Sunday, December 31, 2006

The year in review

There will not be a better retrospective on 2006.

That Blasted Year
Dave Barry shoots 2006 full of holes

IT WAS A MOMENTOUS YEAR, a year of events that will echo in the annals of history the way a dropped plate of calamari echoes in an Italian restaurant with a tile floor. Decades from now, our grandchildren will come to us and say, "Tell us, Grandpa or Grandma, as the case may be, what it was like to be alive in the year that Angelina Jolie, Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Britney Spears and Katie whats-hername all had babies, although not necessarily in those combinations." And we will smile wisely and emit a streamer of drool, because we will be very old and unable to hear them.

And that will be a good thing, because there are many things about 2006 that we will not want to remember. This was the year in which the members of the United States Congress, who do not bother to read the actual bills they pass, spent weeks poring over instant messages sent by a pervert. This was the year in which the vice president of the United States shot a lawyer, which turned out to be totally legal inTexas. This was the year in which -- as clearly foretold in the Bible as a sign of the Apocalypse -- Howie Mandel wound up with a hit TV show.
Read the rest. May require registration. IMHO, worth it.

Redress of grievances? Not quite.

George Will picks up on a theme The Other Club discussed here. We pointed out that shifting the debate to the question of how to appropriately systematize the violation of the First Amendment is not a victory for free speech.

Will has hopes that when SCOTUS looks at this case it will begin to unravel the fabric of incumbent protection.

A Retreat on Rationing Free Speech?

...Imagine: Judges scouring the political landscape, searching for evidence (people's past opinions or associations; e-mails and other communications) that would empower them to rule that grass-roots lobbying about an issue is "really" the functional equivalent of electioneering (express advocacy).

Such a process would necessarily be so protracted that no challenged ad could be authorized in time for an election. Besides, Bob Bauer, a Democratic campaign lawyer, rightly warns that the prospect of such inquiries should "make a sensible citizen's blood run cold." An uncircumscribed inquiry into "intent" would become "an intrusive process" in which an organization's internal communications would be subpoenaed and political operatives and consultants would be "put under oath and questioned about what they meant and intended and thought."

...the reformers' zeal for regulating speech is undiminished. The Federal Election Commission recently fined some "527" groups (named for the tax code provision under which they organize) $630,000. Their offense? Issue advocacy in 2004 that, "taken as a whole," could "only be interpreted by a reasonable person as containing the advocacy of the election or defeat" of a federal candidate. Editorial writers at The Post and the New York Times, ever eager to regulate political advocacy not done by newspaper editorial writers, approved, although the Times thought the fines insufficient, and although The Post, calling the current law "murky," thought the FEC should have enforced the murkiness quicker.

...the Supreme Court ... can begin undoing the damage it did at the time it affirmed McCain-Feingold and licensed government to ration political speech.
I hope Will is right, but even while SCOTUS is focused on this tiny portion of the warp and woof, the new Speaker of the House is calling for more restriction on free speech: Tapscott and Fitzgibbons on Nanzi Pelosi.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Kwanzaa, © 1966

The intersection of commercialism and racism?

Anne Coulter on Kwanzaa. Whole thing here - Kwanzaa: Holiday From the FBI

...the seven principles of Kwanzaa are the very same seven principles of the Symbionese Liberation Army, another charming invention of the Least-Great Generation. In 1974, Patricia Hearst, kidnap victim-cum-SLA revolutionary, posed next to the banner of her alleged captors, a seven-headed cobra. Each snake head stood for one of the SLA's revolutionary principles: Umoja, Kujichagulia, Ujima, Ujamaa, Nia, Kuumba and Imani -- the same seven "principles" of Kwanzaa.

With his Kwanzaa greetings, President Bush is saluting the intellectual sibling of the Symbionese Liberation Army, killer of housewives and police. He is saluting the founder of United Slaves, who were such lunatics that they shot Panthers for not being sufficiently insane -- all with the FBI as their covert ally.

It's as if David Duke invented a holiday called "Anglika," and the president of the United States issued a presidential proclamation honoring the synthetic holiday. People might well take notice if that happened.

Kwanzaa was the result of a '60s psychosis grafted onto the black community. Liberals have become so mesmerized by multicultural nonsense that they have forgotten the real history of Kwanzaa and Karenga's United Slaves -- the violence, the Marxism, the insanity.

Best Astronomy pictures of 2006

A reasonable claim.

Number one is my new desktop background.

The Top Ten Astronomy Images of 2006

Check it out.

Also see this, for an explanation of how the image was obtained.

H/T /.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Gene for satire recognition missing

The Impotence of being Earnest

Scott Ott responds to a Letter from a "real" editor who wonders whether a post at Scrappleface - a premier satire site - is satirical.

...Your email address indicates you are an editor of something. Part of an editor's job is to check sources before "going to press." You clipped and pasted a bit forwarded to you from a satire website and sent it out as if it were something that Rep. Nancy Pelosi said. Now, you have asked me to write to this group of people (on a listserv) who have endured some of the harsh realities of life, that I might somehow atone for the confusion you have caused.

I embrace the opportunity.

In the immediate aftermath of Katrina, journalists sought someone to blame. They, predictably, found President George Bush was the best scapegoat. But in lashing out, yet again, at their favorite source of all discontent, they missed a bigger target. If anyone *out there* is to be blamed, it is the large, remote, centralized federal government which has become a surrogate father to so many millions of Americans.

Over the decades, we have ceded power, authority and responsibility to the federal government far beyond anything envisioned or desired by our founders. As a result, instead relying on our own intelligence, resources and ability to work with others in our communities to solve problems, we have turned to Washington D.C..
Read the whole thing, it's marvelous.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Sellers remorse?

Prometheus was added to the blogroll a little while ago. Here's an example of why. Thirteen thousand scientists recently attended the annual American Geophysical Union convention. Prometheus has a post from one attendee.

Click So what happened at AGU last week? for the whole think.

...To sum the state of climsci [Climate Science] world in one word, as I see it right now, it is this: tension.

What I am starting to hear is internal backlash. Sure, science is messy and always full of tension between holders of competing positions, opinions and analyses. That has always been the nature of science, and of course extends to climate science. Tensions come out at meetings, on listservs, on letters pages, and in the press. But these tensions normally surround a particular paper, or a particular question. While much more broadly-based tensions have existed for years on the state of understanding on global warming, they haven't really been tensions internal to the climsci community, but tensions between the climsci community and interested outsiders.

What I see is something that I am having a hard time labeling, but that I might call either a "hangover" or a "sophomore slump" or "buyers remorse." None fit perfectly, but perhaps the combination does. I speak for (my interpretation) of the collective: {We tried for years – decades – to get them to listen to us about climate change. To do that we had to ramp up our rhetoric. We had to figure out ways to tone down our natural skepticism (we are scientists, after all) in order to put on a united face. We knew it would mean pushing the science harder than it should be. We knew it would mean allowing the boundary-pushers on the "it's happening" side free reign while stifling the boundary-pushers on the other side. But knowing the science, we knew the stakes to humanity were high and that the opposition to the truth would be fierce, so we knew we had to dig in. But now they are listening. Now they do believe us. Now they say they're ready to take action. And now we're wondering if we didn't create a monster. We're wondering if they realize how uncertain our projections of future climate are. We wonder if we've oversold the science. We're wondering what happened to our community, that individuals caveat even the most minor questionings of barely-proven climate change evidence, lest they be tagged as "skeptics." We're wondering if we've let our alarm at the problem trickle to the public sphere, missing all the caveats in translation that we have internalized. And we're wondering if we’ve let some of our scientists take the science too far, promise too much knowledge, and promote more certainty in ourselves than is warranted.}

I came to this place in a few ways. One was a colleague describing a caveat he put into his poster abstract out of fear --- yes, fear! (He strongly called into question widely-quoted data supporting a decline in snowpack and advance in spring peak runoff in the northern Rockies.) Another was multiple colleagues giving me independent but similar blistering accounts of the GCMs they work on (upcoming post on this). Yet another was listening to competing ideas presented by Torn (GC22A-02) and Knutti (-04) in this session. It was in these and other events and conversations that a theme arose that pervaded my meeting.

None of this is to say that the risk of climate change is being questioned or downplayed by our community; it's not. It is to say that I think some people feel that we've created a monster by limiting the ability of people in our community to question results that say "climate change is right here!" It is to say that a number of climsci people I heard from are not comfortable enough with the science to want our community to push to outsiders an idea that we have fully or even adequately bounded the risk. I heard from a few people a sentiment that we need to stop making assumptions and decisions for decision-makers; that we need to give decision-makers only the unvarnished truth with realistic bounds on our uncertainty, and trust that the decision-makers will know what to do with it. These feelings came of frustration that many of us are downplaying uncertainties for fear of not being listened to.
Emphasis mine. This smells like the very definition of junk science. The chicken-little-hawks have pushed the hype too far. The people who have had the courage to question whether the sky is indeed falling have, by and large, been ostracized. Look at Bjorn Lomborg.

That is why Galileo has been mentioned in these pages in this context.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Obviously this is profiling

In response to the murder of a police woman, airport security personnel in Britain will now be required to be sure who is under the veil: Muslims forced to lift veil at airports.

...Home Office insiders last night confirmed that immigration officials will be ordered to impose their legal right to lift the veils of passengers after it emerged a suspected police killer may have escaped the UK dressed as a Muslim woman.

But the plan has been attacked by unions, which claim it would impose intolerable demands on their members, particularly female officers who would be the only ones allowed to look under veils.

Ministers have been forced on to the back foot in the past week after it was revealed that asylum seeker Mustaf Jama, wanted for the murder of Pc Sharon Beshenivsky, flew from Heathrow to Somalia using his sister's passport. He is believed to have been wearing a niqab, which has just a slit for eyes.

It subsequently emerged that immigration staff are legally entitled to ask any female passenger to lift her veil to verify her identity against passport photographs. But officers usually wave passengers through because they do not have the time to check everyone.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair yesterday joined the growing calls for change, saying airline passengers must remove any head-dress that covers their face.

Was it predictable that the Union for those responsible for security would object? Why not go all the way and allow the security officer, regardless of sex, to do his or her job? The Other Club commented on the employer/employee relationship last week.

This guy's criminal record is long and astounding, yet he was still walking around London and able to kill a cop. Then, he sneaks out of the country because the people responsible for stopping him have been too long subjected to the lunatic complaints of blind multi-culturalists - their own government and employer.

Police Commissioner Blair seems the only sensible voice in the debate.

H/T Return of the Conservatives
Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

McCain scores (again) against free speech

Just prior to a federal court deciding that the Incumbent Protection Act isn't as Constitutionally sound as John McCain and George Bush thought it was, McCain mounted another attack on free speech.

Senator: Illegal images must be reported

...After child pornography or some forms of "obscenity" are found and reported, the Web site must retain any "information relating to the facts or circumstances" of the incident for at least six months. Webmasters would be immune from civil and criminal liability if they followed the specified procedures exactly.

...Internet service providers already must follow those reporting requirements. But McCain's proposal is liable to be controversial because it levies the same regulatory scheme--and even stiffer penalties--on even individual bloggers who offer discussion areas on their Web sites.

...Kate Dean of the U.S. Internet Service Provider Association said her members appreciated McCain's efforts to rewrite the current procedures for reporting illegal images, which currently are less than clear.

...The U.S. Justice Department, for instance, indicted an Alabama man named Jeff Pierson last week on child pornography charges because he took modeling photographs of clothed minors with their parents' consent. The images were overly "provocative," a prosecutor claimed.

...Next year, Gonzales and the FBI are expected to resume their push for mandatory data retention, which will force Internet service providers to keep records on what their customers are doing online. An aide to Rep. Diana DeGette, a Colorado Democrat, said Friday that she's planning to introduce such legislation when the new Congress convenes.
This fits perfectly in a country where four year olds are being charged with sexual harassment. Now, McCain would have me charged if I posted the movie of my brother running around naked from the waist down on Christmas day 1952. Talk about data retention.

And... and, my brother was wearing the north half of a Roy Rogers and Trigger cowboy outfit. Adding to the sexual tension, Dales Evans' mount, Buttermilk, was a gelding.

Good lord! I just sent my brother a DVD copy of XXXmas 1952 via the US Postal Service, AND he lives in California! We ALL KNOW what it means when you pull a shiny cap pistol out of the holster on your naked hip. That's at least two counts of phallacy. I may be toast.

If this blog goes off the air suddenly, you'll know why. Either that, or I'll post it on YouTube and get an award from NAMBLA.

Watch your back Bro, don't drop any soap.

The not so secret lust of Dhimmi Carter

"I've looked on a lot of women with lust. I've committed adultery in my heart many times. This is something that God recognizes I will do--and I have done it--and God forgives me for it."
-Jimmy Carter; Interview, Playboy, November 1976

Mr. Carter has yet to remark so succinctly that he lusts for the destruction of Israel, but I suppose Yahweh expects him to do that, too. Perhaps he can gain forgiveness if he would update his 1976 comments: "I've looked on the United States with disgust. I've omitted truth in my heart many times. This is something God recognizes I will do - and I have done it - and I forgive myself for it."

Below you'll find various commentators on former President Carter's recent foray into plagiarism, quarter truths and demented anti-Semitism - his book, Palestine, Peace Not Apartheid. Click links for full articles.

Jimmy Carter and the Arab Lobby

-Jacob Laksin

...Carter claims that critics are compromised by their support for Israel, their ties to pro-Israel lobbying organizations, and -- a more pernicious charge -- their Jewish background. In interviews about his book, Carter has seldom missed an opportunity to invoke what he calls the *powerful influence of AIPAC,* with the subtext that it is the lobbying group, and not his slanderous charges about Israel, that is mainly responsible for mobilizing popular outrage over Palestine. In a related line of defense, Carter has singled out *representatives of Jewish organizations* in the media as the prime culprits behind his poor reviews and *university campuses with high Jewish enrollment* as the main obstacle to forthright debate about his book on American universities. (Ironically, when challenged last week by Alan Dershowitz to a debate about his book at Brandeis University, which has a large Jewish student body, Carter rejected the invitation.)

Bluster aside, Carter*s chief complaint seems to be that anyone who identifies with Israel, whether in the form of individual support or in a more organized capacity, is incapable of grappling honestly with the issues in the Arab-Israeli conflict. But Carter is poorly placed to make this claim. If such connections alone are sufficient to discredit his critics, then by his own logic Carter is undeserving of a hearing. After all, the Carter Center, the combination research and activist project he founded at Emory University in 1982, has for years prospered from the largesse of assorted Arab financiers.

Why won't Carter debate his book?
-Alan Dershowitz

[Former President Jimmy] Carter's book ["Palestine, Peace Not Apartheid."] has been condemned as "moronic" (Slate), "anti-historical" (The Washington Post), "laughable" (San Francisco Chronicle), and riddled with errors and bias in reviews across the country. Many of the reviews have been written by non-Jewish as well as Jewish critics, and not by "representatives of Jewish organizations" as Carter has claimed.

Carter has gone even beyond the errors of his book in interviews, in which he has said that the situation in Israel is worse than the crimes committed in Apartheid South Africa. When asked whether he believed that Israel's "persecution" of Palestinians was "[e]ven worse . . . than a place like Rwanda," Carter answered, "Yes. I think -- yes."

Jimmy Carter Wins Fifth Hokum!
-William S. Smith

HOLLYWOOD (SatireNewsService) -- The Academy of World Political Humor Arts and Letters (AWPHAL) today awarded comedian Jimmy (James Earl) Carter the 2006 Hokum as the year's finest political comedian. Carter's record shattering fifth Hokum came against stiff competition from a highly regarded group of nominees.

In a statement accompanying the announcement of the award, Edith Steingehirn, President of the Academy, said, "what Jimmy Carter has accomplished with his book Palestine, Peace not Apartheid, was both comically brilliant and extraordinarily difficult. It has been an axiom of the Academy that present-day Islamic-Jihadist culture is quite beyond parody. After all, a society that teaches its children to kill with explosives strapped to their little bodies, which executes women because they have been raped and which promises young men a brothel in heaven if they commit suicide in a certain way has gone far past the most sublime exaggeration. Attempting to caricature such a culture has generally been thought to be both pointless and impossible."

..."Carter's particular comic insight in Palestine, Peace not Apartheid, was to deliberately reverse the moral standing of the characters. Israel, the only functioning, free democracy in the region becomes, in Carter's hilarious upside-down worldview, the pariah state. The societies that practice genuine sexual, religious and ethnic apartheid - not to mention corruption and terrorism on an unimaginable scale - are characterized by Carter as victims! This is comic genius of a very high order."

Worst. President. Ever.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Lessons from Canada

Check out this post for a look at "free" health care in Ontario:

...So what is a politician to do? Especially a politician who treats single payer, government run health care as an article of faith?

...The vicious circle of socialism in a nutshell. Demographics + supply & demand + governmental inefficiency + status quo thinking = bankruptcy.
...and send a note off to Hillary.

Update: 1:42PM. Interesting related post at Jane Galt.

Caught between a penumbra and an emanation.

Coat of Arms for the Federal Election Commission:

In Or, a fess Gules embattled, in chief a penumbra; in base an emanation.

The good news first. A federal Court has created a minuscule breach in the wall separating incumbents from their hard won immunity from criticism.

Court says issue ads OK during elections

A federal court on Thursday loosened restrictions on corporations, unions and other special interest groups that run political advertising in peak election season.

The 2-1 ruling said groups may mention candidates by name in commercials as long as they are trying to influence public policy, rather than sway an election.

...The case automatically heads to the Supreme Court for review. If the high court agrees with Thursday's decision, the justices may have to establish a test to differentiate genuine issue ads from phony ones.

That's one teensy blow against McCain-Feingold, a giant leap for volume of regulations.

Doesn't "sway an election" automatically assume "influence public policy"? Why else have elections? In a country where more people can name the 3 Stooges than 3 Supreme Court Justices, we are again going to be allowed to associate the names of the candidates with issues in the period before an election? Wow, thanks, we'll certainly not forget John McCain's name.

Ostensibly, the decision implies a slight return to Constitutional principle. In real life, though, this decision will eventually generate a hundred and fifty pages of regulations establishing the "bright-line" the Federal Election Commission wants. Given "emanating penumbras," it's a perfectly reasonable request. In the end, the convolutions will rival the tax code in complexity and will have effectively buried any free speech restoration under tons of red tape.

That the Supreme Court doesn't heed any "bright lines" was established by Justice William O. Douglas, who claimed in GRISWOLD v. CONNECTICUT, that: "[P]enumbras, formed by emanations" are sufficient excuse for a disingenuous parsing of the First Amendment. He wrote: "The association of people is not mentioned in the Constitution nor in the Bill of Rights. The right to educate a child in a school of the parents' choice - whether public or private or parochial - is also not mentioned. Nor is the right to study any particular subject or any foreign language. Yet the First Amendment has been construed to include certain of those rights."

It is stunningly obvious that the First Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

...clearly protects the right of people to associate. How else might they assemble? Suggesting that freedom to associate is not directly described by the phrase "peaceably assemble" is ludicrous. Using that as the basis to assert emanations and penumbras as legally binding, is laughable.

Justice Douglas had to reverse the logic of the Founders by pretending that what is not found in the Constitution by a spell-check is not protected. The Constitution was expressly designed to LIMIT the power of government - so what is not found there is automatically protected from meddling by any branch of government. Douglas also needed to ignore the existence of the Tenth Amendment: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people."

Compounding the hypocrisy of his elevation of semantics over logic, Douglas wrote "We do not sit as a super-legislature to determine the wisdom, need, and propriety of laws that touch economic problems, business affairs, or social conditions." - while proceeding to to just that.

This marginal reversal of McCain-Feingold is not cause for celebration. Can you say "Pyrrhic"?

H/T Captain's Quarters

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The murder of WPc Sharon Beshenivsky

I would expect
a male member of the religio-political terrorist group doing its utmost to oppress women to be embarrassed to disguise himself as a female. Apparently, however, wearing a niqab is OK if you're an escaping cop killer. Maybe this can be justified because the cop was female and dhimmi. Who knows?

I mean, you force women into burqas, stone them to death them for being raped unless there are 3 or 4 male witnesses to testify otherwise, practice polygamy, and won't let women drive or vote. It must be humiliating to pretend to be a woman.

It's certainly a good argument for not letting citizens wander about with masks on.

...Mustaf Jama, 26, was allowed to stay in Britain despite serving four jail terms in six years after arriving with his family on a false passport.

His first criminal conviction was in 1998. In August 2000 he was allowed to stay in the UK for seven years.

He was dealt with by the courts on 11 occasions for 21 matters including two firearms and weapons offences, theft and offences against the person. Home Office officials decided not to deport him to Somalia, ruling that it was too dangerous for him. [TOO DANGEROUS FOR HIM?]

...Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Nick Clegg said it “beggars belief” that a wanted criminal could leave the country hidden behind a veil.

He told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme there were existing powers for people wearing veils to be searched and urged the Government to issue “urgent clarification” on whether immigration or airport officials should carry out the check.

He added that asylum seekers like Jama, who had been convicted of crimes but not be deported, should be subject to “much stricter surveillance”.

“He was left to his own devices and of course the consequences were tragic for Sharon Beshenivsky.”
Sadly, the home affairs spokesman has it wrong. He was not "left to his own devices," he was left to the devices of diversity and relativism. The belief that's beggared is the idea that Western idea of "rule of law" means much in Britain anymore.

Diversity obsessed statists demonstrate they can't even apply existing law to a criminal matter while urging us to turn war into a criminal matter.

This guy's criminal record is long and astounding, yet he was still walking around London and able to kill a cop. Then, he sneaks out of the country because the people responsible for stopping him have been too long subjected to the lunatic complaints of blind multi-culturalists - their own government and employer.

Read the whole thing.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Assault on free speech continues

Democracy Project notes that Nancy Pelosi is picking up where McCain and Feingold left off.

Nancy Pelosi is proposing legislation to stop grass roots lobbying and suppress free association among small lobbyists (namely you and me). Ms. Pelosi proposes to exempt large corporations and unions.
Whole thing. Mitchell Langbert invites you to write your congresscritters. I recommend doing so.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Socialized health care choices

An illustration of the major question about "free" health care. How does the government decide between tax-payer funding for sex-change operations as compared to cancer detection MRIs?
Half of Canada's cancer treatment centres already fail to deliver critical treatment in timely fashion.

TORONTO -- Ontario is discriminating against transsexuals by refusing to pay for their sex changes, a coalition of academics and transsexuals said yesterday as they urged the province to join others whose tax dollars already cover the controversial procedure. Martine Stonehouse, who is in the final stages of her sex-change operation, said such procedures are vital to the mental health of transsexuals. The cost of the surgery is nothing compared to the mental anguish suffered by those who can't afford it, she said. The human rights of transsexuals have been violated ever since the former Conservative government cancelled public coverage of sex-change operations in 1998, said Stonehouse.
Link here.

Let us grant the premise that the "cost of surgery is nothing compared to the mental anguish suffered by those who can't afford it." So what? That does not make it a human right and it does not mean I should have to pay for any part of it.

The government is indeed discriminating. That is it's job. It should get out of that business, lower taxes and let transsexuals keep their own money in order to buy this operation. That way, those to whom the "cost of surgery is nothing in comparison to" __________ (fill in the blank), can pay for ___________ themselves.

Health care discrimination is what Hillary Clinton wanted, and probably still wants, to bring here. It's just that we have to let the government be the discriminator. We can see how well this is working out.

H/T Dust My Broom

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


The reason for the MN6 imams' stunt becomes clearer. We can expect more of this because
Norm Mineta insisted airport security pay equal attention to pale 84 year old females in wheelchairs and swarthy 22 year old males carrying Korans.

Powerline notes:

CAIR Solicits Hajj Complaints

The Council on American-Islamic Relations has issued a call for complaints of discrimination on the part of airlines by Muslims who travel to Mecca this year:
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), citing what it called the "airport profiling" of six imams removed from a recent flight, yesterday said Muslims traveling this month to the holy site in Saudi Arabia need to be aware of their rights.

"Given the increase in the number of complaints CAIR has received alleging airport profiling of American Muslims, we believe it is important that all those taking part in this year's hajj be aware of their legal and civil rights," said Ibrahim Hooper, CAIR spokesman.

The group has established a toll-free hot line (800/784-7526) for victims of "flying while Muslim," as Muslims have begun departing for the weeklong hajj, a once-in-a-lifetime obligation to visit the holy city of Mecca, which this year begins Dec. 29.
More evidence that the case of the Six Traveling Imams was a set-up by the imams to set the stage for this kind of effort.

"Ibrahim Hooper," by the way, is the former Doug Hooper of Duluth, Minnesota.*
As far as I can tell, CAIR is misoverestimating the election results. Americans who fly are NOT going to put up with the sort of behavior that got the MN6 ejected, no matter what pressure is brought to bear on the Feds or the airlines. Any Captain who does should lose his job.

I recommend that all US airlines show United 93 as the only in-flight move until the Hajj is over, and that they immediately post rules prohibiting any religious display in any form for all passengers. This ought to get the ACLU onside. If someone doesn't like it they can fly Saudi Arabian Airlines to Mecca - where only Muslims are allowed to disembark.

*And, as I asked yesterday, what is it about Minnesota?

Climate Chumps

Tech Central Station presents, "A Conversation with Bjorn Lomborg"

...what is happening now is that we are increasingly seeing a tailspin into hysteria over the global warming discussion, where it is almost commonplace to say things are worse than we thought.

It's at the stage where people are saying its even worse than we thought yesterday, and that it is going to be catastrophic, and chaotic and disruptive - all these kinds of words. This has actually led to one of the lead modellers in the UK to come out and say it's bizarre that before we had the debate between the climate change skeptics and the scientists, and that now we have the debate between the scientists, who are now becoming the skeptics, and those who are saying it's all going to end in chaos, when it is going to do nothing of the sort - and this is not what the UN panel is telling us.

Perhaps this is most clear when you look at the movie from Al Gore. Everything he says is technically true. He says for instance that if Greenland melts, sea levels will rise about 20 feet. This is technically true. But of course the very evocative imagery of seeing Holland disappear under the waves - or New York, or Shanghai - leaves the impression that this is all going to happen very soon. Where in fact the UN climate panel says that the sea level rise over the next 100 years is going to be 30 cm - about 20 times less than he talks about. So there is a dramatic difference between what we're being told and what we're actually seeing. Which is also why I am writing a new book which comes out next fall on climate change, and I will address some of these issues.
Read the rest.

Kofi's other, other speech

Opportunity Lost
The speech Kofi Annan should have delivered.
By Claudia Rosett

An excerpt:

Thank you for that generous introduction. I don’t deserve it. Please hold your applause until you hear what I have to say. This is not false modesty. I am quite serious — I don’t deserve the honor of speaking here today. At least once in every life there comes a moment of honesty, and for reasons I cannot fathom — perhaps the shock of looking back at just what a self-serving failure I have been — this is mine.

During my decade as secretary-general, and indeed for some time before that, I have indulged in more than my share of half-truths, quarter-truths, cover-ups, immoral inanities and staggering hypocrisies. I have shuffled paperwork while ignoring genocides, I have rushed to shake hands with tyrants while deriding democrats; I have suffered from memory gaps while adroitly recalling just enough to know what needs covering up. I took office promising to reform the U.N., and instead produced a record that deserves to be summed up by such phrases as peacekeeper rape, procurement bribery, and Oil-for-Food...
She's just getting started. Whole thing here.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Realist-based community

Daniel Pipes on the Iraq Stupidity Group. Click the title for the whole thing.

James Baker's Terrible Iraq Report

The Iraq Study Group Report, cobbled together by ten individuals lacking specialized knowledge of Iraq, dredges up past failed U.S. policies in the Middle East and would enshrine them as current policy.

Most profoundly, regarding the American role in Iraq, the report moronically splits the difference of troops staying or leaving, without ever examining the basic premise of the U.S. government taking responsibility for the country's minutiae, such as its setting up public works projects. Instead, the report unthinkingly accepts that strategic assumption and only tweaks tactics at the margins.

A preposterously lengthy list of 79 recommendations lies at the heart of the report. These include such gems as bringing in the (Saudi-sponsored) Organization of the Islamic Conference or the Arab League (no. 3) to decide Iraq's future. Another creates an "Iraq International Support Group" that includes Iran, Syria (no. 5), and the United Nations secretary-general (no. 7).

Other brilliant recommendations call for the UN Security Council to handle the Iranian nuclear problem (no. 10) and for the support group to persuade Tehran to "take specific steps to improve the situation in Iraq" (no. 11). Right. The Iranian regime, whose president envisions a "world without America," will save Washington's bacon. Such counsel smacks at best of what the Jerusalem Post calls "staggering naïveté" and at worst of ghastly foolishness...

In all, the Iraq Study Group Report offers a unique combination of bureaucratic caution, false bi-partisanship, trite analysis, and conventional bromides.

Pipes did not comment on recommendation 19, which was apparently inserted in order to waste paper, and which pretty much sums up the wisdom of the elite panel:

RECOMMENDATION 19: The President and the leadership of his national security team should remain in close and frequent contact with the Iraqi leadership. These contacts must convey a clear message: there must be action by the Iraqi government to make substantial progress toward the achievement of milestones. In public diplomacy, the President should convey as much detail as possible about the substance of these exchanges in order to keep the American people, the Iraqi people, and the countries in the region well informed.

78 must not have been enough. Emphasis mine.

Are there War Crimes of omission?

Kofi Annan's UN tenure makes an overwhelming argument that there are. He should be locked up in a single cell Iraqi jail with Dhimmi Carter, and Iraq should sentence Saddam to run it.

Jules Crittendon parses Kofi's "Best of" speech.

Kofi Annan's Farewell Speech
(Please put on your headphones if you wish to hear this speech translated from the original Bullshit)

In Missouri today, departing UN Secretary General Kofi Annan delivered these thoughtful reflections on 10 years of learning:

In one of the backwater Jesusland flyover states yesterday, departing UN Secretary General Kofi Annan rudely lectured one of the few nations that actually tries to accomplish anything useful, from which he has been sponging for the last 10 years:

"Nearly 50 years ago, when I arrived in Minnesota as a student fresh from Africa, I had much to learn -- starting with the fact that there is nothing wimpish about wearing earmuffs when it is 15 degrees below zero. All my life since has been a learning experience."

My first acquisition was a set of earmuffs. It's all been an upward spiral since then. Do you like this suit?

What is it about Minnesota, anyway?

Read the whole thing.


Monday, December 11, 2006

There's certainly smoke

Some background on the Minnesota 6:

Katherine Kersten: Suspicion about imams grows as terror links pile up

...The Council on American-Islamic Relations, the imams' legal representative, is an organization that "we know has ties to terrorism," Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said in 2003. And the Muslim American Society, which is also supporting the imams? It's the American arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, according to the Chicago Tribune, which called it "the world's most influential Islamic fundamentalist group."

How about Omar Shahin, the imams' spokesman and also president of the North American Imams Federation? He is a native of Jordan, who says he became a U.S. citizen in 2003. From 2000 to 2003, Shahin served as president of Islamic Center of Tucson (ICT), that city's largest mosque.

The ICT is well known. The mosque has "an extensive history of terror links," according to terrorism expert Steven Emerson, who testified about terrorist financing before the Senate Banking Committee in July 2005.

The Washington Post described these links in a 2002 article. "Tucson was one of the first points of contact in the United States for the jihadist group that evolved into al Qaeda," the Post reported. And the ICT? It held "basically the first cell of al Qaeda in the United States; that is where it all started," said Rita Katz, a terrorism expert quoted by the Post.

ICT members have included high-profile terrorists. Wael Hamza Jelaidan, the mosque's leader in the mid-1980s, was identified by the U.S. government as a " 'co-founder' of al Qaeda and its logistics chief," the Post reported.

Another former member, Wadi Hage, served as Osama bin Laden's personal secretary after leaving Arizona, the Post said, attributing it to government sources. Hage established a bin Laden support network in Arizona and "this network is still in place," Emerson wrote in his book "Jihad Incorporated: A Guide to Militant Islam in the U.S.," citing a 2002 Senate Intelligence Committee Report. In 2001, Hage was convicted of plotting the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
Read the whole thing.

Also, see this letter from Pauline Klemmer, who claims to have been a passenger on the imams' chosen flight: USAir Flt. 300 Passenger Pauline Klemmer Tells the Real Story on the Flying Imams.

There are multiple references on the Web, but I cannot independently verify this. It reads plausibly and is reinforced by independent reporting of facts.


Sunday, December 10, 2006

Lessons in the Decline

Wounded to get millions in compensation

Hundreds of troops wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan are to be awarded millions of pounds in compensation following a ruling by the Government that they are victims of crime not war.

The British claim to independent statehood takes a hit. This makes war; a) Unaffordable for Western democracies, b) A permanent Police Action.

Pick any two.

UN downgrades man's impact on the climate

Scientists insist that the lower estimates for sea levels and the human impact on global warming are simply a refinement due to better data on how climate works rather than a reduction in the risk posed by global warming.

"Science" and "data" used to mean something.

I, for one, am amazed that better data - indicating a major reduction in the Gravest Danger Ever to Face MankindTM - can be said not to represent a reduction in risk by anyone claiming to be a "Scientist." Political Scientist, maybe.

Let me parse. "We've got a better understanding now. We were off by at least 25%, but that does not mean our grant applications should not be approved."

The periodicity of this propaganda cycle is not entirely clear yet, but since the major doomsday predictions are only 20 years away, I'll take a guess at it.

My starting point would be the Global Cooling panic circa 1973. The decline of the Anthropogenic Global Warming scenario (which would have been exactly what was called for based on 1970's fears) has taken about 25 years. We will be back to "Fear of a new Ice-age", therefore, in around 25 years.

BTW, did you notice they're shifting to "Climate Change" as the bugbear? That'll never go out of style. Whichever way they think the Doomsday thermometer is trending, the grants will keep coming.

Adopt our values or stay away, says Blair

Tony Blair formally declared Britain's multicultural experiment over yesterday as he told immigrants they had "a duty" to integrate with the mainstream of society.

In a speech that overturned more than three decades of Labour support for the idea, he set out a series of requirements that were now expected from ethnic minority groups if they wished to call themselves British.

These included "equality of respect" - especially better treatment of women by Muslim men - allegiance to the rule of law and a command of English.

If outsiders wishing to settle in Britain were not prepared to conform to the virtues of tolerance then they should stay away. He added: "Conform to it; or don't come here. We don't want the hate-mongers, whatever their race, religion or creed.

"If you come here lawfully, we welcome you. If you are permitted to stay here permanently, you become an equal member of our community and become one of us. The right to be different. The duty to integrate. That is what being British means."

You'd normally call this good news, except Blair is a lame duck and the firestorm of disagreement sure to follow from the relativist poofters.

The pewter lining is that the US might learn something now that free-wheeling, multi-cultural, "assimilation is genocide" proponents will soon have to admit their policies have been demonstrated to be genocide only for the current indigenes.

Wasn't that the problem with the Europeans, not assimilating with the Mohawk, Sioux, Comanche, Seminole, etc.?

Looks to be a longer periodicity on that one even than "climate change."

H/T National News Watch

Update: 8:09PM
Veiled Muslim to give Christmas message on UK TV

What could be said about this? You can check the comments at the link.

H/T Relapsed Catholic

Raging and Braying, Identity politics around the world

Somalia Town Threatens to Behead People Who Don't Pray 5 Times Daily

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

MOGADISHU, Somalia — Residents of a southern Somalia town who do not pray five times a day will be beheaded, an official said Wednesday, adding the edict will be implemented in three days.

Shops, tea houses and other public places in Bulo Burto, about 124 miles northeast of the capital, Mogadishu, should be closed during prayer time and no one should be on the streets, said Sheik Hussein Barre Rage, the chairman of the town's Islamic court. His court is part of a network backed by armed militiamen that has taken control of much of southern Somalia in recent months, bringing a strict interpretation of Islam that is alien to many Somalis.

This story has connections closer to home. For example, if the edict had been in effect in Minnesota in the last few weeks we might have observed the following:

1) The Minnesota imams could have claimed they were praying loudly at the airport so that the many Somali cabdrivers there could be sure that the imams had fulfilled their religious duties. It obviously can be dangerous not to pray 5 times daily around certain Somalis.

1a) If we had already had this version of sharia in place in Minnesota, it would have been beneficial for the passengers the imams set out to intimidate. The need to shout “Allahu Akbar” at the boarding gate wouldn’t have arisen, because the airport would have been closed.

1b) If the airport had been closed, Muslim American Society Executive Director Mahdi Bray would not feel empowered to shake down US Airways:

He wants to "hit [US Airways] where it hurts, the pocketbook," and, joined by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), will seek compensation for the imams, civil and federal monetary sanctions, and new, sweeping legislation that will extract even bigger penalties for airlines that engage in "racial and religious profiling." An investigation by the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties is under way. Not incidentally, it is the "fatwa department" of MAS that pushed for segregated taxi lines that would permit Muslim cab drivers at the Minneapolis airport to reject passengers carrying alcohol.

2) If
MAS Executive Director Bray hadn't been braying, a cable news network would have been spared the intellectual embarrassment of equating what happened to the imams with Rosa Parks arrest for refusing to give up her seat on the bus.

To make this analogy tenable, a couple of dozen black women would have had to have boarded half-a-dozen buses wearing backpacks filled with explosives, and commandeered the buses in order to ram them into the WTC, Pentagon and White House. There would have been several attacks on US interests abroad in the years preceding and following – all by black women from the United States.

Years, and several public transit bombings later, Rosa Parks would have been wearing a similar backpack and shouting “Burn, Baby, Burn!,” as she boarded the bus. The bus passengers would be expected to accept it without comment. If there were any protest, Walter Cronkite would have been compelled to make an analogy with Crispus Attucks.

3) Maybe if this silliness weren't going on in Minnesota, closer to home we would not have The Gym Jihad, where impeding others is now a Muslim cause célèbre:

A Muslim woman in Dearborn, Mich., lodged a complaint Tuesday against Fitness USA for an alleged civil rights violation involving a fellow gym patron. According to Jodi Berry, executive director of Fitness USA, Wardeh Sultan was praying in front of another member’s locker when the member wanted access to her belongings inside the locker. The inconvenienced patron tried to interrupt Ms. Sultan, but she remained prostrate in front of the locker and an altercation ensued. A manager was called into the locker room to intervene.

How does someone end up having to pray in the aisle of a locker room? Either she can't plan her life any better than to be caught unaware by the requirement, or it's about something else.

4) Yet still closer to home, there is a definite parallel with East Lansing's Nazra Quraishi’s July-06 letter to the editor of the Lansing State Journal.

For that, we’ll circle back to Sheik Hussein Barre Rage, with whose “strict interpretation of Islam that is alien to many Somalis” we began.

The Sheik raged on: “Those who do not follow the prayer edict after three days have elapsed, "will definitely be beheaded according to Islamic law," Rage told The Associated Press by phone. "As Muslims we should practice Islam fully, not in part, and that is what our religion enjoins us to do."

Nazra Quraishi agrees: “It is forbidden in Islam to convert to any other religion. The penalty is death. There is no disagreement about it… Please do not ask us Muslims to pick some rules and disregard other[s]. Muslims are supposed to embrace Islam in its totality.”

It’s all in the interpretation... Or maybe the interpreter.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

A sad week

Sorry for the lack of activity here over the past week.

My father died early Monday and I haven't had much interest.

I'm hoping to get a new post up tomorrow.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

IED Hunter

In fact, a tribute to Steve Irwin that also proves Marines are crazy - and sometimes have too much time on their hands.

Hilarious. Complete with out-takes.

Click the link above to watch.

Thanks to Jules Crittendon, the un-MSM. See also.

The MiSM

(i) is for idiot, or idiocy, ot idiotic... It is an "ism."

Kate McMillan asks:

...why is it that an industry that produces mere words and facts, that is stacked with university graduates, political celebrities and academics, which serves as a fundamental underpinning of our western democracy, does not hold their members to the standard of performance expected of a nameless welder in an auto repair shop?

How is it that reporters and editors can fail so profoundly, so routinely, with such utter internal unaccountably - and not lose their accreditation to issue a newspaper or news broadcast?

...They simply cannot have missed this story - I see their ip addresses in my logfiles.

Kate mentions Boston Herald City Editor Jules Crittenden's piece - Say no to AP’s shoddy work, a preview eulogy for the MSM.

Crittendon's article is linked at other sources TOC has referenced, but if you haven't already read it, now's a good time.

A speculation confirmation

TOC suggested that:

...[the Minnesota 6] probably do not believe 9/11 had anything to do with religious fervor, nor perhaps even that Muslims were involved.

In fact, the MN6 spokes-imam, Omar Shahin, had this to say (Arizona Republic article here) a week after 9/11:

...members of the Tucson mosque may have helped bin Laden in the early 1990s, when he was fighting against the Russians. But that was during the Cold War when U.S. intelligence agencies were encouraging support for bin Laden.

"They (the CIA) called him a 'freedom fighter,'" Sahin said. "Then they tell us he is involved in terrorist acts, and they stopped supporting him, and we stopped."

Shahin and Saadeddin expressed doubt that Muslims were responsible for the Sept. 11 attack. They also said they don't trust much of what the FBI has divulged - including the hijackers' identities.

Not believing the FBI cast of characters is one thing,
Producing a living Mohamed Atta would convince me.

Not believing bin-Ladin's bragging about having done it is another thing.
A video of bin-Ladin denouncing the attack would not convince me.

Not denouncing it in the strongest terms would be a third thing.
This is what imam Shahin failed to do to convince me.

Acting like it never happened.
Convinces me.

H/T Ann Coulter at Townhall

How the West will be lost

A Mark Steyn interview. Steyn has some pithy comments on the continuing attempt to dhimmify Minnesota.

A Victor Davis Hanson Op-Ed.

Our current crisis is not yet a catastrophe, but a real loss of confidence of the spirit. The hard-won effort of the Western Enlightenment of some 2,500 years that, along with Judeo-Christian benevolence, is the foundation of our material progress, common decency, and scientific excellence, is at risk in this new millennium.

But our newest foes of Reason are not the enraged Athenian democrats who tried and executed Socrates. And they are not the Christian zealots of the medieval church who persecuted philosophers of heliocentricity. Nor are they Nazis who burned books and turned Western science against its own to murder millions en masse.

No, the culprits are now more often us. In the most affluent, and leisured age in the history of Western civilization--never more powerful in its military reach, never more prosperous in our material bounty--we have become complacent, and then scared of the most recent face of barbarism from the primordial extremists of the Middle East.
Check them both.

Updated: 1:41PM

News from Iraq the Model

The AP, along with the rest of the MSM, has had no comment on this story. Probably the non-existent "police Capt. Jamil Hussein," sole source for the bogus "6 Sunnis burned alive while Iraq soldiers watch" story did not call this one in.

Renouncing a myth, or ignoring a fact?

It's really odd that the arrest of "Baghdad Sniper" didn't get any mention in the news. Of course except for here on Pajamas Media when we reported it two days ago.

...30 more militants have been arrested using intelligence that became available after arresting al-Jubori…

Where's the MSM from all of this?
If he was a myth, then why were the media running stories about him and his operations in the first place?
And if he was for real, then why are they ignoring his arrest?

I think these questions are rhetorical.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Minneapolis Airport plot moves forward

Area Muslim leaders ask airport for prayer room

Sure thing, just as soon as the airport sets up a crèche in the main lobby and afixes mezuzot to airliner doorways.

...The local imams, who prayed on the mezzanine level before meeting with airport officials Friday afternoon, said a prayer room is essential because of the need to pray several times a day. The act itself is nonintrusive, they said.[1]

"We as Muslims, we are part of this country," said Abdulrehman Hersi, a Minneapolis imam. "You have to pray wherever you are. Our prayer ... we believe that we talk to our lord. It does not make harm to anyone."[2]

...The airport police report describes concerns about the imams reported by passengers and airline employees.

They included "very loud" praying that included "chanting" of "Allah, Allah, Allah" before the flight.[3]

...The Twin Cities imams who met with airport officials Friday said there is a gap in communication. [4] They said officials need to forge more understanding with the Muslim community.

"We are Americans," said Abdullahi Wasuge, an assistant imam in Minneapolis.[5]

Emphasis mine. The article mentions that there are already places where prayer can take place, but nobody asked for a space where shouting "Allah" before boarding a flight could be non-threatening, much less nonintrusive. Sensitivity to others is not a hallmark for these imams.

... Wareham said the airport does not have a meditation room, although quiet waiting rooms and spaces are available. A chaplain has a small room at the airport, he said, adding that until now there haven't been requests for a prayer room.

[1] This particular act was not "non-intrusive" by definition. See [3]. If it is typically "non-intrusive", why do they need a special room? One answer to why they think it was "non-intrusive" is that intruding on infidels is not actually intrusion. This raises the question of how intrusive a "special room" is, however.
[2] It "makes harm" psychologically to anyone who remembers 9/11. The imams know this, but probably do not believe 9/11 had anything to do with religious fervor, nor perhaps even that Muslims were involved.
[3] Would YOU want to fly with them after that?
[4] There is a gap in communication. It would appear that the imams have never heard of Islamic terrorists.
[5] If you deliberately set out to be known as a particular form of American - "victim" - in order to make others accommodate your religious law (see here and here), it needs to be resisted. Same for the Minneapolis cabbies refusing fares and wanting special treatment because of their religion.

miss this comprehensive post at Bizzy Blog. What Really Happened on US Airways Flight 300?

One thing that no one seemed to consider at the time, perhaps due to lack of familiarity with Islamic practice, is that the men prayed both at the gate and on the plane. Observant Muslims pray only once at sundown, not twice.

“It was almost as if they were intentionally trying to get kicked off the flight,”...

Friday, December 01, 2006

An ACLU Christmas

This can be made into a movie.

Starring Spotty the Endangered Owl as Jesus,
with Billie Jean King as Mary and Rosie O'Donnel as Joseph.

Featuring Michael Jackson as the Shepherd in rubber boots.

Guest appearance by Babe the Pig as the sheep.

NOT BANNED in Chicago!

Some other casting has already been done. Check here.

H/T Relapsed Catholic