Saturday, August 13, 2016

Our Sarcastic World

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The Global Society for Sarcasm: We really mean what we say.  

The Art of Bullshittery

Whatever the Ass is selling Putin is clearly not buying

It would appear that the good ophthalmologist had a message for Netanyahu, which he wanted Putin to pass on, namely that if Israel would support the Syrian regime, he, in return, would assure the safety of Israel’s border with Syria, as he in fact did for many years before the civil war began.

Assad is promising what he can no longer deliver. In Syria, such decisions now are up to Iranian and Russian officials.

This brings to the new entry into the Holy Deliricon:

(The) AssPut: An offer put forward by one asshole to another the deceptive and desperate nature of which is too obvious to allow it to be seriously entertained.


Now This

Photos of an overcrowded jail in the Philippines – taken by photographer Noel Celis – have gone viral, but remarkably some prisoners told him they felt ‘lucky’ to be there. They say many have met with a much worse fate as the new president Rodrigo Duterte cracks down on the country’s illegal drug trade.


Jill Stein, the Green party presidential candidate, must have been under the influence of some bad Pukha when she tweeted this. Rather, she must perennially live under the influence of bad Pukha.

From the Holy Deliricon:

Pukha and Vladali: Russo-Persian drinks made of the fermented quintessence of shit, self-righteous lies, and illusions of grandeur. Pukha is often consumed during a morning ritual that features a number of executions followed by public bridal showers for the spouses of the executed who are believed to have regained their virginity and could now be pounced upon by the nearest relative. Vladali, on the other hand, is consumed before going to sleep as it is known for enabling sleepers to remember every gory detail of their ghoulish dreams of endless blood-fests and virgin-sacrifices upon waking up.



Najla cooks for Syria Day at Global Grace Café at the Reformed Church of Highland Park in New Jersey. Najla is from Syria and arrived in the U.S. 10 months ago with her husband and daughter after the United Arab Emirates canceled a residency permit, ending her job at an insurance company. Deborah Amos/NPR

When 31 governors called for a ban on Syrian refugees coming into the U.S. after last November's terrorist attacks in Paris, it united faith-based communities across the country. They are challenging the wave of opposition to these refugees by taking a leading role in resettling them.

"If they didn't have the churches and synagogues providing what they do, this system would collapse," says Jennifer Quigley, referring to the federal resettlement program that is now under attack from Congress and many governors.

Also supporting the works of some of these organizations works: How to help Syrian refugees? These groups you may not know are doing important work.

How not to deal with refugees: Bulgaria's jailing and criminalisation of refugees is ‘inhumane’, says UN. “Bulgarian government may be 'encouraging intolerance', says UN's human rights high commissioner.


Bad Romance

Syrian refugee groom Ahmad Khalid, 21, and his bride Fatheya Mohammed, 21, sit in front of his family’s tent during their wedding ceremony at an informal tented settlement near the Syrian border on the outskirts of Mafraq, Jordan. Photo by AP/Muhammed Muheisen
The Plight of Syria’s Star-Crossed Lovers. “Syrian women living in the government-controlled province of Latakia must decide between love and danger if they are to marry the men of their choosing – especially if those men live in opposition-held areas of Syria.

Raneem’s choice was stark – disobey her parents or give up on marrying the man she loves. But first, she had to find him.


After Liberation, What?

IS conflict: Manbij residents celebrate liberation. There are plenty of reasons to celebrate of course, but there are also questions that need to be answered regarding the future of the city. Kurdish militias affiliated with the PYD, considered by most observers to be the Syrian offshoot of the PKK still classified as a terrorist organization by the State Department, are supposed to evacuate the city and any land they might occupy on the western bank of the Euphrates. Will they? When?  The fight against the Islamic State is still far from over, but, in order for it to proceed effectively, and for the coalition doing it to keep functioning at optimal capacity, clear answers are needed.


To inform or not to inform…

Muslims in the port city of Rotterdam take part in Eid prayers earlier this year (AFP)

Dutch Islamic groups resist becoming informers in surveillance drive. “Information sharing has increased across Europe, but some Muslim leaders fear Dutch government wants to co-opt community leaders.

Is it the job of Muslim community leaders to identify and report suspect behavior to the authorities? Or, is their primary to identity and council people whose behavior is problematic? If community leaders are seen as agents of the authorities, they will be shunned and will no longer be in a position to identify suspect behavior, not to mention provide any counselling or education meant to counter it. There will be occasions where suspicions are too strong for community leaders to avoid the responsibility of reporting,

The authorities need to cultivate informants from outside the leadership circles in order to avoid tainting and hence, impeding the work of Muslim leaders. Concerns as to the practice of cultivating informants are understandable, but without Muslim informants suspect behavior may not be identified in time for meaningful action by the authorities. Let’s not forget here that Muslims do have a responsibility to safeguard their community from takeover by extremist elements, and that the interaction with the authorities involved here is still taking place within the context of a democratic culture, where the basic rights of the suspect are protected.


But of course! Hezbollah leader supports Trump's claim that US created IS. Then again, Nasrallah could just be sarcastic.


(The) AssPutin: A political animal formed out of the unholy union of two genocidal autocrats: one a consummate idiot, the other a consummate killer. The union can only take place in an environment rich with pure apathy and moral decrepitude, conditions known to affect the entire planet from time to time, producing a plethora of AssPutins, AssPutin wannabes, and conflicts.


Permanent Presence

Russian Minster of Defense Sergey Shoigu Inspects Khmeimim Airbase in Syria, June 19, 2016

Russia Hints It Might Hide Nukes in Syria. “Senior Russian security official: We can't find common ground with the West, so we strengthen relations with Syria, Iran and Iraq.

Russia plans to build a full-scale military airbase and to deploy a permanent contingent of aircrafts in Syria, Izvestia newspaper reported on Wednesday. The paper’s source at the Russian Ministry of Defense confirmed the existing infrastructure of Khmeimim—Russia’s current air base in Syria—will be expanded substantially, enabling the deployment of heavy aircrafts from Khmeimim in the near future.

Khmeimim will be surrounded by ramparts to protect against enemy fire and bombing. The base will be outfitted with new radio-technical equipment—including an air traffic control system—and a full-fledged military town for the Russian troops stationed there.

The Russian Defense Ministry source told Izvestia that, although Khmeimim’s expansion has been planned since the end of 2015, the deal wasn’t official until two days ago. Last Tuesday, Moscow and Damascus signed an agreement giving Khmeimim to Russia in perpetuity, free of charge and out of the jurisdiction of the Syrian government…

…Klintsevich told the newspaper that “[for now] the nuclear weapons and heavy bombers will not be placed there on a permanent basis, because it would be in violation of international agreements and would create very severe problems.”

The words ‘on a permanent basis’ were immediately emphasized by the media. “Russia Will Not Deploy at Khmeimim Nuclear Weapons on a Permanent Basis” read a RIA Novosti headline.

The part about deploying nuclear weapons to Syria is, of course, meant for propaganda purposes, at least for now. But the part about building a permanent military airbase in Syria is not. The Russians are there to stay.

Meanwhile, Iran is also asserting its dominance, with its diplomats now holding talks with local officials to determine the identity of the future leader of the pro-Assad National Defense Militias in the Druze-majority province of Suweida in southern Syria.


The Will to Act

Syria is in the news much more often than Yemen, butt eh extra coverage and attention the conflict received did not translate into any meaningful action to stop it. When the will to act is absent nothing makes a difference.


Why ISIS? Because, inaction.


A Change of Heart

Editorial: The Guardian view on Assad’s use of chemical weapons: our silence is shaming. “There have been two probable attacks against civilians using chlorine this month alone. Yet hardly a voice has been raised in protest and the regime – and Syrian citizens – are sent the message that rest of the world doesn’t care.”

The Guardian’s earlier stance on the matter was no less shaming:


No change in sight

The Syrian Statue of Liberty
The Democratic Party’s Silence on Syria. “The Syrian conflict barely received a mention at the Democratic convention. That’s because the party is at war with itself over what to do about the crisis.

The realists and leftists responsible for the Syrian debacle will not go down without a fight, and might still have their way, even with Clinton in the White House. It might be hard to believe but Obama’s most disastrous foreign policy still has strong backing in the DNC. Its advocates can also count on support from Republicans, Libertarians and Greens. This means that, regardless of her instinct on Syria, Clinton will not have an easy time drafting a different Syria policy when she ends up in the White House. Meanwhile, the situation will continue to deteriorate.

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