31 August 2009

Seth Freedman on organ harvesting affair

After successfully settling the thorny issue of OH (Organ Harvesting), I had me some time to get acquainted with several responses in the press to the issue. Between others, I've read what Guardian had to say on the subject. First, a fairly dry and factual article by Roy Greenslade and then a strange and longish treatise by Seth Freedman. I am still trying to get my head around the latter. Which is worth some fisking, I guess, so bear with me for a few minutes.

First of all, I have to say that I completely agree with Seth where his advice to Israeli government is concerned:

Israel has to start dealing with criticism in a measured and mature fashion, otherwise it simply plays into the hands of its detractors...
Indeed, the display of histrionics by some officials was unworthy, but what can you expect, having a thug for a foreign minister? I omitted the rest of the sentence quoted above, not because of the mixed metaphor (crying wolf and running for the hills) but because the first part of it (crying wolf), which is repeated in the headline of the article (Israel cries wolf over 'blood libel') is sheer nonsense. So lets' start from the beginning, namely from the headline. It makes two statements, the first one openly: "crying wolf". The meaning of "crying wolf" is:
If someone cries wolf, they raise a false alarm about something.
So, the (hysterical) outcry of Israeli officials was a false alarm? Meaning much ado about nothing? Hmm... strange. I am not into teaching Seth English, he could teach me English for years to come, but logic it ain't for sure.

The second, hidden statement is the appearance of quotation marks around 'blood libel'. Obviously meaning that Seth (or the on-line edition editor) doubts that the accusation leveled at IDF re organ harvesting could be classified as blood libel. Curious, I would say. The definition of blood libel says:
Blood libels are allegations that a person or group engages in human sacrifice...
Fits like a glove, I suggest. But let's move on. To the subhead of the article:
A Swedish report about supposed organ-harvesting by troops in the West Bank isn't antisemitic – it's just bad journalism
A "swedish report"? I wasn't aware of a formal document by the Swedish government. See, there's me thinking this was about an article in some insignificant rag seeking to create increased sales. Normally you would expect the subhead to continue and strengthen the statement made in the headline. In this case, however, it opens a completely different can of worms. Big ones, I submit.

Indeed, how is the fact that the "report" is bad journalism (and I wholly agree with that part) related to the report or its author being (or not) antisemitic? How does Seth derive it from the report itself?

Yours truly in particular and this blog in general try to avoid the hot potato of antisemitism, the whole issue being impossible to prove or disprove in too many cases. It is used and abused by pro- and anti- Israeli sides of the dispute to smithereens and should be handled with utmost care, especially where no proof of antisemitism or its absence is available. Not knowing anything about the author of that "Swedish" crapola, one should avoid any statement on the subject like a plague. Moreover, one should avoid introducing the subject where it's unnecessary due to abundance of other issues.

So why does Seth jump in exonerating the Swedish scribe of possible accusation of antisemitism? Unless Donald Boström, the author of the original article, is Seth's personal friend who just loves the Jews, Seth's defense of Boström in this regard is a mystery.

Well, almost a mystery. If you forget the line so beloved and so frequently used by Seth:
However, bad journalism does not automatically an antisemite make, especially when the allegations were directed at the Israeli army, rather than at Judaism and its practices.
Of course, you must remember, that in the world according to Seth there are good Jooz and, how to say it gently - not so good Jooz. To the former group belong Seth, religious Jooz, most of the Jooz outside of Israel, esp. those who see Israel as a thorn in their backside. Most of the latter are Israeli army, Israeli government, the settlers, esp. these wild hilltop youth monkeys... oops, there is a small problem, since they are mostly religious, but this is a dichotomy Seth is solving for a long time, no doubt he will come up with an answer in the future. No doubt he will explain to us how come there are followers of Judaism that are rather less peaceful and mature than Seth would like you to believe.

Seth will also explain how come that Sheik Nasrallah and many others of his ilk do not distinguish between these good Jooz and the bad Jooz, preferring rather to deal with all of us in the same manner. We should be patient and just wait for Seth to come up with something. Meanwhile let's just relax and make peace with Seth's line of thinking that is able to make a logical leap from "bad journalism does not automatically an antisemite make" to "bad journalism is not antisemitic".

Then we'll be able to sit down together with Seth and to have a good hearty laugh at that shiny example of intellectual contortions:
Had the article claimed that Jewish teaching encouraged the killing of gentile children and the use of their blood for ritual purposes – the classic definition of blood libel, and the origin of the phrase – it would be another matter, but in this case the accusations are clearly made against a subsection of Israeli society, not against Israelis per se, let alone the worldwide Jewish community.
Sure, Seth, we'll say. You've hit the nail with your interpretation of the term "blood libel". No problem, Seth, even if it smells a bit fishy. And you are right - them IDF are bad apples. Subsection, as you say, no representation of Israeli society whatsoever. To be dealt with to the full extent of peaceful and happy Judaic law - whatever it means.

Of course, one cannot but compliment Seth on his masterly use of the trope:
...pro-Israel commentators routinely allege that criticism of Israel is in fact thinly disguised antisemitism...
Broad brush, no doubt. Bold statement, there is no attempt to be a bit more selective by saying "some pro-Israeli commentators". Or "some criticism of Israel". There is not even a tiniest sign of an effort to understand that some anti-Semites of the worst kind use this same trope to hide their ugly mugs behind what they call "criticism of Israel", is there?

Ehehe... enough fisking for one article, I think. Just the last bit:
...the Israeli authorities ought to be able to easily prove the army's innocence...
Seth is surely aware of the Israeli often used fable about a dude who's beeing accused that his sister is a whore, then having to prove that he doesn't in fact have a sister... There are two aspects. One is purely technical. Should the "Israeli authorities" order removal of all implants performed during the last decade with subsequent exhumation of the suspected donors to check for matching "pairs"? I wonder...

The second aspect is legal. To the limited extent of my knowledge, there is a rule of presumption of innocence in jurisprudence all over the world, aside of a few regimes we'll not mention right here. To use a handy example, should Jooz start proving their innocence regarding all libels leveled at them during the last, say, three thousand years?

But I am forgetting myself. Or, rather, I am forgetting Seth's view. After all, good Jooz don't have to prove anything, it's the not-so-good ones that should...

I, being probably one of the not-so-good Jooz, should start thinking about it. Later, maybe, sometime in October, when it will be less hot...

P.S. on a related subject, from Haaretz:

It takes an expert in cheap and harmful journalism to identify another one...

30 August 2009

How reading about politics could be enjoyable

Usually when somebody starts to explain to me the intricacies of their nation's internal politicking, I switch off my receptors and nod in precisely measured intervals to assure the lecturer of my full and undivided attention.

This, however, is vastly different. Mandatory, I would say. Enjoy.

Now guess whom do you see?

Hint: it's not the POTUS...

29 August 2009

Who is really behind Iranian unrest?

It is so simple when presented visually:

Thanks to Andrew Ian Dodge.

27 August 2009

Organ harvesting? Wait, dudes - here comes the Troof.

This is what happens when an active Elder leaves the post unattended for a few days. One scribe gets onto a juicy tidbit, and here we are - almost on the brink of war with Sweden. Of course, we could take them easily, but who needs that piece of mostly frozen real estate (it is not for nothing that Swedes themselves were warring with their neighbors for hundreds of years: they were trying to break out of the place, is all)? And the associated fuel and traveling expenses? Nah, this is really a non-starter.

So, in order to allow everyone to chill out, the Elders decided to let the Troof be known and to settle the issue once and for all. Here come some relevant excerpts from the IDF field manual on organ harvesting. Due to shortage of time, the need for translation (the manual is written in Aramaic to encumber its dissemination) and overabundance of irrelevant technical details, only a part of the manual, sufficient for full disclosure, is published - as usual here, for the first time!

Organ Harvesting - The Field Manual

(In the name of Ba'al, Beelzebub and the Elders - by IDF medical corps)

1. Introduction

Organ Harvesting (OH) is one of the objectives to be reached by any field unit alongside its usual field duties, such as (but not limited to) mayhem, destruction, killing, maiming an raping the population and/or livestock, in short - Occupational Therapy (OT).

Every unit is given its OH quota for the day as part of its OT assignment. OH quota is a minimal requirement and could and should be complemented by a) random harvesting of valuable organs from especially healthy Donors (D) and b) harvesting for personal needs, when such harvesting is not contradictory to the requirements of the OH quota. IDF does not object to such fulfillment of personal needs (or desires), as long as such fulfillment improves the morale of the troops.

... [follows a long ideological treatise dealing with the justification of OH based on superiority of Jooz as chosen people, obvious stuff omitted for brevity]

2. Technical advisory

Generally, the preference is for the D to be delivered to the medical staff from the field alive and undamaged, so the harvesting could be performed in the optimal conditions of the professional surgery. However, when the potential D resists plucking, especially when using weapons, it is permissible to immobilize D or even kill him/her if the need arises (the latter act is allowed only if the field unit is equipped by mobile cold storage vehicle.

2.1 Immobilizing D

When D is not responsive to verbal invitation to follow the unit to the nearby medical facility for OH and shows the first signs of rejecting the said invitation, a sharp knock on D's head with a blunt object will usually suffice to overcome the resistance. Plastic handcuffs will then be applied to prevent further inconvenience.

If D is running away and there is no possibility of catching him/her, use of the firearms is indicated. Such use, however, must be judicious and in no way should damage the important organs, which will defeat the whole purpose of OH. To prevent such damage, a diagram of the potential D is shown* below:

The areas painted green are the ones where the D could be shot. Soldiers who damage any other part of D should be punished. After apprehension, D should be given all necessary first aid and care to be transported to the surgery alive.

2.2 Killing D

The only area where D could be shot for the purpose is shown on the diagram below:

After the shot, the body should be immediately placed in the cold storage and transported with all due dispatch to the medical facility.

2.3 Disposal of badly damaged cadavers

If a misplaced round damaged the D's body beyond possible usability, the said body could be transferred to the relatives of the D, after consultation with the unit cook. In case of severe shortage of food supplies - see the Field Manual on Creative Cooking.

... [the standard army morning prayer thanking the deity for giving us spare parts of the gentiles is omitted for brevity here]

(*) Being underfunded as a matter of tradition, the Medical Corps were unable to acquire a clear representation of a human body. This substitute, reaped from an Internet site, is all that was available.

16 August 2009


Out of business for the duration. Be back without a prior notice.

15 August 2009

Hamas vs Jund Ansar Allah or mad vs madder.

Unless you like the headline Hamas gunmen clash with radicals (by Haaretz) better.

Speaking before weekly prayers, Abdel-Latif Moussa - known to followers by the al-Qaida-style nom de guerre Abu al-Nour al-Maqdessi - announced the start of theocratic rule in the Palestinian territories, starting at Rafah, and vowed to implement Islamic laws.
OK, it certainly makes sense. But no, Hamas folks are not happy with it:
Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri called Maqdessi's speech "wrong thinking" and in a clear reference to al-Qaida added that his group "has no affiliation with foreign groups". Hamas's Interior Ministry was blunter, calling Maqdessi "mad".
Curiosier and curiosier...

14 August 2009

Wayne Madsen farts again: Netanyahu Backs Birthers

Go figure how to make a headline easily understood in such a case. After reviewing this one, I can guess that only two words would be easily recognized by most readers. One, of course, is "farts" - was why I didn't go for a fancy synonym, and the other is "Netanyahu". So a short introduction first.

Wayne Madsen calls himself a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist, author and syndicated columnist. He also boasts a distinguished career in intelligence, security and whatnot. Only one of his many titles is relevant for this post: investigative journalist.

Birthers: people who are obsessed with the small, irrelevant and, frankly, already boring issue of Obama's real birthplace. Some people call them racists - I am not sure about that part, since lately it's fashionable in US to call "racist" anyone who objects to anything done by Obama. So I would just call them... well, one jalapeno pepper short of an enchilada.

So, you may want to ask, what does Benjamin Netanyahu aka Bibi have to do with Birthers? The answer is so simple it could make you laugh in that peculiar Dr Watson (how the blazes I didn't get it myself, it's so clear and obvious!) way. Watch:

And laugh, you are entitled now.

OK, now you have seen how a real "investigative reporter" works. If that was too difficult, I can offer a graphic explanation:

1. Bibi - a great candidate for the role of an overall fiend. Doesn't like Obama being against the settlements and generally passive about Iran. Boss and co-conspirator of #2:

2. Lieberman. Obvious right-wing Zionist bully and ogre. Born in Moldova, which makes him a natural ally of #3:

3. Dr. Orly Taitz. Esq. (I have to tread carefully here, she's a lawyer, so...). The blonde image is carefully crafted to hide the Zionist interior and Moldova as birthplace. She is one of the chief Birthers. If you had to design a secret co-conspirator for Lieberman (#2), you couldn't have done better, I swear.

So, to conclude this part: you have seen a bit of a true investigative reporting, discovered a connection explained in three easy steps you couldn't dream up after a 7-courses vegetarian dinner, and now I can squeeze in a few words (including some juicy ad hominems) about the investigative reporter himself. I have done two posts on the amazing Wayne and his wondrous ability to weave names, places, dates etc. into an indestructible web of conspiracies that squeezes and strangles the helpless world. I have also complained about my inability to understand most of it. As you can see, in time-constrained situation Wayne could be clear and concise.

To pay him back in the same manner, I am allowed to disclose some titillating Elders' secrets. It so happens that I am also a Moldova-born, likely to be called Zionist, who spent quite some time in Washington (do I have to detail my ZOG-related activities there? I thought so). But Washington, you see, besides being the seat of ZOG, is also a place where Wayne himself is located most of the time. So now you grok it: Wayne and I are buddies from times immemorial, and what does it tell you about Wayne? Yes, a happy and active Z..., working with other Moldovan characters mentioned above. And more, to be disclosed at a time and a place of the Elders' choice.

I confess that to keep the appearance of enmity, I used this picture of Wayne:

I have added that the picture above shows some kind of an overweight chipmunk doing his best to contain and suppress a humongous flatus. Happily, Wayne looks different now:

Either he's lost a few pounds or his flatulence problem is now under control and became half-manageable. I tend to the latter explanation, since the bout of flatulence you have watched in that clip above was much shorter and much more to the point than his usual delirious and interminable tales of the past. As for the peculiar facial hair growth and the yellow tie - whatever works for the Russian TV...

The last point, since I've mentioned the Russian TV (whose clip you have watched): this clip succeeds to kill two birds with one stone: another reminder to Obama that his presidency ain't going to be no picnic and that the Russians are thoroughly enjoying the whole brouhaha with the Birthers; and to put some salt, albeit of poor quality (since it is produced by the chipmunk) in Bibi's wounds.

Bully for Putin...

13 August 2009

Iran Calls for Ban on Striking Nuclear Facilities

Is somebody there creaming their shiny parade uniforms?

"We are not worried about Israel," said Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran's chief envoy to the IAEA. "Nobody dares to do anything against Iran."
Yep. I always suspected them Trinidad & Tobago folks. Sinister silence and all that...

Cruising: not always what it appears to be. By Andrew Ian Dodge.

If all these snapshots of happy faces on the background of azure ocean, palm trees, love boats, hunky sailors and fabulous on-board dinners haven't caused you a terminal infatuation with cruise ships, here is a second opinion. It just might make you a bit more careful when you part with a humongous amount for something that could be not exactly what you expected.

PETA steps into it again: attacking McDonald’s or our kids?

(Never dreamed I will be defending McDonald’s, even in a roundabout way...)

I am tired of repeating myself, but there is no alternative:

When you think that cheap and revolting propaganda cannot get any cheaper and more revolting, here come PETA puppets - a pitiful result of accidental cross-breeding between STD and Ebola - with a new idea.
It started with fanfares:
Nine years after calling a truce with McDonald’s Corp., People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals says it is going on a new offensive against the Oak Brook-based fast-food giant, this time over the most humane way to kill a chicken.
And here we are now:
Around noon today, people coming to McDonald's for lunch found "unhappy meals." Inside the box they found a bloody rubber chicken, packet of ketchup blood, knife-wielding Ronald McDonald, and a tee-shirt. PETA said it was all part of a bigger message.
Of course, this is effective. Especially with kids...

I hope that the clip doesn't disappear, but the kid in it said loud and clear what he thinks about this new idiotic venture of PETA: it was kind of crazy. And I shudder at the thought about this "bigger message". If the above was only a part, what is coming yet? Who are the next people whom PETA hadn't yet offended, insulted or plainly pissed off?

Anyhoo, I had me a dream after the last non-vegetarian lunch: I was running along a street in Ronald M. uniform, with blood-dripping knife in my hand after a PETA member. I will skip the gory details, but the last scene was where I am sitting at a table in McDonald's eating PETA nuggets from a bucket. Yummy...

Cross-posted on Yourish.com

Swine flu symptoms in one easy step

When you look at the list of symptoms on an official site like this one, there is one easily reached conclusion: with a ten-bullets list of signs you may experience (on one hand) or may not experience (on the other hand), you could be suffering either from swine flu or from green spot fever of prairie dogs from Nagorny Karabach (to use one example of many thousands). Your chances of successful (oh well...) diagnosis are nil for all purposes.

And the reason is laughably simple: the learned physicians that prepared the list of symptoms were internists who couldn't care less about the external, visual signs of the disease. Should they have consulted an ophthalmologist or even an optometrist, the diagnostic process would have been reduced to one item. Which is: just look at a mirror. If you see something like this:

you should stay at home and call your family doctor (or emergency services) immediately.

Hat tip: D.B.

12 August 2009

Minister Eli Yishai and the unbearable lightness of rabble rousing

Granted, Israel is far from being the only place on this planet where rabble rousing is practiced. As in other countries that follow the tenets of democracy, there is no effective protection from the verbal pollution of the kind that some politicians and other public figures produce. Which is a pity. Because the manner in which our Interior Minister* Eli Yishai is using ethnicity as a political blackmail tool is, in my humble opinion, a borderline case of incitement against the state.

The recent brouhaha started with Eli Yishai's colleague and senior Shas politico Shlomo Benizri being convicted of bribery, breach of trust, and conspiracy to commit a crime. Of course, Mr Benizri is only a single link in the growing chain** of Shas luminaries ending their political careers in criminal courts. It happens so consistently and so predictably that it's not fun to follow anymore. And of course, Mr. Benizri is crying persecution, and he is doing it so loudly that his appeal to the Supreme Court ended by additional three years of prison time, after the said court reviewed the case. With a scathing commentary:

But now it is time for Benizri to serve his sentence, like any other convicted criminal; and his party and its leader must once again ask themselves how it happened that Shas, the very party that espouses social issues, is the one that has nurtured so many delinquents.
But of course, the words fell on deaf ears. Aside of that part about "social issues" that obviously triggered a knee-jerk response. As a weapon of last resort, Benizri's friend and political leader Eli Yishai turns to the ethnic issue in his appeal for pardon sent to President Peres:
As a public figure, a son of the Sephardic community, the Minister of Interior and Deputy Prime Minister and chairman of Shas, I join [the request to pardon Benizri submitted by someone else]. I don't want to use arguments raised by others who refer to the feelings of discrimination, the 'second Israel,' the feelings of oppression and the social wound that still bleeds.

I will also refrain from referring to expressions that give harsh and precise expression to the deep feelings of sorrow that exist and the exposed nerves, even though they too should be taken into account in response to this request addressed to you.
While some may find comical content in that "I don't want to use..., I will also refrain...", I find a nauseating and repeating pattern of rabble rousing of the worst kind used to deflect the issue of criminal wrongdoing into the realm of ethnic grievances - the realm where Shas***, as a political entity, excels from the day it was conceived.

It will be a stupid blindness to deny that this country has known its share of ethnic discrimination and that some social inequality still exists as a result of the past wrongdoings. Nevertheless, blaming the Benizri trial outcome on ethnic persecution is an intentional and malicious slander (against whom, by the way? - especially when used by a minister and deputy PM?), used in coldly calculating and revolting manner. The moral turpitude of Eli Yishai will make a snake throw up.

Says Haaretz editorial:
Israel's Interior Minister and Deputy Prime Minister is not conversant with the workings of democracy or the rule of law. As someone who grew up in a party run by an autocratic rabbi, Eli Yishai believes this is how the state should be run as well. There is no other way to explain his scandalous letter to President Shimon Peres...
Beg pardon, dear Haaretz, but you have gone off kilter. Eli Yishai is far from being stupid, he knows quite well how democracy works and doesn't have any use for it - unless for his own nefarious ends - which is precisely how he uses his freedom of speech in this case.

One thing that Eli Yishai is unable to quit in that democracy: being a professional Mizrahi.

Too bad...

(*) And Deputy PM, which means that this character in certain circumstances could become our PM. The mere thought curdles one's blood...

(**) It is not to say that other, more established parties are cleaner - they just have had more time at the public trough, so police investigations regarding them are more spread out in time. Shas folks are greedy, as many a newcomer is.

(***) This (and a few other, lesser political entities) misogynistic, gay-hating, reactionary and overall medieval gang would have not been out of place in some other Middle-Eastern states we mention as an epitome of dark ages.

Michael Jackson RIP (or not?)

Jams made my day with this one. Hope yours will improve too.

11 August 2009

Lenin - still dangerous

If you need proof:

A Belarus citizen died falling from a Lenin's monument, upon which he climbed being drunk. The tragic incident occurred on Monday in the town Uvarovichi of the Gomel region, said local police. Young man began to swing from the monument's hand. However, the figure, made of plaster, hadn't withstood the pressure and split apart. The guy fell to the ground, where he was struck by the statue fragments. The victim died in the ambulance on the way to the regional hospital of Gomel.
The article mentions that it's not a unique story, linking it to another similar case in 2003. And the common reason (beside the natural urge to climb on Lenin) is:
Obviously, in both cases the young people were not aware that the monument is made of fragile material [plaster], since monuments of this kind are often covered with paint of metallic color.
Not unlike the whole late Soviet Union.

Hat tip: M.T.

The land of miracles

The land of miracles keeps giving:

On Sunday, Gaza militants fired mortars at a crossing into Israel just as Palestinian patients were being transferred for treatment, a Palestinian official said.

"It's a miracle nobody was hurt," Health Ministry official Dr. Moaiya Hassanain said.

Two radical Palestinian groups, the Popular Front and the Democratic Front, said they fired 12 mortars at the Erez crossing. The Israel Defense Forces said about six shells exploded near the Erez crossing as the transfer was in progress.

According to the procedure, the Palestinian patients are brought to the crossing in local ambulances and transferred to Israeli ambulances for their trips to hospitals.
What can one say about this act of national liberation struggle?


08 August 2009

Reading Leaving the Alamo

Just finished reading the book by Dick Stanley, my good pen-friend from Austin, Texas, retired Texas newspaperman (politics, crime, science, medicine, technology), married father of one child, antique rose gardener, self-publisher, and Vietnam combat veteran (MACV, I Corps, 1969). A good man, and no, this is not a critic's review of the book. As far as I am concerned, all literature critics could... but that's another story.

This post happens to be not about the book, which you better buy and read for yourself (believe me, PDF is way too overrated a tool, so do like I did - the book is two or three clicks away).

The thing that caught (again) my attention in the first story of the book was:

"Do you think they will call us baby killers, too?" a young captain, Abi Badil, an Army trauma surgeon home from Iraq, had asked Ben the previous summer.
Causing my heart to experience that unpleasant clenching sensation I get when being reminded of the hate some people vent in the entirely wrong direction. Granted, USA is a big country, with all kinds of people, including all kinds of whacked out brains and minds. Still, it is a bad sign for a nation when its people hate and deride those whose lot is not to reason why. I hope I'm mistaken, but this is the sign of internal rot setting in. Not that some of the folks who curse the soldiers and spit at them would mind...

It is difficult to apply logic when your instinctive response will be to spit back. Or something stronger. But how do you explain to a hateful creature that he or she is as responsible as the next citizen for the soldier being where he is and doing what he does? That he or she being unable to prevent this or another war that put the country's sons and daughters in the harm's way and yes, made some of them into killers (and some of them dead) is far from being the soldier's fault. This is democracy for you, nimrod, and this is your doing and thus, your fault, too.

And the question that the young captain asks... unfortunately, the answer is yes, there will be some deranged haters, name callers and worse. So, keep you head high, captain, and be proud: you are a good man, one of many good men who do what they have to do.

Now back to the book. Not being a critic, I'll be short: I learned from it. It is wholesome and, like your best rye bread, true. Like a good slice of rye bread* it doesn't try to deceive you. I assure you that it will be a good investment of your hard-earned money. So click here.

(*) This is a point I feel we may have a disagreement about with Dick . Americans don't dig bread. That spongy white stuff...

P.S. The quote was used without an explicit permission. I hope it's OK.

finally i agree with roseanne

bar that is as regards her past life thanks to aussie dave

07 August 2009

Baitullah Mehsud left this world

Without washing his hair beforehand, as it looks. Unless, of course, it wasn't his own hair but that of his beloved horse.

Still it was unwashed...

Bibi going nuclear, Fatah going spare, etc.

A photograph of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu visiting the Dimona nuclear reactor was aired Tuesday night on the Israel Broadcasting Authority's Channel 1 news show Mabat.
The article goes into speculations about the reason for the visit, such as (for instance) sending a message to Mahmoud the Mad, about the provenance of the picture, which existence is denied by PM's office etc.

Methinks it's taken on a dairy farm. If you could prove otherwise, using this poor shot, go ahead. And if you think that dairy farms are less important than nuclear reactors, think again.
The Fatah party, which is meeting in Bethlehem, beat the incitement drum Thursday and accused Israel of being responsible for the “assassination” of Yasser Arafat, who died in 2004.
The article carries a (low quality) picture - (is it a day for low quality pictures or what?) that may shed some light on the real culprit:

Surely if a man is ready to stoop so low for a childish prank of giving his boss horns for the photo op, he is able to...

And than comes Haaretz, in all their disarming naivete and asks:

Charming, just charming, folks... check the methods on www.paranoid_schmucks.com.
The Obama administration hopes to tamp down violent extremism by showing that "seemingly intractable problems and legitimate grievances" such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can be resolved through diplomacy and democracy...
That article comes under a headline Obama 'has no illusions on terror'. Surely not, only a few delusions, which, deity willing, will be taken care of by the flow of time. Time is known as the best cure for this malady. In most cases, that is.

Well, another week went by.

05 August 2009

At least 4 die in gym shooting near Pittsburgh. Plus a mystery.

Any tragic affair could have a funny side, as CNN is hell-bent to prove.

The shooter, who was not immediately released, was among the fatalities, said Gary Vituccio, manager of Collier township.
Not to mention the politically correct inclusion of the shooter in the list of "fatalities", but do they really release shooters immediately in Collier? Even the dead ones?

Snapshot of the text for posterity:

Human dog hybrid

Not that any other dog is better, but this is another proof that the only thing dogs are good for is:

04 August 2009

U.S. hikers detained in Iran share love of travel, learning

CNN reports:

Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Joshua Fattal -- three University of California-Berkeley graduates believed to have been arrested Friday after crossing from Iraq into Iran during a hike -- are seasoned travelers with an appetite for interaction with other cultures, friends and associates said.
There is something missing from Berkeley curriculum, I suspect. Common sense?

In any case, Shane Bauer's site - highly recommended.

Oh Caroline, Caroline...

That was so easy. Like shooting fish in a barrel.

On the other hand, somebody has to do it, and who better than Norm?

Wishful thinking

They call themselves The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement. They hope to persuade us all to stop reproducing. I sympathize with the goals, but cannot contribute anything to their effort personally, being out of reproductive cycle already.

Otherwise, they have trapped themselves, saying this:

Crowded conditions and resource shortages will improve as we become less dense.
No way, Hose. We have been dense, we are dense and we'll stay dense not matter what.

Via The Texas Scribbler.

03 August 2009

O Porrajmos – Zigeunernacht, the destruction of the Zigeunerfamilienlager at Birkenau

Better late than never. In memory of the Roma people that perished.

Toilet Readers of the world, rejoice!

Dear fellow TRs,

After centuries of being neglected and kept in disdain - esp. by our spouses and other competitors for Shared Toilet Time (STT), lack of understanding, medical and other attention, finally the day arrived for us to come out of the water-closet smiling: we have been noticed! The article Toilet reading habits in Israeli adults* is the first ray of light in the darkness of public ignorance. And we can proudly state that from hitherto insignificant, dispersed and somewhat persecuted minority we are emerging as the world most powerful faction:

We found that TR is common and involves 52.7% of the population.
I don't have to explain the meaning of the above number. Just point out a political party that reached this level of support in any democratic country... all we lack is organization - an then the world is in our hands.

(*) Of course, the results of this local research are relevant to the whole world. There is no reason to assume that all TRs are concentrated here. Besides, the article states clearly: "The incidence is similar to that reported in other countries."

It is in our power now to put the world on the new, healthy social, economic and ideological basis. No more hiding in the... er... restroom, no more need of pitiful excuses. Just look at this:
This habit probably exists since then the appearance of printed books. A controversy exists whether TR may improve or worsen bowel habits. One of the claims is that TR extends the stay in the toilets, leads to an inefficient strain and may lead to the development of constipation and hemorrhoids. Others claim the opposite.

Our hypothesis was that TR provides a distraction and acts as an unconscious relaxation technique and allows an easier defecation process.
This clinches the deal. Of course, our rule will be benevolent and promises to bring uncounted advantages to all - in economic, cultural and public safety areas, as I will shortly demonstrate. Think of the following changes that we are going to introduce (examples only, to be fully developed in the New World constitution):
  • Building and architecture: revision of toilet policy to allow the TR people to read undisturbed, by increasing the number of available facilities. For buildings that are built to accommodate public forums of different kinds (parliaments, city halls, party HQs etc.) - suitable communication infrastructure that will allow TRs to carry out their duties in situ.
  • Public toilets to be increased to allow unlimited usage time by TRs. Eventual goal - to eliminate the necessity of STT (see above).
  • Porcelain industry and furniture: design of more comfortable seating arrangements.
  • Specially designed book clubs and libraries for TRs.
  • Health care and public hygiene: improved care of toilet seats. Psychiatrists and analysts - to be trained in services to TRs in their natural environment.
  • Publishing houses: washable books and washable e-book readers.
  • Transportation: special sections / railway carriages / buses... for TRs
  • Science: increase in quality TR time will cause a drastic acceleration in scientific progress. It is well known* that most momentous scientific discoveries were made during TR.
  • Etc.
To be sure, the new era of economic, cultural and general prosperity will be crowned by abolishing states, borders, parties, races and religions. It also goes without saying that at some stage the issue of non-TRs will have to be resolved - whether by persuasion or by more drastic measures, remains to be seen.

The new era is afoot, ladies and gentlemen. Of course, not everything will be smooth in transition to the New World Order. For instance, this worrisome fact:
The preferred reading material was: "whatever is around" or more than one answer in 42% of TRs followed by newspapers (38%), books (9%), crossword or Sudoku (5%) and professional literature in 2.3%.
The statistics and esp. the mention of Sudoku and crosswords show lack of TR planning, expressed best by the late Douglas Adams in The Meaning of Liff:
Great Wakering (participial vb.)

Panic which sets in when you badly need to go to the lavatory and cannot make up your mind about what book or magazine to take with you.
We, TRs, as a new rulers of the world, should insure that every TR session be planned in advance and started in an orderly fashion.

Or, speaking about sore spots:
Among the 263 reading/playing, 92.8% only read, 1.5% only play and 5.7% enjoy both activities. Among the questioned, 26.5% mentioned that they own a laptop or a handheld computer.
The 1.5% + 5.7% mentioned above should be warned severely (once). This "playing" phenomenon should be dealt with by any means available. And these 26.5% laptop and/or handheld owners should be taught that the only activity allowed involving their electronic gadgets is reading. Or else.

And, of course, the newspaper readers should be encouraged (gently!) to switch gradually to books. In short, there is a long way to go.

The future is here, fellow TRs. And may our TR be serene and not interfered with. Amen.

(*) The myth about the falling apple assisting Newton was invented by constipated prudes. He wasn't sitting under no tree.