John Brennan: Sinister or cretinous (or both?)

Today, tomorrow, or possibly a little later – the Yemeni government has said that the votes might take some time to tabulate, as if we didn’t all already know the result! – for the first time in 33 years, Ali Abdullah Saleh will not be President of Yemen. American politicians and diplomats are already crowing about “democracy by the ballot box”, all the while ignoring that there is only a single candidate on the ballot paper and his rise to power is not really in doubt.  In fact, given that there is no minimum turnout specified for the results to … Continue reading John Brennan: Sinister or cretinous (or both?)

Lesbian Palm Tree Bondage

Now that I have your attention, here is my translation of a horticultural text concerning how to cure palm trees of their undying infatuation with one another.  It’s quite a famous piece amongst my friends and associates, although this translation is fuller than the one I have previously supplied to them.  This is the second of my intermittent blogging translation series in which I translate bits of rather weird Classical Arabic for the general amusement of the kind of people who read my blog, the first being the bat text. NABATAEAN AGRICULTURE Ibn Wahshiyya, 960 Palm trees are similar to … Continue reading Lesbian Palm Tree Bondage

The Last Chance for a Syrian Syria

In the wake of Russia and China vetoing the most recent Security Council resolution dealing with Bashar, there seems to be a broad consensus in the media that events in Syria are shifting into a new gear.  As with so much of the trash that gets written about Syria, this would probably be the story no matter what the situation on the ground, but this time it happens to probably be true, but not in the way that’s generally meant.  The general view is that perhaps we can finally move from these boring and lengthy discussions about what to do … Continue reading The Last Chance for a Syrian Syria