Saturday, June 30, 2007

ANOTHER DAY, and it seems there's been what certainly looks like an attempted car bomb against the airport in Glasgow, Scotland.

Friday, June 29, 2007

I'M ALIVE, I'm alive, don't worry. Very busy, though. Among other things, covering today the thwarted terror attack in London for Pajamas Media. Check it out.

Monday, June 25, 2007

SEA LEVEL RISING? A total fraud, says Dr. Nils-Axel Mörner, the head of the Paleogeophysics and Geodynamics department at Stockholm University in Sweden. He is past president (1999-2003) of the INQUA Commission on Sea Level Changes and Coastal Evolution, and leader of the Maldives Sea Level Project. Dr. Mörner has been studying the sea level and its effects on coastal areas for some 35 years. Read it all.

Some scientific consensus. (via Mover Mike)

MORE IMAGES of the fierce repression in Iran.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

TERRIBLE NEWS from Lebanon:
A bomb apparently targeting U.N. peacekeepers exploded by the side of a road in southern Lebanon on Sunday, killing five Spanish troops and injuring at least three, a senior Lebanese military official said.

The senior official in Beirut said a mine may have caused the explosion, but another security official based in southern Lebanon said a bomb detonated at the side of a road about four miles north of the Israeli border town of Metulla. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
Being in the army is not easy, and we can only barely imagine their sacrifices so that we can write sad posts like these freely, and so that you can read them from the comfort of your own homes.

May they rest in peace.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

FRIENDSHIPS don't last forever: Chavez goes bonkers over Spain.

YOU JUST can't please some guys:
Six long-held captives at Guantánamo were sent home, two to Tunisia and four to Yemen, the Pentagon said Tuesday, swiftly drawing denunciations from human rights groups.

The Center for Constitutional Rights in New York identified one of the Tunisians as detainee Abdullah bin Omar, 51, and said his return ``put him at grave risk for torture and abuse.''
(my emph)

Solar scientists predict that, by 2020, the sun will be starting into its weakest Schwabe solar cycle of the past two centuries, likely leading to unusually cool conditions on Earth. Beginning to plan for adaptation to such a cool period, one which may continue well beyond one 11-year cycle, as did the Little Ice Age, should be a priority for governments. It is global cooling, not warming, that is the major climate threat to the world.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

SO THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY has imploded because of the merciless blockade by Israel and also since US and the Western countries turned off the aid tap, leaving them in desperation and with no other choice than the civil war they're currently in, right?


Michael Oren writes in the Wall Street Journal ($):
Since its creation by the so-called Oslo Accords of 1993, the PA has garnered more international aid than any entity in modern history -- more, per capita, than the European states under the Marshall Plan. The lion's share of this fortune has been siphoned into the private accounts of Fatah leaders or used to pay off the commanders of some 16 semi-autonomous militias. The PA also maintains an estimated 60,000 uniformed gunmen on its payroll, giving the West Bank the world's highest percentage of policemen-to-population.

The Palestinian people, meanwhile, languish in ever-deepening poverty and unemployment, while lawlessness plagues Palestinian streets. The unbridled corruption of the PA and its Fatah headmen served as a principal cause of Hamas's electoral victory in 2006, as well its takeover of Gaza. Viewers of Hamas television have recently been treated to tours of the lavish villas maintained by Fatah officials in the Strip, and video clips showing PA policemen, more abundantly armed and more numerous than Hamas's troops, fleeing at the first sign of battle.
(emphasis mine)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

FLEMMING ROSE, culture editor of the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten -and therefore the man behind the Mohammed cartoons brouhaha, has opened a blog in Pajamas Media: Northern Lights. He also writes a featured piece on the threats stemming from Pakistan after Queen Elizabeth's decision to knight Salman Rushdie.

Don't miss neither.

Monday, June 18, 2007

WANNA STOP global warming? Then stop recycling, it only makes it worse:
[T]hinking about recycling of goods and manufacturers taking them back, it sounds good again but ...

- The goods to be recycled have to be collected and transported to the recycling point, meaning energy is used and fuel burnt.
- The goods have to be un-manufactured, meaning more energy is used.
- The recovered components have to be collected, sorted, stored and transported to wherever they are going to be re-used, meaning more energy use.

Looked at this way recycling is no way to reduce global warming. In fact, by increasing energy use, it worsens it.
(via Transterrestrial Musings)

Saturday, June 16, 2007

The defenders of abortion like to say that choosing to have a termination is an agonising decision – and certainly many women will attest to this. But they also say that abortion presents no deep moral problem because it does not represent the taking of a human life.

So if having an abortion is no more than the disposal of an unwanted clump of cells, why on earth should a woman feel so bad about it?

In this newspaper recently Caitlin Moran wrote that she put more thought into choosing a design for her new kitchen than she did into a choice to have an abortion. This caused a bit of a stir, but if you think hard about it, it’s the only truly consistent moral position an abortion-rights defender can feel comfortable in taking. Otherwise, what on earth have they wrought?

After years of wondering whether we’ll ever change society’s permissive attitude towards abortion, I’m convinced that we will some day come to view it in the way we now view slavery, a moral abomination that generations simply became inured to by usage and practice.

WHAT IS AT RISK is not the climate but freedom: a must read piece by Czech president Vaclav Havel.
As someone who lived under communism for most of his life, I feel obliged to say that I see the biggest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity now in ambitious environmentalism, not in communism. This ideology wants to replace the free and spontaneous evolution of mankind by a sort of central (now global) planning.

The environmentalists ask for immediate political action because they do not believe in the long-term positive impact of economic growth and ignore both the technological progress that future generations will undoubtedly enjoy, and the proven fact that the higher the wealth of society, the higher is the quality of the environment. They are Malthusian pessimists.
Needless to say, read it all.

Friday, June 15, 2007

PARADISE LOST: Robert Duncan writes on the toll of illegal immigration in Spain.

FRED THOMPSON writes on the Castro/Chavez axis.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

THE UN Security Council has extended the mandate of US troops in Iraq. Inquiring minds want to know: where are all those people who said the war was illegal and illegitimate because it didn't have the blessing of the United abomiNations?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A FASCINATING MAP: it breaks down the big US GDP into each individual state, and then renames them as the world countries according to their own GDP. It really puts things in perspective (click to enlarge):

Saturday, June 09, 2007

- Twice, Che plotted terrorist attacks against New York City. In November 1962, the FBI cracked a terrorist plot by Cuban agents who targeted Macy’s, Gimbel’s, Bloomingdale’s and Grand Central Terminal. They planned to blow up those landmarks with 12 incendiary devices and 500 kilos of TNT the day after Thanksgiving. Several months before visiting New York in December 1964 and being feted by the toast of the city’s intelligentsia, Che hatched a plan with the Black Liberation Army to blow up the Statue of Liberty, the Liberty Bell and the Washington Monument. The plotters were infiltrated in 1965 by a sharp-eyed NYPD cadet.

- Che detested rock and roll and railed against “long hairs,” “lazy youths,” and homosexuals. At one point, he wrote that the young must always “listen carefully - and with the utmost respect – to the advice of their elders who held governmental authority.”

 - Che sidelined black Cubans and mocked those who were part of the revolutionary movement. He once told radio host Luis Pons, “We’re going to do for blacks exactly what blacks did for the revolution. By which I mean: nothing.”

- Che personally ordered 700 executions by firing squad, which he supervised at his jungle headquarters in Cuba. He also hosted book burnings, torching thousands of books owned by suspect intellectuals and librarians.
This and more in Humberto Fontova's book, Exposing the Real Che Guevara: And the Useful Idiots Who Idolize Him.

Friday, June 08, 2007

"PLEASE STOP THE AID," Nigerian Kenyan economist James Shikwati tells those who think the way to sleep well at night and be at peace with themselves is to 'throw' money in Africa.

UPDATE. A Spanish reader points our that Shikwati is not Nigerian but Kenyan; fixed.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

THIS IS HOW the modern media would have reported on D-Day, whose 63th anniversary was celebrated yesterday:

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

AN OPEN LETTER to the government of Spain:
Dear Shameless, Unreconstructed Schmucks,

I just read with utter dismay that your sorry little country has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. courts against a salvage company (Odyssey Marine Exploration) over the contents of a treasure ship that was recently discovered off the coast of Florida. It isn't even clear yet whether the treasure ship they found is of Spanish origin, yet you just had to be sure to stake your greedy little claim to it.

According to what I read, your Culture Ministry spokeswoman, Susana Tello, had the temerity to declare, "If the vessel was Spanish or was removed from Spanish waters, any treasure would belong to Spain."

I have a silly question for you: Assuming that this ship is, in fact, of Spanish origin, where did Spain happen to find all that treasure in the first place? Was it just lying around on desert islands waiting to be picked up like pretty sea shells on the beach? No, that's right... I remember now... it was actually the property of several indigenous Mesoamerican and Andes civilizations.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

SO ETA'S hudna, declared fourteen months ago, is now officially over:
The armed Basque separatist group ETA said today it has called off the cease-fire it declared last year, setting the stage for a resumption of attacks.

ETA said in a statement sent to two Basque newspapers that the truce it called in March 2006 will end as of midnight today. ETA said it will be "active on all fronts to defend the Basque homeland."

[...] ETA blamed Zapatero for the failure of the peace process, and complained that the Basque leg of local elections on May 27 were illegitimate because most pro-independence politicians that wanted to run were barred by Spanish courts on grounds of links to ETA's outlawed political wing, Batasuna.
They were barred only partially because Zapatero instructed the Attorney to appeal only partially their candidacies, not all of them. Of course, the courts can only bar the ones they got the appeal of, but in their sentence the Supreme Court justices said they would've barred them all if they all had been appealed by the Attorney, who is under direct line of command from the government. Zapatero wanted to make nice with ETA in the hopes that ETA would play nice in return, although he couldn't give them a complete green light allowing them to run in the elections with no limits; he had to maintain that he was also being tough on them so only a few were appealed. But it's obvious you can't give thugs only a part of what they want; those guys never have enough.

Three years ago we had a weakened ETA virtually in its last throes after a successful campaign from law enforcement both in Spain and France. Now we got an emboldened one who thinks it can dictate the terms of the negotiation, or put an end to it. That's why above I called the truce a hudna: it was not really an end to violence, but a "time out" to be used to rearm and regroup. It should have been Zapatero's government the one to put an end to it when it realized ETA was unreasonable. And especially after the Barajas bombing at the end of December last year. Instead it chose to keep negotiating, and look what we got now.

And it couldn't come at a worse time; since they were allowed to run, ETA's so-called 'political arm' got several aldermen elected in quite a few towns, which means ETA has now access to what it didn't have before: databases. Private addresses, unlisted phone numbers, car registration numbers, tax returns, bank accounts, professional and business information from everyone. All databases are interconnected, so they are now in a position of knowing everything about people they want to pressure, or kill.

UPDATE. John @ Iberian Notes:
Zap's reaction has been to call for all political parties to support him and the government against this "new" ETA threat. Of course I support the rule of law, but it's kind of hard to back Zap now when his naivete has gotten us this far into this mess. If I were the PP I'd demand that Zap fire every single one of his pro-negotiations advisors as proof he has had a real change of heart. All the leaders of the Basque Socialist Party, who have met with ETA secretly during the last three years, need to resign as well.
Yes, Zapatero is asking everyone he's been dismissing all these months to bail him out now.

Meanwhile, Ben @ News From Spain is disappointed because when the truce was declared he was an optimist and couldn't understand why people were warning against it.

UPDATE. A revised version of this post is now running as a piece in Pajamas Media.

Monday, June 04, 2007

NO DOUBT, this is, er, handy:
A hospital in Spain has successfully transplanted a man's right hand onto his left arm, changing the location of the thumb in the process, a spokesman said on Monday.

The unidentified 63-year-old man had lost his left hand in an accident four decades ago and three years ago he suffered a stroke which paralyzed the right side of his body.

The 13-hour operation was carried out at the Virgen del Consuelo hospital in the Mediterranean port city of Valencia on April 29 by Doctor Pedro Cavadas who last year performed Spain's first double hand transplant.

"The patient is happy, he can already move his hand," Virginia Cavadas, the doctor's sister who is also a member of a foundation he runs, told AFP.

"He could not do anything and he needed help for everything," she said.

TIANANMEN SQUARE, 18 years ago today.

WATCHING the iPhone ads makes me say just four words:

I. Want. One. Now.