"I was six when I arrived. I definitely remember that much and the island... the island I arrived at, it was crumbling away. There was nothing left here. No jobs. Everyone was leaving out into that... thick fog... and then it was like I said, that's when they came. They came and they built it; they built the Resort."
More by George Thomson "heavily based around J.G.Ballard's writing, the film La Jetee, and other good things" here. Astonishing work both visually and in the sound design... The Resort Documentary is by turns heart wrenching, menacing and perceptive in equal measure.
A great yawn of surprise is the most I can muster at the news Her Majesty's government has decided the Royal Navy can make do with one aircraft carrier. Don't count on it. One down, one to go.
The move is a blow to the navy’s prestige and has come on the heels of Gordon Brown’s announcement last month that he was axing one of the navy’s four Trident nuclear deterrent submarines.
It is too late for the navy to renege on contracts to build the two carriers, the Queen Elizabeth, due to go into service in 2016, and the Prince of Wales, due to follow in 2018. Although the second carrier will be built, it will be used as an amphibious commando ship, with only helicopters on board instead of JSF aircraft.
The move will leave the navy without a carrier when the Queen Elizabeth goes into refit, leaving open the possibility that it might have to borrow one from the French navy.
Related: Red China, meanwhile, is building a real navy. Thusfar, they seem as determined not to make use of it as the rest of us.
A new Chinese naval flotilla was deployed to the Gulf of Aden and waters off the coast of Somalia on Friday to protect merchant vessels against rampant pirates that still hold a Chinese ship for ransom.
Imaginetics: The New Pipe-Dream Of Modern Mental Make-Believe
Fictionology offers real hope to any left confused or depressed by the complexity and rigour of Scientology.
Hollywood actor David McSavage, who converted to Fictionology last year, attempted to explain.
"Scientology can only offer data, such as how an Operating Thetan can control matter, energy, space, and time with pure thought alone," McSavage said. "But truly spiritual people don't care about data, especially those seeking an escape from very real physical, mental, or emotional problems."
McSavage added, "As a Fictionologist, I live in a world of pretend. It's liberating."
Mohammedanism was a heresy: that is the essential point to grasp before going any further. It began as a heresy, not as a new religion. It was not a pagan contrast with the Church; it was not an alien enemy. It was a perversion of Christian doctrine. It vitality and endurance soon gave it the appearance of a new religion, but those who were contemporary with its rise saw it for what it was - not a denial, but an adaptation and a misuse, of the Christian thing. It differed from most (not from all) heresies in this, that it did not arise within the bounds of the Christian Church. The chief heresiarch, Mohammed himself, was not, like most heresiarchs, a man of Catholic birth and doctrine to begin with. He sprang from pagans. But that which he taught was in the main Catholic doctrine, oversimplified. It was the great Catholic world - on the frontiers of which he lived, whose influence was all around him and whose territories he had known by travel - which inspired his convictions. He came of, and mixed with, the degraded idolaters of the Arabian wilderness, the conquest of which had never seemed worth the Romans' while.
Not that it is much of a stretch to say much the same of Christianity. Even so, best read the whole thing.
Related: A magisterial piece, The Protestant Heresy. One of many revelations comes toward the end and with it an understanding of the decline of the Protestant West.
Protestant culture decayed from within from a number of causes, all probably connected, although it is difficult to trace the connection; all probably proceeding from what physicists call the "auto-toxic" condition of the Protestant culture. We say that an organism has become "auto-toxic" when it is beginning to poison itself, when it loses vigour in its vital processes and accumulates secretions which continually lessen its energies. Something of this kind was happening to the Protestant culture towards the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth.
This was the general cause of the Protestant decline, but its action was vague and hard to grasp; on the causes of that decline we may be more concrete and certain.
For one thing the spiritual basis of Protestantism went to pieces through the breakdown of the Bible as a supreme authority. This breakdown was the result of that very spirit of sceptical inquiry upon which Protestantism had always been based. It had begun by saying, "I deny the authority of the Church: every man must examine the credibility of every doctrine for himself." But it had taken as a prop (illogically enough) the Catholic doctrine of Scriptural inspiration. That great mass of Jewish folklore, poetry and traditional popular history and proverbial wisdom which we call the Old Testament, that body of records of the Early Church which we call the New Testament, the Catholic Church had declared to be Divinely inspired. Protestantism (as we all know) turned this very doctrine of the Church against the Church herself, and appealed to the Bible against Catholic authority.
Hence the Bible - Old and New Testaments combined - became an object of worship in itself throughout the Protestant culture. There was a great deal of doubt and even paganism floating about before the end of the nineteenth century in the nations of Protestant culture; but the mass of their populations, in Germany as in England and Scandinavia, certainly in the United States, anchored themselves to the literal interpretation of the Bible.
Now historical research, research in physical science and research in textual criticism, shook this attitude. The Protestant culture began to go to the other extreme; from having worshipped the very text of the Bible as something immutable and the clear voice of God, it fell to doubting almost everything that the Bible contained.
It questioned the authenticity of the four Gospels, particularly the two written by eye-witnesses to the life of Our Lord and more especially that of St. John, the prime witness to the Incarnation.
It came to deny the historical value of nearly everything in the Old Testament prior to the Babylonian exile; it denied as a matter of course every miracle from cover to cover and every prophecy.
That a document should contain prophecy was taken to prove that it must have been written after the event. Every inconvenient text was labelled as an interpolation. In fine, when this spirit (which was the very product of Protestantism itself) had done with the Bible - the very foundation of Protestantism - it had left nothing of Protestantism but a mass of ruins.
Your glorious palaces are hospitals set amidst cemeteries
The incoming head of Canada's security services excoriates much of our Establishment for glorifying terror suspects as "quasi folk heroes." That makes two reasons to vote "Conservative" in the next general election.
Richard Fadden, making his first speech as head of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), said Canada had a "serious blind spot" when it came to battling terrorism.
"Many of our opinion leaders have come to see the fight against terrorism not as defending democracy and our values, but as attacking them," he told a meeting of security experts.
A "loose partnership of single-issues NGOs, advocacy journalists and lawyers" had to a certain extent succeeded "in forging a positive public image for anyone accused of terrorist links or charges", he added.
Fadden, 58, is a senior bureaucrat who served as a security and intelligence adviser to the government from 2000 to 2002.
They were taken in the early part of the 20th century by Jack Urton, a keen photographer, who lived on the Wirral peninsula. In them we see his wife, Biddy, and daughters, Mary and Lois, living through the glorious, carefree summers that preceded World War I.
Follow the link for time travel.
* Say this five times fast and you shall find yourself transported to the Wirral.
As the US government ponders a strategy to deal with threatening asteroids, a dramatic explosion over Indonesia has underscored how blind we still areMovie Camera to hurtling space rocks.
On 8 October an asteroid detonated high in the atmosphere above South Sulawesi, Indonesia, releasing about as much energy as 50,000 tons of TNT, according to a NASA estimate released on Friday. That's about three times more powerful than the atomic bomb that levelled Hiroshima, making it one of the largest asteroid explosions ever observed.
Just as I begin to wonder if I might be publishing the Daily Mail of Canadian blogs - politically incoherent, prurient and alarmist - yet another instance of the real world pushes me further over the edge.
“Little Rats of Tepic” is a Mexican homebrew "torture film" briefly posted to YouTube showing the enhanced interogation of five burglars by incensed locals. In Mexico, vigilantism has taken the place where justice is meant to stand.
Lest our progressive betters mistake the lesson: This is not about Mexico. This is what happens anywhere when the Establishment is either incapable of or unwilling to enforce the law.
“The government is failing to provide security and people are turning to some brutal alternatives,” said Rossana Reguillo, who studies crime and violence at the Jesuit University of Guadalajara. “This is not something that has always been around in Mexico. It is a new phenomenon that has been growing since 2000.”
In the latest case, the five teenagers were abducted after they allegedly robbed a house in the town of Tepic in the Pacific state of Nayarit.
The boys — all students of a local high school — were taken to an abandoned building where they had their heads shaved and then were beaten by fists and rifle butts and threatened at gun point, as shown on the video. One of the torturers is heard on the film saying he is the man whose house was robbed.
Ihsan Bagby, the general secretary of the Muslim Alliance of North America, said Abdullah was a member of the Lexington, K.Y. based group, and his shooting shocked the African American Muslim community nationwide.
"We want to know what happened," said Bagby. "We had no inkling of any kind of criminal activity. This is a complete shock to all of us."
The others charged are:
• Mohammad Abdul Salaam, also known as Gregory Stone, 45, of Detroit with conspiracy to commit federal crimes and sale or receipt of stolen goods.
• Abdullah Beard, also known as Detric Lamont Driver, 37, of Detroit with conspiracy to commit federal crimes.
• Abdul Saboor, also known as Dwayne Edward Davis, 37, of Detroit with conspiracy to commit federal crimes.
• Mujahid Carswell, also known as Mujahid Abdullah, 30, of Detroit and Ontario, Canada, with conspiracy to commit federal crimes.
• Adam Ibraheem, 38, of Detroit with conspiracy to commit federal crimes.
• Gary Laverne Porter, 59, of Detroit with conspiracy to commit federal crimes and possession of firearms by a convicted felon.
• Ali Abdul Raqib, 57, of Detroit with conspiracy to commit federal crimes.
• Mohammad Alsahi, also known as Mohammad Palestine, 33, of Ontario, Canada, with conspiracy to commit federal crimes.
• Yassir Ali Khan, 30, of Ontario, Canada, and Warren, with conspiracy to commit federal crimes.
• Mohammad Abdul Bassir, also known as Franklin D. Roosevelt Williams, 50, of Ojibway Correctional Facility with conspiracy to commit federal crimes, sale or receipt of stolen goods, mail fraud, supplying firearms to felons, possession of weapons by a felon, and altering or removing motor vehicle identification numbers.
• A.C. Pusha, charged in a separate complaint late Wednesday with conspiracy to receive and sell stolen goods.
Canada gears up for H1N1 with GSK's Pandemrix, a "swine flu jab" with adjuvants made by GlaxoSmithKline. Canadian Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq announced Health Canada has authorized the H1N1 vaccine including an adjuvant, or booster, based on a German trial involving 130 adults.
Ooh. German medicine. Sounds high tech.
Are we reassured yet?
Because what I want to know is if Canada's Health Minister will get the same flu jab as the rest of us or, as in Germany, whether Canada's people will get one vaccination and Canada's Establishment will get another.
Amid growing fears of a possible global flu pandemic, the German government prepared for its mass-vaccination campaign earlier this year by ordering 50 million doses of the Pandemrix vaccine, enough for a double dose for 25 million people, about a third of the population. The vaccine, manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline, contains an immunity-enhancing chemical compound, known as an adjuvant, whose side effects are not yet entirely known. Then, after a report was leaked to the German media last week, the Interior Ministry confirmed that it had ordered a different vaccine, Celvapan, for government officials and the military. Celvapan, which is made by U.S. pharmaceutical giant Baxter, does not contain an adjuvant and is believed to have fewer side effects than Pandemrix.
A French court has convicted Scientology for fraud, fining the French office over $900,000 for the "commercial harassment" of potential cultists. Pity they could not also convict potential recruits for their gullibility. But then I expect $30,000 of moronic Scientology crap is its own reward.
The case was brought by a woman who was recruited to join the Church of Scientology, which is headquartered on Hollywood Boulevard. The woman subsequently spent $30,000 on books, classes and "purification packages." When she later wanted to leave the organization and asked to be reimbursed, the church refused. A judge found that that church officials profited handsomely while this woman and others were essentially made financial servants of Scientology.
Spiegel interviews Charles Krauthammer, "the leading voice of America's conservative intellectuals" on Barack Obama, the Brazil of politicians.
SPIEGEL: Why do Europeans react so positively to him?
Krauthammer: Because Europe, for very understandable reasons, has been chaffing for 60 years under the protection, but also the subtle or not so subtle domination of America. Europeans like to see the big guy cut down to size, it's a natural reaction. You know, Europe ran the world for 400 or 500 years until the civilizational suicide of the two World Wars. And then America emerged as the world hegemon, with no competition and unchallenged. The irony is America is the only hegemonic power that never sought hegemony, unlike, for example, Napoleonic France. Americans are not intrinsically imperial, but we ended up dominant by default: Europe disappeared after the Second World War, the Soviet Union disappeared in 1991, so here we are. Of course Europeans like to see the hegemon diminished, and Obama is the perfect man to do that.
Barack Obama has not only said that he is out to "change the United States of America," the people he has been associated with for years have expressed in words and deeds their hostility to the values, the principles and the people of this country.
... Those who say that the Obama administration should have investigated those people more thoroughly before appointing them are missing the point completely. Why should we assume that Barack Obama didn't know what such people were like, when he has been associating with precisely these kinds of people for decades before he reached the White House?
Also related: Doctor Zero on the leftward momentum of history. Depressing stuff unless we consider we are one conservative administration away from an abrupt change of direction. A real conservative administration does not have to do anything more than turn off the taps and that leftward momentum - dependent as it is on grants and make work and regulatory shelter extorted from the tax payer - would hit a reality based wall and get a real job. That said, the left need not worry; we are unlikely to ever see a conservative administration.
YouTube runneth over with Christopher Hitchens proselytizing for skepticism but this has proved no bar to the release of Collision, "a buddy-and-road movie" featuring the Hitch and sparring partner Pastor Douglas Wilson, a senior fellow at New St. Andrew's College.
Newsweek's reviewer beseeches you not to go and see the film, largely on the grounds that it features two middle-aged white men trying to establish which one is the dominant male. I would have thought that this would be reason enough to buy a ticket...
And that right there is why Hitchens is worth the price of admission and why so many evangelicals pay the man the respect of taking him on in debate.
The BBC calls them "no go for white people" in Oldham. I prefer the technical term "colony" though "beachhead" or "foothold" would do just as well.
Read the report if you have the stomach: True to form, the Beeb cannot cover a story about religiously motivated violence and segregation without blaming the victim - "Unlike their parents they will not tolerate being victims of racism." - or proffering an apologetic for the perps - "Many Asian youths say they take the law into their own hands because they have no confidence in the police." On that last point, if nothing else, we might find common ground.
Melanie Phillips musters the appropriate scorn for Labour's stealth policy of social (and electoral) engineering through mass immigration. As a "Canadian" I can hardly muster the appropriate surprise.
Britain is already one of the most overcrowded countries in Europe. But now look at the real reason why this policy was introduced, and in secret. The Government's 'driving political purpose', wrote Neather, was 'to make the UK truly multicultural'.
It was therefore a politically motivated attempt by ministers to transform the fundamental make-up and identity of this country. It was done to destroy the right of the British people to live in a society defined by a common history, religion, law, language and traditions.
It was done to destroy for ever what it means to be culturally British and to put another 'multicultural' identity in its place. And it was done without telling or asking the British people whether they wanted their country and their culture to be transformed in this way.
Spitefully, one motivation by Labour ministers was 'to rub the Right's nose in diversity and render their arguments out of date'.
The Irish Government have passed a new law that makes it illegal for the country's indiginous leprechaun population to leave the country, claiming that if the leprechauns begin to leave in search of higher wages, then tourist revenue will drop. Is this a xenophobic measure, or is it a measured way to help the Irish Economy?
Oh I entirely disagree. Leprechauns should have the same rights as all other Irish, not to mention EU citizens; Including the right to travel, work and capitalize on their talents! I am outraged at the Irish Government! As this is a complete violation of all Leprechaun's person rights and freedoms; I think their next step should be to the ECtHR and the ECJ! Good Luck!
SmellyPete has the last word.
I think that either way it doesn't matter. It's totally un-enforceable. Since the development of the rainbow super highway, the Leprechauns have really been able to put their pot of gold where ever they want.They would do much better if they just offered incentive schemes, like a free pint of Guiness with every new born Leprechaun, or a potato subsidy to keep them happy little Leprechauns.
The Los Angeles Police Department harshes everyone's buzz with a spot for an anti-"terror" neighbourhood watch promotional spot. I hesitate to offer an opinion as everything about this story - the program, the stupid name for the program, knee jerk reaction to the ad and, of course, the ad itself - is so cliché-ridden as to defy comment.
The one-and-a-half minute spot, which can be viewed below, features a multicultural line-up of speakers explaining why they participate in iWatch, a "neighborhood watch for the whole city," as the ad describes it.
"If you see, hear, or smell something suspicious, report it. Reporting is easy. Use the web or the phone," the speakers state. "A single report can lead to actions that can stop a terrorist attack. Think about that. Think about the power of that. Think about the power of iWatch."
Follow the link for the ad itself; think George Orwell meets Benetton. If I had been in it, I would have wanted to play "the white guy" rocking on the power of iWatch.
I used to work in book stores; this scene is all too familiar.
A woman came in last night looking for a book by some feminist author that I had never heard of before, no big surprise there. So, I look it up in our search engine and the computer says that we might have it in the store. MIGHT have it, not WILL. So I tell her that I can check our inventory and see if it’s there and show her the section it would be in.
“No, that’s fine, I’ll find it myself. I’m going to look around a bit first”
Now off to Life in 3D. Trust me, you are going to love the punchline.
"I get about as far as 2012 in my future projections, then I can't imagine beyond that. So much is going to change by then."
Asked 'What do you see coming along up to 2012', he answered:
"In Leary's terms, I think about one-third of the West now understands the neuro-somatic circuit, and some techniques for activating it. I think that's going to reach fifty to fifty-one percent pretty soon - and that will be a major cultural change. I think more and more understanding of the neuro-genetic and meta-programming circuits are coming along.
"It's very obvious that quantum physics, parapsychology and all the work they're doing attaching brain scanners to Yogis and Zen masters means we're going to learn a great deal about the non-local quantum circuit. I think the history of mysticism has been sort of like a bunch of firecrackers with two or three going off every century. With the LSD revolution it became two or three every month and now it's moving up to two or three every week. I see a real acceleration in consciousness, just like in technology."
GeForce 9500GS Graphics Card Replacement Program for HP & Compaq Desktop PCs
If, like me, you purchased an HP Pavilion desktop computer thinking, "hey, that printer at the office worked most of the time" you may have experienced the same irritation I did upon hearing the desperate rattling sound of a defective fan cowling.
Do not be fooled by the linked instructions: Let us assume the on line interface will not take your CT number and Manufacture number on the first pass. The helpful telephone helpers will not only need the CT number and Manufacture number (circled in the linked instructions) but will also need your HP part number (not circled in the linked instructions). If you do as HP's instructions direct, you will have to shut down your computer and pop it open again on the phone to get the missing factoid. Best get that HP part number while you have it open the first time.
Here is the good bit in case you are not already having fun. Provided your particular defective part is covered, HP will then ask for your credit card number - or the defective video card - before shipping you a replacement. The manufacturer screws up but will charge you 65 dollars if you do not return their defective video card within 15 days of the (supposedly) working replacement arriving via UPS. This for me is the bridge too far.
Dear Hewlett Packard:
When I have dropped a couple thousand dollars for your defective piece of crap, you might do me the courtesy of shipping me my replacement graphics card fan cowling with an apology, not a bill for the replacement. You can expect an invoice for my labour.
As to my loss of productivity, we will call it a wash; I will bill your karma instead. With luck anyone reading this post will think twice before purchasing a Hewlett Packard desktop computer. And, once I have forwarded this post to Hewlett Packard, it is remotely possible HP will smarten up, apologize for the inconvenience and find some way to make it up to their customers for the trouble.
The strongest common characteristic of such BNP supporters is pessimism. They feel they are sinking to the bottom of the pile, and that people from other countries are being privileged over them by the public services. If they complain, they are told they are racist. It is not surprising that they say things like "My country is being taken away from me". They are not completely mistaken.
Nick Griffin made one good point on Thursday night. After he had been mocked for speaking about the "indigenous" people of Britain, he countered that Jack Straw et al would not dare mock Maoris or American Indians for insisting on their indigenous status. Why shouldn't British whites, he asked, do the same?
The answer, of course, should not lie in giving group rights to any race or tribe, but in offering a reasonable degree of hope to all citizens of our country.
Moore's solution hints at the underlying problem. Now the BNP offers a bantustan vision of the English and the other primitive tribes of the British isles, there is no political movement in the UK that does share the apartheid/multicultural thinking that got us into this mess.
Treat everyone equally before the law? Nobody has told Moore that sort of dead white male thinking went out with the 18th-century.
Update: Peter Hitchens says we have likely been present at the birth of a stab-in-the-back myth. Though in this case, I would say the Establishment chose a stab-in-the-face approach.
Mr Griffin is an inadequate and unlovely nobody, without charisma or eloquence. Yet a large chunk of the British people are so sick of being ignored and patronised that even this severely limited man has managed to create a substantial political movement where none existed before. Tremble in case a real charismatic leader, and a real National Socialist movement, ever arise in this country. Labour, the Tories and the Liberal Democrats, in their joint scurry to the Left, have abandoned a large space in which such a monster might flourish and even triumph.
With so many new words on their way to the Memory Hole it can only mean the latest Newspeak dictionary has arrived. First for the fire is the expression "evenin' all". It would not do to confuse the stupid about the time of day.
Other words now discouraged include, "businessman", "housewives" and "child", which the organisations argue have negative connotations and could cause offence.
Confusingly, staff are also barred from using the word "homosexual", for which they are instructed to use the term "gay", while they are warned against using the phrase "straight", and told to say "heterosexual".
Update: It occurs to me I have not used the word "England" in this post. Might as well get some mileage out of the name while I can.
A British nuclear expert has fallen to his death from the 17th floor of the United Nations offices in Vienna. The 47-year-old man died after falling more than 120ft to the bottom of a stairwell. He has not been named.
No suicide note but no suspicious circumstances either, at least according to the UN. But this is the best part.
Four months ago another UN worker also believed to be British fell from a similar height in the same building, it has been reported.
Question Time becomes an add for the British National Party as the BBC sets up Nick Griffin to be martyred. This is an own goal for democracy, an affront to Britain's working class and a harbinger of worse to come.
If Nick Griffin is the monster he is made out to be - and let's face facts, the BNP is nothing if not an exercise in self-parody - and it if it is in any sense the place of the BBC to vet the political choices set before the public, it would have been far better to invite Griffin to Question Time in its ordinary format and let the man flounder in the policy subtleties of postal strikes and the like.
Set aside director general Mark Thompson's preposterously disingenuous claim that Mr Griffin was invited to take part because of the Corporation's 'central principle of political impartiality'.
After all, the BBC, which is utterly in thrall to the left-wing agenda of the majority of its staff, has contributed hugely to the rise of the BNP through its systematic censorship over the years of any coverage or debate on the biggest wave of mass immigration in British history.
Remember to never cede the moral high ground to a progressive; for all the posturing, they do not have a leg to stand on. A case in point is this useful primer on socialism and the environment.
October 14, 2009, the 30th annual awards ceremony of the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund took place at the Asia Society in New York City. Lu Guang (卢广) from People’s Republic of China won the $30,000 W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography for his documentary project “Pollution in China.”
This is how they made my monitor, my speakers, my keyboard, my mouse, my shirt, the chair I am sitting on and so much else so cheaply. That and forced labour, obviously.
The end of a peaceful and politically stable Canada
World War II veteran Dick Field considers each blow of the cultural wrecking ball that has done more harm to Canada than the Nazi war machine ever managed. Too much to excerpt (though I shall try): Read the whole thing and forward it to everyone.
A democracy is not just a matter of political parties and a free vote. It is also a matter of the “rule of law” and our own elected representatives had ignored our right to be treated equally as individuals by that law. These politicians resorted to force of law and edict rather than debate and persuasion. It was the top-down rule of the select few; a French style of government totally alien to the majority of English-speaking Canadians.
The preponderance of French speakers lived in Quebec and they cared not at all for the equality of French and English; they wanted Quebec as a nation of French speakers.
A "high-profile" coalition motley of music artists including members of Pearl Jam, R.E.M. and the Roots (?) protest the use of their music to torture jihadi detainees.
Would they were so considerate of the rest of us.
"I think every musician should be involved," said Rosanne Cash in a telephone interview Wednesday. "It seems so obvious. Music should never be used as torture." The singer-songwriter (and daughter of Johnny Cash) said she reacted with "absolute disgust" when she heard of the practice. "It's beyond the pale. It's hard to even think about."
Other musicians, including Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails and Tom Morello, formerly of the band Rage Against the Machine, also expressed outrage.
"The fact that music I helped create was used in crimes against humanity sickens me," Morello said in a statement. "We need to end torture and close Guantanamo now."
Two suggestions: Substitue R.E.M.'s music for a looped tape of Micheal Stipe talking about the environment - hell, a looped tape of Michael Stipe talking about the plight of Guantanamo detainees - and we could have a game changer for intelligence gathering. Failing that, substitute the current mix tape for a link to my Ghost of a flea MySpace music page; just doing my bit for the war effort.
... Israel [is] not only a site for research and outsourcing and the occasional conceptual coup, but the emerging world leader, outside the United States, in launching new companies and technologies. This tiny embattled country, smaller than most American states, is outperforming European and Asian Goliaths ten to 100 times larger. In a watershed moment for the country, Israel in 2007 passed Canada as the home of the most foreign companies on the technology-heavy NASDAQ index; it is now launching far more high-tech companies per year than any country in Europe.
When SyFy (’sup with the new spelling, fellas?) announced the two-hour movie, Battlestar Galactica: The Plan, a prequel-ish take from the Cylon’s point of view, we practically fraked ourselves—Tricia and Grace are gracing our flat-screens for two more precious hours.
“Joss directed one of the great musical episodes in the history of television on Buffy,” gushes Murphy, “so this is a great, if unexpected, fit. I’m thrilled he’ll be loaning us his fantastic groundbreaking talent.”
Kuwaiti women will be thrilled to learn they are now entitled to their own passports and to travel without the prior consent of their husbands. Sadly, this counts as progress for Kuwait, a cretinous little country with little to recommend it.
The constitutional court abrogated an article in the 1962 passports law that prevented a woman from getting her own passport without her husband's prior approval. The court said that the article was in violation of a number of provisions in the constitution which guarantee personal freedom and gender equality. The decision came after a Kuwaiti woman complained that her husband had refused to give her and their three children their passports and other personal identification documents so he could prevent them from leaving the country.
Though slightly short of true ICBMs, which have ranges in excess of 5,500 km, Agni-Vs will come in special storage-cum-launch canisters, making it much easier to store them for long periods without maintenance as well as to handle and transport.
So, conceivably, Agni-V will be capable of being swiftly moved closer to the border with China to substantially enhance its strike range into the country. What has exercised China is the fact this will bring even its northern-most city, Habin, within the missile's strike envelope.
Spring 2010 is looking safe and samey. I don't think any of the big design houses have a clue what to do with a major recession; most appear to be keeping their heads below the parapets. I can't say much for Armani this time out but this is at least a step up from phoning it in.
Scientists claim the giant atom-smashing Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is being jinxed from the future to save the world.
In a bizarre sci-fi theory, Danish physicist Dr Holger Bech Nielsen and Dr Masao Ninomiya from Japan claim the LHC startup has been delayed due to nature trying to prevent it from finding the elusive Higgs boson, or "God particle".
They say their maths proves that nature will "ripple backward through time" to stop the LHC before it can create the God particle, like a time traveller who goes back in time to kill his grandfather.
“One could even almost say that we have a model for God,” Dr Nielsen says in an unpublished essay. “He rather hates Higgs particles, and attempts to avoid them.”
Potentially handy: Penelope Trunk on motivating Gen Ys in the downtown (because threatening to fire them and hire someone else would be too easy).
Generation Y is fundamentally conservative. Not politically. But in terms of their lifestyle choices and aspirations. This is a generation that loves their parents. Over 65% of college grads move back in with their parents, and they are not particularly unhappy about it because they have a great relationship with their parents. Adults have been helping Gen Y their whole lives. They are used to their parents' friends helping them, their coaches and tutors, and every time there's a problem, a parent talks with an adult involved and fixes it. So Gen Y loves authority—it has always been good for them.
Think about it: Baby boomers protested Vietnam by taking to the streets and violating laws. Gen Y protested Iraq by playing by the rules and electing Obama. Gen X invented grunge music and jeans at work. Gen Y is making the Beatles hip again—and they love to dress up for work. Gen Y is conservative, kind-hearted, and they follow the rules. Of course they are like this: The world has treated them well.
Gen Y just wants what their parents want for them: a good job, a stable family life, and a life that has meaning. Baby boomers told Gen Y that the most important values were contributing to the greater good and always learning. And Gen Y believes that.
If by "conservative", we mean "statist" and "risk averse" then our definition only needs to add the word "Canadian" and you are describing the way we rock conservatism north of the border (i.e. badly). Yet another example of the legacy of the Worstest Generation at work.
The Crown uses its police powers to harrass native protesters; accusing the protesters of "boot boy tactics" in the process. The math: 60 protesters from the Welsh Defence League square off against 200 pro-Sharia protestors and their police allies.
Speaking before its demonstration, the WDL said its event would be peaceful, but protests by its sister organisation the English Defence League have ended in disorder. Welsh Secretary Peter Hain has accused the WDL of using "boot boy tactics".
But the WDL denied being racist and called Mr Hain's comments "nonsense".
The Republic of China (Taiwan) has carried out its largest ever missile test, following two weeks on from Red China's national military parade.
The missiles were launched on Tuesday from the secretive and tightly guarded Chiupeng base in southern Taiwan and could strike major Chinese cities, the United Daily News reported.
President Ma Ying-jeou, who has been criticised for being too friendly with China, was among the observers of the exercise, the paper said, citing a "reliable military source".
The test came after China, which has vowed to take back Taiwan, celebrated 60 years of communist rule on October 1 by parading high-tech weapons including intercontinental ballistic missiles through the streets of Beijing.
There's an ad for Volkswagen being shown in cinemas at the moment. A good-looking man is driving an elegant car; in the background the soundtrack plays a song saying: 'With positive thinking, life won't let you down.'
Harmless enough, you may think, but what makes the advertisement suddenly sickening is when the car passes a load of sheep on their way to the abattoir - they are all nodding their heads cheerfully in time to the music.
Yes, I know it's a joke, but there is still the implication that if you look on the bright side you, too, will be able to have a glamorous VW like the man in the ad, and, even if you're on your way to be slaughtered, a positive mind-set will make that jolly, too.
It won't. Indeed, this pre-occupation with thinking positively, with self-esteem and with the conviction that our thoughts somehow shape our futures is actually a dangerous obsession that leads not to happiness and fulfilment but rather disappointment and failure.
No. But I have seen FlashForward and think the idea has legs and wish I had come up with whatever this is viral marketing for. Just speculating here; I would much rather This Man were legit. I think sleep research is inherently creepy... (hat tip to Agent Bedhead).
The psychiatrist decides to send the portrait to some of his colleagues that have patients with recurrent dreams. Within a few months, four patients recognize the man as a frequent presence in their own dreams. All the patients refer to him as THIS MAN.
From January 2006 until today, at least 2000 people have claimed they have seen this man in their dreams, in many cities all over the world: Los Angeles, Berlin, Sao Paulo, Tehran, Beijing, Rome, Barcelona, Stockholm, Paris, New Dehli, Moskow etc.
At this point, the mind-screw - if you still wish to engage - is trying to figure out what the hell Natella and Guerriglia Marketing are actually promoting here. If it ends up being cider, I'm going to be pissed. If, on the other hand, it's a mind-screw for giggles alone, it still deserves some marks ... although points are coming off for the sloppy execution with the domain.
Robert Harris cites a debate in the Roman Senate dated December 5, 63BC - and the words of Caesar, Cicero and Cato in particular - by way of comparison with the moribund, kleptocratic technocracy at Westminster. I shall life his Cato quote but with a different target in mind.
It is long pat time we set aside our guilt and our passions and turned instead to ancient custom.
... the speaker who really won the day was Marcus Cato. His is the first parliamentary speech in history that has come down to us more or less intact, thanks to the scribes who took it down in shorthand. 'In heaven's name, men, wake up!' he thundered. 'Wake up while there's still time and lend a hand to defend the republic!
'Our liberty and lives are at stake! At such a time does anyone here dare talk to me of clemency and compassion?
'Do not imagine, gentlemen, that it was by force of arms that our ancestors transformed a petty state into this great republic. If it were so, it would now be at the height of its glory, since we have more subjects and citizens, more arms and horses, than they ever had.
'No, it was something else entirely that made them great - something we entirely lack.
'They were hard workers at home, just rulers abroad, and to the senate-they brought minds that were not racked by guilt or enslaved by passion. That is what we've lost.
Read the whole thing for context. Or pause to consider the news, the effect will be similar.
I fear the wonderful words of the late novelist J. G. Farrell are only too apt: 'We look on past ages with condescension, as a mere preparation for us - but what if we're only an afterglow of them?'
White working-class communities have been left behind in the race for housing and jobs, ministers have admitted.
They plan to pump millions into predominantly white areas to help improve education of young people, end benefit dependency and cut off support for far-right political groups.
Note to "the left": Having learned that with violence and the threat of violence comes millions of pounds of largesse, do not expect the white working-class to turn from far-right political groups when it is the existence of the BNP, the EDL et al. that has prompted said largesse. Here is the nadir of the progressive re-branding of apartheid as multiculturalism. Punish individual achievement, reward identity group affiliation and appease the hard men long enough and sooner or later even the English working class will join the party.
There is, however, a difference. Continue to punish the white middle class and you have every element in place for Weimar Britain and its aftermath. "Racist" football hooligans are not the problem. The problem comes when the middle class decides enough is enough and the football hooligans act as the strong arm for the leafy, suburban acceptable face of fascism.
The People’s Daily, official newspaper for Red China's Communist Party, and the English-language Global Times, a propaganda vehicle run by its information department chose the same time to intensify anti-India rhetoric; during a visit to China by Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani.
In what is possibly the strongest diatribe China’s ruling party has directed at India in recent memory, the Communist Party in two editorials in its official newspapers accused the Indian government of “recklessness and arrogance” and “turning a blind eye” to China’s “concessions” in resolving the long-running boundary dispute.
The remarks come a day after China said it was “strongly dissatisfied” with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s recent visit to Arunachal Pradesh, parts of which China still has claims on.
A suggestion: It is still a good idea to give the USS Kitty Hawk to India. And if my American cousins were lead by a real president instead of a student council president it is remotely possible it might come to pass. As it stands, expect more aid and comfort to America's enemies and for India to get thrown under the bus.
Irony, thy name is "realism": Al Qaeda takes a less nuanced view than that advanced by China's foreign policy, its alliance with Pakistan soon to proove just as profitable the Chinese as it has been to Americans.
A leading Al-Qaeda militant on Wednesday called on Muslims worldwide to defend Uighurs in China's restive northwestern region of Xinjiang. He told Uighurs to prepare for a holy war or Jihad and urged a "vast media campaign" to raise awareness of their fate at the hands of "oppressive" China.
Gus Van Sant teaming up with Bret Easton Ellis to make a feature out of a tragic suicide pact; Can you imagine something more blood-chillingly depressing?
I can think of one, actually; that within days of hearing (from a journalist asking questions, no less) Theresa Duncan had committed suicide, I wondered who would be first to cash in on the story of their tragedy. Congratulations, Nancy Jo Sales. You win.
The Flea's implacable commitment to republishing material that is even more of a downer than I manage on my own means I cannot ignore Fenris' "So long, Israel" much as it pains me (via Blazing Cat Fur).
How and When. Well, all Obama has to do is cut of the supply of fuel and ammunition. This is how Vietnam fell. Jane Fonda and her partisan band of Bolsheviks spread the milk of defeatism and self-loathing, drop by drop, from her perfect Viet Cong curvy breasts. Sure, the Jews have a nuke or two, but can they get a plane off the ground in the last days? Will slagging Damascus stop the raping, pillaging freedom fighters around Haifa? Nope. Without that American muscle, Israel is toast. And you just need to count the days as the elites, the dying media, and the tenured academia, work their caring poison. I say that Obama will pull the plug on Israel. Tell me it is not so. Tell me he is not surrounded by those that will help him pull the plug. Convince me that the media, academia, and elites will stop, delay, or discourage him. Go ahead, try. And when you see the street party in Chicago, dancing to hip hop at the vids of the burning of Israel, maybe you will be convinced.
Not so fast, suggests commenter Nancy.
Israel said yesterday, “If we stand alone, then we stand alone.” This ain’t the Israel that was fed to the ovens. I think this is David’s Israel.
Pray she is right, by all means. And by "pray" I mean stand up and do something.
Art experts believe a new Leonardo da Vinci portrait may have been discovered - thanks to a fingerprint. The painting, titled Young Girl in Profile in Renaissance Dress, recently sold for a mere £12,000 ($19,000). It was billed at a Christie's sale in 1998 as 'German, early 19th century'.
Now a growing number of leading art experts agree that it is almost certainly by Leonardo da Vinci and could be worth about £100 million.
I am sorry to say "Kill Hitler as a baby" has lost pole position in my hypothetical time travel itinerary with "Step on prehistoric butterfly" falling to third place.
Update: Mr. Ash via email. Touché!
At least you weren't the one who sold it for 12,000 quid, or the equivalent thereof. I'd have to kill myself if I were that person.
Competition for resources in the Arctic Circle could provoke conflict between Russia and Nato, a newly appointed commander at the alliance warned yesterday.
Second verse: Chinese ambitions may be to give its carrier air wing an air-to-surface role from the outset.
Numerous images of an intriguing facility claimed to be at the Wuhan ship design institute have appeared on the internet in the past few days. The images show a building on which an aircraft carrier’s main superstructure is being fabricated, along with a large roof area that could be used to practise aircraft and helicopter deck handling.
According to his first wife, Najwa, life with Osama bin Laden was a life "where women are never allowed outside the house, 12-year-old daughters are married off to 30-year-old al Qaeda fighters, pet dogs are used for target practice and the biggest household fight is over whether Islam allows refrigerators."
One is so embarrassed when his boat goes out of control that he slips into the water so no one can see him. The other rants into a Dictaphone, spouting epithets about America and Israel, pausing only to listen to his favorite station -- the BBC -- on a small radio.
For all the talk of gassing dogs and procreation as an arms industry, the (minor) revelation this devil enjoys the BBC is my favourite. It reveals more than just the bi-polar disorder of Osama bin Laden; it reveals the bi-polar disorder of the West.
Theodore Dalrymple asks "What’s Wrong with Twinkling Buttocks?", observing "the bad drives out the good, unless the good is defended" (via The Steynian).
...the boundless prurience of the British press concerning the private lives of public figures, especially politicians, has an ideological aim: to subvert the very concept and deny the possibility of virtue, and therefore of the necessity for restraint. If every person who tries to defend virtue is revealed to have feet of clay (as which of us does not?) or to have indulged at some time in his life in the vice that is the opposite of the virtue he calls for, then virtue itself is exposed as nothing but hypocrisy: and we may therefore all behave exactly as we choose. The loss of the religious understanding of the human condition—that Man is a fallen creature for whom virtue is necessary but never fully attainable—is a loss, not a gain, in true sophistication. The secular substitute—the belief in the perfection of life on earth by the endless extension of a choice of pleasures—is not merely callow by comparison but much less realistic in its understanding of human nature.
My secular friends never understand the point - having never been taught it (explicitly) and having been taught by the Franfurt School to reject it (implicitly) - until I explain how and why Frodo failed in his quest. The light turns on.
Related (and with another hat tip to the increasingly indispensible Binky the Elf): It’s Only Anti-Social - In Britain, the seriousness of an offense depends on who the victim is.
The rule of law is fast evaporating in Britain; we are coming to live in a land of men, not of laws.
Gloss in the margin: That Mitchell and Webb Look and the Good Samaritan.
In physics, you don't have to go around making trouble for yourself - nature does it for you
Either it is me or it is a sign of the times. I have wrestled with this post because I honestly cannot decide if this revelation counts as news.
A nuclear scientist arrested by armed police is said to have admitted plotting an Al Qaeda terrorist atrocity, possibly in Britain.
Dr Adlene Hicheur, 32, has confessed to talking over the internet with the North African branch of the terror organisation about attacks on 'Western targets', according to officials in France where he was held last week. Hicheur, a Frenchman of Algerian origin, worked for the CERN nuclear research laboratory near Geneva and had also worked at the top secret Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in England.
I remain in awe of the Constitution of the United States of America; divinely inspired for all it is routinely ignored.
Rep. John Shadegg has been trying to get a bill enacted for 15 years that would simply require legislators to cite the constitutional authority for any legislation that is proposed. His bill is called the Enumerated Powers Act (HR450). It now has 52 co-sponsors, but there is very little chance that it will ever get to the floor for a vote.
Why? Because the Democrats in Congress will not allow it.
This bill would not be necessary if the Democrats would simply follow their own rules. House Rule XIII (3)(d)(1) requires:
"Each report of a committee on a public bill or public joint resolution shall contain the following: A statement citing the specific powers granted to Congress in the Constitution to enact the law proposed by the bill or joint resolution."
That's right. The rules of procedure in the House of Representatives already require that every bill or resolution cite the constitutional authority for the proposed legislation. This rule is routinely ignored.
As the Tories met in Manchester, Peter Hitchens notes their current concerns are largely problems of their own making. This one goes double for Canada's stealth conservative Tory MPs; so eager to attend freedom of speech events, so reluctant to have the Prime Minister catch them doing it.
It was the Tories, in 1991, who introduced dishonest prison sentences, actually half as long as they looked, and automatic early release. Earlier, in 1984, they passed the Police and Criminal Evidence Act, a liberal
anti-police measure whose codes of practice are the origin of most of the red tape they claim now to be against.
And they too are responsible for the creation of the GCSE exam, the one which asks questions about sausages. Also for the destruction of most of the grammar schools, which provided the sort of state education Mr Gove’s do-it-yourself ‘free schools’ will fail to offer, if any of them actually get opened.
In 18 years of government, they didn’t have the guts to end the subsidies which continue to create fatherless families each year by the thousand, the real, central threat to marriage, the family, social stability, morality and order.
They took us into the EU in the first place, then into the Single European Act, then into Maastricht. Now, their contortions over the EU constitution are a device to hide the fact that, much as they like to bang on about Europe in Opposition, they will be its keen enforcers in government.
None of this has actually changed. They won’t apologise for or renounce any of these errors. It is the same party.
There's just one country plying East African waters that refuses to cooperate. In December, Tehran announced it would send warships to protect Iranian shipping from attack. The first Iranian flotilla apparently departed in May, and a second group set sail several months later. But the deployed vessels never integrated into the international coalition, and therefore do not benefit from the international cooperation. The Iranian ships operate alone, in silence and secrecy, leading some to question Tehran's motives.
To deter and interdict pirates, to remind the world it has a navy or to spy on the navies of the West as much as the pirates; all possibilities, yes. But there is another, and rather more obvious, possibility Axe does not raise: The Persians are there to support their corsair allies. Six of one, after all (via Information Dissemination, raising another possibility).
CyberBunker is located in a former military nuclear warfare bunker in The Netherlands. The facility was built by NATO in the 50s to survive a nuclear war, but after the nuclear threats were over it was sold to its current owners. The bunker is now used as a webhosting data center.
The bunker is equipped with Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) shielding and Nuclear/Biological/Chemical (NBC) air filtration to guarantee that the servers they host stay up no matter what happens. As of this week it is also the new home of The Pirate Bay.
Nothing unusual there. Operation Juniper Cobra (JC) is about missile defence. Nothing unusual there either, it's a regular event. It's an autumn deployment. Ah, that's different. In previous years Operation JC was scheduled for spring, and that was supposed to be the case this year. So what changed?
Human history is nothing but the record of nations that have miscalculated their capacity to project power, the willingness (and ability) of their allies to support them, and the determination of their rivals to reshape the world after their own image. As the debate over Iran policy has devolved from strategy to pop psychology—as, for example, in the discussion of whether the Iranians are acting rationally or whether their apocalyptic rhetoric suggests they will do anything to hasten the Mahdi's return—the fact is that no regime consciously wishes to bring its own existence to an end. And yet states and regimes do nonetheless cease to exist. No sane person believes that the United States is suicidal, but if a nation will not or cannot defend its way of life, it has taken the first step toward its inevitable decline, which is tantamount to suicide.
Hajj related: Charles Krauthammer on American exceptionalism (via Hot Air).
Pilate washed his hands. If he had washed his old black heart he would have been all right.
Pious hypocrites amongst the environmentally correct? You could knock me over with a feather. Welcome to Annexia; land of high moral credentials and where low moral expectations are considered a virtue (via The Register).
Just being around green products can make us behave more altruistically, a new study to be published in a forthcoming issue of Psychological Science has found.
But buying those same products can have the opposite effect. Researchers found that buying green can lead people into less altruistic behaviour, and even make them more likely to steal and lie than after buying conventional products. Buying products that claim to be made with low environmental impact can set up “moral credentials” in people’s minds that give license to selfish or questionable behavior.
I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of former CBC-employees cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I feel something terrible* has happened.
Former Israeli billionaire Haim Saban is holding negotiations for the purchase of 50% of the al-Jazeera television network from the Qatari government, Egyptian newspaper al-Mesryoon reported Wednesday. The negotiations are said to be conducted through an Egyptian mediator.
According to the report, the television network is experiencing financial trouble despite its immense popularity. This is the second time Saban is negotiating with the Qatari emir.
* And by "terrible" I mean "this rocks". I mean, seriously, this is the way to do it.
Haim Saban, after the second Lebanon War many Israelis are worried about their country's future. Do you share that concern?
"Israel does not worry me. Israel's neighbors worry me. I used to be a real leftist. I remember Arik Sharon coming here, to my house, a few months before Camp David, when he was still leader of the opposition. He told me there would be no deal because Arafat would not sign. I told myself that there was nothing to be done - these right-wingers were simply insane. I had no doubt that there would be a deal and the problems would be resolved. History proved that Sharon was right and I was wrong. In matters relating to security, that moved me to the right. Very far to the right."
A man's name is as central to his identity as you can get, but, since his premature death, even that's been taken away from Weill. In a remarkable act of cultural appropriation, he was in effect posthumously extradited to Berlin and reGermanicized - as the in-house composer for the decadent vamping soundtrack of Weimar. The composer's personal and professional efforts to assimilate were in vain: He worked with Ira Gershwin, Ogden Nash, Alan Jay Lerner; he wrote musical comedies for Mary Martin and Danny Kaye. "He was very interested in money," sneered Otto Klemperer. "He got too involved in American showbusiness and all the terrible people in it."
To listen to twits like Klemperer, you'd think that Weill, torn between the devil and the deep blue rinse of Broadway matinee ladies, should have stuck with Hitler as the lesser evil. Better a death camp in the Fatherland than a camp death on Broadway.
There is no proletarian, not even a Communist movement, that has not operated in the interests of money
Spengler is at his gloomiest when addressing the economy.
The parallels between America in 2009 and Japan in 1989 are uncanny. An asset price bubble has collapsed, just before a tsunami of prospective retirements that the asset bubble was supposed to fund. Demand for savings is bottomless, and the government satisfies demands for savings by running a huge deficit and issuing debt. The crippled banking system borrows at an interest rate of zero and buys government securities. And the economy shrivels up and dies.
Of course there's a lot of knowledge in universities: the freshmen bring a little in; the seniors don't take much away, so knowledge sort of accumulates
Times Higher Education releases its global ranking of the world's top 200 universities. The news: Oxford clings on to the top five as Cambridge moves to second place behind Harvard. At eighteenth place, Canada's McGill University is our sole contributor to the top twenty.
Kathryn Jean Lopez points to a New York Times report about the art hanging on the wall of the Oval Office. In my forthcoming Manchurian Candidate reboot, our intrepid investigators* track the accession record of the piece to an art factor in Havana.
"I think I'll ... " by the California artist Ed Ruscha. It deals with the subject of indecision.
* He would have got away with it if it wasn't for those pesky right-wing bloggers!
But for a spare £870 this large grey and black wool Joy Division cape with removable hood would be mine. For the win.
Via Coilhouse, with further details for anyone not getting the reference.
Related: Further to a recent request for more steampunk content... this guide to eleven sci-punks should come in handy. Now considering Mannerpunk.
A tongue-in-cheek term used to describe any comedy of manners with fantastic elements, like Ellen Kushner's Swordspoint: A Melodrama of Manners or Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton. (Some critics also consider Mervyn Peake's first two Gormenghast books to be the first mannerpunk novels.) Literary cousins to swashbuckling books like The Scarlet Pimpernel and the romantic comedies of Jane Austen, these tales study the social interactions between their characters, usually within a rigidly hierarchical social structure, but those characters may as easily be dragons, demons or faeries as human beings.
Sit on the steps of Mexico's El Castillo pyramid in Chichen Itza and you may hear a confusing sound. As other visitors climb the colossal staircase their footsteps begin to sound like raindrops falling into a bucket of water as they near the top. Were the Mayan temple builders trying to communicate with their gods?
The discovery of the raindrop "music" in another pyramid suggests that at least some of Mexico's pyramids were deliberately built for this purpose. Some of the structures consist of a combination of steps and platforms, while others, like El Castillo, resemble the more even-stepped Egyptian pyramids.
A minor quibble: While El Castillo is a Post Classic period Mayan construction, it is not clear what language was spoken at Teotihuacan. What is certain is that the Pyramid of the Moon predates El Castillo by centuries and that, if there is a direct relationship, it is Chichen Itza that owes the debt of influence.
Yesterday, Mark Steyn and Eza Levant testified before Canada's parliamentary Justice and Human Rights Committee. The subject: The Canadian Human Rights Commission (video of Steyn and Levant's testimony at the link).
Waving a lighter over my head for SondraK. This one goes to eleven.
"One True Song"
to meet the dawn/
oh and sing/
the one true song/
will burn your soul/
a bible black/
will try to hide/
oh some will run/
their ins outside/
before they'll rise/
to meet the dawn/
oh and sing/
the one true song/
where will we hide/
now that you/
have taken sides?/
I want to sleep
As a United Van Lines truck driver for my summer job from teaching math and science, I loaded hundreds of American families into my van for a new life in another city or state. Detroit plummeted from 1.8 million citizens to 912,000 today. At the same time, legal and illegal immigrants converged on the city, so much so, that Muslims number over 300,000. Mexicans number 400,000 throughout Michigan, but most work in Detroit.
Note to "the left": Assume the man's tone, facts and motives all to be suspect. Please use reason to convince him he is wrong. Please suggest some rational course of action. It is a lot to ask, I realize.
In nearly nine months in office, President Obama has found time to meet with Hugo Chavez, Daniel Ortega and Vladimir Putin. But this week he'll have no time to see the Dalai Lama, a peaceful religious leader who has for decades been a friend to the United States and an advocate of human rights for China's six million Tibetans.
Mr. Obama's slight is the first time a sitting president will not meet with the Dalai Lama during a Washington visit since President George H.W. Bush met with him in 1991.
Matt Gurney sees three options for Israel: do nothing and hope for a miracle, hit Iran with a limited military strike or hit Iran with a pre-emptive nuclear attack. There. Somebody said it in print.
This is the most frightening of the hypothetical scenarios, but it cannot be ruled out. As discussed above, Iran’s nuclear program would be very difficult to destroy in a conventional attack, and Iran and Israel are too far apart for Israel to strike with full power. Thus, the nuclear option cannot be ruled out.
Not that the mullahs take Option 3 seriously. They should. In the end, even Quaker Amy Kane was prepared to sacrifice her principles and stand by her husband for all the rest of the town were cowards.
"It is said of Muad'dib that once when he saw a weed trying to grow between two rocks, he moved one of the rocks. Later, when the weed was seen to be flourishing, he covered it with the remaining rock. 'That was its fate,' he explained."
The linked work credits the visionary John Schoenherr as an inspiration. I don't believe Schoenherr ever illustrated this particular parable so I have posted "Stilgar and His Men" as a point of comparison (via Warren Ellis).
In so far as senior officials of the government of Iran have repeatedly threatened the state of Israel with destruction and the people of Israel with genocide;
in so far as the government of Iran has funded and armed and continues to fund and army proxies to wage terror against the people of Israel;
in so far as the government of Iran is developing weapons of mass destruction and attendant delivery systems for the express purpose of the destruction of the state of Israel and the extermination of the people of Israel
a state of war exists between Israel and the government of Iran.
A further suggestion: Give war a chance.
Do not aim merely to destroy - let alone delay - the development and production of Iran's WMD industry. Aim to destroy Iran's ability to make war. At one time, for most of history in fact, this would have been a tall order. Not so in this instance. Iran is vulnerable in its (limited) capicity to refine oil and Iran’s primary oil export terminal in the Persian Gulf - Kharg Island - makes a tempting target. There is no need to target Iran's nuclear development and production facilities directly to cause serious problems for Iran's governing class or to pinch however many supporters they have remaining in the population at large.
Sure, oil prices will spike, terrorists will strike and there is the off chance that despite their recent restiveness Iran's people will support their government against external attack. So what. And especially to that last point. If the people of Iran cannot or will not overthrow their government thanks to the magic of Obama's diplomacy they are in no position to criticize the mullahs' next victims should these victims choose to defend themselves.
Another consquence of such an attack would be the opprobrium of the world's chattering classes. Consider it a bonus.
Existentially related: Iran's leadership believes Israel is bluffing. They may be right about that. But one thing they have got right for certain: There is an enormous difference between military strength and the kind of strength that matters.
In my conversation with the Iranian diplomats, the men made it quite clear Iran had nothing to fear. They said there would not be an attack. "Israel is bluffing," confidently averred one of the men. "There is absolutely nothing for us to concern ourselves with because neither Israel nor the United States tried to save its ally, the shah. They could have with their military, but were too weak to do it. If you think either one will go to war with us, I can tell you, it will never happen."
Dubstep audio mix by Andy Lieberthal aka Grafik. Visual mix by Chuck Przybyl. A mix shot live in the studio with two cameras and then remixed and then video mixed over. Featuring tracks by Gravious, Skream, Scuba, and Nightwalker.
The Daily Mail spies trouble brewing between X Factor judges Cheryl Cole and Dannii Minogue; A double plus good observation if only for coining the term "Tron-esque".
Tensions on the X Factor judging panel could be a little higher when Dannii Minogue sees the video for Cheryl Cole's first solo single. The promo for Fight For This Love, which was released last week, bears an uncanny resemblance to the Australian star's 2002 video for single Put The Needle On It.
Both videos see the X Factor judges posing in front of a black and white, Tron-esque, grid background.
Former legal advisor to the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Ruby Seibel argues for a lawfare counter-attack against "Palestinian" Authority officials.
Dr. Siebel called upon the government of Israel and the Foreign Ministry to make use of pro-Jewish organizations and to follow the Arabs' example by filing similar motions against PA officials who visit abroad.
"We too should be bothering those terrorists, filing motions against Syrian government officials suspected of torture, and pestering Arab representatives so that they too undergo the same kind of harassment we may have to face in the near future,” he suggested.
It was the Middle Kingdom, the world's most cohesive and enduring society, which pioneered not just the compass, gunpowder and printing, but porcelain, paperback books and a medieval postal service that would put today's Royal Mail to shame.
Normally, I can't stand this sort of fawning, majestic history of the Ewoks lie but given the state of the Royal Mail one is pressed to disagree.
In the caring, sharing culture of our social services, one fact gets forgotten. In order to protect the vulnerable, you have to take a stand. But our Government and our institutions are uncomfortable at exercising authority.