Friday, January 27, 2006
Hopeless in Gaza
“Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of [Hamas]”;
“There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad.”;
“[Israel] is behind the drug trade and alcoholism in all its kinds so as to facilitate its control and expansion.”
(And, ladies, check out Article 17: Hamas evidently regards any kind of outreach activity as an act of war).
Hamas considers Palestine to be “the navel of the globe”; I would argue that it more closely resembles another small, circular body part.
I do not condemn the Palestinians for wanting a state of their own; rather, I condemn them for blowing up children to score cheap political points. (I forget who it was that said that if these people would only adopt the tactics of Ghandi, they'd see an Israeli Labor government in three months and an internationally-recognised sovereign Palestinian state in three years...)
Some may say that the Palestinians have been hard done by, and I would agree: hard done by the Israelis, possibly; hard done by their enablers in the Zeropean Union, probably; hard done by the Arab states, certainly. (The motto of the other Arabs with respect to the Palestinians has always been millions for murder, but not one cent for relocation. The one Arab state that made a serious attempt to accept Palestinian refugees, ie Jordan, ended up the target of a Palestinian coup, which gives you some idea.) It's perhaps an explanation; it's no excuse. A human being will weep and rage for a brutalised, frightened child, even as he administers the lethal injection to the serial killer that child grew into.
(Commentator Vercingetorix at protein wisdom is all over this one.)
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Not That There's Anything Wrong With That...
Are there any straight people in the Liberal Democrats?
I'm just asking...
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
"xj Brings Peace to Mid-East"
For some reason, Moslems generally assume that the Far distant place of worship is the one on top of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, but this is nonsense on its face: the distance between Mecca and Jerusalem is less than eight hundred miles, whereas the distance between Mecca and London (home to several mosques) is nearly three thousand miles.
Clearly, therefore, no place of Islamic worship in Jerusalem can be the Far distant place of worship. (If it were, that would mean that Islamic worship was forbidden by divine decree to go any farther from Mecca than eight hundred miles, which would mean among other things that no Moslem could live in Europe, the Americas, most of Asia (most of Iran, for that matter, and all of Pakistan), pretty much the whole of Africa (including Darfur, as near as I can work out), and of course the whole of Australasia.)
It would seem to me that the Far distant place of worship is by definition located as far away from Mecca as possible. In principle, one would expect to find it at the antipodes of Mecca. However, checking this handy resource I find that the antipodes of Mecca are slap-bang in the middle of the Pacific Ocean: clearly, Mohammed didn't go there.
(The antipodes of Mecca do turn out to be disturbingly close to the location of R'lyeh, but I would not seriously ask my readers to believe that Mohammed was connected in any way with the worship of Cthulhu; you'll have to go over to little green footballs if you want that sort of thing.)
No, I think we must look for the Far distant place of worship on a piece of land reasonably close to the antipodes of Mecca. But which?
French Polynesia? Was Tahiti, around the time of Mohammed, the sort of place that could be described by the Quran as a place of [Islamic] worship, or was it not? That's kind of a no-brainer.
Easter Island? Famous for statues. Statues are bad, m'kay? The Grand Ayatollah is very clear on this subject. Easter Island is no place of [Islamic] worship.
No, there is one very obvious place, not a million miles from the antipodes of Mecca (about five thousand miles, in point of fact, but who's counting?), which clearly fits the bill: a location world-famous for its magnificent monumental art (completed, conveniently, just in time for Mohammed's journey there in 627 CE); a location whose art is entirely two-dimensional, and consequently entirely halal (see the above al-Sistani link for details); a location whose art, visible only from space, seems expressly designed to complement the subsequent journey into the heavens that Islamic tradition insists Mohammed embarked on after being transported to the Far distant place of worship...
What could be more obvious than the fact that the Far distant place of worship is the Nazca plateau?
Now this discovery means, of course, that the Islamic claim to Jerusalem as a particularly holy city of that religion is obviated: indeed, it is not clear why Moslems would have any especial interest in Jerusalem now that its claim to be the location of al-Masjid al-Aqsa has been shown to be nonsense. The mosques that happen to be located in this Islamically-unremarkable city will retain their sacred character, no doubt, but the city itself? No more sacred than, say, Urumqi in China.
(Moslems do venerate Jesus Christ as the penultimate prophet; the next best thing to Mohammed. But Moslems also believe that Jesus did not die on the cross in the Jerusalem metropolitan area, or anywhere else for that matter: the Quran clearly states that "they slew him not nor crucified, but it appeared so unto them" [verse 157; scroll down] - it would appear that the Roman occupation force in Judea c. 30 CE were a somewhat gullible lot, capable of
Consequently therefore, this discovery of mine means that the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades will naturally redirect their attentions from the State of Israel to the Republic of Peru, and will turn their dread arsenal of high-ordnance women and children towards the shameless kuffirs that have dared to claim dominion over the holy ground of al-Nazca. (Because as you know, the sole reason for the activities of the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades was to liberate the Far distant place of worship from the control of non-Moslems. It's not like they are the deniable fifth column of a crazed theocracy of genocidal Holocaust deniers or any such arrant nonsense.) This change of policy will have dire implications... for the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades; the Peruvians know exactly how to deal with that sort of person...
For my role in bringing peace to the Middle East, I will eschew all prizes and awards; the satisfaction of a job well done is all I crave. With one exception: if any Lebanese protest babes feel a compelling desire to express their gratitude to me... well, it would be rude of me not to-
I'd Like To Think So, At Least
I'm a Chevrolet Corvette!
You're a classic - powerful, athletic, and competitive. You're all about winning the race and getting the job done. While you have a practical everyday side, you get wild when anyone pushes your pedal. You hate to lose, but you hardly ever do.
Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.
So I'm the car I always dreamed of owning as a teenager. Nice.
H/T the Instadude. (But don't all go there at once. We wouldn't want to crash his server in an xj-lanche...)
Why Satire Is Obsolete, part xxxviii
Remarkably enough, a prominent Tory MP has now argued in favour of slave labour, with every appearance of sincerity.
And even more remarkably, he has apparently done it to make people think that he is less right-wing. (Then again, Pol Pot was very big on forced labour as well)...
H/T Tim Worstall (again)
H/T Tim Worstall.
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Bringing the Nobel Peace Prize Into Repute
The Nobel Peace Prize has traditionally been awarded to people who start or escalate wars, or otherwise oppose the enforcement of peace, with mass murderers being also highly thought of. (Hello down there, Tookie: hot enough for you?) But standards have been slipping of late: first Rudy Rummel, and now Ayaan Hirsi Alli, have been nominated!
Chasing Waterfalls believes that this is a very disturbing trend in international relations. The Alli nomination strikes at the heart of everything that the Nobel Peace Prize has come to represent. (It's as though the Literature Prize had been inexplicably given to someone who wasn't crazed with a murderous hate towards the US, on some spurious and nonsensical grounds such as talent.) After this unprecedented nomination of not one but two decent, courageous, sane and entirely admirable people, there is only one way that the Nobel Committee can regain their erstwhile position in world esteem: give the Nobel Peace Prize to the president of Iran.
You read it here first....
Monday, January 16, 2006
Forget it, Jake, it's.....
In other news, water is wet, fire is hot, the Pope is a Catholic, and our investigative team has a Shock Revelation concerning the personal hygiene habits of bears.
(I needn't give myself airs; it's not so long ago that half the city council of my "beloved" hometown of Necktie, Greater Glasgow, were busted for dealing drugs out of high school classrooms. What made it worse is that they had built the high school themselves, in the deserted part of town next to the airport; and when the public auditors started asking embarrassing questions along the lines of So, baillie, ye built a school wi' nae bairns tae learn in it? Whit were ye thinkin'?, the city council then tried to shut down several schools on the other side of town so that their students could be moved to their, ahem, Kwik-E-Mart. I swear to God I am not making this up. I wish I was.)
Seriously, the abuse of eminent domain is one of the cruellest and most despicable acts that can be committed by a government; I hope everyone responsible burns in Hell. (Which, for an LA public employee, is pretty much a foregone conclusion...)
H/T the bootylicious Sondra. And BTW, Polanski fans will find a grim Easter Egg in the tenth graf of the KTLA story linked above. Chinatown, indeed.
Sunday, January 15, 2006
Slim N Kim 4 Life
I think Kipling said it best:
The Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wobbling back to the Fire.
Thursday, January 12, 2006
Another Triumph For The Magic Kingdom
Part of the problem is that pilgrims all have to visit Mecca on the same day. Yes, that's right: Wikipedia, the world's most impartial and reliable source of information [/sarcasm], confirms that the pilgrimage must take place during the four days of Eid-ul-Adha. Now, given that there are at least one billion Moslem in the world, each one of whom is required as a religious duty to make the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their lifetimes, you can imagine the place gets pretty crowded around al-Adha.
The official explanation involves a bunch of people tripping over luggage, which begs the question: WTF was the luggage doing there? Mina (where the deaths occurred) is a grand total of three miles away from Mecca, where the hajis were staying. Who takes luggage on a day trip?
HT Mary from Dean's World. And remember folks, Alhamedi is your first-stop shop for Saudi-related facts and analysis!
Friday, January 06, 2006
I For One Welcome Our New Robot Overlords
But this is missing the point. The soulless machine is not composing new music; it is composing derivative music, which is a far easier task. So easier, in fact, that high-school kids who are taking music exams are expected to do it under exam conditions. (A friend of mine at high school who sat the national Music exam mentioned that one of the questions that came up every year was: "Here are a bunch of random notes. Please make them into a fugue in the style of J S Bach.")
It's a very nice hack, no doubt, but as one of the commentators at Dean's World observed, the real achievement would be to get a machine to compose completely new music.
Thursday, January 05, 2006
Nazis in Space
Recently I had occasion to check out the Wikipedia entry on known and reputed Nazi war criminal Kurt Waldheim, and it turns out that one of the two people chosen to write the messages to hypothetical space aliens that were carried by the Voyager space probe was none other than Kurt Waldheim.
The other? Jimmy Carter.
Suddenly the plot of that lousy movie makes a lot more sense. If my only experience of humanity was Kurt Waldheim and Jimmy Carter, heck, I'd want to destroy the world too.
Quote of the week
The NYT may not “love” terrorists, but is friends with privileges with them.
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
Happy New Year, Ba'ath Broadcasting Corporation Style
There was the usual licence-payer fodder: socially dysfunctional squawking-heads bleating on about oh wow! It's NEW YEAR! I mean, Kirsty! Isn't it FANTASTIC! I mean, it's like A WHOLE FREAKING YEAR later than it was a YEAR ago! And what makes it even more special is that it's actually THREE HUNDRED AND SIXTY FIVE DAYS later than that as well! Golly Moses! (Fuck knows what these people do when it's a leap year: I dare say it'd be like the scene in Scanners when that chode's head explodes...) Plus, of course, there was a drunk Scotsman wearing the kilt: you know, there to demonstrate the BBC's commitment to Overcoming Racial Stereotypes.
(Not that there's anything wrong with that; I'd wear the kilt myself. But only if she'd wear the boots.)
At any rate, about ten minutes before a large clock in central London made exactly the same bing-bong-bing-bong noise it had made twenty-four hours previously, the BBC decided to favour the Poor Bloody Licence-payers with the Good News of the Year. Yes, humble peons! There were hurricanes! There were earthquakes! Your capital city was bombed by
And the Poor Bloody Licence-payers were then treated to the Ba'ath Broadcasting Corporation's idea of the Good News of 2005, which boiled down to this:
-England won the Ashes, which was indeed Good News (except for the ~1 billion Australians that live in London);
-London got to host the Olympic Games, which was a matter of total indifference to the rest of the country but was extremely Bad News for us London taxpayers who will now have to foot the bill for this meretricious junket, in addition to paying the Mayor eight pounds to drive across our own city;
-Our beloved Leader, our Great Helmsman, the Lord God's Annointed Tony Blair, won re-election.
I want to focus on this last item, because I honestly believe it is the most shameless and disgraceful thing I have ever seen on British television. (True, they did show "Fahren-hate 911" a year or so ago, but I didn't watch it).
A second-rate leader of a fifth-rate political party secures a sharply-reduced majority in a gerrymandered legislature by dint of being marginally less despised than the universally hated "leader" of the walking corpse formerly known as the British Conservative Party... and this is grounds for national rejoicing?
Wikipedia tells us that in this particular election the ZaNuLabour Party won all of thirty-five percent of the popular vote (less than George W Bush in 2000; less than Bill Clinton in 1992; less than Salvador Allende in 1970) in an election where less than 62% of those eligible to vote actually did so* (substantially fewer than voted in last month's election in Iraq) and therefore the total number of UK citizens who actively supported Tony Blair, however grudgingly, is approximately 22%.
(Whereas the total number of UK citizens who are forced to pay the BBC to defaecate its acephalous Chomskyite pro-terrorist propaganda over the airwaves of the world is considerably in excess of 22%, since by law every household on this Island of Lost Souls that choses to watch any kind of television broadcast from any source whatsoever is forced to pay the BBC over one hundred pounds per annum for the privilege even if they never watch one moment of the BBC's yay-jihad-boo-nasty-Yanks rantings.)
Consequently therefore, the results of the 2005 general election were a cause for celebration to, at the very most, roughly 1/5th of the population of these islands (the remaining 4/5ths expressed no support whatsoever for the simpering simpleton who was reconfirmed as sole effective political decision-maker under what passes for the British constitution nowadays) and the BBC's inclusion of this event in their Celebration of Good News seems to me about as tasteful and appropriate as Eamonn de Valera's notorious communication to the German ambassador expressing his condolences for the death of Adolf Hitler.
(Yes, I'm bitter. My plan of Getting Out via the associate program of some investment bank developed not necessarily to my advantage: it turns out they recruit almost exclusively from their former interns, whereas suckers like me who tried to go to graduate school while holding down a day job weren't really placed to get onto the summer intern programs. (xj: he screws up, so you don't have to). I'll keep trying. Meanwhile, I'll have to pay another year's worth of televisual poll tax.
(Well-meaning non-native commentators on places like Biased-BBC sometimes ask why UK residents don't kick up more of a fuss about the Ba'ath Broadcasting Corporation, but really, what would we do? Write to our MPs? Please. MPs under the British system have just enough power to sneeze; if they have written permission from the Leader of the House, countersigned by the Cabinet Secretary, they may wipe their noses afterwards. (Besides, why would an MP bother? Only ten percent of the seats in the British House of Commons are marginal enough that a sitting Member risks being unseated in an election.) Or I suppose I could gather together some like-minded friends and we could petition the Government for redress of our grievances, except, whoops, that's now illegal. (American liberals who wish their country was more like Europe should be careful what they wish for.)
(To coin a phrase: I want my Green Card...)
*I voted. They may not have counted me, however, since I voted my conscience, IOW I wrote "None of the above are acceptable" on the ballot paper. (Kilroy and his flat-tax party didn't put forward a candidate here in my part of London, alas).