A Time to Share

Remember Ulf Hjertstrom, the plucky Swede who decided he was going to take out the scum who kidnapped him, Douglas Wood and their Iraqi colleagues?

Well, I thought I'd drop him a note to see how he was getting on:

Dear Mr. Hjertstrom,

Please forgive this brief note. I was wondering how your mission, the tracking of the murderous thugs who kidnapped Douglas Wood and yourself, is coming along? I must be honest, it would make my day to hear that you have made some progress.

Yours faithfully,

James Ozark.

Well, Ulf very kindly replied:

Dear James,

Thanks for your kind mail. Yes we have nearly finish the first stage now, and over ten murders have been put "out of service". Unfortunately we have found more basters on our way and decided to go ahead until the job is finish. We also have to take care of a lot of people families etc. that have become victims of this as they have no support what so ever.

Best regards

Ulf Hjertstrom

I have time for this man. I have even more time for what he is doing, both for his fight back and his concern for the families of the Iraqi men who were murdered in cold blood. Here's his donation site’s address: hjertstrom.com.

If you're feeling so inclined, let him know you care.

The Religion of Violence

With the ongoing execution of vile and disgusting acts around the globe, let’s just call it what it is. Just in the last few days, we’ve had bombings in India, schoolgirls beheaded in Indonesia, honour slayings in Europe, all in the name of Islam. And yet still we caper and cavort before this vile ideology:

Prince Charles to plead Islam's cause to Bush

The Prince of Wales will try to persuade George W Bush and Americans of the merits of Islam this week because he thinks the United States has been too intolerant of the religion since September 11.

. . .the actions of 19 hijackers should [not] tarnish the reputation of hundreds of millions of law-abiding Muslims around the world.
The actions of 19 hijackers didn’t ‘tarnish’ the reputations of ‘law-abiding’ Muslims - the moderates’ (so-called) reaction to them did that. Only a few months ago, I watched in utter disgust while ‘moderate’ Muslims here in Australia shrieked on an SBS panel program about our war against ‘Islam’ in Iraq (specifically Iraq). Really? Is it? Well, either they were making a stunningly stark admission, if they see a larger war on terror and a war on Islam as being one and the same thing, or each and every one of the people in that studio was in the grip of the very same mentality that drives one of these bearded arseholes to blow up a marketplace, or chop off a little girl’s head because she’s a Christian. Why? Because the Muslims here know damn well our involvement in Iraq (again specifically) was about Saddam. ALL about Saddam. The fact is they choose to make our involvement in Iraq a war against Islam, just as they choose to see a war against terror in the very same light (as, increasingly, do we all). To what end? That’s obvious. And that’s why we pretty much know a ‘moderate’ Muslim is merely one not in the process of delivering Jihad at the end of a rusty machete or a rucksack full of explodey moonshine.

Of course, Sweden is rapidly vanishing down the plughole, and the further it bends over to appease these fascists, the more the Jihadis want to deliver the killer bottom punch:

Swedish Members of Parliament, but even many politicians on lower and local levels, say they experience threats or violence. Many of them say the harassment is so bad they consider leaving politics.
The rest of Europe is right behind.

The point is, I agree with that studio full of 'moderate' Muslims here in Aus'. And I've had it with them.

Bring on the quarantine. Bring it on now.

More on blackness in sport

The big trouble U.S. Air Force football coach Fisher DeBerry just got himself into (that I mentioned yesterday) by noting that blacks tend to be faster runners reminds me of an earlier similar episode (from 2003), where a black sporting manager also attributed superior sports performance to race. Excerpt:

"Chicago Cubs manager Dusty Baker, dismissing suggestions he made a racist assertion when speaking with reporters about day baseball, stands by his comments that black and Hispanic players are better suited to playing in the sun and heat than white players. "I'm not playing the race card. I'm telling it like it is," Baker said by telephone Monday. "What I meant is that blacks and Latins take the heat better than most whites, and whites take the cold better than most blacks and Latins. That's it, pure and simple. Nothing deeper than that."


Despite a lot of pressure, and to his credit, Baker refused to apologize but I don't suppose that option was really open to DeBerry. Keith Burgess Jackson said all that needed to be said about the Baker episode.

But here's another thought: Would the following Australian headline be allowed in America?

"Black weekend for Aussie women sport

The Hockeyroos suffered their first loss to New Zealand in five years and 22 matches to cap a black weekend for Australian women's teams against their trans-Tasman foes. The 1-0 loss in the first Test of the three-match Oceania World Cup qualifying series followed the Australian netball team's record 61-36 defeat to the world champion Silver Ferns on Saturday night, also in Auckland........."


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The real lowdown on the recent American hurricanes

An Idaho weatherman says Japan's Yakuza mafia used a Russian-made electromagnetic generator to cause Hurricane Katrina to strike America. Meteorologist Scott Stevens, a nine-year veteran of KPVI-TV in Pocatello, said he believes the artificially created hurricane was a bid to avenge Japan for the Hiroshima atomic bomb attack -- and that this technology will soon be wielded again to hit another U.S. city. Stevens said he had been struggling to forecast weather patterns starting in 1998 when he discovered the theory on the Internet. It's now detailed on Stevens' Web site.

Scientists discount Stevens' claims as ludicrous. "I have been doing hurricane research for the better part of 20 years now, and there was nothing unusual to me about any of the satellite imagery of Katrina," said Rob Young, a hurricane expert at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, N.C. "It's laughable to think it could have been man-made."

Stevens, who is among several people to offer alternative and generally discounted theories for the storm that flooded New Orleans, says a little-known oversight in physical laws makes it possible to create and control storms. That's especially true, he contends, if you're armed with the Cold War-era weapon said to have been made by the Russians in 1976. Stevens became convinced of the existence of the Russian device when he observed an unusual Montana cold front in 2004. "I just got sick to my stomach because these clouds were unnatural and that meant they had (the machine) on all the time," Stevens said. "I was left trying to forecast the intent of some organization rather than the weather of this planet."

Stevens said oddities in Hurricane Katrina storm patterns underpin his theory. And, according to his Web site, so does the fact that Katrina and Ivan -- the name given to a destructive hurricane that hit Florida in September 2004 -- both sound Russian.

Stevens' bosses at KPVI-TV say their employee can think and say what he wants -- as long as he keeps the station out of the debate and acknowledges that his views are his own opinion. Bill Fouch, KPVI's general manager, compared Stevens' musings to political or religious beliefs that journalists suppress on the job. "He doesn't talk about it on his weathercast," Fouch said. "He's very knowledgeable about weather, and he's very popular."


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The far-Leftism of Australia's government broadcasters

The following is an excerpt from a letter recently sent by one of my Australian readers to to General Karl Eikenberry, US Army Central Command Iraq and Afghanistan. I have posted the whole of the letter here. And Andrew Bolt has also just put up a mocking story about the bias and distortions of Australia's major public broadcaster

"I would like make you aware that there are two Australian television and radio broadcasters, the ABC and SBS with embedded correspondents in Iraq and Afghanistan who are sending extremely strong anti American propaganda back to Australia. In the case of the ABC, which is now broadcasting into some forty countries in SE Asia, Osama bin Laden and associates could not have a more effective propaganda machine in this region, no matter how much money they paid. Amazingly both these broadcaster are funded by the Australian government which these broadcasters despise.

These broadcasters, staffed by extreme Leftists have a blantant agenda to divide the Australian and regional peoples from America's efforts to win the war on terrorism. Their focus is targeted at any US and coalition setbacks, harm done to civilians, and especially any stories related to torture.in US military prison camps, including Guantanomo.

In fact the ABC ran 57 stories on Iraqi prisoner abuse alone, yet only one on the world's biggest scam featuring the Left's favourite institution, the UN and it's oil for food program, which as you are aware, enabled Saddam to buy weapons that have been, and still are being used to kill coalition forces in Iraq. I have never seen a single program by these broadcasters showing the US in a good light. Even their three stories on Hurricane Katrina were nothing more than hysterical rants against the US Government, and yet, this is the ABC, SBS idea of "balanced reporting"."

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Holy Moses! "African-American" is Incorrect Now

And you are not allowed to say that blacks run faster either -- even though they dominate running events in the Olympic Games. Note the following excerpt:

"Air Force football coach Fisher DeBerry was reprimanded Wednesday for remarks about wanting to recruit more black athletes because they run faster. DeBerry, 67, in his 22nd season as the Falcons coach, apologized for the comments..... "There was no consideration to stepping down from my job," he said. "I feel like maybe a couple terms that I used should not have been used in any remarks that I would make to anybody. If I offended anybody by using the term African-American or by using the term minorities, I certainly did not mean to offend anyone....

During his weekly press luncheon Tuesday, DeBerry said, in part, "It was very obvious to me the other day that the other team (TCU) had a lot more African-American players than we did and they ran a lot faster than we did. "Afro-American kids can run very, very well. Their (TCU's) defense had 11 Afro-American kids on their team and they were a very good defensive football team."


Even saying the obvious is now offensive in America. And how it can be offensive to compliment people on their athletic abilities when athletic ability is so prestigious in our society defeats my poor old brain too.

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A real environmentalist speaks

Below I reproduce an article by Barry Cohen. Barry Cohen was an Australian federal MP from 1969 until 1990. He recently sold his feral-animal-proof wildlife sanctuary on the Central Coast, which was created to show that the exclusion of cats and foxes would ensure native wildlife would not only survive, but thrive.

On my first trip to Britain as federal environment minister, having just announced the 1984 annual kangaroo cull quota of 2 million, I was unprepared for the reception at my London hotel. A seven-metre-high inflatable kangaroo and a sign, "MR COHEN THE KANGAROO KILLER IS IN TOWN", greeted me.

I asked the protester what concerned him. "This Cohen fellow is massacring Australia's national symbol. They'll soon be extinct," he bellowed. "Which species do you object to Australia culling?" He looked at me blankly. "Do you know how many species there are?" After a long silence he answered, "Three? Five?"

"Close. There are 51 species of kangaroos (macropods) of which seven are believed to be extinct with many others rare, endangered or vulnerable. Smaller species, under five kilograms, such as the parma, yellow foot, brushtail and bridle nail-tailed rock wallabies, are very rare and highly protected. The species culled are the eastern and western grey kangaroos, the red kangaroo, the wallaroo, whiptail, agile and Bennett's wallaby. Increased crops, pastures and dams and the lack of natural predators ensures these larger species are often in their tens of millions and in plague proportions. If we didn't control their numbers there wouldn't be any farmers left."

He looked at me with disbelief. "How do you know all this?" "I'm Barry Cohen."

Discussion elicited that he had been fed "information" by some Australian conservation organisations. The lies some told were legendary, their predictions grotesque. Foremost among the predictions was the imminent extinction of the "kangaroo". It never happened. A few years ago the cull quota rose to about 7 million. This year, it's just under 4 million.

When their dire predictions failed to eventuate the conservationists talked of the inhumane methods of killing. One fanatic produced a photograph of a kangaroo supposedly skinned alive to save the cost of a bullet. I suggested she try catching a kangaroo and skinning it alive. Not surprisingly, the tabloid press and TV had a field day.

I had thought this nonsense had finished but with the release of the book Kangaroos: Myths and Realities, by the Australian Wildlife Protection Council, the usual suspects surfaced mouthing the same old cliches. No one ever asks them the obvious question: "You were predicting the extinction of the kangaroo 40 years ago, yet despite an annual cull quota averaging about 3 to 4 million the population of the culled species is still in the tens of millions. How is that?"

I loathe this nonsense because of the damage it does to the cause of the preservation of species that are genuinely endangered - the small species - and the failure by governments to tackle the problem of the introduced predators - cats and foxes - that are also destroying a vast array of native wildlife including birds, reptiles and amphibians. More than 20 years ago the NSW government, under pressure from the anti-fox-fur lobby, abolished the bounty on fox skins. The fox population exploded. The effect on native wildlife was devastating. I take a different view from the animal liberationists. Every woman who wears a fox fur should get an Order of Australia medal.

And then there are cats. Beautiful creatures, but they have no place in the Australian bush. No matter how well fed, they are natural hunters. You can have cats or native wildlife; you can't have both. Fortunately, a more environmentally aware generation is opting not to have cats as pets. Don't, however, hold your breath waiting for politicians or conservationists to call for action against cats. One politician in Western Australia did and was pilloried. Foxes and cats do more damage to our native wildlife than all the farmers, loggers, miners and developers put together. The latter do their share of damage but don't come close to that wrought by the ferals.

The danger from the latest outburst against the scientifically determined kangaroo cull is that it will divert attention from the task of preserving genuinely endangered native wildlife.

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Australian gun control now a proven farce

"Gun ownership is rising and there is no definitive evidence that a decade of restrictive firearms laws has done anything to reduce weapon-related crime, according to NSW's top criminal statistician. The latest figures show a renaissance in firearm ownership in the state - a 25 per cent increase in three years. And the head of the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, Don Weatherburn, said falls in armed robberies and abductions in NSW in the past few years had more to do with the heroin drought and good policing than firearms legislation.

Even falls in the homicide rate, which have been steady, began long before the gun law debate provoked by the Port Arthur massacre in 1996. Nationwide, the proportion of robberies involving weapons is the same as it was in 1996, while the proportion of abductions involving weapons is higher, the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics fiures reveal. They show a mixed result in firearms-related offences since the mid-1990s. There has been a fall in firearms murders (from 32 to 13 per cent) but a rise (19 to 23 per cent) in attempted murders involving guns.

"I would need to see more convincing evidence than there is to be able to say that gun laws have had any effect," Dr Weatherburn said."

(Excerpt from here)

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Bottom of the Barrel Movie Reviews: I Spit On Your Grave (aka Day of the Woman)

Welcome to the second edition of Bottom of the Barrel Movie Reviews, your source for reviews of shlockers, video nasties, and assorted crimes against cinema. Today we have one of the most controversial video nasties.

When a film has an alternate title of something like "Day of the Woman" you sort of know what level to lower your expectations to.

I first saw I Spit On Your Grave about 12 years ago on some dodgy rental VHS (that probably should have been banned) and even at the height of my 14 year old maturity level I came to the conclusion as to what a shitty film it was. Upon viewing it a second time, my opinion of it has not changed all that much.

This is another one of those films that has been banned then released with cuts, then banned again and it is the controversy around it that has kept it from being forgotten. Now it has been released on a special edition dvd with lots of extras including essays, trailers and two commentaries. (For a rundown on its history in Australia check out the awesome Refused Classification website - though be warned, reading this site and seeing the bullshit reasons for the banning of a disgustingly large number of horror films and computer games is enough to make you want to hunt down every last ##### who has even worked for the OFLC and spend several torturous weeks demonstrating to them the difference between cinematic or video game violence and real life violence. Well it does to me anyway....)

Part of the reason these previously banned films are now released is because of the addition of these special features which often focus on the technical side of things or give a better perspective and thus remove or reduce the "exploitative" nature that the OFLC seems to find so offensive on our behalf.

The (what passes for a) plot of the film is simple. A woman is raped and goes for revenge.

Obviously it is rape scenes that generated the most controversy. She gets raped, wanders off in one direction and somehow stumbles across those same guys in some other place where she is raped again, and then she goes off home where they are waiting for her and they rape her again.

Then she composes herself and goes for revenge.

Make no mistake that the rape scenes are unpleasant to watch and credit must be given to the actress (Camille Keaton) as she really sells it. And many writers and critics have said that is the whole point of the film. Rape is not entertaining and thus no film which deals with it should be easy to watch and the director (Meir Zachi) echoes those sentiments several times in the commentary.

And while that is certainly a valid point, all his going on about his noble intentions in wanting to show how horrible rape is and what it does to a victim both physically and psychologically really comes across little more than "artistic" bullshit - primarily because of the revenge.

Claiming you are making a film to show horrible rape is, and then throwing in a "Hollywood" (at least a horror Hollywood) revenge ending does seem to cheapen it, especially when the audience is there cheering for each rapist to meet his well deserved fate. Having the audience drawn into it like that seems to detract from it being a serious portrayal of rape which people should find unpleasant to watch, and undoes the very "anti-cinema" feel the film has up to that point (no music, static cameras, long lingering shots).

However the revenge scenes are fairly awesome. There is a hanging, an axing, a disemboweling courtesy of an outboard motor, and best of all, castration. Castration should be the constitutionally mandated punishment for rape - and none of this chemical castrations bullshit either.

(The only rehabilitation tool required for rapists)

Head on over to The Asylum to see more of what should be the only treatment for rapists, but know there is a reason why it's not posted here.

Can I recommend this film? Not really. If you are a serious horror or film connoisseur and want to see what all the controversy is about, then check it out but be aware of what you will be seeing. If you are not a horror or film connoisseur and don't care what all the fuss is about, then avoid it. This is not something to put on to kill a couple of hours - even with copious amounts of alcohol.

(cross-posted at The Asylum)

Political correctness whiners are pathetic

An excerpt from Doug Hagin

Are you easily offended? Does your little ego bruise easily? Do you think everyone else in America ought to give a darn about your self-esteem? Do your eyes fill with tears every time you perceive someone is being insensitive to you? Do you live under the delusional belief that you should be protected against being offended? Do you believe that anytime you are offended someone should be fired; have their life ruined or character trashed?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions you need to shut up, grow up, stop throwing your little pity parties and get a life! Frankly, you and those like you are a major part of what is wrong with America today. Your constant carping and whining are adding nothing positive to this great nation. Instead, the climate of perpetual offendedness and hypersensitivity you are creating is sapping the great spirit of rugged individualism that made America the greatest nation to ever exist in this world’s history.

Think for a moment if the Founding Fathers had been the type of wimpy whiners so many Americans are today? There would be no America would there? Franklin, Jefferson, Adams and the rest would have been so busy filing discrimination suits and attending counseling sessions that they would have never gotten around to the business of creating a new nation.

How very pathetic these maddening wimpy attitudes are! So many in America think every thing and everyone should bend, change and alter their standards and rules so as not to exclude or offend them. How else do we explain the phenomenon of those who want to join the Boy Scouts, but ONLY if the Scouts change their rules to accommodate their over inflated sense of self-importance? Look if you are an Atheist and saying the Scouts pledge bothers you, you have a choice. You can either say the pledge and not believe a word of it, or you can start your own scouting group.

Yes! Yes! Yes! You could actually stop feeling sorry for yourself, start a scouting organization, and leave the Boy Scouts alone. Oh but that is not good enough. You, the offended feel an insatiable need to force your views onto the Boy Scouts. After all, it is all about you, your ego and your little feelings isn’t it.

More here

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Pistol-packing Hollywood hypocrites

But they have always been such models of good character, of course

PISTOL-packing Joe Mantegna is blasting a chink in the politically correct armor of some Hollywood heavyweights - he says they love to own and shoot guns. The "Joan of Arcadia" star says that such left-leaning showbiz types as Steven Spielberg, Leonardo DiCaprio and playwright David Mamet are all avid shooters. "Lots of guys in Hollywood love to shoot," Mantegna, a longtime gun sportsman, tells Fade In magazine. "But they ain't gonna talk to you."

"Apocalypse Now" screenwriter John Milius agrees. "It's fascinating that Hollywood is so hypocritical," he says. "Many people own [guns], but consistently vote against them and never talk about them. I used to shoot with Spielberg and [Robert] Zemeckis and Robert Stack. But no one else would admit they had any."

Producer/manager Jay Bernstein, who shepherded Farrah Fawcett and Linda Evans to fame, carries a gun in public and is prone to flashing it at Hollywood parties. But even he won't confirm that he has a Carry Concealed Weapons permit. "It's one of the most uncomfortable subjects," Bernstein says, "because 'anti-gun' is more popular than 'gun' in Los Angeles."

As if to illustrate Bernstein's point, well-known gun enthusiasts Ben Affleck, Charlie Sheen, Tom Selleck and Steven Seagal wanted nothing to do with Fade In's story. Even gung-ho action director Richard Donner ("Lethal Weapon"), who has a concealed weapon permit, was reluctant to talk. "I am anything but a gun enthusiast," he said in a terse statement. "The only reason I would ever own a gun is for the protection of my home, my environment or my family under the circumstances in which I am forced to live."

Fade In says Seagal, Sylvester Stallone, music mogul Tommy Mottola and billionaire Kirk Kerkorian are among a mere 500 people licensed to carry a gun in public in Los Angeles County (pop. 9.8 million).


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Fatal Flows - Doctors on the Move

The article below is from one of the world's most prestigious medical journals but displays a grade-school level of thinking. Their solution to the problem of third-world doctors migrating to richer countreies? More aid! Throw dollars at it! It shows how cretinous people can be when speaking outside their own narrow field of expertise. That the USA and other Western countries could improve their educational systems so that they themselves trained all the doctors they need is glided over. That aid will only buy golden bedsteads and Swiss bank accounts for the corrupt ruling elites of the poor countries concerned is CERTAINLY not mentioned

"The movement of physicians from poor to rich countries is a growing obstacle to global health. Ghana, with 0.09 physician per thousand population, sends doctors to the United Kingdom, which has 18 times as many physicians per capita. The United States, with 5 percent of the world's population, employs 11 percent of the globe's physicians, and its demand is growing. As underscored in the article by Mullan in this issue of the Journal, today, 25 percent of U.S. physicians are international medical graduates, and the number is even higher in the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia. Many of these graduates come from poor countries with high disease burdens - precisely those nations that can least afford to lose their professionals.

The plain truth is that medical systems in the United States and other wealthy countries are heavily dependent on imported workers - for hospital staffing, coverage of underserved areas, and meeting gaps in skill levels. U.S. medical schools turn out a relatively stable 17,000 graduates annually, but the demand for residency staffing exceeds this number by 30 percent. This gap is filled by international medical graduates, most of whom will attain citizenship or permanent residence and remain in the United States to practice medicine. Medical coverage of disadvantaged Americans also depends on U.S. federal waivers for international medical graduates to enter primary care practice in underserved areas. The dependence is not confined to doctors, since nurses and other medically skilled workers are in equally high demand.

International professional mobility is inevitable when persons have skills they can sell in a global marketplace. The migration of medical professionals reflects a balance of supply and demand - but it has ethical implications, too. Demand in affluent countries pulls health care workers from poor countries as low salaries, limited career prospects, poor working environments, family aspirations, and political insecurity push them out. The beneficiaries are the importing countries and, of course, the migrants themselves. Countries that intentionally export skilled workers tolerate "brain drain" in exchange for financial remittances, relief from high unemployment rates, and the possibility of scientific connections. Markets for medical labor operate in and across all of the major world regions, with Asians moving into North America, Egyptians into countries with oil-exporting economies, and Eastern Europeans into an expanding European Union.4 South Africa exports health professionals to wealthier countries while simultaneously importing them from neighboring African nations.

Emigration from the poorest countries is unquestionably damaging. More than a dozen countries in sub-Saharan Africa have plummeting life expectancies mostly as a result of the epidemic of human immunodeficiency virus infection and AIDS.5 With just 600,000 doctors, nurses, and midwives for 600 million people, African countries need the equivalent of at least 1 million additional workers in order to offer basic services consistent with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Instead, these countries are moving backward, with the hemorrhaging of clinical and professional leaders crippling the already fragile health care systems. These failures have been characterized as "fatal flows," because poor people are left vulnerable to devastating diseases and avoidable death. The exodus also constitutes a silent theft from the poorest countries through the loss of public subsidies for medical education, estimated at $500 million annually for all emigrating skilled workers from Africa.

Moral outrage over the "poaching" behavior on the part of rich countries has reached a crescendo. Yet simply blocking migration is neither effective nor ethical, since freedom of movement is a basic human right. The challenge is to advance human health while protecting health workers' rights to seek gainful employment. The first responsibility for action belongs with each country to "train, retain, and sustain" its workforces through national plans that improve salaries and working conditions, revitalize education, and mobilize paraprofessional and community workers whose services are demonstrably more cost-effective and who are less likely to emigrate. Since such urgent actions must be pursued in the world's poorest nations, much will depend on the global community's provision of appropriate financial and technical aid".

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Should Someone Be Calling to Destroy Iran?

A little perspective is called for here, I think

Iran's call to destroy Israel

ISRAEL has called for Iran's expulsion from the United Nations after its president called for the Jewish state to be wiped out.
Well, if we’re bandying about insane rhetoric, how about calling for Iran's expulsion from the planet? Just offering some perspective. . .
Australian Prime Minister John Howard also joined widespread condemnation of the statement. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon ordered the Israeli ambassador to the UN to submit the demand that Iran's UN membership be ended and to request a special debate on President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's remarks.

Israel regards Iran as a "clear and present" danger, Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said.
You aren’t kidding, Silvan. John Howard summed it best, I think:

"It's a very dangerous, serious speech," Mr Howard said. "I think it does represent grounds for very great concern. To have the president of any country saying another should be wiped off the face of the earth is a reminder of the psychological pressure, quite apart from the actual pressure, that the state of Israel is under, and this obviously is an issue that the United Nations has to address."
It’s not a reminder of pressure, I’d suggest, it’s a reminder of a state of war, but that’s another issue. The UN, of course, will do nothing.

The White House said it underlined US concerns about Tehran's nuclear ambitions. "It just reconfirms what we have been saying about the regime in Iran," spokesman Scott McClellan said.
Concerns!? With statements like ‘Israel must be wiped off the map’ from Iran’s Head of State? Iran must not be allowed to obtain a nuclear capability.

End of story.

No more discussion. No more debate. No more bullshit.

The Russians, of course, have another agenda, especially given they’re the ones supplying the Iranians with the gear:
But the Russian Foreign Minister maintained Moscow had no substantial evidence that "we have a clear and present danger" from Iran's nuclear program. "It is too serious to be guided by politics," Sergey Lavrov said.
Lost for words. . .

I have to say I agree with this:

Straight talk from Jesse Lee Peterson: "When 75 percent of New Orleans residents had left the city, it was primarily immoral, welfare-pampered blacks that stayed behind and waited for the government to bail them out. This, as we know, did not turn out good results... Of course, if these two were really serious about laying blame on government, they should blame the local one. Responsibility to perform - legally and practically - fell first on the mayor of New Orleans. We are now all familiar with Mayor Ray Nagin - the black Democrat who likes to yell at President Bush for failing to do Nagin's job.... One wonders how there was "no way" for these people to evacuate the city. We have photographic evidence telling us otherwise. You've probably seen it by now - the photo showing 200 parked school buses, unused and underwater. How much planning does it require to put people on a bus and leave town, Mayor Nagin? ... President Bush is not to blame for the rampant immorality of blacks. Had New Orleans' black community taken action, most would have been out of harm's way. But most were too lazy, immoral and trifling to do anything productive for themselves. All Americans must tell blacks this truth. It was blacks' moral poverty - not their material poverty - that cost them dearly in New Orleans".

(Jesse Lee Peterson is a black clergyman)

Comments? Email John Ray

Books are better for student study than digital detritus

(The rather savage article below is an editorial from "The Australian" newspaper (our national daily) of 22 October. Nice to see good sense in such a widely-read source)

"Yesterday The Sydney Morning Herald quoted HSC students denouncing critics of Year 12 English courses - we think they meant us. Apparently because "the media lies" it is important for young people to know what the reptiles of the press are up to, the students said. Presumably by studying episodes of the D-Generation's Frontline TV series, which is on the NSW syllabus. Or the book jacket that students in that state can study. Not the book, just the cover and publisher's blurb. Or any of the modern movies that are on course lists around the country. Or blogs and other digital resources, including the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission website - which is also set for study in NSW, even though the organisation no longer exists.

Using literature to learn how to critically analyse what authors are up to should be a core component of any English course. But the world is not short of good books suited for the task. Books - not blogs, not digital ephemera, but books, the artefacts that really inquisitive students will find behind the paperback cover set for study. Reading a whole book takes time and discipline, and it is about the best way imaginable to learn how to analyse authorial intent and interpret their arguments.

But all that examining the ATSIC site will do is expose students to propaganda from an organisation that in the end represented only itself. There are all sorts of objective sources that set out the condition of indigenous Australians that could be provided to support any of the many books by Aboriginal authors about the poison of racial prejudice. The study of ATSIC is irrelevant. And The Australian believes that studying the D-Generation for advanced English courses betrays the educational interests of students and will appal parents who want kids to develop a love of literature. And if students are really interested in analysing the motives of powerful organisations, here is a question to critically consider: "The study of senior school English is shaped by a contempt for the Western canon and a belief held by education theorists that all texts are equal. Discuss.""

Comments? Email John Ray

Does America face a loss of will and self-confidence?

Some people seem to think it does and perhaps they are right. No country is being subjected to such a ferocious white-anting attack from the Left as America is. When a large section of your own populace wants you to lose at anything you do, you have certainly got a problem. The "antiwar" exhibitionists America has prancing around the place at the moment would all be in jail if Woodrow Wilson were still President. Read your history if you doubt it.

Lots of people have drawn my attention to an article by Jonathan Last which argues in favour of an imminent loss of American will by comparing America today with Britain in the era between the two world wars. Last argues that despite their victory in WW1, the British went all Leftist and wussy in the 20s and 30s and virtually threw their empire and their position of strength away. He thinks America might be on the same track.

It's absolute rubbbish as an analogy. In World War I, Britain lost virtually an entire generation of its young men. No wonder the entire nation got totally demoralized by that and came to have an absolute horror of war and anything associated with it. Chamberlain's "appeasement" of Hitler is scorned now but it had the support of virtually the entire British population at the time.

The American death-rate in Iraq is piffling by comparison. It's about the same as the homicide rate in Detroit. I give every honour to the brave men who have voluntarily joined the military forces that are now in Iraq and feel personally grieved when I hear of a death among them but comparing that to what happened to Britain in WW1 is ludicrous. It's also ludicrous because another country than Britain emerged from WW1 as the strongest -- the USA. Whereas the USA faces no rivals regardless of what happens in Iraq.

If the Muslims ever got to be more than a nuisance, GWB could just press the red button -- which he has recently been officially authorized to do -- and most of the Islamic world would vanish in a thermonuclear cloud, Mecca included. It's only the good heart of GWB and the American people that stands between the Muslims and that fate. For the sake of the societies that they infest, I hope that the Islamic fruitcakes have enough brains to remember that another American President reluctantly decided to use nuclear weapons on a civilian population rather than suffer further American military casualties.

Comments? Email John Ray

The Miers Nomination: annika Takes A Side

Earlier, i posted my preliminary opinion on the Miers nomination. At the time i fully expected the controversy to die down, although i was mildly disappointed with the choice. Or rather, i was more disappointed with the fact that Bush had chosen not to nominate one of my preferred candidates, instead opting for another apparent stealth nominee.

Over three weeks have passed, and i've watched and listened as the controversy refused to die. This story has had "legs," in the news parlance of the day. And the more i learned about Miers, the less willing i have been to close my eyes and hope for the best. Now, i am ready to commit to a side in this debate. It shouldn't be a surprise, given my background as a conservative with a history degree, that i have decided to oppose the confirmation of Harriet Miers as Supreme Court justice. My reasons have little to do with ideology.

Many reasons to oppose her confirmation have been proffered by conservative pundits much more knowledgeable than i am. These reasons seem to fall into a few broad categories. One group is mad because she isn't a big name judge. These folks are mad because they expected Luttig or Brown or Pryor. i can understand this criticism. i wanted McConnell or Brown. i still don't understand why Kozinski's name wasn't batted around more often. But i could have lived with my disappointment if Miers had been a good choice, and i think most conservatives feel the same way.

Another group is mad because Miers lacks a clear "judicial philosophy." The most articulate spokesman for this point of view is Mark R. Levin, who's turned the phrase " . . . but what's her judicial philosophy?" into a kind of mantra. This criticism has a lot of merit, in my view. i think it's fair to suspect that a person who has shown no evidence of having a coherent underlying approach to constitutional issues probably does not have such an underlying approach. At age 60, it's a little late to expect Ms. Miers to start developing a useful judicial philosophy if she hasn't given much thought to it before now.

Still, i'd be willing to give Ms. Miers the benefit of the doubt on the judicial philosophy question if that were my only objection. It's quite possible that despite the scant evidence of any coherent philosophy, she might actually have one. The trouble is, we don't know what it is. Larry Tribe and Erwin Chemerinsky have coherent judicial philosophies, but woe unto us if they were ever placed on the court. At least Tribe's and Chemerinsky's viewpoints are well known, as are their towering intellects. Which brings me to my next point, which is the clincher.

i'm not saying that Harriet Miers is not smart. Her background, education and experience proves to me that she is. But the position of associate justice on today's Supreme Court is not a job for just any smart person. It's a highly specialized occupation, and those who say it's not a place for "on-the-job training" have it absolutely right.

i am certainly no expert on constitutional law, although i have studied it in more detail than most people my age, both as a law student and in undergrad and graduate history courses. i know enough to know what i don't know. It is perhaps the most difficult area of law, not because it surpasses the intricate detail of a subject like tax or securities law, but because it is so malleable and its standards can be so hard to define. Con law is the "big leagues" of the legal profession. And doing con law as a Supreme Court justice is like being in the World Series. You have to be on your game at all times. You have to be the best of the best to do it right, and if you're not, it will become painfully obvious to knowledgeable observers very quickly.

i think that is the problem when non-lawyers like President Bush try to make decisions concerning the legal world. Most non-lawyers i've met seem to think that all lawyers know everything about all fields of law. No one would think to ask a dermatologist questions about spinal surgery. Yet Miers supporters are quick to assume that a corporate lawyer could easily slip into the role of constitutional scholar overnight.

i don't care that Miers has been at the White House for almost five years. That's not the same thing as spending a lifetime thinking about constitutional issues and the development of precedent from year to year and case to case. That's what con law is all about. It's analyzing precedent, history, argument and policy, then trying to extrapolate the potential reverberating effects of a ruling on future transactions, often for generations to come. Con law is to regular legal practice as Chess is to checkers.

Think about a guy like Mike McConnell, for instance. i've spent many hours this semester dissecting his various Establishment Clause articles, most notably his William and Mary Law Review piece (44 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 2105), which is heavily footnoted, dense and unquestionably essential reading no matter what side of the religious argument you are on. i'm nowhere close to getting a handle on the subject. Here's a guy who's thought about this shit for years. He likes thinking about this shit. You could say the same thing about Prof. Tribe, if you're a liberal. Is there any evidence that Ms. Miers is similarly up to speed on even one subject of constitutional law?

So what if she's not up to speed? Why does that matter? i'll tell you why. An effective Supreme Court justice must have the power of persuasion. If the other justices do not have confidence in her mastery of the subject matter, in her authority as an analyst of the case law in question, they will eat her alive. At this point, i see no evidence that Ms. Miers has the kind of background that will give her that kind of persuasive authority. In fact, i have seen discouraging murmurs that she lacks just that.

How many Supreme Court opinions has she read top to bottom, and understood? It's hard to believe, with her busy career, that she's had the time for that kind of recreational study. If she's confirmed, when is she going to find the time then? i remember my first month of law school. In my nightly reading, i came across so many unfamiliar words and concepts that i was constantly going into Black's Dictionary to look things up. It was a nightmare. i've since learned how to skim the cases just to get through the reading, but that's not something i want my Supreme Court justices doing.

Oh sure, she can have her clerks do the heavy lifting. But in this day and age, i don't want unaccountable idealistic twenty year olds who were basically the best ass-kissers in law school leading around the new justice by her nose. There are plenty of historical examples of Supreme Court justices who relied overly much on their law clerks, but that was never a good thing. And today, the scariest issues are much scarier than they ever were back in the day. Terrorists who can blow up entire cities, scientists who can condemn millions more unborn lives to death, those are just two examples. This is a game best left to the pros.

i'm planning to watch the confirmation hearings, assuming she doesn't withdraw before then. i'm willing to keep an open mind, but unfortunately Ms. Miers has an even tougher job than Justice Roberts had. She must be absolutely stellar at the hearings, because she has to change minds. i know the White House has been working hard to prepare her, but i'd be very surprised if she can pull it off. Very surprised.

[cross posted at annika's journal]

Why Are We Talking?

The following comes from the President, The President, of Iran. . .
Wipe out Israel: Iran hardliner

TEHRAN: Iran's hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called yesterday for Israel to be "wiped off the map".

"The establishment of the Zionist regime was a move by the world oppressor against the Islamic world," Mr Ahmadinejad told a conference in Tehran titled The World without Zionism.

"As the Imam said, Israel must be wiped off the map," he said, referring to Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

This is the first time in years such a high-ranking Iranian official has called for Israel's eradication, although such slogans are regularly used at rallies.
This is not new. This screaming loon, and others like him, have been saying this kind of thing for some time now. The difference is that once upon a time, this would have been taken for exactly what it is: a declaration of war. They just haven’t had the means to carry that out. And there are those among us seriously suggesting they should be allowed to develop nuclear weapons, and this development will make them more responsible? This only works (at oh-so slender best) , of course, if you completely ignore what the Iranians are actually saying - which, of course, these people do. . .

Your regulators will protect you -- NOT

I think a $1,000 fine for killing a baby is a bit light. Don't you? (Excerpt from here)

"Because of the lack of information available to the public about our doctor's malpractice history, what my wife, Christine, and I didn't know could have saved our son Ian's life.

When our doctor gave Christine a small brown envelope of pills, with handwritten instructions to "take every four hours," it was impossible to know he had eight previous malpractice claims and restricted privileges at the local hospital. We later discovered this drug was not approved for this use. If we had been given the drugs at the pharmacy it would been boldly labeled explicitly stating it was not to be taken by a pregnant woman.

The drug caused violent, extreme contractions, smothering Ian. After hours of suffering, he was born blue and lifeless -- not breathing and without a hearbeat. Ian was revived and lived, but with severe injuries. He required around-the-clock care and ate through a feeding tube. His mind would never develop beyond that of a 6-month-old infant. Ian died at age 4, due to complications from his preventable injuries.

We filed a complaint with the state medical board. After a two-year wait, the board finally agreed with our accusation. But while the board found the doctor guilty of malpractice and misconduct, it simply issued a $1,000 fine. This obstetrician, who has injured at least two other babies after Ian, continues to practice.

Because of what happened to our son, I helped draft Initiative 336 -- a measure that will hold doctors, lawyers and the insurance industry accountable. It puts patients first by implementing measures that would allow them to know their doctors' complete malpractice history. Had this been in place when Ian was born, we certainly would have selected a different obstetrician.....

Less than half -- 44.7 percent -- of doctors with five or more malpractice payouts have been disciplined by Washington authorities or a state medical board, according to a recent Public Citizen study. Currently, the few bad doctors who cause the majority of medical malpractice incidents have no incentive to change their ways. I-336 will make this small population of bad doctors accountable for their actions".

Comments? Email John Ray

Pigs and Ham Sandwiches

Was the story (on lots of blogs yesterday) about a Muslim-inspired ban on piggy banks "fake but accurate"? Apparently the banks concerned have denied the story. But I guess they would after all the adverse publicity it got them. Anyway, the story has been heavily covered in the Australian mainstream media and we all know how careful the MSM claim to be about their "fact checking", don't we?

But whether that particular story is true or not, there have been other similar stories about pandering to Muslim "sensitivities" about pigs that do appear to have been confirmed -- such as this one.

One of the things I asked in my post about it was: "Will we soon be banned from eating ham sandwiches?" And it seems that I might have been a bit prophetic there. An American reader writes: "Actually the company across the street from us has already told the vending companies to delete all pork products from the break rooms and cafeteria. Why? The Muslim employees. So, the Muslim employees have decided, backed by a spineless, whimpering management, that no employee can buy pork products at lunch. What's next, banning the employees from bringing a ham sandwich from home?"

I report, you decide.

Another good comment from a reader follows:

"With all this talk of banning pigs for Muslims (when the only problem that Muslims have with pigs is that they can't be eaten), why is no cow banning going on for the sake of Hinduism?

For Hindus the cows are sacred (to be worshipped almost as gods)...and there is no ban on disrespect to cows yet! I would think that the Hindu view on cow replicas would be much stronger than the Muslim view on pig replicas!

In addition, Jewish people have the same pig rules as Muslims...so why are the Muslims' rights being respected where as the Jewish people have been overlooked in that regard completely?

And we missed the way many practicing Hindus and Buddhists feel about eating meat to begin with. In that sense, no animal should be appropriate (and in some cases no animal product either!)!

And there have to be other religions that I missed too".

Comments? Email John Ray

Was Christopher Columbus a Jew?

The idea seems bound to upset almost everybody but it seems probable, nonetheless

In 1975, I was asked by Robert Hoffman, a publisher himself, and the son of Sylvan Hoffman, the originator of an American history in the format of a newspaper, News of the Nation, to become the Associate Editor of a new edition of the book. The first edition, published in 1953 had been a Book-of-the-Month selection, the subject of high praise in a "My Day" column by Eleanor Roosevelt, and had sold widely as a textbook as well.

The publisher, Prentice-Hall, sent me a book containing all of the politically correct grammar already in vogue by then. I cut out about a third of the old edition, added new pieces on cultural and social history, as well as bringing the book up to date, I had, beyond Bob, about a half dozen various editors at P-H, who were looking over all of the hundreds of articles I produced.

Amazingly, there were only two of my articles that caused a bit of a controversy. One detailed how after the War with Mexico, Hispanics in the southwest had been deprived of their property, and the efforts of the Justice Dept. to rectify that injustice. It was deemed too permeated with notions of Marxism and class conflict. I gave in to the majority when it became clear that they had no understanding of libertarian class theory and property rights.

The second involved Colon. The first edition carried a story entitled, "Fourteen Italian Cities Claim Columbus," which I suggested be replaced by a piece called "Was Columbus a Jew? I was especially excited by the opportunity this offered in the Teacher's Guide to introduce the teachers to some of the exciting literature that existed on this subject. Most of the editors were themselves Jews, but I was again overridden, not because my research was wrong, but because no one wanted to offend any Italian-American readers. Oh well, 2 out of maybe 400 ain't bad!

For those in doubt about the question of Columbus, I recommend, especially, Salvador de Madariaga's classic, Christopher Columbus; Being the Life of the Very Magnificent Lord, Don Cristobal Colon (1940), but, these days try Googling "Columbus+Jews" as well, along with other variations. In the turmoil of the Inquisition, Colon's family had left Spain for Genoa, but he continued to use Spanish and as a young man fought with the French against Genoa.

He began his diary at the time of the expulsion of the Jews early in 1492, and his log was later kept in the Jewish calendar. It was the Jewish bankers around Ferdinand, himself of Jewish ancestry, who financed the expedition with a motive of finding some opportunity for the Jews. Sephardics did come to the New World, and it is perhaps no accident that the Cubans were known as the Jews of the Caribbean.

My point is not to attempt to build that case here, that has been done in a number of books, but to ask, why has this information, even as controversy, not made its way into American textbooks? I am less concerned with political correctness than with correct accuracy.

More here

Comments? Email John Ray

Running on Fumes

Bill Rice at Dawn's Early Light recently considered Sino-Japanese energy geopolitics. While the disputes over the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea are well-known, less well-known but, as Bill points out, equally contentious, are the disputes over gas fields in the East China Sea:

What is at stake is over 200 billion cubic meters of natural gas reserves. China already has developed stations at Chunxiao (Shirakaba), Duanqiao (Kusunoki) and Tianwaitian (Kashi) that are starting this month to produce natural gas. Japan had floated a proposal to jointly develop the sites, but only after China agreeing to stop drilling and submit to Japan its internal surveys of where the natural gas is coming from (See the Asia Times Online file for an in depth analysis).

According to the CIA, tensions in the Spratlys have recently eased somewhat:

[C]laimants in November 2002 signed the "Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea," which has eased tensions but falls short of a legally binding "code of conduct"; in March 2005, the national oil companies of China, the Philippines, and Vietnam signed a joint accord to conduct marine seismic activities in the Spratlys[.]

As The Economist notes, China's energy demands have been growing by leaps and bounds, compelling the Communist Party to invest in schemes to stabilize energy resources. Among the sources of energy (other than coal, of which China has plenty in the Northeast, and nuclear, which China is not yet ready to deploy outside of the military) are:

  • Oil from Iran
  • Gas from Russia and Central Asia
  • Oil shipments from Arabia via Southeast Asia
  • Oil and gas from the South China Sea
  • Gas from the East China Sea

In her endeavors to secure these sources, China has been ruthlessly pragmatic, much as the United States was (rightfully) allged to have been during the Cold War. Iran may be willing to work with China as former members of the Non-Aligned Bloc, but problems manifest themselves in the clash between China's atheism and intolerance of Islamic dissent and Iranian support for Islamic fundamentalism. Russia has not been forthcoming with building projects due to economic and political problems, and its largest supplier of gas, Gazprom, does business primarily with the West. With both Russia and Iran, Central Asia must be taken into account; the current US military presence removes some of China's free rein.

Oil shipments through Southeast Asia (particularly Singapore, with the region's most effective indigenous military, including a Navy that jealously guards the city-state's role in policing the Straits of Malacca) are reliable, but many of the actors are either friendly to the United States or neutral. (Fittingly, Singapore, while a staunch ally of the United States, shows her pragmatic streak in nevertheless courting the Chinese mandarins.) Moreover, the presence of the US Seventh Fleet, and its enormous reach, remain considerable factors in any calculus of power in the Western Pacific.

This leaves China with two areas where she can strut all 800 pounds of her gorilla presence: The Spratlys, where the nearby neighbors are relatively weak militarily (although Vietnam fought China more or less to a draw in 1979); and the East China Sea, where the main rivals are Japan and the United States.

Strategically, it would seem to make sense for China to coordinate with other actors interested in the Spratlys, and then leverage the goodwill against Japan through stoking fears of a resurgent Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. It is worth noting that every single Spratlys actor had been attacked and/or occupied, at least in part, by Imperial Japanese forces. (Taiwan was never attacked, as it was handed over to Japan following the Sino-Japanese War in the Treaty of Shimonoseki.) Thus China hopes to convert energy that might otherwise have been directed against her into a resource with which to compete with Japan.

But it would appear that Japan is getting tired of being pushed around by a strident and growing China. The 1991 book The Japan That Can Say No: Why Japan Will Be First Among Equals was originally meant as a backlash against the United States. In the intervening decade or so, however, Japan's economy has struggled to bounce back, while China has charged ahead like a bull in a, well, china shop. It is no surprise, then, that the Japanese public returned Junichiro Koizumi (?????) and his Liberal Democratic Party (?????) to power in the general election of 2005, in which Koizumi's approach to foreign policy (he advocated a more self-confident Japan, a popular stance irrespective of his support for President Bush's Middle East policy) was an important factor. (Note, however, that an LDP win in Japan is about as surprising as a PRI win in Mexico.)

Meanwhile, China predictably assailed any semblance of popular choice, finding in particular a cause for excoriation in visits paid by Japanese politicians to the Yasukuni Shrine (????), where Japanese war dead, including 14 Class A war criminals from the Pacific War are buried. Reasonable people can argue over the propriety of such visits, but in light of practices elsewhere, such as the existence of a Confederate Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery here in the United States, Japanese practices can hardly be considered such as would dignify the sort of hysteria the People's Republic routinely goes through.

The Chinese Communist Party, for lack of a better way to vent popular restlessness and rationale for demonizing Japan, are picking at an historical wound and refusing to let it heal. Without an inspiring raison d'être, their antics seem to indicate that they are running on fumes, as indeed all of China may be if they cannot come to an amicable resolution for cooperation in the East China Sea.

Note: For further reading, see:

[Cross-posted at Between Worlds and Naruwan Formosa]

Iraqis voted again

Saw the 'breaking news' last night on SBS, at first I wasn't sure if it was for real, the demeanour of the presenter was like he was bringing us bad news, I had to listen carefully to understand the gravity of this development.

I suppose I'm being foolish to expect any positives from them, if the US Army had decided to leave because of the '2000 dead' milestone, there would have been a party in the newsroom, champagne would flow, "We told you it was too difficult, screw you Iraqis, Allah Akbar".

Iraqis have passed their country's new constitution, according to official results from a referendum dismissed by the opposition but commended by the UN.

78% of voters backed the charter and 21% opposed it in the vote on 15 October, electoral commission officials said. Approval of the constitution clears the way for elections to a new Iraqi parliament in December.

Sunni figures talked of widespread fraud after hearing the final results. Saleh al-Mutlaq, part of a Sunni Arab team that negotiated the constitution, called the referendum a "farce" and accused government forces of stealing ballot boxes to reduce the size of the "No" vote.

A large body of Sunnis rejected a constitution they saw as enshrining their own loss of power and threatening the territorial unity of the country, BBC regional analyst Roger Hardy writes.

To recover from the pain and division associated with the constitution, our analyst adds, continued Sunni participation in the political process is not enough: there must also be enlightened self-interest on the part of the newly-dominant Shia and Kurds.

He means appease and bend over to the terrorists, to placate them you see, just like they have us doing in the west.

A senior United Nations official in Iraq, Carina Perelli, said the election had been conducted to the highest standard. "It has been audited, controlled - it has been done really in a very professional way," she said.

"The result is accurate. It has been checked according to the processes that we all follow when we have elections."

None of this would have been possible if not for the sacrifice of the soldiers in Iraq. God bless them and their families.

Bali Low

I must admit, this doesn’t come as much of a surprise. The Balinese, a majority Hindu culture of a particularly unique variety, is fed up to the back teeth with the aggressive, Javanese Islamic element now steadily populating their island (and bombing it).

And I don’t blame them one little bit.

SMS hate campaign in Bali

BALI'S police chief has called for calm amid a phone-message campaign urging Balinese Hindus to kill all Muslims on the island in retaliation for the triple suicide bombings by suspected Islamic extremists.

A mobile phone text message received by the AAP wire news service urges Balinese people to "wake up from a long sleep". The majority-Hindu holiday island had been invaded by Muslim settlers, mostly from neighbouring Java, the message says.

Calling on all recipients to gather en masse and attack Muslim street-food sellers and anyone else of Islamic faith, it reads: "Destroy the Bali destroyers from outside Bali. We'll burn a group of Muslim bakso (meatball) traders, Muslim satay sellers and anyone else with Muslim identity," the anonymous text says.

"Raze to the ground all these groups so they won't live in Bali.”

Bali counts almost 3 million Hindus and only 186,000 Muslims, an anomaly in the world's most-populous Muslim nation, which counts 180 million people of Islamic faith.
It's also important to remember that the latest bomb site, Jimbaran beach, was frequented by as many Balinese as foriegn tourists; we're not the only infidels the Islamics want to kill.

Apparently, Bali’s leaders are now discussing moves to have Bali effectively quarantined from the rest of the Indonesian archipelago, so as to protect the Balinese culture [from the Islamics]. Personally, I don’t like their chances, but next time you hear someone saying we should support the Balinese, understand, this is exactly what they mean: support the Balinese. . .

Don't you love the press, though. 'SMS hate campaign'? Any more hateful than setting off bombs under innocent people, I wonder? Of course, the inevitable parallels with Ambon are being drawn:
Bali police chief General Made Mangku Pastika said the text campaign threatened Bali's bomb-battered reputation for religious tolerance, warning it could turn Bali into a new Ambon. The eastern province of Maluku based in Ambon was wracked by a five-year conflict between Muslims and Christian bloodshed in the late 1990s and 2000, attracting extremist Islamic militias into Ambon from other parts of Indonesia.

For my part, when we start talking about religious tolerance, and we want to draw parallels with situations like Ambon, it's kind of important to remember what lead up to the start of that particular little slash-fest. . .

Female sexuality upsets prim feminists

What a laugh! They tear down restraints and then wonder why there are none! An excerpt from an article in The Age

"Feminism set out to free women from roles imposed on them by males, but a new book accuses women of building a new, self-imposed prison by acting like sex objects and tolerating sexism. In Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture, New York Magazine contributing editor Ariel Levy slams both celebrities who act like porn stars, and the women and girls who want to be like them. Levy says it's absurd that stars such as heiress Paris Hilton and singers Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera - who dress like "hos", fake orgasms in video clips and pose for men's magazines - have become role models. She says they exude a commercialised concept of sex that is about performing for men and has little to do with their own sexuality.

Levy says trends in everyday life, such as teens who wear skimpy clothes to school and female bosses who bully employees, make poor substitutes for true liberation. "If male chauvinist pigs were guys who treated women like pieces of meat," says Levy, "then female chauvinist pigs are women who make sex objects of other women, and of themselves, and think of this as empowerment. "If we use porn stars and strippers as our role models, if they're going to teach us about sexual liberation, I think that's misguided, because these are women whose jobs it is to fake lust. "So if we imitate them, then we're imitating an imitation of real sexual pleasure and power, and that's just too far removed from authentic personal pleasure."

Speaking by phone from her Manhattan home before this week's Australian promotional tour, Levy, 30, told The Age she wrote the book in response to seeing raunch "everywhere I looked". "As I say in the book, it was as if Britney Spears' body, the sight of her half-dressed and undulating, became so familiar to me, it was as if she and I had dated. It was becoming ridiculous. "And the Playboy bunny was suddenly everywhere. Girls were wearing it on T-shirts. When I was growing up, Hugh Hefner and that whole Playboy image was, like, a bad joke. It was something that was tacky. But all of a sudden, everyone was in love with it again. "One of my best friends from college, who'd been involved in women's groups and who was smart and probably considered herself a feminist, started getting interested in porn stars and reading books about them - she was engaging with what I call raunch culture. And as I started to talk to more and more women, I came to believe that women were a very important motor behind this trend."

In the book, Levy questions the values of a world in which porn star Jenna Jameson's recent memoir, How to Make Love Like a Porn Star, stayed on the US bestseller list for six weeks; a world where elite female athletes interrupt training to appear in men's magazine FHM; and where "harem-themed" reality shows such as The Bachelor,Who Wants To Marry a Millionaire? and Outback Jack portray women "in competitions, many of which involved bikinis, to show who among them was the hottest and the hungriest". She writes that the number of US women undergoing breast augmentation soared from 32,607 a year in 1992 to 264,041 in 2004. And she points to the success of Aguilera, "who titled her 2003 album Stripped, mud-wrestled in a humping fashion in her video (for the song) Dirrty, and likes to wear assless chaps".

She added it was sad that Paris Hilton "the breathing embodiment of our current, prurient, collective fixations - blondeness, hotness, richness, anti-intellectualism" - had told Rolling Stone magazine: "My boyfriends always tell me I'm not sexual. Sexy, but not sexual." "I don't think that's a great thing for us to idolise," Levy says. "Again, it's performance over pleasure. This is a person who got famous when amateur sex tapes of her were published. It would be interesting to see what she could contribute, artistically or otherwise, to the culture. "But it's not like I think she's like the devil, going to hell. I'm sure she's a nice person; it's just that I don't think we need to be looking up to her as a heroine.".......

Levy says the saddest thing she experienced researching the book was a high-school girl who told her she and her friends competed to see who looked the "skankiest". "She asked me, ‘Was it that way when you at high school?'. "I told her, ‘In my day, you always wanted to be the prettiest and most popular, and you would have been embarrassed to look slutty'. And she looked at me and said, ‘Then how did you get the guys? Charm?' She couldn't see there was any other way to relate to the opposite sex...."

Comments? Email John Ray

Lucky Britain -- to have so much "diversity"

Is Birmingham on the brink of a race war?

For years rival black gangs have waged brutal battles in the maze of streets on the neighbouring estates in Lozells, Aston and Handsworth. But there were growing fears last night that two of the most violent black gangs, the Burger Bar Boys and the Johnson Crew, may unite against Asian gangs involved in the weekend riots.

According to an internet report, the two gangs — which were involved in the New Year murders of Charlene Ellis and Letisha Shakespeare — have put their differences aside in the aftermath of the riots. A black music website called Supatrax featured an anonymous message under the heading: “One black girl raped by 19 men, one black youth dead, one Asian man dead, one police officer shot, two girls stabbed, cars getting jacked, cars on fire.” It reads: “Word outta street is that members from Johnson Crew and Burger Bar have met to call a truce to recent gang warfare and unite against any attacks from the Pakistani community. “For too long black people have had to stand by . . . this is a time to unite and stand strong not only for the justice of the young girl but also for the black community as a whole.”

Four men, all members of the Burger Boys, were found guilty of the murder of the two girls who were shot outside a party in Aston in January. Marcus Ellis, 24, Charlene’s half-brother, was among those jailed.

(Excerpt from The Times)

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Now the Greenies want to dictate what you plant in your own backyard

The following moan is about a capital city (Adelaide) of an Australian State but I am sure similar moans are coming from Greenies in many American cities too. The claim is that housing drives out wildlife -- and that claim is is just plain wrong. I live in an old inner-city suburb of another Australian State capital (Brisbane) and over the years people have planted or let grow on their properties all sorts of trees and other greenery -- so that there are in fact many more trees than houses -- and many of them are towering trees at that. And all sorts of wildlife have taken up residence in the habitats so provided. I hear all sorts of bird calls of a morning, possums thunder around in my roof at night so much that I would be scared stiff if I was not used to them. I have a blue-tongue lizard living under my front stairs that occasionally frightens my Asian tenants to death (although it is of course harmless), I once had to rescue one of my Indian tenants from a large moth that had fluttered into his room and was terrifying him and a large python (about 8' long) recently took up residence in one of the toilets here. And I see little geckoes scuttling about nearly every day. And as for tadpoles, there are plenty of toads about so all of them would have been tadpoles once. And we won't mention the spiders and wasps.

The land may have originally have been cleared but it has been recolonized with a vengeance over the last 100 years. No doubt the pattern of species at present is different to what it once was but there is life abundant here nonetheless. The passage I have highlighted in red reveals the authoritarian intentions behind this massively overblown scare.

"Seventy-five of the state's top scientists have issued an alarming warning that unless attitudes change towards Adelaide's environment, it will become an "urban wasteland" devoid of much of the plant and animal life existing today. In a groundbreaking new book, to be launched next month, the team of scientists claims that by 2036 Adelaide's range of naturally occuring flora and fauna could be reduced from thousands of species to about 100.

Adelaide, Nature of a City is the largest biodiversity analysis of a city done in the world. A team of historians, geographers, architects, biologists and social scientists spent the past three years documenting the city as a living, breathing environment. Co-editor of the book and environmental biology professor Chris Daniels says a loss of biodiversity could make quality of life "appalling". "Children could grow up in a community that's free of our natural environment, so they don't get exposed to blue tongues and tadpoles," he says. "If we lose contact with the environment, our children could grow up thinking concrete and bricks is all there is. I don't think life would be worth anything, the quality of life would be appalling."

The study comes as Adelaide's urban sprawl - now stretching across 80km in mainly single storey housing - has reached proportions exceeding Rome, Mexico and Kolkata (formerly Calcutta). The book finds that if Adelaide continues to develop without being sympathetic to the natural environment: WEEDS such as boneseed and feral olive trees will continue to overtake parks and open areas; NATIVE animals will empty from national parks; Thousands of animal species today could be reduced to a meagre 50 species of birds, 16 species of mammals, 20 reptile species and as few as two frog species by 2036.

But the authors of Adelaide, Nature of a City stress while the predictions are dire, the 600-page book empowers people to do something about it - but we need to act now. Dr Daniels said poor planning, a lack of open space, habitat clearance and new housing and city office developments which failed to consider biodiversity were killing the natural environment. "For years we have been driving out our plant and animal life, building without thinking about how it will affect the ecology," Dr Daniels said. "We are building sprawling developments, clearing native habitats and creating tiny backyards. And when we compare our open space to other cities it is not as impressive as we might think." As the cityscape becomes more dense, residential blocks decrease in size and inner city living becomes more popular, there is less green space. Already, Adelaide is the most urbanised Australian city with 1.1 million of the 1.3 million South Australians living in the metropolitan area between the Hills and the sea.

In order to avoid a desolate future, people had to realise their backyards and parks interacted with native ecosystems and had a profound impact on local biodiversity, Dr Daniels said. "What you plant, clear, build and tear down could be the difference between a species' survival and extinction. To be visionary, we must be conservationists." "

More here

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Death to the Pig

Come on you infidels in the west, bend some more, you hate yourselves so much, why should we respect you, come along now, keep bending, otherwise I'll be offended.

British banks are banning piggy banks because they may offend some Muslims. Halifax and NatWest banks have led the move to scrap the time-honoured symbol of saving from being given to children or used in their advertising, the Daily Express/Daily Star group reports here.

Salim Mulla, secretary of the Lancashire Council of Mosques, backed the bank move. "This is a sensitive issue and I think the banks are simply being courteous to their customers," he said.

Hat tip Lone Star Times

If the banks are so bloody sensitive to offence, maybe they should stop ripping people off with bank fees and other ripoff charges, in the name of insane profits. Now that will satisfy all customers, including the followers of the religion of peace and tranquility.

The strange Mark Morford

I occasionally link to the writings of far-Left San Francisco columnist Mark Morford. His rantings are so extreme, so vituperative and so ignorant (in all senses of that word) that they are usually far more amusing than anything else. His recent attack on the Duggar family however is utterly reprehensible. Somebody should fund the Duggars to sue the pants off him for claiming that they are psychologically disturbed because they have a large family. Though I am sure that the Duggars feel too full of blessings to be bothered by the screechings of Morford.

One commenter referred to Morford as "heterosexually challenged" and that did rather make things fall into place for me. There is a pervasive bitchiness and egotism among some (but not all) homosexuals which outdoes the worst of female bitchiness and egotism (and women have been very kind to me in my life so I am again not speaking of ALL women). And I think it is that extreme egotism and bitchiness that we see in Morford. And I am sure that my valued homosexual readers will recognize the phenomenon of which I speak. By the way, I always use the objective term "homosexual" rather than "gay" as I see no reason why I should make any judgment about what the characteristic mood of homosexuals is.

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A splendid bit of satire about radical feminism

Returning to Detroit from an academic conference, my head was still buzzing with what I had learned from the feminists. All of them were doing work in feminist deconstruction, and joyfully working out its implications. Following their lead, I came to see that the organized world is a text that expresses male domination. Furthermore, I understood that the male principle is domination. If that text could be deconstructed, domination itself could be overcome and the female principle -- warm, nurturant, and life-giving -- would be able to emerge.

The shuttle bus took me to long-term parking and I found my little car, waiting for me where I had left it. Without even thinking, I opened the door and began to get in. And that was when the thought hit me.

Getting into the car ... why obviously the car was a female and I, expressing a masculinity which I now understood to permeate me to my core, was about to about to enter her and use her for my own purposes in just the same way that men have used women for thousands of years.

I stepped back from her, astonished by the power of my insight. For I saw that there was a larger dimension involved than my simply entering this car at this time. Indeed, it became clear enough tome in this moment, the whole pattern of male domination over the female was present here. And this was so perhaps least of all with regard to my entering the car and forcing her to do my will. More important, I came to realize, was the fact that the car itself, while clearly female, had been interpenetrated by male desires; her beautiful feminine essence warped and degraded by the domination of the phallus.

At that point I decided that I had to deconstruct the car; not for her sake alone, nor even for the sake of all the females of which she was a part, but for myself and all males as well. Crippled and driven by our own phallic assumptions, we had been deprived of the beauty that could exist if the female principle were allowed its sway. In a small way, I saw, I could start here. I could remove the influence of male domination from this beautiful car and leave her to express her female essence in a way that she, and only she, would determine.

I began with the item that first struck my attention: the driveshaft. Driveshaft, get it? This was obviously a penis. In the trunk was a hacksaw. I took it out and began to cut through. It was hard work, and it was hot, but as I gave up my doubts and hesitancies, it was as if I had discovered a new source of energy, for the work appeared to become lighter. And, indeed, as the hacksaw bit through the last of the metal, and as the driveshaft fell away from the car, I too felt lightened, relived of a weighty burden that I had carried all my life. Now, it was plain to me, I had passed the point of no-return. I was committed by my own actions. I could not turn back......

Read the rest here

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Foolish people have allowed the Left to push them too far

"Thirteen-year-old twins Lamb and Lynx Gaede have one album out, another on the way, a music video, and lots of fans. They may remind you another famous pair of singers, the Olsen Twins, and the girls say they like that. But unlike the Olsens, who built a media empire on their fun-loving, squeaky-clean image, Lamb and Lynx are cultivating a much darker personna. They are white nationalists and use their talents to preach a message of hate.... "We're proud of being white, we want to keep being white," said Lynx. "We want our people to stay white … we don't want to just be, you know, a big muddle. We just want to preserve our race." Lynx and Lamb have been nurtured on racist beliefs since birth by their mother April. "They need to have the background to understand why certain things are happening," said April, a stay-at-home mom who no longer lives with the twins' father. "I'm going to give them, give them my opinion just like any, any parent would."

April home-schools the girls, teaching them her own unique perspective on everything from current to historical events. In addition, April's father surrounds the family with symbols of his beliefs — specifically the Nazi swastika. It appears on his belt buckle, on the side of his pick-up truck and he's even registered it as his cattle brand with the Bureau of Livestock Identification.

More here

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Throw a Leftist Halloween Party!

This was written by one of my partners in crime, Michael Cooper and it is simply too good not to share....

Hey all you leftist shitbags and commies out there,

Are you tired of not being invited to Halloween parties in your neighborhood? Does your lack of social skills make you the pariah of your town? Are you pissed at the couple down the street who won't let you in their house just because you continually refer to them as "breeders?" Well #### 'em. How about throwing your very own Leftist Halloween party?

Invite all your Trotskyite friends and Howard Dean sycophants over for a party they won't soon forget. And the great thing is, you can just be yourselves! Here are some great costume ideas:

Feminist - Get a bowl and put it over your head. Now get a pair of scissors and cut your hair, letting the bowl be your guide. Your hair should look like Moe Howard from the Three Stooges (don't worry, it will grow back). If your hair isn't already grey, dye it for the evening. Next, get some gaudy Native American jewellery and put it on. Voila! You are a modern feminist. Be sure to tell everyone within earshot that you are a lesbian. Remember, like white trashers, feminists can't shut up about their sexuality for five seconds (even when they look like you do).

Trustafarian College Student - Get a cowardly lion costume from the Wizard of Oz collection. Take out the mane and put it on your head. You are a trustafarian leftist college student. Be sure not to shave or bathe for at least a week before the party (as if you would anyway). Bring a hackey sack, Frisbee, or some dope with you to the party. Try to sound intelligent throughout the night by parroting tired clichés your Communism 101 professor told you about American "imperialism."

Islamist - Get a dirty bed sheet and wrap yourself up in it. Next, get some empty cardboard toilet paper rolls. Paint them black, and stick some string "fuses" into them. You are a member in good standing of the Religion of Peace. If you have kids, make sure you strap them up as well. Islamists love killing children, and now is your chance to show what a great dad you are. Of course, most leftists hate "breeders," so the chances of anyone with kids showing up at the party are slim to none.

Militant Vegan PETA Nazi - Dress up like a bum and carry some gasoline-soaked rags along with you. Like the trustafarian, you want to prattle on endlessly about what's wrong with America. But more importantly, you must tell every guest at the party (and especially the hosts) how much you despise them for eating meat, wearing leather, wearing faux leather, or breathing oxygen (because it kills living things). If you're feeling a little blue at the end of the party, that would be a good time to kill yourself and get the attention you never got from your mommy and daddy.

Miss America - If you're feeling particularly "beautiful," then show it! Go down to the hardware store and get all of the necessary leftist piercing accessories. You should be covered head to toe with fish hooks, nails, screws, knitting needles, and perhaps a railroad spike or two. You want to make sure you don't miss any of the requisite body parts: ears, lip, tongue, nose, eyebrow, throat, nipples, belly button, inner labia, outer labia, spleen, ovaries, intestines and womb. As the evening goes on, you may want to play a game which involves a hand-held metal detector and some of the more sexually curious lesbos and hermaphrodites at the party. Accessorize with nerdy Buddy Holly glasses and "It's my body" T-shirt.

Dalai Lama or other fad cult leader of the month - Who says leftists aren't spiritual? They will follow almost any trend that comes down the pike. Show up as the Dalai Lama, a witch, pagan, or whatever you want. Be sure to tell everyone what an expert you are on the Kabala (even though you've only been reading it for about a week). If you really want to score points, say that you're a Christian, but talk about how Christianity has spread nothing but misery and destruction across the globe.

....And here's the ultimate costume for leftists - Get some glue, a black marker, a fake scar, and about 20 bags of cotton. Glue the cotton all over your body. You should be completely covered, except for your nose and a small bald spot on the side of your head, which you will shave with an electric razor. Take a pair of old white socks and put them over your ears so they dangle down. Next, using the marker, color your nose black. By now, you should be as cute and cuddly as Lambchop. Finally, glue the fake Frankenstein scar over the bald spot on your head. You're finished! You are now one of the millions of MINDLESS SHEEP that blindly follow leftist professors, Air America, and Michael Moore. You are sure to be the hit of the party with this one. You may even get laid, provided you don't mind having sex with people who consider bathing to be harmful to the environment.

By the way, the costumes listed here (like everything else in your life) are gender neutral.

And be sure to decorate your house for that full Halloween effect. Make sure you put up several handmade "tombstones" to decry things you wish were dead like "George Bush," "Civil Rights," and "Amerikkka." It is of utmost importance that America be spelled with a "K" whenever possible (and preferably with three, because it's really funny and proves a point about something or other). If you really want to show your true colors, try throwing things at your neighbors' houses or yelling profane insults at their children when they come trick or treating. You want to stay as true to form as possible, and this is the normal SOP for any modern leftist shitbag.

Happy Halloween!

(cross-posted at The Asylum)