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 (

Friday, November 30, 2007

Iran bans the use of the word 'women' from state TV,,,

But, I guess ok for all of its private broadcasters....
The word 'women' must now be replaced on Iranian state television by 'family', reformist Norouz news agency reports.

In programmes broadcast throughout the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against women last Sunday, Iranian state TV used the world family instead.

In recent weeks, Iran's Centre for the Participation of Women changed its name to the Centre for Family Matters.

The complete list of things caused by global warming...

Hey, check this out....links to everything...

Solana is disappointed....

Solana doesn't have a clue...for how many years has the EU been negotiating with Iran????
Iran appears set for a showdown with the West after its chief nuclear negotiator ruled out a suspension of its atomic research programme despite the threat of a new round of international sanctions.

A five-hour meeting in central London between Javier Solana, the EU foreign affairs chief, and Saeed Jalili, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, broke up after a sharp divide emerged between the two sides.

Iran had claimed it would bring new proposals to the talks, but Mr Solana said the country's position fell far short of a breakthrough.

"I have to admit that after five hours of meetings I expected more, and therefore I am disappointed," he said.

One way to fight AIDs...

Yes, stoning certainly seems like a solution..
Breaking a long-held taboo, the Indonesian government has decided to promote safe sex by launching its first ever National Condom Week in an effort to curb the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, especially HIV/AIDS.

However, the condomn campaign, which will start on 1 December - World AIDS Day - has split Islamic religious leaders, who have differing views on how to fight the killer virus.

Fauzan al-Anshori, spokesperson for the hardline Indonesia Mujahiddin Council (MMI) slammed the initiative and called the strict implementation of strict Islamic (sharia) law as the way to fight the disease

“We strongly feel that condoms can't prevent people from getting AIDS. The pores of the latex are bigger than the virus itself,”he told Adnkronos International (AKI), adding that in his view the campaign was harmful and morally wrong.

“AIDS prevention should start by implementing Islamic laws and punishing rule breakers, infidels and those who engage in pre-marital sex.

"In Islam we normally throw stones at them,” said al-Anshori. The MMI is a Muslim umbrella organisation whose member groups promotes sharia law in Indonesia.

Personal Wind Turbines - Not a Good Idea...

A lot of so-called environmental solutions are just bunk...
Researchers say wind turbines on the sides of houses often cause more pollution than they prevent.

Government advisers believe the environmental cost of making, transporting and installing domestic turbines usually outweighs their benefits in built-up areas.

Wind speeds in towns and cities are simply too low to produce enough energy to justify their installation.

It is the latest finding to show how apparently "green" lifestyles can be less environmentally friendly than they seem.

Earlier this year, scientists warned that wormeries - the trendy composting bins which use worms to break down food scraps - release high levels of nitrous oxide, one of the most potent greenhouse gases.

And six months ago the Government quietly shelved its campaign for 'real nappies' after research showed the washing and laundering of cloth nappies meant they were as bad for the environment as disposables.

The latest finding comes from the Building Research Establishment Trust, which advises the Government and the private sector on energy efficiency.

It took data from three sites in Manchester, Portsmouth and Lerwick, in the Shetland Islands, to work out how three popular models of domestic turbines would perform.

Researchers compared the green energy they produced with the conventional energy used in their manufacture, distribution and maintenance.

The amount of electricity generated varied hugely - and was far lower in cities and towns, the study found. In Manchester, two-thirds of the 96 locations studied were not windy enough to recoup the energy used in making the turbines.

The uncertainties of global warming....

There are so many unknowns when it comes to global warming..this is from a speech by Nigel Lawon, former chancellor of the exchequer in the Thatcher government...

So we are left with a double uncertainty. First, while we know that, other things being equal, rising atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide will warm the planet, we have no true understanding of how much they will do so. And second, we know that in fact other things are very far from equal. So even if we did know the answer to the first question, we would still be unable to predict what the world's temperature will be a hundred years from now. These uncertainties clearly have a profound bearing on the economics of global warming, and thus on the policies it is sensible to pursue.

For while we can do our best to make an estimate of the cost of substantially decarbonising the world economy, we have no idea of what benefit that will bring in terms of a lower mean global temperature than would otherwise be the case. Not that it is clear, even if we could predict the temperature of the planet a hundred years from now (which we can't), how much economic damage a given rise in temperature would do.

It was to advise governments on these issues that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was set up in 1988, under the auspices of the UN. The IPCC concludes, on the basis of to say the least very slender evidence, that "most" - note, not all - of the warming that occurred during the last quarter of the 20th century was very likely to be due to the growth of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. But even if - and there is clearly a case for erring on the side of caution - this is so, and even if, as the IPCC blithely assumes, the natural forces that affect the world's temperature in often unpredictable ways can be safely ignored, the policy conclusions which are widely believed to follow from this are very suspect indeed.

Is it really plausible that there is an ideal average world temperature, which by some happy chance has recently been visited on us, from which small departures in either direction would spell disaster? Moreover, while a sudden change would indeed be disruptive, what is at issue here is the prospect of a very gradual change over a hundred years and more. In any case, average world temperature is simply a statistical artefact. The actual experienced temperature varies enormously in different parts of the globe and man, whose greatest quality is his adaptability, has successfully colonised most of it. Two countries that are generally considered to be economic success stories, are Finland and Singapore.

The average annual temperature in Helsinki is less than 5C. That in Singapore is in excess of 27C, a difference of more than 22C. If man can successfully cope with that, it is not immediately apparent why he should not be able to adapt to a change of 3C, when he is given a hundred years in which to do so.

The other refugees...

You don't hear much talk about the 850,000 jews expelled from Arab countries...

The UN also bears express responsibility for this distorted narrative. Since 1947, there have been 126 UN resolutions that have specifically dealt with the Palestinian refugee plight. Not one of these resolutions makes any reference to the plight of the 850,000 Jews displaced from Arab countries. Nor have any of the Arab countries involved expressed any acknowledgement, let alone regret. What, then, is to be done?

The time has come to rectify this historical injustice, and to restore the "forgotten exodus" to the Middle East narrative.

Remedies for victim refugee groups -- including rights of remembrance, truth, justice and redress -- must now be invoked for Jews displaced from Arab countries, as mandated under human rights and humanitarian law. In particular, each of the Arab countries and the League of Arab States must acknowledge their role in the perpetration of human rights violations against their respective Jewish nationals.

Further, the peace plan currently being promoted by the Arab League should incorporate the question of Jewish refugees from Arab countries as part of its narrative for an Israeli-Arab peace, just as the Israeli narrative now incorporates the issue of Palestinian refugees in its vision.

On the international level, the UN General Assembly should include references to Jewish refugees as well as Palestinian refugees in its resolutions. The UN Human Rights Council should do likewise.

The annual Nov. 29th commemoration by the United Nations of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People should be transformed into an International Day of Solidarity for a Two-State Solution, including solidarity with all refugees created by the Israeli-Arab conflict.

Furthermore, any bilateral Israeli-Palestinian negotiations -- such as those being promoted this week in Annapolis, which one hopes will presage a just and lasting peace -- should include Jewish refugees as well as Palestinian refugees in a joinder of discussion.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

How on earth is this racial harassment???

How stupid can this political correctness get??

A grandfather has been given a prison sentence for racial harassment after calling a Welsh woman "English".

Mick Forsythe used the term during an argument over a scratched car in his Welsh home town.

He called the vehicle's owner, Lorna Steele, an "English bitch".

She and her husband took great offence at the jibe and decided to take him to court.

The 55-year-old former lorry driver was found guilty of racially aggravated disorderly behaviour, and received a ten-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months.

Now, they want to broadcast a call to prayer...

This is from Oxford in the UK....

Muslims in East Oxford are asking Oxford city councillors if they can add to the noise of life on Cowley Road by broadcasting a call to prayer.o The Central Mosque in Manzil Way, one of four East Oxford mosques, attracts congregations of up to 700.

Now, the Iman at the mosque, Mohammad Munir Christi, and other trustees, want permission to broadcast the call to prayer from the minaret.

The mosque has expanded since moving from Bath Road five years ago and building work has recently started on the first-floor worship area with the completion of the central cupola.

Sardar Rana, 68, a spokesman for the Central Mosque, said the call would be broadcast three times a day from early next year if permission is granted.

He said: "The call to prayer has been taking place in other major cities now for many years and we would like to be able to do the same thing at the central mosque three times a day.

"During the winter months the call to prayer would be at 12.45pm, 2.30pm and at 4.20pm, although the times would be slightly different during the summer months.

"The call to prayer would be made in the central hall and then linked to three speakers in the minaret, which would point in different directions.

Norway gets threatened....

Throw this guy out asap...
Just three days after Norway's highest court upheld a state expulsion order against Mullah Krekar, the man who's considered a threat to the nation's security has made new threats against the country that's harboured him for years.

Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported Thursday that Krekar, the former head of Islamic guerrilla group Ansar al Islam, told a Kurdish web site that he's sure the Norwegian authorities will never deport him, because that would spark "reaction" against Norway from his Islamic supporters.

Krekar told web site Awane that the "reaction" would come from his relatives, from an armed group, and also from those who follow his religious teachings and sympathize with him.

The groups, he said, "probably are from Somalia or Morocco." He refused to specify what type of "reaction" he expected

And, China once again says no to CO2 reductions...

Not surprising...
China will reject any demands that it cut greenhouse gas emissions to the same level as the U.S. and other developed nations, an official said Thursday.

Developed nations bear major responsibility for climate change and must lead the way in reducing emissions, said Xie Zhenhua, who will head China's delegation to next month's global climate change meeting on the Indonesian island of Bali.

"China will play its due role and take its due part in the process of emission reduction, but we will absolutely not take on the commitment of taking on the same responsibilities and making the same commitments as the developed countries," Xie told reporters.

Brazil says the rich must pay for global warming...

Yet another major country is not willing to do its part...
The Government of Brazil has rejected any suggestion that developing countries should reduce their carbon emissions.

President of Brazil Lula da Silva said yesterday that richer countries must pay Brazil and other developing economies if they are to save their own tropical forests.

Today various government officials simply rejected a suggestion by the UN that poorer nations reduce carbon emissions even with a 40-year deadline saying the problem is with the richer countries.

It's not always the fault of the US....

Many countries could be helping out in the middle east....
When Israel withdrew from all of Gaza in 2005, the Arab world had the opportunity for a fresh start there--to create a measure of hope for a population whose suffering long predated any Israeli presence. Instead of taking advantage of the opportunity, the Hamas-dominated Palestinian leadership opted to begin and then intensify an aggressive missile-launching campaign against Israeli civilian centers.

Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries, whose treasuries overflow with petrodollars, are in a position to invest heavily in the Gaza Strip, create economic opportunities for its destitute population, and dilute the toxin-filled atmosphere there. They have not done so.

The Egyptians are in a position to act decisively to stop the flow of rockets, bombs and other arms from Egypt into Gaza, where they are used to attack Israeli civilians. They have not done so.

Europe and Russia, whose lucrative contracts with Iran provide them with such enviable revenues, have been in a position to pressure Tehran into stopping the funding of Hezbollah, which assaults Israel from Lebanon, and Hamas, which assaults Israel from Gaza. They have not done so.

Is this how they seek peace???

They can't even meet with the Isreli foreign minister...
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni failed in attempts to set up meetings in Annapolis or Washington with colleagues from the Arab world, even though the summit was designed to show international support for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

Livni, who was interested in meeting some of the 15 representatives from the Arab and Muslim world at the conference who do not have ties with Israel, only held a meeting in Washington with Salaheddin al-Bashir, the Jordanian foreign minister whose country does have full diplomatic ties with Israel. That meeting took place Wednesday in Washington.

The Jerusalem Post has learned that there was also some pre-summit talk of Livni flying to one of the North African countries - Morocco or Tunisia - on her way home from Washington, but that this also failed to materialize.

Israeli officials interpreted this as evidence that the Arab world had not changed its fundamental policy that there would be no warming of relations with Israel until after a deal, and that normalization was one of the Arab world's major bargaining chips.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Cover up your mannequins....

The latest fashion trend from Peshawar...
Garment shop owners in northwest Pakistani city of Peshawar are removing mannequins from their displays or covering them up with clothes following threats from militants.

A meeting of the shopkeepers' association of Karimpura in Peshawar, the capital of North West Frontier Province (NWFP), on wednesday discussed the threatening letters from militants. The association decided to either remove the mannequins from shops or cover them up fully with clothes.

The meeting was informed that 10 militants visited Shaheen Bazaar, a market for women, and asked shopkeepers to remove mannequins. The militants claimed the mannequins promoted obscenity, 'Dawn' newspaper reported today.

The letter sent by the militants warned the shop owners of dire consequences if they did not remove the mannequins.

Why can't the Palestinians accept Israel as a Jewish State???

Here's the Palestinian response to Olmert's demand that they recognize Israel as a Jewish state...

  • The Higher Arab Monitoring Committee in Nazareth unanimously called on the Palestinian Authority not to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
    • Yasser Abed Rabbo, secretary-general of the Palestinian Liberation Organization's executive committee: "This issue is not on the table; it is raised for internal [Israeli] consumption."
    • Saeb Erekat, head of the PLO Negotiations Department: "The Palestinians will never acknowledge Israel's Jewish identity. … There is no country in the world where religious and national identities are intertwined." Erekat's generalization is both curious and revealing. Not only do 56 states and the PLO belong to the Organization of the Islamic Conference, but most of them, including the PLO, make the sharia (Islamic law) their main or only source of legislation. Saudi Arabia even requires that every subject be a Muslim.
  • Salam Fayad, Palestinian Authority prime minister: "Israel can define itself as it likes, but the Palestinians will not recognize it as a Jewish state."
  • Ahmed Qurei, chief Palestinian negotiator: "This [demand] is absolutely refused."
  • Geat ready for some more insults to muslims...

    A new film about Islam is sure to make muslims crazy...Wilders' new film is going to highlight the 'fascist' passages of the koran...
    The cabinet is concerned about the reaction to a provocative television film on the Koran that Geert Wilders is working on. The ministers of justice and home affairs have reportedly pointed out the risks of the film project to the Freedom Party PVV leader during a talk.

    "Measures have been taken in the event that a heated discussion follows on the film here and abroad," a spokesperson for Justice Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin said on Wednesday in response to reports in the Telegraaf.

    Justice Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin stressed on Wednesday that Wilders is free to express his views, but that people also have a responsibility to society as a whole. "Think about the repercussions," is what he told the MP.

    I really don't like this attempt at self-censorship...

    The challenge of Annapolis...

    Are the Palestinians in any state to really move forward on a compromise for peace??? This excerpt if from a good editorial by David Horovitz, editor of the Jerusalem Post.

    Dig a little deeper on the Palestinian side and you discern two distinct lines of thinking, neither of them yielding much hope for Annapolis - and this among the non-Islamists. Those around Fayad believe the summit is premature. Fatah is not reformed. The PA cannot provide effective security in the West Bank. The Palestinian public is in no mood for concessions, and even raising final-status issues is playing with fire. These voices are not talking about the need for a postponement of a few months, it should be stressed. They are talking about years - about the need to supplant whole generations raised on a diet of hatred and martyrdom.

    Which takes us to the second line of thinking - among Palestinians who discern a pattern of unilateral concession from Israel and see no incentive or imperative to compromise at all. Israel has left Gaza. It is talking about leaving all of the West Bank, albeit with settlement bloc adjustments. It is talking about unprecedented concessions in east Jerusalem. It is finding no answer to rocket attacks from Gaza and proved vulnerable to attack from south Lebanon. So why hurry, they ask, to compromise on the refugee issue and other maximalist demands? Why hurry when a two-state solution is so obviously an Israeli interest, and when the single, binational state which inertia might bring spells suicide for Israel?

    What would overcome both those mind-sets would be the development on the Palestinian side of a burning sense that they too have an imperative for reconciliation, that time is working against them, that they have much to lose by avoiding compromise and accommodation with Israel. And central to bolstering that way of thinking is the perception of Israel as confident and indestructible - willing to compromise for the cause of peace, but well able to hold firm if there is no genuine opportunity.

    Since a genuine accommodation is a prime Israeli goal, Israel, it need hardly be stated, has a vital interest in the creation of precisely this perception. Demographics are not working in our favor; the need for a blueprint of settlements deemed essential and the galvanizing of a consensus around what should and should not be retained has never been greater; the danger of the Islamists, and thus Iran, taking full of control of the West Bank is real and potentially imminent.

    It may be that, among some Palestinians, an imperative for reconciliation is indeed being felt, or even long existed.

    But the concern as the parties make their way to Annapolis is that even the dismal legacy of Arafat's rejectionism seven years ago - the bloodshed it unleashed; the day-to-day economic and other consequences as Israel sought to protect itself against the onslaught of terrorism - has not seen a consequent determination to shape a better reality rise to the fore among the Palestinian public.

    Put simply, the Abbas Palestinian leadership, whether or not it is truly moderate and ready to compromise, is not empowered by its public to work strenuously and wholeheartedly for reconciliation, and has not dared to confront this negativity. That is why the run-up to Annapolis has been so fraught and unproductive. And that is why the challenge, at Annapolis and beyond, is immense.

    Global warming's cash grab...

    No wonder the left love this stuff -- it's just a massive transfer of wealth...
    Helping the world's poor adapt to more floods, droughts and other changes from a warming planet will cost the richest nations at least $86 billion a year by 2015, an expert panel warned Tuesday.

    "They must have help from the rich world," said Claes Johnasson, a co-author of the report commissioned by the U.N. Development Program. "Climate is forcing people into human development traps."

    Half the cost, $44 billion, would go for "climate-proofing" developing nations' infrastructure while $40 billion would help the poor adapt how the live to cope with climate-related risks, says the panel's report. The other $2 billion would go to strengthening responses to natural disasters.

    The report recommends the biggest share be paid by the United States and other rich nations, based on aid targets and financing calculations by the World Bank and Group of Eight major industrialized nations.

    This is how they make science 'accessible'...

    Of course, they can only do it by poking fun at global warming skeptics...
    Pecos Pictures has won the 2007 National Public Service Announcement/Broadband Emmy® Award. The award is for its "Big Fun with Global Warming" cartoon which is licensed to the Sierra Club website. The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences awarded the Emmy at its "Humanitarian, Public and Community Service Emmy Awards" ceremony on Nov. 9 in New York City.

    "Big Fun stars a character called Stinky, who has serious doubts about the whole idea of Global Warming. He's a skeptic. Until the impact of global warming hits home with him....literally. It's classic Bugs Bunny, drop the anvil on 'em humor. Updated for the age of Global Warming," said the cartoon's creator, Mark Greene

    "Humor is a great way to make the science behind global warming more accessible and more memorable to viewers," Greene said. Pecos Pictures, Greene's company, created two cartoons for the global warming campaign. Each are 90 seconds in length.

    French riots continue...

    Let's hope Sarkozy comes down hard on these rioters...
    French police have warned that they are dealing with "urban guerrillas" with guns as rioting which began in suburbs north of Paris spread to other parts of the country.

    Fears voiced by local mayors that violence could erupt elsewhere were realised as unrest hit the southern town of Toulouse ahead of a third night of riots.

    A fire broke out at a library in the Reynerie neighbourhood and about a dozen cars were burned in response to the deaths of two teenagers in Paris following a crash with a police car.

    A police unit was deployed to the area and nearby Bagatelle, where cars were set on fire earlier in the evening, and appeared to restore order.

    Meanwhile, officers in Paris braced themselves for more chaos.

    He says he doesn't hate the US....

    A perverse way to show your love...
    A Somali immigrant was sentenced to 10 years in prison Tuesday for plotting to blow up an Ohio shopping mall with a man later convicted of being an al Qaeda terrorist.

    Nuradin Abdi, a cell phone salesman before his arrest, pleaded guilty in July to conspiring to provide material support for terrorists. He will be deported to Somalia after serving the federal sentence.

    In a 20-minute statement to the court, Abdi's attorney Mahir Sherif said his client apologized to the people of the United States, the people of Ohio and the Muslim community. He said Abdi regretted that his conviction might lead to problems for other Muslims.

    "He apologizes for the things he thought about and the things he talked about and the crimes he pleaded guilty to," Sherif said. "He wants to make it very, very clear that he does not hate America."

    Tuesday, November 27, 2007

    The veil as company uniform....

    I hope more companies don't follow this route in Spain...
    A Murcia company has introduced the Islamic veil as part of their work uniform. It means that from January the 850 workers at Agromediterránea S.C.L. can wear a plain white veil if they so want.

    The preserves company employs as many as 150 Muslim workers, and it’s thought to be the first case of its type where a Murcia company has changed uniform regulations to accommodate the religious customs of their workers.

    20 minutos reports that the initiative comes at the women’s request.

    Some sense in Denmark....

    Leaders who adopt sensible immigration policies will see electoral gains...
    Raving xenophobe or fearless defender of Danish values?

    Nationalist leader Pia Kjaersgaard's anti-Muslim outbursts have earned her many labels — and many votes.

    Despite predictions of her populist Danish People's Party's demise, Kjaersgaard remains a powerful force in domestic politics after winning 14 percent of the vote in last week's election.

    "The most important thing for the Danish People's Party is to maintain the Danish identity," Kjaersgaard, 60, told The Associated Press in an interview.

    "I am convinced that the Islamists want to sneak Sharia (Islamic law) through the back door, that they want to combat Western society and they want Islam to become the main religion," she said.

    Her party — Denmark's third biggest — has held the role of kingmaker since 2001, giving the center-right government the backing it needs for a majority in Parliament.

    In return, Kjaersgaard has been able to press the government to adopt some of Europe's strictest immigration laws, which she says have been instrumental in stemming the inflow of Muslims with radical views.

    Monday, November 26, 2007

    If you want to see real discrimination - go to Malaysia...

    People who complain about Canada should pay a visit to Malaysia...and I can talk from experience as I've been there dozens of times...

    Malaysian police attacked thousands of peaceful protesters with tear gas and water cannon yesterday as they attempted to present a petition to the British High Commission in Kuala Lumpur.

    Protesters in Kuala Lampur are blasted with a water cannon
    Anti-government rallies are banned are banned in Malaysia

    The organisers claimed that more than 100,000 members of Malaysia's ethnic Indian community had signed the document, addressed to the Queen, asking for help to end racial discrimination under Malaysian law.

    Anti-government rallies are banned, and as a police helicopter flew low between the gleaming sky-scrapers, the protesters were blasted with powerful chemicals that left victims gasping for air.

    Many of the demonstrators claimed that, as one put it, "Only Queen Elizabeth can help Indians in Malaysia." The government operates an official policy of discrimination in favour of ethnic Malays, or "sons of the soil," who make up just over half of the population.

    Indians are eight per cent of the population but control just 1.5 per cent of the economy. Another quarter of the population is ethnic Chinese.

    Access to housing, education, loans and jobs is given to Malays on a preferential basis. The government, which has been led by the same party for 50 years, says the policies are necessary to support the Malay community.

    The destruction of Hindu temples by the Muslim government has inflamed these economic grievances.

    More rioting in Paris....

    The modern answer to any grievance - riot....

    Thirty police officers have been injured in a second night of violence between youths and officers in the flashpoint suburb of Villiers-le-Bel in Paris.

    About 160 riot police came under attack in the notoriously crime-ridden district, 20 miles north of the centre of the French capital. The violence spread from Villiers-le-Bel to several other areas, police said.

    The violence was sparked on Sunday by the deaths of two young boys, who were killed when their moped collided with a police car.

    The boys who died were said by locals to be "aged between 12 and 13".

    Police insisted that their car had not been chasing the boys when the crash occurred soon after dusk.

    French officials had earlier attempted to quell mounting anger by launching a manslaughter investigation into the deaths.

    Now, here's a person who deserves to be lashed....

    The latest outrage from the religion of peace...thanks to James for sending this...

    A British primary school teacher arrested in Sudan faces up to 40 lashes for blasphemy after letting her class of 7-year-olds name a teddy bear Muhammad.

    Gillian Gibbons, a 54-year-old mother of two from Liverpool, was arrested at her lodgings at Khartoum's Unity High School yesterday, accused of insulting the Prophet of Islam.

    Her colleagues said that they feared for her safety after reports that groups of young men had gathered outside the Khartoum police station where she was taken and were shouting death threats.

    The Unity school is a Christian-run co-educational private school that teaches both Christians and Muslims and is popular with Sudanese professionals and expatriate workers.

    Bishop Ezekiel Kondo, chairman of the school council, told The Times that the school was in dispute with authorities over taxes, and suggested that Ms Gibbons, who arrived in Khartoum in August, may have been caught up in that. "The thing may be very simple but there are people who are trying to make it bigger. It's a kind of blackmail," he said.

    Another source at the school blamed another teacher, from a well-connected Khartoum family, who had raised the issue with the headmistress but was rebuffed and decided to complain.

    Teachers at the school, in central Khartoum only a mile from the River Nile, said that Ms Gibbons had made an innocent mistake by letting her pupils choose their favourite name for the toy as part of a school project.

    Robert Boulos, the Unity director, said that Mrs Gibbons was following a British National Curriculum course designed to teach young pupils about animals and their habitats. This year’s animal was the bear.

    In September, she asked a girl to bring in her teddy bear to help the Year 2 class to focus and then asked the class to name the toy.

    "They came up with eight names including Abdullah, Hassan and Muhammad. Then she explained what it meant to vote and asked them to choose the name," Mr Boulos said.

    Twenty out of the 23 children chose Muhammad. Each child was allowed to take the bear home at weekends and asked to write a diary about what they did with the toy. Each entry was collected in a book with a picture of the bear on the cover, next to the message "My name is Muhammad"

    More riots in Paris...

    These riots are clearly in the 'immigrant' areas....
    Angry youths set fire to buildings, shops and a police station after two teenagers died Sunday in a crash with a police car at a Paris suburb, as 21 policemen and firefighters were injured in the unrest, police said.

    A police station in the town of Villiers-le-Bel was set on fire and another one in neighbouring Arnouville was wrecked after the pair -- aged 15 and 16 -- were killed in the accident.

    Police said there were reports of "small groups attacking shops, passers-by and car drivers" to rob them. One suspect carrying jewellery from a looted store at Villiers-le-Bel was detained.

    Rioters torched two garages, a petrol pump and two shops, pillaged the railway station at Arnouville and set fire to at least 21 cars. Police reported at least seven arrests.

    Four riot police officers and three other police officers were wounded in clashes which erupted after 6:00 pm accident, according to first reports.

    Police earlier said that another officer who tried to calm the situation suffered injuries to his face.

    Early Monday, some 100 youths thronged the accident site as police forensic experts examined the area.

    "The truth should emerge or we will take the law in our own hands," some of them warned the police.

    Omar Sehhouli, the brother of one of the victims, told AFP he wanted the police officers "responsible" for the accident to be brought to justice.

    He said the rioting "was not violence but an expression of rage."

    Sunday, November 25, 2007

    Chutzpah from the Archbishop of Canterbury...

    Here's a man who can't even show leadership on the ordination of gay people in his own church..
    Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, leader of the world's Anglicans, has launched an attack on the United States, saying it has lost the high moral ground since the September 11 attacks in 2001.

    Williams, a longtime critic of the war in Iraq, said in uncharacteristically blunt language: "We have only one hegemonic power at the moment. It is not accumulating territory, it is trying to accumulate influence and control. That's not working."

    Asked in an interview with the Muslim lifestyle magazine Emel, if he thought the United States had lost the high moral ground since the 9/11 attacks, he replied "Yes.
    He has no problem criticizing the US - but on the gay rights of his own parishioners, he is far less certain. This man is not fit for leadership.

    Saturday, November 24, 2007

    Are babies eco-friendly????

    Well..some say no...and that's a good reason not to have kids..
    Had Toni Vernelli gone ahead with her pregnancy ten years ago, she would know at first hand what it is like to cradle her own baby, to have a pair of innocent eyes gazing up at her with unconditional love, to feel a little hand slipping into hers - and a voice calling her Mummy.

    But the very thought makes her shudder with horror.

    Because when Toni terminated her pregnancy, she did so in the firm belief she was helping to save the planet.

    ncredibly, so determined was she that the terrible "mistake" of pregnancy should never happen again, that she begged the doctor who performed the abortion to sterilise her at the same time.

    He refused, but Toni - who works for an environmental charity - "relentlessly hunted down a doctor who would perform the irreversible surgery.

    Finally, eight years ago, Toni got her way.

    At the age of 27 this young woman at the height of her reproductive years was sterilised to "protect the planet".

    Incredibly, instead of mourning the loss of a family that never was, her boyfriend (now husband) presented her with a congratulations card.

    While some might think it strange to celebrate the reversal of nature and denial of motherhood, Toni relishes her decision with an almost religious zeal.

    "Having children is selfish. It's all about maintaining your genetic line at the expense of the planet," says Toni, 35.

    "Every person who is born uses more food, more water, more land, more fossil fuels, more trees and produces more rubbish, more pollution, more greenhouse gases, and adds to the problem of over-population."

    While most parents view their children as the ultimate miracle of nature, Toni seems to see them as a sinister threat to the future.

    What a perverse way to look at children? But, then she's an environmentalist, no?

    Friday, November 23, 2007

    The latest anti-semitic actions from Paris....

    Again...distressing news...
    A wave of anti-Semitic violent incidents in the Albert Camus neighborhood in Paris' 10th quarter has shaken the lives of the suburb's Jewish residents, who are becoming increasingly concerned for their safety.

    In the last three weeks, four incidents of anti-Semitic nature were registered in the area. The first took place at the beginning of the month, when a group of about 15 youths forced Jewish teens to leave a local playground, claiming this was "Palestinian territory."

    Several days later, two Jewish teens were assaulted while walking down the street. A local resident said that the assailants must have known the young men were Jewish. "This is a small neighborhood, everybody knows everybody and we all know who prays for which God."

    On November 17, a Jewish teen was beaten during a football match and called, "a dirty Jew." On the following day, another Jewish teen was attacked.

    The social housing neighborhood is mainly populated by emigrants from Africa and the Maghreb, and tensions between some of them and the local Jews are running high. Last week, eight-year-olds cursed one of their Jewish classmates, calling him "a stinking Jew."

    "We are quite desperate," a Jewish resident said. "We are sick and tired of worrying when our kids go to school or go down to play in the yard. We are not asking for special or preferential treatment, only to live our lives in peace.

    "We live in the heart of Paris. Where else cam we go to feel safe?"
    I guess the answer is Israel. Or Canada...

    Do tree rings really gauge temperature???

    More doubt on the reliability of using tree rings to estimate temperature....
    Craig Loehle has published a study in National Council for Air and Stream Improvement indicating that trees rings are not reliable for determining past temperatures. Loehle focused on the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) (1000 - 1400) which is not shown in tree rings, but is apparent using other so-called proxies.

    Loehle notes that tree ring width respond to temperature in an inverse parabolic manner to temperature with growth increasing up to some optimal temperature and then decreasing with further temperature increases. In other words narrower rings could actually indicate higher temperature rather than lower temperature. Loehle suggests that higher evaporation rates at the higher temperatures may slow growth. Tree growth responds to changes in the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere by increasing growth as CO2 increases.

    Loehle cites a satellite survey covering 1982 to 2003 that indicated in tundra areas photosynthetic activity increased, but such activity decreased in forested areas, possibly because of the density of trees. As density increases individual trees may receive less sunlight and have less energy available for growth.

    Loehle doesn't examine the fact that trees reduce heating of the air by converting solar radiation into the chemical bonds of the carbon molecules deposited in the trunk. The greater the tree growth the lower the temperature if solar radiation remains constant.

    And, this is theatrics???

    MY god, they can't even shake the hand of an Israeli...
    Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations decided Friday to attend next week's US-sponsored Middle East peace conference, but the Saudi foreign minister insisted he would not allow "theatrics" like handshakes with Israeli officials, saying the gathering must make serious progress.

    Thursday, November 22, 2007

    Toronto Airport Caves in...

    This is unfortunate...they should have stuck to principle...
    A Muslim airport screener who was suspended from her job at Toronto's Pearson airport because her skirt was too long has been allowed to return to work under a compromise with her employer.

    The security company, Garda of Canada, has offered the worker, Halima Muse, a full-time administrative job that will allow her to wear civilian attire instead of the uniform required in her previous role, the Teamsters union said in a statement on Wednesday.

    Muse's employer had suspended her for wearing a skirt longer than the knee-length garment the company had issued her. She wanted to wear the longer skirt to conform with the Islamic dress code.

    The union, which represents security workers at Pearson airport, said Muse would also receive back pay for the three months she was on suspension.

    Muse said she is content with the ruling as long as her salary stays the same.

    China says it won't help on global warming...

    No surprise here, really...again, I'll keep on saying it, global emissions of CO2 will continue to rise, no matter what. The only strategy for the world is adaptation.
    China sought to head off expected pressure at an upcoming international climate change meeting, saying Thursday that global warming largely remained a problem for richer countries to tackle.

    With a juggernaut economy and a consumer car-buying frenzy, China is expected to soon surpass the United States as the world's biggest emitter of the greenhouse gases that cause global warming. That has made China a growing focus for some foreign governments and activist groups searching for solutions to climate change at next month's U.N. meeting on the Indonesian island of Bali.

    Staking out ground ahead of that meeting, officials with China's national weather agency and the Foreign Ministry unveiled a television documentary on climate change and outlined government efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, they struck an uncompromising note, saying that success at Bali depends chiefly on richer countries.

    "The key point is to have developed countries continue to fulfill their obligations to reduce their gas emissions after 2012," Foreign Ministry official Song Dong said at a news conference.

    Wednesday, November 21, 2007

    Look what the Palestinians disagree with...

    This is from a text of a joint Israeli-Palestinian document...
    The Palestinians oppose a number of statements appearing in the Israeli draft in the preamble proposals: Israel's formulation that the realization of self-determination is of "each people in their own territory," and that Israel is "the homeland for the Jewish people and Palestine is the homeland of the Palestinian people."

    The Palestinians also oppose the mention of the word "terrorism" in the sentence discussing "bringing an end to incitement, extremism, terror and violence." They also oppose including in the joint document the phrase "secure the release of [captured soldier] Gilad Shalit."
    The Palestinians just can't seem to live with the idea what Israel is a homeland for the Jews. I find that very disturbing - exactly why is Israel negotiating further???

    Finally, Iran is punishing immorality....

    You never know what these large police sweeps will find...
    Iranian police responsible for moral crimes have announced death sentences for 50 people in the latest clampdown on what the authorities term as "immoral behaviour".

    "Fifty of the 3,400 people arrested for immorality in recent weeks, have been condemned to death," said General Ahmad Roozbahani, who is in-charge of moral crimes.

    While announcing that arrests would continue, the Iranian general said that 53 percent of those arrested were aged between 17 and 25 years.

    He said 5 percent of those arrested in the moralisation campaign, which began in March, were minors under the age of 17.

    Here's a book to read...

    Hurrah...a book solidy behind nuclear power...

    Start with a novelist and former New Yorker magazine fiction editor living on the East End of Long Island, a sometime antinuclear activist (remember Shoreham?) and a determined organic vegetable gardener who spent her childhood in 1950s New Mexico having atom-bomb nightmares. Team her with another lifelong greenie, a man with a doctorate in organic chemistry who grew up on an Idaho ranch without electricity and whose day job, over the course of a long career, has included pioneering something called probabilistic risk assessment (the underpinnings of climate-change analysis, but that's another story). Send the pair off on a grand tour of the nuclear-power world, from dust-blown uranium mines to the depths of a pilot facility for Uncle Sam's waste deposit at Nevada's Yucca Mountain. And then wait for them to come back with the predictable diatribe against nuclear power.


    Happily, you'll wait in vain. "Power to Save the World" is a picaresque, flat-out love song to the bad boy of the great American energy debate -- as good a book as we're likely to get on a subject mired in political incorrectness, general unfathomability and essentially limitless gut fears. It's also the latest plot point for one of the few unassailably positive byproducts of global-warming mania: the quiet emergence of pro-nuke greens, led by such impeccable apostates as Whole Earth founder Stewart Brand and James Lovelock, the British chemist best known for his Earth-is-a-living-organism "Gaia hypothesis."

    Gwyneth Cravens and her Virgil -- retired Sandia National Labs scientist D. Richard "Rip" Anderson, arguably the world's top expert on long-term disposal of nuclear waste -- are smart enough to steer clear of that fratricidal battlefield, which features some of the worst aspects of know-nothing environmentalism. The book's subtitle -- "The Truth About Nuclear Energy" -- could come straight off some forlorn industry-group handout. That's not meant as criticism.

    In fact, it's hard not to read Ms. Cravens's book as a 400-page indictment of the nuclear power industry's tragic-comic inability to tell its own story. Going all the way back to Three Mile Island (1979) and Chernobyl (1986) -- disasters that look a lot less disastrous in retrospect, as Ms. Cravens discovers -- the industry has swapped missionary zeal for a hair shirt and a defensive crouch. Assaults by the Sierra Club -- which, ironically, once upon a time campaigned for "Atoms Not Dams" -- and Greenpeace (one of whose founders, Patrick Moore, is another high-profile nuclear heretic) are only part of the problem. Worse is being the stepchild of a utility establishment happily shacked up with wretched old King Coal -- now putting 400 million more tons of coal a year up in smoke, Ms. Cravens ruefully notes, than when she innocently planted her first organic garden in the early 1980s.

    Lebanese amnesia...

    Milton Viorst writes an op-ed for the LA Times about Lebanon and forgets that Hezbollah kidnapped 2 Israelis and killed 7 others...
    Basic to the deadlock is the steady growth of the Shiite community, which is now acknowledged to be the largest of the country's major sects. Its principal voice is Hezbollah, an organization that is, all at once, political, social, religious and military. A year ago, Hezbollah's militia single-handedly stopped an incursion of the Israeli army into south Lebanon, significantly enhancing its prestige across the country. But when it demanded more political power as a reward, it was rebuffed, and its ministers quit the Cabinet. Hezbollah's parliamentary representation, however, remains strong.
    Then, later in the article he repeats the charge:
    The U.S. position doesn't carry much weight with the Lebanese these days -- mostly because of its role in Israel's invasion last year, when American officials did little or nothing to stop the incursion.
    Meanwhile, Hezbollah still holds its two Israelis captive...and has not even allowed the Red Cross to visit them.

    Nigel Lawson on global warming...

    He's a former British chancellor of the Exchequer, speaking in New Zealand...
    AS it is, the temperature projections (the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) does come up with in its fourth and latest report range from a rise in the global average temperature by the year 2100 of 1.8C for its lowest emissions scenario to one of 4C for its highest emissions scenario, with a mean increase of slightly under 3C. The average annual temperature in Helsinki is less than 5C. That in Singapore is in excess of 27C, a difference of more than 22C. If man can cope with that, it is not immediately apparent why he should not be able to adapt to a change of 3C when he is given 100 years in which to do so.

    Let us look at the gloomiest of the IPCC's economic development scenarios, according to which living standards ... would rise, in the absence of global warming, by 1 per cent a year in the developed world and by 2.3 per cent a year in the developing world. It can readily be calculated - using, to repeat, a cost of global warming (based on the gloomiest IPCC warning) of 3 per cent of GDP in the developed world and as much as 10 per cent in the developing world - that the disaster facing the planet is that our great-grandchildren in the developed world would, in 100 years, be only 2.6 times as well off as we are today, instead of 2.7 times; and that their contemporaries in the developing world would be only 8.5 times as well off as people in the developing world are today, instead of 9.5 times as well off. And this, remember, is the IPCC's very worst case.

    The major cause of ill-health, and the deaths it brings, in the developing world is poverty. Faster economic growth means less poverty but - according to the man-made CO2 warming theory, incorporated in the IPCC's scenarios - a warmer world. Warmer but richer is in fact healthier than colder but poorer.

    The more one examines the current global warming orthodoxy, the more it resembles a Da Vinci code of environmentalism. It is a great story and a phenomenal bestseller. It contains a grain of truth and a mountain of nonsense. And that nonsense could be very damaging indeed.

    We appear to have entered a new age of unreason, which threatens to be as economically harmful as it is profoundly disquieting.

    UN Alarmism...

    They overstated the AIDs numbers....are they also overstating the case for global warming???

    In the past ten years, spending on AIDS has grown by 3,000 percent, topping $10B a year, much of that funding going to the UN itself. But reports commissioned by private governments continued to contradict the official UN stance. One study in India revealed cases less than half the official figure, and a another China study showed growth of new cases may have been overstated by as much as a factor of 10.

    The scandal is eerily similar to the current state of the UN IPCC climate reports, where outside researchers (and even some IPCC panel members) have criticized the official reports as exaggerated and unrealistic.

    Climatologist and IPCC expert reviewer Vincent Gray has called the IPCC process "fundamentally corrupt" and its predictions a fraud. Dr. Madhav Khandekar, another IPCC expert reviewer, has called the review process scientifically unsound, and notes the latest report fails to acknowledge a growing number of scientists now question the theory of greenhouse gas-based climate change.

    Is there a linkage between the UN's handling of AIDS and global warming? According to journalist Claudia Rosett, the UN routinely overstates crises to generate funding, then uses it to fund a massive system of kickbacks, payoffs, and lavish expense accounts. According to Rosett, IPCC climate pronouncements are just part of this long-standing pattern.

    Rosett says the world should take a long, hard look at what the UN has become.

    Tuesday, November 20, 2007

    More than 230 Jewish Cemetaries desecrated in 5 years in Germany....

    This is really distressing....
    237 Jewish cemeteries were reported desecrated in Germany, between 2002 and 2006, an average of around 50 a year, the daily newspaper Taggespiel reported, quoting the German Interior Ministry.

    This phenomenon culminated in 2002 with 60 desecrations against 39 in 2006, the ministry said in reply to a question by Petra Pau, a leader of the Left Party in the Bundestag or Parliament.

    There are approximately 2,000 Jewish cemeteries in Germany.

    " I am shocked,” declared the secretary general of the central Council of the Jews in Germany, calling for the designation of a governmental representative for the fight against the extreme-right and anti-Semitism.

    Snow in England and Wales...'s only November...

    Winter truly arrived as large parts of central England and Wales were blanketed in snow and forecasters predicted more chilly weather.

    Children walk in the snow in Birmingham
    Birmingham was covered in a carpet of snow

    Four inches of snow fell in some areas on Sunday night, and in the early hours of Monday, leading to treacherous conditions on roads.

    Bookmakers now expect a £1 million surge of bets on a white Christmas. Ladbrokes cut the price of snow in London on Christmas Day from 8-1 to 6-1.

    An interview with Patrick Moore...

    The former founder of Greenpeace talks to Wired News...

    Wired News: We don't want to dwell on the past, but can you describe your conversion from Greenpeace co-founder to nuclear energy promoter? What changed your mind?

    Patrick Moore: Going back to the early days in Greenpeace in the 1970s and 1980s, we were totally focused on nuclear war and nuclear testing in the Cold War. We failed to distinguish between the beneficial uses of the technology and the evil uses of the technology.

    It became clear to me that there was a logical disconnect. The people who were most concerned about climate change were most opposed to nuclear power. Greenpeace is against fossil fuel, nuclear and hydroelectric power. Those three technologies produce over 99 percent of world energy. What kind of a path to a sustainable future is that?

    WN: You take rising electricity demand as a given. Does that mean that conservationism has failed?

    Moore: Not at all, it's just that the economy has grown faster than our ability to invent new energy efficiency measures. Energy efficiency has improved about 1.5 percent per year since the beginning of the industrial revolution. If you look at GDP, it has increased 150 percent from 1973 to today and energy consumption has only gone up 32 percent. That is conservation and efficiency in spades. You can't expect to have the economy growing and at the same time be able to reduce the overall amount of energy you're using.

    WN: Why would you support nuclear energy over, say, coal plants with carbon capture and storage technologies?

    Moore: Because those clean coal technologies are in the R&D stage. The sequestration of CO2 is a difficult process that would make coal power cost at least twice -- maybe as much as four times as much. You've got to separate the oxygen from the nitrogen at the front end. We know how to do it, but it takes a lot of energy. Then at the back end, you have to liquefy the CO2 and pump it underground.

    I believe that clean coal is largely a marketing concept. I do not believe it is a description of a real technology that exists today. If Congress passed a law that all coal plants must sequester their CO2, no more coal plants would be built.

    Plus, there's the liability issue of CO2 escaping from the ground after it has been put there.

    WN: People, often negative to neutral on nuclear, say that nuclear plants' risk factors are much worse than coal. It seems like your counter is that a coal plant with a carbon capture and sequestration system has similar risk factors?

    Moore: Yeah, but the risk is maybe even worse.

    Wise words on global warming...

    The Investor's Business Daily has it right..

    The fourth and final assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reads like the Bible, but gospel it is not.

    It is a "consensus" in that it started with a foregone conclusion — that man-made pollution is dooming the planet — and gathered in any and all opinions that supported it.

    The report incredibly warns that the 630,000 cubic miles of the Greenland ice sheet will virtually disappear in the near future, raising sea levels by almost 30 feet, and the Amazon rain forest will become a dry savannah.

    There will be widespread species extinction, as up to three-fifths of wildlife will die out. The Great Barrier Reef will die.

    And, oh yeah, winter sports in the Alps will be a thing of the past.

    United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who attended the report's release Saturday in Valencia, Spain, told the Independent, a British newspaper, that he found the "quickening pace" of global warming "very frightening."

    He did not say if he found the "quickening pace" of Iran's nuclear bomb program "very frightening," or explain exactly what he's doing about it right now.

    From genocide in Rwanda and the Sudan to wars and rumors of wars in the Middle East and the Balkans, the U.N. has done little to protect the human species as millions die at the hands of despots that sit on its human rights panel.

    If Ban wants to prevent famine and disease, let him get busy in Darfur, which he also has blamed on global warming.

    Indoor spraying of DDT in Africa could save millions from malaria. Bio-engineered foods could save millions from hunger. The billions wasted on climate change research could provide clean drinking water and sanitation to everyone on the planet.

    The Copenhagen Consensus 2004, a cost-benefit analysis of health issues by leading economists (including three Nobel Prize winners), figured that money spent on things like micronutrients for children, HIV/AIDS and water purification produces 50 to 200 times the benefit for the human species than spending money to effect imperceptible declines in the Earth's temperature.

    Wealthier societies are healthier societies, and the key to ending poverty, hunger and disease is economic growth.

    It is wealthy societies that can develop and afford the technologies to use energy more efficiently and clean the air and water and feed the hungry.

    Sesame Street no longer safe for kids...

    In our politically-correct times, older shows are no longer acceptable...thanks to James for sending this...
    The earliest episodes of “Sesame Street” are available on digital video! Break out some Keebler products, fire up the DVD player and prepare for the exquisite pleasure-pain of top-shelf nostalgia.

    Just don’t bring the children. According to an earnest warning on Volumes 1 and 2, “Sesame Street: Old School” is adults-only: “These early ‘Sesame Street’ episodes are intended for grown-ups, and may not suit the needs of today’s preschool child.”

    Say what? At a recent all-ages home screening, a hush fell over the room. “What did they do to us?” asked one Gen-X mother of two, finally. The show rolled, and the sweet trauma came flooding back. What they did to us was hard-core. Man, was that scene rough. The masonry on the dingy brownstone at 123 Sesame Street, where the closeted Ernie and Bert shared a dismal basement apartment, was deteriorating. Cookie Monster was on a fast track to diabetes. Oscar’s depression was untreated. Prozacky Elmo didn’t exist.

    Nothing in the children’s entertainment of today, candy-colored animation hopped up on computer tricks, can prepare young or old for this frightening glimpse of simpler times. Back then — as on the very first episode, which aired on PBS Nov. 10, 1969 — a pretty, lonely girl like Sally might find herself befriended by an older male stranger who held her hand and took her home. Granted, Gordon just wanted Sally to meet his wife and have some milk and cookies, but . . . well, he could have wanted anything. As it was, he fed her milk and cookies. The milk looks dangerously whole.

    Live-action cows also charge the 1969 screen — cows eating common grass, not grain improved with hormones. Cows are milked by plain old farmers, who use their unsanitary hands and fill one bucket at a time. Elsewhere, two brothers risk concussion while whaling on each other with allergenic feather pillows. Overweight layabouts, lacking touch-screen iPods and headphones, jockey for airtime with their deafening transistor radios. And one of those radios plays a late-’60s news report — something about a “senior American official” and “two billion in credit over the next five years” — that conjures a bleak economic climate, with war debt and stagflation in the offing.

    The old “Sesame Street” is not for the faint of heart, and certainly not for softies born since 1998, when the chipper “Elmo’s World” started. Anyone who considers bull markets normal, extracurricular activities sacrosanct and New York a tidy, governable place — well, the original “Sesame Street” might hurt your feelings.

    NO way CO2 emissions can decline...

    Demand for coal is going through the roof....this is from the Toronto Globe & Mail...
    If you want to make money and don't mind spitting up black phlegm and destroying the planet, buy coal. While the energy markets and the media are obsessed with rising oil prices, the developing world is quietly gearing up for a coal development and consumption spree of astounding proportions. The energy markets of tomorrow are not about oil and hydrogen and wind turbines spinning lazily on ridges. They're about coal, which is cheap and plentiful but also the worst news for the environment that you could imagine in the post-Al Gore world.

    The investor case for coal is hard to beat. The price increases have trailed demand. Demand is about to soar and the price will catch up. Data compiled by Bloomberg shows that U.S. coal prices are equal to $1.98 (U.S.) per million British thermal units (Btus) of energy, compared with $12.51 for fuel oil and $6.91 for natural gas. Oil prices have almost tripled since 2002. Coal prices on the American East Coast have gone up only about 70 per cent in the same period. Coal is so cheap that the shipping costs across the Atlantic can be more expensive than the commodity itself.

    Coal was not supposed to figure large in the energy markets of the future. It is the dirtiest fuel. Burning coal spews out vast amounts of dust, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and carbon dioxide, creating air pollution and filling the atmosphere with greenhouse gases. The energy fantasists like Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore called for a moratorium on the construction of coal-fired electricity-generating plants. Renewable energy, conservation and perhaps a new fleet of nuclear reactors were supposed to make coal a grubby relic of the 19th and 20th centuries, and good riddance.

    Forget it. What the greenies forgot was that rising oil and natural gas prices would not so much encourage conservation as encourage rich and poor countries alike to embrace the last cheap hydrocarbon - coal. The U.S. Department of Energy predicts the construction of more than 1,000 coal plants in the next five years, most in China, India and other parts of the developing world. China alone opens a new coal plant every week.

    In the United States, more than 150 coal plants are planned or being built, many in the Midwest. The Ontario government is dreading their construction because the province is on the receiving end of the airborne crud from the Ohio Valley. Mix sulphur dioxide with water and you get acid rain. Acid rain was supposed to have been cured. But that's a myth. It's alive and well and killing lakes near you. You just don't hear about it because the media is obsessed with global warming.

    The latest edition of the International Energy Agency's World Energy Outlook, published last week, predicted that coal demand will rise by 73 per cent between 2005 and 2030, with China and India accounting for 80 per cent of the increase. The Pew Center on Global Climate Change says China built enough coal plants in the last year alone to meet the energy needs of India and Britain combined.

    Anti-Racism gone mad...

    Jonathan Kay of the National Post attends a conference against racism, but finds it 'transformed into a radicalised cult of censorship.'....

    Which is to say, I'm used to being the odd man out. But I've never felt quite so odd as I did last week at "Combating Hatred," a day-long biennial anti-racism conference hosted by the University of Toronto for the benefit of the city's lawyers, judges, police officers, educators and government workers.

    My panel ("The Media: Part of the problem or part of the solution") didn't start till the late morning. But I showed up a few hours early to enjoy the free breakfast and listen to the keynote speaker, a native activist and lawyer named Donald Worme.

    And I'm glad I did, because a large part of Worme's speech was dedicated to the theme Why Jonathan Kay Is a Racist.

    Shortly after taking the podium, Worme quoted at length from an article I'd written on these pages last month titled "Off The Reservation," which argued that our system of native reserves is inhumane, and should be overhauled for the good of aboriginals themselves. He (falsely) claimed that I wanted natives to "cease to exist as a people," that I was calling for the "destruction" of First Nations and -- most outrageously -- that I was an advocate of "a form of 'final solution."

    And all this while I was 100 feet away, eating a blueberry muffin and drinking a double-double.

    After Worme finished comparing me to the Nazis, he went on to excoriate Margaret Wente of The Globe and Mail, who wrote a column last month about abused native children who are put at risk when politically correct government officials refuse to place them with white families. Between the two hit jobs, the over-arching theme for the day had been established: Challenging the received pieties of identity politics renders you a presumptive racist.

    In fact, Worme proved to be tame compared to some of the speakers that followed. One anti-racism activist and diversity "consultant," for instance, claimed (without evidence) that Canada's leaders "validate racism," and argued that special Afro-centric schools should be set up for Toronto's blacks because their culture is being systematically "denigrated" in multiracial public schools. Then he made my jaw drop by quoting -- not once, but twice -- from the work of African-American poet Amiri Baraka, an anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist who believes Jews were warned to stay away from the Twin Towers on 9/11.

    Next came a Muslim activist who upped the ante by arguing that the state of inter-group relations in Canada is even worse than in Pakistan, a country where political dissidents get thrown in jail and Sunni suicide bombers explode themselves in Shiite mosques. Hatred in Pakistan, she argued, at least has the advantage of being overt. Here in Canada, on the other hand, it is subtle and hidden -- which apparently makes it more invidious.

    Hitchens on the good news in Iraq....

    It is indeed promising...

    To have savaged and discredited al-Qaida in an open fight and to have taken down a fascist Baath Party, which betrayed its pseudosecularism by forging an alliance with al-Qaida, is to have scored an impressive victory on any terms. However, the price of this achievement was often the indulgence of some excessive conduct on the part of the Shiite parties and militias. The next stage must be the reining-in of the Sadrists and the discouragement of Iranian support for such groups. Again, one hardly dares to hope, but there are some promising signs. The Maliki government is not using undue haste or sectarian demagogy in the case of Sultan Hashim Ahmed al-Tai, Saddam Hussein's former defense minister, sentenced to death but not yet executed. Many Sunni Kurds and Arabs, either opposed to the death penalty on principle or opposed in this case, seem for now to have prevailed. And "the cabinet," according to the Nov. 18 New York Times, "has sent legislation to the Parliament softening the de-Baathification law that had prevented former Baathists' working in government jobs." I wonder how many people, reading that ordinary sentence about "the cabinet" and "the Parliament," as reported also in independent Iraqi media, have any idea what it means when compared with the insane proceedings of the totalitarian abattoir state that was Iraq until 2003.

    As I began by saying, I am not at all certain that any of this apparently good news is really genuine or will be really lasting. However, I am quite sure both that it could be true and that it would be wonderful if it were to be true. What worries me about the reaction of liberals and Democrats is not the skepticism, which is pardonable, but the dank and sinister impression they give that the worse the tidings, the better they would be pleased. The latter mentality isn't pardonable and ought not to be pardoned, either.

    Monday, November 19, 2007

    Artists afrain to tackle radical islam...

    Not surprising...but is it because they are afraid, are cowards, or are just part of the cultural left and can't be bothered to criticize another culture???

    Britain’s contemporary artists are fêted around the world for their willingness to shock but fear is preventing them from tackling Islamic fundamentalism. Grayson Perry, the cross-dressing potter, Turner Prize winner and former Times columnist, said that he had consciously avoided commenting on radical Islam in his otherwise highly provocative body of work because of the threat of reprisals.

    Perry also believes that many of his fellow visual artists have also ducked the issue, and one leading British gallery director told The Times that few major venues would be prepared to show potentially inflammatory works.

    “I’ve censored myself,” Perry said at a discussion on art and politics organised by the Art Fund. “The reason I haven’t gone all out attacking Islamism in my art is because I feel real fear that someone will slit my throat.”

    Perry’s highly decorated pots can sell for more than £50,000 and often feature sex, violence and childhood motifs. One work depicted a teddy bear being born from a penis as the Virgin Mary. “I’m interested in religion and I’ve made a lot of pieces about it,” he said. “With other targets you’ve got a better idea of who they are but Islamism is very amorphous. You don’t know what the threshold is. Even what seems an innocuous image might trigger off a really violent reaction so I just play safe all the time.”

    The fate of Theo van Gogh, the Dutch film-maker who was murdered by a Muslim extremist in 2004 after he made a film portraying violence against women in Islamic societies, is the most chilling example of what can happen to an artist who is perceived to have offended Islam. Perry said that he had also been scared by the reaction across the Islamic world to Danish cartoons deemed anti-Muslim in 2006 and by the protests against Salman Rushdie’s knighthood this year.

    Across Europe there is growing evidence that freedom of expression has been curtailed by fear of religious fundamentalism. Robert Redeker, a French philosophy teacher, is in hiding after calling the Koran a “book of extraordinary violence” in Le Figaro in 2006; Spanish villages near Valencia have abandoned a centuries-old tradition of burning effigies of Muhammad to mark the reconquest of Spain, against the Moors; and an opera house in Berlin banned a production of Mozart’s Idomeneo because it depicted the beheading of Muhammad (as well as Jesus and other spiritual leaders).

    I think he's not Jewish enough...

    Geez...don't these people have bigger things to think about?? This is from the UK...

    Police chiefs will spend £15,000 creating "ethnically diverse" mascots after an officer criticised a model for being too male and white.

    PCSO Steve
    PCSO Steve: 'too male and white'

    The uniformed mascot, known as PCSO Steve, was created by the Metropolitan Police to visit primary schools.

    But one of the force's sergeants criticised the character for failing to represent the capital's communities.

    He said the figure, white with blue eyes and blond hair, risks leaving Asian and women officers "isolated".

    The comments sparked a row with some claiming the criticism was taking political correctness too far.

    However, senior officers said they would invest £15,000 in the design and production of three new characters.

    Is the EU headed for disaster????

    Their open borders are going to make the EU mightily unpopular in certain countries...

    A wave of crime and illegal immigration will sweep across Europe when nine more EU states scrap their border controls next month, it has been claimed.

    The creation of a free travel zone means an individual could journey from as far east as the Russian border to Britain's doorstep at Calais without having to show a passport.

    The controls are being scrapped under the Schengen agreement, which was signed by all but a handful of EU nations.

    Although Britain opted out, critics of Schengen say this country remains a favoured destination for both criminals and economic refugees and faces a new wave of clandestine entry.

    In the Ukraine, officials say the country is already struggling to cope with a buildup of migrants gathering at its EU border in the hope of reaching western Europe.

    Germany, which is at the heart of the free-travel zone, has been a strong supporter of the extension of Schengen. But the country's police take a different view to its politicians. The union representing Germany's 40,000 frontier officers has called for a massive protest on Thursday in a town on Germany's border with Poland.

    It is urging Germany to stop what it calls "the insanity of Schengen" and demanding increased, not relaxed, vigilance on the country's borders.

    The Schengen zone was named after the Dutch town where the original deal for a free-travel region was signed by five EU countries in 1985. It currently includes 13 EU member countries, but not Britain, Ireland, Romania, Bulgaria and Cyprus.

    From next month, most of the countries which joined the EU three years ago - Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic and Malta - will join the club.

    The two idiots get together...

    Chavez and Ahmadinejad...sounds like a comedy team, if it weren't so distressing...
    Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez made his fourth trip to Iran in two years on Monday, state media reported, as the two countries sought to strengthen ties while their leaders exhort the international community to resist U.S. policies.

    Chavez, who arrived in Tehran from Saudi Arabia where he attended the weekend's OPEC summit, is expected to discuss various political and economic issues with his Iranian counterpart, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

    Chavez was accompanied by a string of top Venezuelan officials for the hours-long visit — among them the foreign, industry, oil and communication ministers, as well as the mayor of Caracas, the country's capital.

    Ahmadinejad also attended the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

    During the gathering, the two firebrand leaders echoed one another, blaming President Bush's policies for the decline of the dollar and its negative effect on other countries, and challenging Saudi Arabia's reluctance to mention weak dollar concerns in the summit's final declaration.

    Ahmadinejad claimed OPEC's member countries want to convert their cash reserves into a currency other than the depreciating U.S. dollar, which he called a "worthless piece of paper."

    Chavez said the dollar was in free-fall and that its "empire" must end, and proposed trading oil in a basket of currencies excluding the dollar.

    Iran is not being transparent...

    As the items ays, they ration cooperation with the IAEA....
    When Iran agreed in August to come clean on its nuclear history, U.N. inspectors cited an understanding to resolve questions by the end of 2007. Now, that target seems to be slipping.

    Iran is rationing cooperation with inspectors and winning more time to persevere in a showdown with Western powers over its nuclear program, diplomats and analysts say.

    They suspect Tehran is enriching uranium to fuel nuclear weapons, not diversifying its supply of electricity as it says.

    The International Atomic Energy Agency reported on November 15 that Iran had finally clarified acquisitions of centrifuge enrichment technology in the 1980s and '90s from a black market run by the now-disgraced father of Pakistan's atomic bomb.

    Iran's answers were "consistent with" previous findings of inspectors but had yet to be checked for completeness. The report gave no time frame for this, although agency officials earlier targeted November for resolving the matter.

    Iran raised confusion by proclaiming the issue closed.

    Cold snap in Korea...

    Gee, it just snowed in Holland, and Korea is bracing for its first snowfall..
    The Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) predicted temperatures would drop below zero in most major cities in the early morning Monday, following a morning low of - 3.2 degrees in Celsius in central Korea including Seoul on Sunday. Morning lows on Monday are predicted to drop further and morning temperatures in some land-locked regions in north-central Korea are likely to hit -10 degrees, the KMA said.

    Morning lows were the lowest in Daegwallyeong, Ganwon Province with -9 degrees, followed by Chungju in North Chungcheong Province with ?6 degrees, Incheon and Jeonju, North Jeolla Province with ?4 degrees, Gwangju, Daegu, Gangneung with ?3 degrees and Busan with 0.

    The KMA predicted the first snowfall in North Gyeonggi Province on Sunday night and in Seoul on Tuesday morning. It attributed the cold snap to the approach of high pressure from the continent. It said the nationwide cold weather will continue this week with the morning lows between zero and 3 degrees and midday temperature between 4 and 9 degrees.

    I thought the Swedes were civilized...

    This guy breaks the leg of an opposing player and only gets a 4-game suspension!
    Swedish ice hockey player Mattias Öhlund has been suspended for four games by the National Hockey League after breaking the leg of an opposing player in his Vancouver Canucks' 6-2 victory over Minnesota.

    The 31-year-old Swede struck Minnesota's Mikko Koivu of Finland with nearly four minutes remaining in the third period Friay. Öhlund was assessed slashing major and game misconduct penalties after Koivu suffered a broken left leg on the play.

    Al Gore's Kool-Aid...

    He's serving and we're drinking...

    Now, schoolchildren scold their parents because they haven't traded in their incandescent lightbulbs for the depressing yellow light of compact fluorescent bulbs. Environmentalism, which used to simply include anyone concerned about pollution, somehow morphed into radical environmentalism. Gottlieb and others have taken up the banner of global warming under the guise of religious responsibility. Radical environmentalism has become a religion in and of itself. Its heaven is a utopia in which we all give up our modern conveniences and technological advancement for some austere, Amish-type lifestyle.

    Al Gore, the Jim Jones of this new religious cult, preaches doom and gloom from his pettifogger pulpit, all the while living the lifestyle of an energy hog. He actually uses twice the amount of electricity in one month at his Nashville home than the average household uses in an entire year. He has two homes in Tennessee, one in Virginia, at least. He flies all over the world on his Magical Hysteria Tour, sucking down resources and belching out tons of carbon, all to tell us we need to conserve. We're trying to make ends meet just to afford gas in our cars while Al Gore has a carbon footprint the size of Sasquatch. And no one seems to care.

    The Branch Algorians read from the Gospel of Al and never question a word. The movement's devil is carbon dioxide, an essential component of photosynthesis and the substance we all exhale with every breath. Understand this: CO2 is not a pollutant. However, Gore and the radical environmentalists have been quite successful in convincing people that smog and CO2 are the same. They are not. CO2 has nothing whatsoever to do with the smog or haze we see over our cities. There is absolutely no evidence that CO2 has anything to do with any kind of warming.

    The Gore Kool-Aid drinkers will point to "all these scientists" but can't give you one link between CO2 and any kind of climate change. As the founder of The Weather Channel, John Coleman, recently put it, global warming is the greatest scam in history.

    When Professor Gottlieb is not writing a guilt-trip treatise on the environment, he's writing about Marxism and how the Soviets just didn't quite get it right.

    You see, global warming is the perfect template for Marxism because it's the great equalizer. The wealthier a nation, the more CO2 it produces. To atone for its sins, it must pay carbon offsets. In other words, the producing nations pay the non-producing or under-producing nations in cash for the sin of emitting a harmless gas. It's beautiful.

    The global warming movement is a way to not just confiscate money and wealth from the producers, but because of their guilt, they gladly hand it over. If Karl Marx were still alive, he'd be beaming with pride.

    Tidal Lock Crisis

    Forget global warming..tidal lock is the new environmental crisis.

    Sunday, November 18, 2007

    Wanna make a bet that this leads to disaster...

    Terrorism should not be rewarded...
    The Philippines government and separatist rebels have struck a deal on creating a Muslim homeland in the country's south which is expected to lead to a peace accord next year, officials said Thursday.

    The agreement on the extent of territory to be handed over had been a major stumbling block in the peace talks that opened when a ceasefire was forged with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in 2001.

    The two sides did not disclose the new borders agreed after two days of talks here, but Malaysian officials said the territory would be greater than the present autonomous region in the troubled island of Mindanao.

    "After more than three decades of problems in Mindanao, it is for the government to give concessions. It could not be the other side, so the government has to concede what it think is reasonable," said Philippines chief negotiator Rodolfo Garcia.

    Snow in Swiss Resorts at Record Levels...

    Best start to a season in 50 years....I know this post will drive some of our liberal lurkers crazy...

    Swiss ski resorts are expecting a record season after promising early snowfall, it has been reported.

    Ski break spots including Davos, St Antonien and Braunwald have experienced exceptionally strong snowfall for so early in the season, swissinfo has reported.

    Last weekend, some 62 cm of the white stuff fell in the eastern resort of Davos, while St Antonien received 64 cm and Braunwald got 72 cm of snow on Sunday, states national weather service MeteoSwiss.

    According to the report, Switzerland has not received such a strong start to its winter ski season since 1952, with the amount of snow being swept to the southern areas by the wind cited as a particularly interesting feature of the weather.

    Is ADHD a Myth???

    We're drugging kids for no good reason...

    If, say, William Brown, the school-shirking, mischief-prone hero of Richmal Crompton’s Just William stories, were passing through any school system in the English-speaking world today, he would be drugged to the gills. In the decades since Crompton wrote, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) – the name coined to describe a variety of unproductive and sometimes disruptive childhood behaviours – has become an American obsession. It is now diagnosed in countries other than the US, and in adults as well as children. It has spurred a market for drug treatments that exceeds $3bn annually in the US and could reach £101m ($207m) a year in the UK by 2012, according to recent projections carried out at the University of Heidelberg. A 10th of American boys, by some estimates, take some kind of anti-ADHD drug. “Since ADHD is only treatable, not curable,” ran one report in Medical Marketing and Media last year, “people take drugs for life, equalling a potential boon for pharmaceutical companies”.

    The problem is that there is not a clear definition of what ADHD is. There is no test for it. The symptoms laid out in the mental-health diagnostic manual DSM-IV are vague enough (“often does not follow instructions”, “often loses things” etc.) to invite overdiagnosis. Against this will-o’-the-wisp, doctors have deployed the pharmacological equivalent of a howitzer. Most drugs used against ADHD are strong stimulants, either methylphenidates or amphetamines. They have been abused on US college campuses and carry risks of addiction, hallucinations, heart attacks and strokes. The US Food and Drug Administration has occasionally urged stronger warnings for ADHD drugs and, in 2005, Health Canada briefly suspended sale of the market leader (Adderall XR, made by Shire Pharmaceuticals). In the US, pharmaceutical companies have been faulted for aggressive advertising and lobbying. In the early 1990s, Ciba-Geigy (now Novartis) gave $748,000 to Chadd, a sufferers’ advocacy group that was then campaigning to relax regulation of Ciba-Geigy’s drug Ritalin.

    So is ADHD a vital discovery or a popular folly? Andrea Bilbow, founder of the British ADHD charity Addiss, takes the first view. “The minute you raise awareness,” she said earlier this year, “you’re going to see an increase in diagnosis and treatment.” Indeed, the US follows this pattern; richer areas, with more knowledge about medical developments, are often more heavily medicated. But Australia – a country where ADHD medicines have been both widely prescribed and strongly resisted – belies it. In Sydney last year, The Daily Telegraph newspaper reported that children in rich neighbourhoods were given medication at one 12th the rate of children from poor ones. One in 300 children gets ADHD drugs in the wealthy north versus 1 in 25 in poorer areas.

    The sceptics have lately been getting the better of the argument. This summer, a follow-up to the 1999 Multimodal Treatment Study of Children with ADHD (MTA) – which provides the main evidence for the effectiveness of drug therapy – rescinded a number of the study’s earlier conclusions. Gains from drug treatment evaporate after three years, the follow-up showed, and there is evidence that the drugs stunt children’s growth. William Pelham of the University of Buffalo, one of the researchers involved in the MTA study, said on BBC1’s Panorama on Monday that he now favours behavioural therapies because the familiar drug treatments offer “no beneficial effects – none”.