Thursday, April 30, 2009

Fun facts about the Disputed Terroritories

Which progressives of all stripes will never mention. Arutz Sheva:
IsraelNN.com) A new report from the IDF's Civilian Administration shows that of 293 illegally built structures owned by Jews in Judea and Samaria in 2008, 36 percent or 105 were destroyed. However, of 646 Palestinian Authority Arab-owned structures illegally built on Jewish-owned or state-owned land in Judea and Samaria, only 17 percent or 111 were destroyed. The figures were leaked to the Hebrew-language daily Maariv.

In essence, the report showed the Israeli officials are more than twice as likely to enforce building laws by demolishing buildings when those accused of illegal building are Jewish, rather than Arab.

MK Uri Ariel of Ichud Leumi, who follows the activities of the Civilian Administration, said he was unsurprised by the report. “Sticking our heads in the sand and ignoring illegal Palestinian building is going to get us in big trouble,” he warned. Ariel accused the extreme political left of discriminating against Jews while claiming to act in the name of justice. “The High Court's decisions allowing the eviction of Jews are not just at all, but rather are discriminatory and are used only against Jews,” he said. He called on the government to take note of the results of the previous government's policy regarding illegal building, and to change that policy immediately. The government must start applying the law equally in all sectors, he said.

Meanwhile there is no stay of execution for a Palestinian convicted under the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s Revolutionary Code of Justice for selling land to Jews….but Israel is the ‘apartheid state’…..

Joos take a rest, Chinese blamed instead

I knew the conspiracy mongers would have a field day with the ‘swine flu’ outbreak but I hadn’t expected to see accusations aimed at China for ‘exporting’ the virus. Just goes to show out of the loop I am among the conspiracy-minded. Jerusalem Post:
China has gone on a rhetorical offensive to squash any suggestion it's the source of the swine virus spreading around the world in a campaign that shows its sensitivity over involvement in past outbreaks.

Several Mexican officials were quoted in media reports in the past week saying that swine flu came from Asia, with the governor of Mexico's Veracruz state quoted as saying the virus specifically came from China.

"Driven by ulterior motives, some overseas media have ignored the facts of the epidemic and basic scientific knowledge and deliberately fabricated rumors that this epidemic came from China," Health Ministry spokesman Mao Qun'an said in a statement on the ministry Web site. He said the media reports were "aimed at undermining China's global reputation." The agriculture ministry also panned the reports, saying China couldn't be the source of the outbreak since it doesn't export live pigs to Mexico or the United States.
Of course, there is always the possiblity it will be blamed on Chinese Jews.....

A dinosaur tale

According to a Jerusalem Post report Canada’s National Post will not be publishing a printed Monday edition in an effort to save costs as of June 29th but will carry only an online edition for Mondays. This is allegedly a ‘summer savings’ mode. Now this is really looking like the beginning of the end for the National Post. I realize some of you will cheer but it isn’t only the beginning of the end for the National Post but the harbinger of what is to come for most local newspapers.

I rarely buy the National Post or any other newspaper and I suspect I am not alone in that regard. Twenty years ago, I use to subscribe regularly to newspapers but as the papers started piling up in the blue box (mostly unread) it became just another thing adding to the mess in my home so I canceled my subscriptions.

It use to be when you needed to buy/sell something, look for a job or have a television viewing guide for the week you could not afford not to buy a local paper at least once a week but with literally everything being online from eBay to Craigslist to Workopolis and Monster; newspapers just do not have a place anymore in our lives and instead have become a bane of our recycling hell. Even those who just bought the Saturday editions for the television schedules can opt out of the process and just read the seven day schedule off their television broadcast station courtesy of their local cable company.

I still occasionally buy newspapers when an extraordinary event happens or I have to move and need to wrap my glassware in newsprint but I often find more timely information online or on the telly than I do in print. Bloggers haven’t replaced print journalists and never will until bloggers have the resources that a magazine or newspaper provides, but the place newspapers held in our lives, is gone forever now that life moves online without the fuss or mess.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Why is the Russian Phoenix, who rises from the ashes, always totalitarian in nature?

At least once or twice a week I am reminded to be grateful to my ancestors for leaving ‘Old Europe” behind two generations ago. In the age of Putin and Post-Putin, the totalitarian nature of the Russian state once again rears its ugly racist clutches.

This time it is an outraged Tatar blogger who objected to the forced baptism of Tatar infants by Russian Orthodox priests and expressively against the wishes of the children’s parents. If that wasn’t outrageousness enough, Rafiz Kashapov, a blogger who posted “No to Christianity” has been found guilty of ‘provoking interethnic and inter-religious hostility (contrary to Section 1, Article 282, of the Russian Criminal Code. The Moscow Times:
Last Friday’s conviction in a Naberezhny Chelny court of a Tatar activist who had spoken out against the baptism of Tatar infants by a Russian Orthodox priest without the permission of their parents or guardians has sparked protests from the Tatar Social Center (TOTs) as well as from human and religious rights groups elsewhere.

On Friday, the court found TOTs leader Rafiz Kashapov guilty of provoking interethnic and inter-religious hostility (under Section 1 of Article 282 of the Russian Criminal Code) for his article “No to Christianization!” in which he protested the baptism of infants of Tatar nationality, a traditionally Muslim people, and gave him a suspended sentence of 18 months.

The article appeared on Kashapov’s blog shortly after a Russian Orthodox priest baptized the children on January 16th of this year without the knowledge or agreement of their parents. His article led to protests in several cities of Tatarstan, and his blog was subsequently suppressed by the authorities.

Now, following Kashapov’s conviction and protests by several rights groups, his own Tatar Social Center has issued an appeal to human rights groups, social and political organizations, and the media of Tatarstan and Russia, denouncing this action and demanding that the authorities reverse course.
Shameful, absolutely shameful.

Egyptian government’s ‘pandemic’ handling skills

Ha’aretz:
Egypt began slaughtering the roughly 300,000 pigs in the country Wednesday as a precautionary measure against the spread of swine flu even though no cases have been reported here yet, the Health Ministry said.

(…)It has been decided to immediately start slaughtering all the pigs in Egypt using the full capacity of the country's slaughterhouses, Health Minister Hatem el-Gabaly told reporters after a Cabinet meeting with President Hosni Mubarak..
So thanks to the forward thinking of the Mubarak government, if ‘Swine Flu’ virus is ever directly transmitted from eating pork, the Egyptian people will be prepared and spared…although the mission did have its critics and objectors...
The move immediately provoked resistance from pig farmers. At one large pig farming center just north of Cairo, farmers refused to cooperate with Health Ministry workers who came to slaughter the animals and the workers left without carrying out the government order

One might even be tempted to call the farmers…pigheaded.

Founders, Flounders, same diff

There was a time in American history when racially motivating lynching was a fact of life...Arutz Sheva:
"As I look at you, I couldn't be more proud of the fact that you stepped up to be the founders of a Palestinian state," U.S. Lt.-Gen. Keith Dayton told a battalion in his speech to the troops Monday in Tulkarm. Dayton is responsible for the military training of the PA special forces. The statement was reported by the Reuters news service.

I wonder if anyone enterprising reporters have thought to ask US Lt.-Gen. Dayton what how he fells about the Palestine Liberation Organization's Revolutionary Code of Justice?

The Fatah-Hamas divide

I now believe that it is perfectly reasonable in all walks of life to blame the Jews for all disagreements and difficulties within the Mid-East. If nothing else, it certainly has become mainstream. Arutz Sheva.
IsraelNN.com) The new Israeli government is to blame for the fact that Fatah and Hamas have not been able to reconcile, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said in an interview Tuesday with Al Sharq al-Awsat, a leading pan-Arab newspaper.


There’s more in a similar vein, but really, how very inconvenient it is for Fatah and Hamas that a functioning Jewish state exists. Someone needs to tell Bibi and Yvette to get their act together and live up to their Palestinian responsibilities - post haste.

Okay, maybe we can switch 'swine' to 'taco'?

I am filing this under a swine by any other name is still a swine. Jerusalem Post:

American agriculture officials want to change the name for the virus that's broken out in Mexico and the US from "swine flu" to something else.

The problem, they say, is that the name "swine flu" suggests a problem with pork products. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack pointed out Tuesday that the virus was not food-borne and had nothing to do with consuming pork products. Vilsack said he was concerned that misunderstandings could have a negative impact on farmers who provide pork products to consumers around the world.

Geeze, you would think the agriculture secretary might be a little more informed as eating swine can still cause horrendous health risks – like a parasitic worm living in one’s brain.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Defendants from the outer edges of the human gene pool finally go on trial in France

On of the most horrendous murders of 2006 to make the international press had to be the brutal murder of Ilan Halimi HY”D (may G-d avenge his blood). The defendants have finally been brought to trial in France and Ha’aretz carries the details:

Twenty-seven young people go on trial this week on charges of participating in the brutal torture and killing in 2006 of Ilan Halimi, a young French Jew, in a case that horrified France. Youssouf Fofana, the presumed leader of the group, stands accused of premeditated murder, demanding ransom and acts of torture and barbarism. He faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

French authorities found 23-year-old Halimi naked, handcuffed and covered with burn marks near railroad tracks in the Essonne region south of Paris on February 13, 2006. He died on the way to the hospital after being held captive for more than three weeks.
As some of the accused were minors at the time of the crime, the trial is likely to be held behind closed doors in juvenile court. Ten young women and 17 young men are to be tried.

With the exception of Fofana, the accused are charged with a variety of crimes, including entrapment, kidnapping by an organized group, sequestration by an organized group that resulted in death or failing to assist a person in peril. Fofana and his accomplices had tried to kidnap other people, including some of Jewish faith, with the intent to demand ransom before seizing Halimi.
I remember the original accounts of the Halimi murder but I had no idea the total defendants now numbered 27 (10 women and 17 young men). Obviously they inhabit the outer edges of the human gene pool without a single shred of humanity or conscience between them for a young Jew. I personally hope all who are guilty simply rot in jail for the rest of their unnatural lives - and may it be long and unceasingly miserable.

PLO readies for a lynching

Ma’an News Agencys reports on the Palestinian ‘moderates’ exercising justice according to the Palestinian Liberation Organizations Revolutionary Code of Justice.
Hebron – Ma’an – A special Palestinian Authority (PA) military court in Hebron in the sentenced a Palestinian man to death by hanging after he was found guilty of selling land to Israeli settlers on Tuesday.

(…)The military court held a hearing session on 21 April, on the charge of “leaking lands to Israel.” The PA announced just over a week ago that it is investigating Palestinians who sell land to settlers.

PA courts have convicted Palestinians for collaborating with Israel in the past, usually for providing information about resistance fighters to the Israeli intelligence services. These convictions are based on the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Revolutionary Code.

It’s probably my Zionist Alzheimer’s kicking in, but for the life of me, I can’t remember the last time an Israeli court ordered the execution of a Jew for selling land to an Arab but remember - these are the racists whose plight Palestinian apologistas not only agonize over but regularly defend on a routine basis.

demographics

Sixty-one years after the founding of the Jewish state and the population now officially stands at 7.4 million. Ynet News
On the eve of its 61st anniversary, the State of Israel's population numbers about 7,411,000 people, the Central Bureau of Statistics revealed Monday. According to the figures, the State's population is comprised of 5,593,000 Jews (75.5%), 1,498,000 Arabs (20.2%) and 320,000 people belonging to other groups.

But where would I be if I didn’t offer some food for thought on politicization of Palestinian demographics. Mid-East Forum:
In 2005, an American and Israeli demography team headed by Bennett Zimmerman and Yoram Ettinger confirmed the 2003 findings and, again, criticized both the illegitimate inclusion of Arab emigrants from the Palestinian Authority and the double counting of the East Jerusalem Arab population.[29] The Zimmerman and Ettinger study also revealed that, at the end of 2000, the Arab population in the West Bank and Gaza Strip numbered 2,246,000 people—1,280,000 in the West Bank and about 966,000 in the Gaza Strip.

According to the data provided by the Palestinian Authority at the end of 2005, in contrast, the population in the territories numbered 3,762,005—2,372,216 in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and 1,389,789 in the Gaza Strip.[30] The Palestinian numbers get even stranger: According to estimates by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, in 2006, the population of the Palestinian Authority jumped to 3,952,354[31]—an increase of 190,349 over the previous year, or more than 5 percent in a single year. Not only is this improbable but, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, the rates of natural population growth were half of this: 2.4 percent in 2003, 2.6 percent in 2004, and 2.5 percent in 2005.[32]

In February 2005, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics released a study conducted by Yousef Ibrahim, a professor of geography and population studies at al-Aqsa University in Gaza, which said that the Arab population would reach 6.3 million in 2010, compared to 5.7 million Jews, provided that the current growth ratios continued along the same pattern,[33] consciously utilizing the words of Israeli demographic expert Sergio DellaPergola, who said that "the direction is quite obvious. Before the end of this decade, Jews will become a minority in the lands that include 'Israel,' West Bank and Gaza Strip."[34] The Atlantic, a widely read American monthly, asked shrilly, "Will Israel Live to 100?"[35]

Then, in December 2006, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics issued a statement asserting that a "population dichotomy at 5.7 million is expected at the end of 2010," i.e., that in 2010 the number of Palestinian would be equal to the number of the Jews,[36] a discrepancy of 600,000 in less than two years.

In February 2008, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistic, using data from the Palestinian Authority's December 2007 census,[37] found that the population of the Palestinian Authority reached 3,760,000 people: 1,460,000 in the Gaza Strip and 2,300,000 in the West Bank, including 208,000 in East Jerusalem, an increase of 30 percent from 1997. But, according to these data, the population in East Jerusalem is 2,209 less than it was in 1997. This report provoked harsh criticism from the Palestinian Authority, which demanded that these "distortions" be "corrected."[38] Hatem Abdel Kader, an adviser on Jerusalem affairs to Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad, said he did not believe the Jerusalem figures were reliable and that the Palestinian Authority believed that census takers had failed to visit many households.[39]

Once again, by coincidence, the results of the population census for the end of 2007 were almost identical to the estimates of the Palestinian Authority at the end of 2005. What happened to the 192,354 people that existed according to the estimates of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics at the end of 2006? Two answers are possible: During 2007, there was a massive emigration of Arabs from the Palestinian territories, unprecedented since the Six-Day War, and the results were registered in the population census; or this was a crude manipulation of the data and estimates of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, especially the gaps in their data for 2005 and 2006. The latter is more plausible. As Hassan Abu Libdeh, director of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics in the 1990s, told The New York Times, "In my opinion, [the data] is as important as the intifada. It is a civil intifada."[40] Indeed, such an attitude explains why the Palestinian Authority's Ministry of Health has erased from their Internet site official reports containing demographic data since 2000, which might contradict the Palestinian leadership's current line.

The 2007 census clearly shows that the yearly growth rate of the Arab population, according to a calculation of the annual geometric mean over the last ten years, should have been 2.66 percent. By extending this 10-year period to fourteen years, and basing calculations on the data of the Israeli census bureau for the population of the Palestinian territories for the end of 1993, the population of these areas should, in fact, stand at 2,646,871—1,113,129 fewer than the 2007 Palestinian census. The difference between the likely actual Palestinian population and the results of the two Palestinian censuses (1997 and 2007) is probably around one million people, just as the Zimmerman and Ettinger study showed four years ago. The major data distortion was made in 1997, and then the overstated population number became the basis for the future estimates.
Imagine the scope and size of the fraud if international aid levels were determined based on inflationary demographics...oh, my bad, how could I forget, they often are.

Somalia’s Environmental Mission thwarted by Israelis

2 to 0 for the Israelis. Isn’t amazing how a little Israeli-type initiative goes such a long way? Ynet News



An Italian cruise ship with 1,500 people on board fended off a pirate attack far off the coast of Somalia when its Israeli private security forces exchanged fire with the bandits and drove them away, the commander said Sunday.

Cmdr. Ciro Pinto told Italian state radio that six men in a small white boat approached the Msc Melody and opened fire Saturday night, but retreated after the Israeli security officers aboard the cruise ship returned fire. "It felt like we were in war," Pinto said. None of the roughly 1,000 passengers and 500 crew members were hurt, Melody owner Msc Cruises said in a statement issued by its German branch. Domenico Pellegrino, head of the Italian cruise line, said Msc hired the Israelis because they were the best trained security agents, the ANSA news agency reported.

(…)Saturday's attack occurred about 200 miles (325 kilometers) north of the Seychelles, and about 500 miles (800 kilometers) east of Somalia, according to the anti-piracy flotilla headquarters of the Maritime Security Center Horn of Africa. Pinto said the pirates fired with automatic weapons, slightly damaging the liner, and tried to put a ladder on board. But he said they were unable to climb aboard.

The commander said his security forces opened fire with pistols and the ANSA news agency said the pistols had been kept in a safe under the joint control of the commander and security chief. Cruise line security work is a popular job for young Israelis who have recently been discharged from mandatory army service, as it is a good chance to save money and travel.
Five hundred miles east of Somalia’s coastline…talk about the long reach of Somalia’s environmental warriors.

Sixty One years and still counting

Independence Day is being celebrated in Israel. A great many have said much concerning today far better than I. Furthermore, it is not by accident that the Israeli memorial day for her fallen occurs immediately before the celebration of the founding of the modern state of Israel.

The UN might have held a vote on the Palestine Mandate but it took the blood, sweat and tears of the Jews to make the modern state of Israel a reality. And if there is one thing I would like to convey to my readers about the modern state it is this – the founding of the modern state wasn’t so much about the creation of a new state but the gathering and homecoming of exiles.

Long may the Land of Israel prosper.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Leave it to the Mayor

of Mitchville to find the Taliban Soldier Song…sung by Canadians. Who knows how long it will be up before the little gremlins file a complaint with the nearest Human Rights Tribunal or You Tube, so watch it while you can.



Lyrical Highlight:
Born in Pushistan, trained in Pakistan
Got my weapons from I-ran,
Now I am a member of the Taliban
Ak-47 for thee, Allah got the bullets for me.

Everyone and their grandmother has a 'plan'

In the Israeli-Arab conflict there really are no neutrals, despite the posturing and while it doesn't necessarily surprise me, I remain amazed how literally everyone has a solution...nor lack the chutzpah to offer it. Perhaps, it can be considered fair for the Israelis to offer a 5 point plan for peace to the Chinese as a way of 'resolving' their Taiwanese or Tibetan 'issues'.

Good Grief

The most popular search on my blog in the last 48 hours - 'Amazone Mature Porn'. Here's too hoping all searchers suffered from clicker's remorse.

bringing hope and change to terrorists everywhere

There were three conditions that Hamas was to meet if the elected Hamas led Palestinian Authority was to continue to receive aid from the European and North American governments. Simply put the three conditions were – recognize Israel, renounce violence and agree to abide by former Israeli-Palestinian agreements. Simple really, but still considered, completely unacceptable by the Hamas leadership. Not to worry, the Obama Administration has a proposal before congress which would remove the three elemental requirements. Jerusalem Post
The Obama administration has asked Congress for minor changes in US law that would allow the continued provision of funds to the Palestinian Authority even if Hamas officials become part of a Palestinian unity government, the LA Times reported Monday.

The newspaper said that congressional supporters of Israel were dismayed by the move, quoting Rep. Mark Steven Kirk (R-Ill.) as telling Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at a House hearing last week that it was akin to agreeing to support a government that "only has a few Nazis in it."

According to the LA Times, the Obama administration requested the changes this month as part of an $83.4-billion emergency spending bill that also includes funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The bill would also provide $840 million for the Palestinian Authority and for rebuilding Gaza post-Operation Cast Lead, but the administration is trying to work out how to deliver the aid to Gaza in light of federal restrictions on dealing with Hamas.

US officials claimed that the new proposal didn't constitute recognition of Hamas or aiding the group. Under law, any US aid would require that the PA government recognize Israel, renounce violence and agree to abide by past Israeli-Palestinian agreements.

Although Hamas doesn't meet those criteria, if a Palestinian unity government is established, the Obama administration wants to be able to provide aid as long as the Hamas-backed members of the government meet the three criteria, even if the organization itself does not, according to the paper. Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Burbank) was quoted as saying that the proposal sounded "completely unworkable," even if the individual Hamas-backed officials agreed to abide by US conditions. You couldn't have the leadership of a terrorist organization pick the ministers in the government, with the power to appoint and withdraw them, and answering to them," he said.

I bet you thought the ‘hope and change’ bit was just for Americans only and didn’t include terrorist organizations world wide. Your bad.

Silk purse tax is still a swine’s ear

The Toronto Star is reporting the new ‘blended’ sales tax is a tough sell for the Liberals provincially and the premier has ordered his MP’s to go out and sell it – aggressively.
A backlash is brewing over Ontario's move to a new harmonized sales tax and the Liberals are clearly spooked. The combined sales tax doesn't come into effect until next year, but already is proving to be such a bust with Ontarians that Premier Dalton McGuinty is giving ministers new marching orders to go out and aggressively sell it, the Star has learned.

McGuinty is forcing his cabinet to go on a communications blitz to promote the move that will see Ontario blend its 8 per cent provincial sales tax with the 5 per cent federal goods and services tax.

As of July 1, 2010, Ontarians will pay a blended tax of 13 per cent on hundreds of items that had previously been subject to only the 5 per cent GST. That move will boost the price of items such as gasoline, heating fuel, fast food, newspapers, magazines, taxi fares, dry cleaning and new homes costing more than $400,000, among other things. Fallout was evident last week as MPPs returned to Queen's Park following the Easter break.

Gee, I didn't see this one coming. Here is the thing – you want to sweeten the hand reaching ever deeper into my pocket – cut the provincial sales tax by 3%. A straight ten percent across the board is marginally acceptable but to add an 8% increase to a whole range of customer services and items is simply unacceptable. Think of it as the ATFAT principle in action – a turn for a turn.

Papal watch.

Cats and dogs agree to work together. Ha’aretz:
The Vatican and the Arab League have agreed to work together to promote peace and justice in the world, the Vatican said Friday, after a meeting between Pope Benedict XVI and the league's secretary-general. In a separate meeting, Amr Moussa and the Vatican's foreign minister, Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, signed a memorandum of understanding between both sides, a Vatican statement said.

And the travel itinerary for the Pope’s coming Mid-east tour gets curious and curiouser. Ynet News:
The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem said Sunday that Pope Benedict XVI, who is scheduled to visit Israel soon, will tour and preach at "the al-Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem, which symbolizes the right of return and holds a message of peace, brotherhood, and justice".

Well, well. Holding a mass in a refugee camp in Bethlehem, whereby most of the Christian population has been run out courtesy of the Palestinian Authority and local municipal governance is provided by Hamas’ men, is just too damn special for words. In a way I am not surprised since the Vatican refused to recognize Israel until December 30, 1993. So what’s next for the “Holy See’? How about a papal bull which will instruct Christians to pray towards Mecca…for the sake of inter-faith harmony.

Friday, April 24, 2009

He's our man

According to Ha’aretz, a pro-Palestinian UK group is attempting to get Leonard Cohen to cancel his Israeli concert dates because, well, it’s contrary to Buddhism and Israeli soldiers might attend his concert who also drink, go to clubs and play backgammon with each other. Frackingly unbelievable, I couldn’t make up this stuff if I tried. Now I am starting to believe there is really some kind of mind altering substance in the water in Britain.

Personally, I don’t know how far the UK academics will get with this line of thinking…considering Cohen still considers himself a Jew and did not hesitate to come to Israel during the Yom Kippur war…anyway, he’s our man.

Lyrical highlight - Or if you want to strike me down in anger. Here I stand, I’m your man.

Scientific blarney

Of all the addled-brained studies to fund, this one stands out for the week. Toronto Star:
A new study out of the Hospital for Sick Children found babies whose mothers experienced morning sickness later tested a few IQ points higher than children of mothers who had nausea-free pregnancies.

"In a very popular way it kind of says that this suffering is for a good cause," said Dr. Gideon Koren, a top Sick Kids pediatrician and the senior study author. "So it's very reassuring to know that your severe experience right now is likely to have a good outcome." Indeed, Koren said, the worse the morning sickness, the more pronounced the child's intelligence boost.

"More severe morning sickness as we measure the symptoms predicted better brain development," said Koren, who heads the hospital's Motherisk program. Says Mindel, 38: It's nice to know that it's actually doing some good, even though I feel crappy."

The Sick Kids study, published in the Journal of Pediatrics, looked at 121 women who were divided about equally into three groups. One group was comprised of mothers who had morning sickness and took nothing for it; another of women who took a common antinausea drug and a third who were nausea free. Children of mothers in both morning sickness groups were found to have IQ an average three to four points higher than those born of mothers in the symptom-free group when they were tested between the ages of 3 and 7.

"It's not that the kids of women who did not have morning sickness were mentally (deficient) or anything like that," Koren says. "But on a population level (the IQ difference) meant that the morning sickness itself confers better brain development."


Obviously, the research staff at Sicks Kids has run out of good ideas to study let alone using a sample size of only 121 women…I suppose this is a question of taking your comfort where you can but I will say I have had three children and only had a slight morning sickness with the boys and none with the daughter.

The morning sickness lasted maybe two weeks. It was easily cured by a little carbonated spring water and salted matzos crackers upon rising. My 17 year old daughter has just finished her first year of an honours bachelors program in neuroscience – on an academic scholarship to boot. If she decides to do a graduate program in neuroscience maybe I will suggest she studies the brain patterns of academic researchers for her thesis topic.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Israeli-Settlers tainting the Israel Apartheid Branding Efforts

The Yesha (Judea & Samaria) Civil Rights Association has written a letter to the Israeli Prime Minister demanding he act by pressuring the Palestinian Authority to spare the life of a Palestinian Arab on trial by a special tribunal of the Palestinian Authority in Hebron. His ‘special’ crime – allegedly he sold land to Jews and now the Palestinian Arab man faces the death penalty if convicted.
The organization says that Netanyahu’s government must set an ultimatum: “No negotiations with the Palestinian Authority until this anti-Semitic law is rescinded. This demand takes precedence even over the insistence that the PA recognize Israel as a Jewish state.”

The trial of the Hevron resident in a special PA court began on Tuesday, with the defendant accused of having sold land in the Hevron area to Jews. The Yesha group asks Netanyahu and the ministers to step in to save the man, who is being charged with treason.

Israel’s intervention in the past has caused the PA to release others who had been jailed on suspicion of selling land to Jews. These include Arab-Israelis living in eastern Jerusalem.Orit Strook of the Jewish Community of Hevron, the director of the Yesha Civil Rights group, says, “Israel would never have diplomatic relations with any country that has on its books a law forbidding the sale of land to Jews.”

Her organization’s letter states that the confiscation of Beit HaShalom (Peace House) from its rightful Jewish owners in Hevron several months ago is directly related to the fact that Arabs must fear for their lives when selling to Jews: “The Israeli authorities act as if the Arab sellers are free people, when in fact a gun is pointed at their heads and they must do everything they can to hide their actions – and this is why they claimed after the sale of Beit HaShalom [to Jews] that they never sold it.” “So long as the ‘Palestinian rule of law’ is not uprooted from its source,” the letter concludes, “all the talk about Israeli rule of law in Judea and Samaria has no foothold in reality.” (Arutz Sheva).

So will Dawg et al chose to take a stand beside those religious Jewish settlers fighting to save a Palestinian Arab man’s life and have a racist law struck off the books of the Palestinian Authority or will they go all morally wishy-washy and attempt to justify the upholding of thug’s rights to self-rule? Ah, the progressive conundrum. Of course, they might just choose to ignore it all together.

Chabad House raided in Bolivia

A local Chabad House in Bolivia has been the victim of a police raid for ‘unknown reasons’ and has been ordered closed. Ynet News:
Bolivian police forces raided a Chabad center in the northeastern town of Rurrenabaque a number of times in recent days, ordered its closure and arrested a number of Israeli tourists who were staying there.

Rabbi Aharon Fraiman, who heads the center, told Ynet the police refused to give him a reason for the raid, but rumors throughout the town have linked the police activity to an assassination attempt on the Bolivian president last week.

On Wednesday, after the center temporarily resumed activity, Fraiman, who was almost arrested himself, said this was nothing more than a local dispute: "An anti-Semitic restaurateur who thinks we are hurting his livelihood is doing everything to get us out of here," the rabbi said.

On Thursday, however, the multiple arrests, closure of the center and the local media's coverage of police activity in the area, led the rabbi to believe it was something more: "Apparently it's not him, but something bigger. He doesn't have this much power".

"Rumors floating around say that it has something to do with an assassination attempt on the president," the rabbi said. "But on the other hand, the media is reporting all kinds of other things, like that the Chabad center here is involved in dealing drugs and the like. "Meanwhile, I hired a lawyer here to handle the case, but this is not a law-abiding state, and so far, no one has told us what the commotion is about. They also haven't showed us any closure injunctions."

The emissary told Ynet about one Israeli tourist who was arrested by the Bolivian immigration police, taken to the airport in handcuffs and deported from the country. He also said there were a few others still under arrest.

It’s a real stretch for me to believe a Chabad House is the sight of a drug dealing cartel of Chassidic Jews or at the centre of an assassination plot to kill the Bolivian President. It is far more likely the Bolivian president just finished a copy of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and decided to get pro-active against the ‘elders’ international aspirations but what is far more troubling is the fact that another Chabad house has come under attack.

Hamastan has an offcial bank

You can be forgiven for missing this great milestone in the history of money launderers. Hamas has opened a bank in the Gaza Strip reports Ynet News and its first mandatory customers are Hamas government employees.
The first bank affiliated with the Hamas movement running Gaza opened on Tuesday in the coastal strip which lies outside the Palestinian Authority's control. "We are opening the bank today and are beginning to offer our services to the public," Alaa al-Rafati, head of the National Islamic Bank, told AFP. The National Islamic Bank has $20 million in start-up capital and will operate under Islamic finance rules, he said. With offices on four floors of a building in central Gaza City, the bank will hold the accounts of 6,000 Hamas employees whose salaries are to be deposited in the bank.

Rafati did not say how the Islamist movement acquired the start-up capital in a territory under Israeli embargo since Hamas, which is pledged to the destruction of the Jewish state, violently seized power in 2007. Because of the blockade, which has prevented all but essential humanitarian goods from entering the territory, Gaza's banks have faced a virtually constant liquidity crisis. Rafati said no such problems would plague the new bank. "We have absolutely no crisis of liquidity, be it shekels or dollars. This will allow us to win the confidence of customers."

Although the vast majority of the board of directors are members of Hamas, including Rafati, he said the bank was "a private enterprise aimed at making profit and is not associated to Hamas or to the government in Gaza."

Egad, I hate to think of their customer account service charges. Anyhoo, the Palestinian Authority has refused to issue the bank a license and called for a boycott. How a boycott is suppose to work when the governing authority (and I use this term loosely) makes participation mandatory for all Hamas employees is beyond my ability to reason in Fatah style.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Jihad-ecise

According to this Ynet News report Jihad has moved into mainstream pop culture.
An al-Qaeda-supporting magazine has published workout and dietary tips for extremists planning jihad in countries such as Afghanistan, British newspaper The Daily Telegraph reported Wednesday.

The online English-language paper, called Jihad Recollections, includes photographs of men in white robes with scarves covering their faces performing a variety of squats and sit-ups. It advises supporters to keep in shape so that they can "strike hard" against their enemies.

According to the report, in order to build up arm strength, readers are told to do up to 150 press-ups a day and try to walk on their hands. There are also diet tips which emphasize eating dates and dry crackers and drinking water, especially during Ramadan. "Contrary to what many people believe, you really only need about 32 grams of protein, so don't waste your money on expensive protein milkshakes," the writer adds.

The writer describes it as "un-Islamic" to eat when not hungry simply in order to add weight, as his western fitness instructors had advised him, and claims that he has gained most muscle while fasting.

I might have been concerned per say but fitness advice concerning protein, fasting and diet leaves me snickering instead. Although it is still rather troubling that the publishers don’t feel unduly worried about openly publishing this kind of magazine.

Realtor to Jews equals death sentence for Arabs

At Durban 1 it was resolved Zionism as racism and there is a great deal I could say in response but instead I want to highlight this Ynet News report on the carrying on in the Palestinian Authority.
A special Palestinian tribunal on Tuesday discussed for the first time the sale of lands to Jews by Palestinians, which has made waves in the West since it was first reported by Ynet. The first person put on trial was a Hebron resident suspected of selling lands to Israelis. The prosecution demanded that he be convicted of treason.

The court hearing lasted more than six hours and included a reading of the indictment filed against the man. The prosecution presented documents including the locations of the lands the suspect allegedly sold to Israelis in the Hebron area. Sources in the Palestinian Authority said that if the man were to be convicted of treason, he would most likely be sentenced to death.

There is no similar law in Israel which requires a special tribunal to investigate land sales by Jew to Arabs, Christians or Druze. Let alone prosecute such individuals - nor is there ever the possibility of a death sentence for any Jewish land dealer who has sold land to a non-Jew. But remember, Israel is the alleged apartheid state.

Norwegians walking in the footsteps of the Mullahs

Maybe Norwegians and Iranians have much more in common on first blush than one would immediately assume.

For example, take this Ha’aretz report on the Iranians:
Interpol says it is studying a request from Iran for 25 Israeli officials to be placed on its most-wanted list over Israel's offensive in Gaza. The international police agency says it took the unusual step of confirming the request publicly, as Iranian government officials have made their request public. Interpol says in a statement released Tuesday that its legal team is studying the Iranian request for the issuance of 25 red notices, the highest-level alert Interpol issues. The Lyon, France-based agency says it received the request Saturday.

And contrast it with this Ynet News report on the recent antics of a group of Norwegians lawyers:
A group of Norwegian lawyers filed a complaint Wednesday accusing 10 Israelis of war crimes in Gaza under the country's new universal jurisdiction law, officials said.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and opposition leader Tzipi Livni were among those named in the complaint, the lawyers said. Chief prosecutor Siri Frigaard told The Associated Press that she will now determine if there are grounds for charges or a police investigation. The Israeli Embassy did not immediately respond to a request for comment. (AP)

Then there is the Foreign Ministry of Norway’s repeated funding and financing of the extremists from Peace Now who have never met a Jew they wouldn’t demand be evicted or thrown out of from their home – while the Iranians funnel funds to Hamas who never claim to have met a Zionist they wouldn’t kill. Isn’t it all, really just a matter of degree? Which, no doubt, time will probably resolve.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Irony of Explusion

Ynet News is reporting that the UN has expelled a ‘large number’ of members from a Jewish student group from UN Durban conference on racism for disrupting a hate-fest screed by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Apparently, the most appropriate response when confronted with a full-tilt boogie of hate at a UN conference on racism is to listen quietly without comment or objection...

The World Needs more Israeli and not less

The most remarkable thing about the first day of the UN sponsored conference on racism was not the hate speech screed given by the leader of Iran or the clowning given by protestors to his speech. Nor would I characterize the walk-out given by the few remaining western nations as remarkable when Ahmadinejad hit his boogie of hate for the Jewish people.

The most remarkable feature of the first day of the conference was the belief that Durban 2 would be any different from Durban 1 when going into the conference most of the players committed to the conference still clung to their same demons. Here is a basic truth; if the Jewish people didn’t exist then the world would then have a need to invent them.

Does racism exist in Israel? Yes, but here’s the difference. The most fundamental characteristic of Israeli society is that it has to be the most self-critical and inward looking society established in the modern world. For every ill of Israeli society; there are literally thousands upon thousands of internal critics waging a ruthless campaign in the public forum to right any wrong or perceived wrong, and unlike the vast majority of dissents from totalitarian societies, these are not powerless players or merely voices crying out into the wilderness. The biggest champion of anyone’s rights in Israel, remain the Israeli people themselves.

Until the vast majority of participates in any UN conference on racism are willing to go full-tilt Israeli and turn the mirror on themselves as ruthlessly as the Israelis do on a regularly basis; these UN conferences on racism will remain nothing more than the public aggrandizement of hate and bigotry for the ‘other’.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Not even a Canjet plane in Mo'Bay is immune from hijacking - Update

The Canjet hijacking in Mo’Bay has been resolved without the loss of life and the hijacker has been safely taken into custody. Whatever lapses occurred late night in the Sangster International Airport will hopefully be addressed and resolved in the immediate future. The Prime Minister of Jamaica, Bruce Golding, has promised a full investigation into the incident. On Jamaica’s side, it has all the appearances of a ‘one-off’ incident.

The Jamaican Gleaner has a small piece on the preliminary inquiry into the background of the hijacker, Stephen Fray:
Stephen Fray is being described as jovial, timid and reserved by friends and members of his community in Albion, Montego Bay. The 21 year old is a former student of the Mount Alvernia Preparatory School, Cornwall College and graduated from the Montego Bay Community College last year.

He lives with his father and grandmother in the quiet residential Albion community and is viewed by neighbours as polite and helpful. But the Gleaner Power 106 News has learnt that he has been dealing with serious personal issues. Its understood that he was upset because of a failed relationship.

Fray was an avid track and field athlete while he attended Mount Alvernia Prep and excelled at academics. The Fray family is renowned for business in Montego Bay. Stephen’s grandfather once operated a furniture store, and some of his other relatives are said to operate their own businesses. Its understood that Stephen’s father is a licensed firearm holder and his sister is employed to the Sangster International Airport.

This suggests Stephen Fray didn’t come from an underclass or under privileged background. Although I must say, having survived a few ‘failed’ relationships in my day; hijacking a plane to go to Cuba does rather strike me as a rather novel approach to dealing with a failed relationship…live and learn I suppose.

The next time you hear the phrase "the Right of Return"

Ha’aretz is carrying a report issued by the World Bank on the woefully inadequate water infrastructure within the Palestinian Authority and the Gaza Strip and calling for Israelis to give it up rather than direct the Palestinian Authority and the Gaza Strip to start drilling deeper wells and spend their budgets on improving water infrastructure rather than on ‘security’ needs.

Regardless of the cause, this is one of the primary reasons why if a Palestinian state where to be established the Palestinian refugee camps throughout the Arab world will never be emptied. The land cannot maintain an influx of several million people nor will any Palestinian government allow the return of several million Palestinians to lands under its control. It would be national suicide.

One of the major hurtles in negotiations of the Palestinian leadership is the refusal of the leadership to admit it and give up the whole “right of return”. Now, if the Palestinian end game was the establishment of a Palestinian state whereby the Jews were really driven from the land into the sea - then there’s room for the ‘right of return’ -it just has no place given current realities. T’is but one of many ironies which abound in this conflict.

Never again, until the next time

Considering Holocaust Remembrance Day is upon us I thought I would post this You Tube video of a Hamas Islamic cleric who had previously participated in an international Congress of Imams and Rabbis for Peace or perhaps it was a spelling error and the conference should have been called Imams and Rabbis for Pieces. Anyhoo, let’s roll to the video of the Hamas Imam in action which was broadcasted recently on Hamas TV.



If there is one thing which has made a difference in the rounds of anti-Semitism it is simply this – the Jews now have the IDF (and Torah - depending on your point of view.) This is what stands between now and the next round of purging the world of Jews.

In other news, the US State Department has come out with a report which states…
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people as a condition for renewing peace talks is unacceptable to the United States, the State Department said during special envoy George Mitchell's visits over the weekend to Ramallah and Cairo. The State Department released statements saying that the United States would continue to promote a two-state solution. (Ha’aretz)


It might just be me, but I really don’t see where the US State Department has a say in setting the conditions or pre-conditions for either the Israelis or Palestinians side, and that very notion, the US has the right to determine what each side will negotiate would more than likely torpedo any sucessful conclusion of negotiations between either party...unless of course, the US believes it can create a mythical ‘peace process’ which will only exist on paper in the US. And good luck with that attitude.

Not even a Canjet plane in Mo'Bay is immune from Hijacking


I really never would have thought a Canjet plane in Jamaica and enroute to Halifax would be a prime target for a hijacking but it just goes to show one never really knows. The Toronto Star.
MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica – A Canadian plane bound for Halifax from Jamaica was taken over by a gunman said to have "mental issues" and was holding five members of the crew hostage early Monday.

Elizabeth Scotton of the Sangster International Airport said that all passengers were safe but Canjet airline said all members of the crew were still being held.
CNN reported there were five employees of the Nova Scotia-based airline still on the plane with the gunman.

"There are no passengers involved at this time, and there's no passengers on board the aircraft," Scotton said in a telephone interview with The Canadian Press. She said the situation is still ongoing, adding that the Jamaican police were on the scene. She said no injuries have been reported. Canjet said in a statement that 182 passengers and crew were scheduled to be on the flight. Scotton had earlier said most of the passengers had not yet boarded the flight when the situation developed on the tarmac.

Unconfirmed reports said the gunman forced his way through security as passengers were boarding and that a shot was fired. Negotiations were underway with the gunman.
Daryl Vaz, Jamaica's information minister, told CNN the gunman was believed to be a young Jamaican man in his 20s with "mental issues." He said the man was demanding to be taken to Cuba. Vaz said the man's father had been brought in to assist with negotiations. He said two crew members have already been allowed to leave the aircraft.
The scheduled flight was due to arrive in Halifax via a stopover in Cuba, and if the hijacker had just bought a ticket, he could have gotten off the plane in Cuba without the fuss.

Here is to hoping the Jamaican Constabulary resolves this situation without harm to the crew or anyone else for that matter.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday Bardism

Ynet News is reporting
Legendary singer Leonard Cohen will hold one concert in Israel on September 24, three days after his 75th birthday. Cohen will perform at the Ramat Fan Stadium as part of his current European tour. Cohen is due to launch his North American tour on April 1 and then continue to Europe at the end of May. News of the concert was recently published on the singer's official website and representatives of the producer who will bring him to the Holy Land confirmed the report to Ynet.

So since Cohen will be spending his post-birthday performing in Yisrael, I thought it was only fitting to choose the song he wrote while entertaining Israeli troops in the Sinai during the Yom Kippur War. Rumors has it, that Cohen and Ariel Sharon (who apparently was a big fan) shared a bottle of cognac together.



Lyrical highlight:

And may the spirit of this song,
May it rise up pure and free.
May it be a shield for you,
A shield against the enemy.

Should it be called a pause or a lull?

The sad part about the ongoing rocket attacks being launched via Hamas in the Gaza Strip into Israel is how little news play each missile launched gets.

Usually, random attacks barely make a blip on the news feeds unless it causes spectacular damage or injury. Believe it or not, a two kassams have hit Israel in less than 24 hours. Arutz Sheva carries the report.

Warming my Canadian Capitalistic heartstrings

There is nothing I like better as a Canadian than learning of another self-made Canadian national making it big in the world. Jerusalem Post:

Yasser Abbas, the son of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, revealed this week that he's a self-made millionaire who started his own business shortly after the signing of the Oslo Accords.

In an interview with the Dubai-based Al-Aswak.net economic magazine, Abbas's son, who was named after former PA leader Yasser Arafat, also declared that "a majority of Palestinians," including himself, "collaborate with Israel." Yasser Abbas's remarks raised many eyebrows in Ramallah, where one PA official described the interview as "scandalous and harmful." "It would have been better if Yasser did not speak out, especially about his wealth," the official told The Jerusalem Post. "His comments have embarrassed the Palestinian leadership."

In the interview, the first of its kind, the 46-year-old Yasser, who is a Canadian national, claimed that 25 percent of his income went to the PA budget. In return, he said, the PA government had never offered him so much as a free airline ticket or one pill of Aspirin for his daughter.

He revealed that the PA owed him a lot of money, but that he was unable to use his influence and status to collect the debt as he wished to avoid being accused of exploiting his father's position. "I worked very hard to collect my fortune," he said. "I became wealthy before my father was elected president and I will continue to do business after his term in office expires."

The son also revealed that he owns a number of companies (Falcon Trading Group) with an annual income of $35 million. He complained, however, that he had never received any privileges due to the fact that he's the son of the PA president. He said that he first arrived in the PA territories in 1996, obtained a PA-issued ID card and established his first construction company - First Option - with a relatively modest capital. He said that his business was so successful that within a short period of four years he established a major real estate firm. One of his smaller companies, Falcon Tobacco, has a monopoly over the marketing of US-made cigarettes such as Kent and Lucky in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, he added.

I wouldn't be surprised to learn if his construction company built a settlement or two in his day. Yasser really should talk to Suha Arafat and learn the ins-outs of how to collect from the Palestinian Authority.

But Abbas will know he made it into the big leagues, when Hamas suits him in civil court, just like all the other big tobacco manufacturers. I’d love to see that statement of claim…no doubt he will be accused of working with the ‘Zionist overlords’ in destroying the health of the Gazans.

I have to ask – is there anyone from the Middle East who doesn’t have Canadian citizenship yet?

About that Jewish State Thingy

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu lays it out the Israeli ‘pre-condition’ pursuant to any negotiation with the Palestinian Authority to US envoy reports the Jerusalem Post:
Palestinian recognition that Israel is a Jewish state is a fundamental element for any talks between the two parties, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told visiting US envoy George Mitchell on Thursday evening.
Seems almost like an oxymoron to claim Israel was anything other than the Jewish state but the Palestinian Authority has never let anything like truth get in the way of their official positions and the official PA spokesman’s response was not only quick in coming, but, oh so predictable.
Ahead of US envoy George Mitchell's arrival in Ramallah on Friday morning, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's spokesman blasted Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who told the envoy Thursday that Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state was a fundamental element for any talks between the two parties. "The news Israeli leadership is setting obstacles in the way of a solution to the conflict," he said.

Don’t let me leave you under any illusions that this is anything other than the position the PA chairman has articulated so many times in the past. Ha’aretz:
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas reiterated his refusal on Saturday to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, Israel Radio reported. "Historically, there are two states - Israel and Palestinian. Israel has Jews and other people, and this we are ready to recognize, but nothing else," the radio quoted Abbas as saying shortly after he landed in Saudi Arabia after brief stops in Egypt and Jordan.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

the colour of your nettle

David Pryce-Jones highlights the case of American-Iranian Roxana Saberi which sounds achingly familiar to an old Canadian one.
The case of Roxana Saberi is extremely troubling. She has dual American-Iranian nationality, and in the eyes of the Iranian authorities that fits her up perfectly for a political experiment. According to press reports, she was freelancing for the American broadcaster National Public Radio until 2006 when she had her credentials revoked. Since then, she has been in Tehran preparing for a master's degree and doing research for a book. Earlier in the year she was arrested, charged with buying a bottle of wine and, of course, being a spy. At a one-day trial she was found guilty, and is now in the dreaded Evin prison awaiting her sentence.

Pryce-Jones goes on to speculate this is an Iranian test of the Obama Administration:

The Iranians are testing the frame of mind in Washington. They have heard President Obama lamenting over past American policy, and offering change, indeed pleading for friendship. Negotiations are in the air. It is even being suggested that in the event of agreeing to negotiations the Iranians need not suspend their nuclear development, hitherto a condition for proposed talks. The mullahs are in the process of discovering whether Washington might be willing to make further concessions. Hillary Clinton has expressed “deep concern” over Roxana Saberi, and if weasel words of the kind are the sum total of Washington's response then the conclusion will be that the United States can be pushed into abandoning its national interest and instead pursuing a policy of appeasement of the mullahs, in spite of their warmongering quite as evidently as the Nazis.

I suspect Pryce-Jones is right and the Iranians are testing the waters by pushing the diplomatic envelop. The question becomes - will the Obama Administration blow, suck, and swallow, like Canada or Britain has done in the recent past, or will the US Admin show a spine? I am betting on blow, suck and swallow but I am hoping I am wrong.

UNIFIL Arrests Nasrallah....only in Pharaoh’s dreams

It is no secret I openly favour the Lebanese over most other Arab cultures – well that is - when there are not killing each other, but I think I might have to revise my favourites list somewhat, if this Egyptian plan gets off the ground. Ynet News:
The Lebanese daily An-Nahar reported Thursday a group of Egyptian jurists have begun drafting a legal document that may lead to the indictment of Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah and his deputy Sheikh Naim Qassem for conspiring to commit a crime and planning acts of aggression and terror on Egyptian soil.

And the best part –
The sources said Cairo would not hesitate to issue an official arrest warrant application for the Hizbullah leaders, and may even turn Lebanese authorities and Interpol and ask that they take the necessary measures to arrest Nasrallah and Qassem and have them extradited to Egypt.


Okay, what a joke – Lebanese authorities arresting Nasrallah on an Interpol warrant. The Egyptians would be better off trying to pull-off some kind of Mossad sting operation….okay, maybe its all just a pipe dream…but it is a nice one and better than the bastard deserves.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Well, well, my, my, the Bear has a change of mind

At first, I was quite snarky about (Yvette) Lieberman being named as Israeli Foreign Minister, and then came the change of heart. Now I am thinking the dividends of having Lieberman as FM might already be starting to pay-off. Last week Russia signed the deal for Israeli drones and this week, Russia has announced it will not sell the S-300 air defense system to the Iranians. Ynet News
Russia is not currently implementing its planned sale of sophisticated S-300 air defense systems to Iran, a top official with the state office for arms sales told Interfax. "Nothing is happening. Supplies are not taking place," said Alexander Fomin, deputy head of the Federal Service for Arms Cooperation, at an arms fair in Rio de Janeiro.

Russia's plans to provide the systems to Iran have attracted criticism from the United States and Israel, neither of which have ruled out attacks on Iran's controversial atomic facilities. The comment came after an unnamed official at the same agency said last month delivery of the defense systems, intended to shield key areas from attack, would depend on the "developing international situation and the decision of the country's leaders."

The Ynet article goes on to suggest Russia’s change of heart has more to do with international pressure being leveraged against the sale and the new, warmer friendlier ties with the US – which I find no evidence of. If anything, I would say the Russians have been much more dismissive of the Obama Administration. I am betting it has more to do with a Lieberman/Israeli connection.

Thoughtless Eating

The Globe and Mail has an article on what to avoid in dining out for ‘healthy eating'.

The first tip kind of blows me away –
“To prevent overordering and overeating, don't arrive hungry. Don't skip breakfast or lunch in an effort to save calories. Eating a mid-morning and/or midafternoon snack will also help curb your appetite for lunch and dinner.”
Why bother to eat at all if I am not hungry? Truly, what is the point of dining out and ordering a meal in a restaurant if one isn’t hungry? I just don’t get that.

Anyways, onward with all the ‘thou shall”whatevers or not.
Avoid calorie-laden starters such as creamy dips, breaded chicken wings and anything deep fried. Lower calories appetizers include soup (broth based, not cream based), side salad (minus bacon, cheese and croutons), shrimp cocktail or smoked salmon. To avoid extra calories, say no to the bread basket.

Menu items that are fried, basted, braised, au gratin, crispy, escalloped, pan-fried, pan-seared, sautéed, stuffed and butter-brushed are usually high in fat and calories. Look for broiled, grilled, poached, steamed or baked items. Choose tomato-based pasta dishes rather than ones made with creamy alfredo or rose sauces.

Salad entrees that come laden with cheese, bacon and plenty of dressing can have more fat and calories than an all-dressed burger. Ask for salad dressing to be served on the side so you can control how much you use.

Always ask if a smaller portion is available. If not, take half of your meal home. Instead of a large entree, order two appetizers, or an appetizer and a salad, as your meal. Or share an entree. Many steak dinners weigh eight to 10 ounces - a perfect share size.

Stay clear of higher sodium menu items described as pickled, marinated, smoked, barbequed, teriyaki, soy sauce, broth, miso, gravy, bacon and, of course, salted or salty. Sauces, ketchup, mustard and pickles add considerably to the sodium content of a meal. Request them separate from your meal and use them sparingly.

Oy vey. If I had to eat like this I would never eat out again. Here’s the deal, eat her way and all the pleasure goes out in dining out or you can eat my way – go Greek

or Lebanese - and enjoy yourself without the fuss or muss.

Ahoy

I realize it’s all the rage in some circles to paint Somalian pirates as a kind of environment Robin Hoods but does an attempted hijacking of a food aid convoy really qualify?
MOMBASA, Kenya – Somali pirates fired grenades and automatic weapons at an American freighter loaded with food aid but the ship managed to escape the attack and was heading Wednesday to Kenya under U.S. Navy escort, officials said.

Despite President Barack Obama's vow to halt their banditry, and the deaths of five pirates in recent French and U.S. hostage rescue missions, brigands seized four vessels and over 75 hostages off the Horn of Africa since Sunday's dramatic rescue of an American freighter captain.

One pirate declared Wednesday they are grabbing more ships and hostages to prove they are not intimidated by Obama's pledge. "Our latest hijackings are meant to show that no one can deter us from protecting our waters from the enemy because we believe in dying for our land," Omar Dahir Idle told The Associated Press by telephone from the Somali port of Harardhere. (Yahoo News)
One of the greatest thieves (I ever met) use to justify her thievery by suggesting - if the owners didn’t want their property stolen it should not be left out on the shelves…something tells me the Somalian pirates have a touch of the same attitude.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

In defense of pirates…well, well, that didn’t take long at all.

Stageleft points us to an Independent article in which Somalian piracy is romanticized as being a natural response to the environmental rape of the Somalian coast by the appropriate forces of bad guy ‘others’.
The people our governments are labelling as "one of the great menaces of our times" have an extraordinary story to tell – and some justice on their side. (…)In 1991, the government of Somalia collapsed. Its nine million people have been teetering on starvation ever since – and the ugliest forces in the Western world have seen this as a great opportunity to steal the country's food supply and dump our nuclear waste in their seas.

Yes: nuclear waste. As soon as the government was gone, mysterious European ships started appearing off the coast of Somalia, dumping vast barrels into the ocean. The coastal population began to sicken. At first they suffered strange rashes, nausea and malformed babies. Then, after the 2005 tsunami, hundreds of the dumped and leaking barrels washed up on shore. People began to suffer from radiation sickness, and more than 300 died.

(…)Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the UN envoy to Somalia, tells me: "Somebody is dumping nuclear material here. There is also lead, and heavy metals such as cadmium and mercury – you name it." Much of it can be traced back to European hospitals and factories, who seem to be passing it on to the Italian mafia to "dispose" of cheaply. When I asked Mr Ould-Abdallah what European governments were doing about it, he said with a sigh: "Nothing. There has been no clean-up, no compensation, and no prevention."

At the same time, other European ships have been looting Somalia's seas of their greatest resource: seafood. We have destroyed our own fish stocks by overexploitation – and now we have moved on to theirs. More than $300m-worth of tuna, shrimp, and lobster are being stolen every year by illegal trawlers. The local fishermen are now starving. Mohammed Hussein, a fisherman in the town of Marka 100km south of Mogadishu, told Reuters: "If nothing is done, there soon won't be much fish left in our coastal waters."

Except there is no proof of such activity and considering the level of piracy overall, I suspect there never be. Call it a failure of imagination on my part but I cannot conceive of a situation whereby a captain of a fishing trawler would deliberately choose to fish off the coast of Somalia given the piracy situation of the last 7-8 years.

And of course, the so-called radiation sickness might have more to do with the hijacking of this kind of cargo rather than ‘nuclear dumping’ in the front yard.
(The Times)
A tense standoff has developed in waters off Somalia over an Iranian merchant ship laden with a mysterious cargo that was hijacked by pirates.

Somali pirates suffered skin burns, lost hair and fell gravely ill “within days” of boarding the MV Iran Deyanat. Some of them died.

Andrew Mwangura, the director of the East African Seafarers’ Assistance Programme, told the Sunday Times: “We don’t know exactly how many, but the information that I am getting is that some of them had died. There is something very wrong about that ship.”

The vessel’s declared cargo consists of “minerals” and “industrial products”. But officials involved in negotiations over the ship are convinced that it was sailing for Eritrea to deliver small arms and chemical weapons to Somalia’s Islamist rebels.

One more thing, I recognize it’s all the rage to call Somalia’s pirates Muslim, and some of them might very well be, but I am not sure how the religious beliefs (or non-beliefs) of the pirates is germane to the discussion. If I steal, kidnap or hijack; is it the result of my religious indoctrination or merely a failure of character on my part?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Thou shall not covet the Toymakers toys

A priest in England has learned why one doesn’t must with the Toys – The UK Telegraph reports Playmobile is taking legal action against a priest who arranged with ‘passion’ using their toy figures:

Frankly, I’m not surprised, as any toy manufacturer who thought the creation of a ‘Check Point Security’ playset would be appealing to children is not a toy manufacturer I would personally mess with.


On the other hand, there is really something a little gruesome with the whole concept of creating a ‘playset’ of a crucified Jesus for children to play with….

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Geneva–ed

Back during the Operation Cast Lead there were many reports of the IDF specifically targeting mosques. This had a frighteningly predictable result - cries of ‘war crimes, tisk, tisk’ from the usual human rights for everyone but Jews crowd. The IDF issued report after report of gunmen either using the mosques for cover to launch attacks from or the use of the mosque as an ammo dump for bombs but nary a word or outrage for Hamas’ flagrant abuse of a ‘religious’ holy place as cover for a factory of death.

So today, I offer this report of a mosque being used not only as a storage dump for bombs but as a bomb making facility – and not in the Hamas occupied Gaza Strip but in the heart of the Palestinian Authority. Arutz Sheva:
IsraelNN.com) Hamas terrorists in Kalkilya built a large supply of bombs and stored them in a local mosque without raising suspicion from local Palestinian Authority armed forces who represent the rival Fatah faction. However, the terrorists were out of luck on Wednesday, Passover eve, when a simple electric shortage gave away their plans.

The shortage caused a small fire in the mosque, bringing PA forces to the building, where they found bombs ready for use and large cannisters of bomb-making materials. The mosque was closed down, and PA sappers removed the explosives.

The bombs were then turned over to the IDF, which sent experts to detonate the weapons in a controlled explosion. A captain in the PA forces told Israeli journalists that the mosque had been used to both produce and store the bombs. “It was a huge weapons lab,” he said. Four people have been arrested in connection to the incident, he said, two of them members of Hamas and two “everyday citizens.”

Charming, absolutely charming.

So much for the Israeli Boycott

The worldwide Israeli boycott doesn't seem to be making much of an impression on anyone but the British…who have a long painful history of anti-semitism anyway. Ynet News:
The Israeli product's image abroad appears to particularly positive: A comprehensive study conducted by the Foreign Ministry in the world's 13 biggest markets revealed that 59% of consumers in those countries hold a positive attitude towards products made in Israel. Thirty-one percent of the respondents said that knowing a product is Israeli would make them purchase it. Only 2% said they would not purchase a product because it was made in Israel.

Eight percent said they would be encouraged not to purchase a product if they knew it was made in Israel, and 31% said this fact would not influence their decision on whether to buy the product or not.

The study was held among 5,215 people in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, Russia, China, India and Japan. The survey showed that Israeli products in the high-tech, software, food and medicine industries are considered products of high-quality and that the attitude towards them is significantly positive.

Foreign Ministry officials said that the findings of the survey, conducted in the last quarter of 2008 by the international TNS company, show that despite the calls for a boycott, Israeli products will be perceived as high-quality products and that this stance is not influenced by ideological views.

Apparently, tourism to Israel isn’t significantly impacted either, but of course, once again it was only the Brits who held any significant high negatives against traveling to Israel. In other news, the Russians have signed the deal to buy Israeli drones.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Perspective is everything in life

I keep telling my boys Frummer chicks are hip. This usually makes their eyes roll and this pained expression crosses their face like they don’t believe me…. My son found this video and I decided to share. The problem is the rap is kinda catchy and now I can’t get it out of my head.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Darts, Laurels and the Chassidic Smugglers


Last night I went to pick up my favourite Israeli wine and discovered the price had increased. I knew I should have bought it last week but I was feeling tired and not in the mood to cart bottles home. Sure, I was probably lucky to be able to get it for any price given the recent run on Israeli wines but to those bloodsuckers who run the LCBO; I have high hopes no matter what holiday you celebrate it bring you to grief for raising the price before a major holiday. A big shout out of thanks to Metro groceries for stocking up on Matzah…and then lowering the price in massive sale. My son, who eats this dry stuff by the case, thanks you as well.

There are a great many things which come to mind when one thinks of Chabad and its worldwide network of outreach but ‘accomplished smugglers’ was not ever one I thought associated with the organization’s resume. Apparently I will have to adjust my thinking. Ynet News:
Members of the Chabad organization smuggled a huge quantity of matzot into Iran last week in order to enable local Jews in the Islamic Republic to celebrate the Passover according to tradition.

Some 20,000 Jews currently live in Iran. The authorities allow them freedom to practice their religion, but forbid the import of Israel-made products to the country, an act that could cost a person three years imprisonment or the revoking of his passport for five years. The import ban causes a problem for local Jews, who are unable to bake enough matzot to feed the entire community. As a result, Chabad launched a secretive operation and smuggled one ton of matzot into Iran.

The matzot were manufactured in Ukraine, and then delivered to a neighboring country of Iran. From there they were transported into the country through a border crossing where security is known to be relatively loose. Nevertheless, Chabad took no unnecessary risks and replaced the matzot's original packages, which bore Hebrew letters, with blank packages ahead of the delivery.
Kol hakavod!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

The Big Sleep

For the past 5 years or so I have had a great deal of trouble sleeping longer than 4-5 hours at a stretch. This isn’t so much an issue when I am on holidays or weekends as I can nap throughout the day. The downside of spending extra time sleeping on the weekends meant I wasn’t nearly as productive as I wanted to be.

Weekdays exhausted me almost beyond measure. I would come home, feed the family and generally pass right out only to awaken around 1am or 2am, and rather than struggle fruitlessly trying to go back to sleep, I would get up and move around.

Of course, this meant I was suddenly exhausted and ready for sleep around 6am – just the time I had to be getting myself and the family ready for the day. I would soldier on and be almost dead on my feet by 2pm. The hours between 2pm and 3pm were a special torment for a woman who spends most of her working day looking at a computer screen.

Anyway, a chance encounter with the wisdom of an old rabbi, suggested my problem was I wasn’t drinking enough water. To correct the problem I should make sure I drink a large glass of water before bed and immediately after I washed my hands upon rising I should drink another large glass of water – before coffee even.

I thought it was a daft idea as I drink plenty of water throughout the day but I though why not try his cure? I’ve tried just about everything else and it didn’t seem like it would hurt. So I gave it a shot and for the first time in 5 years I have managed to sleep on average 7 hours or more consistently in the last two weeks. All of which is my long winded way of saying there will be no more posts until later on in the day because I was busy sleeping rather than blogging this morning.

Monday, April 06, 2009

The IDF Blood Libel

Guess which newspaper could possibly wind up in court? Again.
Arutz Sheva:
(IsraelNN.com) Forty-six IDF reservists who fought in Operation Cast Lead in Gaza have sent a letter to Attorney General Menachem Mazuz asking him to investigate the Hebrew-language daily Haaretz for slander. The reservists have accused the paper of publishing serious accusations against IDF soldiers without taking the time to examine the claims.

Haaretz published testimony from two reservists who fought in Gaza who claimed to have witnessed war crimes, including the shooting of an innocent woman and her children. However, after the claims had gained worldwide media coverage, the two clarified that they had not witnessed the incidents in question, but rather had heard about them from others.

No eyewitnesses to the alleged incidents were found and an IDF investigation revealed that the woman and children who were supposedly shot had actually been redirected and sent unharmed away from the scene of battle.

"Professional journalism should include clarifying whether those making serious accusations were eyewitnesses or not before publication,” the reservists wrote. “Unfortunately, it turns out that Haaretz did not conduct even the most minimal fact check before publishing these false accusations.”

The soldiers clarified that they are not against the publication of articles criticizing IDF actions or policies. “We believe that public discourse is critical to our society... We believe that whenever soldiers are found to have violated orders or behaved immorally, in Cast Lead or any other operation, the problem should be given public exposure and dealt with,” they wrote. "However, this does not justify or permit the serious and sweeping accusations against IDF combat soldiers as a group as they appeared in Haaretz,” the letter continued.
I cannot think of a more deserving newspaper for a lawsuit than Ha’aretz.

Ain’t that a shame….well, maybe not.

Let’s file this under what could possibly go wrong?:

World Tribune:
GAZA CITY — The Hamas regime acquired U.S.-origin air defense systems but was unable to use them in combat. Hamas sources said the Islamic military has acquired the Stinger man-portable air defense system. The sources said the Stingers were acquired from smugglers in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula in 2008 and deployed in the 22-day war against Israel in January 2009.

"We were disappointed by them, and they were found to have been useless," a Hamas source said. The source said Hamas smuggled four Stinger systems in 2008. The source said the Hamas military deployed the Stingers against Israel Air Force AH-64 Apache attack helicopters during strike missions in the northern Gaza Strip. Our gunners couldn't fire the weapon," the source recalled. "A notice came up on the display saying 'friendly aircraft.'"

Industry sources said Raytheon, producer of Stinger, installed identification friend/foe capabilities more than a decade ago. The sources said this would prevent Stinger from being fired against any aircraft used by the U.S. military.

Another Hamas source said gunners deployed Stinger along with heavy machine guns in attacks on Israeli helicopters during the war in the Gaza Strip. The source said one Stinger surface-to-air missile was launched, but the projectile veered off course and struck a Hamas gunner squad. "The Stinger was drawn by the heat of our guns rather than the engines of the Israeli helicopters," the source said.

Too precious for words.

h/t: The Muqata

A simple act of contingency planning

So many times we rack our brains searching for solutions to complex problems and refuse to accept the idea that a simple remedy can be worth a pound of cure. A few days ago, Somalian pirates attempted to board an Israeli vessel and were defeated from boarding by the use of barb wire barrier. Ynet News:

Somali gunmen attacked an Israeli ship sailing 700 km off the coast of Somalia at around 10 am Saturday. The 'Africa Star' ship, belonging to Zim Shipping Services, had no Israelis on board. Lior Hayat of the Foreign Ministry told Ynet, "We are following the incident. Since there were no Israelis on board the ship, the Foreign Ministry will not involve itself in the handling of this case."

The pirate gunmen, riding on two motorboats accompanied by a mother-ship, opened fire at the Zim ship and then attempted to board by steering close to its hull and leaping from the boats. They were unsuccessful, however, as the ship's hull was encircled with barbed wire. No injuries were reported among the Zim crew.

After failing to board, the pirates returned to their boats and began a chase that went on for a number of hours. They were unsuccessful in reaching the vessel. Meanwhile, Zim's offices in Haifa were alerted, and in turn contacted NATO forces in the area as well as the Foreign Ministry and Israel's navy.
I am not offering this as the ‘solution’ to Somalian piracy and no doubt at some point Somalian pirates will attempt to board vessels with wire cutters but I like this story because it speaks to the idea an active self-defense is ultimately the better defense.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

As the left worm terms or just another Stop the War Rally

My son and I decided we had been cooped up in the house too long and decided to go for a walk around the neighborhood and see what the haps were for the locals. By chance we stumbled across an anti-war rally.

Unbeknownst to us, Dundas Square was a designated one stop “End the War in Afghanistan-Canada out of NATO- Cut military spending” Day of Action Rally.

All the usual aging hippies suspects were out in full force (well, maybe 200-300), and here and there were sprinkled in for good measure a few young malcontents - some overfed and some just as obviously not feed enough.

The speeches were a cross between the known slogans of the ‘peace pacifists’ – 'End the Occupation', 'End Israeli Apartheid', 'Get the troops out - Now!', but there were still a few surprises, such as ‘End the Harper-Obama-Agenda’. My ears perked up at that one. I mean, and why not? It’s not often one hears the suggestion a Canadian Prime minister gets first billing on an alleged ‘neo-con’ agenda! Frankly, the idea of Obama is now a neo-con was just too novel for words.



It was remarkably dull and staid affair when all is said and done. The Commies and the Socialists fractions had their moment in the cold grey light of day but if I were to offer one suggestion for the rally organizers it would be this - the next time one tries to hold a rally to rally Canadians to end anything - it would help if the Canadian rather than Palestinian flags were flown prominently.