Saturday, May 26, 2007

US rejects all proposals on climate change

Guardian Unlimited reported The US has rejected any prospect of a deal on climate change at the G8 summit in Germany next month, according to a leaked document.
Any deal where the G8 nations commit to hurting their own economies will not help global warming. It just boosts the economies of developing nations that are not party to the deal, because production will move there, and the same or worse global warming will take place.
Despite Tony Blair's declaration on Thursday that Washington would sign up to "at least the beginnings" of action to cut carbon emissions, a note attached to a draft document circulated by Germany says the US is "fundamentally opposed" to the proposals.
As it should be.
The note, written in red ink, says the deal "runs counter to our overall position and crosses multiple 'red lines' in terms of what we simply cannot agree to". "This document is called FINAL but we never agreed to any of the climate language present in the document ... We have tried to 'tread lightly' but there is only so far we can go given our fundamental opposition to the German position," it says.
Good for Bush.
The tone is blunt, with whole pages of the draft crossed out and even the mildest statements about confirming previous agreements rejected. "The proposals within the sections titled 'Fighting Climate Change' and 'Carbon Markets' are fundamentally incompatible with the President's approach to climate change," says another red-ink comment.
Bush's proposal will work. It focused on devekoping new technologies that can be applied everywhere.
This is embarrassing for Mr Blair, who said on Thursday with some confidence that the US was moderating its position on climate change as the summit approached. Before visiting the White House this month, the prime minister suggested that he was close to persuading George Bush to accept the establishment of carbon trading schemes, one of five main proposals drawn up ahead of the G8. But Washington rejected the sections on carbon trading, saying to back trading schemes would imply acceptance of emission caps.
And trading schemes are stupid. A country that can't cut back just buy's credit by funding a worthless project in another country.
A diplomatic source said the German EU presidency and the US government appeared now so far apart it was hard to see how negotiators could reach anything other than a meaningless agreement in Heiligendamm in just under two weeks.


Thailand set to make Buddhism the state religion

International Herald Tribune In a step that could sharpen divisions in its increasingly violent, largely Muslim southern provinces, Thailand appears ready for the first time to make Buddhism the state religion in a new constitution.
I believe that would be a mistake. It will not stop the Muslim violence. The only thing that MIGHT work is to have an absolute guarantee of freedom of religion, i.e. let Buddists worship as they want, and let Muslims worship as they want, but make it clear that the country is secular, i.e. no religious laws from any faith will apply to everyone, and everyone is free to choose the religion they want.
Under pressure from masses of orange-robed monks who have rallied in the streets and distracted by other political challenges, the country's military-backed government is going along with a notion that has made little headway in the past.
Big mistake.
The movement comes at a time of increased divisions and political tension in Thailand as the government seeks to pass a constitution, hold a parliamentary election and return the country to democracy by the end of the year. More than 90 percent of Thais are Buddhist, and Thailand is already, in effect, a Buddhist state, its rituals, monarchy and national identity closely tied to the religion. It also has a reputation for tolerance and inclusiveness, qualities that have become strained under the pressure of political crisis.
The constitution should enshrine the tolerance and inclusiveness, not select one faith over all others.
The constitutional provision would be largely symbolic, without legal weight or substantive effect on religious practices in Thailand. But analysts said it would be dangerously divisive at a moment when Buddhists and Muslims are confronting each other in the south more directly and violently than ever. "It's going to make the situation in southern Thailand a hell of a lot worse," said Zachary Abuza, a specialist on terrorism who has closely studied the situation in the south. Already, more than 2,000 people have died since 2004 in a separatist conflict in which Muslims and Buddhists increasingly see one another as the enemy.


Email Bankrupcy

Mike Musgrove wrote in WaPo Last month, venture capitalist Fred Wilson drew a lot of attention on the Internet when he declared a 21st century kind of bankruptcy. In a posting on his blog about technology, Wilson announced he was giving up on responding to all the e-mail piled up in his inbox. "I am so far behind on e-mail that I am declaring bankruptcy," he wrote. "If you've sent me an e-mail (and you aren't my wife, partner, or colleague), you might want to send it again. I am starting over."
I can understand how he feels. I have been hospitalized, and faced 1000 message in my inbox when I was discharged, but I made it through them, and now I take a laptop when I go to the hospital, and deal with it as it comes in.
.... Some people who don't want to go through the drastic-seeming measure of declaring total bankruptcy say they are trying to gently discourage the use of e-mail in their communications in favor of more personal calls or instant messages.
I much prefer email. A phone call or an instant message interrupts what I am working on. I must respond when the caller is thus deciding I am to respond, and then I am faced with trying to figure out what I was doing when I was interrupted, and resume it. With email I can choose when to deal with it. When I am at a stopping point I check email, and respond to those items that need a response, and then I start working on something else.
... Stanford University technology professor Lawrence Lessig publicly declared e-mail bankruptcy a few years ago after being deluged by thousands of e-mails. "I eventually got to be so far behind that I was either going to spend all my time answering e-mails or I was going to do my job," he said.

Thereafter, Lessig's correspondents received e-mail equivalents of Dear John letters: "Dear person who sent me a yet-unanswered e-mail, he wrote, "I apologize, but I am declaring e-mail bankruptcy," he said, adding an apology for his lack of "cyber decency."
An automated response costing him no time, but it means the sender gets an email he has to deal with, that does not contain an answer. I guess that may be better than waiting forever for an email that will never come, but if the email was just passing something on, that does not require a response, you have just sent one, and someone else must take care of it. And what if everyone did it. Person A declares email bankrupcy and sends a message to everyone about that fact, and then sets up an autoresponder. The message reaches person B, who has already done that, and his autogenerated reply goes back to person A, where it triggers another auto response. Pretty soon the interned is tied up with autoresponders talking to each other.
He eliminated about 90 percent of his e-mail traffic, but said he can't quite abandon it entirely. "The easiest strategy is just to ignore e-mail, but I just can't psychologically do that," Lessig said in an interview.... The critics of e-mail themselves have critics, who say copping out is a reactionary and isolationist way of dealing with modern communications.

Carnegie Mellon University computer science professor David J. Farber receives piles of e-mail as the administrator of the "Interesting People" technology news mailing list. He has no patience for e-mail bankruptcy. "For a venture capitalist to say something like this -- he should get out of the technology field," Farber said.

Wilson, the venture capitalist, did not respond to a phone call placed to his firm -- or to an e-mailed request for comment.
Maybe he declared a complete communication bankruptcy. Or maybe he just does not want to deal with reporters.


Friday, May 25, 2007

The trouble with Islam

Dhimmi Watch blogged A few words about the world's fastest growing religion.

Right on. You must watch this


Saudis arrest Christian for entering Mecca

Jerusalem Post reported Saudi officials have arrested a man in Mecca for being a Christian, saying that the city, which Muslims consider to be holy, is off-limits to non-Muslims.... "The Grand Mosque and the holy city are forbidden to non-Muslims," Col. Suhail Matrafi, head of the department of Expatriates Affairs in Mecca, told the Saudi daily Arab News. "The new fingerprints system is very helpful and will help us a lot to discover the identity of a lot of criminals," he said.

So being a Christian is a crime? And yet Christians are "People of the Book". I guess you have not read the Qur'an recently.
Similar restrictions apply to the Saudi city of Medina. In a section entitled, "Traveler's Information," the Web site of the Saudi Embassy in Washington states that, "Mecca and Medina hold special religious significance and only persons of the Islamic faith are allowed entry."
Are you afraid they might see something you don't want them to see?
Highway signs at the entrance to Mecca also direct non-Muslims away from the city's environs.

AllahPundit blogged Thank goodness they nabbed him before he could infect anyone with any Golden Rule cooties.



Maan News Agency reported Israeli TV Channel Two broadcast an interview on Thursday with the Palestinian Prime Minister's advisor, Dr Ahmad Yousef, in which Yousef described the homemade projectiles launched from the Gaza Strip at Israel as "fireworks". The advisor said that these projectiles are not causing any damage or harm to Israel.
Then why are you firing those "fireworks" at Israel?
Only one Israeli has been killed, he said, while 63 Palestinians were killed in the last week alone.
News Flash: If you stop firing those "fireworks", maybe the Israelis will stop retaliating.
Yousef added that "Israel is using these projectiles in order to kill Palestinians. "Can the stick be compared with the sword?" he asked. "These projectiles are almost like fireworks; they are not killing. Only one Israeli woman has been killed, but the Israeli military machine killed 63 [Palestinians] last week." He added, "The president described them as useless."
Then stop using them.


Nutroots not happy with Dems

Bill in Portland Maine wrote on Daily Kos I just got an email from the DCCC. Oh my God. They really---to borrow a phrase someone else used today---are trying to piss on us and call it rain. It starts out:

Breaking News: Because of your help, the House just passed legislation that will go to the White House that includes critical issues Democrats have been fighting for including: canceling the President's blank check in Iraq, raising the minimum wage, and increased funding for military health care and veterans' benefits, and help for victims of Hurricane Katrina.
They forgot to add that they will try to fill with a lot of pork if it goes into a conference committee.
Dear Bill,

Two weeks ago, President Bush vetoed our legislation to demand accountability in Iraq and declared he would only sign a bill without any accountability for his management of the war.
And he didn't
Now, the President has agreed to accountability and reporting provisions. That means for the first time we can force the President to be held accountable for his endless war in Iraq. We canceled the President's blank check in Iraq.
If you can't win, just say you won. Maybe the nutroots will be stupid enough to believe it. Or maybe not.
Why the sudden change? It's because of you that we have taken this first important step. You stood with us here at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) every step of the way. You signed petitions against the President's failed policies, spoke out on the need to change course in Iraq, and wrote letters-to-the-editors in support of the issues
And gave us a lot of money. Please send more money.
Americans care about.... I hope I can count on your continued support.
You insult me, sir. And I will not be insulted. Go to hell.

JFern commented The Democrats are really clueless. I'm sure they'll find a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in 2008.
From your lips to God's ear.
FishOutOfWater commented We need to teach them what accountability means. No more blank checks for the DCCC.


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Impeach Bush

The Anchoress read a transcript of the execrable morning program The View in which Joy Behar, a Gore-adoree of the first water, reads from one of these lists circulated by the netroots to try to convince everyone that George W. Bush is the worst, most evil man ever born from woman (if that is what Barbara Bush may be called) and also the stupidest evil super genius imaginable.

Joy Behar says Does anyone have any idea why we can’t get rid of this guy who stole the election in 2000, killed the surplus with tax cuts…Wanting to privatize social security. Let me get through the list. He withdrew us from the Kyoto Treaty, John Ashcroft. Sat in the classroom after learning about 9/11…He lied to us to get us into the war. He awarded a no-bid contract to Halliburton, Abu Ghraib. He promoted his friend Michael Brown to take care of Katrina. Heck of a job, Brownie. Remember that? He doesn’t listen to the Iraq Study Group. He choked on a pretzel…He waited a week to visit New Orleans and then only to watch some jazz. He stood by Alberto Gonzales…and he stood by Rumsfeld, who some people think is a war criminal. He can’t pronounce the word “nuclear.” These are just some of the reasons…this guy needs to be thrown out of office.

The Anchoress responds Oh, I think it’s definitely time. Let’s do it - let’s impeach President Bush, let’s have all of this brought forward and get it all investigated and put on the real, actual record, instead of in someone’s book of dreams and opinions or in a convenient, “bumperstickeresqe” meme. Let’s get all the tawdry lists and narratives together and finally get them “on the record and testified to.” We can start with the Gore/Behar list and then she proceeds to tackle the list item by item to show how absolutely foolish each one of them would be once testamony on the record could address each one. You have got to read this post. It is hilarious.


Hamas says BG plan to pump gas to Israel an ‘act of theft’

TimesOnline reported The militant Hamas movement has launched a stinging attack on BG Group and vowed to block a potential £2 billion deal being brokered by the company to supply Palestinian gas to Israel.
This is the same Hamas that is complaining because the US and the EU stopped sending money to support the Palestinian Authority, and now we find that Allah provided a way for them to earn money, and Hamas is so mad at Israel that it won't even accept this gift from Allah.
The Islamist group told The Times that any agreement would be equivalent to a modern-day “Balfour Declaration” – the British Government statement that formally approved the creation of an Israeli homeland in 1917.
Islam was spread by Conquest, i.e. taking over other countries by force. The Balfour Declaration was where the victor Britain decided to give away some land it won from the Ottoman Empire in the aftermath of the World War I. Initially Israel was to get all of what is now Israel, Palestine, and Jordan. I believe things would have been a lot better if they had gotten all of that land. They could have arranged for moving all of the Arabs from the west side of the Jordan to the east side, and then given them their freedom and allowed to form a state there.
Ziad Thatha, the Hamas economic minister in the Palestinian Government, said: “BG Group is an embarrassment to the Palestinian people.
Is BG Group made up of Palestinian people? If not, how could it be an embarrassment to them?
“When a company sells Palestinian gas to the Zionist occupation, it is similar to acts of theft the Israelis are practising against our land every day.”
Paying for something is the same as theft? Muslims have a very strange idea of how to do business.
The comments threaten to overshadow key negotiations BG Group hoped would lead to the development of the Gaza Marine gas field it discovered seven years ago. Talks over a 15-year contract are due to begin next week and the Israeli Foreign Ministry said it was keen to conclude a deal “as soon as possible”. The Gaza Marine field is Palestine’s only sovereign natural resource and its development could generate £500 million for the Palestinian economy in royalties from BG Group.
And could the Palestinian economy not benefit from that money?
The gas would meet 10 per cent of Israel’s annual energy requirements. BG Group said that its priority was thrashing out a deal acceptable to the Israeli and Palestinian authorities. “We need a bilateral agreement for this project to get across the line,” a spokesman said.

However, Hamas controls a majority of the seats in the Palestinian Government. The more moderate Fatah Party reiterated yesterday that it wanted guarantees over how cash payments would be made before signing off any deal.
And Fatah probably wants to know how much of it it can steal.
Mohammad Mustafa, the economic adviser to Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian President, said: “We hope that we will reach an understanding and remaining obstacles will be overcome.” BG Group had been negotiating to pump gas from the field, which holds 1 trillion cubic feet of reserves, to Egypt before Tony Blair urged the company to give Israel a second chance last summer.

Michael from Bristol commented So the Palestinians are going to turn down a £500m business deal, which would benefit its economy and population? It shows they put hatred towards Israel before the welfare of the Palestinians...
Hamas puts hatred above everything.
Besides, nobody acknowledges that Israel does provide water and electricity services to the Palestinians...surely they could cut their supplies too! Hamas accepts this but is not willing to give anything in return...
Hamas would just complain that the mean Jews were depriving it of water and electricity.


Pakistani mullah warns Musharraf of Taleban challenge

Khaleej Times Online A Pakistani mullah whose mosque is holding two policemen hostage has warned President Pervez Musharraf that a Taleban-style opposition movement is emerging to challenge his already crisis-hit regime.... Baton-waving students from Islamabad’s pro-Taleban Red Mosque seized the police six days ago, adding to the pressure on Musharraf amid a groundswell of violent anger at his suspension of the country’s top judge.
Just what we need. Baton-waving students controlling Pakistan's nuclear weapons.
Abdul Rashid Ghazi, one of two brothers heading the mosque, said his followers backed Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and predicted the political upheaval would further the students’ goal of a pure Islamic state. ‘If the government tries to suppress the change that our movement is demanding, then there is a likelihood of Talebanisation,’ the 43-year-old Ghazi said. ‘I can see it happening.’
Exactly what is the difference between a "pure Islamic state" and Talibanisation?
.... ‘We know that if Musharraf goes away, another Musharraf would come instead. The system we want is an Islamic system.’
Where clerics dominate the people rather than an Army General.
.... Ghazi said the Red Mosque students mostly come from the tribal areas of Pakistan,
Source of the Taleban
the lawless regions bordering with Afghanistan where the Taleban and Al Qaeda have taken refuge since the September 11, 2001 attacks..... The mosque recently set up its own Islamic court, which issued a fatwa against a female minister who embraced a French paragliding instructor after a charity jump.
An innocent hug.
They have also launched anti-vice street patrols, targeting music shops and brothels, and occupied a children’s library in protest against the demolition of mosques that the government said were built illegally.
Occupying a children's library is a sure way to show how peaceful you are.
Ghazi’s brother, Abdul Aziz, threatened last month to unleash ‘thousands’ of suicide bombers if the government attempted a crackdown. A senior Pakistani security official said that suicide bombers are being trained inside the seminary.
What is there about these nutcases that thinks they can accomplish anything by blowing themselves and other innocent people up?
‘Suicide bombers are being prepared with the help of CDs and instruction manuals as well as inspirational films showing Iraqi insurgents fighting against UN forces,’ he told AFP.... ‘Pakistan has become more secular since when my father was a cleric at the Red Mosque,’ he said. ‘This is our reaction. We want to go back.’
Back to where? The 8th century?


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Vote without an ID

Houston Chronicle reported My grandmother came from Mexico, played by the rules, became a citizen and earned her right to vote.
Did they give her any sort of document when she became a citizen?
She didn't have a driver's license, but she had her voter registration card, went to the polls where the workers knew her, and voted.
Before or after she became a citizen?
If the voter ID law were in effect, I'm not sure she or others like her could have voted.

This year, close to 120 burdensome voter identification proposals were introduced in state legislatures across the nation. Not one of them has passed yet, and I want to make sure Texas isn't the only state to pass one. For many folks, a voter ID requirement doesn't sound like a big deal, but it would prevent many eligible voters from voting. Many elderly voters don't have a driver's license.
Then they can't cash a check, rent a tape from Blockbusters, or get on an airplane.
Others who are disabled or work two jobs don't have the time, money or ability to get an ID card or documents they would need to vote. And new voter ID requirements would create confusion and long lines at the polls that would discourage many from voting.
Why long lines? It does not take that long to check an ID card.
When more people vote for American Idol contestants than vote for president, we should make it easier for people to vote, not harder. Voter ID proponents say it's necessary to combat "voter fraud" and raise the specter of "illegal aliens" voting, but no one has documented a single case of "voter impersonation" that HB 218 would solve.
Below you talk about 24 convictions. It would seem 24 is greater than 1.
And common sense tells us noncitizens are not going to risk deportation by voting.
Why? If they don't check citizenship, what is the risk?
The bottom line is that voter ID is about politics, not fraud. In a 2004 election contest for a Harris County state House seat, a Texas House committee chaired by a conservative Republican found charges that hundreds of noncitizens voted were false. The Bush Justice Department's "Voting Access and Integrity Initiative," which directed U.S. attorneys to prioritize alleged voter fraud cases, resulted in only 24 convictions from 2002 to 2005.
And yet you say not a single case. Is it 0 or 24?
And the U.S. Election Assistance Commission found "that the accusations regarding widespread fraud are unjustified."

Voter ID laws passed in Georgia and Missouri were struck down by the courts, which concluded that the cost of obtaining the ID and necessary documents amounts to a 21st century poll tax.
I don't know about Missouri, but in Georgia they were not going to charge the poor, and they were going to drive a van to their community to get them IDs.
In my community, there are veterans
Do the veterans have an ID?
and people like my grandmother who earned their right to vote and shouldn't be forced to pay the modern day version of a poll tax. They are the real heroes in this story. I'm in Austin because it's my job to protect their right to vote.

Consider MEXICO'S laws:
  • There will be no special bilingual programs in the schools, no special ballots for elections -- all government business will be conducted in our language.
  • Foreigners will NOT have the right to vote no matter how long they are here.
  • Foreigners will NEVER be able to hold political office.
  • Foreigners will not be a burden to the taxpayers. No welfare, no food stamps, no
    health care, or other government assistance programs.
  • Foreigners can invest in this country, but it must be an amount equal to 40,000 times the daily minimum wage.
  • If foreigners do come and want to buy land that will be okay, BUT options will be restricted. You are not allowed waterfront property. That is reserved for citizens naturally born into this country.
  • Foreigners may not protest; no demonstrations, no waving a foreign flag, no political
    organizing, no bad-mouthing our president or his policies, if you do you will be sent home.
  • If you do come to this country illegally, you will be hunted down and sent straight to jail.


Edwards: Move Past 'War on Terror'

AP reported Democrat John Edwards Wednesday repudiated the notion that there is a "global war on terror," calling it an ideological doctrine advanced by the Bush administration that has strained American military resources and emboldened terrorists.
The Twin Towers are still there. Bush just hid them using a Romulan Cloaking Device.
In a defense policy speech he planned to deliver at the Council on Foreign Relations, Edwards called the war on terror a "bumper sticker" slogan Bush had used to justify everything from abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison to the invasion of Iraq. "We need a post-Bush, post-9/11, post-Iraq military that is mission focused on protecting Americans from 21st century threats,
Like Islamoterrorism?
not misused for discredited ideological purposes," Edwards said in remarks prepared for delivery. "By framing this as a war, we have walked right into the trap the terrorists have set—that we are engaged in some kind of clash of civilizations
Do you prefer the 8th century?
and a war on Islam."

You want to "move past" the War on Terror. To a state of full Dhimmi status?


Democrats Find Ethics Overhaul Elusive in House

NYT reported House Democratic leaders pushing a promised lobbying overhaul are facing resistance from balky lawmakers and fending off accusations that a prominent member is flouting new ethics rules. The Democratic leaders were forced to scrap a promise to double the current one-year lobbying ban after lawmakers leave office. Now, they are struggling to pass legislation requiring lobbyists to disclose the campaign contributions they “bundle” — collect and deliver — to lawmakers. Failing to deliver on both measures would endanger similar provisions already passed by the Senate. Other House rules changes this year appear to have done little to alter business as usual on Capitol Hill.
The Dems are just as bad, if not worse, than the Repuvlicans were.
... Republicans, pummeled by Democratic accusations of corruption during the last election, reveled in the turnabout. “It looks like the Democratic leaders should have brought their caucus along when they were thinking up campaign themes,” said Representative Ray LaHood, Republican of Illinois. Some newly elected Democrats say they worry about potential perceptions that their party has failed to deliver its promised cleanup. “Many of the freshmen ran on a campaign of, as Speaker Pelosi would say, ‘draining the swamp,’ on ethics and ethics enforcement,” said Representative Ed Perlmutter, a first-term Colorado Democrat.
Now they are learning that others may force them to break their word.
... Others say they do not see the point of doing more. “I didn’t make any of those campaign promises,” said Representative Michael E. Capuano, a Massachusetts Democrat who questions the bundling disclosure proposal and also opposed the extension of the so-called “revolving door” ban on lobbying by former members.
Of course not. You are from Massachusetts.
“I made a career change 20 years ago to be a full-time elected official,” Mr. Capuano said, explaining his position. “I am no longer qualified to be a tax attorney. It is like saying to people, ‘Please, come into public service, give it your all, and when you are done you are completely unqualified for anything else.’ ”
Don't stay for 20 years. We need term limits.
Others grumbled that Mr. Van Hollen, whose Democratic campaign committee duns each member for contributions, was pushing a measure that would make it harder to tap the easiest sources of such money — lobbyists. “We have dues that we are supposed to raise of several hundred thousand dollars,
Who is charging you dues that high? Tell them to go fly a kite.
and in the same breath we are informed that this is something we will have to vote for,” Representative James P. Moran, Democrat of Virginia, said. “I don’t know what we are supposed to do, except cold call all the people in the phone book in our districts.”


Obey Plans to Stomp Out All Earmark Opposition

The Club For Growth reported The House Appropriations Committee has decided to insert earmarks into all of the FY08 spending bills during the conferencing committees, instead of during the initial House-only process. This will prevent lawmakers like Jeff Flake from offering amendments to strip out wasteful pork projects...which is EXACTLY why David Obey, the Approps Chairman, is changing the rules. In defending his move, Obey said

“It’s my job to protect the committee."
What is the purpose of the committee. Is it's only purpose to try to get the people in 49 other states to support a project in your state?
Apparently, Obey's job to protect the American taxpayer is a lower priority. In a recent press release, Flake said, "This is a huge step backwards on earmark reform. As bad as the earmark process is now, this would make it immensely worse." On this, the porkbusting blogosphere should raise its alert status to DEFCON 1. First the Murtha debacle and now this? Things are getting out of control.
The only chance now is that since GWB finally found his Veto pen, and was successful in not only getting timelines but also pork out of the Defense bill, he will start vetoing EVERY FY08 spending bill until all earmarks are removed.
Glenn Reynolds blogged Good grief, did somebody declare this "Make a mockery of Democratic promises for reform" week? Actually, they're getting back under the control of the same old bunch of sleazoids. Meet the new boss, yada yada. And the new guys aren't helping: Freshmen fail ethics test. Congratulations to Jim Cooper, though, for doing the right thing.

Void Where Prohibited blogged News Flash! Congress is corrupt. Some of these guys make Hugo Chavez look ethical.


Israel to purchase Palestinian gas

Haaretz reported British gas producer BG Group is making progress in talks about supplying Palestinian gas to Israel from off the Gaza coast but political tensions remain an obstacle to a potential deal, it said on Wednesday.
A very big obstacle. If Fatah was in power it would pretend to be peaceful, and make the deal, and then steal the money paid by Israel, but I dont think Hamas is smart enough to even pretend that it can deal with Israel, even to get a bunch of money it desperately needs.
A deal would have a significant impact on the Palestinian government, which is in the middle of a cash crunch. It would result in $100 million a year in taxes, royalties and equity. The British newspaper The Times reported that the group was poised to agree on the terms of a $4 billion deal to supply gas to Israel, with representatives from the British energy firm scheduled to meet Israeli negotiators next week. "At the moment we are making progress in the negotiations. but any potential deal will require bilateral engagement between the two governments [Israel and Palestinian Authority] to get the project across the line," a BG spokesman said.
One of them is civilized, and capable of making a deal with its neighbors. The other is not.
"There are still commercial issues to be resolved in the negotiations but the fundamental point here is that bilateral engagement is absolutely essential to get any project across the line."

Meryl Yourish blogged If Israel were the evil, racist, apartheid, monster state that everyone says it is, she would simply commandeer that part of Gaza that holds the natural gas fields and not pay for it. Funny how that works, though. Israel’s going to seal the deal that can only help the Palestinian economy—well, it would if the leadership weren’t going to steal the money from its people.... I would love to hear the answer to these questions from, say, Adam Shapiro. But then, he’s too busy calling Israel a racist, evil, apartheid, warmongering state to notice that Israel is perfectly willing to get along with the Palestinians. It’s the Palestinians who don’t want to get along with Israel.


How Muslims say thank you

Assyrian International News Agency reported The Reverend Temathaus Eisha, pastor of the Church of St. Shimoni in the besieged1 Dora district of Baghdad, confirmed to that the information published about the forced displacement of Christian Assyrians from their homes in the district is accurate. He added that the conditions were horrible, especially in the Al-Ta'ma, Al-iskan, Al-mo'alimeen, Al-shurTa, Al-sitten, and Asia neighborhoods.
Is this how Muslims say thank you to the US (a predominately Christian country) for freeing them from the oppression of Saddam?
The three remaining neighborhoods that are relatively calm are Hai Al-athuriyeen (Assyrian quarter), Al-jim'iya, and Al-sihha. The large-scale campaign consists of expelling all Christians, unless they convert to Islam or pay the jizya (AINA 4-17-2007, 3-18-2007), a "protection" tax demanded by the Koran
Muhammad's earliest biographer Ibn Ishaq explains the contexts of various verses of the Qur'an by saying that Muhammad received revelations about warfare in three stages: first, tolerance; then, defensive warfare; and finally, offensive warfare in order to convert the unbelievers to Islam or make them pay the jizya: Surah 9:29 says "Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued."
, or leave their homes and belongings.


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Covert Action Against Iran

The Blotter reported The CIA has received secret presidential approval to mount a covert "black" operation to destabilize the Iranian government, current and former officials in the intelligence community tell the Blotter on
Good for him.
The sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the subject, say President Bush has signed a "nonlethal
A lethal approach would be more successful. Kill a couple of mullahs, and make it look like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad did it, then a few days later kill a couplle of Ahmadinejad's people, and ,ake it look like the mullahs did it, yhen sit back and watch them kill each other.
presidential finding" that puts into motion a CIA plan that reportedly includes a coordinated campaign of propaganda, disinformation and manipulation of Iran's currency and international financial transactions.


Good point from Glenn Reynolds

Instapundit blogged THERE ARE TWO AMERICAS, and one of them is defending the other. Military recruiting stays strong.


Some US Muslims say suicide attacks OK

Yahoo! News reported One in four younger U.S. Muslims say suicide bombings to defend their religion are acceptable at least in some circumstances,
Defend it against what? A cartoon? Someone criticizing a suicide bombing? Someone quoting something from the Qur'an you wish they did not know, like this
Qur'an 4:34 says Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great.
or something from the Hadith, like this
Translation of Sahih Muslim, Book 19: The Book of Jihad and Expedition (Kitab Al-Jihad wa'l-Siyar) 19:4294 says Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war .... If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. [A special tax that Jews and Christians must pay to live in a Muslim country. Followers of other religions are just killed outright if they refuse to convert to Islam.] If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah's help and fight them. [i.e. they must convert to Islam, pay a special very high tax so they can live as second class citizens, or die.]
or this
"Whoever changes his religion, kill him" which is called for in Bukhari, Abu Dawud, and many other Haddith that are not online, including Muslim, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, An-Nasai, the Muwatta of Imam Malik, Tayalisi, Ibn Hanbal, Ibn Hibban, the Sunan al-Kubraa, Bayhaqi, Abu Ya'laa, Humaidi, Abd al-Razzaq, and Ibn Abi Shaybah.
though most Muslim Americans overwhelmingly reject the tactic and are critical of Islamic extremism and al-Qaida, a poll says.... While nearly 80 percent of U.S. Muslims say suicide bombings of civilians to defend Islam can not be justified, 13 percent say they can be, at least rarely.
It can NEVER be justified.
That sentiment is strongest among those younger than 30. Two percent of them say it can often be justified, 13 percent say sometimes and 11 percent say rarely. "It is a hair-raising number," said Radwan Masmoudi, president of the Washington-based Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy, which promotes the compatibility of Islam with democracy.

A lot of people are confused by the poll. There is a lot of good stuff on it at Jihad Watch here, here, here, here, and here.

IowaHawk has a very funny twist on it in which he pretends it is about Lutherans and their feelings about Presbyterians.


Monday, May 21, 2007

Dems set war bill without Iraq timeline

Yahoo! News In grudging concessions to President Bush, Democrats intend to draft an Iraq war-funding bill without a timeline for the withdrawal of U.S. troops and shorn of billions of dollars in spending on domestic programs, officials said Monday. The legislation would include the first federal minimum wage increase in more than a decade, a top priority for the Democrats who took control of Congress in January, the officials added. While details remain subject to change, the measure is designed to close the books by Friday on a bruising veto fight between Bush and the Democratic-controlled Congress over the war. It would provide funds for military operations in Iraq through Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year.

The nutroots are outraged:
Brendan blogged The Democrats, Pelosi and Reid among them, promised to end the war in Iraq. That is why we voted for them in 2006. If I wanted more of the same, I would have voted for any number of incumbent Republicans who would continue business as usual.... With all due respect, fuck you and the donkey you rode in on.
Does this mean you are not happy?
mcjoan blogged This isn't the end of the fight, just so everyone is clear on that. This is funding for the remaining of the fiscal year, probably not beyond, again, September. There are still defense bills coming up to work on. What that means is building on the 29 votes we got in the Senate, and the 171 in the House for withdrawal.
If you could not previail now, future interference with defense bills will just hurt the Dems.
Keep the pressure on.
Michael Winter reported AP says officials Democrats might craft a separate bill to try to pass the stripped domestic funding, which Bush and Republicans are oppose.

And how are you going to get past Bush's veto?


Turkish protests

World News Australia reported Tens of thousands of Turks waving red national flags have gathered in the city of Samsun in the latest protest against the Islamist-rooted government ahead of a July election. "No to Sharia (Islamic law)", "Turkey is secular and will remain secular", the crowd chanted in the main square.
It looks like they know what is at risk if the Islamists take over.
The rally, the latest in a series of protests, was billed by organisers as a way of uniting the divided opposition against the government which they accuse of trying to undermine the secular state in overwhelmingly Muslim Turkey. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's ruling AK Party, which denies any Islamist agenda, has called a national election ahead of schedule to resolve a conflict with the secularist elite over a presidential election. The secular establishment, including the military, judges and opposition parties, derailed the government's plan to elect Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul as president, fearing he might weaken the official separation of religion and state.

Robert Spencer blogged It's ironic that the Turks protest in large numbers against Sharia, while in the West any criticism of Sharia is labeled "Islamophobia."


Mosque threatens Jihad against Pakistan gov't

Jerusalem Post reported A defiant cleric warned Pakistan authorities that a raid on his mosque where two policemen are being held captive by radical Islamic students would lead to a holy war against the government, as police detained dozens of students.
I wonder if even the most extreme haters of faith can envision a church threatening to use force to overthrow the government.
The abduction tops months of bold challenges by the Red Mosque to the authority of President Gen. Pervez Musharraf's secular, military government. Interior Ministry spokesman Javed Iqbal Cheema said there were no plans to move against the mosque or a radical Islamic seminary attached to it in downtown Islamabad, adding Sunday that use of force to free the captured officers was a "last option."


Afghan parliament suspends outspoken female lawmaker

Herald Tribune reported Afghanistan's lower parliamentary house voted Monday to suspend an outspoken female lawmaker, who has enraged former mujahedeen fighters now in President Hamid Karzai's U.S.-backed government. The lawmaker, Malalai Joya, 29, said in a recent interview with private Afghan station Tolo TV that the country's parliament was like a "stable or zoo." "This is a word that fits — a cattle house is full of animals, like a cow giving milk, a donkey carrying something, a dog that's loyal," Joya said. The video was shown in the legislature Monday, and angry lawmakers voted to suspend her, said parliamentary spokesman Haseb Noori.
They may still be animals, but animals bite.
... Joya's outspoken ways have earned her many enemies in Afghanistan. In February, during a rally to support a proposed amnesty for Afghans suspected of war crimes, thousands of former fighters shouted "Death to Malalai Joya!"
That really shows they are well suited to be in the legislature.
Last May, Joya called some lawmakers "warlords" in a parliamentary speech, prompting some lawmakers to throw water bottles at her. A minor scuffle broke out between her supporters and detractors, and Joya later said some legislators had threatened to rape her as payback.
Do they do that to male legislators they disagree with as well?
Brynn blogged Although the BBC billed Joya in January of last year as, “one of the most popular MPs in Afghanistan,” she has nonetheless been the target of four assassination attempts and her home has been bombed.

I guess the majority of Afghanistan’s members of parliament, in addition to being sexists chauvinist pigs and (many of them) religious fanatics, also have no grasp of metaphor. Or is that redundant to mention, in light of the former two?.... The full quote from above is, “They will kill me but they will not kill my voice, because it will be the voice of all Afghan women. You can cut the flower, but you cannot stop the coming of spring.”


Sunday, May 20, 2007

Dress "offensive" to Islam

The Daily Telegraph reported This is the outfit that has been labelled "offensive" and "disrespectful" to the Muslim community.

Twenty-three-year-old journalist Latika Bourke was verbally attacked bya group of Muslim men outside a Sydney mosque because of her dress. "This young man approached me and said: 'You should be wearing more clothes. You need to cover up, you mutt','' Ms Bourke, who works for 2UE Radio, recounted. Ms Bourke, who was wearing a black trenchcoat, knee-high boots and gloves, said she was shocked and humiliated. "I'm just incredulous as to why they would say that ... what else is there to cover up? They are doing themselves no favours by behaving like this.''
Especially since they were about to get some free publicity, and this action caused that publicity to be negative.
Ms Bourke was waiting to interview controversial mufti Sheik Taj Eldeen Alhilaly at Lakemba mosque when a man aged about 20 confronted her..... Ms Bourke, a Christian, said she was very conscious of the need to respect other people's religions. "I knew it was important to cover up when you go to a mosque and that's why I wore a long coat and gloves. "As soon as it happened I looked at myself and thought, 'What am I wearing that is offensive?'''
Apparently he wanted you to wear a burka


Palestinian diplomat raps attempt to link terrorism to Islam

Indian Muslims wrote Palestine's permanent envoy to the United Nations (UN) and Ambassador to Austria Zohair Al-Wazir condemned any attempts to link terrorism and Islam on Friday.
The link is established by what the terrorists themselves say.
"The Palestinian people are a stark reminder of life under occupation and state terrorism as practiced by the Israeli against them, their sanctities and lands over long decades," Al-Wazir told KUNA on the sidelines of the first anti-terrorism forum here.
The "occupation is a result of arab countries attacking Israel, and it winning the land as it pushed back against the attack, but they have been given many opportunities to end that "occupation". All they have to is stop trying to kill their neighbors, and make peace with Israel.
"The Palestinian people are against all forms of terrorism,” he said, asserting the need to uproot all causes of terrorism including oppression and state terrorism.
Does that include suicide bombers and firing rockets to kill anyone they can, regardless of who is hit?
"Among the roots of terrorism are the adoption of double standards in dealing with political issues, occupation, and infringement on human rights. "The Palestinian delegation to the forum renewed commitment to the resolution of the Arab League foreign ministers' meeting of March on opposition to all forms of terrorism and all attempts to link this global phenomenon to Islam. "Islam advocates tolerance, moderation and coexistence," he pointed out.
As long as Sharia law is in control, and as long as the people they are allowing to live have accepted a second class position, and pay a major tax to the Muslims.
Palestine is for launching a global anti-terrorism centre to coordinate the efforts of world countries and regional organizations in this field, Al-Wazir said.
You have got to be kidding.
Government officials and experts from around the world met in the Austrian capital, Vienna on Thursday to discuss means of fighting terrorism, in the first anti-terrorism forum. Head of the crime prevention and anti-narcotics office of the UN Jean-Paul Laborde told KUNA the two-day forum would discuss issues related to the international strategy against terrorism and enhancement of security measures at local, regional and international levels.



Yahoo! News reports Former President Carter says President Bush's administration is "the worst in history" in international relations, taking aim at the White House's policy of pre-emptive war and its Middle East diplomacy.
This from the worst president we ever had.
The criticism from Carter, which a biographer says is unprecedented for the 39th president, also took aim at Bush's environmental policies and the administration's "quite disturbing" faith-based initiative funding. "I think as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history,"
It will be interesting to see what historians 50 years from now say about both the Carter administration and the Bush administration.
Carter told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in a story that appeared in the newspaper's Saturday editions. "The overt reversal of America's basic values as expressed by previous administrations, including those of George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon and others, has been the most disturbing to me."
Gee, a Democratic former president did not like any Republican president. Color me surprised.
Macranger blogged This coming from the worst President in US History, who while suffering depression - that he incidently tried to spread to the entire country - demanded the resignation of his entire Cabinet and 23 other senior White House officials.

Talk about depression, who could forget 18 percent inflation and 20-percent interest rates during his term. Cripes, I’m depressed just remembering it.

Not forget how he so completely micro-managed the Iran hostage rescue that he should have been tried for murder in the deaths of my comrades who perished in the botched operation, one of the greatest embarrassments to the Armed Services in history.

If there were a way to commit this crazy old man to the ex-presidential nuthouse, I’d sign the papers.

Pamela Geller Oshry blogged While Carter's domestic policies were Shermanesque (who can forget those 21% interest rates), it was his bungled, traitorous foreign policy that left the biggest scar on the face of humanity.

If there was one single moment in modern world history, when one critical fuck up determined the course of human events it was when Jimmy Carter abandoned our ally in Iran and literally installed the Ayatollah Khomeini as the leader the of the new Islamic state. In every conversation I had ever had with expatriate Iranians this is their mantra.
Sister Toldjah blogged Isn’t it very telling that the same former president who routinely takes up for and makes excuses for Palestinian terrorists, including the Hamas terrorist organization - while trying to undermine the United States by bringing Cuba to the UN human rights table - doesn’t extend that same benefit of the doubt to his own country’s government?

This is the moral bankruptcy Jimmy Carter brings to the table every time he opens his mouth to denigrate the President while siding with the Jew-hating terrorists who comprise Hamas. Via extension, Carter, sadly, is representative of so many other modern day Democrats when it comes to denouncing this administration while downplaying the threats we face overseas, essentially saying that it’s President Bush who is the bigger threat than actual terrorists who want to kill us.

As far as the “worst administration in history” bit, I wonder if Carter happens to have a mirror handy for the next time he says that, especially considering the fact that not only does he continue to make excuses for terrorists but former officials in his own adminstration are doing the same thing?