19 April 2014

Happy Easter

To all our Christian friends. And a set of visual greetings for every taste. Starting with a generic one:

Now a political one:

And one for cat lovers:

Of course, one with some violence (verbal and physical):

And, not to forget, something for old goats (like I):

And for a good measure, an unforgettable Jelly Bean Pooping Easter Bunny - read the comments!

Merry and happy Easter, you all out there!

Rabbi Lau vs Nazis on who is a Jew

That thorny question about who is a Jew is again raising its ugly head. This time the initiator of the squabble is:

Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau
From his recent interview:
Lau says he wants to work with Jewish Agency aliyah emissaries to “get to every corner of the world, to cemeteries, community records, asking non-Jewish neighbors, and you can help people” who wish to convert. However, he says the Law of Return is “problematic,” adding that former religious affairs minister Yossi Beilin “called for its cancellation,” and that “the state of Israel has to decide if it wants to be a welfare state for the Third World, bringing in everyone who has a connection with Judaism, or perhaps only those who are Jews.” As an example, he offered the case of “a grandfather who isn’t even buried here, he’s buried in Russbach, Germany, but because of one grandfather, 78 [relatives] of his wife, grandchildren, everyone gets absorption benefits and all the rights.”
I don't want to get into an argument with a man who can outargue my legs from under me. Just a reminder:
On November 14, 1935, the Nazis issued the following definition of a Jew: Anyone with three Jewish grandparents; someone with two Jewish grandparents who belonged to the Jewish community on September 15, 1935, or joined thereafter; was married to a Jew or Jewess on September 15, 1935, or married one thereafter; was the offspring of a marriage or extramarital liaison with a Jew on or after September 15, 1935.
I know that this opinion of mine isn't going to be popular in some circles, but, unfortunately, I have to say that in this case the Nazi version works for me better.

And, to bring the point to the extreme: if a man (woman) is crazy (or inspired) enough to wish to join the tribe, knowing all the pitfalls involved: let it be so.

Now you see it and now you don't: does IDF use Photoshop to impress the public?

Well, it comes from a Lebanese paper, they say, but still:

Lebanese paper publishes photos of reported arms depot in Hezbollah-controlled area and images taken 10 days after alleged strike of scorched earth.
I mean it looks like a regiment of grunts with a very tough sergeant did a thorough clean-up job there for a few days...

And that image didn't fail to remind me something I've seen recently:

Oh well, too many questions...

The Council Has Spoken!

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

18 April 2014

Gabriel Garcia Marquez, RIP

"Claro que Gabriel García Márquez no ha muerto." (Of course Gabriel García Márquez is not dead.)

Never. Never.

Kate Upton wishes her breasts were smaller: a case for government intervention?

I am not a communist, but this case of possible neglect makes me wonder: shouldn't the objects in question be nationalized as a national treasure?

They’re two of the biggest stars in fashion, double-billing on the covers of Sports Illustrated, Vogue and Vanity Fair and lusted over by countless admirers — still, Kate Upton can’t stand them, reports The New York Post.
A possible case for EPA? Treasure (no pun intended) Dept?

On the other hand, this may be just a case of Kate scaring up more publicity, after all who can forget this:

Not I, at any rate...

Another book not to read

The blurb that starts with:

A young CIA lawyer uncovers a dangerous worldwide conspiracy, masterminded by forces within the US intelligence community.
and ends (more or less) with:
With the help of a neurotic hacker, ... unravels a conspiracy older than the CIA itself.
Nah... try again, please...

Why would a lawyer uncover... how could these CIA characters mastermind... nah... peace...

Is political barfing a wave of the future?

Apologies for poor and disgusting pun, but truly, what do you want me to do?

Soon in the various parliaments of the world...

17 April 2014

The Donetsk directive: a hoax that reverberates

This leaflet, distributed to the Jews of Ukrainian city of Donetsk* by people alleged to be Russian separatists and requesting that Donetsk Jews register with some ill-defined pro-Russian local authority, has all the telltale signs of a crude provocation. On the face of it, this is a fake intended to present the pro-Russian forces in Donetsk as a dark antisemitic power with the worst intentions.
It orders all Jews aged over 16 years old to register before the government building, which has been occupied by pro-Russian insurgents in defiance of Kiev rule.

Jews would also have to pay a registration fee of $50 (£30) before 3 May and list all real estate and vehicles owned.

The registration and the fee are due because the Jewish leaders "supported the nationalist junta of [Stepan] Bandera in Kiev" and are hostile "to Orthodox Donetsk republic and its citizens.

"In case of failure to register, the perpetrators will be stripped of their citizenship and deported forcibly outside the country with confiscation of property."
To the people with even a smidgen of knowledge of Jewish history this leaflet can't fail to remind a leaflet distributed in 1942 by occupying German army in Kiev, ordering the Jews to present themselves to "authorities" with all their valuables...

Of course, the knowledge that, according to the reports, the leaflet was distributed by "three unidentified men wearing balaclavas and carrying the flag of the Russian Federation", strengthens the suggestion that this act was an intentional (and crude) provocation by the Ukrainian side of the conflict, aimed to paint the Russian separatists in the dirtiest colors.

And of course, the bloody history of the region's political upheavals frequently included Jews as bystander victims, where all sides of almost every conflict felt free to slaughter as many as their mood dictated. From Bohdan Khmelnytsky and up.

The only question is: was that specific provocation a fruit of Ukrainian inventiveness or, taking another step into conspiracy twilight, an even more complicated maneuver by the Moscow tacticians of the dirty tricks? But one can play this game forever, without getting to a firm conclusion.

Meanwhile the Jews of Donetsk will not sleep well...

(*) Donetsk, a Ukraine province with 4.3 million people - 10 percent of Ukraine's population - and 17,000 Jews, is home to much of the country's heavy industry, and is thus the biggest prize of the eastern regions where pro-Russian separatists have captured government buildings in the past week.

Thus does Putin enjoy

A full quote from one and only Terry Glavine:

In these ways, Ukraine’s brave democrats are confronted with an untenable decision. It’s either stand against the Russian bully on their own with nothing to go on but empty talk about “red lines” disgorged as though by some machine in the U.S. State Department’s press liaison office, or surrender their proud country to the status of a vassal state, a satrapy to Russia’s kleptocrats, like Belarus, or Kazakhstan.

Thus does Putin enjoy for his side the unimpeachable evidence for the worthlessness of American friendship in the Age of Obama.
But read it all, by all means.

Watcher’s Council Nominations – Yippee-Ki-Yay Edition

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

16 April 2014

The wondrous stutter of Andrew Sullivan

I have recently wondered about Andrew Sullivan (Biased and Balanced) being so strict with the Zionist State about its wavering loyalty to Washington. Apologies for quoting myself, but this is what I've written in the conclusion to that post: "I consider Sullivan to be many things, but stupid is not one of them."

The latest diatribe by Mr Sullivan, nailing Israel to the wall of shame (again) for its insufficient support of US position on Russian shenanigans in Ukraine, however, provides a good reason to review that conclusion. The argumentation and tone of that screech are very similar to that previous case:
I cannot think of an alliance quite this perverse: the US gives Israel vital protection at the UN, vast amounts of intelligence and military assistance, $3 billion a year in aid and in return is opposed in most of its foreign policy initiatives, and its officials routinely slimed and attacked by members of the Israeli government. Name any other “ally” that behaves this way.
Notice the Goebbelsian love of hype in the above quote: "opposed" for sitting on the fence and "routinely slimed and attacked" for whatever this or another unruly Israeli minister said about this or another act or decision by an American VIP.

I could easily fisk the quote, but there is practically no need. Because (exactly as in that previous case), Andrew Sullivan fisks himself better, and, surprisingly (or not?), during that same day, April 14. In that other article titled Why Do So Many Germans Support Putin? he (while not voicing his august opinion on that support - I wonder why?) quite sympathetically quotes some German reader who explains why it is so. I just have to copy the main bullets from that explanation:
  • They [Germans] want Germany to do politics purely based in Germany’s and not in John McCain’s or Victoria “Fuck the EU” Nuland’s (and all the other Western clowns handing out cookies on Maidan square).
  • They [Germans] don’t understand what on earth the Ukraine has to do with the EU at a time that the EU is in deep crisis. Who are these incompetent politicians engaging in these terribly shortsighted idealistic adventures and who authorized them to act in such way in our name?
  • They [Germans] see the hypocrisy of the West when for example John Kerry says “in the 21st Century you cannot simply invade another country on trumped up charges.” Hello?
So let's see. When puny Israel allows itself to sit on the fence regarding Ukraine, it gets a (very stinky) broadside from Sullivan, with recounting all the wonderful things US of A does for it.

When Germans, quite unreservedly, diss US of A on the same subject, this is somehow acceptable to Sullivan.

Of course, the humongous amounts of money spent by US yearly on direct military presence in Europe (chiefly in Germany, it so happens), the nuclear umbrella US provides to Europe practically gratis, etc dwarf the military and financial assistance provided to Israel hundreds of times. Shouldn't Sullivan address a similar diatribe (only worded proportionally stronger, due to the overwhelming monetary and other values of US support to Germany) to the European partner?

Since he doesn't, I have only two possible options:
  1. Review the statement about Andrew Sullivan not being stupid or
  2. Conclude that anything related to the Zionist entity automatically deprives the said Andrew Sullivan of any common sense, logic or, indeed, the famous British fairness
Which one of the above should I choose?

You tell me.

A most baffling headline: Security 'bad news for sex drive'

And the lede of the article is even more baffling:

A woman's sex drive begins to plummet once she is in a secure relationship, according to research.
What the heck is "secure relationship"? Does it have something to do with all kinds of security outfits? The War on Terror? DHS? Shin Bet?

And what should a man do to avoid it?

Consider me deeply confused...

14 April 2014

Happy Passover - חג חרות שמח!

To whom it may concern and all the friends whom it doesn't concern directly. Of course, as the habit of this blog, a few food-related remarks:

And the eternally funny and somewhat related:

Enjoy you Seder now, you hear?

12 April 2014

Bay Area anarchists leave Marx standing in the dust Part I: redefining "parasite"

Clearly the image of a proud American, nurtured by American writers for so many years, is quite swiftly becoming a fond memory. I mean that American that believed in his/her personal freedoms, including the freedom to disregard the nanny state that ties your hands, enters your life, your kitchen, your bedroom, your brain and offers its ill-earned handouts, instead of letting you go out into the big bad world and work out your own way to feed yourself and your family. So far it looks like in the battle between the libertarian ideals and the state's unprecedented (in American history) growth the latter wins.

One of the reasons the state wins is, in my opinion, the successful encroachment of the Third Left* in the area neglected by the liberal and conservative political streams: education. Leaving many other regrettable results of the encroachment to separate discussions, I would like to focus on one of them: the unshakable sense of entitlement, carried out by an American youth from their places of learning.

Kevin Rose
There is nothing better (education-wise) than to illustrate one's thesis by a funny, albeit totally true, supportive story. So at this point the boring part of the post is practically over. And here is the story. There is an entrepreneur named Kevin Rose, whose illustrious history of entrepreneurship includes one successful venture: Digg; and several comparative failures. Still, the man has clearly an original mind, which brought him to attention of the mighty Google, where he is now a venture partner at Google Ventures. And thus he ended up on the receiving end of the Bay Area anarchists' ire.

It so happens that Google Ventures is held (by the anarchists) responsible for the (undeniable) sharp increase in housing prices in the Bay Area:
As a way of honoring the system that brought them their wealth, Brin and Page created Google Ventures, the venture capital wing of the corporation. The employees of Google Ventures select startups and existing companies to either fund or acquire. Many of these investments are located in the Bay Area and the employees of these newly funded or acquired startups have moved to San Francisco and parts of Oakland.
And thus:
Venture capitalists enable these tech-workers by funding their startups. With the success of each startup, more and more ambitious tech-workers flock to the city and displace underemployed service workers to the cities at the far reaches of the BART line. These workers must then commute back to San Francisco or Oakland every morning, in most cases to perform menial tasks for the entitled scum who drove them out in the first place.
So, the positioning of the good vs bad is clear: "underemployed service workers" (not clearly defined) vs the "entitled scum" who are defined precisely: the "tech-workers" employed by the start-ups. And, since Kevin Rose himself chose the neighborhood for his home, his presence close to the battlefield, so to say, his house is being picketed now:

The demo at Rose's place
Leaving aside the issue of Kevin Rose's "ballz" (you can read the linked article about it, suffice to say that Mr Rose is not necessarily an angel), his designation as a parasite should raise an eyebrow or two. Whatever he is, his life story doesn't look as that of a parasite... but this is not very important.

Of course, the anarchists, never being ones for fine nuance, made the disposition of forces on the battlefield to look as simple as possible, leaving out the housing market, the owners, the lack of rent protection, the indifference of the local elected authorities etc. Why bother, when there is a Kevin Rose close at hand to blame:
We are here today because a few of the thousands low-paid, underemployed service workers got fed up with Kevin Rose treating them like the shit one scrapes from their boot, not even worthy of eye contact or the basic pleasantries generally taken for granted in our culture.
Simple and straightforward: Kevin Rose as evil personified. Do you dig it, comrade? Sure do, bro...

And then the authors of the whole brew come up with a smashing statement - a single sentence that (almost, but not quite) takes the cake, at least in this story:
Unfortunate people like Kevin Rose have never known a world without capitalism and in their ignorance they only know how to fortify it.
Yep. Poor Mr Rose. I bet the fairly fashionably dressed ladies from that picket know a lot about living in the "world without capitalism", whatever it means for them. Probably could tell me a lot I don't know. Or simply don't grok.

And then the screed continues into painfully familiar:
Everything they do helps to extend the suicidal reign of this world system that renders all life into a commodity and replaces real life with digital distractions that lead people into narcosis, gluttony, and sociopathic greed. Kevin Rose and his employers at Google represent one part of a larger structure that keeps people enslaved to this single economic system that is literally killing the planet and decreasing the chances of continued life.
And more, much more of the same Third Left drivel. Yes, do yourself a favor: go buy and read that book by Barry Rubin (see the end of this post).

Well, you have seen the build-up to the end of the old era, the suicidal rein of greedy and unbridled "tech entrepreneurship" that enslaves, narcotizes, kills the planet and the life. But our friends The Counterforce (this is how the call themselves, at least in that article) have a fantastic plan for the new era, that of the shining future, where all will be well, no worries whatsoever. This will be disclosed in the second post on the subject.

(*) The Third Left is a term coined by the late prof Barry Rubin to designate the wildly successful new wave of leftist practice that culminated (so far) in election of Barak Obama. Read more in his book Silent Revolution: How the Left Rose to Political Power and Cultural Dominance.