Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Mitt will let Israel get away with anything, even socialism!

Of course there are praiseworthy things about Israel, and Mitt Romney is right to praise them. So why does he hate, and lie about, the far less extensive system of healthcare implemented by the current U.S. President?

(1) he's an ignorant buffoon without a clue about the countries he visits

(2) he's an ignorant buffoon without a clue about the country he pretends he would be able to govern

(3) he believes the American media are so stupid they can't spot his hypocrisy

(4) he believes the American public is so stupid it can't spot his hypocrisy

(5) all of the above

Monday, July 30, 2012

Tonight Mitt's gonna (tea) party like it's 1945

And while I've been out of the country, Mitt the Mouth has not only managed to insult pretty much the whole of Britain (which is OK, as the few Brits who had heard of him hated his guts anyway) but has demonstrated his abysmal grasp of both geography and history by stating that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel AND has effectively declared World War Three should he be elected president by backing a first (i.e. unprovoked) strike by Israel against Iran.

Now backing a strike by Iran against Israel's unregulated nuclear arsenal (which poses a real threat not only to Iran but to all the rest of us): that I could understand. If Iran actually did have any plans for building a nuclear weapon they should be encouraged in order to provide the only kind of counterbalance the Israeli government would understand: a government somewhere in the world neither scared of it nor operating as a paid agent of it. Well, we can dream, until the blast waves knock in our windows and the heat turns our loved ones an indelicate shade of black.

Update: the European news media know how to respond to Mitt. Let's just pray that the American electorate does.

And they named their airport after Catullus - how cool is that?

Hilary and I are currently enjoying a holiday in Verona. Highlights so far:


  • the choir stalls in Santa Maria in Organo (described by Giotto as the finest in Italy)
  • the font in the baptistry of the cathedral (the size of a jacuzzi, carved from a single block, with amazing carvings of the life of Christ around it
  • the excavated remains of the original Roman church under one of the Cathedral's chapels
  • the Scaligeri Tombs
  • the Giotto frescoes in the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua (parties are allowed in every 30 mins through an airlock to prevent atmospheric damage, and Hilary and I were all by ourselves in our party)
  • ice cream from the Gelateria Grom in Padua (liquorice, lemon and apricot: yum!)
  • Europe's first anatomy theatre in Padua University: it's tiny, and the smell must have been appalling
  • a note (in the Verona Opera Museum) by Puccini to his publisher reckoning that a tenor aria he'd just written in Turandot ("Nessun Dorma") might prove as popular as "E lucevan le stelle" from Tosca (!)
  • trying horsemeat (a regional speciality) for the first time (like a rather darker version of beef, and not as gamey as I'd expected)

We've booked for Aida in the opera festival (in the Roman Arena) on Thursday (a revival of the very first Verona production from a early last century, with Placido Domingo conducting), and for Carmen (Zeffirelli production) on Friday. On Thursday we're hoping to go on a vineyard tour (neither of us has ever visited one), while tomorrow is an early start for a day in Venice. All going well so far.

Humour from the only nuclear-armed theocratic dictatorship in the Middle East

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Playing the Moldovans at Tennis

And last week I went to see Playing the Moldovans at Tennis...



...followed by a Q&A session with Tony Hawks, its writer and protagonist.

I wasn't quite sure what to make of the film at first. Basically it chronicles the working-out of one of the pub bets that seem to be what keep Tony Hawks going: "Hey, most professional sportsmen are really specialised: I bet if I tried I could beat all the footballers on the team of, say, Moldova, if I played them at something other than football. Say, tennis...." It could have been really gimmicky and silly, and I did keep thinking that it was a crazy caper (something the film underlines many times). But it has a certain grandeur to its seemingly-doomed enterprise, and you end up rooting for Tony Hawks against the Moldovan mafia and other obstacles. (Though he really does make things difficult for himself by pissing off the organised crime king of Transnistria for the sake of a knob joke.)

Tony Hawks took the comments (shown on the film) from his translator to heart (basically, you swan in and out for a bet but we have to live in this shit-hole) and devoted a large chunk (half, I think) of the film's proceeds to a children's charity in Moldova. If it were a bad film that wouldn't rescue it, but as it's a pretty good film that adds another reason to see it. It's informative, thought-provoking, and very funny.

Oh, and in the Q&A I asked Tony hawks why, in the match that he lost, it went to a tie-break after two sets rather than a third set. Basically they ran out of filming time: but it seems that in professional double matches these days they sometimes do that. Well, well.

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Polka-dots on the 6th Floor

A couple of weeks ago I went to see The Women on the 6th Floor, a very funny French film, sort of a cross between Like Water For Chocolate and Bill Forsyth.



As you will have spotted in the trailer, this cover version of "Itsy-Bitsy Teenie-Weenie Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini" is used on the soundtrack to accompany a sequence of half a dozen maids blitzing a grubby flat. I rather like it:



(Fans of Dorothee and her many Valises may be amused to observe what how the bikini's colour scheme is rendered in French.)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Bonni the Nazi Imbecile (BNI) tells flagrant lies to divert attention away from an interesting truth

There's another good recent example of Bonni (Benstock-Intall, proud supporter of terrorist attacks on the USA) lying in her headlines about a story she links (because who reads further than the headlines? Not any of her regular sheep, that's for sure.

What does the headline Iran to legalize marriage for girls under 10 suggest to you, reader of a normal middle-of-the-road blog? My guess is that you think Iran is about to make marriage to girls under 10 legal, right?

Wrong. (Credulous fool!) It means that a member of Iran's parliamentary legal committee has said that he would like to propose such legislation when the committee is under his chairmanship (it isn't clear whether he currently chairs it but as the report describes him only as a "spokesman" it seems unlikely). He reckons that Islamic religious law permits marriage from the age of nine. As the legal age for marriage was moved from nine to "the onset of puberty" (currently interpreted as 13 for girls and 15 for boys) by Iran shortly after the Islamic Revolution, he may find there is little appetite for moving it back. President Ahmadinejad, for example, favours delaying marriage until 16.

So Bonni lies about what the story says. She also illustrates it with this unrelated photograph:



She describes it in a comment as "allegedly that was a group wedding in Gaza". Another commenter immediately corrects her:

The photo depicts grooms with flower girls. The brides are out of sight. A trusted anti Islam acquaintance of mine translated the dialogue from the original video this photo was taken from. The photo has been misrepresented for years.

Her response is extremely revealing:

TH, it may or may not be, I have heard strong arguments on both sides from Arab speakers, but it is very representative of Islam.

In other words, it fits in with my prejudices about Islam so I don't care whether the picture is doubtful or downright phoney.

FWIW there are many pictures of this wedding on the web, and some of them show a line of several hundred heavily-veiled adult women, who certainly seem more likely to be the brides.

Some of Bonni's dutiful sheep go even further:

I think they are brides. Why would grooms be in line and holding hands with flowergirls? It doesn’t make sense and illustrates that even muslims know on a basic level, their own depravity in the eyes of the non-muslim world. I smell a taqiyya-engorged rat.

You have to love the way "randy63ism" believes he is the final arbiter of what "makes sense" about a picture of a wedding in Gaza. He's right about the rat, of course, though it's Bonni who is the rodent bearing disease and lies.

Let's dig a little further. Trimming away Bonni's fake story and fake picture, the original article says that some conservative Muslim clerics think girls should be allowed to marry from the age of nine. Well, this article points to the verses in the Qu'ran, and the episodes in the Prophet's life, which are used to justify that interpretation. But it also mentions this:

An ancient Jewish scripture called the Mishnah decrees that “A girl three years and a day is betrothed by intercourse,” therefore the law allows men to marry girls as young as 3 if they have sex with the girls (Weinberg & Margalit, 2007). The Mishnah is thought to be the first Rabbinical text and is considered a major part of Jewish law.

That reference is to this paper. The interesting bit is on pages 10-11:

According to the Mishnah, a woman begins her life as a sexual being, with full legal ramifications, at the age of three years and a day: 'A girl three years and a day is betrothed by intercourse, and if a levir has intercourse with her, he acquires her. And others are liable on her account [for transgression of the law against] adultery.' [Sifra Qod 9:11 (92a); b Qidd 19a; b Sanh 52b]

Now I'm not suggesting, and neither are any of the authors of those papers, that Jews all - or even mostly - believe that raping a three-year-old girl is an acceptable form of marriage today. It is, however, justified in a revered religious text: that this text is no longer used for guidance is excellent news, but not to the point. The point is, that the texts used for similar justification of marriage in Islam (albeit by agreement rather than rape, and of girls three times as old) are also by no means universally taken as a guide: which is why the age for marriage in Iran is thirteen, not nine. I would be surprised if a search of Judaism's ultra-orthodox crazies (the ones who insist that women ride in the backs of buses with their hair covered, aand who preach that the murder of non-Jews is a religious duty) didn't turn up at least one nutter prepared to justify the teaching of the Mishrah.

To Bonni and her sheep, though, and indeed to thousands of other ignorant Islam-haters, the fact that the religious justification exists means that Islam "encourages paedophilia". The fact that if one takes that attitude, Judaism "encourages" far worse paedophilia is passed over as somehow irrelevant, if not downright anti-semitic. (To be fair, I doubt whether one Islamophobe in a hundred thousand even knows of the existence of the Mishrah teaching: their demagogues keep it conveniently quiet.)

To sum up: Bonni finds (or is sent) an article about what conservative Iranian imams would like. She reports that as though it were imminently going to become law, and illustrates it with a picture which she knows to be from about a thousand kilometres away, and probably bogus to boot. She trumpets the justification of child sex in Islam (even though it has few takers) and sweeps under the rug the justification in Judaism of far viler child abuse (equally repugnant to most Jews). And she does all this with no shame, simply because she can: she knows that most of her readers won't read the comments (and looking at the comments, most of them can't remember what was written three or four comments ago anyway). She knows they won't check the stories she links, because they look to her do do their thinking for them. And as for doing any research on their own: come ON, that's beyond even Bonni's massive intellect.

A taqiyya-engorged rat indeed.

BNI: Barely Neanderthal Intellect

Bonni Benstock-Intall, terrorist-supporting Bayside Nazi, demonstrates yet again that she doesn't bother to watch the videos she posts: she just sees the odd word like "Muslim" and "terrorist" and makes the rest of her story up, figuring we're all too dumb and ADHD-raddled to watch the video for ourselves.

Here Bonni tells us that Muslims whine, “The new ‘in’ word for terrorist is ‘Muslim.’ An assertion spoiled only by two inconvenient niggles:

1) From their names and clothing, both the Indians interviewed appear to be Hindus: certainly not Muslims anyway

2) the complaint is actually that the "in" word for Muslim is "terrorist".

And this is the moron who tries to pretend she has a degree in Japanese. (Unfortunately while sanitising her blog after Wordpress binned it as a hate site she deleted her revealing May 2011 comment about "ex-pats and international travelers" who are all "Muslim-loving liberals". Hmm, so you did a degree in Japanese without ever living in Japan or even visiting. Did this "degree" require you to send in a lot of cereal box tops to obtain it, maybe?)

When linking (and reprinting so she can add sarcastic comments of her own) an article by Mark Pfeiffer, who is "adjunct professor of Islamic studies at Baptist University of the Americas and director of the Christian Institute of Islamic Studies", she assumes he's a Muslim. If it weren't funny enough that she can't tell a Baptist from a Muslim, her ideas about Jesus are even funnier. Here is Mark Pfeiffer:

If Christians are to love, bless and pray for those who persecute them, a Christian can never really consider anyone his or her enemy. Further, we are taught to love our neighbors, and Jesus scolds us for only loving those who love us. Thus, there is no group of people that falls outside the category of “neighbor.”

Bonni's response? "He only said that because there were no muslims back then."

That's right, Bonni, you set Jesus straight and tell him how he should have preached hatred like you. Bonni Benstock-Intall, who understands Judaism better than the Jews (and keeps telling them how they can't be real Jews unless they're neofascists who hate Gentiles), who understands Islam better than Muslims (and keeps correcting their faulty understanding of the Qu'ran), now knows more about Christianity than Jesus. Golly gee, Bonni, they taught you a lot on that "Japanese" course.

She's so stupid that when presented with an obvious hoax story (hint: the site it comes from is headed up "UK Spoof News and Satire") she swallows it whole, adding her own sarcastic asides on it.

More people who think it inappropriate to reward Israel for massive human rights abuse

I see in the letters page of today's Guardian that my horror at the EU's craven sucking up to an Israeli government intent on adding the insult of further tax fraud to the injury of massive human rights abuses is shared by both my MEP (which saves me the trouble of writing to him) and Christian Aid. An extract from each:

Christian Aid believes that illegal settlements will continue to expand unless action, such as excluding settlement trade from EU markets, is taken that backs statements of condemnation from the EU. Any consolidation or strengthening of ties should be conditional upon an end to settlement expansion.

....it is a clear upgrade of trade relations with Israel and incompatible with international law and recent European parliament declarations denouncing the abuse of human rights in the occupied territories. It would be especially galling to allow easier access to the EU market for Israeli pharmaceutical products when Palestinians struggle for medical supplies under the Israeli-imposed blockade.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Burying the hatchet

I feel like posting a few music tracks with Native American connections. Let;s start with Johnny Preston's Running Bear. I remember this being on the radio a lot when I was small, presumably because it was number 1 in the States and high up the chart here too. Well, Johnny Preston (unlike Running Bear and Little White Dove) is still alive, kicking, and performing the song.



I can't leave Running Bear without mention of a girlfriend from my college days, who came from Cleckheaton (as she explained when we first met, it's near Heckmondwike). West Yorkshire folk are famed for being plain-spoken, no-nonsense types, which may account for her suggestion that the final two lines be amended to

Now they'll always be together
'Cos they've Been and Gone and Drowned.

Admit it, every time you hear the song now, you're going to remember that, right?

OK. Here's another sad, love-lorn Indian: Kaw-Liga, from Rusty and Doug Kershaw.



Some marvellous lyrics in there. And a great song that deserves to be better known.

Here's the great Bill Keith playing Cherokee Shuffle.



And OK, this isn't as good as Bill Keith, but it scores double on the Weird-Shit-O-Meter:



The last instrumental: I really couldn't omit this one! Featuring probably the world's most famous Jehovah's Witness on lead guitar. (Apparently he used to take his turn knocking on doors trying to convert people, but once he got famous they all assumed it was some kind of TV wind-up so he had to stop.)



Here are Sweet proving that "Wig Wam" also rhymes with "Glam":



Here's that nice M. Rameau proving that classical music has tunes just as catchy as pop:



And finally here's Johnny Horton singing Cherokee Boogie. Slideshow art by Gil Elfgren, just to make sure you stay to the end.



Actually, not quite finally, because however upbeat the music, this isn't a story with a happy ending:

Mooooslims: armed and extremely competitive

Now this story should make the heads of the BareNakedIslam loons explode:

Item: a Muslim woman

Item: a Muslim woman in a hijab

Item: a Muslim woman in a hijab with a rifle

Item: a Muslim woman in a hijab with a rifle competing in the Olympics

Item: a Muslim woman in a hijab with a rifle competing in the Olympics for an Islamic nation

Item: a Muslim woman in a hijab with a rifle competing in the Olympics as an Islamic nation's flag-bearer

OMFG! She's allowed out of the house! She's allowed into Britain! She's allowed to have a gun in Britain! She is allowed to take part in sports! She is allowed to be the flag-bearing representative of an Islamic country on the world stage! Has the world gone mad? Has Britain been taken over by Islam? Can we say she's a lesbian? Can we pretend she's a man? Can we blame it on Obama somehow?

Better stick your heads back up your backsides, folks, and stay safely in the Land of the Free where they know how to treat their female athletes and where guns are kept safely out of the hands of Muslim sportswomen and in the hands of psychopathic child-killers.

(And so as not to lay myself open to an accusation of "doing a Bonni", I should make you aware that the headline of that last story refers to "first class" when it should have read "business class".)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Sometimes it's hard to be a woman

Here are some more shining examples of the way women are treated by non-Muslims: but this time they're from India, and they;re not examples of sexist abuse but of rape, violence and exploitation. Recently voted in a worldwide poll of gender specialists to be the worst country in the world in which to be a woman (pushing Saudi Arabia into second place), India has the kind of attitudes that the Nazi loons would like us to believe are the sole preserve of Islam:

In June, an anonymous Delhi woman wrote a powerful blog post detailing what happened when she dared not to travel in the "ladies carriage" of Delhi's modern metro. After asking a man not to stand too close to her, things turned nasty. Another man intervened and told the first to back off, but soon the two were having a bloody fight in the train carriage. Rather than break up the brawl, the other passengers turned on the woman, shouting: "This is all your fault. You started this fight. This is all because you came into this coach!" and "You women always do this. You started this fight!" and "Why are you even here? Go to the women's coach."

Oh, and let's not kid ourselves that "honour killings" have anything to do with Islam. Leaving aside the thousands of "dowry killings" (or whoops-my-wife-with-the-insufficient-pile-of-dosh-appears-to-have-caught-fire) in the Hindi population, how about this:

In June, a father beheaded his 20-year-old daughter with a sword in a village in Rajasthan, western India, parading her bleeding head around as a warning to other young women who might fall in love with a lower-caste boy.

Let's give the last word to the editor of an Assamese women's magazine:

"In this part of the world, it's worse than the Taliban," she insists in her Guwahati office. "At least the Taliban are open about what they like and dislike. Here, society is so hypocritical. We worship female goddesses and yet fail to protect women from these crimes and then blame them too."

Monday, July 23, 2012

First they came for the Muslims: but because I got all my information from the Daily Mail and Fox News I cheerfully helped them herd the children off for execution.

There have been a couple of really good pieces in the press over the past couple of weeks on the extent of Islamophobia in Britain.

First, in the Independent, Owen Jones exposed the vile level of anti-Muslim hatred in Britain, and how people simply look the other way. And not just in Britain but throughout Europe:

A tide of Islamophobia has swept Europe for many years, and – shamefully – all too few have taken a stand. Even many who regard themselves as "progressives" have either remained silent or even indulged anti-Muslim prejudice. It's time for Muslims and non-Muslims alike to join forces against the most widespread – and most acceptable – form of bigotry of our times.

Then today, in the Guardian, Joseph Harker looks at the double standards of the British media when it comes to reporting crime by (perceived) Muslims and crime by everyone else.

Despite all we know about racism, genocide and ethnic cleansing, the Rochdale case showed how shockingly easy it is to demonise a community. Before long, the wider public will believe the problem is endemic within that race/religion, and that anyone within that group who rebuts the claims is denying this basic truth.

Turn a blind eye to all this hatred, demonisation and prejudice, like non-Jews in Germany during Kristallnacht? Or do something about it? It's your call: but I know which side I'm on.

Shining examples of non-Muslims' respect for women

Bonni Benstock-Intall, terrorist supporter, Holocaust denier and all-round house Nazi over at white supremacist site Bare Naked Islam,is always banging on about the treatment of Muslim women.

So how do Bonni and the sheep who comment on her blog view women?

Well, let's look at some evidence here. Some comments on pictures of Iranian women footballers, all happily accepted for posting by Bonni.

....look at the size of that left hand on that thing in the orange drinking the water.

They should all have their genital plumbing checked before each game to make sure their all piped up for “receiving”, not “shipping”.

I don’t think just a simple physical lookie would do. It oould be especially hard with muslims anyhow, since most of the women sprout moustaches.

Simple Solution – In the Dressing(up)Room before they go on the Park,just play some ABBA Music,the Girls will all Dance,the ones in the Corner are the Guys

muzzie whores!

I want to, “throw up”, “puke”, “vomit”, every time I see these Breeders!

Easy to see there’s men in that group. Hands, feet, no boobs and the face.

Maybe being in sports lesbianism is allowed

As a man I do not find any of these Muslim women appealing. As a Christian I would not touch a Muslim, or any unbelieving, woman with a ten foot pole


Now compare and contrast.

I'm not saying all Muslims are perfect followers of those teachings: but one could slip a long way from there before reaching the depths of woman-hatred found in the BNI cesspool, where women are always "fat", "chubby", "ugly", "whores", "bitches", "disgusting cunts", "walking vaginas".

The Needle and the Damage Done

38-year old bass-baritone Yevgeny Nikitin was all set to make his Bayreuth debut singing the title role in Wagner's The Flying Dutchman, the first Russian to take a lead role at the festival.

In Tom Holt's humorous fantasy spoof Flying Dutch the Dutchman's ship is carrying toxic chemical waste, and the reason why its crew can only go ashore every seven years is that they smell vile from its effects, which only let up occasionally. Well, Yevgeny Nikitin has landed himself with a whole shipload of toxic cargo, and has given himself a smell too bad for him ever to sing at Bayreuth (bad news if you're a Wagner singer).

How did he manage this feat? Well, in his younger days Mr Nikitin was a singer and drummer in a heavy metal band, and pictures have emerged for those days showing him bare-chested.

Gasp! Shock!

Well, not just bare-chested: bare-chested with tattoos.

Swoon! Gulp! The horror!

Hang on: not just any tattoos, but a swastika tattoo.

....

....

Ah.

Because if there is one topic about which the Bayreuth management are sensitive, it is the link between the place and a certain popular moustachioed German Chancellor. To begin with, Wagner hated Jews. Then Hitler fell in love with Wagner's music (and, one supposes, his politics) and patronised Bayreuth a good deal. Then Winifred Wagner, the composer's daughter-in-law, was a big fan of Hitler. Yes, there are things there that Bayreuth's current administration would prefer to keep in the box labelled "history".

So having one's new star singer pictured with a swastika on his chest: not good.

If only he'd stuck to "666" or "Ozzy" or "Satan Wants You!"

Good:



Bad:

Rocking all over the UK

Just heard on the TV news that Status Quo will shortly be doing a charity gig in Lerwick, Shetland. Good one, guys.

No way to treat a lady



The grinning idiot above is Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, Francois Hollande's new Minister for Women. Why do I call her an idiot? Well, one of her first moves (along with perpetrating France's racist restrictions on what women - or some of them - are allowed to wear in public) has been to announce plans to abolish prostitution by making it a criminal offence to pay for sex.

Yes, you read that right. Anything not compulsory must be forbidden. So who cares if criminalising prostitutes and their clients reduces their access to health care? Who cares if it increases the spread of AIDS? Who cares if it gives the already-criminalised punters nothing to lose by violence, and thus increases the incidence of battered and murdered prostitutes?

They're just whores, right? And there's no place for whores (or hijabs) in Hollande's "progressive" France. Women trying desperately to make a living in a crumbling economy must be punished further for doing it in the wrong way: must be punished to appease the hatred of the tight-lipped middle-class tricoteuses who are the only women Vallaud-Belkacem considers important.

Mme V-B: if you want to abolish, or even reduce, prostitution, you need to address its root cause, which is the existence of an underclass of women with nothing to sell which anyone wishes to buy, except their bodies. (And what makes this specifically a women's issue? Would V-B be happy for male prostitution - with its higher risks of infection and violence - to continue provided the female variety was cut back?)

"Progressive"? "Feminist"? "Socialist"? My arse.

This is the last time I buy Israeli nerve gas or cluster bombs

In God's name, why? When all 27 EU Foreign Ministers recently condemned Israel's demolition of Palestinian homes, its continued expansion of the illegal settlements and the impunity with which the "settler" terrorists attack - and frequently murder - Palestinian residents (violence which has grown by 150% over the past year); when Israel is no nearer to complying with international law than at any time during the 45-year illegal occupation; and when it already abuses EU tax breaks by passing off Palestinian goods as "Israeli" to defraud the EU of tax revenue? The EU is going to reward all this with more opportunities for tax fraud, and more bunches of flowers for the nice murderers? WTF?

Up to now I've taken the view that an out and out boycott of Israeli goods was probably over the top, concentrating my fire on the stuff from the Occupied Territories being fraudulently passed off as "Israeli". But if the EU's money men continue to ignore not only the reality of the world's biggest serial human rights abuser, but the clear foreign policy of the organisation they work for, then maybe the time has come for ordinary people to take action.

So from here onwards I shall be looking even more carefully at the labels in the supermarket. As British supermarkets don't sell rifles, machine guns, or computer malware (among Israel's principal exports), I don't expect to find too much to boycott, but you never know.

Beyond supermarkets, here is a list of companies supposedly "supporting" Israel, though what that involves I'm not sure. There are maybe half a dozen on the list that I patronise, and I shall be checking them out.

Not so much trickle-down as a torrential downpour of wealth redistribution

I wouldn't necessarily say that this story shows the innate superiority of the communist system to the capitalist one.

But it certainly shows the superiority of one company head in the Chinese communist system to any of our supposedly enlightened capitalist ones.

And as for "What Would Jesus Do?". All those people who have been saying for years that Jesus was more like a communist than a capitalist: they got it right. Jesus probably wouldn't be a CEO: but if he were, he'd be this one.

With luck this video will cause my neo-Nazi trolls to choke to death

A very interesting video of Julian Assange interviewing Noam Chomsky and Tariq Ali about recent events in the world.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Can't Pay? Won't Play!

There has been a certain amount of controversy over whether musicians performing at the Olympics should be expected to give their services free or whether they should expect to be paid.

Personally I think they should all be offered payment: any who wish to forego the fee can surely have it donated to a charity of their choice. Musical performance is how these guys make their living, and while I may be happy to play for nothing, I would take a dim view if someone offered me a contract to do IT work for the Olympics unpaid.

I have to smile wryly though at the Musicians' Union getting high and mighty about performers working unpaid. I remember taking part in a performance of The Desert Song in Stirling, many years ago, put on by a local light opera company. Every year, the musicians were fixed by a trumpeter (whose name I have thankfully forgotten but which should have been Dave Spart, as in Private Eye's spoof leftist) who was something senior in the local MU branch. Naturally enough, he ensured that all the MU members in the band received union rates: but he insisted that no musician who was not a member of the MU could receive any payment except basic expenses. From the lofty height of several decades of my own union activism, I can declare his attitude to have been both stupid and calculated to bring the union into disrepute (I know most of the MU members in the band thought it was disgraceful that I was putting in the same hours as them for £5 a night or whatever).

Clearly the guy never got this memo. As this article points out (I found it when Googling "Dave Spart") the champions of leftist orthodoxy of thirty years ago have had their place taken by the equally humourless and unrealistic champions of the free market. The results, at least for musicians, seem pretty similar.

Tomorrow had better not belong to them

Even as someone who supports Israel's peaceful existence within its internationally-recognised (1967) border, this article is worth reading as one of the best catalogues of Israeli institutional racism I've found. I agree with its author that plenty of Israelis want no part of it, though I am more optimistic about the chances of peaceful change than he seems to be. At the end of the day though, his comment is spot on about the current gangsters running Israel:

It should be clear that the Zionist regime is racist to the core and the sooner it is removed from power, the sooner peace will return to the region.

Amen to that.

Silence is Golden/Silver/Bronze

Bonni also gets all excited about the decision of the IOC not to have a minute's silence for the victims of the 1972 Munich massacre during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics. She isn't alone.

One has to wonder why there wasn't a similar controversy twenty years ago, when the twentieth anniversary of the murders was marked only by Israel's winning its first ever Olympic medal. (It's managed at least one at every games since.) One assumes that Ankie Spitzer was just as upset by her husband's murder in 1992: but I guess the Israeli government publicity machine hadn't decided to exploit her back then.

The article Bonni cites mentions that political statements have already been made in opening ceremonies, most notably at the 2002 games where a silence was held for the victims of 9/11. I would say that a silence for athletes killed at an Olympic Games is more appropriate than one for 9/11: after all, if you commemorate that in an opening ceremony where do you stop? Should we be having a silence for the victims of Utoya? Or Aurora? Perhaps the IOC feel that they've already allowed too much, but I don;t see that it would have been inappropriate this year. In any case, the IOC does commemorate the massacre in Munich every year: maybe they feel that's a better place to remember it.

Of course, the loons are all claiming that the decision was the result of pressure by Muslims (who, we must remember, have taken over Europe). The only "evidence" of this is something an IOC member is supposed to have said, according to Ankie Spitzer. Uh-huh. (You have to love this loon who hits the trifecta: believing Spitzer's assertion, reporting BBC speculation as actual BBC reporting, and propagating the old loon lie that British schools aren't allowed to teach about the Holocaust.)

Still, given Bonni's hatred of Jews and her own political sympathies, perhaps now it's been shown that a neo-Nazi was helping them it's the Black September killers that Bonni wants to commemorate with a silence.

Laughing at Nazis

Bonni the moronic Nazi shows her tremendous grasp of geography yet again (what a great advertisement for hillbilly homeschooling she is) in this post. Obviously her main intention is to celebrate the suffering of the refugees, but she just can't resist flaunting her absysmal lack of education:

Hey, Muslim parasites, ever hear of Muslim Pakistan? It’s right next door. Go there. You are not wanted in India. Or anywhere else, for that matter.

I expect they've heard of Muslim Pakistan, but it's scarcely "right next door".



Pakistan (GMT + 5:00) is one and a half time zones away from Myanmar (GMT + 6:30). At their closest, they're around 1200 miles apart. So yeah, Bonni, "right next door". And of course to get to Pakistan, those 1200 miles would all be travelled through India: and as Bonni would know if she were less busy wishing them all dead, refugees are obliged to stop in the first safe country they reach.

Funny how Muslim refugees NEVER choose to go to Muslim countries.

Er, there are more Muslims in India (150 million) than there are in Myanmar (4 million). Actually there are more Muslims in India than the entire population of Myanmar (53 million). Coming from a non-Muslim country (Myanmar), India would seem a logical choice. The only Muslim country bordering Myanmar is Bangladesh (population 143 million of which 90% Muslim, so fewer Muslims than India!) And faced with a choice between one of the world's poorest countries and the most advanced nuclear power in the region, choosing India seems logical. Also Myanmar has a huge border with India (see map above) and a tiny one with Bangladesh, so getting into India is far easier.

Hey, Nazi morons: get the message. Nobody wants you in their country, whether you know where it is or not.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

My Heart Belongs To Satan (apparently)

A friend of mine linked this picture on Facebook with the comment "Clearly, if you believe in Jesus you don't know how to use apostrophes. I guess I heart the devil, in that case."



What impressed me was how many of those listed on the sign I would prefer to spend time with than the kind of bigoted loon who would make up a sign like that..... (Pretty much everyone except wifebeaters and thieves.)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Worth a listen

Here is something of a rarity: one of my favourite sopranos (Elisabeth Schwartzkopf) singing one of my favourite operatic arias (Marietta's Lied from Korngold's Die Tote Stadt). (In the original opera it's a duet, but it's more usually heard in concert as a soprano solo.)

I first heard this aria (and indeed first heard of the under-rated opera from which it comes) when it was used in the Bruce Beresford segment of the film Aria. A good film, if patchy: last time I looked only available on Region 1 DVD.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

We come in peace: shoot to kill

British MPs are demanding that the government review its arms trade agreements with authoritarian regimes (aka dodgy dictators). For some reason they are unhappy with the way givernment minister describe sniper rifles, sub-machine guns and armoured troop carriers as "crowd control goods". Mind you, considering the behaviour of some of those to whom we gleefully promote arms sales, they might as well have added artillery to that list.

There are moves afoot at this very moment in the UN to get a global treaty regulating the arms trade. Amnesty International is supporting it, as are many other organisations.



153 UN member states supported a treaty. 24 abstained (of which the least surprising were probably Russia and Israel, both famous for supplying weapons to anyone who iss willing to pay). The USA under George Bush originally voted against the proposed treaty, though this shameful position has now been reversed. Whether the USA will be able to muster the necessary support in Congress to ratify any treaty may be another matter.

The NRA, unbelievably, is lobbying against the treaty: because clearly, preventing ETA or Islamic Jihad from obtaining rocket launchers, and stopping the sale of tanks for the Syrians or Chinese to use against protestors, infringes the Second Amendment. Even if one took the view (as set out by the Texas Republican Party) that it is the right of every US Citizen to buy a grenade launcher and carry it under her/his clothing into school), it's hard to see how this would be abridged by a treaty on international arms sales. Perhaps it's about Americans' God-given right to but cheap Israeli or Czech grenade launchers instead of domestic ones: nobody said "patriots" had to support America, after all.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Semper sperans

Had to share this:

Monday, July 16, 2012

Lord of Creation



R.I.P. Jon Lord.

I'm very glad that I had the chance to see him a few years ago, working with students performing his Concerto for Group and Orchestra. As that post expains, Deep Purple In Rock was part of my growing up. Which I suppose tells you the time in which I was a child.

Fantasia on CAA



I can't tell what the music clipped up over the pilot's seat is in this wonderful picture.

But I know what it should be.



Actually, peering closely at the picture I think it may in fact be the first movement of the Antheil. Awesome!

(For an encore, I suppose it would have to be this.)

The chimes they are a-changing

Here are three iconic British comedians in an iconic British sketch about that iconic British preoccupation, class.



This is a post about a rather different British icon, though you'll find out later why the "Class" sketch came to mind.

The clock tower on the Houses of Parliament (aka "Big Ben") is to be officially renamed as the Elizabeth Tower, making a pair with its bigger neighbour which is named for the other British monarch to have a Diamond Jubilee.

The tower, as this article points out, goes under five different names, most of them wrong.

So why did this remind me of the Frost Report sketch? Well, I have always known that Big Ben was the name of the bell, not the tower: I was, however, under the mistaken impression that the tower's proper name was St Stephen's Tower. So while I look down on the "Big Ben" crowd, I look up to those who called it the "Clock Tower".

And if I were standing on Westminster Bridge gazing fondly up at the Elizabeth Tower, I too could have a pain in the back of my neck. Great view, though.

The Irish may be famed for building roads: but not this one

An interesting exchange over on the National Trust's Facebook page. This is the National Trust (which covers England and Wales), not its sister organisation the National Trust For Scotland (which doesn't).

I posted this:

I have just learned that the new visitor centre at the Giant's Causeway in Co. Antrim includes material promoting "Young Earth Creationism", or as they called it when I was at school, "ignorance". If you're going to allow explanations of geology in terms of religious myth to stand alongside those of science, where will you draw the line? There are plenty of folk out there (I know, I've read some of their books) who believe that Stonehenge was created by extra-terrestrial visitors: should we expect a display there explaining how "the debate continues"?

(The NT administers the Stonehenge site along with English Heritage.)

This elicited the following reply from the National Trust:

Hi Rob, thanks for your questions. The exhibit at the Giant’s Causeway is specific to that site and tells the story of the part the Causeway played in the historical debate which took place about how the earth’s rocks were formed and about the age of the earth. Creationism was included in a small section of the exhibition as one of five themes featured in the historical debate; because along with the arguments between Sir Thomas Molyneux and George Ashe, the debate between Vulcanists and Neptunists, James Hutton’s work and an 1800s fossilised bamboo theory, it represents one of the historical debates there have been over the Causeway’s formation. As part of this exhibit we refer to the young earth creationist viewpoint, not because we support it, but because it is the only theme within historical discussions about the formation of the causeway that a small minority people still believe in today. If there was an existing modern movement backing the fossilised bamboo theory, we would have referenced this in the same way. The phrase ‘the debate continues’ refers to a part of the final clip within the exhibit in question, where we outline that Young Earth Creationists wish to continue a historical debate today. We do not support this view. In fact, exactly the opposite - our interpretation at the Giant’s Causeway sets out the science about the age of the Causeway and the age of the earth across all of the exhibition and outdoor audio guides, i.e. that the Causeway is around 60 million years old. We’re keen to respond to any other concerns you may have on this in as comprehensive a manner as possible, and to ensure that you feel you’ve got the answers to your important questions. To help do this, we’ve created a dedicated address for people to write to: Giant's Causeway Interpretation Issues, The National Trust, Northern Ireland Regional Office, Rowallane House, Saintfield, Co. Down, BT24 7LH, and we will do our best to answer your enquires there.

Which I thought was well said, but not quite well enough - as I pointed out:

I don't object to having YEC discussed in the context of other outdated theories, and if the folk of Northern Ireland don't mind the suggestion in your audio that they are especially prone to cling to such things then that's their affair. I am, though, concerned by your description of the YEC viewpoint as being "different from that of current mainstream science". That wording implies that there is some other kind of current "science" with which it concurs, and that is not the case: it is a religious viewpoint pure and simple. The whole point about science is that it doesn't deal with unchanging and unchallengeable truths. Any scientific fact may be overtaken by better experimental data: that is precisely how science advances. Young Earth Creationism, based as it is on religious texts rather than experimental observation, is subject to no such revision and allows no challenge on the basis of incompatibility with experiment. To describe this situation as a continuing "debate" rather than what it is - a refusal to engage in debate - is tacitly to lend support to YEC, especially when science is downgraded to "mainstream science". If you were to replace "current mainstream science" with "current science", and to change "Young Earth Creationists continue to debate questions about the age of the earth" to "Young Earth Creationists continue to deny scientific evidence about the age of the earth" then I would be much more comfortable with the Trust's display.

If I get any further responses I'll update this post. Meanwhile, here are some T-shirt designs which seem apposite. I am a proud owner of the third one ("Turtle").

Boiling the Lance?

Lance Armstrong has been in the news again recently, with the allegations that he took performance-enhancing drugs during his career as a racing cyclist receiving much publicity as the US Anti-Doping Agency are pursuing charges.

Did he use drugs? And if so, does it matter? Here is the evidence in a nutshell.

This article contains a lot of sense from an author who admits he is personally disillusioned with Armstrong. I nodded sagely at this paragraph (which taught me something I hadn't known about Jacques Anquetil's 1961 TdF as well):

His ultimate legacy most likely is out of our hands. Fans who may not yet be alive will decide who he was. To us, today, Eddy Merckx is the greatest cyclist who ever lived, not a fraud who tested positive for a stimulant while leading the 1969 Giro d'Italia and had his 1973 Giro di Lombardia win stripped for the same. Joop Zoetemelk is the hardman who started and finished 16 Tours—a record—and won one. He's not a reprobate who was caught doping at the 1979 Tour, received a paltry penalty of a 10-minute time addition, and maintained his second-place podium spot. Jacques Anquetil is the five-time Tour winner who in 1961 took the yellow jersey on Stage 1 and wore it all the way to Paris, not a boastful cheater who said, during a French television interview, "Leave me in peace—everybody takes dope." And Fausto Coppi is il campionissimo, the champion of champions, not an admitted doper who said on Italian television that he only took drugs when necessary—"which is nearly always."

This writer makes a number of good points about evidence versus anonymous delation.

Finally, there is this excellent piece in the Guardian's blog. It, too, contains a quotable nugget, which I will let stand as the last word in this post:

The odd thing is that with each succeeding battle against assorted doping agencies, federal investigators, judicial authorities, and former teammates who've "turned" and talked to the media, (Armstong's) stock retort of "vendetta" actually starts to sound less hollow. There is almost the weird effect of his gaining credibility, the longer this all goes on.

Like many others, I felt I knew all I needed to about Lance Armstrong long ago. Perhaps it's time to let him keep his Tour titles, and move along. I want clean, dope-free cycle sport now. Scrubbing obsessively at supposed stains of the past is doing nothing for that.

Don't put all your Basques in one exit

Attention all those enthusiasts for more "profiling" of airline passengers etc. by those involved in hunting suspected terrorists. This is what a wanted terrorist looks like.



Not to be confused with these bearded Muslims:





Note that Mr Ordonez is (a) white (b) not Muslim (c) not bearded. he is, on the other hand, strongly suspected of being a member of ETA, the organisation responsible for more European terrorism this century than any other (and with vastly more attacks and more deaths in Europe than al-Qaeda had ever caused).

Presumably the reason he was so successful at evading detection for so long was that he didn't look like Jafar from Aladdin, and didn't smoke electronic cigarettes on buses.

Oh, and the two Muslims above? The first is the Nobel Prize-winning Pakistani physicist Abdus Salam, and the second is Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan (whose name may be Khan, but who is not a terrorist).

Friday, July 13, 2012

Oooh! Oooh! I know this one!

Couldn't resist this (via)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Quiet Revolution

A new report studying drugs policies around the world concludes that contrary to all the propaganda from those getting rich out of the "War on Drugs", decriminalisation of drug possession and use does not cause use to increase.

Presumably the penny will eventually drop, even in the USA.

No Irish Need Apply

Wow. I thought the English Defence League, Northwest Infidels and all the other Rag, Tag and Bobtail of neo-Nazi groups liked to pretend that they didn't have issues with anyone except Muslims.

Well this rather blows that out of the water. They don't restrict their hatred to Muslims, but now include the Irish who are "much like the Islamics". Heavens above, some of them support Sinn Fein (second-largest party in the Northern Ireland Assembly where it has four ministers), a party whose name (unlike the NWI morons) they are probably able to spell.

Now that they've moved on from attacking people with dark skins and are targeting anyone who thinks differently from them (i.e. anyone who thinks at all) it is presumably only a matter of time before Manchester's Jews start getting beaten up, or Edinburgh's Scottish Nationalists. Still, as they say themselves, "Their hatred is our strength".

Monday, July 09, 2012

Tear jerk

I heard this for the first time today.

I was beginning to think all the country songs that made me cry were by Dolly Parton.

Wrong.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Bennycidal terrorism

Are You Viewing Uncomfortably?

The past is a foreign country: they do comedy diferently there.

The famous British comic actor and writer Eric Sykes died last week. Sykes is probably best-known to non-British audiences from his appearances in Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines and Monte Carlo Or Bust, but he was a regular on British television for much of the 1960s and 1970s. One of his most famous sketches led to the short film The Plank which shows off his very English style of humour brilliantly.



I saw Eric Sykes live on stage* with Jimmy Edwards in their rather weird touring production of Sykes's play Big Bad Mouse. It was a strange experience, in part because of Jimmy Edwards's very caustic personality. He seemed to relish winding the audience up (the production allowed for a huge amount of ad-libbing, including a section which was basically Jimmy Edwards doing stand-up) - rather like a preview of Frankie Boyle (including the very politically incorrect remarks), though Boyle doesn't play the trombone** (which Edwards did rather well). It all made for a sometimes rather uncomfortable viewing experience, though the comic business between Sykes and Edwards was perfectly executed, and there were plenty of hilarious moments.

(** I definitely remember it as being a trombone, though his obits tell me he played the tuba and the euphonium. Perhaps that's because trombones are funnier, and he was definitely funny with it. Various other bloggers recall him as variously playing tuba and trombone in Big Bad Mouse, so evidently I just got him on a trombone night.)

One made even more uncomfortable, though, by the subject matter (insofar as anybody stuck to it) of Big Bad Mouse. Its plot can be quickly summed up as a shy office nobody (played by Sykes) who finds that he becomes irresistibly attractive to women when he is (wrongly) accused of being a local flasher.

(*Actually now I am beginning to wonder whether I did see Sykes or only Edwards: I saw the play in London which must have been between mid-1977 and mid-1981, and Sykes seems to have dropped out of the production in 1979 or 1980. If I did see him - and I'm pretty sure I did, even allowing for senior moments - I must have been seeing pretty much his farewell to the play.)

For many years I was beginning to think, from reading reviews of Big Bad Mouse online of in print, and from reading articles about Edwards and Sykes, that I was alone in the universe in finding that basic premise distasteful. Think: this is a play which finds comedic value in the idea that, to be blunt, women want to be sexually assaulted. Take this review of an amateur production, in which Bloome (Sykes's character) is airbrushed into a "womaniser", for God's sake. I am very far from being a prude, but there is a difference between a womaniser - even a serial seducer such as Casanova - and an indecent exposer, who is standing, penis in hand, at the shallow end of a deep, dark pool of non-consensual sexual acts. That a reviewer in 2011 fails to appreciate that distinction fills me with despair for our country.

Still, I'm clearly not entirely alone. This guy gets it (and that review has the longest URL I have ever had to key!) So to a degree does this one, though he rather spoils things by saying that the play could only have been written in the 1970s (it actually premiered in 1964, slightly ahead of the sexual revolution engendered by the arrival of the contraceptive pill in 1967/8).

I realise that the whole idea of "political correctness" was unheard of in the mid-sixties, when the Black and White Minstrel Show was prime time television viewing, and with The Comedians (including Bernard Manning) still a few years in the future with their mix of racist, sexist and to modern ears really quite shocking humour. But back then it seemed funny because people didn't know any better, and I'm sure the same was true of Big Bad Mouse. BBM did at least provide a framework for a couple of great comedians to do their thing on stage, and it's not Eric Sykes's fault that neither Edwards's style nor Mouse's basic premise have held up well under the weight of over forty years of social change. But there we are: things have changed, and even in the early eighties it felt as inappropriate to be laughing at sex crime as it would to have been rolling in the aisles at a musical about the Moors Murders.

Which reminds me of another 1960s comedy classic, The Bed-Sitting Room by Spike Milligan and John Antrobus. Its zany surrealistic style presaged the Pythons among others, and in many ways it's worn surprisingly well. I haven't seen it performed, just read the script, but I was brought up rather short by a stage instruction which in a modern production would probably be dropped because nobody would get it. But the play came out in 1962, and was running throughout 1963 when it would have been very topical indeed. It is simply this: at the beginning, before any of the action occurs, various drop curtains are displayed to the audience, one of which reads "Buddhists Use Esso!" Very surreal, very Milligan, but intended for an audience familiar with this image. I read the script about ten years later, made the expected connection, and felt slightly queasy about it: rather as though I'd just seen someone turn 9/11 into a punchline.

It isn't anti-semitism when they really ARE trying to kill you

Last time I posted about Bonni Benstock Intall of Stark Raving Loony Bare Naked Islam, it was to laugh at her incompetent lying and inept fakery of stories. This time it's not to laugh at her but to point out that she openly and unashamedly supports the Kahanist Jewish Defense League. The JDL, described by the FBI as a "known violent extremist Jewish organisation" and "a right-wing terrorist group", carried out a programme of terrorist bombings in the USA in the 1970s and 1980s. One of its members, Baruch Goldstein, machine-gunned a mosque in the Occupied West Bank, killing 29 people. Members have carried out terrorist acts in the USA in the present century, and are suspected of carrying out many others elsewhere.

So there you have it. Bonni is a proud supporter of an officially-designated terrorist group which carried out, and continues to attempt, terrorist attacks in the United States, and which reveres as a martyr a terrorist who slaughtered families at prayer.

She also supports a political philosophy which strives to impose on Israel a totalitarian Jewish theocracy, with all mixing between Jews and non-Jews prohibited, democracy suppressed, Israeli Arabs expelled or murdered, and secular and left-wing Jews likewise imprisoned or killed.

Bonni is no American, and no friend of Israel: just a nasty little wannabe terrorist who wasn't smart enough to get into al-Qaeda so just sits on the sidelines cheering when civilians are killed, and licking her lips at the thought that Americans she hates might be beheaded or genitally mutilated.

Bonni Benstock Intall, of 1 BAY CLUB DR 19A, BAYSIDE, NY 11360, is a traitor to the United States of America. You didn't read it here first: you read it on her own blog. And equally traitorous is her complicit "ex-marine" husband: unless of course he's actually keeping her under surveillance for the FBI or NYPD (or maybe the DHS). Now that would be ironic.

All the news that's fit to fake

Bonni Benstock-Intall, credulous Nazi fool, published this post just after Francois Hollande became the new French President.

The "story" was rapidly exposed as being a hoax. Even one of Bonni's own commenters pointed out that it didn't appear in any believable French sources. (And did so before the guy I linked above, which was impressive.)

None of which stopped Walid Shoebat (his real name, though everything else about him appears to be fake), sham "ex-terrorist" and highly-paid hate speaker, from reposting the story on his own blog. Again, a commenter points out almost immediately thaat the story is a hoax.

So both Moonbat Shoebomb Shoebat and Stark Raving Islamophobia's Bonni know that they have published a fake story. So they will have published corrections, right? I mean, anyone can make a mistake, as this story shows.

Correction, Walid? [crickets]

Correction, Bonni? [crickets]

Well, duh. This is Bonni who still links to a fake story about North African refugees murdering women by throwing them overboard. She links to it as though it comes from Le Figaro. Not only is it not where she links it, it has never appeared in Le Figaro, and makes its first appearance on Bonni's site, credited to someone - probably equally imaginary - called "Paulo".

-----------------------------------------------------------

There are plenty of other recent examples, not of Bonni being taken in but of her publishing lies which are ridiculously easy to expose, not that the tame sheep who comment on them would ever do that (and if they did, they would be banned).

Take this post, for example, on a gay cruise apparently denied permission to dock in Casablanca. Bonni writes:

Funny how leftist gays always want to go where their lives would be in danger. They continue to protest against Israel, the ONLY country in the Middle East that offers homosexuals full equal rights.

Now, as readers of this blog will already know, no gay person's life would be in danger in Morocco. Their liberty, possibly (if they actually committed homosexual acts on Moroccan territory they could be imprisoned for up to three years) but not their lives. And my readers will also be aware that Israel is NOT the only country in the Middle East giving gays full equal rights. Gays in Israel do NOT have full equal rights (try marrying your gay partner there), and while homosexual activity is completely legal, it has been legal in Jordan (and thus in the Occupied West Bank which continued the Jordanian law) a full twelve years longer. Oh, and it's legal in Iraq, too. Israel does, however, have better rights for gays than many states in the USA. In any case, to judge from the comments under Bonni's post, neither she nor her sheeple consider gay rights anything to be proud of.

These LBGT creatures are what is wrong with western society. They brought a curse on us through their perversion.

Gay people subconsciously want to be spanked/beaten down that is why they support islam.

------------------------------------------------------

OK. Hands up if you can spot the lie in this post about a robbery from the Swedish royal family.

The Royals had all their Crown Jewels stolen by a Somali Muslim whom they welcomed into their own home.

When I read that, I thought it seemed unlikely that the Swedish crown jewels were kept in a royal residence rather than the more conventional massive strongroom. After all, they're not things you use very often. So I Googled "Swedish crown jewels", and the very first sentence of their wikipedia entry states "Sweden’s Crown Jewels are kept deep in the vaults of the Royal Treasury..". So had some Somali refugee pulled off a Die Hard-style heist?

Well, no. The truth is far more mundane. First of all, the robbery victims weren't even offically members of the Swedish royal family, though both Princess Christina and her husband are members of the "Royal Court". Not sure what that distinction entails, but they're clearly pretty small fry in royal terms. So it's not surprising that the jewels pinched by a Somali refugee who was a close friend of the couple were a long way from being "crown jewels". According to Aftonbladet, the items stolen were:

A tiara of Princess Christina bar by the Nobel Banquet December 10, 2011. Off-label Rib Hagen. Heirlooms. Should have been in a cloth bag labeled Sennheiser when it was thrown in Stockholm stream. Value: 350 000 SEK.

A gold ring with an aqua marine stone the size of a thumbnail, surrounded by smaller white stones. Inherited from Princess Sibylla. Which in turn inherited it from his grandmother, Helena of Waldeck and Pyrmont. Value: 25 000 SEK.

A ring in white gold with a large diamond of unknown carats. The diamond is mounted in white gold and antique cut. Although it is heirlooms that have gone the Princess Christina's family for a long time. Value: 450 000 SEK.

Two large cufflinks in gold, a little less than one Euro coin. Engraved with the number 40. Belonged formerly Sweden's former King Gustaf VI Adolf. Value: 30 000 SEK.

A braided rigid bracelet in gold thread and a black wire, possibly elefanthår. About two centimeters wide. The bracelet is a medallion / coin with a likeness of Emperor Haile Selassie wearing a crown on her head. A gift from the Emperor during a state visit 1956. Value: Unknown.

Total: At least 855 000 SEK .

It should be pointed out that even that story may not be totally reliable. Even if it's all true, it is however a very long way from the theft of "all the Crown Jewels". Or even "any of the Crown Jewels".

Bonni says that "Some readers have expressed doubt about the authenticity of this story". Her response is to link to a report which describes how "a 19-year-old man has admitted to the theft of over 850,000 kronor ($120,675) worth of royal jewels that were taken from Princess Christina’s apartment near the Royal Palace over the past two months." Gosh, it's almost as though that's what Bonni said had happened, except for, you know, the facts. She does link to a video by an Islamophobic Youtuber calling itself "whathitthefan", who lives in a poor part of Stockholm and is as ignorant as she is and believes it was the "crown jewels" which were stored in a wee safe in Princess Christina's bedroom. So because a bampot Swedish conspiracy theorist (his videos are full of Breivik-like tales of an Islamic takeover) can't tell one royal from another, or a tiara from a crown, that proves that the Swedish press have it all wrong, eh? (Gotta love that several of Bonni's commenters, presumably because it's the worst insult the homophobic filth could imagine, suggested that the Somali thief must have been Tord Magnuson's gay lover. Woo-hoo!)

------------------------------------------------------

Or how about this post?

EAST LONDON: Muslims are up in arms over plans to place Surface-to-Air Missiles on their apartment building roofs during the Olympics

Thanks to the threat of ‘Islamic’ terrorism and ONLY Islamic terrorism, the Army is set to station soldiers and high velocity surface-to-air missiles on top of a block of residential flats to ward off any airborne terror threats during the Olympics. The area includes Tower Hamlets, an all-Muslim no-go zone.

First of all, Tower Hamlets is neither "all-Muslim" nor a "no-go zone". It would be damned inconvenient if it were off limits to non-Muslims, considering it contains both the Tower of London and Canary Wharf (London's main financial district). It includes most of what is still know as the East End of London, whose inhabitants are famously portrayed in EastEnders. Any crazy New Yroker who wishes to propose the thesis that Peggy Mitchell resembles a Muslim in any respect whatsoever is welcome to try. In any case, Tower Hamlets, while it contains a large community of Bangladeshi Muslims, also contains a large Afro-Caribbean population of mostly Pentecostal Christians.

The story to which she links refers to protests by "East London residents", and the picture illustrating the protest shows dozens of people, one of whom is in a hijab. I think I spotted two more probable Muslims in the video clip, and one of those was the interviewer. But it's only "Muslims" protesting, according to Bonni. The article explains that SAMs are to be placed on the Lexington Building in Bow (which is in Tower Hamlets) and the Fred Wigg Tower in Waltham Forest (which is, you will be amazed to hear, is in Waltham Forest, not Tower Hamlets). (Waltham Forest is famous for David Beckham, East 17 and Iron Maiden: not exactly Tehran then.)

------------------------------------------------------

I have saved the most egregious lie for last. This post asks a question in its title:

Did the CIA really say that Israel would no longer exist by the year 2012?

And the accompanying text reads:

Palestinian Authority television interviewed a Syrian journalist who claimed to have seen a top secret CIA memo from the Clinton administration. This CIA memo allegedly predicted that Israel would not survive beyond the year 2022.

Well, that answers that, then.

I'm not sure which is most hilarious: that Bonni can't tell 2012 from 2022, or that not one of her sheeple has spotted the obvious error. Mind you, the ones commenting on this post are more than usually kooky (I like the one who assures us that the world isn't supposed to end until 2026).

And if your head explodes with 9mm hollow-points too, I'll see you on the Dark Side of the Met

Still thinking about crazy police responses to non-terrorists, I discovered this story I had missed last year.

The bit I really liked was where the commander of the Mat's firearms unit distinguished between "dumdum" rounds "which he said was slang for ammunition altered by criminals to cause maximum injury and suffering" and the Met's new 9mm hollow-point bullet which "has been proven to be more efficient at stopping someone instantly".

Actually both are designed to cause maximum damage inside the body of whoever they hit. Both terms refer to expanding bullets. These are prohibited in warfare under the Hague Convention, but criminal suspects in the "War" on "Terror" are sadly immune from any such protection.

Here is a comparison of the effects of a number of expanding bullets, and here are video clips of their effects.

You have to love Barnes's slogan: "Unleaded. Unfailing. Unbeatable." When I was younger there was a joke going round that the police had decided to become more environmentally conscious, and in future would be converting all their guns to run on lead-free bullets. Reality has finally caught up with satire.......

Government health warning: possession of a fake cigarette can be almost as hazardous to your health as being a Brazilian tube passenger

You may remember that on Thursday a section of the M6 motorway in the Midlands was closed, and armed police surrounded a coach in which a man had been seen "pouring liquid into a bag which was smoking". When I heard the story I mentally nicknamed the suspect the "Pot Noodle Bomber", as his wicked act of bowel-loosening terror sounded like someone with a flask of hot water and an instant snack meal. When nothing more was heard about the incident (usually a sign of egg, or pot noodle, on official faces), I thought it was probably worth digging around.

A search for "coach M6 smoking liquid" turns up dozens of reports of the police swoop, though only the Daily Telegraph, Guardian, Channel 4 and Yahoo seem to have followed up with the information that it wasn't even a sinister Pot Noodle but one of those electronic "cigarettes" that nicotine addicts use. (Actually that's just a feature of Google: the old headlines now link in most cases to updated stories. The Daily Mail has a good report on it. So does the Daily Mirror.)

The Sun, however, is sticking with pretty much its original story. Even its "updated" report fails to mention the electronic cigarette (though it links to a Sky TV video which does). It still tries to link the story to the arrest of terror suspects in London. "There were fears that the incident could be linked to six terror arrests that were carried out in London this morning. Staffordshire Police later said the incident was not being treated as a terror-related incident." (My emphasis.)

Now the six Londoners may turn out to have been arrested for possession of nicotine patches: nicotine is after all a highly potent toxin with which they might have planned to slaughter the entire population of London, and not so long ago six Londoners were arrested for trying to poison Londoners with ricin which never even existed. Imagine what wicked Moooslims could do with a box of Nicorette patches: my God, it doesn't bear thinking about. However, unless that IS what they were arrested for, their connection to the man on the bus seems tenuous at best. Unless...unless....I wonder whether the passenger who aroused suspicion had brown skin? A turban, perhaps? Bearded? Hmmm...can I ask the audience, Chris?

On Friday the Telegraph published this column by Matthew Norman which sums up the whole ludicrous business.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

What goes around comes around

Colour me assimilated

While thinking about Scottishness and Britishness, my non-Scottish readers might enjoy the Daily Record's Scottish take on Andy Murray's splendid achievement in getting to a Wimbledon Men's Final (the first British player in 74 years, and the first Scot ever, to do so). The comments thread demonstrates the Scottish/British dichotomy rather nicely.

Personally I celebrate both his Scottishness and his Britishness. I was born in England, but support Scottish independence. If that means I have to apply as a resident for full citizenship I shall do so, but I will be happy to retain my birth citizenship as well if possible (which it usually is under such circumstances).

If a Pakistani immigrant who has lived in Britain for thity-odd years retained his Pakistani citizenship when he became British, why would he feel any less British than I feel Scottish?

Who'd have thought it?

An interesting survey here, showing that despite all the noise from racists like Uncle Jimmy (BlairSupporter) about how Muslims don't assimilate, how non-whites aren't "real" Britons, and how Muslims all feel allegiance only to their religion not their country, in fact British Muslims identify with Britain and British values more than any other group, including whites.

That must be why nationalist separatist terrorists have killed far more British people in my lifetime (and continue to kill far more Europeans) than Muslim terrorists.

Also why the part of Britain most keen at present to separate itself from "Britishness" is the one where I live, whose population is overwhelmingly white and mostly Christian.

First there was Mozart's Musical Dice Game. Now....

This is marvellous.



Next, the Killer version, where the dotted lines have to include augmented sixth chords......

Lovely weather for ravens

It's been raining all night in Edinburgh and some parts of town are getting a wee bitty damp.

We had a road closed by floodwater a couple of streets away from us this morning. (Don't worry: we live halfway up a considerable hill and before floodwater reached us we would need something more spectacular than Hurricane Katrina.)

Oh, and in case you were intrigued by the description of flooding in the "Stockbridge Colonies", all is explained here.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Seek not to know for whom the bulldozer rumbles: it rumbles for thee.

You will, I am sure, have noticed the destruction of Sufi shrines in Timbuktu by the Islamist fighters belonging to Ansar Dine. As they had just been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site it's hardly surprising that UNESCO is unhappy, nor that the UN is threatening sanctions and referrals to the International Criminal Court.

All well and good: but none of it will bring back the tombs, any more than a worldwide outcry brought back the Bamiyan Buddhas.

But let's not kid ourselves that wanton destruction of religious relics is solely, or even primarily, an Islamic trait. English church history is full of iconoclasm, and in this it was wholly typical of the European Reformation.

In all these cases the destruction had a political dimension as well as a purely religious one, and that is especially true of another famous example, the destruction by Hindu extremists of the Babri Masjid at Ayodhya in India.



It is also true of the destruction of Islamic sites by the IDF during the early days of the Israeli state.

In some cases the destruction may be seen as stemming purely from negligence and greed, yet even here a political dimension is apparent if you're one of the people whose sites are being trashed.

So what's my point here? Simply that it seems to be a pretty universal, if unattractive, trait in human societies to erase sacred symbols of other societies which have been conquered (either militarily or politically). And that's not counting the destruction that occurs when sites are located in a war zone and are damaged as a direct result of hostilities. Timbuktu is not the first such site to be damaged, nor will it be the last. To view the vandalism as purely African or Islamic is to display total ignorance of history.

Happy Independence Day!

On the Fourth of July, America's Nazis prefer to spread lies about black people than to celebrate America.

And before all the trolls appears screeching "undetermined", the statement that the clip had been examined by an instructor at a School for the Deaf and Blind is a lie.

If anyone has the patience to sit through Romney's witterings after the Obama lie-in and Reagan's embarrassing "divinely inspired" ramblings, let me know if he said anything remotely relevant to Americans in the 21st century, other than where he will be shipping the next batch of their jobs.