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 25, 2008

Gay Bashing in Amsterdam.....

Bruce Bawer analyzes a report about gay bashing in Amsterdam - the major media ignored the main finding that muslims were the major source of the problem...
I wanted to see the researchers' report itself – which is entitled “As Long as They Keep Away From Me” – so I went to, the site of the major gay-rights organization in the Netherlands, COC (which stands for Cultuur- en Ontspannings Centrum, or Culture and Recreation Center). Sure enough, the COC site had a pdf of the official report. I dove into it, and within a minute found the following on page six: “The suspects [in antigay attacks] are just as often native Dutch as of Moroccan descent (both 36%). Since 39% of all young people in Amsterdam under 24 years of age belong to the first group and 16% to the second, Moroccans are overrepresented among suspects in these kinds of violence.” Plus a fact, if 36% of suspects are native Dutch, that means 64% are not native Dutch. Most of those who aren't either Dutch or Moroccan presumably belong to the other major immigrant groups in the Netherlands – Turkish, Surinamese, Indonesian, and Dutch Antillean. (Based on my own experiences, observations, and overwhelming anecdotal evidence, I strongly believe that if full gay-bashing statistics for Amsterdam were available, these proportions would shift appreciably.)

I skimmed through the report. On page 17, the researchers admit that “relatively speaking, Turks and Moroccans have a lot of trouble accepting homosexuality." On page 24, they write that "criminologist Jan Dirk de Jong suggests that the cause of the deviant conduct of Moroccan delinquent boys lies not in Moroccan culture or education per se but is primarily connected to their street culture.” (So it's just a coincidence that the violent homophobia of that street culture is utterly consistent with Koranic values?)

The report finally confronts the Islam issue on page 25, noting that my book While Europe Slept “directly links” antigay violence in Amsterdam “to the ideas of Islam,” and that Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party considers the connection “self-evident.” I fully expected the researchers to dismiss both Wilders and me as Islamophobic; instead, I read the following: “Research shows that religion in general has a strong effect on having a gay-negative attitude, even if one corrects for such attributes as gender, age and educational level. This includes all religions, not only Muslims but also Christians and in particular people with an active religious life. Among religious groups in the Netherlands, however, negativity toward gays varies, with Muslims being conspicuous for their extreme views.”

This last observation, of course, could have received more emphasis; given, moreover, that Amsterdam is hardly overrun with violently antigay evangelical Christian youth, there's no logical reason to drag in Christianity here. Yet it’s obvious why the researchers did so: in academic circles nowadays, the only way you stand even a remote chance of getting away with any criticism of Islam, however tamely articulated and amply justified, is by tucking it snugly into a blanket criticism of all religions.

Nonetheless, given the equivocal manner in which Western academics tend to approach these topics nowadays, it's surprising that the report acknowledges Muslim homophobia as explicitly as it does. By contrast, it's not at all surprising that several major media organizations - apparently more concerned with protecting the reputation of Islam than with reporting the truth - felt compelled to serve up what appear to be serious misrepresentations of the study's findings.

Hezbollah now has 42,000 rockets.....

This is in clear violation of the UN Security Council resolution passed after the Lebanon-Israel war in 2006....
Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Monday that Hezbollah had tripled its strength since the 2006 war in Lebanon, and that the pro-Iranian organization now possesses 42,000 rockets, some of which are capable of striking Ashkelon, Yerucham, and Dimona, Army Radio reported.

Shame on Brockman.....

The top dog at the UN General Assembly shows he knows nothing about apartheid....
A top UN official has called for "concrete action" against Israel over the country's treatment of Palestinians in the territories.

General Assembly President Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann suggested Monday that the international community should consider sanctions against Israel including "boycott, divestment and sanctions" similar to those enacted against South Africa two decades ago.

"Today, perhaps we in the United Nations should consider following the lead of a new generation of civil society who are calling for a similar nonviolent campaign," said D'Escoto, a Nicaraguan diplomat who currently holds the one-year presidency.

"Israeli policies in the Palestinian territories appear so similar to the apartheid of an earlier era, a continent away, and I believe it is very important we in the United Nations use this term," d'Escoto added. "We must not be afraid to call something for what it is."

Thursday, November 20, 2008

When human rights legislation hurts us....

19 terror suspects in the UK have not been deported because of human rights legislation...
Jacqui Smith told MPs that proceedings were commenced to remove the suspects on "national security grounds" but were later discontinued.

The cases were dropped because of fears they were not compatible with the UK's international obligations - including the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

It is another embarrassment for the Government, which has suffered a series of human rights defeats surrounding extremists and foreign criminals.

A further 11 cases are going through the system and in a twelfth the Special Immigration Appeals Commission upheld an appeal against deportation, she said.

In figures in a Commons written answer, Ms Smith said: "Since 2005, there have been 19 cases where deportation action on national security grounds was commenced, but was later discontinued because it was concluded that it would not be possible to demonstrate that removal would be in conformity with the UK's international obligations, including out obligations under Article 3 ECHR.

"These cases are kept under review."

Article 3 of the Convention is the prohibition on torture, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment.

Ms Smith continued: "There are currently 11 cases where we are seeking to deport individuals on grounds of national security because of their suspected involvement in terrorism.

"These are at various stages in the appeals process.

"In a twelfth case, the appeal against the decision to deport was allowed by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission as it was not satisfied that the case for deportation on national security grounds had been made out."

It was in response to shadow home secretary Dominic Grieve who asked how many people suspected of terrorism offences the Government had been unable to deport due to legal challenges or concerns that the individual would be tortured if sent home.

In August,it emerged two dozen terrorism suspects Gordon Brown had signalled would be deported following last summer's car bomb attacks on Glasgow and London are still in the country.

She loves Catholics and Protestants...but hates Jews.....

And, she's a nobel laureate....proves you don't have to be that smart, I guess.
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Maguire says the United Nations should suspend or revoke Israel's membership.

Maguire says Israel should be punished for ignoring a series of United Nations resolutions over the years. Maguire won the 1976 peace prize for her work with Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland.

She is visiting the Palestinian territories to protest Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip. Israel virtually sealed off the territories after the Hamas took over there in 2007. The closure tightened two weeks ago in response to Hamas rocket fire on Israeli border communities.

Maguire told a news conference Thursday that it's time for the international community to take action against Israel.

More from Freeman Dyson on Global Warming....

Yes, he's a skeptic...
In the absence of audience interruptions, Mr. Dyson had an argument anyway with the scores of people (like Al Gore) who weren’t present to defend their belief in the dire consequences of global warming. (“There’s no accounting for human folly,” Mr. Dyson said when asked about Mr. Gore’s Nobel Prize.) Saying that on a recent trip he and his wife found Greenlanders to be delighted with their warmer climate and increased tourism, Mr. Dyson suggested that representing “local warming by a global average is misleading.” In his comments at both the Nassau Club and Labyrinth, he decried the use of computer modeling to make “tremendously dogmatic” predictions about worldwide trends, without acknowledging the “messy, muddy real world” and the non-climatic effects of increased carbon dioxide. “There is no substitute for widely-conducted field operations over a long time,” he told the Nassau Club audience, citing the “enormous gaps in knowledge and sparseness of observation” that characterize the work of global warming experts.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

More evidence Syria was building a nuclear reactor....

But, the IAEA will do nothing....
A Syrian complex bombed by Israel bore features that would resemble those of an undeclared nuclear reactor and Syria must cooperate more with UN inspectors to let them draw conclusions, a watchdog report said on Wednesday.

According to the report, nuclear inspectors took samples from the site, which was bombed by Israel Air Force jets in September 2007, on their lone visit in June 2008. Lab results showed traces of uranium, according to the report, which stressed that the traces had undergone chemical processes.

The report states that the high number of water pumping installations was sufficient to serve a nuclear facility that would be built near the Euphrates River. The International Atomic Energy Agency report stresses that Syria refuses to produce documents in relation to the site as it is required to do. The report accuses Syria of denying access for further inspections to the site as well as three other locations believed to be tied to the construction of the suspected reactor.

Instructions for the speech police....

at Queen's University....
A derogatory term is posted on a floor, or is expressed in an interaction or while a joke is being told. The intergroup facilitator (IF) identifies the student who used the offending term and prepares to visit with the resident. The IF approaches the student in a friendly, non-confrontational, non-judgmental and open manner. After introductions, the IF broaches the topic with the resident and asks if they can chat about the incident. The IF might share their impact and inquire about the perspective of the student with respect to the use of the term. The two would ideally engage in a respectful and educational dialogue and the IF would gently challenge thinking if necessary. The IF will ask questions and use their communication skills to help the individual relate to the experience of marginalization or exclusion that comes from being the target of such derogatory terminology. The IF will end the conversation on a positive note or with an open invitation to discuss further."

Language cops come to Queens...

You'd think we were in the Soviet Union....
Your friend's new fuchsia fedora might be hideous. But don't call it gay, or you might get a language lesson from the conversation cops.

Students at Queen's University who sprinkle their dialogue with an assortment of "homo" or "retarded" could find out the hard way that not everyone finds their remarks acceptable.

The Kingston university has hired student facilitators to step in when they overhear homophobic slurs, remarks bashing women or racially tinged insults, along with an array of other language that could be deemed offensive.

That means tête-à-têtes in the residence hallways may no longer be just between friends.

"If people are having a conversation with offensive content and they're doing it loud enough for a third person to hear it ... it's not private," said Jason Laker, dean of student affairs at Queen's.

"If you're doing anything that's interfering with what other people need to be doing, that's not cool."

The apartheid crowd says no to dialogue....

They are committed to Israel's destruction..and that's it...
Although the turnout at yet another anti-Israel campus event was insubstantial, it was worth attending for the clarification of three significant points. Last Thursday evening, at the final program of a series sponsored last week by Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG), Students Against Israel Apartheid (SAIA) focused on the new ‘re-branding Israel’ project launched by Israeli Consul General Amir Gissin.

Notwithstanding countless attempts made over the years by pro-Israel groups to encourage communication on campus, the anti-Israel students have no interest in dialogue, according to SAIA spokesperson Nadia Daar. In response to an invitation during the Q&A by Josh Xiong, vice-president of external affairs for Zionists at U of T, to hold discussions, Daar told the audience at University of Toronto’s Sidney Smith building that dialogue “doesn’t make sense. Blacks in South Africa didn’t dialogue with whites about apartheid.”

Second, a two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict isn’t a suitable compromise according to the SAIA activists. Daar declared, regarding the Israeli beaches on the Mediterranean that are far from the Green Line: “These beaches aren’t your [Israel’s] beaches.”

The third point was made when attendees were shown a map of Canada divided into land belonging to aboriginal tribes instead of Canadian provinces. According to one presenter, who didn’t reveal her name: “Here in Canada, the native [aboriginal] population is looking for self-determination and sovereignty in their own homeland, like the Palestinian population in Israel,” in other words claiming that Palestinians, not Jews, are the historical native people of Israel.

According to Xiong, Daar “rejected the proposal for an on-campus dialogue with Zionists and Israel sympathizers because it would ‘equalize’ power relations and legitimize the other side’s ‘racist’ point of view. This signifies SAIA’s unwillingness to participate in a genuine exchange of ideas and makes one question its commitment to finding reasonable and common solutions to an issue that is beyond black and white distinctions.

“One gets the impression – certainly from a refusal to debate, but also from their shunning of the press in a public forum – that SAIA is more interested in protecting their ideological sacred cows from criticism than in actually furthering the cause of Israeli-Palestinian peace.”

During the Q&A Daar told the Jewish Tribune she “will not be answering your questions.”

Although Daar referred often to the “apartheid policies” in the West Bank and Gaza “for 60 years,” she wouldn’t discuss the situation of the Arab refugees in Gaza between 1948 and 1967, when Gaza was under Egyptian authority.

Daar’s chutzpah had no limits. Not only did she vilify Israel; notwithstanding the growing hostility against Zionist students on campuses across the country, she claimed without batting an eye that Zionists are “aggressive” on campus.

Is Hamas once again staging blackout????

Gee, they're getting good at this....
Palestinian Authority officials in Ramallah accused Hamas on Tuesday of staging the latest blackouts in the Gaza Strip in a bid to win sympathy and incite the Palestinian public against Israel and the PA.

The officials said that contrary to Hamas's claim, there is no shortage of basic goods, medicine and fuel in the Gaza Strip, largely thanks to the many underground tunnels along the border with Egypt.

This is not the first time that Palestinians have accused Hamas of staging Gaza blackouts under the pretext that Israel had cut off fuel supplies to the district's power grid.

Earlier this year, Palestinian journalists in Gaza City told The Jerusalem Post that scenes of Palestinian children and women holding lit candles in the dark had been staged by Hamas and some Arab satellite TV stations.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I would say Fuck You to the EU.....

Typical EU - singling out Israel for special attention...
The European Parliament foreign affairs committee has approved increased participation by Israel in EU programmes as part of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) but linked it to respect for the commitments given by Israel at the Annapolis Mideast summit.

"Companies and organisations based in the settlements in the occupied territories must not be eligible to take part," the MEPs said in resolution adopted last week.
The resolution was drafted by Belgian Socialist MEP Véronique De Keyser.
MEPs called on the European Commission and Member States to verify that any participation by Israeli entities in EU programmes "complies with EU law and policies."

"Measures should be taken to prevent participation in these programmes by Israeli companies and organisations based in the settlements, by tightening up checks on Israeli products imported into the EU under preferential trade rules," the resolution says.

It adds: "Infringement proceedings should be started if products from the occupied Palestinian territories bearing Israeli labels are exported to the Union."

How revolting can you get???

This was found at the entrance to a Jewish cemetery in eastern Germany.
A pig's head has been found stuck to the entrance gate to a Jewish cemetery in eastern Germany next to a cloth with "six million lies" written on it, police said Tuesday.
A photo published on Tuesday in the largest-selling German newspaper Bild Zeitung showed the pig's head thrust through a metal Star of David in the entrance gate to the cemetery in the city of Gotha, about 350 kilometers (215 miles) southwest of Berlin.

Next to the pig's head, discovered on Monday morning, was a sheet daubed in blood-red liquid with the words "6 Million Lies", a reference to the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust.

Broken glass had also been thrown at the cemetery gate.

Gay Dominion makes some left-leaning bloggers uneasy....

Gee, so far the reaction from Conservatives to Gay Dominion has been terrific. Lots of positive comments on this blog and directly to the Gay Dominion e-mail. Last night, I was on Calgary radio and the hosts were totally supportive. The only people who are unhappy seem to be left-wing bloggers - they just can't understand how a gay person can have conservative thoughts.

For instance, if you go to Dr. Dawg's blog, you'll notice some silly comments - actually comparing me to a jew that would join the KKK. In an e-mail to me, Dr. Dawg says that "surely you have noticed that homophobia is almost exclusively a right-wing phenomenon?" Well, tell that to Fidel Castro who loves to put gay people in prison. Or, the fact that the Liberal party really didn't take on gay rights until they were forced to by the courts. Well, that's another can of worms. My point is that homophobia knows no ideological lines.

If you want a good overview of some of the reaction, check out the Diogenes Borealis blog.

His last line is a killer:
I have never encountered from Conservatives who know I am gay the animosity and vitriol directed at me by gays who find out I'm a Conservative.

Record CO2 emissions from Japan....

A record high in emissions....
Japan’s carbon dioxide emissions hit a record high of 1.37 billion tons in the year to March 2008, well above the target set by the Kyoto Protocol, the environment ministry said Wednesday.

The figure, which marked a 2.3 percent rise from the previous fiscal year, was mainly the result of more polluting energy production following the closure of the world’s biggest nuclear power plant after it was damaged in an earthquake that struck northern Japan. “The greater use of thermal power plants due to reduced nuclear power operations significantly contributed to the increase,” an environment ministry official said. The data shows that Japan’s CO2 emission rose 8.7 percent from the 1990 level.

Under the Kyoto Protocol, Japan is committed to reducing its emissions by six percent from the benchmark year in the period between 2008 and 2012. Japan relies on nuclear plants for nearly one-third of its power needs.

Environmentalists hate Africa.....

Well, their policies are certainly going to hurt Africa, no???
In efforts to make quick and symbolic gains in Europe's otherwise failed policies to curb climate gas emissions, environmental and anti-globalisation politicians are aiming at Africa's few economic success stories. Campaigns to buy locally produced food and travel to local destinations particularly hit out against African products. Consumers in Europe are again growing more environmentally conscious and are willing to use their purchasing power to assist in what is widely seen as our era's most pressing problems - the overspending of energy and global warming. Meanwhile, European politicians have been those pressuring strongest to gain support for the Kyoto Protocol while having totally failed to lower emissions of climate gases in their own countries. In every country, emissions have steadily increased.

Populist solutions that are to satisfy costumers, politicians and the European industry alike are therefore surfacing all over Africa's neighbour continent and the main market of its products. And the solutions seem neat and nice - easy to understand and with the potential of creating more work locally. Even the industry starts propagating these solutions.

The victim mainly is Africa, because the message is that, as longer as a product or person is transported, the more energy is wasted unnecessarily. Worst of all is airborne transport, having the highest emissions of climate gases such as CO2. Unluckily, Africa is far away from European markets and poor transcontinental infrastructure puts most products and travellers on an airplane.

All over Europe, therefore, home-grown campaigns are being promoted, attacking Africa's newest and most successful export products. Anti-globalisation activists, "green" politicians, local industry and even occasional experts and scientists head these "buy local" campaigns.

One of the latest campaigns is being launched in Germany, Europe's most populous state and biggest single market. The campaign goes "Sylt instead of Seychelles", referring to a fragile German North Sea island with an overstretched and environmentally damaging tourism industry. Tourism and climate expert Dr Manfred Stock developed the slogan and told the daily newspaper 'Berliner Zeitung' that consumers worrying about global warming should avoid intercontinental flights and rather take the train to a German or European destination.

CO2 emissions keep on rising....

No matter what plan we come up with, and no matter what agreement people sign, emissions still are quite sticky....
Two weeks before the start of key talks on global warming, the UN's climate-change watchdog issued figures here Monday that reflected poor headway by industrialised countries towards curbing dangerous carbon pollution.

Greenhouse-gas emissions by 40 so-called Annex 1 countries under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change were almost unchanged in 2006, falling by a mere 0.1 percent from 2005, the UNFCCC said.

From 2000 to 2006, though, emissions increased by 2.3 percent as activity revived in the former Soviet bloc economies.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Uranium confirmed at Syrian site....

Ok, now we know it's true.....but what will the IAEA do about this???
International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei confirmed Monday that traces of uranium were found at a site reportedly bombed by Israel that the US has said was an almost completed plutonium-producing reactor.
El Baradei says he wants to see greater 'transparency' from Syria. No shit, Sherlock.

Sounds like my kind of party....

Gee, I was never invited to these sort of parties when I lived in Oxford...
Oxford University is investigating after students allegedly held a party at which they were told to arrive dressed as Orthodox Jews carrying bags of money.

Students in the under-21 rugby squad are said to have attached pretend sidelocks to their heads at the "bring a fit Jew party". Sidelocks are worn by Orthodox Jewish men.

The party, at a curry house on Wednesday, has been condemned by the Jewish community as "at best insensitive and ignorant: at worst blatantly antisemitic".

Did Muhammad really exist???

Muslims are outraged that Mr. Kalish, now responsible for Islamic outreach, believes that Muchammad didn't really exist...
Muhammad Sven Kalisch, a Muslim convert and Germany's first professor of Islamic theology, fasts during the Muslim holy month, doesn't like to shake hands with Muslim women and has spent years studying Islamic scripture. Islam, he says, guides his life.

So it came as something of a surprise when Prof. Kalisch announced the fruit of his theological research. His conclusion: The Prophet Muhammad probably never existed.

Muslims, not surprisingly, are outraged. Even Danish cartoonists who triggered global protests a couple of years ago didn't portray the Prophet as fictional. German police, worried about a violent backlash, told the professor to move his religious-studies center to more-secure premises.
But, read the whole story....

Are current climate models correct???

It seems like almost every day there are new studies showing how complex climate really is...and how simplistic our models are....
Climate change may not be as severe as predicted, suggests an international study that shows current modeling of carbon dioxide emissions from soils are overestimated by as much as 20%.

The view, reported in the latest Nature Geoscience journal, is based on a study of Australian soils that finds the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) released by Australian soils is much lower than previously believed.

The finding has major implications for climate change predictions as annual carbon emissions from soils are estimated to be more than all human-made CO2 emissions combined.

The Australian and US researchers say emissions from soils are lower because they contain a much higher proportion of charcoal, or black carbon, than estimated by previous models.

"Current models of global climate change .. are inaccurate if a larger fraction of soil organic carbon than postulated has a very slow decomposition rate," they write.

Co-author Dr Evelyn Krull, of CSIRO Land and Water, says charcoal, which is formed in the aftermath of bushfires, is a very stable form of carbon that can last for millennia.

"In effect it's a carbon sink," Krull says.

Under the commonly used RothC model, the proportion of black carbon is calculated to be about 6.6%, she says.

Krull says in their study of 452 soil samples from the Australian National Soil Archive and two landscape transects of about 3000km in Queensland and the Northern Territory, charcoal content ranged from zero to 82%.

She says the average proportion of charcoal present for all 452 soil samples was 20.4%.

The team found by including realistic estimates of charcoal in their climate prediction models, the amount of CO2 predicted to be released from two Australian savannah regions under a 3ºC warming scenario was 18.3% and 24.4% lower than previously calculated.

For Australia, a proportion of 20% charcoal in soils would lead to a 135 teragram (135 billion kilograms) overestimation on a continental scale.

"On an annual basis, an inflated prediction from topsoils alone equates to ... 84% of CO2 emissions associated with aviation for Australia using values obtained for 2006," the paper says.

Oops...we can't even measure temperature.....

They always make mistakes in the same direction - hot ....
A surreal scientific blunder last week raised a huge question mark about the temperature records that underpin the worldwide alarm over global warming. On Monday, Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), which is run by Al Gore's chief scientific ally, Dr James Hansen, and is one of four bodies responsible for monitoring global temperatures, announced that last month was the hottest October on record.

This was startling. Across the world there were reports of unseasonal snow and plummeting temperatures last month, from the American Great Plains to China, and from the Alps to New Zealand. China's official news agency reported that Tibet had suffered its "worst snowstorm ever". In the US, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration registered 63 local snowfall records and 115 lowest-ever temperatures for the month, and ranked it as only the 70th-warmest October in 114 years.

So what explained the anomaly? GISS's computerised temperature maps seemed to show readings across a large part of Russia had been up to 10 degrees higher than normal. But when expert readers of the two leading warming-sceptic blogs, Watts Up With That and Climate Audit, began detailed analysis of the GISS data they made an astonishing discovery. The reason for the freak figures was that scores of temperature records from Russia and elsewhere were not based on October readings at all. Figures from the previous month had simply been carried over and repeated two months running.

The error was so glaring that when it was reported on the two blogs - run by the US meteorologist Anthony Watts and Steve McIntyre, the Canadian computer analyst who won fame for his expert debunking of the notorious "hockey stick" graph - GISS began hastily revising its figures. This only made the confusion worse because, to compensate for the lowered temperatures in Russia, GISS claimed to have discovered a new "hotspot" in the Arctic - in a month when satellite images were showing Arctic sea-ice recovering so fast from its summer melt that three weeks ago it was 30 per cent more extensive than at the same time last year.

A GISS spokesman lamely explained that the reason for the error in the Russian figures was that they were obtained from another body, and that GISS did not have resources to exercise proper quality control over the data it was supplied with. This is an astonishing admission: the figures published by Dr Hansen's institute are not only one of the four data sets that the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) relies on to promote its case for global warming, but they are the most widely quoted, since they consistently show higher temperatures than the others.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Lomborg on Denmark's Wind Revolution...

Anybody have more hard data on this???
Similarly, green initiatives will open new markets only if other nations subsidise inefficient technologies bought abroad. Thus, the real game becomes which nations get to suck up other nations' tax-financed subsidies. Apart from the resulting global inefficiency, this also creates a whole new raft of industry players that will keep pushing inefficient legislation, simply because it fills their coffers.

A good illustration is Denmark, which early on provided huge subsidies for wind power, building thousands of inefficient turbines around the country from the 1980s onwards. Today, it is often remarked that Denmark is providing every third terrestrial wind turbine in the world, creating billions in income and jobs.

A few years ago, however, the Danish Economic Council conducted a full evaluation of the wind turbine industry, taking into account not only its beneficial effects on jobs and production, but also the subsidies that it receives. The net effect for Denmark was found to be a small cost, not benefit.

Not surprisingly, the leading Danish wind producer is today urging strong action on climate change that would imply even more sales of wind turbines. The company sponsors the "Planet in Peril" show on CNN, which helps galvanize public pressure for action.

The crucial point is that many green technologies are not cost-effective, at least not yet. If they were, we wouldn't need to subsidise them.

Muslims in France reject Christian names....

The judges are the last stand...and that won't last...
They are born in France and called Louis, Laurent or Marie but they want to become Abdel, Said or Rachida. Such requests from immigrants’ children for name changes are mounting in the French courts and worrying a state that lays store on melding a single national culture.

In a sign of a new assertiveness, children with families from Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco are reversing the old custom in which immigrants from the old colonies gave French names to their children.

Driven by a feeling that they do not belong to their Gallic Christian names, the applicants are meeting resistance from judges who are reluctant to endorse what they see as a rejection of France.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A New Home for conservative Gays and Lesbians...

I am out here in Winnipeg for the Conservative Party Conference and I thought I would announce the following:

Media Advisory

A New Home for conservative Gays and Lesbians

Winnipeg, November 13, 2008 – Gay Dominion is a new home for gay conservatives in Canada – and allied with no political party. Contrary to public belief, gays in Canada represent a broad cross-section of opinion, and the default political position of many Canadian gays and lesbians is not liberal.

Gay Dominion stands for limited government, low taxes, free markets, the merit principle, personal responsibility, AND the equality of gays and lesbians. Gay Dominion is against rampant political correctness, myopic religious intolerance, moral and cultural relativism, anti-Americanism, and the tearing down of western civilization.

“I am delighted to launch Gay Dominion in Winnipeg at the Conservative Party Conference,” said Fred Litwin, who is also a blogging tory under the name GayandRight, “While we have no formal links with the Conservative Party of Canada, I am hopeful that we can help turn the party into a welcoming home for small ‘c’ conservative gays and lesbians.”

For more information on Gay Dominion, please visit our web site at

Coal use as energy source to increase....

Coal will play a major role in supplying our energy for quite some time....
Coal, the dirtiest source of fuel, will remain the world's main source of power until 2030 and nuclear will lose market share, the International Energy Agency said on Wednesday.

Expectations of slower economic growth have led the IEA to downgrade its 2030 world electricity demand forecast to 23,141 terawatt hours (TWh), but the share of coal generated power would rise to 44 percent by 2015 from 41 percent in 2006.

It would stay at that level to 2030.
More proof that the world just won't reduce CO2 emissions...

30 year low in hurricane activity....

Some good news....
The past two years have seen a "remarkable" downturn in hurricane activity, contradicting predictions of more storms, researchers at Florida State University say.

The 2007 and 2008 hurricane seasons had the least tropical activity in the Northern Hemisphere in 30 years, according to Ryan Maue, co-author of a report on Global Tropical Cyclone Activity.

"Even though North Atlantic hurricane activity was expectedly above normal, the Western and Eastern Pacific basins have produced considerably fewer than normal typhoons and hurricanes," he said.

Maue's results dovetail with other research suggesting hurricanes are variable and unconnected to global warming predictions, said Stan Goldenberg, a hurricane researcher with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

"The simplistic notion that warmer oceans from global warming automatically lead to more frequent and or stronger hurricanes has not been verified," said Goldenberg, whose research points to periods of high and low hurricane activity that last several decades each.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The latest in double standards...

They'll insult the jews...they'll sue for their rights....
A mosque asking that Canadian workplaces respect a strict Muslim dress code is at the same time disseminating slurs against Jews and Western societies, and warning members against social integration.

The Khalid Bin Al-Walid Mosque near Kipling Ave. and Rexdale Blvd. serves as the religious authority for eight Somali women complaining to the Canadian Human Rights Commission that UPS Canada Ltd. violated their religious rights at a sorting plant. The mosque, founded in 1990 and serving upwards of 10,000 people, preaches strict adherence to sharia, or Islamic law, and no compromise with the West.

Teachings on the mosque's website,, refer to non-Muslim Westerners as "wicked," "corrupt" and "our clear enemies."

Sometimes Jews are singled out.

"Is it permissible for women to wear high-heeled shoes?" begins one posting in question-and-answer format. "That is not permissible," comes the reply. "It involves resembling the Disbelieving Women or the wicked women. It has its origin among the Jewish women."

Modern pastimes are condemned.

"What is the ruling on subscribing to sports channels?" another question begins. "Watching some of the female spectators, when the camera focuses on them time after time" stirs "evil inclinations," the lesson reads. "Some (players) may not even believe in Allaah."

Mosque leaders refused repeated requests for an interview.

A disclaimer on the website says questions and answers do not necessarily reflect the mosque's views. But the About Us page says: "All questions and answers on this site (are) prepared, approved and supervised by (the mosque's imam) Bashir Yusuf Shiil."

The mosque's stand on the UPS case also appears contradictory.

In September, a Canadian Human Rights Tribunal heard two weeks of testimony from eight mosque members alleging "Islamophobia" at the company's west Toronto plant. Three final days of testimony are scheduled for next week.

The eight women, who lost their jobs at UPS, say Islam dictates that they wear a full-length skirt for modesty. The courier company insists that any skirt be knee-length for safety, as workers climb ladders up to 6 metres high.

Under their skirt, the women wear full-length trousers but say they do not want the lower part showing in case the shape of the calf can be discerned.

The complaint originally centred on the company's use of temporary workers and uneven enforcement of its safety rules.

But the key question remains: Is UPS insisting on shorter hems for safety or is it violating religious rights by denying the women permanent jobs unless they conform?

So far, no Khalid Bin Al-Walid Mosque representative has attended the sessions, but the women cited the mosque as their place of worship and religious authority, and tabled a letter from its administration. "This is to certify that the religion of Islam requires all Muslim women to cover her entire body inclusive of the legs, arms, head, ears and neck," the letter reads. "As such, (the women) would not be able to wear pants as an outfit."

On the other hand, the mosque's website teachings forbid women to work outside the home in the first place. "It is known that when women go to work in the workplaces of men, this leads to mixing with men," one such posting says.

"This is a very dangerous matter," it reads. "It is in clear opposition to the texts of the Shariah that order the women to remain in their houses and to fulfill the type of work that is particular for her ...

"We ask Allah to protect our land and the lands of all Muslims from the plots and machinations of their enemies."

Two of the women making the complaint – Dales Yusuf, 46, and Nadifo Yusuf (no relation), 36 – said in an interview that they live in Canada now, and are free to pick and choose from Islamic law.

Political correctness strikes again....

If we talk honestly about terrorism, then how can we fight it???
Politically correct language is hampering the fight against terrorism, a Whitehall report warned yesterday.

Town halls and other public sector bodies were told by ministers last year to replace the phrase ‘terrorist attacks’ with ‘anti-Islamic activity’.

They were urged not to refer to ‘extremism’ and instead talk about ‘community resilience’.

But far from rallying Muslims against terrorists, the language has spread confusion, says the report from HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and the Audit Commission.

The watchdogs warned ministers the Government should listen to local concerns before handing out instructions.

It quoted one anonymous local government leader: ‘The key thing is about who the words come from.

‘If they come from a respected religious or community member they will have more impact than if they come from a Government minister.’

Rules on terrorism and language were sent to town halls by the Home Office just under a year ago.

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith drove home the message in a speech in which she referred to terrorist attacks as ‘anti-Islamic activity’.

She also indicated the phrase ‘war on terror’ would no longer be used by ministers.

Oops...Japan's CO2 emissions continue to go up...

There is just no way for the world to reduce CO2 emissions without painful economic consequences...
Japan's carbon dioxide emissions reached record levels in 2007. New data shows that 1.37 billion tons of greenhouse gases were emitted here in 2007. The amount is 8 percent more than levels in 1990. According to NHK World, the amount exceeds the national reduction target set in the Kyoto Protocol by about 15 percent.

Japan is obliged under the Kyoto Protocol to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 6 percent from 1990 level during the 5 years from 2008 to 2012 but that looks increasingly difficult. The government attributes the increase to suspended operations at the Kashiwazaki Kariwa nuclear power plant in Niigata Prefecture, after it was damaged in a major earthquake.

Will Europe commit economic suicide???

I bet they back off climate targets....
Central Europe's top power producer, Czech-based CEZ, is pinning hopes on the financial crisis to thwart the approval of the EU's green package, saying it would hit hard at the region's coal-dependent industry.

The EU's climate-energy package seeks to raise the share of renewable sources in power production by 2020, boost energy savings and tighten the rules for trading in CO2 emission permits in a bid to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Martin Roman, CEZ chairman and chief executive, said in an interview with AFP that a "yes" vote on the package from EU members in the region would be "economic suicide."

Roman attacked above all the plan to make companies pay the full price for their CO2 emissions from 2013 as a move that might have a devastating effect on central European industry, affected by the financial turmoil.

"The EU is shooting around without knowing where the enemy is," Roman said, adding the EU should take its time and commission an analysis of the situation before ordering companies to buy all carbon permits in auctions.

And this is the Palestinian moderate....

How on earth can you make concessions with leaders like this???
"The Palestinian leadership will continue to follow Yasser Arafat's path until a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital is established," Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Tuesday during a memorial service marking the fourth anniversary of the iconic Palestinian leader's death.

During the memorial, held at Abbas' Mukataa compound in the West Bank city of Ramallah, the Palestinian president said, "The path of the shahids - Arafat, George Habash (founder of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine) and (assassinated Hamas spiritual leader) Sheikh Ahmed Yassin - is the path that we cherish; it is aimed at upholding the Palestinians' nationalist and sovereign resolutions."

More on the Saudi's interfaith forum...

Yes, they want religious tolerance outside of Saudi Arabia....
Saudi Arabia, which deploys a special police force to ensure that a narrow sect of Islam predominates in the kingdom, is sponsoring a discussion at the United Nations on religious tolerance starting Wednesday.

More than a dozen world leaders are scheduled to attend the meeting, including President Bush; the British prime minister, Gordon Brown; the Israeli president, Shimon Peres; and the heads of seven Arab states. King Abdullah, the Saudi monarch, and Mr. Peres were both expected as guests of Ban Ki-moon, the secretary general, at a dinner Tuesday night, a rare chance for an encounter.

The United Nations avoids religious discussions, so the two-day session of the General Assembly is officially being labeled as a meeting about the “culture of peace.” Most of those attending are political rather than religious figures.

But human rights groups are crying foul that Saudi Arabia is being given a platform to promote religious tolerance abroad while actively combating it at home.

“It’s like apartheid South Africa having a conference at the U.N. on racial harmony,” said Ali al-Ahmed, a Shiite Muslim dissident from Saudi Arabia based in Washington.

No to hate crimes...

Look, this guy is odious....and he should be prosecuted for his offenses...but not for hate crimes - I don't like punishing people for what they might be thinking...
A lesbian couple from Oshawa, Ont. is pushing for hate crime charges against a man who assaulted them, saying the attacker lashed out because of their lifestyle.

Durham Regional Police charged an Oshawa man with two counts of assault causing bodily harm following the incident.

Jane Currie and Anji Dimitriou say they were waiting in their car outside their children's Oshawa school when they were confronted by the man.

"He goes, 'which one of you f------ men talked to my kid?'" Dimitriou, who is disabled and uses a cane to walk, told CTV's Canada AM

A verbal confrontation ensued, escalating when the man spit in Dimitriou's face. As she went to wipe the spit away, the man punched her in the face, she said, causing her to fall backwards and strike her head on her vehicle.

She believes she was then struck again, this time on the top of her head.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Iran's push into Latin America....

Despite Iran's economic difficulties, they are spending a lot of time and money courting countries in South America...
Nevertheless, over the last year, Iran has worked diligently to expand relations with a host of Latin American countries, most of which have populist leaders who harbor a strong distrust of the United States and are looking for a powerful friend to help them rebuff Washington's influence.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, for instance, has held up his close ties with Iran as an example of what his revolution can do for the region. He has much to show for it, including an Iranian ammunition factory, a car assembly plant, a cement factory and other such examples of Iranian involvement. And just to make sure the U.S. can't interfere (as it has in the past), Iran Air initiated direct air service between Tehran, Damascus and Caracas.

Then there's Paraguay's new president, Fernando Lugo Mendez, who was lauded in the Iranian media as "an enemy of the Great Satan" after naming Hezbollah sympathizer and fundraiser Alejandro Hamed Franco as the country's new foreign minister. Hezbollah -- which is Iranian funded and supported -- already has a well-documented presence in Paraguay, and the U.S. State Department has banned the minister from entering the United States or from flying on a U.S. airline.

Bolivian President Evo Morales jumped into Iran's lap even more quickly than his neighbors, ordering his foreign minister to lift visa restrictions on Iranian citizens in exchange for a $1.1-billion Iranian investment in Bolivia's gas facilities. Morales then gushed that Bolivia would move its only embassy in the Middle East from Cairo to Tehran. Iranian state television even agreed to provide Bolivian state television with Spanish-language programming, making it that much easier for every Bolivian to receive Iranian-produced news and documentary shows -- i.e. propaganda.

Hitchens on Obama...

He rightly points out that Obama's is the effect and not the causes of change in America....
The recognition of these obvious points should also alert us to a related danger, which is the cousinhood of euphoria and hysteria. Those who think that they have just voted to legalize Utopia (and I hardly exaggerate when I say this; have you been reading the moist and trusting comments of our commentariat?) are preparing for a disillusionment that I very much doubt they will blame on themselves. The national Treasury is an echoing, empty vault; our Russian and Iranian enemies are acting even more wolfishly even as they sense a repudiation of Bush-Cheney; the lines of jobless and evicted are going to lengthen, and I don't think a diet of hope is going to cover it. Nor even a diet of audacity, though can you picture anything less audacious than the gray, safety-first figures who have so far been chosen by Obama to be on his team?

There is an element of the "wannabe" about all this—something that suggests that, if the clock were to be rolled back, every living white person would now automatically stand with John Brown at Harper's Ferry and with John Lewis at the Edmund Pettus Bridge. All the evidence we have is to the contrary: Abraham Lincoln ringingly denounced John Brown, and John F. Kennedy (he of the last young and pretty family to occupy the Executive Mansion) was embarrassed and annoyed by the March on Washington. In other words, there is something pain-free and self-congratulatory about the Obama surge. This has happened before, of course, with the high-sounding talk about the "New Frontier," the "Great Society," and "Morning in America." It's just that this time it's more than usually not affordable. There are many causes of the subprime and derivative horror show that has destroyed our trust in the idea of credit, but one way of defining it would be to say that everybody was promised everything, and almost everybody fell for the populist bait.

More worrying still, there are vicious enemies and rogue states in increasing positions of influence throughout the world (one of the episodes that most condemned the Republican campaign was its attempt to slander Sen. Joe Biden for his candid attempt to point this out), yet many Obama voters appear to believe that the mere charm and aspect of their new president will act as an emollient influence on these unwelcome facts and these hostile forces. I can't make myself perform this act of faith, and I won't put up with any innuendo about my inability to do so.

Monday, November 10, 2008

IAEA finds enriched uranium in Syria....

Early reports....not sure if this is true....
Investigators from the International Atomic Energy Agency, which works under the auspices of the United Nations, have found traces of enriched uranium in Syria, a potential sign that the country had been attempting to develop a nuclear program, Reuters quoted diplomats familiar with the IAEA investigation as saying.

According to Monday's report, the uranium was discovered at the same site which was allegedly bombed by IAF jets in September 2007. Behind the scenes, Israel has reportedly been working to convince US and other Western officials of the legitimacy of the air strike, but the findings of the IAEA investigators provide the first independent confirmation that a nuclear program had indeed been in development.

The leaked information came shortly after the IAEA Director Mohamed ElBaradei announced he would release a formal, written report on the subject, Reuters reported. The IAEA had no immediate comment.

Oilsands wealth hugely underestimated....

More than $1.5 trillion in wealth....
The wealth in Canada's oilsands, even taking into account the recent plunge in world oil prices, is nearly $1.5 trillion, more than four times the $342 billion officially estimated by Statistics Canada, a Canadian think-tank argues in a report released today.

That works out to a $34,591 increase in the wealth of Canadians to $243,950 for every man, woman and child, according to the analysis by the Centre for the Study of Living Standards.

Last year, Statistics Canada valued the oilsands at $342.1 billion, or five per cent of Canada's total tangible wealth of $6.9 trillion, the centre said.

However, the federal agency's method of evaluating that wealth underestimates the quantity of oil the oilsands contain and the speed at which that wealth will be extracted, it said.

The reasons the agency underestimates the wealth in the oilsands is that it takes a restricted view of reserves, including only those that can be exploited now, Andrew Sharpe, chief economist at the centre and one of the authors of the report, said.

The official Statistics Canada estimate of the reserves, at 22 billion barrels, is "very small compared to those obtained using more appropriate definitions" resulting in an underestimation of their true value, it said. Further, the failure to take into account the projected growth of the industry significantly magnifies this underestimation.

More reasonable measures of the total oilsands reserves put them at 173 billion barrels, or eight times the StatsCan estimate, the centre said. And the rate at which that oil is projected to be extracted -- from 482 million barrels per year in 2007 to a peak of 1,350 million barrels in 2015, and at the 2007 price of $70 Cdn per barrel -- boosts the estimated present value of the oilsands to about $1.483 trillion, more than four times the official estimate of $342.1 billion.

Voters vote against environmental initiatives....

Gee, voters continue to vote down green propositions...
President-elect Obama may have felt "a righteous wind" at his back during the campaign, but it did not translate into environmental victories at the ballot box, where one green initiative after another failed for a variety of reasons.

California voters shot down both clean-energy propositions on the ballot. Proposition 7 would have required utilities to generate 40% of their power from renewable energy by 2020 and 50% by 2025. It lost 65% to 35%.

Proposition 10 would have created $5 billion in general obligation bonds to help consumers and others purchase certain high-fuel-economy or alternative-fuel vehicles, and to fund research into alternative fuel technology. It failed 60% to 40%.

Even in San Francisco, the capital of liberalism and greenie fervor, voters rejected Proposition H, which would have mandated a rapid increase in the city's use of clean energy to achieve its goal of being 100% renewable by 2040. It would also have meant taking over the city's private electric company.

Obama took the former red state of Colorado, which also elected environmentalist Senate candidate Mark Udall over oil executive Bob Shaffer. Yet Coloradans struck down a measure to pay for conservation and clean energy by increasing taxes on oil companies.

BP Quits Wind Projects in the UK....

Well, there goes the wind industry...
Government plans for Britain to become a world leader in clean energy technology suffered a double setback yesterday after BP said that it was abandoning the country's wind energy industry and pulling out of a competition to build a demonstration carbon-capture and storage plant.

The oil company informed the Government last week that it would no longer be submitting a bid for a government-funded scheme to develop a coal-fired power plant using carbon capture and storage (CCS), an experimental technology that strips out CO2 emissions for safe storage. The CCS competition was announced in November last year and is a key feature of the Government's plans to fight climate change while creating one million green-collar jobs in renewable energy.

A spokesman for BP, which announced record third-quarter profits of £6.4 billion last week, said that the group had withdrawn because it had struggled to find suitable partners.

Lomborg's message to Obama....

Bjorn Lomborg offers some good advice...
We should also deal with climate change, but in a smarter way.

Kyoto shows what not to do. In 1997, politicians made lofty promises, which were to be fulfilled in the future. Well, the future has arrived and most countries did not want to pay enough -- not just the United States, but the European Union, Japan and Canada.

Making even grander pledges at the next negotiation in Copenhagen in 2009 will likely just waste another decade. Mr. Obama's undertaking to spend $150 billion over the next decade on clean technology could make a huge difference.

In climate change, the Copenhagen Consensus experts found that research and development of low-carbon energy technologies could do 11 times more good than the cost, whereas simple CO2 cuts produce a disappointing 90-cent return on the dollar.

Amazing good could come from using Mr. Obama's $150 billion primarily to invest in creating new technologies, rather than simply subsidizing existing ones.

Investing in existing inefficient technology (like current-day solar panels) costs a lot for little benefit. Germany, the leading consumer of solar panels, will end up spending $156 billion by 2035, yet only delay global warming by one hour by the end of the century.

If Mr. Obama invested instead in low-carbon research and development, the dollars would go far (researchers are relatively cheap), and the result -- maybe by 2040 -- will be better solar panels that are cheaper than fossil fuels. Complex Kyoto-style political negotiations would become unnecessary because everyone, including China and India, will want to switch. The change will come because in large part Mr. Obama's $150 billion will have made the technologies cheaper. Following Mr. Obama's lead, countries should agree to spend 0.05% of their GDP on energy R&D -- increasing the global R&D ten-fold, yet costing 10 times less than Kyoto. This could realistically and cost-effectively fix global warming in the medium term.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

More evidence wind power sucks....

Get this - this is a multi-billion dollar plan for an electric plant as a backup to wind power!!!!
A man-made island housing a hydroelectric plant and generating enough electricity to supply two million Dutch homes is planned for the North Sea by 2020.

It would act as back-up to wind farms by ensuring that electricity is still generated when the wind drops and would provide extra peak-time capacity. If successful, similar islands could be be built to supply other countries, especially those such as Britain that will increasingly come to depend on wind energy. The proposed site, called energy island, is expected to be built 15-20 miles (24-32km) off the Dutch coast, in waters about 20m (65ft) deep, and will be 3.7 miles (6km) long and up to 2.5 miles (4km) across.

Huge dykes would be constructed to hold back the sea and the centre of the island would be dug down to 40 metres (130ft) below sea level. Pipes in dykes would allow sea water to pour in, generating electricity in the same way as some dams. The water would then be pumped out. The electricity generated by the water pouring in is matched or exceeded by that needed to pump it out. The island should make a profit because it consumes electricity at a cheaper rate than it generates it.

Kema, the Dutch company behind the €3-3.5 billion (£2.5 billion) plan, is carrying out a feasibility study to pinpoint the best location. The Dutch Government is among potential investors. The project with a capacity of 1,500MW - similar to two large power plants - should help the Netherlands to reach its renewable energy target and its aim of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 30 per cent by 2020.
All this for a backup power plant!

Singapore plans gay rally...

This is good news. I lived in Singapore for 3 1/2 years, and there is a huge gay community there. The government, unfortunatley, is hugely homophobic...but not the people.
Singapore’s LGBT community is planning a massive rally to celebrate gay pride and chastise the government for its tough stand on homosexuality.

The event will mark a loosening of tight controls on public demonstrations at Speakers’ Corner in Hong Lim Park.

The rally is the brainchild of Roy Tan, a gay man who works in the health care industry. Tan, 50, originally planned to hold the event next week, but postponed it until next year, saying there had been such large LGBT interest he would need more time to organize it. Tan also said that he will form a committee with a number of those people who have offered help.

But he said that the event will be restricted to people from Singapore. Tan said that if foreigners were involved, it would require a police permit which might not be granted.

He said he hopes to hold a pride march around the park and then have speakers who would press for the repeal of anti-gay laws in Singapore.

Last October Singapore’s Parliament passed a sweeping revision of its penal law, eliminating sodomy as a crime for heterosexual couples but leaving in place provisions that could send gays to prison.

Under the law, anyone engaging in same-sex sodomy could face two years in prison, although police say no one has been charged in recent times.

Last August, Singapore banned a gay pride event, saying it ran counter to the city-state’s public morals.

In addition, censors refused to allow an LGBT book reading event that was to have been part of the pride celebration. A human rights forum was blocked. And a photography exhibit of of gays and lesbians was closed by police hours before it was to officially open.

The Media Development Authority balked at a book by author Ng Yi-Sheng about a young man’s fictional sexual adventures with older men including military officers and government officials.

The authority said that the book went beyond good taste and decency and disparaged public officers.

Fitna on par with Mein Kampf???

Shame on the Dutch authorities...
The Dutch right-wing Freedom Party is furious about a passage in a primary school textbook in which party leader Geert Wilders' film Fitna is put on a par with Adolf Hitler's book Mein Kampf. The two works are cited as examples of one-sided thinking. The textbook will be distributed to 2,000 primary schools.

The Freedom Party says it's a disgrace that the textbook was subsidised by the Dutch government. The party speaks of political indoctrination and demands that the authors, the Day of Respect foundation recall the textbooks.

Incredible red tape in the UK....

This is really outrageous.....
The requirement has been attacked by critics as the latest example of excessive red tape, which they say is "emasculating" the police service.

Simon Reed, vice-chairman of the Police Federation, said: "There are all kinds of forms that must be filled in to do even a simple policing task. To mount a surveillance operation you have to fill in a seven page form, even if you just want to use a pair of binoculars. All this paperwork is emasculating the police service. Even if you just used your own eyesight, you would need it because that is classed as 'directed surveillance'."

The seven-page document is designed to ensure officers comply with the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA), the same controversial legislation which allows local councils to use surveillance powers for minor misdemeanours such as dog-fouling. In addition to the RIPA form, officers must fill out even more paperwork before they can carry out surveillance.

Mr Reed added: "You have to complete a risk assessment of the premises and then you have to do an operational order saying what staff, communications and vehicles you'll use, and so on. The authority for the surveillance operation has to be authorised by a superintendent.

"All the paperwork will take about a week to complete. We're not even talking about tackling major crime here. It will even be required to look at someone suspected of dealing drugs from their house, for example, where all the police come away with is a few bags of heroin.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Thousands of muslim extremists in the UK....

An interesting document....
The document, which was drawn up by the intelligence branch of the Ministry of Defence, MI5 and Special Branch, states that "some thousands" of extremists are active in the UK. They are predominantly UK-born and aged between 18 and 30, and many are believed to have been trained in overseas terrorist camps.

Under the heading "International Terrorism", the report, which is marked "restricted" states: "For the foreseeable future the UK will continue to be a high-priority target for international terrorists aligned with al-Qaeda. It will face a threat from British nationals, including Muslim converts, and UK-based foreign terrorists, as well as terrorists planning attacks from abroad."

The report states that the threat from the Islamist extremist community in the UK is "diverse and widely distributed" but adds that the numbers of terrorist in Britain is "difficult to judge".

The document does state, however, that the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre, which is based in MI5's headquarters at Thames House in London, estimates that there are "some thousands of extremists in the UK committed to supporting Jihadi activities, either in the UK or abroad".

A year ago Jonathan Evans, the director general of MI5, said in a speech that his organisation had identified that there were at least 2,000 individuals who posed a threat to national security and public safety.

Since 2001, over 1,200 terrorist suspect have been arrested, over 140 have been charged and more than 45 have been convicted of terrorism offences, according to Home Office figures. It is also estimated that there are some 200 terrorist networks functioning in Britain today who are involved in at least 30 plots.

But this latest security assessment appears to suggest that the number of individuals who now pose a threat to the UK is even higher.

The report continues: "The majority of extremists are British nationals of south Asian, mainly Pakistani origin but there are also extremists from north and east Africa, Iraq and the Middle East, and a number of converts. The overwhelming majority of extremists are male, typically in the 18-30 age range.

"The main extremist concentrations are in London, Birmingham, with significant extremist networks in the South East, notably Luton. Extremist networks are principally engaged in spreading their extremist message, training, fund raising and procuring non-lethal military equipment to support the Jihads in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq, and sending recruits to the conflicts.

"UK-based extremists, either under the direction of al-Qaeda, or inspired by al-Qaeda's ideology of global Jihad, have also engaged in attack planning in the UK."

How's this for an interfaith meeting????

Yes, we call for peace between religions...but don't shake the hand of a jew....
The editor in chief of the pan-Arab London-based Al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper is calling on Saudi King Abdullah to refrain from shaking hands with President Shimon Peres during next week's interfaith gathering at the United Nations headquarters in New York, Israel Radio reported on Saturday.

Peres and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni have been invited to take part in a United Nations interfaith conference initiated by Saudi King Abdullah next week.

Michael Crichton on Environmentalism....

Michael Crichton died this week. His non-fiction essays on science were amongst my favorites.

The Islamists in the 2008 Canadian Election...

An important article from Raheel Raza and Tarek Fatah...
The NDP was founded by social democrats, and was originally, as noted by Mansur, a critical opponent of Communism, and a key element in "denying communists in Canada the opportunity to acquire any shred of legitimacy by posing as defenders of the working people." Today, however, it allows itself to be used by an equally potent ideological enemy, radical Islamism. The working class in the West now includes immigrants, who as ethnic and religious minorities complain of the classic oppression against which the NDP wishes to be a voice of protest.

But, the NDP fails to distinguish between the socio-economic concerns of Muslim immigrants in Canada and the well-funded, ideological organizations that purport to speak for them.

The Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC) is one such organization. The President of CIC, Mohammad El-Masry, is notorious for his anti-Semitic statements, his call for Sharia courts in Canada, and agitation for an anti-Israeli foreign policy.

Canadian Muslims mattered in this national election because they were, some argued, a swing vote in certain ridings. El-Masry endorsed the NDP, and encouraged voter registration to bolster it. Jack Layton should have repudiated Elmasry's support but did not.

Toronto NDP candidate and lawyer, El Farouk Khaki caused a stir recently when he defended a Muslim youth convicted for his involvement in a terrorist camp in Canada. After the judge threw out the youth's defense that "no real Toronto terrorist group existed because its goals were too fanciful to be achieved," Khaki stated that if you are Muslim in Canadian courts you will be presumed guilty until proven innocent. He went on to accuse the judge of having an anti-Muslim bias. This plays into the victimhood complex Islamists want Muslims in the West to fall into. Khaki was not chastised by NDP leader Jack Layton or any other party candidate.

In Montreal, the NDP paraded Samira Laouni, as "the first veiled candidate," in the province. She ran from the riding of Bourassa and made no attempt to hide her support for what she referred to as "real Shariah." She did not win. Jack Layton should have vetted out NDP candidates who favor Sharia like Laouni, whom Mansur has called a "CIC operative."

The end of recycling????

Perhaps the City of Ottawa can save money by eliminating recycling....but this report is from the UK...
Thousands of tonnes of rubbish collected from household recycling bins may have to be stored in warehouses and former military bases to save them from being dumped after a collapse in prices.

Collection companies and councils are running out of space to store paper, plastic bottles and steel cans because prices are so low that the materials cannot be shifted. Collections of mixed plastics, mixed paper and steel reached record levels in the summer but the “bottom fell out of the market” and they are now worthless. The plunge in prices was caused by a sudden fall in demand for recycled materials, especially from China, as manufacturers reduced their output in line with the global economc downturn.

Local authorities and collection companies are so concerned about the mountains of paper, plastic bottles and cans that they are having to store that they have called for storage regulations to be eased.

Officials from the Environment Agency and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs are considering changing the regulations on the storage of recycled waste and are expected to issue new guidelines next week. They have been urged to relax the rules limiting the quantity of waste that can be stored and to allow it to be kept in secure warehouses or abandoned military bases and former airfields.
What...are they going to store waste until prices go up???? Gee, landfills are the answer...

Beijing cracks down on Tibet....

But, the world is silent about China...
IN the ancient back alleys of Tibet's capital, Lhasa, a grim military operation has played out this week, hidden from the eyes of the world. As night falls, hundreds of Chinese troops fan out across this rebellious city, armed with riot shields and assault rifles.

They set up sentry posts on street corners and dispatch patrols in groups of six soldiers, three with shields and three with guns.

These patrols spend the night walking down the lanes of Lhasa's Tibetan quarter, looking for any signof dissent. They glare at me asthey pass, angry at the presence of a foreigner.

When the sun rises, the soldiers do not melt away, but are replaced by a new rotation of troops. The military stranglehold on Lhasa by day is maintained with one chilling addition -- snipers are installed on rooftops around the city's most holy site, the Jokhang Temple, ready to train their guns on the hundreds of Tibetan pilgrims praying in Barkhor Square below.

Only months after the Beijing Olympics, there is no post-Games euphoria in Tibet.

Hopes of greater autonomy and freedom have been stifled by Beijing, which -- stung by bloody anti-Chinese riots in March and by the indignity of the subsequent Olympic torch relay protests -- has come down on Tibetans with an iron fist.

During four days in Lhasa this week -- the first visit to Tibet by an Australian journalist since the March riots that left up to 200 people dead -- I witnessed a city creaking under the weight of the Chinese military.

In meeting local Chinese government officials, it was apparent that Beijing has lost patience with those Tibetans who oppose its rule and has chosen the path of zero tolerance.

Surrender in the Netherlands...

And this is from the Christian Democrats, no less...
The Christian democrats (CDA) conclude in a study that Islam can be a source for fostering democracy. The sharia, or Koran-inspired law, can play a role in this process, the study compiled by Arie Oostlander finds.

Oostlander strongly opposes what is known as the secularisation premise, which claims that democratic development benefits from reduced religious involvement. "I take a strong stand against the idea that Islam is incompatible with democracy. This premise plays into the hands of extremist groups. Islam can provide a basis for promoting the democratic constitutional state," Christian newspaper Nederlands Dagblad quoted him as saying.

Oostlander was director of the scientific bureau of the CDA between 1975 and 1989. Jan Peter Balkenende, the present CDA leader and Prime Minister, once called him his 'spiritual father'.

The West, Oostlander maintained, must try to link up with religious groups in Muslim countries that are open to democratic developments. He said he did not wish to be "naïve" about this, because there are also extremist groups that do not eschew violence. But space can be created for the sharia. "Not everything stated in the sharia is bad. We should be prepared to take part in discussion about this."

Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen (CDA) took receipt of the study. "Religious leaders can play a positive role in reforms in a country," he said. "But religion is not the only factor that decides someone's identity. It should never be impossible for someone to participate in a discussion because of their convictions."

Where the sharia is concerned, Verhagen maintained that "there must never be any excuse for stoning women to death" or killing homosexuals. But this does not alter the fact that people may allow themselves to be inspired by their religious convictions in shaping society, the minister declared. And this can be manifested in legislation in one way or another, he added.
I'm relieved to know that he won't let homosexuals be killed...but just about anything else is ok!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

CKCU cancels show for probing the life of Muhammed.....

Even though October was Islamic History Month in Canada, CKCU Radio in Ottawa objected to two "non-believers" examining the life of Muhammed. You can read all the documentation here...and listen to the show.

Shame on CKCU!

Lawfare against Israel....

NGOs are trying to make life difficult for Israelis...
Israeli and Spanish officials engaged in a flurry of secret talks last month to avoid a diplomatic crisis. The reason? A Palestinian nongovernmental organization, or NGO, filed suit in Madrid, seeking arrest warrants against seven former Israeli officers allegedly involved in the 2002 targeted killing of Hamas leader Salah Shehadah in Gaza. Israel's foreign ministry warned the men against travel to Spain for fear of arrest while Madrid tried to defuse the tensions.

This lawsuit is just the latest front in the anti-Israel "lawfare" strategy -- the frivolous exploitation of Western courts to harass Israeli officials. The detractors of the Jewish state are increasingly using civil lawsuits and criminal investigations around the world to tie Israel's hands against Palestinian terror by accusing Jerusalem of "war crimes" and "crimes against humanity." In the process, the NGOs also subvert and interfere with the diplomatic relations of Western countries with Israel.

These lawsuits typically ignore the difficulty Israel faces in fighting terrorists who target Israeli civilians while hiding among their own civilian populations. The accusations also ignore the measures Israel takes to avoid civilian casualties, including the strictest rules of engagement for any Western army. While Israel is not the only country that has been subject to this sort of lawfare -- several prominent NGOs have filed similar suits against U.S. officials in France and Germany -- it is a primary target.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Shariah Banking coming to the US???

There's a price that the west is going to have to pay for having the Saudis and other muslim states re-invest their petro-dollars...
The U.S. Treasury Department is submitting to Shariah - the seditious religio-political-legal code authoritative Islam seeks to impose worldwide under a global theocracy.

As reported in this space last week, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Robert Kimmitt set the stage with his recent visit to Saudi Arabia and other oil-rich Persian Gulf states. His stated purpose was to promote the recycling of petrodollars in the form of foreign investment here.

Evidently, the price demanded by his hosts is that the U.S. government get with the Islamist financial program. While in Riyadh, Mr. Kimmitt announced: "The U.S. government is currently studying the salient features of Islamic banking to ascertain how far it could be useful in fighting the ongoing world economic crisis."

"Islamic banking" is a euphemism for a practice better known as "Shariah-Compliant Finance (SFC)." And it turns out that this week the Treasury will be taking officials from various federal agencies literally to school on SFC.

The department is hosting a half-day course entitled "Islamic Finance 101" on Thursday at its headquarters building. Treasury's self-described "seminar for the policy community" is co-sponsored with the leading academic promoters of Shariah and SCF in the United States: Harvard University Law School's Project on Islamic Finance. At the very least, the U.S. government evidently hopes to emulate Harvard's success in securing immense amounts of Wahhabi money in exchange for conforming to the Islamists' agenda. Like Harvard, Treasury seems utterly disinterested in what Shariah actually is, and portends.

Unfortunately, such submission - the literal meaning of "Islam" - is not likely to remain confined long to the Treasury or its sister agencies. Thanks to the extraordinary authority conferred on Treasury since September, backed by the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), the department is now in a position to impose its embrace of Shariah on the U.S. financial sector. The nationalization of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Treasury's purchase of - at last count - 17 banks and the ability to provide, or withhold, funds from its new slush-fund can translate into unprecedented coercive power.

The way forward for the Republicans...

There is a way forward for the Republicans....but who knows if they will go down the right path. Here are my suggestions...

1. Social conservatism will not win general elections for the Republicans. Issues like abortion and same-sex marriage are not winners for them.

2. In the major cities, the Republicans (like our Conservatives) need to run what I call metro conservatives - candidates who are gay-friendly, and are more interested in lower taxes, smaller government, free speech, and free-market environmentalism.

3. Being pro-family is fine - but embrace gay families in your definition.

4. Continue the fight against Islamic Jihad. Make sure people know that Republicans want nothing to do with the surrender faction in America.

5. The Republicans need to clean up their act and run candidates who are disdainful of earmarks, and who are very different from traditional democrats like Charles Schumer (who used Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as his own personal fiefdom).

6. Offer a different environmentalism - talk about real environmental problems (a la Bjorn Lomborg) like clean water, sewage, etc. And, let's see some free-market environmental solutions.

7. Be more libertarian. Offer a contrast to politically-correct Democrats.

California votes to ban gay marriage....

This is incredibly disappointing. And, where was Obama to help defeat the initiative? Here's part of a nice piece by Andrew Sullivan on this defeat...
But some perspective from someone who has fought this fight as long and as personally as anyone in this country. Twenty years ago, equality of gay couples was a mere idea. Forty years ago, it was a pipe-dream.

In the long arc of inclusion, we will miss our goals along the way from time to time. Today, we have full marriage rights in two states, we have many civil marriages in California that will remain in place as examples of who gay people really are, we have civil unions in many more places, and marriage rights in other parts of the world, as beacons to America. And this is a civil rights movement. It goes forward and it is forced back. The battle to end miscegenation took centuries. These are the rhythms of progress. Sometimes losing, and being shown to lose, shifts something in the minds of those watching as a small group is punished for daring to dream of full civil equality. In this battle we have already had far more defeats than victories. But each time, we have come closer to our goal. And in the hearts and minds and souls of so many, we have changed consciousness for ever.

California has full civil equality in law for gay couples. In time, full civil marriage equality - the only real measure of equality - will follow. And it will spread, state by state, more slowly now, and perhaps more organically from legislatures, rather than courts, which would not be the worst idea. And observing this backlash against us will reveal to many the cruelty of allowing majorities to take the rights of tiny minorities away.

If we had won this, this civil rights battle would be all but over. Now, it isn't. So we get back to work, arguing, talking. speaking, debating, writing, blogging, and struggling to change more minds. The hope for equality can never be extinguished, however hard our opponents try. And in the unlikely history of America, there has never been anything false about hope.

Neil MacDonald and the CBC make me ill

I happen to watch a few minutes last night on the CBC and there was Neil MacDonald - that rabid anti-American, talking about the Obama victory. What does this all mean? Well, to MacDonald, perhaps Obama can make amends to the Muslim world. Yes, this is what the CBC wants - let's ignore the global jihad, let's apologize to the muslim world, and then everything can be ok....

Privatize. The. CBC.

The role racism does not play....

John McWhorter is one of my favorite writers - here is an important column on the Obama victory...
Now, if this racism of the scattered and subliminal varieties were the obstacle to achievement that Jim Crow and open bigotry were, then we would have a problem. But yesterday, we saw that this "out there" brand of racism cannot keep a black man out of the White House.

Might it not be time to allow that our obsession with how unschooled and usually aging folk feel in their hearts about black people has become a fetish? Sure, there are racists. There are also rust and mosquitoes, and there always will be. Life goes on.

I know--what about "societal" racism? Well, if we can now relax about the backward folk "out there," then maybe Obama in the White House can help open up an honest discussion about the role racism does not play in black communities' problems.

Obama has come in for some criticism for not putting forth a "black" agenda--i.e., one designed to combat "racism" in various ways. It's because he knows that paradigm has no useful application to our times.

The harsher penalization of crack than powdered cocaine that has put so many black people in jail needs revision, but it was not created by racists: The Congressional Black Caucus helped pass it. Newark's schools are not failing because of racism, when New Jersey funds them as liberally as schools in the suburbs and most of the teachers and staff are black.

America has problems and our new president knows it. However, is America's main problem still "the color line" as W.E.B. DuBois put it 105 years ago? The very fact that the president is now black is a clear sign that it is no longer our main problem, and that we can, even as morally informed and socially concerned citizens, admit it.

There is nothing at all "unreal" about this. It is, after all, what we were supposed to be working toward. We must embrace it.

What I'll miss about President Bush....

Wise as ever, here's Ari Fleischer's take...
A clear view

I'll miss President Bush's moral clarity. The president's critics hated his willingness to label things right or wrong, and the press used to bang me around for it, but history will show how right he was.

Shortly after 9/11, the president gave a speech in which he talked about the fight between good and evil, and that good would win. Afterward, I told him I thought he was being simplistic: "There are a lot of shades of gray in this war. I think it's more nuanced."

He looked at me and said, "If this isn't good versus evil, what is?"

Then he reminded me that when Ronald Reagan went to Berlin, he called on Mikhail Gorbachev to "tear down this wall" - not to put a gate in it or to remove some bricks. Reagan said to tear it all down.

Bush saw the presidency as the place to call the American people to big challenges - in morally clear terms. As his spokesman, I knew that many people would be uncomfortable with how easily he made such moral judgments. I also knew that many Americans welcomed his tough, direct and unambiguous moral clarity.

I'll miss that direct talk. In the age of terrorism, the one thing we have to fear more than anything is moral relativism.

When Israel was attacked during the Bush years, the president always stated that Israel had a right to defend itself. After 9/11, he never referred to Israel's counterattacks as a "cycle of violence." He understood that when a democracy strikes back against terrorists, it's not a "cycle." It's self-defense.

We haven't been attacked since 9/11, Libya no longer has nuclear weapons, Syria was stopped from acquiring them, Saddam Hussein is gone, and Iraq is on its way to being a nation that fights terrorism - all on President Bush's watch. His job approval may now be low, but he should leave office with his head held high. I hope his successors recognize the strength that moral clarity can provide.

- ARI FLEISCHER, the White House press secretary from 2001 to 2003
What I'll miss is his yearning for democracy around the world - the fact that he could have put in place a religous regime in Iraq, but didn't. An imperfect man for sure, but George Bush will be remembered in Iraq for a long time - and I believe very positively.

The end of ethanol....

This is good news....but what's the next horror from the environmentalists???
Once upon a time, ethanol was seen as the future of clean energy and as leading the U.S. to energy independence.

That was 2004, but Wall Street wised up fast that ethanol was ready for a bust. So, in 2006 and 2007, when Wall Street firms started investing their own money in renewable energy companies, they left ethanol far behind.

“It’s such a waste that the government gave free handouts and subsidies to grow a business that wasn’t sustainable,” said one investment banker familiar with the sector.

It is one of the few things Wall Street investment banks have gotten right lately, while private investors including Bill Gates and Richard Branson were bullish on ethanol as recently as January. We were thinking of this in reading about how this weekend ethanol producer VeraSun Energy filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. It was hardly a surprise, given that a month ago, VeraSun was predicting a steep loss and hired Morgan Stanley to evaluate its options. And the company isn’t alone; the entire ethanol sector is getting its comeuppance. Goldman Sachs Group analysts today dropped coverage of all ethanol companies because of the plunge in market valuations for ethanol companies and what the analyst see as their dim future.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

And, just what on earth can they agree on????

How about a ringing condemnation of terrorism????
Senior Vatican and Islamic scholars launched their first Catholic-Muslim Forum on Tuesday to improve relations between the world's two largest faiths by discussing what unites and divides them.

The three-day meeting comes two years after Pope Benedict angered the Muslim world with a speech implying Islam was violent and irrational. In response, 138 Muslim scholars invited Christian churches to a new dialogue to foster mutual respect through a better understanding of each other's beliefs.

In their manifesto, "A Common Word," the Muslims argued that both faiths shared the core principles of love of God and neighbor. The talks focus on what this means for the religions and how it can foster harmony between them.
I just wish the Catholics would propose such a condemnation...

Rabbi attacked in Berlin....

I'd like to know more about the perpetrators...
A few days before the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of Nazi anti-Jewish pogroms in Germany known as “Kristallnacht”, a rabbi in Berlin and 8 rabbinical students were attacked on Saturday night by two hoodlums.

Rabbi Yehudah Teichtal, who serves since 11 years as rabbi of Chabad Lubavitch, one of the three Jewish communities of the German capital, was returning in his vehicle with the students after attending a Jewish event in the city when the two aggressors began to chase the rabbi's car.

The two men, driving a Mercedes Benz, braked in front of the rabbi's van and then reversed back towards it while shouting anti-Semitic insults.

"The rabbi then saw the driver light up an unknown object and throw it towards his van," the police said, adding that the rabbi could not explain what the object was.

North Korea tries to send technology to Iran...

It's great to see that this shipment was stopped, but can the Americans stop every shipment from North Korea???
The United States thwarted a suspect shipment from North Korea to Iran by persuading the Indian government to deny clearance for the North Korean flight to travel through Indian airspace, U.S. officials said yesterday.

Nine weeks after the flight was diverted in August, the Bush administration removed North Korea from the State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism in a bid to salvage an accord to end Pyongyang's nuclear programs.

U.S. officials suspect the North Korean plane, an Ilyushin-62 jet owned by the North Korean state airline, was carrying sophisticated technology -- such as ballistic missile parts -- that could be used in a program for weapons of mass destruction.

The jet stopped in Burma on Aug. 7 and sought permission to cross Indian airspace to reach Iran. India is not part of the U.S.-led Proliferation Security Initiative, but officials in New Delhi agreed to a U.S. request to deny access, U.S. officials said.

"This was very, very important," said a senior U.S. official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the incident involved U.S. intelligence. "It was frankly a success that we stopped North Korea from doing this."