Monday, October 30, 2006

Suez again

I had no intention on posting on this, but there's a garbled account on the BBC (when isn't there?).

Eisenhower himself years later admitted that not supporting Eden over Suez had been his greatest foreign policy mistake...
Even as late as in November 2004, after David T Johnson of the US Embassy in London had said that America had historically been prepared "to stand by your nation, through thick and thin", a letter appeared in The Times consisting of only one word: "Suez?"
The revisionist view holds that Eden was absolutely right to resist the unilateral and practical confiscation of Britain's greatest single overseas asset, that had been bought in hard currency by Benjamin Disraeli in 1875.
I think we can date a lot of our problems from this moment. France's departure from NATO, British anti-Americanism, Israel's current peril and
...Over-hasty decolonisation, which brought vicious civil wars and dictatorships to much of Africa over the next three decades, ...

Also,
...There was nothing inevitable about Muslim fundamentalist and Arab nationalist victories in places like Iran, Iraq and Libya in the 1960s and 1970s.
So maybe we should blame many of our current troubles on Eisenhower's misplaced anti-Imperialism. But then again, who cares? It's too late to fix it. There's no use crying over spilt milk. Least said, soonest mended. Water under the bridge.

Urban warfare

This all sounds like a collection of self-fulfilling prophecies. Life is hell, so we riot, so life is hell. Of course, that misses out the Islamist connection. But don't expect the BBC to mention that.

Despite these paragraphs:

"Operations are planned by senior commanders, with underlings making emergency calls and the foot soldiers carrying out the assaults," he says.

And the icing on the cake is filming the whole thing with your mobile phone."


it's about deprived youth. Nothing else!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Muslim solidarity and veiled threats

The MCB (Muslim Council of Britain [no `Great': clearly, in their opinion that would imply something positive about the country in which they live]) have now had some time to bring forth their considered response to the veils row.
I've just spotted the response on their website. It's very helpful. I don't mean that in the welcoming sense. I mean it in the, deeply revealing, "let's reject all this criticism and see if we can get away with it" sense.

The full text is here, but I'll comment on most of it.
  • The veil, irrespective of its specific juristic rulings, is an Islamic practice and not a cultural or a customary one as is agreed by the consensus of Muslim scholars; it is not open to debate.
I almost feel that no comment is required. Let's get this straight, the veil or niqab, which is banned in several Islamic countries such as Tunisia, Turkey and (some would say) Egypt [note the casual death threats in the linked article], is not open to debate in the UK. It's an Islamic practice (check that article again and see the claim that it predates Islam by several centuries in the Arab peninsula).

Second:
  • We advise all Muslims to exercise extreme caution in this issue, since denying any part of Islam may lead to disbelief. Not practicing something enjoined by Allah and His Messenger (Salla-Allahu alaihi wa sallam) - regardless its legal status (i.e., whether obligatory, recommended or praiseworthy) - is a shortcoming; denying it is much more serious. Allah says in the Qur’an: ‘It is not for a believer, man or woman, that they should have any option in their decision when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger has indeed strayed in a plain error.’ [translation of 33:36]
This is the first/main veiled threat - "you are verging upon apostasy if you deny [any part of] Islam; and the veil is part of Islam. Remember what happens to apostates"

Third:
  • we urge all members of the Muslim community to keep this debate within the realms of scholarly discussion amongst the people of knowledge and authority in the Muslim community. Allah says in the Qur’an, ‘When there comes to them news of some matter touching (public) safety or fear, they spread it (among the people); if only they had referred it to the Messenger or to those charged with authority among them, the proper investigators would have understood it from them (directly).’ [translation of 4:83] In another Quranic verse, we read the following instruction, ‘So ask those who know if you know not.’ [translation of 16:43 and 21:7]
Got it? "Muslims will stick together and need to seek guidance from Islamic scholars in authority. To do otherwise is also to reject Islam."

Fourth:
  • We would like to call upon all members of the Muslim community to show solidarity against criticising the veil or any other Islamic practice as this might prove to be a stepping-stone towards further restrictions. Today the veil, tomorrow it could be the beard, jilbab and thereafter the headscarf! Such a strategy, unfortunately, has been widely used by many European countries. Similarly, we feel that this campaign may be employed to gauge the response of the Muslim community. Therefore, our reply should be firm, sending a clear and powerful message to those who are trying to promote the banning of the veil or any other common Islamic practice. We, the Muslim community, will not tolerate such attitudes nor will we compromise on our values and common customs. All Muslim women, especially those who wear the veil, should play a major role in this response since their voice will be the most effective.
"Muslims will stick together, otherwise they shave off our beards. Send the message - no compromise, let's live in Britain (the land of compromise, the place where if someone steps on your foot accidentally you're supposed to apologise) but let's not compromise about anything."

Fifth:
  • we believe that the level of discomfort caused [to non-Muslims] is insignificant, particularly when compared to the discomfort and problems that result from other common and less widely condemned practices such as sexual promiscuity, nudity and alcohol consumption by other segments of society.
OK. That's a resounding "we don't like what they do a lot more than they don't like what we do, so in a spirit of tolerance let's agree to dislike everything each other does, nyaah!. Oh, and by the way, we don't like dogs either."

Sixth:
  • The unexpected and ruthless reaction of the media over the past few weeks on this issue gives an indication that there is a political agenda behind this campaign. It is very disappointing that the media and many politicians dealt with this issue as if it is the greatest national concern. This becomes more apparent when observing the already tense climate facing Muslims, which is contributing towards creating hostility in the wider society against the Muslim community. Therefore, Muslims should take this matter seriously and defend the veil with all their ability. This could be a battle of “to be or not to be” for Muslims in the UK. We urge all brothers and sisters to strive in countering these attacks by utilising the various avenues open to them including sending letters to the relevant authorities, their MPs, human rights activists, and so on. The most important guideline to observe is to react in a wise, sensible and responsible manner and avoid any action that might be used as an excuse for furthering any unfavourable agenda.
That translates as "we've been knifed in the back by our fairweather friends in the media. So it's a "to be or not to be" moment [that's a moment when a troubled Western christian prince decides whether to face dealing with his father's murderer - clearly not a problem in an honour -based culture]. Stick together now or you (fundamentalist Muslims) are in big trouble."

Seventh:
  • We would like to advise the sisters who observe the veil/niqab in the work-place or in educational premises to avoid making it a matter of dispute between them and their employers or school authority. Such disputes will attract more unnecessary media attention, and thus may cause various negative consequences including the imposition of certain dress codes in work places, and in turn, used as justification to legislate further restrictions on wearing it in other areas.

This I take to mean: "even though the issue is one of Islamic practice, keep your head down for now, and we'll push the issue with the kaffirs again later. Declare a truce."

and lastly:

  • Finally, let it be noted that we appreciate the noticeable level of understanding and tolerance shown by considerable parts of the wider society towards many Islamic practices. However, we ask all society to deal with the Muslim community without prejudice, and to exercise genuine openness and tolerance towards Islamic practices, even those they may not like, as this is the real test of tolerance to others. Furthermore, we urge people to be supportive for a woman’s right to wear the veil as on one hand, this complies with the values upon which western civilization was founded - the protection of human and religious rights; and on the other hand, these practices aim to promote values of modesty, decency and good-manners all of which should be the aspiration of any peaceful society.
This is a wonderful paragraph, and the only one that is addressed outside the Umma. "We really appreciate how you tolerate us, we won't tolerate you and you can only tell if you're being tolerant if you really don't like what we do."
This is the von Sacher Masoch definition of tolerance.

So, in conclusion, remember kids: modesty, decency and good-manners (oh, and taqiyya).

Friday, October 27, 2006

Gyurscany - is it an anagram?

Events in Hungary seem rather under-reported here:


Around 100 people were hospitalised after Monday's violence which began when police moved to evict a protest camp from outside parliament in central Budapest.

It turned into a 12-hour street battle between police and thousands of mostly far-right anti-government protesters...

The BBC's Nick Thorpe reports from Budapest that accusations of police brutality have been coming thick and fast.

The main opposition Fidesz party has called for the resignation of Budapest's police chief Peter Gergenyi.

He denies his men used excessive force and has been backed by the governing socialists and liberals.

Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurscany has already called for an investigation, but said it needed to wait until tensions in the capital had eased.

There have been protests demanding Mr Gyurscany's resignation for nearly six weeks.

On 17 September a recording was leaked of Mr Gyurscany admitting he lied to win re-election.

He insists the protests will not affect his government and it will press ahead with economic reform measures.


`Thousands of far-right protesters' eh?An investigation when the tensions have eased? The thing is, why should anyone believe anything Gyurscany a
nd his party say? He's already proved that he can lie for Europe. Indeed, he should clearly be competing with Baron Munchausen.

Result misery

PC David Copperfield has recently published much of his blog. It's amazingly funny and painfully revealing. What he writes jibes very well with what my friend in the police force service tells me.
One little quote [on not reading e-mails about dealing with terrorism]:
`Even now this post is being read by Al-Qaeda members in their caves, “Look Mohammed, the British police do not even read their e-mails. Let us strike now while the infidel is sleeping.” '

Another brick in the wall

OK. Charles Johnson has an outrageous post about the French foreign minister. I normally believe everything I read at Little Green Footballs, but this is just too outrageous to be true.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

We are all in Room 101

Reading some posts at Samizdata, as everyone should, I came across this post by Paul Marks and realised that the End Times were upon us.
Local councilors cannot even oppose these people as any written or verbal counter attack could be seen as 'bringing the council into disrepute' by the Local Government Standards Board - this body has hit councilors in other places for daring to speak against the administrators.

I also followed the link to this article in The Ecologist by Robin Page, who's just about to undergo `retraining'. It's so good to see left-wing fascism in operation. What I want to know is how long it will be before the country explodes in rage.

Time for a change

Two excellent posts at New Sisyphus:
the first on devolution and where it's getting us (deeply annoyed) . The second on the need for a leader. I particularly like his first couple of paragraphs.

The atheist church militant

Reading stuff from One Cosmos, I came across this post. Atheism is so banal. As the Pope was trying to say, it's only the theists who've given humanity the idea of rationality and predictability at all. Without this, the atheists are left confronting the abyss. But, being atheists, they simply say that the abyss is something we're not allowed to think about. Richard Dawkins (a pet hate of mine, since most UK journalists seem to think he has divine attributes) does this particularly well.

Somehow the post at One Cosmos also made me think of this one of mine.
Sometimes I think that the most destructive people are those who feel vaguely self-satisfied.
Is this why the classical "guilty protestant" has achieved so much?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Toilet-paper economics

Jeff Randall (he of the BBC bias leak) writes in the Telegraph:

An ICM poll of 1,000 UK companies shows that 52pc of chief executives think the European Union is failing; 60pc believe the UK should renegotiate its involvement in the EU to free trade only; and 54pc insist that over-regulation by the EU is outweighing "the benefits" of the single market.

Additional misery is heaped on the pro-Brussels lobby by figures which reveal that, far from being disadvantaged outside the euro-zone, the UK won more inward investment last year than any other country. Great Britain and Northern Ireland attracted $165bn from overseas, compared with the United States's $100bn and France's $40bn.

He has a way with words, does Jeff:

If anything, keeping the pound has enhanced our desirability. The idea of ramming Britain into a European super-state, via a synthetic currency, was flawed on several levels.

Politically, it ran counter to the wishes of the domestic majority; financially, it was underpinned by toilet-paper economics.

How we wish they were here-the Australian speaks

I'm unashamedly reproducing the editorial from the Australian

Editorial: The veiled conceit of multiculturalism

October 24, 2006

A misinformed tolerance finally hits its limits in Britain

HOW tolerant must a free society be of those who are intolerant of the values it holds dear? This question is at the heart of a controversy that has flared up in Britain over the past fortnight concerning Muslim women who wear nikabs, burkas and other face coverings that allow little more than the eyes to be seen. Two weeks ago, former British foreign minister Jack Straw, writing in his local newspaper, criticised Muslim women who covered their faces, saying the practice maked "better, positive relations" between communities "more difficult". He added that the veil was a "visible statement of separation and of difference". And although his remarks were sensationalised, in pointing out that the multicultural emperor is wearing not too few clothes but too many Mr Straw largely won applause. Senior Labour politicians rushed to echo his concerns. Newspapers cheered the opening of debate and Tony Blair himself offered his support, calling the veil a "mark of separation". Not long afterwards, a Muslim teaching assistant in a British school was suspended for wearing a veil that allowed only her eyes to be seen, on the grounds that hiding her face hurt her communication with students. In this case as well, reaction to the school's decision has been largely positive. Many Britons are concerned that multicultural policies that have discouraged assimilation have divided their society and created what one commentator called a "voluntary apartheid". In the age of terrorism, this is a worrisome trend, especially considering that a recent survey of British Muslims suggested 100,000 of them felt the 7/7 attacks were justified and that one in five felt little or no loyalty to Britain.

The debate over the veil is not confined to Britain. It is an important one for any Western country with a sizeable community of Islamic immigrants, including Australia - though we have, happily, been far more successful at integrating Muslim newcomers than many other Western European nations and the veil is not the feature of public life here that it is there. But when women wear headcoverings that hide the face, they are committing a powerful act that has political as well as religious overtones and which sends a message that many people find threatening. Many justifications have been offered for the veil. Speaking recently in Sydney, Munira Mirza, a young British Muslim woman, told The Australian that schoolgirls were wearing head coverings as a statement about Western oppression. On the other side of the spectrum, the veil can be worn as a mark of superiority that makes women who dress less modestly by the standards of the veil-wearer seem less moral, or as a way for men to control their wives and other women in their families. At its most dangerous, this thinking can be seen in the Sydney gang-rapes crisis, when Muslim youths felt their victims deserved their fates because of the way they dressed and behaved. It can even be used as a justification for terrorism. The philosophical basis for groups such as al-Qa'ida largely hinges on the idea that non-Muslims must convert or die to hasten the advent of an entire world under Islam, and veils are one way of indicating who is in the elect. Finally, some Muslim women claim that the veil is a liberating force, or that it is an inherent part of their cultural identity. But no matter the justification, the question remains whether a practice with its roots and justification in medieval Arabia has a place in a postmodern secular society such as Australia. Religious beliefs are by definition sacred, and as much as possible they should be a private matter. But when an individual or a community feels that their personal practices should trump widely held values while also setting themselves apart, the question arises as to whether those people would not be more comfortable in a place where such behaviour is the norm.

At its heart is the question of where tolerance should end and the old adage, "When in Rome, do as the Romans", should kick in. While tolerance is certainly a positive virtue that should be strived for, it cannot be a cultural suicide pact. A culture that is tolerant of those who are intolerant of its freedoms is ripe for destruction, and bit by bit will see all it values eroded. And radical Islam knows this. Just as an Australian wouldn't go to Saudi Arabia to wear a bikini on the beach and drink beer in the corner pub, those who see the proper role of women as subservient, anonymous and under cover should not expect a postmodern secular democracy such as Britain or Australia to accommodate these beliefs. Australians, who quite properly want their daughters, sisters, wives and mothers to be able to achieve anything, are right to feel uncomfortable about religiously mandated coverings and the limits they imply. We do not allow practices such as female genital mutilation simply because they are practiced by an immigrant "other". Disappointingly, those who have traditionally been a positive force for the liberation of women against oppression in other spheres have here largely been silent on the question of Islam's beliefs concerning half of humanity.

If it is true that the past is another country, then what confronts the West today is not so much a clash of civilisations as a clash of centuries. The jumbo jets that have enabled the mass immigration from Muslim countries to the West are, in effect, time machines that have brought millions of people from a pre-Enlightenment world - where men are the unquestioned bosses, stoning and forced amputation are punishments rather than crimes, and sectarian differences are worth dying over - to secular, liberal and postmodern democracies such as ours. Integration in such circumstances will be difficult but should not be shied away from, even if it means newcomers will have to adapt. Mainstream British politicians have done a great service by opening a debate on this subject. Government-supported ethnic essentialism ultimately leads to segregation - anathema to an immigrant nation such as ours whose success lies in the adoption of common values rather than the preservation of divisive behaviours. In the debate over values, far better that we appeal to our shared humanity rather than encourage behaviours that seek to demonstrate separateness and superiority.

Terror Universities?

Speaking as someone who works in a UK university, I'm quite worried about possible jihadi recruitment on campus. Marc Shulman at Amercian Future posts on an article by Anthony Glees on this topic.
The THES seemed quite pleased that the lecturers said no to the government's proposal.

The bit that I particularly liked is this one:

Martha Mundy, a lecturer [Reader, to be precise] at the London School of Economics, dismissed the government plans as having "an overtly security-research agenda" starting from the (false) premise that there is a "link between Islamism, radicalization and terrorism."


This comment really should receive the Osama bin Laden fellow-travelling golden niqab award.

It's good to see the LSE living up to its usual high standards.

Let the coalition bell the cat - Musharraf

Rediff India Abroad has the following article:

Disagreeing with the United Kingdom army chief's suggestion that British troops be withdrawn from Iraq as their presence worsened security problems, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has said premature withdrawal of coalition troops would have adverse impact on the region.

"I do not agree at all," he said last night while commenting on British army chief General Richard Dannat's views.

Musharraf was speaking at the release of the Urdu translation of his autobiography, In the Line of Fire at a function in Islamabad. The Urdu version of the book is titled Subse Pehla Pakistan (Pakistan First).

"Troops withdrawal (from Iraq) will have far-reaching and negative impact on the region and on the world," he said calling for a careful analysis of implications of such a move.

Dannatt had recently said, "I don't say that the difficulties we are experiencing round the world are caused by our presence in Iraq, but undoubtedly our presence in Iraq exacerbates them.

"I think history will show that the planning for what happened after the initial successful war fighting phase was poor, probably based more on optimism than sound planning," he said.

Why do I get the feeling Musharraf is deperate?


Sunday, October 22, 2006

Paying to be attacked

The BBC seems to be `considering its position'. Of course, this is not for public consumption. However, thanks to Freedom Fighter from JOSHUAPUNDIT, I've seen the article in the Evening Standard:

We are biased, admit the stars of BBC News

Political pundit Andrew Marr said: 'The BBC is not impartial or neutral. It's a publicly funded, urban organisation with an abnormally large number of young people, ethnic minorities and gay people.'

I'm not going to go on at length, you've got the link. All I can say is that reading this in black and white made me very, very happy.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Kill the beast?

This (hat tip USS Neverdock) is mind-boggling, or would be if we weren't all used to it:
Manchester's leading Imam has confirmed that he thinks the execution of sexually active gay men is justified. Mr. Arshad Misbahi, who is based at the Manchester Central Mosque, confirmed his views in a conversation to Dr John Casson, a local psychotherapist.
Having read the article, I think the blessed imam very carefully steers a course which is technically legal. He only advocates killing gay men in an "Islamic state". Still, it would be nice to think that the British police were looking into it. What, of course, is more likely is that they would investigate me if I were to mention it to them. Moreover, I don't think I'm entitled to complain if they don't.

Follow-up on the hostage-taking president

Following straight on from the previous post, here's a wonderful cartoon from Cox&Forkum which says nearly everything about Iran's 11 and a halfth imam.

We can't be all bad...

if the glorious president of Iran feels moved to threaten us like this:
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has warned Europe that it may pay a heavy price for its support of Israel.

"You should believe that this regime (Israel) cannot last and has no more benefit to you. What benefit have you got in supporting this regime, except the hatred of the nations?" he said in nationally broadcast speech Friday.

"We have advised the Europeans that the Americans are far away, but you are the neighbors of the nations in this region," he said.

"We inform you that the nations are like an ocean that is welling up, and if a storm begins, the dimensions will not stay limited to Palestine, and you may get hurt."

I have to say that when I look around me I can't say I see much support for Israel, but clearly I'm mistaken. The Prez is seeing lots and he doesn't like it. In fact he likes it so little he's threatening us with his medium range missiles! Perhaps he's also thinking of the ones that Russia is still helping Iran develop.

On a lighter note, do you think he was just back from the clown convention in Mexico city? The dates fit. One imagines diary entries something like this:

  • Monday-Thursday 16-19 October Clown Convention. Don't forget nose! Be yourself!
  • Friday 20 October Be back for prayers in Tehran. Threaten Europeans for talking to the Zionist entity (be subtle). Check on progress of Shahab 5. Note to self: can we fit custard pies?

Friday, October 20, 2006

France - feckless and reckless

I assume that you know about l'affaire Al Durah,
well now any residual faith in the French system is shattered -

Against the advice of the floor [i.e., the Procureur] who recommended dropping the charges, the judges condemned Philippe Karsenty, the animator of the websit Media Ratings (www.M-R.fr) for “public defamation” of Charles Enderlin and France2.


I still find this hard to credit (even from a country that bombed the Rainbow Warrior, sold exocets to the Argentinian junta, armed Saddam Hussein, and instituted the reign of Terror .
"The fact that France2 offered no defense other than that they are honorable reporters and offered no witnesses or evidence means that the fix was in even before the trial. Whether the French court feared Muslim reaction, or responded to outright bribery or the power of the media, the court has failed and shown itself to be feckless, as well as reckless."

Down the drain

This is why a lot of us have some trouble with the "give more now" chorus:

Nigerian leaders 'stole' $380bn

More than $380bn has either been stolen or wasted by Nigerian governments since independence in 1960, the chief corruption fighter has said.

Nuhu Ribadu told the BBC that Nigeria has "nothing much" to show for the missing money.

We really don't like the idea of funding kleptocracies.


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Give me liberty or give me ID!

I decided to look at the Times Online.
What a good idea!

First this comment by Guy Herbert of NO2ID.
I had an argument about this at work. All the overseas staff and graduate students wanted to know what I was talking about - how could anyone object to ID cards?
Half the UK staff agreed. The other half stopped to think when I reminded them of the number of mistakes they've encountered when dealing with bureaucracy. Then they came fully 'round when I reminded them how long it took the Nazis to take over in Germany.
Tyranny is only ever a few steps away and if the tyrants can track and identify you at will you're in big trouble. The only good news is that the technology is awful. Or rather OK if you want it to confirm that someone is who they say they are, and truly useless (think 25% success rate) when you want to ask "who is this?"

And then there was this rather classy article by Daniel Finkelstein, in which he discusses the imminent release of Sir Hayden Phillips' interim report on the funding of political parties. And, as he says, it's not going to matter a damn.
Well, that's not quite true, since it's probably going to give rise to unpopular political parties ripping us off even more than before but, and here's the point at which Finkelstein failed to pursue his own logic, with everyone pursuing their own agenda and releasing their own party political broadcasts on You Tube, parties will disappear!
I think that's a wonderful idea. Parties are the killers of principle: they render the pursuit of power for its own sake the sole goal of politics. They encourage the dissipation of principle, the dilution of enterprise and the supression of brilliance in favour of stultifying conformity.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Rage, rage against the dying of the fight

It's all getting a bit tricky for the anger management lot, as this news item shows:

An internet user has been found guilty of what police said was Britain's first "web-rage" attack.

Paul Gibbons, 47, tracked down John Jones using details obtained online after the pair exchanged insults in an internet chatroom, a court heard.

He travelled 70 miles to Mr Jones' home in Clacton, Essex, and beat him up with a pickaxe handle in December 2005.

Gibbons, of Southwark, south London, admitted unlawful wounding and will be sentenced on 7 November.

Interestingly the chatroom was called Yahoo, Islam 10.

You couldn't make it up really-the confluence of the mindless rage of the British underclass and Islamic amour propre. This is why the Al-Qaeda tactic of prison recruitment is so successful, so many of the underclass are filled with unfocused rage (for details consult this wonderful book).

One convert is suppose to have said: "it's wonderful...you don't 'ave to fink any more. Vey even tell yer what hand to wash yer bum wiv."

Monday, October 16, 2006

The centre cannot hold

According to JOSHUAPUNDIT, Iraq is heading for partition. Nearly everyone would breathe a sigh of relief if that happened, but I have my doubts, as does the AP article that Freedom Fighter references, whether that relief would be justified for long. Still, one feels that it can't get much worse for the avearge Iraqi. Then one stops and thinks "it was much worse-it's just we've been being told for 3 years what a bad job the coalition is doing that we've begun to believe it." Now I have come to believe that the coalition is attempting an impossible job, but I think that on the ground the armed forces are really doing pretty well.

I sign off in confusion-read the link!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Smarter than your average cop - a liberal dose of fisking

I was just having a quick look at alumni of the Watcher's Council and came across The Smarter Cop - New! Clearly he's not been posting much recently but the latest post is excellent: it's a fisking of this article from the Chicago Tribune.
Personally, I reach for my pistol when I read sentences like:
Liberals believe individuals should doubt their own truths and consider fairly and open-mindedly the truths of others.
Truth is truth and is not to be confused with one-sided opinion. Actually, come to think of it, that might be a very good habit to acquire: try substituting the phrase for "truth". We could start with the misquotation of the BBC's slogan:
Nation shall speak one-sided opinion unto nation.
or
An Inconvenient One-sided Opinion
or
The 9/11 one-sided opinion movement

Hmmm, seems to fit rather well.

The article is written by a law professor who says that liberals support:
freedom of choice for women, apple pie, free and open debate, the civil rights movement, affirmative action, spoon-bending, UFOs, expansion of the franchise to those with green skin, a more vibrant freedom of speech, mothers, a woman's right to choose, the outcasts of society, Dan Rather, people with exploding shoes, a broad application of the right to due process of law, government ... help[ing] those who are less fortunate, government programs to improve health care, education, social security, job training and welfare for the neediest members of society, freedom of religion; referring to people we don't like by silly and insulting names, attacking gays if they're not on our side, alien abductions, spending lots of your money. Liberals adhere to the view expressed by Brandeis some 80 years ago: "Those who won our independence ... did not exalt order at the cost of liberty."

I may have got a few of these wrong, but my principles are in the right place so that doesn't matter.

I have to quote the last paragraph of the fisking:
So there you have it... the 10 liberal principles with a response for each one. I can summarize the whole list this way: Rights only apply when we agree, lip service is all we need to give, and nobody REALLY hates us, so why should we even bother to find out?


Hamas and the Beeb

In the interests of something or other, I thought I'd mention the Have Your Say response to the latest question from the BBC. It's quite interesting.
Here are the questions:

Is this the beginning of the end for Hamas in power?

Work in all ministries was suspended on Monday in protest at attacks on government buildings.

Thousands of public sector workers are desperate after going without full salaries for months because the government cannot afford to pay them.

The international community put pressure on Hamas to recognise Israel by cutting off funding even before it assumed office in March.

Factional fighting between Fatah and Hamas have left at least ten people dead since Sunday.

Can Hamas and Fatah set aside their differences and share power? Who do you blame for the recent violence in Gaza and the West Bank? Will US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's visit to the region this week help to restore calm?



I'm not going to do it for you, but, if you organise by "most recommended", opinions on the first few pages seem to be split about 50-50 as to whether it's the evil West or the evil Middle East which is to blame.

Nigerian spammers chase ladies

Harry Hutton at the imaginatively named Chase me ladies, I'm in the cavalry has exacted retribution from at least one fraudulent Nigerian spammer. The detail are here and they are wonderful.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

What Can I Do?

You can write to your MP (if you live and vote in the UK). Why not? It's so easy even I've done it.
Here's the link. Do it now! Go on. It won't hurt a bit.

Non-PC PC?

Having been reading the Policeman's Blog for a while, I'm delighted to see this article in the online Daily Mail by PC David Copperfield:

Policeman's blog lifts lid on diversity madness

I'm not sure I thought it was going to be quite that exciting or glamorous when I joined up, but I certainly had visions of nicking lots of criminals and keeping the streets safe.

It turns out, it isn't quite like that. The signs were there on my first day at training school. I joined the job in my late 20s, a graduate and a married man with a mortgage to pay and several years working in industry behind me.

Three days later, we were still talking about prejudice and discrimination; burglars had to wait while we set about changing the racist, homophobic and male-dominated world in which we lived.

It's well-worth a read.

More than a little biased?

On a separate note, I find this (from the Daily Mail) virtually impossible to believe.

According to Codie, the five - four boys and a girl - then began talking in a language she didn't understand, thought to be Urdu, so she went to speak to the teacher.

"I said 'I'm not being funny, but can I change groups because I can't understand them?' But she started shouting and screaming, saying 'It's racist, you're going to get done by the police'."

...

A complaint was made to a police officer based full-time at the school, and more than a week after the incident on September 26 she was taken to Swinton police station and placed under arrest.

"They told me to take my laces out of my shoes and remove my jewellery, and I had my fingerprints and photograph taken," said Codie. "It was awful."

After questioning on suspicion of committing a section five racial public order offence, her mother Nicola says she was placed in a bare cell for three-and-a-half hours then released without charge.

No, you can't complain to the IPCC, I've checked (note the absence of the question mark):

Who can make a complaint against the police

You can make a complaint if you are a member of the public who:

  • Has been the victim of the misconduct by a person serving with the police. Misconduct could include a police officer or member of police staff being rude to you or using excessive force. It could also include unlawful arrest or an abuse of your rights. For more information please see the police code of conduct.
  • Was present when the alleged misconduct took place, or close enough to see or hear the misconduct, and as a result suffered loss, damage, distress or inconvenience, or was put in danger or at risk.
  • Is a friend or relative of the victim of the alleged misconduct, distressed by the effects of the incident on the victim.
  • Has witnessed the alleged misconduct.
  • Is acting on behalf of any of the above. Please note that if you would like someone to make a complaint on your behalf, you must give them your consent in writing unless they are from a body such as a Citizens Advice Bureau.

I don't think I have to say any more.

The Palestinian Juggernaut Rumbles On

In an Op-Ed on the Washington Institute website, Ehud Yari points out some painful truths.

One of the obscured truths is that an unprecedented arms-acquisition effort is under way in the Gaza Strip. Close to 20 tons of standard explosives have been smuggled in since Israel withdrew last summer. Thousands of RPG grenade launchers and large quantities of rifles, pistols and grenades are coming in through the tunnels under the Philadelphi Route, separating the Strip from Egypt. Several Katyusha rocket launchers, like those used by Hizballah against northern Israel, are already in the hands of Hamas and other terror groups. It is only a matter of time before they also get hold of shoulder-launched anti-aircraft rockets and, even more troubling, third generation anti-tank missiles, like the Russian Koronet. Such weaponry will enable the terrorists to effectively target vehicles and structures 3-4 kms. inside Israel, and not to have to depend on their primitive high-trajectory Qassam rockets. Also under way is a feverish campaign to dig tunnels into Israel under the security barrier around the Strip, with the aim of facilitating terror attacks in Israel.

What all this means is that the Israeli government will have to decide sooner rather than later whether to implement the recommendation of the army and the security services to retake the area along the border between the PA and Egypt. Such a move will entail operating inside residential neighborhoods of the city of Rafiah, and will once again turn the Gaza Strip into a sealed-off enclave. The diplomatic harvest that Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert hoped to reap from the withdrawal will simply wither away. The alternative is for Gaza to continue becoming a huge stockpile of weapons and ammunition that must ultimately explode, with disastrous consequences.


You might also like to contemplate what Sir Henry Morgan has to say at RECONQUISTA.

Never mind "why are we in Iraq?", why are we here?

OK, now I've read a bit more of what Sir Richard Dannatt had to say and it's quite eye-opening:

Sir Richard warned that the consequences will be felt at home, where failure to support Christian values is allowing a predatory Islamist vision to take hold.

He said: "When I see the Islamist threat in this country I hope it doesn’t make undue progress because there is a moral and spiritual vacuum in this country."

"Our society has always been embedded in Christian values; once you have pulled the anchor up there is a danger that our society moves with the prevailing wind."

"There is an element of the moral compass spinning. I think it is up to society to realise that is the situation we are in."

"We can’t wish the Islamist challenge to our society away and I believe that the army both in Iraq and Afghanistan and probably wherever we go next, is fighting the foreign dimension of the challenge to our accepted way of life."

"We need to face up to the Islamist threat, to those who act in the name of Islam and in a perverted way try to impose Islam by force on societies that do not wish it."

"It is said that we live in a post Christian society. I think that is a great shame. The broader Judaic-Christian tradition has underpinned British society. It underpins the British army."

You've got to deal with the whole picture, and that's what he's saying. We can't merely worry about external threats, we have to worry about the undermining of the very basis of our civilisation!

It's Iraq, Dannatt

EU Referendum has a devastating post on the British Army and Iraq:

"What none of these prattling children [the MSM] even begin to do, though, is examine – much less evaluate – the issues to which Dannatt spoke. And, in endorsing his call for a "phased extraction", the neglect of years is returning to haunt them. Atrophied through years of under-use, their limited brains are quite unable to grasp that the UK is already in the process of withdrawal from Iraq and is seeking to complete the process as fast as is politically and humanly possible.

That is the missing element – the spectre at the feast. It has been brought about by the fact that the British Army is not and has not been for some time up to the task of maintaining order in Southern Iraq. The "best soldiers in the world" are very far from the best – and not even "good enough". That we have, "the best Army in the world" comes from exactly the same stable as, "our NHS is the envy of the world" – with about as much foundation.

Like every other British employer, the Army is struggling with the aftermath of the collapse in the education system, having to deal with recruits of low educational attainment at a time when the technical demands on individual soldiers are increasing."


I'm not in a position to comment (too ignorant) but it rings depressingly true. The British Army has always been underequipped (I know that much).

Friday, October 13, 2006

Basra

It sounds so exotic and attractive, doesn't it? Basra, I mean.

This is what the BBC says:
"The Shia militias will hope to upset these calculations so that they might claim credit for driving the British from the city and in Basra today, there is a definite sense that the end game has begun. "

The British Army wants to leave. They don't think they can do much any more. I don't know if they're right, but they probably know what they're talking about. I have to say that I think they'd probably be doing a better job if they were in Iran

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Postmodern economics as revealed to Clovis

As promised, Clovis returns over at wayofthewest.
Go to wayofthewest and click Postmodern Economics in What's New.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

North Korea: the Beeb says it's all our fault

This is what a background article on the BBC website has to say:

"Existing sanctions against North Korea have already taken their toll on the country's economy.
"

In many rural areas, daily life is a basic struggle for enough to eat.

The World Food Programme estimates more than a third of the country's children are chronically malnourished.

The economy is clearly in crisis.

North Korea simply cannot produce enough food to feed its population. And at the same time, it is seeing exports dwindle.

Japan used to be an important market for fish and textiles, but Tokyo's latest sanctions have ended that."

What a wonderful twist. Nothing about the 500,000 tons of food aid from the US, no comment about exporting fish, nothing about the disastrous command economy, nothing about the diversion of food to the military (over 1.1 million active soldiers in a population of roughly 23 million and costing 22.9% 0f GDP). No, as usual, it's America and the West's fault.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Lepanto or "Here's one I forgot"

Lepanto

by G K Chesterton


White founts falling in the Courts of the sun,
And the Soldan of Byzantium is smiling as they run;
There is laughter like the fountains in that face of all men feared,
It stirs the forest darkness, the darkness of his beard;
It curls the blood-red crescent, the crescent of his lips;
For the inmost sea of all the earth is shaken with his ships.
They have dared the white republics up the capes of Italy,
They have dashed the Adriatic round the Lion of the Sea,
And the Pope has cast his arms abroad for agony and loss,
And called the kings of Christendom for swords about the Cross.
The cold queen of England is looking in the glass;
The shadow of the Valois is yawning at the Mass;
From evening isles fantastical rings faint the Spanish gun,
And the Lord upon the Golden Horn is laughing in the sun.

Dim drums throbbing, in the hills half heard,
Where only on a nameless throne a crownless prince has stirred,
Where, risen from a doubtful seat and half attainted stall,
The last knight of Europe takes weapons from the wall,
The last and lingering troubadour to whom the bird has sung,
That once went singing southward when all the world was young.
In that enormous silence, tiny and unafraid,
Comes up along a winding road the noise of the Crusade.
Strong gongs groaning as the guns boom far,
Don John of Austria is going to the war,
Stiff flags straining in the night-blasts cold
In the gloom black-purple, in the glint old-gold,
Torchlight crimson on the copper kettle-drums,
Then the tuckets, then the trumpets, then the cannon, and he comes.
Don John laughing in the brave beard curled,
Spurning of his stirrups like the thrones of all the world,
Holding his head up for a flag of all the free.
Love-light of Spain--hurrah!
Death-light of Africa!
Don John of Austria
Is riding to the sea.

Mahound is in his paradise above the evening star,
(Don John of Austria is going to the war.)
He moves a mighty turban on the timeless houri's knees,
His turban that is woven of the sunsets and the seas.
He shakes the peacock gardens as he rises from his ease,
And he strides among the tree-tops and is taller than the trees;
And his voice through all the garden is a thunder sent to bring
Black Azrael and Ariel and Ammon on the wing.
Giants and the Genii,
Multiplex of wing and eye,
Whose strong obedience broke the sky
When Solomon was king.

They rush in red and purple from the red clouds of the morn,
From the temples where the yellow gods shut up their eyes in scorn;
They rise in green robes roaring from the green hells of the sea
Where fallen skies and evil hues and eyeless creatures be,
On them the sea-valves cluster and the grey sea-forests curl,
Splashed with a splendid sickness, the sickness of the pearl;
They swell in sapphire smoke out of the blue cracks of the ground,--
They gather and they wonder and give worship to Mahound.
And he saith, "Break up the mountains where the hermit-folk can hide,
And sift the red and silver sands lest bone of saint abide,
And chase the Giaours flying night and day, not giving rest,
For that which was our trouble comes again out of the west.
We have set the seal of Solomon on all things under sun,
Of knowledge and of sorrow and endurance of things done.
But a noise is in the mountains, in the mountains, and I know
The voice that shook our palaces--four hundred years ago:
It is he that saith not 'Kismet'; it is he that knows not Fate;
It is Richard, it is Raymond, it is Godfrey at the gate!
It is he whose loss is laughter when he counts the wager worth,
Put down your feet upon him, that our peace be on the earth."
For he heard drums groaning and he heard guns jar,
(Don John of Austria is going to the war.)
Sudden and still--hurrah!
Bolt from Iberia!
Don John of Austria
Is gone by Alcalar.

St. Michaels on his Mountain in the sea-roads of the north
(Don John of Austria is girt and going forth.)
Where the grey seas glitter and the sharp tides shift
And the sea-folk labour and the red sails lift.
He shakes his lance of iron and he claps his wings of stone;
The noise is gone through Normandy; the noise is gone alone;
The North is full of tangled things and texts and aching eyes,
And dead is all the innocence of anger and surprise,
And Christian killeth Christian in a narrow dusty room,
And Christian dreadeth Christ that hath a newer face of doom,
And Christian hateth Mary that God kissed in Galilee,--
But Don John of Austria is riding to the sea.
Don John calling through the blast and the eclipse
Crying with the trumpet, with the trumpet of his lips,
Trumpet that sayeth ha!
Domino gloria!
Don John of Austria
Is shouting to the ships.

King Philip's in his closet with the Fleece about his neck
(Don John of Austria is armed upon the deck.)
The walls are hung with velvet that is black and soft as sin,
And little dwarfs creep out of it and little dwarfs creep in.
He holds a crystal phial that has colours like the moon,
He touches, and it tingles, and he trembles very soon,
And his face is as a fungus of a leprous white and grey
Like plants in the high houses that are shuttered from the day,
And death is in the phial and the end of noble work,
But Don John of Austria has fired upon the Turk.
Don John's hunting, and his hounds have bayed--
Booms away past Italy the rumour of his raid.
Gun upon gun, ha! ha!
Gun upon gun, hurrah!
Don John of Austria
Has loosed the cannonade.

The Pope was in his chapel before day or battle broke,
(Don John of Austria is hidden in the smoke.)
The hidden room in man's house where God sits all the year,
The secret window whence the world looks small and very dear.
He sees as in a mirror on the monstrous twilight sea
The crescent of his cruel ships whose name is mystery;
They fling great shadows foe-wards, making Cross and Castle dark,
They veil the plum├Ęd lions on the galleys of St. Mark;
And above the ships are palaces of brown, black-bearded chiefs,
And below the ships are prisons, where with multitudinous griefs,
Christian captives sick and sunless, all a labouring race repines
Like a race in sunken cities, like a nation in the mines.
They are lost like slaves that sweat, and in the skies of morning hung
The stair-ways of the tallest gods when tyranny was young.
They are countless, voiceless, hopeless as those fallen or fleeing on
Before the high Kings' horses in the granite of Babylon.
And many a one grows witless in his quiet room in hell
Where a yellow face looks inward through the lattice of his cell,
And he finds his God forgotten, and he seeks no more a sign--
(But Don John of Austria has burst the battle-line!)
Don John pounding from the slaughter-painted poop,
Purpling all the ocean like a bloody pirate's sloop,
Scarlet running over on the silvers and the golds,
Breaking of the hatches up and bursting of the holds,
Thronging of the thousands up that labour under sea
White for bliss and blind for sun and stunned for liberty.

Vivat Hispania!
Domino Gloria!
Don John of Austria
Has set his people free!

Cervantes on his galley sets the sword back in the sheath
(Don John of Austria rides homeward with a wreath.)
And he sees across a weary land a straggling road in Spain,
Up which a lean and foolish knight for ever rides in vain,
And he smiles, but not as Sultans smile, and settles back the blade....
(But Don John of Austria rides home from the Crusade.)

Our ally

The Sunday Times has this little gem about our best friend , Pakistan

THE British general commanding Nato troops in Afghanistan is to confront Pakistan’s president over his country’s support for the Taliban.

Among the evidence amassed is the address of the Taliban’s leader in a Pakistani city.

Lieutenant-General David Richards will fly to Islamabad tomorrow to try to persuade Pervez Musharraf to rein in his military intelligence service, which Richards believes is training Taliban fighters to attack British troops. He will request that key Taliban leaders living in Pakistan be arrested.

The evidence compiled by American, Nato and Afghan intelligence includes satellite pictures and videos of training camps for Taliban soldiers and suicide bombers inside Pakistan.


You remember, the country whose president said
"You'll be brought down to your knees if Pakistan doesn't co-operate with you,"
See JOSHUAPUNDIT for all the details of that tirade.

Biased

Is it me, or is this sort of stuff from the BBC's US reporters rubbish? I think it's rubbish. It seems as partisan as the worst of their UK stuff. I am reminded of the quote on the banner of USS Neverdock:
"America is often portrayed as an ignorant, unsophisticated sort of place, full of bible bashers and ruled to a dangerous extent by trashy television, superstition and religious bigotry, a place lacking in respect for evidence based knowledge. I know that is how it is portrayed because I have done my bit to paint that picture..." BBC's Washington correspondent Justin Webb".

This quote from the Guardian about the secretary of the Norwegian Nobel [Peace Prize] committee (hat tip USS Neverdock again) makes it even clearer:

Prof Lundestad mentions several contenders, such as CNN, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Le Monde and El Pais.

However, he made a notable exception of the BBC.

"Some years ago, the BBC would have been an obvious candidate because it was the international model for news organisations. Nowadays, it is more debatable.

We all know about the problems the BBC has had in recent years," he said, without elaborating.

It's pretty clear when even the Norwegians can spot it.

Why doesn't anybody who reads this check up on it and then send them a comment?

Stop the world, I want to get off

It's a fantastic day for the UN, North Korea, Iran and the rest of the world's peace-loving, anti-fascist, people-friendly regimes (I'm sure the PRC is quite pleased too). I sincerely hope that those right-thinking people trapped in fascist dictatorships like the USA, Canada, the UK, Australia appreciate what a blow has been struck by North Korea in testing its first nuclear weapon.

At times like this, I find that sarcasm is the only defence. Any attempt to suppress the upwelling of it has me frothing at the mouth.

When some smooth idiot of a poltician advocates negotiations, remember:

this is a nation whose leader had people kidnapped to make him films, for goodness' sake!
The country also abducted Japanese to teach in their spy school. They then claimed 8 were dead, but that was a lie.
North Korea has abducted people from Lebanon, Romania, Yugoslavia and Thailand.

Personally, I think anyone who attempts to negotiate with them is several clowns short of a circus.

if you want to know who is at least partly to blame, thank our ally Pakistan:

"More recently, Pakistan has played a substantial role in the progress of North Korea's nuclear program. In the second half of the 1990s, Abdul Qadeer Khan, scientist and "father" of Pakistan's nuclear program, supplied uranium enrichment equipment and perhaps even warhead designs to North Korea, according to some news reports. Khan originally came to world attention for stealing centrifuge designs and equipment while working in the Netherlands in the 1970s. After returning to Pakistan, Khan used suppliers from around the world to build centrifuges capable of enriching uranium for Pakistan's bomb program. Those vendors and manufacturers became the foundation of an extensive and profitable black market run by Khan and others, which amassed hundreds of millions of dollars. U.S. intelligence agencies monitored Khan's network for years but did little to halt the traffic, so as not to compromise sources and methods or, later, jeopardize relations with Pakistan. Achieving short-term foreign policy goals took precedence over preventing widespread nuclear proliferation. [4]

Finally, in early 2004, Pakistan's President Gen. Pervez Musharraf placed Khan under house arrest but pardoned him soon after. Neither the United States nor the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was permitted to interrogate him. On February 4, 2004, Khan admitted on national television that he was responsible for widespread nuclear proliferation. Later news reports described how Pakistani centrifuges were transferred to North Korea in exchange for ballistic missile technology. [5] In 2003, New Yorker reporter Seymour Hersh wrote that U.S. intelligence agencies believed that Khan had made at least 13 trips to Pyongyang, the last in June 2002. [6]"


Of course, you also need to thank Russia and China, who have supported and egged on North Korea since 1945. They continue to mainatain support for this barbarous regime for the obvious reasons.
See JOSHUAPUNDIT for more informed comment.

*************UPDATE***************

The [UK] Prime Minister has condemned North Korea's apparent first nuclear weapons test as a "completely irresponsible act".


Even Pyongyang's closest ally China expressed its "resolute opposition", calling the move "brazen".

So that's ok then. We can all relax about the Jack Torrance among nations.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

That it should come to this!


I find it almost impossible to believe that the Church of England might be onto something these days but someone in the hierarchy is actually thinking!
So the BBC reports that

... a Church of England briefing suggests[that]

... Muslims have been given "preferential" treatment since the 7 July bombings.

... the Church has been "sidelined".

The Church said the note, ..., was not an attack but a contribution to debate.

...

The Church's document is said to challenge the view that the UK is a "multi-faith society".

"The contribution of the Church of England in particular and of Christianity in general to the underlying culture remains very substantial," it said.

The note, called Cohesion and Integration - A Briefing Note for the House (of Bishops), ... describes the government's approach to integration as "schizophrenic".

"One might argue that disaffection and separation is now greater than ever, with Muslim communities withdrawing further into a sense of victimhood, and other faith communities seriously concerned that the government has given signals that appear to encourage the notion of a privileged relationship with sections of the Muslim community," it says.

That the day would ever come when any section of the Church of England would say this!

Of course, there is a very good chance that the senior beard the Archbishop of Canterbury will resile from this if the Muslim rabble rousers "community leaders" kick up a fuss. However, in the meantime I shall go to my Sunday morning training session with a more cheerful feeling about the state of the UK than I've had in months.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Heads up!

For those of us who care for Israel, both in its own right and as the "canary in the coal mine" (as Atlas Shrugs would have it), Caroline Glick has some very worrying observations in the Jewish World Review:

" On Tuesday, Russian military engineers landed in Beirut. Their arrival signaled the first time that Russian forces have openly deployed in the Middle East ... They will operate outside the command of the UNIFIL.


Mosnews ... reported ... that the engineers will be protected by commando platoons from Russia's 42nd motorized rifle division permanently deployed in Chechnya. ... these commando platoons are part of the Vostok and Zapad Battalions both of which are commanded by Muslim officers who report directly to the main intelligence department of the Russian Army's General Staff in Moscow. The Vostok Battalion is commanded by Maj. Sulim Yamadayev who Mosnews refers to as a "former rebel commander."

With the deployment of former Chechen rebels as Russian military commandos in Lebanon, the report this week exposing Russia's intelligence support for Hizbullah during the recent war takes on disturbing strategic significance.


According to Jane's Defense Weekly the Russian listening post on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights provided Hizbullah with a continuous supply of intelligence throughout the conflict.


Much still remains to be reported about the impressive intelligence capabilities that Hizbullah demonstrated this summer. But from what has already been made public, we know that Hizbullah's high degree of competence in electronic intelligence caused significant damage to IDF operations. Now we learn that Moscow stood behind at least one layer of Hizbullah's intelligence prowess.


Moscow's assistance to Hizbullah was not limited to intelligence sharing. The majority of IDF casualties in the fighting were caused by Russian-made Kornet anti-tank missiles that made their way to Hizbullah fighters through Syria. Indeed, as we learn more about Russia's role, it appears that Russia's support for Hizbullah may well have been as significant as Syria's support for the terror organization. And now we have Chechens in Lebanon.

That's a good start.
Then there's this (Atlas Shrugs again).

Rousseau debunked

The next time that someone tells me to get back to nature I shall hit him with this book:

"From Publishers Weekly
In this detailed if strident book, Harvard archaeologist LeBlanc and his co-author dismantle the notion of the noble savage, a myth that "implies that if we can just...remember our ancient abilities to be one with the natural environment, warfare will stop and ecological balance will be regained." LeBlanc begins by describes his own field experiences, in which he and his colleagues routinely ignored "clear evidence for warfare"; later, following the lead of some "fanatical sociobiologists" at Harvard, he began formulating an academic stance focused on what he saw as humanity's ecologically disastrous and inherently violent true nature. It took him more than 25 years to fully change his mind, he says, and still more evidence is needed to prove his hypothesis. And the myth, he says, is entrenched in popular culture as well as science--most people envision prehistoric people as peace-seeking nature lovers. LeBlanc insists repeatedly that it is not only foolish, but also dangerous, to believe in an Edenic past when the evidence reveals overpopulation and violence wherever we look."


Of course, I came across the details, having briefly heard some of the conclusions from a colleague, at One Cosmos.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Foley, Dems and page turners

One Cosmos has an amazing post on this topic.
You don't know about it? Buzz, buzz.

Speaking as someone who's felt very constrained on this topic for many years, I found this post "very liberating". If you don't know what I mean, you'll have to wait until I'm more coherent.

The 3rd ACR

I wish that some of my cynical world-weary colleagues would read this sort of thing. But then they probably wouldn't believe it anyway.
The mayor of Tall Afar in Iraq writes:
"To the Courageous Men and Women of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, who have changed the city of Tall’ Afar from a ghost town, in which terrorists spread death and destruction, to a secure city flourishing with life."

You miss a lot when you're a cynic.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Clovis rides forth

For those who can still smile at the mind-bogglingly awful state of the UK, this may amuse. Give it a quick read when you have time.

Check this out now.

FreedomFighter at JOSHUAPUNDIT works his usual magic with this post: an analysis of what's missing from the US and British approach to Iraq and Afghanistan.
To put it simply, his recommendation is
"seal the borders and turn on the pressure".

But read it all, read it all.

A veiled threat?

Latest "have your say" question on the BBC in relation to the fuss about Jack Straw:

Do you wear a veil for religious or other reasons? What difference does seeing someone's face make to communicating with them? How would community relations be changed if full-face veils were removed?

Here's the most recommended comments:

Well done Jack Straw. There have been a number of similar, sensible suggestions coming out of the labour party over the last month or so. All seemingly coming to understand that there has been too much of this one way discrimination. If you choose to live in England then respect our laws, principles and codes of conduct. We are happy to integrate anyone who agrees to this, those who do not should reconsider whether they want to live here rather than try to change us.

Alan, Milton Keynes

Recommended by 196 people

I applaud Jack Straw for being bold enough to raise this issue. Obviously in a free society such as ours, the individual should be entitled to wear what they choose. However, they should also carefully consider the implications of wearing certain types of clothing. If I walked around London in an IRA-style full face balaclava, not only would I intimidate other people but I'm sure I'd attract the attention of the police.

Michael Carter

Recommended by 166 people


Motorcyclists have to remove their helmets when entering banks and other establishments, to prevent heists. What is to stop someone walking into a bank wearing a veil and holding up the bank?

I don't agree with wearing the veils and I totally agree with Jack Straws request. Muslims backed by the media once again have made a mountain out of a molehill.

All he wanted to do is have a conversation with someone he could see. Perhaps we should all wear a paper bag over our heads?

Paul Ainslie, Bolton

Recommended by 119 people


YES. YES. A few may wear these outfits as a political statement, but mostly it is family/society pressure.

I spent a number of years in the Gulf in the 80s and 90s and the most noticeable thing about a flight out of there is the loos being full for the 1st hour as all the women change into "normal" clothes.

If Saudi women only wear it because they have no choice, it makes one wonder why these people don't care more about their sisters.

[holmdps], Expat, Europe

Recommended by 108 people




And here are some less popular responses:


Jack Straw is the one disrupting community relations here. He shows a lack of tolerance and severe ingorance in his request.

Does he make a similar appeal towards other faiths? This is just propoganda to once again cause seperation between communties.

sairah, surrey

Recommended by 10 people


From reading peoples comments, it seems to me only non-Muslim men have a problem with us wearing the veil. I wonder why that is!!!

Amreen, Nottingham

Recommended by 9 people


It's quite amazing how a veil incites such anger from people who claim to have a fairer and more tolerant society than others in the world, and who embark on such noble endeavours to export this fantastic tolerance of people to those lands which are not lucky enough to have this "freedom"....such as in afghanistan, where the dreaded and archaic taleban forced women to wear such things, but here we are, freeing them ...oh, but forcing them to take it off. yes, lets show them what REAL freedom is!

parveen lane, london

Recommended by 10 people

I have regarded Jack as an intellectual however his views are medival and that of a ignorant man.The veil is a symbol of womens rights and a way for muslim women to say they are independent and not opressed. In the west we talk of womens rights and womens liberty the veil is one symbol of this. This is not about intigration its about womens rights.
Perhaps jack needs to launch his deputy leadership claim in another way.

SALMAAN DALVI, LONDON, United Kingdom

Recommended by 5 people



Do the numbers mean anything?
Quite possibly.


Medea - where's Jason when you need him?

The indefatigable Fjordman has an extended article in the Brussels Journal. I try not to overstate, but, if the word means anything anymore, it's a catalogue of treason.

Nation shall spiegel unto nation

Der Spiegel has another interesting interview. This time with Prof. Bassam Tibi, a Muslim German of Syrian extraction who is a political scientist.

Here's a taster:
Even the comparatively moderate Turkish organization DITIB says there are no Islamists, only Islam and Muslims -- anything else is racism. That means that you can no longer criticize the religion. Accusing somebody of racism is a very effective weapon in Germany. Islamists know this: as soon as you accuse someone of demonizing Islam, then the European side backs down. I have also been accused of such nonsense, even though my family can trace its roots right back to Muhammad and I myself know the Koran by heart.

A Modest Proposal

It's very simple and Helen at EUReferendum thought of it first.
Nominate the USMC for this year's Nobel Peace Prize!
Check out the link for all the details.