Archive for November, 2006

Bandwith exceeded

Thursday, November 30th, 2006

“Bandwith exceeded” must be the most bittersweet phrase to a blogeer.

It means that you’re getting really good traffic.
It also means your blog is toast for the time being, until the administrator increases the bandwith again.

Time for “the blog is fried” grieving process!

Hollywood glamour

Thursday, November 30th, 2006

The former Bond, the former despot: Pierce’s next movie role?

Today’s Christmas store item:
(drum roll, please)
A DVD for the whole family, Pirates of the Caribbean – Dead Man’s Chest

The Blond Bond Bombshell

Wednesday, November 29th, 2006

Actor Daniel Craig A Blond Bondshell
‘Casino Royale’ Hits Jackpot, And The New James Bond Wins Raves Online

Bloggers praise the actor’s aiblity to breath life into the character of James Bond after so many previous films. “Daniel Craig is the best Bond since Sean Connery. Connery created the part, but Daniel Craig brings him to life, a heroic task after decades and umpteenth Bond movies, a much more difficult task than Connery’s,” Fausta blogs. “This Bond is everything he should be: Cold, callous, egotistical, and most of all, dangerous. He has no qualms with killing,” Justin at Corpreform adds.

Thank you, Melissa!

For the blond bombshell in black tie, engraveable sterting silver cufflinks at the Christmas Store – perfect for monogramming.

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Fidel misses his own b-day party , claims he’s "not dead yet"

Wednesday, November 29th, 2006

Castro misses birthday ceremony

Frail Cuban leader Fidel Castro has stayed away from the opening ceremony of his 80th birthday celebrations in Havana on doctors’ orders.

A message apparently written by Mr Castro was read out saying he was not yet strong enough to attend the event.

Maybe he’s in a freezer, after all; maybe not?

The usual toadies were in attendance at the non-event:

Presidents Evo Morales of Bolivia and Rene Preval of Haiti have confirmed their attendance, along with former Ecuadorean President Rodrigo Borja and Nicaraguan President-elect Daniel Ortega.

Also expected are Argentine soccer great Diego Maradona, South African singer Miriam Makeba and Colombian Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Nobel Peace Prize winner Adolfo Perez Esquivel, an Argentine human rights campaigner, was also expected.

(Val has the guest list.)

Hugo went missing, though.

Hmm.

Tierra de poderes?

Hugo: . . . but, but I even brought you an arepa [a Venezuelan cornbread], and a painting. . .
Fidel: I saw you with that Putin [pun on Putin’s name. Puta = whore, putin = little male whore], and with that Iranian, and you compared me to Ho Chi Min’s statue, it’s . . .
Hugo: But my chulo [term of endearment that can also mean pimp], all I’ve done. . .
Fidel: You’ve done nothing, all you’ve done is fool me, I gave you my youth, you got me pregnant and now I don’t know what I’m going to do, it’s over six months; you’re going to have to assume responsibility…
Hugo (covering his eyes): My God, you weren’t protected? You didn’t tell me. That’s not mine!
Fidel: You don’t love me.
Hugo: Don’t say that my little one, because I adore you with my life.
Fidel: I’m suing for child support.
Hugo: Now you’re squeezing me. . .
Fidel: Evil man (crying) abuser, whore . . .
Image changes to the Tierra de poderes/Brokeback Mountain poster.
Announcer’s voice: Tierra de poderes, the new soap opera.

Campaign pressures?

Castro’s good friend and political ally Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez wasn’t expected to come; he is up for re-election on Dec. 3. But Chavez has promised to dedicate his anticipated electoral victory to Castro.

Or sour grapes?

Intentionally or subliminally, the Beeb’s article has a picture of the dove landing on Castro’s shoulder, an event considered as symbolic of his powers by believers in santeria. Do not underestimate the power of that image among his followers.

In a country where internet access is so limited by the government that a man’s starving himself in protest, the Beeb asks,

Are you in Cuba? How have people there reacted to Mr Castro’s inability to attend his 80th birthday celebrations? Send us your comments.

We live in an age of irony, indeed.

Hat tip: Maria
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The Veil Controversy

Wednesday, November 29th, 2006

Via Nidra Poller,
The Veil Controversy: Islamism and liberalism face off

But the country whose government is currently going after the hijab most vigorously is Tunisia. The wearing of the hijab has been spreading rapidly in Tunisian towns, prompting President Ben Ali recently to reactivate a 1981 decree banning the wearing of the hijab in government offices, schools, universities, and public places in general. His government views the hijab as one more sign of the unwelcome but growing influence of Islamists in Tunisian society. This past Ramadan, in a reversal of the standard pattern for Muslim religious police, Tunisian police were seen tearing headscarves off women in the streets.

The authorities consider the hijab unacceptable in a country that enshrined women’s rights as long ago as 1956, with the banning of repudiation (male-initiated casual divorce), polygamy, forced marriage, and the granting of women’s rights to vote and sue for divorce. Ben Ali sees women “as a solid defense against the regressive forces of fanaticism and extremism.”

Interestingly, the Tunisian author and feminist Samia Labidi, president of A.I.M.E., an organization fighting the Islamists, recounts that she personally started wearing the veil before puberty, after Islamists told her the hijab would be a passport to a new life, to emancipation. After a few years, she realized she had been fooled and that the veil made her feel like she was “living in a prison.” At first, she could not bring herself to stop wearing it because of the constant psychological pressure. But the 1981 ban on the hijab in public places forced her to remove it, and she did so for good.

Labidi’s experience suggests that in both Tunisia and France the recent banning of the hijab has actually helped Muslim women who are subject to Islamist indoctrination.

When indoctrination is not enough, try bribery:

For Islamists, the imperative to veil women justifies almost any means. Sometimes they try to buy off resistance. Some French Muslim families, for instance, are paid 500 euros (around $600) per quarter by extremist Muslim organizations just to have their daughters wear the hijab. This has also happened in the United States. Indeed, the famous and brave Syrian-American psychiatrist Wafa Sultan recently told the Jerusalem Post that after she moved to the United States in 1991, Saudis offered her $1,500 a month to cover her head and attend a mosque.

And then threats,

But what Islamists use most is intimidation. A survey conducted in France in May 2003 found that 77 percent of girls wearing the hijab said they did so because of physical threats from Islamist groups. A series in the newspaper Libération in 2003 documented how Muslim women and girls in France who refuse to wear the hijab are insulted, rejected, and often physically threatened by Muslim males. One of the teenage girls interviewed said, “Every day, bearded men come to me and advise me strongly on wearing the veil. It is a war. For now, there are no dead, but there are looks and words that do kill.”

Why the sudden emergence of the veil? Because it’s in-your-face:

Given the Islamists’ ferocious determination on this point, it is worth asking: Why exactly is covering the female so important to them? The obvious answer is that it is a means of social control. Not coincidentally, it is one of the only issues on which Sunni and Shia extremists agree. It’s not by chance that use of the hijab really took off after Iran’s Islamic regime came to power in 1979. Some Shiite militias in Iraq have actually started forcing women–Muslim or not–to wear the veil or face the consequences.

Not only in Iraq are women forced to veil themselves – in France, women are gang-raped at the banlieus if they’re not wearing veils, whether or not the women are Muslim.

It has nothing to do with women choosing to become Marie Claire’s Mecca Stars

Update: Hijab, Violence against Women, and Profiling

One solution to this debate may be profiling of women who wear hijab for investigation of domestic or other abuse. If [Olivier Guitta, writing at] Weekly Standard [see above] is right, then wearing hijab is a sign that a female has been intimidated and possibly beaten. If so, then not investigating the possibility of such abuse where it occurs, i.e., failing to implement hijab-based profiling, discriminates against women. Those who would oppose such investigation would be arguing that they favor physical abuse of women.

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The Pope, the Kennedys, and others in the news

Tuesday, November 28th, 2006

Pope Benedict is visiting Turkey. Today’s CNN banner reads “When Faiths Collide”, which caused Larwyn to comment,

Obviously, CNN foresees quite a positive outcome.
Did they just hire some one from the World Wrestling Federation???

Bearing that in mind, I’m sure we’ll be hearing a lot about his speech from last August. Here’s my post on the speech; the text of the Pope’s speech; and his actual words:

NOT TO ACT IN ACCORDANCE WITH REASON IS CONTRARY TO GOD’S NATURE

Do keep those words in mind while we hear all the propaganda, the insults, and the Pope Rage in Istanbul. As I write the anchorwoman at CNN keeps talking about the Pope making an apology.

Update American Digest looks at the sleep of reason On Advent: “We Are All Lying in the Mud, but Some of Us Are Looking at the Stars”

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Complete with toll-free number: Dial Joe-4-Chavez : Massachusetts Democrats love Venezuela’s strongman
Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez is an ally of the Iranian mullahs, a supporter of North Korea, a close friend of Fidel Castro and a good customer for Vladimir Putin’s weapon factories. Now he’s also a business partner of Joseph P. Kennedy II.

The former Democratic Congressman describes the deal he’s cooked up with Mr. Chavez as charity for low-income consumers of heating oil. But it’s worth asking what the price of this largesse is to Venezuelans and to U.S. security interests.

The arrangement is this: Mr. Chavez’s Citgo–a Houston-based oil company owned by the Venezuelan government–is supplying home heating oil to Mr. Kennedy’s Citizens Energy Corporation at a 40% discount. Citizens, a nonprofit outfit, says it passes the savings onto the poor, aiming to help 400,000 homes in 16 states that would otherwise have trouble heating their homes. In the process, Mr. Kennedy happens to get a high-profile publicity plug. If you think you qualify, says the television ad that drew our attention to this partnership, just dial 1-877-Joe-4-Oil.

I was slightly ahead of the news curve last week on this.

Jeff Blanco asks,

Are we so far separated from the rest of the world that we don’t have a reason to see what’s going on around the rest of the world? Is it arrogance? Maybe our nation is too large, we have enough newsworthy events happening here in the United States, to keep our attention off of the rest of the world.

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The grounded imams
Read Jay’s post on The Grounded Imams; Stranger Behavior Than Prayers
Update The Flying Imams: acting deliberately and precisely like Muslim terrorists
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The crock that is “shareholder democracy”
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The Old World Marches Again
Bolshevism, Fascism, Nazism, Islamofascism… all simply vehicles for the ancient passions and values of the Old World to re-channel themselves more effectively, so as to destroy the New. The people who developed these ideologies have studied and exploited the weaknesses of the New World, to the point that all of them have seriously threatened it.

The “Eurabia” myth from Ralph Peters has sparked several rebuttals:
Powerline: They Report, You Decide (with update from Mark Steyn)
Steven Warshawsky Europe’s Ineradicable Viciousness?
David Pryce-Jones, author of Islam Unveiled, has a new book, Betrayal: France, the Arabs, and the Jews. Click on box to purchase

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Today’s cat story,
Ziggy the cat’s 17-day journey from Israel to UK

‘Tis the season
Don’t forget to check my Christmas shop – I’m adding new items every day. Today’s new item: orchids.

My thanks to Maria and Larwyn!

Chester looks at ME magical realism, SC&A looks at the press

Monday, November 27th, 2006

The Adventures of Chester has an excellent post,Magical Realism Visits the Middle East

Students of Latin American literature will be familiar with “magical realism,” a technique of writing frequently associated with Gabriel Garcia-Marquez, the Nobel-prize winning Columbian novelist. Wikipedia notes some elements of magical realism, several of which are excerpted here:

* Contains fantastical elements
* The fantastic elements may be intrinsically plausible but are never explained
* Characters accept rather than question the logic of the magical element . . .
* Distorts time so that it is cyclical or so that it appears absent. Another technique is to collapse time in order to create a setting in which the present repeats or resembles the past
* Inverts cause and effect, for instance a character may suffer before a tragedy occurs
* Incorporates legend or folklore
* Mirrors past against present; astral against physical planes; or characters one against another . . .
* Open-ended conclusion leaves the reader to determine whether the magical and/or the mundane rendering of the plot is more truthful or in accord with the world as it is.
. . .
It is all too easy to see the similarities between the fictions penned by Garcia-Marquez, the surreal nature of negotiating with terrorists such as Pablo Escobar, and the presumptions of American political elites who believe that by engaging Iran and Syria — thereby admitting their involvement in Iraq’s chaos — that such chaos might be ended on terms favorable to either the US or Iraq. Such dreams are the stuff of our own variety of magical realism, but rather than resulting in pleasant narrative escapes, they will result in the irrelevance of the United States, whether one means its military power, its national interests, or its once-admired revolutionary Democratic ideals.

Read every word.

Sigmund, Carl and Alfred likewise is exploring Media Lies, UN Lies, And A Presidential Library

What are the implications of media deceit? A lot more than the endorsement of tired and failed political agendas and ideologies.In fact, media deceit has lead to an environment where the deaths and killings of innocents, so that some agendas are presented in a more favorable light than others.

It was the media that ignored the genocide that resulted in the death of over a million Africans in Rwanda, even as the UN military commander pleaded with UN higher ups for orders to defend the helpless victims that never came.

The deliberate lack of press coverage could not hide other truths. While Rwanda is correctly portrayed as yet another failure of the UN, they weren’t alone in their culpability. Even as the UN maintained it’s customary inertia , the American administration under Bill Clinton was asked to help. They refused. After the humiliating defeat in Somalia, Washington was delighted to wash its hands of Africa and Africans.

A month after the documented mass murders, David Rawson, Mr Clinton’s US ambassador to Rwanda, stated that the killings were a ‘disaster’ and then categorized the orchestrated genocide as ‘tribal killings’ and no more. This kind of cavalier attitude was reinforced by the state department. One US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State was told by her higher ups that ‘. . .these people do this from time to time.’ [emp-SC&A]

Two posts, great reading.
(h/t Larwyn)

Update MSM magical realism:
The MSM has been using bogus officials to supply chaos to their stories and based on those same stories has decided Iraq is now a official civil war.

Venezuela: Pre-election avalanche and a Memo

Monday, November 27th, 2006


The must-read bloggers: VCrisis, Venezuela News and Views, and The Devil’s Excrement:
Venezuela News and Views
Don’t miss his videos

V Crisis, and Alek’s photo album

The Devil’s Excrement

The round-up
AVALANCHA OF AVALANCHAS

While Chavez blocked the highways into Caracas, 1.4 million turned up.

Chavez Vows To Beat “Devil”

Anti-castro, Anti-Chavez Avalancha In Caracas

Gustavo Coronel has A memo for Hugo Chavezs followers and for the Left who supports Chavez:

A memo for Hugo Chavezs followers.
(Please read before voting).
Gustavo Coronel.

Dear Chavez follower:

1. If you are not worried about Hugo Chavez being a “brother” of Fidel Castro, Ahmadinejad, Kim IL Sung, Assad, Hussein, Hezbollah and FARC, vote for him;
2. If it does not bother you that the main bridge between Caracas and the airport has collapsed and that the garbage piles up high in the streets of Venezuelan cities, vote for Chavez;
3. If you do not feel indignant at the ideological indoctrination being forced upon our children in public schools, vote for Chavez;
4. If you are indifferent at the arming of our youth by the Chavez government and their conversion into a paramilitary force, go ahead and vote for him;
5. If you think is logical that Chavez dedicates $20 billion to the buying of weapons, to the giving away of oil to Cuba, to building houses in Bolivia, roads in Jamaica, refineries in Brazil and to the exchange of oil for bananas with Grenada, vote for him;
6. If you sleep well in spite of knowing that Venezuelans die for lack of essential help in the hospitals run by the Chavez’s government, vote for him;
7. If you think there is no lack of ethics or dignity in the magistrates of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice when they sing in choir: “Uh, Ah, Chavez is not going”, go ahead, vote for him;
8. If you agree with the speech of the president of Petroleos de Venezuela, telling employees that if they do not vote for Chavez they will be dismissed, vote for Chavez;
9. If you believe that there are no abandoned children left in the streets of Venezuela and that women do no longer beg for food and a few coins in the streets of our cities, go ahead and vote for Chavez;
10. If you care more for the handouts you are getting on a daily basis than for freedom, democracy and human dignity, vote for Chavez;
11. If it does not bother you that Chavez travels around the world preaching hate in a $70 million Airbus, in a $3000 suit ad and wearing a $5000 watch, surrounded by Cuban bodyguards while the Venezuelan poor increase year after year, vote for him;
12. If you agree with the armed forces being at the exclusive service of the Chavez revolution, vote for him;
13. If you do not consider grotesque that the Vice-president of the republic is also an anonymous newspaper commentator, writing insulting op-eds against the opposition in the vilest language, please vote for Chavez;
14. If you do not feel curious about how the $200 billion of estimated oil income have been spent by Chavez during the last eight years, vote for him;
15. If you believe is normal for a country to have three parallel budgets, all handled by Chavez without accountability or transparency, vote for him;
16. If you approve of Venezuela having more undernourished people (FAO, United Nations), being one of the most corrupt countries on Earth (Transparency International), possessing one of the lowest levels of economic freedom (Fraser Institute) and showing a decreasing Index of Human Development (United Nations), go ahead and vote for Chavez;
17. If you are amused to see the president of your country singing off key in public events or disguised as a Mexican Charro, a Bolivian Indian or an Islamic fundamentalist, vote for Chavez;
18. If you think is positive to have a high level of racial and social tension in the country, vote for Chavez;
19. If you agree that political dissidents should be imprisoned, that Venezuelans who vote against Chavez should be retaliated against and that they get insulted systematically by the president, vote for Chavez;
20. If you like to watch the president of the country making an ass of himself in the United Nations, vote for Chavez;
21. If it is all the same to you that the government bureaucracy enrich themselves with our national wealth and give you the crumbs of the banquet, go ahead and vote for Chavez;
22. In summary, if you wish to see Venezuela joining the club of the failed states and Venezuelan society becoming more miserable than is already the case, vote for Chavez.

But, keep the following in mind:
You can choose to vote with your stomach or with your heart but be prepared to live with the results of your decision. If you vote to return to the Paleolithic you, your children and the children of your children will suffer the consequences. When you vote for Chavez you will be influencing the life and well-being of all those who do not wish to see their country falling in a swamp of misery, oppression and corruption. You should know that we would dispute Chavez and his followers day after day, millimeter after millimeter, the space and the future of our country. We, who wish to live in a dignified, free and spiritually and physically clean country, will never stay idle while the illiterates of the revolution, dressed in blood red garments, pretend to take over the country. This battle for freedom and democracy in Venezuela is going to be long and cruel but we will prevail.

We will wake from this nightmare no matter the price we will have to pay.

Let’s hope it’s through democracy and growth.

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Marie Claire’s Mecca Stars

Monday, November 27th, 2006

I stopped buying women’s fashion magazines years ago when I got fed up of looking at photo after photo of anorexic fifteen year olds wearing $700 flip-flops, along with repetitive articles exulting women’s superiority, victimhood, dieting and plastic surgery. To say that there was nothing I could possibly find interesting would be to greatly understate it.

By doing so, I missed the latest trends in women’s fashion publishing. One, the sex-manual mags (like Cosmo, which now has text and illustrations) I wrote about last August. The December issue of Marie Claire has a naked woman on the cover but at least didn’t go into that trend.

Now here’s the latest trend: Marie Claire‘s Mecca Stars, a.k.a. the glamorization of Islam’s submission of women.

Debbie Schlussel has all the photos from the spread, and comments,

By the way, the photos were shot in Dubai, home of the new anti-Jew apartheid. No Israeli passports or passport stamps allowed (unless you’re a Muslim, then it’s okay). Not a peep from the libs that run Marie Claire.

Or from the rest of the press. This particular issue of MC got a lot of publicity for publishing a photoshop of Elizabeth Vargas’s face on a woman breast-feeding a baby for an article titled “The Mother Of All Tough Choices”. Because not mentioning Dubai’s anti-Jew laws is not a tough choice; it comes naturally to Marie Claire’s editors.

The print on the photo reads

MECCA STARS
Where else can you get your sheik on with the hot new accessories but in the desert wonderland of Dubai?

The “desert wonderland of Dubai” they talk about is “Dubai and its shopping”, which is fully itemized on page 139. Apparently there are only 45 malls in Dubai, so I’ll stay in New Jersey, thank you. And keep the sheik off me, please.

The model in the above photo wears a “Silver mask, price upon request, from Victor and Rolf”

Considering how Islam tells men to beat their wives into submission, it’s hardly surprising that the first page of the spread highlights an S&M item.

The rest of the photos feature several extremely thin young women (a polygamist’s wives?) wearing a lot of make-up, huge sunglasses and expensive accessories, not unlike the first woman I saw wearing the veil at Harrods almost thirty years ago. Unlike the woman I saw at Harrods, their black clothes are from-fitting. On one page they even wear Chanel jackets on top of them, which had me wondering what the Saudi religious police would do, considering that they would have school girls burn to death rather than allow them to leave a burning building unveiled.

The photo spread shows the glamour of eating a burger under your veil at McDonald’s. Irony? Humor? Of just good ole cluelessness on Marie Claire’s part?

According to this site, the purpose of the veil is protection. While some decadent Westeners think of condoms when someone mentions protection,

This is the whole point, modesty is prescribed to protect women from molestation or simply, modesty is protection. Thus, the only purpose of the veil in Islam is protection.

Some of us decadent Western women, however, prefer to protect ourselves with firearms. Never mind that the mark of a civilized society is men’s self-control.

On page 143, one of the “stars” is shown behind the wheel: To the Arabs, Women Driving Cars Is a Sinful Thing. The babe in the photo must be daydreaming, much like a little kid who sneaks behind the wheel of his dad’s car wishing he could actually drive it.

But not to worry, she’s wearing $67,645 worth of jewelry. Like the woman I saw at Harrods, who bought herself a complete set of Vuitton luggage, in all her luxury the model is

simply a cipher, to be held as a nonentity, hidden under a mass of black cloth, unseen, never to be trusted, allowed to talk to no one other than a man that will speak for them

Marie Claire has shown its true colors. What’s even more shameful is that the MSM carried on about the Vargas photoshop and ignored the Mecca Stars.

Update Is Jack Straw right about banning hijab?

Follow-up post: The Veil Controversy.

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Enemy propaganda at the LA Times, and today’s other items

Monday, November 27th, 2006

Is the L.A. Times Repeating Enemy Propaganda? Or Is There Another Reason The Paper Is Getting Basic Facts Wrong and Failing to Report the Military’s Side?
Getting The News From The Enemy

Via LGF, What the Islamists Have Learned: How to defeat the USA in future wars

Maxim # 1: To defeat America, impose upon the imagination of its media your own storyline.
Maxim # 2: Take heart, then, my terrorist brothers! Bin Laden is even more correct than we knew before the last two years. The West does not have the will to resist. Those elites among them who do have the stomach to fight back, inexorably, day after day, are being undermined by their own media.

Dough Ross goes at it: Richard Feynman: “…To Protect Civilization…”
2006 Turkey-of-the-Year Awards
The Shining Wit and Wisdom of Bill Maher

Geesh, Michael Moore!… Less Fury, More Facts Please!

Worried All The Time

AP frets that more people haven’t noticed war protester’s self-immolation; Update: Protester fantasized about killing Rumsfeld
2 Acid Bombs Detonated at Wal-Mart

Doing John Kerry impersonations, Rangel: Men Join The Army Only If They Can’t Have A “Decent Career”. And here I thought that’s why men became politicians.
Live by the stupidity …

Congressman Conyers and Islam

Back when college was fun…

Special thanks to Larwyn!