30 April 2014

Driver who killed teen is suing dead boy’s family for $1 million

I was definitely speechless while reading this story:

The family of a teenage bicyclist who died after being hit from behind by an SUV is now being sued for more than $1 million by the woman who was behind the wheel.

Sharlene Simon claims in court papers the accident caused her “great pain and suffering” and accuses her victim Brandon Majewski 17, and his two friends of negligence, calling them “incompetent bicyclists,” the Toronto Sun reported Friday.
The only thing that came to my stunned mind was the good old "הֲרָצַחְתָּ וְגַם יָרָשְׁתָּ?" or, in plain and simple words:

"Hast thou killed, and also taken possession?"

(1 Kings 21:19)

But, you know, after a while I settled down and made my peace with that. After all, it is real important to have a good and caring lawyer. And Ms Simon has really got herself one

As we all should. Or should we?

29 April 2014

Everyone and his own nightmares

Obama sits up in in his bed in the middle of the night with a wail, being woken up by a nightmare.

- What's happened, dear? - asks the first lady
- I had a nightmare, darling. I am sitting in a meeting in Moscow... and suddenly Putin says: "And now comrade Obama, the governor of Alaska, will report"... - And I am not ready!!!


Hat tip: L.G.

Patricia McAllister and the Holocaust Remembrance day

This is our hero, Patricia McAllister:

She was fired from her teaching job in 2011 indeed:
A substitute teacher no longer has a job with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) after footage of her anti-semitic views surfaced.

In an interview given last Wednesday to Reason TV during an Occupy LA protest, Patricia McAllister identified herself as a teacher with the LAUSD. She then said, "the Zionist Jews who are running these big banks and our federal reserve -- which is not run by the federal government -- they need to be run out of this country."
She made her position on the subject even clearer later:
Jews have been run out of 109 countries throughout history, and we need to run them out of this one.
Well, freedom of speech certainly does her a lot of good, as can be seen in her latest tweet (on the Holocaust Day 2014):

And of course, channeling Eustace Mullins, a "populist American political writer, biographer, antisemite, and Holocaust denier". Yep. It figures.

And here is another spot of brilliance from the same source:

Yes indeed, ladies and gentlemen, Patricia McAllister...

26 April 2014

The Council Has Spoken!

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

25 April 2014

How to miss and opportunity yet again: sign a unity pact with Hamas

It's just on the net newspapers (at 21.05 British Summer Time, 24 April): the PA and Hamas have signed a "unity" deal. Some unity: the terrorists and the "governing" body that keeps threatening to dissolve itself. Indeed, there are some 7 articles on the Times of Israel issue for 24 April, and I've linked to a couple of them below. More importantly, according to BBC radio news, Bibi has suspended negotiations with the PA, declaring that "Abbas has taken a giant step backwards".

Can't argue with that. The only caveat I have with that is the idea that Abbas ever really wanted a genuine peace deal with Israel as opposed to settlement that saw Israel, in the medium to long term, gone. We all know that was never going to happen. Pity that Obama and Kerry didn't either.

Here are some of those Times articles: (Liberman: deal impossible as long as palestine unity deal stands); (note the title: unity deal a kiss of death for Abbas - nice picture that creates!); and this (Israeli ministers mull new sanctions over the deal - not actually the title of the piece, but the substance of the article).

Spend the rest of your day reading this and the other three, then despair over the stupidity of the Palestinians. Remember Abba Eban's most famous quote over this issue: "The Arabs (read Palestinians) never miss and opportunity to miss an opportunity".

They've done it again. Unfailingly, they prove the truth of Eban's aphorism.

By Brian Goldfarb.

22 April 2014

The wheel of time: Lev Tolstoy on Russo-Japanese war

A Russian blogger Alexander Shamarin posted on FB an article Writer and the State about a long forgotten, but very relevant these days episode. First a reminder: the subject of the post is a letter written by Lev (Leo) Tolstoy on the ongoing Russo-Japanese war. A short enough excerpt on the cause of war:
The Russo-Japanese War (8 February 1904 – 5 September 1905) was "the first great war of the 20th century." It grew out of rival imperial ambitions of the Russian Empire and the Empire of Japan over Manchuria and Korea. The major theatres of operations were Southern Manchuria, specifically the area around the Liaodong Peninsula and Mukden; and the seas around Korea, Japan, and the Yellow Sea.

Russia sought a warm water port on the Pacific Ocean, for their navy as well as for maritime trade. Vladivostok was only operational during the summer season, but Port Arthur would be operational all year.
And an even briefer summary of the casualties:
The number of Japanese army dead in combat is put at around 47,000 with around 27,000 additional casualties from disease,and between 6,000 and 12,000 of wounds. Estimates of Russian army dead range from around 40,000 to around 70,000 men. The total number of army dead is generally stated from around 130,000 to 170,000. China suffered 20,000 civilian deaths...
Leo Tolstoy sent an article to British Times at the time, protesting the war. I am embedding here a copy from a similar article by Tolstoy, for lack of the original English version (click to read):

You can read the rest of the article via the link above. The response of the "patriotic" Russian media was quite strong. Newspaper "Citizen" is perplexed by the nonentity that the great Russian writer has become:
"So, I thought, reading Tolstoy's lines, what a pitiful and miserable creature this big genius has withered to, comfortable in his study of Yasnaya Polyana, sending to my friends and brothers in blood and in spirit on the battlefield his poisonous words of indignation and embarrassment, at the moment when, in hardship and suffering, they bravely do their duty and die for something sacred, and when even the children in a multimillion nation understand and feel that in these minutes, besides food, shelter and weapons, words of love and encouragement are needed by each soldier, and that whoever at this time is confusing them by his words and deprives them of encouragement, is the worst enemy and executioner of these heroes."
(Sorry for the length of that sentence, but it goes on that way in the original).

"Moskow journals", the newspaper of the Moscow University, with the utmost rigor of a serious scientific publication states: Leo Tolstoy is no longer the great Russian writer:
Yes, citizen. Tolstoy - the enemy of the War; but he has long ago ceased to be a Russian, since about when he ceased to be Orthodox.

Thus the real war could not cause him any "clash of feelings", and there hasn't been a storm under his skull, for Count Tolstoy is now completely alien to Russia, and it is immaterial for him whether Japanese possess Moscow, St. Petersburg and the whole Russia [sic!], as long as Russia would quickly sign a peace treaty with Japan, on any, even the most humiliating and shameful, conditions. No Russian person can feel, think and speak so vulgarly and contemptibly, therefore Tolstoy can't be considered Russian.
If he still lives in Russia, this is only due to the generosity of Russian Government, which still reveres a former talented writer Leo Tolstoy, with whom the present old maniac and blasphemer from Yasnaya Polyana has nothing in common but the name...

Would the Government deemed it possible to rip the mask from citizen Tolstoy and show him to the Russian people, in all his hideous nakedness, this act would be the end of all our "Tolstoyanism" and then, but only then, one could allow the old screwball quietly live out his life in his Yasnaya Polyana and bury there his former glory.
Well, there is more in that post by Alexander Shamarin, but I think that the above provides enough food for thought.

Meanwhile the wheel turns.

Having your cake and eating it as well

This article is a rather repetitive one by Khaled Abu Toameh from Gatestone Institute* which spells out, once more, the hypocrisy of the Palestinian Authority(PA) in calling on the Israelis to release yet more terrorists, as a precondition for continuing the "peace talks" (which might, to the cynical, be better labelled as the "you give us everything we want and then you can go to hell" talks). As it does every year, the PA is holding a "prisoners day" in which it celebrates the sacrifices made by those noble terrorists arrested, tried and imprisoned (under a very familiar and recognisable regime of the rule of law) by the Israelis.

The hypocrisy of this is exposed by an article, itself from a suspect source, but I'll come to that, that states that "its own security forces continue to hold hundreds, if not thousands, of Palestinians in prison, some tortured, some without trial.

This year alone, the Palestinian Authority has arrested 357 Palestinians accused of security/political offenses, 42 of whom are university students." Further, "[a]ccording to the report, prepared by the Hamas-run Ministry of Planning, all 357 detainees belonged to various Palestinian groups in the West Bank, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad." I trust you take the point about the report coming from a suspect source. Personally, I wouldn't trust either organisation further than I could throw them, left-handed, with tendonitis in the left wrist (and I'm right-handed, anyway).

(*) For those who don't know it, "Gatestone Institute [is] a non-partisan, not-for-profit international policy council and think tank is dedicated to educating the public about what the mainstream media fails to report in promoting:

  • Institutions of Democracy and the Rule of Law;
  • Human Rights
  • A free and strong economy
  • A military capable of ensuring peace at home and in the free world
  • Energy independence
  • Ensuring the public stay informed of threats to our individual liberty, sovereignty and free speech.
As you might gather from that language, it is based in the US, and is none the worse for that. Among its Directors is Douglas Murray, of The Commentator, a relatively, in economic policy terms, right-wing on-line paper which is generally pro-Israel, and also of The Henry Jackson Society, ditto.

By Brian Goldfarb.

21 April 2014

My quick patch proposal for good people of Castrillo Matajudios

The brouhaha with the name of that Spanish town, which name means Castrillo Kill Jews, is really getting to me. It is probably the tenth article on the subject I stumble upon.

Apparently the solution is going to be voted on soon, by all 56 citizens of that place. And what it is?
If they agree to the change, locals will be able to choose between the rather less offensive Mota Judios and Mota de Judios, which both mean Mound of the Jews.
And what is "mound", if you look at it closer? Let's see, avoiding baseball, of course:
  • A small natural hill
  • A collection of objects laid on top of each other
  • Structure consisting of an artificial heap or bank usually of earth or stones
I don't know, to my suspicious mind is all sounds kinda funereal, don't you think so?

So I have a capital idea: take some masking tape and just stick it over the Matajudios part on the road signs. Smear some black ink over same on the official papers and you are done! Think about savings of time and money!

And there is another point:
"It is a name that we know today is not very correct,” the mayor explained.
Indeed. But political correctness is not like correctness in, say, science. Today it is incorrect, tomorrow - who knows? And then all you have to do is to remove some masking tape. Big deal?


Registration of Russian bloggers as an anti-terrorist measure

According to Russian RIA Novosti:
The State Duma on Friday will consider (in second reading) a package of "anti-terrorism" laws, which, in particular, limit the transfer of anonymous payments and equate popular bloggers to the mass media, told the first deputy speaker of the lower house of the "United Russia" Alexander Zhukov.

The package also expands the powers of the Federal Security Service and toughens punishment for organizing terrorist attacks and riots. Three papers (on the FSB, the duty to keep the data on the Internet for six months, an anonymous payments) were produced by deputies from all four factions, led by the head of the security committee Irina Yarovaya (United Russia) and later were updated by two amendments - on bloggers and riots.

"I would have said that anti-terrorism package consists of several bills that will be considered on second reading. First of all, the introduction of order into remittances, cessation of anonymous money transfers, restrictions on the amount, when such transfers are made without opening a bank account," Zhukov said .

He added that the law also introduces the concept of "blogger" - "if the personal page receives more than 3 thousands of hits (per day)." "In fact some registration is required, equating [the blogger] to the mass media" - explained the MP.
The cause of freedom is no doubt being strengthened by this (r)evolutionary measure...

He who is unhappy is an enemy of the people

I don't know if all of the readers remember this old Soviet term, "enemy of the people". To hear it pronounced during Stalin's time usually meant a death sentence. Who knows, we may be facing a "renaissance" of this dark era. Here comes an important human document that describes the goings-on in the Russian Federation, now a bit larger with "reunification" of Crimea.

The headline of this post is the one chosen by Frankfurter Allgemeine for an interview of Belarusian writer Svetlana Aleksievich. It German it reads Wer nicht jubelt, ist ein Volksfeind. Volksfeind... sounds good too, doesn't it? So, to the translation: not knowing German, I have resorted to the Russian version of the same article. And a few remarks and links were added where strictly necessary.

Belarusian writer Svetlana Aleksievich describes for Frankfurter Allgemeine the mood in Russia after the annexation of the Crimea.

"I lost many Russian friends" - she writes - " I hate to see this enthusiasm when it comes to the "unification" or "annexation" or to hear that Ukrainians 'will soon have nothing to eat, and then they will beg for a merger'... Restaurants don't have any Crimean champagne anymore - all was drank when they celebrated the victory. One constantly hears the talk that 'we, the Russian people, without a sense of being God's chosen people, without imperial sentiments would not be ourselves'. Russian volunteers crowd before military commissariats to show the 'Banderovites'* what is what."

"I was flabbergasted by Gorbachev - confesses Aleksievich - Even he succumbed to the nationalist wave and said that Crimea should have been returned long time ago. Allegedly, historical justice was restored... So he no longer talks about the European way, about partnership with Europe or common values."

"Normal Russia keeps mum. Just try to say something - somebody will inform on you, and they will throw you in prison... all the liberals** are hated today. Because they were the ones who caused the "dashing nineties", because they caused the loss of the empire. People demand that the liberals' apartments be confiscated, the liberals arrested and shot. Chosen people!"

"He who is not happy is an enemy of the people. Part of the fifth column, one of the State Department*** henchmen. Stalinist lexicon was fully restored; "traitor", "renegade", a "fascists' accomplice" etc. The only difference is that the new Stalinists are now followers of the Russian Orthodox Church. Russia has been unable to accept Western values, Western Christianity. They preach in the [Russian] churches: 'we are again being pushed into the model of progress that is alien to us, that will cause us to lose our spirituality.' I asked my priest friend, what is it, this spirituality. 'Gather all homosexuals in one city and shoot them there!' - was the answer... We, they say, are strong enough now and are able to protect our people in the Baltic States, in Tajikistan, wherever... Orthodox newspapers earnestly call Putin a saint. It turns out that in his previous incarnation he was Prince Vladimir and baptized Russia. Rumor has it that in some churches Putin's icon produces myrrh. Holy! Miracle! He lives like a monk. He is engaged with Russia..."

"There have already been calls to reject American goods. In Ufa they burned an effigy of Obama in response to American sanctions. I spoke with dozens of people about the sanctions and the "iron curtain", and no one is afraid. They remember that in Soviet times they have also lived in isolation. So what? But the life had a meaning then: to help the brothers is more important than to have a sausage in the fridge... They will begin to ask soon why are you going on holiday to Egypt or Turkey, but not to Sochi? Why do you listen to foreign music and not to Russian?"

"There is a feeling that the country is at war - continues the writer - People are wishing each other more victories: 'And what about Alaska?' It is scary to switch on the TV. The TV threatens to transform America into a nuclear dust, discusses occupation of the whole of Europe ... The media is being "cleaned up" according to the laws of war. Any alternative sources of information that allow other points of view are destroyed. Any word of truth or protest is being equaled to calls for the overthrow of government, unwanted Internet sites are blocked."

"Whither Russia? Today we prefer war to reforms. The thirst for return of the lost lands drives the minds of millions crazy. The same intelligent and reasonable people who have dreamed about westernized Russia just yesterday. Today they avow in a chorus: 'For the Crimea we forgive Putin everything!'... We got back not just the Crimea, but the Soviet Union... Putin worked on this for fifteen years. Day after day the TV was reviving Soviet ideas. And we thought they were dead."

"The world will never be the same - convinced Aleksievich - Putin blew up the world order, built after World War II. Will West accept the new Russia or reject it? If the West rejects, it will be left alone with their pipelines ... Generally, where violence again becomes an ideal, there appears your Karadzic, who will convince people that you can do good using a machine gun."


(*) The currently popular Russian myth is that the anti-Russian fraction in Ukraine is led by the followers of late Stepan Bandera. While some of Ukrainians are admirers of the Bandera, far be it from the whole truth.

(**) "Liberals" mentioned in the article are not "liberals" in the American sense, rather the people that took part in the demolition of Soviet Union.

(***) State Department is obviously seen as the source of all tribulations that Russia went (and goes) through.

And, for an afterword: Russia's new culture policy a weapon against West.
Russians not only have their own "cultural code," he said, they also have a unique moral outlook -- unlike Westerners, Russians are selfless and prone to self-sacrifice.

"These are the deep roots of our patriotism," Putin said.
Yes indeed, Vladimir Vladimirovich.

Music in some people's life


And more music:

20 April 2014

So, "Jews brought Holocaust on themselves". What else is new in Moscow?

UPI, followed by Haaretz and Jerusalem Post, published an interesting clip from the Russian TV 24:

The transcript of the short conversation, as it appears on America Blog (by John Aravosis):

PROKHANOV: It is strange that Jewish organizations – European and Russian – support Maidan. They do that? They do not realize that they are, with their own hands, closer to the second Holocaust?

HOST EVELYN ZAKAMSKAYA: They also advanced the first [Holocaust].

PROKHANOV: It’s dreadful, it is astonishing blindness — which, apparently, is repeated, because until 1933 in Europe many liberal organizations were feeding Hitler.

Save some insignificant details, it is a precise transcript of this part of a longer interview. However, the four sources linked above made one mistake of judgment: they focused on the wrong side of the discussion, the TV news announcer Evelyn (actually Evelyna) Zakamskaya. Her mindless "They also advanced the first [Holocaust]" is no more than a sign of casual parlor antisemitism of a stupid glitterati, trying to be attuned to her important guest.

Her guest, Alexandr Prokhanov, however, is a totally different kettle of fish. He is a member of the secretariat of the Writers Union of the Russian Federation and the editor-in-chief of the ultra-nationalist newspaper "Завтра" (Zavtra - Tomorrow). He is a man that, especially in these days of nationalist renaissance, Crimea "reunification" and possible additional land grabs from Ukraine and other neighbors, is busily feeding and leading the murky wave of nationalist intoxication.

He is also a diploma-ed raving anti-Semite, and I don't dispense that characteristic lightly. I had the doubtful pleasure to report on Mr Prokhanov twice: once on his raving ultra-nationalist elegy to Stalin and once on his amazingly stupid wet dreams in Gaza. His Wiki entry and these two posts will tell you all you need to know about this character. Keep in mind, though, that he carries a significant weight in Russia these days.

Of course, his reference to second Holocaust could be taken in two ways: a threat (continue to support Ukrainians and see where it gets you) or a (totally false in his case) expression of care (these Ukrainians will turn on you in response for your support).

Taken into account that just recently Putin used the Ukrainian antisemitism (real, by the way) as one of the straws he is grasping in his unwinnable struggle to explain the Crimea land grab, the Jews of Ukraine are facing a stark choice indeed.

Rule 5 corollary: never lose control of the wheel

Because Ernie is waiting:

19 April 2014

Happy Easter

To all our Christian friends. And a set of visual greetings for every taste. Starting with a generic one:

Now a political one:

And one for cat lovers:

Of course, one with some violence (verbal and physical):

And, not to forget, something for old goats (like I):

And for a good measure, an unforgettable Jelly Bean Pooping Easter Bunny - read the comments!

Merry and happy Easter, you all out there!

Rabbi Lau vs Nazis on who is a Jew

That thorny question about who is a Jew is again raising its ugly head. This time the initiator of the squabble is:

Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau
From his recent interview:
Lau says he wants to work with Jewish Agency aliyah emissaries to “get to every corner of the world, to cemeteries, community records, asking non-Jewish neighbors, and you can help people” who wish to convert. However, he says the Law of Return is “problematic,” adding that former religious affairs minister Yossi Beilin “called for its cancellation,” and that “the state of Israel has to decide if it wants to be a welfare state for the Third World, bringing in everyone who has a connection with Judaism, or perhaps only those who are Jews.” As an example, he offered the case of “a grandfather who isn’t even buried here, he’s buried in Russbach, Germany, but because of one grandfather, 78 [relatives] of his wife, grandchildren, everyone gets absorption benefits and all the rights.”
I don't want to get into an argument with a man who can outargue my legs from under me. Just a reminder:
On November 14, 1935, the Nazis issued the following definition of a Jew: Anyone with three Jewish grandparents; someone with two Jewish grandparents who belonged to the Jewish community on September 15, 1935, or joined thereafter; was married to a Jew or Jewess on September 15, 1935, or married one thereafter; was the offspring of a marriage or extramarital liaison with a Jew on or after September 15, 1935.
I know that this opinion of mine isn't going to be popular in some circles, but, unfortunately, I have to say that in this case the Nazi version works for me better.

And, to bring the point to the extreme: if a man (woman) is crazy (or inspired) enough to wish to join the tribe, knowing all the pitfalls involved: let it be so.

Now you see it and now you don't: does IDF use Photoshop to impress the public?

Well, it comes from a Lebanese paper, they say, but still:

Lebanese paper publishes photos of reported arms depot in Hezbollah-controlled area and images taken 10 days after alleged strike of scorched earth.
I mean it looks like a regiment of grunts with a very tough sergeant did a thorough clean-up job there for a few days...

And that image didn't fail to remind me something I've seen recently:

Oh well, too many questions...

The Council Has Spoken!

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

18 April 2014

Gabriel Garcia Marquez, RIP

"Claro que Gabriel García Márquez no ha muerto." (Of course Gabriel García Márquez is not dead.)

Never. Never.

Kate Upton wishes her breasts were smaller: a case for government intervention?

I am not a communist, but this case of possible neglect makes me wonder: shouldn't the objects in question be nationalized as a national treasure?

They’re two of the biggest stars in fashion, double-billing on the covers of Sports Illustrated, Vogue and Vanity Fair and lusted over by countless admirers — still, Kate Upton can’t stand them, reports The New York Post.
A possible case for EPA? Treasure (no pun intended) Dept?

On the other hand, this may be just a case of Kate scaring up more publicity, after all who can forget this:

Not I, at any rate...

Another book not to read

The blurb that starts with:

A young CIA lawyer uncovers a dangerous worldwide conspiracy, masterminded by forces within the US intelligence community.
and ends (more or less) with:
With the help of a neurotic hacker, ... unravels a conspiracy older than the CIA itself.
Nah... try again, please...

Why would a lawyer uncover... how could these CIA characters mastermind... nah... peace...

Is political barfing a wave of the future?

Apologies for poor and disgusting pun, but truly, what do you want me to do?

Soon in the various parliaments of the world...

17 April 2014

The Donetsk directive: a hoax that reverberates

This leaflet, distributed to the Jews of Ukrainian city of Donetsk* by people alleged to be Russian separatists and requesting that Donetsk Jews register with some ill-defined pro-Russian local authority, has all the telltale signs of a crude provocation. On the face of it, this is a fake intended to present the pro-Russian forces in Donetsk as a dark antisemitic power with the worst intentions.
It orders all Jews aged over 16 years old to register before the government building, which has been occupied by pro-Russian insurgents in defiance of Kiev rule.

Jews would also have to pay a registration fee of $50 (£30) before 3 May and list all real estate and vehicles owned.

The registration and the fee are due because the Jewish leaders "supported the nationalist junta of [Stepan] Bandera in Kiev" and are hostile "to Orthodox Donetsk republic and its citizens.

"In case of failure to register, the perpetrators will be stripped of their citizenship and deported forcibly outside the country with confiscation of property."
To the people with even a smidgen of knowledge of Jewish history this leaflet can't fail to remind a leaflet distributed in 1942 by occupying German army in Kiev, ordering the Jews to present themselves to "authorities" with all their valuables...

Of course, the knowledge that, according to the reports, the leaflet was distributed by "three unidentified men wearing balaclavas and carrying the flag of the Russian Federation", strengthens the suggestion that this act was an intentional (and crude) provocation by the Ukrainian side of the conflict, aimed to paint the Russian separatists in the dirtiest colors.

And of course, the bloody history of the region's political upheavals frequently included Jews as bystander victims, where all sides of almost every conflict felt free to slaughter as many as their mood dictated. From Bohdan Khmelnytsky and up.

The only question is: was that specific provocation a fruit of Ukrainian inventiveness or, taking another step into conspiracy twilight, an even more complicated maneuver by the Moscow tacticians of the dirty tricks? But one can play this game forever, without getting to a firm conclusion.

Meanwhile the Jews of Donetsk will not sleep well...

(*) Donetsk, a Ukraine province with 4.3 million people - 10 percent of Ukraine's population - and 17,000 Jews, is home to much of the country's heavy industry, and is thus the biggest prize of the eastern regions where pro-Russian separatists have captured government buildings in the past week.

Thus does Putin enjoy

A full quote from one and only Terry Glavine:

In these ways, Ukraine’s brave democrats are confronted with an untenable decision. It’s either stand against the Russian bully on their own with nothing to go on but empty talk about “red lines” disgorged as though by some machine in the U.S. State Department’s press liaison office, or surrender their proud country to the status of a vassal state, a satrapy to Russia’s kleptocrats, like Belarus, or Kazakhstan.

Thus does Putin enjoy for his side the unimpeachable evidence for the worthlessness of American friendship in the Age of Obama.
But read it all, by all means.

Watcher’s Council Nominations – Yippee-Ki-Yay Edition

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

16 April 2014

The wondrous stutter of Andrew Sullivan

I have recently wondered about Andrew Sullivan (Biased and Balanced) being so strict with the Zionist State about its wavering loyalty to Washington. Apologies for quoting myself, but this is what I've written in the conclusion to that post: "I consider Sullivan to be many things, but stupid is not one of them."

The latest diatribe by Mr Sullivan, nailing Israel to the wall of shame (again) for its insufficient support of US position on Russian shenanigans in Ukraine, however, provides a good reason to review that conclusion. The argumentation and tone of that screech are very similar to that previous case:
I cannot think of an alliance quite this perverse: the US gives Israel vital protection at the UN, vast amounts of intelligence and military assistance, $3 billion a year in aid and in return is opposed in most of its foreign policy initiatives, and its officials routinely slimed and attacked by members of the Israeli government. Name any other “ally” that behaves this way.
Notice the Goebbelsian love of hype in the above quote: "opposed" for sitting on the fence and "routinely slimed and attacked" for whatever this or another unruly Israeli minister said about this or another act or decision by an American VIP.

I could easily fisk the quote, but there is practically no need. Because (exactly as in that previous case), Andrew Sullivan fisks himself better, and, surprisingly (or not?), during that same day, April 14. In that other article titled Why Do So Many Germans Support Putin? he (while not voicing his august opinion on that support - I wonder why?) quite sympathetically quotes some German reader who explains why it is so. I just have to copy the main bullets from that explanation:
  • They [Germans] want Germany to do politics purely based in Germany’s and not in John McCain’s or Victoria “Fuck the EU” Nuland’s (and all the other Western clowns handing out cookies on Maidan square).
  • They [Germans] don’t understand what on earth the Ukraine has to do with the EU at a time that the EU is in deep crisis. Who are these incompetent politicians engaging in these terribly shortsighted idealistic adventures and who authorized them to act in such way in our name?
  • They [Germans] see the hypocrisy of the West when for example John Kerry says “in the 21st Century you cannot simply invade another country on trumped up charges.” Hello?
So let's see. When puny Israel allows itself to sit on the fence regarding Ukraine, it gets a (very stinky) broadside from Sullivan, with recounting all the wonderful things US of A does for it.

When Germans, quite unreservedly, diss US of A on the same subject, this is somehow acceptable to Sullivan.

Of course, the humongous amounts of money spent by US yearly on direct military presence in Europe (chiefly in Germany, it so happens), the nuclear umbrella US provides to Europe practically gratis, etc dwarf the military and financial assistance provided to Israel hundreds of times. Shouldn't Sullivan address a similar diatribe (only worded proportionally stronger, due to the overwhelming monetary and other values of US support to Germany) to the European partner?

Since he doesn't, I have only two possible options:
  1. Review the statement about Andrew Sullivan not being stupid or
  2. Conclude that anything related to the Zionist entity automatically deprives the said Andrew Sullivan of any common sense, logic or, indeed, the famous British fairness
Which one of the above should I choose?

You tell me.

A most baffling headline: Security 'bad news for sex drive'

And the lede of the article is even more baffling:

A woman's sex drive begins to plummet once she is in a secure relationship, according to research.
What the heck is "secure relationship"? Does it have something to do with all kinds of security outfits? The War on Terror? DHS? Shin Bet?

And what should a man do to avoid it?

Consider me deeply confused...

14 April 2014

Happy Passover - חג חרות שמח!

To whom it may concern and all the friends whom it doesn't concern directly. Of course, as the habit of this blog, a few food-related remarks:

And the eternally funny and somewhat related:

Enjoy you Seder now, you hear?

12 April 2014

Bay Area anarchists leave Marx standing in the dust Part I: redefining "parasite"

Clearly the image of a proud American, nurtured by American writers for so many years, is quite swiftly becoming a fond memory. I mean that American that believed in his/her personal freedoms, including the freedom to disregard the nanny state that ties your hands, enters your life, your kitchen, your bedroom, your brain and offers its ill-earned handouts, instead of letting you go out into the big bad world and work out your own way to feed yourself and your family. So far it looks like in the battle between the libertarian ideals and the state's unprecedented (in American history) growth the latter wins.

One of the reasons the state wins is, in my opinion, the successful encroachment of the Third Left* in the area neglected by the liberal and conservative political streams: education. Leaving many other regrettable results of the encroachment to separate discussions, I would like to focus on one of them: the unshakable sense of entitlement, carried out by an American youth from their places of learning.

Kevin Rose
There is nothing better (education-wise) than to illustrate one's thesis by a funny, albeit totally true, supportive story. So at this point the boring part of the post is practically over. And here is the story. There is an entrepreneur named Kevin Rose, whose illustrious history of entrepreneurship includes one successful venture: Digg; and several comparative failures. Still, the man has clearly an original mind, which brought him to attention of the mighty Google, where he is now a venture partner at Google Ventures. And thus he ended up on the receiving end of the Bay Area anarchists' ire.

It so happens that Google Ventures is held (by the anarchists) responsible for the (undeniable) sharp increase in housing prices in the Bay Area:
As a way of honoring the system that brought them their wealth, Brin and Page created Google Ventures, the venture capital wing of the corporation. The employees of Google Ventures select startups and existing companies to either fund or acquire. Many of these investments are located in the Bay Area and the employees of these newly funded or acquired startups have moved to San Francisco and parts of Oakland.
And thus:
Venture capitalists enable these tech-workers by funding their startups. With the success of each startup, more and more ambitious tech-workers flock to the city and displace underemployed service workers to the cities at the far reaches of the BART line. These workers must then commute back to San Francisco or Oakland every morning, in most cases to perform menial tasks for the entitled scum who drove them out in the first place.
So, the positioning of the good vs bad is clear: "underemployed service workers" (not clearly defined) vs the "entitled scum" who are defined precisely: the "tech-workers" employed by the start-ups. And, since Kevin Rose himself chose the neighborhood for his home, his presence close to the battlefield, so to say, his house is being picketed now:

The demo at Rose's place
Leaving aside the issue of Kevin Rose's "ballz" (you can read the linked article about it, suffice to say that Mr Rose is not necessarily an angel), his designation as a parasite should raise an eyebrow or two. Whatever he is, his life story doesn't look as that of a parasite... but this is not very important.

Of course, the anarchists, never being ones for fine nuance, made the disposition of forces on the battlefield to look as simple as possible, leaving out the housing market, the owners, the lack of rent protection, the indifference of the local elected authorities etc. Why bother, when there is a Kevin Rose close at hand to blame:
We are here today because a few of the thousands low-paid, underemployed service workers got fed up with Kevin Rose treating them like the shit one scrapes from their boot, not even worthy of eye contact or the basic pleasantries generally taken for granted in our culture.
Simple and straightforward: Kevin Rose as evil personified. Do you dig it, comrade? Sure do, bro...

And then the authors of the whole brew come up with a smashing statement - a single sentence that (almost, but not quite) takes the cake, at least in this story:
Unfortunate people like Kevin Rose have never known a world without capitalism and in their ignorance they only know how to fortify it.
Yep. Poor Mr Rose. I bet the fairly fashionably dressed ladies from that picket know a lot about living in the "world without capitalism", whatever it means for them. Probably could tell me a lot I don't know. Or simply don't grok.

And then the screed continues into painfully familiar:
Everything they do helps to extend the suicidal reign of this world system that renders all life into a commodity and replaces real life with digital distractions that lead people into narcosis, gluttony, and sociopathic greed. Kevin Rose and his employers at Google represent one part of a larger structure that keeps people enslaved to this single economic system that is literally killing the planet and decreasing the chances of continued life.
And more, much more of the same Third Left drivel. Yes, do yourself a favor: go buy and read that book by Barry Rubin (see the end of this post).

Well, you have seen the build-up to the end of the old era, the suicidal rein of greedy and unbridled "tech entrepreneurship" that enslaves, narcotizes, kills the planet and the life. But our friends The Counterforce (this is how the call themselves, at least in that article) have a fantastic plan for the new era, that of the shining future, where all will be well, no worries whatsoever. This will be disclosed in the second post on the subject.

(*) The Third Left is a term coined by the late prof Barry Rubin to designate the wildly successful new wave of leftist practice that culminated (so far) in election of Barak Obama. Read more in his book Silent Revolution: How the Left Rose to Political Power and Cultural Dominance.

Bay Area anarchists leave Marx standing in the dust part II: the shining future

As I have mentioned in the previous post, we still haven't seen the best part of The Counterforce article. Here it comes:

We want no part of this disgusting and creepy game being played by a bunch power deranged man-children.

To this end, we now make our first clear demand of Google. We demand that Google give three billion dollars to an anarchist organization of our choosing. This money will then be used to create autonomous, anti-capitalist, and anti-racist communities throughout the Bay Area and Northern California. In these communities, whether in San Francisco or in the woods, no one will ever have to pay rent and housing will be free. With this three billion from Google, we will solve the housing crisis in the Bay Area and prove to the world that an anarchist world is not only possible but in fact irrepressible. If given the chance, most humans will pursue a course towards increased freedom and greater liberty. As it stands, only people like Kevin Rose are given the opportunity to reshape their world, and look at what they do with those opportunities.
I think we have a plan here. Of course, being a bit hasty (as appropriate for a good anarchist), the folks haven't really thought the plan through. So I would like to make a few corrections and, in fact, to propose a larger scale idea for the brave new world, where everyone (aside of a few reactionary capitalist, bigoted and racist characters) will be free of any bonds that oppress, stifle and generally... well, you know how it goes.

So, let's start with basics.

Plumbing. It is a well known fact that anarchists are not very good with plumbing and associate norms of restroom behavior (see recent shenanigans of the nice folks from "Occupy this" and "Occupy that"). Thus the problem of plumbing will have to be taken care of fairly soon and be taken care of on a regular basis.

Food, clothing and stuff. The other endearing trait of the anarchists is their inability to find time for the boring and dehumanizing menial labor, what with working like ants on unrelenting improvement of life for our lot. That angle will have to be attended to by somebody with ways and means. Which brings us to the issue of

Means. Revolution is fine and dandy, and the initial investment of $3Bn from Google is a good start too. But again, being a bit rush about the future, the Counterforce ladies and gentlemen comrades didn't think about ongoing expenses, only partly mentioned above. Why, a single environmentally correct Tesla for every member of the new community will take a sizable bite of initial investment, not to mention the monthly upkeep and maintenance... Anyway, here is the plan:

The country (US to start with, then, of course, all the others) will be divided into two distinct areas: the anarchist Totally Outer Circle, where all the good progressive folks will live in the Land of the Future, and the Flyover Country the Capitalist Hell, where the capitalist racist bigots, tech-worker leeches, car builder parasites, redneck Bible-thumping farmers  and other entitled scum (and not to forget the plumbers, of course!) will be allowed to stay, producing all kinds of goods and services (like plumbing) as required for proper functioning of the brave new world. Here is the map:

The capital of the Totally Outer Circle will be, of course, San Francisco (marked pink on the map). As you can see, the citizens of TOC get all the beaches and the good weather, which will allow them to be properly suntanned and healthy.

Chicago and surrounding area will be declared ex-territorial, in honor of the first really cool president who does grok it. 

Oh, and Alaska... the heck with Alaska, if Putin wants it so much, let him get the grizzly bears and the permafrost. See how he likes it, anyway.

Of course, there is also an issue of stipend that the Capitalist Hell will have to pay to the Totally Outer Circle on a regular basis (remember that important detail forgotten by The Counterforce folks?).

And, without doubt, this blueprint works for any other country in the world, so we all might as well start going with its implementation. First US of A and then the rest of the world! Just don't forget the plumbing, and everything will be fine.


Now, after all the fun and games are over, I have to confess that the situation is not funny at all. It's true that the case of Bay Area anarchists, presented in these two posts, may be an extreme (an thus laughable) example of a hyped up sense of entitlement, ignorance and pure stupidity. But this drop is a representation of a dumbed down generation of high school, college and university students that grow up in the pervasive atmosphere of pseudo-Marxist demagogy - the "liberal-progressive" machinery built up during the years of diligent toil by the Third Left. The same left that successfully eradicated the true liberal movement and is using the hollowed-out carcass of the term "liberal" for its own, quite nefarious purposes. Starting with poisoning the minds of the American youth. Says Barry Rubin:
Alongside the mass media, the other main institution forming people’s views about politics and the world was education. With so much one-sided indoctrination going on, the results were a massive shift in the worldview of young people. Asked in 2009 whether they preferred socialism or capitalism, 53 percent of adults said capitalism, 20 percent socialism, and 20 percent didn’t know. But among young people between ages 18 and 30, respondents were evenly divided. Where had this penchant for socialism suddenly arisen, since there had been no explicitly socialist movement to push people in that direction, nor any dramatic incentive in society for young Americans to think that way?

This was no natural process but in fact a deliberate, concerted effort to make them think that way. Indoctrination was all-invasive and easy to document, reinforced by class curricula and readings, defined as coolly fashionable, cheered by campus groups and freshman orientation programs, strengthened by films and mass media, and protected from criticism. Lacking were not only conservative professors but also liberal ones who adhered to the professional ethics of balance, open debate, and keeping their partisan opinions out of the classroom.
Maybe you understand better now that, seemingly idiotic, quote: "Unfortunate people like Kevin Rose have never known a world without capitalism..." Of course, the person that has written it doesn't have any experience with "a world without capitalism". But for that person the said socialist world is as good as real, because he/she was taught that it is all good, and that it is his/hers for the taking...

And no, I am not talking about a conspiracy, led by a communist party or any other sinister organization aiming to take over the helm and preparing a bloodbath, not at all. We are witnessing a much more subtle, loosely organized ideology-based bloodless coup, where through the years and years of brainwashing and seeing its praised pupils take over the key positions in the media, the politics and, eventually, the government (the big and growing government, it has to be said), the Third Left may achieve what was denied to the previous incarnations of American Marxists. Here is another quote from Barry Rubin that must force you to sit up and listen:
...when the history department chair at a well-known university died, one of his colleagues wrote a glowing obituary on a closed historians’ email list that included as one of his accomplishments that he had ensured that only Marxists were hired in the department. None of the hundreds of historians pointed out that this was a basic violation of academic freedom.
So far the immediate and tangible result is the sense of entitlement, proudly carried by the youngsters, with the absurd expressions of it easily observed in the "Occupy" story, as well as in the referred here Bay Area outbreak of absurdity. But these were only tips of the iceberg. The real battle is over the control of the minds and control of the government. And so far the Third Left seems to be winning both hands down.

Update: another, by now typical, result of the "Change".

And, if I may, here comes my personal pet peeve - with no less that the US Declaration of Independence. Specifically, with this:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal...
Sorry, I don't buy this. People are not born equal. You and I are very different, no matter what else is self-evident. Granted, the founding fathers somewhat corrected the first impression, continuing with
, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Yes, people are born with equal rights. What do the individuals do with these rights is a completely different story.

Unfortunately, this first part of the sentence plays a seriously negative role, especially in the deft hands of the Third Left's legion of teachers, lecturers, professors and journalists. And the end result: people who don't see reliance on government handouts as shameful, just the opposite: they fully expect the said government to provide them with everything they feel to be entitled to. People who see the only solution to their personal problems in taking from the rich will never amount to anything to be proud of. And here is the crux of the problem.

Where are you heading, America?

(*) The Third Left is a term coined by the late prof Barry Rubin to designate the wildly successful new wave of leftist practice that culminated (so far) in election of Barak Obama. Read more in his book Silent Revolution: How the Left Rose to Political Power and Cultural Dominance.

The Council Has Spoken!

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

11 April 2014

Congratulations to Putin: the infusion of patriotism worked perfectly

This just has to be translated.

By Вася Ложкин (Vasya Lozhkin)
Article by Vyacheslav Balyasnikov  (Вячеслав Балясников) on site Nasha Canada.

Just recently we, with the Agency for Social Research conducted a public opinion poll, a classic sample of 4200 respondents (phone calls, street questioning).

Question: "Do you support the invasion of Ukraine?", without going into details about the Crimea, Donbass and Kiev.

General result: 56.8% - yes, 19.6% - no. In enlightened, intelligent Moscow 51%/24%, in St. Petersburg 47%/31%.

Second question: "Are you ready to be drafted into the army to carry out such a mission or send your child to war?" .

52% are willing to go and kill fellow Slavs and to send their children to the meat grinder. In Moscow - our Moscow that voted for [dissident] Navalny - 49.8% are ready.

It gets better.

Multiple choice question: "Invasion of what other country would you support - to safeguard the interests of the Russian Federation?".

Maximum (numbers undisclosed) - for the Baltic countries [Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia]. Then - United States, Japan and, surprisingly at the bottom of the list - Israel.

And now hold to your seats.

Question: "Are you ready for sanctions (inability to travel abroad, foreign goods' deficit, economic hardships) in case of active use of Russian armed forces?".

General response: 50.4% "yes" and 45.2% "yes" in Moscow.

Congratulations, Putin. You've managed to create such a nation of well-rounded slaves that I'm not even scared anymore. I am just disgusted.

Rule 5 and going cross-eyed

Do your best to avoid looking at pictures like this:

10 April 2014

The sarcasm, rage, and deep sadness of Raviv Drucker

Raviv Drucker pontificating
The show of collapsing Israeli/Palestinian negotiations continues till the bitter end. Most people agree that the key words in the previous sentence are "The show of collapsing" and not the rest, and the bitter end in question will be a renewal of the negotiation drudgery at the last moment, after appropriate fanfares and compliments to all participating actors.

Meanwhile, the discussion slowly but surely focuses on the guilty parties in the above mentioned "collapse show". And here I have to tell you a story. You see, I happen to have a car. Not a very good one and, frankly, I didn't use it for quite a long time, not being totally sure that all the parts are inside and that the brakes work - well, you know how it is with very old and unused cars. Besides, there is a small issue of ownership, quite an ancient one and I'm really not in the mood to go into the sordid details. Suffice to say that it's a murky story.

Anyhow, my neighbor (let's call him Mr Jones for the purpose) had his eyes on the car for some time. And when a year or so ago he approached me for the tenth time, practically begging me to sell the car, I have relented. We have agreed that during the coming year, Jones will pay me the amount of ... in four installments. The car will pass to him after the fourth one is paid out in full.

During the first 10 months of that year everything was nice and peachy. Jones, to my surprise, came up with the first three payments (he is a thrifty fellow). But then... the truth is that some thorny issues of ownership I mentioned before came up again. And besides, my heart is not easy with that sale. Who knows, maybe I sold it too cheap... So I said to Jones that the deal is, most probably, off. But that he should still come up with that last payment, because, you know, a deal is a deal...

And imagine this: that bastard Jones refuses to pay! He has the chutzpa to claim that, since I don't want to go through with the sale, the fourth payment is off. And not only that, he demands the rest of the money back! Besides, he has the temerity to threaten me with all kinds of actions and words like "I shall clean his clock" were heard by other neighbors...

Why did I tell you this story? Cause there is another one that is roughly similar to it. It is the story of the fourth group of the Palestinian prisoners that was to be released recently. The refusal of Israeli government to release them caused no end of heartburn to many people, including one Raviv Drucker, an Israeli journalist. Lisa Goldman helpfully translated his Hebrew article, titled The 'outrageous hypocrisy' of Tzipi Livni & Yair Lapid into English. She also helpfully added that the tone of the article is that of "sarcasm, rage, and deep sadness". This is what Mr Drucker says about the abominable behavior of Bibi:
In return, the delighted Netanyahu committed “only” to the release of Palestinian prisoners. And then he simply did not release the fourth round of prisoners. Why? Just because. Because he felt like it.
Just felt like it? Indeed?

Lisa Goldman says about Raviv Drucker: "He’s one of my favorites, because he’s supremely well informed, doesn’t suffer fools...". Yeah. I guess that the latter comes to him naturally, cause he is afraid of competition.

It looks like, with the usual feeling of superiority, so typical for a TV personality, Mr Drucker considers his public to be even bigger fools. Because the truth is more in line with the car story. It is a solid fact that for a few months before the current "collapse show" Abu Mazen aka Mahmoud Abbas was trumpeting the failure of negotiations and beating self on the chest, declaring that he will not agree to an extension of same.

So now you see why I told you that long and stupid story about the car? Whatever I think about the Israeli government (the words "the Israeli government" probably exhaust my list of printable words on this subject), the refusal to go through with the release of that fourth group of murderers is totally justified. Not a shadow of a doubt whatsoever.

As for the crapola, produced in quantities by Mr Drucker and people who sympathize with him - well, pull the other one. Unfortunately, US Secretary of State happens, apparently, to use the same memory card. Too bad - for all of us.

A few quotes from a few sane people on same subject.
A couple hours before Israel's government was going to vote on a deal to extend talks with the Palestinians til 2015 (which included concessions on prisoners & 'settlements' as an incentive to Palestinians to keep them talking) Abbas intentionally sabotaged the deal (that they tentatively had agreed to) by reneging on his agreement not to go to the UN (and then making additional demands in order to resume talks). Such duplicity during talks is one of many reasons Israelis are skeptical that Palestinians truly desire peace, and why I personally think the conflict will likely not end in my lifetime. My children will be fighting the same battles (with Hamas, Hezbollah and Fatah) in 20 years.
(By Adam Levick)
The peace process summed up. Israel is Charlie Brown (Peel Commission in 1937, UN Partition Resolution in 1947, 'Land for Peace' in 1967, Camp David in 2000, Taba in 2001, Annapolis in 2007-8, and now 2014, when an Israeli cabinet was on stand by to vote through a US proposal to keep the peace talks going, only to turn on the TV and watch with astonishment as the Palestinians pulled the football away again).
(By Alan Johnson)

By Ben-Dror Yemini from his "John Kerry ruined what John Kerry built":
After all, in previous rounds, we've seen the same framework he's been planning to present to Netanyahu and Abbas. President Bill Clinton's framework. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's framework. The Palestinians said no – twice. And both times, they paid no price. Both times, the finger was pointed at Israel. Another great success of the lies industry.

And a link to an excellent article by Isi Leibler: Blaming Israel for the Collapse of the Peace Negotiations.