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?

Do you still hope for Israeli/Palestinian peace?

Then read this:

Channel 10's weekly Friday evening newscast aired audio of the call, which confirmed earlier reports on social media that Palestinian paramedics did not tend to the victims of the shooting near the West Bank settlement of Otniel.
In other words, when the 16 years old son of the rabbi who died (with his other, older, son) in the shooting, tried to stop a passing Palestinian ambulance, the ambulance simply drove away.

Still hoping?

Update: more details.

Blame the Jews - a reminder

14 November 2015

Paris massacres and (fake?) Corbynists: "Wesley Brown" - you are a piece of shit.

Update to this post: the so called "Wesley Brown" is a fake account, for the nefarious purposes quite easy to comprehend. Whatever the goal, this "Wesley Brown" and/or whoever is behind the creation of this account is a miserable piece of shit. So the initial diagnosis stands.

I sincerely hoped that no one will try to score political points and dance on the graves (actually on the bodies) of the victims. But here comes one Wesley Brown, "Loving Husband and Father, Labour Party Activist, The New Politics. Special Adviser to RT. Hon Jeremy Corbyn MP". (Emphasis mine).

With the following message:

Here is a screenshot for posterity, just in case this sorry excrescence decides to erase his tweet:

I couldn't find any corroborating information on Mr Brown and I don't know whether there is one or whether he is a Corbyn's gopher. However, whoever this Mr Brown is, he is still a choice piece of shit.

As for "New Politics" - not so much, is there? Rather old brownshirts in new packaging.

Just to make myself feel better: here is a real McCoy:
The lady is a co-founder of the Free Gaza movement.

The Paris terror

This is not the time to score political points, only to grieve and to send our deepest condolences to the victims of this barbaric attack, to their relatives, loved ones and friends.

Vive la France!

Stay strong.

13 November 2015

Magnes Zionism and Magnes Zionists

First of all, I have to thank Jeremiah (Jerry) Haber aka prof Charles H. Manekin, due to whose blog The Magnes Zionist* I learned (albeit very little, but still) about a fascinating person, Judah Leon Magnes, a prominent Reform rabbi, a leader in the pacifist movement and a one-stater (or a supporter of a binational Jewish-Arab state in Palestine, if you will).

I have to explain why I am dedicating this post to a person I don't know. I stumbled on a comment by Mr Haber (since he prefers this name, I shall stick to it for now) on a Facebook post by a Facebook friend:

Israeli incitement to violence and terror a.k.a. the occupation, oppression, extrajudicial killings, theft of land, burning of olive trees, lack of justice system, etc., etc. -- that's SO much more effective than posts of facebook and Palestinian textbooks. But you know the Israelis -- they can't believe that the Palestinians have any cause to hate them except incitement and anti-Semitism. That's because they have the galus mentality that Jewish actions are not efficacious, Zionism didn't return the Jew to history; it just gave guns to folks in the ghetto and made the ghetto bigger.
Since there was a slight dissonance (ahem) between the friend's general attitude to the issue and this comment (which is rather copied from an Electronic Intifada page), I have decided to dig around that comment and this commenter a bit. Thus I came upon Mr Haber and, after learning that he is a professor of philosophy in two respected institutions, one of which is Hebrew University of Jerusalem, I have dug a bit deeper, hoping to learn something new. Some pearl of wisdom that will teach me about a new way to get out of this deathly embrace we and our Palestinian cousins are locked in for so many years. Even if my beliefs are contrary to what I might find in the learned philosopher's writings, I thought, it would be at least possible to ascertain some of these beliefs, arguing (even if in absentia) with a man of such caliber.

Yeah, but I have to add, that respecting philosophy as a queen of sciences, I would expect (as a minimum) its practitioner to employ cutting edge logic, which would be fool-proof and not a subject to counter-argument by a mere mortal.

Unfortunately, my quest for pearls of wisdom and a spirited intellectual argument descended into a rather disappointing fisking of the mundane kind. But I have to share at least a small portion of these "pearls", so bear with me.

A pearl of a personal manifesto (inspired, no doubt, by the teachings of Judah Leon Magnes):
Zionism — Jewish nationalism — was a noble cause until the Political Zionists, in great haste, and with the best of intentions, founded a state in 1948 that was neither substantively Jewish nor democratic.
A person familiar with he textbook definition of Zionism might be confused. As I am, thus here comes this definition:
Zionism, Jewish nationalist movement that has had as its goal the creation and support of a Jewish national state in Palestine, the ancient homeland of the Jews (Hebrew: Eretz Yisraʾel, “the Land of Israel”).
But let's continue the quest for pearls. Pearl of sectarian (in this case religious orthodox) thought like this:
Israel is not Jewish in any serious sense of the term because the three forms of Judaism that have developed there — secular Judaism, haredi Judaism, and religious zionism — are either devoid of Jewish content (secular Judaism), bigoted parochial, and isolationist (haredi Judaism), racist and ultranationist (religious zionism), or a combination of the above.
So secular Judaism is devoid of Jewish context, while still being called "Judaism"? Hm... a bit hard to figure out, although it fits the normally condescending attitude of an orthodox Jew toward all of us secular shlemazls, for some orthodox folks being worse than Satan.

Pearl of logic and historical authenticity like this:
Zionism teaches us that the Palestinians have much more to fear from the Zionists than vice-versa. Only one side has ever actually wiped the other’s country off the map – and it wasn’t the Palestinian side.
Where exactly on the map was that "other's country", if I may inquire? And where is that map, for that matter? Mighty strange.

And something absolutely mysterious for desserts:
I simply don’t see how any American who believes in democracy can accept Israel as essentially democratic. Even Latvia is better in this regard.
Latvia? Normally people that share Mr Haber's set of beliefs use South Africa at the times of the apartheid, Nazi Germany in a pinch (or at the end of their anti-Zionist diatribe). But Latvia? What does Mr Haber have against this poor fledgling member of the EU? Unless he confuses Latvia with, say, Zimbabwe?

A general observation: Mr Haber has a total control of dichotomy, in his case it translates to an effortless ability to produce a statement and its opposite in the same breath. Like in this article: Why Boycotting Matisyahu is Reasonable, Even if You Don’t Agree with It. You can see immediately, from this somewhat tortured headline, that Mr Haber tries to reconcile two opposites. To remind you, using a quote from the article:
The organizers push back against the BDS group’s demand to the artist to clarify whether he supports the three goals of the BDS movement. Instead he is asked whether he supports a Palestinian state...
I guess that if the idea of requesting a political pledge from an artist before letting him to the microphone is reasonable, then the McCarthyist practice of demanding a political pledge from a scientist, a writer, a poet etc should be declared reasonable and acceptable too. In a way, Mr Haber confirms this:
You cannot take a political stand and then say that your music is above politics.
But, being a master of dichotomy, he adds:
That is why I said that the local BDS group's position was reasonable, but one could disagree with it.
In this brilliant example of dichotomy, Mr Haber seems to be in a curious agreement with Mr McCarthy - or the infamous "loyalty oath" as proposed by Mr Lieberman. Go figure... especially since he allows one to disagree with it.

Of course, the fact that the subject of the above story, the singer Matisyahu, was a Jew and the only one whose "loyalty oath" was requested, doesn't seem to bother our hero. Oh well.

Another kind of dichotomy displayed quite generously by Mr Haber is the dichotomy of splitting facts in two halves: the one to be believed and the one to be ignored. To persuade his reading public that BDS movement, whose supporter Mr Haber happens to be, is a benign and non-threatening idea, he hails one Ali Abunimah, the founder of Electronic Intifada, as a person who supports two state solution for the resolution of the I/P conflict.

Here is what Ali Abunimah has to say on the subject:
First, the facts. The 2005 Palestinian BDS call makes absolutely no mention of one state or two. It is not a call for a political “solution.” It is a rights-based call with three clear demands of Israel:
(1) Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall
(2) Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
(3) Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.
Right, only the right of return - otherwise no problems, ladies and gentlemen.Oh, and that mention of "Arab lands" - Mr Haber will do himself a favor by checking this definition.

Only, not content with this benign demand for right of return (and only a very dim reader would wonder about the meaning of this demand), Ali Abunimah has his moments of one state solution delusions.  Quoting myself now:
  • Abunimah is a leading advocate of the one-state solution. To actualize this, he says “coercion is necessary,” and dismisses Jewish concerns of living under an Arab majority as “irrational, racist fears.”
  • He acknowledges that in a one-state solution “we couldn’t rule out some disastrous situation” (4:43) for Jews.
  • Labels PA President Mahmud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad as “collaborators”, and PA participation in peace talks as “collaboration.” Collaboration is punishable by death in the PA and Gaza.
  • In a conference in Madrid on the one-state solution, Abunimah refers to Peace Now as a “right-wing Zionist racist group” (Arab World Geographer, Vol 10, No 1, 2007).
Well, what can I say? All in all, my random selection of Mr Haber's political views proved to be one big disappointment. The logic too ill, the beliefs too vague and there is hardly anything to sharpen one's beliefs against or to enrich one's understanding with.

I much prefer the refreshing straightforwardness of this gentleman. No dichotomy there.

It's impossible to finish this post without a reminder of the Magnes' brand of Zionism and its rather curious final moment:
Following the Israeli Declaration of Independence, Magnes ceased advocating binationalism, and accepted the existence of the state of Israel, telling one of his sons "do you think that in my heart I am not glad too that there is a state? I just did not think it was to be."

(*) I can't explain why prof Charles H. Manekin had chosen a moniker Jeremiah (Jerry) Haber, only to display his real name together with the moniker so prominently. But again, philosopher I am not. And this explanation didn't help either, it rather confused me.

Mohammed Emwazi aka Jihadi John CPBUH*

It is early days, of course, and the report might be wrong. In any case, this is rather good news. The bounder with a penchant for cutting people's throats could do with a Hellfire up his arse.

As for the usual report that he "had been quiet and 'reasonably hard-working'" - yeah, I hope he will be quiet now, busy as he might be with all these virgins.

Extrajudicial execution anyone?

(*) Camel Piss Be Upon Him

11 November 2015

Uncle of light rail stabbers: They were set up. Pallywood rules!

As usual. Only:

Shocking security camera footage from today's terror attack in the Jerusalem light rail in which 12 and 13 year old Palestinians viciously stab the security guard. These children have been taught hate from infancy and today they try to kill Israelis. THIS is why incitement matters. #StopIncitementFull story here: http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/WATCH-Video-emerges-of-2-minors-attacking-guard-on-Jerusalem-light-rail-with-knives-432617Credit: The Jerusalem Post / JPost.com
Posted by StandWithUs on Tuesday, November 10, 2015

And then we'll take Europe

He says.

And do you know what? I believe him.

Modern Educayshun

No need to interpret this one.

10 November 2015

Iran Stops Dismantling Centrifuges in Defiance of Nuclear Commitments

As told here. Time to remind you:

November 3, 1969 - Soviet Toilet Paper Day

It looks like the subject of waste management is heating up lately, so, in order not to miss the trend, here is another interesting historical event, as covered by Russian Wiki:
Two huge British paper machines were purchased in 1968 for Syassky pulp and paper mill (Leningrad region) for production of toilet paper. A ceremonial start of production occurred on November 3, 1969.  At first the new product encountered zero demand - a simple citizen of the USSR didn't know what do with these rolls of paper and didn't buy it. But quite shortly, after an advertising campaign organized through newsreels in theaters (shown before the main movie) and voluntary-compulsory distribution among workers in large factories, toilet paper has become a scarce commodity.
This is the factual historical treatment. The wider social aspects of this event were interpreted by a Russian blogger:
Emergence of the toilet paper in the Soviet Union affected the durability of the Soviet state's foundations most directly. Going to the toilet and settling there for a long time, a citizen of the most reading country in the world picked up a Soviet newspaper hanging there and inevitably ingested from it a few ideologically correct statements about the advantages of the socialist system over the capitalist one. And this wasn't happening at Party meetings - but during a very special state of the citizen's mind.

Along with the lead from the newspaper ink, all the newsprint wisdom of Marxism-Leninism and the leading and guiding force of Soviet society - the Communist Party - were rubbed into the arse of the Soviet citizen.

And with the advent of the toilet paper, the said arses became too tender, which led to the collapse of their hitherto unswerving ideological orientation ...

So when you hear that we "shut the USSR out", you can safely take it literally!
As this wise Russian guy says:

(The closest translation will be "cut the crap", but it hardly conveys the spirit of the original).

09 November 2015

Vladimir Putin: dotting some eyes

It might yet happen that I, in my senior waning years will start respecting a dictator. Well, no, hardly - but this speech is another confirmation of my belief that one must listen carefully to what everyone says, no matter where that everyone is on the political map.

Some more obvious concoctions could be safely ignored, but several points - like the one about reselling the Daesh-controlled oil (hey, Erdogan, how is that business going?), the Libya fiasco, the long string of other State Department (read White House) political and military failures - all these are great finger-in-the-eye comments.

The eye, though, is not blinking...

And the toilet saga rolls on and on

Dick Stanley mentioned the latest in the waste disposal, as it is going to be practiced in the sunny state of California soon.

Well, now, all those jokes about seeing girls’ underpants will now be passe’.
According to my latest and very imprecise count, there are now somewhere between 15 and 86 different genders, if we go by the New Age Politically Correct progressive field guidance. In a situation like this it might be simpler to destroy all public toilets altogether. Just provide some open safe zone somewhere behind the building, where everyone will be able to do whatever everyone wants, without triggering and abusing one's privileges.

Just make sure this measure is coordinated with the Greens. They might want to add some of their own... I mean some of their own wisdom on the best way to go.

Oh, and whoever had trouble with grokking the precise meaning of the expressions "shit storm" and "cut the crap": now you know, I guess.

08 November 2015

Zionist occupation forces execute Palestinian lady? Or... Pallywood business as usual?

Here how the today's stabbing event (one of several) was presented:

And here is how the (Zionist, granted) recording of what really went down looks:

צפו: המחבלת שולפת סכין מתיקה ומנסה לדקור את המאבטח >> http://www.kikar.co.il/184941.htmlWATCH: Terrorist tries to stab a security guard in Baiter Eliteצילום: מוקד חירום עיריית ביתר עלית
Posted by ‎חדשות כיכר השבת‎ on Sunday, November 8, 2015

Russian plane crash: Charlie Hebdo against the Russian bear

The tragic story of the Russian Airbus 321 crash in Sinai continues to meander in the fog of speculations, although just yesterday more indications of an act of terror were voiced by US and UK - off the record, of course.

One aspect of the crash, however, escalated quickly, although not quite visible to the Western media. Here is a relatively short article by Medusa - a new Russian Internet publication, supposedly free of the Russian government's pressure. For now, at least.

Vladimir Putin's press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, says the latest caricature by the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo is blasphemous. The new art contains a caricature of the recent Russian plane crash in Egypt, which claimed the lives of 224 people.

"This is truly unacceptable to us. I don't presume to judge the moral standards of the French, but for us in our country this is blasphemy," Peskov said. "This has nothing to do with democracy or to self-expression. This is blasphemy."
And here is one of the two* offending cartoons:

The caption reads, "ISIL: Russia intensifies its airstrikes."
While not funny - Charlie Hebdo is more about satire and sarcasm, in the endearing French manner - this cartoon quite clearly points out the culprit behind the crash and the coming Russian response, if it indeed becomes certain that Daesh/ISIL/ISIS/IS bloody hand was behind the crash.

The Medusa article is relatively short indeed and doesn't convey the storm of responses from various Russian dignitaries. The term "blasphemy", while widely bandied by various Russian VIPs, was one of rather more benign. Here comes the Russian ambassador to France, Alexander Orlov:
The notorious weekly Charlie Hebdo, which belongs to the satirical publications, published in its latest issue a caricature of the crash of the Russian aircraft in Egypt. It's mean! They have no heart, no conscience!
One Pavel Astachov, a man responsible for children's right in the Russian government went much further:
Charlie Hebdo's cartoons spread the stink of sulfur and netherworld for a long time, and their "creativity" is more like public necrophilia. These guys were able to dance even on the blood and bones of their own colleagues and employees, earning a considerable fee. It is unlikely that our condemnation will register with people who voluntarily turned themselves into obscene immoral perverts, who deliberately laugh and sneer where normal people mourn. We can only pray for the salvation of their souls, if they still own such...
And a call to action came from the leader of the party "Rodina", Alexey Zhuravlev:
I believe that such an ugly gesture from a Russophobic marginalized French publication - is not merely an act of misanthropic brutality, but a direct incitement to terrorism and murder. French authorities should close the rotten rag, if they don't want to be complicit in such crimes. And in Russia, Charlie Hebdo is to be entered in the list of extremist materials and officially banned.
To cap this (very small) selection of indignant VIPs, here comes Putin's favorite strongman, the Chechen current leader, Ramzan Kadyrov (yes, read this Wiki entry on the man - it is only a tip of the iceberg, but still illustrious):
It is impossible to come up with more disgusting mockery of the pain of the relatives and the loved ones, the pain of the whole nation. I'm curious to know how this has been seen in Paris. They might say that it is the freedom of speech, democracy, allude to the fact that it is a personal opinion of a journalist? I would also like to see and hear the reaction of hundreds of thousands of Frenchmen and hundreds of world politicians, who had previously expressed support for the magazine after the publication [sic!] of cartoons offensive to Muslims. My personal opinion is - those who drew and published the cartoons are not human. I can't call them animals, as this would offend innocent animals. This creatures are filthy and asexual [?] beings who do not have the right to exist among people.
Now it is time to switch to a more temperate discussion, initiated on Twitter by Yury Barmin, analyst on Russia / Russia's strategy in the Middle East, who resides in Abu Dhabi, according to this. Mr Barmin is not flaming on this Twitter thread, asking all kinds of questions instead. Here is one of his conclusions:

Indeed, but this poll, while it might reflect pretty accurately the attitude and irreverence of Charlie Hebdo, hardly supports the outrage expressed by the above mentioned VIPs.

The Twitter thread, however, brought a few interesting exchanges:
Mr.Makin: why nobody made a caricature of them [Charlie Hebdo] shot?
And immediately:
Vik West: there ya go
And in another similar exchange, when somebody was "wondering" why Charlie Hebdo didn't publish any cartoons about 9/11, a response came quite swiftly too:

So far the only response from Charlie Hebdo's senior editor to the Russian broadsides was: our employees don't know the meaning of the word "blasphemy".


(*) The second cartoon will require too much explanations. While it must be clear to a Frenchman, it is indeed somewhat opaque to a foreigner. But rest assured, Charlie Hebdo are mocking their own as well in this one.

07 November 2015

John Robert Gallagher RIP - the last will and testament.

From the National Post:
John Robert Gallagher was a Canadian who volunteered with the Kurdish forces in northern Syria to fight ISIL. He was reportedly killed in a suicide bombing Wednesday. This is an unedited essay may contain content objectionable to some readers but is presented in its entirety to fully explain his reasons for going to war.
Read the full text of his essay in the link above. Just in case some politically correct worm decides to remove the article, it is posted below as well.

06 November 2015

The funniest (or stupidest) question of the year: what will Obama do?

This comes from CNN:

There is one rhetorical question and one unwarranted assumption in the screenshot above.

05 November 2015

There is stabbing and then there is stabbing

I guess we shouldn't complain about some of the headlines that put a stress on death of the offending party, relegating the fate of the victims to background. Such as this CNN headline:

Student fatally shot after stabbing 4 at UC Merced

After all, with the shortish attention span of the nowadays reading public, only the most drastic part of the headline will hold their attention for more than half a second. So the true description of the event, such as, for instance, "Student stabs four and is shot by police", naturally loses in the unending battle for the reader's attention.

Otherwise, the story, which in its main points is similar to what is going on in Israel lately on daily basis, is unremarkable: a perp stabs several people, then is chased and shot by police officers, doing their duty:

The suspect fled the building and was chased by two police officers, said UC Merced Police Chief Al Vasquez.

"When the suspect turned toward the officer, an officer-involved shooting occurred and the suspect succumbed to his injuries," Vasquez said.
Unfortunately, events like this one happen everywhere.

Only - there is just one part of the world where such an event is followed up by:
  • Celebration of the stabbings
  • Denial of the fact that the police/army were doing exactly what they were supposed to do
  • Denial of the fact that the stabber carried a stabbing implement at all (I hope you see some dissonance between this denial and above mentioned celebration)
  • Accusations that police/army planted the said implement at the scene to justify the killing
  • Immediate support of all of the above by the (alleged) human rights organization
I wonder why.

Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke has identified the suspect in Wednesday's stabbing at UC Merced as Faisal Mohammad, an 18-year-old from Santa Clara.
Not that it changes a lot for the moment. Although this might:
The attack drew praise Thursday from a Twitter account associated with ISIS, Fox News reported, which just last week released a series of videos calling for lone wolf stabbing attacks.
'May Allah accept him,' read a tweet in Arabic from a Twitter account that has previously carried messages purporting to be from ISIS, just minutes after Mohammad's name was divulged by campus authorities.
Oh well. Time will show whether the youngster will become a martyr indeed.