30 September 2009

Oh Debka, Debka... or is Galloway a Zionist agent?

Some time ago (precisely - on August 19, 2009) I was stricken by a news item that appeared in Debka. The article on the Fatah internal power struggles wasn't particularly striking, even this part:

After days of vicious infighting and factional horse trading, the convention confirmed Mahmoud Abbas, 74, as leader and awarded the hardliner Abu Maher Ghneim, 71, his chosen first lieutenant and successor as chairman of the Palestinian Authority, the highest number of votes to the new Central Committee. The transition will take place over a period of time.
Even if Debka to be believed (oh well...), the news is not something unusual. Transfer of power in autocracy from one old fart to another is not unheard of, after all. But the picture that accompanies the article was really mindboggling.

What, I says to myself, has George (The Spiv) Galloway to do with political infighting in good ole Fatah? After all, he has just returned from Hamastan where he pledged allegiance to that rising Mediterranean entity:

But then, after straining my eyes a bit more, I have seen the text under that first picture, it insists that the subject is no other then Abu Maher Ghneim! Granted, Abu Ghneim is a dark horse, not frequently seen and there is not a lot of info about him. Still it's beyond amazing.

So, there are several solutions of this mystery:
  1. A case of "Separated at Birth". This level of likeness makes Abu Ghneim and the Spiv sure winners in Aussie Dave's pantheon and he owns me a big one now.
  2. A joint operation by Mossad and MI6 to get the Spiv out of both London and Gaza and foist him on unsuspecting population of the West Bank as someone else. Killing three birds with one stoned, so to say. In this case the secret allegiance of the Spiv to the Zionist entity is clear.
  3. Another typical blooper by Debka. Still kind of interesting, but no cigar.
Of course, for the purpose of selling as many copies of this here blog as possible, option 2 is much more promising than the others.

So, what do you think?

Adolf HItler is alive, after all

Following the news about the skull:

A bone fragment believed to be part of Adolf Hitler's skull has been revealed as being that of an unidentified woman, US scientists have said.

The section of bone - marked with a bullet hole - was used to support the theory that Hitler shot himself.
, some people engage in speculations about the fate of the subject. Several working hypotheses are being promoted:
  1. Hitler fled on a 'ghost convoy' to Argentina. Hardly believable that this racist will agree to live between Latinos.
  2. Hitler 'fled to Antarctica in a U-Boat'. Too cold, even if somewhat closer to the ideal of Valhalla.
  3. Using secret rocket technology, Hitler fled to a Nazi base on the moon. Nah. Difficult to gather sufficient audience for his rants.
  4. Hitler is alive and well and staying in San Diego. Close. Very close. Almost a hit, in fact, because here is the evidence that he is in US:

Pink Toed Tarantula and the art of car salesmanship

That Pink Toed Tarantula is a beautiful spider is unquestionable:

At least if you are into spiders. The fact that it became a popular search term in Google is stranger. But this article on the subject had a sentence that really cracked me up:

They are beautiful and furry species and they are available in dark black to metallic gray.
There is nothing on other options available, such as navigation system, climate control and spoilers - how could one forget spoilers? - but at least the provenance of the article's author is clear.

29 September 2009

Post - Yom Kippur blues

That morning after the Yom Kippur is different for me from all the others for some intangible reason. It is difficult to rev up the engine after the silent day and a half. Or whatever.

Anyway, slowly and lazily paging through the links:

Pond-dwellers can’t take the moral high ground

CiF Watch folks blasting another piece by Seth. Their engines are certainly tuned and revved up to the max. I don't really know, there is a sentence to admire in that piece:

Shouting racist obscenities in a public place such as a football stadium requires tough action on the part of club officials and the police in order to send the message that modern Britain will not tolerate the kind of bigotry that so hampered attempts at communal cohesion in the 20th century.
Hats off, people. Faulkner should take notice, methinks. On the other hand, being dead, he couldn't, most probably.

Yet there are some other valuable utterances in this post: like the much abused:
There are those, myself included, who refuse to ascribe to the theory that all anti-Israel sentiment is rooted in antisemitism: to take such a view, as many do, is both disingenuous and dishonest, and is more often than not employed as a means of stifling any honest criticism of Israeli government actions.
You can't help being awed by:
In less enlightened countries such as Iran, Israel and Italy, politicians and civil servants think nothing about using vile and inflammatory language to whip up hate against minority groups, and the effect such rhetoric has on their societies is palpably corrosive. Britain must not allow the spectre of bigotry to overshadow efforts to stamp out racism wherever it rears its head.
And you cannot help being surprised by:
The fear and paranoia that engulfs much of the Jewish community in England is only fed by actions such as Laxton's.
Do they (fear and paranoia) really engulf? Is it time to send in the cavalry? After all, what community wouldn't be devastated by this broadside:
This was not a shaven-headed English Defence League protester venting his fury, or an Islamist extremist preaching fire and brimstone from the steps of a mosque – had it been, the crime would have been no less severe, but at least the outburst would have been viewed as less surprising than when emanating from the mouth of a senior civil servant in the employ of the country's rulers.
If you are still breathing after a feeble attempt to understand the thrust of that piece of prose, I shall try to summarize all the above in a concise way:

The primordial fear and creeping paranoia that squeeze the last molecules of oxygen out of the strained lungs of the Jewish community in England, so used to and enamored by the fury vented by low-brow beer-gut skinheads of EDL and sonorous ululations of an Islamist extremist preaching about Sodom's chemical by-products from the steps of the mosque, the fear and paranoia exacerbated by the repeated rumors of the awful words emanating from a certain civil servant in a temple of health, which walls are now stained forever by the toxic residue of hate speech against the community that is quaking in its collective shoes in wait for the next letter Seth will choose for the countries he is unhappy with because their civil servants are hardly civil enough to be brought to the table of the wise and enlightened international community of a chosen few who understand that using vile and inflammatory language is not a good way to whip up (and keep thoroughly whipped) hate against minority groups and who are united with Seth in understanding that not all anti-Israel sentiment is rooted in antisemitism and that some of it comes naturally or from a prolonged illness, and that to use this artificial strawman is the best way to get out of any argument, especially with Abe Foxman, who, while not mentioned, is a permanent specter that futilely attempts to overshadow Seth's vision in which that communal cohesion in the 20th century will be dwarfed by the communal cohesion we shall all reach when we finally understand that the best way to reach it is to stop thinking for ourselves and, instead, listen attentively for long enough to that mantra Seth repeats about the anti-Israeli sentiment, which is rooted (or not, I am getting all mixed up here, so please help me out) in the deeper knowledge and understanding of the universal truth that could, in turn, be reached by embracing a specific branch of Judaism that only Seth could define and identify for us chickens.

How does Faulkner feel now, I wonder?

Well, I shall go an take a short breather before I study in details that opus by another learned correspondent of CiF, one Antony Lerman, on the question whether people should use the term "Nazis" re these unspeakable cads, these inhuman bignosed blood sucking thieving Zionists oppressors. I missed it at the time, more is the pity. It will surely get my engine going...

Two thing to agree about with Comical Hugo

What is that secret shtick that enables Larry King to get the real juice out of people? Anyway, here we go, from an interview with Comical Hugo:

"I'm a man with many defects," he said.
I would mention only one: the fact of his birth.
As to Carter, Chavez said, "Yes, I read that and I regret for him, because I think he's totally confounded and lost."
True again. But Carter is not far away from Comical Hugo, this pair will meet again in the same neck of the woods, I am more than sure.

28 September 2009

Beware of cheap Chinese virginity-faking devices!

Pre-marital sex carries a strong social stigma in many Arab societies
A leading Egyptian scholar has demanded that people caught importing a female virginity-faking device into the country should face the death penalty.
More here. I have weighed the pros and the cons carefully and decided that, on the whole, the cons are winning at least by a head. No way I would be caught using one of these.

27 September 2009

Haveil Havalim: Pre-Yom Kippur Edition

Read this cool Haveil Havalim by Benji Lovitt, it may calm down your gastric juices.


Blast from the past

Two excerpts from a book "Housekeeping" published in Soviet Union in the sixties.

Remember that you must prepare yourself every day for your husband's return from work. Start with the children: wash them, comb their hair, dress them in clean an nice garbs. They should line at the door and greet their father upon arrival. Make yourself pretty for the occasion and try to adorn yourself, for instance by tying a bow in your hair. Don't try to talk to your husband, remember how tired he is and what must he go through every day at work for your sake. Feed him in silence and only after he is finished with the newspaper you could attempt to address him.
From the same book, the chapter "Advices for men":
After consummating the intimate act with your wife, you should allow her to go to the bathroom. Don't follow her, however, let her spend some time alone. It is possible that she may want to cry.
Thanks: Y.Z.

26 September 2009

Only Israel Should Have Nuclear Weapons

No, it is not my statement. It is a headline of a short post by Craig Murray and, at the same time it is what is called irony in Queen's English. Or is it sarcasm? What do I know, I am a lowly Elders' Hasbarah grunt and cannot judge a man who, at the masthead of his blog displays a list of honorifics that could easily sink the Mayflower:

Craig Murray is a human rights activist, writer, and former British Ambassador, Rector of the University of Dundee and an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Lancaster School of Law.
(Where does that passion for honorifics come from in some human rights activists, by the way? Someone has to do a research on the subject, methinks.)

Anyway, Craig Murray is the same guy who once raised a quite commendable hell about a fat Uzbek oligarch Alisher (Jabba) Usmanov. And whose Wiki entry reads like raw material for about ten new Le Carres. With some Asian erotic elements thrown in, which Le Carre usually shuns - more is the pity. But I digress.

The irony of that headline is that, if I dig the text, Mr Murray thinks that... wait a second, I really don't understand what he thinks, it's so full of that irony (sarcasm?). So let's go for the good old-fashioned fisking.
A friend of mine in MI6 told me earlier this year that for the first time, the Israeli nuclear arsenal is now bigger than the British nuclear arsenal.
Hmm... Is it a part of MI6 mandate to brief their friends on the comparative strength of the British nuclear arsenal? Even friends so adventurous as Mr Murray? But let's go forward:
Plainly that is of no concern to Gordon Brown, because while he exhibited righteous indignation today at Iran's attempts to acquire a nuclear weapon, Israel's large and expanding nuclear arsenal was not mentioned at all.
I guess in this passage the author hints (unless that irony is used again...) that Gordon Brown is wrong about Iran. Or is it that he is wrong about Israel? Probably about both, but I could be reaching. Now to some numbers:
The potential to make a bomb in a few years should bring sanctions; the possession of an illegal arsenal of 162 warheads (in February - probably 165 by now) should not even rate a mention.
Well, here I can correct a mistake and at the same time be of help to MI6: this friend of Mr Murray was overtrained in reading the Hebrew texts from right to left. He forgot that in Hebrew texts the numbers should still be read from left to right. So it is 261 warheads and not 162. Besides, that number is only correct where the (fake) nuclear warheads that we allow the resident MI6 agents to count, are considered. Otherwise, the number is much, much higher. You may want to pay attention to what Tony, one of Mr Murray admirers, says in the comments:
Apparently Europe is already on the front line, because a large proportion of Israel's nuclear weapons are targetted at European cities, and everyone realises how crazy they are - which explains the extent of their influence.
I guess, this Tony character is the same MI6 man what enlightened Mr Murray about the numbers. Because after that smashing discovery above, he feverishly tried to cover his behind:
The above may of course not be true, but I did read it somewhere a few months ago. I can't remember where - but it did explain a few things with regards to Israel's behaviour and the lack of condemnation and sanctions for a regime operating both Apartheid and Genocide policies.
No need to apologize, Tone - the bird is already out. True or not true - who cares? And re the following:
As strange as it may seem, I actually wanted to spend some time in a Kibbutz in my youth and know someone who did.
No Worries, Tone: we'll arrange for you some quality Time on one of the best Kibbutzes. You shall never forget the Place, I promise. But I digress again. By now we all understand that to keep our nukes targeting Europe (and it doesn't end with Europe, I can assure you), we need to count the nukes by thousands. After all, you cannot target one city while neglecting another, it may cause envy and bad blood between the two. Of course, there are mind rays and other ways and means, but it's impossible to fully replace a good ole nuke, isn't it? Back to Mr Murray:
New Labour have of course been providing heavy water and nuclear components to Israel, with a false paper trail through Norway.
That's Old Labor, I suggest. The New Labor is too new to be of any assistance, not that we've asked them for any. Open your history books, Mr Murray. As for the paper trail through Norway: where do you think Norway got all that oil (Our patented drill-under-Saudis technology should be your guess)?
I am very pleased that Brown has put the UK's nuclear weapons into disarmament talks and has endorsed the goal of eliminating nuclear weapons.
We are all very pleased. This move will eventually reduce the taxes in United Kingdom and, as a result, shopping in London may become attractive again. Like it was once. Besides, I could never figure out why New Labor needs these nukes anyway. It seems to me that the last raid by Normans - or was it Vikings? - was a lot of time ago, and Brits could relax by now. Unless Visigoths have some secret plans of spreading northwest. In any case, neither London nor even Dover were recently rocketed by a neighbor with an old grievance, and I don't recall someone promising to wipe UK of the maps...

But who knows, maybe Brown should keep a few, them French folks still have a shitload of nukes. It may so happen one of these days that Sarko will get pissed off by some inferior wine served at dinner in Buckingham Palace or summat, and he has a temper on him, one can't disregard it. Brits shouldn't count on the famous US nuclear umbrella anymore, now that the new guy in the White House is more into engaging with all sorts, instead of wiping out all sorts, if you see what I mean.

Otherwise, I have another idea for PM Brown, about the way of saving a quid or two, seeing as he is looking for new ways to cut the budget. I would say, all these MI6 guys who kibitz into other people's nuke factories, which, as it is officially known, don't even exist - why doesn't he call them back home and find them some other, more profitable occupation? Judging by their obvious inability to count these nonexistent nukes, they, most probably, spend their time fixing their expense accounts and raising all manner of hell in Tel Aviv.

Yes, now back to the headline. Only Israel Should Have Nuclear Weapons, our ironic Mr Murray says. What can I say - take out the irony, and who knows? It's a good idea.

Hat tip: Andrew Ian Dodge.

25 September 2009

To educate Manuel Zelaya

While the forests are full of wild echoes from all these UN General Assembly speeches, a less significant voice from a Brazilian embassy basement somewhere in Tegucigalpa is being slowly but surely smothered.

It's been 89 days since Manuel Zelaya was booted from power. He's sleeping on chairs, and he claims his throat is sore from toxic gases and "Israeli mercenaries'' are torturing him with high-frequency radiation.
Hmm... judging by the symptoms (sore throat), the man's days are already numbered. But it is never late to educate a man, at least in the hope that others will learn in the process.

It is interesting to notice how some folks never hesitate before blaming these mythical "Israeli mercenaries" when their predicament becomes too shitty. The truth is that there are no Israeli mercenaries in Tegucigalpa, in fact Mossad (to take one example) still don't believe there is a place with such a name. Also, there is no need for toxic gases, it's really a crude technique better confined to history lessons. Just an advice (we have to show some humanity, you see): if the feeling of being surrounded by toxic gases continues, ask you hosts to stop ordering the Mexican takeaways. Go for Chinese.

Of course, we (the Elders) are going to do Mr Zelaya in, but our mind rays, projected from our CHQ (wouldn't you die to know its location, you momzers?) easily get to any point on this planet. And beyond, if necessary. And they don't smell - you can take it to the bank. Although why would Mr Zelaya need a bank at this stage, is unclear.

You understand by now that this assertion that "mercenaries were likely to storm the embassy" is ridiculous. Why would we do something like that, when our mind ray team is doing what needs to be done? But one has to make allowances for the poor state of the subject's brain, being slowly roasted by the rays.

As for this:
"I prefer to march on my feet than to live on my knees before a military dictatorship,'' Zelaya said in a series of back-to-back interviews.
Sorry, hombre, both options are out for now. We got the cash in advance, so think about something else, about a third option - something celestial, involving wings, harps, marching on a cloud, whatever...

With thanks to Dick Stanley.

Hurray to Canada! And to the jetlagged Man!

After seeing the Canadian delegation walking out of the chamber at the start of Mahmoud the Mad's speech, we, the Elders, are finally convinced of the sincerity of the Canadian Zionist conversion.

Now, especially with US delegation delaying, stumbling and mumbling with their walkout, there is no reason to delay our final blessing of the takeover of what is currently considered United States of America by Canada. Take it and use it, folks. The hell with that new quota for maple syrup, we'll talk about it later.

Consider this map approved as of today.

Now to the other issue - that of the Man - the King of Kings, the Top Dog, the Big Honcho - you understand I cannot use his name, there being more versions of it than ticks in his garment. In short, this one:

Terry Glavin suggests that the Man was way too high. I don't know, to me it seems that he was rather on the down slopes of his high, what with being unable to tear the UN charter printout completely apart and some lame remarks re Obama. On the other hand, some British sources (you don't want to try to best Brits on understatement) say that "The Libyan leader, making his first trip to America, was obviously discomfited by his jet lag." So be it. Lets' call it jet lag. Especially in the light of one, completely sane idea, uttered by the Man:

Colonel Gaddafi complained that he woke up at 4am New York time “because it was morning in Libya”. He noted that other world leaders also looked sleepy and suggested moving the UN to somewhere “comfortable”.
Absolutely. It is past time for the whole circus to take off to some place where it will be closer to most of the world dictators to gather. Anyway, it chiefly serves their best interests now.

So, another action item for the Canucks from the Elders: when you take over the whole shebang, please make sure that circus moves its tents from Manhattan to Libya. Pronto. You can use the place for a new hospital: Yanks could do with more available beds, what with the new era of public health care you will be bringing and stuff...

And a separate expert opinion from Francis.

24 September 2009

Michael Moore vs. capitalism

I have to confess to something shameful: I don't like Michael Moore. For some intangible and elusive reason, each time I see his picture or watch him on TV or even think about him, the same image comes to mind, born by a quote from an incomparable Russian satirist Ilia Ilf - "Entangled in his own snot, a boy entered the room".

In this case, I haven't seen Moore entering the room. But exiting it, he was definitely covered with more snot than he carried initially, all of that of his own doing. Judge for yourself:

Moore: ...And whoever has the money has the power. And right now, in America, tonight, Larry, the richest 1 percent have more financial wealth than the bottom 95 percent combined.

King: You're in that 1 percent, though?

Moore: I don't think I'm in that 1 percent, but I make documentary films. But I mean, obviously, I do well because my films have done well. But, you know, even if I were, I think it's my responsibility -- my moral duty that if I've done well, that I have to make sure that everybody else.

King: Does well too or has a chance?

Moore: Well, has at least a chance but that -- and that the pie is divided fairly amongst the people and not just a few people get the majority of the loot and everybody else has to struggle for the crumbs.
Divided fairly... will it be too cheap of me to inquire what part of the pie Moore collects from his "documentaries" goes to his film crew? Also - compared to, for example, his bill for Krispy Kreams?

Nah, let's leave him alone, with his snot, of course.

Otherwise, you know, I could even like him, fat, self-aggrandizing, lying no-good SOB that he is. Why not, really?

Farouk - you are confusing me!

Mind-boggling, really:

Egypt's culture minister says a Western conspiracy "cooked up in New York" prevented him from becoming the next head of the UN's agency for culture and education. Farouk Hosny says "European countries and the world's Jews" wanted him to lose.
Why does he invent that crapola about European countries? Why do we need... oh, what the heck...

Hotel Babi Yar - Ukrainians to dance on the graves of Jews?

Read this.

Update: Kiev mayor scraps Babi Yar hotel plan


The 19 Pound Baby Not Largest Baby Ever Born

So, a 19.2 pound tyke was born. Not a big deal, since, according to Guinness World Records, the heaviest baby born to a healthy mother was a boy weighing 22 pounds, 8 ounces (that is 10.2 kg in normal world), born to Carmelina Fedele in Aversa, Italy in September 1955. Here is the champ:

That kid in front is not there as a snack, but for comparison purposes only. Although, if the truth be told, the new "lightweight" is also impressive:

Yep. Till 120.

Pregnant woman impregnated again

Oh boy...

The Grovenburg babies may be a rare case of superfetation, or conceiving while pregnant, doctors said.
Superfetation, shmuperfetation - I say men should be indemnified against cases like this. Doubly, too...

Khloe Kardashian or Corpus Delicti?

I am not sure why that legal term bothers the surfers today, I became a bit more enlightened about Ms Kardashian after some browsing. Still, it looks like a good point in time to relax. Here comes some corpus delecti, so to say:


23 September 2009

Ich bin kein Berliner?

The more assuredly President Barak Obama's administration settles into its routine and stable mode of operation after a few pretty chaotic months, the more questions about the White House foreign policy are being raised, both by the friends and by the enemies.

I want to be careful, but there is an increasing feeling that the main thread of the foreign policy is favoring extreme caution and even direct "disengagement" steps all over the world where there is a chance of political collision with other major players.

Recently I read an interesting article by a Russian journalist Vladimir Abarinov*, touching on several aspects of Obama's foreign travails. With the author's kind permission and with some assistance from Google, I've translated the article and am posting it here in its entirety:

It's unfashionable to recall Barack Obama's Berlin and Prague speeches today in Washington. Then he needed the sympathy of Europeans and to show Americans aTV picture of the crowd cheering the coming of the messiah. Today it doesn't matter anymore. In response to the mention of Berlin and Prague's speeches displeased Obama's administration officials cringe and blush, as if caught in an unseemly act.

In Berlin Obama, then still a presidential candidate, expressively recited the text about the Berlin blockade, recalling how 60 years ago the U.S. established an air bridge to supply the city:

On that day, much of this continent still lay in ruin. The rubble of this city had yet to be built into a wall. The Soviet shadow had swept across Eastern Europe, while in the West, America, Britain, and France took stock of their losses, and pondered how the world might be remade. ... The streets where we stand were filled with hungry families who had no comfort from the cold. But in the darkest hours, the people of Berlin kept the flame of hope burning.
How archaic these words they sound today! Voices from the past: Ich bin ein Berliner, Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall ...

In Prague, the U.S. president reiterated the intergovernmental agreement on the deployment of the missile defense sites in the Czech Republic and Poland, concluded by his predecessor, shall remain in force. Here is a quote... :
Let me be clear: Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile activity poses a real threat, not just to the United States, but to Iran's neighbors and our allies. The Czech Republic and Poland have been courageous in agreeing to host a defense against these missiles. As long as the threat from Iran persists, we intend to go forward with a missile defense system that is cost-effective and proven. If the Iranian threat is eliminated, we will have a stronger basis for security, and the driving force for missile defense construction in Europe at this time will be removed.
The Iranian threat has not disappeared but it does not matter.

I do not even want to delve into the arguments of the White House and the Pentagon. Experts say that Moscow has actually won nothing, that the new mobile missile defense network is a technological breakthrough, impossible to achieve for Russia. But it does not matter. I'm not interested in the compensation that the Czechs and Poles will receive. This is not a technical question. For Moscow it was a matter of principle. Moscow scored a political victory, and Washington knows it. Even the media loyal to Obama says that this is a capitulation.

President made not only a politically irresponsible but an immoral decision. Its forerunner was the lack of participation in the events in Gdansk to mark the 70 anniversary of the Second World War. Three months Warsaw couldn't get a reply to their invitation. Finally Warsaw was told that there was no one available to go, everyone is on a Labor Day vacation. Hearing this, a Polish diplomat apologized for the fact that Hitler started the war on September 1, without waiting for an American holiday to be over. In the end the U.S. delegation in Gdansk was led by an Obama's national security adviser, General James Jones. It is as if Russia sent its Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev.

Does America reduce its military-political presence in Europe? Difficult to believe, but you have to believe it. A bigger strategic error is difficult to imagine. Historical destinies of Europe and America are inextricably linked.

In XVII-XVIII centuries, the North American colonies participated in several European wars, spread to the New World - for the Palatinate, the Spanish and Austrian Succession and the Seven Years War. France and Spain were allies of the young American republic in the War of Independence. Bidding farewell to the nation, George Washington commanded her to refrain from strong alliances with European powers. "Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground?", He asked rhetorically, "Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor or caprice? " But in 1801 the United States sent its Mediterranean squadron to war with the Muslim pirates and freed Europeans from this scourge.

The Monroe Doctrine is the manifesto of U.S. isolationism. But its proclamation in 1823 was a preemptive response to the plans for the intervention of the Holy Union in order to restore the status quo of the former Spanish colonies. In his statement, President James Monroe declared the colonization of America completed.

Europeans haven't heeded the message. Until the end of the century, Washington had to protect the Western Hemisphere from European interference. And then came the World War II.

For U.S. isolationism remained an attractive but unrealized idea. To go back to it now means to try to turn history back, to forget the lessons of the XX century, it means to forgo - for free or for the sake of petty self-interest - the gains of the Cold War and the peaceful democratic revolutions in Central and Eastern Europe.

For Israel, the moment of truth has arrived. When a presidential candidate Obama during last year's Middle East tour, said: "Let me state it clearly: Israel is the strong friend of Israel", it was a slip of the tongue, but a Freudian slip. His then rival, Hillary Clinton, has promised to wipe Iran off the face of the earth if it dares to attack Israel with nuclear weapons. Obama answered humbly: "The last few years we have heard many promises to wipe out. Good results were something to be seen. So I am not inclined to cavalry assaults."

The unity of Europe may prove to be illusory, lacking the deterrent factor of American involvement. Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, prior to her trip to Gdansk, talked about the unfairness of the mass deportation of Germans from Eastern Europe after World War II, implying that the German Union of Displaced Persons remains a real factor in the German domestic politics.

This is only the first swallow. Coals of mutual grudges and pretensions in Europe continue to smolder and, in favorable circumstances, they will flare up.

This will be the beginning of the end of Obama's era. But it will be insignificant then.

I hope you have enjoyed the article. Well, I don't want to be the first who said it, but I am afraid that the American promoters of isolationism like the wondrous Ron Paul or the paleo-conservative dinosaur Pat Buchanan are cheering Obama and applaud, even if one-handed, from the gallery.

(*) Vladimir Abarinov - bio factoid:

By education - historian and screenwriter. Abarinov's serious professional career began in "Literaturnaya Gazeta" as a journalist in the department of foreign culture. He was one of the "founding fathers" of "Nezavisimaya Gazeta", then, with the same team worked in the newspaper "Today" and, finally, in "Russian Telegraph". In all three he has been an editor of foreign relations desk. In this capacity he covered major international events, was included in the Kremlin pool of journalists. In 1998 he came to the U.S. as correspondent of "Izvestia, but the newspaper soon abandoned his services. Since then Mr Abarinov works with the Russian service of Radio Liberty, the newspaper "Top Secret" and the internet portal Grani.ru. After the Young Communist League, which he quit at his own will, he is not involved in any political parties, professional guilds and public organizations. Author of the book "Katyn maze" ("The Murderers of Katyn"), published also in the United States and Poland. Father of two adult sons and 11-year-old daughter. Lives in the United States. Personal blog - http://vlad-ab.livejournal.com/.

Cross-posted on Yourish.com

Helicopter and explosives used in daring cash depot raid

This or similar headlines are peppering the front pages of on-line editions all over the Internet today.

Thieves using a helicopter and explosives staged an elaborately planned, early-morning raid on a cash depot in Stockholm, Sweden, making off with bags filled with money, police said Wednesday.
Frankly I fail to be excited by the news. So much so that I have taken the trouble to look up the helicopters in Wiki, and here is what Wiki says:
Although there is some uncertainty about the dates, sometime between 14 August and 29 September 1907, the Gyroplane No. 1 lifted its pilot up into the air about two feet (0.6 m) for a minute.
So, it is more than one hundred years since... And only now some mastermind came up with a brilliant idea to use it for a heist? Nah, come on.

Just a sec, there is a completely different angle to the story. After all, it happened in Sweden, and we have a major beef with the folks there. So, let me see, maybe I can redo that headline... here it comes:

More then 100 years after invention of helicopter, Swedes figured out a way to use it profitably!

And don't let me start going on about explosives...

Now interpret this one, please

From Ask.com:

I could swear that... but who knows, two days without a newspaper and TV...

22 September 2009

Gay vulture couple at Jerusalem zoo split up, reconsider lifestyle

Jonathan Lis, Haaretz Correspondent, tells the amazing story:

It's an animal story that wouldn't shame an HBO series - the story of two female Griffon vulture chicks, offspring of what used to be Israel's first and only gay vulture couple.

Dashik, father to one vulture chick, and Yehuda, father to the other, once engaged in a fiery romance that made headlines in local and international media. About ten years ago, the two male vultures fell in love, built a joint nest and became a couple.
The couple even brought up a baby vulture together. However:
A few years later, however, the relationship broke up, after Yehuda fell for a female vulture that was brought into the aviary. Dashik became depressed, and was eventually moved to the zoological research garden at Tel Aviv University. There, Dashik too set up a nest with a female vulture.
And the result was:
...the spouses of both Yehuda and Dashik laid an egg on the same day, the eggs hatched on the same April day, and the two chicks were exactly the same weight.
It will be interesting to see what happens to these two (female) chicks. So far the fate has thrown them together:
Some two weeks ago, when the chicks reached the 8-kilogram weight of adult vultures, they were moved to the prey birds' aviary. "At first they tried paying visits to other vultures," Erez said, "but when the others realized these were unfamiliar vulture chicks, they attacked. Today, the two keep each other's company.
It will be a hoot if the two decide to choose the alternative lifestyle. Like their dads.

Well, is there a lesson in this story? I guess not, unless you consider the fact that vultures experience more variety in their lifestyle to be a lesson.

21 September 2009

On the advantages of un-diplomacy

The windmills of the international diplomacy are turning slowly, as usual, and the slow Scandinavian punch is followed by equally slow Israeli counter-punch (Netanyahu accuses Sweden of trying to reach out to Hamas). Meanwhile Donald Bostrom, the frisky fellow who ignited the scandal in the first place, is collecting the somewhat poor fruit of his labor in the fields of blood libel (measly $5000 from the National Federation of Algerian Journalists - does it pay for his flight and accommodation?), being protected from criticism by his Foreign Minister, who is a whale for the freedom of speech. Unless, of course, the freedom of speech is offensive to 1.3 billion Muslims, which is a totally different matter, you would agree...

Anyhow, while the diplomacy goes on its unhurried and seemingly purposeless way in the mahogany-covered offices with the cigars and cognac snifters (a borrowed image from... doesn't matter), the ordinary folks of Latma TV decided to produce something that will swiftly piss off the Swedish (Scandinavian) collective consciousness, rolled up their sleeves and hey presto:

It appears that as a piss-taking exercise the clip became an instant success in Scandinavia, where thousands of viewers were followed by hundreds of indignant commenters - in all languages. Quite funny and educational at the same time.

So, what is the lesson of that story? Sometimes, it appears, a swift grass roots slap in the face reaches the desired goal much quicker than a slow and ponderous diplomatic demarche that hasn't any chance to start with.


And thanks to Solomon and Elder of Ziyon for bringing the story up.

The most revolting XXX porn clip in history

Sorry, folks, but you must be warned: if you suffer of a heart disease or are pregnant, easily impressed or too right wing - please leave the clip below alone.

When Michael Moore sings to plug his last failure of a "documentary", it's not a sight for the sore eyes, nor is it some elevator Muzak - it sounds rather like an elevator squashing a huge toad. Or something.

20 September 2009

Trafigura - Corporate criminals

The story of toxic waste dumping, PR chutzpa and legal banditry in four installments by Jams.

Washing? At your own peril.

If you are going to take a shower, think again before this suicidal act:

Showering may be bad for your health, say US scientists, who have shown that dirty shower heads can deliver a face full of harmful bacteria. Tests revealed nearly a third of devices harbour significant levels of a bug that causes lung disease.
I think that humanity is at crossroads. And that we are, in fact, done with washing, because:
Hot tubs and spa pools carry a similar infection risk, according to the Health Protection Agency.
So, I have decided to quit this dangerous habit. I am still smoking, though, so it should mask the odor, at least partially, for a while. Anyway, it's better to smell like carrion than to be one.

I consider this outcome to be a full and unqualified victory of the British* anti-washing coalition, about which I have warned more than three years ago.

(*) Notice that "harbour" in the first quote. See what I mean?

19 September 2009

Nelson Mandela or Desmond Tutu?

I warmly recommend the research into some second- and third-rate countries' names freely offered by No Good Boyo here. By the way, an alternative name I would offer for the unhappy Moldova is Mititei. Some people claim it's a Romanian invention - shame on them!

Anyway, I was thrilled and delighted to see the idea of a new name proposed for Israel - "Nelson Mandela". Indeed, let's hear them shouting "Death to Nelson Mandela". Solid idea, I say.

Upon a second thought, though, I started to entertain some doubts. While "Nelson Mandela" rolls quite easily off the tongue, it may have some unwanted associations. "Nelson" has some self-explanatory militaristic connotations, aside of that second meaning - the Nelson hold and half-Nelson hold... Then there is Winnie Mandela, and some people will re-interpret our name again. No, the more I look into it, the less I like it.

But still, the idea is sound, and along its lines another name beacons, this time beyond any possibility of a reproach: Desmond Tutu. Of course, "Desmond" should be put aside as it sounds too posh for uncouth Israelis and for future use - just in case. The remaining "Tutu" is a clear winner. First of all, it rolls even better than "Mandela", not to mention the suspect "Nelson". Secondly, Tutu easily associates with something graceful and light, for instance:

Anna Pavlova in Giselle, wearing a Romantic Tutu

Now, the most important thing: try to shout (at the top of your voice, of course): "Death to Tutu!" and see if you don't sound (and look) as a blithering idiot. Not that it will stop all the folks who shout today "Death to Israel", since some of them already belong to the latter category, but it will definitely stop the majority.

Yep. It definitely works.

Obama: 1, Carter: 0

It was a good move for President Obama:

"Are there some people who don't like me because of my race?" he said. "I'm sure there are.

"Are there some people who voted for me only because of my race? There are probably some of those too.

But he added that he thought some were "more passionate about the idea of whether government can do anything right.

"And I think that that's probably the biggest driver of some of the vitriol."
I hope that he really believes what he says and that it will neutralize the poison produced by that senile troll. On the other hand, the senile troll could occupy himself now exchanging soundbites with another one of the same ilk, but from the opposite side of political spectrum.

Be good for both.

Maradona - now sans earrings

Do you see the earrings in this picture of Diego The Hand of God? No more earrings, since Italian tax authorities are watching his comings and goings like a hawk, each time stripping him of some item of value.
Italian police have seized earrings from Argentina's football coach Diego Maradona in an effort to recover unpaid taxes from his playing days at Napoli.
The previous time it was two Rolex watches. Now it is earrings. There is a noticeable downward trend, like everything in Maradona's life, including the fortunes of the Argentine football team.

I guess his bosom buddy Comical Hugo will have to buy him a replacement. Although, if I were Maradona (which I am thankfully not), I would check the replacement at a jeweler's - Hugo is not above buying a cheap zirconium fake.

So watch it, fatso... oops.

18 September 2009

Amitjo Kajla has a right to look pretty and even adorable!

Yes! We can!

A former prison officer who said she was forced out of her job after being bullied because she was pretty has won her case for unfair dismissal. Amitjo Kajla, 22, said she suffered the abuse at Brinsford Young Offenders' Institution near Wolverhampton.
Here she is (there is a truckload of her pictures out there):

Now the only remaining question is: how does a senior citizen get to do time in Brinsford Young Offenders' Institution?

It's up to you now

Filched from Theo. With thanks.

17 September 2009

Shana Tova ve metuka!

Or happy and sweet new year, you all!

If you like the above, just download this file, its' choke-full of great stuff. I didn't entrust it to Blogger, since Blogger has some issues with PowerPoint still.


And many thanks to LI for the PP.

Jimmy Carter and racism - second strike

It's happened second time in as many days. Unbelievable as it may sound, Jimmuh has probably decided to play the racism card for as long as the headlines are going good. This time he has decided to elaborate, watch it. Step one:

When a radical fringe element of demonstrators and others begin to attack the president of the United States as an animal or as a reincarnation of Adolf Hitler or when they wave signs in the air that said we should have buried Obama with Kennedy, those kinds of things are beyond the bounds.
Difficult to disagree, isn't it? But now comes the next step - quite a leap of logic:
I think people who are guilty of that kind of personal attack against Obama have been influenced to a major degree by a belief that he should not be president because he happens to be African American.
Do you see the assumption made into almost a fact here? No? I do. Do you see a statesman putting words and thoughts in someone's (millions of someones, actually) mouths and brains? No? I do. And now the fact is incontrovertible, you shall directly see it used for the next step:
It's a racist attitude, and my hope is and my expectation is that in the future both Democratic leaders and Republican leaders will take the initiative in condemning that kind of unprecedented attack on the president of the United States.
And here comes the finale, the final stone in that, now completed to perfection, edifice of the new faith:
I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he's African-American.
So, you can see how, thanks to a few acts by vicious redneck morons, who indeed are beyond the pale and, no doubt, harbor a few racists between them, all Obama's political opponents become branded by the "racist" mark. Easy to remember, easy to use, and now Obama's supporters can answer any criticism by calling the critic you know what. Do you?

Aside of the impact of this unbelievable exercise in demagoguery, I am curious about Jimmuh's motives. How does this benevolent fatherly (preacherly?) figure of a wise elderly statesman descend to the gutters of abusing and stirring ethnic grievances, mutual suspicion and hate for political purposes?

Well, I suspect that if you look closer at the bio of this character: his failure as president, his ass-kissing of the world's worst dictators, his clumsy "peacemaking" that frequently exacerbates the strife instead of having the opposite (intended?) effect, you may start to suspect what I already do: the man is eaten up from inside by his envy of really successful statesmen. In reality he became the exact opposite of that benevolent wise white-haired father-figure image: a vicious malevolent troll who will stop at nothing, no matter how low and damaging to his (or any other) nation, to reach this distant goal of real greatness. No matter that the goal is moving farther and farther away.

I only hope that, for his own sake and for the sake of the nation he leads, President Obama will rise above the cheap, dirty and malignant demagoguery of his "supporter" who is far from being a supporter indeed.

Jews harvesting Algerian kids' organs

I shall leave the gory details to JP. Having said enough on the subject in a earlier post. About Palestinian kids, that is. So a short quote only:

The anti-Semitic blogosphere and many Arab and Muslim media outlets are aflutter in recent days over accusations of an international Jewish conspiracy to kidnap Algerian children and harvest their organs.
Sure thing. The only point left is to explain why it's Algeria this time. It's easy: you see, it appears that Algerian kids, especially free range ones, contain lots of that Omega-3 stuff that is supposed to be good for your heart. Or your brain, or your digestion, I simply can't get my head around all this egghead stuff. Plus them kids contain some vitamins you have to pay through the nose in the pharmacy.

Well, this is the way it is. Hope it's clear now. Yeah...

16 September 2009

Goldstone report: verdict first and all else as expected

This post about some responses to the Goldstone report is not intended to be a comprehensive review of the responses, just a general impression with some personal touch. As expected, we are not doing too good and not looking too good, continuing to ignore some of the less pleasant aspects of reality.

Obviously, part of this post headline is stolen from the post by Soccer Dad: Verdict first - investigation afterwards, that I had already quoted and am quoting again:

It's safe to assume that, like Kofi Annan's report, the conclusion of Justice Richard Goldstone's report is predetermined. When one considers things like a commission member who has already decided that Israel has no right of self-defense, that the commission is accepting phony numbers as testimony and that a (former) UN appointee assumes that serving in the IDF is tantamount to committing a war crime it's reasonable to conclude that regarding Israel, the UN is dedicated to obtaining a conviction not the truth.
So, yes, the report nailing Israel to the proverbial wall wasn't a big surprise. The following could be a surprise, though: Goldstone's daughter: My father is a Zionist and loves Israel. Somewhat funny, somewhat sad...

There are (and will be more) different responses and echoes following the report. Some of them pretty strange, like this comment by our own legal beagle:
The Goldstone Commission Report on the Gaza conflict will cause Israel serious political damage, but is unlikely to lead to any tangible consequences, Avi Bell, an expert in international law and laws of war at Bar-Ilan University, told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.
Serious political damage, but no tangible consequences... go figure. Does the learned professor mean by tangible consequences something like Richard Goldstone flying his B-52 to bomb Tel-Aviv? Otherwise I am at loss trying to get any sense of that prophesy. Anyway, I like it more when Avi Bell deals with the issue professionally, in the framework of what he really digs. Like in his article INTERNATIONAL LAW AND GAZA: THE ASSAULT ON ISRAEL'S RIGHT TO SELF-DEFENSE.

The official, indignant and rather forceful responses, are as expected - typically a knee-jerk reaction, intended for unquestioning consumption by the believers and immediate rejection by the other side.

Foreign Ministry, though, opened a site dedicated to the Gaza war, which is a good move. However, in some instances the terse style of the site is self-defeating, like in this case:
Why hasn't Israel cooperated with international investigations into the Gaza Operation?

There have been dozens of International inquiries into events in the Gaza Operation, and Israel has cooperated fully with almost all of them.

Only in those instances where it seemed clear beyond any doubt that the initiative was motivated by a political agenda and not concern for human rights, did Israel decide not to cooperate.

Unfortunately the Human Rights Council Fact Finding Mission (the "Goldstone Mission") was one of these.
Does somebody in the Foreign Ministry really think that military-style statements like this one are going to play havoc within the anti-Israeli camp? Somebody must think again then...

The really troubling part of the official response is this one:
Israel said Wednesday it would not appoint an independent inquiry into its conduct in the Gaza Strip war, rejecting a key recommendation from an explosive U.N. report that accused the Jewish state of war crimes.
As usual, our officialdom does what it does best: disregard anything negative to Israel in public opinion we consider too bothersome to address. Too bad.

And the issue is not hopeless, here is a good example: I rather liked Prof. Gerald M. Steinberg short analysis of Goldstone report, although the headline of the article (Goldstone's kangaroo court report) is a bad start for a legal opinion brief, but it's probably on the conscience of the on-line editor and not the esteemed professor. In any case, professor Steinberg shows multiple deficiencies in the report, and there should be no doubt that a team of seriously-minded lawyers, with some support from IDF and the government, could have turned the tide the other way, at least where the legalese is concerned. Surely we have enough lawyers in this country to spare for such a task? Some, perhaps, will agree to do some pro bono work...

And no, I am under no illusion that the Human Wrongs Council will suddenly change its perennial anti-Israeli tune and roll over, I am not that naive. However, saying this, it was a mistake to leave the field wide open for the anti-Israeli crowd to frolic in and to produce tons of one-sided and hearsay-based paperwork . And we'll pay for it, the strange opinion of professor Bell notwithstanding.

Now a point or two about the other side. It is really educational to read the key recommendations of the report. After nine points of dos and don'ts addressing Israel, only two humble requests to the Palestinian side:
a.Palestinian armed groups should respect international law.

b.The groups holding Gilad Schalit should release him or at least recognize his status as a POW.
How about asking whether the whole report (and, incidentally, the Cast Lead operation) could have been avoided if the "Palestinian side" respected international law and didn't kidnap Gilad to start with?

And how about giving a few minutes of undivided attention to Col. Richard Kemp, when he talks about the efforts IDF takes to minimize the unavoidable collateral damage? And when he says that IDF did more to safeguard civilians than any other army.

Another question: when dealing, as UN HRC loves to, with real or perceived Israeli war crimes, how about addressing the proportionality issue in cases like the latest mishap in Afghanistan, where coalition troops succeeded to kill about 40 bystanders in one bombing?

And if all else fails and you still are unsure about the issue of objectivity, compare the above figures of a single bombing result with one of the sources Mr. Goldstone and his committee so frequently use and rely upon in their conclusions: one Marc Garlasco:
Marc Garlasco, senior military analyst at the emergencies program of HRW, estimates that at least 87 civilians were killed in 42 drone attacks. “Israel’s targeting choices are unacceptable and unlawful,” he declared at a press conference in East Jerusalem, “especially [considering] that UCLAV provide the most precise platform in the military arsenal, and that Israel is the world leader in drone technology.”
Compare the numbers, folks, compare the numbers. And if even this is not enough, have a look at the way Garlasco defends the US Army:
Garlasco explained the calculus of civilian deaths in high value targeting to the television news program 60 Minutes this way, "Our number was 30. So, for example, Saddam Hussein. If you're gonna kill up to 29 people in a strike against Saddam Hussein, that's not a problem. But once you hit that number 30, we actually had to go to either President Bush, or Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld." Garlasco told the interviewer that prior to the invasion of Iraq, he personally recommended 50 high-value targets -Iraqi officials for air strikes, but, according to Garlasco, none of the targets on his list was actually killed. Rather, "a couple of hundred civilians at least" were killed in strikes he recommended. Garlasco defended the efforts made by the American military to minimize civilian casualties, "I don't think people really appreciate the gymnastics that the U.S. military goes through in order to make sure that they're not killing civilians."
If you are still not impressed by mental gymnastics Garlasco is displaying to blame one target of his exercises and to protect another, nothing will impress you. And nothing will shutter your belief in impartiality of the Goldstone burlesque. And his UN HRC overlords, whose touching attention to Israel is beyond belief.

Well, for those that want to see some of the half-full glass: "The UN is of the dictators, by the dictators and for the dictators". By Dick Stanley. How true.

Jimmy Carter and the specter of racism

That WaPo report caused me (an unaligned non-American, to make sure you know where I stand) a bit of a heartburn:

Former president Jimmy Carter said Tuesday that he believes race is at the core of much of the opposition to President Obama.
Not that I am absolutely surprised by that soundbite, after all it was already tried by several supporters of President Obama. This time it's more sweeping and, taking into account the source, even more damaging - first of all to President Obama.

My heartburn is over by now. Cannot say the same about Carter's loud and unashamed act of senility.

But, after all, when all else fails...

P.S. The fact that the linked page contains a picture of Sen. Specter doesn't have anything to do with the headline of this post. Well, almost...

Brian Whitaker - game warden or poacher?

Brian Whitaker, whose unbounded sympathy to the Arab world (nothing wrong with that, although in Brian's case it goes hand in hand with strong anti-Israeli sentiment) was caught again. With his trousers down and his foot in his mouth, so to say.

Another good job on CiF Watch.

From Jesse James to Jesse Dimmick

Authorities say the man who held a couple hostage in their Kansas home fell asleep and they escaped unharmed. Topeka Police Capt. Jerry Stanley said Saturday that authorities then stormed the house, where they confronted the man.
Dimmick - says it all. They just don't make them like Jesse James anymore...

15 September 2009

Charlie Sheen: grooving with Obama on 911

I am not ashamed to confess that CS is one of my faves where slapstick comedy is concerned. Even knowing that he has joined "a growing army of other highly credible public figures in questioning the official story of 9/11". It has never worried me how credible a public figure CS is (well, a bit less than a wooden nickel), since I was chiefly interested in the comic side of his appearances on the screen. Nothing more, nothing less. And when he came out of the 911 closet in the company of his now bosom buddy Alex Jones, who is usually only marginally less crazy than a rattlesnake on amphetamines, I wasn't unduly worried. So they are buddies, and what the heck is wrong with it? Birds of a feather and all that...

I could even find more comic effect in CS's screen appearances knowing about this friendship and the new hobby of his.

Recently, however, my serene and reasonable attitude toward this state of affairs was badly shaken by an unexpected turn for the worse in CS's mental state. It appears that, not being content by just being a regular 911 Troofer, CS has acquired an imaginary friend. Who is no more and no less than President Obama. And that CS conducts very long and tedious imaginary dialogs with this new friend, trying to persuade him to look into 911 in a new, hitherto untried, way (meaning the Troofer's way, of course, if you didn't get the drift yet).

That imaginary friend thing happens quite frequently, and if you read enough you should know that it's a trait peculiar to the younger age. And that the imaginary friend usually passes away when the youngster in question grows up and becomes interested in acquiring some real flesh and blood friends, usually of the other gender.

Being an Elders' foot soldier, I do some headology, of course, but it is mainly of suborn and control or suborn and kill type, using mind control rays and other, even more crude stuff. So I don't know enough about that imaginary friend BS and, naturally, am loath to part with such a funny natural resource as CS. What if his mental state becomes bad to a degree that will require a shrink or two with a few husky orderlies to sit on his head for some years to come?

Who will replace him in all the funny movies that he might be still able to star? Do we really want CS in one of those:

Frankly, I am worried. And I blame Alex Jones. He seems to be not much of a buddy, if he let CS to get into that imaginary friend state.


Indonesia's Aceh passes stoning law

This is coming from the horse's mouth:

Legislators in Indonesia's Aceh province have unanimously approved a law allowing adulterers to be stoned to death.

The regional parliament for the devoutly Muslim province on Monday passed the "qanun jinayat", or sharia law for crimes, also allowing for homosexuality to be punishable by long prison terms and people caught having pre-marital sex to receive 100 strokes with a cane.
It may be not that bad, actually, since:
Aceh's parliament is the only legislature in Indonesia - the most populous Muslim nation in the world - to employ sharia (Islamic law).
Thankfully, it's only a part of the country that will use this law - in thirty days (so you folks have some time for the last tryst or two). What can I say? Only a word of advice to that third category of offenders (the fans of pre-marital sex): just say that you never intended to marry in the first place, so it couldn't be counted as pre-marital sex. Otherwise, don't get caught in Aceh.

And one other thing: there is some hope still:
Out of 52 Muslim-majority countries worldwide, stoning is legally sanctioned in varying forms in Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and parts of Nigeria.
Which means, you can still indulge in these "offenses" in 44 Muslim countries. After that - there always will be Paris...

U.S Government Jumps Voluntarily into Iran's Trap, Pulls in Europeans, Too

The great French diplomatist Talleyrand put it best: "That's worse than a crime, it's a mistake."

By accepting the Iranian proposal for negotiations, the Obama Administration has just made the most important foreign policy decision of its term so far. And it is a very bad mistake, a very bad one indeed.
Read this great post by professor Barry Rubin of GLORIA Center in its entirety.

Polyamorous - go define it

It's hot on Google, so there must be some public interest in the issue. So far, the funniest explanation I found is:

To be polyamorous means that my heart is big enough and strong enough to care for more than one person at a time, even when it means balancing conflicting needs and ways of being.
A big and strong heart. Uhu...

Patrick Swayze RIP: he was a real cowboy with a tender heart.

This was a quote from Jennifer Grey. He was a good man and fought his disease to the end.

14 September 2009

HRW - the Fact Factory

I have stumbled yesterday on an indignant message to The Guardian from one Carroll Bogert, Associate director, Human Rights Watch, New York. In this letter, Ms Bogert demonstrated a spirited defense of her colleague Marc Garlasco, who, apparently, is overly fond of Nazi memorabilia.

Our military expert, Marc Garlasco, collects German and American military memorabilia from the second world war, but that does not make him a Nazi sympathiser, as your headline implied. He has never expressed any pro-Nazi or antisemitic sentiments.
The letter in question was sent to The Guardian in response to an article Human Rights Watch investigator accused of collecting Nazi memorabilia, in which its author, Ed Pilkington, is recounting the story. I am not sure what part of that headline caused Ms Bogert such ire, this headline really doesn't "imply" anything aside of the "accusation" that Marc Garlasco is enamored of Nazi memorabilia. Which doesn't yet a Nazi make. In my book, it makes him a seriously disturbed character (I don't want to use the word "wanker", of course), but there are quite a few out there who share the same hobby. Of course, the choice of Flak88 nickname and other idiosyncrasies Mr Garlasco displays indicate a bit more than a harmless wank collector, but let's leave the whole story for later, since it's not the main point of this post.

The main point is to display an example of amazing agility of HRW as a fact gathering machine (which image HRW tries to propagate by all means). Here it comes, in Ms Bogert's own words:
The fact that the Israeli foreign ministry is spreading such ad hominem attacks against him should have been a warning sign, not a green light to publish.
I've read the Pilkington's article quite carefully, I believe. It's a bit too pompous to my taste, and the opening sentence "Tension between the Israeli government and Human Rights Watch, the international body that has been critical of the Israeli military's tactics in Gaza, has intensified over revelations that one of the watchdog's investigators is a collector of Nazi memorabilia." is a misleading one, since nowhere does Pilkington prove that "tension" between the two proponents is related to or intensified by Garlasco's personality. In any case, he being a loyal Guardian scribe, Pilkington's sympathies are clearly not on the side of Israeli officialdom.

But to Ms Bogert the article provides sufficient background to declare as a fact that it's Israeli foreign ministry that spreads the "ad hominem" attacks on the poor blighter. How does it follow from Pilkingtons' article (or from any other source) is absolutely unclear. Indeed, Pilkington points to several sources of the Garlasco story: Omry of Mere Rhetoric, colleague Elder of Elder of Ziyon and NGO Monitor. None of the above belong to or are financed by foreign ministry. Although Omri, being a student of rhetoric, may see himself as a future candidate for the post of FM (deity knows, he will do much better than the current walking mishap)...

Anyhow, to Ms Bogert it's a clear and unequivocal fact. To me it's a clear and unequivocal indication of the HRW mindset and the ways all kinds of input are processed by HRW to become facts... no wonder there is bad blood between Israelis of all kind (foreign ministry included) and HRW.

Normally I would pass over the (indubitably deviant) personality of Marc Garlasco, restricting myself to a juicy ad hominem or two, but curiosity and availability of Google prevailed. Well, all that and Garlasco's own ridiculous idea that his fascination by the Nazi paraphernalia "makes me a better investigator and analyst". Cripes... the only thing that makes him is a w... but we have already been there.

So I have been reading some of Garlasco's bio on Wiki, and was quite impressed by his military background and credentials. Among other information, there is an interesting passage, describing the last act of Garlasco the warrior before his conversion to Garlasco the pacifist:
In 2003 Garlasco was responsible for dropping two, laser-guided, 500-kilogram bombs on a house in the Tuwaisi, neighborhood of Basra, Iraq, that he believed to contain Saddam Hussein's cousin Ali Hassan al-Majid, also known as Chemical Ali, the man responsible for launching poison gas attacks on Kurds in Iraq beginning in 1988. Watching the attack via satellite form a room in the Pentagon, Garlasco threw his arms in the air and shouted: "I just blew up Chemical Ali!" However, Chemical Ali was not in the house; 17 other people were killed instead. Garlasco left his Pentagon job in 2003 two weeks after the failed attack to take a position as senior military analyst at Human Rights Watch.
Was it a kind of a personal "mea culpa" that caused Garlasco to quit his military career? Doesn't look so, since I didn't hear of Garlasco trying to surrender himself to any international body dealing with war crimes (not that HRW is in any way hesitant when applying that "war crime" label to anything done by IDF, but it's another story). Garlasco explains his conversion differently: it is the death of his grandpa, a Wermacht soldier cum pacifist that caused this miracle:
It wasn't until he died that I really took his lessons to heart, and decided to use my military expertise to try to lessen the horrors of war.
Sounds true to you? I don't know, it could be, however I suspect that the reality was a bit more complex. And there could be a lesson somewhere in it, I feel. Or, maybe, not...

Curious. Anyway, the recent feeble attempt by Garlasco to fight back and the Elder's* reaction to it are worthy, if somewhat disturbing, reading. And more by Daled Amos. Enjoy.

(*) Not to be compared with the former, deity forbid.

£350,000 for the world's most expensive dog

Yep, this is what it says here.

A Tibetan mastiff with the catchy name of Yangtze River Number Two has reportedly been sold to a woman in the Chinese province of Shaanxi for around £350,000, making it the most expensive dog ever.
And what about condiments used? And what about side dishes, wine, etc.?

This goes on while some other people... oh well...

13 September 2009

From wherever it comes?

When the Caudillo doesn't have an external enemy, he is sure as anything to invent one. Or two. Since the deep well of CIA's monthly assassinations of Comical Hugo seems to be exhausted even to Hugo his own self, he is frantic, trying to name a new enemy.

"By the way, we signed some military agreements with Russia. Well ... soon will arrive some little rockets," Chavez said. "We are not going to attack anyone. ... Those are only defense instruments because we are going to defend the nation, from any threat, from wherever it comes."
Good for Hugo, maybe it will buy us all a few nights of sleep, undisturbed by his ululation about his enemies.

Only Hugo's caterwauling about enemies reminds me an old joke about that famous cowboy Elusive Joe, who was dwelling high up there in the Sierra [substitute your own Sierra here] wilderness. His widespread fame and name both stemmed from the fact that he was considered to be uncatchable for many, many years.

"So, why is that guy uncatchable?", every newcomer had to ask after hearing about that cowboy.

"Oh, well", usually answered the locals, "you see, nobody gives a flying donut about him, so no one ever tried to, you know, catch him".

I don't really know why I remembered this story. Old age, I guess.

Drug mule swallowed 106 cocaine packages

A man who swallowed 106 packages of cocaine to smuggle them into the UK was today starting a 10-year jail sentence.
I am missing something in this story. Does it really take that long to... you know... get it all out?

Know your firearms

As a bonus: a new (for me) word: hoplophobia.

Lifted (gratefully) from C.G. Hill.

12 September 2009

What's common between swastika, genitalia and Sweden?

No, it's not a trick question, judge yourself:

Swedish Foreign Ministry requested this week to temporarily remove two paintings containing swastikas from the museum of modern art in Stockholm.
And the reason is:
The Swedish foreign ministry said this week that the paintings might spark discomfort at the conference for the European Union Foreign Ministers to be held in the city at the end of the week.
But not only swastika:
The museum spokesman confirmed the request and added that a painting containing female genitalia was also removed from the exhibition.
The action raises an interesting question: are people supposed to be riled by both swastika and genitalia? Or, perhaps, the act addresses comfort of guests from different countries? For instance, Brits may feel OK with genitalia and be discombobulated by swastikas, Italians may feel at home with swastika and not... etc., you see what I mean?

But that's all in the realm of guesswork, only one thing is certain: the unmistakable message from Foreign Ministry - it's OK for fellow Swedes to enjoy both swastika and genitalia (maybe even at the same time), but only out of the limelight.

Leave it in the family, so to speak.