31 December 2014

Take this, Vladimir Vladimirovich

Russian mathematician Dmitry Kaledin (Steklov Mathematical Institute, Moscow, Russia) has more guts than the legion of Putin's ass-lickers, engulfed by the murky wave of their patriotic fervor, have ever had together. Here is an excerpt from his paper on Mackey profunctors (whatever it means):

Acknowledgements. A large part of this work was done in April 2014, during my visit to J. Dieudonne Laboratory of the University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis, with its wonderful people and great working atmosphere. I am very grateful to E. Balzin and C. Simpson for setting up the visit, and for many useful discussions. In fact, the only distractions during my visit were continuous news about my home country behaving as a fascist state it has become, reaching new lows each week. I am grateful to the people of Ukraine for their courage and humanity, since this is the only thing that stands between us and complete darkness, and I wish them total victory in the struggle against their barbarian neighbor.
This is extraordinary, and my only regret is that there are not enough courageous people like Dr Kaledin today in Russia.

Here is a snapshot of the page where the acknowledgement appears (click on it to enlarge):

Hat Tip: G.S.

P.S. The post will be removed if it appears harmful in any way to Dr Kaledin.

30 December 2014

The new censorship: by the People, for the People

When Haaretz lets Alan Dershowitz speak, you know it's about something even Haaretz can't safely ignore.

We live in an age in which censoring material that is deemed offensive by some is becoming widely accepted, especially among young people on the left.

There are, of course, major differences between using criminal means (violence, hacking, threats) and using arguably lawful means (speech codes, rescinding invitations) to achieve the censorship of offending material, but the results may be similar: self-censorship.
There is more where this came from: Hard leftists are as guilty of censorship as North Korea's dictator.

But essentially it boils down to a fairly simple situation: we, the grown-ups, are letting children - sometimes bright children, sometimes less, but still children that don't understand many basic things, including the meaning of freedom of speech - dictate to the rest of us what could be said, written, published, shown etc. and who could or couldn't do it.

I would agree that in the short term it is not the same as Pol Pot henchmen giving guns to ten years old kids, but what about the long term? If the future leaders, growing up in our universities, consider it normal to deny the freedom of speech to people they consider offensive, what kind of the world they are going to lead us into?

Our Weasels Of The Week!!


It's time again for the Watcher's Council's 'Weasel Of The Week' nominations, where we pick our choices to compete for Award the famed Golden Weasel to a public figure who particularly deserves to be slimed and mocked for his or her dastardly deeds during the week. Every Tuesday morning, tune in for the Weasel of the Week nominations

29 December 2014

Jonathan Freedland and the liberal Zionists' support: thanks but no thanks

An open letter (of the kind not to be read and answered, most probably). Still - a kind of a letter and definitely very open.

Jonathan Freedland aka Sam Bourne is a journalist and a writer of eminence and, to be stated clearly outright, a supporter of Israel's right to exist. Which is not saying much, apparently, if you look closely at the way Jonathan - and many other so called "liberal Zionists" in UK and elsewhere - support Israel. If the article Liberal Zionism After Gaza, penned by Jonathan on July 26, 2014, in the midst of the latest war in Gaza, nicknamed Operation Protective Edge, to be a witness to that support.

It is a good thing the article fell (electronically speaking) in my hands with a delay of several months. With a perfect hindsight, in July I would have said and written a few words I may have been loath to repeat today. As it is, even today I have to summarize my (and other Israelis') reading of the article in the following sentence: "Yeah, I am a liberal Zionist and I am kinda supposed to support you all out there, but I am fucking tired of your shenanigans and of what the goyim say about you all, so why don't you simply curl up and die quietly already?"

Jesse Ventura vs the dead hero's estate

I hope this time the court reconsiders:

The widow of Chris Kyle, author of "American Sniper" and subject of Clint Eastwood's latest film of the same name, is appealing former Navy SEAL and Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura's successful defamation award against Kyle's estate.
In our world, where people's worth is measured by their prowess in court of law, this could happen.

Forum: What Are Your Predictions For 2015?

Every week on Monday morning , the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher's Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week's question
: What Are Your Predictions For 2015?

28 December 2014

Dr. Tawfik Hamid has something to say to a few people

Dr. Tawfik Hamid is an Islamic thinker and reformer, and one time Islamic extremist from Egypt. He was a member of a terrorist Islamic organization JI with Dr. Ayman Al-Zawaherri who became later on the second in command of Al-Qaeda. Some twenty-five years ago, he recognized the threat of Radical Islam and the need for a reformation based upon modern peaceful interpretations of classical Islamic core texts.

Many Arab (and other) extremists will do themselves a power of good listening to the two minutes of his speech.

Oh God... Yes, God is a woman and it's final

My favorite people, FEMEN, have proved themselves again:

And the same story censored to be safe for minors, with soothing musical arrangement.

27 December 2014

קיבוץ - לא מה שהיה פעם

אתמול ביקרנו את הדודה שלי בקיבוץ בית זרע שבעמק הירדן.
היה זה בסיומו של סיור שעסק בתחילת ההתיישבות הציונית סביב הכינרת.
לא אעסוק כאן בהיסטוריה של ההתיישבות - יש ספרות בשפע בנושא.
גם לא אעסוק במשמעות החברתית של הקיבוצים על אופייה של המדינה, על ה"שבטיות", הרגשות השייכות מול הרגשות הקיפוח של הסקטורים השונים במדינה ,וגם לא בהתפוררות הקיבוצים.
רק אספר את הסיפור של משפחתי.
קיבוץ בית זרע הוקם ב-1927 ועוד לפני קום המדינה הדודים שלי הצטרפו אליו לאחר שסיימו את המוסד החינוכי במשמר העמק.
דודתי היא ילידת תל אביב ודודי ז"ל היה יליד יוגוסלביה שנשלח כילד לישראל ללמוד במשמר העמק ביחד עם אחיו. הוריהם נספו בשואה מאחר ולא עזבו את יוגוסלביה בזמן.
לדודי לא היתה שום אופציה אחרת בחיים אלא להצטרף לקיבוץ ולחיות בו את כל חייו.
הוא היה איש של אנשים ועובד אדמה בנשמתו. אוטודידקט שפיתח מספר ענפי חקלאות בקיבוץ, הכיר כל פינה בקיבוץ ובסביבתו ונפטר כמו איש אדמה שמכבד את עצמו תוך כדי קטיף לימונים תחת עץ לימון שהוא שתל וטיפח.

דודתי היא נצר למשפחה ציונית שעלתה כולה לארץ במסגרת העלייה השלישית. בני המשפחה התפזרו בעיר ובכפר - החל בתל אביב וכלה בבית אלפא.
דודתי בחרה בקיבוץ כדרך חיים, בעיקר משום שהדרך הזו התאימה לדודי אך גם היא הסתגלה ואת הביקורת הביעה בתוך הבית.
כילדה נהגתי לבלות הרבה בקיבוץ. בילדותי זה נחשב למאד "שווה" - שיש לך קרובי משפחה בקיבוץ. האוכל תמיד היה שם בשפע, בקיבוץ היתה בריכה, יכולת לרכוב על אופניים באופן חופשי, הילדים ישנו בבית ילדים והיתה אוירה של חופש אמיתי.
כשבגרתי המשכתי לבקר.
בית זרע היה קיבוץ יפהפה. מטופח, עם עצים עבותים וגינות נוי נהדרות. הורדים של בית זרע הדיפו ריח ניחוח במדרכות, חדר האוכל היה ענק ומזמין. אהבתי את סדרי הפסח שם, אהבתי את חגיגות העומר והבאת הביכורים. מכל ביקור הייתי יוצאת בידיים מלאות בכל טוב: ביצים מהלול שדודתי עבדה בו, פירות מעצי הפרי שדודי פיתח וטיפח, אגוזי פקאן מהעץ בחצר, זיתים כבושים ועוד זיתים לכבישה.
זה היה גן העדן הפרטי שלי.
עם השנים, בעיקר לאחר שהאיש שהיה אחראי על ה"נוי" בקיבוץ כבר לא היה מסוגל יותר לטפל באלפי הורדים, הגינון קצת נפגע. אמנם משטחי הדשא הענקיים המשיכו להיות ירוקים, אבל הניחוח הנפלא לאורך המדרכות כבר לא קיבל את פני העוברים והשבים.
חברי הקיבוץ הזדקנו, הצעירים עזבו, המצב הכלכלי השרה אוירה של עצב, וגן העדן שלי הצטמצם לביתם הצנוע של הדודים שלי.
הקיבוץ היום כבר לא שיתופי. הוא "קהילה".
חברי הקיבוץ הותיקים נהנים מזכויות יתר לעומת התושבים החדשים. נערכת חלוקת קרקעות וההתנהלות הכלכלית של הפרט מול הקהילה עדיין בתהליכי שינוי.
דודתי הודיעה שהיא לא תזוז מביתה עד יום מותה ועד כה היא מנהלת את חייה באופן מעורר התפעלות. היא עובדת בהתנדבות בכריכייה, מחזיקה לבדה את דירתה ודואגת לעצמה.
אבל הקיבוץ - המקום שנקרא בית זרע - כבר נראה אחרת. אותם משטחי דשא ענקיים, אבל הגינות מאד מוזנחות. רק היכן שיש תושב שאיכפת לו ניתן לראות גינה מטופחת. לאור שיוך הבתים הקיבוץ נראה כאתר בנייה אחד גדול. המדרכות חרוצות בשל הקרקע ש"עובדת" כל הזמן ואין כסף לתקן אותן בתדירות הנדרשת.
חדר האוכל המפואר נראה נורא. חלק אחד הוא המרכולית אשר כל סביבתה מלוכלכת ומוזנחת. חלק אחר משמש כמסעדה שמעט אנשים מגיעים לאכול בו. האוכל דומה לארוחה במקום עבודה שלא ממש איכפת לו מעובדיו.
אני מאמינה שתוך מספר שנים המקום שוב יהיה יפה ופורח - לאחר שיסתיימו כל השינויים המתבצעים שם, והקהילה תתייצב ותסכים על דרכה המשותפת.
 עד אז, הביקורים שלי במקום גורמים לי געגועים לימים יפים יותר. 

Crimea, sweet Crimea

Some people decry the coming end of chocolate, and some, more optimistic, invent new ways to make us consume more of that sweet enchantment. The Russian chocolate factory "Chocolate Traditions" in  Novosibirsk offers a new set of various chocolates for the holidays under a general topic "Crimea - Pride of Russia". Here is the offer:

The first box, the brown one in the upper left side of the picture, is called by the general topic name, simply "Crimea - Pride of Russia". The one below, more inventively: "Crimea - Check and Mate". The one in blue, on the right side, is named "Crimea - the Fairy Tale of the South". The last one, the candy bar in the lower part, the one with the Russified Superman, is the best, in my humble, being named "Crimea - Come and Take it!".

Bon Appetit.

Hat tip: M.T.

Mark Adomanis

On February 11th 2014 Forbes published a blog by Mark Adomanis.  It was a hatchet job on Victor Shenderovich.  Shenderovich is one of the best modern Russian writers.  He is also a publicist whose sharp political satire has been known to land a few punches on Putin and his gang.

Adomanis critiqued a post by Shenderovich, which drew parallels between this year's Sochi Olympics and the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.  Shenderovich said that while he liked a young Russian figure-skater, there will likely be a price to pay for this enjoyment.  Totalitarian states quite often use major sporting events for propaganda purposes, which they then use as a launching pad for invasion.  Written before the annexation of Crimea, his article was nothing short of prophetic.

That is not to say, one can't criticize what Shenderovich - or anyone else - writes.  Except that what Adomanis wrote for Forbes contained outright lies.  Let's take the title:

"Enjoy Julia Lipntiskaya's Performance?  A Leading Russian Oppositionist Thinks That Makes You a Nazi."

Here is a shortlist of lies in this heading:

1. Shenderovich is not a "leading Russia oppositionist" (sic).  Sure, his articles are critical of Putin, but he is not even a politician; he is a writer.  As such he is not really an "oppositionist" which make the point that he is not "leading" mute.

2. At no point did Shenderovich state in any way whatsoever that enjoying Lipnitskaya's performance makes anyone a Nazi.  On the contrary, Shenderovich clearly stated that he himself enjoyed her performance.  Being Jewish, he is hardly likely to call himself a "Nazi".

The hatchet job by Adomanis was one piece within a slew of similar attacks on Shenderovich in the wake of his post, except that most of them were published by Russian government-owned media.  In fact, his Forbes post was almost instantaneously translated into Russian and republished by RT as a "proof" that western journalists also take issue with Shenderovich.  This whole campaign was implemented within the overall framework of persecution against Shenderovich, who has been banished from the Russian TV for several years and whose (non-political) books cannot be published in Russia while theatres are being pressured to drop his plays.

Was this an honest mistake by someone who does not know anything about Russia?  Well, Adomanis, while born in the US, has East European background.  He also studied Russian politics at Harvard (!) and claims that he speaks fluent Russian.  Prior to Forbes, he worked for RT, which just happens to be Russian state-owned propaganda vehicle.  But the plot thickens...

Today Russian hackers published emails stolen from the government's unofficial propaganda agent.  In these emails Madam Potupchik is reporting day-to-day "achievements" on promoting Putin's agenda across various social media outlets as well as mainstream publications to her handler, a senior manager in Putin's administration.  In her February report, Potupchik states that on February 11th she and her team "worked in across blogsphere and on Twitter on criticizing Shenderovich for his post against Lipnitskaya".

During Soviet times KGB used to plant "agents of influence" within respectable western publications.  They were often translated by Pravda and other Soviet publication to influence internal  public opinion against such "targets" as Andrey Sakharov and Pasternak.

Is Forbes letting itself to be used?

The Council Has Spoken!

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

26 December 2014

Don't Islam Insult. Oh, and While at it, Don't Islam Erdogan!

You have been warned, mind:
Mauritania has delivered its first death sentence for apostasy since independence in 1960, ordering capital punishment for a Muslim man who wrote an article deemed blasphemous of Islam.

Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mohamed, a man in his late 20s, fainted when the ruling was read out late Wednesday in a court in Nouadhibou in the northwest of the country, a judicial source told AFP.

He was revived and taken to prison.
That last point, the one about revival: was it necessary, strictly speaking, after the death sentence? Go figure.

And re the somewhat mad Caliph-to-be:
A 16-year-old high school student has been arrested in central Turkey for “insulting” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan by accusing him and his ruling party of corruption, local media reported on Thursday.

The boy is now facing up to four years in prison if convicted on the charge.
Well, the boy should consider himself lucky, I suggest. In a few years he wouldn't be able to get out of it that easy.

P.S. During preparation of this post a few printing errors succeeded to creep into the text. The management is aware of the fact and is working diligently on the correction process.

Update: The boy was released, praise Erdogan!

25 December 2014

Valerie Tarico attacking the rapey religions or what is haram and what is not?

Why rape is so intrinsic to religion, says the header of the Salon article by Valerie Tarico*, "a psychologist and writer in Seattle, Washington and the founder of Wisdom Commons". Apparently she writes for AlterNet and Truth Out as well - but it's high holidays time and we shouldn't hold it against her - or against anyone else for that matter. The first sentence of the article is quite combative:
Powerful gods and demi-gods impregnating human women—it’s a common theme in the history of religion, and it’s more than a little rapey.
And every religion gets its fair share of blame: the ancient Greeks, the Romans, the Christians (early and otherwise), the Jews, the Hindus, the Zoroastrians, the Buddhists, the... let me see, I have a feeling that someone was unfairly overlooked in this list. Let's start again: the Buddhists, the Zoroastrians, the... nope, still someone is missing.

I am sure that by now you have already guessed the name of that missing religion - Islam, the Religion of Peace. The whole first part of the article, where the basis for its conclusion is built, avoids mentioning this most exalted (or is it excited?) of the world religions.

Oh well, as an avowed atheist I am not into defense of any specific religion or all religions. However, that omission goes a long way to show how far have the modern feminists gone in their mortal fear of offending Islam. Not mentioning the peculiar habit of Islam's main prophet - to marry and defile little girls - seems to be a glaring black hole in the article on the subject of rape and religion.

And the first reference to Islam by Ms Tarico comes in this peculiar sentence:
The men at the top owned concubines and harams, and virgin females were counted among the spoils of war.
(Emphasis mine).

To be frank, the reference to "harams" threw me for a while. Of course, the author meant "harems"... but the mistake is kinda symbolic, because "haram" means "Forbidden or unlawful according to Islam".

Interestingly, marrying and raping underage girls is not haram in the tenets of RoP...and no mention of this peculiarity in a feminist article? Beats me.

Oh well, eventually Islam gets a direct mention:
Two thousand years after Hebrew and Aramaic texts were assembled into the modern Jewish Bible, 1600 years after a Roman Catholic committee voted books in and out of the Christian Bible, 1400 years after Muhammad wrote the Koran (which draws heavily on the moral framework of the Judeo-Christian tradition), we still struggle with the question of female consent.
Even this mention goes only so far as to blame the "Judeo-Christian tradition" - the real culprit in Islamic ill-treatment of women.

The most valiant attempt at criticism eventually comes in this sentence:
The most extreme example may be a document published by the Islamic State, outlining rules for the treatment of sexual slaves, rules drawn from the Koran.
And even here, Ms Tarico kinda softens the blow, blaming the IS barbarians, which is a fashionable and PC thing to do anyway.

The article, in short, is an excellent example of what is really haram for certain progressive thinkers nowadays.   They know it, we know it, but how to make them to confess it and to change it?

Beats me.

(*) The person in the picture starting this post is not Valerie Tarico, to make sure.

Our Weasel Of The Week!

Once again, It's time to present this week's statuette of shame, The Golden Weasel!!

Watcher’s Council Nominations – Christmas Edition

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

24 December 2014

And then Hamas states...

Check out this sequence of events (links for each headline provided)

Gaza militants reportedly open fire on southern Israel; IDF return fire
(11:16 , 12.24.14)

Palestinian reports: Heavy exchange of fire in south Gaza
(11:24 , 12.24.14)

Farmers near Gaza border fence ordered to halt work
(11:31 , 12.24.14)

Hamas: Head of recon unit in south Gaza killed in IDF gunfire exchange
(11:43 , 12.24.14)

And, for a logical conclusion:

Hamas: Israel playing with fire and bears full responsibility for repercussions
(12:09 , 12.24.14)

No comments.

Merry Christmas!

To all our Christian friends. Enjoy your holiday and then rest up for the New Year's Eve.

 And I haven't found yet a better feline-related one, so here is a crossover from the last year:

More on political correctness

Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rapidly promoted by mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a piece of shit by the clean end.
This was a great and all-inclusive definition of PC picked up here.
There's an annual contest at Bond University, Australia, calling for the most appropriate definition of a contemporary term. This year's chosen term was 'political correctness'.
(With thanks to Peter the Hungarian for the tip).

I kept this quote for a nice case of PC absurdity and here comes a yearly resume of some blissfully idiotic cases. Ladies and gentlemen, The 11 Most Politically Correct Moments on College Campuses in 2014! Laugh or cry - it's up to you.

(I will let you read the article, putting here just the highlights to whet your appetite):
  1. Princeton University students launched a microaggression-reporting service.
  2. College students invented a roofie-detecting nail polish — only to be told that that’s actually also rape culture.
  3. Students hosted an anti-rape-culture rally only to be told that’s — yep — actually also rape culture.
  4. A school campaigned against “offensive” language such as “wuss,” “you guys,” and “derp” because it has an “oppressive impact on culture.
  5. Students opposed a female-to-male transgender candidate for class diversity officer because he’s a white man.
  6. A school told its orientation officers not to use the word “freshman” because it promotes rape.
  7. A liberal group demanded the school teach a mandatory transgender-sensitivity class to right the wrongs of colonial America.
  8. A student newspaper’s editorial board wrote a whole piece about how racist bras are.
  9. The War on Tacos.
  10. The War on Coconut Bras.
  11. Harvard University was about to stop buying water machines from the Israeli company SodaStream because they might be a microaggression.

Our Weasel Of The Week Nominees


It's time again for the Watcher's Council's 'Weasel Of The Week' nominations, where we pick our choices to compete for Award the famed Golden Weasel to a public figure who particularly deserves to be slimed and mocked for his or her dastardly deeds during the week. Every Tuesday morning, tune in for the Weasel of the Week nominations.

23 December 2014

US policy on Cuba as a (recalcitrant) state of mind

Amended following the Watcher of Weasels forum answers regarding the issue.

Dedicated to Yoani Sánchez, one of my sources of hope and inspiration.

I shall probably never figure out what it is about Cuba that makes the best and brightest of Americans lose their sense of logic and their famous pragmatism. I am afraid that nothing I (or anyone else for that matter) can say will change their minds. But one has to try anyway.

To start with a short historical reminder. The attitude of the US government to the fledgling Cuban revolution that removed the corrupt and dictatorial regime of Fulgencio Batista was schizophrenic to the highest degree, starting with Eisenhower (Republican) and continuing in a similar vein during JFK's (Democrat) time. With a high degree of certainty it could be stated that this attitude had a major role in pushing Castro into the bearish embrace of Moscow. The rest is history - the cutting of the diplomatic ties, the embargo etc. But the US behavior after the demise of the Soviet Union and cessation of the vital economic support of Cuba is simply inexplicable. No reasonable mind could explain why the pragmatic and astute American leaders failed to fill the gap created by the departed USSR and immediately start working on eventual peaceful demise of the Castro family hold on Cuba. The opportunity was there, it was staring in the politicians' faces - but it was dismissed.

There is one factor in US internal politics that had a serious impact on the decision makers, to be sure. I mean the heavy political weight of the Cuban lobby that rejected any form of rapprochement with their mortal enemies in Havana. And meanwhile the economic situation of Cuban people worsened and suffering increased. Of course, the Havana elite, not inconvenienced by the embargo too much, uses the suffering to further its propaganda goals - blaming the heartless gringo capitalists for all the woes of Cuba. And being partly successful in this endeavor.

Here we come to a paradox that eluded the American political minds during the long period since demise of USSR. The unshakable certainty of American politicians that continuation of embargo will eventually break the spine of Cuban dictatorship continued to be the only guiding beacon of US policy toward Cuba, even when proven wrong all these years. It was wrong then and it continues to be wrong now, for the simple reason: while Cubans en masse suffer and detest their dictators, they do detest the American relentless disregard of their situation no less. Of course, the xenophobia that - let's be frank - is an ever present element of our minds, doesn't help too. The more suffering and poverty the embargo caused - the more resentment in Cubans' hearts toward US it generated, so the end result is far from the one desired by the architects and supporters of the measure.

The Cubans today are kept as serfs and hostages by a rotting and crumbling regime that relies on the relatively privileged army and secret police as the last bastions that keep it intact. The regime will crumble in the same way the Soviet regime crumbled all these years ago, if only the economic, cultural and, especially, information gateways were opened for all - to see how the life could be. It's true that after all these years of (unreasonable and unneeded) economic and political embargo some time will be required to restore the trust of Cuban people - but it is worth the effort.

And yes, I am aware of the fiery opposition of such an expert on Cuban affairs as Senator Marco Rubio. There are two different items in the Rubio's stance. First of all, he is correct when pointing to the inanities in the POTUS' justification of the normalization steps. Indeed, saying things like "United States has tried to 'colonize' Cuba" or, like Obama's foreign minister Mr Kerry, that "Not only has this policy failed to advance America's goals, it has actually isolated the United States instead of isolating Cuba" isn't the way to reach the minds and hearts of Americans - or Cubans, for that matter.

In the rest of his fiery attack Senator Rubio happens to be wrong. If the carrot succeeded with a real big and bad enemy like USSR where a stick failed for uncounted years, there is no reason the carrot should fail with Cuba - again: with a bit of patience and care. As for the motives of Mr Rubio - well, they were already mentioned, and enough is enough.

But - of course you don't have to listen to me. After all, aside of being a long time sympathizer of Cuban people and Castro/Che hater, my credentials as political analyst are rather thin. So here comes an expert - of course, it is Yoani Sánchez, with her post Has D-Day Arrived?. You should read it all, I'll just pick some selected quotes here. To start with:
Still, despite the absence of public commitments on the part of Cuba, today was a political defeat. Under the leadership of Fidel Castro we would have never even reached an outline of an agreement of this nature. Because the Cuban system is supported by – as one of its main pillars – the existence of a permanent rival. David can’t live without Goliath and the ideological apparatus has depended too long on this dispute.
Bingo. And now this, to sober ourselves up a bit:
This, however, is just the beginning. Lacking is a public timeline by which commits the Cuban government to a series of gestures in support of democratization and respect for differences. We must take advantage of the synergy of both announcements to extract a public promise, which must include, at a minimum, four consensus points that civil society has been developing in recent months.

The release of all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience; the end of political repression; the ratification of the United Nations covenants on Civil, Political, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the consequent adjustment of domestic laws; and the recognition of Cuban civil society within and outside the island. Extracting these commitments would begin the dismantling of totalitarianism.

As long as steps of this magnitude are not taken, many of us will continue to think that the day we have longed for is not close. So, we will keep the flags tucked away, keep the corks in the bottles, and continue to press for the final coming of D-Day.
I don't know whether what Obama started is the real D-Day and I don't care about the political motives of this step. The only thing I know: this could be a beginning of beautiful friendship and a first step on the way of Cuba to a new life.

Afterword: The distinguished forum that I have the honor and the pleasure to belong to conducted a poll on the subject, see What Are Your Thoughts On President Obama’s Normalizing Relations With Cuba?

If the results were surprising to me it is only because two other members: The Razor (full support) and The Glittering Eye (partial) came out in favor of ending the current state of affairs. I expected more of a uniform rejection, and the surprise is quite pleasant.

I would like to start with a correction of the statement "I shall probably never figure out what it is about Cuba that makes the best and brightest of Americans lose their sense of logic and their famous pragmatism." Upon second thought I think I do know where the difficulty with accepting Cuba as a friend stems from. It so happened that my first memory of an international affair (as a Soviet child) comes from the school meetings where we, the kids, were taught to shout the words "Cuba-yes, Yanks - no!", brandishing The Beard's portraits and Cuban flags. The second memory happens to be also related: it was during the missile crisis, when we had to go through that quite absurd training in the defense measures to be taken in case of... The activities mostly included hiding under the desks, since there weren't any nuclear shelters in the vicinity of the school. I do remember the tension in the air at my family home and in my friends' homes.

From what I know about the US history, the missile crisis was even more traumatic for Americans, who had a number of enemy nukes on their doorstep.

I have to state again that I don't know all the considerations that led the POTUS to act like he did in the case. I can see what my Watcher colleagues say about the manner in which the whole act was carried out and I understand their unhappiness. However, it doesn't mean that the act itself is wrong or will cause some calamity in the long run. As I mentioned in this post, the road to full normalization will be bumpy - but US of A is known to behave with magnanimity and understanding toward its worst enemies, when these enemies are defeated. And the quasi-communist dictatorship of Cuba is defeated, make no mistake about it.

Raul Castro may blow as much hot air as he is able to (he is still far from being able to imitate the five hour speeches of his big bro, thankfully) and promise that the regime will stand fast, protecting "the ideas that it has struggled for". Well, ladies and gentlemen, what do you expect from the old coot? A confession that his life, his struggle and his ideas were a failure? By the way, they were not a total loss - after all he and his brother got rid of Batista...

Cuba is at a watershed moment in its history for more than twenty years now. And I agree with Joshuapundit when he stresses the unhealthy interest that all kinds of third parties like Russia, China etc. show in getting their snouts into Cuba. Which makes it all the more important to be there first and to make sure no bad guys make it there ever.

So there.

Update: and more support from US: Cuba derangement syndrome.
For decades, Cuba has been instructive as a museum of two stark failures: socialism and the U.S. embargo.

Hat tip: Terresa.

Now count them

From an FB post by Robbie Travers:

List of 2014 UN condemnations in full:

‪‎China‬ 0
‪Cuba‬ 0
‪Egypt‬ 0
‪Pakistan‬ 0
‪Russia‬ 0
‪Sudan‬ 0
‪Syria‬ 1
‪Iran‬ 1
‪NorthKorea‬ 1
‪Israel‬ 20

Really, United Nations?
No comments. Really.

Forum:What Are Your Thoughts On President Obama’s Normalizing Relations With Cuba?

Every week on Monday morning , the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher's Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week's question: What Are Your Thoughts On President Obama's Normalizing Relations With Cuba?

21 December 2014

The latest from Hollywood

Via Hube with thanks.

20 December 2014

Victor Pelevin on political correctness and the case of prof Walter Lewin

Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought?

Victor Pelevin, one of the very few best and brightest in modern Russian literature (if not the best and brightest) has the following to say about the malady that consumes the Western civilization nowadays:
I think political correctness is justified when it allows you to preserve human dignity. When it becomes a fetish and a national cult, it is a bit ridiculous. Nobody wants linguistic He-or-shema, as in America, but in any society where different ethnicities live one next to the other, a certain minimum of politically correct clichés will not hurt. Americans are very pragmatic people. They introduced political correctness because it instantly creates a formal bridge across the emotionally charged quagmire. Call a black person a Negro and you immediately acquire a share of responsibility for the slave trade. Call him/her an African-American, and it will be easy to fire him/her. Political correctness creates clear rules, relying on which you can avoid ambiguity, although by itself political correctness is a very ambiguous thing. The essence of political correctness - a social contract in the shortest form. This is convenient because it saves time and effort...
Well, it saves also the necessity to think in many cases, but otherwise: spot on.

Update: this post and its headline updated due to the following news item :
MIT has removed the lectures of a retired faculty member from a popular online learning platform after determining that he had sexually harassed a woman on the Internet, the school’s News Office announced Monday.
I don't doubt that MIT's investigation of the case was thorough:
During the investigation, MIT also looked at additional interactions between Lewin and other online learners. According to the News Office, Lewin, 78, ended his teaching on campus in 2008 and last taught an online MITx course in 2013.
And the measure described below is totally justified, if the allegations checked out:
When the investigation of Lewin began, MIT said it instructed him not to contact any students or online learners, current or former.
However, the additional decision could have been only a rotten fruit of our PC age:
By indefinitely removing his online lectures, MIT hopes to prevent any further inappropriate behavior, the News Office said. The lectures were taken down from MITx and the broader education platform edX.
More in an excellent post by Scott Aaronson.

The Council Has Spoken!

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

19 December 2014

Our Weasel Of The Week!!

Once again, It's time to present this week's statuette of shame, The Golden Weasel!!

18 December 2014

On politicians, elections and other nonsense

The elections are coming, and the pols are getting out (or is it down?) to the mere mortals, to see and, mostly, to be seen. Like that:

Being somewhat of a (very amateur) photographer, I can't miss a superficial likeness of the above and the ubiquitous squirrel shot:

Frankly, here is another one, which I like best:

For full disclosure: nothing personal against illustrious MK and minister Naftali Bennett: his photo just jumped out at me. And, besides, he is a politician, so as such a legitimate representative of the species. Could be any other pol these days.

Watcher’s Council Nominations – Cuba Betrayed Edition

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

17 December 2014

Omar Mahmood and the goddess of Political Correctness

This post is dedicated to my friends of left persuasion, you know who you are, I bet. And I hope (nah, I know) that you'll find it in you to condemn the new generation of left wing cultural fascists that is growing among us.

The story starts with an article by a University of Michigan student Omar Mahmood, who, unfortunately for him (as it appeared to be) espouses conservative beliefs. The guy (to understand his beliefs better, you have to take a look at this article, not related to the subject matter of this post) has a misfortune to possess a sense of humor. It is true that sense of humor is a trait that is not looked upon kindly by the deadly serious promoters of extreme left and extreme right viewpoints. Which is what happened in this story.

Omar has written many other things, among them a rather nice send-up of the PC thought and, especially, PC language with its ugly Soviet-like rejection or mauling of existing words in favor of the PC neologisms. The piece was called “Do The Left Thing”. I read it before the story exploded and had me quite a few laughs. The only fault of the article, in my un-professional opinion, was its somewhat excessive length, it could have been improved by some judicious trimming.

Now I 'll let the Fox News* to take over:
Omar Mahmood, a junior majoring in literature and anthropology at the University of Michigan, lost his job as a writer for the main campus newspaper and saw his front door tattooed with angry and profane messages after he wrote a satirical column dubbed "Do the Left Thing" for another publication. Written as parody, the column sought to poke fun at people who constantly perceive “microaggressions” -- a new term for small racial or ethnically-driven snubs.
But let's slow down a bit, because there are at least two chapters to the story worth your attention. To start with - details of being fired from the campus newspaper
After his column was published last week, Mahmood tells The College Fix: “I received a call from the editorial editor [of the Daily] telling me that I had created a ‘hostile environment’ among the editorial staff and that someone had felt threatened because of what I had written … The issue had been taken to the editor in chief who procured a bylaw by which I was given an ultimatum to leave the Review or leave the Daily within a week. I was not allowed to know the name of the offended individuals.”
There is more about the bylaw and what they call "the conflict of interests" there. But, after noting the term ‘hostile environment’ (another rotten fruit of PC language), let's proceed to the second chapter. Namely the attacks on Omar Mahmood.
“These progressive students attacked Omar because they felt that he, as a Muslim, cannot also be a conservative,” Derek Draplin, a student and editor of the conservative student paper The Review, which published the parody, told FoxNews.com. "He doesn't fit their social justice agenda so they attack him, censor him, try to get him to shut up.”
The sheer idiocy of expecting a Muslim to be automatically of the left persuasion is hilarious. But the thing that never fails to disturb me: the same people who whine and protest about anything that might be conceivably presented as "muzzling" (that term, startlingly, includes criticism as well, absurd as it may sound) never hesitate to muzzle - in any way, including firing and even physically harming - anyone who thinks differently. But let's set aside the quote by Derek Draplin and move to the physical part.
On Friday night, according to Mahmood, people attacked his dorm room door, egging it and leaving copies of his satirical article with notes on the backs including “Shut the f--- up!” and “You scum embarrass us” and “DO YOU EVEN GO HERE?! LEAVE!!” along with various others, including an image of a creature with horns and another one of him with his eyes crossed out.

FoxNews.com viewed surveillance footage taken early Friday at 1:40 a.m. local time inside of Mahmood's dorm, which is for students but is run independently of the university. It showed four figures meeting in the hallway and one of them handing the other three hooded sweatshirts. The three then put on hooded sweatshirts and go to his door. Mahmood says he believes he knows who the attackers were based on the footage.
“Shut the f--- up!” indeed... this from the folks that will die defending your right to free speech... no, wait, they may have missed that concept in their PC studies...

And the university's response to that incident is by itself a shining example of bureaucratic idiocy draped in PC clothes:
“This off-campus incident has been reported to the university's Bias Response Team for follow-up,” spokesman Rick Fitzgerald told FoxNews.com. “The team will take appropriate action once information has been gathered.”
"Bias Response Team" - don't you get a feeling of total disconnect with real life seeing this? Instead of throwing the four yobs out of the university to get some serious spanking by their parents - this is what happens with barbarians on campus? Bias Response Team? You must be pulling my leg.

Meanwhile the only person who suffers the consequences of exercising his right of free speech is Omar Mahmood - but read the whole story. Shame.

Maybe it's quite the time to add another mandatory course on US campuses - Freedom of Speech 101. A course that will explain what freedom of speech really means and how it doesn't include messing with the freedom of speech of somebody you disagree with? And also explain the possible consequences of such messing?

What consequences? - you may want to ask right now. A good question too...

P.S. And if you want another typical expression of that mix of cultural fascism and idiocy - here you go:
Sir Tom Jones says he is proud that his song Delilah has become an anthem at Welsh rugby games, despite the fact it has been labelled inappropriate over claims it promotes domestic violence.

(*) Strangely or not, not a single big media outlet other than Fox News picked up the story. Which is a shame by itself, you must agree.

Our Weasel Of The Week Nominees!!


It's time again for the Watcher's Council's 'Weasel Of The Week' nominations, where we pick our choices to compete for Award the famed Golden Weasel to a public figure who particularly deserves to be slimed and mocked for his or her dastardly deeds during the week. Every Tuesday morning, tune in for the Weasel of the Week nominations and check back Thursday to see which Weasel gets the votes and walks off with the statuette of shame!

16 December 2014

Dear Amnesty International: fuck you very much

Hardly a week passes by without another broadside from Amnesty International in the general direction of the Zionists. This time, though, this outfit crossed the boundary between irresponsible and biased critic into the absurd hate-mongering.

The human rights group Amnesty International said Israel attacks on four high-rise Gaza buildings during the summer war amounted to war crimes.
This while being forced to confess that:
...no one was killed in the attacks because the Israeli military warned of the impending bombing, but many in the neighborhood were injured by debris.
So where is the war crime? Here:
Amnesty International's Phillip Luther said the destruction "was carried out deliberately and with no military justification."
And how do we know that there wasn't a justification? Just because:
Even if the Israeli authorities had good reason to believe that a part of a building was being used for military purposes, they had an obligation to choose means and methods of attack that would minimize harm to civilians and their property.
And how does Amnesty International know that there indeed was a method like that? They are not saying.

And you know what: if IDF used another method of dealing with tunnel-riddled and booby-trapped highrises that might have endangered a hair on the head of a single soldier, I (and other 99% of Israeli population) would have accused IDF of a crime against its soldiers. That simple.

As for Amnesty International: where were we? Oh yes - fuck them.

Forum:How Do You feel About The ‘Cromnibus’ Spending Bill? What Does it Signify Politically?

Every week on Monday morning , the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher's Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week's question:How Do You feel About The 'Cromnibus' Spending Bill? What Does it Signify Politically?

15 December 2014

Wayne Madsen does it again or How to be had gracefully

It's very easy for me to write another post about the illustrious Wayne Madsen, just because I have the opening ready from many other posts.

The picture above shows some kind of an overweight chipmunk doing his best to contain and suppress a humongous flatus. You can read more about Wayne Madsen here and here and here.

Wayne Madsen, if you didn't know, positions himself as a leading authority on any matter related to intelligence, basing this positioning on his (real or imaginary) experience:

Madsen was formerly a Senior Fellow of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. He has some twenty years experience in computer security and data privacy. He was a communications security analyst with the National Security Agency in the 1980s, and an intelligence officer in the US Navy.
His analytical mind serves him very well in concocting most outlandish conspiracy theories. His talents made him a much desired item on Russian TV channel RT, which specializes in outlandish, in conspiracies and in theories.

The only problem that relentlessly haunts Wayne Madsen is his disturbed mentality, where everything is connected to everything and there is no distinction between sober reality and unbridled fantasy. Of course this (and his obsession with Jooz under his bed and generally everywhere) makes him a kook of the first order. But no one proved yet that kooks couldn't be funny. And Madsen produced another hilarious inanity to beat the previous ones easily.

It started with a brilliant spoof written by Jim Wald in Times of Israel and titled Leaked report: Israel acknowledges Jews in fact Khazars; Secret plan for reverse migration to Ukraine. The article is a doozy, a "fact-based", seriously-looking and well argumented essay on a joint Israeli-Ukrainian venture to set up Jewish settlers back in Crimea and to restore the empire of Khazaria (to be renamed Chazerai - in Yiddish). You cannot lose investing a bit of your time to read it in its entirety, it is hilarious. Of course, there are tell-tale signs of a spoof from the first line of the article (Our Russian and Ukrainian correspondents Hirsh Ostropoler and I. Z. Grosser-Spass also contributed to this story, delayed due to the crisis over the Crimean referendum.) The name Hirsh Ostropoler is so easy to check...

But of course, being a bit slow and extremely eager to stick it to the Jooz, Wayne Madsen couldn't be bothered with boring pedestrian fact checking, and thus a screeching opus Israel’s Secret Plan for a "Second Israel" in Ukraine was born. As a lede, the article has the following:
The role of Jewish figures and that of the State of Israel in the Ukrainian crisis has not gone unnoticed considering that this community represents less than 1 percent of the population. However, a secret report in the hands of the Netanyahu administration confirms that Ashkenazi Jews do not originate from the Levant, but are the descendants of the Khazars. This little-known population founded a Jewish empire in the tenth century on the banks of the Black Sea. Therefore, some Zionists see in Ukraine a possible second Israel.
And its first sentence says:
The Times of Israel, an independent Israeli newspaper that counts among its staff a number of former reporters for the Israeli daily Ha’aretz, published a fascinating but largely overlooked story datelined Jerusalem and Zhitomir, Ukraine, March 16, 2014, and which was written by its respective Russian and Ukrainian correspondents, Hirsh Ostropoler and I. Z. Grosser-Spass, citing a secret report provided to the Israeli government.
I bet the late and much lamented H. Ostropoler is doing the ROFLMAO exercises in his grave since the day this phenomenal opus was published.

Of course, poor and easily duped Wayne Madsen wasn't alone for long. The incomparable David Icke, he of 6 ft lizards dominating the world, he that calls us "to fling open the door of the mental prison we build for ourselves and to walk into the light of freedom", wasn't far behind, inspired by the "expert on intelligence" and joined the fray.
Only yesterday came news that Syrian rebels plan to give Israel the Golan Heights in exchange for creation of a no-fly zone against the Assad regime. In an even bolder move, it is now revealed, Israel will withdraw its settlers from communities beyond the settlement blocs—and relocate them at least temporarily to Ukraine.
Yes, talk about mental prisons... There are many, many others who swallowed the whole story - hook, line and sinker - such as the nice folks of Stormfront who came to the yarn independently from Madsen and after a few posts were warned off by some of their more astute members.

But a special notice should be made of a Turkish poster Aangirfan, already mentioned on this blog. Well, he was mentioned as a moron, albeit not, strictly speaking, negatively. And this time he didn't disappoint too. First of all, he prefaced his post by the following colorful sentence:

A number of people suggest that the following Wayne Madsen story, which appeared at voltairenet, is based on a HOAX that appeared in a The Times of Israel blog.

However, even after warning us all about the possibility of a hoax, he, probably eager to prove he is a moron (but in a nice way, mind you), concluded his post this way:
The ultimate plans of Ukrainian Zionists ... in addition to such American allies as Assistant Secretary of State ... Victoria Nuland and U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, is to establish an autonomous Jewish region of Crimea and restore to the peninsula the original Khazarian name of Chazerai.
Chazerai* indeed... original Khazarian name... tee hee.

In short: congratulations to Jim Wald with job well done. And many happy returns. Keep the morons busy!

(*) Some of you, who don't know the meaning of this word, shouldn't be kept in the dark. So here: chazerai.

The Truth Will Out...

And there wasn't anything truer than this:

14 December 2014

Hamas appeared to admit...

After several months of blaming Israel, after proudly displaying to the world their killed and wounded (all "civilians", of course), supported by chorus of news outlets, Daily Mail itself included, we are starting to see some truth seeping through the layers of propaganda.

In a veiled confession that comes two weeks after the end of the Gaza war, a senior Hamas official said the group's fighters had no choice but to use residential areas from which to launch missiles into their neighbour's territory.
No choice indeed?  That from BBC:

Keep lying, "Hamas official". Keep swallowing this, all the rest...

The ‘Jewish state’ bill and its legitimacy

I still think that the wretched bill was wretched. Its timing and its motives didn't have a lot to do with its contents. But I never said that it was racist or that it was promoting "apartheid" (the mere use of the term usually unmasks an anti-Israeli moron).

Seven EU states have constitutional “nationhood” provisions, which typically speak of the state as being the national home and locus of self-determination for the country’s majority ethnic group.
But these seven aren't Israel...

A good review of the bill and its contents by Eugene Kontorovich.

Did Gerard Depardieu eat two lions?

He says so:

Gerard Depardieu has claimed he ate two lions after shooting them dead in self-defence in Africa, according to reports.
On the face of it:

Where was I? Oh yes, on the face of it there is no reason to doubt his words. Even if he said he ate two elephants I'll believe it. The man has it in him.

Since he is going to open three restaurants in Russia, I only hope for his clients he doesn't feed them the first animal he sees passing by the restaurant. Who knows...

13 December 2014

Jews control Obama! Google it!

Of course I googled it, what do you think? Here are a few results:

I am going to D.C. tomorrow for my share of gold, oil and you name it.

With thanks to FB poster Mark Mo Lerner.

12 December 2014

The Council Has Spoken!

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

11 December 2014

יום ההוקרה לפצועי צה"ל? נו באמת....

לפני מספר ימים התקיים "יום ההוקרה לפצועי מערכות ישראל ופעולות האיבה".
היוזמה התחילה  מאנשים פרטיים עד שהפכה לארגון של ממש, עם תכנים וייעדים.
גילוי נאות: בעלי הוא נכה צה"ל, קטוע יד שנפצע במלחמת יום כיפור. אנו חברים בבית הלוחם בתל אביב ולאורך השנים קיבלנו הטבות, תגמולים ותשלומים שונים בשווי של למעלה מ-3 מיליון שקל.
מאד לא נוח לי יום ההוקרה הזה מכמה סיבות.

הסיבה הראשונה היא ארגון נכי צה"ל.
הארגון כולל בשירותיו אחוז גבוה של אנשים שאינם "פצועי מערכות ישראל" כי אם פורשי צה"ל, המשטרה, השב"ס, השב"כ והמוסד שבמהלך עבודתם נפגעו בתאונות עבודה/דרכים או חלו במחלות לב, סוכרת, פסוריאזיס ועוד.
מעבר לאפלייה הצועקת בין אנשים אלו לבין נכים אחרים המטופלים על ידי הביטוח הלאומי - האם יש להוקיר אותם באופן מיוחד אחת לשנה????
ארגון נכי צה"ל אמנם מצליח להשיג לחבריו הטבות רבות ומגוונות, אך הוא אינו ארגון "נקי". במספר כתבות בעיתון דה מרקר הוצגו עובדות לא מחמיאות לארגון ולעומדים בראשו. ואני יכולה להעיד על כך שיש נכים שכל עיסוקם בחיים הוא הנכות שלהם, הזכויות והתגמולים, הפוליטיקה בארגון וכו'. האם הם צריכים בנוסף על זה יום הוקרה שנתי?????

הסיבה השנייה היא העומס בימי זיכרון והוקרה שיש לנו ביומן.
יום הזיכרון לשואה ולגבורה
יום הזיכרון לחללי מערכות ישראל ופעולות האיבה
יום הזיכרון ליצחק רבין
יום ההוקרה לחיילי המילואים
ועכשו - יום ההוקרה הזה.
מתי יהיה יום הוקרה לאזרח הפשוט, העובד למחייתו, המגדל את משפחתו לתפארת????
אנחנו עם שמעדיף להסתכל לאחור ולא לעבר העתיד. אנחנו מאדירים את העבר ולא מספיק דואגים לעתיד.

הסיבה השלישית היא חינוכית.
תחשבו על ילדיכם ונכדיכם. כמה עומס רגשי יש להם עם כל ימי הזיכרון וההוקרה.
תחשבו על ילדה שלמזלה הטוב אף אחד בסביבתה הקרובה לא נהרג, לא נפצע, כבר לא משרת במילואים.
היא ממש תרגיש מוקצית. היא יכולה לבוא בטענות אל אבא שלה שהוא לא נפצע.
ותחשבו על הילד הזה שגדל עם הכרה שכדאי לו להיפצע או ליהרג כדי שמשפחתו תזכה להוקרה.
איזו חברה אנחנו מגדלים כאן? שאנשים ירצו למות על חרבם?
זה מתחבר לחוסר המחשבה על העתיד. אם בעתיד ניהרג או ניפצע - אז באמת אין צורך לחשוב איזו מדינה אנחנו רוצים להיות.

הסיבה הרביעית היא שזה רק מס שפתיים
קראו את מה שכותבת כרמלה מנשה.
לא משנה כמה ימי הוקרה יוכרזו, בסוף אנחנו נופלים אצל ה"אפסנאי". ובמקרה הזה - פשוטו כמשמעו.
אם יש ימי הוקרה, לא צריך להשקיע בחינוך האנשים, נכון?!!!!

Chris Gunness, UNRWA and mental meltdowns

Daniel Greenfield tells a fascinating story of the public self-humiliation by the UNRWA Spokesman in Gaza, Chris Gunness.
During the Hamas attacks on Israel, in which the UNRWA whose local staff is dominated by Hamas supporters was complicit, Chris Gunness had become its public face, appearing everywhere and even breaking down during one broadcast.
The breakdown mentioned above is well documented, becoming a popular item in Gaza-related articles:

Whether the breakdown was real of fake is not for me to say, besides I prefer to see the good in all people, unless the opposite is proved beyond any doubt.

Be it as it may, another breakdown by Mr Gunness, that one on Twitter, is documented very well. But there is no need to repeat what is described in the linked above article, so enjoy it. I shall just copypaste the tweet #13 from the sequence described:

There are a lot of good reasons for Chris Gunness to be so protective of his mothership. According to this article, about 1,2 billion good reasons (per year). UNRWA, an organization whose purpose is to enshrine and perpetuate the status of Palestinians as refugees, keeping them forever in temporary hovels they call refugee camps, instead of resettling them in permanent housing and taking care of their employment.

This at the time when UN declares that it has run out of funds for a million-and-a-half Syrian refugees?

Instead, UNRWA does its best to promote the belief of eventual return to the refugees' "ancestral" homes, in effect fueling the enmity and violence, which is probably not the goal the donors of all that money had in mind. Or, at least, I hope so.

And what happens when a Palestinian, Bassam Eid, a prominent human rights activist, dares to raise his voice and criticize the sacred cow Chris Gunness is so protective of? Saying, among other things:
“First, UNRWA needs to apologize for six decades of false promises,” Eid said. “Then it needs to concentrate on building permanent neighborhoods for the refugees, to remove them from the miserable situation that prevails in the refugee camps.”
What happens is simple and gruesome: Chris Gunness totally loses it, calling Bassam Eid "Jewish terror supporting staff" and creating the sorry picture of mental meltdown described in the Daniel Greenfield's article.

So what does it make of Chris Gunness - besides him being a pathetic Hamas' mouthpiece?

Gained in translation

That must be one peculiar dish:

And this has to be one mighty peculiar shop:

Our Weasel Of The Week!!

Once again, It's time to present this week's statuette of shame, The Golden Weasel!!

Watcher’s Council Nominations – ‘Like A Rolling Stone’ Edition

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Honorable Mentions

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