Thursday, December 31, 2009

PalToday: Hamas "deposed" and "sacked"

I don't know quite what to make of the words "deposed" and "sacked." I suppose it means that Fatah usurped the right of Hamas to rule all Palestinian territory. Believers that Hamas has civilian "police" should note that Hammad's statement is not about the importance of directing traffic:
The deposed Hamas government opened the first police academy in the Gaza Strip on Thursday, nearly a year after Israel staged a three-week military operation against the territory.

Senior officials of the sacked Hamas government in Gaza attended the opening ceremony of the police academy, which recruits 200 students as the first batch.

Once they graduate, they would be the newest police forces of Hamas since it took over Gaza in June 2007 .

"The Palestinian resistance could jump over the blockade and is now making its weapons by its own, defying the Israeli occupation," said Fathi Hammad, the interior minister, at the opening ceremony.

The opening of the academy, located in an area that Abbas used as an office and residence before he lost Gaza, came as Gazans aremarking the first anniversary of the war which ended on Jan. 18.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

IRIB: "the-killing-due-to-bullet-receiving of one of the rioters was suspicious"

Iran is in a turmoil lately, as I'm sure you know, even prompting speculation that the regime could be in real trouble (h/t: RealClearWorld). Here is some convoluted and defensive coverage from IRIB:
On Ashura day of mourning, while millions of Iranians across the country were mourning the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (AS) and his faithful followers, a group of rioters poured into some streets of Tehran and insulted the Islamic sanctities and values of the nation.

Chanting extremist slogans, the group also insulted the concept of Ashura and ridiculed ideals of the late Imam Khomeini.

The rioters clapping and cheering on the mourning day of Ashura, began to damage public properties.

Later, large crowds of Ashura mourners who were angry about the act of the rioters confronted them.

Facing resistance by the people and security forces, the rioters fled the scene.

Some foreign media and anti-Revolutionary elements residing abroad had said Saturday that chants against the Islamic Republic and the principles of the Constitutions would be shouted on Ashura in Tehran.

In Sunday's unrest four people were killed and some residential units, banks and cars were set ablaze.

Deputy Police Commander Ahmad-Reza Radan said that the police initially tried to disperse the crowd through peaceful ways however they applied more forceful ways after the rioters began to damage public properties and residential units.

The deputy noted that the Police forces were only equipped with routine anti-riot gear, adding that the-killing-due-to-bullet-receiving of one of the rioters was suspicious.

Two of the others killed lost their lives in a suspicious car accident while the fourth fell to his death from above an overpass bridge.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Intelligence announced Saturday that several elements of the terrorist MKO group were arrested from amid the rioters.

The Ministry was investigating the killing incidents.
According to the opening sentence of a current NY Times article:
Police officers in Iran opened fire into crowds of protesters on Sunday, killing at least 10 people, witnesses and opposition Web sites said, in a day of chaotic street battles that threatened to deepen the country’s civil unrest.
Ten examples of killing-due-to-bullet-receiving?

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

Underwear bomber "faces a maximum 20 years’ imprisonment"--is that all?

Am I missing something? He could be free at 43?
The Nigerian is accused of attempting to destroy an airliner and putting a destructive device on it. He faces a maximum 20 years’ imprisonment.

The 23-year-old suspect is the son of one of the richest men in Africa. Alhaji Uma Mutallab, 70, is a former chairman of First Bank and Nigeria’s ex-Federal Commissioner for Economic Development.

Kim regaled by gallant North Korean salts

And what a jolly scene it must have been.
Like a certain operetta:

My gallant crew, good morning!
Chorus. (saluting)
Sir, good morning!
I hope you're all quite well.
Chorus. (as before)
Quite well; and you, sir?
I am in reasonable health, and happy
To meet you all once more.
Chorus. (as before)
You do us proud, sir!

I am the Captain of the Pinafore!
And a right good captain, too!
You're very, very good,
And be it understood,
I command a right good crew.
We're very, very good,
And be it understood,
He commands a right good crew.
Though related to a peer,
I can hand, reef, and steer,
And ship a selvagee;
I am never known to quail
At the fury of a gale,
And I'm never, never sick at sea!
What, never?
No, never!
What, never?
Hardly ever!
He's hardly ever sick at sea!
Then give three cheers, and one cheer more,
For the hardy Captain of the Pinafore!
Then give three cheers, and one cheer more,
For the Captain of the Pinafore!

Of, course, that's nothing to compared to the "the heroic KPA which has grown to be a matchless army under the care of Kim Jong Il, illustrious commander born of Heaven":
General Secretary Kim Jong Il, together with servicepersons enjoyed an art performance given by the Song and Dance Ensemble of the KPA Navy Command on the occasion of the Socialist Constitution Day.

The song and dance ensemble put on the stage such colorful numbers as a serial song "The General and Seamen", dance "Departure from Port in Morning," male chorus "Push back Frontiers of Science".

The performers successfully represented the invincible might of the heroic KPA which has grown to be a matchless army under the care of Kim Jong Il, illustrious commander born of Heaven, and the firm faith and will of the servicepersons to devotedly defend the headquarters of the revolution and accomplish the revolutionary cause of Juche with arms.

He expressed great satisfaction over the splendid performance replete with the revolutionary soldier spirit given by the artistes of the Song and Dance Ensemble, highly appreciating their achievements made in the performing activities for instilling the conviction of sure victory and optimism and the spirit and courage to annihilate the enemy into the servicepersons.

He expressed expectation and conviction that the artistes would conduct dynamic revolutionary and militant performing activities to encourage the servicepersons and people in their sacred struggle for defending the socialist system, a precious gain won by the Korean people at the cost of blood.
And he never swears the big, big D . . .

Fabulous "Miss Camel" Pageant

I am not posting this to sneer at it. Anyone who thinks that this demonstrates the superiority of Western Culture has forgotten about John Denver records. Still, it is amusing:
Thousands of camels from around the Arab world will bat their long eyelashes and show off their humps at Abu Dhabi's "Miss Camel" beauty pageant next month, organizers said on Wednesday.

"It will be the largest gathering of camels in one place ever," organizers of the 2010 al-Dhafra Festival said.

The Gulf's leading camel connoisseurs will critically observe as camel after camel struts down a catwalk at the festival, which is sponsored by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage.
They will rate the animals on such criteria as the grace of their necks, the shape of their noses and the style of their hair.

With more than 10 million dollars in prizes up for grabs, the competition is serious business for camel owners.

More than 24,000 camels competed for the title of "most beautiful camel" last year. [...]
The latest editions of Haveil Havalim are sure to please the leading blog connoisseurs.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Ahmadinejad: "Copenhagen summit causes failure of capitalist systems"

Ahmadinejad continues to establish his position as the leading world progressive voice. I guess capitalism has gone the way of the icecaps:
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in city of Shiraz on Wednesday evening that the Copenhagen climate change summit resulted in the failure of the world capitalist systems.

According to IRNA, he made the remarks in an exclusive interview with the TV network of this southern province.

The President noted the summit, an important event in the area of climate, proved the world nations that the big economic powers only think about their own interests and do not make any efforts to reduce environmental pollutions.

Reiterating that the Islamic Republic plays a key role in formation of the new world order, he said the world capitalist power is on the verge of collapse.

He noted: "Today, the presence of Iran in the Latin America has weakened the US position."

Referring to the Middle East as a sensitive and important region in the world, he said Iran has the upper hand in the entire region.

President Ahmadinejad further underlined the need for administration of justice throughout the globe. [...]
In other developments in the Iranian Press, we learn at ISNA that Mottaki visited Lebanon. Nasrallah told him "[the] Zionist regime would take Lebanon fully under control if Iran did not support confrontation against occupation." And at PressTV we learn that Iran feels deep humanitarian concern over Hisroshima and Nagasaki:
Iran's top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili says the US should be relieved of its veto power and disarmed over the use of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II.

"The least penalty for the United States is its disarmament and disqualifying its veto power," said Jalili during his visit to Hiroshima.

"Unfortunately not only was not the US condemned for Hiroshima massacre but it was also awarded with veto power in the (UN) Security Council," he said. [...]
There's no justice in the world.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Iran wipes inflation off the map

Steadfastness and unity are bound to overcome the great zero plot:
IRI Central Bank chief Mahmoud Bahmani said omitting three or four zeros from Iran's currency is related to implementation of economic development plan in the country.

He told IRIB reporter in Shiraz on Tuesday that studies for omitting zeros from notes have been finalized and said doing the work is imperative.

Bahmani added the government has planned to bring down the inflation rate to one-digit number.

Inflation average in 14 months from August 2008 to October 2009 was 16.7 percent, and it went down 1.6 percent and reached about 15 percent in November, he stated.

He expressed hope that inflation rate would reach to 10.5 to 11 percent till March 2010.
In the meantime Ahmadinejad has has been displaying an affinity for numbers that contain zeros:
IRI President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday that the Iranian nation and government is 10 time stronger than that of the last year, adding, "Who are they to set a deadline for us?"

"In fact we have given them the chance to reconsider their behavior, and if they don't, we reclaim all our rights (which have been ignored) throughout history," the President added.
Iranian intelligence also likes the ability of zeros to produce round numbers, as a PressTV headline proclaims: "Iran identifies 80 subversive foreign institutes." Speaking of numbers with zeros, the US gives quite a bit of aid to Egypt. It would be nice to say that I'm shocked to read this Fars News headline, reporting remarks of Egyptian People's Assembly speaker Ahmad Fathi Sorour: "Iran, Egypt View US, Israel as Common Enemies of Islamic Ummah." What did the US achieve with all that aid? Something else that involves a zero, I fear.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

Friday, December 18, 2009

A note on adjusted climate data

If it is adjusted to compensate for factors that everyone would agree are skewing the data in a certain direction, then it is valid to do it. If it is just adjusted to achieve a certain conclusion, then it isn't. In any event, the public should have access to the raw data. John at Power Line states:
That's right--the purported warming is all in the way the data are adjusted. This happens over and over again. Are these adjustments based on science or politics? If you've read the East Anglia emails, as I have, the question answers itself. The global warming project is political to its core, and lacks any scientific integrity.
Are the emails really the last word on this subject? It is fine with me if they are, but perhaps we should stress what is certain. We can be certain that the warmists are advocating bad public policy.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Some Iranian developments

According to an AP story:
[Israeli] Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin said Iran has enriched enough uranium this year at its facility in Natanz to build a bomb and is on the brink of a "technological breakthrough" that would enable it to build atomic weapons.
Is the Obama administration waking up to the reality of Iran's progress towards being a much bigger threat than it has been up until now? According to an opinion piece in the Washington Post:
Iran is proceeding with an aggressive nuclear weapons program, and a few dogged holdouts notwithstanding, much of the Obama administration has come to terms with that reality. Official Washington has resigned itself to pursuing a containment policy that some argue will limit Iran's ability to proliferate, terrorize and otherwise exploit being a nuclear power. But it is wrong to think a nuclear Iran can be contained.
Then, of course, there's that new missile:
The two-stage Sejil, powered by solid fuel, is capable according to Iran of travelling 2,000 kilometres (1,240 miles), which would put arch-foe Israel, most Arab states and parts of Europe, including much of Turkey, within range.
Reuters reports other missile-related developments::
Weapons seized in Thailand from an impounded plane traveling from North Korea were likely destined for Iran, said a high-ranking Thai government security official on a team investigating the arms. [...]

Speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to talk to the media, he said the Thai investigating team considered Iran a likely destination because of the type of weaponry, including unassembled Taepodong-2 missile parts. [...]
The link still works to the Press TV article wherein Ahmadinejad states "All relations and equations will change in our favor once Iran is stabilized as a nuclear nation." The time he was talking about is seemingly close at hand.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

Al Qassam Brigades Information Office: "A lawsuit was filed against Abbas for telling lies"

First Livni, now Abbas. How can you have courts and justice if nobody will cooperate?
Dr. Mahmoud Al-Zahhar, a member of Hamas’s political bureau, said Tuesday that his Movement filed a lawsuit against Mahmoud Abbas for telling lies and rumors about Hamas, categorically denying that his Movement suggested a presidential and legislative extension for several years.

In a press statement to Al-Jazeera net, Dr. Zahhar noted that the lawsuit was filed after Abbas fabricated lies about the escape of Hamas leaders to Egypt during Israel’s war on Gaza.

He added that the charges were pressed with Gaza courts, but he ruled out that the Palestinian prosecutor in the West Bank will summon Abbas for questioning because of the current circumstances.

Abbas during his speech on Tuesday before the central committee of the Palestine liberation organization (PLO) fabricated another lie saying that Hamas had offered him a secret deal to extend his term of office and the mandate of the Palestinian legislative council (PLC) for three to four years.

For its part, the Movement of Hamas stated Tuesday that Abbas’s speech was full of contradictions and lies, and misled the public opinion.

In a press release, Hamas added that Abbas miserably attempted to hold it responsible for obstructing national reconciliation ignoring that he and Fatah leaders are the parties responsible for not reaching an agreement because of their insistence on the recognition of the international quartet’s terms and their refusal to release all political prisoners from their jails.

Hamas underscored that it rejects the extension of the presidential and legislative terms of office as a substitute for elections, pointing out that Abbas was the one who pursued the policy of extension when he stayed in office for five years in violation of the Palestinian basic law which sets a term limit to four years for the president of the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Hamas called on Abbas to have the courage to declare the failure of his negotiations, to stop his security coordination with the Israeli occupation and to end the political arrest in the West Bank.
They're like, "Come on, Mahmoud, join the reality-based community!"

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

Ma'an: "Israeli women's group tells Livni to turn herself in"

There is also an Arutz Sheva article on this story, but its appearance in the Palestinian Press is especially fitting:
The Women's Coalition for Peace sent a letter on Wednesday to Israel’s former Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni, calling on her to cooperate with international investigations into her role in the assault on Gaza last winter, after a British court issued an warrant for her arrest on Monday.

The Israeli organization wrote in the letter, which was attached to a translated copy of the Goldstone report on alleged war crimes in Gaza, "We are convinced that if you refer to the report you will understand why British citizens and organizations have turned to the courts with a request to issue a warrant for your arrest."

The letter added that the Goldstone report directly refers to remarks by senior political figures in Israel which encouraged indiscriminate attacks on civilians, in contradiction of international law.

It is in this context that Livni was quoted as saying, on 13 January 2009, "We have proven to Hamas that the equation has been altered. Israel is a state that, when its citizens are shot at, will respond insanely. And that's a good thing."

Furthermore, the letter states, "The Goldstone Report details a long list of indiscriminate attacks against civilian populations … In addition, the report surveys the extent of the damage to industrial infrastructure, food production, water facilities, sewage infrastructure and residential buildings; the use of Palestinian civilians as human shields and the targeting of medical staff.

"The testimony of Israeli soldiers corroborates the allegations made in the Report that during Cast Lead heinous war crimes were committed," the group added.

"The attention of the Goldstone commission was drawn to the way the military operations affected women particularly adversely ... Women suffered most of all from the attack which you helped lead, and for which you served as the international spokesperson.

"As a feminist organization active in Israel, we consider that only a process of legal investigation and prosecution of war criminals by the international community has the power to bring a measure of justice to the women and men of Gaza.

"In our opinion the correct reaction on your part to the Goldstone report would be a coming to terms with the wholesale murder with which you collaborated freely as a senior minister in the Israeli government as part of an election campaign.

"We call on you to cooperate with any international investigation that may be opened against you and to counsel your colleagues in the government and military to do the same." [...]
If you find the most jaw-dropping examples of moonbattery to be oddly hypnotic, this is one to savor.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

PalPress: "Hamas, Hizbullah to unite with Israel if Israel attacks," Meshaal changes name to "Metal"

Click on image to enlarge.

Interesting times we are living in! It is obviously supposed to read "Hamas, Hizbullah to unite with Iran if Israel attacks":
Chief of Hamas Politburo Khaled Meshaal said that the Islamic organizations in the Palestinian territories and Lebanon will unite with Iran if Israel attacks, pointing out that they will fight Israel at all fronts.

Meshaal added in a press conference held in Tehran today that he discussed with Iranian officials the latest developments on the Palestinian arena , pointing out that the Palestinian, Arab and Islamic papers should be reorganized in order to reach a unified position in confrontation to the Israeli danger.

Regarding Shallot’s swap deal, Metal asserted that certain progress has actually been achieved over the past months, adding that there still was Israeli veto and intrasigence, on several issues, then there was an Israeli backtrack in position but there are still obstacles.

He continued :”when Israel responds to Hamas demands the deal will be at hand”

Japanese university "Hosts Leader of the Revolution in Intellectual Lecture"

The "Leader of the Revolution" is always Muammar Gadaffi. Gotta know your dictators. What on Earth possessed Japanese university students and faculty to invite Gadaffi to address them?
The Japanese University of Meiji Tuesday hosted the Leader of the Revolution in an intellectual lecture via video link to the students and teaching staff of the University's Faculty of Disarmament and Peace.

The theme of the lecture to the second oldest university in Japan was about Africa and attempts by foreign powers to intervene in its internal affairs.

The Leader analyzed in his lecture Japan's political dependency of America which deprived it from being a useful power with Africa and the world ..explaining that such dependency undermined the vital interests and Japan's relations with the wider world which it needed.

The Leader noted that there was an awakening in Japan to restore its dignity surrendered by lack on liberation from American hegemony despite the fact that Japan's technological advancement.

The Leader also analyzed the premises that placed a question mark on the future of Japan and its position on the coming world map forming up in spaces.

The lecture was ensued by an intellectual debate between the Leader and the students and the staff of the university on the strategy of US President Barrack Obama in Afghanistan, the concept of education in the Jamahiri theory and the radical solution of the Middle East problem which the Leader presented in the White Book.
Afterwards, Gadaffi morphed into a 100-foot-tall robot and fought with a fire-breathing dinosaur.

Kos Diary wants to "Revoke Lieberman’s Dual Citizenship"

Doesn't this mean he won't be a citizen of either the Big or the Little Satan?
It’s time to end Joe Lieberman’s dual citizenship. With his astoundingly callous display of contempt for poor Americans that so desperately need medical coverage with a Medicare expansion, it’s now clear that Joe Lieberman does not care about suffering Americans.
Nay, he wants them to suffer! Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha! (Many in the comments thread are calling the diary anti-Semitic. It will be interesting to see if it stays up.)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Ma'an: "Gazans turn to painkillers to avoid reality"

This article makes an immediate reference to "the aftermath of the Israeli military offensive last winter" to blame Gaza's drug problems on Israel. You mean the Gaza operation wasn't a glorious victory for Hamas? However, even according to this article, the "reality" Gazans are trying to escape also includes "factional violence":
In the besieged Gaza Strip, many have turned to analgesics to avoid a harsh reality in the aftermath of the Israeli military offensive last winter, coupled with factional violence and joblessness.

The use of Tramadol, a painkiller with narcotic effects and known commercially as Tramal, has prevailed even among teenagers. Suad, 17, takes the painkillers secretly and without her family’s consent. She says she has been a Tramal-addict for over a year. [...]

Muna is a Gazan woman who took her first Tramal dose unwillingly when her husband dissolved the medicine in her tea. "My husband was a drug addict, and he spent a lot of money on drugs. After he was fed up with my demands that he give up drugs, he secretly dissolved Tramal and other drugs into my tea several times until I began taking the medicine myself."

"Anyone who goes through what I went through will be forced to take painkillers even if they become an addict," says Imam, a university student who was shot in the knee by masked gunmen during factional violence in 2007. He says he feels dizzy and lightheaded when he takes the pills, and that it hampers his studies. [...]

For his part, Dr Munir Al-Barsh, director general of the de facto government’s Ministry of Health says Tramal is banned without prescription. "A bill is being drafted to add Tramal to the list of banned narcotics," he added explaining that over the past three years, seven pharmacies have been shut down for selling Tramal.

The director of the ant-narcotic unit of the Gaza police, Jamil Dahshan, explains that Tramal in pharmacies is less of a trouble than the pills being smuggled through tunnels.

"Some pharmacists and physicians merchandise these pills and capsules secretly and thus they assist drug dealers and addicts who use these pills instead of heroin, cocaine, and hashish," he said. [...]
So the ban on liquor is not so limiting after all.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

PressTV (Iran): "Hamas committed to free 'all Palestine'"

Today we have a special guest. Ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm welcome for Reality!
Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh says the resistance movement remains committed to the liberation of the Palestinian territories from the Israeli occupation.

"Islamic resistance movement of Hamas will not back down and will continue its resistance until it achieves the freedom of its people and brings independence to the Palestinians", Haniyeh told tens of thousands of Palestinians who gathered to mark the 22nd anniversary of Hamas' foundation in the Gaza City on Monday.

"We will never give up on Palestine from the river to the sea", the premier said, referring to the pre-1948 borders of the British Palestine Mandate between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River.

"It is not enough for Hamas to liberate Gaza, nor to establish an emirate in Gaza, nor a state, nor an independent entity... Hamas strives to liberate all of Palestine," Haniyeh added.

The prime minister said despite Israel's three week war on the Gaza Strip and its long-running blockade on the territory, the movement continues to grow and gain more power.

"Those that plotted Operation Cast Lead did not imagine that we would mark the anniversary of Hamas' establishment in such a large event," he said.

Founded in 1987, shortly after the beginning of the first intifada against Israel's occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, Hamas won a landslide victory in Palestinian elections in 2006, and took over Gaza in June 2007.

The movement remains committed to the establishment of an Islamic state on the pre-1948 borders of the British Palestine Mandate.
And that's pretty much it, as they say. There are some issues about which a layman can be reasonably sure without having to put his faith in experts, and this is one of them. It isn't climate-science.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

Sunday, December 13, 2009

PalToday: "PFLP fire 21 home made rockets at Israeli targets"

The headline talks about "21" rockets. That becomes "several" in the first paragraph, then "tens" in the second, and then "two" in the third:
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) fired several rockets into Israeli communities near the Gaza Strip Sunday.

The PFLP said in a statement that its militants fired "tens of rockets" at Israel.

But Israeli army radio reported that two missiles landed at western Negev on Sunday, causing no damage or casualties.

On Saturday, a PFLP leader addressed tens of thousands of supporters in Gaza, who rallied to mark the 42nd anniversary of its establishment, that his movement has not agreed to halt attacks against Israel.

Single-malt Menorah

Here is a story to warm your innards:
WHAT is thought to be the world's first ever 'whisky menorah' was unveiled this evening (Sunday) to mark the Jewish festival of lights.

Dozens of people turned out at Buckhurst Hill Chabad, in Princes Road, to see the seven-foot-high ceremonial candle holder - made of clear pipes - filled with 65 litres of 17-year-old Scottish single malt in celebration of Chanukah.

Whisky from the menorah was then poured from a tap in the structure's stem and auctioned off in bottles by Rabbi Odom Brandman to raise money for a new centre for the area's Jewish community.

Rabbi Brandman - who had earlier led the lighting of a publically displayed menorah in nearby Queen's Road - thanked distillary firm Tullibardine for donating the whisky. [...]
Commemorating the single-malt scotch miracle: there was only one bottle but it lasted for eight farbrengens. (h/t for this and the previous story although they did not link to the sources I used: Vos iz Neias)

IslamoJudeophobia worse than Islamophobia

This incident might not prove it, but it illustrates it:
A Muslim man attacked a Chabad rabbi Saturday night as he was conducting the annual ceremony to light the public Chanukah menorah in Stefenfaltz Square in the city of Vienna, Austria. [...]

As the rabbi tried to hold off his attacker, the Muslim suddenly bit his victim, severing part of his finger in the process. The Muslim was caught and arrested by police, and was held for questioning. The rabbi was evacuated to the hospital where doctors rushed to reattach his finger.

Kim Il Sung University Swimming Pool back in the news

Once again we visit the illustrious Swimming Pool of Songun. The new occasion to give it our revolutionary attention is a visit from the Dear Leader although he does not appear to have gone for a swim himself. I understand he can breathe under water but doesn't want to show off:
General Secretary Kim Jong Il visited the Swimming Pool of Kim Il Sung University to watch its teachers and students in swimming training.

Watching the teachers and students swimming in the spacious swimming and wading pools full of joy, he was greatly pleased to see the swimming pool of the university fully available for everybody's physical training and cultural rest.

Recalling that President Kim Il Sung made so much effort for the education of the rising generation all his life, he said with emotion how greatly he would have been pleased if he had watched those teachers and students fully enjoying happiness at the best swimming pool.

Swimming is a very good exercise for training physical bodies and promoting health, he said, indicating tasks and ways for popularizing the swimming.

Underscoring the need to successfully manage and operate the swimming pool of the university as it is an eternal edifice for posterity, he once again paid attention to every aspect of the pool and took measures with loving care.

He highly appreciated the shining feats performed by Kim Il Sung University, noting that over the last more than six decades it has trained a large number of revolutionary talented persons in the crucible of the arduous revolutionary struggle, thus creditably playing a pivotal role in implementing the nation's policy on training native cadres and policy on turning all members of society into intellectuals and graduates from this university, in particular, are now successfully performing a pace-setter's role in every work site for building a thriving nation including the work for putting production processes on a Juche-oriented CNC basis. [...]
The latest Haveil Havalim also features a large number of revolutionary talented persons in the crucible of the arduous revolutionary struggle.

Friday, December 11, 2009

They didn't save Hitler's brain

Yuri Andropov, the article goes on to say, was worried "that Hitler's burial site could become a place of worship for supporters of fascist ideas":
The remains of Adolf Hitler were burned in 1970 by Soviet KGB agents and thrown into a river in Germany on direct orders from the spy agency's chief, a top Russian security official said this week.

The head archivist of Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) -- the successor to the former Soviet Union's KGB -- confirmed for the first time the chain of events that led to the disposal of Hitler's body, and who ordered the operation, in an exclusive interview with Russia's Interfax news agency. [...]

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The real Secret Policeman's Ball?

This time the performers are the "the art squad of the Ministry of People's Security." Better not be caught failing to clap hard enough for that performance:
A performance was given by the art squad of the Ministry of People's Security at the People's Palace of Culture Thursday.

It was appreciated by senior state officials, the chairman and chairperson of friendly parties, officials of ministries and national institutions and working people in Pyongyang.

Put on the stage were such colorful numbers as mixed chorus "We Longed to See the General", Oungum ensemble "The General Star Beyond the Clouds", trumpet and female solo "Soldiers Live Near the General", choral recitation "Long Journey for Devotedly Defending the Leader" and small chorus "May the Era of the Workers' Party of Korea Prosper."

The performers sang high praises of the Songun revolutionary leadership exploits General Secretary Kim Jong Il has performed by making a breakthrough towards victory in the drive for bringing about a new great revolutionary surge through his unprecedented forced march and truthfully represented the shining feats registered by the interior forces in the struggle for defending the outpost of the class struggle and the security of the socialist country and its people. calls for attack on Israel

Another snarling post from the lovely folks at
With friends deserting the Zionist State like rats fleeing an impending flood, the malignant cancer wrongly called 'Israel' may soon find itself fighting its own battles, and what a day that will be.

Today Turkey warned that if the Zionist scum dare enter their airspace to conduct any kind of operation, Turkey will respond 'like an earthquake'. "[Israel] will receive a response equal to that of an earthquake," said Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in an interview with Egyptian journalist Fahmi Huwaidi published Thursday morning.

Why wait? Why not implement the infamous doctrine of preemption and carry out 'Operation Earthquake' based on the kind of reliable evidence that gave us the Iraq war? Or simply do as Jewish Zionists did in 1956, concoct a story, garner Muslim support and take back the land they robbed in 1948.

With Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia and now Turkey ready and willing, there seems no time like the present to bring an end to the what many have described as the greatest calamity to befall us in the 20th century.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Self consumed by artifact

Stanley Fish has the best barely-detectable penumbra of condescension in the business. Here is his review of Sarah Palin's book.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Swiss time running out: Gadaffi

The Swiss minaret-ban may have been a set-back for multiculturalism, but, we learn in a current JANA article, it marked a new chapter in the dissemination of Gadaffi pronouncements:
The statements made by the Leader of the Revolution, Leader of the World Islamic People's Leadership on the outrage against Islam perpetrated by the Swiss entity "the world mafia" which calls for a ban on construction of minarets in Switzerland was widely echoed in the international media.

The Egyptian news agency carried extracts from the Leader's statements and his call for a boycott of Switzerland.

The agency quoted the Leader as saying at a religious rally in the city of Zelitin 160km east of Tripoli, that the Swiss decision was playing with fire risked undermining religious tolerance and opened the door for religious hate and violence.

"Gaddafi saw the Swiss decision as an invitation for war between Islam and the West, the agency quoted the Leader as saying.

"They should mind their interests in our region", the Leader was quoted as saying.

Under the title Gaddafi warns Switzerland against playing with fire after the Swiss voted in favour of banning minarets in the country, the United Press International quoted the Leader of the Revolution that the presence on Christian churches in the Muslim world would be reconsidered after the ban of minarets in Switzerland.

"You chose to wage war on mosque, by that you give the pretext to those who bent on fighting churches", the UPI quoted the Leader as saying.

"No Muslim will agree to grant a license for building any churches in the Muslim world anymore, the Leader was quoted as saying by UPI.

" They claim to fight terrorism and violence and al Qaeda they are giving them the excuse they look for", the Leader was quoted as saying.

The UPI said Gaddafi saw the referendum as giving the Muslim countries the pretext to ban the construction of churches.

The Chinese news agency carried extracts of the Leader's comments saying he warned Switzerland and indeed Europe against the fallout from the minarets saga.

It quoted the Leader as saying such decision demonstrated the West's hatred of other religions.

The BBC Arabic service quoted the Leader as saying ( this gives us the justification to do away with tolerance which we maintained in the Muslim world by allowing the crosses despite the fact that we know they were paganism." [...]
Pity the UPI didn't report that one.

Announcement: Your faithful Judeopundit may have limited computer access for the next few days. Digesting all this profundity from the Leader of the Revolution should keep you busy in the meantime.

When Jimmah met Kimmah

There are a number of promising-looking titles currently at (North) Korean News. There is an article, for instance, about the "Hamhung City Youth Goat Farm." Another offers an "Impressive Story Associated with Side Dishes." In yet another the Korean People are "Called upon to Emerge Victors." But let's post the one abut Jimmy Carter:
The personality of President Kim Il Sung as a great man was highly praised by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter.

Jimmy Carter recollected the time he was received by Kim Il Sung during his visit to the DPRK in 1994, when interviewed by the Thai newspaper "The Nation" on November 23.

He remembered President of the DPRK Kim Il Sung as a very outstanding great leader who was well versed in everything.

Having a very profound knowledge, Kim Il Sung knew almost everything, for example when a certain building was constructed and for what it was, he recalled, adding that he had a successful conversation with the President as he was simple and humble in his personality. [...]

Sunday, December 06, 2009

"Songun politics has firmly grasped the hearts of hundreds of millions of people"

In which we learn that the "great Songun idea has been widely disseminated worldwide as the pronoun of justice and truth."
General Secretary Kim Jong Il made a scientific clarification of the characteristics of the present times that the popular masses are steering the development of history, powerfully promoting the development of human history. This is an immortal exploit he has performed for the accomplishment of the cause of global independence. Rodong Sinmun Friday says this in a signed article.

The orientation of the development of history is defined by the desire of the popular masses, the driving force of history, for independence and their struggle for translating it into a reality, the article notes, adding that this is clearly proved by the people's ever-mounting worldwide struggle against all forms of domination, subjugation, aggression and war.

The article goes on:

Independence is the main trend of the development of history in the present times and it is Songun which gives an impetus to this trend.
That's funny--Iran's press is always talking about "indpendence," but it never mentions Songun.
Kim Jong Il's unique Songun politics has firmly grasped the hearts of hundreds of millions of people as it is universally recognized as the most effective political mode in the present times.

The great Songun idea has been widely disseminated worldwide as the pronoun of justice and truth, banner of independence against imperialism and a symbol of victory.

The Songun politics, an all-powerful treasured sword and banner of all victories, instills strong energy and courage into the progressive people while frustrating the imperialists' ambition for domination and policies of aggression, thus giving rise to the wave of struggle for independence in the world.

No force on earth can stem the trend of the historical development in the present times toward independence and Songun.

Unexpected complicated developments took place in various regions as evidenced by the collapse of socialism in some countries. This was nothing but temporary and abnormal ones that happened in the course of humankind's advance toward an independent new world.
The latest Haveil Havalim instills strong energy and courage into the progressive people.

Where are You?--A story for Yud Tes Kislev

On the 19th of Kislev, the Alter Rebbe, the founder of Chabad, was released from prison. See here to learn why this day is known in Chabad as the "Rosh Hashanah of Chassidism." Here is a story:
In 1798, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi was imprisoned on charges, put forth by the opponents of Chassidism, that his teachings undermined the imperial authority of the czar. For 52 days he was held in the Peter-Paul Fortress in Petersburg.

Among the Rebbe's interrogators was a government minister who possessed broad knowledge of the Bible and Jewish studies. On one occasion, he asked the Rebbe to explain the verse (Genesis 3:9): "And G-d called out to the man and said to him: 'Where are you?'" Did G-d not know where Adam was?

Rabbi Schneur Zalman presented the explanation offered by several of the commentaries: the question "Where are you?" was merely a "conversation opener" on the part of G-d, who did not wish to unnerve Adam by immediately confronting him with his wrongdoing.

"What Rashi says, I know," said the minister. "I wish to hear how the Rebbe understands the verse."

"Do you believe that the Torah is eternal?" asked the Rebbe. "Do you believe that its every word applies to every individual, under all conditions, at all times?"

"Yes," replied the minister.

Rabbi Schneur Zalman was extremely gratified to hear this. The czar's minister had affirmed a principle which lies at the basis of the teachings of Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov, the very teachings and ideology for which he was standing trial!

"'Where are you?'" explained the Rebbe, "is G-d's perpetual call to every man. Where are you in the world? What have you accomplished? You have been allotted a certain number of days, hours, and minutes in which to fulfill your mission in life. You have lived so many years and so many days," -- here Rabbi Schneur Zalman spelled out the exact age of the minister -- "Where are you? What have you achieved?"

Ahmadinejad reveals US plot to "prevent Mahdi from appearing in Iraq"

More here. In another Iran-related item, the Wall Street Journal examines Iran's recent efforts to silence its critics worldwide. And see Amir Taheri's latest.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Breaking: Ryongwang Entrails Soup Restaurant renovated

Great news:
Changgwang street of a chain of restaurants in Pyongyang was successfully renovated as required by the new century in a matter of a little over a year.

There in the street are Korean Restaurant, Ryongwang Entrails Soup Restaurant, Changgwangsan Kuksu (Noodle) Restaurant, Rakwon Steak Restaurant, Manphung Rice-cake Soup Restaurant, Phungnyon Pancake Restaurant and other restaurants.

These restaurants have been renovated to meet people's cultural need and suit the features of each restaurant, while preserving their original architectural style. [...]
Also at (North) Korean News currently: "U.S. Termed Heinous Human Rights Abuser" and "KCNA Slams Japan's 'Human Rights' Racket," but somehow I am not in the mood for bellicose ranting at the moment.

Death from "jihad-related task" in "live-breeding tube"

EOZ reports this martyrdom via an Al-Qassam Brigades Information Office site article whose vague wording would generally lead one to believe Radi accidentally blew himself to glorious bits. According to Iran's PressTV, however, "Palestinian medics said Radi died in a tunnel collapse." Perhaps this is viewed as an insufficiently glorious cause of death, hence the vague earlier reports?
A senior commander for the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Hamas movement, has died in the central Gaza Strip.

"Yasser Sabri Radi, 37, a field commander in the Qassam Brigades from Nuseirat Camp in central Gaza, was martyred on Wednesday morning while undertaking a jihad-related task," AFP quoted a statement released by the resistance group.

The statement did not specify the cause of the death, but Palestinian medics said Radi died in a tunnel collapse, the news agency added.

Israel's fighter jets regularly bombard cross-border tunnels in southern Gaza Strip, saying the Palestinian fighters use them to hide out, store weapons and launch attacks against the Israeli troops.

But Palestinians reject the allegations and describe the tunnels, mostly across the border with Egypt, as live-breeding tubes to push in food and other basic needs into the long-blockaded Gaza Strip.

In June 2006, fighters from Hamas and two other armed Palestinian groups launched a cross-border attack on an Israeli military post, killing two soldiers and captured a third Israeli soldier.

Gilad Shalit is still being held in Gaza, awaiting a prisoner swap between Israel and Hamas, who has demanded the release of 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in return.
Presumably the last two paragraphs mention Shalit because a tunnel was used in his capture. It is interesting to see PressTV undercutting a Hamas claim. PressTV also devotes a current article to PLO claims: "Israel seeking Al-Quds takeover through 10-month freeze":
A top PLO member says Israel's 10-month freeze in settlement activity in the West Bank is a cover for a dangerous plot to take over East Jerusalem Al-Quds.

Former Palestinian Authority prime minister Ahmed Qurei, who is a member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), made the remarks on Wednesday during a meeting with Sheikh Raed Salah, head of Islamic movement in the occupied Palestine.

Qurei said that the Palestinians were not in favor of reviving the kind of peace talks that would be futile due to Tel Aviv's failure to comply with the conditions set for talks. Instead, the Palestinians prefer to restore their rights through resistance to Israeli occupation, he added.

"Plans devised by [Israeli President] Shimon Peres, [Knesset Member and former defense minister] Shaul Mofaz and [Defense Minister] Ehud Barak, have put East Jerusalem Al-Quds in grave danger. The trio seek to exclude East Jerusalem Al-Quds from an Israeli pledge to freeze settlement construction in the occupied lands," Qurei said. [...]
You may have seen an AP headline "Iran nuke plans largely bluster, experts say." As if in answer, an IRIB headline reads "President: Plan to build 10 sites, not a bluff":
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday that IRI decision to construct 10 new nuclear sites is not a political bluff. "There is no place for bluffing in this regard," the President noted.

"When we launched the initial nuclear cycle they said it was impossible," President Ahmadinejad said in an interview with IRIB adding, "But they saw that it was real."

The ten new nuclear sites have been designed before, and because it is a domestic industry we have not give any guarantee to the International Atomic Energy Agency to make them aware about planning and constructing new nuclear sites, the President said.

"But according to the (IAEA) law, we will inform them 6 months before injecting gas," he reiterated. [...]
How responsible of them.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

MPAC.IE: "alleged concentration camps"

Now we know what could be worse than MPAC-UK:
Physically incapacitated and visibly distressed John Demjanjuk, an 89yr old frail elderly man, was wheeled and at times stretchered before his heartless accusers, charged with being a guard in one of the alleged concentration camps.

His accusers, none other than brutish Zionist Israelis who had and have no compunctions in enacting their own holocaust against the rightful inhabitants of Palestine proudly advertised their victimhood for the world to see, faded blue tattoos being the necessary ‘bling’ for photo opportunists. [...]

A pronouncement

Many blogs take what might be termed an "expose and deplore" approach. If you are producing a leftist blog, it works fairly well to expose and deplore extremists on the right. If you are producing a rightist blog, it works fairly well to spend your time exposing and deploring extremists on the left. In both cases the E and D targeting the other end of the political spectrum builds solidarity with people on the same end of the political spectrum. A centrist blog, by contrast, works best if it spends its time articulating centrist policy positions. Why is that? Simple: E and D aimed at either end of the political spectrum is going to convey solidarity with the opposite end, not centrism.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

"the spirit of readily becoming human bullets and bombs and the spirit of blasting oneself"

You might think that this is an article that was already featured in a post, but no, that one referred to "the self-blasting spirit," not "the spirit of blasting oneself":
General Secretary Kim Jong Il inspected the Command of KPA Navy Combined Unit 587.

After receiving a salute, he went round the monument to President Kim Il Sung's on-site guidance and the room devoted to the history of the combined unit.

Noting that the combined unit has a long tradition of struggle as it has demonstrated the might of the KPA by fully displaying popular heroism in the defence of the country and socialist construction over the last more than six decades, he highly appreciated its feats.

He watched combat and technical equipment and training of seamen to learn in detail about the implementation of the training program for this year and the preparations for training next year.

He expressed great satisfaction over the fact that the unit has successfully trained all the commanding officers and soldiers to be a-match-for-a hundred fighters possessed of high combat technique and capability by intensifying the combat and political training true to the WPK's policy of training. He highly appreciated the successes made by the unit in the training this year.

The seamen of the KPA have grown to be indomitable fighters who enshrine as their unshakable faith the spirit of devotedly defending the leader, the spirit of readily becoming human bullets and bombs and the spirit of blasting oneself, he said, adding: Our socialist country is impregnable as these invincible ranks have reliably defended its seas.
The latest Haveil Havalim is fully displaying popular heroism.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Aww--Castro brothers send hug to Ahmadinejad via Chavez

Here is a story to warm you up:
"We feel at home here and among our brothers ... we're going to be together until the end," Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez during a visit to Latin America on Wednesday.

Both leaders roundly denounced US "imperialism," and Chavez also called Israel "a murderous arm of the Yankee empire."

Chavez said he had just returned from an unannounced visit to Cuba, where he met with his mentor Fidel Castro as well as President Raul Castro. "They asked me to give you a hug for them," he told Ahmadinejad. [...]
Ahmadinejad must really appreciate that hug from the Castros, but undoubtedly what would really make him happy is the delivery of those S-300 missiles from Russia. According to IRIB Radio, Iran has received assurances that Russia still intends to deliver them:
Iran's Ambassador to Moscow Mahmood Reza Sajjadi in Moscow on Friday evening said that the Russian officials have told him they still honour a contract to deliver S-300 missiles to Iran.

According to IRNA, visiting "Argomenti" Daily in Moscow on Friday afternoon, Sajjadi said that the Russian officials have always talked about recognition of military and technical cooperation contract with Iran and declared their commitment to execute the contract.

He added that the Russian officials are also committed to complete Bushehr Power Plant and they hope that the power plant starts its activity in the shortest possible time. [...]
Things are not so cozy, however, between Iran and Norway:
Iran has denied Norway’s allegation that the Islamic Republic has confiscated the Nobel Peace Prize of Shirin Ebadi.

Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere said in a statement on Thursday, “The medal and the diploma have been removed from Dr. Ebadi’s bank box, together with other personal items. Such an act leaves us feeling shock and disbelief,” CNN reported.

It is surprising that Norwegian officials jump to conclusions without respecting international protocols and taking enough time to consider both sides of the issue, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said on Friday.

Mehmanparast said the issue involved tax evasion, and as in all countries, tax evasion is a crime in Iran and individuals face legal penalties should they commit such an act. [...]
The article, you'll note, does not actually say where the medal is. Iran's threats to withdraw from cooperating with the IAEA are getting a fair amount of press coverage. The Iranian press has a great deal about it, of course. Here is part of a Mehr article:
Iran officially announced that it will cease its voluntary cooperation with the IAEA after the agency’s Board of Governors adopted a resolution against Iran on Friday under pressure by Western countries.

Iran said the drafters of the anti-Iran resolution made a historic mistake and advised the West to discard its policy of confrontation with Tehran.

"To show its goodwill, the Islamic Republic of Iran has so far taken steps beyond its commitments, but this resolution will cause Iran to cooperate with the agency only within the framework of the NPT (nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty)," Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran’s ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, said on Friday. [...]
I don't think that Iran's nuclear ambitions are encountering too many obstacles from the West so far.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

Friday, November 27, 2009

Ayatollah Khamenei on "renouncing the infidels"

Here is an excerpt from the Supreme Leader of Iran's recent message to Hajj pilgrims. What follows is the paranoid rant section, which is most of it:
[...] Nowadays, we clearly see that the hands of the ill-wishers of the world of Islam are busy more than the past driving wedges among Muslims, thus the Islamic Ummah is in need of integrity and unanimity more than ever before.

Today, the bloodstained claws of enemies are busy unleashing tragic scenes here and there across the Islamic lands; Palestine languishes under the wicked grip of Zionists and suffers a widening tribulation. The Al-Aqsa Mosque faces a grave threat; innocent people of Gaza, having already been subjected to an unprecedented genocide and still endure the harshest conditions; Afghanistan, under the boots of the occupiers, witnesses a new suffering on a daily basis; in Iraq instability has robbed people of their calm and their peace of mind; in Yemen fratricide has struck the Islamic Ummah with a fresh grief.
He appears to blame the West for recent events in Yemen.
Muslims worldwide should rather stop and think how and where these blind seditions, wars, blasts, assassination bids and massacres which have gripped Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan have been planned. Why was it that before the American-led Western troops arrived in this region in a peremptory and possessory manner, the regional nations had never been subjected to such a long list of sufferings?

The occupiers, on the one hand, brand any popular resistance movements in Palestine, Lebanon or any other place as terroristic, and on the other hand, are organizing or masterminding a violent sectarian terrorism among the regional nations.
He appears to blame the West for Muslim sectarian struggles in general.
The Middle East and the North African region was once colonized and humiliated for more than a century by the Western governments of Britain and France and subsequently by America; their natural reserves were plundered, their free spirit was trodden upon and their nations were taken hostage by the greed of the aggressive aliens.

Yet, after an Islamic awakening coupled with a popular resistance movements made it impossible for them to proceed and following a re- emergence of the issue of martyrdom and ascension to God and on the path of God , as an exceptional factor in the scene of Islamic jihad, the aggressors, having been pushed to a defensive position, resorted to duplicitous methods after replacing their old approach with a new type of colonialism.
He stresses the role of martyrdom in Jihad.
Nonetheless, the multi-faced demon of colonialism has now fielded all its capacities to bring Islam to its knees, from military might, an iron fist and flagrant occupation to an evil chain of propagandas and a myriad of lie-spreading and rumor-mongering media centers, from the organization of networks to ruthlessly carry out assassination and homicide to promotion of promiscuity and the proliferation of narcotics targeting the morale and the morality of the youth, and, finally, from a thoroughgoing diplomatic assail on any hub of resistance to the provocation of sectarian snobbery, prejudice and enmity among brothers.

If affection, trust and empathy take the place of the enemy-desired mistrust and animosity among Muslim nations or Islamic sects, the conspiracy of the ill-wishers would be defeated for the most part and their sinister plots in seeking a growing dominance over the Islamic Ummah would be foiled.

The Hajj is one of those precious opportunities for this sublime goal.

Muslims will only be able to withstand the multi-faced demon and overcome it through cooperation with one another and reliance on their common foundations which are encapsulated in the Holy Koran and the practice of the Messenger. Islamic Iran, following the lessons of our great Imam Khomeini, has epitomized this fruitful resistance. The enemies have faced defeat in Islamic Iran.

Thirty years of plotting, conspiring and ill feeling, from staging a coup and imposing an eight-year war, to imposition sanctions and the freezing of assets, from the unleashing of psychological warfare and media confrontation to making efforts to hinder scientific growth and the acquisition of modern sciences including nuclear expertise by the Iranian nation, and even blatant provocations and interventions during the recent glorious and meaningful elections, all turned into scenes of setbacks, passiveness and confusion on the part of the enemy, re-evoking a verse in the Iranian mind: "Surely the guile of Satan is ever feeble" (The Women: 76).
Disapproving media coverage of their glorious election--the most horrible crime of all.
In all other areas of the world too, where people have countered the arrogant powers through a faith-inspired resistance, the faithful achieved victory while the tyrants ended up in scandal and retreat. The shining victory of the Lebanese in the 33-day war and the prideful and victorious jihad of the Gazans during the past three years stand as living evidence in this regard.

I emphatically recommend the fortunate pilgrims in general and especially the scholars and orators of the Islamic countries who have attended the Hajj gathering, as well as the leaders of Friday prayers in the noble sanctuaries, to recognize their your immediate duty, to expose the conspiracy of the enemies of Islam in the eyes of your audience, and to call the people to affection and unity, they should strictly avoid anything which may provoke a sense of mistrust among Muslims, and vent all cries at the arrogant and the enemies of the Islamic Ummah and the masterminds of all seditions headed by the Zionists and Americans, and in doing so, help materialize the practice of renouncing the infidels in word and in deed. [...]
We generally assume that heads of state who want to consolidate and extend their power are under certain constraints not shared by lone wackos and stateless terror networks although this one seems to have terror operatives doing his bidding in various places. As far as his worldview is concerned, Mr. Supreme Leader hardly seems less extreme than, say, Nidal Hasan. Shouldn't we do anything necessary to keep nukes out of this Ayatollah's specific hands?

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

Dissident Voice alerts us to the Beer Menace

The article is called "Monopolizing America: Big Beer Takes Over." What has them foaming at the mouth, but not from a good brewski? Monopolies, for one:
America is the world’s most profitable beer market, yet the U.S. has lost what was once a competitive industry. As recently as 2004, ten companies fought over world consumption; today Belgium-based InBev (Anheuser-Busch InBev) controls 25 percent of the world’s beer market. SABMiller, the second largest brewer with 15 percent of the market, is a London-based conglomerate that formed when South African Breweries acquired U.S.-owned Miller in 2002.
A "more troubling" problem is that beer is under-taxed--say it isn't so!
An even more troubling problem arises over taxes, especially with government facing reduced tax revenues. Federal alcohol excise taxes haven’t been raised since 1991 and, adjusted for inflation, have lost 40 percent of their value. State taxes are similar: Wisconsin hasn’t raised its alcohol tax to keep up with inflation since 1969 and has lost 83 percent of its value. Maryland’s alcohol excise tax was set in 1972 at 9 cents a gallon, but would be 38 cents a gallon if it were adjusted for inflation.

“Increasing taxes is the number one most effective way to reduce underage drinking and overall harm,” said Lebron. “The beer companies know that and are fighting it, despite the fact that alcohol harm in California alone amounts to $38 billion a year. In the U.S., it’s over $200 billion a year. Industries that cause harm, such as alcohol and tobacco, should be financially responsible for some portion of that harm.”
And there is no shortage of new applications for that reasoning.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Exactly how it this supposed to work?

Here are three paragraphs from a worthwhile but flawed essay from Maziar Bahari, a journalist who was held prisoner by Iran:
In Iran's triangle of power – the Guards, Ayatollah Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – the Guards are becoming stronger than the President and the Supreme Leader. Some are devoted to the ayatollah for religious reasons, but many of them use his status as a religious leader to legitimize their own actions. They also use Mr. Ahmadinejad, a former Guard, to increase their political power.

The Guards have arms and money. They are the country's biggest industrial contractors. They have front companies all over the region and in the West and are involved in smuggling goods into and out of Iran. They answer only to Ayatollah Khamenei.

So can the West, especially the United States, have a dialogue with these people? Yes. Because there is no other choice. The West has to negotiate with Iran on the nuclear program and the stability of Iraq and Afghanistan. Not talking to Tehran doesn't work: The hostile rhetoric and actions of the Bush administration against even the reformist government of former president Mohammad Khatami helped the hard-liners consolidate power. Only by engaging, even with a more radical regime, can the West force Tehran to measure the costs and benefits of dealing with the outside world.
That's a very funny usage of the word "force." Elsewhere Bahari argues that "a nuclear Iran should not be tolerated." And the mechanism for that intolerance?
The U.S. government should use all its resources, including President Barack Obama's charm, to persuade allies, especially China and Russia, to put in place smart sanctions that target Iran's nuclear program and do not affect ordinary Iranians.
Ah, I see, "charm" China and the regime which has already been paid to provide Iran with advanced anti-aircraft missiles into "smart sanctions"! The policy recommendations in this sort of piece never flow from the analysis. Rather, the analysis is intended to build up the writer's supply of credibility as a realistic thinker. He then, of course, proceeds to squander that credibility on glib but wishful thinking. It's a familiar pattern.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

IRIB Radio: "Students want Ahmadinejad to expel Saudi envoy"

In which we learn that "Saudi Arabia has become the perpetrator of the Zionist's colonialist plans":
Students protesting Riyadh's military assault on Yemeni Shias in front of the Iranian Foreign Ministry have called for the expulsion of the Saudi ambassador.

According to IRIB World Service, the university students, who were demonstrating for the second consecutive day on Tuesday, made the demand in a letter addressed to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The letter referred to the anniversary of the 1987 killing of pilgrims.

The students who have gathered in Tehran from all over the country despite the cold weather in the capital plan to continue their sit-in until Wednesday.

One of the organizers of the event told IRNA that the students were there to show their anger at what they believed was a war planned by "Zionist" entities.
There's more than one?
Student spokesman Esmail Tahmouresi said "The Zionists have instigated many wars in places like Afghanistan, Iraq and the Gaza Strip to cover their own losses," adding, "In the war against Shia Muslims in northern Yemen Saudi Arabia has become the perpetrator of the Zionist's colonialist plans." [...]
Some of the latest Iranian press articles attacking Israel were actually about Israel to begin with. At Fars, for instance, a headline proclaims "Ahmadinejad: Israel Incapable of Attacking Iran":
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad underlined on Tuesday that the Zionist regime is too weak to take military action against Iran.

Speaking in a press conference in Brasilia, Ahmadinejad responded to questions on the possibility of Israeli attack to Iran, and said, "Weapons, threats and attacks are means of the past and (such words) belong to those politicians who are lagging behind.

"Those you mentioned do not dare to do such a thing and are too small to take military action against Iran."

The Iranian president noted that the era of military invasions has come to an end "and today is the time for talks and thinking".

"Durable peace and friendship will be achieved in light of justice and those who want to rule the world will never attain their desirable results," he added. [...]
Wait till he finds out about the little device we've implanted in his heart valve! At IRIB we learn that "IRI, Bolivia urge justice-seekers to join hand":
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran and Bolivia are standing together, adding that independent states should stand together for their own progress and for neutralization of imperialists' conspiracies.

The President following his private talks with Bolivian counterpart President Evo Morales and negotiations of the two countries high ranking delegations, said Iran and Bolivia are partners and allies adding that ground for taking big steps to promote relations is at hand.

"We will stand together and I am confident that victory belongs to us," the President said.

He stressed that although Tehran and La Paz are geographically very far, the two nations and governments are close to each other in their viewpoints. [...]
Now you know. Another IRIB article concerns something called a "'Quds in light of Savior' gathering in Mecca."
[...] The conference attended by Islamic scholars as well as representatives of Palestinian resistance groups emphasized on the Palestinian cause and the necessity of unity among Palestinian resistance groups till their final victory over Israel. [...]

The head of Iranian pilgrims said agreements such as Oslo were in effect a way out for the Zionist regime from total collapse. He added that the Zionist regime had always lived with the fear of martyrdom seeking operations on the side of resistance groups. [...]
Of course, Iran may show all sorts of admiration for martyrdom-seeking operations, but advanced military hardware is also useful for thwarting world arrogance plots. A number of current articles in the Iranian press concern those anti-aircraft missiles that Russia is not delivering on schedule. Not to worry, as we learn from Fars, "Iran Able to Replace S-300 with Other Air-Defense Systems":
An Iranian top military commander on Tuesday underlined that Tehran is able to replace the Russian-made anti-aircraft S-300 missiles with other air defense systems in case Russia shrugs off contract terms for the delivery of S-300 missiles to Iran.

"If they do not deliver S-300 defensive system to us, we have replacements and we can supply our operational requirements through innovative techniques and different designs," Deputy Commander of Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base for Coordination General Hassan Mansourian told reporters on the sidelines of countrywide military drills, codenamed "Modafean-e Aseman-e-Velayat 2." [...]
Will Iran get its Russian missiles to go along with the 20 percent enriched uranium it wants from the West? Stay tuned.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

"Leader of the Revolution Will Act to Repair Relations Between Sisterly Egypt and Algeria"

Who better to heal football rifts than Colonel Gadaffi? This story makes me intensely happy, but I wish someone would explain one thing to me: what's a "football much"?
Jana has learnt that the Leader of the Revolution, Chairman of the African Union is to act to heal the rift in the relationship between Egypt and Algeria caused by the fallout from the football much between the teams of the two countries.

However, the Secretary of the Arab League Amr Moussa has appealed to the Leader to intervene in the ongoing crisis given the good status that the Leader enjoys being the Chairman of the African Union and the status the Leader enjoys with both sides.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Kim's mother's exciting battlefield exploits

Of course she had battlefield exploits! You don't think she merely unknitted her woolen underwear to make gloves for the Great Leader, do you?
An anti-Japanese heroine Kim Jong Suk took part in a battle for defending the Chechangzi guerrilla zone on a day of October Juche 24 (1935) for the first time after her joining the Korean People's Revolutionary Army. In the battle, she displayed unparalleled bravery and boldness.

The Japanese imperialists hurled armed force more than 10,000 strong in the battle in an attempt to wipe out the guerrilla zone and the enemy's bombers indiscriminately pounded the zone without letup. The battle was too fierce for the guerrillas to transport ammunition and bombs from the back side of the height.

She, with an insight into the battle situation, went to the back side of the height along with several guerrillas, where she rushed toward the position, carrying two ammunition boxes on her back.

At the very moment a bomb blew up with a terrific explosion in front of them.

After a while the guerrillas came to senses and looked around. But she was not seen there.

She already reached the ridge of the height and called them there.

Then the guerrillas were greatly struck with admiration at the matchless bravery of her who unhesitatingly rushed toward the combat position through the bomb explosion.
The latest Haveil Havalim also valiantly rushes rushed toward the combat position through the bomb explosion.

Iran wants its "air defense" missiles and it wants them now

But Russia isn't delivering at the moment:
Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said on Sunday that Iran is asking Russia to fulfill its commitments in delivering S-300 air defense missiles to Iran.

The S-300 system, which can track targets and fire at aircraft 120 kilometers (75 miles) away, features high jamming immunity and is able to simultaneously engage up to 100 targets.

The truck-mounted S-300PMU1, known in the West as the SA-20, can shoot down cruise missiles and aircraft. It can fire at targets up to 150 km (90 miles) away and travel at more than two km per second.

Iran says Russia should have delivered the air defense system some six months ago and the delay is apparently the result of Western pressure.
They don't want you to think that this leaves them with any gaps in their defenses, however. According to Fars, "Commander Stresses Iran's Ability to Shoot Down Israel's F15, F16 Fighters":
A senior commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) here on Sunday warned of Tehran's crushing response to any potential attack on the country, stating that Iran enjoys the required defensive capability to bring down Israel's advanced military aircrafts.

"Be sure that in case of any aggression, the Zionists' F15 and F16 aircrafts will be trapped by our air defense and will be destroyed," Commander of the IRGC Aerospace Force Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh said.

"And if one of their aircraft manages to escape Iran's air defense - before it can land - the bases from which these aircraft have taken off will be struck by our destructive ground-to-ground missiles," the Commander said in a reaction to Israelis growing war rhetoric against Iran's peaceful nuclear program.

"The Zionists may initiate such a war, but undoubtedly its end will depend on our will," Hajizadeh noted. [...]
And they'll attack more than just "bases." A PressTV article proclaims "If attacked, Iran will target Tel Aviv":
A senior IRGC official warns that Iranian missiles will be on their marks to target the very heart of Tel Aviv in the event of a military attack on the Islamic Republic.

“If the enemy tries its luck and fires a missile into Iran, our ballistic missiles would zero in on Tel Aviv before the dust settles on the attack,” said Mojtaba Zolnour, the representative of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, in the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC). [...]
It is interesting that none of this stresses what Western analysts stress: Iran's efforts to make the nuclear facilities themselves less vulnerable. The Fars article does quote an American think tank study that doubts that a military strike will do much, but without giving a reason why it wouldn't. I guess the home crowd doesn't want to hear that even if there is widespread destruction the nukes will be safe.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I guess this explains the starvation

(North) Korean News regularly features stories about how party officials were inexpressibly moved by something the Great Leader or the Dear Leader or "Anti-Japanese Heroine Kim Jong Suk" (Kim's mother) did. Here an official is "full of admiration" at the "unimaginable scenery" of the Dear Leader's agricultural experiments in his private garden:
It was on a Sunday of June, Juche 53 (1964).

An official who visited the residence of General Secretary Kim Jong Il was perplexed by the unimaginable scenery of the garden.

There grew thick trees of economic value in the garden and grain crops, industrial crops, vegetables as well as fodder grass in patches.

Sowing soybean as the second crop after wheat in a patch, Kim Jong Il kindly invited the official to join in sowing with a hoe.

The leader said that as the after-crop beans sprout leaves not so much, the close planting would not have influence on the sunshine over the crops, indicating the plant-interval to him.

When the official said that it was likely to harvest two tons of soybean per hectare, the leader stated with confidence that he anticipated three tons, not two tons and he would reap 6.5 tons altogether in the first and second crops.

The official was full of admiration. The leader told the official that he had fixed various species of crops as double-cropping ones and done experimental cultivation for a few years, stressing that the reserves for increasing the grain production were double-cropping and close-planting.

The official keenly realized that the patches were not simple experimental ones but a breeding farm for the development of agriculture of the country.
A related (to my imperialist mind anyway) story announces "Russian Government's Food Donation to DPRK Completed."


The great irony of the Ft. Hood shooting is that it demonstrates the vital necessity, sometimes, of jumping to conclusions.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Can we invite the Neturei Karta to our Mosque?

Islam Online issues a ruling on this supremely important question:
Dialogue is always helpful and opens the doors for understanding and cooperation. However, when we choose representatives of any faith, we should try to choose those who represent the mainstream rather than those who say what we like to hear.

Many Jewish and Christian groups invite to their gatherings some Muslims who are critical of Islam and abuse Muslims. Thus, we criticize these groups and tell them that they should invite mainstream Muslims. Consequently We should do the same thing. We cannot have a real dialogue with any religion unless we try to converse with those who represent their main groups. From there, a real understanding and common ground can develop.

There is nothing wrong with meeting with the Rabbis of Neturei Karta, but you should bear in mind that they represent a very small Jewish group. But, again, you should not close the door on others.
It doesn't sound as if the NK are exactly sweeping them off their sandals.

"Media; a lever of int’l Zionism to dominate the world: Ahmadinejad"

That should be a colon after the word "Media," but I'm not fixing ISNA's punctuation for them.
The establishment and employment of media is the lever of the international Zionism to dominate the entire world, said Iran’s President.

During a meeting with members of the Organization of Asia-Pacific News Agencies (OANA) in Tehran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the media which belong to the Zionism magnify the slightest issues in Asian countries to pressurize their governments but do not reflect plenty of the ugliest measures in the US and occupied territories of Palestine.

The media are bombarding humans mind, Ahmadinejad noted and called for OANA to communicate the message of friendship, peace and brotherhood to the world. [...]
What's so haram about peace, love, and understanding, eh? The Fars version of this story is entitled "President Warns Nations about Zionists' Media Plot to Destruct Culture." IRIB also has an article based on the same speech:
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday evening expressed hope that the media of Asia and the Pacific region would overcome Zionist- and the Arrogance-held media in the next few years by appropriate understanding the international scene, resistance and interaction.
Once an "appropriate understanding" of "interaction" takes hold, all Zionist plots are doomed!

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Hungnam Fertilizer Complex Art Squad is back in the news!

It was 20 years ago today
The Great Leader taught the band to play
They never go out of style
'Cause they're supported by the rank and file
So let me introduce to you
The act that's Juche and Songun, too
Hungnam's Fertilizer Art Squad Band . . .

They're takin' it to the stage! As always, the Hungnam Fertilizer Complex is the official People's Fertilizer Complex of the Judeopundit Blog:
Senior party and state officials, the chairpersons of the friendly parties and officials of ministries and national institutions watched an art performance given by the art squads of the February 8 Vinalon Complex and the Hungnam Fertilizer Complex at the People's Palace of Culture on Tuesday.

Put on the stage were such colorful numbers as chorus "My Country Is Eternal Country of the Leader", band music and song "The Glow over Kangson", male solo "My Beloved Factory", singing in unison and story-telling "Hungnam Is Alive with Farm Fields", agitation with song "Are We Living like in Those Days" and drum-beating and song "Let Us Glorify Socialism on Songun Fleet Steed".

The performers sang high praises of the immortal exploits General Secretary Kim Jong Il has performed by wisely leading the grand drive for building a great prosperous and powerful nation through his day and night forced marches for field guidance after kindling the torch to bring about a new revolutionary surge. They also powerfully demonstrated the heroic stamina of the working class dashing ahead like the wind towards the morrow of a thriving nation under the Songun leadership of the party. [...]
The latest Haveil Havalim is kindling the torch to bring about a new revolutionary surge!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

When chrono-fowl collide

The Large Hadron Collider keeps having the wrong sort of collisions. According to a Time article, the latest mishap may have happened when a "passing bird . . . dropped the chunk of bread on an electrical substation above the accelerator . . . " Just a bit of unwanted randomness? Not according to some scientists:
While most scientists would write off the event as a freak accident, two esteemed physicists have formulated a theory that suggests an alternative explanation: perhaps a time-traveling bird was sent from the future to sabotage the experiment. Bech Nielsen of the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen and Masao Ninomiya of the Yukawa Institute for Theoretical Physics in Kyoto, Japan, have published several papers over the past year arguing that the CERN experiment may be the latest in a series of physics research projects whose purposes are so unacceptable to the universe that they are doomed to fail, subverted by the future.
The article goes on to mention some objections to this theory, but in my inexpert opinion, the main problem is that nobody knows what the folks in the future might or might not find objectionable. It's all pure speculation. For all we know, the people in the future may have taken (will being ge-taken haven?) a vote, only narrowly avoiding a resolution to stop the creation of the latest Mattisyahu CD.

I'm picturing all this as actions taken by future people, no doubt missing the "complex mathematics" that this Time article is rendering as a big metaphor for the vast uneducated public. On the other hand:
Nielsen tells TIME, "you could explain it [simply] by saying that God, in inverted commas, or nature, hates the Higgs and tries to avoid them."
You have to wonder why the "inverted commas" are necessary. I often think physics is catching up with religion. That's one way to think about it.

If the Collider is indeed on a collision course with a mysterious vanishing, then someone may have anticipated all this years ago:

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

Adventures in auto-translation

EOZ is very good at sorting out these things. I just like to enjoy them as they are:
Warned Sheikh Raed Salah, head of the Islamic movement in the occupied interior of the 'mythical scheme and deceive' to establish a ring of parks around the Talmudic Al Aqsa Mosque.
Will that keep the Talmudic Mosque from spreading?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fars: "Ahmadinejad Hails West's 'Retreat' on Nuclear Issue"

"Retreat" is exactly right, isn't it?
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the West has retreated in its nuclear dispute with Tehran, as it is no longer talking of suspension of Iran's uranium enrichment activities.

"We have now entered a stage of cooperation. At the moment, one of the key issues is Iran's participation in projects such as the international [nuclear] fuel bank or reactor and plant construction," Ahmadinejad said in a Wednesday night televised interview.

"There is no more talk of suspension. We have reached a stage where we are cooperating, on a high level, with other countries that have the technology through the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)," he was quoted by press tv as saying.

The progress made on talks on the nuclear issue has upset Israel and several European states, as they wanted the so called 'nuclear challenge' to continue so that they could use it to spread propaganda against Iran, Ahmadinejad said.

"Israelis and a number of Western countries are angry about this. They are trying to prevent us from forming cooperation. They want the talks to break down and end in dispute."

Ahmadinejad's comments came after an Israeli military official repeated the regime's past threats against Tehran, saying Tel Aviv was readying all options to try to force Iran to halt its nuclear program. [...]