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Or maybe not.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad certainly got the most votes. But a couple of things point to the possibility the result may have been, let’s say, adjusted. For the people’s benefit, of course. Because they don’t really know what is best for them.

First, the voter turnout was massively higher than ever before. That in itself doesn’t prove anything. But that almost every one of those additional votes was a vote for Imanutjob does make one wonder. Worthwhile news and debate on this from this New York Times blog.

It is certainly clear that some Iranians feel cheated. Again, there are always some people who feel cheated after any election. But the strength of feeling, and the willingness to protest openly despite the risks, suggests that this is not just a whining minority.

And then, Mousavi’s opposition party claims to have evidence that 10 million votes were counted without the required national identification numers being recorded.

The numbers Imanutjob is claiming show massive support for his repressive and aggressive regime. But if those numbers have been faked, it is possible the tide of popular feeling in Iran is turning against the anti-west, great Satan sentiments of the past.

But with protests being banned, and protestors being beaten and worse, there is still a long a painful road ahead.

The West must not abandon those working for change in Iran.


In a startling turn of events, Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has ordered a formal investigation into allegations of electoral fraud:

The decision has offered hope to opposition forces who have waged street clashes to protest the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

State television quoted him directing a high-level clerical panel, the Guardian Council, to look into charges by pro-reform candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, who has said he is the rightful winner of Friday’s presidential election.

Such an election probe by the 12-member council is uncharted territory and it not immediately clear how it would proceed or how long it would take.

Election results must be authorized by the council, composed of clerics closely allied with the unelected supreme leader. All three of Mr Ahmadinejad’s challengers in the election – Mr Mousavi and two others – have made public allegations of fraud after results showed the president winning by a 2-to-1 margin.

‘Issues must be pursued through a legal channel,’ state TV quoted Khamenei as saying. The supreme leader said he has ‘insisted that the Guardian Council carefully probe this letter.’

The day after the election, Khamenei urged the nation to unite behind Mr Ahmadinejad and called the result a ‘divine assessment.’

The results touched off three days of clashes – the worst unrest in Tehran in a decade. Protesters set fires and battled anti-riot police, including a clash overnight at Tehran University after 3,000 students gathered to oppose the election results.

I am currently at the number one position on Yahoo and Bing for the phrase ‘leading conservative blog,’ and at the number three position on Google.

They are results I am happy with, given it takes a long time to build blog traffic, and Qohel has only been running for about six months.

I am still only just making enough in advertising revenue to cover my hosting costs. But that’s cool.

But over the last week I have noticed something interesting.

Google ads always display correctly for traffic coming from Google or Yahoo. But two out of three times, do not display correctly for traffic coming from Bing.

Is that error, co-incidence, or is Google being clever?

Find common ground in their concerns about Obama’s speech to the Islamic world in Cairo.

I wrote  a few days ago that the big omission from that speech was any reference to the real reasons for the foundation of the state of Israel, and any truthful relating of the history of Israel.

There were some good and brave things in Obama’s speech, and they should be recognised and honoured. But that does not mean that the speech should be immune from criticism, and in some respects it was a  major opportunity lost.

Ann Coulter responded with her typically ascerbic insight:

Obama bravely told the Cairo audience that 9/11 was a very nasty thing for Muslims to do to us, but on the other hand, they are victims of colonization.

Except we didn’t colonize them. The French and the British did. So why are Arabs flying planes into our buildings and not the Arc de Triomphe? (And gosh, haven’t the Arabs done a lot with the Middle East since the French and the British left!)

In another sharks-to-kittens comparison, Obama said, “Now let me be clear, issues of women’s equality are by no means simply an issue for Islam.” No, he said, “the struggle for women’s equality continues in many aspects of American life.”

So on one hand, 12-year-old girls are stoned to death for the crime of being raped in Muslim countries. But on the other hand, we still don’t have enough female firefighters here in America.

Delusionally, Obama bragged about his multiculti worldview, saying, “I reject the view of some in the West that a woman who chooses to cover her hair is somehow less equal.” In Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan and other Muslim countries, women “choose” to cover their heads on pain of losing them.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali also points out that it is not simply being polite, but a massive untruth, to claim a moral equivalence between the treatment of women in Islamic societies and the roles and choices available to women in the West.

Obama, she says, should speak the truth to Islam:

That poor girl in Qatif, Saudi Arabia, who, after seven men raped her, was sentenced to flogging, had succumbed to the novel idea of flirting by mobile phone. In Saudi Arabia, every Friday, cruel and unusual punishment is perpetrated, far worse than anything John Adams saw in his time. The hands of those suspected of stealing — mostly poor, immigrant workers — are amputated.

The more one is dark-skinned in Saudi Arabia, the bleaker his circumstances, not to mention hers. For in Saudi Arabia, black is still considered to be inferior. Men and women convicted of adultery, apostasy, treason and other “offences” are beheaded. Thousands of women are rotting in Saudi jails, waiting to be flogged, or are flogged daily for acts such as mingling with men, improper attire, fornication and virtual relationships on the internet and mobile phones.

Promotion of literacy for girls, which the President wants to help pursue, is a noble cause. But, unless sharia laws are repealed, more girls will find themselves in flogging pens rather than rising up the career ladder.

Probably nothing. That is, nothing except a high altitude weather balloon made of a then classified material crashing, later to be recovered by members of the 509th.

But then, it seems to be true that the first press releases from local authorities including the military, reported the finding of a flying saucer.

And there are reports (although now mostly second hand) of men who were there reporting seeing oddly shaped bodies and strange materials.

The base intelligence officer who was tasked with taking the wreckage to another base reports leaving it in an office there and returning a few minutes later to find that the space debris he had brought had been replaced with parts of a weather balloon.

One account of those days comes from Julie Shuster, whose father was the press officer at the Roswell base.

“My daddy didn’t lie. My father saw the bodies, my father saw the craft,” she says. “He saw bodies – large heads, almond shaped eyes… and material that couldn’t be burnt, ripped, cut – anything.”

Well, maybe. But then ..

Is it just a coincidence that aliens have never managed to find an earth-dweller who knows how to operate his own camera properly?

And why, if you have journeyed light years across the unknowable vastness of the heavens, would you confine yourself to a fleeting and ambiguous appearance before a handful of New Mexican ranchers?

Apologies for the lack of posts over the last few days.

It has been really busy at my real job – I run a computer store, but more importantly, my sister Amanda has been seriously ill again.

She has been in hospital since Friday evening. She needs constant supervision. The local hospital is small (the island only has a population of about 4500 people) and they do not have the staff to provide that level of care. Kathy and I have been with her from 7.30 in the morning till nine each night.

Amanda was taken to Adelaide at noon today by the Flying Doctor. We hope to get to Adelaide next weekend to visit, and if she is well enough, to bring her home.

Please pray for her.

So police taser him to death.

Tasers are a useful addition to the range of options available to police in subduing violent or resistant suspects.

The man in question had allegedly assaulted his his girlfirend, and had smashed some property. He was also known to be at risk of suicide, and at the time of his arrest was threatening no one but himself.

When capsicum spray proved ineffective, he was tasered at least three times. Tasering someone to death because he is threatening to hurt himself does not seem even a remotely intelligent or appropriate response.

If no one else was in danger, why not just back off until he calmed down?

Someone who is winning an argument with a liberal.

That one has been around for a while. But that doesn’t stop it being true.

Michael Coren at the National Post points out that if mainstream parties continue to ignore the often reasonable conerns of ordinary people, and continue to demonise those who express such concerns, they ought not to be surprised when parties like the BNP begin to make inroads into mainstream politics.

The British National Party does not goose-step. It has worked diligently to expunge the Nazi image of previous rightist parties, claiming to be nationalist rather than Fascist. It’s both true and false. Almost every believing right-wing extremist supports the BNP, but most BNP supporters are not right-wing extremists. Indeed, while the party is not trusted by the vast majority of minority groups, it does has a Jewish municipal councillor and some support in elements of the black, Hindu and Sikh communities.

Most of all, it has support within a white working-class that has been taken for granted by the Labour Party for half a century. These are the unheard, the anonymous, the ordinary. The sort of people who fight the wars, build the cities and hold the country together. When, however, they complain of the disappearance of their culture and values and speak of inner-city crime and decay, their collective cry is dismissed as racism by a political and social elite that can afford not to understand.

The new number in the equation is Islam, and the number is growing. While there is an expanding and quintessentially English Muslim middle class and a strong resistance to fundamentalism, Islamic isolationism is a major factor now in dozens of British cities. Entire self-imposed ghettoes resembling Mecca Road rather than Coronation Street make routinely tolerant, moderate British people feel excluded, afraid and irrelevant.

This is not mere fantasy. There are honour killings, Muslim gang crime aimed at the white community, young Muslim men dealing drugs and prostitution. There is also a political fanaticism that culminated in the 2005 terror attacks which killed 52 people and injured 700.

The response of the traditional parties, the churches and the BBC is to try to silence the already largely powerless with lectures about Islamophobia. It’s disingenuous, patronizing and counter-productive. A new conversation has to be formed, and sensitive yet difficult questions have to be asked of everybody concerned, including British Muslims and their new left-wing comrades. Otherwise the laughter might stop and the marching begin. Even in good old England.

And in good old Australia.

The multiple frosts that have blanketed Western Canada in the last week are the most widespread in the top canola-growing province of Saskatchewan in at least five years.

In Manitoba, the frost is the worst in memory for its frequency and area covered.

But isn’t it, like, Summer up there?

And drilling for oil in Alaska.

Sounds sensible. Nuclear reactors are a cheap, clean way to produce vast amounts of power, and they produce no greenhouse gas emissions.

Taking oil from the massive reserves in Alaska will reduce dependence on foreign energy, a significant vulnerability not just for the US, but the whole of the West.

I’m just waiting for the squeals of horror.

You’ve seen the ads. Invest a few dollars on our easy guide, and you’ll be making more money from home in a few hours a week than you ever did in your boring office /factory /farm /driving /whatever job.

Most of those schemes involve selling schemes telling other people how to make money on the internet

So before investing your money and giving up your real job, you might like to read the Work at Home Truth website first.

Avoiding scams is mostly common sense, and not being lazy or greedy. But there are also some non-obvious pointers, and some interesting ideas about home marketing and adsense plans which might actually work.

When it is the entirely righteous anger of ordinary people at pointless violence, and the distortion and corruption of their faith.

Pakistani villagers enraged with the Taliban after the bombing of a mosque battled the militants on Monday, underscoring a shift in public opinion away from the hardline Islamists.

The Taliban have stepped up bomb attacks and are suspected of being behind a suicide blast at a mosque in the Upper Dir region, near Swat, that killed about 40 people on Friday.

Outraged by the attack, villagers formed a militia, known as a lashkar, of about 500 men and began fighting the militants on Saturday in an bid to force them out of their area.

A February pact aimed at placating the Taliban in Swat by introducing Islamic sharia law sailed through parliament with only one or two voices of dissent.

But much has changed since then…

A Taliban push into a district 100 km (60 miles) from Islamabad, a widely circulated video of Taliban flogging a teenaged girl and the Islamists’ denunciation of the constitution as “unIslamic” have sharply shifted public opinion.

All that is good. But many in Pakistan still see the Taliban as their Islamic brothers, and a less important enemy than India, the US or Jews.

Pakistan must, and the rest of world must help, reassure, resettle and rebuild, where the battle with the Taliban has caused death and loss of homes and livelihoods. If we do not, the tide of feeling will turn against Pakistan’s government and the West, as quickly as it now seems to have turned in favour.

From Australian Conservative.

John Styles points out that just as escalating violence against visiting students was back in the news in in mid May, the vast resources of the Victorian Police Department were focussed on catching …  jay walkers.

And Miranda Devine notes that the Prime Minister and senior police are reprimanding overseas students who are no longer willing to sit back and be robbed and beaten.

In Victoria, a police spokeswoman said Indian students doing their own security patrols at crime-ridden western suburbs railway stations should “leave and let police do their jobs”.

Well, if the police had done their jobs in the first place Indian students wouldn’t feel like they have to escort each other home from railway stations late at night. Nor would 1000 Indian students have gathered on Sunday at Town Hall and this week in Harris Park to protest about the lax policing.

But now that Australia’s not-so-secret suburban law and order problem has become an international scandal, it’s remarkable how vigilant the police can be.

I have been a police chaplain, and know how difficult and thankless the task of effective community policing can be. I doubt very much that the fault here lies with ordianry police men and women.

From COED Magazine.

From the A-Team (with Liam Neeson, Bruce Willis and Woody Harrelson, so probably not as horrible as it could have been), to Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader, to Arrested Development, to Alice in Wonderland (directed by Tim Burton and starring, let me guess, Johnny Depp).

You might argue with order of the list, but there are certainly some interesting movies coming up.

That is a basic Christian principle. You must always do what is right. The end does not justify the means.

Doing wrong so good may come is pride. It is the belief that we know better than God. But we are not wiser than God.

Evil has a way of spreading, and sprouting up consequences that are not easy to foresee. 

I cannot help but be glad about the permanent closure of George Tiller’s monstrous death factory.

That is a positive outcome for hundreds of children who will now be born alive instead of being dragged halfway out of the womb and having their skulls crushed so they were dead before being fully delivered. Another four inches and the skull crushing would have been murder. I’m sure the babies understood that distinction perfectly.

Yet the killing of George Tiller was also murder. Murder is always wrong. There may be, and probably will be, consequences of that act we cannot yet see.

He said some nasty things about Tracy Grimshaw. Well, boo hoo.

He’s made a career out of saying nasty things about people.

People like Tracy Grimshaw have benefitted from the publicity this nastiness has generated, and no doubt found it amusing. As long as it was directed at someone else. Underpaid teenagers working in kitchens for example.

If you make a celebrity out of someone because he is a foul mouthed pig, why get all surprised when he acts like a foul mouthed pig?

At least Channel Nine is getting a bit of free publicity. Despite Grimshaw’s vow she will never talk to him again, I bet there will be a return interview . The possible ratings will make it irresistable to Nine’s management.