30 November 2007

"No tolerance: Execution," they shouted

The British teacher jailed in Sudan for letting her students name a teddy bear "Muhammad" was whisked to a secret location Friday after armed mobs demanded her execution.
And for a good reason:

Protesters brandishing clubs and knives streamed out of mosques and rallied outside the presidential palace in the capital Khartoum.
And where does this sea of love come from?
A Muslim cleric at Khartoum's main Martyrs Mosque denounced Gibbons during a sermon, accusing her of intentionally insulting Islam even though fellow teachers said it was her students' idea to name the bear Muhammad.

"This is an arrogant woman who came to our country, cashing her salary in dollars, teaching our children hatred of our Prophet Muhammad," Abdul-Jalil Nazeer al-Karour told worshippers.
Yeah... Just to think what could have happened if it were a dog and not a teddy bear...

Yes, and here is that arrogant woman dreaming about her dollars:

How do I tag this post? Oh, yeah.

Russia: dead men winning

The news item about the death of Former KGB chief Vladimir Kryuchkov - one of the instigators and leaders of the failed putsch against Gorbachev in 1991 - didn't occupy a central place in the media. However, there is some symbolism in this death. Kryuchkov has joined the ghosts, but the ghosts seem to be more and more active in the gray fog that is surrounding the internal Russian politics.

If "politics" is the right word for that unique mix of mafia style ruling structure, corruption of gargantuan proportion, permanent infighting for the place closer to the trough.

A person grown up in relatively innocent and sheltered Western Europe or North American environment is usually unable to grasp the bewildering country, where:

  • One percent of population is living in luxury hitherto unseen in many developed countries and normally thought of in connection to Saudi prince or other oil dignitary.
  • A cup of coffee in the capital costs about the same as the daily income of many citizens.
  • Democratic constitution hasn't prevented the government moves to take over most of the mass media, including all TV channels.
  • A policeman during the day turns into a blackmailer at night ("werewolf" in local lingo), if he wants his family to have a semblance of normal income.
  • Soldiers are growing vegetables near their barracks to survive, while new weaponry of highest sophistication and destruction power is being developed and produced with enormous expense.
  • Corruption has become so integrated in the daily life that the funny mention by Douglas Adams of "rival police gangs" came true with vengeance, when rival FSB (the KGB child) departments shamelessly fight their turf wars for the rights of collecting graft.
  • Scientists are arrested on false charges of selling the secrets of Motherland to a foreign power.
  • Alcoholism is killing off the men so early that the average life span for men dropped to 56-58 years (depending on the source). Poor diet and health care contribute their fair share too, of course.
  • The negative growth of population, on the other hand, is contributing to the growing problem of taking care of old and disabled...
  • Democratic institutions are reduced to sock puppet of the president.
  • And people clamor for the man who is overseeing all this, looking at him as a savior and begging him to stay more at his post, that by now looks more and more as just a job for an aspiring tyrant...
So what it is that makes this strange mechanism tick? The "sovereign democracy" - does this perverted idea work? And what will happen when (and if) Putin, the "leader of the nation" leaves his post next year? For how long will the huge natural resources of the largest country in the world keep its people at a minimum level above poverty?

To understand better the powers that be in Russia, it is worth to look for the motivating force.

It is not ideology: the main political party, created by the oligarchs initially to support their interests and now used by Putin and his circle of trust, is far from being ideological. Aside of few vague patriotic slogans and the overwhelming parliamentary majority (that is going become even more overwhelming after the coming elections), the party does not have any ideology to speak of.

It is pure greed. The river of money, generated by the country's seemingly inexhaustible natural resources, is channeled to few small distinctive groups: Putin's clique of oligarchs that have replaced the ones that were too unruly for his taste, the bankers, the so called "siloviky" - the power structures, such as FSB, the army, the police and, of course, the various shades of mafia type groups - not always easily distinguished from the oligarchs. Not to forget the politicians of different ranks that toe the party (Putin's) line. And of course, the masses, the great unwashed are kept in their places by the "siloviky".

To make it all happen without complications expected in any really democratic country with free press and independent judiciary, the oxymoron of "sovereign democracy", that perversion of evolution of human society and human values, was invented. It is mistakenly called "managed democracy" in the West, to help the ready and willing fellow travelers to swallow the pill. Interestingly, there is an entry in Wikipedia on the sovereign democracy, but only in Russian.

Sovereign democracy is the term originally imposed by Kuomintang government of Taiwan to describe their current political system.

This term was, in the Taiwan rulers way of thinking, supposed to stress, on the one hand, Taiwan's sovereignty, its independence from the central Chinese government, but on the other hand, formally democratic, multiparty nature of the Taiwanese political system, as opposed to mainland China, tightly managed by the CPC.

In the early XXI century, the term got a new meaning in the political rhetoric of official Russian Federation. Originally, the term was used on February 22, 2006 in the program speech by Vladimir Surkov before the activists of the United Russia party.

According to the ideological paradigm "sovereign democracy", Russia as a sovereign state reserves the right to determine the timing, form and methods of the movement towards democracy. Building on the concept of managed movement to democracy allows to classify sovereign democracy as a form of simulated democracy.

It could be interesting to sidestep into the fascinating life story of the inventor of the "sovereign democracy", one Vladimir Surkov, but it can wait for another opportunity. Now, after reading the above, you can see how far he and his boss took the Taiwanese definition of sovereign democracy from its origin and how far is this "idea" from the "managed democracy" that some fellow travelers will try to sell you. Precisely like the Soviet version of "mature Socialism" was a harbinger of the future shining peak of the coming communism, the "sovereign democracy" is a precursor of the (here it is, see it?, it is coming!) real democracy to come.

It is necessary to notice that, like in any pyramid structure built around one man, the upcoming retirement of Putin is already causing tremors and "dog eats dog" squabbles for succession of various cushy positions. But these are only the first temblors, and the real bloodletting is still to come, when Putin leaves and his heirs and enemies start the war for inheritance.

Now, of course, the big question is whether Putin will indeed leave. For two years he repeated his promise to retire. For the last several months his buddies are feverishly seeking a way to get him another term, however there clearly is no legal way to do so, Putin's promises notwithstanding. He may try to get "elected" to the PM post and to gradually acquire, via his pet party, the necessary powers that currently belong to the president, but it is a long and difficult way and his ex-friends and enemies will do their best to tear him apart while unprotected - as hyenas do.

So another possibility - that of inventing new, meanwhile vaguely defined, post of a "leader of a nation" is being broached in some circles. The necessary background, such as "spontaneous" mass demonstrations begging Vladimir Vladimirovich to stay put, anti-Western hysteria which Putin was very careful to nurture for the last year or two, clumping down on the pro-democracy leaders and the (already weak and dispersed) opposition parties, the very worst of nationalist demagoguery - in short, every weapon in the arsenal of the good old KGB is being drawn from the warehouses and getting used.

Still, it seems that Putin will go, at least for a while. He will try to promote his chosen successor, of course, he is already putting forward claims to the leadership of his party (a new one, since up till now, the United Russia was only a compliant vehicle for his moves), and he increases the volume of anti-Western and especially anti-US rhetorics. Just look at Pravda:

United Police States of America grows mad because of strong Russia
Putin: Russia not to tolerate foreign meddling
US advised OSCE not to send observers to monitor Russian elections

There is hardly any need to go deeper than these headlines. For me, the most worrying is the language of the incendiary articles, so reminiscent of the worst examples of Soviet propaganda hacks. It all looks so painfully familiar...

And the economic outlook does not bear any good news. Even the rivers of money that are accumulating today in the oligarchs' coffers and trickling down to the great unwashed will become insufficient to cope with the nearing housing crisis, with the growing percentage of the pensioners and crumbling health care system, with the outdated and insufficient infrastructure, with the moribund industry and with ever growing imperial pretensions. Coupled with the trend to nationalize the big businesses and corruption that makes these same businesses to crash, the outlook is really bleak. Whoever will be at the helm of Russia, in a few years he will have to cope with a real economic disaster.

And then the country will be really at the edge of an abyss. And the ghosts of the past, aided by the ready and willing wannabe tyrants of the present, will have a real field day. It is impossible to know what monster will come out of the fog. But it's easy to see what is in stock for the nation that has had only a brief glimpse of democracy for a few years, and decided that it is not what it needs.

Cross-posted on Yourish.com.

Weekly Lec *

Only the dead can be resurrected. It's more difficult with the living.
(*)See here what it is all about.


Superiority of the right to bear arms

The article comes from the British Ananova site. It starts with:

A US man has been arrested after a speed camera was shot three times with a high-powered rifle.
And it ends with:
In Britain, speed cameras have been beaten, burned and hacked down by angry motorists but not shot at, so far.
Do you feel a smirk of that European superiority on the face of this article? I do.

Tell you what, my dear British hack: I bet you would vastly prefer execution by a shooting squad to being burned. Or stomped. Or hacked to pieces.

I consider the issue settled.

29 November 2007

The sad story of Emily Sander aka Zoey Zane

That is really a story of criminal neglect, if true:

A missing Kansas college student believed to be the victim of foul play apparently led a double life as an Internet porn star by the name of Zoey Zane.
Nude photos of 18-year-old Emily Sander appeared on a Zoey Zane Web site before she vanished, and investigators are looking into whether her modeling had anything to do with her disappearance last Friday.
Apparently a beautiful girl:
Also apparently a story of a person living in a sort of communication vacuum: while a best friend and a brother (probably doting parents, too) are mentioned, no one knew what is going on? Hard to imagine.

Now it is all in sordid details, like porn sites, something euphemistically called "a Web site situation", a sordidly-sounding boyfriend who may very well appear to be the pimp who cajoled her into that "situation", blood in a cheap motel room.

And then a material for a sensational new novel...

Free speech - as Norm says

Absolutely. In other words: while you are not allowed to stuff a thoroughly used sock in that vermin's mouth, you don't have to change the batteries in his megaphone either.

And a useful practical corollary of mine: if you have an opportunity to beat him up, make sure not to damage any of the organs involved in speech production.

North Korea public executions: this will learn them

North Korea has resumed frequent public executions, among them a factory chief accused of making international phone calls who was shot in a stadium before 150,000 spectators, a South Korean aid group said Monday.
And what us the reason for resuming this exquisite habit?
"It is aimed at educating (North Koreans) to control society and prevent crimes," Good Friends head Venerable Pomnyun said at a news conference.
It seems that the crowds get quite excited at the sight:
Six people were crushed to death and 34 others injured in an apparent stampede as they left the stadium afterward, the aid group said.
I am sure that the crushed ones were educated too, although it is difficult to be sure about the merely injured...it is neither here nor there

28 November 2007

The blues of a scribe

I was worried recently about the mental state of the indomitable Fisk. He forgot to mention Israel in his article at the time, but I have seen today that he is recovering. At least in this aspect.


It seems that the poor dork is depressed. Just look at this:

So what can a Middle East correspondent write on a Saturday morning except that the world in the Middle East is growing darker and darker by the hour.
Indeed, we see a spot of trouble for a Lebanon-based journo. Nothing really to report about...

But no worries, he made a miraculous recovery just a few lines later:
Next week, we are supposed to believe in peace in Annapolis, between the colourless American apparatchik and Ehud Olmert, the Israeli Prime Minister who has no more interest in a Palestinian state than his predecessor Ariel Sharon.
Three birds with one stupid sentence. Prozac time, Fiskie...

P.S. Who is it precisely being called by Fisk "colourless American apparatchik"? Hmm...

Now you can scratch them...

See how it could be managed without anyone being tasered. If everyone is polite, that is...

Via Attila.

England - Croatia: lost because of translation

Nerves frayed and snapped, the coach fired, the national pride hurt irreparably, conspiracy theories galore. And all this because of a wrong word?

The British singer who sang the Croatian anthem before last night's match accidentally sang 'My penis is a mountain'.

Fans say the mispronounciation helped the players relax before the game at Wembley where Croatia beat England 3-2.
Yep. With encouragement of this kind one really could... er... move mountains... easily...

On amateur video by Luciana Salazar

Really, it is not for you - you are too overexcited, so watch this:


27 November 2007

Annapolis talks, peace deals and the deal breakers

This troika of deal makers is gracing today the pages of many a newspaper.

With a Mideast summit starting Tuesday in Maryland, Israeli and Palestinian officials worked late into the night trying to hammer out a joint agreement on how negotiations would move forward, diplomats from several delegations said.
With all the difficulties that make the improbable to seem impossible as it is, the whole issue is exacerbated by the absentees:

This one (Haniyeh) is only a megaphone - the peripheral device, so to say. But he is already talking. "The Palestinian people will not be bound by anything the Palestinian Authority agrees to in Annapolis," he said. And do you know what - I believe him.

This one (Meshaal), in Damascus, is really the script writer for Haniyeh. And he is talking too: Khaled Meshaal, the Hamas political chief exiled in Damascus, said the Annapolis conference was called by George Bush, the US president, to mask plans of aggression in the region. That's besides writing scripts for his mouthpiece in Gaza and planning terrorist acts.

And his host, baby Assad (caught in this picture in a rare display of honesty), does not interfere, of course. Being somewhat less of a motormouth than his Hamas' protégé, he will make sure that there will be no deal with Palestinians unless he gets his Golan Heights - the medicine for his dad's wounded honor - back. And even that, with permission from someone else.

Here is the mouthpiece of that someone else. The ever exaggerating clown, Mahmoud the Mad is out there: this one will make sure that the links of the chain mentioned above stay put and that nothing interferes with his wet dreams. He is quite certain that "The US government, which is an accomplice to Zionist crimes, cannot play the role of savior by hosting the Annapolis conference".

And finally the one who is yanking the chain. The puppet master himself, the Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei. Nice bloke, if you happen to get acquainted with him, they say. What he says is quite simple, too: The aim of the conference is to "give assistance to the occupying regime" of Israel, the leader said of the ongoing efforts by the White House which Sayyed Khamenei described as "the Black House".

Now - do you think that the troika we started with is going to break this chain?

Der Sturmer days are coming back?

When you start a sentence with "something is rotten in...", you are usually trying to point out something more serious than a hangnail but still not as final and tragic as, to take one example, an incurable cancer growth. I am afraid that the time when a sentence about The Guardian could have been started this way has passed.

When a mere sports hack is starting his venomous Jewish conspiracy piece with "Roman Abramovich's millions cast a long shadow over England's Euro 2008 hopes", and the editors see nothing wrong with it - we are beyond looking for a cure.

When even a dipshit Hezbollah supporter says "I support Hezbollah but find Scotts article pathetic." in the comments to this crap, you can gather easily what kind of low was reached in the article.

When the same dipshit Hezbollah supporter uses a word like jewdom and the moderators of the above mentioned rag pass it over, I do not thinks I have to elaborate.

Via Shlemazl.

Cross-posted on Yourish.com.

Giant Israeli flag breaks world record

The record for the world's largest flag now belongs to an Israeli banner produced by a Filipino evangelical Christian. The huge blue and white flag, measuring 2,165 feet long and 330 feet wide and weighing 5.7 tons, breaks the record for the world's largest, according to the Israeli Ministry of Tourism.

The flag was unfurled Sunday beneath the ancient Jewish desert fortress of Masada. Representatives of the Guinness Book of Records measured the flag and later confirmed the record.

Filipino entrepreneur Grace Galindez-Gupana said she decided two years ago to produce a giant Israeli flag as a testament to her love for Israel and the Jewish people and as a celebration of 50 years of diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Israel.
Hey, we have something real big now! Wow!

Now if only we had a football team living up to that flag...

It was freaking cold that day in Tel Aviv

A Greenpeace activist protesting against weapons of mass destruction during a Tel Aviv University conference on Thursday. (Dudu Bar)

No, really, these people are made of steel. And subsist on tofu and Brussel sprouts too. Wow...

Noelia: the hottest movie ever

It is here. Wow, is it hot or is it hot? Do you think she will be getting Szechuan?

Goodbye, my almost lover lyrics - a feeding frenzy

Here is a (partial) quote:

Almost Lover - A Fine Frenzy

Your fingertips across my skin
The palm trees swaying in the wind
You sang me Spanish lullabies
The sweetest sadness in your eyes
Clever trick
I am dying of that saccharine, aren't you?

26 November 2007

The rage boy is back in Paris!

At least according to the reports:

Youths have damaged police stations, shops and cars in two Paris suburbs, following the deaths of two teenagers whose motorbike hit a police car. Police said 21 officers were injured in the rioting in the northern suburbs of Villiers-le-Bel and Arnouville.
If you look at the undeniably tragic incident, police involvement in it was of a very passive nature:
Police sources said the two were riding a stolen mini-motorcycle, and that neither was wearing a helmet. The police car was on a routine patrol and the teenagers were not being chased by police at the time of the accident, police said. The collision wrecked the front of the car and smashed the windscreen.
Now, you and I both could be at loss for an explanation of the reason for rioting. After all, it is not that usual for bereaved relatives and friends of every person who expires in a traffic accident to start chasing a passing policeman up a tree, to burn cars and the neighboring police stations. Oh, and looting a burning down a few shops as well, lest we forget.

But there is an explanation of sorts in the article, if you look carefully:
Omar Sehhouli, the brother of one of the dead teenagers said that the rioting "was not violence but an expression of rage".
That's it. I think I can see it. Can you?

Update: that was a wrong picture, corrected:

UK's skin bleaching trade exposed

This is totally unclear for me: what does it mean from the point of view of the multiculturalism so dear to the politically correct and difference-sensitive?

Update: A photo, borrowed from here. Just to complicate the issue, you know.


Cleaning up the gene pool

To make sure: I am not one of the pro-lifers. I think that it is up to the woman to decide on the whole issue, without the government or this or other religious cleric dictating to her the outcome.

However, this is way beyond sane.

Because when Toni terminated her pregnancy, she did so in the firm belief she was helping to save the planet.
Incredibly, so determined was she that the terrible "mistake" of pregnancy should never happen again, that she begged the doctor who performed the abortion to sterilise her at the same time.

He refused, but Toni - who works for an environmental charity - "relentlessly hunted down a doctor who would perform the irreversible surgery.

Finally, eight years ago, Toni got her way.

At the age of 27 this young woman at the height of her reproductive years was sterilised to "protect the planet".
I am not in agreement with Rogue Jew who calls for splaying of liberals and other similar life forms. I believe that the group called "liberals" contains its share of idiots like any other group selected according to a political label.

I agree with him, however, that Toni made a good decision, somewhat reducing the percentage of potential politically motivated idiots in the gene pool. The more the merrier!

Apropos nothing

A man seats in some museum somewhere and writes a harmless book about a political economy and suddenly thousands of people who haven't read it are dying because the ones that did haven't got the joke.
(Terry Pratchett - The Last Continent)

Smoking increases baldness risk

I am definitely an Asian man, so this news item couldn't escape my attention:

Researchers found that Asian men - who are less likely to go bald than their Western counterparts - were more likely to lose their hair if they smoked.
Now you are telling me?

25 November 2007

Syria to be at Annapolis - but what for?

Is it another hasty last second decision of an on-line editor or some dark design based on inside knowledge - I shall never know, probably. But the picture that Breitbart on-line site stuck to this article is curious:

Syria's last-minute announcement about taking part in the proceedings is, apparently, motivated less by politics or the vague hope to get the Golan Heights back.

I suspect they have wrangled out a concession for a memorial teacups stand that will become now a permanent feature of all Middle Eastern peace negotiations. Here is the larger version of the picture, where you can see some of the offerings better (click to enlarge):

For obvious reasons the cups with Olmert, Barak and Livni are turned the other way. Or will be sold from under the counter...

Hugo the Truther

The much maligned community of truthers has a good cause to rejoice, welcoming a new heavyweight that joined its slightly incoherent but feisty rows.

History books record that Simón Bolívar, the liberator of South America, died of tuberculosis in 1830: a banal end to a magnificent life. Now Bolívar is depicted as the victim of a perfect murder, a crime so deft that for almost two centuries nobody suspected a thing.

In the absence of any evidence to support the allegation, the amateur sleuth who made it would normally command little attention. But Hugo Chávez is difficult to ignore.
It is time to erase this smile of superiority of your faces, you Western scribes you.

Evidence - shmevidence: there are some things that must be clear to anyone who looks with an unprejudiced eye (or two eyes even) at the global picture.
As Hugo here astutely notices:
He was assassinated - they wanted him dead.

I am not convinced Bolívar died of tuberculosis.

The key detail was the arduous trip just before his death. "Bolívar covered I don't know how many kilometres." According to an unnamed doctor whom the president consulted, such a feat would have been impossible for someone enfeebled by advanced tuberculosis.
See how simple it is, when you really need to get to the bottom of a diabolical conspiracy? Indeed - how could these two buildings have been destroyed by 19 Arabs who allegedly piloted modern airplanes without CIA/Mossad being closely involved? How could Arafat die of "unidentified illness", surrounded by the best doctors the money could buy without being poisoned by you know who? How could dinosaurs, these freedom-loving intelligent species roaming the pampas and selvas of South America die out suddenly, without Bush family shamelessly pumping the oil stolen from the Iraqi people into their pristine habitat?

Ergo - Bolívar was stabbed in the back by Zioneoimperialists as sure as Hugo created small green apples. As his best buddies Mugabe and Ahmadinejad were sworn witnesses to.

Health news

Doctor: Nurse, did the patient sweat copiously before passing away?
Nurse: Yes, doctor.
Doctor: Hmm... jolly good, jolly good...

Linda Hogan vs Hulk Hogan

Is it brains vs brawn?

Or vice versa?

24 November 2007

Google on a modesty enforcement gig

It looks like Google people, in their zeal to improve the world, have gone a bit too far. Now Theo Spark was put behind a Google "Content Warning". Bleh... Hand off Theo, Google!

Theo has a cool blonde joke I didn't know, too. Check it out, while you are at it.

Via ThunderDragon.

23 November 2007

Photohunt: Hot

The theme for this week is "Hot". So I went for the first and simplest meaning: "Used of physical heat; having a high or higher than desirable temperature or giving off heat or feeling or causing a sensation of heat or burning".

So - no hot babes / hunks, no hot rods, no hot celebs... Just a few hot days in a few different deserts.

As you can see, it is very hot for the raven who couldn't leave his vantage point, hoping for some human to miss the garbage bin when throwing away a tasty morsel:

The same drive - to get some snacks from a usual tourist sucker - forces the chipmunk out of the shadow into the merciless sun.

And even the lizard looks quite lethargic, not caring very much about all these clicking cameras:

Now, to cool off a bit, take a look at the beautiful colors that even the heat cannot bleach out.

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.


M/S Explorer sinking

There is nothing funny about this story, really. At least the passengers and the crew are safe by now. Well, almost nothing funny, at least. I am not the only one that noticed this, for sure?

Click to enlarge...

One Lenin, please. Paper or plastic?

This headline in Pravda is a typical throwback to the Cold War years. Of course, Americans as such could not care less about the troublesome stiff that still adds its unique aroma to the mandatory tourist experience of the Red Square. But the old time hacks cannot get rid of old habits, so here you are - stuck with a dubious headline. Let' skip it and follow into the article, semi-translated by Google:
The situation around the question of where the body of the leader of Russian revolution should rest, becomes more and more farcical.

It is hard to imagine a more scandalous place than Mausoleum on the Red Square. The historic place, which in a sense even become a visit card for the country, is surrounded by a cloud of scandals. The problem remains the same - whether the body of Vladimir Lenin should be reburied somewhere or not.
Pravda, at least, paints the background of the story fairly objectively. And now, instead of torturing Google, we can switch to the source of the story. Of course, it is not the "Americans", but one astute American who saw a way to help out the Russians and to get some free publicity - Fark Proprietor Drew Curtis.
With controversy raging in Russia over what to do with Lenin's body, Fark.com has tendered an offer to the Russian Government to purchase Lenin.

When asked what he planned to do with Lenin, Fark Proprietor Drew Curtis noted that he had put the question to members of his wildly popular news and entertainment website. Some suggested a tour of the United States, including Disneyland "since it's a place that Soviet Premiers seem to want to visit," said Curtis. He also suggested that since Fark.com is located in Kentucky, perhaps a trip to Disneyland could begin with a driving tour of the United States. "We could stop in Moscow, Kansas, or Moscow, Arkansas, even Moscow, Idaho. Possibly even St. Petersburg Florida. I hear the Devil Rays are looking for a new manager, maybe he could submit a resume. Didn't Lenin say he invented baseball?"

Other suggestions for Lenin included cloning him, challenging Michael Jackson's elephant man to a fight, having him run for President in 2008, taking him to see the world's largest Cheeto in Algona, Iowa, using him as the second person in a car in an HOV lane, swapping him with Bob's Big Boy statue to see how long it takes before anyone notices, and having him put on a Yankees uniform and taking him to Fenway Park in a move that would surely offend everyone. Curtis also suggested reuniting him with Paul McCartney but was later disappointed to hear he was thinking of the wrong person.
Fair deal, I think. So why is Pravda foaming about it? Back to Google translator:
There could be different attitudes to the persona of Vladimir Lenin, but he and his body couldn't be treated as small change in political battles. Isn't it better to leave the body and the name of Vladimir Lenin alone, leaving the answer to this question to history?
The last sentence is somewhat vague in the Russian original too. What is the question that Pravda offers to leave to history is unclear: is it about the body or about the name? The body is unsanitary, it stinks and should be returned to earth as soon as possible. Or encased in transparent plastic and sold to Mr Curtis to explore all possible lines of entertainment.

As for the name - history has already taken care of it, you know. History does have its garbage bins.

Re entertainment: I like the idea of Sir Paul singing to the stiff. It is kinda cute...

On balancing your diet

Windsor Castle has been the victim of a cat burglar every day for the past four years.

A cat called Mime, which lives in a Chinese restaurant 50 yards opposite, has been strolling past armed police and royal guards in order to dine with royalty - the Queen's corgis.
Good move, Mime! Clearly Chinese food is OK, but one must have some variety - and I don't mean mice.

Kill them or program them

An oldie, but still good. Some of the language inventors - oh well, if I only could get my mitts on them...

Fran Gerard and the obsessives

That's easy and involves two steps only:

1. Fran Gerard (born 23 March 1948 in Staten Island, New York) was Playboy magazine's Playmate of the Month best known for her pendulous breasts, some of the largest to be featured in the magazine up to that time.

2. Breast: Either of two soft fleshy milk-secreting glandular organs on the chest of a woman.

3. Obsession: An unhealthy and compulsive preoccupation with something or someone

Got it?

22 November 2007

In for a dime, in for a dollar

Haaretz and, of course, all the others, report that IAF knocked out Syria radar during Sept. 6 strike.

The Israel Air Force hit a Syrian radar post near the country's northern border with Turkey on September 6, knocking out Syria's entire radar system as a prelude to striking a suspected nuclear reactor, Aviation Week & Space Technology is reporting in its November 26 edition.
I hope Syrians were still able to watch the rerun of The Young and the Restless.

HItler, Ahmydinnerjacket and the Stoppers

It would be only too easy and, probably too lazy, to claim that Mahmoud the Mad aka Ahmydinnerjacket is a reincarnation of Adolph Hitler. I still think that Mahmoud is at the moment a figurehead that mostly does what his real puppet masters, the Ayatollahs, tell him to. Maybe he is a bit too zealous even for his masters, but so far it looks that they are quite comfortable with his rhetorics, his cheap suits and his drive to become more pious than Muhammad.

Whether it is Mahmoud or his masters, a good look at some history lessons will not hurt. And here comes Sir Ian Kershaw, with a ever-timely reminder: Blind Optimism*.

By the time the Nazi party came to prominence by winning 107 seats (18.3% of the votes) in the Reichstag election of September 14 1930, British newspapers could not ignore Hitler and his movement. But, as Brigitte Granzow showed long ago in her book, A mirror of Nazism, the reportage was replete with distortions and misinterpretation.
Read the article, it is replete with examples of stupidity and near-sightedness that will make you squirm. The same creeps (or, rather, their spoor) that blabbed then about the innocence and cuddliness of Nazis in general and Hitler in particular, are going on these days about how Iran is the only democratic country in the region and how Mahmoud the Mad is underestimated, mistranslated, misunderstood and maligned by the Zioimperialists and blah blah blah...

Of course, I cannot miss this priceless (albeit not surprising) reminder:
The Observer, in its article on March 20 1932, hinted that attacks on Hitler's anti-semitism exaggerated the danger, adding: "It must not be forgotten that the major part of the German Republican Press is in Jewish hands."
Ehehe. Probably written by a granddad of the Stopper who is proudly marching today under yellow Hezbollah flag or hand in hand with the Rage Boy's relatives carrying "Zionism = Nazism" banners or some such.

Stoppers never die...

(*) The article comes from the digitized Guardian archive, as it is widely known in certain circles, already doctored by the Zionists to help them in pursuing their own dark agenda.

Via Will.

For the sake of good service

GOC army headquarters offers foreign armies to rent urban-warfare training facility in Tze'elim. For a fee, soldiers from various countries will train, receive guidance and sleep in nearby hotel.
As in any contract, there are hidden attachments:

For an additional fee, IDF soldiers will be hidden in various parts of the facility, shooting at the trainees.

Only bullets on target will be charged for.

Doctors untangle the strange case of the giant hairball

As CNN reports, this is quite a case for the surgeons!

It may not be the most appetizing reading before a hearty holiday meal, but the New England Journal of Medicine is devoting part of its Thanksgiving issue to a giant hairball -- and not the feline kind. After a scan of the woman's abdomen showed a large mass, doctors lowered a scope through her esophagus. It revealed "a large bezoar occluding nearly the entire stomach," wrote Drs. Ronald M. Levy and Srinadh Komanduri, gastroenterologists at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois
After learning the medical term for a hairball, we have done one better on CNN.
Our operative was sent to make a photo of the real hairball instead of the one CNN displays in that article. Here it is (pregnant women and children are advised to refrain from clicking):

You have been warned!

Nora Hardwick - ways to go!

A 101-year-old British pensioner has posed topless for a nude calendar to raise money for a local football team, a report said on Wednesday.

Nora, who likes a tipple at her local pub, the Ermine Way -- where the photo shoot took place -- said she was slightly nervous when stripping off for the camera, albeit draped in a tasteful pink scarf.

"I am always game for anything, especially if it's for charity," she said, according to the Lincolnshire Echo.
Me too, dear Nora, me too. And I will not post the picture here, much as the pervs around the Interenet would love me to...

21 November 2007

Surprised George and The Bomb

This picture summarizes for me the image of George Monbiot: in essence - a surprised imbecile. The picture, by the way, comes from a BBC article, so it could not be labeled an Elders' Photoshop job.

His new article in CiF carries a headline that matches this picture just beautifully:

Give the man a candy, please. His ability to be surprised is rivaled only by his ability to construct logical chains of unmatched nincompoopery.

For starters, look no further than the beginning of that piece:
I believe that Bush and Brown - who maintain their nuclear arsenals in defiance of the non-proliferation treaty...
Could somebody explain to George what exactly the non-proliferation treaty is about? Well, one can try, no doubt...

But that was neither here nor there - just an appetizer. Now let's see that chain of logic I have promised. Here George comes out with a statement:
But Israel under Olmert is also a dangerous and unpredictable state involved in acts of terror abroad.
Fine, ain't it? Now let's see how elegantly he proves it in a few easy steps:
Two months ago it bombed a site in Syria (whose function is fiercely disputed).
Syria, indeed, disputes everything fiercely - from the mere act of bombing to the function of the site. Nobody else, save Baby Assad diminutive NK buddy, seems to dispute much.
Last year, it launched a war of aggression against Lebanon.
Indeed? From "disproportional response" to "war of aggression"? Cool. He probably read some Hezbollah site the other day and forgot to reset his memory module at the time of writing this.
It remains in occupation of Palestinian lands.
Is it a sign of being unpredictable? Hmm... have to check my dictionary on this.
In February 2001, according to the BBC, it used chemical weapons in Gaza: 180 people were admitted to hospital with severe convulsions.
According to BBC... rather, according to late Yasser, he of the double tongue and the lovely imagination. Why not mention the depleted uranium, the bird flu, the genetically trained virus - all these reported by Yasser and his loyal (oh well...) spouse Suha? Duh...

In short - our dear surprised George easily leaves any village idiot standing. When he puts his mind to it, that is...

Cross-posted on Yourish.com.

I knew it all the time!

My George Bush Conspiracy Theory

George W. Bush made Britney Spears lose custody of her kids so that The Jews, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, and gun owners could conquer The French.

Create your own at Buttafly.com

Hat tip to Will.

AP and a heck of a big scorpion

That's the headline, now let's look at the details.
British scientists have stumbled across a fossilized claw, part of an ancient sea scorpion, that is of such large proportion it would make the entire creature the biggest bug ever.
The ancient sea scorpion, at 2.5 meters (8 feet) in length, was bigger than the average man is tall.

That is definitely impressive. Yes, swatting it maybe detrimental to one's health.
The study, published online Tuesday in the Royal Society's journal Biology Letters, means that before this sea scorpion became extinct it was much longer than today's average man is tall.
What is that obsession of AP with an average man is unclear. That average man, of less than 1.8 meters, probably wouldn't want to mess with that scorpion in any case. The other comparison, though, had more impact on me:
How big? Bigger than you, and at 8 feet long as big as some Smart cars.
I always had that thing about Smart cars. Uhu...

20 November 2007

Bilal Hussein - the first Pulitzer terrorist?

The U.S. military says it has "convincing and irrefutable" evidence that an award-winning Associated Press photographer is connected to the insurgency in Iraq.

Hussein, an Iraqi who lives in the western Anbar province city of Ramadi, has been held without charge by the U.S. military since April 2006, when bomb parts and insurgent propaganda were found in his house after the U.S. military asked to use it as an observation post during an operation.

Without prejudging the guy - here comes some interesting info on his photo-shenanigans. And AP is already crying wolf...

Is it gibberish? Yes.

It is gibberish to accuse Chavez for his furtive attempts to undermine the “democracy” by extending the length of presidency when the opposition is genuinely against the economic reforms.
This comes from a lovely discussion here. Author - one Mehmet Çagatay, who keeps a blog under the same name. Looks like a nice guy, although with links to all the usual suspects. One of the links, BTW, is the same Left I on the News I had a pleasure to address here.

I was forced to resort to dictionary with this quote. Let us see:


Unintelligible talking


Marked by quiet and caution and secrecy; taking pains to avoid being observed

Uhu. I see. No, in fact I don't. I still don't understand this statement.

Let us split that statement in two, if it's OK with you, Mehmet:

"It is gibberish to accuse Chavez for his furtive attempts to undermine the “democracy” by extending the length of presidency..."

First of all, your friend Hugo is anything but "furtive" in his clumsy efforts (it is much more than just "attempts" by now) to become a Caudillo for life. And indeed, his activity in this direction undermines democracy, with and without quotes.

Now to the second half of that amazing statement:

"...when the opposition is genuinely against the economic reforms."

There is probably some long word for creating a sentence that includes two totally unrelated statements, but we'll get there by using a simple example:

It is gibberish to see Mehmet as blind supporter of Hugo, when the Scarlet Macaws sing so enchantingly in the freezing Siberian forests.

Observe the parallels, Mehmet: first of all, there is no link whatsoever between the first and the second part of the above sentence. Then, the second half of the sentence is mostly untrue, exactly as in the second half of your sentence: you see, the opposition is indeed against the economic reforms, but it is only part of the reforms the opposition is against.

With me so far, Mehmet? Cool.

And I hope that the first part of the sentence (re Mehmet being a blind supporter) is untrue too. Against hope. Because writing gibberish to support the unsupportable is a bad, bad sign...

Another take on nuclear Iran

Jonathan Spyer in his article An Increasing Possibility:

It is not only the scenario of an Iranian nuclear attack that is focusing concerns. Rather, there is concern that a nuclear Iran would use the "immunity" purchased by a nuclear capability to increase its support for countries and organisations hostile to Israel.

Slow bleeding by unending terrorist acts or a nuclear bang. What a choice...

Cross-posted on Yourish.com.

Amazon Kindle - a bit of a throwback?

Why the heck would a reputable company go for something that looks, feels and acts like something from the eighties?

And why would a person that is already encumbered by a laptop, a cell phone and other gadgets decide to add another one just to read books, when there are plenty of devices out there that can do the job - beside doing a lot of other jobs and saving room in your bag?

The answer is simple: did you hear the word "proprietary"?

As Jeff Bazos says in his announcement:

We want you to get lost in your reading and not in the technology.
Indeed - get lost.

19 November 2007

Yes, folks, Banagor is back!

And there will be mucho rejoicing in one camp and mucho gnashing of teeth in the other.

So, give Banagor a good old cheer, a hand and a link.

(Pity you have destroyed the old blog, though - the Apes and Pigs society has to be recovered, if only for the sake of its existence).

Ted Belman's four points against Annapolis

Ted Belman the Israpundit advocates the rejection of Annapolis very strongly. Agree with him or not, you could not ignore the dangers of a reckless decision making, where desire to show some results overwhelms rational thinking. Here are the four points Ted makes:

A settlement as envisioned by the US will impact Israel in very significant ways:
  1. Economically. It will cost Israel about $90 billion just for relocation.
  2. Security. It will greatly endanger Israel causing a vast increase in the Defense Budget
  3. Socially. Israel society will be further divided to the breaking point. Also the lives of 200,000 citizens will be seriously disrupted as witnessed by the Gush Katif expellees.
  4. Ideologically. It will bring the end of Zionism and will gut Judaism.
And the conclusion:
Israel as a Jewish state will not survive.
I am not sure that I always agree with Ted Belman. I am not sure, too, that I am sharing the prophecy of doom quoted above. However, to disregard what Ted is saying would be foolish, and the dangers he is pointing out are real - to some degree.

Saying this, I think that my kind of pessimism is predicting something that will preempt the four points of doom. Namely, the Annapolis conference is a stillborn child - even before its birthday. And not only for fairly good reasons listed in Haaretz by Zvi Bar'el. There are a few more.
  1. The whole idea of the Annapolis was ill-conceived - as a possible feather in the hat for a weak POTUS at the end of his career.
  2. There wasn't enough time for preparation and the goals of the initiative were not defined by the people who conceived it.>
  3. It is carried out by a weak Secretary of State with a long list of failures in her dealings with both friends and enemies of United States.
  4. Even when Annapolis is defined as a low expectations kick-start meeting for the future negotiations, the two sides cannot agree on a high-level declaration of principles, and that on the eve of the conference!
  5. The last, but the most important: Olmert is too weak to give, and Abbas is too weak to compromise on what is being offered.
I predict that Annapolis will be a failure. Not in the sense that Ted Belman sees, but rather for more mundane reasons listed above. And I don't think that it is the last chance we have to make peace. Too many times during the last twenty or thirty years we have heard this "the last opportunity" call, it does not work anymore.

Only when (and if) the two sides realize that there is no future in the strife and the leaders on both sides are empowered to compromise, an alternative to the current stand-off will be found.

But not in Annapolis.

NotHous vs. Bernanke, with a dash of Ron Paul

No, this is not a typo. If you need to check, look again here.

Federal agents, in a move that could have an impact on the presidential race, raided the Indiana office of the issuer of a private currency known as the Liberty Dollar — and seized tens of thousands of coins bearing the likeness of a presidential candidate, Rep. Ron Paul.

Overall, agents on Wednesday hauled away more than 2 tons of copper coins and 500 pounds of silver coins, as well as records and computers, the founder of the currency system, Bernard von NotHaus, told The New York Sun by phone from Miami.
You, the relentless seekers of a cheap laugh, may say it is fitting that Ron Paul's face appears on a coin designed by a person named NotHous.

But the truth, as usual, goes much deeper than a gratuitous laugh.
This is an example of Bernanke trying to protect his own nest because he knows it's got holes in it," Mr. von NotHaus said, referring to Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve. "He can't have something like the Liberty Dollar running around competing with his currency. It points out the fallacy of the fiat monetary system. They had to do something. Their currency is losing and we're going to the moon.
As you can see, it is far from being funny. Somebody is trying to undermine the Federal Reserve and, via it, one of our chief minions. Or chief tentacles, if you will.

Even when a person is named NotHous, is an admirer of Ron Paul and is referencing the moon, the Elders take heed. There will be no second warning...

Hat tip: Dick Stanley

Cross-posted on Yourish.com.

And you thought he is still hiding

Compliments where due, folks. I have allowed myself to doubt Sheikh Nasrallah integrity and bravery. But he is far from cowering in an underground bunker, as you can see here:

My bad...

Update: see also corroborative evidence by Yisrael Medad.

18 November 2007

Yes, Your Royal Highness!

Somebody in Ynet is really getting his knickers twisted because of two secretaries of HRH Prince Charles display of some two-faced communication skills. That on top of being not very careful (on purpose or not, I wonder?) with their e-mails.

...Israeli Ambassador to Britain Zvi Heifetz invited Sir Michael Peat, Prince Charles’s principal private secretary, and Clive Alderton, deputy private secretary, to Israel as a prelude to a possible official visit by the prince.

In August, Sir Michael — copying in Alderton — expressed enthusiasm for the idea, replying in an email to the embassy, “The invitation is hugely appreciated and Clive and I would love to come.”

However, a private email exchange a month later between the two aides to the prince revealed a completely different picture. In the exchange of emails seen by the JC, Alderton privately sought reassurance from his superior that the pair need never accept the invitation.

Alderton — whose responsibilities include foreign affairs and relations with ethnic and faith communities and who has accompanied Prince Charles and his wife on a visit to Kuwait in February — complained to Sir Michael in an email of being “pursued” by the ambassador, and asked: “Safe to assume there is no chance of this visit ever actually happening?
So what, any normal person will ask? A regular exchange between two normal civil servants who, besides being polite, have never had a slightest intention to accept the invitation. So far everything is perfectly civil and according to the established procedure. Just discussing politely the best way to get rid of that uncouth heathen ambassador.

But then a tongue slips:
Acceptance would make it hard to avoid the many ways in which Israel would want HRH (Prince Charles) to help burnish its international image. In which case, let’s agree a way to lower his expectations.
Burnish... hmm... this is the rotten fruit of that posh public school cum Oxbridge upbringing for you. "Polish and make shiny". What the fuck...

We really cannot have his RH polishing and shining anything over here, come on, people. It is a job for a lowly politician, for krissake. Besides, I personally prefer to remain uncouth, unpolished and, if necessary, unwashed. And as for the author of that article (one Modi Kreitman) going totally OTT with this:
Diplomacy is known to entail using half-truths and sometimes even lies, but Prince Charles' associates seem to have set a new record in this field, with the victim being the State of Israel.
Come on, Modi, relax, here is the man. Put aside that victimization fiddle and think: what is the worst that could happen if HRH and Camilla do not visit our humble corner of the world here?

Yes, we'll remain one of the many humble corners of the world unvisited yet by
HRH and Camilla...

And to the loyal secretaries: next time you take your boss on a trip to Dubai or some such place, just whisper in his shell-like (well, in this case, rather lotus-like) that he is actually in Israel. It should do the job, I am sure.

Olmert as a chameleon

I have to admit that my respect for Olmert has grown a bit today, after seeing these two adjacent pictures of him in the Internet edition of Ynet:

Notice the difference in colors. I have another one to surprise you even more:

Clearly a man of many talents. The only problem I should mention is that the color he chooses for each moment does not exactly match the surroundings. For instance, that beige color on the first picture will match the PM's chair on the second one, and the pink from the second one will be much better suited to a visit to Disney World, while the greenish tint may be good for sitting through all these endless police investigations...

But it will come with time, I am sure.

Milena Velba and her admirers

So what, folks? I have looked at it, and it is gross. Really. Way too much stuff. Get a life.

17 November 2007

Photohunt: I love my Treo

The theme for this week is "I love...". This being an anonymous blog, I wouldn't show any people here, I have used animals in the Flexible, so I shall go for a thing this time. And as far as things go, it will be about my smartphone - good ole Treo 650.

So, where do I start? Of course, as I have mentioned, it is first of all a a phone:

Then it is a camera - for situations when I don't happen to carry my "real" one and a low quality snapshot will do.

Quite important - it is a dictionary when one is needed:

I have several of them, somehow connecting three languages...

Of course, it is my games collection:

About 50 or 60 of them, for all situations and all moods.

And surely a person needs his music box with him at all times (no Ipod for me!):

What would you do without being able to watch an occasional clip? So:

And the family pictures you used to carry in your wallet...

How about the weather forecast for you area? Would you need an umbrella tomorrow?

When on the run and in need of the last e-mail from your... whoever:

And, of course, the latest news from the Internet:

I could continue with more uses, like unit conversion, currency exchange rates, address book, reminder, calendar, to do list, ..., but the Blogger starts producing strange noises when I add another picture, so I better stop here.

So, he (I think of my Treo as a male, for some reason) is my true friend, never complaining and only occasionally asking to be left alone with a charger for an hour or two. What more could you ask from a friend?

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.