21 August 2017

Professor Ghodsee and superiority of socialist female's orgasms

A woman working at a collective farm near Moscow in 1955
One of the more troubling signs in the Western academy is the creeping revisionism of everything related to one of the two most repressive and bloody political movements of the XX century - the Soviet style socialism. This post is about an example of modern days feminist "research", based on socialist propaganda, chiefly meant to hail the dubious achievements in the women's liberation and empowerment. Taken as granted by people ready and willing to be duped.

The main reason for this post isn't to fight the misinformation and improve the quality of the relevant research - it is mission impossible in the current atmosphere on the campuses. Nope, it is mainly to warn some of my friends from the Western countries who took the misinformation and misinterpretation seriously and believed it.

***

The woman in the picture - let's call her Dasha, since she will appear in this post a few times - was chosen to grace the masthead of a curious article. The article caused a serious bout of jaw dropping amongst my friends, who, like I, experienced first hand the real life in the socialist heaven. To start with, it hits you between the eyes with its headline:

The reader is not asked to ponder whether the ladies had indeed better sex under socialism, just made curious why. Obviously the author has decided that the former is a solid fact.

The anchor statement in the article: "Women under Communism enjoyed more sexual pleasure." It is chiefly based on a longish video, comparing favorably the wise attitude of the East Germany's communist party towards all matters sexual, including sex education in schools. There is one slight problem with this piece of evidence: it is based on the communist-produced and fairly crude propaganda clips, created, as it was done all over the "socialist camp", with one goal in mind: brainwashing. Usually laughed off by the local citizenry at the time as a sordid pack of lies, it seems to work today, if a professor of Gender and Women's Studies* sees it fit to be used as valid historical document.

But I'm not into comparing East and West Germanies, so let's go to the Motherland of that unfortunate social phenomenon, the Soviet Union. Let's take as an example our Dasha and see how she enjoyed all these orgasm-inducing "rights and privileges unknown in liberal democracies at the time" of the socialist heaven that the author of the article so touchingly presents:

1. Major state investments in their education and training.

Nope, there weren't any special investments for education of the better gender. In case of Dasha, had she decided to throw down her pitchfork and enroll in an university, she would first have to ask for a permission from her collective farm management to travel to an university and be issued an internal passport (you couldn't travel without one, and collective farm workers got a passport only in special cases - a form of slavery incomprehensible in the West, but probably unknown to the Western scientists in the field of Gender and Women's Studies).

The next step Dasha would have to make is to pass the entrance exams. No special allowance for gender there, Soviet Union practiced a purely merit-based entrance examination system, the only exception made to favor/disfavor these or other ethnic minorities. Not even mentioning bribes and family connections...

And the last but not the least: Dasha's ability to study these 5 years required to get a master's degree were largely dependent on support her parents could possibly muster. Yes, the education was free and Dasha would have probably gotten a monthly stipend, but far from enough to survive. To expect that her collective farm parents would have been able to support Dasha - nah, very unlikely.

Dasha's sisters from the city had much better chances to get an university education, but it was too dependent on the financial situation of their parents. Not much difference in that, unless the parents belonged to the "more equal" category or, as it was widely practiced, were stealing something or other.

2. Full incorporation of women into the labor force

Assuming our Dasha was lucky to become an engineer, a doctor or other graduate of the best educational system in the world (but of course), she might have conceivably been assigned (yes, available jobs were mostly assigned after graduation, with very few exceptions) to an appropriate socialist enterprise. That Dasha's chances to get a position that fit her education were pretty low is besides the point. What is more to the point is that Dasha's chances to get an apartment (or even a room in a communal apartment she could consider her own) were practically nil. It usually took years and years of waiting in line for an available and miserable one or two room flat, and for an unmarried citizen it usually meant years and years in a dormitory with one or more roommates. Kinda puts a stop to one's sexual plans, doesn't it? Taking into account the scarcity of cars and, in case one got a boyfriend with a car, the puny size of the back seat, the difficulty of having any sex, not to mention superior one, are limited to forests, parks, dark alleys, weather or parents obligingly going on a vacation out of the city etc.

But, assuming that Dasha succeeded to come through all this unscathed, without a social disease (rampant in the place at the time), avoided falling into the hands of a pimp (yep, even in the socialist motherland there were quite a few of them) and got happily married, her aspirations, as far as sex is concerned, might still remain unfulfilled. If her hubby didn't belong to the "more equal" or otherwise financially well to do family, their joint effort to bring enough money to feed the young family, their time spent in the endless queues for food and other necessary items, their daily exhaustion etc... the going joke was that the best birth control instrument is the engineer's salary, which is completely true. Of course, you might notice, birth control and sex are not one and the same. True, but take into account the scarcity of the former...

In short, engineer Dasha wasn't too much into sex, not after her honeymoon.

3. Generous maternity leave allowances

Yep. Maternity leave there was and it was growing with time, up to three years at the end of USSR, if my memory is serving me right. The only catch was that the number of paid months was limited to 4 (four). So most of the women never used the generosity of unpaid leave: to survive on one salary - if there was a husband, of course - was practically impossible. Another one of the Soviet myths fit for brainwashing the Western starry-eyed sympathizers.

4. Quaranteed free child care.

That guarantee, as much of what was written in the Soviet constitution (indeed, on paper, a wondrous document, most of it fiction, of course) isn't worth the paper - even that of NYT, where the article is printed. First of all, the available places in kindergartens were scarce, especially if you were a medium/big city dweller. Even when available, it frequently meant a long bus ride from one's home to the kindergarten - only adding to that exhaustion at the end of the day. And even if you got to be a lucky parent with a place in the kindergarten: the average number of days your kid would have spent there was about half of the planned, due to incessant illnesses. And the cases where, for instance, the kindergarten staff will keep the windows open during the wintertime, to make more kids sick, were very frequent as well...

Add to all of the above the rampant alcoholism, the habitual wife beating, the cramped living conditions with large families squeezed in one or two rooms - yep, all that surely encouraged exquisite sex. Oh well.

As any Soviet citizen with brain a bit larger than that of hamster will tell you: find a person who waxes lyrically about his/her life (sex life included) under the Soviet regime, and I'll show you a person of privilege, not a regular Joe the Public.

And of course I just have to bring up this exquisite passage from the article:
Consider Ana Durcheva from Bulgaria, who was 65 when I first met her in 2011. Having lived her first 43 years under Communism, she often complained that the new free market hindered Bulgarians’ ability to develop healthy amorous relationships.
The hilarious quote caused me a few laughs. I am not disclosing my age, but I still could compare my amorous relationships before and after my 43. There simply ain't any comparison, you are totally right, Ana, but I am sure it is not because of the social changes Bulgaria underwent. The weather was better back then too...

Dasha on the collective farm

But why have we, indeed, decided to send our Dasha off to the big city to study? What's the reason behind it? Wouldn't she be better off and happier where she is - shoveling hay with that pitchfork? Waking up at 4:00 AM to feed the livestock, then to the fields with her instrument of true socialist labor (as depicted). Six days a week at least, covered by chigger bites and other signs of the wildlife's attention on her body?

We should, possibly, mention that the sanitary conditions at Dasha's accommodations, such as lack of running water, the ubiquitous outhouse, the communal bathhouse once a week etc. - all these were hardly conducive to sexual desires, not to mention deeds. But Dasha was young and where there is a will, there is a way. After all, it is not out of the question that her BF got a few rubbers when the supplies truck visited the collective farm's grocery last week. And he might have even found a way to wash up... but let's not fantasize too much.

And I don't even want to go into unplanned pregnancy and the consequences thereof... too sad.

Conclusion

When I read sentences like these:
Although gender wage disparities and labor segregation persisted, and although the Communists never fully reformed domestic patriarchy, Communist women enjoyed a degree of self-sufficiency that few Western women could have imagined. Eastern bloc women did not need to marry, or have sex, for money.
and when I read the work based on quotes from socialist era "sexologists" and references to August Bebel, Friedrich Engels, Vladimir Lenin, I feel not just a temporal displacement (am I forced to listen to an interminable lecture by a party chieftain again?) but dread. Dread for the youngsters undergoing all this brainwashing by "progressive" professors of Gender and Women's Studies and similar exalted sciences.

Because the seeds these professors sow have already set roots and we see the results on the streets, where jobless (thanks to their useless diplomas) SJWs, Occupiers, Antifa and similar victims of miseducation, are paving the way to the bright socialist future.

Where some of us have already been once.

***

(*) About the author of the article: Kristen R. Ghodsee (born April 26, 1970) is an American ethnographer and a Professor of Gender and Women's Studies at Bowdoin College. Also - Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures in at the University of Pennsylvania, according to this.

It is interesting to notice that under the rubric "Criticism" there appears the following statement:
In a 2014 essay in the European Journal of Women’s Studies, philosopher Nanette Funk included Ghodsee among a handful of “Revisionist Feminist Scholars” who uncritically tout the achievements of communist era women’s organizations, ignoring the oppressive nature of authoritarian regimes in Eastern Europe.
Bullseye.

But the trains run on time, right, professor Ghodsee?

19 August 2017

Like everyone - with a dollop of blood


Igor Guberman - a writer, a poet and a superb storyteller, with an irresistible true story, one of myriad he tells so well.

One day in Berlin, my friend was asked to talk to a certain woman who insisted that she was Jewish and therefore the [Jewish] community should help her. He agreed to talk with her and, first of all, asked, naturally, why was she sure that her mother was Jewish. Because my mother always baked Matzos on Easter [sic!], the woman answered.

"And how did she bake it?" asked the friend.

"According to the law, like everyone else," the woman answered, "she kneaded the dough, added the yeast ..."

My friend straightened up in surprise, and the woman hastily continued:

- And a little blood ...

Yup.

18 August 2017

My dear soulmate...


Benny Ziffer (Hebrew: בני ציפר‎‎; born 1953) is an Israeli author and journalist.
The text below was posted by him on his Facebook page. August 10, 2017

My soulmate, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (and I certainly feel that I can address you by this title, "a soulmate"). You were revealed to me yesterday at the conference in support of you in the full glory of a great leader, who brings comfort to his people in times of trouble. Your speech was just as ingenious. There was no unnecessary word or word missing. You chose the simplest words to convey a profound idea - just as the classical speech theory of Cicero's school required. You did not shout but completely dominated your baritone voice. In this respect you are the greatest speaker of our time. Recently, the writer Leonid Pakarovsky wrote that you compare with Begin and Jabotinsky, if not surpassing them, as a speaker.

Your deep idea was not that the left and the media were chasing you - it was just the visible part. The deeper subject of your speech was actually the issue of love. And if one day they will study this speech in schools - and I strongly recommend that the art of speech be taught in schools, in order to teach the people of Israel to speak out properly - your speech will be entitled "Greatest Speeches on Love."

Because first and foremost you cried out for your love for your wife Sarah - and with what authenticity and honesty! You actually said that the man's first job is to take care of the honor of the woman he loves. I do not recall many other people in Israel who expressed so powerfully and publicly their love for their own woman. And turned their private love into a kind of allegory for the leader's love for his people.

And here is the greatness of the speech Netanyahu delivered last night at his support conference. He told the Likud crowd that just as his wife is being humiliated, they are humiliated as well. And just as he will not let anyone humiliate his wife, he will not let anyone humiliate them. And all this is because of one thing: that he loves her (Sarah) and loves them (the people).

And because this speech was entirely based on the theme of love, it was so strong. And so effective, as shown by the applause of the audience in love with Netanyahu. This is the audience who feels that he is being constantly scorned and despised and that his judgment is doubted. This is the audience for whom I feel so much because I, too, can say what I feel, from the moment I join him: the contempt for me, my talents and my judgment and even my sanity. I, too, feel the chilly and quiet contempt of those who see themselves as aristocrats of this country.

My soulmate, Netanyahu. When these aristocrats trampled me with their feet, you held out a loving hand and let me feel again that I was worth something. And that's exactly what you did yesterday to your wife, and also to the people who came to greet you at the support conference. You told them you loved them.

***

I wouldn't call it nauseating or anything else, for that matter.
Just saying that even the man in the picture above would have him shot.
And that man purely loved his backside licked...

The Hebrew original:

ידיד-נפשי, ראש הממשלה בנימין נתניהו (ואני בהחלט מרגיש שאני יכול לפנות אליו בתואר הזה, ״ידיד נפש״). אתה נגלית לי אתמול בכנס התמיכה בך במלוא היפעה של מנהיג גדול, המביא נחמה לעמו בעת צרה. נאומך היה גאוני, לא פחות. לא היתה בו מלה מיותרת או מלה חסרה. בחרת במלים הפשוטות ביותר כדי להעביר רעיון עמוק- בדיוק כפי שדורשת תורת הנאום הקלאסית מבית מדרשו של קיקרו. לא צעקת אלא שלטת לחלוטין בגווני הקול הבריטוני שלך. מהבחינה הזאת אתה גדול הנואמים של ימינו. וכבר כתב על כך לא מכבר הסופר לאוניד פקרובסקי , שאתה משתווה אם לא עולה על בגין וז׳בוטינסקי כנואם.
הרעיון העמוק שהבעת לא היה שהשמאל והתקשורת רודפים אותך- זה היה הרעיון רק למראית עין. הנושא העמוק יותר של נאומך היה בעצם סוגיית האהבה. ואם יום אחד ילמדו את הנאום הזה בבתי הספר - ואני ממליץ בחום שבכלל יילמד מקצוע הנאום בבתי הספר כדי ללמד את בני ישראל להתבטא נכוחה - ייכנס הנאום שלך תחת הכותרת ״גדולי הנאומים על האהבה״.
כי בראש וראשונה זעקת בו את אהבתך לרעייתך שרה - ובאיזו אותנטיות וכנות. אמרת בעצם שתפקידו הראשון של הגבר הוא לדאוג לכבודה של האשה שהוא אוהב. איני זוכר עוד הרבה אנשי מדינה בישראל שהביעו בכזאת עוצמה ובפומבי את אהבתם לאשה הפרטית שלהם. והפכו את אהבתם הפרטית הזאת לכעין אלגוריה לאהבה של המנהיג לעמו.
וכאן הגדולה של הנאום שנשא אמש נתניהו בכנס התמיכה בו. הוא אמר לקהל אנשי הליכוד שכשם שמבזים את אשתו, כך גם מבזים אותם. וכשם שהוא לא ייתן לאף אחד לבזות את אשתו, כך הוא לא ייתן לאף אחד לבזות אותם. וכל זה משום דבר אחד: כי הוא אוהב אותה (את שרה) ואוהב אותם (את העם).
ועל שום שהנאום הזה היה מבוסס כולו על נושא האהבה, הוא היה חזק כל כך. ואפקטיבי כל כך, כפי שהראו התשואות של הקהל המאוהב בנתניהו. זה הקהל שמרגיש שמזלזלים בו ומבזים אותו בלי הרף ומפקפקים בשיקול דעתו. זה הקהל שאני כל כך חש חלק ממנו כי גם אני חוזה מבשרי מה שהוא חש, מרגע שהצטרפתי אליו: את הזלזול בי, בכישרונותי ובשיקול דעתי ואף בשפיותי. גם אני מרגיש כמוהו את הצינה והבוז השקט של אלה הרואים את עצמם כאריסטוקרטים של המדינה הזאת .
ידיד נפשי, נתניהו. כשהאריסטוקרטים הללו רמסו אותי ברגליהם, הושטת לי יד אוהבת ונתת לי להרגיש מחדש שאני שווה משהו. וזה מה שעשית אתמול בדיוק גם לרעייתך, וגם לאנשים שבאו לחלות את פניך בכנס התמיכה. אמרת להם שאתה אוהב אותם

03 August 2017

Is our Knesset barking? Kaya Netanyahu bill, Alan Dershowitz etc


There are lots of law proposals being in process of lively debate, modification and sometimes quiet death on someone's shelf. Some of them outlandish, some reasonable and some (like the hotly debated recently law on state assistance to disabled people) vital for thousands of citizens, eagerly awaiting tangible results.

Meanwhile, the first family which, for reasons* of its own, decided to add to its roster a first dog two years ago, has experienced a few domestic upheavals due to the said canine's tendency to bite all and sundry.
The dog, Bibi assured his constituents, was “gentle and of a good disposition.”

Kaya herself must not have gotten the memo: five months later, during a reception at the Prime Minister’s Residence, she bit a member of Knesset who leaned in to pet her. Three months after that, she struck again, biting one of Netanyahu’s secret service agents. Eventually, she also bit the prime minister himself.
Since Kaya is the first dog, I don't even try to argue that this behavior is unseemly or should be in any way restricted. The first dog sees, the first dog bites. As it should be. There is a small catch, however: if a dog bites somebody inside the Israeli borders, the dog should be quarantined for a period of time (ten days) required to ensure it (the dog) isn't rabid.

Which might be good enough for a regular dog, but not for the first one, apparently. Bibi wants Kaya to stay at home, with its loving family. So, to accomplish this, the Knesset members were yanked out of richly deserved summer break. To vote on an amendment to the law which... you guessed the rest. Yep, Kaya the serial biter will stay at home, thanks to our suddenly proactive lawmakers and the appropriate legal beagles. So much for lawmaking and lawmakers.

Kaya, meanwhile, got more exposure in our media, paired with another member of the first family, Yair Netanyahu, Bibi's son.

According to a Facebook post by Talila Amitai, one of the Netanyahu family's neighbors, Yair Netanyahu took the family dog Kaiya for a walk in one of the local dog parks but failed to pick up her waste. Amitai wrote that when she pointed this out to the Israeli leader's son, who was accompanied by a bodyguard at the time, he stuck up his middle finger towards her in response.
There are different versions of the event (or non-event), but as far as Kaya concerned, it is a moot point. She poops, the rest is history, with its different versions and interpretations of thereof.

But what is the connection between the canine poop and the illustrious legal man, mentioned in the headline, one of the more eloquent supporters of Israel and all around brilliant person?

I happened to hear a summary of an interview Alan Dershowitz granted to Israeli radio and his views on the ongoing investigations into alleged Netanyahu's financial and other misdeeds frankly surprised me. To start with, he somehow concluded that Israeli police, on its own, persecutes Bibi. Of course, the usual culprit that motivates the police is, according to Dershowitz, the leftist media. But curiously, he has decided that police pursues our poor Bibi using its free will and free initiative.

Not to mention the inherent absurdity of the idea of our police being politically motivated, professor Dershowitz obviously doesn't know much about the local police, its authority and its betters, which are not that different from those in US of A. The attorney general here is the person whose authority it is to open (or to close) any police investigation, much as it is in US. Blaming the cops in the various investigations plaguing Bibi lately is missing the point by a mile (or 1.6 km).

I have googled up other opinions on the subject by professor Dershowitz and was surprised to find out that he expressed his deep dissatisfaction by this state of affairs quite a lot of times. Here is one example, from January 2017:
...Dershowitz took aim at the Israeli left and media outlets for what he described as attempts to use ongoing police investigations into the Netanyahu family to hobble the Prime Minister.

"[T]hey can't beat him through democratic means, so they're trying to use these investigations and the media to push him out of office. That would really undercut democracy. He's been elected by a proper method of election in Israel and he should be left to complete his term without interference. If there are issues they should be pursued after he leaves office.”
So, the Prime Minister, according to this, should be granted immunity while in the office. And the reasoning behind the idea is:
"The Prime Minister in this case has to work 24/7 particularly now, between now and the time when President Obama leaves office, to respond to the U.N. Security Council resolution, to the Kerry speech, to try to prevent another Security Council resolution - the idea that the Prime Minister is now going to have to be questioned about what appears to be relatively trivial incidents, really undercuts democracy."
So, Bibi works 24/7 and couldn't be bothered. I would agree if it were not widely known that he spent 5 years fighting the Israeli Broadcasting Authority, which, according to him, is (was) a part of that much hated leftist media that destroys the country and him personally. If the relentless fight for the freedom of canine quarantine described above (2 years only) wasn't so widely know, etc. A good part of these 24/7 isn't spent worrying about the fate of the country, but about the fate and the chair of one Benjamin Netanyahu, unfortunately.

Another poor argument used by Alan Dershowitz in the interview was "this is not how things are done in United States". Really? Kenneth Starr vs William Clinton and Robert Mueller vs Donald Trump - how is it exactly different from investigations of Bibi? Aside of multi-million budgets unseen in Israeli police cases?

In another article (Hebrew), professor Dershowitz went even further:
When asked what he thought of Israel's former prime minister [Olmert] behind bars, he replied, "First of all, the prime minister was sent to prison for things that were done before he was prime minister, and he was not sent to prison during his term of office, only after he left. Attorney general said unequivocally that the issue under investigation was not similar to what was being investigated in Olmert's or Sharon's case, and that suspicions in their cases were much more serious."
First of all, the chief reason Olmert decided to quit was the ongoing investigation. Then, to prejudge the seriousness of the cases against Bibi, when the final conclusions and relevant materials haven't been passed by the police to the attorney general seems to be out of character for a famous legal mind.

Anyway, logical or not, I can already see a bill granting immunity to the incumbent PM being pushed through the Knesset by Bibi's faithful, whose number is legion. And I sincerely hope this attempt will fail.

Besides - wouldn't now be too close to the Kaya Netanyahu bill?

One member of the family at a time, please.

(*) The reasoning is a bit outdated, since the current POTUS, unlike his predecessors, isn't known for his love of four legged beasts.

01 August 2017

A curious case of BBC that forgot to bark in the daytime


What with the unrelenting flow of news coming out of the White House these days, the media is overwhelmed. Their journos are too busy trying to catch up with the stream.

Well, this is the only explanation I have got for the most curious omission in BBC reporting from their favorite corner of the world, I mean the Middle East. In their reporting of a sad case where a British man has been arrested as part of an anti-terror operation while on holiday in Turkey, they have missed an important clue. Not that the clue is relevant to the fate of Joe Robinson, the British man in question. But let's put the things in order. The man first:

Mr Robinson, who is originally from Lancashire, spent five months fighting as a volunteer with the YPG against the so-called Islamic State group and has previously spoken about his experiences in media reports. Although the YPG is not a proscribed group in the UK, Turkey views it as the extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
I can hardly add something to the quote. Possibly a plea to the British government to intervene more forcefully and to save the British subject from an almost certain incarceration by the friendly and oh how democratic NATO member and its leader going from mad to crazy. But it is hardly my business.

The other thing, though, the writing on the wall (no pun intended) is somewhat different, being totally in the domain of the Elders. The fact that not a single BBC employee got even remotely curious about it...

נַ נַחְ נַחְמָ נַחְמָן מְאוּמַן‎‎

This text adorns many a wall and a fence in Israel, being a part of the local lore. A curious person with access to Google could have easily deciphered the meaning, available in English in Wiki:
Na Nach Nachma Nachman Meuman (Hebrew: נַ נַחְ נַחְמָ נַחְמָן מְאוּמַן‎‎) is a Hebrew language name and song used by a subgroup of Breslover Hasidim colloquially known as the Na Nachs. The complete phrase is Na Nach Nachma Nachman Me'uman. It is a kabbalistic formula based on the four Hebrew letters of the name Nachman, referring to the founder of the Breslov movement, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, along with a reference to his burial place in Uman, Ukraine.
But the text evidently was mistaken by the BBC editors for Arabic, most probably related to Daesh/ISIS and not a single man/woman of BBC has caught on the possibility to explore this golden lode of a Zionist plot  - obviously of some import.

Opportunity lost...

Hat tip: P.V.

Update: The mystery resolved, thanks to Gilead, whose comment includes this article:
Timothy Paul Jacobs Wordsworth, speaking to The Jerusalem Post from northern Syria on Monday, said he was inspired to join the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria because he was instilled with the desire to do everything he can to help people.

In the 1990s, he was a soldier for the British military and served as a NATO peacekeeper in Bosnia and Kosovo. However, his life took a different direction as the horrors of Islamic State continued to mount.
And, most important for this post:
Wordsworth has been spray-painting a popular hassidic slogan in places that the Kurdish forces recapture, former Islamic State bases and mosques around Syria. Sometimes the slogan appears alongside the Islamic State flag.
So there:


Many thanks, Gilead!

29 July 2017

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15 July 2017

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14 July 2017

Berkeley's Hatem Bazian - the most dangerous professor in America?


There is a big difference between protecting freedom of speech and providing, like Berkeley does, a well paid platform for a hate preacher with academic credentials of dubious quality*.

This headline might be a tad too sensationalist, I feel, but it is not mine. I am not keeping a list of all dangerous American professors, of course. For all I know, it might be somebody else, a totally unknown one, from an obscure institution of higher education. One that is right now putting the final bits on the Doomsday Machine in his basement.

Professor Bazian, if you check his page at Berkeley's website, doesn't look very dangerous:
Hatem Bazian (Ph.D, Philosophy and Islamic Studies, UC Berkeley) teaches
  • AAS 128AC: Islam in America: Communities and Institutions
  • AAS 132: De-Constructing Islamophobia and Othering of Islam.
It is not that I would rush to enroll in these courses, but being one who is into "othering" all religions equally, I might have been inclined to take the AAS 132. To pick up a few useful tips, you know. Otherwise, what can I say: the two courses above are only a short sampler of the myriad of various "studies" that are taught all over US of A and produce hordes of unemployable (with good reason too) graduates with a vague smattering of "ejukayshen" on their pristine brains.

However, some people who do keep tabs on a few selected professors, are not stopping at the Berkeley's website. Canary Mission, for one, has done a sterling job of scrutinizing the good professor, with the result that is a must read. I shall quote only a few selected accomplishments of the man:
Bazian is a leader within the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement. He declared September 23, 2014 an “International Day of Action” to call for a complete boycott of Israel on campuses across the United States on the eve of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah.

Bazian has linked the “liberation of Palestine” with Muslim theology and has reportedly promoted a verse in the Hadith calling for the murder of Jews to establish the “Islamic State of Palestine.”

Bazian writes prolifically against Israel, publishing his work on his personal website and in other online sites including Mondoweiss and Electronic Intifada. He is the author of an anti-Israel book titled “Palestine … it is something colonial”.
Of course, there is more, much more in the article, but I don't want to spoil your reading any more. You shall learn that the learned professor should by now teach a most advanced Anti-Zionism course (909 or whatever the number is for such level), so successfully he has erased the thin line between the hated Zionists and the hated Jooz.

The picture of professor Bazian, drawn by the Canary Mission, doesn't require further details, methinks. However, a series of questions should be asked regarding Berkeley this famous institution of higher education, this prodigious production line of genius, second to none**. I realize that Berkeley has been for many (too many?) years a strongly left-leaning institution and goes from the left to more left as time goes.

First of all, seeing as how enormously frisky is professor Bazian in his extracurricular activities: isn't such a talented man, obviously a leader, seriously under-occupied by the university?
Then, if the answer to the previous question is negative, can't he be advised to seek a more fulfilling occupation elsewhere? I understand that he is, most probably, a tenured professor, but there are ways and means - if there is a will.
And, the last but not the least: while freedom of speech should be protected by all means, does such prodigious fountain of hate and incitement fit the requirements of an educational outfit of such a high standing?

To summarize: isn't it time to drum the professor of hate out of his lofty position?

(*) Even if we are talking about Berkeley's own graduate.
(**) If you believe this, for instance:

12 July 2017

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Russia Russia Russia 

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11 July 2017

Natalia Veselnitskaya, Magnitsky Act, Russian hackers, Putin's tentacles, you name it...


It is a long time since this here blog dabbed in the pictures of nice ladies, so... no, this is not really the reason for this picture at all. It is simply that the person in the picture is being presented as one of the more powerful tentacles of the Kremlin in general and Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin in particular. When even our provincial Times of Israel opens its main page with a huge font headline:

Moscow denies knowledge of Trump Jr.’s meeting with Putin-linked lawyer

How can one be not thrilled by that? The point of the (slightly poisoned) arrow is, of course, this "Putin-linked lawyer" bit. How sharp it is? So I let my fingers do some surfing in the murky waters of the 'net, with assistance from the kind Google, may his/her name be blessed.

But first a look back, several days ago, when an allegedly explosive news appeared first in that august bastion of progressive thought, NYT:

Trump’s Son Met With Russian Lawyer After Being Promised Damaging Information on Clinton

Aha, I said to myself, with another few million surfers: finally the Pandora box is getting opened, and the mills of justice are going to start milling much faster. That is, till I have encountered the following pathetic sentence in this "explosive" article:
The accounts of the meeting represent the first public indication that at least some in the campaign were willing to accept Russian help.
What? If anything, this is not an accelerator of the said mills of justice - rather a wrench in the works.

Nevertheless, this kind of the James Bond story, with a nice looking Russian lady thrown in for thrills (the infamous KGB Swallows come to mind, surely), couldn't leave one indifferent. So one googles.

Ms Natalia Veselnitskaya isn't, apparently, hiding in some inaccessible corners of the fast FSB/SVR empire, being at beck and call of Vladimir Vladimirovich. No, she is quite openly active on Facebook, where she presents herself as a managing partner in a Moscow firm of lawyers and quite openly tells all about her fight against Magnitsky Act. More about her in English here and here. While the Magnitsky Act by itself was a good deed of the US government and the fight against it was definitely approved and, most probably, financed by the Russian government, to derive from this a link to Vladimir Vladimirovich is more than just reaching. It is a kind of hyperbole good only for cheap headlines and cheap journalists... but wait, we are talking about progressive press here... oops.

So what could we learn from the whole brouhaha? Nope, it ain't a Pandora box, that's for sure. By the way, the real Pandora box seems to have been a sealed pottery vase. In our case it turned out to be a crock of crapola.

And the only man that is still laughing is the one in Kremlin. Watching the travesty of the ongoing witch hunts and the administration busy at counterattacking the media, instead of doing what the government is meant to do - how could the man not laugh? At least, from all that we know about his habits, he is not laughing out loud.

Just cackling from time to time.

08 July 2017

Peter Risdon, RIP

Peter and Kate
It is possible to be a friend with a person you have never met. It is possible to grieve when a malady that knows no mercy takes him away.

Peter's life could provide a writer with not a small amount of inspiration, but I am not going to tell the story here. Peter was a man of uncompromising integrity, and his last years were good and full of happiness, largely thanks to Kate. Till the fate intervened.

RIP, Peter.

My heartfelt condolences to Kate.

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04 July 2017

Happy Independence Day!

To all our American friends. And go easy on fireworks!

02 July 2017

Spanish civil war and human garbage

Tosh McDonald - dreck in a T-shirt
There is nothing new in the notion that for a raving anti-Semite in the usual anti-Zionist guise nothing is sacred. As nothing is new in the notion that the British Labour party has lately become a welcoming safe harbor for this thriving mob of progressive thinkers.

For full disclosure: my beloved uncle was one of the many (disproportionately many) young Jews that went to Spain to fight against Franco, losing several of his good friends, enduring the fate of other "displaced persons" in the French camps, joining the Red Army and fighting with distinction till the demise of the Nazi regime.

So when I see how a piece of human refuse uses a solemn and politics-free occasion to throw his feces at Jews, it surely boils my blood. Wish I could have been there... But see for yourself.



For better viewing of the Jewish gentleman's report, click on the image below:


Oh, and accidentally: tell me who your friends are...


More on Tosh McDonald.

And even more.

01 July 2017

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30 June 2017

NASA: We Do Not Have a Child Slave Colony on Mars. Yeah, sure.


Y'all know only too well that when a government department denies something it must be true, right?

Because nothing could be more true than something (anything, in fact) that comes from an impeccable source like Robert David Steele, who is currently a CeO (Chief Enabling Officer - pro bono, no less) of Earth Intelligence Network, a 501c3 devoted to teaching holistic analytics (HA), true cost economics (TCE), and open source everything engineering (OSEE). A man, who in his illustrious past (present) has been (is):
  • a clandestine services case officer at the Central Intelligence Agency
  • a Nobel Prize nominee
  • a co-Founder of the Information Warfare Conference
  • invited lecturer world-wide on topics of Cyber, Open Source Intelligence (OSINT)
  • USMCR Infantry, Adjutant, Intelligence 1976-1996
  • CIA Clandestine Service 1979-1988
  • USMC Civil Service 1988-1993
  • #2 civilian [dunno what it means, tell me if you know] in USMC Intelligence, responsible for creating the Marine Corps Intelligence Activity
  • best buddy of Cynthia McKinney
This list, presented here in no particular order, could go on and on, I am simply afraid to run out of paper.

So when this man appeared on Alex Jones' Infowars, my major source of entertainment, I sat up and listened. Here are some choice quotes of the latest breakthrough into the murky depths of the NWO* inhumanity.
  • NASA established a colony on Mars to which they shipped kidnapped children over a 20-year space ride.
  • Once there, the “kids” have no alternative but to become slaves at the colony, because that’s just how NASA rolls apparently.
  • Not content with just enslaving said children, NASA also murders some of them for their blood** and bone marrow, after terrifying them first so that there’s enough adrenaline in the blood.
  • This, according to Steele, is a form of pedophilia, which is, again, performed on 20-plus year old kids.
And, you might ask, how come that with all these Mars missions whizzing around the planet***, not a single one has transmitted a single picture of the settlement where the kids are forcibly kept? Mr Steele has a good and true answer to this one:
NASA’s machinations includes shutting off space probes, whenever in the vicinity of the slave camps, so that the rest of us don’t see them.
So you can be assured now, all of the above is true. Only one question remains unanswered for me, and I am rerouting it to CIA, specifically to the person responsible for clandestine services: during these undercover operations, does the cover allow supply of oxygen to the agent's brain?

Oh well, I am afraid that no straight answer will be forthcoming soon. Too bad.

(*) And if you don't know what NWO means, I pity you. Wake up!
(**) Once kids' blood is involved, you know who else is behind all this obscenity, don't you?
(***) If there is a planet, you know: this is subject to proof too. For all I know, the Earth is the only one, and flat at that, all other so called "celestial bodies" being only pictures on the glass dome.

28 June 2017

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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.

(*) This statement of mine must be amended. Apparently the report used and several other articles using it as a base for alarm were quite significantly exaggerated. Not that there isn't a reason to worry, but on the other hand panic doesn't help too. Here it is:

Vast majority’ of Jewish students are connected to Israel, insists Brandeis prof

Hat tip: Elise Ronan.

22 June 2017

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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).