Tuesday, February 28, 2006

USN's Swimming Spy Plane

I don't usually blog on matters aeronautical but this is just too impressive looking a design to ignore-

Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works, famed for the U-2 and Blackbird spy planes that flew higher than anything else in the world in their day, is trying for a different altitude record: an airplane that starts and ends its mission 150 feet underwater. The Cormorant, a stealthy, jet-powered, autonomous aircraft that could be outfitted with either short-range weapons or surveillance equipment, is designed to launch out of the Trident missile tubes in some of the U.S. Navy's gigantic Cold War-era Ohio-class submarines.

Coffee War!

The War on Drugs has gone a step too far.

Is the War on Drugs taking aim at that morning cup of java? As crazy as it might sound, some activists would hope so - and they have enlisted the help of various mayors to support their cause.

Dennis R. Yates, the mayor of Chino, California who recently signed the proclamation declaring March 2006 as National Caffeine Awareness Month. This will be the second year for Chino in hosting the event. The proclamation states that "physical and mental health care are immeasurably important to the overall well-being of the citizen.”

According to Yates, "caffeine consumption can pose a significant hazard to health and longevity," as consumption of the dangerous drug is "linked to heart disease, pancreas and bladder cancer, hypoglycemia, and central nervous system disorders."

Of course they fail to mention the fact that-

The University of Kansas says that "caffeine narrows blood vessels in the brain and stimulates the cerebral cortex, the brain's outer sheath. This helps you think more rapidly and clearly. Elsewhere in the body, blood vessels expand. Coordination improves."

Ah, coffee!

There are quite a few mayors outside of noted loony bin California who actually are in support of these crackpot measures. They're obviously in desperate need of a few cups of coffee to improve their brain function.

Blonde Extinction

A theory for the evolution of blonde hair and blue eyes in Europe has been proposed, linking the sudden rise of the blonde gene with a shortage of males in the population.

The study argues that blond hair originated in the region because of food shortages 10,000-11,000 years ago. Until then, humans had the dark brown hair and dark eyes that still dominate in the rest of the world. Almost the only sustenance in northern Europe came from roaming herds of mammoths, reindeer, bison and horses. Finding them required long, arduous hunting trips in which numerous males died, leading to a high ratio of surviving women to men.

The proponent of the theory believes it is supported by research showing that blonde hair is an indicator of higher oestrogen levels in the body.

There is also research showing that the time of the natural blonde may be short lived.

A study by the World Health Organisation found that natural blonds are likely to be extinct within 200 years because there are too few people carrying the blond gene. According to the WHO study, the last natural blond is likely to be born in Finland during 2202.

There's still no explanation for the tendency of some blondes to be, shall we say, a little dense.

Jodie Kidd, 27, the blonde model, disagrees with the theory: “I don’t think being blonde makes you more ripe for sexual activity. It’s much more to do with personality than what you look like. Beauty is much deeper than the colour of your hair.”

Gathering Shadows

A sobering read from author Douglas Murray, who attended the Pim Fortuyn conference on Islam and Europe recently.

The silencing happens bit by bit. A student paper in Britain that ran the Danish cartoons got pulped. A London magazine withdrew the cartoons from its website after the British police informed the editor they could not protect him, his staff, or his offices from attack. This happened only days before the police provided 500 officers to protect a “peaceful” Muslim protest in Trafalgar Square.

It seems the British police — who regularly provide protection for mosques (as they did after the 7/7 bombs) — were unable to send even one policeman to protect an organ of free speech. At the notorious London protests, Islamists were allowed to incite murder and bloodshed on the streets, but a passer-by objecting to these displays was threatened with detention for making trouble.

Murray is of the opinion that the jihad in Europe is winning. When he puts it like this it's hard to disagree. While the majority of the press has been cowed into silence by fear, only the bloggers have stepped up to print and re-print the Mohammed cartoons, to criticise the encroachment of dhimmitude. You can see the cartoons here.

Europe is shuffling into darkness. It is proving incapable of standing up to its enemies, and in an effort to accommodate the peripheral rights of a minority is failing to protect the most basic rights of its own people.

The governments of Europe have been tricked into believing that criticism of a belief is the same thing as criticism of a race. And so it is becoming increasingly difficult and dangerous to criticise a growing and powerful ideology within our midst. It may soon, in addition, be made illegal.

Read it all.

Al-Qaradawi

I was going to blog about London mayor Ken Livingstone's mate the "moderate" Al-Qaradawi but the chaps over at Infidel Bloggers Alliance have done the job already-

They must not allow anyone to take a single piece of land away from Islam. That is what we are fighting the Jews for. We are fighting them... Our religion commands us... We are fighting in the name of religion, in the name of Islam, which makes this Jihad an individual duty, in which the entire nation takes part, and whoever is killed in this [Jihad] is a martyr. This is why I ruled that martyrdom operations are permitted, because he commits martyrdom for the sake of Allah, and sacrifices his soul for the sake of Allah.

We do not disassociate Islam from the war. On the contrary, disassociating Islam from the war is the reason for our defeat. We are fighting in the name of Islam.

Seems like Ken is committed to supporting murderous terrorists whether they are Irish Nationalists or Islamofascists.

Call For Action

Doesn't this fall under the banner of treason? The group "United For Peace and Justice" is calling not only for the storming of the White House (violent overthrow of the government) but is also requesting the help of foreign powers to do so. Isn't this a crime? Actually asking a foreign power to help destroy the US government?

TAKE THE WHITE HOUSE BY STORM - Stop Genocide, Torture and Occupation

U.N. SOS - We need your help to end the reign of international criminals.

It is our duty and the duty of the United Nations to rescue the people of the world from the U.S. dictators.

There is no meeting with Congress that is going to change what they are doing. We must put the power of the people into action and stay there until they leave!

We will not allow the Slave Holders that Still Prevail in this Country to Rule us any longer. Imprisonment and torture based on race, religion, resources or region is no different than the slavery we sought to abolish years ago. The Administration is Criminal and if they will not step down, we must storm in, show them how many of us do not accept a criminal government. How can we stand by and watch them kill our brothers, sisters, journalists and friends for their dollars?

Silly me, I thought it was the Islamofascist terrorists who were killing journalists and innocent people. And just what friends are they talking about- Al Qaeda?

We are calling on all citizens and governments in every country to stand with us. We are calling on all Member Nations of the U.N.; All Representatives and Justices in the World Court and International Criminal Courts; All Human Rights Advocates; All Soldiers and CIA agents and government officials who have been blackmailed or are in fear of the dictators to join us in ending this reign of corporate terror in our government.

The Political Cooperative will put a new, temporary government in place that is comprised of people from Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and all the organizations that have finally made us aware of the truth of the savage practices and illegal policies of our government in assassinating our own officials as well as people throughout the world who oppose their criminal activity.

We are calling on the military, police, citizens and religious organizations to stand with us and help us to bring democracy back to the United States and by doing so, free the world from the wrath, occupation, theft, torture, blackmail and assassination by the Criminals in the United States Government. What they have done all over the world is much worse than what Saddam Hussein has done, so why are they not in jail too?

I guess this is the sort of "democracy" which you can find in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea or the old German Democratic Republic. No need for those pesky elections which don't have the result these moonbats so desire.


PA Aid

Perhaps if the jizya handed out to the PA were halted the destruction of Israel would take a back seat to more urgent priorities- like learning to become more self-sufficient. Instead the handouts continue to bail them out of trouble-

The European Union said Monday that it will give the Palestinian Authority $143 million in emergency aid before the newly elected Hamas leadership forms a Palestinian government.

Since 1993, the United States has given more than $1.5 billion to Palestinians -- some directly to the Palestinian Authority and some through the United Nations and private aid groups.

For 2006, the United States budgeted $234 million for Palestinian aid. Last year, the European Union gave the Palestinian Authority more than $600 million.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Flight of Fantasy

Another image by Paul Renaud today. This time it's comic book assassin and sometime Daredevil love-interest Elektra.

Climate of Fear

Life under the newly "moderate" Hamas-

Palestinian educator Dr. Maria Khoury geared up for the winter chill with what was at the time a meaningless purchase: a black silk scarf with silver stripes to drape around her neck.

But now, on her daily excursions from the West Bank's Taiba to nearby Ramallah, the scarf serves as a political symbol of the changing times.

"Since Hamas took over, I cover my head in Ramallah," she says. "I don't feel comfortable."

In the largely cosmopolitan Ramallah, though they comprise some 10 percent of the population, Christians are becoming less and less visible.

The first time that Khoury ran into her local parish priest there with her head covered, he raised his eyebrows and laughed.

"I see more and more women covered up," Khoury says, explaining that for now, it's preferable to play it safe and assimilate on the street, even if she would never choose to cover her head otherwise.

"Years ago I even used to go in short sleeves," she says. "You'd have to put a gun to my head to get me to wear short sleeves now."

With fear of government-supported religious coercion on the rise since Hamas's unexpected win in January's Palestinian elections, Christians across the West Bank and Gaza Strip are keeping a low profile, with eyes wide open.

Things could get much, much worse for the Christian population there.

"If Hamas follows on its founders' path to fight Israel and install strict Islamic religious rule, Palestinian Christians stand to become a legally subjugated minority inside Palestinian society, while suffering further conflict with neighboring Israel."

Recommended Reading

If only we had a few Mark Steyn's in political office.

What, in the end, are all these supposedly unconnected matters from Danish cartoons to the murder of a Dutch filmmaker to gender-segregated swimming sessions in French municipal pools about? Answer: sovereignty. Islam claims universal jurisdiction and always has. The only difference is that they're now acting upon it. The signature act of the new age was the seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran: Even hostile states generally respect the convention that diplomatic missions are the sovereign territory of their respective countries. Tehran then advanced to claiming jurisdiction over the citizens of sovereign states and killing them -- as it did to Salman Rushdie's translators and publishers. Now in the cartoon jihad and other episodes, the restraints of Islamic law are being extended piecemeal to the advanced world, by intimidation and violence but also by the usual cooing promotion of a spurious multicultural "respect" by Bill Clinton, the United Church of Canada, European foreign ministers, etc.

As always, read it all.

Don't believe Steyn's premise? Well, how about hearing it from the horse's mouth-

Sheikh Nawahda called publicly for the renewal of the Islamic Khalifate, which would "unite all the Moslems in the world against the infidels."


US Continues Jizya to PA

So much for anything changing- the United States will continue to funnel its taxpayers money into the hands of the Palestinian Authority.

State Department envoy David Welch said the U.S. continues “to be devoted to the humanitarian needs of the Palestinian people and we shall remain so.”

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said Welch told Palestinian officials that U.S. aid would be redirected, but Welch did not specify how.

Erekat noted that hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. aid flow directly into infrastructure projects every year, and not into Palestinian government coffers.

The fact that it isn't going directly into the Hamas isn't important- they were elected, afterall, by the will of the people,- and running on a very clear mandate. Why should the US differentiate between the terrorist group themselves and the people who elected them to power?

Appeasing Terrorism

Tony Blair sure knows how to fall to his knees and whimper in the face of terrorists-

MPs have voted in favour of two government motions aimed at restoring Westminster allowances worth about £500,000 to Sinn Fein's five MPs.

Prime Minister Tony Blair said the government was implementing the recommendations of the Independent Monitoring Commission's report.

Blair has a particularly odd view of the IMC report. While MP Nigel Dodds said,

"Giving the confirmation of continued illegality, criminality, spying and racketeering, practiced and sanctioned at the highest level, by senior members of Sinn Fein/IRA; will the prime minister note what was in the IMC report and read it instead of spinning it?"

Blair's response was that evidence of this continued terrorist activity- and the IMC's assertion that despite their claims the IRA had retained some of their weapons;

"It is absolutely correct that they (the IMC) draw attention to (IRA) criminal activity and we made it clear that was a significant problem," he said.

"However the report also says of the IMC: 'We are of the firm view that the present PIRA leadership has taken the strategic decision to end the armed campaign and pursue the political course which it has publicly articulated.'

"So if one's being fair and balanced, I think both things have to be put into the equation."

So let me get this straight- Tony Blair is presented with evidence that the IRA is continuing to spy, to engage in criminal activities, and that they have lied about destroying all of their weapons, but he goes on to insist that it's only fair that all of this criminal, terrorist activity is ignored completely and the Sinn Fein/IRA MPs not only get their money- and have it backdated- but they are also discussing giving them an extra £80,000 a year for their "representative business".

This is the same Sinn Fein/IRA which cannot sit in the Houses of Parliament because they refuse to take the oath of office. An oath which I'm appalled to say that a Conservative MP is suggesting is altered for their benefit.

Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness said he did not envisage any circumstances ever in the future in which any Sinn Fein MP would take their seat.

Mr McGuinness said, while it was quite legitimate for Sinn Fein elected representatives to go to Westminster to engage with other parties, they did not recognise the right of the British Parliament to rule over any part of Ireland.

Well, in that case, here's your wages and, hey, have a little something extra on the UK taxpayers- New Labour sure is terrified you'll go back to bombing and murdering us.

Tony Blair- tough on terrorism? Or a pathetic coward?

Sounds Good To Me

The one game I've always wanted to hunt has been boar- and if I ever get to Africa, warthogs. It looks like I may just get my wish.

Conservationists and wildlife specialists are calling on the Government to designate the ferocious creatures as game, paving the way for boar hunting seasons.

The wild pigs, which are common in mainland Europe, were last seen on these shores in the late 17th century. They were reintroduced in the 1980s for wild boar farming. Until the storms of 1987 none was living wild, but uprooted fencing and escapes from abattoirs led to the boars reasserting themselves, primarily across south England. Sightings have also been reported across east and northern England and Scotland.

A spokesman for Defra said: "Designating them game animals is an option."

Danger! Danger!

It seems as if "extremists" have *gasp* pinned one of the Mohammed cartoons to the notice board of a Manchester housing office. The matter has, of course, been reported to the police!

Greater Manchester Police said they were treating the incident "extremely seriously" and were worried the incident could affect "community cohesion".

A spokeswoman said: "Greater Manchester Police treat any incitement of racial hatred extremely seriously and robustly investigate any such incidents that are reported to us.

"We will not tolerate any acts of racial discrimination and are committed to working with local communities to tackle any issues that may arise."

Tell me again, what race are Muslims?

You can see the cartoons here.

Sports Hero

Kevin over at Smallest Minority has posted a link to this video, the amzing story of autistic Jason McElwain. I don't usually recommend videos but you've got to see this. Absolutely amazing. Go watch.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Not So Great Britain

I think just maybe this is the reason that the Britsh Winter Olympic team has thus far managed to snare a single medal of any kind (silver in the women's skeleton bob) -

British Olympic boss Simon Clegg had said before the 2006 Games that the target was one medal "of any colour".

Got that? The sole aim was to win a single medal of any kind at all.

I am ashamed to be associated with this sort of attitude. No wonder our team's performance has been less than stellar. So why the heck have thousands and thousands of pounds been paid towards the team? What's the point if they're not aiming to win a gold in every discipline they enter? Why bother sending these 40 athletes to the Games if most of them don't have a chance of getting up in the medal table? Is that a good use of limited sports resources or should we just focus in on those athletes who are actually fit enough to compete at this level, instead of every Tom, Dick and Harry who can perform adequately in an obscure event?

The Olympics are not just about taking part.

Take Back the Truth

Everywhere I turn I seem to hear about "far right Nazis" or "right wing nazi groups". It's a common term but it is completely wrong- the Nazis were the National Socialist German Workers Party. The Nazis were firmly on the LEFT of the political spectrum, not the right- though I'm sure than not many people are aware of that today because of the constant "right wing" repetition. Just take a look (but be prepared for a shower afterwards) at the website of the American Nazi Party (surely dubbed a Far Right organisation by the media, etc)-

"The American Nazi Party is a Political-Educational Association, dedicated to the 14 WORDS. We are committed to bringing American National Socialism, first created and embodied by our late Commander George Lincoln Rockwell, out of the past Phase One activities which at the time served their purpose well, and into the 21st Century."

I think it's time that we began to correct this myth- it's a slander that can be used to paint the entire conservative position as somehow racist or tyrannical. The American Nazi Party is, I'm sure, constantly referred to as a radical/far right wing group- but their politics are socialist in nature-

"the two main tenants of National Socialism embodies the Struggle for Aryan Racial survival, and Social Justice for White Working Class people throughout our land."

Nazis are not right wing extremists, they are Left Wing. But how many times have you ever heard that? How many times have you heard "right wing racist"? Now, compare that to how many times you've heard "left wing racist". The latter is the more accurate of the two- and is plainly on show as the abhorrent American Nazi Party website- but it's not a term that's ever used. Instead that position is somehow referred to as right wing- as if the conservative side of the aisle is inherently racist, as if that intolerance trumps even the obviously socialist language of their manifesto.

What's happened? How did plainly obvious facts become so twisted that Nazis are almost universally referred to as right wing, when their politics are anything but?

It's time to take back the truth- my challenge to everyone who reads this blog is to take the time to correct the "right wing nazi" myth wherever you hear it.

Arafat's Minions

There was a big fuss a while back when an Italian football player gave a fascist salute to the fans after scoring a goal. The Lazio player, Paulo Di Canio, was fined £7,000. There was a lot of media attention focused on it here in the UK. Personally, I know virtually nothing of the man, the team or even the game- football is very low on my list of priorities. I do remember seeing some video clips on the news of Di Canio's "salutes". Most of the time it just looked to me like he was throwing his arm up in jubilation as he ran along by his fans, rather than a specific attempt to do a salute- apparently he has a substantial fan base which is "right wing" (nevermind that the Nazis were a socialist party). The photo in this article is pretty damning though.

Somehow, I don't think the British, or European for that matter, media will focus the same attention on this case of Nazi salutes- members of a PLO terror squad. Somehow I don't think any of them have just scored a goal. And this is not the first time either; the Nazi-collaborator the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, is a long time "hero" of the PLO- and Abbas himself was given the Nazi salute in a January 2005 election rally.

Of course, it's more newsworthy that a footballer makes it onto the evening news for doing this than a Middle Eastern terror group.

Tom and Jerry Are Evil

I've heard some barmy theories but this guy is just a complete bat-sh*t crazy moonbat of the highest order. His thesis? Tom and Jerry was created by the Jewish Walt Disney Corporation to change the perception of Jews.

"Watch Schindler's List. Every Jew was forced to wear a yellow star on his clothing. The Jews were degraded and termed "dirty mice." Tom and Jerry was made in order to change the Europeans' perception of mice. One of terms used was "dirty mice.""

Someone call the men in white coats.

Hat tip LGF.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Rethinking the Timeline

Thanks to Clayton Cramer for this story- scientists have discovered the fossil of a beaver-like mammal dating from 164 million years ago. The little creature weighed only 18 ounces but it had a paddle-like tail, webbed feet and fur. It also completely overturns the accepted concepts of mammalian development- proving that mammals had conquered the water 100 million years earlier than previously thought.

Just goes to show that the views of evolution are still evolving.

Her Again

Utterly appalling.

"Sheehan is trying to get Germans to not support the war by demonstrating where our wounded can see her. The goal is to get Germany to deny the use of American bases in support of the war...por ejemplo, she wants Germany to deny our use of a hospital to care for our wounded coming back from Iraq."

Recommended Read

A must read for the weekend-

"The right of the Jews of Khaibar to stay on their former lands was a temporary concession, withdrawn in 640 by Umar, in obedience to Muhammad’s dying wish: ‘Two religions shall not remain together in the peninsula of the Arabs’. In this same year the whole of Arabia was cleansed of non-Muslims."

Hat tip to Infidel Bloggers Alliance.

Act of War?

Perhaps Hamas haven't yet realised that they have no one to hide behind any more- if they continue attacking Israel, that nation has every right to go to war to defend itself.

"Israeli soldiers shot dead two Palestinian militants planting bombs along the Israeli border on Friday, drawing vows of revenge from the militant Islamist group Hamas as it prepared to form a Palestinian government."

Bureau of Clever Ideas

This is just genius- don't dare try to defend yourself, you don't want to lose that neutral status!

“A journalist with a gun says ‘some people in the situation I’m covering are my enemies and I am prepared to kill them if necessary’. That is not the position of a neutral civilian.”

Straight Talking

Who'd have thought that I'd find myself in agreement with Julie Burchill, of all people?

"For fear of appearing racist, many Britons suspend their normal judgments when dealing with the behavior of ethnic minorities. Not only is this totally racist in itself - pre-supposing as it does that ethnics are like children, who know not what they do and must have special dispensation to behave badly - but it also ignores the fact that the other ethnic minorities, be they Jews, Chinese or Hindus, have somehow managed to both keep their culture and fit into their chosen adopted country, without feeling the need to parade around the streets like big overgrown babies, stamping their feet and ordering fatwas when things displease them."

And then there's this gem of truth-

"For the past five years I have wished not to be vilified as a racist, a bigot and an Islamophobe every time I had the nerve to say that certain Muslims living in Britain hate Westerners, not because of what we do - the war in Iraq, support for Israel - but because of what we are: free."

Friday, February 24, 2006

Just Desserts

The US has banned a Bolivian politician who chanted "death to Yankees" from entering the United States, a policy I'm all in favour of. She seems surprised by the move and has dubbed it "an offense against Bolivian women". Right, nothing to do with her own actions at all then.

A Glimpse of Things To Come?

Germany already has a law which forbids "insulting religious belief".

And a Slate columnist makes the case for polygamy- ahead of the HBO drama Big Love. Of course, he claims it's better for the women. Looks like Clayton Cramer was right.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Arthritis Supplements

Seems like a study has found that those suffering from arthritis in the knees who take the supplements glucosamine and chondrotin are not doing themselves much good- while the supplements are not harmful, they offer as much benefit as a placebo unless the pain is acute. In those cases the supplements do seem to work. A bit of a mixed signal?

I don't have any problems with my knees (fingers crossed it stays that way) but I do have arthritis in my back- and I do take the aforementioned supplements. In addition to them I also take Devils Claw, Turmeric, Zinc and Vitamins A, C, E and Selenium. Since I began I have noticed a definite improvement in my back pain- I still get pretty sore but I've been able to reduce the amount of pain killers and muscle relaxants I need to take each day. I have tried one or two of these supplements before but they didn't seem to help- in combination though, I doing better. I'm fairly sure that the Turmeric is a major reason for this- could be on its own it would do jst about the same job. As it's working though, i'm not about to start messing with the system. If you have any kind of joint problems I'd heartily recommend at least taking Turmeric supplements.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

About Time

Colt has introduced a gas-piston AR at the SHOT Show. Hopefully this is the start of a new era in the M4/AR's life- perhaps the gas piston set-up will become the dominant option soon? And the better news is that they are going to offer this to civilians too. This could be a big kick in the pants to HK.

Jack Straw

Just heard a spot of news on the radio and Jack Straw, our Foreign Secretary, was condemning the bombing of the Al-Askari shrine in Iraq.

Strange that, because I haven't heard him utter a single word of condemnation about the 30-odd Christian churches burned down in Nigeria. Not to mention the Christians who have been killed too.

Down the Plughole

It's a queston I keep asking, just why does the US government continue to give its taxpayer's hard earned cash ($2 billion per year) to countries such as Egypt? Exactly what benefit does it bestow?

Egypt rebuffed U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s appeal on Tuesday for Arab states to deny direct aid to Hamas when it forms a government.

Art Banned in American School

What a simply wonderful idea. Because some Muslims consider representational art verboten a school in St. Paul is revamping its art curriculum.

"parents were still upset that their children were drawing figures... and some pulled their children out of art class altogether....

Out the window right away went masks, puppets and that classic of elementary school art class, the self-portrait, said Sara Langworthy, an artist with ArtStart. Revamping the curriculum “definitely requires stepping outside of the normal instincts that you fall back on,” she said.

In their place came nature scenes and geometric forms and patterns, said Carol Sirrine, ArtStart’s executive director."

Update- I've just been thinking some more about this. Consider the possibility that a school adjusted its curriculum to suit Christian beliefs- stopped teaching something or radically altered how they taught it. Wouldn't the ACLU be all over the school clamouring for a separation of church and state or some such? Where are they now?

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Flight of Fantasy

A pin-up of Budd Root's Cavewoman by Paul Renaud. there are further examples of Renaud's fine work at his website. If you're interested in the Cavewoman comics, details can be found here.

"Moderate" Hamas

Via Captain's Quarters-

In a speech at the opening of parliament, Mr Abbas said the new government must recognise past peace deals with Israel and commit itself to pursuing statehood through talks, but he stopped short of setting conditions for forming a cabinet.

He said: "The presidency and the government will continue to respect our commitment to the negotiations as a strategic, pragmatic political choice.["] ...

Mr Abbas's words won applause from Fatah lawmakers but not from Hamas members.

"We were elected on a different political agenda," said Mr Haniyeh as sessions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, joined by video link, broke off for Muslim prayers.

For a long time Hamas has been all too clear about its goals, and somehow some in the West have failed to take them at their word, assuming somehow that Hamas will magically transform into an Israel-loving organisation once in power. I wonder if this will change anything?

Christians Targeted in Nigeria

Sixteen people have been killed and eleven Christian churches burned down in the north of Nigeria in more displays of "cartoon rage". Most of those killed were part of the minority Christian population- in other words, those entirely unconnected in any way, shape or form with the Danish newspaper which published the cartoons.

Crowds of protesters carried machetes, sticks and iron rods through the city centre, the Associated Press news agency reported.

One group threw a tyre around one man, poured gas on him and set him ablaze, it said.

"They went on the rampage, burning shops and churches of the Christians. The protesters killed the others. Some were even killed in the churches."

Where's the international outrage about this desecration of Christian churches by murder? Where are the politicians around the world condemning this the way they did allegations of a book being flushed down a toilet? Double standards, anyone?

You can see the cartoons here.

Iran vs Britain

First it was Iran demanding that British troops in Basra, Iraq be withdrawn (perhaps because of their proximity to the border with Iran) and now it's this-

“With more than 1,000 trained martyrdom-seekers, we are ready to attack the American and British sensitive points if they attack Iran’s nuclear facilities,” said Mohammad Ali Samadi, spokesman of Esteshadion (Martyrdom Seekers). "

Time for the British government to stop pussyfooting around Iran.

Sharia Britain?

It seems like a recent poll has discovered that 40% of Britain's Muslim population wish to have Sharia law introduced into parts of the country. And a fifth have "sympathy" for the 7/7 bomber's feelings and motives.

At a time when Dr. Sookhdeo points out the tactic of non-integration, this is of great concern as the poll found this widespread support for Sharia in areas which are "predominantly Muslim".

The poll found that 91% of respondents still felt loyal to Britain (can we have the remaining 9%- a rather high figure- kicked out of the country please?) but one has to ask- are they loyal to Britain and its traditions of freedom and democracy, or do they want to see it changed into the Islamic Republic of Britain?

Where Are You?

One thing that I cannot understand is why it is primarily conservatives who are most alarmed about the clash of cultures between the West and Islam. Where are the liberals so howl so loudly the moment they perceive any of their own freedoms are under threat? Why are they so concerned with the imaginary threat of Christian theocracy when a very real and dangerous Islamic theocracy is on the march? Why will liberals not make a stand beside those who wish to see freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of women, freedom of, and from, religion?

A journalist covering cartoon protests in Turkey was stoned because she, was being "sexually provocative". How? Well, the woman reporter had the gall to appear in public without wearing a headscarf.

Approximately 30 people then started throwing stones at Cetinkaya, seated with her legs dangling from the back of the vehicle and taking notes. They claimed that her clothes and way of sitting was inappropriate while the Koran was being read, and shouted words of abuse at her.

Where is the outrage from the liberals, from the Left? Where are the feminists now?

Islam in Britain

From the Telegraph, Dr Sookhdeo, director of the Institute for the Study of Islam and Christianity in Britain has spent the past few weeks studying the attitudes of Muslim clerics in Britain. His findings are worrying to say the least-

"They think they have won the debate. They believe that the British Government has capitulated to them, because it feared the consequences if it did not...It's confirmation of what they believe to be a familiar pattern: if spokesmen for British Muslims threaten what they call 'adverse consequences' - violence to the rest of us - then the British Government will cave in. I think it is a very dangerous precedent."

This is one of the most important articles I've read in quite some time. I highly recommend it to you all.

"For example, one of the fundamental notions of a secular society is the moral importance of freedom, of individual choice. But in Islam, choice is not allowable: there cannot be free choice about whether to choose or reject any of the fundamental aspects of the religion, because they are all divinely ordained. God has laid down the law, and man must obey.

'Islamic clerics do not believe in a society in which Islam is one religion among others in a society ruled by basically non-religious laws. They believe it must be the dominant religion - and it is their aim to achieve this."

The Telegraph article linked above is no longer online- here's an alternative source for the piece.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Police State Houston

The Houston Police Chief, Harold Hurrt, wants to install surveillance cameras in the city to offset a shortage of police officers and concurrent spike in crime rates. Never mind the fact that cameras are only useful after a crime has been committed. He wants the cameras to be situated on streets, around apartment complexes, shopping malls and even, get this, in private homes.

Hurrt says of this latter development, "If you're not doing anything wrong, why should you worry about it?"

Of course, he'll set an example and have one installed on his own home, and the homes of the PD's officers too? Surely they have nothing to hide?

Cartoon Rage

Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch captures the essence of the Muslim offence at the Mohammed cartoons-

"If they really were, they would have been protesting just as violently in Egypt when the cartoons were printed there in October as they have been elsewhere more recently. If they really were, they would be calling for the executions of the Danish Muslims who added into a dossier circulated in the Muslim world three cartoons much more inflammatory than the 12 that were actually printed in the Danish newspaper. No, cartoon rage isn't really about offensive cartoons at all. It is an attempt to cow Western nations into adopting Islamic blasphemy laws, forbidding non-Muslims to insult the Prophet -- and making them take the first large step toward accepting other Sharia provisions, just as the jihadists are also fighting in their way to compel them to do."

A Step in the Right Direction

It's about time too-

"The United States has asked the Palestinian Authority to return $50 million in U.S. aid because Washington does not want a Hamas-led government to have the funds, the State Department said on Friday."

It's a shame this wasn't done a long time ago-

"Over the past decade, the United States has given about $1.5 billion in aid to the Palestinians, mostly through aid groups."

Wouldn't that money have been better spent in the US? Was there really a need to help prop up the PA all this time while terror attacks continued against Israel?

Giant Penguins

The fossil remains of what is believed to be the biggest penguin ever to exist have been discovered in New Zealand. Living 40 million years ago, the creature was about 5 feet tall and weighed 120 pounds.

Mother of the Year?

A woman fought, unarmed, with a polar bear to protect her children- and even managed to come away unharmed.

"Tiny Lydia Angyiou showed incredible bravery and strength last week when she tackled a polar bear who threatened her son and two friends as they played hockey in front of Ivujivik’s youth centre.

Angyiou, 41, who lives not far from the youth centre, was outside with her two younger children when she saw the polar bear eying the boys. She immediately ran towards animal: all she could think about was protecting her seven-year old son."

Police State Louisiana

This is unbelievable- and if you have a blog I'd recommend putting a post of your own up over this story.

From Liberty Zone-

"Mark Edward Marchiafava did not break the law in Gonzales, La. on January 28, 2006. But nonetheless, he was handcuffed, arrested, and his firearm, which he was legally carrying in the open on his side that day, was confiscated and not returned."

That's
bad but the attitude of the police is staggering-

Another "officer," Billiot, transported me across the Mississippi river to the jail in Donaldsonville. On the ride over, I tried to explain to HIM what the law states and the rights of any citizen.

He said, and I quote, "I don't care what the laws or the Supreme Court say. WE are NOT going to have people running around, wearing guns, with women and children everywhere."


I guess we'll be hearing from the ACLU over this one, eh?

Friday, February 17, 2006

Fatwa Okays Nukes

So, if Iran is only developing "peaceful nuclear energy" just why do a bunch of clerics have to explicitly state that the use of nuclear weapons is in accordance with Sharia?

"The spiritual leaders of the ultra-conservatives [in Iran] have accepted the use of nuclear weapons as lawful in the eyes of the shari'a. Mohsen Gharavian, a disciple of [Ayatollah] Mesbah Yazdi [who is Iranian President Ahmadinejad's spiritual mentor], has spoken for the first time of using nuclear weapons as a counter-measure. He stated that 'in terms of the shari'a, it all depends on the goal.' "

I wonder if perhaps there could be a link between this story and this one-


"Iran has tested a missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, with a 2,000 kilometer range."

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Good Question

Michelle Malkin sums it up,

Why the Abu Ghraib photos, but not the Mohammed Cartoons?

Seems like the press is scared of offending Muslims but they have no problem putting American servicemen and women in very real danger of being subject to increased attacks.

Shame on them.

Flight of Fantasy

Another stunning piece by Adam Hughes- Wonder Woman.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Moderate Islam in Britain

Perhaps this explains it all- the tiny minority of extremists are those who carry out attacks, the moderates are those who simply support such actions?

Speaking about the Muslim Association of Britain, Labour MP Louise Ellman had this to say,

“They are an extremely dangerous organisation. Leading members of MAB have indicated their links with Hamas and their support for suicide bombings abroad. It is not tenable for a group to support suicide bombings in another country while expecting to be seen as moderate in this country.”

And Azzam al-Tamimi, billed as one of the MAB's leading political thinkers says of committing a suicide attack in Israel, “Sacrificing myself for Palestine is a noble cause. It is the straight way to pleasing God and I would do it if I had the opportunity.”

ACE is Back!

I've been checking in on Airborne Combat Engineer practically every day since he vanished from the blogosphere, hoping for some sign that he was around. And now he's back.

If you're not familiar with his site, take the time to check out the archive- some excellent material there.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Freedom

It seems that newspapers and even websites are being shut down, censored or forced to apologise for publishing the Danish Mohammed cartoons. Even a university newspaper which published them has been withdrawn. Freedom of speech is under fire. I will not stand for it- a religion is not above being satirised or criticised. And despite a good look I can find no place in the Koran where is expressly forbids images of Mohammed to be created- and even if it did, why should that affect me? I am not a Muslim, I am not bound by their precepts, just as atheisits are not bound by the beliefs of Christians or whatever faith.

Do we expect non-Christians to NOT engage in pre-marital sex? Do we expect non-Muslims to not drink alcohol? Do we expect non-Buddhists to not take any life at all? Should we allow the teachings of a religion- any religion- to dictate what freedoms we have?

The answer is, and must always be, NO.


Cops and Politicians Oppose Jail Time

It seems that a number of politicians and senior police officers have decided that the laws punishing those for owning fully automatic weapons without the necessary permits are entirely unreasonable.

They have put their names to a letter saying just that in defence of three police officers who were caught with the illegal fully-automatic weapons in their homes and who are facing ten years in prison. The letter writers are opposed to this stiff sentencing-

"The letter was signed by 10 current police chiefs, two county sheriffs, the two senators and a retired police chief..."We do not see how the citizens are made safer by placing these troopers in jail," the letter states. "Discipline may absolutely be in order; however, to federally prosecute them and with a possible jail term is not the answer."

I'm presuming that these people- you can find just who they are at the link- would ALL provide similar support for non-law enforcement citizens charged with the same crime. Surely they don't hold police officers- who are employed to uphold the law- in different regard to non-police American citizens? Surely there can't be a double standard involved here? How can they discriminate between a cop and a citizen breaking the law? If the punishment is considered too harsh for a police officer, then surely it's too harsh for the rest of the American populace? Right?

Hat tip to War on Guns- please do check out that blog. This double standard for American police officers is far from a rare occurence.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

The Telegraph

I was browsing through the Dailt Telegraph's website when I happened upon their "comprehensive guide to Islam". This is the letter I've sent them regarding it-

I have just read the article “What is Islam?”

link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/campaigns/islam/nislam2.xml

The piece begins by stating that 83% of Britons know little or nothing about Islam. I wonder if the author is any different.

He or she makes several assertions about misunderstandings of Islam-

Most people carry in their heads a tangled network of half-acknowledged ideas about Islam until they learn better: the idea that Islam is necessarily oppressive to women, the idea that Islamic law necessarily leads to stonings or amputations, the idea that Muslims' loyalty to their country is challenged by faithfulness to their religion.”

However, it is difficult to accept these statements when the Koran itself (the literal word of God according to the Muslim faith) seems to disagree.

Oppression of women

2:223 Your women are a tilth for you (to cultivate) so go to your tilth as ye will, and send (good deeds) before you for your souls, and fear Allah, and know that ye will (one day) meet Him. Give glad tidings to believers, (O Muhammad).

4:34 Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High, Exalted, Great.

24:31 And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest, and to display of their adornment only that which is apparent, and to draw their veils over their bosoms, and not to reveal their adornment save to their own husbands or fathers or husbands' fathers, or their sons or their husbands' sons, or their brothers or their brothers' sons or sisters' sons, or their women, or their slaves, or male attendants who lack vigour, or children who know naught of women's nakedness. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And turn unto Allah together, O believers, in order that ye may succeed.

33:59 O Prophet! Tell thy wives and thy daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks close round them (when they go abroad). That will be better, so that they may be recognised and not annoyed. Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful.

64:14 O ye who believe! Lo! among your wives and your children there are enemies for you, therefor beware of them. And if ye efface and overlook and forgive, then lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

Stonings/amputations

“5.38 And (as for) the man who steals and the woman who steals, cut off their hands as a punishment for what they have earned, an exemplary punishment from Allah; and Allah is Mighty, Wise.”

47:4 Now when ye meet in battle those who disbelieve, then it is smiting of the necks until, when ye have routed them, then making fast of bonds; and afterward either grace or ransom till the war lay down its burdens. That (is the ordinance). And if Allah willed He could have punished them (without you) but (thus it is ordained) that He may try some of you by means of others. And those who are slain in the way of Allah, He rendereth not their actions vain.

Of course the punishment of stoning for adultery is not mentioned in the Koran itself but it does appear in the hadith, including the Sahih Bukhari which I believe is considered to be the most reliable of the hadith:

“So the Prophet ordered the two adulterers to be stoned to death, and they were stoned to death near the place where biers used to be placed near the Mosque. I saw her companion (i.e. the adulterer) bowing over her so as to protect her from the stones. (Bukhari, volume 6, book 60, number 79)”

Loyalty to country

9:24 - 009.024 “Say: If it be that your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your mates, or your kindred; the wealth that ye have gained; the commerce in which ye fear a decline: or the dwellings in which ye delight - are dearer to you than Allah, or His Messenger, or the striving in His cause;- then wait until Allah brings about His decision: and Allah guides not the rebellious.”

If family is not to be considered more important than Allah, how are we supposed to believe that loyalty to one’s country is higher?

Given these statements taken directly from the Koran I’m interested to know quite why you felt it was necessary to publish an article which flatly contradicts the Koran itself. Was this a deliberate attempt to mislead your readers or simply poor research on the subject? Given that this is a central piece on your “comprehensive guide to Islam” section of the website I would have presumed that you would have taken steps to provide accurate information rather than what I can only call falsehoods.

I await your response.

London Protest Part 2

Another anti-cartoon protest is planned for Saturday Feb 18th in London (so expect the hype to be kept up until then). More than 100,000 Muslims are expected to take part. Such a pity there wasn't a similar protest against the 7/7 terrorist attacks carried out by people who had apparently "hijacked" their religion. Shouldn't that have been something to get upset about?

Anyway, the protest is being organised because the Muslim Action Committee "said they needed to “channel” growing anger felt by communities across Britain that Muslims were being persecuted and made to feel like “second class citizens”."

Quite how a few cartoons published in Denmark, and never republished in Britain, makes British Muslims feel they are being persecuted and treated like second-class citizens is beyond me.

EU To Censor Press?

This is a bad move-

LONDON (Reuters) - The European Union may try to draw up a media code of conduct to avoid a repeat of the furor caused by the publication across Europe of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad, an EU commissioner said on Thursday.

In an interview with Britain’s Daily Telegraph, EU Justice and Security Commissioner Franco Frattini said the charter would encourage the media to show “prudence” when covering religion.

“The press will give the Muslim world the message: We are aware of the consequences of exercising the right of free expression,” he told the newspaper. “We can and we are ready to self-regulate that right.”

In other words, there will be no freedom of the press to cover religion- and I find it somewhat disturbing that this measure is aimed at placating Muslim sensibilities. The consequences of exercising our free speech seems to be violence and threats of terrorist atrocities- and the EU is giving in to that threat. Doesn't this go against the grain of the European Declaration of Human Rights? Or is that to be altered so that Islam can never be criticised?

One of the forged cartoons printed called Mohammed a paedophile. This was obviously a reference to his marriage to Aisha- a marriage begun when she was six years old and which was consummated when she was nine years old. And he was fifty one. Obviously the thought of a fifty one year old having sex with a nine year old girl is deeply disturbing.

For an infidel newspaper to discuss this matter would no doubt infuriate the Muslim world- but is their offence a good enough reason to not discuss matters like this? What if a paper wanted to print "The Prosecution's Case Against Islam", which offers a statistical analysis of the content of verses from the Koran? The result of the study showed that 52.7% of the verses aimed hatred at infidels. Could a newspaper under these new guidelines actually try to create a debate about whether or not Islam truly is a "Religion of Peace" under these new conditions? Or would howls of protest from Muslims claiming that their faith was being defamed prevent the article?

Has the code of conduct for the press ever been moderated to prevent Jews or Christians from being offended? Why now? Why do Muslims deserve to have their sensibilities placed above the freedom of the press? Why is a religion being held up higher than the most crucial ideal of freedom of speech?

Oil Free

First it was Iceland announcing its plans to free itself from its "oil addiction" and now Sweden has followed suit, with Brazil also aiming to run 80% of its vehicles on ethanol within five years. Iceland is aiming to use water- turning it into hydrogen to run its vehicles. The cost of running such an engine (hydrogen fuel) is three times more expensive than using petrol- but it does get three times the mileage, evening out the costs. And that tip towards hydrogen can only increase as oil prices continue their rise. Only a few years ago the price of diesel here in the UK was about 65p per litre. It's now risen to about 95p. The price seems set to rise over the major barrier of £1 per litre any time now. Home heating oil is also vastly more expensive- my own yearly cost has risen by a fraction over £200.

The main opposition to alternatives in the initial cost of switching over- I'd love to swap out my oil fired central heating for a wood-chip burner but the cost is putting me off. As more times passes, however, and oil prices continue to rise- and the ongoing trouble in the Middle East seems set to continue and perhaps worsen- that cost will not be so great- and more and more people will change from running their homes and cars on oil.

It'll be interesting to see how the Middle East holds out when the vast majority of the world no longer needs their oil.

What Constitutes "Tiny" Again?

Jihad Watch publishes an interesting table of poll results. The question asked was, "whether Shari'a should be the only source of legislation, one of the sources of legislation, or not be a source of legislation."

The response in Jordan, "Palestine" and Egypt was that two thirds believed that Sharia should be the only source of legislation. Most of the remainder believed it should be one of the sources of legislation.

Freedom in Dubai

It's curious to watch how the Left is portraying the cartoon drama - most seem to view the cartoons as the product of a rght-wing paper trying to cause trouble. And that's about as far as it goes. I guess it's hard to hold onto their meme of a "tiny minority of extremists" when there are so many riots, embassies being burned to the ground, people being killed and terrorist attacks and murders being threatened.

In the midst of it all an American teacher at a school in Dubai has been fired for showing the cartoons to her class of students. The Minister of Education for Dubai had her sacked and in doing so he displayed a rather curious concept of freedom of speech:

Shaikh Nahyan emphasised that there is freedom of opinion and expression in the UAE, as well as academic freedom enjoyed by all educational institutions, but what happened in Zayed University does not relate, in any sense, to any relevant concept of freedom.

He pointed out that what had happened was an individual act and that Zayed University and all other educational and academic institutions were functioning within the framework of total compliance with Islam.

"We can never accept any offences against Islam, or any of its teachings and noble values," he said.

Free speech is okay- but not about Islam. The worst thing is that that's not just the message coming out of Dubai- but also the UK and USA where the cartoons have (virtually) not been published.

Funny that the Left is so adamant about the threat to freedom that Bush poses, so dedicated to the cause of freedom of speech- except when it happens for real. Then, there's silence. I've heard an awful lot of nonsense about Bush and his plans for a Christian theocracy in the United States, where true freedom will be trampled under the jackboot; but when a real religious theocracy suppresses freedom of speech, when a religion demands that nothing ever dare be said about it anywhere in the world, the Left is strangely silent on the matter. The message seems to be- "we'll stand up against you dangerous Christians who get upset at attacks on your faith, but these here Muslims- hey, we have to respect their faith. Those guys might hurt us."

Cartoon Crisis Double Standard

Unless you've been relying on the MSM you'll know by now that in addition to the 12 relatively inocuous cartoons made for the Danish press, the Danish imams who seem to be at the centre of this controversy showed not only the original cartoons but three others too (one of a pig-nosed Mohammed, one of him being "mounted" by a dog and one of a devil-horned sketch of him with the slogan "Den Paedofile "profet" Muhamed"). They also apparently claimed that there were 120 cartoons, not just 12 and "that the Danish government would censor the Koran, burn the Koran, and that Danes were planning to make a blasphemous movie about Mohammed."

Michelle Malkin quotes Paul Belien on the matter-

"However, these imams created their own three Muhammad images. They have even presented a French clown as being Muhammad. Because the twelve JP cartoonists are not Muslims, the Muslim blasphemy laws do not apply to them. But these laws do apply to the imams. Consequently, these imams deserve death. They – and no-one else – depicted the prophet as a pig – the highest imaginable insult in Islam."

Seems like the man has a point- the Muslim world is incensed by the 12 cartoons, the worst of which depict Mohammed with a bomb turban, but have they yet to become infuriated by the imam created image of Mohammed being taken by a dog? Have there been death threats issued against the imams?

I don't think it'll happen- when the Koran flushing incident turned out to have been caused not by an American guard at Guantanamo but by a Muslim prisoner the whole incident was quietly dropped. Seems like it's okay for a Muslim to denigrate the holy book, but not an infidel. I guess we'll see exactly the same thing happen here- Muslims will threaten to behead Danish infidel artists, to bring a repeat of the 9/11 and 7/7 terrorist attacks (how ironic to threaten a terrorist attack because you're upset over the portrayal of Mohammed as a terorrist icon), to bring a "real" holocaust to Europe because the dirty infidels insult their prophet, but when their own religious leaders do it- and they really did produce insulting images- well, that seems to get a pass. Death to the infidel but not a word said against the imams? It figures.

BTW, there's a great collection of cartoons about the whole controversy here. Definitely worth checking out.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Will Hamas Become Moderate?

In the wake of their election victory there was much discussion of Hamas being "forced" to become moderate by their new position of power. Somehow I don't think that's going to happen. The following is from Memri, a transcript of a speech by Hamas leader Khaled Mash'al at the Al-Murabit Mosque in Damascus. There is a fair bit here but please do take the time to read it all.

"They do not understand the Arab or Muslim mentality, which rejects the foreigner. Our Arab forefathers, before the advent of Islam, rejected the aggressors and the foreigners.

"I say to the [European countries]: Hurry up and apologize to our nation, because if you do not, you will regret it. This is because our nation is progressing and is victorious. Do not leave a black mark in the collective memory of the nation, because our nation will not forgive you.

"Tomorrow, our nation will sit on the throne of the world. This is not a figment of the imagination, but a fact. Tomorrow we will lead the world, Allah willing. Apologize today, before remorse will do you no good. Our nation is moving forwards, and it is in your interest to respect a victorious nation.

"Today, you are fighting the army of Allah. You are fighting against peoples for whom death for the sake of Allah, and for the sake of honor and glory, is preferable to life. You are fighting a nation that does not tire, even after 1,000 years of fighting. Today, you are facing peoples filled with faith, with the love of Allah, with the love of Allah's Prophet, with bravery, glory, and pride - a nation that knows its way, a nation that knows what it is, a nation that respects itself. How can you possibly defeat us?

"Before Israel dies, it must be humiliated and degraded. Allah willing, before they die, they will experience humiliation and degradation every day. America will be of no avail to them. Their generals will be of no avail to them. The last of their generals has been forgotten. Allah has made him disappear. He's over. Gone is that Sharon behind whose back they would hide and find shelter, and with whom they would feel relatively secure. Today they have frail leaders, who don't even know where our Lord placed them.

"Allah willing, we will make them lose their eyesight, we will make them lose their brains.

"Hamas has a vision. Hamas has a plan. Hamas can manage the political battle, just like it managed the military battle, but in a different language, with different tools, and recognizing Israel is not one of them. Nor is giving up the rights, giving up the right to resistance, and nor is giving up the weapons of the resistance.

"Nevertheless, we want to deal with politics, but there is a difference between the politics of the weak and defeatists, which we will constantly repeat - the kind of politics that does not impress the enemy and so it does nothing - because, like in the marketplace, products praised too much become cheap. If we continue to praise our products, constantly saying: 'We love peace,' 'We have given up the option of war,' 'Peace is our strategic option,' 'For God's sake, Israel, give us a few scraps of land' - By Allah, we will be degraded in the eyes of our enemies."

At one point the crowd chants: "Death to Israel. Death to Israel. Death to America."

I'll say it again- time for America to stop giving these people millions of dollars in aid.

Tiny Minority of Extremists

Nearly two fifths (37 per cent) believe that the Jewish community in Britain is a legitimate target “as part of the ongoing struggle for justice in the Middle East”.

Is that what qualifies as a tiny minority these days?

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Smith and Wesson's AR

Just picked up the latest copy of Guns and Ammo- featuring a review of a new Smith and Wesson Military and Police model, the AR-clone "M&P 15".

I haven't yet read the review but I did have a quick peek at the SW website- no mention of the carbine there as yet other than this press release. There are going to be two versions available- a standard and a "tactical" package with railed fore-end and folding sights. It's an interesting development. Sadly they do not seem to have had the foresight to include a gas piston.


Flight of Fantasy

An image of Inara from Firefly/Serenity by Joshua Middleton.

Just to pretty the place up a little.

Democrats?

Funny how Democrats came out to protest about Google censoring the internet in China, but they have nothing to say about the freedom of the press and freedom of speech issue surrounding the Mohammed cartoons.

What are we to take from this? Corporate censorship in the pursuit of profits is bad, but Islamic censorship of the world's press is good?

Images From London

Michelle Malkin has a collection of images from the protest by the Religion of Peace. They include-

"Europe you will pay, your 9/11 is on its way"

"As Muslims we unite, we are prepared to fight"

"Europe you will pay, your extermination is on the way"

"Be prepared for the real Holocaust"

So these Muslims are protesting the freedom of speech used to print some cartoons of Mohammed, but it's okay for them to use that same freedom of speech to threaten terrorist attacks against Europe?

At the same time the US State Department has labelled the cartoons "as unacceptable incitement to religious or ethnic hatred."

I wonder what they'll have to say about the protest?

Update- Well, it seems the US State Department's position is not quite so clear cut-

"while we share the offense that Muslims have taken at these images, we at the same time vigorously defend the right of individuals to express points of view. We may — like I said, we may not agree with those points of view, we may condemn those points of view but we respect and emphasize the importance that those individuals have the right to express those points of view."

London Protests

I just caught the morning news coverage of the protests in London by Muslims against the Mohammed cartoons. The BBC has this to say-

UK Muslims have denied that the reaction to the cartoons' reproduction has been a threat to freedom of speech.

It was a "question of exercising good judgement", said Inayat Bunglawala, from the Muslim Council of Britain.

They mention briefly -

Some demonstrators chanted "7/7 is on its way" while also waving placards and burning flags, during a march through London to the Danish, French and German embassies.

They do not mention the signs being carried by the protestors either. They included-

Death to those who insult Islam

Behead those who insult Islam, and,

Freedom of Speech Go To Hell

The news report (from ITV) concluded with a former newspaper editor explaining that the solution to the whole problem is one of respect- saying that it was just not on to go around insulting the minority immigrant population of the country.

Thus far in this debate that's a stance I've heard several times. However, no one has asked that Muslims respect our tradition of free speech.

Update - The Guardian adds this detail to the protests-

Several of the demonstrators chanted "Down, down UK" and "Down, down EU" as well as other anti-British slogans. A group of around 20 women, covered by the traditional Islamic burqa, yelled slogans and held large banners proclaiming: "Kill the one who insults the Prophet."

Update 2 - Michelle Malkin has a collection of images from the protest by the Religion of Peace. They include-

"Europe you will pay, your 9/11 is on its way"

"As Muslims we unite, we are prepared to fight"

"Europe you will pay, your extermination is on the way"

"Be prepared for the real Holocaust"

So these Muslims are protesting the freedom of speech used to print some cartoons of Mohammed, but it's okay for them to use that same freedom of speech to threaten terrorist attacks against Europe?

Friday, February 03, 2006

Boycott

A couple more Hollywood "stars" who won't see a penny from me ever again, Billy Zane and Gary Busey-

In the most expensive Turkish movie ever made, American soldiers in Iraq crash a wedding and pump a little boy full of lead in front of his mother.

They kill dozens of innocent people with random machine gun fire, shoot the groom in the head, and drag those left alive to Abu Ghraib prison - where a Jewish doctor cuts out their organs, which he sells to rich people in New York, London and Tel Aviv.

Road Rage Update

John Lott has an analysis of the "road rage gun owners" research I mentioned. It seems that the "science" behind it is even more flawed- remarkably so- than I first imagined.

Among the findings are-

The paper also has some funny results. For example, Liberals are apparently much more likely to engage in road rage than conservatives and the difference is larger than the difference between those who did and did not have a gun at least one time in their car over the last year.

I must have missed New Scientist's call to ban liberals for "injury and violence prevention".

Mohammed Cartoons

While papers across Europe have republished the Danish cartoons depicting Mohammed, British papers have not followed suit. The Times instead provided a link to the images off-website and included an editorial explaining why they were not joining in-

To present them in front of the public for debate is not a value-neutral exercise. The offence destined to be caused to moderate Muslims should not be discounted.

They then likened the cartoon linking Mohammed to terrorism as "incendiary". No mention of the many calls for violence against Infidels in the Koran. They then added-

The Times would, for example, have reservations about printing a cartoon of Christ in a Nazi uniform sketched because sympathisers of Hitler had conducted awful crimes in the name of Christianity.

It's news to me that Nazism was conducted in the name of Christianity. Shame on them.

The Guardian and The Telegraph also provided off-website links to the cartoons while the Daily Express and the Daily Mail do not.

The Guardian defended their position by arguing -

Every newspaper in the country regularly carries stories about child pornography, yet none has yet reproduced examples of such pornography as part of their coverage.

The Sun, the top British tabloid, also did not provide a link and in their thinly disguised editorial (by Muslim journalist Anila Baig) on the fuss they said-

To have ANY picture of the Prophet would be proclaimed blasphemous but one that ridicules and insults is, obviously, highly offensive.

It’s hard in today’s increasingly secular world to put this into context. But imagine someone making fun of your parents or someone you hold very dear and then multiply it a million times. This is how Muslims feel, as if they have been personally attacked.

They even questioned why the original cartoons were reproduced, adding in the paper's real editorial piece their reasons for not printing the cartoons-

"the cartoons are intended to insult Muslims, and The Sun can see no justification for causing deliberate offence to our much-valued Muslim readers."

So much for freedom of speech in Britain. Only the TV news programmes offered fleeting glimpses of the cartoons in images of the papers in which they were printed. And Muslim groups in Britain have generally slammed them for it.

The press here, it seems, don't have the nerve to print the cartoons. It seems like the Muslim sensibility trumps freedom of expression in the UK.