30 June 2009

More female Israeli soldiers

I was reminded recently about neglecting this fascinating for some readers subject. So here they are again - horribly beweaponed, bloodthirsty and as sweet as they come.

More could be seen in this presentation below - with luck, since there are still some creative differences between Google Docs and Blogger sometimes.

If the slideshow is on the fritz, try here. In any case, it's recommended to watch through the last slide, where real porn is happening!

Hat tip to SEO.

On the ascendance of Gibberish

That. Is. Great.

Rick Astley - found dead in hotel room?

Rumors (or rumours in this case) are spreading as far as a Malaysian newspaper. So what? Take it easy, it's always sunset time for someone. And, speaking about sunsets:

Follow the routine: click on the picture, breath slowly and look at it... relax...

29 June 2009

Madoff gets 150 years in jail for investment fraud

Wel, I guess, since he is already 71, it will be impolite to wish him "till 120" now. In his case it should be "Till 222, dear Bernie!".

And he gave a rousing speech, I hear...

And more on Honduras

From WSJ:

Honduras Defends Its Democracy

With a great subtitle:
Fidel Castro and Hillary Clinton object.

Well, politics make strange bedfellows, they say. However, I disagree with the last sentence of the article:
The struggle against chavismo has never been about left-right politics. It is about defending the independence of institutions that keep presidents from becoming dictators. This crisis clearly delineates the problem. In failing to come to the aid of checks and balances, Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Insulza expose their true colors.
Mrs. Clinton doesn't have any permanent colors, only the camouflage of expedience. Still, she has been jumping into too many random beds too quickly lately. Should take care, methinks.

Cross-posted at Yourish.com

Honduran coup: left, right, left, right...

It looks like Latin America is starting another swing of the hundred(s) years old pendulum. This time from a left wing (populist really) government of a single honcho intent only on keeping himself at the trough to a right-wing military junta. As if there wasn't any middle ground.

So, on one hand, you might say (and be right at that) that a military coup is no way to manage a democracy. But then you read this crap:

"This was a brutal kidnapping of me with no justification," Zelaya said.
Uhu... tell it to the Marines, dear. Then - this should make you sit up and listen:
The coup was widely criticized in the region, in strongest terms by Zelaya's leftist allies, including Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
And your antennae start quivering. And then:
Zelaya, a leftist elected in 2005, had found himself pitted against the other branches of government and military leaders over the issue of Sunday's planned referendum. It would have asked voters to place a measure on November's ballot allowing the formation of a constitutional assembly that could modify the nation's charter to allow the president to run for another term.
So the man was only trying to do a Hugo on his country. Just another Caudillo-to-be. Now read this - from a person who lives there and knows more about Honduras than you and me:
Do I speak for Hondurans when I say, "Leave to Honduras what is Honduran"? We don't want or need international intervention from Venezuela, Nicaragua, the US, or anyone else. I feel a little resentful hearing the meddling comments from other countries. The US can't and does not need to try to save every country in the world. Hmmm, now I understand how all those other countries feel.

There is so much misinformation on the internet, even from respected news sources, about what happened here and why it happened that I am astounded.

First of all, the military did not make a coup d'etat or golpe de estado against the government of Honduras. The government of Honduras (at least two branches of it) have been and continue to be in charge. The military were just following their orders. One branch of the government, the Executive branch, put himself above the others and ignored a verdict of the Supreme Court, who agreed with the Legislative Branch, who agreed with the majority of the population. This was no out-of-control military or rogue guerrilla group taking over our government.

Apparently the Honduran constitution does need to be changed, however. It needs to allow for calm, peaceful, and legal manner of impeaching/removing a president who puts himself above the law and the other branches of government. Call what happened today an impeachment, Honduran style.
Uhu. No Pasaran, baby.

Cross-posted at Yourish.com

Who killed Michael Jackson? The Troof is out!

Bloggers are, by and by, a truculent and hardy lot, rarely accepting other people's points of view when said POVs don't match their own. However, no matter how dense and intractable I am, I know a moment of Troof when I see one, and I see one right now.

A commenter calls self NoJuice explained the matter in his edearingly direct and unarguable way:

Jews killed MJ because he converted to Islam and called them "leeches".
I hope you are persuaded by this statement of pure unadulterated Troof. I am.

Now, I think you share with me my gratefulness to NoJuice for his frank and open discourse and his fight for Troof-and-damn-the-Zionist-torpedoes. To express my admiration and (partially) repay NJ's contribution, I've decided to find him. It was easy. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Mr NoJuice:

Dear NoJuice: as I've mentioned above, this is only a partial repayment. The balance will be coming to you shortly. Beware of limping mice - this is the only hint I can provide at this point of your remaining life.

See ya soon.

28 June 2009

Brasil: 3, USA: 2

1. Kudos to US, but everyone must know his limitations (said Clint Eastwood)

2. Dunga must go

3. If Brazil play this way next year... kaput.

Haveil Havalim 223 – Hot and Humid Edition

This time I've volunteered - I confess. One needs a dose of community service from time to time, even if there are no misdemeanors, police and court decisions involved, I guess. So that's it - in the midst of local summer, when good folks in the coastal area of this country sweat profusely if outside and sneeze and cough when under air conditioning and/or swine flu inside, I am sweating over HH 223 HH edition. No ifs and buts about it.

Here we are, friends, sweating bullets, cannonballs, rockets and other ammo while trying to sort out this edition. Now to the explanation/disclaimer from the founding fathers:

Founded by Soccer Dad, Haveil Havalim is a carnival of Jewish blogs -- a weekly collection of Jewish & Israeli blog highlights, tidbits and points of interest collected from blogs all around the world. It's hosted by different bloggers each week and coordinated by Jack. The term 'Haveil Havalim,' which means "Vanity of Vanities," is from Qoheleth, (Ecclesiastes) which was written by King Solomon. King Solomon built the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and later on got all bogged down in materialism and other 'excesses' and realized that it was nothing but 'hevel,' or in English, 'vanity.'
Yeah, all that jazz, you know, maximum two posts per your weekly submission and stuff. So let's go! Minding the weather, I shall start with something that is definitely cool:

Created by Dzeni of Not Quite Perfect, this image, cool by itself, carries a cool quote by one of the coolest people ever gracing this not-so-cool planet. I hope you all feel a bit cooler by now, and we can go to the main menu.

Oy, Israel!

That's for your information and general education: There are now no less than three main plans for wiping Israel off the map. Nu, well - we shall see to it, eventually.

Palestinian rejectionism? No way, impossible to believe. Really.

Cherries! Like little hearts bursting wth love for this Land...

Settlement freeze. No matter what is your position on it, there are ways to fight it intelligently and calmly, without undue histrionics. Speaking about histrionics, some attempts at Hasbarah should better be aborted.

Two states of confusion. That's rich - normally one confusion state will suffice... and some think it should be One Land for One People - go figure.

Will the State Department Convince us of His good will? Nu, shoin, another good one for you to ponder.

Nadia Matar of Women In Green is on trial for calling Yonatan Bassi, the coordinator of the Azza Expulsion, a name. Well, not just a name, but a trial?

And what about us? What is it we do/should do after Bibi's speech? On the other hand, you ask, what will Bibi hold out for? A good question. Although - some people think that Bibi may have just gotten the political pass. And Is Israel Caving On The Settlements?
Yesterday [June 22 actually] marked three years (according to the Jewish calendar, this Thursday will be the Gregorian date) since Gilad Schalit was abducted at Kerem Shalom. Three years of talks, of attempts at negotiating his release - but he is still absent. Schalit, however, is not the only Israeli soldier to be left behind.
And yes, it was an Unhappy Father's Day for Noam Shalit. Now - not only in Iran: Twitter Poems for a Brave Israeli Soldier.

Could our errors be comical? You bet.

Having a son in the army. How familiar and always nerve-wracking.

Somewhere in Israel, or in America, there is a Gush Katif kipah - if you find one, let this (exhausted, needless to say) mom know immediately, please. And some people consider that over the years, the orange became dull, dark and dirty, and this week it finally broke and fell off. On a related subject: Sullivan Sullies.

New Tel Aviv Bar The Rogatka Takes Veganism To The Extreme. Is it your kind of shtick? Not mine, for sure. Better be off eating schnitzel with IDF folks. But it's up to you. On the other hand, we still have a few people of the book, what has remained there after the advent of iPhone.

It appears that I (and you too, I guess) missed an important date: 175 years to the Great Plunder of Safed.

Apparently we still live in a land flowing with milk and honey.

Believe it or not, you can have fun with Roadblocks on the West Bank. You bet.

And then, some people are Getting their panties tied up in a bunch! Totally uncool, them.

If he had been Binyamin Netanyahu… I guess he would have been called Bibi then.

Some good news for a change: UK says no to arms embargo on Israel. Well, with caveats...

And more good news: new Israeli educational stamps posted online.

Even more: Omri Casspi Makes History!

Day after day after day. The man is a true titan of Israeli blogging. Hats off, you(we) midgets!

Sheikh Raed Salah, the leader of the Islamic Movement’s northern branch: what can I say about him? Rarely a more deserving person graced the walls of Israeli prisons. Studies in Demopathy: Inside the Haifa U. Muslim Aparthied Speech.

Cutting that cursed cord - now, that's a capital idea!

The snake that roars - in the press, at least.

Are you a bookkeeper? Then take care, someone is after you.

Judaism and Jewish Culture

Wherefore art thou Simon and Schuster? Getting there, be my suspicion.

What character traits you have to nurture and make perfect? Read and learn.

What made the olden days of shidduch making so different from now? And more.

It appears that some prayers don't make it up to Heaven. I promise to be careful now.

A few thoughts on the Koren Sacks Siddur. Er... and Borrowing from someone else's nusach... nu, well!

Some recommended reading to prepare for Tesha B'Av.

Cyber Or-20 Cyber Kehillah-3 Social networking. Hmm... the mere headline makes me swoon.

Verbally Paining a Rasha. Don't know what Rasha means? Read it.

Religion and state in Israel? Any problems? You don't say...

Anyway, Welcome to Ask A Heeb.

How can the observant Jewish leadership justify an active effort to expand Jewish life outside of Israel? Is life in the diaspora a goal of the OU? Good questions.

What is in a name? Not much, one could say. But is it so?

Reproductive System Malfunction Parade? Nu, OK, at least someone mentioned that parade.

Spitting in the synagogue - Hygiene, Tolerance and a Public Space. Yep.

Sweet Rose, by any other name, on the other hand... she will be back, I am sure. And What’s in a name for an interfaith family?

You can't say that being a frum Jew is ridiculous until you've actually, properly been a frum Jew. Now go argue with this one...

Picture of the Week: 3 Tammuz Edition.

We are all family: now it takes a cheek swab DNA test, and you are a confirmed Jew. Or not...

How To Shop for a Yeshivah for Your Child? I am glad someone else addresses this question.

Pre-Marital Mikvah Parties and Thieving Sofrim in the Jewish Week. Oy vey, this is where it gets way too complicated for yours truly. Thieving ministers, thieving bankers, thieving pols - but thieving Sofrim?


Batya, she of many blogs and of incomparable energy, turned a page in her personal calendar (עד מאה ועשרים) and she thinks that the second half is shorter. Just wait for the third, says I, it really flies. Her only complaint is that It's Hard To Be One's Own Photographer. Congratulations and all the best to Batya!

More about dates: A tale of two hats, 75 years apart.

Now what do you know about Mesorah Project?

Brit Tzedeck v'Shalom Vs. Brit Shalom. Grr...

What is Ju Zionism? Uhu... I knew it all the time.

On a completely different note: what do you think about iPride and The Hypocrisy of Richard Silverstein? Methinks Rich is a putz, but what do I know? And since hypocrisy was mentioned: it appears that J Street Dislikes Israelis’ Opinions. Grr...

How do you like "racism as Jewish patology"? Wow.

Prof. Haim Bresheeth - still dreck. It's quite a scientific observation.

Hamas brutality against Fatah on Palestinian TV – PA public screening. Between us only - Fatah do the same - off screen, of course.

And I guess you will be tickled pink to know that some American Jews are unwittingly supporting enemies of Israel.

What President Obama should have said in Cairo. But didn't.

Seems Hillary's Tongue Is Cleaving. I always suspected that tendency of hers.

Another date almost forgotten in the West: Behind The Iron Curtain: June 22, 1941.

Are Zionists dirty? You would think it depends on the date of the last shower...

Baby Assad: Instead Of Peace Talks With Israel, How About I Get A Direct Line To Obama Instead? Nu, beseder...

Is Using Carter A Two-Edged Sword? Or a four-way enema? Anyhow, what is Jimmy Carter smoking or has he become senile? I vote for the latter explanation. More on the hypocrite. That too.

The UN Human Wrongs Council. As usual. This time it took them 6 hours to righteously bash Israel and only one minute to remove the DR Congo from further "consideration". Bleh...

So, can we say that we are learning some lessons from goings-on in Iran? Dunno - you tell me. Meanwhile they kill women. The right to bare arms in Iran. Should Ayatollahs come to Meryl for some English lessons? And more on Iran. And on the audacity of being present. After all is said and said again: what do Palestinians make of the Iranian events? And that Russian trip Mahmoud the Mad made - it was symbolic indeed. After all - sweet tweet! Who, indeed, can comprehend this? And now - on the outcome for Iranian Jewry. Experts say it may be far less idyllic.

So, when people ask how to get the best of Twitter, the answer is above, it looks like: go visit Tehran.

A related issue: Iran massacres prove UN is impotent. As if we needed more proof.

Another related (but really minor) subject: Roger Cohen. From apologist to sworn enemy, in less than three months. How does one explain this? Should one even try (to explain this)?

ACLU and Hamas? Go figure.

If the mountain won't come to Mohammad, Mohammad must go to the mountain. Or, in other words, the United States to return ambassador to Damascus.

Tony Judt is kinda boring in his blind prejudices and ant-like persistence. Responding, Yet Again, to Tony Judt - well, someone has to do it, I presume.

When Missouri Nazis Keep Heschel Highway Clean, it's really a hoot.

It's a marathon for sure, but she will run it as a sprint. And get to finish it, leaving us all standing. As usual.

Some days it is good to be a man - would you argue with this, cowardly enough, statement?

Apartheid couscous business is brisk at Trader Joe's, good.

But Don't Tell Greenland There's No Global Warming. Or else...

On fear and loathing - in London.

People don't argue that the burqa is a sign of subservience, however there is an uncertainty about the state enforcing its removal.

Stupid UKIP, stop picking on Churchill. Right.

Now imagine this with your breakfast. And relax...

After all, whose fault is this (no matter what "this" is)? Of course, its Mr B....

Loungin’ on Dad’s Day - any Dad's preference, I bet.

What Does It Take For A Creationist To Accept Evolution? A kick in the pants?

The nature of the Internet? I thought these two words are mutually exclusive.

Wow, that was... how to say it... well, far out. However, no censorship in this here HH. And somebody else is dejected.

Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Censorship of Kiddies - inspired by another blogger.


That F-word, I mean Florida - would you volunteer to go there for a month to take care of your three grandchildren, as obnoxious, no doubt, as they are dear? Yes, I am afraid you would. The other upside is you can spoil them even more rotten to spite your son/daughter...

Relay Race Trials? In the midst of Jerusalem? No kidding.

I am sure that this time your answer will be unanimous: would you eat something that was baying while alive? Not to mention the location:

(I had to copy this one, it's simply irresistible).

Ahmed & Salim - they sure rock!

Guess who is really hurting? Them Egyptians, it appears.

Some people (like me) would say "Aw, nuts", looking at this as a proposition for a breakfast.

Is this character becoming a commie? Well, no... but some vodka will do him no end of good.

An Open Letter to the Jewish Press - would you sign it? Yes, it is a test.

A revenge-vowing meeting of school youth and children - guess where it was held? Pure bliss...

Heshy is coming! Gevalt! And he is as cool as cool can be.

Yael is happy for now. But soon her felines will chew through the cables, and then...

Speaking about Iran - how many teeth are allowed by the Health Ministry?

When a kiss is a bit more than just a kiss.

"I can't believe I ate (almost) the whole thing!" I wish I had me a dollar (well, make it shekel) for every time I have done the same...

Kids. He he he.

And even more fun: Chelm-on-the-Med - it rocks!


Well, not exactly, I just wanted to set this in a separate section. You shall know why after reading.

Meta HH

A general remark: all submissions (and more - meaning an extra searching and picking effort from yours truly) were posted here - no censorship of any kind.

And another one: I have "invited" several non-Jewish bloggers in this one.

Now to the future:
Please send your posts for the next edition of the Haveil Havalim Blog Carnival via the Blog Carnival Submission Form. The method is very helpful in organizing your posts this week. If you're interested in hosting or receiving more information about the carnival, please contact Jack at talktojacknow-at-sbcglobal-dot-net.
Bye for now. I mean - Lehitraot.

26 June 2009

Michael Jackson RIP, Farrah Fawcett RIP, but Jeff Goldblum and Harrison Ford still kicking

Some ghouls apparently decided that two stars dead is not enough for them. Amazing what some people get off on...

Maria Belen Chapur and Mark Sanford pictures

Are definitely out of scope of this here blog. I say, if a person wants to visit Argentina, the person should be allowed to do so, no holds barred. And to calm you down, here are two other birds:


25 June 2009

Brazil: 1, South Africa: 0

After being Brazil's fan for more years than I care to count, I have to say: for the shameful travesty of the game today these 11 guys need to be sent to a butcher.


Correction: 10 guys, of course. Julio Cezar was fine.

Lenin's butt remodeled

A bomb has blown a large hole in one of Russia's best-known statues of the founder of the Soviet state, Vladimir Lenin.
Constipation no more, Vladimir Ilyich!

Besides, now senior citizens who still pine for olden times, will have a place to stick their candles in.


Hat tip: MT.

CNN - how about some yellow journalism?

When my grandchild (and I don't even have one for now) comes by to talk with his/her old and feeble granddad about the right choice of profession, I shall use this article from CNN titled Did Steve Jobs' money buy him a faster liver transplant? by a person named Ray Hainer as a teaching aid.

"Kid", I shall say, "whatever you decided to do, never ever even think of becoming a journalist of a kind that writes venomous, shitty articles like this one. Never ever write anything bad about a person when you don't have a smidgen of proof to support you dirty allegations. Better change your profession and go into plumbing - the subject matter will be natural and much less revolting. Or your granddad will come and twist your scrawny neck, and this is a promise."

And re Mr Hainer: seeing as how he likes to ask questions, I have a few too:

Is Mr Hainer a backstabbing, kneebiting moron or is Mr Hainer a backstabbing, kneebiting moron? How does CNN justify publishing of this poisoned excrescence? Shouldn't such article be placed in a more yellow tabloid - where it belongs?

P.S. And no - I do not own Apple's stock and even an iPod or iPhone, nor do I consider owning any.

24 June 2009

Brazil: 3, Italy:0

Better late than never:

So: he he he.

Is Britney Spears set to star in a Holocaust movie?

According to reports, Spears has been offered a part in the upcoming Holocaust film The Yellow Star of Sophia and Eton, which integrates time travel, concentration camps and a love story.
Oh boy... I hope that, at least, she will keep her undies on for the duration of the shooting.

21 June 2009

They're not fascists and reactionaries,

they’re just expressing their different cultural and religious traditions.
Are you guessing the probable source of this vile statement? No? Then read this:

They’re Older and Wiser and that’s Why They are Turning Us In by prof. Barry Rubin.

20 June 2009

The PETA you know and love

PETA (pronounced like pita, but much less useful) folks don't like you to know this:

PETA’s “Animal Record” report for 2008, filed with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, shows that the animal rights group killed 95 percent of the dogs and cats in its care last year. During all of 2008, PETA found adoptive homes for just seven pets.

Just seven animals -- out of the 2,216 it took in. PETA just broke its own record.
One may argue that placement of animals is always a difficult task, but shouldn't these numbers make PETA creeps a bit more humble, if anything?

Hat tip: Charles G. Hill aka Dustbury.

So, Ms Clinton, why did you lie?

When Haaretz raises its reedy voice in protest, you know that somebody owes an explanation. No matter that lying comes easy to pols, one shouldn't do it when one is in peril of being outed so easily. And here it comes:

Letter from Dov Weisglass to NSA Condoleezza Rice
On behalf of the Prime Minister of the State of Israel, Mr. Ariel Sharon, I wish to reconfirm the following understanding, which had been reached between us:

1. Restrictions on settlement growth: within the agreed principles of settlement activities, an effort will be made in the next few days to have a better definition of the construction line of settlements in Judea and Samaria [the West Bank]. An Israeli team, in conjunction with Ambassador Kurtzer, will review aerial photos of settlements and will jointly define the construction line of each of the settlements.
Good enough?

19 June 2009

Iran's supreme leader rejects vote fraud claims

Iran's supreme leader on Friday rejected opposition claims that last week's presidential elections were rigged, describing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's win as "definitive" and calling for calm after days of protest.
Yeah, well, and what have you expected? Still, let's not forget what these elections where really about. What she says.

Then, we shouldn't forget the far side. It just wouldn't do. So, from Pink-Red Nadine, another impressive one. When she is in a mood, she really lets it rip:
From an anti-imperialist point of view, the overwhelming victory of Ahmadinejad in the elections is positive, because the incumbent and president-elect stands for confrontation with the U.S.-led new order for the “Near East”.
More where it comes from, enjoy.

Hat tip: Zionation.

18 June 2009

Barack Obama: next time it will be a bee. PETA promises revenge.

After the fly swatting accident, Barack Obama mentioned in a private conversation that his next move will be to swat a bee. Of a stinging kind and with his bare hand, too.

When rumors of this intention reached PETA, 10 of the oldest female members of this organization volunteered to picket the White House dressed only in their wristwatches.

"We'll see who blinks first then", defiantly shouted one of the volunteers.

And what makes you sad?

It's for you to tell. I know what makes Jimmy Carter sad, though:

Mr Carter condemned "deliberate" destruction in Israel's January offensive, but also expressed sadness over Palestinian rocket attacks on Israeli towns.
A sad case, indeed.

In the picture above: Carter expelling exorcising demons of sadness from Gazan rocket scientists, praying for improved precision of Qassams.

17 June 2009

Sen. John Ensign carried on what?

Whatever it was, it was one of a kind, apparently, if this article is a witness:

Republican Sen. John Ensign of Nevada has stepped down from his leadership post one day after admitting he carried on a marital affair with a woman who was on his campaign staff.
Sent me to a dictionary, but in vain. Why should a person be punished for a marital affair, anyway? I am having one for more years than they give you for offing someone, by the way, and really, there is absolutely no call for punishment, I swear. So, can I have at least some extra anchovies with it?

China says unpopular filtering software optional

They claim. Which reminds me the freedom of choice offered by Odessa moms to their kids: "Choose one of five, you little brat: either you finish your homework or get four slaps on the face".

Options, shmoptions...

This is supposed to be flying, too?

Some kind soul sent me a PowerPoint presentation of A380 wonders, obviously coming from Airbus marketing department. I was kinda hit by a relatively boring slide, though:

Click to enlarge

Not very reassuring, to be frank. And what the heck does "Risk-Sharing Partners" mean? What kind of risk are we talking about here? I always thought that 100% of the risk falls on the passengers.

Just asking.

16 June 2009

With humblest apologies to my readers

In the flippant, thoughtless and hasty post That Netanyahu's Speech of June 15, 2009, I have perpetrated another crime - that of omission, by not referring to the following:

Netanyahu's speech was an eloquent, rational and at times impassioned defense of Israel.
Undersigned:Caroline Glick.

Hereby I seek forgiveness of people harmed by this grave act of feeblemindedness, their families, friends and other dear and near.


Update: There was another crime of omission, I plain misremembered to embed here that famous picture of embedded Caroline. My bad...

The comic side of the Iran's election

Well, even the most tragic events have a comic side, as a rule. And this specific event, while definitely on the negative side, cannot be called a tragedy, not yet at least. Besides, it was (unfortunately) too easy to predict, if your glasses weren't pink-tinted, of course.

To start with, some amazing responses by political VIPs:

In an unprecedented move last week, Hashemi Rafsanjani, a former president whom Mr Ahmadinejad accused of corruption, wrote to Mr Khamenei complaining that the mudslinging was bringing Iran's political class into disrepute.
Erm... disrepute, no less. Where was this "political class" before going into disrepute?
Among the first to telephone to congratulate him was the Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez, a fellow scourge of the US. The victory "represents the feeling and commitment of the Iranian people to building a new world," Mr Chavez said in a statement.
I am afraid we have already seen that "new world" a few times in history.
America's Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, said the United States was monitoring the outcome of Iran's election and hoped the results reflected the will of the Iranian people.
Definitely yes - some of Iranian people caused their will to materialize.

But of course, the cake belongs to the same old (and I mean old):
Former US president Jimmy Carter said he expected no major change in Iran's policies with Mr Ahmadinejad's reelection.
No major change - fer crying out loud! Of course, it takes Carter to make such an enlightened observation. But wait, this is not all:
"I think this election has bought out a lot of opposition to his policies in Iran, and I'm sure he'll listen to those opinions and hopefully moderate his position," he said.
Oh boy, what will happen now - free lollipops for all? See also Norm's response to that one.

And now, via Soccer Dad, to something entirely different: Roger Cohen, the steadfast fellow traveler.
I’ve also argued that, although repressive, the Islamic Republic offers significant margins of freedom by regional standards. I erred in underestimating the brutality and cynicism of a regime that understands the uses of ruthlessness.
Wow, you are not saying, Roger? But then:
I’ve argued for engagement with Iran and I still believe in it, although, in the name of the millions defrauded, President Obama’s outreach must now await a decent interval.
Let me guess what will be a decent interval for good ole Roger: one... two... three... GO!

Stephen Tyrone Johns RIP

The post amended and re-published.

Stephen Tyrone Johns is the name of the officer who has died after being shot at the Holocaust Museum in Washington

He gave his life to prevent many others being killed.



The American Jewish Committee's Washington, D.C. chapter has set up a memorial fund to benefit the family of Officer Stephen Tyrone Johns, who was killed Wednesday at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. The organization said it will soon have a place on its Web site where one can contribute, but those who want to donate immediately should send checks made out to the American Jewish Committee, with "Holocaust Museum Memorial Fund" in the memo line, to:

American Jewish Committee, Washington Chapter

C/O Melanie Maron

1156 15th Street, NW, Suite 1201

Washington DC 20005

One hundred percent of the contribution will go to the Johns family.
Hat tip: The New Centrist (who had him a baby boy recently, by the way).

15 June 2009

So, once more - the Ahmadinejad's rival

No matter what garbage rogercohens of the world try to sell you: here on CNN, quite an unusual for that outfit revealing article on Mir Hossein Moussavi, the "progressive" alternative to Mahmoud the Mad. A short morsel:

Though the 67-year old is credited for successfully navigating the Iranian economy as prime minister during a bloody eight-year war with Iraq in the 1980s, he also was a hard-liner whom the Economist described as a "firm radical."
Yep. Read it all.

That Netanyahu's speech

No, I haven't bothered to see it all, the transcript has done quite well for me. Anyway, it was good to sleep on it before venturing forth with an opinion, which will be argued against no matter what I say. So, first of all, a small collection of responses. To start with, a statement of the obvious (Haaretz):

Netanyahu backs demilitarized Palestinian state

Now to one extreme (Hamas):

Hamas: Netanyahu speech 'racist' bid to deny Palestinian rights

And to the other (Akiva Eldar, Haaretz):

Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a patriarchal, colonialist address in the best neoconservative tradition...

Let's not forget the third (yes, it is so, believe it or not) extreme end of the stick:

MK Aryeh Eldad (NU) said that “by using the term ‘demilitarized Palestinian state’ Netanyahu is attempting to eat a kosher-slaughtered pig.

How about the bride (I mean the Palestinian Authority):

PA: Speech dealt deadly blow to peace process

Now to the one for whom Bibi toils:

Obama: Netanyahu's speech 'an important step forward'

OK, so what about some highbrow analysis? Here it comes:

Netanyahu speech aimed solely for Obama's ears

(Does Haaretz lately take the cake for stating the obvious or does it take that cake?)

Now, the list will be incomplete without Ami Isseroff:

What Benjamin Netanyahu did not say could fill a book. ... The purpose of this speech was to give Barack Obama one of the concessions he demanded: Israeli support for a Palestinian state. Mission accomplished.

So what about me (I am sure that by now you are pining for my own opinion, dontcha?):

Yesterday one of the TV gurus said that Bibi called Joe Biden an hour before giving the speech, allegedly to update the administration on the contents. Tell you what: it's an obvious crapola. Bibi urgently needed Biden's advice on matching his tie to the background. It looks like (being men) they went for the obvious and simple solution. Whatever works... anyway, this is my opinion on the whole shebang. As I am quite sure, Middle East isn't going to change overnight, nor is Bibi.

Cross-posted on Yourish.com

14 June 2009

Carter in Gush Etzion

Former US president meets with residents of Jerusalem-vicinity settlements to 'listen' to their side. Despite heavy opposition by many settlers, local council leader says he believes the visit 'changed' Carter's perceptions
That easy? Apparently yes:
Former US President Jimmy Carter, generally known for being sympathetic to Israel's rivals, made some surprising statements to settlers on Sunday, during a visit to Gush Etzion.

"I never imagined that Gush Etzion would be transferred to Palestinian hands," Carter said following a meeting with local council leader Shaul Goldstein. He explained that the area is very close to the 1967 armistice line and will likely stay part of Israel forever.
I wish I knew what the old meddler is up to...

The best headline on the subject

If not of the whole freaking year.

Reports: Iran rounds up Mousavi, 100 reformist leaders

The democracy show is over, kids. Back to real life now.

Haveil Havalim 221: The news and politics

Here it is, and going strongly. Highly recommended.

13 June 2009

That Bibi's speech

Would be my bet, too. But who am I? And why should I say something that is being said much better by others? Besides, if it doesn't happen I shall have a get out of jail card, you know. So - Yaacov Lozovic:

Netanyahu will give a speech in three days in which he'll accept the two state solution, as demanded by Obama, but also - it's worth noting - as officially accepted by his three predecessors Olmert, Sharon and Barak, and implicitly accepted by their three predecessors Netanyahu Peres and Rabin. We're a democracy, and in democracies newly elected governments are bound to international obligations made by their predecessors. Otherwise, no international order would be possible.

So on that level Netanyahu will simply be putting an end to a three-month hiatus of childish behavior, of pretending to live in Never-Never-Land; these three months caused a degree of damage to Israel that, while not being of major significance, was totally predictable and completely unnecessary.

The last puff

My kind of man:

Oh Russia...


12 June 2009

Holocaust museum shooter had links to BNP


Hat tip: Andrew Ian Dodge.

Pre-election Iran, pot calling kettle, pink glasses etc

The fake drama developing in Tehran these days is sort of ironic.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad further fueled the unprecedented drama in Iranian politics ahead of Friday's national elections, giving a fiery response Wednesday to harsh criticism from one of the country's top politicians and other critics.
Of course, anyone can easily see where Mahmoud the Mad is personifying the pure evil as we all came to know and love it lately. Although, to be frank, after studying a bit the realities and the intricate political structure of the Islamic Republic, I still strongly suspect that Mahmoud is what I always thought him to be: a deranged motormouth puppet of the real powers that benevolently watch his antics. Up to a point, and it looks like Mahmoud has already reached that point.

Of more interest is a related question: who exactly is leading the charge against Mahmoud? Lo and behold - it is none other than the former President, Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani:
Responding to the president's verbal attacks during a presidential debate last week, Rafsanjani said Ahmadinejad's "baseless and irresponsible" statements brought back "bitter memories" of anti-revolutionary groups in the aftermath of Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution.

In the debate with his chief rival Mir Hossein Moussavi, Ahmadinejad accused Rafsanjani and another former president, Mohammad Khatami, of mismanagement, corruption and masterminding a plot against him.
There is more about the tiff between these luminaries in the CNN article linked above. However, seeing the name Rafsanjani I feel that it's necessary to remind you all who this creep really is. That same Mr Rafsanjani who is wanted by Argentina on charges of murder, who has expressed his "love" for Jews so unequivocally, who is a moderate murderer (in this last link there is some info on Iranian political structure that could be useful to those who still harbor some hope).

As for the pretender to Mahmoud's job, one Mir Hossein Mousavi, here it goes:
International Atomic Energy Agency documents revealed that Iran began a secret nuclear program during the tenure of Mir Hossein Mousavi, the opposition leader running against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
There is more in that link, a worth reading.

As for that CNN statement:

- sorry, folks, it is just crapola. No matter who occupies this chair, he wouldn't really matter, just as Mahmoud the Mad didn't. No ramifications whatsoever, folks, don't hold you breath.

The whole drama is no more than a show, organized for the naive Westerners' consumption and to facilitate the work of various fellow travelers predicting the advent of democracy in Iran every few months or so.

Democracy is not coming to Iran anytime soon. You can take it to the bank, ladies and gentlemen.

Too bad, though...

Cross-posted on Yourish.com

Michelle Obama vs Carla Bruni - the military angle

First take a look at this picture:

Now rev up your gray cells: if POTUS' spouse uses death rays so casually, can you imagine the awesome might of the POTUS?

11 June 2009

Prickly shark and Holy Western Empire?

Something weird to report about Google Hot Trends. Today it found a link between a strange fish rarely seen in the nature and the site of that freaking white supremacist from yesterday shooting in Washington.

Strange, that...

Johanna Ganthaler, woman who missed Flight 447 is killed in car crash

Ain't it creepy?

Oh Debbie, Debbie... well, and oh Michael, Michael...

(Not to be mixed with "Oh, Debka, Debka..." series. I am already too despaired by Debka to pay them enough attention.)

This is about Debbie Schlussel, she of enchanting exterior and hugely popular site. It took Debbie a few minutes after yesterday's shooting to connect the dots and to come to this fascinating conclusion:

So What if Holocaust Museum Shooter is White Christian: We Know Who Crescented, er . . . Created This Atmosphere; 9/11 Truther

The main point of this essay could be derived from this quote (if the headline wasn't enough):

Make no mistake. Muslims created this atmosphere where hatred of the Jews is okay and must be "tolerated" as a legitimate point of view. The shooting today is just yet another manifestation emanating from that viewpoint--another manifestation of the welcome mat that Muslims rolled out for fellow anti-Semites of all stripes to no longer be afraid to come out of the closet.
Ehehe... see what happens when you are hell-bent on proving a point... as if white supremacists have ever needed a helping hand, not to speak about moral support, from somebody they consider to be untermenschen anyway.

But, on the other hand, we have a fascinating Michael A. Hoffman II of Idaho*:

who, according to Adam Holland, came to a slightly different interpretation of the tragic event.In his post Now Playing at the "Holocaust Museum" - The Lone Nut (no link, as usual, you will have to Google for it), he connects his own dots and comes to the inevitable (for him) conclusion. Apparently, James von Brunn was a "lone nut" and a toy in the hands of what Mr Hoffman prefers to call "Cryptocracy" - and you know what it means in nutspeak, don't you? I shall quote only one sentence from that post, where the post comes to its grand finale:
James von Brunn's six-pointed star will be forever secure in the Cryptocracy's lone nut firmament.
Enough, I guess.

Of course, I don't even dream about comparing the incomparable Debbie, who is usually so full of good intentions, to incomparable crusty old white supremacist, anti-Semite and conspiracy fruitcake. Still, there must be a lesson somewhere...

(*) I was going to use the same "lone nut" label for Mr Hoffman. However, I soon realized that Idaho proved to be a fertile breeding or, at least, holding ground for all kinds of nuts. So, while he is undeniably a nut, he is far from being a lone one.

Besides, after a closer look at that picture, with that bow tie, this artful halo around his noggin and, especially, that humongous schnozzle, a dreadful suspicion crept into my bones: what if this is one of our own outdated field models that we have written off long ago and forgotten to send for scrap? Oh boy...

Cross-posted on Yourish.com

The weakened self-confidence

Surely you couldn't but admire this gorgeous view (on the way down to the Dead Sea):

What with some barely identifiable, but still Roman dwellings down there and every tourist stopping and shooting the view. And of course, one could sing hosannas to the delicate play of colors at the sunset time over same Dead Sea - even on a muggy day when the air is bad for photography:

But then you visit other people's places and look at what they probably consider a banal unassuming view of the local countryside. And your confidence is... well, not shattered, but somewhat dented. And you start to see where that, sometimes annoying, aura of quiet superiority some Brits sport comes from.

On the other hand, maybe still... nah, whom I am kidding?

3 emergency landings in that many days

An American Airlines flight with 206 passengers and crew aboard landed safely in eastern Canada on Tuesday night after reports of smoke in the cabin, an airport official said.
An Airbus A320 that took off from the Canary Islands had to turn back Wednesday because of an engine problem and then make an emergency landing, officials from Spain's airport authority and the airline said.
A Jetstar flight with 203 passengers and crew aboard landed safely in Guam early Thursday after a fire broke out in the plane's cockpit, the airline said.
Looks like a trend...

Megan Fox thumbs photos - why?

When a person's thumb becomes a hottest item on the webs, you know you have to do something to alleviate the fever of the surfers who don't have anything worth looking at. So here it is - your handy and free tranquilizer, so click on it:

Try to become one with that plant, to feel how serene and happy it is and how it doesn't give a flying donut about no thumb. Be calm and be cool. Relax, in other words.

10 June 2009

Meet James Wenneker von Brunn - the Holocaust Museum shooter

According to MSNBC, a 89 years old white supremacist.

According to his own site (search for that name, it comes up as one of the first hits under "Holy Western Empire"), a racist, a Nazi, an all around conspiracy nut. In short - a nicer person has rarely been shot by a security guard in Washington.

Update: On Stormfront a lady of similar ilk proposes to award the dreck a title of "White Racialist Treasure" (probably an equivalent of the Purple Heart in Aryan shits' lexicon). She also adds a few biographic details:

He is a member of Mensa, the high-IQ society. In 1981 von Brunn attempted to place the treasonous Federal Reserve Board of Governors under legal, non-violent, citizens arrest. He was tried in a Washington, D.C. Superior Court; convicted by a Negro jury, Jew/Negro attorneys, and sentenced to prison for eleven years by a Jew judge. A Jew/Negro/White Court of Appeals denied his appeal. He served 6.5 years in federal prison. He is now an artist and author and lives on Maryland's Eastern Shore.
Case closed, methinks...

Police: At least 2 shot inside Holocaust Museum

D.C. police spokeswoman Traci Hughes says a person walked into the museum with a rifle and shot a guard. Hughes says the shooter was also shot.

Hughes says the victims' conditions were not known. Both were being rushed to a hospital.
Update: (as seen on Fox News): one security guard and the shooter wounded and taken to the hospital, so far condition of both unknown. Another person seems to be injured by flying glass fragments.

Update: WTTG, the FOX affiliate in Washington, has confirmed that the 39-year-old guard who was shot has died of his injuries after being taken to a hospital.


Kendra Wilkinson Announces She's Pregnant. Now What?

No, really, folks - there are some limits to what the press could do with us. Seriously, when you see such a headline, the minimal consideration you would expect from the author (one Stephen M. Silverman in this case) would be to give some free guidance to the ignorant members of the public. Like what I am supposed to do now: tear the remains of my hair out? Or run away to the street naked, shouting from joy? Or just keep a few minutes of respectful silence? Please be a doll, Stephen, tell me what to do.

And while you are at it, Steve, two more questions to clear up:

  1. Who is this Kendra Wilkinson gal?
  2. And this bloke - Hank Baskett - what the heck is wide receiver, and how it differs from a narrow one? I have a few receivers at home, never classified them
Awaiting your answers breathlessly.

Israel Beiteinu helps Knesset shoot down civil union bill

Promises, promises...

Israel Beiteinu and Labor both supported civil unions before joining the coalition - with Israel Beiteinu listing it among its five key conditions for joining any government.
The picture was filched from The Chive. With thanks.

Zionists in Tel Aviv sleeping on $1M mattresses


Avigdor Lieberman: World public opinion is Israel's number one problem

Or so he says. Not much unlike a flu virus complaining that antibodies don't do it justice...

Hat tip: Zionation.

Are Cucumbers Anti-Semitic?

And more. Incomparable Nizo with another good one, that immediately brings to mind a few scores of commentators and even bloggers I don't care to mention.

Obama’s filing against 9/11 families: so bad it’s good

The following is copied in its entirety from here. Think what you will about the suit (in my opinion Saudis must pay, if only to face the issue of their responsibility for Al Qaeda birth), but intervention of executive branch into what should be a due legal procedure, and that for purely political reasons, is insufferable.

Bizarre amicus brief totally demolishes the Second Circuit's dismissal of the families' suit, then replaces it with the most mendacious stupidity imaginable. Now the Supreme Court will HAVE to hear the case, just to avoid the implication that it accepted this garbage.

Blogburst logo, petition

9/11 families were stunned this week to learn that President Obama is asking the Supreme Court NOT to review their effort to recover damages from the government of Saudia Arabia and from several Saudi princes for funding al Qaeda’s 9/11 attack on America. That the defendants did funnel vast sums of money to al Qaeda was accepted as a given by the appellate court, as was the fact that al Qaeda was known to be dedicated to and engaged in violent attacks against America. So what was the Obama administration’s reason for siding with the Saudis?

Solicitor General Elena Kagan’s amicus brief to the Supreme Court had to admit that the Second Circuit Court of Appeals erred in its grounds for denying the suit against the Saudi princes. No, the fact that the princes did not actually direct the al Qaeda attack on the United States does not relieve them of liability for attacks that they funded. The precedent on this is clear. As long as the defendant knew “that the brunt of the injury” from his tortious act would be felt in America, then:

... he must ‘reasonably anticipate being haled into court there’ to answer for his actions. [Calder v. Jones, 465 U.S. 783, 790. Cited on Kagan’s p. 18.]
Nevertheless, said Kagan, she could think of a way around the appellate court’s utter failure to get the heart of the case right. The families’ suit falls under the 1976 FSIA law that establishes exceptions to the principle of sovereign immunity. This law does not allow jury trials. Thus while the appellate court was clearly wrong to say that the suit should not be heard, Kagan suggests that there are snippets in the ruling that can be read as the appellate court acting in its role of trier of fact, and thus ruling against the families for providing insufficient evidence.

In other words, instead of seeing the Second Circuit as rejecting the basis of the suit, we should see them as accepting the suit, and ruling against it on the substance. To make her argument that the appellate court actually did try the facts, she quotes the Second Circuit’s statement that:
Conclusory allegations that [Prince Turki] donated money to charities, without specific factual allegations that he knew they were funneling money to terrorists, do not suffice.
But of course the families DID marshal reasons why Turki could be expected to know that his donations were going to al Qaeda, as indicated by the appellate court’s further statements that there was no personal jurisdiction even if the defendants did “know that their money would be diverted to al Qaeda,” or were “aware of Osama bin Laden’s public announcements of jihad against the United States.” (Cited in the families' reply brief, p.8, and in Kagan’s brief, p. 19, respectively.)

For Kagan to pretend that the Second Circuit acted as a sufficient trier of fact, when it explicitly asserted that the facts don’t matter, is just an attempt to mislead the Court. The evidence that the Saudi Princes knew they were funding al Qaeda has yet to be considered by U.S. courts, even though Kagan herself admits that if they did know, they should be held liable.

The families respond

Of course the families are angry that Obama is blocking their access to the courts, despite their legitimate claims under U.S. law:
The Administration's filing mocks our system of justice and strikes a blow against the public's right to know the facts about who financed and supported the murder of 3,000 innocent people. It undermines our fight against terrorism and suggests a green light to terrorist sympathizers the world over that they can send money to al Qaeda without having to worry that they will be held accountable in the U.S. Courts for the atrocities that result. …

The Administration's filing is all the more troubling in that it expressly acknowledges that the courts below applied incorrect legal standards in dismissing the Saudi defendants, but nonetheless argues that the case -- one that seeks to account for the terrorist attacks against America and the murder of our family members -- does not warrant the Supreme Court's time.
This at the same time as Obama insists that al Qaeda operatives held at Guantanamo Bay must be granted access to U.S. courts. Concocted rights for terrorists, yes. Following the law for the victims of terrorism, no.

On Saudi state liability, Kagan again misleads to the point of outright dishonesty

Here too, Kagan is forced to start out by noting that the grounds on which the Second Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the families’ claims is not valid. The circuit court held that damages for terrorist acts have to be brought under the FSIA law’s special exception for terrorist acts, which requires that the state defendant be designated by the State Department as a terror supporting state. Since Saudi Arabia has not been so designated, suit cannot be brought under this provision, end of case.

Wrong, as Kagan herself explains:
Congress’s concern was not to impose new limits on the domestic tort exception, but instead to expand jurisdiction to cover a narrow class of claims based on conduct abroad. See, e.g., H.R. Rep. No. 702, 103d Cong., 2d Sess. 3, 5 (1994) (explaining that the bill would “expand” jurisdiction to include claims by an American who is grievously mistreated abroad by a foreign government”).
This was necessary because the domestic tort exception only applies to injuries that occur on U.S. territory. Specifically, the domestic exception allows suit when:
1605(a)(5) - money damages are sought against a foreign state for personal injury or death, or damage to or loss of property, occurring in the United States and caused by the tortious act or omission of that foreign state.
In the wake of the Iranian hostage taking in Tehran, Congress wanted designated terror-supporting states to be liable for harms that they inflict on Americans even on their own territory, but this in no way was supposed to limit suit over harms that occur within the United States, such as the 9/11 murders.

Confronted with this obviously wrong ruling by the Second Circuit, Kagan again tries to cobble together an alternative grounds for granting Saudi immunity. To fullfill this improbable command from above, she decides to flat-out lie about precedent, big bald astounding lies.

Torturing "tortious"

Notice that the language of the domestic tort exception is perfectly clear that what has to occur inside the United States is the personal injury or death, not the decision that leads to the personal injury or death. Suppose that the home office of a state owned shipping company decides to scrimp on safety equipment for its cargo vessels, leading to loss of American lives when cargo is offloaded in an American port. This is exactly the kind of thing that FSIA was intended to cover, but Kagan pretends otherwise, arguing that not only the tort (the harm), but also the “tortious act or omission” that creates the harm, have to take place inside the United States.

In many cases there is no separation between the harm and the act that creates it. They both occupy the same time and place. Neither does the language of torts typically distinguish between the tort and the tortious act. Instead, the tortious act is seen as being realized when the tort (the harm) actually occurs. Kagan's ploy is to try to make a distinction between the tort and the "tortious act" that leads to it, and she is able to come up with some out-of-context references to make it sound as if precedent demands that both the harm and the decision-making that leads to the harm have to occur here in America.

She claims, for instance, that:
In Amerada Hess, the Court considered and rejected the argument that domestic effects of a foreign state’s conduct abroad satisfy the exception. 488 U.S. at 441.
Applied to the current case, she is clearly suggesting that the “domestic effect” corresponds to the 9/11 attacks, and that the “conduct abroad” corresponds to the statutorily required “tortuous act or omission” that in both cases took place outside of U.S. territory. A look at the actual Supreme Court ruling, however, shows this to be a gross misrepresentation of Ameranda Hess.

Looking up Argentine Republic v. Amerada Hess Shipping Corp. and turning to p. 441 we find what the case was actually about:
In this case, the injury to respondents' ship occurred on the high seas some 5,000 miles off the nearest shores of the United States. Despite these telling facts, respondents nonetheless claim that the tortious attack on the Hercules occurred "in the United States."
In other words, it was the harm itself that in this case did not occur within U.S. territory. Contrary to Kagan’s representation, the Court was NOT making a distinction between the harm and decision that led to it and claiming that both had to occur within the United States.

This kind of blatant misrepresentation of precedent is lawlessness! Is this how the Obama administration treats precedent? As fodder for utterly dishonest word games? YES.

To preserve its own reputation, SCOTUS will have to hear the families’ case

The Supreme Court asked the Obama administration to submit this brief. It cannot be ignored. If SCOTUS accepts guidance from this contemptuous document, then it is implicated in the Obama administration’s contempt for the law.

If the sheer perversity of Kagan’s filing does force the Court to hear the families’ case, that would be a great outcome, but the downside risk is equally amplified. If the Court DOES accept Kagan’s guidance, it is a black black day for America.

Meretricious cites and arguments dominate every paragraph of Kagan’s brief, except in two place: where she shoots down the Second Circuit’s patently errant grounds for dismissal. It almost seems like she started with a brief in support of the families’ suit before getting the order from Obama to side with the Saudis. Apparently she decided that it was fruitless to try to support the Second Circuit’s reasoning, so she let the demolition of the Second Circuit’s ruling stand, then supplied her own just as bad case for Saudi immunity.

However it came about, Kagan’s destruction of the Second Circuit ruling is so competent, and her substitute arguments for immunity so incompetent, that the whole almost seems designed to force a Supreme Court hearing. Could she have intentionally sabotaged her own brief? Doubtful, given that the Obama DOJ just overruled its own career lawyers in order to drop an already won case against three New Black Panthers who were caught on tape using weapons to intimidate voters. Apparently the Obama administration just really is this stupid and malicious.

In any case, it seems unlikely that Kagan’s shenanigans will get past the justices. Antonin Scalia is unlikely to forget the FISA case opinion he wrote in 1992, addressing the very question of harms resulting in the United States from decisions made by foreign entities in their home countries. His conclusion? In a breach of contract case where the only tie to the United States was the option of receiving payment in dollars in New York City, the Court denied immunity. Only the harm itself had to take place on U.S. territory, not the decisions that led to the harm, and the opinion was unanimous.

Obama’s imperial presidency: he does not want to be bound by the 1976 Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act, and says so

The family group states directly that:
The filing was political in nature and stands as a betrayal of everyone who lost a loved one or was injured on September 11, 2001.
Indeed, the entire first section of Kagan’s brief is replete with claims that exceptions to sovereign immunity should be determined politically.

That is the way it used to be, before Congress passed the FSIA act specifically in order to take these determinations out of the political realm. The United States only started granting any exceptions to the legal tradition of sovereign immunity in the 1950's, after some nation-states started getting heavily involved in commerce. If state enterprises could not be held liable in U.S. courts, they would have a competitive advantage over private industry. Not smart policy during the cold-war contest between capitalism and communism.

Exceptions were at first made on a case by case basis by the executive, but such arbitrariness does not suit the needs of commerce, so Congress made an explicit decision to take this power away from the executive. Even so, Kagan’s brief hints over and over (p. 4-10) that executive prerogative should still hold sway, but without ever making an explicit case that FSIA intrudes on the inherent powers of the presidency, and without ever stating what the president would want to do with those powers in the present case if the court were to recognize them as pre-eminent.

The reason Kagan doesn’t make these things explicit is because they are damning. Obama knows that the Saudi’s are liable under U.S. law, but for his own political reasons he does not want them to be held liable, but neither does want the nation to understand that he considers currying favor with the people who attacked us on 9/11 to be more important than justice for his own murdered countrymen.

The president does indeed have some inherent power here, just as President Bush had inherent power to wiretap conversations with al Qaeda operatives both at home and abroad, regardless of what Congress put in the FISA wiretapping law. Bush did abide by FISA, but he didn’t have to.*

Obama is going further. He does not want to abide by FSIA, but is unwilling to make the case that the particular exemption from FSIA that he is asking for is a legitimate exercise of his inherent powers, or even assert what he would do with that power. He just wants the courts to do his dirty work for him, asking them to grant immunity to the Saudis based on bogus claims about FSIA law and precedent.

Conservative justices might be tempted to recognize the president’s inherent powers in the area of foreign policy, but they should not let him exercise this power on false pretenses. If he wants to claim that he has the inherent power to grant immunity to the Saudis and that this is how he wants to exercise that power, he can do it publicly, but he should not be allowed to overrule Congress on the pretense that he is doing the will of Congress.

To allow this subterfuge would destroy fundamental FSIA precedents while failing to attain the virtue of the pre-FSIA regime, where the president had to stand or fall by his explicitly political decision-making. If Obama wants to invoke the inherent power of the presidency here, he at the very least has to be willing to admit it.

* FISA court precedent on inherent powers

The powers of Congress to regulate in an area where the president has his own inherent authority was addressed by the FISA court in September 2002:
The Truong court, as did all the other courts to have decided the issue, held that the President did have inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches to obtain foreign intelligence information. It was incumbent upon the court, therefore, to determine the boundaries of that constitutional authority in the case before it. We take for granted that the President does have that authority and, assuming that is so, FISA could not encroach on the President’s constitutional power.
The contrast to the present case is instructive. Bush’s Solicitor General Ted Olson did not hide the fact that President Bush wanted the court to recognize his inherent authority to conduct signals intelligence. With that power duly recognized, Bush still went the last mile to conform to the law as enacted by Congress. That is what it means to “uphold our fundamental principles and values,” while Obama, who keeps accusing President Bush of failing to uphold our values, engages in legal subterfuge, showing as much contempt for the law as for our 9/11 families.

To join the blogbursts, just send your blog's url.