26 July 2014

It's all about the goblin - for lovers of fantasy

A goblin is a legendary evil or mischievous creature, a grotesquely evil or evil-like phantom.

The author of this fantasy is Petr Borisovich Mordkovich, an author and an Israeli citizen. For reasons unnecessary to explain, he writes in Russian. He keeps a blog under pseudonim Bormor.


The fairy tale is butchered translated using Google Translate with some assistance from yours truly.

A word of caution: don't start reading if you don't intend to get to the end of the story, since the lesson (every fairy tale has a lesson, you know) is in the last sentence. So:

***

- The ad says that you have a quest to offer - half-elf said to the Burgomeister, - But it doesn't explain the essence of the quest. Could you clarify?
- Well, everything is simple - the Burgomeister shrugged . - Do you see that hill? There is a goblin there with a mortar. And he shells the city periodically. That's the whole problem.
- Yeah, of course, I see. So we have to kill the goblin ...
- What you are saying, no, G_d forbid!? - Burgomeister waved his arms in panic. - In no case could the goblin be killed!
- Why? - the Dwarf asked, surprised. - It's just a goblin!
- That's it exactly! If we kill him, the world community will say that it is genocide, and that we are racists...
- So what? Let the world community say what it wants.
- And send troops - grimly added Burgomeister.
- Hmm ... thought the half-elf aloud. - You mean, this motherfucker is shooting at you from a grenade launcher, and you suffer and do not dare to fight back?
- We don't dare - shrugged Burgomeister. - Otherwise, we'll be called aggressors.
- Well, and if, for example, instead of killing the goblin, you drive him away somewhere far enough?
- From his hill? Impossible. They will call us occupiers.
- Catch him and take away the launcher?
- Robbers.
- Lock him up with his mortar? .. Okay, okay, do not answer, - half-elf added quickly when Burgomeister opened his mouth. - I get it. Indeed, an interesting case.
- Well, what do you want from us? - Princess broke into the conversation. - You can't kill, can't disarm, to catch or to chase impossible too, so what is left? Re-education? It is not our profile.
- No, of course not... For re-education to work we would have called a psychologist. But, by the way, then the world community would blame us in applying psychological pressure.
- And desecrating indigenous traditions - added Gnome, shaking his head. - Shooting at humans from a grenade launcher - it's goblins' holy and sacred tradition!
- That's it - happily exclaimed Burgomeister - now you see what I mean.
- Well, so what is required by the quest then? - The Princess barged in again.
- Deliver the parcel - Burgomeister sighed.
- To whom? To the Goblin?
- Well, yes. For there, on the hill, there are no food reserves. So about an hour from now, the goblin will get hungry, declare a truce and begin negotiations. He does so every day. Demands that he be brought food, wine, weapons, sometimes other things... And then, when he feels full, he declares that the peace talks have stalled and he was forced to resume fire. World public opinion is very sympathetic to him. The world community believes he is a goblin of principle.
- And if you refuse to provide him with food and weapons...
- Then the world community will...
- Okay, okay, we see - waved his hands half-elf.
- ... and send troops - Burgomeister mumbled.
- Fine, but why do you need us? Why don't you send one of yours to carry that bag?
- We've sent ours already. Nobody returned.
- What, the goblin killed them all?
- He claims that he hadn't.
- Oh...
- And the world community believes him.
- Ah...
- And they say that we are provocateurs. You see, apparently he, the goblin, initiates a peace initiative, it is his gesture of goodwill. And if something goes wrong, it is only our fault. It is obvious! And you are... well, sort of like outsiders, he can't touch you.
- Well, - summed up the half-elf. - If we discard the political crapola, all we are required to do is to pick up the package at the customer's premises and take it to the addressee, right? A normal postal quest. But everything else is your problem. Correct?
- That's right - confirmed Burgomeister - so it's okay, then?
- It's a deal - half-elf nodded. Burgomeister breathed a sigh of relief.
- Can I ask a question? - The Princess raised her hand. - Here you are, so afraid that the world community will call you aggressors or warlords or even worse than that - So how do they call you now?
- Idiots - replied the Burgomeister sadly.

***

Is Hamas using human shields in Gaza? The CNN answer is "complicated"

The headline of CNN's mumbling and stumbling article is Is Hamas using human shields in Gaza? The answer is complicated.

Here is what Jeff Dunetz aka Yid with Lid compiled (not being a highfalutin CNN guru):

So You Want Proof Hamas Uses Civilians As Human Shields? Here Are Ten Examples.

Check it out.

And watch this too:



And look at this, if time allows:


Still complicated, CNN?

P.S. But yes, there are some difficulties with truthful reporting of such activity from Gaza.

The Council Has Spoken!

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

25 July 2014

Hillel Neuer of UN Watch busting Syria's scumbags in UNHRC

Just a part of the remarkable speech and a remarkable exchange of opinions:

Syria: We’re used to hearing this NGO creating divisions among the speakers, and speaking out of turn. It is strange to hear an NGO defending the killing of women and children, and the destruction of infrastructure in Palestine. I would hope that the speaker is no longer allowed to continue his statement.

President: I give the floor back to UN Watch.

UN Watch: Thank you, Mr. President. Let the world note: that in a session purportedly on Palestinian human rights, the government of Syria objected to us mentioning the 1800 Palestinians that they starved and murdered.
And to enjoy the whole on video:


Two Weeks of Shallow, Facile Moral Equivalency in The New York Times

A good one. Too polite, possibly, but all good.

Londoners State that Bibi is Right

Good to know it's A-OK to walk around in the glorious city of London with a placard stating that Hitler was right.

Supporting Israel, on the other hand, can land you in a hospital: "A pro-Israel demonstrator at a rally in central London was knocked unconscious by a group of assailants who were part of a counter-protest."

One thing I don't get... If Hitler was right and Bibi is Hitler, does that make Bibi right as well?


24 July 2014

Scientists baffled by gigantic 262ft hole - Hamas officially denies involvement

While the scientists, as their custom, remain baffled and Hamas denies any link to the whole, the word of mouth is that their digging team got lost, losing in addition their link to the Hamas HQ under the Gaza City main hospital. The team decided to blow themselves up, when it became clear they are digging through permafrost.

One mystery less.

A clarification of Khaled Mashal's rejection of ceasefire

Khaled Mashal, the underassassinated Hamas mouthpiece that resides in a plushy residence in Qatar, continues to play with lives of his brethren. Which is not unexpected.

There remains one unclear point in his rhetoric:

"No one will break the resistance with Allah's help. Under the table they talk about disarming the resistance of its weapons. No one can disarm the resistance with Allah's help."
I am not at all sure that the IDF general staff (or government for that matter) appealed or intends to appeal at any point in time for Allah's help. Just wondering.

Oh, and one other point:
“Our victims are civilians and theirs are soldiers,” he charged. “We are the victims, despite our steadfastness.”
Sure, sure.


The Doctrine of Proportionality... oh, and unsportsmanlike behavior


This article, The Doctrine of Proportionality, while not bringing any essentially new information, places the dots nicely over some undotted letters. It bears repeating:
Proportionality in international law is not about equality of death or civilian suffering, or even about [equality of] firepower. Proportionality weighs the necessity of a military action against suffering that the action might cause to enemy civilians in the vicinity.

"Under international humanitarian law and the Rome Statute, the death of civilians during an armed conflict, no matter how grave and regrettable does not constitute a war crime.... even when it is known that some civilian deaths or injuries will occur. A crime occurs if there is an intentional attack directed against civilians (principle of distinction) or an attack is launched on a military objective in the knowledge that the incidental civilian injuries would be clearly excessive in relation to the anticipated military advantage (principle of proportionality)." — Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Chief Prosecutor, International Criminal Court.

"The greater the military advantage anticipated, the larger the amount of collateral damage -- often civilian casualties -- which will be "justified" and "necessary." — Dr. Françoise Hampton, University of Essex, UK.
Not being a lawyer, I dare say that even I could figure out the quoted text. Moreover, I believe that even an idiot could.

Speaking about idiots, the article mentioned a special case, that of one Anshel Pfeffer of Haaretz, already referred to on these here pages. The mention sent me scrambling for his article The Gazan in a bunker trying to kill me. Indeed, as it happens, Mr Pfeffer has some original things to say about the Iron Dome:
There is something so unsportsmanlike about the Iron Dome missile shield. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a technological marvel.
Yes, marvel, but and unsportsmanlike one, and here is why:
Just imagine, at the World Cup final in Estadio Maracana on Sunday, if Germany, with its superior economy and industry, were to replace Manuel Neuer with a bionic goalkeeper: infrared sensors for eyes and a supercomputer for a brain, capable of calculating where each Argentine ball will come from, the exact position to stand in and amount of force needed to block it. I doubt even the corrupt grandees of FIFA would allow Germany’s uber-goalie to take the field.
And the ending of the passage is especially poignant:
But while Israel remains crap at soccer and can only dream of ever reaching the World Cup, on the modern battlefield it is a bionic Germany.
Yes, you might say, it was a tongue-in-cheek text - somewhat. But, with all due respect, and I don't have any respect remaining for Haaretz, the "Paper for Thinking People", this stinks.

So, if I happen to meet dear Anshel,who is much younger and stronger than I am, I am going to tell him about all my maladies and infirmities, to let him understand the real balance of power between us. And then I am gonna lay into him...

See how sportsmanlike he behaves in such a situation.

Dana from Kibbutz Nir-Am

After you watch all that blood and gore on Hamas TV, take 10 minutes to watch this. 15 years of this going on and on...



For your reference:

Watcher’s Council Nominations – Standing With Israel Edition

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

23 July 2014

More certainty, please, Hon David Ward, MP!

I believe that a high flying politician should be assertive - above all. Unlike in this hesitant uttering:


Especially on Twitter that enforces assertiveness by the 140 limitation. Here is an example of how it should be done, gratis, too:

If I had me a spare rocket, I would definitely stick it up MP David Ward's arse and light the fuse.

See what I mean?

P.S. There wasn't room enough for "Hon", apologies extended to all my British friends.

Now about these harmless rockets

So far the best response to the foreign airlines quitting Ben Gurion airport:

I really don't understand the international community... Why not let your airplanes fly to Israel? You have been telling us all this time the rockets that Hamas fire are harmless and not to get so worked up... Oh... They're firing them at you now so they are dangerous... Oh, oh I see.
Jason Pearlman.

About these Gaza tunnels and other humanitarian and financial enterprises by Hamas


While IDF is rooting out the Hamas tunnels, it might be worth your time to check some tunnel - related facts. First of all, watch this Al Jaz clip:


Now that you know where the building materials Gaza is pining for really go, think about the other angle of the relentless hate - inspired "creative" activity: the finances. It is estimated that every such tunnel costs about half a million dollars to construct. Keeping in mind the unending wailing of the Western bleeding hearts about the dire economic situation in Gaza, this may provide some food for thought, you have to agree. As could this bit of graphics:


But if you, as I am, are not financially savvy, think about a humanitarian aspect of these tunnels. It is by now established that the neighborhoods of Gaza City are infested by these tunnels, and entry/exit points are numerous and well appointed affairs, as are the tunnels you have seen in that clip. Have you asked yourself, why, in the midst of the intense firefights that cause so many civilian* deaths, Hamas leaders are not offering the tunnels as protection for simple citizens?

Part of the answer could be found in a WaPo article (but read it all afterwards), where the author describes the three types of tunnels:
Another set of tunnels reportedly services the Hamas high command. “Every single leader of Hamas, from its lowest ranking bureaucrats to its most senior leaders, is intimately familiar with the route to the security tunnel assigned to him and his family,” al-Monitor reported. “The most senior leadership has its own specific tunnel.”
Yes indeed. If a Hamas' mandarin and his family have to use a tunnel and it happens to be clogged by simple mortals - no, it simply wouldn't do, would it?

Not only don't Hamas ogres care about their people, they want them to die:
On July 16, 2014, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) issued a report stating: “the Israeli military delivered text messages to virtually all the residents of Ash Shuja’iyya and Az Zaitun neighborhoods in eastern Gaza city, approximately 100,000 people, warning them to leave their homes by 8 am today (16 July), ahead of attacks to be launched in the area.” The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) also made phone calls and distributed leaflets.

OCHA then describes what came next: “Subsequently, the Palestinian Ministry of Interior in Gaza reportedly instructed the residents to…not flee the area.” As a result, OCHA admits: “the vast majority decided to stay.”

(*) When talking about civilians in Gaza, always keep this in mind.

Update: some more information about costs and other implications of the tunnels.

The proper name for things

Maybe this graphical presentation will learn my American friends? Who knows...