Friday, May 28, 2010


Israel, for many Jews, means Jewish nationhood. Admittedly, because Israel is a young country, often under attack on its borders, often under fire internationally for a wealth of reasons (some of which are most definitely anti-Semitism in a new guise, some of which are valid complaints blown out of all proportion), there is a defensive quality that operates. Jews are Israel – but not all Jews define the nation Israel the same, not all of them will see the state Israel as the best or only representative of the nation/nationality.

Differences of opinion are valid. Essential, also. But Israel as a state exists – it is a miracle that after so many years of being a pariah among its neighbors in its own land it STILL exists – and many Jews, supporters of Israel (including many critical voices!) are proud of its survival, its achievements, and its sheer chutzpah at maintaining itself in the face of the loathing and hate directed at it by most of the Arab and Muslim world, most of Europe (especially Western Europe, now proudly NOT responsible for the burden of their history), and even many in the US. Especially from Jews who would rather not have been born Jewish, and Jews who are not comfortable with Jews being proud of a country, or celebrating the defiance of their people.
Like the bullied kid on the playground, there are still many who are far more comfortable with being the put-upon Jew among the Gentiles, rather than the feisty little outcaste feared and despised for being different.

Yet it is precisely those attitudes and fears that maintain anti-Semitism. As long as there are Jews who obsequiously apologize for everything Israel does, as long as there are Jews who lavish affection on groups that have no intention of requiting that love, as longs as there are people who justify any enmity and discriminatory act as a valid voice of resistance, there will be a need for Israel to exist, and for Israel to resist.

[Note: the above was a comment I placed under this post:
I am by no means above recycling myself - especially when what I said is correct.]


Anyone who thinks that the Palestinian narrative, with its violence, terrorism, incitement, and rank unbridled anti-Semitism, is the moral equal of the Israeli narrative of impossible survival and redemption of a nation, is more or less choosing the side of darkness, deceit, and ultimately, ethnically cleansing the land of Jews.

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
[Bishop Desmond Tutu]

'Zionism' as a national liberation movement predates almost all other national liberation movements. In fact, Arab nationalism arose in imitation of Zionism in attmepting to cast out the imperialists, those being the Ottoman Empire, the English, and the French. Without the inspiration of the ideal of Jewish national rebirth, it is quite likely that the Arabs would STILL be mere subjects of the British, French, and Turks.

Zionism, of course, was also profoundly inspiring to many other nations casting off the yoke of empire - the Chinese, the Indonesians, the Indians (yes, EVEN Gandhi and Nehru!), the Yugoslavs, the nations of East Africa.....


Fellow blogger Death By Noodles alerts me to an article in Arutz Sheva that makes for interesting reading.

Abbas: Agree on Borders First, then Hold Direct Talks

"Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas revealed Thursday that he does not intend to hold direct negotiations with Israeli leaders until Israel and the PA have reached a United States-mediated final agreement regarding the borders of a future PA state. Those borders must include Jerusalem as the capital, he added."
End quote.


As Death By Noodles writes:
"This means that unless Israel gives up her capitol city - the focus of Jewish yearning for all the long years of exile and for several centuries overwhelmingly Jewish - the PLO will not even consider coming to terms with reality and the existence of the state which predates their own violent nationalism."

That is an accurate assessment.
It wasn't until Yassir Arafat started referring to his own group as "Palestinians" that anyone had even heard of them. Till that time, the term had been applied to Jews who populated the area - who had declared their nationhood a generation earlier, with the approval of the United Nations.
The Arabs who stayed in the land became citizens; the Arabs who left after being encouraged to do so by the defeated Egyptians, Syrians, and other English client-states, became discriminated prisoners in camps, useful as pawns, but by no means fellow citizens of their host-countries.

Death By Noodles continues:
It must of course be remembered that until 1967, the people who now call themselves Palestinians considered themselves Jordanian, Syrian, and Egyptian. In point of fact, one could argue that there was no sense of differentiation from the Arab Umma before Hussein of Jordan wrested control of his kingdom back and expelled the PLO during Black September.
End quote.

A very good point.

Read more here:


At the end of her post she also flings some gratuitous bile at the Malays and the Pakistanis - gratuitous, but thoroughly deserved.
Malays, as is well known, still maintain an apartheid society in which Chinese Malaysians, no matter how many generations they have been there (in many cases since the early eighteen hundreds - some even since the sixteen hundreds), are discriminated against in favour of recent Javanese and Sumatran carpet baggers.
Jadi Islam, the verb for converting to the Muslim faith, also means Jadi Melayu: becoming Malay. Still not equal, but far more so than Christians, Buddhists, or Hindus could ever possibly be in Malay society.

Malaysia is a pestilential place.
How much more so Pakistan.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


As a child I was fascinated by bats. This was a fascination that came about gradually, first prompted by several comic strips, then by some wonderful books about the natural world which my mother had ordered from Blackwell's in England - source of reading material for many transplanted English speakers in the distant frontiers and among the hairy savages.

For several years, whenever another book about bats appeared, I would anxiously await the new shipment from Oxford.
Oddly, such a thing didn't happen often. Not nearly enough.

Eventually I moved on to bigger and better things. Pipes and tobacco. Mediaeval history. Kurt Weil & Bertold Brecht. The age of the Celts. Charlemagne and his paladins. Genghiz Khan. The brutal exploitation of innocent artistic natives by bloodthirsty Europeans during the colonial age.
Still, bats continued to fascinate.

There are at least two bats that live in my neighborhood. After twilight on their street they emerge from the crevasse between two buildings, and fly up and down the block hunting for food. Occasionally I will stand on the corner and observe them for a while.

I think these are Myotis of some sort. Myotis lucifugus? It's the ears, you see. And the colouration. Plus the fact that the nose is snoutlike, rather than rhinolophidous.
There is also a fully membraned tail which can be used to flip a wily bug up towards the mouth.
Little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus) and related species eat insects - flies, mosquitoes, gnats, moths, etcetera. They are quite voracious.

Yesterday evening there were three of them. Two larger, one smaller.

Bats in the temperate zone mate in autumn, the single infant is born in spring.
Both of the larger bats may have been female - often pregnant females congregate in a maternity roost, but if only a few of them inhabit a locale, this may not be possible.

This has been a rather wet spring, which guarantees far more pests than usual.

I, for one, would like to welcome junior to the neighborhood, and congratulate his (her?) doting mother on this happy event.
Mazel tov!
May their tribe increase.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Centuries ago, imperial troops sacked a monastery that supported a previous dynasty, killing thousands of ascetics. Five monks escaped, and fled south, finally meeting up again at the Red Flower Pavilion, to swear vengeance for their murdered brethren, and organize rebellion against the tyrant.

This tale is a fundament not only of the narratives of many Southern Chinese secret societies, but also of much of the Cantonese and Fujianese worldview.

There are two key elements:
ONE – Friendships are a bond stronger in many ways than all other relationships; your friends will stand by you.
TWO – The government and the forces of society are impersonal and often destructive to that which is most worth preserving.

It is, if you will, reflective of a rebellious character. Not surprisingly, revolutions and dissent have often originated south of the great river ('Taai Gong': 大江 ; Gong-naam, "South of the Great River": 江南), most notably in Fujian ('Fok-kien': 福建), where the loyalist of the Ming Dynasty fought desperately for nearly a century against the conquerors, withdrawing at last to Taiwan ('Toi-waan': 臺灣) to continue the struggle for another bitter generation, and in Guangdong (Canton, 'Kwong-tung': 廣東) and Guangxi ('Kwong-sai': 廣西) provinces, where activists for generation after generation joined secret societies and fomented unrest.

[Actual meanings of the names: 大江Big river; 江南 River south; 福建 Fortune builds; 臺灣Terrace bay; 廣東Expanse East; 廣西 Expanse West.]

反清復明 - Fan Ching Fuk Ming
["Counter the Manchus, restore the Ming dynasty!"]

Most of the secret societies ended up splitting into three distinct branches: a social and social welfare side, a hunted rebel side, and a criminal side.
All three sides told the tale of the five elders ('Ng-jou': 五祖) fleeing the destruction of Siew-Lam Ji (Shaolin Temple: 少林寺), and stressed the noble aspirations of the outlaws that populate the pages of China’s long fractious history.
For the length of the Ching Dynasty ('Cheng-chiu': 清朝), most Southerners regarded the ruling Manchus ('Mon-juk': 滿族) as vile barbarians opposed in every way to everything that was really Chinese.
It is ironic that the Manchu ruling-class became so thoroughly Chinese in education and outlook that today not even ten percent of them can speak their own native tongue - their flawless Peking pronunciation is envied as the very best Mandarin.

[The Five Elders: Fong Tai-Hong (方大洪), Lee Sik-Hoi (李式開), Wu Tak-Tai (胡德帝), Ma Chiu-Hing (馬超興), and Tsoi Tak-Chong (蔡德忠).]


The mental and mostly metaphoric world of Chinese outlaws and rebels is known as gongwu (江湖) – rivers and lakes, representing the wilds and the unsettled marshlands, where gallants (‘how-hon’: 好漢) and chevaliers (‘kiem-hap’: 劍俠) hid out from a repressive government. The embodiment of Chinese ideals was a hero ('yinghong': 英雄) who would risk his own life for his companions and the just cause. Righteousness ('yi': 義) was the most praiseworthy thing a person could possess; the loyalty that inspired that righteousness ('yi-hey': 義氣) was infinitely precious.

Given that most of Chinese history consists of short periods of honest government followed by very long periods of brutal exploitation, misery, and general bureaucratic misrule, it is quite understandable that the common man should seek comfort in such countercultural ideals. What is perhaps surprising is how much of this worldview still exists.

The Cantonese language, without the idioms and metaphors of rebellion and anarchy, would be much poorer, far less expressive. There is a feistiness and imaginary quality to how the Cantonese express themselves that permeates their emotions, their though-processes, their songs, movies, and popular culture.

友誼之光 (Yau-yi Ji Gwong')
[The Light of Friendship]

I mention these matters in order to present a song from the 1987 movie 'Prison On Fire' ('Gam Yuk Fong Wan': 監獄風雲) starring Chow Yun-fat (周潤發) and Leung Ka-fai (梁家輝) :

Yan-sang yu sai seung, yau gei ko chi kei
To-sieu yau-yi nang cheung-chyun
今日别離共你雙雙两握手Kam-yat bit-lei gung ney seung-seung leung ak sau
友誼常在你我心里Yau-yi seung tsoi ney ngoh sam leui

['In the span of a life how often can one know someone well? How many friendships will long survive? Do not part today without warmly shaking hands, With a friendship that remains strong in our hearts.']

Kam-tien che yiu jaam-biet

Ta-chiew ya deng nang jeui-sau

Jung-si pat nang woei-min

Chi-chung ya si pang-yau

['Today we must distinguish the moment, On the morrow we shall meet again; Though we might never again be face-to-face, From beginning to end (for as long as we live) we shall remain companions.']

說有萬里山 隔阻兩地遙
Sut yau man lei san, gak-jo leung tei yiew;
不需見面 心中也知曉
Pat seui kien-min, sam-tsong ya chi-hiew;
Yau-yi goi pat liew.

['Should it be that there are ten thousand mountains, or obstacles at both extremes; There is no need to actually meet, the heart still deeply knows; this a bond which shall not change.']


One might think that the movie is a standard buddy flick, presenting two guys in the slammer going through hell together and coming out better for their friendship.
But that would be overlooking the Cantonese context, and the attitudes that Cantonese people have about loyalty and obligations towards each other. When you're in the same boat, sworn together ('tung-meng': 同盟), you stand in for each other like outlaws in the forests and marshes, rebels in the mountains and wastelands.
The movie is on one level a perfect expression of the Cantonese Weltanshauung, but on another level an entertaining tale of gallantry and stubbornness; both, as I have endeavored to explain, also perfect Cantonese ideals.

The song above is phrased in great part like an oath. It should therefore be no surprise that it is one of the anthems of the Hong Kong Democracy movement.

What may surprise you is that it was written by a woman.
Specifically, by a woman who is not, strictly speaking, Chinese.
Or even from Hong Kong.
Maria Cordero (肥媽瑪俐亞), from Macau, is an actress and singer of mixed Portuguese and Chinese ancestry.
You can't really get more Hong Kong than that!
And Hong Kong is, as you no doubt know, the most 'Cantonese' of cities.



What prompted all this was a Facebook posting by the cute and vivacious Steffy Chou, who wrote:
"Kisses to whoever can guess which modern Cantonese song has the same tune as this sweet Mandarin oldie: ----------------- "

I was the only person who responded.
Well okay then.
I think I've won this round.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


This is not a sweet-natured post. You have been warned.

Sometime over the weekend, the building replaced the old paper towel dispensers in the bathrooms with new ones.

A few moments ago, our office manager sent out the following e-mail under the subject line 'paper towels in the restrooms':


We have new paper towel dispensers in our restrooms.
Please note; the sensor to make the paper come out is located under the lip not in front. You therefore must place your hand under for it to work.


Shortly afterwards this e-mail went out to a limited distribution list:


It was in Calibri 72 point type. Bright screaming red.
Perhaps a bit too snarky?
So I answered:

"I for one am so glad he told us. I haven’t used a bathroom for over two weeks, so I would never have found out. Nor would I have EVER guessed that the darn things have sensors. What a miracle of technology.
I just go up to the roof and aim off the edge."


I have just received the following response:

"I will never leave this place without a hazmat suite again...."


Sage words.
NEVER leave the building without protective gear.
Sh&% falls from the sky.
It's a learning experience.


But can he teach? Well, if he’s a rabbi, it is taken for granted. The title of rabbi not only tends to mean teacher (actually, it means ‘my lord’, but it is applied to those presumed capable of imparting learning that everyone should know), but attests to having participated in a chain of transmission of knowledge.

One who has learned, in such a way, is presumed able to form the next link in that tradition. Traditionally, smicha (the ‘degree’ of rabbi) is conferred by a panel of three examiners, usually rabbis of standing and depth of knowledge - though according to the Rambam (Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, also known as Maimonides: 1135 - 1204 CE) only one of them actually has to have smicha. What they are probing is whether the person knows and understands the material, and has the depth and breadth necessary to pass it on, guiding others in a correct grasp of it

[Rabbinic ordination: The term ‘smicha’ derives from anointing, but for most of the past two millennia that has been neither relevant nor observed. After the student has spent several years studying Talmud-Torah, most particularly halacha (Talmud), and thereof most particularly the Shulchan Aruch (a compendium of halacha based on the Talmud, written by Yosef Karo) and its commentaries and addendums, and of that most particularly the laws of family purity, the Sabbath, and ‘forbiddens and permitteds’ (issur ve heter), he will be tested in his knowledge by a panel of his teachers.]

Though smicha is considered the benchmark, I should point out that many rebbeim and roshei-yeshivos do not have formal smicha. The Chofets Chaim, for example.


May he decide? Indeed he may decide! May he judge? Indeed he may judge!
That's all it takes. One man of learning and repute asking two rhetorical questions, answering them affirmatively, and attesting to that.

Smicha, if given by even one rabbi, is still smicha. Smicha merely says that the person who gave the smicha (the masmich) is confident that the recipient of that smicha (the musmach) can teach the subject to the extent and according to the standards that are expected - by, nota bene, the masmich!


It is for that reason that one should ask not only "do you have smicha?", but also, as important if not more, "from whom do you have smicha?"
And likewise "from whom did he (your teacher) get smicha?"

Thus a chain of repute can be established leading back, in some cases, several centuries, and linking several hundreds or thousands of scholars in relationships of master-student, chavruso, or 'esteemed fellow-scholar with whom one has much in common'.
In very real terms, one is judged by one's intellectual kin.

This post is in reaction to the news mentioned on Dovbear’s blog that certain individuals in Israel were selling smicha.



Quote:" Some 2,000 police officers, soldiers and cadets attended various religious colleges for a number of hours a week but were granted diplomas for completing five years of studies. The certificates enabled the individuals to receive pay raises from the State."
End quote.

Conservative Apikoris at Live "Frei" or Die pointed to a Ha'aretz article from 2005 about this:

What it all boils down to is that some gedolim are more equal than other gedolim.
And some aren't even gedolim, but conceivably gazlonim.

Friday, May 21, 2010


Southerners have some marvelous ways of expressing themselves.

'She's sweet, bless her heart' (but she ain't got a sensible bone in her body).
'He's a hard worker, bless his heart' (dumb as an ox, though).
'She's got such energy, bless her heart' (somebody give the bitch valium).
'He's really had to suffer in his life, bless his heart' (because he married that slut from Tennessee that he knocked up when he was drunk, lordsakes what a cow).

Gotta admire folks that can pull those sentences off with a straight face.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


A friend comments that “he must have been spectacularly ugly if they don’t want anybody to know what he looked like”. This pursuant the information that in addition to banning Facebook, the Pakistani Government has now also banned Youtube. Because of the ongoing nonsense about 'Everybody Draw Muhammad Day'.


You would think that a society so massively plagued with low literacy rates, malnutrition, prostitution, sex slavery, rape, and child-molestation - a society that has shown NO redeeming qualities in over a generation - would have other fish to fry. At least something more important to worry about than the chance that some of its population would inadvertently see badly drawn pictures of some frowsty long-dead Arab mendicant.

Nope. Sorry. If even one Paki, no matter how blitheringly insane, sees a picture of a bearded hippie, the world will end. Violently.

“He must have been spectacularly ugly if they don’t want anybody to know what he looked like”

Pakistanis, as is by now well known, riot at the drop of a hat ("turban").
Thousands of them, including usually at least two literate people, will rush into the streets to burn flags, scream death threats against Europe and America, and wave their fists in the air.
The literate people (both of them) are tasked with writing slogans in Urdu or Siraiki, and occasionally English. Despite the clear kufrat of speaking any other language than the blessed Urdu and Siraiki of the holy Prophet (Muhammad Pbuh), Pakistanis like to use English as a sign of culture.
The illiterates (all tens of thousands of them) scream, weep, wail, jump around wiggling, and generally enjoy a sense of superiority over everyone who isn't Paki. Except, of course, for their sacred prophet, Muhammad Pbuh. Who had the misfortune of being born Arab. Though they all feel that he SHOULD have been a Pakistani.

[There's some nonsense about Pbuh meaning 'peace be upon him'. Seeing as there is nothing peaceful at all about the icky religion that sprung from his fevered and superstitious mind, nor any peacefulness in the lands dominated by his rather savage and unbearable followers, this blogger instead holds by the theory that Pbuh means Peebooh. It makes much more sense, don't you think? Peebooh. Evocative of a scare in the toilet, or perhaps the sound of intestinal gas. Peebooh. "Oooop, you scared me, Peebooh." Peebooh. Muhammad P'buh. 'Mo' to his friends, jolly nice chap. Mo Peebooh. ]

Well, at least the Prophet Muhammad ('mister Peebooh') wasn't a Punjabi or a Sindhi.
Thank heavens for small favours!
I rather like Punjabis and Sindhis.

While the howling mob venerates their pal Muhammad (aka Pbuh Saheb), problems such as child prostitution, massive bureaucratic corruption, a legal system which has collapsed, illiteracy on a scale scarce seen since the middle ages, rampant crime, rape and sexual exploitation, acid attacks, and the sheer desperate vulgarity of Pakistani popular culture fade into insignificance. Peebooh. Take comfort in Peebooh, burn something for Peebooh.

“He must have been spectacularly ugly if they don’t want anybody to know what he looked like”

Pakistanis admire the UGLY in the world.
They have made their country resemble it as much as possible - sort of a reverse Midas touch.
They seek to be 'one with Peebooh'.
It's rather sweet. Incredibly stupid, but sweet.
Please don't call them dumb fox.

I expect them to ban spell check and soap tomorrow.
Like banning Facebook and Youtube, it will have no effect; most Pakistanis have no access to any of those things anyhow.
And again, there's that MASSIVE illiteracy and poverty....... and those turbans that are wound too tight, cutting off oxygen......

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Letter sent to a mailinglist whose members write mostly in Dutch.
The English language portion at the very end indicates that there is a certain amount of, shall we say, "frustration", inherent in what I wrote. Reading Dutch newspaper articles (and other Dutch texts) on the internet can prompt a revulsion in the reader who isn't Dutch, but nevertheless understands that language.


Volgens malloten die reacties leverden onder een artiekel in Nederland's premier voddejournaille (De Telegraaf), zouden er geen "echte" Amerikanen zijn.

Als dat klopt zijn velen van ulieden dan ook geen "echte" Surinamers. En ieder die een achternaam heeft dat niet puur Nederlands is, is werkelijk ook geen "echte" Nederlander.

Artiekel hier:,2

Stomme opmerking 1.:
"De enigen die aanspraak mogen maken op het feit dat ze echte 'amerikanen' zijn zijn de native indians, de rest zijn allemaal immigranten..."
Stomme opmerking 2.:"Als er ook ooit een Amerikaanse winnaar is geweest, kan dat ALLEEN maar een indiaanse geweest zijn. Iedere andere Amerikaan is een: German-American, Irisch-American, Ita-American en ga zo maar door."

Voorts barst het er in de reacties van de algemene praeconceptionele idiocie dat men (ik, tenminste) immer van Jan Kaas verwacht. Wat een stel verrotte kankerlijders, die Nederlanders. Die opmerkingen over Amerikanen zijn overigens wel ontzettend normaal in dat miserabele kikkerlandje. Sneerende zich beterwanende inbroedsel.

Voor hen die er die typisch stupiede Ollandsche meningen over Amerikanen en hun origine op na houden: Het Engelsche deel van mijn familie zit sinds voor 1620 in Amerika, het Nederlandsche sinds 1630, en het Schots-Iersche vanaf de jaren 1700. Er is ook een veugje "native American" in de stamboom - voor hun achtergrond kunt ge dat hier vinden:

Die zijn er dus vanaf het begin geweest.

Al met al zijn wij hier al vier eeuwen, meer dan dertien generaties. Da's langer dan Nederland een koninkrijk is geweest, langer dan België bestaat, langer dan Duitsland of Italië verenigde landen zijn geweest, langer dan dat Katholieken hun godsdienst in Nederland konden beoefenen, en langer dan er democratische kiesrecht in de laag landen is geweest.
En zowiezo stukken langer dan dat het merendeel van de wereld zichzelve onafhankelijke naties kan noemen.

Dat is ook langer dan dat menig van ulieden zich 'Surinamer' mogen wanen.
Zijn ulieden dan eigenlijk wel Surinamers?
Bestaat er zelfs zoiets?

Van de allochthonen onder u-allen verwacht ik weldoordachte meningen.
Van de "AUTOCHTHONEN" op deze lijst wens ik pertinent niets, maar dan ook niets, te horen.

Met groeten,


PS. Yeah, I know; too much anger. Those of you who are 'Dutch', however, have NO right to complain - you and your people are largely responsible for that; reading your toxic hatefilled xenophobic garbage on the internet for a decade and a half has only made it worse.



NOTE: The Dutch were not always so pissanty. That tendency developed after the war in Holland, as it did elsewhere in decolonialised Europe. Resentment against American ascendancy more than anything else is responsible for the widespread European support of extremism - if something is anti-Yankee, many Europeans will instinctively approve.

That segment of European society is dominant, and will probably remain so.

The rest, feeling under siege from the ultra-left, the busybodies of Brussels, and the large numbers of coddled antisocials in European societies, OR realizing that the rigid conformism that has taken hold since the seventies stifles them and their talents, are largely laying plans to escape - America, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand beckon.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Most days I eat lunch at a civilized hour. Usually sometime after two o'clock. This is remarkable to many of my coworkers, who are starving madmen by noon, and swarm out of the building like so many prowling sharks at twelve on the dot.

Don't bug them, they're eating.
They had to kill an old lady and several orphans who were in the way, and they shot way more possum than they could possibly swallow.
Growl, snap, rip, tear.

The sound of teeth crunching bones, and hungry maws sucking the marrow and juices off roast haunches, is heard throughout the downtown, and the reek of scorched meat and browned fats fills the air.

Today I had a number of meetings - scheduled by the nooners, for times of their convenience.
Their convenience. Not mine. Their time.
I pride myself on being flexible, and I distrust those people when their blood sugar is low.

Which meant that I had precisely twelve minutes for lunch before the next big meeting.

On my way out to grab a sandwich, I remarked to a coworker that it was going to be either liverwurst and pickles or tuna salad, so as to really get even with that bunch.
In consequence of that remark, he spent ten minutes discussing the merits of gehakte leber.
Rich, greasy, delicious gehakte leber.

Which reminded me of a recipe I first posted on September 13, 2007

Chopped liver.

One pound chicken liver or somewhat more.
One onion, chopped coarsely.
Quarter cup rendered chicken fat or clarified duck grease.
Three hard-boiled eggs, chopped coarsely.
One teaspoon paprika. Or more. It's up to you.
Generous pinches salt, pepper, cayenne, dry ginger, and mace.

Add the grease to the pan, heat it up a bit and add the onion. Sauté till the onion is lightly gilded, then add the chicken liver and seethe till cooked. Decant contents of pan to a bowl, add the eggs and the spices. Work over with a large fork, or a round-bladed chopping implement (such as used to be widely sold before electric mixers and laziness were invented).
Once the ingredients can no longer be separated, even though they may be identified at sight, the chopping should end - it will now be a grainy-textured gunk.

Serve with rye bread, melba toasts, small pickles. And sherry. Make small talk.

Or simply flake out in front of the teevee late at night with a box of crackers and smear it on thickly. You should always keep the sherry bottle on the floor next to the chair in the teevee room for just such occasions - you would not want to wake up someone in the next room with sounds of dissipation.

Note that this isn't Savage Kitten's recipe, but mine. Hers is better. All I know about it is that she is generous with the schmaltz.



I didn't have lunch till about five minutes ago.
No, there is no gehakte leber in this neighborhood - this isn't New York.
What I did have was inedible. Not inedible the way gehakte leber is inedible, meaning that you should not try to 'ed' it, because of what too much will do to your stomach and the levels of uric acid crystals in your feet near your big toes, nor inedible like a one-pound steak, which will give you acid indigestion and gravid bowels, or even inedible like a big juicy bacon cheeseburger drenched in hot sauce, but just inedible.
Not to be edded under any circumstances.
Inedible, punkt.


The world is remarkably silent when Muslims exterminate Christians. Perhaps nowhere more so than in the case of Egypt - long a "friend" of the Western World and handsomely recompensed for that service - where without United States aid and assistance, plus the money from pandering to European tourists, there would be massive food-shortages and societal collapse due to official corruption, overpopulation, misguided policies, and general neglect of both development and infrastructural upkeep.

Without the West, Egypt would be a failed state falling into chaos, instead of just a corrupt dictatorship ruled by a clique that cares but for cash.

Read more here:

Article in the Wall Street Journal:

"Hundreds of thousands of Azhar schools, which are monitored by the state, indoctrinate and then discharge annually into Egyptian society hundreds of thousands of young Muslims with an ideology of intolerance, contempt and hatred toward Copts... "
[End quote]

For reference purposes, here is the contact information for the nearest Egyptian diplomatic office:

The Egyptian Consulate General in San Francisco
القنصلية العامة لجمهورية مصر العربية
في مدينة سان فرانسيسكو

276 Mallorca Way, San Francisco, CA 94123-1515
Tel. (415) 346-9700 / 346-9702 / 346-7352
Fax (415) 346-9480

Consul General of Egypt:
Mr. Hesham Elnakib, Ph.D.

The Consulate covers Arizona, Alaska, California, Idaho, Washington, Utah, Montana, Oregon, Nevada, Hawaii and Wyoming.

Please remember that this is manifestly NOT an issue to the Egyptian Government (or to any Arab government); even in the modern age, Christians are merely a nuisance in the Islamic World - especially in those areas conquered by the Muslim armies that took over the Middle-East thirteen centuries ago.

Monday, May 17, 2010


Many of my friends are pot-smokers. I am not. I do not hold by drugs, and lead a clean, abstemious, and very protestant life – caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, and highly refined sugar only. No chemicals, no dime-baggies. Spartan, in fact.

This did not help me last night. I should've subtitled this post: “Gout, sex, and rock’n roll”.

Woke up several times drenched in sweat. The most vivid dream was one in which I chased violent war-protestors around the periphery of the company where I work, which, in that dream, was somehow involved in the arms industry. Much of the confrontational aspect of the dream was because I was angry that a printing press (a 'Heidelberger Degel Automat') was put on my desk due to space limitations, blocking my phone and my computer.
Which I did not discover till lunch time.
When the dream turned bad, the violent war protestors were chasing me back into the building, intent on slaughter in the interests of peace. As I ran past the CEO, fleeing a mob with spiked two-by-fours and large hammers, he happily remarked “mmmm, comedy”. I woke up as I was being brutally beaten senseless.

I do not know why the war protestors had grease paint and were dressed as clowns.

I am still resentful, very bitterly resentful, that the CEO was too dense to appreciate the violent nature of war protestors. What is wrong with that man?

“Mmmm, comedy!”

What also irks me is that I deliberately tried to steer the dream toward sex. Given a choice between violence and sex in my dreams, I prefer sex.

On a scale of one (1) to ten (10), sex (9) is much more fun than bloodshed (5).
I cannot understand people who are not of the same mind. Smooth skin, warm round parts…… delightful!
Why am I bleeding (4), and why does my head hurt (3)?
Sex (9), darnitall, sex (9). Why can’t I dream about sex (9)?!? For what reason do I dream of being killed (0)?
Sex (9) is even better than clowns (6), so why are there these evil clowns (6) in this dream?
And above all, why is the CEO (2) at the door to the conference room, holding a bowl of oatmeal (1)?
I hate oatmeal (1)!!!

It wasn’t drugs. Nor coffee, whiskey, tobacco, or candy (all a solid 8).
And no, it wasn’t an unresolved issue with the CEO (2), even though that may have been a theme operating within the context of the violent sweaty nightmare.

I’m blaming the down comforter.

It was too warm for full coverage last night.
Should have poked my rump out, in addition to my feet.

I am disturbed that the CEO (2) showed up in a dream that should’ve been filled with cake, peaches and cream, fruit cobbler, and other “sensual” symbols (9, 9, 9, and 9), holding a bowl of oatmeal (1).
My dream, dammit!
I get to pick the plot!

Gluey muck, that.

For some reason, I haven’t seen the CEO (2) all day today.
I think he’s avoiding me (7).

Thursday, May 13, 2010


At present I am driven to distraction by something under a bridge. No, not a troll. Although given some of the things you have read here, you might reasonably suspect that.

It's basil.

Which, inevitably, brings me to the subject of amphibians.

Every year for several years we would spend six weeks in Switzerland during the summer. For three years, we went a lovely hotel out in the countryside, somewhere in the German-speaking part. I do not remember the name, unfortunately.

When going uphill form that hotel, in the forest, I would discover all manner of fascinating creatures. A sleeping owl. A woodpecker (green feathers, a flash of red on the head, dark beady eyes). Various small evil furry things. With nasty teeth.
Plus frogs and toads.

The frogs were more brightly hued than the toads, and thus much more noticeable. But toads were much more satisfying.

Frogs are high-strung, and quiver when you carry them back to the hotel. Once you put them down, they look around with frightened eyes and make a flying leap to escape. Sometimes they will spring in the wrong direction, leading to howls from the ladies on the terrace.
And, while it is immensely entertaining when this happens, it means that recrimination will inevitably follow. So, not so good.

Toads, on the other hand, are gravid souls. Placid. Sensible. Remarkably composed.
When you set them on the table, they blink a bit, gaze around, and assess the situation.
If there is a laden tea-tray, they come over and investigate the table silver, then look speculatively at the jam-cookies.

I believe their natural curiosity and sense of smell subdue whatever disquiet they feel at the startlingly new situation they find themselves in.

Frogs are little hysterics, but toads are companionable.
Toads will stick around - you can get to know them, and give them names.
Always be on a first-name basis with your toads.


Today, for lunch, I had barbecued meat and imperial rolls over cold rice noodles on a bed of shredded lettuce and basil. Dash of hotsauce, a drenching of tamarind water. It's Vietnamese.

Lettuce presents a bright green leafy touch, basil is a darker duller colour and more aromatic.
A minute speck of basil leaf is currently stuck between the bridge and gum, irritating the crap out of me.

While I was eating, I particularly noticed the contrast between the frog-hued lettuce and the toad-like basil - the greenery was very fresh and crisp. If it had really been frogs and toads, the frogs would've leapt away in fright, vocalizing loudly. The toads, more likely than not, would've calmly taken up residence on my desk and my person (such as darnitall underneath the bridge connecting three teeth in the right-hand corner of my mouth), where they would now be awaiting new stimuli, with bright eyes and curious expressions, keeping quiet, quite certain that were food had passed, flies must soon follow.


I think I'll name this "toad"; I can tell that he's gonna be around for a while.


The following is taken from Arutz Sheva, a somewhat strident and rightwing pro-settler and pro-religious Jewish news source in Israel.
Evenso, this data NEED NOT be taken with a grain of salt.
They are reporting, not ‘judging’.

"The actual phrase I heard from one important player in Jewish Democratic circles was, "Sociopath is too nice a word to describe Obama." That was a Kiddush [festive synagogue event] conversation, so no names, of course. The difference is the magnitude and depth of the deception. In July 2008, the press was full of reports of Obama's anti-Israel connections, including the fact that his foreign policy advisor in his Senate office was the odious Samantha Power – who proposed international military intervention to end the 'Israeli occupation' – as well as Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was an official campaign spokesman, along with many others.

Obama gave assurances to the Jewish community which were so persuasive that Martin Peretz announced in his 'Spine' blog that Obama could be trusted. Brzezinski and Power were shown the door (Power after she made inappropriate remarks about Hillary Clinton) and the Jewish community was satisfied that Obama was as reliable as, say, Bill Clinton.

Obama has extraordinary gifts of persuasion, and has been profligate about employing them. He persuaded some very wealthy and sophisticated people that he was on their side, and then turned on them.


"The fact that Democratic fundraising among Jews will be a tough sell contributes to the problem, but is not a decisive factor; there are enough other reasons for the Democrats to lose, starting with high unemployment and the fact that Obama has failed to create any middle ground with the Republicans and is perceived as too far too the left to suit the national mood. Obama almost certainly has resigned himself to a bad interim election; his best play is to spend the next two years running against a 'do-nothing' Republican Congress in the hope of winning a second term in 2012."


Speaking as a life-long Democrat, and despite my utter loathing for almost everything for which the Republican party now stands, I am no longer vested in the 44th presidency.

Barack Obama’s bumbling attempts to strong-arm Israel, combined with his almost obsequious pandering to the Arabs - who are not known for favouring America’s interests, NOR for any Democratic and liberal-humanist attitudes – have considerably lessened my support.
That his healthcare program was hauled back from the brink by Nancy Pelosi, after he spent months kneecapping himself, does not speak of either an able politician, or of any great strategic vision.
Bending over backwards for the banking industry – the folks that unabashedly brought us to the brink – has been a further dis-enamoring course of action; as political theatre it is the equivalent of ecdysiasm and pole-dancing.

Frankly, if he becomes a one-term lame-duck within the next year, that would suit me just fine.
I enjoy his gilded tongue; he has made glibness into an art form. Kudos, mr. President, kudos.
But I am less than impressed by any of his other qualities.
A bright smile and eloquent quacking can only go so far.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Two comments made elsewhere in recent days have particularly caught my attention:

"It's because of pseudo intellectual douche bags like Mr. Back of the Hill is why anna nichole smith's post mortem drama was on the news 24/7 where as an ex-president who died around the same time hardly got a mention. we'll get you a fresh new bottle to stick in your pie hole and change your diaper soon enough so quit your belly aching."

"Dear ATBOTH, some of us know you're a raving hypocrite, as are the rest of SF Voice. Perhaps Dan was the only pure one in the end."

Yes, I know both of the people who made those comments.
Henceforth I will be sleeping late on Saturdays.


On Stockton Street yesterday, Savage Kitten passed a Chinese man and his slut-temptress sex doll Taiwanese girlfriend. She did not immediately identify the female as Taiwanese, but when she recounted the experience, it was obvious to me that the person in question was such.

You see, only Taiwanese girls still play the pouty whiny spoiled money-lenders’ plaything role to perfection.

It’s a combination of high falsetto little girl voice, adhesive behaviour, and ego-stroking flattery. Sure, Shanghainese tramps also attempt the act – but without the pampered bitch attitude and that syrupy four-year-old sexbombe voice, it just isn’t the same. The Shanghainese practitioner of the art always has a note of sleazy desperation, but the Taiwanese wanna-be kept woman has so perfected the saccharine mewling that weak-willed men do not even realize that their brains just melted.

Cantonese girls won’t even bother. They know that at some point they’re going to completely spoil the effect by blessing him out. With some snarled “colloquial” expressions that will not bear translation. They prefer to keep their options open as far as expressing themselves, and many of them have far too much stubborn ego to pull the “oh you’re soooooo smart and handsoooooome” routine. At least not with any real conviction.

Even when they try the act on for size, they usually can’t keep a straight face.

Savage Kitten, attempting to sound EXACTLY like the Taiwanese babydoll, spoiled it by an uncontrollable fit of laughter.
Wah, ni chen shir hnnnn chong-mingngngngngng…….
[ "哇, 你真是很聰明!" ]

She nearly choked after lithping that sentence. Something loud; twixt evil cackle and chortled glee.
Completely the opposite of the ideal Mandarin hussy concubine.

That’s probably just as well.
Seeing as I am neither a gangland boss, nor some high-ranking Kuomintang thug’s conceited heir.
Can’t even imitate either of those.

On the other hand, I do an east Tsim Sha Tsui goomba on the prowl really well: “ahhhh syew-chee-eh-ah, ley hooooow lyeeeeeng-guh….., ley kyew meeeh meng ah?
[ "啊小姐啊, 你好靚咯, 你叫乜名呀?" ]
The combination of ooze, faked sincerity, and cool-dude slime-drawl will seriously creep out any young lady.
It’s a gift.

Monday, May 10, 2010


Fellow-blogger e-kvetcher alerted me to a Youtube segment that features some nice gams. Very nice gams. Although there is reason to suspect that they do not belong to a nice young thing of the female gender. According to the comments underneath, they might be male.

Yet the gams, tasty and girlish though they seem, are NOT the point of the video, the dancing green haired moppet on top of Pooh is.

Lest you now think that the high nonsense quotient in the sentence above shows that I have taken leave of my senses, go here:

Nice gams, eh?
The singing, not so much.

The green haired moppet is 'Chibi Hatsune Miku (ちび初音ミク). The "normal" Hatsune Miku (初音ミク) doesn't look quite so """kawai""".
[Kawai (可愛い or 可愛) is a Japanese word that means 'cute', 'adorable'. The nearest English equivalent is 'nauseating' (腌臢).]

Chibi ((ちび or 禿び) means small or little. Not necessarily 'moe' (萌え), though there is considerable overlap.
There's also 'chibi-chibi', which is kind of precious, in a disturbing way.
The difference between normal, small, and small-small is best illustrated by this video:

If you're Japanese, you probably think that's just 'kawaaiiiiiiiiii!!!!', and you danced along to it, didn't you? All four and half minutes.

Hatsune Miku performed the Levan Polka to great acclaim three years ago.
There were over a million hits for the various youtube segments.
This is probably the most "evocative" of the videos to that tune:
Note the leek. It's her 'trademark'.

This video thoroughly illustrates the kawai quality that chibi creatures have.

Please wipe the drool off your screen. She's not real.

But, for the true afficionadoes, this one is 'MOE meets CHIBI meets "come hither big boy"':

Oooooo, kawaii desu!!!
[That's Japanese for 'icky poo' (真駭聽的).]

Please imagine the miniature brass pole yourself. I couldn't find a suitable video.

Now, if all of this has convinced you that the Japanese are a mighty sick bunch, you may be right. On the other hand, they don't understand why we're in love with that horrid round-eared rodent, or those nasty pantsless ducks. And they really cannot fathom any of our horrid candy-floss childrens' films. Those are too saccharine, and far too unrealistic. What on earth is wrong with us?

Friday, May 07, 2010


Recently one of my customer’s complimented me on my phone manners.
And also praised me for even answering the phone. He had, it seems, tried every extension in the company he knew, and I was the only person who answered. I was his last resort. After I helped him, I told him he could call my extension any time – I would be glad to be of assistance.

I was being perfectly honest.
Most of the time, when people call me, it is because they want to give me money. As I am a bill-collector, you will understand that that is a strong incentive.
I pick up the phone, you give me money, and we’re both happy. I didn’t even have to do anything for it. How perfect is that?
It’s far better than calling up stores and reducing teenage clerks to tears.
Much more ‘cost-effective’.


It’s entirely different when people call me at home.
My number is unlisted, and I do not often answer the phone; my friends know that I am not a phone-social person. Consequently the people who call me are usually selling something.
Years ago, my significant other (Savage Kitten) hollered a phrase into the receiver when someone called: “Mah gurfren’s gotta big-ass yam!”.

[For the background on that surprising utterance, go here: TUBER!]

It had the desired effect. That caller hung up pdq.

Many possible approaches can be used – sometimes I ask the solicitor what he or she is wearing, and then speculate juicily about their hair-colour. That, too, cuts the sales call short.
If you don’t answer their questions in a logical fashion, it throws them for a loop.
Whereas telling them that the person they just asked for is deceased simply gets them to shift tracks, and try to sell that San Francisco Chronicle subscription to whomever with whom they are now speaking.

“So sorry to hear that Mister Boggwhump is dead…. Did he EVER tell you how much he appreciated the up-to-the-minute news, sports, and financial analysis of the SF Chronicle? If you subscribe now for three months at our low low introductory rate, we’ll even run a free obit..…”

Telling them that they just called a crime-scene doesn’t faze them either. They’re teenagers, they live in the Bay Area, they’re working a phone bank to pay for college - their entire life so far has been a crime-scene.

One has to be careful that one doesn’t reduce them to tears with one’s off-kilter responses, however. Teenagers are very fragile. Yelling “get offa mah phone you hairy brute” is just mean. They will weep and hiccough, making you feel rotten for having so scared them.
Far better to just confuse them, and leave them feeling creeped-out.
The perverted approach, when all is said and done, works best. On the phone as well as in real life.

I really wish more teenagers would call. I’m getting so lonely, here in my dank basement apartment.
Paranoia, claustrophobia, and mildew are taking their toll.
How I long to hear those dulcet young voices.
Call me.

Thursday, May 06, 2010


Smile nicely. Sweet-talk them. Get them to take the bait. Lead them astray, and leave them with a smile on their face.

No, I'm not talking about seducing sweet little teenage girlies.

I'm talking about nice young men.

Over thirty five years ago, back when I was a nice young man - instead of the mean old fart I am now - I walked into a pipestore and bought my first briar. The arrogant snob behind the counter was so displeased at my spending money in his pristine establishment that it was several more months before I purchased any tobacco.
I cannot remember the name of that shop, and in any case I soon discovered a corner tobacconist run by a retired colonial military gentleman, where until I left Valkenswaard I would buy my weekly tin of Balkan Sobranie.
He knew more about cigars than about pipe-tobacco, but he was courteous and full of encouragement. That counts for a lot, as I'm sure you will understand.

Today, while I was smoking a bowlful at the local tobacconist, a young gentleman came in and shyly asked about pipes. Seeing as the owner had his hands full, I helped the virgin.
I showed him various examples (Savinelli, Peterson). We discussed relative qualities, smoking characteristics, keeping one's equipment clean, and packing the bowl. He bought his first pipe and his first pouch of tobacco, and I showed him how to pack it, light it, smoke it, and clean it.
He was positively beaming when I left.

Now, that's what your first pipe should be about: comforting words and a welcome to a new realm of experiences. You have the desire to engage in a delicious filthy habit. How splendid! Let us lure you in! We'll explain what fun awaits!

Those of us who are more experienced must guide you, gently, with encouraging tones.
We are keen to see how you develop; with the right prompting you will happily go through a variety of sultry Oriental mixtures or maidenly Virginias before settling on a particular mistress. Perhaps, like some of us, you will keep a few different blends on your desk, for those occasional lighthearted dalliances. And even, if you have the perverse tendencies that must be kept secret, an aromatic or two - for when you wish a little fragrant depravity.

For your information, this morning I was smoking Three Oaks, manufactured according to Tad Gage's recipe by McClelland Tobacco Company in Kansas City. It was delightful - smoky, resinous, variegated, with a delicate sweetness.
A vibrant mixture with a reek that reminded me of younger years.
I left the store with a smile on my face. Every morning should be so sunny.


NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010


There are times when I really wonder what I did to deserve this.
I am in receipt of a message from someone who means well.

Let me quote just two sentences:

"As the message of the movie is an important one, we would like to give you the opportunity to take it home and view it with family and friends.
Please let me know if you are interested in borrowing the movie for a night or two."

That's very nice. Didn't you wonder why I missed seeing the movie in the first place? Despite several e-mails telling me that you were showing it, and that there would be tofu snax for attendees?

Didn't my rant about bean-eating puritans the other day clue you in that I am not the right demographic?

You know, if you force me to watch that nasty political film (yes yes, I know it's not 'political' in your world, just a 'common sense let us all save the planet and hug wheat germ virtuous message' which you strongly feel everyone should hear) I will probably go out and order some whale meat off the internet. I understand the Japanese are now shipping it world-wide, labeled 'Cetabix' or 'AustraRian WhaRe'.
And I will gladly shoot some money their way if it off-pisses people like you.
Not you personally, you understand - I have to associate with you regularly, there's just no getting around that - but people who resemble you, and have the same insufferable do-gooder tendencies. I'm just grateful that you aren't religious; you could've been a proselytizing Marxist or Presbyterian.

Still. How hopeful and tolerantly patient of us heathen must you be, to continually try to impress your belief system on us, Tinkerbelle?
Don't you EVER despair of us? You must have grasped by now that some of us are in league with the devil, we will not reform no matter what; we are beyond redemption.
It's a matter of choice. We made it, and we're not turning back. Sorry.

If you insist on lending me that movie, I will feed it to the dogs. Rabid feral hungry dogs.
Then I will return the noxious extrudite to you, nicely packaged.
With compliments.
My family and friends do not wish to see the movie either.
I can confidently say that. Please don't ask me again.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010


Please make no mistake: I am as prurient as the next guy. By which I mean that like many normal people, I thoroughly appreciate such things as visible panty lines, the delicate sheen of a high-quality bra through the fabric of a blouse that isn't quite as opaque as you think it is, the texture of lace under silk, or even that you have buttery crumbs on your ... décolletage.
Yes. Indeed.

However, if you are going to wear a lovely summer frock, please make sure it fits. Specifically, that it fits over the chest area.

Last night I was on the cablecar heading home.
As is my custom when on a cablecar that contains ladies and old people, I stood.
I did not know where to put my eyes.

One young lady was just a bit too tight. One young lady had major wide short-sleeve issues. The third young lady, seated right in front of me, was Chinese.
Her lovely summer frock was NOT designed for Chinese people.

I'm not sure if you realize it, but when the front area is looser than your praise-worthy errrrrrrms can fill, your dress will bag out a bit.

You have a lovely bra.

Yes, I tried looking straight ahead - the glass behind your seat was reflective.
I tried looking off to the side - and yes, there's more glass there.
Moving to a different location in the cablecar was not an option - it was far too crowded to do so...... and did I already mention the tight dress and the sleeve issues on the other two young ladies?

Not that I'm complaining, you understand. And it wasn't your fault, you were impeccably dressed. The effect was both modest, and stylish. The accidental frontal looseness was also very becoming. But I try to be a gentleman about these things; not only because I feel that even in public one should be aware of other people's "privacy", also because one should not stare.

If it had not been so crowded, and if there had not been so many reflective surfaces, I would still have been keenly aware of the front gap - peripheral vision is the elderly lecher's diplomatic friend. Perhaps I wouldn't have known of the lovely bra - that was a vantage point issue that you were probably not aware of. But yes. Very nice.

I spent ten minutes trying to be as unaware as possible of your fine qualities.
It was incredibly difficult.
Had I been a much younger man, I probably would've asked your name and phone number.
You have lovely skin.
I really hope that the weather stays this beautiful.

Monday, May 03, 2010


Yes, you read that correctly. But let me explain.

In the year 1242 the Franciscan monks burned several cartloads of books in a square in Paris.

In 1933, German university students burned more than twenty five thousand volumes at mass rallies.

At Lag B'Omer bonfires in Ramat Beit Shemesh and Har Meron, copies of Dovbear on the Parsha were cast into the flames.

This act was described here:
Referenced in passing here:
And discussed here.


Now, what do the book burning in 1242, the book burning in 1933, and the book burning in Ramat Beit Shemesh and Har Meron in 2010 all have in common?
Stuff written by Jews.
Book burning, clearly, is a Jewish thing. Leastways, it more often than not seems to involve Jewish authors. It's traditional.

"The era of extreme Jewish intellectualism is now at an end."[ɡɜrbəlz]

Frankly, I think that the people who cast books into the flames in 1242, 1933, and 2010 are morons, not deserving of any consideration. Ambulating garbage, and hardly sentient.
I may be judging them harshly.

But, to show that you have taken their sincere opinions about the books they so disliked into account, even that you understand precisely why they objected to those books, please go here:

Buy at least TWO copies - one for yourself, one for a friend.
Maybe even three - your public library also needs a copy.


Oh, and you might also want to listen to something upbeat while you reread the posts by Dovbear, Jameel, and Mekubal to which I have linked. Here are two renditions of a tune that is particularly appropriate: Version ONE, and TWO.

I find this composition inspiring, educational even. The best version is probably the one in Last Crusade, but I haven't been able to find that on youtube in several years - it may have been removed because of copyright infringement. It is perhaps the best known visual associated with the tune - very lagbomerish indeed.


This reminds me that I seriously need to order several more copies to give to friends.


Sunday, May 02, 2010


Geert Wilders - good or bad for Israel?

Geert Wilders sides with Israel for many of the same reasons that the neo-nazi Flemish nationalists smile upon the Jews of Antwerp: they hate Arabs. The perception of a common enemy, even if opportunistic and assumed, masks significant differences.
That Wilders and the pro-Israel camp may seem on the same page does not mean that there is anything more than a concomitancy of convenience, certainly not a fundamental concord.


Geert Wilders' intemperate remarks, especially in Dutch, attract more extremists than are good for any side.
When there are race-riots in Holland, it will be because of his statements. And the excesses that will be committed will also tar Israel - because it will be Israel's supporters and fellow travelers who will have committed them. That, in any case, will be the perception.
You are judged by your friends and especially your ideological associates.

What he says drives more people in the Netherlands away from the American and Israeli side than it attracts, and a huge percentage of the people who are attracted are not a blessing.
They are not quite as bad as “White Stormfront Netherlands”, but a large number are definitely in the vicinity of that ballpark.
Think of many of his supporters in Europe as being Fascist-Lite ('now with fewer calories, also fewer brain cells').

Unless you read Dutch (I do), speak Dutch (I do), and write Dutch (I do), and know Dutch history (I do), particularly the political history of the post-Napoleonic development of Dutch parliamentary democracy (I do), the political developments in the Netherlands since WWII (I do), and most especially have familiarized yourself thoroughly with Dutch politics and society in the post cold-war period (I did), and more to the point: lived there (I did, nearly two decades), use Dutch on a Daily basis (I do), and know the peculiarities of Dutch society (I do); unless all of that, whatever you say about Geert Wilders and Dutch society is more than likely wrong.

People who do not speak, read, and write Dutch have no way of understanding the social and political context of Geert Wilders' remarks and statements in Dutch. Like Yasser Arafat, he speaks differently in his own language to his own people than he does when he's playing to the English-speaking peanut gallery. His demographic in the Netherlands is absolutely not the same is his audience in the English-speaking world.

Add to that the fact that the Dutch legal, social, and political frameworks are also quite different, and the chance of being staggeringly, inanely off-kilter in one's worship of the sainted Wilders go through the roof.

Frankly, all those Pamela Geller types who rant Geert Wilders' praises, while demonstrating that he is the only contemporary Dutchman of whom they have even heard, and that his party is virtually the only exposure they've had to Dutch politics, should shut the F up.
I really mean that.
Americans pontificating about Geert Wilders are irritating fools.

I can recommend several books about the Netherlands for the interested.
For those who prefer Wikipedia, it would do you no harm to start reading at Egmont, Johan De Witt, Batavian Republic, Baron Van Lynden van Sandenburg, Thorbecke ........ just a few names for you to start.
Let me know when you hit Biesheuvel, Den Uyl, Van Agt, Lubbers, and maybe we can talk.

Please note: While I disagree with much that Geert has to say, I thoroughly despise many of the same people and organizations that he opposes.
Particularly the PvdA and the SP.

And also, do please note that Geert Wilders is one of those Europeans in favour of bailing out of Afhganistan and leaving the USA to clean up the mess. Which was made particularly clear at the time that the Balkenende Cabinet collapsed back in February.
In this regard, he is on exactly the same page as the Dutch socialists, whether labour (PvdA) or rebranded Stalinist (SP).

"Voor de PVV is het helder: weg uit Uruzgan, weg uit Afghanistan. Natuurlijk moet de Taliban worden bestreden, maar niet meer, voor zover we dat al deden, door Nederland. Ons land heeft meer dan genoeg gedaan. Het is mooi geweest. "
End quote.

[Translation: 'For the PVV it is clear; get out of Uruzgan, get out of Afghanistan. Of course the Taliban must be fought, but no longer, insofar as we actually did fight them, by the Netherlands. Our nation has done more than enough. It's been fine.']

On a completely irrelevant side-note, the next time some dumbass twenty-something fool starts fondly reminiscing about hashish, the red light district, tolerance, and tulips, I very well may commit manslaughter.

Lastly, I do not apologize for the arrogant tone of this post.
Feel free to disagree with whatever I have said - any comments you choose to leave here will probably amuse me - but do not expect me to take your opinions seriously; it is quite likely that I will not.

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