30 April 2009

BMI - doing Mahmoud the Mad's bidding?

BMI (British Midland Airways) airline provided today a so much needed refreshing scoop: according to Galei Tzahal (the army radio), passengers flying from UK to Israel were surprised to see on their TV screens that the destination they considered to exist is no more. The map provided looks like this:

The only city that appears is Haifa, and this under its Arabic name. Moreover, the destination (Tel Aviv) and the distance to it are replaced by the following:

Looks kinda discombobulating for the passengers who could hardly expect to be welcomed at that specific geographic location.

The explanation that was issued by BMI sounds as following: two new Airbus planes, purchased by BMI to cover flights to Arabic Middle East destinations, were provided a slightly modified maps by the manufacturer. To accommodate the specific tastes of the customers flying to these (unnamed) destinations. The planes in question weren't intended to fly to Israel and happened to be used in this way by oversight due to increased holiday-time traffic to that [non-existing] location.

Now, I hope, everything is clear. And the conclusions one can reach from this case are as follows:

  • Airbus (or its subcontractor) have different world maps (or, if you will, different realities) for different customers
  • BMI are going along with this practice to ensure the highest level of satisfaction for their customers too
  • Different realities for different people work!
As a corollary: it may be a grand idea - instead of all this strife in the Middle East over a few thousand acres of largely dry and infertile land to provide every person with a map that will show him/her the world exactly as the person wishes to see it. Eureka! Thanks, BMI/Airbus!

And now would be a good time to use the formula beloved by some progressive elements. I shall do it with happiness and delight: I don't condone the BMI's behavior in any way, but I understand it. After all, we don't want some passengers peacefully flying to Mecca, Dubai or Damascus and peacefully consuming their certified halal breakfast/lunch/... to get a sudden bout of indigestion at the sight of that [non-existing] country and its strangely named cities.


Cross-posted on Yourish.com

Swine flu or Jew flu? You decide

As a member of the largely dysfunctional Apes and Pigs Alliance, I am happy to declare that there is at least one positive outcome of this venture. Some more sensitive members of the world conspiracy theorists mistakenly ascribe the advent of the Swine Flue to one (the smaller) fraction of that alliance. Namely to the Jooz. See the following:

Swine flu (jew flu) - A nice killer to boost profits
To ease the global financial situation the jews have released a genetically engineered virus that kills children, old people and those with depressed immune systems.

jews don’t want governments spending money on children, the elderly and social programs. jews make the most money when governments spend money on wars and prisons. jews want war among humans and slaughter of humans.
Etc. Of course, we don't link to such jewels as a matter of policy, but it's easily googleable. And, as a matter of fact, not that new an idea. It appears that one Eustace Mullins already ascribed the 1976 epidemic of swine flue to the same culprits. In words like these:
Only the warped mind of the Jew could have conceived such a horror as celebrating the Bicentennial Year of the United States by carrying out a national campaign of genocide against its citizens, and by enlisting the President of the United States, Gerald Ford, to personally lead this campaign.
And many words more. Again - go and google yourself. As for he Elders' response, I can easily disprove the pathetic results of the conspinuts' brainstorming: you see, if we, the Elders, were indeed behind this measly flu virus, there wouldn't have been a single conspiracy theorist left on the globe to rave about the possible culprits. It is that simple.

If the Elders were in that flu business indeed, as a perceptive member of the conspinuts' faction (that calls himself Mark) remarks, the most appropriate action would have been:
Find a quiet spot, sit down, say a prayer, put your head between your legs and kiss your ass goodbye.
So forget the Elders (for now, mind you) and take heed of the following advice:
  • Good hydration with alkaline water
  • Sleep
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin A
  • Valium (for the more excitable elements of the population)
And, of course, healthy thinking - it could never harm.

Now, as for the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic: that was a great training exercise. But let's leave it for another time...

Jewish Voice for Peace Says: Standing Up for Darfur is "Hateful"

By Dr Mike. Cool.

29 April 2009

Independence Day and gazlans

This picture really doesn't have a lot to do with Independence day, this is just so significant a part of the military lore that every soldier (or ex-soldier) feels his/her heart warming up at the sight of this scene, as inevitable as it is unbelievable.

To explain: imagine that your unit is going through an action-packed week or two of training on one of the most deity-forsaken pieces of real estate somewhere in the middle of nowhere. You breath dust, sleep in dust and eat dust, mixed with some barely bearable elements of combat rations and machine oil. Black coffee (with some dust) is the best you are able to get in the way of delicacies. The water you drink from twenty liter plastic jerrycans is warm and somehow contains more dust than water. You run, you schlep heavy hardware built mostly of sharp corners, you crawl, you shoot and sometimes (by mistake) get shot upon. You are not getting enough sleep, enough rest and you wonder when the heck it will come to an end.

And then, when your unit commander declares a half an hour break and you turn your back to your tank or your APC to take a look at some non-military part of the environment, what you suddenly behold is a miracle. In the middle of nowhere, access to which is prohibited to civilians due to this nowhere being a fire zone, besides the said nowhere being totally inaccessible physically to any vehicle less robust than an APC, you see a dilapidated van, full of things you will normally pass on the street without giving them a second glance but here, in the... you know, being more attractive, seductive and debilitating then any wonder of paradise. That cold Coke, this ice cream, these chocolates, these cookies - oh boy... what can I say? - you don't argue the prices.

This is the gazlan (hawker), the angel, the lonely ray of light, the savior.

One of the other mysterious angles of the gazlans' appearance is the fact that they usually know in advance the location of any specific unit at any given moment in time better that the units' commanders. Obviously there is a tight cooperation between the gazlans and the General Staff, and its' not totally clear who receives the marching orders from whom.

So - happy Independence Day, you all! An less things military, if possible.

The picture by Yoni Kot appeared in the Yediot Aharonot competition. Good man.

Hat tip: Yaacov Lozowick.

27 April 2009

Tea Party Rock

Without going into intricacies of the current US fiscal policies: a message from Andrew Ian Dodge:

Music video for the Growing Old Disgracefully song "Cry Freedom" featuring photos from tea parties nationwide. Includes a tribute to "Chaplain" Arthur Irving Dodge, my late father, in his American Legion regalia.

Read his lips...

This morning I was slowly awakening to a report on Reshet Bet (second channel) radio about the new taxes being invented and implemented by the new Minister of Finance (Likud). The litany of the taxes was too long to remember, besides I was still sleepy and decided that it's just a part of my nightmare. At least this is how it sounded: petrol, vegetables, VAT on tourists' rental cars, accommodations, cigarettes, etc, etc.

Should I remind you that one of the election promises Bibi was running with was reduction of taxes and relief for the low and medium income groups? How does a 15.5% jump in vegetables' prices (to take one example) square with this noble intention is not clear to me.

What is clear already that it's pure Bibi. And if you all think that he will not renege on his other promises, at least don't say that you weren't warned.

Read his lips... and expect the opposite.

We cannot continue to tolerate intolerance

Nonie Darwish and Tawfik Hamid at a conference in the European Parliament. Both sides of the divide need more people like these.

Thanks (again and again) to Philosemite for the eagle-eye.

Photojournalism 101

When we rave about some photo-journalists being anti-that or pro-this, let's not forget the basics: everything for a great shot. As an amateur photographer, I fully identify with this.

Story - Dick Stanley.

26 April 2009

Somali pirates repelled - now what, Mr Hari?

Israeli guards repel Somali pirate attack on cruise ship

This is how the headline in Haaretz reads today.

An Italian cruise ship with 1,500 people on board fended off a pirate attack far off the coast of Somalia when its Israeli private security forces exchanged fire with the bandits and drove them away, the commander said Sunday.
Now, in the spirit of the previous article by Indy's own Johann Hari, I would expect a headline in the Indy along these lines:

Zionist mercenaries attack Somali environmentalists in cold blood

Or something in this vein. Also, I wouldn't expect the above mentioned scribe to reflect on one small technical detail:
Saturday's attack occurred about 200 miles (325 kilometers) north of the
Seychelles, and about 500 miles (800 kilometers) east of Somalia, according to the anti-piracy flotilla headquarters of the Maritime Security Center Horn of Africa.
It looks like environment of Somalia is expanding as we speak...

How many fingers in the Hand of God?

I count six. How about you?

Swine flu - coming here to roost?

Or to rut? Nothing like a mixed metaphor, I always say. Anyway, the news sounds exciting:

Authorities fear a case of swine flu may have made it to Israel after a 26-year-old Israeli who just returned from a trip to Mexico checked himself into the hospital reporting flu-like symptoms.

Something is not kosher here, I suspect...

Spring Tunes or clobbered by a tag

The New Centrist, may his days be happy, his future bright and his times not too interesting, hit me on the noggin with a tag. Usually I would do my best to skip that opportunity, but the spring is indeed here, so, being overcome by mellowness, I've decided to succumb. On one condition: that TNC listens through all of them (especially the first one).

Here are the strings attached to the tag:

List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they’re not any good, but they must be songs you’re really enjoying now, shaping your spring. Post these instructions in your blog along with your 7 songs. Then tag 7 other people to see what they’re listening to.
So here. First a warning: you are to be submitted to a world of a) an audio-challenged person and b) with no gumption to follow the recent developments in music.
First of all, for the first two hours or so of almost each day I enjoy (oh well...) the tune that my PDA uses to wake me up. Of course, I am the person who has chosen it initially, but it seems unfair now to blame myself for what is obviously a diabolical invention of a robot:

The above keeps me at adrenaline level sufficient to get to the kitchen and get the coffee going and then some. Pure evil, I have to say.

Since we are in the spring, this spring-specific subject becomes rather acute here. That song has a staying power equal to that of the animal it rants about. And here is a classical rendition of the same one.

Speaking of the staying power, here is another one:

Go figure... And since it's all about staying power, here you go:

Another one with excellent haunting qualities: Who is Baying in The Wind? by Rona Kenan:

But I guess if you don't dig the language, most of the haunting is gone from it...

That was quite an old star performance. For some inexplicable reason the melody crops up at least once a week in my inner repertoire.

And now the last, but not the least: one of the most persuasive arguments for health advantages of sauna I have ever seen. No embedding, sorry to say.

OK, now to the list of my victims: Akaky, Scribbles, Miriam, Dick (you shouldn't have asked that question), Edward, CGH, Mick. Get to it.

25 April 2009

Photohunt: protect(ion)

The theme for this week is "Protect(ion)". It sent me to the archives. So the pictures presented belong to different times and different places.

This plant is nothing if not well protected against any attempt to cause it damage. Its abundance of thorns will turn away almost any grazing attempt. Unless it's a camel, of course, and even a camel will think twice.

Water buffalo on a hot day in Vietnam, protecting self against the heat as well as against the insects.

And a regular Spectacled Bulbul, keeping watch around its mate's nest. Bulbuls are very good in their guard duties.

If you liked what you have seen (or read) in this post, add your link in the comments:
I promise to visit your place as soon as possible!

To look for other photo hunters, go there.


24 April 2009

The world’s intelligence agencies and defense experts

Suck. Proof.

23 April 2009

Ron Paul and "what if" scenario

Roland of But I Am a Liberal got onto an interesting case of Republican Tea Party organizers of Ron Paul supporters' faction using a clearly anti-Semitic flyer:

The reasoning behind branding this amazing feat of intellectual agility anti-Semitic and not merely (?) anti-Israeli is beyond the scope of this post. Just look at the picture. Suffice to say that quite soon after being revealed here, the so called "Meetup Group" page went from being public to private, so a mere mortal cannot check whether the flyer in question was removed.

This post is about Ron Paul. It is true that Mr Paul is a marginal and slightly odious political figure, however the history shows that one ignores marginal political movements frequently at one's own expense. The history also shows that sometimes the expense extracted includes not only pursuit of happiness but freedom and even the life itself.

As far as Paul's politics are concerned, one can accept or reject all or some of items on his agenda. His idea of isolationism is definitely a great mistake and will endanger United States in the long run, I believe. His fiscal policies are not very original and may or may not work, it depends. Etc. His public "nice uncle" appearance could be endearing if it wasn't seeming a bit false, but here we come to a matter of taste and a matter of politician's image sell.

What is really worrying me is Ron Paul's uncanny ability to draw to himself (or, rather, to his public persona) all kinds of unsavory elements from both far right and far left. Roland has a post titled Ron Paul: Loved by Nazis, Communists, and Idiots Everywhere!, but there is plenty of supporting material out there in the e-space, any search string of a "ron paul and nazis/communists/extremists" kind will do. So what is it in that nice uncle figure with some pretty strong, but still non-communist and non-Nazi ideas, that is so magnetizing to the weirdos of all kinds?

There is a lot of people who love the speculations of "what if" kind related to the past. I am more interested in "what if" questions dealing with the future, and Ron Paul is definitely on my "what if" list. Unlike Marxists who consider the role of an individual in history limited to some critical points where such individual could play a significant role, I suspect that some individuals can influence history to the tune of creating these critical points and benefiting from them.

And thus the inner Ron Paul and his inexplicable attractiveness for extremists worry me quite a lot. The message, somehow transmitted by Ron Paul (whispered in dark corners? passed subliminally?) to all these wackos, must be sufficiently clear to them to continue being so seducing. Coupled with undeniable economic troubles of United States, a possibility of his sudden rise to power couldn't be discounted. And, given the almost unlimited power of presidency, America and the world with it may be heading for any kind of a nightmarish scenario. Philip K. Dick territory, I am afraid.

It better stay in Philip K. Dick books.

Durban renewal: The Holocaust is alive and well

At one end of the spectrum, the Norman Finkelstein psychopaths rant about the "Holocaust Industry." There are many who minimize not only the Holocaust, but the entire history of anti-Semitism. At the other extreme there are Jews who insist that their identity is centered around the Holocaust, and that only when they visited Auschwitz or participated in the march of the living did they feel truly Jewish. And there are non-Jews who somehow can only relate to Jews as objects of pity. That sort of morose identity, in my view, is not worth having, and it is not worth perpetuating and bequeathing to our children. It is certainly wrong to expect a "free pass" for anything Jews might do because of the Holocaust or anti-Semitism.
This was an excerpt from an superb post by Ami Isseroff. The ten minutes you'll spend reading it are really worth it.

22 April 2009

Thinner is better to curb global warming? Or what?

Researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (sic!) came up with another politically correct doozy:

...a population of heavier people contributes more harmful gases to the planet than a population of thin people.
Of course, I have pulled a fast one here, omitting the words "because of food production and transportation factors" on purpose. But, as I am more than sure, the next slew of articles on the subject will be missing these words as well. So no apologies.

In fact I already envision headlines like:

Obesity drowns the world's last hope

Fatso - leave my ozone layer alone!

Thinner people fart less (the obvious alternative will appear as the next step in the escalation)

Etc. It is worth to point out that this research, coupled with the first signs that corpulent people are going to be actively persecuted in other aspects of their life, comes from UK. For some reason.

It will be worthless to point out the superior flatulent qualities of thin and elegant vegetarians, I guess...

In any case, we, the people of substance, should take notice and organize to fight the blighters.

Corpulent carnivore drinkers and smokers of the world, unite!

Quick, before it's too late.

Another Durban II achievement - Zionazi unmasked

Holocaust Survivor and Nobel Peace Prize Laureat Elie Wiesel Verbally Abused as "Zio-Nazi" by Ahmadinejad Entourage at Durban II:

Hat tip: Watcher.

Welcome to The Rubin Reports

Professor Barry Rubin of GLORIA Center has decided to diversify and jump into the hot waters of blogging. His new enterprise is named The Rubin Reports. There are already several excellent posts over there.

And I bet that all kinds of commenting trolls will be over there soon, it's as inevitable as mildew in Nasrallah's bunker.

So welcome to the madhouse, Barry!

21 April 2009

Edgar Mitchell: Man not alone in universe

So he says.

And he is absolutely right - this is what we have these folks for:

Evian 1938 - Geneva 2009

A proper date to remember this and a mandatory read, thanks to Philosemite.

The fine art of observation

I know some people will love this quote.

He didn't look much like my notion of a vampire; I'd have taken him for a Democrat.
Spider Robinson, from Callahan's Saloon - Time Travelers Strictly Cash.

20 April 2009

Israeli anger over a confusing conference and miscellaneous stuff

The reports about the Durban II and related affairs could confuse a con man, I swear.

Take, for instance, the headlines in different places:

CNN: Israeli anger over anti-racism conference

BBC: Israel protests at racism talks

Is that do in Switzerland racist or anti-racist after all? What with the most active participants, like Mahmoud the Mad, with some people bowing out, with bewildering headlines, I really can't say.

Israel (that means me too, I assume) is mightily pissed off by Swiss president Hans-Rudolf Merz swapping spit with Mahmoud the Mad. It started with recall of our ambassador from his warm nest in... (where the hell do we keep our ambassador in Switzerland? Hmm... have to check).

Something more titillating that so far appeared only on local radio: FM Lieberman invited the Swiss ambassador in Israel for a discussion. Knowing the character in question (FM, I mean), it doesn't bode well for the chap.

At least, Lieberman had the presence of mind to recall our ambassador first, so that Swiss wouldn't be able to pay back in the same manner...

Who says politics ain't fun?

Gideon Levy - wrong again

I've decided to make a snapshot of this one - for posterity:

I am not sure I know (or want to) what does Mr. Levy mean by "just Palestinian cause", since there are quite a few variations on the theme. One thing is wrong for sure: calling the occupation a manifestation of Nazism and Israelis (or Jews by some straight talkers) Nazis works like a charm with many a Palestinian supporter all over the place. No harm done to the cause, none at all.

Mr Levy - duh...


P.S. Infuriating? Like in "infuriating Gideon Levy"? I have to see it to believe it.

P.P.S Horrifically infuriating? Bleh...

Cross-posted on Yourish.com

Tempestt Bledsoe?

Apparently is very popular with the surfers, but we are not very concerned with the subject at the moment. A bird, however, appeared recently in my sights, and I am trying to identify it:

Any tips will be appreciated.

19 April 2009

Another imam calls for extermination of Jews

This one, apparently, participated in an international conference of "Imams and Rabbis for Peace".

Yawn... don't these folks get stomach pains from all the shouting?

Via PMW.

Model Donna Feldman Says Brazilian Babes Have Stiff Competition From Israel

According to Fox News:

"Every time I visit my family in Israel I am blown away by how beautiful the women are. The beach in Tel Aviv is filled with tan, curvy, all-natural exotic women," Feldman quipped. "Instead of a single man vacationing on the beach in Brazil, Israel is definitely another option to consider."
Hey, Donna, we have single men of our own, there is not need to import them, really.

But I have to confess - she obviously knows what she is talking about.

Melissa Mikkelsen and Ryan Sheckler

Are of no consequence to this here blog. However, to let you simmer down a bit, here is a nice, albeit rear, view of a bird:

Watch it for about 5 minutes, see if it's soothing. If not, it's chamomile tea and a cold shower for you.

18 April 2009

Johann Hari - not a moonbat

Frankly, when I read about that story first at Yid With Lid's place, I didn't believe in it at first. No offense to YWL intended, but even after reading the fully quoted article, then moving to the original at HuffPost, I was for a few minutes under impression that it is some kind of a practical joke.

The inimitable Mr Hari is describing the Somali pirates as fearless fighters against imperialism, injustice and (hold to your seats) most of all - caretakers of Somali environment! The local version of Greens - the tree huggers, if you will. Hari is using several true facts, such as the collapse of the Somali society, the dumping of nuclear and other poisonous waste near the Somali shores and overfishing by industrial fishing fleets in Somali territorial waters, to prove that pirates are fighting a just and courageous war against those who come to Somali shores with dark designs.

And here I must say that I disagree with YWL diagnosis - Hari is not a raving lunatic. He is playing, quite skillfully, on sensitive cords of the guilt-ridden part of "progressive" readers of HuffPost. A few simple but powerful motives, such as the knee-jerk support for the underdog, the automatic anti-imperialism, the (justified) worry about the environment and ingrained fear of anything "nuclear" - taken together, these will get many a reader's knickers twisted. Especially the ones already conditioned to swallow any kind of HuffPost huff-truths.

And let's not forget our childhood love affair with pirate romantics (never experienced personally, of course, therefore all the more alluring). All in all - a powerful propaganda package.

Unfortunately for Hari himself, he was not impervious to many outraged commentators of this opus and decided to counter them in a postscript:

Some commenters seem bemused by the fact that both toxic dumping and the theft of fish are happening in the same place - wouldn't this make the fish contaminated? In fact, Somalia's coastline is vast, stretching to 3300km. Imagine how easy it would be - without any coastguard or army - to steal fish from Florida and dump nuclear waste on California, and you get the idea. These events are happening in different places - but with the same horrible effect: death for the locals, and stirred-up piracy. There's no contradiction.
Yes, definitely, the sea is big, and there are all kinds braving the elements: the ships carrying the toxic waste, the illegal fishing trawlers, the vessels carrying humanitarian assistance to Africa, the innocent traders and whatnot. Somali doesn't have a huge population - only 6 millions, most of them, I believe, are normal people trying to live normal lives in abnormal times. Some of them care about pollution of their shores, some care about overfishing that left Somali fishermen without their livelihood. And some, such as the Somali pirates, whose lifestyle is not exactly up to Robin Hood standards (as this article shows), care only about quick and easy riches.

And if you want to learn something about root causes - NYT gives you quite a few, in a more balanced piece on Somali pirates. But whatever the root causes may have been, the pirates have forgotten them quite some time ago. Which is not a showstopper for Mr Hari, of course.

In short, what can I say: UK is a big country, with normal people trying to lead normal lives. There are thousands of journalists and writers plying their trade, most of them good hardworking folks. Then there are some for whom truth is just a matter of convenience, as long as they could set aside a few selectively chosen facts to weave into a careful web of lies.

And then there are a selected few at the top of the propaganda pyramid. Most of whom are left standing by Johann Hari...


Cross-posted on Yourish.com

Statement by Anne Bayefsky at the Third Substantive Preparatory Meeting of the Durban Review Conference

This powerful speech summarizes the meaning, the substance and the goals of the Durban traveling circus. Read it.

April 17, 2009
United Nations, Palais des Nations, GENEVA, Switzerland

The eyes of millions of victims of racism, xenophobia and intolerance are upon YOU, the representatives of states and the United Nations. And instead of hope you have given them despair. Instead of truth you have handed them diplomatic double-talk. Instead of combating antisemitism you have handed them a reason for Jews to fear UN-driven hatemongering on a global scale.

The Durban conference – allegedly dedicated to combating racism, antisemitism and other forms of intolerance – will open April 20th on the anniversary of the birth of Adolf Hitler without agreement on even so much as remembering the Holocaust and the war against the Jews. Your draft words on the Holocaust – the very foundation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – have been narrowed to the barest mention from previous versions. And if the minor reference survives at all – it will be a testament to your interest in Jews that died 60 years ago, while tolerating and encouraging the murder of Jews in the here and now.

Furthermore, the draft before you demonizes the Jewish state of Israel and then has the audacity to pretend to care about antisemitism in a single word buried among 17 pages. Antisemitism means discrimination against the Jewish people. Since it is evident that almost none of you have the courage to say it, the face of modern antisemitism IS the UN – your – discrimination against Israel, the embodiment of the Jewish people’s right to self-determination.

Over and over again we have heard a massive misinformation campaign about the content of these proceedings and the draft before you. We have heard the tale that this draft does not single out Israel, that the hate has been removed, that the fault of the antisemitism at Durban I was that of NGOs while states and the UN were blameless.

Perhaps you think that journalists and victims will not bother to read for themselves the Durban Declaration adopted by some governments. There is only one state mentioned in it – Israel. There is only one state associated with racist practices in it – Israel. And yet the very first thing that this draft before you does is to reaffirm that abomination, abomination for Jews and Arabs living in Israel’s free and democratic society, and for all the victims of racism ignored therein. Lawyers call it incorporation by reference when they hope nobody reads the small print. The propaganda stops here. We have read it. We understand the game. And we decry the ugly effort to repeat the Durban agenda to isolate and defeat Israel politically, as every effort to do so militarily for decades has failed.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Chair of this Preparatory Committee also told us this week that the Durban Declaration in all its aspects is a consensus text. Perhaps they are unfamiliar with the Canadian reservations made in Durban in 2001 which state categorically that the Middle East language was outside the conference’s jurisdiction and not agreed. Perhaps they failed to notice that one of the world’s greatest democracies, the United States, voted with its feet and walked out of the Durban I hatefest? The Durban Declaration has never represented a global consensus among free and democratic nations. When the head of the Islamic conference treats Durban as a bible, in their words, it is more accurately a defamation of religions.

This week you decided which states ought to serve in a leadership role at next week’s conference. Among them are some of the world’s leading practitioners of racism, not those interested in ending it. You have also decided to hand a global megaphone to the President of a state which advocates genocide and denies the Holocaust.

So in a state of shock and dismay we address ourselves not to the human rights abusers that glorify the Durban Declaration or its next incarnation, but to democracies -- and we ask: Will Germany sit on Hitler’s birthday and listen to the speech of an advocate of genocide against the Jewish people and grant legitimacy to the forum which tolerates his presence? What about the United Kingdom, the birthplace of the Magna Carta? Or France that helped to ship last generation’s Jews to crematoriums?

You could have fought racism. You chose instead to fight Jews. You could have promoted the universal standards against racism already in existence. You chose instead to diminish their importance in the name of alleged cultural preferences. You could have protected freedom of expression. You chose instead to undermine it by twisted concepts of incitement. You could have brought victims of racism together in a common cause. You chose instead to pit victims against each other in an ugly struggle for meagre recognition. For those democracies that remain under these circumstances you are ultimately responsible for what can only be called an appalling disservice to real victims of racism, xenophobia and related intolerance around the worl

17 April 2009

Having been had...

One must confess to it, methinks.

In the post The other Iranian moderate I have used a photo of Khatami apparently visiting a torture chamber. It appears to be a part of a propaganda ploy by Palestine Press Agency. The picture was taken in a wax museum dedicated to the tortures committed under the Shah.

Thanks to Ali and apologies to people this post mislead.

No apologies to the current leaders of Iran, though. The museum of the tortures and other crimes by the current regime will be built sometimes...

15 April 2009

A job to die for

Or, rather, to kill for - you decide.

Click to enlarge

I kid you not

The author of the following quote shall remain unnamed, I have googled for that text to make sure that it's not accessible via the Internet:

He raised his hand from her arm and pushed it gently against her huge, whitely billowing breasts...

Update: it could be found now. Whatever.

14 April 2009

The mastery of headlines

I was told once by a person in the know that headlines for many an on-line article are cobbled together by an editor and not necessarily by the author of the article.

Frequently a headline distorts the contents of the story in a way that makes reading it (the story) seemingly unnecessary. Ray Cook tells in three posts a saga of a BBC headline "evolution".

Headline No 1. Palestinian killed in demolition (no he was not!)

Headline No 2. Police kill Palestinian motorist (whilst attempting a 3-point turn, no doubt)

And now, No 3. Palestinian ‘attacker’ shot dead
The saga caused me an urge to attempt an experiment in headline craft. So I have taken a few articles from various on-line sources and created a different headline, linking the real story. Here are a few examples.

Mercenaries murder three Somail freedom fighters

Egypt interferes with Hezbollah resistance heroes' activities

Thai army takes to the streets - protests and rampage in Bangkok

21 homeless killed in Poland

Syrian Ambassador prefers men

So - do I get a job on BBC on-line team?

In defense of sanity

Remember the "Ziohitlerobush" histrionics? It looks that some folks on the right are getting that same bug now. More by Roland in an exemplary post.

13 April 2009

Conficker Eye Chart

You were afraid of the dreaded Conficker virus on April 1st. It is coming back now - with vengeance.

To check whether your computer is done in by Conficker, look at the attached picture (click on it to embiggen):

If you see a text in any way related to sex, turn off your computer and leave your house (your flat) immediately. Don't come back under any circumstances.

7 Muslim Children vs 7 Jewish Children

By Dr Mike. Worthy read.

J-Street: Jews for Anti-Semitism

I was being careful not to venture with an opinion about that strange and noisy group. It was worth waiting, as it appears, since the picture is getting as clear as it ever going to be. Ami Isseroff in a definitive post on the subject.

When an organization, regardless of its purported affiliation, supports racism, it becomes unworthy of the support of decent persons. That has to be true regardless of whether it is racism directed at Africans, Jews or Muslims. It must be true even. or especially, if the organization claims to represent the group it is slandering. Such organizations, and the groups and persons that endorse them, should be isolated and deprived of recognition, support and funding. A US 501(c) group that claims to be a pro-Israel group (though not just for Jews) in its mission statement but disseminates anti-Semitic propaganda, should lose its tax exempt 501(c) status, because it violated its mission. The KKK and Stormfront don't qualify as "pro-Israel" either.
Read the whole post.

12 April 2009

The nail polish fatwa and the Lebanese groundhog

Babylon & Beyond, the LA Times blog, published an interesting (well, titillating at least) piece on an unusual fatwa by a militant Lebanese Shiite cleric Ayatollah Mohammad Fadlallah. Being in general only slightly more extreme than Mahmoud the Mad, the pet "president" of Iranian Ayatollahs, Fadlallah suddenly went soft on the issue of fingernail polish.

And lo and behold: here is the immediate result - a photo of Hassan Nasrallah's left hand, obtained by our trained military grade bunker spider a few days ago:

As you can see, while being quite fancy, the version of manicure chosen by Nasrallah is at the same time immensely practical: in case of a need to dig your way our of an underground structure (a basement or, say, a bunker) it is enough to wash your hands afterward and postpone the thorough cleaning under your nails for a better opportunity.

A trained observer cannot miss the fact that some positive changes happened to Sheik's face as well. From another Babylon & Beyond article, the one about the Hezbollah fiasco in Egypt:

A pessimist, looking at this picture, would just say that Nasrallah's face became softer and paler due to his self-enforced concealment in a bunker, lack of sun rays and too much humus.

We, however, definitely see the positive aspect of the fearless underground warrior getting in touch with his feminine side. Especially now, with Ayatollah's blessing, we should expect more and more hope-inspiring changes in that specific bunker.

Hope springs eternal, ladies and gentlemen!

In short (for the Russian readers): опять Насрала.

11 April 2009

Mr Roskov's mistake

Ananova reports:

A Russian man survived after downing three bottles of vodka and leaping from a fifth floor balcony - twice.

Alexei Roskov says he jumped the second time because he couldn't take his wife's nagging about the first time.
Fortunately Alexei came out unscathed, with minor cuts and bruises. Some people are so amazed by that incident that it was even reported on Unexplained Mysteries site. Nothings unexplained and absolutely nothing mysterious about the story, folks. Especially if you read carefully the article, where three bottles of vodka are mentioned. Try it yourself. If you survive the vodka, jumping of the fifth floor will be child's play to you.

Now to the part where our hero makes a major mistake of his life:
Mr Roskov says he is now teetotal after giving up drinking...
You see, Alexei, she wouldn't stop nagging. And the fifth floor will still be there. But the miraculous protection of vodka...

10 April 2009

The history of kerfuffles

Being frantically fed and consumed by sloth at the same time. In any case, I wouldn't be able to write something like this. So concentrate.

O Allah, keep the earthquakes and tragedies coming...

Sickening indeed.

08 April 2009

Happy Passover חג חירות שמח

By flogo.com

Beverly Giesebrecht - kidnapped or run away?

Beverly Giesebrecht aka Khadija Abdul Qahaar, the woman who converted to Islam to honor her new brethren's breathtaking victory of 911, who created a pro-Jihadi Web site, Jihad Unspun, was allegedly kidnapped by her Taleban colleagues.

My guess would be that it is not a kidnapping at all. It is just a playacting, based on the old and honorable tradition still strong in some rural areas - the fake kidnapping of the bride. Now she is, most probably, in some exclusive cave with a breathtaking view, tending to her hubby's guns, horses and goats.

And on the face of the evidence available

I would say: let it go, folks. Finders keepers.

Cross-posted on Yourish.com

07 April 2009

Missourian beef jerky beats Canadian product hands down!


06 April 2009

N. Korea: Revolutionary melodies beaming back to Earth

Here. So you wouldn't feel left out:

Slow day in the office, Mr Levy?

We, the bloggers, can allow ourselves to write (or not to write) about whatever tickles our fancy on any given day. There is no carrot at the end of the road, no fixed hours and, aside of a very few followers, no captive audience. Only other bloggers that drop by from time to time to commiserate.

It's completely different with journalists. There are schedules, editors, readers, the salary day, the presses, the stresses, the... whatever, you get the drift. So what do you do when you* are a Gideon Levy of Haaretz doubtful fame, there is a slow day in the office and, besides, due to your total lack of charm and tact, general anti-establishment tendencies and a poisoned pen, no one tells you anything for quite a long time?

Well, what you do is sit down, stir your accumulated bile and poison with your trusty pen and produce a masterpiece on a subject you don't know anything about, don't have any opinion of, but, as usual, are loath to confess to these two drawbacks. A result: a totally empty of contents and disconnected page in Haaretz titled Was Israel's reported strike in Sudan an exercise in propaganda?.

I can save my readers the need to read the article, by quoting the only two factual sentences in it:

Nobody [read Gideon Levy] knows for sure what was bombed, how much and why. Sudan, after all, is far away.
Everything else is... how to define it? No, not hearsay, Mr Levy doesn't even attempt to add some invented titillating details to his piece. Just a jamboree of bile, poison and condescending, so typical for a pathetic hack on a slow day.

(*) I don't mean you, my dear reader. Far be it from me to compare a normal human being with Gideon Levy of Haaretz. No, really...

P.S. Fresh from the press - an example of better things to do and how to do it: Urinating dog triggered argument resulting in 3 officers' deaths. See, Mr Levy, a much more respectable way for you to earn your shekels.

Cross-posted on Yourish.com

04 April 2009

Photohunt: stripes

The theme for this week is "Stripes". It so happens that this time my contributions don't require any verbal trickery. What is striped is simply striped.

I wouldn't be able to visit today, so see you all a bit later.

If you liked what you have seen (or read) in this post, add your link in the comments:
I promise to visit your place as soon as possible!

To look for other photo hunters, go there.


02 April 2009

Pink-Red Nadine II, Jose Saramago and Ouroboros

I hope that the headline of this piece is bewildering enough to make you want to read a few lines.

Pink-Red Nadine aka Nadine Rosa-Rosso has already appeared here, thus the number. She is "an independent Belgian communist activist" (you may laugh at the oxymoron of "independent communist", but this is a separate issue). In any case, she passionately hates the huge and not very well defined cloud that she calls "imperialism" and does her best to eliminate.

Since you are obviously too lazy to click on that link above, here is the gist of PRN's credo: she considers everything and everybody that is aligned with her view of the "Western Imperialism" to be 100% kosher for her purposes. No matter what are the views of that everybody on freedom, on equality, on human (and women) rights, on democracy, etc.

And the most prominent representatives of the "anti-imperialism" available on the market that Ms Rosa-Rosso was able to find are Islamists (this is the term she uses herself). In her article The Left And Support For Anti-Imperialist Islamist Resistance she eulogizes Hamas and calls for strengthening of the ties between the left and this arch-reactionary gang.

On March 30 she made the next step towards her goal - creation of united front with Hamas. On her site Campo Antiimperialista she proudly reports that she has gathered 1200 signatures on her appeal to remove Hamas from EU Terror list. Of course, removal of Hamas from the list will immediately pacify this hitherto quite bloodthirsty organization... But in fact, being a supporter of elimination of Israel and removal of the Jews from its territory, Pink-Red Nadine doesn't really want Hamas to become less bloodthirsty.

I don't know what will be the next step for Nadine. Following her logic, an appeal to legitimize Taleban, Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda and other murderous gangs of that kind is not too far in the future.

Jose Saramago - now this is a really disturbing issue. One of the writers whose books I admire and love the most, a man whose humanism and love of his fellow man with all his failures, coupled with a clear genius moving his pen, made him into one of the mountains in the landscape of modern literature - that such a man will fail for the cheap propaganda of Pink-Red Nadine and her ilk would have been inconceivable for me until a few years ago, when Saramago compared Gaza with Auschwitz. I can cheerfully notice and forget the vermin like Gilad Atzmon, Norman Finkelstein, James Petras and others on the list of signatories. It is sad to see Saramago's name between them. I cannot even start guessing his motives. Oh well...

Ouroboros - so what is the link between Ouroboros and Pink-Red Nadine? The unholy alliance PRN is trying to create between extreme left and extreme right causes that, hardly natural (although who knows?) bending of the political axis, when, as the mythical Ouroboros, the said axis starts to swallow its own tail. What is the result? When, as it has already happened in history, the Islamists or any other ultra-right murderous bastards, will come to knock on the communists' doors, I really don't know whether I'll care. Good pastor Niemoller, with all due respect, notwithstanding.

Ouroboros - Shmouroburus... biting self in the ass is what it is all about, in simple language.

Cross-posted on Yourish.com

Terry Glavin about the Galloway affair

Terry Glavin addresses the decision of Canadian government to refuse an entry visa to George The Spiv Galloway in a superb post This Is Not A Story About Free Speech. This Is Not A Story About National Security.

I have searched for some superlatives to describe this post, but one of the commentators has done a great job, so I'll just quote her (thanks, Louise):

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Not so much for your stellar take down of the buffoon in jackboots but for your expose of the mindless blob that the main stream media has become. There is a vile and hideous fascist breathing in their faces and not only have they not noticed him, but they are doing his bidding.

01 April 2009

Conficker or April Fool virus alert

As Fox warns their readers here, the virus that infested millions of home and office PCs on the quiet is going to strike sometimes today.

Be aware that most of the links shown on your screen will revert to the dreaded "End of the Internet" link.

Owners of the LCD screens are warned that the virus will create a black picture with slowly moving iridescent dot. The purpose of the dot is to burn away individual LCD cells (selectively), the act that after a few hours will show any picture with a huge unprintable word construed of the burnt-out cells in the middle of the screen.

It is advisable to turn your computers off for the duration, let's hope that the virus will cease its activities tomorrow.

Johnson vs Johnson or my heart is torn

The dry language of the Times Online report doesn't reveal the unfolding court drama immediately:

A gun-toting grandmother who shot a man she says tried to mug her in her wheelchair in Harlem is being sued by the career criminal for $5 million (£3.5 million).
Even the term "career criminal" is somewhat muddled in the next paragraph:
Margaret Johnson, 59, whose grandfather was an infamous Harlem crime boss who inspired a character in the film Shaft, says that she now wishes she had killed Deron Johnson when she wounded him in the arm in 2006.
There seems to be a criminal career on both sides of the confrontation. Anyhow, the second Johnson (Deron) was acquitted at the trial and is now claiming $5 million in damages for permanent nerve damage suffered in the shooting. And here we are coming to my conundrum.
He said that he kicked the woman’s shihtzu dog, Malika, after it attacked him, and the pet owner shot him.
If, as Ms Johnson claims, Mr Johnson was indeed trying to relieve her of her handbag and gold chain, it is really a pity she didn't shoot a bit better.

But, on the other hand, if, as Mr Johnson claims, he was fighting the abominable shihtzu dog after it attacked him, I have to say - more power to Mr Johnson. Shihtzu dogs, the revolting parody of a canine being, should be exterminated or, at least, placed in some reservation as far as possible from the human habitat.

So now you can see my dilemma: I simply cannot decide which one of the two is my Johnson...

J Street dissected

Noah Pollak of the Commentary magazine, does a thorough and admirable, albeit unenviable job of in-depth analysis of the curious phenomenon called J Street in her article They’re Doing the J Street Jive. Worthy reading by any means.

To add my two bits: I have a strong suspicion that the main drive of Jeremy Ben-Ami, J Street "founder" could be glimpsed from the following quote:

I felt that I didn’t have a voice in American politics when it came to Israel and the Middle East...
Quite a few of these small but shrill Jooish factions sprung due to feverish urge of their members to get some publicity. But of course, this is not the only factor, and thanks to Noah we now have a good detailed picture of J Street.