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Tuesday, September 28, 2004

I wonder if Satmar yeshivot will start offering MBA courses 

MSN's online Slate magazine did a "Days of Awe" special on a guy from Jerusalem called Moshe Kranc, who wrote a book called "The Hasidic Master's Guide to Management".

Kranc is a descendant of the Maggid of Dubno (famous Jewish story teller and preacher).

Although I'm not personally attracted so much to Hassidic thought and practices (like the other KiwiJewPundits, I lean more towards Maimonidean rationalism), it's nice for these guys to get some good press.

What I wouldn't don't want is for this to become some fad, like the "kabbala" popular among the Hollywood set. Don't get me started.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

What Saudis do for fun 

This is not a joke.

Guess Who’s On the Catwalk
Abdullah Al-Feheed, Al-Eqtisadiah/Arab News —


RIYADH, 19 September 2004 — Goat fanciers turned out in force to admire and bid for beautiful goats showing off on the catwalk at a weekend festival and auction of Al-Shami goats in Riyadh.

They came from all over the Gulf. Abdullah Al-Asaker, from Kuwait, said the Al-Shami breed of goat was introduced to Kuwait from Saudi Arabia. He estimated the investment in Al-Shami goat breed at more than SR20 million.

As prices kept rising at the auction, goat breeders were jubilant that goat breeding after all was as profitable as camel breeding.

Thirty goats were selected according to age and gender. Abdul Aziz Al-Khalaf, one of the five judges for the “Most Beautiful Goat” competition, explained that the winners are chosen on the basis of a combination of factors and overall appearance, not simply by their color. Particular points taken into consideration are the head, nose, mouth, ears, breast and eyes. The most important factor is the size of the head and the whiteness of the eye.

Muhammad Al-Kebaisi, from Qatar, said he is an Al-Shami fancier. He said goat fancying is increasing in Qatar, but because Saudi Arabia has banned the export of fodder to Qatar, the hobby has been seriously affected.


OK..... I guess in an uber-Puritan society where women are kept locked away, weird stuff is bound to happen.

Monday, September 20, 2004

There are so many idiots out there 

You may not agree with George W Bush. It is legitimate to differ with him on his foreign policies, his assessment of the threat posed by Saddam Hussein; his Christian conservative leanings in domestic policy; or his scepticism of environmentalist claims; BUT, he is not the worst figure in world politics by a long shot, and calling him a Nazi is simply stupid.

The Nazis deliberately, intentionally, selected whole ethnicities for extermination; murdered millions; perverted medicine and science in the name of racial purity; and gave birth to the term genocide.

Bush has put a few captured enemy combatants in an island prison (with adequate conditions). Even putting the worst possible spin on the war in Iraq, it was maybe a naiive gamble or a realpolitik grab for power.

Right now, Kim Jong-Il's wacky North Korean regime is starving his people, running concentration camps and (possibly) letting off nukes. Castro (hero of the international left) puts his political opponents into prison camps. In Sudan, Arab militias, with the connivance of their government, murder thousands for no reason other than that they are black.

Does anyone ever accuse these people of Nazism? Fat chance.

Fascist? Puhleeze. Yet there is a website here, that some poor soul has collected, full of Bush/Hitler comparisons from all around the world; some from people who should know better than this.

The obsessive hatred is simply insane.

The cake goes to the people at www.georgewalkerbush.org who quiz people blithely about whether this Bush will be the victim of an assassin.

This is craziness. Allah has the best answer to the Bush/Hitler comparison. To compare the two ignores the vast moral difference between Halliburton and Himmler. Go on, say W = Adolf. But know that it makes you a Holocaust denier.

Winning the Bride 

On a different note to the flavour of the last few postings: try this comparison for size. In the book of Genesis the story is told of Jacob, who works for 14 years as a shepherd for his uncle Laban, in order to win his cousin Rachel as a wife. A crucial turning point in Jacob's life occurs when he first meets Rachel at a well. Previously Jacob is described as a 'simple man, dwelling in tents'. This is understood traditionally to mean that he was a scholarly man. And yet suddenly he is invigorated to perform the feat of rolling a hefty stone of the top of the well, allowing Rachel to water her livestock. This encounter with the stone at the well marks the beginning of his long transformation from scholar, to shepherd-businessman.

Now cut about 1300 years to about 60 CE, and the scene has not changed much. Akiva, a middle-aged illiterate shepherd has fallen in love with Rachel, the daughter of his employer Kalba Savua. Kalba Savua will not even consider her marrying someone who is not a scholar, and so the matter ends there. One day, Akiva is at a well in Lod when he spies a stone with a hole in it. He wonders what could have caused such a phenomenon. Investigating, he realises that the hole in the stone is precisely at the spot where a brook runs over it. Akiva, a shepherd, makes his first a fortiori argument. "If a stone is hard, and yet is penetrated by water which is soft, then surely the teachings of the Torah (which we are taught are hard), can penetrate me, a soft old man!" This was the beginning of the career of the great Rabbi Akiva, which eventually made him a great scholar capable of winning his beloved Rachel.

The analogy is clear. Two masters, two Rachels, two stones, two wells, and two transformations. The one scholar to shepherd, and the other shepherd to scholar. And the final nail: both Ya'akov (Jacob) and Akiva come from the same root 'Akov' relating to following, and the heel. This comparison was brought to my attention by R. Samuel Groner. Surely a lot more analysis could be undertaken on the nature of these transformations, and there are many lessons that could be drawn from such a comparison. Any ideas?

Monday, September 13, 2004

September 11 and the Religion of Peace™ 

Have a look at this series of photos. I think it explains why a "dialogue of civilisations" is a nice idea, but not so practical right now. We have war, whether we want it or not.

(WARNING: graphic depiction of uncomfortable truths).

(Praise be to Allah for the link).

Sunday, September 12, 2004

These guys have a death wish 

FaithFreedom.org is a website run by Muslim "apostates"; these people have left Islam, often sickened by the violence and repression that goes on in its name. They have issued a challenge, that they will remove their website if their allegations (rather serious ones) about the Koran, and Muhammed's character, are disproved. Many of the authors of these articles live in countries where renouncing Islam carries a death penalty at the hands of the state. They use their real names.

Islam doesn't always take kindly to people who criticise its sacred doctrines. Khalid Duran, a Muslim scholar residing in the United States who had the temerity to write a book explaining Islam to a Jewish audience, had to go into hiding. He still isn't able to emerge.

You can agree with them or disagree with them. But believe me when I tell you that the people at FaithFreedom are brave.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Ngati Ewok 

I think we've seen the ultimate Treaty of Waitangi claim.

According to a group from the Tuhoe (a tribe in the eastern part of the North Island). Read Maori group claims outer space. A flavour:

In a submission on the Foreshore and Seabed Bill, a Bay of Plenty group representing Te Wairua Ote Ora Trust claimed the bill was an act of treason against "hapu sovereign nations" and said the commercial use of the sea and air space was forbidden.

The group provided their own maps of hapu coastal waters, which, during the hearing of evidence in Auckland yesterday, they said stretched out 400 nautical miles (740 kilometres).

The group apparently told MPs that their air space extended even further – to the outer limits of the universe.


What Te Wairua Ote Ora don't know is that some enterprising Maori have already staked a claim in space.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

gimme a T... gimme an E... gimme an R... 

The media's denial-fest over the nature of Islamic terrorism spawns strange fruit. To avoid judging the people who murdered all those school-kids (because, after all, they were just overzealously pursuing legitimate political goals) Daniel Pipes has spotted at least 20 different euphemisms for terrorists in the media:

Assailants - National Public Radio.
Attackers – the Economist.
Bombers – the Guardian.
Captors – the Associated Press.
Commandos – Agence France-Presse refers to the terrorists both as "membres du commando" and "commando."
Criminals - the Times (London).
Extremists – United Press International.
Fighters – the Washington Post.
Group – the Australian.
Guerrillas: in a New York Post editorial.
Gunmen – Reuters.
Hostage-takers - the Los Angeles Times.
Insurgents – in a New York Times headline.
Kidnappers – the Observer (London).
Militants – the Chicago Tribune.
Perpetrators – the New York Times.
Radicals – the BBC.
Rebels – in a Sydney Morning Herald headline.
Separatists – the Christian Science Monitor.
Activists – the Pakistan Times.,


I bet Sue Bradford and Jane Kelsey love the term "activist" being appropriated for people who murder children by the hundred.


Fantastic Fandy

For a brilliant take on the state of the Arab media, read this interview of Arab journalist and media commentator Mamoun Fandy. He explodes the myth of Al Jazeera being "the Arab CNN" (it's actually state controlled, and used as a tool of anti-Israel and anti-US political actors), and how the anti-Israel anti-American narcotic has turned into a fully fledged addiction in the Arab media.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

GOD HELP US! 

Lard-butt is going for the biggie...

Moore eyes up best picture Oscar

Prager has the genius of simplicity 

You often here Islamic terrorism compared with the extremism of other religions, especially that of Jews. Frequently, Baruch Goldstein (who massacred 29 Muslim worshipers in Hebron in 1994, claiming to avenge the 1929 massacre of Jews in Hebron) as an example. What these people don't mention is that that is the only example of Jewish mass terrorism in at least the last 50 years. Muslim terrorists do it every day, in dozens of locales around the world. Not that I am trying to draw a trend here...

American Dennis Prager puts it so simply, and so well (thanks to Running with the Devil):

Number of terrorist attacks by Israelis or Jews since 1967: 1
Number of terrorist attacks by Arabs or Muslims since 1967: thousands

Percentage of Jews who have praised the Jewish terrorist: approximately .1
Percentage of Palestinians who have praised Islamic terrorists: approximately 90

Number of Jewish countries: 1
Number of Jewish democracies: 1

Number of Arab countries: 19
Number of Arab democracies: 0

Number of Christian or Jewish prayer services allowed in Saudi Arabia: 0
Number of Muslim prayer services allowed in Israel: unlimited

Number of Arabs Israel allows to live in Arab settlements in Israel: 1,250,000
Number of Jews Palestinian Authority allows to live in Jewish settlements in
Palestinian Authority: 0

Monday, September 06, 2004

"Bomber" Bradbury profiled in the Herald 

Martyn "Bomber" Bradbury is a man, with radio-star looks, who is producing and fronting a TV show called "Dissent TV" on channel C4.

Bomber used to edit Craccum, the Auckland University Student magazine; he continued its "edgy" (read: immature, sophomoric) tendency -- with how-to articles on suicide, shoplifting and drug buyers' guides.

I guess that with the success of Michael Moore, Mr Bradbury sees an opening for a... well-fed... rotund, political/current events documentary maker in New Zealand.

Bomber has the courage to ask tricky questions of world leaders -- like George Bush -- which takes a tremendous amount of courage; so few manage to do it. He's a dissenter, you see.

(In modern lefty parlance "to dissent" is to say the same thing that every media figure, academic, entertainer, or talking head is saying, and not diverging one iota).

In the "September 11 special", Bomber has an exclusive scoop:

Well, I really think there has not been any real discussion on issues like - where did Osama come from? Most New Zealanders would be shocked to find out the guy was given CIA backing and money during America's secret war in Afghanistan. If you want to stop terrorism, you could start by not funding it!


What a feat of investigative journalism! No-one has ever pointed this out before. Remember, that once you have given someone money once, you are their friend forever. And because the US used Afghan mujahadin, briefly, to unseat Soviet invaders in Afghanistan, that meant that the Taliban were behold, nay, CREATED by the Americans.

For Bomber, brave dissenter, has said so.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

And again... 

Another Jewish grave attacked, this time in Wanganui.


Massacre in North Ossetia 

Words don't convey the horror.

Earlier today, I half-jokingly commented to someone that it wouldn't take long for somebody to blame the Jews/Israel for the atrocity. Lo and behold, Ali Abdullah, an Islamic scholar from (US ally) Bahrain has come out and said:

I have no doubt in my mind that this is the work of the Israelis who want to tarnish the image of Muslims and are working alongside Russians who have their own agenda against the Muslims in Chechnya
(from China Post, thanks to Israpundit).

Also via Israpundit, an angry -- but truthful -- article by Arlene Peck:

It all boils down to the fact that the Judeo /Christian free world is at war with an evil, vicious, seventh century barbaric Islamic culture. These people kill indiscriminately. The Islamic Muslims don’t care who they target. Children, old people, people riding on buses, teen-agers going to discotheques, eating in pizza parlors are all fair game. Even other Muslims. I think that finally though, the world is finally seeing that it’s not just Israel who is the target. It’s anyone who isn’t “THEM”, And, by that, I mean anyone who isn’t a Fundamentalist Muslim and what these reptiles consider to be ‘infidels.’

The sooner the western world drops the convenient euphemisms, and realises that it is in a war against a version of Islam that is out of control and a threat to human civilisation, the better.

Another thing that needs correcting: this is not the first time terrorists have intentionally targetted a school and carried out a massacre there. This happened 30 years ago, in Maalot. But then again, it wasn't terrorism, as those kids were only Jews...

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Ministry of Farming and Suicide Bombs 

The Herald's Fran O'Sullivan wrote (a little uncritically) of New Zealand's ever-closer relationships with the two remaining axis of evil members. Maybe New Zealand wants to take the spot Iraq vacated when Saddam was caught in his spider hole.

Anyway, the most interesting thing to note is the name of the Iranian ministry New Zealand is now negotiating agricultural trade cooperation with: the Ministry of Agriculture and Jihad. No, I am not making this up.

Minister of Agriculture and Jihad. That's the manliest damn cabinet spot I've ever heard of. Not one for Marion Hobbs.

I don't quite get what the two things have in common, but there you go.

(If anyone has any bright ideas about how they are linked, leave a comment about it.)

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

A fun quiz 

A propos of my previous post, a quiz to see if you get the point.

Someone emailed me this quiz a while ago.

To ensure we Americans never offend anyone - - - particularly fanatics intent on killing us - airport screeners will not be allowed to profile people. They will continue random searches of 80-year-old women, little kids, airline pilots with proper identification, secret Service agents who are members of the President's security detail, 85-year old Congressmen with metal hips, and Medal Of Honor winning former Governors. Let's pause a moment and take the following test:


In 1972 at the Munich Olympics, athletes were kidnapped & massacred by:
(a) Olga Corbutt
(b) Sitting Bull
(c) Arnold Schwartzeneger
(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 & 40

In 1979, the U.S. embassy in Iran was taken over by:
(a) Lost Norwegians
(b) Elvis
(c) A tour bus full of 80-year-old women
(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 & 40

During the 1980's a number of Americans were kidnapped in Lebanon by:
(a) John Dillinger
(b) The King of Sweden
(c) The Boy Scouts
(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 & 40

In 1983, the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut was blown up by:
(a) A pizza delivery boy
(b) Pee Wee Herman
(c) Geraldo Rivera making up for a slow news day
(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 & 40.

In 1985 the cruise ship Achille Lauro was hijacked, and a 70 year old American passenger was murdered and thrown overboard by:
(a) The Smurfs
(b) Davy Jones
(c) The Little Mermaid
(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 & 40.

In 1985 TWA flight 847 was hijacked at Athens, & a U.S. Navy diver was murdered by:
(a) Captain Kid
(b) Charles Lindberg
(c) Mother Teresa
(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 & 40

In 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 was bombed by:
(a) Scooby Doo
(b) The Tooth Fairy
(c) Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid who had a few sticks of dynamite
(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 & 40

In 1993 the World Trade Center was bombed the first time by:
(a) Richard Simmons
(b) Grandma Moses
(c) Michael Jordan
(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 & 40.

In 1998, the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed by:
(a) Mr. Rogers
(b) Hillary, to distract attention from Wild Bill's women problems
(c) The World Wrestling Federation to promote its next villain: "Mustapha the Merciless"
(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 & 40

On 9/11/01, four airliners were hijacked & destroyed & thousands of people were killed by:
(a) Bugs Bunny, Wiley E. Coyote, Daffy Duck, and Elmer Fudd
(b) The Supreme Court of Florida
(c) Mr. Bean
(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 & 40.

In 2002 reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and murdered by:
(a) Bonnie and Clyde
(b) Captain Kangaroo
(c) Billy Graham
(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 & 40.

Hmmm . . . nope, no patterns anywhere to justify profiling

Can anyone guess what these news events have in common? 

To be honest, I am sick of all the euphemism, the mutual delusion and the refusal to face facts.

ONE DAY'S NEWS.
Does anyone see the common denominators here?

Iraqi militants kill 12 Nepali hostages - website

Palestinians celebrate deadly Israeli bus bombings

Female suicide bomber kills eight in Moscow

Australia warned of terror risk during election race

'Terrorist' bombs brought down Russian planes - investigator

Hostage journalists urge France to lift veil ban


I'll give you a clue. The perpetrators of the mayhem share a religion, and it isn't Mormonism.

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