Sunday, January 31, 2010
Al Qaeda Now Planning Breast Implant Bombs?
Tell You What..
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Oh, the Irony!
'We're proud to be your friends'
"The Iraqi people now have the right to build their own freedom and are deeply grateful to British prime ministers Sir John Major, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, for their assistance.[---] "
At the time, I and other leaders of the Iraqi opposition asked Mr Blair's government to help the Iraqi people get rid of the dictatorship. And we praise the bravery and sacrifice of British troops.
We suffered under Saddam Hussein in ways that too many in the international community seem to have forgotten. His regime was a republic of fear, which slaughtered Iraqis on an industrial scale and attacked our neighbours. We are fortunate he has gone and that we have a chance to rebuild our society."
We, as a people, have a great regard for and affection towards the British and we are seeking deep, broad and long-term relationships with your politicians, academics, sporting groups and businesses."[---]
"It would also be in Britain's interest to continue its relationship with us. We are proud to be your friends and hope that you will always be our friends, working together for the common good of humanity."
The Usual Response
"Clarence Bellegarde, Chair of the FNUC Board of Governors, spent half an hour meeting with concerned students this afternoon - half of that was taken up by a written statement he prepared, leaving only 15 minutes for questions. The encounter left students with a sour taste in their mouths, including the vice-president of the First Nation University Student's Association, Cadmus Delorme.[---]
"Clarence read from a piece of paper," Delorme said. "It doesn't really seem like it came from the heart. It wasn't like his conscience speaking."
Following the student meeting, Bellegarde spoke to the media in a written statement where he asked everyone, including the government, to be patient with the process."
"There is talk of the University of Regina taking over the institution, which is something students would welcome if it means getting a good education.Good luck, Mr. Delorme, both to you and your fellow students. Maybe you should have thought of that before you applied for admission, though. Take it from Blair Stonechild, former head of Indigenous Studies at FNUC:
"Right now we think of our education, quality education," Delorme said. "It has no price, and if it has to be run by non-First Nation, then let it be. I want the best education I can have.""
"The relationship between governments and First Nations has gone from one extreme to the other since the 1970s. First Nations went from living under a dictatorial system in which they weren’t allowed to make any of their own decisions, to a situation today where government officials are hesitant to make any criticisms or try to intervene in any way to correct mistakes that First Nations’ officials make."[---]
"It is essential that First Nations’ leaders be held accountable for their actions, including what has happened at the First Nations University of Canada. In light of the above elders’ interpretation, it is certainly not against the spirit of the treaties for mainstream society’s officials to become involved in giving advice on what the problems are and how they can be rectified. Everyone is in real trouble when First Nations’ leaders in positions of power, who are not experts in such matters, nonetheless think they can create a better university without input or advice from "outsiders." Much of the success experienced by the First Nations University (formerly Saskatchewan Indian Federated College) is simply because of a willingness to learn from "siblings" in the type of treaty relationship described above."No. Corruption and mismanagement is not new at FNUC, and as long as the FSIN has their fingers lurking around the till, it will never change.
Wife Beating Manuals - In Europe
Essentially, Muslims are not integrating, but rather maintaining themselves, often on the public dole, in ethnic enclaves, many of which have become no-go places for the native European peoples.
Lately, though, I have sensed a stirring among the great unwashed, whom the elites have heretofore either just patted on the head or else scolded for pointing out the Emperor's nakedness. There is the overwhelming support among the Dutch populous for Geert Wilders, the push-back in Britain against the Islamofascist goons who threatened to disrupt the funerals of British servicemen, the recent announcement in France that Sarkozy wants to ban the veil, and so on.
Now, there is this:
German Mosques Raided Over Wife-Beating Manual
"In a nationwide raid, police impounded copies of a banned book which called for violence against women. Beating of women is justified as “discipline,” so long as no bones are broken and no bruises left on the body."I wonder how the elites will explain that one away? I suppose they think this will help.
A LITTLE BIT OF UPDATING:
(Vanderbilt University) Muslim student adviser: Death Penalty for 'gays'
"Vanderbilt University is distancing itself from a Muslim chaplain after he told a gathering of students homosexuality is punishable by death under Islam.And from Salim Mansur:
"I don't have a choice as a Muslim to accept or reject teachings. I go with what Islam teaches," said Awadh A. Binhazim, who is listed on the Vanderbilt website as "Adjunct Professor of Islam at the Divinity School" and an adviser to the Muslim Student Association. His comments came earlier this week at a diversity event for students.
He was asked directly, "Under Islamic law is it punishable by death if you are a homosexual?"
Binhazim said, "Yes. It is punishable by death.""
"The demand by Europe’s officialdom — Canada’s officialdom is on the same page — that “free speech” must also meet the requirements of “responsible speech” when the subject is Islam is tantamount to repudiating Europe’s history that made her the cradle of the modern world of science and democracy.
The Wilders trial is indicative of Europe’s bleak future, as Fallaci had warned. This trial amounts to appeasing official Islam, which has demanded “defamation of religions,” according to a resolution adopted in the UN General Assembly in March 2008, be prohibited.
Moreover, in trying Wilders, the Amsterdam Court of Appeal has conceded space to the Islamists by accommodating, in practical terms, their demand for acceptance of Shariah (Islamic law) within secular society.
This can only mean abandoning those Muslims, especially women, who escaped from Islamic countries seeking freedom. They will become vulnerable once again to Islamists enforcing Shariah rule inside enclaves where Muslims reside within Europe."
Friday, January 29, 2010
Well, I Guess He Had Role Models
"A Saskatoon man is charged with defrauding First Nations University of Canada's students association of $35,000.Well, I guess he had role models.
According to court documents, Blue Pelletier, 31, is facing one count of fraud and one count of theft.
The offences are alleged to have taken place between August, 2006 and February, 2007.
Pelletier was a member of the students association during that period. Since then, he worked for a time as a journalist at CBC Radio.
It's alleged that while with the students association, Pelletier wrote $35,000 worth of cheques to himself over the course of seven months."
More on Tony Blair
September 11 changed the 'calculus of risk'.
But even without that link, the invasion can be well justified.
"He made clear, therefore, that it did not matter there was no evidence of any link between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida: Britain, and the US, could no longer tolerate the risk posed by countries that had, or wanted to acquire, weapons of mass destruction.[---]
September 11 "completely changed our assessment of where the risks lay", Blair told the inquiry. He added: "The primary consideration for me was to send an absolutely powerful message after September 11 – if you were a regime engaged in WMD, you had to stop." That was particularly the case with "brutal" regimes. "The nature of the regime did make a difference to the nature of the WMD threat," Blair insisted."
"Blair strongly defended the invasion of Iraq in 2003 throughout the day. In the morning session he said: "This isn't about a lie or a conspiracy or a deceit or a deception. It is a decision.Plenty happening on either side of the Channel. The outcome of both this inquiry and of Geert Wilders trial will be felt around the world.
"The decision I had to take was given Saddam's history, given his use of chemical weapons, given the over 1 million people whose deaths he had caused, given 10 years of breaking UN resolution, could we take the risk of this man reconstituting his weapons programme? Or is that a risk it would be irresponsible to take? It is a judgment in the end."Blair said: "Sometimes what is important is not to ask the March 2003 question but to ask the 2010 question. Supposing we had backed off this military action, supposing we had left Saddam and his sons in charge of Iraq – people who had used chemical weapons, caused the deaths of over a million people."
But Europe, on the Other Hand....
Stop the Trial of Geert Wilders
"What started as a trial against Geert Wilders for alleged Islamophobia has nearly turned into its opposite: a historical case about the message of the Quran."[---]
"In his writing and speeches, Mr. Wilders has found these two works to be similar in terms of their anti-Semitism and incitement to hatred, and has thus called for a publishing ban on the Quran similar to the one in place for "Mein Kampf." This is what triggered Mr. Wilders's prosecution for discriminatory and insulting remarks against Muslims and Islam. The Dutch politician, though, denies having insulted Muslims. He insists his focus is on radical Islam and the Quran, which he considers to be not only a religious text but also a political pamphlet encouraging Muslims to discriminate against and, if necessary, kill Jews, Christians, apostates and other unbelievers. That's why Mr. Wilders claims the right to criticize and condemn Islam."[---]
"According to polls, Mr. Wilders's Freedom Party, a libertarian-conservative movement with populist tendencies, is currently the most popular political party in the Netherlands. If elections were held today, Mr. Wilders would be a serious contender for the position of prime minister. Mr. Wilders's detractors are mistaken if they think a conviction would hurt him politically. The trial is a win-win situation for him: If the court rules to restrict Mr. Wilders's right to free speech, many Dutchmen will interpret this as an effort by the politically correct establishment to limit the growing strength of the Freedom Party, which would widen its appeal to many voters. If, on the other hand, the prosecution fails to prove that Mr. Wilders has purposely insulted Muslims because of their religion, Mr. Wilders's views will be seen as vindicated. Again, he will gain politically.[---]
More importantly, Mr. Wilders's prosecution may in the end inadvertently create a crisis between the Netherlands and the Islamic world. On trial is not so much Geert Wilders, but the Holy Book of Islam. On Jan. 20, the first day of the case, Mr. Wilders's defense team presented the court with a list of expert witnesses. It is indicative of his strategy. The expert witnesses, a group of internationally renowned academics on the one hand and, on the other, radical Islamists (among them Mohammed Bouyeri, the killer of Theo van Gogh, and the influential Iranian Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi, an outspoken anti-Semite and religious mentor of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinedjad), are requested to testify about the Quran's message and Mr. Wilders's comparison of the Quran to "Mein Kampf." As Mr. Wilders stated on the first and, so far only, session in court, if his statements about the Quran and "Mein Kampf" are correct, he cannot be convicted for telling the truth. So Mr. Wilders's defense team will concentrate on the extreme and violent paragraphs in the Quran, and compare them to paragraphs in "Mein Kampf.""
"Without doubt, there are many anti-Jewish remarks in the Quran. According to some researchers, there may be more of these in the Quran than in "Mein Kampf." So it is quite conceivable that the court will judge that Geert Wilders was within his right to compare the Quran to "Mein Kampf." Anything is possible in this absurd trial.Wow! Having read that, I hope this trial proceeds. This could be the death of political correctness and a near fatal blow to Islamofascism in Europe. Bring it on!
The three judges hearing the case—no doubt decent, modest, postmodern Dutchmen with a minimum knowledge of Islam and its culture and traditions—will now be forced to debate the nature of a religious text, something that should have never been heard in the court of an enlightened society. In front of the judges and television cameras, the ancient founding text of an entire civilization will be criticized and weighed against one of the most inhumane texts written in the 20th century—without any doubt a deep insult to Muslims, radical or not.
There is a way out. The district attorney's office has complied with the appeals court's order to prosecute Mr. Wilders. The trial has started. It should now ask the court for an acquittal. This preposterous trial needs to be stopped right now."
h/t Downeast Blog
Iran Continues Downward Spiral
"So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that people are racing to the banks to get their rials and toumans out, and convert them to some harder currency. But the banks won’t give them all their money; withdrawals are limited to $15,000 per account, and there have been many angry scenes. The people know that the rulers are shipping out their own wealth, and they hear terrible rumors about the impending failure of major banks.
This bespeaks a far broader malaise, a slow descent of the Iranian state into the inferno. As Ahmad Alavi, a thoughtful economist, put it, the state now faces a crisis of legitimacy. The people are acting on the basis of their experience, and, lacking reliable information and confidence, the only way they have to conserve their assets is to take it from the bank."
I Miss Dubya..
""I never regarded September 11 as an attack on America. I regarded it as an attack on us, and I had said we stand shoulder to shoulder with them [Americans]. We did in Afghanistan and I was determined to do that again."No. He didn't blow it, you idiotic excuse for a reporter. He stood up for Western values both in 2003 and again that day at the inquiry. We need more like him.
Chilcot did finally ask Blair if he had any regrets. It was an invitation to humility. Blair blew it, spoiling a near faultless performance. No, he had no regrets, not for toppling a vicious dictator and not for bringing a better life to the Iraqi people. He would do it again, and even let slip the word Iran."
And So It Begins..
First nation chiefs warn of disruptions
"Chuck Strahl, the Indian Affairs Minister, faced an ultimatum yesterday from First Nations chiefs who warned Canada would face a prolonged campaign of economic disruption in the coming year..."[---]
"Mr. Strahl, pictured, was given the ultimatum..."[---]
"The chiefs demanded Mr. Strahl commit the federal government to supporting major improvements to native education. Bill Erasums (sic), AFN regional chief for the Northwest Territories, warned, "They have told the minister that he will have to work with the people ... [or] they will do it. There will be roadblocks, and other things." Those "other things" could include rail blockades, the shutdown of border crossings and the blocking of access to mines."Possible clash brewing between First Nations, government
"A confrontation between chiefs and Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl capped a special chiefs assembly in Ottawa this past week that saw leaders from past battles again take the stage, and ideas once at the margins -- such as lobbying the Queen -- gain traction among the majority of chiefs."Old. Old. Old. Useless and stooooooopid!
Except maybe this.
"Mr. Atleo did indicate he would not stand in the way of moves allowing native Canadians to own freehold title over more on-reserve property, which has been suggested as an encouragement to entrepreneurship.Now, there's something that might actually move First Nations forward. Godspeed, Mr. Atleo. Too bad the FNUC's board of directors lacks such vision.
"We're already seeing that. We're seeing private title holding, we're seeing various innovative responses to how First Nations will pursue economic development," he said.
The 43-year-old former breakdancer (who recently demonstrated his moves on CBC's The Hour) and former British Columbia regional AFN chief won the organization's national leadership last July with a promise to build a more constructive relationship with Ottawa and other governments -- instead of, as he said yesterday, "lurching from conflict to conflict.""
Khadr repatriation overturned by top court
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Here We Go Again!!
"This is not the first time accusations of financial mismanagement have surfaced at the school, which has suffered a string of setbacks over the part five years following a sweep of senior staff by its board of directors.NOTHING. EVER. CHANGES!!!
The school has been strongly criticized by faculty groups for what they see as political interference at the university by the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations. Most of the university's board members are appointed by Saskatchewan's tribal councils."
I have a novel idea. How 'bout we defund the FSIN?
Property Rights and Development
Chemical Ali has to Move Over
PS: I like the very first comment.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Haiti quake rescuers find girl alive after 15 days
"A rescue worker described the discovery of the girl, two weeks after the quake destroyed the city, as a "miracle"."No kidding.
Like I Said..
Pie in the Face = Terrorism???
"An incident in which the federal fisheries minister was hit with a pie by a seal hunt protester should be seen as a terrorist act, says a Liberal MP."Come on Libs. Don't minimize this problem by calling a cream pie in the face an act of terror. It's a childish stunt done by childish people and it's simply assault, nothing more, nothing less. Charge the ditz appropriately and learn to distinguish between stupid pranks and bloody, destructive acts that kill thousands of innocents every year and are meant to create fear and paralysis. A cream pie in the face does not do that.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Oh, I Like This
Here's a list of published articles (with links) that blow the thesis apart.
This corruption of science and peer review is getting a bit too common, n'est pas?
Since I think The Music God visited my blog yesterday (somebody was rooting around this blog entry and this one), I hope he'll click and read a few of the links.
Monday, January 25, 2010
Chemical Ali Goes to Hell
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Protesting Prorogation Protest Math
Several cities not already covered are reported here: Estimated Crowd Attendance
These include Oakville (200), Antigonish (150), Newmarket (200), Sydney (100), Sudbury (250), Peterborough (250), Quebec City (150), Orillia (300), Oshawa (150), Guelph (500), Duncan (35), Quinte (200), Kingston (400), Coburg (150), Victoria (1,500), Owen Sound (200), Yellowknife (100), Windsor (200), Belleville (250), Orangeville (150), Kelowna (100), St. John's (200), and Thunder Bay (75). And yes, even New York City had a small gathering of 30 people.
You'll also note that the numbers for the major cities are vastly at odds with what had previously been reported. Vancouver, for example, was reported as 600 by one paper, 1000 by another but here as 2,000. Yesterday, Hamilton's turnout was reported to be 350, but here it's given as 500. Edmonton goes from 250 to 300; Winnipeg from 300 to 1,000; Halifax from 500 to 750, Montreal from 300 to 500; Toronto from 3,000 to 7,000 to 9,000. In fact, you'll notice in the chart at the link that Ottawa's numbers, as reported by the organizers was 15,000! This in contradiction to what the police reported being 7,000 and what was yesterday reported variously as 3,000 or 3,500. Even for the small cities, like Regina, the numbers are larger: 350 as opposed to 300 as reported in yesterday's item.
So which one is it? Who do we believe?
Being reported by the organizers is a bit of a tip off. The methodology for how all these numbers were gathered is described in the Estimated Crowd Attended document:
"Using the #noprorogue and #CAPP tags on Twitter; we tracked the protests in each city as the estimated numbers were tweeted (by any source) we noted it; in each case where more than one report was issued we waited until the tweets roughly indicated the number present. In cases where estimates varied by large numbers; we waited until a consensus emerged. Where no consensus was found; we took the median."You'll notice among the tweeters are such impartial folks as Dipper Libby Davis, Saskatchewan's chief union thug, Larry Hubich and lefty blogger Scott Tribe.
In any case, I don't suppose these new numbers are going to change the overall percentages by very much. As with most street protests, those present represent only a tiny fraction of the voting public, and normally don't include those of us who are closer to the centre of the spectrum.
The fact that tweeters on sight were sending out a continuous flow of messages suggests rather strongly that those who did attend were hardly a non-partisan demographic, but rather either Dippers or Liberals, whether card carrying or not, and were probably from the younger end of the usual age cohorts. Tweeting is a young person's "thing". In other words, they certainly don't represent a statistically significant sample of Canadian opinion on the issue. Far be it for the MSM, though, to do any sort of analysis from that angle.
UPDATE: One thing I should mention, too, is the fact that in many of the media reports about the protests, the NDP figures prominently. Well, just to put that little ort into it's proper perspective, I give you this:
Bob Rae: King of Proroguing
"As premier, he prorogued this Legislature not once, not twice — but three times. And for much longer than Harper has prorogued the federal Parliament.
Rae’s NDP won power Sept. 6, 1990. On Dec. 19, 1991, Rae prorogued the House. They didn’t come back until April 6, 1992. He then prorogued again, Dec. 10, 1992 — and didn’t come back until April 13, 1993.
By 1994, his government had run out of steam. They were running double-digit deficits and he’d doubled the debt. Some of his experimental policies proved laughable at best and disastrous at worst.
Limping badly, he prorogued for the third time on Dec. 9, 1994. The House did not sit again until the legislature was dissolved April 28, 1995.
Rae didn’t even bring in a budget that year."
Gleaning the news reports this morning for figures describing the turnout for the prorogation protests, this is what I've found, so far:
Toronto and Ottawa 3000 each (or was it 3500 in Ottawa and 7000 in Toronto?) The same article says 300 in The Peg, 300 in Regina, 200 in Calgary, 200 in Edmonton, although this one rather vaguely says "hundreds" for Edmonton and this one says 250. This one says 200 in Regina and this one agrees with the 300 count for Winnipeg.
A big 300 in Montreal.
500 in Halifax, or was it 400?
"about 500" in Waterloo.
400 in Saskatoon.
200 in Calgary - "a fraction of the estimated 3,000 people who gathered at Olympic Plaza 13 months ago to rally against a Liberal-led opposition coalition's bid to overtake the Conservative government."
"Just over a 1000" in Vancouver (or was it 600?) and they ate perogies, too!!
Most of these reports say there were over 60 locations planned, although the last one says 50 and a full count of all the communities mentioned is in fact only 50. This one actually lists 49 in Canada (*see below). While most of the reports also say protests were planned in cities outside of Canada as well, I haven't been able to find reports of the numbers attended at those locations, if, indeed, they actually took place. However, I did find this, regarding one of the foreign locations:
London Prorogation protest skips Buckingham, heads for pub h/t Peter B. @ SDA.
*A list of communities where rallies were allegedly planned follows. Where not already cited above, I've placed the reported number in attendance, when it was given in the article:
Antigonish, Barrie, Belleville, Bolton, Calgary, Charlottetown (100), Edmonton, Fredericton (50), Guelph, Halifax, Hamilton (350), Huntsville, Inverness, Kelowna, Kingston, London (500), Mississauga, Moncton, Montreal, Newmarket, North Bay ("more than 100"), Oakville, Orangeville, Oshawa-Whitby, Ottawa, Owen Sound, Penticton, Peterborough, Prince Rupert, Quebec City, Quinte, Regina, Saint John, Saskatoon, Sault Ste. Marie, St. John’s, Stratford, Sudbury, Sydney, Thunder Bay, Toronto, Vancouver, Vernon, Victoria, Waterloo, Whitehorse, Windsor (200), Winnipeg and Yellowknife.
Then there was this lonely report from a community not on the list: Terrace, BC 35
All told, there are thirty-one places for which I've found no reports of the actual day's event in the news.
With respect to the nineteen that do give an estimate, just looking at those numbers it's interesting to see that far and away they seem to be rounded to the nearest 50 or perhaps more frequently, to the nearest 100, so undoubtedly are wildly inaccurate. For a few, there was more than one estimate and for a handful of those, the estimates are vastly different, 600 versus 1000 for Vancouver, for instance, or 3000 versus 7000 for Toronto. The only possible exception is Terrace, which is a very small community in comparison to places like Ottawa or Calgary. For the community of Terrance 35 people represents 0.31% of the population. That's not thirty-one percent, but point three-one percent.
So what do we get with the rest of the places where estimated attendance is given? A trip to Statistics Canada's website will give you access to population figures for each city. Using the official population figure and the figures reported at each location, this is what I get as a percentage of the population which came out to protest. (I've used the more generous estimate, in those cases when estimates differ):
Calgary - 0.02%
Charlottetown - 0.3%
Edmonton - 0.03%
Fredericton - 0.1%
Halifax - 0.13%
Hamilton - 0.07%
London - 0.14%
Mississauga - 0.07%
Montreal - 0.01%
North Bay - 0.18%
Ottawa - 0.43%
Regina - 0.17%
Saskatoon - 0.2%
Toronto - 0.28%
Waterloo - 0.5%
Windsor - 0.09%
Winnipeg - 0.05%
Vancouver - 0.17%
Moral of the story? Of those places where protests were documented in the press or on a blog, not one came to more than one half of one percent of the population of the community in which it was held.
Perhaps tomorrow, or later in the week, some media outlet in some of the 31 communities where protests were allegedly planned will produce a report. This would serve to a) prove that a protest actually did take place and, with any luck, b) give an estimate of how many braved the cold to come out and protest the prorogation of parliament. If you want to help, be on the lookout for a report on a protest in any of the following locations and put the URL in the comments:
Antigonish, Barrie, Belleville, Bolton, Guelph, Huntsville, Inverness, Kelowna, Kingston, Moncton, New Market, Oakville, Orangeville, Oshawa, Owen Sound, Penticton, Peterborough, Prince Rupert, Quebec City, Quinte, Saint John, Sault Ste. Marie, St. John's, Stratford, Sudbury, Sydney, Thunder Bay, Vernon, Victoria, Whitehorse and/or Yellowknife.
The reports in the media made much of the fact that a Facebook group had been formed and it was via this group that the protests were organized. The reports have suggested that at the latest count, the Facebook group boasted 121,000 members. To put that into perspective, that represents 0.38% of Canada's population. Again, less than one half of one percent.
Until we have further information, what, pray tell, was the all the fuss in the media about?
Saturday, January 23, 2010
General Petraeus Brings Us Up To Date
Note: This video goes a bit wonky about a quarter of the way through (roughly @ 24:25). It seems to rapidly "rewind" and start all over again, picking up where it left off as far as the time elapsed at the bottom is concerned, but actually starting over at the beginning of the introductory remarks and then proceeding to the full speech. Weird and a bit annoying, but nothing lost.
Friday, January 22, 2010
"My research focuses generally on issues related to globalization, economic restructuring, gender transformations in work and social justice in developing countries. More specifically, my research focuses on the specific institutional configurations of capital, labor and the state that produce gendered forms of economic injustice. Two broad themes currently define my research:What???!!! Okay. Now we understand. She's aiming to be published in the Journal of the Blatantly Obvious.
1. how changes in the spatial organization of production and consumption are transforming the local institutions that regulate social relations;
2. how local institutions, in turn, are reconfiguring, contesting and disrupting the re-organization of production and consumption."
..the academic grievance huckstering has begun:
""My sense is the (Canadian) government in particular has dragged its feet," said Caribbean scholar Beverley Mullings, a Queen's University professor, who blamed Canada's "wait-and-see" posture early in the earthquake aftermath.[---]
Mullings said there is growing concern that security is trumping disbursement of humanitarian aid."
"If you look at Canada's monetary contribution, our contribution in terms of personnel it is substantially greater than any other country on a per-capita basis ... our military presence the same thing," Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said.
He, too, called it "unfair" to suggest Canada isn't pulling its weight."
A fortress of political correctness, that. The greater the tragedy the most exploitable it is. Time for another spit in their general direction. So, Beverly, we'll put you on the back burner along with the French reporter, where you can whine all you want. Meanwhile, there's there's a monumental task ahead and there are far better men and women than you working long, exhausting hours to get it done:
Haitian Government to Relocate 400,000 Displaced by Quake
"The 7.0 magnitude quake left an estimated 1.5 million people homeless, and earthquake survivors have been living outside in overcrowded camps with little or no sanitation."[---]
"Also on Thursday, U.S. military announced it had reopened the heavily damaged seaport in the Haitian capital to help improve the flow of aid to earthquake victims."[---]
"Debris around the port, wrecked roads and congestion at the damaged main airport in the capital have made delivering relief to earthquake survivors difficult.[---]
Fraser also said three new airports have opened in Haiti and the neighboring Dominican Republic for relief supplies."
"Meanwhile, U.S. aviation authorities say they have sent a temporary control tower to Haiti to help with the flights bringing in earthquake aid from around the world. The tower will come with two diesel-powered generators and supporting fuel tanks."[---]
"Separately, aid workers on the ground in Haiti say they are making progress getting food and water to survivors, but the death toll could rise because of untreated injuries and disease. The aid group, Doctors Without Borders, says patients are dying of sepsis (an infection in the blood) from untreated wounds and that some of the group's surgical sites have 10- to 12-day backlogs of patients.And what have you done to date, Ms Mullings? And what do you intend to do over the next several months, besides grievance huckstering, that is? I have a suggestion. Do something in the real world for a change. Climb down from your ivory tower, get your hands dirty, make your back sore, and go for days on end without adequate sleep like those rescue workers are doing. And how quickly could you respond if the entire population of Ontario, in a matter of a few seconds, was lying under rubble or became homeless on the streets. You wouldn't know where to begin. Oh, but you do no how to whine. That's very helpful.
The January 12 quake killed an estimated 200,000 people and affected 3 million people -- about one-third of Haiti's population."
More details from on the ground here.
- "The Port-au-Prince dock could not receive ships because it was badly damaged by last Tuesday's quake, which submerged the quay and smashed equipment, including the only container crane."
- With the port out of operation, the huge international relief operation has had to use Port-au-Prince's congested airport, which has delayed the arrival of urgently needed medical and food supplies.
- More than 30 countries have rushed relief to Haiti since the devastating earthquake, choking the airspace and the ramp at the small airfield, which has only one runway.
- ..American ships were moving into the seaport on Monday with sonar equipment to assess the damage and a crane to clear debris.
A video of the issues involved at Haiti's port.
Copenhagen Accord on Climate Change Collapsing?
"Under the Accord, countries are supposed to make their commitments to cut greenhouse gases official by January 31. It now appears that most countries will miss that deadline."[---]
"Fewer than two dozen countries have even submitted letters saying they agree to the terms of the three-page accord. And there has been virtually no progress on spelling out the terms of nearly $30 billion in short-term financial assistance promised to those countries expected to be hardest hit by climate change. Still unresolved are such basic questions as who will donate how much, where the money will go and who will oversee the spending."[---]
"Back in 1998, the Clinton administration signed the Kyoto Protocol under which the U.S. would have been obligated to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 2012 to 7 percent below its 1990 level. But even as the U.S. signed the Kyoto Protocol, then-Vice-President Al Gore noted:Gotta love that quote from Mr. Global Warming Huckster Al Gore.Signing the Protocol, while an important step forward, imposes no obligations on the United States.
Although the Obama administration may wish it otherwise, the same thing essentially holds true for any pledges it makes under the Copenhagen Accord."
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Who's Corrupt and Who Isn't?
In case you're curious where we fit in the world, I've pulled the top twenty from the table for 2009. Out of a possible score of 10 they rank as follows:
9.4 - New Zealand
9.3 - Denmark
9.2 - Singapore
9.2 - Sweden
9.0 - Switzerland
8.9 - Finland
8.9 - The Netherlands
8.7 - Australia
8.7 - Canada
8.7 - Iceland
8.6 - Norway
8.2 - Hong Kong
8.2 - Luxembourg
8.0 - Germany
8.0 - Ireland
7.9 - Austria
7.7 - Japan
7.7 - United Kingdom
7.5 - United States
7.4 - Barbados
There's 180 countries on the list, altogether. At rock bottom is Somalia. Bringing up the rear, just above Somalia are Afghanistan, Myanmar and Sudan. Whoopie!!
Surprisingly, there are two Arab countries ahead of Israel. Qatar scored 7.0 (above France, too), United Arab Emirates scored 6.5 and Israel 6.1. Get your act together, folks. There's always next year.
And until then, I'll hold my nose in the air because Canada outdid the USA by quite a margin. Hoot!!
Those Kiwis must be such prigs.
For Every French Politician and Every Journalist
To all of these idiots, I only wish you would read this excellent appraisal of both the earthquake and the relief effort:
"...a magnitude 7.0 earthquake releases the energy of a 30-megaton bomb. Most of the substantial buildings in Haiti were built with cheap, inadequate concrete, structured as very heavy roofs stacked on top of separate walls. Wonderfully suited to withstanding hurricane winds, but as stable in an earthquake as a child’s building blocks."[---]
"Very likely, Haiti’s January 12 earthquake is one of the ten deadliest earthquakes in recorded history. Among the dead were many of the elite, such as it was, of the Haitian government, and diplomats and staff from the UN and many NGOs."[---]
"The nearly total destruction of Port-au-Prince included the control tower and the refueling facilities at the airport, as well as all the island’s electrical supplies.[---]
The port, with its cargo facilities, cranes, docks, and warehouses, was apparently even worse: docks and cranes are now tangled wreckage — some of it underwater waiting to rip out the bottom of an unwary ship."[---]
"...at sunrise, the [US] Navy had a reconnaissance P-3 over the port, and the Coast Guard was near the harbor. But while rescuers and supplies were on their way, it was hard to land them. The airport went into operation fairly soon, but by midday flights had to be redirected to the Dominican Republic or simply not allowed to leave for Haiti at all. U.S. ships were on their way, but even the fastest naval ships only do about 45 miles an hour. Ships in port at Guantanamo Bay are 15 hours from Port-au-Prince. Since they have to go around both Puerto Rico and Hispaniola, ships from San Juan are more like 30 hours away. Ships in the U.S. are many days away."And then there was the politics:
"The U.S. deferred to the UN rather than become an occupying force, the UN deferred to the Haitian government, and the Haitian government was largely nowhere to be found."But still, we have journalists who would rather jump to conclusions than actually practice their profession.
Geert Wilders' Opening Statement
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
"Jimmy Carter Will Go Into Storage"
"Barack Obama's body is here, but his head and hands are apparently stuck somewhere near Pittsburgh."Weeping, no doubt.
"Obama will join the gallery of U.S. presidents, including George Washington, George Bush, George Bush Jr. and Bill Clinton. Jimmy Carter will go into storage."LOL!
Abu Yuk Yuk - er - Ya Ya - er - Yahya
Setting the Bush Record Straight
There's also the standard practice in western democracies of keeping key critical documents under wraps for fifty years or some similar period of time. It is only after those years have passed that historians can get their hands on said documents and do whatever reassessment might seem required.
For these reasons, I've always believed the subsequent assessment of (Dubya) Bush's administration would result in his exoneration. Little did I know it would start so soon, and from an associate of his rival in the 2004 election!
Take a look: Honor Freedom
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
A Dynasty Falls
A breath of fresh Atlantic air has blown across Massachusetts. The once powerful family isn't so powerful any more. After 47 years the people have reclaimed "The Kennedy seat".
France: Fermez la Bouche
Sarkozy backs off from Haiti spat as US military airdrops aid
"...in a statement this morning the Elysee Palace insisted that President Sarkozy was entirely supportive of the American campaign, which he discussed in a phone call with Mr Obama last week. The statement praised America's "exceptional mobilisation for Haiti" and the "essential role" it was playing on the ground and said that Paris was "entirely satisfied" at its cooperation with Washington."Damn straight!!
"The arrival of the six US Navy helicopters was welcomed by the Haitians in the area who jammed the fence of the palace grounds as they landed."[---]
"The US military has also started airdrops of food and water, delivering 14,500 meals and 15,000 litres of water to a site just outside Port-au-Prince."[---]
"The US Defence Secretary, Robert Gates, said that American forces would not play a police role but would defend themselves and “have the right to defend innocent Haitians and members of the international community if they see something happen”. Another US military official said the violence was isolated and was not impeding the humanitarian aid mission."I'm not about to cower in the shadow of legions of anti-Americanists. Indeed, I'll give a full-throated shout out to our southern neighbours.
GOD BLESS AMERICA!!
YOU GUYS ROCK!!
Not to mention the fact that Miami is only a stone's throw away and it is only natural and logical that they should get there first and get the ball rolling. I mean, sheesh, France, get a life.
Chuckles and Stuff
First the Canucks
A couple from Ghost of a Flea:
Beware the Leopard
From Angry in the Great White North:
In-and-Out: Liberal idiocy abounds
Haiti: Muslims don't help Christians?
Marginalized Action Dinosaur:
Massachusettes hasn't been this scared since they did witch hunts
And one from my favourite, always funny Joooo:
Haiti, Gringos, Caudillo Chavez, politics
Suggestion for Mr. Day
Today Harper announced his cabinet shuffle. Stockwell Day has been given responsibility for the Treasury Board.
"As the new Treasury Board President, Mr. Day will have the task of leading what is expected to be an aggressive cost-cutting exercise to wrestle the deficit down."I have a suggestion for him.
Privatize the CBC immediately!!
In fact, I think I'm going to send him an email. Hopefully I won't be the only one.
Haiti - Dominican Republic Comparison
I hope the international effort to help Haiti recover goes the full nine yards. This country needs a complete makeover.
Monday, January 18, 2010
"We Shall Overcome"
Amazing Recovery of a Little Girl
h/t Pat Dollard
Proud of My Country Today
Canadian nuns are safe - and determined to stay
Haiti duty a good fit for Canada
Canada sending another 1000 troops to Haiti
'Small successes' in Canada's Haiti aid
MP calls for Haitians with family in Cda to be Brought Here on Military Planes
Leading a significant and sad mission
Airlift of Canadian Supplies from World Vision to Haiti
Canadian Red Cross Gets $22.4 Million Donation for Haiti Quake Relief
"The amount represents just individual donations. It excludes donations by Canadian companies.Canadian companies rally for Haiti
Aside from the money, the Canadian Red Cross deployed 10 French-speaking healthcare workers to Haiti to support a joint project with the Norwegian Red Cross. The venture will provide a fully equipped emergency medical facility capable of treating up to 250,000 people.
The Canadian Red Cross also helped Canadian evacuees from Haiti who were flown to Montreal with injuries and penniless."
Wanna help? The Globe and Mail has a list of charities involved with the relief effort. (h/t Jay Currie) The Canadian Red Cross got my donation.
Two Frenchmen have a Difference of Opinion
It's Easier to Curse Those Accursed Capitalists When Certain Facts Are (Conveniently) Ignored
"French Foreign Minister Kouchner claimed that the airport had become "an annex of Washington," according to France's ambassador to Haiti, Didier Le Bret, after the Americans diverted a French relief flight to the neighbouring Dominican Republic.
This account, however, is strongly contradicted by Duncan Dee, the chief operating officer of Air Canada. He was in the cockpit of a Boeing 767 as it delivered 22,000 kilograms of supplies for emergency relief Saturday to Port-au-Prince that had been donated by the airline.
"What I saw was extremely well-organized under very challenging circumstances," said Mr. Dee, who also listened in on all communications between ground control and aircraft. "The U.S. is not favouring its own flights.
"The big problem they are facing is space at the airport," he explained. "The second big problem is planes arriving totally unannounced seeking entry to the airport. All probably well-meaning but not anticipated or planned.""
"As Barack Obama does his utmost to destroy the American (and thus, the world's) economy, Serguei applauds (while further denigrating capitalists) and Le Monde's readers say he isn't going far enough.
On the front page of the same issue, meanwhile, Plantu depicts foreign aid for Haiti after the earthquake in the form of a generic hospital ship and of the United Nations dove (in tears, like everyone else) heading for the stricken island (in the form of its flag).
What the Europeans ignore, of course, is that again, as usual, the with the most humanitarian help just happens to be (by entire coincidence, of course) the planet's foremost capitalist nation. Claudia Rosett:
In Haiti, the UN has been reporting that it has some personnel working on the ground, and is preparing to mobilize more. But the basic picture so far is that once again the American military is shouldering the chief burden of immediate relief.
One thing I will never forget about the 2004 tsunami in Asia is seeing news reports on French TV describing "the UN's" help and efforts for the victims, all the while, showing images of naval crews from the USS Abraham Lincoln and helicopter crews in the air sporting the US flag on their sleeves."
Sunday, January 17, 2010
From the "It's All About Oil" File....
"Oil giant Shell and Malaysia's state-run Petronas oil company finalised a contract on Sunday to develop Iraq's giant Majnoon oil field.[---]
In December Shell and Petronas beat a rival bid from France's Total and China's CNPC to develop the 12.6bn barrel field in southern Iraq."
"The deal was signed at Iraq's Oil Ministry in the presence of Iraqi Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani and Mounir Bouaziz, an executive of Shell Gas and Power."Iraq Signs Majnoon Oilfield Agreement With Shell, Petronas
"Shell is the lead operator and will hold 45 percent, with Petronas holding 30 percent. The Iraqi state holds 25 percent of participating interests in all groups, according to Shell’s statement."Iraq to sign final deal with Eni group for Zubair
"Eni and its partners won the right to develop the 4 billion barrel oilfield last year following the country's first auction of oilfield contracts since the 2003 U.S. invasion."[---]
"It is one of a series of agreements that could catapult Iraq to third place from 11th among global oil producers, with output capacity of 12 million barrels per day, and give it the billions it needs to rebuild after years of war and economic decline."[---]
"Eni and partners Occidental Petroleum Corp and South Korea's KOGAS 03460.KS are targeting output for the field of 1.2 million barrels per day after adding additional reserves."Let me see, now. Royal Dutch Shell's headquarters is in The Netherlands, Petronas is Malaysian, Eni is Italian and Kogas is, well, as it says, Korean. Only Occidental is American. Something's not right here. Where's Halliburton?
"The former spy chief and first cousin of Saddam was today sentenced to death for ordering the slaughter of more than 5,000 Kurds in the northern Iraqi town of Halabja with chemical weapons in 1988.Also, buried near the bottom of the article:
It was the fourth death sentence the 68-year-old has received for atrocities committed during the brutal three-decade reign of the Ba'athists. Iraq's deputy justice minister, Busho Ibrahim, said Majid's execution was now imminent."
"...the US detention centre in which Majid has been held since being captured six years ago will continue to house prisoners until August, despite being scheduled to close on 31 December as part of a much-heralded security agreement between Washington and Baghdad. The status of forces agreement signed between both states had flagged the closure of the Camp Cropper detention centre as a milestone of security progress."[---]
"Ibrahim said the extension of the US detention programme had been requested by Iraq."[---]
"Among those still in Camp Cropper, inside the US Victory base near Baghdad airport in the west of the city, is the former Iraqi foreign minister Tariq Aziz, who was reported to have suffered a stroke in his cell over the weekend that has left him partially paralysed and unable to speak.At any rate, good riddance to the whole lot.
Aziz and other Saddam loyalists are due to be moved to a Iraqi/US prison in Camp Taji, a military base north of Baghdad that will also house detainees considered by the US military too dangerous to free, or to hand over to Iraqi officials."
Related: Michael Totten interviews Christopher Hitchens
"MJT: You know Mullah Krekar, this fanatic in Norway from Iraqi Kurdistan?The Hitchens interview is well worth a read. Part 2, which discusses Iran, is here.
Hitchens: I do know Mullah Krekar.
MJT: The Kurds in Iraq say if he goes home, they'll kill him.
Hitchens: Oh, no question.
MJT: But in Norway he gets state welfare benefits.
Hitchens: Do know anyone in Iraqi Kurdistan who actually prays five times a day?
Hitchens: And you're not going to, either. They have just as much a claim to being Muslims, Sunni Muslims, as anybody else, yet no jihadist from Birmingham went to help the Kurds when they were being genocided—or Anfalled—by Saddam's atheist state."
Zambian Presidential Candidate Courts Israel
"Said Chishimba over a cup of hot tea with fresh mint in a Tel Aviv restaurant earlier this month: “The current leadership stands for outdated politics. It’s time to form international contacts with bodies and leaders who have a broader understanding of business and democracy. Like parliamentarians in the UK and business leaders in the U.S., I want to form different types of networks and get away from the old ways of thinking.”"[---]
Chishimba specifically means is that he will weaken ties with Iran, and specifically Mahmoud Ahmedinejad. This currently prompt (sic) eyebrow-raising over the African country’s covert uranium trade.
“The partnership I seek with Israel dates to the pre-independence period. My government will work with progressive countries to create a new global democratization with democratic principles. I want to open our country to foreign investment interests and democracy and shut the door on practices stifling freedom."Must have been reading Dambisa Moyo.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Regarding the Prorogation Thing
Is Kenya Leading the Way?
Apparently he has already been banished from Britain. This is the way to go. Let there be no place on the face of the planet where they are allowed to stay. Perhaps there is some deserted volcanic island in the centre of the Pacific Ocean, or maybe an ice floe in the Antarctic, but nowhere close to any human population or communication devices, thank you very much.
Europe: Where are Your Men?
Friday, January 15, 2010
Mid-Term Elections are Coming Up!!
"Americans widely endorse the use of profiling to single out airline passengers for more intensive security searches before they board U.S. flights, based on their age, ethnicity, or gender. Seventy-one percent are in favor of this practice and 27% are opposed."[---]
"Eighty-three percent of self-identified conservatives favor the use of profiling, compared with 47% of liberals."[---]
"The poll results suggest that Americans seem to give greater weight to protecting citizens against possible terrorism than to protecting against potential violations of individual liberties."Hey. Any of you yanks out there who might read this, can you tell me if the framers of the Declaration of Independence deliberately chose the order of these words: "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness"? It seems to me you gotta have the first in order to have the second and the first two, in that order, in order to do the third, but is that what they were thinking, too?
Anyway, glad to see the wimps haven't prevailed.
The Real Reason Journos are in a Tizzy
"I'm beginning to appreciate the serious price to be paid for Stephen Harper's decison to close down Parliament for two months: an entire division of pundits, robbed of anything else to do, is forced into ruminations on cabinet shuffles, election dates and the threat to democracy represented by MPs having to spend every afternoon in their office instead of insulting one another at Question Period."Yup. That just about sums it up. A mountain out of a molehill.
Did it ever occur to these twerps from Ryerson et al that even when parliament is not in session MPs are still working. They do need to get back to their constituencies from time to time to rub shoulders, ask questions, hold meetings, etc., etc., with the actual people who voted for them and to whom they are responsible. Jesus Murphy, people, you aren't God's gift to the Canadian people. We can do quite well without your spinning and twisting of manufactured pseudo-scandals for another five weeks, thank you.
The Science of the Haiti Quake
"...the Caribbean plate is moving east in relation to the North American plate."[---]
"The Caribbean plate has been moving about a quarter of an inch per year, relative to the North American plate."[---]
"There are two major faults along Hispaniola, the island shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic. This earthquake occurred on the southern fault, the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden fault system.[---]
There hasn't been a major quake on this system for about 200 years. That means stress has been building up there for quite some time. When the strain finally grew too large, rock along the fault failed, and released a huge burst of energy in less than a minute."
"...it appears that 30 to 60 miles of the fault gave way. That not only triggered the original quake but has also generated more than a dozen aftershocks of magnitude 5 or higher. Those are also strong quakes, and they pose a risk to the buildings that were damaged in the original shock."[---]
"Earthquakes in this region often originate at a point in the Earth that's relatively shallow. In this case, preliminary estimates say the rupture started about six miles below the surface. Since Port-au-Prince was only about 10 miles away from the quake's epicenter (which is the spot on the surface directly above the origin of the earthquake), the ground motion in the city of 2 million people was especially intense."[---]
"The second fault system on Hispaniola runs mainly on the eastern end of the island, in the Dominican Republic. That Septentrional fault system hasn't experienced a major quake for more than 800 years, but it holds the potential for producing another devastating quake — quite possibly larger than the one that struck Haiti on Tuesday."Ay! Carumba!! Give me a good old fashioned winter blizzard any day.
Haiti earthquake: Corpses used as roadblocks as anger grows
"Gunshots were heard throughout the night and looting was commonplace as desperate survivors scrambled to find scarce supplies of food, water and medical equipment.Sure. I understand the desperation, but if Haiti wasn't such a hell hole, maybe your buildings would have been constructed with rebar or something. After all, you live on a major fault.
Gangs were also reported to be roaming the streets, making up rumours of a looming tidal wave so that they could steal from fleeing families.
Complicating the relief effort, the city's airport was closed for several hours due to severe overcrowding and a lack of airport fuel. The Pentagon has rejected criticism that it may have acted too slowly to deploy its military might in the first 24 hours of the disaster, saying it moved in assessment teams quickly.
But the relief effort faced serious challenges, Mr Obama said, with roads in Haiti impassable, communications rudimentary, and aftershocks still rumbling."
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Pat Condell Rides Again
h/t Gates of Vienna
Related: Alan Johnson unveils banning order on Islam4UK after row over Wootton Bassett
Would You Vote For This Man?
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah
""I will turn myself around, from a man of destruction to a man of construction," said Zakaria Amara, the linchpin of the so-called Toronto 18 homegrown terror cell, while addressing a Brampton court at his sentencing hearing Thursday."[---]
""I deserve nothing less than your complete and absolute contempt," said Amara, addressing his "fellow Canadians" from the prisoner box.[---]
To those in the Muslim community, he said he could not imagine the "embarrassment or anxiety" they must have felt back in the summer of 2006, when he and 17 others were arrested for plotting an Al Qaeda inspired attack."
"In 1997, his family returned to Canada and Amara developed a stronger interest in Islamic studies. While attending Meadowvale Secondary School in Mississauga he led Muslim students in prayer sessions.[---]
After high school, he applied to the Islamic University of Madinah in Saudi Arabia but was rejected..."
"In the letter read aloud in court, Farooq said her husband's extremist views were fuelled by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The oppression of Muslims by western forces became the central reason for his devising the macabre plot."Yeah, yeah, yeah. Cry me a river.
Study In Contrasts
"Mr Sarkozy did not explicitly call for a ban, saying "no one should feel stigmatised" by any eventual law.But elsewhere in Europe, the elites are disconnected from the common man:
His UMP party is to put forward a bill this month banning the wearing of the Islamic veil in public, as a means of defending France against "extremists"."
"Dutch anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders has come in second in two polls for politician of the year. A panel of Dutch television viewers said he is the second best politician this year, while Mr Wilders' colleagues in parliament named him the second worst."
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Harry Reid, Trent Lott, Don Imus, Jesse Jackson...
"...the group's refusal to sign a reconciliation agreement with its secular Fatah rivals or agree to a prisoner swap with Israel through Egyptian mediation now appear to be endangering relations.[---]
After years of largely ignoring the tunnel smuggling - which primarily brings in much-needed household goods but is also used by Hamas to import weapons and money - Egypt has begun building a massive underground wall."
"From now on, Hamas is in a tight spot. It is under a full blockade, the tunnels used to smuggle funding from Iran will be shut down and the population will only have the bare minimum needed to survive," he adds."I wonder if both Egypt and Israel regret the results of the '67 war. At least they could have maintained more control over subsequent developments in that godforsaken land and possibly even achieved the long sought goal of a Palestinian state. As long as there is thuggish regime in power there will never be anything remotely approaching normalcy for the Pals on that side of ancient Palestine.
A Special Place in Heaven
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Well, another of my favourite bloggers has just done the same thing.
"They never had a choice, right? Never mind that 9/11 bomber Mohamad Atta was an engineer. Never mind OBL is a bratty son of rich people. Never mind Ayman Zawahiri is a physician. To the media, they are innocents left with no choice but violence by a wicked U.S."[---]
"The writer tells us that the Jordanian's wife, who is proud of her murderer husband, is the author of a book that compares OBL to Che Guevara. Actually Che had lots in common with OBL and Zawahiri. He, too, was a physician and the son of well-to-do parents. But he was not the man who Appelbaum appears to think he was. To most people, Che was the guy on the poster in college dorm rooms. But in real life, he was a cold-blooded killer. When his thugs did not have the courage to shoot someone, Che took the gun from them and killed the victim. Oh yeah, he was a real believer in first do no harm."[---]
"She fails to notice that the reason most people don't hear counter arguments is because journalists such as herself are too caught up in the Muslim-as-victim argument. The U.S. is the big monster that takes innocent lambs and turns them into killers. So yes, Balawi conned the CIA and the Jordnanian intelligence, but he and his ilk have been conning the western intellectuals for decades."Yup. None of these guys lacked the means to get themselves a good education with plenty of marketable skills. In fact, they did just that. That just doesn't happen for the real people who live under the crushing weight of poverty. Most of them don't get much of an education at all, except maybe in madrassas. About the only thing we can say about them is that they are, as a result of their lack of education, vulnerable to indoctrination by the educated ones both in their own societies and here in Western society. I'm thinking Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn are chiefs among their indoctrinators, especially in our own society. A day doesn't go by that I don't spit in their general direction.
I'm Glad I Live Where I Do
"This reveals a fundamental problem in the Islamic world, the belief that combining righteousness with murderous tactics, is often the road to power and spiritual salvation. Throughout history, when these tactics were applied to non-Moslems, they often failed. The non-Moslems were unfazed by the religious angle, and, especially in the last five hundred years, were better able to defeat Islamic violence with even greater violence. Thus, until quite recently, the Moslems fought among themselves, and left the infidels (non-Moslems) out. But after World War II, that began to change."Heroin Heroics
"Hundreds of smugglers, and border boards [sic], are killed or wounded each year, along the Iran-Afghan border, and thousands of people arrested. You'd think that the smugglers would shift all their efforts to Tajikistan (or Pakistan, where the Pushtun tribes make it easier to get across the border). But one of the most lucrative markets is the Persian Gulf, and Europe beyond. The quickest way there is through Iran, so the heavily armed smugglers keep coming.Just ask the Israelis. After a very successful war at the beginning of 2009, Israel is again facing the prospects of an upturn in violence from Gazans. We can be sure, though, that they will have no qualms about striking back.
The growth of addiction in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the long time partnership between the Taliban and the drug gangs, is one of the reasons for the widespread hostility to the Taliban in Afghanistan and adjacent countries. But the gangs have lots of money, and the Taliban have religious fanaticism. Thus this drug fueled mayhem is formidable, and difficult to stop."