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Friday, 6 July 2007

Suicide bombing doesn't work

Article from Stumbling and Mumbling

Forget the morality, suicide bombing just doesn't work. That's the message of this paper by David Jaeger and Daniele Paserman on the Palestine-Israeli conflict:

We find that a successful suicide attack in week t-1 on average leads to approximately six more Palestinian fatalities in week t: we can reject the null hypothesis that this coefficient is equal to zero at the 5% level.

What's more, there's no tit-for-tat here. It's not the case that Israel's attacks on terrorist leaders trigger revenge attacks - quite the opposite:

There is a statistically significant negative effect of successful target killings on Israeli fatalities [in the following week], indicating that killing militants in one of the violent Palestinian factions has an incapacitation or deterrent effect.

However, although Israeli attacks reduce actual Palestinian violence, they increase intended violence - unsuccessful suicide attacks and the like - if the attacks are mild. The authors estimate that intended Palestinian violence rises if there are up to 3.3 targeted Israeli killings the previous month, but falls thereafter.
This suggests that a tough Israeli response works, but a moderate one doesn't.
The bigger lesson is that suicide bombing is just a bad military strategy.
But the problem is that suicide bombers might, to use Nozick's distinction, be pursuing symbolic utility rather than causal utility.

Bagelblogger: I think its fairly apparent that their are several flaws in the mathematical representation of Suicide bombings. None the least being that it de humanizes the suffering experienced by its victims. The path a survivor takes after surviving a suicide bombing is often an horrendous trip into further pain and social dislocation. Some survivors of suicide bombings never really regain their independence.

But it does bring into sharp focus not only the futility of suicide bombings but in my view the more important aspect of the difference between a moderate response and an aggressive active response.

Suicide bombings may not make good mathematics, but they wreck havoc on many aspects of civilians every day life, that Israel's targeted killings seem to in effect work is further testament to the need for an aggressive rather than a passive position.

We shouldn't allow the leaders of terrorist organizations to find any kind of positive result in suicide bombings, they, the leadership must be held totally accountable.

Stumbling and Mumbling: Suicide bombing doesn't work
Times Online: The statistics and strategy behind suicide bombings


A Question of Balance?
The Times enters the Middle East market

I think most of you who ever read me, will know the relative scorn I hold towards the BBC in its blatant bias against Israel in reporting on subjects within in the Middle East.

Whilst most are quick to put this down to a 'leftist sub culture' that is pervasive with the BBC, Im not so quick to look for the simple 'justification'. In my opinion its just as driven by market economics as it is by an undercurrent of liberalism which makes up the current BBC.

The BBC has grand plans for its Middle East reporting it sees it as a major segment in the market which it until recently had little penetration.

I've always felt the BBC's apparent anti Israel bias was driven by the desire to place itself within the hearts and minds of its Arab demographic.

It seems that the Times group are beginning their foray into the Middle East market.
A quick scan of the articles pertaining to the Middle East reveals at the moment a healthy amount of skepticism shown for all sides of both politics and national borders.

Its only hoped the Times can maintain this skepticism without compromising to market forces.

Make sure you check out the Times foray into the Middle East:

The Times in the Middle East

Let's hope they at least bring some balance to the reporting.


Russia Refuse to extradite Suspected Polonium 210 Poisoner

Andrei Lugovoy, accused in Britain of murdering
former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko

Russia 'formally refuses' to extradite Lugovoy
Russia has written to Britain officially refusing to extradite the chief suspect in the murder of a Russian emigre in London last year, Interfax news agency reported today.

The Russian Prosecutor General has ruled that Russia is legally unable to send Andrei Lugovoy, a former KGB officer turned businessman, back to Britain to face charges, said Interfax. So far there has been no official confirmation from Moscow that the letter has been sent.

“According to the country’s constitution, it is forbidden to extradite Russian citizens to foreign states,” said Interfax, quoting what it said was an informed source.

The British Crown Prosecution Service accused Mr Lugovoy in May of poisoning Alexander Litvinenko, also a former KGB officer, with polonium-210 in a London restaurant. Litvinenko died in hospital last November, three weeks after the radioactive material was administered.

The investigation into his killing was led by Scotland Yard's anti-terror squad.

The case has severely strained relations between Britain and Russia, in part because Litvinenko had received political asylum and citizenship here.

Vladimir Putin, the Russian President, has said publicly that extraditing Russian citizens would be a violation of the Constitution, and Russian officials have previously told reporters that they would not extradite Mr Lugovoy.

Yesterday Anthony Brenton, the British Ambassador to Moscow, said that five weeks after it made its request Britain was still awaiting an official response.

Today a spokesperson for the British Embassy in Moscow said: “I am not yet aware of any official response to the extradition request.”

Russia has tried to turn the tables on Britain by opening its own investigation into claims by Mr Lugovoy that the British secret services and Boris Berezovsky, a self-exiled billionaire tycoon, could have had a hand in Litvinenko’s death.

Mr Lugovoy also alleged at a press conference that MI6 had tried to recruit him to find compromising material against Mr Putin.

Last week, Russia’s FSB secret service said that another Russian national had turned himself over to Russian authorities after Mr Lugovoy’s press conference, saying that he had spied for Britain and now feared for his life.

Mr Bagel: If we assume that the British accusations have merit, its fair to assume that this was State ordained. Putting this in context Putin sent a man to a horrible slow death in full view of the Western World. That speaks volumes for the contempt Putin has for the west.

This will be a test of the New Prime Minister of Britain, does he escalate this into a major diplomatic affair or does he allow it to quietly go away? Alexander Litvinenko's horrible death deserves Justice. That Putin feels at ease sentencing a man to death living in Britain raises some serious issues.

Article Reference:
Russia 'formally refuses' to extradite Lugovoy


Thursday, 5 July 2007

Forget Apple IPhone
JPhone offers so much more!

If the video doesn't play Click here:
Introducing Jphone


Take a Journey to the 11th edition of JPix!

Take a Journey to the 11th edition of JPix!

A view of the country near Bantam, Connecticut
'Picture of the week' - Letters Of Thought

This edition of JPix Photo carnival looks like a journey through idyllic country side vistas, moments of happiness and vivid splashes of color. Its worth checking out go and have a visual break at Baleboosteh's.
JPix 11

Submit a photo post to JPix 12


Wednesday, 4 July 2007

8 things you didn't know about Mr Bagel
..and probably didn't care to know..

Jewish Blogmeister has tagged me with a meme: Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

8 things you didn't know about Mr Bagel

  • 1. I am convinced I was born due to my parents concern over the Cuban Missile Crisis
  • 2. I left my mother for dead after shooting her in a Cowboys and Indians game. She died after being shot by me, so I kicked her like Cowboys do and she failed to move so I moved on.
  • 3. I dreamed of being a Skiing Champion despite never seeing snow until my seventeenth birthday.
  • 4. I came across a disturbed customer at my regular lunch spot, I stared him down when he tried to intimidate me. 4 days later whilst I was on a business trip the Strathfield Massacre occurred, this customer was the person responsible, his rampage started at my regular lunch spot.
  • 5. I got a Tin Ice cream container stuck on my head as a child.
  • 6. I have a phobia of Tin Ice Cream containers
  • 7. I'm scared of heights, I've challenged my fear many times trying to conqueror it but it still scares me.
  • 8. Despite scoring well in IQ tests I can't operate a video remote control.


Tuesday, 3 July 2007

JPix 11 Last call for Submissions
..Hurry! Last Chance!

JPix 11 is going to be posted shortly at

To submit your Photo Post Click here: SUBMIT

Make sure you submit, the size of the carnival is now dictating that some will unavoidably miss out!

Baleboosteh has been kind and gracious enough to offer hosting JPix 11, I'm sure its going to be quite an edition. If you haven't recently checked out Baleboosteh's Blog there has been quite a bit happening go and check it out Baleboosteh's Blog.

Don't forget to get in your submissions for the 11th JPix carnival
which will be hosted by Baleboosteh at Baleboosteh's Blog

The recent editions of JPix, the Jewish Photo Carnival have been outstanding. It has been a real show case of Jewish photography representing some of the best photos of the JBlogging community.
Last Submissions by July 4th at the latest,
The Jpix 11 Photo carnival opens on the 5th July.

If you have any questions you can email at

Here's a little badge to put on your side menu. Point it to go to:http://blogcarnival.com/bc/latest_987.html
What is JPix
JPix is a carnival for Jews and their pictures, it doesn't necessarily have to be that 'joyous expression of art' which photography can capture, it doesn't have to be just about photos of Eretz Israel, though they are most welcome, its not even about communicating some deep spiritual meaning in a long photo essay, although that's alright too, its about two things.

You're Jewish and you have photos you want to share, whether they be family, historical, artful, funny, quirky its about sharing, so get your submissions in for the next JPix.

Thank you to all those that submitted

their wonderful photos to JPix10

JPix 1, JPix2, Jpix3 Part 1 and Jpix3 Part 2, JPix 4,
JPix 5 , JPix6, JPix7, JPix8, JPix9, JPix10,

I look forward to seeing some great photos in the next carnival JPix 11
If you have any questions you can email via


Bodgey Bagels Caption Contest Week 26

The 'Almost Famous'
Bodgey Bagels
Caption Contest

Number 26

Take note of New deadline Tuesdays!

** All entries must be in before Tuesday 10th July **

... Caption away !
Leave your entries in the comments section
before Tuesday 10th July.
Take Note of New weekly Tuesday Deadline

Enter at Bodgey Bagels or simply use the link
in the top menu where it says Captions

Other blogs with Caption Contests:
Outside the Beltway has their weekly contest
Wizbang Blog has their weekly Contest
The Gone Rick Motel has their weekly Contest
Rightpundits.com has their weekly Contest
Willisms has their weekly Contest
Bullwinkle Blog has their weekly Contest
The Right Place has has their weekly Contest
Cowboy Blob has has their weekly Contest
Bravozulu has their weekly Contest
Support your Local Gun Dealer [New addition] has their weekly contest
SgtStryker has their weekly Contest


Monday, 2 July 2007

Sicko? An injection of a little reality
Will we be left wanting Moore

With Michael Moore's film Sicko about to hit the theaters, I thought I might pass on a few apt thoughts.
It might come to surprise a lot of my readers but theres one thing that makes me not want to live in the United States, that's its health care system. Basically what you guys call a health care system we would call medical negligence.

My particular personal situation has meant one of my young children has had to have very extensive and costly operations of which would have been way beyond my means. She now is one very happy and healthy active child going to school like any other.

But if I had lived in the United States, would I have got the medical care for my child that I got living in Australia? The simple truth is unless I was one of the privileged few, my daughter's life would have been under serious threat.

Now I'm fairly conservative, I make no bones about it, but when it comes to health care, I find it morally incomprehensible that you could reject some ones health needs simply because they don't have the 'right' health cover, or the right job or come from the right side of the railway.

I'm not a particular fan of Michael Moore's but I've got a feeling the Health Industry is going to be paying a lot more attention to this topic than it would to you or I if we were in a waiting queue for medical services.

There's my dimes worth.


Wish you were lucky enought to have an IPhone?
One not so cool feature

This is on behalf of all the normal technophobes of the world, who don't think it's really cool to hang out the front of an Apple store whilst the dustmen collect rubbish at 3am waiting for your IPhone.

Shaun has a brand new IPhone...

If the video fails to play click here:
iPhone in Houston