31 January 2010

Etta James in hospital

I hope she makes it. And who better to sing for her?

Haveil Havalim 254: Tu B’Shevat Edition

Haveil Havalim 254: Tu B’Shevat Edition by Joel of Israel Situation is brand new, so don't let it become stale - go and read it!

The ugly face of Caudillo Chaves becomes clearer

It is hard to miss the resemblance of Hugo Chavez' dictator-like behavior to the sadly familiar pattern of many other Latin America dictators, left- or right-wing alike.

The latest news of two students killed* while demonstrating against the shutting down of several TV stations failing to comply with a new "media law" that requires national stations to broadcast government announcements and presidential speeches, is only the tip of the iceberg.

The other, much more troubling and sinister story, emerges from a barely visible remark at the end of the Amnesty International report 2009 on Venezuela:

The Attorney General’s Office announced that it would create a designated investigation team in 2009 to look into more than 6,000 reported cases of extrajudicial executions in which people were killed in confrontations with police between 2000 and 2007.
The pro-Chavez vigilante thugs - be it ones in police uniform or many an "unidentified armed person" - follow the example of the so called "paramilitary" groups whose murderous trails crisscross the Latin America for too many years to count.

The slavish behavior of the press is especially gulling. Take, for instance, the first sentence in the report from Venezuela by AP writer Fabiola Sanchez:
Thousands of university students protested against President Hugo Chavez again Tuesday, accusing the socialist leader of forcing an opposition-allied TV channel off cable and satellite as a means of silencing his critics.
How many more people should die before the useful idiots stop calling Caudillo "the socialist leader"? Or is it the time to redefine socialism?

There is still hope, though. One threat to the Caudillo's rule comes from his own camp:
The pressures on the Chávez government are becoming evident with a series of high-level resignations. This week, Ramón Carrizález, who held two top posts—vice-president and minister of defense—announced his resignation along with his wife, Yubirí Ortega, who was minister of environment. The two claimed that the move was due to “strictly personal reasons.”

Their resignation was followed Tuesday, however, by that of Eugenio Vazquez Orellana, who headed the state-owned Banco de Venezuela and also served as bank minister. Orellana, who was reportedly close to Carrizález, insisted that his departure was because of health issues.
It is not inconceivable that the army, it the time honored tradition of Latin America, will depose the dictator, and then the seesaw will swing to the other extreme - a military junta. On the other hand:
The greatest threat to Hugo Chavez's future just might be the World Wide Web. Fierce and growing protests over media freedom have left at least two students dead in Venezuela, and graphic images depicting violent tactics employed by the police there have started to flood the Internet.

Student protesters have organized their efforts by planning their demonstrations on Twitter, which is serving as both a public message-board for activists and a storing house for images of the worst of the violence.
I hope that the students win and succeed to remove the blighter. Who, meanwhile, has resorted to the usual threats:
As the opposition seethes, Chavez has threatened a "radical" response to student activity, promising to "deepen the revolution" and "impose authority" wherever flashpoints occur. "There are some attempting to set fire to the country," Chavez said in a televised address on Thursday. "What are they seeking? Death."
Yes, Caudillo the "socialist" is deepening the revolution - by killing students. I hope his time is running out.

(*) I have chosen on purpose a link to World Socialist Web Site. Who better to criticize their "socialist" comrade?

El AL tefillin ad

The full story in the Monkey in the Middle. In any case, it is nice to know that someone keeps a cool head in these days of mass air panic.

30 January 2010

Obama - the most reactionary president since Nixon?

I accept that readers may find this a hard sentence to swallow, but when it comes to promoting democracy, the emancipation of women and the liberation of the oppressed, Barack Obama has been the most reactionary American president since Richard Nixon.
It may be a hard sentence to swallow indeed, but first read this article by Nick Cohen.

On the limits of flaming

There are people who disagree with AIPAC’s policies. I’m fine with that. There are people who disagree with J Street’s polices. I’m also fine with that.

But, I’m not-so-fine when either organization is unfairly slandered—such as the oft-repeated claim that AIPAC pushed the United States into war with Iraq—or the claim that J Street is an “anti-Israel group” whose purpose is “to undermine the safety, security and continued vitality of the State of Israel.”
I would gladly sign such a great post, were I able to write it. So I'll just second it.

Turkey's ruling Muslim party: Israeli intelligence ran eavesdropping station from Ankara

That's direct from Debka.

So far the only response from Israeli intelligence was: "We hear you loud and clear".

29 January 2010

Mahmoud al-Mabhouh's demise

Hamas: Israel assassinated Izzadin Kassam member in Dubai

This is what the headlines say. What is of real interest: did he have time to visit that new Burj Khalifa wonder? If not, it's a pity, but maybe in the next life...

Another notice: Hamas' folks are very eager to provide, albeit posthumously, all the good reasons to whack the gentleman:

The Hamas statement identified Mabhouh as one of the founders of Hamas' military organization, which has been responsible for hundreds of deadly attacks and suicide bombings targeting Israelis since the 1980s. It said he was involved in the kidnapping and murder of two Israeli soldiers, Ilan Sa’adon and Avi Sasportas, in 1989 and that he was still playing a "continuous role in supporting his brothers in the resistance inside the occupied homeland" at the time of his death.
Nu shoin...

More of a Seismic Shock

It definitely looks like Reverend Sizer got more than he bargained for. It works approximately like this:

Thanks to ModernityBlog.

28 January 2010

Tammy Obeidallah, the Intifadagirl

A profile of an Anti-Zionist

I consider this post to be an exception, since warring with another blogger is usually a waste of time, besides it's frequently akin to pissing against the wind. But the subject is exceptional. Not in being anti-Zionist or anti-Semitic (and she is both), but in the level of visceral hate and the energy she expends in expressing both sentiments. In many other aspects of her behavior Ms Obeidallah is a typical flaming, unscrupulous and not very clever AZ/AS, and studying the case could be helpful in many ways. So bear with me, it's quite a long post.

The body of work

My interest in the subject of this post didn't start at the moment she left her comment on this opus. The post was about an obvious canard created by one of the Hamas' talking heads, and even the most avid supporters of that clique didn't give it a hand. Not Tammy, who readily provided a link to an article in Arabic that shows a bunch of puddles as proof of Jooish conspiracy to flood Gaza. Oh well, said I and moved to another topic. Or to a cigarette, I don't remember.

The name, however, rung a bell. Quietly at first, but enough to send me back to the keyboard in an hour or so and start googling. Even in the information age (or Google age, whatever) it is sometimes amazing how much data one can get clicking on the "Search" button. Of course, if one enters "Tammy Obeidallah" as a search string beforehand - capitals not strictly necessary. Wow... she is definitely a busy bee. But lets' try to start from the beginning - if it's possible.

Tammy Obeidallah's picture may come as a surprise to some of you:

It (the surprise) will pass after you learn that she is in fact Tammy Watts-Obeidallah, as she appears in some links. Looking perfectly Aryan, she suffers nevertheless from a Mediterranean malady, according to her own words:
I will be the first to admit I have a bad case of tunnel vision when it comes to the Palestinian conflict.
When you get to learn about Tammy's body of work, you will understand that the "tunnel vision" is just another name for obsession. To start with, her current blog - Liberate America* (guess who it is that America should be liberated from? Right). It is amazing, how in about 40 posts the lady succeeded to concentrate so much poison. Here are some choice titles: The Myth of Anti-Semitism, End Israeli Exemption to International Law, The Zionist Occupation of American Media, Operation Northwoods and the Israeli Connection to 9/11 ... And of course, the USS Liberty - related cartoon - a staple food for any good ole "anti-Zionist". And if you think that the habit of anti-Zionism Tammy nurtures is all there is, let's follow a few choice remarks - from this place:

As a retort to someone:
No, no one can call me anti-Semitic. I'm married to a Semite. That means an Arab, not a wannabe piece of eastern european trash.
(Hmm... eastern European trash. That would be Jooz, I guess, myself included.) That retort is so tired and so stupid that every anti-Semite on Earth has learned it by now. Of course, she will have to find an answer to "Jew-hater", but this is a bit too difficult for a person of her straightforwardness. And limited IQ, I should add, but more about this later.

Now a retort to someone else:
...wannabe Semite, you "Israel" - first traitors have nearly destroyed this great country [USA].
And as a matter of credo:
As far as being "out there," there is compelling evidence of Israeli involvement, or at least pre-knowledge of the 9/11 attacks that is being ignored in both the official version of 9/11 and by many of the conspiracy theories.
She doesn't miss a trick, does our Tammy? "Compelling evidence of involvement, or at least pre-knowledge" - go figure out that one... Taking into account that these quotes come from a single page linked above (not even opened to present separate threads), you can imagine the wealth and sauciness of other stuff there. Try to savor an example from here:
The only preparation you need is Preparation H after you get finished being the perpetual bottom of your Zionist gang-bang.
You can also understand that, of course, the only motivating factor for Tammy is her peculiar "tunnel vision" and not in any way that anti-S... thing. How could she, being married to a Semite? You may want to consider, on the other hand, that at least one of the offsprings of this marriage was named Ali Jihad. She explains to people who might misunderstand:
More importantly, "we" didn't name my son Ali Jihad. I, and I alone, chose the name. Actually I chose the name Jihad. The in-laws wanted to stick Ali on there to "soften it up a bit"...
Well, apparently Jihad's daddy is a softy. Too bad for him, because he is dealing with one tough spouse here. Ms Obeidallah doesn't give up easily. If she is caught in a lie, she doesn't retreat or try to forget, she keeps attacking. I have mentioned in the beginning of the post the Hamas' canard about Zionists flooding Gaza. After being caught in a lie, Tammy immediately produced a new post on her blog: Haiti Hypocrisy Hides Yet Another War Crime. Without producing a smidgen of new information (and she never links to any source, the more convenient to deny everything afterward), she repeats the "intentional flooding" crapola, adding verbiage and pathos. What could have been simpler than producing a photo of the offending Zionist dam, you may ask. Well, there is a hitch, of course - no dam, you see... But, in her own endearing manner, Tammy throws another accusation at the "Zionazis" (her favorite term for you know who):
Israel National News reported that tremors were created in the southern Negev in a joint project with the University of Hawaii and funded by the US Department of Defense. In the experiment, Israelis detonated 80 tons of explosive material to simulate the intensity of a magnitude 3.0 earthquake. Supposedly, this will help scientists improve seismological and acoustic readings to predict future earthquakes. It was not explained why the US Department of Defense was involved.
So, you see, the Z-people are not content with merely flooding their oppressed neighbors, they also create earthquakes in all kind of places, to provide help to the victims and to bask in the limelight. I wonder why Tammy didn't yet pick up the "news" about Z using the Haitian tragedy to harvest a few spare parts, as their habit of organ harvesting dictates. Well, she is a bit slow, as mentioned already... aside of one aspect: she is incredibly energetic in dissemination of her produce. Believe it or not, the "Haiti Hypocrisy.." stuff is already spread all over ten or fifteen sympathetic sites, and her outreach in general is unbelievable: even some obscure place titled "Middle East Poultry News" hasn't escaped the fate of bearing one of the Tammy's texts. She is inordinately proud of the fact that many an anti-Israeli outfit picks up her horse manure - see her self-celebrating comment to this post.

And lying is as natural to Tammy as breathing. You may learn about this habit from three posts on this blog. There is also some skinny on Tammy's adventures in Middle East. It is educational to learn how Tammy responds to disclosure of her lying - she creates a blog where she, instead of answering the points of disclosure, indulges in badmouthing the person that disclosed the facts. Even in this she slips: the blog is named The Battle of Wits Against Unarmed People. She must be the "unarmed people", since wit is definitely on the other side.

It shouldn't come as a surprise that Tammy's texts appear on openly Joo-hating sites like Judeofascism (no link in this case) - the name is self-explanatory.

But I think that this is enough about Tammys' creative side. Now to the:


So how has a Ohioan corn-fed girl got to where Tammy is today (a bitter Joo-hater and a pathetic liar)? Well, the patchy biographic data doesn't carry an answer to that question, but I don't have any doubt that she will willingly provide one - either in the comments to this post or in a diatribe on one of her own blogs and/or other venues.

The only other picture of Tammy I was able to find is of low quality. It is to be found (for now) on classmates.com site, where Tammy Obeidallah (Watts) appears as a graduate of Milton-Union High School, West Milton, OH (class of 1992). One can guess that the boy on the right is the famous Ali Jihad, son of Fadi and Tammy (married Feb 4, 2002, according to this church community publication - yes, apparently Tammy is a member). To return to the sources already mentioned, the circumstances of that marriage were somewhat scandalous.
Obeidallah married a man in Jordan in 2002, even though she and her “husband” couldn’t communicate — a fact observed by the US Embassy consul in Amman, Jordan when they originally denied his visa application.
Tammy didn't know Arabic at the time and couldn't even talk to her chosen one, but obviously love and anti-Zionism overcame a small issue of communication, bringing forth Ali Jihad. It looks like, since the hubby is mentioned in the church publication, Tammy and Fadi succeeded to break through the visa barrier created by ZOG, thanks to a timely appearance of Ali Jihad on the scene.

Tammy's professional career is a bit patchy. Here is her page on Linkedin (click on it to enlarge):

Not an overwhelming depth of experience, you would agree. Interesting to notice the first "position":
Imported rice from Kuwait to sell in Jordanian markets... Company no longer exists due to the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
There are no details on how exactly US invasion of Iraq hurt the export of Kuwait's rice to Jordan, but it must be a heart-wrenching tragedy, no doubt involving ZOG's bomb-laden B-52s descending on a defenseless Kuwaiti rice import/export company. We'll hear about it from Tammy, no worries.

Then there is an amazingly (or not, depends how you look at it) short stint of 1 year and 3 months in an Ohioan paper Daily Advocate, where Tammy held a lofty position of reporter/columnist.
Relied heavily on my real-world travel experiences in 41 countries to push my points.
How precisely world travel experiences help a person with a degree in Poli Sci from an obscure university in reporter's job is unclear, but we'll let it go. Of course, being an uncompromising sort, she is proud of her nonconformism:
Reveled in generating subscription cancellations in a mostly conservative area of rural Ohio.
Well, that at least explains the shortness of that episode. However, there is no explanation for the absence of any career-related info between March 2003 and May 2006. We think we'll be able to fill in the gap, but a bit later. At the moment Tammy reports on her well-being only in her Blogger profile. She has changed her location from the inhospitable (no wonder) prairies and hills of Ohio to South Gate, California. She lists her occupation as "Columnist", which means that the metamorphosis of the reporter larva into a full-blown columnist butterfly has been completed. It is unclear (Google keeps mum on this) whether she is employed anywhere at the moment and which newspaper has the honor of gracing its front (or any other) page by Tammy's column. Or, for that matter, what is the subject of the column, but this too will be known in time. Just watch the regions of California where the subscription numbers to a certain newspaper drop suddenly... Especially if she continues to sign off her articles with her typical:
I'm on to bigger & better things--as in people that actually aren't afraid of face-to-face confrontation (unlike you little anonymous keyboard warrior panty-wastes). So I will close as I began "Long live the intifada and Long Live Palestine!"
I would expect the articles being peppered by interminable "LOL" and "LMAO" she adds after any statement she considers definitive and winning.

That's it, more or less, on the background. It could be fascinating to study the opinions on Tammy from her Ohioan folks - friends and relatives, but after all the Tammy phenomenon could be explained by the genetically modified corn they use nowadays in US of A so widely... And now:

Tammy and the Tentacles of the Elders

Just to show Tammy that everything in this world is interconnected (and all the connections end up in the grubby paws of the Elders), here is a reminder about a certain lady that used to appear on a certain Guardian forum, bringing all kinds of exclusive tidbits about the latest atrocities of the Zionist entity (which she is fond on calling "Israel" - quotations marks included or Zionazis).

The lady went under a whole slew of monikers: Tammy, Miss-T, 4kittens, AlOwneh, etc, for a simple reason: her "contributions" to the forum were so frequently over the top, anti-Semitism - wise, that even the Guardian moderators, known for their leniency toward this specific misdemeanor, were forced to ban her.

Of course, getting a new e-mail address and subsequently a new nickname was a matter of a few hours, and then the mysterious lady was back, with more anti-Israeli "news", usually concocted by her and her ISM colleagues and so full of lies that even the usually sympathetic members of that forum were known to cringe - or to laugh, depending on the level of stupidity of the last "news" item.

Like her incessant griping about Microsoft Israel, that, according to her "inside information" is mostly occupied by semi-menial tasks due to backwardness and stupidity of them Jooz. Like her discovery, made after a terrorist shot up a family driving on highway 6, that the said highway is laid inside the occupied territory. Like her waxing lyrically about the crowning achievement of her life: being fed by the hand of "the gentle man", meaning Yasser Arafat himself (hopefully he used his right hand for the purpose). This last long and eloquent report had all its readers, pro- and anti-Israeli alike, rolling helplessly on their respective carpets, unable to stop laughing.

And so much more - the dame was a veritable fountain, nah, a volcano of bullshit. I wonder whether she is still active on that forum, and what kind of crap she is feeding to the captive audience. Just to demonstrate some typical contributions of the period (strangely overlapping the gap in Tammy's bio above):
Yes, I do hate Israel but I haven't lied about anything. all I've done is tell the truth.
On the murder of an American citizen, Shoshana Greenbaum, in a suicide bombing:
I'm sure she blended right in with the Israelis and there is no doubt that she supported them.
When a mighty irritated reader has written to her: "You share the same ideology that led to the murder of 6 million Jews", she promptly responds: "Funny, I didn't think they had internet or talk boards back then."

Granted, the quotes above don't demonstrate the mysterious lady's intellectual superiority, but they adequately display the visceral hate, already mentioned in this post. It so happens, coincidentally of course, that the main subject of this post, Tammy O. is also not a rocket scientist, figuratively speaking, of course. But definitely an exceptionally gifted hater.

So, dear Tammy, does the lady mentioned above remind you of somebody? I mean, aside of instilling some worries (fully warranted, I have to add) about the long arm of the Elders. Which will get to you everywhere, even in sunny California. The only question the Elders are preoccupied with now is: what the heck should that long arm do with you once it gets you...

I can tell you, Tammy, this question is a biggie. Because from all we can see, at your level of stupidity and venom production you are rather strengthening the Zionist cause. Which is, after all, everything we, the Elders, care about... so? Any ideas?

(*) Normally we don't provide links to hate sites here, so see it as an exception.

J.D. Salinger, RIP

Bye, J.D., you have done a lot. See you later.

25 January 2010

Shin Bet: Hamas operatives cause flooding in Haifa

The recent wave of torrential rains all over the country have caused a lot of damage and claimed several victims.

While in all other areas of the country the flooding was, unfortunately, natural and easily explained by lack of appropriate infrastructure (mostly insufficient drainage), the especially severe flooding of large neighborhoods of Haifa required an undercover investigation, involving several arms of Israeli security.

The question that the security investigation had to answer was: how did it happen that the system of drainage canals and dams built in the Haifa region failed to protect many of its lower located districts from the floods.

While the investigation is still going on, we have received the first conclusions from a senior source that demanded anonymity for the time being. It appears that, driven by Hamas' and Iranian propaganda, a group of Hamas members intentionally opened the gates of a Nahar Dam near village of El Sharmutta located on the slopes of Carmel mountain. The result was immediate and disastrous, causing uncounted damage to the city of Haifa.

Haifa municipal employee speeds toward El Sharmutta to close the sluicegate.

Several arrests were already made, and the investigation is continuing, so expect the links to the Hamas' leadership in Gaza and Damascus to be uncovered soon.

Afterword: of course it is a spoof. There is no drainage system around Haifa, at least not a sufficient one. This is, unhappily, the picture of the whole country, usually caught unprepared for any serious rainfall.

While the damage and lost lives where, unfortunately, real (and so are the pictures), no one to my knowledge has perpetrated a deed described here. However, this spoof is a mirror image of the "water libel" perpetrated by Hamas recently and described with more details here. Just to show how easy it is done...

It is also a response to a particularly interesting person called Tammy Obeidallah, who will be a subject of another post later.

Caroline Cartwright, you are surrounded by perverts!

A British woman whose noisy sex sessions were officially branded anti-social behavior was warned Friday she would face jail if she fails to stop the excessively loud lovemaking. Caroline Cartwright, 48, was given an 8-week prison term suspended for 12 months, meaning if she engages in overly noisy coupling again in the next year she will immediately be put behind bars.
The news above can be interpreted in different ways. On one hand, is nobody's business what the lady does in the confines of her home. On the other hand, it definitely could be an issue of decibels... still, the sentence does look a bit too harsh.

One detail disclosed by the article, though, doesn't leave a shadow of a doubt:
At an earlier hearing the court was told that the local council set up special equipment in a neighbor's flat and recorded noise levels of 30-40 decibels, peaking at 47, as loud as a conversation in the same room.
Yes, Ms Cartwright - you are surrounded by nosy perverts indeed and have to move to a more relaxed environment.

Or pad your bedroom. Whatever.

24 January 2010

Iran - Shmiran, but is Sarkozi leaving Carla Bruni?

The first part of the news is for politicians and generals:

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Saturday that he is "convinced that Iran is pursuing a nuclear program and the Israel will not abide that," the London-based Arabic-language newspaper al-Hayat reported. According to the report, Sarkozy, who met with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri in Paris, said France has proof that Tehran is developing a nuclear bomb and that Israel may choose to take action to neutralize the threat.
Business as usual. But the second part is a real bomb:
The paper also quoted Sarkozy as saying that if given a choice between Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he would choose the latter.
Wow... so Carla is now... wow...

We are all Seismic Shock or Rev. Sizer and Big Brother

This time the term Seismic Shock doesn't have anything to do with the tragedy of Haiti. It is about less shocking (but still amazing) story of a blogger being muzzled by a strange synergy between a religious cleric and the gendarmes of the state where both the blogger and the cleric reside.

You may not believe (or want to believe) it, but the state in question is not China, Burma, Cuba or any other of the long list of places where blogging is a risky business. It is United Kingdom - the motherland of modern democracy and freedom of speech. The blogger in question goes under a moniker Seismic Shock and the cleric with the awesome powers to deploy the British police at will is Stephen Sizer, "the vicar or pastor of Christ Church, the international community church of Virginia Water". We'll delve later into more details related to the Reverend, let's discuss the case.

Seismic Shock has done a research into some questionable activities of the Reverend. Apparently, the activities include (but not limited to) dissemination of emails from Holocaust deniers, sharing platform with Holocaust deniers, and shamelessly flaunting his anti-Zionist theology before Iran’s apocalyptic Holocaust-denying regime. You can read more about the "Christian" deeds of our good pastor (or vicar, whatever the heck it means) in this post (thanks to Engage).

While United Kingdom is known as a welcoming place for outrageous litigations (frequently successful) against bloggers, this time pastor Sizer has chosen a novel way to intimidate and silence the blogger: he unleashed on him the local constabulary. Again, it may sound unbelievable for the time and the place, but here it is:

At 10am on Sunday 29th November 2009, I received a visit from two policemen regarding my activities in running the Seismic Shock blog. (Does exposing a vicar’s associations with extremists make me a criminal?, I wondered initially). A sergeant from the Horsforth Police related to me that he had received complaints via Surrey Police from Rev Sizer and from Dr Anthony McRoy – a lecturer at the Wales Evangelical School of Theology – who both objected to being associated with terrorists and Holocaust deniers.
The sergeant made clear that this was merely an informal chat...
WTF? An "informal chat"? Is it how the Big Brother designates its (hardly lawful) activities these days? Is it an acceptable practice in UK (granted, formally an Anglican kingdom, but we are so used to this designation being a somewhat funny lip service to a sacred British penchant for tradition) to deploy police force on a mere whim of an Anglican cleric? Is it just another facet of freedom of speech we, unwashed non-British heathens don't grok?

Meanwhile, the good pastor is quite happy with the result of his shameful police action. So happy that he even considers to expand his synergy with the gendarmes to other countries of the Commonwealth:
A Christian blogger – “Vee” of LivingJourney, who is based in Australia – linked to my blog as a resource for Christians to learn about anti-Semitism in the Church, including “lots of info on Stephen Sizer and Sabeel”.

Rev Sizer left her this comment:

Dear Vee,

You must take a little more care who you brand as anti-semitic otherwise you too will be receiving a caution from the police as the young former student of Leeds did recently. One more reference to me and you will be reported.


Hard to believe, isn't it? But true, nevertheless.

Now a few words about the pastor. He appears to be a person with strong opinions, including quite an attitude toward Israel. He is also a blogger, and his blogs Stephen Sizer and Stephen Sizer (and his other Internet tentacles) reflect his preoccupation with Israel: for example, the second Stephen Sizer blog contains roughly 40% of Israel-related posts. Well, you may call it obsession or something else, but let's leave it to psychiatrists. He is also an extremely pious and kind man, meeting any criticism of his views or actions with verbiage so full of saccharine that it makes one want to barf: just read his opus on what he calls "calumnious blogging". But he is not too clever in defending the indefensible: see his comment to the Melanie Phillips' (oh well...) article:
I have never knowingly, to use her words, "given interviews to, endorsed or forwarded material from American white supremists and Holocaust deniers".
I have rarely seen a more pitiful retort from a person of (supposedly) such an intellectual caliber. This "knowingly" crapola doesn't work in a court of law or in a court of common sense for any normal person. Should it work for a pastor?

Well, our good pastor boasts a few hobbies besides his direct church-related duties: "In his spare time, he enjoys photography, painting, golf and karate, although not very well." As you can see, he is exceedingly humble. And forgetful, omitting "intimidation of critics" as another significant item on this list.

So, dear bloggers, let's make pastor Sizer's life more interesting. Let's make him deploy his friends on the Commonwealth police force all over the world. What say?

We are all Seismic Shock!

Update: Two other blogs on the same subject.

Will Americans be able to 'Israelify' their airports?

Allow me to state that I am not at all sure that the Israeli airport security screening system, while it seems to work, is necessarily a model for the rest of the world. To take one parameter: the passenger throughput of our main international airport is an order of magnitude less than that of many US airports. Which difference opens a whole can of worms I am not going to tackle in this post.

In any case, this article by Stephanie Gutmann is worth your attention. She is certain that the answer to that question in the headline is "No, they'll mess it up".

I don't know. What I do know, from my personal acquaintance with quite a few US airports is that the security system there seems cumbersome, slow and not wholly effective, paying attention to some strange points indeed. A good illustration: Military Blogger Michael Yon Detained, Handcuffed by CBP in Seattle Airport. While it's not exactly TSA deed, it shows where manpower, that could be more productively deployed elsewhere, is wasted. Meanwhile the fear and wariness of the flying public reached hitherto unknown levels, witness the latest story of a plane diverted over tefillin.

And of course, you couldn't top this: Boy, now he's in real trouble; Obama administration revokes U.S. visa of accused Nigerian bomber


Melody Gardot's Pain & Triumphs

A life story to admire and a voice with that undefinable and undeniable magic. Wow.

Johnny Depp died In a car crash hoax

I hope this is true. But what kind of ghouls invent these stories?

23 January 2010

Evo Morales launches 'Coca Colla'

Evo Morales, Bolivia's first indigenous president and known for chewing coca leaves at UN meetings, has launched a drink featuring the leaf called "Coca Colla".

Intended to rival its more famous US cousin the fizzy drink is at the centre of a plan coca growers from Chapare in central Bolivia submitted to the government last week to boost coca production.Farmers proposed the name Coca Colla in reference to people living in the Andean part of the country.
This information puts the behavior of Mr Morales and his bosom buddy Caudillo Hugo into new light.
Want a leaf, compadre, or should we sniff some later?

But of course, Evo Morales only does what he knows to do best.
Last year, Mr Morales, who also heads the coca growers' union in the Chapare region, vowed to increase the expanse used to grow coca bushes by 20,000 hectares (49,420 acres) in the impoverished Andean country.
More coke is for sure what the world needs right now. Yep...

Latma Retrospective on the decade

These guys are frequently over the top, but this clip, Isra-centric as it is, shows very well how mass media and some other august bodies present and treat Israel. Enjoy.

Warning: if you don't dig irony and/or sarcasm, go watch Narnia. Or whatever.

The Israeli relief effort in Haiti underlines what?

I would prefer if the above mentioned relief effort wasn't lauded as much as it is lauded. Help is at its best when it's given willingly, quietly and without fanfares. But it's only my opinion.

However, when I see an article headlined Israel's double standards over Haiti with a lede saying "The Israeli relief effort in Haiti is laudable, but it underlines the state's indifference to those suffering on its own doorstep", I don't even have to ask myself who might have written it in the Guardian. Sure, it's Seth Freedman.

To start with, he has done a laudable job of lauding Israel. I have learned, for instance, that "140 countries have received aid from Israel's state-run Mashav humanitarian relief division, including Turkey, India and El Salvador after earthquakes brought devastation to their shores". Nice, ain't it...

Well, back to the lede and a lot of words in the article itself that, to make the long story short, concentrate on one single question: why is it that when them damn Israelis are so helpful to all kinds, are they so cruel and insensitive to Gasa suffering?

I fully intended to make this post short* so read this carefully, Seth:

They should stop trying to kill us.

That's the long and the short of it.

(*) But not before I mention my awe and ignorance when meeting this totally impenetrable (for me) statement: "Likewise, when Zionist movements such as Bnei Akiva trumpet the achievements of Israel's relief teams as representative of the entire Jewish people, they inadvertently tar all Jews with the same brush when Israel's frequent violations of international law are brought to light". Bleh...

22 January 2010

Random wisecracks

Syria's Mufti: Islam commands us to protect Judaism

"Jews, however, these sons of pigs and monkeys, are another matter", added Mufti after some more deliberation.

Norway FM to Haaretz: We are not anti-Semitic or anti-Israel

"Yes, there is this gruesome phenomenon of anti-Semitism, also in our society. Yes, there is a strong anti-Israeli sentiment in our good people. Yes, we all love Knut Hamsun and hail him. Of course, our government and I are rabidly hostile toward Israel. Surely I have happily endorsed a book that accused Israel of premeditated mass murder during Cast Lead (but it doesn't mean... er... nothing). Indeed, we did appoint the deputy minister of the environment Ingrid Fiskaa, who is somewhat anti-Semitic. But how do you get from all this that we are anti-Israeli or Anti-Semitic?", retorted the minister.

Bottlenose dolphins mud-ring feeding

That's another "wow" animal story, if you like this kind of stuff.

Thanks to D.B.

21 January 2010

David Hirsh’s talk at UCU: Hear, Hear!

I wouldn't quote the speech itself, you have to read it in its entirety. Instead, I've chosen to copy here a comment by a person who was present at the meeting:

I attended the seminar today (18th January 2009) in Brighton where David Hirsh presented the above paper – to the evident extreme discomfort of Sally Hunt and Tom Hickey of the UCU executive. David did a brilliant and brave job and I hope that he continues to find the physical and mental strength to continue this fight for truth and fair play in the UCU. I saw how tough that is – and I thank him for doing it.

The event was billed by the UCU as an “Anti-Semitism seminar to coincide with Holocaust Memorial Day”. To that end it was publicised via the “university info” email channel to 21,000 Brighton University students and 2,500 staff. Furthermore, presumably, 2,100 staff and 12,500 students at Sussex University would also have been sent a similar email suggesting that they might attend this free event.

Out of these nearly 40,000 invited members of the two Brighton Universities, I would guess that less than a dozen turned up. So much for the level of interest in Holocaust Day shown by the target audience. Instead of academics, the bulk of seminar attendees were other Brighton folk, probably hastily allowed in when registrations failed to materialise from the intended audience. These divided fairly equally between older local Jewish residents and young activist members of the Socialist Workers Party. There may have been about twenty in each camp. The younger group were clearly there to give vocal support their colleague – and local leader of the SWP – Tom Hickey. As such the subject for discussion frequently moved in the direction of “Zionism” and the wrongs done by Israel to Gaza.

As a fig leaf to cover the UCU’s frequently attempted academic boycott of Israel campaign, I think that this day of seminars failed. David Hirsh very successfully removed this ‘cover’ from Sally Hunt and Tom Hickey.

The biggest failure of day of Seminars promoted by the UCU was the evident apathy of nearly 40,000 staff and students of Brighton’s two universities. They were just not interested in Holocaust Memorial Day.

(I am not an academic nor a member of the UCU)

John Edwards admits fathering love child - so what?

Would it have been better if he admitted to fathering a koala? So relax and watch this:

20 January 2010

National Penguin Awareness Day today!

Almost missed it. So here - go ahead, make his day!

Holiday Inn offers human bed-warming service

This is a beginning of a new era in customer service:

If requested, a willing member of hotel staff will jump in your bed, dressed head to foot in an all-in-one sleeper suit, until your nightly chamber warms up.
It is told about the late King David that at the twilight of his life two wenches were put into his bed to warm his elderly bones. So Holiday Inn service is definitely fit for kings! There is only one hitch, and it is in the picture they offer:

Bed Warmers Jacqui Barry and Nick Woods

I, personally*, don't have any problem with Jackui, but Nick - do you mind looking for another guest to warm up?

(*) It is clear to me that there might be guests otherwise inclined, and the statement above is purely personal and not meant to criticize, offend or otherwise limit the rights of other lifestyles and genders.

The water libel: Zionists flooding Gaza to drown Palestinians

When you (an Elder, I mean) relax for a moment and think that you can have a rest from your daily quota of dirty deeds, it appears that another Elders' department has written a new page in the ever-growing book of the Zionist mayhem.

Parts of the Middle East have been swamped by unusual flash floods after unseasonal torrential rain swept from Egypt to Jordan. In addition, Israel is being accused of deliberately flooding Palestinians out of their homes by opening a dam to release built-up water without warning.
In a blog that calls itself Palestine Video - A Palestine Vlog, they know enough to tell that:
Israel has opened up the Wadi Dam and flooded Gaza.
The poor doofus who has written this doesn't know that Wadi means "A valley, gully, or stream bed in northern Africa and southwest Asia that remains dry except during the rainy season". And that there are hundreds (if not thousands) of wadis in the region. There is indeed one specific wadi that is called Wadi Ghasa, but "Wadi Dam" doesn't carry any meaning. Here is Wadi Ghaza (marked "A" on the map below) - a gulch deep inside the Gaza strip:

It will require a commando operation to get into the Gaza strip to open the dam (that isn't there)... but, nevertheless, the claim was immediately picked up by Press TV - the Iranian "media arm". And then it appears that there are more than just one damn dam:
Gaza rulers said that the flood of rain and sewage stormed the central Gaza Strip after Israel opened several dams on the borders between eastern Gaza Strip and Israel.
It becomes curiosier and curiosier. And of course, the Zionist media claims that there are no dams:
In the Eshkol regional council, which borders the Strip, the claims were dismissed. The council said it knew nothing of such a dam.
Yeah, yeah, sure, but never forget that there is nothing simpler for the Elders than to build several damn dams overnight, organize torrential rains and than suddenly open the gates.

Of course you understand that this is also a golden opportunity to slip into the floodwater some especially virulent strains of bird flu, swine flu, ZioFlu, TamiFlu, Ebola and HIV, not to mention a designer head cold...

And to make certain that no one can claim that the recent spate of flash floods isn't a deliberate Zionist ploy, here it comes - a proof to beat all proofs:

Yes. In-depth analysis by Yaacov Lozowick.

Cross-posted on Yourish.com

Noam the Mastermind strikes again

Noam Chomsky, the "Mastermind of the Century" should be by rights crowned as a king of manipulators when it comes to overlooking, deliberately misinterpreting or otherwise distorting history as it fits his current point of view. And one is filled by a sense of wonder and admiration when one reads the following coming out of his disinfo labs:

The first and most crucial principle is therefore to evade our own crimes. Next, vilify the messenger, to ensure that unwanted history is forgotten. And finally, vilify those who dare to refute charges against official enemies, thus preserving the right to posture heroically about their real or alleged crimes without concern for such impediments as fact and uncertainty.
A crushing blow to Chomsky detractors, isn't it? Or, in other words - beyond pathetic, some may want to say...

Read Malcolm Caldwell, Noam Chomsky and the Cambodian Genocide by Michael Ezra.

And Never apologise, never explain by Oliver Kamm.

Test Your Palestine IQ

Worth a few minutes of your esteemed time, I promise.

19 January 2010

Corruption a major obstacle to Israeli membership of OECD

Unfortunately, this remains the considered OECD opinion at the moment.

In the picture above: Angel Gurria, the secretary-general of the OECD, refuses again to accept from Shimon Peres the portfolio of all-paid two weeks holiday at an exclusive retreat in Maldives (including full-time escort services, masseuse and all-you-can-drink minibar) as an incentive to more creative thinking regarding the corruption issue.

Valley of the Wolves: Tel Aviv

I have to say that with Turkish PM and other luminaries being quite belligerent toward Israel lately, their press keeps to a more moderate point of view. This article, for instance, makes a wry remark about the Mossad's appearance in the infamous TV series: "... this episode did strain the boundaries of artistic responsibility". Still, being a Turkish (and quite influential) newspaper, Hürriyet offers an interesting solution to the current brouhaha: to continue the Valley of the Wolves, but as a comedy. They have even offered a main character:

Frustrated Israeli diplomat, not well liked or respected by colleagues. His biggest assignment is as cultural attaché to the Israeli mission in Panama. In order to climb, he cuddles up to various right-wing politicians. Eventually, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon appoints him ambassador to Washington, known in the Israeli foreign service as a posting for political sycophants.
And a sketch for the plot:
One day our character, now resurrected from retirement as Israel’s deputy foreign minister in a bizarre coalition government, brings international disgrace on his country with a stunt to seat the Turkish ambassador in a diminutive chair while cameramen look on. No sooner than this crisis passes with a formal apology from the boorish diplomat’s old patron, Benjamin Netanyahu, then our protagonist steps in the mud again. This time announcing to TV cameras he will expel the same ambassador if Turkish screenwriters step out of line again.
The idea is to recreate the sublime "Yes, Minister" in the Middle-Eastern environment.

Whatever you say about the high politics, I like the Hürriyet's approach. If we only could make it a Turkish-Israel co-production...

A study of lesbian Sasquatch

I think that Sasquatch (not "Sasquatches", as it appears) womenfolk are not aware yet of the new wave of thought concerned with their right to an alternative lifestyle.

I have chosen a less revealing illustration of the whole:

There is more where this one came from. Enjoy - without prejudice, please.

Via Lesley, with thanks.

Not exactly a new normblog poll...

Norm says... no, Norm asks:

You are going to some distant and lonely and low-tech place where you will have to spend the rest of your days, and you can:

- (a) either take 100 books you have already read and which you may then re-read without limit, those being the only books you will ever get to see;

- (b) or not take any of the books you have already read, however much you may love some of them, but instead have a free and regular choice from all the books in the world you haven't yet read, to be supplied to you by the Mobile Library for Isolated Readers in Distant Places.

Would you go for (a) or (b)?
Ehehe... tough. Being Jooish, I shall, probably go for (b) and then gradually establish a smuggling network... then a revolution, and who knows, maybe we"ll get access to the Project Gutenberg and some other places I don't even dare mentioning here.

18 January 2010

Haiti, gringos, Caudillo Chavez, politics

As the catastrophe in Haiti continues to claim lives, the initial horrified reaction of the world and the selfless offers of assistance become more and more mixed with petty politicking.

The US military's takeover of emergency operations in Haiti has triggered a diplomatic row with countries and aid agencies furious at having flights redirected. Brazil and France lodged an official ­protest with Washington after US military aircraft were given priority at Port-au-Prince's congested airport, forcing many non-US flights to divert to the Dominican Republic.
One politico, however, rose high above petty, getting his act to the level of his usual sublime idiocy:
"It appears the gringos are militarily occupying Haiti," Mr Chavez said. "Obama, send medicine, doctors and water - not more soldiers."
Gringos wisely preferred not to respond, which is unnecessary with Caudillo anyway. He enjoys his own voice without being bothered to listen to anyone.

On the other side of the world, the gringos are politicking too. While about 240 Israeli army folks deployed the first field hospital in Haiti and started saving lives, what do you think takes the central place in Guardian's coverage of Israel? Yep, it was a right guess:

Netanyahu aides dismiss ex-maid's allegations against his wife as lies

Of course, don't expect a mention of the hospital in Guardian (and most of other British news sources). It is not that I expect lavish praise - the help of this kind shouldn't be awarded by anything, including praise. But anyway:
The IDF's field hospital in the Haitian capital worked at full capacity throughout Sunday, treating a relentless stream of victims from what a senior IDF medical officer described as "the war outside." Overnight Saturday, in what staff described as one of the most fulfilling moments of their work, the Israeli doctors delivered a baby boy, whose mother, Gubilande Jean Michel, promptly declared would be named "Israel."
Which is, you would agree, much better than any praise.

So, dear Guardian, here it comes:

Extremist in Egypt, teacher in London, what else are you, Reza Pankhurst?

The name of Reza Pankhurst reached the headlines in 2002, when he and his friends were arrested by Egyptian police.

Dr Waheed said businessman Mr Pankhurst, student Mr Nawaz and Mr Nisbett, an English convert to Islam who was studying at the University of Al-Azhar in Cairo, were all members of the Islamic Liberation Party, also known as Hizb ut-Tahrir.
More headlines followed in due time:
Three Britons accused of promoting a banned Islamic group have been jailed for five years each in Egypt. Ian Nisbet and Reza Pankhurst, from London, and Maajid Nawaz, from Essex, were accused of trying to revive Hizb al-Tahrir (Islamic Liberation Party).
Of course, what Egypt needed more than anything else at the time was another extremist organization in the already boiling cauldron. In 2006 Mr Pankhurst was released from Egyptian jail:
Reza Pankhurst, greets his wife in 2006 after four years in an Egyptian jail for promoting the Hizb ut-Tahrir movement

The four years spent in jail didn't do anything to Mr Pankhurst resolve, apparently, since his name continues to appear in headlines:

A senior figure in Hizb ut-Tahrir, a hardline Islamist group that the Government keeps “under continuous review” and the Conservatives want to ban, is teaching and preaching at a top university. The Times has learnt that Reza Pankhurst, who was imprisoned in Egypt for membership of the group, is a teacher at the London School of Economics and regularly preaches to students at Friday prayers.
A quick reminder about the nature of HuT (from their site):
Exclusive to the Muslim world, our political aim is the re-establishment of the Islamic Caliphate as an independent state - having an elected and accountable ruler, an independent judiciary, political parties, the rule of law and equal rights for minority groups.
People familiar with the (quite public) goals of HuT in, for instance, Britain, don't pay much attention to the "Exclusive to the Muslim world" - HuT calls for establishment of Caliphate everywhere, including Britain. And "the rule of law" means rule of Sharia, make no mistakes. It is not for nothing that Hizb ut-Tahrir is banned in multiple countries. Not in UK, though. And maybe having HuT folks speaking about their ways and means openly is the best policy, I wouldn't be the judge.

But back to our main subject - Reza Pankhurst and HuT.
The group is supposedly barred from organising and speaking on campuses under the National Union of Students’ policy of “no platform” for racist or fascist views. The presence of one of its prominent members as a university teacher raises new concerns about Islamist radicalisation on campus.
Be interesting to know what exactly our hero preaches to his students. I hope it will come to light, since some people apparently became worried:
A new review of campus extremism began last month after it was discovered that the alleged Detroit airline bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, was a former president of the Islamic Society at University College London.
But our hero is not stupid, and has an answer to those who question his activities:
Only last week he was talking about the Detroit bomber and saying the guy was not radicalised in London and it was all to do with foreign policy.
Not, to be sure, an original answer, many an extremist used this excuse. But it works, at least for the "mea culpa" inclined part of the British public.

The next headline from the same source, The Times, is even more alarming:

LSE’s Hizb ut-Tahrir teacher Reza Pankhurst and the secretive ‘Brothers’ Circle’
An Islamist radical whose teaching role at a leading university was exposed yesterday by The Times led a secretive “Brothers’ Circle” at which he espoused his hardline views. Reza Pankhurst, a senior figure in the hardline group Hizb ut-Tahrir, gathered a group of male members of the London School of Economics (LSE) Islamic Society for private talks.

Mr Pankhurst, whose party advocates the creation of an Islamic state governed by Sharia, is a research student employed as a teacher in the LSE’s government department. He is due to teach undergraduate classes this term in three topics covering nationalism and revolution in the Arab world.
Some teacher... But the sinister dotted lines extend further, and there is an Israeli angle too:

LSE’s Islamist teacher ‘groomed suicide bomber for Tel Aviv attack’
A Radical Islamist who allegedly mentored a British suicide bomber is teaching and preaching to students at a top London university. Reza Pankhurst, a senior member of the hardline Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir, is a postgraduate at the London School of Economics and regular preacher at the Friday prayer services at the university.

He was alleged to have played a key role in radicalising Omar Sharif, the British suicide bomber who died after an attempted attack in Tel Aviv in 2003. It is claimed that Sharif met Mr Pankhurst at Hizb meetings when he was a student at King's College London in the Nineties.

According to Sharif's former university friend, Zaheer Khan, Mr Pankhurst acted as Sharif's mentor and had “a big hand to play” organising the activities of Hizb ut-Tahrir on campus.
If you need a reminder about the murderous fanatics:
A university student from London was named today as the man who blew himself up in the suicide bomb attack in Tel Aviv, which left three people dead and 55 injured.Asif Mohammed Hanif, 21, from Hounslow, west London, was last night named as the fanatic who strapped explosives to his body and set them off outside a crowded bar on Tel Aviv's beachfront.

Another Briton, named as Omar Khan Sharif, 27, from Derby, was with Asif at the time of the attack and was also padded with explosives, but they failed to detonate and he ran off.
Young, restless, and surely gets around, our Mr Pankhurst, but let's not forget, "it was all to do with foreign policy", after all.

I guess that you can connect the dots fairly easy now. Tell me who your teacher is...

Cross-posted on Yourish.com

17 January 2010

Jessica Alba Forgets To Shave Her Armpits. HuffPost doesn't.

Unbelievable but true. To reduce the pressure on poor Jessica and to calm down the frothing surfers, here is a cooling picture.

This is what I call real hairy armpits! Er... wingpits?

Watch it for 5 minutes without blinking. It will help.

George Galloway - a Phalse Prophet?

The sublime irony of the recent Galloway's adventure will escape only the main actor - George Galloway. Anti-war campaigner Mr Galloway was forced to take refuge from Islamic militants who denounced him as a "false prophet".

Mr Galloway was electioneering on the Osier council estate in Bethnal Green last night when a gang of 30 Muslim fundamentalists, who claim voting is un-Islamic, surrounded him and his supporters.

The men said they were angry at Mr Galloway's attempt to woo Muslim voters. They said they were "setting up the gallows" for him and warned any Muslim who voted for his anti-war Respect party that they faced a "sentence of death".

After a fight broke out between the two groups, police were called and Mr Galloway was forced to hide in his car in an alley until the violence calmed down. Two men were later arrested.
Hmm... Galloway on gallows set up by Hizb-ut-Tahrir? That act bears watching. Almost (but not quite) better than this:

This wouldn't work, dear DoD!

The Air Force’s classified test range at Groom Lake, Nev., has never lacked for evocative nicknames — it and its restricted airspace have been called Dreamland, Paradise Ranch, The Box and, most famously, Area 51. Now there’s a less romantic moniker to throw on the pile: “Homey Airport,” according to a few civilian aviation journals.
For crying out loud! Do they really think it will work? Homey Airport?

They must be kidding.

Hat tip: Lesley.

More on Haiti disaster relief donations

Apparently the best way you can donate is via the Salvation Army. Via Dick Stanley.

Try them.

16 January 2010

Gaspar Llamazares angered his photo used for Osama bin Laden

A Spanish lawmaker [a member of Communist Party of Spain] was stunned and horrified to find out that the FBI used his photograph as part of a digitally enhanced image showing what Osama bin Laden might look like today.
Well, I have to say that the similarity is striking. Must make him proud, but the guy isn't feeling good, and for a reason:
The 52-year-old politician said he would not feel safe traveling in the U.S. now, because many airports use biometrics technology that compares the physical characteristics of travelers to passport or other photographs.
One can understand the logic of that sentiment, however he spoils the effect by adding:
I have no similarity, physically or ideologically, to the terrorist bin Laden.
He is mistaken not only about his physical similarity to OBL, which is obvious, but also about that second item. Proof:
Welcome to America, comrade Llamazares / Bin Laden. I hear them Homeland Security folks have especially cold and humid dungeons with huge rats and dripping with sewage ...

15 January 2010

FM Lieberman turns his attention to Britain

After another filthy speech by Baroness Jenny Tongue Tonge, our intrepid FM Yvett/Avigdor Lieberman summoned the British ambassador for clarifications. A scene from a concluding part of the meeting was leaked to the media.

(Warning: PG 21! Click "Read more" at your own risk!)

Evangelical Hasbara sucks

Even more than the Israeli one. Proof.

The Haitians "were under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon III and whatever," Robertson said on his broadcast Wednesday. "And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, 'We will serve you if you will get us free from the French.' True story. And so, the devil said, 'OK, it's a deal.' "
Oh boy, oh boy...

14 January 2010

McDonald's moment of truth

Of course that headline draws attention, how could it be avoided? Judge for yourself:

McDonald's launches study into flatulent cows used in its burgers

This is what I would call a good and informative headline. A discerning reader could derive the following facts (at least) from it:

  1. McDonald's folks are environmentally conscious and they care.
  2. McDonald's are using actual cows in their burgers. All them skeptics and cynics that claim otherwise should be ashamed of themselves.
  3. The cows McDonald's are using are flatulent. Or, at least, some of the used cows are. Not being an expert in anything that happens to a cow before the burger gets to my plate, I am not sure whether it's a special breed used for McDonald's burgers only or some general phenomenon.
In any case, as a layman where cows and most other animals are concerned, I can think only of one remedy for this case of the greenhouse gas emissions:

Finally: Bar Refaeli and I together!

Me too.

13 January 2010

Thuggery in Foreign Office as an answer to the Valley of the Wolves

Update 3: I don't want to gloat, but here it comes:

Ayalon issues second apology in Turkey row

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon sent a letter of apology Wednesday night to the Turkish ambassador to Israel, after he had subjected him to "humiliating" treatment during a meeting in Jerusalem on Monday.
I'm out of comments...

Update 2: Now foreign office tries to clean the egg off their collective face:
Ayalon issued a special statement of apology Tuesday night for his treatment of Turkish ambassador to Israel Ahmet Oguz Celikkol on Monday.

Update 1: Turkey demands apology from Israel over envoy 'slight'

As expected: a long diplomatic tiff that obfuscates real problems.

Original post starts here:

The new flare-up between Israel and Turkey has started in a fairly low-key way.
Turkey's ambassador to Israel was summoned for an inquiry Monday by Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon, following a new serial thriller on Turkish TV depicting Mossad agents and Israeli representatives in Turkey as baby snatchers. Ayalon sought to inquire whether the series, "Valley of the Wolves", includes serious anti-Israel messages.
It is not the first time that our politicos try to make a federal case out of this or another antisemitic show. Unclear what this diplomatic move had as its goal but this is neither here nor there.

It should be noticed that the decision to summon the Turkish ambassador was reached before the PM Ergodan's fiery speech. It was only about the series.

The next day after the meeting some juicy details started to emerge:
... Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon summoned Turkish Ambassador Oguz Celikkol to the Knesset to express outrage over a new Turkish television show that depicts Mossad agents as baby-snatchers, and in a break from the diplomatic norm, invited the press for a photo-op, during which he was seen telling the cameramen to film him and his aide sitting on tall chairs, and the Turkish envoy on a lower chair, with the Israeli flag in the middle. The ambassador was also filmed waiting in a corridor for the meeting to begin, and when it did, he was offered nothing to drink or eat.
Of course, this came as a shock to other diplomats.
An associate of Celikkol expressed his outrage at Ayalon's conduct, telling Army Radio that "in 35 years as a diplomat, I've never come across such shameful behavior." Ayalon refused to apologize, saying Tuesday morning that he "didn't want to humiliate him, but merely to convey a message."
It is not only Turkish diplomats who are shocked:
Former Israeli ambassador to Turkey Alon Liel told the station that "a new sort of diplomacy" had been invented, and that Lieberman had "made up a new way of reprimanding."

"This time, they made him sit on a low chair, next time maybe they'll make him crawl, and who knows, maybe the time after that they'll beat him up at the entrance," he said.
Now Turks, instead of doing something about that show will have enough diplomatic ammunition for a long time, and Israeli ambassador is already summoned for a "clarification meeting" - to stat with. And Mr Ayalon is quite proud of his diplomatic prowess:
Ayalon himself openly admitted that he and Foreign Minister Avidgor Lieberman had planned the details of the encounter, but told the radio station that such behavior was "standard diplomatic conduct," and offered no apology.
Well, once a thug - always a thug... And since thugs and Turkey are mentioned, here is a story I heard a lot of years ago about the famous Vlad the Impaler. When a visiting Turkish ambassador refused to remove his turban, explaining to Vlad that he never parts with this item of his clothing, Vlad ordered the turban nailed to his head. Could be a great idea for Lieberman re the next visit of an ambassador in our foreign office.

Although - I guess that Turks have nails too nowadays...

Haiti earthquake - updated donation need list


Another service announcement

It looks like the first wave of troubles with the new commenting system has receded. All visitors who tried to leave a message lately and were turned away, visitors whose commenting authorization disappeared etc, are invited to try again.

The dust is still flying, the debris are still lying around and the expletives are heard, but some parts of the whole are already working.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

12 January 2010

William Bapthorpe: slaughter them, every last man, woman and child

CiF Watch does that essential but thankless job of... well, watching the cesspool that is inhabited by Guardianistas - the strange and awesome breed that is proliferating in the twilight and miasma of that half-tolerated, half-sponsored Guardian's baby. Well, better them than me, I say.

And from time to time they succeed to fish out an excellent specimen of gutter life that shows off the best qualities of Guardianistas. Like this one:

William Bapthorpe. I bet it's a moniker, but it really doesn't matter. He (or she) at least says what many of Guardianistas think. And unlike Hawkeye who presented the specimen, I am not shocked. Nor am I surprised, the trend on CiF (and in UK in general) being what it is lately.

According to Hawkeye's report, while the comment that is presented above was deleted by a moderator, our brave Billy the Straightforward, wasn't banned.

But, frankly, on the issue of erasing such comments and banning the authors, I am in tune with Yaacov Lozowick, who expressed it superbly:

If, on the other hand, you're of the opinion that the excitement generated by dreaming of a world with far fewer Jews wells up from deep cultural sources reinforced by incessant lies about many things Jewish and constant reiteration of how uniquely evil Jews are, then of course the occasional censorship of an unusually crass expression of the Zeitgeist will have no positive impact on anything and will merely serve to cloak the pervasiveness of the hatred.
Yep. Let them post and be seen, I say, too.

Hot, cold, hot... is it 30 years of global cooling coming now?

A layman like me, while reading all these headlines related to global warming, should keep an air conditioner on "max cold" in one corner of the room and another air conditioner on "max heat" in the other corner. Moving from one to another when prescribed.

The latest news says "cold":

Britain's big freeze is the start of a worldwide trend towards colder weather that seriously challenges global warming theories, eminent scientists claimed yesterday.

The world has entered a 'cold mode' which is likely to bring a global dip in temperatures which will last for 20 to 30 years, they say.
The source of that opinion is especially impressive:
The research has been carried out by eminent climate scientists, including Professor Mojib Latif. He is a leading member of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He and his colleagues predicted the cooling trend in a 2008 paper, and warned of it again at an IPCC conference in Geneva in September.
It isn't that professor Latif or his colleagues have changed their minds on GW, they see these 20-30 years of cooling off as a temporary respite from GW that will sink its teeth into the planet right after these years. Or after the last glacier's retreat, whatever comes first.

On the other hand, it gives the GW theory supporters (and skeptics) enough time to collect their thoughts on the subject. Scientifically speaking. Besides, in 20-30 years, who will remember the predictions? Even Al Gore will chill down by then. I hope so, at least.

But - what a layman is supposed to do meanwhile? To buy a Hummer and start roaming the highways and beyond, producing as much CO2 as possible to warm up the Earth? The price of gas notwithstanding?

Or switch to non-polluting vegetarian diet, stop washing and using electricity and fuel for any purpose (save flying to GW- related events all over the globe, of course)?

I, for one, am getting intermittent hot and cold flashes all the time lately. How about you?

P.S. It's interesting to watch who picked up this news item. And who ignored it. Politically speaking. Guess...

Miep Gies, RIP

Miep Gies, the woman who helped the family of Anne Frank during World War II and preserved her diary, has died. Gies, who died Monday night at the age of 100, was the last living person in the group who had helped hide Anne's German Jewish family, who had sought refuge from the Nazis in Holland.

Hours after the Franks were betrayed and seized by the Nazis on August 4, 1944, Gies crept back into the hiding place and collected Anne's diary.In the prologue to her book, Anne Frank Remembered, Gies wrote that she was not special and not a hero.
You are special.