My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

This happens in Canada too...

This is a story from a Norwegian newspaper - Canada is no different.
Women who commit sexual assaults on minors often receive more lenient sentences than men, according to two defense lawyers.

"My experience is that women are less often prosecuted, are more often acquitted and in many instances receive more lenient punishments than men who have committed the same crime," lawyer Sigurd Klomsæt told radio station P4.

Prominent defense attorney John Christian Elden agrees.

"I can't throw down surveys that support this, but my clear impression after many years in court is that women often receive milder sentences than men, in regard to sex offenses, among other things," Elden said.

Elden referred to a sentence a week ago where a woman was sentenced to 45 days, 24 suspended, for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy, a case where the court found that the long-term nature of the offense was an aggravating circumstance.

"If this had been a man the sentence would have been significantly higher, normally 120 days," Elden said.


An excerpt from an interview with Mahmoud Zahar, cofounder of Hamas
PERAINO: Some Israeli officials warn that after the withdrawal, Gaza will become "Hamastan."
ZAHAR: It should be Hamastan. Why not? We are not corrupt. We are serving the poorer classes. We are defending our land. It should be Hamastan!

Where is the help for New Orleans???

A very nice op-ed by Bruce Garvey in the National Post today wondering when people are going to start helping New Orleans.
Now, in one of its frequent moments of natual disaster need, the US faces up to the hardship and challenge alone and self-reliant. Late yesterday, the government of Canada, whose citizens flock to the Gulf Coast and Florida beaches in the thousands, announced through deputy prime minister Anne Mclellan its condolences and support.

Twenty minutes earlier opposition leader Stephen Harper had taken it on himself to offer "any assistance that we can provide."

He said he had been shocked by the magnitude of the disaster as he watched it on TV with his wife and children.

"Natural disasters such as this remind us that when our close friends and neighbours are in trouble we as Canadians are always ready to help out," he said.

There was no statement from the Prime Minister himself. But even as Katrina was hammering ashore, one PMO flack named Marc Roy was telling reporters that Paul Martin would be on the phone in a matter of days to George W. Bush not to commiserate over the disaster - but to chew out the beleaguered President about softwood lumber tariffs.

Here's Bush, up to his neck in problems with Iraq, now faced with rebuilding the Gulf Coast, and Paul Martin wants to whine about softwood lumber. The timing and insensitivity boggles the mind.

Where is Hollywood on terrorism?

They're busy putting their heads up their asses...
How's this for a plot? There's this international conspiracy to acquire nuclear weapons and kill millions of Americans. The conspirators act with the aid of various governments, some of which pretend to be our friends. Some of these governments are ruled by medieval tyrants who keep many wives, rule by fiat and crush, behead, hang and otherwise mutilate dissidents, free-thinkers, Christians and other inconvenient souls. Other governments are ruled by fascist dictators who invade their neighbors, subvert democracy, fund terrorists, collude with Western powers in criminal schemes, illegally smuggle nuclear materials, jail, starve and kill children while living high on the hog.

All the while, these conspirators commit countless grievous acts of cruelty and barbarism. Though they may be savages, they're not mindless ones. They hatch brilliantly audacious schemes to bring down skyscrapers with hijacked planes. They attack naval ships with speedboats. They manipulate the Internet, the press and Western governments.

Call me crazy, but somewhere in there I think there's enough material for Hollywood to make a pretty good movie.

Apparently I'm missing something. Consider, for example, "The Constant Gardener." Now, I haven't seen it yet, so I'm not offering a review of the movie. Besides, from what I hear it's a pretty good flick based on a novel by John Le Carré. The plot involves an elaborate conspiracy of Western governments and pharmaceutical companies who assassinate anyone who tries to uncover their fiendish plot to experiment on poor Africans for the benefit of rich Westerners. A trailer for the film declares that pharmaceutical companies are no better than arms dealers, preying on African poverty. The film's director told National Public Radio that the drug companies are the "perfect bad guys."

Now, whatever the mistakes of pharmaceutical companies, I think it's fair to say, without much fear of contradictions, "Are you on crack!?"

The Iraqi Constitution...

At least the Sunnis seems to be participating in the referendum.
By any existing Middle East standard, the new constitution is a great achievement. It promises to protect human rights, including free speech and the right to worship. It applies the very American principle of federalism, or decentralized power, to reassure multiethnic regions and various Muslim denominations and thus keep the country together.

The majority Shiites, far from seeking to dominate other ethnic groups from Baghdad, are asking largely for the power to govern themselves. The entire country will now spend six weeks debating all of this leading up to an October referendum that will be freer and more open than the presidential election that Egypt will hold this coming weekend.

This result would certainly be better if Sunni leaders, including some on the drafting committee, were not urging other Sunnis to defeat it. But consider this: For the Sunnis to defeat the constitution they will have to participate in the vote. That's more than they did in January's elections, and by itself represents a commitment to a democratic process that many Americans insist isn't possible in an Arab culture.

It is also by no means clear that the constitution will be rejected by Iraq's voters. The pact must be repudiated by a two-thirds vote in at least three of Iraq's 18 provinces. A large Sunni turnout could mean "no" votes in two of Iraq's three predominantly Sunni provinces--Anbar and Sulemaniyah--but is less likely in Nineveh, which has a large Kurdish population. Ratification in the other 15 predominantly Kurdish or Shiite provinces is all but assured.

In the secrecy of the voting booth, many Sunnis may even favor the charter that their ostensible leaders denounce. The constitution's protections are one shield against Shiite religious domination. Super-majority clauses also guarantee Sunni influence in parliament. And Sunni negotiators wrangled key concessions on the de-Baathification Commission, which now can be disbanded by a simple majority vote of the new parliament, rather than the two-thirds stipulated in an earlier draft. (Sunnis dominated Saddam Hussein's ruling Baath Party.)

Most important, the constitution allocates oil revenues on a per-capita basis, meaning the oil-poor Sunni regions will be net beneficiaries of the oil-rich Kurdish north and Shiite south. All this amounts to the best deal Sunnis can reasonably expect in a new Iraq, and we suspect more than a few of them know it. Many Sunni leaders will acknowledge this privately, but they don't want to say it publicly lest they become targets of assassination from the terrorists who want chaos over any kind of government.

The salt police are coming....

How much salt is safe to consume....well, get ready for the salt police. Here's an excerpt from an article by John Stossel.
Consider salt. Uncle Sugar hasn't tried banning salt — yet — but he has decided to make all of us pay for a program to tell us salt is no good. But it's the science that's no good.

The federal anti-salt bureaucracy launched expensive public service announcements that warn Americans to cut back on salt. The ads intoned, ominously, "You eat more than 20 times the salt your body needs."

Eat "no more than 2,400 milligrams a day," said Dr. Jeffrey Cutler, the official behind the government's anti-salt campaign.

I feel sorry for you if you follow your government's recommendations. A maximum of 2,400 milligrams a day makes for a miserable diet. Three dill pickles put you over the limit.

Cutler decided that Americans should eat less salt because high blood pressure can lead to heart disease and eating less salt can lower blood pressure. It's a plausible theory, but it doesn't prove that less salt leads to less heart disease. Too many other things may be going on.

Many experts on blood pressure told us there isn't enough scientific research to justify the government's anti-salt campaign, and there definitely isn't enough to justify Cutler's 2,400-milligram limit.

"I can't imagine how they came up with that number. I mean, there isn't a single bit of evidence that suggests 2,400 milligrams is better than 2,100 or 3,700," said Dr. Michael Alderman, who headed the American Society of Hypertension, America's biggest organization of specialists in high blood pressure. He says some people should cut back on salt, but for most people, it's pointless. Some studies have found that those who ate the least salt were four times more likely to have heart attacks.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

A positive accounting of the War in Iraq...

Christopher Hitchens has penned a nice article summing up his position on the war in Iraq. Here is his positive accounting:
(1) The overthrow of Talibanism and Baathism, and the exposure of many highly suggestive links between the two elements of this Hitler-Stalin pact. Abu Musab al Zarqawi, who moved from Afghanistan to Iraq before the coalition intervention, has even gone to the trouble of naming his organization al Qaeda in Mesopotamia.

(2) The subsequent capitulation of Qaddafi's Libya in point of weapons of mass destruction--a capitulation that was offered not to Kofi Annan or the E.U. but to Blair and Bush.

(3) The consequent unmasking of the A.Q. Khan network for the illicit transfer of nuclear technology to Libya, Iran, and North Korea.

(4) The agreement by the United Nations that its own reform is necessary and overdue, and the unmasking of a quasi-criminal network within its elite.

(5) The craven admission by President Chirac and Chancellor Schröder, when confronted with irrefutable evidence of cheating and concealment, respecting solemn treaties, on the part of Iran, that not even this will alter their commitment to neutralism. (One had already suspected as much in the Iraqi case.)

(6) The ability to certify Iraq as actually disarmed, rather than accept the word of a psychopathic autocrat.

(7) The immense gains made by the largest stateless minority in the region--the Kurds--and the spread of this example to other states.

(8) The related encouragement of democratic and civil society movements in Egypt, Syria, and most notably Lebanon, which has regained a version of its autonomy.

(9) The violent and ignominious death of thousands of bin Ladenist infiltrators into Iraq and Afghanistan, and the real prospect of greatly enlarging this number.

(10) The training and hardening of many thousands of American servicemen and women in a battle against the forces of nihilism and absolutism, which training and hardening will surely be of great use in future combat.

Ontario's Grape Harvest...

I don't support the change in rules..but look at the reason.
If Ontario wineries and grape growers have their way, you will soon be able to buy a bottle of wine with a local label but no local content.

That's because the two groups want to shake up wine content rules and tweak LCBO signage in an effort to cope with a winter-ravaged yield.

The goal is to prop up the VQA-approved, 100-per-cent-made-in-Ontario brands. To do that, wineries propose that they should be allowed to devote more of their scarce grapes to those higher-profile, pricier brands and less to their blended varieties.

The plan is to lower the amount of Ontariograpes required for blended brands from 30 per cent to zero. That means that a bottle of wine from an Ontario vintner could be made entirely of foreign grapes.

"We want to try and keep as much high-quality VQA (Vintners Quality Alliance) wines on the shelf as possible. It's certainly going to help us in terms of brand perception," said Norm Beal, chair of the Wine Council of Ontario, which represents dozens of wineries.

But the vintners and growers only want the change to last one year, to apply to the 2005 vintage bottles that will hit shelves early in 2006. After that, the minimum blend requirements would return to 30 per cent Ontario grapes.

Blended brands typically sell for $7 to $9 per bottle while "Ontario's best" VQA bottles fetch $12 to $20, Beal noted.

To earn VQA designation, an "Ontario" wine must be made with 100 per cent domestic grapes and pass muster with an independent panel of tasters.

"Our stand on that is we want to preserve as many of our grapes for VQA. We've had good growth in that category and we see that as the future of the grape-growing industry," said Ray Duc, head of the Grape Growers of Ontario. "Had we gone to 20 per cent or 10 per cent, we would have blended away a lot of our grapes. The Ontario characteristic would have been completely lost."

The wine council estimates the cold decimated this year's provincial grape crop from more than 50,000 tonnes to about 21,000 tonnes.
The cold??? Gee, whatever happened to global warming????

How's this for bad taste?

And, the play was packed, unfortunately.
Although the Achille Lauro sunk in flames nine years after its hijacking in 1985, an opera about the most shocking event to have taken place aboard the ship is still afloat. In fact, Death of Klinghoffer concluded a successful four-show run with the Scottish Opera at the Edinburgh International Festival on Monday night.

John Adams's two-and-a-half-hour stage production revolves around the murder of wheelchair-bound Jewish American Leon Klinghoffer by Palestinian terrorists aboard the cruise ship. It has sparked controversy since it was launched in the United States nearly 15 years ago, with critics accusing Adams of romanticizing the terrorists as "Robin Hoods" and bemoaning the author's attempt to show the hijackers in as evenhanded a light as possible.

The opera's theme is established with the following explanatory words from an exiled Palestinian: "My father's house was razed/In 1948/When the Israelis passed/Over our street."

In one version of the opera, Klinghoffer, after being shot at point-blank range, is thrown overboard, and audiences are treated to a seven-minute-long "Aria of the Falling Body" sung by the corpse as it descends, in slow motion, to the sea.

Ahead of the opening of the opera several days ago, Klinghoffer's daughters, Lisa and Ilsa, issued a protest through the Anti-Defamation League.

"Once again the opera The Death of Klinghoffer has resurfaced," they said. "Our family feels compelled to react to the statements of the Scottish director, Anthony Neilson, who said: 'The opera takes an objective and evenhanded approach in an attempt to understand the human motivations behind such terrible acts. The production is well balanced.'

"It is those words – 'objective,' 'even handed,' 'human motivation' and especially 'well balanced' – that we find offensive and appalling," the women continued.

"Those words and sentiments cannot be used in relation to the murder of our father Leon Klinghoffer. He was killed in cold blood aboard the cruise ship Achille Lauro, October 8, 1985, by Palestinian terrorist thugs.

Monday, August 29, 2005

More child abuse amongst the Palestinians....

How many teenage bombers does there have to be before the press notices?
The number of terror threats continued to rise on Monday, with the security establishment registering 57 threats of plans by terrorist organizations to launch attacks.

On Monday afternoon, security forces arrested a 14-year-old Palestinian at the Hawara checkpoint north of Nablus, caught attempting to smuggle three pipe bombs.

Paratroopers and military police became suspicious of the teenager, identified as Hassan Khalifa of the Balata refugee camp in Nablus, as he carried a bag containing a box through the checkpoint. They demanded that he pass through the metal detector, and when he set off an alarm he was inspected and the pipe bombs in the box were discovered.

Border Police sappers were called in to blow up the pipe bombs, that contained explosives, shrapnel and glass balls.

Khalifa's 16-year-old brother was arrested at the same checkpoint some months ago also attempting to smuggle pipe bombs. Officials said the Khalifa clan is known for its affiliation with the Fatah al-Aksa Brigade

It's amazing what they believe....

Here's a small piece from the World Jewish Congress about a meeting Australian Prime Minister John Howard had with Muslim leaders:
One of Australia's Muslim leaders personally selected by prime minister John Howard to attend a summit with representatives of Islam in Canberra has expressed his belief that the 11 September 2001 attacks in New York were part of a Jewish conspiracy, according to Australian media reports. "September 11 is definitely pursuant to the West and yet to be proven in any court of law," a fax sent out by Haji Abdul Raman Din last July reads. "Where are the black boxes, flight recorders, why did 4,000 Jews not show up for work, the list goes on." Abdul Raman Din, however, has issued a statement denying that he had made these comments. PM Howard has insisted that those at the summit represent the moderate voice of Islam and had ruled out inviting those with extreme views to the meeting.

Is Iraq another Vietnam?

Here's a good take on whether Iraq is another VietNam.
Yet in so many ways, Iraq doesn't look like Vietnam at all. Vietnam was never the central battleground of the Cold War, while Iraq has become the focal point of the war on terrorism. Americans had no reason to feel that their own security was at risk in Vietnam, whereas 9/11 made it clear that the enemy we face today in the Middle East poses a lethal threat here at home as well. The jihadis in Iraq don't have the backing of superpowers; North Vietnam and the Viet Cong were armed to the teeth by China and the Soviet Union. In South Vietnam, the United States was allied to an unpopular and incompetent regime; in Iraq, the United States toppled a brutal tyranny and is trying to nurture a democracy in its place.

But of all the ways in which the Iraq war is not like Vietnam, perhaps the most telling is the attitude of the troops.

"When I was in Vietnam," retired Army Colonel Jack Jacobs, a 1969 Medal of Honor recipient who had just returned from a fact-finding trip to the Sunni Triangle, told NBC News in May, "if you asked anybody what he wanted more than anything else in the world, he'd say: to go home. We asked ... hundreds of soldiers, low-ranking soldiers, in both Afghanistan and Iraq ... the same question. And the response, to a man and a woman, was, 'To kill bad guys.' ... The morale is just over the top — just really, really enthused about what they're doing. And I think the reason is they perceive that they're making progress. Success will do a lot to morale."

Why is everbody trying to get Israel to make more concessions?

Isn't time for the Palestinians to finally rein in terror???
WHEN WE contrast the behavior of the expelled Jews to that of the Palestinians over the same period, we see, too, that for the Palestinians, terrorism is not a weapon of weakness or evidence of desperation, but rather a strategic choice. It is a weapon that defines them as a society as much as moderation and humility characterize the now homeless Jews of Gaza and northern Samaria.

As the Israeli army and police passed through the gates of Neveh Dekalim, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei entered the gates of Damascus. There he met with the heads of Hamas and Islamic Jihad and negotiated an agreement that their forces in Gaza, Judea and Samaria will not be disarmed or harmed in any way. Exiting the meeting with Qurei, the heads of Hamas and Islamic Jihad told reporters that there is no reason for a Palestinian civil war since they share the PA's strategy.

For the past two weeks, Gaza has been one great parade ground, with armed terrorists from all factions walking the streets and declaring victory. The banners and graffiti tell the entire tale: "Four years of intifada: Victory; Ten years of Oslo: Nothing!" The terror leaders themselves have held press conference after press conference saying that they are moving their battle to Judea and Samaria and will transfer their rockets and mortars to the edges of the urban centers of Israel – Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Hadera, Netanya.

PA chieftain Mahmoud Abbas has repeatedly dismissed the Gaza pullout, scoffing that the area comprises "only five percent of Palestine." Like his lieutenants Muhammad Dahlan and Qurei, Abbas has repeatedly threatened that unless Israel immediately follows the withdrawal from Gaza with further withdrawals in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, the terror will continue. And it already has. On Thursday rockets again rained down on Sderot and Wednesday night 21 year old Shmuel Mett was stabbed to death in Jerusalem.

All of this is important to note because neither the Israeli Left nor US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice even bothered to wait until the expulsion of Jews from Gaza and northern Samaria was completed before stating outright that the next step must be further expulsions of Jews in Judea and Samaria and further land transfers to the Palestinians. The notion, as former prime minister Ehud Barak said in a radio interview last week, is apparently that since it is so easy to throw Jews out of their homes, we might as well do more of it. The fact that this logic denies the greater truth that was made clear to one and all this week – that the Jews are not the problem, the Palestinian addiction to terror and destruction is the problem – matters neither to Barak nor to his American and European protean chorus of nincompoops.

More on Homolka...

Why Karla is still a threat...
Whatever the revulsion engendered by their crimes, there were clearly some who were simultaneously appalled and enthralled by this sexually corrosive pair. They had about them — and, I would submit, Homolka more influentially than Bernardo — a sticky, effluent allure that piqued the baser instincts in others.

Even those teenage girls who ventured willingly into the couple's Port Dalhousie home, and were purportedly disgusted by Bernardo's initial overtures, returned of their own volition, putting themselves in tragic proximity to sexual ambush, spellbound to some extent by Homolka's ability to render the icky ever so slightly tantalizing.

She spun a libidinous web. She teased out feelings that might otherwise be suppressed, whether out of common sense or shame. And she continues to send out signals that are picked up by a kind of carnal radar, a dog-whistle heard by those predisposed to sexual misadventure.

This is why it's so likely that a liberated Homolka will continue to become involved with men (and women) who can provide the yin to her noxious yang. The girl can't help it. Even when not overtly intending to do so, she attracts the likes of Richer Lapointe, the Montreal-area hardware store proprietor who posed as an angel of mercy and then cashiered Homolka to the Toronto Sun, a term that fits even if no money ever exchanged hands.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Hurricanes and Global Warming....

The press seems to love hurricanes - seeing them as proof of global warming. But is it? Here's a nice piece from the Cato Institute.
Here's the simplistic argument. Hurricanes require warm water. Global warming means more of that. Therefore, more hurricanes.

The fact is that there's plenty of warm water for hurricanes every year--virtually the entire tropical ocean is hot enough, and yet there are only about 10 per year in the Atlantic. The real research question on these storms is not why there are so many but, rather, why there are so few, given the massive expanse of warm water available to them?

And here's the real scientific inconvenience in Blair's story. The planet warmed slightly--much less than forecast by people like King--in the last half of the last century, but while that happened, maximum winds in Atlantic hurricanes DECLINED significantly.

Yep. As shown by scientist Chris Landsea of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, maximum winds measured by hurricane-hunter aircraft over the last 50 years have declined significantly.

Further, there's a logical (if lawyerly) argument that pins this salutary change on global warming. It goes like this: Atlantic hurricanes are much more delicate than their destruction suggests. One thing they cannot tolerate is a west wind blowing into them because it wrecks their symmetry. As a result, their maximum winds decline.

El Niño--another climate hype machine--generates precisely this type of wind over the Atlantic. That's why, in El Nino years, the forecast is for a weak hurricane season.

In the latter part of the last century, there were an unusual number of El Niño years compared to previous decades. Some scientists (like David King) claim that global warming is increasing the frequency of El Nino. But if that's the case, then global warming would be responsible for the decline in maximum hurricane winds.

How much could that be worth? The decline has been about 15 mph since 1950. That's not a small number because the force of a hurricane's wind goes up with the square of the velocity. In the high Category Three/low Four range, this change reduces the power by 25 percent. Given that the U.S. experiences about 15 strong hurricanes every decade, and that the average cost is now about $5 billion for one of those hits, you could, if you buy the El Niño argument (I don't but some others do), thank global warming saving about $13 billion per decade.

These numbers won't stop the hype machine on hurricanes. But you'd think that Great Britain's science adviser would have been sufficiently well informed that he would have kept his prime minister from asking John Kerry to sow the whirlwind.

A new film about Michael Moore...

Larry Elder, the talk-show host, has just released a new video about Michael Moore.
"Michael & Me" asks why, if America possesses "too many guns," is the murder rate among Japanese Americans actually lower than in Japan? And why, in England, with severe gun restriction, is the English murder rate growing, and the violent crime rate -- assaults, car thefts, hot burglaries -- now exceeding ours?

As Moore did in his entertaining film "Roger & Me," I sought out the director -- some might say "ambushed" -- in order to ask him a few questions. (You'll have to see my film to find out what happens.)

My film interviews victims of crimes, those who protected themselves with firearms, gun owners, criminals, police officers, authors and academicians. Texas State Representative Susanna Hupp describes how she witnessed her mother and father executed by a gunman in a restaurant. The film also interviews Jane Doe, who, two days before she got raped, attempted to purchase a handgun -- only to be thwarted by California's 10-day waiting period.
You can buy the video here.

Oh, get a life...

The truth can hurt...
As doctors warn more patients to lose weight, the advice has backfired on one doctor after a woman filed a complaint with the state of New Hampshire saying he was hurtful, not helpful.

Dr. Terry Bennett says he tells obese patients their weight is bad for their health and their love lives, but the lecture drove one patient to complain to the state.

"I told a fat woman she was obese," Bennett says. "I tried to get her attention," he said. "I told her, `You need to get on a program, join a group of like-minded people and peel off the weight that is going to kill you.' ''

He says he wrote a letter of apology to the woman when he found out she was offended.

Her complaint, filed about a year ago, was initially investigated by a panel of the New Hampshire Board of Medicine, which recommended that Bennett be sent a confidential letter of concern.

The board rejected the suggestion in December and asked the attorney general's office to investigate.

Bennett rejected that office's proposal that he attend a medical education course and acknowledge that he made a mistake.

Bruce Friedman, chairman of the board of medicine, said he could not discuss specific complaints.

Assistant Attorney General Catherine Bernhard, who conducted the investigation, also would not comment, citing state law that complaints are confidential until the board takes disciplinary action.

The board's website says disciplinary sanctions can range from a reprimand to revocation of all rights to practice in the state.

"Physicians have to be professional with patients and remember everyone is an individual. You should not be inflammatory or degrading to anyone," said board member Kevin Costin.

Other overweight patients have come to Bennett's defence.

"What really makes me angry is he told the truth," Mindy Haney told WMUR-TV on Tuesday. "How can you punish somebody for that?"

Study finds no 'driving while black'....

A new study has shown that blacks, hispanics and whites are stopped by police equally.
lack, Hispanic and white motorists are equally likely to be pulled over by police, but blacks and Hispanics are much more likely to be searched, handcuffed, arrested and subjected to force or the threat of it, a Justice Department study has found.

The study, by the department's Bureau of Justice Statistics, was completed last April and posted on the agency's Web site after Bush administration officials disagreed over whether a press release should mention the racial disparities.

Traffic stops have become a politically volatile issue as minority groups have complained that many stops and searches are based on race rather than on legitimate suspicions.
Clearly, there needs to be more study on what happens after people are stopped before racism is claimed.
Casey Perry, chairman of the National Troopers Coalition, which represents state highway patrolmen, said he wasn't surprised about the percentage of motorists who are pulled over. "It's very interesting there was no racial disparity," he said, arguing that some regional studies which found profiling had been skewed by local demographics. More information would be needed to evaluate the post-stop data, he said.

An incredible accusation....

It seems every couple of months there has to be some ridiculous accusation...
Representatives of various Palestinian groups in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday accused Israel of burying "toxic materials" under the rubble of dismantled settlements to prevent Palestinians from exploiting the land.

The allegations were made during a press conference in Khan Yunis that was organized by the Popular Committee for Defending Palestinian Lands.

Committee coordinator Abdel Aziz Qadih claimed that the IDF and the settlers had buried the toxic materials six meters under the rubble of the settlements that were evacuated last week. He did not specify the type of toxins, but claimed that they were placed in large barrels underground.

"They want to destroy the land to prevent the Palestinians from using it after it's handed over to the Palestinian Authority," he said. "We call on all those who support our people to expose this matter and to help us deal with it."

Qadih also claimed that Israel was stealing water and sand from Gush Katif.
Stealing sand???

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

How's this for a headline???

Here's a headline from AP:

Palestinian Injured in West Bank Town

Now, here's the text:
Palestinian gunmen opened fire at Israeli troops patrolling an area near the site of Tuesday's
West Bank pullback, sparking a gunbattle that left a Palestinian militant moderately wounded, Israeli and Palestinian security officials said.
Source: Backspin.

The other jihad...

Africa is being targeted by muslim extremists....
No region is as vulnerable as Africa. The differences between the Saudi ruling family and bin Laden aren't so much about goals as about methods. The Saudis were furious over the 1998 embassy bombings in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam not because of the viciousness of the acts, but because the attacks threatened to call the West's attention to quiet subversion by fundamentalist Wahhabis in the region.

For the Muslims of the Arabian Peninsula, ties to Africa's Indian Ocean coast go back more than a millennium. By the 14th century, trading cities such as Kilwa (now a ruin) and Mombasa were opulent outposts of Islam. One dream shared by the House of Saud and Islamist terrorists is the reclamation of the old Swahili Coast, where their ancestors grew rich trading ivory, gold and slaves.

Arabs still regard black Africans as inferior, fit only to be subjects. As a result, their charities don't fund clinics, universities or sanitation systems. They just keep on building mosques, staking graphic claims to a once and future empire of faith.

Even in the United States, Saudi-funded Quranic schools encourage religious apartheid. While events have forced their mullahs to tone down public hate-speech directed toward the West, Saudi madrassas never encourage young people to integrate into their host society. They praise rigid separation.

In East Africa, this takes the form of pressuring the young to devote themselves to studying the Quran. This prevents Muslims from getting a practical education. As a result, they remain unqualified for the best jobs, which are taken by Christians with university degrees, further exacerbating antagonism.

The Saudis and their accomplices know exactly what they're doing. They don't want a "separate but equal" system. Separate and unequal does the trick, creating a sense of deprivation, of being cheated, among Muslims and driving a wedge down the middle of fragile societies. The last thing the bigots of the Arabian Peninsula want to see would be prosperous, patriotic, well-integrated Muslim communities in Africa.

Nor is this slow-motion jihad confined to the coast. It takes still uglier forms in the interior. Saudi money and arms smuggled from Yemen keep tribal strife alive in northern Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia and, of course, Somalia.

During my stay in Kenya, nearly a hundred tribal people were massacred near the Ethiopian border. The religious undertone of the slaughter - which included the executions of schoolchildren - was played down. The Kenyan government fears a wider conflagration and quietly accepts its inability to control its northern borders. But extremist sentiment is growing, while Kenya's policy of benign neglect collapses.

Climate Change Dissident Resigns...

Most people don't realize that there are many scientists who disagree with the global warming gospel.
A scientist who has long disagreed with the dominant view that global warming stems mainly from human activity has resigned from a panel that is completing a report for the Bush administration on temperature trends in the atmosphere.

The scientist, Roger A. Pielke Sr., a climatologist at Colorado State University, said most of the other scientists working on the report were too deeply wedded to particular views and were discounting minority opinions on the quality of climate records and possible causes of warming.

"When you appoint people to a committee who are experts in an area but evaluating their own work," he said in an interview, "it's very difficult for them to think outside the box of their research."

Administration officials said the resignation would not affect the quality or credibility of the report, a draft of which is being finished in the next few weeks.

The report, the first product of President Bush's 10-year climate change research program, is likely to be closely scrutinized by climate scientists and environmental and industry groups for any sign of bias or distortion.

Its main focus is to explore why thermometers at the earth's surface, especially in the tropics, have measured more warming than has been detected by satellites and weather balloons in the troposphere, the layer of the atmosphere up to where jetliners cruise.

Dr. Pielke contends that changes in landscapes like the spread of agriculture and cities could explain many of the surface climate trends, while most climate experts now see a clear link to accumulating emissions of heat-trapping gases like carbon dioxide.

James R. Mahoney, an assistant secretary of commerce and the director of the federal climate research program, said the scientists involved in generating the report were "representative of the broad views" on the questions.

Mr. Mahoney noted that drafts of the climate report would be reviewed by the National Academy of Sciences and were subject to public comment.

"I'm disappointed that Dr. Pielke has chosen to resign over this," Mr. Mahoney said.

Dr. Pielke said he decided to resign after three papers on the troposphere trends were published online on Aug. 11 by the journal Science. The papers said errors in satellite and balloon studies in the tropics explained why earlier analyses failed to find warming in the troposphere.

Several authors of those papers, who are also authors of the coming government report, said at the time that the new findings would be discussed in the report.

Dr. Pielke said those statements were an effort to influence the shape of the final report.

How the Jews raised $14 million to help the Palestinians....

This is from the New York Times - an article on teh 18th of August by Andy of the rare times I have reproduced a whole article...
It was perhaps an odd request to make of a man noted for his commitment to Israeli causes and his fierce criticism of the Palestinian Authority.

Please raise $14 million to help buy the Jewish settlers' lucrative greenhouses in the Gaza Strip so that the Palestinians can take them over when the settlers are gone. Oh, and can you get it done by the weekend, before the pullout starts? If not, the settlers will destroy the greenhouses on their way out of Gaza to keep them out of Arab hands.

Last Wednesday, though, Mortimer B. Zuckerman, real estate magnate and publisher of The Daily News, received just such a pitch from his friend James D. Wolfensohn, the former president of the World Bank, current Middle East envoy for the White House and would-be broker of the deal.

Mr. Zuckerman, who is also former head of the American-Israel Friendship League, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, and the Soviet Jewish Zionist Forum, said he thought about the ironies. But not for too long.

"Despite my skepticism," Mr. Zuckerman said in an interview on Tuesday, "I thought to myself, 'This is perhaps the only illustration or symbol of what could be the benefits of a co-operational, rather than a confrontational attitude.' "

So he in turn picked up the phone and called a few of his friends and fellow billionaires, who also happened to be prominent Jewish philanthropists.

Not all of them shared his enthusiasm. "Some people said, 'Well, if these people are so anti-Semitic, why should we do anything to help them?' " Mr. Zuckerman said.

But Lester Crown of Chicago, whose family owns General Dynamics, said yes. Leonard Stern, the chairman of the Hartz Mountain real estate empire and former owner of The Village Voice, called Mr. Zuckerman back from a cruise ship in the Mediterranean and said yes. A foundation that prefers to remain anonymous said yes.

Within 48 hours, Mr. Zuckerman said, he had his $14 million. And the Palestinians had a shot at inheriting relatively intact the greenhouses whose vegetables and flowers have been a major source of Israeli export income, and, not incidentally, about 3,500 desperately needed Palestinian jobs.

When the deal was announced Friday, the donors were anonymous, apart from Mr. Wolfensohn, who put up $500,000 of his own. But word about these things tends to leak out, and yesterday morning, Mr. Stern said he got a call at his beach house in the Hamptons from Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

"She said that she wanted to let me know that myself and every member of the group that helped make this possible had made a very positive contribution to the peace," he said. Mr. Stern, 67, was asked the last time he received a call from Ms. Rice. "Before my bar mitzvah," he joked, before answering, "Never."

The purchase of the greenhouses had been months in the making. The Israeli government is giving the settlers $55 million for the greenhouses themselves, but Israeli law allows compensation only for buildings and land, not for movables like the greenhouses' computerized irrigation systems.

Without those, the Palestinians would not be able to make a go of running the greenhouses, Mr. Zuckerman said. It was those, the greenhouse guts, that carried the $14 million price tag.

The United States Agency for International Development was willing to put up the money, but could not give it directly to the Israelis because Israel does not qualify for the agency's help, Mr. Zuckerman and Mr. Stern said.

The simple way around that obstacle would have been for the agency to give the money to the Palestinian Authority to hand over to the settlers. But there, Mr. Zuckerman said, "The attitude was, 'We are not going to put our fingerprints on anything that helps the Jews.' "

The donors arranged to funnel their money to the Aspen Institute, a private advocacy group that has been working on investments in the Palestinian areas, and a private Israeli group helped broker the deal with the settlers.

Mr. Stern said he was not used to writing a seven-figure check to a cause he had not had time to research himself.

"But when you know people and you know they're passionate, and you have a great respect for their judgment," he said of Mr. Zuckerman, "I listened to him, and I asked him one question. 'Are you contributing?' He said yes. I said 'Well, O.K., then I will.' "

Mr. Zuckerman is hardly naïve about the prospects for peace in the Middle East.

On Monday in U.S. News & World Report, which he also publishes, he wrote an editorial excoriating both the Palestinian Authority's leader, Mahmoud Abbas, and his more violent, increasingly powerful rivals in Hamas.

"The sad fact," Mr. Zuckerman wrote, "is that everything is going wrong."

But some hope, he said, is better than no hope.

"It's not an easy thing to be up against," Mr. Zuckerman yesterday, "when someone is swearing and yelling at you, and you're saying, 'O.K., well, I'm going to give you $14 million so that you can do better.' But this is the one thing that might be seen as a constructive effort."

Monday, August 22, 2005

Iran executes another gay man....

This is getting to be a regular occurrence and it sickens me.
Another gay man has been executed in Iran - the third in the past month - a British newspaper reports.

The Observer reports that it has been been informed by underground Iranian activists that the latest execution occurred in the city of Arak on August 16.

On July 19 two gay teenagers were executed in the northeastern city of Mashhad. (story) The hangings sparked international outrage.

The Iranian government maintains the teens had raped a 13 year old boy - an allegation that many international rights groups discount.

Last week Iran activists said that two more young Iranian men have been sentenced to die on August 27 after having been convicted by a Sharia or Islamic court for alleged homosexual intercourse and "rape". The reports cannot be independently verified.

The exiled Iranian gay rights group, Homan, claims the Iranian government has executed at least 4,000 gays since 1979.

Political correctness at its worst...

San Francisco should be ashamed...
he USS Iowa joined in battles from World War II to Korea to the Persian Gulf. It carried President Franklin Roosevelt home from the Tehran conference of allied leaders, and four decades later suffered one of the nation's most deadly military accidents.

Veterans groups and history buffs had hoped that tourists in San Francisco could walk the same teak decks where sailors dodged Japanese machine-gun fire and fired 16-inch guns that helped win battles across the South Pacific.

Instead, it appears that the retired battleship is headed about 80 miles inland, to Stockton, a gritty agricultural port town on the San Joaquin River and home of California's annual asparagus festival.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), a former San Francisco mayor, helped secure $3 million to tow the Iowa from Rhode Island to the Bay Area in 2001 in hopes of making touristy Fisherman's Wharf its new home.

But city supervisors voted 8-3 last month to oppose taking in the ship, citing local opposition to the Iraq war and the military's stance on gays, among other things.

''If I was going to commit any kind of money in recognition of war, then it should be toward peace, given what our war is in Iraq right now,'' Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi said.

Feinstein called it a ''very petty decision.''

''This isn't the San Francisco that I've known and loved and grew up in and was born in,'' Feinstein said.

Cindy Sheehan's luny ravings...

Of course, the press isn't playing up her luny raves....Here's Cathy Young in the Boston Globe on the Cindy Sheehan you don't know.
But there's more than that to Sheehan's politics. She is not simply against the war in Iraq (and, as she told talk show host Chris Matthews on CNBC, against the war in Afghanistan as well). She has thrown in her lot with the hardcore Michael Moore left, and this less savory aspect of her crusade has been largely ignored by the respectful media.

In her public appearances, Sheehan has not only called Bush ''the biggest terrorist in the world" but suggested that his ''band of neocons" deliberately allowed the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 to happen: ''9/11 was their Pearl Harbor to get their neo-con agenda through," she told a cheering crowd at San Francisco State University last April.

That crowd, by the way, was holding a rally in support of Lynne Stewart, a radical New York attorney convicted in 2003 of aiding and abetting a terrorist conspiracy. Sheehan compared Stewart -- who served as a liaison between her incarcerated client, terrorist mastermind Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, and his network outside -- to Atticus Finch, the lawyer in ''To Kill a Mockingbird" who heroically defends a black man falsely accused of raping a white woman in the Jim Crow South.

Even more troubling opinions have surfaced in an e-mail Sheehan sent to ABC News last April: ''Am I emotional? Yes, my first born was murdered. Am I angry? Yes, he was killed for lies and for a PNAC [Project for the New American Century, a neoconservative think thank] Neo-Con agenda to benefit Israel. My son joined the army to protect America, not Israel."

After some media outlets publicized these comments, which smack of blaming the Jews for drawing the U.S. into the war in Iraq, Sheehan disavowed them: she claims the offending lines were inserted into her email by an ABC News staffer. (The original email has been lost due to an Internet virus attack.) But this latest conspiracy-mongering is hard to believe, especially given the general anti-Israel tenor of Sheehan's public statements: for instance, she railed against the notion that ''it's okay for Israel to have nuclear weapons, but Iran or Syria better not get nuclear weapons."

A comment on the left-wing website Daily Kos described Sheehan as ''Terri Schiavo reincarnated." I believe this was meant as a compliment. But actually, the Sheehan circus has a lot in common with the Schiavo circus, none of it good. Both stories represent a triumph -- on different sides of the political divide -- of emotion- and sentiment-driven politics. Schiavo's parents could go off on paranoid, crazy, vitriolic rants, and enjoy a certain immunity by virtue of their unthinkable tragedy. The same is true of Sheehan.

Al-Qaeda in trouble in Iraq?

There are signs that Al-Qaeda might be in some trouble in Iraq.
Could the Sunnis be the solution to the problem of al Qaeda in Iraq? Recent events have shown that the marriage of convenience between domestic opponents to the new Iraqi government and foreign terrorists seeking to foment a civil war may be headed for annulment.

The strain has been showing in recent weeks in Ramadi, the capital of al Anbar province, along the Euphrates River west of Baghdad. Seeking to incite a violent confrontation, Zarqawi's terrorists had ordered members of the city's Shia minority to get out of town. On August 13, they tried to eject them by force, and found the way barred by armed Sunni militia. The ensuing gun battle lasted for an hour before Zarqawi's fighters retreated. On August 18 a group of mostly Sunni political, tribal, and religious leaders (including the governor of al Anbar), hosted by the influential Association of Muslim Scholars, were meeting in a mosque discussing the new constitution when Zarqawi's men opened fire on them. The next day Abu Muhammad Hajeri, a Saudi leader in Zarqawi's group, was found dead with three other members of the group, killed by local tribesmen in retaliation.

Infighting like this is not unprecedented — last March seven foreign fighters were killed in Ramadi, allegedly as reprisal for the assassination of a prominent member of the Dulaimi tribe and former officer in Saddam's fedayeen militia who was working with Coalition forces in Fallujah. The Dulaimi are one of the largest tribes in Iraq, and had enjoyed a measure of autonomy under Saddam's regime. They boycotted the January 2005 elections, but have since moved towards sanctioning limited participation in the political process. The Dulaimi led the defense of the Shia families in Ramadi; such a prominent Sunni group becoming engaged in the political system cannot be good news for Zarqawi.

Zarqawi's group styles itself as an insurgency, and in the grand scheme of things they aspire to be regional or even global revolutionaries under the leadership of Osama bin Laden. However, their biggest problem in Iraq is that they have no popular base. Their main sources of support are external forces seeking to destabilize the country, such as Iran, Syria, and some private interests in Saudi Arabia. Zarqawi's domestic backers only lend him aid as a matter of expediency and opportunism; it is nice to have a supply of foreign suicide attackers around. But this commonality of interests will not last forever — indeed the worm seems to be turning — and when al Qaeda becomes more liability than asset the Sunnis may well start cashing in on the millions we are offering in reward money.

A revolutionary democracy????

What on earth is Hugo Chavez talking about?
President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela has launched a blistering tirade against the United States, describing President George W Bush as the "lord of war".

Mr Chavez also pledged to send troops to the aid of President Fidel Castro if Washington ever dared to order an invasion of Cuba.

He sat beside Dr Castro following a summit meeting in western Cuba, as the two men used a six-hour live broadcast on Sunday night to set out their plans for the region and to condemn Washington's foreign policy.

Mr Chavez, apparently responding to accusations by Donald Rumsfeld, the US defence secretary, that he was funding anti-democratic movements in Latin America, hit back, saying: "The grand destroyer of the world and the greatest threat … is represented by US imperialism.

"The truth is that they [the Bush administration] are the great destabilisers in the region." He defended his close ties with Dr Castro, whose latest crackdown led to the arrest of scores of opponents for discussing a post-authoritarian Cuba, and hailed almost half a century of communist rule on the island.

"People have asked me how I can support Fidel if he's a dictator. But Cuba doesn't have a dictatorship… It's a revolutionary democracy," he said. "We will do everything possible to avoid imperialist aggression, but if it occurs to some madman, he will find some young men … defending the independence and sovereignty of this land."

Palestinian terrorists won't be disarmed...

Now, this is contrary to the roadmap to peace...but will the press mention it?
Hamas and Islamic Jihad announced on Monday that they have reached an agreement with the Palestinian Authority according to which the two groups would not be disarmed.

The agreement was reportedly achieved during talks in Damascus between PA Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei and leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Qurei met on Sunday night in Damascus with leaders of various radical groups, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and discussed with them ways of cooperation after the disengagement.

Sources close to the two groups said Qurei made it clear that the PA would not confiscate the weapons of any of the armed groups in the Gaza Strip.

Typical Toronto Star Chutzpah...

It's amazing what some writers can write.
How does one explain all the misguided, unwise, sometimes outright boneheaded things the Bush administration has done since taking over nearly five years ago, and continues to do on a pretty much daily basis? How is it possible for a group of supposedly intelligent, experienced individuals to take this many wrong turns? Wouldn't you think that once in a while, even by accident, that George W. Bush and his advisers would make a decision that made sense?

Can this much mismanagement happen totally at random? Would the occupants of the Bush White House have us believe that all these things, these missteps, these miscalculations, these attempts to deceive, that they all, you know, just kind of happened?

I'm not so sure. And I'm not the only one starting to ask questions. More and more, it seems unlikely that mere human beings could make this many mistakes without some sort of misguiding force, a kind of supernatural entity that has trouble remembering where it put its car keys.

That's where unintelligent design comes in.

Once one embraces the concept of unintelligent design — a kind of doofus-like cosmic force — it becomes much easier to get your head around the operations of the Bush administration.
You can read the whole's pretty depressing that one reporter can just block out everything the Bush administration has done.

A new strategy is needed for Iran...

The Opinion Journal notes that the current strategy of negotiation has not worked.
For two years now, the Bush Administration has willingly taken a back seat to European diplomacy to induce Iran to abandon its nuclear-weapons program. In the last few weeks, the world has been able to see what this non-cowboy strategy has achieved:

• Iran's new president has called for "a wave of Islamic revolution." Only a few years ago, this new world statesman was running gangs of street thugs who harassed anti-government demonstrators. His political rise was engineered by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khameini, who barred 1,000 reformist candidates from the recent parliamentary elections.

• Last week, Iranian police opened fire on a peaceful demonstration of Iranian Kurds in the city of Mahabad, reportedly killing four of the protestors. Meanwhile, dissident journalist Akbar Ganji is on his 75th day of a prison hunger strike, and prosecutors are now threatening his family.

• On the nuclear issue, Tehran has resumed an early-stage uranium enrichment process at its nuclear site in Isfahan. And it has denounced as "unacceptable" a European offer to provide security and economic favors in exchange for Iran dropping parts of its nuclear program that have bomb-making uses.

Memri, which translates Middle East broadcasts from their native languages, recently captured Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Hosein Musavian, on Iranian TV: "Thanks to the negotiations with Europe, we gained another year, in which we completed" Isfahan. Iran suspended enrichment "in Isfahan in October 2004, although we were required to do so in October 2003. . . . Today we are in a position of power. We have a stockpile of products, and during this period we have managed to convert 36 tons of yellowcake into gas and store it."

• Then there is Iranian assistance for terrorists in Iraq. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has publicly accused Iran of "allowing" weapons to move across its Western border, and U.S. troops have captured explosives shaped for destructive terror use with Iranian pedigrees. Time magazine, no friend of the U.S. effort in Iraq, recently published a report, "Inside Iran's Secret War for Iraq." This is all especially notable because advocates of courting the mullahs often warn that a harder line against Tehran could invite Iranian meddling in Iraq. But that meddling is a reality under current Iran policy, and it is killing American soldiers.
What's their answer??? Well, perhaps doing more to encourage pro-democracy groups in Iran.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Elie Wiesel on the Gaza Withdrawal...

Wiesel asks what's next?
On a strictly military level, the operation is a success. For that, and for his brave decision to pursue future peace even at present political cost, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon deserves praise. But starting now, Israelis and Palestinians must face the question: What next?

And here I am obliged to take a step back. In the tradition I claim, the Jew is ordered by King Solomon "not to rejoice when the enemy falls." I don't know whether the Koran suggests the same.

I know only that in my opinion, what is missing from the chapter now closing is a collective gesture that ought to be made, but that hasn't been made, by the Palestinians.

Let's imagine it, if you will. Let's imagine that, faced with the tears and suffering of the evacuees, the Palestinians had chosen to silence their joy and their pride, rather than to organize military parades with masked fighters, machine guns in hand, shooting in the air as though celebrating a great battlefield victory. Yes, imagine that President Mahmoud Abbas and his colleagues, in advising their followers, extolled moderation, restraint, respect and a little understanding for the Jews who felt themselves struck by an unhappy fate. They would have won general admiration.

I will perhaps be told that when the Palestinians cried at the loss of their homes, few Israelis were moved. That's possible. But how many Israelis rejoiced?

And now, where are we? A lull is imperative. The tears must be allowed to dry and the wounds to heal. Haste, in this delicate moment, is dangerous. Any pressure from outside risks being counterproductive.

Why these words of warning? Because last May, at an official dinner offered by King Abdullah II of Jordan, I spoke with the Palestinian prime minister, Ahmed Qurei. When I asked him what he thought of Mr. Sharon's courageous decision regarding Gaza, it was with a wave of the hand that he objected, adding with disdain: "All that is worth nothing, means nothing. If Sharon doesn't begin right away to negotiate definitive borders, a great catastrophe will be the result." He repeated those words: "right away" and "a great catastrophe."

The optimist in me wants very much to believe that those were just words. Gaza, after all, is but one chapter in a book that must ultimately be about peace.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Hitchens on Sheehan...

Hitchens asks some tough questions....
When are the bureau chiefs of our newspapers and networks going to snap out of their own vacation-induced trances and send some grown-up correspondents down to Crawford, Texas? For weeks now, Cindy Sheehan has not been asked a single question that is any tougher than "How does it feel?" The media have been acting as her megaphone. After Slate published her real opinions on politics (a weird confection of pacifism with paranoid anti-Zionism) last Monday, she was eventually asked about her statement that her son Casey had been killed in a war for Israel, and she denied ever having made it. So, we must now say that, as well as being a vulgar producer of her own spectacle, and an embarrassment to her family, Cindy Sheehan is at best a shifty fantasist.

After Slate published an extract from a letter that she wrote last March to ABC Nightline, Anderson Cooper of CNN asked her about the anti-Israel remarks the letter contained. She denied making them and proceeded in her blog to assert that someone had gotten hold of her original letter and somehow doctored it. This dark and murky allegation—evincing further paranoia on her part—has been easily and convincingly refuted, as can be seen in this sidebar. Cindy Sheehan, not content with echoing the Bin-Ladenist line that the president is the real "terrorist" and that he is the tool of a Jewish cabal, has dug a pit of falsehood around her own wild story.

This week, before family matters called her away from Crawford, she mutated her demand—that the president lower himself into that pit and join her down there—into the shameless request that he join her for Friday prayers. The nerve! We all know how much the forces believe in the power of prayer, and in the president's sincere religious convictions (their contempt for this is the only thing on which I agree with them). But, hey, try anything once for a tear-jerker or a bit of moral blackmail—what Maureen Dowd has so laughably called "absolute moral authority."

What do these people imagine that they are demanding? Would they like a referendum to be held, among the relatives of the fallen in Iraq, to determine the future conduct of the war? I think I can promise them that they would heavily lose such a vote. But what if the right wing were also to demand such a vote and the "absolute moral authority" that supposedly goes with it?

Is he the right person to root out terrorists?

Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction.
A Muslim accused of anti-Semitism is to be appointed to a government role in charge of rooting out extremism in the wake of last month's suicide bombings in London.

Inayat Bunglawala, 36, the media secretary for the Muslim Council of Britain, is understood to have been selected as one of seven "conveners" for a Home Office task force with responsibilities for tackling extremism among young Muslims, despite a history of anti-Semitic statements.

Mr Bunglawala's past comments include the allegation that the British media was "Zionist-controlled".

Writing for a Muslim youth magazine in 1992, he said: "The chairman of Carlton Communications is Michael Green of the Tribe of Judah. He has joined an elite club whose members include fellow Jews Michael Grade [then the chief executive of Channel 4 and now BBC chairman] and Alan Yentob [BBC2 controller and friend of Salman Rushdie]."

The three are reported to be "close friends… so that's what they mean by a 'free media'."

In January 1993, Mr Bunglawala wrote a letter to Private Eye, the satirical magazine, in which he called the blind Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman "courageous" - just a month before he bombed the World Trade Center in New York. After Rahman's arrest in July that year, Mr Bunglawala said that it was probably only because of his "calling on Muslims to fulfil their duty to Allah and to fight against oppression and oppressors everywhere".

Five months before 9/11, Mr Bunglawala also circulated writings of Osama bin Laden, who he regarded as a "freedom fighter", to hundreds of Muslims in Britain.

Here's a bet to watch...

I think the Russian are right.
Two climate change sceptics, who believe the dangers of global warming are overstated, have put their money where their mouth is and bet $10,000 that the planet will cool over the next decade.

The Russian solar physicists Galina Mashnich and Vladimir Bashkirtsev have agreed the wager with a British climate expert, James Annan.

The pair, based in Irkutsk, at the Institute of Solar-Terrestrial Physics, believe that global temperatures are driven more by changes in the sun's activity than by the emission of greenhouse gases. They say the Earth warms and cools in response to changes in the number and size of sunspots. Most mainstream scientists dismiss the idea, but as the sun is expected to enter a less active phase over the next few decades the Russian duo are confident they will see a drop in global temperatures.

Dr Annan, who works on the Japanese Earth Simulator supercomputer, in Yokohama, said: "There isn't much money in climate science and I'm still looking for that gold watch at retirement. A pay-off would be a nice top-up to my pension."

To decide who wins the bet, the scientists have agreed to compare the average global surface temperature recorded by a US climate centre between 1998 and 2003, with temperatures they will record between 2012 and 2017.

If the temperature drops Dr Annan will stump up the $10,000 (now equivalent to about £5,800) in 2018. If the Earth continues to warm, the money will go the other way.

Let's get CBC ratings up!

Now is the time to listen/watch CBC. I think we should try to increase the CBC's ratings while they locked out...and show both Management and the Union that they have much to think about. The plain fact of the matter is that CBC Radio is now much better - more music and less talk! Everybody I have talked to has noticed the dramatic improvement!

How's this for a website?

I think he should be allowed to have his website (freedom of speech). But, what the hell is he doing teaching at a University?
A Jewish group has filed a complaint to the University of Ottawa against one of its professors after the discovery of content on his website that blames Jews for the terrorist attacks on the United States, and claims the numbers who died at Auschwitz are exaggerated.

The website,, also reprints articles from other writers that accuse Jews of controlling the U.S. media and masterminding the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Other postings suggest Israel, the U.S. and Britain are the real perpetrators of the recent attacks on London.

The site, which is not hosted by the university, is run by Michel Chossudovsky, a controversial left-leaning economist, and came to the attention of B'nai Brith Canada after public complaints to the advocacy group and the Citizen.

"The material on the site is full of wild conspiracy theories that go so far as to accuse Israel, America and Britain of being behind the recent terrorist bombings in London," said Frank Dimant, executive vice-president of B'nai Brith Canada. "They echo the age-old anti-Semitic expressions that abound in the Arab world, which blame the Jews for everything from 9/11 to the more recent tsunami disaster."

The organization singles out a discussion forum, moderated by Mr. Chossudovsky, that features a subject heading called "Some Articles On The Truth of the Holocaust." The messages have titles such as "Jewish Lies of Omission (about the 'Holocaust')," "Jewish Hate Responsible For Largest Mass Killing at Dachau," and "Did Jews Frame the Arabs for 9/11?"

Another posting suggests the number of Jews who died at Auschwitz during the Second World War is inflated.

Friday, August 19, 2005

More problems on the way in China....

The Chinese are preparing themselves for some serious problems.
CHINA has established elite police squads equipped with armoured vehicles and helicopters under orders to quell riots in a country where a protest erupts every seven minutes.

The squads are to be stationed in 36 cities, but the largest deployments are in Beijing and Shanghai as the Communist Party asserts its hold on power and gears up for the 2008 Olympic Games.

The latest team was inaugurated this week in the city of Zhengzhou, in central Henan province, China’s most heavily populated, with more than a hundred million people. More people sue the Government in Henan than in any other region.

People are becoming bolder in voicing their grievances in a society in which economic liberalisation has created a yawning gap between urban rich and rural poor, and under an authoritarian system that offers numerous opportunities for officials to get rich through corruption.

Officials said that the squads of 600 men had undergone training to battle terrorism, crush riots and respond to other emergencies. The men, the elite of the police force, have acquired skills such as survival techniques and fighting in hostile environments.

In recent years, popular protests have surged in China over disputes ranging from land rights to pensions, the environment and corruption. Several disturbances have turned violent when local governments have ordered in police or armed men. Zhou Yongkang, the Public Security Minister, said recently that the number of mass protests across China soared to more than 74,000 last year, with 3.76 million people taking part, up from 10,000 incidents a decade ago.

The Neo-Croms..

The National Post has an article today by Carlos Grande from the Financial Post on the "New Puritanism".
Mr. Flatters, chief executive of Future Foundation, the research group, thinks a tendency to take a priggish attitude to the indulgences others is on the increase. He has even turned this into a trend: the rise of the neo-Croms - short for neo-Cromwellians, in a nod to the censorious 17th-century English stateman.

Neo-Croms support curtailing the consumption of alcohol, smoking, rich foods and some technology on health grounds and patronage of SUVs, budget airlines and mass tourism on environmental ones. To their critics, however, they seem keenest on regulating other people.

Mr. Flatters said: "There is a culture out there in favoour of restricting other people's pleasures. If you're a smoker but don't drink, then you are quite happy to see regulation on drinking. This is an assault on pleasure and many businesses are likely to see more regulation."
Yes, indeed. The left is going to be demanding more and more regulation of our behavior.

Here's a solution to Palestinian Rockets...

Charles Krauthammer writes about how to tackle Israel's problem with rocket attacks.
The first problem is that while the fences do prevent terrorist infiltration, they do nothing about rockets. For months, Palestinians have been firing rockets from Gaza into towns within Israel proper. The attacks are momentarily in suspension, but with the enhanced ability to smuggle in weapons from Egypt and with no Israeli patrols looking for them, the attacks will resume and get far worse.

What to do? Something Israel should have done long ago: active and relentless deterrence. Israel should announce that henceforth, any rocket launched from Palestinian territory will immediately trigger a mechanically automatic response in which five Israeli rockets will be fired back. There will be no human intervention in the loop. Every Palestinian rocket landing in Israel will instantly trigger sensors and preset counter-launchers. Any Palestinian terrorist firing up a rocket will know that he is triggering six: one Palestinian and five Israeli.

Israel would decide how these five would be preprogrammed to respond. Perhaps three aimed at the launch site and vicinity, and two at a list of predetermined military and strategic assets of the Palestinian militias.

This new policy would echo, though in far more benign form, America's Cold War deterrence policy of "massive retaliation." That was all somewhat theoretical, but the Soviets apparently thought otherwise when they backed down during the Cuban missile crisis. In Gaza, the issue is not theoretical. Once Israel leaves, there is no way to dismantle the rockets. Deterrence is all there is. After but a few Israeli demonstrations of "non-massive retaliation,'' the Palestinians themselves will shut down their terrorist rocketeers.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Does Norway have a Muslim problem???

It's not Al-Qaeda...but it shows that Norway also has some problems with Muslims.
The explosives that blasted an Oslo apartment on Wednesday killing a teen occupant were intended to be used to blow up Oslo Transit ticket machines.

Police said at a Thursday press conference that the three men present when their homemade bomb detonated were preparing a crime scheme from a recipe downloaded from the Internet.

The explosion killed a 17-year-old boy of Syrian origin. He and his 19-year-old brother were awaiting trial on a number of charges of crime for profit, including emptying slot machines.

A 20-year-old friend of the brothers has been charged with illegal handling of explosives and was being questioned on Thursday afternoon. This person is of Pakistani origin, police said.

The wisdom of John Crosbie...

Don Martin in today's National Post has some choice comments from former Finance Minister John Crosbie. I liked what he had to say about same-sex marriage and the Conservative Party.
Same-sex marriages have been accepted by the establishment in Toronto and in the courts and in the metropolitcan areas, so there's no point in continuing to oppose them. It's very dangerous for the Conservatives to continue opposing same-sex marriage, because it reinforces this feeling in people's mind that we're dangerous and that if get in, you don't know what kind of stupid thing we might do next that would harm people.

How's this for a poster?

Here's a poster from the Hamas web site. The caption reads "Our Koran proves that we were right and your talmud proves that you were wrong..."

Source: Palestinian Media Watch

Now, it's up to the Palestinians...

Yossi Halevi, a senior fellow at the Shalom Center, a Jerusalem-based think tank, has written a terrific op-ed about Gaza.
Even as Israel's anguished self-confrontation unfolds in Gaza with the army's dismantling of two dozen thriv ing towns and agricultural villages, Palestinian leaders are demanding more. This withdrawal is only the beginning, they promise their celebrating followers. Today Gaza, tomorrow the West Bank and Jerusalem. Yet whether Israel ultimately cedes all that the Palestinians say they want will depend on the Palestinians themselves. A wary Israeli public needs to be convinced that the Palestinians want to build their own state more than they want to destroy the Jewish state. Gaza is the test case for that open question.

In the coming months, a Palestine taking sovereign control of territory must begin confronting the terrorist regime that has grown in Gaza. It must wrest foreign aid away from militias and private bank accounts and put it into schools and hospitals. Its leaders must dismantle the refugee camps that have been a permanent condition of Gaza life and resettle their residents in decent housing. Finally, it must temper the culture of hatred against the Jewish people that has become routine in Gaza's schools, mosques and media.

If the Palestinian leadership initiates that difficult process of physical and spiritual renewal, then the Israeli majority -- which craves peace far more than biblical borders -- will support negotiations over extending Palestinian sovereignty. And even if, as the Palestinians suspect, Ariel Sharon intends Gaza to be his first and last withdrawal, the Israeli majority will insist on substantive talks. No Israeli leader can survive politically if the electorate perceives him to be blocking a chance for peace.
But, read the whole's well worth it.

Ray Bradbury appeals to Fidel Castro....

Nat Hentoff chats with Ray Bradbury about Castro.
I was recently talking with one of my heroes, Ray Bradbury, a persistent, lively defender of the essential individual rights of conscience, free speech and, most famously, in his novel "Fahrenheit 451" the right to read — especially in a country whose government burns dissenting books.

We were talking about Fidel Castro's recurring crackdowns on those remarkably courageous Cubans who keep working to bring democracy to that grim island where dissenters, including independent librarians, are locked in cages, often for 20 or more years. Bradbury knew about the crackdowns, but until I told him, was not aware of Castro's kangaroo courts (while sentencing the "subversives") often ordering the burning of the independent libraries they raid, just like in "451."

For example, on April 5, 2003, after Julio Antonio Valdes Guevara was sent away, the judge ruled: "As to the disposition of the photographic negatives, the audio cassette, medicines, books, magazines, pamphlets and the rest of the documents, they are to be destroyed by means of incineration because they lack usefulness." Hearing about this, Bradbury authorized me to convey this message from him to Fidel Castro: "I stand against any library or any librarian anywhere in the world being imprisoned or punished in any way for the books they circulate.

"I plead with Castro and his government to immediately take their hands off the independent librarians and release all those librarians in prison, and to send them back into Cuban culture to inform the people."

Among the books destroyed through the years by Fidel's arsonists have been volumes on Martin Luther King Jr., the U.S. Constitution, and even a book by the late Jose Marti, who organized, and was killed in, the Cuban people's struggle for independence.

Is there anything like this for men?

I have no problem with special facilities for women - afterall, they have their own special health needs. But, don't men as well?
Women in Ontario will once again have a hospital to call their own, as well as an expanded birthing centre that will reduce the need for high-risk women to be sent out of the province.

Ontario Health Minister George Smitherman will announce today that Toronto's Women's College Hospital is to be transformed into a leading-edge independent women's health institute, ending its eight-year merger with Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. Women's high-risk birthing centre and neonatal intensive care unit will move to Sunnybrook and will be expanded in stages over the next five to 10 years, the minister said.

"We're restoring independent governance to Women's College, and we're putting women's health back in women's hands," Smitherman told the Star in an interview yesterday.

Just who does Cindy Sheehan speak for?

Well, she speaks for herself. Here's an article from the Opinion Journal from another parent, Ronald Griffin.
I lost a son in Iraq and Cindy Sheehan does not speak for me.

I grieve with Mrs. Sheehan, for all too well I know the full measure of the agony she is forever going to endure. I honor her son for his service and sacrifice. However, I abhor all that she represents and those who would cast her as the symbol for parents of our fallen soldiers.

The fallen heroes, until now, have enjoyed virtually no individuality. They have been treated as a monolith, a mere number. Now Mrs. Sheehan, with adept public relations tactics, has succeeded in elevating herself above the rest of us. Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida declared that Mrs. Sheehan is now the symbol for all parents who have lost children in Iraq. Sorry, senator. Not for me.

Maureen Dowd of the New York Times portrays Mrs. Sheehan as a distraught mom standing heroically outside the guarded gates of the most powerful and inhumane man on earth, President Bush. Ms. Dowd is so moved by Mrs. Sheehan's plight that she bestowed upon her and all grieving parents the title of "absolute moral authority." That characterization epitomizes the arrogance and condescension of anyone who would presume to understand and speak for all of us. How can we all possess "absolute moral authority" when we hold so many different perspectives?

I don't want that title. I haven't earned that title.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

More danger in Gaza...

No, it's not the settlers, it's the Palestinians who have kidnapped a French journalist.
France has threatened to halt financial and humanitarian aid to the Palestinian Authority unless a French journalist who was kidnapped in Gaza City earlier this week is freed unharmed.

PA officials said the threat was delivered to the PA on behalf of French President Jacques Chirac, who is "extremely disturbed" by the abduction.

In a related development, three Palestinian journalists were attacked on Monday night by unidentified assailants north of Khan Yunis.

According to the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, the three suffered moderate stab wounds. It identified the three as Shams Odeh and his brother, Muhammad, who work for Reuters, and Fayez Abu Halaweh, a TV technician from east Jerusalem.

Unidentified gunmen on Sunday night kidnapped the French journalist who was in the Gaza Strip to cover the disengagement, prompting some foreign TV crews to leave the area out of fear for their lives.

Some 900 foreign journalists are in Gaza City to cover Palestinian preparations for the disengagement.

The journalist was identified as Muhammad Ouathi, an Algerian Muslim with French citizenship who was working as a soundman for French Television Channel III.

Elmasry is at it again!

Mohamed Elmasry, President of the Canadian Islamic Congress, is at it again. This time he is upset that two jews, Leo Kolber and Jonathan Schneiderman, have been appointed to senior poistions advising the government.
"With the Muslim community's vulnerability to negative attention since 9/11 . . . there is understandable nervousness at the news that two of Canada's most active supporters of Israeli domestic and foreign policy will now have key voices in Canadian security and foreign policy decisions," said Dr. Elmasry, a professor of computer engineering at the University of Waterloo.

B'nai Brith Canada denounced his statement as inherently anti-Semitic and said Dr. Elmasry has lost credibility over past anti-Israel comments.

"He is effectively saying that Jews ought to be automatically excluded from holding positions within government . . . because of a supposed inherent bias against all Muslims," said Frank Dimant, B'nai Brith's vice-president. "It is time for those in the Muslim community for whom Elmasry claims to speak [to] stand up and say this individual does not represent them."

Excuses for violence...

It's amazing how the Toronto Star just can't grasp the reality of the shooting violence in Toronto.
If you take a bunch of young men and stick them in a ghetto. If the ghetto is in a city that offers no work that will pay enough for them to improve their lives.

If they don't have the kind of education that permits them to get a better education that might improve their lives. If the only readily available job is dealing drugs, an occupation that has always had a high-risk downside. If it's easy for them to get guns. What do you expect?

If the young men are immigrants from countries where one of the traditional means of settling disputes is violence.

If the young men — as most young men do — believe status and respect are pressing goals. Not status and respect in the community at large, but simply among other young men. If that is the only thing they care about, perhaps because it is the only thing there is for them to care about.

Remember that these are young men. Testosterone rages in them. Adrenaline pounds through them in surging waves.

Proving your manhood comes naturally to young men. Perhaps it is the most natural thing of all.
First off, this columnist would never say the same about white men committing crimes. Secondly, if they are immigrants from countries with lots of violence....doesn't that raise the question of why we are allowing them to come to Canada. Right now, there are aboutg 1,000 murders per year in Jamaica. Perhaps, there are other immigrants we should be welcoming to Canada than Jamaicans.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Women and the BBC

A nice row in the UK over feminization of the BBC.
In a forthcoming polemical programme on Five, he provides more criticism of his long-time employer, arguing that television is perpetuating a feminisation of society.

"Look at the way we have so many lifestyle programmes - aimed at a female audience - at the expense of current affairs and documentaries," he said. "And look at how men are continually portrayed in adverts, drama and sit-coms as clueless and idiotic."

Buerk's views echoed comments last October by Alasdair Milne, a former director-general, who complained that the dominance of women at the BBC was to blame for too many "dumb, dumb, dumb" lifestyle and makeover shows.

Ford said Buerk should have looked at the BBC 30 years ago when it was dominated so much by men that when she and Angela Rippon started reading the news, it made headlines. "If you've been subjugated for 2,000 years, it's your turn. It's about time things changed but Michael Buerk hasn't kept up," she said.

The presenter Joan Bakewell described Buerk's diatribe, published in the Radio Times, as a "hoot".

"He says men have been associated with the traits of reticence, stoicism and single-mindedness. But the ones I associate with them are competitiveness, confrontation and aggression," she said.

Bakewell said she had welcomed the rising profile of women executives at the BBC after decades of "patriarchy".

"Women are more conciliatory and conscientious. Michael has benefited from working with women who are not simply after his job."
Patriarchy? My god, there is no such thing!

Banning Hatred...

The UK is trying to pass laws banning incitement to religious hatred. Here's what happened in Australia with such laws.
The first major case under the Victorian legislation was brought by the Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV) against Catch the Fire Ministries (CTFM), a small evangelical organisation. CTFM had held a seminar in which some nasty things were said about Islam and its adherents. Some Muslims were in attendance, at the suggestion of an employee of the Equal Opportunity Commission of Victoria (the government body that polices the legislation). Understandably, they were outraged by what was said. The ICV then initiated legal action on their behalf.

For an obscure organisation with a controversial message it must have seemed too good to be true. Suddenly, CTFM had an international stage and were on the cusp of martyrdom. The ideas that had so offended the Muslims were being aired and discussed on radio, television and in print. Their audience had grown exponentially as had their importance to the public debate. Indeed, so far reaching was the interest in the case that the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs took the extraordinary step of requesting updates from the judge, so as to allow Australia's embassy in Washington to respond to correspondence from concerned American Christians. The case had transformed a couple of evangelicals into suburban Joan of Arcs being burnt on the pyre of political correctness.

The effects of the suit were felt across the community. Small teams of Christians, armed with notepads and tape recorders, began attending Islamic lectures, recording possible transgressions that might be used as evidence in the case. Islamic bookstores were mined for nuggets of intolerance. True to its promise, the law had brought Christians and Muslims together like never before.

The court case dragged on for months as the judge listened to complex theological evidence tendered by both sides. Arguments flew back and forth about the nuances of Arabic grammar, the interpretation of various verses of the Koran, the requisite qualifications for Islamic scholarship, and the relative legitimacy of different schools of Islamic jurisprudence. Nobody, it seemed, noticed the inappropriateness of a secular court, more accustomed to matters of trade practices disputes and parking fines, presiding over a case centering on contentious theological arguments.

The judge ruled in favour of the Islamic Council, finding, among other things, that the Christian pastors had mocked Islam and not discussed the religion in 'good faith'. The remedy was to order the two ministers to apologise by way of a court-defined statement on their website, the ministry newsletter, and by taking out four large advertisements in Victoria's two daily newspapers. It wasn't enough that they apologise to the individuals they offended or even the Muslim community, but rather they had to apologise to the entire society. In addition, they were ordered never to utter or publish the offending comments in public again in any Australian state or on the internet.

They refused to comply, insisting they would rather go to jail.

Recent media reports place the legal costs for this Pyrrhic victory at over $1million. With CTFM having filed an appeal with the Supreme Court, this expense will only mount. As will the emotions.

Hot Summer - Global Warming???

Here's a nice rejoinder to people who claim that our hot summer is proof of global warming.
The numerical global climate models predict that the Earth will warm given a continued build-up of greenhouse gases, most notably, the carbon dioxide gas coming from our burning of fossil fuels. Indeed, temperature records from throughout the world show a warming of approximately 1°F over the past century. However, almost all of the warming has occurred during the winter months just as the climate models predict. The models do not predict much change in the summer months in terms of temperature increase or some alteration of the atmospheric circulation. Blaming heat waves on global warming is a stretch, at best.
There's more reasons in the article...

Hitchens on Cindy Sheehan...

I've avoided blogging on Cindy Sheehan (the mother who lost her son in Iraq who is camping outside of Bush's ranch) because I believe the whole thing is just so stupid.
There are, in fact, some principles involved here. Any citizen has the right to petition the president for redress of grievance, or for that matter to insult him to his face. But the potential number of such people is very large, and you don't have the right to cut in line by having so much free time that you can set up camp near his drive. Then there is the question of civilian control over the military, which is an authority that one could indeed say should be absolute. The military and its relatives have no extra claim on the chief executive's ear. Indeed, it might be said that they have less claim than the rest of us, since they have voluntarily sworn an oath to obey and carry out orders. Most presidents in time of war have made an exception in the case of the bereaved—Lincoln's letter to the mother of two dead Union soldiers (at the time, it was thought that she had lost five sons) is a famous instance—but the job there is one of comfort and reassurance, and this has already been discharged in the Sheehan case. If that stricken mother had been given an audience and had risen up to say that Lincoln had broken his past election pledges and sought a wider and more violent war with the Confederacy, his aides would have been quite right to show her the door and to tell her that she was out of order.

Finally, I think one must deny to anyone the right to ventriloquize the dead. Casey Sheehan joined up as a responsible adult volunteer. Are we so sure that he would have wanted to see his mother acquiring "a knack for P.R." and announcing that he was killed in a war for a Jewish cabal? (a claim that has brought David Duke flying to Ms. Sheehan's side.) This is just as objectionable, on logical as well as moral grounds, as the old pro-war argument that the dead "must not have died in vain." I distrust anyone who claims to speak for the fallen, and I distrust even more the hysterical noncombatants who exploit the grief of those who have to bury them.

Where will the Palestinians go?

There's no way all the Palestinians can move to Israel....will they be satisfied moving to the PA?
Jordan's King Abdullah II vowed Tuesday to oppose settling more Palestinian refugees in his country amid Arab fears that Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip may not extend to the West Bank.

Abdullah is concerned that if Israel fails to leave the West Bank, which Palestinians want as part of a future state, Jordan may be pressed to settle tens of thousands of Palestinian refugees living in camps scattered across the region, including Syria and Lebanon.

"I know and do appreciate the fears of some of you that plans may exist to redraw the map of the region and to settle some historic issues at the expense of Jordan," Abdullah told an impromptu meeting with members of parliament, Cabinet and former prime ministers before he left for Russia.

"We are talking about the issue of resettlement and an alternative (Jordanian) homeland," he said.
Palestinian refugees and their descendents have been living in Lebanan and Jordon for over 50 years. Isn't time they were resettled?