Monday, April 30, 2007

United win the league? Not just yet!

30 minutes is an eternity in football. Around two o'clock last saturday Chelsea cought up with Man United only to be at -5 half an hour later. So with three games left United are on their way to tilte number 16. But woe to who suggests that it's a done deal!

Reds need 4 points out of last 3 games, but whether they actually get them is another story. First they have a derby against City. Now, we know that City are woeful at home in 2007 but derbies are a specific kind of game. Plus, by the law of averageness City has to get going sooner or later. Then comes the mother of all games at Stamford Bridge and on the last day at home to West Ham. On paper that the easiest game but the Hammers are picking up form and literally desperate for points. That said Chelsea's schedule is hardly a walk in the park. Besides the direct clash, they have a derby of their own away at Arsenal and Everton at home who will need the points for the UEFA cup.

All bets are off. We may well have a new champion this weekend but it is almost just as likely that Chelsea will come in the last day of the season with a point more then Man United. And if that seems unlikely, I ask: did it seem likely that Bolton would come off with a point from Stamford Bridge or that United would turn the game on it's head at Goodison? Football is a funny old game.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Well, now I've seen it all!

Bizzare news are not exactly down my alley but I simply had to comment on cryptonite being found in Serbia.

It seems all our troubles are over. All we have to do is show that Superman is in fact, of Serb origin and none will dare mess with us anymore! You definitely couldn't make this stuff up!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Put a burkha on those vegetables

At first I thought this was a spoof. But then I thought, it is so whacky it's gotta be true!

American commanders cite al-Qaida's severe brand of Islam, which is so extreme that in Baqouba, al-Qaida has warned street vendors not to place tomatoes beside cucumbers because the vegetables are different genders, Col. David Sutherland said.


You definitely couldn't make that up!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Allah the Most Merciful:"No mercy for the infidels"

Virginia Tech shootings dominated the headlines in the past couple of days and how varius communities reacted to it. The Arabic-language website Aafaq gives an interesting reaction on the Muslim Student Association of VT to a prayer request for the victims. The dean of student affairs says:

...Allah the Most Merciful forbids praying for mercy for the non-Muslim dead, or even for the non-Muslim living, and that it is only permitted to pray that they be rightly guided.


"Rightly guided" meaning, of course, that they accept islam. Am I the only one who finds the dean's sentence full of sinister irony?

Contrast that with:

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
- Mathew 5:44

Call me exclusive, but I prefer the latter and thankfully I was born into it(sort of, but that is another story).

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Daniel Pearl is not a Holocaust victim

The fate of the journalist Daniel Pearl is well known to everyone. We all remember how islamic terrorists brutally murdered him after forcing him to confess to the "crime" of being Jewish. They certainly were clear about their motives! A couple of days ago, as a part of Holocaust comemoration, his name was added to those of victims on a memorial wall in Miami.

With all due respect to his family and loved ones, I believe they made a mistake when they agreed to this. The Holocaust is a historical event that happened in a precise time frame under precise circumstances and context and victims of other crimes, however similar, simply can not be put together with those that perished at Auschwitz, Treblinka or Babyi Yar. I know this may sound cynical but it's like that. Daniel Pearl was murdered by different kind of criminals then the nazis, although the two share totalitarian worldview, imperialism, bellicosity and Jew-hatred as main traits. Pearl was muredered because he was Jewish, just like Holocaust victims, but so were many other Jews after WWII. Why aren't they considered Holocaust victims as well? Why only Pearl's name was added?

We can not trivialize historical events, least of all such horific ones as the nazi genocide of Jews, with inapropriate comparisons and actions. It does a great disservice to the memory of the victims, both of today and of yesteryear.

Monday, April 16, 2007

As long as mom and dad are around, no problem

So, what does an Aussie do when he comes across a DVD in which an islamic cleric calls for murder of infidels and labels them as "pigs"? He gives it a PG rating!

Sounds like a punchline for a bad joke, but things are indeed serious. If authorities can not find the nerve to take action against such obvious terrorist activity and ban the DVD, how can we expect to take care of those less open?

Now, some people might be uncomfortable with bans citing numerous examples of how leftist globalist liberals used to label "hate speech" anything that doesn't accord with theor view of the society. While I understand where they are coming from, I'd like to remind them that free speech does not include shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theatre. Nor calling for murder, I believe...

Friday, April 13, 2007

Something refreshing on the net

In a time where publications, paper and electronic, look more and more like the old Soviet "Pravda" it's nice to see something that does not have a strict party line. American conservative internet magazine "The Chronicles" can boast with such a distinguished title. Their actions speak more then any pseudo-moto a paper prints under it's title to make it sound intellectual.

The most recent example is how they treated US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Syria. First came a favourable opinion from Foreign Affairs editor Srdja Trifkovic, and then a completely oposite one from the editor Thomas Fleming. Both give very compelling arguments and make important points. I urge people to read both of them. And there is plenty more from where those came from.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Three out of four - with a special attention on two

That's the number of Premiership clubs in the Champions League semi-finals. After Spain in 2000 with Real, Barca and Valencia and Italy three years later with Milan, Inter and Juventus now it's England's turn to brag. While I do believe that with the abolition of the second group stage weakened the competition somewhat, there is no denying that all three deserve to be there.

Now we have a potentially very interesting situation. Manchester United and Chelsea are the only contenders for the Premiership crown. They are in the semi-finals of both the FA cup and CL and they are not playing each other in either of those. It could very well be that the meetings between two will decide on the outcome of the league(their game is set for May 5th at Stamford Bridge) the FA cup and the CL all in the space of three weeks. And with them having lesser oposition(on paper at least) in the FA cup semis and rivals with which they have an old debt to settle in the Champions League, who dares bet against a three round square-off between the Blues and the Red Devils in the coming May?

It's up for grabs now

Sorry Arsenal fans, but this entry isn't going to be on the 1989 League title you snatched at the last seconds at Anfield road. Rather, it will be the sad decision of the UK defense ministry to let the captured sailors sell their stories to the highest bidder.

This news tells a lot. Where do I start? It would be easy to admonish the sailors themselves and criticise the ministry for such an ill-advised move. But that would be speaking of the trees while completely missing out on the wood.

The ministry and these men are simply a product of the contemporary culture, the one that considers a man a simple "homo economicus" driven by nothing other then his own needs, without a single higher goal in his life. To achieve personal well being nothing is off-limits, especially not public exposure which has been risen on a piedestal of the highest virtue. Values like honour, loyalty, humility are considered obsolete at best, derided at worst. My grandfather fought in WWII and never ever bragged about what he's been through even in front of the family let alone other people. Now we can expect film studios lining up with their cheques for the Iran sailor's stories. Am I the only one seeing how wrong this picture is?

Not to be outdone by their rivals, Iran is planning a movie of it's own about the incident. I wonder if the former captives will demand a cut in the box office entries?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

"300"

I used up the Easter holidays to see the much talked about "300" movie based on the Frank Miller comic book(or graphic novel if you are a fan of late 20th century newspeak). What I saw I will review from three aspects: historical, ideological and technical.

From a historical aspect, not much was gotten right. Yes 300 Spartans under king Leonidas fought against an overwhelming Persian force at Thermopylae and were defeated only with the help of a Greek traitor but that's about it. The Persians certainly had not acted like mindless barbarians, they didn't use elephants in battle, they didn't bring degenrate beings with them to help. And Xerxes! If you see the movie you'd know where the phrase "comic book villain" comes from. Spartan way of life was more or less shown well. However, the fate of the only surviving Spartan, that narrates throughout the film, is a fabrication. One of them was indeed sent back to Sparta as a messenger but he was a virtual outcast after that and killes himself out of shame.

Ideologically, the movie speaks of values put aside and even ridiculed in the modern era such as honour, duty, freedom and patriotism. Dying as free people or living subjugated - for a true Spartan the dilemma doesn't exist.

Techincally, the movie is rather well done and if not for the exagerations at the expense of the Persians there would be very little that would make it different from conventional movies. Dialogues are not (overly) banal as often these kind of films offer and ating is well done by all.

All in all, "300" brings inspiration, raises morale and entertains but if you want to learn history stick to the books.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Iran and the British sailors - my considerations

The grand theather is over. The captured British sailors are home. Meanwhile we have been "entertained" by videos and letters of confession from the sailors, produced and directed by Iran.

Now, it is obvious that the confessions were as phony as a three-dollar bill. Something is worrying about them, however. How is it that the Iranians got what they wanted to hear so easily? Admittedly, I don't know what these men(and woman) were through, but it doesn't seem to me they are physically hurt. As for psychological pressure, shouldn't they be, as military personel, trained to withstand it, at least up to a certain degree, as well as physical torture? I grew up on stories how the Gestapo had to use extremely brutal methods to get the information they needed and were quite often unsuccesful(and those stories are more or less confirmed by documents). If these 15 got caught back then seems to me they would have cracked from a mere sharp gaze by Reinchard Heydrich. Are those the people any country should assign it's security to?

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

History offensive to some people

Once again the truth retreats in front of political corectness in ever more insane UK. In order not to offend muslim pupils schools in that country have decided to drop the Holocaust from the history curriculum. Three years ago Julia Gorin joked about this saying "After all, Hitler may seem like a villain to little Shlomo, but little Qudsia may see things differently."

Joking aside, one has to ask a couple of questions. Such as, why would the Holocaust offend muslims? How can one possibly be offended that any people were victims of a genocide? Especially since muslims repeat ad nauseam how they had nothing to do with it? Or did they?