooish mom wants the boy to become a lawyer or a doctor, never a financier (phooey!).

So, not to argue with the general thrust of Norm's post, but to provide some solace to anti-Semites and to decipher that stupid JP article Norm refers to: of course, financial malpractice in general will not be considered by JP Jooz a misdemeanor (typical to us or not) - it is the unsuccessful financial malpractice by shlemiels like Madoff that will be...

Nikola Tesla, death ray, related wonders

Seeing as it's the great man's birthday, I was browsing through reams of stuff on the net. Between other things I have stumbled on this article. I don't mind reading another time about the death ray machine Tesla supposedly invented, although I am pretty sure the old man was bluffing - and he's done a pretty good job of it. Even today some major governments suspect that the other side got that doomsday machine somewhere in the basement, just waiting for the right moment...

Anyhoo, this isn't what caught my attention. You will see in the snapshot of this article below (after you click on it to enlarge it) a rubric Possibly Related Posts:

And do you know what: I would rather believe in the death ray machine than in machine intelligence. For crying out loud!

09 July 2009

Rapamycin - the Easter Island drug that extends lifespan of old mice

Just finished that little essay on mice, and here they strike again! The only remaining question is whether after a period of taking Rapamycin regularly we'll start looking like this:

Or like this:

Go figure...

The real rulers of the Earth

Of course, it is nice to be a part of the Elders' machine and feel that you control this place. But from time to time doubts start gnawing. Or, perhaps, even bite.

Today, for instance, something triggered another chain of FUD (fear uncertainty and doubts) .

A new study shows caffeine reversed memory loss in mice bred to develop Alzheimer’s disease and reduced the level of beta-amyloid protein in the blood and brain.
Haven't you noticed that many a reversal of medical thinking, faithfully and immediately carried out by the media and in a day or two by your doctor, are actually dictated by mice?

Mice tell you the caffeine is good for you, in a few months they decide that it's bad, then they warmly recommend chocolate and a bit later forbid it under threat of this or another malady. They caused an enormous brouhaha with smoking, cooking oils, red meat, chicken, various kinds of fruit, vegetables, you name it.

Mice are fickle and change their august opinions quite frequently. From time to time it even appears that there are several warring groups of mice, giving the media contradictory commands, causing even more chaos in our miserable way of life.

So, after all, Douglas Adams was right and this planet is really no more than an experiment, created and conducted by mice, for their benefit or just for amusement - we'll never know.

Another observation: mice could consume enormous amounts of stuff. Like in the exercise linked above:
In the study, mice ... were given 500 milligrams of caffeine (equivalent to five cups of regular coffee) in their daily drinking water.
So, while being helpless in stopping the mice from ruling and ruining my life, at least I know enough to stock up on my favorite brand of coffee, to be on the safe side. Good.

Testicular torsion and advantages of the Internet

First you look lazily at Wiki and discover that testicular torsion really does exist and that it isn't just a funny invention of another blogger with too much time on his hands.

Then you look at the related entries on the Internet and find a hilarious remark:

If your physician sent you by ambulance from his office to rule out a testicular torsion, the paramedic stated that your last period was 2 months ago, and then I saw you in the emergency department 30 minutes later and performed an ultrasound showing no testicular torsion, could a good faith argument be made that you are a female based on those “facts”?
All in all, you cannot call the time spent in the above activities wasted, can you?

Rev Al is a racist?

As these folks and many others claim. I am not sure about that. What I am pretty sure about is that the Reverend is a sharp and soulless politico who is playing the race card for so many years so successfully that it is his nature to produce a scurrilous and false statements like the one quoted in that link.

08 July 2009

Scientists claim sperm 'first'

That's it, fellow males. The end. Kaput. Checkout time. Curtains.


The most bizarre hard core porn scenes of XX century

That post by Nizo with a vintage video of Arafat's visit to post-revolution Tehran in 1979 turned my wavering mind into a not totally unexpected direction - that of porn, specifically of its more nauseating and bizarre branch. So, the more squeamish and underage readers are invited to skip that "Read more..." and turn instead to other endeavors. Like WSJ or... whatever.

Prelude to the first, relatively innocent kiss in the series:

Here is the kiss itself:

Now the passion is heating up:

So much so that the TV channel transmitting the scene was forced to take measures:

I personally consider the above to be a mild precursor to a more serious affair:

That is real love, I would say. However, let's go back to the issue of kissing. I suggest that the subjects depicted above were nothing but mere understudies at the feet of a giant. Which was, of course, Leonid Brezhnev. No one came close to the art of slobbering over his frequently unwitting victims, like this (unidentified) politician:

Hold them firmly, get close enough and start slobbering all over the guy - not letting go was the ticket. Jimmy Carter got to love it:

Carter obviously caught the kissing bug from LB and later did his puny best to imitate it with many a dictator, but his best was far from being enough, of course. He never came within a mile of that classic (Erich Honecker):

Honecker, of course, deserved any punishment coming to him. But sometimes I wonder whether... oh well.

Yes, XX century has its porn giants. I suspect they've broken the mold since. Of course, we have some attempts at imitation, like this one:

But, in all fairness, it is simply pathetic. Like watching Romeo and Julia after Debbie Does Dallas...

Nah...

Roger Cohen's mea culpa - or Excuse me while I visit the vomitorium

Cool piece by Richard Landes on the critter.

07 July 2009

Netanyahu caves into pressure, cancels proposal on produce tax

Good. Now, our dear elected government, analyze this:

Between a rock and a hard place

Opening his front door, a Rabbi found himself face to face with the local priest. "Rabbi, may I have a few words with you?" asked the priest.

"Of course, Father," replied the Rabbi somewhat nervously.

"Rabbi," began the priest, "It must be evident to you that in this town we are plagued by thieves. Scarcely a day passes without one of my flock coming to me bemoaning the fact that his house has been broken into. On the other hand, I have noticed that thieves do not bother you Jews nearly as much."

"Father, you are correct."

"Yes, but why is that?" inquired the priest.

"Look at this little box here on the side of my doorpost," said the Rabbi.
"It's called a mezuza. We Jews believe that when we put a mezuza on the entrances to our houses, the Holy One, may His Name be blessed, protects both us and our property."

"In that case", replied the priest, "I must have one!"

Not wishing to be the cause of an incipient pogrom, the Rabbi reluctantly handed over a mezuza to the priest.

Some two weeks later the Rabbi was awakened by the sound of someone pounding violently on his door. Dressing himself hastily, he made his way down the stairs.

"Who's there?" the Rabbi asked tremulously.

"Open the door! Open the door!" screamed a voice on the other side.

Leaving the door on the latch, the Rabbi cracked the door wide enough to see the priest standing in front of him, his eyes wild with great distraught.

"What happened?" asked the terrified Rabbi. "Were you not protected from robbers?"

"I was! But these people were worse than robbers!" screamed the priest.

"Who?" asked the rabbi.

"Fundraisers"
Source unknown. Hat tip: BB

Patrick Tracy Burris - serial killer offed

So the murderous rampage has ended:

Gaffney, South Carolina police are in Gastonia, North Carolina looking into "similarities" between a burglar who was killed by North Carolina police July 6, 2009 and the South Carolina serial killer suspect. The dead burglar matches the physical description of the South Carolina serial killer suspect and a champagne colored Ford Explorer like the one Gaffney officials are looking for is parked outside the North Carolina crime scene.
Good. But regarding the match:

I am not sure that it was possible to get the suspect based on the that composite drawing (on the right). Besides, I am not at all sure that it's a good idea to use my mug every time a crime is committed somewhere.

Sahel Kazemi, Steve Mcnair, Mechelle McNair photos

Mechelle or Michelle - whatever, all these photos are of no interest here. So, as usual, you get a cooling down opportunity. Watch the picture for a few minutes.

See how much better you feel now? Without ghoulish scenes, too...

06 July 2009

From Girls Aloud to Anne Frank

Uhu...

George S. thinks that the argument is chosen for a reason. I would suggest that the subconscious won again. But whatever.

Anastasia Michaeli is 1st MK to give birth during tenure

The history has been made in Tel Hashomer maternity ward on Saturday night. Not only Ms Michaeli is the first MK to do it, but the child is the family's number 8. They are going for a football team, obviously.

Some male MKs seem to be slightly annoyed by a young, inexperienced and female to boot MK besting them.

The Knesset speaker, Ruby Rivlin, was picked up by the microphone (see above) that wasn't turned off, mumbling "Yes, we can..." several times after the news of the baby reached the Knesset.

05 July 2009

On Obama's silence re Cynthia McKinney

Pak Alert Press blog (no links, search yourself) published a post on St. Cynthia under a headline:

Israel keeps ex-congresswoman McKinney in custody – Obama is Still Silent!

I guess I fully understand Obama's silence. I would keep shtum too, as long as she is as far away as possible.

On the other hand, she is displaying signs of a dangerous delusion, according to this:

I am being held in this prison because I had a dream...
Oy vey. Better let her go, so dear POTUS - please ask for her. Please...

Saudis give nod to Israeli raid on Iran - Sunday Times

The head of Mossad, Israel’s overseas intelligence service, has assured Benjamin Netanyahu, its prime minister, that Saudi Arabia would turn a blind eye to Israeli jets flying over the kingdom during any future raid on Iran’s nuclear sites.
Of course, it's incomparable Uzi Mahnaimi that brings the scoop. This time, though, he missed some juicy details, so, with permission from the Elders' HQ I am allowed to publish here a part of the IAF itinerary on the way to Iran. See the map:

Click to embiggen
  1. August XX, 13:10 (Jerusalem) - Light lunch, speeches by mayor of Jerusalem, PM, various MKs and, of course, Shimon Peres. Takeoff.
  2. August XX, 15:10 (Saudi desert) - landing, welcome by the local tribes' chieftains, madrasa's boys' choir performance. Coffee for all. Takeoff.
  3. August XX, 19:25 (Saudi desert) - Landing, welcome by the local tribes' chieftains, camel races, dinner with belly dancers and camel milk non-alcoholic beer. Bedtime at 11:00 PM.
  4. August XX+1, 09:25 (Mecca) Landing, welcome by the senior Saudi heir to the throne, visiting holy places in Mecca, speeches, light lunch. Takeoff.
  5. August XX+1, 11:25 (Saudi desert near Shell gas station). Landing, refueling, replenishing provision on board, speeches by local dignitaries, takeoff.
Tickets to some of the events still available, call 1-800-mahna-bluff.

Update: due to successfully negotiated appearance of American-pole-dancers team, flown in fresh from Vegas on loaner plane from somewhere in Houston, TX (thanks to SpaceyG), the departure from the last landing point is moved back to 14:13. With apologies to Iranian air defense and Air Force.

Haveil Havalim #224 - The Fourth of July Weekend Edition

Rocks on A Time of the Signs today. Enjoy.

Bar Refaeli's naked photo shoot in Israel

Where to get nekkid if not at home? Watch. Drool. Envy.

Wife blows MI6 chief

's cover on Facebook.

(I was told to avoid long headlines, so...)

Anyway, here comes Sir John Sawers (uncovered):

Oops, a printer's error. Here is the right one:

Gosh, I hope he doesn't take that mistake personally. He could send that other guy after me, and then what would I do?

Update: he wears Speedo. Oh boy...

04 July 2009

"Jewishes" and a deficient Head

JC released a soppy tale of homegrown antisemitism flaring up at an Infants’ School in Paddington – an apparent multi-faith, predominantly Muslim primary school.

The Head Master, at Hallfield Infants’ School, one Philip Eaton failed to ascertain the origin of this racist outbreak, noting that "… There is a bigger issue of where they [children] are getting this from and it must be somewhere outside.”

This of course raises a few questions as to what Mr. Eaton meant by "somewhere outside". Is this infantile racism a consequence of environmental issues such as Global warming? Pollution? Could this be part of the Swine (no offence intended toward the parents of the racist puerile subjects of the kingdom) Fever pandemic?

I guess that we won't really ever know:

"Mr Eaton said he had wanted time to work out a strategy for dealing with the problem “because children of this age have very short memories of what they are saying."

Really Mr. Eaton? My own particular Two and a half year old would easily prove you wrong, being able to quote himself weeks later. Any child psychologist would confirm that the recall in a Four year old would easily be up to the job. Moreover, by the age of Four, a Normal child has already mastered the art of deception, and as demonstrated, when faced with an incapable school master, can even excel. So Mr. Eaton strategize away, but I suspect that by the time you will have worked out the situation, these infants will have finished their Masters degree.