Friday, August 31, 2007

SOME SCIENTIFIC CONSENSUS: "Survey: Less Than Half of all Published Scientists Endorse Global Warming Theory"

EVERYTHING you need to know on media bias regarding Iraq. Mandatory reading.

UPDATE. More here.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

WOW. Just wow.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

MORE by Michael Totten from Iraq. Go read it.

UPDATE. This too.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT, hacking the computers in the Chancellery and three ministries in Germany?

Friday, August 24, 2007

THE 10 most incredible recordings: some are quite spooky.

I'LL BE GUESTBLOGGING at Jules Crittenden's this week while he's on vacation. You should always check it out, but now there's another reason!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I JUST CRACKED OPEN my new Sony Reader and am charging its batteries. I don't really plan to buy any books in their online store: I have tons of books and documents on pdf and it's fully compatible. Can't wait. So far the screen quality seems impressive (it shows it's not a regular computer-like screen, but e-ink), though I can just see the icon saying it's charging!

IT SURPRISED ME a bit, but apparently New Yorkers enjoy the longest life expectancy in the US, and is going up. So living in a bucolic setting in the middle of the country may not be so healthy after all...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

THEY MUST HAVE participated somehow in the war in Iraq, otherwise this wouldn't make sense. We perfectly know that al-Qaeda only responds to an act of aggression against Arab lands...

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

IT'LL FINALLY turn out that the the "black hole of human rights" is closer than we think:
The family and legal team of a British resident jailed in Spain as a terror suspect claim he is the victim of the Spanish equivalent of Guantánamo Bay. Mohammed Fahsi has been detained for more than 18 months after being arrested by Spanish police who claimed to have struck a blow against a recruiting network that was sending suicide bombers to Iraq.

Mr Fahsi, 40, was granted residency in Britain two years ago after marrying a Nottingham primary school teacher, Khadija Podd. They have three children.

She said: "They detained him and the other members of the legal mosque association which worked in tandem with the town council, near Barcelona," said Ms Podd who has been married to Mr Fahsi for 10 years.

"Then they took him and the others to a detention centre in Madrid, where they tortured them for four days."

While her Moroccan-born husband is being treated well in Mansilla de La Mullas prison near León, she said that when he was first arrested, he and others suffered "cold, sleep deprivation, extreme light, beating, threats, forcing them to denounce their religion, trying to coerce them to lie and incriminate fellow detainees".
Go figure. And European chastising Bush, of course!

Monday, August 20, 2007

ZAPATERO (Spain's Barack Obama*) is the Incredible Shrinking Man. And he's shrinking the whole country with him. Hey, don't blame me for saying it --though I certainly agree. Blame the formerly Zapatero-sympathetic International Herald Tribune/New York Times:
As the international media followed every detail of Nicolas Sarkozy's American vacation last week, it was difficult, from Madrid, not to marvel at the very different scenario in Andalusia, where José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero was taking his holiday.

Unlike the French president, for Zapatero there was no hobnobbing with other world leaders, no pack of foreign paparazzi clicking in his wake and certainly no public appearances in his swimming trunks. He walked on the beach, fully dressed, and was snapped kissing a young immigrant boy.

That's about as international as the summer vacation is likely to get for Spain's stay-at-home leader, who, both at work and at play, shows little interest in globetrotting.

A decade of soaring economic growth and corporate expansion overseas has put Spain in the big leagues, but the country's political profile is shrinking under the leadership of a man deeply preoccupied with domestic reform and lacking in international experience.

"He is not there. It's as if he were not interested," says José María de Areilza, a former foreign-policy adviser to Zapatero's predecessor José María Aznar.

"This is a media-driven world, and you have to stay in the picture."

[...] Charles Grant, head of the Center for European Reform, a think tank based in London, says the decline in Spain's influence on Zapatero's watch has been "astonishing."

During the governments of the Socialist prime minister Felipe González and the conservative Aznar, who followed him, Spain punched above its weight, he says. But despite a team of respected diplomats, like Miguel Ángel Moratinos, Spain's current foreign minister, and Alberto Navarro, the secretary of state for European affairs, "Spain is not one of the key players who decides what happens" in Europe.
There's more. Alas. A good piece, even with the howler of saying "[Aznar] took Spain into the deeply unpopular war in Iraq, for which the country was punished by an Islamist bomb attack in March 2004 that cost 191 lives." Which is obviously rubbish. It's well known now that the March 11 murderers startet to plot the massacre before the Iraq war, though they used it as a post-hoc cover since they knew -I assume- that they would get the sympathy of the NYT/IHT and the intelligentsia.

* I can't help seeing a certain parallel between Zapatero and Obama. Both starry-eyed backbenchers, with no political experience, until they got into the spotlight with a messianic, utopian attitude. They're that kind of people who think they'll fix everything that is wrong in the world -or in Zapatero's case, Spain, see above- because somehow they have the recipe to do that. Deep down they know. They simply know. They suffer of what can be labeled as "Adam complex:" they think that they're the First Man, the first one who has the ability and intelligence to solve all the world's ailments. Naively, they don't realize that others tried and failed. Ignorantly, they don't know that it was often with the same 'solutions'. Just ask Chamberlain.

Of course, the big difference is that Zapatero doesn't have a Hillary in his own party who can crush him in the debates...

HEH. (they're gonna kill me just for laughing about this...)

IT'S LIKE the disgusting advertisement in the Madrid daily El País, but in the "artistic" version. And just as revolting.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

CAN'T WAIT to have my Hillary Nutcracker!

THEODORE DALRYMPLE smashes Tony Blair's legacy. And I have to say that Tony Blair was made better by his terrible European counterparts, but it didn't mean his job was perfect. Far from it. Other than foreign policy and the economy (and the latter only in part), his record was not precisely spectacular.

In retrospect, you knew there would be trouble when you put the people responsible for the Space Shuttle program in charge of tracking U.S. temperatures.
Don't miss the rest.

Friday, August 17, 2007

AN ITALIAN would say of this: "Se non è vero, e ben trovato" (even if it wasn't true, it's a good thought, or words to that effect).

UPDATE. And non è vero: it's a hoax. (via Tom)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

NO ONE is surprised when a Roman Catholic bishop condemns the violence of war. But when was the last time you heard of one pleading for a military invasion?

Zimbabwe's leading cleric has been doing just that in recent weeks, imploring Great Britain to invade its former colony and oust Robert Mugabe, the dictator whose brutal misrule has reduced a once-flourishing country to desperation, starvation, and death.
Read the rest.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Saraa wants to be a doctor. If she can't, the young star of Hamas television's best-known children's show said, she'd be proud to become a martyr. Saraa says little Jewish girls should be forced from their homes in Israel so that Palestinians can return to their land.

With the show's producer helpfully offering written tips during an interview, Saraa didn't get into how she hopes to die for her cause, be it suicide bombing, fighting the Israeli military or some other way. She carefully sidestepped any suggestion that she's subtly calling for the destruction of Israel.
She's 11 years old.

EVEN A HARSH CRITIC of the Iraq war, the German mag Der Spiegel, notices: "The US Military is more successful in Iraq than the world wants to believe." (via Davids Medienkritik)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Bank robbers rarely use suicide bombers. Forgers don’t declare war on capitalism, democracy, and modernity. Kidnappers rarely behead their victims without asking for a ransom. And when they do ask for ransoms, only rarely do they demand infidels submit to the will of Allah instead of asking for unmarked bills.

These incandescently obvious observations illuminate, in a small way, the resplendent stupidity of the notion that we should treat members of al Qaeda like run-of-the-mill criminals.

Al Qaeda’s business plan is to make money and kill people in order to impose a global caliphate of Islamic rule. The Mafia’s business plan is to make money in order to ... make money. Murder is, as Tony Soprano might say, the cost of doing business. Murder for al Qaeda is the business (and if you die in the process, you get to spend eternity at an Islamic Bada-Bing Club).

Of course, al Qaeda’s aims are also political. Sheikh Abdullah Azzam, one of the founders of the jihadist movement that became al Qaeda, put it this way (I’m quoting from Lawrence Wright’s definitive history, The Looming Tower): “We shall continue the Jihad no matter how long the way, until the last breath and the last beat of the pulse — or until we see the Islamic state established.” And remember, Azzam was humble in his aspiration. He wasn’t after the global caliphate sought by many Islamists. He merely wanted the entire Middle East, the former southern republics of the Soviet Union, Bosnia, the Philippines, Kashmir, central Asia, Somalia, Eritrea, and Spain.

Whether you call them terrorists, Mujahideen, or a radical faction of Up With People, the simple fact is that what commonly goes by the label “Islamic terrorism” is not a merely a criminal enterprise. The profit motive didn’t bring down the World Trade Center.

I know this is obvious to many. But it clearly isn’t obvious to everyone.
Read the rest.

ANOTHER eco-hypocrite.

A FEW MYTHS on al-Qaeda in Iraq, completely shattered by Christopher Hitchens.

THINGS AREN'T AS BAD in Afghanistan either, says Ann Marlow, who goes there often.

Monday, August 13, 2007

KARL ROVE is resigning.

UPDATE. Mike Nizza at the NY Times has noticed Pajamas Media's coverage.

We in the news business often enlist in moral crusades. Global warming is among the latest. Unfortunately, self-righteous indignation can undermine good journalism. Last week's NEWSWEEK cover story on global warming is a sobering reminder. It's an object lesson of how viewing the world as "good guys vs. bad guys" can lead to a vast oversimplification of a messy story. Global warming has clearly occurred; the hard question is what to do about it.
He ends:
What to do about global warming is a quandary. Certainly, more research and development. Advances in underground storage of carbon dioxide, battery technology (for plug-in hybrid cars), biomass or nuclear power could alter energy economics. To cut oil imports, I support a higher gasoline tax—$1 to $2 a gallon, introduced gradually—and higher fuel-economy standards for vehicles. These steps would also temper greenhouse-gas emissions. Drilling for more domestic natural gas (a low-emission fuel) would make sense. One test of greenhouse proposals: are they worth doing on other grounds?

But the overriding reality seems almost un-American: we simply don't have a solution for this problem. As we debate it, journalists should resist the temptation to portray global warming as a morality tale—as NEWSWEEK did—in which anyone who questions its gravity or proposed solutions may be ridiculed as a fool, a crank or an industry stooge. Dissent is, or should be, the lifeblood of a free society.
Don't miss what's between the two paragraphs, including how he kills the meme that ExxonMobil has been 'bribing' skeptics.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

ORGANIC FOOD contributes to climate change.


The Sunni insurgent leader lifted up his T-shirt, revealing a pistol stuck in his belt, and explained to a U.S. sergeant visiting his safe house why he'd stopped attacking Americans.

"Finally, we decided to cooperate with American forces and kick al-Qaeda out and have our own country," said the tough-talking, confident 21-year-old, giving only his nom de guerre, Abu Lwat. Then he offered another motive: "In the future, we want to have someone in the government," he said, holding his cigarette with a hand missing one finger.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

THIS IS funny, and yet depressing at the same time.

IF YOU'RE WORRIED about the environment, drive all the time and don't get anywhere walking; use plastic bags instead of paper bags; drink regular milk and not that organic-produced one; and drive your gas-guzzling SUV instead of taking the train. No, really: Chris Goodall, a Green Party parliamentary candidate in the UK, has shattered several myths.

UPDATE. Ecochondriacs now have a great chance to earn some money: JunkScience has announced they're awarding $100,000 to the first person to scientifically prove that humans are causing harmful global warming:
The winning entry will specifically reject both of the following two hypotheses:

UGWC Hypothesis 1

Manmade emissions of greenhouse gases do not discernibly, significantly and predictably cause increases in global surface and tropospheric temperatures along with associated stratospheric cooling.

UGWC Hypothesis 2

The benefits equal or exceed the costs of any increases in global temperature caused by manmade greenhouse gas emissions between the present time and the year 2100, when all global social, economic and environmental effects are considered.

SEVEN GOOGLE TRICKS that are, indeed, clever.

Friday, August 03, 2007

ZIMBABWE is sinking into a bottomless pit:
Robert G. Mugabe has ruled over this battered nation, his every wish endorsed by Parliament and enforced by the police and soldiers, for more than 27 years. It appears, however, that not even an unchallenged autocrat can repeal the laws of supply and demand.

One month after Mr. Mugabe decreed just that, commanding merchants nationwide to counter 10,000-percent-a-year hyperinflation by slashing prices in half and more, Zimbabwe’s economy is at a halt.

Bread, sugar and cornmeal, staples of every Zimbabwean’s diet, have vanished, seized by mobs who denuded stores like locusts in wheat fields. Meat is virtually nonexistent, even for members of the middle class who have money to buy it on the black market. Gasoline is nearly unobtainable. Hospital patients are dying for lack of basic medical supplies. Power blackouts and water cutoffs are endemic.

Manufacturing has slowed to a crawl because few businesses can produce goods for less than their government-imposed sale prices. Raw materials are drying up because suppliers are being forced to sell to factories at a loss. Businesses are laying off workers or reducing their hours.

The chaos, however, seems to have done little to undermine Mr. Mugabe’s authority. To the contrary, the government is moving steadily toward a takeover of major sectors of the economy that have not already been nationalized.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

"ETHANOL SCAM:" it hurts the environment and is one of America's biggest boondoggles.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

THE PRO-WAR LEFT: a great post at Harry's Place.

ANOTHER REPORT by Michael Yon from Baquba that you simply can't miss.