30 September 2012

Bibi and the Bomb - a bit more fun

Local contribution - not bad, if you ask me:

What he says is: "At around this point there aren’t any chips anymore and it’s all just air."

From TOI.

Turkish pilots killed by Assad: Al Arabiya on the offensive

According to Saudi Arabia’s Al-Arabiya itself:

A special news program showcasing newly-leaked and highly-classified Syrian security documents will be aired by Al Arabiya News Channel, the 24/7 free-to-air news and current affairs newscaster.

These documents were obtained with the assistance of members in the Syrian opposition; which has preferred not to elaborate on how they got hold of them, Al Arabiya said.
So far, the first scoop that Al-Arabiya published relates to the fate of two Turkish pilots whose F-4 jet was shot down by a Syrian missile on July 22, 2012.

How did Bibi's UN speech bomb so badly?

Of course, it's easier to criticize than to create. This is why some people sit in their comfy armchairs and write two-penny posts and others lead them and millions more to the bright future. So why do I think that Bibi botched that task in NYC recently?

Yes, mostly because of this. If Bibi wanted to confuse the public regarding what is that red line he drew on the comic depiction of a bomb, so familiar to anyone who ever passed near a TV, he couldn't have chosen a better visual prop. No matter what was the message, the Looney Tunes bomb mesmerized the viewers all over the world. Witness what Dan Margalit, a journo from the most pro-Bibi newspaper, Israel HaYom (Today)* writes in his article A sigh of relief at the White House:
Standing in front of the cameras, the prime minister told the whole world that Iran's nuclear program must be stopped before it reached its final stage, when the Islamic republic will have already begun enriching uranium to 90 percent purity.

29 September 2012

Andrew Ian Dodge on “Kelsey’s Law” for Maine

Requiring cell phone companies to provide access to individuals whereabouts by law without a warrant is a step too far.
This is only a short quote from the whole communique. Read it.

Yet another reason for UK voters not to vote LibDem

This is from the Jewish Chronicle and is contained in two articles. The first is summarised in the paper's own headline: "Time for one state, says key Liberal Democrat".

He (Simon Hughes, MP, Lib Dem Deputy Leader - but given they elected Clegg, perhaps this is less surprising) may well say that (and he does, of course), but as usual, he misses or ignores so much, it's difficult to know where to begin. We could start, I suppose, with my own comments on the article from The Tablet relating to Patrick Tyler's book (and those you've made, of course).

Because of his approach, that the road to the two-state solution is (almost) at an end, he refuses to acknowledge the problems of a one-state "solution"*, and even thinks that "a single federated state in which Muslims, Jews and Christians had separate constitutional rights" is actually a viable option.

He clearly needs to get out more often and read more widely. I'd also like to know who he is associating with who have connections with the region. They are clearly just as one-eyed as Hughes is.

Given that Hughes was speaking at a Conference fringe meeting of the Lib. Dem Friends of Israel, and his comments go against government policy (of which, in case he'd forgotten, the Lib Dems are part), that he went on to call "for “Jewish friends who are moderate and internationalist” to make sure “international law is honoured” and challenge the Israeli government."

Fortunately, all is not lost. The Israeli ambassador to the UK, Daniel Taub, said "Simon Hughes was “playing into the hands of extremists” by advocating an approach that would “signal the end of the Jewish homeland”."

If you go to the www.thejc.com, you will also find a fascinating article (it's the front page headline of this week's issue) declaring that an overwhelming majority of UK citizens (75%, they say) are against a cultural boycott of Israel. Take that, Mark Rylance, and Hugh Lloyd Packman, and JfJfP. BIGOT, etc, etc! Habimah lives!

* Benny Morris, in his book "One State, Two States" (which I reviewed here:), comments on this, asserting that a one state solution would lead to, at best, an exodus (there's a word to conjure with) of Jews from the region, and at worst...I guess that Hughes either didn't think of this, or doesn't care. Make your choice.

By Brian Goldfarb.

28 September 2012

Bibi and the Bomb

Of course, the responses were immediate and in the very wide spectrum. I chose the entertaining series, like this one:

More where this one came from.

The Council Has Spoken!

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

27 September 2012

Another lesson from the Yom Kippur war?

Every year the painful issue of the political and (as a result) military blunders by Israeli leaders in the days before the war is raised anew. This year, due to release of another batch of hitherto secret documents, the discussion of these failures is heating up again.

Individuals rarely learn from other individuals' mistakes and only a bit more from their own. History show pretty well that nations don't learn anything from any mistakes, and it will be of immense benefit to us if we succeed at least to remember the chief lesson of that war: be prepared.

There is another, secondary* lesson, though. I was reminded of it, hearing on the radio today somebody reciting a headline from 1973 Maariv daily:

Preemptive attack will create a crisis in our relationship with USA

That's all.

(*) Is it really secondary? You tell me.

Israel Shamir - to see is to believe

From Mick Hartley:

Holocaust-denier Israel Shamir, recently discovered gracing the pages of the Morning Star with his views on Pussy Riot, revisits Pol Pot at Counterpunch.
Just to remind you: this vermin is Julian Assange's bosom buddy.

Coca Cola drinkers of the world, unite!

In the face of this insult, we should unite and show them* that our feelings are not to be futzed with. Only after we burn down a few embassies*, kill a few Pepsi lovers and smash some shops to smithereens, will they* take notice, I can assure you.

So, Coca Cola Rage Day in a week from now.

(*) It is not clear now who "they" are and which embassies should be burned down. Further details will follow.

And more demotivators

"Inattention may cause an evening without sex"

26 September 2012

Putting Jewish refugees on the UN agenda

I love the irony of this one! From the same issue of The Tablet as the item below on Israel as a modern Sparta, comes this gem from Danny Ayalon, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister: "Echoing Bill Clinton’s call in July 2000 for an International Fund administered by the U.N. to compensate all people who were made refugees by the 1948 war, Ayalon announced that Israel will make the creation of such a fund a precondition of any peace agreement with the Palestinians." (That is, to compensate Jewish refugees from Arab lands.)

For those not completely au fait with the British notion of irony, it is (dictionary definition time) saying, in essence, the opposite of what you really mean. Perfect example: team A is hammering team B (at whatever sport), and team A send in another big hitter. Media commentator: "just the man you want coming in in a crisis!"

Ayalon must be a Brit in disguise. Reminds me of the time at a Maccabi World Union Congress, when we were in a sub-committee hammering out the wording of Resolutions, and one English speaker (a South African) looked at us Brits, doing devious things with words, and wondered, aloud, "How did you guys ever lose the Empire?" You have to imagine the accent.

By Brian Goldfarb.

By the editor. More information on the subject:

  1. The webcast from the Jewish refugees conference.
  2. A few more articles on the subject.
  3. Reactions (in part) to Hanan Ashrawi's comments on the Jewish refugees.

Israel as a modern Sparta

I'm not sure that I agree with this thesis, but The Tablet has an item looking at a new book by a US journalist, Patrick Tyler, who has written for the NYT and the Washington Post (and who doesn't appear, as reported, to be particularly anti-Zionist), which, apparently, argues this very point.

Here is a small quote from the article: "Beginning with David Ben-Gurion and Moshe Dayan in the 1950s and continuing almost up to the present, Tyler details a military mindset that pervades nearly all of Israeli culture and that, as he sees it, has made peace in the region all but impossible." (The article is linked to a 22 minute interview with the author, which I haven't listened to).

Well, okay, but this argument could be aimed at any modern state that feels, realistically or otherwise, threatened by its neighbours. The only state I can think of that took an alternative route in the modern world is Costa Rica (motto: "no army since 1948" - now there's a date to conjure with). And, by definition, as reported, it ignores unimportant little details such as the Oslo Accords, the peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, the withdrawal from Gaza, the suggestion, in the same issue, that Barak appears to be arguing for a withdrawal from the West bank (and that, by anyone, is not for the first time. I haven't, yet, read the item myself, so I have no idea if that's what Barak actually said.

Of course, it also ignores certain realities in the region, not all (or any? depends how - delicately now - committed one is) of Israel's making, such as Hamas, Hezbollah, Moslem Brotherhood, Yasser Arafat, Ahmanedinejad, the Ayatollahs...Complete the list according to taste.

Or, as Golda Meir once famously said, of the Palestinians, "We can forgive you for killing our children. We cannot forgive you for making us kill your children".

And I did start this piece by saying that I wasn't sure that I agreed with the thesis. On reflection, let me make that firmer: left-winger that I am, I definitely don't agree with the thesis. Given a genuine partner for peace, I suspect that even Netanyahu, despite his reputation, would willingly give up the West Bank. Think of all the resources that would become available to boost the general standard of living even higher. And it's the highest by far in the region as it is.

By Brian Goldfarb.

25 September 2012

Vanessa Redgrave: a woman of causes

She is a good actress. In fact, and I am saying this carefully, not being a connoisseur, she is a wonderful actress. Her acting is one of the things that keep one believing in the greatness of the ex-empire, tattered and denuded of its property as it is today. This was in a nutshell all I thought about Ms Redgrave before reading What is Left by Nick Cohen. The chapter where he tells the sordid story of the Workers’ Revolutionary Party has really shaken me. Even after learning about Mosley, about the peculiarly British form of this quiet xenophobia in general and antisemitism in particular, about BNP etc, one tends to stick to his early beliefs in that untarnished image of dignity, democracy, stiff upper lip and Oliver Twist, in short - the really great Britain. But the Redgrave family and its romance with Healy and WRP was more than I was able to stomach.

Why I am saying all that? I was reading an article about Vanessa Redgrave and the disastrous effect she has on the causes she carries a torch for. One paragraph struck me as outstanding:

The actress has championed the Workers’ Revolutionary Party, the PLO, and suspected Chechen terrorists (she paid £50,000 bail for Akhmed Zakayev, the separatist Chechen leader accused by Russia of being behind the Moscow hostage taking in 2002, in which 128 lost their lives.) Oh, and she used her 1978 Academy Awards acceptance speech to launch an attack on “Zionist hoodlums”.
Even in the fairly large crowd of people with causes, Ms Redgrave stands out thanks to her ferocity, extremism and demented behavior. When the author of the above quote says "Look at her record – and shudder", I know exactly what she means.

That shudder, which I totally share, is not the main item of the article that deals with Ms Redgrave's whole-hearted support of the Travellers. The author point of view on Redgrave's involvement in the case of the Travellers is worth noting:
This is why I don't think concerned citizens need lift a finger against the Travellers who, for so many communities, have proved troublesome land-grabbers. Leave them in Ms Redgrave's care, and she'll soon alienate even their most sympathetic supporters. When the actress recently visited the more than 80 Traveller families who've illegally taken over the Dale Farm site in Essex, I bet they brandished garlic and crucifixes to keep their self-appointed champion away.
I haste to add that I don't know anything about the Travellers, and that the clearly negative attitude of the article's author to their plight is not shared by me.

But the notion about the negative impact of Ms Redgrave's support of the Travellers hits the bull's eye for sure. And this relates directly to the theatrical role she recently picked up:

Vanessa Redgrave, foe of ‘Zionist hoodlums,’ will play Holocaust survivor onstage

I am more than sure that, thanks to her undeniable genius, Vanessa Redgrave will be a wonderful Maria (a Polish Jew, a Holocaust survivor in the play). I am also sure that during the time between her stellar performances she will find countless opportunities to promote the causes she is supporting - like the cause of Chechen Islamofascists, the dead commie-rapist Healy, the still dead and still sleazy Yasser A. etc.

And the question I would like to ask is: do we (the Jews) really need that sorry bag of tsuris depicting a Jewish Holocaust survivor?

Just asking.

On the snottiness of (some?) cyclists

Them cyclists were asking for a long time to be taken down a notch or two, if you ask me. Which you don't, of course. But anyway.

It was noticed more than once that owners of hybrid cars like Toyota Prius, Honda whatever etc tend to look very smug and that their road behavior tends to be obnoxious to the point where shooting accidents are just a carelessly uttered word or two away. Why does their being a bit greener than the average entitle them to smugness and obnoxiousness, I cannot explain, but the fact is that they feel that it does and behave accordingly.

And of course, cyclists are a further step on the road of refining these two qualities (I mean the smugness and the obnoxiousness). Since they don't use any organic fuels* to locomote, they are smug to the utmost. And, since many of them are vegetarians on top of not burning any fuels, their obnoxiousness is top grade (in more senses than one, if you consider their increased production of exhaust gases, inevitable in a vegetarian).

So, when one of the more hardened and incorrigible members of this group takes down one of their own, in an exemplary fashion, too, I cannot but be happy. Snotty people should be taken down. Snotty cyclists... well, by now you have got the point.

Right. You should know that this overly long post was written only because the comment system on the blog of the above linked is broken. And that the post is overly long only due to the time of day when it was penned, with is precisely in the middle of the long dark weekend tea-time.

(*)Aside of various food items they consume, of course. Whether they convert the energy from that food into locomotion more efficiently than an internal combustion engine, I wouldn't know. But I have my suspicions...

24 September 2012

Lying again, Ms Clinton?

Warning: a long post. My personal concern about the behavior of US administration in the current wave of Islamist "outrage" against a stupid movie that doesn't have anything to do with that administration is growing into something else: a concern about the ability of that administration to cope with the challenges that it is facing on the much larger scale.

Let me state up front: I have always granted that being a successful liar is a necessary quality of a successful politician or diplomat. While most lies get eventually discovered for what they are, a good liar does it so smoothly that years may pass before the truth comes to light. Which is what counts in politics, after all.

I never liked Ms Clinton, the current Secretary of State, for several reasons I better don't mention. Her behavior at her current post seems to confirm what I always thought about her (between other things): whatever she is, a successful liar isn't one of her qualities. Looking at the camera glassy-eyed and telling the world something that is obviously untrue, when the said world already knows the facts, is not an example of a successful lie. Somebody should have explained it to Ms Clinton when she took over her office in the State Department.

23 September 2012

Fiona Apple's arrest: how much is 0.010 pound really?

Agents stopped the bus at a checkpoint in Sierra Blanca, Texas, Wednesday night and arrested the singer after a drug-sniffing dog detected controlled substances onboard, the Hudspeth County Sheriff's Office said in a statement. Investigators found 0.010 pounds of marijuana and 0.010 pounds of hashish, the statement said.
Sounds real bad, ain't it? Probably took a few burly border policemen to carry all that stash to the judge's chamber... I wonder why don't they use tons instead of pounds - to make an even greater impression... well, let's all relax with that, at least:

Listening device disguised as rock blown up at Fordo nuclear site

That was a new one:

A spying device disguised as a rock at Iran’s Fordo nuclear facility blew up when it was discovered by Iranian security forces, Western intelligence officials told The Sunday Times.
Two questions only:
  1. I wonder whether the rock had time to say Shema Yisrael before blowing itself up?
  2. And do the Iranians realize how many rocks there are in the Middle East?
Actually I suspect that the answer to the second question is positive. They do realize, after all it's not for nothing that another Iranian general started foaming at the mouth, just a day after his boss lost it.

The Iranian psychiatrists must be quite busy these days...

Brad Pitt, IBM, and the Holocaust

Who could possibly resist a title like that? Even if one isn't a film buff or even a film-goer. Anyway, The Tablet tells us that Pitt has been seeking to make this film ever since he read "IBM and the Holocaust: The Strategic Alliance between Nazi Germany and America's Most Powerful Corporation" by one Edwin Black.

Who would have though that punched cards and a Hollerith machine could be such a potent weapon of genocide. Actually, anyone who's read Max Weber on bureaucracy and his (more implied than actual) extension of the notion of rational organisation taken to irrational extremes.

Assuming the report is accurate, we might be able to see for ourselves just how amoral large, indeed mega-sized, multinational corporations can be.

Jews and (US) Slavery

If you're anything like me (and this has little, if anything, to do with personal politics), you will probably have assumed that most US Jews, like their European counterparts, are largely liberal, whatever political party they vote for. Given that all survey findings show that the higher the level of formal education, the greater the degree of "liberalness", this is a no brainer.

However, are you in for a surprise. According to The Tablet, the Rabbi of what is now one of the most (socially and politically) liberal congregations in both New York ad the US was, back in the 1850s and 60s, a strident proponent of slavery.

The Congregation ("shul", for the European Ashkenazim among us) is B'nai Jeshurun, on 88th Street (of course, those of us who regularly visit NY would wish to know whether that's 88th St East or West, but you can't have everything, even from know-it-all New Yorkers), and the Rabbi in question is Morris Raphall. In early 1861 (after Lincoln was elected, but before he took office), Raphall justified slavery with reference to biblical statements concerning slavery and Talmudic disquisitions on the subject. He also opined on the probable mental abilities of African Americans, when compared with White Americans, and not to the advantage of the former. After the Civil War broke out, he condemned the Southern break-away. Too little, too late, I'd say, for the liberal reputation of 19th Century New York Jews.

All, of course, a million miles away from what the current congregation would be likely to say or do.

22 September 2012

Humanitarian flotilla for Syria or how CiF Watch got it seriously wrong

Amicus Plato, sed magis amica veritas

In other words, "Plato is my friend, but truth is a better friend".

Now that you all are thoroughly impressed by these linguistic fireworks and, by inference, by my sterling qualities, we can get to the subject: My friends of CiF Watch, striving to put their finger on yet another anti-Zionist, blundered into a grave miskate.

...for over a year now the Syrian people have been the Arabs most in need of aid in the Middle East, and yet the ‘humanitarians’ are nowhere to be seen.
And they illustrate the situation as they see it by this excellent infographic:

Such a valiant effort, but it went wrong, and I can't keep quiet because of wrongly interpreted sense of friendship. Sed magis amica veritas, ladies and gentlemen. So here comes the truth:
There is evidence to suggest that IHH, the Islamic charity that helped organise the 2010 flotilla to Gaza, has been involved in gun-running to Syria on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Free Syrian Army commanders have told The Times that a boat containing weapons that docked in Syria this week was registered to members of the IHH, which has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.
And if you consider this effort being anything else but humanitarian, tell me what could be more humanitarian than a well placed bullet from a smuggled AK-47 that stops suffering of a human being?

So there...

More on nice folks from IHH.

Birth of a truck driver

Lifted with thanks from gnotalex.

The List of Things That Offend Muslims

Highly educational. Enjoy.

21 September 2012

Want a PB&J? It could be poisoned by racism. Take care.

If someone tried to feed me a PB and J* sandwich, I would probably fight to death for my right not to touch it. The mere idea... bleh...

However, one can take the resistance to PB and J sandwiches into a totally different dimension. The one of Political Correctness, that rarified atmosphere where oxygen-deficient brains of humorless idiots, best and finest of the bureaucratic elite, tirelessly invent regulations that promote their PC god(dess?). And, incidentally, allow them to keep their worthless jobs and even add new ones for their coreligionists.

Quite a few eyebrows were raised by a Portland, Ore., report that found traces of racism in the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

The study is aimed at uprooting the subtle ways schools foist majority viewpoints on minority students. Its authors decided that telling children a PB and J sandwich is the quintessential American kids lunch sends a message of inferiority to students whose families hail from places where peanut butter and jelly comes on a pita or corn husk.
Frankly, I don't know what shocked me more: the mere idea of putting PB and J on a pita or the so called "study"...

And an even more startling picture comes to light if you add the following:
Aside from its sandwich anxiety, the report, prepared by the Pacific Educational Group (PEG), frets that schools promote "white culture" and "white privilege" by teaching values traditionally associated with our country — values such as "rugged individualism," "adherence to rigid time schedules" and "hard work is the key to success."

Other cultures, the report suggests, place higher priority on group learning, shared property and decision making based on "what will be best for the family or group."
Yep, it's time to get rid of individualism, the anal-retentive obsession with schedules and hard work in favor of... er... group learning and shared property...  where did I hear all that already? Cannot recall for the sake of my life at the moment.

Hat tip to Louise, who, apparently, also hates PB and J sandwiches.

Update: A case of a closet racist placed high in Democratic hierarchy was brought to my attention (Thanks, Soccer Dad).
The man who would be president takes peanut butter and jelly sandwiches -- on whole wheat, strawberry jelly preferred to grape -- twice a day on the campaign trail.
Twice a day - a real hard case, I say. At least we can be reasonably sure he will not become a POTUS.

(*) Sorry about the use of "and" in "PB and J". Apparently a multibillion company very close to ruling the world is unable to fix a small but nasty ampersand problem in Blogger. 

Headline of the month

Well, strictly speaking, not a headline in its pristine version, but still:

Abbas threatens to step down - Is it that day of the month already?

By Elder Of Ziyon.

The Council Has Spoken!

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

20 September 2012

Israel, Iran and the all-seeing eye of the Mossad

I swear that if I see another headline like this anytime soon, I shall pick up some weapons, ammo and do the whole deed by myself - just to stop the unending downpour of crapola about Iranian nukes and how better to stop them.

As for the all-seeing eye of the M.: why does the author (or the editor who thought up this headline) consider Mossad having only one eye? Here is the real picture of the relevant equipment:

So there...

Spot offends Muslims

Just because.

19 September 2012

Yes and yes to FEMEN in Israel, but NOW!

Paris is already rocking with the new European HQ:

But the plans for Middle East seem to be on ice:
In near future FEMEN plans to open offices in New York, Montreal and Sao Paulo, and in longer term plans to establish a branch of movement in Israel for training activists in the Middle East.
What does Montreal have, aside of long and cold winter, for crying out loud? We have more things to demonstrate against than some measly Montreal. And how long is that "longer term"?

Come, strip, win!!!

18 September 2012

Find the link

The on-line front page of Fox News carries today a pair of articles, interesting mainly because the on-line editor decided to couple them together in the list of the latest news:

The first article tells the story of a largest ever natural diamonds field.
Russian scientists are claiming that a gigantic deposit of industrial diamonds found in a huge Siberian meteorite crater during Soviet times could revolutionize industry.
The second article isn't, strictly speaking, about natural deposits:
A Carson City, Nev., recluse whose body was found in his home at least a month after he died left only $200 in his bank account. But as Walter Samaszko Jr.'s house was being cleared for sale, officials made a surprise discovery: gold bars and coins valued at $7 million.
Now, does the person that put the articles together mean that the diamonds will help Russian economy as much as the gold bars helped... well, you see what I mean by now?

17 September 2012

A softcore porn director, a fraudster Copt, Media for Christ, and the guilty party is... ?

As expected, the inside story of "Innocence of Muslims" is unraveling pretty fast under the scrutiny of the media and (somewhat) of the law enforcement. And the real protagonists become known.

A schlock softporn director named Alan Roberts has been identified as the director of the film that ridicules Muslims and the prophet Muhammed and has incited violent protests across the Middle East, according to a report by Gawker published Saturday.
And the outfit that provided the shooting location came to light too:
According to the Associated Press, Media for Christ, a nonprofit that raised more than $1 million in 2011 "to glow Jesus' light" to the world, was listed as the production company for the film.
Most of Innocence of Muslims was shot in about two weeks inside a squat warehouse that serves as the offices of Media for Christ, according to Eric Moers.
According to the same linked source, Media for Christ provided most of the financing as well, although the answer to this question is not finalized yet.

It is worth mentioning that, like the mysterious Bacile/Nakoula, the movie director Alan Roberts has at least one additional moniker, Robert Brownell. And under this moniker he, apparently, produced this interesting testimony. Don't laugh, please - possibly making the movie about Mo was for him a way to repent...

But meanwhile, the initial interview by the Egyptian fraudster, where he declared himself Jewish and talked about the one hundred mythical Jewish sponsors has done the inevitable damage*. This Ynet article offers a sampler of resulting responses in the Arab world. I have chosen only one for this post:

And this is the way it goes...

(*) I have to qualify that: even if Nakoula/Bacile/... hadn't mentioned the Jews, there is a high probability the Jews would have been blamed anyway, but he certainly made the job easier for Muslim Jew-haters.

16 September 2012

Happy Rosh haShana - Happy New Year!

This time two separate greetings - one to the seniors:

And for the youngsters:

A no comments situation

Is it a small primate in your undies, Sir, or...?

No, that "primate" in the title is not a typo. The story is a bit unusual, that's all:

Three men have been arrested in Delhi for trying to board a flight with small primates hidden in their underwear. Two of the men were found with slender lorises concealed in pouches in their briefs, a customs official at Indira Gandhi International Airport told the BBC.
Yeah, and don't ever start reading an article in the middle, like I was doing, getting stuck on this sentence:
The animals were uncovered when security guards noticed a bulge in their underwear during a frisk.
Who was frisked, whose bulge in whose underwear is meant? Etc...

15 September 2012

Just asking - British response to Kate Middleton topless pics

Shaun aka Jams of The Poor Mouth made a prediction:

I get the feeling that the editor of Closer (the French version, not the British version which owned by a totally separate company)will rue the day she authorised publication.
I am anticipating hordes of indignant Brits burning down French embassies all over the world.

Or, at the least, spraying some thoughts about small green high-jumping animals on the walls...

Israeli science and technology triumph - again

I like this one. Israeli technology and know how strikes a blow for the human race, yet again. And does anyone care? (Rhetorical question)

Anyway, Israel21c.com publicises Israeli achievements across the board, and this one I really like. The article headline is a mind-boggling "New Israeli tactic makes deadly viruses commit suicide". This is great, if only because this yet something else the boycotters must boycott.

They won't, of course, because anything that really affected them or their families for the worse is the last thing they will do.


Read and enjoy.

By Brian Goldfarb.

That Muhammed film

You know, the one blamed for the attacks on American Embassies and Consulates in Libya and Egypt - and the murder of the US Ambassador to Libya as well as two others - (among other places). Well, despite the initial rumours that "we jews" were responsible for it (so, as usual, it was all our fault - and people wonder why we're paranoid?), it turns out, according to this article (Huffington Post, via The Tablet), that it's the Coptic Christians wot done it. Made the film, that is.

That's a relief, then. So when they continue to blame us, and even attack Jewish targets, we'll know they've got the wrong people. Again. You know, Henry Kissinger got it right when he said (you have to imagine the heavy germanic accent) "You know, even paranoids have enemies".

More interesting is the claim in the article that the actors were misled and the film has been doctored (good heavens! you mean that what's filmed or photographed isn't necessarily what really happened? Pass me my air brushing equipment at once! I must get Trotsky out of this picture!). Note the following from the article: "The actors in the film issued a joint statement Wednesday saying they were misled about the project and said some of their dialogue was crudely dubbed during post-production.

In the English language version of the trailer, direct references to Muhammad appear to be the result of post-production changes to the movie. Either actors aren't seen when the name "Muhammad" is spoken in the overdubbed sound, or they appear to be mouthing something else as the name of the prophet is spoken."
There are, of course, those among you out there who might well be sceptical of items in the Huffington Post, if you've discovered Huffington Post Monitor, which claims to do for the Huffington Post what CiF Watch does for The Guardian of London. However, this is too good a story to dismiss as easily as that. And, after all, both The Guardian and CiF do manage to produce stories from time to time which are both good and true.

I think this is one of the of the good and true stories. At least, I hope so.

By Brian Goldfarb.

14 September 2012

The Council Has Spoken!

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

"Innocence of Muslims", "Sam Bacile", cheap scoops and Faux News

As it happens frequently in the Muslim world, another manifestation of rage already took several lives, including that of American ambassador to Libya and three other Americans, not related (of course) in any way to the Rage Boy and his peculiar ways to demonstrate his sensitivity. And the murderous display of sensitivity is not over yet.

This time the cause for the eruption of rage is accompanied by an accusing finger pointing directly at Jews. Not that the previous outbreaks of the disease were Jew-free, some Muslim thinker in every single case eventually mentioned Jews being the driving force behind the latest anti-Muslim (Islamophobic, if you will) atrocity. However, the accusations were of a generic character - like in "you and I know that Jews are behind it all, so lest we forget..."

But this time the big, unwashed and accusing finger found a very specific Jew to blame. At least if you believe Fox News article with an overly long headline:

Filmmaker Sam Bacile in hiding after anti-Muslim film sparks violence in which American diplomat was killed

The headline is long for a purpose: it succeeds to convey the direct link between the “Innocence of Muslims” movie and the tragic fate of American diplomat(s). Step one is over and done with, quite effectively.

Step two is disposed of in the first paragraph of the article:

An Israeli filmmaker based in California went into hiding Tuesday after his movie attacking Islam's Prophet Muhammad sparked angry assaults by ultra-conservative Muslims on U.S. missions in Egypt and Libya, where a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans were killed.
Besides stressing again that link that was so admirably formed in the headline, the main and immediate item of knowledge you gain that the filmmaker behind that Islamophobic atrocity is an Israeli. And if you are still harboring a doubt, here comes a clincher:
Bacile, a California real estate developer who identifies himself as an Israeli Jew, said he believes the movie will help his native land by exposing Islam's flaws to the world.
And if even the clincher isn't enough, here is a control shot:
"Islam is a cancer, period," he said repeatedly, his solemn voice thickly accented.
Well, enough with the "factual background", let's go through it quickly - backwards for my personal convenience.

Thickly accented voice: sure, out of 7 billion world population less, say, 350 million native English speakers (estimates vary from 275 to 450 million), thick accent definitely points to a Hebrew man (out of what - 15 million Jews?). No contest. And it doesn't require a genius to agree that AP scribe's expertise in world's accents is second to none.

Helping his "native land": of course it's obvious that igniting another bout of Muslim rage against Christians and Jews will cause no end of benefits to this land. No argument, you would agree.

But the strongest point is that Mr Bacile himself says he is Jewish, and not just Jewish - an (ex)-Israeli as well, so why argue at all?

Oh well, enough is enough. This specific AP article stinks to high heaven, and it took other scribes (from AP too!), to debunk the Jewish connection.
The anti-Muslim film implicated in mob protests against U.S. diplomatic missions in the Mideast received logistical help from a man once convicted of financial crimes and featured actors who complained that their inflammatory dialogue was dubbed in after filming.

The self-proclaimed director of "Innocence of Muslims" initially claimed a Jewish and Israeli background. But others involved in the film said his statements were contrived as evidence mounted that the film's key player was a southern Californian Coptic Christian with a checkered past.
So much for the thick accent, the hatred of Islam and the ready confession to being Jewish...

And you know, if I were a fan of conspiracy theories, which I am not, I would mention several leads to a conspiracy of (at least) one man. First of all, Copts were, and today are more than before, a persecuted minority in Egypt. Any opportunity to drive an edge between the Muslim and the Christian world will be welcome to some of them, even by such crude means as that movie (you can still watch a piece of it here to judge for yourself).

Then - the relationships between Copts and Jews were never easy. Far as I am from blaming all Copts in antisemitism, some bad feelings do exist. It is not completely out of the question that Sam Bacile, aka Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, Nicola Bacily, Erwin Salameh etc, is harboring a dislike (let's use this term for lack of better info) of Jooz as a second-priority issue.

Thus: what could be more pleasant to Mr Nakoula/Bacile than to kill two birds with one stone? To cause another week or two of anti-Christian riots in the Muslim world, and, as a bonus, to turn both Muslims (well, they don't require a lot of turning, the truth be told) and Christians against these pesky Jews - what could be better?

How do you like them conspiracy chicken? Well, in time we'll know more about the perpetrator, I am sure, and possibly will get more answers from the horse's mouth. Meanwhile, it causes me deep satisfaction, somewhat mixed with surprise, to see how The Guardian and Juan Cole came out in defense of the Jooz. I just have to quote the latter:
So, the film was from the beginning a fraud. It was directed by a fraud. It was promoted by a militia trainer. And Nakoula marketed it fraudulently as the work of a fictitious Israeli-American Jewish real estate agent, ‘Sam Bacile,’ and falsely said it had been funded by “a hundred Jewish donors.”

The group behind the film, in other words, managed to evoke all the classic themes of anti-Semitism as a way of disguising the Coptic and evangelical network out of which the ‘film’ came. When they weren’t busy picketing Mormons and defaming Muslims they were trying to get Jews killed for their own smears of Islam!
Almost caused me some tears, but they dried up very quickly prior to exit - read the rest for yourself. And then, of course, there is HuffPost...

What remains to review is the message in the headline of the Fox News article we left out so far: the direct link between the murder in Benghazi and the movie. Interesting to mention that CNN, a comparatively left-leaning outfit, on the same day when Fox published the AP article, already knew enough about the Benghazi tragedy to recognize that the protests against the movie were just a convenient cover for what was, most probably, a well organized terrorist act.
On Tuesday night, protesters were outside the consulate in Benghazi, demonstrating against the video "Innocence of Muslims," which reportedly was made in California by a producer whose identity is unclear.

Eventually, a group of heavily armed militants "infiltrated the march to start chaos," according to Libyan Deputy Interior Minister Wanis al-Sharif.

Initial reports indicate the four-hour assault began around 10 p.m. as attackers pelted the U.S. Consulate complex's main compound with gunfire and rocket-propelled grenades . Within 15 minutes, the gunmen entered the building.
Difficult to imagine that Fox News were totally unaware of the above information.

The behavior of Fox News in this affair would be difficult to explain or to understand, if the case is looked upon as a singular occurrence. One can excuse it by referring to a lazy reporter(s) of the usual AP, to an inattentive editor that is ready to drink from this spring of pure and unadulterated goodness called AP, without asking for any corroborating evidence etc.

However, there are some people that trouble themselves to look closer at Fox, and some facts about this staunch supporter of Republican way of life are troublesome indeed.
“Fair and Balanced” is fast becoming more slogan than operating system at Fox News, and nowhere is this seen more clearly than in the way Israel is increasingly being treated and the extent to which anti-Semitism is tolerated as part of the cable channel’s conversation.
Read this article, it poses some interesting questions (and thanks to Michael for the tip).

And meanwhile, the Rage Boy tears up the Muslim world...

Too bad.

Update: Indeed, today we know more about the "creators" of the movie. Squalid story.

Kate Middleton, Catherine, the duchess of Cambridge, topless and uncensored

If this is what you are looking for here - forget it. Look at something better:


13 September 2012

Libertarians for Israel

Yes, not all Libertarians are created in the image of their self-appointed leader and faux Libertarian - you know who...

Andrew Ian Dodge, a Harpswell (Maine) resident, and independent candidate for the U.S. Senate in the November Election, speaks out. Worth a listen.

Meticulousness taken too far

The quote above comes from The Erasers by Alain Robbe-Grillet. I rather liked the book, what with all the undercurrents running through it and all that. So why nitpicking?

Still, it must take a heck of a meticulous person to put a clip back in place in a revolver... properly, too.

12 September 2012

Killing (US ambassador) underlines Muslim what?

These two side by side pictures from CNN and the capture under the second one show only too well where the world finds itself in the century XXI:

Here are five definitions of sensitivity from a dictionary:

Now repeat with me (or, rather, with them):

Killing underlines Muslim sensitivities
Killing underlines Muslim sensitivities
Killing underlines Muslim sensitivities
Killing underlines Muslim sensitivities
Killing underlines Muslim sensitivities
Killing underlines Muslim sensitivities
Killing underlines Muslim sensitivities
Killing underlines Muslim sensitivities
Killing underlines Muslim sensitivities
Killing underlines Muslim sensitivities

More stupidity from 'Pro-Palestines'.

Then there's this, from The Commentator. Note, when you click on the link, the placard the young woman is holding up in the lead photo, while greeting perfectly innocent tourists at Ben Gurion airport. "Welcome to Palestine", it says. In addition to being geographically illiterate (and she looks, on first acquaintance, to be quite intelligent), it is, of course, political nonsense.

I've spent the last few minutes rehearsing my response to her. And it would be quite caustic. Sadly, I've only just got back from Israel (and given that we arrived at 12.00 midnight, having cleared baggage reclaim, she wasn't there: no surprise - the crazies only demonstrate 9 to 5), I won't have the chance to let her know just how silly she's being any time soon. But some of you out there might. May I suggest you start practising? Swamping her (and her colleagues) with intelligent and well-thought responses might just drive her into a nervous breakdown. After all, as the headline of the article from The Commentator seems to suggest, they don't know what, to put it politely, they're talking about.

Help from the intelligent folk who read this website might just help them regain political equilibrium. Or not, as the case may be. Depends how bone-headed they really are.

What's most interesting is that the Israeli authorities, being good democrats, are quite happy to let her carry her ludicrous placard around Ben Gurion. Bet it doesn't occur to her and her soul mates that she couldn't do that in Cairo, Amman, Beirut, and certainly not in Damascus or Teheran airports.

I wonder why that is?

By Brian Goldfarb.

Yet more on gorgeous George Galloway, MP

The following two quotes say it all. But if you insist, you can read the whole article on how Galloway, yet again, makes a fool of himself, on The Commentator:

The first quote is, in fact , the headline to the article, and reads "British MP yells, "You make me sick!" at anti-Assad audience member on Islamist linked TV station" That, of course, just shows how unfit he is to be in public life. Fortunately, I'm not a constituent of his, although I do feel sorry for those who are and didn't vote for him.

The second quote just about sums up the man himself: "From being offensively condescending to downright factually inaccurate and rude, Galloway takes viewers on a journey that starts with laughter, middles in anger and culminates in disgust."

Pretty accurate character assessment, I'd say. Read and enjoy. I think.

By Brian Goldfarb.

11 September 2012

Israel saved the day, again. In 2007

Just a short piece (the full Haaretz story is hiding behind a pay-wall, and there are limits to my pocket), but this extract, via The Tablet, says it all: "According to an article in the New Yorker, Mossad agents broke into the home of a Syrian top official in Vienna and copied dozens of photographs of the secret facility, bombed in 2007; The U.S. was convinced by Israel's intelligence, but refused to carry out a strike."

Yeah, they're building a nuke, but we'll let the Israelis carry out the strike. Plausible deniability carries the day. Again.

What do you think the yanks will say when Israel (if it does) saves their faces yet again over Iran? No prizes for the answer.

By Brian Goldfarb.

So what hides behind the pubic hair in America?

The definitive essay by one and only Akaky Akakievich Bashmachkin tells it all.

Kim Jong-un gives fitness advice at Pyongyang gym

No, it's not a joke. Here it goes:

And still: tee hee.

10 September 2012

Yet more on Rachel Corrie

Why write still more on this topic? That's a good question, given how tired readers of (and posters on) this site are of this whole issue. Especially given that those who support the likes of Rachel Corrie (who may have been naive, idealistic...insert your own adjective), who hardly expected to die in pursuit of her beliefs, conspicuously fail to acknowledge facts and evidence about the Middle east.

Or, as the author of the article from The Tablet puts it: "Even the bloody, intra-Arab strife coursing throughout the region hasn’t derailed the notion that the conflict in the Holy Land is the most significant conflict in the Mideast: It remains useful as a reflecting pool for a well-known variety of Western narcissism." Can't you just see it? The problem of Israel/Palestine really does go away (probably, in the eyes of these people, with the dissolution of Israel..but why worry about the fate of a further 6 million Jews? Okay, that's too cynical, even for this site, but still...), and suddenly, the anti-Assad forces win, or make peace, or something. Iran stops trying to develop nuclear weapons. China leaves Tibet...

Now I know that I'm a cynical, seen it all, sane lefty who's in his dotage (i.e., I'm retired), but we all know that's a load of utopian nonsense. Even if we manage not to impute extreme ideological motives (polite way of suggesting that these people are, at best, anti-Zionist), we all know that this is political tunnel vision at its most obvious. Perhaps the following comment from the article, that "The obvious advantage that Israel offers is that, compared to the rest of the Middle East, it is relatively safe" gives the clue. After all, where did the kidnapped reporter, Alan Johnston, go when released from captivity in Gaza (and he was kidnapped, despite his "friendship with the Palestinian cause" credentials)? That's right, Israel. Where "it is relatively safe".

Just how (politically) stupid can these people get? That's a rhetorical question, by the way.

By Brian Goldfarb.

So, Israel is an 'apartheid society' is it?

I couldn't resist posting this item, from Israel 21c, a US based site that posts news on Israeli advances in science, both technical and social. Always heartwarming to read this site.

Anyway, notice the name of the scientist in the photograph at the head of the article and featured in part 2 of the story. What was that about "apartheid Israel"? Must be hearing idiots spouting nonsense in the wind, again. The link is here, and do take a look at the other entries in this issue of the site.

By Brian Goldfarb.

Sofia Vergara eating a banana uncensored

Is not of any interest to this here blog. But this might be of interest to you, dear viewer, esp. after surfing for hours for that Sofia's shot:

Click on the picture to embiggen, watch and relax.

09 September 2012

Brezhnev's greatest secret

Hit "Read more" only if you are of a sound body and mind and over the minimal age as defined in your country.

Warning: works in FireFox only for me so far. Sorry.

08 September 2012

Skip a meal to vote a pol in?

The campaign in US heats up and with the heat more money is needed (to keep it cool, obviously). And here is the new money-raising idea Michelle Obama came up with:

XXX --

I know your life is full -- with work, or school, or family -- and yet you still find the time to help out when you can.

You may have a tight budget, but you give what you can afford.

A woman recently told the campaign her family skipped a pizza dinner at their favorite place so that they could make a difference in this election.

That is the commitment that drives this campaign.

If you can support Barack with a donation today, please know it makes a huge difference. If we win, it will be because of what you did at moments like this:



This is not a spoof, I assure you. Well, even not being an American, I have given a thought to this proposal. Seeing as my meal usually costs less than the minimal amount* requested on the site Michelle is referring to, I will probably have to skip at least two or, possibly, three meals to add up to $15.

On one hand, skipping two or three meals could be (no, let's put it straight - would be) of immense benefit to me, as anyone who knows me will testify in any criminal or civil suit against (or by) me. On the other hand, there wasn't yet a precedent of me contributing money to any aspiring politician, unless, of course, we talk about the local tax authority putting their grubby hands on most of my income for too many years to count. And passing the money to the politicians to waste as they will.

I guess that Michelle has already implemented the idea at home, seeing as her hubby was forced to sneak out for a sandwich, which occasion was captured by the all-seeing eye of the Onion:

Obama's Approval Rating Down After Photos Surface Of Him Eating Big Sandwich All Alone

And, since the food-related theme is dominating the media, here comes another food-related Obama-related episode:

So what is the conclusion? Bon appetit, eat all you can because tomorrow will bring new taxes and don't give your hard earned bucks to pols.

So there.

(*) For the sake of fairness**, one should mention that the site offers you to enter any other amount of contribution. As far as other amount is concerned, you can say that I have contributed too. Kind of.

(**) For the sake of fairness too, one should add that that other guy, Mitt R., could not come up with this brilliant idea in a thousand years, what with him being a millionaire and never considering skipping a meal in order to donate to some worthy case. He will just write you a check...

Hat tip: JoshuaPundit, who has his own view of the case.

07 September 2012

The Council Has Spoken!

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

Listen to a politico

But keep your hands in your pockets*. And mind this.

(*) Actually it's only a figure of speech. These days they will get your money no matter where your hands are, so you might as well occupy your hands by something more pleasurable.

06 September 2012

Baltic UFO aliens rock!


Too bad.

05 September 2012

Watcher’s Council Nominations – Empty Chair Edition

Council Submissions

Ron Paul: If you refuse, he'll haunt your prostate

Yeah, yeah, I know its' a cheap laugh. But a laugh nevertheless, and these days we need all we can get. Besides, there are other pols where this one comes from.

On elasticity of marriage and the unthought about consequences of activism

By Isaac Schrödinger. Interesting.

04 September 2012

And Israel's most closely kept secret is...

Mofaz, our opposition leader and Kadima's chieftain, meets Bibi. This is the main point of his report to the press:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seemed “confused, stressed out and unfocused” to Kadima head Shaul Mofaz when the two met last week to discuss the latest developments with Iran, the opposition leader told Army Radio Sunday morning.
While one couldn't say that Mofaz is stressed, the other two items are highly relevant in his case too, but this is besides the point. Which was:
“He seems to have lost his wits,” said Mofaz, “and rather than making thought-out, responsible decisions, he is creating the sense of an impending war.”
Dunno. Possibly. But the response of PM's office to this fairly typical for Mofaz volley was something totally unexpected:
One unidentified source told Army Radio that “Mofaz is irresponsibly using details from the briefing, despite being asked specifically to not use them in a public manner.”
And what does this response teach even the least observant reader about our secrets?

Jehovah’s Witnesses want deaf people to stop masturbating (video)

This is highly educational, I can assure you. Kids from one year old and up should watch it once a week. At least.

03 September 2012

Cut it out or cut it off?

The case of ostensibly forbidden circumcision in Germany still echoes in some corridors of theological power. The corridors almost emptied by now, since the seriousness of the case was seriously exaggerated, and the cutting in Germany will continue as usual for all who are bent (?) on it.

Jim Wald, who blogs on To Find the Principles and contributes (rather too infrequently) to Times of Israel, produced a veritable treaty on the whole subject of circumcision, and it's a joy to read from the beginning to the end. At least once. My only contribution (I am not up to remarks) will be this:

Just to illustrate something mentioned in the article.

And from the news: a turn about by AAP:

American Academy of Pediatrics: Circumcise It!
In a new policy report published Monday, the American Academy of Pediatrics endorsed the procedure and its medical benefits for the first time, urging third-party insurance providers to cover the cuts. The landmark guidelines come on the heels of a surprising study published last week by Johns Hopkins researchers, which linked declining rates in circumcision in recent years to rising health-care costs—and a measurable spike in sexually-transmitted infections.

So, ladies and gentlemen: cut it out. And cut it off.

01 September 2012

Eastwooding Clint? You are just making his day.

From a comfy chair of an outsider: the hurricane of opinions that overflows the existing media channels is dwarfing the main issue on the agenda (I mean of course the election campaign which, accidentally, was the main reason for the Eastwood brouhaha).

Of course, the reaction from the Democrats-leaning press was entirely predictable: from playing out to the hilt the fact that Eastwood's performance may have overshadowed the "coronation" speech by Romney that followed this performance to his "off-color references" (such prudery from people who usually deplore prudery of Republicans!). It must be said that some responses, politically charged or not, were quite funny, like that one:

And, of course, another good response by Team Obama deserves a mention too:

It must be said,  however, that the mere quickness of the response points out some nervousness in the Obama's camp.

Of course, the less official responses of the left-leaning Obama's supporters and other detractors (yes, some Republicans were unhappy too) were much less kind. From "sad and pathetic" via "Clint train wreck" to something that I would consider a heartfelt endorsement:
Comedian Roseanne Barr put it simply: "clint eastwood is CRAY" -- a slang reference to being crazy.
Coming from inimitable Roseanne, whose cooking is done on some other planet for too long, this is a badge of honor even a man of "clint eastwood"* caliber could be (moderately) proud of.

The somewhat lonely voice of Fox News ("Legendary Hollywood tough guy Clint Eastwood brought down the house..") practically drowns in the deluge of indignant and derogatory shrieks from the opposite side and, partly, from the various Republican wheelers and dealers.

So I just had to watch the recording of that controversial performance. What can I say? First of all, re "sad and pathetic": I wish for the person who said this - and for myself, accidentally - to be as sad and pathetic at 82 as Clint is. Yes, Clint knew better days and, cinematically speaking, he gave better performances in his life. However, when he chooses to shoot, he shoots straight indeed.

All in all, I would say, every political campaign, no matter who you carry your political torch for, could do with more performances like this one, from "sad and pathetic" old men who, nevertheless, still carry a few bullets in their guns - and know how to use them.

It may get interesting yet. It will certainly get more heated.

(*) The abhorrence of capital letters is another quirk in the bottomless arsenal of (mainly stupid) quirks Roseanne unleashed on the world. Yeah, Roseanne's enchilada could definitely do with a few more tacos...