31 October 2014

The headline of the week


US officials aren’t alone in crying fowl over Netanyahu

Thomas L. Friedman: a change of heart or just a seasonal change of skin?

Just when you think you have dedicated enough time and space to the shenanigans of this NYT best and finest, even to the level where you have declared that there will be no more posts on the subject - here it comes - an about-turn to beat all about-turns:

Israel today is surrounded on four out of five borders — South Lebanon, Gaza, Sinai and Syria — not by states but by militias, dressed as civilians, armed with rockets and nested among civilians. No other country faces such a threat. When Israeli commanders in the Golan Heights look over into Syria today, they see Russian and Iranian military advisers, along with Syrian Army units and Hezbollah militiamen from Lebanon, fighting jihadist Sunni militias — and the jihadists are usually winning. “They’re much more motivated,” an Israeli defense official told me.

That is not a scene that inspires risk-taking on the West Bank, right next to Israel’s only international airport. The fact that Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza in 2005 and Hamas took over there in 2007 and then devoted most of its energies to fighting Israel rather than building Palestine also does not inspire risk-taking to move away from the status quo. Israel offered Hamas a cease-fire eight days into the Gaza war, but Hamas chose to expose its people to vast destruction and killing for 43 more days, hoping to generate global pressure on Israel to make concessions to Hamas. It was sick; it failed; and it’s why some Gazans are trying to flee Hamas rule today.
I will be...

P.S. Don't run into the streets full of joy, though - much of the rest of that piece is business as usual. Still, who knows, the man might be not as hopeless as he seems when you learn enough about him...

John Kerry - translated into Hebrew

A fairly interesting NYT article that offers a titillating glimpse into the inner works of the White House in particular and the current administration in general - warmly recommended. The point of this post, however, focuses on a quite innocuous (well, almost) passage of the article:
White House officials joke that he [Kerry] is like the astronaut played by Sandra Bullock in the movie “Gravity,” somersaulting through space, untethered from the White House.
I bet the author of that article, while it refers to Israel a few times, doesn't know the second meaning of the word "astronaut" in Hebrew. In Israeli slang "astronaut" means somebody untethered not only physically, but also mentally. In short, someone who is not totally at home...cooking on another planet... having too many birds on his antenna... well, you know what I mean.

Oh well, at least I am not an anonymous official of the White House...

Weasel Of The Week!!

Fanfare, everyone!It?s time to present this week's statuette of shame, The Golden Weasel!!

Every Tuesday, the Council nominates some of the slimiest, most despicable characters in public life for some deed of evil, cowardice or corruption they?ve performed. Then we vote to single out one particular Weasel for special mention, to whom we award the statuette of shame, our special, 100% plastic Golden Weasel. This week's nominees were all slime-worthy,but in the end the winner by a nose was....


CNN 'News Anchor' Carol Costello!!

 Nice Deb :Although CNN News Anchor Carol Costello shouldn't have a job after her disturbing antics, last week, she does deserve to be considered for the esteemed title of Weasel of the Week in my humble opinion.

In the shocking segment, Costello could barely contain her glee over hearing new audio of Bristol Palin describing her assault at a party in Alaska a few weeks ago. In fact, Costello called it "quite possibly the best minute and a half of audio we?ve ever come across.?

Costello then proceeded to describe the ?massive brawl? and before playing the audio she told her viewers ?so sit back and enjoy.?

What you were asked to ?sit back and enjoy? was the sound of a tearful and near hysterical Bristol Palin describing to the police the physical assault she had just experienced.

Despite overwhelming approbation from fellow journalists and conservatives appalled by her hypocrisy, Costello has thus far resisted offering an apology on the air for gloating over Bristol Palin's distress, instead opting to offer a weak and weaselly apology to Politico.

Virginia Right! :I am going to go with Carol Costello of CNN who was absolutely bubbly about Bristol Palin  being assaulted.

People that hate Sarah Palin so much ought to be in jail. There is no place in America for such hate by proxy.

Yes, this weeks' honors went to Carol Costello, who yet again proved that the real war on women is being carried on by the Left, and that women who have left the Left's Plantation and think for themselves are fair game for pretty much anything, no matter how vile.We all know that if it was Wendy Davis, Debby BlabberMouth Schultz or Rachel Maddow getting assaulted, you know Carol Costello's jowls would have been quivering in outrage and she'd be yowling like an outraged alley cat.

Actually, considering CNN's ratings, I'm kinda surprised so many people noticed anything this 53-year-old partisan hack was doing, even in morning prime time. But they did. As a matter of fact, there's even a #firecarolcostello hash tag on Twitter, and a CNN Should Fire Carol Costello Facebook page.Apparently a lot of people found Carol Costello's disgusting schadenfreude over the assault on Bristol Palin nauseating, although her network doesn't seem to since they haven't forced her to make an on air apology - yet.

Not only that,but other instances of Ms. Costello's particular brand of hypocrisy have come to light..like her on-air attack on ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith, who she shrieked should be fired or be suspended for  comments he made about the Ray Rice controversy after he apologized for them on the air.

It's the caro Costellos of the world who make awarding the statuette of shame such a gratifying experience.

Well, we have the Golden Weasel all ready to add to the other souvenirs Carol Costello has undoubtedly collected over her career. However, at the express request of Sarah Palin, we sent the Weasel to the Governor so that she could have the pleasure of personally awarding it to Ms. Costello. From what Mama Grizzly said, if I understood her correctly, she wants to make a point of 'giving it to her good' in person and is willing to come down to New York to spend some private time with Ms. Costello to 'let her have it'.

Seemed like the right thing to do to me..

And BTW, when I happened to catch a clip of  Governor Palin on FOX this week with Stuart Varney she sounded great,  hasn't lost any of the old fire and hinted at running for office again...


Well, there it is! 

Check back next Tuesday to see who next week's nominees for Weasel of the Week are!

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30 October 2014

Amos Biderman? What is Amos Biderman, besides creating a new low for Haaretz?

This "cartoon" doesn't require a lot of interpretation:

By Amos Biderman

Update: an answer in kind, by Orit Koppel:

“It was certainly not my intention to insult or upset anyone,” Biderman told Haaretz on Thursday. “I wasn’t sufficiently aware of the great sensitivity that 9/11 holds for Americans.”
Apparently it's easier for Haaretz's employee to confess to being an idiot than to own up to being a bastard. Oh well...

More on ISIS and pan-Islamism: the correct form of Islam

From a Facebook status of George Szirtes:

Yesterday a meeting with a dear friend, Islamic scholar and historian who gives a very bleak picture of jihadist activity in his part of the world and others. Many joining ISIS. Not just young men but women, senior professors (generally of science). It is the dream of the caliphate that matters. It is not a moral crusade, it is not directly linked to specific religious texts. It is not Islam as such. It is not rational nor has it a focused sense of grievance, he says. It is a climate or current that sweeps people up. It would not be satisfied with regaining old Moorish parts of Spain.

He smiles.

'And they are such gentle, beautiful people,' he adds. He asked one with whom he had had an amiable conversation whether he would kill him if he didn't convert to what the other considered the correct form of Islam. The other smiled shyly and said, Yes.
Now, who is going to tell me again about the minuscule minority?

Peppa Pig as an expression of British racism

Of course the story is stupid, disturbing and so unbelievable that Snopes devoted a special entry to it alone.

A young South Yorkshire couple were kicked off a bus and accused of racism – for singing the Peppa Pig theme to their baby daughter.
Read the whole story, I shall just mention that the baby in question is autistic, the father is epileptic and that the driver forced them to leave the bus - with two miles to their house remaining. The driver also made sure the family wouldn't be picked up by other bus drivers. Nothing to add but this melody - for the baby:

Hat tip: Terresa.

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29 October 2014

Netanyahu: recalcitrant, myopic, reactionary, obtuse, blustering, pompous, and “Aspergery” chickenshit?

Surely the list is limited and unimaginative, and surely I can add a few choice adjectives to it. However, I always considered that this business of sticking adjectives to my PM is strictly my prerogative. And I want to state it quite clearly that in no circumstances have I resorted to foreign assistance of any kind.

Especially not from a government that seems to have been totally derailed on most matters of its foreign policy. Starting with its mumbling and stumbling on the gradual dismembering of Ukraine by Putin, via gradual surrender to Iranian nuclear ambitions, to its half-hearted treatment of the ISIS Islamofascist menace and its rollback of all achievements in Iraq and Afghanistan, where so much blood of American soldiers was spilled. Not to mention the awkward courtship of the Islamist regimes of Qatar, Turkey and similar... the list is too long.

As for this:
This official agreed that Netanyahu is a “chickenshit” on matters related to the comatose peace process, but added that he’s also a “coward” on the issue of Iran’s nuclear threat. The official said the Obama administration no longer believes that Netanyahu would launch a preemptive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities in order to keep the regime in Tehran from building an atomic arsenal. “It’s too late for him to do anything. Two, three years ago, this was a possibility. But ultimately he couldn’t bring himself to pull the trigger. It was a combination of our pressure and his own unwillingness to do anything dramatic. Now it’s too late.”
This is not an insult to Bibi, rather a confession of own impotence when dealing with a clear and present danger. And the weaselly attempt to present nuclear-armed Iran as a purely Israeli problem doesn't deserve a courtesy of an insult - it is pathetic. Pity Jeffrey Goldberg didn't see it that way.

We here should brace ourselves. With the two years left of the current administration and its strange chief, bent on golf and the ostrich policy of sticking his head in sand, anything could happen.

And it will happen, I bet.

28 October 2014

Azerbaijan and Israel: a match made in... where, exactly?

The Algemeiner article Israel’s Emerging Muslim-Majority Ally left me with mixed feelings. On one hand, to have a good relationship with a Muslim country, especially one that sits in the middle of the region of high interest to Israel for may compelling reasons, is a boon.

On the other hand, Algemeiner crowing about this achievement leaves one with some bitter aftertaste. Azerbaijan is one of the ex-Soviet republics that didn't make any gains on the road to democracy since leaving the embrace of USSR. The opposite could be said - it became one of the worst dictatorships on this planet. The permanent state of crackdown on civil society, the unbridled crony capitalism and corruption, the repression of independent voices and much more - in short not exactly a state you would be proud to call your best buddy, to say the least.

Yes, I know that politics makes strange bedfellows. However, in this case especial care is indicated. This romance carries a bad STD we'll pay dearly to cure.

27 October 2014

The way to abolition of prisons goes via Simon Jenkins

Calling Simon Jenkins "a gift that keeps giving" will be a serious understatement. The man is a natural Horn of Plenty, and I feel sorry I don't follow his writing closely enough. The long and sweet hour of hilarity caused by his ruminations on irresistible attraction caused by what he calls "celebrity buildings" to the terrorists doesn't have to stand alone a whole year, you know.
A World Trade Centre, a Mumbai hotel, a Boston marathon, a Nairobi shopping mall are all enticing to extremists. Defending them is near impossible. Better at least not to create them.
Yeah... sweet as it was, a whole year without something new is too long, so I should make it a habit to check on his output more frequently.

At least one of his recent articles I stumbled upon accidentally, didn't disappoint. The article (in CiF, why not?) is headlined: Oscar Pistorius should not be going to jail and its lede pretty much summarizes the whole:
Pistorius’s life is ruined. No one will be deterred by his sentence. Imprisonment is a brutal response that achieves nothing in such cases.
I want you all to be cautious and to take a few minutes of consideration before you jump in with a harsh response to that statement. Think about it first. And you shall see the light. First of all, it is a cannily crafted and absolutely universal form. The only thing your defense lawyer has to do - to make it a core part of his concluding speech - is to replace "Pistorius’s" by the name of his defendant (you, perhaps). It is the ultimate "get out of jail" card, and I hope you all will print it out and carry it on your body. Because you never know.

Otherwise: I can only sympathize with a commenter haribol there on CiF who said:
This is the biggest load of tosh that Simon has written in a long time. It beggars belief, and I am one of those bleeding heart lefties that think that the criminal justice system is not fit for purpose (worldwide).
No worries, haribol, rest assured Simon will let it rip again fairly soon.

Verily the end of the world is nigh...

Looking at the text, funny enough by itself, I couldn't fail to recall the words of Wonko the Sane* on a very much related subject:
It seemed to me that any civilization that had so far lost its head as to need to include a set of detailed instructions** for use in a package of toothpicks, was no longer a civilization in which I could live and stay sane.
. So there.

(*) If you haven't read "So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish" by late and much lamented Douglas Adams, this is the right time to do so. Wonko the Sane appears in this book.

(**) The detailed instructions on a package of toothpicks Wonko mentioned are:
Hold stick near center of its length. Moisten pointed end in mouth. Insert in tooth space, blunt end next to gum. Use gentle in-out motion.

26 October 2014

Hassan Rouhani - the smiling face of Tehran. Moderation really does it...

Reyhaneh Jabbari is 967th person to be executed since Hassan Rouhani became Iran's president in August last year
Over the last decade, Iran’s regime has typically hanged between 500 and 600 people every year, giving the country the highest number of executions in the world, apart from China. Unlike in China, however, hangings in Iran often take place in public.

The pace of executions has accelerated since Mr Rouhani became president: 381 people were hanged between his accession to office and 31 Dec 2013. Another 586 are known to have been put to death so far this year, including Miss Jabbari, according to a database maintained by the Iran Human Rights Documentation Centre.
Otherwise, everything is cool. Let's do it again:

A veritable Smiley, the man is...

25 October 2014


Russian Minister of Defense and a gay Islamist War Lord from Chechnya are palming North America in front of the cameras.

Seriously, how long do we have to wait for someone with balls in the White House???  I am starting to think that we can even get by with Hilary as the President, but two more years of Obama seem like eternity.

24 October 2014

George Galloway (the Spiv) in a tizzy about disclosure of his income

The Guardian's article on the income of British MPs other than their MP salaries covers about 20 of the solons, Galloway occupying a relatively humble third place with meager BP 265,350.

These came primarily from paid weekly appearances for the Iranian state-owned broadcaster Press TV, for which Galloway received £100,650, and a further £96,000 – not including air fares – for fortnightly broadcasts from Beirut for Al Mayadeen, which does not publicly disclose its financial backers.
The Spiv, however, was irked by the article, which in reality didn't mean any harm*. To a degree that he unleashed his spokesman on the press:
A spokesman for Galloway accused the Guardian of “attempts to smear” the MP, and said “his media earnings are for a few hours’ work a week”.

“His programmes enable him to reach a far greater audience than would otherwise be the case for his views, both domestically and internationally,” he continued. “No one from these TV stations determines editorial content.”
The only point I fail to understand in the above is one of reaching a far greater audience. The Spiv has already appeared in a highly successful venue that brought him an audience one can only dream about, remember?

If the size of the audience is the issue here, there was no reason to eschew this gig for some doubtful Middle Eastern venture. Besides, it was, like, totally fitting...

(*) As for the accusation of trying to harm - no, really, it is a clear misunderstanding. First of all, the Guardian employs the highest percentage of the Spiv's admirers anywhere. It is simply that, being relatively low-paid serfs of that media outfit, these folks are naturally envious of the kind of fees our illustrious Spiv commands. And to add that “his media earnings are for a few hours’ work a week” - no, really, George, be more sensitive next time, please!

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23 October 2014

Why we must talk to ISIS: please do tell...

This article by Jonathan Powell, former Chief of Staff for British Prime Minister Tony Blair, is not an exception. During my fairly long by now time of reading newspapers - even when they were printed on real paper - I have seen a lot of op-eds, calling all kinds of people to talk to all kinds of people. Indeed, "to jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war", and when your illustrious countryman had said it, it kind of lends you some wind in your sails, doesn't it?

Of course, seeing as how Mr Powell was one of the people surrounding the Man during the times of the fairly ill-conceived invasion of Iraq, one might want to ask - where exactly was Mr Powell at the time with a similar advice? The idea of negotiating with ISIS didn't come to the author naturally, he arrived to this understanding gradually - as he confesses.

The historical precedents he uses start with Northern Ireland, the long and partly secret negotiations, where he took a significant part. Yes, eventually these negotiations brought a semblance of peace to that long suffering and long occupied territory, where Protestant settlers were busy killing the indigenous Catholics and vice versa. It is a fragile peace, but peace nonetheless, so we can't fault this example. But then Mr Powell mentions Hamas, Taliban and al Qaeda as other potential parties for negotiation.

Hamas, indeed, was involved several times in indirect negotiations with Israel. That much is true. However, every single time the end result was a new round of "arms race" that ended in another conflagration. Bad example.
Taliban: an exceedingly poor reference. So far there have been several overt and covert attempts to negotiate some kind of understanding, if not agreement, with this bunch. We all know where we are today with that murderous outfit.
Al Qaeda now: how exactly does the author propose to negotiate with the myriad of loosely connected cells all over the Islamic world (and probably beyond it) that hardly recognize each other, not to mention some infidel authority they are sworn to destroy?

All in all, these are poor examples to support the main thesis. Which is, to remind you, the need to negotiate with ISIS, so far successfully  proving itself to be the most murderous and the most fanatical bunch of them all. But does the fact that ISIS doesn't show any sign of being amenable to any other kind of persuasion but bullets slow Mr Powell at all? Doesn't seem so. Mr Powell is using the best moral artillery West developed, and there wasn't any possibility to avoid reading the much dreaded word:

The ex-Baathists and ex-Iraqi army offices (sic!) [probably Mr Powell meant "officers", and anyway it is unclear how ex-Iraqi army officers differ from ex-Baathists] that make up a major part of the ISIS force have genuine grievances about the way they were treated by the sectarian Maliki government.
Here you are - I have a real problem repeating that word, but at least I was able to emphasize it. What can I say: many a warrior of a defeated army can point to some gr... I bet the soldiers of Napoleon and Roman legionnaires and German... anyway, all these folks had their gr... after being soundly defeated, but I hardly remember any enlightened thinkers calling for consideration of their gr... verily, our modern enlightenment is boundless!

Going full steam on his way to prove his point, Mr Powell makes a blood-chilling remark:
Negotiations can only happen when the conditions are right, usually when a mutually hurting stalemate is in place and both sides realize they cannot win by military means.
To conceive a stalemate with ISIS means in effect to concede that the daily murder, rape, enslaving and other mayhem by ISIS could be tolerated by the West in the name of some elusive future equilibrium. In short, negotiate this, Mr Powell:

The only way to negotiate something with ISIS and its likes is this:


And re the grievances game played by the author: here comes the best answer:

(Click on the image to enjoy the fine details).

Interestingly, the article we are discussing here is accompanied by a link at the bottom (you know how Internet sites link related stuff). The "related" link goes to an article: I'm a feminist, and I converted to Islam. Bump...

Update: it looks like Jonathan Powell has more original ideas than it was estimated previously.

Police are examining if former Downing Street chief of staff Jonathan Powell potentially perverted the course of justice by advising a republican terror suspect not to return to the UK.
And he done this because:
Had she come back, been arrested feeling she had fallen into a trap by me trapping her into coming back, the peace process would have been dead - it would have been a very bad idea.
Check it out, without prejudice, please.

More re Kim Jong Un: have you noticed that...

I didn't.

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22 October 2014

To the stinking hypocrites of AP: thanks for showing your face

Baby killed, seven injured in Jerusalem terror attack is the headline of Jerusalem post article, repeated more or less by other Israeli newspapers ("apparent" was a ToI contribution to the topic). Covers the subject, with or without the politically correct "apparent".

Alan Johnson reports on the AP take of the matter. Here is what he says:

Today, a man drove a vehicle into a group of Israelis in Jerusalem, critically injuring a 3 month old baby, injuring several, then tried to flee the scene An amateur video uploaded to Facebook appears to show the car drive deliberately onto the northbound platform of the light rail station. So how did the Associated Press report this on the wires?
Here is how:

To save you a click on the image, the headline says: Israeli police shoot man in east Jerusalem.

To the said hypocrites: Fuck. You. All.

London School of Economics and Kung-Fu Pandas

Whatever you think and/or say about the deity of Political Correctness, sometimes it (the deity) gets a sidewise blow from a totally unexpected direction. In this case, from a place very close to being a birthplace of that deity, London School of Economics.

London School of Economics wrote to all students who had successfully gained a place on undergraduate courses a confirmation email entitled ‘Dear Kung-Fu, Panda’.
Unfortunately for the university, nearly 70 per cent of their students come from overseas and a third of those are from Asia.

Apologies galore in the article...

21 October 2014

Denmark and its jihadis: softly, softly, catchee monkey

The article Denmark tries a soft-handed approach to returned Islamist fighters is interesting and educational. Who would have thought that a battle-hardened jihadi, who by mere fact of his survival in the bloody fields of the Middle East, most probably has a lot of blood on his hands, could be brought back to civilization that simply? But here it is:

In other countries, Talha — one of hundreds of young jihadists from the West who has fought in Syria and Iraq — might be barred from return or thrown in jail. But in Denmark, a country that has spawned more foreign fighters per capita than almost anywhere else, the port city of Aarhus is taking a novel approach by rolling out a welcome mat.
Why don't others do the same - beats me. But wait, there is more:
In Denmark, not one returned fighter has been locked up. Instead, taking the view that discrimination at home is as criminal as Islamic State recruiting, officials here are providing free psychological counseling while finding returnees jobs and spots in schools and universities.
Nothing, but nothing could mellow a murderer on vacation like a teaching position in a university. Indeed, our universities are hopelessly out of date, at least as far as the modern Islamist military and ideological doctrines are concerned. It is time to show these old school decadent Marxists what it is all about...
Some progressives say Aarhus should become a model for other communities in the United States and Europe that are trying to cope with the question of what to do when the jihad generation comes back to town.
Absolutely. Hard to beat a nice and friendly homecoming parade. And a free machete, Kalashnikov and a Che T-shirt to every kid!

There is more in that article that easily catches the eye, but it's time to explain the "softly, softly, catchee monkey" in the headline of the post. You see, the history of that saying includes a phrase that matches the article we are discussing here only too well:
If it were not for the depressing heat and the urgency of the work, one could sit down and laugh to tears at the absurdity of the thing, but under the circumstances it is a little “wearing.”
Enough. Really enough.

And now about Israeli jihadis

Apparently we too can claim that we have contributed to the ISIS effort (click to embiggen):

20 martyrs-to-be from Israel. Not bad, all things considered. And it is nice to notice that, like most other Jihadis, these ones get to their ISIS jobs via Turkey - the NATO member of good standing. Oh well, it was a side remark. Never mind.

Anyhow, our martyrs come already booby-trapped. Just saying.

20 October 2014

Kim Jong Un converts to Judaism: plans to live till 120

Unlike his illustrious ancestor, Kim Il Sung, who aimed at a much humbler figure of 100 years, the Fatso is more ambitious. "120 or die!" - is the new slogan in the motherland of the Juche idea.

Not relying on religion alone, Kim Jong Un warned his doctors that if the desired goal of 120 years is not reached (in due time), he will personally preside over the execution of the whole medical team, their families and pets.

19 October 2014

More proof that ISIS are Zionist stooges (PG 18 - raw uncensored footage!)

The following recording may be handy for Naomi Wolf in her relentless quest for Troof. But I can't sit on hot material indefinitely, so watch the recording, but keep in mind that it is classified PG 18 with the following notice (upper case in original): WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT - CONTAINS RAW FOOTAGE.

There are no subtitles, but somebody volunteered a brief description in the comments:

He is saying that there is no palestine in the past and now. And that the hamas needs to bleed to death.
That's it. This is all the proof anyone might ever need.

18 October 2014

British Islamist Abu Baraa speaks about the shining future of Caliphate

I wouldn't quote anything, to avoid denying you the pleasure of discovery. Enjoy, but remember - the best parts come at the end of the clip:

Quite a mad bugger, that one, and he is not the only one who believes his rants.

More on Mizanur Rahman aka Abu Baraa.

And a few of his recent tweets:

P.S. Want to bet that he lives on the dole money generously provided by British public?

Inmate overdoses on what?

I must get to the bottom of this mystery.

Via Mandatory.

P.S. Got it here. A meth "manufacturer" died of a drug overdose allegedly caused by methadone-soaked underwear. Well, only two or three tears from me, no more this time.

17 October 2014

Dean Obeidallah on Bill Maher or how to stuff foot in mouth deeper

 A disclaimer: normally I wouldn't waste another minute on a fight between two such renown intellects like Bill Maher and Ben Affleck. The point is that there were other participants and other sensitive subjects involved. As it (partially) follows from the article Bill Maher's Muslim problem by Dean Obeidallah on CNN.

The main flaw of the article is the deliberate obfuscation of the fact that Bill Maher wasn't a main player in the by now famous "meeting of minds". Sam Harris was - at least as far as reciting statistics concerned. While Maher is indeed a hater of all religions, he is ill equipped intellectually to hold up his end of most arguments. Sam Harris, on the other hand, is much better at this game. The fact that Dean Obeidallah didn't mention his name at all is telling. Granted, Harris is, as Maher, an undiscriminating hater of all religions, but this is neither here nor there, as far as the arguments and facts he presented are concerned.

But back to Obeidallah's attack on Maher.
He said that it is "naive" to think that Islam isn't more violent than other religions and mocked President Obama for commenting that the terror group ISIS was not Islamic.
We can split hairs indefinitely on the fine points of theology. ISIS and its supporters consider themselves to be the most Islamic bunch in existence. President Obama, Dean Obeidallah (and even I, if I am allowed to join this team) may think differently, but the horrendous numbers of supporters quoted by Harris and ignored by Obeidallah make the discussion pointless. You can do much better than reading Obeidallah's "analysis" by simply listening to the relevant part of Harris' presentation, but it is educational to check Obeidallah's arguments - they are parroted by too many "defenders of Islam".

To start with, the contention about Islam being more violent than other religions. First of all, every organized religion, Christianity far from being excluded, had its periods of violence, aggression and expansion. People who deny this aren't worth arguing with. Exactly as people who argue that Islamic (or Islamist, if you wish) violence nowadays is a simple matter of an extremist minority, declaring this minority non-Islamic. Clumsy, very clumsy, like in:
Maher then cited a Pew Research poll that he claimed found that 90% of Egyptians supported the death penalty for those who left Islam. I'm not sure where Maher got his numbers, but a 2013 Pew poll actually found only 64% of Egyptians supported this -- still alarmingly high, but not 90%.
Yep, Maher as a scientific source is quite pathetic, but how much less horrible is 64% than 90%? You tell me...

Or, for another example of mumbling defense:
Maher also has left out that only 13 Muslim nations have penalties for apostasy, while 34 do not.
"Only" 13 nations? You don't say!
I'm all for a discussion of the need to reform the laws in certain Muslim countries, especially on issues of rights for women, minority faiths and gays. But painting all Muslims by the most extreme of our faith is wrong.
When most of the Islamic world is plagued by violence, when every day Muslims kill, maim, subjugate and terrorize other Muslims, not to mention people of other religions and creeds, when the mere word "democracy" causes some Muslim religious leaders to foam at the mouth, it is somewhat undermining the meek whitewashing attempts, doesn't it?

And to remind you some pretty basic arithmetic: even if the numbers quoted by Harris are inflated, one single percent of Muslim population makes 15 million people... continue from here.

For reference: the recording of the Affleck/Maher/Harris brouhaha. Check it against Obeidallah's "review".

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16 October 2014

Operation Inherent Resolve?

Mighty confusing:

Adjective: Inherent

  1. Existing as an essential constituent or characteristic
  2. In the nature of something though not readily apparent
For some reason I decided to let Aussies express my confusion:
But according to many, the name itself is a threat to common sense. "Resolve can be a lot of things but I'm not sure I get how it can be 'inherent'," one person tweeted. "Wait, if the operation's resolve is inherent, why does it need to be in the title?" tweeted another. Until recently, even the US military seemed to think it was lame: "It is just kind of bleh," one officer told the Wall Street Journal in early October, when it was being considered as a working title.
Of course, the military knows to be coy when required:
"The computer program throws up code words," says Mr James. "But it's important to check that the name doesn't betray the nature of the operation, because you can't go and tell the enemy what the operation is about."
No, no, don't let the enemy know what this operation is about. Cause then maybe even friends will get wise to that...

Meanwhile: confusion.

A curious three step article

Turkish Hurriyet gives a lesson in subtlety. Starting with a headline:

Obama rallies coalition commanders against ISIL jihadists

So far so good. The first sentence of the article is, however, somewhat less upbeat:

President Barack Obama attempted to rally allied commanders around his emerging strategy to defeat Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) on Oct. 14...
And then, if you are patient enough to read the rest, it all goes downhill.

Rather shamefully.

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14 October 2014

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey vs Tony Abbott

Today it seems to be the day to remind you about Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey, a man of many talents I have had an opportunity to mention several times.  After dealing very harshly with so called FUKUS, Mr Bancroft-Hinchey turned his main caliber guns in the direction of the Aussies. Oh well, no one can say that Timothy isn't a busy bee. Or that he isn't a loyal attack dog of his deity, one Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. It will be difficult to understand why poor Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott caused so much ire, reading Bancroft-Hinchey's article Tony Abbott: The chip on Australia's shoulder. Because first of all, our Timothy, displaying that he is in as good a fighting shape as ever, shares with us a few excellent examples of his fiery style:

I would advise Russia's President Vladimir Putin to wash his hands carefully and sterilize them after shaking the paw offered to him by Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott at the forthcoming G20 Summit in Brisbane. It is not about Ebola Virus Disease, it is about the disease called insolence and Australia's colonial chip on its shoulder.
Tony Abbott displays a degree of insolence, arrogance and incompetence which mirrors the intrusiveness, belligerence and chauvinism inherent in other members of the Anglo Saxon alliance in NATO.
Do you feel the energy, the unmistakable Bancroft-Hinchey's umpf? Crowning all that with:
When Australia isn't busy crawling around the legs of its colonial master, England or trying to crawl up the anatomy of London's master, Washington, participating in their wars to pick up a few crumbs thrown Canberra's way, its politicians are busy kowtowing to Europe and the USA making stupid and unfounded remarks about Russia.
Only after this avalanche of abuse, comes the reason for it:
And apart from the hand-shaking insult (I seriously hope President Putin washes his hands and sterilizes them after touching the grubby paw of Abbott), we have another example of sheer crass stupidity, namely the statement that "Russia needs to fully cooperate in the investigation into the MH17 atrocity".
Surely you would agree that Timothy deserves a treat from his master?

You can read the rest of that piece, if you can cope with all that raw power and electricity it exudes. Because, as sure as death and taxes, Timothy - aside of this avalanche of abuse, doesn't have any way to justify or circumvent the fact that a Russian missile, launched from a Russian mobile launcher by a Russian officer, downed a civilian aircraft, taking hundreds of innocent lives. Well, aside of this pathetic wail:
The answer to that bullshit is that the atrocity happened on Ukrainian soil and it is not yet clear whether the aircraft was downed by a missile possibly fired from a position behind rebel lines, possibly not, possibly fired by rebels, possibly fired by Ukrainian Government or paramilitary forces or else downed by a military aircraft flown by the Ukrainian Air Force. In fact, why has it taken the UK so long to come clean about what happened? Does it take that long to doctor the black boxes, eh whatty what?
As if all that eruption of crapola wasn't enough, Timothy kept this up, adding a few colorful ideas:
How would the average Russian respond to Tony Abbott saying he would 'shirtfront' Vladimir Putin?

Well, any Russian or anyone else for that matter would question whether Abbott made the remark before or after lunch. If he made it before lunch then either he is childish or mentally challenged and if he made it after lunch then he is incompetent.

How would Vladimir Putin react to being 'shirtfronted'?

I cannot speak for Vladimir Vladimirovich but if I were him, I’d grab the bastard that did it, slam him over my shoulder, place my boot in his face and ask “You were saying…?”

Vladimir Putin is world-renowned for his judo expertise -- would he use that on Mr Abbott if he was 'shirtfronted'?

Well, I cannot speak for President Putin but he certainly has the skills to react adequately to such an act of aggression. I am not saying he would do so, basically because Abbott wouldn’t have the guts anyway. As soon as he saw Putin looking at him he’d triple his laundry bill, suddenly turn white, sit bolt upright and go screaming over to his sister’s house to grab a clean pair of Y fronts.
Good Timothy, good boy, another treat is coming.

And, maybe, later, Vladimir Vladimirovich will let you hump his leg. Just a bit.

Now relax, relax, here is good Timothy...

Alleged mugshot of alleged Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

Kim Jong Un: definitely not dead

Or so they show:

The same couldn't be said about the animal that covers part of his head, however, which is still deceased.

Well, hope springs eternal:
She [Dr. Kim So-Yeon, the former personal doctor to Kim's grandfather Kim Il Sung] told CNN both Kim Il Sung and Kim's father Kim Jong Il suffered from diabetes, heart problems and stress.
Let's wait a bit more, then.

12 October 2014

Gerard Depardieu: apparently a victim of several failed abortions

Well, at least if you believe what he has written about himself:

Perhaps the ultimate shocker to come from Depardieu's autobiography, told to writer Lionel Duroy, is that his mother tried to abort him several times. "I survived all the violence that my poor mother inflicted on herself with knitting needles and things," he recounts. "The third child that she didn't want, was me, Gérard. I survived," he says.
Frankly, he doesn't look all that good lately:

Although, without some special equipment, there is no way to see the traces of the knitting needles he mentions. Besides, knowing something about his turbulent career path, one could be sure the young Gerard didn't just take these needles lying down.

But most of this stormy past, including his career as a gay prostitute and a grave robber is, happily, behind him, now that he is a proud Russian citizen. This conservative Russian legislator Vitaly Milonov surely knows what he is talking about:
"Now that he breathed in the purifying air of Mordovia, all that filth left him," he added, referring to the Russian region, where Depardieu is permanently registered. "He sincerely repents what he was forced to do in his youth in France. He wants to live in a new way, without all that filth."
So, everything Depardieu's mom was afraid of is behind Gerard now, and there is no more need of them needles.

Good. Come here, baby, give us a kiss!

Simply Che - an ultimate one?

This Che, #21 in the gallery, very well could be the best (but not the final, I promise):

11 October 2014

White House strategy on ISIS and Kobani bloodbath

Do you remember the stuttering coming from WH on the subject? Clearly, the job of WH speaker is an unrewarding and ball-breaking task. Especially these days, when even the person, so far widely considered a worst POTUS ever, feels it necessary to take a shot at the speaker's boss:

“We waited too long,” Carter told Star Telegram writer Jim Jones. “We let the Islamic State built up its money, capability, and strength and weapons while it was still in Syria. Then when [it] moved into Iraq, the Sunni Muslims didn’t object to their being there and about a third of the territory in Iraq was abandoned.”
However, this is not so much about political squabbles but about the mass murder going on in the Kurdish city of Kobani, overtaken by ISIS butchers, about people like this one:

Nareen, may she rest in peace, the Kurdish defender of Kobani, whose head was gleefully displayed by an ISIS murderer recently. While another experienced butcher of Kurds, Mr Erdogan, prevents any military assistance to the last surrounded defenders of the city, located two or three kilometers from the Turkish border with Syria. So far nothing ISIS is doing in Kobani goes against Erdogan's wet dreams.
The situation is complicated by the close ties between the town’s Kurdish defenders and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party, which has waged a three-decade insurgency for self-rule in southeastern Turkey. Ankara has been deeply reluctant to allow weapons or Kurdish fighters to cross the border.
ISIS is doing what Erdogan himself would dearly like to do, in other, less politically correct, words. In the coming hours the remaining Kurdish fighters and innocent citizens of Kobani will be methodically slaughtered, under a watchful eye of their Turkish and Syrian neighbors, both parties being rather happy with the turn of events, considering Kurds being a general irritant for so many years... And this:
Turkish officials said they cannot be expected to conduct a ground operation against Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria on their own.
- this is so much crap: Turks never intended to move a finger to help out the Kurds in Kobani. NATO or no NATO. The Turkey's refusal to assist Kurds in any way even extends to denying US and other coalition members the use of Turkish airfields for operations against ISIS. A swell friend indeed...

Here is what is going on in Kobani as we speak. Take a look, if you are not too sensitive. And while talking heads argue whether Kobani's fall would be symbolic setback for Obama Syria strategy (what strategy, exactly?), the blood on the streets of Kobani is flowing unimpeded.

And meanwhile, poor White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest keeps plugging:
Islamic State terrorists continue to gain ground in the Syrian city of Kobani, but the White House downplayed the significance of this development for President Obama’s anti-terrorism strategy in Syria.

“I would not agree with that assessment,” said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest when asked if the loss of Kobani would be the first sign that Obama’s strategy to degrade and defeat ISIS had failed.
Can you not admire the man's steadfastness while facing an impossible task? I can't.

Update: and you can't get more insulting than this (from Independent, too):

Isis on the verge of victory in Kobani as US strategy lies in ruins

The blast at Parchin: whodunit and related issues

The "before and after" pictures presented in this article are quite confusing - because of overabundance of raw data and other misleading factors:

The first one is underexposed, while the second one is crisscrossed by all these arrows and texts. Difficult to figure out what is what. Then, consider the source: some mysterious outfit that calls itself ISIS - WTF?
The Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) said it had obtained commercially available satellite imagery on which six buildings at Parchin appeared damaged or destroyed.
Not to mention Airbus. Could it, possibly, be a side effect of Boeing-Airbas enmity?

Anyway, I have my calendar for the last two weeks printed and available to prove that I was otherwise occupied...

Besides, all these before/after images are meant only to confuse the customer:

See what I mean?

A mysterious headline

That one: US: Israel must play role in rebuilding Gaza

Hm... and I thought we already played a role this year...

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