... asset inflation—ultimately, the debasement of the currency—as the principal source of wealth corrodes the character of people. It not only undermines the traditional bourgeois virtues but makes them ridiculous and even reverses them. Prudence becomes imprudence, thrift becomes improvidence, sobriety becomes mean-spiritedness, modesty becomes lack of ambition, self-control becomes betrayal of the inner self, patience becomes lack of foresight, steadiness becomes inflexibility: all that was wisdom becomes foolishness. And circumstances force almost everyone to join in the dance.
Although TV viewers have long suspected it, a forecaster finally admitted yesterday that they daren’t mention the capital for fear of getting a deluge of complaints about being London-centric. GMTV weather girl Clare Nasir said there was a lot of pressure not to focus too much on London, in case viewers elsewhere across Britain complain of favouritism.
‘You could argue that city workers in offices don’t need to know the weather in the same way people who live off the land do, so perhaps we have got it right.’
The Mail’s Science Editor Michael Hanlon noticed the geographical correctness phenomenon last month, noting: ‘Scotland ( population five million) usually gets about the same amount of airtime as England (52million).’
And you could argue that given the weather programs are broadcast from London, some thought might be spared for her teeming hordes. If the Outer Hebrides feel excluded, they might consider paying for their own weather reporting or, better yet, save themselves the bother by looking out the window.
Can there be anyone paying attention who is in the least surprised to learn the British government sold out the dead of Lockerbie? One is tempted to observe, you know, maybe it is all about oil. But such would be to miss the point about this squalid little deal, the squalid little men behind it and the undeniable outrage to the murdered and their families.
First, Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi should never have been tried in the first place. The man was not and is not a terrorist. The man was an is an agent of the Libyan "government". Lockerbie was not an act of terror. Lockerbie was an act of war.
I blame President Ronald Reagan for not treating it as such.
Second, if the law had any role to play in the matter, it should have been American law by which this Libyan agent was tried, convicted and sentenced to death or to life imprisonment - real life imprisonment - in the United States. Just because this act of war ended in the skies over Scotland does not mean this act of war was directed against Scotland. It was not, it was directed against the United States. Scottish victims were not targets but bystanders. As such, Scottish jurisprudence should have had little if any role to play beyond the collection of evidence and the representation of Scottish victims on the ground.
Nevertheless, to point fingers at the Labour party, the Scots and the British Establishment is entirely justifiable. Given the cretinous masquerade of compassion to which the government of Scotland has subjected the free world, they have effectively victimized once again not only the murdered and their families but all free peoples in the face of Libya's sordid version of jihad. That said, while there is a small lesson to be found as we watch the British Establishment descend once again into a grotesque parody of itself there is little advantage - justified as it is - in pointing at them as they do so.
If anything, their performance only serves to underline our complacence.
The answer is not to be found in the law. The answer is to be found in war.
That is not my conclusion, it is not even my observation. It is the decision of the enemy and it will be made one way or another. It will be made whether or not we choose to recognize the fact before we are forced to do so at the point of a sword. And for so many of our countrymen, not even then.
This is, after all, a man who proudly proclaims his contempt for 'diversity'.
So the week after next it is going to be interesting when Mr Davies welcomes a delegation of German VIPs on an all-expenses-paid visit to his home town - and tells them not to bother coming back.
'I have only two words of German: "Auf" and "Wiedersehen", ' he says. 'But those are the only words I need.'
In the first hundred days after being elected mayor on an English Democrats ticket, Peter Davies has got rid of the mayoral limousine, shut down the council's "free" newspaper and cut his own pay by 60%. He is out to slash two-thirds of Doncaster's council seats ("If Pittsburgh can manage with nine councillors, why do we need 63?"), wants to encourage car traffic in town ("Like it or not, we live in the age of the car.") and will de-twin Doncaster from its civil service holiday junket twin towns around the world.
Exit question: Is there no way we can convince him to sort out Toronto next?
Illegal immigration is handy because illegal immigrants do the jobs no one else wants to, keeping down inflation and labour costs, so allowing Europeans to work 30 hours a week and retire at 55.
The problem is that soon these new immigrants tire of doing the dirty work and new recruits are needed to keep an ever larger number of retirees and other state dependants in villas.
Muslim immigrants - and particularly their children - are faced with a human dilemma: How to live as a person in a country where neither you nor your children will ever be considered fully French (to pick one) or Italian or German... Europe is not the United States (nor Canada) where national identity is predicated on a national ideology and consequently is open to any who accept said ideology*. In Europe, as in China or Japan or Persia or Arabia, your identity is predicated on your ethnicity (or, your "race", in the language of the left).
Small wonder when minorities, shipped in to do the dirty work on a lie, react with violence out of social and economic circumstance. Still less when they are no paid to do so by the same elites who brought them in as leverage against their own working class and now Hengist and Horsa find once again the hired help is unwilling to leave. Still less so again when the co-religionists of these immigrants - fat oil ticks with captive populations of their own to distract - should also pay them to mount low level insurgencies across the cities of Western Europe.
* Multiculturalism - a near synonym for apartheid - damages the universal character of the American revolution and consequently damages the United States and is ultimately corrosive to the minority cultures it feigns to protect.
Can you imagine what the parents of the deceased would be going through when they found out that their 28-year-old daughter died alone in total darkness? I serve no time. Not inconvenienced by the burdensome obstacle of incarceration, I seek to maintain my elected position. I am successful and remain a senator for the next four decades. Would any deed I performed in that time, besides going to prison for the negligent homicide I committed all those years ago, be enough to wipe the slate clean?
Thus does Rollins become one of the few liberals apparently more exercised at Kennedy for what happened at Chappaquiddick than at Andrew Breitbart for insisting on bringing it up. As a supplement to the Kennedy reading list in last night’s Quotes of the Day, I offer you two pieces in juxtaposition: Michael Kelly’s harrowing 1990 piece for GQ describing the great feminist’s sexual assault of a waitress and E.J. Dionne’s insulting paean to Teddy’s alleged “empathy” in today’s WaPo. The title of his piece, no joke: “Ted Kennedy’s Humanity.”
I can only imagine the shock on "the left" as the Russians fall for the lie that strategic missile defense could ever work. Silly Russians: Don't you know fire does not melt steel? Google it.
Russia has deployed S-400 air defense missile complexes, capable of intercepting ballistic missiles, in the Russian Far East to counter the threat posed by North Korea's missile tests, the country's general said Wednesday.
In case you were wondering, the above pictured Star Wars-themed poster is indeed Polish. It suits my illustrative purposes better than the somewhat inexplicably abstract Russian movie poster style of the period.
Related: Wishful thinking in the Islamic Republic. Iraqi and Syrian nuclear site mileage may vary.
Iran's envoy to the IAEA, Ali-Asghar Soltaniyeh, has ruled out the possibility of any military attack on Iran's nuclear facilities.
The international community knows very well that any attack on [Iran's] nuclear facilities would cause horrific catastrophes at the sites of the facilities, in the region, and in the world, ISNA quoted Soltaniyeh as telling Italy's AKI news agency on Tuesday.
Real Americans are not anxious to punish the people who shut down al-Qaeda’s domestic operations. While liberals wave the Justice Department’s report on CIA interrogation techniques at the rest of the world and tearfully beg them for forgiveness, the rest of us are wondering why we don’t reduce the deficit by selling the rights to these interrogations on pay-per-view. The contestants on your average Japanese game show go through more intense ordeals.
I forget if it was Mark Steyn who observed that if it is something you are prepared to undergo for the sake of a magazine article then it is not torture (pace Mr. Hitchens). I say, force everyone at Guantanamo to watch MSNBC and see how long it takes for them to break.
Joseph Peden's lecture to the Mises Institute Seminar on Money and Government in Houston, Texas on October 27, 1984 makes ancient economics seems all the more topical decades on as we Latter Day Spenglerians contemplate the twilight of the West.
I've been asked to speak on the theme of Roman history, particularly the problem of inflation and its impact. My analysis is based on the premise that monetary policy cannot be studied, or understood, in isolation from the overall policies of the state. Monetary, fiscal, military, political and economic issues are all very much intertwined. And the reason they are all so intertwined is, in part, due to the fact that the state, any state, normally seeks to monopolize the supply of money within its own territory.
Monetary policy therefore always serves, even if it serves badly, the perceived needs of the rulers of the state. If it also happens to enhance the prosperity and progress of the masses of the people, that is a secondary benefit; but its first aim is to serve the needs of the rulers, not the ruled. And this point is central, I believe, to an understanding of the course of monetary policy in the late Roman Empire.
None of Professor Dawkins’ books, on evolution as well as religion, has ever been translated into Arabic, and his work has been heavily censored in Turkey. In an interview with The Times, he said that popularising evolution in the Islamic world, where creationist beliefs are strong, was a challenge he is keen to take up. “To be a bestseller in a Muslim country would be a personal triumph,” he said.
“I would like to see my books translated into Arabic. They haven’t been. They are all translated into Hebrew. Persian, I’m not sure. My books are translated into Turkish and they regularly get censored and suppressed.
I would be just as happy if the Bible were freely available everywhere in the Arab world. Happier still if everyone had the right to read as they please regardless of their language or location.
A 3000-year old barrel of butter is an interesting find (still spreadible if not edible) and it is fascinating to me the thing could still attract cows after all that time. But I draw the discovery to your attention not for its own sake but for the following passage.
It is thought that the butter was put in the bog for practical reasons, rather than ritual.
"There are accounts dating back to the 1850's with people used to wash their cattle once a year in the bog and then put some butter back into the bog. It was piseogary," Mr. Clancy explained, adding that the butter was usually "stolen by the following week!
Now try googling "piseogary". Most returns - save the following - lead back to this passage. As it happens, a pishogue is a kind of fairy enchantment... a word is born!
"What pishogues (an anglicized version of the Irish 'piseoga') were or are is vague; even as a part of speech the word is hard to define. Certain actions were deemed to be pishogues, but beliefs also were....If you said it was bad luck to come in and out of a house using the same door, someone would accuse you of believing in 'ol pishogues.'... A lot of pishogues surrounded cows and milk. If the cow wasn't inclined to give milk they believed someone had done pishogues. If the cream didn't turn into butter after you dashed it in the churn, that was pishogues, too; and if a woman was seen skimming the top of water from a pond on your land she was said to be doing pishogues, andit would have a bad effect on your cows..."
The following is a posting I have just made to a military anthropology discussion group. I am only posting my reply to earlier posts as to do otherwise would be to violate the confidentiality policy of the group. To that extent, I am part of the problem.
One thing I am not is a bloodless academic incapable of making, let alone expressing, a clear moral judgment (ritual condemnation of George Bush or Sarah Palin does not count). It occurred to me some time ago my political views most probably precluded a career in academic anthropology.
Good. I would rather be a man.
Dear Professor __________,
First, I want to thank you for expressing some of the same concerns I have had with regard to recent postings to this group. I found it difficult to do so in a way that did not descend into polemic.
The trouble, it seems to me, is how to reply in an academic discourse (made up not only of disciplinary concerns, standards of evidence, care to take into account differing perspectives, etc. and so forth but of a careful - and I would argue middle-class - etiquette) to statements that are overtly polemical and incendiary. The difficulty is by no means limited to this group but is common to most attempts by academics to participate in - let alone influence - broader public debates on matters of policy. To be blunt, there are contexts where an academic discourse, including and especially academic etiquette, can serve to obfuscate rather than to clarify differences.
I hope everyone will understand I intend a courtesy, and not a breach of manners, by putting the following in frank terms:
i - I see no factual - let alone moral - equivalence between the status of women in any polity with representative government and the status of women in the Taliban theocracy or the Saudi kleptocracy. To make a play on a well known observation: We must not let the needle in our own eye obscure the plank in the eyes of the Taliban. The status of millions of Afghan women under the Taliban - including countless teachers with whom I hope we would all immediately empathize - cannot reasonably be placed in the balance against societies where women participate in the public sphere. The fact that Canada has yet to fully realize our aspirations toward the full equality of women does not mean the status of women under Canadian law is in any sense equivalent to that of women under Taliban law let alone the status of women in Canadian society relative to the status of women in Taliban society.
I am an advocate of universal human rights including and especially the rights of women, not an advocate of an unrestrained cultural relativism (to be clear, I do not mean to suggest you are an advocate of an unrestrained cultural relativism). As academics, we have professional and intellectual (and career) interests that may preclude political assertions of this kind. I believe our academic interests are often counter-productive not only to open debate but to a clear expression of our views.
I believe the treatment of women under the Taliban was and is reprehensible. I believe any outcome of the war in Afghanistan that does not result in the liberation of women would be a tragedy.
I do not care if there are Afghan men who think differently except in so far as these are the men whose views need to be opposed by force.
ii - The stated war aims of the United States in Afghanistan did not include the liberation of women. That this has been - to a limited extent - an effect of American and allied intervention (and serves the rhetorical aims of war supporters) does not mean we can retroactively condemn the hypocrisy of the Bush administration for a war aim it never advocated. Furthermore, in my opinion we would be better served by an American administration that explicitly favoured policies - including the use of force - to advocate the universal rights of women.
If anything, recent exchanges in this group have convinced me the Canadian government should never have agreed to participate in military intervention to overthrow the Taliban only to re-impose Islamism upon the Afghan state and, by extension, upon Afghan women. Cultures do not "have" religious views much less should states; individuals have religious views. It is shocking to me the United States - a secular republic founded upon revolutionary and emancipatory aims whose expression are demonstrably alive in contemporary American life - should have expended its blood and treasure - in its own defence - only to re-impose the enemy's ideology upon the enemy's subject peoples.
iii - Finally, and most importantly, I cannot continue to participate in a group passively supporting the rhetoric of "Zionist infected" government expressed twice over the weekend by the same man who thinks we will be edified by the Taliban anthem. This is not Stormfront or an alien conspiracy forum, this is an anthropology discussion group. I hope I am not alone in this view not because I have any particular investment in my ongoing participation in this group but because if I am alone in this view I weep for what has become of the once emancipatory aims of anthropology.
To be clear, I am addressing these observations to the group as a whole and not attributing any specific views to an aporia in your posting. I found your intervention measured, reasonable and appropriate to an academic discussion. Unfortunately, this aspect of academic discourse is precisely what disarms us in the face of bald evil.
Vanity googling turned up a post by Raphael Alexander I should have linked several months ago (it has been busy). Alexander uses Robert Jago’s (then) monthly list of top 25 political bloggers as a reference for a discussion of blogging and anonymity; it turns out most of us on the list blog under our own names. More fools us, perhaps.
I still think my response is quite clever.
Sure if I was the Batman, the Flea would be my secret identity. But as Rorschach, the Flea is more like putting on my real face.
(Google that one, hypothetical future employers!)
For the record: No need to turn to the copyright statement; my name is in the sidebar.
An email making the rounds that deservers a wider audience.
By now you have probably heard that President Obama came to Montana last Friday. However, there are many things that the major news has not covered. I feel that since Bill and I live here and we were at the airport on Friday I should share some facts with you. Whatever you decide to do with the information is up to you. If you chose to share this email with others I do ask that you DELETE my email address before you forward this on.
I will post the remainder after the jump. And God bless Texas, btw.
On Wednesday, August 5th it was announced locally that the President would be coming here. There are many groups here that are against his healthcare and huge spending so those groups began talking and deciding on what they were going to do. The White House would not release ANY details other than the date.
On about Tuesday Bill found out that they would be holding the "Town Hall" at the airport. (This is only because Bill knows EVERYONE at the airport) Our airport is actually located outside of Belgrade (tiny town) in a very remote location. Nothing is around there. They chose to use a hangar that is the most remotely located hangar. You could not pick a more remote location, and you can not get to it easily. It is totally secluded from the public.
FYI: We have many areas in Belgrade and Bozeman which could have held a large amount of folks with sufficient parking. (gymnasiums/auditoriums). All of which have chairs and tables, and would not have to be SHIPPED IN!! $$$$$
During the week, cargo by the TONS was being shipped in constantly. Airport employees could not believe how it just kept coming. Though it was our President coming several expressed how excessive it was, especially during a recession. $$$$$
Late Tuesday/early Wednesday the 12th, they said that tickets would be handed out on Thursday 9am at two locations and the president would be arriving around 12:30 Friday.
Thursday morning about 600 tickets were passed out. However, 1500 were printed at a Local printing shop per White House request. Hmmmm......900 tickets just DISAPPEARED.
This same morning someone called into the radio from the local UPS branch and said that THOUSANDS of Dollars of Lobster were shipped in for Obama. Montana has some of the best beef in the nation!!! And it would have been really wonderful to help out the local economy. Anyone heard of the Recession?? Just think...with all of the traveling the White House is doin. $$$$$ On only imagine what else we are paying for.
On Friday Bill and I got out to the airport about 10:45am. The groups that wanted to protest Obama's spending and healthcare had gotten a permit to protest and that area was roped off. But that was not to be. A large bus carrying SEIU (Service Employees International Union) members drove up onto the area (illegal)and unloaded right there. It was quite a commotion and there were specifically 2 SEIU men trying to make trouble and start a fight. Police did get involved and arrested the one man but they said they did not have the manpower to remove the SEIU crowd.
The SEIU crowd was very organized and young. About 99% were under the age of 30 and they were not locals! They had bullhorns and PROFESSIONALLY made signs. Some even wore preprinted T-shirts. Oh, and Planned Parenthood folks were with them.....professing abortion rights with their T-shirts and preprinted signs. (BTW, all these folks did have a permit to protest in ANOTHER area)
Those against healthcare/spending moved away from the SEIU crowd to avoid confrontation. They were orderly and respectful. Even though SEIU kept coming over and walking through, continuing to be very intimidating and aggressive at the direction of the one SEIU man.
So we had Montana folks from ALL OVER the state with their homemade signs and their DOGS with homemade signs. We had cowboys, nurses, doctors you name it. There was even a guy from Texas who had been driving through. He found out about the occasion, went to the store, made a sign, and came to protest.
If you are wondering about the press.....Well, all of the major networks were over by that remote hangar I mentioned. They were conveniently parked on the other side of the buildings FAR away. None of these crowds were even visible to them. I have my doubts that they knew anything about the crowds.
We did have some local news media around us from this state and Idaho . Speaking of the local media...they were invited. However, all questions were to be turned into the White House in advance of the event. Wouldn't want anyone to have to think off the top of their head.
It was very obvious that it was meant to be totally controlled by the White House. Everything was orchestrated down to the last detail to make it appear that Montana is just crazy for Obama and government healthcare. Even those people that talked about their insurance woes........the White House called our local HRDC (Human Resource and Development Committee) and asked for names. Then the White House asked those folks to come. Smoke and mirrors...EVERYTHING was staged!!!!!!!!!!!
I am very dismayed about what I learned about our current White House. The amount of control and manipulation was unbelievable. I felt I was not living in the United States of America , more like the USSR !! I was physically nauseous. Bill and I have been around when Presidents or Heads of State visit. It has NEVER been like this. I am truly very frightened for our country. America needs your prayers and your voices. If you care about our country please get involved. Know the issues. And let Congress hear your voices again and again!! If they are willing to put forth so much effort to BULLY a small town one can only imagine what is going on in Washington DC . Scary!!
Ed Morrissey posts on the Lockerbie bomber, Libyan oil and the venality of the British Establishment (Prince Andrew to the front of the line, please). Much the same as I have posted here, actually, but for a telling remark left by Caper29 in the comments.
One bright side of being held in prison in the UK was that his prostate cancer wasn’t detected early. But other than that…
The Gulf Arabs used to joke: ‘Why is it better to be the enemy of the British than their friend? Because if you’re an enemy of the British, they’ll buy you, but if you’re their friends, they’ll sell you.’
Above me, beyond the reach of my headlamp, the roof is also invisible, but I know it's holding up about 2,500ft of limestone. My aching muscles don't need to be told. To get here from the entrance, a gaping rent in a flank of the Picos de Europa mountains in northern Spain, we've already descended more than 30 vertical 'pitches', from shortish drops the height of a house to vast echoing chimneys up to 300ft deep.
Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, son of Libyan fuhrer Muammar Gaddafi, claims the release of Lockerbie bomber/Libyan agent Abdelbaset Ali Al Megrahi was tied to a trade deal. You could knock me over with a feather.
Opposition parties said that ministers had "serious questions" to answer after Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, claimed that the decision to free Megrahi was tied to a trade agreement.
The Foreign Office issued a strongly worded statement insisting there was no such deal and that Megrahi's release was purely a matter for the Scottish government.
Related: Stephanie Bernstein, widow of Michael Bernstein, a prosecutor who tracked down Nazi war criminals, summarized the problem.
"He is flying back to Tripoli on Gaddafi's private plane. He is going to be greeted like a hero by Gaddafi.
"MacAskill talks about showing compassion and mercy. This is weakness. This is how it will be seen by Gaddafi. This is how it will be played within Libya and this is how it will be seen by every single person that wants to do harm to people all over the world."
Even as the British Foreign Office denied the claims, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was hinting at the same allegation made by his son, Seif al-Islam, hours earlier.
"This step [Megrahi's release] is for the benefit of relations between Britain and Libya, and relations of personal friendship between me and them, and it will certainly be positively reflected in all fields of co-operation between the two countries," Col Gaddafi is reported to have said during his first meeting with the convicted Lockerbie bomber.
Taking Alain de Botton as an inspiration, Tanya Gold has become writer in residence at the Edgware Bus Station. I would do the same at the Spadina streetcar platform but I suspect TTC security would show me the door in short order.
I approach a woman. I explain that I am in the writer-in-residence at this bus stop and I ask her, what is the central narrative of your life? Who are you? The woman looks at me. "I am an overweight mother of two with an awful job," she says. I scribble down – "Hates job." And why are you here? "I want to catch a bus."
Then I speak to a man reading a newspaper. He is called Graham. He is chubby and affluent; he looks content. I ask, who are you? "I am a building surveyor," he says. "I spend my days looking at broken guttering. I am one of the non-people." And is this what you want? "I would rather be sailing a yacht round the Caribbean," he says. And he gets on a 340 to Harrow Weald. I scribble: "Dreams of water."
"I am one of the non-people." Such is the bus stop of our discontent.
Communists, socialists and Marxists are sick of "unfair media attacks, stereotyping and vicious slander" they have suffered in the wake of America's first Marxist president. If experience is any indication, People's Weeksly World is giving the rest of us a look at the next social category to be sheltered from richly deserved mockery.
The communist newspaper provided a link to an online petition titled, "Communists are people, too," asking the news media to end the "hate speech" against communists, socialists and Marxists.
"Our simple request is that you as beneficiaries of our ratings put an end to unfair media attacks, stereotyping and vicious slander against us, your audience," the petition states.
Rather than admit that all its policies have conduced to the development of psychopathy as a pronounced social trait, and therefore reverse them, the government wants to install CCTV cameras in bedrooms, kitchens and bathrooms: with what one might call the enforcement apparatus of romanticism, of the view that the greatest freedom which a man can enjoy is the freedom from consequences. But consequences are like nature: though you toss them out with a pitchfork, yet they return.
A further note of historical interest to Flea-readers: England and France were Christian kingdoms in "Europe" noted for frequent conflict before they came to know peace.*
Marshal Philippe Pétain established his government at Vichy in July 1940, following Hitler’s triumphant blitzkrieg and occupation of much of France. He ruled the unoccupied rump of his own country and most of France’s overseas colonies in awkward collaboration with the Nazis. Until at least the winter of 1942, Vichy forces abroad fought the allies with a vigour that caused Britain’s prime minister to remark crossly that he wished they had tried as hard against the Germans in 1940.
You can't blame the French for being annoyed. They are in the unique position of having lost the Second World War twice.
* I take the liberty of translating "peace" into English. Cognate terms in the original common tongue include "submission".
Thanks to a Medusa effect, a "perfectly preserved" fossil squid-like creature comes complete with ink sac.
Dr Phil Wilby, who led the team which found the fossil, said: ‘The decomposition process usually means only the hard parts of an animal are preserved. It is extremely rare to find any fossil with the soft parts preserved. We call it the Medusa effect - specimens turn to stone within a matter of days, before the soft parts can be eaten away.’
All very interesting. But ultimately of trivial importance next to the awakening of those nameless things that sleep just beyond the stars. Wilby has conjured the ink. Wilby has loaded the pen. Wilby has made his mark with preterite care, aligned his head vertically to an uncaring sky and cried out in ecstasy: "Yog-Sothoth is the key to the gate, whereby the spheres meet. Man rules now where They ruled once; They shall soon rule where man rules now. After summer is winter, and after winter summer. They wait patient and potent, for here shall They rule again."
Johansson almost certainly voted for Barack Obama, let's face facts. But by contrast with Paltrow's pinch-faced, holier-than-thou, busy-body progressivism, Johansson has a positively conservative beauty.
I may be the only person left thinking this analogy is valid but I am about to hit publish nonetheless.
Gwyneth Paltrow is not making any new friends these days. The actress recently wrapped filming on "Iron Man 2" (due to hit theatres in May 2010), where she wasn't a crew favorite, FOX411 has learned. A source says some of the "Iron Man" team had secret hopes of her character being recast, or even killed in the movie, but are resigned to the likelihood that she is locked in as the character Pepper Potts.
Gwyneth did nothing to make friends with fellow superhero Scarlett Johansson, playing the Black Widow, says the insider, and crew actually preferred to be around her husband, Coldplay frontman, Chris Martin.
"Gwyneth is extremely cool at work. She's just a step above professional, too snobby," the on-set source tells FOX411. "Gwyneth is not friendly to anyone, and tends to make people feel awkward and uncomfortable. She wasn't outright rude to Scarlett, she just didn't ever speak to her. Gwyneth went out of her way to avoid Scarlett, and they had zero contact, at Gwyneth's choosing."
Funny now the first person who comes to mind when I hear the word "snobby".
Gerald Steinberg sees a well financed strategy behind the latest incident of Swedish blood libel against the Jews of Israel, a pattern of anti-Semitism that is the logical result of funding anti-Semitic NGOs.
An NGO Monitor research report on Swedish government funding, published on June 29 2009, documented this pattern in detail, and warned of the incitement and anti-Semitic language being used routinely by these organizations. This systematic study examined over 20 major NGOs funded through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), Diakonia, the multi-national NGO Development Center (NDC), and the Swedish Mission Council (SMR).
Many of these NGOs routinely accuse Israel of "genocide," "ethnic cleansing," and "apartheid," and some compare Israeli military and political officials to Nazis. This propaganda warfare is waged through the façade of "research" reports which routinely quote Palestinian "testimonies," taken and repeated without question. The path from this demonization to the blood libels of Aftonbladet is short and direct.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is up north flexing "Canada's military might" at the Russians and the best quotes the Sun's Parliamentary Bureau can manage come from some poli-sci prof who - gasp! - claims a "narrow focus" on the miltary detracts from Arctic social and economic regional development (what a depressing collection of syllables) and an NDP (socialist) MP who had the following entirely predictable twaddle to pronounce.
Western Arctic NDP MP Dennis Bevington agrees Harper sends the wrong message by beating the military drums and said that "crass political" approach is offensive to those who live and work in the North. Instead of "sabre-rattling" with Russia and other Arctic nations, Harper should invest heavily in infrastructure and services so northerners aren't forced to live like "second-class citizens."
He is also worried about "climate change". Here is a thought: If you do not enjoy northern infrastructure and services you should move somewhere warmer and more convenient. As a Canadian southerner, I find your whining, your grasping for hand-outs and your anti-military rhetoric offensive. Also, boring.
Note to the PMO: If you cannot be bothered to provide a quote to spin your man's events to the press down the hall from the Prime Minister's office, you might as well not have bothered. It would at least save those of us paying for this charade the price of the airfare.
Canadian mathematician and walking zombie enthusiast Robert Smith? claims only frequent counter-attacks with increasing force can hope to stem a zombie outbreak.
In their study, the researchers from the University of Ottawa and Carleton University (also in Ottawa) posed a question: If there was to be a battle between zombies and the living, who would win?
Professor Robert Smith? (the question mark is part of his surname and not a typographical mistake) and colleagues wrote: "We model a zombie attack using biological assumptions based on popular zombie movies. We introduce a basic model for zombie infection and illustrate the outcome with numerical solutions."
The Space Game is set in the vast reaches of Canada, oh wait I mean SPACE, where there await fields of mineral-rich asteroids, ripe for exploitation. However it seems that the best asteroid belts lie within pirate territory, and they love nothing more than to crack open space miners’ skulls and feast on their space brains.
I have been sketching characters for a new project and consequently have been after reference pictures for objects and such. An image search for skulls turned up "The Skull of Zurbarán" (above) and with it an impressive Virtual Dali collection. Not terribly useful for sketching but quite excellent for thinking with.
An Afghan bill allowing a husband to starve his wife if she refuses to have sex has been published in the official gazette and become law.
This is the price we force Afghan women to pay for the way we have chosen to fight this war. We are in a war to the finish with a culture bent on our extermination and all the while we insist on praising the enemy's way of life for its uniqueness. Unique it may be but the truth is not every culture is a beautiful snowflake. The self-congratulatory smirk of our elites translates directly into a smile on the face of every Afghan rapist empowered by his demon, his rapist's holy book and our complicity with both.
Prime Minister Harper: What, if anything, do you intend to do to stop this? If the answer is, as I suspect, "nothing" then it is time to withdraw Canadian forces from Afghanistan. We can contribute fast air for the follow up when it comes.
With the advent of "sleek" singers including Latvian soprano Marina Rebeka, mezzo-soprano Elina Garanca, and Australian-born Danielle de Niese (pictured above), the era of Wagnerian* opera divas may be over.
The much-parodied large, Wagnerian soprano, resplendent in a horned helmet, may soon be a fond operatic memory. This summer pundits are hailing the birth of a new breed of female opera singers – all of them sylphs compared to the conventional Brünnhilde-type.
At the world-renowned Salzburg festival, the heaving bosom of a traditional, generously proportioned opera diva has been replaced by slim waists and scanty outfits. The streets and shop windows of the Austrian city are papered with posters celebrating the svelte figures of international stars who have flown in to sing. And three of them together would fit inside the voluminous costumes once worn on stage by great singers such as Joan Sutherland and Montserrat Caballé.
"Insiders have said the feature is to be a complete reimagining and will stand separately." Reimagining a show that was super-popular and just ended this year is all sorts of ridiculous. Even if it's aiming to focus on the original show, that's still reimagining source material that was just reimagined to great success. That's more than enough "reimagination" for anyone.
"Those who have struggled for women's rights back home in their own countries -- I'm thinking particularly of Algeria -- we know what it represents and what the obscurantist political project is that lies behind it, to confiscate the most fundamental of liberties," she said.
Please study and embrace islam to win Paradise. As you can see in this wonderful video from Egyptian national TV studio the seated scientist from Japan presented his findings of the effect of the holy Quran islam and the islamic prayer call (the athan) on water molecules under electron microscopy. The egyptian scientist B.sc.Ms.Ph.D explained the water molecules took beautifull shapes everytime they are exposed to air vibrations from reading the holy Quran or saying the word islam or the muslim call to prayer the athan. The scientist added because water constitute 70% of our body this makes us happy and explains the feeling of happiness after people embrace islam and worship Allah. Please watch read the holy Quran and embrace islam.
The new poll finds broad support for harsh punishments: 78% favor death for those who leave Islam; 80% favor whippings and cutting off hands for crimes like theft and robbery; and 83% favor stoning adulterers.”
In this light, some news to make Americans proud.
“only 16% of Pakistanis express a favorable view of the U.S.”
A follower of 1960s cult leader Charles Manson has been freed from jail after serving nearly 34 years for trying to kill then-President Gerald Ford. Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, 60, was convicted in 1975.
Captured in this aerial footage, a Hamas terrorist plants an IED and then climbs into a house containing uninvolved civilians. Later the civilians and the Hamas terrorist exit the house waiving a white flag, at which point IDF troops approach and arrest the terrorist.
This is just one of many examples of how Hamas uses uninvolved civilians as human shields. This example is particularly egregious since the terrorist used civilians waving a white flag to try to evade IDF soldiers.
Most Americans have yet to notice, still less the European "powers", still less minor dependencies such as Canada. To a large part of the world, history has moved on and the contest lies elsewhere.
Indian academics are up in arms over what they regard as provocative incitement of the country’s demise by a Chinese essayist.
“China can dismember the so-called ‘Indian Union’ with one little move!” claimed the essay posted last week on China International Strategy Net, a patriotic website focused on strategic issues. The writer, under the pseudonym Zhanlue (strategy in Chinese), argued that India’s sense of national unity was weak and Beijing’s best option to remove an emerging rival and security threat would be to support separatist forces, like those in Assam, to bring about a collapse of the Indian federal state.
“There cannot be two suns in the sky,” wrote Zhanlue. “China and India cannot really deal with each other harmoniously.” The article suggested that India should be divided into 20 to 30 sovereign states.
This via Danwei who reports the email has been floating around since at least 2005. So much for the West. What is of supreme importance in war is to attack the enemy's strategy and consequently we must support a strong, democratic India.
August 13, 2009: China has changed its policy and agreed to enforce UN sanctions on North Korea. Fed up with the infighting among senior officials in North Korea, and continued inability to do anything about their mismanaged economy (and inability to feed its citizens), the Chinese are now stopping illegal goods (like materials for building missiles and nuclear weapons) from entering via China.
Yet more related: The Peoples Liberation Army Air Force is practicing with its Su-30s amd a ski ramp, presumably in preparation for carrier operations. This is the first I have heard of the Varyag rechristening.
Earlier this year, the Russian aircraft carrier Varyag was renamed the Shi Lang (after the Chinese general who took possession of Taiwan in 1681, the first time China ever paid any attention to the island) and given the pennant number 83. The Chinese have been refurbishing the Varyag, one of the Kuznetsov class that Russia began building in the 1980s, for several years now. It is expected to be ready for sea trials by the end of the year.
The United Church of Canada votes against a proposed Israel boycott, preferring to scuttle for cover now the light is on their activities. In a slippery move, they suggest their individual congregations can pray for guidance and impliment their anti-Semitism at a local level (via Solomonia).
Italian legislator Fiamma Nirenstein argues it is time to drop the apologetics and admit Israel is fighting a war. Perhaps more important, Nirenstein goes a long way toward explaining today's European anti-Semitism.
"Europeans can't really understand a problem that involves terrorists shooting and then hiding behind civilians," she argues. "They just can't put themselves in those shoes." Declaring that Israel is at war for its right for self-determination as a free society would have a greater impact than explaining the human shield predicament, Nirenstein proposes.
"You have to realize that Israeli society has something Europe longs for," she says. "Europe is lost. It longs for a society of values defending its people, for a society which is still able to produce three children per couple. But you have to have the courage to say that you are different than Europe."
This will naturally highlight the things that set Israel apart from Europe rather than what unites the two cultures, she concedes. "But pretending you are not at war is just a lie."
I am perplexed about so many issues in the news that I can only ask questions today. Maybe someone else has the answers.
* Why is the issue of health care being decided by government and not by the consumers, health professionals and insurance companies? Isn't government the one that can't defend our borders, win the war on poverty or control the cost of stamps? And if Medicare and Medicaid are rampant with corruption and cost overruns, what will government do to a much broader program?
* Why are the 10 poorest cities in America the ones that always elect Democrats to public office? Is it because their solutions to problems is welfare, not work?
* Why is it considered desirable to register every uninformed voter to cancel out the votes of informed, well-educated people?
* What does it mean when cities with strict gun control laws, like Chicago and Washington, D.C., can't control gangs, drugs and shootings?
* Why is global warming even an issue when the increase in worldwide temperatures during the past 100 years has been only one degree Celsius and, for the past three years, has declined?
* Why does President Obama prefer to house terrorists in the United States rather than at Gitmo?
* With Cash for Clunkers and $8,000 bribes to first-time home buyers, what will happen to car and home sales when these "incentives" end? (I'm waiting for my 10 grand for grandpas.)
* Why is there so much weeping and gnashing of teeth over Burr Oak Cemetery? Didn't anyone ever visit the graves of their loved ones on their birthdays or Memorial Day to honor them? Or is there now "money in them there bones"? I found a beautiful tombstone of a relative buried in Germany in 1959. I couldn't find it again five years ago. I discovered that, because of a shortage of burial space, tombstones remain only as long as a relative pays an annual fee. Oh, well, in my opinion, it's what happened to the soul of my relative -- not his bones -- that counts.
* Should I buy a car from a company owned by unions that caused their own bankruptcies and by a government stupid enough to invest taxpayer money to prop them up?
* Whatever happened to the great all-American principle that when a business fails, it provides opportunity for others to step in and do a better job? Has our government become the No. 1 enabler of inefficiency?
* Why is the stimulus package loaded with funding that obviously will not stimulate the economy, but will stimulate people to vote a certain way?
* Why is it that public schools that spend $10,000 per pupil can't do any better educating children than private, religious schools spending $4,000 per pupil? Shouldn't more resources go to those who succeed and less to those who are proven failures?
* Why do television network news broadcasts use the term "news"? Isn't their product just tabloid entertainment? Fortunately, we still have good news -papers that do an excellent job of informing.
Glowing eyes, cliche behavior, evilness, that kind of thing
Flea-readers may have guessed I have been watching the Stargate franchise from start to finish and consequently have this stuff on the brain. But, seriously, a part of us always suspected Michael Jackson was a Goa'uld, right? There is a limit to the number of times you can run yourself through a sarcophagus. You may keep some semblance of youth - even keep your nose, if you are lucky - but you will surely lose your soul.
An ancient Egyptian bust on display at the Field Museum in Chicago has been the focus of interest since Michael Jackson's death as visitors double-take at the eerie similarities between the 3,000-year-old statue and the singer. The limestone statue, which depicts an unidentified woman, went on display at the museum in 1988 and was carved during the New Kingdom Period, dating from between 1550 BC to 1050 BC.
" We've had people coming to the museum and asking 'Where's Michael Jackson?' So we have to tell them that he's not here, but there is a bust that looks a lot like him."
Like Jackson's surgically-altered face, the carving has a distinct, upturned nose and rounded eyes. And like Jackson -- if rumors of the singer's prosthesis are to be believed -- the statue's nose has partially disintegrated.
No blaming Napoleonic enthusiasm for the nose job this time. And imagine the spirit if this long lost Egyptian woman, immortalized at great price and not at all in the way she most probably hoped she would be.
An Ohio girl ran away to Orlando because she said her family threatened to kill her for converting to Christianity. Rifqa Bary, 17, said she was threatened by her family because she converted from Islam to Christianity.
"What did your father say to you?" WFTV reporter Mary Nguyen asked.
"He said he would kill me!" replied Bary.
By the asymmetric logic of "the left" and the ideology of its jihadi allies, we may only conclude Rifqa Bary is a racist.
But all is not lost: Follow the link, watch the video and rejoice in the strength of a young woman circumstance, character and necessity has made brave enough to speak for the rest of us.
"This is not a threat. This is truth. This is reality."
Not erupting in Paris: A return to constitutional order as streets clear of rabble after "youths" shot for engaging in armed insurrection. If the French insist on regarding low intensity jihad as a form of cultural expression - worse yet, as a form of play - then the French will get exactly what you deserve. More and more of the same.
French security forces have clashed with petrol-bomb-wielding rioters in a Paris suburb after a teenager died while fleeing a police identity check.
Some 40 rioters in an eastern Paris suburb, Bagnolet, hurled Molotov cocktails at police and firefighters and torched 29 cars in a rampage provoked by the death of a teen pizza deliverer, Yacou Sanago.
Not to be too hard on the French. After all, we learn nothing whatsoever from their bad example.
The Pentagon is trying to speed up the deployment of an ultra-large bunker-busting bomb, which would constitute the largest non-nuclear bomb the U.S. has ever used. The Massive Ordnance Penetrator, or MOP, is a 30,000-pound bomb that would dive deeper than any previous bomb, and could be strapped to B-2 or B-52 bombers by July of 2010.
The MOP is 20 feet long and can penetrate bunkers up to 200 feet before exploding. At 15 tons, the MOP is a third heavier than the previous "mother of all bombs", the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb, which was only 10.5 tons. The MOP also packs a whopping 5,300 lbs of explosives, which is 10 times the amount its predecessor bunker-buster, the BLU-109, carried. Basically, it's massive.
Massive, yes. But in this as in life what matters is how you use it. With Jimmy Carter squared in the White House, these massive penetrators may have to wait until after 2012 to get into the rubble bouncing business.
As a British dog, you get to choose (through an intermediary, I admit) your veterinarian. If you don’t like him, you can pick up your leash and go elsewhere, that very day if necessary. Any vet will see you straight away, there is no delay in such investigations as you may need, and treatment is immediate. There are no waiting lists for dogs, no operations postponed because something more important has come up, no appalling stories of dogs being made to wait for years because other dogs—or hamsters—come first.
Set to take command of the British Army, General Sir David Richards says the United Kingdom may be involved in Afghanistan for forty years. While he is right to think in the long term, I cannot imagine the UK electorate - let alone the UK public - would care to invest the time and effort in decades of "nation building" in Afghanistan. Most clearly cannot be bothered with nation building at home.
Troops will be required for the medium term only, but the UK will continue to play a role in "development, governance [and] security sector reform," he said. "There is absolutely no chance of Nato pulling out," Gen Richards added.
On the contrary, I see no chance of NATO existing anywhere except on paper at the end of the time-frame Richards is considering. The Taliban, by contrast, and by whatever name, seem likely to persist so long as we spend our blood and treasure on "nation building" rather than some robust "nation destroying". A blend of Pashtun supremicism and puritanical Islam exhibit little interest in wells and bridges and an active antipathy toward education and women's suffrage. Until we set about destroying their culture, their culture will continue to produce men bent on destroying ours. No amount of economic or planning assistance will negate the enemy's ideology nor change the fact it is the enemy's culture that has left Afghanistan a war ravaged basket case in the first place. Tens of millions of Afghans - and particularly Afghan women - deserve better than to once again find the bloody wages of Islamic medievalism paid for by earnest (post-)Christian Pollyannas.
President Ronald Reagan's Address to the British Parliament (June 8, 1982) is the specific for what ails us. And by "us" I mean "me". I have read Tolkien and I understand despair in the face of the darkness is a sin. This helps (transcript here).
Four-star U.S. Air Force General Chuck Wald argues the merits of an American military strike on Iran's nuclear weapons program. He only makes one point but he makes it clearly: Iran's nuclear facilities are touchable.
Many policy makers and journalists dismiss the military option on the basis of a false sense of futility. They assume that the U.S. military is already overstretched, that we lack adequate intelligence about the location of covert nuclear sites, and that known sites are too heavily fortified.
Such assumptions are false.
An attack on Iranian nuclear facilities would mostly involve air assets, primarily Air Force and Navy, that are not strained by operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Moreover, the presence of U.S. forces in countries that border Iran offers distinct advantages. Special Forces and intelligence personnel already in the region can easily move to protect key assets or perform clandestine operations. It would be prudent to emplace additional missile-defense capabilities in the region, upgrade both regional facilities and allied militaries, and expand strategic partnerships with countries such as Azerbaijan and Georgia to pressure Iran from all directions.
Conflict may reveal previously undetected Iranian facilities as Iranian forces move to protect them. Moreover, nuclear sites buried underground may survive sustained bombing, but their entrances and exits will not.
All of which may be casually dismissed by "the left"; long on cliches, short on reality. Remember: Violence never solves anything (except slavery, Nazism, etc. etc.).
Related: Information Dissemination on RAND wargaming an assault on Taiwan by the PRC. Missiles and aircraft feature prominently in both the report and in the critical response it has generated. A comment left to the post is worth republishing here in bold (you can imagine it is in bold). I would not count on USAF sallies from Guam either.
Something that bothered me about the study, was the relatively secure position the authors think Guam is because it isn't off the mainland coast. If Japan didn't mind sailing many thousands of miles to take out Pearl Harbor, giving them free reign over the South and Central Pacific, it seems China might fleet obliged to destroy bases in Guam and Japan to aid their invasion of Taiwan.
Universe Today reports the best news I have read in some time, thoughtfully including an illustrative map of Titan (pdf file) made possible thanks to the Cassini fly-by.
Titan's mysterious dark plains will be named after planets in the series of "Dune" science fiction novels by author Frank Herbert. The US Geological Survey Astrogeology Science Center announced the first plain or "planitia" given a name will be designated as Chusuk Planitia. Chusuk was a planet from the Dune series, known for its musical instruments.
Michael Weiss considers John Hughes, Republican ersatz class warrior. It is an elegy for Hughes, dead of a heart attack at 59, and deserves to be read in full. I shall excerpt the immortal words of Ferris Bueller by way of introduction.
-Ism's, in my opinion, are not good. A person should not believe in an -ism, he should believe in himself. I quote John Lennon, "I don't believe in Beatles, I just believe in me." Good point there. After all, he was the walrus. I could be the walrus but it still wouldn't change the fact that I don't own a car.
Overcast and smelling, Toronto stumbles from yet another gratuitous, inconsiderate strike action by city workers insulated from reality by our socialist council and an electorate largely indifferent to the process whereby they are governed (and, not incidentally, their money is pissed away). The garbage has been collected from the public parks where it had been left to fester through the summer. Yet still it stinks.
[Toronto mayor] Miller is confident that he will get elected because the public unions turnout at the municipal election is near 100% but only 20% of the city in total usually gets off the couch to vote for Mayor.
In both elections his total vote count was around 300,000 - a large chuck of that is city workers plus their cupe brothers and sisters from queens park as well as the other loyal NDP supporters like the Ontario federation of teachers. Even so, he only beat Tory by a 30K in 2003; and beat Pitfield by 100K in 2006.
If 4% more of the city stands up and says enough of letting Cupe run the city, and gets off the couch to vote - we can get rid of this bum.
What this city needs is a campaign to get out the vote, and an anyone but miller candidate to focus that vote on. Smitherman, Tory, someones three legged dog - who cares - I will vote for whoever has the best chance of sending Miller back home to the US where he was born. Let him go on the lecture circuit with his other silver spoon socialist peers and complain about how the peasants did not deserve him.
What he has negotiated cannot be changed until the city's next round of bargaining, more than a year after any new election. His new collective agreement, unlike the old, provides union members with the right to cash out their sick-leave provisions immediately rather than waiting until they retire.
The little-understood impact of that is that if, in the next election, any mayoralty candidate runs on the promise to remove that benefit and wins, union members will simply threaten to cash it out immediately, plunging Toronto into a profound financial crisis until that demand is withdrawn. Needless to say, the city cannot afford the immediate payment of hundreds of millions of dollars which that cash-out of the sick-leave benefit would entail. The mere possibility of this would be enough to make any city council blink before threatening its elimination. If city council persists, union members will cash it out immediately making the benefit of such a change nugatory.
Small wonder our neighbourhood has already seen the petty arrogance of the garbage collectors fresh (if such can be said) from their victory. Democracy has failed us. Time for direct action. (Suggestions welcome.)
"It's simply that we're no longer new," Windsor West MP Brian Masse said in an interview.
"We're an established Canadian party that has shaped many public policies in Canada, that has been instrumental in health care, pension reform and progressive environmental and economic issues. I think this is a natural evolution. Drop the new from the name and run with the 'Democratic Party.'
I blame Obama.
On a happy note: Flea-readers unfamiliar with the NDP can take heart from the news the NDP has a remarkable track record for being comprehensively wrong. Jack Layton et al. deciding to hitch their wagon to Obama now is as sure a sign as any the fraud in the White House is past his sell by date.
Don’t make something unless it is both necessary and useful; but if it is both necessary and useful, don't hesitate to make it beautiful
An affordable apiary is now in reach. I suspect I just want one so I can say I have a Beehaus.
The plight of the declining honeybee has tugged on the heartstrings of nature-lovers across the country. But now even city-dwellers can do their bit to save the humble insect with the launch of an affordable, easy-to-use beehive that can slot into even the tiniest back garden. However, amateur apiarists might find they need to hand out some of the 50 jars of honey it promises to produce to neighbours distressed by the sudden invasion of bees.
Don't ask me, I haven't a clue. But I will tell you this. Given Japan and Russia as recent historical precedent, the Arabs have no need of oil - let alone religion - to see them through. Centuries of repression have left them perched atop a well of untapped kitsch such as the world has never seen.
It's the news that fans of the original Alien film have longed to hear – Variety reports that Ridley Scott is to return to the franchise he launched in 1979, taking the director's chair for a prequel.
The new film will be set before the events of Scott's 1979 film, in which the crew of a commercial towing ship respond to a distress signal from the empty ship, only to discover too late that the signal was meant to warn them.
The prequel will be Scott's first science fiction project since Blade Runner in 1982 and will be based on a script by Jon Spaihts, who seems to be Hollywood's sci-fi writer of the moment. Apart from the Alien prequel, Spaihts is also working on Shadow 19, which has Keanu Reeves attached; Reeves in turn has hired him to write "space journey epic" Passengers. Spaihts is also reportedly scripting Children of Mars for Disney.
In my opinion, some nasty acts of canon-hacking will be needed to suggest that there were adequate human machinations to generate an entire film prior to the Nostromo's involvement.
But what choice is there, if this is the road the producers have chosen? The chances of Alien 0 dealing entirely with an expensive CGI/prosthetics space-jockey civilisation are pretty remote, not least because such an outlandish project doesn't tick all the demographic boxes for the target audience (who are almost inevitably going to be young teenagers, I fear). The producers will be needing pretty faces to shroud in face-huggers - and probably younger ones than featured in the original movie.
Sergeant Deb Leonard, PCSO Helen Turner and Sergeant Deb Pickering spend a day in "Muslim clothing" as part of an "In Your Shoes" exercise. Presumably the next stage of cultural enrichment for female police officers involves going out on patrol only when accompanied by a male relative and offering testimony in court at half the weight of their male fellow officers. Call it a teaching moment.
Critics yesterday lined up to denounce the scheme as ‘political correctness gone mad,’ and accused South Yorkshire Police of losing sight of its main objective.
Douglas Murray, of the Centre for Social Cohesion think-tank, said: ‘You just couldn’t make it up. The victims of crime must be amazed that the police have so much time on their hands that they can spend a day playing dress-up. This is a complete waste of police time and taxpayers’ money. It’s not the duty of police to empathise with particular sections of the community. It is the duty of the police to prevent crime and catch criminals.
‘After this are they planning to dress as members of other communities such as Hindus and Buddhists?’
Jeremy Clarkson's closing to the finale of Top Gear season 13 was superficially (and fundamentally) a review of the Aston Martin V12 Vantage, a beautiful car and a triumph of engineering. Somewhat more pointedly, it was a rejoinder to recent criticism of the show's "speed is good" philosophy (and much else, as ever).
Perhaps it is my Spenglerian bent - or rather, Melnibonéan - that attaches a rather more comprehensive, civilizational spin to the piece. If the V12 Vantage represents an elegy for speed so too does it represent an elegy for the West. Having watched what the busybodies have done to smoking, it is all too easy to imagine ourselves to be one enervated step away from a generation of Gammas stopped short in wonder that such a machine was ever built.
They will have forgotten how. Worse yet, they will have forgotten why.
Britain's last fighter aircraft factory faces closure within five years after the government’s decision last week to curtail its purchases of the Eurofighter Typhoon.
The industry, founded on the Sopwith Camel in the first world war, is expected to come to an end when the last of the Typhoons rolls off the production line in 2014. The BAE Systems aircraft manufacturing plant at Warton, Lancashire, would close with the possible loss of 20,000 jobs at the site and in support trades.
Under the Eurofighter deal, the RAF was due to receive 232 aircraft, now known as the Typhoon, in three batches. They were to be built at Warton as part of the joint British, German, Italian and Spanish project. Last Friday, however, it was announced that Britain would buy a total of only 160 aircraft in what is in effect a £4.5 billion defence cut. The number of RAF frontline Typhoon squadrons will be cut to five from the six that were planned.
Funny how it takes 232 aircraft to man six squadrons but only 160 to man five squadrons. With math skills like these perhaps it is best to leave the defense of the realm to its traditional defenders: The Americans.
By contrast: India has plans to build 100 warships; and with 120 warships the Indian navy is already the fifth largest in the world. Given my pessimism about United States naval power, I think people who believe in democracy, pluralism and genuine celebration of diversity must soon look to India as their protector. Any suggestions on how to secure an Indian passport?
MI5 may have been infiltrated by al Qaeda. Hardly surprising given the MI5 application form most probably includes a box to check marked "al Qaeda" as an affirmative action measure.
A senior Tory MP has asked the home secretary whether al-Qaeda sympathisers were mistakenly recruited by MI5. Patrick Mercer, chairman of the Home Affairs counter-terror sub-committee, said he was told six recruits were ejected after worries about their past. Two allegedly attended al-Qaeda training camps while the others had unexplained gaps in their CVs, Mr Mercer told the Daily Telegraph.
Even in Islamic countries, fundamentalists are not medieval throwbacks, however they may see themselves. They derive their ideas, even if they do not acknowledge it, at least as much from Lenin, Gramsci, and Mao as from Mohammed. They claim to want to return to seventh-century Arabia, but this is no more realistic or sincere than the wish of Victorian admirers of the Gothic to return to the Middle Ages.
I am most curious how they plan to convince us we are in snowy Hogsmeade when it is midsummer in Florida with its wall of heat and we are surrounded by fat people in shorts speaking thirty languages. Perhaps a uniform requirement is in order.
On a related note, Emma Watson has legs: Yes, I realize I started this post on a serious topic. It's Saturday morning. Also, I am certain whatever Watson is talking about (with her flawless diction) is quite fascinating so you can always avert your eyes.
Victor Davis Hanson says he will try to get off his Spenglerian gloom before writing from Santa Sophia. Pity. I enjoyed his gloomy thoughts from Ravenna.
While exploring the Basilica di San Vitale today, I was reminded of the news from America. An entire nation is obsessed with the silly Henry Louis Gates affair. A supposedly premier intellectual, who is a professor of African-American grievance, gets into a spat with a cop, purportedly evokes his “mama” in slurs, warns the cop whom he is “messin’” with, and then gets affirmation from the President—and we are supposed to think this is some sort of cosmic “teachable moment” in between trying to borrow another trillion dollars to socialize medicine in the manner of the Department of Motor Vehicles?
Just as there is no logic in ruining the American medical system, so too there is no longer an elite class when its best and brightest scream slurs like “mama” and “messin’ ”, or condemn an entire police force as acting “stupidly” when it is trying to keep the rule of law.
Yes, parts of the United States are becoming like the collapsing world outside the sanctum of San Vitale.