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 (

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Muslims attack gays in Sweden...

The politically-correct press won't say that muslims committed this attack...but that's what I am hearing in the blogosphere....
Two men in their late 20s were stabbed and robbed of their mobile telephones in the Tantolunden area of Södermalm in Stockholm on Sunday night in an attack police are classifying as a hate crime.

One of the victims was seriously injured in the incident, which took place around midnight.

“They were two homosexuals who were attacked. The assailants uttered slurs which played on their sexuality and that they had just kissed one another. Then they drew knives and demanded valuables,” said Therese Johansson of the Södermalm police.

Shortly after the exchange of words, one of the two victims was stabbed in the stomach and fell to the ground. He was taken in an ambulance to Karolinska University Hospital in Solna, where he was kept for observation early Monday morning.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Feminist Jurisprudence - killer wives go unpunished...

This is from the UK.....but, this is also happening in Canada...
Women who kill abusive partners in cold blood could escape a murder conviction if they prove they feared more violence.

Under a major government review, they will be punished for the lesser offence of manslaughter, sparing them a mandatory life sentence.

They must establish only that they were responding to a 'slow burn' of abuse.

The change sweeps aside the existing requirement in any defence of provocation that they killed on the spur of the moment after a 'sudden' loss of control.

In cases where a husband kills, the existing 'partial defence' of provocation if a wife was having an affair is scrapped altogether.

The Ministry of Justice said this was in response to long-standing concerns that the centuries- old measure impacts differently on men and women.

In the first major changes to homicide laws in 50 years, ministers have ruled that other categories of killer, as well as domestic violence victims, should be offered new partial defences of provocation.

They include those 'seriously wronged' by an insult.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

What will the left do after Bush???

A great column from the UK journalist, Nick Cohen....
In January, Bush will be history, leaving liberals all alone in a frightening world. Little else will change. Radical Islam will still authorise murder without limit, Iran will still want the bomb and the autocracies of China and Russia will still be growing in wealth and confidence. All those who argued that the 'root cause' of the Bush administration lay behind the terror will find that the terror still flourishes when the root cause has retired.

In their book, After Bush, professors Timothy J Lynch and Robert S Singh highlight the obvious truth that the West is in a new Cold War. Whatever his disagreements with Bush on detail, the new President will have to stop radical Islamist movements and regimes gaining nuclear, chemical or biological weapons because he will know, as we already know, when we are honest with ourselves, that they will use them. Even if we have a President Obama, the continuities in American foreign policy will be more striking than the contrasts.

Obama made their point for them in his Berlin speech. Repeatedly, he emphasised that the resolve that had won the Cold War had to be applied to the war against terror. 'Partnership and co-operation among nations is not a choice; it is the one way, the only way, to protect our common security and advance our common humanity,' he declared.

Not all Europeans will want co-operation. A minority will never escape from the slogans and attitudes of the Bush years and Obama and his wife must expect the same treatment as Condoleezza Rice. However, now that the majority of liberals seems likely to get the American President of their dreams, they will have to offer him their support, won't they?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Don't live near a windfarm....

Housing values plummet when near a windfarm..this is from the UK....
Thousands of homeowners may see the value of their properties plummet after a court ruled that living near a wind farm decreases house prices.

In a landmark case, Jane Davis was told she will get a discount on her council tax because her £170,000 home had been rendered worthless by a turbine 1,000 yards away.

The ruling is effectively an official admission that wind farms, which are accused of spoiling countryside views and producing a deafening roar, have a negative effect on house prices.

It means many other families living in the shadow of the giant turbines could see thousands wiped off the value of their homes, as the Government pushes ahead with plans to build 7,000 more wind farms over the next decade to meet ambitious green targets.

Campaigners also fear ministers want to remove the legal right to complain about noise nuisance, condemning those who live near wind farms to years of blight and reducing the opportunity for them to resist expansion plans.

Mrs Davis, who launched a nationwide campaign after her own home was rendered worthless by the deafening roar of a wind farm, claims ministers are tabling an amended to the Planning Act which will remove eight crucial words that previously offered at least some protection to householders.

"For people living near wind farms, both now and in the future, it will be a disaster," she said.

"There are many, many people living in Middle England who have worked hard all their lives and yet will see the values of their homes suddenly diminish.

"This isn't about Nimbyism, but the rights of ordinary people to live a normal life."

Mrs Davis, 52, a retired nurse, lives 1,017 (930m) from a wind farm at Deeping St Nicholas, Lincolnshire. Her husband, Julian, 43, originally bought the property from the county council and the couple had planned to extend it.

But the noise generated by the turbines is so severe, particularly when certain winds make all the blades rotate in unison, that it left the Davises unable to sleep. They currently live in a rented house a few miles away.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Some interesting testimony....

Time for the US to end, 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'....

If Israel can allow gay men and women to serve openly, then so can the Americans....
The first American wounded in Operation Iraqi Freedom told a House sub-committee Wednesday that many in his unit knew he was gay and it was not an issue.

It was only years after he nearly died in battle, receiving a Purple Heart for courage, that he realized he needed to speak out against Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the ban on gays serving openly in the military.

“Three hours into the invasion, we had stopped to wait for orders. I went back to the Humvee to retrieve something – to this day I can’t remember what – and, as I crossed that dusty patch of desert for the third time that day, I triggered a landmine,” former Marine Staff Sgt. Eric F. Alva told the Military Personnel Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee.

“I was thrown through the air, landing 10 or 15 feet away,” said Alva, who served in he Marine Corps for 13 years. ”The pain was unimaginable. My fellow marines were rushing to my aid, cutting away my uniform to assess the damage and treat my wounds. I remember wondering why they weren’t removing my right boot – it wasn’t until later that I realized it was because that leg was already gone.”

Alva said that he received the Purple Heart, along with visits from the President and First Lady. “I was told I was a hero,” he recalled.

“That landmine may have put an end to my military career that day, but it didn’t put an end to my secret. That would come years later, when I realized that I had fought and nearly died to secure rights for others that I myself was not free to enjoy. I had proudly served a country that was not proud of me. More importantly, my experience disproved all the arguments against open service by gays and lesbians – I knew I had to share my story,” Alva said.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The latest on Geert Wilders.....

He's the Dutch politician who produced the film, Fitna.
The foreign ministry is concerned that Jordan will shortly issue a warrant for the arrest of Party for Freedom (PVV) leader Geert Wilders. This can have "implications for freedom of expression in the Netherlands," according to a spokesman.

A case has been brought against Wilders in Jordan by a group calling itself The Messenger of Allah Unites Us. It accuses the Dutch MP of racism and incitement to hatred against Islam and Muslims. The case was declared admissible by a court in the Jordanian capital of Amman on Monday.

Wilders expects the court to quickly produce a summons and an international warrant for his arrest. Should this happen, Jordan can make a request via Interpol for his tracking down and arrest. Wilders would then run the risk of being arrested abroad. Countries with no extradition treaty with Jordan could then also extradite him, for example with an eye to trade interests.

Wilders said Friday that he is experiencing the situation as a serious hampering of his freedom of movement. He has already had contact several times with Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen about the case. Verhagen is taking the case very seriously, according to Wilders.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Those Saudi Textbooks...

We always hear promises to change textbooks, and yet here is an excerpt from a Grade 4 textbook...
Q. "Is belief true in the following instances:

(a) A man prays but hates those who are virtuous.

(b) A man professes that there is no deity other than God but loves the unbelievers.

(c) A man worships God alone, loves the believers, and hates the unbelievers."

The correct answer, of course, is (c): According to the Wahhabi imams who wrote this textbook, it isn't enough to simply worship God or just to love other believers; it is important to hate unbelievers, too. By the same token, (b) is wrong as well: Even a man who worships God cannot be said to have "true belief" if he also loves unbelievers.

"Unbelievers," in this context, are Christians and Jews. In fact, any child who attends Saudi schools until ninth grade will eventually be taught outright that "Jews and Christians are enemies of believers." They will also be taught that Jews conspire to "gain sole control over the world," that the Christian crusades never ended, and that on Judgment Day "the rocks or the trees" will call out to Muslims to kill Jews.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Nothing like waiting....a traditional marriage!

How's this for a traditional marriage?
In the latest twist to a high-profile marriage in this central Saudi city, a 64-year-old man has announced that he would wait five years to consummate his marriage with his 10-year-old bride.

According to local newspapers yesterday, the man — who has already paid a SR100,000 dowry to the father of the girl and signed the marriage contract — now says he would wait until the girl is 15 to complete the marriage.

Explaining the circumstances that led to the marriage, the man’s son said his father never had a second wife. He said the girl’s father taunted his father saying he was willing to marry his daughter to him if he paid SR100,000 in dowry. “My father accepted the challenge, paid the money and became the husband of the young woman,” the son was quoted as saying.

An interview with Israeli UN ex-Ambassador Gillerman...

Israel's outgoing UN Ambassador is interviewed in the New York Times...
The Bush administration, it seems, has not done much to advance the Mideast peace process. Would you agree?

I think the key is in the Arab world. The Palestinians’ real tragedy is that they have not been able to produce a Nelson Mandela. Every single day, Muslims are killed by Muslims. You do not see a single Muslim leader get up and say, “Enough is enough.” It’s nearly as if we live in a world where if Christians kill Muslims, it’s a crusade. If Jews kill Muslims, it’s a massacre. And when Muslims kill Muslims, it’s the Weather Channel. Nobody cares.

Why the Green party of Canada is Brain-Dead...

Here is one of the worst planks of their platform....
Re-organize other powerful multilateral institutions, the World Trade Organization (WTO), the IMF and the World Bank, placing these institutions under the authority of the UN General Assembly, and shift the direction of international trade away from "free trade" to "fair trade" focusing on the global protection of human rights, labour standards, cultural diversity, and ecosystems.
Oh, yes, put all those organizations UNDER the UN General Assembly. Earth to Green Party: No fucking way.

More proof CO2 emissions won't go down....

Coal-fired energy plants are being built at a record rate...
Der Spiegel, the German newsmagazine, explained earlier this month why the Persian Gulf states are switching to coal. “[They] may be sitting atop massive oil reserves,” the magazine said. “But with prices for crude skyrocketing, it makes more sense to sell it than to use it. Instead, the Gulf states are turning to coal for their own energy needs – to the detriment of the climate.” And these states are not alone. “Demand for coal plants,” the magazine says, “is growing rapidly across the globe.”

Abu Dhabi (largest of the seven UAE emirates) has announced that it will switch to coal-fired power plants. Dubai (the second largest) is already building four of them – with a combined output of 4,000 megawatts – as a first-phase investment in coal. Apart from the United Arab Emirates, Oman (widely regarded as “the next Dubai”) has signed a contract with South Korea for the construction of several coal-fired plants. Beyond the Gulf, Egypt proposes to build its first coal-fired plant on the shores of the Red Sea. Russia has announced plans to build more than 30 coal-fired plants by 2011.

As almost everyone now knows, China connects a new coal-fired plant to its electrical grid every 10 days – and intends to keep doing so for several years. Less known is China's decision to construct a massive coal-fired plant in Inner Mongolia that will convert the region's vast coal reserves into oil. With 10,000 people now engaged in the construction, the plant will be completed by the end of the year. The coal-to-liquid process used by this plant will consume twice as much coal and produce twice the CO{-2} emissions as the simple burning of coal in a conventional power plant.

Al Gore's actions...

Speak louder than his words....
On Thursday, former U. S. vice-president Al Gore delivered a major address calling on his country to abandon all fossil fuels within 10 years. By 2018, U. S. electricity and fuel should come entirely from "renewable energy and truly clean, carbon-free sources," he said. Tickets to the event encouraged attendees to "please use public transit, bicycling or other climate-friendly means" to reach the lecture hall.

So how did Mr. Gore and his retinue arrive? In two Lincoln Town Cars and a full-sized SUV that sat idling with the air conditioners blasting while the Gore party was inside.

It was 34 C in Washington. Al Gore can't be expected to get into an overheated vehicle after he's worked up a sweat telling others how to save the planet.

Remember, too, the Nobel prizewinning environmentalist lives in a Tennessee mansion that produces a carbon footprint 20 times that of the average American home. A sizeable chunk of his personal fortune comes from royalties on a zinc mine which had to be temporarily closed five years ago in part because the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency ruled it one of the worst-polluting mine sites in America. Illegal toxins were frequently discharged into nearby rivers.

Mr. Gore's Live Earth benefit concert last summer flew scores of rock bands to stages around the world in carbon-spewing private jets. To cover the emissions from his own frequent use of private jets, Mr. Gore set up a company that buys carbon offsets, so that in effect he is paying himself for his carbon indulgences, writing off the expense on one hand, while pocketing the proceeds on the other.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

How ridiculous can you get???

Gee, with friends like this....

I wonder what he has been smoking...
The deputy to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Saturday that
Iran was a friend of Israel, Iranian news agencies reported.

"Iran wants no war with any country, and today Iran is friend of the United States and even Israel.... Our achievements belong to the whole world and should be used for expanding love and peace," said Iranian Vice President Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaei, who is also head of the Cultural Heritage Organization.

9 Iranians to be stoned for adultery....

Yes, but will it be televised??
Eight women and one man convicted of adultery are set to be stoned to death in Iran, activists said Sunday.

Lawyer and women's rights activist, Shadi Sadr, said the nine were convicted of adultery in separate cases in different Iranian cities.

"Their verdicts are approved, and they may be executed at any time," she told reporters.

Sadr, who has been leading a campaign in Iran against stoning deaths since 2006, said trial protocol was not applied properly in the cases. Six of the nine were convicted based solely on judges' decisions with no witnesses or the presence of their lawyers during their confessions, she said.

China and Mugabe

Christopher Booker of the Daily Telegraph in the UK has some interesting tidbits about Robert Mugabe and China....
It may not be surprising that, as befits any mad dictator, President Mugabe is now the proud owner of a palatial £4.5 million mansion in Harare and a similarly lavish country hideaway, each fitted with the latest electronic security systems, including anti-aircraft missiles.

But why should all this have been provided for him by the People's Republic of China?

The explanation lies in a deal struck in 2005 whereby Mr Mugabe handed over to China his country's mineral rights, including the world's second largest reserves of platinum, worth £250 billion.

In return for allowing the Chinese to cart away more than half a billion pounds' worth of minerals a year, Mr Mugabe not only makes a vast personal fortune for himself and his henchmen, but is given all the arms he needs to keep his criminal regime in power, including guns, jet fighters and military vehicles. (For further details, see my colleague Richard North's EU Referendum website.)

Contrast this with our own Government's response to Mugabe's tyranny. Since Zimbabwe is included in the 28 areas of "common foreign policy" we have ceded to the EU, we can do nothing except in conjunction with our EU colleagues.

On Monday we saw the humiliating spectacle of Gordon Brown pleading with the EU's President, Nicolas Sarkozy, to add 36 more names to the list of Zimbabweans on whom the EU has imposed pathetically ineffectual "personal sanctions".

Otherwise, the EU's only contribution is to give Zimbabwe €25 million a year in aid, which Mr Mugabe welcomes as a way to give food to his supporters while the rest of his people starve.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Hurrah for Rex Murphy...

There are three Globe columnists I love - Rex Murphy, Margaret Wente, and Christie's Rex's take on the human rights kangaroo courts...
Speaking of which, the comedian in the heckling lesbian case is holding a fundraiser in Toronto tonight. He and his confreres in the chuckle industry want to raise a few bucks to bear the cost of officious scrutiny of joke night in B.C. They should be careful. Perhaps they could mail in the jokes to Barbara Hall, the Ontario human-rights czar, and get a pre-emptive ruling on their “hate-content.” There's no one quicker with an obiter dicta, as Maclean's has already learned.

Might save a lot of time and a few bills down the way.

They should also avoid any jokes involving sex, religion, politics or global warming. Outside those boundaries, I think they're safe. Chicken crossing the road jokes are safe. Assuming, of course, the fowl pedestrian is free-range and it doesn't meet a vegetarian halfway over. Absent those elements and I fear cries of chickenphobia will rear their squawking heads.

The really funny joke in all of this, however, is not going to come of out the mouth of any comedian. It is the dreary fact that comedians are the latest targets of Canada's human-rights commissions. Did you ever in your wildest dreams see heckling as the subject of a human-rights inquiry?

The mirthless sitting in adjudication over the mirth-makers, telling Canadians what they're allowed to laugh at.

Here's the Globe's 'changed man'....

The warming in Europe....

It might be due to cleaner air...
When the effects of global warming are discussed, Europe is often the focus. While many parts of the Earth have seen little or no warming in the past two decades, Europe has seen a rapid temperature increase of one full degree Centigrade. The rise has been a contributing factor in at least one deadly heat wave in recent years.

A new study suggests much of that warming isn't due to global warming at all, but rather a decrease in atmospheric pollution as a result of clean air legislation. The cleaner air has fewer small particles known as aerosols, which tend to block sunlight from reaching the Earth's surface. A reduction in aerosols leads to an effect known as "solar brightening," which increases surface warming.

The research was conducted by a team of 13 scientists, and led by Christian Ruckstuhl of the Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, in Zurich, Switzerland. By measuring an atmospheric characteristic known as optical depth, they determined that a substantial amount of solar brightening had taken place, leading to an increase in surface heat of 1 watt per square meter. Such an change is enough to add some some 360,000 megawatts of solar heat to Germany alone.

The measurements were conducted at a series of sites across Germany and Switzerland. Over the 20 year period from 1986-2006, a 60% decline in atmospheric aerosols was detected. The authors attribute this primarily to emission reductions of sulfur dioxide and carbon black particles, both of which were heavily generated in the 1970s and early 1980s by diesel engines and coal power plants. Clean air regulations requiring ULS (ultra-low sulfur) fuel and scrubber systems for coal-fired plants have dramatically reduced these emissions. The result is the observed solar brightening, which has "strongly contributed" to Europe's warming over the period.

The Globe & Mail whitewashes a terrorist...

There's a profile of the Lebanese terrorist Samir Kuntar that paints him as a changed man....
Mr. Kuntar left Lebanon as a Communist devoted to the Palestinian cause, which he saw in black and white. But the world has changed and so has he. The contrast between the ideologies he had when he left Lebanon and the knowledge he has gained over the years appears to have left him with many contradictions. On the one hand he says he doesn't regret making the attack, although he vociferously denies killing the six-year-old girl and calls her death a tragedy.
Well, if you can accept that he is innocent, then I guess you can believe he is a changed man.

Yet, here is what he said on release this week:
They laid wreaths and gave a military salute as supporters showered them with rice.

Mughniyeh, the second in command of the Lebanon-based guerilla organization Hezbollah, has been accused of masterminding terrorist bombings in the 1980s and 1990s. He was killed in a car bomb in neighboring Syria in February.

Hezbollah and its supporters regard him as a hero of almost mythical stature. The militant group dubbed Wednesday's prisoner exchange Radwan in reference to Mughniyeh's nom de guerre, Hajj Radwan.

"We swear by God to continue on your same path and not to retreat until we achieve the same stature that God bestowed on you," said Samir Kuntar, who had been the longest-held Lebanese prisoner in Israel until his release on Wednesday. Kuntar was convicted of murdering three Israelis in a 1979 terror attack in Nahariya.

Kuntar referred to Mughniyeh's martyrdom, saying "this is our great wish. We envy you and we will achieve it," God willing.

"This time yesterday I was in the hands of the enemy. But at this moment, I am yearning more than before to confront them," Kuntar said. "Hezbollah's weapons are a red line that no one should be allowed to cross," he told reporters.

Friday, July 18, 2008

An Australian scientist changes his mind on global warming...

David Evans worked in the Australian Government's Greenhouse Office for six years building climate models. He now puts forth his reasons for changing his mind on global warming...
1. The greenhouse signature is missing. We have been looking and measuring for years, and cannot find it.

Each possible cause of global warming has a different pattern of where in the planet the warming occurs first and the most. The signature of an increased greenhouse effect is a hot spot about 10km up in the atmosphere over the tropics. We have been measuring the atmosphere for decades using radiosondes: weather balloons with thermometers that radio back the temperature as the balloon ascends through the atmosphere. They show no hot spot. Whatsoever.

If there is no hot spot then an increased greenhouse effect is not the cause of global warming. So we know for sure that carbon emissions are not a significant cause of the global warming. If we had found the greenhouse signature then I would be an alarmist again.

When the signature was found to be missing in 2007 (after the latest IPCC report), alarmists objected that maybe the readings of the radiosonde thermometers might not be accurate and maybe the hot spot was there but had gone undetected. Yet hundreds of radiosondes have given the same answer, so statistically it is not possible that they missed the hot spot.

Recently the alarmists have suggested we ignore the radiosonde thermometers, but instead take the radiosonde wind measurements, apply a theory about wind shear, and run the results through their computers to estimate the temperatures. They then say that the results show that we cannot rule out the presence of a hot spot. If you believe that you'd believe anything.

2. There is no evidence to support the idea that carbon emissions cause significant global warming. None. There is plenty of evidence that global warming has occurred, and theory suggests that carbon emissions should raise temperatures (though by how much is hotly disputed) but there are no observations by anyone that implicate carbon emissions as a significant cause of the recent global warming.

3. The satellites that measure the world's temperature all say that the warming trend ended in 2001, and that the temperature has dropped about 0.6C in the past year (to the temperature of 1980). Land-based temperature readings are corrupted by the "urban heat island" effect: urban areas encroaching on thermometer stations warm the micro-climate around the thermometer, due to vegetation changes, concrete, cars, houses. Satellite data is the only temperature data we can trust, but it only goes back to 1979. NASA reports only land-based data, and reports a modest warming trend and recent cooling. The other three global temperature records use a mix of satellite and land measurements, or satellite only, and they all show no warming since 2001 and a recent cooling.

4. The new ice cores show that in the past six global warmings over the past half a million years, the temperature rises occurred on average 800 years before the accompanying rise in atmospheric carbon. Which says something important about which was cause and which was effect.

None of these points are controversial. The alarmist scientists agree with them, though they would dispute their relevance.

The last point was known and past dispute by 2003, yet Al Gore made his movie in 2005 and presented the ice cores as the sole reason for believing that carbon emissions cause global warming. In any other political context our cynical and experienced press corps would surely have called this dishonest and widely questioned the politician's assertion.

Another scientific challenge to global warming dogma...

This is from Russian scientists...
As western nations step up pressure on India and China to curb the emission of greenhouse gases, Russian scientists reject the very idea that carbon dioxide may be responsible for global warming.

Russian critics of the Kyoto Protocol, which calls for cuts in CO2 emissions, say that the theory underlying the pact lacks scientific basis. Under the Theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming, it is human-generated greenhouse gases, and mainly CO2, that cause climate change. “The Kyoto theorists have put the cart before the horse,” says renowned Russian geographer Andrei Kapitsa. “It is global warming that triggers higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, not the other way round.”

Russian researchers made this discovery while studying ice cores recovered from the depth of 3.5 kilometres in Antarctica. Analysis of ancient ice and air bubbles trapped inside revealed the composition of the atmosphere and air temperature going back as far as 400,000 years.

“We found that the level of CO2 had fluctuated greatly over the period but at any given time increases in air temperature preceded higher concentrations of CO2,” says academician Kapitsa, who worked in Antarctica for many years. Russian studies showed that throughout history, CO2 levels in the air rose 500 to 600 years after the climate warmed up. Therefore, higher concentrations of greenhouse gases registered today are the result, not the cause, of global warming.

Critics of the CO2 role in climate change point out that water vapours are a far more potent factor in creating the greenhouse effect as their concentration in the atmosphere is five to 10 times higher than that of CO2. “Even if all CO2 were removed from the earth atmosphere, global climate would not become any cooler,” says solar physicist Vladimir Bashkirtsev.

Carbon trading kills jobs...

But, as long as we save the planet, it's ok, right?
The price of European emission permits is rising so rapidly that German companies are threatening to leave the country. Thousands of jobs could be lost. And the environment may, in the end, be no better off.

They sat silently through two lectures, but then they couldn't control their anger any longer. The civil servants from the Environment Ministry, the Environment Agency and the German Emissions Trading Authority made it sound easy for industry to take up carbon trading. It was just too much for the managers to tolerate.

"If that's the shape the trading will take, we will simply move our cement operation to Ukraine," a cement factory manager shouted into the lecture hall. "Then there won't be any trading here, nothing will be produced here anymore -- the lights will simply go out here."

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Is that your hero????

Like Father, Like Son.....

Nice to see a son take after his father...
A son of Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi has been arrested by Swiss police after being accused of assaulting staff at a Geneva hotel, Swiss media reported Thursday.

Hannibal Kadhafi, 32, was arrested at the five star Hotel President Wilson on Tuesday after two maids accused him of hitting them, Radio Suisse Romande reported.

Judicial authorities could not be reached on Thursday morning to confirm the reports and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs declined to comment.

Swiss daily Le Matin said that Hannibal, the fourth son of the Libyan leader, had been accused of inflicting bodily wounds and threatening behaviour, along with his wife who was not been detained.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A major admission on global warming....

The American Physical Society admits there is a difference of opinion on global warming in the scientific community.
There is a considerable presence within the scientific community of people who do not agree with the IPCC conclusion that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are very probably likely to be primarily responsible for the global warming that has occurred since the Industrial Revolution.

Hideous white?

Do we now have to measure exactly how many non-white charactes we have on every TV show? This is from the UK...
Some of Britain’s most popular television programmes including the Vicar of Dibley and Who Wants to be a Millionaire have been criticised for being “too white” in a report led by Trevor Phillips, the equality chief.

The research found that Black and Asian viewers felt that despite the growing number of ethnic minorities living in the UK, they still felt under-represented on hit television shows.

When non-whites did appear in dramas and soaps, they said they were often “token” characters who were stereotyped as Asian shopkeepers, such as the character Dev in Coronation Street, and black single mothers like Denise in EastEnders.

Viewers praised reality shows like the X Factor, Strictly Come Dancing and The Apprentice, in which ethnic minorities were defined by their talents rather than their skin colour.

However, they criticised shows such as Hollyoaks, Who Wants To Be a Millionaire, Friends and the Vicar of Dibley for consistently not having enough ethnic minority characters.

Mr Phillips, the chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said that all the evidence showed that television was still “hideously white where it matters”, a reference to those in senior roles.

The contrast between Lebanon and Israel....

How on earth can the Lebanese treat this murderer as a hero?
If the Second Lebanon War was characterized by a lack of clarity in execution and result, yesterday brought a rare measure of clarity, and not only to the families of the Israeli soldiers kidnapped by Hizbullah two years ago, who finally learned the fate of their sons.
A Hizbullah member rides on...

When the heart-sickness subsides, we will all have been left with a searing glimpse of the contrast between two very different cultures.

Lebanon yesterday celebrated the return of four Hizbullah terrorists, along with Samir Kuntar, 45, who in 1979 murdered a civilian, Danny Haran, in front of his four-year-old daughter, before crushing her skull against a rock with the butt of his rifle. Kuntar has never expressed remorse. "My oath and pledge," he wrote Hizbullah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah in a letter reprinted in a Palestinian newspaper, "is that my place will be at the battlefront, which is soaked in the sweat of your giving, and the blood of the most beloved among men, and that I shall continue down the path, until complete victory." In his hometown of Abey, one sign read: "Samir Kuntar is the conscience of Lebanon, Palestine and the Arab nation."

Mocking the notion that much distinction remains between Hizbullah and the Lebanese government, Prime Minister Fuad Saniora and President Michel Suleiman extended an official state welcome, declared a national holiday, and greeted the five freed prisoners at Beirut's airport. (With 11 of the 30 cabinet positions, Hizbullah enjoys veto power in the Lebanese government.)

The celebrations were led by Nasrallah, who has characterized Jews as the "grandsons of apes and pigs."

"If we searched the entire world for a person more cowardly, despicable, weak and feeble in psyche, mind, ideology and religion, we would not find anyone like the Jew," he has said. This from a man who, fearing for his own safety, hardly leaves his bunker.

A more undignified and morally offensive spectacle is hard to imagine.

IN ISRAEL, by way of the starkest contrast, dignity was the order of the day. The country has always respected the rights of its prisoners, even those with blood on their hands. Kuntar, for instance, received a fair trial, due process, and conjugal visits. While in jail, he earned a social science degree from the Open University.

Headscarves - the new fashion trend???

When will Dolce and Gabana make the burqua fashionable???
Headscarves are becoming the new hot trend in Western fashion, with famed designer labels and industry biggest names explaining the appeal of the headwear as a comeback of elegance and chastity to the runways.

"We wanted to revamp the headscarf," Domenico Dolce, co-founder of the Italian fashion house Dolce and Gabana, told The Telegraph on Wednesday, July 16.

"[We want to] give it a new life and introduce it to a younger generation."

The famous Luxury fashion house D&G and other big names in the industry, like Paul Smith, Vera Wang and Jean Paul Gaultier, are now leading the new fad with their designs.

On the catwalks for autumn/winter, many of the industry's noted brands offered the headscarf.

"Our aim was to give it a modern and cool twist," says Dolce.

Hamas uses synagogues to train terrorists....

The Israelis couldn't demolish them....but could you imagine the outrage if Israel used mosques to train the IDF????
In July 2004 the government had already reached the decision to disengage Gaza and to demolish the public buildings there, without exception.

Time and again, the government bombarded the High Court of Justice explaining why the judges must not be permitted to interfere in the decision to demolish the synagogues.

However, at some point, the tables were turned. Then-Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, Silvan Shalom, Binyamin Ben-Eliezer and Matan Vilnai suddenly opposed the decision. The ministers started raising creative ideas to allow the synagogues to stay standing.

Limor Livnat suggested involving UNESCO, with the hopes they would declare Gush Katif synagogues as official World Heritage Sites.

The final decision was received in September 2005, following the residents’ evacuation and a day before the IDF’s definitive pullout from the Gaza Strip.

Despite the objection, the government decided to leave public buildings, kindergartens, libraries, schools and other structures whole for the benefit of the Palestinian population. The synagogues were left untouched due to the problematic nature of demolishing holy places.

Recently, terrorist organizations and most notably, Hamas have begun using these buildings for training purposes.

Several videos filmed and produced by various terror organizations present gunmen training at the sites of public buildings once used in Gush Katif, including synagogues and schools.

One of the structures identifiable in the short films in the Atzmona synagogue in which the terrorists train for different scenarios with live ammunition.

Aside from Hamas, the Islamic Jihad also trains at the Jewish holy site.

Iraq AND Afghanistan are essential fights...

A nice, short article by Christopher Hitchens...
It would also be very nice to accept another soft-centered corollary of the Iraq vs. Afghanistan trade-off and to believe that the problem of Afghanistan is a problem only of the shortage of troops. Strangely, this is not the view of the Afghan government or of any of the NATO forces on the ground. The continued and, indeed, increasing insolence of the Taliban and its al-Qaida allies is the consequence of one thing and one thing only. These theocratic terrorists know that they have a reliable backer in the higher echelons of the Pakistani state and of its military-intelligence complex and that while this relationship persists, they are assured of a hinterland across the border and a regular supply of arms and recruits.

So, the question for Sen. Barack Obama and his glib supporters is this: Would they solve this problem by removing the American forces from Iraq and putting the thereby-enhanced contingent there to patrol a frontier where one of our main "allies" is continually engaged in stabbing them in the back? (At one point last year, Obama himself appeared to accept the illogic of his own position and spoke hotly of the possibility of following the Taliban onto Pakistani soil. We haven't heard much of that lately. Did he mean to say that, come to think of it, we had enough troops to occupy three countries instead of the stipulated and solitary one? Or would he just exchange Iraq for Pakistan? At least we do know for sure that Pakistan has nuclear weapons acquired mainly by piracy and is the host and patron of the Taliban and al-Qaida.)

Another consideration obtrudes itself. If it is true, as yesterday's three-decker front-page headline in the New York Times had it, that "U.S. Considering Stepping Up Pace of Iraq Pullout/ Fall in Violence Cited/ More Troops Could Be Freed for Operations in Afghanistan," then this can only be because al-Qaida in Iraq has been subjected to a battlefield defeat at our hands—a military defeat accompanied by a political humiliation in which its fanatics have been angrily repudiated by the very people they falsely claimed to be fighting for. If we had left Iraq according to the timetable of the anti-war movement, the situation would be the precise reverse: The Iraqi people would now be excruciatingly tyrannized by the gloating sadists of al-Qaida, who could further boast of having inflicted a battlefield defeat on the United States. I dare say the word of that would have spread to Afghanistan fast enough and, indeed, to other places where the enemy operates. Bear this in mind next time you hear any easy talk about "the hunt for the real enemy" or any loose babble that suggests that we can only confront our foes in one place at a time.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Palestinians object to a 'Jewish State'...

They always object when Israel describes itself as a Jewish state...
Palestinian foreign minister Riyad Al-Maliki said his delegation "categorically opposed" wording in the text submitted by Israel that referred to a "state of the Jewish people".

"It was out of the question for us to accept this," he told AFP.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Great Biofuels Con....

A terrific article by Christopher Booker and Richard North in the Daily Telegraph...
Rarely in political history can there have been such a rapid and dramatic reversal of a received wisdom as we have seen in the past 18 months over biofuels – the cropping of living plants, such as soya beans, wheat and sugar cane, to generate energy.

Two years ago biofuels were still being hailed as a dream solution to what was seen as one of the most urgent problems confronting mankind – our dependence on fossil fuels, which are not only finite but seemed to be threatening the world with the catastrophe of global warming.

In March 2007 the leaders of the European Union, in a package of measures designed to lead the world in the "fight against climate change", committed us by 2020 to deriving 10 per cent of all transport fuel from "renewables", above all biofuels, which theoretically gave off no more carbon dioxide than was absorbed in their growing.

Since then, however, the biofuels dream has been disintegrating with the speed of a collapsing card house. Environmentalists, formerly keen on this "green energy", expressed horror at the havoc it was inflicting on the world's eco-systems, not least the clearing of rainforests to grow fuel crops.

As the world suddenly faced its worst food shortage for decades, sending prices spiralling, experts pointed out that a major cause had been diverting millions of acres of farmland from food production to fuel. The damage this was inflicting on the world's poor led a United Nations official to describe the rush for biofuels as "a crime against humanity".

Saturday, July 12, 2008

BBC gets it backwards again....

If you can't show Muslims in a bad light, you might as well show Christians...
A BBC drama has triggered a barrage of complaints after it showed gruesome images of a Muslim being beheaded.

Bonekickers, about a group of archeological sleuths, depicted an extremist Christian decapitating a man with a sword.

The bloody scene has prompted 100 complaints since it was broadcast on BBC1 on Tuesday evening.

Yesterday the corporation admitted 'regret' that viewers had found the scene 'inappropriate', but defended its decision to show it.

Some viewers were taken aback when former EastEnders actor Paul Nicholls was seen in the drama hacking off a moderate Muslim's head in an unprovoked attack.

He plays a member of the fictional White Wings Alliance, a group of far-Right evangelical Christians inspired by the Crusades.

EU tries to rival our human rights commissions...

Yes, even if there is no complainant you can be found guilty..
The EU high court, settling a Belgian dispute, said Thursday that employers can be found guilty of discrimination on ethnic grounds, even if no one files charges against them.

Under EU law "the absence of an identifiable complainant does not (mean) there is no direct discrimination," the European Court of Justice ruled.

It intervened in a Belgian labor court case in which a civil rights center sued a company that installs garage doors. Its director publicly said in 2005 he will not hire North African immigrants for fear of losing customers.

Citizenship test in Germany ignores Holocaust...

Obviously, some silly bureaucrats designed this test...
Jews in Germany have denounced a new citizenship test that does not mention the Holocaust.

From September, applicants will have to correctly answer 17 of 33 questions selected from a pool of more than 300, which tackle everything from regional flags to property law.

But while potential Germans are expected to know all about taxes on pets, there is no room in the quiz for the Nazi extermination of more than six million Jews.

Stephen Kramer, of the Central Council of Jews, said the omission betrays a "strange understanding of history" while Judaism is not included on a multiple choice question about Europe's principal religions.

The test comes amid falling numbers of applicants for German citizenship, and has been criticised as another barrier to successfully integrating immigrant communities.

Claudia Roth, of Germany's Green Party, condemned the test as a "grotesque multiple choice exam".

But Germany's interior minister Wolfgang Schaeuble defended it, saying it is easier than the exam for a drivers' licence.

While some questions are straightforward, like that which demands whether Germany is a dictatorship, a monarchy or a federal state, others are bizarre.

One asks whether providing newspapers free of charge is among the many duties of the German state.

Global Warning Stickers????

Coming from California....soon people will have a global warming score...
Leave it to California to come up with this one. Beginning next year, new cars in California will be required to carry a new sticker on them showing their "Global Warming Score."

This number on a 1 through 10 scale will appear next to the "Smog Score" that vehicles there already have. In essence, the higher the score, the more "earth friendly" the car. The score takes into account the emissions of greenhouse gases from the vehicle's operation in comparison to all other vehicles of that given model year.

So those buying a Toyota Prius will be able to point to their higher "Global Warming Score" and stick their nose up in the air with the satisfaction they are so much more environmentally aware than everyone else. Meanwhile, those buying that new Hummer H2 will now have a sticker and number to show how they are killing the planet one tank of gas at a time while they drive over those little Prius owners. The sticker even reminds car buyers, "Protect the environment, choose vehicles with higher scores."

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Younger Muslims want Sharia Law in the UK....

Gee, don't they realize they can instantly get Sharia law by moving to Saudi Arabia...
A friend of Coffee House is in touch to point out that the numbers from the ICM poll for Peter Oborne’s Dispatches programme last night, show that a plurality of Muslims under 35 are in favour of there being some parts of the UK where elements of Sharia are introduced. Here are the numbers:

"Would you support or oppose there being areas of Britain in which some element of Sharia Law is introduced?"

44% of those 34 and under support the proposition.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Are environmentalists to blame for global warming???

An interesting comment from Patrick Moore, ex-founder of Greenpeace...
Patrick Moore has spent the years since he broke ties with Greenpeace trying to correct what he calls one of the "biggest mistakes" of the early environmental movement of which he was an integral part - namely that all nuclear power is evil.

"If it hadn't been for us, the environmental movement of the '70s, there'd be a lot less coal-fired power plants in this world today and a lot more nuclear plants that were not polluting the air and not leaking greenhouse gas into the atmosphere," said Moore.

Stop drinking milk....

It's them thar cows that are the problem...
Experts said the slow digestive system of cows makes them a key producer of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that gets far less public attention than carbon dioxide.

In a bid to understand the impact of the wind produced by cows on global warming, scientists collected gas from their stomachs in plastic tanks attached to their backs.

The Argentine researchers discovered methane from cows accounts for more than 30 per cent of the country's total greenhouse emissions.

As one of the world's biggest beef producers, Argentina has more than 55 million cows grazing in its famed Pampas grasslands.

Guillermo Berra, a researcher at the National Institute of Agricultural Technology, said every cow produces between 8000 to 1,000 litres of emissions every day.

Methane, which is also released from landfills, coal mines and leaking gas pipes, is 23 times more effective at trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'....

Will Obama or McCain have the guts to do the right thing and let gays and lesbians serve their country???
Congress should repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" law because the presence of gays in the military is unlikely to undermine the ability to fight and win, according to a new study released by a California-based research center.

The study was conducted by four retired military officers, including the three-star Air Force lieutenant general who in early 1993 was tasked with implementing President Clinton's policy that the military stop questioning recruits on their sexual orientation.

"Evidence shows that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly is unlikely to pose any significant risk to morale, good order, discipline or cohesion," the officers states.

To support its contention, the panel points to the British and Israeli militaries, where it says gay people serve openly without hurting the effectiveness of combat operations.

The latest on Iran's quest for nuclear weapons....

And the world just wants to go on talking with the Iranians....
Iran has resumed work on constructing highly sophisticated equipment that nuclear experts say is primarily used for building atomic weapons, according to the latest intelligence reports received by Western diplomats.

The work is aimed at developing the blueprint provided by Dr AQ Khan, the "father" of Pakistan's nuclear bomb, who sold Iran details of how to build atom bombs in the early 1990s.

Iran's Revolutionary Guard, which has overall responsibility for the country's nuclear programme, has set up several civilian companies to work on the programme whose activities are being deliberately concealed from the United Nations nuclear inspection teams.

The companies, based on the outskirts of Tehran, are working on constructing components for the advanced P2 gas centrifuge, which can enrich uranium to weapons grade two to three times faster than conventional P1 centrifuges.

Iran institutes death penalty for online crimes....

What about spammers???
A new law has been passed by the Iranian parliament extending the usage of the death penalty to be handed down in cases of online crimes. Previously, only people charged with insulting Islam or drug trafficking had been sentenced to death.

n accordance with the new law bloggers and websites editors can be sentenced to death for crimes such as promoting corruption, prostitution and apostasy, the International Freedom of Expression eXchange (IFEX) reported.

Blogging about subjects such as minority rights and freedom of speech and religion has also been dangerous. In 2005 blogger Mojtaba Saminejad was tried before a local court in Teheran charged with insulting the prophets, which carries the death penalty. He was eventually acquitted. Last year two Kurdish bloggers were sentenced to death on charges of subversive activities against national security, spying and separatist propaganda.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Bootees for sniffer dogs????

Yes, this is really the UK....
Police sniffer dogs will have to wear bootees when searching the homes of Muslims so as not to cause offence.

Guidelines being drawn up by the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) urge awareness of religious sensitivities when using dogs to search for drugs and explosives. The guidelines, to be published this year, were designed to cover mosques but have been extended to include other buildings.

Where Muslims object, officers will be obliged to use sniffer dogs only in exceptional cases. Where dogs are used, they will have to wear bootees with rubber soles. “We are trying to ensure that police forces are aware of sensitivities that people can have with the dogs to make sure they are not going against any religious or cultural element within people’s homes. It is being addressed and forces are working towards doing it,” Acpo said.

Problems faced by the use of sniffer dogs were highlighted last week when Tayside police were forced to apologise for a crime prevention poster featuring a german shepherd puppy, in response to a complaint by a Muslim councillor.

Mongolian horseman abandon nomadic life because of harsh winters....

Gee, don't they know the world is heating up???
The blockbuster movie, Mongol, depicts the skilled horsemen who helped their leader, Genghis Khan, build one of the greatest empires the world has seen.

But the lifestyle of today's Mongolian horseman - and other nomadic herdsmen - is under threat. A succession of climactic disasters in the last 10 years has forced 500,000 of them abandon a nomadic lifestyle that has remained almost unchanged for centuries and to look instead for a new life in the cities.

Mongolia is one of the toughest places on earth to live and can boast the coldest capital - Ulaanbaatar - on the planet. Temperatures drop to at least -30C in winter. The country is frozen from November to March.

But four climactic disasters, known as 'dzuds', since 1999 have made life almost impossible for even the toughest of Mongolia's nomadic people who roam over a country three times the size of France. Three particularly harsh winters since 2000 have killed a third of the nation's livestock.

In 2001, the temperature dropped to a record-breaking -57C. Some 15,000 herders lost all of their animals through starvation and cold, and with them, their money and food. More than a quarter of the 2.6m population has left the vast rural areas, where herdsmen have lived since before Ghengis Khan's empire was established in the 13th century, and have fled in desperation to the cities.

Biofuels responsible for rising food prices....

Drought, economic growth aren't the reasons for rising food prices...
A secret World Bank report reveals what many analysts had already assumed -- that the increased use of biofuels has had a direct, powerful impact on the cost of living.

The internal report was obtained by the U.K.'s Guardian newspaper and the results were published on Friday.

The study -- the most detailed of its kind so far -- shows a much more dramatic rise in food prices than had been previously estimated. The report finds that food prices have risen 75 per cent, according to the paper.

The study is a direct contradiction to claims by the U.S. that biofuels -- those made from plant products -- have only caused prices to rise by three per cent or less.

With many Western nations turning to biofuels to reduce their dependence on petroleum products, as well as cut down on greenhouse gas emissions, the report will come as a stunning rebuke.

The report, written by respected World Bank economist Don Mitchell, has not been published.

It argues that the U.S. position that rising food prices stem from economic growth in countries like China and India, simply isn't true.

And successive droughts in Australia haven't had a major impact either.

Instead, the report finds that the U.S. and EU's demand for biofuels has taken a significant bite out if the food supply, causing prices to rise.

In the U.K. since April, all gasoline and diesel has had to have a 2.5 per cent biofuel content.

The EU is considering making that a 10 per cent requirement by 2020.

"Without the increase in biofuels, global wheat and maize stocks would not have declined appreciably and price increases due to other factors would have been moderate," the report states.

Sharia law in the UK???

And this is from the most senior judge in England!
The most senior judge in England yesterday gave his blessing to the use of sharia law to resolve disputes among Muslims.

Lord Chief Justice Lord Phillips said that Islamic legal principles could be employed to deal with family and marital arguments and to regulate finance.

He declared: 'Those entering into a contractual agreement can agree that the agreement shall be governed by a law other than English law.'

In his speech at an East London mosque, Lord Phillips signalled approval of sharia principles as long as punishments - and divorce rulings - complied with the law of the land.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Even if global warming is real....

Canada is in the best position in the world...
Canada is the best country to move to if you want to escape the dangers of climate change.

The Climate Change Risk Report examined how well equipped countries are to deal with the threats posed by global warming, from increased droughts to rising sea levels.

Developed nations scored best in the ranking with Canada top, followed by Ireland, Norway and Denmark. Britain came 12th, just behind the United States.

Dr Andy Thow, one of the authors of the study, said: "Canada is extremely well equipped to adapt to changes in climate.

"This is because of the low pressure on natural resources resulting from a low population density and large land area, combined with high agricultural capacity, a healthy economy, few development and health challenges and excellent public institutions."

Kneel or else....

What are these teachers thinking???
Two schoolboys were given detention after refusing to kneel down and 'pray to Allah' during a religious education lesson.

Parents were outraged that the two boys from year seven (11 to 12-year-olds) were punished for not wanting to take part in the practical demonstration of how Allah is worshipped.

They said forcing their children to take part in the exercise at Alsager High School, near Stoke-on-Trent - which included wearing Muslim headgear - was a breach of their human rights.

ne parent, Sharon Luinen, said: "This isn't right, it's taking things too far.

"I understand that they have to learn about other religions. I can live with that but it is taking it a step too far to be punished because they wouldn't join in Muslim prayer.

"Making them pray to Allah, who isn't who they worship, is wrong and what got me is that they were told they were being disrespectful.

"I don't want this to look as if I have a problem with the school because I am generally very happy with it."

Another parent Karen Williams said: "I am absolutely furious my daughter was made to take part in it and I don't find it acceptable.

Greenland's Ice Sheets...

They aren't in a hurry to slide into the ocean...
Much noise has been made about how water lubricates the base of Greenland's ice sheet, accelerating its slide into the oceans. In a rare "good news" announcement, climatologists now say the ice may not be in such a hurry to throw itself into the water after all. Mother Nature, it seems, has given it brakes.

Since 1991, the western edge of Greenland's ice sheet has actually slowed its ocean-bound progress by 10%, say the team, who have studied the longest available record of ice and water flow in the region.

Greenland's mighty ice sheet has enough water locked away to raise global sea level 6.5 metres were it to melt. Each summer, vast lakes of meltwater form on its surface. The water seeps through cracks in the kilometer-thick ice to bedrock, where it acts as a lubricant. The sheet can move up to twice as fast in the summer, when meltwater is flowing, as when it is not.

Many fear a positive feedback loop, whereby the accelerating flow will bring more ice down out of the mountains and toward warmer temperatures near sea level. Roderik Van De Waal and colleagues at Utrecht University in the Netherlands now say there is no evidence this will happen.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Dion's Premature Ejaculation...

A good analysis of why Dion's Green Shift misses the mark...
Dr. Nordhaus takes global warming seriously, anticipating that it may well "cast a shadow over the globe for decades, perhaps centuries, to come." When he says centuries, he means centuries. In his highly sophisticated computer analysis of global warming strategies, he includes the option of doing nothing at all for 250 years - and found that it delivered the same result (measured in global emissions of carbon dioxide one century hence) as the Kyoto Protocol with or without the United States.

He includes, as well, a 50-year delay and got an intriguing assessment. Implement the right climate change strategy in 2055 and you still get - by 2105 - precisely the same reduction in CO{-2} that you get with the computer-designed "optimal strategy," a go-slow, go-frugal approach that begins modestly in the next decade and expands incrementally through the rest of the century.

In a brilliant analysis of carbon strategies - The Challenge of Global Warming: Economic Models and Environmental Policy, published last year - Dr. Nordhaus observes that the complexity of global warming rules out absolute certainty of any kind, whether academic or ideological. "Whatever goal we set will probably be incorrect." Given this caution, it is essential to adopt a strategy that can be quickly adapted to changing circumstances and changing technologies, he says.

Dr. Nordhaus notes that a single technological advance in 2050, or in 2100, could render redundant trillions of prematurely invested dollars. This is one of the reasons why the most aggressive climate change strategies - the celebrated Stern Review proposals, the controversial dictums espoused by Al Gore - badly flunk the Nordhaus computer analysis test.

When countries "front-load" investment in carbon reduction, Dr. Nordhaus says, they merely ensure that opportunity costs will rise to unacceptable levels. In his work, for example, British economist Nicholas Stern, for example, requires peak investment (with expenditures of 2.75 per cent of global GDP) by 2012. Mr. Gore requires less investment in the first 20 years, but both merge in 2035 (with expenditures equal to 2.5 per cent of global GDP). Dr. Nordhaus, in contrast, calls for much more gradual increases in expenditures, rising from 0.3 per cent of global GDP in 2010 to 0.5 per cent in 2015 to 0.6 per cent in 2020 and peaking at 0.9 per cent almost 50 years later in 2065.

The Stern-Gore strategies thus tilt decisively to early peak investment - and imply that they would deliver early carbon reductions. In fact, Dr. Nordhaus says, these strategies incur net costs (including opportunity costs) of as much as $22-trillion (U.S.) - significantly more than all the damage that scientists expect global warming will cause in the next 150 years. Stern-Gore, in other words, is worse than doing nothing at all.

Further, Dr. Nordhaus says, front-loaded strategies exempt some countries from participating in a strategy that must be global. Implement Stern or Gore with the participation of 50 per cent of world population, he says, and you incur an extra $2-trillion in economic losses; implement them with only 30 per cent of the world population and you incur an extra $3-trillion.

An optimal strategy, Dr. Nordhaus says, permits no free rides. As well, it answers three questions: How sharply should countries reduce CO{-2}? What should be the time profile of these reductions? How should reductions be distributed?

Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion's Green Shift strategy fully answers none of these questions. It promises to reduce Canada's carbon-related emissions to a defined level (20 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020). It does not hazard a guess at the relevance of this reduction in terms of atmospheric CO{-2}.

I just like this story...

Jewish doctor saves Arab girl in Morocco...
Against the advice of the security guard, Israeli tour guide and United Hatzalah medic Rachamim Amos left the bus traveling through Morocco's Sahara Desert to aid a turban-wrapped figure who emerged from the desert begging in Arabic for help.

Amos, who was leading the tour last month and always takes his medic's kit with him, jumped off the bus. Fluent in Arabic, he understood someone had been hurt. Despite fear that he was about to meet robbers or even terrorists, he followed the man hundreds of meters into the desert.

He found a pair of jeeps, one upright and the second crumpled off the side of a nearly indiscernible path. Huddled in the minimal shade provided by the mangled jeep were three young children. One of the children's legs was at an awkward angle, and her clothing was soaked with blood.

The Israeli medic quickly diagnosed an open fracture at the femur complicated by a rupture of the femoral artery. He staunched the bleeding, stabilized the fracture and, with the young girl not yet out of danger, advised the frantic father on how to maintain pressure on the artery and avoid moving the leg for the four-hour ride to the nearest hospital.

The next day, Amos decided to check up on the young girl at the hospital and was greeted immediately by shouts: "Here is the Jewish doctor!" The tearful father hugged him and kissed him on both cheeks. The doctors confirmed that without his timely intervention, the girl would have certainly died.

The medic was given the title "The Jewish Dr. Angel from Israel" - even though he tried to explain he wasn't really a doctor.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Happy Canada Day!

What a terrific day it is - in Ottawa - for Canada Day. I love this holiday. For once, everybody is wearing or waving a flag! I hope everybody today takes a few minutes to remember the brave men and women who are fighting for freedom in Afghanistan. I hope they give out thousands of Canadian flags all over Afghanistan.

The double Nakba

A nice article by Irwin Cotler on the 800,000+ Jewish refugees from Arab's his nine point proposal to rectify the situation...
• First, it must be appreciated that while justice has long been delayed, it must no longer be denied. The time has come to rectify this historical injustice, and to restore the plight and truth of the "forgotten exodus" of Jews from Arab countries to the Middle East narrative from which they have been expunged and eclipsed these 60 years.

• Second, remedies for victim refugee groups - including rights of remembrance, truth, justice and redress, as mandated under human rights and humanitarian law - must now be invoked for Jews displaced from Arab countries.

• Third, in the manner of duties and responsibilities, each of the Arab countries - and the League of Arab States - must acknowledge their role and responsibility in their double aggression of launching an aggressive war against Israel and the perpetration of human rights violations against their respective Jewish nationals. The culture of impunity must end.

• Fourth, the Arab League Peace Plan of 2002 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 of an Israeli-Arab peace.

• Fifth, on the international level, the UN General Assembly - in the interests of justice and equity - should include reference to Jewish refugees as well as Palestinian refugees in its annual resolutions; the UN Human Rights Council should address, as it has yet to do, the issue of Jewish as well as Palestinian refugees; UN agencies dealing with compensatory efforts for Palestinian refugees should also address Jewish refugees form Arab countries.

• Sixth, 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 - as the initial 1947 Partition Resolution intended - including solidarity with all refugees created by the Israeli-Arab conflict.

• Seventh, jurisdiction over Palestinian refugees should be transferred from UNWRA to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. There was no justification then - and still less today - for the establishment of a separate body to deal only with Palestinian refugees, particularly when that body is itself compromised by its incitement to hatred and violence, as well as its revisionist teaching of the Mideast peace and justice narrative.

• Eighth, any bilateral Israeli-Palestinian negotiations - which one hopes will presage a just and lasting peace - should include Jewish refugees as well as Palestinian refugees in an inclusive joinder of discussion.

• Ninth, during any and all discussions on the Middle East by the Quartet and others, any explicit reference to Palestinian refugees should be paralleled by a reference to Jewish refugees from Arab countries.

Al-Qaeda's Plan B

The latest plans from Al-Qaeda...
NO one should feel safe without submitting to Islam, and those who refuse to submit must pay a high price. The Islam ist movement must aim to turn the world into a series of "wildernesses" where only those under jihadi rule enjoy security.

These are some of the ideas developed by al Qaeda's chief theoretician, Sheik Abu-Bakar Naji, in his new book "Governance in the Wilderness" (Edarat al-Wahsh).

Middle East analysts think that the book may indicate a major change of strategy by the disparate groups that use al Qaeda as a brand name.
And, what does he envisage?
Islamists in the "wilderness" must create parallel societies alongside existing ones, Naji says - but not set up formal governments, which would be subject to economic pressure or military attack.

These parallel societies could resemble "liberated zones" set up by Marxist guerrillas in parts of Latin America in the last century. But they could also exist within cities, under the very noses of the authorities - operating as secret societies with their own rules, values and enforcement.

But they could also take shape in Western countries with large Muslim minorities: The jihadis are to begin by giving areas where Muslims live a distinctly Islamic appearance, by imposing special styles of dress for women and beards for men. Then they start imposing the shariah. In the final phase, they create a parallel system of taxation and law enforcement, effectively taking the areas out of government control.

The "wilderness" will provide the cover for bases for jihad operations. Jihad would be everywhere, rather than in just one or two countries that the "infidel" could hit with superior firepower.

IN a notable departure from past al Qaeda strategy, Naji recommends "countless small operations" that render daily life unbearable, rather than a few spectacular attacks such as 9/11: The "infidel," leaving his home every morning, should be unsure whether he'll return in the evening.

Naji recommends kidnappings, the holding of hostages, the use of women and children as human shields, exhibition killings to terrorize the enemy, suicide bombings and countless gestures that make normal life impossible for the "infidel" and Muslim collaborators.

Once parallel societies are established throughout the world, they would exert pressure on non-Muslims to submit. Naji believes that, subjected to constant intimidation and fear of death, most non-Muslims (especially in the West) would submit: "The West has no stomach for a long fight."

The only Western power still capable of resisting is the United States, he believes. But that, too, will change once President Bush is gone.

The neurosis of global warming...

Bret Stephens in the Wall Street Journal looks at global warming as mass neurosis...
So let's stop fussing about the interpretation of ice core samples from the South Pole and temperature readings in the troposphere. The real place where discussions of global warming belong is in the realm of belief, and particularly the motives for belief. I see three mutually compatible explanations.

The first is as a vehicle of ideological convenience. Socialism may have failed as an economic theory, but global warming alarmism, with its dire warnings about the consequences of industry and consumerism, is equally a rebuke to capitalism. Take just about any other discredited leftist nostrum of yore – population control, higher taxes, a vast new regulatory regime, global economic redistribution, an enhanced role for the United Nations – and global warming provides a justification. One wonders what the left would make of a scientific "consensus" warning that some looming environmental crisis could only be averted if every college-educated woman bore six children: Thumbs to "patriarchal" science; curtains to the species.

A second explanation is theological. Surely it is no accident that the principal catastrophe predicted by global warming alarmists is diluvian in nature. Surely it is not a coincidence that modern-day environmentalists are awfully biblical in their critique of the depredations of modern society: "And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart." That's Genesis, but it sounds like Jim Hansen.

And surely it is in keeping with this essentially religious outlook that the "solutions" chiefly offered to global warming involve radical changes to personal behavior, all of them with an ascetic, virtue-centric bent: drive less, buy less, walk lightly upon the earth and so on. A light carbon footprint has become the 21st-century equivalent of sexual abstinence.

Finally, there is a psychological explanation. Listen carefully to the global warming alarmists, and the main theme that emerges is that what the developed world needs is a large dose of penance. What's remarkable is the extent to which penance sells among a mostly secular audience. What is there to be penitent about?

As it turns out, a lot, at least if you're inclined to believe that our successes are undeserved and that prosperity is morally suspect. In this view, global warming is nature's great comeuppance, affirming as nothing else our guilty conscience for our worldly success.

In "The Varieties of Religious Experience," William James distinguishes between healthy, life-affirming religion and the monastically inclined, "morbid-minded" religion of the sick-souled. Global warming is sick-souled religion.