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 (

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

How's this for a settlement????

This is truly obscene...this is from the UK.
A multi-millionaire businessman must pay out most of the lavish deal awarded to his former lover and their child, the Appeal Court said yesterday.

Janet Hill had won a "resounding success" when Stephen Morgan, a married man, was ordered by a High Court judge to set up a £700,000 housing trust fund for her and her two children, pay her £60,000 a year maintenance, a £100,000 lump sum to pay off her debts and £25,000 every five years to buy a new car.

Mr Morgan, 53, the founder of the property developer Redrow, had fathered one of 39-year-old Miss Hill's two children. He had taken the case to the court of appeal because he objected to the size of the awards made to Miss Hill.

He had also claimed that he should not have to subsidise the upbringing of her first child by another married man, who is paying her £12,000 a year maintenance.

Miss Hill also receives payments for the children's school fees.
Courts just look at men as walking wallets....

Sharia law spreading in the UK....

What's worse is that a lot of people seem to think this is ok...see the last paragraph.
slamic sharia law is gaining an increasing foothold in parts of Britain, a report claims.

Sharia, derived from several sources including the Koran, is applied to varying degrees in predominantly Muslim countries but it has no binding status in Britain.

However, the BBC Radio 4 programme Law in Action produced evidence yesterday that it was being used by some Muslims as an alternative to English criminal law. Aydarus Yusuf, 29, a youth worker from Somalia, recalled a stabbing case that was decided by an unofficial Somali "court" sitting in Woolwich, south-east London.

Mr Yusuf said a group of Somali youths were arrested on suspicion of stabbing another Somali teenager. The victim's family told the police it would be settled out of court and the suspects were released on bail.

A hearing was convened and elders ordered the assailants to compensate their victim. "All their uncles and their fathers were there," said Mr Yusuf. "So they all put something towards that and apologised for the wrongdoing."

Although Scotland Yard had no information about that case yesterday, a spokesman said it was common for the police not to proceed with assault cases if the victims decided not to press charges.

However, the spokesman said cases of domestic violence, including rape, might go to trial regardless of the victim's wishes.

Mr Yusuf told the programme he felt more bound by the traditional law of his birth than by the laws of his adopted country. "Us Somalis, wherever we are in the world, we have our own law," he said. "It's not sharia, it's not religious — it's just a cultural thing."

Sharia's great strength was the effectiveness of its penalties, he said. Those who appeared before religious courts would avoid re-offending so as not to bring shame on their families.

Some lawyers welcomed the advance of what has become known as "legal pluralism".

Dr Prakash Shah, a senior lecturer in law at Queen Mary University of London, said such tribunals "could be more effective than the formal legal system".

Why bother having a Christmas party???

It's much safer if we don't have parties at all....This is from the Daily Mai in the UK.
Office Christmas parties face the axe after the Government's industrial relations watchdog warned bosses they face being sued for a raft of "politically correct" misdemeanours.

In an extraordinary advice pamphlet, Acas told firms they have a "duty of care" to drunken staff and could face crippling legal action if they do not get home safely.

Managers were also told age discrimination laws could be breached if the music and entertainment caters only for younger staff, and holding a raffle or giving out alcoholic prizes could offend Muslims.

Any member of staff who suffers "verbal abuse" for being gay could also sue - even if it takes place in the pub before the office party.

And Acas, a Government quango charged with settling industrial disputes, added a "proper risk assessment" must be carried out before any decorations are put up, particularly if they could be fire hazards.

Staff were cleared to display trees, tinsel and lights - but only because they are "secular" and "not inherently religious".

This, the advice note says, makes it "difficult to argue that they cause offence to non-Christians".

The guidance was last night branded "politically correct drivel", but firms said it was enough to put them off holding an official Christmas party.

Employment lawyers said they would also think twice about going ahead with a celebration, given the Acas warning.

Possible pitfalls include age discrimination laws, a raft of health and safety legislation and the Protection from Harassment Act. Damages could run to hundreds of thousands of pounds - enough to cripple a small business.

Matt Hardman, of the Forum of Private Business, said companies were cancelling formal Christmas parties.

GayandRight to go on hiatus till end of December....

Andrew and I are going on holiday tomorrow. We're going to the Netherlands and to Italy! Nothing like the food in Italy!

I'll do some blogging along the way, but, GayandRight will return in force just after Christmas.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hannukah to everybody.


Arafat's Secret Deal with Iran...

It's amazing how Sunnis and Shiites can sometimes work together, no?
Iran and the Palestinian Authority, then headed by Yasser Arafat, reached a secret agreement in 2002, which called for the creation of branch Iranian revolutionary guard corps bases in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in exchange for military aid to the Palestinian Authority.

Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz, who had been serving as defense minister at the time, discovered the details of the deal on Monday.

According to Mofaz, Arafat formulated the deal with Iranian leaders in secret meetings. Mofaz added that as part of the deal Iran supplied the Palestinian Authority with 50 tons of military equipment as specified by Arafat. This equipment was intercepted by the Israel Defense Forces on munitions ship "Karin A" in 2002.

Casualties in Sudan? An Israeli conspiracy, of course!

Gee, what isn't Israel's fault?
Sudan's President Field Marshal Omar Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir claimed Tuesday that reports in western newspapers of hundreds of thousands dead in his country's brutal civil war are all part of an Israeli-led worldwide conspiracy.

In a rambling video-link interview from Khartoum, in which he connected with journalists based in eight different countries, al-Bashir also claimed fatality levels in Darfur were "less than 9,000," instead of a figure of upwards of 400,000 quoted in much of the media, and accepted by the United Nations.

Al-Bashir asserted that all talk of a serious conflict - and accusations that his Government has supported, trained and armed the brutal Arab Janjaweed militia, which has displaced, raped and robbed an estimated 2.5 million people in Darfur - were a western conspiracy engineered by Israel to divert attention from the conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Palestinian territories.

More on the jihad in Thailand...

Everybody loses in this jihad...
Thailand will close all 944 public schools indefinitely in the country's restive Muslim-majority south after a string of arsons and shootings that left two teachers dead, an official said Monday.

"We have made a decision because we are worried about our own safety and our lives," said Boonsom Thongsriplai, the chairman of the Teachers Federation of Pattani, one of three insurgency-torn southern provinces bordering Malaysia.

All 944 public schools, ranging from elementary to high schools, in the three provinces of Pattani, Narathiwat and Yala would be closed from Tuesday, Boonsom said.

Out of 944, all 336 schools in Pattani and 100 in Yala were already closed, he said.

The school closure was due to a wave of arson attacks against school buildings, as well as shootings that killed two Buddhist school teachers last week.

In Pattani, suspected Islamic militants gunned down a 48 year-old school director inside his parked car then set fire to the bullet-riddled vehicle, the federation said.

The victim was the 60th teacher killed during three years of unrest in the south, where more than 1,600 people have been killed in the almost daily violence since January 2004.

War in Ethiopia???

This hasn't hit the mainstream press at all...
Somalia’s powerful Union of Islamic Courts began massing thousands of troops on the border with Ethiopia over the weekend, days after Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said he was ready to confront the Islamic militants in Somalia.

“War is imminent. There is no other alternative,” Islamist military officer Sheikh Mohamed Ibrahim Bilal said by satellite phone from the border. “Ethiopia declared war, so we will defend ourselves and protect our country and people.”

The Islamists have declared a jihad on Ethiopian troops in the country to back the weak transitional government based in the northern town of Baidoa.

Ethiopia last week said it was ready for a confrontation with the Muslim militants, who control most of the country.

Residents of the border area have begun fleeing.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Hurricane predictions just plain wrong...

Of course, lots of hurricanes would have meant that global warming is real....
It was not the hurricane season we expected, thank you.

With cataclysmic predictions that hurricanes would swarm from the tropics like termites, no one thought 2006 would be the most tranquil season in a decade.

Barring a last-second surprise from the tropics, the season will end Thursday with nine named storms, and only five of those hurricanes. This year is the first season since 1997 that only one storm nudged its way into the Gulf of Mexico.

Still, Florida was hit by two tropical storms, Alberto and Ernesto. But after the pummeling of the previous two years, the storms barely registered on the public's radar.

The mythical slippery slope to polygamy....

Margaret Kopala had an op-ed in today's Ottawa Citizen on the so-called 'slippery slope to polygamy'. I haven't seen such spurious thinking in a long's my analysis.

1. Kopala starts her article by claiming that public opinion against polygamy just doesn't really count. Her evidence? Well, the Dutch are allowing a political party who favours lowering the age of consent to run for parliament. Huh?

2. According to Kopala, legalized polygamy is just around the corner. She notes that the B.C. Authorities have yet to lay charges against polygamists in Bountiful, B.C. And...that even if they did, they would lose becuase of the Charter's Freedom Guarantees -- the clause for freedom of religion. This may or may not be true - but this has NOTHING to do with gay marriage. No slippery slope here.

3. Then, Kopala looks at a three-parent case regarding a father of a child being raised by lesbians. Should he have parental rights? Well, this is not really a gay issue at all, since these sort of issues will also plague straight families, no?

4. Then, Kopala goes on to bemoan the fact that 'hundreds of activists' in the US have signed a manifesto calling for diversity in family forms. Well, so what? How on earth does their manifesto affect anything in Canada? Or in the US for that matter? And, how does that relate to a slippery slope.

The plain fact of the matter is that polygamy will stand or fall on its own merits. I predict it will never stand.

Another reason why gay marriage is important....

Here's an interesting case study...the gay spouse of an Enron executive does not have to pay back what was stolen...
Michael Kopper, 41, the gay former Enron Corp. executive who became the first to plead guilty to financial crimes among the company’s top management, was sentenced Nov. 17 to three years and one month in prison.

Judge Ewing Werlein, of the U.S. District Court in Houston, also sentenced Kopper to two years probation and ordered him to pay a $50,000 fine.

The sentencing came four years after Kopper, who lives in Houston, pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy after he admitted that he and his domestic partner, William Dodson, stole about $16.5 million from Enron and its shareholders.

Kopper cooperated in the government’s investigation into the massive financial scandal that rocked Wall Street and resulted in Enron’s bankruptcy. The Enron collapse also resulted in the loss of millions of dollars to company shareholders and employee pension funds.

Although authorities forced Kopper to return $8 million to the government and to relinquish his rights to another $4 million through forfeiture proceedings, Dodson has been allowed to keep $9 million in funds that Kopper helped him obtain through Enron-related scams.

The fact that U.S. and Texas laws do not recognize same-sex relationships most likely prompted authorities against going after Dodson’s financial gains in the Enron affair, financial observers have said. Federal prosecutors forced the married spouses of several Enron figures to forfeit money they obtained in schemes operated jointly with Enron executives.
Hat tip: Independent Gay Forum.

Singapore tries to fight AIDs...but....

They have their hesds in the sands...first step should be to legalize gay sex...and allow gay men some dignity...
Singapore has formed a national policy committee to combat the rise of HIV cases, local media reported Monday.

The announcement came with the news that 137 HIV cases had been reported from July through October, bringing the total of new cases this year to 286, Channel NewsAsia quoted the Health Ministry as saying.

"I think the biggest issue and the most important thing is testing and I think we'll be talking more about that over the next few months," said senior state minister Balaji Sadasivan, who will chair the committee. "The fight against AIDS will be a long drawn fight."
Gay people need to be allowed to organize...that's ony possible when they end the stigma of being gay. Right now, who really wants to be tested? Once you're identified as being gay, your whole career is in jeopardy.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Glenn Beck presents Exposed

This is essential watching.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Here's the official tally - Over 1,000 Kassam rockets fired....

All of this targeted at civilians...
Between Israel’s disengagement from Gaza last August and November 15, 2006, 1,201 Kassam artillery rockets have hit Israeli population centers adjacent to the Gaza Strip. These rockets include improved, long-range weapons which can reach the Israeli port city of Ashkelon, more than 13 km. (8 miles) from the Gaza border. So far seven Israelis, one foreign worker, and two Palestinian civilians have been killed in Palestinian rocket attacks from Gaza, and more than 100 persons have been wouinded.

Israel Security Agency Director Yuval Diskin, in a briefing to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on 14 November, noted the following quantities of arms smuggled by terrorist groups into the Gaza Stript since the Disengagement:

* 33 tons of military-grade high explosives
* 20,000 assault rifles
* 3,000 Pistols
* 6,000,000 rounds of small arms ammunition
* 38 long-range Kassam missiles
* 12 shoulder-fired, anti-aircraft guided missiles
* 95 anti-tank rocket launchers
* 410 anti-tank rockets
* 20 precision-guided Anti-Tank Missiles

In addition, between $50 miilion-$70m. in cash has been smuggled into Gaza in order to finance the Hamas terrorist operations.

Christian convert killed in Kashmir...

A warning sign to other muslims...
Unidentified militants on Tuesday killed a junior engineer of J&K Power Development Department, (PDD) Bashir Ahmad Tantray, who had converted to Christianity ignoring threats from Islamic radical groups.

Tantray was shot dead in his village Mamoosa in Pattan tehsil of Baramulla district. “Two militants enquired about the public transport system. After that they fired at my cousin,” said Ghulam Rasool Tantray, cousin of the slain.

How's this for a Miss Brussels???

What a story!
Last September Halima Chehaïma, the 18-year old daughter of a Moroccan father and a Flemish mother, was elected Miss Brussels. Until next week Ms Chehaïma was also the absolute favorite of the bookmakers for the election of Miss Belgium next month. She was thought to be an excellent candidate to symbolize the multicultural paradise that Belgium has become. However, a girl’s dream was shattered.
Halima Chehaïma was a controversial candidate. Last October she stood for the Marxist-Leninist Labour Party in the local elections in Molenbeek, the predominantly Muslim Brussels borough where she lives. The party is so marginal that she did not get elected, but her declaration that Israel must be wiped off the map raised the eyebrows of the organizers of the Miss Belgium pageant. What really seems to have ruined her chances, however, is her connection with Bilal Ould Haj, a Belgian criminal of Moroccan origin.

Ould Haj, who has been convicted three times so far for armed robberies, is soon to stand trial for torturing the 84-year old Maria Reyntjes. When he broke into the latter’s home in November 2003 and found only 500 euros (650 dollars) he flew into a rage, broke the old lady’s legs with a hammer and set her hair on fire. At the time he was Chehaïma’s sweetheart, though she claims they were just friends.

Last July Ould Haj was able to escape from jail (easy in Belgium: he said he was someone else and was allowed to walk out). Meanwhile, however, Halima Chehaïma had fallen in love with an Albanian criminal. When Ould Haj encountered the Albanian last week the two men started quarrelling, whereupon the latter knifed the former twice in the neck. Ould Haj survived the assault, was taken to hospital and arrested. The police are currently investigating whether Miss Brussels had been visiting Ould Haj in his Brussels hide-out and whether she helped to keep him out of their hands.

Blessed by Allah...

Just another day in the middle east...
The self-confessed killer of a British tourist in Jordan claimed yesterday that, "Allah gave me the strength to kill the Briton".

Nabil Ahmad Issa al-Jaaoura, 38, is on trial for the murder of Christopher Stokes, a 30-year-old chartered accountant who was shot dead in September during a visit to a Roman amphitheatre popular with tourists in the capital Amman.

Five visitors from the Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand, and a Jordanian tourist policeman were also wounded in the shooting spree, during which witnesses said the gunman shouted, "God is great" before being overpowered.

At a military court yesterday, the defendant said he was "a soldier of Allah" and that killing a "despicable crusader" was "the closest to winning Allah's acceptance".

Jaaoura, a Jordanian citizen of Palestinian origin, said he had been "blessed" by Allah before setting off on his mission to kill westerners.

"Allah blessed me when I killed a British man and hurt others, because they are fighting the Prophet and his soldiers since the Balfour Declaration," he said, referring to the 1917 document in which the Britain promised support for the creation of Israel.

"The British people … insulted the honorable Quran and women who wear the head cover."

How's this for a University President???

Here's a picture of University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann at her annual Halloween party with one of her guests.

There's more pictures at the link above....

Will Christians become extinct in the middle east?

You'd think there'd be an uproar over this...
But nearly everywhere in Muslim lands, Christian populations are in decline.

No place is this more striking than the Holy Land.

For decades, it was mostly economic pressures pushing Palestinian Christians to emigrate, using family ties in the West or contacts from missionary schools. The Palestinian uprisings — and the separation barrier started by Israel in 2002 — accelerated the departures by turning once-bustling pilgrimage sites such as Bethlehem into relative ghost towns.

The growing strength of radical Islamic movements has added distinct new worries. During the protests after the pope's remarks in September, some of the worst violence was in Palestinian areas, with churches firebombed and hit by gunfire.

"Most of the Christians here are either in the process of leaving, planning to leave or thinking of leaving," said Sami Awad, executive director of the Holy Land Trust, a Bethlehem-based peace group. "Insecurity is deep and getting worse."

The native Palestinian Christian population has dipped below 2 percent of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Arab East Jerusalem, down from at least 15 percent in 1950 by some estimates. Meanwhile, the Muslim Palestinian birth rate is among the highest in the world.

Dire predictions abound. The Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land said Christians could become "extinct" in the region within 60 years.

"It certainly doesn't look good for us," said Mike Salman, a Palestinian Christian who has conducted studies on demographic trends.

Another death in Sderot...

There was another death by Kassam rocket yesterday...
After the Israel Defense Forces' bombardment of Beit Hanun, in which 19 Palestinians were killed by mistake, a huge majority at the United Nations sees Israel as the cruel aggressor. Its apology was not accepted. Perhaps it wasn't entirely believed. But have you ever heard Hamas apologizing for killing women and children? Have they ever asked forgiveness for the firing on Sderot? They have been firing on a civilian locale for more than six years now, and it is Israel that is defined as the aggressor.

Israel is the only country in the world in which one of its cities is a target for rockets every day. One wonders how France would react if Dijon and Rouen were under bombardment. No country would put up with the situation in which one of its cities is a permanent shooting range, and where crossing a street or going to the grocery store has become death poker. The head of the Shin Bet security service is reporting to the Knesset Foreign Relations and Defense Committee that there are 33 tons of explosives and hundreds of missiles and rockets of all types in the hands of Hamas. The aim is to hit the Achilles' heel of Israel, which is the home front.

Israel withdrew unilaterally from the Gaza Strip, thus signaling that it is capable of not only dismantling Jewish settlements, but also returning territories to the Palestinians under a peace agreement. Regrettably, it is now becoming clear that the most extreme and pessimistic Jewish settlers are the ones who were right. The Palestinians do not want to recognize Israel or come to terms with its existence. And this time, under the baton of Hamas, they are once again not missing a single opportunity to miss an opportunity.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Nothing like a halal Christmas....

This is from the UK...
Parents expressed outrage last night over a school’s plans to serve pupils a Muslim Christmas dinner.

The headteacher announced that she intended to replace the children’s traditional turkey meal with halal chicken.

She explained that eating poultry which had been slaughtered in the Muslim way would create an “integrated Christmas”.

But furious parents accused the school of undermining the Christian faith.
They were backed by Labour MP Denis MacShane who demanded to know why the children were not being offered a choice.

Mr MacShane said: “No child should be obliged to eat food that is contrary to their personal convictions or religion. Schools should offer a choice and not allow the joyous celebrations of a Christmas dinner to become a divisive issue.

“I hope all the children can join in this fun and if I am invited I would be delighted to sit down with all the children for a Christmas dinner, halal, non halal or the healthy option, vegetarian.”

After Mr MacShane’s intervention, Jan Charters, head of Oakwood School in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, backed down and youngsters will now be offered a choice of halal chicken or a traditional turkey dinner, costing £1.75.

The demographic problem in Russia....

Here's a look at what is happening in Russia...a lot of this sort of material is in Mark Steyn's new book.
Russia's overall population is dropping at a rate of 700,000 people a year, largely due to the short life spans and low birth rates of ethnic Russians. The country's 2002 census shows that the national fertility rate is 1.5 children per woman, far below the 2.1 children per woman needed to maintain the country's population of about 143 million. The rate in Moscow is even lower, at 1.1 children per woman.

But Russia's Muslims are bucking that trend. The fertility rate for Tatars living in Moscow, for example, is six children per woman, Goble said, while the Chechen and Ingush communities are averaging 10 children per woman. And hundreds of thousands of Muslims from Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan have been flocking to Russia in search of work.

Since 1989, Russia's Muslim population has increased by 40 percent to about 25 million. By 2015, Muslims will make up a majority of Russia's conscript army, and by 2020 a fifth of the population.

"If nothing changes, in 30 years people of Muslim descent will definitely outnumber ethnic Russians," Goble said.

They have lots of money for missiles...

They can't eat and nobody has a job...but for missles, they always have funds...
Hamas is working to produce a new generation of missile weaponry, according to a statement made Sunday by Qassam Brigades spokesman Abu Obaida.

The Qassam Brigades is the armed wing of Hamas.

According to the statement, reported on Monday on the Hamas website Palestine Info , which has a UK web domain address, Hamas is "striving
hard to upgrade its missiles and antitank weapons to make them more accurate and more effective than what they are now."

UK Prisons...

Prisons are becoming a huge recruting ground for radical muslims...
Rival groups of Muslim inmates have created a potentially explosive situation over the interpretation of the Koran in Britain’s biggest jail, prison watchdogs said yesterday.

Deep divisions among Muslims in Wandsworth jail developed after the appointment of an imam with particular views of the Koran’s teachings.

Some Muslim inmates at the jail in southwest London are also pressurising fellow Muslim prisoners to adopt more militant beliefs and lifestyle.

The disclosures will fuel fears that attempts are being made to radicalise young Muslims held in jails in England and Wales.

A report published yesterday said that the row over the interpretation of the Koran had inflamed emotions among inmates. David Jamieson, chairman of the jail’s independent monitoring board, said: “The situation is volatile. It is being resolved. It concerns the way the Koran is interpreted within the Sunni Muslim sect. It is not a row between Sunni and Shia Muslims.”

He said that a full-time imam had been appointed in September and that work involving the Prison Service’s Muslim adviser had been undertaken to resolve the problem.

The rising number of Muslim inmates in the jail means that the existing mosque is too small, but measures to deal with the problem have been criticised.

Plans to erect screens to conceal religious symbols are not considered by some prisoners to provide the exclusivity that they want.

The report also discloses that inherent tensions among Muslims are exacerbated because they have to walk through the Christian chapel to reach their place of worship.
I'm sure it's just a matter of time before they build a dedicated mosque for the prisoners...

Gay marriages now accepted in Israel....

This is excellent news....
Less than two weeks after the violent protests that turned the planned Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade into a smaller, closed event at the Hebrew University stadium died down, the High Court of Justice ruled on Tuesday that couples married in same-sex ceremonies abroad could be registered as married couples in Israel's Population Registry.

In a vote of 6-1, with Justice Elyakim Rubenstein being the sole dissenting vote, the court decreed that homosexual couples who marry abroad will enjoy the same status in the Interior Ministry as heterosexual couples who marry in civil ceremonies outside of Israel.

Moshe Negbi, a legal expert, said the court's decision was mostly symbolic because gay couples in Israel already had many of the rights of heterosexual partnerships. The significant changes were that they would now get the same tax breaks as a married couple and be able to adopt children, Negbi said.

Wind power is not the answer....

We've blogged many times about wind power, Colby Cosh in the National Post does a great job explaining the problems...
It is starting to look as though wind cannot meet more than a fraction of our energy demand even if other issues with the technology, like esthetics and wildlife impacts, are ignored. The problem, as engineers skeptical of wind power have been yelping for decades, is that power usage and production constantly have to be balanced in an electrical grid. Adding too much unstable, unpredictable power to the system creates a risk of failure and cascading blackouts. In fact, the EU is investigating the possible role of Germany's heavy wind-dependence in causing a Nov. 6 blackout that hit 10 million Europeans.

The depressing corollary is that even in reaching the modest limits now being laid down by the grid police, Alberta and Ontario are relying implicitly on the relative sluggishness of their neighbours in adopting wind technology, using interconnections with other provinces and states to off-load excess power and cover shortfalls. So the system operators' warnings aren't just a sign that wind has reached a dead end in their home provinces. They also mean that B.C., Saskatchewan and parts of the U.S. Northeast will never be able to get major wind projects off the ground if they are to continue to serve as an energy release-valve for their wind-harnessing neighbours.
Read the whole thing....

Monday, November 20, 2006

Good news - gay marriages skyrocket in Canada....

All of this is good news for the institution of marriage....
Canadian gay and lesbian couples headed to the altar in unprecedented numbers in the past five months new statistics show. From the beginning of June through October there was a jump of 23 percent in the number of same-sex couples obtaining marriage licenses over the whole period since same-sex marriage became legal in Canada.

Prior to June 10 just over 10-thousand marriage licenses had been issued to gay and lesbian couples. But over the summer 2,300 couples obtained licenses.

In Ontario some 6,524 same-sex couples have now wed. The summer rush to exchange vows accounted for a 17 percent increase. Quebec saw a 35 percent increase over the five months. But the biggest jump was in Alberta where the numbers increased by 40 percent.
I'm delighted. But, it's time for a vote in the House of Commons and put this issue to rest. Stephen Harper has promised a vote...and he has promised that a vote against re-considering gay marriage will put the issue to an end.

Could this be the next spiritual leader of Iran?

If so, Iran will be even more dangerous.
An ultra-conservative Iranian cleric who opposes all dialogue with the West is a frontrunner to become the country's next supreme spiritual leader.

In a move that would push Iran even further into the diplomatic wilderness, Ayatollah Mohammad Taghi Mesbah-Yazdi, 71, who publicly backs the use of suicide bombers against Israel, is campaigning to succeed Grand Ayatollah Ali Khameini, 67, as the head of the Islamic state.

Considered an extremist even by fellow mullahs, he was a fringe figure in Iran's theocracy until last year's election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a fellow fundamentalist who views him as his ideological mentor. He is known to many Iranians as "Professor Crocodile" because of a notorious cartoon that depicted him weeping false tears over the jailing of a reformist journalist.

Mr Mesbah-Yazdi and his supporters will attempt to tighten the fundamentalists' political stranglehold next month, by standing in elections for the Assembly of Experts, an 86-strong group of theologians that would be responsible for nominating a replacement for Ayatollah Khamenei, whose health is rumoured to be ailing

Palestinian Misery...

Every once in a while, the National Post has a terrific's todays:
The Jabaliya Refugee Camp in Gaza was the scene of Palestinian celebrations yesterday. No, a "martyr" from the camp hadn't managed to blow up a restaurant full of Israeli families, the usual reason for joyous gatherings among Arabs in this part of the world. Rather, the locals were celebrating the victory of their "human shields" in thwarting an air strike against the home of wanted terrorist Wail Barud.

But while the assembly of hundreds of Palestinians in anticipation of the planned Israeli bombing did succeed in protecting Barud's home, the tactic may have backfired from a propaganda perspective: It served to demonstrate that Israel does not seek to kill Palestinian civilians wholesale, as Arab propagandists constantly claim. Indeed, it is clear the Palestinians themselves do not believe their own propaganda about Israel's alleged thirst for blood. Otherwise, they never would have been able to recruit all those human shields.

If Israel really were as sadistic as its critics claim, it wouldn't have called off yesterday's bombing run. Just the opposite: It would have jumped at the chance to kill so many Palestinians at one go. Just imagine if the shoe were on the other foot, and hundreds of Israeli "human shields" positioned themselves in an unguarded cafe in the West Bank. Palestinian suicide bombers would be stepping over each other in an effort to attack the target. "Human shields" work only when your enemy fights like a human.

A second irony is that it is men like Barud who are at the root of Palestinian misery -- for if they were not firing rockets at Israel from Gaza, and smuggling in weapons from Egypt, there would be no need for the Jewish state to stage counterterrorist operations in Gaza, every square inch of which it evacuated in August, 2005. If Palestinians were more rational about where their society's interests lie, they would go to Barud's house not to offer protection -- but to arrest him so that others in the area could live in peace.

Plot to blow up El Al plane in Germany thwarted...

Amazingly, the suspects have been released...
Six people are under investigation in Germany over an alleged terrorist plot to blow up an El Al Airlines commercial aircraft in Frankfurt, prosecutors said Monday.

The six, as well as other people who have not yet been identified, are believed to have conspired on behalf of "so far unknown" terrorist backers, federal prosecutors said in a statement.

According to an official statement, some of the suspects approached an airport employee with security clearance at the Frankfurt International Airport last summer, and convinced the person to smuggle a case or bag containing explosives onto an El AL plane in an exchange for an unspecified payment, it added.

Preparations were halted, however, because the plotters disagreed with the airport employee over the amount to be paid for his part in the plan.

An Iranian nuclear trigger device?

Hard to know how accurate this is....
Iran has developed and tested a trigger device for a nuclear bomb, Israeli agents stationed there have told the White House, according to a report published in the New Yorker on Monday morning.

According to the report, written by Seymour M. Hersh, the White House received the information but did not hand it to the CIA.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The UK's choice?

Well, I know which so-called 'option' I would choose. I hope she loses.
Ségolène Royal, the Socialist candidate for the French presidency, wants Britain to choose between being a "vassal" of the United States, and embracing a French-led drive for European integration, her adviser on Europe has revealed.

Israeli Arab wants to go to Tehran...

I hope he gets to go...
The founder of a private Holocaust museum in Nazareth has been invited to address a Holocaust study conference to take place next month in Iran.

Nazareth resident Khaled Ksab Mahamid is waiting for permission from the Foreign Ministry and final authorization from Tehran to attend the conference.

Mahamid told Haaretz he intends to tell the conference that the Holocaust did happen and that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's position of Holocaust denial is wrong.

"Everything that happened must be internalized and the facts must not be denied," Mahamid says, adding, "It is the obligation of all Arabs and all Muslims to understand the significance of the Holocaust. If their goal is to understand their adversary, they must understand the Holocaust."

Mahamid, who is an attorney, has been dealing with the Holocaust for some years. The museum, which is located on the first floor of his modest home, displays photographs he received from Yad Vashem, whose captions he translated into Arabic.

Coup in Lebanon???

Sooner or later, they are going to have to confront Nasrallah.
Druze leader Walid Jumblatt warned Sunday that Lebanon is on the verge of a "coup" by pro-Syrian opposition groups, a day after Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah blamed the country's government of lack of credibility.

"The (pro-Syrian) opposition groups are on the verge of announcing a coup in the country and we (the anti-Syrian parliamentary majority) should take the brave decision to confront all options," said Jumblatt in an address to the politburo members of his group, the Progressive Socialist Party (PSP).

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Pakistan treats wounded Taliban fighters...

This is from our ally in the fight against terror.
Pakistan is allowing Taliban fighters wounded in battles with British and other Nato forces in Afghanistan to be treated at safe houses.

The Sunday Times found Taliban commanders and their fighters recuperating in the city of Quetta last week and moving freely around parts of the city.

In a white-walled compound in the northern suburb of Pashtunabad, more than 30 Taliban were recovering from the bloodiest fighting in Afghanistan since their regime was ousted five years ago.

Dressed in neatly pressed robes with the black turbans and kohl-rimmed eyes typical of the Taliban, they lounged on cushions, sipping green tea and sucking at boiled sweets while laughing at Nato reports that they have sustained heavy casualties.

Among the most defiant was a young commander who had been shot in the calf last month while fighting British troops in Gereshk, a town in the Afghan province of Helmand, and who had returned to Quetta to be treated. “Fighting the British is as easy as eating a loaf of bread from my hand,” he said in a soft voice. “Fighting the British is much easier than the Americans. They have no faith.”

How's this for a prison cell?

At this prison in the UK, prisoners are going to get their own cell-phones...
Prisoners are being given phones in their cells to ring friends and family - and stop them feeling lonely

The controversial 'soft touch' has been introduced at privately run Lowdham Grange Category B prison in Nottinghamshire, which houses robbers and drug dealers.

Lowdham Grange, which opened in 1998 and is run by the services firm Serco, already provides its best behaved inmates with in-cell satellite TVs and showers.

The jail has even earned the nickname "Butlins' because of the facilities it offers prisoners.

The phones are likely to be installed in all the prison's 500 cells. Serco said last night that the phones would stop inmates having to queue while fellow prisoners used the jail's public phones.

But they insisted the inmates would receive no extra phone credits, which they use to make calls.

Spokesman Mike Clarke insisted the in-cell phones were not a luxury, saying: "Contact with families can help reduce reoffending. Prisoners can ring their child before they go to bed at night. If they are feeling suicidal, they can ring family members late at night and chat to them."

But one Lowdham inmate said: "My cell is actually more luxurious than my first bedsit; clean, modern and with duvets, posters, rugs and a DVD player to make it even more homely."

The choice - Reduce greenhouse gasses...or reduce poverty....which would you choose?

A report by Ronald Bailey from the Global Warming Conference in Kenya.
Next, Surya P. Sethi, the principal energy policy advisor to the Indian government, showed that the CEPS study is basically an exercise in climate change policy whimsy. Sethi began by reviewing the development challenges faced by India. He pointed out that 50 percent of its people have no access to electricity; cooking was the largest use of energy for 75 percent of households; and 70 percent of cooking was done using traditional biomass, wood and dung. In addition, 35 percent of India's people live on less than $1 per day and 80 percent live on less than $2 per day. He pointed out that lack of access to modern energy supplies correlates with high infant mortality, low life expectancies, high gender inequality, and low literacy rates.

Sethi then noted that India's economy must grow at 8 percent per year for the next 25 years in order to lift the bottom 40 percent of its people to a decent standard of living. He pointed out that India was falling behind in achieving it Millennium Development Goals of reducing poverty due to persistent energy shortages. "Energy is central for development. Our energy consumption must go up," declared Sethi. Today India uses 471 million tons oil equivalent (MTOE) of energy each year of which 327 MTOE is primary commercial energy. The rest comes from burning traditional biomass. In order to achieve its poverty reduction goals, Sethi asserted that India needs to grow its energy supplies by 4.3 to 5.1 percent per year and to consume 1536 to 1887 MTOE by 2031. (For comparison the US consumes around 2300 MTOE annually now.) "India will need to tap all available energy supplies and pursue all available energy efficiency technologies. For India it is not a choice between energy supply and energy efficiency. It is both." said Sethi.

Sethi contrasted India's current total primary energy supply (TPES) per capita energy use with other countries. TPES per capita is calculated as the energy equivalent of the amount of oil in kilograms (kgoe) a person consumes per year. In China the amount is 1090 kgoe, Brazil 1094, Denmark 3852, UK 3906, US 7835, Japan 4052, and the world average per capita energy use is 1688. Where does India stand? The average Indian consumes the equivalent of 439 kilograms of oil. The eight percent annual economic growth that Sethi hopes India will experience over the quarter century would mean that the average Indian would be consuming between 1065 and 1279 kgoe in 2031. That's about what the average Chinese uses now and is only 70 percent of world's current per capita average.

Sethi said that India could cut projected CO2 emissions between 2012 and 2017 by 550 million tons at an additional cost of $25 billion for more energy efficient technologies. However, he pointed out that the Indian government spent that amount on its social and poverty reduction goals in the last five years. He then pointedly added, "I do not have the funds for both. My choice is to improve the lot of India's poor or reduce CO2 emissions so the developed world can breathe easier." Paying for the new energy efficiency technologies would also raise the price of power and thereby delay its delivery to the poor. Besides, Sethi observed, Indians already pay the highest rate in purchasing power parity terms for energy in the world. In fact, the average household spends one and a half times more on energy than it does on food. Finally, Sethi told me that even after implementing the most efficient energy conservation technologies over the next 25 years, India will still be emitting 4 times more CO2 in 2031 than it does today.

A Swede in the audience reminded Sethi that the Stern Review had declared that urgent action toward reducing CO2 emissions is needed now. Sethi's response made it clear that restricting the access to energy by world's poor was unacceptable. "You cannot tackle climate change unless you make dramatic lifestyle changes in the West," replied Sethi. I think it is a safe bet that few Westerners will decide for the sake of the climate to live like poor Indians. So humanity will have little choice but to adapt to any future climate change. Fortunately, economic growth makes that easier to do.

How about this - UN Committee votes to discourage human rights bodies from condemning human rights violations...

Amazingly ridiculous....but, of course, Israel would still be the lone exception.
A U.N. General Assembly committee has voted to discourage U.N. human rights bodies from adopting resolutions condemning the human rights situation in any country, over strong objections from the United States and many European countries.

The draft resolution, sponsored by Belarus and Uzbekistan which have both been accused of serious human rights abuses, was approved by the assembly's human rights committee Thursday by a vote of 77-63, with 26 abstentions.

It now goes to the full 192-member General Assembly for a final vote. Assembly resolutions are not legally binding.

Its key provision "stresses the need to avoid politically motivated and biased country-specific resolutions on the situation of human rights, confrontational approaches, exploitation of human rights for political purposes, selective targeting of individual countries for extraneous considerations and double standards in the work of the United Nations on human rights issues."

Egyptian Culture Minister Upsets the Saudis...

Note that he expressed 'nostalgia' for the days when women didn't have to don headscarves...
Saudi Arabia's Grand Mufti, Sheik Abdul-Aziz al-Sheik responded in a statement aired Saturday by Al Majd television, a religious channel, to comments by the Egyptian Culture Minister Farouk Hosni expressing nostalgia for Egypt in the days when women didn't feel compelled to don headscarves.

"It is a calamity that struck Islamic lands and contradicts the teachings of the Quran," al-Sheik said of Hosni's comments.

"It is truly painful to hear such declarations from within Islamic lands, from people who are considered Muslims," he added.

Pollution penalties from Europe???

This would affect us too...but would the Europeans be this stupid?
One press conference followed another at the United Nations climate talks in Nairobi, and everyone got to chime in. The UN, the Climate Change Secretariat, national governments and international bodies like the European Union -- their statements were generally boring, since the summit hadn't arrived at anything new. That changed Wednesday evening, when the EU delegation issued an invitation to the day's final meeting, where a serious threat to the United States was formulated.

Irish EU delegate Avril Doyle said the European Commission was considering a punitive tariff on imports from countries guilty of gross environmental irresponsibility. The measure would specifically target Australia and the United States.

UNIFIL does not patrol at night....

It's too dangerous, so they take nights off in Lebanon.
Hizbullah terrorists are free to roam at night without fear of being identified by the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), according to a report by the German paper Der Spiegel.

Spanish UNIFIL official Richard Ortax admitted to the paper that no patrols are carried out at night “because of the danger involved.” UNIFIL commanders said their function is to "observe changes in the behavior of the local population."

One junior officer told Der Spiegel he was glad that his battalion had only left its camp once. "It's absurd," he said. "We landed here and set up our tent city, but since then we've only left the camp to drive around and to make sure that we're seen."

The report cites a long tradition of UNIFIL inaction, which it says allowed time for a Finnish contingent to construct a giant sauna and an Indian contingent to decorate its base with traditional Indian artwork.

More violence in Thailand....

Three provinces are now experienceing violence...
Five people were shot dead and one policeman was wounded in a string of drive-by shootings by suspected Islamic militants in Thailand's restive Muslim-majority south, police said.

A 60-year-old Buddhist cattle raiser was gunned down while walking, before suspected insurgents burned his body and left it on the roadside in Yala, one of three violence-torn southern provinces bordering Malaysia.

A 52-year-old Buddhist street ice cream seller was also shot dead on Friday by two suspected insurgents on a motorcycle in Yala where another Muslim villager, 27, was killed late on the same day while riding a motorcycle, police said.

In neighboring Pattani province on Friday, a Buddhist security guard, 35, was shot dead while riding a motorcycle after work. Another Buddhist villager, 33, was gunned down later in the day when he was shopping at a food market.

Early on Saturday, a border patrol policeman was seriously wounded in a drive-by shooting.

The insurgency in Narathiwat, Yala and Pattani provinces has killed more than 1600 people in separatist violence and other unrest since January 2004.

A Match Made in Hell...

What a delicious conversation they must have had....
Officials from North Korea and Iran met in Teheran and exchanged views on how to boost friendly relations between and on issues of mutual concern, the North's official news agency said Saturday.

Choe Thae Bok, the head of North Korea's rubber-stamp legislature, held talks with Iranian parliamentary Speaker Gholamali Haddad Adel on Thursday "in a friendly atmosphere," the Korean Central News Agency said, without providing further details.

Friday, November 17, 2006

The solution to global warming we've all been waiting for....

Pollution, what else?
With global warming becoming an increasingly dangerous problem, scientists have proposed a new solution: pollution.

According to the Associated Press, the new pro-pollution theory comes from a team of prominent scientists, among them a Nobel Prize winner.

Although the scientists say when they initially made the proposal, they knew it would startle policy makers. However, at the U.N. conference for climate change, the scientists received reactions of caution and curiosity.

The scientists are theorizing that if the world continues to warm to dangerous levels, a layer of pollution in the atmosphere could actually help cool the planet.
How about a really thick layer of pollution??? I'm for that.

Islamists grooming students at 25 Universities in the UK...

This is astounding...
The threat posed by Islamic extremists "grooming" students at British universities has been drastically underestimated by ministers, a leading academic warned last night.

Prof Anthony Glees, the director of Brunel University's centre for intelligence and security studies, warned that more than 25 campuses had been infiltrated by fanatics recruiting for so-called jihad (holy war).

How much red tape is there in Canada for police?

10 hours for every arrest???
The average time taken by police to process a single arrest is now an astonishing 10 hours and six minutes, it was revealed.

Officers are spending more than their standard eight hour shift filling out dozens of forms and waiting for lawyers to arrive.

The extraordinary figure emerged during a snapshot survey by Scotland Yard of a week of arrests at a typical police station.

Rank-and-file police leaders said the figure confirmed fears that officers were being increasingly entangled in a giant web of bureaucracy.
No wonder we keep needing more policemen...they're filling out paperwork.

Salman Rushdie says it best...

A nice piece examining the will of the west to win against islamic fascism...
There’s also the colossal mistake of cultural relativism, which is, you know, the bastard child of multiculturalism. I mean multiculturalism it seems to me is a completely defensible idea because we do all live in a multicultural society. There is no way that you can walk around the streets of New York City and argue with that fact. It simply is the case and what’s more it’s not going to stop being the case. In the same way as whether you like globalization or not, you cannot deglobalize the planet, in the same way you cannot demulticulturalize the planet. This is the world in which we now live. We all live jumbled up with each other and that’s just how it is and we have to deal with it.

That’s one thing. You say that, and you look at its consequences, good and bad, and that’s so. But there has been, entirely on the left I have to say, a mistake and extension of that, to say —there’s a British politician who said this recently— -that in order to be fair you have to treat people differently according to their cultural background. That’s to say things are OK if they’re your culture. If your culture happens to include stoning adulteresses to death, then hey, it’s your culture. If it includes female circumcision, which of us can argue with that, you know?

You see, the moment you begin to look at it, it doesn’t stand up, cultural relativism, because what it does is it absolves us as individuals and as groups from making any kind of moral choices. And you live in a world, therefore, where there is no such thing as morality; there’s only relative values. There’s only, you know, what’s sauce for the goose is not sauce for the gander. And at that point you genuinely arrive at what is called decadence, when you lose the ability to decide as individuals and groups, as a society, to agree about and sometimes agree about what is right and what is wrong. When you lose that ability, you’re in deep trouble, deep trouble..

And that is the trouble that cultural relativism has led us into. And only now you find people beginning to notice that it’s not all right for people to live in ghettos in which they reject everything else about the society. This is a classic mistake and the left has made this mistake beforebecause the worst extension of this mistake is when it looks at movements, radical militant movements which are, in fact, intrinsically fascistic and intrinsically oppressive, but use a rhetoric of claiming to speak for the world’s oppressed peoples. This is the mistake the left fell into with Soviet Communism, with Stalinism. Here was a fascist movement claiming to be a revolutionary libertarian movement: we’ll have more of that, please.

And it seems to me that the fellow traveling of a great section of the left with Islamic radicalism is of exactly the same nature. The desire to oppose the many abuses that America and American power has committed in the world leads people to believe that these others, the people who claim rhetorically to be against that, are actually in some way allies. But actually the truth is that Islamic radicalism, whether it’s Al Qaeda, whether it’s Wahhabism, by whatever name you call it, is not interested in creating a world of greater social justice. It’s not interested in liberating women. It’s not interested in tolerance for minorities and sexual dissidents. It’s not interested in democracy. It’s not interested in having more of the community having a larger share of the pie. It’s not interested in economic redistribution. It’s not interested in any of the things that you would call social justice.

It’s interested in what the Taliban is interested in. It’s interested in creating a new religious, fascist rule over the planet, you know, the Caliphate, the Talibanization of the earth. For the left to refuse to understand the nature of the people that they’re refusing to criticize is a historical mistake as great as those who were the fellow travelers of Stalinist Communism in an earlier age. And I’m not alone in this.There’s at least another 12 people saying this. But there needs to be more than that.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

One reason why I like Stephen Harper....

What this ex-diplomat doesn't understand is that Canada votes against these types of resolutions because they are not fair....
Canada voted on the side of Israel at the United Nations Thursday, demonstrating a marked shift in Middle East policy.

Canada registered its third change in a row on more than 20 Arab- and Muslim-sponsored resolutions that are annually critical of Israeli policy, but light on Arab responsibilities.

That’s a marked switch from the way former Liberal governments voted.

The trend is expected to continue when Canadian diplomats join those of other UN member states to consider 10 more of the annual resolutions next Tuesday.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said in successive speeches his government would not endorse international resolutions on Arab-Israeli relations it considers unbalanced.

“If this is a shift, and if the resolutions are largely unchanged from previous years, then it will have implications for our reputation around the world, and echoes in Canada as well,” warned Paul Heinbecker, a former Canadian ambassador to the UN under the Liberals.

“Canada is known for taking a fair-minded and principled approach to these questions, and when I was ambassador, Canada judged every resolution on its merits, taking into account the central issue they are trying to address, and the question of fairness.”
Heinbecker, of course, would much rather support the terrorists wherever possible...he says he's for fairness, but who really believes the UN generates fair resolutions on the middle east. Harper isn't pro-Israel - he's anti-terrorist.

Political correctness in the military???

If we were in the second world war now..just think how much money the government would have to pay out. This is from the UK.
A British soldier has won a ground-breaking £375,000 compensation deal for post traumatic stress disorder after seeing his friend's arm blown off by a faulty rocket during the 2003 Iraq invasion.

The soldier was deeply traumatised by the accident in which his friend was demonstrating a rocket launcher to colleagues in the desert behind the frontline, and suffered horrific injuries when the weapon malfunctioned and blew up.

Legal experts voiced astonishment that the MOD chose to settle instead of relying on the defence of 'battlefield immunity', which prevents them from being sued over injuries suffered in war zones.

Defence sources told the Mail the Army had accepted liability because the weapon was not being fired in combat at the enemy at the time.

The pay-out marks a generous interpretation of the law, effectively creating a bizarre compensation loophole for soldiers wounded away from the immediate frontline even if they are only a few miles from the fighting.

Milton Friedman...

Milton Friedman died today. He was a champion of individual liberty and he was an intellectual powerhouse.

Here's a couple of paragraphs from his essay "The Drug War as a Socialist Enterprise."
A major cost of the broader extension of governmental activity is that it prevents government from doing well those things that I believe only it can do effectively. When people talk about innocent victims of the war on drugs, they very often forget the people who suffer robberies, theft, murder-not because they are caught in the crossfires of drug battles, not because they are the victims of addicts who are trying to support their habit, but simply because so large a fraction of law enforcement resources are being used to try to control drugs that there are not enough resources left to prevent theft, burglary, and the rest in the community at large.

The second lesson I believe that we should learn, and it's probably the more important lesson, is that we are likely to make more progress against the war on drugs if we recognize that repealing drug prohibition is part of the broader problem of cutting down the scope and power of the government and restoring power to the people. If we treat drug prohibition as an isolated instance, maybe the effort to repeal it will be successful, as the effort to repeal alcohol prohibition was in the 1920s. But I believe that our chances of success are greater if we recognize that the failure of the war on drugs is part of a much broader problem, that the reason to end the war on drugs is also the reason to end the socialization of medicine, the socialization of schools, and so on down the list.

Criminals get into the bottling industry...

It must be big, to get those manufacturing costs down...
As reported recently by the German press, criminals are manipulating the German bottle deposit system on a massive scale in order to make money. They are manufacturing bottles, falsifying the product codes and then returning the self-made bottles to supermarkets throughout Germany.

Obviously, there is a flaw in the entire system – even the word “deposit” is misleading. Usually, a deposit is paid for something of value, i.e. an item that the owner would like to have returned. However, the item in question is a non-refundable bottle that cannot be reused. The incentive for criminals stems from the very low production costs – much less than one half of the deposit amount. What typically happens in such a well-intentioned state action is: more instead of fewer bottles are produced; non-refundable bottles are transported across long distances; creative forms of crime are invented.

This is reminiscent of a practice in India, where the government offers a premium for killing venomous snakes if the head of the dead snake is handed in to the authorities. What happened? You guessed it – venomous snake farms.

How's this for suspicious?

Glad he was stopped...
A man traveling from Nigeria was arrested after US airport officials say they found him carrying $78,883 (euro61,665) in cash and a laptop computer containing information about nuclear materials and cyanide.

He will be held in custody at least until Monday, a US magistrate ruled Wednesday.

Assistant US Attorney Leonid Feller said Sisayehiticha Dinssa, an unemployed US citizen, is a potential risk to the community and federal agents want to get a warrant to search his computer more thoroughly, The Detroit News reported.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Date-Rape is a myth...

You'd never hear our politically-correct police say this....
The vast majority of women who claim to be victims of 'date-rape' drugs like Rohypnol were actually rendered helpless by binge-drinking or taking recreational drugs, police have revealed.

A major study by the Association of Chief Police Officers found 'no evidence' of widespread use of Rohypnol in alleged drug-assisted rapes or sexual assaults.

They found only 'limited traces' of GHB, another drug said to be widely used by predatory rapists.

Researchers concluded that only one in 12 alleged cases of drug-assisted rape was genuine.

Instead, the study found, virtually all victims who claimed to have been drugged and then sexually assaulted had been drinking - often very heavily - while half had taken other drugs including cannabis, cocaine or prescription drugs which can increase the effects of alcohol.

Greece wants its money back...

Here's a nice case study in how uselessness of the UN....
After sinking millions of dollars into a failed joint project with the United Nations, the government of Greece is asking where its money went.

The country supplied $5 million for the U.N. Thessaloniki Center for Public Service Professionalism, which was established to promote the use of electronic publications in creating good government practices in the Balkans and former Soviet republics. But the outgoing U.N. undersecretary-general for management, Christopher Burnham, said in a letter to the Greek interior minister, Prokopis Pavlopoulos, that taxpayer funds Athens entrusted to the United Nations were misused and mismanaged.

Now the Greek government is seeking to retrieve whatever funds are left from officials with the U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs, which managed the center.

Launched in 1999, the Greece-based project, known as UNTC, was designed to instill such ideals as transparency and accountability in government bureaucrats from emerging Central European democracies.

When asked what, if anything, UNTC has produced in its seven years of existence, a source who has followed it from its inception formed a circle with his hand.

"Zero, zilch," he said, adding that Italian U.N. officials used up the project's resources as part of Italy's struggle with Greece over influence in the Balkans. The source, who requested anonymity, specifically cited the U.N.-based Italian official who oversaw the project, a DESA director named Guido Bertucci.

Iran hangs another gay man...

You won't hear the White House condemning this...
A gay Iranian man was hanged in public on Tuesday in the western city of Kermanshah on the charge of sodomy.

Shahab Darvishi was charged with organising a “corruption ring”, deliberate assault, and “lavat”, which means homosexual relationship between two men or sodomy, the official news agency IRNA reported.

Darvishi was hanged in the evening in Kermanshah’s “Freedom Square” in front of hundreds of people, the report said.

Casualty from a Kassam rocket...

Sgain, all of these rockets are purposely fired at civilians...
Kassam rockets continued to pound Israel's South throughout Wednesday, after one person was killed and another critically wounded in a rocket barrage on Sderot earlier Wednesday.

Magen David Adom reported that a 17-year-old boy was seriously wounded in the stomach after a rocket hit the Sderot city center shortly after 6:10 p.m. on Sunday. Two other youths were lightly wounded by shrapnel, and a third was suffering from shock. All the wounded were evacuated to Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon.

Both the Red Dawn alert that preceded the impact and the ensuing panic were caught on camera by Channel 2, whose reporters were on location broadcasting a special edition of the evening news.

Earlier, four Kassams landed in Ashkelon Wednesday afternoon, following the morning's barrage on Sderot that killed one of the city's residents and left another critically wounded. No one was wounded in the attack on Ashkelon, but damage was caused to at least one building, as well as a number of cars.

Meanwhile, Fatimaa Slutzker, the 57-year-old woman who was killed in the morning's attack, was laid to rest Wednesday afternoon in Sderot. Three Hadash MKs who attended Slutzker's funeral were forced to leave by a number of irate residents.

Another of the rockets landed near the home of Defense Minister Amir Peretz. 24-year-old Maor Peretz (no relation), a security guard assigned to his residence, was so severely wounded in his legs by shrapnel that doctors at Barzilai Hospital were forced to amputate them.

Gay Press Gets Crude over OBrien...

Capital Xtra is pissed that Alex Munter didn't become the next mayor of Ottawa.

How's this for an opening line?
Yup, we've selected our next mayor and he looks like a six-foot penis in a suit.
If the straight press had a similar type of comment about Munter, the gay press would be howling....

And, of course, in Marcus McCann's column, he already accuses O'Brien of homophobia....despite the fact that O'Brien marched in the gay pride march and answered all of Capital X'tra's questions in the campaign issue. No, he's homophopbic because he didn't attend the gay mayoral debate and the fact that his campaign team includes ex-Mayor Jackie Holzman, who is not a friend of the gay community.

I have no problem if Capital Xtra doesn't like O'Brien. But, please....stop the accusations of homophobia. And, just stop the crudity.

700 Somalis aided Hezbollah...

Is Somalia going to supply terrorists world-wide?
A recent UN report revealed that over 700 Somali combatants aided Hizbullah during the recent war in Lebanon, The New York Times reported on Wednesday.

According to the report, Hizbullah provided the Somali fighters with training and weapons from Iran and Syria in return for their help in Lebanon, thus assisting the Islamic forces' struggle to gain control of Somalia.

Though it was unclear how the information was acquired; if proven true, this would be the first sign that Hizbullah received foreign assistance during the war.

The UN report also mentioned Iran, saying the country had tried to procure uranium from Somalia in exchange for weapons; however, it was unclear whether the transaction was successful.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A new phenomenon - Illegal Arab they will get Israeli citizenship...

Not surprising....Arabs in East Jerusalem will do everything to stay citizens of Israel.
On a tour of Gush Etzion and Rachel's Tomb in the West Bank on Tuesday, Knesset members from the right pointed out that there seems to be a new phenomena brewing in the West Bank: Illegal outposts erected by Arabs who are settling west of the security fence in order to get Israeli citizenship when the day arrives.

Political Correctness in the UK...

My God...they need people to be foster sensitive can they get?
David and Sarah Mott were turned down by Peterborough city council after Mr Mott used the phrase to describe Eastern Europeans during a fostering course.

The 43-year-old said the decision had left him angry, upset and feeling that he had let down his family as well as the children the couple had hoped to care for.

Nationally, there is a shortage of around 10,000 foster carers, of which about 450 are needed in the East Midlands, where the Motts live.

Mr Mott and his wife, 40, who have three children of their own, were in the middle of a four-day fostering course when he spoke the words.

"We were late in one day and I explained we had been held up in the city centre because of an accident involving four white foreigners. Nothing was said about it to me or Sarah either that day or the day after," he said.

The first he knew about the problem was eight days later when a social worker called and said she thought the phrase was inappropriate.

"I was angry and upset. I thought I had let myself down and my wife, and even those kids we could have offered a good home to who are now going to spend longer in care or suffering family problems.

"My wife and I thought there had to be something more to our rejection. We honestly didn't feel we could be turned down for something so petty," he added.

A letter later sent to the Motts stated: "David indicated a negative attitude towards Eastern Europeans."

Extremist works at UK Home Office...

This is more serious than communists infiltrating the State Department.
A leading member of an extremist Islamic group is working as a senior official at the Home Office, it emerged.

Abid Javaid is a 'senior executive officer' in the IT department at the scandal-hit Immigration and Nationality Directorate which processes tens of thousands of asylum and visa applications every year.

But he is also an activist in the fundamentalist Islamic group Hizb-ut Tahrir which believes in a worldwide Islamic state under Shariah law.

This is despite Tony Blair calling for the group to be banned last year.

The group's smartly dressed spokesmen have caused repeated outrage over their refusal to condemn terrorist attacks including last year's London bombings.

One of their leaflets called for Jews to be murdered and for the destruction of Israel.

Another spokesman, Dr Imran Waheed, refused to condemn the July 7 suicide bombs, saying he would only do so after Western leaders apologise for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Garth Turner

I have to say I think that Garth Turner is right. The Conservatives have over-reacted to him from the beginning. From what I can tell, he is a hugely-popular MP and I firmly believe he should not be de-selected. If he was a Conservative MP in the UK, none of this would have happened and he'd still be sitting in the government benches....

Why the discrepancy in the sentence?

He gets another 7 years...and now she is off????
Family members of victims sexually assaulted by a Winnipeg couple cursed and sobbed in court Tuesday, upset at what they felt were lenient penalties handed down to the husband and wife.

The 25-year-old woman was released after Justice Gerald Jewers gave her a sentence equal to the approximately two years she had already spent in pretrial custody. Her 39-year-old common-law husband was given another seven years behind bars.

CTV Winnipeg's Kelly Dehn reported that the two victim's families reacted in shock to the sentences.

"One woman was crying as she was walking out of the courtroom, saying that (the wife) was Manitoba's answer to Karla Homolka," Dehn reported. "She says she could not believe what she was hearing in that courtroom."

The couple sexually assaulted young girls they lured into their home. The wife was convicted of three charges of sexual assault and forcible confinement, while her husband was convicted of eight charges, including kidnapping and sexual assault.
Sounds like the Homolka case, no?


More evidence that Iran is developing nuclear weapons...
International Atomic Energy experts have found unexplained plutonium and enriched uranium traces in a nuclear waste facility in Iran and have asked Tehran for an explanation, an IAEA report said Tuesday. The report prepared for next week's meeting of the 35-nation IAEA also faulted Tehran for not cooperating with the agency's attempts to investigate suspicious aspects of Iran's nuclear program that have lead to fears it might be interested in developing nuclear arms.

What a surprise!

Hamas says the new 'unity' goverhment still won't recognize Israel...
The ruling Islamic group Hamas said on Tuesday a planned Palestinian unity government would not recognize Israel or accept a two-state solution to the Middle East conflict as demanded by Israel and the United States.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said the program of the proposed unity government between Hamas and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction "will not recognize Israel and will not include accepting the two-state solution."

"We reject the two-state solution, which is the vision of U.S. President George Bush, because it represents a clear recognition of Israel," Barhoum said.

"Our position in this regard remains unchanged. We reject joining in any government that recognizes Israel."

Monday, November 13, 2006

Here's an archbishop who gets it....

Finally, someone speaks up....
The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, has accused the BBC of bias against Christianity and says the broadcaster fears a terrorist backlash if it is critical of Islam.

The archbishop, the second most senior figure in the Church of England's hierarchy, said Christians took "more knocks" than other faiths at the hands of the BBC.

"They can do to us what they dare not do to the Muslims," he said. "We are fair game because they can get away with it. We don't go down there and say, 'We are going to bomb your place.' That is not in our nature."

Iran trying to take over al-Qaeda????

Al-Qaeda has worked with Shiites before - with Hezbollah...
Iran is trying to form an unholy alliance with al-Qa'eda by grooming a new generation of leaders to take over from Osama bin Laden, The Daily Telegraph can reveal.

Western intelligence officials say the Iranians are determined to take advantage of bin Laden's declining health to promote senior officials who are known to be friendly to Teheran.

But intelligence officials have been most alarmed by reports from Iran that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is trying to persuade al-Qa'eda to promote a pro-Iranian activist to a senior position within its leadership.

The Iranians want Saif al-Adel, a 46-year-old former colonel in Egypt's special forces, to be the organisation's number three.

Al-Adel was formerly bin Laden's head of security, and was named on the FBI's 22 most wanted list after September 11 for his alleged involvement in terror attacks against US targets in Somalia and Africa in the 1990s. He has been living in a Revolutionary Guard guest house in Teheran since fleeing from Afghanistan in late 2001.

Alarm over al-Qa'eda deepened yesterday with a Foreign Office warning that the group was determined to acquire the technology to carry out a nuclear attack on the West.

A senior Foreign Office official said that the terrorists were trawling the world for the materials and know-how to mount an attack using nuclear, chemical or biological weapons.

The official said: "We know that the aspiration is there, we know attempts to gather materials are there, we know that attempts to gather technologies are there."

Hezbollah now has more missiles than before....

I knew the UN would not stop re-stocking of weapons...
Four months after Israel launched its onslaught against Hezbollah, the Lebanese guerrillas are back in south Lebanon stronger than ever and armed with more rockets than they had before the conflict, according to Israeli intelligence.

During the month-long war, which began on July 12, Hezbollah fired 200 to 250 rockets a day into Israel, killing 43 civilians and terrorising much of the north of the country.

“Since the ceasefire, additional rockets, weapons and military equipment have reached Hezbollah,” said an Israeli intelligence officer. “We assume they now have about 20,000 rockets of all ranges — a bit more than they had before July 12.”

Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, has confirmed the Israeli estimate. In a recent interview with al-Manar, the Hezbollah television station, he claimed his organisation had restocked its arsenal and now held at least 30,000 rockets, sufficient for five months of war.

She deserves a harsher sentence, no???

False rape accusers should get the same sentence as a rapist...
A teenager whose "wicked lies" condemned an innocent man to 10 weeks in prison after falsely claiming she had been raped was locked up for six months today.

Katie Davis, 18, had sex with Frank Chisholm at his house after meeting him as he was walking home from a night drinking on 6 March last year.

But during a week-long trial at Lewes Crown Court, a jury heard she invented the false rape allegation as she feared she could be pregnant.

A police investigation led to former railway labourer Mr Chisholm being charged with rape after DNA evidence linked him to Davis. But Mr Chisholm, 24, denied raping her, saying they had consensual sex at his home in Battle Road, St Leonards.

He was held on remand at Lewes Prison for 10 weeks before scientific evidence emerged which led to the case against him being dropped. Davis showed no emotion as she was sentenced to six months in a young offenders' institute by Judge Richard Brown.

He said: "It's clear to me that your lies have had, and will continue to have, a dramatic effect on his life.

"His family have also suffered considerably. You were responsible for him being in prison for several weeks and when you pursued those wicked lies you put him through the trauma of giving evidence in your trial."

Davis, of Blackman Avenue, St Leonards, was found guilty of perverting the course of justice by making a false claim of rape, after the jury spent an hour deliberating following her trial last month.

OutGames lost more than $5 million....

Can't Gay groups organize anything?
The Quebec government says last summer's Outgames, which featured thousands of gay athletes from around the world, ended up losing more than $5 million.

Muncipal Affairs Minister Nathalie Normandeau says she's disappointed with the outcome, especially as the province gave organizers more than $3 million.

Organizers initially announced a $200,000 surplus but an auditor hired by the Quebec government found the Games were actually in the red.

Many of the cultural and sporting events drew far fewer spectators than expected.
Part of the problem was the fact that there was a competing gay games held in Chicago. Had there been only one competition, the chances for success wold have been much increased. And, someone should have put pressure on the organizers - no support if there is a competing event.

The results were predictable...

Hariri accuses Syria and Iran...

He's probably right...
The March 14 Forces accused Damascus and Tehran on Sunday of planning to topple the legitimate authorities in Lebanon and re-establish Syrian hegemony over the country.

In response to the resignations of the five Shiite ministers from Premier Fouad Siniora's government, the coalition met late Sunday at the Qoreitem home of the parliamentary majority leader, MP Saad Hariri, to form a unified stance. Afterward, Hariri read out a statement in which he accused Syria and Iran of being behind the resignations and plotting to foil the international tribunal to try those accused of killing his father, former Premier Rafik Hariri.

Hizbullah and Amal ministers resigned Saturday after accusing the March 14 Forces of "controlling the decision-making in the Cabinet" - and on the eve of a planned session to pass the final draft of the court.

The ministers who resigned are Labor Minister Trad Hamadeh, Agriculture Minister Talal Sahili, Foreign Minister Fawzi Salloukh, Health Minister Mohammed Jawad Khalifeh, and Energy and Water Minister Mohammed Fneish.

"This resignation ... was not a coincidence. The March 14 Forces lament this step and see in it an attempt to foil the formation of the international tribunal," Hariri said. "We agreed twice to Speaker Nabih Berri's call for dialogue and consultations to maintain stability ... but it turned out that some parties didn't want this and their hidden intentions became clear to us ... It is a Syrian-Iranian plot to topple legitimate rule in Lebanon, destroy the Paris III donor conference, annul the tribunal and place this country back under the former [Syrian] mandate."

He added that "this plan was done by the Syrian regime and the [pro-Syrian] president [Emile Lahoud] ... who wants to assassinate Rafik Hariri a second time."

Palestinians encourage children to commit suicide

More from Ahmadinjead...

At least he is clear about his intentions...
"Israel is destined for destruction and will soon disappear," Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Monday.

Speaking to government ministers in Teheran, Ahmadinejad said that the world's powers had created "the Zionist regime" to increase their dominance in the Middle East.

Can Iran and Syria Help?

The New York Sun's Youssef Ibrahim says no.
The Baker report is what every American policy-maker, Republican or Democrat, is lusting after, as if it contained the Ten Commandments on what to do in Iraq.

Drafted by the Iraq Study Group, a bipartisan commission of policy elders — chaired jointly by the Bush family consiglière and former secretary of state, James Baker, and a veteran Democratic lawmaker, Lee Hamilton — the report contains not a silver bullet but a poisonous one: a suggestion to engage Iran and Iraq in talks, ending a long boycott of the two terrorist states.

It is about as disingenuous a solution to the problem as the flawed reasoning that led us into the war in the first place.

Is there anyone in the American diplomatic establishment who can convincingly point to one shred of logic — except fear — that would induce either country to respect Iraq's independence or integrity?

Syria's assassinations, corruption, and constant manipulation of Lebanon over the past three decades are now part of the historical record. Iran's own record of sponsoring terror groups and mayhem, as well as its current effort to acquire nuclear weapons, is equally dismal. In fact, the two states are hovering over Iraq's borders like hyenas waiting for a feast.

The other, equally ineffectual suggestion in the Baker findings is to convene a regional conference of Arabs, Persians, and Turks to discuss the situation in Iraq.

As a veteran of many such conferences — starting with the ill-fated 1990 Madrid peace conference, with the same Mr. Baker presiding, to the Oslo accords that brought Yasser Arafat and Israel's Likud government together — I can vouch that they lead nowhere, as we can plainly see in the Palestinian Arab territories 16 years later.

Kofi Annan is wrong....

He believes that peace in the middle east will ease the urge for global jihad. He's wrong.
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Monday that any effort to stop growing violence between Islamic and Western societies must include an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Annan spoke after receiving a report from a high-level group of experts on ways to alleviate Muslim-Western clashes and misunderstandings.

"We may wish to think of the Arab-Israeli conflict as just one regional conflict amongst many," said Annan, who leaves his post at the end of the year. "It is not. No other conflict carries such a powerful symbolic and emotional charge among people far removed from the battlefield."
The group of experts included former Iranian President Mohammed Khatami and South African activist Desmond Tutu...both of whom are hostile to Israel.

I get nervous when they say that want a development of a report "analyzing the Israeli-Palestinian landscape dispassionately and objectively". I know what that means.

Do they really believe that al-Qaeda will stop its declared war on the US if there were peace? More importantly, how on earth can there be "peace" when the Palestinians can't control their own militias? Or, when the party that makes up the Palestinian government has a charter that calls for the destruction of not only Israel, but all Jews?

I am all for peace in the Middle East. But, Israel has tried repeatedly for peace; it has given back lands; dismantled settlements, empowered the Palestinians, etc. and all of this was returned with suicide bombs, Kassam rockets and a determination to destroy the country.

Demographics in the UK....

A quick quote from the Spectator in the UK.
Apparently almost a million British citizens have left the country since 2000, to live somewhere else. Last year, according to the Office for National Statistics, 380,000 people left Britain, of whom about 200,000 were British citizens. At the same time, though, 565,000 immigrants arrived in Britain, the overwhelming majority from the Indian subcontinent (largely Pakistan and Bangladesh).

Sunday, November 12, 2006

More on global warming from Christopher Monckton...

Last week, we blogged his first article for the Daily, here's his second.
Sir Nick says if we spend 1 per cent of GDP now and for ever we can reduce "the chances of temperature rises of 4-5C and above – at which levels some of the worst impacts occur". The crucial number when evaluating the income stream from forward investments like this is the discount rate: the annual percentage by which any forecast of tomorrow's revenue is cut to allow for the risks inherent in not getting it today. Stern discusses the rate at length, and even has a technical annexe on it, but, astonishingly, not once in 700 pages does he put a figure on it. I gave his team 24 hours' notice of the question: What discount rate or rates, and why? Six hours after my deadline, as the Treasury was closing, they said they might answer "next week". The following morning, with the page held for my copy, I rang and asked again. "There's nobody in who worked on that part of the report," they said. But they admitted they'd used several rates, all of them low because "if you're richer in future you value each unit of output a bit less", and because they hadn't discounted the future just because it was the future as that would be intertemporally inequitable (in English: not fair to the kids). Too low a discount rate makes spending 1 per cent of GDP now look cheaper than waiting.

They are also coy about what value our $500 billion a year would buy us. They say that if the world stabilises atmospheric CO2 at about 485 parts per million we'll have spent 1 per cent of GDP to get – er – a 1.1 per cent fall in consumption. If we stabilised at 400ppm, consumption would fall by only 0.6 per cent, but that's a pipedream: we're at 380ppm already, and, on Stern's figures, we'll reach 400 in just eight years.

By 2035, says Sir Nick, temperature will have risen by "over 2C". It sounds alarming. What he means, though, is over 2C since 1750, when we don't know what the temperature was. Stern's 485 parts per million by 2035 is based on the UN's worst case. Even then, the increase compared with today would be just 0.7C. On the UN's lower projection, implying 425ppm by 2035, only 0.3C.

The UK accounts for just 2 per cent of global emissions, and falling. Even if Britain stopped using energy altogether, global temperature by 2035 would be six thousandths of a degree C less than if we carried on as usual. If we shut down once a week on Planet Day, make that less than one thousandth of a degree. Even if every Western country complied with Kyoto (and most won't), Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma says temperature a century from now would be a 25th of a degree lower than without Kyoto.

Want your own personal wind turbine?

This is just another item to help make people feel good about themselves.
Home wind turbines have become the must-have home improvement among people eager to help save the planet and flaunt their green credentials.

Dubbed 'the ultimate green fashion statement', are selling in their thousands amid claims they can cut household electricity bills by 30 per cent.

But now environmental campaigners say the windmills are not quite what they claim to be - and may actually do more harm than good.

As well as being noisy and unsightly, they barely produce enough electricity to power a hairdryer in many houses.

They also do nothing to tackle greenhouses gases, while there are far better ways to cut down on energy bills.

Although there are currently just 650 home wind turbines installed that number is set to grow massively as the makers of the most popular wind turbine, Windsave, have had orders of more than 15,000 ahead of Christmas for their WS1000 unit which sells for just under £1,500 at B&Q.

More on the Choudhury trial....

Where's Amnesty International?
The trial of a moderate Bangladeshi Muslim editor charged with denouncing Islamic extremism and advocating ties with Israel is set to enter a critical new phase Monday as proceedings against him resume in a Dhaka courtroom.

Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury, editor of the English-language Weekly Blitz newspaper, faces multiple counts of sedition, treason and blasphemy in connection with a series of articles he published that Bangladeshi authorities deemed favorable to Israel and critical of Muslim extremism.

Prosecutors will begin calling witnesses against him when the hearings resume Monday.

Contacted via e-mail by The Jerusalem Post, Choudhury expressed little confidence that he would receive a fair trial, describing it as being little more than "a pre-set drama," with the presiding judge, Muhammad Momin Ullah, serving as both "a one-man judge and jury."

"The judge," he wrote, "has his mind set to convict me. So, we definitely cannot expect justice from him."

"All witnesses are from the prosecution side, and they are all police or intelligence officials, so naturally they will speak in favor of the allegations against me," he wrote.

Although Choudhury's lawyer will be permitted to cross-examine the prosecution witnesses, he will not be allowed to call any of his own to testify in Choudhury's defense.

If found guilty, Choudhury could be sentenced to death.

In a letter sent to Bangladeshi President Iajuddin Ahmed last week, a copy of which was obtained by the Post, Choudhury appealed for steps to be taken to ensure his personal security, after Muslim radicals have targeted him for attack in recent months.

As first reported in the Post, a mob of 40 people that included senior members of Bangladesh's ruling party stormed Choudhury's office last month and assaulted him, fracturing his ankle. No arrests were made, and Bangladeshi police refused to allow Choudhury to file charges against his attackers.

In July, his office was fire-bombed shortly after the leader of a radical group threatened to kill him.