28 June 2017

Now trending on WoW

Watcher of Weasels

Another Win – Trump and India PM Modi Speak At The White House 

 Michael Brown: Eternal Martyr 

Julian Assange: "Why The Democrat Party Is Doomed" 

 Collins, Rubio Help Muslims Pass Senate Resolution 118 to Criminalize Free Speech 

 Forum: What Is Your Reaction To The Special Elections 

 The Actual War On Women, Part 1 

 Whadd’ya Know…Illinois is Bankrupt!

 Answers to my questions about America’s opioid crisis 

 The Secret behind Amazon’s New Bestseller On Palestinian History

 The Democrat party is hamstrung because it can’t tell the truth about itself

 ReasonTV: College Students ‘Think Freedom is Not a Big Deal’ 

 Venezuela: Leopoldo Lopez cries out to wife he is being tortured

 [VIDEOS] Paul Joseph Watson on Muslims and Leftists 

 Israeli Envoy: Anti-Israel Campus Campaigns ‘A Real War’ 

 The Expanse: Forget Star Trek and Watch This Show

 At a University of California campus, learning a life lesson about socialism 

California travel ban: Blatant hypocrisy about LGBTQ (etc.) rights  

26 June 2017

Benjamin Netanyahu at his best: zigging and zagging


Whatever they say about Bibi, in one aspect of his behavior he is consistent: he will switch direction at the merest sign of trouble for his ruling coalition, i.e. to his seat of power.

His sudden change of heart regarding the plan to establish a pluralistic prayer pavilion at Jerusalem’s Western Wall is just another example of his all consuming passion for that chair.
The cabinet on Sunday suspended a government-approved plan to establish a pluralistic prayer pavilion at Jerusalem’s Western Wall, following calls by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ultra-Orthodox coalition allies to scrap the deal. The announcement was swiftly condemned by Israel’s Reform Movement and the Jewish Agency.
But, Bibi being Bibi, even this decision was half-hearted:
In a statement, the Prime Minister’s Office said that Netanyahu instructed Cabinet Secretary Tzachi Braverman and Likud Minister Tzachi Hanegbi to formulate a new plan for the site.

It also said construction work on the southern edge of the Western Wall plaza — where the pluralistic prayer pavilion was slated to be built — would continue uninterrupted.
Just in case Bibi detects that the damage caused by his sudden about-turn might outweigh the threat of not turning about. But of course.

Still, I tend to think that the ToI headline on David Horovitz' op-ed is a bit of exaggeration:

Netanyahu to millions of Jews: We don’t really want you

First of all, I seriously doubt that there are literally millions of conservative and reform Jews hurt by this zigzag. Besides, there are more young American Jews being indoctrinated by J-Street, JVP and extreme left - the writing is on the wall. Not that the two cases are completely unrelated.

As a side note: I would dare guess that the case of pluralistic prayer pavilion is quite closely related to the recent brouhaha with the work performed on the railroad during Shabbat. Political horse trading in its typical naked glory.

Yep. As it was said, politicians and diapers should both be changed regularly, and for the same reason.

Quite the time.

22 June 2017

Now trending on WoW.

Watcher of Weasels

Trump and how to beat him, according to the Guardian

Unprecedented Ice: I’m A Denier 

 Republicans Win Georgia 6 Election 

 Not Unity But Civility 

How Cats Used Humans to Conquer the World

Sweden’s Clueless Government Puzzled Over ‘Rise In Islamic Extremism’ 

 The Savage Nation – Michael Savage – June 19, 2017 Full Show 

Ecuador: Odebrecht stoolie turns in tapes of meetings with officials

 Guardians Of The Galaxy, Vol. 2 

 Was It Terrorism? 

 WoW! Magazine’s Forum: What Will be The End Result Of Mueller’s Investigation? 

 Democrats Place Bounty on Trump Agenda, GOP Leadership Aims to Collect 

 A Few Remarks About the DC Shootings

 Another London Terrorist Attack
 
Seattle: Taxing The Second Amendment And Reason

CNN's Startling Incompetence

When the Left asks us to “turn down the rhetoric” what they really mean is SHUT UP!

HuffPost Scrubs Article Calling for President Trump and GOP Leadership’s “Execution” Days Before Shooting

Bookworm Beat 6/14/17 — Never give a Leftist an opening

21 June 2017

Trump and how to beat him, according to the Guardian


Not being a supporter of Trump and not being an expert in the internal US politics, I simply enjoy (kind of) the current political game in Washington. Which is mainly a hodge-podge of frenzied attacks on the POTUS, coming from all directions: from his alleged complicity in a bevy of alleged Russian conspiracies to his ice-cream preferences.

A good example of the "let's try it all" approach is this article in The Guardian by one Rebecca Solnit, "a Guardian US contributing opinion writer, an historian, activist and contributing editor at Harper's magazine":

Victories against Trump are mounting. Here's how we deal the final blow

Proclaims the author:
I believe we have the capacity to limit the damage or even bring down the Trump administration through nonviolent resistance and good organizing, and I see extraordinary things happening in this moment. We are off to a good start.

The article is a litany of the various lines of attack I've mentioned above. Some of them are more serious, although in many cases wishful thinking is the main factual material in support of these attacks. A lot of the rest are so pitiful that it makes me wonder about the sanity - either of the author or the originators of the attacks. Here are some choice quotes:
Democrats in the legislative branch of government have been mocking Trump, from the proposed Covfefe Act (it’s an acronym for Communications Over Various Feeds Electronically For Engagement, but also a joke about a peculiar tweet of Trump’s including that word, or nonword) that would ban him from deleting tweets on the grounds that they’re presidential records, to Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer’s videotaped parody of Trump’s cabinet meeting in which all members dutifully praised him.
Earthshaking indeed. On the other hand, laughing is good for you, physicians say.
Senator Kamala Harris has gone after attorney general Jeff Sessions hard (despite male senators who keep trying to hush her up). Congresswoman Maxine Waters is demanding impeachment.
Now, Congresswoman Maxine Waters is, of course, a bombshell argument no matter what the subject is. Trump better seek a shelter asap...
Last week fired FBI director James Comey ripped the president to shreds as a liar, a creep, and an incompetent manipulator of truth and staff, and since then things have gotten worse for the administration.
In the eye of the beholder, certainly, otherwise the harm caused to the POTUS was negligible, not to mention the dirt Comey thoroughly covered himself with.
In the media, Rachel Maddow of liberal MSNBC has beat Fox to the number one spot in cable-news prime time.
This Rachel Maddow? Spare me, please - from what I hear even many of the left are feeling fed up with this overbearing know-it-all.

There is more, much more in that article. But, filtered by slight skepticism, it boils down to a lot of fervent desire and rage that doesn't really have an outlet, not so far.

You don't go against an elephant with a peashooter, ladies and gentlemen. To wipe that smirk from the POTUS' face requires something more substantial than this gibberish.

Final blow? Good luck.

19 June 2017

Nikolai Berdyaev on freedom and equality


Nikolai Alexandrovich Berdyaev, a remarkable Russian religious and political philosopher, in one of his lesser known quotes on the subject:
Freedom is the right to inequality.

Equality (if it is understood more broadly than purely formal legal term "equal rights") and freedom are incompatible things. By nature, people are not equal, equality can only be achieved through violence, which will always be an alignment to the lowest level.

It is possible to equalize the poor with the rich, but only by taking away from the rich his wealth.
It is possible to equalize the weak with the strong, but only by taking away from the strong his strength.
It is possible to equalize the fool with the clever, but only by turning the wisdom from dignity into a blemish.

The society of universal equality is a society of the poor, the weak and the foolish, based on violence.
For all those who tend to mix people's equality with people's equal rights.

17 June 2017

Yes, peace is just around the corner

1st Sgt. Hadas Malka, z"l
Once again, Jerusalem became a scene of bloody terror, once again the target of the terrorists was a beautiful young woman with her whole life ahead of her.

The terrorists were killed, and the usual vultures are already fighting for the doubtful honor to adopt the martyrs. Daesh vs. Hamas. There are reasons to believe Hamas in this case and to believe their statement about the "political" affiliation of the murderers.
"ISIS's claims is an attempt to muddle the map. The attack was carried out by two Palestinians belonging to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and a Hamas member."
But for me, the fight of the vultures is overshadowed by the response of our alleged "peace partner", the so called Palestinian Authority. Here is what they have to say:
"We condemn the war crime committed by the Israeli occupation forces in Jerusalem tonight against three young Palestinians. The silence of the international community on the continuation of the occupation and its crimes encourages Israel to shed the blood of the Palestinians," said Osama al-Qawasmi, a spokesman for the movement's spokesman, who continued to say that "the crime that took place this evening in cold blood and claimed the lives of three young Palestinians. The victory of the blood of the Shahids will be adherence to the land, the holy places and their protection."
Indeed... three innocent young Palestinians out for a stroll in the streets of Jerusalem (the gun and the knives being just a part of the national attire). Nope, I am not going to comment on this more.

I just wonder about the unabashed optimism of the State Department and their chief.

14 June 2017

CNN's startling incompetence

The dramatic developments (and sometimes lack of thereof) in the unending drama of the Russian involvement in the last US elections are certain to leave an external observer confused. As an avid reader of spy stories and a longtime watcher of the Kremlin shenanigans, I personally would like nothing more than tidily laid out proof of Kremlin's tentacles reaching into the North American continent and doing their usual dirt. Of course, a discovery of a few US VIPs serving as Kremlin moles would be a serious cherry on top of that thriller. Unnecessary to say that if one of these VIPs proves to be the POTUS his own self, it will be not just a cherry but a whole watermelon. Not really, it would be very sad, but still thrilling.

But, not being able to follow the inner workings of the discovery process in the offices of NAS, CIA and other hailed intelligence outfits, I, like all other lovers of the genre, have to rely on the media. And herein lies the yuge problem. Take, for instance, the eagerly anticipated hearing of Attorney general Jeff Sessions. Out of several articles on the subject by CNN, one has totally discombobulated me. The one by Errol Louis, with a headline that (I confess) made my heartbeat speed up:

Sessions' startling admission

I wouldn't deny, I have already seen in my imagination Mr Sessions leaving the room in shackles and handcuffs, mumbling something in broken Russian through his tears. But here is what astonished Errol Louis:
Attorney general Jeff Sessions, sparring with his former colleagues in testimony before the Senate intelligence committee, made a startling and dismaying admission on Tuesday. Despite months of turmoil surrounding Russia's efforts to distort American elections, says Sessions, he neither received nor requested a classified briefing to get up to speed on the threat posed by Russian forces.
...
That is an incredible statement, given the size and scope of the threat Russia posed to American democracy.
Titillating, isn't it? Attorney general, the man who should be at the frontline of the fight against the dark powers of Kremlin, is ignorant of the threat? But...

But then there is another article, published by CNN on the same day and written by Tom LoBianco, with a much less dramatic headline:

5 things we learned at Jeff Sessions' hearing

Lo and behold: one of these five things addresses that same "startling* admission":
2. Sessions' recusal started almost immediately, and left him blind on Russia's hacking

The chief law enforcement officer of the United States was never briefed on Russia's hacking of one of its major political parties, or any other efforts by Russia to mess with the elections -- past and future.

Why? Because he personally recused himself from all things related to the Trump campaign's ties to Russia the day after he was sworn into office. What Sessions didn't explain is why he waited a month to tell the public -- and his own associates -- that he had stepped aside from the probe.
Incredible, innit? I don't even blame Errol Louis for his glaring incompetence. And I can be hardly surprised by CNN and its editors, playing with half-baked information and producing one hair-raising news item after another, never conceding they were wrong. Nothing to see here, folks, move along, please.

Just why do I always think Keystone Cops or similar when opening CNN? You tell me.

(*) Here is what I would call really startling (among other things).

04 June 2017

Surely we'll do it right this time

This post is "inspired" (a wrong word but what can one do?) by the coming elections in UK. In a few days, it looks like, Brits are going to make a step that, according to what my British friends were repeating since Corbyn became the Labour's leader, is simply impossible. Which is electing a relic of the old quasi-socialist era, one that has yet to miss a dodgy terrorist gang in the whole wide world he didn't find a kind word for.

Leaving the affinity to the terrorist groups aside, I am somewhat astonished by the fact of Corbyn being a kind of moldy sloganeering prophet of a dreamy let's-tax-them-rich-bastards-and-nationalize-all-the-rest demagoguery, while succeeding to get more than a passing attention from the British public, especially the young ones. The nation, so widely known for practically inventing common sense*, is buying unrealistic promises, proved by history again and again to be lies. Sounds hardly credible, does it?

But let's look at another part of the world for a minute. Here are Russians complaining about their Orthodox Church (translated by yours truly):


Wondrously (or not), the promises of a religion are similar to the promises of quasi-socialists of all times and all nations, ending in rivers of blood, mayhem and replacement of the hierarchy of those who have money by a hierarchy of those who have power (money comes to them eventually too). The equals get split into equal and more equal, the latter become the new chieftains, greedily acquiring more and more power and stepping over the bodies of their comrades, and the wheels of history will grind again - the bodies of the hopefuls.

But I learned with time that it is virtually impossible to warn the new generation of starry-eyed seekers about the realities of true and fair socialist heaven. Humans simply don't learn from their history and the old moldy slogans succeed again and again. The only answer one gets when imploring the people to look back is "yes, we know, but we'll do it right now, no mistakes and no worries". Which is, of course, patently wrong - it will go sideways the same way it has gone so many times before.

I wish I had some magic words that will wake up the dreamers. But there apparently aren't any, and better people than I am tried and tried again.

Too bad.

(*) But then, look at how so many intelligent and supposedly sane Brits sung paeans to the other piece of moldy dreck.

03 June 2017

An enemy of two states or Move Over, James Bond!


If you are a lover of spy thrillers, you will be astounded reading this article. The slight difference this time is that the article tells a real story of a real spy. A man who, according to the other pro, was
"...the most completely colorless and nondescript person I had ever seen; he could have faded into any crowd and never been noticed." Short, with alert eyes, a receding hairline, a pronounced limp, and a Brooklyn accent...
Different sources describe the man quite differently. Here comes Amazon, where Joseph Katz left a trace, compiling a book of his letters to his brother, poet Menke Katz:
Joseph Katz is the former Chief Executive Officer of Saltzman Enterprises, producers of the James Bond films in London. Living out a kind of nomadic odyssey, Mr. Katz spent time in France, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Japan and Africa, finally settling in the State of Israel. He was instrumental in the formation of the Kibbutz industries in Israel, and he served in the U.S. Merchant Marine.
And here what someone who bothered to put a short blurb in Wiki says:
Joseph Katz (1912—2004) worked for Soviet intelligence from the 1930s to the late 1940s as one of its most active liaison agents. Katz was assigned management of the “First Line,” that part of the NKGB mission aimed at recruiting selected members of the Communist Party USA. He was an agent/group leader (gruppovik) and co-owner of a Soviet front company that manufactured gloves.
Like that parable of the blind men and an elephant... Traced briefly, his life story will look like this (highlights only!): US citizen - Soviet superspy - Merchant Marine seaman - Israeli citizen and founder of kibbutz industries - British resident and inventor - a minor movie industry mogul - one of creators of James Bond character... - etc.

And through all this: Never Done Any Time In The Nick!

Well, read that darn article. Don't drool.

Hat tip: J.Z.

01 June 2017

Read and share this, so says Bibi


Our illustrious leader should seemingly be buoyed by the warm rays of sunshine directed at him from the White House, by the total absence of opposition leaders of note at home, by the unending strife among the potential enemies, by the tolerably well doing economy etc. But to rest on his laurels is not Bibi's lot, apparently. In the best tradition of various chieftains of the past, Bibi is always on guard and always looking out for the enemies who aim to dethrone him, be these enemies real or imaginary.

We all have barely recovered from the intolerable noise of his multi-year battle against the late Israel Broadcasting Authority, eventually replaced by the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation - a move that doesn't make any visible sense, having only an explanation: Bibi's unrelenting hate of the media. A man, who has a free (you don't pay for its paper version, it is free) newspaper practically of his own, could not tolerate criticism, coming out of the media owned/financed by the government, spending a good part of his valuable time for several years fighting that criticism. The fact that this media is financed by the taxpayer, who might want to hear this criticism, didn't phase Bibi at all.

And now Bibi turned his main turrets in a new direction: the enemy within. The repercussions of his recent snubbing of the German foreign minister are still not fully known or understood, but Bibi isn't stopping at this doubtful act. His rhetoric ratchets up continuously. And now he's introduced a new term into his repertoire of battle cries: "putsch". Just to make sure we are on the same page:
Putsch: A sudden and decisive change of government illegally or by force.
Here is a snapshot of his recent Facebook post:


To be fair - Bibi didn't say it by himself, he just endorsed an article (in Hebrew) from the Internet outfit called Mida. "Read and share" adds Bibi. So what is there to read and share?

The headline of the article says most of it directly:
Leftist putsch attempt: "We encourage harm to government institutions"
The article claims that the left is trying to carry out an illegal coup, with cooperation between organizations and leaders of various protests. The article also claimed that the demonstration outside the attorney general's house exposed this "truth".

Yep. A demo by a few largely irrelevant fringe elements of our generally right-leaning society is qualified as a "putsch" by a delirious journo, and our glorious leader unsubtly endorses and recommends this "slight" exaggeration. Nothing more, nothing less.

But wait, this is not all. Besides presenting several reprehensible characters who took part in the demo and were duly arrested for some excesses, the article points a finger at a person who, according to the author, is the real engine behind the "putsch". No one else but Ehud Barak, a warrior, a Chief of Staff, a PM and a defense minister in his past. Go figure...

What next? Is the next term to be introduced by Bibi to be "enemies of the people"? With all the expected consequences? Where does the paranoia of a ruler stop indeed?

Just to make it clear (in case some polite people in civil clothing come by to question me in the future): the "Leftist putsch" article referred above does describe several revolting characters of the leftie fringe groups I largely despise. I don't harbor especially warm feelings towards Mr Barak as well - for reasons not having to do with this post.

But paranoia is surely a big step on the road to madness. And Valium is not a name of a computer game, but a fairly useful medicine in many cases.

So there.

24 April 2017

Saudi Arabia - now a champion of women's rights

This is no joke, as the headline here says:

Saudi Arabia, with its dismal record on women’s rights, has been elected to the Commission on the Status of Women, a United Nations (UN) agency that is “dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women”.
The august organization in question is the most humorless bunch of bureaucrats ever, so to suspect them of perpetrating a joke will be doing them a great injustice.

But the event itself is less interesting than the reaction to it in the media. Which is close to nothing. Not a single big media outfit (so far, at least) bothered to mention the travesty. Aside of the linked above Indian source and two Israeli newspapers.  Not.   A.    Single.    One.

Deal with it as you wish. Or don't deal at all.


02 April 2017

Yevgeny Yevtushenko, RIP


No, the power of his words didn't change history. Poetry and literature never do.
He lived a difficult life, he somewhat compromised with the regime, he too "stepped on the throat of his song" from time to time to sing paeans to the devil.

But he never betrayed his friends.
But he helped many in their hour of need, saving them from under the jackboot.
But he raised to greatness time and time again.

And there weren't many like him

RIP.

01 April 2017

Jeremy Corbyn as a potential savior of the Dead Sea fishermen

I am pretty sure I don't have to add any comments to the story presented in this link. And whether the author of the petition, one Ian Brown, is a successful prankster or a dimbulb of the first degree, is quite immaterial, although quite interesting by itself. His petition (snapshot below) is being supported by a number of fiery anti-Zionists, like that one:

Oh well... whatever floats their (fishing) boat.

The petition snapshot (click on it to embiggen):



17 March 2017

Nike's Pro Hijab as a stepladder to XXI century


The new foray of Nike into the Islamic fashion would have passed unmentioned on these here pages. Whatever I am and whatever I do, fashion of any kind isn't of interest to me. Normally. So, if Nike people want to expand their market to the Islamic world, more power to them. Whatever.

However, this article on this same subject (some well meaning friend sent me) suffers from so many dumb superlatives that I couldn't resist. Starting with this headline:

'Pro Hijab'​ Nike's Latest Stroke of Marketing Genius

But wait, it is just an aperitive, so to say. Here comes a pearl:
No, the hijab and accompanying "What Will They Say About You?" ad campaign is far more about Nike marketing itself to the 1.6 BILLION Muslims across the world and winning their loyalty as the Islamic world rapidly modernizes in the 21st century.
"rapidly modernizes in the 21st century" - believe it or not. Seriously?

And if you want to know what is it Nike stands for and against, here is another good one:
We are seeing a wave of Islamophobia in the United States and across the world that is unprecedented in its scale and explicitness, as Donald Trump continues his attempt to institute a "Muslim ban" and French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen talks about outright banning the hijab and "burkini" swimsuit in public.
Seriously?

Well, Jim Weber is the Founder & CEO at Weber PPC - Marketing and Advertising, so he knows all about selling stuff, I guess. We better listen.

15 March 2017

Mobileye sale and knee biters, large and small

The media, of course, is full of praise for the successful exit of Mobileye, the Israeli maker of safety and self-driving car technology, sold to Intel for a serious amount of money ($15.3B, as the media says). I, like many other folks, applaud and congratulate the company owners and employees with their success and wealth. And, seeing how some of the proceeds of that sale will inevitably end up in our treasury's pockets, I too will expect to make a shekel or two out of it in various ways our inventive ministry of finance and others will undoubtedly devise.

So it was kinda strange to see a sour face on the general background of celebration and joy. The sour face belongs to no other than our progressive Haaretz, via its reporter, one Eliran Rubin. The article in question:

Mobileye Founder After $15.3 Billion Exit: 'It’s Not the Money. We Want to Change the World'

But it is not the headline, it is the lede that caught my attention:

Amnon Shashua defends the sale of the self-driving car technology firm to Intel as essential for the company’s growth.

Have you notice that word that somehow jumped out at me when I've read this sentence? The "defends", I mean? Apparently the sale itself isn't as obviously desired step in a high tech Israeli start-up career as one might consider. Somebody had even asked Amnon Shashua why has he done it, judging by the following response:
Asked why he consented to selling Mobileye when it was riding the crest of the autonomous-car wave, with a market cap of $10 billion and alliances with some of the world’s top auto makers, Shashua said he saw it as the only way for the company to keep growing.
I can only guess who was asking and so can you.

The motive of the sale to Intel needing defence appears once again in the article:
Yesterday Netanyahu and Economy and Industry Minster Eli Cohen defended the move, saying it boosted economic growth and helped lure multinational companies to Israel.
I happened to hear part of that on radio, and the last thing that would have come to mind of the listener was that the speeches were defensive in any conceivable way. You can take it to the bank.

But nothing to do about it, I guess. Knee biters will be knee biters, no matter what. And, since small knee biters were mentioned, here is an example of one:

13 March 2017

Some women...

haven't yet got fully immersed in their newly acquired womanhood, I would guess. Witness this tweet that might cause a serious case of cognitive dissonance to a person not familiar with modern identity politics:


Danielle Muscato, a self-identified lady, looks like this:


(and no, before you ask - it is not a joke). Danielle Muscato has her site:
Danielle Muscato, formerly Dave Muscato, is an atheist activist, writer, debater, pundit, musician, and transgender woman from the United States.
So everything is legit and serious. Only, I guess, our fair Danielle still slips back into a male chauvinist role from time to time, what with the references to dick sucking and all.

Patience...

12 March 2017

Taking Purim to Moscow - really, Bibi?


Purim, between other things, is for practical jokes. So, probably, one should consider the latest Bibi's shenanigan being a part of that tradition.
In a meeting with Putin in Moscow, Netanyahu said Persia had made “an attempt to destroy the Jewish people that did not succeed” some 2,500 years ago, an event commemorated through the Jewish holiday of Purim, which Israel will celebrate starting Saturday night and lasting in some places until Monday.

“Today there is an attempt by Persia’s heir, Iran, to destroy the state of the Jews,” Netanyahu said. “They say this as clearly as possible and inscribe it on their ballistic missiles.”
Putin, somewhat uncharacteristically, found a soft way to respond to this amazing hysterical historical lesson:
Adopting a conciliatory tone, Putin said that the events described by Netanyahu had taken place “in the fifth century B.C.”

“We now live in a different world. Let us talk about that now,” Putin said.
Calling for a doctor and a padded cell would have been a breach of diplomatic protocol, surely. Oh well... and of course, Putin's way out of the issue, the "We now live in a different world." was readily provided to Putin by Bibi himself.

But no doubt, this visit will be touted by Bibi's office as another brilliant victory by Bibi over... whatever.

Happy Purim, anyway, people!

09 March 2017

Border control and Israeli democracy

A disclaimer: the author of this post doesn't support* the new law that denies entry to BDS supporters and similar.

And no, I don't feel any sympathy to the BDS crowd who, by and large, diligently work to achieve one goal - so called "decolonization of Palestine". Unlike the fiery and dontcha-dare-argue-with-me Allison Kaplan Sommer, I don't believe that a visit to our place will possibly make a friend out of a BDS-nik enemy.

Saying this, I would like to address the concerns (or glee) of some of my friends and others who decry (or gloat upon) the supposed destructive impact this law has on Israeli democracy, imperfect as it is anyhow. Some of them even consider the law to be an abuse of human rights - no more and no less.

To consider the link between democracy and the right to visit (or emigrate to) a sovereign state, I would like to use a few recent examples from US of A.

Deportation of 35 Russian diplomats from the country by Barack Obama. Not only was it a rather sweeping measure (only a part of these 35 were involved in shady activities, most probably), there was also an issue of their families - all in all rather a nasty deal.

Obama putting an end to the 20-year-old "wet foot, dry foot" policy that allowed most Cuban migrants who reach U.S. soil to stay and become legal permanent residents after one year. No need to explain the meaning of this one, is there?

Trump's immigration ban(s).

If you think that I brought up these examples to attempt some "whataboutery", perish the thought. It is just that when Israel is being discussed, many people tend to lose their ability to think logically. So here we have three decisions related to states' borders and people rights. Some of these are less draconian, some totally amoral (guess which). All of these are relevant to citizens of other states.

Now, how do these decisions impact the state of American democracy? Well, not at all. The point is... I have already made my point: these three decisions are relevant to citizens of other states only. Democracy, by definition, is not about its treatment of foreign citizens. Moreover, democracies are known to treat other states (democracies included) quite shabbily. Democracies cheat one another at finances, spy one on another and sometimes even go to war one with another - all this while remaining democracies.

And there is no deity given right of a foreign citizen to cross the border of a democratic state. As everyone who ever stood in the line before border control and experienced the unwelcoming scowl of the border policeman/policewoman knows only too well.

So there.

(*) The new law is, first of all unnecessary: the border control has always had the authority to turn back unwanted visitors, which authority was exercised from time to time. The worrying tradition of our illustrious MKs to pile one unnecessary law upon another continues. After all, the competition of showing off his/her patriotism never ends with our solons.

28 February 2017

No, Jonathan Freedland, anti-Zionism is not perfectly fine with us

It is, probably, a sad necessity, to repeat from time to time the old position statements. Not that the positions change too much, but people sometimes do veer from a position to position, tending to forget the last held one. As it usually goes.

This post is inspired by a stumble upon discussion between a staunchly anti-Zionist lady, Noura Erakat*, a vaguely pro-Israeli Jonathan Freedland and other minor characters. The discussion was staged by Al Jazeera. Jonathan Freedland has already appeared on these pages, the other protagonist is more of interest. Ms Erakat is a lawyer, so one should be careful describing her... er... anything, but at least she doesn't hide her anti-Zionism and her desire to see the proverbial Palestine "from the river to the sea", if you understand what it means. If not, check out this short paragraph.

So why do I consider Jonathan Freedland to be vaguely pro-Israeli? If you scroll the recording below to about 9:55, you shall hear a response by Mr Freedland to the proud self-declaration by Ms Erakat as an anti-Zionist:

I think it is absolutely fine, and more than fine, of course it's completely legitimate to hold the position she has...
Fine and legitimate? Maybe from the Guardian offices in London it is. Not from where I bother my keyboard. Because, and apologies for repeating the obvious:
Zionism is the national movement of the Jewish people that supports the re-establishment of a Jewish homeland in the territory defined as the historic Land of Israel.
While the mission of Zionism in this definition is by and large completed, the anti-Zionism comes as a simple negation of Zionism and has a quite busy program in mind:
The term is broadly defined in the modern era as the opposition to the ethnonationalist and political movement of Jews and Jewish culture that supports the establishment of a Jewish state as a Jewish homeland in the territory defined as the historic Land of Israel.
In other, simpler words, Jonathan (are you listening? I guess not) the so called "anti-Zionists", whose legitimacy you so warmly confirm, are these same guys we all used to call "Jew-haters" or "anti-Semites", to be historically authentic. These guys who desire to disperse and/or kill us all here again.

Still fine and legitimate, Jonathan?

While I hate to repeat position statements, from where I am, the so called "anti-Zionism" is the same old murderous and hateful beast, albeit with a new PC name.

So there.



(*) As a sample of Ms Erakat's professional creativity, here is her article:

No, Israel Does Not Have the Right to Self-Defense In International Law Against Occupied Palestinian Territory

It was published in 2014, 9 years(!) after disengagement from Gaza strip, which is meant as "Occupied Palestinian Territory" in that headline. While the headline offers enough information as it is, there are some fine examples of word juggling that show a fine, albeit totally unsuccessful legal mind behind the article.

22 February 2017

Professor Robert Reich and dream-lining

In this case I am reprocessing my own Facebook post, since the subject is quite important. It shows how our brains are being washed by people of influence who don't care for hard facts that might stand in the way. Slight changes in and additions to the text were made.

Thanks to a Facebook friend, I have read a post* by professor Robert Reich** on the benefits of the international manufacturing, in which Mr Reich disputes the "America first" buzzword: "In other words, contrary to Trump, the Boeing Dreamliner is made all over the world and will be sold all over the world. His "America First" economics is total demagoguery."

I shall not argue with the conclusion, just wanted to make a purely technical point here. Being a fan of Boeing and preferring to travel in its planes over other means of transportation, I was kinda keeping an eye on the Dreamliner project. I find it strange that Prof Reich is unaware of the problems that plagued the project, causing a timetable and a financial overruns and lots of technical issues that were discovered during the first years of the plane's construction and use.

Well, one of the main problems with that project was exactly the unfortunate decision by the Boeing management to outsource a lot of work on different parts of the plane abroad, as anyone who followed the project will be ready to tell. Here is (one of too many) quotes:

A global network of suppliers would develop, and then build, most of the parts in locations as far away as Germany, Japan and Sweden. Boeing's own employees would manufacture just 35 percent of the plane before assembling the final aircraft at its plant outside Seattle.

The decision haunts Boeing to this day.
Poor show, prof. Reich.

P.S. Another strange point in the post: Prof Reich relates to the Dreamliner as something that "will be sold", when it flies for quite a few years already and is being sold, obviously. New model, possibly? Or lack of attention?

But read the whole article, if you please. And there are a lot more where this one came from.

(*) A snapshot of the original post by prof Reich, just in case:



(**) Prof Robert Reich's bio (Facebook):
ROBERT B. REICH is Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. He served as Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, for which Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the twentieth century. He has written fourteen books, including the best sellers "Aftershock", "The Work of Nations," and"Beyond Outrage," and, his most recent, "Saving Capitalism." He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine, chairman of Common Cause, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, co-founder of the nonprofit Inequality Media and co-creator of the award-winning documentary, Inequality for All.

20 February 2017

Mahmoud Al-Zahar: If we wanted to turn Gaza into Singapore...

Mahmoud Al-Zahar
In a somewhat surprising turn of events, our defense chief, Avigdor Liberman, offered* Gaza some significant and hitherto denied perks, such as an airport and a seaport, possibilities of employment in Israel etc. - all that in exchange for cessation of terror attacks of all kinds.
“The second that Hamas gives up on the [terror] tunnels and rockets, we will be the first to invest and build for them both a seaport and airport, as well as an industrial zone – both in Kerem Shalom and in Erez,” referring to border areas near crossing points into Israel.

“We could immediately create 40,000 jobs for Gaza residents, assuming Hamas gives up its [charter] article [calling for “the destruction of the State of Israel”, gives up on the tunnels, gives up on the rockets, and, of course – and this is the first and most important thing – returns the bodies of our soldiers and returns our civilians being held captive.”
Israeli help in possible turning Gaza into a local version of Singapore was mentioned.

The response* from Gaza came quite quickly.
Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud Al-Zahar on Friday rejected Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman’s offer for an international airport, seaport, and industrial zone in Gaza if Hamas stops building terror tunnels into Israeli territory, stops firing rockets on southern Israel and returns the Israelis it is holding in Gaza.

He also rejected the idea of the return of the Israelis as a condition for the establishment of a seaport and airport. “This is a prisoner exchange. If we wanted to turn Gaza into Singapore, we would have done it ourselves. We do not need favors from anyone,” declared Zahar...
The most poignant part of the Hamas' bozo for me was, of course, "If we wanted to turn Gaza into Singapore, we would have done it ourselves." Indeed, hard to argue with it. Whatever Hams wants Hamas does. Instead of Mediterranean Singapore they have turned the Gaza strip in a militant hellhole with ruined infrastructure that gets flooded every single rainy day. Mentioning that for a small percentage of the money and effort that went into the network of tunnels Gaza could have had all the infrastructure they ever needed, will be useless. And that rebuilding the housing knocked off during the last war would have taken another small percentage... but they plan another war, so why bother indeed?

Of course, the non-existent infrastructure and destroyed houses could be used to Hamas' benefit and satisfaction. The former to support the water libel and the latter to impress the soft hearted (and soft brained) foreign donors by the Zionist inhumanity. And the donors' money goes into the tunnels and into the ammunition again, so no loss. And who is better as willing martyrdom recruiting material than the young unemployed Gazan males?

So why bother with building things when it is much easier to destroy, all in the name of killing these pesky Jews?

And this is the way it rolls.

P.S. Mahmoud Al-Zahar - the Godfather, so to say, of our ensign.

(*) Both Arutz 7 articles linked above checked: the Liberman's proposal against Hebrew Walla article and Mahmoud Al-Zahar's response against Arabic PalToday one.

17 February 2017

My unsolicited advice for Jen Psaki


I was somewhat surprised (not really) to see Jen Psaki, who used to be White House communications director and State Department spokesperson during the Obama's years in the White House, issue what the headline calls:

My unsolicited advice for Sean Spicer, Kellyanne Conway and the team

In the article Ms Psaki, from her new role as a CNN political commentator and Spring Fellow at the Georgetown Institute of Politics, dispenses free advice to the new WH communication team, advice preceded by a volley of barbs in the general direction of everyone in and near White House.

I was kinda flabbergasted by the whole performance from this totally unexpected direction. One would have imagined that Ms Psaki would do everything in her powers to distance herself from her previous job and to make the public forget about her more conspicuous moments there. I wasn't really keeping tabs on her job history, but here are three examples of her outstanding performance. I shall copy/paste a quote from the last one:
...a reporter asked if the State Department still agreed with President Barack Obama’s September claim that Yemen is the model for his successful counterterrorism strategy.

Spokesperson Jen Psaki answered, “Correct and we stand by that.”
Indeed, Ms Psaki?

Well, here is my totally unsolicited advice: come on, Jen, really. Let's cut the crap.

P.S. On a tangentially related subject: being a sexist pig, I can't avoid mentioning that Ms P. looks much better since she got rid of that previous job. Good.

15 February 2017

Vitaly Milonov and boiled Christians - a purely technical correction


Some, even many, people were discombobulated by Vitaly Milonov, a Russian MP who used his deep knowledge of history and genealogy to produce a memorable soundbite.
A pro-Kremlin Russian lawmaker came under fire Monday after saying the ancestors of local Jewish opposition figures in Saint-Petersburg “boiled Christians in cauldrons,” sparking indignation from Russia’s Jewish community.Vitaly Milonov, a Duma deputy known for his anti-gay initiatives, lashed out at the weekend at two local lawmakers leading a protest against handing over St. Isaac’s basilica, a top landmark in Russia’s second largest city, to the Russian Orthodox Church.

“Christians survived despite the fact that the ancestors of Boris Vishnevsky and Maksim Reznik boiled us in cauldrons and fed us to animals,” ultra-conservative Milonov said at a rally Sunday to support the controversial handover.
Well, I have to disappoint the budding historian: he got the boiling point incorrectly. Being of nomadic persuasion, we, the Red Sea pedestrians, have never wanted anything to do with cauldrons and other heavy kitchen implements. Not to mention the scarcity of water in our corner of the woods (figuratively speaking, there is mostly sand and stones where we are).

Our standard MO is catch it, kosher butcher it (which is a separate issue to be addressed) and cook it on an improvised spit, using spears, long swords or stout enough branch if lucky and there is a tree or two nearby. Of course, in case of emergency, tartar style could be used too. But there is a caveat or two to all this:
  • First of all, the blood: any amateur Jew-baiter knows the blood is the most important part of the deal. Especially in desert conditions, I hope I don't have to expand on this.
  • The game: of course, the preference is for children, as all above mentioned Jew-baiters and their aunt know. And, again, in the field, where a child is not available, a woman would be our second preference, for shaving your game in the desert is not an easy task.
  • And the last but not the least: of course, there are some dietary restrictions. Even such a succulent and well-fed specimen as Mr Milonov will be a low priority game for us, due to his uncanny resemblance to a forbidden (if tasty) creature. If you know what I mean. If not:

So there.

P.S. As for feeding some people to the animals: well, see caveat 3. Sometimes there is no other choice, and the protein is valuable in the field.

Addendum: About Vitaly Milonov.

This priceless interview (in two parts, two and a half minutes in total), short as it is, should be a mandatory watching for a better picture of the illustrious gentleman.

A dollop of scandalous info about the gentleman:
On December 16, 2013 Fontanka.ru, a St. Petersburg website, published an article according to which a regional charitable organization "Orthodox World", which was co-foundes by Vitaly Milonov and his wife Eva Liburkina, was paid 9.64 million rubles (around 300 thousand USD at the time) from the city budget for the activities conducted by the charity in 2012. According to the report, these funds have bought 19,280 units of food packages, the distribution of which took place before the parliamentary and presidential elections in Krasnoselsky, Kirovsky and Petrograd districts of the city in the autumn of 2011 and the first half of 2012. However, the organization "Orthodox world" itself , according to the Federal Tax Service in St. Petersburg, has been registered only on June 5, 2012, thus the contract and the invoice were dated retroactively. President of the organization (and Milonov's assistant) Alexey Knyazev said that Milonov actively participates in the work of his organization and helps it.
Well, a politician...

Those who know Russian might enjoy this brief summary of our hero's life and deeds. I've decided not to translate it, due to the prevalence of Russian unparliamentary idioms that don't easily give in to translation attempts. Juicy.

14 February 2017

Get the cross back in the beak! Please...


The flag in the picture is the national flag of Moldova that undergone a surgery recently in Tehran.
There was a scandal in Moldova in connection with the distortion of the national flag, used during the Moldovan president Igor Dodon's visit to Iran.

The Moldovan leader, who is also the president of the Chess Federation of the Republic, on Friday participated in the opening ceremony of the World Chess Championship for women in Iran. Moldovan flag was presented in honor of the president. On the coat of arms, depicted on the flag, there was no image of the cross in the beak of an eagle and no scepter. Immediately after the ceremony Dodon posted pictures on his Facebook page.

Several media outfits drew attention to the distortion of the coat of arms. Journalists have accused the head of state in profanation of official symbols, recalling that Dodon won the recent presidential election under the banner of protection of Christianity and Christian values.

Pro-presidential media protested that the president has no hand in this, as the hosts are responsible for the flag.

"For reasons of political correctness Muslim countries remove from the flags of other countries crosses and other Christian symbols. It is practiced in many Islamic states and, naturally, the president doesn't have any relation to this practice."

The publication reports that a similar pattern could be observed at the opening of an official Moldovan consulate in Antalya. In the photograph, published on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, there is no cross in the beak of an eagle.
What can I say about it? Isn't it nice when a country leader is an expert in chess, of all things?

Right.

11 February 2017

One story, two headlines

The recent arrest of four Daesh-related would be terrorists in France isn't, probably, something outstanding or even surprising these terror-filled days. However, it's interesting to watch how the coverage of the story differs from place to place.

Here is a snapshot of the front page from a French source (English version of France 24):

The gist of the story is succinctly summarized in the lede of the article:
Anti-terrorism forces arrested four people Friday in southern France, including a 16-year-old girl, and uncovered a makeshift laboratory with the explosive TATP and other ingredients for fabricating a bomb.
Nothing of substance was forgotten, even the somewhat secondary in its importance fact that one of the four plotters was a 16-year-old girl. Here is the full article, if you want to know more.

And here comes the front page from CNN, the relevant item circled in red:


As you can see, the 16-year-old girl became the main feature of the story. At least if you, like 99% of the Internet surfers, skim the surface of the front pages. If you are such a busy surfer, you might be also unaware of the sad fact that 16-year-old girls (and younger) are quite able to - and frequently do - push the button of their suicide belt, stick a knife into the back of a human being, squeeze the trigger of a gun etc. Provided sufficient motivation/brainwashing and tools, of course.

But we wouldn't want y'all to become paranoid, would we? Or to start complaining incessantly about the media? Right?

08 February 2017

The outpost law, the lawmakers and the near future

The unbearable lightness of lawmaking in Jerusalem was my personal pet peeve for a long time, as the links show. The recent advent of the so called "outpost law" only confirms this worry.

To those who would like to see it as a political issue: not on this page, please. Whether this law is the death knell for the so far mythical two state solution isn't in the scope of this post.

The hardheadedness of the 60 members of Knesset who brazenly pushed forward a law, condemned even by our own attorney general, that goes against any logic (that is, aside of "this is all our land anyway"), this stubborn insistence of ignoring the basic laws of the state (and the international laws as well) - this is very much in the scope.

To make clear what we are talking about:

On Monday night, Israeli lawmakers passed into law a measure that allows Israel to compensate Palestinians whose land has been taken over by settlers, instead of removing the outposts.

The law applies to 53 outposts and homes within existing settlements recognized by Israel as having been built on Palestinian land without a permit...
Of course, the law was immediately condemned by UN (as expected), France (same) and even by the recently visited* by our illustrious PM Britain, hours after his plane took off. But it is not the issue I want to discuss, not at all.

The coalition has decided to disregard the warning of the attorney general, the man who is supposed to serve as the midwife for the newly hatching laws. The coalition, usually having its far right firebrands and its moderates, this time decided** to follow the firebrands and to present a united stand. If I had to guess the logic of the moderate coalition members, it will be something like this: "OK, we'll show ourselves to be real Zionists and let the High Court shoot this law down, since it clearly wouldn't pass the High Court in any case". To tell you the truth, I much prefer the firebrands, at least with them you have a better chance of knowing what they think.

Unfortunately, passing of the law in Knesset bodes ill for the ever strained relations between the lawmaking branch of our government and the judicial one. Many, too many of our MKs, firebrands or not, don't seem to understand or to care about the difference between the law, the justice, the politics and the lawmakers' wishful thinking. It is far from being the first time when the High Court is pushed into another confrontation that could have been avoided, had the firebrands some respect for the law and had they listened to the attorney general.

It is not for nothing that minister Levin "attacked the legitimacy of Israel’s High Court to decide on the constitutionality of laws  (sic!) Tuesday morning, ahead of an expected challenge to a controversial law legalizing West Bank outposts passed late the night before". The minister knows very well that the High Court will be very quickly hit by a load of suits regarding the outpost law and clearly he is already preparing the ammo for the next round of attacks against the court. As for the chances of the law in the High Court, here comes a man in the know:
The bill could however still be challenged, with Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman saying last week: "The chance that it will be struck down by the Supreme Court is 100 percent."
I hope not to see our country in a situation where the future judges of the High Court will be chosen from the members of the Likud Central Committee. Is it too much to ask?

P.S. As heard on the radio: attorney general intends to present to the High Court his arguments against the outpost law, if the law is challenged in High Court (which is practically a certainty). The man who is supposed to defend parliamentary laws in court... almost never happened before.

(*) Bibi, for some strange reason, decided to let the voting on that law go ahead while he was visiting London. Be interesting to know why, although one can easily guess: this is a typical for our hero way to wash his hands of both the future success or the future demise of that law. Not that the London visit itself was a great success...

(**) With the only exception of a man who always has my respect, if sometimes I might disagree with his position: Benny Begin. He called this law "a moral travesty that legalizes theft and leaves a stain on Israel". And Begin is far from being a lefty.

05 February 2017

Trigglypuff comes to New York. A story with a twist.

(For those who have forgotten what Trigglypuff means).

Less than two months ago I have noticed certain signs of madness in the behavior of some members of American public. Since the symptoms of the malady multiplied since, it is impossible to follow every single one. The recent visit of Gavin McInnes (I had to look him up) at New York University appeared to be of a special interest to me, you shall see why if you are patient enough to get to the end of this post.

A woman who claimed she’s a “professor” — although NYU on Friday said they don’t recognize her as a faculty member — stood on a sidewalk and excoriated a large group of New York City police officers. She was outraged that police were “protecting” McInnes and his fellow “neo-Nazis” who came to hear him instead of physically assaulting them. “You should kick their ass!” the woman screamed.
Well, compared to the recent unpleasantness in Berkeley, you might consider this case to be a minor one. But wait.

The appearance of the protagonist mentioned above could be seen live in this clip (after about 10 minutes):



I have also attached the transcript of her "speech", generously offered by The Blaze, at the end* of this post. What else should be mentioned about that story? Well, Mr McInnes got a facefull of pepper spray and a roomfull of quite aggressive protesters as well for his troubles, and you can read about it in the linked above report by The Blaze. So the story could be considered over and done with? But wait.

I was interested in the mysterious professor, unrecognized by the NYU, according to Blaze. So I googled around, and the only source that has done some digging, unearthing the hero, was - believe it or not - Russian RT, the nest of conspiracy nuts, anti-Western propagandists (some of them Western, unfortunately) and other unpleasant characters and activities.

The lady's name is Rebecca Goyette, "an artist and adjunct professor at various colleges in New York" Here is one of her (more chaste, believe me) artistic appearances:

The interwebs are teeming with information about the artist, albeit not about her other occupation as "adjunct professor at various colleges". Here is her site, which can tell (and show) you quite a lot. So yes, quite a strange and wondrous phenomenon, is professor Rebecca Goyette. But here comes:

The Twist.

That same RT article went into the reasons of Ms Goyette outstanding speech. Here is what she has told the RT interviewer:
I saw some of his supporters being actively aggressive against NYU students. It turned into a big melee on his way in. Then I saw this guy, Franklin Right, wearing a red lumber jack shirt, he started a whole chant of ‘Heil Hitler’ with the Nazi salute.
While the question of who it was exactly that started the melee will be ever impossible to resolve, the point of the neo-Nazis appearance and the salute seems to be quite believable. I couldn't find any other confirmation of the mentioned Franklin Right or the salute, but there are some responses in the Youtube comments that provide some indication that this could very well be true. Just it case some zealous moderator erases it**, here is a first comment on that Youtube link:


I realize that as a confirmation of the alleged neo-Nazis appearance and the salutes, this is a very indirect one, but the general atmosphere of the place and the Nazi salutes could have made anyone to snap. So don't be too harsh on the lady, please.

Sad? You bet.

(*) Transcript of the rant by Rebecca Goyette.
Who’s protecting NYU from this bulls**t? Why are you here? You’re not here to protect these students from Nazis. No, you’re not! This is completely f***ed up. And these students had to f***ing face them on their own. You should be ashamed of yourselves! You should be standing up to those Nazis! You should be protecting students from hate! This is hate! These are f***ing assholes … you are a joke. You’re grown boys! You’re grown boys … and I’m disgusted! I’m a professor! How dare you! How dare you f***ing assholes protect neo-Nazis? F*** you! F*** you! F*** you! These are kids who are trying to learn about humanity! They’re trying to learn about human rights and against racism and xenophobia and LGBTQ rights, and you’re letting these f***ing neo-Nazis near here! You should kick their ass! You should! You should be ashamed of yourselves! You should! F*** that s**t. F*** that s**t. It’s not up to these students to kick the ass of a neo-Nazi! They don’t have to raise their fist! They were taught to be peaceful! F*** you! F*** you. I’m a professor. God f***ing damn it … you’re here to protect neo-Nazis! So f*** you! God f***ing damn it! Those kids should not have to take fists up to neo-Nazis, and you’re putting them in that situation! Go to hell. F*** you NYPD!
(**) The Youtube moderator has done his/her job indeed, the salvaged page is so far the only, and very small, part of quite a few Nazi remarks of the kind that appeared there in droves.

03 February 2017

The new brave photoshopped world

This story started with an e-mail I got from a good and well meaning friend. Here is a snapshot of the e-mail contents (click to enlarge):

The text says:
It is the anniversary of Stepan Bandera. Kyiv, January 2, 2017.
And, after this New Year procession in the capital's center, Ukraine is dreaming of help from America?
I do not even want to comment on, it's all out there ...
The mind of anyone even briefly familiar with the pro-Nazi sympathies of many Ukrainians during the WW II, with their cooperation with the Nazis and with the name of Stepan Bandera, will be easily triggered. The rightful wrath will follow inevitably, as it happened in my case, of course.

Something bothered me in the picture, though. Was it just too much to be easily believed? Or was it a feeling of proportions that were somehow wrong, if you consider the size of the depicted crowds when compared to the Christmas tree and to the size of the building in the background? I am not sure, but I have decided to do some googling with that photograph as a search item. And here are the results:
  1. It is not Kyiv (the Ukrainian capital). It is Mariupol (map at the end of the post), a city in the Donetsk Oblast, one of the targets of the Russian expansion westward and the Russian/Ukrainian strife.
  2. The date in question is not January 2, 2017 but January 16, 2015.
  3. The occasion for the gathering is not the anniversary of Stepan Bandera. It is a final gathering at the end of the procession in memory of 12 or so Ukrainians, killed in a small town near Volnovakha, on January 13, 2015, during an attack on an passenger bus at a checkpoint. Killed, needless to add, by either Russian soldiers or their allies among the Ukrainian secessionists.
And here is a video recording of the gathering in Mariupol:



You can judge by yourself the real size of the crowd, the size of the place and other proportions.
Notice that the unknown Russian Photoshop fiend used a snapshot from this same recording.

The fake picture spread like bush fire on Twitter and on various Russian and other social networks. Here is a snapshot of a single page from Google, there are many more pages with this same doctored photograph, all in all hundreds if not thousands copies.


What else can I add to the story? Well, it should be said that Ukrainian media frequently does the same to the other side, so it has become literally impossible to believe either, without having a solid confirmation from a third party. Oh, and of course, Stepan Bandera is indeed a sort of a saint for many Ukrainians to this day, and no worries on that account...

Map of Ukraine, with Mariupol accented (and Kyiv present, quite far away, too).


31 January 2017

How men lost the upright micturition war


This post will prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the emergence of the whole unisex/multi-gender/inclusive toilet (or so called "toilet war") issue was a clever subterfuge, secretly advanced by militant feminists*. The subterfuge, that eventually succeeded, resulting in the appearance and proliferation of such toilets, was meant to circumvent the resistance of the male population that protected their right to upright micturition (or pissing while standing, in simple words). All this, of course, due to shortsightedness and general slowness of the male population.

A bit of history. Frontal attack.

The war against the male habit of upright micturition started a long time ago. At the beginning (mid-nineties of the previous century) the militant feminists didn't hide the reasons for their irritation with this habit:
Young women in Sweden, Germany and Australia have a new cause: They want men to sit down while urinating. This demand comes partly from concerns about hygiene -- avoiding the splash factor -- but, as Jasper Gerard reports in the English magazine The Spectator, "more crucially because a man standing up to urinate is deemed to be triumphing in his masculinity, and by extension, degrading women." One argument is that if women can't do it, then men shouldn't either. Another is that standing upright while relieving oneself is "a nasty macho gesture," suggestive of male violence.
Of course, the real reason for this attack was the ancient and unabating irritation of the women by the long lines at every public restroom for the better gender. The urinals that cause lack of similar queues at the men's restrooms, in other words.

But the war, started at such high and aggressive tones, obviously couldn't be won. The males as a whole stood firm against such crude accusations and didn't budge. Several years later the approach changed and, instead of the crude frontal attack, a note of care was inserted:
Known as a socialist and feminist organization, the party claims that seated urination is more hygienic for men — the practice decreases the likelihood of puddles and other unwanted residue forming in the stall — in addition to being better for a man’s health by more effectively emptying one’s bladder, The Local reported.
Of course, there is more than a grain of truth in the mention of puddles, although the "other unwanted residue" crack will be never explained, I'm afraid. And thus cleanliness and health angle appeared, being more acceptable to some of the men, whose unity started to unravel, if this Guardian article is to be the witness.
If you’ve ever wondered how men achieved their cultural dominance in the world, I’m pretty sure I know what happened.
Yes, of course, it is all due to that accursed upright micturition. You bet. Anyway, even the softer approach failed to rid the world of the urinals.

Change of direction.

Viewing the obvious defeat of the frontal attack, the feminists started looking for other ways to tackle the problem. At its low point, the "if you can't beat them, join them" approach was briefly considered.


But of course, such defeatist attitude couldn't be accepted by the majority of the feminist public and was rejected by all, except fringe pacifist elements, whose survival rate is exceedingly low nowadays. New approach to the permanent abolition of the much hated men's urinals was urgently needed.

And it was found in the swiftly raising self-awareness of the hitherto ignored and oppressed genders. I am, of course, not talking here about the more established and venerable lesbian, gay or bisexual folk, but of more exotic varieties, such as questioning, flexual, asexual, genderfuck, polyamourous etc. If you really want to know how many genders are out there, good luck to you. Googling will show you anything between 31 and 97 possibilities, depending on the source.

And how the emergence of all these genders is linked to the Great Urinal War, you might ask - especially if you are naive or male (which is, apparently, more of a synonym than previously considered). The answer is: by complicating the issue of who is allowed/entitled/wants to use which toilet to the point when it might be simpler to micturate on the spot where you are currently located than to figure out which restroom is a better fit for the gender you currently identify with.

As usual in a complicated situation like this one, the powers that be responded by a simplest possible solution:


Which solution while being touted as inclusive, surely doesn't include the beloved urinal, you can take it to the bank.

Of course, the urinals weren't the main target of the multi-gender awareness campaign, rather a side benefit, but don't let yourself into a false belief that it was an unintended one. Surely some genius was busily at work behind this move, coldly and rationally calculating all the possible and desired outcomes of the campaign. And, as we can see now, winning it.

What is left?

Frankly not much. In a short time all the existing urinals will be a memory. Of course, desperate measures like pissing on the walls, are still out there, but only for the hardcore folks, whose life expectancy is short anyhow. Some of us might count on secluded areas like forests, deserts, swimming pools etc. But technology and roaming gangs of vigilantes will put an end to all such attempts to micturate anywhere but it specially designated facilities. And these gangs will be equipped with all the required technology, no doubt.

And what, you might ask, will prevent the male user from micturating upright in the seclusion of a private stall in these facilities? Ha! - is the most fitting answer to such naivety. Surely these facilities will be soon equipped with enough electronics to prevent such attempts and make the outcome as painful as possible. Not to mention the obvious: enforced addition of needed sensors to your all-seeing and all-hearing smartphone, which will squeal to the authorities the moment you even think of...

So, ze / zir - please join the line**, with all the other LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM... people, and wait patiently for your turn in the stall. And yes - sit down, please!

Or else.

(*) Just to make sure you understand that "feminist" is not a gender designation in any way, sense or meaning in this text.
(**) Unless, of course, you are Brian Eno.