The first post tells why. It may be too little, but hopefully not too late.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Dashing general

Call me paranoid (probably many of us who come from the Soviet Union are justifiably so anyway), but I doubt General Stanley McChrystal was indeed reckless to say what he said regarding the Supreme Balaboss. No way he did not know the MO1 and ROE2 when dealing with a CO3, especially as hollow as BHO. Surely Stan knew that one is not supposed to malign anybody a notch above you in the Army hierarchy - that's the whole Army thing. No army can function if the lines of authority are not strictly maintained. My uneducated guess is that the general, far from being rash, mindless and a bad example to his subordinates, did it - the only alternative left - on purpose. Say, got tired of the supreme incompetence of the likes of Biden and his golf buddy in the WH (do they often get to play together or the interests of national security keep them playing separate?). Say, decided that whatever comes  - resignation or retirement, - his replacement will be listened to with greater attention and the critical decisions will not take forever. He did apologize, but I am willing to read into that apology non-admission of guilt: he said, "What is reflected in this article falls far short of [his] standard [principles of personal honor and professional integrity]", and the reflections are not necessarily true.  Especially when those reflections are in a leftist musical gossip magazine (a nice picture of The Beatles playing in water though).

All this may be a stretch or wishful thinking, but it does not matter much. Even if the general said it thoughtlessly, and carelessly entertained that kind of disparaging remarks about the administration from his subordinates, it tells at least as much about the administration as it does about McChrystal's army etiquette. To wit, that the administration has not earned as little respect from people who risk their lives every second as for them to at least follow their common rules of conduct. These people see their Supreme Commander on the news declaring that they serve America's vital interests, which, one guesses, will cease to be so in, oh, about a year when the troop withdrawal is scheduled to start, with no victory mentioned. They know that it took months for him to accept McChrystal's request for more troops on which their lives depended, and then deducting a quarter from the number requested. Those who do research using governmental funding are well familiar with the thinking behind deductions like that. This is one of the many ways for bureaucrats to exercise their power and show their creativity - to cut a study's budget by 15, 25 or another round number of percentage points, despite the fact that the budget has been approved by peer review, i.e. by people who know how much is needed to do what's planned. It is not good for research, nor is it for the Army where lives are at stake. This is the type of strategy Leo Tolstoy made a joke of in War and Peace, talking about German generals-bureaucrats with their calculations, "Die erste Kolonne marschiert... die zweite Kolonne marschiert... die dritte Kolonne marschiert." Call me a doubting Thomas, but I am afraid that Gen. Petraeus, who has been exposed to Obama's "strategery" before, does not hold a lot of respect for him either. How long will it take for him to have enough?
1MO, modus operandi
2ROE, rules of engagement
3CO, commanding officer

Saturday, June 19, 2010


I did my best to translate a poem by Semyon Nadson, a Russian poet. His father was son of a baptized Jew; he died when Semyon was two. Nadson was sincere, talented and immensely popular. His life, as often happens with poets, particularly in Russia, was hard and short: he died of consumption at the age of 25 (1862-1887).

The original does rhyme - I did not have much time and had to choose between rhyme and rhythm. The translation is virtually literal. I would not do it if I could find one online - I have not looked for any hard copy ones. I did it at my wife's request. She thought it was still relevant and instructive. I agree. Please point out and forgive any errors - my English is far from perfect.
Я рос тебе чужим, отверженный народ,
И не тебе я пел в минуты вдохновенья.
Твоих преданий мир, твоей печали гнет
Мне чужд, как и твои ученья.

И если б ты, как встарь, был счастлив и силен,
И если б не был ты унижен целым светом, -
Иным стремлением согрет и увлечен,
Я б не пришел к тебе с приветом.

Но в наши дни, когда под бременем скорбей
Ты гнешь чело свое и тщетно ждешь спасенья,
В те дни, когда одно название "еврей"
В устах толпы звучит как символ отверженья,

Когда твои враги, как стая жадных псов,
На части рвут тебя, ругаясь над тобою, -
Дай скромно стать и мне в ряды твоих бойцов,
Народ, обиженный судьбою!

I grew apart from you, the nations’ outcast.
It was not you, to whom I sang my songs, inspired.
Your tribulations’ weight, your torments' burden are
All alien to me, as are your tales and teachings.

And if you, as of yore, were happy and were strong,
And weren’t, as you are, debased in every corner, -
It wouldn’t be to you, to whom I would belong.
I wouldn’t come to you, consumed by some endeavor.

But when, aggrieved, in vain, you lower your head,
By miseries beset, you’re crying for salvation,
And when your very name, derided as is “Jew”,
Is in the crowd’s lips a symbol of pariah,

When enemies of yours, a pack of greedy dogs,
Are tearing you apart, defaming and maligning -
Allow me to stand with you, confronting fate,
And let me take my place among your humble fighters!

Israel's aggression

Still ongoing!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

So you say there is no God…

by Lina.

Well thank you, a well-meaning atheist, for disabusing me of all these false notions. You really mean that god won’t throw lightning bolts at me as punishment for my sins?! And science totally explains the origin of the species?! Woweeh! All my questions finally answered and addressed. Totally, man. Free at last. I can leave my shtetl, liberated from these religious shackles. Love mankind for its ingenuity in dealing with ethical/moral questions throughout the ages -- ways that I hope are about to get even more creative now that we can just flush the ol’ 10 (or 7) commandments down the drain. And feel the love – from humanity that demonstrates daily its intuitions about compassion and justice.

I am totally stoked about viewing life from the perspective of almost complete determinism in which I am just a tiny rusty nut in the magnificent human race machine, not to mention the rest of the universe. My life mattering in the big picture about as much as a speck of dust on the surface of the moon. Oh, wait. May be I’ll get lucky and in a million years, should life on this planet exist for that long, my well-preserved corpse will be discovered by scientists to be that important link between their highly evolved forms and the schmendricks that came before us. That is bound to give meaning to my existence. Yay! As they pry open my skull while still debating whether such thing as consciousness exists and wondering whether the presence of an opposable thumb on the compost I’ve become could have been its symptom.

“Thanks again for shedding light into the dark swampy hole where I have been all this time, guys/gals or whatever you might now be in a million years. What can I say, it really made a difference.”

Monday, June 14, 2010

Deir Yassin and Other Morbid Arabian Nights

In our time, when remembering any history beyond the historic 2008 elections is not in vogue, many events may appear as new. Although the Arab world and the rest of progressive humanity are acutely aware of Israel's iniquities (hardly a day passes without them), they may still be surprised by another one because they have forgotten how it all started. One of the first events that formed that opinion of Israel was the 1948 "massacre" in Deir Yassin, an Arab village near Jerusalem.

This is a reminder of how anti-Israel Arab propaganda is made:

Then there was the Mohammed Al Dura blood libel (read here). Then Saeb Erekat's "Jenin massacre" (read here).  Now it's the "flotilla" with the innocent blood of peaceful humanitarians (calling for Jews to go to Auschwitz). Times change, but the Big Lie methodology does not. After all, the favorite leader of Pal Arabs is Amin al Husayni, Hitler's pal (here is some more, to place the "Palestinian struggle" into perspective).

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Islam: Religious mimicry

This is part of the page titled On the Brink I posted in August 2006, upon returning from Israel after spending vacation with my family in a miklat, shelter (see a little story about that here). Although the whole page is still relevant, this text on history in particular provides the perspective on the July 2006 war with Hizballah as well as current events.

Islam was founded by Muhammad in the first half of the VII century. Muslims are taught that Islam and its holy book, the Koran, had existed as long as had the Universe, and all Jewish and Christian prophets had been Muslims. The truth, however, is that nobody had heard about Islam until Muhammad, an illiterate, poor and mentally unstable husband of a rich and much older wife, decided to turn his dreams or hallucinations into a message to humankind under her insistence. Perhaps her plan was to solve her family problems. In the patriarchal Arab society, Muhammad’s dependent status might have been considered not quite kosher. That could have contributed to his frequenting caves and sitting there, depressed and prone to scary visions under sensory and alimentary deprivation – these were the conditions under which he received his first revelation. The divine character of that was far from clear to the future Messenger of Allah, who was scared to death by his vision and needed his wife’s reassurance.

Reassured, however, he realized the benefits of his newly acquired Messenger status, and proceeded in his career from a pathetic charlatan, laughed at by the people who knew him the best, to a highway robber chieftain, to a genocidal mass murderer and totalitarian ruler, removing any opposition, real or imaginary, literally by sword. That removal was really an equal opportunity treatment, as he murdered regardless of the sex, age, and ethnic origin of the opponent. This included his extermination of all men of the entire peaceful Jewish tribe of Banu Quraiza and enslavement of children and women. This was the first recorded application of the Nazis’ Babiy Yar method, long before Hitler. Jews were brought in groups and murdered on the brink of a ravine that was to be their mass grave. By Muhammad’s desire, expressed on his deathbed, Jews cannot settle in Arabia, which had been their home for centuries. The same rule, incidentally, was introduced by the British for Jewish immigration to the part of the Land of Israel they decided to call Trans-Jordan (later shortened to Jordan), assisting Hitler in murdering Jews. This has since been the rule enacted by Jordanian rulers, who consider themselves Muhammad’s direct descendants. No wonder, as Muslims are bound to follow the Sunnah (the example) of the Prophet, as they have followed it in their barbaric conquests.

Muhammad’s revelations would come to him conveniently when he had to justify another crime of his, perversion, political expediency and, eventually, the social order he created to facilitate his autocracy. That divine order (the Islamic state is supposed to be perfect) collapsed immediately upon his death into the war between the followers of Muhammad’s daughter and her husband, Muhammad’s nephew Ali, and the supporters of Muhammad’s favorite wife Aisha and her father the strongman Abu Bakr. The conflict was of the same type as the one between Anna Nicole Smith and her late husband’s children. Except that Aisha probably had a better claim to the spoils, as Muhammad “married” her when she was six and consummated that marriage when she was nine (the paragon for all humanity himself was over 50). The stakes also were much higher, and the two groups, respectively Shia and Sunni, have been killing each other since – just observe the endless slaughter in Iraq. Imagine how easy it is then for both to kill infidels.

By sword has been the way Islam has spread from the Arabian peninsula, brought under the Islamic yoke by Muhammad by the time he died in 632, to North Africa, to a large part of Asia, and – for a long time – some parts of Europe. Nowadays, helped by the boundless tolerance of Western democracies to everything they perceive as underdog, the Islamic violent takeover, still in full force with a weaker adversary as in Sudan, is supplemented by unstoppable Islamic immigration and the ensuing demographic and political changes in the world of the infidels – Crusaders and Jews. This perceived underdog position of the 1.3 billion-strong umma sitting on the oil treasure of the world has served the dual function of lulling the Western societies into deafness to Islam’s inhuman teachings while raising Muslims’ anger at their “humiliation,” which the true believers perceive as any state in which Islam is not über alles, superior. Naturally, Islamic immigration has no intention of assimilation – quite the opposite, its leaders have overt plans of (gradual) government change.

Muslims have no right to befriend Christians or Jews (Koran 5:51), let alone non-monotheists. They believe Jews are cursed by Allah (Koran 5:64) – because of the Jewish beliefs that are nowhere to be found except in Islamic teachings. They believe that Christians and Jews are to either convert to Islam, or keep their faith but assume a subhuman dhimmi position in the society under what is called “protected status” (of the kind of mafia protection), or die if they violate these conditions. Non-monotheists have no choice but to convert or die. Whether to offer a choice or not is under Muslims’ discretion. There is no choice as to who will eventually rule the world, currently divided into Dar al-Islam, the realm of Islam, and Dar al-Harb, the realm of war. Democracy, with its freedoms and human-made laws, is incompatible with Islam. Adding free elections to Islamic ideology as an attempt to introduce democracy is less meaningful than holding free elections in Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union. Freedom does not necessarily create good neighbors – not when a neighbor is a criminal.

Whereas Islam is thus first and foremost a political doctrine and movement, the “religious” facet of Islam adds to the picture not merely the neutralization of the instinct of self-preservation but indeed its reversal. The brain-washed Muslim suicidal murderers perceive their certain demise not as death but as the virtually only way to ensure their staying alive (and well in Paradise). They are also convinced that they do a great favor to those Muslims who unintentionally get killed in a terror act because those are supposed to attain similar benefits. Most importantly, this eternal life is contrasted not with death, but with the almost certain alternative of their ending up in Hell, which is described in great detail in the Koran and the Sunnah, leaving little to imagination. Hell is virtually unavoidable for a believing Muslim, unless he is committed to jihad. Therefore, both negative and positive reinforcements are employed in the Islamic indoctrination, which has shown a great efficiency with a large number of people – not only when they receive it from their childhood, but – tellingly – with new converts as well. The usual straw-man counter-argument that only a small proportion of Muslims are in this altered state of consciousness is clearly invalid because there is no need for more than a minute proportion of 1.3 billion Muslims, properly educated and armed, to achieve a catastrophic effect. It is true, as human rights defenders in the US declare, that it is bad in general to discriminate in accordance with faith. It is not true, however, when the faith includes the current and actively enacted mainstream notions of human sacrifice and the subjugation or extermination of the other faiths. However highly developed the Aztec civilization was, had it survived till now, its bloody rituals would be forbidden, and if they were an inseparable part of the Aztec religion, it would be categorized into cult and banned. Islam, the ideology whose followers, led by Muhammad’s example, rape, enslave, behead unarmed civilians, execute “blasphemers,” and commit mass murder of children, thrives. The concept of Islam as a monotheistic religion serves this political ideology to protect it from the eradication that would certainly be in the cards for it due to its fascist and violent character. This religious mimicry, first used by Muhammad for ennobling, nay, sacralizing his morbid desires and immunizing himself from human critique, is still employed for the same purpose and perfected by Muslim spokespeople.

It is uncanny how the ongoing events resemble the pre-WWII layout. Russia, jealous of what it perceives to be the imperial position of the US, is playing, again thinking that it will gain dominance through pitting today’s Nazis against the West. France, true to its colors, stubs its allies in the back and is trying to appease the enemy. The rest of Europe keeps silence, thinking that if it keeps its head low, it will keep it – with profit. Antisemitism, reinforced by anti-Israelism, is as rampant around the world as in 1930’s, if not more. The left intelligentsia, ignorant in the matter as usual, but omniscient regardless by default, supports a totalitarian ideology – as long as that claims to fight for the “insulted and humiliated.”

Despite all experience with Nazism, the world has yet to grasp that violent ideology can only be fought as an infectious disease: by correctly identifying the agent, and by stopping its propagation by eliminating it and/or raising immunity against it - not by trying to appease it. Translated into the situation with Islam, that would mean first and foremost neutralizing those who spread the violent ideology - imams, mullahs and sheikhs, whose almost uniform obesity and penchant for hoarding female resources suggest that they themselves are not in a hurry to see the huris. This gives a strong hope that they can be persuaded to relay to their flock that jihad is about learning the multiplication table, brushing teeth and doing good deeds rather then cutting infidel throats, as the believers are used to erroneously think. Ataturk knew that well enough to deal with mullahs and employ healthy anti-Islam safeguards that have survived and protected Turkey till now as a relatively modern and open country, despite all its mosques and muezzins [again, this was written in 2006]. This is what should have been done in Iraq, instead of allowing its post-Saddam constitution to be based on the Koran - which is a bit like if Germany were allowed to use Mein Kampf for the same purpose after WWII.

“War on terror” may be a convenient shorthand. It is politically correct, but is as senseless as would be a war on guns or tanks, because terror is only a tool of war. The war that has been conducted by Islam, with variable intensity, against Dar al-Harb. Now is the first time, however, when the means of waging a truly decisive jihad have become available. Unless the complacent Western world learns from past lessons, it will be taught new apocalyptic ones, already under preparation by true believers in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and wherever there is a mosque with a properly thinking imam. One who knows that
Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; but the tree Gharqad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews. (Sahih Muslim, Book 041, Number 6985; also Sahih Muslim, Book 041, Number 6981-6984; and Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 52, Number 176-179, 56: 791).

If you are a good Muslim, you must follow the Sunnah. I doubt there are so many Gharqad trees around.

Abbas's problem

"Abbas to Obama: I'm against lifting the Gaza naval blockade"
Oops, somebody has just soiled his pants. I guess, our Abu does not want to get knee-capped by his "brothers" or try his flying skills when dropped from a roof. Where is the UN and the "world community" to comfort him?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sweet memories

My dear wife Galina, remembering good times in the Soviet Union, composed this lovely song, a remake of the one we sang as children in kindergartens:
"The winter's gone, and here's summer. - 
Oh, thank you, President Obama!"

We can't wait for children to start singing it. Sort of like

Sorry, you have to know Russian to fully enjoy it. The video at the bottom of this post, however, is just as good.

The picture says, "Thanks to Dear Stalin for the happy childhood!" (can't really translate it literally, because it's not "dear" but rather a word indicating relatedness as if with a family member - there is nothing similar in English).

Yahoo divided Jerusalem

As brought up by HonestReporting, Yahoo has engaged in the political SimCity game and created two virtual cities, "East Jerusalem" and "West Jerusalem". The weather data for them are grabbed from the real Jerusalem, Israel,  weather station, and duplicated under the two respective headers. The city of Jerusalem, the holiest Jewish city (some people say it even means something to Christians and Muslims), known as such for 3,000 years, and the capital of Israel, has ceased to be - in the Yahoo universe. To be sure, the data for the virtual cities are identical, underscoring that the city is one. Perhaps the next step for Yahoo will be providing that weather report in Hebrew for the "West" one, and in Palestinian... oops, there is no such language or nation, for that matter - in Arabic for the "East J".

Or Arabic will be used for both: in Yahoo's opinion, according to its directory, the City of Jerusalem is under the "Places in Palestinian Authority". Thank G-d, it is still listed among Israeli cities as well - for how long will it remain so?

PS. June 16, 2010. - Sometimes truth prevails!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Gazans' spices crisis

Reena Ninan, reporting from Israel for fair and balanced Fox News, is another member of the glorious journalistic profession. Her main interest has always seemed to be in unmasking Israel's horrific behavior violating the inalienable rights of brave terrorists and those who elect them to rule. Nevertheless, telling about cruel Israelis who just boarded another "aid ship" (whose organizer, Greta Berlin, had informed everybody who could hear that it's not for any aid but for breaking the blockade), Ninan somehow could not understand why Israel does not allow deliveries of  cardamom and coriander (cilantro, as she made sure to clarify) to Gaza. Doesn't she know that  Gazans starve (see the facts here), after they righteously destroyed the revolting Jewish hothouses, and spices induce appetite and make you even hungrier? What hypocrisy, to pretend she cares, while inviting torture of Gazans! (Or perhaps, worse even, she wanted to insinuate that she could not find any food shortage, except for spices, while the goal of the heroic flotilla is to stop starvation, as Berlin said?) Even Israelis, in all their cruelty, could not devise such a dastardly brutal plan.

And cruel they are. As Greta Berlin let another honest source of information, The New York Times, know, Israeli commandos "opened fire on sleeping civilians at four in the morning”. Now that everybody has seen the videos,

it is certain: these civilians were tight asleep, albeit sleepwalking with their kitchen knives (to cook their breakfast) and metal rods (for supporting themselves).  Suddenly woken up by Israeli paint balls, they could not help their reflex response, and hit those Israeli pirates with whatever they had in their hands.

Unfortunately, even the Rachel Corrie, another ship just intercepted by Israelis, did not carry cardamom, coriander and curry, which may be Greta Berlin's oversight or perhaps they knew that Israelis again would not allow those spices. And that is because Israelis know that cardamom is a necessary ingredient of Arabic coffee. And coffee is needed to keep vigilance while working on a bomb or a suicide jacket, to prevent "work accidents". Although it's OK when the bomb-maker dies in the explosion, immediately getting to Paradise and the 72 virgins, many a bomb-maker are maimed and lose their extremities. At least the Rachel Corrie is bringing wheel-chairs to take care of them.

PS. Uh-oh, Hamas does not allow the wheel-chairs in! No cardamom, no wheel-chairs - where are human rights organizations when an honest bomb-maker needs them?

PPS. June 21, 2010. I shouldn't have worried: not only spices but other materials too will now be allowed into Gaza, relieving terrorists' sufferings and providing them with much needed means to keep construction of bombs going. I wonder how much coriander Gilad Shalit gets.

White House and its Corps

Helen Thomas, a White House Press Corps member, ordered Jews to "get the hell out of Palestine".
This was followed by robotic cackle, of the Joker's kind. Or Streicher's. "These people", she said (Arabs, I guess), "are occupied." - When people are occupied, it means they are busy with something. She must have meant a territory, but which? - The entirety of Israel, because the home of Jews, in her opinion that she shares with Hamas and Hizballah, is Poland and Germany. And USA. Herself, she is at home, a rabid antisemite, who, as daughter of Lebanese immigrants, is confidently enjoying comforts of the land whose natives - the few that survive - gave her full rights to settle there. I guess. There is little difference between her and Obama, however: both think Jews are in "Palestine" only because of the Holocaust. Who knows which one of them is more upset by that pesky presence. Thomas's is the real ugly face of the fighters for the rights of "Palestinians", whose only actual desire is to get rid of Israel, having failed in their prior attempts to exterminate the Jews.

6-07-10 PS. What is the analog of "swan song" for a vulture? She suddenly retired today, fired by Hearst. The news reported that she was a trailblazer. She may well be one - for open antisemitism in the mainstream media.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

“Scientific” Atheism

The popular (bestselling!) book, “The God Delusion”, tells more, and definitely more convincingly, about its author, Richard Dawkins (and so many others of his mindset), than of its purported subject. Inconsequential as it is from the enlightenment standpoint, it is definitely not The Guide for the Perplexed. If anything, it may add to the confusion of Dawkins's audience, adolescents, who are biologically driven to distance themselves from parents and therefore their beliefs. Because of that, and since nobody asked me to write a formal review of this book (no surprise here), I’ll just have some thoughts about and around it.

Scientists are primates (in case you had doubts)
Scientists' supposedly high intelligence is but a thin veneer on their human, primate, nature, sometimes making that nature shine all the brighter. As other humans, they are often vain and petty - and not just with their pet theories, which are proffered with intensity fitting a prophet, regardless of how small their impact could be. My statistics professor found nothing better on which to focus than on his long-lasting conflict with a colleague, who, in his obstinate benightedness, used x bar to denote average, whereas our esteemed teacher wisely used capital M. Talk about Lilliput and the Big- vs. Little-Endian conflict. Methods in research, when only possible, are as subject to fashion as dimensions of pants at some royal court, which everybody was supposed to maintain if he were to have a chance of being 'in'. I’d list some funny examples of the changing vogue from genetic research, my field, if they were not so boring and banal at the same time. A researcher's attainment of a position in academia frequently imbues him with the sense of infallibility - not just in his scientific judgments, but in anything where a lack of knowledge may pass unnoticed among the like minds - e.g., politics, international relations, religion. (Yes, I may be afflicted as well).

Dawkins the prophet
Which brings me back to Dawkins. Rarely have I seen such sincere and unchecked infantile messianism as in that book of his. It does not matter whether the new prophet rejects "religion" (it's his business); what matters is that he "hope[s] that nobody who reads this book will be able to say, 'I didn't know I could'." Oy-vey! This is the same  hope, nay, confidence, that Muhammad had - you remember, the one whose pictures may leave you headless. Surely, in that other "prophet" case the repercussions for humanity have been more drastic: because it is not possible, after he blessed humankind with the Koran, to say, "I didn't know", there is no other way than the global acceptance of Islam. Muhammad's jihad against non-believers is certainly deadlier than Dawkins's disdain for them (oops, his non-believers are "religious"). This, however, doesn't change the essence of this primate behavior: the desire to dominate - if not over body then over mind. Any doubts are verboten.

As would any "prophet" who has just been blessed with epiphany, he demands of his followers purity of the doctrine, relegating, as did Muhammad, the rest to the hypocrite category. The only options he entertains for those infidels are either their lack of intelligence, or their acting cynically to get the Templeton prize (as Dawkins half-jokingly cites a half-joke of Dennett that he should do that if he falls on "hard times"), or, at best, their self-deception while deceiving others. The first option becomes less likely if you are in the select group of "elite scientists". But then you simply are a statistically negligible case, still likely to merely "sound Christian" while most likely being atheistic in reality. In any event, Dawkins knows better: he even "satirically" imputes thoughts to Dyson, one of the "elite", who had the dishonesty or stupidity, if you believe Dawkins, to accept the prize (Dawkins condescends that "Freeman Dyson is way above being corrupted", clearly meaning the opposite).

Dawkins decides which arguments are worth considering, what attributes of God to dismiss, and how this term should be defined for this 'scientist' to better disabuse the public of such a preposterous notion. Intellectual dishonesty is always characteristic of false prophets. Dawkins invited himself to be not only judge and jury, but prosecutor and defense attorney. This allows him to safely but fruitlessly argue without an opponent. This is a game of chess with himself, with the outcome preset. Surely he can defeat any argument of the 'opponent', straw men sitting at the table with red herrings – logical fallacies abound. Among those, there is repeated appeal to authority, i.e., to "elite" scientists, many of whom did not endorse some poll's statement about a personal god. Correlation (of high intelligence with doubts of this nature) does not mean causation and, least of all, objective support for atheism. Not only scientists are prone to mistakes in anything that is not their immediate domain (and in that too, by the way), but they may be more prone to some of them than a common Joe Blow is.

The ability to believe is necessary for information transfer. Those who produce information (scientists nowadays) should be less likely to uncritically accept anything, especially something that they cannot in principle verify by commonly available scientific means. Clearly, the proportion of information producents has always been small - ever since some of them (surprise, priests) separated from the crowd. The role of priests, who were the original scientists (Mendel, the founder of genetics, included :)), was the same as today's scientists'. This is probably why some of the latter, when immature like Dawkins, have Oedipal fantasies toward the “religious” or simply are anxious because of perceived competition.

Rhinoceros horn
Spinning Darwinism to satisfy his agenda, Dawkins applies at will, when it suits him, obnoxiously conceited and banal value judgments to phenomena deserving much better, particularly in the evolutionary context. For instance, the native legend that the horn has aphrodisiac properties is 'fatuous' to him, despite his earlier citings about the placebo mechanisms of homeopathy, which make it thus very different from 'magic' he invokes. Were he not so ideologically engaged, it would not take him much to infer a clear evolutionary benefit to the human ability to employ effective placebo mechanisms in the absence of other means to deal with disease, grief, stress, etc. He would also see that a placebo effect does not rule out the real one, which can be even further augmented by the placebo effect. This, however, would require exercising some logic.

...ex machina
For all the absolute rejection of religion, professed by Dawkins, he could find nothing better to offer than the expression of what he calls "our consensual ethics" (p. 298), which, in his opinion, "has no obvious connection with religion". Well, except for the name, "New Ten Commandments", and a little detail that the first commandment is the negative Golden Rule (do not do unto others...) as formulated by the great Jewish sage, Rabbi Hillel. That was a century before the same rule, but in its positive form (do unto others...), is said to have been pronounced by Jesus. Hillel formulated that rule in response to a question about the essence of Torah (Judaism) as can be taught while the student stands on one foot. "This is the whole Torah," he said, "the rest is commentary. Go and learn."

The "New Ten", written by a plagiarizing "ordinary web logger" (definitely no sage, to see which the reader does not need Dawkins's comment), are either redundant or trivial. Dawkins qualifies as neither a new Moses nor a new Hillel by adding to those ten his own 'progressive' four, the first being his order to enjoy one's sex life. He cautiously (probably so that it would not be perceived as sanctioning rape for those who like it) adds, "as long as it damages nobody else", leaving the reader under impression that one's sex life inevitably damages at least him/her, if not more people.

It is hard to imagine that Dawkins does not know the origin of the Rule, again illustrating his dishonesty or, at best, ignorance. The Bible-plagiarizing Moral Code of the Builder of Communism in the atheist Soviet Union was another example of “consensual ethics”, apparently coming from nowhere. At least the communists did not plagiarize the title.

It is simply not interesting to see his tried and tired and recycled Marxian spiel, his Old Worldian comme il faut derision for America, and newly fashionable antisemitism (the ominous influence of the nefarious Jewish lobby - he does not even attempt to gentrify it by its 'Israel' moniker). In general, unless you are a Dawkins, another man’s faith is not of your concern - as long as it does not drive him to change yours or kill you. Whatever your faith is, mine, Judaism, says it’s the deeds that matter. As Maimonides wrote (translation in Am J Psychiatry, 2008, 165, p. 426),
As for religious commandments, however, the harm and benefit that they bring are not evident in this world. The fool might, therefore, imagine to himself that everything that is said to be harmful is not harmful, and everything that is said to be beneficial is not beneficial, because these things are not clearly evident to him. For this reason religious law compels one to practice good and punishes for doing evil, for the good and evil will only become apparent in the world-to-come. All this is benevolence toward us, a favor to us in light of our foolishness, mercy upon us owing to the weakness of our understanding.

Dawkins will not change anybody’s faith with his arguments, much as he tries. Naïve, they are so much alike those we heard during classes in 'Scientific Atheism', which were mandatory for every student – back in the USSR.