Archive for March, 2008

>Appeasers of Islamism are betrayers and cowards

>Mr. Ellian, who fled Iran in 1983, is a professor of legal philosophy at Leiden University. He has a piece in the WSJ on the recent release of Fitna that is a powerful criticism of fecklessness in the face of Islamic threats.

‘Fitna” has arrived.

Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders put the 15-minute movie about the Quran on the Internet Thursday night. But for weeks before anyone saw it, the Dutch flag was burned around the Islamic world. Iran’s undemocratically-elected parliament endorsed a boycott of the Netherlands, and Web sites linked to al Qaeda called for terrorist attacks.

Americans may be accustomed to images of angry bearded men setting their flag alight. The Dutch aren’t. In response, the government raised the national terrorist threat level to “substantial” while Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende distanced himself from the movie. Until the last moment, he urged Mr. Wilders not to show the film.

The message of “Fitna” is that the Quran is the living inspiration for jihadists. Without the Quran’s violent passages, the film suggests, Islamic terrorism would not exist. Mr. Wilders shows verses from the Quran alongside hate speeches by imams and graphic images of Islamic terrorism — from 9/11 to the Madrid train bombings in 2004 and the London attack a year later. He uses footage from the video-taped beheading of a hostage by Islamic terrorists. He also shows the most famous of the Danish cartoons (the one with a bomb on Muhammad’s head) that triggered demonstrations across the Muslim world two years ago.

The Western world long ago learned to criticize, even mock, religion. Think of such movies as “The Life of Brian” and “The Da Vinci Code” or more serious texts on Christianity by Nietzsche, whose famous phrase “God is Dead” is part of popular culture. Competition of ideas is fundamental to the Western way of life. The Islamic world isn’t accustomed to such discussions.

As in other countries, the terrible attacks of 9/11 raised existential questions in the Netherlands that remain the subject of heated debate to this day. They paved the way for the political rise of Pim Fortuyn, a flamboyant, openly gay former university professor and writer. Fortuyn fulminated against the dark sides of political Islam — terrorism, the subjugation of women and homosexuals, and anti-Semitism. His murder in 2002 by an extreme leftist was seen as an assault on Holland’s democratic order.

That shock was compounded in 2004 when in Amsterdam, the capital of freedom and tolerance, a Dutch Muslim of Moroccan descent shot and nearly decapitated filmmaker Theo van Gogh. The murderer declared that Islam demanded of him to kill Van Gogh, who had made a short movie that criticized the mistreatment of women in Islam. After the murder, the filmmaker’s collaborator, Somali-born parliamentarian Ayaan Hirsi Ali, was put under 24-hour police protection.

When Ms. Hirsi Ali went to live in the U.S. in 2006, Geert Wilders picked up the baton. He takes a hard stance on Islamic terrorism and calls for a stop to immigration, at least until Dutch Muslims are better integrated. Some of his arguments are pure polemic. For instance, he says the Quran is a “fascist” book. Since it is illegal in the Netherlands to publish Hitler’s “Mein Kampf,” he argues, so it should be illegal to publish the Quran. One can have a debate about the Quran, but to ban the book altogether is ridiculous, and he knows it.

Yet his outrageous remarks have stirred a constructive discussion about the Quran and Islam in the Netherlands that is more vigorous than in any Western or, for that matter, Muslim country. And uncomfortable as they may be for Dutch Muslims, they help them view their religion in a more critical light. Notwithstanding the growing appeal of radical Islam, the political participation of moderate Muslims is on the rise, a positive sign of integration. For the first time in Dutch history, two Muslims are in the cabinet.

Dutch Muslims have so far reacted calmly to “Fitna.” There have not been any demonstrations, peaceful or violent, in the Netherlands. Perhaps this is further evidence that the hard debate has helped Dutch Muslims to understand Western values.

The issue isn’t really Mr. Wilders’s movie, or whether it incites hatred, which I doubt. It’s whether we are capable of defending our values against the intolerance of radical Muslims. Some people wanted “Fitna” banned before seeing it. That’s disconcerting. Dutch law prohibits a priori censorship.

A strand in Western society — a combination of European nihilism, self-loathing and timidity — favors appeasement. It is not the strength of our enemies but our weakness that might be our ruin.

Should “Fitna” lead to violence and protests against the Dutch, Europe will hopefully show more solidarity than it did with the Danes during the cartoon crisis. Any weakness in the resolve to defend our democratic legal order should be seen for what it is: Betrayal and cowardice.

That’s it. If you take the side of these Muslim loons on the enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend basis then you’re not only a Moral Idiot but a coward and cultural traitor, as well.

Unfortunately, there are far too many on the Left who are prepared to betray their culture.

(Nothing Follows)

Categories: Culture, Europe, Islam

>Sunday night rock ‘n’ roll

March 30, 2008 1 comment

>Coldplay are a British rock band. Formed in 1998 in London, the group comprises vocalist/pianist Chris Martin, guitarist Jonny Buckland, bassist Guy Berryman and drummer Will Champion. Coldplay achieved worldwide fame with their 2000 single “Yellow”, followed by the success of their debut album, Parachutes, which was nominated for the Mercury Prize. Coldplay went on to be nominated for this prestigious award on two further occasions, once in 2003 and again in 2005. Coldplay have been one of the most commercially successful acts of the new millennium, selling over 30 million albums. The band are also known for hit singles, including “In My Place” and the Grammy Award-winning “Clocks”.

Coldplay’s early material was compared to acts such as Jeff Buckley and Radiohead, while also drawing comparisons to U2 and Travis. Since the release of Parachutes, Coldplay have also drawn influence from other sources, including Echo and the Bunnymen and George Harrison on A Rush of Blood to the Head (2002) and Johnny Cash and Kraftwerk for X&Y (2005). Both of these albums were released to great critical acclaim and commercial success. In 2002, A Rush of Blood to the Head was named as NME’s Album of the Year.

I saw Coldplay at Melbourne Park (I say so many concerts at Rod Laver Arena/ Vodaphone arena that I can never remember which one I was at without looking at the ticket) when they toured about three years ago. They were absolutely fantastic; certainly much better than I expected.

I took a few videos myself, the best of which is Clocks (missed the start). Given it was taken on a Nokia N70 it’s come out quite well.

Jack’s video of Clocks from Melbourne 2005

In My Place

The Scientist

(Nothing Follows)

Categories: Music

>Earth Hour. Putting the ‘mental’ back in environmental.

March 28, 2008 2 comments

>That tonight’s Earth Hour will make its holier than thou, onanistic environmental participants feel good about themselves is beyond doubt.

Also beyond doubt is that it is already an embarrassment. Huge amounts of energy have already gone into promoting the event, surely offsetting what little will be ‘saved’ during the event’s one hour duration. Andrew Bolt has been reporting on some of the insanity that includes light bulb shaped hot air balloons floating over Sydney to promote the event. A fleet of Hummers running for a day and a half put out less CO2 than that little exercise. Tim Blair recommends an Hour Of Power in order to offset the damage being done by the Earth Hourians.

It is claimed that last year Sydney’s electricity supply dropped 10% during Earth Hour. In fact it was around 2% – statistically indistinguishable from normal. What you aren’t being told is that in the two hours before Earth Hour got under way, electricity use rose considerably because everyone was getting things done in order to prepare for having no power. The net effect? More electricity was used on that day than normal.

Way to go, guys.

It has been quite cold here in globally warmed Canberra over the last few days. I have asked my Big Green supporting mates whether they’re going to turn everything off during Earth Hour including the heater. It will be very cold at 8PM here. None have given me a straight answer. Are those people hosting Earth Hour parties requiring everyone to bring a blanket, hat and gloves so that they can avoid getting some illness?

Earth Hour? More like Mirth Hour. It’s all so silly.

Still. It’s the symbolism that counts. Symbolism is a primary value to the Left.

Unfortunately, the whole thing is an Australian idea. Long ago are the days of famous Aussie inventions like the black box flight data recorder, Hills hoist, combine harvester, box kite, latex gloves, the pacemaker, the infamous winged keel, penicillin, Vegemite and, of course, the boomerang. If we weren’t so good in the field of medicine – spray on skin, Relenza etc – we’d have nothing to show for the last 20 years. These days we’re reduced to exporting pathetic, meaningless gestures.

Wikipedia’s Earth Hour entry includes:

Earth Hour, under the working title ‘the big flick’, was conceived by members of WWF-Australia’s communication team in December 2005 as a possible campaign to engage all parts of the Australian community on the need to address climate change.

A partnership was formed in August 2006 between WWF-Australia’s Andy Ridley, Leo Burnett’s Nigel Marsh and Fairfax Media’s Phil McLean with a planned campaign date of early 2007. Earth Hour was launched publicly as a Sydney-only event on December 16, 2006 by Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore and took place at 7:30pm on March 31 2007.

Following significant interest from both inside Australia and around the world, Earth Hour was formed into a non-profit entity owned by WWF-Australia, Leo Burnett and Fairfax Media. The decision was taken to make Earth Hour an open source model, allowing any genuinely interested individual, company, media or government anywhere in the world to adopt the campaign for 2008.

The 2007 Earth Hour was part of a wider awareness campaign that aimed to reduce Sydney’s carbon emissions by 5%. 68,506 individuals and 2,270 businesses registered their intention to participate on the Earth Hour website. EnergyAustralia, a utility, attributed a 10.2% decrease in consumption during the hour to the campaign. A poll of about 1000 people conducted afterwards suggested that 57% of Sydneysiders participated – some 2.2 million people.

2.2 million people out of a population of 3.8 million participated and could only reduce power use by 2%. Even using the WWF’s 10.2% it’s still a miserable effort. It really should give people cause to contemplate the extent of reductions necessary in order to hit proposed CO2 reduction targets if that’s all of the impact that can be achieved. Mind you, the 2.2 million figure was obviously achieved by using The Lancet’s methodology for counting things, which means it’s probably out by a factor of 10.

Strong backing from the City of Sydney and its Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, helped to make Earth Hour 2008 an international event. As of 27 March, over 11,900 businesses and over 200,000 individuals had indicated their intention to participate at

People may also recall that some media outlets Photoshopped images of Sydney in order to make them look dimmer than what they actually were. The fact was that the city of Sydney was just as bright for Earth Hour as both before and after. No doubt there’ll be more of the same this year in the post-event propaganda.

Earth Hour. Putting the mental back in environmental.

UPDATE: Sky News is running the following poll:

There is no vote count but the poll has been up for a long time. These online polls that go against leftist positions tend to get hit with a burst of one-sided votes, as I’ve proved before. Let’s see whether Sky’s polling software is tamper-proof.

(Nothing Follows)

>Fitna – when will the moral equivalence start?

March 28, 2008 1 comment

>There’s little doubt that Geert Wilders’ new movie showing the violent side of Islam is a provocative piece.

It’s interesting to note that the usual Muslim suspects were seething before the film had even been shown. Along with the seething came the usual death threats against Wilders and promises to undertake attacks in Holland.

By taking this action Muslims act in exactly the way that the film portrays them. Irony does not seem to be understood in the Ummah.

What’s also interesting is that there are a lot of parallels between Communism and Islamism. It’s very clear when you see what Ahmadinejad and others have to say about Islam taking over the world.

The clock is running now on when a professionally produced film comes out that does the same thing to the West or to the USA in an attempt to create a moral equivalence between the two cultures and to provide fodder for the Kos Kids, HuffPo crowd and rest of the tin foil hat community.

(Nothing Follows)

Categories: Islam

>Alcohol played a large role in his life

March 26, 2008 2 comments

>In the short but sweet category comes a report that has even made it into Fox News.

SYDNEY — A New Zealand man has been sentenced to community service after telling police he was raped by a wombat and the experience had made him speak “Australian”.

Arthur Ross Cradock, 48, from the South Island town of Motueka, called police on February 11 and told them he was being raped at his home by the wombat and he needed help, The Nelson Mail newspaper reported.

Readers may or may not be aware that Sydney is home to the vast majority of those activists-in-animal-costumes that annoy the crap out of everybody who’s more than 10 years old and who scare the crap out of the kiddies. I suspect that one of them, still dressed in his work clothes, stumbled into the wrong house after getting tanked at the local enviro-pub and proceeded to set about what he thought was his partner. It is Sydney, after all.

The orchard worker later called back and said: “Apart from speaking Australian now, I’m pretty all right, you know.”

Who would have thought that there was such as simple way to get people to talk Australian? No longer do we have to have government instructions printed in every language ever spoken since Babylonian times. The Department of Immigration and Citizenship just needs to hire a few wombats to do the job on arriving immigrants and voila, sie spracht Strine.

Cradock pleaded guilty in the local court to using a phone for a fictitious purpose. He was sentenced to 75 hours’ community work.

If using a phone for fictitious purposes is a real crime then all of us are in a lot of trouble. “Honey, I’m working back late…” is enough for weekend detention when it really involves the close company of your receptionist (or wombat or favourite other marsupial) and inappropriate use of the board room table.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Chris Stringer told the court alcohol played a large role in Cradock’s life.

You don’t say?

(Nothing Follows)

Categories: Stupidity

>Female Syrian Minister bags Australia for supporting Israel

>Truth, as we all know, is not something that Middle Eastern nations have a particular affinity for. In this morally repugnant opinion piece published in Asharq Alawsat, Syrian Minister for Expatriates gets stuck into Australia – the world’s most fair-minded nation – for committing genocide while at the same time supporting that most evil of nations, Israel.

Her bio reads: Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban is Minister of Expatriates in Syria, and writer and professor at Damascus University since 1985. Before assuming her current ministerial position, Dr. Shaaban was Director of the Press Office at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Syria. She received her Ph.D. in English Literature from Warwick University in England in 1982, and joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as an advisor in 1988. Since then, she has represented Syria as a spokeswomen on an international level. In 2005 Dr. Shaaban was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and in the same year, was presented with “the Most Distinguished Woman in a Governmental Position” award by the Arab League. Dr. Shaaban has published four books, and contributed to numerous others.

No doubt the Left will applaud her for her ‘courage’ and ‘speaking the truth’. Why anyone thinks that a government hack from a socialist dictatorship speaks with anything other than a well-trained, well-used forked tongue is beyond my ken.

Only few weeks after the apology of Kevin Rudd, the newly elected Prime Minister of Australia, to the Aborigines, the indigenous inhabitants of Australia, he was party to a motion in Parliament describing Israel as a “robust democracy” and a “custodian of freedom” in a region abounding in autocracies and theocracies!

Opposition Liberal party leader Brendan Nelson said that in a region “characterized more by theocracies and autocracies, Israel is the custodian of the most powerful of human emotions – that is hopeful belief in the freedom of man, freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom of assembly “.

And both Rudd and Nelson are absolutely correct. Israel is the Middle East’s only democracy. Arab Israeli citizens have the highest standard of living in the entire Arab world and unlike in the rest of the Arab world – they can vote – with the result that a number of Arabs sit in Israel’s parliament, the Knesset. Israel’s deputy-President is an Arab Israeli.

Here’s a pop quiz for you:

In which Middle Eastern country can a Muslim parliamentarian loudly denounce his country, call for its military defeat and then leave parliament without needing bodyguards, go home and not fear being arrested?

A) Syria;
B) Saudi Arabia;
C) Libya; or
D) Israel.

Tick, tock, tick, tock…thinking time is really not required, is it?

All this was expressed in the aftermath of Israeli Killing of over 130 Palestinians in Gaza, 39 of them were children, and 12 women and the rest were young men in their twenties aspiring to live in peace and dignity on their own land. The question that came to mind upon reading the disappointing news of the motion in the Australian Parliament was whether Kevin Rudd and his colleagues want to wait for 200 years to apologize from the Palestinians as they apologized from the aborigines, but only when it becomes too late and almost of no value to a people and culture who have been almost completely destroyed. If the world expressed its absolute shame of the way the “stolen generations” were treated in Australia, it should be more ashamed of the “slaughtered generation” in Palestine that is being collectively punished and ethnically cleansed in the most abhorrent racist policies adopted by any state in the world, including the past apartheid regime in South African.

Leaving aside the fact that there is no such thing as the Stolen Generations, and never has been, what culture is being destroyed in Palestine? It’s a non-place; there’s never been any such country. It’s never had a language, or money, or art, or philosophy, or trade, or government…or culture. Apologising to the so-called ‘slaughtered generation’ carries as much validity and honesty as the Stolen Generation apology did.

To Kevin Rudd and Brendan Nelson, I would like to say that Gaza is not on the moon; it is only a few miles from Jerusalem and you may easily visit or send a camera and a journalist to take you pictures of what is happening to the Palestinians at the hands of the Israelis, and to see for yourselves, what kind of “custodian of freedom” you are supporting! A million and a half Palestinians are imprisoned in a big jail called Gaza, after they have been transferred from Southern Palestine. The small West bank has over 400 check points and a tall apartheid wall that prevents children from going to schools and farmers from reaching their lands, and in the case of Qalqilia, prevents the sun from reaching windows of houses. Palestinians in Gaza are killed by Israeli missiles, tanks and fire, whether they are men tending their cattle or women making their bread at home, or children playing football, or simply attending schools.

In fact, you cannot send journalists with cameras in to see for yourself what is happening. As has been well documented, if Hamas or Fatah don’t like what you’re reporting then you get a warning to leave and never return with the threat to life and limb being obvious. It’s certainly accurate to say that the population of Gaza has been imprisoned but who actually imprisoned them? Israel? No. The rest of the Arab world imprisons them and uses them for Palestine-As-Cause propaganda. Why does Egypt have a security wall along the border between the Sinai Desert and the Gaza Strip? To keep Egyptians from getting in? Hardly. It’s to keep Palestinians from getting out. Why do so many Arab nations forbid migrants from Palestine and not accept Palestinian refugees – including Dr Shaaban’s own country of Syria? And to claim that cattle herders and school children and women making bread are the targets of Israel – while at the same time saying nothing about Hamas’ own Katuysha rocket attacks that are deliberately aimed at civilian targets – rivals anything Goebbels could come up with.

It is these immoral, illegal, and inhuman crimes perpetrated by Israeli forces against the Palestinians on a daily basis that prompted Iian Pappe, the Israeli historian from Haifa university (who was later virtually expelled, and he is now a professor at Exeter University, England) to say “I don’t think there is one moral person in the world that supports what Israel stands for” (Yedioth Ahranot, March 16, 2008).

Ilan Pappé is an Israeli Communist. He was expelled for supporting Hamas and promoting boycotts against Israeli universities. As the old saying goes, you can judge a man by who his enemies are. It works with his friends, as well. From his Wikipedia article:

Pappé’s works have been praised by many other historians, academics and writers, such as Walid Khalidi, Richard Falk, Ella Shohat and John Pilger. According to John Pilger: “Ilan Pappe is Israel’s bravest, most principled, most incisive historian.”

When John Pilger is on your side you know you’re waaaaaaay left.
Critiquing Pappé’s 2004 book, A History of Modern Palestine: One Land, Two Peoples, historian Benny Morris wrote in the New Republic: ‘Unfortunately much of what Pappe tries to sell his readers is complete fabrication. […] This book is awash with errors of a quantity and a quality that are not found in serious historiography. […] The multiplicity of mistakes on each page is a product of both Pappe’s historical methodology and his political proclivities[.] […] For those enamored with subjectivity and in thrall to historical relativism, a fact is not a fact and accuracy is unattainable’.

Benny Morris is an Israeli historian who supports the Palestinian cause and he’s basically calling Pappe a liar.

Back to the article:

I am sure whether the Australian Parliament that lauded Israel and congratulated it on its 60th anniversary is aware that the president of the Palestinian Parliament Aziz al Douek and 15 of his colleagues who were democratically elected in elections that was described by ex-president Carter as the most democratic and transparent, that they are imprisoned and tortured in Israeli jails for the last two years, and no Parliament in the world has put forward a motion for their release or threatened to boycott their jailors (the Israelis) if they do not release them.

She has her numbers wrong. Of the 132 elected officials, fully 26 of them are ‘detained in Israel’ on charges of being associated with Hama’ or Fatah’s terrorist wings. Most are from Hamas – a proscribed terrorist organisation in most Western nations.

This moral support that is given to the racist, criminal policies of Israel against the Arabs is, partly, morally responsible for the crimes perpetrated. The balance of military power is by far in Israel’s favor, and the only hope for the Palestinians is to have the moral and political support of peoples of the world who gave us all hope when they kept mounting pressure on the ex-apartheid regime of South Africa till they brought it to an end.

So, she prefers to provide moral support to the terrorists and murders who have perpetuated the conflict long past a time when it was clear Israel would do what it had to in order to achieve peace, which goes all the way back to the early 80s. Furthermore, to describe Israel as an apartheid regime when, as I mentioned, people with Arab backgrounds do so well there is absurd.

The very same effort is badly needed today to free the Palestinian people from the last occupation in the twenty first century. Let’s again listen to the best expert on Palestinian-Israeli affairs, Professor Iian Pappe: “I believe that things would change only if Israel receives a strong message that as long as occupation continues it would not be a legitimate member of the international community, and that until then its academics, doctors and authors would not be welcome. A similar boycott was imposed on South Africa. It took 21 years, but it eventually led to the end of Apartheid.” (Yedioth Ahranot, March 16, 2008). Much sooner than 21 years, the Australian people will be ashamed of the motion passed by the Australian parliament.

Australians will certainly be ashamed of the Apology to the Stolen Generations when it causes the destruction of that culture in years to come. We will never be ashamed of standing up for free and democratic nations, especially when they come under such sustained attack as Israel has from dictatorships that back terrorist organisations, assassinate Lebanon’s political leaders willy-nilly and have appalling human rights records of their own such as Syria.

(Nothing Follows)

Categories: Australia, Middle East

>Why support Palestine but ignore Tibet?

March 25, 2008 3 comments

>The great Dennis Prager makes a reasonable point. Why is it that Palestine attracts so much support from the UN, international media and leftist organisations when there’s a much more valid case for supporting Tibet against China?

The long-suffering Tibetans have been in the news. This happens perhaps once or twice a decade. In a more moral world, however, public opinion would be far more preoccupied with Tibetans than with Palestinians, would be as harsh on China as it is on Israel, and would be as fawning on Israel as it now is on China.

But, alas, the world is, as it has always been, a largely mean-spirited and morally insensitive place, where might is far more highly regarded than right.

Consider the facts: Tibet, at least 1,400 years old, is one of the world’s oldest nations, has its own language, its own religion and even its own ethnicity. Over 1 million of its people have been killed by the Chinese, its culture has been systematically obliterated, 6,000 of its 6,200 monasteries have been looted and destroyed, and most of its monks have been tortured, murdered or exiled.

Palestinians have none of these characteristics. There has never been a Palestinian country, never been a Palestinian language, never been a Palestinian ethnicity, never been a Palestinian religion in any way distinct from Islam elsewhere. Indeed, “Palestinian” had always meant any individual living in the geographic area called Palestine. For most of the first half of the 20th century, “Palestinian” and “Palestine” almost always referred to the Jews of Palestine. The United Jewish Appeal, the worldwide Jewish charity that provided the nascent Jewish state with much of its money, was actually known as the United Palestine Appeal. Compared to Tibetans, few Palestinians have been killed, its culture has not been destroyed nor its mosques looted or plundered, and Palestinians have received billions of dollars from the international community. Unlike the dying Tibetan nation, there are far more Palestinians today than when Israel was created.

None of this means that a distinct Palestinian national identity does not now exist. Since Israel’s creation such an identity has arisen and does indeed exist. Nor does any of this deny that many Palestinians suffered as a result of the creation of the third Jewish state in the area, known — since the Romans renamed Judea — as “Palestine.”

But it does mean that of all the causes the world could have adopted, the Palestinians’ deserved to be near the bottom and the Tibetans’ near the top. This is especially so since the Palestinians could have had a state of their own from 1947 on, and they have caused great suffering in the world, while the far more persecuted Tibetans have been characterized by a morally rigorous doctrine of nonviolence.

So, the question is, why? Why have the Palestinians received such undeserved attention and support, and the far more aggrieved and persecuted and moral Tibetans given virtually no support or attention?

The first reason is terror. Some time ago, the Palestinian leadership decided, with the overwhelming support of the Palestinian people, that murdering as many innocent people — first Jews, and then anyone else — was the fastest way to garner world attention. They were right. On the other hand, as The Economist notes in its March 28, 2008 issue, “Tibetan nationalists have hardly ever resorted to terrorist tactics…” It is interesting to speculate how the world would have reacted had Tibetans hijacked international flights, slaughtered Chinese citizens in Chinese restaurants and temples, on Chinese buses and trains, and massacred Chinese schoolchildren.

The second reason is oil and support from powerful fellow Arabs. The Palestinians have rich friends who control the world’s most needed commodity, oil. The Palestinians have the unqualified support of all Middle Eastern oil-producing nations and the support of the Muslim world beyond the Middle East. The Tibetans are poor and have the support of no nations, let alone oil-producing ones.

The third reason is Israel. To deny that pro-Palestinian activism in the world is sometimes related to hostility toward Jews is to deny the obvious. It is not possible that the unearned preoccupation with the Palestinians is unrelated to the fact that their enemy is the one Jewish state in the world. Israel’s Jewishness is a major part of the Muslim world’s hatred of Israel. It is also part of Europe’s hostility toward Israel: Portraying Israel as oppressors assuages some of Europe’s guilt about the Holocaust — “see, the Jews act no better than we did.” Hence the ubiquitous comparisons of Israel to Nazis.

A fourth reason is China. If Tibet had been crushed by a white European nation, the Tibetans would have elicited far more sympathy. But, alas, their near-genocidal oppressor is not white. And the world does not take mass murder committed by non-whites nearly as seriously as it takes anything done by Westerners against non-Westerners. Furthermore, China is far more powerful and frightening than Israel. Israel has a great army and nuclear weapons, but it is pro-West, it is a free and democratic society, and it has seven million people in a piece of land as small as Belize. China has nuclear weapons, has a trillion U.S. dollars, an increasingly mighty army and navy, is neither free nor democratic, is anti-Western, and has 1.2 billion people in a country that dominates the Asian continent.

A fifth reason is the world’s Left. As a general rule, the Left demonizes Israel and has loved China since it became Communist in 1948. And given the power of the Left in the world’s media, in the political life of so many nations, and in the universities and the arts, it is no wonder vicious China has been idolized and humane Israel demonized.

The sixth reason is the United Nations, where Israel has been condemned in more General Assembly and Security Council resolutions than any other country in the world. At the same time, the UN has voted China onto its Security Council and has never condemned it. China’s sponsoring of Sudan and its genocidal acts against its non-Arab black population, as in Darfur, goes largely unremarked on at the UN, let alone condemned, just as is the case with its cultural genocide, ethnic cleansing and military occupation of Tibet.

The seventh reason is television news, the primary source of news for much of mankind. Aside from its leftist tilt, television news reports only what it can video. And almost no country is televised as much as Israel, while video reports in Tibet are forbidden, as they are almost anywhere in China except where strictly monitored by the Chinese authorities. No video, no TV news. And no TV, no concern. So while grieving Palestinians and the accidental killings of Palestinians during morally necessary Israeli retaliations against terrorists are routinely televised, the slaughter of over a million Tibetans and the extinguishing of Tibetan Buddhism and culture are non-events as far as television news is concerned.

The world is unfair, unjust and morally twisted. And rarely more so than in its support for the Palestinians — no matter how many innocents they target for murder and no matter how much Nazi-like anti-Semitism permeates their media — and its neglect of the cruelly treated, humane Tibetans.

To those who think that the issues in Palestine are created by the Israelis you should seek the answer to a question. Why is it that if you live in Gaza or the West Bank then you cannot migrate to any other Arab country (with only a couple of exceptions)?

Here are some possible answers:

A) Hamas (Gaza) or Fatah (West Bank) do not allow it;
B) You are too poor to migrate; or
C) Other Arab countries do not allow you to migrate to them.

(Nothing Follows)

Categories: Asia, Middle East

>ABC interviews Climate Blasphemer – reasonable discussion ensues!

March 23, 2008 11 comments

>I listened to Jennifer Marohasy on ABC Radio National’s Counterpoint program last week. In an interesting and, for the ABC, surprisingly balanced interview by Michael Duffy she summed up the state of climate science, the new data that completely destroys the CO2-as-world-destroyer myth and revealed the head scratching that even the most senior ranks of the Climate Faithful are doing.

Duffy should be congratulated on his performance. For someone who is clearly of the left he managed to keep his own views out of the discussion. Tony Jones could learn a lot from Duffy on how to conduct a balanced interview, especially after his appalling performance in the post-Great Global Warming Swindle ABC discussion last year.

Naturally, to those Climate Faithful who have no understanding of basic science and, especially, statistics – prerequisites for being part of that group – Marohasy is a Big Oil funded, Big Pharma, Big Business, pro cigarette, Climate Denier who struts around in private in a Hitler uniform throwing babies into a fire.

To everyone else she comes across as a voice of calm and reason. Check out her blog here.

At The Australian, Christopher Pearson sums things up nicely:

Last Monday – on ABC Radio National, of all places – there was a tipping point of a different kind in the debate on climate change. It was a remarkable interview involving the co-host of Counterpoint, Michael Duffy and Jennifer Marohasy, a biologist and senior fellow of Melbourne-based think tank the Institute of Public Affairs. Anyone in public life who takes a position on the greenhouse gas hypothesis will ignore it at their peril.

Duffy asked Marohasy: “Is the Earth still warming?”

She replied: “No, actually, there has been cooling, if you take 1998 as your point of reference. If you take 2002 as your point of reference, then temperatures have plateaued. This is certainly not what you’d expect if carbon dioxide is driving temperature because carbon dioxide levels have been increasing but temperatures have actually been coming down over the last 10 years.”

Duffy: “Is this a matter of any controversy?”

Marohasy: “Actually, no. The head of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has actually acknowledged it. He talks about the apparent plateau in temperatures so far this century. So he recognises that in this century, over the past eight years, temperatures have plateaued … This is not what you’d expect, as I said, because if carbon dioxide is driving temperature then you’d expect that, given carbon dioxide levels have been continuing to increase, temperatures should be going up … So (it’s) very unexpected, not something that’s being discussed. It should be being discussed, though, because it’s very significant.”

Duffy: “It’s not only that it’s not discussed. We never hear it, do we? Whenever there’s any sort of weather event that can be linked into the global warming orthodoxy, it’s put on the front page. But a fact like that, which is that global warming stopped a decade ago, is virtually never reported, which is extraordinary.”

It’s only extraordinary if you don’t understand that the mainstream media is an instrument of the left of which climate change is currently its primary vehicle to inflict big government, socialist policies on the world.

Duffy then turned to the question of how the proponents of the greenhouse gas hypothesis deal with data that doesn’t support their case. “People like Kevin Rudd and Ross Garnaut are speaking as though the Earth is still warming at an alarming rate, but what is the argument from the other side? What would people associated with the IPCC say to explain the (temperature) dip?”

Marohasy: “Well, the head of the IPCC has suggested natural factors are compensating for the increasing carbon dioxide levels and I guess, to some extent, that’s what sceptics have been saying for some time: that, yes, carbon dioxide will give you some warming but there are a whole lot of other factors that may compensate or that may augment the warming from elevated levels of carbon dioxide.

“There’s been a lot of talk about the impact of the sun and that maybe we’re going to go through or are entering a period of less intense solar activity and this could be contributing to the current cooling.”

Duffy: “Can you tell us about NASA’s Aqua satellite, because I understand some of the data we’re now getting is quite important in our understanding of how climate works?”

Marohasy: “That’s right. The satellite was only launched in 2002 and it enabled the collection of data, not just on temperature but also on cloud formation and water vapour. What all the climate models suggest is that, when you’ve got warming from additional carbon dioxide, this will result in increased water vapour, so you’re going to get a positive feedback. That’s what the models have been indicating. What this great data from the NASA Aqua satellite … (is) actually showing is just the opposite, that with a little bit of warming, weather processes are compensating, so they’re actually limiting the greenhouse effect and you’re getting a negative rather than a positive feedback.”

Duffy: “The climate is actually, in one way anyway, more robust than was assumed in the climate models?”

Marohasy: “That’s right … These findings actually aren’t being disputed by the meteorological community. They’re having trouble digesting the findings, they’re acknowledging the findings, they’re acknowledging that the data from NASA’s Aqua satellite is not how the models predict, and I think they’re about to recognise that the models really do need to be overhauled and that when they are overhauled they will probably show greatly reduced future warming projected as a consequence of carbon dioxide.”

How long have I been saying that climate models don’t work? To anyone who has even the most basic understanding of how they’re programmed the fact that their predictions for precipitation are massively wrong should be enough to write off their credibility altogether. The primary greenhouse gas is water vapour. It is referred to as a ‘feedback’ in climate science. CO2 (and other GHGs such as NH4, O3 etc) have a ‘forcing’ effect that starts a warming process which is then amplified by the feedback mechanism of water vapour. Climate models not only do not model water vapour (to be fair, it’s too complicated) but the fact that they get precipitation so wildly wrong means that there’s much less real world amplification than models predict.

Duffy: “From what you’re saying, it sounds like the implications of this could be considerable …”

Marohasy: “That’s right, very much so. The policy implications are enormous. The meteorological community at the moment is really just coming to terms with the output from this NASA Aqua satellite and (climate scientist) Roy Spencer’s interpretation of them. His work is published, his work is accepted, but I think people are still in shock at this point.”

I’m in shock that anybody could be in shock. What am I feeling now? Cold when I should be still enjoying the last vestiges of summer’s warmth.

If Marohasy is anywhere near right about the impending collapse of the global warming paradigm, life will suddenly become a whole lot more interesting.

A great many founts of authority, from the Royal Society to the UN, most heads of government along with countless captains of industry, learned professors, commentators and journalists will be profoundly embarrassed. Let us hope it is a prolonged and chastening experience.

When Deniers are referred to as Flat Earthers by the Climate Faithful they at least understand the irony that it’s actually the Faithful themselves who take the unscientific, Flat Earth equivalent position.

With catastrophe off the agenda, for most people the fog of millennial gloom will lift, at least until attention turns to the prospect of the next ice age. Among the better educated, the sceptical cast of mind that is the basis of empiricism will once again be back in fashion. The delusion that by recycling and catching public transport we can help save the planet will quickly come to be seen for the childish nonsense it was all along.

It is no surprise that it’s childish nonsense – it’s promoted by people who have never grown up intellectually – the Left. And I’m not too sure that Pearson is correct when he says that empiricism will come back into fashion. There are powerful forces at work – the UN, EU, environmental lobbies, higher education institutions and mainstream media – that are not going to go down without a fight.

The poorest Indians and Chinese will be left in peace to work their way towards prosperity, without being badgered about the size of their carbon footprint, a concept that for most of us will soon be one with Nineveh and Tyre, clean forgotten in six months.

The scores of town planners in Australia building empires out of regulating what can and can’t be built on low-lying shorelines will have to come to terms with the fact inundation no longer impends and find something more plausible to do. The same is true of the bureaucrats planning to accommodate “climate refugees”.

Anyone who is involved in the planning for the accommodation of ‘climate refugees’ needs to be sacked. Kevin Rudd can get his razor gang to make some quick savings right there.

Penny Wong’s climate mega-portfolio will suddenly be as ephemeral as the ministries for the year 2000 that state governments used to entrust to junior ministers. Malcolm Turnbull will have to reinvent himself at vast speed as a climate change sceptic and the Prime Minister will have to kiss goodbye what he likes to call the great moral issue and policy challenge of our times.

It is the great moral issue of our time. The truth of empirical, scientific endeavour versus the hysteria of socially and, paradoxically, environmentally destructive policies brought about by appalling, agenda-driven science that will harm us for decades to come.

It will all be vastly entertaining to watch.

…but it won’t be too entertaining to live…

THE Age published an essay with an environmental theme by Ian McEwan on March 8 and its stablemate, The Sydney Morning Herald, also carried a slightly longer version of the same piece.

The Australian’s Cut & Paste column two days later reproduced a telling paragraph from the Herald’s version, which suggested that McEwan was a climate change sceptic and which The Age had excised. He was expanding on the proposition that “we need not only reliable data but their expression in the rigorous use of statistics”.

What The Age decided to spare its readers was the following: “Well-meaning intellectual movements, from communism to post-structuralism, have a poor history of absorbing inconvenient fact or challenges to fundamental precepts. We should not ignore or suppress good indicators on the environment, though they have become extremely rare now. It is tempting to the layman to embrace with enthusiasm the latest bleak scenario because it fits the darkness of our soul, the prevailing cultural pessimism. The imagination, as Wallace Stevens once said, is always at the end of an era. But we should be asking, or expecting others to ask, for the provenance of the data, the assumptions fed into the computer model, the response of the peer review community, and so on. Pessimism is intellectually delicious, even thrilling, but the matter before us is too serious for mere self-pleasuring. It would be self-defeating if the environmental movement degenerated into a religion of gloomy faith. (Faith, ungrounded certainty, is no virtue.)”

The missing sentences do not appear anywhere else in The Age’s version of the essay. The attribution reads: “Copyright Ian McEwan 2008” and there is no acknowledgment of editing by The Age.

Why did the paper decide to offer its readers McEwan lite? Was he, I wonder, consulted on the matter? And isn’t there a nice irony that The Age chose to delete the line about ideologues not being very good at “absorbing inconvenient fact”?

Why? It’s not for nothing that The Age is referred to as the Spencer Street Soviet. Like all good socialists they take the Three Monkeys approach to any facts that don’t support their orthodoxy.

A saying I heard that I like goes along the lines: being on the right means I don’t have to wake up each day and live a lie.

To the non-nuanced left that does not mean people on the right don’t lie to achieve their goals; it means that people on the right have a clear-eyed view of the world, understand human nature and know how to progress society effectively in a way that those on the left don’t.

(Nothing Follows)

Categories: Climate Change

>Sunday night rock ‘n’ roll

>William Joseph Martin “Billy” Joel (born May 9, 1949) is an American pianist and singer-songwriter. He released his first hit song, “Piano Man”, in 1973. According to the RIAA, he is the sixth best-selling recording artist in the United States.[1]

Joel had Top 10 hits in the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s; is a six-time Grammy Award winner; and has sold in excess of 150 million albums worldwide.[2] He was inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame (Class of 1992), the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (Class of 1999), and the Long Island Music Hall of Fame (Class of 2006). Joel “retired” from recording pop music in 1993 but continued to tour (sometimes with Elton John). In 2001 he subsequently released Fantasies & Delusions, a CD of classical compositions for piano. In 2007 he returned to recording with a single entitled “All My Life”, followed by an extensive “World Tour” from 2005-2008, covering many of the major world cities.

Billy Joel is an amazing performer. Piano Man ranks alongside Crocodile Rock as the greatest of the piano rock ‘n’ roll tunes. Joel’s range from true rock to ballads, along with memorable, meaningful lyrics, make him one of the greatest performers of all time.

It’s Still Rock And Roll To Me (Live ’82)

Piano Man


New York State Of Mind

(Nothing Follows)

Categories: Music

>Pope to baptise prominent Italian Muslim

>This has to be a spectacularly unhealthy action for a Muslim to take…

POPE Benedict XVI will baptise one of Italy’s most prominent and outspoken Muslim commentators at today’s Easter Vigil service, the Vatican has announced.

Magdi Allam will become a Catholic during the traditional night-time service that takes place between Good Friday and Easter Sunday at St Peter’s Basilica.

Mr Allam, the deputy editor of a leading Italian newspaper, is one of Italy’s leading commentators on Muslim and Arab affairs, the Associated Press reported.

He has been a long-time advocate of tolerance over extremism.

The Vatican said anyone who wishes to convert to Catholicism of their own free will has the right to be baptised.

The Pope would administer the sacrament “without making any ‘difference of people,’ that is, considering all equally important before the love of God and welcoming all in the community of the Church”.

The Vatican announced the high-profile conversion shortly before the long Vigil service started with Benedict XVI blessing a solitary white candle.

He slowly made his way through the pews of St Peter’s, lighting worhsippers’ candles from his own.

The pontiff was forced to pace himself yesterday, cancelling a planned processional walk during the Way of the Cross in Rome.

The Pope had been due to carry a plain, white cross part of the way around the Colosseum, but heavy rain and a packed schedule forced Vatican officials to rethink the idea.

The 81-year-old instead touched and blessed the cross, then remained under cover.

(Nothing Follows)

Categories: Islam