Saturday, September 30, 2006

One year Anniversary of the Mohammed cartoons.

World: Its been a year since the first publication of the Mohammed cartoons which lead to violence and killings that shocked the western world. The Guardian leads the way with a leader that is at best revisionist and cowardly, an Islamist apologist who can't figure out why the west hasn't bowed down and the fallout from the cartoons one year on. Leader:

"....Liberal principles matter, though common sense requires judgment as to whether an action is likely to cause damage. Free expression cannot mean carte blanche for purveyors of hatred - of which Muslims are not just victims, or indeed the only victims. Jews have protested against anti-semitic images (including in Muslim states where other freedoms are limited). Behzti, a controversial play set in a temple, was axed after it offended Sikhs. But too much caution can erode those principles. So are Muslims a special case? The sense that the 9/11 attacks and subsequent events exposed a "clash of civilisations" is sadly not confined to Osama bin Laden or US neocons. Concepts such as jihad are certainly open to caricature and misunderstanding by non-Muslims. But they have been used in support of violence in Iraq, Palestine and elsewhere - where the west needs to recognise its responsibilities, stop employing double standards, refrain from equating Islam and terrorism, and thus help isolate the fanatics who give ordinary Muslims a bad name. Tolerance must be a two-way street. Freedom of expression is vital. It is not part of a global "crusade" against Islam."
Translation: The west should bow down like us and welcome our new masters for our own safety sakes. As one commentator pointed out when a Jerry Springer play offended Christians, the Guardian was the first to say No one has to watch it. Soumaya Ghannoushi is becoming a favorite of mine because the absolute myopic vision of the world she has developed in her mind makes for a fantastic read because her intolerance sounds coherent but remains illogical.
When the controversial Danish cartoons were published last year, I saw them as a symptom of rising Islamophobia in Europe, particularly as they appeared in a rightwing paper under a rightwing Danish government notorious for its hostility to religious and ethnic minorities. And when a few weeks ago the Pope quoted a Byzantine emperor equating the Muslim faith with evil and inhumanity, I wrote that this was unacceptable coming from the representative of the largest religious institution in the world. Things are different this time. What we are dealing with is a creative artistic interpretation of the theme of the eclipse of the sacred. This phenomenon has cast its dense shadows on the western half of the European continent since the 19th century and has found its clearest expression in Nietzsche's cry of the death of God. ....Muslim minorities in the west should remember that they live in liberal societies which have their own visions and experiences of the religious, just as they have theirs. The Enlightenment tradition has given legitimacy to criticism of religion as a fundamental component of the right to free expression. This is largely the outcome of the specific experience Europe, particularly in its Catholic half, has had with religion and the ecclesiastical institution in the Middle Ages. The experience is peculiarly European and does not encapsulate all the histories of the world's religions.
The fallout from the cartoons remain clear that it seems to have awaken Europe they have a probelm. This has not pleased Guardian writer Luke Harding.
"....While Danish milk products were dumped in the Middle East, fervent rightwing Americans started buying Bang & Olufsen stereos and Lego. In the first quarter of this year Denmark's exports to the US soared 17%. The British writer Christopher Hitchens organised a buy-Danish campaign. Among the thousands of emails sent to Rose was one from an American soldier serving in Iraq. "He told me he was sitting in Iraq, watching a game of football and drinking a can of Carlsberg," Rose said. Rose is not the only person to have prospered from the crisis. Re-elected last year, Mr Rasmussen last week became Denmark's longest-serving Liberal prime minister. Danish troops are still in Iraq and Afghanistan. More than this, his sceptical line on immigration appears to have been vindicated as other EU countries follow suit. Right turn Denmark has now drifted to the right - as has neighbouring Sweden, which last week booted out its Social Democrat government. The chill hand of pragmatism has even arrived in Christiania, the Danish capital's hippy commune, as the government announced last week it intended to charge the hairy denizens rent. At the moment the assimilationists - who insist immigrants should become more Danish - are in the ascendant. The government is considering Danish language tests for foreigners applying for a passport. If anything, the cartoon row has forced Europeans to reconsider what it is that makes them European. "It provoked a debate here in Denmark about what are we really and what is our identity," Hans-Henrik Holm, a professor of international relations at Denmark's College of Journalism at Aarhus University said. "A lot of Danes know more today about Islam and religion. We have to wake up to the fact that we don't live in a Hans Christian Andersen quiet provincial country any more."

Forums||

German Lawmaker next on Islamist list?

EU: Given the remarks, I give it 24 hours before the first complaint.

A top German politician and close ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday Islam was one of the main factors in religiously motivated violence, and urged Germany's Muslims to reject all forms of brutality. But Ronald Pofalla, general-secretary of Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats, also acknowledged that many Muslims would find it painful that their religion was being abused for violent ends. "Certainly it is painful for many Muslims that their religion is misused for violence," Pofalla wrote in a guest column for Sunday's Bild am Sonntag newspaper. "But ... the problem of religiously motivated violence is today almost exclusively a problem of Islam. In addition, many of the victims are Muslims themselves," he said, according to extracts released in advance on Saturday. His comments follow a row that erupted after a Berlin opera house on Monday cancelled performances of Mozart's "Idomeneo" over worries it might enrage Muslims and pose a security threat. The decision triggered condemnation from politicians and artists, who warned Germans not to bow to fears of terrorism. ....The opera production, which contained a scene showing the severed heads of the Prophet Mohammad, Jesus and Buddha, overshadowed a summit last Wednesday to boost dialogue between the government and German Muslims. The cancellation of the opera instead raised tensions. "There was supposed to be a spirit of tolerance and dialogue for this important conference, but that has been spoiled to some extent," Ali Kizilkaya, head of Islamrat, a leading German Muslim group, told Reuters. Pofalla urged Muslim groups to reject all forms of violence. "Muslims must be prepared to accept criticism. For our part, we must be prepared to stand up for our Christian, Western values," he said.

Forums||

Amnesty today does equal more illegals tomorrow.

Immigration: Mickey Kaus has this to say.

A key point in the immigration debate--the basic engine of the reaction against the McCain-Bush effort to grant semi-amnesty to illegals--is the argument that amnesty today will encourage more illegal immigration (in the hope of another amnesty) tomorrow. This was certainly what seemed to happen after the Simpson-Mazzoli amnesty of 1986. But readers have rightly challenged me to find more evidence to back up this central argument. Here's some: City Journal's Heather Mac Donald notes that in Europe Spain's amnesty--and France's--seem to have been followed by explosions of illegal migration. ... 5:24 P.M. link
Also see Sarkozy slams Spain for illegal alien debacle. Spain gets snubbed by Germany and Austria over illegals. Three countries get after Spain for granting amnesty which caused a huge increase in African illegals.

Forums||

Friday, September 29, 2006

Its good ze Germans buckled under to "sensitivity"

Nation: An amusing try at presenting himself as a champion of free speech and expression while praising the Berlin Opera house for bowing down to fear.

Sept. 28, 2006 - The voluntary closing of the Deutsche Oper Berlin because of the anticipated sensitivities of Muslims hearing about their Prophet’s severed head assumes great symbolic significance in the age of globalization in which we live. Images, events and words—as we saw in the case of Pope Benedict a few days ago—have the capacity to inflame societies across the world in a matter of hours. Although I totally support free speech and freedom of expression, and have been saying so publicly, all of us need to be sensitive to the culture and traditions of other faiths. I am not talking of a purely academic or idealistic discussion but the possibility of people losing their lives as a result of some perceived attack on faith made across the world. I believe that the lives lost and the properties destroyed—including mosques and churches—after the Danish cartoons controversy erupted could have been avoided had there been people of greater wisdom and compassion at the start of the crisis.
It gets wackier after that.

Forums||

More on Somolia Muslims refusing taxi service at airport.

Nation: Sorta interesting to see the Red Star Tribune finally get around to this story a couple of weeks after USATODAY brought it up. I doubt if a Christian or someone with another religion tried this the airport would be so willingly to change. I guess you can refuse someone considering it is a private business, but they are operating in a public setting. I doubt the ACLU would get involved considering it involves a minority group pushing their beliefs.

About three-quarters of the 900 taxi drivers at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport are Somalis, many of them Muslim. And about three times each day, would-be customers are refused taxi service when a driver sees they're carrying alcohol. "It's become a significant customer-service issue," said Patrick Hogan, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Airports Commission, on Thursday. Now the airports commission has a solution: color-coding the lights on the taxi roofs to indicate whether a driver will accept a booze-toting fare. The actual colors haven't been decided on yet, but commission officials met Thursday with representatives of the taxi drivers and the Minnesota chapter of the Muslim American Society to continue working on the plan. The airports commission has struggled with the issue for several years. Alcohol is a serious concern for devout Muslims, said Hassan Mohamud, an imam and vice president of the society. The Qur'an, Islam's holy book, strictly forbids buying, selling, drinking or carrying alcohol. The observant drivers object only to transporting openly displayed alcohol, said Ali Culed, a Somali Muslim who's been driving an airport cab for eight years. They won't search passengers or quiz them about what's in their bags. "It is a religious issue," Culed said. "I cannot force anybody to change their belief, but not in my cab. I don't want the guilt. I just want to be an innocent person." Hogan said taxi starters at curbside will look for duty-free bags with bottles or other obvious signs of alcohol and steer riders to cabs whose drivers don't object to booze. Buzek, the flight attendant, said she was refused service in March after she told a driver to be careful with her suitcase because it had wine in it. Other drivers in the taxi line passed the word, she said, and four more refused her service. A dispatcher finally steered her to a driver who would take the fare. Buzek, who grew up in Poland, said her treatment goes against American values. "I came to this country and I didn't expect anybody to adjust to my needs," she said. "I don't want to impose my beliefs on anyone else. That's why I'm in this country, because of the freedom. "What's going to be next? ... Do I have to cover my head?"
This is rich.
If other religious issues come up, they'll be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, Hogan said. "We can't promise that we can accommodate every religious belief," he said. "Our interest is in making sure people can get a cab."
If you accommodate one, you have to accommodate all.

Forums||

Le Figaro surrenders to Islamists over article.

EU: You can read the summary here at Brussels Journal. At least from now on when I hear these reporters yapping about freedom of expression, speech and public right to know I realize they are full of it. Everything is fine and dandy until someone threatens to kill you. More details here.

Forums||

Belinda Stronach puts out a statement on her Domi crisis.

Canada: She should have kept her mouth shut because not once in the entire statement did she say no I didn't have sex or an affair with the guy. It will bring even more curiousity to the situation.

Forums||

Sarkozy slams Spain for illegal alien debacle.

EU: Zappo tries a comeback but Sarkozy landed the uppercut that decided the match.

France and Spain have become embroiled in a row over immigration after the French interior minister, Nicolas Sarkozy, criticised the Spanish government for an immigration amnesty that saw 580,000 foreigners receive work and residency papers last year. Mr Sarkozy, who is expected to fight for France's presidency on a centre-right ticket next year, said the socialist government of the Spanish prime minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, had been encouraging illegal immigrants to breach Europe's frontiers. "Look what has happened in the Canary Islands," Mr Sarkozy said on the France 2 television channel, referring to the 20,000 African immigrants who had reached the Spanish islands over the past year. "There has been a knock-on effect," he said. "Spain cannot control the flow of clandestine immigrants." He added: "You cannot tell Europe that you will, unilaterally, decide to give papers to half a million illegal immigrants and then call on it for help when you are trying to deal with the consequences." Mr Zapatero hit back in the Spanish parliament. "This government does not place any worth on the words of a French interior minister after all we have seen happen in the Paris suburbs as a result of immigration policy," he said, referring to the outbreaks of violence and rioting in French cities last year.

Forums||

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Mexico Opposed to U.S. Border Fence

World: Well now, we wouldn't want to get Mexico upset over protecting our borders would we?

MEXICO CITY (AP) - Mexico warned Thursday that the U.S. proposal to build miles of border fence will damage relations between the two countries. The Foreign Relations Department said it was "deeply worried" about the proposal, which is working its way through the Senate, adding it will "increase tension in border communities." "These measures will harm the bilateral relationship. They are against the spirit of co-operation that is needed to guarantee security on the common border," the department said in a statement. The House of Representatives and Senate are maneuvering to speed construction of a 700-mile fence along the United States' southern border aimed at keeping migrants and criminals from entering the country illegally. A House-Senate homeland security funding bill containing $1.2 billion to begin building the fence could be passed and sent to President Bush before lawmakers depart Washington this weekend.

Forums||

Liberals have crazy dreams and on the edge of sanity!

Culture: Via Tim Blair. Nothing surprising, but it does make conservatives more reality based.

A dream researcher from John F. Kennedy University in California has discovered fundamental differences between the dream worlds of people on the ideological left and the ideological right. Among his findings, Kelly Bulkeley discovered that liberals are more restless sleepers and have a higher number of bizarre, surreal dreams -- including fantasy settings and a wide variety of sexual encounters. Conservatives' dreams were, on average, far more mundane and focused on realistic people, situations and settings. "Conservatives seem to have more of a focus on the here and now and the material world whereas liberals, in contrast, seem to have a much wider sphere of imaginative activity," he said. "They don't just dream about what is, but what could be or what they wish could be," Mr. Bulkeley said. His research is being published in an upcoming issue of Dreams, a journal published by the American Psychological Association. Out of the 134 liberals who participated in the study, 91 per cent said they recently dreamed about sex; only 76 per cent of 100 conservative subjects admitted the same. But Mr. Bulkeley said the two political stripes showed very different tastes in dream partners. Liberals were far more likely to have sexual dreams about strangers and a variety of partners, while liberal women showed a greater tendency towards same-sex fantasies than their conservative counterparts (24 versus four per cent). "Especially for liberal women, there was a far greater variety in sexual partners and incidents of homosexuality," Mr. Bulkeley said. "Liberals tended to show a greater willingness to experiment with different things." Conservatives, by comparison, were far more likely to report having sexual dreams about their spouse or current partner.
Liberals: Wannbe sex addicts and Conservatives more grounded in their choice of partners and situations? You can call it boring, I call it cutting down the chances of STDs.
Liberals showed slightly higher levels of nightmares than conservatives -- a statistic at odds with a similar dream study Mr. Bulkeley conducted in the late 1990s. He said the ideology of the United States' governing party may affect the dream patterns of Republicans and Democrats. While conservatives deplored former president Bill Clinton's reign in the 1990s, liberals are currently both furious and fearful of the Bush administration, he said. "With the change from the Clinton to the Bush administrations, there are waking world reasons for liberals to be more concerned and stressed, and conservatives to be less concerned," Mr. Bulkeley said. "Dreams are like political cartoons of the mind -- mental op-ed columns. Sometimes dreams reflect internal commentaries on the state of things." The study includes some of the dreams recounted by liberals, such as the following nightmare: "I was at a presidential rally where George W. Bush was speaking. There was so much red, white and blue. Bush speaks: 'There are those who say that we are giving up our civil liberties. But I say, we should be proud to sacrifice our freedoms for America!' The crowd went wild, clapping, cheering and waving flags. I awoke in a cold sweat." Not surprisingly, Republicans had much more benign dreams about their commander-in-chief: "I was friends with George W. Bush and we were working together on his ranch. I was happy to be there."
Liberals are deranged paranoid people in their dreams while Conservatives are just chillin. For evidence just take a gander at Huff Post or the Daily Kos. Psycho posts with a touch of paranoid delusions of certainty.
Mr. Bulkeley said that the most surprising result in his study is that conservatives showed a higher tendency for lucid dreaming -- being aware they were asleep. Conservatives largely reported using their "dream awareness" to wake themselves up from uncomfortable situations and nightmares, he said. Overall, conservative males appear to sleep the most soundly and remember the fewest dreams, while liberal women are the most restless sleepers and fantastical dreamers. "While some of my colleagues think my research reinforces the stereotype of repressed, uptight conservatives, it also shows that many liberals may he hanging on the edge of mental well-being," Mr. Bulkeley said. "There may be a lot of hidden distress and unpleasantness in the liberal mind."
When the simple drop in gas prices brings out the conspiracy theories among liberals that the White House controls the prices, the chance they are also on the edge of mental well-being is not surprising. Again, read the Huff Post or Daily Kos

Forums||

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Idomeneo play could be back on

EU: The fury of the cancellation and/or the possibility of very ticked of Germans has surprised some people like me who though the West had lost its backbone during the cartoon riots.

BERLIN, Sept. 27 — With all the issues dividing Muslims and Germans, there was one point on which all 30 participants in a landmark Islamic conference agreed here today, its German organizer said. They would like to see the Deutsche Oper of Berlin reinstate the Mozart opera it canceled earlier this week for fear that the production — which features a scene with the severed head of the Prophet Muhammad — would offend Muslims and put the opera house at risk. The 30 representatives — drawn equally from the government and Germany’s Muslim population — could even go see the opera together, said Wolfgang Schäuble, the German interior minister, who organized and was chairman of the conference in an 18th-century baroque palace. Mr. Schauble’s suggestion, at a news conference after the session, was an attempt to prevent the public uproar over the cancellation of Mozart’s “Idomeneo” from derailing this gathering, which was supposed to demonstrate Germany’s resolve to reach out to its more than three million Muslims, and to discuss basic differences on issues like women’s rights and Islamic lessons in public schools. “We have, in a very tolerant tone, laid out quite different positions,” Mr. Schäuble said. “That was the point.” In some ways, the tempest over the opera energized the conference — underlining the urgency and complexity of the issues facing Germany, as it seeks to integrate a Muslim population that is growing in size and, in the view of some, growing further apart from mainstream German society. “There was general agreement that we would like to see the opera come back,” said Mehmet Yildrim, the secretary-general of the Turkish-Islamic Union. “But there were different perspectives on the issue.” The conference, which had been planned soon after Angela Merkel was elected chancellor last fall, comes at a time of heightened debate here over whether Germans have been too quick to compromise their values in the face of anger, or merely the threat of anger, among Muslims. Even before the cancellation of the opera, there were misgivings here about the repeated expressions of regret by Pope Benedict XVI, a German, for his sharply criticized remarks about Islam and violence. Today, Mrs. Merkel added her voice to a chorus of political and cultural leaders, who have criticized the Deutsche Oper for canceling “Idomeneo” after receiving word of an anonymous threat. “I think the cancellation was a mistake,” she said to reporters. “Self-censorship does not help us against people who want to practice violence in the name of Islam. It makes no sense to retreat.” Officials in Berlin said today that they would like to stage “Idomeneo” as soon as possible. The director of the Deutsche Oper, Kirsten Harms, said she could imagine bringing back the production at some point, provided she could resolve its political and diplomatic implications.
More:
THE German Government tried yesterday to defuse an international row that erupted after a nervous opera house called off a Mozart performance because it featured the decapitated head of the Prophet Muhammad. The opera, Idomeneo, has become a test case of how far the West should go in making concessions to the Islamic world. The Deutsche Oper, one of Europe’s top opera houses, scrapped the production for fear of an Islamic backlash. .....Frau Harms has remained adamant that security was more important than the performance. But she received little support from her fellow artists or from the media. Across the globe, she was accused of caving in to Muslim sensitivities. “Never in German culture has there been such a display of pre-emptive subservience,” said Der Standard, the Austrian daily. Other newspapers accused her directly of cowardice and surrendering Western cultural values. Her decision came on the eve of the Islamic summit in Berlin between German ministers, representatives of registered Islamic associations and independent Muslim writers and artists working in Germany. The aim was to reach a mutually acceptable definition of the limits of tolerance. Herr Schäuble made plain that though the tone had been relaxed, there had been no significant breakthrough. “We made clear for our part that everyone who lives in Germany must respect our constitutional and legal order,” the minister said. One conference sticking point was the reluctance to ban arranged marriages. “We’ve still got a long way to go before we can get the Muslim side to agree on our definition of the equality of women,” said Günther Beckstein, the Bavarian interior minister.

Forums||

Muslims offended by new Italian movie with Harvey Keitel.

Media: Another day, another controversy that is overblown.

Rome, 27 Sept. (AKI) - An Italian film has sparked a debate in the Muslim community for its representation of Islam. 'Il mercante di pietre' (The Stone Merchant) by Italian filmmaker Renzo Martinelli "brings back to mind Nazi propaganda against the Jews," accuses Dacia Valent, the spokesperson of the Islamic Anti-Defamation League, an Italian group. Her view is shared by the association of Young Muslims of Italy whose forum is full of messages comparing the movie to Nazi anti-Jewish propaganda. The film released mid-September tells the story of an Italian convert to Islam (interpreted by Harvey Keitel) and Al-Qaeda member who seduces a woman (the actress Jane March) to use her as an unwitting suicide bomber on a ferry. As the story evolves the protagonist - who officially deals in precious stones - starts having doubts over his operation as he falls in love with the woman. The movie is controversial as all the Muslims it portrays are terrorists. At a recent press conference, Martinelli said his film was meant to "sound the alarm against multiculturalists who justify everything and are in favour of opening up Europe - all signs the Muslim world perceives as a weakness, taking advantage of us." The filmmaker - who told reporters he goes around armed just in case some militant attacked him - added tha he "didn't attack Muslims but tried to understand them." According to Ali Shuetz, a member of Milan's Muslim community who was Martinelli's consultant on Islam for the movie, "'il mercante di pietre' is against Islamic terrorism and this is positive, the problem is it leaves no room for moderate Islam, which belongs to the real life and to people." Shuetz said both he and the movie's actors had complained to Martinelli over his one-sided portrayal of Islam but "the filmmaker was very clear about the story he wanted to represent and did not want to change it in any way." The consultant said he was only allowed to have a say in the way Muslims were dressed in the movie and in scenes shot inside a mosque. Also, "at the beginning the protagonist was supposed to be called Iblis which is the name Muslims give to Satan." Shuetz said Martinelli agreed to change it into Shahid, which means martyr in Arabic. The spokesman of Italy's largest Muslim group UCOII, Hamza Piccardo also criticised the film as biased "full of prejudices and stereotypes - a caricature which is intolerable."

Forums||

Jennifer Loven distorts the hell out of the NIE report.

World: Here is the AP lead.

The war in Iraq has become a "cause celebre" for Islamic extremists, breeding deep resentment of the U.S. that probably will get worse before it gets better, federal intelligence analysts conclude in a report at odds with President Bush's portrayal of a world growing safer.
Here is the entire paragraph from the report.
The Iraq conflict has become the “cause celebre” for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of US involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters for the global jihadist movement. Should jihadists leaving Iraq perceive themselves, and be perceived, to have failed, we judge fewer fighters will be inspired to carry on the fight.
Somolia was their first win and Iraq has become the big prize.
Quote: Four underlying factors are fueling the spread of the jihadist movement: (1) Entrenched grievances, such as corruption, injustice, and fear of Western domination, leading to anger, humiliation, and a sense of powerlessness; (2) the Iraq “jihad;” (3) the slow pace of real and sustained economic, social, and political reforms in many Muslim majority nations; and (4) pervasive anti-US sentiment among most Muslims—all of which jihadists exploit.
Basically the last 40+ years can be "exploited" for jihad gain, nothing new here. As the world has gotten more modern, the talent pool for jihadists has gotten larger and easier to recruit.
Quote: Concomitant vulnerabilities in the jihadist movement have emerged that, if fully exposed and exploited, could begin to slow the spread of the movement. They include dependence on the continuation of Muslim-related conflicts, the limited appeal of the jihadists’ radical ideology, the emergence of respected voices of moderation, and criticism of the violent tactics employed against mostly Muslim citizens.
This could take awhile and to stop the jihadists you would have to take care of Afghanistan, Iraq, Thailand, Philippines, Chechnya and various groups that want to go after France, Spain, UK, Northern Africa, Somolia, other countries in the middle east, Nigeria and Suda. Get that all settled and we are good to go for the moderates.
Quote: The jihadists’ greatest vulnerability is that their ultimate political solution—an ultra-conservative interpretation of shari’a-based governance spanning the Muslim world—is unpopular with the vast majority of Muslims. Exposing the religious and political straitjacket that is implied by the jihadists’ propaganda would help to divide them from the audiences they seek to persuade.
You would think, but Sharia law in not that vastly unpopular if introduced in certain places. Nearly everyone knows the goal of jihadists and their dream empire.
Quote: Recent condemnations of violence and extremist religious interpretations by a few notable Muslim clerics signal a trend that could facilitate the growth of a constructive alternative to jihadist ideology: peaceful political activism. This also could lead to the consistent and dynamic participation of broader Muslim communities in rejecting violence, reducing the ability of radicals to capitalize on passive community support. In this way, the Muslim mainstream emerges as the most powerful weapon in the war on terror.
Considering certain "mainstream" groups like Muslim Council of Britain and others have tried to use the threat of terrorist acts to push their own and in some cases the same goal as the jihadists, I highly doubt this nonsense. The playing of the victim card and idiotic agreement of self-censorship as the mozart play today blunts any gain of a mainstream Muslim push to be a strong alternative to the jihadists. As of right now, the moderates are being overwhelmed by the more strident message. This NIE report is incredibly naive BTW. If the idea by anyone that pulling out of Iraq and cutting off Israel by the knees(example) will slow down or kill off the terrorist movement that has been growing over the last couple of decades and has only been accelerated(not created) by Iraq you would be very wrong. If Iraq wasn't the cause celebre, then it would Afghanistan, if it wasn't Afghanistan it would be something else. This is not something that popped up in 2003, it has been there for decades growing and now moving at a rapid rate. Having a hornet's nest in your backyard and thinking you can live with it without any harm coming to you is a learning the lesson the hard way.

Forums||

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Fury as opera cancelled for fear of offending Muslims

EU: As Europe keeps on the path of bowing down to threats of violence and artistic rights are trampled in the name of saving your life.

The Deutsche Oper Berlin yesterday said it had decided "with great regret" to cancel a planned production of Mozart's Idomeneo after city security officials warned of an "incalculable risk" because of scenes dealing with Islam, as well as other religions. Kirsten Harms, the director of the Deutsche Oper, said that the Berlin state police had warned of a possible - but not certain - threat and that she decided it would be in the best interest of the safety of the opera house, its employees and patrons to cancel the production. After its premiere in 2003, the production by Hans Neuenfels drew widespread criticism over a scene in which King Idomeneo presents the severed heads not only of the Greek god of the sea, Poseidon, but also of Jesus, Buddha and Mohammed. "We know the consequences of the conflict over the [Mohammed] caricatures," the opera house said in a statement. "We believe that needs to be taken very seriously and hope for your support."
German officials are surprisingly outraged.
The leader of Germany's Islamic Council welcomed the decision, saying a depiction of Mohammed with a severed head "could certainly offend Muslims." "Nevertheless, of course I think it is horrible that one has to be afraid," Ali Kizilkaya said. "That is not the right way to open dialogue." Dieter Glietsch, head of the Berlin state police, said: "One can find nothing wrong if, in a climate that's already tense between Islam and the western world, people avoid heating up the situation further through a scene that can - and perhaps even must - be taken as provocative by pious Muslims." Many others, including Germany's senior security official, Wolfgang Schäuble, the interior minister, condemned the decision, which came ahead of a conference on Islam planned for today. "That is crazy," Mr Schäuble told reporters in Washington DC, where he was holding meetings with American officials. Berlin's mayor, Klaus Wowereit, said that "with all understanding for the concern about the security of spectators and performers, I consider the decision of the director to be wrong. "Our ideas about openness, tolerance and freedom must be lived out on the offensive. Voluntary self-limitation gives those who fight against our values a confirmation in advance that we will not stand behind them." Bernd Neumann, the federal government's senior cultural official, said that "problems cannot be solved by keeping silent". He added: "When the concern over possible protests leads to self-censorship, then the democratic culture of free speech becomes endangered."

Forums||

Belinda Stronach the Paris Hilton of Canadian politics.

Politics: You would think she would learn from her good friend Bill Clinton not to fool around especially with a married man who already used his get out of divorce card once(allegedly)

"....A Mrs. of 13 years standing who has, already once before, forgiven her husband for what she says was a previous infidelity, on the promise that he would never again hurt her like this. "If it wasn't for my husband's affair with Belinda, we wouldn't be getting a divorce," Leanne told the Star in an interview last night. "We were happily married. If not for Belinda, I think we still would be happily married. But he's no longer my husband and he will never be my husband again." Leanne Domi has been criticized in recent days — and certainly from within the pro-Tie camp — for going so publicly postal in the provocative details contained within the court documents filed in support of her divorce application. "The facts are the facts. Should I have just said that my marriage ended because my husband had committed adultery? People are insinuating that I named names to get back at Belinda or something. But this is what happened and this is why my marriage ended. There is zero doubt in my mind that Tie is having an affair with Belinda." In the court documents, Leanne Domi said she asked her husband to leave their home on July 22 because she no longer believed his "lies'' about a strictly business relationship with Stronach, nor the excuses he allegedly made for time spent away from the family. "Tie Domi lied to and cheated on me and our children. ... He is a bully and will do whatever he has to do and say whatever he needs to say to get what he wants for himself. And right now, what he wants is to ensure that our family gets as little as possible so he can maintain his jet-set lifestyle, dine with movie stars (like Brad Pitt), and play the role of Belinda Stronach's exciting new romantic `good tough guy.''' She maintains that, when confronted, Tie urged her not to hire a lawyer; that he would give her $1 million in cash and $1.5 for their palatial North Toronto house. "He told me that if I did hire a lawyer, I would `get nothing' ... He has told me he has many powerful and influential friends (including Belinda Stronach) who are `on his side and who don't want to hear my stupid sob stories about him and Belinda'. And he has told me that I had better `leave Belinda out of this.'''

Forums||

Monday, September 25, 2006

Paris Riots: French police round up 12 suspects

France: Followup on the attack by 30 "youths" on two riot police last week.

PARIS -- More than 200 police raided a neighborhood Monday in suburban Paris where a band of youths attacked riot police last week and seriously wounded one officer, reviving memories of the violence that raged in poor French suburbs last year. Twelve people were detained in the early morning sweep in Corbeil-Essonnes south of the capital, the local prosecutor said. A band of up to 30 youths armed with makeshift weapons attacked two riot police patrolling a housing project in Corbeil-Essonnes last Tuesday. One suffered a double skull fracture. At the time, police were called in to disperse the youths but no arrests were made. Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy vowed to track the perpetrators down "one by one." French authorities have kept a watchful eye on the low-income housing projects in suburbs nationwide where riots by youth, many unemployed and from immigrant backgrounds, erupted nearly a year ago and continued for three weeks. The incident came amid new reports of increased violent crime in one of France's roughest regions, Seine-Saint-Denis _ the area north of Paris where last year's riots began. Justice Minister Pascal Clement met with top crime fighters from the region and announced measures to help the area. Former Socialist Prime Minister Lionel Jospin welcomed the police raid but criticized Sarkozy _ a leading presidential hopeful _ for "playing on the legitimate emotions" of worried residents after the attack by accusing judges of being too soft on criminal youth. Sarkozy drew fire from many directions over the comments, and for the rise in crime despite his tough policies and rhetoric.

Forums||

Gas price: 42% of Americans are flipping idiots.

Bidness: Most of those are Democrats.

Almost half of all Americans believe the November elections have more influence than market forces. For them, the plunge at the pump is about politics, not economics. Retired farmer Jim Mohr of Lexington, Ill., rattled off a tankful of reasons why pump prices may be falling, including the end of the summer travel season and the fact that no major hurricanes have disrupted Gulf of Mexico output. "But I think the big important reason is Republicans want to get elected," Mohr, 66, said while filling up for $2.17 a gallon. "They think getting the prices down is going to help get some more incumbents re-elected." According to a new Gallup poll, 42 percent of respondents agreed with the statement that the Bush administration "deliberately manipulated the price of gasoline so that it would decrease before this fall's elections." Fifty-three percent of those surveyed did not believe in this conspiracy theory, while 5 percent said they had no opinion. Almost two-thirds of those who suspect President Bush intervened to bring down energy prices before Election Day are registered Democrats, according to Gallup.
Tony Snow brings some logic into it.
White House spokesman Tony Snow addressed the issue Monday, telling reporters that "the one thing I have been amused by is the attempt by some people to say that the president has been rigging gas prices, which would give him the kind of magisterial clout unknown to any other human being." "It also raises the question, if we're dropping gas prices now, why on earth did we raise them to $3.50 before?" Snow said.
At least $25 dollars of the oil price at its high was pure speculation and at least one group got burned for it.
The plunge in prices, Halff said, is the result of growing domestic inventories of fuel, slowing economic growth and toned-down rhetoric between Iran and the United States, which has been critical of Tehran's uranium enrichment program. The selloff has been magnified, Halff said, by the recent retreat from the market by many speculative investors who got burned by the late-summer volatility. Just last week, a prominent hedge fund told investors that it lost some $6 billion due to bad bets on natural gas prices. That said, "the sky is not falling," said Halff, who believes oil prices will likely head higher again this winter and average more than $65 a barrel throughout 2007. At the start of summer, oil analysts were worried about rising demand, the threat of hurricanes and the nuclear standoff between the West and Iran, OPEC's second-largest producer. As a result, crude-oil futures soared to more than $78 a barrel in mid-July. But by summer's end, these fears had largely dissipated. On Monday, November crude futures settled at $61.45 a barrel.
But to think the government can rise or lower gas prices on a whim shows a lack of business 101. ....I take that back, you can see an drop instantly if gas taxes on the local/state/federal level was taken out. Everything else is just market forces. Update# Washington Post's Dan Froomkin
Gas Watch A new Gallup Poll finds that an astonishing 42 percent of Americans believe that the Bush administration has deliberately manipulated the price of gasoline so that it would decrease before this fall's elections. But whether this has happened or not should not be a matter of idle speculation. As a determinable fact, it should be the object of some reporting. How 'bout it, colleagues?
Seriously, Froomkin cannot be this dumb. I know as a liberal writer he has to play to the moonbats, but this is beyond ridiculous.

Forums||

EU chief Barroso accuses EU leaders of being cowards.

EU: Surprising coming from Barroso, but what did he expect from most of Europe? They are not going to rock the boat and actually come out to side with the Pope.

European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso has said he is "disappointed" that EU leaders did not do more to support the Pope after his controversial remarks on Islam. Talking to German paper Die Welt over the weekend, the commission president accused European leaders of letting the Pope Benedict XVI down, after his remarks on the prophet Mohamed in a 12 September speech led to strong outrage in the Muslim world. "To attack the Pope because he referred to a historical document in a speech is fully unacceptable," said Mr Barroso. "I was disappointed that there weren't more European leaders who said: of course the Pope has the right to express his views. The problem is not his remarks, but the reactions of the extremists." Asked why European politicians had been so reluctant to support the Pope, Mr Barroso said "Perhaps because there is concern about a possible confrontation. And sometimes [there is] a sort of political correctness: that one is only being tolerant when placing the opinion of others above one's own. I am very in favour of tolerance, but we should stand up for our values." Warning about Islamic extremists, the commission chief went on to say that "some of them are very educated people who have studied at our universities. And still, they hate our open societies, our free economies." "If they are prepared to kill themselves for that, don't you believe they are also prepared to kill us?"

Forums||

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Swiss vote to clamp down on asylum seekers

EU: The Swiss try to cut down on illegal immigrants and the UN are among those unhappy about it.

NEUTRAL Switzerland, home to humanitarian agencies and the International Committee of the Red Cross, voted by a big majority yesterday to make it harder for asylum-seekers to gain entry to the rich Alpine state. Despite warnings of damage to the country's humanitarian reputation, 68 per cent of voters said 'yes' in referendums on changes to Swiss asylum rules, making them among the West's toughest, and on limiting access for non-European job-seekers. Voters accepted the arguments of right-wing justice minister Christoph Blocher that the new regulations, featuring a requirement that all asylum-seekers have a passport, were necessary to fight alleged abuse. "The people have said they do not want abuse [of the system], but they want to maintain the humanitarian traditions of Switzerland," Blocher told TSR television. The minister says less than half of asylum requests turn out to be valid. According to his ministry, the two law changes won 68 per cent backing. Both measures have already been passed by parliament and the government, but opponents raised enough signatures to force a national vote. ....Swiss religious associations - Protestant, Catholic and Jewish - issued a joint statement criticising the result, saying it did not "provide the appropriate solutions for the existing problems". The United Nations refugee agency UNHCR, which had expressed concern about toughening the asylum code, said in a statement that it regretted Switzerland had backed "restrictive" new laws. Spokesman William Spindler said the agency, which says the passport requirement may bar genuine refugees, would be watching to ensure that treatment of asylum-seekers was in line with international rules. The new law will also deny financial assistance to unsuccessful asylum-seekers and threatens them with longer periods of detention if they refuse to leave.

Forums||

Jason Whitlock tears into Scoop Jackson's bojangle act.

**Update** Jason Whitlock fired from ESPN altogether. Media: Never cared much for Whitlock columns, but Scoop Jackson irritates me to no end. It is the same reason I dislike Stuart Scott, there is a fake hip I am cool yo element to him and Scoop that goes into parody. Everything he says about Ralph Wiley is spot on, a huge talent loss that contributed a lot to sport's writing.

Q: Why’d you leave Page 2? Did your feud with Scoop Jackson have anything to do with you leaving? I’ve always disagreed with Page 2 about the value of my column. But when I started, it was an opportunity to write alongside Ralph Wiley, Hunter S. Thompson and Bill Simmons. That’s a great lineup, and I just wanted to be in the middle of that order somewhere. Page 2 had a lot of energy. Ralph and Hunter passed, Simmons got his own page, the editor who kicked me ideas (Jay Lovinger) got promoted and suddenly I was batting in a very different lineup, and the new manager had me hitting a lot lower in the order. I wasn’t real comfortable, but I figured I’d let things play out. I quit doing radio and had more time to focus on my weekly ideas. The column was already game tight, but the frequency, consistency and content all improved. The compensation didn’t, the place in the batting order didn’t and the team started shopping for talent in remote locations. Q: What about Scoop? Based on the way you *****-slapped him in the KC Star, you couldn’t have liked working with him. We didn’t work together. But, yeah, there’s a big dropoff from being associated with Ralph, Hunter and Bill than being linked to someone doing a bad Nat X impersonation. It pissed me off that the dude tried to call himself the next Ralph Wiley and stated some [bleep] about carrying Ralph’s legacy. Ralph was one of my best friends. I hate to go all Lloyd Bentsen, but Scoop Jackson is no Ralph Wiley.

Ralph was a grown-ass man who didn’t bojangle for anybody. Scoop is a clown. And the publishing of his fake ghetto posturing is an insult to black intelligence, and it interferes with intelligent discussion of important racial issues. Scoop showed up on the scene and all of a sudden I’m getting e-mails from readers connecting what I write to Scoop. And his stuff is being presented like grown folks should take it seriously. Please. I guess I’ll go Bill Cosby on you, but it’s about time we as black people quit letting Flavor Flav and the rest of these clowns bojangle for dollars. There’s going to be a new civil-rights movement among black people and the people bojangling for dollars are going to be put in check. Q: A Civil Rights movement? In 2006? Dude, it’s in the air. Black people are tired of letting idiots define who we are. It’s dangerous. I grew up loving hip hop music. But the [bleep] is way out of hand now. Flavor Flav went from fighting the power with Chuck D to a minstrel show on VH1. You have all of these young rap idiots putting out negative images about black men and black women, and it’s on us to stop it and say enough is a enough. It’s not on white people. And it’s not on old black people like Cosby and Oprah. We have to police our own. W.E.B. Dubois talked about the talented 10 percent leading the black masses.

We’re letting the Ignorant 5 lead us straight to hell. The Ignorant 5 are telling white folks, “Yeah, this is how we really is. Let me bojangle for ya, boss. You say step and I’ll show ya I can fetch.” And what’s even more dangerous, the Ignorant 5 are telling black kids, “It’s cool to be locked up. It makes a man out of you. And don’t embrace education. Dealing dope and playing basketball are better career choices.” The Ignorant 5 is the new KKK and twice as deadly. That’s why you don’t hear ‘bout the KKK anymore. The Klan is just sitting back letting 50 Cent and all the other bojanglers do all the heavy lifting.

Forums||

Dem Mass Governor candidate soft on criminals.

Nation: I am all for second chances but restricting access to the records of criminals is not the way to go.

When criminals try to re enter society and remake their lives, they're often haunted by criminal background information that can prevent them from getting a job. For years, state lawmakers and social activists, many of them from minority neighborhoods, have tried to limit distribution of that information, saying they want to help people get another chance. The fight to water down the Criminal Offender Records Information law, or CORI, has emerged as an issue in the governor's race. Democrat Deval L. Patrick, who supports restricting the release of some information, is drawing fire -- first from his defeated Democratic rival, Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly, and now from his Republican opponent, Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey. Healey last week launched a television ad quoting Reilly calling Patrick ``soft on crime." ``There is no benefit to hiding someone's criminal history," Healey said in an interview. ``It should be made more widely available, not restricted, as Deval Patrick has suggested. I think it's meaningful that the state's top law enforcement official called Patrick soft on crime." A review of his public comments by the Globe found that Patrick has carefully avoided taking a stand on specific CORI legislation, including the most controversial proposals pending on Beacon Hill. The Public Safety Act of 2006, an omnibus bill that lawmakers did not act on this session, contained measures that would make it easier for offenders to have their records sealed or expunged and allow drug dealers to lop time off their sentences. For five months, Patrick was listed as a supporter of that bill on the website of one of the groups pressing the legislation, the Massachusetts Alliance to Reform CORI. After Reilly criticized Patrick, a leader of that group removed Patrick's name from the website, saying it was a mistake to list him as a proponent. Currently, more than 11,000 employers have access to criminal records under CORI, and nearly all of them serve vulnerable populations such as nursing home residents and schoolchildren. In debates and in speeches, Patrick has said he supports the idea of giving people with criminal records ``a second chance." ``Moving from jail back into responsible society is a great idea," he said in a June speech, ``but only if CORI doesn't defeat your second chance." In an interview Friday, Patrick said he believes in ``tightening up" the current criminal background system, which he said is ``overbroad" and ``inaccurate," and may prevent convicted criminals from making a clean start. ``All I'm talking about is creating a way for those who need information that is relevant . . . to have that information," Patrick said in an interview Friday. ``But also make sure that CORI doesn't defeat their every second chance." .....``Deval supports the idea of a second chance," said Small. ``He recognizes that the way the system was set up hurts people. What I loved about the guy is he took the time to meet with people with CORI's. He heard their stories. He studied the laws. He said the system was falling apart. Whether he embraced our piece, he's committed to making the system fair and efficient; giving access to public safety but making sure people don't pay for the rest of their lives." They say that supporting Patrick is easy; his main opponent, Healey, opposes any form of CORI reform. ``As an advocate who has investigated the positions of the various candidates, I think [Patrick] believes the system needs to be worked on to allow appropriate employment," said Brandyn Keating, executive director of the non-profit Criminal Justice Policy Coalition. ``Ideologically the candidates [Patrick and Healey] are on opposite sides of the issue. It's not like they each support some form of CORI reform. They're on opposite poles," said Keating, whose group does not get involved in electoral politics because of its nonprofit status. But some prosecutors say there is no middle ground in the CORI debate -- a politician is either for providing access to criminal record information or is siding with criminals and making it tougher for law enforcement officials to do their job. The Massachusetts District Attorneys Association has gone on record opposing any efforts to weaken the existing law. ``There are different versions that people have proposed," said Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz, a Republican. ``My opinion is they raise public safety issues. I believe an employer should be able to make an informed decision whether to hire or not hire someone. People have the right to be safe."

Forums||

Saturday, September 23, 2006

UK to tell certain Muslims when they are going to raid.

UK: Unless this is some elaborate reverse sting to see who you can trust or not, this becoming official policy is the dumbest thing ever in law enforcement.

POLICE have agreed to consult a panel of Muslim leaders before mounting counter-terrorist raids or arrests. Members of the panel will offer their assessment of whether information police have on a suspect is too flimsy and will also consider the consequences on community relations of a raid. Members will be security vetted and will have to promise not to reveal any intelligence they are shown. They will not have to sign the Official Secrets Act. The first panel, expected to consist of four people, will be set up initially in London. Tomorrow representatives from police forces across England and Wales will decide whether to make the scheme national. Muslim groups have welcomed the move, which is understood to be backed by Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan police commissioner. This week the Association of Chief Police Officers will discuss with MI5 and the Home Office whether to reveal to the panel intelligence information from the security service. The idea came from the Metropolitan police and the Muslim Safety Forum (MSF), which works for better police-Muslim relations. It has been under discussion for two years and came to the top of the agenda after a police raid in Forest Gate, London, in June, in which a man was shot. Police were acting on a tip-off about a bomb. None was found. Azad Ali, chairman of the MSF, said: “The major concern that came to us from Muslims was that the intelligence was flawed — the raid was on assumption and nothing else. This will allow independent scrutiny of intelligence.”

Forums||

Rumor: Osama Bin Laden is dead

World: Translated from Yahoo France AP.

PARIS (AP) - the number one of the terrorist network Al-Qaïda, Ousama Bin Laden, would have died, according to information's of the Saoudi services of safety transmitted to the Directorate-General of the external services (DGSE), brings back the Lorraine daily newspaper Is republican in its edition of Saturday. “According to a usually reliable source, the Saoudi services of safety would have acquired the conviction that Usama Bin Laden died”, said a note of the DGSE of confidential September 21 classified as “defense” and published by the republican East in its edition of Saturday. The note, specifies the daily newspaper, however would have been recorded in the information “not recut” by the DGSE. According to the note published by the republican East, the Saoudi services of safety “would reach to obtain more details, and in particular the place of its burial, to announce the news officially”. In this note, the DGSE specifies that no “Internet site djihadist is for the moment made the echo of died of Ousama Bin Laden”. According to the same note, “the chief of Al-Qaïda would have been victim, whereas it was in Pakistan on August 23, 2006, of a very strong crisis of typhoid” and would have succumbed to it in the following days. The French services of the information would have transmitted this note to the President of the Republic, to the the Defense on September 21 and Prime Minister and to Ministers of Interior Department, according to the regional daily newspaper, which added that a first note transmitted on September 19 to the leaders of the French State explained why the Saoudi services “sought to confirm the death of Ousama Bin Laden”. AP

Forums||

Gerard Baker on Europe being a coward.

UK: As usual, nice article by Baker.

".....Then, of course, we have had the predictable European outrage following the latest apparent provocation of Islamic extremists by free speech in the West — Pope Benedict XVI’s remarks last week on Islam. I actually heard a senior member of the British Government chide the Pope this week for what he described as his unhelpful comments. This minister went on to say that the Pope should keep quiet about Islamic violence because of the Crusades. It was a jaw-dropping observation. If it was meant seriously its import is that, because of violence perpetrated in the name of Christ 900 years ago, today’s Church, and presumably today’s European governments (who, after all, were eager participants in the Crusades) should forever hold their peace on the subject of religious fanaticism. In this view the Church’s repeated apologies for the sins committed in its name apparently are not enough. The Pope has no right, even in a lengthy disquisition on the complexities of faith and reason, to say anything about the religious role in Islamic terrorism. It is apt that Pope Benedict should have received such European opprobrium for his remarks. His election last year looked like a final attempt by the Church to revive the European spirit in the face of accelerating secularisation and cultural morbidity. But the scale of Europe’s moral crisis is larger than ever. Opposing the war in Iraq was one thing, defensible in the light of events. But opting out of a serious fight against the Taleban, sabotaging efforts to get Iran off its path towards nuclear status, pre-emptively cringing to Muslim intolerance of free speech and criticism, all suggest something quite different. They imply a slow but insistent collapse of the European will, the steady attrition of the self-preservation instinct. Its effects can be seen not only in the political field, but in other ways — the startling decline of birth rates across the continent that represent a sort of self-inflicted genocide; the refusal to confront the harsh realities of a global economy. It may well be that history will judge that Europe’s decline came at the very moment of its apparent triumph. The traumas of the first half of the 20th century have combined with the economic successes of the second half to induce a collective loss of will. Great civilisations die not in the end because of external force majeure but because internally the will to thrive is sapped....."

Forums||

Spain gets snubbed by Germany and Austria over illegals.

EU: Spain opened up a can of worms and now different players in the EU are telling them get bent because of their stupidity.

EU ministers have expressed sharp differences over how to deal with an influx of illegal immigrants to Europe. At talks in Finland, Spain's justice minister called for help to deal with the surge of mainly African migrants arriving in Spain's Canary Islands. But Germany's interior minister said Madrid should not be calling for other people's money. And Austria criticised Spain's decision to grant amnesty to some 500,000 undocumented foreigners in 2005. .....Spain also said it wanted better organisation of Frontex, the hurriedly created EU border patrol force that operates in the Mediterranean, the BBC's Jonny Dymond in Tampere says. In response, German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schauble said Madrid "must stop asking for the money of others". He pointed out that Berlin had carried a similar problem for many years. Austrian Justice Minister Karin Gastinger said Spain had sent "the wrong signal" by legalising the status of at least 500,000 illegal workers last year. Ms Gastinger said the decision had given "some kind of pull factor to the people in Africa, as we unfortunately saw in the last months". Italy's Interior Minister Interior Minister Giuliano Amato suggested that money would be better spent in Africa - in the countries where the asylum seekers were coming from. For the moment at least it looks as if Spain's appeals for help are going nowhere, our correspondent says.

Forums||

Friday, September 22, 2006

Ahmadinejad finds Jews that are his kind of people.

World: This would be the Neturei Karta which has an interesting history according to Wikipedia.

CBS) NEW YORK It was a meeting out of the Twilight Zone: An Iranian president who wants Israel wiped off the map ... and a dozen rabbis who couldn't agree more. WCBS-TV gained exclusive access to the event, held at the Intercontinental Hotel in Midtown. There, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad railed against Zionists, meaning the Israelis. "They have no respect for the lives and dignity of the Jews," Ahmadinejad said through a translator. "If they could they would destroy 6 billion people in the world." And then he made a chilling prediction about the future of Israel. "But their time is ending. God willing," he said. And the rabbis, who believe Israel's founding violated God's will, couldn't have been happier. One even went so far as to praise the controversial leader. "God should give you long life and health and strength and not to be intimidated by the attacks of Zionism, that is attacking you as being anti-Semitic, which is a pure ploy of Zionism to intimidate people," one rabbi said. "They shouldn't speak up against their illegitimate state." Ahmadinejad once again questioned the existence of the Holocaust. And the rabbis, some of whom lost relatives in the war, suggested it was all a Zionist conspiracy. The city's Jewish groups told CBS 2 the meeting was a travesty. When told by CBS 2 that mainstream Jewish groups were calling the meeting an obscenity and a charade because these men represent nothing, Ahmadinejad replied, "Why are you asking this question from me? You represent Jews?" The Iranian president never answered the question.

Forums||

EU: Britain, you will bow down to us!

EU: I have the feeling that terrorism will be down the list as the thought crimes will be his first cause.

The only way for Britain to be safe from terrorism is to surrender its national veto over new European Union laws covering cross-border police and judicial co-operation, the EU's leading justice official said last night. Franco Frattini, EU commission vice-president for justice, liberty and security, said that the requirement to reach unanimous agreement among all 25 member states was holding up key new initiatives and putting British lives at risk. It was time to put aside "national jealousies", said Mr Frattini, a former Italian foreign minister. It was time to allow Europe's national police forces, secret services, court systems and prosecutors to leap over frontiers and borders when in pursuit of terrorists, organised criminals, paedophiles and other serious offenders, which the EU says includes those guilty of racism and xenophobia. "Terrorists don't know borders, it is absolutely anachronistic to imagine [you can] keep borders in combating terrorism or organised crime," Mr Frattini said. At an "informal" meeting of EU justice and home affairs ministers in Finland today, Britain will find itself under unprecedented pressure to give up its cherished veto on criminal justice dossiers and move to "qualified majority voting", in which a substantial minority of countries are needed to block a proposal. British Conservatives have highlighted the failure of ministers to say they will keep the veto. Eurosceptic groups interpret the silence as a sign that the Government is preparing to surrender it on a wide range of justice proposals. Critics say Mr Frattini has his eye on all criminal justice policy, threatening such cornerstones of liberty as trial by jury and the principle of habeas corpus. Mr Frattini had a message for the British people – in a nutshell: trust me, and trust Europe to choose only a handful of "well selected" dossiers, vital for the fight against crime.

Forums||

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Walmart to sell $4 generic drugs.

Bidness: I love Walmart and screw all those anti-capitalist union backed lackeys.

NEW YORK -- Wal-Mart plans to begin selling nearly 300 generic prescription drugs for a sharply reduced price, offering a big lure for bargain-seeking customers and presenting a challenge to competing pharmacy chains. The world's biggest retailer said Thursday that it will test its sales program, in which 291 generic drugs will be sold at $4 for a month's supply, in Florida. The drugs involved provide treatments for conditions ranging from allergies to high-blood pressure. Selling generic drugs at prices that don't offer much if any margin for profit could serve two purposes for Wal-Mart: It could draw customers away from big pharmacy chains to Wal-Mart stores that offer a much wider array of products, and it could help Wal-Mart with an image problem stemming from its policies on health insurance for employees. ``We're able to do this by using one of our greatest strengths as a company _ our business model and our ability to drive costs out of the system, and the model that passes those costs savings to our customers,'' Bill Simon, executive vice president of the company's professional services division, said in announcing the plan at a Tampa, Fla., store. ``In this case were applying that business model to health care.'' Wal-Mart Stores Inc. officials said the reduced price represents a savings to the customer of up to 70 percent on some drugs. The average monthly cost for a generic drug prescription is $28.74, according to the National Association of Chain Drug Stores. For branded drugs, that figure is $96.01. Critics said the plan was a cover for Wal-Mart's failure to provide its employees adequate health care. They contend that the company's benefits are too stingy, forcing taxpayers to absorb more of the cost as the workers lacking coverage turn to state-funded health care programs. The program will be launched on Friday at 65 Wal-Mart, Neighborhood Market and Sams' Club pharmacies in the Tampa Bay area and will be expanded to the entire state in January. Simon wouldn't be specific about why Florida and specifically the Tampa Bay area was chosen for the rollout of the initiative, saying only that there was a need for it here.
I would guess its because Tampa is known as God's waiting room in the state for a reason. As for the critics, screw them. I have never understood this idiotic notion that any company has to pay for your health care, big or small. No one is forced to work at Walmart. Don't like the benefits, get a another job. Here is the list of drugs so far that will go for $4. Its a great business move because despite low profit from the drugs, it means more people to shop at their stores.

Forums||

Muslim insurgency behind Thailand coup.

World: The new general-leader and king will pretty much surrender to the insurgency down south, though Thaksin reponse to the crisis was horrible. Who says violence doesn't pay?

A telecom tycoon’s wrong number about a Muslim insurgency was one of the key reasons for the coup in Thailand. Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s erratic response to an incipient Muslim insurgency was one of the most important divides between him and the Thai army chief. The coup leader, General Sondhi Boonyaratkalin, was chosen to head the Thai army because his Muslim background was seen as an advantage in tackling a two-year-old Malay Muslim insurgency in south Thailand that has claimed 1,200 lives. The general had publicly called for talks with the insurgents, a position Thaksin rejected. Sondhi is close to the Thai monarch, King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The king, known to support a softer stance, has been concerned about Thaksin’s confrontational manner in handling Thai problems, say Indian and Australian diplomatic sources. A television announcement on Wednesday said the king endorsed Sondhi’s running the country. A poll by Suan Dusit University said 84 per cent Thais supported the coup.
An insurgency leader is happy.
Thaksin, who used an iron-fisted policy in trying to suppress the insurgency, was widely detested in southern Thailand and many moderate Muslims said that the bloody conflict could never be solved as long as he remained in power. "It is the right thing that the military has taken power to replace the Thaksin Shinawatra government," said Lukman B Lima, an exiled leader in one of several groups fighting the central government for a separate Muslim state. "We hope that the political (situation) can be resolved under Gen. Sondhi Boonyaratkalin as the new leader," Lukman said. In an e-mailed response to questions from the agency, Lukman said Sondhi was the "only one who knows the real problems" of the Muslim-dominated provinces of southern Thailand. Lukman, exiled in Sweden, is vice president of the Pattani United Liberation Organization, or PULO. "We will continue to fight until full independence (is attained) in Pattani," he said, referring to the provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat. Sondhi, 59, had proposed several weeks ago opening talks with the separatists, but Thaksin's government vehemently opposed such a move. "Thaksin's government has totally failed to quell the violence, so we are pinning our hope on the Council of Administrative Reform," said Srisompob Jitpiromsri, a political scientist from Prince of Songkhla University in the southern province of Pattani.

Forums||

Nigerian Christians flee to police after Muslim rioters burn churches, homes

Africa: Via AP.

Hundreds of Christians sought refuge at police headquarters in a predominantly Muslim Nigerian town Thursday after rioters protesting alleged blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad attacked and burned churches, Christian homes and businesses, residents and police said. Violence broke out in Dutse, the capital of Nigeria's northern Jigawa state, Wednesday after thousands of Muslim youth poured out on the streets to protest alleged blasphemy by a Christian woman, resident Emeka Nworah said. It was unclear what the offensive statement was that sparked the rioting. Some said it was a market dispute, while others said she made a statement against Muhammad days earlier. Several churches, homes and businesses belonging to the city's minority Christians were set ablaze and destroyed in the rampage. Police confirmed the violence. "The disturbances are unfortunate but the situation is now under control," senior police official Kieran Dudari told reporters. No deaths were reported but residents said many people were injured. Six churches were burnt, along with an unspecified number of homes and shops, police said. Nworah was among Dutse residents who escaped to Kano in search of transportation to their home states in the mainly Christian south. More than 1,000 people, mainly Christians, were still camped in the open field at state police headquarters in Dutse on Thursday, too scared to go back to their homes, witnesses and police said. Nigeria 's 130 million people are roughly split between a south dominated by Christians and a north mainly populated by Muslims, with sectarian violence breaking out often. Thousands of Nigerians have died in sectarian strife since 2000, when mostly Muslim northern states began implementing Islamic Shariah law. Earlier this year, more than 120 people were killed in attacks across the country sparked by Muslim protests over cartoons published in Europe caricaturing Prophet Muhammad.

Forums||

ANC hates democracy in South Africa.

Africa: Sore losers?

The opposition is set to lose control of Cape Town which is the only major city in South Africa not run by the governing African National Congress. The regional minister responsible for local government, Richard Dyantyi, has indicated he will replace mayor Helen Zille with a committee system. The opposition Democratic Alliance has protested saying ending their control of Cape Town threatens democracy. "The ANC is seeking to force its way back into power," Ms Zille said. "It is refusing to play the role of opposition as parties that lose elections in democracies are required to do," she told reporters. In tight elections in March this year, the DA secured the support of the smallest parties on the council to gather 106 votes in favour of Ms Zille, against 103 for the ANC's candidate. Ms Zille described the plan the "biggest test for democracy" since the country's first democratic elections in 1994 and has threatened to take the matter to South Africa's highest court. The ANC said in a statement in support of the plan that there was "a need for an inclusive system that will be representative of all the people of the city".
So much for South Africa being the shining light of democracy...something something example for the rest of Africa.

Forums||

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Britain readies to give up its veto to the EU.

EU: Look at what is the most concerned item if they can get everyone on this EU warrant arrest.

BRITAIN is ready to surrender its veto over European Union decisions on police and judicial matters in a dramatic policy change. Ministers will set out conditions tomorrow for the transfer of control to the EU over the creation of new crimes that will apply in Britain as well as standardised court procedures, The Times understands. The move, to be proposed at a meeting of EU justice ministers in Tampere, Finland, will be subject to a series of conditions but has already provoked an outcry from the Conservatives, not least because the ending of the national veto revives a proposal in the doomed EU Constitution. The European Commission has been pushing for the move because it insists that it will speed up the EU’s response to cross-border terrorist activity. It also wants to introduce harmonised minimum standards for court procedures, such as standards of evidence and access to translators. Franco Frattini, the EU Justice Commissioner, has said that he wants to speed up the creation of pan-European crimes, such as incitement to racial hatred.
The thought police is going Euro wide!.

Forums||

French Youths attacks riot cops.

France: Another fall brawl in the making?

A band of up to 30 youths armed with makeshift weapons and some wearing masks attacked two riot police patrolling a housing project outside Paris in an apparent ambush that seriously injured one of the officers, police officials said Wednesday. The attack Tuesday night raised the specter of the violence that struck poor suburbs last year. One of the officers, who sustained a double skull fracture, was undergoing surgery Wednesday at a Paris hospital, a police official said. The other was released after treatment from a hospital in Evry. The two were attacked by 20 to 30 youths while patrolling in an unmarked car around a housing project known as a trouble spot in the town of Corbeil- Essonnes south of Paris, the police said. The youths stoned the car, encircled the officers when they got out, then attacked, according to various accounts. "The youths were waiting in ambush in the woods and jumped out, their faces masked, to strike them with fists and pieces of wood," Joaquin Masanet, head of the UNSA-Police union, said in an interview. "The two officers had fallen into a trap and they were hitting them to kill."
Villepin promises to call down the thunder on these scums!
But in parts of the Paris region, at least, there are signs that juvenile delinquency has climbed. Jean-François Cordet, prefect of the Seine-Saint-Denis region north of Paris - where the riots began - sent an angry letter to Sarkozy in June complaining about a 14 percent increase in physical violence, a nearly 23 percent increase in theft with violence and the sense of impunity of juvenile delinquents. The daily Le Monde published excerpts of the letter. Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin said the authorities would "draw the lessons" from the incident in Corbeil-Essonne, instituting "appropriate techniques to better anticipate risks" to the police.
Okay... maybe a loud burp instead.

Forums||

First rule of the Islam club.. Don't talk about the Islam Club.

World: Non-Muslims of world, check yourself before you wreck yourself.

Non-Muslims should practise selfcensorship to avoid triggering violent reactions, a prominent Perth Muslim says. In the wake of violent attacks over a speech by Pope Benedict XVI that linked the Prophet Mohammed’s teachings to violence, Perth academic Samina Yasmeen said religious and community leaders should stop speaking about Islamic icons to avoid causing offence. Associate Professor Yasmeen, director of the University of WA’s centre for Muslim states and societies, accused the Pope of deliberately provoking the aggression by inviting criticism of Mohammed. She said the Pope and other religious leaders had the same responsibility as Islamic clerics to avoid encouraging violence by followers. Previous emotive reactions, such as the violence following the publication of cartoons depicting Mohammed and Salman Rushdie’s 1988 novel The Satanic Verses, should have warned people not to criticise Islam. Professor Yasmeen denied that the first reaction of many Muslims to perceived insults was violence, despite calls by some clerics to kill those who insult Islam and the murder of an Italian nun in Somalia. “I am not supportive of people killing and blowing things up, but people need to start looking at selfcensorship,” she said.

Forums||

Josh Hartnett likes the conspiracy theories.

Politics: In other words, give him points for bonking Scarlett Johansson, but she is certainly not with him for his intellect.

Minnesota native Josh Hartnett can't help spinning conspiracy theories about the fatal 2002 plane crash of Minnesota Sen. Paul Wellstone. "It didn't make any sense," Hartnett muses to GQ. "It still doesn't make any sense." President Bush "made something like eight or ten visits to Minneapolis" to support Wellstone's opponent, Norm Coleman. "It was really, really suspicious, but I don't even want to think that." Can't he just talk about Scarlett?

Forums||

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Africa and aid groups: Give us money! Corruption no big deal.

Africa: Poor Wolfowitz, you would think a drive to weed out corruption so that money lent by the world bank would actually go to helping people would be a good thing. But not with many African nations and aid groups. You can't be too harsh about it.

World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz, backed by the United States, has put the fight against graft at the heart of the bank's work, but big European countries are concerned that his zeal could slow the flow of lending and punish the poor. After lengthy haggling behind the scenes, ministers approved a revised plan and said their representatives on the bank's board would oversee its implementation. In a communique, they also told Wolfowitz to make a progress report next April. The deal follows months of tension between Wolfowitz and member governments over how best to position the bank to tackle corruption -- without imposing itself as judge and jury. The issue of corruption has been a lightning rod for broader dissatisfaction with Wolfowitz, who pledged to cooperate with his board to implement a plan that he called a major step forward. "We want to work to develop transparent, predictable, objective standards so people know what to expect. We want to get the proportions right," he told a news conference. His comments were a riposte to critics who have complained at what they see as the arbitrary way in which the bank suspended loans to Kenya, Bangladesh, India, Cameroon and others. Wolfowitz said corruption raised complex issues but he made no apologies for his campaign. "It is of fundamental importance. It is about making certain that money goes to schools and textbooks for children, medicines for mothers and creating job opportunities for the poor -- not to line the pockets of the rich and powerful," he said. Hilary Benn, Britain's development secretary, who had been critical of Wolfowitz's handling of the corruption campaign, said he was pleased with Monday's outcome. "It's clear that the board oversees its development," he said of the strategy. Benn told reporters that he yielded to no one in his opposition to corruption, but it was important to ensure a continuing flow of aid to alleviate poverty. The bank should not dictate solutions. "None of us should walk away from assisting poor people, even where the situations are difficult," Benn earlier told the bank's main policy-steering committee.
This is why Africa will continue to be a money pit which nothing will get solved because guilty white European liberals for example here refuse to put measures in place to fix anything wrong in Africa. No one has the guts to work the Africa problem where it needs to start which is inside out. Oh, if they can't get the money from the West, African nations are going to pawn themselves off to China.
AFRICAN countries that have had their debts to the West forgiven have been cautioned against taking up large new loans and becoming heavily indebted once more. Henry Paulson, the US Treasury Secretary, yesterday joined Paul Wolfowitz, the President of the World Bank, and Hilary Benn, Britain’s International Development Secretary, to voice concern over further borrowing by poor countries that have benefited from debt relief. Many African countries are turning to China for loans and financial support at a time when Beijing is anxious to strengthen its influence in resource-rich African states.
Good going Bono! You cleared the slate of loan addicted nations to find their fix somewhere else.

Forums||

Hungary socialist government lied to win.

Europe: As protests get violent because of the admission heard on tape.

Forums||

Suicide bomb in Somalia.

Africa: As Al Qaeda makes it first move to capture the country for its own playground?

Forums||

Monday, September 18, 2006

The Islamists lovers are out in the Guardian today.

World: This is why I prefer the Guardian comment is free over the Huff Post which is just the infinite monkey theorem in progress. You can't get this sort of incoherent delusionary writing packaged as being sensible on the Huff Post. You have Madeleine Bunting of course going after the Poper for the death of the Sister Leonella because well he should have known better.

An elderly Catholic nun has already been killed in Somalia and tragically other good people could lose their lives for the foolishness of this global leader. That is what must be causing the consternation in the Vatican. How is this stupidity going to play out in countries such as Nigeria where the tensions between Catholics and Muslims frequently flare into riots and death? Or other countries such as Pakistan where tiny Catholic communities are already beleaguered? Or the Muslim minorities in Catholic countries such as the Philippines - how comfortable do they feel this week?
There is the reactionary Muslim defense pushed by western Liberals. You have to tiptoe around the Muslims and play nice giving no offense. The Guardian commentators rip into her like raw meat at a lion kill.

Forums||

Qaradawi calls for another day of anger this friday.

World: The last time this moron called for a day of anger This was the result.

DUBAI (Reuters) - Prominent Muslim scholar Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi condemned on Sunday the torching of Danish and Norwegian embassies in Arab capitals by Muslims angry over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad. Qaradawi, who is based in Qatar, told Arabic television Al Jazeera that Muslims should instead channel their fury by boycotting goods of countries who published the drawings in their newspapers. "We call on Muslims to show their fury in a logical an controlled manner," Qaradawi said. "We didn't ask people to burn embassies as some have done in Damascus and Beirut. We asked people to boycott products ... We don't sanction destruction and torching because this is not in line with morality or Muslim behavior," he said, referring to calls to boycott he made during Friday's sermon in Qatar.
So he knows his new call will result in even more chaos.
CAIRO — Prominent Muslim scholar Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi has called on Muslims worldwide to hold a day of "peaceful" anger next Friday to protest the offensive remarks made by Pope Benedict VXI, saying that the pontiff's expression of sorrow for the crisis still fell far short of an apology. "I urge Muslims to take to the streets on the last Friday in the month of Shaban, to express their anger in a peaceful and rational manner," Qaradawi, chairman of the International Union for Muslim Scholars (IUMS), told Al-Jazeera's Al-Shari`ah and Life program late on Sunday, September 17. "Muslims should be wise in their anger," he stressed, warning against attacking churches, individuals or property.

Forums||

AP: UN back in the groove!

World: This is hilarious as AP's Edith Lederer cheers on the UN as useful and needed in the world community based on some dubious events.

After several years of unrelenting attacks on the United Nations — for corruption, mismanagement and inaction — recent events have helped the world body make a comeback. France's U.N. Ambassador Jean-Marc de La Sabliere said it's obvious the United Nations is needed. "You can do something, but it's easier to do it through the United Nations," he said. "Now, the question for the U.N. is, since we have these requests coming, this need, is the United Nations ready, or efficient, or able to answer that? And this is why the (U.N.) reforms are important."
How do you have a comeback when your strongest supporters question if you are "ready, or efficient, or able to answer that?" None of the problems that the UN has been "attacked" about have been fixed in any way and they have shown little or no power to be a force behind something as simple as Darfur.
U.N. Undersecretary-General for Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambari also noted the increasing reliance on the United Nations. "Multilateralism and the U.N. have taken their hits in the past few years," he said. "But events of late have shown just how much this kind of organization is needed in today's world. This General Assembly will certainly underscore that point."
All it has shown so far from darfur to Iran to East Timor how useless the UN actually has become in today's world.

Forums||

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Fez wearing gorilla declared racist in Australia.

Australia: Political correctness gone mad.

RACISM complaints have forced Transperth to withdraw taxpayer-funded ads showing a gorilla wearing a fez. The Public Transport Authority confirmed that the campaign, which cost about $7000 and depicted an ape wearing what is sometimes considered an Islamic cap, was stopped after three complaints. "The gorilla first appeared on July 22. We did not receive any feedback from the public until this week, when three complaints were lodged," PTA spokesman David Hynes said. .....The WA Ethnic Communities Council said an apology would have been more appropriate. And passers-by said removing the ads was political correctness gone mad. "They are not offensive and I think there's too much of this type of carry-on about what's culturally sensitive," said Donna, 52, a public servant. Perth florist Natasha, 30, said: "I don't think they are offensive to Muslim people because a fez doesn't have to be a Muslim hat." ECC president Ramdas Sankaran said the fez-wearing gorilla was not the type of image that should be used in a multicultural society. "Given the current Islamaphobia around the place, it's rather unfortunate that thoughtless ads like this are floating around," he said. "(But) an explanation and an apology for the unintended consequences would have been more appropriate." The fez, which originated in the Moroccan city of Fez and was popularised by the Ottomans in the 1800s, is often seen as Islamic, even though European soldiers have worn them. Mr Hynes said research had indicated that the fez's origins were non- religious. He said the ad graphic was part of a fantasy campaign that also had a giant squid attacking a ferry on the Swan River and a satellite that had fallen in front of a bus. "(They) are intended to highlight a key benefit of TravelEasy . . . getting up-to-the-minute online messages about unexpected changes in public transport," he said. "Putting a fez on the gorilla was intended to suggest it was an escaped circus animal. No offence was intended.
First, Islam is not a race, its a religion. Second, lets get our racist stereotypes correct. Gorilla = black people not Arabs or Muslim. Third, how can you resist a Fez on a monkey or Gorilla? Come on

Forums||
Copyright Narbosa 1998-2006
Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com