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, January 30, 2007

Obsession Plays in Ottawa without an Incident...

Well, we had a great crowd at the Ottawa Public Library last night for Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the Wesr. About 125 people showed up - which is great for a really cold Monday night!

Barbara Crook of Palestinian Media Watch opened the evening with some comments on the film. Her partner, Itamar Marcus, is quoted many times in the film.

Our next film will be in March. Please e-mail me to get on our mailing list.


Saturday, January 27, 2007

Ottawa Sun covers cancellation of Obsession....

Just a reminder that the film Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West will be showing this Monday evening, January 29th, at 7 PM at the Ottawa Public Library (Metcalfe at Laurier). Admission is $4.25

I have attached below an article from the Ottawa Sun about the cancellation of the film by the Rainbow Cinema.


Thu, January 25, 2007

An Obsession with protests
Theatre cancels showing of movie after lone complainant tags it anti-Muslim without having even seen the film


A single complaint about a documentary on rising Islamic radicalism has prompted the Rainbow Cinema to scrap a planned screening of the film Monday.

Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West was pulled after Susan Campbell, who says she is a former university professor, e-mailed the theatre chain complaining about the award-winning movie which she admits she has never seen.

"I am discouraged that the Rainbow caved so quickly," said Fred Litwin, the owner of Northernblues Music who had booked the theatre for the film's showing. "It was so quick and there was no effort on the theatre's part to try to understand what the film is all about. They received one e-mail and that was it.

"So much for an open and tolerant society."

Litwin was sent scrambling to move the screening to the 200-seat Main Library Auditorium at 120 Metcalfe St. where the movie will be shown at 7 p.m. Monday.

The local Rainbow Theatre directed all inquiries about the incident to head office in Toronto which failed to return repeated calls from the Sun.

In her e-mail, Campbell wrote that Wayne Kopping and Raphael Shore's 2006 documentary used "anti-Muslim stereotypes ... misrepresentations and lies," to make its case that the rise of a radical Islam is comparable to the rise of the Nazis before World War II.

'Biased films'

"As a friend of several people who 'look Arab' or 'look Muslim' I figured efforts to discourage the Rainbow were appropriate," she wrote in an e-mail to the Sun.

"As a former university professor of history, I am sensitive to how easily one minority or another can be hurt by sensationalized and biased films."

A cursory Google search of Campbell's name turned up a number of causes she has attached her name to, including petitions to free a U.S. soldier court-martialed for refusing to fight in the Gulf War, another to stop bookstore WHSmith from selling Playboy products, and another in support of the Six Nations in the Caledonia land dispute.

Litwin created the Conservative Film Society in December when he couldn't convince the ByTowne Cinema to screen any films with a conservative point of view. The latest experience has left him even more convinced he is doing the right thing getting the movies out to the public.

"I am determined to continue to show provocative, conservative films wherever I can," Litwin said. "The city needs it."

Friday, January 12, 2007

Censorship in Ottawa!!!

In November, I decided to start a new Conservative Film Society here in Ottawa, and as my first film, I picked a film called Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West.

I went to the Rainbow Cinema at the St. Laurent shopping centre and I rented a theatre for January 29th. It was all set. I paid a deposit...and then in January I paid the last half of the rental charge. I gave the maanager all the pertinent details about what I was exactly showing.

Well, this week, the manager received an e-mail from a retired professor of history in Ottawa who said that the movie maligned muslims...and within two hours, they cancelled the film!

Talk about censorship. I would have respected them had they declined to accept the booking..but to cancel within 3 weeks of the one show....

I now have another venue - the Ottawa Public Library....same time (January 29th at 7 PM)...and just a $4.25 admission charge.

For those of you interested in attending, here is a link to the movie site and you can watch a 27 minute trailer.

Comments? Please pass the word to anybody you know in Ottawa that they should attend.

If Bush is wrong....then what is the alternative?

Peggy Noonan noticed that the Democrats seem more concerned about how they dress, than presenting an alternative plan on Iraq....
When Nancy Pelosi showed up at the White House Wednesday to talk with the president it was obvious she'd spent a lot of time thinking about . . . what to wear. She wrapped herself in a rich red shawl. Dick Morris said it looked like a straitjacket. I thought she looked like a particularly colorful mummy. She complained that the president had not asked for her input as he put together his plan. He should have. But what would she have brought to the table if she'd been asked to it? It is still--still!--unclear.

The other night after the speech, Rahm Emanuel, on PBS, was pressed for what he would have the president do. He blinked as if the question were a diversion. He was there to say Bush is Bad. Why bother with what might be good?

Right now, in the deepest levels of the American government, intelligence and military planners should be ordered to draw up serious plans for an American withdrawal, and serious strategies for dealing with the realities withdrawal will bring. It would not be the worst thing if the Maliki government knew those plans were being drawn up. It might concentrate the mind.

What is paramount is a hard, cold-eyed and even brutal look at America's interests. We have them. I'm not sure they've been given sufficient attention the past few years. In fact, I am sorry to say I believe they have not.

DvD predicts mass extermination of Jews...

This is from a documentary to be show in the UK next monday.
One of London’s most established mosques is selling DVDs predicting the mass-killing of the entire worldwide Jewish community, a British undercover television documentary will claim.

The London Central Mosque, in Regents Park, is later this month to be exposed as selling DVDs containing the speeches by two radical preachers, Sheikh Feiz and Sheikh Khalid Yasin, which predict the mass-extermination of the Jews on a "day of judgment," dismiss equal rights for women as "foolishness," and accuse the Christian faith of deliberately spreading the AIDS virus around Africa.

Dispatches, an investigative series on the UK’s Channel Four, is to reveal further details of the so-called ’hate’ preacher DVDs, which it discovered were being sold at the London Central Mosque shop, when its episode ’Undercover Mosques’ is screened at 8pm on Monday. The station says its revelations come after a 12-month investigation into hate-preaching and extremism in Britain’s Muslim religious institutions.

In one of the DVDs sold in the mosque shop, the documentary will show Sheikh Feiz imitating the noise of a pig when referring to Jewish people, who he says will be killed on the "day of judgment".

Other DVD footage shows Sheikh Yasin saying: "The whole delusion of equality of women is foolishness... there is no such thing."

He also says: "Missionaries from the World Health Organisation and Christian groups went into Africa and inoculated people for diphtheria, malaria, yellow fever and they put in the medicine the AIDS virus, which is a conspiracy."

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Should Muslims Get Special Health Care?

This is from the UK -- and what one health expert is calling for...
Muslims should be provided with faithbased services - including male circumcision - on the NHS, says one healthcare expert.

Professor Aziz Sheikh is also calling for women patients to see same-sex medics, better access to prayer facilities in hospitals and more information so Muslims can avoid alcohol and pig-derived drugs.

Writing in the British Medical Journal, the University of Edinburgh professor also claims Muslims should be given health advice on attempting the Hajj pilgrimage-to Mecca which he insisted was a "religious obligation and not a holiday".

Non-Father Must Still Pay Child Support!

How can fathers respect the law when this sort of thing happens? This is from Little Rock, Arkansas.
Even though a paternity test ruled out Anthony L- Parker as the father of a child in a child-support dispute, the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled today he still has to pay support owed the mother before he took the test.

The court reversed a decision by Pulaski County Circuit Judge Mary Spencer McGowan and sent the case back to her to determine the amount Parker must pay.

The opinion, written by Associate Justice Donald L- Corbin, says state law and prior court cases make it clear that an "acknowledged father" cannot be relieved of past-due child support.

Associate Justice Robert L. Brown wrote in a dissent that the opinion reached "a grossly unfair result." He urged the state Legislature to clarify the law.

In her original ruling, McGowan wrote that forcing Parker to pay -- quote --"violates all precepts of common law as to who is responsible for supporting a child."

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Homosexuality in Animals.....

Hat tip to Andrew Sullivan's blog. A new exhibit in Norway looks at homosexuality in animals.
The taboo was finally broken in 1999 when Bruce Bagemihl, a gay biologist at the University of Wisconsin, published a book entitled Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity.

Bagemihl had scoured every scientific journal and paper he could lay his hands on for references to homosexuality in animals. Tucked away at the end of long and erudite texts, or consigned to footnotes and appendices, he found that homosexuality had been observed in no fewer than 1,500 species, and well documented in 500 of them. The earliest mention of animal homosexuality probably came 2,300 years ago when Aristotle described two female hyenas cavorting with each other.

Bagemihl’s book provided the inspiration for this exhibition, and any notion that homosexuality is a uniquely human trait is quickly disposed of. You are greeted by a pair of swans — the very symbols of romantic love — who turn out to be a female couple. “Up to a fifth of all pairs are all male or all female,” reads the accompanying text.

Then you come to the photograph of the whales “penis fencing” above which hang — for no apparent reason — two actual whale penises, both several feet long and looking like stretched and desiccated turnips. Some of the male whales meet year after year, says Bockman, while their relations with females are fleeting at best.

A model — the one that invariably draws most giggles from the exhibition’s younger visitors — shows a male Amazonian river dolphin penetrating another’s blowhole. “This is the only example of nasal sex we have in nature,” Brockman observes.

Up to a fifth of all king penguin couples kept in captivity are gay, we learn from a display of stuffed penguins wearing pink scarves. Hooded seagulls, sea otters, fish, kangaroos, fruit bats, blue jays, storks, pine martens and owls make guest appearances. So does the lowly hedgehog (ouch).

Male and female bighorn sheep apparently unite during the rutting season, but the rest of the year the males stick together and homosexuality flourishes. “The females are boring. Only the males do it,” says Brockman. Insects, spiders, molluscs, crustaceans — they’re all at it. There is an 1896 sketch of two male scarab beetles enjoying each other. There are even gay gutworms; we know that, Brockman says, because “ they have sex organs and since they are translucent, it’s easy to find out what sex they are”.

America's most politically-correct courses...

Here's the I guess I should start to compile the Canadian list.
The list comes from the Young America's Foundation, a 40-year-old nonprofit funded by conservative individuals and foundations. Its No. 1 slot this year for bizarre class offerings went to Occidental, for a course called "The Phallus."

No, it's not a biology course. It's a survey, offered by Oxy's department of critical theory and social justice, of "feminist and queer takings-on of the phallus." Topics include "the relation between the phallus and the penis, the meaning of the phallus, phallologocentrism, the lesbian phallus, the Jewish phallus, the Latino phallus, and the relation of the phallus and fetishism."

You might wonder how a lesbian can have a phallus, or whether it's possible to say "phallologocentrism" three times without tripping on your tongue, but if so, it's likely that you won't be getting an "A" from Occidental professor Jeffrey Tobin, who is teaching the course this spring semester. Also this semester, Occidental will offer the course that the Young America's Foundation rated No. 5 in bizarreness: "Blackness." This class will explore "new blackness," "critical blackness," "post-blackness," "unforgivable blackness" and "queer blackness."

A perfect companion course to Oxy's "Blackness" would be "Whiteness," which is offered at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts and was ranked No. 7 by the foundation. But not to worry. Occidental has its own "Whiteness" course (which will "examine the construction of whiteness in the historic, legal and economic contexts which have allowed it to function as an enabling condition for privilege and race-based prejudice," says the Oxy online catalog). Passing "Whiteness" is a prerequisite for signing up for "Blackness."

Annual tuition at Occidental, a private college, is $32,800. That means if you take "The Phallus" and "Blackness" (plus its prerequisite "Whiteness") this year on a four-course-per-semester schedule, you will have set your parents back $12,300.

UCLA won the coveted No. 2 slot on the list, with "Queer Musicology." Queer musicology is a new field dating from the 1990s based in part on the idea that if you're gay, then music by gay composers such as Benjamin Britten will sound different to you than it would if you were straight. Nipping at UCLA's heels was Amherst, with "Taking Marx Seriously." The first sentence of the course description is: "Should Marx be given another chance?" With 100 million dead in various gulags and related charnel houses, I don't think so.

At Michigan, "Native American Feminisms" (No. 8) hunts for the Iroquois Betty Friedan.

At Cornell, "Cyberfeminism" (No. 10) explores someone's discovery that — surprise, surprise — women use computers!

Chinese come face-to-face with Jihad...

And, where are the denunciations in the UN?
Chinese police killed 18 suspects and arrested 17 others during a raid on an alleged terrorist camp in the far western Xinjiang region, a police official said Monday.

Song Hongli, director of the general office of the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau, said the raid occurred Friday at a training camp run by the East Turkestan Islamic Movement.

One police officer was killed and another was injured, Song said.

Police are searching for suspects who are believed to have escaped during the raid, Song said, but did not say how many.

Song said the camp was located in the Pamir Plateau, a sprawling high-altitude section of western Xinjiang near the borders of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan, but he did not give an exact location.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Why is this group not banned in Australia...

Is this group in Canada?
AN ULTRA-radical Muslim group banned in many countries will promote support for an Islamic superstate in a seminar in Australia this month.

Christian critics claim that the seminar, to be conducted by the group Hizb ut-Tahrir, will be a recruiting ground for extremists.

Hizb ut-Tahrir believes that the caliphate — a part of the world under Muslim rule that, at its peak, ran from Spain to Iran and beyond — is about to be re-established.

Hizb ut-Tahrir is banned in Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Russia and most Muslim countries in the Middle East because of alleged links to terrorism, including the bombers behind the 2005 London attacks.

It is not banned in Australia but is controversial because it opposes democracy and Muslim integration, has tried to recruit young Muslims and ran a lecture last year titled "Israel is an illegal state that Muslims will never accept".

How's this for a business partnership?

These lucky women!
With the aim of strengthening business ties, two Riyadh business partners in their 70s have married their teenage daughters (17-19) to each other, reported Sayidaty magazine, a sister publication of Arab News.

“A man has the right to marry. When it comes to marriage, there is no stopping point,” said Al-Dossary, a man in his 70s with silver hair, a gray beard and gray eyebrows. “We have followed Islamic principles in the way we conducted our marriages and we are both happy with our wives,” he added.

Al-Dossary married his teenage daughter to his business partner and in turn married his partner’s teenage daughter. His partner, Saif Al-Qahtani, said: “It is true that our arranged marriages are strange, yet this does not mean that we are the only people to have married in this way, either in the past or the present. Anyhow, the main purpose of marriage is to protect men and women and we have both achieved this through our marriages.”

He added: “It took us only two months to decide and then arrange our marriages. It all began when my friend, Al-Dossary, continuously expressed the desire to marry.”

Al-Dossary added: “It is true that I wanted to marry. I proposed to several girls but all refused. One day I decided to ask Al-Qahtani to give me one of his daughters. He agreed immediately, but in return he asked me for my daughter. I was surprised because he already had three wives; however, I agreed since I had a young daughter who was of marriageable age.”

Al-Qahtani commented: “Yes, I asked him to give me his daughter in return. When he asked for one of my daughters, I thought I couldn’t refuse him because of our friendship. I knew that if I did refuse his request, our business would be affected. I didn’t have any other choice. I agreed to give him my daughter and take his daughter in return. At the time, I remember telling him to give me his daughter and that I would give him mine.”

Sunday, January 07, 2007

The lastest Palestinian scorecard...

Are they gearing up for a new intifada?
Palestinians released in prisoner exchanges "always returned to terrorism," a high-ranking officer in Central Command warned Sunday, ahead of a planned swap for kidnapped Cpl. Gilad Shalit. Palestinian Authority security forces in the West Bank are "infected" with terrorist elements, he added.

The officer said there had been a major increase in Palestinian terrorist activity in the West Bank in 2006, and warned of an outbreak of a new intifada.

He told reporters that three senior Islamic Jihad officials, who were released in the 2003 swap with Hizbullah for kidnapped businessman Elhanan Tannenbaum and the bodies of three soldiers, were currently involved in the group's buildup in Nablus. The three - Muataz Halil, Hasin Garda'at and Muza'at Saba - were also helping to build up the terrorist infrastructure in the Hebron area, the officer said.

"This is what happens when terrorists are released in such deals," he said, "they immediately return to terrorist activity."

The officer said since the tahadiyeh (truce) went into effect in the West Bank following the Gaza withdrawal in 2005, the Palestinians had been strengthening themselves militarily in preparation for another round of violence.

There were 593 shooting attacks in 2006, the officer said, adding that there were 400 roadside bombs in 2006, up from 149 in 2005. Despite an increase in the number of attacks, he said, 2006 was a successful year for the IDF in thwarting terrorist attacks and preventing terrorist infiltrations.

The officer said 187 suicide attacks had been thwarted over the past year, including one attempt Sunday morning when six Palestinians were arrested in Nablus with two explosives belts.

Stripped of his citizenship! And, for what?

What a crime! He went to Israel to compete in a marathon.
Just two days after winning the Tiberias Marathon and speaking about how "people should live together in harmony," Kenyan-born runner Mushir Salem Jawher was stripped of his Bahraini citizenship Saturday for competing in Israel.

The first athlete from an Arab country to compete in an Israeli marathon, Jawher won the race after completing it in just over two hours and 13 minutes.

His comments in The Jerusalem Post on Friday alerted Bahraini authorities.

"When I decided to come I didn't know it was history for me to be in here, but when I arrived [I was] told no other athlete had competed in Israel," said Jawher, a Catholic. "For me, it was no problem and I hope to come back and compete next year."

But while he celebrated afterward and declared that he was "very proud" to have run in Israel, Bahrain's Athletic Union said in a statement Saturday that it had received the news that a Bahraini national competed in Israel with "shock and regret."

"The union deeply regrets what the athlete has done," the statement said. A committee of sport and government authorities decided to strike Jawher's name off the sport union records and strip him of his Bahraini nationality, the statement said.

Another 'Veiled' Crime...

More and more criminals are wearing burqas...
A woman robbed a Center City bank yesterday and fled with an undisclosed amount of cash, police said. The robber, dressed in Muslim clothing and wearing a pair of silver eyeglasses, walked into the Wachovia Bank branch at Broad and Walnut Streets about 2:10 p.m. and gave a teller a demand note, police said. The robber escaped after receiving the cash, police said.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Does Jeffrey Simpson of the Globe think the Jews Control the Government???

Check out this Globe & Mail blog....
Sasha Nagy writes: Wajid Khan's rumoured crossing over to the Conservatives has just been announced. Can you give us your thoughts on the significance of this defection?

Jeffrey Simpson: Wajid Khan will disappear after the next election. He signed up several thousand Muslims and won the Liberal nomination in a safe Liberal seat. The Liberals will nominate another Muslim against him, and he will likely lose. It gives a government a visible minority presence that it lacks, so in the short term this is good, and it balances a little the optics of a government that had pretty much handed its Middle East policy over to the Canada-Israel committee.
Isn't that pretty much saying that the Jews are controlling this government? Does he really believe that supporting Israel over genocidal murderers is an improper policy???

Hat tip: Melissa.

Iran provoking both Sunnis and Shiites...

Sooner or later, the US is going to have to come to grips with Iran...
Iran is supporting both Sunni and Shiite terrorists in the Iraqi civil war, according to secret Iranian documents captured by Americans in Iraq.

The news that American forces had captured Iranians in Iraq was widely reported last month, but less well known is that the Iranians were carrying documents that offered Americans insight into Iranian activities in Iraq.

An American intelligence official said the new material, which has been authenticated within the intelligence community, confirms "that Iran is working closely with both the Shiite militias and Sunni Jihadist groups." The source was careful to stress that the Iranian plans do not extend to cooperation with Baathist groups fighting the government in Baghdad, and said the documents rather show how the Quds Force — the arm of Iran's revolutionary guard that supports Shiite Hezbollah, Sunni Hamas, and Shiite death squads — is working with individuals affiliated with Al Qaeda in Iraq and Ansar al-Sunna.

Another American official who has seen the summaries of the reporting affiliated with the arrests said it comprised a "smoking gun." "We found plans for attacks, phone numbers affiliated with Sunni bad guys, a lot of things that filled in the blanks on what these guys are up to," the official said.

One of the documents captured in the raids, according to two American officials and one Iraqi official, is an assessment of the Iraq civil war and new strategy from the Quds Force. According to the Iraqi source, that assessment is the equivalent of " Iran's Iraq Study Group," a reference to the bipartisan American commission that released war strategy recommendations after the November 7 elections. The document concludes, according to these sources, that Iraq's Sunni neighbors will step up their efforts to aid insurgent groups and that it is imperative for Iran to redouble efforts to retain influence with them, as well as with Shiite militias.

I used to like Cat Stevens...

But now he can't even condemn Hamas...
Most of Deborah Solomon's interview with once and current folk-rock singer Cat Stevens -- known for many years now as Yusuf Islam -- for this coming Sunday's New York Times is amiable enough, as he discusses his recent return to recording and his funding of Muslim schools in England.

But then she raises the obviously still touchy issue of attempts abroad to link him to funding various extremist groups, including Hamas. He had just said he still sells about 1.5 million albums a year netting him a small fortune. What does he think of Hamas?

"That's an extremely loaded question," he replies. Pressed further, he says, "I have never supported a terrorist group or any group that did other than charity and good to humankind."

Solomon responds by saying, fine, but many Americans would like moderate Muslims, such as himself, to denounce the extremists. Wouldn't he at least say he has "contempt" for Hamas?

"I wouldn't put those words in my mouth," he complains. "I wouldn't say anything on that issue. I'm here to talk about peace. I'm a man who does want peace for this world," says the man who wrote "Peace Train," adding, "and I don't think you will achieve that by putting people into corners and asking them very, very difficult questions about very contentious issues."

Climate change is not new....

I wonder if there was a clamour in the Tang dynasty to curb emissions...
NEW research suggests that climate change led to the collapse of the most splendid imperial dynasty in China’s history and to the extinction of the Maya civilisation in Central America more than 1,000 years ago.

There has never been a satisfactory explanation for the decline and fall of the Tang emperors, whose era is viewed as a highpoint of Chinese civilisation, while the disappearance of the Maya world perplexes scholars.

Now a team of scientists has found evidence that a shift in monsoons led to drought and famine in the final century of Tang power. The weather pattern may also have spelt doom for the Maya in faraway Mexico at about the same time, they say.

Both ruling hierarchies at the start of the 10th century were victims of poor rainfall and starvation among their peoples when harvests failed.

The martial arts honed during the fall of the Tang still provide a staple of modern Chinese epic films and video games, while Mel Gibson, the actor-director, has just released Apocalypto, a blood-drenched film set in the last days of the Maya.

The Maya practised human sacrifices to please the gods of rain and Chinese soothsayers were employed by the court to divine the seasons, yet neither could have predicted the slow-motion catastrophe resulting from the changing weather.

The cause was to be found in the migration of a band of heavy tropical rain, which moves in response to phenomena such as El Niño (a weather effect created by huge surface temperature fluctuations in tropical eastern Pacific waters), the scientists argued in an article in Nature last week.

The effect was to end two golden ages which existed in ignorance of one another on opposite sides of the world.

The scientific team, led by Gerald Haug of Germany’s national geosciences research centre, found that a massive movement in tropical rainfall took place in early 900 both in China and in Central America.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Is this coming to Canadian cities???

I can see municipalities cutting garbage collection...
Recycling 'mania' has caused a plague of vermin infestations across the country, according to a damning independent report.

It blamed rubbish collections that come just once a fortnight and the widespread use of composting bins for a huge jump in domestic disturbances by rats and mice.

Complaints from families and householders suffering summer invasions by rats have gone up by more than a fifth in just a year, it found.

The investigation carried out for pest control firms linked the rise to 'recycling mania' in Whitehall and among local councils.

It condemned town halls that cut refuse collections from once a week to once a fortnight in the name of recycling.

It warned that the vermin problem will only get worse as all councils switch to compulsory recycling with fortnightly collections.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

And Jack wants to talk to people like this?

A good start to 2007.
Insurgents torched a newly built school for refugee children in eastern Afghanistan, officials said, in the first such attack in 2007 blamed on Taliban militants.

A spate of similar attacks last year on schools and teachers were mostly blamed on Taliban rebels conducting an insurgency to overthrow the Government and expel foreign troops trying to bring stability.

The school was set alight in the eastern province of Nangarhar near the border with Pakistan was made up of tents from the UN children's fund, UNICEF, provincial spokesman Hazrat Hussain said.

“Five tents of a new UNICEF-built school were burned down last night in Behsud district,” he said.

Is this barbaric or what?

This is indeed hard to believe...
Armed men cut off the ears and nose of a Pakistani man who married one of their tribe for love after he and his family refused to hand over his wife, police said on Wednesday.

The attackers also chopped the ears off the man's brother and severed his mother's hand in the latest "honor" crime to hit Pakistan's conservative rural areas.

Such crimes, including killings, are common in areas where marriages without the consent of girls' families are still taboo under centuries-old tribal and feudal traditions.

Mohammad Iqbal's wife, Shehnaz, was not at home when about 15 armed members of her clan attacked in the central city of Multan on Tuesday, demanding she be turned over.

"The assailants, who were armed with small arms, daggers and axes, tortured Iqbal and cut off his ears and nose when he refused to produce Shenhaz," Naeem-ul-Hassan, a deputy superintendent of police, told Reuters.

"They dragged us on the floor and thrashed us before cutting our limbs," Mohammad Yasin, Iqbal's brother told Reuters from Nishtar hospital, where he was being treated along with his brother and mother.

Shehnaz married Iqbal out of choice last year and the couple left Multan along with Iqbal's family apparently for fear of reprisals from Shehnaz's relatives.

The UK set to help boys in school....

Boys have fallen behind here in Canada too....but where are recommendations like this for separate classes?
Boys should be taught separately to stop them falling further behind girls as part of an extensive overhaul of the education system, a powerful Government-backed review says today.

Teachers should be encouraged to tailor classes to fit the needs of boys, with more emphasis on "competitive" lessons and the reading of non-fiction books, according to the review, chaired by Christine Gilbert, the head of Ofsted, the schools watchdog.

The recommendation follows the publication of GCSE results last summer which showed that boys were achieving a level of performance that girls had reached seven years before.

Today's report calls for a huge shake-up in the way education is delivered over the next 15 years to ensure that school leavers in 2020 have all the requisite skills.

Gazans get good at tunneling...

At least they are getting a the future, they could be building subway tunnels all across the world...
In houses along the steel wall separating Gaza and Egypt, the lights are flickering -- a sign that smugglers are digging tunnels below, their powerful drills weakening the flow of electricity.

Tunneling is the fastest-growing business in this impoverished border town and one of the biggest obstacles to any lasting Israeli-Palestinian truce.

Since Israel pulled out of the Gaza Strip a year ago, the number of tunnels for smuggling weapons, drugs and other contraband has more than doubled, evolving into an underground maze clawed out of Gaza's soft soil.

The largely unhindered weapons influx also heightens the threat of civil war between the rival Hamas and Fatah movements in Gaza and is souring Israel's ties with neighboring Egypt.

Israel says anti-tank missiles, tons of explosives and thousands of rifles have reached Gaza in the past year. Palestinian militants said they have imported longer-range Katyusha rockets -- they fired one earlier this year -- plus the means to upgrade their homemade rockets to reach deeper into Israel.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Shalikashvili sees the light....

The ex-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs now says gays can serve in the US military.
Last year I held a number of meetings with gay soldiers and marines, including some with combat experience in Iraq, and an openly gay senior sailor who was serving effectively as a member of a nuclear submarine crew. These conversations showed me just how much the military has changed, and that gays and lesbians can be accepted by their peers.

This perception is supported by a new Zogby poll of more than 500 service members returning from Afghanistan and Iraq, three quarters of whom said they were comfortable interacting with gay people. And 24 foreign nations, including Israel, Britain and other allies in the fight against terrorism, let gays serve openly, with none reporting morale or recruitment problems.

I now believe that if gay men and lesbians served openly in the United States military, they would not undermine the efficacy of the armed forces. Our military has been stretched thin by our deployments in the Middle East, and we must welcome the service of any American who is willing and able to do the job.
This is good news. The plain fact of the matter is that gays have been successfully serving the US military for many's time for them to finally come out of their closets.

Monday, January 01, 2007

The End of the Pint in the UK?

Is this the end of an institution?
For more than 300 years, the stamp of the crown on top of a pub glass has stood as a guarantee that it is big enough to deliver a full pint.

But this British tradition has now fallen victim to the extension of the EU's tentacles into national life and the demise of UK manufacturing.

Critics fear the loss of the crown will be followed by the loss of the pint itself, with British drinkers being required to switch to continental metric measures.

Ever since 1699, successive governments have found it necessary to measure and certify the pint and half-pint glasses made and used in this country.

The rules, which were intended to assure suspicious beer drinkers that they were not being given short measures, meant a crown and certification number was printed on each glass.

However, the EU is introducing a standard European-wide system for guaranteeing the size and safety of glasses.

Consequently, the new glasses now appearing in British pubs and bars carry a CE mark - which, in French, stands for ‘European Conformity'.

The loss of the crown is further evidence that the EU's grip on the nation's weights and measures is tightening.

Already greengrocers have been hauled before the courts for refusing to abide by EU rules that fresh produce must now be sold in kilos and grams, rather than pounds and ounces.

The Problem with Veils...

There are more and more incidents of people hiding behind veils...
A suspected Islamic militant gunned down a police chief after posing as a Muslim woman hidden behind a veil in Indian-controlled Kashmir on Saturday, an official said.

The brazen attack that killed Pampore police chief Manzoor Ahmed set off a gunbattle that also left a civilian dead and two constables wounded, said police officer Hemant Lohia.

The attacker donned the veil in order to get close to Ahmed, who was on foot patrol at the time of the shooting, Lohia said.

The assailant was able to flee the scene, 20 kilometers (12 miles) south of Srinagar, the summer capital of India's Jammu-Kashmir state.

Ahmed was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was later pronounced dead, Lohia said. The condition of one of the wounded constables was listed as serious.