Saturday, May 05, 2007

Dinner with the Queen

NYT reported How does George W. Bush, a towel-snapping Texan who puts his feet on the coffee table, drinks water straight from the bottle and was once caught on tape talking with food in his mouth prepare for a state dinner with the queen?

Probably the same things he did four years ago when she invited him to a formal dinner. How does a figurehead queen of a former worldwide empire prepare for a state dinner with the first of many countries to seek independence from the British Empire.
CQ blogged I suppose ... by not doing those things. He certainly managed it in Britain four years ago when the queen hosted him and Laura Bush at a white-tie dinner in London. Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Jim Rutenberg never put their feet up on a coffee table, and never drank water from a bottle?

Anchoress blogged You know, I am not one of those people who carries on about Bill Clinton’s sexual peccadillos. If you look through my archives you’ll see little-to-no mention of that behavior…but this article all but DARES me to ask it…were Bill Clinton about to meet with Queen Elizabeth II, would we be reading the following in the NY Times?
“How does William Jefferson Clinton - a pizza-box strewing Arkansas boy who puts his penis into interns mouths, invites “trailer park trash” to “kiss it,” and was once caught on tape laughing as he exited a funeral, only to quickly turn on the tears when he saw the press, prepare for a state dinner with the queen?”
That would be a very tacky, very snide, useless, pointless and unfair sort of lede to write about Bill Clinton. It’s also a very tacky, very snide, useless, pointless, unfair and yes, just plain childish sort of lede to write about George W. Bush, whom the press has clearly stopped viewing even as a human being.

All of this says a great deal more about the press - particularly the spiteful adolescents now in charge of “the paper of record” - than it does about George W. Bush.


Muslim Brotherhood

Matthew Yglesias blogged While Mitt Romney impressed me and most other reporters with his presentation, it would be good for some to observe that he also put forward a completely insane policy idea on the leading issue of the day:
We’ll move everything to get him. But I don’t want to buy into the Democratic pitch, that this is all about one person, Osama bin Laden. Because after we get him, there’s going to be another and another. This is about Shi’a and Sunni. This is about Hezbollah and Hamas and al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood. This is the worldwide jihadist effort to try and cause the collapse of all moderate Islamic governments and replace them with a caliphate.
To put it bluntly, the trouble here is that the Muslim Brotherhood just isn't a violent terrorist organization, and certainly doesn't commit acts of violence against the United States.
It may officially say it is a nonviolent organization, but it's objective is establishing a worldwide Caliphate, and it assassinated the Egyptian Prime Minister on December 28, 1948, attempted to assassinate Gamal Abdel Nasser, and it currently advocates suicide bombing attacks on civilians to fight Zionism, and its Palestinian wing Hamas targets both civilians and the military in Israel. Wikipedia is usually noted for being more left wing than right, and it says
Its official position of non-violence has at times caused disputes within the movement and led to the formation of more radical, violent groups such as the Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya (The Islamic Group) and Al Takfir Wal Hijra (Excommunication and Migration). While studying at university Osama bin Laden, was influenced by the religious and political ideas of several professors with strong ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, although bin Laden now differs significantly with the MB in creed (Aqeeda), theology and methods and has been repudiated by the MB.... The Brotherhood's position on violence to achieve its ends is a matter of controversy. The Muslim Brotherhood officially opposes attacks against civilians, and has officially condemned the 9/11 attacks. However some have claimed the Brotherhood's non-violent stance is part of a "chameleon-like adaptation is tactical moderation with the ultimate objective of complete Islamization of society.
and MEForum said
Since the early 1960s, Muslim Brotherhood members and sympathizers have moved to Europe and slowly but steadily established a wide and well-organized network of mosques, charities, and Islamic organizations. Unlike the larger Islamic community, the Muslim Brotherhood's ultimate goal may not be simply "to help Muslims be the best citizens they can be," but rather to extend Islamic law throughout Europe and the United States.
This is not exactly what you would expect from a nonviolent organization.
It's an extremely traditionalist multinational civil society organization. It's true that a lot of violent types used to be in the Brotherhood and now they're in terrorist groups, but used to be is the key phrase here, they left the Brotherhood because the Brotherhood wouldn't sign on for their agenda. In one clause, Romney's just gone and broadened the war to include a huge new category of people who have no intention of waging war against the United States or even against Israel.

Note that even without the Muslim Brotherhood bit, this is a terrible idea. If you liked Iraq, you're going to love trying to root Hezbollah out of southern Lebanon and Hamas out of the West Bank.
Would you rather leave that to Israel by itself?
Check out Spencer's remarks on this as well. He notes that "it's hardly remarkable that Romney doesn't know what he's talking about." It isn't surprising, but then again this point needs to be driven home again and again -- Mitt Romney displayed zero understanding of political Islam or global terrorism,
I think he knows a lot more about it than most Dems.
none of his Republican opponents called him on it,
Because he was right.
and as far as I know, nobody in the press (the same press, you'll recall, that's concerned with the Pursuit of Truth above all else) bothered to notice.

Riehl World View blogged via the Washington Post:
The Brotherhood -- or al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun, as it is known in Arabic -- is a sprawling and secretive society with followers in more than 70 countries. It is dedicated to creating an Islamic civilization that harks back to the caliphates of the 7th and 8th centuries, one that would segregate women from public life and scorn nonbelievers.

In some nations -- Egypt, Algeria, Syria, Sudan -- the Brotherhood has fomented Islamic revolution. In the Palestinian territories, the Brotherhood created the Islamic Resistance Movement, or Hamas, which has become known for its suicide bombings of Israelis. Yet it is also a sophisticated and diverse organization that appeals to many Muslims worldwide and sometimes advocates peaceful persuasion, not violent revolt. Some of its supporters went on to help found al Qaeda, while others launched one of the largest college student groups in the United States.
Or read this take by an informed American Muslim:
The case for choosing from the lesser of two evils as the authors note in their reckless comparison of Qaradawi’s Islamism to Zawahri’s radical jihadism is certainly easy to make but sure folly. Zawahiri and Al Qaeda are a military threat with a militant Islamist ideology which speaks to only the fringe and most radical Islamists in the Muslim community. Qaradawi and the Brotherhood are actually far more dangerous ideologically to the West. Their similarly Islamist message may, in fact, resonate with a far greater number of Muslims in the West and the East as evidenced by the millions of western Muslims engaged almost daily by satellite watching al-Qaradawi. He and the Brotherhood at times speak of “justice”, “a middle ground” (wasatiya), democratic principles (voting and parliaments), and of women’s rights, among other attractive principles.

Qaradawi, is moreover for the record, clearly no moderate. He has defended the barbarity of female circumcision and terrorism in Israel and Iraq. His duplicity on such issues demonstrates the inherent pathology of political Islam which will often even among supposed moderates sacrifice principle for the ends of Islamism. Yet, the attraction of Qaradawi and his so-called ‘moderate Islamism’, is built upon a societal and governmental formula which is incompatible with American governance and Jeffersonian democracy as we know it.

The Muslim Brotherhood is based upon a strictly Islamist approach to governance and law. At the very core of their approach to the branches of government is a toxic mixture of politics and theology. The toxicity of this mixture was foreseen by our forefathers who escaped religious persecution by the Church of England and sought to prevent it after 1789 years of the absence of liberty in the West. No matter how “moderate” or “democratic” Islamists report their processes to be, it is still under the mandate and intellectual control of Islamic scholars of sharia law also known as the ulemaa.
Romney isn't advocating killing all Shi'a and Sunni simply because he mentioned them and his mention of a worldwide movement to undermine moderate governments is spot on. One's left to ponder, who better to protect America, with her laws, traditions and values, Romney and like-minded others, who seem to have a reasonable appreciation for the threat posed by radical Islam and are willing to speak out against it, or Liberal Democrats so obsessed with the fear of throwing the baby out with the bath water, we'd all be washing our feet before we pray in fifty years?

The liberals and Democrat's inability to comprehend the threat to American culture from even only a truly political form of radical Islam is the best reason there is to not trust them with the Executive Branch. Political power is the very tool radicals with no regard for Western values seek to exploit to bring our American form of republic down.


Criticizing Islam

International Herald Tribune reported Two Azerbaijani journalists were convicted of inciting hatred Friday with an article seen as criticizing Islam and sentenced to prison after a trial that highlighted religious tension in the predominantly Muslim nation..... The November article asserted that Islam has suffocated people, pulled them away from freedom and hindered humanity's development, and said that the Prophet Muhammad created problems for Eastern countries.
All of that is true, and if that offends Islam, then Islam is offended by itself.
... Tagi told the court that when he wrote the article, he relied on the constitutional stipulation that Azerbaijan is a secular state and its protection of free speech. The article was "aimed against religious superstition, I did not insult Islam," he said.
Obviously such protections are not what they should be in a predominately Muslim country.
.... Political analyst Mubariz Ahmadoglu suggested the court had to weigh protection of the freedom of speech with concerns about how its ruling would affect the activity of Islamic extremists. He also said a not guilty verdict would have opened the door to efforts to sow discord and destabilize the country.

"Azerbaijan is a secular state and is distinguished by its tolerance,
but if the court hadn't sentenced them the Muslim bigots could have cruelly disposed of them,"
And now that they are in prison, the Muslim bigots can kill them without people noticing as much as if they had been killed while free men.
Ahmadoglu said. "Besides, had the case gone unpunished, it could have resulted in publications insulting other faiths, thus making it possible for the radical forces to create a threat for the national security of Azerbaijan."
What faiths, besides Islam, provoke violence when something critical is said about them? Were you afraid some crasy Methodist, or Buddist, or Baptist, or Hindu might be ticked off at something that someone said about their faith, and that it would have put the national security of Azerbaijan at risk?


Paris Hilton must serve 45 days in jail

Los Angeles Times reported Paris Hilton, her long blond hair tied back in a ponytail and oversized sunglasses shading her eyes, pulled up to L.A. traffic court near downtown Friday more than 15 minutes late for her probation violation hearing. It was perhaps a moment when being prompt would have proved more fashionable.
She will have 45 days to consider that point.
Two hours later, Hilton departed with a 45-day jail sentence and a verbal comeuppance from the judge, who told her the time had come to take responsibility for her own actions. She has until June 5 to report to Century Regional Detention Center in Lynwood to serve her time or risk a total of 90 days behind bars. On the stand, the socialite blamed her handlers for her being caught behind the wheel twice while her driver's license was suspended for a drunk-driving conviction.
She may well have driven illegally even more than those two times, but she was stopped for making an illegal turn and having no license plates on the front or back of her car.
Asked whether she had understood the terms of the drunk-driving plea that she agreed to Jan. 22, Hilton, 26, said: "I just sign what people tell me to sign.
Someone give her a blank check giving me $1,000,000 and tell her to sign it.
. I'm a very busy person."
You will have 45 days to consider how to structure your time more wisely.


Friday, May 04, 2007

France's Royal warns of violence if Sarkozy wins

Yahoo! News Socialist opponent Segolene Royal said on Friday that France risks violence and brutality if her opponent right-winger Nicolas Sarkozy wins Sunday's presidential election.
Whereas if she wins she will turn France over to the Muslims without a fight.
On the last day of official campaigning, opinion polls showed Sarkozy enjoyed a commanding lead over Royal, who accused the former interior minister of lying and polarizing France. "Choosing Nicolas Sarkozy would be a dangerous choice," Royal told RTL radio.
And choosing her would be absolute stupidity.
"It is my responsibility today to alert people to the risk of (his) candidature with regards to the violence and brutality that would be unleashed in the country (if he won)," she said. Pressed on whether there would be actual violence, Royal said: "I think so, I think so," referring specifically to France's volatile suburbs hit by widespread rioting in 2005.
Do the Muslims respond to your call for violence?


Extermination of Jews

PMW reported The extermination of Jews is Allah’s will
If it is truly Allah's will, why does He not do it? And why did He create them in the first place?
and is for the benefit of all humanity, according to an article in the Hamas paper, Al-Risalah. The author of the article, Kan'an Ubayd, explains that the suicide operations carried out by Hamas are being committed solely to fulfill Allah’s wishes.
How and when did He communicate those wishes to you?
Furthermore, Allah demanded this action, because “the extermination of the Jews is good for the inhabitants of the worlds.
Just the planets in this solar system, or elsewhere in the universe.


Not embracing 'authentic Islam'

reported The Times of India An Islamist group in Pakistan has forced a Sikh, who had converted to Islam 29 years ago, to leave his village in Peshawar's Tirah Valley after his house was set on fire and his son kidnapped for not embracing "authentic Islam". Leaders of Ansar-ul-Islam (AI), a religious group in North West Frontier Province's Khyber Agency, was accused of expelling the Tirah-based Sikh for converting to the "Lashkar-e-Islam’s untrue version of Islam".
Isn't it up to God (Allah) to determine how authentic the Islam is?
"Qazi Mehboob and Said Akbar came to me and said my first Islam is not genuine. They said it was tableeghi Islam," said Din Muhammad, who had converted to Islam 29 years ago. The Ansar-ul-Islam leaders also forced his family to leave their native village Landakas in Tirah Valley when he refused to accept their demand to revert to Sikhism
Usually Muslims want to kill a Muslim that leaves Islam, but here they want to force him to leave a version of Islam they disagree with, and return to being a Sikh. Why not let him believe what he wants, without fear of violence either way.
or embrace the "authentic Islam" that the Ansar-ul-Islam was practising.


Thursday, May 03, 2007

Military sharpens debate in Turkey

CSMonitor reported Turning part of Istanbul into a sea of red with Turkish flags yesterday, hundreds of thousands of secular Turks protested the possible election of a pro-Islamic president.
If a nation full of Muslims is so violently against being ruled by a Fundamentalist Muslim, then doesn't that tell you something about Islam. Who would know this better than them?
The massive turnout came after vocal warnings from Turkey's most secular institutions – the Army and presidency – that parliamentary approval of Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul as head of state would undermine the staunchly secular nation forged by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1923.
While a very large majority of the Turkish population are muslims, they’re pro-Western muslims and don’t want to fall under a Fundamentalist Islamic yoke the way they see Iran has. Turkey has had a strongly secular government since it was created by Ataturk in 1923.
The political clash between secularists and Islamists has become critical, analysts say, and taps into one of the deepest faultlines of modern Turkish society. The entrance of the military, which ousted an elected Islamic government a decade ago and mounted three coups in decades before that, brought condemnation from the European Union and has intensified debate about having all strategic civilian arms of government under a pro-Islamic party.
If Gul becomes President I wonder if the Turkish military will mount another coup.
"Today is really a defining moment in Turkey," says Nilufer Narli, an expert on political Islam at Bahcehir University. "There is a polarization, a secular-Islamist conflict, but today it is sharper."


Millions Of Chickens Fed Tainted Pet Food

WaPo reported At least 2.5 million broiler chickens from an Indiana producer were fed pet food scraps contaminated with the chemical melamine and subsequently sold for human consumption, federal health officials reported yesterday.
I can understand them not wanting to waste it, but why feed it to chickens and pigs that we will eat. Send it back to China, that provided the contaminated food in the first place, and see what they want to do with it.
Hundreds of other producers may have similarly sold an unknown amount of contaminated poultry in recent months, they added, painting a picture of much broader consumption of contaminated feed and food than had previously been acknowledged in the widening pet food scandal. Officials emphasized that they do not believe the tainted chickens -- or the smaller number of contaminated pigs that were reported to have entered the human food supply -- pose risks to people who ate them.
Are they willing for tainted chickens or pigs to be sold in the FDA Cafeteria?
... The contaminated material may have made up about 5 percent of the chickens' total food supply. That small fraction, and the fact that people, unlike pets, do not eat the same thing day after day, suggests that consumers who ate contaminated pork or chicken would probably have ingested extremely small doses of melamine, well below the threshold for causing health effects, officials said. Experts conceded, however, that they know little about how the toxin interacts with other compounds in food.
I know a number of people that have chicken several times a week.


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Corzine Leaves Hospital After Accident

NYT reported Gov. Jon S. Corzine apologized to New Jersey residents on Monday as he left the hospital 18 days after a devastating traffic accident in which he was not wearing a seat belt and was being driven at more than 91 miles per hour on the Garden State Parkway.
Apparently the law does not apply to the governor, if he is in a hurry.
“I set a very bad example,” said a contrite Mr. Corzine, who broke his left femur, his sternum and 11 ribs in the accident, speaking from a wheelchair just outside Cooper University Hospital in Camden. His voice breaking with emotion, he added: “I hope the state will forgive me. I will work very hard to set the right kind of example.”
Let us see what he does from now on.
.... After the brief comments, Mr. Corzine was helped into a black GMC Savana van, with tinted windows, that he bought and had specially modified for his wheelchair, and left the hospital in a six-car caravan about 1:45 p.m. His vehicle followed a black state police Crown Victoria, and was followed by a Chevrolet Suburban — like the one he was riding in at the time of the crash — a Mercedes station wagon, and two other cars. The motorcade did not use emergency lights, as it had been just before the accident.
So when he goes at 91 mph he turns on the emergency lights. When he does 65 or 70 in a 55 mph zone he leaves the lights off. I wonder if he fastened his seat belt this time.
The governor’s motorcade moved with the flow of traffic on Interstate 295, at some points sustaining speeds up to 70 miles per hour several minutes at a time, according to the speedometer of a vehicle traveling alongside; posted limits were 55 and 65.
But the governor was in a hurry to get home.
Capt. Al Della Fave, a state police spokesman, said the commander of the executive protection unit, which provides security and drivers for the governor, told him on Monday that the troopers in the motorcade had been instructed to adhere to posted speed limits. He declined to identify the driver of the governor’s van or to make any of the drivers of the motorcade available for an interview.


Bill on Iraq to Be Delivered 4 Years After Bush’s Words

NYT reported Democratic leaders in Congress are planning a special ceremony on Tuesday afternoon to send President Bush a bill that sets timetables for troop withdrawal from Iraq.
Which they know he will veto.
The timing is no accident. It comes on the fourth anniversary of the day Mr. Bush stood on an aircraft carrier under the banner “Mission Accomplished” and declared that major combat operations in Iraq had ended.
Actually what ended was the mission for that particular aircraft carrier. It accomplished that mission, and there were not that many bombing missions that were launched by planes from aircraft carriers after that point. But Bush never said the mission in Iraq was accomplished. Dems just hope to fool people into thinking he claimed that.


Monday, April 30, 2007

Climate change hits Mars

TimesOnline reported Mars is being hit by rapid climate change and it is happening so fast that the red planet could lose its southern ice cap, writes Jonathan Leake.
Drowning all of the martian polar bears and flooding cities by 20 feet, according to Gore.
Scientists from Nasa say that Mars has warmed by about 0.5C since the 1970s. This is similar to the warming experienced on Earth over approximately the same period.
But don't tell our scientists that.
Since there is no known life on Mars it suggests rapid changes in planetary climates could be natural phenomena.
Perhaps even the same planetary climate changes facing earth, or do the non-existent martians drive too many SUVs?
The mechanism at work on Mars appears, however, to be different from that on Earth. One of the researchers, Lori Fenton, believes variations in radiation
Coming from the same Sun that shines on earth
and temperature across the surface of the Red Planet are generating strong winds.