Tuesday, June 30, 2009

ONE OF SPAIN'S "crusading judges" gets smacked, legally speaking:
Spain’s National Court dropped an investigation into whether Israeli forces committed a war crime in the Gaza Strip by bombing an apartment building housing a Hamas leader.

Magistrate Fernando Andreu had been investigating the 2002 attack in Gaza City that killed Hamas commander Salah Shehadeh and 14 other people. Today’s ruling by a panel of judges to end the investigation without charging anyone can be appealed to the Supreme Court, according to a statement from the National Court. No reason for the decision was given in the statement.
No reason? How about "sanity"?

THE SPANISH GOVERNMENT making friends. I guess someone had to succeed Bush in being unilateralist...

JUNE 2009 is the month in which the Obama honeymoon was over.

UPDATE. More here.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

TURMOIL IN HONDURAS: Fausta is following the events.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

A MOOD OF MELANCHOLY descends on Tehran.

PICTURE OF THE DAY, no question about it.

UPDATE. Yeah, yeah...

Obama administration officials, fearing a battle with Congress that could stall plans to close the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, are crafting language for an executive order that would reassert presidential authority to incarcerate terrorism suspects indefinitely, according to three senior government officials with knowledge of White House deliberations.

Such an order would embrace claims by former president George W. Bush that certain people can be detained without trial for long periods under the laws of war. Obama advisers are concerned that an order, which would bypass Congress, could place the president on weaker footing before the courts and anger key supporters, the officials said.

After months of internal debate over how to close the military facility in Cuba, White House officials are increasingly worried that reaching quick agreement with Congress on a new detention system may be impossible. Several officials said there is concern in the White House that the administration may not be able to close the prison by the president's January deadline.

Friday, June 26, 2009

GOODBYE, FARRAH. More than a woman indeed.


In April, the Polish Academy of Sciences published a document challenging man-made global warming. In the Czech Republic, where President Vaclav Klaus remains a leading skeptic, today only 11% of the population believes humans play a role. In France, President Nicolas Sarkozy wants to tap Claude Allegre to lead the country's new ministry of industry and innovation. Twenty years ago Mr. Allegre was among the first to trill about man-made global warming, but the geochemist has since recanted. New Zealand last year elected a new government, which immediately suspended the country's weeks-old cap-and-trade program.

The number of skeptics, far from shrinking, is swelling. Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe now counts more than 700 scientists who disagree with the U.N. -- 13 times the number who authored the U.N.'s 2007 climate summary for policymakers. Joanne Simpson, the world's first woman to receive a Ph.D. in meteorology, expressed relief upon her retirement last year that she was finally free to speak "frankly" of her nonbelief. Dr. Kiminori Itoh, a Japanese environmental physical chemist who contributed to a U.N. climate report, dubs man-made warming "the worst scientific scandal in history." Norway's Ivar Giaever, Nobel Prize winner for physics, decries it as the "new religion." A group of 54 noted physicists, led by Princeton's Will Happer, is demanding the American Physical Society revise its position that the science is settled. (Both Nature and Science magazines have refused to run the physicists' open letter.)

The collapse of the "consensus" has been driven by reality. The inconvenient truth is that the earth's temperatures have flat-lined since 2001, despite growing concentrations of C02. Peer-reviewed research has debunked doomsday scenarios about the polar ice caps, hurricanes, malaria, extinctions, rising oceans. A global financial crisis has politicians taking a harder look at the science that would require them to hamstring their economies to rein in carbon.

STEVIE WONDER, a good man.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

SEE? THERE IS a connection between Obama and Zapatero:
A Spanish military plane carrying Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero failed to take off twice from the West African country of Togo after flies blocked its speed sensor, press reports said Wednesday. Zapatero was returning home from a visit to Nigeria and Togo on Tuesday.
The Lords of the Flies!

MORE THAN 100 IRANIAN LAWMAKERS snubbed the party organized by Ahmadinejad to celebrate the election result.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

IRANIAN REGIME forces Neda's family out of their home, besides not handing them her body, cancelling her funeral, burying her without telling her family where, and banning mourning ceremonies.

Can we say "motherf*ckers" now, or it's not multi-culti enough?

EGGS, COFFEE, SUGAR, ALCOHOL, CHOCOLATE, BUTTER: six foods that the scientific consensus always said they were bad for your health. Turns out that, in moderation, not only they're not unhealthy, but they may be even good for you.

It almost reads like a description of my diet; no wonder I'm in such a good shape!

MATT COOPER HAS A THEORY on why Obama's polls are slipping:
[I]t's the spending and the modest success it seems to have brought in stopping the total collapse of the banking and financial system. If the economy felt like it was in the same free fall that it was a few months ago, he'd be doing better because there'd be less questioning of government spending and more calls to pour everything on the fire. But with the respite in the fall comes the freedom to question spending. Or, to put it another way: The firemen saved your house but now you're pissed off about all the water damage in the den.
So he's less popular because he's somewhat suceeding. When people said this about Bush and the war on terror and Iraq, people were saying it was bullshit by neocons...

UPDATE. Welcome, Instapundit readers, glad to have you here. Feel free to browse the site visiting the homepage, and consider subscribing to the RSS feed too. If you're a Twitter user, you can also follow me there. Come back as often as you like, and tell your friends about this site!

A TALE OF TWO DEPRESSIONS, 1929 and now. This charts will make you, well, depressed. Really depressed.

"C'MON, DON'T BE SHY, do it for the planet!": "Spending more time with nothing on stems waste and pollution in all sorts of ways, according to an article by Kathy Blanchard on The Naturist Society’s Web site."

I DON'T KNOW WHAT THE FUSS with Berlusconi, really; why so many in the chattering classes are criticizing him. Yes, there's allegations of sex parties with young women in his private residence, drug use, prostitution, etc. Now he only needs a 19-year-old intern with the task of 'relaxing' him, and a dead actress, to be just like... John F. Kennedy, the model against which any dignatary is measured (at least, until Obama came).

Maybe Berlusconi just needs to try harder... C'mon, Silvio, you can do it!

THIS IS WHY it's not idea to do something that gets you arrested in middle of getting a haircut...

A COOL PHOTOSYNTH of the International Space Station.

Monday, June 22, 2009

ANOTHER UNBELIEVABLE VIDEO of Basijs shooting at protestors (warning: extremely graphic)

THAT'S WHAT NEDA looked like before she was brutally murdered.

HE WAS BORN WITH NO ARMS. Everybody kept telling him not to waste time learning how to play the guitar...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

HER NAME WAS NEDA. Almost a teenager. She was watching the demonstrations in Tehran with her father. She's one of the several murdered yesterday in front of the cameras (alert: very explicit video):

Like yesterday, I'll be on the story in Twitter (@jmguardia); blogging is fine, but it seems that the short snippets of information you pass along on Twitter can be more useful; sometimes it's even actionable information for the demonstrators (like the alert of which embassies were accepting the wounded, yesterday). If just one does something with my tweets, that's more than enough.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

THERE'S A LOT, a lot, happening in Iran today. This is an amazing video of what's happening:

If you're interested, I'm following events up-to-the-minute at Twitter: @jmguardia

Friday, June 19, 2009

ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA: superb Stephen Green.

A CAR BOMB has killed one person in Bilbao, in the Basque Country (northern Spain); victim is an officer of Spain's security forces --though some sources, like Sky New that I link here-- say it may be a bodyguard (thousands of people in the Basque country need to be protected from ETA).

I'll be posting about up-to-the-minute developments on Twitter, if you're interested please follow me @jmguardia.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

PETA GUYS are upset with fly-murderer Obama. If they didn't exist when we would have so much fun?

A Spanish bar is encouraging clients to insult its staff and offering free drinks for original or hilarious abuse.

"When you come in after work, you can say swear at them and call them bastard or imbecile," said client Antonio Ossa, who told state news agency EFE the promotion by the "Casa Pocho" bar in the southern town of Cullera near Valencia seemed like a good idea to him.

Polish-born bar owner Bernard Mariusz said he thought people needed somewhere to release their frustrations at a time of economic crisis.

A SPECIAL MESSAGE to the people of Iran, by Barack Obama...

TURNS OUT I missed there was Iran demonstration in Barcelona last Tuesday. Here's a pic (click to enlarge)

AN SUPERB CHRONICLE of the protests in Iran:

IN THE POLLS, Obama isn't what he used to be.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

OBAMA, FLY-KILLER: he should pick someone his size...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

[Important Update] PLEASE HELP by clicking here and keeping the window open as much time as you can; it's a DDOS script to try to bring down Iran's official websites. Let's see if we can all make them stop blocking cellphones, SMS, Twitter, email, etc. And tell your friends!

UPDATE. Eric S. Raymond explains why this is not the good idea it seems.

[2 Important Updates] SPENGLER:
In Wonderland, Alice played croquet with hedgehogs and flamingos. In the Middle East, United States President Barack Obama is attempting the same thing, but with rats and cobras. Not only do they move at inconvenient times, but they bite the players. Iran's presidential election on Friday underscores the Wonderland character of American policy in the region.

America's proposed engagement of Iran has run up against the reality of the region, namely that Iran cannot "moderate" its support for its fractious Shi'ite allies from Beirut to Pakistan's northwest frontier. It also shows how misguided Obama was to assume that progress on the Palestinian issue would help America solve more urgent strategic problems, such as Iran's potential acquisition of nuclear weapons.
Read the rest.

Yesterday's death toll is eight, killed by pro-regime militia; more protests expected today.

UPDATE. According to Iran's state TV, the Guardian Council has decided to recount all votes. Of course, that's no guarantee they'll count them right this time, but in any case it's a good sign the ayatollahs are listening to the people on the street. Who would have thunk it only a few years ago, eh?

UPDATE II. Iran's Guardian Council clarifies: it won't recount all votes, just the disputed ballot boxes.

Monday, June 15, 2009

IT'S DIFFICULT to count the ways this could go horribly wrong:
A tiny bacterium has been coaxed back to life after spending 120,000 years buried three kilometres deep in the Greenland ice sheet.

Researchers who found it say it could resemble microbes that may have evolved in ice on other planets.

Officially named Herminiimonas glaciei, the bug consists of rods just 0.9 micrometres long and 0.4 micrometres in diameter, about 10 to 50 times smaller than the well-known bacterium, Escherichia coli.

"What's unique is that it's so small, and seems to survive on so few nutrients," says Jennifer Loveland-Curtze of Pennsylvania State University, whose team has described the new species.
Yeah, and let's hope that what's unique too isn't how fast Ms. Loveland-Curtze and her colleagues have to work to find an antibiotic to kill it. Shouldn't they be trying to fight superbugs first? They're killins hundreds of thousands of people all over the world every year. Do we need another one?

ANOTHER UNITED ABOMINATIONS SCANDAL: UN food aimed for the starving in Somalia "vanishes" and turns up in the black market:
The head of the UN’s $955 million (£580 million) aid operation in Somalia has launched an inquiry after being shown footage showing tonnes of food bearing the World Food Programme (WFP) logo widely on sale in Mogadishu, the capital.

Stacks of bags of maize and wheat and tins of cooking oil — marked “not for re-sale” and bearing the UN stamp — are on sale from ten warehouses and 15 shops in the city’s main market.

About 45,000 tonnes of WFP food are shipped to Somalia from Kenya every month. Mogadishu traders told Channel 4 News that they bought their supplies straight from UN staff. “We buy [food] aid from WFP staff directly or from people they employ,” one market trader said.

“They take us to the warehouses used by the WFP and let us load our lorries. The goods are freely available and you can buy as much as you like, but we usually buy no more than 500 to 1,000 sacks at a time. Just a tonne or half a tonne a day can be shifted more discreetly.”

The food could hardly be more needed. More than a million people have been driven from their homes by fighting in the area, including 117,000 thought to have fled from Mogadishu in the past month.

LEBANON A FEW DAYS AGO, Iran now (and yes, Iraq for several months now): Winds of change seem to be blowing in the Islamic world, writes Tom Friedman in a piece that you must read.

ABSOLUTELY AMAZING footage of the anti-Ahmadinejad demonstration in Tehran today:

THE CREW of Spanish public broadcaster TVE has been expelled from Iran. Too bad we don't have Bush around anymore to decry that free speech is crushed...

FRESH DOUBTS over Capa's famous photo during the Spanish Civil War, "Falling Soldier."

Sunday, June 14, 2009

THESE ARE the top pieces of evidence that the Iranian presidential election was stolen, according to Juan Cole.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

NOW THEY TELL US: only five days after the European election, and after having spent the whole campaign for them accusing anyone who alerted of the bad economic situation of being an alarmist, the Spanish government officially downgraded its forecasts for the country's economy:
Spain's economy will shrink 3.6 percent this year, two percentage points more than previously forecast, the government said Friday in a gloomy and steep revision to its expectations for a country that had been one of Europe's success stories.

The Cabinet approved a new official forecast that said Spain's central and regional governments together will run a deficit equivalent to 7.9 percent of gross domestic product in 2010, more than double the 3 percent target set by the European Union. For this year the forecast so far had been 5.8 percent of economic output.

As of the end of the first quarter, Spain's unemployment rate stood at 17.4 percent, the highest in the European Union.

Now the government says that by the end of the year it will go up to 17.9 percent and hit 18.9 percent next year.
Green shoots my ass.

SPEAKING FROM THE HEIGHTS OF POWER: amazed they still do this, since there's always a photographer that spoils the fun... for them. For us it's a riot:

(Via Nihil Obstat)

KIM SAYS he'll go ahead anyway:
North Korea vowed on Saturday to embark on a uranium enrichment program and "weaponize" all the plutonium in its possession as it rejected the new U.N. sanctions meant to punish the communist nation for its recent nuclear test.

North Korea also said it would not abandon its nuclear programs, saying it was an inevitable decision to defend itself from what it says is a hostile U.S. policy and its nuclear threat against the North.
Happy Saturday morning!

BEWARE OF THE MIGHTY MOUSE! Tyrants all over the world are scared to death of them (great pics!)

Friday, June 12, 2009

THERE ARE DESPICABLE PEOPLE EVERYWHERE, but this guy may have just beat the world record:
When a Bolivian immigrant worker in Valencia, Spain, lost his arm in an accident at the bread factory where he worked, his employer threw the arm in the garbage.

[...] [T]he bakery’s owner drove the injured man towards a hospital in Gandia “but at about 2 km from the medical center he left him to his own devices”.

Shortly after, the owner “returned to the factory, cleaned up the blood and threw the arm into a trash bin”
Son of a bitch.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

THE AMERICAN GREEN BERETS are savages, real savages.

AS LEGEND GOES, Catalan writer and philosopher Eugeni D'Ors was at a nice restaurant when he ordered an expensive bottle of fine champagne. The waiter who brought it was inexperienced, didn't know how to open a bottle of sparky, and as he stuggled with it he was shaking the bottle it in a manner that when the cork finally was out, he ended up spilling most of its precious content.

D'Ors said to him: "Thanks, young man. Next time, though, please do your learning with a bottle of lemonade."

I was reminded of this anecdote when I read about the new GM chairman, Ed Whitacre:
“I don’t know anything about cars,” Whitacre, 67, said yesterday in an interview after his appointment. “A business is a business, and I think I can learn about cars. I’m not that old, and I think the business principles are the same.”

A CHART that will give you the creeps.

TEN YEARS of studies, at a cost of $2.5 billion, reveal that alternative medicine is little more than a hoax.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

"LOVE OR LUST, Obama and the fawning press need to get a room": San Francisco Chronicle editor, the legendary Phil Bronstein alerts about the media adoration for the US president. Great piece.

Monday, June 08, 2009

ZAPATERO WAS DEFEATED in yesterday's election to the European Parliament, though considering the horrible economic situatation and his incompetence, the loss should have been much biggers. It speaks volumes about the dismal state of the opposition too...

Friday, June 05, 2009

A PRESENT FOR GEEKS (bordering on nerds...): a 360-degree panorama of the bridge of the Star Trek movie.

OBAMA'S 10 MISTAKES in Cairo. (make that eleven!)

SPAIN'S troubled prime minister Zapatero: Zapped.

[Updated 2x] SOMETHING ELSE to file under "If Bush Had Done This:" Obama has nominated James B. Smith as new US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia. Smith is a senior officer at Raytheon, a core of the so-called "industrial-military complex" (oooooooo, scary) so dear to liberals. Just imagine the howls had Bush named, say, Erik Prince, of Blackwater, as ambassador to Iraq, or something.

UPDATE.  I had forgotten this: another Raytheon official, William Lynn III, was appointed as the Pentagon's no. 2. Remember what people said about Cheney and Halliburton? Won't hear the same indignation here, of course.

UPDATE II. This, from Smith's official bio, is interesting: " November 1990 - August 1991, assistant deputy commander for operations, 1st Tactical Fighter Wing, Langley Air Force Base, Va., and 4404th Provisional Wing, Dhahran Air Base, Saudi Arabia"

Desert Storm started on January 17, 1991, which means Smith was on of the high ranking officers in the war.

Hope and change!

None of the presidents who yesterday approved the readmission of our Island to the Organization of American States held public office in 1962 when the Cuban government was expelled from that organization. However, the repeal of that resolution has found the same people who governed the fate of my parents and grandparents in power here. The Cuban people have changed greatly in the meantime: some died, others emigrated, and my generation—with its exotic “Y”—has started to see its first grey hairs. But on the podium the same name has clung to the microphones through all this time.

To our elders in the presidency, the OAS decision confronts them with a dilemma that is almost always poorly resolved.
Keep reading.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

OBAMA SINGS Don't Know Much About History in Cairo: when he said this morning in his major speech that "Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance. We see it in the history of Andalusia and Cordoba during the Inquisition" he ignored that, by the time the Spanish Inquisition was created in 1478, Cordoba had been reconquered from Islamic hands almost 150 years earlier, in 1236.

SANDMONKEY was at Obama's speech in Cairo.

IS DRUDGE NUTS? Here's something he's got on Obama's Cairo speech:

CLAUDIA ROSETT remembers Tiananmen: she saw the events, 20 years ago today, herself.

SEEMS UNBELIEVABLE BUT IT'S TRUE: one in six dollars of Americans' income comes from the government. Welcome, Europe!

A LESSON ON LEADERSHIP IN 3 MINUTES: It takes one man to get the party started...

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

WE THE SPANISH -- and Europeans in general -- shouldn't be giving too many lessons about food-related animal cruelty...

I'VE SAID BEFORE that I'm no monarchist, but credit where credit is due. Kudos to her: Queen Sofia of Spain has given a lesson in austerity by choosing to fly to London on the budget airline Ryanair for just £13."

FILE THIS UNDER "Just Imagine if This Had Happened With Bush in the White House:"
The federal government mistakenly made public a 266-page report, its pages marked “highly confidential,” that gives detailed information about hundreds of the nation’s civilian nuclear sites and programs, including maps showing the precise locations of stockpiles of fuel for nuclear weapons.