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 (

Monday, April 30, 2007

If it had been a man - prison time for sure...

Why didn't this make national news?
A Hamilton judge handed a woman with psychological problems a suspended sentence and three years' probation yesterday after she admitted to setting fires at her Sanford Avenue home on three occasions. Two of the fires were started on the front porch of her rental property while the woman's mother, husband and two children, 9 and 6 years old, were inside.

The woman came to the attention of Hamilton police in September 2005 when she received a series of anonymous letters threatening harm to her and the children.

Police put a plan in place to safeguard the family. In mid-October, however, officers conducting surveillance caught the woman on videotape setting fire to her own home. Investigators ultimately concluded that she had been responsible for the other arsons and was also the author of the letters. The Children's Aid Society was notified and the children were placed in care for a time, but have since been returned to the mother. The woman pleaded guilty on an earlier date to public mischief and mischief endangering life.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

They will never be satisfied by CO2 cuts...

Environmentalists will only be happy when we are back in a pre-industrial or stone-age period. This is a report from the UK...
The climate change Bill would still allow "dangerous" global warming to happen, an influential Labour backbencher said yesterday.

Colin Challen, the Labour chairman of the all-party Parliamentary climate change group, said science commissioned by the Government showed that emissions of greenhouse gases must be cut by far more than 60 per cent by 2050, the target enshrined in David Miliband's Bill.

Mr Challen's views are supported by scientists from the Tyndall Centre who say the Bill's targets are more likely to contribute to a world up to 5C warmer than pre-industrial levels than they are to constrain warming to no more than 2C.

Mr Challen and the Tyndall scientists believe that cuts in emissions of more than 80 per cent by 2050 will be needed to prevent global temperatures rising by more than 2C on average.

There is no pay gap between men and women...

Statistical agencies like Stats Canada need to come clean and really analyze the statistics. Here's a look at a report from the US...
On its face, the evidence in the AAUW study looks damning. "One year out of college," it says, "women working full-time earn only 80 percent as much as their male colleagues earn. Ten years after graduation, women fall farther behind, earning only 69 percent as much as men earn."

But read more, and you learn things that don't get much notice on Equal Pay Day. As the report acknowledges, women with college degrees tend to go into fields like education, psychology and the humanities, which typically pay less than the sectors preferred by men, such as engineering, math and business. They are also more likely than men to work for nonprofit groups and local governments, which do not offer salaries that Alex Rodriguez would envy.

As they get older, many women elect to work less so they can spend time with their children. A decade after graduation, 39 percent of women are out of the work force or working part time -- compared with only 3 percent of men. When these mothers return to full-time jobs, they naturally earn less than they would have if they had never left.

Even before they have kids, men and women often do different things that may affect earnings. A year out of college, notes AAUW, women in full-time jobs work an average of 42 hours a week, compared to 45 for men. Men are also far more likely to work more than 50 hours a week.

Buried in the report is a startling admission: "After accounting for all factors known to affect wages, about one-quarter of the gap remains unexplained and may be attributed to discrimination" (my emphasis). Another way to put it is that three-quarters of the gap clearly has innocent causes -- and that we actually don't know whether discrimination accounts for the rest.

I asked Harvard economist Claudia Goldin if there is sufficient evidence to conclude that women experience systematic pay discrimination. "No," she replied. There are certainly instances of discrimination, she says, but most of the gap is the result of different choices. Other hard-to-measure factors, Goldin thinks, largely account for the remaining gap -- "probably not all, but most of it."

The divergent career paths of men and women may reflect a basic unfairness in what's expected of them. It could be that a lot of mothers, if they had their way, would rather pursue careers but have to stay home with the kids because their husbands insist. Or it may be that for one reason or another, many mothers prefer to take on the lion's share of child-rearing. In any case, the pay disparity caused by these choices can't be blamed on piggish employers.

June O'Neill, an economist at Baruch College and former director of the Congressional Budget Office, has uncovered something that debunks the discrimination thesis. Take out the effects of marriage and child-rearing, and the difference between the genders suddenly vanishes. "For men and women who never marry and never have children, there is no earnings gap," she said in an interview.

Hamas is turning Gaza into a hell hole...

Hamas will pick guns and bombs over governance any day....Jonathan Schanzer looks at the Misrule in Gaza in the New York Post....
International Exodus: Foreigners who came to help are starting to flee for their lives - even armed foreigners. One group of Egyptian military officers has reportedly been recalled to Cairo on account of the dangers, with the two generals who remain spending most of their time in Israel, for fear of violence.

The United Nations may even declare Gaza a "dangerous zone." That would precipitate the evacuation of nearly all foreign nationals.

This would be disastrous for the general population: Nearly two-thirds of Gaza's 1.4 million residents claim refugee status, and rely on the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA) and other aid organizations.

Unsafe Streets: The Palestinian media reports that crimes, including car theft and abductions, are skyrocketing. Iranian-trained Hamas forces are battling Egyptian-trained Fatah forces, rather than policing the streets. National Security Adviser Muhammad Dahlan admits that "many young men prefer to work for clans and not the security forces."

Last Sunday, a group calling itself the Islamic Swords of Truth, a self-appointed vice squad, claimed responsibility for bombing the Gaza Bible Society's bookstore and two Internet cafes.

In response, Palestinians are taking the law into their own hands. In March, one of Gaza's large clans gathered to blockade a main road in Northern Gaza to protest against the targeting of one of their shops by a vice squad. The family demanded that the government bring law and order back to the streets.

Dwindling Media Freedom: Last week, security guards broke up a peaceful media protest of the government's inability to secure the release of Alan Johnston, the BBC journalist kidnapped more than a month ago - and injured three journalists.

A group calling itself the Tawhid and Jihad Brigades just issued a statement claiming to have executed Johnston. Foreign journalists now fear for their lives.

Health Risks: The collapse of a sewage-treatment pool in Umm al-Naser, a North Gaza village, killed three women and two toddlers and injured 25 others in March. The "sewage tsunami" submerged at least 25 homes and caused untold damages to the 3,000-person village.

Fadel Kawash, head of the Palestinian Water Authority, told the Associated Press that a number of sewage projects, including the one in Umm al-Naser, were halted when Hamas pulled funding after their electoral victory in January 2006. Said one U.N. official, "this has been a tragedy that was predicted and documented."

Officials believe that another cesspool collapse is possible, unless prophylactic steps are soon taken.

Provocations: Hamas continues to permit provocations against Israel from Gaza - notably, the homemade Kassam missiles shot into Israel nearly every day.

Yuval Diskin, the chief of Shin Bet, Israel's counterintelligence and internal-security service, recently warned that Israel must begin to think about thwarting a more dangerous situation in Gaza, should Hamas develop more dangerous capabilities.

Hamas is tempting Israel into a confrontation, with reckless disregard for the Palestinian population. Gaza is the most densely populated place on earth; any military incursion - like Israel's response last year to similar Hamas provocations from Lebanon - would inflict utter devastation.

Political Correctness goes crazy....

The Queen has nothing to apologize for....
THE Queen is being urged to apologise for the slaughter of American Indians and the introduction of slavery when she visits Virginia this week as guest of honour to mark the 400th anniversary of the first English settlement in the New World at Jamestown.

She will be landing in the middle of a row over political correctness after officials in Virginia banned the use of the word “celebration” for the anniversary. It is being called a “commemoration” out of respect for the suffering of native Americans, who were attacked after the colonists arrived in 1607.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Light bulb fascism....

These new compact fluorescent bulbs put dangerous mercury into the home....
How much money does it take to screw in a compact fluorescent light bulb? About US$4.28 for the bulb and labour -- unless you break the bulb. Then you, like Brandy Bridges of Ellsworth, Maine, could be looking at a cost of about US$2,004.28, which doesn't include the costs of frayed nerves and risks to health.

Sound crazy? Perhaps no more than the stampede to ban the incandescent light bulb in favour of compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs).

According to an April 12 article in The Ellsworth American, Bridges had the misfortune of breaking a CFL during installation in her daughter's bedroom: It dropped and shattered on the carpeted floor.

Aware that CFLs contain potentially hazardous substances, Bridges called her local Home Depot for advice. The store told her that the CFL contained mercury and that she should call the Poison Control hotline, which in turn directed her to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.

The DEP sent a specialist to Bridges' house to test for mercury contamination. The specialist found mercury levels in the bedroom in excess of six times the state's "safe" level for mercury contamination of 300 billionths of a gram per cubic meter. The DEP specialist recommended that Bridges call an environmental cleanup firm, which reportedly gave her a "low-ball" estimate of US$2,000 to clean up the room. The room then was sealed off with plastic and Bridges began "gathering finances" to pay for the US$2,000 cleaning. Reportedly, her insurance company wouldn't cover the cleanup costs because mercury is a pollutant.

Given that the replacement of incandescent bulbs with CFLs in the average U.S. household is touted as saving as much as US$180 annually in energy costs -- and assuming that Bridges doesn't break any more CFLs -- it will take her more than 11 years to recoup the cleanup costs in the form of energy savings.
Are we going to have to start buying light bulbs from our marijuana dealers?

The coming eco-fascism....

Its' already started...and it's going to be vicious...
But for nuts we don't need to go all the way to Iran. The Green Gestapo of the environment seems ready to launch nuts right here at home. Eco-fascists share the self-righteous arrogance of Islamo-fascists, safety-Nazis and other control freaks. They're like the multicultural censors excising "Merry Christmas!" or the feminist ones neutering the word "fisherman" and substituting "fisher" as the mot juste. They're the anti-gun crusaders obliging us to register Grandpa's squirrel-plonker; they're the Victorian don't-step-on-the-grass crowd; they're our version of the Persian dress police. They're prepared to enforce a government- regulated climate in Canada, indoors and outdoors, literally and figuratively, itching to counter global warming with an economic ice age.

What will it be like? Dark and grim. Hot showers on alternate days. Cars carrying fewer than three passengers impounded. Failure to use the politically correct amount of toilet paper bringing down the full wrath of the eco-fascist state. And harbouring an unlicensed light bulb in the home....

One more dissenting voice on global warming....

Williams Gray is one of the world's foremost experts on hurricanes.
Hurricane forecaster William Gray said that global ocean currents, not human-produced carbon dioxide, are responsible for global warming, and the Earth may begin to cool on its own in five to 10 years.

Gray, a Colorado State University researcher best known for his annual forecasts of hurricanes along the U.S. Atlantic coast, also said Friday that increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will not produce more or stronger hurricanes.

He said that over the past 40 years the number of major hurricanes making landfall on the U.S. Atlantic coast has declined compared with the previous 40 years, even though carbon dioxide levels have risen.

Gray, speaking to a group of Republican state lawmakers, had harsh words for researchers and politicians who say man-made greenhouse gases are responsible for global warming.

"They're blaming it all on humans, which is crazy," he said. "We're not the cause of it."

Gray complained that politics and research into global warming have created "almost an industry" that has unfairly frightened the public and overwhelmed dissenting voices.

He said research arguing that humans are causing global warming is "mush" based on unreliable computer models that cannot possibly take into account the hundreds of factors that influence the weather.

Gray said ocean circulation patterns are behind a decades-long warming cycle. He has argued previously that the strength of these patterns can affect how much cold water rises to the surface, which in turn affects how warm or cold the atmosphere is.

He also disputed assertions that greenhouse gases could raise global temperatures as much as some scientists predict.

"There's no way that doubling CO2 is going to cause that amount of warming," he said.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

To feel good - the EU will kill the rainforests...

Nobody really considers the secondary effects of all so-called environmental policies...
European union green fuel targets will accelerate the destruction of rainforests in South-East Asia and threaten the habitat of endangered species, such as the orang-utan.

EU green targets will damage rainforests
Seeds of palm oil are harvested at a plantation in Rokan Hilir

In March EU leaders agreed to set a binding climate change target to make biofuel - energy sources made from plant material - account for 10 per cent of all Europe's transport fuels by 2020.

But the European Commission has admitted that the objective, which aims to cut carbon dioxide emissions, may have the unintended consequence of speeding up the destruction of tropical rainforests and peatlands in South-East Asia - actually increasing, not reducing, global warming.

European consumption of plant-based fuels will soar from around three million tons at present to more than 30 million tons in 2010, driving a boom in imports of cheap biofuels.

Europe is still years away from self-sufficiency in biofuels produced from straw and other waste vegetation. As a result, demand for cheap imports of fuels, such as palm oil, is expected to soar.

Countries such as Indonesia have already begun planning an increase in the production of palm oil, a development campaigners fear will see more rainforest fall to the axe and rare peat soil burned.

So-called Anti-War Activists Join the Jihad...

It's one thing being a critic of George Bush and the War in Iraq - but for the anti-war left to actually ally themselves with the Jihad is just contempible....
This time, I'm here to say Canada's main "antiwar" groups have finally, fully, and openly exposed themselves to be active participants in that war. And they're on the side of the enemy.

Two months ago, in Richmond Hill, Ontario, the key leaders of the Canadian Peace Alliance, the War Resisters Support Group, and the Toronto Stop the War Coalition joined Iranian diplomats and theocrats in celebration of the 28th anniversary of the Khomeinist revolution in Iran.

Cohosted by the Iranian Embassy, the anniversary celebration was, by all accounts, a happy and pleasant affair. There was singing and speeches, and on the same day, back in Iran the Khomeinist theocracy's defence minister was announcing the production of a new 2,000-kilometre-range missile.

Last month, about 20 Canadian "antiwar" leaders answered the call of the Canadian Peace Alliance and assembled in Cairo, Egypt, for a strategy session with some of the world's most foul jihadists. Among them were senior officers from Hezbollah, Iran's Lebanese client statelet that pioneered the current savagery of Islamist suicide bombings, and Hamas, the death cult whose stabbings, shootings, and explosions have taken the lives of hundreds of innocent Palestinians and Israelis in recent years.

According to the Egyptian English-language weekly Al-Ahram, one of the Canadian Peace Alliance delegates at the Cairo conference, Toronto's James Clark, told the gathering that Canadian activists use incidents of Islamophobia in this country to "educate and mobilize people". Clark is reported to have uttered the lie that the Canadian government actively and deliberately enflames Islamophobia in order to wage war in Muslim countries. Clark vowed that "the Canadian peace movement, inspired by the Arab resistance in Lebanon and Iraq, would work with Muslims to defeat imperialism."

The Reuters news agency reported that a surprise guest at the Cairo conference was a certain Abu Omar, a shadowy cleric who fled Egypt several years ago after the government outlawed and suppressed his group, Jamaat al-Islamiya, for waging a campaign of tourist murders and assassinations through the 1990s. Jamaat al-Islamiya's most memorable contribution to the struggle for social justice was a 1997 machine-gunning and stabbing spree at the Temple of Hatshepsut in Luxor that left 71 innocents dead, most of them foreign sightseers. Last August, al-Qaeda deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahiri declared Jamaat al-Islamiya an al-Qaeda subsidiary.
Please read the whole report - but a warning - it will make your blood boil.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

UK doctors to boycott Israel?

A letter to the editor in the Guardian from 125+ doctors in the UK calls for a boycott...
The Israeli Medical Association has a duty to protest about war crimes of this kind, but has refused to do so. Appeals to the World Medical Association and the British Medical Association have also been rebuffed. Eighteen leading Palestinian health organisations have appealled to fellow professionals abroad to recognise how the IMA has forfeited its right to membership of the international medical community. We are calling for a boycott of the Israeli Medical Association and its expulsion from the WMA. There is a precedent for this: the expulsion of the Medical Association of South Africa during the apartheid era. A boycott is an ethical and moral imperative when conventional channels do not function, for otherwise we are merely turning away.

Monday, April 23, 2007

And, Israel is supposed to talk to these people???

At least he's no longer the so-called foreign minister....
Former Palestinian foreign minister Mahmoud Zahar said Monday that if Israel agreed to withdraw from the West Bank and release Palestinian security prisoners, the Palestinians would be obligated to negotiate with Israel, since there would be a national purpose involved, Israel Radio reported.

Zahar emphasized, however, that "negotiations" did not mean recognition of Israel.

In an interview with a Hamas-affiliated Web site, the former minister said that there was nothing preventing talks with Israel, as long as the talks did not involve making concessions.

Even the prophet Muhammad, Zahar said, held negotiations with infidels and enemies.

On Friday, Zahar said in an interview that recognizing Israel ran contrary to the teachings of the Koran.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Canadian journalist beaten....

I hope they don't read GayandRight....
Mississauga journalist Jawaad Faizi says he can still feel broken glass showering over him in his car as he fended off blows from a cricket bat in a surprise attack he blames on "religious fanatics."

A writer for the Pakistan Post, Faizi said he was beaten by three men because he mocked a Pakistani cleric in a column.

Faizi said the men smashed the windshield and driver's window of his car as he arrived at his editor's home about 8:45 p.m. Tuesday. He said he was struck by the cricket bat and was cut on his forearm.

"They were smashing and smashing, hitting and hitting," Faizi said. "I could not stop them."

Faizi said both he and his editor, Amir Arain, recently received phone calls warning them to stop writing defamatory articles about the religious group Idara Minhaj-ul-Quran and its leader, Allama Tahir-Ul-Qadri.

Faizi said he wrote a column two weeks ago mocking the cleric, who he said told a gathering in Pakistan "that he could write the name of Mohammed on the moon with his finger."

"He is always trying to fool the people," Faizi said.

The columnist said his three attackers screamed at him in Punjabi and Urdu to stop writing about Minhaj-ul-Quran.

How Israel should respond to the UK Journalists boycott...

Zev Chafets has a good suggestion on how Israel should respond to the recent boycott of Israel by the National Union of British Journalists...
A more image-conscious group than the NUBJ would have postponed its endorsement of the Palestinian jihad until the release of BBC correspondent Alan Johnston from his captivity in Gaza. It would also have refrained from announcing its boycott of the Jewish state on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day. Points to the British journalists for standing up to the Zionist lobby.

Israel now faces a unique problem. No open society in history has ever been boycotted by Western journalists. Some in Jerusalem will be tempted to denounce it as a declaration of war by the British media. But I think this is shortsighted.

Israel, I believe, should not only respect the British boycott, but join it.

There are some journalists who - while prepared to forego Israeli dairy products and such - will find it difficult to break their habit of access to the story. The government of Israel can make this easier by removing temptation. It should ask all British correspondents stationed in Israel to leave, either by way of Ben Gurion Airport or, if they prefer, via Gaza.

And it should withhold visas and accreditation from members of the National Union of British Journalists (and the media companies that employ NUBJ members) until the journalists of Britain decide to resume at least the fiction of impartiality.

Rabbi attacked in Paris...

This wouldn't happen if we wore a burka...
The Rabbinical Center of Europe has strongly condemned the attack in Paris against a French rabbi and expressed its concern about increasing anti-Semitic violence in Europe.

The Brussels-based centre reacted after Rabbi Elie Dahan, the rabbi of the Jewish community in northern France, was attacked Thursday morning while he was walking at the Paris north station.

The 45-year-old Dahan was insulted and knocked in the face by his assailant, a 20-year-old Black man from the French Antilles, who ran away.

“I arrived in Paris from Lille for personal matters. I was walking at around 11 am in the station when the man, who was accompanied by a woman, turned at me and shouted: dirty Jew, you are looking at me. I will knock you dirty Jew,” the rabbi declared.

While Dahan was trying to calm the situation, he was knocked in the back and in the face.

Climate change on Neptune...

We've written previously on climate change on Mars, Jupiter, Pluto....and now we can add Neptune to the list.
Long-term photometric measurements of Neptune show variations of brightness over half a century. Seasonal change in Neptune's atmosphere may partially explain a general rise in the long-term light curve, but cannot explain its detailed variations. This leads us to consider the possibility of solar-driven changes, i.e., changes incurred by innate solar variability perhaps coupled with changing seasonal insolation. Although correlations between Neptune's brightness and Earth's temperature anomaly—and between Neptune and two models of solar variability—are visually compelling, at this time they are not statistically significant due to the limited degrees of freedom of the various time series. Nevertheless, the striking similarity of the temporal patterns of variation should not be ignored simply because of low formal statistical significance. If changing brightnesses and temperatures of two different planets are correlated, then some planetary climate changes may be due to variations in the solar system environment.

Buy this book immediately!

I strongly urge everybody to go buy David Solway's new book, "The Big Lie: On Terrorism, Antisemitism, and Identity.

Solway is yet another intellectual who has come to grips with the realities of the world after 9/11. Prior to that tragedy, he was a very typical anti-American Canadian who bought into Noam Chomsky and other left-wing writers. But 9/11 changed all that and he has written a masterpiece. Because Solway was a poet, his use of words is amazing - this is not just a terrific book...but a book that showcases terrific writing. Here's just one small quote:
It is curious to observe that the religious Islamic right and the secular Western left have joined forces in creating a post-Orwellian form of doublespeak -- peace (surrender), resistance (terrorism), apartheid (self-defence), freedom of religion (Islamic privilege), anti-Zionism (antisemitism), international community (competitive dissensus), diplomacy (appeasement), justice (prejudice) -- phrases used like flags of convenience under which to float an ideological agenda and to avoid the high cost of truth."
"The Big Lie" is available at Chapters, and I urge to run, not walk, and buy this book.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Ice off Newfoundland - worst in over 20 years...

A nice article in today's National Post about the 100 fishing and sealing boats trapped in the ice off of Newfoundland. One of the fishermen was quoted as saying, "This is the worse I've seen for 20 years at least."

Now, does this have anything to do with global warming? No, of course not. It's due to severe storms and northeasterly winds....

But, had there been no ice...well, that would have been proof of global warming in most newspapers, no?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Hurray! A web site for gay Israelis and gay Arabs...

When I lived in Israel for awhile, my friend Ran ran a coffeehouse for gays in the old city and many Israeli arabs came for a coffee....
Matt Lebow and John Leonard wanted to do something different. Fed up with traditional gay Internet sites that offered only crude and X-rated material, the Israel-based students decided to create a new web site that would combine their fervid interest in the region's handsome men with a bit of culture, a dash of political activism and human rights, and most of all peaceful dialogue with other gays throughout the Arab world.

The answer was, a new web site where pictures of bronzed beautiful 'pieces' from Tel Aviv's beaches rub alongside entries on Passover, Arab-lesbian demonstrations in Haifa, and the sexual exploits of a gay Turkish blogger, called Turkishboy.

"Gay Jews and gay Arabs have a great deal in common," 28-year-old Vermont native Lebow explained to ISRAEL21c. "They face similar challenges all over the world. When you share similar struggles and a similar identity, there's no reason not to work together and build a community that offers mutual support."

As the site's mission statement announces: "Gay Jewish Israelis and neighboring gay Arabs have more in common than, say, a gay New York City Jew and a homophobic Salt Lake City Mormon in the US. We must focus on what unites us, instead of what divides us, i.e., a great ass, nice arms, killer smile, etc."

Since it opened some 10 weeks ago, the site has already managed to attract 100,000 viewers, and, adds Lebow proudly, its first advert. This is no small achievement, particularly since the only advertising is word of mouth.

Where is the outrage???

Three Israelis are still being held hostage....
It is sad that Gilad, Udi and Eldad were missing from the Schalit, Goldwasser and Regev family Seders this year. Not only their families but all of Israeli society felt their absence.

Our lives continue normally, but the abduction of our soldiers and dearth of information about their fate touches each and every one of us.

The abduction of the soldiers, the refusal of their captors to permit the International Red Cross to visit them, their complete isolation from the world and the lack of any knowledge regarding their health is one of the most serious crimes being perpetrated by the Palestinian terrorist organizations.

What could be more natural, then, than for the celebrated international human-rights organizations, who rush to condemn Israel for crimes real and imagined, to cry out in protest against this ongoing cruelty to the soldiers' families?

AMAZINGLY enough, however, until now only a feeble murmur of mild protest has been heard. Human Rights Watch issued a statement on June 29, 2006 which defined the abduction of Gilad Schalit as a war crime. The main thrust of the statement, however, was a condemnation of the Israeli attack on the Gaza power station that came in its wake.

Amnesty International, the organization that has - with the support of its Israeli branch -implicitly blamed the Israeli occupation for the many cases of "honor killing" in the territories in which Palestinian women have been murdered by their families, on June 27 called for the release of Shalit, but of course added a knee-jerk condemnation of Israel.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Jihad in Thailand continues...

This is one ugly jihad...well...aren't they all pretty ugly?
A Buddhist woman was shot and burned alive in Thailand's violence-torn Muslim-majority south on Wednesday, prompting angry protests in front of visiting army chief Sonthi Boonyaratglin.

Watcharaporn Boonmak, 26, was ambushed by gunmen as she rode her motorcycle through a Muslim village in Yala, one of the three southern provinces roiled by three years of separatist insurgency in which more than 2,000 people have been killed.

"She might have been shot in the stomach before they set fire to her and her motorcycle," a Yala police officer, who asked to remain anonymous, told Reuters by telephone.

One of her relatives told Reuters that witnesses at the scene heard Watcharaporn, a garage clerk, screaming and crawling along the road for help but nobody dared respond for fear of reprisals.

Even by the standards of a conflict that has seen well over a dozen civilians beheaded, it was a shocking incident.

"It is the most cruel and brutal thing I've seen in my life," Jaran Kongchuay said as he joined hundreds of Buddhists bearing Watcharaporn's charred body on a hospital stretcher to the provincial hall, demanding action from Sonthi.

"Beheading or burning alive, no one is arrested!" one of their placards read. "Will the government please pay closer attention to the three southern border provinces?" another said.

Al-Qaeda lays claim to Spain....

Are the Spanish ready to fight?
The emergence of a new al-Qaeda-linked organization in Northern Africa is alarming Spain, which is concerned about Islamists' calls for the reconquest of the country they regard as a lost part of the Muslim world.

"We will not be in peace until we set our foot again in our beloved al-Andalus," al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb said on claiming responsibility for an attack which killed at least 24 people in Algiers on Wednesday.

Al-Andalus is the Moorish name for Spain, parts of which were ruled by Muslims for about eight centuries until the last Moorish bastion, Granada, succumbed to the Christian Reconquest in 1492.

The terrorists will undoubtedly attempt to extend their offensive from Northern Africa to European soil, anti-terrorism judge Baltasar Garzon warned, cautioning that Spain was at a "very high risk" of suffering an Islamist attack.

The reference to al-Andalus was not the first by al-Qaeda, which has also vowed to put an end to the Spanish "occupation" of the enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla on the Moroccan coast.

Such announcements worry the security services in Spain, where 29 mainly Moroccan suspects are on trial for the 2004 Madrid train bombings that killed 191 and injured about 1,800 people.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

A white privilege conference!!!!

I had to slap myself when I read this article - how on earth can they have a conference on white privilege???
White people, you're privileged, and guilty, guilty, guilty of oppressing disadvantaged minorities. Denial only makes things worse.

This is the message currently emanating from the Seattle School District. Never mind that this dubious construct undercuts needed emphasis on minority student achievement.

District officials this month are sending students from four high schools to an annual "White Privilege Conference" in Colorado. The conference is billed as an "opportunity to examine and explore difficult issues related to white privilege, white supremacy and oppression" — "a challenging, empowering and educational experience."

The conference has little to do with mastering reading, writing, math and science; or with graduating from high school and keeping one's head above water in college. Those are the lessons high-school students should be learning, not that they will be given social promotions in the name of equity and inclusion.

The focus of Seattle Public Schools bureaucracy is clearly political indoctrination, not academics. The district is even planning an "equity summit" in the spring, which White Privilege Conference attendees are to help lead.

What's the thinking behind this theory of white privilege? For the 2006 conference, a paper by Tobin Miller Shearer (who is white) argued that white people could not enter the kingdom of God unless they confronted the way racism and white privilege shaped their lives and spirituality. He maintained that white people tend to be far too individualistic and need to acknowledge their membership in a group that is unavoidably racist.

Robert Jensen, a journalism professor writing in the Kansas City Business Journal, echoed those sentiments. Breaking free of white privilege means "challenging the pathological individualism of this culture so we can see how our successes and our failures are always partly social, not strictly individual," Jensen asserted.

So, there you have it. Somehow, in 2007 in the United States, "society," racial bias and stereotyping are still controlling forces, oppressing minorities.
I find the entire concept of lumping a whole variety of people into the 'white' category distasteful. Just as distasteful as lumping non-white people into the 'visible minority' category. For myself - well, I am Jewish, Gay, Canadian, and Atheist...not to mention Conservative. I don't celebrate 'white' holidays and I don't sing 'white' songs. I do like the holiday of Passover, and I wish people "Merry Christmas" in December.

The pantone color of my skin is really irrelevant (and what is the proper pantone number to denote whiteness?).

An olive farmer causes OXFAM to question UK foreign policy...

Shame on Oxfam.
A British charity has said that its country's policy on Israel and the Palestinians is among the errors in foreign policy that has damaged the country's reputation in the world and undermined its status as "an international force for good."

In a report published on Wednesday, Oxfam, a British charity with a mandate to overcome poverty and suffering in the world, has questioned their country's foreign policy, asking if the UK can do more to protect civilians around the world.

While the report focuses on the UK's role in Iraq and impact or policy around the world, saying the lesson is that "the wrong policy can make a bad situation worse," Oxfam attacks the British government for failing to pressure Israel for an immediate cease-fire in the Lebanon war last year.

The charity uses an account of a Lebanese farmer to make its point. "Around the world, Oxfam sees the impact of British foreign policy on the people with whom it works. In Lebanon in 2006, for example, Abdullah Bakin, an olive farmer in the village of Siddiquine, was typical in blaming the UK, not only Israel and the US, for the destruction wrought on his farm, because the British government had failed to press Israel for an immediate cease-fire."
Couldn't Oxfam just concentrate on hunger?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Now, hot cross buns are out...

This story is from the UK...
Hospital staff claim they were banned from handing out hot cross buns this Easter in case they upset non-Christians.

The decision disappointed patients at Poole Hospital in Dorset and angered catering staff.

In an email to their local paper, sent on Good Friday, catering staff said: 'We the kitchen staff of Poole Hospital were disgusted to find that the patients were not getting hot cross buns this morning.

"The manager of the catering department said he was worried about the ethnic minorities that work here."

Sunday, April 08, 2007

I'd hate to be a student at this University....

The Student Union president is an associate of George Galloway..need more be said?
Jewish students at one of the UK’s leading universities have complained of being "treated like sh*t time after time" following a controversial decision to twin its student union with a Palestinian one which recently supported terrorism against Israel.

Students at Manchester University, in England’s north west, have recently voted to twin their union with Al-Najah National University in Nablus, which in 2001 built an exhibition celebrating that year’s suicide terror attack on a Jerusalem restaurant.

The exhibition, marking an attack on the Sbarro cafe, was said to have even horrified the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

More amputations coming in Iran?

Well, if the public wants it....
The reformist website Rooz reported on April 5, 2007 that the Friday prayer leader of Shiraz, a city in the heart of Iran, had called for more public punishments, as prescribed by "hodud," Islamic penal law.

After a convicted thief’s hand was amputated in public in Kermanshah, Ayatollah Mohiyeddin Shirazi, an appointee of the supreme leader of Iran, criticized the halting of public punishments, and added, "Those who say that practices like amputating hands belong to the past are themselves part of the past." He also claimed that imprisonment had no effect "on educating criminals and reducing crime."

At a meeting with judges from Fars province, Shirazi argued that public punishments are more effective that imprisonment: "Prison and imprisoning individuals do not have an effect on educating criminals and reducing crime. They also add to corruption." He also called for using criminals convicted for drug-related charges as forced labor.

Kermanshah judiciary head Allahyar Malekshahi promised more amputations in the future and said that citizens had requested the public amputation.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Did the US make a trade to get Iran to release the hostages?

I really hope Krauthammer is wong....
The quid pro quos were not terribly subtle. An Iranian "diplomat" who had been held for two months in Iraq is suddenly released. Equally suddenly, Iran is granted access to the five Iranian "consular officials" -- Revolutionary Guards who had been training Shiite militias to kill Americans and others -- whom the United States had arrested in Irbil in January. There may have been other concessions we will never hear about. But the salient point is that American action is what got this unstuck.

Where then was the European Union? These 15 hostages, after all, are not just British citizens but, under the laws of Europe, citizens of Europe. Yet the European Union lifted not a finger on their behalf.

Europeans talk all the time about their preference for "soft power" over the brute military force those Neanderthal Americans resort to all the time. What was the soft power available here? Iran's shaky economy is highly dependent on European credits, trade and technology. Britain asked the European Union to threaten to freeze exports, $18 billion a year of commerce. Iran would have lost its No. 1 trading partner. The European Union refused.

Why was nothing done? The reason is simple. Europe functions quite well as a free-trade zone, but as a political entity it is a farce. It remains a collection of sovereign countries with divergent interests. A freeze of economic relations with Europe would have shaken the Iranian economy to the core. "The Dutch," reported the Times of London, "said it was important not to risk a breakdown in dialogue." So much for European solidarity.

Pillars of Wisdom on Climate Change

The New Zealand Climate Science has some wisdom on climate change.
1. Over the past few thousand years, the climate in many parts of the world has been warmer and cooler than it is now. Civilisations and cultures flourished in the warmer periods.

2. A major driver of climate change is variability in solar effects, such as sunspot cycles, the sun's magnetic field and solar particles.

These may account in great part for climate change during the past century. Evidence suggests warming involving increased carbon dioxide exerts only a minor influence.

3. Since 1998, global temperature has not increased. Projection of solar cycles suggests that cooling could set in and continue to about 2030.

4. Most recent climate and weather events are not unusual; they occur regularly.

For example, in the 1930s the Arctic experienced higher temperatures and had less ice than now.

5. Stories of impending climate disaster are based almost entirely on global climate models.

Not one of these models has shown that it can reliably predict future climate.

6. The Kyoto Protocol, if fully implemented, would make no measurable difference to world temperatures.

The trillions of dollars that it will cost would be far better spent on solving known problems such as the provision of clean water, reducing air pollution and fighting malaria and Aids.

7. Climate is constantly changing and the future will include coolings, warmings, floods, droughts and storms.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

And David Suzuki thinks the Europeans can cut emissions....

On his recent cross-Canada tour, David Suzuki was touting the success of the Europeans in cutting CO2 with most things, he is wrong...
The amount of greenhouse gas pumped into European skies rose by up to 30 million tonnes last year despite the EU’s pledge to lead the world in tackling climate change.

A much-heralded emissions trading scheme, which is being copied by California and is seen as the market solution to reducing harmful gases, failed to achieve the cuts in industrial pollution needed to hit Kyoto targets, figures from the European Commission showed.

The Europe-wide increase in CO2 came in the second year of the scheme to allocate emission permits to companies and power generators. Critics described the EU trading system as “botched central planning” because too many permits were granted, enabling polluters to buy them at knockdown prices and carry on producing the gases that cause climate change.

Why do we let Iran off the hook?

The only lesson Iran will learn from the latest hostage crisis is that the west is weak.
This seizure is wholly consistent with Iran’s approach to foreign policy for the past three decades. It has been arming and directing Shia fanatics to attack British Forces in southern Iraq for the better part of four years. Its agents in Lebanon, Hezbollah, went into Israel last summer, killing eight troops and capturing two more of whom nothing has been heard since. Its other ally, Hamas, detained another Israeli soldier a little earlier and he too remains imprisoned. All these acts were in strict violation of international standards. Compared with these infamies, obliging soldiers to “confess” to offences that they never committed and publishing supposed letters to the British people must seem minor offences to Iran.

There is endless discussion about how to separate the “moderates” from the “radicals” in Tehran. It is a largely futile exercise. The blunt reality is that Iran has been a menace from the moment that Jimmy Carter, with monumental weakness, decided to force the Shah into exile and so permit Ayatollah Khomeni to return from Paris to assume control. Iran has sought to destabilise the Middle East peace process, undercut Lebanon’s sovereignty and undermine other regimes in the region for almost 30 years. It has done so while men lauded as “moderates” were state president. The Iranian regime has been the embodiment of theological Trotskyism: permanent revolution is the core of its collective ideology. So why are we surprised that it has taken this chance to treat British citizens so badly?

And what has been the response of most of the major powers throughout this period? It has been to express occasional disapproval while building up trade links. Even after the emergence of the firebrand Mahmoud Ahmadinejad it has been business as usual. Over the past five years Iran has moved step by step to be in a position where it can possess nuclear weapons. It has met only limited resistance from a UN Security Council unwilling to do anything more than threaten minor economic sanctions. Iran has concluded, rationally from its perspective, that no one will challenge its attempt to dominate its neighbourhood. The presence of British troops there is an inconvenience. So why are we surprised that it has engineered the opportunity to intimidate them?

What did they say - 3 hail mary's??

And, this is our ally in the fight against terrorism.
Police in central Pakistan say they have charged five Christian men under the country's tough blasphemy laws.

Police official, Aslam Shankar, has told AFP a case was registered against the Christians for disrupting a procession celebrating the Prophet Mohammed's birthday on Sunday in Toba Tek Sing district, near Faisalabad city.

He says they also allegedly used "inappropriate language."

Mr Shankar says they arrested one of them and the other four accused managed to escape.

Blasphemy is punishable by death under the laws of Pakistan, although no one has ever been executed for the crime.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Trouble with Islam...

Terrific article in the Wall Street Journal from an ex-member of Jemaah Islamiya, an Islamic terrorist group in Asia.
Politicians and scholars in the West have taken up the chant that Islamic extremism is caused by the Arab-Israeli conflict. This analysis cannot convince any rational person that the Islamist murder of over 150,000 innocent people in Algeria--which happened in the last few decades--or their slaying of hundreds of Buddhists in Thailand, or the brutal violence between Sunni and Shia in Iraq could have anything to do with the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Western feminists duly fight in their home countries for equal pay and opportunity, but seemingly ignore, under a façade of cultural relativism, that large numbers of women in the Islamic world live under threat of beating, execution and genital mutilation, or cannot vote, drive cars and dress as they please.

The tendency of many Westerners to restrict themselves to self-criticism further obstructs reformation in Islam. Americans demonstrate against the war in Iraq, yet decline to demonstrate against the terrorists who kidnap innocent people and behead them. Similarly, after the Madrid train bombings, millions of Spanish citizens demonstrated against their separatist organization, ETA. But once the demonstrators realized that Muslims were behind the terror attacks they suspended the demonstrations. This example sent a message to radical Islamists to continue their violent methods.

Western appeasement of their Muslim communities has exacerbated the problem. During the four-month period after the publication of the Muhammad cartoons in a Danish magazine, there were comparatively few violent demonstrations by Muslims. Within a few days of the Danish magazine's formal apology, riots erupted throughout the world. The apology had been perceived by Islamists as weakness and concession.

Worst of all, perhaps, is the anti-Americanism among many Westerners. It is a resentment so strong, so deep-seated, so rooted in personal identity, that it has led many, consciously or unconsciously, to morally support America's enemies.

Progressives need to realize that radical Islam is based on an antiliberal system. They need to awaken to the inhumane policies and practices of Islamists around the world. They need to realize that Islamism spells the death of liberal values. And they must not take for granted the respect for human rights and dignity that we experience in America, and indeed, the West, today.

Well-meaning interfaith dialogues with Muslims have largely been fruitless. Participants must demand--but so far haven't--that Muslim organizations and scholars specifically and unambiguously denounce violent Salafi components in their mosques and in the media. Muslims who do not vocally oppose brutal Shariah decrees should not be considered "moderates."

Sunday, April 01, 2007

How dare they teach about the holocaust?

And, this is what offends muslims? This story is from the UK...
Schools are dropping the Holocaust from history lessons to avoid offending Muslim pupils, a Governmentbacked study has revealed.

It found some teachers are reluctant to cover the atrocity for fear of upsetting students whose beliefs include Holocaust denial.

There is also resistance to tackling the 11th century Crusades - where Christians fought Muslim armies for control of Jerusalem - because lessons often contradict what is taught in local mosques.

Leftists in Afghanistan and Iraq can't understand their leftish colleagues here...

A new leftist poltical grouping has emerged in Afghanistan...
"We looked to the Left in the West and imitated it," says Awad Nasir, one of Iraq's best-known poets and a life-long Communist. "We heard from the United States and Western Europe that being Left meant being anti-American. So we were anti-American. And then we saw Americans coming from the other side of the world to save us from Saddam Hussein - something that our leftist friends and the Soviet Union would never contemplate."

Mustafa Kazemi, spokesman for the new Afghan front, expresses similar sentiments. "Our nation is still facing the menace of obscurantism and terror from Taliban and al Qaeda," he says. "Thus, we are surprised when elements of the Left in the United States and Europe campaign for withdrawal so that our new democracy is left defenseless against its enemies."