Posts Tagged ‘ Israel ’

Rough week. TGIG


Bit rough, eh? ;-)*

For sure, we all know about the AWU nonsense, so there’s no need to go on about that tonight. But I hope everyone’s aware of Gillard’s latest time warp to the Dark Ages proposal. (thanks, Bolta).

Attorney-General Nicola Roxon’s proposed changes massively expand the list of characteristics people can be offended by, expanding the jurisdiction into shops, workplaces and sporting clubs.

The regime will provide a new weapon in the war on free speech by even including “political opinion” as a ground on which people can be discriminated against.

This extraordinary change makes even innocuous political expressions subject to the law – a person need only be offended or insulted in order to make out a claim. Shop owners displaying signs in support of a political candidate may now be legally discriminating against employees who want the other guy to win…

Not only do the changes represent an extraordinary attack on freedom of speech, they also undermine fundamental legal principles derived from 800 years of common law. They would reverse the onus of proof, forcing employers to prove that they are innocent of discrimination.

Saw that yesterday. Make of that what you will.

Um, what else? Oh, the Israel/Palestine thing. Well, Israel says they’re happy, so let’s not worry about the 12 Hamas rockets fired into Israel since the ceasefire, nor their thanking of Iran… the guys who supplied those fancy rockets that could and did hit Tel Aviv.

Anyway, enough. Music.

Infected Mushroom. Arguably one of the best EDM acts on the planet, and perhaps the best out of Israel.

*what? TGIG? Thank God it’s good.

UPDATE

No, not the bloody pic, the bloody week. I had a good week. Sorry, I mixed metaphors with that Roxon/Gillard pic. Very messy. Sorry. Please try and enjoy the music and/or comment… I need another drink and a smoke.

Carry on.

Friday Night Party Music


Yes, it’s been a while, hasn’t it? Not that I haven’t been keeping up, but have been pretty busy in the new line of work (freelance ESL) – loving it – and, well, have been trying to get the stress levels down a bit.

Tim Blair may be a funny blogger, Andrew Bolt may be a serious blogger, but lately, whenever I’ve really gotten stuck into it, I just start getting angry.

I’m not convinced that is a good thing.

Nevertheless, as I said, I’ve been keeping an eye on things, mainly via the excellent Michael Smith and Larry Pickering (whose Facebook site seems to be having a better time of things today).

That national debt hit 250 bil today – nice one Julia and Wayne. That’s a bit over 11 grand of government debt every man, woman, and child now has to pay off on top of whatever personal debt one may have.

Julia’s off strutting her stuff at the UN General Assembly. Bit rough when one wakes up, turns on Australia Network, and she’s talking. If you’ll allow one to dream unrealistically for a tic, if we lose our bid for a seat on the (joke of a) UN Security Council, does that mean we’d have a good excuse to stop paying our dues? Whatever grand idea the UN might once have been, it is an inept shadow of it’s former self, packed to the rafters with corruptocrats.

Why do we have to put up with the likes of Iran’s Ahmadinejad ranting away up there? I’m not convinced his idea of “peace” is the same as our idea of peace.

Nevertheless, Netanyahu did an exceptional job, so maybe there’s some value left there.

But I digress. As an Aussie, my focus should be on Gillard’s performance. Go to Michael Smith, have a look around, and you see that it is in fact some international MSM picking up the story of the AWU/Slater&Gordon scandal!

If it were to happen, what a venue for that to blow up in the PM’s face. That said, it might not “blow up” but it might be enough to tilt the balance in Finland or Luxembourg’s favour. That might not be such a bad thing, lol. However, it’s a little embarrassing that international media will cover something that, generally speaking, Australian MSM won’t.

There’s lot’s there at both Larry’s and Michael’s sites; Ashby’s 50K payout, the debt, boat people, Nauru, AWU, Paul Howes… you name it, but I reckon I’ve gone into all that stuff enough for a Friday evening, indeed a Friday evening that is the beginning of a little mini-break over here in Korea.

Chusok. And actually, personally, I’m taking about nine days off, so again, forgive me if I don’t immerse myself in grubby politics during that time.

Besides: China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan; things are heating up just a tad too much over various disputed islands. One lot is between Japan, China, and Taiwan which you may have heard about. The other lot is between Japan and Korea. Apparently these islands/islets are of intense historical importance, so I guess the massive reserves of natural gas having noting to do with it (It’s Friday – no links). Man, China seems really stoked on getting that aircraft carrier (thanks, Russia!) – with another homemade one on the way. Hu Jintao had the Mao suit on and everything! And, well, I guess Korea’s pretty happy upon receiving 3 bil worth of Apache helicopters.

Fun times.

And yes, well noted is that the Persian Gulf is a fun place to be also these days (there is a way perhaps that we could be less dependent and without having to throw billions more taxpayer dollars at bankrupt solar experiments).

Oh, and there’s some kind of US election or something going on? All I say about that is that 4Corners was a bit deceptive when they promoted a doco about Mitt Romney but it turned out to be little more that 45 minutes of why Mormons are so bad with the occasional reminder that Mitt is a Mormon. It was actually a rerun of a BBC doco, but whatevs, and was aired months earlier in Australia but it was on Australia Network this week. The reporter, John Sweeney, has done two anti-Mitt/anti-Mormon docos that I know of (no – not linking).
Meh. Enough.

In much more pleasing news at this moment in time, Deadmau5 released >album title goes here< on Wednesday.

:-)

PS Most western op.eds telling you what “Gangnam Style” is all about are rubbish. But here and here are two good ones.

Mohammed in the nud reprint: game on?


Who ever said we couldn’t depend on the French?

Game on.

Western powers and several of their Middle East allies have deployed an enormous naval fleet to the Persian Gulf just days after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu again suggested that his country may soon launch a preemptive strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities.

The fleet includes ships from 25 nations, include three full US carrier groups, each one with a complement of more aircraft than the entire Iranian air force. Military officials cited by London’s Daily Telegraph said the buildup is part of a new annual exercise, but their was no secrecy about the fact that the “enemy” in the exercise is Iran.

Always remember the pizza!

Sensitive thugs


Sensitive lot, aren’t they, over in northern Africa and the Middle East?

Turn on, say, CNN, and we’re witnessed to violent, inflamed protests in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Sudan, Iran, Iraq, the Kashmir region, Yemen, Morocco, and Israel and the Palestinian territories.

And why? Well the catalyst for the protests which – no coincidence, surely – began on September 11, are over a crappy, low budget film depicting Mohammed as a thug and pedophile. Most of us would have happily lived out our lives having not the slightest inkling this film ever existed, except that an Egyptian sheik got wind of it, translated the YouTube trailer in to Arabic and, let’s face it, used it to light a fire under the ever-simmering hatred of the West, and the US in particular as the bastion of the West.

The film was ordinary to say the least, but that’s the price you pay for freedom, and in particular, freedom of speech – a cornerstone of free democratic nations (which incidentally, the Left in Australia has managed to dig up). I’d much rather have freedom and be offended once in a while than to live in a country where even freedom of thought is blasphemy, indeed punishable by death.

What we also know – or think we know – is that the bloke who made the film is one Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, FKA Sam Becile; technically a Coptic Christian (they make up around 10% of Egypt’s population), but as information comes to light, it turns out he’s a pretty shady guy with multiple names and social security numbers, has been convicted for narcotics offenses as well as bank fraud.

So basically, he’s a troll – not someone to be liked.

However, what I also don’t like is all the finger-pointing that has gone on “back home”. TBH, I’m not really that proud of my “Bye, Libya” post below (although a number of US lawmakers, both Democrat and Republicans, have called for a washing of hands also). But what really disgusts me is that whilst corpses have been paraded around the streets, and the senseless violence is ongoing, the Left have used this as an opportunity to attack US presidential candidate, Mitt Romney.

Now, for sure, the Right have also used this to attack sitting Democrat President Barrack Obama.

Yet, there is one key difference, it must be pointed out, that does not make what’s good for the goose good for the gander.

Romney has no actual political power, and in no way has been involved in any type of US government decision making when it comes to things such as an effective, appropriate response, coordination with the State Department, and security conditions on the ground which may have at least saved a few important lives.

The opposite is true for Obama. Geneva convention or not (the host country provides most security at embassies and consulates), the situation being what it was leading up to those abhorrent attacks, the Obama administration should have had proper security forces in place.

It did not.

And talk about gaffes in rhetoric – and the Left has been quick to jump on a perceived yet actually non-existent gaffe in Romney’s rhetoric – Obama comes out and says Egypt is neither enemy nor ally; a gaffe which the State Department had to correct and reiterate that Egypt, er, technically is an ally, in the legal definition of the word.

Not that Obama is being punished in the media for that massive faux pas

Double standards? Remember when Obama recently and most irresponsibly inflamed home grown violence by declaring that if he had a son, his name would be Trayvon Martin?

Still, that’s hardly the first example of collective, selective, faux leftist outrage.

But I digress, and fall into the same trap I’m blaming leftists for also doing.

The real bad guy here isn’t Obama. Nor is it Romney. Nor is it that film maker, not in a country that upholds freedom of speech, however offensive.

No, the real bad guys are those thugs who murdered the US Libyan ambassador, J. Christopher Stevens and three others including two former Navy Seals.

The real bad guys are those thugs staging their violent protests all over the middle east and northern Africa.

The real bad guys are people like that sheik who found that obscure video and used it to incite an entire nation, indeed regions, to hatred and violence.

The real bad guys are the ruling Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt who have called for a banning of Freedom of Speech in the West, and who have also called for *cough* peaceful protests this Friday, Islamic prayer day.

While emotions are still running high, can we in the West, on the Left and the Right, please remember who the real bad guys are (hint: it’s not each other).

Will Israel strike Iran in April?


Possibly.

US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has been outspoken about a possible Israeli offensive against Iran taking place as of April and one American TV channel theorized simplistically Friday, Feb. 3, about Israel’s tactics. At the same time, no US source is leveling on the far more extensive American, Saudi, British, French and Gulf states’ preparations going forward for an offensive against the Islamic Republic.

Tehran too is gearing up for conflict: The Iranian Guards Ground Forces chief Brig. Gen. Mohammad Pakpour Saturday, Feb. 4 announced the start of a three-week exercise in southern Iran and the Strait of Hormuz under conditions of war. debkafile: The “exercise” is in fact an Iranian military buildup ahead of a possible American or Israel attack.

debkafile’s military sources report a steady flow of many thousands of US troops for some weeks to two strategic islands within reach of Iran, Oman’s Masirah just south of the Strait of Hormuz and Socotra, between Yemen and the Horn of Africa.

Read on.

It appears the UN isn’t all that interested.

Watching CNN this morning, it seems Obama isn’t interested in a military strike at the moment, but the former US ambassador to Iran did indicate there are various other efforts still available, including further sanctions on Iran’s central bank.

And via JM Heinrichs, some lessons on Iran by David P. Goldman.

Will sanctions persuade Iran to stop building nuclear weapons? No such question can be answered with finality, but it is more likely that the Obama administration’s graduated sanctions will accelerate Tehran’s efforts to acquire nuclear weapons. The Obama administration, according to news accounts, is aghast that Israel might take preemptive action rather than give sanctions time to work. Sanctions, though, are more likely to prompt Iran to stake everything on the nuclear card. The last time the West dealt with a similar case, the prospect of economic collapse and the fear of regime change motivated the outbreak of World War II.

Iran is planning to double its defense budget even though its currency is collapsing. These are related events: in the medium term, the free-fall of Iran’s rial constitutes a transfer of wealth to the government from what remains of Iran’s private sector. As the Washington Post reported yesterday, “The government, which receives oil revenue mostly in dollars and euros, is profiting from the rial’s decline, analysts said. ‘Their income is in dollars, so a strong dollar helps them to buy more rials to pay their bills,’ said one prominent economist, who asked not to be identified, for fear of reprisals.” At least for the time being, sanctions strengthen the relative position of the regime, while undermining its long-term staying power — unless, of course, Tehran begins a new set of regional wars under a nuclear umbrella.

Read on.

Also via JM:

@Blazing Cat Fur

Frankly, I see Obama forcing Israel into a tight spot.

UPDATE

Is Obama so reluctant to get involved military with Iran because, despite the narrative, it’s actually going abyssmally in Afghanistan?

From the keyboard of a Lt. Col. who was on the ground:

What I saw bore no resemblance to rosy official statements by U.S. military leaders about conditions on the ground.

Entering this deployment, I was sincerely hoping to learn that the claims were true: that conditions in Afghanistan were improving, that the local government and military were progressing toward self-sufficiency. I did not need to witness dramatic improvements to be reassured, but merely hoped to see evidence of positive trends, to see companies or battalions produce even minimal but sustainable progress.

Instead, I witnessed the absence of success on virtually every level.

H/T JM

“no accident”


The middle east is a volatile enough region as it is. What an even bigger headache it would be if Iran ever fully realises their nuclear weapon capabilities.

AN IRANIAN nuclear facility has been hit by a huge explosion, the second such blast in a month, prompting speculation that Tehran’s military and atomic sites are under attack.

Satellite imagery seen by The Times confirmed that a blast that rocked the city of Isfahan on Monday struck the uranium enrichment facility there, despite denials by Tehran.

The images clearly showed billowing smoke and destruction, negating Iranian claims yesterday that no such explosion had taken place. Israeli intelligence officials told The Times that there was “no doubt” that the blast struck the nuclear facilities at Isfahan and that it was “no accident”.

Indeed; turning the screws.

And some of the fallout from the new sanctions imposed on Iran?

Britain has evacuated all its diplomatic staff from Iran, Western diplomatic sources told Reuters on Wednesday, a day after protesters stormed and ransacked its embassy and a residential compound.

UPDATE (via JM)

A decent look into what could happen to oil prices – various scenarios – in the event of a war with Iran.

Israel to strike Iran’s nuke facilities by Christmas


That’s according to the latest intelligence (so er, we’ll see)

Israel will launch military action to prevent Iran developing a nuclear weapon as soon as Christmas, intelligence chiefs have warned.

A report by a UN watchdog into Iran’s nuclear ambitions ‘completely discredits’ the Islamic nation’s protestations of innocence, according to Foreign Secretary William Hague.

The International Atomic Energy Agency found that Iran is developing a nuclear test facility, nuclear detonators and computer modelling for a nuclear warhead that would fit on an existing missile.

Sources say the understanding at the top of the British Government is that Israel will attempt to strike against the nuclear sites ‘sooner rather than later’ – with logistical support from the U.S.

A senior Foreign Office figure has revealed that ministers have been told to expect Israeli military action, adding: ‘We’re expecting something as early as Christmas, or very early in the new year.’

Officials believe President Barack Obama would have to support the Israelis or risk losing vital Jewish-American support in the next presidential election.

Oh, so that’s why. Re-election. Never mind that Iran has a leader who wants Israel “wiped of the map” in order to help usher in his fantastic idea of the 12th Immam, that Iran, China and North Korea are trading missile technologies and that possessing nukes could destabilise the US vital oil supllier, Saudi Arabia.

Never mind that, Obama. You just concentrate on getting yourself re-elected.

“I can’t stand [Israeli PM, Netanayu] any more, he’s a liar,” Mr Sarkozy said in French.

You may be sick of him, but me, I have to deal with him every day,” Mr Obama replied.

Fills you with confidence, doesn’t it?

H/T & H/T

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