31 July 2015

A Double-Barreled Misunderstanding in Amherst, Massachusetts

Sinister goings on in one of the centers of learning: double umbrellas, suspicious vests and whatnot.

From Wig and Pen, with thanks.

30 July 2015

John Kerry: the man who signs your treaties, US of A!

This exchange, if true*, is phenomenal and will put even a language manipulator like Juan Cole off his feed for a while:
“Is it the policy of the ayatollah, if you can answer for him, that Iran wants to destroy the United States?” Texas Republican Lloyd “Ted” Poe asked Kerry during the latter’s Tuesday appearance before the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “Is that still their policy, as far as you know?”

Kerry responded: “I don’t believe they’ve said that. I think they’ve said ‘Death to America,’ in their chants, but I have not seen this specific.”
It is not that we have some genius politician to compare with that, but... anyhow, condolences to US of A and its fair citizens with that sorry case.

(*) Since the same quote appears in several sources, I rather like it as true. But of course, this will not be the first time a fake quote makes its rounds all over the net.

29 July 2015

Cowpat throwing competition in Russia - I shit you not

Believe it or not, as you prefer, but here it is:
An extraordinary competition was held in the framework of the regional festival "Merry Bovine" in the Russian village of Krylovo, Perm region. Besides racing cultivators and garden wheelbarrows, guests of the festival were invited to participate in the cow patties throwing competition. The event was supported by the regional Ministry of Culture. The Minister Igor Gladnev personally led a delegation to the event.

The organizers of the festival "Merry Bovine" set themselves the following objectives: to promote the revival of the Russian village, its traditions, respect for its roots, to promote the rich cultural heritage of the Perm region.

One of the most spectacular events of the festival was the competition in throwing of dry cow dung. The creators of the contest said that collecting the "props" for it has occupied a special place in the preparation of the festival.

"One of the most spectacular and the audience favorite competitions - the championship on a throwing cowpats on the range. We started to hoard the patties about three months ago. We've harvested three full TV set boxes, one for male and female team each and one spare," the organizers said.

Here is a recording of the event:

According to the lady, this is the fifth year the competition is held.

Hat tip: E.S.

Irony has been here but it left early

And anyway, the author of this filth wouldn't know irony if it bit him on his arse. Click "Read more..." only if you are of appropriate (in your country of residence) age. You have been warned:

28 July 2015

Cuba Si, Yanqui No! Or is it vice versa?

Cuba Si, Yanqui No! This fiery call was heard all over the world for too many years to count, when the strife between the two countries was in earnest. Of course, these days the two sides are setting aside their long years of enmity and looking forward to a peaceful and friendly coexistence.

Still, some people can't wait. As reported by Pravda (!):

Cuban players fled to the United States in the middle of the competition that has resulted in the defeat of the Cuban team in field hockey in the Pan American Games.

Seven members of the Cuban national team took advantage of sporting events held in the Canadian city of Toronto, and fled to the United States without waiting for the end of the match. Only eight players came on the playing field as a result, which led to a crushing defeat for the team with the score 13:0 by the team of Trinidad and Tobago.

Previously four rowers, one of whom was a silver medalist, took advantage of the competition to escape. In general 20 Cubans fled to the United States during the competitions.
What can I say: just like the good old days.

27 July 2015

So who is a schmuck: Putin, Obama or French senator Pozzo di Borgo?

The story starts with a rather naughty finger in the eye of the international community (or, at least, that part of the community that condemned the Russian annexation of Crimea and doesn't recognize it). A gang of French parliamentarians visited Crimea, and the Russian RT, the rather slavish mouthpiece of the Russian rulers, is happy to report that:

There are no grounds to keep Russia sanctions in place, said member of the French National Assembly Thierry Mariani, who heads the parliamentary delegation currently on a two-day visit to Crimea.
And, of course, RT being RT, they also remind us that:
Crimea rejoined Russia last March following a referendum where more than 96 percent of people voted in favor of reunification.
Wink wink, nudge nudge...

The European politicians responded to the visit as expected: The European Parliament condemned the visit of French representatives in the European Parliament (EP) to the annexed Crimea. Of course that condemnation is nothing to the determined French solons.

But the story that may sound straight and simple as told above, has a curios side departure:
One of the French parliamentarians visiting Crimea has spoken his mind through fashion. Senator Yves Pozzo di Borgo from the center-right UDI party has acquired a T-shirt with Putin and Obama portraits, the caption saying: “Obama, you're a schmuck.”

Of course, being a politician, Senator Yves Pozzo di Borgo* will find a fitting explanation to this escapade. We all on the bleachers could just enjoy the game, some of us knowing that the good Senator is unaware of a few Russia - (and otherwise -)  related facts, like these two:
  • The widely accepted moniker that public uses for Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin is "хуйло" these days. The most benign translation of "хуйло" happens to be "schmuck".
  • While Google translates "Pozzo" as "well", and not knowing Italian I can't argue with that, the pronunciation of "Pozzo" in Italian, as offered by Google, is as close to another synonym of word "schmuck" in Yiddish as makes no nevermind.
So there, dear Senator. Take it easy.

(*) Some skinny on Senator Yves Pozzo di Borgo:
He calls himself a descendant of a famous ambassador, general, and adviser to Russian Tsar Aleksandr II.

The newspaper “Liberation”, which published a dossier on “Putin’s network in France” in September 2014, attributed the senator to the “naive Battalion” (it also contains actor Gerard Depardieu).

In June, after the spy scandal, during which it became clear that the Americans spied on French presidents and set up a spying studio in the building of the American Embassy in Paris. the senator said that if France respected itself, it would have destroyed the US embassy.

The senator has repeatedly urged the US to “stop interfering” in the internal affairs of Ukraine.

26 July 2015

Turkey: the anti-ISIS operation continues. In a way.

And now this: Turkey Drops Bombs on Kurdish Group That Has Fought the Islamic State in Iraq.

Turkish forces bombed camps belonging to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in northern Iraq, officials confirmed on Saturday. The airstrikes — which were coupled with strikes against the so-called Islamic State (IS) in Syria — complicate US-led coalition efforts to fight IS, as the PKK has been particularly effective at driving back militant forces on the ground in Iraq.

The PKK, which the Turkish government recognizes as a terrorist organization, has been fighting Ankara for independence since 1984. The two sides reached a peace agreement in 2013, but that deal that was likely dissolved by Friday's bombings.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the PKK violated their agreement to disarm and withdraw their fighters from Turkish territory.
No comment, but none required, innit?

25 July 2015

Will Amnesty International say "oops!" about this?

I guess not.

24 July 2015

Recep Tayyip Erdogan: now in action finally. But what action exactly?

The half-mad half-Caliph finally started to do something about ISIS, after all these years of mouthing vague but passionate threats. The action against ISIS amounts to the following:
Three F-16 fighter jets took off from a base in Diyarbakir, southeastern Turkey, early on Friday and hit two Islamic State bases and one "assembly point" before returning, the prime minister's office said.
Hard to call it even a regular air force exercise. The other part of the same operation, however, looks a bit more serious:
Police also rounded up nearly 300 people in Friday's raids against suspected Islamic State and Kurdish militants, Prime Minister Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said after vowing to fight all "terrorist groups" equally.

Local media reported that helicopters and more than 5,000 officers, including special forces, were deployed in the operation. Anti-terror police raided more than 100 locations across Istanbul alone, broadcasters CNN Turk and NTV reported.
Emphasis mine, and I am sure you see why: the fearless leader is jumping on an opportunity to round up as many as possible members of the Kurdish opposition he hates so passionately (definitely more than he hates the ISIS abomination).

The "fight against all terrorist groups" covered the whole country, and if you read the detailed reports from the Turkish press you can easily detect who is really being rounded up.

To remind you, Turkey is a member of NATO and Recep Tayyip Erdogan is buddy-buddy with some high placed figures in Washington I am too tired now to mention. And he knows how to make them look the other way, no matter how depraved his treatment of Kurds is.

Too bad.

P.S. Want to bet that the flow of resupplies and reinforcements to ISIS through Turkish territory (including the European wannabe jihadis) will be curtailed? Then don't.

Soon... very soon...

I always believed this day will come.

How are you today?
I am Mrs. Michelle Obama and I am written to inform you about your Bank Cheque Draft brought by the United Embassy from the government of Benin Republic in the white house Washington DC been mandated to be deliver to your address on Thursday being 23 of July 2015 to you as soon as you get back to me with your
home address
cell phone number
The only thing that slightly bothers me is the mention of Benin. I already own Benin. But no doubt it is just a slight mistake on the side of the letter's author. All White House dwellers were rather weak on geography.

Now I think it will be, probably, Greece. But I haven't made my mind yet, so any ideas welcome.

23 July 2015

Kim Jong Un: another step to stardom

The building of the Juche-based power under the relentless and ever-wise field guidance of the Marshal Kim Jong Un made another historic step forward in its triumphant march against the dark powers of imperialism and its inhuman and bellicose policy.

As can be seen in the picture, the DPRK industry produced the first fighter jet able to carry to hitherto unseen heights the eternally corpulent body of the dear Marshal Kim Jong Un. This will allow Marshal Kim Jong Un to direct his field guidance at any Juche-inspired household, factory or military unit instantaneously and thus lead DPRK to further summits of glory.

In the picture: two members of song and dance people's ensemble "Juche Forever" present the dear Marshal Kim Jong Un flower arrangements to celebrate the achievement. Two members of Marshal Kim Jong Un General Staff take a measure of the Fearless Leader's posterior for the field guidance inspired design of the jet fighter seat.

21 July 2015

Brian Meadows and his inconvenient questions

A post by Brian Meadows, a member of the Facebook "Progressive Zionism" forum drew my attention, mostly due to forcefulness of the argument - in defense of the nuclear agreement with Iran. So much so that I decided to do some parsing of the post and to squeeze in some remarks here. So, if the link at the beginning doesn't work for you, you shall see the full text of Mr Meadows post below.

OK, folks. I'm lukewarm about the deal with Iran myself, but I've a few questions to ask the irreconcilables and a few inconvenient facts for them as well.
Facts should be always welcome, to irreconcilables and otherwise, I submit.
First, the questions: could any one of you have gotten as good a deal?
I would submit that, as far as my sensitive (to beta and gamma rays and other unpleasant elements of a nuke going off in the vicinity) skin is concerned, there are no shades of "good". Either Ayatollahs get the nukes or they don't. All the shades in between are irrelevant. And, as most experts on the subject agree, Iran does get the nukes at the end of the day. So what we have is a bad agreement - one that President Obama promised to walk away from.
If not, shall I assume that you're ready to put on a Foreign Legion uniform or something and march to war against Iran?
I am not sure whom Mr Meadows is addressing in this post - because here in Israel we don't need Foreign Legion's uniforms, we have our own and been fighting Iran via its proxies - like Hezbollah and Hamas - for quite a long time already. As for the war with Iran - unfortunately, in the circumstances, it will be coming - 10 or so years down the road, maybe even sooner. I am being too old for that one, but my children are not, and I am not looking forward to that war, no sir.
If you couldn't have gotten as good a deal and you're not ready to fight, I have a label for you: BLOODTHIRSTY TRENCH-DODGER! Something which any competent soldier despises, so STFU!
I would have agreed to that sentiment, but the proposal to STFU* kinda doesn't sit right with me - let's leave it for later.
Second: many of you say, I know, that it was tough sanctions that brought Iran to the table in the first place and you're probably at least partially right. However, another part of this was the Bush administration's refusal to talk to 'evil' at all at a time when, had we done so, we could've put the kibosh on any nuclear plans Iran might have had. In 2003, Iran had only 300 centrifuges. I also suggest that Darth Cheney had an ulterior motive: he wanted to direct, from behind (he being the chief of bloodthirsty trench-dodgers) an American march into Tehran and make Iran an example of what happens to our satraps who dare to think they deserve real independence! And had the GOP won the 2006 midterms, I believe that would've been set into motion!
Ehehe... what can I say about that, not being a side in the GOP-Dems incessant bickering? Only that if I had a dollar (nah, make it a shekel) for every time a supporter (or a member) of the current administration blames Bush/Cheney for every SNAFU that happened during the last 6+ years, I would be quite a wealthy character by now. As for that statement that Bush administration should have settled the Iranian nuclear ambitions back then - what is it based upon exactly? As far as I remember, Iranian attitude to everything American back then was even worse than it is today, so what chance did Bush have? Nah... empty words.
Third, Iranian feeling against us dates back to 1953, when our beloved CIA engineered the overthrow of their democratically elected (and SECULAR!) prime minister Mossadegh, which then allowed the Shah to return as absolute monarch.
Related to this, some of you seem to think we could have brought Iran much closer to effective surrender. Let me now share with you that NO Iranian has forgotten Mossadegh nor our overthrow of him. In light of that, no Iranian government was or is likely to do that. Remember what happened when the Royal Navy claimed a right to stop our ships? Strike up the 1812 Overture.
So if you think we could get a better deal, you need to account for Iran's national pride, something which is rather (and understandably) prickly towards us right now. Obama knows this and acted accordingly.
None of the above information, enlightening as it may be for those who don't know that bit of history, justifies the holes in the agreement that make it rather a temporary patch instead of a definite solution. These facts may explain Obama's behavior and his decision making process (although they don't, not fully) - but they do not make the "best possible" agreement into a workable agreement. And believe you me, Mr Meadows, I am more sorry about it than you.
I have time, so you all can take yours as you post. If there's anything you think I've missed, feel free to call attention to it.
I think, Mr Meadows, that you missed, first of all, the facts that are related to the agreement itself, and here is the point where I would like to ask a question or two: have you indeed read the agreement? And have you read any critique of the agreement?
None of us know how rationality and messianism are mixed in the Iranian leadership and that can go either way.
Indeed, so why are we ready to assume the best, signing of on something with more holes than cheese in it?
But either you think you can get a better deal or you're ready to put on a uniform. Absent both, STFU and do some listening!
My last remark will be not about the substance of the post but about its style. As far as I understand from your FB page, Mr Meadows, you are a "Speech Writer & Campaign Aide at Progressive Messaging", meaning a person versed in all things PR. Which is (for me) a bit hard to reconcile with the rather crude styling of your post and your insistence that people who disagree with you STFU - even if they are bloodthirsty trench-dodgers. But of course I don't know anything about campaigning and its current style in US, so who knows...

Now I shall STFU.

(*) For those who don't know the term - STFU.

Shark attack and the expert

I can't really blame CNN for that one:

It is not a CNN invention, they just interviewed some British shark expert. Anyway, if I ever see a great white circling me in the water, not peeing will be... how to say it... OK, only the second most important issue, I am sure.

18 July 2015

Ayatollah Khamenei and New York Times - the art of headlines

Some people don't understand my seeming obsession with newspapers' (and on-line newspapers') headlines. I do believe in the importance of watching this small facet of the media. After all, many of us start their day with a brief scan of the front pages, barely slowing down and clicking through only a selected few of the headlines that look interesting or cause some initial misunderstanding. Thus in many cases headlines inform us, scare us, make us smile etc, slightly adjusting our worldview - all this without any need to go into the article itself, no matter how much the contents of the article differ from the message conveyed by the headline.

Indeed, a man that sees something like "A vaccine for Ebola was developed" might get his positive boost for the day, especially if that man didn't know about tens of thousands that expired of the bug. Or a man that sees the insidious BBC's "Israeli planes attacked in Gaza" gets the message about the bloody Zionists without any need to click through and (possibly) to learn that the bloody Zionists responded to another series of rocket launches from the place. Etc.

So, you can imagine now my feelings after browsing through the headlines dedicated to the latest anti-American, anti-Israeli and generally incendiary speech by Ayatollah Khamenei. The message, very far from what the White House hoped to hear, is clear:

Iran's stance towards the "arrogant" US will not change despite the nuclear deal reached earlier this week, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said.
Or, simply put in a graphic way:

But this was expected, more or less, and while the official White House/State Department will eat the crow silently, Juan Cole and his ilk will re-translate for us the words of the chief cleric in a more palatable manner... something with doves and olive branches in it.

What was less expected is the gutter level the bastion of the progressive media, the New York Times is ready to get down to. Here are the headlines of several (not especially right wing, it has to be said) media outfits:

Deutsche Welle: Khamenei: Nuclear deal 'won't change' Iran's stance on US
AFP: Iran leader says policy against 'arrogant' US 'won't change'
BBC (!): Iran nuclear: Ayatollah Khamenei chastises 'arrogant' US

And now comes the NYT headline about the same speech:

Ayatollah Khamenei, Backing Iran Negotiators, Doesn’t Fault Nuclear Deal

Fuck me sideways - the only thing that came to mind. And before you ask - the article does contain some of the Khamenei "criticism", although in the end part of it and without mention of the arrogance etc.

Nothing left but to remind, the umpteens time, the famous:

And now, for some comic relief, an in-depth review of the Iran nuclear deal. With many thanks to Dick Stanley, the Texas Scribbler.

17 July 2015

Who was Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, the man the FBI says killed 4 Marines in Tennessee?

Nothing special to do but to quote from this article:
He was smart, funny and sociable in high school.
He had a really easy-to-get-along-with personality.
Mohammod was very humble. He always did what I asked him to do; he never gave me any problems.
Abdulazeez was deeply religious, observing prayers five times a day and fasting during Ramadan, according to Jones, who never knew him to drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes or do drugs.
"I'm not afraid to go straight toward them and ask them, 'Do you really know what Islam is?' " Yasmeen Abdulazeez told the Times Free Press. "There's this misconception that Islam is a violent religion. Muslims are actually peaceful."
I would stop here, but there was one more quote that gave me a start:
He was a leader on the team. He led by example.
Nothing more to see here, people. Move on, please.

16 July 2015

CNN's curl of the tongue

It is probably a blessing that human tongue is one of the very few boneless appendages. Otherwise this case of editorial craftsmanship would have surely ended in multiple fractures:

I fell in love with that "pro-Russian missile" stunt. Don't you admire it?

Imagine that hangar at an advanced missiles factory somewhere in the Russian boonies, where the finished missiles take an oath of allegiance...

But the tongue twisters don't end there, continuing to the foggy Netherlands:
Dutch accident investigators say that evidence points to pro-Russian rebels as being responsible for shooting down MH-17, according to a source who has seen the report.
The so called "pro-Russian rebels"... yeah, sure, the simple folks who are supposed to be armed by pitchforks AK-47s and RPGs, suddenly are shooting down airplanes from the height of 12 km by advanced anti-aircraft missiles? Go tell it to the Marines, please.

No one wants to anger the Russian bear, as flea-bitten and mangy as it might be.

Fine with me.

Update: the unfortunate headline changed to:

Oh well, now, at least, we know the missile's ethnic roots. Cool.

Yeah, so who pressed the button after all?

15 July 2015

Nuclear deal with Iran: the smiling and the exhausted

The subject is and will be widely discussed for the duration, and yours truly has nothing to add on the subject. Just to record a few wrinkles on the reality's ugly face.

To start with, about the worth of the agreement:
Transparency: Iran will give more access to its nuclear program to the UN nuclear agency. If that agency identifies a suspicious site, an arbitration panel with a Western majority will decide whether Iran has to give the agency access within 24 days.
No matter what else is written on the rest of the 100+ pages of that document, the quote is enough to reduce it to a pile of worthless crapola.

As for the main driving force behind the agreement:
Maybe the real benefit, at least from Obama's perspective, is that the nuclear deal will pave the way for America's full exit from the Middle East. After more than a decade of war and nation-building, the region is less stable and more dangerous than it was on 9/11.
Perhaps we have reached the limits of what American leadership can do in that part of the world. But if that's true, Obama should have the decency to level with us about it. This deal is not an affirmation of American leadership. It's a recognition of American exhaustion.
There is a war expecting us down the road, ladies and gentlemen, a big one at that. But hey, that pre-paid Nobel Prize must be redeemed...

14 July 2015

Being gay in Moscow (Russia)

The level of homophobia in Russia is known and discussed quite widely. However, nothing beats a recorded real life experience like this one. Two brave (and straight, by the way) guys are imitating gay behavior on the streets of Moscow. Enjoy.

It might be worth your while to browse the comments. Some of them are in English and quite educational.

13 July 2015

If you dream of a Jew...

From a Russian dream interpretation site:

If you dream of a Jew - there is an an insidious person who tries to humiliate you in your environment. Dialogue with a Jew in a dream promises you a successful way out of the predicament, in which you are caught because of your cheating colleagues. Punishment awaits the guilty, and you shall get a reward for work well done.
Hear, hear!

The only other case I was able to find, where a specific nation  figures, was about an Egyptian:
If you were an Egyptian in your dream, it means that in your heart you are an actor and crave recognition, although you don't deserve any special merits. Stop putting on a mask when talking with people, be real. People see hypocrisy subconsciously and do not trust you. Show your true colors and your relationships with others shall improve.
Oh well, whatever.

Separated at birth?

The first one is our current foreign ministry DG, Dore Gold. If you don't know the second one - too bad.

P.S. I bet Aussie Dave got onto it already.
P.P.S. I know now exactly what present to send Dore for his BD.

12 July 2015

What Warren Buffett missed (so far) - thermal underwear!

I will be investing in this:

And this:

Here is why:
A new model of the Sun's solar cycle is producing unprecedentedly accurate predictions of irregularities within the Sun's 11-year heartbeat. The model draws on dynamo effects in two layers of the Sun, one close to the surface and one deep within its convection zone. Predictions from the model suggest that solar activity will fall by 60 per cent during the 2030s to conditions last seen during the 'mini ice age' that began in 1645.
Oh yes, and coal. Lots of coal.

And oil.

And shale.

So there.

60%? Yeah, better catch some sunlight before its gets scarce.

What's better: our health system or my English?

My initial confusion when reading a passage in this article was gradually replaced by self-loathing. When will my English improve sufficiently to grok what is written? Oh, here is the passage in question:

According to the two reports, the numbers of hospital beds in Israel is relatively low compared to other OECD countries (third from the bottom) – 1.9 hospital beds per 1,000 people, compared to an average of 3.3 hospital beds in OECD countries.

Despite the shortage, the hospital beds occupancy rate in Israel – 94.1 percent – is the highest in the organization, compared to an average of 76.1 percent among OECD members.
Tricky word that "despite", ain't it?

11 July 2015

The 12th (Hidden) Imam found or Catholic Church as the mother of Islam. Conpiracy rules!

First of all, to get any baseless suspicions out of the way: "conpiracy" is not a typo, it is a XXI century post-modernist, post-commonsense thing, as you will soon learn.

My old friend, a Turkish conpiracist Aangirfan unwittingly helped me to connect some pretty important dots, penning (keyboarding) a post titled CATHOLICISM AND ISLAM - CONPIRACY THEORY.

According to this post, a bloke named Walter Veith* discovered the real roots of Islam. Mr Veith has revealed this shocking truth in an hour and a half long video, attached to that linked post by Aangirfan. Of course, I don't have the energy required to watch this video, full of other discoveries, according to Aangirfan. But you could, thanks to the intertubes and other wonders of modern communications media . So here is the gist of the discovery:

"What is the truth behind Islam? It is a secret creation of the Roman Catholic Church, invented by the Vatican and planted in the Middle East to stamp out the last remnants of non-Catholic “true” Christianity."
While Walter Veith is an uncommonly astute fellow, as far as field studies are concerned, he is, most probably, not very good in seeing the big picture. Nor is my friend Aangirfan. But it's not a big issue, since here I am, armed by all the powers vested in me by the Elders. And the dots will be connected in a jiffy.

First of all, we can safely declare that the search for the 12th aka Hidden Imam is over. The dream of many Islamist fundies, the learned fellow Mahmoud Ahmadinejad among others, came true. Here he is:

It should be noticed, before anyone starts using names, that Hidden Imam is not a specific person but a position. In this case a position manned by a long chain of gentlemen who contributed to the secret creation of Islam and planting... well, you have already read this if you are here.

Now, to let you in on the other facet of the Troof, hidden for thousands years from the prying eyes: check out this:

Pope Francis is a Jewish Imposter

I cannot provide a link due to our policy of not linking to such places, but a quick google will definitely bring you there. And of course, I can neither deny nor confirm this statement, leaving it to your feverish imagination to complete the picture.

Which is real easy now, thanks to me.

(*) Definitely a fascinating fellow. Worth a follow-up or two later.

Correcting the mistake of Earl of Sandwich


Finally. It took the humanity almost 400 years, but eventually an anonymous genius got it just right.

10 July 2015

The new and smiling Iran: connect the dots

Several links that may need a slight effort to find a connection between them:

Why your next vacation could be in Iran
When you fly to Iran these days the planes are a little more full than before.

Business travelers are making their way to Tehran scoping out opportunities, hoping that sanctions might be lifted soon.

More tourists also appear to be on the planes coming from Frankfurt, Rome, Istanbul and the few other places that have direct flights to Iran.

The Iranian government says it expects a 6.6% rise in the number of tourists for 2015.
U.S. to Award Iran $11.9 Billion Through End of Nuke Talks
The Obama administration on Wednesday paid $490 million in cash assets to Iran and will have released a total of $11.9 billion to the Islamic Republic by the time nuclear talks are scheduled to end in June, according to figures provided by the State Department.
Syria accepts $1 billion in credit from Iran
The President of war-torn Syria has accepted a billion-dollar helping hand from his supporters in Iran.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad signed a law ratifying a $1 billion credit line from Iran, Syrian state-run news agency SANA reported Wednesday.
Syrian refugee population rises above 4 million, U.N. says
More than 4 million Syrians have fled the violence in their homeland to seek refuge in neighboring countries, the United Nations said Thursday.

The grim numbers make Syria's lengthy civil war the worst crisis that the U.N. refugee agency has had to deal with in nearly 25 years, the organization said.
One, two, three... done?

Gerard Depardieu left Russia for Europe

From a Facebook page of Russian satirist Victor Shenderovich:
Gérard Depardieu, not yet settled in his apartment in Saransk, fucked off to Belgium. (Sorry, I honestly was looking for another verb - and couldn't find one).

In an interview he said that his short stay in Russia once again convinced him that he is a Frenchman.

It surely took him a long time, I can tell you.

I hope the Federal channels will tell about this turn of events re the great artist in as many details as in the past.
To remind you:
Actor Gerard Depardieu is paying tax of just six per cent in his adopted country of Russia after Vladimir Putin gave him a passport last year, it was revealed earlier today.
He quit his native France over the punitive 75 percent wealth tax imposed by the socialist government.
The 65-year-old actor filed his tax return on time in the remote region of Mordovia, better known for its prison camps, where he is registered as a self-employed businessman.
Apparently even the minuscule 6% task can't help to overcome... er... you know what, don't you?

Oh, and the caption on the picture (from Nasha Canada) says (very approximately, at least it could be translated into a pun, albeit not precisely the original one): Depart-ieu.

09 July 2015

Oh Debka, Debka...: Our new elite Commando Brigade, indiscriminately murderous Apaches etc.

After a longish period of silence last year, Debka is at full steam again, it is time to add a new episode to the "Oh Debka, Debka..." series. So here it goes.

Under a headline Israel merges IDF elite units to form the new Commando Brigade tailored to combat ISIS Debka tells about the decision of our CoS to create "a unique, multi-purpose commando ground force, especially tailored to fight ISIS and provide the “boots on the ground” which the US-led coalition has kept back from the Islamists’ constantly expanding warfront".

I wouldn't know whether this tidbit is true or not and don't especially care. But the word "tailored" in the above drew my attention. Since I am not an expert on matters military in general and on the tailoring needed to kill the ISIS (Daesh) folks in particular, I searched the article for an answer to that tailoring. And I think I have found it in the picture that illustrates the piece:

Israel Special Operations Forces
If the word "tailoring" were absent from the article, I would have been sure it's a standard garb of US Army. Now, with that word present, I am not so confident. Anyhow, if the picture shows an Israeli special forces team, I am ready to eat the Debka author's head without garnish.

The other piece that deserves a special mention was so good that I've decided to take a snapshot for posterity:

The sentence that charmed me so much is "The Apaches strike any moving object.".

Some people say that guns don't kill people. What about Apache copters running amok over the Sinai peninsula dunes? Do they kill people?

I shall leave you at this point to ponder this loaded question, to think about Debka, walruses, cabbage, kings...

08 July 2015

Alberto Nisman’s Secret Recordings, Revealed

But nothing like that is going to happen now, at least while the current Argentine government remains in power and even afterwards, until its loyalists placed in the legal system have been removed or they resign. With Nisman dead, the driving force behind the investigation into the AMIA attack and the cover-up that followed has been removed from the scene. With the noble exceptions of Prosecutors Gerardo Pollicita and Germán Moldes, who did what they could to advance Nisman’s complaint, the other actors in the Argentine judicial system charged with examining it have reacted with a mixture of spasms of fear and snorts of contempt.

The government and the conspirators must be so pleased with themselves. Nisman is gone, his denuncia is blocked, and there have been no negative consequences for Argentina of any sort on the international stage. The investigation into Nisman’s death has descended into low farce, and the verdict of suicide that will probably be reached won’t be believed even by those who sign it.
An excellent expose by Eamonn MacDonagh every one has to read, if only out of respect for this man:

Another blooper from Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the wannabe Caliph

As presented by JP:
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan viewed an armored 4X4 Humvee at the International Defense Industry Fair in Istanbul this weekend, and bragged about Turkey’s new “global brand.”
The only problem was that Erdogan had unveiled the Hurricane, a vehicle that was manufactured jointly with an Israeli firm...
No worries. A mouth of this size could accommodate a lot of feet.

06 July 2015

Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, the Messiah's visit in September and other portents

Lisa Haven*, one of my personal faves as far as predictions of the coming apocalypse are concerned, has dug up a new plan to rid the Earth of the pesky humans. Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, whose teachings Lisa has chosen to channel this time, is certainly an authority on the coming festive event.

While there are several different dates associated with the Messiah's (Moshiach) journey to Earth (according to the people in touch with the learned Rabbi), some dating as far back as 2014, some even denying the prediction as a rumor, I am ready to accept this coming September as a convenient date. With the kids out of the way in school (kindergarten) and the summer headaches they cause every year behind us, it is as good a date as any.

So listen please to the (definitely persuasive) explanation by Lisa and try to prepare yourself as fully as possible in the circumstances.

It might be fun!

As for the fears about the coming Messiah being some kind of Antichrist: perish the thought. Messiah has gone nondenominational and absolutely politically correct several years ago, after successfully passing the Comparative Theology 101 course and a Microaggression and Triggering workshop in UCLA. No worries.

Of course, if you look around, it will appear that the coming September aims to be even more exciting and full of end-of-the-world events, such as a hefty asteroid smashing into us:
Rev. Rodriquez said the “rich and powerful” and other governments are aware of this event and together with the US government are making plans to store food and build protective shelters for themselves and their friends. The rest of us can fend for ourselves.
Sure thing. In fact, NASA is aware for many years of eight huge asteroids hidden behind the invisible half of the moon by the aliens, who just wait for an opportunity to drop them on our heads.

Then, surely, will come Bill Gates and George Soros with their Ebola attack.

After which attack the scattered remains of humanity will be gathered in FEMA concentration camps by the white UN cattle trucks, with assistance from their black helicopters. To be finished off in seclusion, far away from the limelight of the media**.

All this to be topped by the expected rise of the famous Global Warming hockey stick, which will finally melt down the ice cover of Arctic, Antarctic and even the Qatar ice hockey stadium. Which is the only way to explain the mysterious disappearance of aqualungs, neoprene suits and other underwater equipment from sport shops (another act of treason by the governments, preparing for aquatic life for themselves and their rich friends).

(*) Just to avoid a possible misunderstanding: the picture at the beginning of this post depicts the good Rabbi Kanievsky and not Lisa Haven. Here is a picture of Lisa Haven:

(**) I confess that this passage about media is somehow inconsistent with the end of the world scenario as we know it. OK, I shall work on it a bit more. Later.

Update: A great summary of the upcoming September schedule is prepared by Lyn Leahz in her breakthrough article Just Released! It is Now Official and It’s Coming This Year!
If you get quiet and listen closely, you might hear the ‘not too distant’ sound of horse hooves hitting the heavenly skies. Jade Helm. Economic collapse. Blood moons. Tetrads. Earthquakes. Asteroids. Comets. Tsunamis. Signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars! What is bad is good, and what is good is bad! Strange weather, and more! It’s all unfolding before our very eyes!
That's it, ladies and gentlemen. You might cancel these flight and hotel reservations you made in Hawaii for September. Buy lots of whisky and snacks and start working on that. It is official.

And here is a picture of Lyn Leahz.

So there.

04 July 2015

America’s Stupidest College Professor? Hardly.

Professor Adam Kotsko is an American writer, theologian, religious scholar, and translator, working chiefly in the field of political theology.
The learned professor, besides channeling some European pseudo intellectuals, such as Žižek, is apparently a sucker for publicity. At his current post (Assistant Professor of Humanities at Shimer College in Chicago) in the minuscule college, beating the dead and festering horse of Žižek's "philosophy", prof Kotsko can hardly achieve any of that publicity. But there are ways, as the recent flare-up shows:
Dr. (and I use that title lightly) Adam Kotsko, a professor at Shimer College in Chicago, Illinois, thinks that all white people have been “complicit” in slavery, and should therefore “commit mass suicide” as reparation.
This statement, as expected, caused a wave of responses, the most obvious and frequent one having to do with the good prof serving as the first example for the proposed act of contrition.

Just to make sure this is not a singular outbreak of the prof Kotsko's thirst for fame, here is another example, from January:
On Tuesday, Kotsko boldly and immediately took to Twitter after masked Islamist fanatics massacred a dozen employees of Charlie Hebdo, a French satirical website, for writing about Islam. Kotsko told the world that the horrifying terrorist attack was foreseeable because Charlie Hebdo is “a newspaper devoted to hate speech,” notes Campus Reform.

“It’s no more surprising that someone would attack a newspaper devoted to hate speech than that someone would beat up Westboro protestors,” he wrote.
Obviously irked by this provocative statement, Eric Owens, education editor of The Daily Caller, invented the headline partly used for this post.

But no, Eric, I beg to disagree. It is just the way of the good professor to signal to some bigger and greater academic institutions of USA (or Europe) that he is good and ready to be embraced by one of them. I bet the feelers of Berkeley, UCLA and other similar progressive outfits are already vibrating excitingly...

03 July 2015

Now explain this: US blocks attempts by Arab allies to fly heavy weapons directly to Kurds to fight Islamic State

If it were published in some yellow rag it could have been ignored as an attempt at backbiting, so popular this days. As it stands, unbelievable as it might sound, it is another mindboggling fact from the long list of failures of the White House in its unending saga of Middle East political blunders.

The United States has blocked attempts by its Middle East allies to fly heavy weapons directly to the Kurds fighting Islamic State jihadists in Iraq, The Telegraph has learnt.


High level officials from Gulf and other states have told this newspaper that all attempts to persuade Mr Obama of the need to arm the Kurds directly as part of more vigorous plans to take on Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) have failed. The Senate voted down one attempt by supporters of the Kurdish cause last month.

The officials say they are looking at new ways to take the fight to Isil without seeking US approval.
Of course, there is a (political) reason for this travesty. Huffpost article on the subject explains it:
Under current law, the U.S. government is only allowed to send weapons to internationally recognized sovereign governments -- not to autonomous regions within countries like Kurdistan. Since they cannot receive U.S. equipment directly, the Kurds must wait for the central government in Baghdad to share it.
But, as you will see from the article, there was an attempt to amend the law. And:
On June 16, the Senate voted 54-45 against the measure. The majority of Democrats, following the White House's lead, voted against the amendment.
And, of course, there is another significant player, with excellent connections to the White House:
Turkey, a NATO member and essential player in the ISIS fight, is also a concern, the aide added. Though Turkey has been friendlier with the Iraqi Kurds than with other Kurds across the region, it remains nervous that increased Kurdish power could inspire its own Kurdish minority to seek greater autonomy.
Yes indeed.

So what can one say about this abomination of international politics? Probably what this article says so clearly:

Too bad.

02 July 2015

Thank you, Sir Nicholas and RIP

Nicholas Winton with one of the children he rescued in 1939

A British man who saved hundreds of Jewish children from Czechoslovakia from the Nazi concentration camps in the Holocaust, has been nominated for the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize.

Winton had kept his heroic deed to himself for half a century. His pivotal role in the rescue operation was revealed in the late 1980s after his wife found a scrapbook documenting his work in their attic.
There are debts that could never be paid.

Update: and it is impossible to overlook this emotionally loaded episode:

Stalin: the revelation of the century

The placard says: "Stalin is alive and works as Putin. Scum!"

The truth will out!

Hat tip: Y.Z.

01 July 2015

Rule 5 out! FEMEN: Sextremism in Canada

This in-depth study of one of my favorite groups of people will not leave you indifferent, and it is a promise.

Go, Canada!