While I cannot say I will be rushing out to purchase People Tree products, I am delighted to learn Emma Watson has a better grasp of economics and development than the press corps of the entire Western world.
"Rather than give cash to charities you can help people in poorer countries by buying the clothes they make."
MI5 accuses China of bugging and burgling to uncover British trade secrets. Honeytraps, bribery and blackmail are mentioned but the following strikes me as the simplest method by far.
A leaked MI5 document says that undercover intelligence officers from the People’s Liberation Army and the Ministry of Public Security have also approached UK businessmen at trade fairs and exhibitions with the offer of “gifts” and “lavish hospitality”.
The gifts — cameras and memory sticks — have been found to contain electronic Trojan bugs which provide the Chinese with remote access to users’ computers.
It is not terribly stealthy looking. But given Russian engineering, I expect it is just stealthy enough to do the job.
The fifth-generation T-50 fighter has taken its maiden flight in Russia’s Far East. “The results of the T-50’s 47-minute flight were positive,” said the press service of Russian aircraft giant Sukhoi Company.
The official, identified as Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh, was thought to be behind the assassinations of two Israeli soldiers, Avi Sasportas and Ilan Saadon, in the 1980s. He was a member of Hamas' military wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades.
"I cannot reveal the circumstances. We are working with the authorities in the United Arab Emirates," said Izzat Al-Rishq, a member of Hamas' politburo, speaking in Damascus.
As if U.S. troops and diplomats didn't have enough to worry about in trying to understand Afghan culture, a new report suggests an entire region in the country is coping with a sexual identity crisis.
An unclassified study from a military research unit in southern Afghanistan details how homosexual behavior is unusually common among men in the large ethnic group known as Pashtuns -- though they seem to be in complete denial about it.
Ethnographic detail/Too Much Information at the link. Leaving aside the recurrent anal gonorrhea (you might have thought I was exaggerating the TMI), the report illustrates something horrific about the enemy's worldview. If you can have sex with another man provided you do not love him (if you love him, you are gay) and if you avoid the company of women "who God has made unclean" then your worldview prevents you from loving anyone and rewards you for using everyone.
This is the opposite of Christ's message. Something to consider the next time the Fred Phelps clan is compared to the Taliban. For all he believes the thought of two men loving each other calls for pickets and protests at Marine Corps funerals, even Phelps' cramped, diabolically inflected faith - a perversion of Christianity - allows room for love of some kind.
Not so the Taliban, examplars of the Pashtun masculine ideal. Our enemy in Afghanistan is not an army, not even an ideology; it is a culture made demonic by design. It is the future of the world if we lose.
The Sukhoi T-50 prototype took to the skies for a 45-minute flight from an airfield at the company's production plant in the Far Eastern city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur on Friday, Sukhoi spokesman Alexei Paveshchenko told The Associated Press.
Russian officials have spent two decades trying to build the so-called fifth-generation fighter and hope the T-50 can challenge the U.S. F-22 Raptor, which first flew in 1997. The Russian project has been veiled in secrecy and no pictures of it had been released before the maiden flight.
If the prototype bearing a close resemblance to the Raptor goes into production, it will be the first major new aircraft design built in post-Soviet Russia. Officials have expressed hope that the T-50 will enter service in 2015.
In January 2010, Schools Secretary Ed Balls said it was "not British" to tell people what to wear in the street.
But writing in the Independent, journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, who chairs the group British Muslims for Secular Democracy, said she supported restrictions on wearing the face veil in key public spaces.
"This covering makes women invisible, invalidates their participatory rights and confirms them as evil temptresses.
Tension is high in France where Hassen Chalghoumi, the imam at the Drancy mosque, who in recent days sided in favour of a law that bans the use of the full veil has been hit by serious threats.
A group of 80 people, with their faces covered, stormed the mosque where some 200 worshippers were present, a council member of the Conference of Imams, chaired by Chalgoumi himself, told the France Presse agency, asking to remain anonymous. They forced their way in and grabbed the microphones after a scuffle. At this point, they directed threats and curses against Imam, treating him as an unbeliever and an apostate and stating: we will trash his case, this Imam of the Jews...
Two weeks ago the chairman of Indian's Cyber Law and IT Act Committee told reporters: "China is very active in cyberspace. It has raised a cyber army of about 300,000 people and their only job is to intrude upon secured networks of other countries. All this is all aimed at supremacy. Every country must set up cyber armies to counter China."
France is set to perform a U-turn on its pledge to ban the burqa because of threats including 'terrorist reprisals' and legal challenges from the EU.
Despite President Nicolas Sarkozy's assertion that Islamic veils were 'not welcome', MPs are to recommend today that they are barred only from public transport and civic buildings such as schools and hospitals.
They would be permitted in private buildings or on the street.
"Legal challenges"? "From the EU"? Think what you like of the French, only the British are stupid enough to be cowed by the opinions of an unrepresentative foreign court. Actually, come to think of it, Canadians are stupid in much the same way. So I'll just shut the hell up.
Unmitigated: France balks at more troops for Afghanistan, decides to send "more mentors and civilian helpers" (someone get Olivia Chow on the phone, her intellectual property has been violated).
Despite refusing to send more troops to Afghanistan, Mr Sarkozy showed no shame in admitting France's national security would depend on other countries shouldering the burden.
Haiti's Scientological benefactor has been revealed. John Travolta thought it was so important to make a show of himself bring in a crack team of Scientology "touch assist" therapists he flew them to Haiti himself in his private Boeing 707.
To Haiti's only airport. Which can handle only as many as 130 flights a day. After a massive earthquake.
You might think that an army of people who can heal the sick just by touching them would be a bigger story, maybe the biggest story of the past thousand years, but it’s not. It’s true, obviously, but it’s not very interesting. That’s why no one talks about it. I’m surprised they even mentioned it here.
Travolta's publicist, and the Church of Scientology, had a good day at the expense of dying people. Think what you will of Scientology's claims or Scientology's motives, they are hurting the situation far less than the UN and something like 10,000 "aid" organizations.
A Washington Times editorial points out American aid to Haiti demonstrates no good deed goes unpunished and offers a handy list of the usual suspects ingrates.
But for me the centre of the piece concerns Haitian dual-passport holders. If anyone knows how to find a list of Haitian-Canadian dual passport holders to whom the following might apply, please to let me know.
The Saudi-based Arab News editorialized that aid flowing through the airport has been "shamefully delayed," but the petrol-rich kingdom characteristically has contributed little more to the relief effort than telegrams offering condolences. Some delays occurred because the United States was waiting for the Haitian government to show some leadership. Haitian President Rene Preval was the invisible man of the crisis and didn't emerge from his improvised headquarters near the airport for almost a week. Many of the people being ferried out of the country under French passports were Haitian bureaucrats with dual citizenship seeking sanctuary in more pleasant surroundings rather than making the effort to reconstruct their country. Clearly, they think it's far better to relax in Paris while others do the heavy lifting.
We used to describe this sort of thing as Satanic, these days it is called "critical thinking".
A new system of determining radio station ratings relies on an electronic monitor rather than the self-reporting of earnest, would be classical music left wing talk radio listeners. It turns out people were either trying to fool the ratings people or, worse yet, themselves; recording what they felt they should be listening to rather than what they were actually listening to.
I cannot imagine the resulting observations are limited to Portland.
What happened to KPOJ? These numbers represent the overall 12 years of age and older total audience share combining how many listeners with how long they listen. It’s called the average quarter hour share (AQH).
Fall 2008 = 3.5
Fall 2009 = 0.9
This means that under the old diary system where a listener wrote down what they claimed to listen to and how long, KPOJ was thought to have 3.5% of the audience listening to them. But when the electronic gadget registered what was actually listened to and for how long, KPOJ’s rating plummeted.
It’s interesting to note that 2 of the 3 conservative talk stations actually increased their ratings under the new system. Apparently, conservative news talk listeners didn’t lie under the old system of writing down what stations they listened to and for how long.
“I simply wept. My tears were quiet, but I spoke through them, and I was being listened to. My husband said, ‘There is great power in what you have just said, and it is a powerful message that makes clear why you are weeping.’” Ah yes, the silent tears of the great person who understands what we mere mortals can never know.
“And I said, ‘Doug, I’m weeping for the millions of lives that have been lost as a result of what did and did not happen in Copenhagen,’” she said. “My experience was that I had a place to go with my tears and my lament.” Yes Doug, yes! You are man Doug, you are patriarchy, you are suffering natives, oppressed transgendered people and the cries of the kittens and puppies as the very soil screams for peace, harmony and government funding.
The article is a masterpiece of sarcasm, do click through. Come to think of it, has anyone ever seen Michael Coren and Fenris Badwulf at the same time? No. You have not.
IDF field hospital begins transferring patients to USNS Comfort and other local hospitals.
Beginning yesterday, 24 January 2010, the IDF Medical Corps hospital in Haiti began transferring dozens of patients (orphans and premature babies) to the Italian hospital in Haiti and to the US Navy Ship, the 'Comfort'.
Statement by Lt. Col. Danny Moshayev:
"Today we are starting a process of evacuating patients to the USNS 'Comfort'. We have fully briefed all commanders of the medical divisions in the hospital. We have picked the patients that can be treated in the American ship. We are operating appropriate tools for the evacuation of the patients. In addition to this mission, we are transferring two premature babies. They are being transferred to the regional Italian hospital, which is capable of effectively treating children, and especially premature babies, and we are sending out a medical team to accompany them, bring them to the hospital and make sure that they are getting the best treatment possible".
Joel Goldsmith: Air Part 3 (Stargate Universe soundtrack)
Certainly the most beautiful SF soundtrack since Blade Runner - there is a debt to Vangelis in the synthesized brass - and perhaps the most beautiful SF beautiful soundtrack I have ever heard. Unfortunately, this uploaded MP3 audio does not do the music justice (though kudos to the uploader for a valiant attempt to duck the dialogue).
Stargate Universe is brilliantly well done also; faithful to the camp source material but for the first time taking the source material seriously. I am going to buy a Blu-ray player to see and hear it properly.
When presented with oat flakes arranged in the pattern of Japanese cities around Tokyo, brainless, single-celled slime molds construct networks of nutrient-channeling tubes that are strikingly similar to the layout of the Japanese rail system, researchers from Japan and England report Jan. 22 in Science. A new model based on the simple rules of the slime mold’s behavior may lead to the design of more efficient, adaptable networks, the team contends.
Janet Street Porter rescues me from my growing concern I was the only one sickened by the spectacle of helping in Haiti. It is not that I blame celebrities for using their treasure to attract attention, it is the certainty none of it will have changed a thing the next time Haiti is rocked by an earthquake or some other natural disaster. The real disaster is man made and most of the help is not helping.
Personally, I'd rather write a cheque and not have to listen to Madonna, Chris Martin or Sting. What's really nauseating is that the homeless in Haiti don't have blankets, let alone a telly to watch all this stuff done in their name.
Exactly what I am talking about: How many people died for Hillary Clinton's photo-op? Remind me of this when she challenges Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination. (Hillary flied... people died.)
Few, if any, countries in the region could have coped with a disaster of this magnitude. Like Haiti, most Caribbean islands have only one international airport with one runway. They too would have lacked the facilities to land and refuel dozens of large planes delivering aid every day — particularly after a disaster. That was the relief effort’s first big mistake.
But there have been plenty more. Co-ordinating the relief effort was the next problem. The United Nations should have been put in charge, whatever the damage to ego, national identity and the ambitions of aid agencies who like their 15 minutes of air time. Why the wasteful visits from foreign dignitaries, so ill timed and ill conceived? Hillary Clinton, predictably, brought traffic at the already gridlocked international airport to a standstill for several hours. This is not the time for public relations demonstrations.
The Navy will build six 5,600-ton "mini Aegis" destroyers. Navy headquarters announced the plan in a parliamentary audit at the Gyeryongdae military headquarters on Tuesday, pledging to use the destroyers as part of the main naval combat fleet.
Fresh from seeing James Cameron's Avatar, director George Lucas is set to makeover both the Star Wars trilogy and its heretical "prequels" in 3D.
He said that he had initially thought of the idea after finishing the last Star Wars film, The Revenge of the Sith, in 2005. But he was convinced about the idea after watching blockbuster Avatar, which picked up two Golden Globes last week.
Lucas said: 'We've been looking for years to do this but the technology hasn't been there. I think this will be a new impetus to make that happen.'
President of a French parliamentary commission on the subject, André Gerin says there will be a total ban on wearing the full veil in public areas. Note Gerin's party affiliation; at long last a man of the left has pulled his head out of his ass.
Speaking to Le Figaro, Gerin today stated that "One thing is certain, in public areas the use of the burqa will be absolutely forbidden". The report by the commission, which opens the road to a parliamentary resolution (a non-binding text) on the issue, will be officially presented next week. Gerin, a communist MP, also stated his support for a general law against the burqa. Law which, he later specified during an interview by radio RTL, is supported by the larger part of commission members. In his opinion the burqa is nothing other than the tip of an iceberg in the black tide of radicalism".
Hallelujah. Or whatever it is communists say to one another.
Some might scoff at Scientologists using "touch assists" to heal Haitian earthquake victims. I can think of many more expensive wastes of time applied to the same problem; at least Scientologists are preventing genuine Haitian recovery on their own dime.
Amid the mass of aid agencies piling in to help Haiti quake victims is a batch of Church of Scientology "volunteer ministers", claiming to use the power of touch to reconnect nervous systems. Clad in yellow T-shirts emblazoned with the logo of the controversial US-based group, smiling volunteers fan out among the injured lying under makeshift shelters in the courtyard of Port-au-Prince's General Hospital.
A wealthy private donor provided his airplane to fly in 80 volunteers from Los Angeles, along with 50 Haitian-American-doctors, in a gesture worth 400,000 dollars, said a Parisian volunteer who gave her name as Sylvie.
Richard Whitmire - who has no testicles - considers the plight of educated women looking for Mr. Right.
Substitute any minority except men (not all men, obviously) for the following and salt to taste. So much for "positive discrimination".
Statistic: As many as 80% of the jobs lost in the recession were held by men. Problem as construed by the Left: More and more well-educated women have to ask themselves: Am I willing to "marry down"?
Statistic: Boys are falling behind in school resulting in gender-unbalanced colleges admissions made up of 60% to 65% females. Problem as construed by the Left: A lot of unhappy women have to share overcrowded dorm-room bathrooms.
Statistic: Colleges attempt to avoid 60/40 gender imbalance threshold by accepting male applicants who are less academically qualified than their female counterparts. Problem as construed by the Left: The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights probes admissions discrimination against women.
Remember: All this crap is not and never has been about "human rights". It is about power.
Or: On the other hand, these statistics may reflect a decision on the part of (white?) men that post-secondary qualifications are increasingly valueless, in no small part due to the ideological turn of post-secondary education since the 1960s. An MA used to be a teaching qualification; these days it is an IngSoc finishing school certificate. Employers have already noticed and will, in due course, demand a new system of qualification - a system based on merit and accomplishment - they can actually use to assess prospective employees.
Charles Krauthammer: "You would think lefties could discern a proletarian vanguard when they see one."
Democrats, if they wish, can write off their Massachusetts humiliation to high unemployment, to Coakley, or, the current favorite among sophisticates, to generalized anger. That implies an inchoate, unthinking lashing-out at whoever happens to be in power — even at your liberal betters who are forcing on you an agenda that you can’t even see is in your own interest.
Democrats must so rationalize, otherwise they must take democracy seriously, and ask themselves: If the people really don’t want it, could they possibly have a point?
The U.S. Army is betting big on laser warfare -- designing, testing and perfecting ultra-precise weapons based on devastatingly powerful beams of light. And given recent developments, it's only a matter of time until the military has in its arsenal a weapon that until now has been the staple of science fiction -- the ray gun.
Set your phasers to kill.
I am all in favour of laser weapons, don't get me wrong. But the money would be better spent educating American children in the ideals of the Founders including and especially their martial virtues. The armories of the West are not the problem. There are no weapons to save your families without the will to use them, only booty for the treasure-stores of the colonists.
Look, I don’t even really know where Haiti is, I have no animosity towards them. I hope the telethon is a big hit, I hope people give, I hope Haiti gets back on their feet, but what’s the deal here. Are they trying to fix it like it was before, or does Haiti need a whole new country? Because even before the quake the buildings and roads look like Earth on that ‘Life After People’ show, except Haiti has people. What have they been doing for 300 years? How do we know what buildings to fix? How do we know which ones were broken by the earthquake and what ones were already fucked up? I’m not so sure you should get a new building just because you broke the other one. Are we just taking their word on this? How does that work? If you were an insurance agent, and someone wrecked their 95 Accord, you wouldn’t give them a Maybach would you? This is exactly like that, except in this case the person didn’t have any insurance, and instead of a 95 Accord they had a rusty bike with no seat.
StrategyPage reports the U.S. Navy accidentally (?) posted their classified estimate on the size and composition of the Chinese Navy. Some bright spark noticed the mistake (?) and removed the data, but not before it was made immortal on the interwebs.
To that end.
The strength of the Chinese fleet was listed as;
Submarines- 62 (53 diesel Attack Submarines, six nuclear Attack Submarines, three nuclear Ballistic Missile Submarines). The U.S. has 72 submarines, all nuclear (53 attack and 18 ballistic missile.)
Destroyers-26. The U.S. has 52.
Frigates-48. The U.S. has 32, including two of the new LCS vessels.
Amphibious Ships 58. The U.S. has 30, all much larger and equipped with flight decks and helicopters, plus landing craft.
Coastal Patrol (Missile)- at least 80. The U.S. had a few of these, but got rid of them. China uses these for coastal patrol and defense, a concept they inherited from the Russians.
In addition, the U.S. has eleven aircraft carriers (ten of them nuclear powered) and 22 cruisers.
Unlike recent military interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan, this week's military occupation of Haiti has been conducted without an United Nations mandate. And, naturellement, this means the French are on hand to help. An uncharitable urge suggests we have gone hunting with the accordian guy.
There is only one functioning pier. It looks stable, but it is not. Sgt. Joshua Palmer, a U.S. Army diver, said that he and his men have examined every piling and that the news is not good. Many are splintered at the tops, tipped with frayed rebar where there should be solid concrete. It is not clear whether the pier can handle the weight it needs to bear. "I'm just a grunt, but I don't know. There's a lot missing under this pier," Palmer said.
The Americans weren't happy that a French naval vessel, the Francis Garnier, had docked. They weren't being competitive. They were being cautious. The French ship and its cargo could have tipped the pier over like an empty paper cup.
An ounce of preparation: Glenn Reynolds points to a lesson on preparedness in the wake of the disaster in Haiti.
Or you could choose the Reality Based approach to the problem, I mean, it's all relative right?: Chavez: US weapon test caused Haiti earthquake.
Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez has once again accused the United States of playing God. But this time it's Haiti's disastrous earthquake that he thinks the U.S. was behind. Spanish newspaper ABC quotes Chavez as saying that the U.S. navy launched a weapon capable of inducing a powerful earthquake off the shore of Haiti. He adds that this time it was only a drill and the final target is ... destroying and taking over Iran.
To screen passengers as persons would reduce costs and inconvenience very greatly, because entire categories of passengers could be waived through with a rapid examination of travel documents and a few random checks now and then. These include a variety of easily recognizable groups that not even the most ingenious terrorists could simulate: touring senior citizens traveling together (a category that contains a good portion of all American, European and East Asian tourist traffic), airline flying personnel who come to the security gate as a crew, families complete with children, and more. In each case, the critical procedure would be to ask the group's members to recognize each other as such.
... With such a system that would discriminate only positively—only in favor of groups and categories of passengers, and never against them—we could have real security at a drastically lower cost in money and inconvenience.
Here the point is not to "discriminate" against anyone but to discriminate in favour of groups that do not regularly attempt mass murder. Discrimination used to suggest a refined capacity for discernment. Let's start using the word properly once again.
Thank you for this. I have been watching IDF updates on their work in Haiti. I haven't posted them (yet) because - sadly - I think they are to miss the point. I think so much of the world hates and resents Israel precisely because of Israel's good works, precisely because Israel is good (much the same might be said of America).
Because the Enemy is evil and celebrates evil. Because there is no good deed the Enemy will not spin as self-serving or a cover for "imperialism". Because the Enemy does not see the dead of Haiti as human beings trapped by a wicked, disfunctional society but as so many counters in a game to control the world (in the name of Marx or Mohammed, the consequence for freedom - for human dignity - is much the same).
Related: "Haiti Earthquake: After hours of work, an L.A. County urban search and rescue team pulls a woman from the rubble as crowds begin to chant "USA, USA"."
Tablighi Jamaat, a group with roots in India, wants to build a complex with space for 12,000 worshippers in east London which would be a hub for Muslim competitors and spectators at the Games.
But the group missed a deadline this month to formally outline its plans to the local London authority, and it has now been issued with a warning that it must close a temporary mosque it is operating on the site by Thursday.
Which is just as well as all those parking spaces can instead go to my proposed Temple of Elemental Evil. The idea will be to oppose the equality of women and advocate the murder of religious minorities, members of the British armed forces, gay men and, of course, proponents of the schismatic Temple of Elemental Evil (Reformed). We will blare evil sounding music at all hours as a call to prayer, bully non-Temple members off the street during our Holy Supersize Me Feasting Month and, naturally, will send the bill for all of the above to the British taxpayer. I expect Prince Charles can cut the ribbon on the project in his rôle as Defender of the Faith.
Related: If you don't like my plan you are obviously RACIST.
Venezuela's president accuses America of using quake as pretext to occupy devastated Caribbean country. 'I read that 3,000 soldiers are arriving, Marines armed as if they were going to war,' he says
Unrelated but too good to pass unremarked: "U.S. Military weapons inscribed with secret 'Jesus' Bible Codes." You know, re-reading that last sentence, it is almost as if the editor who wrote it had never seen a passage of Scripture cited before. It is not as though you need a decoder ring...
Coded references to New Testament Bible passages about Jesus Christ are inscribed on high-powered rifle sights provided to the United States military by a Michigan company, an ABC News investigation has found.
U.S. military rules specifically prohibit the proselytizing of any religion in Iraq or Afghanistan and were drawn up in order to prevent criticism that the U.S. was embarked on a religious "Crusade" in its war against al Qaeda and Iraqi insurgents.
One of the citations on the gun sights, 2COR4:6, is an apparent reference to Second Corinthians 4:6 of the New Testament, which reads: "For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."
In the aftermath of the terrible earthquake and the reported large-scale loss of life, charities, celebrities, aid organizations and governments have geared up to pour even more money into Haiti. And while a portion of it will no doubt ameliorate the hellish lives of a small percentage of Haiti's inhabitants for a short while, it should be recognized that the more significant and lasting result will be to provide funding for an international aid infrastructure that justifies its continued existence by keeping those it supposedly helps in a constant state of poverty and dependency.
Once a reputable publication, The Economist casually notes Muslim Americans under 30 are twice as likely as their elders to believe that suicide-attacks on civilians in defence of Islam are sometimes justified (15% versus 6%, according to Pew) but takes time to relate the closest thing to an anti-Muslim hate crime they could find in the wake of 9/11.
When a few thousand people were roasted to death on television, as you may recall.
Shabana Shakir-Ahmed, a suburban mother from Cincinnati, recalls chatting with a shop assistant not long after the twin towers fell. She does not wear the hijab, so the assistant did not at first realise she was Muslim. But when she saw the name on her credit card, her attitude stiffened. Mrs Shakir-Ahmed had bought enough cosmetics to qualify for a free bag, but when she asked for it, the assistant said they were all gone, though there was a heap of them behind her.
Not to worry. Our clearly reliable narrator survived her encounter with RACISM.
When Mrs Shakir-Ahmed complained about that shop assistant, for example, the manager apologised profusely and gave her two free bags. Many Americans, meanwhile, are making an effort to learn more about Islam. Mrs Shakir-Ahmed, who works as a volunteer tour guide at a local Islamic centre, saw a surge in visitors after September 11th 2001.
Just why is Haiti in such a dire situation, so much worse than any other country in the Americas? Some blame God. Some blame the Devil. Some blame the Americans. Some blame globalization. Some even blame the Goddess of Warmening. Many blame some combination of the above. And here was I blaming, oh, let's see, Haitians when I of all people should have known better.
After a dramatic slave uprising that shook the western world, and 12 years of war, Haiti finally defeated Napoleon’s forces in 1804 and declared independence. But France demanded reparations: 150m francs, in gold.
For Haiti, this debt did not signify the beginning of freedom, but the end of hope. Even after it was reduced to 60m francs in the 1830s, it was still far more than the war-ravaged country could afford. Haiti was the only country in which the ex-slaves themselves were expected to pay a foreign government for their liberty. By 1900, it was spending 80% of its national budget on repayments. In order to manage the original reparations, further loans were taken out — mostly from the United States, Germany and France. Instead of developing its potential, this deformed state produced a parade of nefarious leaders, most of whom gave up the insurmountable task of trying to fix the country and looted it instead. In 1947, Haiti finally paid off the original reparations, plus interest. Doing so left it destitute, corrupt, disastrously lacking in investment and politically volatile. Haiti was trapped in a downward spiral, from which it is still impossible to escape. It remains hopelessly in debt to this day.
Not that I am entirely sympathetic to the argument; the article goes on to point out half of Haiti's current debt is down to the Duvalier's. But the case is clearly made with all the best intentions.
Dutch MP Geert Wilders is to go on trial for telling the truth. Canadians already know, where injured feelings are concerned, truth is no defense.
Also no defense, the police. But then Canadians are noticing that as well.
Any one who still claims that the trial against Geert Wilders MP, leader of the Party for Freedom (9 seats in Parliament and 27 in the polls), which starts on the 20th of January, is not a political process: get a grip. Accused by the Dutch ‘Openbaar Ministerie’ exactly a year ago for insulting Islam, comparing the Koran to Mein Kampf and delivering hate speeches, the coming trial against Wilders suddenly got a Kafkaesque and potentially murderous twist. Finally, seven days before his first day in Court, all fangs were out and faces off.
“It is irrelevant whether Wilder’s witnesses might prove Wilders’ observations to be correct”, the ‘Openbaar Ministerie’ stated, “what’s relevant is that his observations are illegal”. Unexpected and breaching court procedures the detailed indictment of 21 pages, which Wilders received on the 4th of December and sums up in verbatim all of his Islam and Koran critique in interviews and Fitna, was amended with new accusations of racism against muslims and Moroccans. On top of this, Paul Vellerman, the public prosecutor of the Amsterdam Court decided that the Wilders trial had to be regarded as “an ordinary trial open for public and with a normal procedure, which doesn’t deserve the Department of Justice’s highly secured bunker. His is a normal case and we’ll treat it as such”.
It’s sad to note that Mohammed Bouyeri, the murderer of Theo van Gogh, and Volkert van der Gaag, the assassin of Pim Fortuyn, were tried in this specially designed bunker, but that Wilders has to rely on his personal bodyguards and full metal jacket to ward of terrorists. No safe room for him, which recently secured Kurt Westergaard and his granddaughter, but for months on end the vulnerability of a sitting duck.
The Dutch Establishment, in league with jihadis and a cowardly populace, is trying to drive Wilders from the country much as they did Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Or stage an execution by proxy for the crime of bad taste much as they did Pim Fortuyn.
Much more at the link, please read the whole thing. And on the off chance there is anyone left so starry-eyed as to imagine Canada is any different, it isn't.
The film Fitna will be shown and a diverse coalition of community leaders will speak, including Rabbi Jon Hausman from Boston, a close associate of Geert Wilders. On Wednesday, January 20, 7:30 - 9:30 pm, Toronto Zionist Centre, 788 Marlee Ave.
Kathy Shaidle – Five Feet of Fury
Rabbi Jon Hausman - Ahavath Torah, Boston
Ron Banerjee - Canadian Hindu Advocacy
Bjorn Larsen – Geert Wilder Supporter
Meir Weinstein – Jewish Defence League of Canada
Wednesday, January 20
7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Toronto Zionist Centre,
788 Marlee Avenue
Haiti's government has handed over to the United States temporary control of its airport in the capital of Port-au-Prince to help relief efforts in the quake-stricken island nation.
And for anyone who thinks the United States is up to good deeds in Haiti this week, please to remember ten, twenty, fifty and one hundred years from now when this week is cited as yet another in a long list of United States "occupations" in the Americas.
Bumped from the comments: Taylor Empire Airways considers the problem after a fashion once common in the West, now vanishingly rare in the public sphere. This is how a man approaches problems in the real world; leave Haitian Studies to the non-contributing zeroes.
There is a lot of bitching in places like boingboing.net already. But those people do not understand how the situation is materially constrained by the facilities.
The seaport is smashed, buildings and collapsed structures (like loading cranes) have to be cleared from the mooring points so that deep-draught vessels can dock. How long will it take a salvage crew to disassemble a crane leaning precariously beside a pier? If you just brute-force knock it down, how deep is the draught there, will the sunken crane leave enough room for ships to pass overhead without wrecking their hulls? There's some kind of petro spill leaking from a tank farm on the coast, too, plus sewage effluents from the city, which complicates a vessel's arrival into the harbour.
The main airport (MTPP) desperately needs a new taxiway system, at minimum.
Right now it's a single runway with one fixed-wing (med/heavy) apron and one rotary-wing apron, and a single taxiway leading from each to the runway.
In a well-developed airport the taxiway system helps aircraft flow on and off the runway smoothly. Aircraft waiting to take off hold short of the departure end of the runway on one taxiway, aircraft landing taxi off the runway on another taxiway further down. When the arriving aircraft clears the rwy, the departing craft is cleared on to it. At a busy airport these movements are very closely sequenced.
In MTPP with a single taxiway, the departing craft has to sit on the ramp itself. It can't position at the departure end because the turnaround bays at either end are too small for the wingspan of a med/heavy aircraft. Likewise it can't position on the single taxiway because the arriving aircraft needs to use that taxiway to exit the runway.
And because the taxiway is in the middle, arrivals need to backtrack the runway in order to reach the taxiway. Similarly, departures also need to backtrack the runway in order to position at the departure end.
The med/heavy ramp has spaces for 12 aircraft, at most. Airfield facilities include two fuel trucks and two pushback mules.
You would be lucky to get one aircraft movement every ten minutes under such a system, or 144 movements per day. Assuming the movements occur like clockwork, nobody has to remain on the ramp for any longer than it takes to unload, and everybody tankers their own return fuel aboard and does not require refueling from one of the airfield's two trucks.
Pearson airport, in contrast, handles about 1200 movements a day, and it slows down considerably after midnight due to aircraft class noise restrictions. Haiti will never handle 1200 movements a day, not even if every single airport in the nation were pressed into service. There are six of them, and all have single-runway, single-taxiway designs. Only two have runways long enough to cope with international transoceanic flights.
Now compound that with tons of aid arriving, and literally about a hundred thousand foreign nationals requiring evacuation (that alone would be about 300 flights) and you're looking at a recipe for unimaginable delays for a very long time.
Josephine of Lumpy, Grumpy and Frumpy discovers a truth all conservatives need to learn sooner rather than later: The police are not your friends. It is the job of the police to keep the peace, not enable your freedom of speech.
A comment left by The Phantom sums up my impressions of Canada's police forces (and, more recently, EMS workers):
YOU my dear are frickin' dreaming in Technicolor(tm) if you think the cops are there to protect you. Their sole purpose is to bust your ass if you step out of line. Its a moving line too.
Never had it done to me, because I say yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir. Guy says leave, I leave. Quick.
Once again, it is the job of the police to keep the peace, not to defend your freedom of speech. It is your job to defend your freedom of speech. Americans have a Second Amendment for a reason. Canadians don't have a Second Amendment for the same reason.
The police are just a vast nationalised industry serving the liberal establishment. I really wouldn't mind about the officers caught sledding down a snowy hillside while on duty - it's a sign they're human - if it weren't for the fact that they did so on riot shields, equipment a constable in this country ought never to need, and wouldn't need if it weren't for the long, slow breakdown in order caused by Left-wing social policies.
Are there still people who don't grasp that the police are much more excited about hanging on to their monopoly of force than they are about defeating crime and disorder?
If an ancient, famous, contented and free country were to turn, slowly but definitely, into a spiteful, bureaucratic tyranny, isn't this exactly how it would happen?
Analogy: The Liberal party and their media allies are trying to smear Canada's troops as "war criminals".
Liberals demand that terrorist like Omar Khadr be treated as innocent until proven guilty. No such courtesies for our Canadian troops.
Such is Canada's transvaluation of values: Every day is Opposite Day and, having forbidden the teaching of history, the Dictatorship of Feelings reigns unopposed by truth, reason or common decency, let alone common sense.
Remind me again: How much help Haiti offered to the United States in the wake of Hurricane Katrina? After 9/11?
There are reasons these people cannot - will not - help themsleves and these have precious little to do with an earthquake. Worse yet, there are reasons these people cannot - will not - help themsleves in future. For one thing, our help is not helping.
It's easy to blame poverty for the magnitude of the devastation in Haiti this week, but poverty is the result of poor governance. The island of Hispaniola provides a useful comparative laboratory in this regard, like the Korean Peninsula or the two Germanys during the Cold War. Haiti is on the western side of the island, and the eastern two-thirds make up the Dominican Republic, a functioning democracy with a relatively strong economy. The 2008 per capita income in the Dominican Republic was $8,200, making it 119th in the world. In Haiti, income was $1,300, ranking 203rd, the lowest in the Western Hemisphere. Satellite images of the island clearly show the divide between the two countries because of deforestation and a lackluster agricultural sector on the Haitian side.
There is nothing compassionate about ensuring a people live in penury forever, for all they seem willing to endure such compassion indefinitely.
Angry Haitians set up roadblocks with corpses in Port-au-Prince to protest at the delay in emergency aid reaching them after a devastating earthquake, an eyewitness said. Shaul Schwarz, a photographer for TIME magazine, said he saw at least two downtown roadblocks formed with bodies of earthquake victims and rocks.
"They are starting to block the roads with bodies, it's getting ugly out there, people are fed up with getting no help," he told Reuters.
Aside from a complete lack of elementary building codes, emergency planning and the rule of law, you know what is slowing down emergency aid? Road blocks made of corpses.
That Haiti was a slow-moving disaster even before the earthquake was visible—obvious, in fact—from a height of 35,000 feet. When you flew from Santo Domingo to Port-au-Prince, the border was as clearly visible as on any map, a straight line drawn on the earth’s surface: on the Dominican side, verdant, on the Haitian side, brown, bare as a desert.
A Nigerian journalist once said of his country, “No known system of government works in Nigeria.” This is even truer of Haiti. It’s often claimed that Haiti’s desperate situation is the consequence of outside interference—principally American, of course—plus recurrent, often bizarre, dictatorship. But Haiti’s neighbor, the Dominican Republic, has suffered similar disadvantages; yet it prospers.
Club 33 is a private club located in the heart of the New Orleans Square section of Disneyland. Officially maintained as a secret feature of the theme park, the entrance of the club is located next to the Blue Bayou Restaurant at “33 Royal Street” with the entrance recognizable by an ornate address plate with the number 33 engraved on it. Fees for joining range from 10 – 30 thousand US dollars and membership comes with a car park. If you want to join the club, you have to go to the end of the fourteen year waiting list.
Armed Forces Minister Bill Rammell warns Britain may have become so risk averse it could have lost the stomach for war. Perhaps his first clue should have been his fellow ministers, terrified lest a jihadi hostage taker offer a British soldier a cigarette.
Bill Rammell warned that in an age of mounting public cynicism and rolling 24-hour news, British governments faced increasing resistance to any use of military power.
“We, sadly, face a series of threats, the nature of which will require the projection of power beyond our borders to protect our national security,” he said. “My great fear is that we as a nation will become so risk-averse, cynical and introverted that we will find ourselves in inglorious and impotent isolation by default.”
Risk aversion is only a technocratic symptom of a once heroic nation suffering an aversion to glory. Such is the end of Western civilization.
Thus, it is entirely possible that modernity—thirty or forty years hence—will witness not the final triumph of liberal democracy, but the emergence of a new transnational hybrid regime that is post-liberal democratic, and in the American context, post-Constitutional and post-American. This alternative ideology, “transnational progressivism,” constitutes a universal and modern worldview that challenges both the liberal democratic nation-state in general and the American regime in particular…
A Kevlar-like armor might have helped Alexander the Great conquer nearly the entirety of the known world in little more than two decades, according to new reconstructive archaeology research.
Presented at the annual meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America in Anaheim, Calif., the study suggests that Alexander (356–323 B.C.) and his soldiers protected themselves with linothorax, a type of body armor made by laminating together layers of linen.
A new Gormenghast novel based on notes left by Mervyn Peake was written by Maeve Gilmore shortly after her husband's death from Parkinson's Disease in 1968 and discovered only now having been lost to the attic (a Gormenghast plot in itself; spoiler warning on the following).
The existence of her manuscript, handwritten in brown ink in four exercise books, remained unknown until Sebastian Peake's daughter Christian discovered them in the attic of her south London home.
Mr Peake said: "I was mesmerised."
Maeve Gilmore concluded the story with Titus making his home on an island, which Mr Peake interpreted as Sark in the Channel Islands, where the young family had lived in the 1940s. "It was where the family was at its happiest," he said.
"Titus metamorphosis’s into Mervyn Peake and comes home to where he wants to be," he explained.
Call Pat Robertson crazy or, worse yet, insensitive for his remarks following the earthquake in Haiti. To a reasonable person (by which I mean an NPR listener's self-concept), the notion Tuesday's 7.3 magnitude earthquake was punishment for a 200 year old pact with the Devil sounds crazy or, worse yet, insensitive. This perhaps particularly so to a reasonable person recalling Robertson's remarks along similar lines following 9/11. The trouble for critics of Robertson's insensitivity (I have seen no sympathy for the devil troubling him), is that Haitians say much the same thing themselves.
The commonly accepted date for the start of Haiti's slave revolution against the French is August 22, 1791, the date a voodoo priest named Dutty Boukman presided over a ceremony at Bois Caïman. Whether or not such a ceremony ever took place is beside the point, it is an important part of Haiti's national mythology and, I would argue, Haiti's national mystique.
Most reasonable people would be skeptical as to the efficacy of Boukman's ritual in its own terms. This is because most reasonable people claim to respect cultural difference but actually think voodoo is superstitious bullshit. Academics would attribute the power of Boukman's rite - and its memory - to revolutionary theatre not to divine - let alone infernal - intervention. That most Haitians really do believe in voodoo does not trouble reasonable people in the slightest; reasonable people could not care less what Haitians think about anything, let alone a 200 year old voodoo rite.
What reasonable people do care about is pretending to celebrate religious diversity but actually kicking religious diversity if it is of the Christian variety. Pat Robertson's real crime was aesthetic. If he had expressed much the same views while sacrificing a chicken to the gods he would have gotten a pass, even a pat on the head.
Here is what bothers me about the criticism leveled at Pat Robertson by reasonable people, including the criticism of all too many reasonable conservatives: If it is fine for Western academics to celebrate "the voodoo revolution" as part of Haiti's rich historical tapestry, to stage reenactments of Boukman's voodoo ceremony in New York as revolutionary theatre, it seems turnabout is fair play should a Bible believing evangelical have the temerity to identify vodoo spirits with demons and a voodoo ceremony as a demonic rite. Haitian's have traditionally made this identification themselves, albeit as a syncretic borrowing of European devil imagery into their West African spirit worship.
By all means dismiss Robertson's beliefs as nonsense if you will but do not blame the man for doing what the Left cannot quite manage, taking Haitians at their word about their own history. Jihadis everywhere are familiar with the problem; no matter how many times they try to tell us why they want us killed or converted the Left insists these doctors and engineers and billionnaire's sons are revolutionary proletarians with a colourful religious vernacular. Only a few latter day Crusaders have the courtesy to respect Muslim beliefs concerning holy war for what they are and to take jihadi statements as to their intentions at face value.
To place Robertson's analysis in context, tell me how the Left's version of witchcraft - vulgar economic reductionism - is any less condescending, any less inappropriate to the ongoing horror for survivors.
Haiti's cultural traditions also have their part to play in making the standard of living there lower than anywhere in the Caribbean and most of Sub-Saharan Africa. The prevailing belief in voodoo continues to mean that many Haitians reject modern medicine in favour of more traditional practices. A visit to the village witch doctor is for many Haitian parents the first port of call when their child falls ill. Without access to clean water and without treatment for basic illnesses the child mortality rate in Haiti is one in five, with diarrhoea, malaria and TB the most common causes of death.
Ironically for the only country ever to have had a successful slave revolt, child enslavement is also a culturally accepted practice in Haiti.
Modern medicine and, presumably, seismology and engineering. That last bit about child slavery is off topic but something to keep in mind as Obama's media people sell you on Haiti's exemplary slave revolution.
With one in ten under-40s infected with HIV, and millions living in squalor and destitution, thousands try to flee each year to the U.S. by hanging on to anything that will float. While hurricanes, floods and earthquakes have all devastated the landscape over the years, the biggest threat has come from humans.
Successive dictators have raped, murdered and even reputedly eaten their enemies.
Described by one commentator as an 'international crime scene' rather than a country, Haiti became infamous around the world during the reign of Francois 'Papa Doc' Duvalier, a former doctor who murdered 100,000 people and formed a private band of killers called the Tonton Macoutes. Wearing their trademark mirrored sunglasses and designer T-shirts, these murderers and cannibals were named after a terrifying bogeyman from Haitian mythology, who carried off naughty children into slavery.
The Tonton Macoutes cut out the hearts, eyes and lungs of opponents with machetes, while Papa Doc, who stole almost a billion pounds in foreign aid, insisted that every television and radio programme had to be entirely in praise of his rule. In power from 1957, Papa Doc made voodoo the country's official religion and claimed to be Baron Samedi, the religion's spirit of death. He often wore a top hat and tails while demanding the skulls of his dead victims were brought to his palace in Port-au-Prince.
He collected blood from prisoners who had been tortured and killed and sold it for $22 a pint to U.S. health groups. He once ordered the death of all black dogs in the country after a political enemy was rumoured to have transformed into one.
How anyone could confuse these charming folkways with Devil worship is beyond me.
Israel is developing an army of robotic fighting machines that offers a window onto the potential future of warfare.
In 10 to 15 years, one-third of Israel's military machines will be unmanned, predicts Giora Katz, vice president of Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., one of Israel's leading weapons manufacturers.
"We are moving into the robotic era," says Mr. Katz.
So long as they remain Israeli war robots, this is awesome. Once those robots start thinking for themselves it is past time for a Butlerian Jihad.
The discovery of lost works by William Blake is the sort of thing that forces a less fortunate book collector to break out in hives; a not entirely pleasant experience I can assure you.
In among a box of second-hand books bought from a North London dealer in the late 1970s was a thick international railway timetable.
So boring did this tome appear to be that the seller apparently missed the eight small etchings hidden between the pages — a mistake that, in effect, handed the buyer a small fortune when they were identified three years ago as unique works by the visionary artist and writer William Blake.
Tate galleries have now bought these brilliantly executed and disturbing pictures for £441,000 and will exhibit them at Tate Britain in July.
They are not the sort of images that are likely to be ignored again. In one a naked man screams in horror as flames rage around him. In another a figure with long hair bends over a glowing red pool. Blake’s caption reads: “vegetating in fibres of blood”.
Transportation Minister John Baird was unapologetic Sunday about the invasive search of an 85-year-old woman conducted by security personnel at the Ottawa Airport.
Baird was asked by media Sunday about the treatment of the four-foot-10, 90-pound woman who was travelling from Ottawa to Toronto on Dec. 28. The woman was asked to remove her boots and then unzip her pants. A female inspection officer then poked at her abdomen.
Existentially related: We need a smarter way to fight the international jihadi elite. Our police-assault-on-little-old-ladies-in-wheelchairs strategy is not working.
Too often, we still consider public diplomacy to be a sort of public relations activity, the "promotion" of American values. Instead, we should think about it as an argument. The Bayraks and Balawis of this world are engaged in constant debates -- in Internet chat rooms, in the halls of publishing houses, in mosques. Are they hearing enough counterarguments? Are we helping the people who make the counterarguments?
Or we could line them up against a wall and shoot them. Call me old fashioned.
Thousands of people in the Netherlands are preparing themselves for the end of the world in 2012, collecting emergency life supplies. Radio Netherlands reported on Monday that most people are taking precautions to face the apocalypse as predicted by the Mayan calendar. According to the Dutch-language De Volkskrant newspaper, supporters of the end of the world theory are even preparing life rafts and emergency supplies.
Some interviewed by the newspaper were optimistic about the impending apocalypse, UPI reported.
"You know, maybe it's really not that bad that the Netherlands will be destroyed," Petra Faile said. "I don't like it here anymore. Take immigration, for example. They keep letting people in. And then we have to build more houses, which makes the Netherlands even heavier. The country will sink even lower, which will make the flooding worse."
Too good to excerpt, I stole the whole article. To hell with Iranian IP.
Long time Flea-readers will most probably best know Jerry Doyle as Babylon 5 security chief, Michael Garibaldi. Even long time Flea-readers may not know Doyle was not the only conservative in the cast.
That was one of the great parts of being on the show, was that we could go at each other. Bruce and Tracy and I in the fifth season would be like back to back to back Republicans, trying to hold our own against all the liberal Democrats in Hollywood. What was cool is Bruce was number one on the call sheet and I was number two, so we had a certain degree of perceived, whatever, power. It helped us defend our positions even more.
The West suffered immensely after it was invaded by the Persian Empire during the Persian Wars and deserves reparations, Canadian blogger Ghost of a flea said in a post this morning.
The hard line Canadian blogger has ordered the formation of a team to study the damages Western civilization suffered from the 498 BC Persian invasion in order to demand compensation.
"You inflicted lots of damages to the West, put your weight on the shoulders [of European people] and became victors in Asia Minor. You didn't even share the war profits with the West," Flea said. "If I say today that we will take full compensation ... know that we will stand to the end and will take it."
The earliest known Hebrew writing, dating from the the 10th century BC reign of King David, has been diciphered from a pottery sherd found in the Elah valley. Amongst other things, this is documentary evidence of a Jewish kingdom in existence at the time, no matter what contemporary death cultists would have us believe.
The contents of the text express social sensitivity to the fragile position of weaker members of society. The inscription testifies to the presence of strangers within the Israeli society as far back as this ancient period, and calls to provide support for these strangers. It appeals to care for the widows and orphans and that the king - who at that time had the responsibility of curbing social inequality - be involved. This inscription is similar in its content to biblical scriptures (Isaiah 1:17, Psalms 72:3, Exodus 23:3, and others), but it is clear that it is not copied from any biblical text.
Tombs discovered near Egypt's great pyramids reinforce the theory they were built by free workers rather than slaves. The location of the tombs, where workers who built the pyramids of Khufu (Cheops) and Khafre (Chephren) are buried, suggests they were not slaves.
But is also not to suggest they were particularly happy about it. While they were not slaves, Egyptian peasants were obligated to provide corvée labour on public works projects, including the pyramids, as a form of taxation. You can understand the confusion; future archaeologists are likely to look back upon Canada and wonder that men could be enslaved in the service of bilingual breakfast cereal boxes. The pyramids were a better deal.
Using Jane's Land Based Air Defence as a reference and Google Earth as a guide, IMINT & Analysis offers Syrian Strategic SAM Deployment and Iranian Strategic SAM Deployment for your consideration. Not that any Flea-readers are likely to dare an attempt on either polity's airspace in the near future but it is a testament to what is possible in our peculiar digital age.
The following may be the money quote; it is good news.
On the surface, Iran's ground-based air defense picture appears to be relatively robust thanks to the presence and reach of the seven S-200 batteries. However, a closer analysis reveals an overall coverage which is currently full of holes and vulnerabilities that a potential aggressor could exploit.
Herein lies the reason believing Christians and Jews and Hindus recognize the jihad for what it is and Marxists and secularists find it nearly impossible to do so. Muslim grievances must be about race or economic circumstance, reason the left, because these are the only values Marxists and secularists acknowledge.
Take Iran's maniacal drive for atomic weapons, for example. Given the costs - and the final potential cost - why don't they give it up?
The reason is that Iran's nuclear program has, for many Iranians, become a "sacred value." That term has a specific meaning in social psychology. Sacred values are those that trump rational cost-benefit analysis. Specifically, the more someone is offered in return for giving up a sacred value, the less he is willing to do so. That's the opposite of how people treat other values, where the more we are offered for our old car, our house, an article of clothing, our place in a line, or any other "secular" holding, the more willing we are to give it up.
Women who wear Islamic veils in public in France face a £700 fine under strict new laws being proposed. The amount could be doubled for Muslim men who force female members of their family to cover their faces.
Jean-Francois Cope, president of Nicolas Sarkozy’s ruling UMP Party, said the legislation was intended to protect the ‘dignity’ and ‘security’ of women.
By contrast, French Muslim women could always try dressing in Western women's fashion on the streets of Riyadh. Here's your ticket. Enjoy!
A UK Harrier has been directed onto a group of six Taliban fighters after a SAF and RPG contact with British Troops in Helmand. At the start of the clip the Laser/GPS Guided Paveway 4 is already travelling towards the enemy. Almost straight away another 7 walk into the RV location. The pilot seems to slighty guide the bomb away for a second then back onto them after confiming the target. SMASH!
Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system has successfully intercepted a number of missile barrages in tests mimicking Kassam and Grad-model Katyusha rockets deployed by Hamas.
The Iron Dome is supposed to be capable of intercepting all short-range rockets fired by Hamas in the Gaza Strip and by Hizbullah in Southern Lebanon. The system uses an advanced radar made by Elta that locates and tracks the rocket, which is then intercepted by a kinetic missile interceptor.
During the test, the radar succeeded in detecting which rockets were headed towards designated open fields and therefore did not launch an interceptor to destroy them.
"Europe has denied its Christian roots from which it has risen and which could give it the strength to fend off the danger that it will be conquered by Muslims -- which is actually happening gradually," Vlk said.
"If Europe doesn't change its relation to its own roots, it will be islamized," the 77-year-old cardinal, who was named Prague archbishop by pope John Paul II in 1991, added on his website www.kardinal.cz. He blamed immigration and Muslims' high birth rate for helping Muslims to "easily fill the vacant space created as Europeans systematically empty the Christian content of their lives".
"At the end of the Middle Ages and in the early modern age, Islam failed to conquer Europe with arms. The Christians beat them then," Vlk said. "Today, when the fighting is done with spiritual weapons which Europe lacks while Muslims are perfectly armed, the fall of Europe is looming," added the cardinal.
Archbishop belatedly considers mild defense of Christianity II: Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey.
The former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey yesterday warned that Britain will be in ‘deep trouble’ if it does not cut immigration and stand up for its Christian values. He called for a dramatic reduction in migrant numbers and insisted those who want to enter the UK should be made to understand its Christian heritage.
Lord Carey said: ‘We Christians are very often so soft that we allow other people to walk over us and we are not as tough in what we want, in expressing our beliefs, because we do not want to upset other people.’
The Fred Phelps family covering Lady Gaga's Poker Face is news, I admit, if only because the original is so catchy I was singing along to the revised lyrics... "God hates you!" (more Phelps/Gaga after the jump).
The Lifetime show has already created buzz by announcing to Access Hollywood that Nicole Richie, just four months removed from giving birth to her second child, would serve as the first celebrity guest judge - joining host Heidi Klum, style expert Tim Gunn, and regular judges Michael Kors and Nina Garcia.
"Project Runway" season 7 premieres January 14th on Lifetime.
PD James talks to BBC director general Mark Thompson on the Today Programme. Enjoy.
Murder takes many forms, and despite having served up most of them, P D James, our 89-year-old grande dame of crime writing, is always looking for new ideas. Last week she delivered death by interview, and her victim was Mark Thompson, the BBC's £834,000-a-year director general.
“It seems so extraordinary,” tutted the old lady as she slipped the DG a deadly question about the high salaries paid to the corporation’s executives.
Even on the radio, you could see Thompson turning pale. “Well, we, we, the, the, it,” he spluttered, “…the private broadcasters, as you know, are, um, ITV, er, Channel 4….” Gasping for life, he claimed that Lord Reith would be proud of today’s Beeb, and was then stretchered from the studio, leaving Baroness James – just the tiniest note of satisfaction in her voice – to dismember her next guest, Justice Minister Jack Straw.
An article about window cleaning leads me to an opening ceremony and, with it, a true name.
Makes you wonder why they don't want English-speakers to know what the "Burj" "Dubai" is actually called. Here "Burj" is like "Beijing", a febrile gesture of cosmopolitan ignorance. If they had called the thing "Sword of the Jew Killers" the BBC would be calling it the Dubai Tower.
British-based al-Qaeda fanatics threatened to kill a soldier’s family after learning his sniper team had killed 32 Taliban. Armed police were sent to his home after anti-terrorism officers uncovered the plot to murder his parents.
The plans came to light when the security services monitored “chatter” – believed to be on mobile phones or the internet – between al-Qaeda extremists. It is the second time a soldier or his loved ones are known to have been targeted in the UK by groups linked to al-Qaeda.
My younger relatives, what would be classified as 'youth' by the activists, are healthy, normal, well-adjusted. That is to say, they are racists, born racists by virtue of their skin. Judging people based on their skin is racism, the activists say, and the activists judge that white skins are all bad people, unless they pay taxes to keep activists in jobs. But my younger relatives do not realize this yet. They want to have jobs when they grow up, so they do not rub shoulders with social parasites. Without exposure to tapeworm-Canadians, they are unaware of how important it is for them to feel bad about themselves and to hand over their money to people to spend it for them. Instead, I, as honored uncle (the other two being in prison this particular Holiday), raised their consciousness by introducing them to Eastern European war movies this Holiday. I care.
From the 1961 Operation Coffee Cup Campaign against Socialized Medicine as proposed by the Democrats, then a private citizen Ronald Reagan Speaks out against socialized medicine. There is no video because this was an LP sent out by the American Medical Association.
Margaret Thatcher: The Downing Street Years. No humbug, the unvarnished truth.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
"She thought all men feeble and gentlemen more feeble than most." Classic. She was right about upper middle class intellectuals too; seeing everyone's point of view and having no point of view of their own. God, this is like taking a warm bath. Far, far too much to quote. Budget two hours or so and watch the whole thing. England was still England not so very long ago.
If you do not have time to spare for the whole thing, spare thirty seconds starting at 0:50 of Episode 3. "They are a weak lot some of them in Europe you know..."
Featuring old photos of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and the British Isles. I have only started poking around but there are a few treasures; I am particularly curious about places where Flea-ish relations once dwelt.
The majority of the photographs are dating from the 1890's and 1900's. Most topographical photographs in those days were taken by photographers working for postcard companies, so many of these images are scanned from old postcards. We have old photos of the smallest villages, and we have old photos of the great cities like Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dublin, Belfast, London, Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham. There is something for everyone.
A UK-flagged cargo ship with 25 crew has been seized by pirates off Somalia, media reports say. The Asian Glory was taken 620 miles (1,000km) off the Horn of Africa nation's coast, the Bulgarian foreign ministry said.
The vessel, which has a multi-national crew, is the second UK-flagged ship hijacked in days, after chemical tanker the St James Park was seized on Monday.
But, then, double standards and contradiction was a theme in itself in 2009. David Miliband condemned Geert Wilders’ film Fitna as “hate-filled,” but he had not seen it. The Chancellor of the Exchequer – responsible for the nation’s taxes – claimed for assistance with his tax return. Sir John Chilcot said the legality of the Iraq war would be central to his investigation, though the investigating committee would have no legal expert. And so on, and so on.
Some ideas never get old. Take Margaret Thatcher's first few months in power as an inspiration.
During Margaret Thatcher’s first months in power she clashed with ministers, cold-shouldered civil servants and declined an offer of 20 “karate ladies” to guard her at an international summit, secret government papers reveal today.
One of her first moves on taking office in May was to start cutting Civil Service jobs. The Government machine needed cutting by at least 5 per cent, she insisted, but ideally closer to 20 per cent.
The United Kingdom is a Parliamentary dictatorship as a matter of fact, if not quite as a matter of law. All that is required is for the people of the United Kingdom to elect parliamentarians capable of making the right decisions and carrying them out. Nothing is irreversible. Nothing is lost unless we decide it is.
Filmed by Christoph von Furer-Haimdendorf and narrated by David Attenborough. Broadcast by the BBC in the 1960's. The film is part of a large archive of footage shot by Haimendorf in the Himalayas and is put up with his permission.
"Nina tells how she, at an early age in an atheist environment, came upon a forbidden but fascinating being named God. She takes the reader with her on a wild road movie in which she has demonic experiences in an Indian ashram.
"On the way, she looked love, drugs and death in the eye. But above all, she encountered God."
The book is to be released in March. Hagen told Thursday's Bild newspaper that she had been baptised in August and that she wanted to share with readers the joy of finding Jesus. "The baptism saved my life," she said. "I was in a bad way before that."
TTC spokesman Brad Ross, who somehow manages to sleep at night, said the TTC hopes riders do not take out their frustration with today's fare incrased on frontline workers.
Brad Ross can go to hell. My comment to The Sun.
We shouldn't complain to operators about a fare increase? The same operators who walked out in a wildcat strike leaving tens of thousands stranded downtown? The same operators who leveraged their strike into wages and benefits the rest of us now have to pay for?
I don't think so.
Don't get me started on Toronto's sanitation workers, another group who blackmailed the city at the risk of its citizens, another group who should be fired en masse.
Part of the Indian Army’s estimated $2.5-billion artillery modernisation programme, the Indian government has authorised the purchase of 145 ultra-light howitzers from the United States.
The ultra-light howitzers are for the mountain artillery divisions of the Indian Army to be used in high-altitude frontiers opposite Pakistan and China. They can be transported slung from some helicopters.
Assuming it is the work of English domestic terrorists and not intra-sectarian violence, the burning of a Dudley mosque is a grim harbinger. My only surprise is it has taken ten years for the great unwashed to stop trusting their future to an anti-Semitic Establishment, an Army with no bullets and a Navy without permission to fire them or worst of all an emasculated police force bent on creating injustice rather than righting injustice.
Where there is no law there is the mob.
Ten fire crews were called to Cradley Heath Mosque and Islamic Centre in Plant Street, Cradley Heathe, near Dudley in the West Midlands, on Boxing Day. But they could not save the mosque building, which was completely destroyed in the attack. It is the second time the hall has been targeted in recent years.
Expect more and expect worse until Her Majesty's government remembers its duty not least of which is to hang arsonists and anarchists by the neck until dead. An ASBO in defense of liberty is too nice.
Human nature being what it is, what on earth makes anyone think this will stop with burned mosques? Where there is no serious disincentive to political violence - where political violence is celebrated as an expression of "community solidarity" - even the left cannot be surprised if the white working class finally decides to join the fray.
Allow me to offer a hasty, perhaps stereotyped, generalization about the English working classes for anyone who has yet to enjoy their company: The English working class lacks the subtlety of the debating partners most progressives have encountered to date and, high on a sense of entitlement and grievance fostered by the same leftists over these last sixty years, the white working class is entirely unmoved by the ad hominem accusations of racism so feared by polite society.
While we are on the subject: Spare a moment in your prayers for Alhaji Umar Mutallab, a Muslim who reported his own son to the authorities that the lives of strangers might be spared. Events suggest he did so at the risk of his own life and despite the faint hope anyone in authority would heed his warning in the slightest.
The morally retarded of the Canadian left - I am looking at you de-linked National Post - think criminal profiling (let alone wartime profiling) is inevitably racial profiling. This assertion is so central a tenet of their belief system they are prepared to forgive cop killers, gang rapists, even those who make open war on the West; in fact, so warped is their value system they blame the cop, blame the victim and blame any of us who still imagine representative government must not be allowed to vanish from the world.
In light of this latest attempt by an "isolated extremist" to bring down hundreds and kill hundreds more on the ground, or rather in light of a feckless, fatuous, government mandated response by airport security, I harbour some hope reason may triumph over sentiment at last. The public at large may be fed up with being criminalized, being treated as enemy combatants, to no effect whatsoever.
In the week since the Abdulmutallab attack, there have been the usual crass, simplistic demands for ever more intrusive airport security – scanners that figuratively strip us naked, and so on. But the purpose of my little demonstration, and the reason for recalling it now, is to show that ever more intrusive blanket checks are the wrong answer.
In my documentary, Philip Baum, the editor of the magazine Aviation Security International, said he could not recall a single time when a bomb had been found using an airport X-ray machine alone. Airport security, he said, was "theatre", designed to reassure the public rather than to stop bombers. The Abdulmutallab case would seem to support this view.
But even if the technology was better (and it is, to be fair, improving), it's largely beside the point. At the moment, aviation security is about looking for suspicious things. It should be about looking for suspicious people.
This is true not only because the jihadis are likely to beat any technological advance in the offing (click through and read the rest if you do not believe me) but because the jihadis do not have to beat our technology - which is formidable - but our society - which is not. So long as we insist on giving the enemy's ideology a pass we cannot prevent clever, dedicated, well-funded demon worshippers - whatever their denomination - from sacrificing their lives on a pire of their victims.
Yet another good point from the same essay.
One of the defining characteristics of New Labour – from child-molester checks on school volunteers to ID cards – is its belief that everyone is a suspect. Not only is that illiberal, it just doesn't work. What it means is that the guilty get missed because the authorities are spending too much time hassling the innocent. That lesson applies just as much to airport security as any other area.
The left: So much concern for the civil rights of terror "suspects", so little concern for yours or mine. Most of you who read this blog have never met me in person yet even if you knew I was armed (though the law prevents this), even if you knew I was carring a bomb (which I wouldn't be), I expect something close to 100% of you would feel perfectly safe (barring mishap, let's face facts) sat next to me on a plane. There is an excellent reason for your faith: Technology is not the problem; most people could be entrusted with carry on bomb components, in a pinch. Nihilist ideology is the problem; both the enemy's and ours.
According to the poll conducted by Zogby International -- a research group that has been tracking public opinion since 1984 in North America, Latin America, the Middle East, Asia and Europe -- many church members strongly disagree with their leaders' contention that more immigrant workers need to be allowed back into the United States.
The survey also showed that most parishioners advocated for more enforcement to cause illegal workers to return home while the majority of religious leaders were calling for illegal immigrants to be put on the path to U.S. citizenship.
The Queen's Christmas message for 2009 took a vibrant Commonwealth as a force for peace as its focus. A better force for peace? The force of arms, the will to use them and the British Empire. This Commonwealth idea is not working.
Sports stars are abandoning the England team for the Commonwealth Games in India next year amid security fears. Some of the nation's greatest medal hopes are citing excuses ranging from 'bad timing' to 'the risk of tummy bugs' to avoid going to the tournament in Delhi.
There are even reports that the entire England squad could pull out over worries that the athletes could become a target for terrorist attacks.
Better get used to the idea. Soon enough, it shall be too dangerous to play sports in England.
Danny Ayalon makes an excellent point about the disputed territories (though their God given ownership is no matter of dispute to my mind).
The recent statements by the European Union's new foreign relations chief Catherine Ashton criticizing Israel have once again brought international attention to Jerusalem and the settlements. However, little appears to be truly understood about Israel's rights to what are generally called the "occupied territories" but what really are "disputed territories."
That's because the land now known as the West Bank cannot be considered "occupied" in the legal sense of the word as it had not attained recognized sovereignty before Israel's conquest. Contrary to some beliefs there has never been a Palestinian state, and no other nation has ever established Jerusalem as its capital despite it being under Islamic control for hundreds of years.
Etc. etc. Danny Ayalon is right, of course.
But then Danny Ayalon is also missing the point entirely. We are not dealing with anyone susceptible to reason. If we were, none of this would need to be spelled out. As it is, Bibi has to stand before the United Nations with evidence of the Holocaust. Again, we are not dealing with anyone susceptible to reason, let alone a conscience.