31 October 2007

Gaza switch-off and armchair generals

Seth Freedman has, in his endearingly provocative manner, slapped together another piece for CiF.

As in most of his other articles, the recipe was simple: take one side of the Israeli/Palestinian strife, ignore all that is not black and white and presto - you have a perfect stick to stir some unrest in the CiF cesspool.

This time, however, Seth has outdone even himself, starting with a glaringly wrong premise:

That Israel doesn't know how to stop the barrage of Kassam rockets from Gaza is a given - defence officials have been wracking their brains for years over the issue, to no avail whatsoever.
Bullshit - and everyone knows this. We all know very well that there are several possible solutions to the barrage (now it is my turn to become an armchair general and be outrageous on purpose):
  1. Answer every rocket by ten (or a hundred) rockets directed as Hamas/Jihad will - into the centers of Gaza's civilian population
  2. Reoccupy the whole Gaza strip - not for a brief operation - for keeps, and bring the settlers back
  3. Transfer the whole 1.5 million of Gazans elsewhere
  4. Kill the whole 1.5 million
Now, no matter how outrageous these four options are, they are a) technically possible and b) have been already carried out by other people at other times. Of course, some armchair general could ask why the most obvious option is omitted: making peace. Well, Seth himself offers a (partial) answer:
Rightly or wrongly, many see the rocket attacks on Israel as entirely legitimate and worthy actions...
Unfortunately, this is how Sharon's idea of transforming the troubled Gaza strip into a model of exemplary neighborhood for future coexistence turned out. "Making Sderot a ghost town", incessantly attacking the border crossings (which are supposed to provide the vital foodstuffs, medicaments, fuel etc.), conducting a vicious brainwashing of their people - in short, the current rulers of Gaza strip are intentionally causing hardships to the civilian population on their side of the border and doing their best to our side to provoke us into one of the four responses outlined above (you guess which one).

It doesn't take a very bright armchair general to notice that Seth does not have a slightest idea of what to do in the situation, aside of the lame "No one is saying it's going to be easy to halt the Kassams...". And his referrals to the international law are pure crap. Just look again at the four options above and answer a simple question: which one is preferable to the occasional electricity switch-off?

Now regarding this "understanding":
Israel, understandably, doesn't want to risk its soldiers' lives by sending them back into Gaza to tackle the terror cells head-on...
Of all the crappy journalism... Doesn't Seth realize that there is another compelling concern - about the number of civilian "bystanders" that are inevitably going to die in their thousands in case of full-scale IDF invasion of Gaza? Which invasion will be carried out according to the international law, by the way.

I can understand and share Seth's frustration by the unending enmity and the lack of progress on the way to peace. Inane articles assigning blame to one side and not offering a glimmer of a solution are quite another matter.

P.S. From BBC, of all sources:
As usual in the Middle East, it is not international law that determines policy. The firing of Qassam rockets at Israeli towns itself is internationally regarded as violating the Geneva Convention prohibition on attacks aimed solely at civilians. That does not stop the rockets.
Cross-posted on Yourish.com.


Kimilsungism? Nah...

Under this mundane headline the following intriguing text was hiding:
Meetings were held in Russia, Moldova and Guinea from Oct. 8 to 11 on the occasion of the 62nd founding anniversary of the Workers' Party of Korea.Present at the meetings were figures and members of the International Alliance of Societies for the Study of the Juche Idea and Songun Policy in East European and Central Asian Regions, the All-Russia Society for the Study and Dissemination of Kimilsungism, the Russian Youth Society for the Study of the Songun Policy, the Russian Society for the Promotion of the Study and Dissemination of Comrade Kim Jong Il's Works and the Russian Women's Union Named after Kim Jong Suk, the Moldovan Songun Youth Union for the Study of the Juche Idea and the Kim Il Sung Institute of Agricultural Science in Guinea.
You have to agree that a tripod based on Russia, Moldova and Guinea must be somewhat lopsided. But this is not the issue, the issue is that neologism "Kimilsungism" used for the "All-Russia Society for the Study and Dissemination of Kimilsungism".

You see, the Russian folks would hardly buy into a term as long and as hard on one's tongue as "Kimilsungism". There is another, much shorter and much more suitable word they will definitely use re the "All-Russia Society for the Study and Dissemination of Kimilsungism". It's "херня".

Look it up yourself.


30 October 2007

Jailed Mafia boss fathers child

This could be a serious case for theologists:

A notorious Italian mafioso has fathered a child from behind bars despite being denied private visits from his wife.

Raffaele Cutolo's daughter was born after he won a legal battle to become a father through artificial insemination.

He married his wife, Immacolata, in jail in 1983. The couple never consummated their marriage.
Is the wife allowed to keep her name?


And we shall... investigate

Meryl just mentioned "The lack of world condemnation of the Israeli raid on an nascent Syrian nuclear plant...", and here it comes:

Mohamed ElBaradei accuses Jewish state of ‘taking the law into its own hands’, says ‘if countries have information that another country is working on a nuclear-related program, they should come to us’
Yes, them are strong words ElBaradei has for the jingoist Zionist pirates. Law and order, law and order, ladies and gentlemen! After all, this is what the mighty UN is for.

Let's see what is it precisely that Mr Elbaradei has in mind for Syrians.
...if countries have information that the country is working on a nuclear-related program, they should come to us. We have the authority to go out and investigate," he said.
Uhu. Got it? They will come and investigate.

Like they did with that reactor in Iraq.
Like they did in the Balkans.
Like they do in Darfur.
Like they do in Congo.

Thanks, but no thanks.

(From Ynet via Shimshon9).

Cross-posted on Yourish.com.


In defense of capitalism

Oh well, somebody has to do it, and I'm glad is not me. Sonia Belle takes apart one of the notorious ravers in this post.

One remark, though - Sonia says:

Che Bob throws everything but the kitchen sink in here...
I doubt Che Bob has a sink of his own to throw, but the sentence is technically correct.


29 October 2007

Olmert, prostate cancer and politicos

It seems to be a fairly important news item today.

Anyway, the immediate danger to Olmert' health is no more than that of having an appendectomy. However, it does not stop some eternal hopefuls from driving the point in.

Yet, Eldad believes the prime minister should resign "despite the tumor, because of his failures."

MK Ran Cohen (Meretz) praised Olmert for sharing the news about his illness with the public.

"The PM doesn't have to resign because of his condition," Cohen said, "but he must resign because of his decisions during the Second Lebanon War and the police investigations."
Not the best timing, is it? But, at least, Bibi hasn't been too hasty as in case of Sharon's first stroke (when he hurried a bit with his condolences).

Let's wait at least for after the surgery, folks. OK, OK, but not before the unaesthetic wears off...


Flag-folding recitation banned - another coup for political correctness

RIVERSIDE, Calif., Oct. 26 (UPI) -- A federal agency has banned flag-folding recitations at U.S. veterans cemeteries after a complaint over religious content. The Riverside (Calif.) Press-Enterprise said the recitation, used at thousands of military burials, explains the significance of each of the 13 folds of the flag. The newspaper said a complaint was lodged against the words for the 11th fold, which "celebrates Jewish war veterans and "glorifies the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob."
Much as I'm riled by these senseless displays of political correctness, I wonder who the heck has the time necessary to perpetrate these acts of stupidity. Clearly the number of government employees in some places is above what is really needed.

Cross-posted on Yourish.com.


What planet are we on, indeed?

Random surfing, besides being a sublime way to waste your time, sometimes brings you a rare gift that perks you up and enforces a reality check. Sometimes you need a jolt of ultra-right or extra-left to plant your feet back on the ground. Thanks to a random click, I have stumbled on this blog. Nothing unusual for a regular hardcore lefty - a quote from Fidel, links to Granma, Counterpunch, Electronic Intifada, whatnot. I was going to click out, and then my roving eye found the following:

The idea that Kim Jong Il "allowed a famine to kill 2 million of his own people" is so preposterous that I wouldn't take it seriously, were it not for the fact that a mainstream publication chooses to publish it, and for my expectation that such a preposterous claim won't even raise an eyebrow among its readers.
The post where the above quote appears is titled What planet is Fareed Zakaria on? If you don't believe me, go there and make sure.

Thankfully, there is no need to comment on this. I wonder, what will that guy (girl?) say to this?


28 October 2007

On the Armenian genocide resolution

And excellent post here on the politically inexpedient admission of stark truth.

A semblance of an argument against:

Why not go all the way? How about a resolution condemning China for the millions who suffered in the Cultural Revolution and the tens of millions starved during the Great Leap Forward – right as we’re seeking China’s help on Burma, North Korea, the environment, etc? I mean, for each Armenian the Ottoman Turks slaughtered, at least ten Chinese citizens perished...
Kind of self-defeating logic here. Keep closing your eyes on atrocities and be sure that they will continue to multiply...

Michael Weiss' argument for the resolution (part of):
What the excuse-makers fail to realize, however, is that by deferring justice they in effect deny it by making it the hostage of convenience. This is a game infinitely more suspect than diplomacy, and it's bad enough when it's played in Great Britain or the United States, where the most jingoistic refrain is "My Country, Right or Wrong." But how much worse is it when it's played in Turkey, where scores of citizens take to the streets to chant self-righteously in defense of a genocide, and where the refrain seems to be "My Country, Never Wrong"?
And my own two bits: start selling your principles for political convenience and be sure that at some point in time somebody will sell you down the river. For convenience.

P.S. But after all, according to people in the know, it is Jooz who muddy the waters...


Doris Lessing - another talking head with a Nobel?

I was keeping mum on the subject for two good reasons. One - I stopped at page 16 in one of her books, and thus cannot be an objective judge. Two - George S. here and in the previous post that cannot be linked to (from October 11) does a good job of advocacy for her - not solely as a writer (apparently he had a similar problem with her books), but as a person.

Here I have to come up with an observation of a (possibly) too general character. But what the heck: is it only my skewed perception or, indeed, too many a person becoming a Nobel winner feels that her/his opinions on any subject must be aired as soon as possible? Including opinions that are, frankly, puerile to a degree that will earn an elementary school student a deserved tongue lashing.

I could even agree with what George says re Lessing's opinion on 911:

As for the 9/11 quotation featured in most newspapers, if I took a dislike to everyone I disagreed with on this or that point, I would have precious little communication with the world.
With a reservation: she could have skipped the question - it wasn't a third degree, was it...

No, what got my knickers all twisted was this remark about Americans no one got het up about:
They're a very naive people, or they pretend to be.
Any generalization about any people makes me mad. Coming from a professional soul catcher, it is really inexcusable.

And being a woman, Ms Lessing is less sensitive to blows below the belt, so: a person who kept her communist beliefs well into the fifties (of the last century) is hardly entitled to talk about someone, let alone a whole nation, being naive.

I agree with George that female octogenarians (in control of their mental facilities) could be lovable.

I am in doubt about this one.


27 October 2007

Barmaid crushed cans with breasts

A barmaid has been fined for crushing beer cans between her bare breasts while an off-duty colleague has been fined for hanging spoons from her friend's nipples.

The 31-year old barmaid pleaded guilty in the local magistrates court to twice exposing her breasts to patrons at the Premier Hotel in Pinjarra, south of Perth.

The woman "is alleged to have also crushed beer cans between her breasts during one of the offences", in breach of hotel licensing laws, police from the Peel district of Western Australia said.
I can see where it could be an offense, if the cans she crushed were full of beer. Otherwise, the nature of the crime is not clear to me. Especially, that act of hanging spoons from her nipples. Which I have to see to believe in.

I am, like, totally with the guy who has offered a spirited defense of the lady's act here:
To be taken to court for showing your boobs is an absolute joke It's not like she was having sex with a bar tap or anything over the top like that.
Although, to tell the truth, I was somewhat discombobulated by that bar tap possibility. This, and the spoon hanging - it seems that I have to spend more time in Australia than I have heretofore.

And, anyway, I agree again with what he says about the law inforcement:
If the police are fair dinkum about protecting people in pubs and clubs, why don't they target the real issues instead?
Right - they are not fair dinkum. Not at all!


26 October 2007

Photohunt: Pink

The theme for this week is "Pink". And I absolutely don't do pink - it causes me shivers, especially something of this kind:

Horrible, isn't it? (If you don't know who is it, the better for you). And even this isn't strictly pink. So again, as with Practical, I had to search, and was lucky (methinks). The two following pictures where taken in the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, southern Utah.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The color of the sand depends very much on the time of the day and the weather, and I cannot guarantee that it is conveyed precisely by my camera, but the general likeness is there. And I have to confess that I like these two pictures rather more than the ones offered on the park site linked above.

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

To look for other photo hunters, go there.


HItchens vs. Eskow

The latest article in Slate, where Hitchens weighs in on the side of those who use the term "Islamofascism", and a response by R. J. Eskow in The Huffington Post generated some waves in the blogosphere. Which is a bit strange, seeing as we are arguing only about a term.

To preempt some unwelcome criticism - I could see the "Islamo-" prefix as an easily replaceable one, to use a few examples, by "Judeo-", "Christiano-", "Hindo-" etc. The term is not applied to all followers of a given religion, trying to identify only a specific segment. I wouldn't try to add an adjective like "small" to the word "segment" - it is a matter for statisticians.

Eskow starts with a sentence that is clearly false:

Fascism is a state-based phenomenon.
Fascism is defined as "A political theory advocating an authoritarian hierarchical government (as opposed to democracy or liberalism)". So, as a theory it is not state-based - no more than fundamentalist Islam or any other fundamentalist religious sect - before it takes over a state.
Fascism, by commonly accepted definition, incorporates extreme statism, nationalism, and corporatism.
Isn't Caliphate, the apple of Islamofascists' eye, a state? Isn't dhimmitude just another version of nationalism/racism? Isn't the rigid religious hierarchy an inspiration for many a corporation ?

Most of the rest of this piece is dedicated to refutation of Hitchens' logic, which logic follows the simple, but effective rule of "if it walks like a duck...". And the way this line of logic is refuted goes (mostly like this): yes, here Hitch is right, by by itself this point is not a proof. Of course, Hitch did not even try to use any single point by itself, but the learned critic ignores this in his zeal to prove Hitch wrong.

But the most intriguing part of the Eskow's piece is the absence of his own definition for the term "Islamofascism".
But ignoring the established definition of a word in order to coin an inflammatory neologism?
I suspect that by "established definition" he means that of the term "fascism", while "Islamofascism" is a relatively new one and is in the process of being defined as we speak. And I have not seen Hitchens trying to modify the definition of fascism.
Misusing terms for propaganda purposes does violence to reason and to informed debate...
I could agree with this sentiment - but which term was misused here?

To colleague Elder.


Where exactly is Gaza? Nitpicking.

Another day, another guardianism. This time it is about an article Persona non grata in Gaza by Conal Urquhart. Generally a nice bloke, Conal, and unlike some other British journalists I could mention, does not go out of his way to blame the Jooz for this or that.

The gist of the article is conveyed by this lede:

They have been there since the fourth century. But many of the territory's Christians now live in fear of their Muslim neighbours and want to leave.
It is not only in Gaza, of course, the story repeats itself in several Muslim countries. It's a good, albeit too muted for my taste, article. What confused me a bit was the front page arrangement around the link to this article (I know I am nitpicking now):

The following remark is addressed to the on-line editor(s) of The Guardian: much as you would like it to, the article in question does not have anything to do with Israel. Gaza is somewhere else, look it up. Time to adjust your references.


25 October 2007

The silence of the muzzled

From Norm.

I sometimes wonder if those who talk of being silenced - as, for another example, various spokesfolk against the Iraq war have from time to time talked - actually know what it means to be silenced for one's political opinions.
No matter how frequently you complain about that British art of understatement, it (the understatement) will bite you on some unprotected part of your body.

Well, this is the only case where I can say I have a (doubtful) advantage over Norm. Should I be self-belittling enough to mention that it was by virtue of birth and not a consciously sought and acquired experience? Nah...

Anyway: the muzzled ones have no idea. Not a slightest shadow of understanding of what being silenced means.

Too bad.

P.S. Why do I go on about something that was a rhetoric question anyway?


The unbearable lightness of optimism

Professor Isaac Ben-Israel, via good services of Ynet, dropped today a huge Valium tablet on the unsuspecting citizens of Israel. The pill is titled Nuclear bomb won't destroy Israel.

I am not sure whether I understand all motives of that strange performance that, to my taste, has all the attributes of a staged one. One of the motives is clear - to preempt a possible panic toward the time (if and when) when Iran declares itself to be a proud owner of a military quality nuclear device or two. I don't even attempt to make a guess about the other reasons.

In any case, and with due respect to the professor whose awesome CV is available here, I can safely say that his optimistic outlook is a lot of hooey.

To start with - the predicted number of immediate casualties. Even if we base our outlook on a "10– 20 kiloton bomb, such as the type that fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki" (to be a nitpicker, the bombs used in these two cases were of two different types), a cursory glance at the relevant data shows that (Nagasaki):

The death toll within a distance of one kilometer from the hypocenter was 96.7% among people who suffered burns, 96.9% among people who suffered other external injuries, and 94.1% among people who suffered no apparent injuries.
In simple words, almost everyone within the one kilometer radius will be killed immediately, with descending casualty percentages as the distance grows. Taking 20,000 as an (optimistic) figure for the 500 meter circle Mr Ben-Israel mentioned, we get the predicted death toll of 80,000 with about half of that number again immediately killed outside of this circle. Which brings us to 120,000, still a fairly optimistic estimate, taking into account the 140,000 death toll in Hiroshima: its urban profile is closer to that of Tel-Aviv than Nagasaki, and more than 60% of its 225,000 citizens died (Tel-Aviv population is over 380,000).

Of course, there are too many factors (such as the winds at the time of the bombing) to make a precise estimate of the consequences of the explosion (mainly the fallout), but the horrible numbers are difficult to argue with.

But this is not all.

The explosion victims that will survive the explosion itself to die later of related reasons will create an insoluble burden on a country of Israel's size. No country of this size is equipped to take care of tens of thousands of injured and dying.

The destruction of Tel-Aviv may not have a crippling effect on the IDF ability, including that of a counterstrike. However, the economic impact of the Tel-Aviv destruction will be too great to ignore and crippling indeed, not to mention the immediate damage to communications and transport infrastructure...

It is impossible to ignore the impact of such a horrible event on the nation's morale. In a community so tightly knit as the Israeli one, the horrible death of 120,000 will be a devastating shock, and I am not at all sure that, aside of an immediate act of revenge, the nation will ever recover from it.

So, with all due respect, that Valium pill is rejected, professor.


Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said a few months ago in a series of closed discussions that in her opinion that Iranian nuclear weapons do not pose an existential threat to Israel, Haaretz magazine reveals in an article on Livni to be published Friday.

It smells to me as a trend now: is somebody trying to lull us?

Cross-posted on Yourish.com.


Israel Tries Controversial ‘Hot Babes in Bikinis’ Campaign to Draw Tourists

Got this headline from Breitbart TV over this here clip:

Watched the clip, you should too - absolutely nothing controversial about it. It is all true, I swear! That girl in the black bikini (they show her like three times) - she is my neighbor. She also appears in the second tank in that clip, albeit in uniform. Her phone number is +972... ha, you would die for the number, wouldn't you?


24 October 2007

Johnny Hon: tyrant's arse licked for fun and profit

Perusing (for fun) the infamous North Korean news site KCNA, I have stumbled on an intriguing headline:

It is not that I doubt that every mass murderer in history has a shoal of followers, I was just interested in seeing who this specific follower happens to be.
Johnny Hon, chairman of the International Kim Il Sung Foundation who is chairman of the Global Group of Britain, was interviewed by KCNA Thursday after visiting the Kumsusan Memorial Palace here, the supreme temple of Juche.

He said that he read President Kim Il Sung's reminiscences "With the Century" which helped him know better about the noble life of a great leader and a great man, adding that history does not know such outstanding thinker and theoretician and great statesman as Kim Il Sung.
Uhu. So his name is Johnny Hon and he is not only a chairman of the International Kim Il Sung Foundation, but also a chairman of something called Global Group of Britain. He is a British businessman, according to the stub in Wiki. His somewhat checkered life story brought him from a degree in biomedical science via a Ph.D in psychiatry to a meteoric career in various financial enterprises.
The combined turnover of his companies is estimated to be in excess of £1 billion in a financial year.
So where does a respectable businessman like this one get off chairing a travesty like the International Kim Il Sung Foundation? And handing out a smelly reward like the one named International Kim Il Sung Prize?
The "International Kim Il Sung Prize" council on April 1 decided to award "International Kim Il Sung Prize" to Vishwanath, director general of the International Institute of the Juche Idea. He was awarded the prize for having ardently espoused the immortal Juche idea founded by President Kim Il Sung and made distinguished services for accomplishing the glorious cause of global independence and peace.
Of course, only a dolt like me could miss the idea - the "Kim Il Sung Prize" prize is for people who ardently espouse the immortal... sure. But the next award boggled even my feverish brain:
Noting that it was of historic significance that the "International Kim Il Sung Prize" was awarded to Kim Jong Il in recognition of the immortal feats he has performed on behalf of the times and history while successfully carrying forward and developing the idea of the President, he [Johnny Hon] said:
  • No prize in the world is as prestigious as the "International Kim Il Sung Prize."
  • As chairman of the International Kim Il Sung Foundation, I will make every possible effort to carry out the noble cause started by the President, deeply aware of the mission I have assumed before the times and humankind.
Of course, who deserves the "Kim Il Sung" prize more than his most ardent follower, who accidentally happens to be a produce of the chief's loins?

Some people may say that what Mr Hon is doing disgusts them. But then, some people could take a look at the following notice from the Global Group site:
The Global Group, the UK based banking and investment group, is to open a bank in
the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) on 3 June; this will be the first
joint venture bank between a UK company and the DPRK.
And indeed, the bank was opened, with a speech by Mr Hon stating, between other things:
Chairman Hon referred to the establishment of the bank which will contribute to promoting economic cooperation and exchange between the U.K. and the DPRK. The Korean people are making all possible efforts for economic development based on the powerful foundations of the self-supporting national economy laid in the spirit of self-reliance and on advanced sciences and technology, he stressed. He expressed the belief that the credit bank set up by the joint efforts of the two countries would contribute to understanding and development of friendly relations between the two peoples.
Chairman Hon seems to be one heck of a statesman, doesn't he? Understanding and development of friendly relations, indeed...

For my personal understanding: is there some secret recipe for removing that taste from one's tongue? Or Mr Hon is so used to it by now that he enjoys it?


Ain't I clever?

Of course, everything depends on how much funds you transfer to these people via PayPal.

Try it here.


Yitzhak Rabin - in memoriam

As every year for the last 12 years, this day continues to take its toll. This time I shall use other person words:

For me, and many others, the commemoration of this anniversary becomes sadder and more difficult each year. The assassination itself was a great shock. In over 3,000 years of history, the people of Israel have had very few leaders like Yitzhak Rabin. The realization of the improbable goals of Zionism seems to have been made possible, in part, because at each critical juncture, Israel was provided with leaders of exceptional stature, who could see what was needed, and could at the same time, rally the people to do what was needed.
Read the rest of the article here. I don't have anything to add aside of one remark: the name of that vermin of a murderer should not be used, it is quite enough that he is mentioned.


23 October 2007

If I were an E.T.

Where does a wise man hide a leaf? In the forest. This quote from The Sign of the Broken Sword by G.K. Chesterton has a myriad of applications. Strange as it may seem, one of these is a grand plan of Earth conquest by the extraterrestrials.

Many a wise S.F. writer created a narrative where a glut of fake sightings of and acts by E.T.s serves as a cover for a real invasion and conquest of Earth.

Some people even suspect that there exists a government conspiracy (of course, the fashion is to ascribe the whole dirty deed to Bushes who also exterminated the dinosaurs and helped Hitler to rise to power, not to speak about 911 atrocity - with Mossad/CIA helpful hand, for sure). The purpose of this conspiracy is to hide some shady dealings with real E.T.s behind the smokescreen of patently and semi-transparently fake sightings of UFOs, alien contacts and whatnot.

Here we have something entirely different: a person who does UFOs for fun.

Around here, he is equal parts rebel, nerd and celebrity – a man who has spiked Orange County's unidentified flying object sightings for the past three years with a foam toy 3 feet in diameter. A man who has emptied bars, distracted football games and brought cars to a halt. A man who has generated hundreds, if not thousands, of calls to police and dozens of videos on UFO Web sites.

“All the police know me,” he likes to say of his nightly obsession – flying radio-control planes shaped like saucers with lights. “It's never boring. Every night is different.”
It is interesting to review the completely contradictory stories by different eyewitnesses. It tells a lot about validity of a good percentage of the UFO sightings.

But of course, some people have seen through his game:
You know what this really is, of course… The government is paying this guy to fly his fake super-double-secret gyroscopic UFO around to distract attention from the real mega-triple-classified überscopic UFOs.
Yep. "mega-triple-classified überscopic UFOs". For me it has settled the issue.

The only thought that bothers me (slightly) is that behind the barrage of the sightings, proof, counter-proof, name calling, conspiracy theories and all the flow of inanities similar to the one (a joke really) quoted, there is a small dedicated group of E.T.s that orchestrates all this, faintly smiling at this here post.

I bet they have a time of their life laughing at our stupidity over their equivalent of evening beer...

Alerting my favorite ufologists.


My last life

Click to enlarge

Got it yesterday via Olly. Spent a sleepless night recalling the details. Not much, but still:
  • Definitely a matriarchy. Men lower than grass and as accessible.
  • War paint applied to my face by a male cosmetician, specially bred and treated for the purpose.
  • Bagging my first dinosaur (or was it some earlier life?).
  • Torturing a female warrior of the other tribe by gagging her and talking about her makeup with friends.
  • No spying scenes so far, traveling extensive though, being carried by four male slaves. Lots of gratuitous whipping involved.
More to follow...


22 October 2007

Kevin Rudd's election chances, or lend me your earwax

Warning: somewhat gross video! Hurry!

I know, I know, we are not supposed to decide on our politics according to personal quirks of our leaders. Still:

Imagine what a politician eats in private then...


Al Reuters strikes (out) again

Of course, it is the Jooz whodunit: read from the one and only Mr Bagel.


Socks says NO!

The presidential race in US of A has taken a new unforeseen turn.

As the “first pet” of the Clinton era, Socks, the White House cat, allowed “chilly” Hillary Clinton to show a caring, maternal side as well as bringing joy to her daughter Chelsea. So where is Socks today?

Once the presidency was over, there was no room for Socks any more. After years of loyal service at the White House, the black and white cat was dumped on Betty Currie, Bill Clinton’s personal secretary, who also had an embarrassing clean-up role in the saga of his relationship with the intern Monica Lewinsky.
That's it. This should be enough to seal the whole issue.

Alerting some cat lovers!


My source of daily glee

I am just a man who as I said before, has lived through so many unexplained coverups of circumstances beyond comprehension, such as JFK, MLK, RFK, WACO, RUBY RIDGE, PAN AM 103, Flight 800, JFk Jr, Ron Brown, Vincent Foster, so many loose ends left over.....
No, don't beg, I am not disclosing my sources. It would be like telling all and sundry about the location of a fountain of single malt (yeah, I know, I know...).


21 October 2007

Olmert escapes terror attack in Jericho

From Ynet:

A group of gunmen affiliated with Fatah attempted to hit Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's convoy as it made its way from Jerusalem to Jericho for a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on August 6, Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin told the cabinet ministers Sunday morning.
So, let me see if I get it right: while Olmert, happy and peace-minded, puts the final touch on his makeup, sprays his hair and whatnot for the meeting with the Fatah boss, some Fatah employees prepare a hit. That will be business as usual, as it goes, but:
Following the incident, the Palestinians arrested three suspects, who were later released, according to Israeli officials. Two other cell members are being held in Israel.

Israeli security sources expressed their anger over the release, which took place "after these terrorists' involvement in the foiled attack was made clear."

Which is a bit too much even for the famed West Bank hospitality. But no worries, you can always re-read this to get you back in the mood.

Cross-posted on Yourish.com.


Fisk: it is all downhill from now on...

It is with deep worry that I notice that in the latest article on sinister goings-on in Lebanon, this venerable master of bent mirrors forgot to mention a certain neighboring country. The name starting with I.

I am worried about his mental state. Confused, too. Oops...



For quite some time I had a habit of peeking in the personal blog of Irene Lancaster. Then, for reasons clearly out of my control (mental, that's me), I stopped doing so.

Now is not a good time of the day to reason why. This blog and, obviously, its owner, are strikingly different - in a good way. So - just blogroll and start visiting regularly.

You too.


Enemy of the people?

Regarding the tiff between Ynet and Haaretz about the extraordinary enmity Ynet displayed toward Bar Refaeli:

I have to say: I am on the side of the angels. And the whole army service issue is ridiculous in this case - just consider the possible level of distraction for people handling all kind of lethal weaponry.

Babe alert.


20 October 2007

Oh Debka, Debka...

Says Debka, in an article loosely based on only 1326 similar articles on the Internet. But in bolder letters.

All this because:
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has laid down the gauntlet.

Saturday, Oct. 20, the fire-eating president succeeded in removing the formidable Iranian nuclear negotiator, head of the National Security Council, Ali Larijani, from his path.
The Fire-Eating President removes the Formidable Negotiator. Dungeons and Dragons, anyone?

In related news: Olmert was seen repacking his suitcase for another flight to Moscow to meet with Putin who was seen repacking his Mig-29 for another flight to Tehran.

Tehran wasn't seen re-packing...

For a saner report, go here.


19 October 2007

Photohunt: Practical

The theme for this week is "Practical". Doesn't mean a lot to yours truly, who is not the most practical person - to say it gently. My understanding of what practical means would be best expressed in the following picture:

But, unfortunately, I didn't take it, so I had to search far and wide...

You see the remains of a typical Anasazi village. Inhabiting one of the arid places on the globe, Anasazi were nothing if not practical. There is a source of water nearby (out of the scope of the picture), the overhang of the immense cliff, a small part of which you see, provides a dearly needed shadow and the considerable elevation (about 40 to 60 meters) of the cavern's floor above the canyon bed makes the protection of the dwellings so much easier. Imagine climbing the cliff wall with your spear and a tomahawk while the enemy above drops some serious masonry on your head without sweating...

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

To look for other photo hunters, go there.


Over his dead body

This, rather ambiguous, headline is attached to the long story of the unsuccessful attempts to get the Red Square free of the stench that stuck to its cobblestones for the last eighty years or so.

On the other hand, it could become a story of a dictator preparing his own burial for the future use. After all, changing only three letters in the surname is not a big deal for skilled enough labor.


Carnage in Karachi

A suicide bombing killed at least 124 people and injured more than 320 around midnight Thursday in Karachi, Pakistan, near the motorcade of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, according to hospital and police sources.
The pattern is so painfully familiar that no one even asks a simple question: why should so many innocent people die because of political squabble? Why had mass murder become so acceptable in some areas of this world?


Chávez / Castro alliance: growing?

I was discombobulated by the headline of an article in Guardian:

Indeed, Comical Hugo barely leaves Fidel's sickbed lately, and the alliance is quite tight, cemented and all that. However, the adjective "growing" in the headline remained a mystery to me, since there is no indication in the article that will suggest growth of anything.

To improve my understanding (an my English) I ran to the dictionary, an here it is:

The first option, "Increasing in size or degree or amount", as I have mentioned, is not shown by the article. Not clearly, anyway.

"Having or showing vigorous vegetal or animal life" - Hugo seems fairly frisky, as usual, however to attribute either vegetal or animal signs of life to Fidel would be a bit of exaggeration.

"Relating to or suitable for growth" gets us back to number 1, without any solution in sight.

Unless, of course... no, it can hardly be true, even after re-reading the article from the beginning:
...Hugo Chávez has signed a string of agreements in Cuba with the country's temporary leader, Raul Castro...
Raul, Hugo and Fidel - in a bizarre ménage à trois?



Now to the sports section

Next year, when you walk around this shiny new Olympic village looking for an eatery, I wold like your appetite to be spoiled by a memory of this (click on the picture):

Lifted from Will.


18 October 2007

Epic linguistic error?

The editor of this news item was so careful that a warning NSFW (Not Suitable For Work) was added. Of course, this hysterical headline didn't fail to attract my attention. Imagine the disappointment.

Oh boy, oh boy. There must be some limits for prudery, you know.

Epic my foot...


Putin in Iran: a reminder

Vladimir Putin paid Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a visit yesterday, the first Russian leader to hit Tehran since Joseph Stalin in 1943. But let's not get too carried away by the comparison.
No, we'll be cool about this. Vladimir Vladimirovich is not Koba. Yet. Although the ingredients required are there, and according to the polls, the country seems to be pining for a "strong leader" (isn't it past time to invent a new euphemism for a murderous tyrant?).

But his overt (and covert, let's not forget the KGB past and present of our hero) dealings with Iran are of more immediate concern, seeing how Russia consistently sabotages any attempt to apply pressure on Iran via the UN channels.
In his smiles yesterday with Mr. Ahmadinejad, as in his scowling at Ms. Rice and Mr. Gates, one sees the future of Russian foreign policy -- and it is beginning to look a lot like its 20th-century past.
How true.

Now I just have to recycle an old post on the subject.

Utro.ru reports on an interesting phenomenon. It appears that the northern part of the Sakhalin was covered by a dirty-yellow snow.

After melting the snow, the result is water covered by a thin film of "oily substance with a revolting smell". Samples were sent to a laboratory for analysis.

The authors of the article followed the ancient Russian tradition of assigning the blame to the most unfavorable neighbor (traditionally China).

"This case must remind us of China who, in order to jump-start its economy, is merciless to its own environment and to the ecology of its neighbors", - the article says.

But this is no more than the usual journalistic guesswork. Maybe the explanation is different?

Every self-respecting male who has ever a) lived in a similar climate and b) imbibed some alcoholic beverage, most probably knows only too well about that custom of leaving yellow messages in the snow. Only in this case it's not a mortal being that left that message.

Maybe this is a direct message to Putin? Maybe, looking from a plane or from an orbital station, we shall see something like this:

Maybe a similar message is on its way to Chinese as well? Say, in the form of a frog rain with a strange pattern. Or something...


A third ear for art is all?

An Australian performer has been criticised for having an ear grafted onto his forearm in the name of art.Cyprus-born Stelios Arcadiou, known as Stelarc, describes his extra ear as an "augmentation of the body's form".

A third ear in a convenient non-disturbing spot is all the man can do for art? Doesn't look like our hero made an all-out effort to sacrifice self to the arts.

The least he could do was to place this ear on his forehead. Attaching it to his backside would have been a further step to immortality and excellent for showmanship.

As it is, it is rather pitiful and calls for a slew of improvements. To start with - I could offer cutting a few new ones for him, free of charge, too...


Mona Lisa had eyebrows and eyelashes!

Gee whiz.... What next? Stalin's faked mustache?


17 October 2007

An unpolished gem

Must steal it:

Al Gore!
Small bore
goes global.
Wins Nobel.
There is an adjective I could argue about a bit, lazily at that. Otherwise I'm ready to wait ten years for the next draft. Happily.


Syrian officials admit site attacked by Israel nuclear

Ynet came out with this:

Syrian officials have admitted that the site attacked by the Israeli air force last month was a nuclear facility, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Wednesday.

According to the newspaper, three Israeli diplomats present at a recent United Nations Disarmament Commission meeting overheard the Syrian representative clearly say that Israel's attack targeted a nuclear facility.
So, from an empty field via an empty building and an agricultural facility (not bombed at all) we have finally arrived to this. Good.

UN Disarmament Commission could write a commendation letter to IAF.

North Korea can start selling a new nuclear starter kit to Syrians. Their diminutive leader can order a new Porsche.

IAF can open that champagne (probably already did).

Baby Assad can relax. For a while.

Can we all be friends now?

Cross-posted on Yourish.com.

Update: a translation error (my foot).


Mearsheimer the Realist

Here. No need to comment.


Extroverts vs introverts

I was reading this article on some shortcomings in British NHS (dentistry this time) and stumbled on an original way to express one's feelings about the problem:

Another [patient] in Wiltshire said: "I took most of my teeth out in the shed with pliers. I have one to go."
Mulling on this somewhat extreme way to protest the NHS faults, I also thought that this is taking the definition of "introvert" a bit beyond its limits.

But lo and behold - here comes an Israeli response to the health insurance injustices:

The man in the picture expresses his displeasure by the treatment he received in a hospital.
At a certain point, he took off his underwear and was as naked as the day he was born. Just like that, the man stood in the street for more than ten minutes creating a commotion and completely stopping traffic. In the end, a passerby simply moved him onto the sidewalk...

"This man came to be treated at the hospital," a spokesman for Barzilai said. "After he received treatment at the hospital, he was released. Due to medical confidentiality, we can not divulge details of the man's medical condition, but he is not mentally ill," the hospital representative said.
Now tell me - which one of the above will get more medical attention?

There must be a lesson for the Brits somewhere in this.

P.S. CNN has something to say on the subject too.


16 October 2007

Comical Hugo's paradise vision

The price of sin rose Monday in Venezuela where President Hugo Chavez is on a campaign to make Venezuelans cut back on drinking and smoking. Alcohol is now 10 percent more expensive; cigarettes are 20 percent pricier.
Chavez really hits where it hurts. Didn't forget me too, the bastard:
Chavez has described whisky as a drink for rich people, not for revolutionaries.
Yep. I'm a typical running lackey dog of the world Zio-imperialism. Now it is personal...
The moves represent the first steps toward transforming each Venezuelan into what Chavez calls "the new man." Chavez has cited the life of revolutionary socialist icon Ernesto "Che" Guevara as an example of how to lead a more pure life.
Sure, let's all follow the saint. If every person on the planet offs five hundred others... let me see... something is wrong with my math...

But no worries, really, some people will not take it lying on the floor.
On the street, some people said they don't understand the motivations for the increase, but predicted their consumption would not change. "The Venezuelan is not going to stop drinking or smoking," said one person.
Me too, Hugo, me too.
But Chavez, who was in Cuba Monday visiting communist leader Fidel Castro, said he wants to focus less on material goals for Venezuela's 27 million people, 38 percent of whom live in poverty.

Read The Stench of Chavez too.


On selective deafness of the media

Retired Army Lieut. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez addressing you know whom:

Who better to draw the line between dissent and sabotage?

to Dick Stanley.


The future of drive-throughs

In a few years when the oil becomes a memory, this is how it will look everywhere:


15 October 2007

US 'wants Palestinian state now'

OK, fine with me. Now it is location, location, location - following our best friend Mahmoud the Mad's ideas.

Click on the picture


Leonid Hurwicz, Eric S. Maskin and Roger B. Myerson

Americans Leonid Hurwicz, Eric Maskin and Roger Myerson won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences on Monday for work that helps explain situations in which markets work well.

Nu - can you chill out now? And stop bothering me with this inane search string, OK?


Putin in Iran: assassination looming?

The rumor spreads through the media like a bushfire. To start with, a somewhat ridiculous item in CNN:

Russian President Vladimir Putin has been told about a plot to assassinate him during a visit to Iran this week, a Kremlin spokeswoman said Sunday.The spokeswoman, who spoke on customary condition of anonymity, refused further comment.
If it is a "Kremlin spokeswoman", how could she be anonymous? Bizarre.

BBC (an others) adds that:
The Interfax news agency cited sources in the Russian special services saying a gang of suicide bombers would attempt to kill Mr Putin in Tehran.
So, the modus operandi is established. Not that it is new to the region.

Al Jazeera adds a strong Iranian denial:
But Tehran has described as "totally baseless" the report, which said Russian security services had been told suicide bombers and kidnappers were training to kill or capture Vladimir Putin.
Of course. There is a glut of willing volunteers that many Iranian luminaries brag about. Just find a cause and point a finger, and the easily combustible youngsters are ready.

According to this Russian source, Putin dismissed the news.
On Sunday evening, Vladimir Putin had a dinner at the restaurant "Adler Wirtschaft" with Angela Merkel. Before the meal, asked about the forthcoming (sic!) assassination attempt, President waived it off, saying: "Later."
Did he mean to say that the assassination is planned for later? In any case, he is quite good in keeping that stiff upper lip.

The interesting part of this story is the lack of comment from Iranian official media. Fars tells about the visit:
Russian President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to pay a visit to Tehran on Monday to attend a summit of the Caspian Sea littoral states.
No mention of the assassination attempt rumors. The only worthy hint on possible friction between Moscow and Tehran could be found in another Fars article:
Vice-Speaker of the Iranian parliament Mohammad Reza Bahonar called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to take a deeper approach when dealing with Iran's issue.
Whether the remark refers to the depth of the Caspian or some other issues between Iran and Russia is unclear, there is no further development of the subject. On the other side, it could be the Iranian way to shout out to Putin: "Duck!".

Clearly, Putin is not the most popular figure in the Muslim world due to Russian unending (and so far unsuccessful) attempts to "pacify" Chechnya. His maneuvering on the Iranian nuclear issue raises hackles on both sides of the barricades. Russia is consistent, though, in its relentless arms sales drive - to the Iranians or any other bearer of ready cash.

It will be kind of funny if the Semtex used for that bomb...

Update: But of course, it is the Zionists:
According to news sources in Central Asia, Tehran's foes are engaged in extensive lobbies to throw obstacles in the way of the Caspian Sea states summit in Tehran.

These sources claim that the Zionist regime's intelligence service and those of western countries have jointly launched a psychological warfare to cancel Putin's visit to Tehran.
It is becoming boring...

Hat tip: Judeopundit.

Cross-posted on Yourish.com.


'Suicide of civilisation' warning as Italian town permits burka

A row has broken out in Italy over the wearing of the burka after the prefect of a city in the north-east announced he was permitting it, despite legislation outlawing any clothing that stops the wearer being recognised.

In a front-page article in yesterday's Corriere della Sera, the paper's Egyptian-born deputy editor, Magdi Allam, attacked Mr Capocelli's counter-initiative as symptomatic of an attitude that was "leading us straight to the suicide of our civilisation". Were it endorsed at national level, he argued, Islamic women "could soon be going to school, taking jobs and going around freely, completely veiled".
I am not sure about the suicide of civilization, hoping it still has a few months to go. Nor am I worried very much about women being completely veiled. I am more concerned about Islamic men using burka for their own nefarious purposes. Including going to school.

Cross-posted on Yourish.com.


Another truther

The blog is called "911 Hoax Of The Century", so find it yourself if you want some quiet enjoyment - we have a policy of not linking to stuff like this. Mind you, your eyes may have a rough going through all the capital letters that pepper the text (this person likes to shout).

I, personally, was attracted by a poll, conducted by this esteemed blogger.

Apparently, after gathering his own voice, adding his girlfriend and their dog's paw, the man decided that he has enough data to establish the truth.



14 October 2007

Yep - it is Sunday again

The usual act of self - aggrandizing masked as a public service.

Haveil Havalim strikes again, its #136 edition in the strong hands of Soccer Dad. I think I will go for a leather-bound collection fairly soon.

Let your sanity have a prolonged power nap and click on the badge:



The poisoned fruit of multiculturalism

For at least 20 years there was a debilitating fog of moral relativism in the air, a miasma of guilty self-loathing, to the point when some natives persuaded themselves that although all other cultures were equal, ours alone was less equal than others, or might at least be offensive, and should be suppressed. Even the phrase “host culture” was considered unacceptable.
The quote comes from this article by Minette Marrin in Times Online. A worthy read, although I have my doubts about this:
We have moved on since then, supposedly, and surprisingly suddenly. Many prominent multiculturalists, including the Commission for Racial Equality itself, have recently performed swift U-turns and the bien-pensant orthodoxy now is that multiculturalism has been a divisive failure. Integration is the new big thing.
Not yet, as it looks, I am afraid:
Muslim supermarket checkout staff who refuse to sell alcohol are being allowed to opt out of handling customers’ bottles and cans of drink.
Some Muslim medical students are refusing to attend lectures or answer exam questions on alcohol-related or sexually transmitted diseases because they claim it offends their religious beliefs.
After the specially oriented graves in the cemetery and toilet seats in prison, after a Muslim policeman refuses to guard Jooz, after many other absurdities (a small selection here) - what else, on top of 7/7 should the politically correct citizens of UK expect?

to Mick Hartley.

Cross-posted on Yourish.com.


Coulter: We want 'Jews to be perfected'

That's fine with me personally, I could not possibly miss an opportunity to be perfected.

But if possible, can I ask to be perfected by the person on the picture below, instead of the person depicted above?

If it is all the same to you. Please?

Read more here.


13 October 2007

Rafsanjani: Jews were pain in the neck

It appears that the master of Iranian stand-up comedy, Mahmoud Ahmydinnerjacket, has a serious problem with his ex-competitor for the post, the "moderate" Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani. They disagree on a key point in Mahmoud's world vision. While Mahmoud is a Holocaust denier, Rafsanjani recognizes the slaughter. Well, in his own endearing way:

Hashemi Rafsanjani, former Iranian president and current Chairman of the Assembly of Experts, said Friday that Hitler’s treatment of Jewish people in Europe was due in part to their being “a pain in the neck.” Rafsanjani’s comments came during a sermon for "International Jerusalem Day" on Iranian TV.
There is more in this MEMRI clip, it is not long, and to some of you it may look shocking. Not for me, though, I have done my little research on this sorry sack of human refuse. Oh well, of course in a day or two we'll hear a different interpretation of this text from the inimitable Juan Cole or somebody else of his ilk.

I bet Rafsanjani will be invited soon to talk in one of the Ivy League universities (if he wasn't yet), and I bet the "progressives" will forget to ask him about the warrant for his arrest issued by Argentine. And all his other heroic deeds.

Too bad.

Cross-posted on Yourish.com.