Wednesday, September 29, 2004

More depressing news 

What is a westerner to think of the Arab world when we read stories like this:
After overnight riots, hundreds of Lebanese staged a protest in this border town yesterday over the death in custody of a suspected Al-Qaeda leader arrested over bomb plots against Western embassies.

Protesters called for the resignation of Interior Minister Elias Murr and for a legal and medical probe into the death of Lebanese Ismail Mohammed Al-Khatib by a doctor appointed by his family.

Khatib, described by Lebanese authorities as the top operative in Lebanon of Al-Qaeda network, was among 10 people detained last week over alleged plans to blow up the Italian Embassy in Beirut. He died on Monday after suffering what the Lebanese security services said was a “massive heart attack.”
The only mere glimmer of hope we see is that the government is actually arresting a guy trying to bomb western embassies. But even that is done Arab style, with the guy undoubtedly tortured to death in custody. If they have the right guy, can they not hold a trial and execute him if guilty? But even worse is the population's reaction:
When news of his death reached his hometown of Majdal Anjar in the eastern Bekaa valley, protestors took to the streets, hurling stones and bottles at Lebanese border checkpoints.

Early yesterday, residents and clergymen gathered in and around the Bilal Bin Rabah mosque in central Majdal Anjar. The protesters, many carrying sticks and knives, shouted slogans against “the United States and its allies in Lebanon” who arrested Khatib.
People get tortured in Arab prisons every day and the one guy they riot over is a suspected Al-Qaeda bomber trying to blow up western embassies? I try to be optimistic about the Arab world but they aren't making it easy.

Bantustans in Detroit? 

Hmm, I thought everyone agreed this was a bad idea when South Africa did it:
A majority of the Detroit City Council wants to implement an economic development plan it commissioned for $112,000 that preaches racial isolation and rails against immigration in its bid to gain economic success for poor blacks.

The crux of the plan is the creation of a business district -- dubbed African Town -- that would be funded in part with city money and made up of black-owned businesses catering to a black clientele.
Sure, and if that works out create a coloured zone. I figure if people would scream hysterically about the creation of whites-only policy like that it's a really, really bad idea to do it for a different racial group. If we're really going to turn the government into a system of racial spoils it is inevitable that a white group will join in on the game. How about we just not do that?

And why is it acceptable for a black advocacy group to rail against immigration? Imagine if a white guy said this:
Anderson warns city leaders to beware of non-blacks moving into the city because they will have their own agendas.
If you follow the modern multicultural imperative of course what he says is correct. They will eventually form an ethnic identity-block that lobbies for their interests. That's an argument for not engaging in ethnic pandering and ending institutional multiculturalism, not for curtailing immigration.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Repairing the Kingdom's image 

Other than hosting a terrorism conference, the Saudis have decided they want to improve their image abroad:
Minister of Higher Education Dr. Khaled Al-Angari will inaugurate on Oct. 2 a four-day international forum on “Saudi Arabia’s image abroad”, it was announced here yesterday.

Dr. Ali Al-Garni, president of the Saudi Association for Media and Communication (SAMC), the organizer of the forum, said the forum is part of the Kingdom’s drive to reach out to the West to clarify misconceptions on various issues, including those about Islam and Saudi Arabia’s role in the context of Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.
Hmmm. Sounds interesting. How about improving the Saudi image by actually improving, say, the treatment of women?

I guess not. Restaurant owner creates commotion by hiring Saudi women:
Authorities do not know how to penalize a restaurant owner who took advantage of an ambiguous regulation to employ two Saudi women, Al-Hayat newspaper reported yesterday.

Restaurant owner Nabil Ramadan created commotion last month in the eastern coastal city of Sihat when news spread that there were women working at his food outlet.

Although Saudi employment laws are unclear on the issue, the authorities closed down his restaurant but have yet to decide what punishment to impose on Ramadan, Al-Hayat said.
Let's hope he doesn't lose his head, or any other body parts. That would kind of undermine the image refinement, wouldn't it?

Saudi's hold anti-terrorism conference 

I'm not sure what to make of this:
Saudi Arabia yesterday announced it would host an international conference on combating terrorism, but warned that peace and security in the Middle East will fail if Israel holds on to policies “totally incompatible with the fundamental principles of the peace process.”

The Kingdom’s “strategy of pre-emptive actions to forestall criminal acts has been successful in the fight against this vile epidemic,” Assistant Foreign Minister Nizar Obaid Madani told world leaders and diplomats at the UN General Assembly.

Madani said that the Saudi government would host the international conference to combat terrorism from Feb. 5-8. The aim of the conference is to “exchange information and experience in the field of combating terrorism” and to foster cooperation in the fight against “this universal threat,” he said, adding that the conference would also address measures to help tackle money laundering as well as drug and arms smuggling.
I'd like to think that they're starting to take the problem seriously, but something tells me that what they really have in mind is a festival of Israel and America-bashing.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Bush at the UN 

While I'm picking on Kevin at Northern Polemics, I also noticed this post on Bush's speech at the UN:
It's also useful to point out that the unification of Europe was achieved by Europeans, bloodlessly, through political means.

Now my history isn't the best but I'm having a hard time thinking of any instance where a preemptive war, or a war of choice, has brought about democracy. In every instance I can think of, democracy is the result of the governed creating it, not an external power imposing it.
I'm happy to see any claim of a bloodless European political achievement is quickly followed with a disclaimer on the author's knowledge of history. The post-war arrangement Kevin is talking about is, well, post-war. Lots of blood, Nazi conquest, Holocaust, Stalinist conquest, Warsaw pact, Iron Curtain, Communist tyranny, and NATO being not what I would call bloodless creations.

And as for a war of choice creating democracy he may wish to look up the history of Empires, British and the accomplishments of the Royal Navy. He'd find that the reason he and many other countries of the British Commonwealth live under a parliamentary democracy have very much to do with the military accomplishments of the British. It's why he has the freedom to elect Liberal idiots like Carolyn Parrish rather than listen to the dictates of his neighbourhood Ojibway tribal chief, not that this is a great improvement at the moment. However, we are free to elect better representatives if we ever wake up from our current stupor and we should be thankful for that.

Enough of history, let's move on to the present:
Everyone in that room wants people around the world to be free to determine their own future. Free to establish an Islamic state or a Jewish state or a socialist state or a capitalist state.
I'm sorry, I thought he delivered the speech at the UN, not an interfaith outreach gathering. Oh, wait a minute, we are talking about Bush's speech to the UN. In which case many of those seated in the room include the worlds collection of kleptocrats, gangsters, theocrats, aging Marxist revolutionaries, representatives of tyrannies and terrorist-supporters and a miscellaneous collection of Presidents-for-life who may or not currently be cannibals. In any case, there is certainly a significant number of them committed to the destruction of the one and only Jewish state, including one who just unveiled a long-range nuclear-capable missile. Iran is busily toiling away at the nuclear tip for said missile and will surely put it to use to put into effect their oft-promised destruction of Israel as soon as it is ready.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, and certainly ignorance of history is no crime. But how can you have a serious discussion about the UN while denying the nature of much of its current membership?

The Human Security Massacre Doctrine 

Fifteen years after the collapse of the Communist tyranny that was the Soviet Union you’d think we’d be free of the intellectual pollution of moral equivalence between democracies and the evil that killed >100 million people. But evidently not, over at Northern Polemics Kevin exhumes that rotting corpse and waves it under our noses again, comparing the Bush to the Brezhnev Doctrine:
In 1968 Leonid Brezhnev introduced a policy which became known as the Brezhnev Doctrine. […]
It was a 'you're with us or you're against us' policy that was used, in part, to justify the invasion of Czechoslovakia.
Ah yes, freely elect the consensual government of your choice and live under the totalitarian Communist boot for the duration of the rotten system. What a fine example of sophisticated, nuanced thinking. It probably goes down well in a faculty club in a western university but I wouldn’t try such logic in, say, Prague. Their memories are sufficiently fresh to call such tripe as the unadulterated bullshit that it is.
Moving on, he ruminates on the Human Security Doctrine for Europe and find the texture of this pabulum agreeable:
The European document is consistent in principle with the approaches developed and advocated by Canada. Our work has been based on the 'responsibility to protect" notions developed by the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS)
Sadly, this is so. What it actually means in practice is that when the Serbs came to collect the Muslims in the Srebrenica “safe haven” for the massacre the Dutch peacekeepers kept the peace rather than the Muslims. See Darfur, Sudan for further illustration of said doctrine, or Kigali, Rwanda for more of the same. This multilateral paralysis and decades-later attempt to prosecute the perpetrators is, sadly, “consistent with the approaches developed and advocated by Canada”, at least since the Trudeaupian transformation of Canada. Earlier generations of Canadians were made of sterner stuff and recognized such moral atrocities for what they were and knew what to do about them. I hope the next generation of Canadians will recover this lost culture.

The Standard has been raised 

Check out The Tiger in Winter.

Monday, September 20, 2004

The plague of right-wing family members 

One of the delights of that socialist hangout Rabble.ca is the advice column. Today's column deals with what to do when your family is infected with those evil right-wingers who point out deals at Wal-Mart (Capitalist oppressor!) and say nice things about Stephen Harper (can you believe anyone could do that?). Fortunately, Aunite has the response:
Your auntie is just recovering from a racist cousin visiting from the U.S. so she feels your pain.
Sure, Wal-mart shopper, supporter of Stephen Harper, racist. It's all the same ball of wax, right?
First, talk to the “more moderate” family members and tell them you find these attacks unbearable and you would appreciate a little understanding from them. Get them apart from the right-wingers.

Then you have to decide what you can let pass — great deals at Wal-Mart might go into that category — and what you want to take on, Stephen Harper for example.
Well, some things are just beyond the pale.
Finally, if you are really upset about this, tell them that you'll stop coming to family get-togethers unless you can agree to disagree and they can stop baiting you. There is no reason why you should take the brunt of this behaviour. If you have to hold your tongue, so should they.
Banish the evil right-wingers from family gatherings? Hey, I thought you guys supported tolerance, diversity, inclusiveness and all that. You mean that doesn't extend to conservatives? I'm shocked.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Support Bruce Montague 

After several years of people openly defying the gun registry and being ignored by the police in many provinces, including Ontario, it appears the Ontario Provincial Police have been directed to start making an example of some people.

Dalton McGuinty, who is a liar, never mentioned this particular promise in the last election, but it appears to be another one of those things he didn't deem worth mentioning, like the imposition of photo radar. But after years of members of the Canadian Unregistered Firearm Owners Association publicly demanding to be arrested so that they can challenge the law the police sent six officers to take down Bruce Montague in public and locked his family out his home for three days to do a search.

I have to echo Jason Hayes on this. Shame on each and every one of you who had anything to do with this disgraceful exercise. You are an embarassment to the policing profession. You could have politely taken up the challenge at any public demonstration they held and accepted the evidence being offered.

Pierre Lemieux points to a legal defence established on his behalf:
Top legal counsel has been retained, and defending him (and his wife Donna) will be expensive. Please consider sending a donation now to the "Bruce Montague Scrap C-68 Fund". The address is:
RR 2 Site 230, Box 20, Dryden, Ontario P8N 2Y5
Remember: This could happen to you! A mere anonymous tip that someone suspects you have an unregistered firearm in your house and they could do this to you.

Remember that next time some judge releases a black guy caught with a kilo of cocaine because the search was unreasonable. You can be searched any time on the flimsiest of excuses of unregistered firearms. So support Bruce now if you can.

Kerry Building Allied relationships again 

This is surely the best way imaginable to build up a strong, multilateral alliance:
JOHN Kerry's campaign has warned Australians that the Howard Government's support for the US in Iraq has made them a bigger target for international terrorists.

Diana Kerry, younger sister of the Democrat presidential candidate, told The Weekend Australian that the Bali bombing and the recent attack on the Australian embassy in Jakarta clearly showed the danger to Australians had increased.

"Australia has kept faith with the US and we are endangering the Australians now by this wanton disregard for international law and multilateral channels," she said, referring to the invasion of Iraq.
This is John Kerry's sister speaking, who is an official member of his campaign team recruiting American citizens currently overseas. Telling them they must be idiots to stick with the U.S. in Iraq is surely the most irresponsible thing imaginable to do on a campaign trail.

Does the Kerry campaign actually stand by a statement like that?

Standing up for terrorists 

While we've been lucky so far, I fear it's only a matter of time before a terrorist group sets off a bomb in Canada. If/When that eventually happens do the Arab and Muslim groups here really want to have a long trail of evidence linking them to defense of groups like Hezbollah, Hamas and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' brigades?

Stories like this, where a Muslim group whines about terrorists being called terrorists really make me wonder.
Riad Saloojee, the head of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Canada, says the organization wants Canadian press watchdogs to investigate CanWest.

"We're going to be asking the Ontario Press Council to investigate exactly the extent of this policy across the country in other CanWest publications," said Saloojee.
Rest assured we will remember this pattern of minimizing, apologizing for and defending terrorist organizations.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Racial Profiling 

Here's an excerpt from a Fred Column on racial profiling where he observed a cop on a drug bust:
Smith then went to the front, looked under the floor mat on the driver's side and found-what do you know-a bag of cocaine.

Later I talked to Smith about the incident. (I was really dumb.) How had he known? Magic?

Nope. Profiling, if you want to call it that. Smith knew the streets. He had been on his beat for years. He knew that scruffy white boys, sitting in cars in Washington with tags from Maryland or Virginia, on a weekend, especially after payday, and talking with black guys in neighborhoods where whites just don't go, are not there to discuss the legislative agenda of Congress. They are buying drugs.
There it is. Profiling. You see a guy who really looks out of place and you ask some questions. In this case it's a white guy in the 'hood buying drugs.

So the judge in this driving while black case asks:
"Why did they single out Mr. Khan on Marlee Ave. at about noon on a Monday in October and decide to search his car? Because he was a young black male driving an expensive Mercedes."
Possibly that was one factor, after all, the Marlee and Eglinton W. neighbourhood is mostly aging Italians. And, of course, the cops answer that question:
Asselin, now a detective in drug enforcement, testified that he had earlier noticed Khan sitting with his hands fixed on the steering wheel, "kind of in a frozen state," staring at the police car.

Asselin testified they saw him nearly collide with parked cars and that, as he drove behind their cruiser, seemed to be looking down at his lap. They became suspicious and felt the need to investigate, they said.
Ah, so young black guy in a Benz drving around a residential Italian neighbourhood and looking very tense around the cops can no longer be stopped. Car thieves and drug dealers will very much appreciate this help, Madame Justice.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Doctor blogger weighs in 

And since he's a graduate of medical school and an expert on the topic his analysis on the health accord is far more penetrating and eloquent than mine.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

(Not) The Health Summit 

There is saturation media coverage of the Prime Minister and Premiers getting together for a Health Summit as if something of substance were happening there. I suppose this is understandable since Canadian’s number one priority is our dysfunctional health care system and the dramatic promises to “fix it for a generation” in the last election.

But the meeting isn’t about health care, nor will anything of substance happen there. It is just politicians trying to toss a hot potato back and forth, using health care as a political football to try to persuade one level of government to do the taxing and a different one to take credit for the spending. It will have zero net effect on us regular citizens.

In the end they will issue a statement with some impenetrable numbers in it representing how much the federal government is prepared to tax you on behalf of your province. From your point of view it won’t matter much what the number is, as personally I’m not really hung up on whether to support $1 of health spending in my province I direct 15 cents of it through the federal government or just 12. Tax is tax to me, and I fail to see the cosmic significance of the ratio collected federally rather than provincially.

It is wrong to say it doesn’t matter at all, as the more the tax burden gets shifted up to the federal level the more Ontario and Alberta taxpayers support the other provinces. But that’s really a discussion on the amount of equalization payments, not health care. It’s hard to imagine this much attention being devoted to a conference on equalization payments though.

So in the end they will issue a number. The premiers may not agree, or only agree under the greatest duress that the number is big enough. It doesn’t matter whether they agree or not, the feds will still issue a number. It will be multiplied out over enough years to make it look like a big number, but for us taxpayers it won’t matter one iota what the number is. If it’s a big number over time you will see a hypothetical $1 of income tax split something like 70-30 on your income tax form, rather than 68-32 (obviously actual numbers depend on your income level and province). Do you care? Me neither. Maybe Dalton McGuinty can persuade Martin to levy the Ontario Health Premium for him so he can claim he didn’t raise taxes, it was the feds.

Aside from the impenetrable numbers they will issue meaningless platitudes. See the previous health accord for a sample:
Further initiatives
The Accord also supports initiatives to advance patient safety, health human resources, technology assessment, innovation and research, and healthy living.
Annual reporting to Canadians will be facilitated by the creation of a Health Council made up of Canadians, representatives of both orders of government and experts. Their work will enable Canadians to assess health system performance and the pace of implementation of the Accord. To improve reporting, the Accord contains clear objectives and a commitment to achieving comparable indicators on health system performance.
Shortly after they issued these platitudes about patient safety we experienced outbreaks of SARS, Clostridium Difficile and various other infections, the one thing in common they had is that they were being spread within the hospitals themselves. You were reasonably safe as long as you didn’t have the misfortune of being inside one of these Accord-improved hospitals. So they may issues a platitudinous accompaniment but it doesn’t matter what the words in it are. The provinces will attempt to run the hospitals to the best of their ability within their bureaucratic restraints regardless of the obligatory verbiage released at a summit. They might even agree to have the governments periodically mail documents back and forth and call that accountability. Whatever that type of inter-jurisdictional bureaucratic exercise can be called, accountability it is not. Real accountability would allow the patient to get his treatment elsewhere if his province can’t or won’t deliver. Rest assured we won’t see that coming out of this summit.

Back to school 

Not just here, but in Saudi Arabia, too. And, like here, that means those troublesome students start acting up again, abusing dress codes and getting into all sorts of "vice and corruption":
It is common to hear about stories of girls being expelled for having a clipping from a magazine in their briefcases. In many cases, girls in intermediate school have their handbags searched during a break — sometimes without their knowledge — to search for signs of vice and corruption. When I say “vice and corruption,” I am not talking about drugs. I mean magazine clippings, books that speak of romance, stationery with pictures of movie stars and so forth.
I'm shocked that young girls would be carrying around such lurid things as magazine clippings. But how about the dress code?
The headmistress deliberately embarrassed the girl in front of the entire school. In addition, the way in which she ordered the girl to go upstairs and “dress yourself properly” implied that the little girl was guilty of the gravest possible sin. Her sin was simply leaving the upper button of her blouse unfastened because of the heat. A ten-year old girl, in a girls’ school, surrounded by other girls and women was treated as if she were unclean.
Outside in the Saudi heat I can just imagine girls tempted to do just such things as open a top button. Fortunately, the headmistress was on the ball and put a stop to such an outrage.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Whatever you do, don't do this 

I'm pleased that we're starting to get conservative media outlets like the Western Standard. We desperately need these outlets to provide a voice for Canadian conservatives and to report on stories the liberal media (which is essentially all the rest) won't touch.

But whatever you do, don't ever become so blindly partisan that you do anything like CBS did with the forged memos. I look forward to the Western Standard digging in to Liberal scandals and exposing things no one else will, but you certainly don't do anyone any favours by publishing garbage. Check this jaw-dropping garbage today:
Dan Rather and John Roberts just ignored everything that has been revealed about the memos in the past few days, and these two truth-whacking goons had the guts (and that's not the word I want to use) to claim, "Laura Bush became the first White House insider to doubt the authenticity of the documents. But she offered no evidence to back up her claim."
This is an unbelievable act of reality-denial. They just look ridiculous trying to defend the indefensible.

America descends into fascism 

Perhaps you've heard of the chilling tales of the crushing of basic freedoms in America today. Perhaps, like me, you were a little sceptical, thinking such tales being a little exaggerated. It turns out it's worse than we thought:
A New York City man accused of leaving an inadequate tip at a restaurant was arrested, fingerprinted and photographed for a mug shot.
Well, it's reassuring that Homeland Security is protecting the country's grouchy and rude waitresses from cheap tippers.


I think I'm on safe ground saying this guy's doomed. A blog call My Left Wing Girlfriend certainly has the potential to provide entertainment for a while, though:
So last night the GF burnt dinner. Try to blame me for her burning dinner provided an excellent example of the convoluted logic of the left. She worked on Friday and I did not, so I prepared supper, which was not burnt.
Doomed, I say. The guy's doomed.

The latest hazard - wind farms 

I'm not sure how seriously to take these protests, as you can always find someone who will protest anything. But those who think putting up windmills is an environmentally benign tactic should look at the growing opposition to them in Europe:
Fishing chiefs and experienced seamen condemned the offshore windfarms which are proliferat-ing off the Yorkshire coast, warning that they were playing havoc with radar and increasing the
risk of sea collisions and accidents.
They spoke out as it emerged that a government agency had been tasked with examining the dangers of the turbines.
Windfarm builders are waiting for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) report, due within days. The agency was ordered to investigate after the House of Commons Transport Committee heard evidence that large groups of generators could interfere with ordinary navigation and search-and-rescue operations, either by physically obstructing radio and radar waves or through electromagnetic interference.
The MPs said they were surprised that no one seemed to know whether this was likely or not. [...]

The chief fishery officer at the North Eastern Sea Fisheries Committee, David McCandless, added: "We need to know more about the dangers and need to know quickly. There could be real problems. Other fisheries committees have been quite candid with me about the fact that vessels are genuinely finding shadows appearing on their radar."
Between 1975 and 2001 there were 557 collisions between ships and off-shore gas installations in the British coastline shelf.
You will need many times as many windmills to produce a similar amount of energy as a single gas installation.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Multiculturalism in Action 

Here's an interesting little snippet from Jay Nordlinger:
Moving to Spain — yes, Spain: Israeli was recently in Málaga, where he encountered two Moroccans (who had immigrated to the country). They asked him to join them for tea, because he was a fellow Moroccan, in a way. Israeli inquired about life in Spain: "Are you used to it yet?" They replied, "What? No! We don't have to get used to them; they have to get used to us. It's our country!"
Ah, institutional multiculturalism. Don't you love it?

So post something! 

I suppose if I have a blog I ought to periodically post something. I've been following the CBS/Dan Rather detonating their credibility for Kerry with some fascination, but others have written so much better than I.

Check out 101-280 for an entertaining evisceration, and Shiny Happy Gulag for a technical one.

And on unrelated topic, check out NorthWesternWinds as the newest Red Ensign blogger.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

More bad news for Bush 

I have it from a reliable source that Dan Rather will release even worse news about Bush. It turns out that Bush was receiving oral sex during his flights on the F-102, which violated clear National Guard regulations of the day.

And, there is a long line of bimbos, National Guard secretaries and other assorted trailer trash that will testify that Bush is guilty of all sorts of sordid sexual harassment on the Alabama base. They are disgusting tales, including stories of cigars being used as sexual aids, and one secretary even saved a dress that has his, uh, stain on it. (No, they are not at all troubled that this appears to conflict with others who are certain he never showed up for duty in Alabama at all. They have subjected both stories to their usual fact-checking vigour.)

Mmmm - organic food 

The organic food industry makes a lot of noise about pesticide residues on conventional fruits and vegetables, even though they are entirely harmless in trace amounts. Now someone's looking at what kind of residues are on organic food:
In recent years, at least two outbreaks of E. coli contamination — in strawberries and lettuce — have been associated with organic foods, and alfalfa sprouts marketed in natural foods stores were recalled for salmonella contamination.

In a study published in May in the Journal of Food Protection, University of Minnesota professor Francisco Diez-Gonzalez reported that in a comparison of organic and conventionally raised crops plucked directly from the fields, organic vegetables were more than five times likelier to show fecal contamination — an indicator that produce could harbor harmful pathogens — than were those grown conventionally.
Mmmm tasty s---, uh, stuff.

Mohammed Atta's father finally reveals the truth 

After three years Atta's father reveals the truth behind the 9/11 attacks:
Retired lawyer Mohammed al-Amir Atta has had three years to hone the attacking style he's adopted as a defense against what he maintains are spurious charges his son was the lead September 11 hijacker.

The attacks were a Jewish conspiracy carried out by the Israeli intelligence service, not a plot by Islamic extremists including his son, the elder Atta declared in an interview with The Associated Press. Moreover, he added, the United States deserved the devastating result because of its anti-Arab policies.
Ahah! I knew it. The Jews are punishing America for their anti-Arab policies. Got it. Anything else?
"If a Palestinian flies a plane and strikes the White House and kills [US President George W.] Bush, his wife and his daughters, he will go to heaven," Atta said. "So will any Muslim who defends his faith."
Ah yes, defending faith the Muslim way. He is undoubtedly a proud father.
The elder Atta refused to discuss his son's background except to insist that he had raised him to be a good Muslim.

"Muslims should not accept injustice and half solutions," he said. "Islam said fight those who fight you."
You do realize, Mr. Atta, that you're making the job of the multicult apologists for Islamoterror kinda tough. Just how are we supposed to swallow this "Islam is a religion of peace" stuff while you're talking about killing Bush, his wife and daughters by flying a plane into the White House?

Red Ensign Roundup 

Check out the details at BumfOnline.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Tax collectors on strike. 

That's terrible news, isn't it?

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

The Iraqi twenty minute workout 

They're not exactly in bikinis yet, but it's racy fare for the middle east. And the the setting is spectacular.

The world ends at midnight 

I figure anytime David Suzuki writes something I agree with I'm pretty safe in predicting the world will end shortly thereafter. But he effectively debunks the hydrogen economy:
While it's great to have these vehicles to show off, it would be much better if we had a way to produce hydrogen in sufficient quantities cleanly. Or had a way to store the stuff. Or an infrastructure to move it around. Or any number of a host of other major hurdles we need to jump before we are able to reach the vaunted goal of a "hydrogen economy." [...]
For a hydrogen economy to function as we want, it will require a massive transformation of our current energy system to become more efficient and to focus on renewable sources like wind, solar, micro-hydro, geothermal and tidal power. Only when we have large quantities of clean electricity available will it make sense to start producing hydrogen for vehicles.
Exactly. What the boosters of this technology never mention is that it requires far more energy to produce, store and transport the hydrogen than is ever generated from a fuel cell. This is one technology that has zero effect on reducing dependence on fossil fuels.

The only nonsense in his column is this:
So why aren't we doing it? Unlike hydrogen fuel cells, the technology for this transformation exists today. It is not a technical problem, but a political one. Two researchers from Princeton University point this out in a recent edition of Science, arguing, "Humanity can solve the carbon and climate problem in the first half of this century simply by scaling up what we already know how to do."
Of course what he means by a "clean" economy is "a dramatically reduced economy. Just give up most of what we have that requires energy, and revert to some primitive existence that he and the Gaia-worshippers agree with. And you don't need to be a genius to figure out why we aren't doing that.

Global Warming Confirmed! 

It turns out the Arctic Ocean was once a subtropical vacation area:
The international scientific team, taking part in the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program's Arctic Coring Expedition (ACEX), has just discovered that the Arctic Ocean once was ice-free because of prehistoric global warming.
The scientific team from eight nations has recovered sediment cores from nearly 400 metres below the seafloor, in waters 1300 metres deep. "The early history of the Arctic Basin will be re-evaluated based on the scientific results collected on this expedition," said Professor Jan Backman, Stockholm University, one of the co-chief scientists.

The cores show evidence of subtropical, shallow seas in the form of tiny fossils-extinct marine plant and animals. These date back to a period known as the "Palaeocene-Eocene thermal maximum", a brief period that occurred around 55 million years ago characterized by an extremely warm climate that created a natural greenhouse effect, which caused massive carbon input to sea and air. Scientists identified the interval through specific algae, which lived only in subtropical conditions. The algae fossils reveal that the Arctic ocean once were much warmer-around 20°C (68F), similar to the waters around New York in August (NOOA) compared with today's freezing temperatures that average -1.5°C.

"We're seeing a mass extinction of sea-bottom-living organisms caused by these conditions" said palaeontologist Dr. Michael Kaminski, University College London, UK, on board the icebreaker Oden "Moving forward in time, we see many species disappear. Only a few hardy survivors endure the thermal maximum."

Prof Backman added that "we were also surprised to find fresh water conditions and periods of extreme warmth. This indicates environmental conditions were more variable than anticipated. We have now sediment records going back to 56 million years, which are resting on 80 million years old bedrock."
So maybe Bruce should check out some beachfront vacation property on Frobisher Bay while he's there. It could turn out to be a great investment that will pay off for his retirement.

But I find it interesting that they consider their discovery a surprise. Is it possible that they we not aware of the subtropical swamps and forests that used to be in the Arctic? It is hardly news that the Arctic used to be far warmer than it is today, though they haven't yet discovered all those dinosaur SUVs that must have caused it.

How low can you go? 

The evil Republicans are so desperate and so afraid of Bill Clinton's interventions in the election they had a Republican doctor perform unnecessary heart surgery on him. Convenient timing, no?

Friday, September 03, 2004

Responsible democracy 

For the two remaining people interested in this discussion, see Bob's post and follow his links. We are doing our best to make it impossible to follow by spreading it over three blogs and their respective comment sections.

Anyway. He says:
There appears to be an increasing tendency amongst conservatives to draw an artifical distinction between "the courts" and "democracy". It's a false dichotomy....
I don't really quibble with much he has to say. In a properly functioning democratic system there should indeed by an independent Supreme Court that provides a constitutional check and balance to parliament. Likewise, there needs to be a corresponding balance on the Court, which is absent in Canada. Perhaps a citizen's recall or the like could be implemented, but as it stands now the nine justices are effectively sovereign.

And he says:
Did Parliament expressly decide to draft section 15 of the Charter (the equality rights section) without reference to sexual orientation? Yes. Were they wrong to do so? Yes. Am I glad that the courts stepped in and "read in" sexual orientation as a prohibited ground of discrimination? Yes.
And here's where I differ again. My answer to the last question is No. Constitutions are, and should be, difficult to ammend. Our ammending formula requires an ammendment to pass parliament and seven provinces with 50% of the population. Or the Supremes can dream up whatever they want on a whim, but give it an intellectual sounding name like the "Doctrine of the Living Tree". Which translates to English as - "because it's fashionable in leftist salons".

If the Supremes would at least make a token effort at sticking to the written text of the constitution Parliament would eventually be required to act. But, relieved of real responsibility Parliament is free to descend into a state of adolescent immaturity.

The problem of the Living Tree Doctrine is that it is effectively impossible to correct a mistake. You thought leaving sexual orientation out of the Charter was a mistake? Fine. The ammending formula offers a path to fix it.

And anyone who doesn't like any of these branches of a Living Tree Doctrine grafted onto the Charter? Wait until this cadre of judges turn 75, spend $100,000 to bring a test case to court and hope the next set of appointments are prepared to reverse the precedent, by then in place for ten or twenty years.

Update: The Monger adds his comments.

A nation of cowards 

This piece refers to Britain, but it could certainly apply to almost any western country these days:
Britain is turning into a country of cowards because the state has introduced so many regulations to reduce risks for adults and children, Oliver Letwin, the shadow chancellor, claims today. [...]

Politicians often became "paranoid" and responded to fears of being blamed by introducing new rules "as if risk could be abolished by law".

Helpful Marital Advice 

From Saudi's Arab news we find this piece of marital advice:
Experts say that if the wife gets to know her husband’s secrets and weak points, then she should use his weak points against him whenever there is a dispute between them.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

The French surrender? 

I dunno, I was never a fan of their law banning headscarves anyway, so I guess it's possible this is just a pragmatic implementation:
Le parisien l’évoque, le ministre de l’Education a indiqué que non seulement il n’y aurait aucune exclusion le jour de la rentrée, mais que même « toutes les jeunes filles voilées seront accueillies jeudi dans leur établissement ».

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

But they can predict the climate a century out 

The problem with basing predictions on global climate models is first you have to demonstrate that the models actually represent the real world. They have not even come close to doing that yet, though weather predictions for the next few days are reasonably decent. Attempting to take projections beyond that is simply unproven guesswork, as Environment Canada demonstrated this summer:
"Never have we been so wrong for so long in so many parts of the country," said David Phillips, the senior climatologist at Environment Canada. [...]

Canada's weather agency, hand in hand with its supercomputer and complex global climate models, had predicted that June, July and August would be warmer and drier than usual right across the country.

But when all was said and done, it was a stinker of a summer nearly everywhere: cool, wet and dull. In fact, it was the coolest summer since 1992, when Mount Pinatubo spewed ash into the atmosphere.

Winnipeg had the coldest summer on record. Crops froze in Saskatchewan. And Toronto chalked up about 125 fewer hours of summer sunshine than people have come to expect: just 700 compared to the normal 825. [...]
"Being in the forecast business, you learn to be humble," he said ruefully.
But they show no such humility in attempting to predict the climate decades or a century out.

More collaboration on the Kerry story 

Via Iraq Now we find that back in February there was a story about Kerry being a little trigger-happy in Vietnam. We should note that this was before the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth formed and started their public activities. From the NY Sun:
“[T]he fabled and distinguished chief of naval operations,Admiral Elmo Zumwalt,told me — 30 years ago when he was still CNO —that during his own command of U.S. naval forces in Vietnam,just prior to his anointment as CNO, young Kerry had created great problems for him and the other top brass,by killing so many non-combatant civilians and going after other non-military targets.‘We had virtually to straitjacket him to keep him under control,’ the admiral said. ‘Bud’ Zumwalt got it right when he assessed Kerry as having large ambitions — but promised that his career in Vietnam would haunt him if he were ever on the national stage.” And this statement was made despite the fact Zumwalt had personally pinned a Silver Star on Mr. Kerry.
There's more. But when the man personally announces to the world that he committed atrocities in Vietnam and there are others that seem to confirm his story why should we not take him at his word from his 1971 comments?

I am continually amazed that the peacenik crowd is rallying behind this guy.

Gerry Nicholls starts blogging 

He hardly needs introduction from me, but Gerry Nicholls of the National Citizen's Coalition has a started a blog. The Liberals may be able to gag the organization during election campaigns but I don't think they'll be able to shut down their web site.

By the way check out their main site at morefreedom.org and consider offering them your support. They've been working for more freedom through less government since 1967, and, given the growth in government since that time they could obviously use some more of our support.

And while I'm at it, welcome Jerry Aldini to the blogroll.

Quote of the day 

Even for him, Fred is a tad politically incorrect today, but delivers the quote of the day toward the end:
A second idea is to suggest that people grow up, and try to stop being pathetic psychics cripples who squall like two-year-olds if they hear anything they don’t like. Society isn’t, or shouldn’t be anyway, a diapering service.

But none of this will work because too many people want to be diapered, pampered, and given things. Shutting up, studying, working, dealing with minor irritations, or manifesting any form of vertebracy, is out of tune with the national character. Solutions are to hand. Thing is, we don’t want them.

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