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contains all issues since inception, including the current week.
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poisonous, bigoted, ignorant, verbose little wa*ker.”
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ISSUE #214 - July 2011
Daily poll on President Obama’s
popularity; date is
on the charts.
(Click to get the latest version.)
Worrying improvement continues!
Change of modus operandi.
As of June 2011, I am posting blogs as and when I write them
(ie like every other blogger does) instead of storing them up for one big
They will however continue to be grouped together per month for archiving
Flotilla Nbr 2 - Some
Thoughts - 8th July 2011
The Gaza Flotilla is a pointless exercise designed
to give satisfaction to Jew-haters happy
The Flotilla stories of 2010 and 2011 begin with Hamas which runs Gaza.
Without Hamas there would be no blockade of Gaza and hence no excuse for
Western liberal posturing with Mediterranean boat cruises.
is the acronym of an Arabic expression meaning
“Islamic Resistance Movement”.
An offshoot of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas is a terrorist
organization, sponsored by Iran, which is sworn in its
to the destruction of Israel – “Israel will exist only until Islam
will obliterate it”.
Every action of Hamas since winning power in Gaza
in 2005 has been directed at this objective, the thousands of
rockets fired indiscriminately into Israel being only the most visible.
Israel therefore has no option but to resist this by every means. This
includes imposing an air-land-and-sea arms embargo, which means all
imports must be intercepted to ensure no armaments are included. It's
not watertight since plenty of such matériel is smuggled in anyway,
whether hidden amongst permitted cargos or smuggled in via the tunnels
under the Rafah crossing with Egypt.
In any case there is no siege in Gaza. Since last year,
250 trucks a day have been bringing in supplies of food and
medicines and building materials from Israel. The border with Egypt is
moreover now open (jeopardising the livelihood of many tunnel
smugglers). The markets and bazaars are flourishing with fresh produce.
Of course some people live in poverty just as they do everywhere else in
the Middle East but this is mainly due to the statist economic policies
of Hamas. Meanwhile there are also several luxury restaurants, two huge
marble-clad shopping malls, a brand new five-star hotel just opened.
Gaza is the world’s only concentration camp where refugees drive around
in Mercedes cars. Its
life expectancy at 73.4 years is higher than that in Turkey, Egypt,
Iran or Pakistan.
But if people do want to send aid to Gaza, they can send
it to Israel or to Egypt where it can be checked for weapons and then
trucked in. Because this is much cheaper than a flotilla, they can send
more aid for the same money.
But the Gazans say
they don’t need aid anyway; there is
no humanitarian crisis; Gaza is a
much more agreeable place for its inhabitants than, for example,
North Korea. What they want is to be able to reach wider
markets than Gaza alone by exporting their produce – fruit, vegetables,
textiles etc. Perhaps the flotilla should offer to export this for them.
[That was a joke - Ed]
Meantime, of course, Israel has learnt from its public-relations
disaster of last year when they shot nine activists who were using iron
bars to attack commandos as they abseiled down from helicopters on to
So Israel has been engaged in a remarkably successful
campaign of non-violent “lawfare”, which has been having a
real chilling effect on the Flotilla.
An Israeli law firm has been:
threatening maritime insurance companies, who could be accused of
providing support to a terrorist organization (Hamas). Without
insurance you can’t sail,
issuing similar warnings to Inmarsat not to provide satellite
communication services, which are essential for the ships,
issuing lawsuits to seize boats,
raising doubts about registration documents,
bringing private prosecutions against 14 individual activists for
criminal assault including one Irishman (but I haven’t been able to
find out his name).
Late note (11th July):
A reader suggests that the Irishman may be a gent by the name of Shane
who was a focal spokesman on the 2010 flotilla,
and captain of the Irish ship Saoirse this year.
Soairse had to withdraw when its propeller shaft was evidently
American-flagged boat, the sycophantically-named “Audacity of Hope”
(illustrated), pulled out when it was reminded that no US vessel may
enter a military exclusion zone without Executive approval. The Greek
Navy prevented it from sailing from Parama and
arrested the captain, and then did the same to the Canadian boat,
the whimsical “Tahir”, named after that Cairo square. At least
eight boats have had to pull out so far, leaving perhaps seven .
The flotillistas should be praising the Israelis for adopting such
non-violent methods of resistance to the flotilla. But I doubt they will
see it that way.
The whole exercise has been shambolic and pointless – unless the point
is to provoke another violent confrontation in order to titillate the
world’s media and terrorist-lovers.
Happily it has now
collapsed in ignominy.
In the end, the
did indeed sail for Gaza. But it compromised but a single
ship, the French registered
Dignité al Karama with just sixteen people aboard, rather than
the original plan of
ten ships with a thousand activists. It made it to the the
waters nearing Gaza, where the Israeli Navy
diverted it to Ashdod port and the protestors were deported. The
no humanitarian aid.
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Warming - 8th July 2011
Yes, the Arctic is
warming up - time to panic
This report in the Washington Post
illustrates that the Arctic is indeed in terminal decline thanks to
global warming. Those damn oil companies and the carbon dioxide
their customers emit have a lot to answer for.
The Arctic ocean is warming up,
icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are
finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce
Department yesterday from Consulafft, at Bergen, Norway.
Reports from fishermen, seal
hunters and explorers all point to a radical change in climate
conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone.
Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met as
far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes. Soundings to a depth of 3,100
meters showed the gulf stream still very warm. Great masses of ice
have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the report
continued, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely
Very few seals and no white
fish are found in the eastern Arctic, while vast shoals of herring
and smelts which have never before ventured so far north, are being
encountered in the old seal fishing grounds.
Wait a minute, I have to apologize.
I neglected to mention that the report was actually issued on 2nd
November 1922. As reported by the AP and published in The Washington
Post - 89 years ago. Today, it is
verified by snopes.
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Wee Rory McIlroy
and his Mum's Washing Machine - 9th July
This boy has always been champion
Rory McIlroy, just 22, record-smashing winner of the 2011 US Open
Golf Competition, the world's premier such event, has been working towards
this pinnacle of achievement since a very early age ...
As the interviewer Gerry Kelly concludes way
back in 1998, “the Americans have Tiger Woods; we [in Northern Ireland] have
young Rory and believe you me this boy can hit a ball”. Prescient or what?
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Comments to Cyberspace
Mission aims to loosen illegal grip on world's largest open-air prison
Online comments to two opposing Irish Times contributions by Mick Wallace (for the Gaza
flotilla) and Richard Humphreys (against it).
... the argument may be moot. Israel seems to be having enormous
success with a campaign of
against the latest flotilla,
orchestrated by the legal firm Shurat haDin. Already, the number of boats
has been whittled down from 15 to 10, and activists from 1500 to 350 ...
Golfer drives home the message of social justice
Online comment to an Irish Times article by Vincent Brown, in which he
hijacks Rory McIlroy's phenomenal success in winning the US Open to drive
home a raw socialist message.
Great to see Vin
the Red back to his fighting best. Up the Revolution!
Back to List of Contents
- - - - - O B A M A - - - - -
Quote: “I’m always worried about using the word ‘victory’,
because, you know, it invokes this notion of Emperor Hirohito coming
down and signing a surrender to MacArthur.”
Obama, the one-time Harvard law
once again demonstrates his customary grasp on non-history.
Hint: It was signed on behalf of Japan by
its foreign minister Mamoru Shigemitsu and
General Yoshijiro Umezu, Chief of the Army General Staff.
Quote: “What the f-ck was that? ... Never again [sic]! Do
you understand me? Never again [sic]!”
Obama is enraged at being
publicly lectured to and corrected
by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu
over Middle East politics and history.
And is clearly not altogether au-fait with the historical resonance
of the phrase
when talking about Jews.
Quote: “President Obama has never presented to the American
people the magnitude of the climate crisis. He has not defended
the science against the ongoing withering and dishonest attacks. Nor has
he provided a presidential venue for the scientific community ... to
bring the reality of the science before the public.”
As the interviewer Gerry Kelly concludes, “the Americans
have Tiger Woods; we [in Northern Ireland] have young Rory and believe
you me this boy can hit a ball”. Prescient or what? Hattip: Slugger
Ex-VP Al Gore and the world's first global warming billionaire
castigates Obama for the same sins of climate omission
that he himself perpetrated
while in office never presented to the American people
the magnitude of the climate crisis,
has not defended the science against the ongoing
withering and dishonest attacks (he is petrified of any
open debate, knowing he would lose).
Nor did he ever provide a presidential venue for the
scientific community to bring the reality of the science
before the public
Oh, and “Gore declined an Associated Press request for an interview.”
I find it odd to be vaguely on the same side as Obama!
get our nation back on track, Barack Obama must be a one-term
Republican presidential aspirant Michelle
rattles the current president
- - - - - U S A - - - - -
“Children raised by a single mother comprise about 70% of
juvenile murderers, delinquents, teenaged mothers, drug abusers,
dropouts, suicides and runaways. Imagine an America with 70% of
these social disorders and you will see what liberals' destruction
of marriage has wrought ... 85% of mothers who kill
their children through neglect are single mothers. ”
Anne Coulter, glamorous US polemical columnist,
who drives traditional feminists crazy with such talk.
Quote: “It wasn´t Arnie´s fault”
Arnold Schwarzenegger's former housekeeper Mildred Baena
explains to his (soon to be)
former wife Maria Shriver
some interesting facts of life about the
conception of her son Joseph,
fathered by Mr Schwarzenegger
“Government should not tell you what to do unless
there’s a compelling public purpose.”
New York's billionaire mayor, Michael Bloomberg
explains his view that
America (or at least New York) is an entity that belongs to the
which munificently bestows rights and obligations on the lowly
not the other way round.
Quote: “The blunt reality is that there will be dwindling
appetite and patience in the U.S. Congress, and in the American body
politic writ large, to expend increasingly precious funds on behalf
of nations that are unwilling to devote the necessary resources or
make the necessary changes to be serious and capable partners in
their own defense.”
Robert Gates, America's Defense Secretary,
thinks it's about time Europe started paying for its own defence.
After 66 years, the US is getting a bit fed up
with footing all the bills to keep Europe safe.
- - - - - - N E W Z
E A L A N D - - - - -
“Why do they take the most sick leave? Women do, in
general. Why? Because once a month, they have sick problems - not
all of them, but some do ... They have children that they have to
take leave of therefore their productivity ... [it is] not
their fault. It may be that they have not got it sorted with their
partners where the partners take more responsibility for what
happens outside work.”
Alasdair Thompson, CEO of New Zealand's Employers and
is fired after providing this perfectly rational and indeed
of why women tend to get paid less than men.
He was taking part in a radio debate about
what New Zealanders call
“ginder and equality”.
The blunt truth is unacceptable and must never be
- - - - I S L A M - - - - -
good news is that it's also legal to be critical about Islam, to
speak publicly in a critical way about Islam and this is something
that we need because the Islamisation of our societies is a major
problem and a threat to our freedom and I'm allowed to say so.”
Geert Wilders upon his acquittal from charges of
hatred (or something)
for calling Islam fascism and likening the Koran to Mein Kampf
“When I want a sex-slave, I go to the market and pick
whichever female I desire and buy her.”
Abu Ishaq al-Huwaini, a popular Muslim preacher,
explains that the way for a a good Muslim man
to remain pure and faithful to the teachings of the Koran
is to satisfy his extra-marital urges with an infidel slave girl
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Archive and Blogroll at top left and right, for your convenience
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Now, for a little [Light Relief]
Cuddly Teddy Bears
looking for a home
Click for details
Neda Agha Soltan;
shot dead in Teheran
by Basij militia
Good to report that as at
14th September 2009
he is at least
FREED AT LAST,
ON 18th OCTOBER 2011,
GAUNT BUT OTHERWISE REASONABLY HEALTHY
Atlantic Blog (defunct)
Broom of Anger
Cox and Forkum
Carey / GUBU
Thinking Man's Guide
Victor Davis Hanson
Tales from Warri
Graham's Sporting Wk
My Columns in the
What I've recently
“The Lemon Tree”, by Sandy
is a delightful novel-style history of modern Israel and Palestine told
through the eyes of a thoughtful protagonist from either side, with a
household lemon tree as their unifying theme.
But it's not
entirely honest in its subtle pro-Palestinian bias, and therefore needs
to be read in conjunction with an antidote, such as
This examines events which led to BP's 2010 Macondo blowout in
the Gulf of Mexico.
BP's ambitious CEO John Browne expanded it through adventurous
acquisitions, aggressive offshore exploration, and relentless
cost-reduction that trumped everything else, even safety and long-term
Thus mistakes accumulated, leading to terrifying and deadly accidents in
refineries, pipelines and offshore operations, and business disaster in
The Macondo blowout was but an inevitable outcome of a BP culture that
had become poisonous and incompetent.
However the book is gravely compromised by a
litany of over 40 technical and stupid
errors that display the author's ignorance and
It would be better
to wait for the second (properly edited) edition before buying.
As for BP, only a
wholesale rebuilding of a new, professional, ethical culture will
prevent further such tragedies and the eventual destruction of a once
mighty corporation with a long and generally honourable history.
Note: I wrote
my own reports on Macondo
A horrific account
how the death
penalty is administered and, er, executed in Singapore,
the corruption of
Singapore's legal system, and
enthusiastic embrace of Burma's drug-fuelled military dictatorship
More details on my
nonagenarian Alistair Urquhart’s
incredible story of survival in the Far
East during World War II.
After recounting a
childhood of convention and simple pleasures in working-class Aberdeen,
Mr Urquhart is conscripted within days of Chamberlain declaring war on
Germany in 1939.
From then until the
Japanese are deservedly nuked into surrendering six years later, Mr
Urquhart’s tale is one of first discomfort but then following the fall
of Singapore of ever-increasing, unmitigated horror.
After a wretched
journey Eastward, he finds himself part of Singapore’s big but useless
Taken prisoner when Singapore falls in
1941, he is, successively,
part of a death march to Thailand,
a slave labourer on the Siam/Burma
railway (one man died for every sleeper laid),
regularly beaten and tortured,
racked by starvation, gaping ulcers
and disease including cholera,
a slave labourer stevedoring at
shipped to Japan in a stinking,
closed, airless hold with 900 other sick and dying men,
torpedoed by the Americans and left
drifting alone for five days before being picked up,
a slave-labourer in Nagasaki until
blessed liberation thanks to the Americans’ “Fat Boy” atomic
distraught and traumatised on return to Aberdeen yet disdained by the
British Army, he slowly reconstructs a life. Only in his late 80s
is he able finally to recount his dreadful experiences in this
There are very few
first-person eye-witness accounts of the the horrors of Japanese
brutality during WW2. As such this book is an invaluable historical
“Culture of Corruption:
Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies”
This is a rattling good tale of the web
of corruption within which the American president and his cronies
operate. It's written by blogger Michele Malkin who, because she's both
a woman and half-Asian, is curiously immune to the charges of racism and
sexism this book would provoke if written by a typical Republican WASP.
With 75 page of notes to back up - in
best blogger tradition - every shocking and in most cases money-grubbing
allegation, she excoriates one Obama crony after another, starting with
the incumbent himself and his equally tricky wife.
Joe Biden, Rahm Emmanuel, Valerie Jarett,
Tim Geithner, Lawrence Summers, Steven Rattner, both Clintons, Chris
Dodd: they all star as crooks in this venomous but credible book.
ACORN, Mr Obama's favourite community
organising outfit, is also exposed for the crooked vote-rigging machine
This much trumpeted sequel to
Freakonomics is a bit of disappointment.
It is really just
a collation of amusing
little tales about surprising human (and occasionally animal) behaviour
and situations. For example:
Drunk walking kills more people per
kilometer than drunk driving.
People aren't really altruistic -
they always expect a return of some sort for good deeds.
Child seats are a waste of money as
they are no safer for children than adult seatbelts.
Though doctors have known for
centuries they must wash their hands to avoid spreading infection,
they still often fail to do so.
Monkeys can be taught to use washers
as cash to buy tit-bits - and even sex.
The book has no real
message other than don't be surprised how humans sometimes behave and
try to look for simple rather than complex solutions.
And with a final
anecdote (monkeys, cash and sex), the book suddenly just stops dead in
its tracks. Weird.
A remarkable, coherent attempt by Financial Times economist Alan Beattie
to understand and explain world history through the prism of economics.
It's chapters are
organised around provocative questions such as
Why does asparagus come from Peru?
Why are pandas so useless?
Why are oil and diamonds more trouble
than they are worth?
Why doesn't Africa grow cocaine?
It's central thesis
is that economic development continues to be impeded in different
countries for different historical reasons, even when the original
rationale for those impediments no longer obtains. For instance:
Argentina protects its now largely
foreign landowners (eg George Soros)
Russia its military-owned
businesses, such as counterfeit DVDs
The US its cotton industry
comprising only 1% of GDP and 2% of its workforce
The author writes
in a very chatty, light-hearted matter which makes the book easy to
However it would
benefit from a few charts to illustrate some of the many quantitative
points put forward, as well as sub-chaptering every few pages to provide
natural break-points for the reader.
This is a thrilling book of derring-do behind enemy lines in the jungles
of north-east Burma in 1942-44 during the Japanese occupation.
The author was
a member of Britain's V Force, a forerunner of the SAS. Its remit was to
harass Japanese lines of
command, patrol their occupied territory, carryout sabotage and provide
intelligence, with the overall objective of keeping the enemy out of
is admirably yet brutally frank, in his
descriptions of deathly battles with the Japs, his execution of a
prisoner, dodging falling bags of rice dropped by the RAF, or collapsing
in floods of tears through accumulated stress, fear and loneliness.
He also provides some fascinating insights into the mentality of
Japanese soldiery and why it failed against the flexibility and devolved
authority of the British.
The book amounts to
a very human and exhilarating tale.
Oh, and Irwin
describes the death in 1943 of his colleague my uncle, Major PF
Click for an account of this momentous,
of March 2009
Click on the logo
to get a table with
the Rugby World Cup
scores, points and rankings.
crackling, compelling, captivating games, the new World Champions are,
England get the Silver,
Argentina the Bronze. Fourth is host nation France.
No-one can argue with
the justice of the outcomes
Over the competition,
points per game = 52,
tries per game = 6.2,
minutes per try =
Click on the logo
to get a table with
the final World Cup
scores, points, rankings and goal-statistics