From the New York Post:
The Pentagon now confirms that at least 74 former Guantanamo detainees have resumed terror ist activities after claiming they weren’t terrorists.
Such recidivism points up an alarming intelligence failure.
These dangerous prisoners should never have been cleared for release. Why did interrogators fail to find the cracks in their stories and alibis?
Why wasn’t more intelligence gathered to predict they’d rejoin al Qaeda or the Taliban?
… For that matter, Gitmo doesn’t even do “interrogations” anymore. They’re now called interviews, and they’re voluntary …
As a condition of their release, the Gitmo detainees signed pledges to renounce violence and enroll in “reintegration programs” in countries that agreed to repatriate them.
Terrorist Said Ali al-Shihri went through the resort-like Saudi program after his release in 2007.
Afterward, he helped plan last year’s deadly attack on the US Embassy in Yemen as al Qaeda’s operations chief there.
Another Gitmo recidivist, Slimane Hadj Abderahmane, laughed at the anti-violence agreement he signed. Once free, he re-engaged in terror and said, “This document is toilet paper for the Americans if they want it.”
I pointed out several months ago that the Federal goverment’s stimulus plan could not achieve increased wealth for the average Australian, because simply taking money from some people and giving it to others does not produce anything new. It is production that increases wealth, not simply spending. Professor Neal Stoughton agreed.
In an article called The Uselessness of Useless Spending published on Quadrant online today, Steven Kates explains in more detail why this is so:
The fact of the matter is, that should it turn out that these have been quack remedies, the equivalent of bleeding the unwell and applying leaches to the sick, we are going to know.
Because there are some of us who believe that what is being done will actually make economic conditions worse, with the potential to slow recovery, reduce real incomes, lower employment, push up inflation and cause investment to fall back.
Spending money we do not have on infrastructure with no net value was once seen by economists of a bygone era as about as wrong a policy as one could possibly invent …
Build roads that goods can travel along at a lower cost, and these outlays repay themselves in higher national productivity.
But to build school libraries or to insolate houses or to build loss making broadband networks will not create any additional value with which to repay these expenditures. We will have the debt, but no extra output to repay any of the monies we are so madly spending now.
But sadly, no one who needs to hear will hear, and most working Australians will spend the rest of their lives paying back this pointless extravaganza.
Two interesting articles from FrontPage Magazine.
The first is an interview with Coptic priest Fr Zakaria Botros. He has been denounced as Islam’s public enemy number one, and Al Qaeda has said they will pay $60 million for his head.
From the FrontPage article:
I am a Copt. In my early 20s, I became a priest. Of course, in predominantly Muslim Egypt, Christians—priests or otherwise—do not talk about religion with Muslims. My older brother, a passionate Christian learned that lesson too late: after preaching to Muslims, he was eventually ambushed by Muslims who cut out his tongue and murdered him. Far from being deterred or hating Muslims, I eventually felt more compelled to share the Good News with them. Naturally, this created many problems: I was constantly harassed, threatened, and eventually imprisoned and tortured for a year…
Ibn Taymiyya, who happens to be the hero of the modern mujahid movement, explained the prerequisites of prophet-hood very well. One of the things he stressed is that, in order to know if a prophet is in fact from God, we must study his sira, or his biography, much like the Christ’s statement that “You shall know them from their fruits.” So, taking Ibn Taymiyya’s advice, I recently devoted a number of episodes analyzing the biography of Muhammad, which unequivocally proves that he was not a prophet, that his only “fruits” were death, destruction, and lust. Indeed, he himself confessed and believed that he was being visited and tormented by a “jinn,” or basically a demon, until his wife Khadija convinced him that it was the angel Gabriel—which, of course is ironic, since Muhammad himself later went on to say that the testimony of a woman is half that of a man.
And from an article about Fr Botros on National Review Online:
The result? Mass conversions to Christianity — if clandestine ones. The very public conversion of high-profile Italian journalist Magdi Allam — who was baptized by Pope Benedict in Rome on Saturday — is only the tip of the iceberg. Indeed, Islamic cleric Ahmad al-Qatani stated on al-Jazeera TV a while back that some six million Muslims convert to Christianity annually, many of them persuaded by Botros’s public ministry. More recently, al-Jazeera noted Life TV’s “unprecedented evangelical raid” on the Muslim world. Several factors account for the Botros phenomenon.
Another reason for Botros’s success is that his polemical technique has proven irrefutable. Each of his episodes has a theme — from the pressing to the esoteric — often expressed as a question (e.g., “Is jihad an obligation for all Muslims?”; “Are women inferior to men in Islam?”; “Did Mohammed say that adulterous female monkeys should be stoned?” “Is drinking the urine of prophets salutary according to sharia?”). To answer the question, Botros meticulously quotes — always careful to give sources and reference numbers — from authoritative Islamic texts on the subject, starting from the Koran; then from the canonical sayings of the prophet — the Hadith; and finally from the words of prominent Muslim theologians past and present — the illustrious ulema.
Typically, Botros’s presentation of the Islamic material is sufficiently detailed that the controversial topic is shown to be an airtight aspect of Islam. Yet, however convincing his proofs, Botros does not flatly conclude that, say, universal jihad or female inferiority are basic tenets of Islam. He treats the question as still open — and humbly invites the ulema, the revered articulators of sharia law, to respond and show the error in his methodology. He does demand, however, that their response be based on “al-dalil we al-burhan,” — “evidence and proof,” one of his frequent refrains — not shout-downs or sophistry.
More often than not, the response from the ulema is deafening silence — which has only made Botros and Life TV more enticing to Muslim viewers.
The second FrontPage article is by David Horowitz. Horowitz points out that despite the distortions of history, and the failure to mention terrorism or Islam’s history of vicious conquest of Christian and other countries, there were some good things in Obama’s Cairo speech.
I certainly agree that ather than simply condemn Obama’s failures, we should applaud what he gets right – and amidst the jumble, he got a lot right in Cairo.
Here is a substantial chunk, but the whole thing is worth reading:
As for the Middle East conflict, Obama began – began – by telling the Muslim world that the bond between Israel and the United States is unbreakable, and by opening the wound of the Jews that made a homeland for them a moral imperative: “America’s strong bonds with Israel are well known. This bond is unbreakable. It is based upon cultural and historical ties, and the recognition that the aspiration for a Jewish homeland is rooted in a tragic history that cannot be denied.”
And then he characterized Holocaust deniers like Ahmadinejad as despicable, and identified them as a cause of war in the Middle East, and announced that he was going to Buchenwald the next day (clearly to underscore that fact): “Around the world, the Jewish people were persecuted for centuries, and anti-Semitism in Europe culminated in an unprecedented Holocaust. Tomorrow, I will visit Buchenwald, which was part of a network of camps where Jews were enslaved, tortured, shot and gassed to death by the Third Reich. Six million Jews were killed – more than the entire Jewish population of Israel today. Denying that fact is baseless, ignorant, and hateful. Threatening Israel with destruction – or repeating vile stereotypes about Jews – is deeply wrong, and only serves to evoke in the minds of Israelis this most painful of memories while preventing the peace that the people of this region deserve.”
And while Obama made false parallels between Jews and Arabs as contributors to the intractability of the Middle East conflict and rewrote some history, he also said in no uncertain terms that it was Palestinians who had to renounce violence (and here he drew no parallels and no moral equivalence) and had to recognize the Jewish state — something even the “moderate” terrorist Abbas refuses to do.
And to underscore this point he drew a parallel between the struggles of American blacks for civil rights and Palestinians. But unlike Condoleeza Rice who not too long ago drew the same parallel to aggrandize the PLO terrorists as civil rights activists, Obama drew a sharp and revealing line of distinction between them: “Palestinians must abandon violence. Resistance through violence and killing is wrong and does not succeed. For centuries, black people in America suffered the lash of the whip as slaves and the humiliation of segregation. But it was not violence that won full and equal rights. It was a peaceful and determined insistence upon the ideals at the center of America’s founding.“
And that was really the core of Obama’s speech. It was a defense of America’s founding and America’s mission. We are a tolerant nation and a peaceful nation Obama told 1.5 billion Muslims and we will accept and embrace you if you reject the violent and hateful among you and walk a peaceful and tolerant path. And this tolerance must extend not only to the Jews of Israel, and other infidels, but to Muslims among you who are oppressed, specifically Muslim women: “The sixth issue that I want to address is women’s rights. I know there is debate about this issue. I reject the view of some in the Wes that a woman who chooses to cover her hair is somehow less equal, but I do believe that a woman who is denied an education is denied equality.. That is why the United States will partner with any Muslim-majority country to support expanded literacy for girls, and to help young women pursue employment through micro-financing that helps people live their dreams.”
Of course the good things do not excuse the distortions. Robert Spencer points out in a careful, step by step review of Obama’s speech, also on FrontPage, that those distortions are substantial and damaging.
Military pressure has forced the release or abandonment of two more hostage held by Abu Sayyaf terrorists in the southern Phillipines.
Leah Patris, an employee of a micro-finance company, was kidnapped on February 3rd.
Peace activist Umar Jaleel was released last Thursday after being kidnapped on February 13th.
Still no news about Red Cross worker Eugenio Vagni, who was taken by Abu Sayyaf, along with two other Red Cross workers, on the fifteenth of January.
At least in the Phillipines, terrorists are getting the message that kidnapping is no longer likely to be a profitable activity.
Perhaps the tin pot generals who run Burma hoped that with the media’s attention on the show trial of Aung San Suu Kyi, their latest vicious attacks on ethnic and religious minorities would go unnoticed.
The tragedy is, they might be right.
So far not a single story in mainstream news outlets about the horrific attacks which have forced over 3,000 people to flee Ler Per Her refugee camp on the Thai/Burma border near Mae Sot.
The Free Burma Rangers have more, including this story of a 14 year old girl being gang raped by Burmese soldiers, and a man having his hands cut off after being accused of talking with members of resistance groups.
A well-known TV psychologist has said that one way to find peace in your daily life is to finish all the things you have started…….
So I looked around my house to see things I’d started and hadn’t finished.
Before leaving home this morning, I finished off a bottle of Merlot, a bottle of Chardonay ,a bole of Baileys, a butle of Kehuha, a pockage of biskuts, the mainder of bot Prozic and Valum scriptins, the res of the Chesescke, some saltins an a bax a cholates…
Yu haf no idr who gud I fel.
While we’re thinking about global warming.
The National Snow and Ice Data Center has a tool which allows you to compare the extent of sea ice in any two years from 1978 to 2009.
Here are figures for sea ice in May of three different years:
1980 Southern Hemisphere = 9.5 million sq km
1980 Northern Hemisphere = 14.0 million sq km
Total = 23.5 million sq km
2008 Southern Hemisphere = 11.5 million sq km
2008 Northern Hemisphere = 13.2 million sq km
Total = 24.7 million sq km
2009 Southern Hemisphere = 11.4 million sq km
2009 Northern Hemisphere = 13.4 million sq km
Total = 24.8 million sq km
A Russian climatologist says global warming played a ‘significant part’ in the crash of Air France flight 447 in the Atlantic a couple of days ago.
If you don’t know, you might as well make something up. Especially if what you are making up might get you some more grant money.
Reading that article reminded me of this list of all the things scientists have so far claimed are caused by global warming. The Earth spins faster. The Earth is slowing down. Widespread floods. Widespread droughts. Maple syrup production down. Maple syrup production up. Mountains breaking up. Mountains getting taller. Farmers getting richer. Farmers getting poorer. Polar bears becoming aggressive.
Well, that settles it for me. Those polar bears have always been so gol darn cute and cuddly before. I just know something’s going on.
From 8.9% to 9.4% in May.
Former White House spokesman Tony Fratto is less than impressed with the current administration’s claim that thousands of jobs created have been created by the stimulus plan:
After nearly twenty years in Washington I thought I’ve seen every trick ever conceived, but the White House claims of “jobs saved” attributed to the stimulus bill is unrivaled. What causes the jaw to drop is not just the breathtaking deception of the claim, but the gullibility of the Washington press corps to continue reporting it.
News stories from President Obama’s event last week hailing the 100-day mark since the stimulus was passed typically repeated the assertion that the stimulus has already “created or saved 150,00 jobs.” (“And that’s just the beginning,” the President crowed.)
Here’s an important note to my friends in the news media: the White House has absolutely no earthly clue how many job losses have been prevented because of the stimulus bill. None.
Forget that only a trickle of stimulus spending has yet made its way into the real economy. Set aside your views on whether or not the stimulus has any job-saving or -creating impact. And leave for another day the White House’s failing to account for changing macroeconomic conditions and seasonal adjustments.
There is only one necessary data point to make the “jobs-saved” claim: an accurate measure of expected employment levels in the future. That baseline data is critical to measure what the employment level would be in the absence of the stimulus. Unfortunately for the White House, they cannot possibly know that measurement within any degree of confidence — and they know it …
A self-respecting press corps would vigorously question the White House on their claims. We’ll see if we have one.
Anyone want to put money on it?
Google often changes its logo to match the day – public holidays, festivals, even sports get their own logo de jour.
On June 6th 2008 Google remembered the birthday of Spanish painter Diego Velasquez.
I like Velasquez. Las Meninas, the painting suggested in the logo, is a wonderfully rich image that draws in the viewer, and almost forces him or her to wonder, to ask questions, to participate in the painting. It really is one of those rare paintings you can lose yourself in.
On June 6th 2009 Google remembered the invention of the game Tetris. Tetris was a milestone in computer games. It is simple to play, highly addictive, and has probably been played by more people than any other video game.
But hang on. Important as those things might be, June 6th is the anniversary of D-Day.
2009 is the 65th anniversary of the day on which allied forces, mostly men from the US and UK, landed on beaches in Normandy and began to roll back the horror of the Nazi domination of Europe. The beaches were more heavily defended than expected, and losses were horrific.
The film Saving Private Ryan gives a frighteningly accurate portrayal of the conditions under which the landings took place.
I am not the only person to think there is something wrong at Google HQ if D-Day can be consistently considered less important to remember than a painter or a video game. (There is something wrong at Wikipedia as well, but that’s a post for another time).
Time to change search engines.
No s%#t, Sherlock.
A study from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland looking at climate data over the past century has concluded that solar variation has made a significant impact on the Earth’s climate. The report concludes that evidence for climate changes based on solar radiation can be traced back as far as the Industrial Revolution. Past research has shown that the sun goes through eleven year cycles. At the cycle’s peak, solar activity occurring near sunspots is particularly intense, basking the Earth in solar heat.
Solar activity has shown a major spike in the twentieth century, corresponding to global warming. Recent cooling corresponds to a cyclic decline in sunspot activity. Comparable up and down changes in atmospheric temperature have been observed on Mars, Jupiter, and most other places which receive light and heat from the sun.
June 1 is the beginning of the North Atlantic hurricane season. Benita Dodd, of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, notes that:
Odds are a mild hurricane season will be blamed on … global warming. Odds are an active hurricane season will be blamed on … global warming.
One of my friends is a dizzy blonde beauty therapist. She spends a considerable amount of time ripping hair off people’s private parts.
Last night she showed me a brochure for a new product – lightening gel for sensitive areas.
Apparently with so many people now permanently hairless down under, looking one’s best everywhere has become a major concern. You don’t want to look brown. Pink is the go.
So you smear this cream on your rectum and it goes a nice pink colour. Celebrites are ordering with confidence, according to the South Beach website.
The process is also known as anal bleaching.
But why would you do it? Who would be looking?
The fire broke out in a tyre depot next to the daycare centre in Hermosillo in northern Mexico.
Of about 180 children at the centre at the time, 29 are reported dead from asphyxiation.
May God grant them a place in His heavenly Kingdom, and give comfort to their families.
And perhaps someone could investigate why a childcare centre was built right next to a business storing large quantities of highly flammable materials.
Global temperature has (possibly, no one is really sure) risen by about half of one degree over the last hundred years.
Given that seals have survived the last several million years of climate changes, varying from ice ages to periods considerably warmer than now, their ability to survive this miniscule change is hardly surprising.
Unless you are a raving climate catastrophist who looks for horror stories around every corner. In which case you would have been pleasantly suprised by growing numbers of protected Russian seals. Or horribly disappointed.
In further news, disobedient sea otters and polar bears also continue to increase in number.
Yesterday Qohel was at the number one position on Bing for ‘leading conservative blog.’ Today it has dropped out of their listings completely.
Bing’s webmaster tools report they had trouble finding my sitemap last time they crawled the site. I’ve checked that and pinged Bing with the sitemap address. But Qohel is not showing as blocked, and surely a missing sitemap could not cause an already listed site to disappear completely?