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, September 30, 2005

Gay Bars Starting to Open in New Orleans...

It's interesting that people who think Katrina was an act of god against New Orleans have to take into account that the gay secions were largely untouched!
The staff at the Bourbon Pub sneaked back into New Orleans last week to inspect the damage. The gay dance club at the corner of Bourbon and St. Ann suffered little damage. Staff began cleaning and getting rid of "skunky" beer but then had to leave town because of hurricane Rita.

They returned on Monday to resume the cleanup.

"Well be open at 2:00 Friday," an employee who goes by the name of Pineapple told "And we're expecting a lot of the old regulars back."

Several other gay bars in the French Quarter opened Thursday evening.

At Igor's, a pub and coin laundry in the city's Garden District, owner Halina Margan had returned after Katrina - and never left, despite Hurricane Rita's threat last week. She was ready to open for business on Thursday, and get ready for the influx of returning residents.

"Igor's has never closed until this nasty little ... hurricane," Margan said. "It's lonely here. We need people."

The Sun and Global Warming...

It's amazing how little we really know about climate.....if you read this whole article, you'll realize that the role of the sun is very poorly understood.
At least 10 to 30 percent of global warming measured during the past two decades may be due to increased solar output rather than factors such as increased heat-absorbing carbon dioxide gas released by various human activities, two Duke University physicists report.

The UN's Jewish Problem...

Anne Bayefsky on the latest report from the UN on so-called Israeli abuses.
Since 2001 the rapporteur, South African lawyer John Dugard, has relished the assignment of reporting from only one side. In his latest report Dugard unashamedly acknowledges: "The Special Rapporteur's mandate does not extend to human rights violations committed by the Palestinian Authority." Previous rapporteurs complained of the restriction, and one resigned on the ground that his task had become an obstacle to peace.

This year, from his UN platform, Dugard laid bare the real agenda. The two-state solution, a Jewish and a Palestinian state living side-by-side in peace and security, is passé. One state - or the demographic elimination of a Jewish state - is the goal.

"Interlocutors within both Israel and the West Bank warned the Special Rapporteur that with the two-State solution becoming increasingly difficult, if not impossible, consideration should be given to the establishment of a binational Palestinian State. The demography of the region increasingly points to such an outcome."

Also in Dugard's fall 2005 report:

* trivializing Israeli casualties
"There have been over 200 attacks by non-State Palestinian actors against Israeli targets but few casualties have resulted from such attacks."

* refusal to describe Palestinian acts as "terrorism". In order to avoid it, he coins the term "terrorization" which he only ascribes to the specter of the sinister Israeli.
"...there is increased pressure on the part of the settlers to drive out their Palestinian neighbours by a process of terrorization.... Schoolchildren are beaten and terrorized by settlers on the way to school and wells and fields have been poisoned. Crops have been destroyed, sheep and goats stolen and poisoned. The police and IDF do little to protect cave dwellers, peasants and shepherds in this region."

* little effort to disguise his underlying concern is really with Jews. He worries about "transform[ing] Jerusalem into a Jewish city." The image of a "Jewish city" is intended to conjure up the image of Israeli racists ridding the land of non-Jews, despite the fact that there are no Israeli cities from which Arabs (who comprise 20% of the population) are excluded.

* the word "allegation" is inserted before detailed description of Israeli crimes, which he then makes no effort to verify
"Allegations of torture and inhuman treatment of detainees and prisoners continue..."

* checkpoints materialize in thin air. He refuses to make the connection to the terrorism that preceded their creation.
"Checkpoints in both the West Bank and Gaza continue to seriously undermine the freedom of movement."
Undermining freedom of movement by blowing up buses full of men, women and children on their way to work or to school is left out.

* constant repetition of the UN-formula that the cause of all Palestinian hardship is Israel
"...the humanitarian crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territory resulting from the occupation and the construction of the wall"... "Repeated IDF incursions have resulted in the destruction of water and sanitation infrastructure."

Causality flows in only one direction. Israel is the perpetrator, Palestinians are the victim. Omitted from the fairy tale: there have been successive Arab attempts to destroy Israel since its birth; the occupation of disputed territory is a result of one of many such wars; the construction of the security fence followed Palestinian terrorism (terrorism which the fence has significantly reduced); the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are responding to an actual threat to Israel's civilian population.

* At the very end of his 19-page report Dugard adds six sentences about Palestinian treatment, not of Israelis, but of their own people. He "expresses the hope" that the death penalty used by the Palestinian Authority in the case of five prisoners was an "aberration." He could not manage to mention the fundamental violation of Palestinian rights – the decades-long use by Palestinian terrorists of the civilian population as human shields.

Assad continues to encourage Palestinian Terrorists....

This is truly an evil regime.
Syria's Baathist president, Bashar Assad, has directed Damascus-trained Palestinian Arabs in Lebanese refugee camps, as well as Gaza and West Bank terrorists under Syria's control, to escalate their anti-Israel operations, according to Arab, Israeli, and U.N. sources.

A U.N. official told The New York Sun that at two meetings conducted yesterday by Secretary-General Annan's special envoy, Terje Roed-Larsen, in Cairo, participants raised concerns that Mr. Assad would try to use attacks against Israel - carried out by his Palestinian Arab proxies - to deflect criticism of his regime. Mr. Larsen's meetings were with Egypt's president, Hosni Mubarak, and separately with the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas. The Egyptians invited Mr. Larsen to brief the U.N. envoy on an earlier meeting Mr. Mubarak had with Mr. Assad earlier this week .

A reminder about Vietnam...

My boyfriend and I spent a month visiting Vietnam in 2003, and we traveled with a doctor who was extremely critical of the regime. He had to make payoffs to the local communist party bosses...and he had lots of horror stories about life in Vietnam.

Here's a news snippet from Vietnam.
A business manager in Hanoi, Pham Hong Son, has spent 42 months in a Vietnamese prison. His crime: downloading an essay titled "What is Democracy?" from a U.S. State Department Web site, translating it and sending it to friends and senior Communist Party officials.

Mr. Son, 36, who worked for a pharmaceutical company, was convicted of espionage in Vietnam after a closed, one-day trial in June 2003. He was sentenced to 13 years, later reduced to five.

Jews no prepared for attacks from the left...

It's the left that is now totally against Israel....
My National Review colleague Byron York reported on last Saturday’s anti-war rally on the Ellipse in Washington, D.C. The main message of the rally was President Bush’s evil and stupidity—fair enough, in a two-party system—and the main instance of it was Iraq. The warriors of the anti-war movement—Joan Baez, Ramsey Clark, Cindy Sheehan—were front and center.

A secondary text of the rally was Katrina; weather, the perennial joke of the newsroom, has become a main event. But another theme was anti-Zionism. As Mr. York reports, kaffiyehs outnumbered American flags. George Galloway, the left-wing M.P., wore one around his neck. Occasionally, the themes were weirdly conflated: One group of college kids chanted, “From Palestine to New Orleans, no more money for the war machine.”

Now, on the one hand, this is fringe stuff, as many liberals and war opponents themselves recognize. The liberal Daily Kos Web site was filled with negative comments on the rally, seeing it as an off-message distraction from the duty of beating Republicans. But the fringe itself, including the Jew-bashing fringe, is perilously close to the center. Who else in the Democratic Party has passion, or ground troops, these days?

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Typical for the UN...

Do they always search for the ridiculous places to have conferences?
Facing heated protest, the United Nations on Wednesday defended Tunisia's hosting of a U.N. summit about Internet access in the developing world, even though the north African nation has been repeatedly accused of rights abuses that include blocking Web sites it dislikes.

Earlier this week, a coalition of human rights groups known as the Tunisia Monitoring Group issued a report that declared Tunisia unfit to hold the World Summit on the Information Society, set for November, because of reports that the government has stepped up attacks on the press and civil society.

The group, which has frequently criticized the selection of Tunisia as the host country, said the government has blocked access to Web sites belonging to Reporters Without Borders, other human rights watchdogs, and the independent press, while police monitor e-mails and Internet cafes.

"It does question to some extent the U.N.'s credibility that a world summit on the information society is taking place in a society where access to some Web sites is restricted," said Alexis Krikorian, of the International Publishers' Association. "It's amazing that such a summit would take place in a country like this."

Islamic Terrorism - on the Net...

The Web is seeing huge growth in the number of terrorist sites....
Islamic terrorism is being promoted by a phenomenal growth in jihadist Web sites, which have grown from fewer than 20 five years ago to more than 4,000 today, according to French and US researchers writing correspondence published in the September 29 issue of the prestigious journal Nature.

The Sham of Erin Brockovich...

Michael Fumento uncovers the truth....
The Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) has just announced it’s giving its highest honor to Los Angeles paralegal Erin Brockovich, best known for her virtual beatification in the allegedly “based on a true story” film of the same name. Julia Roberts portrayed her as having the mouth of a hooker but a heart of gold. Yet the Hollywood Brockovich is bunk, and this is not Harvard’s finest hour.

HSPH gives its Julius Richmond Award to those who "have promoted and achieved high standards for public heath conditions." In this case, according to a response to outraged HSPH alum (American Council on Science and Health President Elizabeth Whelan), it’s for Brockovich’s efforts "on behalf of all of us, and especially the residents of Hinkley, California, whose health was adversely affected by a toxic substance dumped by a utility company."

Do you feel benefited? You shouldn’t. Here’s why.

The California Cancer Registry showed no excess cancer in Hinkley compared to surrounding counties, despite the claim of Brockovich and her law firm that they suffered terribly high rates from exposure to chromium-6 in drinking water. Indeed, there was no evidence of any excess illness at all.

Further, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s toxicology web site, “No data were located in the available literature that suggested that chromium-6 is carcinogenic by the oral route of exposure.” Indeed, "Exposure to chromium-6 in tap water via all plausible routes of exposure,” even in extremely high concentrations, concluded “the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, poses no “acute or chronic health hazard to humans.”

The true beneficiary of Erin Brockovich has the initials “E.B.” She pocketed a bonus of over $2 million in the Hinkley case, although many residents who truly were sick (albeit not from chromium-6) never got a dime.

She’s now up to her old tricks. Her firm is suing a vast number of oil companies, the City of Beverly Hills and its school district. It accuses them of causing three types of cancer among the approximately 11,000 alumni who attended between 1975 and 1997 by exposing them to oil well fumes on the property of Beverly Hills High School.

"These statistics are 20 times higher than the national average for these specific cancers," Brockovich told a credulous media, creating hysteria among both former and current students. "I have 300 cancers staring me in the face and an oil-production facility underneath the school," Brockovich also claimed. "It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the two fit together."

Well then, how about a cancer expert? Under a contempt of court threat her firm admitted it had no data regarding excess cancers at the school. Further, the Beverly Hills Courier reported that long after Brockovich's "300 cancers" assertion her firm had filed only 216 complaints of which only 94 concerned cancer. University of Southern California epidemiologists also found no unusual rate among former students.

Forensics Report blames Hamas...

Everybody knew it wasn't the Israelis...
Meanwhile, shrapnel found in the bodies of people killed in last week's blast in northern Gaza came from Hamas' homemade rockets, the Palestinian Authority has said.

Its forensic report said the shrapnel resembled that used by the Palestinian militant group in its Qassam rockets.

Smoke rises at scene of blast in Jabaliya refugee camp
Findings discredit Hamas' claim that Israel caused the Jabaliya blast

Hamas blamed Israel for the Jabaliya blast that killed at least 15 people, a charge Israel denies. The incident has led to a dramatic upsurge in violence.

The forensic report was published by the interior ministry's explosive unit.

The Palestinian Authority said Hamas militants mishandled the home-made weapons during a big rally in the Jabaliya refugee camp on Friday.

Hamas had earlier said Israeli planes had fired missiles into the crowd.

Backlash against Hamas....

It's about time....
In Jabalya refugee camp, people hedge at first when asked who was responsible for the explosion that took place at a gun-toting, rocket-flashing Hamas celebration parade Friday.

The "incident," as Palestinians ambiguously refer to it, killed 20 people, mostly children, but few feel comfortable pointing the finger at those who most believe were responsible.

But Fawzi Wadee, who had just returned from the funeral of his son, Muhammad, did not mince his words.

"I'm angry at Hamas," said Wadee, 32, whose 10-year-old child succumbed Tuesday morning to the wounds in his head from three shards of metal. "Before I supported them. Now I don't."

Wadee spoke softly but firmly, standing meters away from where neat rows of white plastic chairs were lined on the street under a long, green-colored mourning tent – all courtesy of Hamas. But the unemployed 32-year-old father of four was unimpressed by the gesture from the group that had called his son a "martyr" at the hands of the Israelis.

"When my son was in the hospital, no one came," said Wadee. "But when he died Hamas came and claimed him as 'their martyr.' They did it to get money from donors around the world. It's like a business. But no one gave us money."

As he spoke, a young man came up and whispered to him not to speak to the journalist.

The celebrations and rocket attacks that had, until recently, earned Hamas accolades from Gazans have become a source of resentment, forcing the group to announce on Sunday that they would halt rocket attacks against Israel and honor the cease-fire understandings.

The explosion of a truck with a rocket launcher rigged to it had killed mostly children, like Muhammad and his neighbor, eight-year-old Salameh Yusuf Fayayda, on Friday. Hamas said Israel was behind the explosion, but locals believed that Hamas was at fault.

"Hamas killed my brother," said Kamal Fayayda, Salameh's brother.

On the other side of Jabalya in the Falluja neighborhood, Palestinian Authority Minister of Detainees and Former Refugees Sufian Abu-Zayda sat on the lawn outside his home twirling his prayer beads and considering what had befallen the only-recently "freed" land.

Abu-Zayda said that Hamas had fired dozens of rockets on Sderot – provoking Israeli retaliation – as a way of taking away attention from the horrors of Jabalya.

"They were trying to preserve their dignity for what was probably a work accident. It cost them their credibility."

The garbage police are coming to Toronto...

Toronto residents will have to generate less and less garbage.
Toronto householders will be limited to putting out five bags of garbage per collection period at the curb next year and four bags in 2007, city councillors have decided.

And they've rejected a proposal by city staff to allow residents to put out extra bags if they attach a $1 tag to each bag.

Currently, residents can put out up to six bags of garbage at each collection, in addition to waste in their green bins and other recyclables. Under the scheme, approved 32-10 yesterday, they're limited to five bags beginning April 1 and four bags the year after.

Garbage crews will slap a sticker on any excess bags and leave them at the curb. Residents can put them out the next pickup day or can take them to waste transfer sites — where they're now charged $1 a bag.
This will mean more 'illegal' garbage in allies and other locations.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

More Animal Rights Fascism....

These terrorists need to be caught and sent to prison.
Animal-rights extremists have threatened to target children's nurseries in their campaign to drive a British-based vivisection company out of business.

In an escalation of the intimidation against Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS), the country's largest daycare provider, Leapfrog Day Nurseries, confirmed yesterday that it had been warned to sever all links with the group.

Letters sent to the home addresses of company directors threatened that the childcare company, which has 10,000 places nationwide, would "suffer the consequences" if it did not withdraw a vouchers scheme offered to HLS employees within seven days.

Leapfrog said last night that it had decided to end the vouchers scheme immediately because of the threat from the Animal Rights Militia.

Should he really get jail time???

Aren't the courts crowded enough?
A man who upset a hotel worker by showing her video footage on his mobile telephone of a hostage being beheaded in Iraq was jailed yesterday for 60 days.

Subhaan Younis, 23, was talking to Charlotte McClay in the Moathouse Hotel in Glasgow when he showed the graphic images he had downloaded from the internet.

Sentencing him at the city's district court, the magistrate, Euan Edment, told Younis: "I struggle to understand why you had images on your phone entailing the death and degradation of another human being, regardless of their religion or race. Miss McClay was shocked, upset and distressed by the images."

He added that he did not accept Younis's explanation that they were talking about the war in Iraq, and that he warned her he was going to show her a beheading. Dominic Sillar, defending, said his client had made a "colossal mistake".

5 Years of Intifada - 26,159 attacks...

The latest report from Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency).
Terror groups have increased their efforts to launch attacks inside the Green Line, especially in Jerusalem in the past year, marking the fifth year since the outbreak of the Al Aksa intifada in September 29, 2000, a report issued by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) on Wednesday stated. This is despite the so-called truce or tahdiya terror organizations pledged to uphold in January this year, the report said.

In the past year (from last September up until the present date), 57 Israelis were killed in a total of 3,531 attacks in Israel as well as in the West Bank and Gaza. Of that number, 262 attacks were perpetrated inside Israel compared to 185 between September 2003 and September 2004.

Twenty percent of all Israeli casualties in the past five years were harmed in attacks in which east Jerusalemites were involved in, the report said.

In the five years of violence, a total of 1,061 Israelis were killed and murdered and 6,089 wounded in a total of 26,159 attacks carried out in Israel as well as in the West Bank and Gaza.

Sources in the security establishment estimate that in the coming year, terror groups will increase their efforts to transfer knowledge and weapons, including Kassam rockets, to the West Bank, which is expected to become the main arena for Palestinian terror since the IDF pullout from Gaza.

The western Negev will become the main weapons smuggling route for terrorists in the coming year, and terror organizations are expected to increase their efforts to smuggle weapons from the Sinai into Israel via the western Negev, and transfer it to the West Bank, the sources said.

How about a heterosexuality officer???

I kinda like this...there's no need for LGBT diversity officers anywhere.
A university in northern New South Wales has appointed a 22 year old student to be its first diversity officer for heterosexual students.

The University of New England student council named Dave Allen to the post. Although 38 Australian universities have LGBT diversity officers it is the first time straight students have had someone "to protect their rights."

Allen describes himself as a country boy who likes to hunt kangaroo and drink beer. In an interview with the newspaper The Australian, Allen said he did not give "a rat's arse" about gays as long as they were not being given special treatment.

"It doesn't matter whether you're straight, gay, black, white or brindle, but when it starts getting 'Oh, we need a space for us to hang out', it's crap; just come down the pub and have a few beers with us," he told the paper.

Driving While Black????

This is a similar story to the Kingston Police study, which really showed no racism at all...but everybody assumed that it did.
The New York Times’s bad faith regarding the police has reached a new low. On August 24, a front-page article claimed that the Justice Department had tried to suppress damning evidence of racial profiling by the nation’s police forces. In fact, it is the Times that is suppressing evidence.

For years, activists have argued that some drivers face a heightened risk of being stopped by bigoted cops. David Harris, a University of Toledo law professor and ubiquitous police critic, provided a classic statement of the “Driving While Black” conceit in 1999: “Anyone who is African-American is automatically suspect during every drive to work, the store, or a friend’s house.” Owing to this “automatic suspicion,” Harris posited in his 2002 book, Profiles in Injustice, “pretextual stops will be used against African-Americans and Hispanics . . . out of proportion to their numbers in the driving population.”

The “Driving While Black” belief is pervasive, powerful, and false. According to a survey of 80,000 civilians conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (an arm of the Justice Department) in 2002, an identical proportion of white, black, and Hispanic drivers - 9 percent - were stopped by the police in the previous year. And the stop rate for blacks was lower during the day, when officers can more readily determine a driver’s race, than at night. These results demolish the claim that minorities are disproportionately subject to “pretextual stops.”

Clearly, these findings should be news of a high order - so that must be why the Times buried them in paragraph 11 of its front-page story (and omitted the day-night disparity entirely). But not only did the Times conceal the study’s import, it also had the temerity to spin the survey as confirming the racial-profiling myth. Indeed, the BJS study will “add grist to the debate over using racial and ethnic data in law enforcement,” the newspaper asserted, because it provided evidence of “the aggressive police treatment of black and Hispanic drivers.”

What is this evidence for racist policing, in the paper’s view? The Times bases its charge on two findings from the survey: According to driver self-reports, blacks and Hispanics were more likely to have their persons or cars searched than white drivers, and were more likely to be subjected to the threat or use of force by the officer who stopped them. The survey defines force as pushing, grabbing, or hitting; a typical force incident, characterized by the survey respondent as “excessive,” consisted of an officer grabbing the respondent by the arm as he was fleeing the scene and pushing him against his car. Specifically, black drivers said that they or their cars were searched 10.2 percent of the time following a stop, Hispanic drivers 11.4 percent of the time, and white drivers 3.5 percent of the time. As for police threats or use of force, 2.4 percent of Hispanic drivers, 2.7 percent of black drivers, and 0.8 percent of white drivers claimed that force had been threatened or used against them.

None of these findings establishes prejudicial treatment of minorities. The Times, for instance, does not reveal that blacks and Hispanics were far more likely to be arrested following a stop: Blacks were 11 percent of all stopped drivers, but 24 percent of all arrested drivers; Hispanics, 9.5 percent of all stopped drivers, but 18.4 percent of all arrested drivers; and whites, 76.5 percent of all stopped drivers, but 58 percent of arrested drivers. The higher black and Hispanic arrest rates undoubtedly result from their higher crime rates. The national black murder rate, for example, is seven times higher than that of all other races combined, and the black robbery rate eight times higher. Though the FBI does not keep national crime data on Hispanics, local police statistics usually put the Hispanic crime rate between the black and white crime rates. These differential crime rates mean that when the police run a computer search on black and Hispanic drivers following a stop, they are far more likely to turn up outstanding arrest warrants than for white drivers.

Iran plays tough with India...

Iran is one of the world's major problems right now.
Iran has scrapped a $21 billion natural gas export deal with India after New Delhi voted in favour of an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) resolution putting Tehran on notice over its nuclear programme, the Indian newspaper The Hindu reported on Wednesday.

Under a deal signed in June, India planned to import five million tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) annually for 25 years with deliveries from Iran starting in 2009. Iran’s decision to cancel the deal was conveyed to India’s permanent representative, Sheelkant Sharma, at the IAEA by Iran’s ambassador in Vienna, The Hindu reported.

It followed India’s decision to join the US, Britain, France, Germany and other nations in backing a resolution calling on the agency to consider reporting Iran to the UN Security Council for not complying with the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT). The motion states that Iran is in “non-compliance” with the NPT, mainly for hiding sensitive atomic activities, and is an automatic trigger for taking the matter to the Security Council. Referral would come only after a report by IAEA chief Mohammed El Baradei, expected in November.

Sharma wrote to the Prime Minister’s Office on September 24 that his Iranian counterpart had told him the LNG deal, signed between the two sides in June, was off. The Iranian Ambassador in Vienna came up to Sharma after India’s vote and conveyed a message from Ali Larijani, Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, that Tehran was no longer willing to go ahead with the $21 billion deal, added the report. With this, India’s energy sector has suffered a major blow. Tehran supplies more than five percent of India’s crude oil imports.

Anti-Israel Prof Likely to get Tenure...

I doubt this can be stopped, but what a blot on Columbia.
Joseph Massad, whose fiery writings attacking Israel and alleged intimidation of Jewish students have made him the most polarizing figure on the Columbia University campus, is likely to be awarded tenure, according to a professor in his department.

Mr. Massad, an assistant professor of Arab studies, easily cleared the hurdle of his fifth-year review in the spring and is undergoing a tenure review this academic year, a complicated process that often takes more than six months to complete.

While Mr. Massad's future at Columbia poses a problem for an administration seeking to shed a reputation among Jewish groups, alumni, and donors that the university is a base for anti-Israel scholarship, such concerns are unlikely to outweigh several factors in his favor, a professor of Hebrew literature in Mr. Massad's department of Middle East and Asian languages and cultures, Dan Miron, said.

By denying tenure to Mr. Massad, Columbia president Lee Bollinger and the university's trustees would risk a backlash from faculty members who would accuse Columbia of yielding to pressure from the press and from Jewish groups, Mr. Miron said.

"Columbia is not courageous enough to say 'no' to this person and face a whole choir of people who would say, 'Aha, you caved in,'" Mr. Miron said.

Mr. Massad, who is on leave this fall semester, also has the support of academic peers in Middle Eastern studies, whose evaluation of his work would focus less on his writings on Israel, in which he often calls for the country's destruction as a Jewish state, than on other subject matters he has covered. He has also written on Jordanian national identity and Western depictions of homosexual behavior in the Arab world. The latter is the subject of his second book, "Desiring Arabs," which is to be published by Harvard University Press.

"He happens to be a fairly good scholar when he's not dealing with the Arab-Israeli conflict," Mr. Miron said.

A Movie to Watch Out For...

Unfortunately, this probably won't get into many theatres.....I hope it comes out on DvD soon.
Protocols of Zion, a new film by American director Marc Levin, premiered Wednesday in New York. The 93-minute film, which will be released on October 21, explores the resurgence of anti-Semitism in the wake of September 11th.

The idea for the film, according to Levin, came to him shortly after 9/11, when an Egyptian taxi driver in New York talked to him about the attack on the World Trade Center as a Jewish conspiracy referred to in The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the notorious forgery created 100 years ago.

In his soon-to-be released film, award-winning filmmaker Levin examines the current popularity of the Protocols, which are sold on Amazon and have been aired as a TV drama in Egypt, among other things.

In a series of conversations throughout the film, Levin speaks to, and sometimes confronts, various people, including Arab Americans, Black nationalists, Christian evangelists, white supremacists, Kabbalist rabbis, and Holocaust survivors.

CIDA and the Middle East...

The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) invests in some shady NGOs in the Middle East.
An examination of the activities of the NGOs funded by CIDA highlights an agenda that supports Palestinian political positions. Among the most problematic are the allocations to groups that are promoting the divestment and demonization campaigns directed against Israel. CIDA support is officially allocated towards specific projects, including health clinics (such as the Emergency Response Program of UNDP), "fact-finding" visits, and educational activities (such as the Remedial and Distance Education Project and the Trade Union Education Program). However, funding being fungible, NGO budgets are readily diverted to other activities. In the absence of close oversight, budgetary components designated as organizational overhead can easily be applied to political campaigns. As a result, CIDA funding for projects operated by NGOs active in anti-Israel demonization can be assumed to be used, at least in part, for this purpose, and not only for the designated objectives.

From this perspective, it is important to note that recipients of $1 million in funds provided annually to Canadian-based NGOs for work with Palestinians include the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) and Inter-Church Lutheran World Relief and Justice. NGO Monitor has documented the MCC’s active participation in the boycott and divestment campaigns. In 2003 MCC received funding from CIDA for a fact finding visit run by BADIL, an NGO that was denied accreditation by the UN Economic and Social Council as a result if its extremist political emphasis. Similarly, Lutheran World Relief’s anti-Israel agenda is quite prominent. Its reports systematically ignore the role of Palestinian terror, while emphasizing allegations of “widespread destruction of buildings and infrastructure, [and] soldiers [who] have prevented ambulances from reaching casualties”. The organization also repeats claims that “hundreds of thousands of people are without adequate food, water, electricity and basic services”. There is no effort to investigate these claims, and little mention of the context of terrorism.

The extremist political objectives of this CIDA-funded organization were highlighted in the winter 2004 edition of the Canadian Lutheran World Relief newsletter. Executive Director Ruth Jensen described Israel’s security fence as “contributing tremendous stress as more people are funneled through checkpoints where they can wait for up to two hours. These walls do not contribute to understanding and peace, but to isolation and suspicion.” This attack on Israeli policy ignores the reasons behind the construction of the barrier and its general success in saving lives – on both sides – by preventing terror attacks.

Another example of this group’s biased and conflictual language is seen in a June 2002 press release entitled “Palestinian Communities Imprisoned Behind Deep Trenches and Coiled Razor Wire”. The Canadian branch of Lutheran World Relief charged that “more and more steps are being taken by the Israeli military to isolate and imprison Palestinian people in small areas” and that “Deep trenches are dug and three levels of coiled razor wire are being strung around the towns in an effort to prohibit any Palestinian travel unauthorized by the Israeli military.” The Lutheran Church, at its recent congress in Orlando, Florida, voted to divest from Israel, participating in a campaign aimed at undermining support for Israel.

In the past five years, CIDA has provided funding for other NGOs with overt political agendas. As documented by NGO Monitor, Medecins du Monde engages in demonizing Israel and ignoring legitimate security concerns necessary for the protection of civilians. MdM’s bias and adoption of the Palestinian narrative was demonstrated in a 2005 report entitled, “The Ultimate Barrier: Impact of the Wall on the Palestinian Health Care System”. The report referred to Israel’s security fence in strictly condemnatory terms, failing to acknowledge the reasons and the need for the fence as a means to prevent infiltration by suicide terrorists targeting Israeli buses and restaurants, and the success of the fence in preventing attacks. The MdM report, based on unverified and unsubstantiated Palestinian “testimonies in the field”, claims that “the Wall deprives Palestinians of adequate access to basic services such as water and education, as well as sources of income such as agriculture and other forms of employment. The Wall has steadily added another layer of obstacles isolating, fragmenting and therefore weakening the already fragile Palestinian healthcare system." Such public statements made by MdM are clearly one-sided and form part of the wider political campaign.

In 2002, CIDA provided $104,000 to “Emergency Medical Assistance to Jenin District, West Bank”, a project directed by Medecins du Monde. During that period, Jenin served as a refuge and operations base for terrorist attacks against Israeli cities. What, if any, precautions were taken by CIDA to ensure that Canadian tax funds were not used to fund terrorism emanating from Jenin remains unclear.

From 2000-2002, CIDA contributed $174,192 to Medical Aid for Palestinians, an organization whose highly politicized agenda stands in sharp contrast to its humanitarian image. Despite claims to be a “non-political and non-partisan” organization, MAP’s 2004 annual report reflects an anti-Israel bias. Like Medecins du Monde (and numerous other NGOs) relying on unsubstantiated “eyewitness” interviews, MAP employs the language of demonization, condemning Israel for carrying out operations to protect the lives of its citizens.

In yet another example, from 2001-2006 CIDA allocated over $4 million to World University Services of Canada and Alternatives for a project entitled “Technical and Vocational Training for Palestinian Women”. As documented by NGO Monitor, Alternatives’ anti-Israel bias ignores Palestinian terrorism and downplays Palestinian human rights abuses.

The use of Canadian federal funds for such hostile political campaigns is inconsistent with CIDA’s official funding objectives. And while Canada has a well-earned reputation for promoting peace, its federal development agency has been funding organizations and initiatives that fuel the conflict in the Middle East rather than work towards its resolution. New guidelines to prevent political abuse of funds provided for humanitarian assistance and tighter oversight are among the available remedies for this situation.

The Soviets bought India....

The Soviet Union was EVIL...
The documents paint a sordid picture of India's Cold War alliance with the Soviet Union: newspapers bankrolled by the KGB to plant thousands of articles and agents making midnight deliveries of suitcases full of cash to the prime minister's house.

It was a time, a KGB official said, when "the entire country was for sale."

The revelations, in a newly published book based on KGB archives, have embarrassed India's ruling Congress party — in power then and now — and provided a field day for the press.

"Indira's India was KGB playground," read the headline in India's Sunday Times, referring to then-prime minister Indira Gandhi. But analysts said the accounts, from a recently published book based on notes that KGB archivist Vasili Mitrokhin smuggled out of Moscow when he fled to Britain in 1992, are unlikely to have a major impact on current politics — with India now a firm U.S. ally.

Mitrokhin, who died last year at 82, took handwritten notes from thousands of top-secret documents while he was supervising the 10-year-long move of the KGB's foreign intelligence archives to a new site, according to his co-author, Christopher Andrew, a Cambridge University history professor.

The two chapters on India in The Mitrokhin Archive II: The KGB and the World detail deep penetration of Gandhi's Congress-led government by the Soviet espionage agency.

Mitrokhin's notes describe how a senior New Delhi-based KGB operative, identified as Leonid Shebarshin, personally delivered millions of rupees to Gandhi's principal fundraiser in late-night meetings.

However, the book makes it clear Gandhi herself was not on the KGB payroll and probably had no idea of the source of her party's funds.

The spy agency also infiltrated the media. By 1972, the KGB had 10 Indian newspapers on its payroll and had planted 3,789 articles, many alluding to U.S. attempts at regional subversion, the book said.

A nice essay on Iraq...

Let there be no mistake - Iraq can be a beacon of freedom in the Arab world. Fouad Ajami, Professor at Johns Hopkins, has written a terrific essay in the Opinion Journal.
We have not always been brilliant in the war we have waged, for these are lands we did not fully know. But our work has been noble and necessary, and we can't call a halt to it in midstream. We bought time for reform to take root in several Arab and Muslim realms. Leave aside the rescue of Afghanistan, Kuwait and Qatar have done well by our protection, and Lebanon has retrieved much of its freedom. The three larger realms of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Syria are more difficult settings, but there, too, the established orders of power will have to accommodate the yearnings for change. A Kuwaiti businessman with an unerring feel for the ways of the Arab world put it thus to me: "Iraq, the Internet, and American power are undermining the old order in the Arab world. There are gains by the day." The rage against our work in Iraq, all the way from the "chat rooms" of Arabia to the bigots of Finsbury Park in London, is located within this broader struggle.

In that Iraqi battleground, we can't yet say that the insurgency is in its death throes. But that call to war by Zarqawi, we must know, came after the stunning military operation in Tal Afar dealt the jihadists a terrible blow. An Iraqi-led force, supported by American tanks, armored vehicles and air cover, had stormed that stronghold. This had been a transit point for jihadists coming in from Syria. This time, at Tal Afar, Iraq security forces were there to stay, and a Sunni Arab defense minister with the most impeccable tribal credentials, Saadoun Dulaimi, issued a challenge to Iraq's enemy, a message that his soldiers would fight for their country.

The claim that our war in Iraq, after the sacrifices, will have hatched a Shiite theocracy is a smear on the war, a misreading of the Shiite world of Iraq. In the holy city of Najaf, at its apex, there is a dread of political furies and an attachment to sobriety. I went to Najaf in July; no one of consequence there spoke of a theocratic state. Najaf's jurists lived through a time of terror, when informers and assassins had the run of the place. They have been delivered from that time. The new order shall give them what they want: a place in Iraq's cultural and moral order, and a decent separation between religion and the compromises of political life.

Over the horizon looms a referendum to ratify the country's constitution. Sunni Arabs are registering in droves, keen not to repeat the error they committed when they boycotted the national elections earlier this year. In their pride, and out of fear of the insurgents and their terror, the Sunni Arabs say that they are registering to vote in order to thwart this "illegitimate constitution." This kind of saving ambiguity ought to be welcomed, for there are indications that the Sunni Arabs may have begun to understand terror's blindness and terror's ruin. Zarqawi holds out but one fate for them; other doors beckon, and there have stepped forth from their ranks leaders eager to partake of the new order. It is up to them, and to the Arab street and the Arab chancelleries that wink at them, to bring an end to the terror. It has not been easy, this expedition to Iraq, and for America in Iraq there has been heartbreak aplenty. But we ought to remember the furies that took us there, and we ought to be consoled by the thought that the fight for Iraq is a fight to ward off Arab dangers and troubles that came our way on a clear September morning, four years ago.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The Media exaggerated Katrina chaos....

Now, the truth is coming out....
The stories out of New Orleans in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina were little short of sickening: armed gangs terrorising evacuees in the Superdome and convention centre, bodies piling up by the dozen amid the stench and human waste, bodies stuffed into a freezer, children raped, murdered and thrown into waste bins.

One month after the storm, however, it appears that few, if any, of the most lurid reports breathlessly repeated on American television, echoed in official statements and duly reported in many of the world's newspapers, had any basis in fact.

Several reporters and officials who have revisited the emblematic sites of the peculiarly chaotic hell that was New Orleans in the wake of Katrina now say the death toll at the Superdome was just six - and four of those were the result of natural causes. The fifth victim overdosed on drugs and the sixth committed suicide. If there were shootings or stabbings, none were fatal.

At the convention centre, where The New York Times recently reported a death toll of 24 amid scenes of gun violence and rank fear, health and law enforcement officials have now told the New Orleans Times-Picayune newspaper that they recovered four bodies, of which only one showed signs of having been murdered.

Police have confirmed just four homicides in the city in the week after the hurricane - about average for one of America's most crime-ridden metropolitan areas.

While it now seems certain the initial lurid stories were exaggerated - some, including the purported rape of a seven-year-old, were repeated by the city's mayor and police chief, only to be disavowed much later - it may still be too soon to paint an exact picture of what happened in the chaotic days following the collapse of New Orleans's levee system, when 80 per cent of the city was submerged and the federal government became ever more glaringly evident by its absence.

The Animal Rights Fascists strike again....

I sure hope this doesn't come to North America, but I have my suspicions that it will.
Animal rights activists have launched a fresh wave of attacks, targeting a senior pharmaceutical executive and an Oxford college.

The Animal Liberation Front (ALF) claimed responsibility yesterday for a device left outside the home of Paul Blackburn, the corporate controller of Britain's biggest pharmaceutical company, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

Animal Liberation Front protester
ALF activist protests in Cambridge yesterday

A device containing fuel had been left on Mr Blackburn's porch, a GSK spokesman said. It is understood that Mr Blackburn was abroad at the time, but his wife and daughter were at the house. The device caused only minor damage.

A posting on the ALF website Biteback said it was responsible for the attack, which had been carried out because GSK was a customer of the animal testing group Huntingdon Life Sciences.

"GSK, we realise that this may not be enough to make you stop using HLS but this is just the beginning," the post said. "We have identified and tracked down many of your senior executives and also junior staff, as well as those from other HLS customers. Drop HLS or you will face the consequences. For all the animals inside HLS, we will be back."

Anti-vivisectionists also attacked an Oxford college sports pavilion as a protest against a primate laboratory being built by the university. Police were called to a sports pavilion on the Abingdon Road, owned by Corpus Christi College, on Saturday.

Sources close to the university said the device was disabled and little damage was done. However, the ALF claimed that it had spent the past 15 months researching the university and threatened to destroy all of its property if it did not stop building the facility to house animals for research on South Park Road.

"We know every weakness you have," the ALF website said. "You have people within your ranks acting against you. You cannot build the South Park lab without incurring massive losses. We are stronger than you, we have more resolve than you and we never give up!

"If we have to destroy every bit of property you own we will, in order to stop you inflicting your profit-driven cruelties on defenceless creatures. You cannot stop us, we are free to attack you at will, whenever and wherever."

Al-Qaeda News....

Now, we can watch a weekly al-Qaeda newscast. But, look at how they define New Orleans.
An Internet video newscast called the Voice of the Caliphate was broadcast for the first time on Monday, purporting to be a production of al Qaeda and featuring an anchorman who wore a black ski mask and an ammunition belt.

The anchorman, who said the report would appear once a week, presented news about the Gaza Strip and Iraq and expressed happiness about recent hurricanes in the United States. A copy of the Koran, the Muslim holy book, was placed by his right hand and a rifle affixed to a tripod was pointed at the camera.


The final segment was about Hurricane Katrina. "The whole Muslim world was filled with joy" at the disaster, the anchorman said. He went on to say that President Bush was "completely humiliated by his obvious incapacity to face the wrath of God, who battered New Orleans, city of homosexuals."
Hat Tip: Independent Gay Forum.

You can watch the video here.

Maurice Strong and the Oil-for-Food Program....

Claudia Rosett asks some questions about the involvement of Maurice Strong.
At some length, Volcker does the genuine service of laying out how Strong, in mid-1997, received a check for $988,885 made out to his name (a copy can be found on page 106, Volume II). The check was drawn on a Jordanian bank, funded by Saddam's regime, and delivered by Korean businessman Tongsun Park, who was a U.N. "back-channel" go-between with Saddam. Strong endorsed the check over to a third party to invest in a Strong family-controlled business, Cordex Petroleum. Interviewed by Volcker's team earlier this year, Strong said he did not recall receiving such a check. When shown a copy, he said he did not know the money came from Iraq. Volcker leaves the matter there, concluding that "the Committee has found no evidence that Mr. Strong was involved in Iraqi affairs, matters relating to the [Oil-for-Food] Programme or took any actions at the request of Iraqi officials."

But how hard did the Volcker committee look? In July 1997, the month before Strong cashed the Saddam-backed check, Annan was issuing his first U.N. reform program, reshaping the secretariat. Strong was the major architect of that reform, and was thanked profusely by Annan at the time for "his important contributions." A significant aspect of that reform was the consolidation of the then-new, ad hoc, and diffuse Iraq Oil-for-Food program into a single, more firmly entrenched office. This move tilted control of the daily administration of Oil-for-Food away from the Security Council and toward the secretariat. When the new, unified office set up shop three months later, in October 1997, Annan appointed Sevan as executive director. That marked the beginning of the stretch in which Sevan began taking bribes from Saddam, and the Oil-for-Food program, urged on by Annan, began to grow astronomically in size and scope. Lacking any disclosure of the secret U.N. paper trail that led to the creation of this office and its expanded mission, it is impossible to know whether Strong took a direct hand in setting up the office from which Sevan then, in effect, collaborated with Saddam. Perhaps Strong had nothing to do with it. But Volcker doesn't even ask the question.

More on global warming and hurricanes...

Most of the hurricane experts dispute the connection between global warming and increased hurricane activity.
Claims in the media that global warming is making hurricanes worse are running into a gale of their own from scientists who specialize in studying the tropical storms.

"I'm quite sure that in 15 to 20 years, everyone will look back and see what a phony issue this was," William M. Gray, head of Colorado State University's Tropical Meteorology Project, said. "Most of my colleagues, who have given their careers to study this, are skeptical as hell."

Nonetheless, the theory that global warming is increasing the intensity and frequency of hurricanes is drawing increasing attention, especially in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and other well-publicized storms making landfall in the U.S.

In August, for example, the media focused on a study published in the August issue of the journal Nature, which concluded the duration and strength of hurricanes have increased by about 50 percent in the past 30 years. The author of the study linked the increase to rising ocean temperatures and global warming.

Before the study's release, Kevin Trenberth, head of the Climate Analysis Section of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, told MSNBC, "Trends in human-influenced environmental changes are now evident in hurricane regions."

But James J. O'Brien, director of the Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies at Florida State University, and numerous other hurricane experts dispute the theory that global warming primes and intensifies hurricanes. These scientists say that if global warming has any effect on hurricanes, it would be small. They also attribute swings in hurricane activity to natural, 25- to 40-year cycles.

Hamas sets up kidnapping team...

Just what we need for peace - a kidnapping unit.
Hamas released on Tuesday graphic pictures of Sasson Nuriel taken after his abduction but before he was murdered.

The photograph was published after Hamas terrorists claimed responsibility for kidnapping and killing Nuriel, the 51-year-old Jerusalem man who was found dead Monday.

Hamas announced that it had established new "kidnapping units" whose top priority would be capturing Israelis to be held hostage as leverage in prisoner release negotiations with Israel.

The Anti-War Protest, Part 2

Christopher Hitchens on the protest.
The two preferred metaphors are, depending on the speaker, that the Bin-Ladenists are the fish that swim in the water of Muslim discontent or the mosquitoes that rise from the swamp of Muslim discontent. (Quite often, the same images are used in the same harangue.) The "fish in the water" is an old trope, borrowed from Mao's hoary theory of guerrilla warfare and possessing a certain appeal to comrades who used to pore over the Little Red Book. The mosquitoes are somehow new and hover above the water rather than slip through it. No matter. The toxic nature of the "water" or "swamp" is always the same: American support for Israel. Thus, the existence of the Taliban regime cannot be swamplike, presumably because mosquitoes are born and not made. The huge swamp that was Saddam's Iraq has only become a swamp since 2003. The organized murder of Muslims by Muslims in Pakistan, Iraq, and Afghanistan is only a logical reaction to the summit of globalizers at Davos. The stoning and veiling of women must be a reaction to Zionism. While the attack on the World Trade Center—well, who needs reminding that chickens, or is it mosquitoes, come home to roost?

There are only two serious attempts at swamp-draining currently under way. In Afghanistan and Iraq, agonizingly difficult efforts are in train to build roads, repair hospitals, hand out ballot papers, frame constitutions, encourage newspapers and satellite dishes, and generally evolve some healthy water in which civil-society fish may swim. But in each case, from within the swamp and across the borders, the most poisonous snakes and roaches are being recruited and paid to wreck the process and plunge people back into the ooze. How nice to have a "peace" movement that is either openly on the side of the vermin, or neutral as between them and the cleanup crew, and how delightful to have a press that refers to this partisanship, or this neutrality, as "progressive."

The Anti-War Protest, Part 1

Of course, they have to be anti-Israel.
Byron York of National Review described one group of protesters, college students, who marched from a subway station to the Ellipse, near the White House. They chanted: "From Palestine to New Orleans, No more money for the war machine!" Then, as they got more excited, they changed their slogan to: "How are Israeli soldiers paid? Only through U.S. aid!"

York continued: "Someone in the group carried a sign advertising a Web site, The site's homepage carried the headline, "Meet just a few of your Jewish Supremacist Warmongers," above photos of William Kristol, Richard Perle, Ari Fleischer, Ariel Sharon, Paul Wolfowitz, Elliot Abrams and Douglas Feith."

It was not just conservatives who noticed the protest's anti-Jewish focus. At, perhaps the most widely visited left-wing Web site in the United States, one blogger posted this comment:

"Watching clips of the Answer Anti-War Rally, all I see are things that I want nothing to do with. I am a staunch supporter of Israel, and its fundamental right to exist. I bet you that the majority of Americans who are against the war are too. Yet I watch this rally and see people basically supporting Hamas, etc., and the suicide killings of innocent Israelis in cafes, on buses, etc. If you want to break down the coalition of people against the war, turning this into a hate the Jews/Israel party is an easy way to do it."

Hanson on College Presidents...

I can only give you a small excerpt, but please read the whole thing.
At Harvard University, beleaguered President Lawrence Summers challenged notions of "diversity" and paid a steep price. He suggested--off the record, at a conference of the National Bureau of Economic Research--that factors other than institutional prejudice and cultural pressure might help explain the relative dearth of women faculty in the hard sciences at Harvard and other elite universities. If the intent of that mildly provocative, off-the-cuff exegesis was to jumpstart debate among serious thinkers, it proved a big mistake. Within seconds, one tough-minded feminist was reduced to bouts of nausea and swooning, and within hours many were calling for Mr. Summers to apologize, if not resign.

As the country soon learned, Mr. Summers had touched the live wire of the contemporary campus by hinting that inequality of result might be due to something other than invidious and institutional discrimination. Mr. Summers fell back limp from that high-voltage jolt; only massive and repeated doses of self-abasement could resuscitate him. Accordingly, he quickly renounced and denounced his own musings, promising task forces, "independent listeners," investigations, committees and ample largesse (including $50 million from Harvard's own bulging coffers) to be distributed to the purported victims of his insensitivity--who are in fact some of the most educated, privileged and upscale women on the planet.

But to save Mr. Summers's job it will probably cost much more than his pledge of $5 million a year for a decade. His special task force already has urged the appointment of a senior "vice provost for diversity and faculty development," along with improved recruitment and the "mentoring" of junior faculty members. According to a communiqué from his office, the members of his task force "propose a series of reforms and enhancements to the way women pursuing science and engineering are treated at every point along the 'pipeline,' from undergraduates, to graduate students, to post-doctoral fellows, to the faculty ranks." And lest we think $50 million is too much, Mr. Summers's statement also added that it is merely a down payment: "There is no doubt that these initiatives will require significant additional expenditures. But we want to make clear at the outset that this is a serious effort calling for a serious commitment of resources."

Somehow the former secretary of the Treasury, who once helped manage the Byzantine world of global commerce, failed to realize that the entire campus industry of mandated retroactive compensation--targeted fellowships, release time (i.e., excusing teachers from teaching), ideological curricula, favorable hiring and promotion considerations, tenure decisions based on criteria other than merit, and other forms of recompense that Mr. Summers in fact scrambled to grant--would be imperiled by a few politically incorrect syllables. Perhaps Mr. Summers naively thought that Harvard was about free speech and unfettered discourse--its motto, after all, is Veritas, "Truth." In any event, he quickly recovered, winning back through penance, self-censorship, and spoils a job that he had almost forfeited in a passing moment of intellectual curiosity.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Ontario wants gay doctors.....and they're right...

Let's make same-sex marriage a huge benefit for Canada.
Ontario's health minister says gays and lesbians in the medical field should consider moving to Canada. George Smitherman touted the province to delegates at the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association's annual conference in Montreal.

Most of those attending the convention were American, and in a keynote address the openly gay cabinet minister said that doctors dissatisfied with life in the US should think about a move - especially if they want to marry.

"Many of you work in States where progress of this type is measured in baby steps at best, and sometimes not at all," Smitherman said.

"And some of you live and work in States where the fight is actually not to lose ground. And yet you keep at it, day in, day out, and for that you have my gratitude, my respect, and my undying admiration."

" ...thousands of gay couples have been married in Canada, happily and proudly joining the millions of other couples in this country and around the world who have come together in love and ask nothing more than society’s blessing of that union," Smitherman said.

"In Canada we do bless that union, regardless of the sexual orientation of the people involved, and that is something that gives me a tremendous amount of pride in my country.

"The only barrier that exists to my getting married lies in my convincing someone to marry me, and I suppose it would be unreasonable of me to look for my government’s help on that one."

The Ontario Medical Association recently said that the province is short some 2,000 qualified doctors.

How's this for a horror story?

How can police departments get away with such disregard for the evidence? Here's a story from South Dakota.
A split state Supreme Court has refused to reinstate a lawsuit filed by a former Sturgis man who was falsely accused of rape and kidnapping after three children made up a story.

Todd Heib cannot sue Meade County Deputy Sheriff Robert Lehrkamp Jr. because Lehrkamp had probable cause to arrest Heib based on what the officer knew at the time of the arrest, the high court said Thursday in a 3-2 decision.

The two dissenting justices said Heib should be allowed to continue his lawsuit so a jury could examine the facts and determine whether Lehrkamp had probable cause for arresting Heib.

Court records say two girls, ages 12 and 13, and an 11-year-old boy skipped school Dec. 9, 1997, and rode around with four other youths. They made up the story about kidnapping and rape to cover up the fact that they skipped school.

The two girls and the boy told law officers they had been kidnapped that morning and that two girls were raped by an 18-year-old man with the aid of another man they later identified as Heib, who was then 19.

Heib told authorities he had left his house early that morning and went with a friend to eat breakfast at a fast-food restaurant. He then went to an optometrist's office and to work at a building supply store until 3 p.m.

His story was backed up by witnesses at the restaurant, the optometrist's office and the building-supply store. A Sturgis police officer told Lehrkamp that Heib might have an alibi for the time of the alleged crimes.

But one of the young girls and the boy identified Heib from a photograph as the second man involved in the alleged rape and kidnapping.

Heib was arrested two days after the allegations were first made, and a grand jury indicted him for aiding and abetting rape and kidnapping.

He spent 86 days in jail, where another prisoner severely beat him. He was put in isolation to protect him from other prisoners who believed he was a sexual pervert, and he had to wear a bulletproof vest to a court appearance because of death threats.

Heib also lost his job, his vehicle and his home.

One of the girls later admitted that the accusations were made up.

More political correctness....

You know, I am just amazed at what people have time to do.
A hospital has banned visitors from "cooing" over newborn babies to protect their dignity and parents' right to confidentiality.

People have been told they should resist the temptation to touch or be too familiar with the new arrivals. They are also being warned to respect patient confidentiality by not talking to staff or parents about babies.

Cards have been issued to visitors at Calderdale Royal Hospital, Halifax, West Yorks, bearing the words "Respect My Baby" on the front. On the back are the lines written as though from the baby: "I am small and precious so treat me with privacy and respect. My parents ask you to treat my personal space with consideration. I deserve to be left undisturbed and protected against unwanted public view."

The measures were introduced as a result of a Government booklet, Essence of Care, that explains extra protection for patients

But the hospital's interpretation has prompted criticism from mothers.

Lynsey Pearson, 26, from Halifax, who gave birth to her first child, Hannah, four weeks ago, said: "This ludicrous idea is taking confidentiality to the extreme. If people did not ask me about my baby I would be offended. I am so proud of Hannah and I want to show her off. I imagine all new mums feel that way."

The IRA has disarmed..why not Hamas and others?

I think it's great news that the IRA has disarmed...but why not terrorist groups like Hamas, Islamic Jihad, etc???
The IRA has finally put its arsenal of weapons and explosives amassed during 35 years of the Troubles out of action, the head of the international arms decommissioning body said yesterday.

Gen John de Chastelain said he believed that the IRA had disposed of all its arms but questions were raised over the verification procedure when he said that his assertion would have to be taken on trust.
Unionists in Northern Ireland demanded disarmament before further political progress - why doesn't the International Community say the same about Palestinian terrorists?

And, what would he say to Al-Qaeda?

The Dalai Lama gets great press despite having incredibly simplistic advice.
he Dalai Lama told 36,000 people at Rutgers Stadium that the concept of war was outdated and young people have a responsibility to make this century one of peace.

"This whole planet is just us," the 70-year-old exiled monk said Sunday. "Therefore, destruction of another area essentially is destruction of yourself."

Tibet's spiritual leader also urged the audience to develop a wider world perspective, not just focus on "America, America, America."


How low can the Palestinians go?
A Jewish resident of Jerusalem was kidnapped by Hamas terrorists and murdered, police said Monday.

The body of Sasson Nuriel, 50, of the northern Jerusalem neighborhood of Pisgat Ze'ev, who was kidnapped earlier this week was found Monday morning in the Beitunia industrial zone.

Nuriel's body was discovered following a four-day Shin Bet and Israel Police manhunt which resulted in the capture of one of the suspected members of Hamas cell believed responsible for the killing, police said.

Minister of Internal Security Gideon Ezra called the perpetrators cowards: "Under the cover of employment, they took a Jew who had no connection with security or fighting and took him to Ramallah and killed him," Army Radio reported.

Ezra reiterated the government's call for the Palestinian Authority to "make sure that these sort of things do not happen. They must carry out reforms and disarm these organizations."

Nuriel, who worked as a sweets salesman in the nearby West Bank industrial area of Mishor Adumim, east of Ma'aleh Adumim, went missing on September 21. After police received notification, a massive manhunt was initiated in the area around Jerusalem for Nuriel's whereabouts.

According to the Shin Bet investigation, Nuriel was kidnapped by a Hamas cell active in the Ramallah area on the afternoon of September 21. The arrest of one of the suspected members of the cell Monday morning and subsequent interrogation led police to the victim's body.

Darfur is still a huge issue....

This is an area where the US should be leading....
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, speaking on the international response to the ongoing murders and gang rapes in Darfur by Sudan's soldiers and Janjaweed military, told the BBC on July 3: "We have learned nothing from Rwanda." A month later, Dr. Rowan Gilles, international president of Doctors Without Borders, added: "Our teams (in Darfur) are still witnessing repeated violence against the population."

Eric Reeves of Smith College in Massachusetts — the principal historian of the horrors in Darfur — wrote on Aug. 11 ( that the genocide there could become "much worse" as "the international community has abandoned these people to genocide by attrition." And on Sept. 8, Salih Booker, executive director of Washington-based Africa Action, warned: "The death toll continues to mount."

The American media, with few exceptions, have also largely abandoned Darfur. In "All Ears for Tom Cruise, All Eyes on Brad Pitt" in the July 26 New York Times, columnist Nicholas Kristof, who has often reported from the killing fields, writes: "If only Michael Jackson's trial had been held in Darfur."

Kristof noted that: "According to monitoring by the Tyndall Report, ABC News had a total of 18 minutes of the Darfur genocide in its nightly newscasts all last year — and that turns out to be a credit to Peter Jennings.

"NBC had only 5 minutes of coverage all last year, and CBS only 3 minutes (except for '60 Minutes') — about a minute of coverage for every 100,000 deaths. In contrast, Martha Stewart received 130 minutes of coverage by the three networks.

"Incredibly, more than two years into the genocide, NBC, aside from covering official trips, has still not bothered to send one of its own correspondents into Darfur for independent reporting."

This appalling performance by broadcast and cable television is not surprising if you believe newspapers are invariably the source of in-depth coverage of vital stories.

This won't help at all...

Why not spend millions on a project that just won't change anything?
Canada's Kyoto plan to bury vast amounts of carbon dioxide underground will get a boost today at an international climate-change conference in Montreal.

A report to be made public this morning gives a cautious green light to large-scale underground storage of carbon dioxide gas now spewed out from power plants, oil and gas operations, mining and heavy manufacturing.

The top climate experts who wrote the report calculate that 20 to 40 per cent of all carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels globally could be captured and stored economically in suitable rock formations by mid-century. But they also conclude storing carbon dioxide on or under the ocean floor is too risky at present.

The endorsement by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is good news for the federal government. Ottawa's revised Kyoto climate change plan, unveiled in April, created a $250-million partnership fund to spur the capture of carbon dioxide, especially from the country's single largest source, the Alberta oil sands.

Federal environment officials have forecast that as much as 20 million tonnes of carbon dioxide could be captured annually during the five years of the Kyoto plan beginning in 2008. It would have to be pumped 300 to 400 kilometres south through new pipelines from the oil sands to reach suitable underground reservoirs.
You can pump all the carbon dioxide you won't change a thing. This is a huge waste of money.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

How's this for incitement?

I think any Israeli action is incitement, no?
The Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) described on Sunday leaflets thrown all over the Gaza Strip from Israeli helicopters as an old attempt to incite internal conflict among the Palestinians.

Hamas spokesman Musher al-Masri told reporters that throwing such leaflets is an attempt to defame Palestinian resistance against the occupation, and the leaflets are a clear incitement against Hamas and Palestinian resistance.

Israeli aircraft dropped early Sunday thousands of leaflets in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanon, calling on local residents to stay away from places that are used by militants to launch rocket attacks on Israeli targets.

The leaflets said the Israeli army is working against terror to protect the Israelis, advising that Palestinian people stay away from places used by militants to fire rockets.

Niall Ferguson on the consequences of withdrawing from Iraq....

Withdrawal from Iraq now would turn out to be an incredible bloodbath.
Is it time, then, for the Americans to revive their tried-and-tested policy of proclaiming victory and getting the hell out? I suspect many readers - not least those with sons, brothers or husbands in the services - fervently wish that they would, preferably preceded by us.

And yet, as Kipling so well understood, there are worse things than trying, however imperfectly, to police a foreign land. (Having spent last week in Cambodia, I have just been forcefully reminded of the horrors that befell Indo-China after the Americans abandoned South Vietnam.)

The kind of violence that we could see in Iraq if we quit now, leaving full-scale civil war to rage, would dwarf all that has happened since 2003. I once asked a friend in Beirut what he thought would end up happening in Iraq. "Like Lebanon in the 1980s," he replied, "but to the power of ten."

Lack of Men on Campus...

The problem is actually worse in Canada....but nobody wants to talk about it.
Currently, 135 women receive bachelor's degrees for every 100 men. That gender imbalance will widen in the coming years, according to a new report by the U.S. Department of Education.

This is ominous for every parent with a male child. The decline in college attendance means many will needlessly miss out on success in life. The loss of educated workers also means the country will be less able to compete economically. The social implications — women having a hard time finding equally educated mates — are already beginning to play out.

But the inequity has yet to provoke the kind of response that finally opened opportunities for women a generation ago. In fact, virtually no one is exploring the obvious questions: What has gone wrong? And what happens to all the boys who aren't in college?

More images from the Protest

Michelle Malkin has posted lots of pictures of the outrageous signs from the demonstration.

Meanwhile, GayPatriot, is reporting from several sources that turnout was far from teh claimed 100,000 people.

Images from the Anti-War Rally

Here are two images from the Xinhua news agency.

No shortage of crazies at this huge rally.
Thousands of protesters yesterday marched against the war in Iraq, aiming their anger at George W. Bush as they wound through downtown and past the White House.

Speakers at a rally on the Ellipse repeatedly called the president a criminal, a liar and a killer.

"We'll be the checks and balances on this out-of-control, criminal government," anti-war mother Cindy Sheehan told the crowd.

Some truth about global warming, part 2

Maybe Tony Blair has been reading Discover Magazine.
Tony Blair has admitted that the fight to prevent global warming by ordering countries to cut greenhouse gases will never be won.

The Prime Minister said "no country is going to cut its growth or consumption" despite environmental fears.

Mr Blair's comments, which he said were "brutally honest", mark a big environmental U-turn and will dismay Labour activists.

They were made earlier this month in New York, at a conference on facing up to "global challenges" organised by Bill Clinton, the former United States president.

Mr Blair, who has been seen up to now as a strong supporter of the Kyoto Treaty, effectively tore the document up and admitted that rows over its implementation will "never be resolved."

Mr Blair told the New York conference: "I would say probably I'm changing my thinking about this in the past two or three years. I think if we are going to get action we have got to start from the brutal honesty about the politics of how we deal with it.

"The truth is, no country is going to cut its growth or consumption substantially in the light of a long-term environmental problem.

"Some people have signed Kyoto, some people haven't signed Kyoto, right? That is a disagreement. It's there. It's not going to be resolved."

Some truth about global warming, part 1

The October issue of Discover Magazine has a series of articles about the Frontiers of Science. One of them is about climate and the article quotes extensively from an interview with Wallace Broecker, Newberry Professor of Earth and Envrironmental Sciences at Columba University. His advice to global warming activists: Get real.
Broecker adds that what the develped wealthy world will do is largely irrelevant, because China, India, and much of the third world will grow increasingly wealthy and thirsty for fossil-fueled growth. "Since there are a billion and half of us, and 5 billion people in the poorer parts of the world, it is more what they do to increase their fossil-fuel usage than what we do to decrease that matters," he says.

In short, there is simply no realistic way to clamp down on carbon-generating technologies before they fill the skies with high levels of carbon dioxide....
Finally, some truth. There is nothing we can do to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere - of course, I am a skeptic that CO2 is the cause of global warming....but, it's nice to hear at least some truth.

The abduction of boys in China....

China doesn't like to talk about this...but boys are being abducted.
THE faces of China’s lost boys stare out from hundreds of pictures that once captured joy but now serve only to remind their parents of a cruel loss of innocence.

A plague of kidnapping has swept across Yunnan, a remote southwestern province, claiming hundreds of boys from the city of Kunming alone.

One vanished while his father bought sweets. Two more were led away in broad daylight from a busy market. The children have gone from poor townships and rural farms. They are the sons of China’s working class but their fate has been covered up on the orders of the Communist party.

“As of the end of 2004 there were more than 200 boys missing from Kunming city alone,” said Lu Youmin, a businessman, who has emerged as leader of a group of bereft parents fighting for action.

The motive is greed. Gangs of traffickers snatch the children to sell to childless couples in the prosperous cities of coastal China, where they will be passed off as “adopted”.

Lu is an exception. The kidnappers took his daughter Lu Shanni, then aged eight, in 2002. But 95% of the stolen children are boys, prized because they will carry on the family line.

It is a well organised trade that the state is plainly unable to stop. Official propaganda highlights the occasional police success. Yet there is no helpline, no nationwide appeal, no television broadcast with pictures of the missing.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Investigating Katrina...

An investigation is going to turn up some awful truths.
As waters continued to rise against levees holding back Lake Pontchartrain, there was some concern that Katrina's massive rainfall might yet overtop the levees. However, it appears now that the levees were not overtopped. In fact, there is compelling evidence that the floodwalls failed structurally in two locations -- which would not have happened if they had been built to specifications. (Contrary to assertions by Nation of Islam agitator Louis Farrakhan, the levees were not "blown up" in order to divert flood waters from "white" to "black" parts of the city.)

Simply put, somewhere there is a contractor, and a whole cadre of well-grafted inspectors, who are accountable for the structural failure of the levees. Finding that contractor will be one of many serious tasks facing congressional investigators in the coming months.

As you recall, in the immediate aftermath of the levee failure, Democrats were waving accusatory fingers and demanding an "inquisition commission." They were hoping for colorful headlines blaming the Bush administration and, by extension, anyone on a Republican ticket in the upcoming election year. Then, when Republicans joined in the call for investigations, Democrats quickly backed down and, indeed, refused to take part altogether. Upon reflection, they determined that an inquiry into factual communication, material distribution and evacuation failures after Katrina would instead bury Louisiana Democrats -- from buck-passing New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin (see his evacuation plan) to lachrymose Governor Kathleen Blanco to hysterical Senator Mary Landrieu.

Truth be told, congressional investigators need only do one thing to get to the bottom of the floodwaters in New Orleans -- follow the money.

Rep. Tom Davis, chairman of the Select Committee to Investigate the Preparation for and Response to Hurricane Katrina, said this week that his investigation will "move ahead" with or without Democrats. Rep. Davis, who also chairs the chamber's Government Reform Committee, said, "At the end of the day, we must come together for good, hard fact-finding." But, he noted, Democrats "could tie up the process forever, and losing time is losing information." (Of course, the Demos will obstruct the investigation, claiming it is a Republican cover-up.)

Perhaps the committee's first witness should be Bill Nungesser, a former Levee Board chairman who tried to reform the system. Mr. Nungesser says of the levee failure, "Every time I turned over a rock, there was something rotten. I used to tell people, 'If your children ever die in a hurricane, come shoot us, because we're responsible.' We throw away all sorts of money." (In other words, Louisiana Democrats had looted New Orleans long before Katrina hit.)

More immigrants to come to Canada...

The Government wants to drastically increase immigration levels.
In a bid to counteract Canada's declining birthrate and aging population, the federal government is looking at a dramatic boost in immigration — up to 100,000 additional newcomers each year.

The increase, part of a new immigration plan to be unveiled next month, means Canada would open its doors to 320,000 immigrants a year by the time the plan is fully implemented in five years.

Canada accepted 235,000 permanent residents last year, within its target range of 220,000 to 245,000 new residents per year.
I have no problem with immigration, but I would hope that the Government would have some research identifying which immigrants do well in Canada. For instance, I doubt we need more immigrants from Jamaica (Over 1,000 murders a year in Jamaica) or Somalia. It's time for the Government to understand who does well in the Canadian environment and focus on bringing those people to Canada. You'd think the Government would have a handle on success/failure of different groups of immigrants, no?

Wolfowitz at the World Bank...

Here's a nice profile of Paul Wolfowitz who is now running the World Bank.
"I just heard today from Ann Clwyd," a British Labour politician recently in Iraq, he says, and she "was telling me about the work of the Free Prisoners Association, which documents the death certificates of people executed . . . and she said it's over 300,000. I mean, if you think it's bad now--the silence of the world in the face of what was going on before is just stunning."

A skeptic--never mind a Bank cynic--might point out that in Africa Mr. Wolfowitz has a challenge every bit as difficult as Iraq. Leon Louw, the South African economist, says that in the past 30 years the world has poured $450 billion of aid into Africa, but that average per capita income is lower than it was in the late 1960s. According to the World Bank's data, 39% of sub-Saharan Africa's private wealth was somewhere other than Africa in 1990--compared to 3% for South Asia, and only 10% even for Latin America.

Why invest in Africa if Africans won't? "It's a very fair question, and I think part of the answer is to deal with the kinds of regulations and taxes that I've been talking about," Mr. Wolfowitz says. "I'm absolutely sure that part of the answer is dealing with the corruption factor."

His favorite new source book is the World Bank's "Doing Business" report, an annual guide to the obstacles that countries impose on their own entrepreneurs. The 2006 version is just out, and for the first time Mr. Wolfowitz had it rank countries, from 1 to 155, on the "ease of doing business." New Zealand ranked first, and the U.S. third (after Singapore), but African nations held down 25 of the last 30 places.

Take Burkina Faso, a landlocked West African country that came in at . . . 154. "If you were in a food supply business," Mr. Wolfowitz says, "registering a business would require minimum capital equal to nearly five times annual income. Fees alone cost 1 1/2 times income per capita . . . to register your land, you have to pay fees, 16% of the value of the land. So the result is in a country of 12 million people, only 50,000 are in the formal" economy.

So why is he optimistic? Burkina has grown for the last decade, he says, and the country has political cohesion. "I had a great meeting with the president of Burkina" on a recent trip, and "I shouldn't say this, but I want to find a way to communicate these results to him and say, do something about it, your country will grow even more."

Friday, September 23, 2005

Russia's population problem...

The population is already on the decline...
In the two days since Lisa Petrachkova was born, Russia’s population has dropped by an estimated 2,000 people.

By the time she is one, more than 200,000 Russians will have died of unnatural causes; almost seven times the estimated civilian deaths in Iraq since the war began.

By her 50th birthday, Russia’s population could have halved, based on current trends. Little does she know it as she lies next to her mother, Masha, in a Moscow maternity ward, but Lisa is on the front line of a national fight for survival. By Russian standards, she is lucky to have made it even this far: last year, there were 1.6 million registered abortions in Russia and 1.5 million births.

“The situation is critical,” said Vladimir Kulakov, deputy head of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences and an adviser to President Putin on the demographic crisis. “The most important thing for every nation is to have confidence in its future.”

Russia’s population has been in decline since 1992 due to poor medical care, one of the world’s least healthy diets, and a national weakness for vodka.

Experts say the crisis is reaching a critical level that threatens not only its economic development, but its very existence.

According to the Federal Statistics Service, the population of 143 million could plummet to 77 million by the middle of this century. It dropped by almost half a million in the last year alone.

Palestinians fire 20 rockets from Gaza....

3 Israelis were wounded.
A man was lightly to moderately wounded and two people were lightly injured Friday when a Kassam rocket was fired at the Sha'ar HaNegev area near Sderot.

They were rushed to Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon.

As of midnight, 20 Kassam rockets have been fired at Sderot, Army Radio reported.

Hoisted by their own petard....

This isn't the first time this sort of thing has happened.
A pickup truck carrying masked terrorists blew up at a Hamas rally at the Jebaliya refugee camp in the
Gaza Strip on Friday. At least least 19 Palestinians were killed and 85 injured, hospital doctors said.

Hamas claimed that Israeli aircraft flew overhead during the rally and fired on demonstrators.

Due to the increased allegations accusing of Israel of involvement in the incident, the IDF issued a statement:

"The IDF is not involved in any way in the explosion that occurred this evening in Jebaliya. All attempts to accuse [the IDF] or implicate the army's involvement by certain elements are baseless and unfounded. The IDF views seriously attempts to use the incident as an excuse to attack Israel."

Channel Two reported that while conflicting reports were received, the truck appeared to have been carrying a number of missiles, one of which exploded due to mishanding.
Let's hope the Palestinians don't use this as excuse for more violence.

Doesn't seem like a problem to me....

As long as teasing, gestures, etc. are considered sexual harassment, the numbers will be large.
One in six female city workers reported being sexually harassed last year, according to a survey.

The report released Thursday by the Los Angeles Commission on the Status of Women shows that harassment claims have dropped by more than 50 percent since 1992, the last time the city conducted such a study.

But Paula Petrotta, the commission's executive director, said the problem remains serious.

"It still is significant in terms of the morale, the perception, the litigation," Petrotta said. "The percentages may not be as high, but that's still a lot of people."

The survey was sent to all 12,793 female city workers and filled out by 3,564. Six hundred claimed they were sexually harassed.

In 71 percent of the cases, the alleged behavior involved teasing, jokes, remarks, insults, questions or sexually charged language. Nearly 30 percent reported suggestive gestures, ogling, whistling or other sounds, and four women reported attempted rape or threats of violence.

Petrotta said she asked Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to appoint an ombudsman to look into the problem.
Four women reported something serious - I'd like to know if they actually reported that to the police. But, it appears that just about all of these cases are about fairly innocuous behavior, no?

This is obscene....

How low can the Palestinians go?
Emboldened by Israel's withdrawal from Gaza and part of the West Bank, Hamas yesterday announced its plan to turn a synagogue in Netzarim into a museum that would display weapons employed by the terrorist group's members against Israeli civilians.

A statement issued yesterday by Hamas said, "Qassam rockets and other locally made arms will be exposed, since it is the legal weapon that evicted the occupation forces." The Middle East Media Research Institute yesterday reported that recent sermons delivered by Hamas leaders pledged to resist efforts from the Palestinian Authority to disarm the organization ahead of upcoming elections.

Republican Amnesia...

Does Bush and the Republicans have any conservative principles?
President Bush's Sept. 15 speech from New Orleans, while graceful and touching, contained no hint of humility about the reach of federal power or the capacity of government to get things done. "We'll not just rebuild," he declared, "we'll build higher and better."

This is not a conservative perspective. The people of the region need immediate help and comfort, but why must we rush headlong into a rebuilding program, particularly one funded and controlled from Washington? The president pronounced that "Americans have never left our destiny to the whims of nature, and we will not start now." That sort of hubris can get you into trouble. Governments don't know how to build cities. Besides, one might have thought that Katrina had just taught a bitter lesson about thumbing one's nose at nature. Would it really be unthinkable for Baton Rouge to take New Orleans' place as the most important city in Louisiana?

Finally, there is the Democrats' favorite topic -- the perennial matter of race. Suddenly, Republicans seem to have suffered an attack of amnesia. The president attributes poverty in New Orleans to a history of racial discrimination and proposes, as Stephen Moore coined it in The Wall Street Journal, a "GOP New Deal."

In truth, as conservatives have patiently argued for 25 years, poverty in America today is primarily a matter of culture, not race. It is the result of family disintegration above all. Republicans have reduced poverty in America dramatically -- especially that of black children -- by welfare reform. There is more to be done on that front, but not by adopting the liberals' mantra about racism.

Republicans seem to be forgetting not just their principles but their own past successes -- and that is an invitation to failure.