Keepin’ up that facade of “Europe is more civilized than those wacky Americans:”

European Politicians Condemn Anti-Semitic Demonstrations

… participants at anti-Israel demonstrations across Germany have frequently used anti-Semitic slogans and also called for Jews to be gassed… In France, pro-Palestinian youths have clashed repeatedly with police, and on Sunday set fire to cars, pillaged stores and attacked two synagogues in the Paris suburbs.

I wonder if the US is going to see another influx of Europes Best and Brightest, as we did in the days before WWII?

 

So, the Israelis and “Palestinains” are at it again. The Gazans are launching the better part of a hundred rocket a day into Israel; the Israelis are doing their best to blow them out of the sky with the “Iron Dome” system, and then trying to smash the launch sites. With the exception of the Iron Dome system, it’s the same old, sad, boring story, once again.

But how about if the Israelis switched it up? Here’s my proposal:

1) Pump up Iron Dome. Add lasers and CIWS as necessary. Do whatever feasible to destroy every single Gazan rocket.

2) Do *not* otherwise respond. No blowing up the houses, no artillery, no sending in troops. Just close the border, cut off all supplies and utilities to Gaza.

3) Count the incoming Gazan rockets. Keep a running tab.

4) Let this go on for, oh, two  months or so. And then total up all the Gazan rockets… and return them. Not over the span of two months, but over the span of two minutes. If the Gazans launch 50 rockets a day for 60 days, you launch 3000 rockets in two minutes.

Use rockets as similar as possible to the Gazan rockets. Same basic weight, performance and warhead. Same lack of guidance and minimally precise aiming.

Who could *honestly* object to this, unless they have first objected to the Gazan rocketing of Israel?

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Another new Weird Al music music video. This is “Foil,” a parody of “Royals” by Lorde. I found it to be fairly “meh…” for the first 1:16 or so. And then it goes kinda hilarious.

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TANGENTIAL RANT: I can’t stand “Royals.” Not because the tune or execution suck, but because the *message* sucks. At its heart it’s a lament that “boo hoo I’ll never be a princess.” Well… not only “well, duh, grow up,” but also “royalty sucks.” *Any* caste system – of which aristocracy is obviously an important player – is  about as anti-human an idea as I can imagine. I have no problem with people passing their wealth down to their offspring. But passing political power or position to their offspring? Really? Really?? No.

Wanting to be a Duke or a Baron or a Queen or a princess means that you want to have the right to force lesser people to live according to your whims. You want the right to have the taxpayers fund your lifestyle.

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THIS VIDEO pretty much encapsulates it for me (slightly NSFW language, so turn it up, man!).

Ask yourself when it’s ever cool for a cop to respond to a complaint with:

“When you’re wearing that, what do you expect is going to happen here?”

Juuuuust a bit of a different tone.

Yesterday:

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Back in the day:

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Thirty years ago, it was a “massacre” and a “crime against humanity” that “must never be forgotten,” “violating every concept of human rights.” Yesterday, “it looks like it may be a terrible tragedy.” And then he proceeds to blow off allies (“our first priority” was to “determine if there were American citizens on board”), tell jokes and fundraise.

Pictured: Police find MISSILE in haul of illegal weapons at Dukinfield home

This is the hoard of firearms – including a missile – which were found at a home in Tameside.

Ummmm… firearms? Missile?

unnamed GUNSRECOVERED2What I see here are a whole bunch of old, rusty, empty (and in some cases, sawed in half) artillery shells, some brass cases, what appear to be two fake missiles and a bunch of… well, crap. So, my questions:

1) How is any of this “firearms?”

2) How is any of this illegal?

Assuming that the artillery shells are indeed demilitarized, they are no more weapons than any other inert chunk of steel or brass. So are these things nevertheless illegal in Ol’ Blightedly?

George Takei recently gave a speech in Kyoto Japan where he described his history of being locked up by FDR during WWII for the crime of being of Japanese ancestry. It’s a really good presentation:

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He ends it with pointing out that, after all that happened, he’s a proud American.

Many people, American and otherwise, often point to Americas failures and flaws, the times when we did not or do not live up to our ideals, and say that that shows that America is bad. But this is where they are wrong. The only way you can fall short of your ideals is if you *have* ideals in the first place.

The US is fairly unique in human history in that it was a nation founded more or less out of whole cloth, based on ideals. France, Germany, Romania, Japan, China, India… these are nations formed from *tribes,* with borders defined by what they could conquer and hold. Can a Frenchman move to Japan and *be* Japanese? Well, not really. Can a Japanese move to the US and *be* an American? You bet. Anyone can. Doesn’t depend on ethnicity or religion, just so you see what the American ideals are and decide “that’s for me.”

Americans have traditionally seen the US as a place of destiny, a place with a role in the world. Not to conquer it; we went through our imperial phase more than a century ago, snapping up the Philippines, Cuba and so on… then we cut them loose.  We have often seen it as our role to spread the ideals of Americas founding principles to the world at large. Those principles are easily looked up in the Declaration and the Constitution. What are the founding principles of Sweden or Belgium, though?

At some point, “silly” turns into “sad” which turns into “tragic.”

British Film Institute tells filmmakers to tick new diversity targets or miss funding

In order to score funding from the BFI (honestly, I don’t know how important that is for the British film industry), it is proposed that new Britfilms must have two of the following three features:

at least one lead character must be “positively reflecting diversity”, with the story more likely to receive funding if it “explicitly and predominantly explores issues of identity relating to ethnicity or national origins, a specific focus on women, people with disabilities, sexual identity, age and people from a socially disadvantaged background”. … It will ask filmmakers to ensure that at least 30 per cent of supporting and non-speaking characters are also “diverse”.

Off-screen, at least two heads of department must be from diverse backgrounds, as well as a range of “key creatives” including the director, screenwriter, composer and cinematographer.

The third category requires companies to offer paid internships and jobs to “new entrants from diverse backgrounds” and to help them progress.

One wonders what exactly is meant by “diverse. Does this mean that a film about, say, King Henry the 8th  can get away with having an Irish character? or must it be a blind black lesbian single mother who has courageously struggled against domestic abuse and alcoholism?

On this same page there is a link to a piece about a new BBC series:

BBC goes for Game of Thrones audience with new Saxon vs Viking drama

Now how the hell are they going to shoehorn 30% “diverse” actors into a story about Scandinavian white people fighting Germanic white people in a world populated almost exclusively with white people? Or are they going to make a third of these dark-age warriors gay cowboys eating pudding?

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‘Mocking accents should be a crime’ says linguist, Dr Baratta

I’ve no idea who this goober is. Likely a nobody, apart from being a professor of Something Or Other at Manchester U. But making speech a crime? How does this merit anything other than mockery and derision? Anybody know what exact accent he has, so that it can be mocked? Really, there’s only one reply to this sort of idiocy.

Yaaaaayyyyyy….

Forgotten vials of smallpox found in Bethesda, Md.

Officially, smallpox is supposed to exist in only two places on Earth: science labs in Atlanta and Moscow. Many people argue that these samples should be destroyed so that they cannot be used to re-create the disease. Others argue that the samples should be retained in order to recreate the smallpox vaccine in case the disease makes a comeback somehow. IMO, this incident provides ammo for the latter argument. Smallpox is *out* *there,* somewhere. In some forgotten storage facility, or some population of rodents in some Amazonian backwater, it’s out there. And chances are good that it’ll find its way back into the human populace. And without a vaccine, millions could easily die.

Now, this summary of reviews of the recent documentary “America” is interesting and amusing:

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In short, only 12% of professional movie critics liked it, while 82% of the regular schmoes who actually went to see it of their own volition liked it. On the one hand, it shows the sort of divide we’ve come to expect in the country. On the other hand, it’s really not that surprising. A movie like this – with an avowed and unabashed “America is a pretty great place” message – is bound to attract the sort of people who will agree with that message, and so long as the movie is competent, will probably like it. Movie critics, on the other hand, *live* in a world of pretend and make-believe, and thus “America is good” is a message they’re just not going to be able to readily process.

My own review: it was ok.Parts of it were good and important, such as calling out scumbags like Alinsky and Zinn and Ayers and Ward Churchill (who admitted on camera that he’d basically like to see the US nuked out of existence), but seemed kinda flat much of the time. An opportunity was lost in that the movie didn’t really match the title: “America: Imagine the World Without Her.” To me, this *screams* of alternate history. And it does start out with a “historical re-enactment” that takes a counter-factual turn. But it doesn’t really follow up on that. It could easily have filled several hours showing a world where America failed in some way… lost the Revolution, fell apart in the War of Southern Aggression, fell to Wilsonian national socialism, the Nazis got the bomb first, etc. Oh, well.

But if you want a primer on where the modern American anti-America movement came from, or if you want to drag a lefty pal to a flick they’ll just hate, then this is the flick for you.

There’s also a book (which I haven’t read):

 

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