“The Jewish People Control America”

No – that’s not ME saying that. I have no evidence to support it.

It’s actually a quote attributed to former Israeli PM Ariel Sharon from 2001.

The quote (which is allegedly from a conversation between Sharon and his Foreign Minister, as quoted by Israeli radio) reads:

I want to tell you something very clear, don’t worry about American pressure on Israel, we, the Jewish people control America, and the Americans know it.

(I found the link on the Beyond The Fringe blog).

Why would Sharon say that? How does it all work? I have no theories. But I find it an interesting quote.

The US calls Israeli PM a liar

From the “When You Can’t Even Trust Your Friends” department:

A boast by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that he persuaded President Bush to reverse a U.S. vote on a Gaza cease-fire at the United Nations is “just 100% totally completely not true,” the State Department declared Tuesday.

(from the LA Times – are they still running?)

So – one of them is lying.

You have to wonder – what incentive would Olmert have to lie about such a thing? To make it sound like he has pull with an out-going US President? What’s the point of that? Especially when his phone call didn’t stop the vote passing.

But if you ask yourself what incentive the USA would have for lying – that’s much easier to comprehend. They don’t want it to seem like the US President takes orders from Israel.

The LA Times story also says that diplomats from around the world were sure the vote was going to be unanimous minutes before it happened, so it seems obvious that the US State Dept is lying through their teeth.

What do you think?

(Update: Beyond The Fringe has a great and detailed analysis here.)

Condoleezza Rice left “pretty shamed” at US abstention in UN

Some interesting statements in this story.

In a speech late on Monday, (Ehud) Olmert (Prime Minister of Israel) said Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, was left “pretty shamed” at the vote and had to abstain on a resolution she had helped arrange.

(Al Jazeera – US denies Olmert influenced UN vote)

Olmert goes on to claim he rang Bush, who was pulled off stage to take the call, just minutes before the UNSC vote which insisted a halt to the Gaza offensive. Olmert told Bush that the US must abstain from the vote – and they did. Fourteen of the other fifteen members of the UNSC supported the resolution. Israel has, of course, totally ignored it. Wouldn’t you love to hear a copy of that phone call?

Let’s remember once again that the UN created Israel in the first place. Israel has been a member since 1949 and, as such, is legally bound to abide by decisions of the UNSC. As it isn’t, Israel is, by definition, a rogue nation.

Gaza Not Hard To Solve

I’ve been involved in a few debates about Gaza over the last couple of weeks – on Twitter, in Facebook, and on a variety of blogs.

And I keep hearing people say “it’s complex”. I don’t think it is.

Israel is a member of the United Nations. It has been since 1949. In fact, it owes the United Nations for its very existence.

Article 2 (points 3 and 4) of the United Nations charter states:

# All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.
# All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.

If Israel has issues with The Palestinian National Authority or the PLO, it should take those grievances up with the UN and the let UN decide how to deal with them. Unilateral military actions on behalf of Israel are in direct conflict with the UN charter which they have sworn to uphold. If Israel continues to fail to abide by the UN charter, then it should be evicted from the UN and declared a rogue nation.

Sounds simple to me.

lifehack for getting recipes onto the iphone

One of my new year resolutions was to start cooking properly most nights of the week. Not just my usual lentils and mushroom stiryfry, but amazing food that blows my mind. So I went out and bought one of Jamie Oliver’s books and I’ve made some amazing, mouth-watering stuff in the last week.

HOWEVER – I always find myself at the grocery store having forgotten to pick a recipe for the night and so I don’t have the ingredients list.

Now that I have a shiny new iPhone I came up with this hack this morning.

1. Scan a few recipes from the book into my Mac.
2. Drag each image into Evernote (I have a folder in there called ‘recipes’).
3. Install Evernote iPhone app.

Now, when I’m at the grocery store, I just pull out my iPhone, open up Evernote, and I have everything I need!

I should point out that I started off this morning trying to take photos of the recipes straight into the iPhone but the resolution on the camera isn’t good enough to capture text. However, this Clarifi case from Griffin seems to come with a built-in lens that gives your iPhone a boost in camera resolution. I might try to find one of those today. It would save me the scanning step.

Announcing Twittories #2

Announcing Twittories #2

On December 6 2007, I had this crazy idea about collaborating with people on Twitter to write short stories. I called it TWITTORIES. I invited 140 people to sign up to write 140 characters each of the story. Our first attempt, a story called “The Darkness Inside“, made it to about 99 entries before it ran out of steam. The main issue back then, I think, was that many people who signed up for twittories just didn’t check their twitter messages very often. So when they were alerted that it was their turn to write, they just didn’t show up. And it stalled. I got busy with personal stuff, TPN, etc, and this was a spider project and not a starfish.

Well, a year has passed and I’ve decided it’s time to try again. I still think Twitter could be an amazing tool for collaboration and there are obviously a lot more people using Twitter now and they are using it more often.

I’m changing a couple of the rules, too, which will hopefully make it run more smoothly.

Go to this wiki page to register your name for the new, as-yet-unnamed, twittory. The first person to sign up get to pick the name of the twittory and write the first 140 characters.

Is Yellowstone about to blow?

The last eruption was 640,000 years ago. The eruptions seem to occur about every 680,000 years, give or take. So Yellowstone is about due.

(SciGuy: Is Yellowstone about to blow?)

I remember the above stat from when I read Bill Bryson’s “A Short History Of Nearly Everything” (a most excellent book btw).

According to SciGuy, just after Christmas there was a flurry of earthquakes beneath Yellowstone Lake. Could this be the big one?

If so, and you live in the US, I hope you’re on one of the coasts, as this map estimates the ash beds for the last three major eruptions: