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 (

Monday, October 31, 2005

Violence continues in Paris...

This deserves much bigger play in the mainstream media...
Six police officers were injured and 11 people detained following the fourth night of rioting in the Paris suburb city of Clichy-sous-Bois, on Sunday night and early Monday.

French riot police were confronted with youths burning cars and setting garbage bins on fire, authorities of the Seine-Saint-Denis region said.

Angry youths accused them of using teargas in a mosque while worshippers were praying.

"There was somebody else who was saying 'no, no it's a mosque!' but they said it doesn't matter because we have received the order to demolish everything." one said.

Six police officers were slightly injured after being hit by projectiles.

Eleven people were arrested after the violence in which eight cars and 16 rubbish bins were torched.

The violence was originally triggered when two teenagers, aged 15 and 17, died by electrocution on Thursday after they scaled the wall of an electrical relay station and fell against a transformer.

IsraPundit writes to Paul Martin...

This is a must-read...a letter to the Paul Martin from IsraPundit criticizing Canada's foreign policy.
While I was pleased with Mr. Pettigrew’s official statement of condemnation of Ahmadinejad for his recent Jew/Israel hate speech calling for Muslims to wipe Israel off the map, I was not pleased to learn from Mr. Stockwell Day’s press release October 26th, 2005 that while he had urged your Government to begin to take meaningful steps against the Islamic regime in Iran, you refused and you further refused to ask the United Nations to consider sanctions against Iran.

Since 1979, Iran has been a main supporter and exporter of radical Islamic ideology and terrorism as well as the Jew/Israel hatred heard in Ahmadinejad’s recent speech. In the Arab and Palestinian world, Muslim leaders and imams, daily disseminate and incite Jew hatred and call for Israel’s destruction in their state controlled radio, television and newspapers. That the Muslim world, including the Palestinians have not joined the West in condemning Iran’s call to wipe Israel off the map, should be a further wakeup call that the West and especially Israel, has more than just Iran to fear and worry about
Please read the whole letter.

What exactly does 'further action' mean?

To the French and to the Germans, it probably means more discussion, no?
The United Nations Security Council today passed a resolution ordering Syria to co-operate with the investigation into the murder of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri - or face "further action".

The resolution orders Damascus to arrest and freeze the assets of anybody the UN suspects of involvement in the killing. It was passed unanimously.

Although no Syrian officials have yet been designated as suspects in the Hariri murder, a UN inquiry led by Detlev Mehlis, a German prosecutor, has implicated President Bashar Assad’s brother and brother-in-law, as well as the former heads of military intelligence and internal security.
Assad should hand over his brother...but why am I skeptical the UN won't really do anything?

Here's a hot little magazine....

The right to stupid 'speech' is protected by the first ammendment...
An American magazine about gangster life that was originally aimed at prisoners is selling so well that it is to go on sale in major stores.

To the alarm of those working in crime prevention, Don Diva, which calls itself "the original street bible", has become required reading in many inner cities.

It features interviews with convicts, and includes tips on where to hide drugs and buy the best diamond-studded gold teeth and money-counting machines.

Critics say the glossy quarterly - which carries the warning, "Parental Advisory: Gangsta Content" - glamorises and promotes violent gangland lifestyles. Its supporters say the coverage reflects the reality, and consequences, of crime: perpetrators end up in prison or dead.

"I do get a lot of complaints from people, but nearly always they have never read the publication," said Tiffany Childs, 34, founder and editor. "When they write, I bombard them with issues and, nine times out of 10, they will see the value in the genre.

"There are people out there for whom this really does have a positive impact."

Launched six years ago, Don Diva now sells 165,000 copies, and Mrs Childs said each issue reached an estimated one million readers.

Initially, nearly all its subscribers were in prison. Today only 10 per cent of its readers are inmates, and the magazine will soon be on sale at large retail outlets such as Tower Records and Borders.

Holocaust denial in norwegian...

Good news for Norwegians - you can get your holocaust denial in norwegian rather than in english.
A growing number of young Norwegians doubt the truth of the Holocaust after a website has begun translating neo-Nazi propaganda.

"We are contacted by desperate parents and teachers who find that children and adolescents deny the Holocaust after having read Nazi propaganda from (Norwegian neo-Nazi group) Vigrid on the Internet," Henrik Kunde, information leader and researcher at the Anti-racist center, told newspaper Dagsavisen.

Vigrid and their leader Tore W. Tvedt try to convince readers that the killing of millions of Jews by the Germans during the second world war is a bluff, and the presentation of arguments in Norwegian is something new.

"There is a great deal of Holocaust denial literature on the Internet, but until recent this was in English and so less accessible for the young. By translating some of this to Norwegian it seems that Vigrid has found its niche," Lunde told the newspaper.

Hitchens on the Plame Affair...

There's something fishy about this so-called scandal...
Mr. Fitzgerald, therefore, seems to have decided to act "as if." He conducts himself as if Ms. Plame's identity was not widely known, as if she were working under "non official cover" (NOC), as if national security had been compromised, and as if one or even two catch-all laws had been broken. By this merely hypothetical standard, he has performed exceedingly well, even if rather long-windedly, before pulling up his essentially empty net.

However, what if one proposes an alternative "what if" narrative? What if Mr. Wilson spoke falsely when he asserted that his wife, who was not in fact under "non-official cover," had nothing to do with his visit to Niger? What if he was wrong in stating that Iraqi envoys had never even expressed an interest in Niger's only export? (Most European intelligence services stand by their story that there was indeed such a Baathist initiative.) What if his main friends in Niger were the very people he was supposed to be investigating?

Well, in that event, and after he had awarded himself some space on an op-ed page, what was to inhibit an employee of the Bush administration from calling attention to these facts, and letting reporters decide for themselves? The CIA had proven itself untrustworthy or incompetent on numerous occasions before, during and after the crisis of Sept. 11, 2001. Why should it be the only agency of the government that can invoke the law, broken or (as in this case) unbroken, to protect itself from leaks while protecting its own leakers?

Think please....before we act...

I support immigration into Canada, but couldn't we think a bit first, before we drastically increase the number of immigrants?
Canada will open its doors to up to 255,000 immigrants next year, the federal government will announce today.

But what the government won't announce is its plan to dramatically boost immigration levels by an additional 100,000 newcomers a year. Under that strategy, first floated last month, Canada would accept 320,000 immigrants a year, an increase meant to counteract a declining birthrate and aging population.

The department had been hoping to use today's target announcement to unveil its ambitious multi-year plan to ramp up immigration levels. But the proposal still hasn't received cabinet approval, signalling that there is some resistance to the scheme within government.

"It's still under discussion for the minister and his cabinet colleagues," said Stephen Heckbert, spokesperson for Immigration Minister Joe Volpe.
I'd like to know more about which immigrant groups do well in Canada, and which do poorly. There's no shortage of people who want to come here, so let's attract the people we need, and the people who most have the chance of success.

Our policies on natives needs to be changed...

Kudos to the National Post for finally offering some common sense on how to deal with native policy.
The answer, as politically incorrect as it may be, is to encourage natives to consider leaving their reserves and move to places where they can get real jobs, and their children can get a real education. While every aboriginal should be free to stay on-reserve if he or she has the means to support such a lifestyle, the overall goal should be to integrate natives and let them share in the bounty of our modern economy rather than relegating them to our hinterland, out of sight, out of mind.

We are happy that hundreds of families are being flown out of Kashechewan to get the medical treatment they deserve in modern cities. But these people would have brighter futures if their trips were one-way.
But, read the whole thing...

The ACLU in action...

I used to respect the ACLU, not anymore.
Less than a month after a 21-year-old blew himself up just outside a packed football stadium in Oklahoma, a circuit court judge in Florida has granted the American Civil Liberties Union a surprise victory by issuing a preliminary injunction preventing searches at Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ games.

Spurred to action by the July 7 London bombings, the NFL this August mandated that all teams begin “pat-down” searches of ticket holders starting on September 25. Many teams had been doing so since 9/11, though the Bucs had not. The timing of the policy’s implementation turned out to be, at the least, eerie.

Less than a week after the NFL began league-wide pat-downs, college student Joel Hinrichs III blew himself up roughly 100 yards outside the University of Oklahoma football stadium, which was overflowing with some 84,000 fans. While it is not clear whether he intended to commit a terrorist attack, the mere fact that he had tried to purchase, only days earlier, ammonium nitrate—which was used by Timothy McVeigh in 1996—would seem to show that the NFL was acting with reasonable caution.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

What they have to study in China.....

Sooner or later, this will all have to go....
Which of the following is the best way for the Chinese Communist Party to lead the country in the 21st century?

Is it A) to respect labour, knowledge, talent and creation? B) to innovate society's management systems? or C) to scrap boring multiple-choice examinations about Chinese Communist Party ideology?

The correct answer, officially at least, is A, although for a growing number of new China's upwardly mobile workers, the most tempting option is C.

Despite embracing capitalism in all but name, the country's Communist government insists that anyone wanting to get ahead must pass university and school exams dealing with the propaganda of successive Communist leaders.

From the thoughts of Chairman Mao to the slogans of Jiang Zemin, a firm grasp of politburo prose is compulsory for pupils, students and ambitious party members.

Now, just as a new generation was hoping that the Marxist textbooks might finally be consigned to history, President Hu Jintao, China's current leader, has insisted that his own turgid rhetoric must be added to the curriculum.

A story the media missed...

The real story behind the bombing of the Palestine Hotel.
"Major E," an Army officer stationed in Baghdad, described the assault as a public relations success, but a military failure, in an e-mail to the Web log Power Line.

"The media sources I have seen breathlessly point out the spectacular nature of the attack and show the video clip over and over," Major E said. "They do not seem, however, to be pointing out that the Iraqi police were instrumental in repelling the assault ... The real story here is that the Islamic terrorists in Iraq are incapable of even seizing, let alone holding, a hotel full of journalists. Meanwhile, the Iraqi security forces continue to get stronger and more capable by the day."

Within Iraq, the Palestine Hotel attack has added to al-Qaida's image woes with Sunni Muslims, said the Web log StrategyPage.

"The terrorists are seen as an insensitive (all those dead Muslim civilians) and inept (all those failed attacks) bunch of fanatics," StrategyPage said.

In a remarkable story Thursday, the Guardian, a left-leaning British newspaper, reported on how Abu Theeb, an Iraqi insurgent leader, and his men protected the polling place in their village north of Baghdad from al-Qaida during the constitutional referendum.

Initially attracted to the foreigners because they were flush with cash, Abu Theeb turned against al-Qaida when they started targeting Iraqi police and Shiite civilians. His men drove al-Qaida out of his village.

Now Abu Theeb is thinking of giving up armed resistance for politics. "It's a new jihad," he told the Guardian. "There is a time for fighting and a time for politics."

Many other Sunnis have come to the same conclusion. Turnout was high (63 percent) in the constitutional referendum, and though most Sunnis voted against it, the constitution was easily approved, 78 percent to 22 percent.

"Things are much better in Iraq than the media would like you to believe," Major E said.

McMartin accuser recants...

I think we're going to see a lot of this happening...
Saying he lied to please his parents and protect his younger siblings, one of the children who claimed he was molested at the notorious McMartin Preschool in Manhattan Beach more than 20 years ago has recanted his original story.

Kyle Zirpolo, now 30 and living near Santa Barbara, was among 360 children who told lurid stories of rape, animal mutilations and satanic rituals that would shock the South Bay and reverberate around the world starting in 1983.

But in a lengthy first-person account appearing in today's Los Angeles Times Magazine, Zirpolo said none of it was true: He was never raped by his teacher Ray Buckey. Buckey is the son of school administrator Peggy McMartin Buckey and grandson of founder Virginia McMartin. They, along with four other employees, were charged with 206 counts of child abuse.

"I felt uncomfortable and a little ashamed that I was being dishonest," wrote Zirpolo, whose stepfather was a Manhattan Beach police officer. "But at the same time, being the type of person I was, whatever my parents wanted me to do, I would do. And I thought they wanted me to help protect my little brother and sister who went to McMartin."

The court proceedings -- including an 18-month preliminary hearing and two trials -- would last six years to become the longest and most expensive criminal case in U.S. history.

The other defendants were Buckey's sister, Peggy Ann Buckey, and teachers Mary Ann Jackson, Bette Raidor and Babette Spitler. In 1986, the district attorney called the evidence "incredibly weak," and dropped all charges against all the defendants except Ray Buckey and his mother, Peggy McMartin Buckey, who remained in custody.

Zirpolo, who was known as Kyle Sapp when he testified, remembered feeling "weird" when he was examined by a doctor in a room surrounded by stuffed animals and dolls.

"I remember them asking extremely uncomfortable questions about whether Ray touched me and about all the teachers and what they did -- and I remember telling them nothing happened to me. I remember them almost giggling and laughing, saying, 'Oh, we know these things happened to you. Why don't you just go ahead and tell us? Use these dolls if you're scared.' "

Despite telling authorities that there were no improprieties, Zirpolo said he felt pressured to change his story.

"Anytime I would give them an answer that they didn't like, they would ask again and encourage me to give them the answer they were looking for."

Now we now the cause of world unrest...

Claire Short, a former Minister in the Blair government reveals the cause of world unrest.
Britain's former International Development Secretary Clare Shirt has blamed American support for Israel as being responsible for global conflict.

"US backing for Israeli policies of expansion of the Israeli state and oppression of the Palestinian people is the major cause of bitter division and violence in the world," Short said.

The former minister, who resigned from her cabinet post in protest over the Iraq war, was issuing a statement in support of next week's World Premier of a musical tribute to American peace activist Rachel Corrie, who was killed by the Israelis in March.

"There has been the usual campaign to silence even a cantata to commemorate a young woman who gave her life in order to stand for justice," Short said about Corrie, who was killed when attempting to stop an Israeli bulldozer destroying a Palestinian house in Gaza.
My God, how on earth did she become a cabinet member?

Venezuela and Iran get cosy....

This alliance is definately something to watch...
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Saturday his country considering Iran as a model for development would utilize Iran's help in rendering service to people.

There are a number of grounds for mutual cooperation in economic and technical fields in particular, namely setting up of a tractor manufacturing factory and housing projects, he told visiting Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Europe and America Saeed Jalili.

Elsewhere in his talks, Chavez noted that Venezuela's vote in the UN nuclear watchdog had been based on mutual friendship, saying, Venezuela is committed to defend Iran whenever the government and nation of Iran wish it to do so.

Iran turns up the rhetoric....

But, he's sort of right - Iran and others have been saying much the same thing for decades and nobody's really said a word.
Iranians on Sunday accused western countries of exploiting their president's bellicose remarks about Israel to turn up the heat on Tehran over its disputed atomic programme.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's remark on Wednesday that Israel should be "wiped off the map" sparked international condemnation, including a rebuke from the UN Security Council.

But the uproar has caused confusion in Iran, where such rhetoric has been commonplace since the 1979 Islamic revolution. Anti-Israeli diatribes are painted as murals along most highways and are heard regularly at Friday prayers.

"Our respected president has not said anything new or unprecedented about Israel to justify such a huge political tumult," wrote Hossein Shariatmadari, who was appointed to his post as editor of the Kayhan daily by Iran's Supreme Leader.

"Iran's nuclear case ... could be a reason for the recent clamour."

Throw them in jail...

Greenpeace is just despicable.
He is an abrasive former boxer and seaman, who famously punched a protester while on the campaign trail. They are vegetarian environmentalists who believe they can save the planet by handing out energy-efficient light-bulbs.

One of the two camps will this week face serious charges relating to abuse and threats under the Public Order Act - and it will not be John Prescott.

In what could prove to be the legal showdown of the season, eight Greenpeace activists are to be tried on charges of threatening, abusive and insulting behaviour after clambering past faux Gothic turrets and on to the roof of the Deputy Prime Minister's house on the outskirts of Hull.

The trial of the activists, who mounted a dawn raid on Prescott Towers and placed solar panels on the roof in April, will feature a rare public appearance by Mrs Prescott on Tuesday.

Mrs Prescott is expected to testify that the arrival of the protesters on their roof caused distress, not only to her but to the armed bodyguards posted at the home.

The environmentalists, who scaled the walls in orange boiler suits and handed out eco light-bulbs before erecting solar panels, are expected to argue that they had no intention of intimidating Mrs Prescott. They will point out they introduced themselves as Greenpeace activists with a polite letter.

Greenpeace believes the decision of the Crown Prosecution Service to pursue them in court for a peaceful protest, on a charge that carries a prison term, is excessively harsh. "Greenpeace gave John Prescott a free gift of some solar panels so he can practise what he preaches and 'do his bit' to tackle global warming," a Greenpeace spokesman said. "Being taken to court for it seems a rather over-the-top response."

But Mr Prescott, who was not at home at the time of the protest - but whom Greenpeace would like to summon to give evidence nevertheless - is clearly furious. "My wife was on her own in the house and there were 30 of them on the roof. What the Greenpeace people did was deplorable. It was 5am. It was very frightening for my wife and that really does annoy me. She felt it was infringement," he told one newspaper.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Does Bush really have to name a woman to the Supreme Court...

Heather Mac Donald says no.
Two reasons are usually given for taking gender into account in judgeships: Women think differently than men, and women need role models. Neither of these withstand scrutiny.

Last summer, legal commentator Dahlia Lithwick provided a classic example of the "women think differently" argument in the New York Times. A female judge, she wrote, shows "empathy" to victims — above all, to female victims. A properly sensitive female justice, confronting a constitutional challenge to, say, the 1994 Violence Against Women Act (which made "gender-motivated violence" a federal offense), would uphold the act because it sought to protect female victims of violence.

The fact that the law was patently unconstitutional — exceeding as it did Congress' powers under the commerce clause — would not stand in the way of the female justice's mission of helping the weak and oppressed. But empathy for victims, while a wonderful trait in ordinary human affairs, should not influence constitutional decision making. Judging requires the separation of emotions from logical thought.

A serious constitutional analyst does not ask: Is this a sympathetic victim? Rather, he (or she) asks: Is there a constitutional basis for this governmental assertion of power? One may have empathy for a plaintiff and still be compelled to rule against him. Any other approach contains disturbing implications. If female judges are really more likely than men to be influenced by their emotional sympathies, then the outcome of a case may hinge on whether a female or a male judge is hearing it — an unacceptable proposition in a country that believes in the rule of law.

If tribal loyalties — to one's gender or race — determine legal outcomes, then there is no point in having a Constitution in the first place, which is premised on the idea that neutral rules can constrain political will.

And the idea that women are best-suited to understand the "female" perspective on legal issues will come back to haunt its proponents. If women are so expert in matters affecting women (or minorities in matters affecting minorities), then the corollary must be true: Women are less qualified to rule on matters affecting men (or minorities on matters affecting whites), which should be left to white males. Of course, every proponent of identity politics insists on having it both ways: The identity politician simultaneously asserts a special expertise regarding identity issues while claiming that she is equally qualified to take on issues outside her identity.

The second argument for taking gender or race into account in judicial appointments is that women and minorities need role models. But this assertion is not only demeaning to its alleged beneficiaries, it is illogical. It assumes that women and minorities can only be followers, not pioneers. If a woman can only follow where other women have already tread, that means that all-male fields must forever remain all male. Breaking into a traditionally male occupation, however, requires someone to go first. A suggestion: If a woman insists that she needs a role model to aspire to the highest challenges, let's encourage her to take gender out of the equation. Want to be a pioneer in nuclear physics, for example? There are plenty of nuclear physicists to model yourself on. Women shouldn't limit themselves to emulating other women.

Male victims of spousal abuse get little help....

Finally, someone is trying to tackle this problem...of course, you have to sue to get anywhere.
A men's rights group claims the domestic violence system is skewed toward women.

Today, a lawsuit was filed in Sacramento court, claiming that male victims don't get the same help as female victims.

"I remember going to phone 911, saying get here now, I'm going to kill him!" said Ruth Woods.

They fought all the time, often over money. Things sometimes got violent.

"I do it. I do hit. I do slap," said Ruth.

"She reaches a point when she's angry, you look in her eyes, there's no one there," said Ruth’s husband, David Woods.

Ruth's longtime husband, David, says he's a former bouncer who didn't want to hit back.

"If I hit her, I could kill her," said David.

But David claims when he went to local agencies for help, for shelter, he got nowhere.

"I was told women are not the perpetrators, they are the victims," said David.

Now, a lawsuit has been filed, claiming that men are treated unfairly. According to the suit, state law even excludes male victims from domestic violence help. The health and safety code section will pay for things like housing, hotel rooms and counseling--but only for women and not men.

David insists he tried to get help from the group WEAVE--Women Escaping A Violent Environment--but was turned down.

"I was told no by weave four times," said David.

I guess appeasement comes naturally....

Why can't he just stick to raising money for charities?
The Prince of Wales will try to persuade George W Bush and Americans of the merits of Islam this week because he thinks the United States has been too intolerant of the religion since September 11.

The Prince, who leaves on Tuesday for an eight-day tour of the US, has voiced private concerns over America's "confrontational" approach to Muslim countries and its failure to appreciate Islam's strengths.

The Prince raised his concerns when he met senior Muslims in London in November 2001. The gathering took place just two months after the attacks on New York and Washington. "I find the language and rhetoric coming from America too confrontational," the Prince said, according to one leader at the meeting.

Isn't this an act of war?

Of course, no one will say a word about this...
Iran has promised a reward of $10,000 (£5,600) to Islamic Jihad if the militant group launches rockets from the West Bank towards Tel Aviv, a senior Palestinian intelligence official said last week.

Speaking in his Ramallah office, the official produced a fat wad of $100 notes which he said had been confiscated from a pro-Iranian Islamic Jihad activist.

The money was said to have gone from Iran to Damascus, the Syrian capital, from where Ibrahim Shehadeh, Islamic Jihad’s head of overseas operations, transferred it to the West Bank.

According to the intelligence official, the Palestinian Authority has located workshops where “Al-Quds” (Jerusalem) rockets are being made and has given their co-ordinates to the Israelis. “We understand they destroyed some of them,” he said.

The Israeli media claimed last week that rocket attacks from the West Bank were widely expected: Ben Gurion airport’s eastern runway is just five miles away and the outskirts of Tel Aviv are within 10 miles.

Shaul Mofaz, Israel’s defence minister, and the army’s chief of staff held an emergency meeting to discuss requests from the mayors of towns bordering the West Bank for sirens to alert inhabitants to incoming rockets.

Israeli intelligence officials said that Iran was threatening the country on three fronts: through long-range missiles based in Lebanon; through terrorist networks around the world; and through the new arsenals of the West Bank.

PETA wins a huge victory....

But, please keep the gift.
The First Assembly of God Church has agreed to discontinue its practice of swallowing live goldfish as part of its Fear Factor ministry.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has asked for a ban on the practice.

Spokeswoman Amy Rhodes said the organization was flooded with calls earlier this month after a story about the program was published in the TimesDaily.

PETA contacted the church seeking confirmation of a ban on the activity.

Pastor Greg Woodall replied to PETA's request in a letter.

"I do appreciate your concern and just wanted to let you know that this will never happen again," Woodall wrote. "My views are a reflection of yours. We love God's creatures and would never want to show them harm."

As part of the Fear Factor ministry at the church, teenage participants were asked to swallow live goldfish. No one reportedly became ill during the goldfish phase of the program that concludes this week.

Youth minister Anthony Martin said earlier the goal of the exercise was to teach teens about fear.

PETA thanked the church for the ban by sending a gift basket of vegan Swedish fish, a gummy candy, as an alternative to live fish.
What exactly is a vegan Swedish fish?

Read the Galloway Report

The US Senate Permanent SubCommittee on Investigations has posted their report on George Galloway's testimony.
Because Galloway’s testimony and sweeping denials conflicted with the Subcommittee’s evidence and May 12, 2005 Report, the Subcommittee continued its inquiry into the matter to test the veracity of Galloway’s claims. Since the May hearing, the Subcommittee has obtained additional evidence establishing that the Hussein regime granted oil allocations to Galloway and the Mariam Appeal. This Report, prepared by the Majority staff of the Subcommittee, presents evidence establishing that:

1. Galloway personally solicited and was granted oil allocations from the Government of Iraq during the reign of Saddam Hussein. The Hussein regime granted Galloway and the Mariam Appeal eight allocations totaling 23 million barrels from 1999 through 2003;

2. Galloway’s wife, Dr. Amineh Abu-Zayyad, received approximately $150,000 in connection with one of those oil allocations;

3. Galloway’s political campaign, the Mariam Appeal, received at least $446,000 in connection with the oil allocations granted to Galloway and the Mariam Appeal under the Oil-for-Food Program;

4. The Hussein regime received improper “surcharge” payments amounting to $1,642,000.65 in connection with the oil allocations granted to Galloway and
the Mariam Appeal; and

5. Galloway knowingly made false or misleading statements under oath before the Subcommittee at its hearing on May 17, 2005;

Evidence supporting each of the preceding findings is presented in detail below. That evidence includes: (1) Documents, including bank account information and wire transfers, establishing that Fawaz Zureikat, a Jordanian businessman and close friend of Galloway, received money in connection with an oil allocation under the Oil-for-Food Program and transferred a significant portion of that money to Galloway’s wife and Galloway’s political campaign, the Mariam Appeal; (2) Testimony from Tariq Aziz in which Aziz describes in detail his discussions with Galloway concerning oil allocations, including Galloway’s request for allocations and his subsequent request to increase the amount of oil allocated to him and his political organization, the Mariam Appeal; (3) Documents created by the Iraqi Ministry of Oil, including records created during the Hussein regime that were authenticated by the Minister of Oil; (4) Documents created by senior Hussein officials detailing Galloway’s efforts to obtain financial support from the Hussein regime for his political campaign, including documents that were authenticated by Tariq Aziz and Ali Hasan al-Majid; (5) Interviews with an oil trader stating that he discussed the oil allocation process with Galloway, and that “[Galloway] told me that, if he were to obtain an oil allocation, he would contact us directly or indirectly” and that “[Galloway] said he or his representative in Iraq would contact [me] in connection with the sale of an allocation;” and (6) Written affirmation from a second oil trader who negotiated with Galloway’s agent for the purchase of Galloway’s oil allocation.

Is this all they could find...

It really looks like that special prosecutor found nothing. Here's an excerpt from David Frum's front-page article in the National Post today.
Under the "little" theory, there was no deception, no conspiracy, no punishment, and no compromise of security. All that happened was that Mr. Libby, as chief of staff to Vice-President Dick Cheney, called reporters to contradict a false story that Ambassador Wilson had told about his boss. A New York Times columnist had reported in May, 2003, that it was Cheney who had dispatched Mr. Wilson on his famous mission to Niger in February, 2002. Mr. Libby pointed out that it was Mr. Wilson's wife who had chosen him for the mission -- and that Mr. Wilson had grossly exaggerated his own role in the whole business. The "little" theory agrees that Mr. Libby disclosed that Mr. Wilson's wife worked for the CIA -- but it denies that she was an undercover agent or that any important secrets were compromised. If Mr. Libby had only told the truth about what had happened, there would have been no crime at all.

Special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald has now almost formally confirmed the "little" theory. There will be no more indictments -- "I can tell you that the substantial bulk of the work of this investigation is concluded" -- which means there is no evidence of conspiracy. Nor did Mr. Libby betray national security secrets: "We're not saying that Libby knowingly outed a covert agent."

That's pretty much the end of the scandal isn't it? And that creates an opportunity for the President to put his administration back to work.

Crichton recommends some books on the environment...

As you might know, Author Michael Crichton is a skeptic when it comes to global warming. He gives some recommendations for books in the Opinion Journal today. Here are two of them...
4. "The Skeptical Environmentalist" by Bjorn Lomborg (Cambridge University Press, 2002).

No one should miss Bjorn Lomborg's "The Skeptical Environmentalist." The author, a Danish statistician and former Greenpeace activist, set out to disprove the views of the late Julian Simon, who claimed that environmental fears were baseless and that the world was actually improving. To Mr. Lomborg's surprise, he found that Simon was mostly right. Mr. Lomborg's text is calm and devastating to established dogma.

5. "The Logic of Failure" by Dietrich Dörner (Perseus, 1998).

Future environmentalists will heed Dietrich Dörner's "The Logic of Failure." Mr. Dörner is a cognitive psychologist who invited academic experts to manage the computer simulations of various environments (an African herding society, a town in Maine). Most experts made things worse. Those managers who did well gathered information before acting, thought in terms of complex-systems interactions instead of simple linear cause and effect, reviewed their progress, looked for unanticipated consequences, and corrected course often. Those who did badly relied on a fixed theoretical approach, did not correct course and blamed others when things went wrong. Mr. Dörner concludes that our failure to manage complex systems such as the environment reflects bad habits of thought, overreliance on theory and lazy procedures. His book is brief, cheerful and profound.

Friday, October 28, 2005

The Iranian crisis....

I agree with this article - we are on a collision course with Iran. Do we have the stomach to stand up for western values?
Iran was on a collision course with the West yesterday as its president defied a diplomatic onslaught led by Washington and London to withdraw his calls for Israel to be "wiped off the map".

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, supported by more than a million of his countrymen attending annual anti-Israel protest rallies in all major cities across Iran, said he stood by his remarks.

The president marched alongside a mob of noisy students in Teheran waving placards carrying the exact words he used at an anti-Zionism rally earlier this week, and mocked Israel's strongest supporter, the United States.

"They become upset when they hear any voice of truth-seeking, " he said. "They think they are the absolute rulers of the world."

By returning so bluntly to the old anti-Israel rhetoric common during Iran's Islamic Revolution of 1979, the president has radically changed Iran's relations with the West.

After a decade when most observers believed that the Islamic Republic had become more modern, Mr Ahmadinejad has taken a more hardline position.

With Iran continuing work on its nuclear programme, it is a change of policy with potentially enormous implications.

Next month's deadline for Iran to allow international scrutiny of its nuclear programme will now be the focus of increased diplomatic attention.

So far Iran's belligerence appears to have wrong-footed the West, with no obvious international support for Tony Blair's veiled warning that force could be used against Iran.

While European and western nations have condemned the Iranian president's remarks, the Arab and Muslim world has been largely silent.

Only Turkey, a Muslim but secular state, has called for Mr Ahmadinejad to withdraw his comments.

Hypocrisy and Michael Moore...

A small excerpt from an article in the National Review about a book called "Do As I Say (Not As I Do)", by Peter Schweizer.
Michael Moore, the biggest mouthpiece of the anti-hypocrite Left, constantly denounces Republicans as racists for opposing affirmative action. Schweizer reports that Moore almost never hires black people. Moore insists, "I don't own a single share of stock." He denounces clever Enron style schemes to conceal wealth and rails against Haliburton as the Mother of All Evils. He told C-Span's Brian Lamb in his best prolier-than-thou voice that he wanted nothing to do with the stock market. "That's the rich man's game."

Well, it turns out Moore's got another game going. As Schweizer reports, Moore told the IRS his home is the headquarters of his tax-free foundation, to which he contributes some of his millions for the write-off. The foundation, in turn, not only bought stock — its holdings are a Who's Who of "greedy" corporations, including Halliburton.

Ok, how about a fatwa?

When will the mainstream press start taking genocidal threats seriously?
Many newspapers across the Middle East covered Wednesday’s speech by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad without comment, many of them on their front pages.

The president’s demand that Israel be "wiped off the map" fuelled editorial aggression.

Iran’s Islamic Republic News Agency reported without comment the president’s tirade against "the ambitious policies of the Zionist regime and arrogant powers".

The more conservative strands of the Islamic press mooted a fatwa – a Muslim religious edict – against Israel.

The hard-line Iranian newspaper Kayhan, which has long backed Mr Ahmadinejad, asked: "If it is true that the appearance of the Messiah is imminent, then why doesn't the clergy shut-up and issue a fatwa that will declare a Jihad against Israel?"

Halloween is cancelled...

Gee, if you don't like halloween, then keep your kids at home.
When students at Underwood Elementary School (Newton, MA) walk to their classrooms on Monday, there will be no witches, SpongeBob SquarePants, or Johnny Damons there to greet them.

No skeleton paintings or Frankenstein tattoos, either.

The school's principal said yesterday he acceded to the complaints of a handful of parents who said that because the school's traditional Halloween celebrations offended their religious beliefs, they would not send their children to school if the revelry continued this year.

Nothing like being a schoolboy...

Source: AP

and, nothing like a carnival atmosphere...
Large numbers of regime loyalists took to the streets of Tehran for "Jerusalem Day" -- an event heavy on bloodthirsty slogans, flag burning and praise for suicide bombers but also held in a carnival-style atmosphere.

Major environmentalist warns of global warming...

One of North America's top scientists, Leonardo DiCaprio was just on Oprah's show and warned us about global warming.
Leonardo DiCaprio appeared yesterday at Oprah's chat show and warned Americans about the dangers of global warming. He said that the last year's hurricanes and tsunamis are just a terrifying forewarning of what is to come.

The Titanic star is taking these things seriously. He even mentioned figures, saying that America, which boasts five per cent of the world's population, produces 25 per cent of the globe's carbon emissions.

Leo’s attitude prompted Oprah to tell him: “You feel like NOAH (biblical character who built an arc in preparation for a great flood) to me - you're like, 'Pay attention, pay attention, pay attention.'”
Yes, but isn't the US a huge part of the world economy - so one would expect a high level of emissions. Glad that we have a modern-day Noah in our midst.

Terrorists arrested in Denmark...

It seems like about once a week, there are arrests somewhere...indicating how big this problem is.
Police arrested four Danish Muslims Thursday on suspicion of belonging to a terror network planning a suicide attack in Europe, officials said.

The suspects, all males between 16 and 20 years old, were ordered held in jail while police investigate the allegations, police spokesman Joern Bro said.

He said at a news conference that the network had planned to carry out the suicide attack in Europe.

"It seems the plan was going into a closing phase," said Bro, declining to provide further details.

The suspects, who were not further identified, faced a judge in a closed-door hearing late Thursday in Glostrup, a suburb of Copenhagen.

Police said they raided the suspects' homes in the Copenhagen area, seizing computers, computer discs, books with radical Muslim literature and cellular phones. Some 25 people in all were briefly detained but only the four were arrested.

Danish media quoted Bro as saying that the arrests in Copenhagen were linked to an investigation in the Balkans in which arrests were made this month and large quantities of explosives were found.

Fighting Malaria...

Fighting malaria is truly one of the most urgent tasks we have - and a battle that can be won.
The KMMN coalition -- which includes eminent malaria experts and public health specialists, the former U.S. Navy surgeon general, the national chairman of the Congress of Racial Equality, a co-founder of Greenpeace, the president of the National Black Chamber of Commerce and the president of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons -- says most of the annual $200 million goes to advising African governments on how to combat malaria, not on actual combat.

The KMMN coalition says that none of that money goes for the most effective weapon: the insecticide DDT, which eradicated malaria in Europe and the United States more than half a century ago, but was banned in the United States in 1972 because of its supposed environmental effects. Soon, the World Health Organization and the U.S. Agency for International Development cut out DDT from its programs.

Author-physician Michael Crichton described the results of the DDT ban this way: "It has killed more people than Hitler." That's because trying to stop every human-stinging mosquito is a dead man's game. They will find a way in. And during the three decades since DDT disappeared from the disease-fighting weapon rack, we've learned that the insecticide does not thin birds' eggshells dangerously or cause cancer among humans. Infants nursing when there's been heavy DDT spraying may gain weight a little more slowly than others, but that's a lot better than dying from malaria.

And that's why the KMMN declaration arose last week. It responds to residual concerns about DDT's environmental effects by calling for its use only for indoor spraying and not for aerial or any other form of outdoor application. But that's the only proposed compromise: With malarial mosquitoes, it's kill or be killed.

'a family day-out...with flag-burning...'

Gee, fun for the whole family!
Ramita Navai, Tehran Correspondent for The Times, was among thousands on the streets of the Iranian capital for annual anti-Israel rallies, at which the President continued his inflammatory rhetoric.

"It's a bit like a family day out, but with cursory outbreaks of flag burning. There are picnics, street-vendors and people selling balloons... there's a kind of carnival atmosphere.

"But I walked past one stand where people were writing messages on a flag to send to Palestine. There was a girl there, she can't have been older than 5, and she had just signed her name below a message reading 'Death to Israel, death to America.'

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Hitchens on Galloway...

I just couldn't resist quoting Hitchen's last paragraph about Galloway.
Taken together with the scandal surrounding Benon Sevan, the U.N. official responsible for "running" the program, and with the recent arrest of Ambassador Jean-Bernard Mérimée (France's former U.N. envoy) in Paris, and with other evidence about pointing to big bribes paid to French and Russian politicians like Charles Pasqua and Vladimir Zhirinovsky, what we are looking at is a well-organized Baathist attempt to buy or influence the member states of the U.N. Security Council. One wonders how high this investigation will reach and how much it will eventually explain.

For George Galloway, however, the war would seem to be over. The evidence presented suggests that he lied in court when he sued the Daily Telegraph in London over similar allegations (and collected money for that, too). It suggests that he lied to the Senate under oath. And it suggests that he made a deceptive statement in the register of interests held by members of the British House of Commons. All in all, a bad week for him, especially coming as it does on the heels of the U.N. report on the murder of Rafik Hariri, which appears to pin the convict's badge on senior members of the Assad despotism in Damascus, Galloway's default patron after he lost his main ally in Baghdad.

Yet this is the man who received wall-to-wall good press for insulting the Senate subcommittee in May, and who was later the subject of a fawning puff piece in the New York Times, and who was lionized by the anti-war movement when he came on a mendacious and demagogic tour of the country last month. I wonder if any of those who furnished him a platform will now have the grace to admit that they were hosting a man who is not just a pimp for fascism but one of its prostitutes as well.

More on George Galloway...

He keeps denying it...and the evidence keeps on piling up...
United Nations investigators accused the wife of George Galloway last night of receiving more than $120,000 (£80,000) into her personal bank account, the second such revelation in less than a week.

On Tuesday, a US Senate inquiry alleged that Dr Amineh Abu Zayyad, the Respect MP's wife, received almost $150,000 in August 2000 from a Jordanian businessman.

All $270,000 is said to have come from contracts secretly awarded to Mr Galloway by Saddam Hussein's regime under the oil-for-food programme, which was designed to help Iraq's neediest people.

Mr Galloway strongly denied the charges in a letter to the UN investigators, saying he had not taken any money and nor had his wife. "I should inform you that Dr Abu Zayyad says she has never received $120,000," he said.

Investigators cited evidence from the Lloyds TSB bank account of a firm called Delta Services, the vehicle of a British-based businessman called Burhan Chalabi. Each time Delta received a payment from a Finnish oil firm trading under the oil-for-food scheme, it sent funds to Mrs Galloway's account, the report said.

The UN cited three payments to her in 2000. Mr and Mrs Galloway married in February of that year and are now divorcing.

Smoking kills far more gays than AIDs...

It's about time - a campaign to help stop gay people smoking. Smoking kills far more gay people than AIDs.
Los Angeles County's health department on Thursday unveiled the "Last Drag" an innovative campaign to curb smoking among gays - the largest single group of smokers in the state.

A study released last month by the California Department of Health Services shows that more than 30 percent of the state's gay community smokes. (story) The figure is double the state average of 15.4 percent.

In announcing the campaign Thursday Los Angeles County's Tobacco Control and Prevention Project said the initiative will consist of smoking cessation workshops specifically developed for LGBT individuals, advertising, a Web site and the first-ever gay anti-smoking street team.

The statewide data released last month shows that lesbians and bi women smoked almost triple (32.5 percent) that of general population women (11.9 percent). Gay and bi men smoked at 27.4 percent, significantly more than California men in general at 19.1 percent.

The highest smoking rates were among LGBT 18 to 24 year olds at 43.7 percent - 2.5 times the overall smoking rate of this age group in California at 16.6 percent. Lesbians 18 to 24 years old smoked at 47.0 percent, while gay men were close behind at 37.4 percent.
In 2004, there were only 237 cases of AIDs in all of Canada, and only 60 deaths. When will the gay community in Canada wake up?

But, no hostility towards Jews...

The Iranians continue their genocidal rants against Israel. But guess what? They have no hostility towards Jews!
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan expressed dismay about the remarks and reminded all member states Israel is a long-standing UN member "with the same rights and obligations as every other member."

Iran, however, was unrepentant, confirming its dramatic shift to the right that came with Ahmadinejad's shock election win in June.

The spokesman of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, Sayyed Massoud Jazihiri, backed up Ahmadinejad by describing Israel as a "cancerous tumor."

He said the West "was right to be afraid, because two decades ago when the Imam [Khomeini] called for Israel to be wiped off the map they thought it was a slogan, but as time passes we are seeing signs of unity in the Islamic world."

"We have no doubts that at the end of the road, the victory of Muslims and the defeat of Israel is inevitable," Jazihiri said.

Iran's Foreign Ministry also ordered its diplomats to lodge official protests over Europe's attitude toward "Zionist crimes".

"In protest at the exacerbation of the Zionist regime's crimes and its suppression of the Palestinian nation, Iran's embassies in Western countries were instructed to convey Iran's strong protest to European governments for their indifference toward the issue," the Foreign Ministry said.

But the Iranian Embassy in Paris said Iran had "no hostility" toward Jews.

Incredible anti-semitic TV show now on in Jordan...

Palestinian Media Watch has some scenes from a horrible anti-semitic Tv series now being shown in Jordan.
The Diaspora (Al-Shatat), a Syrian-produced TV series depicting how Jews, as ideology and religious conviction, are trying to subjugate the entire world, is now being broadcast for the third time in recent years on Arabic language Satellite TV. It was first broadcast in 2003 on Al-Manar (Hizbollah TV), in 2004 is was aired on Iranian TV, and now it is being broadcast during the Ramadan on Jordanian TV Al-Mamnou.

The series presents itself as an authentic historical depiction of the period of the Zionist movement and revolves around the "Secret Jewish World Government," whose members meet and plan how to control the leaders of the world, and thus, direct all of history. The Jewish Government is shown plotting and causing the Russian Revolution, the World Wars, encouraging the Nazi murder of Jews, and engineering the use of atomic bombs on Japan. The Jews are described as evil and bloodthirsty, interested only in power and world domination.

The series also includes horrific distortions of Judaism, including the presentation of the use of a Christian child's blood in preparation of Matzah for Passover, as religious necessity. The graphic episode features Jews kidnapping a Christian boy and slitting his throat to drain his blood, and the brutal execution of a Jew by a "Talmudic" court, by pouring boiling lead down his throat.
And this is now being shown in a country at peace with Israel.

More on that NBA dress code...

I blogged about this last is Larry Elder on the same topic.
Former NBA player Charles Barkley supports the code, explaining, "Young black kids dress like NBA players. Unfortunately, they don't get paid like NBA players. So when they go out in the real world, what they wear is held against them." Barkley points out that, sure, when one makes $10 to $15 million a year, he can wear what he chooses and still navigate successfully through society. But for the rest of us in the real world, people make judgments on how one looks: "If a well-dressed white kid and a black kid wearing a do-rag and throwback jersey came to me in a job interview, I'd hire the white kid," said Barkley. "That's reality. That's the No. 1 reason I support the dress code."

Most businesses expect employees to dress a certain way, to project a certain kind of image. Detroit's black mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, for example, recently stopped wearing his trademark diamond earring. "That little insignificant thing in my ear gave off a bad spirit of rebellion," said Kilpatrick. "And it overshadowed the fact that I have a law degree, that I was leader of the House, that I've written policy, that I'm great at appropriations and grant programs, that I'm able to do things like put together the best emergency operations plan in the country."

Does the NBA suffer from image problems? Well, according to "Out of Bounds" author Jeff Benedict, 40 percent of NBA players' criminal records involve serious crimes, including sexual assault. And Sports Illustrated quoted one of the NBA's top sports agents, who said, "I'd say that there might be more kids out of wedlock than there are players in the NBA." And Len Elmore, an ESPN broadcaster and former NBA player said, "For numbers, I would guess that one [out of wedlock child] for every player is a good ballpark figure. For every player with none, there's a guy with two or three." And who can forget that brawl in Auburn Hills between the Indiana Pacers and the Detroit Pistons, in which players actually went into the stands to fight?

The new dress code stands to benefit the players economically. The NBA players now receive 58 percent of basketball revenue. Assuming an NBA "bad-boy image" turns off sponsors and some fans, a spruced-up image may increase the economic pie for everybody — including the now non-bling-wearing players.

Gay Tourists flock to Canada...

Nice piece in the Ottawa Citizen on gay tourism by Danny Drolet (a friend of mine).
Canada, which this year garnered world-wide attention when it legalized same-sex marriage, is becoming a prime tourist destination for gay and lesbian visitors from the United States.

And that trend is likely to strengthen when, in 2007, the U.S. begins requiring anyone entering that country to use a passport: The percentage of gay and lesbian Americans with a valid passport is estimated at more than three times the U.S. national average.

Overall, the number of Americans visiting Canada is down because of high gasoline prices and confusion about border security.

But a survey in August of 2,915 gay men and 796 lesbians from the U.S. showed that 36 per cent of the respondents had travelled to Canada in the past year, up from 29 per cent in 2004 survey, said Jerry McHugh of Community Marketing Inc. of San Francisco, which conducts annual surveys of gay and lesbian travellers.
Read the whole article and you can learn how Canada is marketing to the gay community! Yay!

Yet, Ottawa is after more immigration...

No talk fo limiting immigrants from Jamaica here.
Immigration Minister Joe Volpe is expected as early as next week to present a proposal to Cabinet to substantially boost the number of immigrants and refugees to Canada by 100,000 over the next five years at a cost of up to $2-billion, sources told CanWest News Service.
I don't mind more immigration, but surely, let's have a debate about the kind of immigrant we want.

The source of Toronto's problems....

The source of Toronto's violence is the Jamaican community. Bruce Garvey of the National Post looks at Jamaica's 'born fi dead' culture.
What nobody is talking about, however, is where those involved in violent crimes are predominantly coming from. While we know that the vast majority of Toronto's killers and victims are black, our multicultural hyper-sensitivity forbids any further racial or national breakdown. But even with a lack of statistics to prove it on paper, it is widely -- if quietly -- acknowledged that a disproportionate number of criminals and victims hail from Jamaica.

To understand why that is, it helps to understand the place that they come from.

By early September, the Caribbean island --with roughly the same population as Toronto, had recorded 1,157 murders, almost all of them involving guns. It was the country's highest ever by that date, and well on track to top 1,500 by the end of the year, eclipsing last year's total of 1,469.

It's staggering. In June alone, just when Toronto was beginning its long, hot summer, there were 115 killings in Jamaica.
Shouldn't we be limiting immigration from Jamaica?

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Gee, this sounds like the Liberals...

Nice to see this happening to Chirac, but will it change anything?
The suspicion of past corruption tainting Jacques Chirac's presidency returned to haunt him yesterday when a court imposed suspended sentences and fines on his former henchmen.

A defence lawyer representing one of the most prominent of the 47 accused of an illegal party funding scandal had earlier spoken of "empty chairs" in the Paris courtroom.

One man missing from the proceedings was "the president whose name we dare not utter," the lawyer alleged.

The outcome of the trial, which highlighted kickbacks of £50 million from school building contracts, was another crushing indictment of a political system riddled with corruption from the late 1980s to the mid 1990s.

The main beneficiary of the kickbacks was the RPR, the party Mr Chirac founded in 1976.

As president, Mr Chirac has immunity from prosecution and would continue to avoid possible legal action if he defied predictions and successfully stood for a third term in 2007.

He has denied knowledge of the illegal practices that have provoked a series of criminal prosecutions of some of his closest aides but has refused to be questioned for them.

Michel Roussin, his chief of staff when he was mayor of Paris, was among those convicted yesterday at the end of one of France's biggest ever corruption trials. He received a suspended jail term of four years and was fined £35,000.

Roussin, 66, denied overseeing the scam between 1989 and 1995 and sometimes even collecting the payments, made by firms in return for contracts totalling £2.5 billion to build or repair school canteens in the Paris area.

He admitted knowing of the system. But his lawyer said it was unfair for him to be accused when others in higher positions had not been brought to justice.

Can this jury be serious?

I hope this gets overturned on appeal.
A jury ruled Wednesday that the Port Authority was negligent in the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993 — a long-awaited legal victory for victims of an attack that killed six people and wounded 1,000.

The six-person jury ruled that the Port Authority, the agency that owned the World Trade Center, was negligent by not properly maintaining the parking garage, where terrorists detonated more than a half-ton of explosives in a Ryder van. It said the negligence was a "substantial factor" in the allowing the bombing to occur.

The jury took just one day to reach its verdict. Several separate trials will now be held to determine money damages.

More on Iran...

Iran is trouble...and who's going to stand up to them? The Europeans? Nah.....and I am afraid the Americans are losing their stomach for the war on terrorism.
Iran is permitting around 25 high-ranking al Qaeda members to roam free in the country's capital, including three sons of Osama bin Laden, a German monthly magazine reported on Wednesday.

Citing information from unnamed Western intelligence sources, the magazine Cicero said in a preview of an article appearing in its November edition that the individuals in question are from Egypt, Uzbekistan, Saudi Arabia and Europe.

They are living in houses belonging to Iran's Revolutionary Guards, the report said.

"This is not incarceration or house arrest," a Western intelligence agent was quoted as saying. "They can move around as they please."

The three sons of Osama bin Laden in Iran are Saeed, Mohammad and Othman, Cicero reported. Another person enjoying the support of the Revolutionary Guards is al Qaeda spokesman Abu Ghaib, the report said.

Four convicted in Germany in plot against Jewish targets...

There are lessons here about immigration...and this case also ties al-Zarqawi in Iraq to Al-Qaeda.
A court Wednesday convicted four Arab men of plotting to attack Jewish targets in Germany and found three of them guilty of being members of a terrorist organization.

Mohamed Abu Dhess, Ashraf al-Dagma and Ismail Shalabi were handed sentences ranging from six to eight years in prison for their roles in planning the attacks and for forming a terrorist cell of al-Tawhid in Germany. A fourth man, Djamel Mustafa, was sentenced to five years in prison for his role in plotting the attacks and for supporting a terrorist organization.

Al-Tawhid is a radical Palestinian network believed to be linked to al-Qaida and headed by Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who also leads al-Qaida in Iraq.

All three had rejected the charges against them.

"I never planned attacks against Jewish, Israeli or any other targets in Germany," al-Dagma told the court last week.

When the judge read out the sentences Wednesday, the men protested loudly. Al-Dagma stormed out of the courtroom into the hallway and security guards excluded him from the rest of the proceedings.

Much of the prosecution's case against the four was built around testimony from Shadi Abdellah, who was arrested at the same time as the others in April 2002 and confessed to plotting to attack Jewish targets, saying the group discussed Berlin's Jewish Museum and a Jewish-owned club or bar in Duesseldorf.

Judge Ottmar Breidling was sharply critical of German immigration authorities, saying that Abdellah and Abu Dhess had been able to use false names and life histories to get permission to live in Germany and receive social assistance.

"Both al-Tawhid cases need not have happened if immigration law had been conscientiously applied," Breidling said.

Abdellah admitted being part of the al-Tawhid group, saying he befriended al-Zarqawi in 2000 while in Afghanistan to undergo al-Qaida paramilitary training. He also said he served as a bodyguard to Osama bin Laden.

The politics of shame....

Shelby Steele has an important essay in the Opinion Journal this morning.
In the '60s--the first instance of open mutual witness between blacks and whites in American history--a balance of power was struck between the races. The broad white acknowledgment of racism meant that whites would be responsible both for overcoming their racism and for ending black poverty because, after all, their racism had so obviously caused that poverty. For whites to suggest that blacks might be in some way responsible for their own poverty would be to relinquish this responsibility and, thus, to return to racism. So, from its start in the '60s, this balance of power (offering redemption to whites and justice to blacks) involved a skewed distribution of responsibility: Whites, and not blacks, would be responsible for achieving racial equality in America, for overcoming the shames of both races--black inferiority and white racism. And the very idea of black responsibility would be stigmatized as racism in whites and Uncle Tomism in blacks.

President Johnson's famous Howard University speech, which launched the Great Society in 1965, outlined this balance of power by explicitly spelling out white responsibility without a single reference to black responsibility. In the 40 years since that speech no American president has dared correct this oversight.

The problem here is obvious: The black shame of inferiority (the result of oppression, not genetics) cannot be overcome with anything less than a heroic assumption of responsibility on the part of black Americans. In fact, true equality--an actual parity of wealth and ability between the races--is now largely a black responsibility. This may not be fair, but historical fairness--of the sort that resolves history's injustices--is an idealism that now plagues black America by making black responsibility seem an injustice.

And yet, despite the fact that greater responsibility is the only transforming power that can take blacks to true equality, this is an idea that deeply threatens the 40-year balance of power between the races. Bill Cosby's recent demand that poor blacks hold up "their end of the bargain" and do a better job of raising their children was explosive because it threatened this balance. Mr. Cosby not only implied that black responsibility was the great transforming power; he also implied that there was a limit to what white responsibility could do. He said, in effect, that white responsibility cannot overcome black inferiority. This is a truth so obvious as to be mundane. Yet whites won't say it in the interest of their redemption and blacks won't say it in the interest of historical justice. It is left to hurricanes to make such statements.
Please read the whole thing...

Anti-Jewish books on display at Frankfurt Book Fair...

One of the Iranian booksellers at this years Frankfurt Book Fair is displaying english copies of "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion", and Henry Ford's "The International Jew".

The Canadianization of Britain...

Are we infecting the world?
Last week, city council in the northern city of Hull sent staffers an e-mail telling them to stop using such words as "lady," "ethnic," "senior citizen," "love," "spastic" or "dyke" that might cause offence.

In Manchester, a hit-and-run victim was scolded by police for describing the driver as "fat." And the BBC spent much of the summer dithering over whether "terrorist" could be used to describe the 7/7 bombers.

"What has gone wrong is the Canadianization of Britain," says Professor Christie Davies, a sociologist at the University of Reading and author of The Mirth of Nations, an academic study of humour and censorship.

He means that Canadians, especially Torontonians, led the charge for political correctness at the expense of free speech, and now Britain is following suit. "I regarded Toronto almost as being in the old East Germany," he said.
Can this be our legacy to the world???

More political correctness

You might have been following the controversy over the comments by Neil French, a director of WPP Group. Barbara Kay has some interesting comments.
After certain publicized remarks he made about women colleagues at a Toronto trade event a few weeks ago, legendary adman Neil French was forced to resign as worldwide creative director for WPP Group PLC, in which lofty role he oversaw industry giants such as Young and Rubicam.

What was so offensive that nothing short of resignation could save his company's face? Did he say women were dumber than men? That they're less ethical? That they smell bad? No. The gist of his remarks was that few women reach the summit of the advertising profession because family obligations sap their competitive drive.

Clearly terrified of a feminist backlash, French's boss explained the man's instant pariah status as a result of views "not consistent with WPP's philosophy." But French remained unapologetic: "You can't be a great creative director and have a baby and keep spending time off every time your kids are ill ... Everyone who doesn't commit themselves fully to the job is crap at it."

Was French's tone crude and insensitive? Yes. Were his comments a firing offense on their merits? No -- except to feminists. And feminists rule.
Yes, watch your words - the Feminists can't deal with argument.

Nice to know they also waste money in the UK

A piece from the The Times of London shows how easy it is to waste money on the arts.
A Japanese artist has been paid about $15,000 of British taxpayers' money to drink 48 bottles of lager, and then fall off a wooden beam.

The "performance," which took place at an arts centre in Cardiff, Wales, has outraged members of the municipal council and caused bafflement among the public, many of whom do exactly that without getting paid every Friday and Saturday night.

David Davies, a Conservative member of the Welsh Assembly, described the performance art show s "the biggest waste of money in the world."
Well, perhaps in the UK, but not the world. Afterall, we spent millions on sponsorship in Quebec, and opinion polls in Quebec are still where they were a decade ago.

Stossel on pork...

In the US, the Republicans aren't any better than the democracts in limiting pork. One wonders if the Conservatives would be better than the Liberals in Canada.
Once Republicans were in power, they started spending money even faster than the Democrats did.

Big spender Ted Stevens responded to Coburn's good suggestion to kill a "Bridge to Nowhere" with a tantrum on the Senate floor: He threatened to resign and "be taken out of here on a stretcher."

Good! Sen. Stevens, please go. I'll even help carry the stretcher.

Unfortunately, Congress has an unwritten code: "Don't threaten the other congressmen's loot." The Senate reprimanded Coburn by voting 82 to 15 to save the Bridge to Nowhere.

The Ketchikan, Alaska, bridge is particularly egregious because it's a bridge to a nearly uninhabited island. Yet it will be monstrous -- higher than the Brooklyn Bridge and almost as long as the Golden Gate. Even some in Ketchikan laugh about it. One told us, "Short view is, I don't see a need for it. The long view ... I still don't see a need for it.

Last week, Alaska's other senator, Lisa Murkowski, said it would be "offensive" not to spend your money on her bridge. When she first became a senator, I asked her if Republicans believed in smaller government. She was unusually candid: "We want smaller government. But, boy, I sure want more highways and more stuff, whatever the stuff is."

I'll say. Alaska's pork projects spanned 67 pages. They get much more than other states. "Oh, you need to come up," she said. "You would realize it's not pork. It's all necessity ... People look at Alaska and say, 'Well, gee, they're getting all this money.' But we still have communities that are not tied in to sewer and water. There are certain basic things that you've got to have."

Iran's President calls for Genocide...

Would a threat like this ever be condemned by the UN?
Iran's hard-line president called for Israel to be "wiped off the map" and said a new wave of Palestinian attacks will destroy the Jewish state, state-run media reported Wednesday.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also denounced attempts to recognize Israel or normalize relations with it.

"There is no doubt that the new wave (of attacks) in Palestine will wipe off this stigma (Israel) from the face of the Islamic world," Ahmadinejad told students Wednesday during a Tehran conference called "The World without Zionism."

"Anybody who recognizes Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation's fury, any (Islamic leader) who recognizes the Zionist regime means he is acknowledging the surrender and defeat of the Islamic world," Ahmadinejad said.

Ahmadinejad also repeated the words of the founder of Iran's Islamic revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who called for the destruction of Israel.

"As the Imam said, Israel must be wiped off the map," said Ahmadinejad, who came to power in August.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The BBC can now pander to the Arabic World....

Just what we need in the fight against terrorism...the BBC broadcasting to the Arabic World. Sigh...
The BBC World Service is closing 10 foreign language radio services - most of them in the former eastern bloc - to pay for a new £19 million Arabic television news channel, it was announced yesterday.

Services in Hungarian, Bulgarian, Czech, Polish, Greek, Slovak, Slovene, Kazakh and Thai will cease transmission by March, with the loss of more than 230 jobs.

Many of them were set up during the Cold War and provided listeners with their only non-state controlled news.

Journalist and broadcasting unions attacked the cuts, saying that they undermined the World Service's claim to be a truly global operation and ignored evidence that some of the affected countries were far from thriving democracies.

Alberta goes a little crazy....

It's bad enough we go after people who smoke marijuana....this is going way over the top.
The Alberta government is trying some drastic new measures to battle a growing problem. The province is preparing a new law that would allow it to seize children from parents who are either addicted to drugs or involved in the drug trade.

Children's Services Minister Heather Forsyth is developing the legislation, which is expected to be introduced in the legislature next spring. If passed, it will be the first legislation of its kind in Canada.

Forsyth says there are four situations in which children will be removed from a home: "If they are involved in a grow op situation, if they are involved in a meth house, if there is drug trafficking or if there's drug use being involved."
Would they take kids away from parents who are on tobacco? On alcohol? On painkillers? The only time children should be taken from their parents is when there is clear evidence of physical abuse...I hope the Province asks itself whether they have homes for additional children.

Prime Minisher Layton threatens an election...

Apparently, he wasn't happy with this meeting with Martin.
NDP Leader Jack Layton says he wants some concrete assurances from the minority Liberals within days that they will move to protect health care.

Layton says his Tuesday meeting with Prime Minister Paul Martin on the future of health care was disappointing, and he sees little hope that future discussions will be fruitful.

He says he'll give the prime minister days - not weeks or months - to take steps to defend medicare or risk losing the NDP's support.
My prediction - Martin will cave, and we'll have a new NDP initiative.

Half right....

We have a problem in one of our immigrant communities....all the task forces you want on guns won't help a hoot.
Toronto's anti-guns and gangs unit will be beefed up with more police officers and prosecutors, announced government and police officials Tuesday in the wake of several brazen shootings in the city in recent days.

Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair said officers from suburban areas around Toronto, including York, Peel and Durham regions, will be added to the squad.

Ontario's Attorney General Michael Bryant said the province is helping to tackle the gun problem by expanding the task force by 26 senior police and 32 additional prosecutors.

Bryant and Blair both called for mandatory minimum sentences for all crimes involving guns, and said it must be harsher and include real jail time -- not just fines and time served.

The plan calls for the same Crown attorney to stay with investigators throughout complex cases, which often have multiple accused and lawyers. The attorneys will also assist police with wiretaps, evidence, subpoenas, and paperwork.
Our political correctness is making us blind to the problem.

Will they have Israeli blood on display?

At some point, the Palestinians are going to have confront their own myths about Yassir Arafat.
The Palestinian Authority, which in recent years has been facing a severe financial crisis, has decided to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in build a large and magnificent mausoleum for former PA chairman Yasser Arafat.

The new stately structure will replace the current burial site, which is located in the Mukata "presidential" compound in Ramallah. The project is financed by the PA Ministry of Finance, which has refused to reveal the costs. However, sources here estimated the cost of the project at over one million dollars.

Entitled Mausoleum of Yasser Arafat, the project is being carried out by the Palestinian construction company Midmac and under the auspices of the PA's Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction [PECDAR].

PA Minister of Housing Mohammed Shtayyeh said a museum and a mosque will be attached to the mausoleum, adding that the new structure had been designed solely by Palestinian architects.

The museum will include Arafat's personal belongings, such as his keffiyeh and pistol, as well as other items he used during his work. As for the mosque, it will have enough space for 250 people and could also be used as a conference hall.

More political correctness...

Don't these administrators in New Hampshire have anything better to do?
Amherst Regional High School has banished the term "freshman"- a move the principal calls overdue, but some students say oozes political correctness.

Beginning this year, students in ninth grade are now referred to by the gender-neutral title "ninth-graders."

"This is 2005 and the word 'man'or 'men' no longer refers to all people," said Samantha Camera, a social studies teacher at the high school. She said the change was an opportunity to use more inclusive language.

The school is changing everything from its official documents to its morning announcements to reflect the new term.

Area colleges have already grappled with "freshman." Smith and Mount Holyoke colleges, which accept only women, dropped the term in the early 1980s in favor of "first-year students." Amherst College did the same around 1998. The University of Massachusetts continues to use "first year" and "freshman" interchangeably on documents referring to students of both genders.

But in Amherst, some believe language is a measure of how people are viewed and treated.

ARHS Assistant Principal Marta Guevara, who spearheaded the change, said the decision to move away from 'freshman' was a result of conversations among faculty that began after the controversial production of The Vagina Monologuestwo years ago.

"We want conversation, we want for kids to bring forward their thinking," said Guevara. "It's a great conversation to make them aware of the possible misogynistic, oppressive or non-inclusive language."

More craziness from the EU...

Ok, they can't call hockey, hockey.
Cheese producers from around Europe are reeling at Tuesday's (25 October) European Court of Justice ruling forbidding those outside of Greece from using the name 'feta'.

Europe's highest court first indicated it would rule in favour of Greece back in May to the dismay of German and Danish feta cheese producers, who were suing the European Commission.

In 2002, 'feta' was originally protected by a Commission regulation as a domain of origin and could only be used by cheese producers in certain areas of Greece.

The EU had been using Greek feta as an example of protected origins in trade negotiations with the US and the World Trade Organisation since before it was protected.

Although feta cheese has been produced all over modern Europe, especially in Germany. Denmark and for more than 20 years by a single producer in Yorkshire, England, the exact history of the cheese is unknown.

Some historians claim the cheese came about in Greece, while others say the name was created by Venetian traders.

Feta is not only a sore spot in the EU’s 25 member states, but also beyond. The cheese has long been produced in Bulgaria and Turkey, some say as an intrinsic part of their culinary cultures, which may prove tricky as accession negotiations with the two countries progress.

Stop focusing on guns....

Another horrible day for Toronto...but this Toronto Star article just talks about gun crime..and nothing about the perpetrators.
As morning traffic coursed down one of downtown's busiest corridors yesterday, two angry men stood facing each other, separated by two lanes of flowing cars on Bloor St. E.

Dangling a gun, one man stood near the middle yellow line glaring southward. The other, on the sidewalk facing north across the moving vehicles, seemed to passing driver Mirek Fudalej as if he wanted to shoot. Then he did, launching a quick exchange of gunfire above the heads of unsuspecting motorists.

The morning gunplay was the third public shooting in as many days. By mid-afternoon, in the Jane St. and Finch Ave. area, there had been another, and by late evening in Scarborough there had been yet another, leaving criminologists and police wondering whether the latest storm of shootings is a sign Toronto has lost control of its streets.

More than 40 shootings have occurred in public places since the beginning of July. Nearly half the victims, including three this weekend alone, are dead, while a handful of others are fighting for their lives. Of Toronto's 64 homicides this year, 44 were committed with firearms, all but one of those handguns.

The circumstances of the street mayhem are varied and bloody. Bullets have cut into the skull of a bus driver, sprayed through front yards and twice torn across Dundas Square, one of the city's most lauded pedestrian spots. Elementary school grounds, shopping mall parking lots and playgrounds have become nighttime killing fields. Increasingly, it seems the gunmen of Toronto are devoid of mercy. They know no bounds.

At least, that's Rosemary Gartner's theory. The University of Toronto criminologist says her research indicates the nature of killing is trending toward a higher-than-ever use of guns.

"There are more guns and more killings in public places," she said. "Public shootings are a concern. (Innocent) people can be killed when people are on the street shooting people."
Well,yes, duh.....she states the obvious...but what about the ethnicity of the shooters? Doesn't that point to the source of the problem?

Monday, October 24, 2005

Children's rights at the UN...

I've mentioned this many times - why doesn't the world notice the continuing abuse of children in the Palestinian Territories by terrorists?
For the past week, children's rights have been on the agenda of the UN General Assembly's Third Committee. Composed of all 191 UN members, it has been a forum for taking the focus off the victims of terrorism and giving the agents of terrorism center stage.

In a stark example of the hijacking of the UN General Assembly, there are three annual UN resolutions on the rights of children: the rights of all children, the rights of the girl-child, and the rights of Palestinian children. Despite the many claims of "UN reform," the reality at UN Headquarters is business as usual.

At the 2003 General Assembly Israel put forward a resolution on Israeli children, given the resolution on Palestinian children, but was forced to withdraw it after Egypt tabled amendments deleting every reference to the word "Israeli" before the word children. The amendments were guaranteed a UN majority.

In the past two weeks two stories of Palestinian child victims of terrorism have come to light. On October 12, 2005 a 14-year old Palestinian was approached by members of the Fatah Tanzim terrorist group and threatened with death if he did not agree to carry out a suicide attack. On October 20, 2005 a 15-year old Palestinian boy was arrested by Israeli Defence Forces while attempting to smuggle a 52-millimeter mortar shell and two knives across a checkpoint. Israeli forces suspect that the boy was used by terrorists attempting to take advantage of the teen's mental disability.

The rights of Palestinian children have also been grievously violated by the Palestinian terrorists who use them as human shields, schools that encourage racial hatred, and government-controlled media that promotes their participation in armed conflict.

Is this a rehearsal for the Olympics?

Hmmm....well what do you expect from China?
China has scored a sporting own goal, as its first rehearsal for Beijing's Olympic Games in 2008 descended into a farce of alleged match-rigging, bribery, unfair judging and doping scandals.

The week-long National Games - staged in the presence of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge - closed on Sunday amid serious questions over China's readiness to stage a fair Olympics.

Despite the six world records that were set, the most abiding images of the games were the 1996 Olympic champion Sun Fuming conceding her judo bout in just one second (allegations of match-fixing quickly followed), and of the coach of the runner-up in the women's 1500 metres on her knees in front of the judges, begging them to disqualify the winner. The judges obliged.

In a further blow to national prestige, Sun Yingjie, China's top female distance runner, failed a drugs test and was thrown out of the games.
And, here's more detail on that judo match....
Millions of Chinese fans watched in disbelief as the final of the women's 78kg judo competition lasted one second. Sun Fuming, the favourite, collapsed, after a hand signal from her coach, when her opponent, the PLA's Yan Sirui, had barely touched her.

Following predictable howls of protest from the spectators, CSGAS officials ordered a re-match, which Sun lost as well. However, her coach, Liu Yongfu, escaped with a warning despite admitting that the result had been determined beforehand .

The same thing happened in the men's 80kg judo event, with the PLA athlete winning while his opponent "forfeited due to injury".

Mass forfeits rendered the taekwondo and boxing competitions meaningless, while gymnasts complained that their results had been fixed before their events started.

Three wrestling judges were banned for life after taking bribes, and some athletes did not attend medal ceremonies in protest at what they thought were more dubious judging decisions.

Galloway and Oil-for-Palaces Program...

Gee, Galloway never mentioned that his wife got money through the program!
The Palestinian-born wife of George Galloway, the Respect MP, is accused today of receiving $149,980 (about £100,000) derived from the United Nations Iraqi oil-for-food programme.

A report by an investigative committee of the United States Senate says the money was sent to the personal account of Amineh Abu Zayyad in August 2000.

The report, compiled by Republican and Democratic staff, contains detailed information gleaned from Iraqi archives and bank accounts in Britain and Jordan.

The investigators concluded that Mr Galloway knew about the payments and that "through his wife was personally enriched" by them. They say that he "knowingly made false or misleading statements under oath before [a Senate] sub-committee".

Mr Galloway appeared before senators five months ago and assailed them for suggesting that he had a business relationship with Saddam Hussein's dictatorship. He told the chairman, Sen Norm Coleman: "You have nothing on me, senator, except my name on lists of names from Iraq."

Later he added: "What counts is not the names on the paper; what counts is where's the money, senator? Who paid me hundreds of thousands of dollars? The answer to that is nobody. And if you had anybody who ever paid me a penny, you would have produced them today."

The report includes bank records showing a paper trail from Saddam's ministries to Mrs Galloway. It states that the Iraqis handed several lucrative oil-for-food contracts to the Jordanian businessman Fawaz Zureikat, an old friend of the Galloways. A month later, on Aug 3, 2000, Mr Zureikat allegedly paid $150,000 minus a bank commission of $20 from his Citibank account number 500190207 into Mrs Galloway's account at the Arab Bank in Amman.

The senate team also says that a $15,666 payment had been made on the same date to a Bank of Scotland account belonging to Mr Galloway's spokesman, Ron McKay. Last night Mr McKay said he had no recollection of the alleged payment.

Comments now allowed...

For the time being, I am allowing comments on individual posts......let the debate begin.

This sounds like the Liberals...

She doesn't want to quit...even after being convicted. Even the Liberals aren't that bad...
A Swedish Member of the European Parliament (MEP) convicted of accounting crimes says she will not give up her seat, despite her own Liberal Party's request for her to quit.

"It would have been impossible for them to say that crime is OK," Maria Carlshamre told TT.

"But I have made the judgment that the mandate I was given by voters takes precedence. I am here on a personal mandate," she said.

Carlshamre says she will not appeal the court ruling that fined her 40,000 kronor for accounting crimes.

"I'm not appealing, despite receiving advice to do so. This is a part of my life that I want to leave behind me," Carlshamre said.

The trouble for the MEP started when the TV production company that she owned with her former partner was declared bankrupt in 2003, and could only provide accounts for one year. The company also had large tax debts.

In addition, assets of 386,000 kronor had disappeared without trace.

Carlshamre says that as she had not intentionally committed a crime, the judgment is no obstacle to her work at the European Parliament.

But the Liberal Party's leadership, which conducted a long interview with the MEP on Friday, has said that she should not continue.

"We think it's inappropriate to be a lawmaker and at the same time to be a convicted law breaker," said Marit Paulsen, second deputy chairwoman of the Liberal Party, herself a former Euro-MP.

"Dead Jews aren't News"

Nice small article in The Specatator about jewish victims of terror.
Rachel Thaler, aged 16, was blown up at a pizzeria in an Israeli shopping mall. She died after an 11-day struggle for life following a suicide bomb attack on a crowd of teenagers on 16 February 2002.

Even though Thaler was a British citizen, born in London, where her grandparents still live, her death has never been mentioned in a British newspaper.

Rachel Corrie, on the other hand, an American radical who died in 2003 while acting as a human shield during an Israeli anti-terror operation in Gaza, has been widely featured in the British press. According to the Guardian website, she has been written about or referred to on 57 separate occasions in the Guardian alone, including three articles the Saturday before last.

The cult of Rachel Corrie doesn’t stop there. Last week the play, My Name is Rachel Corrie, reopened at the larger downstairs auditorium at the Royal Court Theatre (a venue which the New York Times recently described as ‘the most important theatre in Europe’). It previously played to sold-out audiences at the upstairs theatre when it opened in April. (It is very rare to revive a play so quickly.)

On 1 November the ‘Cantata concert for Rachel Corrie’ — co-sponsored by the Arts Council — has its world premiere at the Hackney Empire.

But Rachel Thaler, unlike Rachel Corrie, was Jewish. And unlike Corrie, Jewish victims of Middle East violence have not become a cause célèbre in Britain. This lack of response is all the more disturbing at a time when an increasing number of British Jews feel that there has been a sharp rise in anti-Semitism.