31 August 2011

Jerusalem Day in Iran

When you page through the photographs UPI presents from this Tehran love-in, you shall undoubtedly imbue some of the loverly feelings. How can you not, seeing scenes like this one:

One detail, though, just a technicality actually - the caption under that picture says:
An Iranian woman holds a pictures of Imam Musa Sadr and wear a sign with a picture of American president Barack Obama on swastika...
Well, swastika is just one of the symbols there, my sharp eyes detect another one...

30 August 2011

Equal every which way!

Meryl has a great post here on the issue of... er... visually challenged people. Apparently, one Daniel S. Hamermesh, a professor of economics at the University of Texas, Austin, is a harbinger of a new approach - legal protection for ugly people.

On one hand, being somewhat homely myself, I harbor a good deal of resentment to characters like Cary Grant, George Clooney and Woody Allen, whose beauty surely secured  their fame, wealth and sexual prowess. Of course, to lawyer up and get some of all that f., w. and s.p. from these guys is a move one can only dream of today.

On the other hand - go and read that post.

The Larry Derfner issue

For some reason I have passed over the scandal caused by Larry Derfner publishing a vile and imbecilic post* justifying murder of Israelis by terrorists. In his later posted retraction cum stumbling and mumbling attempt at apology or, rather, explanation and self-justification, Mr Derfner has dug himself even a deeper hole.

Regarding the scandal, I warmly recommend the article Justifying murder – an abomination
by Isi Leibler, who does an excellent job of deconstruction.

Of course, being Jewish, I have to disagree with something in the article, so here is the sentence I wholeheartedly disagree with:

His obscene and callously insensitive remarks are likely to haunt him for the rest of his life.
I am afraid that Derfner's article, obscene and callous as it may be, will not haunt him. I am even more afraid that the effect Derfner's article obtained was precisely what it was supposed to get. Let's call a spade a spade: Derfner behaves exactly as it is expected from him, raising his obscenity level another notch and thus increasing the potential scandal value of his articles in JP. And thus being completely satisfactory to his bosses in this esteemed media organ.

Too bad...

Update: Apparently the scandal value was a bit more than JP was able or willing to bear and Derfner was fired. His own post about this event shows (thanks to Pisa), though, that he still doesn't understand what's wrong with him.

(*) Since then, Mr Derfner has (unwisely) decided to remove the offending post, so I've linked to a copy, which contains some comments.

29 August 2011

Turkish president answered my question!

Some time ago, after a fresh Turkish ultimatum to Syria, delivered by Mr Erdogan, where he demanded that Baby Assad stop the bloodshed in 10 to 15 days, I have asked:

Or what?

Yesterday, Mr Abdullah Gul, the Turkish president, decided that 18 days that passed since are enough waiting for me and answered:

We are really very sad.
I think that being sad at Syria without prior notice is a cruel and unusual punishment that should be covered by some convention.

A key to spelling the despot's name

The only drawback is that this comes a bit too late:

Well, at least one hopes it's too late.

Via Ghost of a flea.

Kreayshawn’s leaked nude photos

Wouldn't appear here for sure, besides I confess to not knowing who she is and what she does when not nude. Instead, and for the sake of your sanity and coolness, watch this:

28 August 2011

Beck is back: Hurricane Irene is a blessing


On the booming apology business

You would probably agree that to apologize for a misdeed is not a sign of weakness, rather the opposite: it shows your strength of character, your moral fiber and whatnot. Besides, when a timely apology helps to avert a long and bloody feud, it is practically a mandatory step.

I wouldn't go into the endless story of the Famous Turkey Apology. Suffice to say, that the endlessly delayed report of UN investigation of the Mavi Marmara incident isn't going to be very complimentary to Turkey and its role in the whole sorry business. And Turkey wants this apology as some sort of a compensation for its lost face. Bibi, on the other hand, instead of assuming a firm stance on the issue, zigged and zagged for almost a year before finally coming to rest at what (today) seems to be his final (?) position. No apology to Turkey, then. Fine.

But then a need for another apology arises. Terrorist attacks on the Egyptian border near Eilat kill eight and wound scores of Israelis, mostly civilians, that with a background of helpless and, frankly, traditional passivity of Egyptian police and army. Six Egyptian security officers, however, died in ensuing firefight in unclear circumstances. In a few hours, unclear circumstances notwithstanding, a rumor about IDF killing all six spread all over Egypt. And the Rage Boy took to the streets.

The anti-Israel protests erupted in Cairo last weekend following reports that six Egyptian security officers were killed by the IDF during fire exchanges with the terrorists who carried out the terror attack near Eilat last Thursday. The demonstrations were further inflamed by Israel Air Force strikes in Gaza.

The protesters burnt Israeli flags, and even threw fire crackers at the embassy building in a bid to burn an Israeli flag on a flagpole at the embassy. An Egyptian youth later climbed the building, took the Israeli flag down and became a national hero.
You would expect that after a terrorist attack on a neighbor that started on Egyptian territory and proceeded unimpeded, Egyptian rulers will behave at least quietly. Surely not. Following the current fashion, Egypt demanded an apology, adding a threat of recalling their ambassador in Israel (later denied), cutting the diplomatic ties etc. And the apology by our defense minister promptly followed, later to be denied or, at least, watered down by same minister. That without waiting for the results of the official joint investigation into the circumstances that led to the death of the Egyptian security officers. This apology was issued on August 20, less than two days after the attacks, while not all the victims were buried yet and without waiting for the results of the joint inquiry.

Barak's apology (or expression of regret, as he claimed later to save face, which in Hebrew really could sound the same אני מצטער), wasn't accepted by the Egyptian governing Rage Boy. On August 21 the Rage Boy decided that:
The Israeli decision to work with Egypt to investigate the killings is positive in appearance but does not fit with the weight of the incident and the state of Egyptians' outrage from the Israeli actions.
Of course, no mention of Egyptian inaction that allowed the attack to happen in the first place.

Interestingly, on the same day, August 23, Yediot published two articles: one Yes, apologize to Egypt and the second No apology to Egypt. Both make some interesting points and are a good read, so I shall quote only the concluding paragraphs. The first (do apologize) says:
A mishap happened. Egyptian soldiers were hurt and killed. We are not at fault, apparently. We are never at fault, so let’s apologize and get it over with. We have already apologized for smaller and greater things. So what? Oh, that national honor needed for the poets of glory and victory albums. Yet we want to live. The altar of the homeland can wait.
And the second (no apology):
Peace with Egypt is important; so are our ties with Turkey. Both Cairo and Turkey refer to their honor being trampled upon. Yet nobody talks about Israel’s national honor, which has turned into a floor mat. We need to be reminded that we too have national honor, and the time has come for our leaders to defend it as well.
While the official and unofficial Israel was divided on the Egyptian apology issue, the first report of the (joint? this point is unclear) investigation of the border incident came in (August 23, too). And the results are nothing less than a petard on which a less authoritarian government than that of Egypt would have been surely hoisted:
The IDF did everything in its power to prevent Egyptian troops from getting hurt in last Thursday's multiple terror attacks near Eilat, inquiries conducted by both the IDF and the Egyptian army showed. The IDF also found that at least three of the terrorists were Egyptian citizens.
The more you read this article, the more damning the gathered evidence becomes. And it gets quite clear who is it that needs to apologize. And another point kind of stands out:
Israel was aware of these facts last week, but decided against releasing them in order to avoid embarrassing the Egyptian army and to dodge a media dispute over the versions of the events.
So great are our sensitivity and sympathy to the Egypt's interim government internal issues that we are doing everything not to weaken its grip. And what are the results meanwhile? August 24 (after the report was published):
Egyptian daily al-Youm al-Saba'a reported Wednesday that Egyptian citizens have created groups on Facebook and other social networks calling for "a million-man protest" outside the Israeli embassy in Cairo on Friday. The protesters say the focus of the demonstration will be the demand to have the Israeli ambassador expelled from Egypt and Israel's embassy in the capital closed.
The Rage Boy is out and gaining strength, facts notwithstanding. And adding insult to injury (August 25):
Egypt forbade Israel from launching a large-scale operation in the Gaza Strip following last week's terror attacks in the South, Egypt's envoy to the Palestinian territories said in an interview with Palestinian news agency Ma'an on Wednesday.
Yeah... Egypt forbade... if until now it wasn't clear that the Rage Boy is being fed and directed by some powers growing in the current Egyptian turmoil, I hope that this, at least, is becoming obvious. The addictive Arab habit of scapegoating the Jews and diverting attention from their internal issues was rarely so strongly accented.

So, to conclude: apology is still a positive habit. Whenever the fault is yours, I strongly recommend that you do your utmost and overcome your basic instinct of sinful pride. It is good to apologize, both to clear your conscience and to make friends. And, I shall never tire to repeat the Russian proverb: A bad peace is better than a good war.

But what if your conscience is clear and the apology wouldn't make anyone friendly - just the opposite? What if the only result of that apology will be a request for another one?

Questions, questions...

Cross-posted on Yourish.com

Roberto Arango uncensored pictures

As usual will not appear here. Instead you are invited to watch this and relax:

Really relax now...

27 August 2011

Another side of globalization

That headline gave me a hard time:

Syria warns Turkey: If you attack us, we will bomb Tel Aviv

If the Turkish military invades Syria to stop the Syrian army's brutal crackdown on popular dissent, Damascus will retaliate by bombing Tel Aviv, a website associated with the Syrian government threatened on Thursday.
It is obviously a new international game that has new rules to be studied. So, if you threaten a party, this party threatens that it will attack a third party (that you don't care about). I think I've got it now. Although there is another twist to it:
Syria tells Turkish foreign minister: We have more military might than Libya.
So the threatened party has to refer to some irrelevant fourth party to make a point of its muscle. And there is more:
In addition, the commander of the Iranian Basij militia, Mohammad Reza Naqdi, said that Iran would also fire missiles into Israel if Turkey attacked Syria.
Uhu... the friend of the second party also threatens the third party (that you don't care about).

OK, let's see if I got it all in this example:
  • If Singapore invades Brazil, says Brazilian government, we shall level Estonia. 
  • Besides, we have more soldiers and tanks than Canada!
  • Australia adds that it will jump on Estonia's ashes if Singapore invades Brazil.
How did I do?

Update: SWMBO says that I am wrong in that example. The third party (which I made to be Estonia) must be Tel Aviv no matter who the first, second and fourth parties are. Go figure...

Riding a bike while wearing a skirt - nope, not in NYC

First they came for smokers. Then for burger munchers and trans fats maniacs. Then it was the turn of salt licking fiends. After that, the donut-eaters-in-forbidden-ares got their due.

You would guess that by now a man like Bloomberg could relax in his office chair, comforter or whatever, sip his alcohol-, cholesterol- and trans fats- free vegetable cocktail with imitation salt and enjoy the scalps of all the above mentioned criminals gracing his office walls. And you would be wrong.

Because evil comes in myriad different forms and should be confronted, subdued and fined, no matter the dangers associated with acts of utmost bravery. Here is one unexpected evildoer:

Jasmijn Rickman, who ironically enough is a bike company general manager in Holland, was subjected to some cop harassment while in town for the New Amsterdam Bike Show last month. Riding her bike one day around the city, a police officer pulled her over and said that her exposed legs were "distracting the cars."
Yeah. If she is distracting even the NYC cars, imagine what does she do to the drivers...
Understandably, Rijcken didn't at first believe the police officer, . "I thought he was joking around but he got angry and asked me for my ID," she confessed to the Daily News.
No, dear Ms Rijcken, the cop wasn't joking. There is another city regulation says cops joking on duty is verboten, because it may interfere with their mayor's acid level. And then he may want to forbid some acid-causing foods, like pumpernickel* or ziti**. Or ice cream***...

(*) (**) (***) All these are random foodstuffs examples that are in no way associated with stomach acid percentages. The NYC managers are asked not to get their knickers twisted.

Questions around an amputated penis

The story by itself is hardly funny:

A man is suing the Louisville Jewish Hospital in Kentucky for amputating his penis during a routine circumcision.
Since it was published in JC, I've assumed first that it is another one of the famous "shaking hand" circumcision horror stories. But no:
Philip Seaton was scheduled to have a circumcision to remove inflammation. But the lawyer for surgeon Dr John Patterson said that Dr Patterson had discovered cancer during the surgery in October 2007.
Anyway, I would have forgotten the story immediately, if not the following statement:
Mr Seaton and his wife Deborah are seeking damages as compensation for "loss of service, love and affection".
I assume that the list of the lost abilities above comes from the lawyer. Because, not being a lawyer, I am feeling lost contemplating it. Let's see:
  • Service - check
  • Love - oh well, love should survive the loss, but OK - check.
  • Affection - no, I don't get it. How does one provide (or display) affection using this specific appendage? Maybe the judge should ask the lawyer to demonstrate?
Strange, that.

P.S. The plaintiff lost the suit after all. Probably his lawyer couldn't prove that affection clause.

P.P.S After reading the material I could find on the net, the only Jewish connection of this whole story is the name of the hospital where it happened. So why British JC picked it up is unclear.

26 August 2011

Academic conference seeks to normalize pedophilia

I too didn't believe my eyes:

Researchers from several prominent U.S. universities will participate tomorrow in a Baltimore conference reportedly aiming to normalize pedophilia. According to the sponsoring organization’s website, the event will examine ways in which “minor-attracted persons” can be involved in a revision of the American Psychological Association (APA) classification of pedophilia.

B4U-ACT, a group of pro-pedophile activists and mental health professionals, is behind the August 17 conference, which will include panelists from Harvard University, the Johns Hopkins University, the University of Louisville, and the University of Illinois.
On that occasion I have learned a new euphemism: "minor-attracted persons". I've also learned that there is something that people tend to call "The Academic Pedophile Lobby", actively attempting to give this abomination a cloak of legitimacy.

Speechless. If there ever was a distilled, clear and unequivocal evil, its name is pedophilia, no matter what the underlying cause is.   

I guess ACLU lawyers are gearing up in anticipation...

Via Blazing Cat Fur.

The Council Has Spoken!

Here are this week’s full results:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

Why Golda Meir was right

Not always, but in this case she was. A remarkable article, simply a must read. Also - consider the source.

25 August 2011

All that Jazeera...

I don't rightly know what I like more in this snapshot from Al Jazeera page:

Is it the headline or the lede? Anyway, read the article, it puts the lie to the headline. Or is it headlie?

Yeah, some truce it is...
P.S. Notice how in the Hamas-speak every killed Israeli is a soldier and every killed Gazan is a Palestinian.

Haggling for peace in the Middle East

Moshe Sharon, Professor Emeritus at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, penned an article with a long title:


The conclusion Mr Sharon reached about the long and bumpy road to the undefined goal of peace agreement with out neighbors is that it doesn't lead anywhere, at least not in its present form. And that our partners at the negotiating table are selling something (peace?) they don't actually have or intend to sell even if they did.

As for the future: at that highly hypothetical time when the sides will sit down for serious negotiations, he offers the following ten rules of haggling:

  1. Never be the first to suggest anything to the other side. Never show any eagerness “to conclude a deal.” Let the opponent present his suggestions first.
  2. Always reject; disagree. Use the phrase: “Not meeting the minimum demands,” and walk away, even a hundred times. A tough customer gets good prices.
  3. Don’t rush to come up with counter-offers. There will always be time for that. Let the other side make amendments under the pressure of your total “disappointment.” Patience is the name of the game: “haste is from Satan!”
  4. Have your own plan ready in full, as detailed as possible, with the red lines completely defined. However, never show this or any other plan to a third party. It will reach your opponent quicker than you think. Weigh the other side’s suggestions against this plan.
  5. Never change your detailed plan to meet the other side “half way.” Remember, there is no “half way.” The other side also has a master plan. Be ready to quit negotiations when you encounter stubbornness on the other side.
  6. Never leave things unclear. Always avoid “creative phrasing” and “creative ideas” which are exactly what your Arab opponent wants. Remember the Arabs are masters of language. Playing with words is the Arab national sport. As in the market, so also at the negotiating table, always talk dollars and cents.
  7. Always bear in mind that the other side will try to outsmart you by presenting major issues as unimportant details. Regard every detail as a vitally important issue. Never postpone any problem “for a later occasion.” If you do so you will lose; remember that your opponent is always looking for a reason to avoid honouring agreements.
  8. Emotion belongs neither in the marketplace nor at the negotiating table. Friendly words as well as outbursts of anger, holding hands, kissing, touching cheeks, and embracing should not be interpreted as representing policy.
  9. Beware of popular beliefs about the Arabs and the Middle East - “Arab honor” for example. Remember, you have honor too, but this has nothing to do with the issues under negotiation. Never do or say anything because somebody has told you that it is “the custom.” If the Arab side finds out that you are playing the anthropologist he will take advantage of it.
  10. Always remember that the goal of all negotiations is to make a profit. You should aim at making the highest profit in real terms. Remember that every gain is an asset for the future, because there is always going to be “another round.”
I think that these are good guiding points for that future. Only one thing bothers me: our Arab cousins, as is their habit (see hummus and falafel wars for instance), upon reading these rules will say that they have invented these rules many thousands years ago. To prevent this claim from being ever voiced, here is documentary evidence to the contrary: Jooz are the inventors of haggling:

So there.

A not very rapid response to the riots

Better late then never, they say. In this case it's true. Especially compared to some knee-jerk responses I don't think should be mentioned here. Good stuff, anyway, so just go and read it.

24 August 2011

Why God Caused The Earthquake

This one deserves to be copy/pasted in full from here:

Click on the picture to enlarge

That one calls for a few trivial observations:
  • Inane explanations of the deity's mysterious reasons for doing this or that come from both sides of the political map.
  • Depending on the commentator, the deity is either a commie or a hardcore wingnut. Since the reasons for that frequent change of the deity's political orientation are mysterious and not to be trifled with by mere mortal, one should not try to guess them. Live with it be my suggestion.
  • Not that I, personally, needed this, but this story is another reminder that He (or She) takes care to spread the morons evenly all over the above mentioned political map.
  • And (excuse me for ignorance) who the blazes is Michael McFarland when he is not producing stupid soundbites?
Yeah. Meanwhile, could He/She do something about this humidity outside? A plague of these water absorbent silica gel beads or whatever?

Israel as Xanax for the Arab world

Starting with the demise of Mubarak's regime (actually, with the military putsch that deposed him, let's be precise), the anti-Israeli sentiments, so rife in Egypt, were given a free rein. Which is good, in general: people must be free to display their true feelings, even if we may be unhappy with some of them.

Still, when you see something like this going on in the center of the country - where most of the citizens live below the poverty line, where no one knows what tomorrow will bring (most probably, it will be some kind of Islamist/military-controlled government), where sectarian fighting is on the rise - the attention given to Israel is quite outstanding, wouldn't you agree?

And the explanation (courtesy of Elder of Ziyon) is fairly simple and straightforward:
Israel is our security blanket, our Xanax—call it what you will. We are a people who don’t want to consider any alternative to a safe but ultimately stunting worldview that casts Tel Aviv as the villain. Buying into Israel as the bogeyman is the drug we take to assure ourselves all is well.
Notice that the author of these words is far from being a Zionist.

Says it all, doesn't it?

PETA to launch porn site

Of course, the idea was in the air for some time. Now it seems to become reality:

In another sensational attempt to draw attention to the plight of animals, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is planning to launch a porn site later this year. A spokeswoman for the group says the site will feature adult content along with graphic images of animals that viewers may not expect to see.
As usual, another set of photos is attached to that linked article. No, they are not fully undressed yet. But close to.

Methinks PETA have finally found their real calling, after so many years of wandering in the desert of asexual animal rights. My heartfelt congratulations.

23 August 2011

Earthquake in Richmond VA

Meryl has already dashed off a survivor report from home.

Selected devastation pictures (hat tip Soccer Dad)

Good news: no tsunami warning, according to the latest.

Yes, I've had sex with Rick Perry! And so have you - try to remember...

This is a public service, offered free of charge by this here blog and should be regarded as such.

Rumors about an interesting experiment in applied sociology reached yours truly today.

Robert Morrow, a conspiracy theorist who believes that George H.W. Bush was involved in the Kennedy assassination, bought a full-page ad in the Austin Chronicle (editor’s note: not related to the Houston Chronicle) this week inviting anyone to step forward to “publicize your direct dealings with a Christian-buzzwords-spouting, ‘family values’ hypocrite and fraud.”

Morrow is a Princeton-educated, self-employed investor in Austin who, as you might suspect, takes a dim view of the Texas governor’s presidential campaign.
As a person deeply uninvolved in internal US politics, I was, nevertheless, somewhat excited and even touched by this fresh approach, unrestrained by any norms of clinically acceptable behavior and, to tell the truth, looking like a source of some good clean fun.

The good Mr Morrow, though, limited his target audience:
“Are you a stripper, an escort, or just a ‘young hottie’ impressed by an arrogant, entitled governor of Texas?” the ad asks. Morrow said he’s confident that some women will step forward to discuss their alleged relationships with Perry (the fine print also invites gay men to step forward).
I have decided that we must go a step further: to apply to the sense of fair play of a much larger audience and to avoid possible lawsuits by ACLU.

To this end I have created a Facebook cause:

Fess up that you have had sex with Rick Perry

Every person, not matter what age, color, citizenship, occupation, education, culinary or sexual preferences is invited to sign up.

Let's fess up and start with a clean slate. And have some fun doing so!

Turkey says 90-100 Kurd rebels killed in Iraq raids

First the original quote:

Turkish military operations in northern Iraq have killed some 90-100 Kurdish guerrillas since last week's launch of artillery and air strikes against the separatist group, the armed forces said on Tuesday.
The contents of that quote are crystal clear, right? Now the same quote with emphasis here and there:
Turkish military operations in northern Iraq have killed some 90-100 Kurdish guerrillas since last week's launch of artillery and air strikes against the separatist group, the armed forces said on Tuesday.
Would it mean, by any chance, that a nation, a member of NATO to boot, performs artillery and air strikes against another nation, its neighbor, "rendering ineffective" (an original Turkish term) about a hundred people? I am afraid it does.

Any protests? Amnesty, HRC, UN, ICO? Anybody out there?

Thought so...

Kavkaz Center on Libya and some VIPs

Sometimes I fear that I became addicted to this major source of pleasure. So I try to keep a tight rein on use of their quotes. Today, though, they have published an article Is Libyan 'armed opposition' storming Tripoli? - a gem worth a browse. The piece is full of quotation marks, like here:

In Benghazi, the stronghold of the "rebels", consisting, according to non-Democratic media reports, mainly of foreign mercenaries, the "rebels", or whoever they are, have already started celebrations to mark the "beginning of the liberation of Tripoli". The "rebels" assert that the Libyan government survives its last hours.
The meaning of quotation marks should be more or less clear, but "non-Democratic media" needs an explanation. The mujaheed of Kavkaz Center consider "democracy" (I just must use the quotation marks, you know) to be a Devil's invention, temporary anyway till the day they get their hands on it.

Fine, but now to the main point, which is here:
The Obama's regime officially recognized a so-called "national transitional council" of Western mercenaries. Obama's Lesbian "secretary of state" Hillary has repeatedly urged other governments to open diplomatic missions in Benghazi and to cooperate with the "Libyan armed opposition".
Usually they add to names of the people they have a beef with the title "Jew" - like in "Jew Obama" and "Jew Hillary". I cannot explain the deviation this time. Especially the replacement of the obvious "Jew Hillary" by "Lesbian Hillary".

New editor, new policy or just a mysterious series of Jew-induced typos?

Destination choice for the next floptilla

Canadian B'nai Brith have a few ideas that the obsessed organizers of the anti-Israeli pro-Gazan flotillas could consider (click to enlarge):

Via Blazing Cat Fur.

22 August 2011

New Russians and their old tricks

When you look at Russian behavior in the Middle East during the last few years, it is eerily reminiscent of the good old Soviet Union and its unreserved support of any Arab regime that pitched against the West and, of course, against the little Satan. While Russia has, at least formally, moderated its traditional opposition to Israel and is busily counting its petrodollars and petro-Euros instead of fomenting revolutions in its neighborhood, its involvement in the ongoing conflicts and its handling of the Arab spring shows the same course we (of the appropriate generation) became all too familiar with.

Although, when you look at the underlying reasons for the Russian, seemingly unreasonable support for regimes like the ones of Iran, Syria and Libya, the picture has a few new wrinkles, hitherto unfamiliar to the connoisseurs of the Soviet international policy of old. Where Soviet citizens were painfully used to their dear leaders sending billions of rubles of practically free assistance (including generous allowances for weaponry, the better to resist imperialism in its various guises), the new Russia became rather a capitalist entity by now, being quite interested in getting valyuta (foreign currency) for its tools of destruction.

Nothing shameful by itself in that commercial approach, I hurry to clarify. The only people who don't take money for guns these days are the ones that pay for these guns. And, after we discount the sellers and the buyers, who remains there to cast the first stone? Nah... in fact, this post is to commend the Russians for their refreshing honesty in evaluating their friendships and the reasons for their political support of this or another scandalous polity.

And there are all the good reasons for that. For instance, as this article shows, there are $4bn of good reasons in Libya alone:

Russia's state-owned arms export agency Rosoboronexport stands to lose around USD4 billion as a result of the Libyan conflict and the related UN arms embargo against Tripoli, the head of the organisation has said.
I don't know whether success of the rebels in Libya means that Russian contracts are automatically finished - after all, any new Libyan government will strive to spend its petrodollars somewhere, and why not in Russia? However, the Russian concern is not without reason. Who knows, the new top dog may decide that French and/or German arms are better.

A much better example of Russian new pragmatic approach to life is their response to the Syrian unrest and the bloody way of Baby Assad with suppressing it. Since day one Russian diplomats have gone out of their usual laid-back way to defend the Syrian regime, indefensible by any standard.
Russia opposes U.S. and European leaders' calls for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to resign, Interfax news agency reported Friday, saying that the leader should get more time to implement reforms. The move by Russia counters efforts by leaders ratcheting up international pressure against a regime criticized for its brutal crackdown against protesters calling for reforms and the ouster of al-Assad.
From the start of the revolt Russia was practically the only state (of the ones who count) that openly and unreservedly stood against any attempts to censure the bloody regime. The chief reason (aside of the traditional Moscow's interest in the area) is freely and openly discussed in this article from Russian Izvestiya, titled "Cancellation of contracts with Syria will cost Russian MIC* $4B". The article's lede says "Americans urge Russians to stop supply of arms to Assad, while not offering any alternative". Here is the gist of the article:
  • Hillary Clinton demanded that Russia stop the flow of arms to Syrian regime.
  • But Americans are not offering anything for that as a compensation.
  • Follows a long list of weaponry - from submarines to training planes for Syrian air force.
  • Military and technological cooperation [sic] between Russian and Syria has always been of interest to US and Israely intelligence [I wonder why].
  • If Russia will go with the American wishes, it will not only lose several billions but will also undermine its reputation of a reliable provider of arms to Middle East.
  • The weapons shipped to Syria are high-tech products necessary to keep Israel in check [I wonder about the harmony between Lebanese, Syrian, Iranian and Russian propaganda in this respect at least - it must be true then].
  • The Izvestiya's sources in Foreign Ministry said that it will be too much honor to respond to every announcement and every wish of Hillary CLinton [in other words, Hillary, here is a finger - take it or leave it].
  • As far as internal situation in Syria is concerned, with all its complexity, Russian FM doesn't see any loss of control by the government there over the situation in general. Including military cooperation and standing behind the existing contracts.
If you have expected any reference to Syrian dissidents dispatched to the next world on daily basis, my apologies - there wasn't any such reference to offer. By the way, don't invest too much of your time searching the official and semi-official Russian media for any reporting dedicated to the daily killing that continues in Syria. You will hardly find anything there. Now you know why.

(*) MIC - military-industrial complex.

Cross-posted on Yourish.com

Muammar Gaddafi/Kadafi/Qaddafi/... - the end is nigh?

It looks like after 42 years at the helm, the job has exhausted its newness for the tyrant. One request to the rebels, though: please, choose somebody whose name is not so controversial and doesn't have so many versions next time.

21 August 2011

Does British Labour need a new candidate for London Mayor?

And all these other rhetorical questions like the Pope pooping in the woods, Cinderella eating a pumpkin pie etc... Anyway, there is a good selection of references in that article in Engage.

The only detail I would like to draw your attention to is that quote from Red Ken:

It’s a simple choice between good and evil – I don’t think it’s been so clear since the great struggle between Churchill and Hitler.
This re his next year’s battle against Boris Johnson for Mayor.

I know that Red Ken isn't and will never be even a flea on the tail of Churchill's dog (if the old man had a dog - I'm not sure) and Red Ken knows it. But why does he want to imagine himself as the other one?

Beats me.

The ancient art of inane captions

Under one shot from a really cool set of nature photography pictures - BBC:

Scientists analysing the photographs found that areas of continuous forest had a higher diversity of species and a greater variety of animal sizes. These pristine forests were home to more large mammals, such as these mountain gorillas recorded in Uganda.
Somebody send the above mentioned scientists a Nobel prize, please, I am all out at the moment...

Bits and bites

If at the beginning of the Bollywood movie there is a rifle hanging on the wall, toward the end it will sing and dance.

Hat tip: R.V.

20 August 2011

BDS Fail. Let the (Micro) Chips Fall Where They May

Just when one thought the anti-Israel boycott movement (BDS) could not get any sillier, it outdoes itself.
Enjoy this in-depth look into the murky mind of BDS folks. By Jim Wald.

Outrageous PETA campaigns? Not at all!

The good folks of UPI have kindly offered an excellent selection of pictures, 27 in all, from various PETA outings. Usually I am easily incensed by the customary PETA mental debauchery. This time I was rather enchanted, spending much more time than expected on that series. Warmly recommended. Here are two examples:

As you can see, the PETA member in this picture gives out free vegan hot dogs. I hope more astute members of the public have enough wherewithal to bring their own wieners hot dogs to slip into the free ban surreptitiously. Oh, and a leaf or two of that lettuce (or is it cabbage? no matter) will go down famously with the hot dog.

In that one three out of four ladies (why? what about the fourth one?) went naked to protest wearers of fur, like that lady on the left side. I declare hereby that I don't wear any fur aside of my own and am ready to prove it. By appointment or just by visiting one of similar happenings. Are we cool with that?

Anyway, go see these pictures. Good stuff all of them.

Only in ...

I really don't know where this picture was taken:

Educated guess? Feel free.

19 August 2011

Ed Schultz against Rick Perry's racism: hilarious!

I only hope Jimmy Carter watched this and, if possible, learned something:

Good hunting, Mr Petrov!

Ivan Petrov of Kaluga*, preparing for a day of hunting, took his son's pack of cigarettes by mistake. It wasn't noon yet when Mr Petrov has already bagged three giraffes.

(*) Kaluga - city in the vicinity of Moscow.

Hat tip: H.A.

London Olympics 2012 - new promo

Borrowed from Blazing Cat Fur with thanks.

The Council Has Spoken!

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week! And don’t forget to follo

18 August 2011

Terrorist attacks north of Eilat

So far (14:00) the reporting isn't precise and there are still firefights close to the Egyptian border. What is known:

  • A bus on the route to Eilat came under small caliber fire from 3 terrorists. As a result, there are 5 or 6 lightly wounded.
  • An anti-tank missile was launched at another bus passing in the area, there are several passengers killed and several wounded.
  • A car (whether private or military) activated an explosive device. Several wounded and killed.
  • The initial confused reporting about Egyptian army shooting at the bus - mistake.
At the moment it is known about three terrorists killed in the firefight. IDF continues clean-up of the area.

Update 14:30: 5 dead in the car that was hit by the explosive device.

Update 15:20: The total number of wounded as reported now: 29. The firefights, apparently, are over, however IDF and police units are still in pursuit.

Update 15:45: The known number of terrorists killed: seven.

Update 16:00: Six Israelis dead - so far. On the bus that came under small caliber fire there were 9 wounded and not "five or six" as reported earlier, one of them critically. Egypt denies that the terrorists came in from its territory (probably implying some supernatural transportation phenomenon).

The driver of that first bus insists that he has seen two Egyptian soldiers shooting at his bus from the border. Both IDF and Egyptian army deny. Could be the terrorists used Egyptian uniform - nothing new under the sun.

Update 16:20: Two kids aged 4 and 6 between the victims. Not confirmed officially yet.

According to "defense sources" the current estimates are that the attacks were perpetrated by a group of up to 20 terrorists that used tunnels between Gaza and Egypt and then crossed the Israel border. Hamas may not have been involved, the chief suspect is currently the so called World Jihad faction, affiliated with Al Qaeda (for what worth this affiliation may be).

Update 16:30: The number of victims is seven now. Two women among them No confirmation about two kids. Searches by IDF and police in the area continue.

Update 18:00: Egyptian army reports on killing two terrorists. Unconfirmed by IDF.
The number of Israeli victims is back to six. The seventh body possibly a dead terrorist.

Update 18:30: No updates so far, on the radio the usual talking heads are busy with the issue of the Egypt/Israel border fence. As usual, everyone is blaming everyone else in the delays.

Update 18:45: Interview with Ehud Barack and an IDF commander (Gen. Tal Russo). Apparently the number of Israelis killed is 7: 6 citizens and one soldier.

The picture of terrorists participating in the events: three, armed by rifles, explosive belts and explosive charges (or grenades) shot at the buses. Later one of them blew self up, the other two were killed by IDF. Two additional terrorists sniped from the border, later were shot by IDF. Another two shot by Egyptians, so it's confirmed.

Barack mentioned the Gazan so called "Popular Resistance Committees (PRC)". While Barack gave his overview, new reports of new shooting in the area come in.

Meanwhile, reports from Gaza on IDF attack are coming in too. Part of them mention jets, part of them UAVs, but apparently a house in Rafiach (Rafah) - the city on the Gazan Egyptian border, center of weapon and goods smuggling from Sinai - blew up. Apparently, a commander in PRC was killed.

Update 19:05: There was a new firefight on the border indeed. One IDF soldier wounded, his condition defined as serious. Unclear who initiated the firefight and why. The firefight still goes on.

CoS confirmed the attack on Rafah. Two senior figures of PRC were killed

Update 20:25: The two operational Iron Dome systems are being relocated to cope with expected rocket attacks from Gaza. A stormy night is expected.

Mossad's designs on Egyptian fertility

The story itself could be worth a read, although by now you have heard quite a few of those from Egypt. They still cannot forget or forgive Mozes and his people getting away with Pharaoh's best Sabbath silverware set, obviously.

But we here, using our Elders' credentials (and some personal connections, too) have decided to present photographic evidence:

Mossad agent checking the main tool of crime before going out on unbridled attack on Egyptian fertility sources.

And you still think it's all about the borders and the settlements?

Check this out then:

It takes 20 seconds for Nabil Shaath, PLO's Head of Foreign Relations, to reveal the "secret" in an interview in Arabic to Lebanon's ANB TV, on 13 July, 2011

Yup. Yasser is long gone but the double-tongued manner is deeply rooted in Palestinian discourse. Compare with:

PA says tired of 'Israel's lies'

Pot... kettle...

17 August 2011

Je veux pisser, je veux pisser!

This story could be told in one sentence:

The U.S. Ski Team has dismissed an 18-year-old member of its development squad after he was accused of getting drunk and then urinating on a fellow passenger aboard a JetBlue flight to New York City.
The implications, however, are more interesting than the above described act by itself: people, when under influence, are known to perform even more heinous acts. Just think about it: knowing that a drink on a flight within US costs from $3 and up - how much money do you have to spend to get into a state that will allow you to smilingly piss upon your neighbor?

Meanwhile another story with a similar outcome, but with a more famous protagonist came up:
France's biggest film star Gerard Depardieu urinated on board an airplane in front of fellow passengers after cabin crew refused to let him use the bathroom.
Of course, it puts the first story in a new light. Who knows, that poor skier could have been pressed into same predicament.

Besides, it could be a trend. And the accepted theory about Pitot tube being the main culprit in some air crashes could do with a revision now. Who knows?

Your health!

The intelligent homosexual's guide to avoiding frank discussion of a controversy


A tragedy shrouded in silence: a must read

Why has it taken so long for Israel to raise the issue of Jewish refugees from Arab countries? There are pragmatic as well as ideological reasons, but looking back, Israel's failure appears a monumental error of judgement. In an important new article for Azure magazine, Adi Schwartz has lifted the veil shrouding the tragedy of silence surrounding Jews from the Arab world and charted the twists and turns in Israel's policy on the refugee issue. Read the whole thing!

London riots illuminated

Not explained, mind you - it's not a poet's job. Explanations are for people digging own graves.

16 August 2011

Oh Roger, Roger...

I am really starting to pity the man... sorry, I meant Roger Cohen of NYT. No matter what he is writing about, he remains a man who rarely misses an opportunity to miss a point. Here comes a recent example: August 13, 2011, Mr Cohen declares in his article The Age of Outrage:

Perhaps the society dealing best with these dilemmas is Germany. It has invested in a highly educated work force. It has matched workers’ skills to jobs. It has continued to make precision machinery others can’t make. [And several more sentences starting with "It..."].
And here we are, only three days later: Germany adds to eurozone crisis. Guess what it is about?

Regular as Swiss clockwork, our Roger. Read his article, bet on the opposite of what he says and sing all the way to the bank.


Glenn Beck: his heart is in the right place

What do you say about a person who can't open his (exceptionally big) mouth without sticking at least one foot in it? Whose lack of knowledge and understanding is exceeded only by his righteous zeal? Yes, you've got it.

US radio personality declares Israel's housing protesters part of radical Left movement, suggests they are associated with Islamist extremists.
It is pure luck that no Islamist commie dropped on my head from one of the trees I happen to pass by as I visit Tel Aviv...

While London was burning

Well, let's not exaggerate. Not the whole of London but still it was a grim spectacle. I guess, though, that no matter how momentous and tragic the event, there will always be someone to utter something incredibly stupid. And someone else to laugh at that.

While the rioters in England this week have looted shops selling shoes, clothes, computers, and plasma televisions, they've curiously bypassed one particular piece of merchandise: books.
Emphasis mine.

To mollify my British friends: I didn't really have a full-blown belly laugh reading this. First of all, since I have a back pain that just kills me since I've opened my eyes this morning. And then, the Guardian... ehehe... 

Hat tip: Louise.

If you hesitated about your 2012 vote...

Doubts no more:

15 August 2011

Ron Paul 2012 and Paultards

This is a subject I always feel uneasy writing about. After all, discussing (and sometimes dissing) running US presidential candidates is an internal affair and should be restricted to the citizens involved.

That one is somewhat exceptional, so I reluctantly break my own rule. While my sympathies are with the libertarian cause, Ron Paul is taking the cause in the direction that (given he wins, which is, as far as my friends tell me, a low probability outcome) is sure to bring the country to its demise. And I am not talking about the small government/low taxes part, but about the isolationism he preaches.

Non-involvement in the outside world affairs may work - for a while. As it worked for Rome, Japan, China and other places that decided to put themselves in enforced isolation. But then the moment will inevitably come when the big bad wolf is already huffing and puffing at your door, and unfortunately you don't have firewood to boil the water. I am afraid that with Ron Paul at the helm that moment will come sooner rather than later, taking into account his exceptional lack of knowledge and understanding of the world outside USA and his monochrome "let's all be friends" mantra used to respond to any worrisome phenomenon in that world. Or his responses like "CIA Tells Me Iran Not Working on Nuclear Weapon". Naive? Trusting? Interesting how this most naive and trusting person will interpret something like this:

Today Zionists are completely surrounded by the Mujahedin of Islam and we advise them (Zionists) to return to the countries of their origin soon to save their lives.
Something a la Juan Cole, I wonder? By the way, the plans Mahmoud the Mad nurtures re United States are not very much different, but of course one can make allowances for sanity in this case, I guess.

But you know what: even Paul's attitude to Israel sometimes makes sense. I wouldn't reject this statement lightly:
I am not the only one who can see the absurdities of our foreign policy. We give $3 billion to Israel and $12 billion to her enemies. Most Americans know that makes no sense.
I have always been a fan of the idea that cutting this $3B umbilical cord that, in a way, is twisted around our necks, is a good deed, no matter that a few new holes will have to be made in our collective belt. Only, of course, it's not about the money as much as about the military purchases made with it. And I am quite certain that Mr Paul hasn't said all he thinks yet, hiding - among other things - his thoughts about these purchases. To be fair, here is a WND article by a lady who claims to be "a principled libertarian and an unapologetic Zionist" that tries to prove that Ron Paul is good for Israel. Could be. I strongly doubt it for some reason.

The other way to judge a man is to check who his friends are. Friends there are aplenty, and I am sure that many of them are nice, libertarian kind of hard-working people who (like I, by the way), would like to see less of the Big Brother, more of their own money and more say in what to do with their own lives. However, not all of Paul supporters are of that kind. And here comes the crunch: tell me who your friends are...

The tolerance Ron Paul displays of his anti-Zionist (if not outright antisemitic) supporters was already noted. So is his tolerance of openly antisemitic ones. Many of these characters appear on a site Daily Paul, which usually revs up at crucial election or primary times.  Then all kinds of odious "supporters" crawl out from the woodwork - the conspiracy freaks, members of this or another militia, the intrepid fighters against the New World Order, white supremacy knights etc. Among them, of course, your garden variety "anti-Zionists". Daily Paul takes care to allow Paul a step or two back from what is going on in its articles and, especially, comments.

Recently I've seen another shining example of a Ron Paul's supporter going all out in his "anti-Zionism". Somebody with a moniker James_Madison_Lives discloses a frightful Zionist propaganda conspiracy. Well, not really a conspiracy when its chief protagonists willingly tell all to anyone, but why not present it as something sinister and secret? What is interesting in this article is the support material used by the author. To start with, the plainly anti-Zionist Israeli Occupation Magazine. To continue: Counterpunch - as anti-Semitic as they come, with Jonathan Cooke, the British Palestinian. And to top that, one Greg Felton, charitably characterized by Terry Glavin as "Jew-obsessed, conspiracist, Hamas-praising, Ahmedinejad-admiring, medication-needing". More on Greg Felton, if you wish, but get your barf bags ready.

Just one example of many, and if you have a few hours to spend - especially if you feel that you lean toward voting for that man - visit the Daily Paul Liberty Forum. Then decide if you are going to join the company of these ladies and gentlemen. Or, if you want a shortcut, just check out the comments to one short piece. The reason I put so much stress on Daily Paul and its branches is simple: the place identifies itself with Paul (save that disclaimer) and I don't doubt that a phone call from Ron Paul would have changed the contents and the tone of that ridiculous site. Still year after year it consistently churns out all matter of sick bullshit and the telephone just doesn't ring...  so something isn't right there, and it's not just Daily Paul management.

Yes, all that besides the esteemed candidate himself rejecting the evolution theory and nurturing conspiracy theories instead. 

So - you decide.

Thanks to Judeopundit for some background material.

Cathay Pacific uncensored oral sex scandal photos

are not part of our usual repertoire here. If you must, here is a brief on the subject. Otherwise, our role is to calm you down, so here is another bird shot:

Click on it, watch it for a minute or so, relax...

14 August 2011

The true mystery of Daud Abu Yusef, the Jewish Bedouin

Remarkable story by Dvar Dea.

The relentless kneebiters of Tehran

The new way Tehran Ayatollahs found of fighting the Big Satan, Little Satan and all the Medium Satans is slowly but surely taking shape. Instead of (or in addition to) the pompous announcements of adding a new piece of military equipment to their arsenal, Tehran spin masters have started to use small and not very painful bites in the indicated area. Like this: Iran names street after Rachel Corrie (with touching assistance from the Guardian*, of course).

Or like this: President Ahmadinejad Deplores Suppression of Protesters in Britain

Or this: Tehran Times: "Iran warns against travel to Britain"

I have only one thing to say:

  • This is much better than exchanging missiles, and if this is to be the way to fight, I am all for it.
  • These jokes are still not very funny, compared to that joke where Mahmoud Ahmadinejad enters a bar and... you know the one I mean. Still much room for improvement, but don't despair.
  • Most important, thanks to Tehran worthies I've  learned something:

Doesn't it just take the biscuit? And I was sure the word is as old as pyramids...

P.S. And a free advice to the Guardian: there is a better picture of Rachel Corrie you can use:

De nada.

Hat tip: Francis Sedgemore

Simply Che

This is the fifth from that collection.

Might cause slight indigestion to at least two persons. One of them is dead anyway, so...

13 August 2011

New in "how to" category

By Dale Carnegie: How to get rid of friends you've acquired using my previous book.

Hat tip: H.A.

Crocodile vs Cheetah: inconclusive

But still a win for the gator crocodile, if only by points:

But no worries, felines sometimes win too.

Thanks to Guest on the correction.

Tourists nabbed with cocaine inside stomachs: an easy explanation

Surely Zionist press is unfair to otherness:

An x-ray examination reveals 2.5 kilograms of liquid cocaine concealed inside condoms in stomachs of Bolivian couple arriving at Ben-Gurion Airport; drug content worth some $200,000.
Only down close to the end of that article you see the key sentence:
As airport detectives took the couple aside for questioning, they were surprised to discover, during an x-ray examination, that the Bolivian tourists were smuggling 2.5 kilograms of liquid cocaine in their stomachs concealed inside 85 condoms.
Now, I hope, everything is illuminated: the two simply participated in a condom swallowing competition, so popular lately in that locale. And, of course, with water shortages being felt all over the world, the cheapest local filling material was chosen. The rest is history.

I hope they get a good lawyer.

Camille Grammer apologizes to Kelsey over penis Insult

The insult was "Big hands, big feet, big disappointment", but the apology was different, sounding like "The size of my disappointment was greatly exaggerated by the media".

12 August 2011

By appointment to the Holy See

From Francis Sedgemore.

I have looked up that company. In fact, their expertise (roofing) and their claim of infallibility made me fall in love with them immediately. All roofing experts I have encountered until now (and paid dearly for the privilege) are experts mostly in empty promises. As the various patches on our ceilings are the wetness  witness... 

The Council Has Spoken!

Here are this week’s full results:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

11 August 2011

Wicked or evil?

I advise you to go there and marvel at the elegant takedown by Norm of the quote below (Terry Eagleton):

What happened on both occasions [September 11 1973 in Chile and September 11 2001 in the US] was a moral obscenity and wicked, but it was not, in a technical sense, evil. There is a distinction between evil and wickedness. It is wicked to destroy innocent people for one's political ends, as Al Qaeda did that day in New York and the United States has done in Vietnam, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and countless other places around the world. For an act to be evil, however, means that the destruction must be done simply for the hell of it - for the sheer obscene pleasure of the thing, rather than for some functional end.
Meanwhile I'll stay here in the dark, wondering why Norm's decided to skip some fishy moral equivalence points. I guess he had his reasons.

P.S. I would still have to see an act of destruction where the perpetrator didn't have any "functional end" to present. Even a lunatic "functional end" counts, I dare say. Because to judge lunacy is a whole other domain.

P.P.S. My ever-present World Web dictionary (version 5.5.2 if you absolutely have to know) defines "wickedness" as one of the synonyms for "evil". Oh well.