30 September 2011

Anwar al-Awlaki no more?

Seems that he was reassigned to airborne attack branch of Al Qaeda.


PETA Campaign Is 'Over the Top'?

PETA (pronounced like pita, but much less useful) usually tends to bring out the worst in my (admittedly bad as it is) soul. This time is not an exception. PETA thinkers have decided to exploit a case of a shark attack to promote vegetarianism in this way:

Mom of the shark's victim says it's "over the top". Since no one knows where exactly PETA's top is located, let's call it beyond the pale, where most of PETA's bouts of inspiration lead.

My carnivore response to that will be: when you persuade the shark, consider me persuaded as well.

And another thought, this time related to the PETA spokesperson in that case, one Ashley Byrne (here she is):

The goal of world-wide vegetarianism you people are peddling may be still over the horizon, but one thing you have succeeded to achieve: from now on every time I see a voluptuous blonde in a swimming suit or some other state of undressing, my first thought will be about ordering a nice juicy steak...


28 September 2011

Shana tova ve metuka: happy and sweet New Year

If you need a pre-trained parrot

Just order one from Australia. Aussies have taken care to train your parrot in the wilderness, so it comes healthy and with a ready lexicon.

But no returns if it happens to be a bit fresh.

27 September 2011

Not even my stomach's that strong

I was planning on providing a link to very long article, from Harry's Place, the heading of which claims that "Mearsheimer and Walt defend a Nazi who thinks Hitler will be proved right". The Nazi in question is Gilad Atzmon, whom I'm sure I have no need to introduce to readers of this blog. However, when I started reading it, I realised that I really couldn't face, good though the deconstruction is by one Joseph W. You may have stronger stomachs for the drek that comes through in the quotes from Atzmon's book "The Wandering Who" (yes, that appallingly weak pun actually is the title of the book - read the critique and save your money). You can find the link by way of Engage, and it was posted today, 26 September.

There, in the same article, you will find links to other Harry's Place articles, two of them linked to below:

Interpal and Hamas: Breakfast With Ismail

London Met Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing: Atzmon is Rushdie and India has problem with Israelis

Contributed by Brian Goldfarb.

Iranian army parading into the future

I was captivated by the great set of pictures from the annual military parade in Tehran. A superb show of soldiers of all kinds, equipment, generals and whatnot. However, there still are a few flies in that ointment, and my friend Freddy the fashion designer offers some free advice to the Iranian army.

"To start with, the intention to do Lady Gaga is clear, and the wigs selected for the purpose are up to the schtick. However, the bathrobes are atrociously colored and clash with the whole ensemble. I would go for the clean no-frills look of the white Lacoste like this one:"

"I know a Chinese factory that does excellent knock-offs of this, and they will throw in the crocodile for free on a quantity order. This bathrobe will go famously with the Kalashnikov, although I would prefer the ones with black folding stock, of course. Now, the boys should be clean shaven and not wear any sunglasses to do a real good Lady Gaga - this is imperative!"

"Now, this is more like it, I would say. Soft lines, beautiful colors, protected heads - good stuff. However, the uniforms under the plastic shields are not in place. I think latex here. Yes, definitely latex, but not black - something more cheerful, like pink or, say, indigo. Mm... yes, rather indigo."

"Not bad at all, but the berets? Terrible, simply terrible... had they bought a French WW I warehouse? These must be  replaced. I would recommend red ones. Makes the boys more... manly, I would say, without reducing their attractiveness... Oh, and these sunglasses - clearly from some overstocked dealer. They are soooo eighties I am shocked. The sunglasses must go too."

At the sight of the above picture, Freddy burst into tears. No amount of consolation had any effect, and he had to be taken away for some restorative sleep, mumbling on the way about frightful colors, despicable styles and clashing background...

We too have a few words to say about the Iranian (and other) generals, but there will be another opportunity.

26 September 2011

A madman in UN building

A series of unfortunate incidents took place yesterday in the UN building in the vicinity of the GA room. First of all a madman gained access to the podium:

"...we know that hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have been killed..." he said among other things before being escorted from the auditorium.

Soon after that the madman went into an altercation with a UN security guard who was negatively impressed by the madman's behavior on the podium and tried to stop him from running unfettered in the corridors of UN. Of course, following the UN rules, the guard was prevented from giving an interview, having time only to say "The b....d bit me on [unintelligible]".

The madman, however, complained that "he was kept out of the General Assembly Hall during Abbas' speech by security guards".

To preempt the usual "we'll freeze you out" verdict for which the madman is famous lately, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hastily apologized. Whether it mollified the madman remains to be seen.

Update: Apparently, the mental state of the man is worse than I thought. Consider this:
Israeli's are the ones to use phosphorus bombs and atom bombs.
Does he mean that miniature one that exploded in his soup recently?

And more by Aussie Dave.

Update 2: And there is more:
U.N. officials familiar with the incident said fights erupted on three separate floors as Mr. Erdogan was hurrying to take his seat among the Turkish delegation on the General Assembly floor. Mr. Erdogan was late for an address by Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority president, and tried to enter from the Assembly's fourth-level balcony, which has no access to the floor, the U.N. officials said.
Pity the UN security interfered with this plan. The entry from the fourth floor could have provided the real climax of that day...

Update 3: And more.

An unfertunate sotry of a miskate

It caem to uss that tihs por gril what made a miskate in hre essai about teh Profit (Piss Be Unpo Hiss) got thronw out fro school.

Wel, ve say she deverses taht. And mor...

Via Terrrrie Galwin.

25 September 2011

The greater goal

The message carried by Abbas Zaki, Fatah Central Committee Member, is not new: in this or another form it was repeated since Arafat's times.

With an entertaining addendum you cannot miss:

Don't say these things to the world. Keep it to yourself.
And another remarkable feature: that childish annoyance at the world that doesn't yet seem to accept the greater goal...

Thanks to Peter for the tip.

Kim Delaney at Robert Gates's send-off

Actually the full title of the original post is:

Kim Delaney Entirely Sober And Not High In The Least At Event Honoring Robert Gates

Judge for yourself:

I am not sure there are kites that fly at these altitudes... anyway, as far as I know Mr Gates got what was coming to him.

Whatever happens, Code Pink are probably to get a new and worthy member.

And you thought The Guardian was bad on the Middle East?

You think I'm joking? How about Robert Fisk's (almost) latest in The Independent? Yet again, Fisk lets us know that "The Lobby" wins the day. As a comment on Engage said (not mine, and I paraphrase) "All this money, and this is the best The Lobby can get? Israel needs security?"

Read the rest of Fisk's predictable thoughts here.

Perhaps Adam Levick should sub-contract an Independent Watch to supplement his excellent work on Comment Is Free. Just don't ask me to do it, please, my nerves couldn't stand it. I only saw the offending article because the hotel we were staying in gave it away. It certainly couldn't sell it to me.

Contributed by Brian Goldfarb.

Ron Paul may not be a racist or anti-Semitic, but...

Rather several buts...

24 September 2011

Irvine 10 found guilty - good for them.

It took the law an year and a half to get to that, but the outcome is clear:

A California jury found 10 Muslim students guilty of misdemeanors for disrupting a 2010 campus speech by Israel's ambassador to the United States.
Pity it took so long, but better late than never. Now to the entertaining part:
The charges created a fierce debate on campuses about the line between student activism and illegal behavior.
A layman like I would naturally ask why? After all, when 11 hooligans prevent an invited speaker from doing what he came to do, you would think it's a clear-cut case. To put it in a legal language:
Arguments at the trial largely revolved around two differing views of freedom of speech. Prosecutor Dan Wagner described the students as "censors" who utilized the "heckler's veto." "This is about freedom of speech," Wagner said in his closing statement. "That's why were all here."
Two different views? Surprising, ain't it? Apparently, freedom of speech is understood differently by some parties:
Defense attorneys described the charges as an attempt to chill political speech on campus.
When a person thinks that freedom of speech includes not only an assurance that he/she will be able to talk freely but also a right to prevent other-minded people's free speech, we have what is popularly called in anti-Israeli circles "Muzzle watch" situation.

Too bad.

Watch out for falling satellites?

That new warning from NASA is fairly consistent with that other useless but discombobulating warning sign you frequently encounter on the roads all over the world:

What is the hapless driver (or the hapless pilot) supposed to do when facing that warning? If you know the answer - hoot!

23 September 2011

IDF clashes with Palestinians

Syrian forces kill two in attacks on Friday protests

Er... a mix-up again. Have to check my reading glasses...

The Council Has Spoken!

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

The Do-Nothing Strategy

Apparently it works not only for Bibi. Barack Obama this time. Good stuff.

Via Citizen Wald.

Top 20 Conspiracy Theories Around The Death Of Osama Bin Laden

Pure bliss that, kudos to the person who collected them all in one place.

22 September 2011

If NASA's Satellite Falls In Your Backyard

Will you keep it, asks Fox?

Finders keepers, I say. 

21 September 2011

Missing the right Jews

The picture below is borrowed from Elder of Ziyon.

The only thing left to me is to pity the dork in the picture: he missed Googling the Jews of Google. Go figure...

If you think it's a joke

when you read it the first time, check again here.

20 September 2011

Simply Che - with a twist

This is the sixth snapshot in our collection of vintage depictions of that crea-Che.

Today, however, with a free appendix: How Che Guevara Nearly Started World War Three. Enjoy knowing that Bolivians removed this blighter from the planet not a day too early.

Men, protect your testosterone!

The news makes noise since morning on the radio here.

This is probably not the news most fathers want to hear. Testosterone, that most male of hormones, takes a dive after a man becomes a parent. And the more he gets involved in caring for his children — changing diapers, jiggling the boy or girl on his knee, reading “Goodnight Moon” for the umpteenth time — the lower his testosterone drops.
I don't know why fathers wouldn't want to hear this. The opposite must be true: forewarned is forearmed. As for discussing this: it may be not wise to. Everyone must make his peace with the knowledge and brave the future that awaits him.

Only, maybe that old joke that I was told way before this study in the news. It goes like this: journalists of the main media outfits after a long siege got the access to the first man in history to become pregnant.
"So tell us your story," said the journalists in unison.
"Well, what can I tell you, gentlemen? It started when I have done the dishes for the first time..."

19 September 2011

Now Turkey threatens to freeze EU out too

The Turkish international activities are reaching a state of frenzy. First Turkey became sad at Syria. Then they decimated their relationship with Israel. Following up with pissing off a good part of Egyptians.

Probably doing the countries one by one became too boring for the hyperactive Mr Erdogan, so he decided to go for a package deal now:

EU-candidate Turkey will freeze relations with the European Union if Cyprus is given the EU presidency in 2012, Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay was quoted as saying by state-run news agency Anatolian late on Saturday.
So, who is next on the list of the expanding freeze zone? Should Obama start buying warm underwear?

Julianna Margulies: my husband and I ended up in coach!

Imagine that. Now you know why she "is nominated in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series". I suggest a tragedy series now...

Code Pink alert!

Before you click on this link, here is the warning from the blogger what posted it:

…once you see it, you can’t unsee it, so you have to consciously make the decision that you want to see the picture below the jump. It’s probably not safe for work, and you’ll need a gallon jug of eye bleach handy. And maybe a barf bag, too.
Now, I kept my conscience clean. In this matter at least.

On the positive side: I know now how to get Brad Manning or, for that matter, any other prisoner free. You will know too. Soon, I hope.

18 September 2011

Danish elections results explained

Finally in terms I can grok (I think).

To agree with Tom Friedman

Grudgingly at that, with a few words:

O.K., Mr. Netanyahu has a strategy: Do nothing...
Otherwise, the same good old Tom Friedman... and the same good old Bibi...

16 September 2011

Tankies giving a new job to the Green Helmet?

Hmm... how do I get through the untangling of that opaque headline? OK, let me try:

Tankies:  the moniker for some (or all for all I know) of the British Trotskyists. While the blog discussed here is not necessarily owned by or is identified with Trots, I would use that moniker for brevity. And other, more personal, reasons.

Green Helmet: If you remember Salam Daher, one of the much sung heroes of Lebanon war of 2006, you may skip this part. If not: Salam Daher was the Lebanese guy who made a unique contribution to visual propaganda by inventing a reusable child corpse. In short, he carried the same dead kid around the bombing sites, presenting it (and himself, of course) to any willing photographer. Of course, there were quite a few willing ones, and the pictures coming from different agencies were compared only later. Meanwhile, everything went quite swimmingly, even a photo like this one, where Mr Daher (probably being tired) forget to be solemn and grieving as appropriate for the moment and, somewhat revoltingly, produced a wide smile:

But all good things come to an end, and people have started to notice the proliferation of Green Helmet appearing in all nooks and crannies of Lebanese city of Qana, carrying that same dead baby. Which fact caused some stains on his otherwise impeccable record and some (minor) heartburn to AP and other agencies who enthusiastically published his photographs. Up to a point.

Five years passed since then. And, lo and behold, I am reading a post in a Tank the Tories blog (you can guess the leaning of that one, I suppose, without my nudging). Anyway, in a "groundbreaking" post Israel and Bloody Sunday the author uses a bold brush to draw a parallel between the Irish Bloody Sunday and what he/she calls "the situation in Israel now". I wouldn't go into arguing with the esteemed Tankie. Suffice to mention that, unlike in the statement "Israel’s behaviour led directly to planes hitting the Twin Towers...", the mastermind behind the 9/11 (out fishing now) didn't mention Israel/Palestine as part of his "grievances" for at least one year after 9/11, and even then only in passing. But to know this requires a bit more interest in facts, which the esteemed Tankie doesn't really possess, as I shall demonstrate presently.

Now to the demonstration: first check out the photograph that concludes the Tankie's post linked above. Do you see the helmeted face behind the figure in the foreground? Now look up at the (revoltingly smiling, I know) face in the photograph above in this here post. Do you need a nudge to recognize the G.H.? No, I thought so. But, you may want to say, Tankie is going on about Gaza, not about Lebanese war. Precisely.

Now to the second part of the demonstration: move your mouse (trackpad, whatever you use) to make the cursor hover above the picture in the Tankie's post. What do you see under the cursor now? "Gaza", I assume...

So, as you can see, Salam Daher aka Green Helmet is alive and kicking - this time kicking around Gaza. I only wonder whether the corpse is still the same one... after all, the time tested tools of trade are usually the best ones.

P.S. Just to be on the safe side and for posterity sake: in case the Tankie in question decides to replace the photograph with another one or to remove that "Gaza" telltale mark (although why would he/she do do? - the post is about Gaza anyway), here is the photo in its virginal beauty:

I am grateful to Pisa for the tip.

The Council Has Spoken!

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

15 September 2011

Oh, Louise!

Really, you don't need your morning coffee after that.

14 September 2011

Dickie's first priorities

They say that a picture of a person is not necessarily a window to his soul. Dunno, this one is quite telling:

Anyhow, read the revealing article about Richard (Dickie) Silverstein here. For me there were two passages that summarize Dickie only too well:
Opening up the package, Silverstein said his reaction was, "Oh, my god. What am I going to do with all this?" Then another thought: "This would really take me into a different league as a blogger and reporter."
I guess that with the advantage of hindsight, Dickie slightly changed the sequence of these two thoughts.

Now the second passage:
Haaretz, Israel's leading liberal newspaper, described Silverstein's blog as an "international poster board for reports that Israel's courts and military censor withhold from publication," but said his reports "generally contain a kernel of truth, along with a good deal of speculation and some half-truths."
If I got such a character witness overview from Haaretz, my first thought would have been about location of the clothesline and soap.

But Dickie will, probably, frame and display it. A rare manner of man is our Dickie...

London 9/11 - EDL vs MAC: The third question

I watched the whole clip, mainly to get my fill of hateful faces and the hateful rhetoric of the Muslim Against Crusades* group that crawls from under the rocks each time it smells blood. Preferably infidel blood.

And the question I had is not about the British government allowing (or not) the demo. I am of an opinion that it's better for the maggots to be seen by all. The knowledge might come handy yet, who knows.

The question is not about EDL, for whom I feel somewhat less than no sympathy at all. And in any case, if MAC are allowed in the streets, so should EDL be.

What I wonder is how come that in the great and all-embracing multicultural London it's only EDL that found it necessary to protest the MAC scumbags?

(*) The vermin have their own website, easily found if you care to search for "Muslim Against Crusades".

Calling on the experts.

Scarlett Johansson nude uncensored photos

Will not appear here, of course. If you think that it's your loss, think again - here is a totally dressed grackle, looking at you:

13 September 2011

Thanks for the tip, buddy

I am reviving this old post (even the link to the Australian had expired) due to recent increase of Mahmoud the Mad's fiery speeches where he promises all kinds of unpleasantness visited upon the Little Satan, warmly recommends that the Jews go back to where they came from etc. I wouldn't go into links, the media is full of that stuff. So here.

The international media is raising a frightful stink again around that funny Iranian bloke:

We do not understand why. After all, he provides lots of comic content and many a serious rag could do with some general lightening up (see here what we think about serious people). Just look at this punem! A bit of dental work, a few months in a gym and move over, Shwartzi - here comes the new governor of that funny state you manage! After this - who knows - White House needs some new blood too...

This was (still is) the Elders' general take on that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad character.

However, our analysis department, diligently sifting through all kinds of dreck, came up with that (allegedly comic) phrase that made some Senior Elders sit up and take heed.

"If the Europeans are honest they should give some of their provinces - like in Germany, Austria or other countries - to the Zionists and the Zionists can establish their state in Europe."

Honesty, shmonesty - said the Elders, but if Europeans have a bit of a common sense where is comes to dealing with Iran and others like Iran - they should definitely do what is in their best interest (as they understand it) and just take the finger out and make some room! After all - these 40 years of schlepping in the desert brought us to a place with no water, no oil, no nothing and now some start-up folks not only claim to be our cousins but also have some different views on who owns this, admittedly small and shitty place.

Anyway, our geopolitical department and our quartermaster were told to take a look and come up with a suitable place in Europe - in a jiffy.

Follow their conclusions.

East Europe is out. It still has a lot of rebuilding to do before it could be declared fit for habitation. Besides - who needs the Russian bear for a neighbor?

Northern bits of Europe are naturally off. Our girls like strutting around in these really skimpy shirts showing the pupick. And we, the Elders, like it to be this way too.

GB is out as well, their climate could do with lots of improvement, and we have neither time nor desire for it.

The big countries - France, Spain, Germany - are out as well. Not only are they too big and require lots of work for upkeep and cleaning, but each one has shitty neighbors and if you take one you must take the neighboring ones as well. Nah, we could not be bothered.

So, after all this sifting and comparing, we came up with the only natural choice, which is Italy.

The climate is fine, just what we need but with more rainfalls, it is roomy enough, after some digging the northern part could be cut off from the rest of Europe so we wouldn't be bothered. The Chief Rabbi had lots of warm things to say about the level of accommodation that could be expected for him and his staff in that Vatican place (some renovation and getting all these nudes out of the place, but otherwise as fine a place as our rabbis could conceivably desire).

So, dear Italian folks - please accept an advance notice. It is winter now, and we do not expect you to get organized so quickly, but you have to be out of the place by in two months. Please do not leave any garbage on the streets, and clean up your refrigerators and larders - we do not eat that pasta shit anyhow.

If you have any questions or complaints - please talk to that Ahmadinejad fellow - after all he started all this, and now it is too late to reverse it. Our decision is final and too bad you did not read the signs on the wall.


Maybe four bungalows?

The man has grievances, you see... so be understanding.

It's either one or the other - I think

From a long line of superlatives about a book:

1. Mr ... refines his own talent to the highest levels of mystery fiction.

2. Mr ... has raised the classical mystery to new heights.

Oh well. It's a coin toss now.

12 September 2011

Apple in the pre-iPhone 5 push: putting the dots over "i"

Apparently Apple(AAPL) decided that to have the playing field tilted all the way toward the announcement of its latest and newest iThing, they must state their case* loud and clear, leaving no doubt in the world's collective mind. So, after hitting Samsung, HTC (and any other possible competitor with a vestige of a pulse) with a lawsuit, Apple decided to turn its attention to the thorny issue of the letter "i".

Idaho, Illinois, Indiana and Iowa are put on notice: they have to decide during 24 days whether to change their names or to add a lower case "i" before the capital I in their names - which decision, of course, will have to be protected by an appropriate contract with an agreed upon royalty clause. The case of the foreign states, like Italy, Iceland and Israel is being referred to UN, but the complaint being sent via Twitter to Mr Ban Ki Moon's iPhone, there is little doubt about the possible outcome.

Actors Jeremy Irons and Amy Irving are put on notice re their continuing employment and welfare. Alternative surnames are being negotiated at this time by the agents of the parties mentioned and Apple lawyers.

A list of movies such as I Heart Huckabees, In America, Incident at Loch Ness, Incredibles, The, Into The Sun, Italian Job, The... to be forbidden for viewing on planet Earth is currently being distributed. It must be mentioned that the movie I, Robot is not in the list, possibly due to rumored family connection with some Apple executives.

(*) Lower case, it should be stressed.

Parteigenosse comrade Staler - special for St. Seumas (Milne)

Just because...

Tzipi's twin discovered in Turkey

Nuray Mert is a Turkish journalist. It's just her luck that she should be Tzipi Livini's look-alike. And judging by her article in the pro-government English language Hurriyet Daily News, she is the only Turkish journalist with balls:

Anti-Semitism is not as popular in Turkey as it is in many Muslim countries, yet the danger exists. Unfortunately, most Turkish intellectuals are not concerned, but there is a tradition of anti-Semitism especially among conservative circles (and now among secular nationalist circles) in Turkey. Many intellectuals define anti-Semitism only as “hostility toward Jews” and underestimate the fact that anti-Semitism is also a kind of “reaction toward modernity,” so therefore an essential aspect of almost all authoritarian politics.

When anti-Kurdish feelings meet anti-Semitism, one must say farewell to democracy. I hope we do not come to this point.

Check out for yourself: source.

So this is what they say...

Paul Krugman, the NYT pet economist and the Liberal Conscience, said recently:
United States used the September 11 attacks as an excuse for launching wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mahmoud (The Mad) Ahmadinejad said, however:
And then the attack was used to justify an unrelated war the neocons wanted to fight, for all the wrong reasons.
P.S. There may have been some confu... er... no matter...

11 September 2011

Guardian hearts us!

Or not?

You decide... anyway, please notice that the mere thought about someone in the Guardian editing room masturbating at the pictures, while imagining the embassy people being torn apart by the mob, is completely alien to this blog.

9/11 - lest we forget

10 September 2011

Ransacking the Israeli embassy in Cairo

One can see all kinds of responses, including quite sane ones flowing on Twitter. What one can't find is the answer to a simple question: how destroying the embassy will promote the cause of Egyptian democracy and improve the life of Egyptian people?

But I guess Islamists in Egypt have an answer and will produce it one of these days...

So little is needed for a smile...

Thanks to Y.T.

09 September 2011

And meanwhile in Bibi's government... business as usual

Meridor: Israel wants no sabre-rattling with Turkey

Deputy PM Dan Meridor claims 'silence is the best response' in relation to harsh statements made by Turkish PM Erdogan; says Turkey must understand that like Israel, it isn't above international law.
Lieberman: Israel to ‘punish’ Turkey
Jerusalem fights back: Foreign Minister Lieberman formulates series of tough moves in response to Turkish steps; Israel to cooperate with Armenian lobby in US, may offer military aid to Kurdish rebels.
And were is Bibi when all this goes on?


Bob from Brockley on EDL

A must read.

Of NASA's new photos of Apollo moon landing site

Yeah, yeah, I have watched this stuff. And read this. Ha!... what can I tell you:

  1. It's clearly a Photoshop job.
  2. The shoe sizes are wrong - Cernan was size 11, so how could he leave footsteps of size 9?
  3. I hear that over there on the Moon it's colder than the last man's arse on a toboggan. So why didn't all that fancy equipment crack and crumble of that cold long time ago?
  4. All these so called "traces" and "equipment" were made and brought over by a specially organized expedition of US Navy during G.W. Bush time. He aimed to cover his dad's and NASA's foul mistakes, this is why.
  5. There is no NASA Reconnaissance Orbiter anyhow. It's all neocon-Bush conspiracy carried out in Arizona somewhere.
You were saying? You mean  #1 and #4 don't... and Bush Senior wasn't... oh, JFK a Democrat... OK, no problems, I'll be back in a few.

The Council Has Spoken!

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

08 September 2011

Operation Barbarossa - Turkish style?

Looks like a Turkey day today. Anyway, it appears that Turkish navy got its marching orders (or is it swimming orders in case of the navy?)  The orders are code named "Plan Barbarossa". The article is almost unreadable, but so far no other source in English:

This framework is created to ensure the security of the Eastern Mediterranean, going back to Operation Shield, serving Mediterranean frigates, fast patrol boats, submarines, helicopters, maritime patrol aircraft, coast guard boats with an increase in the number of destinations. Barbarossa aims to show the Turkish Navy's sea being the Action Plan, the Turkish Naval Forces, as well as the Mediterranean Sea and the Aegean Sea, Adriatic Sea, Red Sea and Indian Ocean, is aiming to be found constantly in süyrüsefer.
I leave the "süyrüsefer" for your disposal for now, whatever it means...

Just to make it clear: this Barbarossa is a Turkish one, one Hayreddin Barbarossa, a corsair and an admiral, not the other Frederick Barbarossa, the German worthy in whose name the Nazi Operation Barbarossa was named.

Was a failure too, if my memory serves me right.

Turkish president talks: spot the lies

The man, apparently, has a penchant for strong statements. So it's up to you to sort them out:

  • We never hassled Israelis at airport.
  • UN-backed Palmer report on 'Mavi Marmara' incident wrong.
  • Turkey plans on heading to International Criminal Court over Gaza blockade.
  • Syria already got a last chance.
Mmm... enough for one post.

Jesus according to Westboro Baptist Church: a self-hating Jew

Normally (although what is normal for Westboro Baptist Church?) the word "hate" appears in their messages as frequently as the word "love" appears in the messages of all other religious denominations. This case is not an exception:

Ehehe: the only thing I can think of looking at their new shenanigans: more pills, please.


Doucheblogger strikes again

Details by Aussie Dave.

Reese Witherspoon or Kristin Chenoweth?

One of the two will win the Google popularity contest today. Tell you later. Meanwhile, enjoy this:

07 September 2011

Chrome browser and the end of the world. As we know it. For programmers only.

It was an inordinately wise programmer who said:

This automatic self-update of Chrome is the way that Chrome browser will quietly and unobtrusively turn into Chrome OS one day. And then...
Disclaimer: if you are not a software person you don't have to and, indeed, better not, pay attention to this. Let it be, it is beyond humans' ability to change anyway.

A random wisecrack

It was certainly an unwitting act when I've opened this old article by good ole Chris McGreal on professional demise of Helen Thomas. I didn't read it before and decided to browse through before continuing whatever I aimed to do. The decision paid off in an unexpected way:

She became one of the instantly recognised faces on television at presidential press conferences.
Hmm... even I was kind of embarrassed, and I am neither one of the two protagonists of this post.

The Guardian's loose grip on reality

I missed it, but Comment is free watch picked up on the editorial in The Guardian of 4 September (actually, The Observer: The Guardian on Sunday plus sanity in the shape of Nick Cohen), which can be found here.Among the gems it offered is the following:

In offering regret and compensation but refusing to apologise, Binyamin Netanyahu's government made a conscious decision: once again Israel chose a tactical victory over a strategic relationship.
In saying this this, The Guardian demonstrates that its biases are greater than its understanding of international politics (oh, how are the mighty fallen). Actually, Netanyahu, who is far from my favourite Israeli politician, showed that he he understands perfectly that Israel is a sovereign state and actually has interests that might just be more important to it than satisfying The Guardian's prejudices. The leader writer also showed that s/he has no understanding of what the terms strategy and tactics actually mean: I would argue that the Israeli government took a strategic decision - not grovelling to a foreign state, especially one making ludicrous demands) would make it stronger, not weaker.

Then we have this:
The Palmer panel's finding went against every statement the UN secretary general has made about Gaza, the Goldstone report and a report by the UN human rights council in September. If, as Palmer found, the siege is legal in international law, the occupation is too. This must be challenged in court.
Given the composition of the UN Human Rights Council, for The Guardian to take its pronouncements seriously is a sick joke. And the leader writer has clearly either not read, not understood or prefers to ignore Judge Goldstone's second thoughts on certain aspects of his report. We can only guess which of these it is. As for the end of that quote, from "...the occupation..." to "...challenged in court", well, I'll leave the last word on that to CiF Watch.

I wonder who wrote the editorial. Seamus Milne, perhaps. It would be consistent of him.

Contributed by Brian Goldfarb.

06 September 2011

Seumas Milne - ten years later

Did you know that Google added Yiddish to its list of languages? Check it out, it's really cool.

And why did I remember it? Because one of my uncles liked the following simple saying:

א פּאַץ בלייבט אַ פּאַץ

Which means, if you use Google to translate it:

A putz remains a putz

(You will have to look up the meaning of "putz". That is, if you didn't know.)

Now why did I remember this saying?

This is why.

On the Turkish security screening beef

The latest flare-up in the quickly deteriorating Israeli-Turkish relationships is no more than a petty squabble that shouldn't distract in any way from the real issues. To start with, I would offer a CNN article that tries (and largely succeeds) to present a balanced picture of events: in Istanbul's Ataturk airport vs Israeli Ben-Gurion airport.

I said "largely succeeds" because the article is so well balanced that it doesn't tell the whole truth about the security checks that many foreign passengers go through on arrival to and, especially, on departure from Ben-Gurion airport. I am not knocking our security lads and gals, but let's face the truth: the one time humiliating experience of Israeli passengers in Istanbul pales compared to what some people (deserving or not) experience in the able hands of our security. It pains me to resort to quoting Haaretz, but it can't be avoided:

The issue of security checks at Ben-Gurion has turned into a regular source of tension which causes embarrassing diplomatic incidents every several weeks.

Foreign citizens routinely complain regarding their examinations, and some, who are official guests of the Foreign Ministry or other government offices also say they are humiliated often. Most of the incidents take place upon departure from Israel as opposed to landing.
And this is the whole unadulterated truth, ladies and gentlemen. So, instead of complaining about the indignity of going through Istanbul security, do your best to avoid flying to (or through) Ataturk airport and get used to the thought that Turkey is lost as a tourist destination and the source of cheap flights for years to come.

As for Caroline Glick, most vocally complaining (and I am using understatement here to the best of my abilities) about the Istanbul nightmares in her piece Our World: Ankara’s chosen scapegoat, I really had me that ROFLMAO experience while reading this:
The victimized Israelis said the Turkish airport authorities wouldn’t even answer their questions. Any time we asked them a question, the tourists said, the Turks ignored us. It was as if they weren’t even there. And that’s the thing of it. The Turks didn’t harass the Israeli tourists in order to send a message to Israel. They have nothing more to say to us. We are non-entities to them. We’re only good for attacking.
Now, now, relax, Caroline. We are not all that powerless and, let's face it, blameless. We have a trick or two under our sleeves and, where our latex gloves are concerned, we can even teach the Turkish security folks a thing or two...

And if it's the lack of Turkish clerks' response that irks you most: try to involve a TSA employee in a lively discussion next time you are in US. See where it takes you...

05 September 2011

Iran irked by errors in Qurans from China

This news item didn't make the first pages of main newspapers and could have passed unnoticed:
Iranian publishers are complaining that cost-saving plans to print Qurans in China are yielding embarrassing results: A slew of typos. The head of Iran's Quran oversight office says some of the Chinese-printed versions of Islam's holy book are littered with spelling errors.
It is only thanks to our Signals Department's vigilance that the Elders received this news and acted quickly, intercepting a letter from above mentioned head of Iran's Quran oversight office to the manager of the Chinese publishing house where the erroneous holy books were printed. Here are some excerpts.
From Mr Ahmad Haji-Sharif,
By the will of his majesty Imam Khamenei (PBUH)
Head of Iran's Quran oversight office
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
To [omitted]

Subject: Quality issues with the first batch of the Holy Book of Quran

Dear Mr [omitted] PBUY,

It is with great sorrow and chagrin that I forced myself to write this letter. I have just returned from the office of his Islamic Highness the President of our glorious Republic Mahmoud the M Ahmadinejad, where, as you can imagine, I listened for a whole hour to His Highness's severe displeasure with the fact that one and a half million of copies of the Holy Book were distributed already in our country. Suffice to say that one of the mildest sentences was "We'll scatter these yellow Zionists to the four winds in the name of Allah!".

In short, your decision not to wait for the official Farsi copy of Holy Quran and, instead, translate again the original Arabic edition into Farsi using, as you said, your "in-house experts", was a grave mistake. Yes, I know that you have sufficient manpower to do it in 37 hours and that you put 48 of your experts on the translation task, however the results were horrendous, and I have teared most of my hair reading the resulting translation during the last night (the rest of it was teared out by our President (PBUH)). Follow several examples out of hundreds:

Sūra XLI

2. A resolution from (God).
Moist, Vicious and Cool

Should be:

2. A revelation from (God).
Most Gracious, Most Merciful

And what about those who
Share a joint while playing Go—

Should be:

And woe to those who
Join gods with God,—


48. "Hot liquid hazard!
Approach not close!

Should be:

48. "Then pour over his head
The Penalty of Boiling Water

Turn screw (7)
Using appliance (b2)
In watch direction
Till satisfying fully with

Should be:

"Seize ye him
And drag him
Into the midst
Of the Blazing Fire!


When the white sun had sunk in the Western Chasm
I hung up my chariot and rested my four horses.
Now, even the Maker of All
Could not bring the life back to my limbs.
Shape and substance day by day will vanish.
Hair and teeth will gradually fall away.

Should be:

Therein, thou wilt see those
In whose hearts is a disease
Looking at thee with a look
Of one in swoon at
The approach of death.
But more fitting for them

Sūra XLII.: Shūrā, or Consultation.

19. If you are industrious like a bee,
Strong as an ox,
Hardworking as a horse,
And get home tired as a dog,
Consult your vet - you may be an ass.

Should be:

19. Gracious is God
To His servants:
He gives Sustenance
To whom He pleases:
And He has Power
And can carry out
His Will.

My dear Mr [omitted], I hope that by now you have begun to understand the severity of the situation, and I haven't even mentioned the worst offense: the pictures. Apparently one (or more) of your more zealous employees decided to decorate the Holy Book with pictures! Such a sacrilege and desecration of the sacred texts wasn't yet heard about. What, for instance, has this picture to do with the Quran?

Dogs are considered unclean animals here, for crying out loud! Or this one:

I don't see its point at all. Or that:

Do you really intend to sell us anti-bacterial swimming suits for men? I fail to understand... and what about all these abominable semi-naked and naked female pictures?

[at this point the letter is barely readable due to smudged ink and other substances that stuck to the paper, so only fragmentary bits have survived ]

... added and instruction booklet for bicycle repair at home? Why?...

... ophet Muhammad never said "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step", it is a clea...

... assure you that not only this is forbidden, but is defini... not a pictu... of ..rophet Mu...

...cannot tell you how serious the situation has become. Because of my decision to employ your publishing house in this project I am now put on notice, and if a remedy doesn't....
We have decided to end the letter at this point, since the rest, full of further complaints, entreaties and even some thinly veiled threats is of no special interest to the public.

Regarding this story, we can only guess that the recent dust-up in China-Iran relations is related to the Quran fiasco. Well, Allah willing, the next version of the Holy Book will be more satisfactory with the client...

Cross-posted on Yourish.com

iPhone 5 preorder?


04 September 2011

Turkey blows a fuse

Okay, so I got it wrong, and The Guardian hasn't yet reported on the Palmer Report, although you'd think they would have someone scanning the net and the BBC News website to keep an eye on interesting things, especially to fuel their unusual take on the Middle East. However, what they do report is that Turkey is planning to take Israel to the International Court of Justice over the naval (and possibly land) blockade of Gaza. Given that the UN Report specifically stated that the naval blockade was and is legal, one would expect them to be laughed out of court, but only after it's cost everyone lots of money, time and frustration. Of course, Turkey might be planning to challenge only the land blockade. In which case, why aren't they linking Egypt to the case? Also, given that anyone who keeps even half an eye on this issue knows just how much humanitarian aid goes through those crossing points and would guess that Turkey's chances of success at the Court are somewhere between very low and zero. Perhaps they are just trying to win brownie points with the Islamists and Jihadists.

This post was contributed by Brian Goldfarb.

BBC, excessive zeal and lesser priorities

I quite expect The Guardian (and I expect "Comment is Free Watch" to be having fun with The Guardian report on this) and The Independent to get all things Israel the wrong way round, but I would have hoped that on their website, the BBC might just escape the Jeremy Bowen influence. However, the headline and the first sentence of this item both start by announcing that the UN Report by the Palmer Committee on the "peace flotilla" found Israel's use of force to be excessive, but the blockade to be legal in international law.

Funny that, anyone wishing to report fairly would have put that the other way round, as it justifies Israel's use of force, just not the level at which it was used. And, yes, as others have already noted, given the response that the IDF met when they first attempted to board the vessels, especially the Mavi Marmara, whether that response actually was excessive is, to say the least, debatable.

Follow the link to read the whole BBC item, and if you wish to find the UN Report, follow the links through the BBC piece to the New York Times, and their links to the Report. This starts with a 3 page summary of the whole Report.

This post was contributed by Brian Goldfarb.

About a healthy change to your diet

Them egg-heads never sleep, it seems. Every day brings something new:

Using treadmill-conditioned mice, a team led by the Department of Kinesiology's Gianni Parise has shown that aerobic exercise triggers those cells to become bone more often than fat. In sedentary mice, the same stem cells were more likely to become fat, impairing blood production in the marrow cavities of bones.
This is a real boon for a couch potato like I. The only question is: should I start my diet with these treadmill-conditioned mice or is there a plan to produce treadmill-conditioned cows, sheep and other more gastronomically attractive critters?

iPhone 5 left at bar by Apple employee... yawn...

A tequila bar, to boot. Really, Apple, life is too short to waste on all this nonsense. And I (or is it i now?) have yet to purchase one of the iThings.

But I might consider accepting one, if it's left at my doorstep glued to a case of tequila (of my choice, of course).

03 September 2011

Is Turkey talking tough over Israel or throwing a tantrum?

This good question is the headline of a Guardian article. Lots of people mull the Turkish ire and wrath these days. To start with, they spend a year or so demanding apologies, then, hit by Palmer commission report, reject its conclusions and, seemingly, go into a prolonged snit. First expelling our ambassador, then threatening to cut economic ties, vowing to take legal actions against the Israeli soldiers who took part in the Mavi Marmara raid, even promising that "Turkish naval vessels will accompany civilian ships carrying aid to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip".

Some may think that this escalation of Turkish ire really is an escalation of Turkish ire toward Israel. And they couldn't be more wrong.

The truth is that for the last three or four months Turkey tries to impress Baby Assad, threatening him with all kinds of totally undefined punishments that will follow the stream of the totally illegible Turkish protests in the totally undefined future. That is, if he (Baby Assad) will not stop immediately (or in the next few years, which is also totally undefined) the slaughter of his citizens.

It looks like Turkey has found a way now to show Baby Assad how it's done...

Hooray! Slaughter-free stem cell meat sausage coming soon!

Yep, it is coming.

Scientists are on the verge of growing artificial meat in laboratories without the need for animal slaughter, according to a report cited Thursday by The Herald Sun -- with one expert predicting a stem cell sausage might be just six months away.
I hope that slowly but surely we can make peace with our vegetarian friends.

Only two hurdles could be in the way, as I see it now:
  • Does a sausage grown from a stem cell have a soul? Religious authorities will have to deal with this one.
  • Stem cell: does it suffer when being fried, boiled or grilled? The Animal Liberation Front worthies will have to give us all an answer.
And ASAP, please.