Saturday, February 10, 2007

Barack Obama: Foreign policy expert.

Politics: Via Mark Steyn who makes this observation.

From a preview of “the coming effort to dismantle” Barack Obama :

Asked on ABC’s “Good Morning America” last month if his lack of foreign policy experience would hurt him in his White House bid, Obama replied: “My experience in foreign policy is probably more diverse than most others in the field. I mean, I'm somebody who has actually lived overseas, somebody who has studied overseas. You know, I majored in international relations.”

Excellent. That may be my favorite foreign-policy answer since Howard Dean cited his experience in driving his kids up to Quebec for school hockey games.

Hell, I was born in Jamaica, lived in Trinidad, been to Canada and Holland a couple of times and did an international business course in college, so the combination of real life experience and courses puts me on par with Obama as a foreign policy expert. But that makes us both more qualified than Ségolène Royal.

Halal meat taking over the United Kingdom!

Culture: This is where the term reasonable accomdation for minority cultures steamrolls common sense.

"....Kingsgate Primary in West Hampstead is among growing numbers of schools with high Muslim populations to use halal-only meat in cooking.

But the menus, which will feature only meat that has been slaughtered in the halal way with a single cut to the throat, have not always been well received.

At Kingsgate, parents carrying placards congregated at the school gates to demand a reversal of the policy, claiming their children would be denied a choice.

But the protests triggered claims of racism from parents of Muslim children, who make up three quarters of the school population.

Yesterday headmistress Liz Hayward was refusing to back down, insisting that a majority of parents had backed the move to halal-only menus in a comprehensive survey of families.

But protesting parents accused her of forcing their children to to conform to "someone else's culture".

Mother Jacqueline Gomm said: "I sent my kids to this school because I don't want them to be affected by religion.

"We can't force our culture on someone else because that's not right so we shouldn't have someone else's culture forced on us.

"The little culture that we have is being lost. I don't know any other country that would do the same."

She added: "I totally deny being guilty of racism.

"We allow people to come into this country and we end up being in a minority.

"We accommodate other cultures at the expense of ours."

Staff at Kingsgate were forced to take phones off the hook after abusive callers claimed to be from the British National Party.

Miss Gomm insisted: "The phone calls from the BNP had nothing to do with us.

"But the sad thing is many people will turn to them because they feel there is no other choice."

Miss Gomm speaks the ugly truth that will come to pass if this keeps happening. I go to the tried and true question. If this was a Christian requirement of serving food, there would be a backlash from Muslim parents screaming about racism and discrimination. You can't have it both ways which is what this lib dem twit wants

"....And Muslim Lib Dem councillor Faruque Ansari said: "There should not be any issue here. We should all be flexible and try to understand each other. It's just the same meat at the end of the day.

"People come from different backgrounds with different lifestyles and diets and we have to understand that is the society we live in."

Just as long as they conform to your ideals. Hell, go Halal but put the same amount of care into non-Muslim students instead of forcing them into limited choices.

This parent's logic is amusing.

Parent Saido Aden agreed with the switch to halal-only meat. She said: “Muslims are only allowed halal. English people are allowed everything.”

So curb the English people in the name of tolerance and "understanding" to your ideals is very smart and will go over well with the public. As for the other kids, these are the choices they have left.

The press official said: “There will also be a vegetarian choice and a jacket potato with toppings of cheese, beans or fish, so there is always a hot, healthy option available for all children.”

Sneak in the cheeseburgers.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Teen loses fight, Mom says go shoot him.

Crime: Maybe we should license people to have children.

NEW ORLEANS – A woman accused of giving her teenage son a handgun and telling him to take revenge after he lost a fight was arrested Thursday after another boy was killed, police said.
Police are searching for Clarence Johnson, 17, who faces a charge of second-degree murder in the death of the other 17-year-old, Sgt. Joe Narcisse said.

Both teens had walked away after the original fight Wednesday evening, he said.
“Detectives learned Johnson went home and shared the details of the fight with his mother. Johnson's mother, 44-year-old Vanessa Johnson, gave him a handgun and instructed him to exact revenge on the victim because Johnson had apparently lost the fight,” Narcisse said.

Clarence Johnson found the other youth shortly afterward and fired several rounds, hitting him once in the abdomen, Narcisse said. The other teen died at the city's trauma center.

Vanessa Johnson was booked with being a principal to second-degree murder. Her bail was set at $150,000.

As for other residents, they are saying enough is enough.

NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans is a city on a knife's edge. A year and a half after Hurricane Katrina, an alarming number of residents are leaving or seriously thinking of getting out for good.

They have become fed up with the violence, the bureaucracy, the political finger-pointing, the sluggish rebuilding and the doubts about the safety of the levees.

"The mayor says, `Come back home. Every area should come back.' For what?" said Genevieve Bellow, who rebuilt her home in heavily damaged eastern New Orleans but has been unable to get anything done about the trash and abandoned apartment buildings in her neighborhood and may leave town. "I have no confidence in anything or anybody."

A survey released in November found that 32 percent of city residents polled may leave within two years. University of New Orleans political scientist Susan Howell, who did the survey, said more will give up if the recovery does not pick up speed.

In fact, figures from the nation's top three moving companies suggest more people left the area than moved into it last year.

"People are in a state of limbo. They're asking, `Is it worth it for me to stay? Is it worth it to invest?' If you don't feel safe, from crime or the levees, and you see destruction every day when you drive, it becomes discouraging," Howell said.

UK becoming a "police state"... oh please.

Terrorism: Why the UK government gets into this tit for tat nonsense with terror suspects is beyond me.

After learning the extent of the allegations made over the terror raids, Mr Bakr, 27, invited the Guardian to hear what he had been through. He said he felt humiliated and stigmatised.

Accusing police of being "amateurish", he said that at no point during his seven days in detention was he asked about the supposed plot to abduct and behead a soldier. He was interviewed in total for no more than four hours, he said. Mr Bakr, a father of two, suggested that the arrests took place to distract from the government's troubles, including the cash for honours inquiry.

He said he did not believe he would have been treated in the same way had he been white, and claimed that Britain was becoming a "police state" with anti-terrorism laws used to target only Muslims.

The prime minister's spokesman strongly rejected Mr Bakr's claim yesterday. He said: "In a police state, a court would not have been able to release someone who was being questioned by the police." Nor would he have been able to be interviewed by the media, he added.

Thank you, if it was a police state he wouldn't be inviting and talking to newspapers or the BBC or making these claims in the first place before being silenced. As for anti-terrorism laws targeting Muslims, unfortunately the greatest threat comes from Islamic terrorists. Who should they pay the most attention too? Pentecostals?

The new Palestinian unity government?

World: I give it a month at most before it collapses. Two alphas cannot rule together.

Rival Palestinian factions meeting for crisis talks in Saudi Arabia last night agreed to form a coalition government, but there was no immediate guarantee that it would be enough to lift an international boycott on the Palestinian government.

After two days of talks in Mecca, the leaders of Hamas and Fatah agreed a list of ministers for a new national unity cabinet and called for a halt to factional fighting that has claimed more than 100 lives in the occupied territories in recent weeks. The deal appeared to have averted a slide into civil war. The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, described it as a new era.

How's the Thailand appeasement effort going?

Terrorism: Every week or so I like to check in to see how the new government installed via a coup is going with their soft diplomacy effort in the Muslim South.

BANGKOK (Reuters) - A 72-year-old Buddhist rice miller was beheaded in Thailand's rebellious Muslim south on Thursday in an apparent retaliation for a bomb attack on a village tea shop owned by Muslims, police said.

The man's head was not found and police said they found severe cuts on his fingers, hands and shoulder at his village mill in Pattani, one of the three largely Muslim provinces where 2,000 have been killed in three years of separatist insurgency.

It was the third decapitation this year.

"This is revenge for what happened last night in Nakohn Nua," a message left at the mill said in reference to the village where the bomb went off, injuring no one, police said.

Nobody has claimed responsibility for the violence which has seen almost daily gun and bomb attacks in the former sultanate annexed by Buddhist Thailand a century ago.

It is going as expected.

John Edwards wimped out on being a leader.

Politics: You can get the roundup here but Edwards and his two bloggers have painted themselves in a corner. Edwards by keeping them shows he is not concerned much about the impression he has at least religious bigots on his staff. The two bloggers with their amusing apologies showed they can dance at the drop of a dime showing their posts have been nothing more than childish style over substance. Good luck in the future because Edwards just painted himself with a bullseye.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Muslim students upset over drawing nudes

Culture: As the highly irritating be tolerant defense comes out.

A recent decision by Western’s visual arts department has left some Muslim students torn between their love for drawing and painting and their devotion to Islam.

After making accommodations for students for several years, the visual arts department added a note to the bottom of nine course descriptions effective Sept. 1, 2005, indicating “some sessions may involve drawing from the nude (female or male) as a required component of the course.”

.....Due to the increasing frequency of student concerns and the faculty’s general discomfort with compromising the curriculum, the visual arts department added the note to the descriptions of several courses which may or may not include life drawing, depending on individual professors’ choices each year.

“By indicating to students that drawing from the nude is a required part of course work, the visual arts department is respectfully attempting to assist students in making choices for their education,” said Patrick Mahon, chair of the visual arts department, who is on sabbatical this year.

“The department offers a wide range of studio courses and if students do not choose to take drawing and painting — for whatever reason — they are not required to do so.”

But that is not good enough for some.

Hassan Ahmad, president of the Muslim Students’ Association, said he and the MSA would like to follow up the matter so Muslim students won’t have to deal with it in the future.

“The university shouldn’t make this black and white,” Ahmad said. “They should accept that they have a variety of people from a variety of different backgrounds. It’s not fair to just say, ‘this is how The West does things.’ You have to be tolerant of others’ traditions, because we have important traditions too.”

Milde and Mahon said the note wasn’t meant to attack anyone’s religious or personal freedom.

Milde said some professors felt the curriculum was being “detoured.”

Just because you have important traditions doesn't mean everyone else has to drop what they are doing to accomdate your wishes. The school shouldn't have allowed alternatives in the first place to wants of a handful of students. Now they have corrected the policy, you are going to hear cries of discrimination in the coming days. The school is saying this isn't Burger King where you can have it your way, deal with it.

Sarkozy surprises with support of paper's Mohammed cartoon.

Politics: Defending the French way is a good way of getting votes especially against something as hollow as this lawsuit.

PARIS (Reuters) - A French paper accused of insulting Muslims by printing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad surprised a court hearing on Wednesday with a letter of support from presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy.

"I prefer an excess of caricatures to an absence of caricatures," Sarkozy, the conservative interior minister who helped launch the French Muslim Council, wrote in a letter read out by a lawyer for the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.

The letter from the presidential race frontrunner, whose ministry is also responsible for religious affairs, drew an angry response from one of three Muslim groups suing the weekly.

"He should remain neutral," Abdullah Zekri of the Paris Grand Mosque told journalists outside the Paris court hearing the case on Wednesday and Thursday. A ruling will be handed down at a later date.

Sarkozy, who brought competing Muslim groups together in 2003 to form the Muslim Council to represent Islam in France, noted he had often been "a favorite target" of Charlie Hebdo but supported "the right to smile at everything".

The Grand Mosque, World Islamic League and Union of French Islamic Organisations (UOIF) sued the magazine for printing two of the Danish caricatures -- which sparked violence in the Muslim world causing 50 deaths -- and adding one of its own.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Ségolène Royal goes hard left to recover in polls.

Politics: Good luck with that as she proves the center's position she is all about the pandering.

Ségolène Royal has staged a sharp lurch towards the old-fashioned left after her campaign for the presidency was eclipsed by the vigorous efforts of Nicolas Sarkozy, the centre-right candidate.

After months of wooing middle-ground voters with a soft, inclusive vision, Ms Royal depicted herself as a victim of right-wing forces and champion of the workers in the face of a ruthless capitalist class.

She told a packed hall in central Paris: “We are fighting a hard Right, without principles, without virtue, an arrogant Right which . . . never varies on its aim: the defence of its privileges.” The “ruling establishment” had sought to destroy her campaign with dirty tricks and skulduggery, she said.

Ms Royal’s aggressive relaunch is an attempt to appeal to core left-wing voters and galvanise her party after gaffes and vagueness on policy eroded the invincible aura of last year. As Mr Sarkozy has pulled ahead by up to six points in polls, many Royal sympathisers have turned to François Bayrou, a centrist who is catching up the main candidates as the April 22 first-round vote nears.

While Ms Royal may restore her momentum, she has lost credibility with middle-class voters, who were charmed by the way that she opened her campaign with direct language and promises to listen.

72 virgins by Steve Martin..

Culture: I guess it has something to do with Islamic terrorists though its not a whole lot of funny.

Spain in uproar over ETA terrorist interview.

Spain: Times Online somehow got an interview with a ETA terrorist on a hunger strike with picture of him strapped to the bed and all hell breaks loose. Chrono order.

Outrage at Eta prisoner’s interviewTimes Online, UK - Feb 5, 2007The Spanish Home Office launched an investigation yesterday into how The Times was able to interview a hunger-striking Eta prisoner from the hospital room, ...

Madrid’s DilemmaTimes Online, UK - 6 hours agoThe uproar in Spain over the written interview by our correspondent Thomas Catan with Iñaki de Juana Chaos, the imprisoned Basque separatist leader on ...

The man whose fate is dividing SpainTimes Online, UK - 5 hours agoThe publication by The Times of an interview and photograph of a convicted Eta killer on hunger strike caused fresh upheaval in Spain yesterday, ...

From the Madrid's Dilemma is the gist of the whole problem.

The uproar in Spain over the written interview by our correspondent Thomas Catan with Iñaki de Juana Chaos, the imprisoned Basque separatist leader on hunger strike, is not because The Times broke any rules in obtaining his answers. Nor is it because we have shown any sympathy with a man originally sentenced to 3,000 years for orchestrating machinegun and bomb attacks that killed 25 people. The anger is because The Times is accused, in the phrase made famous by media reporting of the IRA, of giving the “oxygen of publicity” to Eta. Let us be clear. Eta is a terrorist organisation, responsible for at least 800 killings in Spain, but we believe that reporting which questions and probes terrorist thinking strengthens society’s ability to deal with the enemy within. The Times interview revealed a man devoid of remorse.

The international publicity comes at a moment when the Government of José Luis RodrÍguez Zapatero is facing its biggest crisis since it took office in 2004, over a policy on Eta that has all but imploded. De Juana has been on hunger strike for 92 days and is close to death. He is protesting against the recent imposition of an extra twelve years and seven months on top of the eighteen years he has already served for murder. He maintains, with some plausibility, that the sentence was political, secured for making terrorist threats in articles in a Basque newspaper but in reality intended to keep him in prison because a furious public reaction would accompany his release.

What could have cleared up the whole mess was putting him away for life, but the courts gave him a short sentence compared to the his killings which is mind-boggling. Now with the ETA airport bombing killing off Zappo's idiotic appeasement drive, this is the last thing he and his party needs to happen.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

DNC's Iman and the zionist conspiracy.

Politics: Info about Husham al-Husainy via Malkin and HotAir leads to this new quote from a LATIMES piece. You would think the DNC would do some sort of background check on the guy before stuff like this pops up.

It's true I heard some unsettling notions about American power and who wields it. In Dearborn, Mich., where Arab immigrants began arriving in the 1920s to work in the auto industry, I had a series of long interviews with Imam Husham al-Husainy, a voluble Shiite Iraqi emigre who leads the Karbalaa Islamic Education Center. Initially a backer of the U.S. invasion of his homeland, Al-Husainy had come to believe that the bedlam that has followed had to be intentional — the result of a conspiracy. He explained to me that even as a Jew, I might not understand the extent of Zionism's reach.

At the heart of the conspiracy, he told me, is "the Zionist special group" that opposes "the improvement of the relationship between Christians and Muslims."

"America itself is a victim of a special-interest group that doesn't want it to have a good relationship with the Muslim world," Al-Husainy said. "Bush himself is a victim, I believe."

This Independent Jewish Voices kerfuffle.

Culture: Why is everyone up in arms about this? It's just the same leftists of the Jewish faith who want to garner favor with other leftist at the local cocktail parties by slamming Israel under the guise of speaking truth to power.

Faced with this state of affairs, a group of Jews in Britain has come together to launch Independent Jewish Voices (IJV). We come from a variety of backgrounds and walks of life. Some of us are religious, some not. A number feel a strong attachment to Israel as Jews, others feel none. We do not all share the same vision for the Middle East. We are a network of individuals, not a movement or political party.

But we are united by certain fundamental commitments. These are set out in our launch statement, published today on the Guardian's Comment is Free website and in advertisements placed in the Jewish Chronicle and the Times. They include: putting human rights first; giving equal priority to Palestinians and Israelis in their quest for a peaceful and secure future; and repudiating all forms of racism aimed at Jews, Arabs, Muslims or whomever.

We believe that these commitments - not ethnic or group loyalties - define the limits of legitimate debate. We invite like-minded Jews in Britain to add their names to the list of IJV signatories.

This will work in a fantasy world because taking this seriously defines simple logic and reasoning. Hamas will work jointly with Jews for a peaceful solution? Hezbollah or Fatah, the numerous off shoot groups who fund suicide bombings? Iran will go for peace? This is the same as a little kid rattling off wishes to Santa on what he wants for Christmas. The first warning it was going to be goofy was it was announced on Guardian and it just went south from there.

Newsom heads for rehab.

Politics: Its the new chic thing to do, screw up and go to rehab. Since he is a democrat, when he comes out he will be hailed as a hero or something.

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, who gained national attention by championing same-sex marriage, said on Monday he would seek treatment for alcohol use, an announcement that follows his admission of an affair with his campaign manager's wife.

"Upon reflection with friends and family this weekend, I have come to the conclusion that I will be a better person without alcohol in my life," he said in a statement. "I take full responsibility for my personal mistakes and my problems with alcohol are not an excuse for my personal lapses in judgment."

Monday, February 5, 2007

UK's Times Online new site a clustermush.

Media: The whole thing is just a bunch of stories throw on a page with no rhyme or reason to it. Nothing is seperated to make it easy for anyone to read.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

You go William Arkin, keep on talking.

Politics: A lot has been said about Arkin's posts on the Wash Post blog basically saying troops should keep their mouth shuts, they are mercenaries and they think they are above people like Arkin who demand they bow to the citizens(liberal) demands. Via USATODAY Blogs who picked out the best comments.

Power Line: "Arkin considers it an 'ugly' thing when a soldier says that critics of the war 'should come over and see what it's like firsthand before criticizing.' I think the real ugliness lies much closer to home."

Wizbang: "Arkin's essay is nothing more than a string of insult after insult."

Captain's Quarters: "Arkin finishes by suggesting that America rethink what it owes the troops, so I'll oblige. We owe them our support because they risk their lives to ensure that we retain our freedoms. They don't get paid all that well to do it, either, but they do it because they love our country. I'm fine with them expressing their opinions when reporters stick cameras in their faces and ask for them, even if they don't agree with me. I still respect them for what they do, which apparently is the difference between Arkin and myself."

Armed Liberal at Winds of Change: "Look, Arkin's a pretty good writer, and a veteran. But if you look at his opus in Google, you find him on the anti-military side of almost every issue that's come along since the 1980's. And to appoint him lead blogger on military affairs for arguable the leading newspaper in the country certainly looks a lot like appointing 'Focus On The Family's' James Dobson as the lead rap music critic."

LGF points out that Daily Kos writer/commentators have come out to defend Arkin.

This is why I applaud Arkin for his honest opinion on the military. He is the first leftist who has shown his disdain for it. All this "support the troops, not the mission" or we don't blame the troops just their leader's nonsense the left has been pushing has been the biggest con job in politics since the war started.

Think about it, which troops have the left celebrated? The ones who run away from the military or "conscientious objectors." Any tidbit from someone that supports their way of thinking that the military are nothing more than baby killers and savages. You don't see cheers for heroes on the battlefield or dedicated service men who do their duty separate from what they think of the war itself.

That is why I hope Arkin doesn't pull any punches and continues because it may let others stop the acting allowing their true feelings about the military to come out. Show your true colors.

Teflon Don: Jeff Zucker getting a promotion.

Entertainment: Heroes can't be the only thing saving Zucker's behind. How does he do it?

"Jeff Zucker, the fast-rising television executive who made his name as executive producer of NBC's morning show Today, will be named chief executive of NBC Universal this week, according to four people at the company."

Bob Wright "had wanted to stay on as chief executive at least until the end of the year," but Jeff Immelt "insisted that the transition occur now."

Even Nikki Finke is astonished.

"....Finally, I can't help but comment on today's LA Times' Business section puff piece about Zucker which didn't even include the Welch quote above. Ridiculous. Explain to me, please, how Teflon Jeff, who for years has shrugged off responsibility for everything bad about NBC, gets away now with credit for anything good? Then again, at the worst of NBC's fall, I was told this about Zucker's ability to massage his bosses: "He is one of the most incredible people in the room about spinning a tale in the way he can talk about a negative situation and make it into a positive situation." He'll need to do that even more now.

George Clooney: useful idiot.

Politics: Yet another example of the intelligence of Hollywood liberals who say think of events in shades of grey than in black and white. It shows that you are complex. What it really shows no matter what, America is to blame for everything.

BROWNELL: Why is there not more effort to stop ethnic cleansing and genocide while it is happening? The international community always seems to look back in hindsight and say, "We should have done something at the time." Do we never learn?

CLOONEY: Our problem is that the West and the United States have been able to broker things at other times. Obviously we did not do anything in Rwanda, but we played a big part with NATO in ending the Bosnian situation. We used to be able to do that. But [in] our [personal] meetings with all of the heads of government they said to us, "Your policies in Iraq have made it impossible for you now to threaten anything." We have no moral high ground. We have to look to anyone but ourselves to be able to broker some sort of a peace treaty. That is a very frustrating place to be.

We can do deals, but we didn't in Rwanda, we can make peace in Darfur, but we have no moral high ground because of Iraq, but we did before which is why nothing was done in Rwanda. Regardless of the fact that over the past couple of years everything America has done has been stymied not by Iraq policy which is either Clooney being a fool or a liar but other countries.

April: 2006
Human rights sanctions blocked By James Bone

China and Russia last night thwarted a year-long diplomatic drive by Britain to impose United Nations sanctions on the perpetrators in of the violence in the Darfur province of Sudan. The two powers, joined by Qatar, used their position on a UN sanctions committee to block the imposition of a UN travel ban and asset freeze on four unnamed Sudanese, including one government official, proposed by Britain.

The United States, which backed the British initiative, reacted angrily by threatening to call a public vote of the 15-nation Security Council that would force Russia and China into making a formal veto. “This will be a test for the council to see if the sanctions procedure is going to work at all,” John Bolton, the US Ambassador, said.

Islamist leaders in Sudan has said no to force or they will go jihad on whoever comes in.

Arab Governments have also backed up Sudan in delaying anything worth a damn to be done with the crisis.

Even now, the best we can get from anyone is just talk and America has done all it can with economic sanctions on our part. But to Hollywood liberals, its always America's fault.

You spend a great deal of time traveling internationally. Does being an expat give you a different perspective on U.S. foreign policy?

[Growing up,] I was taught to look at the United States not from the inside out but from the outside in. The signs you see are very disheartening. It is probably the worst time ever for us internationally. When you go to Europe, for the most part, they just hate us. Not individually, but they think we are just like these big bullies—and quite honestly, we have acted like that. That has been the most unusual twist in the last few years, having to defend being an American.

Ah yes, the ever present worry of liberals, does Europe like us? I could make a killing selling W.W.E.D wrist bands to liberals because for some reason to people like Clooney there is a constant need for European praise. If Europe or most of the world starts to praise and love us, then something has gone horribly wrong.