IT'S THE JIHAD, CHARLIE BROWN! Totally un-P.C., that's why I like it:
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My English is not perfect? Well, it's not my mother tongue, so sue me!
See also Barcepundit (the original, in Spanish)
IT'S THE JIHAD, CHARLIE BROWN! Totally un-P.C., that's why I like it:
THE GEORGE W BUSH speech generator. In a word, heh. (via Spanish blog La Hora de Todos)
A GOOD POLITICAL AD, with a good summary of the situation. (via Dean Esmay)
THE SITUATION IN OAXACA is heating up as I write. Fox has sent the Federales, and the APPO insurrectionists say they're ready for battle. Expect major clashes in the next hours. Besides, and unlike most media are portraying, the APPO guys are not peaceful unarmed demonstrators; you'll see evidence that they're armed, and shooting, at the link.
OR, IF YOU want a laugh: "Mars Rover Beginning To Hate Mars - Unmanned Vehicle 'Bored Out Of Its Mind'"
HOW WE FIGHT: "Reports that U.S. troops may have killed 24 civilians in Haditha, Iraq, last November have renewed fears that the U.S. military routinely violates the laws of war. But is the Haditha incident the exception or the rule? In fact, U.S. compliance with noncombatant immunity in Iraq has been relatively high by historical standards, and it has been improving since the beginning of the war." -- Colin W. Kahl @ Foreign Affairs magazine.
TO HAPPINESS via a good whipping session? So says a study by Russian scientists. They don't say whether leather clothing is optional; I'll ask my dominatrix...
Most Americans do not believe the Bush administration has gone too far in restricting civil liberties as part of the war on terror, a new CNN poll released Thursday suggests.A quarter of 33% is slighly more than 8%: that's the number of people who think it's bad.
While 39 percent of the 1,013 poll respondents said the Bush administration has gone too far, 34 percent said they believe the administration has been about right on the restrictions, according to the Opinion Research Corp. survey. Another 25 percent said the administration has not gone far enough.Asked whether Bush has more power than any other U.S. president, 65 percent of poll respondents said no. Thirty-three percent said yes. Of those who said yes, a quarter said that was bad for the country.
THE MAILMAN brought something today: Night Trains, by Arthur Chrenkoff, the ex-blogger we all miss so much. It's an alternate history novel, and he sent it with a nice autograph. Thanks, Arthur!
ANNE APPLEBAUM has it absolutely right:
And yet, at a much simpler level, surely it is also true that the full-faced veil -- the niqab, burqa or chador -- causes such deep reactions in the West not so much because of its political or religious symbolism but because it is extremely impolite. Just as it is considered rude to enter a Balinese temple wearing shorts, so, too, is it considered rude, in a Western country, to hide one's face. We wear masks when we want to frighten, when we are in mourning or when we want to conceal our identities. To a Western child -- or even an adult -- a woman clad from head to toe in black looks like a ghost. Thieves and actors hide their faces in the West; honest people look you straight in the eye.
A SPANISH BLOGGER claims (link in Spanish) he's been charged with "supporting Israel", LGF posts. The blogger says he wrote an email message to the mayor of a town in northwestern Spain for displaying slogans against Israel in the municipal information board (see what I wrote a couple of years ago for background).
According to Article 24 of Spanish Constitution, one of your main rights is to be told “about the crime you’re accused of”. In here he was not told he was accused of insulting / menacing the major but of supporting Israel and also of acting against Palestinian people. If later they charged him because of another crime, then that summons wouldn’t be rightly done.But we don't know what the accusation is because the blogger hasn't shown any document yet, at least not to me. He says he went to the court to ask and wasn't allowed to take a copy. What he sent is a document saying he's ordered to appear for questioning on November 30. In that document there's no mention of the article of the penal code he's accused of breaking (it's in my hard drive, I'm looking at it at this moment). That's in what the Spanish criminal system calls "the instruction", and of course he or his lawyer are allowed to see it. If he hasn't, then it's good news for him since the case wouldn't have a chance of standing on appeal. That's why it's odd he isn't able to explicitely say it, since it's fairly straightforward: it's only a matter of saying which specific section of the Criminal Code he's questioned for.
SO TELL ME, how's that so-called 'peace process' going? Oh, well:
French Police are sure that the theft of over 100 guns and revolvers in a factory near Nimes, southeaster France, was carried out by ETA, as the news agency Europa Press reported citing sources of the antiterrorist fight.
Two men and a woman held up an enterprise near Nimes Monday night and robbed from 150 to 200 guns, as the news agency Vasco press reported citing sources linked to the investigation.
The raiders seized several people inside the premises and tied them up. In this operation, they used handcuffs that were stolen by another ETA cell from a couple of French police officers on March 5 in Figeat, department of Lot.
THE TALIBAN announce they'll start targeting Europe in revenge for the occupation of Aghanistan. Remember how so many opponents of the Iraq war wanted to appear evenhanded and saying thay they were no pure pacifists, because after 9/11 they had supported the war in Afghanistan, the good war? That only the bad wars like Iraq would get the trains, subways and buses in Western capitals blown up as payback?
THIS SHOWS that there's more than the colonial burden behind some of the woes of Africa:
Strangely, none of the Nigerian blogs I visit daily seemed to have picked up on this issue that Nigerian leaders have ‘stolen’ $380 billion cumulatively since independence with the worst atrocities in the 80s and 90s.
This leaves me a bit uncomfortable because it would imply that this is no news or people are so inured to that fact that they cannot be bothered to express any outrage.
PROFILED, but not as in the un-PC sense of the word. "Profiled" as in appearing in what can be described as one of the institutions in the blogosphere: in this week's profile at Normblog. I'd like to publicly thank Norman Geras for the invitation.
EPIDEMIOLOGY meets moral idiocy: Christopher Hitchens writes on the Lancet study of the Iraq civilian deaths.
THE MOST USUAL defense of The Lancet "study" of the 600,000 deaths in Iraq is the so-called argument from authority: such a respected publication would never released a low-quality study. Ergo, if it appears there the study is wise.
REMEMBER BACK IN 2003, when Zapatero still was the opposition leader and, in the parade on Spain's National Day on October 12 (the equivalent to July 4th, so to speak) he conspicuously remained seated when the American flag was passing by, and said "Why should I stand up? it's not my flag?" (see a picture at this post) This, and the abrupt surrender pullout from Iraq the day after he was sworn in after his surprise victory on March 14 (three days after the horrific terrorist attacks in Madrid) put him at odds with the US. And rightly so: the flag incident was not merely an offense to the Bush adminsitration at a time of a heated argument over the war in Iraq, but an insult to the American people as a whole.
SPAIN IS WORKING HARD to take the "country most prone to surrender" title from the French:
Spain said on Tuesday it had put off a summit of EU housing ministers in Barcelona next week, fearing a repeat of violent demonstrations by anarchists who fired homemade bazookas and threw paint at an art museum.There's been several riots in the last weeks by anti-capitalist thugs, but this is no excuse, of course.
Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba said he was postponing the ministers' meeting at the recommendation of the region's security panel.Actually the right translation would be "better to be safe than sorry." Of couse, it's impossible not to paraphrase Churchill and tell Spain's interior minister: you canceled the meeting to be safe and not sorry, but you won't be unsafe and you will be sorry.
"The meeting has been postponed for security reasons. With peoples' safety, prevention is better than cure," he said.
"We are not afraid of the rioters," said a high-ranking police official. "But we don't want to help give violent demonstrators undeserved publicity."When the next meeting in the city is planned and the anti-capitalists will be emboldened thinking they've won, he'll see that it won't be the "lesser evil". Far from it.
The police accept that the squatters could celebrate the cancellation of the ministerial meeting as a victory, the official said, adding that this was "the lesser evil."
600 GRAND and this beauty is yours: the Maybach 62, the new ultra-luxury limo by Mercedes Benz:
NORTH KOREA has performed a nuclear test. The size (half a kiloton, that is half the power of the two planes slamming into the WTC on 9/11), and the fact that there allegedly was no radiation spill opens the possibility that it was conventional ordnance exploding with the intention of tricking everyone to believe it was nuclear. Not sure about that, but interesting to point out.
JAMES LILEKS on Islamophobia:
It’s is a ridiculous term; it’s like saying that people who criticized the Catholic Church’s handling of the pedophile priest scandal were Christophobic, or people who criticized the last three Star Wars movies were Sithophobic. But there’s something slightly insidious about it, as well: it applies a medical taxonomy to an opinion. A phobia, after all, is an irrational fear. Spiders, clowns, plaids, pickles, Islam. We can fix those things. Treatment is available, and it’s usually in the form of meetings or seminars or outreach missions or the usual hand-holding blandishments designed to get everyone through today. And after that? Let the future take care of itself, mate.Amen, brother.
GUANTANAMO is not the problem:
Since the United States began bringing suspected Taliban and al-Qaeda operatives there more than four years ago, Guantanamo has hosted visits by more than 1,000 members of the media, from more than 500 news organizations - including Qatar's Al-Jazeera, Egyptian TV, and such Arabic-language newspapers as Al Sharq al Aswat and Al Hayat. More than 300 lawyers have descended, many offering pro bono services to the detainees.
Humanitarian groups including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have come to view the military commissions that review individual cases. Official emissaries have dropped by from Europe. Four times a year, delegates arrive from the International Committee of the Red Cross, spending a month each time to talk privately with the detainees, check their condition, and offer them a chance to contact their families.
Along with this, we have had the much-debated efforts of the White House, Congress and the U.S. courts to calibrate an approach that will glean information, avert the release of hard-core terrorists, yet treat the captives gently enough to satisfy not only basic standards of humanity, but an apparently endless queue of critics.
At the center of it all are about 460 detainees. Among that number are 14 recently arrived "high-value" terrorist all-stars, including Indonesia's Hambali, al-Qaeda mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and a Yemeni believed to be the missing 20th hijacker, Ramzi Binalshibh.
In the effort to welcome reporters, treat detainees with care, glean information, and avoid releasing terrorists to hatch fresh plots (at least 20 of about 300 released have returned to the fight), U.S. officials walk an almost impossible tightrope.
When I visited Guantanamo on a Pentagon-hosted press tour last week, I was told to show up at 5:30 a.m. for the plane ride to the Caribbean from Washington. I expected a rough flight on a military transport and a day of lean rations. But we were ushered onto a sleek jet with deep seats and served a breakfast of French toast, while officers answered our preliminary questions. At Guantanamo, we were welcomed by the base commander, Rear Adm. Harry Harris Jr., who took almost two hours to brief us and answer yet more questions over lunch before dispatching us on a guided tour of the detainee cells, recreational yards and medical facilities.
What we saw is a place so steeped in political correctness that it comes close to caricature. Make no mistake: The detainees occupy cells in a high-security facility. But almost every room has an arrow on the floor pointing to Mecca. Signs demanding silence stand ready for prayer time. Korans are cradled in surgical masks. Detainees are interrogated while sitting on sofas or cushioned reclining chairs.
They choose from a halal menu including such home-style treats as dates and baklava. Doctors, dentists and psychiatrists (offering confidential counseling) are on 24-hour call. Good behavior is rewarded with access to board games, books and communal areas, including more time in recreational yards - where we saw a group of detainees chatting around a table, while one of their cohorts nearby, at leisurely speed in the afternoon heat, pedaled an exercise bike.
An officer tells me that earlier this year Guantanamo was buying bottled water that had an American flag on the label. Lest this upset the detainees, base personnel were put to work stripping off the labels.
At the same time, there is a deadly game going on in this camp.
Security guards detach name strips from their uniforms when going near the detainees. Some of the guards, we are told, have been on the receiving end not only of direct attacks and threats from the inmates, but threats against their families. Detainees have made weapons out of light bulbs, fan blades, the footpads of their Asian-style toilets, and the springs in their push-button sinks. Guards tell us that detainees use the lawyer-client privileges they enjoy as a clandestine communications network both inside and outside the camp. What exists in the inmate culture, Harris explains, is, in effect, "a fully tricked-out al-Qaeda operating cell."
Although socialism has long claimed to be for the poor, it has probably done more damage, on net balance, to the poor than to the rich. After all, the rich have enough money to leave the country if they think the socialists are going to do them any serious harm.Read the rest.
Some of our own rich have already had their money leave the country, to be sheltered from the higher taxes that limousine liberals say we should all pay. Meanwhile, the liberal media give them kudos for their selfless advocacy of higher taxes on higher income people, forgetting that these are not taxes on wealth.
DHIMMITUDE in centuries-old festivities in Spain:
Spanish villages are toning down traditional fiestas, in which dummies representing the Prophet Mohammed are blown up, for fear of offending Muslims.This is not new, alas.
One eastern Spanish village, Bocairent, decided to abandon the custom of packing the head of a dummy representing Mohammed with fireworks after seeing the angry Muslim response to a Danish newspaper's publication last year of cartoons of him.
Spanish newspaper El Pais also found that several other villages in the Valencia region had also held back on celebrations this year.