Britons 'not ready to drink less'I'm no fan of Britain's yob culture that thinks that the only way to have a good time is to drink until you throw up and pass out (and not necessarily in that order), but given that this story is about the failure of New Labour to impose a "European drinking culture" on the country with all the consideration that Dr. Pavlov gave to his dogs, I think I shall race my glass.
Sunday, 31 December 2006
Saturday, 30 December 2006
Scientists working for the US Air Force have already produced T-shirts and underwear that can be worn for weeks at a time without washing, and the technology has now been licensed to a London company, Alexium, to develop for civilian applications.You mean you weren't supposed to wear them that long before? That explains a lot.
We destroyed Saddam Hussein’s history. We went in to his village, his tribe, and we wiped away the footsteps of his lineage. We made sure that Saddam Hussein knows that everything about him, who he was, where he came from has ended. We turned him around and made him watch his footsteps in the sand, watch them disappear as the ocean washed over them. As a man who has reached middle age I feel an emptiness inside of me when I think of this – to watch yourself slowly disappear. It was an insane, almost psychotic cruelty. It was my society that not only did this, but cheered this – we were beating a dog over and over again because he bit us, making him yelp, humiliating him so he no longer had an identity, so that he was an empty shell. And when we knew he was an empty shell, we kept beating, our eyes on fire, snot dripping from our nose, wheezing under the strain of our constant blows. The dog had bitten somebody – he must be made to pay. Nobody regrets what we are doing – because he was a junkyard dog who attacked others.It isn't often that one comes across such a mind-boggling disconnect from anything resembling facts, history, commonsense or even basic decency. It should be cast in Lucite and preserved for all time as the purest strain of moral relativism
Given that Ms Sladen is 58, albeit remarkably preserved, this might have to go back to committee.
Friday, 29 December 2006
Saddam Hussein, former president of Iraq and infamous mass murderer, was executed at 6 AM Baghdad time.
I've had to deal with the smell of that dictator from varying proximity for over a quarter of a century ever since I started doing archaeological excavations in the Middle East. I have seen first hand the effects of his actions and the lives of friends and acquaintances have been affected, damaged, and even lost due to his evil. On my wall is a union jack from the First Gulf War and I've been following the second closely ever since it became the main front in the war against the Jihadists, so I was particularly keen to see this outcome.
However, It isn't because of any personal animosity that I hold for the monster that I am so openly pleased at this moment. I have very few truly driving passions in my life, but one of them is a deep-seated loathing of tyranny that makes me literally cheer when one is brought to task for his crimes. Any time a murdering tyrant does a Ceausescu I am absolutely delighted just as I am disappointed every time a Stalin dies in bed.
It doesn't happen often enough, but when it does, I have hope for the future of our sorry planet.
My wife reminds me that saying such things as Saddam now being three inches taller and wears a size six collar is unchristian. Therefore, I shall finish by saying that Saddam has now gone to meet his Maker and may God have mercy on his soul.
Update: Official: Saddam hangs by 6 AM Baghdad time.
Set the Tivo.
Thursday, 28 December 2006
Quite rightly, the Catholic church told the Muslim board what it could do with its demands, but it is a clear sign of what we face given the fact that this comes only a few weeks after Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul nearly set off a powder keg over speculation that he would dare do anything so vile as to make the sign of the cross in the vicinity. According to the Turkish paper Vatan,
The risk is that Benedict will send Turkey's Muslims and much of the Islamic world into paroxysms of fury if there is any perception that the Pope is trying to re-appropriate a Christian center that fell to Muslims.It looks as though re-appropriation is a one-way street.
Wednesday, 27 December 2006
If that many British Muslims turned out to protest interference with their customs, the Blair government would be bending over backward to please them.
Tuesday, 26 December 2006
Friday, 22 December 2006
Thursday, 21 December 2006
A series of heavy gunbattles between Hamas and Fatah militants broke out in Gaza City early Friday, despite a two-day-old truce that had largely ended factional violence here.Self contradiction; it's a wonderful thing.
Wednesday, 20 December 2006
If we make conscious robots they would want to have rights and they probably should.To paraphrase an old Spartan reply, "If."
Tuesday, 19 December 2006
A Somali asylum seeker wanted for the murder of WPc Sharon Beshenivsky is believed to have fled Britain dressed as a woman wearing a Muslim niqab, which covers the whole face apart from the eyes.The niqab is an icon of versatility; it's not only oppresive, but it makes a great getaway disguise for man or woman!
We're expecting a common sense air drop any day now.
Monday, 18 December 2006
So, if you're in the area next summer and you're looking for some family entertainment in the great outdoors, this is the play for you.
End of plug.
In Britain, some state schools are serving all children, Muslim and infidel, only halal meat. More than that, it turns out that they've been doing so for years without telling anyone.
That's only infuriating. In Norway, it gets downright scary when Unni Wikan, a professor of social anthropology at the University of Oslo, reacted to Oslo's skyrocketing rape cases perpetrated by Muslim immigrant men in this way (emphasis added):
“Norwegian women must take their share of responsibility for these rapes” because Muslim men found their manner of dress provocative. The professor’s conclusion was not that Muslim men living in the West needed to adjust to Western norms, but the exact opposite: “Norwegian women must realize that we live in a Multicultural society and adapt themselves to it.”Dear God, it's beyond parody!
Sunday, 17 December 2006
The Woodinville-Duval Road is still a nightmare of downed power lines and trees, though this isn't the general picture. I had to drive up to Smoky Point, which is about forty miles north of here and aside from the odd branch and swayed sapling, things look fairly normal.
The biggest problem is frost, which we've had two nights of. That isn't so much of a problem out here, where everyone has a fireplace or wood stove, but in town I imagine quite a few condo dwellers have dark things to say about the 21st century.
Still, things are on the mend, so it looks as though I shan't need to reorganise Chez Szondy into a last bastion of civilisation against the darkening night.
Update: In a blast of pollution past, there's an inversion layer over the area and with so many fireplaces and stoves being pressed into service for heat, most of the mountain and the entire valley below us is covered with a pall of wood smoke.
Not sure if it's unhealthy, but I'm told it's quite fragrant.
Saturday, 16 December 2006
In a statement, she said that it was the unexpected publicity around her decision that made her change her mind.Pass the eggnog, please.
But a source close to the programme makers said one of the reasons was that she had been pressurised by senior members of the community who felt it was not her place to talk about Islam. It has also been said that she had received threatening letters from non-Muslims accusing her of trying to upstage the Queen.
Friday, 15 December 2006
Down in the valley, a whole stand of trees looked like a flattened field of corn. Along the Woodinville-Duval Road, so many pine trees had crashed along the road that the work crews had done little more than cut a winding path through the wreckage; leaving motorists to dodge stumps, low-lying branches, and strewn power lines. Beyond that, about a million people were without electricity-- which isn't in any way surprising.
We did not get to town.
Things haven't returned completely to normal, though. The wind storm that caused the failure knocked down trees all over the place, including several straight across our road.
And then there is the worst casualty of the episode; my nerves. Ever try to manage a brew up on a camp stove with one ear to the emergency shortwave while dealing with a four-year old without television to nail her down?
Not a pretty sight.
Thursday, 14 December 2006
Wednesday, 13 December 2006
Monday, 11 December 2006
Commander Dave Johnston, Britain's most senior murder investigator, has suggested that DNA should be taken from infants and put in a database in order to solve future crimes.Bravo. Now all the government needs is to simply make being born a crime and the circle will be complete.
Sunday, 10 December 2006
A school in traditionally Catholic Spain has cancelled Christmas celebrations so as not to offend children who are not Christians, ABC newspaper reported on Wednesday.Where is El Cid when you need him?
The Hilarion Gimeno school in Zaragoza said teachers had put forward various reasons for not celebrating Christmas, but ABC said the worry was that Muslim children might be upset.
Saturday, 9 December 2006
Friday, 8 December 2006
If you come here lawfully, we welcome you. If you are permitted to stay here permanently, you become an equal member of our community and become one of us. The right to be different. The duty to integrate. That is what being British means.This is a vital step in this war. Now let's see if the Mr. Blair backs it up with equally tough action.
Not surprisingly, the Beeb leaves out one tiny detail in the story. I can't quite put my finger on it, but I suspect that it may have something to do with his motive.
Thursday, 7 December 2006
(W)hen Muslims beat infidels, it’s just too bad for the latter; they must submit to their new overlords’ rules with all the attendant discrimination and humiliation mandated for non-Muslims. Yet when Islam is beaten, demands for apologies and concessions are expected from the infidel world at large.
Wednesday, 6 December 2006
Next: How to put out a fire with a can of petrol.
Two Muslim students have been expelled from an Islamic school in Melbourne for urinating and spitting on a Bible and setting it on fire.And this was followed by a notable lack of rioting and murder on the part of Christians around the world. Strangely, Newsweek is remarkably absent as well.
Modern Britain, where "inclusive" is defined as that which excludes traditional Christians.
Tuesday, 5 December 2006
A veiled Muslim woman will deliver this year's alternative Christmas speech on Channel 4, the broadcaster has said.Why is it that the words "snapshot of Britain's future" keep popping into my head?
Update: Also on the BBC, three quarters of British firms have banned Christmas decorations to avoid offending
Maybe "future" was the wrong word.
And I thought that the 1980's Robin of Sherwood New Age version with all its Herne the Hunter nonsense and Clannad soundtrack was a load of rubbish. Come back, Richard Greene, all is forgiven!
Monday, 4 December 2006
To paraphrase Bilbo Baggins, it's a bit thin, like butter spread over too much bread.
Sunday, 3 December 2006
Saturday, 2 December 2006
This would be impressive, if it hadn't all come in tins
- Effiloché de volaille en Parmentier (shredded chicken Parmentier)
- Dos d'espadon façon Riviera (Riviera style swordfish)
- Volaille épicée, sauté de légumes à la Thaï (spicy chicken with stir-fried Thai vegetables)
- Cailles rôties au Madiran (quails roasted in Madrian wine)
- Magret de canard confit, condiment aux câpres (duck breast confit with capers)
- Carottes de sable au goût d'orange et coriandre (sand carrots with a hint of orange and coriander)
- Céleri rave en délicate purée à la noix de muscade (a light puree of celery with a hint of nutmeg)
- Caponata (tomato, aubergine and olive dip)
- Gâteau de semoule de blé fine aux abricots secs (semolina cake with dried apricots)
- Morceaux de pommes fondantes (apple fondant pieces)
- Far de l'espace Space (a Brittany 'far' tart)
- Rice pudding aux fruits confits (rice pudding with candied fruit)
Friday, 1 December 2006
Thursday, 30 November 2006
Stand by for calls to establish a Ministry For Apologising For Everything that Anyone in Britain Has Done Anywhere, Anytime.
Wednesday, 29 November 2006
There's still ten degrees of frost outside, the roads have nearly an inch of ice on them and the weather forecast is for another snow storm this afternoon, but I have business in town that I can't put off any longer, so I'll have to make a go of it.
In the words of the immortal Captain Oates, "I am just going outside and may be some time."
That grinding sound you hear is Ernie Pyle spinning in his grave.
Tuesday, 28 November 2006
Some academic lawyers see these alternative legal systems as an inevitable - and welcome - consequence of multiculturalism.Meanwhile, events on the other side of channel make one wonder is "welcome" is quite the word, as there are now 751 no-go areas in France that the police have effectively given over to the Jihadists.
What is frightening about all of this is that as an archaeologist I've seen exactly this sort of thing before with the Saxon invasion of Britain in the 5th century AD. At first, the Saxons came as settlers who caused little trouble aside from the odd pirate raid, but eventually as their numbers swelled they became less and less deferential toward their hosts and before the native Britons knew what they were about, the "immigrants" revealed themselves as invaders who plunged the land into decades of bloody warfare.
What is old is new, I suppose.
Update: The Telegraph reports that Faizul Aqtab Siddiqi, a barrister and principal of Hijaz College Islamic University, near Nuneaton, Warwicks predicts "that there would be a formal network of Muslim courts within a decade."
Translation: By 2016, sharia will be the firmly established in Britain.
On down side, we have run out of Chardonnay and are desperately on the lookout for any passing St. Bernards.
Monday, 27 November 2006
Britain and France had to choose between war and dishonour. They chose dishonour. They will have war.
Victor Davis Hanson on the Jihadist War:
All that said, the West is encountering something novel, as it fights its first politically-correct war, in which all the postmodern chickens of the 1980s and 1990s have come home to roost. Thus multiculturalism makes it hard to fight non-Europeans from the former third world, inasmuch as it argued there was not just little distinctively good about the West, but rather the once recognized universal sins of mankind—racism, sexism, class oppression, inequality, patriarchy—were to be seen as exclusively Western.I largely agree with VDH on this, but the key word in all this is "when." The longer it takes for the Left to wake up to the Jihadist threat, the harder it will be to defeat our enemies, the more expensive and bloodier will be our victory, and the larger will be the number of innocents who will suffer. When Hitler rattled his sabre over the Rheinland he could have been crushed by a stern look, but the civilised nations opted for appeasement and got the most destructive war in history as their reward.
If you have taught youth for generations that the story of World War II is Hiroshima and the Japanese internment, not Normandy, the Bulge, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa, then how can you expect a nation to fight an enemy without making a mistake? And if dropping the bomb on Japan to stop its daily murdering of thousands in its collapsing empire, and to avoid something that would have made the horrific Battle for Berlin look like a cakewalk is equated with the Holocaust, how can the United States marshal the moral authority to press ahead, secure that its killing of jihadists is a different sort from jihadists killing the innocent or each other?
Add into this dangerous modernist soup moral equivalence, or what we know as “conflict resolution theory.” It postulates that any use of force de facto is equivalent to any other. We see those ripples with this Orwellian notion of “proportionality”, that a democratic Israel must calibrate its response to missiles aimed entirely at its civilians by ensuring none of its own aimed at Hezbollah terrorists and their supporters miss.
Then there is moral relativism and utopian pacifism. The latter is the idea that we have finally reached a sort of end of history, where our maturity and education and bounty have changed the rules of the game, relegating war to the Neanderthals. Relativism is even more pernicious because it is anti-empirical and suspends all moral judgment: Islam is just one of many religions given to excess, not at the heart of the vast majority of killing and fighting now going on in the world at this very hour, from Iraq and Afghanistan to Chechnya to Darfur to the West Bank to Lebanon to the Philippines to Indonesia to India and on and on. A Timothy McVeigh is not much different from an Osama bin Laden; forget the former was solitary and exceptional, the latter with millions of sympathizers and emblematic of an entire global movement. Both by their resort to terror were, presto, relatively the same.
So it is going to be hard, but not impossible, to win this war. Why,then, as readers have complained, my dogged optimism?
For two reasons. One, all these nostrums are theoretical, and anti-empirical. Ultimately as lies, they will be disapproved by the evidence before them. A progressive can call the ACLU all day long, but after 9/11 if he stands in line at an airport gate listening to an imam chanting Allah Akbar as he and his friends board, our liberal friend will begin to worry. And second, our enemies have no intention of relenting. They smell blood and want our carcass, so eventually even the progressive mind will give up the pieties of peace and face the inevitable.
Carl the Cattle Dog behaved himself and stayed in the yard chasing his tennis ball-- until it was time to go in for breakfast. Then he got it in his little canine head to run off into the woods behind the house, which he knows are off limits, in search of squirrels, other dogs to play with, and unicorns for all I know. This, of course, now means that the neighbours all think I'm mad as a March hare because everyone within a half-mile radius must have heard me crashing through the snow-covered underbrush, rotting timber, brambles and then three other people's gardens like some on-foot steeplechaser while shouting commands, oaths and threats at the dog with increasing anger as we pressed further and further into unexplored territory.
If I didn't know better, I'd suspect that this was revenge for making him take a bath yesterday.
After finally catching Carl and hauling him back by the scruff of the neck, he then spent the next hour hiding under the bed before emerging to do some major sucking up to Daddy.
And it is starting to snow again.
Sunday, 26 November 2006
In a saner world, Blair would have never have considered particular sorrow at what was once a universal evil and would have literally snorted at the very idea of an apology, preferring to say that he was proud of how Britain lead the fight in abolishing the slave trade throughout the world and would do its best to combat its resurgence-- especially in places like the Sudan and Saudi Arabia.
I am not, however, holding my breath.
That loud ringing noise you're hearing is the clue phone. For some people in the MSM, the collapse of the the Soviet Union is still a melancholy memory, but even the Latvians are getting fed up with this pining for the
Why do you refer to us as former Soviet Latvia? It's not who we are any more.In case anyone hasn't noticed, the USSR was a vile, expansionist police state that died fifteen years ago and good riddance. It's about time for "journalists" to either get over it or start habitually referring to all erstwhile parts of the Empire as "the former British colony" regardless of context.
Saturday, 25 November 2006
As a die-hard Bond fan since the age of nine, I know the Vesper well and it was one of my signature drinks during the days when I could afford to stock the bar with something other than bargain-basement Chardonnay and the occasional six-pack of Guinness. It's not a bad little tipple. The Vesper is so strong that it's a bit like drinking lighter fluid, but it's damned impressive-- especially when you plonk it down in front of your guest while saying casually, "You probably couldn't find ten non-squeal killers in France."The Vesper
- Three measures of Gordon's gin
- One measure of vodka
- Half a measure of Lillet
Thursday, 23 November 2006
Anyway, I'm off for some quality family time and cranberry sauce. Back on Saturday, but in the meantime, here's a bit of Thanksgiving history.
Wednesday, 22 November 2006
Tuesday, 21 November 2006
There's an east wind coming all the same, such a wind as never blew on England yet. It will be cold and bitter, Watson and a good many of us may wither before its blast. But it's God's own wind none the less, and a cleaner, better, stronger land will lie in the sunshine when the storm has cleared.
Sign the petition. It's time to stand up and be counted!
That's like tearing off a man's head and spitting down his neck. I suspect that he must have really cheesed off the wrong people back home.
Update: It was Polonium 210. Not exactly the sort of thing that you find just lying around the potting shed.
Ah, childhood! A time of innocence, discovery and being treated like a violent criminal on parole.
Monday, 20 November 2006
The suspect is described as being between 5 ft 5 ins and 5 ft 7 ins, of stocky build and about 148 years of age. The public are advised to exercise extreme caution in the vicinity of cat food shops, bingo parlours, Zimmer frame suppliers and Depends outlets.
Europe can be relaunched with Germany, Italy and Spain.Yes, the the Continent lead by three formerly Fascist states with France trailing behind and Britain refusing to surrender. It's 1940 all over again!
Passing yachtsmen are adviced to keep to windward.
Sunday, 19 November 2006
Saturday, 18 November 2006
Meanwhile, so-called "journalists" are not only submitting to dhimmitude, they are actively enforcing it, as this incident shows (emphasis added):
Something similar happened at this year’s Hay-on-Wye festival, sponsored by the Guardian, where a five-person panel discussed “Are there are any limits to free speech?” One of the Muslim panelists said if anyone offended his religion, he would strike him. A lawyer, Anthony Julius, responded that Jews had lived as minorities under two powerful hegemonies, Christian and Muslim, and had been obliged to learn how to deal nonviolently with offense caused to them by the sacred scriptures of both. He started by referring to an anti-Semitic passage in the New Testament — which passed without comment. But when he began to list the passages in the Koran that denigrate Jews, describing them as monkeys and pigs, the panelists went ballistic. One of them, Madeline Bunting of the Guardian, put her hand over the microphone and said words to the effect, “I am not going to sit here and listen to any criticisms of Muslims.” She was cheered, and not one of the journalists in the audience from right or left uttered a word about free speech — not hate speech, mind you, but free speech of a moderate nature.This is going to be a long war.
Friday, 17 November 2006
There's no pleasure on earth that's worth sacrificing for the sake of an extra five years in the geriatric ward of the Sunset Old People's Home, Weston-Super-Mare.
- All pre-school children's programmes
- All programmes on mainstream channels aimed at children
- All cable and satellite children's channels
- Programmes aimed at young people, such as music shows
- General entertainment programmes which would appeal to a "higher than average" number of under-16s.
Ah, well. At least they've increased the choco ration. Or so they say.
Update: Spain is ahead of the curve.
Thursday, 16 November 2006
Wednesday, 15 November 2006
Great. I'm already spending a fortune on this lavatory paper that I spread all over the floor and now this!
Tuesday, 14 November 2006
Well, my view of Europe in 20 years' time is that you'll be switching on the TV, you'll be looking at scenes of burning and conflagration and riots in the street. You will have a couple of countries that are maybe in civil war, at least on the brink of it.
You will have neofascists' resurgence in some countries and you'll have other countries that have just been painlessly euthanized in which a Muslim political class has effectively got its way without a shot being fired -- and large numbers of people, particularly young people, have left those countries and have moved on to whoever will take them.
Monday, 13 November 2006
Nasa is optimistic, though they do admit that Mr. Fuglesang is at something of a disadvantage, as the station did not come as a flat pack and the only tool Mr. Fuglesang knows how to use is an Allen key.
Sunday, 12 November 2006
Stop asking what you have done wrong. Stop it! They're slaughtering you like sheep and you still look within. You criticize your history, your institutions, your churches. Why can't you realize that it has nothing to do with what you have done but with what they want.
Saturday, 11 November 2006
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul:
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name' sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: For thou art with me;
Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies;
Thou annointest my head with oil; My cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever.
Friday, 10 November 2006
Thursday, 9 November 2006
- Does this mean Bush is still Hitler? I'm pretty sure Hitler never let his opponents win an election, did he? Unless... this is all part of Rove's plan.
- A major concern of the last few elections has been that Republicans need to cheat to win, and the problem was going to be even worse with the new Diebold machines. What happened? Did Cheney forget his password again? That darn Cheney, always forgetting his password.
- What happened to Ned? I thought Lieberman was Public Enemy #1. Now Kos must feel like the kid on Christmas morning who's surrounded by toys... except for the one he really wanted.
- Does Nancy Pelosi ever wear a fake flower on her lapel that shoots acid? Because that would really be a surprise for Batman when he's hauling her to Commissioner Gordon's office.
- So the world likes us again, right? No more terrorism? YAY!!!
Wednesday, 8 November 2006
This isn't surprising. President Bush is going to have to do some very heavy deal making if he's to keep the war effort going in the face of a hostile congress and press, and Rumsfeld, who I think did a very good job, is too much of a liability. Not only is he hated by the left for unabashedly supporting the war effort, but many at the Pentagon despise him as well for his insistence on fundamental defence reforms that respect no one's sacred cow. In such a situation it was hard enough to keep him in office even with a Republicans Congress, but now that the Democrats are in charge, he'd have all the life expectancy of a tethered duck in a shooting gallery.
American domestic politics aren't of that much interest to me, but this change in party control in the United States has a potentially huge impact on the war that could go one of three four ways:
- The democrats stick to their anti-war rhetoric and hand the Jihadists a victory by forcing an American surrender in Iraq.
- They indulge in a two-year orgy of political revenge that will see the war effort vanish in a flurry of indictments and investigations that will benefit no one except our enemies.
- They try either of the above, but discover their their slim majority results in nothing but gridlock and the war effort grinds to a halt.
- They sober up now that they have power and realise that there is a real war on with a real enemy that must be defeated.
Tuesday, 7 November 2006
Living on a mountain, I thought the last thing I'd have to worry about is a flood. This afternoon, I was proven wrong as the last of the roads across the valley vanished underwater. This wasn't any problem for me, since the road along the valley to my house rides up the hillside, so it's safe from any flood of less than Noachian levels, but when the way to the towns on the east side of the valley were cut off, that left a small army of stranded commuters who decided that the way to handle the situation was to park their cars in the crossroads, which blocked my way home as effectively as the flood itself.
Fortunately, it was early in the afternoon, so I was able to pick my way through by finesse, guile and threats, but my wife, who came home a couple of hours later, was caught up in a horrendous tailback and I had to look for back roads on the computer and then personally scout up and down the valley road so I could warn my wife which ones were flooded out and which ones were't jammed with traffic-- not easy when it's so backed up that even as I write this I can see the collected headlamps on the road to Monroe glowing against the clouds to the North.
We finally all managed to get home in various states of frustration and sogginess, but then I realised that though we were high and relatively dry, our house was at the end of a cul de sac with the only exit down in the valley-- and that's where the power and telephone lines ran from as well. Worse, even though our water came from a local well that was absolutely safe from contamination, all it would take is one bureaucrat with a vague memory of something called e coli and I'd be rigging plastic tarps over the lawn to catch enough rain for a pot of tea. So I've been having a jolly time filling up jugs and the upstairs bath while muttering to myself that we have got to budget for that emergency water drum. Also that I can't put off replenishing our stock of propane and batteries any longer.
Long story short, tomorrow should be very interesting. Either I'll be sitting here in a nice warm house typing away at the computer until it's time to pick up my daughter from school, or a convergence of flood waters, traffic snarls and power outages will see yours truly hiking through the woods to the main road and then hitching twenty miles for supplies before it gets too dark.
At least I'll be able to pass the time indulging in nature studies. The waters have chased all the animals and birds out of the valley and into the hills, so it's a bit like a David Attenborough documentary here. On the whole, though, I think I much preferred it when I used to ride out floods on my boat. At least then an overabundance of water merely meant that it was easier to get out to sea.
Big Brother: Love him or... Well, you don't get a choice.
Monday, 6 November 2006
"The prevailing view is that war is bad and we shouldn't study bad things," says Williamson Murray, a former professor who is now at the Institute for Defense Analyses. "Thank goodness cancer specialists don't have that attitude."
December 1941. Though the press supports America's going to war against Japan after Pearl Harbor, several editorials want to know why we didn't prevent the attack by selling Japan more oil. Others criticize us for going to war with two nations that had never attacked us, Germany and Italy.
October 1942. The New York Times runs an exclusive story about the British effort to decipher German messages at a hidden site at Bletchley Park in England. One op-ed writer criticizes this move, quoting Henry Stimson's statement that gentlemen do not read one another's mail. Because the Bletchley Park code-cracking helped us find German submarines before they attacked, successful U-boat attacks increased once the Germans, knowing of the program, changed their code.
January 1943. After President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill call for the unconditional surrender of the Axis powers, several newspapers criticize them for having closed the door to a negotiated settlement. The press quotes several senators complaining that the unconditional surrender policy would harm the peace process.
May 1943. A big-city newspaper reveals the existence of the Manhattan Project and its effort to build atomic weapons. In these stories, several distinguished scientists lament the creation of such a terrible weapon. After Gen. Leslie Groves testifies before a congressional committee, the press lambastes him for wasting money, ignoring scientific opinion, and imperiling the environment by building plants at Hanford and Oak Ridge.
December 1944. The German counterattack against the Allies in the Ardennes yields heavy American losses in the Battle of the Bulge. The press gives splashy coverage to the Democratic National Committee chairman's assertion that the war cannot be won. A member of the House, a former Marine, urges that our troops be sent to Okinawa.
August 1945. After President Truman authorizes dropping the atomic bomb on Japan, many newspapers urge his impeachment.
Sunday, 5 November 2006
Their complaint often boils down to the position that it is always right to intervene when Muslims are victims, as in Bosnia or Kosovo, and always wrong when the Muslims are the oppressors or terrorists, as with the Taliban or in Iraq.
Given the world view that has given rise to such grievances, there can never be sufficient appeasement and new demands will continue to be made.
Time for the Muslim "community" to prove him wrong.
But the BBC's world affairs editor John Simpson said that after his tirade, which was clearly deliberate, Saddam Hussein seemed to have a small smile of triumph on his face as he was led away from the courtroom.Ah, yes. Why should a reporter confine himself to piddly little things like facts when he has the ability to read minds?
"It was as if he was thinking 'I've come here and done what I intended to do,'" our correspondent said.
The Army is hosting its first recruitment drive solely for young British Muslims.That's the way to handle an unassimilated Muslim population that acts as a hiding place for Jihadists; give them guns and military training through a no-infidels need appply recruiting drive with the object of "promoting diversity" rather than destroying the enemy. The BBC doesn't even bother to bring up the diversity arguement, but merely makes a passing reference to recruiting shortfalls and the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan without mentioning the tiny little detail of who it is we're fighting and why this might explain why only 40 teenagers (at least they didn't call them "youths") have responded.
Will someone please remind the government that this sort of boneheaded PR drive doesn't work unless it's set up along the lines of the 442nd or how the Roman's deployed provincial recruits?
Saturday, 4 November 2006
What's interesting here is not the outcome, but the rationale behind it. Roundabouts were put in not because they are safer, but exactly the opposite. According to Hans Monderman, a traffic planner involved in a Brussels-backed project known as Shared Space,
It works well because it is dangerous, which is exactly what we want. But it shifts the emphasis away from the Government taking the risk, to the driver being responsible for his or her own risk.In other words, giving drivers personal responsibility for their safety results better decision making than what government regulation can impose.
Having lived in Milton Keynes and having still-green memories of getting lost on its notorious roundabout system, I am not the biggest fan of concrete carousels, but if they can provide a real-life parable about the fruits of liberty, I'm all for them.
Friday, 3 November 2006
Thursday, 2 November 2006
"Thin yellow streak"; how apt.
On Sept. 11, 2001, the American mainland was attacked for the first time since the War of 1812. The perpetrators were foreign -- Saudis and Egyptians. Since 9/11, Europe has seen the London Tube bombings, the French riots, Dutch murders of nationalist politicians. The perpetrators are their own citizens -- British subjects, citoyens de la République française. In Linz, Austria, Muslims are demanding that all female teachers, believers or infidels, wear head scarves in class. The Muslim Council of Britain wants Holocaust Day abolished because it focuses "only" on the Nazis' (alleged) Holocaust of the Jews and not the Israelis' ongoing Holocaust of the Palestinians.
How does the state react? In Seville, King Ferdinand III is no longer patron saint of the annual fiesta because his splendid record in fighting for Spanish independence from the Moors was felt to be insensitive to Muslims. In London, a judge agreed to the removal of Jews and Hindus from a trial jury because the Muslim defendant's counsel argued he couldn't get a fair verdict from them. The Church of England is considering removing St. George as the country's patron saint on the grounds that, according to various Anglican clergy, he's too "militaristic" and "offensive to Muslims." They wish to replace him with St. Alban, and replace St. George's cross on the revamped Union Flag, which would instead show St. Alban's cross as a thin yellow streak.
In a few years, as millions of Muslim teenagers are entering their voting booths, some European countries will not be living formally under sharia, but -- as much as parts of Nigeria, they will have reached an accommodation with their radicalized Islamic compatriots, who like many intolerant types are expert at exploiting the "tolerance" of pluralist societies. In other Continental countries, things are likely to play out in more traditional fashion, though without a significantly different ending. Wherever one's sympathies lie on Islam's multiple battle fronts the fact is the jihad has held out a long time against very tough enemies. If you're not shy about taking on the Israelis and Russians, why wouldn't you fancy your chances against the Belgians and Spaniards?
Only took them five years to spring into action, but better late than never, I suppose
*And who the BBC refer to as the "so-called British shoe bomber"-- as if that is in dispute.
Wednesday, 1 November 2006
Papua New Guinea is threatening to dramatically reduce the money it receives from Canberra, suspend all official visits by Australians or impose onerous travel restrictions, and recall its high commissioner.Go ahead, tough guy. Do your worst!
Via Tim Blair.
Russian trawlers are already being built to exploit the Arctic seas opened up as the sea ice shrinks as a result of global warming, scientists warned yesterday.Scientists warned? Warned what, exactly? That a country that has backed the wrong horse every time in the past century from the Russo-Japanese War to electing Putin is now betting the farm that the Arctic Ocean is going to be open to fishing soon? That's not a warning; it's running to form.
Tuesday, 31 October 2006
Pity it isn't at the same place. It could be as much fun as the time I served up barbecued spare ribs to a couple of vegans as a thank you for the lentil salad and self-righteousness they'd thrust upon me previously.
I haven't commented on it much because I was waiting for this little tidbit to surface, as I knew it would. As with the previous episode involving a girl who wanted to ditch her school uniform in favour of a burqa, this one revealed that the woman wanting to run around in a tent was really carrying out the demands of a third party-- usually her brothers or some cleric or both who were seeking a wedge to introduce sharia law into Britain.
You'd think they'd learn about Greeks bearing gifts by now.
Monday, 30 October 2006
That's like covering the desrtuction of Pompeii and forgetting to mention the volcano.
Update: Yup. Just a bunch of unidentified "youths."
Sunday, 29 October 2006
Mark Byford, the deputy chief of the BBC said that the corporation is "not crammed full of soft liberals" and then went on to shoot himself squarely in the foot. According to the Telegraph:
He also said he was "proud" of the BBC's decision to include an interview with the Taliban in an item about the conflict in Afghanistan.Translation: We're not a bunch of lefties, but we are happy to transmit Taleban propaganda and you can expect to see masked newsreaders as soon as we can get away with it.
"Our job in journalism is to communicate to the audience effectively the information we are delivering to them," he said. "As far as the issue of dress is concerned, it must not get in the way of the audience being able to receive the information in a clear and effective manner."
Asked specifically about the issue of a Muslim newsreader wearing a veil, he said: "The key is, if it does not hamper our primary obligation to deliver the news and information to our viewers and listeners then we would be respectful of that.
The words "own goal" spring lightly to mind.
My favourite bit of puff is this one:
Since the Taleban forces are employed fighting and killing British troops, I am at a loss to understand why the BBC feels that it is using our licence fees well by giving their propaganda oxygen? If you were killed during an attack by Nato, who would accept responsibility for your death? Paul Jewell, Ivinghoe, BuckinghamshireI think that's a nasty little bit of condescension at the end. Don't you, David? But on a separate point, "our taxes" are being used to kill Taleban while you are using "our licence fees" to help the Taleban. Aside from the sheer brass of comparing himself to Churchill or that there is an ocean of difference between "explaining what is going on" and carrying the enemy's water for them, Mr. Loyn sidesteps the burning question about all of this: Why is he actively engaged in helping spread propaganda for a load of evil men who are killing his own countrymen?
I took an assessment of the risks, well aware of the possibility you talk about. The BBC would not have blamed Nato forces for my death in these circumstances. Like Churchill I rather think jaw-jaw is better than war-war, and feel that my job as a reporter is to explain best what is going on. Indeed in a democracy I have not just a right but a duty to do this as comprehensively as possible. 'Our licence fees' did indeed support what was actually rather a cheap trip by the standards of these things (I was both the cameraman and reporter). But on a separate point, 'our taxes' are paying for 'our soldiers' to fight a difficult conflict, and I rather wanted to know what they are up against and why. Don't you, Paul?
One of my greatest bits of distaste that I have in this war is that we very quickly lost the spirit of the early days when, at a press conference in Iraq, a reporter started to frame his question to a U S official by quoting a local terrorist he'd recently interviewed. The official interrupted the reporter and demanded to know if he'd turned the terrorist in. The reporter said no and the official dismissed the reporter by telling him that next time he should do so.
Saturday, 28 October 2006
Auntie has reached rock bottom and is starting to dig.
I suspect that Mr. Ford needs to clear a few toys out his attic.
Harold Ford, a handsome 36-year-old from Tennessee, has become one of the sensations of the mid-term elections in the US and a reason why Democrats are a good chance of winning back control of the US Congress for the first time in 12 years.
But if Mr. Ford, already a US congressman, wins his bid to become a more powerful senator, Australia had better watch out.
Because according to Mr. Ford, Australia has an interest in nuclear weapons and is part of the broader nuclear threat to the US.
Friday, 27 October 2006
Thursday, 26 October 2006
Those atheists, people of the book (Christians and Jews), where will they end up? In Surfers Paradise? On the Gold Coast? Where will they end up? In hell and not part-time, for eternity. They are the worst in God’s creation.This doesn't need comment. Just a trip to the compost heap.
When it comes to adultery, it’s 90 percent the woman’s responsibility. Why? Because a woman owns the weapon of seduction. It’s she who takes off her clothes, shortens them, flirts, puts on make-up and powder and takes to the streets, God protect us, dallying. It’s she who shortens, raises and lowers. Then, it’s a look, a smile, a conversation, a greeting, a talk, a date, a meeting, a crime, then Long Bay jail. Then you get a judge, who has no mercy, and he gives you 65 years.
But when it comes to this disaster, who started it? In his literature, writer al-Rafee says, if I came across a rape crime, I would discipline the man and order that the woman be jailed for life. Why would you do this, Rafee? He said because if she had not left the meat uncovered, the cat wouldn’t have snatched it.
If you get a kilo of meat, and you don’t put it in the fridge or in the pot or in the kitchen but you leave it on a plate in the backyard, and then you have a fight with the neighbour because his cats eat the meat, you’re crazy. Isn’t this true?
If you take uncovered meat and put it on the street, on the pavement, in a garden, in a park, or in the backyard, without a cover and the cats eat it, then whose fault will it be, the cats, or the uncovered meat’s? The uncovered meat is the disaster. If the meat was covered the cats wouldn’t roam around it. If the meat is inside the fridge, they won’t get it.
If the woman is in her boudoir, in her house and if she’s wearing the veil and if she shows modesty, disasters don’t happen.
Satan sees women as half his soldiers. You’re my messenger in necessity, Satan tells women you‘re my weapon to bring down any stubborn man. There are men that I fail with. But you’re the best of my weapons.
…The woman was behind Satan playing a role when she disobeyed God and went out all dolled up and unveiled and made of herself palatable food that rakes and perverts would race for. She was the reason behind this sin taking place.
Most people have heard of the Dixie Chicks and how they got their knickers in a twist when their albums and concert tickets stopped selling because of their anti-war outbursts, but not nearly as many people have heard of Australian country singer Beccy Cole, who has been having trouble with her fans because of her patriotism and support for Australia's troops in the Middle East.
This is a pity, as her response shows that her feather of dignity has more weight than the Dixie Chicks' boulder of martyrdom.
Wednesday, 25 October 2006
I rarely get involved in discussions about the existence of God. Since I'm a Christian, I've obviously had that question answered to my satisfaction or I wouldn't be pondering the Resurrection, and dealing with arguments about whether there really is a God is like being sent back to first year chemistry class after getting an advanced degree in the practical application of polymers. Besides, the hyper-rationalist posturing and arrogance crossed with remarkably poor reasoning and historical ignorance of some atheists (especially in those who wish to see their faith become the state religion) is rather off-putting at the best of times.
But I must admit that it's interesting to see the vehemence with which atheists espouse their religion. Frankly, I'd have more respect for them if they'd stop defining themselves by how much they don't believe in something (that something being invariably Christianity) and maybe start having a go at a faith less inclined to turn the other cheek, such as Islam.
Now that would be worth the price of admission.
Tuesday, 24 October 2006
Prayer leader in Belgium condemns western attacks on Prophet (PBUH)PBUH stands for "peace be unto him" and is required of Muslims to be inserted after every reference to Mohammed. It is not, however required of anyone else, though UPI uses PBUH not only in the headline, but throughout the story.
UPI: Utterly Prone Invertebrates.
- We will pump oil at $3 and must sell it over $50— and still blame you for stealing our natural treasure
- We will damn your culture and politics, but expect our own to immigrate in the thousands to your shores; upon arrival any attempt to integrate Muslim immigrants into Western pluralistic society will be seen as Islamaphobic
- Send us your material goods, whether machine tools, I-pods, or antibiotics. We desperately want them, but will neither make the necessary changes in our own statist, authoritarian, religiously intolerant, tribal, and patriarchal culture to allow us to produce them ourselves, nor will show any appreciation for the genius of others who can do what we cannot
- We ostensibly wish you to stop the killing of Muslims by ourselves and others—Milosevic murdering Kosovars, Saddam destroying Kuwaitis, Kurds, and Shiites, Russians killing Afghans and Chechnyans—but should you concretely attempt to do so, we will immediately consider your intervention far worse than the mayhem caused by others or ourselves.
- Any indigenous failure in the Arab Middle East will eventually be blamed on the United States or Israel
- Your own sense of multiculturalism must serve as an apology for our own violent pathologies, that can only be seen as different from, never worse than, your own culture.
- We must at all times talk of anti-Americanism and why we want you out of the Middle East; you must never become anti-Arab or anti-Muslim, much less close your borders to our immigrants and students.
- We will tolerate and often defend those who burn churches, ethnically cleanse Jews from our cities, behead priests, kill nuns, and shoot infidels as the necessary, if sometimes regrettable, efforts of our more zealous to defend Islam. But if any free spirit in the West satirizes Islam, we will immediately demand that Western governments condemn such blasphemy—or else!
- Material aid—billions to Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, or the Palestinians—is our entitlement. Any attempt to curtail it is seen as an assault on the Arab nation
- We are deathly afraid of nuclear Russia, China, and India who have little tolerance for either Islamism or terrorism, and so will ignore their felonies, while killing you for your misdemeanors.
Monday, 23 October 2006
At the bloomin' ffird stroke, the nickle and dime will be ten twenty two and firty seconds.The speaking clock will receive a new voice after twenty one years. However, unlike in the past, where the person was chosen after a careful search for someone with perfect diction and a clear RADA accent, the new voice of the speaking clock will be chosen by contest and will be open to anyone.
I really hope this is one of those one-week-only charity things like they did back in 2003, otherwise another bulb will have gone out in the illuminated sign of British civilisation. Imagine calling up to find out the time and being greeted by some weak, nasal, reedy voice bleating out the hours and minutes in some impenetrable London accent.
It's enough to put one's teeth on edge.
Having a good Monday? This will put a stop to that. It's a public safety short from 1973 called "Spirit of Dark and Lonely Water" that was so creepy that after I wouldn't go near a damp sponge, let alone swimming-- and I was fifteen when it came out.
Sunday, 22 October 2006
Saturday, 21 October 2006
Is the Pope Catholic?
The figures are stark. An average of 112 cars a day have been torched across France so far this year and there have been 15 attacks a day on police and emergency services. Nearly 3,000 police officers have been injured in clashes this year. Officers have been badly injured in four ambushes in the Paris outskirts since September. Some police talk of open war with youths who are bent on more than vandalism.Civil war is an exaggeration-- for now.
"The thing that has changed over the past month is that they now want to kill us," said Bruno Beschizza, the leader of Synergie, a union to which 40 per cent of officers belong. Action Police, a hardline union, said: "We are in a civil war, orchestrated by radical Islamists."