Monday, January 31, 2005
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) yesterday denied an Al-Jazeera television report about French pilgrims going berserk at King Abdul Aziz International Airport here, but admitted they damaged some computers.
Addressing a press conference here yesterday, Sami Magboul, director general of the airport, blamed the airport chaos on the Egyptian firm AMC and added that CAA was in no way responsible for the delay in flying the French pilgrims back home.
And in other news from our favourite Kingdom a retired brigadier general sets a perfect example:
A retired brigadier general from Bisha set a perfect example when he demanded as little as SR1,000 as dowry for four of his daughters, Okaz daily reported. The father did not want prospective grooms to face difficulties by seeking heavy dowries as is the practice in Saudi society. He said he will do the same when it come to the marriage of his five other daughters. The retired general also said he would think seriously about marrying another wife after all his daughters are married. But he didn’t say what dowry he would offer.Hmmm. He needs another wife after his daughters move out. I dunno if he's such a perfect example after all.
Well, Mark Bahner at Random Thoughts has developed his own projections and is challenging them to bet that theirs are more accurate than his. The IPCC has gazillions of dollars of government funding and a massive staff to produce their scientific fraud, while Mark Bahner is armed with expertise and intellectual honesty.
I'd put my money on Mark.
Sunday, January 30, 2005
This bit of mental health theater has been going on since a comment made on the Shotgun on December 19th, where Kathy Shaidle claimed "[Mark Steyn] and I are better writers than you are, so maybe we're on to something, eh?" (posted at 7:20 A.M. if you wish to verify the context).
Well. That appeared to be enough to spawn a Dreyfus episode, with Norman Spector losing touch with whatever grasp of sanity he may have had remaining. Forty days and counting this pathetic luser is still ranting on about it, even though Kathy checked out weeks ago. Like one those street people ranting on at demons that are no longer there, he's still lashing out at phantoms in ever more hysterical terms, even going so far as make accusations about lying on a resume.
Get the man a straightjacket.
Saturday, January 29, 2005
Yet what is remarkable in Canada and elsewhere -- places where the media are dominated by lib-left thinkers certain of their own moral and intellectual superiority -- is the doubt cast on the legitimacy of Iraq's election due to the conditions under which it is being held, which they say will prevent a large segment of the population from participating out of fear. [...]
During the last century, communist fellow-travellers in the West found nothing right in the effort of Americans and others who supported the cause of freedom in communist-controlled societies of the East.
A similar lib-left mindset, presently at work in Canada and Europe, is unwilling to go beyond its petulant anti-Americanism and see for itself how raw the struggle for freedom is, as being witnessed in Iraq.
We on this side agree that the institution of marriage is a central and important institution in the lives of many Canadians. It plays an important part in all societies worldwide, second only to the fundamental importance of family to all of us.Read it all.
The institution of marriage is of great importance to large numbers of Canadians, and the definition of marriage as found in the hon. member's motion is clear in law.
As stated in the motion, the definition of marriage is already clear in law.[...]
Let me state again for the record that the government has no intention of changing the definition of marriage or of legislating same sex marriages. No jurisdiction worldwide defines a legal marriage as existing between same sex partners.
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
New Brunswick could face financial penalties if the province continues to refuse to pay for abortions performed in private clinics, says Federal Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh. [...]Could someone please explain why it is somehow immoral to offer private alternatives for timely cancer treatment or hip replacements but the Health Minister himself is out insisting on public coverage for privately performed abortions?
"We also talked around the issue around choice and abortion and that being a medically necessary service and I am of the view - and I advised Mr. Robichaud that - we would be enforcing the Canada Health Act on that and any other issue across the country," Mr. Dosanjh.
Teaching responsible handling of firearms at a young age sounds like a far better idea than building idiotic registries.
The greatest shooting festival in the world for youngsters takes place every year in Zurich, Switzerland. Imagine thousands of boys and girls shooting military service rifle over three days amid an enormous fair with ferris wheels and wild rides of all kinds. You’re at the Knabenschiessen (boys’ shooting contest).
Held since the year 1657, the competition traditionally has been both a sport and a way of encouraging marksmanship in a country where every male serves in the militia army. Today, girls compete along side the boys. In fact, girls are now winning the competition. [...]
It was a real family affair. Besides watching their older siblings, children aged 8 to 15 competed in air pistol and air rifle events. In air pistol, the guns are supported by vertical braces. Youngsters are coached by more knowledgeable youngsters.
Tuesday, January 25, 2005
Good luck to you all.
Monday, January 24, 2005
Humans may have unwittingly saved themselves from a looming ice age by interfering with the Earth’s climate, according to a new study.Of course this is just a computer model, and as we all should know by now you can produce a computer model of the climate to show anything you want. The challenge is to demonstrate that the model accurately reflects the real world we live in.
The findings from a team of American climate experts suggest that were it not for greenhouse gases produced by humans, the world would be well on the way to a frozen Armageddon. [...]
At the peak of the last ice age, which began 70,000 years ago, 97% of Canada was covered by ice.
The research showed that without the human contribution to global warming, Baffin Island would today be in a condition of “incipient glaciation”.
“Portions of Labrador and Hudson Bay would also have moved very close to such a state had greenhouse gas concentrations followed natural trends,” said the scientists.
But this article at least highlights the point that even if we are affecting the climate it is entirely possible that the impact is beneficial rather than harmful. The record of human history has shown cold spells to be vastly more harmful than warm periods.
Update: John the Mad comments here:
Somebody like Warren Kinsella will tell somebody who is a second cousin to somebody who's sister once slept with somebody who has a job cleaning toilets in the Prime Minister's office and...Be sure to read it all.
Sunday, January 23, 2005
As a Ventura County public defender, Liana Johnsson has handled many life-changing cases, but her biggest public crusade these days has been going topless.Let freedom reign!
For months, Johnsson has been fighting to allow topless women at California beaches and parks, and now the issue has made its way to the Capitol.
Butchers in the Mina slaughterhouse will no longer be able to cheat pilgrims by tampering with the weight and number of sheep for which they buy coupons worth SR450 per head as part of the sacrificial meat utilization program managed by the Islamic Development Bank (IDB).It's good to see technology being put to such good use.
Cracking down on such malpractices, the IDB has signed a contract with a Riyadh-based IT firm for computerizing the operations of the slaughterhouse. This facilitates online transmission of data to the IDB on the weight of each animal and the number of sheep sacrificed, Zulqarnain Ali Khan, CEO of Zultec, told Arab News.
“Under the contract, our company has offered automation services for Haj services ranging from the Mina slaughterhouse management by the Islamic Development Bank to Hujjaj ID Card printing and tracking solutions for Tawafa organizations in charge of pilgrims from South Asia and Arab countries,” Khan said.
Friday, January 21, 2005
Thursday, January 20, 2005
Monday, January 17, 2005
We are queers united against kapitalism because kapitalism is an economic system based on exploitation and alienation. Kapitalism values power and profit before people and community. It is kapitalism that tries to convince us to constantly chase the false promise of happiness through an endless cycle of production and consumption. This cycle lines the pockets of a few, while marginalized people struggle for work, food, housing and security.With a persuavise website like theirs it's hard to imagine anyone anyone clinging to that kapitalist system of exploitation.
I am withdrawing because I have come to view the part of the IPCC to which my expertise is relevant as having become politicized. In addition, when I have raised my concerns to the IPCC leadership, their response was simply to dismiss my concerns. [...]I've always wondered why more scientists don't speak out when others engage in such blatant propaganda exercises. It's good to see at least one honest scientist speak out.
It is beyond me why my colleagues would utilize the media to push an unsupported agenda that recent hurricane activity has been due to global warming. Given Dr. Trenberth’s role as the IPCC’s Lead Author responsible for preparing the text on hurricanes, his public statements so far outside of current scientific understanding led me to concern that it would be very difficult for the IPCC process to proceed objectively with regards to the assessment on hurricane activity.
Rodents are an insidious health threat -- but I am not talking about disease-carrying vermin. I am talking about rodents in our nation's most prestigious research laboratories. These animals, through no fault of their own, have been scaring us to death for 50 years while restricting our pursuit of an improved standard of living and longer, healthier lives.Indeed. No matter how often it gets pointed out this is a tidbit of knowledge that appears to have no effect. When you extract a natural chemical from almost any naturally occuring animal or plant and do a massive dose test on rats you find about half of everything we eat would be banned. These tests are junk.
A thicket of current federal and state laws and regulations (including Superfund, Proposition 65 in California, and Environmental Protection Agency and Food and Drug Administration regulation of pesticides and food additives) assume a rodent is a little man. [...]
What I call "mouse terrorism," the use of high-dose animal tests to justify the banning of industrial chemicals, rests on false premises:
--"To reduce cancer risk we must get rid of all cancer-causing chemicals." This is impossible. Animal carcinogens abound both in nature and man-made products. If we were to apply Delaney Clause standards to natural foods, we would have nothing left to eat.
Sunday, January 16, 2005
Canada's role in Haiti is 'destructive'
The overthrow of Haiti's elected government and the recent deterioration of living conditions are intertwined with deep-seated racism.
Some in the international community want to deepen and extend this occupation. They call it making Haiti a UN protectorate.
All this, it should be noted, follows last February's foreign-orchestrated overthrow of Haiti's constitutional order: the elected president and hundreds of elected mayors, council members and senators throughout the country were forced from office. The poor — especially those associated with ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's Lavalas party — have been the primary victims of the recent upheaval. Food prices have skyrocketed, thousands of government workers fired, and thousands more jailed or killed.
The Canadian government, through the Ottawa initiative and soldiers sent to “secure” the airport the night Aristide was forced out of the country, has played no small role in orchestrating Haiti's recent social/humanitarian disaster. [...]
Whatever our government's motives, the Haitians I talked to all said Canada is currently playing a destructive role in their country.
Ten months of Canadian-backed terror against the poor of the hemisphere's poorest country is enough. It's time to change our government's anti-democratic and élite-friendly policies in Haiti. Haiti solidarity activism, which has been slow to take off, should become the Canadian left's top foreign policy concern. [...]
In the same way, the overthrow of Haiti's elected government and the recent deterioration of living conditions are intertwined with deep-seated racism. Mainstream reporting about Haiti has a significant undercurrent of “look at those poor blacks unable to govern themselves.” The discussion about turning Haiti into a UN protectorate is just the extension of this racist idea.
Friday, January 14, 2005
After all, she has done some market research in the field:
"They say that they have lots of customers and that they need the people to work in their establishments, it's a labour market need," she told reporters.Well, we know how Liberals are committed to industrial development. Let us know where you end up, Judy. Maybe we'll hold a blogger bash at whatever club you end up in.
"It's an industry that is in Canada. You have to recognize that it is, otherwise you'd have to wipe out the whole industry."
Thursday, January 13, 2005
Well, may I introduce you to our Canadian contributor to the genre, Joel Fleming with his essay Capitalist Contradictions and the Implications Therein for 'New' Imperialism:
Perpetually beset by its internal contradictions, the capitalist behemoth has stumbled through history, dripping “blood and filth from every pore.” “New imperialism” was yet another example of this blood and filth, while a gap in production and consumption capabilities married with a concentration of the means of production illustrated the violence of its paradoxes. Still today, we can see all-too-eerie parallels, in the case of an American economy whose oil use outpaces any nation on Earth, but more importantly exceeds the resources available to it through peaceful means.He got 86% for his work. Beautiful. A work of art.
Tuesday, January 11, 2005
He points out this great blog by a soldier reporting directly from a tank in Iraq, Armor Gedden. Since our media have decided to root for the defeat of any western army that has gone to war since World War 2, I think it's absolutely fantastic that soldiers have taken to writing their own coverage. There's lot's of great stuff, including photos, and detailed coverage of action in Falluja. Great stuff.
But a funny thing happened on the way to climate Armageddon when these analytical, disease, economics, engineering, environmental, sea and weather experts took a close look at the Data of Doom. They found much of it, and many of the conclusions drawn from it, to be pure hokum.There's more, read the whole thing. Or better yet, check out the excellent report itself at the Policy Network.
Or in two words, "fatally flawed," according to Mr. Agerup, the economist president of the Danish Academy for Future Studies and one of the lead authors of "The impacts for climate change: An appraisal for the future."
The report is extensive and technical. Those so inclined can partake of more particulars -- including 10 pages of detailed, peer-reviewed scientific references -- by visiting the Web site of the International Policy Network in London (www.policynetwork.net). Here, however, I'll spare your eyes of a solid glazing over with the studies' relatively easy-to-understand talking points:
"Predictions of extreme (global warming) impacts are based on scenarios of future emissions of greenhouse gases that are fundamentally flawed. These scenarios employ faulty logic, faulty science and faulty economics, thereby massively over-estimating future emissions and any warming that might result."
Justzumgai adds:I just got dinged almost $40 for a vehicle emissions test today. This must be costing the Ontario economy hundreds of millions of dollars per year in direct costs, plus many hundreds of millions more due to the lost productivity of people losing half a day of work as they take their car in. Well, I suppose if one less person dies of asthma it'll all be worth it ...
In case anyone thinks that there is nothing cultlike or religious about the environmental movement, check out the Ontario Driveclean logo: .
Monday, January 10, 2005
I'd just point out to anyone running the Sponsorship program that for a quarter million I'll plaster all the logos you want on this site and write about the virtues of the firearms registry, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and the fine job Heritage Canada is doing promoting multiculturalism. Just send the cash and it'll be done.
I might, however, choke on saying anything good about the job you're doing with Canada's military. I do have my limits.
Saturday, January 08, 2005
By calling Newfoundland "probably the most vast and scenic welfare ghetto in the world" Margaret Wente is certainly guilty of writing an insightful, lively, provocative column on a topic of great importance. One wonders if her career at the Globe will survive such a violation of their journalistic code.
I apologize for commenting on this a little late, it's undoubtedly old news for many of you. But since the Globe is ordinarily such a mindnumbingly boring paper I almost never read it and wouldn't have known about this little flap if Damian hadn't mentioned it on his blog.
Apparently this column has generated more letters from outraged readers than any other they've ever run. She has committed the sin of saying out loud what everyone knows but the bien pensants insist cannot be said:
This hallowed policy of siphoning money from the haves to the have-nots, so that everyone can be equal, has turned Canada into a permanently aggrieved nation, in which every region of the country is convinced that it's being brutally ripped off by every other region. No one is better at this blame game than the Newfs, egged on by generations of politicians. The only way to get elected there is to pledge to stop the terrible atrocities of Ottawa (i.e., not sending enough money). If you should make the error of suggesting that people might have to become more self-sufficient, your political career is dead. Politicians like to get elected, which is why things never change.You see, she is supposed to maintain the polite fiction that this situation is all Ottawa's fault, and that Atlantic Canadians had no hand in clamouring for the handouts they're currently dependent upon.
Hogwash, of course. Atlantic Canada is a ghetto of pogey and pork because they will only elect porkmeisters committed to keeping the gravy train running. Anyone who pays the slightest attention knows these welfare schemes, regional
A certain poster at the Shotgun was admonishing us bloggers for living in a fantasyland. But I think the word more accurately describes the insular world the politicians and mainstream media live in. Normally in their world there are a bunch of things they all agree simply don't exist because they won't acknowledge them. As long as no one admits that Atlantic Canadians effectively sell their votes to the party offering the choicest handouts no one need feel sullied by this sordid practice - neither those paying them nor those taking the handouts. By saying it so bluntly she has introduced a little reality into an otherwise comfortable fantasy world. Naturally all involved are outraged.
But if one wanted to criticize her for something, one could accuse her of a little hypocrisy. After all, Canada's media companies, including her employer, are living a coddled life of protection from foreign competition, tax exemptions and government largesse themselves. Perhaps that could be the topic of her next column.
Detroit Medical Center administrator Richard Cole said yesterday he was moved by a Dec. 10 Windsor Star article and photograph depicting the plight of Debra Goodwin, 47, injured in a June, 2003, car accident.Canada may be a developed country in most respects but when it comes to health care socialism has brought us to a state of being pathetic charity cases. One wonders just what it will take for people to wake up.
"I looked at the eyes of the woman, the pain she described," Mr. Cole said, adding the offer is also a gesture of appreciation toward the centre's 700 Canadian employees, many of them nurses.
Friday, January 07, 2005
Reporter asks: What other aid is being delivered by Canada in Thailand?
Pettigrew: I don't know.
Glad you flew to the other side of the world for the photo op, Pierre.
I have to say I never understood why people cared whether the politicians cut their vacations short to insert themselves into the story. I assume there actually is other activity by Canadian aid groups managing to get something useful done in spite of the ignorance of this idiot.
A Sikh subway driver is being forced to wear a badge on his turban or face being demoted and sent to the stock yards, his lawyer said on Thursday.A subway driver? Wouldn't the rest of the uniform and the little fact that he's, uhhh, driving the train identify him sufficiently as an MTA employee?
The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which operates the subways, told motorman Kevin Harrington to wear the MTA badge or he cannot not work with customers.
Wednesday, January 05, 2005
To underline the geological power of the mighty subduction zone on which Indonesia rests, I thought it would be useful to recall the fact that the biggest volcanic eruption in recorded history was also an Indonesian event, namely the 1815 eruption of Tambora. Here are some scientific accounts of this truly cataclysmic occurrence:
with the cataclysmic eruption of the Tambora Volcano in Indonesia, the most powerful eruption in recorded history. Tambora's volcanic cloud lowered global temperatures by as much as 3°C. Even a year after the eruption, most of the northern hemisphere experienced sharply cooler temperatures during the summer months. In parts of Europe and in North America, 1816 was known as 'the year without a summer.
Read all about Indonesian volcanoes.
I've written on this trend that is Quebec's version of South Park Republicanism earlier here.
And in Quebec the closest thing we have to South Park is a show called Les Bougons which I wrote about here.
The young generation in Quebec are just begging to be courted by a libertarian-inclined Conservative party that promises real, bold and substantial change. Red Toryism offers them nothing.
Monday, January 03, 2005
Sunday, January 02, 2005
The lack of airlift was a conscious decision, based on the little remarked-upon shift in the tail-end Chretien period, during John McCallum's time as defence minister. His predecessor Art Eggleton, seemingly influenced by the Liberal interventionist wing (Richard Gwyn, Janice Steyn, Lloyd Axworthy et al), had attempted to reposition Canada as a "first-in, first-out" military, moving quickly to crisis areas with a rapid deployment force, but shunning long-term commitments anywhere.Read the whole thing.
McCallum rightly recognized that the Forces a) didn't have the people; b) didn't have the money, and c) would not have the public support for the inevitable Canadian casualties when the paratroopers dropped into Kigali, or what have you. Fully supported by the Prime Minister, he publicly switched the military's focus to a "last-in," stabilization-oriented force (or, admitted that was what we really had, if you prefer to think of it that way)... low-intensity conflict only, shipped by chartered air into countries with a sufficiently-stable ground picture that significant casualties were highly unlikely. Starting with the McCallum years, we officially became "hotspot" averse.
I don't care where the PM or the cabinet were in the last week, or who was holding the press conferences. But I do care about what they have done to the capabilities of our Forces over the years, and it is perfectly legitimate to hold them accountable for the impact of these policy decisions during times like this.
Paul Martin ridiculed the Conservative promise to purchase strategic sea lift capability in the last election deriding the hybrid carriers as some kind of warmongering Cold War relic. How would you like the proposed modern supply ships and a strategic airlift capability now?
This is not 20/20 hindsight. These are exactly the types of capabilities that people have been calling for and the Liberals have been rejecting.
Libra: Sorry about your prostate.Check out what the planets have in mind for you in 2005.
Taurus: Your experiment in auto-erotic asphixiation go astray as you throttle yourself into unconsiousness and end up being discovered by a troop of girl guides. National humiliation follows.
Even thought they're a new blog, they are already getting a swat from the Amazon's handbag, a position I'd rather not be in myself.
Saturday, January 01, 2005
Quick-thinking 10-year-old Tilly Smith is being hailed as a hero after saving her parents and dozens of fellow vacationers from the deadly tsunami - thanks to a school geography lesson.What a heartwarming story.
Tilly warned the doubting adults at a resort that a massive tidal wave was about to strike - just minutes before the deadly tide rushed in and turned the resort into rubble. Tilly's family, from Surrey, England, was enjoying a day at Maikhao Beach last Sunday when the sea rushed out and began to bubble.
The adults were curious, but Tilly froze in horror.
"Mummy, we must get off the beach now!" she told her mother. "I think there's going to be a tsunami."
The adults didn't understand until Tilly added the magic words: "A tidal wave."
Her warning spread like wildfire. Within seconds, the beach was deserted — and it turned out to be one of the only places along the shores of Phuket where no one was killed or seriously injured.