31 May 2013

Some decks only have one card


Wanna See My Huge...


Sure you do:

There it is, between my cones, hiding in the raspberry bed.  I call him Julian.    In fact, you can only see half of Julian; the other half is in the warm and wet hole, hiding away from the flash.  Each of my cones is almost 10cm long (and I am being modest here). If you are as good in math, it shouldn't take you long to figure out that Julian is over 40cm long in non-stretched state.

Each worm consumes his weight's worth of food every day.  The same amount comes out from the other end, only fertilized so that my raspberries can grow big and juicy.  Don't you just wish every Julian was as useful?

The lonely life of POTUS

When even your purported supporters abandon you...

Obama Denies Role in Government

President Obama used his weekly radio address on Saturday to reassure the American people that he has “played no role whatsoever” in the U.S. government over the past four years.

Obama Asks Staff to Start Cc’ing Him on Stuff
In a dramatic departure from existing White House procedures, President Obama requested today that his staff start cc’ing him on stuff.

“Look, I know a lot of you think I’m really busy and you don’t want to bother me,” the President reportedly told his staff in an Oval Office meeting. “But cc me anyway. It’s good for me to keep up on what’s going on around here.”

The Council Has Spoken!

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

30 May 2013

$10 million for Nasrallah's head?

According to the Elder:

Assabeel and other Arabic media are reporting that a wealthy Saudi businessman has offered $10 million to anyone who killed Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.
I don't know. A head in this condition, after 7 years in a bunker... the man is certainly not going to get anything close to $10M.

Just saying.

Rachel Shabi speaks up, or the wail of the muzzled

If you consider that "wail of the muzzled" part of the headline to be a logical or physical impossibility, just wait a bit. Nothing is illogical in the peculiar world inhabited by Ms Shabi, a typical specimen from the stable of the Guardian's pocket anti-Zionists. She proves it quite abundantly in her latest wail opus The reaction to the Woolwich murder denies British Muslims a political voice. The kind of political voice Ms Shabi has in mind is specified in the lede of the piece:
Denying the right to discuss British foreign policy in the wake of the horrific murder in Woolwich is short-sighted and dangerous.
Of course, this article is not about Rachel Shabi's personal freedom of speech, although it is quite important to allay the mere possibility of fear on that account by a quote from her profile:
Her award-winning book, Not the Enemy: Israel's Jews from Arab Lands, was published in 2009. She received the International Media Awards Cutting Edge prize in 2013, the Anna Lindh Journalism Award for reporting across cultures in 2011, and was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize the same year.
So all is good on this account, so far the enemies of free speech haven't got their grubby hands on a fitting muzzle.

And the development of the main premise of the article (see the lede above)? Here:
This debate isn't just sealed shut, it has round-the-clock protection. In the context of the Woolwich killers, there is to be no connection made to British foreign policy in the Middle East. That, we are told, is because the link is erroneous, an attempt to justify (as opposed to just understand), and an appeasement to terrorists. Oh, and also: those making the link only do so because of a tedious tendency to blame the west for everything.
I kept the two links used by Ms Shabi to support her point. The first it to a (fairly timid) article by Jonathan Freedland, where he argues that we shouldn't listen to what the killers have to say - as an explanation and/or justification of their barbarous act. I didn't notice there any attempts to muzzle the general public (did you? cause Ms Shabi did, and her eye might be sharper). The second link, to an article by Nick Cohen, is even less understandable: the article headline is "Terrorism: life-denying ideologies have no place in this country", and its lede says, quite clearly:
So entwined have the English Defence League and radical Islam become, they might as well be married.
I guess that it wasn't Nick's reference to EDL that irked Ms Shabi, but anyway: read both articles and try to find a reason for her complaints about the two gentlemen "shutting the debate" or "denying the right". I dare you. Of course, keep in mind that Ms Shabi is chiefly concerned with the debate being shut for the British Muslims:
All that's bad enough, but British Muslims also say that, for them, making this connection is even harder because of the fear that, despite being just as worried about the issue as anyone else, they will be viewed as having somehow stepped on to a conveyor belt that leads inexorably to violent extremism.
There must be someone in the on-line editing team of CiF that doesn't like Rachel Shabi very much, this is the only explanation I have for the choice of a picture to illustrate her article:

And the capture under it that (quite unnecessarily, but who cares?) says "Students protest against the war with Iraq in front of City Hall, Bradford, England, 2003." Not what I would call your typical muzzling, I have to say. I would also add that this helpful image cuts off the feet of the Shabi's article or, at least, hobbles it considerably. But who knows, it was in 2003, mebbe the muzzling started afterward?  Only, looking back at the last, say, 7 years, it occurs that no matter what the subject, British Muslims were able to express their ire quite forcefully and publicly:

2006 (and another one):

2010 (and another one):


And believe you me, I had to restrict myself to the above examples: a week wouldn't have sufficed to produce a full picture of the "muzzled" Muslims protesting this and that in UK these last seven years only.

The peak of the recent muzzling activities could be clearly confirmed by that Choudary bloke. Atrocious, wouldn't you agree? Not to mention the non-Muslim milnes, livingstones, stoppers, greenwalds etc.

Unsurprisingly, Greenwald's "discovery" discussed here was readily and willingly taken up by Ms Shabi:
And meanwhile, the fact that violent extremists all cite the same thing – occupation and wars in Muslim lands – is hastily dismissed as a crazed coincidence.
And meanwhile the fact that brainwashing usually follows the same standard texts and standard arguments and, when successful, produces the same kind of murderous automatons spouting the same slogans, doesn't seem to penetrate the "progressive" hive mind, brainwashed as it is by same methods.

And, of course, Rachel Shabi wouldn't be Rachel Shabi without that:
There's the long-standing dishonesty in the way the west in effect endorses Israel's continued military occupation of the Palestinian people.

Oh well, there is more tripe in that piece, but I prefer to round up by this last quote:
So we know about and can understand the anger over British foreign policy because, bluntly, we have eyes and ears.
Indeed, but not much between these ears, is there, Rachel?

Shabby, shabby, Rachel...

29 May 2013

Bin Laden's burial at sea story was fishy?

This is what one Abdul Fattah, apparently a former leader of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, says. And I don't see any reason to argue with the man. After all, what could be more fishy than a burial at sea? A dinner at Legal Sea Foods?

As for the body being cut into multiple pieces, this is easily explained too. President (or, rather, ex-president) Bush should be blamed*, no doubts about it. It is known that Bush has that habit of landing suddenly on aircraft carriers:

And what is easier than to hide a surgeon's saw in one of these pouches?

So there, the mystery is explained, nothing to see here, move on, people.

(*) I gather it's still the going fashion in D.C.

Watcher’s Council Nominations -’Scandal? What Scandal?’ Edition

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Monsanto Cucumbers Cause Genital Baldness

What's happening to the world?  One simply cannot be too careful these days:

A six-month study by AgriSearch, an on-campus research arm of Dalhousie University, has shown that genetically modified (GM) cucumbers grown under license to Monsanto Inc. result in serious side effects including total groin hair loss and chafing in "sensitive areas", leading to the immediate and total ban of sales of all that company's crop and subsequent dill pickles.
In other news:  France is urgently importing an unusually large quantity of American cucumbers.

28 May 2013

A few zoological questions

  1. Is an orca able to eat up a rear admiral or even vice admiral*?
  2. On the scale of value to humanity, who is more valuable: a vice admiral* or an orca?
  3. Ain't there enough open space in the ocean anymore other than the orcas' habitat?
  4. Do orcas stonewall as good as the military of US and Canada?

(*) I am assuming as a given that a full admiral trumps an orca both in hand-to-tooth combat and the value to humanity. It must be clear and self-evident to anyone.

27 May 2013

No, not by porn alone Internet makes us happy


It could be seen as a justifiable homicide

Everything depends on the selection of the jury, methinks:


26 May 2013

The Guardian's CiF - the travesty continues

In most (all) cases our friends in CiF Watch do a sterling job of fisking their chief subject. Still, there are some little but sublime moments that could easily escape the attention of people busy with serious things. So here comes a snapshot of the "Most viewed" column of CiF, of May 25, 2013. It reflects on both the contents of CiF and its readers, so without further ado:


Mohammedan Formicidae are abused in UK

So thinks the editor of CNN online site, at least:

Oh well.

All in a day's work

Three headlines in today's BBC (on-line site):

'Black widow' bomber attacks Russia police

Philippines troops clash with Abu Sayyaf - 12 dead

Gunmen kill 12 in Baghdad brothel

There must be something in common between the three, but the day is too slow and the weather is too clement for coherent thought. Bomber? Troops? Brothels? Dunno...

25 May 2013

Happy Towel Day!

All you hoopy froods out there!

Do you need your medicine urgently? Wait till Minister Yael German stops celebrating language accessibility.

Warning: this post appears in four languages - English, Hebrew, Russian and Arabic for your convenience. Please scroll down till you reach the text of your choice. If you are unable to perform the scrolling, please consult with the closest pharmacist.

אזהרה: פוסט זה מופיע בארבע שפות - אנגלית, עברית, רוסית וערבית לנוחיותך. אנא לגלול למטה עד שתגיעו לטקסט על פי בחירתך. אם אתה לא מצליח לבצע גלילה, יש להתייעץ עם הרוקח הקרוב ביותר.

Предупреждение: этот пост появляется в четырех языках - английском, иврите, русском и арабском для вашего удобства. Пожалуйста, прокрутите вниз пока не дойдеte до текста по вашему выбору. Если вы не в состоянии выполнять прокрутку, пожалуйста, проконсультируйтесь с ближайшим фармацевтом.

تحذير: يظهر هذا المنصب في أربع لغات - الإنكليزية والعبرية والروسية والعربية لراحتك. يرجى بالتمرير لأسفل حتى تصل إلى النص من اختيارك. إذا كنت غير قادر على تنفيذ التمرير، يرجى التشاور مع أقرب الصيدلي.

This post is being written after two events: first, I read a post by my friend Dick Stanley, where he rightfully complains about a bureaucratic incursion into the gasoline can (jerrycan in local slang - obviously borrowed from the Brits back when) business. Commenting on this post, I promised Dick that our bureaucrats will adopt that idea soon. Little did I know that... but continue reading.

The second event was my recent run around pharmacies of the fair city of ... in the search for a totally regular ear drops - yeah, I got me a bit of an ear infection. Normally every pharmacy will have these drops - but not on that day. So here comes the story.

It started quite a long time ago, more than two years if I have my dates right. Pharmaceutical companies were required to add to all prescription drugs' packages notices in two languages - Arabic and Russian, in addition to Hebrew and English as it was accepted before. The text of these notices is meant to guide the customer in a politically correct way to the leaflet in several languages (already including the four languages mentioned), located inside the package.

The pharmaceutical companies and their local representatives, as is their custom, blew off the stern warnings of our ministry of health and kept dragging their feet. And many packages remained as they were: with only two languages (but still, with all these required languages on the leaflet inside). And on April 30, 2013, the wrath of our brand new minister of health, Yael German, struck mightily. Here is a translation of her celebratory Facebook message:
It was not easy, but "drug law" that proscribes the inscription in Arabic and Russian - was unanimously passed passed this evening during the second and third reading!
Remember I told here that the big drug companies have announced that they could not meet the law and write on all the boxes in Russian and Arabic by the date set: May 1? And this after they've received a deferment of nine months ...
Remember that the drug companies have announced that if they will be given a deferment it may cause a shortage of some drugs?
So by law we promoted in the Ministry of Health, it was decided that anyone who didn't adhere to the law can market the drug, but will have to pay a fee of NIS 30,000 for each type of drug.
Ministry of Health undertook to establish a call center where help with language accessibility (sic!) will be provided.
The public will have its drugs on May 1, and the companies will have to understand that the law must be upheld.
Everything in the above text is fine and dandy with me. I too think that it is vital that people who don't dig neither English nor Hebrew and are too shy to ask the pharmacist or their relatives, are told to stick their finger in the package and get out that multilingual leaflet.

Only one small problem: that promise about having our drugs on May 1 appears to be what many of us, pessimists, suspected - pure bullshit. It was three weeks after May 1 when I have done my run around, and lots of pharmacies complain about lack of drugs, some of them essential. The list of missing drugs, helpfully provided by one of the pharmacies, was impressive and, for people who need some of these drugs, could be quite fateful.

It is not that Ms German wasn't aware of the problem:
Pharma-Israel: “serious shortage” of drugs expected when new Arabic and Russian language requirements take effect next month.
There will be no shortage of prescription drugs on May 1, Health Minister Yael German declared on Thursday, despite Pharma-Israel representatives in the pharmaceutical industry saying they cannot meet a new law requiring Arabic and Russian explanations on drug packages and on leaflets inside. “They had plenty of time to prepare for the change,” German said. “They are showing contempt for the public. There won’t be a lack of drugs. We have a solution,” she said, but did not give details.
Meanwhile, her ministry proudly displays the confiscated politically incorrect drugs:

To my chagrin, in this picture I recognized two drugs I take regularly for that dicky ticker of mine. In a few days I have to renew my prescription...

Here is an article in Hebrew that I wouldn't translate, it goes into a detailed analysis of the situation, bringing up a lot of different essential drugs missing for quite a long period, with several examples of (essential) drugs that aren't expected to be brought back, because the companies involved will simply not bother to go to the expense and the effort of adding text on the packages, due to low prices of the products that don't justify the expense economically. You may bet any amount that our minister of health didn't even think about a possibility like this. And what does Ms German think about the situation?
I discovered to my amazement that this time too the drug companies were not ready, and put us before the fact: in two days we will not be able to sell drugs because then we will be criminals. Outcome: The State of Israel will remain without drugs," says German, adding, "But we have a responsibility to the public, we can not make the people of Israel into a hostage by pharmaceutical companies.
So the finger-pointing has already started, but where is the solution? Pharmaceutical giants couldn't care less about the puny Israeli market and are in no hurry to introduce the new packaging. The health ministry principled and politically correct stance will not be softened anytime soon, you may bet on that.  Meanwhile the sick people are the only ones paying the price.

And all this for the tiny number of Israelis who speak and read only Arabic and Russian and are too stupid to open the package and get out that instruction leaflet (to remind you, already translated into both Arabic and Russian). Now try to get your head around this shining example of politically correct absurdity...

Ms German got a bachelor's degree in history. So, most probably, she learned how to get her name in history books, albeit in a quite skewed way.

Smile, Yael, you are in history books already!

To make sure this post reaches its destination, it is translated below into three additional languages: Hebrew, Russian and Arabic (unchecked to my sorrow, since I don't know any Arabic).


פוסט זה נכתב לאחר שני אירועים: ראשון, אני קואתי את פוסט על ידי חבר שלי דיק סטנלי, שבו הוא מתלונן על פלישה בירוקרטית לעסק של מכלי בנזין (ג'ריקן בסלנג המקומי). בהתייחסי פוסט זה, הבטחתי לדיק שהביורוקרטים שלנו יאמצו את  הרעיון בקרוב. לא היה לי מושג ש ... אבל תמשיכו לקרוא.

24 May 2013

On Norm's spot of bother

It seems that Norm has got into a minor scrap with one of his body parts.

Let's all keep our fingers crossed - or pray, if you are a praying kind of person, for Norm's health and well-being. We all need him.

עד 120, נורם היקר

Moral illiterates weigh in on Woolwich

It has become a disgusting habit of contemporary journalism that every time some deranged yob goes off the deep end with a carving knife shouting Allahu akbar, a battalion of television crews surrounds and lays siege to the local mosque until heartfelt on-air disavowals and loud declarations of civic loyalty are extracted from whichever hapless imam happens to answer the doorbell.

This really needs to stop.
Well, this is about what I, in my simplicity, call douchebags. But better told and better explained, the article being by Terry Glavin. Enjoy. If you can, that is, the subject is slightly emetic.

One of the best political Photoshop jobs

Not, strictly speaking, the best technically. Anyway, judge for yourself:

Borrowed (needless to say, without permission but with thanks) from Sard.

The Council Has Spoken!

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

23 May 2013

Hear, hear: the douchebag is already talking

I have to give it to Glenn Greenwald: he waited almost 24 hours to start croaking, which shows his sensitivity. But the urge was irresistible, and here we are:

Was the London killing of a British soldier 'terrorism'?

Two men yesterday engaged in a horrific act of violence on the streets of London by using what appeared to be a meat cleaver to hack to death a British soldier. In the wake of claims that the assailants shouted "Allahu Akbar" during the killing, and a video showing one of the assailants citing Islam as well as a desire to avenge and stop continuous UK violence against Muslims, media outlets (including the Guardian) and British politicians instantly characterized the attack as "terrorism".

That this was a barbaric and horrendous act goes without saying, but given the legal, military, cultural and political significance of the term "terrorism", it is vital to ask: is that term really applicable to this act of violence?
Yes. The Guardian certainly gets a return on its investment.

And so do the citizens of the fair Albion.

Update: and he is not alone.

Syria & UN Health Assembly Slam Israel

Wanted to start this post with something like "Believe it or not", but then decided that there is nothing not to believe in this story anymore:

GENEVA, May 22 – The annual assembly of the UN’s World Health Organization adopted a resolution and held a special debate today criticizing Israel — the only specific country on the organization’s agenda — with Syria demanding urgent action on “inhuman Israeli practices” that target “the health of Syrian citizens.”
Then I thought about commenting on this, but this seems to be redundant too... so there.

Update: The timing of this couldn't have been better - same date.

Update 2: And meanwhile in the Zionist entity.

Not vaccinating your kids? Yeah, thank the celebs again.

David Frum in his The Daily Beast article Not Vaccinating Your Kids Is a Horrible Thing to Do tells what happens to the children of some morons:

In Swansea, Wales, there is a measles epidemic. Over 800 people have been diagnosed with the disease that is easily preventable by parents vaccinating their children.
Not exactly a laughing matter, since:
Measles can lead to lung infections such as pneumonia, and untreated, it can often be fatal.
But no matter what:
Some parents, however, refuse to vaccinate their children.
Yes, there is one chief culprit to blame:
Wales has had low Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR) vaccination rates for some time … since about 1998, in fact, when Andrew Wakefield published his bogus study in the Lancet falsely linking the MMR vaccine to autism.
Andrew Wakefield, the charlatan with a medical degree, has a lot to answer for. However, he is not alone, getting a strange and inexplicable support from some celebs. I will never get tired to remind you about this one:

Of course, it's perfectly possible that the folks in Wales don't know Bill Maher from a spoon-billed catfish, having some local moronic celebrity poisoning their minds. No matter. I guess not a single one of the people who refused to vaccinate their kids will take his/her car for repairs to a person with a degree in English and history from Cornell University. I bet they will want to see some auto mechanic credentials. However, when a self-important know-it-all nincompoop freely shares his inanities, including his considered opinion on vaccination, the mere fact of him being a celeb makes some people sit up and listen. Unbelievable.

Oh well, do whatever you want. You will anyhow...

22 May 2013

John Wilson Street, Woolwich, UK

This is where it is (marked by the "A" pin):

And this is the picture from the place:


Condolences to the family of the soldier.

Al Jazeera's removal of Joseph Massad's article: she said, he said, they say...

The advent of censure on the pages of Al Jazeera is interesting insofar that the censured author is a well known Israel-hater. Why would an essentially anti-Israeli Arab media outlet remove an article chiefly dedicated to bashing of Israel is a good question.

The Contentious Centrist has something to say about it, it is an interesting version of events I haven't encountered anywhere else (and kudos to TCC):

It is my opinion that the editors of Al-Jazeera, in publishing this article, were not fully aware that its author premised his case on the fact that the Holocaust in which 6 million Jews were industrially exterminated by Nazi Germany (with the willing assistance of other European and non-European leaders) was indeed an event whose historicity could not be denied or doubted. This sort of claim flies in the face of Arab ethos...
Al-Jazeera is nothing if not extremely sensitive to the populist mood of the Arab street. Once the editors realized Massad's article bases its theories on the fact that the Holocaust unquestionably did take place, and that it affirmed that 6 millions of Jews were exterminated by the Nazis, they had no other choice but to remove it from its public platforms. To not do so would open the door to the possibility that someone might well wonder whatever happened to the standard Arab denial that the Holocaust ever took place, or if it did, that only 50-60 Jews were killed?
Nick Nipclose, in his article Glenn Greenwald Defends Jew Hatred, presents his own explanation of the Al Jazeera's decision:
Al-Jazeera's decision to yank the article was not philo-Semitic, they probably feared that it would cause problems with their launch in the west. AJ airs holocaust deniers like Yusuf Al-Qaradawi and publishes cartoons that would be right at home in Tsarist pamphlets. They've published Massad's Jew hatred before, they were happy to publish a vile racist article he wrote about Jewish refugees.
While both version have some merit, I tend to prefer the TCC's one, it fits better with what I feel is the mood of the Arab street.

I beseech you, true version of events notwithstanding, to read both articles that describe the mental contortion of three Israel-haters: Greenwald, AbuKhalil and AbuNimah, who have thrown their combined puny weight in defense of the above mentioned. There are some hilarious moments, no matter how sad is the picture of the mouth-foaming haters.

Sturmbannführer Miroshnichenko

Igor Miroshnichenko is a former journalist. Today he is a senior member of "Svoboda",  (previous name "Socialist Nationalist Party of Ukraine") a ranking member of Parliament representing united opposition.    He also chairs the Ukrainian Committee for Freedom of Speech in Verhovnaya Rada (Parliament).

If you have been following the spread of neo-Nazism in Eastern Europe, then Mr Miroshnichenko's Facebook page is well worth a visit. Here he is celebrating the anniversary of formation of the Ukrainian SS division. Apparently, they are "heros":

Here Mr Miroshnichenko compares children-prisoners from Auschwitz with underfed war-time children from a Russian village: .

The not-so sublime message is that Nazi concentration camps weren't so bad.  Somehow Mr Miroshnichenko forgets to mention that the liberation of Auschwitz took place in January. Thick winter coats, provided by the liberating army, make children look sufficiently well-nourished for Mr Miroshnichenko's purposes. Photos without coats are widely available, but apparently they don't suit  the purpose of Holocaust denial:,

The youth division of Mr Miroshnichenko's party claims that Jews are disproportionately represented in the Ukrainian Government:

Naturally, the claim is false. It's borrowed from an openly neo-Nazi source, if one can possibly be more open than Svoboda. Last but not least... This is how a popular Ukrainian journalist, named Taras Chernoivan portrays Jews:

Nobody can accuse these people of having too much imagination.

21 May 2013

The Gospel according to Sand

The long, slightly critical, but chiefly admiring article about the new book by the learned professor of French cinema Shlomo Sand, is behind the Haaretz $ wall. Still, I have read it, and couldn't fail to detect how self-conscious and defensive is this odious character - from the first paragraph:

Professor Shlomo Sand opens his new book, "How and When I Stopped Being Jewish," with a warning. “Many readers will see the main point presented in this book as illegitimate and even infuriating. Many of the secular people among them who insist on defining themselves as Jews will reject it out of hand. Others will see me as a vile, self-hating traitor.”
From one book to another Mr Sand is trying to do his best to be as infuriating as humanly possible, for reasons only too obvious to any publisher worth his salt.

Short-lived sensations, quickly and easily debunked as his previous two books were, they have reached the marketing goals, especially in Europe, one has to admit. Will the audience pine for that new one? I don't know. As this obvious PR shot shows, professor Sand is ready to go to any lengths to make this book a success:

I will never tire to point out that when people delve into domains not theirs, some very strange and laughable results are practically expected. Even this, mostly fawning article about the Tel Aviv University's celeb, couldn't fail to produce a pearl that displays Sand's ignorance. In a passage dealing with what seems to him "inherent contradictions" in definition of a Jew, Sand says:
You don’t have to cover your head — most of Israel’s leaders and army generals don’t cover theirs.
I am a secular Jew (like Sand?), but the fairly basic fact about kippah (yarmulke) not being a mandatory head cover, hasn't escaped my attention. You may call it nitpicking, but this is "professor" Shlomo Sand in a nutshell - a past master of PR, noisy headlines and scant knowledge.

So, back to the quote from the article that this post has started with. Do I consider Mr Sand's books illegitimate or infuriating? Nope, just short-lived scoops by an ignoramus that will be forgotten eventually.

Do I see Mr Sand as a vile, self-hating traitor? Nope, just as a mildly pathetic publicity-hungry clown.

Too bad... but mainly for Tel Aviv university. It could do much, much better.

Numbers - crunching and interpreting

20 May 2013

Stop demonizing Islam, Muslims and Palestinians. Please?

There is a site named Loonwatch.com, dedicated to debunking all kinds of slander, libel and falsehoods aimed at Muslim world. I have stumbled on this article while looking for something else and had to read it 3 (three) times to believe my eyes. I have taken a snapshot of the part that matters to keep it for posterity, just in case the author(s) realizes own phenomenal stupidity. So here it is, click on the snapshot to embiggen and read slowly.

(Hint: it's in the last paragraph)

Eva Longoria wardrobe malfunction uncensored

is really a boring subject, so you get to watch another bird here:

In fact, you got two birds: a totally naked and uncensored female of the sand partridge species (on the left) watching her out of focus (ain't they always that way?) hubby.

19 May 2013

North Korea fires a projectile into the sea

That's what they say.

North Korea fired a projectile into waters off its eastern coast Sunday, a day after launching three short-range missiles in the same area, officials said.
Translated from the Norks' sign language, it probably means that the situation is defused and the world can rest for a few months now.

Still, one has to wonder: what will be a normal country's equivalent of firing three missiles and one "projectile" into the sea for no discernible purpose?

I guess something like "Prime Minister of ... was photographed urinating from the balcony of his residence" will do. Well, any other ideas will be gratefully accepted.

To scientists at Harvad university

Dear Sir/Madam,

I acknowledge hereby the receipt of your e-mail with the following subject (click to open fully):

Please be aware that your insinuations about my appearance ("ugly guy") will be addressed by a libel lawsuit for a considerable amount - as soon as my legal representatives establish the location of Harvad university.

Simply put: we'll show you who is ugly.

Your humble servant.

Is the Venezuelan revolution going down the crapper?

Amen to that.

Oh, and anyhow it's the NorteAmericanos whodunit.

And he considers it a compliment!

I mean this:

The man obviously is ignorant of the ancient joke about the walking eagle* .


(*) In this case the joke was applied to Blair, but it is so old that no politician of any standing escaped it.

18 May 2013

Grizzly bear ate his GoPro camera

Call me a coward, but I prefer to watch the bear's dentistry from the comfort of my chair.

I've also looked up that GoPro widget. Oh well... as far as I am concerned, that grizzly can have it.

Hunting pressure cookers or how to deal with a SNAFU

In the aftermath of many tragedies, clowns play an important role, at least for outside observers (I doubt that the families of dead and wounded of the Boston bombing will be ever able to see anything funny in the situation).

To start with, the newly hatched obsession with the pressure cookers:

A Saudi student living in Michigan was questioned in his home by FBI agents after neighbours saw him carrying a pressure cooker and called the police. Talal al Rouki had been cooking a traditional Saudi Arabian rice dish called kabsah and was carrying it to a friend's house....While armed agents surrounded his apartment block, other agents, asked a 'nervous' Mr al Rouki if they could come in to question him.
I bet the guy felt like a pressure cooker inside (in a sense), seeing all these black-clad horribly armed people surrounding his place. But the obsession for Saudis with pressure cookers didn't stop there:
A Saudi man arrested at Detroit Metropolitan Airport after federal agents said he lied about why he was traveling with a pressure cooker is due in court.
Following this line of logic, some other categories of people should be at least put under tight observation (if not outright arrested):
  • Plumbers of Saudi extraction: they deal with pipes, and pipes, you know...
  • Pharmacists of same origins: knowing chemistry is practically a dead giveaway for a bomb-maker
  • Saudi chefs that work in Chinese restaurants - lots of rice is being cooked there and, while the population of Saudi chefs in Chinese restaurants must be small, it will only make the observation easier
Etc. By now you can follow the general outline by yourself, and so can FBI and DHL... sorry, DHS.

While some officials are busy pursuing pressure cookers, other, higher officials are busy stonewalling and assigning the blame all over the place. The peak of that activity was reached when the accusing finger was pointed at the Russians:
Russia withheld a crucial piece of information from the U.S. before the Boston bombings, U.S. officials say, bolstering a concern that distrust between the two governments erased an opportunity to avert the disaster.
Quite illogically, the next sentence says that Russians issued a warning regarding the Tsarnaev character:
In 2011, Russia sent an alert to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about alleged bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, prompted in part by text messages between his mother and a Russian relative. The texts suggested Mr. Tsarnaev was interested in joining militant groups that Russia blames for attacks in the Caucasus region, according to U.S. officials briefed on the investigations.
The rest of this somewhat confused and in places self-contradictory article doesn't add clarity, that for sure. But we all know that finger-pointing is the next best thing to stonewalling. And that so called "security officials" all over the world must have been trained in the same stonewalling academy...

But of course, the chase after the suspects has produced a few high points in this clusterfuck, and additional details keep coming:
Police fired nearly 300 rounds of ammunition within five to 10 minutes as they confronted the suspects -- 100 more than initially reported. And that included one round that nearly killed Massachusetts Transit Police Officer Richard Donohue. (Others bullets struck the Tsarnaev brothers, seriously injuring Dzhokhar and contributing to the death of Tamerlan.)
Yeah... I only wonder about that miracle where no more innocents were killed or injured, especially after seeing this picture (made during the final "stand-off"):

I am not an expert in uniforms, but it looks like only wives and mothers-in-law didn't take part in this hunt... all other armed branches are present, apparently.

And to my American friends: don't take it personally, SNAFUs are happening everywhere. But the current proliferation of  security outfits with overlapping and vaguely defined responsibilities is practically guaranteeing that more of that will occur in the future.

Too bad.

Galtung's Law

The post below is cross-posted from a blog Nick Nipclose, a new and promising venture. Enjoy.

I stopped using the 'godwin's law' neologism after Godwin gave us an example of Poe's law by comparing Gitmo to Auschwitz. Obviously a statement so anti-Semitic and idiotic discredits Godwin but that and a recent outburst by psuedo-intellectual Johan Galtung gave me a name for a very annoying phenomena that is useful only as example of the corruption of discourse. Galtung has a habit of comparing whatever he doesn't like to the third reich or "fascism", usually western democracies.

Galtung's other views include praise for Mao's China which exceeded fascism's death toll and support for the Soviet union. Galtung revealed his anti-Semitism by claiming that Mossad was involved in Breivik's massacre, telling people to read the protocols of the elders of zions forgery and claiming that nazi anti-Semitism was justified by resentment of high position enjoyed by German Jews. Galtung is only useful as an example of how public intellectuals and academic celebrities are in reality some of the most witless dullards ever to pollute the human gene pool. The fact that a man can become a celebrity by making predictions less accurate than psychic friends hotline answers and feeble ratzi comparisons that sound like the sort of insults made by a fifth grader at a hated gym teacher is a stupefying example of how discourse has become intellectually stunted and worthless.

In the dishonor  of both I coined Galtung's law which is the "likelihood that people who make hyperbolic nazi or fascist comaprisons will have anti-Semitic, extremist or views similar to the NDSAP." Since nazism is synonymous with evil it has become a very potent political weapon, compare a state to the reich and it becomes irredeemably evil: a monstrosity that must be destroyed. For anti-Israel activists on either side of the political chasm it has become their favorite tool.

According to CIF watch "attempts in Europe to portray Israel as the modern incarnation of Nazi Germany were once the preserve of the extremists. Islamists, fascists and communists — each acting for reasons of their own — have employed the technique to portray the Jewish state as the epitome of political evil with which no compromise can be made...Indeed, narratives which characterize the Jewish state as morally equivalent to Nazi Germany have been codified as anti-Semitic by both the European Union and the U.S. State Department."

Examples aren't hard to find:

Noam Chomsky loves to compare western democracies that the axis powers dedicated themselves to destroying to their third reich. The Faurisson affair makes it an example of Gaultung's law as Chomsky signed a statement endorsing Faurisson's 'findings.' He appeared on Iranian state media to offer support to a regime more abhorrent than fascist Spain and compared the west to nazi Germany on an outlet that promotes neo-nazis and holocaust denial.

Julian Assange revealed his anti-Semitism by comparing gitmo to Auschwitz. Assange employs a neo-nazi named Israel Shamir whom he has defended. When the captive people of Belarus rose up against Europe's last dictator Julian and Shamir aided the regime's suppression by giving the state stolen documents to allow a dictator who praises Hitler to kill, rape and torture democrats.

John Pilger made a rambling attack on Argo which had no substance, he argued that the film is propaganda without any supporting evidence Pilger compared the movie to nazi propaganda: a silly argument to make in defense of a state that denies the Shoah. Its an example of Galtung's law because Pilger praised a neo-nazi named Gilad Atzmon and John's anti-Semitism is well documented.

The Lew Rockwell site is an odious far-right odious hate site that denounced civil rights as an evil socialist plot. (Its decades after King's murder yet white supremacists cannot invent new scripts.) LW compared David Frum to Goebbels, an example of the anti-Semitic tactic of weaponizing the Holocaust to use against Jews. Lew Rockwell published material in praise of David Duke who was described as a victim of "a massive campaign of hysteria, of fear and hate."

16 May 2013

Glenn Greenwald revisited - still a douchebag

Extremist responses to anti-US atrocities fall into two categories: denial which spawns troofer movements or justification with dismissal. Glenn Greenwald’s latest article is an example of the second category, it’s his automatic response to Islamist terrorism.  When the Oslo slaughter was believed to have been caused by salafis he justified slaughter by writing that Norway “prompted” (defined as to cause or bring about something) the attack. When news about Breivik came to light he changed his tune and decried how horrible the Oslo attacks were since it was now something he could exploit. The only conclusion to make is that Greenwald believes mass murder is justifiable depending on the perpetrator’s political and religious views. He justified the Boston bombings in an article that is an example of Comment Is Free depravity which published articles in support of North Korea and FGM.
This, and much more, by a better person than I'll ever be, who wasn't too squeamish to wade deep into the creepy mind of that character.

So, enjoy reading Glenn Greenwald’s Justification for the Boston Bombings by Marcus Brutus.

Glenn Greenwald or the douchebag's lines of defense

G.K. Chesterton, in The Innocence of Father Brown, says:
Where does a wise man hide a leaf? In the forest. But what does he do if there is no forest? He grows a forest to hide it in.
In a certain way, these words are applicable to the body of work created so far by Glenn Greenwald, a valuable gift from one bastion of progressive thought (Salon.com) to another one (The Guardian).

Aside of his inordinate fervor to be heard and to lead the progressive masses somewhere, Greenwald has hardly an original thought or original idea to his name. Most of his "creative" activities are dedicated to hiding this sorry circumstance, and even in this he is not very successful. Here comes an example: on April 20, only five days after the Boston Marathon bombing, Ali Abunimah* publishes an article in the infamous Electronic Intifada (no link, as per our custom), titled "Obama’s rush to judgment: Was the Boston bombing really a “terrorist” act?". In this article, Mr Abunimah says:
There can be no doubt that the Boston Marathon bombing was a murderous act, but does it –– based on what is known –– fit the US government’s own definitions of “terrorism”?

It is important to recall that other, far more lethal recent events, including the mass shootings in Aurora, Colorado and the school massacre at Sandy Hook, Connecticut have not been termed “terrorism,” nor their perpetrators labeled “terrorist” by the government. Why?
Being an attentive colleague of Ali Abunimah (if the assorted bunch of CiF contributors could be called "colleagues"), in no more than two days, on April 22, Greenwald fires off a broadside of his own, titled Why is Boston 'terrorism' but not Aurora, Sandy Hook, Tucson and Columbine? Well, you might say, great minds think alike. Even to the tune of writing in that April 22 opus the following:
But beyond that issue, even those assuming the guilt of the Tsarnaev brothers seem to have no basis at all for claiming that this was an act of "terrorism" in a way that would meaningfully distinguish it from Aurora, Sandy Hook, Tucson and Columbine.
You may have noticed the creative element in that last quote: Greenwald added Tucson and Columbine to the Abunimah's list (I bet one of the two is less of an ardent Michael Moore's fan). Anyway, this is a good example of that Chesterton's leaf, and Greenwald does his best in this article to hide it in a forest of verbosity he grows, that will literally leave you buried in similar decaying leaves. Like his (and Abunimah's too, accidentally) reference to the point made by Alan Dershowitz and totally misinterpreted by both thinkers, like the quotation marks used for the word 'terrorism', like the vague and vacuous nods at the definition of terrorism (why the dictionary one is insufficient for the likes of Greenwald and Abunimah is known only too well). Etc.

But, thankfully, the time passes. Dzhokar Tsarnaev, the little brother, started to sing in jail, and one of the first things he blurted out was the motive. Boston Marathon bombing was clearly understood to be another terrorist act. And Mr Greenwald, like a cat that has done that thing cats prefer to do in sandboxes, applied a similar cover-up technique (I mean feverish use of hind legs, throwing sand over the proceeds). The result, which indeed reminds of feline excrement thinly covered by sand, is his article of April 25: The same motive for anti-US 'terrorism' is cited over and over. Like a wounded but brave cat, Greenwald retreats fighting. The fight starts with the already familiar quotation marks around "terrorism" and continues with the picture heading the article:

A banner reading 'United We Stand For Peace on Earth' outside the Islamic Society of Boston mosque in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
One doesn't have to be an imam to understand the meaning of that picture, does one? I say it's a good preemptive measure, if a reader had a tactless remark or two about RoP in mind.

The fighting retreat continues to the next defensive line:
News reports purporting to describe what Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told US interrogators should, for several reasons, be taken with a huge grain of salt. The sources for this information are anonymous, they work for the US government, the statements were obtained with no lawyer present and no Miranda warnings given, and Tsarnaev is "grievously wounded", presumably quite medicated, and barely able to speak.
Uhu... indeed, but the bird sings freely with Miranda warnings duly given, so this line is obviously too weak...

By now even Glenn Greenwald must have realized that his position is wide open to any shooter and too vulnerable to defend at this point, so he graciously gives it up:
Those caveats to the side, the reports about what motivated the Boston suspects are entirely unsurprising and, by now, quite familiar...
As you can see, he gives this line of defense up only to come out swinging. And here I have to grant him a measure of creativity, because his logic is (kind of) original. According to Greenwald, various terrorists are referring to the same, more or less, root causes that brought them to try to kill as many people as possible. The causes are (quoted): killing of innocent and civilian Muslim populations in Palestine, killing of innocent and civilian Muslim populations in Yemen, Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan and beyond, United States presence in Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries controlled by Muslims, US terrorizing the Muslim nations and the Muslim people, feelings about what the United States was doing in Afghanistan. And the aggrieved people quoted above are:
  • Attempted "underwear bomber" Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab
  • Attempted Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad
  • Attempted NYC subway bomber Najibullah Zazi
  • Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan
This is a fairly representative group of aggrieved Muslim population, I would say. Of course, the list could be made longer, but Greenwald decided to turn to higher placed sources of grievances, quoting the late Hellfirerized imam Anwar al-Awlaki and even the ultimate expert on grievances, Osama bin Laden.

What can I say? Imagine interviewing Pol Pot and six (or ten) of his henchmen on reasons for murdering people who think differently. Or interviewing several Nazis on extermination of "untermenschen". If you are ready to accept any thesis based on it being supported by a group of people (even of the kind mentioned above), you may remain a faithful reader of that character. Especially since he knows to conclude this part of his article by the ominous:
It should go without saying that the issue here is causation, not justification or even fault.
The article in question could be scrolled down for another meter (3 ft approx.) and commented upon. But by now it should go without saying that The Guardian got itself a bargain: a totally amoral, un-original and quite stupid sleazoid, who is blending in famously with the CiF crowd.

Still, one could enjoy saying it...

(*) Ali Abunimah: this Jew-hater one-stater deserves some attention too. Check the appendix to this post to learn more about this one.

More on the subject by Marcus Brutus at Harry’s Place.

14 May 2013

When in Rome or the best and the worst of that trip

Italy is a country to love. The people, the history, the nature, the culture, the food... where do I stop? This is where my traveling journal ends. But first, I have to mention the best and the worst places we have encountered.

First and foremost: Villa La Nina. When you are in the general area of Lucca, which is somewhat close to Florence, don't even think about missing this corner of paradise. Unless you are into five star Michelin-approved super-duper hotels, this place will do - and much more. The friendly and helpful family that manages the place will feed, hydrate and generally spoil you more than you deserve. Very much recommended for a prolonged countryside vacation (I wish...). Oh, and if you are lucky, you may get this too:

Rainbow over Villa La Nina, Montecarlo, Lucca, Italy

Another amazing outfit that has to be mentioned with the best of them, is a family-run restaurant in Rome, which goes under a moniker Colline Emiliane. Yes, yes, it is Michelin-approved, but I didn't know about that when we went there first. Heavenly food, and exceptional service too.

And now about the other side of the coin: the worst place in Italy. We have had a tiring morning and turned back from this charming church, choke-full of culture and stuff:

We were desperate to put out bottoms down and let our feet rest a bit. So we've made that common but unfortunate mistake tourists tend to make from time to time: choosing the first available feeding establishment near a major tourist attraction. And here it was:

There is only one Gran thing about Gran Caffe San Marco: the size of their bill. And there was only one good item in our meal: the mineral water, and that only because it was opened in our presence, I guess. Everything else wouldn't have been seen fit to feed your livestock. Trip Advisor regulars have some true things to say about the place, although there are a few dissenting voices. The latter obviously belong either to the employees and/or owners or to people who were already too high to discern the taste of the garbage they were fed. Anyway, "Ranked #1,281 of 1,480 restaurants in Florence" must be an act of kindness... avoid at all costs!

I know and agree that tourists are born to be fleeced. But there is a difference between being fleeced and being skinned. Besides, even being skinned doesn't mean you have to eat dreck as part of the procedure. Oh well...

This is like putting Jack the Ripper in charge of a women’s shelter

Indeed. But why I am not surprised?