Activists gathered outside a downtown strip club Monday to denounce as racist a banner depicting President Obama as the Joker from Batman.
"Not only is it an attack on the president, but also on all men and people of African descent," King Salim Khalfani, president of the Virginia NAACP, said of what he called "the abomination that's on the wall" outside Club Velvet.
The banner, unfurled within the past few days, depicts Obama as Heath Ledger's grotesque Joker character from "The Dark Knight." The president is shown with smeared red lipstick, a white face and darkened eyes. The word "socialism" is spelled out below the caricature.
* Unless an HRC is ready to award me damages as a result of such a claim in which case, Game On.
Wesley Pruden observes the White Hous is a "risky place" for on-the-job training in a world abounding in nasty surprises. Or, I might add, nasty certainties.
There are signs that the Europeans, so eager only a year ago to march to the music of the piper from Hyde Park, are sobering up like the millions of independent voters who have stepped out of the parade in America. The buzz about Barack Obama at international conferences is no longer about how strong and artful he is in the presidential role, but how naive and artless reality has revealed him to be. President Nicolas Sarkozy of France is said to have told confidants that he thinks the American president is "weak."
Update: Not just weak, grossly egotistical.
"And they both say that [France's President Nicolas] Sarkozy thinks that President Obama is incredibly naive and grossly egotistical - so egotistical that no one can dent his naïveté."
Nikki Collen, 39, begged officers for help after a thug kicked in her front door and punched her to the floor in her hallway. After her attacker fled, Nikki rang Warwickshire Police who promised to send an officer to her home in Kenilworth.
But an hour later she received a phone call from a woman police officer who told her it would be better if police did not attend because it might inflame the situation.
Ten days ago, I happened to be on a panel of 'talking heads' at the annual conference of the Police Superintendents' Association of England and Wales. Against a backdrop of concern about the impact of looming public expenditure cuts, the panel were asked to name one thing they thought the police might usefully stop doing.
I suggested they should drop their obsession with 'diversity' and, rather than pursuing people under 'hate crime' laws for giving offence to others, should concentrate on tackling the yobbery on housing estates where besieged residents felt the police had abandoned them.
It is fair to say my remarks were not greeted with widespread acclaim. Officers seemed stunned that I could challenge the sacred cow of 'diversity'.
View from the Right considers reaction to Philip Hensher's discussion of Aztec art at the Daily Mail ("British Museum's Aztec artefacts 'as evil as Nazi lampshades made from human skin' "). In particular, a comment to the left left by Sarah, USA.
Sarah, USA: "It doesn't matter if it's gruesome, our civilization is even more disgusting. At least they did those sacrifices with a greater outcome in mind. What do you leave for us? Let's kill whales to the extreme to feed sushi lovers? Let's kill seals just because they're paying me to do it? ... Please, for the sake of knowledge, don't let this person write anything else, ever."
Sarah has an absolute--not a relative--position. Her absolute position is that our civilization is morally monstrous. It is so monstrous that the killing of seals and whales by some members of our society makes our civilization more disgusting than capturing thousands of innocent people every year, dragging them to the top of a temple, and cutting out their beating heart. Relativism--"you must not judge"--is merely the cloak in which this absolutist hatred of the West is dressed. It's not everyone who must not judge. It's only people who speak in the name of the West who must not judge. Non-Westerners and Western leftist haters of the West have the full right to judge.
‘The United States can no longer be confident of winning the battle for the air in the air,’ said the study by the RAND Corporation, profiling the military situation in the Taiwan Strait. ‘This represents a dramatic change from the first five-plus decades of the China-Taiwan confrontation.’
The piece, based on simulations of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, assesses the relative balance of forces in the cross-strait standoff. And in a stark warning, the authors present a convincing argument that China’s large, modern missile and air forces are likely to pose a virtually insurmountable challenge to Taiwanese and American efforts to command the air over the Strait and the island.
I have a sneaking suspicion the headwaters are to be found in Vancouver.
A visionary new miniseries event from the bestselling fantasy novels by Philip José Farmer.
coming to Syfy in 2010
Matt, an American journalist, and his fiancée, Jessie, are killed in an explosion, but reawaken in a very unusual afterlife—a mysterious planet with an endless river terrain. Everyone who has ever lived on Earth has been resurrected simultaneously in this strange new world. Determined to find Jessie, Matt joins forces with an intrepid crew including a 13th century female warrior and Riverboat captain Mark Twain. Embarking upriver, their adventure begins, all the while tracked by the watchful eye of a mysterious alien force.
Rumours of a Philip K. Dick/Anne McCaffrey collaboration have been proven true with the discovery of the manuscript: Dragonvalis. Too good to be true, I suspect. But with McCaffrey's lawyers tooling up to prevent its publication by PKD's estate it may take a journey to some parallel universe if I want to read the thing.
Dick's book opens five centuries after the end of McCaffrey's series. The people of Pern had long before launched an expedition to the Red Star, the neighboring planet that periodically showered the Pernese with deadly spores called threads. The threat had been halted at the source, and Pernese society had, as a result, evolved far beyond the medieval system that had prevailed in the earlier stories. Suburban sprawl covers the planet, producing a society that strongly resembles that of Dick's beloved Southern California.
But with some differences. Dragonriders criss-cross the sky, mostly working as aerial cabbies. And on the streets and in the weyrs, a new recreational drug is taking hold: Substance T, made from threads farmed on the Red Star.
There is the maxim that a customer can judge the cleanliness of a restaurant’s kitchen by the restroom. After much experience in Iraq and Afghanistan, I have discovered another: Soldiers always treat correspondents they way they treat the local people. When soldiers treat correspondents badly, they treat local people even worse and are creating enemies. Those troops who brag about how they mistreat or detest correspondents are abusing and resentful of the local population, and they cannot win this sort of war. The people will kill them and the media will bash them and they will blame the people and the media. When a soldier alienates sympathetic correspondents, he has no real chance against mortal enemies such as the Taliban and al Qaeda, and they will defeat him. Yet there is subtlety: for “the people,” in the case of Media Ops, is you.
J.R.R. Tolkien. The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien. ed. Humphrey Carpenter (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1981), 63-4.
My political opinions lean more and more to Anarchy (philosophically understood, meaning the abolition of control not whiskered men with bombs) — or to ‘unconstitutional’ Monarchy. I would arrest anybody who uses the word State (in any sense other than the inaminate real of England and its inhabitants, a thing that has neither power, rights nor mind); and after a chance of recantation, execute them if they remained obstinate! If we could go back to personal names, it would do a lot of good. Government is an abstract noun meaning the art and process of governing and it should be an offence to write it with a capital G or so to refer to people. […] Anyway the proper study of Man is anything but Man; and the most improper job of any man, even saints (who at any rate were at least unwilling to take it on), is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity. At least it is done only to a small group of men who know who their master is. The mediaevals were only too right in taking nolo episcopari as the best reason a man could give to others for making him a bishop. Grant me a king whose chief interest in life is stamps, railways, or race-horses; and who has the power to sack his Vizier (or whatever you dare call him) if he does not like the cut of his trousers. And so on down the line. But, of course, the fatal weakness of all that — after all only the fatal weakness of all good natural things in a bad corrupt unnatural world — is that it works and has only worked when all the world is messing along in the same good old inefficient human way. […] There is only one bright spot and that is the growing habit of disgruntled men of dynamating factories and power-stations; I hope that, encouraged now as ‘patriotism’, may remain a habit! But it won’t do any good, if it is not universal.
Excited by stories of the Second World War during school classes, Steven Cheek did what generations of young boys have done before him. Making an imaginary gun with his fingers, the nine-year-old pointed it at a classmate and said: 'We've got to shoot the German army.'
Moments later he found himself in front of the deputy head who accused him of racism because his 'victim' had been a Polish boy.
On Saturday night she had the sympathy of the nation as she broke down in tears after messing up her X Factor audition.
But Amie Buck, who was comforted by Cheryl Cole on stage after nerves got the better of her, doesn't usually have a problem with confidence. She has been exposed as a £500-a-week lap dancer.
The 22-year-old hid her less than wholesome profession from the show's bosses, telling them she was a personal trainer.
Next they will tell me they staged the whole thing. Like the part where Amy Buck starts singing "Stand By You" by Girls Aloud and Cheryl Cole (coincindentally from Girls Aloud) stands by her to help her through it. But you know me. Doom and gloom. Conspiracies everywhere. Wheels within wheels.
Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth
India discovers water on the moon, an accomplishment for which a less forgetful civilization might otherwise thank them.
A manned moon base could become a reality within 20 years after scientists revealed today there are large quantities of water on the Moon's surface. The scientific discovery made by the Indian lunar mission Chandrayaan-1 is due to be announced by Nasa today. Amazingly the data also suggests that water is still being formed on the Moon.
In related news: Comment section discovers the UK is still sending aid to India.
So when in Britain going to do something in space again? Silly question, I guess.
It is, actually. Delete the word "again" and try that new sentence out for size.
The Present: Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed claims Iran is allied with Al Qaeda. The man clearly knows nothing about the Middle East; I have it on good authority that fire does not melt steel.
During the following years, the story has been clarified as a result of cooperation between Iran and Al Qaeda, despite the fact that the leaders of the militant Sunni [Al Qaeda] organization continue to incite against the Shia, and despite Iran expressing a hostile attitude towards Al Qaeda, particularly during the most recent bloody events in Iraq. Intermediary parties have concrete evidence of cooperation between the Iranian regime and the militant [Al Qaeda] organization. The reason [behind this cooperation] is logical as both parties share Arab and Western enemies.
The Past: Most fashionable leftists will still call the Falklands "las Malvinas". Most fashionable leftists continue to ally themselves with the junta.
"(Poch) told me how aboard his plane, people who were still alive were thrown off with the intent of executing them," a pilot told Torres during an interview with the judge in the Netherlands, official Argentine news agency Telam reported. Poch justified the killings by saying "they were terrorists," according to the testimony cited by Telam.
Another pilot who worked with Poch said "his behavior was outrageous, he defended throwing people off planes into the ocean," Telam said.
The Future: Canada's Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin says we shold not "go overboard" about 9/11. Such is the home front of the axis of jihadism/nihilism. The termites continue their work.
Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin's warning that lawmakers, judges and citizens must heed the big picture comes as the federal government's war on terror is taking a beating in the nation's courts.
Locklear, 47, will reprise her role as scheming ad vixen Amanda Woodward on the new CW version of the show. She will make her debut appearance Nov. 17.
"We're ecstatic to have the chance to bring Amanda Woodward back to 'Melrose Place,'" executive producers Todd Slavkin & Darren Swimmer said in a statement. "Heather's involvement in the show is something we've been working on for some time as we couldn't imagine creating and producing this show without the iconic character's inclusion."
For those whose memory of the early 90s is a bit sketchy.
Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys
Energy Secretary Steven Chu lets the mask slip on the emasculationinfantilization of the Republic. These people subscribe to fantasy science but they think you are the ones acting like children.
Speaking on the sidelines of a smart grid conference in Washington, Dr. Chu said he didn’t think average folks had the know-how or will to to change their behavior enough to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.
“The American public…just like your teenage kids, aren’t acting in a way that they should act,” Dr. Chu said. “The American public has to really understand in their core how important this issue is.”
A bit rich considering America's teenage kids are the Obama administration's most ardent (living) supporters.
Update: Victor Davis Hanson responds to this and so much of the same from the president of the University of America.
Many of the former Professor Obama’s problems so far hinge on his administration’s inability to judge public opinion, its own self-righteous sense of self, its non-stop sermonizing, and its suspicion of sincere dissent. In other words, the United States is now a campus, we are the students, and Obama is our university president.
On some objective level, Morda Hehol may be a fool. But who is more foolish? The guy wearing robes because he liked Star Wars when he was a kid or the guy wearing robes because an angel told some Dark Ages bedouin having a psychotic break to take slaves, rape children and conquer the world.
So not an academic question.
That said, our civilization could do with a great deal more sniggering and a great deal less feigned respect for nonsense expressions of nonsense religion.
The founder of a religion inspired by the Star Wars films was thrown out of a supermarket for refusing to remove his hood, AOL reported on Tuesday.
Daniel Jones, head of the 500,000-strong International Church of Jediism, was asked to leave the Tesco supermarket in Bangor, North Wales as his attire was deemed to be in violation of Tesco's rules, which forbid the wearing of 'hoodies' while in the supermarket.
Mr Jones, who also goes by the Jedi name Morda Hehol, claimed he was 'victimised over his beliefs' and left 'emotionally humiliated' when staff deemed him a security risk and told him to leave.
He told The Daily Telegraph: 'I told them it was a requirement of my religion but they just sniggered and ordered me to leave.'
According to the rules of the Jedi church, members should wear a hood in public places. 'It states in our Jedi doctrination that I can wear headwear. It just covers the back of my head,' Mr Jones said. 'You have a choice of wearing headwear in your home or at work, but you have to wear a cover for your head when you are in public.'
The fine print they leave out about the dark glamour of vampirism is what your get will resemble once you have inbred with blood kin since the dawn of civilization. This is pure speculation on my part but it doesn't make you talented like a sparkle fairy.
My favourite thing about this Norwegian news report on Sweden's permanent carbecue season is not the murderous stone throwing children* but the way their murderous behaviour is framed. Either the violence is the result of Swedish racism which makes it difficult for these youths to integrate or the violence is a reaction to police violence which, naturally, makes the violence the fault of the police. The words "jihad" and "insurgency" do not figure.
Such is the all too recognizable transvaluation of values instigated by the Frankfurt School, perpetuated by almost every university in the Western world and disseminated by a legacy/palace guard media. We have rendered ourselves defenseless (via Gates of Vienna, more at Vlad Tepes channel).
One does not feel exactly safe here in the evenings, a bit unsafein the daytime too. We want the police to make it stop, but I guess that they have begun to feel a little afraid as well.
* These are not "feral" children; their value system is "barbarian".
"We cannot live under the shadow of an Iran with nuclear weapons," he was quoted as telling Reuters in an interview on a visit to the UK. "By the end of the year, if there is no agreement on crippling sanctions aimed at this regime, we will have no choice."
Sneh reportedly stressed that a military strike would be "the very, very last resort. But ironically it is our best friends and allies who are pushing us into a corner where we would have no option but to do it.
The 225,000-sailor People’s Liberation Army Navy already operates more submarines than any other Asian nation, with up to 10 nuclear-powered vessels and as many as 60 diesel-electric subs. It boasts almost 80 destroyers and frigates — more than a dozen of which have entered service since the 1990s — along with hundreds of smaller craft and support ships.
China’s second-generation, nuclear-powered Jin and Shang class submarines are considered just a notch below cutting-edge U.S. and Russian craft. The diesel-electric Yuan class boasts a Chinese-developed air-independent propulsion system that allows it to remain submerged for weeks, while Chinese Luyang destroyers and Jiangkai missile frigates incorporate stealth features and a mix of latest-generation Chinese and Russian weapon systems.
The scientist who is at the forefront of the row over the alleged failure of India’s 1998 thermonuclear test said on Monday that the country needs a “series of thermonuclear bomb tests” in order to be able to “protect the nation’s security” from China.
“We are totally naked vis-à-vis China which has an inventory of 200 nuclear bombs, the vast majority of which are giant H-bombs of power equal to 3 million tonnes of TNT,” a note circulated by K. Santhanam, former Chief Adviser (Technologies) of the Defence Research Development Organisation, at a press conference addressed by him said.
U.S. investment bank Goldman Sachs speculates that a unified Korea could overtake G7 countries like France, Germany and Japan in economic strength. In a report Monday, Goldman Sachs projected that given North Korea's potential, a unified Korea will in 30-40 years be on a par with or overtake G7 countries except the U.S. in dollar GDP.
South Korea is set to buy Israel's Green Pine radar system. Yet another instance of former United States allies working toward bilateral defence arrangements independent of the new Caliph in the White House.
They used to call this sort of thing "realism".
Amid growing concern about North Korea's expanding ballistic missile capabilities, South Korea has said it will buy Israel's advanced Green Pine radar system, which is used with the Jewish state's principal missile killer, the Arrow-2.
The deal will be worth an estimated $200 million, one of Israel's largest weapons deals with South Korea.
Voice of the People's Republic of North London, tribune for the values of champagne socialists everywhere (but mainly Canonbury), The Independent is to close by Christmas (via Jay Currie). This is not only another vindication of what many of us have been saying about the economic oblivion faced by "reality based" business models, it is a victory in our networked crusade against the enemies of civilization (citizen and barbarian alike).
Independent News & Media (INME.I) is likely to close its flagship London title The Independent by Christmas, the publishing group's second biggest shareholder Denis O'Brien said on Friday.
"There's no point in us as a company subsidising a newspaper that really nobody wants to read in the United Kingdom," O'Brien told Bloomberg TV in an interview on the sidelines of the Global Irish Economic Forum.
"It's not a relevant newspaper anymore and this newspaper's going to be closed by Christmas,"said O'Brien, who has been at odds with the company's board over plans to refinance a 200-million-euro debt issue that was meant to be paid in May.
I confess a twinge of regret. The Independent was part of my life in Islington for the better part of four years. They had a good concise crossword and would publish my letters besides.
Child rape is now sanctioned by the Canadian military in Afghanistan (and anywhere else the rape of children is an inconvenience, presumably). This is what happens when we complicate winning with sentiment. Worse yet, when "winning" becomes our only objective.
Only one of the following propositions is true:
i - Child rapists are not our allies, or;
ii - We are evil.
Army staff and National Defence headquarters officials were told in 2007 that young boys had allegedly been sexually abused by Afghan security forces at a Canadian base in Afghanistan, but the concern at the time was that the incident might be reported in the news media, according to military records obtained by the Citizen.
In addition, last year Brig.-Gen. J.C. Collin, commander of Land Force Central Area, passed on to the senior army leadership the concerns raised by military police who said they had been told by their commanders not to interfere in incidents in which Afghan forces were having sex with children.
To be clear: It is not necessary for the enemy to like us in order for us to win the war. Still less is it necessary for us to like him. On the contrary, in order to win the war, we must destroy the enemy's cult of rape and death, destroy the rapine and pillage that is his way of life and destroy most if not all of the underlying spirit disease that passes for his religion. It is, in fact, the destruction of his "religion" that must be at the heart of our endeavour.
This war aim is not a bug. This war aim is not even a feature. The destruction of the enemy's way of life and his system of belief is our just cause for making war. The moment we compromise this war aim in order to cultivate local "allies" we make ourselves complicit in the very evil we have sent our bravest to fight.
Complicity in child rape is not a PR problem for Stephen Harper's government nor merely a source of shame for those Canadians still capable of the emotion. Complicity in child rape is a war crime and should be treated as such.
Update: Manmountain Molehill comments via email (with my apologies for my sometimes over enthusiastic TypeKey comment system/moat):
Let's review the situation: Afghanistan was used as a base by al Quaeda to organize the Sep. 11 plot. Our legitimate interest was to destroy al quaeda's operation there and eliminate any threat from Afghanistan. In this instance I agree with John Derbyshire; "rubble doesn't cause trouble". We should have bombed them back to the stone age and left, repeating as needed. A strategic bombing campaign is inexpensive and devastating. The problem was in trying to impose a democratically elected government on the Pashtuns. They just don't get it.
Unlike Iraq, Saddam aside, which has a many-thousand year history of civilization Afghanistan has none. George W. Bush had an admirable, if ultimately futile goal in reorganizing Iraqi society in the wake of Saddam. A peaceful, democratically elected government in the heart of the Islamic world would have far-reaching consequences throughout the middle east.The ultimate result is yet to be seen, but the effort may well be justified. On the other hand, Afghanistan has never been civilized. The ability to live in a (somewhat) peaceful society has both genetic and cultural roots, and they run deep. Forcing such changes on the Pashtuns would be a multi-generation project involving occupation and a colonial government. For Afghanistan the game isn't worth the candle. It is time to time to send our troops elsewhere and send in the Hellfire missiles (or the Ghurkas, same result). Troops out, bombs in would also have been an effective response in Somalia, A few MOABs would have made our point most effectively: attack Americans and die. It will work against any form of barbarian. Unfortunately Western societies have lost the ruthlessness needed to impose such short, sharp shocks to our enemies. It mat yet be our undoing.
Canadian Parliament will consider a bill introduced Thursday that would allow American and other war resisters to stay in Canada.
The bill, introduced by the Liberal Party's Gerard Kennedy, would allow other countries' military deserters to stay in Canada if their refusal to serve is based on sincere moral, political or religious objections.
The sub-headline over the article says it all: “The investigation into a cop killing in the ’70s leads to a law professor who helped launch Barack Obama’s political career.” The law professor is former Communist terrorist Bernardine Dohrn, a leader of the Weather Underground known for praising mass murderer Charles Manson.
Writer Peter Jamison, who is based in San Francisco, where the cop killing occurred, spent months working on the story and developed many different sources of information. Jamison, who can’t be dismissed as a right-winger pursuing a partisan agenda designed to make Obama look bad, examined the evidence in the 1970 Park Police Station bombing case. He finds that it goes straight to Dohrn and other members of the Weather Underground, including her husband, fellow terrorist Bill Ayers, now a professor of education at the University of Illinois.
From The Meaning of the Crusade by G.K. Chesteron. The Crusade was the counter-attack; to say otherwise is to substitute modern stupidity for medieval simplicity.
Christendom might quite reasonably have been alarmed if it had not been attacked. But as a matter of history it had been attacked. The Crusader would have been quite justified in suspecting the Moslem even if the Moslem had merely been a new stranger; but as a matter of history he was already an old enemy. The critic of the Crusade talks as if it had sought out some inoffensive tribe or temple in the interior of Thibet, which was never discovered until it was invaded. They seem entirely to forget that long before the Crusaders had dreamed of riding to Jerusalem, the Moslems had almost ridden into Paris. They seem to forget that if the Crusaders nearly conquered Palestine, it was but a return upon the Moslems who had nearly conquered Europe.
More than that, it was but a return upon the Moslems who had already conquered Palestine.
Foolishly, perhaps, I used to take freedom for granted. But now thanks to ultra-tolerant, self-hating, multicultural lemmings like you, I don't. Politically, I always used to be on the liberal left because I used to believe in things like social justice, tolerance, respect... you know, the good things in life. I still believe those things. Which is why I am no longer on the liberal left.
That? That was just getting warmed up. He's right too; the word "racism" deserves an apology (via The Steynian).
Canada's H1N1 vaccine priority groups released: people with chronic medical conditions under age 65, pregnant women, children six months to five years, people living in isolated communities, pandemic response and essential health care workers.
Planning assumptions in September and June had stated that 30 per cent of the population could be affected by the new flu strain. The latest projection suggests that would be the highest likely figure, the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention said.
Up to 15 per cent of people infected with the H1N1 virus could get quite sick, and one per cent will be hospitalized — half the previous estimate of two per cent of clinical cases.
Human swine flu will begin spreading substantially any day now, peak in mid-to late-October and infect 32 per cent of the population, according to a new study on the potential impact of the anticipated fall wave of H1N1.
If accurate, the worst of the outbreak will occur before Canada plans to begin its vaccination program.
Dunch is a late afternoon meal between lunch and dinner. Dunch is a North American innovation, as is brunch.
A dunch (the term is a portmanteu of lunch and dinner) can be served after an afternoon event or prior to an evening one in order to accomodate busy time schedules. It usually replaces both lunch and dinner and thus has a tendency to be the only meal of the day.
The term "dunch" has enjoyed a wider usage, especially among college students, than its equivalent "linner", which has died out.
The defense apparatus in the United Arab Emirates arrested 45 suspects, most of them Palestinian and Lebanese, after the plot to blow up Burj Dubai (Dubai Tower) was uncovered. Dubai Tower, currently under construction, is the tallest building in the world.
The current wave of arrests adds to the eight other suspects detained immediately after the plot was revealed one and a half months ago. The detainees were apparently sent as agents of Iran.
Update, September 17: A UAE official denied reports claiming that the UAE intelligence services foiled attempts to bomb Burj Dubai, the world’s tallest building. He might even be telling the truth. To my mind, it is far more likely the tower will be brought down by hijacked civilian airliners or lighter private aircraft stocked with explosives.
An antidote to my usual doom-mongering, Terry Glavin lists accomplishments - and, I would argue, lowers expectations - in Afghanistan (via Blazing Cat Fur).
Eight years later, millions of girls are in school. The country has a constitutional government that reserves a quarter of its parliament to women. There are a dozen universities, several dozen newspapers, radio stations and television stations, and one in six Afghans owns a cellular phone. Five million refugees have returned. More than 80 per cent of the people have access to basic medical services. Almost all children have been immunized against polio and childhood diseases.
He is glorified not in one, but in countless suns; not in a single earth, a single world, but in a thousand thousand, I say in an infinity of worlds
GigaGalaxy Zoom has released the first of three images meant to allow internet users to observe the night sky as if from excellent viewing sites in Chile; an 800-million-pixel monster panorama including the entire sky.
Working in the dark, dry highlands of Chile with a Nikon D3 digital camera (50 mm lens open at f5.6), Serge Brunier and Frédéric Tapissier patched together 1,200 photos of the night sky ...
“I wanted to show a sky that everyone can relate to — with its constellations, its thousands of stars, with names familiar since childhood, its myths shared by all civilizations since Homo became Sapiens,” Brunier said in a release. “The image was therefore made as man sees it, with a regular digital camera under the dark skies in the Atacama Desert and on La Palma.”
Each exposure was six minutes long, and the project extended over several months.
Researchers at Canterbury Museum in Christchurch and the University of New South Wales in Australia have identified the culprit behind Maori legends of a giant man-eating bird. Te Hokioki is now thought to have been Haast's eagle, extinct for 500 years.
With a wingspan of up to three metres and weighing 18kg, the female was twice as big as the largest living eagle, the Steller's sea eagle. And the bird's talons were as big as a tiger's claws. "It was certainly capable of swooping down and taking a child," said Paul Scofield, the curator of vertebrate zoology at the Canterbury Museum. "They had the ability to not only strike with their talons but to close the talons and put them through quite solid objects such as a pelvis. It was designed as a killing machine."
Its main prey would have been moa, flightless birds which grew to as much as 250kg and 2.5 metres tall. "In some fossil sites, moa bones have been found with signs of eagle predation," Dr Scofield said.
Have you ever seen a bus full of the English blow up?
Many English-speaking Canadians, to the extent they are paying any attention at all, might think it is cute that threats of violence and an act of cowardice canceled re-enactment plans for the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. It is also true that a further lapse of moral discrimination allowed readings from the FLQ manifesto to take their place. Another victory for terrorism and another (tax payer funded) celebration of terrorism make for just another day in "Canada".
Many - perhaps most - English-speaking Canadians, to the extent they remain capable of moral discrimination, have become more afraid of being called racist than they are of the petty terrorism of French-speaking extremists; the English simply do not take this sort of thing seriously considering the source. This makes for bad gestures of goodwill made in bad faith; born of and breeding contempt rather than neighbourliness.
For all that Canada.com would whitewash the event as a picnic and a no-show for terrorists the fact remains the terrorists won the day.
I offer the following, from the Front de libération du Québec's No. 3, March 1969 issue of Victoire (all texts taken from Gerard Pelletier's book The October Crisis, translated by Joyce Marshall.)
THE FLQ WILL KILL
... In a little while the English, the federalists, the exploiters, the toadies of the occupiers, the lackeys of imperialism - all those who betray the workers and the Quebec nation - will fear for their lives and they will be right. For the FLQ will kill ... Our present cells will look like amateurs when our elite groups go into action.
Have you ever seen a bus full of the English blow up?
Have you ever seen an English library burning?
Have you ever seen the president of a Yankee corporation under fire?
Have you ever seen a pellet micro-bomb?
Have you ever seen a miniature incendiary bomb?
Have you ever seen a can explode on the shelf of a supermarket in the British quarter?
Have you ever seen a Protestant church burning?
Have you ever seen Westmount without telephones or electricity and with its water supply poisoned?
Have you ever seen sharp-shooters ambushed on roofs, shooting down traitors?
However, Anthony Layden, Britain's former ambassador to Libya, has said that he signed an agreement with the Libyan government in 2006, when Jack Straw was the foreign secretary and Britain was in the midst of negotiating trade deals with Libya worth hundreds of millions of pounds.
... if Britain, which has gone in half a century from being a country with a low crime rate to one with among the highest rates of crime in the western world had the same sentencing policy as Spain – that is to say, if it sent people to prison for the same reasons and for the same length of time as in Spain – its prison population would be not 80,000 but 400,000. Not coincidentally, Spain is a country whose crime rate is – yes, about one fifth of Britain’s. Furthermore, said the Hawk, if Britain had 400,000 prisoners, it would have the same proportion of the population in prison as – yes, the United States.
Furthermore, it has been estimated that if Britain now had the same sentencing policies as it had in Edwardian times, its prison population would be – well, about 400,000.
The strong implication of the movie is that the ultimate danger is seen as coming from the East, from both the Muslim and non-Muslim worlds, the only force that could engulf Russia and erase it completely from the surface of the Earth.
The West is of hardly any help, though while the Muslim challenge is open, the Western danger is more subtle. An excerpt from the movie, "The West's vengeful hatred of Byzantium and her successors is entirely inexplicable to the West itself; it goes to some deep genetic level, and - as paradoxical as this may seem - continues even to the present day."
The message is that for Russia to survive, it should return to its primordial values: Orthodoxy and strong power. Surrounded on all sides, Russia should deal with its enemies in the same way as they once dealt with it: Russia should use the West against the East, and the East against the West.
Fair dues: If you had to rely on the British or French Establishments to keep their word - let alone lend a hand in a pinch - you might reach similar conclusions.
* Scanning the text, I wondered how long it would take for the Russians to blame the Jews. Answer: About half a page. I expect they will work the Masons in there somewhere.
That poem begins (and is entitled) For All We Have and Are. It was quite frankly a call to arms, such that the line immediately preceding the passage I quoted reads: “The Hun is at the gate.” It tells Englishmen they are now at war, that they must stand and fight, and that even if everything dear to them is lost, the old Commandments stand. “In courage keep your heart, / In strength lift up your hand.”
So far so “war-mongering,” and I am perfectly aware that far fewer of my own contemporaries have the stomach for this kind of instruction, than had Kipling’s. Part of the reason is our taught memory of that First World War. It has been presented in our schoolbooks as a great waste of lives.
It was not, says Warren. RTWT for the real lesson of Versailles and precisely what made the Hitler phenomenon possible in Germany.
Reminder: The producers of The Third Jihad have made the documentary available for free viewing on-line for one week (September 9 - 15). Watch it and ask yourself why it is not mandatory viewing in every high school across the land. If it isn't - and I do not care where you live, it isn't - ask yourself why not.
The answer to the question is obvious: We must defend ourselves against not one but two jihads.
My first thought was to link to this piece as it concerns Mohamad Kamal Elzahabi - a man with an extraordinary knack for claiming to be at the wrong place at the wrong time - but figured I would use it beat up on The Globe and Mail instead. As Canada's ersatz newspaper of record defends the honour of this 1990s Afghan training camp instructor, it does so only for the purpose of a hit piece against Canadian honour.
Again, hardly news, but I think this bit of contextualization speaks for itself.
A prison gate here is marked with a Homeland Security warning - "Threat Level: Elevated" - a throwback to the Bush administration's preoccupation with finding al-Qaeda agents inside U.S. frontiers. Yet inside the jail is an Arab prisoner whose secret story resuscitates many fears that so shook the world eight years ago. Here, he speaks publicly for the first time.
Imagine that, an American administration preoccupied with finding al Qaeda sleeper agents in the United States. That was reality a few short long months ago; now it seems like science fiction.
(I'm sorry to have to mention this, but that was the day when Islamic al-Qaida terrorists hijacked fuel-laden airliners and crashed them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, killing about 3,000 people.)
Also: 9/13 Republican Evan Sayet on how "liberals" think (via Ace). Testify, my brother, for I had the same revelation.
I tell a story. It's not a true story, but it helps crystallize my thinking that brought me to become a conservative. I say: Imagine being in a restaurant with an old friend, and you're catching up, and suddenly he blurts out, "I hate my wife." You chuckle to yourself because he says it every time you're together, and you know he doesn't hate his wife; they've been together for 35 years. He loves his daughters, and they're just like her. No, he doesn't hate his wife.
So you're having dinner, and you look out the window and spot his wife, and she's being beaten up right outside the restaurant. You grab your friend and say, "Come on, let's help her. Let's help your wife," and he says, "Nah, I'm sure she deserves it." At that moment, it dawns on you: He really does hate his wife.
That's what 9/11 was to me. For years and years I'd hear my friends from the Left say how evil and horrible and racist and imperialistic and oppressive America is, and I'd chuckle to myself and think, "Oh, they always say that; they love America." Then on 9/11, we were beaten up, and when I grabbed them by the collar, and I said, "Come on, let's help her. Let's help America," and they said, "Nah, she deserves it."
At that moment, I realized: They really do hate America.
This one is a must read for anyone who has wondered why our reference to fact and reason has no effect on our opponents and why, if we want to win, we have to retake the education system and the entertainment industry. To my mind, it is also an indictment of those conservatives who would call for rhetorical restraint in the face of a great evil of our age elected to office last November. Such courtliness will go unregarded and unrewarded. Neither fact nor reason let alone courtesy will win the day against medievalism and nihilism.
Armed Forces Chief of Staff Jean-Louis Georgelin, head of the "French military", claims there is no viable military option to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons; too risky.
On the contrary, as Caroline Glick explains, Iran is months - not years - away from having sufficent enriched uranium to start building its atomic arsenal. Any sane person can see that the greater risk is a nuclear armed Iran and not only to embattled democratic Israel.
Teheran's successful upgrade of its ballistic missiles to satellite launchers has given it the capacity to launch nuclear weapons into the atmosphere. This renders Iran capable of launching an electromagnetic pulse attack from sea against just about any country. An EMP attack can destroy a state's electromagnetic grid and thus take a 21st-century economy back to the pre-industrial era. Such an attack on the US, for instance, would cripple the American economy, and render the US government at all levels incapable of restoring order or preventing mass starvation.
Something pressing to remember when Barack Obama provides cover on "disarmament" for his allies at the United Nations.
Connecting Lagrange points between plantary bodies produces a map of gravitational corridors in the solar system and, with them, a means of cutting the costs of space travel.
Professor Shane Ross, from Virginia Tech in the US, said: 'Basically the idea is there are low energy pathways winding between planets and moons that would slash the amount of fuel needed to explore the solar system.
'These are freefall pathways in space around and between gravitational bodies. Instead of falling down, like you do on Earth, you fall along these tubes.
'I like to think of them as being similar to ocean currents, but they are gravitational currents. If you're in a parking orbit round the Earth, and one of them intersects your trajectory, you just need enough fuel to change your velocity and now you're on a new trajectory that is free.'
Burt Prelutsky asks a number of politically incorrect questions (but what questions aren't these days). While I am tempted to quote his summary of what American tax payers are getting for a half billion of their dollars from their United States consulate in Jerusalem (blood pressure warning for the linked revelations), I am instead going to cite his closing observations.
The ex-Mrs. William Saroyan once made a very perceptive remark about the writer, famous for writing lovingly about the Armenian community in Fresno, Calif. She said, "Bill loved mankind, but he hated people."
When I look at Obama, I see a lot of Saroyan there. Although he's made millions of dollars off his books and CDs, it's common knowledge that he has one relative, apparently an illegal immigrant, living in public housing and another in an African village, surviving on pennies a day. But Obama keeps telling us that he's heart-sick about the unemployed and the uninsured. Well, as H.L. Mencken once observed: "The urge to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it."
I suppose I should add I have, uhh, nothing to add to last night's farcical health care address. Better by far, it seems to me, to target the next czar. As a Canadian citizen, I realize it is a bit forward of me to suggest one to my American cousins; particularly so given the windfall his policies would provide for Canadian beef producers.
Cattlemen in this country own and manage most of the lands that are covered by the Endangered Species Act, that are subject to control. So you ask: Why is Cass Sunstein’s hatred and animus toward meat eating such a big deal? It’s because he’ll be in a position to be able to use the Endangered Species Act to put cattlemen out of business. And then the price of your steak goes up. And then the price of your cheeseburger goes up.
To be clear, the price of your steak goes up and the price of your cheeseburger goes up. Making steak and burgers from imported Canadian beef is another story.
There is a strange pseudo-culture in America, of which Obama is a perfect example. Millionaire Michael Moore announces, “Capitalism is evil” as he hypes promotion of his moneymaking new movie. Oliver Stones praises Chavez, as the dictator shuts down voices of dissent—yet Stone himself could not make a movie in Venezuela as he does here. So too the murderer Che becomes a popular T-shirt emblem among the college elite. Van Jones calls Bush a “crackhead” but then in self-important style flashes on his website, “As a tireless advocate for disadvantaged people and the environment, Van helped to pass America’s first ‘green job training’ legislation: the Green Jobs Act, which George W. Bush signed into law as a part of the 2007 Energy Bill.” Bush is a crackhead in front of some audiences, compliant supporter to others?
Mohammed is now the third most popular British boys' name. For some reason (racism!), the British government does not want you to know.
This week, the Office of National Statistics published a list of the most popular boys' names in Britain: Jack, Oliver, Thomas, Harry, Joshua, Alfie, Charlie, Daniel. They reflect a cultural tradition as old as the nation's history, and would provoke approving nods from Jack the Ripper, Oliver Cromwell, Thomas Becket and Harry Hotspur.
There is just one small problem: the list is deceitful. In reality, the third most popular choice for boy children born last year in England and Wales was not Thomas, but Mohammed. The ONS explains blithely that it had no intent to deceive. Its normal practice is to catalogue different spellings separately, as in Mohammed, Muhammed and so on.
Because British parents are eager to name their sons after Jack the Ripper, apparently. So that's a woman hating serial killer, a theocratic tyrant and a couple guys named Jack and Oliver for the top three.
Sources say at least 400 cadre of a Manipuri insurgent group, the People's Liberation Army (PLA), have been undergoing arms training in China's Yunnan province for the last year. Ronie, alias Robindro, a self-styled major of the Manipur PLA, brags "16 platoon went to China recently, some of them have come back."
Liang Pengju, a soldier who will be taking part in the parade, said he had received very little formation drill training before entering the village for the intensive practice. He said soldiers from the special forces are accustomed to being very flexible and to walking with their toes pointing outwards, to minimize the sound of their footsteps.
"A special forces soldier's body is usually in the shape of a bow," Liang said. "That's why, in formation drills, we always have problems with our heads, feet and upper bodies."
That is some insanely awesome pre-recorded guitar tone. And more power to them, live music always sux.
It's actually live vocals over a backing track of the studio recording. Goofy, I know, but true. John does the scream in the studio version, but Paul does it here because there's no way John would be able to scream and then recover fast enough to start the first verse. So: not a lip synch, but not live.
Spengler discusses decline as a guest on Shire Network News, "very popular with those of us with a fairly gloomy view of where the West is going at the moment" (via Five Feet of Fury).
He recently outed himself as actually being David Goldman, who is a harpsichordist of some note, an economist, writer, history buff and general Renaissance man. I didn't ask him to rub his belly and pat his head at the same time, but I'm pretty confident he would be perfectly capable of doing so, while simultaneously chiding me for my sloppy comparison of the modern European Union with the Plains Indians in the 1890s. Warning - don't even think of trying to out-clever this man.
I think my IQ shot up by ten points just by being in the same room.
Revealed: The reason David Goldman chose to publish as Spengler.
Also featured: The Decline of the East. So it's not all bad news then.
A suggestion for Canada's Prime Minister, Stephen Harper:
Dear Mr. Harper,
As a "Canadian", I am committed to freedom of religion as I am committed to freedom of conscience and freedom of expression. I am certain you will agree any genuine freedom of religion includes the right to be free from religion (as some secular activists put it) and freedom to choose the religion to which you subscribe. Individuals should have no fear their choice of religious belief should lead to discrimination in employment or housing let alone in - just pulling an example out of the air here, you understand - their being brutally murdered by former friends and relatives and left to rot in an unmarked grave.
Therefore, I urgently suggest* it should be made a criminal offense to advocate death for apostasy.
* Split infinitives, by contrast, should remain a form of protected speech.
The Gods of the Copybook Headings takes issue with Michael Coren's "myths" about the Second World War, stopping along the way to cite a salient lesson lost on our enemy and lost to ourselves (via Binky).
We are not only fighting armies, but a hostile people, and must make old and young, rich and poor, feel the hard hand of war, as well as their organized armies. I know that this recent movement of mine through Georgia has had a wonderful effect in this respect. Thousands who had been deceived by their lying papers into the belief that we were being whipped all the time, realized the truth, and have no appetite for a repetition of the same experience.
—Letter, Sherman to Henry W. Halleck, December 24, 1864.
Today's enemy has a demonic appetite for torture and slaughter, his war materiel is provided for by every trip we make to the gas station and he fights in the knowledge of an unholy promise of sex slaves for booty in this world and as eternal reward in the next. He is no more likely to call it a day than an SS officer would be were he also threatened with internment at a Caribbean beach resort.
Twenty years ago, Douglas Coupland was at work when he sneezed. It was December, he recalls, and snowing hard, and it was the biggest sneeze he'd ever had in his life. "And there was this thing, like an entity, in my hand – the size, colour and shape of a really big green grape. And I freaked – what the fuck is that? It had veins on it, like it was an evil alien." He went to his doctor, who had a look inside Coupland's nose and said, "Oh well, it's not inside of you any more. It seems all clear up there now."
Christopher Hitchens misses the mark as he urges us to remember why we are in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is, he reminds us, a long war against "Islamic terrorism". His argument, however, is primarily (supposedly) focused on the case of the long war in Afghanistan.
The needle oscillates, and will continue to do so, but the four requisites are in place: citizens rejecting theocracy and its partner, organized crime; an indigenous army that fights for its own reasons; American airstrikes that are careful and discriminating; and the development of splits that can be exploited among the jihadists. A mixture not unlike this worked in Iraq, at least to the point where the conflict could be redefined. It is not yet inevitable that a comparable outcome is beyond reach in Afghanistan.
Fair dues. Except once you read the piece you will discover his examples for each of these four requisites are drawn from neighbouring Pakistan. If his argument were that to win in Afghanistan we need to defeat the Taliban in Pakistan - and, perhaps more important, defeat the central government of Pakistan - I would say he had made his case.
And yet we are meant to negotiate as if with rational people. The "Palestinians" do not have grievances; they have witchcraft accusations.
Palestinian Authority Arabs have made a variety of accusations against Israel over the years, from distributing bubble gum that corrupts Muslim youth to attacking with trained pigs. The latest rumor making the rounds among Arabs in Samaria is that Israelis are training snakes to attack innocent farmers, according to the Bethlehem-based Maan news, whichis closely associated with the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority.
Attentive Flea-readers may recall when Lance corporal Katrina Hodge decided to stand for Miss England 2008. While she did not become Miss England (she placed second), I am nevertheless delighted to pass on the news of Corporal Katrina Hodge's return as a lingerie model for La Senza (pictured at the link).
The 22-year-old corporal was spotted by the high street store when she won second place in this year's Miss England contest, after wowing the judges with her performance of a rifle drill, a first for the beauty pageant's talent section.
The part-time model was awarded a medal of bravery for disarming an insurgent while on a tour of Iraq at the age of 18 and was recently promoted to the level of Corporal.
All in a good cause too; La Senza's Armed Forces campaign offers a 15% to British servicemen and women.
Dalrymple is surely a modern master of declinology, a discipline of which this book is a relentless performance. It takes a certain kind of genius for unverifiable generalisation, for example, to write: "The British are no longer sturdily independent as individuals."
And it takes a Guardian writer not to have noticed.
I know, I know, but bear with me. The United States Commission on Civil Rights has made a "stinging rebuke" to Obama's Department of Justice as it dismissed its own case for voter intimidation - over-ruling its own career attorneys - against two black national socialist paramilitary members*, one armed and one of whom was a Democratic Party poll watcher.
The complaint, filed in federal court in Philadelphia, alleged that NBP members Samir Shabazz and Jerry Jackson were standing at a polling location wearing a military-style NBP uniform while Mr. Shabazz repeatedly brandished a “police-style baton weapon.”
The complaint said NBP Chairman Malik Zulu Shabazz confirmed that the placement of Mr. Shabazz and Mr. Jackson was part of a nationwide effort to deploy members at polling locations. The Justice Department initially sought an injunction to prevent any similar future actions.
None of the defendants responded to the lawsuit. However, instead of immediately filing for a routine default judgment, the DOJ voluntarily dismissed the lawsuit for two of the defendants – including Mr. Jackson, who was a Democratic Party poll watcher.
* Even the Southern Poverty Law Center identifies the New Black Panthers as a "hate group".
Canadian and American filmmakers lashed back Friday at what they described as an " outrageous" boycott of the Toronto International Film Festival by some filmmakers and writers in protest of the event's spotlight on filmmakers from Tel Aviv.
Producer, writer and director David Zucker ("Scary Movie," "Naked Gun," "Airplane!" ) denounced as "left-wing crazies" the individuals who signed a letter called " The Toronto Declaration" to protest Israeli government policies.
Mr. Zucker said he is "outraged" that actors such as Danny Glover and Jane Fonda, along with about 50 other activists, would sign a declaration that condemns Israel as an "apartheid regime" and dismisses the work of Tel Aviv filmmakers as "Israeli propaganda."
A small loss, admittedly, given the second raters, no hopers and academics making up most of the list. Still, I am disappointed to see Slavoj Zizek has signed on to this fatuous, evil protest against the only democracy in the Middle East. But then democracy and representative government, the right to freedom of expression, the right to freedom of religion and the rights of women are a small thing to these people when set against their radical pose.
Trudeau: Yes, well there are a lot of bleeding hearts around who just don't like to see people with helmets and guns. All I can say is, go on and bleed, but it is more important to keep law and order in the society than to be worried about weak-kneed people who don't like the looks of ...
Ralfe: At any cost? How far would you go with that? How far would you extend that?
European Union piracy watch head, Admiral Tarmo Kouts believes Israel is most likely to have carried out the hijacking of the Arctic Sea. Israelis have yet to be convinced.
The story about the hijacked Russian-crewed cargo ship grows ever more mysterious. The U.S. magazine Time is alleging that the Arctic Sea was intercepted by Israel as it carried weapons to the Middle East.
A Russian military source told The Sunday Times: “The official version is ridiculous and was given to allow the Kremlin to save face.
“I’ve spoken to people close to the investigation and they’ve pretty much confirmed Mossad’s involvement. It’s laughable to believe all this fuss was over a load of timber. I’m not alone in believing that it was carrying weapons to Iran.”
Mankind is perhaps 20 years from being able to clone a hybrid woolly mammoth so we had better start talking about whether or not mammoth ribs are halal. Also, about condiments. Cucumber mint sauce?
a team from Penn State University sequenced almost the entire genome of a mammoth using the same technology and a few months ago, the Max Planck Institute in Germany sequenced the complete copy of the Neanderthal nuclear genome. This has spurred genome-scale projects on extinct animals everywhere -- among many others, international teams are now at work on many of the iconic denizens of the pre-modern world, including the dodo, marsupial wolf, moa, and mastodon, with more efforts being reported every few months.
Marsupial wolf is a different story most probably calling for something hotter. Toronto foodies are best advised to try Mados' pumpkin and pawpaw pepper sauce.
Stargate Universe follows the adventures of a present-day, multinational exploration team on board the Ancient spaceship Destiny. Transported to Destiny in a distant corner of the universe and unable to return to Earth, members of the team are forced to remain on the vessel and fend for themselves.
It's not firepower but endurance that is needed to prevail over pirates. Ships can survey only a tiny swath of the sea, and previous ship-launched drones and land-based manned aircraft lack the Reaper's capacity to remain aloft for up to 14 hours. The drone's 66-ft. (20 m) wingspan can launch the 5-ton aircraft on missions covering more than 3,000 miles (about 4,800 km). "This makes it an ideal platform for observing the vast ocean and maritime corridors in the Indian Ocean region and assisting in counterpiracy efforts," Crawley says.
I have no clue what this is in aid of. Best get it over with now, ladies; in ten years Paris will have whip wielding religious police on the look out for this sort of thing. Though I suspect there are more than enough rock throwing youths already resident in Paris to make this a dangerous performance off the Rue Montorgueil (via Blazing Cat Fur).
For Autumn/Winter 2009, Gareth Pugh decided to show a video rather than send models down the runway.
This collection, he said, was something of a 180-degree twist: turning that inverted triangle silhouette he has been working since Fashion East in 2005 (the self-same one everyone else seems to be cottoning onto) right-way up again. In place of leggings, we had billowing, aggressive gypsy skirts - think Romany Matrix and you'd be halfway there - and on top, body-cleaving stretch sweaters and anatomically shredded leather. Moving away from his earlier puffed-up and pumped-out abstraction, Pugh's latest collections seem to have a new affinity with the body and nature as a whole - soft, slipstream silk chiffons billowed, bubbled and melted across the screen like a sinister (but beautiful) Rorschach inkblot.
For those who feel this has all got too haute luxe for the master of high concept, a series of simple separates studded with Hellraiser-style nails were a perfect example of the short, sharp shock treatments Pugh so loves.
Naturally we’d assumed that someone whose work is filled with references ranging from literary to mythological would have a fairly extensive library but even so, we were a bit unprepared for the scope of what he sent us. In the basement of his house of secrets we find a room that’s wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling with books (along with a scattering of awards, gargoyles and felines).
Found guilty as a participant in a bomb plot targeting the Toronto Stock Exchange, the downtown offices of CSIS (what passes for a Canadian CIA) and a military base near Highway 401, a bomb plot that would have "dwarfed London's 2005 subway bombings", Saad Khalid could serve as little as five and a half years behind bars and be out on parole in 28 months.
The judge said he wanted to send a strong message with his sentencing.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the problem in a nutshell. Small wonder they have such contempt for Canada, Canadians, democracy and Canadian values; we set such little store by them ourselves.
In addition to a fair summary of British conservatism (to be found at the link), Peter Hitchens offers a few concise - and cutting - observations about a bit of the political spectrum I recognize. This by way of a rejoinder to a conversation with Mehdi Hasan about institutional bias at the BBC; Hasan labours under the impression the BBC is a right wing outfit. Bless.
I am excerpting a long quote for the benefit of Canadian Flea-readers. We too know peope who confuse conservatism with the Conservative party or, worse yet, confuse loyalty to party with loyalty to civilization (I would say "loyalty to country" but this is Canada I am talking about).
Mr Hasan seems to think that I have personally invented the conservatism I espouse, and it is a quirky, random collection of views which appear contradictory to him. Let me assure him that I am simply the inheritor and continuer of a tradition much older than I, which is only proper for a conservative. Mr Hasan also, for some reason inaccessible to me, thinks the Conservative Party embodies conservatism, thinks that conservatism consists of support for free markets, or for the Iraq war, or a general liking for the United States. In fact some of these positions are those of classical liberalism, while others are those of 'Neo-Conservatism', a tendency more attractive to disappointed Marxists, in search of a new Utopia, and to ultra-liberal globalists, than to conservatives. Many, if not all, neo-conservatives are cultural and moral and social radicals, and economic ultra-liberals. Some of these positions are common to both these views. None of them is conservative.
He is also, I think, confused by the fact that the BBC, which was generally sympathetic to the Blair government because of its cultural leftism, could never really cope with that government's globalist decision to go to war in Iraq. Sentimental Leftists, whose politics are really a series of displaced religious opinions, often misunderstand, and lag behind, the vanguard of their cause. Only the sharper and smarter ones, the 'hard liberals', recognise that their aims may be served by bombing a few cities. The Tory Party had a parallel problem. Having sold Britain to the EU and being secretly ashamed of it, it now strives to look ultra-patriotic on every possible occasion by banging the drum for war and supporting 'our boys', though it overcame this when we surrendered to the IRA in Northern Ireland, the last actual national conflict in which our armed forces were deployed in British, rather than globalist interests. The neo-conservative liberals, whose reasons for backing these wars are entirely different, thus have an easier time with their backbenchers than do Labour. Sentimental Tory MPs back wars they should oppose. Sentimental Labour MPs oppose wars they ought to support.
Not just bombing cities, either. We have a profound appreciation for marketing. Fair dues about the ex-Marxism, btw; though as part of a Lacanian psychoanalytic tendency I was too hip to have ever been considered reliable.
And we do have a new revolutionary Utopia. It is called the United States of America.
Having watched the debut trailer for Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City featuring The Ballad of Gay Tony, and given an end of October release, I am forced to conclude two months is not much time for me to start and finish The Lost and the Damned before the arrival of the next installment...
Excellent news for Cheryl Cole and a welcome relief to Flea-readers who have mentioned (purely as an observation, you understand) an absence of totty for all the pissing and moaning about the end of the world. I might even manage to throw some archaeology at you this week.
Also good news, a bump in traffic for August; unexpected as my traffic normally trends down over the summer.
Update: Kathy Shaidle has published her latest traffic statistics. Note to advertisers... between the two of us we should have upwards of 2 million unique readers this year. Not bad for a couple of Canadian blogs written in Canada. I should confess an oblique happiness Townhall.com only gets twenty times my traffic (but I suspect with a far superior business model).
In his suggestive new book The Morbid Age: Britain Between the Wars, the distinguished historian Richard Overy looks back to the time of Spengler to explore how the paradox of progress and peril consumed almost every aspect of British society in the two decades between the First and Second World Wars. His subject matter, Overy writes, “is in no sense an insular history”. As America does today, Britain then considered itself the hub of western civilisation – and its putative crisis was cast by intellectuals, writers, artists, politicians and scientists as a “crisis of civilisation”, tout court. Fear and doubt, then as now, were pervasive – over the resilience of capitalism, the health of the population, the direction of society and, above all, about whether Europe would soon destroy itself in another violent conflagration. The discourse Overy surveys was widespread: “There were few areas of intellectual endeavour, artistic, literary, scientific, philosophical, that were not affected in some form or other by the prevailing paradigms of impending decline and collapse,” he writes. “The sense of crisis was not specific to any one generation... nor was it confined to one political or social outlook.”
Knowing the Western world - if such is synonymous with the fortune of the United States of America* - woud emerge stronger from the Second World War, Price believes he can rely on his readers to share his amusement at a society convinced it was on a course "headlong, blindly and almost eagerly towards a gigantic carnival of self-extermination."
For all that Price finds this sort of thing "unintentionally funny", as rhetoric goes, his sneering at doomsayers of the '20s and '30s is neither funny nor clever. Tens of millions were about to be slaughtered, many millions of whom were to lose their lives in a mechanical and administrative process without parallel or precedent in human history. Hindsight is with the Cassandras. It seems to me the overwrought rhetoric of calamity was, if anything, markedly underwrought.
I expect Pollyannas can be vexed by Cassandra's such as myself. For what it is worth, I am an optimist when it comes to one aspect of the declinism of the left; their eco-catastrophe is not happening. Not to worry I have gone soft, mind you. Their false declinism is itself a symptom of real decline. Much as Overy would attribute eugenics to the declinism of the day, I see eugenics - and today's pseudo-science equivalents - as symptomatic of the real problem: Superstitious, utterly amoral, authority driven and, in today's Luddite variant, bent on the destruction of the very machines that stand between us and the rising tide, an existential threat for all it is metaphorical. But then you can hardly expect the cheering section for the decline and fall of the West to have any patience for those of us who bother to point out the problem.
Thomas Sowell, at least, shares my mood. I have excerpted a large quote so please do click through and read the whole thing. In fairness to Sowell's critics, there was and remains a great deal of hand-wringing over the abrupt fate of Nazis engaged in war crimes; Nazis and Nazi sympathizers can't stop complaining about it to this day.
Those who are pushing for legal action against CIA agents may talk about "upholding the law" but they are doing no such thing. Neither the Constitution of the United States nor the Geneva Convention gives rights to terrorists who operate outside the law.
There was a time when everybody understood this. German soldiers who put on American military uniforms, in order to infiltrate American lines during the Battle of the Bulge were simply lined up against a wall and
shot-- and nobody wrung their hands over it. Nor did the U.S. Army try to conceal what they had done. The executions were filmed and the film has been shown on the History Channel.
So many "rights" have been conjured up out of thin air that many people seem unaware that rights and obligations derive from explicit laws, not from politically correct pieties. If you don't meet the terms of the Geneva Convention, then the Geneva Convention doesn't protect you. If you are not an American citizen, then the rights guaranteed to American citizens do not apply to you.
That should be especially obvious if you are part of an international network bent on killing Americans. But bending over backward to be nice to our enemies is one of the many self-indulgences of those who engage in moral preening.
So much of the battle now is to recapture the blindingly obvious. Expect to be called names for trying; the moral preeners are too busy praying for death by means of an hypothetical 1% average increase in global temperature (one hundred years from now) to be distracted by today's death cultists no matter how inventively said cultists persevere in their labours.
Britain faces the first widespread power blackouts since the 1970s because of looming energy shortages, Government documents reveal. For the first time, ministers are expecting that the supply of electricity will fail to meet demand at peak times.
The Government is forecasting that by 2017 there will be power cuts of around 3,000 megawatt hours per year - the equivalent of the whole of Nottingham being without electricity for a day.