Thursday, June 30, 2011


Ami Isseroff passed away yesterday. May his memory be a blessing.

From an obit far better than I could have written:

“When one mentions the Internet communities he created and kept alive, his correspondence with anyone who needed assistance, his readiness with advice and/or criticism, it is impossible to see how mere twenty four hours a day were enough for what he has done. Day after day, year after year, doing an impossible amount of work, without being paid, without being honored or appreciated by powers that be, fighting enemies without and within with the same fierceness and bravery that he fought his physical frailty. A demanding and exacting man, Ami was demanding of his friends and partners, but much more demanding of himself.”
End quote.


“Ami was a real Zionist. His love of Zion wasn't qualified. He didn't live in the world built on religious fervor, nor in one full of nationalistic rhetoric. Coming from the left, he didn't hide his rejection of the (part of the) left's anti-Zionist trends and his disillusionment with their feel-good empty slogans. On the other hand, his Zionism, his love of Israel were never blind, never of the "my country, right or wrong" kind.”
End quote.

[SnoopyTheGoon, in this post:, on this blog: ]

To many, Ami was both friend and mentor. Many of us shall miss him.

Our sympathies go out to his wife and children, to his friends, and to his entire community - a community that extended, because of his tireless labour, to the four corners of the world.

Rabban Shimon ben Gamaliel said "On three things the world is sustained: on truth, on justice, and on peace."

Rabbi Tarfon said "It is not incumbent upon you to finish the task, yet you are not free to desist from it."

Rabbosai, there is still much to be done.

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


I have a furry troll on my desk. Often, when I’m on the phone, I can see him moving over to my pipes and inspecting them. Occasionally he sniffs at them, smelling the echoes of past tobacco smoke.
Sometimes he picks one up and dances around with it.

The customers on the other end of the line are not aware of these developments.
Which is as it should be.
Nobody needs to know that I have a six-inch tall Japanese person keeping me company.

This weekend I will probably spend much time at the office.
It’s calm and peaceful here, just me and the troll.
No idea what he eats, but I’m fairly certain it isn’t normal food. Perhaps he 'harvests' cookies from the office kitchen.

I’m wondering if I should put him at the window so that he can see the fireworks this year.
Either that, or keep him company while watching the display.
Maybe he’ll finally speak.

He'll likely simply ask for a bowl of tobacco.
He’s a troll, and from Japan.
So of course he smokes.

Should be interesting to find out if he’s a Latakia aficionado, or has a fondness for Virginia-Perique blends.
Maybe I should sniff the pipes on the shelf behind me.
I haven’t smoked them in a while, they’re my reserves.
But if they smell recently used, I will know. It's him.
After I have left in the evening he probably goes up to the roof to smoke, and look at the stars.
Small troll, lit pipe, and a gentle breeze.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Once again people are forwarding an e-mail that speaks in panicked and apocalyptic terms about anti-Semitism in France.


It's the same e-mail as it was two years ago. Three years ago. Five years ago.
And eight years ago.

"I AM A JEW -- therefore I am forwarding this to everyone on all my e-mail lists. I will not sit back and do nothing. Nowhere have the flames of anti-Semitism burned more furiously than in France. In Lyon, a car was rammed into a synagogue and set on fire. In Montpellier, the Jewish religious center was firebombed; so were synagogues in Strasbourg and Marseilles; so was a Jewish school in Creteil - all recently. A Jewish sports club in Toulouse was attacked with Molotov cocktails and on the statue of Alfred Dreyfus, in Paris, the words 'Dirty Jew' were painted. In Bondy, 15 men beat up members of a Jewish football team with sticks and metal bars. The bus that takes Jewish children to school in Aubervilliers has been attacked three times in the last 14 months."

Pretty heavy stuff. But it's garbage.

"Second, boycott France and French products. Only the Arab countries are more toxically anti-Semitic and, unlike them, France exports more than just oil and hatred. So boycott their wines and their perfumes. Boycott their clothes and their foodstuffs. Boycott their movies. Definitely boycott their shores. If we are resolved we can exert amazing pressure and, whatever else we may know about the French, we most certainly know that they are like a cobweb in a hurricane in the face of well-directed pressure. Third, send this along to your family, your friends, and your co-workers. Think of all of the people of good conscience that you know and let them know that you - and the people that you care - about need their help."

Please do NOT forward this chain letter. Not if you want your family, friends, and coworkers to abstain from flaming you.

[NOTE: If I am among your family, friends, or coworkers, you might expect me to savage you thoroughly. It all depends on my mood. If someone has been unpleasant to me recently, you will have just volunteered to have me unload all my aggression, angst, childhood trauma, sexual frustration, and the inchoate fears that surface when the lights are out all over you. I'm vindictive, and passive-aggressive, plus I've got Aspergers and several neuroses.
Just guessing, but you probably do not want to know all about that, do you?
So don't do this. Please do your research, and stop being so credulous. Seriously. If I can remember the damned epistle from several years ago, so can you. Really.]

I first wrote about it here:

"It's an absolute crock. Total bushwa. Complete and utter nonsense.
Balderdash, claptrap, and fiddlesticks."

It was ALL of those descriptives then. It still is. Nothing has changed.

The people who keep forwarding it are all well meaning. Panicked hysterics, but well-meaning.
I believe I'm supposed to give them credit for being well-meaning.
Brownie Points, or something.

Sorry, I ran out of those years ago.
Please stop sending me this letter.

The oldest version of that letter dates from 2002. It was unattributable and unsourced then. Each new circulation of the letter has been just as unattributed and unsourced, when not spuriously ascribed to someone who subsequently denies any and all involvement.

Crap. Fermented refuse. Roadkill. Skunk in the compost heap.
Remember that.

Thank you.

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


The police in Lower Saxony, Germany, are very disappointed with a new associate. He will likely NEVER make chief inspector. He just isn't properly interested in dead people. Well, maybe he has intellectual curiosity, but no visceral involvement.

I feel for the bird. After all, what kind of a life is it when they expect you to investigate cadavers? It's not like you have any intention of eating them.
Not when you're used to high cuisine, in a zoo.

And that flying business is so last century.
Approaching the deceased with measured tread, calmly, as if meeting an old friend, has considerably more 'gravitas' than landing on the actual object, squawking and flapping your wings like a hysteric.
No wonder a Turkey Vulture named Sherlock is proving a less than satisfactory adjunct to the coroners' office in Nieder-Saxen.

Yes, vultures and dead things have an affinity. But while it might be out of necessity in the Wild West, it is purely an affectation in Germany.
In any case, I suspect that vultures would far rather eat German food than carrion.

"While he can locate a stinking burial shroud which the police gave the bird park to use for training purposes and which is clearly marked with a yellow plastic cup, Sherlock doesn't approach the shroud by air.

"He prefers to travel by foot."



Imagine, if you please, a bird ambling up to the subject in a dignified way, telling itself "act natural, act natural, act natural....."

Perhaps also thinking "if that thing moves, I shall scream".

Sherlock is far too used to the tame and civilized atmosphere of Germany to act like a wild animal.
Instead of spotting corpses, he would probably rather attend university in Heidelberg.
Or become a nihilist intellectual in Berlin.
Sing, even! 99 luftballons!

"They are not pretty with their bright bald heads but they do have an ability to locate carrion. If they want to.
Sherlock does not - or not if it involves too much effort.
At the time the scheme was launched, the idea was that Holmes would be the senior detective teaching Miss Marple and Columbo.

"But the young ones can't do anything besides fight with each other", Spiegel quoted a trainer as saying."


Are we there yet, are we there yet, are we there yet...... Mom, he pecked me!

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011


It is raining. Wet weather in June is very unusual for San Francisco, and you can tell that people are not used to it. They’re being much more themselves than really they should be.
When I was getting my lunch, there was a black woman standing next to me, also waiting for the line of cars to pass so that she could cross.
People drive slower in rain – even with very minor precipitation – and their reactions are delayed too. It’s as if rain dissolves decisiveness. Especially summer rain, in a place where such a thing never happens.
The black woman was losing patience with the vehicular fossils slowly hurking and jerking past. She vocalized.

“Oh you have GOT to be kidding me! For heaven’s sakes!”

Finally she stomped up the street to get behind the line of cars. Flouncing angrily, and I’m sure glaring fiercely at each one she passed.
Morons! Idiots!

“I’ve had it with you lot! D’ya hear? I’ve HAD IT!!! All of you, GO HOME!!!”

I'm fairly certain that she had the word 'bitches' in the thought cloud over her head, but she was too controlled to utter it.
Besides, some of the elderly grannies might have gotten out of their cars to take issue had she said that word. None of them were in any hurry.


Earlier today on the bus I had been observing the interaction between a little girl and another passenger sitting opposite her. The girl was sharing a seat with her older brother, their mother was taking them to the Gordon J. Lau Elementary School on Clay Street.
Both children were very neat and clean, but the boy – probably seven or eight years of age – was wearing dull colours, whereas the little girl was wearing more cheerful clothes. Chinese parents often garb their little girls in bright hues. Especially if they are very young.
In addition to cartoon-butterfly hair clips keeping her bangs out of her eyes, the little tyke had on an electric pink rain slicker, and rubber boots with big brilliant flowers all over them.
She was exceedingly pleased with her footwear.

Occasionally she would extended her legs, observe her feet with pleasure, and exclaimed “happy boots!

“Happy boots!”

The white business woman opposite her smiled.

“Happy boots. I’ve got happy boots!”

She looked at the woman across from her and explained “see, they’ve got flowers – they’re happy boots!

The woman nodded approvingly. I noticed that the little girl’s brother looked sour, perhaps he had been hearing about happy boots for several blocks already.

“Do YOU have happy boots?”

When the woman shook her head, the girl looked downcast. How sad that someone did not have happy boots!
Her sibling, on the other hand, smiled. He was utterly pleased that someone else did not possess those things either.

After a while the little girl extended her legs straight out again, singing softy to herself “happy boots, happy boots, happy boots!

When the bus got to Powell Street, the mother and her two kids got up to get off – the school is in the middle of the block, downhill from the intersection.
As the little girl walked past the woman, she turned to her and said “ask your mommy to get you happy boots, please?

The woman assured the little girl she would get her mom to buy her happy boots, whereupon the child gave her an absolutely radiant smile.

Her brother scowled fiercely - no happy boots for him.

The black woman who had been mouthing off at traffic didn’t have happy boots either.

On the other hand, I do have happy boots.
Imaginary, but never the less very real.
I’m totally cool with this weather.
Happy boots!

Later I may stomp in a puddle.

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

Monday, June 27, 2011


Many pipesmokers have written fond reminiscences of their favourite tobacconists, often lamenting that the fine old establishments where they spent their adolescence are no more.
Invariably, they sing of dusty shelves, deep fauteuilles, the smoke-filled atmosphere......

And not a woman in sight.

Basically, they make the place out to be a boys clubhouse with a large imaginary sign over the door stating "no gurlz allowed".
At the very least a place where cooties were kept at arms' length.

Precisely that attitude is what eventually sank the tradition.

In actuality, pipes and cooties are a natural match.
Think about it: who would you rather spend time with - a zesty and charming young lady who happily enjoys the smell of good pipe tobacco?
Or some crusty old unwashed flatulent bozo who smokes the cheapest black woodshavings he can find?

"Back in MY day, we cut up our old boots to smoke, like real men!"

Unfortunately, what he smokes STILL smells like old boot.
Old boot with athletes foot exposure, to be precise.
It's all part of his loveable eccentricity.

The old-fashioned tobacconist may be long gone.
But the crusty old unwashed flatulent bozo is still around.


We must find charming young ladies who either like the smell of pipe-smoke or actually indulge in the habit themselves. Their presence would bring some much needed pleasure back to the process, as well as stimulating companionship and conversational grace.
We need not worry that they would smoke fruity mixtures - we've been fooling ourselves all this time that those appeal to women. They don't. The clientele for such things consists entirely of men.

Specifically, the men who would just as lief smoke woodshavings or boot shreds, but who labour under the misapprehension that Watermelon Irish Cream Black Cavendish disguises all their other objectionable qualities.
Such as gastric forms of self-expression, unfamiliarity with soap, and conversational turpitude.


NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
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Friday, June 24, 2011


Coming Sunday is Gay Pride in SF. Which means a parade. As every year, our little contingent of pro-Israel street-guerillas will be marching.

No, I'm not really looking forward to this. My feet hurt. And there's nothing really fabulous about a bunch of middle-aged people.
No matter how vibrant, springy, and youthful we are the rest of the year, on Sunday we'll be surrounded by professional fabulous.
People who have taken being fabulous, just fabulous darling, to new heights of total fabulosity!
By comparison, we won't look nearly so good.


One of us had suggested upping the ante by dressing as Jaffa oranges.
That will not be happening.
Neither will the neat-o dance routine that we've been practicing so assiduously.
And we had such a dynamite act, too!

Great choreography!


Kicky rhythms!

Rather like this:


It seemed like a splendid idea.
Imagine a whole bunch of Zionists dancing down Market Street.
Wouldn't that be cool?

The issue is the suits of armour.
There are ventilation problems.
Especially on a warm sunny day.
Also, blue ostrich feathers cost a bit.
As do lapis lazuli studs on your tabard.

Plus there were just WAY too many pissy objections from the other members of the group.

No way in HELL were they gonna put that thing on, didn't know who died in it several centuries ago, smells like a skunk crawled in there after eating bean dip, it's NOT my size, my mother doesn’t want me lifting anything heavy, I refuse to wear rusty iron shmatte, not my colour, reinforces the patriarchate (of Antioch, I presume), it's SOOO reactionary, how am I going to get my inhaler/cigar through the visor, kvetch kvetch kvetch.

I guess I was the only one practicing the little dance.

No wonder my feet hurt.

Anyway, I've been trained as a contingent monitor, I've got a mean glower, and I know how to use it.
That and a bitchy attitude.
Growl snarl grunt.
My blood sugar will hit a low-point about one third of the way in, and I'll be dehydrated and in serious need of caffeine and sunscreen by the time we pass the cable car turnaround.
Might even feel homicidal by 8th. Street.

I am ready to be fabulous.

Immediately after we've finished, I'll be heading home instead of joining the big party in Civic Center.
Tens of thousands of people having a great time is not my idea of fun.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
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Thursday, June 23, 2011


Geert Wilders found not-guilty of all charges.
This verdict was inevitable and predictable. As anyone who actually knew anything at all about the Dutch and the legal system of the Netherlands could have foreseen.

Wait, we did foresee such an outcome!

[The principles of Dutch law were put to the test, and proved themselves. And mark this, he's still an irritating blister and a horrendous bigot. That is what free speech is about. What he says is odious. But loathsome speech is still protected. Those who wailed otherwise were either dumb as two bricks, OR under the baleful influence of Pamela buggery Geller.]

We got castigated by all the English-speaking monolingual ignoramuses for saying so.

The Netherlands got all kinds of bad language thrown at it..... and her people..... and her culture..... and her society..... and her history, government structure, laws, customs, perceived habits or intestinal fortitude.....

The castigation, nay, hateful hysterical paranoid balderdash, was voiced by many people (including Pamela buggery Geller) who didn't know what they were talking about, and were the more venomous and foaming because of it.

On behalf of my fellow Dutch-speakers, we do NOT need your apologies.

Kindly be quiet.

Thank you.


PS. Zoals ik al eens eerder vermelde kan het mij in feite gene klap schelen wat de eentalige Engels-spreker over de heer Wilders denkt, dan wel te denken heeft over de onzinnigheden deswelks door Engelstalige rechtse ballen verspreid worden. Indien u dit niet lezen kunt ligt het waarschijnlijk aan u (en het is wel degelijk een faling), maar u kunt het in ieder geval aan een echte Nederlands-spreker te lees geven voor uitleg.
Voor de rest, bek dicht, stommeling. Ik ben het gezeik van idioten beu.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Over the years I have learned that there are some things you don't say to a woman.
Common-sense remarks can change in mid-air to a lit stick of dynamite or flying poo, and it is wise to be aware of the possibility of miraculous transformation of your innocuous words. No, there's no logical explanation.
It's one of life's mysteries.
Things that seem perfectly logical to a man may make little sense to the opposite gender.

This morning I remarked to my room-mate and former significant other that she spent an inordinate amount of time getting ready for work, what with tromping to the hallway mirror to check her appearance, then going back into her room to put on a different pair of slacks, try another blouse, a brooch instead of a pin, a clasp instead of a necklace, other shoes......
She looked fine. Stop worrying about it. Perfectly all right, trust me.

To me the whole process is very simple.

Pants. Clean shirt. Run comb through hair. Done.

I rely on my sparkling personality to be sufficient extra adornment.


Often I'm still happily ensconced in the bathroom with my second cup of coffee, having a cigar, reading, and listening to the flock of wild parrots screeching overhead, or the caws of the neighborhood crows - entirely at peace with the world - when I hear her frantically clipping up to the mirror..... pausing a few seconds, swearing under her breath, returning down the hall.....
I can tell from the footsteps that she is angry and frustrated.
She then does it again, repeatedly. It's VERY disturbing.

I never know when to holler out "have a great day, be well!"
She may be right near the front door, but I can't judge when she's going to open it and leave.
It's a period of mounting tension.

Clean shirt. Pants. Same shoes as yesterday. Simple.
Try it.
You won't need any jewelry either, just be your own sparkling self.
Just like me.

So this morning I said so.

Before I even got to work, there's was a very long message on my voicemail telling me that she had taken a quick poll among her coworkers. Apparently ten minutes is NOT excessive, but in fact WAY under par.
All of them took far longer. Most opined that forty minutes or so was normal.
Why, it was completely unreasonable NOT to take all possible precautions and pro-active measures before leaving the house, and feeling confident about one's appearance was something every woman should do. It was, in fact, a sensible and altogether reasonable practice, more people (especially men) should do it.
Her coworkers were adamant that anything less than half an hour was just not enough!

Okay. That's them.

But I still think it's a waste of time.

As long as they're wearing clothes, the world is a better place.

You are different.

But that's probably one more thing I should add to the list of things not to say.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011


What I actually wanted for lunch was grilled lamb with tzatziki, black olives, tomato, and lemon.
That's not what I had.
Krivaar, which was on Pine Street between Belden Alley and Kearney, closed several months ago. The financial district is bereft.

Lamb got mentioned in many contexts today. Darn that power of suggestion!

While I was having non-lamb that I got somewhere else, I noticed that Vera Pui Chi Ng is, right now, as I write, passionately craving jook to eat.
She wonders if someone can come bring her some.

I feel very deeply for her. We can't always get what we want.

I would bring it, except she's in Holland, I am in San Francisco.

[Jook = 粥. Rice porridge, with varieties such as: 鮑魚滑雞粥 (bao yu kwat kai juk) abalone and chicken jook, 火鴨粥 (fo ngaap juk) jook with roast duck, 生滾蝦球粥 (sang gwan ha kau juk) shrimp curls in jook, 生滾肉片粥 (sang gwan yiuk pien juk) sliced pork jook, 香菇牛崧粥 (heung gu ngau song juk) fragrant mushrooms and pork floss jook, etcetera.
Note: 生滾 (sang gwan), meaning ' fresh boiled', indicating that the shrimp or pork is poached in the heat of the porridge when it is placed in the bowl.
皮蛋: Often jook (粥) will have a preserved egg (pei dan 皮蛋) cut into it, especially if it is made with very lean pork (sau yiuk 瘦肉). Or, more common at home, dried oysters (ho si 蠔豉). The first is called 皮蛋瘦肉粥 (pei dan sau yiuk juk), the latter 蠔豉瘦肉粥 (ho si sau yiuk juk). This is absolutely comfort food. 真好食!]


On an entirely unrelated note, I am the happy recipient of a love letter.
From someone I have never met.
Nor ever will. No intention of.
Especially as I do not know what to call her.

What is 'spam' in Russian?
Is it a surname?


She wrote:

I am someone's perfect girl.
I hoard books.
I read news all the time.
I subscribe to several magazines and newspapers, not because I have time to read all of them, but because I like to think I do.
I'm a self-described coffee and cupcake addict.
I'm not an alcoholic, but I do love good beer, good wine and a good time.
I go to plays and musicals because I love them.
I dance because it's fun.
I sing because that's just what I do.
I kind of hate modern art (something my friends like to poke at when they bring me to various museums).

I overanalyze Lost. I sing along to Glee. I wish I worked at the Buy More.
I'm a nerd, in the "Star Wars is awesome, Star Trek is too, and I think I'd like Battlestar Galactica if I ever got around to watching it" way.
I Love Harry Potter. No, seriously. Love. Capital "L."
I'm probably the biggest sap you'll ever meet.
I find kids and babies adorable. I don't want my own any time soon, but I do want them.
I like pretty things. Shoes. Photographs. Pieces of furniture.
I don't like cats because I'm allergic, but I can't wait for the day that I can get a puppy.

I'm living the dream when it comes to my career, but even I know that there's something more I need to strive for. I just have to figure out what that is.
I love baseball and college football, but fair warning, I'm didn't grow up on the East Coast, so I probably don't like your team(s).
I'm not hot. Pretty, sure. Cute, yes. Hot, not so much. And I'm OK with that.

Wow. But for the puppy thing it sounds absolutely charming. I'm serious!


Her e-mail address is somewhere in France, the "dating is easy" profile link in her missive is hosted in Russia.

So just colour me doubtful.

Now, if she was a petite Cantonese American miss living on Larkin Street or Hyde Street, with a marked fondness for pipes, pipe tobacco, and pipe-smoking men, I might just drop everything and rush to her side.
I would bring extra pipes, in case she wanted to experiment, and extra tobacco.
Everything from blonde Virginia flake and dark VaPers to medium English mixtures and Balkan blends.
Plus extra pipe cleaners.
O yes.

As well as jook.

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

Monday, June 20, 2011


A few years ago when one of my colleagues came back from a cruise with her siblings and parents along the Alaskan coast, she insisted that we look at her BIG album of vacation pictures.
And you know there's nothing worse than other peoples' vacation pictures.

"Here's Martha in front of a big dam."

"Here's Martha in front of the oldest log cabin in....."

"Here's Martha in front of our camper."

And Martha shows up in every frame. Dutifully smiling her coy little smile and waving a friendly little wave.

It's scary.

I need not have worried. My coworker's refined artistic sense guaranteed that these pictures would not be those. Dare I say it, her photos spoke a language with universal appeal.


Several hundred pictures of food. The shipboard chef out did himself. There was lobster, and big, BIG shrimp! Swordfish steaks. Patés. Lovely chops.
Vegetables done in classic ways.
Breads, cakes, puddings.

Not a single picture of Alaska.

The few images of people showed them in the back ground, often with only part of their faces visible - a picture of her mom behind a tray of sumptuous pastries, her dad and her sister off to the side of a veritable banquet.
Not a single picture of her husband - probably too busy with his own camera right next to her.

The last picture get everyone ooh-ing and aah-ing.

It was a closeup of a frosted glass of melon drinkie with tapioca pearls.
The only photo not taken on the cruise ship.
Seattle, somewhere.

Which brings up a recent post by another blogger.


"Chinese people like food, Cantonese people like food even more, but Hong Kong people are the most crazy about food. They talk about food from dawn till dusk, they show pictures of food from their Facebook to food review websites, they pick food as if picking their spouse."


There's a beautiful image of a frosty glass of ice-tea in that post.
FOUR slices of lemon.
So cool-looking, so refreshing!
I want it.

She also writes: " Soup noodles with beef offal, normally intestines (牛什麵) is very popular all over Hong Kong. People also eat goose intestines as a cold dish and put pork intestines into congee. Don’t ask me why it’s always intestines, this is also a myth to me."

Quirky interesting writing. Fascinating subjects.
Hong Kong Girl Talk - it's a Hong Kong girl, talking.
Please read it.


Largely, she's right. Hong Kong people are very food-conscious.

The other day I was at one of my favourite eateries on Stockton Street.

The table with young Europeans was eating some technicolour dish I can't even try to identify.
The Indian gentleman was having orange fried chicken bits with his little son.
The Midwestern family was eating fried yellow things with fried noodles.
The two Mandarin-speaking women were dining on two plates of fried rice.
Some gal yakking on her cell-phone in Shanghainese had sugar prawns.

The Cantonese speakers, however, were eating real food. Savoury noodle soups.
Half a dozen Cantonese speakers happily slurping.

The place specializes in soup noodle.
The menu clearly indicates that it is THE thing.
The signage on the outside is also blatant on that score.
Noodle soups.
Their broth is very good, their ingredients are honest and fresh, their attention to detail precise and particular.

They also do a number of other stellar things.

Oh, PLUS fried stuff with glazy neon sauces for folks who don't understand the concept.


Yes, my colleague was Cantonese.
From Hong Kong.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
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Sunday, June 19, 2011


One of the first places in Berkeley that became a home away from home away from home for me was the tobacconist at 2059 University Avenue, just below Shattuck.
Drucquer & Sons Ltd. had been founded in London in 1841, then re-established in California in 1928 when John Drucquer III settled in Berkeley. My father had shopped there before the war, my uncles bought their blends from the store when they were at school, old family friends and classmates of my parents.......
Sometime in 1978, in August or September, I walked into the store puffing a pipe and dripping from a deep gash on my hand.
A few months later I was working there.
Must have been that excellent first impression.


The other employees persuasively introduced me to the most popular blend at the store - made with Latakia, Djubec, and three types of Virginia - before I had even started working there, as well as the strongest Latakia mixture on the shelves (Royal Ransom), Arcadia (similar to Craven A Mixture), Levant (in the same category as Balkan Sobranie 759), and Red Lion (a very traditional English-style mixture of Virginias and Latakia, no Turkish leaf at all).
But Blend 805 was the absolute standard, the hallmark blend - in the same range as Dunhill 965 and Dunhill Standard Mixture, various Rattrays blends, and a multitude of now long gone blends and compounds from legendary English and Scottish houses.

Over several months I obsessively, neurotically even, absorbed more data about pipes, tobacco, and cigars than I had ever imagined possible. More, in any case, than most smokers will ever need.
For a couple of years I also spent time in the back room polishing pipes, steaming out dings, cleaning away caked-up crud, refinishing, restaining, restoring - mostly on collectable pipes left in the care of the shop by the coterie of aficionados that had made Drucquer's their home-base.

[The other employees at Drucquers also introduced me to single-malt Scotch, pure grain alcohol, various Chinese and Philippino restaurants, Vanessi's on Broadway in San Francisco (long gone), Chez Panisse, and sinsemilla. That last substance convinced me that I should never become a pot head - I buffed the trademark off a Barling pipe after Don insisted I have a toke. He used the effect the stuff had on me as the benchmark - one evening I spent several hours on the bus after two puffs, not being able to find my way to the back exit. Haven't touched the stuff in thirty years.]

Robert Rex sold the store in 1982.

Greg Pease started working there a few years later.

Though it was long after I had ceased to frequent the place due to some rather interesting ups and downs in my life, many other regulars still hung around - one does not gladly forsake a provider of good products - and Greg describes both the atmosphere and their company every Saturday at the second location (4024 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611), in an article on his site.

The Back Room

Quote: "...where I first began to learn the subtleties of the pipe, and the profound pleasures it could bring. It was where I was introduced to vintage tobaccos, and the advantages a few years of age would offer those patient enough to lay some tins aside. Very few people consciously aged tobaccos then."

The idea of aging tinned tobacco was, more or less, a happy discovery. Several famous brands had either changed hands or were disappearing during the seventies and eighties, and desperate addicts had stockpiled their favourite smoke before it permanently vanished. Not only the now legendary Balkan Sobranie, about which I have perhaps waffled more obsessively on the internet than almost anybody else, but also State Express (a medium English style mixture with bright Virginia and Syrian Latakia), John Cottons No. 1 & 2, John Cottons Smyrna (like burning ambrosia!), Dobie's Four Square......

Even Dunhills changed enormously, as the old factory in London was closed and BAT moved production to Northern Ireland. What came out of Belfast in the first years was well-nigh unsmokeable, being nasty, twiggy, and rough. Putrid, when compared to the fine old blends we were familiar with.
So it was with considerable amazement that I heard other people complaining about what the Danes were doing to the blends when Murrays was finally shuttered and production moved to the continent.

Given that crusty old farts had insisted that Dunhills and other brands just weren't the same after some seminal event or disaster for at least twenty years already, it was inevitable that old tins were opened up during the seventies and discovered to have changed considerably - a metamorphosis that considerably improved the leaf, while yielding a smoke that bore little resemblance to the smoker's nose-memory of the blend.
Aged tobacco - better than a fresh tin.

[It was while working at Piedmont Avenue that I developed an addiction to fine dark chocolate, by the way. Cocolat had one of their locations diagonally across the street, and daily I would go in for a three or four truffle fix. Cocolat (started by Alice Medrich in Berkeley in 1976), also, is a gilded memory, having closed its doors in the early nineties.]

Greg continues: "It was where I had my first bowls of so many classic tobaccos, including my first brush with the now legendary Craven Mixture, stronger than I’d been led to believe, and which sent me spinning on the dreaded E-ticket ride on the Whirl-n-Hurl, my first experience of high-octane, pipe-induced nausea."

That's quite understandable. Craven Mixture had a strong dark aged Virginia as one of its primary components, and everything else was tailored to fit around that. So it smoked like an English or a Balkan, but kicked like a Navy Flake or a mule.

Greg's article is worth reading in its entirety.
Please visit him HERE.

Many of the people he describes are familiar to me. But the person named Mark whom he mentions is NOT the Mark whom I remember.

Mark Kaufman, alav hashalom, was a brilliant attorney, married to a violinist, who took his own life sometime in the early eighties.
Zichrono livracha.
I still have one of his pipes.
Can't smoke it. Keep thinking of the man.

The Briar & Leaf Chronicles
On the Pleasures and Gentle Art of Pipes and Tobaccos

Deerfield Ranch Winery

I still have a seven-ounce tin of Trafalgar on the shelf, along with a few other Drucquer tobaccos from that time.
One of these days I'll just have to open it up and see how its changed in all these years.


Other blogposts about tobacco:


NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:

All correspondence will be kept in confidence.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


Often, when I have nothing better to do, I read the Telegraaf newspaper. The Telegraaf is the most popular journal in the Netherlands, and can be said to appeal to the lowest common denominator.
Which is pretty damned low and common. Makes even our San Francisco papers look rather high-fallutin' and intellectual.
But then, we have fewer inbred peasants than the old world.


VS waarschuwen voor België AMSTERDAM - Het officiële reisadvies van de Verenigde Staten geeft een waarschuwing voor toeristen die naar België afreizen.

An article about official cautions to American tourists travelling to Belgium. Like much that is produced by the US government monkey corps, there are a few minor problems.

Such as some nonsense about tourists being robbed with shaving cream on public transportation in Brussels, and the staff at Walloon medical facilities being unable to speak a civilized tongue.

The readers of the Telegraaf have loyally taken up the defense of their neighbors in the comments underneath the article.

A condensed sampling of Dutch opinions about Americans:

"Ze worden daar met de dag dommer..... de grootste criminelen, lopen er in de VS rond..... Amerikanen, die weten niks van wat er in de wereld werkelijk gebeurd. En die media daar om te huilen. We zijn niet door Amerika bevrijd in WW2 maar door de geallieerden. Een borst op de TV en heel amerika is geschokt terwijl de sexindustrie de grootste ter wereld is. Laat ze lekker in hun eigen land blijven. Amerikanen nooit een dommer en kinderlijk volk gezien. We zitten hier niet op die amerikaanse cultuurbarbaren te wachten. Sinds wanneer spreken ze in Amerika iets anders dan Amerikaans? Domme arrogante Amerikanen. Hoe noem je iemand die 3 talen spreekt? Drietalig. Iemand die 2 talen spreekt? Tweetalig. Iemand die 1 taal spreekt? Amerikaan! Hoe durft zo'n land wat te zeggen een land waar zoveel criminele activiteiten plaatsvinden. Een land die overal oorlog voert. Een land die handelt in wapens. Een land waar kinderen op school mekaar neerschieten. Ik zou zeker niet om culturele redenen naar de VS reizen vanwege onbestaand daar. "

In short, Americans are dumb and getting stupider by the day, are all more or less ignorant criminals whose newspapers are garbage (according to a reader of the Telegraaf, 'nuff said). Furthermore, Americans didn't liberate Europe, that was the Allies.
One titty on the television and all of the United States is horrified! Horrified! The Yanks have the biggest sex industry in the world!
Americans, haha, nothing more than barbarians! They don't even speak decent English over there! Americans are depraved, monolingual, and congenitally criminal, and should above all stay in their own horrid culturally deprived country.

Those are nice Dutch people writing those things. You know, Netherlanders  .....   our devoted allies, who keep reminding us of our long friendship and common cause. Dutch people. The people whose politicians smilingly agree with us, in English, at international conferences. The nation which copies so much of our popular culture, and where everybody speaks a version of English because they've been watching almost nothing but American television shows since the sixties.

Remember, the Dutch are our friends. They've told us so, many times.
In our language.


I have to agree with the Dutch - there is NOTHING wrong with Belgium.
It is in fact far safer everywhere in Flanders and Wallonia than in any large municipality in the Kingdom of The Netherlands, the people are very much cleaner than they are in Holland, and considerably more friendly and polite.

If you have the chance, by all means visit Belgium. The food is delicious - Belgians are deservedly famous for their cooking, unlike the Dutch, who haven't anything even close to 'cuisine'. And Belgian beer is wonderful - neither Amstel nor Heineken are in the same league. Heck, compared to many fine Belgian brews such as Mort Subite, Duvel Moortgat, Leffe, De Koninck, Rodenbach, Callewaerts, and others, both Heineken and Amstel are naught more than pale ditchwater unfit for human consumption.
The only Dutch beer that is even drinkable is Dommelsch Oud Bruin, which is mighty hard to find north of rivers.

Additionally, Belgium has many fine museums and art galleries with helpful staff - unlike the Netherlands, where the staff are uniformly wooden and uncommunicative - and Belgians truly understand that a welcoming attitude and genuine warmth are graces which bring credit to their country - again, unlike the Dutch, who seem to believe that a Golden Age four centuries ago is enough reason for the modern Dutchman to haughtily look down his long unwashed nose at the rest of the world. That characteristic Dutch snootiness is called "deftigheid", by the way. Though the Belgians also understand the word "deftig", they do not use that term in the same way, and they are at times more galled at the rude standoffishness of 'Ollanders than even us Yanks. Many Belgians despair of the Dutch ever becoming truly civilized, and the proximity of such cold fish is all the more irritating because of the similarities of language.
It must be said that Flemish is more mellifluous than that Northern hairball up-barfing gabble of their cousins across the border.

De Vlaamsche 'g', weette gy wel. 't Klinkt gewoon schooner.

Antwerpen has more fine restaurants than Rotterdam, Amsterdam, and Utrecht combined, the moules-frites in Brussels are superb, Ghent and Brugge are architectural treasure troves.
Such French-speaking cities as Liège, Dinant, Charleroi, and Namur all have their own abundant charms, not least of which is the rolling countryside of the South. Plus, of course, food as good as anywhere in Belgium.

Hospitality, in whatever language (Flemish: gastvrijheid; Walloon: l’hospitalité) is a Belgian concept.

Truly, if you visit Europe, you should spend at least half of your time in Belgium. You might even want to avoid the rest of the continent altogether, Belgium has more than enough to be the best trip of your life.

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

Friday, June 17, 2011


This post is for the archive. The Bella Union has not existed for over two decades.
For a long time, the building at 825 Kearney Street was a theatre – locals still remember it, but like all other movie theatres that used to operate in Chinatown it has been closed for several years. Since a bit of remodeling it isn’t even recognizable, and is now used as retail space.

[Also called 大都戲院 if I remember correctly.]

1st. incarnation: Shanghai Theater – till 1913.
2nd. incarnation: Kearney Theater – 1913 till late thirties.
3rd. incarnation: The Kearney Burlesque – till 1947 or early 48.
4th. incarnation: The Rex Theater – till late 1948.
5th. incarnation: From 1948 on The Bella Union.

It is by that last name that most Chinatown English-speakers will know it. But to many people, it will always be the Waa Tou Hei Yuen.

Movies from Hong Kong, many in Mandarin. This was before the HK movie industry swung back to using their native tongue.

A previous generation, however, knew it as a place of live entertainment catering to bachelors from Luzon and the Visayas.


Unlike the Chinatown theatres that I mentioned in some of my previous posts, I have never been inside. That is something I regret, as a number of people I know have fond memories of seeing movies there as children.

[For more on C'town movie theaters, click here: 戲院.
It will bring up all posts in which Cantonese cinema is mentioned.]

By the time I wanted to go there it had closed – either tail-end of 1985 or the first half of 1986. For another few years it was empty, a fading poster of some mainland movie that looked deliciously tearjerking by the door. That stretch of Kearney Street was rather depressing, as it faced the hole in the ground where the International Hotel once stood.

Manila Town, as the two blocks north from the square were called, had ceased to exist by the eighties.
The lynchpin of that stretch had been the International Hotel, inhabited mostly by elderly retired gentlemen who came to the United States during the era of racial segregation. Hard workers, hard lives. Many had never married.
When the building was bought, the SF city government collaborated with the owners to put all the occupants on the street.

By the mid-eighties most Philippinos had already relocated, though a few eccentric Manongs remained in some of the residential hotels nearby. There were still two or three stores in Chinatown that sold food-stuffs from the islands. Over time they also started disappearing.
Up to the late eighties there was a store on Grant Avenue that carried atsara and banana ketchup, patis, atsuete (annatto seeds, for hueing your food more rubicund), along with bago’ong (“bagaong”), lumpia skins, small redbean-paste confections, noodles, and such like. Plus all the sweet ingredients for halo halo.
It closed a short time after the Loma Prieta earthquake.
Manila Town, such as it presently is, can be found in the vicinity of Moscone Center.

The giant International Hotel hole in the ground existed as a pit of contention for nearly thirty years – through several city governments, and much fighting about development plans, plus changes of ownership.
Now a city college campus is rising on the site, and there’s a Philippino social center on one corner.
California society is different now.
The Manongs have mostly passed away. Their world is gone.

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

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Having just wolfed down a burrito ("carnitas, salsa picante, SIN frijoles, por favor"), I must take issue with another blogger's querulent kvetch regarding San Francisco Mexican food.

Salsa Delfina writes:
"Another puzzling difference is the presence of black beans amongst other fillers in most burritos in SF."

[Salsa Delfina:]

Sweetheart, those black beans are for transplanted Easterners.
Real San Franciscans don't put that crap in their food.

"The same is true of rice, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream etc."

San Francisco Burritos rock. That's all there is to it.
Rice is essential.
Nothing wrong with sour cream. It turns a plain burrito into caviar.
Lettuce is for the aforementioned East-Coasters.

[It's probably the only vegetable they know. They're rather English at times.]

She gracefully admits that sometimes she may be mistaken.
In another post she writes:

"If I haven’t given you enough reasons to check out El Super Burrito, do it because Gustavo told you to and you won’t regret it. And I’ve made many bad decisions on the advice of Gustavo, but those usually involved alcohol and basements of seedy tenderloin bars - never food.

I know Gustavo.
So I can imagine the bad decisions.
I'm surprised I haven't read anything in the papers yet.
Check out her blog.
Leave some comments.


Actually, the best burritos I've had were at a place about thirty miles south of San Francisco on El Camino Real. Best chimichangas too.
One of their fresh salsas was made by pulping fire-roasted Chile Perron with a little salt and lime juice. It gave one faith in the goodness of man.

The worst abortion masquerading as a burrito was in London.
The English, like East-Coasters, are often fine people, bless their hearts.....
And just like the aforementioned Easterners, they usually know Jack about cooking.

That thing in London was indigestible.

Normally a burrito is a cure for a hangover. Not a reason to get one.

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

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


One of the irritating constants on the bus during my morning commute is the cell-phone issue.
Really, people should use their cell-phones only when it will NOT inconvenience anyone else.
For instance, in the middle of a busy intersection when they stopped to tie their shoe as the light changes. Assuming that the driver of the car who shplattens them has insurance, it is at most a minor issue.
Everyone will be happy.

Sometimes, however, overhearing someone one a cell-phone is quite interesting.

"Nothing, I'm on the bus with a whole bunch of ugly people..."

Oh really? You fit right in, dearie.
That immortal line was uttered (whined) several months ago.
And I still remember that woman's face.
It was radiant with dullness.

This morning I was mighty pleased to overhear another juicy tidbit.

"But mom, I need a bigger bra!"

That certainly got my attention. Couldn't see the teenager whose dulcet voice uttered those words, though I looked around frantically. Far too many business types in between me and her.
Crowded buses are a pain.

"No, that's ugly! Only old ladies wear that!"

Sweetheart, I'm picturing something quite improper now. Me and several other adults.
Honestly, when someone who sounds so young and gay says such provocative things, some of us twenty-five plussers are bound to keel over, or at least have severe chest pains.

She sounded like she was much closer to the front of the bus.
Having obeyed the driver and aggressively moved further in, I couldn't very well reverse and push forward.
Unless I pretended that my stop was coming up.
Taylor Street. Seven more blocks to go.
Darn. Should I walk?

Just past Mason Street the same charming girlish voice hollered "leopard spots!"
Oh boy.
Leopard spots.
Sounds like you're going to a party.

"Mom, you don't know ANYTHING about bras!"

Miss, this is your lucky day. Half of the hundred or so people on this municipal conveyance are adult men!
We are ALL experts on bras. Honest! Ask any one of us.
Think of us as your personal shopping assistants. Especially if you look half as delightful as you sound. We sincerely want you to make the right choices.

Alack, I am starting to perspire.


In fact, seeing as I don't know what you look like and will probably never meet you face to ummmmm, you molasses-voiced sweet thing, let me post a few shopping links just in case you ever visit my blog.
Better late than never.





Note: Lulalu specializes in lingerie for petite women.

Quote: " At Lula Lu you will find lingerie for petite women ranging from bra sizes 30AA to 38A and dress sizes 0 to 8. We carry comfortable and fashionable lingerie that not only fits the petite figure but is flattering as well. And, before selecting the styles, we have tested all of our products on petite women to ensure that the products have a great fit along with style and quality."

That's sheer poetry right there. Epic.

Of course, if you're going for the demented look, you really need Hello Kitty underwear for that bra party that you are planning.


Personally, I wouldn't recommend it, though. While cute, Hello Kitty underwear does not inculcate an image of luscious and tempting intelligence and common sense. Rather, it suggests that you reached at random into your toychest and found something clean, and that you might be rather ditzy. Especially if strangers catch a glimpse.
Only young ladies with a quirky sense of humour should wear Hello Kitty Panties underneath their comfy corduroy or stretch twill boot cut slacks.

Trust me, I would not steer you wrong.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:

All correspondence will be kept in confidence.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


A while ago one of my regular readers wondered at my bitterness toward the Dutch. Surely the Dutch were as deserving of regard as other people?

In the abstract, he is of course absolutely correct.
Yet I refuse to extend them that courtesy.
I lived in that pestilential place for sixteen years as a foreigner.
From age two till age eighteen.

The Dutch are not nice people. Not when the foreigner is from a place they thoroughly despise, or belongs to a creed or ethnic group which they loathe.

An American citizen in Europe during the Vietnam war was probably the most despicable thing the Dutch had ever seen.
Much like a Moroccan Dutch person born in Rotterdam.
Or a Turk doing the job that the average Kaaskop is far too snooty and fastidious to even consider.
Also Jewish people – the number of Jews who are bailing out to their homeland from an increasingly racist and bigoted Europe keeps growing, and at this point many of the Jews left in the Netherlands are of the Uncle Tom type.
They too will eventually learn that living among the Dutch is just not worth it.
Apparently, not even for the Dutch. There are nearly six million of them in the United States, and probably over twenty million Americans who have some Dutch in their veins.

As an example of how thoroughly loathsome, despicable, vile, and pustulent some Dutch people can be, I offer an article in De Telegraaf:
Student in de bres voor ritueel slachten

Shan't bother to translate it, as I'm merely placing it here to remind other readers of our language of the sheer gut-wrenching nastiness and stupidity that festers back in the Netherlandish bog.
These are the people to whom we are related, we have the same foul blood running through our veins.

[Earlier mention of Dutch attitudes toward the food-customs of other people can be found
HERE and HERE. For other considerations about the Dutch, see the rubriek ROTTEKAAS. Your feedback is appreciated.]

But as Dutch-Americans, we are better than that.
We have often preserved what was best about our heritage, and discarded the toxic sludge.
And, crucially, we are not as inbred as that lot over there, nor as culturally defective.

Student in de bres voor ritueel slachten
[di 14 jun 2011, 19:44 174 reacties.]

DEN HAAG - Ritueel slachten moet blijven worden toegestaan. Dat is althans waar een student uit Rotterdam voor pleit. De jongen heeft dinsdagmiddag duizenden handtekeningen van gelijkgestemden aangeboden in de Tweede Kamer.

Samen met duizenden anderen is de Rotterdammer, Youssef el Hachioui, tegen het verbod op onverdoofd ritueel slachten.

Hij hoopt dat de Kamer het voorstel van de Partij voor de Dieren verwerpt, zo meldt RTV Rijnmond. Volgens de student staat de godsdientvrijheid van moslims op het spel en is de islamitische gemeenschap verbijsterd.


[NOTE: this section has been severely reduced - reading ignorant Dutch hate-spew, even for me, becomes boring after a while. The natives, of course, enjoy it for hours. That's why they're Dutch.]

Als wij pretenderen een "beschaafd" land te zijn (wat dat
ook moge zijn) dan had ritueel slachten natuurlijk ALLANG niet meer mogen voorkomen. Wie daar problemen mee heeft gaat toch lekker terug naar z'n eigen islamitische joodse of weet ik veel land?! Snijdt het mes meteen aan 2 kanten? Wat aan 2? Nog wel aan meer kanten zelfs.
de Opruimer, Lelystad 21:38 14.06.11

Ik vraag me af of deze zogenaamde gelijkgestemden ook zo consequent zijn zich bij de tandarts zonder verdoving te laten behandelen en een operatie ondergaan zonder verdoving. Dat voorhuidje werd er tenslotte geheel volgens traditie en ritueel ook zonder verdoving af gehaald dus dan consequent blijven je hele leven en alles wat met verdoven te maken heeft uitsluiten.
Marcellus, Utrecht 21:37 14.06.11

Aanpassen aan de Nederlandse normen en waarden, of anders wegwezen... simpel...
Joschke, Scheveningen 21:37 14.06.11

Ja, halal vlees wordt ook door niet moslims gegevten maar niet vrijwillig maar omdat het ons wordt opgedrongen in bedrijfsrestaurants zoals van diverse overheden. Iedereen heeft zich aan de wet te houden ook gelovigen.
smit, lelystad 21:36 14.06.11

Nee nee en nog eens nee. Blijf met je handen af van beesten die zich niet kunnen verweren. Zoek je eigen land maar weer op waar dat legaal is. HIER MAG HET NIET!!!! Afblijven van dieren! Als het toch moet vanwege de normale kringloop, dan met de regels van ons land, op de LEGALE manier. Ik hoop dat die student eens zonder verdoving geopereert wordt! Ik hoop ook dat hij sjeest en nooit meer een studieboek mag inkijken! Wij zitten hier niet op te wachten!
Kate, Amsterdam 21:36 14.06.11

Ritueel slachten is zo primitief en niet meer van deze tijd, maarja wat is er eigenlijk niet primitief van dat geloof ?
Rubio, Nijmegen 21:33 14.06.11

Sinds de PVV in de politiek zit wordt alles maar dan ook alles wat verbonden is met de Islam tegen gewerkt. waarrom nu pas komen met dit dit is al eeuwen bekend en nu pas moet het tegen worden gegaan. Mensen we eten bijna allemaal vlees. ritueels geslacht of niet zij gaan allemaal DOOD. als je er wat tegen hebt wordt dan vegetarisch. ik ben volbleod nederlandse en vindt het ook niet leuk maar ik vindt het hypocryt van mensen om te zeggen dat het niet mag terwijl ze zelf wel vlees eten. Slaat werkelijk nergens op.
Miriam, Leiden 21:33 14.06.11

Een terechte actie. Ritueel slachten is beslist niet slechter dan het slachten in de bio industrie. Ik moet ook niet denken aan de transporten dwars door Europa van dieren, maar dat mag in de ogen van de tegenstemmers kennelijk wel.
M.Nieuwenhuys, Den Dolder 21:32 14.06.11

Doe dat dan maar lekker in eigen land. Wat een nonsens.
ongelovige, gezondverstand 21:29 14.06.11

Het staat hem vrij dit land te verlaten als hij zich beperkt voelt in het beleven van zijn geloof. Daarnaast niemand zegt dat je vlees moet eten. Het is van de gekke dat een religie dergelijke eisen denkt te kunnen stellen. Het is de hoogste tijd dat er een strikte scheiding komt tussen kerk en staat.
Grumpy the old man, Oosterhout 21:29 14.06.11

Laat deze student eerst maar eens afstuderen, dan een paar jaar werken, daarna zien we verder. Dieren gaan boven menselijke kolder.
dr. Paul, Den Haag 21:27 14.06.11

Het zal je maar gebeuren als schaap of koe dat met een scherp mes je keel wordt doorgesneden terwijl je bij het volle bewustzijn bent. En dat allemaal onder de noemer geloof. Walgelijk.
Johan, Veenendaal 21:26 14.06.11

Ritueel slachten past niet in onze samenleving. Wie het toch wil is vrij te vertrekken naar een land waar het wel past in de samenleving.
burger, den haag 21:26 14.06.11

De Rotterdammer Youssef el Hachioui???? Dit doet mijn hart pijn; niet alleen het onderwerp van discussie: ik ben ten zeerste tegen ritueel slachten, vind dit beestachtig en mens- en dier ontwaardig; mijn mening is dat deze manier van slachten verboden moet worden in onze westerse wereld; helaas kunnen we weinig doen wat betreft de Islamitische opvattingen, maar laat dit a.j.b in ons land verboden blijven.
doortje, mi 21:26 14.06.11

Dus de godsdienstvrijheid van de moslims staat op het spel als ritueel slachten wordt verboden, en de Joodse geloof dan, tellen ze niet mee.
Abdoelrachman, Schiedam 21:24 14.06.11

Goh heb je de afgrijselijke beelden niet gezien van het slachthusi waar ritueel werd geslacht?? WALGELIJK.In de Koran staat dat het op deze manier moet.Maar WAAR in de Koran staat dat dit met zo'n onkundige wreedheid moet gebeurenAls dit als "normaal" word beschouwd, vraag ik me af hoe de mens zichzelf nog in de ogen kan kijken.Voor mij al jáááááren geen vlees meer. AFGRIJSELIJK.
Naan, Rotterdam 21:24 14.06.11

Ik zou zeggen koffers pakken en wegwezen!! Wij zijn Nederlanders en hebben onze eigen regels gelukkig!
H., Waalre 21:24 14.06.11

Tja,we slaan af en toe een beetje door.Zolang mensen nog dagelijks worden afgeslacht zonder dat de daders daarvoor passende straffen krijgen .Kinderen aan de lopende band misbruikt en mishandeld worden.Vrouwen slachtoffer zijn van huiselijk geweld enz enz zonder dat er daadkrachtig tegen wordt op getreden kan ik me hierom niet zo druk maken eerlijk gezegd.Los eerst maar eens de grote problemen in dit land op en maak je dan druk om honderden jaren traditie waar vorig jaar nog geen haan naar kraaide !
Zaantje, Zaandam 21:22 14.06.11

Als ze zo graag ritueel willen slachten moeten ze maar een enkeltje bestellen richting land van herkomst,de overheid betaalt graag een deel mee.
Dorien Rollenvanger, Hoensbroek 21:21 14.06.11

ze zouden toevallig zelf maar eens een dier zijn, wat door mensen uitgekozen word om ritueel te slachten.. dan zouden ze ook wel anders piepen arme dieren, dieren horen nooit dierenleed te hebben, en by the way, ze wonen toch in nederland, aanpassen dan maar !
studentje, den haag 21:20 14.06.11

Er zijn nog genoeg landen waar ze kunnen wonen waar dit barbaars slachten normaal is.
cv, ehv 21:20 14.06.11

Ik ben verbijsterd dat er nog steeds ritueel wordt geslacht. Ook dat rituelen uit een sprookjes boek worden verheerlijkt
Piet, Provincie 21:19 14.06.11

Ga waar je vandaan komt,ik wordt langzaam moe van deze gasten.verpest voor je zelf jongen en laat anderen met rust
ali, Rotterdam 21:18 14.06.11

Ik ben tegen rituel slachten, dit barbaarse gedoe moet maar eens afgelopen zijn en als je het daar niet mee eens bent staat het je vrij om te vertrekken maar dat doen ze mooi niet.
Ton, Rotterdam 21:17 14.06.11

Dat die jongen duizenden handtekeningen zal verzamelen kan allemaal wel waar zijn, maar vraag eens iedereen van het Nederlandse volk en dan zul je zien dat de overgrote meerderheid tegen ritueel slachten is. Dat heet democratie en vindt hopelijk in de tweede kamer plaats. Als hij het er niet mee eens is dan conformeert hij zich dus niet aan de wetten van de meerderheid.
cees, Venlo 21:17 14.06.11

Tja, we willen wel graag Nederlander zijn en als dat dan gelukt is, weer niet dan gaan we weer roepen dat we anders zijn en van andere afkomst en dat geeft dan gelijk weer rechten.....zolang het geld maar wel uit Nederland komt, want dan zijn we weer Nederlander........
edwin, ede 21:15 14.06.11

Ritueel slachten verbieden en importverbod van halal vlees. Ga anders in een land wonen waar het wel mag, maar niet in ons beschaafde Nederland.
Willem, Venlo 21:14 14.06.11

het is een misdrijf zoals tegenwoordig wordt geslacht. het zou strafbaar moeten worden, en de slachters die op deze manier slachten berechten voor ernstige dieren mishandeling. men wil ook overal in de schappen halal vlees waar vindt ik "Anti halalvlees"????? ik hoop dat de PVV meer zeggenschap krijgt.
Thgomas, Rotterdam 21:13 14.06.11

Afrikanen en Indianen speren werpen op levende dieren in Nederland? Ik dacht het niet! Dit is Nederland,géén Azië géén Afrika.
Robert, Heerlen 21:11 14.06.11

het leven van een dier is belangrijker dan jullie godsdienstvrijheid!
ton, limburg 21:10 14.06.11

Ritueel slachten laten ze maar doen in een islamitisch land,en niet hier,wij hebben ons al genoeg aangepast,en nu is het tot hier en niet verder punt.
ger, kerkrade 21:10 14.06.11

Zelfs moslims kunnen niet boven de wet staan, het wordt tijd dat ze dat eens begrijpen en anders de consequenties aanvaarden en verdwijnen. Dat is mij net zo lief.
de vliegende hollander, D 21:07 14.06.11

We gaan het helaas voor hem toch aannemen. Maar er zijn alternatieven genoeg voor deze ondernemende en reislustige jongeman.
Haloef, Zwijndrecht 21:07 14.06.11

als ze hier willen werken en wonen dan zijn ze verplicht om de NEDERLANDSE REGELS na te leven!Nederland doet niet aan voorkeurs behandeling!
ajc, a.dam 21:07 14.06.11

Er moet een definitief verbod komen op het ritueel slachten van willoze dieren. Het is niet meer dan pure dierenmishandeling en dierkwellerij. Overtredingen dienen derhalve bijzonder zwaar bestraft te worden. Het is buitengewoon barbaars hoe dergelijke weerloze dieren worden gemarteld. Normen en waarden dienen in dit land te worden nageleefd en gerespecteerd.
Siegfried, Enschede 21:03 14.06.11

Inderdaad blijf van onze Nederlandse Normen & waarden af . Nederland is tegen Ritueel slachten !
Tamara, Nederland 21:02 14.06.11

1e is onverdoofd slachten al heel lang verboden in Nederland. Slachthuizen die ritueel slachten zijn al jaren in overtreding. Helaas heeft de politiek tot op heden niet gehandhaafd en het gedoogd uit angst voor grote groepen nieuwe nederlanders. 2e De wet op de godsdienst vrijheid wordt al tientallen jaren misbruikt. Deze is vroeger ingesteld om vervolging van anders gelovigen uit te sluiten. De bedoeling van deze wet was iedereen het recht geven zijn geloof te beleiden. In de prive sfeer of een gebedshuis.
Opa, Zeeland 21:01 14.06.11

Ik kan mij niet voorstellen dat de schepper al het leven heeft bedoeld, dat wij dus dieren de allerergste pijn en mishandeling mogen toebrengen uit zijn naam. Diegene die perse halal wil eten en het hier niet kan kopen, moet of vegetariër worden of maken dat hij wegkomt. Wij waren een beschaafd westers land, maar door de import van een onbeschaafde religie, zijn we afgegleden naar een land met barbaren, die ons hun wil opleggen en straks de macht in de slachthuizen overnemen. NOOIT DUS. RIP voor arme dieren.
ikke, hiero 21:00 14.06.11

De Islam staat weer boven alles blijkbaar. Mss moet deze meneer (terug) verhuizen naar een moslimland? Ik wist trouwens ook niet dat ritueel slachten toegstaan was in Nederland. Waarom moeten dieren ondraaglijk leed hebben, omdat sommigen geloven in een sprookjesboek?
Mum, Limburg 20:59 14.06.11

Youssef el Hachioui is geen Rotterdamse naam dus ook geen oorsprongkelijke inwoner van Nederland. Op- en aanmerkingen van Youssef el Hachioui zijn terecht maar niet hier in Nederland. Uiteindelijk is onverdoord slachten nergens humaan.
Ed, Oostburg 20:58 14.06.11

Youssef moet gewoon lekker in een islamitisch land gaan wonen! Kan hij ritueel slachten zoveel hij wil.
henk, Amsterdam 20:58 14.06.11

Laten we dan een petitie houden om te laten zien dat we ook beschaafd kunnen
Niks van aantrekken wat deze z.g student wil. Ritueel slachten is een barbaars overblijfsel uit een donker verleden. Als deze z.g. studenten zo nodig aan dit soort middeleeuwse rituelen vast wil houden,moeten ze lekker emigreren naar Afghanistan of Pakistan. Schijnt heel gezellig te zijn aan de universiteit van Kandhahar. En qua onderwijs niveau kan het nooit veel slechter zijn als aan de universiteiten hier. dat gaat namelijk ook helemaal nergens meer over!!
Pieter, Zaltbommel 20:56 14.06.11

Ritueel slachten direct afschaffen!En deze student is gezien zijn naam een ietse pitsie partijdig?14 eeuwen oude slachtpraktijken zijn niet van deze tijd!Pas je aan of botvier je prehistorische geloof lekker uit in je land van herkomst!
Frits, Haarlem 20:55 14.06.11

Godsdienstvrijheid is een groot goed, maar ook religies moeten met hun tijd meegaan en niet doen of ze boven algemeen aanvaarde maatschappelijke normen staan. De joodse en islamitische slachtwetten zijn eeuwen geleden in geschreven in een woestijn klimaat, waar hygiene en voedselveiligheid om een zeer specifieke behandeling van vlees en slachtdieren vroeg. Van dierenwelzijn had toen ook nog niemand gehoord. In onze huidige samenleving zijn deze bepalingen onnodig en niet meer van deze tijd.
Wouter, Boskoop 20:55 14.06.11

walgelijk, ritueel slachten moet ten aller tijden verboden worden. We leven in een moderne maatschappij waar dit niet meer in past. Als het al ooit ergens in gepast heeft. Bah..
Monique, Apeldoorn 20:54 14.06.11

Iedereen die ritueel wil slachten moet maar terugkeren naar het land van afkomst.Ik denk dat het daar iedereen mee eens is.Behalve dan die mensen,want die weten dat het hier in nederland goed vertoeven is.
S.chaap, Weide 20:53 14.06.11

Als je ritueel wil slachten moet je dat ergens doen waar het normaal is.
Peter, Uden 20:53 14.06.11

In Nederland dit dierenleed gewoon verbieden. Dan kunnen alle gelovigen zich óf aanpassen, óf geen vlees meer eten,óf terug gaan naar het land van herkomst waar het wel mag.
esox, bergschenhoek 20:53 14.06.11

als je naar een land emigreerd , hoor je de gebruiken van dat land te kennen en te respecteren , en ga nu geen andere gebruiken instellen en dan roepen we waorden gediscrimineerd als het niet mag , in het land van herkomst mag het wel , nou dan wat let jullie , in nederland wordt niet ritueel geslacht , s.v.p. geen dierenmishandeling
ron, vlaardingen 20:50 14.06.11

als ze voor het geloof ritueel willen slachten,moeten ze maar naar het land van herkomst terug gaan!! hier gelden onze normen en waarden en heeft helemaal niets met geloof te maken.gewoon met aanpassen.
paul, nederlander 20:47 14.06.11

Duizenden gelijkgestemden... Die student vergeet even dat er vermoedelijk miljoenen mensen in dit land zijn die tegen het ritueel slachten zijn. Als het de beste man niet aanstaat, dan staat het hem vrij zijn nederlaag te accepteren of te vertrekken.
Jan, Groningen 20:41 14.06.11

Over verbijsterd zijn gesproken.Ik was verbijsterd toen ik vernam dat onverdoofd slachten in Nederland is toegestaan voor bepaalde religieuze groepen.Deze barbaarse methode was in de oudheid misschien modern,maar we zijn nu duizenden jaren verder en zijn er betere methoden ontwikkeld.Ik hoop dat de politiek nu eens lef toont en voor het verbod stemt.Godsdienstvrijheid is geen excuus voor dierenmishandeling!
Eric , Spanje 20:37 14.06.11

In een Christelijk westers land past geen ritueel slachten! Als Yousef dat als moslim wel wil, dan gaat hij maar terug naar een Islamitisch land!
Peter, DenHaag 20:37 14.06.11

stukje bij beetje gaan andere geloven de wet naar hun hand zetten. Nederlanders bepalen welke wetgeving er is, bevalt die je niet, ga je naar een land toe die wel aan je wensen tegemoet komt.
Hans, Schiedam 20:32 14.06.11


And so sickeningly forth, and so sickeningly on.

There were far too many comments to bother pasting them all.

Most of them re-hash the same tired hate-filled rhetoric in any case.

Unimaginative lot, those Kaaskoppen.

The gist seems to be that the Dutch are civilized, unlike everybody else, and all those damned foreigners should go home. The Dutch refuse to tolerate anything which calls their own self-regard into question, and fervently dislike anything and everything (except bluejeans and American cigarettes) which has a non-Dutch origin.


There are about eight hundred thousand Muslims in the Netherlands - many were born there.
There are about thirty thousand Jews - there would've been a lot more, but the Dutch sold most of them to the Germans two generations ago.
There are also a number of Indonesians and Surinamers, many of whom are far more literate and educated than the average Dutchman.

There are six million Dutch-Americans. And the Dutch have also emigrated to many other parts of the world.

I was often told that I should just go back where I came from.
Ironic, given that Deursen, where the Dutch side of my family came from back in the fifteen hundreds, is not that far from Valkenswaard, where we lived while my father was employed by Philips Electronics in Eindhoven.
Same province, in fact - North Brabant.

In 1978 I finally did go back where I came from.
I have been back ever since.
Any commonality I have with the Dutch since then is purely accidental.

Ze kunnen oprotten, die Nederlanders.
Vaak, wanneer ik tegenwoordig een Nederlandsch accent hoor, moet ik de kots-neiging represseren.


There are over two hundred 'reacties' underneath today's article concerning kosher and halal slaughter in the Telegraaf:,1.

Unsurprisingly, most of the comments boil down to "go back where you came from, you barbarian swine". There are, additionally, a number of comments that are purely anti-Semitic. Bigotry in Dutch discourse has become very common ('want dat moet toch kunnen!'), and many 'Ollanders are distressed that not everyone thinks like them. Precisely such divergence of opinion is their greatest objection to the entire rest of the world, the one factor that convinces them more than anything else that they themselves are the lone bastion of civilization.

The article mentions that a majority of members of the Labour Party ('Partij van de Arbeid' - PvdA) are against banning 'ritual slaughter'. Naturally this is interpreted as a cynical appeal to potential voters among the foreign element, such as Jews and Muslims.
Because "real" Netherlanders are NEVER either Jewish or Muslim.

Real Netherlanders are animals.

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