30 November 2013

Russians about the Louis Vuitton suitcase in the Red Square

This (somewhat ridiculous if you ask me) marketing ploy is real:
Since construction finished this week, the gigantic luxury trunk, which is just steps from the Kremlin walls and was set to hold a charity exhibition of suitcases by the Paris-based designer, has been panned on social networks, denounced at the Duma and disowned by GUM, the luxury department store that abuts Red Square and approved the temporary exhibition.
Some Russians have expressed their outrage, due to proximity of the "suitcase" to this sacred place:

Of course, communists, ultra-nationalists and other demagogues* quickly jumped on the wave of popular outrage.
Sergey Obukhov, a Communist deputy for the Duma, called the square a “sacred place for the Russian government.” He added, “There are symbols that are forbidden to debase or defile.”
That the Mausoleum and the adjacent walls of the Kremlin are stuffed by hundreds of skeletons that used to carry some of the worst murderers of the last century doesn't seem to register with the pontificating political yobs. Nor does the fact that the Red Square itself served as a place for bloody punishment and executions during the centuries of Russian Tzars'. Sacred as sacred goes...

Russian people, on the other hand, have a healthy attitude to such problems and the jokes on the subject started immediately. Follow a few, haphazardly translated:

- Do you know why the "Suitcase" is being removed? The dwellers of Kremlin took it as a hint!

- Listen, Petrovna, who is it what forgot his suitcase on the Red Square?
- Nah, it is not a suitcase, it's just an oligarch's wallet.

- What does that suitcase do in the Red Square?
- Oh, the gent from the Mausoleum is fixing to move, so he put the suitcase out already.

(*) I noticed that I have, in fact, described the whole Russian Duma in that sentence. Oh well.

There are two other scandals, one related to the Red Square and another to Louis Vuitton.  The first:
Red Square has seen a lot over the centuries, from public executions to giant military parades, but a performance artist broke new ground on Sunday when he nailed his scrotum to cobblestones in a painful act of protest.

Pyotr Pavlensky said the protest was his response to Russia's descent into a "police state" and was timed to coincide with Police Day, which Russia's law enforcement officials celebrated on Sunday.
For details watch this (but don't blame me afterward):

Now this (real horrible stuff, I have to warn you):
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West left his New York apartment on Tuesday night and their staff were spotted carrying their belongings, which included some Louis Vuitton items, despite Kanye's recent call for a boycott.
I couldn't bring myself to include a video recording of the horror. So just go back and watch the clip above again, it will be better for you, I swear.

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29 November 2013

Kanye West: black people don’t have the same level of connections as Jewish people.

I don't understand what the brouhaha is about. After all, the man is right: them Jews have access to POTUS whenever they want...

Q & A

Q: Daddy, is it true that all fairy tales start with "Once upon a time"?
A: Well, no, son, the best ones start with "If you vote for me in these elections"...

Iran and Turkey: united for regional stability? Yeah, now pull another one.

This news makes the saying "politics makes strange bedfellows" wither and die of terminal impotence. What we are witnessing here is two sworn enemies jumping into bed, singing hosannas to each other and to the anticipated joys of the yet unconsummated marriage.

What could be as mindboggling as the fact that Turkey, whose leader for years rains fire and brimstone (verbal only, it's true) at its neighbor Syria and, by extension, at its main supporter, Iran, has suddenly changed the tune to this:
Enhanced cooperation between Turkey and Iran would improve regional stability, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on a visit to Tehran.
And what could be more hypocritical than this:
“Turkey has been pursuing a constant foreign policy in the last 10 years. It is true that we have some differences with neighboring countries, but the tenets of our foreign policy have not changed,” Davutoglu said at a press conference with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif.
Of course, to those what would like to see the reasons for such sudden blossoming of love, there are some excuses:
On Tuesday, Turkish Hurriyet Daily News quoted Davutoglu as saying: “In my point of view, when Turkey and Iran join hands, this will not only benefit both countries, but also become the backbone of regional stability.”

The Turkish foreign minister also called for greater energy cooperation between the two countries. “Turkey’s annual energy demand is $60 billion. Turkey is a corridor country, Iran is a producer country. If we fuse both potentials, Turkey could become the corridor of energy provider Iran,” he said.
But the true reason is out for all to see:
Turkey, like other Sunni countries, is anxious about Iran’s nuclear program and is likely unhappy over the US-Iran nuclear deal.

“Ankara will view a US-Iran nuclear deal, coupled with a negotiated settlement in Syria, as Washington turning a blind eye to Iran creating a Shi’ite axis along Turkey’s southern border,” wrote Soner Cagaptay, director of the Turkish Research Program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, in an article in The New York Times.
Sure thing. Continuously rejected by Europe, Ankara now sees the American back turning from Iran to Turkey (and other hitherto loyal partners in the region), and if you cannot beat them, well, you know what to do.
“A US-Iran deal has, however, taught the Turks the following lesson: Do not put all your eggs into America’s basket. This explains Ankara’s recent decision to buy Chinese weapons, in anticipation of a US-Iran deal,” Cagaptay said. Turkey probably will look more to the Russians and Chinese for security cooperation, though it will also continue ties with the US, he said.
And it's difficult to blame Turkey - they, like some other states in the region, realized that Washington of today is a fickle mistress.

And too bad for those who still haven't grokked this.

28 November 2013

Miley Cyrus takes twerking to another pinnacle

Watch it, but be warned, the headline is The Miley Cyrus GIF That Will Destroy Your Thanksgiving. So there.

Since I know that you will watch it no matter the warning, here is a little something to calm you down afterward. Feeling better now?

Happy Thanksgiving!

With a political angle this time, but still funny enough:

From Legal Insurrection.

And, to stimulate the appetite:

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27 November 2013


- Check out what this woman is doing with her dog!!!

- There are four of them.  Unusual positions.  I have to warn you... they are ANIMALS!

- This guy is behind her with a HUGE blade...  and she is doing it to a baby!!!

Arik Einstein RIP: belonging to this place

The country lost a piece of its heart yesterday.

One song only for now: "Prague" - 1969.

And about the man in a nutshell:
Arik Einstein's well-known reclusiveness, his ordinariness, his averseness to pomposity and grandiosity, his modest way of belonging to this place - these should not hide from those living here the fact that he is a very great and profound artist, with an acute artistic conscience, perfect and totally unique.

A good way for your head to be hit by a rock

There ain't no good way to be hit on your head by a rock, you might exclaim immediately. And you will be plumb wrong, because:

Daniel Seidemann, one of the country’s top experts on the politics of Jerusalem and a longtime activist who founded the NGOs Ir Amim and Terrestrial Jerusalem, was struck by a rock thrown through his car window on Saturday*. He was wounded in the back of his head, requiring stitches.
And, apparently, it was a nice, properly calculated boink, since Daniel reports:
I come away from this day with a few insights.
What can I say? Trading a few stitches for a few insights - sounds like a deal to me. Who knows, we may yet revolutionize our education system. Making it much cheaper, aside of intellectual benefits that are only too obvious.

(*) Just to make sure you understand: the rock was delivered upon Daniel's head by a Palestinian (kid?) in East Jerusalem.

Via: Elder of Ziyon.

A quick question re Scottish independence

I don't personally have anything against the idea they all talk about so much lately, let me make it clear. Although I am not sure I understand this:

An independent Scotland would retain Queen Elizabeth II as head of state, keep the pound sterling currency, and remain within the European Union, according to a policy document presented by Scotland's devolved government Tuesday.
But I am more than sure that Mr Salmond (yes, I am sorely tempted, but I shall prevail for now) knows how to go about it. And I hope that the move will make the single malt cheaper, although I fear that, like any revolution, this one will have the opposite effect.

Anyhow, the question was this: seeing as how the Scottish folks have one of the most (if not the most) voluble and fiery Palestinian solidarity campaigners team (who quite openly plan to liquidate the Zionist Entity), calling for the so called "one state solution" for the Jews and Palestinians - seeing this, how come that at home these Scottish folks are no less voluble and fiery a team of secessionists? So much for "Imagine there's no countries...".

There is a bug somewhere in the works, methinks...

26 November 2013

CNN on Merrill Newman's detention: most idiotic caption ever

The article Wife, son of American man detained in North Korea beg for his release contains a caption that really boggles one's mind:

To understand the sheer stupidity of this text, one should read the following passage from the article:
It is also possible North Korean authorities mistook him for another Merrill Newman, a Korean War veteran awarded the Silver Star for valor in combat.
Yes, there is another Merrill Newman*:
Merrill H. Newman, 84, was awarded the Silver Star for holding off a heavy Chinese attack during the war. Both men fought in the Korean War, have almost identical names and are around the same age.
Now, assuming that the other Merrill Newman were incarcerated by the vilest regime in existence, would it have been OK? Just asking...

On the other hand: that ubiquitous smell of "we don't condone but we understand..." - isn't it the sign of the times?

(*) Fox News, in fact, repeat that "mistaken identity" theme in their headline...

When burrito requires a bomb squad

And I thought that it happens with a burrito only after it is eaten. Not so, apparently.

Rule 5: distractions

MPAC UK and David Icke

Muslim Public Affairs Committee UK actively promotes KKK and neonazi propaganda
Need I say more?  Perhaps worth noting that the people supporting this in comments live in places like New York and Glasgow.  And that the leader of MPAC UK, who is regularly invited to various BBC/RT programs is personally responsible for republishing anti-Semitic crap from Nazi websites.  Nice to know they no longer feel the need to be coy about this.

25 November 2013

Football World Cup a Jewish conspiracy?

Oh servants of Allah, how saddening and very painful it is to see many Muslim youths glued to TV screens at cafes or at home, passionately watching entertainment shows, like the Football World Cup, in despicable subjugation to the abominations of the other nations – as if we were not a nation with a brilliant history and a lofty civilization. [...]

The Jews were successful in preoccupying the Muslim youth – except those protected by Allah – with the most inane matters, distracting them from important things, in keeping with what is written in The Protocols of the Elders of Zion...
If that Sheik knows what he is raving about, and I see no reason for him not to know: how come the deities of conspiracy can't grant the Zionist Entity some tiny dose of luck in football? I am not even talking about the Mondial, just some measly EuroLeague title or summat...

All this in vain...

Via Mick Hartley.

Now, re that Change thing

Filched with thanks from Louise.

24 November 2013

Dick waving contest escalation

Click to embiggen.

The last participant is less familiar to the Western public, and the manner of his participation could be understood only knowing a bit more about Ukraine.

Are you eating PB&J sandwich? Check your privilege! Oh, and you are a racist besides.

There are different ways to get your secret longings or secret aversions validated and even vindicated. Take me, for example: for several years spent in US of A, I have been suspicious of that concoction called peanut butter and jelly sandwich. No force in the world would have made me even taste one.

Now I know why.

Did you know that eating or even talking about a peanut butter and jelly sandwich could be considered racist?

That’s right.

Apparently, it’s because people in some cultures don’t eat sandwich bread. Verenice Gutierrez, principal of Harvey Scott K-8 School in Portland explained in and interview with the Portland Tribune:“Take the peanut butter sandwich, a seemingly innocent example a teacher used in a lesson last school year,”

“What about Somali or Hispanic students, who might not eat sandwiches?” Gutierrez asked. “Another way would be to say: ‘Americans eat peanut butter and jelly, do you have anything like that?’ Let them tell you. Maybe they eat torta. Or pita.”
Yeah, and by taking each bite of PB&J sandwich you are exercising your white privilege, too (no matter whether you are black, yellow or of any other color).

And these are the people who are teaching our kids, mind you.

For those who didn't know yet what "Check your privilege" means, look it up.  Oh, and by the way, the fact that you don't know what this means classifies you as a potential racist, capitalist and male/female chauvinist pig. Visit your neighborhood commissar immediately.

Why die for Danzig indeed?

There’s every reason to assume that US President Barack Obama has never heard of the pre-WWII demagogic question “Why die for Danzig?” The same can be as safely assumed regarding his Secretary of State John Kerry.

Oddly enough, however, their policy appears to draw inspiration from the same ideological wellspring that gave the world the above rhetorical tease.
Even if you disagree with some of the conclusions of the post, it is a mandatory read. Especially if, as I did before reading it and as Mr Obama and Mr Kerry do, you didn't know the story of Mr Deat. And don't miss the final line, it's a doozy, I promise.

23 November 2013

And now: Zionist heart surgery - washing

Please remember: I didn't start that, it is some other people, so don't blame me. Besides, it's CNN who is participating in the washing now.

That day was late last month, right after Godfrey had returned to Tanzania from Israel with a skill no one else in his country has. Following five years of intense training, Godfrey is now Tanzania's only pediatric heart surgeon capable of carrying out open heart surgeries on small children.
Etc. The Zionists really would stop at nothing to perpetrate their washing exercises...

Cheap wisecracks on the war of genders

There is some additional info on the male protagonist here:
According to reports, Markovitz owns three strip clubs in Detroit and is working on developing a TV reality series for Cinemax based on his businesses.
Oh Alan, Alan. With all that might, you are still not a mensch enough. You should have erected that monument inside your ex's property, man!

To San Francisco now*:
A San Francisco nudism activist was arrested at a rally she organized to protest her previous conviction for violating the city's public nudity ban.
Of course, the keyword "nudism" triggers all the right moves here, and I have surfed to get to the bottom (so to say) of that case, and here it is. I am not going to bother re-posting the visual aid here. But one thing should be made clear: these bloggers are convinced that full nudity should be judged case by case, and in this case we have to say no. So there.

A special opinion from Ms N: that cop on the right, though, is not half bad...

When I see an article starts with words "... researchers", I shudder with foreboding. Will it be another case of calculating carbon footprint of a cat or a dog? That one didn't add a lot to the body of human knowledge too, it seems:
British researchers have pinpointed several reasons why boys are the weaker sex.
Ha! I have been married for... no matter, but all these years I have been drumming that same drum, without the benefit of consulting the Brits. Of course, we, the males, are more fragile, sensitive and need a lot of attention just to survive. And meat and potatoes and beer and single malt and... well, you know the drill.

However, the eggheads added a new angle:
The study, published in the journal Pediatric Research, found boys are 14 percent more likely to be born preterm than girls.
That I completely fail to begin to understand. What is the rush? The only environment that is completely friendly to the inhabitant, and the male babies are in a hurry to leave it? For crying out loud. Someone must do something about it. Someone must warn my fellow men that nothing good awaits them outside.

(*) I fully realize that looking for quirks in San Francisco is like shooting fish in a fishmonger's. Besides, the SFO local wouldn't dig this anyhow. So - apologies all around.

In memory of a real good Sarge

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22 November 2013

Update: Mayor Ford out-polls President Obama

Believe it or not. Via Blazing Cat Fur.

The sentence of the week

But the links between Zionism and Christianity go much further and deeper than that.
Andrew Brown, a Guardian scribe.

More on the subject in CiF Watch.

CNN: I spy Israel

From a report on P5+1/Iran negotiations:

The current talks involve delegations from Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council -- the United States, Russia, China, Great Britain and France -- plus Germany in what is known as the P5+1. Israel is also participating in the talks.
Yeah, and the Israeli delegation is all the rage recently in Tehran. The excited crowds can't seem to be able to stop throwing rice, flowers and candy at the Zionist En State delegation members...

Enough with this nonsense, pretty please...

Stuff like this, I mean:

"There is an urgent need for Washington to take action to prompt Beijing to change its approach to cyberspace and deter future Chinese cyber theft," said the commission, set up by Congress to make policy recommendations.
Does somebody from NSA prepare these "policy recommendations"?

Or this:
With a queue stretching at least a kilometre, a hi-tech exhibition giving a rosy view of the house of Romanov and jointly organised by the Russian Orthodox Church and the Kremlin has drawn tens of thousands of visitors in central Moscow.

In another sign of the power of the Russian Orthodox Church in post-Soviet Russia, it is a holy icon which has drawn the crowds as much as nostalgia for Russia's ousted monarchy.
Sure, sure, and this is only logical, seeing the situation soberly:

Still, I prefer that one:

More... er... cuddly, ain't it?

At least here we see some normalcy and consistency... of a kind:
The president's support for the rule change comes eight years after then-Senator Obama opposed such a measure, warning in 2005 that "the bitterness and the gridlock will only get worse" if the rules were changed.
Nu, what are you crying about, the life is going on, people!

How Bush Let Iran Go Nuclear - a bonus from Haaretz to Obama via NYT

This nod in the direction of the "previous administration" (although today, close to the end of 2013, this term rather fits the current administration) is, probably, more than a most thick-skinned NYT scribe could manage. So they have outsourced it to the Haaretz' Ari Shavit, and his rich imagination and ability to weave words together have done... well, a fairly crappy job.

If Mr. Bush had decided to display American leadership and exercise American power by launching a diplomatic campaign against Iran rather than a military one against Iraq 10 years ago, the United States’ international standing would be far greater today.

The Bush administration’s decision to go after Iraq rather than Iran was a fatal one, and the long-term consequences are only now becoming clear, namely a devastating American failure in the battle to prevent a nuclear Iran, reflected in Washington’s willingness to sign a deeply flawed agreement.
At least now, if you have a need to wash some unwashable political underwear, you know where to go.

So there.

21 November 2013

'MI6' 'hits' 'al-Qaida' in 'Operation Cupcake'

The abundance of quotation marks in this headline is intentional: I wanted to try the BBC style, inspired by their lawyers, I suspect. Nah... one and only experiment. The story itself is from UPI this time.

Britain's cyberwar against al-Qaida took a sweet turn when intelligence officials hacked into a Web site, subbing bomb-making plans with a cupcake recipe.

The cyber operation was undertaken by MI6 and and Britain's Government Communications Headquarters to disrupt efforts by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula to recruit so-called lone wolf terrorists with the English-language Inspire magazine, The Daily Telegraph said.
Of course, I am happy to read about this achievement by a famous intelligence service. There are only two points I would like to discuss here.

The first has to do with the order of magnitude of this intelligences feat. You have to agree that, compared to the towering historical achievements of MI6 in the past, such as almost singlehandedly winning the Cold War, getting rid of Francisco Scaramanga, the Man with the golden gun, the epic victory against Ernst Stavro Blofeld etc., putting a picture of a few cupcakes on someone's site is, to say it gently, a bit of a anticlimax. But possibly, just possibly, the next step will be to replace the picture of Osama Bin Laden (Piss Be Upon Him) with a choice of several lolcats. This will learn them, I am sure.

Another, more important issue related to that same story: it is widely known that grown-ups, be they the best spies the history has known or evil scientists of highest caliber, are simply unable to do the hacking required for the task described in the article. The only kind of people who are in sufficient command of their facilities and are willing to undertake such a mission for peanuts are kids, aged between 10 and 14. Which opens a new can of worms: does MI6 use child labor? Are the British Parliament, the British government and her Majesty aware of such a horrendous goings-on on the soil of Albion (unless, of course, it is foreign children that were used)?

Someone has to get to the bottom of this, I declare.

And the last one, but it doesn't count as a point, just a random find: Amazon UK do know what is what (click on the image, as usual):

Another BDS epic fail

According to Algemeiner:

Fringe organizations dedicated to boycotting the Jewish state are finding it hard to practice what they preach, with many of their websites built on a popular Israeli software platform, according to Paul Charney, chairman of the UK’s Zionist Federation (ZF).

After an investigation, the ZF said it found several websites that advocate BDS — boycott, divestment and sanctions — of Israel were programmed with the popular Tel Aviv-based website platform Wix.
Now, if only BDS-holes decided to shoot themselves, I know a useful handgun, produced by the Zionists too, of course...

But it's better for them to be alive, producing these enlightening stories so frequently.

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20 November 2013

Iranian ambassador in Lebanon: was he injured in the Beirut blast?

As the Russian Voice of Russia is only too happy to tell (via Al Jazeera):

The Iranian ambassador in Lebanon, who escaped from the attack uninjured, is blaming Israel for the attack...
I suggest that it is too early to be so sure that the Hon ambassador escaped uninjured. These brain traumas have a nasty way to pass unnoticed during the first check-up. Then...

San Francisco State University: Jew-Hatred Unlimited

Not that long ago, San Francisco State had a well deserved reputation for being a scary place for pro-Israel and Jewish students. This is the school that displayed flyers featuring a Palestinian baby on a soup can label, captioned "Palestinian Children Meat, slaughtered according to Jewish rites under American license". This is the school where Jewish students were physically assaulted, spat on and screamed at "Too bad Hitler didn't finish the job," "Get out or we will kill you," "F**k the Jews," "Die racist pigs." at a vigil commemorating the Holocaust.
This was not so long ago, so what is happening now, you might ask. Here is what.

19 November 2013

Bad news for Zionists: with friends like these...

Perhaps someone should start a "Bad News Sunday" column, the sort in which one rails against the failure to know what one is talking about (and I'm talking about friends, not enemies, of Israel here). Rabbi Shmuley Boteach ("America's Rabbi", as he's called elsewhere in the same issue) accuses British Zionists of an "uncomfortable silence" in this article in The Times of Israel.

For those who've been fortunate enough not to have come across Rabbi Boteach before, he is the author, inter alia, of works entitled "Kosher Sex" (you go ask, I'm not going there, even if paid to do so), "Kosher Jesus" and many others, and he even had the chutzpah to stand for the US House of Representatives as a Republican last year. Fortunately, for everyone's peace of mind, he didn't get elected.

Anyway, the good(?) Rabbi rails against, as noted, British Zionists for their supposed silence. I really don't know what (as the saying goes) he's on. For a start, there's the (non-Jewish) British Zionist, Chas Newkey-Burke and his "Oy-Va-Goy" blog (but then Chas is proudly "out", in the out of the closet sense, so perhaps beyond Boteach's pale). The Community Security Trust website is increasingly active; indeed, turn your back, and it's posted 3 new articles!. It doesn't allow comments, so maybe Shmuley doesn't rate it because of that. Then there's Richard Millet: turn your back on him, and he's got a 100 comments on his latest posting (usually of him bravely filming some Boycott, Divestment Sanctions event and risking life and limb doing so), and it's no longer worth adding a new comment. And as for "Harry's Place", well...loads of postings every day, huge comments lists...A lot of it is a bit far left (while being Zionist) for my taste, but don't knock your friends. Also on the "a bit too left for my taste" list (but that's my problem, not his) is Bob from Brockley, and he links (as do so many) to yet other sites on his blog roll.

In all this, we shouldn't forget the British-based (anti-Guardian) Comment Is Free Watch, BBC Watch, et al, websites.

Is this enough to demonstrate that Boteach really doesn't know what he's talking about? Not that this is necessarily anything new for supposedly worldly, but in practice unworldly, Rabbis.

And I have only scratched the surface of my own personal blog roll, and I haven't included Anne here, because she's resident in Israel.

I think that stupidity/lack of knowledge in our opponents is welcome, because it gives us a chance to attack them via a weak point of theirs. When it's those people who are supposed to be on the same side, it gets very worrying. I need to add that this is not a Left/Right thing (despite my citing of mainly "Left" blogs), because of lovely people like the late Norman Geras. As Anne noted recently, in her own tribute to Norm, he was most kind to everybody, and especially so to his fellow Zionists. This was not despite his own Marxism, but because of his manifest goodness. Boteach's attitude may be a phenomenon of the Right in the USA: anyone who doesn't agree with their take on a situation must either be stupid or silent. In Europe, the first response is to engage with them. A trait Anne, for example, shows in abundance, allowing me to post here, given that I am a Lefty, albeit a "sane" one!

Having re-read his article, my second reaction is even less kind than my first. He really is just looking for cheap points: look how alert I am! I noted how the Brits just ignored him. Do note that the weight of those who did respond...and that CST picks up on a different meeting that didn't even penetrate Boteach's radar. And how many US sites pick up on everything that upsets Boteach?

The following day, I came across this article, from the same source, in which Jonathan Arkush from the Board of Deputies, takes Boteach apart far more neatly than I managed.

By Brian Goldfarb.

Moscow and Nauru: friendship forever

Russian news agency Interfax announced a significant change in bilateral relationships between Russia and Nauru:

Russia and the smallest non-European independent nation of Nauru is preparing to abolish the visa regime for each other.
For your information (from different sources) :

The territory of the island nation of Nauru - 26 sq. km The island is inhabited by 6,763 men and 6,765 women. The state has no capital, because there is nowhere to place it. GDP of Nauru - 23 million dollars . Due to the shortage of human resources the President of Nauru , Mr. Waqa is at the same time the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Economy and the Minister of Finance (until June 23 of this year he was also the Prime Minister). Nauru has no army and no police. When something happens, the President invites police from Australia. 

Nauru is the smallest island state, the smallest independent republic on Earth, the smallest mini-state outside Europe and the only in the world republic without the official capital.

And another interesting detail: during the Russian default of 1998, 70 billion U.S. dollars was transferred from Russia banks to Nauru.

And an interesting political angle:
The world’s smallest republic, Nauru, is ready to support Russia’s position on all issues, its president Divavesi Waqa said at talks with the acting governor of the Sverdlovsk region in Russia’s Urals on Wednesday.
This eagerness to support Russia on all issues expressed itself in Nauru being one of the very few countries that formally recognized Abkhazia and South Ossetia - two puppet "republics", taken over by Russia after its war with Georgia in 2008. A piquant detail was bandied in the media regarding this support:
It was the chatter of the Caucasus: Did Russia agree to pay $50 million to the tiny Pacific island nation of Nauru in exchange for formally recognizing Abkhazia and South Ossetia, as the Russian newspaper Kommersant reported? Russia has lobbied its allies to recognize the breakaway enclaves since its 2008 war with Georgia, but with little success, until last week’s announcement.
That amount was definitely a sign of largess on the part of Russia, since:
If Russia did pay that much, it got robbed, said Jason Sharman, a specialist in South Pacific islands. He said Taiwan, whose sovereignty China rejects, pays $5 million a year for recognition from Nauru, which has offered diplomatic recognition for cash since its chief source of income, phosphates formed by centuries of bird droppings, is nearly exhausted. “I would have thought the Russians would have gotten a better deal,” said Mr. Sharman of Griffith University in Australia.
But what, after all, is a bit of money between friends? The important thing is that people of Nauru will be able to visit Moscow visa-free in droves now:

And vice versa, as far as the territory of Nauru allows (standing room only, of course)...

From The Jihadist Safety Consultant, On Accidental Beheadings

After all, the people who say that a wrong head was cut off are not exactly right... or are they? Who knows. Anyway - the initial analysis of the case by Rickle Abu-Noir, Jihadist Safety Consultant.

Tee hee.

18 November 2013

Apple's Siri a libertarian?

Not, strictly speaking, a libertarian, but a Paulista, which is different. Still, worth your 30 seconds of attention. I hope that at least in this case his supporters will not be angry with the term Paulbot. Also with some of them - who knows, the joke may miss by a mile...

How does it go in Hungary? Ask Radnoti

 From the Facebook page of George Szirtes.
Miklós Radnóti is universally recognised as one of the great European poets of the last war. He was shot, his body was left in a ditch, and his greatest poems were discovered in his coat pocket and published after his death.

Latest from Hungary.

Somebody runs their car into the Radnóti statue in Abda, Hungary and breaks it. It is not the first time it has been defaced but now it's wrecked. Others - the neo-nazis - are busily burning his poems. Does that remind us of anything?

C’est un peu trop, non?

I mean, I think when you have five statements, not five, like a total of ten resolutions on Israel and Palestine, there’s gotta be something, c’est un peu trop, non? [It’s a bit much, no?] I mean I know… There’s other really bad shit happening, but no one says anything, about the other stuff.
Phenomenal. Or not?

Update 1: The clip with the quoted text (around 1:55).

Update 2:
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu offered a nameless UN interpreter a job if she is fired from her UN position for saying in an open microphone that the world body treats Israel unfairly.
Hey, what do you know? I may yet start to respect the man, after all.

17 November 2013

Robert Lanza and his biocentrism - the bright side of death

Robert Lanza must be one hell of a great scientist in his domain, which, if I understand it correctly, is stem cell research. According to his site (that is, to my taste, a bit too heavy on self-aggrandizement) he is up there with toughest and greatest in modern biology, and more power to him.

However, in addition to his day job, Dr Lanza appears to have a hobby, and he has given this hobby a name: biocentrism. Dr Lanza has written a book with that title, but I am not planning to buy it, the linked article was enough for now. So what is in the article?

A curios mixture of good ole solipsism, some pretty muddled other philosophies, some heavily mangled physics and a lot of words stringed together to resemble a serious attempt at a popular science article. The learned author is not missing anything fashionable in the way of catchy buzzwords, like parallel universes, Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle (the poor man's sleep is certainly being unduly disturbed), quantum reality etc etc.

And the goal is to explain that "death may not be the terminal event we think". And that "Immortality doesn’t mean a perpetual existence in time, but resides outside of time altogether." You figure out what that means. And if you are, like I, a crusty, obstinate cynic that dares to demand proof for every scientific and (especially) for every quasi-scientific statement, your answer will be something like "Life has a non-linear dimensionality – it’s like a perennial flower that returns to bloom in the multiverse." Poetry where common sense doesn't work is a good line of defense.

Dr Lanza seems to have stumbled (consciously or not) upon the idea exploited with such success by all organized religions: a thinly veiled promise of (de-facto) eternal life, a promise that will be swallowed by many, without asking a whole lot of inconvenient questions. After all, what crusty, obstinate cynic wouldn't like to know that, while his used and abused body is attended by worms in this universe, he/she is attending to an appropriately chilled stein of beer in many other universes?  

Anyway, why a scientist of this (apparently) caliber will even attempt such an underhanded enterprise, filling the readers' minds with such trash is beyond me.

Oh well, I shall better go with that (truly eternal) one:

Now another interesting question is: why does Indie publish an article on that buffoonery in its "Science" rubric?

P.S. And, in the interest of scientific impartiality: of course, I could be terribly wrong, and if I am, believe me, even from another universe, I'll let you know. And you can take this promise to the bank.

Dr. Nancy Snyderman 'in awe' of Israeli medics in Philippines

A rather rare moment of unqualified esteem for IDF's emergency relief team on MSNBC. But a foreboding is already creeping into my mind.

Would this act be described soon as another case of, say, disaster-relief-washing?

Or, maybe, as another case of Hasbarah-inspired activity?

Or, possibly, like in Haiti, as another Zionist hunt for available organs?

You just wait a few blinks...

16 November 2013

The Zionist washing-washing and more

I have been reading an amazing post "Vegan-washing" and the fanaticism of the far-Left by Elder of Ziyon, where he describes some vegans and their obsessive fringe*. A fanatic animal-rights activist named Gary Yourofsky, who was the trigger of the discussion, is less relevant to the whole, but his opinion on Israeli/Palestinian strife is so starkly original that I can't skip it:

Responding to the core question of the Palestinian struggle and the call to boycott Israeli academia and the settlements, Yourofsky said he sees no point in caring about any human beings so long as animals that are being regularly slaughtered. “When people start eating sliced up Jew flesh, or seared Palestinian children in between two slices of bread with onions, pickles and mustard, then I’ll be concerned about the Middle East situation.”
Whatever, but the point of the post is how the anti-Zionist left responded to this opinion.
The +972 author, Haggai Matar, tries to wrap his head around such thinking, and finally gets an answer. Another animal rights activist explains that Yourofsky is a "single issue activist" who is focused on animal rights above all. He is, simply, a fanatic. Some people can be so obsessed with a single topic that they can be understood, even if their resulting actions are unforgivable.

Matar then quotes far left anti-Zionist Aeyal Gross, in Haaretz (Hebrew), where he notes that recently Bibi Netanyahu made statements supporting animal rights during a cabinet meeting. It wasn't a policy statement, it wasn't a public speech, it was just a conversation during a meeting.

Gross is incensed at how such a disgusting person as Netanyahu could possibly advocate a liberal position on anything. It is like Gross, a "part vegetarian part vegan," is sickened that he could have anything in common with the prime minister of Israel.

So Aeyal Gross, who had previously railed against Israel's officially gay-friendly public stance, called this "vegan-washing" as a successor to the ridiculous term "pinkwashing."
"Part vegetarian part vegan"... hm... an interesting combo. Something like centaur, I guess, only which part is vegetarian and which part is strictly vegan? No matter, but the invention of that "vegan-washing" term forced me to think in that philological direction, hitherto unexplored.

Think about it: there are, probably, thousands of different activities and points of view that find support and succor among the cursed Zionists. And no one has so far noticed it and, aside of the two cases (pinkwashing and vegan-washing), these activities remain scot-free of proper anti-Zionist attention, classification and nailing to the wall of shame. Something must be done about this, I am sure, and to be helpful to the anti-Zionist folks, I am bringing up here a few examples, hoping that this will be a first push in the right direction, and then the business of classification and nailing will become a self-sustaining form of anti-Zionist expression.

Let's start with washing. It is not a secret that at least some Zionists are washing and even demanding that their children be washed. Here is some proof: first an Hebrew article on benefits of washing. With pictures, too, to make the whole more sinister. And a children song, too popular to be denied:

Now, looking at this incontrovertible proof, how could one avoid applying the term "washing-washing"**? I am only surprised that the true anti-Zionists didn't invent it yet. Although I suspect that some of them are already on the case, judging by this:

Clearly someone suspected a Zionist washing plot, it just hasn't yet crystallized into a definition.

Here are a few examples of newly coined definitions, ready for use:
  • Book-reading-washing. While Zionists are consuming quite a lot of reading material, should it remain undefined and un-criticized?
  • High-tech-washing. Unnecessary to explain how the Zionists trumpet this activity. No more, I hope, with introduction of this term.
  • Color-washing. The Zionists bring to their country all kinds of Jews of all possible colors (or even colours). So there.
  • Democracy-washing. They (the Zionists) point out that their media is free and democratic, and anyone can publish any opinion, no matter how inane the opinion might be, like... oh well. Not anymore.
  • Hummus-washing. This is not about hygiene, chickpeas should be washed before processing into hummus no matter how anti-Zionist your are. But the insistence of the Zionists in producing their own brands of hummus is super-annoying. 
  • The no-rape-washing, I would have forgotten it if Noga didn't remind me.
Well, by now you have got the drift, I am more than sure.

(*) I must be careful here, and a statement that some of the vegans are my friends couldn't be missing from this post.

(**) There is an issue, though, that may later cause a rift between different branches of anti-Zionist movement. Namely, should the cases of Zionist-stained activities/opinions create a single word (like "pinkwashing") or are multiple words allowed (like in "scuba-diving-speargun-hunting-washing") ? The issue should be resolved asap, I suggest.

This Weeks’ Watcher’s Council Results

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

15 November 2013

NYT mockery of Bibi's stance on negotiations with Iran: an opinion or a message?


The rift between Washington and Jerusalem is deeper than it ever was during the current POTUS years in the White House, which is deep indeed, taking into account that Obama-Bibi chemistry so far produced poor results. The bitter and totally undiplomatic exchange of verbal blows between Kerry and Bibi was unprecedented:

Kerry, already bruised by the teetering Israeli-Palestinian talks and furious with Netanyahu over announcements of new settlement building, suggested Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the Israeli leader did not know what he was talking about.

“I’m not sure that the prime minister, who I have great respect for, knows exactly what the amount or the terms are going to be because we haven’t arrived at them all yet,” Kerry said.
And, of course, Bibi is no less outspoken about the looming agreement:
Netanyahu warned Kerry and his European counterparts that Iran would be getting "the deal of the century" if they carried out proposals to grant Tehran limited, temporary relief from sanctions in exchange for a partial suspension of, and pledge not to expand, its enrichment of uranium for nuclear fuel.

"Israel utterly rejects it and what I am saying is shared by many in the region, whether or not they express that publicly," Netanyahu told reporters.
In the light of this rift and the practically unreserved support NYT provides to the White House, the editorial Iran Nuclear Talks: Unfinished, but Alive, closely followed by Thomas Friedman's What About US?, wasn't very surprising. Both articles, by the way, were widely echoed in the Israeli press, Ynet links as an example only.

As if following in the footsteps of John Kerry, the NYT editorial was exceptionally harsh when mentioning Bibi:
Unfortunately, the inconclusive negotiations have given an opening to the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who excoriated the proposed agreement as the “deal of the century” for Iran before it is made public, to generate more hysterical opposition.
Israeli media, as one, latched onto that "hysterical opposition" quote with vengeance. Granted, NYT was never too gentle with Bibi, but this is a new high. No matter how august NYT high and mighty feel about themselves, even people like I, who don't belong to the Bibi's groupies' camp, were taken aback at the vehemence displayed. The attack on Bibi was especially difficult to understand, when the editorial itself states the reasons for failure of this stage of negotiations:
One primary obstacle involves Iran’s insistence that it has a right to enrich uranium (which can be used for nuclear power plants or weapons), something Washington is not ready to concede.
And then NYT reconfirms that it was Iran that walked away from the almost ready agreement:
But while France took a harder line than its partners on some issues, a senior American official said it was the Iranian delegation that balked at completing an interim agreement, saying that it had to engage in additional consultations in Tehran before proceeding further.
Of course a dig at France and its separate position on Iranian nukes was irresistible:
Meanwhile, other reports blamed France for the failure to reach a deal after Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius complained that the proposed agreement was a “fool’s game” just as negotiations were at a critical point.
The war cry of the editorial, though, is reserved for the end:
The opponents of a deal are energized and determined. The United States and its allies have to be united and smart.
The first sentence of that quote would be funny if its ridiculousness wasn't so obvious. The "mighty opponents": Israel, Saudi Arabia and a few other Sunni states in the Gulf, who have every good reason to fear the emerging nuclear Shia Iran. How do all of the mentioned - together or separately - change the course decided upon by United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China, must be a question of the century, but not one to be answered by NYT editorials.

As for the "United States and its allies": that one deserves a separate discussion, to appear later in this post. In any case, the enemies of peace are named, the "allies" are listed, the course of action is mapped out by NYT.

The big "But"

And then, on the heels of the editorial, comes a very strange and self-contradictory op-ed by Thomas Friedman. Why is it strange? Because it starts with a paragraph that couldn't be disagreed upon by any of the so called "opponents of the deal":
It goes without saying that the only near-term deal with Iran worth partially lifting sanctions for would be a deal that freezes all the key components of Iran’s nuclear weapons development program, and the only deal worth lifting all sanctions for is one that verifiably restricts Iran’s ability to breakout and build a nuclear bomb.
"Yes and yes", I am more than sure that Bibi, the Saudis, the French and everyone else concerned with the issue will answer to that statement. But then comes the inexplicable addendum:
But there is something else that goes without saying, but still needs to be said loudly: We, America, are not just hired lawyers negotiating a deal for Israel and the Sunni Gulf Arabs, which they alone get the final say on. We, America, have our own interests in not only seeing Iran’s nuclear weapons capability curtailed, but in ending the 34-year-old Iran-U.S. cold war, which has harmed our interests and those of our Israeli and Arab friends.
If anyone could explain the meaning of conjunction between these two paragraphs, I would be grateful. Indeed, is there a contradiction between hammering out an agreement on nuclear freeze and a breakthrough in bilateral relationships between US and Iran? And, if there is no contradiction (and I can't see one), why does the second paragraph start with that "But..."? A naive reader, like you and I, would say: do the first and, then, mighty please, go full steam with the second - why not? And if you think that becoming buddies with Iran will curb their support for terror everywhere in the world, resolve the Syrian conundrum and reign in Hezbollah - more power to you.

But - I am afraid that there is another, more sinister meaning to that "But". Taking into account Friedman's influence on the White House Middle Eastern politics ('In May 2011, it was reported in The New York Times that President Obama "has sounded out" Friedman concerning Middle East issues.'), one can decipher the message, not so artfully hidden in the op-ed. Which is: yes, in the ideal world we'd like to get that ideal agreement with Iran on the nukes. But you, the miscellaneous nay-sayers and troublemakers, should remember that US is interested above all and most of all in becoming best buddies with Iran again, and if the agreement that will be eventually signed, and no doubt it will be signed (at least this is what I, Tom Friedman, hear from the WH), if this agreement is not exactly up to par - well, too bad for you. Because our priorities are different, and it is not for nothing that our POTUS wanted to "engage" Iran from day one of his first term in the WH...

And of course, Friedman will not be Friedman without this crude attempt to frighten his loyal readers with a bold mind reading exercise of "some of our allies" (guess who?):
Some of our allies don’t share those “other” interests and believe the only acceptable outcome is bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities and keeping Iran an isolated, weak, pariah state.
Yes, I can just see Bibi pining days and nights for the red button that will send the IAF on its ultimate adventure - and bring an inevitable retaliation with untold number of dead and untold destruction. But of course, everything to please the man who won the Pulitzer Prize three times and is incapable of poetic flights of feverish imagination.

The "allies" comedy

Now we can discuss this finishing sentence from the editorial: "The United States and its allies have to be united and smart". Let's take a look at the "allies": Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China and their motives regarding the nuclear deal with Iran.
  • Britain. Would dearly like to get its presence in Iran back to normal and I bet British Petroleum is chafing at the bit to get back. I strongly doubt that nuclear-armed Iran is a consideration at all in London.
  • France. Has its own historical and other reasons to be tougher on Iran than all the others in the team. However, I wonder for how long its determination will keep.
  • Germany. Is torn between its loyalty to Israel and its once very strong commercial relations with Iran, who was traditionally a great customer for German high-tech (that including the rather infamous centrifuges).
  • Russia? You must be kidding, calling Russia, the country which above all likes to stick it to US, an ally. Not to mention Iran being its customer of choice for military equipment, nuclear power stations, civilian aviation and you name it. And, of course, the mutual interests in Syria and other places in the Middle East and elsewhere.
  • China? They are so hungry for new sources of oil that they will let Iran to test a few nukes in their territory, if asked. Ally of US? Pull another one.
In short, there is something the list is short of, and that is real allies for US. The sheer stupidity of that NYT editorial closing sentence should, by rights, haunt its writer for a long time, but in reality it will hardly interfere with his/her digestion, I am sure.

And re Israel, that other ally, mentioned in another context by Mr Friedman: it looks like being an ally of the current administration doesn't carry a lot of commitment on the administration's side, the alliances being dispensed of with ease, when the realpolitik commands.
The BuzzFeed report cited a Senate aide who said that “every time anybody would say anything about what would the Israelis say they’d get cut off and Kerry would say ‘you have to ignore what they’re telling you, stop listening to the Israelis on this.’”
It is not a big surprise to see again that allies are replaced as easily as underpants, but at least most people change their underpants in the privacy of closed rooms.

Although - why this focus on the ineffectual sidekick of the POTUS, who, after all, only carries out his POTUS' wishes? Let's recall the POTUS' "commitments". We all remember that presidential promise (commitment?):
But to the issue of Iran, as long as I'm president of the United States, Iran will not get a nuclear weapon.
It was repeated an uncounted number of times, but I know, I know: it is only a politician's promise, which is as good as a weather forecast, but carries less personal responsibility. Besides, as I hear, this promise was just a hasty slip of the tongue (no matter that it was so frequently repeated) and has been lately corrected to become Obama’s Promise To Iran: ‘If You Like Your Nuclear Weapons, You Can Keep Them’. Whatever, and my advise to Iranians will be... oh well, do what you want with that promise...

To complete the picture, I strongly recommend the post What No One's telling You About Iran's Big Victory In Geneva by Joshuapundit.

Also, check out the Israel: The Impudence Accompanying Betrayal by prof Barry Rubin that starts with a simple statement: "I’ve always been amazed that anyone thought the United States would ever act against the Iranian nuclear threat. There was never any chance that such a thing would happen. The United States would never go to war with tens of millions of people."