Friday, June 29, 2007


On Wednesday evening I posted something about a grumpy old toad......

On Thursday morning Dovbear’s wife told him that she was a very efficient person (see here:, despite having accomplished only six things before nine-thirty, to his twelve.
[Her six and his twelve are listed in his posting, by the way – you really ought to read it before going any further.]

Midianite Manna ( reacted by listing out everything she had accomplished before 9:30 (see here:, and told her husband Bad Cohen (blog here: to refute her on his own darn blog.
[As of this writing, he has not done so. I think he simply rolled over and went back to sleep.]
She did fourteen (14) things before nine-thirty.
[Bad Cohen did only seven things, in case you were wondering.]

Woodrow, who as yet has no signifother (but imirtzeshem soon), listed a dozen things in the comments to DB’s post (here:

But I have them all beat.

My eyshes chayil did more than any of them. Neener neener neener, so there!

What Savage Kitten did before nine o'clock:

1. Got up.
2. Brushed teeth.
3. Made coffee.
4. Dressed.
5. Brought hot coffee over to sleeping person.
6. Put tea-leaves and hot-water into a lidded cup for sleeping person to gulp down on his way out later.
[I forgot to mention this yesterday - I always have some more caffeine before I leave in the morning.]
7. Went out and got newspaper.
8. Came back singing.
9. Dumped newspaper on top of sleeping person.
10. Made herself a BIG breakfast and a glass of very weak milk tea.
11. Sat on bed of person now no longer able to sleep, eating her BIG breakfast with her glass of very weak milk tea, and chattering (I have no clue what she said).
12. Went into kitchen to wash her dishes.
13. Took a bath.
14. Hollered at sleeping person to get up!
[At least, I think she did. She often does. I actually have no clue what she said, and the whole exercise is pointless, as by that time I'm awake already.]
15. Dressed again.
16. Prepared herself a snack for work.
17. Swept some shmootz off the kitchen floor.
18. Poked person now trying to get back to sleep with the broom.
19. Did half an hour of Taichi in the other room.
20. Said something cheerfull about a nice day on her way out - I was smoking, and not paying attention, so I have no clue what she said.

In the interests of full disclosure, and because you will probably ask me about it, I list below what I did before nine o'clock.

1. Woke up.
2. Drank coffee which Savage Kitten brought me.
3. Read news, editorials, funnies, in the newspaper that Savage Kitten brought me.
4. Went in to bathroom.
5. Smoked.
[I reached the acme of efficiency by multi-tasking in the bathroom.]

But anyhow, what I did is not the point.

The point is that this is a meme - Tzipporah said so, and others have already treated it as such. Minhag often has the authority of law.

List what you and your significant other did before a certain time in the morning on your own blog. Then tag a random number of people, based on your curiosity about them.
I tag Steg (, Lipman (, Jameel (, TafkaPP (, and Charismatic Megafauna (


Note: I would also tag Ed and Chaim G. (aka 'The Knuckle Dragging Barbarian'), except that they do not have blogs, and Chaim asserts that a sense of modesty prevents him from listing what the other gender of the household does.

Ed has however already given his list in the comments over at Dovbear's blogpost.

What Ed did before 9:30:

1) Said Modeh Ani
2) Washed Negel Vasser by the bed.
3) Got up B'zrizus La'avodas Haborei.
4) After using the facilities, said Asher Yotzar with Kavana.
5) Got dressed according to Halacha - Right shoe first etc.
6) Tip-toed out in order not to wake anyone up
7) Put on black hat and Jacket
8) Kissed the Mezuza on the way out
9) Held open the door to shul for another person
10) Davened with Kavana
11) Had special Kavana that the Pega Ra (the online one) shouldn't bother him.

[In case you were wondering who Ed was trying to not wake up on his way out, it was his wife, a baby, and a two-year old who is scared of rain. We asked.]

I suspect that Chaim G. (KDB) has a list that in remarkable ways is similar to Ed's list. But the differences are probably surprising. Hence some semi-seemly curiosity. Chaim, please feel free to list what you did on a randomly chosen morning in the comments (and if you do, it will be featured as the major part of a follow-up meme-posting).

Further note: I would also tag MarGavriel aka 'Not The Tefillin Hedgehog' aka 'Homeless Hareidi Guy' aka "Rav Antic", but he seldom writes anything anymore, and seems to be hiding from the bloggolam. If you should see him anywhere near Kikar Safra, give him our regards.

Thursday, June 28, 2007


There is a marvelous fight raging on the Suriname mailinglist at this moment, between a white person and a black person.

In the past I have had my own run-ins with both gentlemen. But I consider the black person a good friend, whereas I have as yet not made peace with the white person.

Why do I mention their skin colours?

Because it clarifies not only certain implied relational verities that operate in Dutch society, but also that the white person is considered a native, whereas the black person is considered a foreigner. Never mind that both are native speakers of Dutch, of educational levels that are equal and above average. The resident foreigner, in Dutch society, is ALWAYS at a disadvantage. And always aware that sneering disapproval may be hidden under the thinnest of veneers. Foreigners, it is often implied, should be darn' glad to be there, and should not look a gift horse in the mouth. Even if they inherited their place in Dutch society from a Dutch-speaking past, were born under the Dutch flag, have paid overmuch in taxes and contributed overmuch to Dutch society -- well, they're 'foreign', don't you see, and so really shouldn't have a voice.

The sentiment 'go back where you came from' is one that I was thoroughly familiar with years before I went back where I came from.
[For readers who might be new to this blog, let me clarify that I was born in the US, two years of age when we went over to the Netherlands, and in my late teens when I returned to the US. Here, I am just another American. Over there, I was also "just another American". And I do remember that.]

But why am I telling you about this tiff in a foreign language on an e-mail list to which you do not belong?

Because I really wish I could share with you how eloquent, how venomous, how lyrically blistering and viciously spattering blood both participants are going at it. How subtle dagger-jabs alternate with splintered baseball bats, and full frontal assaults distract from well-laid traps and piano wire strung across the dark alleys of the conversational river that is the list.
[Okay, that's a metaphoric train wreck above, but you know what I mean.]

It is beautiful. It is enough to make me weep with the vicarious thrill of it all.
I rub my mental hands with glee upon reading each new volley. It reminds me of my own modest poison-penmanship contra one of these gentlemen four months ago.

So, here's a letter I wrote at that time. I have included translations (small, bold, in square brackets) underneath each paragraph. Let me know what you think.


[Originally written March 22nd. 2007]

Beste F,
[My dear F.]

Wees toch niet zo'n schijnheilige azijnzijker en geef gewoon eenvoudig toe dat er veel in Europa is dat niet deugt. Vooral in Nederland.
[Stop being such a hypocritical vinegar-pisser, and just simply admit that there is much in Europe that isn't right. Especially in the Netherlands.]

Sedert de moord op Johan de Wit zijn gijlui weinig meer dan een zure, betwetende, geen kwaad van zichzelf toegevende stel kleingeestige snobs geweest. De zelfde gedachtenkoers die uw uitzuigerspraktijken en brute onderdrukken van uw kolonien beinvloede leeft nog uitbundig voort in het neerkijken op alles wat van uw eigen deugdenwaan afwijkt.
[Since the murder of Johan de Wit, you lot have been scarce more than a sour, knowitall, admitting no flaws, bunch of smallminded snobs. The same thought-patterns that informed your extortionate practices and the brutal repression of your colonies still live forth abundantly in your looking down on everything that deviates from your own imagined virtues.]

Nederland schijnt alleen te bestaan om de geldzucht en superioriteitswaan van een stel gedevolueerde inteelt Germanen vorm en functie te verschaffen.[The Netherlands seems to exist only to give form and function to the greed and sense of superiority of a collection of devolved inbred Germanics.]

Dat van een heel kontinent over een kam - het zou ulieden sieren dat ook niet te doen. Maar verrek, zelfs u kunt het niet laten. Lees uw eigen scheve schrift eens door. Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
[That of a whole continent 'over one comb' - it would grace you people to not do likewise. But heck, you yourself just can't resist. Just (re)read your own twisted writings. Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.]

Wat anti-Semitisme in Europa betreft, verwijs ik u naar:
Written Statement before the Subcommittee on Europe Senate Foreign Relations Committee April 8, 2004 (vindbaar op het internet).

[As regards anti-Semitism in Europe, please consult: Written Statement before the Subcommittee on Europe Senate Foreign Relations Committee April 8, 2004 (available on the internet).]

Submitted by the Department of State to The Committee on Foreign Relations And The Committee on International Relations In accordance with Section 4 of PL 108-332 December 30, 2004 (ook vindbaar op het internet).

Submitted by the Department of State to The Committee on Foreign Relations And The Committee on International Relations In accordance with Section 4 of PL 108-332 December 30, 2004 (which also can be found on the internet).]

Tevens kan het ADL (door u zelf aangehaald, nota bene) u ook daarover informeren.
Het Simon Wiesenthal centrum heeft daar evenzo informatie over.

[The ADL (which you yourself brought up, nota bene) can additionally provide you with further data. Likewise the Simon Wiesenthal centre also has information.]

Er was ook een Europeesch rapport over anti-Semitisme in Europa dat in 2003 onder de mat geveegd werd - men vreesde in Brussel dat het een kwaad licht zou weergeven. U kunt het vast wel op het internet vinden.
[There was also a European report about anti-Semitism in Europe that was repressed in 2003 - Brussels feared that it would shed unfavourable light. Doubtlessly, you can find it on the internet.]

Ter verdere achtergrond zou u ook met regelmaat Ha'aretz op het internet kunnen lezen. Alzook de NYT en de WSJ. Ik zou de BBC afraden - weliswaar minder krom dan het ANP, maar toch een markant gefiltreerde kijk. Toch vrees ik dat u eerder The Guardian leest dan welk ander Engelstalige nieuwsbron.
Ik zou Arutz maar Sheva geheel achterwege laten - het zou een Nederlander geheel van streek doen raken, daar het nuancering van jewelste eist om tussen de regels door te lezen. Het zelfde geld ook voor Arabische nieuwsbronnen.

[For further background you would have to read Ha'aretz regularly, as well as the NYT and the WSJ. I would not recommend the BBC - while they are indeed less devious than the ANP, they never-the-less present a remarkably filtered point of view. And evenso, I fear you read The Guardian more than any other English-language source of news.
I would completely disregard Arutz Sheva - it would unbalance a Dutchman utterly, as it requires tremendous capacity for nuance to read between the lines. The same goes also for Arabic news sources.]

Dat van Anja Meulenbelt? Meest stridente exemplaar van een Nederlandsche politiek figuur wier "kritiek' op Israel weinig meer is dan nauwelijks verscholen Joden-haat. Een typisch Nederlands figuur, overigens - er zit een gemeenheid en venijn in haar van bijna ongeloofelijke proportie.
Iemand die niet wist dat Nederland hare Joden met plezier uitleverede aan de Duitsers, die niet wist dat Nederland hare Marokkanen en Turken discrimineert en vervloekt, die niet wist dat Nederland hare verantwoordelijkheid jegens de Molukkers niet alleen niet nagekomen is maar geheel en al ontkent, die niet wist dat Nederland zo'n twee eeuwen lang zich voordeed als hebbende religieuze vrijheid terzelfderwijle dat het Katholicisme aldaar verdrukt werd, die niet wist dat Nederland de bevolking in delen van Oost-Indie omwille profijt uitmoordde, die niet wist dat Nederlandsche slavenschepen een bijnaam voor dood en verderf waren in zelfs de meest brute tijden -- zo'n iemand zou versteld zijn van het gif dat zij en haar soortgenoten jegens Israel uitspuwen. Wijl het eigenlijk niet anders dan een typische Nederlandsche eigenschap is.

[Now, that remark about Anja Meulenbelt? The most strident example of a Dutch political figure whose criticism of Israel is little else than barely disguised hatred of Jews. A typically Dutch type, by the way - there's meanness and venom in her in almost unimaginable proportions.
Any person, who did not know that the Netherlands was delighted to turn over her Jews to the Germans, who did not know that the Netherlands discriminates against and curses her Moroccans and Turks, who did not know that the Netherlands not only never tried to fulfill her responsibility to the Moluccans but now completely denies that responsibility, who did not know that the Netherlands pretended to have religious freedom while repressing Catholicism for several centuries, who did not know that the Netherlands exterminated populations in the East-Indies for profit, who did not know that Dutch slave-ships were a byword for murder and misery in even the most brutal of times - why, such a person would be flabbergasted at the venom that she (Anja Meulenbelt) and her type spew about Israel. But actually it is nothing more than a typically Dutch characteristic.]

Men zou ook vele anderen als voorbeeld van gifspuwende bigote Nederlanders naar boven kunnen halen. Zulks is zeker niet zeldzaam.
[One could also bring up several others as examples of poison-spewing bigoted Netherlanders. That type is by no means rare.]

Enkele jaren terug wees een enquete erop dat Nederlanders van mening waren dat Turken, Marokkanen, en Amerikanen de meest verachtelijke volken waren.
Meer recentelijk bleek dat een overgroot deel der Nederlanders, meer zelfs dan van de rest der West-Europeanen, van mening was dat Israel het grootste gevaar voor de vrede vormde.
Vorig jaar was een op de vijf Nederlanders van mening dat Hezbollah een legitieme verzetsgroepering was.

[A few years ago a poll showed that Netherlanders considered Turks, Moroccans, and Americans the most despicable of peoples.
More recently it turned out that an overwhelming proportion of the Dutch, more even than among the rest of the Western-Europeans, were of the opinion that Israel presented the greatest threat to peace.
Last year, one out of five Netherlanders believed that Hezbollah was a legitimate resistance movement.]

Dat er ook anti-Semitisme hier is geef ik toe. Waar er minderheden zijn, waar ook ter wereld, vind men bigotrie.
Markant is wel dat de nieuwe vormen van anti-Semitisme hun grootste hoogtij vieren in Europa en de Arabische landen - waar men maar weinig Joden aantreft. Hier in de Bay Area heeft men tien maal zoveel mensen van Joodsche komaf als er in Nederland zijn. Niet verbazend, overigens, want Europa leapt at the opportunity om van die minderheid af te wezen, net als vele Europeesche landen ten tijde van de Duitsers ook gaarne hun zigeuners en ander minderheden overleverden, wat velen daar waarschijnlijk nu ook gaarne met allochthonen zouden dien indien dat mogelijk zou zijn.
De reactie van de Arabieren jegens hun Joodsche medeburgers spreekt voor zich (met enkele uitzonderingen - men denke aan Marokko als voorbeeld van deugd).

[I will admit that there is also anti-semitism here in the States. Wherever there are minorities, anywhere in the world, one finds bigotry.
But it is worth especially noting that the new forms of anti-Semitism are at their highest tide in Europe and the Arab lands - where one will find but few Jews. Here in the Bay Area there are ten times as many people of Jewish descent as in the Netherlands. That really isn't surprising, when you think about it, because Europe leapt at the opportunity to be rid of that minority, just like many European countries during German times were quite as pleased to hand over their gypsies and other minorities - something many would now gladly do with allochthones (foreigners) if only that were possible.
The reaction of the Arabs to their Jewish fellow-citizens speaks for itself (with some exceptions - consider Morocco as an example of virtue).]

En verder: blijf niet zo over boter zeuren. Men zou denken dat boter voor u een obsessie was. Nederlandsche boter had een tijdje terug een rotte reputatie - had iets met voze handelspraktijken te doen. Gelieve het niet konstant aan boter te denken. Mischien dat die boter-obsessie symptomatisch is van de communicatie-verschillen tussen Nederlanders en Amerikanen. Als dat het geval is rest ons geen andere keuze dan alleen over boter met ului te spreken - u weigert onze standpunten te begrijpen of aksepteren, wij hebben geen boodschap meer aan konstant van ulieden te horen dat wij minderwaardige rotschepsels zijn die nooit gelijk aan de Europeanen kunnen worden. Kijk, precies die boodschap dreunt u al meer dan veertig jaren - mischien dan dus wel dat u iets nieuws en interessants over boter kunt zeggen.[And further: stop whining about butter. One would almost think that you were obsessed with butter. Dutch butter had a lousy reputation a while back, something having to do with dishonest practices. Be so kind as to not always think about butter. Perhaps that butter obsession is symptomatic of the communication problems between Netherlanders and Americans. If that is the case, there is little other choice for us but to speak of butter with you lot - you refuse to understand or accept our points of view, we are hardly interested in hearing for the umpteenth time what worthless subhuman scum we are and how impossible it is for us to ever be equals. Now see, precisely that is the message you have repeated for more than forty years...... maybe instead you can say something new and interesting about butter.]

Met groet,


PS. De Bay Area is meer multi-cultureel dan Nederland ooit zal worden. Hetgeen trouwens ook geld voor de gehele VS. Er zijn hier in de VS meer dan twintig miljoen mensen van Nederlandsche komaf. Waarom zouden die lui nou weg uit Nederland hebben willen gaan? Zou het iets met Nederlandsche mierenneukerij en azijnzijkerij van doen hebben?
Zou het gezelschap van andere Nederlanders zelfs de smaak van uitstekende boter doen verzuren?

[PS. The Bay Area is more multi-cultural than the Netherlands will ever be. Which also holds true for the entire US. There are more than twenty million people of Dutch ancestry here. Now, why would those folks have wanted to leave the Netherlands? Could it have something to do with Dutch nitpicking and vinegar-pissing? Might the company of other Dutchmen have soured the taste of even the most excellent butter?]


Note: there are some odd turns of phrase in the text above. Please construe, as the context should make clear what the colloquialisms mean, and how they reflect the flavour of the language.


Do not try to find this word in a dictionary, it is a Dutchification of an English word.

I just invented it. Because I needed to express that something on the Suriname mailing list was baffling, and could not remember a Netherlandish word with the appropriate flavour.


What was it davka that was entirely baffelyk? Well, Deedeebee sent an e-mail in response to Codjo angrily telling Flopri to go salt it up (these are NOT their real e-mail handles, by the way). I should also mention that Codjo had accused Flopri of oldwhoring (spouting drivel), to which Canadian Wanderlubby responded with a tssk tssk guaranteed to inflame.

Deedeebee’s e-mails are often ameliorating and pacificatory – not this time. It was in response, yet seemed to have mamesh no connection whatsoever to the previous flame-mails.
It left my gast disquietingly flabbered.
If yours is too, please comment.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


But not in the way that the usual anti-Israel crowd think.

Israel is blamed for the fratricide in Gaza - The thinking goes that because the population in Gaza is living under horrendous circumstances it is only natural that they are dysfunctional and take violence as an acceptable political and social mechanism. If only Israel had not repressed them, they assuredly would have created a progressive social paradise. And only Israel benefits. QED.

Glib and pat.

Except that it is horse-puckey.

When Israel still occupied Gaza, the locals at least had the pretence of common cause and a common enemy to keep them semi-united. Firing rockets at Israeli towns could be propagandized as resistance to the occupiers, and would be excused by the Europeans as a regrettable but understandable response to the untenable conditions (and after all, it wasn't civilized Europeans reacting to other civilized Europeans, but noble savages against evil imperialists).

But by withdrawing, Israel left them nothing but each other.

Fatah, still diplomatically committed to talking to the civilized world, could not officially approve of acts of terror, even though their newsmedia would still laud Israeli deaths to the local readership.
Hamas, not being bound by any such constraints, could cheerfully continue smuggling weapons, plotting murder, and shooting rockets at the civilians on the other side.
The rogue elements that both Fatah and Hamas sponsored could do whatever they pleased, which historically consisted of shooting women and children at close range (for instance Tali Hatuel 34, Meirav Hatuel 2, Roni Hatuel 7, Hadar Hatuel 9, and Hila Hatuel 11; see here:, extortion and kidnapping, and telling tall tales to credulous foreign giurnalisti.

But Israel withdrew. As both Hamas and Fatah had demanded, and which both Hamas and Fatah had committed murder to encourage.
And for which both Hamas and Fatah had been willing to waste the lives of their fools and idiot-young, provided that Jews might also die.
Suddenly, putting on a bomb-vest and making a grandeloquent statement on a video-tape seemed somewhat less worthwhile. There was loot to be had, and Jews were harder to reach.

What really got to Hamas and Fatah was that it was not through their efforts that Israel had withdrawn from Gaza - it was the sober realization by the Israelis that continuing the occupation would mean being responsible for the locals. How much better to let them take care of themselves, and merely keep them at arms length (and at the end of gunsights, at least until they stopped being thugs).
The direct and immediate benefit to Israel was in the withdrawal itself, not in anything the Palestinians might do afterwards.

Nevertheless, both Hamas and Fatah boastfully claimed credit for the withdrawal of Israel. And the Arab world believed them, until they themselves were asked to support this now autonomous yet eternally unproductive area. Violent and disputatious Arabs, it seems, are not appreciated even by other Arabs.

But while Fatah was lip-serving the Europeans and the Americans for hand-outs, Hamas was stoking up the fires and preparing to prove that they and they alone had liberated Gaza, by liberating it again. This time from Fatah.

Which, earlier this month, they did.

Now there is no one to provide plausible deniability. No one who can claim that violence is being stoked by outside forces keen to sabotage progress. The only ones left that Hamas can hold for ransom are the people of Gaza. The very same people who voted for them, and supported them, and praised their violent acts. If Gaza is to be liberated again, they'll have to fight themselves this time.

The West-Bank is hardly any better off - brutal one-party rule lacks a certain amount of plausible deniability, even to the Europeans.

Which, no doubt, is also all Israel's fault.


It should come as no surprise to my readers that Savage Kitten and I are dissimilar in some ways.

She is a small Cantonese-American person (well, small in comparison to white people of either gender), whereas I am a normally proportioned white male of mostly Dutch-American ancestry.
[Meaning that I tower over the local Cantonese, but, in that I am of average height (five feet nine inches), I am considerably shorter than some of those horrid beef-fed glandular freaks from the centre of the country.]

She is petite. Me, hardly.

She has tiny hands with slender fingers. I'm normal.

She neither drinks nor smokes, while I cannot claim an excess of abstemia.

She tends to obsess about things which, in the grand scheme of things, are really of only minor importance, tisk tisk.

She likes lobster, I like duck.

She'll eat soup with chopsticks, I will use a fork.

I could go on listing differences, but what I really want to bring to your attention is the huge gap between "morning people" and normal folks.

Morning people are full of beans at a time when normal folks are still in the arms of Morpheus. Morning people clomp about the house, slamming doors, clanging pans and singing (singing!), when normal folks are still (trying to be) blissfully somnambulic. Morning people are giddily chirping away at an hour when normal folks can barely string together two grunty syllables.

Their energy level just after dawn is positively frightening. And they want to share it. Urk.
It is very irritating.

But the most horrible thing is that morning people can do all this without coffee!

Sweep Jeebus what a bunch of freaks.
No wonder they stole the world when no one was watching.
[All of us normal people had not even had our first cup at that time.]

It is a mild consolation that in the evening, when I am still going strong, she is curled up on the bed, a book sliding from her tired grasp, and a stuffed monkey by her side. I can remain in the teevee room, and once she is asleep, light up a pipe, grab a volume that requires attentive reading, and spend the next two or three hours enjoying the stillness of the night (or watching trashy movies with the sound on low). Heaven!
Even if I really wanted to talk, all I could get out of her after nine o’clock would be muffled squeaks and yawns, and she'd look at me out of those drowsy baby-brown eyes with an expression that would plainly say "shut up you stupid white person I've got to sleep!".

Given that circumstance, you'd think that she would understand how valuable slumber is, and how precious a few extra moments of rest actually are. How very much to be savoured during those last sweet minutes in the morning.


Apparently the fact that I am not compos mentes until after my first cup of coffee qualifies me for the sobriquet of "grumpy old toad".



We have, however, reached an accommodation of sorts.
That being a reverential silence while I read the funnies.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Here are some sound clips of the beloved San Francisco icon whom I mentioned in a previous post (this one:

Please note that the links below to YouTube segments will let you hear Frank Chu explain his protest campaign in his own words. If you have any questions about what it is, I will be of no help, they're his words, not mine. And they're unique.
[Just listen to them again a few more times. Eventually you will grasp what he is getting at.]
Frank Chu explains about twelve galaxies zygnotronics.
Frank Chu explains about Bush-Cheney embezzlement in the context of a peace protest.
Frank Chu has an opinion about Muni (SF Municipal Railways).
Quintialogical and albatronic rocketifications.
Twelve galaxies murder cases San Francisco police department voicemail insultings impeachment movie star.
Nakrofenikal twelve galaxies worst murder Easter breakfast, telepathic scientific inventions.

You rule, Frank, you totally rule.


For further Frank Chu, look at the Wikipedia entry (here:, or just google either his name or TWELVE GALAXIES.
Join the community, feel the love. And let me know if it's a good idea to get him into next year's Pride Parade as his own contingent. Together, we can make it happen.


It's zagnatronic!


Only last week I was thinking that if someone came to town during Pride Week, as a tourist, there were only two photos that they would need to take to encapsulate the total San Francisco experience: Dykes On Bikes leading off the parade, and Frank Chu.

Dykes On Bikes are self-explanatory.

Frank Chu, however...

Frank Chu is a very pleasant gentleman who carries a protest sign with an ever changing message, of which the only constant is TWELVE GALAXIES. All capitals, several colours.






He's a San Francisco concept. No public event is complete without Frank Chu bringing his sign, no protest worthwhile unless, in the newscast, he is in the middle distance, discretely moving into mid-view with his TWELVE GALAXIES sign behind the reporter. No public celebration is truly joyous without TWELVE GALAXIES, no angry march down Market Street worth participating in, unless Frank is marching alongside.
TWELVE GALAXIES defines intrinsic worth, and the sign must be seen. By as many people as possible. So that they will know. They must know.

[We know that if he isn't there, it ain't worth being there. He is the benchmark of eventitude.]

The only problem is that if you want an explanation, you will have to learn how to speak Chu. And there's only one person in this galaxy who knows how.

"...(insert name here) was guiltied by TWELVE GALAXIES for with-holding the right ah salary as a galactic television star during ah the (insert presidential name here) administration, which is a conspiracy ah by the (choose one: KGB, President Jefferson/Clinton/Bush, dead Soviet leaders, FBI) to ah groveniculticly collude royalties".

It is omegalogical.

When you come to SF you can visit the TWELVE GALAXIES BAR on 2565 Mission Street, which is named in honour of Frank Chu's message. If you stay there long enough, you are bound to meet him, and you can ask him about his protest sign.
There is no need to buy him a drink - the club provides him with delicious Budweiser on the house. But please voice sympathy for his struggle. It is a worthwhile cause, and he'll appreciate your support.
Twelve galaxies, dude. Twelve galaxies.
You saw the sign. And it opened up your mind.

Friday, June 22, 2007


Or leastways take some valium.

The Ulema (Muslim religious scholars) normally only get mentioned in news reports when they are aggrieved over some imaginary insult to Islam, or hysterically screaming for the blood of some infidel.
[Such as that time they had fits over cartoons. Mediocre cartoons. ]

Even then, it is probable that only a minority of the Ulema that get mentioned - there are quite possibly thousands of serious, sober Islamic scholars who never get any publicity at all. At least, that is what I choose to imagine. Seeing as sane and rational Islamic scholars never get mentioned in the news, it is hard to know.

And what do the screaming Ulema have their knickers in a twist over this time?

Sir Salman Rushdie.
Author of The Satanic Verses.

Years ago, when Hayatullah Khomeini issued his fatwa, I bought the book. I had scarcely heard of The Satanic Verses then, but some twisted old creep in a bathrobe in a distant country brought it to my attention, and simultaneously made his own belief-system look rather stupid. Islam, in Hayatullah Khomeini's version, seemed a cruel and rather disgusting degeneracy, scarcely more than superstition and tyranny mixed.
At that time, sane and rational Islamic scholars did not get mentioned in the news.

I have since done much more reading on Islam, and while I find little in it to tempt me, or even appeal on an emotional level (and hardly anything at all that appeals on a rational level), it has become clear to me that millions of Muslims haven't a clue about Islam. This is largely because their well-known scholars are irrational authoritarian egomaniacs.
Again, sane and rational Islamic scholars never get mentioned in the news.......

In the past week there have been angry protests in Malaysia, Pakistan, Jammu and Kashmir, and several other places, including London. But mostly in Pakistan. As is typical. One rather expects rioting and idiocy in the streets of Pakistan. One no longer expects anything else from Pakistan. It is a miserable place. Whose Islamists and scholars appear to have en-masse taken leave of their senses.
Assuming they had any.... Seeing as sane and rational Islamic scholars never get mentioned in the news, especially in Pakistan, one is inclined to think not.

Several Pakistani parliamentarians have uttered curses and made intemperate statements about Sir Salman Rushdie's knighthood, proving that a brain is not a requisite for Paki parliamentarians.
[Seemingly not for many Pakistani Muslims either.]

Angry Mullahs have demanded the death of Sir Salman Rushdie and a boycott of British goods.
[I do believe I will be buying more British goods now, and avoiding all Pakistani products. Does anybody have a list of Pakistani products to avoid?]

Pakistani Religious Affairs minister Mohammad Ijaz Ul-Haq asserted that the knighthood was an affront to all Muslims, and sputtered indignantly for several minutes.
[Someone should tell the religious affairs minister to stop being an idiot.]

The Pakistani Senate, who have nothing better to do, offered their two paise on the matter, with this statement: "The Senate of Pakistan expresses its strong condemnation on blatant disregard for the sensitivity of the Muslims of the world shown by the British government by awarding a Knighthood to Salman Rushdie, who committed blasphemy against a pillar of Islam, the persona of Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him)".
[Methinks these senators are not worth whatever stipend their constituencies are forced to pay. Or the bribes and extortion with which undoubtedly they augment their income.]

The Jamiat e-Islami Pakistan's leader, Professor Ghafur Ahmad, has darkly threatened unspecified ill upon England. So have leaders of several other Pakistani parties, and even cabinet ministers. Apparently there are not enough problems in Pakistan, with its abominable education and healthcare, high rates of infant mortality, child-slavery, and every other ill with which that most primitive and exploitative of third-world failed states is rife, that these politicians can conceive of anything better to do with their time than utter squawks of outrage. No wonder Pakistan remains at the bottom of nearly every scale measuring human progress.
[Other than death-threats, that is.]

Pakistani Islamists, rather than having temper-tantrums, should employ their energy more constructively. One well can understand their dysfunctional rage, given how much is wrong with Pakistan. But spoiled brat behaviour will not make their country or their lives any better.

On the other hand, developing a sense of humour might. It's worth a try. And there's a book I recommend they read as part of that endeavor.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


Which actually means that I am guest-posting over at the Muqata.

See here:

The subject sort-of relates to Parshas Chukas.

And in case your wondering, I hold with the Ramban that because Moshe gave some of the more simple-minded Bnei Yisroel the idea that he and Aaron brought forth the water out of the rock, instead of giving credit where it was actually due, Moshe lost the right to enter Eretz Yisroel.

See possook 20:12 "...daver el Moishe, lemor: “Ya’an lo he’emantem bi lehakdisheni le einei Bnei Yisrael …” (because you didn’t rely on Me in the eyes of the Bnei Yisrael… ), “…lichen lo taviu et ha kahal haze el ha eretz asher natati lahem” (…therefore you aren’t going to bring this bunch into the land that I have given them).

That bunch eventually enter the land, Moshe doesn't.


I sometimes play when I’m on the phone.

Especially when, instead of getting the adult who runs the business, I get the twitty-poo teenager who was hired because she is completely non-threatening (unlike nineteen year old Ripp Saw, who has multiple piercings and tattoos, and wears a dirty teeshirt with a vampire skull picture - he applied at the same time).

So then.

Thirteen year old Tiffany: “Tom iz-unt here”.

Me: “Do you know when he’ll be in?

TYO Tiffany: “Like umm tomorrow umm maybe?

Me: “Can I, umm, leave a message?
[Note: Gratuitous 'umm' added for comprehensibility. It helps.]

TYO Tiffany: “Umm like sure. Umm sorry, I dropped my ‘pent-sill’. Umm okay whut?

So I tell her my name, what company I’m calling from, why I’m calling.....
And somewhere in the middle she’ll interrupt to ask “how do you spell that?”.

Me: “Tee as in Tom, aitch as in handyman, ay as in alphabet, tee as in timeo danaos et dona ferentes...”.

TYO Tiffany: “Mmmm like umm whut?

Poor girl. She'll probably marry a man thirty years her senior.
And I think there may be a brass pole in her future.

Shoulda hired Ripp Saw after all.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Chaim G. has a guestpost on CIRCUS TENT - ציר ( which is worth reading.

Chaim G. is well known among the J-bloggers - one of the gang, in fact - despite having no blog of his own. He can frequently be found disagreeing with Dovbear (, or adding worthwhile content to the comment strings on that blog.

His posting discusses the autonomous yeshiva, which stood on its own as an institute of learning for several generations, versus the personality-yeshiva, which flourished during the life of the scholar at the helm but faded after his demise. More or less the contrast between methodology and charisma, or breadth and flexibility versus rigidity and a narrowness of vision. The division is one which is familiar to anyone with knowledge of the modern-day yeshiva-oilam. There are several points of interest in the post which I am sure you will notice.

Quote: "What Rav Chaim Volozhiner innovated was the concept of a free-standing institution that could transcend and outlive the intellectual and spiritual giants that incubated it.

E.g. the Maharsh"a and Rav Yonoson Eibschutz maintained gigantic Yeshivas. When they got a new rabbonus shtella the Yeshivas moved with them. One didn’t learn “in” Frankfurt-am-main but “by” the Rebbe Reb Yonoson. When Maharsh"a and Rav Yonoson Eibschutz were niftar the Yeshivas dissolved and most of the talmidim sought out new Rebbes, (kind of like the earlier, healthier generations of Chasidus, when Rabbisteve was not purely hereditary, and Chasidim did not sign lifetime affiliation contracts :-)

In contradistinction to this we find the Litvishe/Volozhiner Yeshiva revolution. Slabodka was not Mir, was not Grodneh, was not Telshe, was not Kelm, was not Kaminetz, was not Novardhok. Each Yeshiva INSTITUTIONALLY had its own wrinkle in Lomdus and, where applicable, in mussar. One was not a “vanilla” yeshiva man. Stating his Alma Mater could give you a pretty good notion of his Weltanschauung. At that time Brisk was just another (OK, perhaps the brightest) star in the Yeshiva constellation. It was not the totality of the constellation."

[End quote]

The rest of it you will have to read over there.

And you might want to earmark that blog for further reading, as it looks quite interesting.
Kudos and shkoiach.


The text below was sent to the Suriname mailing list by a very good friend, who was infuriated by a comment made by another very good friend.

Now, before I present the text, I should explain a few things.

The infuriated writer is a person of Surinamese extraction, who has lived in the Netherlands for a very long time. He is university-educated, a lawyer, married, with an infant daughter. He is a liberal, and he is literate. He is precisely the kind of person you would want to represent you.

The person whose comment caused fury is a person of Dutch extraction, resident of Canada, of the generation that experienced WWII. He has a typical Dutch gruffness and sense of humour, and is capable of sparkling insights. Like many Dutchmen, he can be blunt. Insensitive, even.

I like both of them, and I enjoy their writing. But I can very well understand their points of conflict.

But what the younger one wrote, with only a few changes, nearly perfectly expresses how I feel in the Netherlands, especially whenever something Dutch deliberately gets my goat.

Trust me, it is lyrical.

Here goes:

Overal in dit land moet ik slikken dat er een beeld van mijn mensen bestaat die niet reëel is (we zijn lui, slapen de hele dag, verkwisten, stelen, roken, spuiten etc…..)overal hou ik mijn mond….omdat mijn salaris betaald moet worden, mijn kind verzorgd moet worden of omdat ik een beetje leefruimte nodig heb…..ik ben al jaren niet meer vrijwillig in dit f@##$#g land……zeker niet als ik een oetlul van een Wilders die stommiteit hoor uitkraaien in het bolwerk van waar men vroeger zelf de mensen ophaalde die men nu van zich wil ontdoen….

[Short encapsulation: stupid praeconceptions about Surinamers make me puke, especially from an oetlul such as Wilders (a Dutch politician of quite some notoriety).]

Veel Surinamers hebben er lak aan en lachen alleen omdat ze niet meer geven om hun identitiet of omdat ze die domme huichelaars op één of ander manier duidelijk kunnen maken dat ze uit India, Indonesie, China of Afrika komen ipv Suriname. Ik kan en wil dat niet omdat ik niet lijk op geen van die standaard inwoners waarvoor men hier de hokjes maakt. Meer nog ik wil degenen waar ik echt uit geboren ben nooit verloochenen.

[Short encapsulation: Many Surinamers tend to ignore or laugh at such things, or claim that they are actually Indians, Indonesians, Chinese, or Africans. I darn well refuse to do so - I do not fit into any of those neat little pigeonholes, and I am proud of who I am.]

Er zijn maar weinig plaatsen in dit land waar ik oprecht wil en kan genieten van het echte mooie (niet hypocriet geuite) waarvoor mijn land en mijn mensen staan…..door de jaren heen is deze lijst daar 1 van geworden. Het spijt me dan zeer dat ik met volle kracht zal voorkomen dat de lijst wordt vervuild met dit verwerpelijk denken…terwijl wij als de domme negers waarvoor ze ons houden breeduit naar ze lachen. Ik heb het al een keer gezegd..verander dan de naam van de lijst in Lijst voor Verwerping van Suriname. Ik wil niet op de lijst blijven om meer te horen van wat ik hier buiten al te horen krijg. Ik ben de laatste die gaat ontkennen dat er nog veel mis is in Suriname, maar ik ga niet accepteren dat men het gaat vertrappen in een verbeelding dat het hier een paradijs is en dat iedere Nederlander zorgt en offert voor iedere Surinamer …bull s...

[Short encapsualtion: There are so few chances to enjoy what is truly great about Suriname and her people that I will resist to the utmost this list getting polluted by the usual reprehensibilities. I'm not going to sit back and listen to the same crap I get elsewhere. I do not deny that Suriname has problems, but I will not stand for the idea that in comparison the Netherlands is an utter paradise and every Dutchman tenderly cares for and sacrifices for every Surinamer.]

Ik heb gezegd dat ik ben zoals ik ben….ik kan mezelf eerlijk in de spiegel aankijken en weet dat ik oprecht naar mijn medemens leef….tal van anderen houden hun skeletons in de cupboard zo diep verborgen dat ze gaan geloven dat ze heiliger dan de paus zijn en alles en iedereen kunnen veroordelen. IK ZEG WAT IK DENK EN DOE WAT IK ZEG met verve als nodig. Zal me daar geen dag voor schamen. Zij die daardoor denken beter te zijn dan mij wens ik veel geluk in hun waan……ik praat of zwijg niet om geaccepteerd of van gehouden te worden (wat telt immers is de oneindige acceptatie en liefde van mijn Schepper) …..maar om vrij te blijven …because, like aunt Esther says: the truth will set you free…. ;-))
En zo voel ik me wel als ik die vieze bigots op hun plaats zet…..lekker terug naar je hol..

[Short encapsulation: I am precisely what I am. I shall not hide what I am really like, and I will say what I think and do as I say. I shall not be ashamed of that. What matters is not mere acceptance, but freedom. And in that vein I will tell bigots where to shove it.]



I have encapsulated rather than translated because it cannot really be translated. There is a lyric ebb and flow to the language that has no equivalents in English. What even the encapsulation could not possibly convey is the anger and evocativeness.

I have posted it here (more or less with the okay of the writer) because it is an angry howl, and, much more than that, it is what I dearly wish some lost Dutchman stumbling into this blog will discover.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


A listing of Gaza-related blog posts since the situation in Gaza started getting out of hand.
Paranoid analysis of potential meddling in the Gaza mess.
Tuesday June 19th. 2007.
Less than subtle speculation about a possible war this summer.
Friday June 15th. 2007.
Snide comments about what the Europeans are saying about events in Gaza, ending on a note of bitterness.
Thursday June 14th. 2007.
Sarcasm, written while Hamas and Fatah were still “engaged”.
Wednesday June 13th. 2007.
Who supports Hamas? You’d be surprised.
Tuesday June 12th. 2007.
Lighthearted bile.
Monday June 11th. 2007.

Yes, I have also posted about other things in this period (Parsi lamb hotchpotch and two Cantonese chicken recipes), but not much. Sorry, I'm somewhat Cassandratic and preoccupied.


What spurred Hamas to push Fatah out, and who influenced them?
Was it Syria? Was it Iran? Was it AlQaedah? Was it a hard faction within Hamas itself? Or was it, for want of a better term, random outside extremist influence?
The answer does not really matter. Hamas has enough internal fluidity that from the outside it all looks the same.


Hamas is now better armed than they have ever been, thanks to the materiel they took from Fatah.
Fatah will soon be armed to the gills, because of the unique blackmail position that they are in – “re-arm us and give us funds, so that we can compete with Hamas”.
Hezbollah (remember them from last summer?) are now better armed than ever before.
And the Lebanese government is in disarray, weakened by Syrian assasinations, bribery, threats, and a rogue refugee camp (whose rogues may very well have come in via Syria, like so many of the outside agents elsewhere in the region). They are in no position to interfere with events below the Litani.


As for the other players in the region, the Egyptians, Saudis, and Jordanians have egg on their faces.

The Egyptians have seen their carefully crafted balancing act with Hamas and Fatah in Gaza go down the tubes. Instead of the two parties neutralizing or counteracting each other’s insanity, there is now an out-of-control division of the Muslim Brotherhood in a safe haven on Egypt’s northern border. The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt was more-or-less held in check by limitations imposed upon them by the security forces. That is no longer the case, they have a sanctuary. We’ve already seen that Egypt could not control the Sinai very well before, and the smuggling in the Sinai may now increase exponentially.

The Saudis browbeat everybody back into negotiating mode several times, forcing them all on the same page. A monumental effort, brutally scuttled by the Hamas triumph. This weakens moderates in the kingdom, clearing the field for more rigid ideologues to argue in favour of jihadism – Hamas is ascendant, Fatah is emasculated, and if Saudi Arabia wishes to counteract Iranian and Syrian influence, it must be more pro-active and more involved with Hamas. Which is something that there was emotional support for anyway – rational and temperate diplomacy in the Arab world too often is seen as pro-American and anti-Islamic.

Jordan, aware of the liability which its large Palestinian population presents, cannot afford to ignore Hamas, and cannot stand by while things spiral out of control in Gaza. Jordan shares borders both with the West Bank and with Syria, in addition to having to cope with participants from the Iraq mess who occasionally wander in. They are in the crossroads position, and inattention would prove dangerous if not suicidal.
As a matter of self-preservation and self-interest, the Jordanians must engage with Hamas – not doing so increases the likelihood of Hamas otherwise engaging with rogue elements in Jordan.


Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan can also not permit Syria to have so dominant a voice in events as it now seems to have. When Syria is full of itself, it creates problems for other countries in the region. This is especially so now that Syria is in deep with Iran.

It is likely that there will be far more input by all the outside players in Gaza and the West Bank than before, with far less impartiality. The Palestinian cause will be back-burnered in favour of rivalry by proxy. Fatahniks in the West Bank will also have less authority and more bile to divvy up amongst themselves, especially if Marwan Barghouti and other imprisoned thugs get sprung, as both the Europeans and Fatah aparatchiks are already demanding.

[And can all those big egos in Fatah really keep their rivalries and jealousies from getting out of hand? Unlikely, while the Europeans are making love to them.]

Even if the United States takes a slow approach, Western Europe has this great anxiousness to dump money and love all over the Palestinians, and in order not to make enemies in Fatah, the amount of money that the Europeans give to the Palestinian Authority will have to dwarf the salaries and stipends that they continue to pay in Gaza. The Americans will not be so generous in Gaza, but nevertheless will have to compete with Europe in the West Bank or see their influence in Fatah suffer.
The net result is that Fatah will make out like a whore during fleet week, and despite their cannibalistic tendencies they will play off everybody to great effect.


Hamas in Gaza will not sit still either. They can turn their attention towards the West Bank. Or towards violent engagement with Israel. Or towards building ties and infrastructure with the rest of the Arab world. Whatever they choose to do, Egypt’s behaviour in the past suggests that as long as Hamas does not make trouble in Egypt, the Egyptian government will pretend it doesn’t see a thing. Can Hamas keep from pissing in their own backyard? More importantly, will the Muslim Brotherhood use Gaza as a base and so invite Egyptian involvement?

Syria cannot afford Hamas inaction. The longer that there is stasis, the greater the chance of Hamas being neutralized, sidetracked, or compromised by other players. If Syria doesn’t want to waste the tactical advantage gained by Hamas kicking Fatah and the Yanks in the pants, it will have to get a move on.

Syria has been improving its war-readiness recently, and, having stirred things up in Lebanon and Gaza, it may feel that it is ready for further action. Assad the father had greater patience than Assad the son, and was more predictable. Even though Assad the son benefits from what his father put in place, he has shown a ruthlessness and pragmatism about his allies and agents that establishes him as a potent plotter and an unstable player, and he may feel that the time is right to impose his own stamp on the Middle East. With America bruised in Iraq, the Europeans unable to force the Iranians to heel, and Israel distracted by the opera in the territories, now may seem like the perfect time.

Hezbollah is chomping at the bit, and the Golan calls. And has there ever been an Arab tyrant who did not dream of being lauded as the saviour of Palestine and the gallant who restored Arab manhood?

The pup may well think that a war with Israel will prove his testicles.

Friday, June 15, 2007


Hamas is "trapped" in Gaza.

That is one conclusion one can draw from this past week's events. While Fatah was still a power in the strip, the Palestinians at least had plausible deniability - one side could happily fire off its rockets, while the other side could smile ingratiatingly and tell Israel "no, no, that wasn't us, it was that 'other' group, now give us some ammo and please keep the electricity and water running". This advantageous situation has come to an end.

What does this mean, and what are Hamas going to do now?

Hamas can say "keep the electricity and water running OR we fire off more rockets".
Israel can say "stop the rockets OR the electricity and water will be turned off".

But Israel's option listed above has severe limits. If the power and water are shut off too long, Israel has a disaster on their hands. A mounting health crisis in Gaza will be blamed on Israel, especially in Europe (which is always eager to paint Israel as a Nazi-type tyrant - a predictable European dysfunctionality based in their own collective guilty conscience). World leaders (by which I mostly mean the dwarves that lead Europe and the thugs in charge of the third world) will stress that Israeli dominance of the situation is punishing innocent civilians and creating a hot-house in which terrorism will thrive. And everyone will say that Israel HAS to deal with Hamas, if only to prevent an explosive situation from developing which has no transparency and where there is no way of exerting influence.

Within days of any cut-off of services and supplies, desperate civilians will storm the border. Which will result in refugee camps in Israel proper, or in the Sinai. Neither eventuality is desirable, and either will encourage the supporters of the one-state solution. Any suffering by Gazans will be directly blamed on Israel, especially with only one side in charge of Gaza, and blaming extremists while praising moderates will not be possible.
Israel holding Gaza hostage for the Islamists' good behaviour will be seen as sabotage.

What about the West-Bank?

The West Bank now also presents a problem. With Fatah eliminating Hamas in the areas over which they still have control, the aforementioned world leaders will insist that the moderates are in charge and must be coddled, even when elements in the West Bank commit terrorist acts or murder Israeli citizens OR other Arabs in cold-blood. Any action to interdict terrorism or exert control will be criticized as inimical to prospects for peace and co-operation. Israel, in the jaundiced and prejudiced eyes of the world, will just have to turn a blind eye to Palestinian mis-steps.
Anything else will be seen as sabotage.

Essentially, what had been a mess on two fronts is now a nightmare all around. Hamas can act without opposition in Gaza. Fatah will become strong and emboldened in the West-Bank. The Europeans will insist on ridiculous and extreme pragmatism, and the world demand restraint.
The situation is azoy problematic that one has to suspect the hand of an outside actor.

In the meantime, Syria is preparing for war.

Countries like Syria cannot maintain war-preparedness for long. They have to act, or lose their chance.

Oh, and did I mention that Syria has re-armed Sheikh Nasrallah so well that Hezbollah's capabilities are far greater than they have ever been? They're still pissed about last summer, and Bashar Assad will gladly let them drain Israel's resolve and attention for a few weeks. Especially if the international community screams bloody murder again. Which it will.

I'm expecting that this will be a long hot summer.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


That, you will remember, was the most popular song from the Southpark movie a few years ago.

As of ooh-umpty hours yesterday evening, Hamas was in control of Gaza and happily shooting captured Fatah men in the head, Abu Mazen was tearfully dissolving the unity government and ordering the arrest and mistreatment of hundreds of Hamas members in the West Bank, and the last few remaining Fatah loyalists were blowing a hole in the border-fence and fleeing to Egypt.

And who are the Eurocommunists (now re-branded as 'socialist', because it is a gentler, more kid-friendly name) blaming for this entire stinking mess?

If you guessed Israel and the United States, please step to the front of the class. Yasher koiach!

[And 'zackly how DID you learn to think like those people, hmmmm?]

You heard me right.

As near as I can figure out the logic, it is because the US armed Fatah, despite the Israeli security establishment thinking that it was a bad idea, that Hamas had no choice but to fight.
Which was apparently the plan of the Israelis and their Yankee-taskmasters (or the Yankees and their AIPAC Zio-nazi taskmasters, either version is acceptable), as this benefits Israel directly.
Even though you and I might not quite see how having an enclave of armed bloodthirsty extremists ensconced in an urban hell-zone is of any benefit to anybody, the bright boys among the European intelligentsia are of one mind that this is good for Israel, and therefore, quod erat demonstrandum, the Jews and Yanks are behind it.

Blaming Jews and Yanks for the cock-ups of the lesser races is both axiomatic and instinctive - the poor dears are quite incapable of the creativity and inspiration necessary to make an utter bollocks of their own affairs.

[Note that the people who blame Js and Ys for such things overlook the racism inherent in such an attitude - they are quite comfortable believing that they themselves alone know the truth, but Palestinians / Muslims / Third World natives / Exploited peasants / Ethnic minorities are ignorant tools of the imperialists. By jingo! Enlightened people are racialists - who knew?]

If I thought that there was even a remote chance that Hamas would NOT turn all of Gaza into a bomb-factory, or a slight chance of Hamas not committing a brutal cleansing that makes the Taliban look like pussies, or even any chance that Gaza does not fill up with all the dregs of the Arab world keen to wage jihad, I would now take bets on whether the flow of rockets towards Sderot would lessen or increase.

But the only thing I can really do at this point is say that Hamas must be destroyed!

See here:
And here:
And here:


Please note that I am by no means gloating. What’s happening in Gaza does not benefit anyone, and a certain friend is now even less likely to visit his kinfolk in Gaza. And much though he might wish to do so, he cannot bring them here either, nor can they escape to Egypt, or even Europe. This is a tragedy for real people, though it is a rhetorical feast for the Eurocommie morons and bastards on the internet – of which there are quite a number in Holland. Of course.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Sometimes you just want to hang around drinking Genever with a few friends and snagging tasty bits with your chopsticks. In summer, when the weather is nice and indolence is tempting, this is precisely the thing to do.

[Of course if those friends are Chinese they might not like Genever, and you'll just have to make do with Remy Martin or Courvoisier. Weird.]

Here are two chicken dishes which are easy to make, and good for casual eating. The first one can also be done with pigeons, and is served cold. The second is great with liquor.
Serve both with some stirfried vegetables glazed with a little broth, cornstarch, and chicken fat (which makes it glisten nicely - appearance is very important).

[Saltwater Chicken]

One three pound chicken.
Two cups water.
Half a cup of cane sugar.
Quarter cup of salt.
Jigger of rice wine or sherry.
Two star anise pods, two chopped scallion, two or three thick slices ginger (whacked with the back of the cleaver), and one clove garlic (also whacked).

Bring the water and the various flavourings listed to a boil. Simmer briefly, cool down and refrigerate.

In a second vessel heat enough water to inundate the chicken entirely. When it boils, do precisely that. Remove the chicken, rinse under cold water, and repeat. The third time place the chicken in the boiling water, put a lid on the pot, and turn off the heat. After thirty minutes remove the bird and rinse under cold water. It is now at the exact stage of cooked that Chinese people like, but if you are a queasy white person it would have done no harm if you had simmered it for a few minutes before turning off the heat. Or you could turn on the flame, and once it boils place the chicken in it one more time, turning off heat and letting it stand for ten minutes.

Once the birdie has been removed from the water for the last time wipe it dry, then brush it very thoroughly with sesame oil (the dark Chinese kind, not the healthfoodstore crap that white people buy).
Now prick the chicken all over with a needle, and place it in the cold salt-water mixture in the refrigerator for twenty-four hours.
To serve, chop it into chopstickable chunks, strew with a little freshly minced scallion, and sprinkle with a little of the soaking liquid.

[Note: the boil-water can be used for broth.]

[Drenched Chicken Chunks]

One three pound chicken, chopped into chunks.
Half a cup of shelled peanuts.
Quarter cup of rice wine or sherry.
Two TBS expressed ginger juice.
One TBS cornstarch.
Half TBS sugar.
Half TBS soy sauce.
Four cups broth.
Four cups rice wine or sherry.
Minced ginger and garlic.
Chopped scallion.

Marinate chicken pieces for an hour in the half cup sherry, ginger juice, corn starch, sugar, and soy sauce. Drain and pat dry. Reserve marinade.
Meanwhile wash and soak the peanuts to remove the red skins and to soften them.

Heat oil in a pan, add ginger, add garlic, then add chicken pieces, followed shortly by the peanuts. Stir over high heat till coloured somewhat and fragrant. Add the sherry and the broth, bring to a boil, turn low and simmer for twenty minutes. Remove the chicken pieces to a dish. Add the reserved marinade to the pan, bring to a boil, and pour over the chicken. Let it stand a few minutes, then garnish with the chopped scallion and serve.

Some plain boiled rice would not be amiss, nor some lengthwise sliced cucumber for nibbling either. Also put a large pot of tea on the table - it stimulates conversation and helps you deal with a surfeit of alcohol. Melon and oranges.


A friend is heading towards Poona in another ten days, for a month on the Old Sod. The old sod being not Blighty but India. And herself being not some insipid little trout from the boggy north, but a Parsi.

So I expect her to have gained weight when she returns. Parsis are seriously into food, and before trekking to Poona where her parents live, she'll be in Bombay for a few days. Where there are several places to seriously upload food. Real food. Parsi food.

Jimmy Boy off Horniman Circle, Ideal Corner in the fort, and Paradise in Colaba, near the causeway. All good places for standard Parsi fare. Plus Yazdani Bakery in the fort for excellent baked goods.

All of this is hearsay, of course, because I have never been to Bombay. I just know about it from reading Busybee's loving descriptions of eating out.

Who, you ask, was Busybee?

Busybee was the food-writing persona of the late Parsi journalist Behram Contractor (see here:, whose meanderings across dinnertime Bombay remain a joy to read and reread, and by which one may remember the man long after his passing.

[For a food-write feast about Dhansak, go here:]

However, being the food-slut that I am, I do have first-hand experience with some of the things he writes about, including chicken farcha, sali boti, patrel biriani, sweet-sour carrot pickle, wafer per eeda, and Dhansak.

So, seeing as you have probably yourself always wanted to load up on Dhansak, and, like me, you are not a member of the Rippon Club, you must make your own. With mutton, of course. Plus pumpkin, brinjal, and methi bhaji. And Dhansak Masala.

[Parsi spice mixture used primarily for dhansak]

9 Dry chilies (Guajillo or New Mexico chiles secos).
Two and a half TBS coriander seed.
One and a half TBS cumin seed.
One TBS whole peppercorns.
Half a TBS fennel seed.
Half a TBS black mustard seed.
Half a TBS fenugreek seed.
Three Tej Patta (cassia leaves - bay leaf may be substituted, but it isn't really the same).
Three green cardamom pods, seeds only.
One black cardamom pod, seeds only.
One three-inch stick of cinnamon.
One star-anise pod.
Nine whole cloves.
One Tsp. mace.

Roast all spices except the mace. Cool and grind. Add mace and regrind, sift. If it is to be stored use a brown or blue glass jar. Optionally add half a teaspoon of turmeric to inhibit mold if you intend to make more than you will use soon.

To use, mash with about eight or nine cloves of garlic and a thumb of ginger. It will be sufficient for enough dhansak to feed about eight people.

You would use two thirds of a cup of toovar dal (telwalla), one third of a cup each of masoor and moong dal. Slightly more than a pound of red pumpkin, one or two Chinese eggplants, three or four tomatoes, two or three onions, and a small bunch of methi leaves plus a handful of cilantro. You will need about a pound and a half of lamb-stew meat chunks on the bone, up to two pounds.

The procedure is standard, and you probably do not need me to describe it - cook the dals smooshy in one pan, gild the onion, aromatics, spices, lamb in another pan. Then mix everything for further cooking. A small dash of vinegar and a little tamarind may be added for a pleasing tang. Do NOT add pineapple, unless you are Angrezi and more than a little mad.

Serve with kachumber and Parsi brown rice. Plus some lime segments for squeezing. And croquettes or pattice.

Then spend the rest of the afternoon sleeping.


Hamas has issued a death-list with the names of over one hundred prominent Fatah members.

Fatah has threatened to entirely exterminate Hamas in the West-Bank.

I am a dyed-in-the-wool liberal.

So of course I support both sides in these two noble endeavors, and wish that they may succeed beyond all expectations.

I fully expect all who normally voice support for the Palestinian cause to be on board regarding this matter also. And I encourage them to demonstrate in favour of their pets.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


The sign I held this past weekend, you will recall (from my immediately previous post, which of course you have read already), was considered extremist.

But things have changed slightly since then.

As of today, the statement “Hamas Must Be Destroyed” is endorsed by the Gaza faction of Fatah, plus the Masri clan and the Bakr clan.

A large percentage of the population of Gaza would also agree with the sign.

It’s only soft-in-the-head Euries and Oaklanders who (still) think it an extreme pov.

I guess we know where Hamas gets its support.

Monday, June 11, 2007


That's what my sign this past weekend said.
I thought it was a nice middle-of-the-road slogan that everybody could get behind.

But I was wrong. In the Bay Area, a sentiment supportive of eliminating a murderous gang of thugs who have sworn to wipe Israel off the map and impose an Islamic dictatorship is too extreme.

Apparently Hamas is considered moderate and reasonable by the standards of some people here.

And my sign advocating erasing them is extremist.

I already knew that some of my thinking was out of step with some of my fellow citizens here in the heartland of the urban and coastal enlightened crust (as contrasted with the interior of the country, which is stark-raving trailertrash bonkers, according to many). I just did not know how far out of step my thinking was. I've been told that I should not publicly say that Hamas must be destroyed. Because it offends some people.

So I'll keep that sign in reserve for whenever we are angrily screaming across the barricades at Amelek in front of the consulate, which is bound to happen again sometime this summer. And use kinder, gentler signs for when we're trying to persuade the good people of Oakland, who are marvelously enlightened and unignorant besides, to cast away at least a modicum of their praeconceptions about Israel and the Middle-East. We're in this to hearts-and-minds them, and should not assume that they have a clue. I keep forgetting that. They are very blissful.

Major difference between Americans and Europeans: Americans are not very well informed, Europeans are sometimes too opinionated. And this is a balanced and deliberately inoffensive way of expressing this opinion. Understated. Middle-of-the-road, in fact.

Friday, June 08, 2007


The text below is by Rabbi Jeremy Rosen, and posted here with his permission.
The original is here:
[His blog is here:]



The 20th of Sivan, this week, is the anniversary of the Blood Libel at Blois in France in 1171, when the Jewish community of about 40 people (at a time when the total Jewish population of France was no more than a few thousand) was massacred. Half were burnt to death singing the Aleynu prayer as they perished. The great Rabbeynu Tam instituted a fast day to commemorate the tragedy that for many years was adhered to strictly by the Jews of Ashkenaz.

In 1144 at Norwich, Jews were first accused of killing Christian children because it was claimed they needed Christian blood for the Four Cups of Wine at the Passover seder. In Gloucester in 1168, in Bury St. Edmonds in 1181, Bristol in 1183, and most notoriously in Lincoln in 1255, Jews suffered as the result of this stupidly insane and illogical charge. A thirteenth century monk called Rhindfleish claimed that Jews stole communion wafers from churches to beat until the blood of Jesus flowed, and hundreds of Jews were killed to avenge this ‘crime’.

One might think that unexceptional in an era of burning heretics, drowning witches, and torturing people to confess almost anything, but the Blood Libel persisted into the twentieth century. In Kiev in 1913, the unfortunate Baylis was charged with murdering a Christian child for Jewish religious purposes. Although at the trial he was acquitted, the Jewish religion was not! It will come as no surprise that the Blood Libel is making a giant comeback in the Muslim world and is repeated and exaggerated on state-sponsored television throughout that culturally benighted part of our planet.

You may remember the scandal that erupted earlier this year when Professor Toaff was accused of claiming that medieval Jews were guilty of the Blood Libel and he withdrew his book. On closer reading, all he said was that possibly Jews did use dried human blood in medieval cures and charms, and at most might have retaliated for acts of violence against them—and even this was based only on confessions under torture. But the idea that we ever used blood, something forbidden by our laws, is so malevolently false that only depraved minds could conceive it.

We are also a week away from the moment when six-year-old Edgar Mortara was kidnapped by the Catholic Church from his parents in Bologna, Italy in 1858, on the grounds that his Catholic nanny had secretly baptised him. He was never returned. He became a favourite of Pope Pius IX, who ordered and perpetuated the crime. Mortara eventually died in a Belgian monastery.

What I find amazing is that despite the continuous lies and brutalities, the kidnapping, rape, and murder of our men, women, and children by supposedly good Christians, although negative opinions are expressed, nowhere in any major rabbinic authority or source will you find any support for a halachic position that says you do not have to treat non-Jews correctly and morally and according to the law of the land and if necessary in contravention of Jewish Law.

Throughout the periods of bloody chaos under both Christianity and Islam (accepting the differences) whether it was Rabbeynu Tam in the twelfth century, Rabbi Menahem Meiri in the fourteenth, Rabbi Lowe of Prague in the sixteenth, Rabbi Yechezkel Landau in the eighteenth or Rabbi Yisrael Lipshitz in the nineteenth, they all wrote and spoke out against any evidence of mistreatment, deception or amorality in dealing with non-Jews and our obligations to adhere to ‘The Law of the Land’ (and that would include international law).

Sadly this is no longer the case. Our rabbis seem to get worse as the years roll on. Here is the latest scandal from last week’s Jerusalem Post.

All civilians living in Gaza are collectively guilty for Kassam attacks on Sderot, former Sephardi Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu has written in a letter to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

Eliyahu ruled that there was absolutely no moral prohibition against the indiscriminate killing of civilians during a potential massive military offensive on Gaza aimed at stopping the rocket launchings.

The letter, published in Olam Katan [Small World], a weekly pamphlet to be distributed in synagogues nationwide this Friday, cited the Biblical story of
the Shechem massacre (Genesis 34) and Maimonides' commentary (Laws of Kings 9, 14) on the story as proof texts for his legal decision.

According to Jewish war ethics, wrote Eliyahu, an entire city holds collective responsibility for the immoral behavior of individuals. In Gaza, the entire populace is responsible because they do nothing to stop the firing of Kassam rockets.

Eliyahu is simply wrong. Collective punishment is not halachically acceptable and Maimonides’s position on Shechem has been well challenged. This is not the place to go into details. If Rabbi Eliyahu is going to take a highly contentious and controversial abstract law and apply it to modern conditions, then frankly it is in the same category as the Neturei Karta jokers who argue that all the suffering of the Jewish people in Israel and beyond is because they have dared top pre-empt the Messiah.

I had little respect for the Israeli Chief Rabbinate before this outburst. Even if I give him the benefit of the doubt that he was responding in pain to his suffering constituents in Sederot and the scandalous double standards of others, such abuse of Law and Lore demeans the person and the system. It is a blot on our tradition. No wonder we have stopped fasting over Blood Libels.

While we have a right and an obligation to self-preservation and while charity starts at home, we cannot isolate ourselves. We must meet our obligations to society in general. And I can say categorically that no truly great rabbi has ever said anything to the contrary.



Rabbi Rosen can be found here:

There are two mailing lists associated with Rabbi Jeremy Rosen. You can find out more about them here:

Rabbi Jeremy Rosen is the oldest son of Rabbi Kopul Rosen, and the brother of Rabbi Michael Rosen and Rabbi David Rosen. In addition to having been a pulpit rabbi, Jeremy Rosen is the director of Yakar in London, and professor of comparative religion in Antwerp. He is also the author of several books.


Final note and personal opinion: Neturei Karta is mentioned in passing in the article above. The less said about NK, the better. They are the moral equivalent of Shabsai Zvi, about whom also the less said the better. But whereas Shabsai Zvi was a symptom of a pervasive sickness in the soul of his era, Neturei Karta is a tumour. Merely a tumour. Tumours can be sliced out.

Thursday, June 07, 2007


Help get the word out ASAP


Stand With Israel Rally In Washington, DC
Show your support for Israel in Washington, DC on June 10, 2007.
Don't let the anti-Israel lies go unanswered!

Sunday, June 10, 2007
America, Stand with Israel at the Counter-Rally on June 10, 2007.

You CAN make a difference .

Come to Washington DC on June 10, and join us in a rally to support Israel's right to peace, security and defensible borders!

Israel's opponents are on the move: On June 10, 2007, to mark the 40th anniversary of Israel's 1967 war of survival, the extremist groups "United for Peace and Justice" and "Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation" will hold what even the liberal magazine Tikkun called a rally for the "dissolution of the State of Israel." The "United for Peace and Justice" coalition includes such radical organizations as the Socialist Party USA, the Young Communists League, Communist Party USA, and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.

Israel's supporters depend on you: We will gather on the North side of Constitution Avenue, just west of the Capitol Reflecting Pool. We are organizing this literally one week before the event, with almost no resources or time. This Counter-Rally truly is the product of a few citizens who are deeply outraged that Israel's opponents might have demonstrated in our nation's capitol without any patriotic opposing voices who will tell truth to counter these lies. We must stand up to lies and distortions.

We will not have a microphone or a speakers' platform, but we CAN show our support with our signs, flags, patriotic songs and our own strong voices as individual citizens exercising our right to assemble. We are bringing signs and flags for you to hold, sponsored by Stand with Us. Feel free to make your own sign, but please use the messages listed below.

Date: Sunday, June 10

Place: Begin assembling on the North side of Constitution Avenue, apart from the opponents' demonstration, at 1:00 PM. Our exact location may change. Please check here before the rally, and look for our American and Israeli flags on June 10.


The Counter-Rally : The Stand with Israel Counter-Rally begins at 2:00 PM and lasts until 4:00 PM
The March : The March from the Capitol to the Ellipse begins at 4:00 PM. We plan to march with our signs and flags parallel to, but apart from, the main demonstration.
What to bring : Bring food, water, a hat, and sunscreen
Transportation : Don't drive--there is limited public parking on Capitol Hill. Take the metro to either Union Station on the red line or Capitol South on the orange/blue lines

Messages for signs :

Israel We Stand With You
Suicide Bombing is mass murder
Hamas and Hezbollah: Allow the Red Cross to visit the abducted Israeli soldiers
Palestinian Terrorists Terrorize Israelis and Palestinians
UK , US and Israel Allies Against Terror
Free the Palestinians from Hamas
HAMAS Stop the Aggression
Israel Must Defend Itself
Stop the Qassam Rockets
Hamas stop terrorizing the children
Pick a side: Hamas and Hezbollah or Peace and Freedom
Israel seeks a partner for peace
Stand for Freedom, Stand for Israel
Teaching Children to Hate Will NEVER Lead to Peace!
For more information, please email our volunteer coordinators.



Use them in your conversations about the Arab-I sraeli conflict.

* Israel's size is 1/6 of 1% of the Arab World.

* Israel has 1,300,000 Israeli -Arab citizens, who are 20% of its population. Israel also officially recognizes and gives privileges to 15 different religions.

* Palestinian Arabs living in the territories are not citizens of Israel.

* There was no Security Fence along the West Bank prior to the relentless violence in 2002, and since it was built, terrorism has dropped by 85%

* Israel wants peace and is willing to make painful compromises by giving away land as it did for peace with Egypt and Jordan. Today it is unilaterally withdrawing from Gaza.

* Where is the money? Arafat was given billions of dollars to improve living conditions for the Palestinians. He did not build schools, roads or hospitals. He did not improve housing or sewage systems. Those billions are missing. Hamas and other terrorist groups continue to misappropriate funds sent by well-meaning organizations like the U.N. and the E.U. Instead of building a Palestinian state these funds are being used to attack Israel. Why?

* Peace Must Be Taught The PA must immediately change the message being taught by its clerics who call for the murder of Jews and by its teachers who deny Israel's right to exist. PA schoolbooks must promote peace, not hatred.

* The PA Charter Must be Changed. It still calls for the destruction of Israel, just as the Hamas Charter does.

* Israel is a re-establishment of the Jewish State Jews have lived in and identified with this land for thousands of years. The Old Testament, New Testament and Koran all refer to this area as the land of the Jews. Even if one is not religious, these old documents are another way to show that Jews are indigenous to Israel and the surrounding area.

* The Definition of Zionism: If you believe that Jews have a right to self-determination and to their own country in the area that is ancient Israel where they have maintained a presence for thousands of years, then you are a Zionist. Most Jews are Zionists, as are many non-Jews.

Produced by StandWithUs

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For some reason which I cannot explain I thought about the Shanghainese girl this morning. I knew her years ago, we drifted apart, and lost ...