Saturday, April 29, 2006

Religion Of Peace


Daniel Wultz, a Florida teenager lying in a coma after being critically injured last week in a suicide bombing at an Israeli restaurant, is the "best target combination we can dream of – American and Zionist," Abu Nasser, a leader of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, one of the groups responsible for the deadly blast, told WorldNetDaily.

Abu Ayman, a leader of the Islamic Jihad, which also took responsibility for the April 17 bombing in which Wultz was injured, threatened all Americans and Jews worldwide and expressed regret Wultz is still alive.

Next time you hear someone express sympathy for the Palestinian cause, remind them of this.

While you're at it- tell them the story of eight months pregnant Tali Hatuel and her daughters- aged 2, 7, 9 and 11- all murdered in cold blood. This innocent women and her children were branded "terrorists" by the Palestinian Authority and their murderers "heroic martyrs". Of all the atrocities carried out over the years this one outrages me most. How can anyone support people who would do something like this?

Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for Hatuel murders then too.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Illegal Immigrants in the UK

The US might have major immigration problems but it's not alone- here in the UK over a thousand prisoners who should have been deported were instead allowed to go free. The prisoners- including three murderers, nine rapists and five paedophiles- are currently being sought by police, their whereabouts unknown.

Home Secretary Charles Clarke, just one of many Labour Ministers dogged by scandal recently, is refusing to resign his position. Coming on the heels of the peerages row, things are looking increasinyl bleak for Labour.

Glimpse Of The Future?

Hat tip to Infidel Bloggers Alliance.

This is a hard post to just quote from, it really needs to be read in its entirety. Make sure to check out the full thing over at Wizbang.

Tel Aviv has just been nuked. Estimated casualties: 100,000+. Do you wish to:
A) Urge Israel to show restraint and protest to the UN?
B) Strike back against Iran directly?


Israel has launched its own nuclear weapons against Iran. Iran has launched its remaining nuclear weapons against Israel. Several weapons have missed their intended targets, landing in Iraq, Jordan, Syria. The Arab world en masse has declared war on what remains of Israel. Large clouds of fallout are drifing across the Middle East, endangering countless civilians and US forces stationed there.

Estimated casualties:

Iran: 5 million+
Israel: 4.5 million+
Jordan: 900,000+
Iraq: 500,000+
Syria: 200,000+
US: 6,000+

Price of oil breaks $200/barrel. Flow of tankers through the Persian Gulf comes to standstill. Gasoline and energy shortages throughout much of the world. China declares ownership of Spratly Islands and their untapped oil reserves. Philippines, Taiwan, Viet Nam all protest and threaten to take military action. Japan allies itself with Philippines and backs their claim. War breaks out.

Mexico offers the United States oil at $150/barrel -- as long as the US eases back on its enforcement of border security and illegal aliens.

Much of the Arab world blames the US for the nuclear exchange between Israel and Iran, as we supported Israel for far too long and permitted them to have the nuclear weapons they used to hit back. Terrorism against US targets at home and abroad skyrockets.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Neo Nazi Converts To Islam

I'm not sure if this story has been getting much attention on the blogosphere- I really don't have the time to keep right up to date at the moment- but it caught my attention enough to warrent a quick post.

A British neo-Nazi, David Myatt, founder of the British National Socialist Movement, member of Combat 18 and the purported author of a fascist terrorist handbok, has converted to Islam.

Is he now converted to peace and love? Islam is, afterall, the Religion of Peace. Not quite-

Myatt supports the killing of any Muslim who breaks his oath of loyalty to Islam, and the setting up of a Muslim superstate.

“The pure authentic Islam of the revival, which recognises practical jihad (holy war) as a duty, is the only force that is capable of fighting and destroying the dishonour, the arrogance, the materialism of the West . . . For the West, nothing is sacred, except perhaps Zionists, Zionism, the hoax of the so-called Holocaust, and the idols which the West and its lackeys worship, or pretend to worship, such as democracy.

“They want, and demand, that we abandon the purity of authentic Islam and either bow down before them and their idols, or accept the tame, secularised, so-called Islam which they and their apostate lackeys have created.

“This may well be a long war, of decades or more — and we Muslims have to plan accordingly. We must affirm practical jihad — to take part in the fight to free our lands from the kuffar (unbelievers). Jihad is our duty.”

It's worth reading the entire article. Somehow this recent convert seems to have completely misunderstood this peaceful, non-violent religion. Seems to happen quite a lot.

It's also worth noting that the term "far right" is used in the article when this is clearly incorrect. National Socialists (Nazis) are, of course, socialists- "far left" is the proper term.


Hat tip to Kevin for this one-

Funniest post/comments you'll read all day.

Mitch Byrd

I've only recently "discovered" the work of Mitch Byrd but I've taken an instant liking to it. Not only does he have a talent for very precise, technical looking work but he also has a superb imagination. Some of his alien creatures look totally bizarre but realistic nonetheless. You can see some galleries of his work online- here and here. WARNING- some of his material depicts the human form devoid of clothing so it's most likely NOT SAFE FOR WORK.

Byrd also has a "webcomic", updated every Wednesday. At the moment a "lost world" story is running but it's well worth checking out the previous entries; the first tale, Sign Post On The Left, is about dinosaurs on the lose in the modern world and it's followed by the excellent Dinosaur Theories. This is a joy- and not just because of the lovely artwork; Byrd also has some ideas on the fins of Dimetrodon and Spinosaurus. I hoe very much that he has a follow up on this topic.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


I recently got the Smog album Knock Knock and I'm quite taken with it. This video is for the tune Rock Bottom Riser from A River Ain't Too Much To Love. Looks like I'll be buying Smog's entire back-catalogue.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Giant Dinosaur Predator Discovered

Scientists have discovered the remains of a meat-eating dinosaur which would have towered over T. Rex. The find, probably bigger even than Giganotosaurus, was of a group of such dinosaurs, now named Mapusaurus roseae-

At forty feet long they were huge, but their bodies were more leanly built than the famous T. Rex, making them more agile, with their long knife-like teeth intended to slice through flesh rather than to crush bone. What's more, the find of a group of remains together suggests that they hunted as a pack.

Which must have been something to see!

Message From Zarqawi

Iowahawk hits another home run.

And the ones that actually do get over here never want to volunteer for anything other than being a stupid hostage, and then they start whining for vegan meals and high-speed internet, and then they get all pissy and crying when you actually cut off one of the other’s heads. Helloooooo, Moby McMoonbeam: that’s what you f**king hostages are for. Sh*t, I swear the only victory we’ve had lately is when Team Satan came and took those Unitarian peace creeps off our hands. Your problem now, dawg.

Read it all.

Shh! Someone Might Hear You

Gee, I wonder what that tiny minority of the radical fringe of the fundamentalist Islamists want? Surely, it’s all about Israel, or we're not giving them enough aid money, or maybe we should stop trying to impose our dreaded Western values on them? Something like that right?

Maybe if we stick our fingers in our ears and hum really loudly we can keep believing that.

CIA burn in Hell
Mossad burn in Hell
Homeland Security burn in hell!!

Islam will dominate the world
Islam is the only solution
Islam will dominate the world
Islam is the only solution

Jihadi Aircraft Threat

Just when the Kos-kids are insisting that they're over 9/11, along comes the TSA and announces that privately owned aircraft are at risk from Islamist terrorists.

The TSA urged airplane owners and operators to boost security measures and secure unattended aircraft and verify identification of crew and passengers.

"Be alert/aware of and report persons masquerading as pilots, security personnel, emergency medical technicians or other personnel using uniforms and/or vehicles as methods to gain access to aviation facilities or aircraft," the TSA advised.

It said the theft of any private airplane should immediately be reported to law enforcement and TSA.

It's not time to go back to sleep yet.

Kos On The Army

Markos "Screw them" Zuniga has written an article about his military service. He insists, towards the end of the article that he would not sign up to today's military, even going so far as to add, "Lest this sound like an ad for the Army".

Heaven forbid someone think him pro-Army!

Why wouldn't he join up today? Well, it's all the fault of those neo-cons! Today, if you join up, chances are you'll see action. And for Zuniga that's just not what the Army is there for. Oh no, for him the military is not there to fight for freedom, to defend America- it's all about exploring your potential for personal growth-

"One of the many tragedies of the Iraq War is that the military is no longer a viable option for those needing a boost up the socio-economic ladder, making college a possibility, granting people the confidence and experience that has paid such huge dividends for countless veterans."

Wow. The Left really doesn't understand the military at all, even when it's had some personal experience of it.

101 "Must See" Films

Another movie list- this time Roger Ebert's 101 Movies You Must See. They're not supposed to be the best movies, or the most important, or anything like that- just the films you should have seen to be fully "movie literate".

No Dracula?

Of the 101 films a quick count shows that only nine of them are post-1980. Of these few we have The Crying Game and Do The Right Thing. Those are two of the "must see films" of the past few decades. Please.

No The Usual Suspects, no Raiders of the Lost Ark, no Lord of the Rings, no Das Boot, no Aliens, not one of the hugely influential CGI animated films of recent years?

Perhaps it's just that my taste doesn't run to Ebert's (there are a lot of early and European films) but it seems to me that a much more representative list of must see films can be found on IMDB and its top 250 movies as voted for by users. There tends to be a bit of bias towards newer films there, but it still seems to a better sampling of cinema than Ebert's selection.

Star Trek Movie

I'm not sure whether this is good or bad news- J.J. Abrams, director of Mission Impossible 3 is scheduled to make a new Star Trek movie. The questionable detail is that it's not going to include the cast from any of the TV shows, instead choosing to focus on a young Kirk and Spock, following them from their first meeting at Starfleet Academy and on to their first mission in space.

Who on earth are they going to cast in those roles?

Separate Rules For Immigrants

I'd hoped to blog on this yesterday but I couldn't access Blogger at all.

A British judge has freed a woman who shook her five month old baby so hard he suffered brain damage.

It was believed that the boy would have been screaming in agony for eight weeks because his injuries went untreated.

The reasoning behind the judge's incredible leniency in this case is that the woman is a Bangladeshi immigrant to Britain. The judge explained,

“You are a young lady who came from Bangladesh. You lived there in a rural community, adopting the customs and ways of the people there so that getting to know the ways of living in the West and in this country were not easy."

In other words, the Bangladeshis are too stupid to realise that shaking a tiny baby hard, injuring it so badly that it screams for eight weeks in agony is not a good thing. He's obviously of the opinion that all people in rural Bangladesh are incapable of understanding that babies are delicate creatures which need to be handled carefully. I don't know whether to blame this ridiculous decision on the judge's blind racism or his political correctness gone mad.

In either case it seems that immigrants to Britain now have a precedent on which to "blame" their crimes; it's part of their own culture, they didn't know they were doing anything wrong. As a commenter on Michelle Malkin notes,
"What's next, allowing honor killings because the male family members don't know any better?"

I wouldn't be surprised.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

New Scientist Weapons

This may be of interest- New Scientist now has a Special Report on Weapons page, dealing with everything from explosives, bullets that burn through armour, bunker busters and space satellites.

Some interesting articles to browse through.

Sheehan on 9/11

Not much time to blog lately but I couldn't let this pass- Gateway Pundit has an extensive post to refute wild claims by Cindy Sheehan about the treatment her son received when his body was returned to the US.

Sheehan goes on to claim

"There are many people whom the Bush regime has killed, either directly or indirectly, by their murderous policies: there are people buried under rubble of Iraq and who were buried under the rubble of the World Trade Towers, and if their families were lucky they could find small parts to bury, before their remains were carted away in the enormous trucks and barges."

So, in Sheehan's world Al Qaeda isn't to be held responsible for their planned, deliberate murder of nearly 3,000 people- it's all Bush's fault.

Words fail me. I shouldn't be surprised though- she does, afterall, call the people who killed her son "freedom fighters".

Now go and read Kevin's piece RCOB-

Ms. Burleigh and I have worldviews so divergent that we might as well be of different species. There is no common ground upon which we could even begin to attempt rapprochement. And what bothers me most of all is that I see the land that we both live in becoming more and more divided between people like her, and people like me.

There are days when it feels like the chasm between liberal and conservative is so vast that nothing can be donew to bridge it. This is one of those days.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Fear on the Campus

Three American university professors have filed a complaint of discrimination and harassment against a librarian because they felt "unsafe" by his suggestions of some books for a reading list. The university- Ohio State- is taking the charges seriously and is investigating the librarian.

What did the librarian do that has struck such fear into the professors? Suggested Mein Kampf? A manual on cannibalism? 12 Easy Steps to be a Hitman? No, not quite-

Scott Savage, who serves as a reference librarian for the university, suggested four best-selling conservative books for freshman reading in his role as a member of OSU Mansfield’s First Year Reading Experience Committee. The four books he suggested were The Marketing of Evil by David Kupelian, The Professors by David Horowitz, Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis by Bat Ye’or, and It Takes a Family by Senator Rick Santorum. Savage made the recommendations after other committee members had suggested a series of books with a left-wing perspective, by authors such as Jimmy Carter and Maria Shriver.

I find it incredible that recommending some books can not only make American university professors feel so terror stricken that they have to file a complaint, but that an American university will take those charges seriously and "investigate"- whatever that means- the librarian.

What's happened to the world?

Steyn on Iran

Mark Steyn sums up the Iran situation-

You know what's great fun to do if you're on, say, a flight from Chicago to New York and you're getting a little bored? Why not play being President Ahmadinejad? Stand up and yell in a loud voice, "I've got a bomb!" Next thing you know the air marshal will be telling people, "It's OK, folks. Nothing to worry about. He hasn't got a bomb." And then the second marshal would say, "And even if he did have a bomb it's highly unlikely he'd ever use it." And then you threaten to kill the two Jews in row 12 and the stewardess says, "Relax, everyone. That's just a harmless rhetorical flourish." And then a group of passengers in rows 4 to 7 point out, "Yes, but it's entirely reasonable of him to have a bomb given the threatening behavior of the marshals and the cabin crew."

That's how it goes with the Iranians. The more they claim they've gone nuclear, the more U.S. intelligence experts -- oops, where are my quote marks? -- the more U.S. intelligence "experts" insist no, no, it won't be for another 10 years yet. The more they conclusively demonstrate their non-compliance with the IAEA, the more the international community warns sternly that, if it were proved that Iran were in non-compliance, that could have very grave consequences. But, fortunately, no matter how thoroughly the Iranians non-comply it's never quite non-compliant enough to rise to the level of grave consequences. You can't blame Ahmadinejad for thinking "our enemies cannot do a damned thing."

Iran Threatens UK

Not content with threatening to annihilate Israel, Iran has now threatened Britain and the US with suicide bomb attacks if action is taken against Iran's nuclear facilities.

IRAN has formed battalions of suicide bombers to strike at British and American targets if the nation’s nuclear sites are attacked. According to Iranian officials, 40,000 trained suicide bombers are ready for action.

Meanwhile, the British government thinks that the best policy to take with Iran is more talking. Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said that the US would be "nuts" to launch a nuclear attack on Iran. The Iranian leadership sure do sound like reasonable people.

In a tape recording heard by The Sunday Times, Abbasi warned the would-be martyrs to “pay close attention to wily England” and vowed that “Britain’s demise is on our agenda”.

Inmates Running the Asylum?

What the heck is going on in the United Nations? Iran- Iran- has been elected as vice-chairperson of the UN Disarmament Commission.

I guess this is so they can concentrate their efforts on trying to disarm that dangerous, rogue state Israel.

"The continued existence of thousands of nuclear warheads in the stockpiles of the nuclear-weapon States, which could destroy the entire globe many times over, and the increasing resort to the threat of their possible use, are the major sources of concern with regard to global peace and security," Danesh-Yazdi [the Iranian voted onto the Commission- ed] said, adding that Israel was required to place all of its "clandestine nuclear facilities" under UN nuclear watchdog supervision.

No mention of his own country's efforts.

Kettlebell Routine

My light kettlebell training continues. It's been about a week since I've even picked up my 32kg girya- I'm having way too much fun working out with the 16kg. I've stopped keeping track of the number of reps I do and am instead doing 30 minute sessions. I only do one handed swings, clean and jerk, military press and the snatch.

My aim has been to increase my endurance- and it seems to be working. In the space of a week my need for rest between exercises has rapidly decreased. I'm also aiming to do more of each exercise (switching between hands without pause) without stopping. Those numbers have also gone up.

I try to focus the emphasis in each workout on a different exercise but I'm basically going by feel rather than any definite plan- it's a joy to train like this.

The other benefit of these sessions is that I don't need to do any cardio work at all- this
strength endurance training takes care of that. And that's the magic of the kettlebell; it does it all, in one small package.

Friday, April 14, 2006

On Your Birthday

I saw this on Kim du Toit's and Cowboy Blob's websites so I thought I'd have a go too.

Go to Wikipedia and look up your birth day (excluding the year). List three neat facts, two births and one death in your blog, including the year.

3 Neat Facts

1215 - King John of England puts his seal to the Magna Carta.

1667 - The first human blood transfusion is administered by Dr. Jean-Baptiste Denys. He transfuses 12 fluid ounces (350 ml) of sheep blood to a 15-year-old boy. The boy later dies and Baptiste is accused of murder.

1992 - The United States Supreme Court rules in US vs. Alvarez-Machain that it is permissible for the USA to abduct suspects in foreign countries and bring them to the USA for trial, without approval from those other countries. No reciprocal right is recognized for the reverse to happen in the USA.

2 Births

1843 - Edvard Grieg, Norwegian composer (d. 1907)

1946 - Noddy Holder, English singer (Slade)

1 Death

1996 - Ella Fitzgerald, American singer (b. 1917)

South Park

So Comedy Central didn't air South Park's Mohammed cartoon. At least they were honest about their reasons why-

Parker and Stone were angered when told by Comedy Central several weeks ago that they could not run an image of Muhammad, according to a person close to the show who didn't want to be identified because of the issue's sensitivity. The network's decision was made over concerns for public safety, the person said. Comedy Central said in a statement issued Thursday: "In light of recent world events, we feel we made the right decision." Its executives would not comment further.

They're scared- Islamist violence has intimidated them into silence on this issue.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Religious Tolerance

The United States' ally in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia.

A Catholic Indian priest was yesterday forced to leave Saudi Arabia. He was discovered by the religious police as he organized a prayer meeting in the lead-up to Easter. Arrested on 5 April, he remained in police custody for four days and on Saturday 8th April he left for India. The practice of any religion other than Islam is forbidden in Saudi Arabia. Meetings held privately in people’s homes, among friends, are also banned.

On 5 April, Fr George had just celebrated mass in a private house when seven religious policemen (muttawa) broke into the house together with two ordinary policemen. The police arrested the priest and another person.

The Saudi religious police are well known for their ruthlessness; they often torture believers of other religions who are arrested.

Often, for feasts like Easter and Christmas, Catholics plan holidays in the Emirates, Bahrain or Abu Dhabi, where at least for once, they are free to attend mass.

Time for a re-evaluation of that relationship.

NHS Crisis

Britain's health service is in crisis, facing a deficit of £750 million. so what's the plan to save it? Streamline management? Slash administration costs? Why, no- this is Britain we're talking about, our plan is to spend less on drugs and staff.

Can't fail can it?

Faster and Faster

I seem to be posting more and more frequently about Britain's decline. I can't tell if it's that I'm paying more attention or if it's just a process which is speeding up as we swirl around the plughole before going completely down the drain.

John Lott links to a report that British police will do everything in their power to avoid responding to reports of gunmen shooting and killing innocent people- waiting for hours until the perpetrator is safely far, far away. And that includes armed British officers.

Thames Valley Police received a dressing-down this week over their pathetic response to the infamous 'barbecue killings'. Stuart Horgan burst into a family barbecue, shot his estranged wife, her sister and mother, then left. Neighbours repeatedly phoned the emergency services, explaining that the gunman had gone. But the police refused to attend for more than an hour in case he was still around; armed officers waited four miles away. Ambulance crews would not enter without police. Horgan's wife, Vicky, and her sister, Emma Walton, both died.

There is of course, much more. And the worst thing is that if police received reports that a homeowner had shot or bludgeoned, or probably even used harsh language against a burglar, they'd come down on him like a ton of bricks.

We can't defend ourselves and we sure as hell can't rely on the police to do it for us either.

BBC Bias?

Here's a funny thing- on the front page of the BBC's news page is the headline "Iraq Minister Admits Death Squads". Intrigued I clicked on the link to read the story, the actual title of which is "Iraqi Minister Denies Terror Link".

Essentially the Iraq Interior Minister said that the terror gangs responsible for attacks on Sunni Muslims were not linked to his Ministry- though he said some of them were wearing the uniforms of the police, uniforms which he says can be bought off the street.

Surely there couldn't be any bias at the BBC putting such a misleading link on their front page? Not like they'll think that some people will just check the headline, accept that as the story and move on, without actually reading the article?

Iran Enriches Uranium

President AllMyJihad has announced that Iran has successfully enriched uranium already. While enriched uranium can be used for nuclear power, it's also an essential ingredient for a nuclear weapons program. Apparently Iran has hundreds of centrifuges for the enrichment process- but thousands are needed for the more highly refined uranium needed for weapons grade material. The world may have a little time before Iran has a working bomb.

The enrichment announcement came despite UN warnings to stop within 30 days last month- or "face action".

The next step now will likely be more talking, threats of sanctions and then the proposal being blocked by Russia and China- both countries will financial interests in Iran. It seems neither will be concerned that they too will soon be within range of an Iranian nuclear missile.

In the meantime, Iran continues to thumb its nose at the world and carry on with their program.

Monday, April 10, 2006

McDonalds Diet

Morgan Spurlock's "personal responsibility surrenders" documentary Super Size Me debunked. I mention this because British TV station Channel 4 screened the movie the other day and is also broadcasting his 30 Days series.

Five 30-day dieters who have lost weight by eating nothing but McDonalds.

Leslie Sayer- "after eating only McDonald’s food for 30 days, I lost 17 pounds and my blood cholesterol went down."

Jodie Patrick- "As a result, after 30 days I actually lost six pounds! My body fat fell from 11.1% to 10% and my triglyceride levels dropped, too."

Aaron Grobengeiser- "at the end of the 30-day trial he lost weight and lowered his cholesterol, despite the goal of maintaining his current weight."

Chazz Weaver- "Unlike Mr. Spurlock, I dropped eight pounds of body fat and improved my good cholesterol and triglycerides."

Soso Whaley- "Despite the fact that I was eating exclusively at McDonald’s for 30 days, I not only lost 10 pounds but lowered my cholesterol by 40 points."

Britain's Further Decline

There has been a lot of internet attention paid to the news that the British Criminal "Justice" system is recommending cautions for a growing number of crimes. Today there's further evidence that the this is not a random or isolated incident.

The number of rapists being given nothing more than a caution has more than doubled in the past ten years. This is despite the fact that the Home Office states that cautions are given only in exceptional circumstances.

This comes at a time when the number of rapes being reported is rising year by year (there were 80,000 rapes or attempted rapes in 2001), and the number of people being prosecuted is falling- from 1 in 3 in 1977 to 1 in 20 in 2004.

The Crown Prosecution Service's position is that a caution can only be given in rare circumstances. One of the cautions they gave was to a 13 year old boy who had raped a young child. Instead of being punished for this horrendous crime a youth offenders team "showed him his behaviour was wrong".

As if this wasn't bad enough, only recently guidelines went out for consultation which are recommending that judges cut the jail time of convicted rapists by 15% because jail is now "more demanding". Got that? Prison is too demanding for rapists to be sent there for the full term of their sentence. I feel like the inmates have broken loose and are running the insane aslyum. Is this really what Britain has been reduced to? Concern that rapists might have a tough time in prison- but not a shred of concern for the victims who have to spend the rest of their lives living with it?

It's as if the government is hoisting a flag of surrender in the face of anarchy.

Update - The Times is also on the story and they provide this breakdown on the cautions handed out thus far;

In 2004 cautions were given to: nine boys aged 12 and under 15 who admitted raping a female; eleven boys aged 15 and under 18; three males aged 18 and under 21; and sixteen males aged 21 and over. In the same year a further 751 people were convicted in court of rape, only 5.29 per cent of rapes reported to police.

Sounds like an awful lot for "extreme circumstances" to me. What's so exceptional about the nineteen men who have face no punishment for their crimes? Or any of them for that matter?

Can someone explain to me why nine boys can rape a girl and all be let off with a caution?

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Flight of Fantasy

Tarzan by Jeff Jones.

Get Tarzan Strong

Edgar Rice Burroughs went to great lengths to impress upon the reader the phenomenal strength possessed by Tarzan of the Apes. This is but one example-

Though but ten years old he was fully as strong as the average man of thirty, and far more agile than the most practiced athlete ever becomes. And day by day his strength was increasing.

It certainly sounds impressive and if you ever wanted to gain that sort of level the closest you'll probably get is by mastering the following feat- the muscle up.

The muscle-up is pure climbing for Tarzan strength. Can you imagine the king of the jungle training with lat pulldowns and tricep pushdowns? No way, leave the "toning and shaping" for Jane.

It's called the "muscle up technique". Simply put it requires the individual to hang from a set of gymnasts rings and to do first a pull up and then immediately after a dip. The recommended level of fitness before attempting a single muscle up is to be able to do 15 pull ups and 15 dips.

At the link above there's more information on the specifics of the technique involved- a false grip pull up, transition and then the dip- and also a recommended three week training program. Note too the kettlebells scattered around the 1927 gym pictured with the article. Seems to me that we'd be better off with a few modern gyms that looked like that.

Apostasy in Saudi Arabia

Let's see if there's as much outcry about this as there was about the arrest and imprisonment of Abdul Rahman. -

Liberal journalist Rebah Algwaie was arrested Monday on apostasy charges in the northern city of Hail.

Algwaie, 25, worked for Okaz and Shamas newspaper, and was a frequent blogger on many liberal website, most have been shutdown by the Saudi government.

On November 14, 2005, Algwaie received death threats from unknown individuals who destroyed his car and left a message warning him to return to Islam or face direct harm.

There was no word on his condition, and if he was allowed a lawyer.

The Horrors of Gitmo

I wonder if the major news networks will run with this shocking story of life in the notorious Guantanamo Bay gulag! This poor mite was only twelve when he was captured and sent to this "hell hole".

He spent a typical day watching movies, going to class and playing football. He was fascinated to learn about the solar system, and now enjoys reciting the names of the planets, starting with Earth. Less diverting were the twice-monthly interrogations about his knowledge of al-Qaida and the Taliban. But, as Asadullah’s answer was always the same - “I don’t know anything about these people” - these sessions were merely a bore: an inevitably tedious consequence, Asadullah suggests with a shrug, of being held captive in Guantanamo Bay.

The food in the camp was delicious, the teaching was excellent, and his warders were kind. “Americans are good people, they were always friendly, I don’t have anything against them,” he said. “If my father didn’t need me, I would want to live in America.”

Asadullah is even more sure of this. “Americans are great people, better than anyone else,” he said, when found at his elder brother’s tiny fruit and nut shop in a muddy backstreet of Kabul. “Americans are polite and friendly when you speak to them. They are not rude like Afghans. If I could be anywhere, I would be in America. I would like to be a doctor, an engineer — or an American soldier.”

Someone call Amnesty International quick!

Kick The Bucket

A big hat tip to Cowboy Blob for linking to this post by Hell in a Handbasket.

It seems that back in the '50s there were a number of shootings by "mad dog killers"; and during these killing sprees an unusually high number of police officers were killed. What's strange about that is that many of the cops were found with their revolvers empty- a handful of empty brass in one hand and the cylinder open. They'd emptied the gun but never apparently tried to reload. Some of them were even reported to have left cover and gone wandering around, staring at the ground.

The mystery was solved by an FBI agent who took the time to visit some police ranges- where he discovered that the standard procedure for police officers shooting was to empty the gun, take out the spent brass and then dump it neatly in a bucket by their feet.

In the heat of battle, the cops weren't able to think clearly and so they fell back on their training, their practiced instinct- and that was to not throw their brass to the ground and reload but to put them neatly in a bucket by their feet. With that cue missing they were unable to go on to the next step of reloading and firing back at the pertson trying to kill them.

It seems absurd but it's an extremely important point- repetition, training, could save your life: or get you killed. If you're a firearm owner and you're hoping that your weapon could one day save your life, your practice with that weapon must be as realistic as possible- that includes the shooting, the reloads, and also the drills you carry out when the weapon malfunctions. It's all very well being able to shoot fast and accurate but if your training doesn't take into account what you do when the weapon misfeeds or misfires then you might be in trouble. It's an essential part of training for the worst case scenario.

Repetition- endless repetition- is the only way to ingrain these habits that will kick in when the SHTF.

Cowboy Blob's advice is to check out practical shooting- IPSC or IDPA- while Hell in a Handbasket adds Cowboy Action Shooting to that list. It's good advice. Take heed. And don't forget your malfunction drills too!

Saturday, April 08, 2006


It's been a while since I checked out the Tromix website, but after reading MadOgre's reference to the chopped down 12.5" barrelled "entry" Saiga recently I thought I'd better have a look.

Glad that I did- they have a folding stock AK-47 rechambered in the massive .458 SOCOM- basically giving 18 rounds of .45-70 power in a very compact and easily reloaded format. The SOCOM AK can kick out a 300 grain Barnes X-bullet at over 2,000fps. Corbon are currently offering a 450 grain load and a 600 grain load. The latter loading can give 950 fps.

The SOCOM AK is billed as "
capable of dropping some of the largest game in the world".

Fists of Fury

Liberty Zone posted the following exceptional story-

A man and his wife were leaving a bank. A man approached them and asked if they had a car. Thinking that perhaps he had pranged their car they said "yes" and indicated their vehicle. The man told them to hand over the keys or he'd kill them. Pushing his wife behind him the car-owner replied, "Give it a shot."

The would-be robber tried just that and ended up getting a resounding thrashing.

Almost enough to bring a tear of joy to the eye!

Well, I thought I'd try and match LZ-

A woman woke on her couch and found a man in her home with her and her one year old daughter. She'd seen him before, peeking into her kitchen window, and hanging around outside her home. Though she did not know it then, the man had done time for sexual assault (strange that all these guys seem to be out of prison). He approached her and touched her on the arm, asking if she wanted a drink. She screamed and ran for the front door. The intruder approached her and warned her not to call the cops.

The woman responded by punching him in the face five times and then, as he tried to flee out of the front door, she picked up a baseball bat there and gave him a smack on the back of the head, knocking him face first into a flowerpot. He ran off and was later arrested.


Sharky's Machine

Looks like Hollywood is still out of fresh ideas - next on the re-make list is the Burt Reynolds movie Sharky's Machine, based on the book by William Diehl. It's been a good few years since I read or watched this but I have fond memories of both. Henry Silva's performance as a hit-man was superb. I can't imagine that anyone will be able to top him.

I don't see why this needs to be re-made at all. Wouldn't Hollywood be better off re-making films that had a good concept but which didn't work because of bad acting/casting/directing/script work? I can think of a whole bunch of films which had a good idea at the core but which were terribly executed. Why not remake some of them?

Other bad news is that they're planning on re-making both The Dirty Dozen and The Wild Bunch. I can't think of two more iconic films which in no way need to be turned into re-makes.

Sporting Gun Ban

The city of Boston has added a number of weapons to its "assault weapons ban", the vote being carried unanimously.

The City Council yesterday unanimously passed a petition to ban certain ''cop killer" firearms and stiffen offender penalties. The legislation will add the FN Five-Seven, .50 cal. Smith & Wesson, and .50 cal. Barrett to the city's assault weapon's ban. Possession of illegal firearms also will now carry a minimum, mandatory one-year jail sentence under the legislation. Before it takes effect, the petition must be approved by the mayor and state lawmakers.

A fifty cal rifle is hardly an assault weapon, and neither is the .50 Magnum Smith and Wesson revolver- an item designed purely for hunting- not to mention the Five-Seven pistol.

Slippery slope. How long before the "cop killer" .30-30 is added to the list?

Friday, April 07, 2006

Fighting Back

It seems that the situation on the ground in Iraq has changed. The new tactic for American troops caught in ambushes is no longer to get out of Dodge- they're being told to engage the enemy.

Since there were only a limited number of groups setting up these ambushes, if you stopped to fight them, and killed or captured the attackers (the usual result), there would soon be fewer ambushes in the long run. Not only would there be fewer people around to stage ambushes, because of the casualties, but the word would get around that ambushing U.S. troops was very dangerous. Intelligence also picked up information, about damaged morale among ambush gangs, after several widely publicized battles with ambushers, with many of the attackers killed or captured.

Hat tip to Murdoc Online.

Could this be related to this?

Troops that have died in each of the last 6 months in hostile actions in Iraq:

81, 76, 50, 49, 43, 25

Saddam And The Terrorists

Despite George Clooney's assertions, there is proof that there was a link between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda, among others. Stephen Hayes has done sterling work to examine the connections here and here. The latter link gives us this information-

SADDAM HUSSEIN'S REGIME PROVIDED FINANCIAL support to Abu Sayyaf, the al Qaeda-linked jihadist group founded by Osama bin Laden's brother-in-law in the Philippines in the late 1990s, according to documents captured in postwar Iraq. An eight-page fax dated June 6, 2001, and sent from the Iraqi ambassador in Manila to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Baghdad, provides an update on Abu Sayyaf kidnappings and indicates that the Iraqi regime was providing the group with money to purchase weapons. The Iraqi regime suspended its support--temporarily, it seems--after high-profile kidnappings, including of Americans, focused international attention on the terrorist group.

It doesn't end there though. A newly translated document seems to show that Iraq was requesting volunteers from the Iraqi Air Force to take part in suicide missions against American targets-

We ask to provide that Division with the names of those who desire to volunteer for Suicide Mission to liberate Palestine and to strike American Interests and according what is shown below to please review and inform us.

Air Brigadier General

Abdel Magid Hammot Ali

Card Games Forbidden

Social Services in Britain have seized a child from his foster parents because his foster father plays poker.

The child's natural mother recently converted to Islam and she told authorities that gambling was against her new-found beliefs. The Foster Care Association, which knew the father played poker professionally when they approved him, told him not to play the game in his own home- when he refused their demands the child was taken from his care.

I'm not sure why the natural mother, who doesn't have custody of the child, can make demands like this on the people raising the boy. Or why they took the boy from his new home to appease her wishes.

NHS Implodes

The collapse of Britain's National Health Service continues unabated- and despite the extra £271 billion pounds in taxes being collected since Gordon Brown became Chancellor.

Around 200 jobs will be lost at York Hospitals NHS Trust over the next 12 months as part of an attempt by health chiefs to save around £7 million, it has emerged.

The Trust blamed financial pressure for the losses, citing national requirements for all hospitals to increase efficiency, as well as problems at the Selby and York Primary Care Trust, which announced debts of £23.7 million last month.

Across the country, cuts which will run into more than 6,000 job losses have been announced in recent weeks.

Needless to say, Labour's popularity continues to decline.

Iran's Nuclear Ambitions

Accroding to the United Nations, of all people, Iran is secretly attempting to develop a nuclear weapons program.

"There are a number of glaring inconsistencies between what the Iranians are telling us and the information the IAEA got from Khan," said a diplomat closely involved in the IAEA's negotiations with Teheran. "Consequently the IAEA inspectors are now convinced that the Iranians have another, small-scale uranium processing and enrichment project that is being kept secret from the outside world."

Time is running out fast- soon the world may have to face an Iran equipped with nuclear weapons, or Iranian-back terorists at large in the world with such devices.

Update- Must be a coincidence that Iran has successfully developed ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warhead?

Illegal Immigrants

This is how the world sees what has just happened in the United States.

THE political muscle of Latinos on the march forced Republicans into a remarkable retreat yesterday, paving the way for a compromise deal on Capitol Hill that will give US citizenship to millions of illegal immigrants.

If every single Republican (or Democrat for that matter- this decision seems to go against waht the vast majority of American citizens of all stripes want) isn't calling or writing or emailing their representatives today something is badly wrong.

From where the rest of us are sitting it looks like the US government is putting the desires of illegal immigrants ahead of its own citizens. What the heck is going on over there?

Crystal Clear

It doesn't really get any more clear than this.

Kevin of Smallest Minority skewers the hoplophobic assertion "More guns means more violence, no matter what."

South Africa

Kim du Toit reports on a highly disturbing article today- the number of "farm murders" in South Africa is high, 1700 since the end of apartheid in 1994, making farmers and their families risk of murder ten times higher than any other group-the most dangerous non-military profession in the world. The police seem entirely disinterested in investigating. The Times piece is well worth reading.

The situation is not quite so bad as Zimbabwe yet. I've heard before from relatives who used to live in South Africa that there used to be quiet talk of mass revenge against the whites- once Nelson Mandela passes on. Those relatives have since moved elsewhere in the world.

Zimbabwe’s cull of farmers can be repeated by default, as well as by design. There are signs of growing haste and impatience in land reform. New possibilities of legalised expropriation were opened on March 1. The deputy president, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, spoke at a recent conference in Pretoria. “We’ve got lessons to learn from Zimbabwe,” she said. “How to do it fast. We need a bit of oomph. So, we might want some skills exchange between us and Zimbabwe.” The remark was made with a smile, it was reported, and “to muted laughter”.

The world has thus far turned a blind eye to the ethnic cleansing of the whites in Zimbabwe. Will it do the same again if it happens in South Africa?

Flight of Fantasy

I've posted Edgar Rice Burroughs' Princess of Mars, Dejah Thoris, before but it seemed like high time for a recap. I'm currently reading Burroughs' Tarzan series but I'm itching to dive back into the world of Barsoom- and perhaps then move onto wonderful Pellucidar.

Here she is in all her glory, once again presented by the awesome Adam Hughes.

Kettlebell Set-Back

My kettlebell training has been going pretty well lately but all that came to a screeching halt at the weekend. As my training has progressed so has a set of calluses on each hand, an inevitable result of the "crush grip" used to control the girya as it swings around on its axis. Usually I have no problem with this- but that changed without warning. Halfway through a workout the pain flared up in my hands and when I looked each callus was surrounded by an angry red ring- and I couldn't grip the kettlebell tight enough to control it.

I took a couple of days off but it didn't help- the calluses remained as bothersome as ever and so I was forced to soak my hands and get to work with a pumice stone and then follow up with hand cream; so much for my "hard man" workout!

The pumice stone seems to have done the trick but after the break I decided to lay off the 32kg girya and go back to using the 16kg weight. I thought that perhaps with the heavier weight I was beginning to develop some bad habits in my form and that might be the cause of the calluses.

Using the 16kg weight is entirely different- with this light weight I've got much better control over it (I can squeeze the grip at the top of the snatch and prevent the girya from falling down onto my forearm) and the workout takes on a new shape- one I'd forgotten: high reps with no breaks in between. It's exhausting and because I've adapted to using the 32kg girya I don't feel quite so battered after a workout- I do end up with my muscles burning with effort but after a rest and a protein shake my body feels pretty normal, nowhere near as drained as I have been feeling following the heavy sessions.

It's a refreshing change to use the lighter weight - and it makes me realise that a set of kettlebells, rather than just one or two at the weight you want to focus on, is a much better investment. These recent sessions feel a little like a holiday they're so different from the grind of working the heavy girya.

American Courts Not American?

A story I haven't seen too much reference too: Sister Toldjah gets a gold star and heads to the front of the class for this coverage-

Gwinnett Superior Court judge Mark Lewis begins each session (and has done since 9/11) by turning to face the flag and reciting the pledge of allegiance. He invites those in his American courtroom to join him, but does not insist or require it.

Sounds fair enough to me, he is afterall an American judge presiding over an American court which is ruled by American law. But of course there has been a complaint. An attorney by the name of Donald Weissman objects to the court starting off with "a public pledge of national loyalty".

As an official complaint was lodged the judge was obliged to recuse himself from the case Weissman was taking part in.

Weissman's obection was this-

"He’s concerned that failure to recite the pledge could affect fairness in the courtroom.

“The more I thought about it, the more concerned I became about whether people in the courtroom might perceive some degree of partiality based upon whether your loyalty is to the United States or not,” he said.

Weissman contended in his March 17 letter that Lewis apparently considered his court “to be an American court, rather than a court for all persons situated in America.”

I am stunned.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Century War

An incredibly powerful work of fiction by author Dan Simmons discusses the coming terrifying future of the world.

Here is a sample-

“How are we supposed to know who our enemies are?” I turned and growled at him. “The world is a complex place. Morality is a complex thing.”

“Your enemy is he who will give his life to kill you,” said the Time Traveler. “Your enemies are they that wish you and your children and your grandchildren dead and who are willing to sacrifice themselves, or support those fanatics who will sacrifice themselves, to see you and your institutions destroyed. You haven’t figured that out yet – the majority of you fat, sleeping, smug, infinitely stupid Americans and Europeans.”

He stood and set the Scotch glass back in its place on my sideboard. “How, we wonder in my time,” he said softly, “can you ignore the better part of a billion people who say aloud that they are willing to kill your children . . . or condone and celebrate the killing of them? And ignore them as they act on what they say? We do not understand you.”

This is something that should be disseminated far and wide. LGF calls it "the must read of the week, possibly the year". I'll second that- Go read it now. And then sent it to everyone you know.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

CNN Skips Homework

CNN reports that Hamas has written a letter to Kofi Annan saying that they are willing to engage in "serious and constructive dialogue" and that they might even consider a "two-state solution".

Such a shame that CNN doesn't pay attention to the blogs, which reported on the same Hamas official who wrote this very reasonable sounding letter, two days ago-

“I dreams of hanging a huge map of the world on the wall at my Gaza home which does not show Israel on it,” he said. “I hope that our dream to have our independent state on all historic Palestine (including Israel).”

This dream will become real one day. I’m certain of this because there is no place for the state of Israel on this land,” said al-Zahar.

Serious Crime in Britain

A man in England has been jailed for shouting "racist slurs" at Muslims attending a mosque. Obviously this is a much more serious crime than arson, vandalism or sex with underage girls. The judge presiding over the case told the defendant that "racism of any kind will not be tolerated".

What race are Muslims again?

Among the terrible utterances made were the scathing "Go back to where you came from" and the terribly offensive "Proud to be British". No, that really was one of the statements quoted as being one of the racist slurs.

That's about all we hear from the BBC on the matter but the local press covers the case in a bit more detail. It turns out that the chap at the centre of all this, Bryan Cork, was drunk at the time and can remember nothing about the incident. He also stated that he didn't understand why he had done it as he was "friendly with people from all sorts of ethnic backgrounds”
. His crime is "racially aggravated harassment".

The judge said that "when sober Cork was a good man with much to offer the community" but he added “the aspect of racism which is clearly demonstrated here outweighs any personal mitigation which you have.”

Cork will have to serve three months of a six month sentence before being released on licence.

So in modern Britain "racist" speech will get you thrown in the slammer for months at a time but trifling little matters like burglary, arson, vandalism, threatening to kill, actual bodily harm, possession of heroin or cocaine, common assault, or taking a car without the owner's consent (to name but a few) will see you let off with nothing more than a caution.

"Great" Britain?

United 93

I blogged yesterday about the 9/11 film United 93. It's been on my mind a lot since watching the trailer and so I had a quick look to see what others were saying.

Jim Geraghty of National Review-

I can understand if some people say, “it’s too soon. I just can’t watch it.” This trailer feels like a gut punch; your heart is in your throat from the first seconds. This movie has no stars, no flashy special effects. Just a real documentary feel as we see unknown actors reenacting the events of that day - in the airport, on the plane, in NORAD and air traffic control centers. It absolutely throws you back to that morning, and all of the fear, horror, pain and tears that went with that. I think you’ll be hard-pressed to find three minutes of film that could be more powerful.

He goes on to quote from the 9/11 Commission report on the final events on the flight, something I think is worth quoting in its entirety-

During at least five of the passengers' phone calls, information was shared about the attacks that had occurred earlier that morning at the World Trade Center. Five calls described the intent of passengers and surviving crew members to revolt against the hijackers. According to one call, they voted on whether to rush the terrorists in an attempt to retake the plane. They decided, and acted.

At 9:57, the passenger assault began. Several passengers had terminated phone calls with loved ones in order to join the revolt. One of the callers ended her message as follows: "Everyone's running up to first class. I've got to go. Bye."

The cockpit voice recorder captured the sounds of the passenger assault muffled by the intervening cockpit door. Some family members who listened to the recording report that they can hear the voice of a loved one among the din. We cannot identify whose voices can be heard. But the assault was sustained.

In response, Jarrah immediately began to roll the airplane to the left and right, attempting to knock the passengers off balance. At 9:58:57, Jarrah told another hijacker in the cockpit to block the door. Jarrah continued to roll the airplane sharply left and right, but the assault continued. At 9:59:52, Jarrah changed tactics and pitched the nose of the airplane up and down to disrupt the assault. The recorder captured the sounds of loud thumps, crashes, shouts, and breaking glasses and plates. At 10:00:03, Jarrah stabilized the airplane.

Five seconds later, Jarrah asked, "Is that it? Shall we finish it off?" A hijacker responded, "No. Not yet. When they all come, we finish it off." The sounds of fighting continued outside the cockpit. Again, Jarrah pitched the nose of the aircraft up and down. At 10:00:26, a passenger in the background said, "In the cockpit. If we don't we'll die!" Sixteen seconds later, a passenger yelled, "Roll it!" Jarrah stopped the violent maneuvers at about 10:01:00 and said, "Allah is the greatest! Allah is the greatest!" He then asked another hijacker in the cock-pit, "Is that it? I mean, shall we put it down?" to which the other replied, "Yes, put it in it, and pull it down."

The passengers continued their assault and at 10:02:23, a hijacker said, "Pull it down! Pull it down!" The hijackers remained at the controls but must have judged that the passengers were only seconds from overcoming them. The airplane headed down; the control wheel was turned hard to the right. The airplane rolled onto its back, and one of the hijackers began shouting "Allah is the greatest. Allah is the greatest." With the sounds of the passenger counterattack continuing, the aircraft plowed into an empty field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, at 580 miles per hour, about 20 minutes' flying time from Washington, D.C.

Jarrah's objective was to crash his airliner into symbols of the American Republic, the Capitol or the White House. He was defeated by the alerted, unarmed passengers of United 93.

And from the (new to me) blog Kesher Talk- the whole post is well worth reading- comes this excerpt of an interview with the widow of Jeremy Glick, one of the passengers on board;

. . . . he told me he thought he was going to die; he said he would respect any decisions I made. He didn’t sound panicked, he didn’t sound angry. He just sounded very, very sad. . . . Then he went into a planning mode. He said there were three guys as big as him-- – Jeremy was a large guy, a little over six feet and 220 pounds; in 1993 he was the NCAA judo champion for his weight class -- and they were thinking of jumping the hijacker with the bomb. Did I think it was a good idea?

I hesitated, then I said, 'Honey, you need to do it.'

He was thinking of what he could use as a weapon, besides his hands. He said, 'I have my butter knife from breakfast.' Which is like Jeremy; he always made a light comment when things were stressful.

He said, 'OK, we’re going to go do it. I’m going to put the phone down. I’ll be right back.'

I just handed the phone to my Dad. My Dad said he heard screaming and then there was nothing. A few minutes went by and then there was more screaming and noise. Then there was nothing. . . .

You can watch the United 93 trailer here.


The trouble brewing in the Middle East seems to have taken an ominous turn- Iran has set up watch towers along the Lebanon border to spy on Israel.

"This is now Iran's front line with Israel," a senior Israeli military commander said. "The Iranians are using Hizbollah to spy on us so that they can collect information for future attacks. And there is very little we can do about it."

Justice in Britain

Well, not anymore there isn't. Due to a shortage of spaces in Britain's prisons (no one seems to have thought of building some more), the government has circulated new rules to police forces around the country detailing how they can deal with various criminals.

Burglars will be allowed to escape without punishment under new instructions sent to all police forces. Police have been told they can let them off the threat of a court appearance and instead allow them to go with a caution.

The same leniency will be shown to criminals responsible for more than 60 other different offences, ranging from arson through vandalism to sex with underage girls.

The rules will apply to those who have admitted their guilt (probably them all if they know they'll get off without going to court) and who have no prior record. It's just another step along the path away from the court system, and handing power over to the police to be judge and jury al in one. Perhaps 2000AD wasn't so far off the mark in imagining Judge Dredd as the future of law enforcement.

This from Blair's government which was supposed to be "tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime". As if this wasn't bad enough there's this-

It emerged last month that some violent or sex offenders, given mandatory life sentences under a "two-strike" rule, have been freed after as little as 15 months.

Instead of attempting to do something about the lack of prison sizes the government (the Home Office apparently considers sending criminals to prison "uncivilised") is intent on doing all it can to let criminals remain free.

At the same time judges and magistrates have been bombarded with instructions from the senior judiciary to send fewer criminals to jail.

Burglars and muggers should be spared prison more often, courts have been told, and last week sentencing authorities ordered a further "raising of the custody threshold" to keep out of prison more offenders who would in the past have been given up to a year in jail.

So much for the British justice system.

Flight of Fantasy

Another sketch by the superlative Adam Hughes, this time of Budd Root's Cavewoman. Meriem has never looked so good.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Hot For Jihad

Mark Steyn. What else do I need to say?

Jack Straw, the British foreign secretary, gave a typical Western government official's speech the other day explaining that "a large number of Muslims in this country were -- understandably -- upset by those cartoons being reprinted across Europe and at their deeply held beliefs being insulted. They expressed their hurt and outrage but did so in a way which epitomized the learned, peaceful religion of Islam."

"The learned, peaceful religion of Islam"? And that would be the guys marching through London with placards reading "BEHEAD THE ENEMIES OF ISLAM" and "FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION IS WESTERN TERRORISM" and promising to rain down a new Holocaust on Europe? This is geopolitics as the Aretha Franklin Doctrine: The more the world professes its R-E-S-P-E-C-T, the more the Islamists sock it to us.

Go read the rest.

50 Greatest Indie Films

Empire magazine has created a list of its top 50 independent movies. There are some real gems in the countdown- Mad Max, The Descent, Shallow Grave, Dark Star, Evil Dead, Blood Simple, Memento, Night of the Living Dead and Clerks.

There is also the very odd inclusion of Donnie Darko as the second best ever indie film. Really? Are they serious about that? Donnie Darko is a better film than Evil Dead, or The Blair Witch Project for example? I don't think so.


The study of fingerprints just got a whole lot more revealing. In some cases, it's impossible to match the prints left at a scene with a suspect- the perosn may never have committed a crime. However, new techniques will give detectives much more information to go on.

"New forensic techniques now mean they can be used to determine whether a person is a smoker, uses drugs, and even which aftershave they wear - information that could help narrow down suspects."

The reason for this is that a fingerprint contains a mix of skin cells, sweat secretions and substances picked up by touch. The new technique has already been used to identify a hair product used by a test subject. Small details which may help police narrow down the list of suspects.

Cosby Speaks Out

The straight-talking Bill Cosby weighs in on New Orleans and the destruction of Katrina-

"It's painful, but we can't cleanse ourselves unless we look at the wound," Cosby told the rally of about 2,000 people at the city's convention center, where thousands of Katrina evacuees had gathered seven months earlier.

"Ladies and gentlemen, you had the highest murder rate, unto each other. You were dealing drugs to each other. You were impregnating our 13-, 12-, 11-year-old children," he said, in quotes picked up by Reuters.

"What kind of a village is that?"

9/11 In The News

An unusual number of stories linked to 9/11 today.

The USN's amphibious assault ship the USS New York has been made using steel from the fallen World Trade Centre. When launched it will carry a crew of 360 sailors and 700 US Marines.

A group of airline pilots are cycling across the United States in an effort to raise money for memorials at the three crash sites and also to honour the flight crews that were killed that day.

A statue of 9/11 hero Rick Rescorla was unveiled at fort Benning. The Vietnam vet saved hundreds of lives as he led others to safety- and was last see returning to try and lead more people out. Mudville Gazette has more on Rescorla. It's well worth reading it all- he deserves it.

Finally there's the movie United 93 about the plane that was brought down in Pennsylvania by the heroic actions of the passengers on board. There have apparently been complaints about the "timing" of the film. A quick blogger search turns up a good piece on this by Dr Sanity.

I don't care how painful it is to face the truth. I won't go back and pretend that 9/11 didn't happen and that my beloved country, which I love with my whole heart and soul, was not viciously and deliberately attacked by people whose greatest dream is its destruction.

If some can't cope with the truth after 5 years, then truth--and reality--is beyond them.

I intend to go see this movie; and I will deal as best I can with the pain, turmoil and raw emotions of that day. I owe it to all those who died. I owe it to myself. And, I owe it to my country.

Personally, watching that trailer brought back all the memories of 9/11 that I have- very vividly. It is definitely worth watching.

Bush Was Right

A big hat-tip to Blackfive for this one- a video by a conservative band called The Right Brothers and their excellent song "Bush Was Right". You really do have to hear this one. If you like the band make sure to stop by their webpage where you can buy their albums on CD or pay a few pennies to download songs and videos.

View the video here.

Flight of Fantasy

About time I had another picture to brighten the place up a little- so here's another image by my favourite comic book artist Adam Hughes- a depiction of Lara Croft that I find particularly amusing.

Drug Money For Terrorism

Let's hope that this is a major headache for the terrorists- Manhattan DA Robert Morgenthau has closed down a channel which has funnelled $3 billion dollars to Hamas, Al Qaeda and Hezbollah, through one of New York's largest banks. The money for these Islamists and their so-called holy war came from the illegal earnings of drug deals and other crimes.

Morgenthau's new case is the latest shocking disclosure of how terrorist groups, rogue states and drug lords are exploiting continuing weaknesses in the American financial system - and how billions of dollars in dirty money continues to flow through unsuspecting banks in New York, the epicenter of the global dollar trade.

Over a two-year period, the $3 billion was sent to the New York bank account by a shadowy money-transmittal company in Montevideo, Uruguay.

The money then flowed into bank accounts in the Middle East locations including Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Beirut, Lebanon, and Ramallah in the Palestinian territories.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Foxy Lady

This is an interesting article, pondering the smaller brain size of women compared to men (women's brains are on average 100g lighter).

The answer to this problem, it's postulated, may be found in research into foxes. Over a period of fifty years a Russian scientist bred foxes, aiming to turn the wild creatures he began with into domesticated animals. In each generation he selected the pups which were most friendly to humans, gradually taming them. After 35 generations (equivalent to the 10,000 years it took early man to domesticate wild wolves) he ended up with this: "tamed foxes wagged their tails, whined for affection, were submissive, barked like dogs and their ears flopped."

One aspect of this domestication procedure is that the brains of the tame, floppy eared foxes were smaller than their wild counterparts.

Domestic animals generally do have small brains. On average, domestic dog, cat, sheep and pig brains weigh 25 per cent less than those of wild animals. The mechanism remains a mystery.

The theory is that over time men may have "domesticated" women (and I use the term loosely- I know all too well that these supposedly tame creatures can suddenly and without warning revert back to a wild state), by selecting the friendliest "tamest" of the fairer sex to mate with. Women in turn may have selected for more assertive males.

Another aspect of this is that the smaller brain size is associated with a greater emotional intelligence, the tame foxes are much more adept at picking up on emotional cues from humans than their wilder, bigger brained relatives.

Or it could simply be that women have smaller brains because they are generally smaller than men, and brain size and body size are linked.

Whatever the case turns out to be, the "foxy lady" theory is food for thought.

Statues of Egypt

First if was the magnificent statues of Buddha in Afghanistan, obliterated by the Taliban- next it may be the extraordinary ancient statues of Egypt.

A fatwa issued by Egypt’s top religious authority, which forbids the display of statues has art-lovers fearing it, could be used by Islamic extremists as an excuse to destroy Egypt’s historical heritage.

Egypt’s Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa, the country’s top Islamic jurist, issued the religious edict which declared as un-Islamic the exhibition of statues in homes, basing the decision on texts in the hadith (sayings of the prophet).

Which is really the sticking point here- this isn't something he's pulled out of his hat, it's based on his readings of the hadith.

Still, many fear the edict could prod Islamic fundamentalists to attack Egypt’s thousands of ancient and pharaonic statues on show at tourist sites across the country.

“We don’t rule out that someone will enter the Karnak temple in Luxor or any other pharaonic temple and blow it up on the basis of the fatwa,” Gamal al-Ghitani, editor of the literary Akhbar al-Adab magazine, told AFP.

Of course they have the example of the Taliban to follow- and Mohammed himself, who overturned the pagan statues at the Ka'ba

Gomaa had pointed to a passage from the hadith that stated: ”Sculptors would be tormented most on Judgment Day,” saying the text left no doubt that sculpting was “sinful” and using statues for decorating homes forbidden.

If this fatwa is to be refuted then obviously it needs to be done not of the basis of Western outrage at the threat to the treasures of ancient Egypt but by Muslims thermselves, with reference to the Koran and Hadith.

“Islam proscribed statues, as long as they symbolise living entities such as human beings and animals,” Qaradawi said on an Islamic website.

Islam proscribed all that leads to paganism or smells of it, statues of ancient Egyptians included,” he added.

The statues which have survived for thousands of years may be facing their greatest threat.