24 December 2015

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

To all our Christian and non-denominational friends wherever and whoever you are.

Now smile!

And for the cat lovers (my kind of people):

20 December 2015

Interrupting the silence due to one missing ball

Well, of course this day brought other good news too, like the demise of this vermin. It certainly adds some elan to these festive days.

But no, the main reason I popped up is this:

A medical document shows that Adolf Hitler only had one testicle, German media said on Saturday.

There has long been speculation that Hitler was missing one testicle, with rumours circulating that he lost the other one during the Battle of the Somme in the First World War. But a medical record from the time when Hitler was put in prison after the failed Munich beer hall putsch in 1923 shows he suffered from "right-side cryptorchidism" - a condition where a testicle fails to descend into the scrotum - media reports said.
Whatever the eggheads say, it only proves that the folks' wisdom is frequently on he money. So enjoy this, knowing now that it is totally true:

The blogging will be light for a while

Till about mid-January. You all out there - behave yourself and don't do what your natural inclinations tell you to do. Vladimir Vladimirovich will do it for you anyway.

19 December 2015

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach vs an RT anti-Zionist

For full disclosure: I am not one of the fans of the illustrious rabbi. However, in this case his opponent has clearly shown his bias with his first sentence about the alleged use of white phosphorus by IDF* and continued the interview using smelly quotes from some characters not worth mentioning, liberally mixed with half-truths. Rabbi Boteach has steamrolled the creep, and good for him and for us.

As I was given to understand, the Russian RT, the bastion of anti-Western propaganda and conspiracy theorists, decided not to air this episode at all, seeing as how it wasn't serving their interests, so kudos to the uploader.

The clip is about 15 minutes and worth your time.

(*) Of course, IDF didn't deny its use of phosphorus, for two reasons: a) it is not prohibited and b) it wasn't used against population. But what does a little RT mouthpiece care?

18 December 2015

Turkey plans a seven days package tour to Russia?

Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mevlüt Cavusoglu
I am not sure whether to believe this. There are several sources on the 'net, but not of what I would call quality. Anyway:
Faced with Russian efforts, we have, no fear, no remorse. We act with moderation, to bring our relations back to normal. However, if necessary, I assure you , we can occupy Russia in less than seven days with NATO and our regional allies.
Minister of Foreign Affairs? Oh well, with a boss like his half-mad half-Caliph it is not a great surprise. What surprises in this tirade is that he counts on support from NATO and some unspecified "regional allies" - that after his boss diligently ruined Turkey's relationships with most nations in the region (and beyond).

Does "Major Major and I..." remind you of something? Fine then.

17 December 2015

Eric Feight + Glendon Scott Crawford or triumph of inanity

And thus the story ends:
An upstate New York man who admitted helping build what he thought was a mobile X-ray device to kill Muslims has been sentenced to eight years in prison.

Fifty-seven-year-old Eric Feight, of Hudson, pleaded guilty in 2014 to providing material support to terrorists. He was sentenced Wednesday in federal court in Albany.

Feight was arrested in 2013 along with 51-year-old Glendon Scott Crawford, of Galway. Crawford is awaiting sentencing after his conviction in August of conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction and other charges.
They could have tried to kill their intended victims more successfully by showing them this:

The stupidity of the perps is staggering, as the following shows quite clearly:
Investigators began tracking Crawford in 2012 after he approached two Albany-area Jewish groups. They also learned Crawford sought help from a Ku Klux Klan grand wizard who was an FBI informant.
On the other hand, the representatives of the State in this tragicomedy... well, see for yourself:
Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Belliss said earlier "Mr. Crawford hated Muslims and other politically liberal people".
And other politically liberal... oh well.

16 December 2015

Somebody slipped here indeed

At least according to this scenario of the case:
A Saudi millionaire has been cleared of raping a teenager after claiming he might have accidentally penetrated the 18-year-old when he tripped and fell.

Property developer Ehsan Abdulaziz, 46, was accused of forcing himself on the young woman as she slept on the sofa in his flat in Maida Vale, west London.

He had already had sex with her 24-year-old friend and said he might have fallen on top of the teenager while his penis was poking out the top of his underwear.

Abdulaziz was cleared of one count of rape following a trial at Southwark Crown Court.
Doesn't look good for the famed British justice. But all is good for a Saudi millionaire, and why wouldn't it be so?

As Dave M., my Facebook buddy, astutely notices, it is just like:

P.S. The colorful eyes of the subject are rather a result of poor photography job than a werewolf's sign from a Stephen King's book. I think...

The only thing that bothers us...


How do I live? I live well. Only one thing bothers me: that they might depose Assad.

15 December 2015

Mahmud Abbas and John Kerry: great minds think alike

The descendant of the Russian royals and the democratically inclined, elected to rule for 4 (four) years but already celebrating 11 (eleven) years of his democratic rule, Mahmud Abbas are becoming closer and closer in their (granted, somewhat limited by inclinations and mental state) worldviews. Here comes a headline, generated by the first:

Kerry: Building settlements and demolishing Palestinians' homes not a solution

And here is one created by the second:

Abbas calls terror attacks 'justified popular uprising'

Yeah, practically twins, these two, wouldn't you say?

During a visit to Bethlehem this week, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas held up a stone model of a map of "Palestine" that erases Israel.
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 26, 2010]
More here.

12 December 2015

Kirill Petrenko: the third Jew of the Berlin music?

The story, of course, is deeply unfair to the Berlin Philharmonic - one of the very few top premier orchestras on the planet. And it is deeply distasteful to this here blogger, who vastly prefers not to deal with anti-Semitism at all, the subject being too murky and the term being overused and underused at the same time. What with its modern replacement helpfully called anti-Zionism and all that... no, people who know me also know that I try to shun the subject.

Be it as it may, here are the basics:
Kirill Petrenko, 43, a Russian-born Jew, was appointed last week to replace Sir Simon Rattle, who is leaving to take over the London Symphony Orchestra, in September 2018. Petrenko is currently the director of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich.

Petrenko won the Berlin job despite only having worked with its musicians on three previous occasions. The orchestra made the announcement June 22 at a news conference at its concert hall in Berlin.
For those who don't study the life of conductors (the musical ones): they tend to move all over the globe in the course of their careers, and there is nothing surprising in the fact that a conductor born in Omsk (look it up on Google Maps) ends up in Berlin. So, geographically speaking, this is just another stage in the life of a musical genius.

Racially speaking, however, the appointment stirred some hitherto invisibly smoldering ashes.
Petrenko stopped talking to the media following commentaries by Northern German Radio, or NDR, and Welt Online which used anti-Semitic tropes, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported. The offending material has been removed.

NDR’s Sabine Lange, writing about Petrenko and a German-born contender for the position, described the latter — Christian Thielemann — as a world-renowned expert in the German sound and Petrenko as a mythical, dwarflike figure from Wagner’s operas, “the tiny gnome, the Jewish caricature.”

The Welt Online commentator said that while Petrenko and Thielemann were otherwise comparable, it was “a relief to many” that Petrenko enjoys good interpersonal relations, “as at least one of the female opera singers at this year’s Bayreuth [Wagner] Festival can attest.”

In response, readers noted the anti-Semitic stereotypes of overly competitive and oversexed Jews, and the articles were edited or removed, the Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten, or German Economic News online, reported.
And more:
If that’s not bad enough, Manuel Brug in Die Welt points out that three* leading conductors in Berlin are now Jews – Barenboim and Ivan Fischer are the others.
While the quotes above look quite damning, they could do with some additional digging. Ms Lange used more or less the following wording: "When Christian Thielemann [a German conductor vying for the post that eventually was given to Petrenko] meets Petrenko at the Wagner's festival in Bayreuth it will be like Wotan meeting the dwarf Alberich, the Jewish caricature". The reference to the dwarf Alberich from Wagner’s opera as a Jewish caricature is quite telling. You see, Wagner himself, while being a rabid anti-Semite, never hinted that Alberich was meant to serve as an image of the much hated Jew. Indeed, out of many eminent critics of Wagner only Theodor Adorno held to this opinion, but this is neither here nor there. What is known, however, that during the Nazi period this comparison was widely espoused. The fact of a modern German culture expert referring to this caricature as something obvious is quite disturbing.

Another, seemingly minor but telling point, is the automatic identification of Kirill Petrenko, as well as Daniel Barenboim and Ivan Fischer as members of the Jewish tribe. The first man is of Russian/Austrian origins, the second of Argentinian extraction and the third a Hungarian - how does the learned music expert Manuel Brug establish Jewishness? For all he (and we all) know, Petrenko might be a Buddhist, Barenboim a Zoroastrian and Fischer a deeply religious Catholic or a practicing Seventh-day Adventist. But no, it was enough for Mr Brug to check the tribal belonging of these people's parents, and voilà: a Jewish invasion in the making! The method of identifying (or uncovering?) a Jew in these three cases smells of some olden times we all would like to put behind us, if not to forget (we wouldn't).

Yes, the articles were removed, but the aftertaste lingers:
Both reports were “bursting with anti-Semitic hatred,” one reader wrote to NDR, adding, “This is now apparently OK in Germany again.”
Is it OK in Germany today? A good question that, but a subject for another post.

Many thanks to G.S. for the tip and even more thanks to Y.V. for generously giving me his precious time.

(*) Poor Mr Brug - at the time of writing this he wasn't aware of the depth of Jewish infestation of German music: a fourth Jew, Vladimir Jurowski will be the new Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra (RSB). Oh boy, oh boy... what would have Wagner said about it?

Hamas MP Fathi Hammad: We Used Women and Children as Human Shields

Just watch.

10 December 2015

Saint Vladimir Putin, pour tenderness into my heart!

Some of you might wonder why I am so preoccupied with Russia. It is simply that this is a kind of a gift that keeps giving. This time the gift is of a theological/spiritual sort, and who could withstand such an outpour of loving?
The organization "National Committee +60", created in 2012 in connection with the 60th anniversary of the Russian President Vladimir Putin, asked Patriarch Kirill to approve the text of the prayer to Putin. The prayer is written as a poem* and reads as follows:
To you, Blessed Vladimir, dare I to raise my voice,
Cleanse me from all defilement, hear me in this sad hour.
Accept my warm prayers and deliver my spirit from evil and misery.
Pour tenderness into my heart, guide me on the way of salvation.
I will not be a stranger to your will, I will be ready to endure all for God;
Be my support in my bitter lot, do not let me die in sorrow.
After all, you are the protector of the wretched, a kind prayer for us!
Oh, help me when I hear the terrible call to God's judgment,
When the eternity stops the time, when the sound of the trumpet resurrects the dead,
And the book of conscience exposes the burden of my sins.
You are the reward for Holy Russia! To you I pray with all my heart.
Our Apostle of Petrov's burg, have mercy for me!
This prayer is a slightly altered version of the poem "Star that presents the Sun" by Nikolai Gogol. In the original, this "prayer" is addressed to the Virgin Mary.

"The National Committee +60" is demanding that Putin be canonized. Activists argue that Orthodox Russians are constantly turning to them with a request to promote the canonization of the president. The Committee believes that Putin has "brilliantly restored the sacred fatherland of Korsun [oldish Russian name for Crimea]" and "heroically defends the Orthodox people in Ukraine and Syria [sic!]."

"Recent data from the Russian opinion polling center clearly indicates that for 90 percent of the population, Russian President is the support and the hope in this life, and almost 100 percent of the Orthodox folk pray daily for his health and want to see him as the lifelong leader of the great Russia! It is no secret that he receives from God his titanic powers for the good of the motherland," the activists said.
The only remark I have to the above is that, while only five years ago Russian children were encouraged to pray for Putin, today Russians are encouraged to pray to Putin.

So there.

(*) The poem rhymes, unfortunately it is beyond my ability to translate it adequately.

08 December 2015

Fareed Zakaria, Anti-Muslim rhetoric and other crapola

One of the (American) nation chief Valium dispensers, whose main drive on CNN and elsewhere is to lull his followers into a zombified state of well being, Fareed Zakaria is not totally unknown on these here pages. Just three years ago he appeared in a special burlesque called "Iran is weak and getting weaker" (no, it is not a joke).

Recently Mr Zakaria decided to stick his unerring GPS into the issue of Islamophobia, timing this move to follow the San Bernardino massacre. Here he is dispensing his soporific version of wisdom.

I was watching this and, as usual in case of Mr Zakaria speeches, gradually nodding off and also nodding, in a positive sense of this word, at some true statements, such as:
  • Islamophobia is not nice
  • And so is Anti-Muslim rhetoric
  • We shouldn't demand that Muslims as a whole condemn publicly the barbarian acts by a few terrorists (what is the use, besides, it is not as if the said terrorists consult with the said Muslims as a whole?)
  • We should be... whatever, I think it was about somehow or other being politically correct
  • Etc.
And then, Mr Zakaria, all of a sudden, decided to go into some calculations. Here I have prepared a snapshot of these numbers for you:

I am still unsure about the generously offered by the author number of 50 "planners". But I sincerely hope that by "planners" he doesn't mean people (some call them "activists", some use a more down to earth "terrorists") who are ready to use firearms and other implements of murder. Let's be less generous and agree on a smaller number.

Numbers, however, are not on the side of Mr Zakaria, who tries to impress on his listeners that there is an infinitesimally small bunch of these "planners", generally shunned by other Muslims. To use a sample, recognized by people who are generally in tune with what Mr Zakaria is claiming, this is an "optimistic" estimate of Daesh supporters' demography:

Even if we generously use only 5% as a percentage of Daesh supporters in Arab world, the result will be quite serious 18 millions. While 95% of the non-supporters is indeed an overwhelming majority, 18 million of supporters are not to be taken lightly by any sane measure.

And this estimate of 5% is being challenged, for instance by this Pew poll that says that more than 60 million Muslims in 11 countries support Daesh. And this is only for 760 million of Muslims, less than half of total Muslim population of the world! So much for the infinitesimal minority...

The number 60 million echoed another number in my memory. The population of Germany, which numbered a tad more in 1930 (about 63 millions), produced two millions of Nazi party members by 1933 (or about 5% of self). This same population produced a bit more than 18 million soldiers of all kinds that served in the Nazi military during the life of the Third Reich.

Yeah, Mr Zakaria, just keep up with the Valium. Sterling work that...

07 December 2015

Bibi: don't call the Swedish PM - call Haaretz first

According to this article, Bibi is pissed off at the Swedish Foreign Minister, one Margot Wallström. So much so that he "called his Swedish counterpart Stefan Löfven on Sunday to convey his criticism...".

Yes, Bibi has enough reasons to be angry. Ms Wallström has provided at least two good reasons for that, the last one surely bordering on blood libel.
Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström on Friday accused Israel of executing Palestinian assailants without trial.
"And in the same way the response cannot be, and I say this in other situations as well, where the response becomes so that there are extrajudicial executions, or that it becomes disproportionate so the numbers of dead on the other side is greater than the original death toll by several factors," she said.
One could argue the point from a common sense and common practice point of view, such as, for instance, the common practice when facing a knife wielding assailant being to shoot the said assailant in the center mass. Which is totally true, but truth tends to get lost at the oxygen depraved political peaks where Margot Wallström and her colleagues roam.

One could argue that Ms Wallström is simply a no good dumbo, as her stumbling and mumbling attempts to deny what she said (second time during last month) abundantly prove:
The foreign minister made a general statement about international law and the right to self-defense and the importance of proportionality and distinction. What she stated applies to all parties.
Yeah, yeah, spare me the officious crap. Anyway, this is not the point I wanted to make. The point is that, while Bibi is wasting his hot breath on Sweden's chilly attitude toward Israel (which is not going to thaw anytime soon in any case), Margot Wallström's moral high horse came at least second after a much earlier accusation by one Gideon Levy, our self-appointed Moral Compass.

I would suggest that this is the case that has to be dealt too - and no, I don't mean closing down the Haaretz or hounding the poor well-meaning Mr Levy. Just addressing it, because it should be addressed, because this is exactly the fodder Ms Wallström and her ilk are using. Say no more...

04 December 2015

Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and the will of Allah

I sincerely hope that the war of words and unsubtle under-the-table mutual kicks in the financially sensitive bits between Turkey and Russia will remain on that level and not escalate to a military conflagration. While Turkey and Russia have an old and hallowed tradition of warring, let's not tempt the devil, shall we? Especially since it is practically impossible to choose a... should we say... less disgusting party in this story.

As for the war of words: after the tenth (or twentieth, who could say?) flat refusal of Erdogan to apologize for downing of that wretched Sukhoi-24 (today, radio source), Putin decided to voice a tenth (or twentieth?) threat to Turkey. This time he decided to apply his theological acumen:
Putin: "I Guess Allah Decided To Punish The Ruling Clique In Turkey By Stripping Them Of Their Sanity"
And from stating this theological point, Putin switched to the mundane, I would even say - pedestrian - good ole KGB shtick:
But we will not respond in a nervous and dangerous way, our reaction will not be to achieve short term political goals, no, our actions will be based on responsibility before our people, our country.

We don't want any sabre-rattling, but if somebody thinks they can get away with this with tomatoes and restrictions on construction workers, they are wrong. We will long remember what they did and they will long regret what they did.
I don't know whether Erdogan is a slow or a quick learner, but I am sure that by now he is looking over his shoulder frequently enough.

As he should.

03 December 2015

Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin: the one-eyed king in the land of the blind

This is, while quite predictable, rather sad:
December 3. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has been included in the list of the leading global thinkers in 2015 by a Washington-based influential Foreign Policy magazine.
Putin was named as a leading global thinker in the category "Decision-Makers" along with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The magazine linked the choice to Russia’s airstrikes in Syria against terrorists and the growing popularity of Putin.
At least the title was gifted with some strings attached:
However, the magazine’s title seems to be more critical rather than congratulatory: "For Playing Peacemaker By Dropping Bombs."
Nevertheless, it shows a rather depressing picture of the political landscape we are all living in.

Too bad.

02 December 2015

Unconditional surrender of an ex - male chauvinist

A reposting of an old one, inspired by this news:

It seems that gals letting their armpit hair grow wild and free wasn't liberating enough, so they have decided to up the ante by including one important feature: glitter.
Quite, so here is the old one, from the good old era of armpit hair liberation.

One of my pen-friends has sent me a link to this extraordinary poem, considering it to be funny. Indeed, the title - Ode to My Armpit Hair - could be, at first glance, considered funny and cause a few laughs here and there.

However, after a careful reading and analysis of the poem and some study of its author, Ms Kirsten Anderberg, mostly via her site, I have plunged into a long period of gloomy and nerve-wrecking deliberations upon the future of the world, focusing at the end on my own, generally insignificant and short, but still dear to me, future.

And I have made the choice, my dear fellow men and women. You, my friends, may consider me a quisling, but let me tell you - it is this way or re-education in uranium mines (or alfalfa fields or whatever plant the eco-feminists will consider fitting for feeding their men). But let me give you some background first, using the above mentioned poem. Starting with one of the last stanzas:

Who would I be shaving for?
Who benefits from it all?
Perhaps the purpose is to distract my energies
From facilitating patriarchy's fall!!
I hope it is clear that Kirsten's plan of felling patriarchy could not be thwarted. I, for one, will not stand in her way. Not after reading on her site:

And let me make it clear right now, they will have to kill me with a squadron of Blue Angels before they will ever take my son to fight their illegal wars.
(It is not the letter of the statement - after all, Blue Angels just don't have what it takes to kill someone, aside of themselves when something goes wrong with the plane and, besides, Blue Angels are not about war, but mostly about adventure and testosterone - oops... anyway, it is the spirit of this sentence that caused my hands to shake for a while.) Patriarchy will fall, it is already falling, and if you do not see it crumbling - too bad for you. I, personally, never had anything against matriarchy and am ready to submit to it and its tenets.

So, to show my loyalty to the cause, I can easily relate to this:

What does my armpit hair symbolize?
Why does it threaten you?
Shaven armpits that use deodorants get cancer more often
And corporations stink more than you!
While I cannot say that I have ever invested any time into comparative sniffing of corporations, I can easily agree with that statement. And no, the armpit hair has never threatened me personally, nor did I hear any of my friends complaining about receiving threats from one. As long as Kirsten promises not to attempt to strangle me with her armpit hair (after all, it must be quite long by now, see "I haven't shaved since '78 "), I am perfectly fine with it and promise even to take up braiding it for any matriarch that requests this service in the future.

And to hell with deodorants. Really. Just one humble request to Kirsten: please, oh please, do not sing that song* at me anymore!

Sincerely (and always) pro-feminist.

(*) Update: I have copied that song from the K.A. site, after it has crashed my Firefox and my IE several times. Whether the following is related to this act or not, I don't know (click to enlarge):

After all, how many spam mails signed by this or other VIP does one get from very dubious sources? How can one be sire that this is an authentic Kirsten Anderberg?

But, assuming that it is authentic:

  1. The letter should be taken seriously (see the reasons why above). I still hope to avoid the uranium mines and alfalfa fields, if at all possible.
  2. The letter itself is a tit-for-tat replacement of the song, it's as screeching to the eyes as... you know.
  3. It seems to be a sign that the song will be soon removed from the originating site as well and will not endanger the future generations of Pavarottis and Callas-es.
  4. And that I should avoid aggressive-looking persons with overabundance of bodily hair for the near future (at least).
But boy, oh boy - one should be careful when a lady tell him she couldn't care less, because then...

Update 2: There is a worthy replacement to that forbidden song now, on Youtube no less, so here you go. Enjoy, but be carefull enough to hold your finger on the Stop button.


30 November 2015

Chief Mufti of Russia and Putin's sense of humor. A joke or not a joke?

The colorful fellow in the picture is Talgat Tadzhuddin, Chief Mufti of Russia. In spite of the heavy burden of his post, the Mufti has time for inventing colorful jokes that might be too confusing even for a Russian leader's press-secretary, a pretty unassailable character.
A spokesman for the Russian president, Dmitry Peskov, did not understand what the Chief Mufti of Russia Talgat Tadzhuddin meant, speaking about his proposal to Putin to deal with Israel and Syria as with Crimea.

"I can't comment on it, to be honest, I just did not understand what was meant," said Peskov. "Apparently, we are talking about some kind of a joke Mufti made. It can't be anything but a joke," - he added.
Now let's hear what the Chief Mufti has to say on the subject:
On Saturday, November 21, at the World Qoroltai of the Bashkirs in Ufa, the Supreme Mufti of Russia said: "On the Day of National Unity, after the representatives of traditional religions laid flowers and congratulated Vladimir Vladimirovich, I addressed him: Vladimir Vladimirovich, perhaps we should proceed with Syria and Israel like with Crimea? "said Tadzhuddin. Putin laughed and replied,"Mufti-Hazrat, we'll think about it." "There is no need to think, it is necessary to take [them] over. Let Russia extend down to Mecca. It is the will of Allah for people to live together in peace, love and harmony, "- said the mufti. The audience responded to his words with laughter and applause.
Since even Dmitry Peskov didn't get the joke, we'll leave it to the better minds to unravel. It might be useful to notice that "colorful" is a fitting description of other Mufti's statements, like his response to Western sanctions on Russia, imposed after the annexation of Crimea:

Chief Mufti of Russia says that sanctions are good for monkeys
Chief Mufti of Russia, Chairman of the Central Spiritual Board of Muslims Talgat Tadzhuddin, said in an interview that fasting people are not afraid of sanctions.

"When a person fasts all his life, he doesn't care about any sanctions. He is ready for anything, "- said the Mufti.

Tajuddin said that many people were angered by the curbs on the imports. "Some cry because of the sanctions imposed against us, because we'll not have bananas, because our menu will be limited. We lived a thousand years without bananas, thank God. We will not have them, but the monkeys of Africa will have more," he added.

29 November 2015

New front line against ISIS: the classroom, according to CNN

This, slightly pompous headline, graces the CNN front page on the Internet today, and here is how the article starts:

An 11-year-old at the back of the class raises his hand and proudly delivers an answer to the teacher's question: "If you murder one person, it's as if you killed all humanity."

It is a verse from the Quran, delivered in Flemish.

And for the teacher, Ibrahim's answer is exactly right.
It does sound heartwarming, peaceful, progressive... add your own adjectives here.

However, if you take a closer look at that quote, you shall see something different. Not that I am against the message it conveys, but a teacher could strive for a bit more integrity and stick to the truth. Even when the truth is somewhat ugly.

If you go to the source, you shall easily discover that the quote mentioned above is taken out of context. Here is what the authoritative source, the Quranic Arabic Corpus. has to say on the subject of verse 5:32, the source of that quote:

Sahih International: Because of that, We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely. ...
You can see clearly who were the subjects of this decree.

On the other hand, the adjacent verse, 5:33, sounds a bit differently:

Sahih International: Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. ...
In short, dear CNN:  you were so lazy and sloppy with your fact checking that you have succeeded to distort the words of the holy book.

And do you want to know what is the punishment for this transgression?

I guess you don't at that.

Afterword: and if you really want to know where the first quote comes from originally:
Whoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if he destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world. — Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:9; Yerushalmi Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 37a.
So there. Now you can go back to crucify the infidels.

28 November 2015

The downing of the Russian Sukhoi-24: what Russians say

Somebody at the Lenta.ru site decided to prepare a collection of all their articles related to the shootdown of the Russian plane. After browsing through the list of headlines, I have realized that they tell a story by themselves, without clicking through to the articles.

I have selected a few of the headlines, sorted by publication date and time, in hope that the reader will be able to complete the gaps and to see the picture, while keeping in mind that:

  • The headlines reflect what the Russians say and not necessarily what they think.
  • The times on the articles are these of publication and not always reflect the real time of an event or response.
  • Remarks added only where it's necessary (in my opinion)
November 24, 2015

11:49 [Russian]MoD announced the crash of a Russian jet in Syria.
         (The first "official" version - downed by ground fire of unexplained origins)
14:46 Nato calls for an urgent meeting in relation to the downing of the plane
15:22 Media reports that the head of Russian diplomatic mission is summoned to the Turkish FM
15:53 Putin calls the shootdown "a stab in the back"
15:57 Putin promises serious consequences for Russian-Turkish relationships
16:29 Turkish military attache summoned to Russian MoD
16:49 Putin says that the SU-24 was targeting militants of Russian extraction
17:18 Russian MoD tells about the circumstances of the shootdown
         (The Turkey's role in the downing of the jet surfaces after Putin's remarks)
17:25 Erdogan calls an urgent meeting of Turkish security council 
17:27: Davutoglu states the Turkish rights when is borders are crossed
17:57 Lavrov [Russian FM] cancels his visit to Istanbul after the incident
19:36 Turkish authorities report on their work aimed to free the captured pilots
19:58 Ankara will try to minimize the damage to its relationships with Moscow after the demise of SU-24
20:03 Syrian militants declare that they destroyed a Russian helicopter
20:55 Obama pointed out to Moscow the problems related to military actions near Turkish borders
21:08 Russian MoD promised protection to their bombers in Syria by fighter jets
21:09 General Staff announced the deaths of a pilot and a Marine
21:41 Russia will stop its military cooperation with Turkey
22:05 Ankara says it didn't have information of the Sukhoi belonging to Russia
22:20 Russian tourism authority forbids marketing of Turkish tourist packages

November 25, 2015

00:01 Media learns that Turkey doesn't have proof that Russian planes violated its airspace
04:46 Media learns that one of the pilots was rescued
09:55 Medvedev accuses Turkey of helping Daesh
10:07 Russian food authority forbids import of Turkish poultry
11:43 Anti-aircraft system S-400 will be deployed at Khmeimim airbase
12:02 Russian helicopter was destroyed by American missile that came from Turkey
13:43 Kremlin doubts the possibility of fighting terrorism with Turkey
14:22 Turkey expressed its condolences re downing of Sukhoi
15:02 Turkish embassy in Moscow attacked
15:55 Moscow says no intention to go to war with Turkey
21:05 German military says the Russian planes were attacked over Syrian territory
21:19 Washington calls Moscow to start a dialog with Ankara
23:00 Turkish General Staff publishes recording of calls to the Russian planes
23:15 Holland calls for help to prevent the damage to Russian-Turkish relationships

November 26, 2015

00:01 Turkish General Staff declares readiness to exchange information on the incident
03:38 Media learns of plans to increase the [Russian] air force group in Syria
05:37 NATO Secretary General calls for a review of safety rules in Europe
14:17 Media tells about deployment of S-400 system
(Notice the time between the decision and the start of deployment. Hmm...)
14:23 Putin regrets the lack of apology from Turkey
15:14 Medvedev describes the food embargo on Turkey
16:04 Erdogan promises to continue downing planes the will invade Turkish airspace in the future
16:24 Russian declare that the [gas pipeline] Turkish Stream project is being frozen
17:18 Erdogan announces he is not willing to apologize for the incident
19:22 The S-400 system [in Syria} is declared operational
(This is surely an all time record of Russian military efficiency)
20:09 Erdogan tells about his failure to talk to Putin about the downing of Sukhoi-24
21:07 Erdogan offers Putin a meeting

November 27, 2015

00:47 [Russian] Foreign Ministry denies that Erdogan tried to call Putin
02:44 Davutoglu states the Turkish intention to reduce the tension in their relationships with Russian
08:41 Erdogan stated the consequences of [possible] use of S-400 against Turkish planes
10:23 Turkish air force will avoid flying over Syrian territory
12:41 Kremlin tells about the failed attempts of Erdogan to call Putin
16:01 Kremlin explains the unwillingness of Putin to talk to Erdogan
17:00 Commander of [Russian] air force calls the attack on Sukhoi-24 and act prepared in advance
19:34 The commander of Russian Air and Space Force declared the location of Turkish F-16 at the time of the attack on Sukhoi-24

November 28, 2015

13:09 Iraqi politician tells about Daesh oil smuggling into Turkey
13:32 Turkish foreign ministry recommends that Turkish citizens avoid unnecessary travel to Russia
15:07 Kremlin calls a possibility of Bosphorus strait's closure "apocalyptic scenario"

And a stray (but still related) news item, purely for comic effect:

Participants of a demo in Athens burn Turkish and USA flags.

27 November 2015

Hey, don't touch out brats! For your weekend pleasure.

Our kids are really the best and the dearest we have, this is a commonplace, besides being true (unless, of course, grandkids come into the picture, but that's another story altogether).

So, instead of carping about many faults and fouls our kids inherited and improved upon, let's just relax and smile a bit upon their shenanigans, why don't we.

University of Missouri law students, who evidently cut class the day the First Amendment was taught, wrote a social-media policy that included this: “Do not comment despairingly [disparagingly?] on others.”
Wesleyan created a “safe space,” aka a house, for LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM students (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Queer, Questioning, Flexual, Asexual, Genderf—, Polyamorous, Bondage/Discipline, Dominance/Submission, Sadism/Masochism).
Another Washington State teacher, in her syllabus for “Women & Popular Culture,” warned that students risk “failure for the semester” if they use “derogatory/oppressive language” such as “referring to women/men as females or males.”
There is much more where the above came from, so take your time to savor and to enjoy.

Terrorism can't be Muslim. How about denial? Nah, just a river somewhere...

This is an amazing, must see show. Can't tell more. Enjoy.

And more:

French Muslims Claim Paris Attack Was a Conspiracy By "Magical Shape-Shifting Jews"

25 November 2015

US State Department: is it a shelter for terminal idiots?

Disclaimer: the author of this post doesn't harbor any warm thoughts about the main protagonists of the current conflict. Neither Turkey, descending into the hell of Islamism and grinding Kurds under its military boot, nor Russia, carpet bombing areas where the enemies of the bloody Assad's regime are supposed to hide, should expect any sympathy from anyone.

This post is about the amazingly low IQ requirements the US administration has for its State Dept employees. Of course, a fish rots from the head down, as the current chief of this august institution conclusively proved.

But it seems that at this stage we can safely conclude that the rot has spread over the whole fish. And it doesn't need an FDA quality control expert to conclude that the fish stinks and should be disposed of in a safe manner.

The story starts with an (initially strange to me) headline on a Russian news site:

Russian Foreign Ministry advised to remember forever the State Department announcement re SU-24
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova has commented on her Facebook page on the statement of her colleague from the US State Department, made regarding the incident with the Russian Su-24.

"Remember these words. Remember forever. And I will never forget. I promise you, "- she wrote.
The article helpfully provided a link to the State Dept transcript of the daily press briefing by one Mark C. Toner.
QUESTION: Turkoman forces in Syria said they killed the two Russian pilots as they descended in parachutes.


QUESTION: Turkoman forces are supported by Turkey and are fighting against the Syrian Government, they are part of the rebel force there. Do you consider these rebels to be a moderate force in Syria?

MR TONER: So a couple of thoughts, one – or a couple points: One is we’ve seen conflicting views, as I think Said just mentioned. We’ve also seen that one pilot may not have been killed. If these were – if these Turkoman were actually the – being attacked by these Russian strikes, they have every right to defend themselves.
(Emphasis on the last sentence mine).

Now you understand the outrage of the Russian spokesperson, I am certain. Now you also understand how I feel, without any sympathy to one of the warring sides in this specific situation.

You can also easily understand how we here, in our troubled neck of the woods, feel about this outfit, that sees itself entitled to sit in judgement (moral judgment included) over everything we say and everything we do, while being populated by the morons like the two mentioned in this post).

So there.

President Obama and the intelligence reports: go figure

I mean for you, my dear reader(s) to figure it out, because I surely can't. On one hand, POTUS wants to get to the bottom of the discrepancies between the rosy reports he apparently got from the military on Al Qaeda, Daesh etc.

President Barack Obama said Sunday he has told top military officials that he wants them to “get to the bottom” of whether intelligence assessments about Islamic State have been skewed or distorted before reaching the White House.
One of the concerns raised by some lawmakers is that if the Pentagon was providing overly rosy assessments of the efforts to combat Islamic State militants, it might have prevented the White House from taking more-aggressive actions to defeat the terror network. Mr. Obama said, though, that the news he has gotten about Islamic State from intelligence agencies hasn’t been a “wonderfully rosy, glowing” portrait.
On the other hand, some people say:
Former CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson claimed that she has sources who say President Barack Obama has “closed his mind” to some intelligence reports with which he disagrees.

Wednesday on NewsmaxTV’s “Steve Malzberg Show,” Attkisson asserted that Obama “does not necessarily listen to the people with whom they disagrees. He seems to dig in. … He is facing formidable opposition on this particular point.”
Why have I got a strange feeling in the pit of my stomach reading these two news items?

Maybe because it looks to me that President Barack Obama is looking for... what would be the right word in this case? Oh yes, a scapegoat?

But I leave it for you to figure out.

And thanks in advance.

24 November 2015

How did you sleep this night, Mr Erdogan?

Yeah, Vladimir Vladimirovich is royally pissed off. And quite obviously:
'Russian President Vladimir Putin has bitterly condemned the downing of a Russian jet on the Turkey-Syria border. 
He described it as a "stab in the back" committed by "accomplices of terrorists".'
Notice that the first official Russian version was that the plane was shot down by the ground fire from Syrian territory. This quote changes it all. Not "terrorists" anymore but their "accomplices". The finger is pointed at Turkey now - directly and unequivocally.

Since the Syrian strife started, the Moscow-Ankara relationships were strained. The downing of the Russian jet was the last straw. And no, Putin will not do anything drastic immediately, it is not the good ole KGB colonel's style. He will bide for the right moment.

And the wannabe caliph could take it to the bank...

The Israeli Museum: Night over Germany.

About 50 pictures of the German avant-garde artists from the period between WW I and WW II presented. As one who usually does his best to forego the blight of the audio guide, I was bending over almost 50 times to read the short blurbs telling about the artists and the fate of their works. During the Nazi time a lot of their masterpieces ended up in the specially created exposition of "Degenerate art". And a lot was destroyed, being considered decadent and degenerate.

Besides getting a creaking back, I realized that the fate of these artists or, rather, of their work (most have emigrated - but not all), is eerily similar to that of many Russian painters, writers, composers etc, whose work was banned, destroyed or forbidden. Although the Nazis murdered less of their artists, I have to add.

And, by the way, the "politically correct" artwork as approved by the Nazi regime was no less eerily similar to that approved by Stalin's art connoisseurs. As close as twins.

And - a result of simple arithmetic - the German artists were somewhat luckier than their Soviet counterparts. At least, their travail lasted only about 12 years (well, a bit more, given the aftermath of the war). At the time when Soviet oppression of the arts continued for 70 years, give or take. Still somewhat not totally over, if you ask me.

Horst Strempel's "Nacht über Deutschland" (Night over Germany)
This painting gave its name to the exposition.

The photograph of the painting was "borrowed" from the blog post of Ein Berliner, Briefly.

23 November 2015

Be still, my heart!

No comments.

22 November 2015

Hummus, Islamophobia and a politically correct way to eat a taco

From time to time the goddess of Political Correctness throws a juicy morsel in my direction. This one is even more than a morsel - this is a whole enchilada dish. Well, perhaps missing a few beans, but let's not complain.

As you know, the PC folks have become tough on the issue of cultural appropriation (shame on you if you are unfamiliar with the term, but go to the link in this case). Apparently cultural appropriation these days spread its wings over the PC ways to munch your food. No, I don't mean drooling or eating with your mouth open - rather saying some rudely un-PC words while consuming whatever you happen to be consuming.

This fascinating article (I would even call it "field guidance" in deference to you know who), written by a feminist, author and (obviously) a politically correct food connoisseur Rachel Kuo is certain to set your brain cells right in the ways of consuming your food without blurting out some horrible, P-Incorrect and hurtful to minorities words. Especially if you are one of the "dominant culture" privileged species used to oppress brown, black and otherwise colored people. PC Deity forbid if you dare use the word "authentic" - which is worse than anathema to Ms Kuo and points to your trait of... I shudder at the mere thought... your cultural appropriation. Here comes a (small) part of the PC food consumption theory:
When food gets disconnected from the communities and places its from, people can easily start forgetting and ignoring historical and ongoing oppression faced by those communities.

America has corporatized “Middle Eastern food” like hummus and falafel, and some people might live by halal food carts, but not understand or address the ongoing Islamophobia in the US.

Folks might love Mexican food, but not care about different issues such as labor equity and immigration policy that impact members from that community.
I hope you are beginning to see the ray of light now. Let's try to practice together, in terms that might be simpler to you.
  • When you eat hummus and falafel - keep your mouth shut and think about Islamophobia. You can write on your napkin the word "Islamophobia", but do it correctly, not "IslamAphobia" and not "IslamoFobia", you hear?
  • When stuffing yourself with tacos, think about all these downtrodden Mexican laborers crossing the border between you know what and you know where, risking their lives and freedom. 
  • When you are sinking your teeth into a schnitzel and don't know what the heck you should be thinking to be PC, at least try to remember Wilhelm Tell. Or the rat-catcher of Hamelin, fer PC sake!
  • When shtupping your face with gefilte fish, spare a thought to the Palestinian children whose Zionist oppressors deny them same opportunity. 
  • And chew with your mouth closed, for crying out loud!
Etc. I hope that by now you got the drift. If not, it is a re-education school for you, with proper field guidance and work in the rice fields - to get some sense of agricultural solidarity in you when you scarf risotto in an Italian restaurant next time.

All in all, I strongly advise that you read the whole article and imbue yourself with the right approach to taking your food - or else.

I have only one remark to make and one question to ask. First the remark. Apparently, Ms Kuo, while clearly being in the front of the PC culinary revolution, herself is still not 100% imbued with... well, with all that a really 100% PC feminist thinker must be fully imbued with. The proof, from that same article:
Often, when we talk about “ethnic” food, we’re not referring to French, German, or Italian cuisine, and definitely not those Ikea Swedish meatballs.
This was shockingly unexpected. Why would a fully PC thinker lay into a food item produced by a minority nation? Why is that Swedish meatballs, a beloved dish of so few, is being derided? And what does Ms Kuo, in her heart of hearts, really think about lutefisk? I shudder at the thought of a possible breach of all PC canons.

And a question, regarding this sentence:
In seeking “authentic” food, we’re hoping for a truly immersive experience into another culture.
To be totally truthful, when I am seeking food, “authentic” (PC deity forbid) or not, I am more concerned with my chances to let that food to immerse itself inside me. To borrow the term, I want to wrap myself around that food, no matter the culture. Only if I am out of my mind with hunger, may I allow part of the food to immerse me - like in that picture above. So please explain that apparent contradiction, Ms Kuo.

And bon appetit!

In related news: I Sometimes Don't Want to Be White Either
There was a time in my 20s when everything I learned about the history of racism made me hate myself, my Whiteness, my ancestors... and my descendants. I remember deciding that I couldn't have biological children because I didn't want to propagate my privilege biologically.

Hat Tip: Greg.

20 November 2015

Why our fight is not their fight: ruminations of a pessimist

This post is an attempt to answer the question that is so frequently raised by many Israelis and friends of Israel. Its typical form could be presented by this cartoon:

There is no single answer to this question, but let's first take a look at the immediate aftermath of the Paris massacre. Heads of states, various organizations and even the outspoken supporters of their own versions of Islamist terrorism (such as Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad) denounced the barbaric bloodshed. Our own Bibi joined the chorus with his typical response:
He said: “I have been arguing for years that Islamic terror is attacking Israel and other countries because it simply wants to destroy us.”

Netanyahu also argued that an “attack on any of us needs to be seen as an attack on all of us.”
Notice, please, that I am not saying that Bibi is wrong in what he is saying, not at all. It is just that this attempt to appeal to the world's conscience fell on deaf ears (again, I should add, and again). It is only one of the uncounted times that Bibi's attempt to hitch our wagon to that of the enlightened world in its fight against the Islamist terror didn't resonate at all.

Of course, Bibi wasn't alone in this attempt. Many good people shouted at the world: here we are, we live this in our daily lives, the terror is here 24/7 - why don't you listen, we can tell you a lot about it. But hardly anyone listens. Which causes some of us to become indignant. Sometimes our indignation has a comically provincial aspect:
French media is reporting extensively about events held worldwide in identification with the country's grief following Saturday's terrorist massacre in Paris. However, solidarity events in Israel have not been reported on...
The person who has written these lines should really relax. Not everything is about Israel.
Screaming and shouting that it happens to us too doesn’t change that. Neither does giving the world a big mother of an “I told you so” or “Welcome to our life.”

Give those killed on Friday night the respect that they deserve – as victims of terror. And then find a way for the world to see all victims of terror on equal terms.
Find a way, says the author of this, otherwise fine, article. Much easier said than done.

The world, which is supposed "to see all victims of terror on equal terms", has an interesting way to respond to massacres - at least as far as Israel and Jews are concerned. Even after the Paris bloodbath, where the perpetrators announced themselves and their goals quite clearly, the conspiracy theorists and the leftists presented a united front. At least as far as their pointing to the culprit behind the massacre. It took only a few hours for the deliciously demented Veterans Today (no link will be provided) to declare another "false flag" operation by Mossad. It took a bit more for the grievously demented British Greens spokesman to finger a Rotschild in the stew.

The chorus of European leftist political dignitaries, echoing the above sentiments, albeit in a more politically correct way, wasn't far behind. Started by a Swedish thinker, seconded by a Dutch pol, amplified by a British one, the Irish - the list probably goes on, but my disgust level prevented me from further digging.

So the more uniform response of the Muslim part of the world with its insidious claim that Daesh (ISIS) is a creation of Mossad/CIA/... shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. After all, the following shows quite well the essence of the world's skewed perception:

Indeed, in the reality where hundreds (sometimes thousands) of Muslims are murdered by their fellow Muslims daily, where wars rage all over the Arab countries, it is clear that one single priority item must be stated and put on the table. With the tacit support from the enlightened Western world, whose understanding we are so touchingly seeking.

Of course, there are some Jews that are ready to turn this issue on its head, such as the inimitable Gideon Levy, saying in a casual display of racism (neither he nor his editor spotted):
Even the kidnapped Nigerian girls interest it [the world] more.
Or an American/Israeli youngster, drilling to what he perceives as a core issue:
And yet, as J.J. Goldberg has pointed out in the Forward, the Israeli military intelligence community believes that the recent uptick in violence is a result of tension over the Temple Mount, Israel’s failure to adequately resolve the case of the murder of the Dawabshe family in the West Bank, and a general feeling of economic and political frustration, especially among Palestinian youth. A sense of hopelessness.
Apparently this youngster doesn't knows a lot about the almost 90 years of the Al Aqsa libel and its bloody history. Not at all, but he is ready to repeat the "accepted wisdom". When even the not especially friendly to Israel BBC summarizes the recent wave of terrorism quite succinctly:
The surge in violence began in September when tensions at a flashpoint holy site in Jerusalem revered by Jews and Muslims boiled over, amid rumours that Israel planned to relax long-standing rules to strengthen Jewish rights at the complex. Israel has repeatedly denied such claims.
But let's go back to Bibi and his unsubtle call for the world's understanding and unity in the face of terror. There are several good reasons why this call falls on deaf ears.
  • The Western world is rudderless and almost paralyzed, facing the Islamists' onslaught. The Western world hasn't a unified and coherent strategy for dealing with this blight, let alone time for sympathy to the rest of the planet with its uncounted trouble points, where the terror is doing its deathly business.
  • The world is tired of Israel and its problems. As it was said, quite well: "The world is tired of these troublesome Jews, 6 million -- that number again -- hard by the Mediterranean, refusing every invitation to national suicide." Not many care about history, the rights of a victor, the reasons for that occupation - the world just doesn't want to see or hear the news about another flare-up in this troubled corner.
  • Our Hasbarah proved to be a dismal failure. Granted, it fights against insurmountable odds - the sheer quantity of Arab and other Muslim supporters of the other side, unconstrained by any requirements of truthfulness or legality and enjoying the infusion of petrodollars. However, the ways the Hasbarah is managed and the style it uses (see under "Bibi") sucks in a major way.
  • The rabidly anti-Israeli left, hand in hand with openly antisemitic far right doing their "good work" wherever possible, using any opportunity to bash Israel for its real and invented ills.
  • The antisemitism, of course. I don't like to use this as an all-around explanation for the anti-Israeli sentiments, and it definitely isn't one. But to exclude it from the list will be a mistake. Our troubles are certainly a cause for some people's delight.
It is time to understand that nothing we can say will make the world sit up and listen. Not the clumsy entreaties, nor all too frequent mentions of Holocaust, nor the obvious but useless parallels, nor incessant and thus useless complaints about antisemitism.

We should cherish our friends, fight our enemies, be true to both and not expect miracles.

18 November 2015

John Kerry - he really is a moron, after all

Usually I try to avoid cursing heads of states and other dignitaries... oh well, what the heck happened to me today? I don't really try, especially not in a jaw-dropping, mind-boggling, hair-raising case of an inanity like this one.

"In the last days, obviously, that has been particularly put to the test," Kerry said, according to a State Department transcript. "There’s something different about what happened from Charlie Hebdo, and I think everybody would feel that. There was a sort of particularized focus and perhaps even a legitimacy in terms of – not a legitimacy, but a rationale that you could attach yourself to somehow and say, okay, they’re really angry because of this and that."
Emphasis as in the original.

This is the person that defines your foreign policy, America.

17 November 2015

Kogalymavia flight from Sharm El Sheikh disaster: the investigation is over, the response coming

The end of the investigation part was clear and unequivocal:

An IED (Improvised Explosive Device) with capacity of up to one kilogram of TNT exploded on board the A321 in flight ," said the head of service [FSB]. According to Bortnikov, traces of explosives of foreign manufacture were found in the wreckage of the ship.
The single action item demanded by Putin was no less unequivocal:
President's press secretary Dmitry Peskov said that Putin, after hearing the report of the head of the FSB Alexander Bortnikov on the terrorist attack on board a Russian A321, ordered the Russian special services to find those responsible for the crash of the plane and eliminate 'all these people.'
Since FSB and its predecessors are not known for their overindulgence in finesse, a lot of scalps, including these of totally unrelated folks, will be brought home.

Update: Egypt, however, doesn't concur with the bomb version.
As the country's prime minister, Arif Ismail said, Cairo will take into account the input from the Russian experts during their investigation of the causes of the crash, and if confirmed, will cooperate with Moscow in apprehending criminals. However, at this point, stressed Ismail, Egyptian investigators did not find evidence of crime in the crash. Moreover, Egypt's Interior Minister Abdel Ghaffar said that the investigation did not reveal security breaches at the airport.
Of course, Egypt and Russia have incompatible preferences for the outcome of the investigation. Egypt is facing a disaster for its tourist industry if the bomb version is confirmed. Russia, all in all, prefers the bomb version that allows its leader(s) to ride the favorite Russian image of the external enemy (Daesh in this case).

The true definition of "Islamophobia" - attribution issue resolved

Islamophobia - a word created by fascists and used by cowards to manipulate morons.
This pithy and sufficient definition of the term was ascribed to the great and late Christopher Hitchens.

Apparently the attribution is wrong - not that it matters much, compared to the overall quality of the job.

Religion and the state of your bowels. Or is it religious state of your bowels?

Doesn't matter, everything will be illuminated shortly, but not before you read, enjoy and distribute as widely as possible this delightful essay by one and only Akaky Akakievich.

16 November 2015

About the aftermath of Paris massacre

The thoughts below, were penned by David Sigeti on Facebook. Worthy reading.

I have refrained from posting these thoughts for about a day now, because I wanted to hold off from political debate in the immediate aftermath of the atrocities in Paris. Nevertheless, I think that it is important to make this point before the murders in Paris and the reactions to them by governments all over the world fade from the notoriously short attention span of the public mind.

The reactions of governments, including our own, to the terrorist attacks in Paris have mostly been very good. Expressions of solidarity have been the order of the day, and have been unencumbered by the sort of admonitions that undermine a statement of solidarity. There has been no false equivalencing, no admonitions to "both sides" to "refrain from incitement", no statements that imply that France is about to go on some kind of rampage against either its own Muslim population or Muslims in other countries, and no admonitions to France to exercise "restraint", even though the President of France has vowed to wage a "pitiless" war on the perpetrators of the attacks (an entirely appropriate vow, in my opinion).

But the same can not be said about the reactions of governments all over the world, including our own, to the wave of terrorist attacks in Israel over the last couple of months. In that time period, Israel has seen a number of terrorist murders that amount to about the same fraction of its population as the victims of the Paris attacks amount to as a fraction of the population of France. The statements of the American government in particular have shown nothing like the solidarity that it has shown with France, in the midst of an ongoing campaign of mass murder against Israeli citizens. In the beginning especially, the US made vague statements about deploring "violence" and called on "both sides" to refrain from "incitement", even though there was no incitement coming from the Israeli side at all and the terrorist wave was being openly and massively incited by all the political groups in Palestinian society, including the supposedly moderate Fatah, and by all levels of the leadership of Palestinian society, including the media, the religious leadership, institutions of higher education, professional organizations, and, of course, the Palestine Authority and its President, the supposedly moderate Mahmoud Abbas.

In fact, the early statements from the American government could hardly be distinguished from the disgusting statements by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who encouraged "both sides" to "show restraint".
Although American statements about the terrorist wave improved significantly over time due to domestic political pressure, they never approached the straightforward and plainly stated solidarity that has just been shown with France. Other governments, particularly the British and Canadian, made much better statements, but the international response overall was worlds away from the response to the attacks in Paris.

This is a massive and egregious double standard, especially since Israel is every bit as much an ally of the United States as France is, maybe more so. It is hard to imagine a clearer example of the failure of the Obama Administration to show support for Israel when it most needs it.

There, I said it. We can now return to mourning the victims of the attacks in Paris and discussing what we need to do both to punish the perpetrators and to prevent similar atrocities in the future. Let us just remember the massive and disgusting double standard that has just been shown, not just in attention in the international press but in the official statements of governments, including our own, and allow this memory to affect our thinking about Israel's situation in the future.

What should be said

Well said, Paul M.

15 November 2015

Anshel Pfeffer and the people in the Parisian street

There are men called journalists who have established ink baths which some persons pay money to get into, others to get out of. Not infrequently it occurs that a person who has paid to get in pays twice as much to get out.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

Anshel Pfeffer, the Haaretz' journalist, is a dork. While I don't follow all of his body of work, I had two moments of breathtaking admiration of my own, that proved his dorkiness in a satisfactory (for me, at least) manner.

Today, on the army radio, I heard a live radio interview with Anshel from Paris. It was longer that what I am going to retell here, and I didn't take notes, but the gist is as follows:
The Parisians our little Anshel talks to are not angry and are not cursing the terrorists. They, the good Parisians, are asking themselves what did they do wrong and where have they gone wrong to cause the members of their society, folks of their own, to become so alienated that they turned to terrorism.
My apologies for not passing the text verbatim, but such are the vagaries of modern communications. Anyway, I hope that you are sufficiently stunned.

Now, from the partial information that seeped through so far (and might be only partially true) we know about only one terrorist being a Parisian Arab, one Syrian (doubtlessly riding into France with the wave of the refugees), one Egyptian and three Belgians. Not to mention Daesh taking responsibility for a well coordinated massacre, hardly possible for a few alienated disenfranchised Parisians.

Did I mention that Anshel Pfeffer is a dork?