MilBlog X

The WeatherPixie
Weather Conditions, Wish we were there...

Odd things and such things, as I feel appropriate, possibly relating to the war.
Email me at jll3a@hotmail.com.

Look below for links to good sites, ebooks and such.

Jerry Lawson, Proprietor

Comments by: YACCS

Sunday, June 29
 
Nuke Centrifuge Parts Found
The CIA has in its hands the critical parts of a key piece of Iraqi nuclear technology -- parts needed to develop a bomb program -- that were dug up in a back yard in Baghdad, CNN has learned.

The parts, with accompanying plans, were unearthed by Iraqi scientist Mahdi Obeidi who had hidden them under a rose bush in his garden 12 years ago under orders from Qusay Hussein and Saddam Hussein's then son-in-law, Hussein Kamel.
Sigh. Folks are still maintaining that no WMD were found, therefore Saddam was as innocent as a newborn babe and it was only the EEEvil US that caused the problems in the first place before GW 1.

But the more that's found, the quieter the story gets in the press. Isn't that odd.

J.





 
Redid the comments code. Hope that's better...



Saturday, June 28
 
Well, we have a new member of the family. A tabby by the name of "Jaspurr". Jackie's been a bit lonely after the death of Julia, so we got her a companion at Good Mews, an adoption agency in Marietta. It was a real test of willpower - they had so many cats... I actually thought about getting more than one for a few seconds - then common sense kicked in. But it was a real test of willpower.

It was also a test of the loratadine I've been taking. Loratadine, or Claritin, has been approved for over the counter sales. AND you can get a bottle of a hundred generic loratadine for $40. (Which beat the stuffings out of Allegra which barely worked for me, and I paid $25 a month for.)

I was impressed. They had 80+ cats at Good Mews. I didn't even sneeze, and I could still breathe through my nose. It was the next best thing to not having any allergies at all. I LOVE effective medication.

J.



Wednesday, June 25
 
Don't Mess With the Tchotchkes!

At latest count, the number of the 170,000 missing priceless artifacts from Baghdad's antiquities museum (search) is down to 33.

With each passing day since the entire security and liberation effort in Iraq was called into question because of missing tchotchkes, more and more of what turned out to be only 30 missing pieces have been resurfacing and bringing to a close an incident that led to the protest resignations of two presidential cultural advisers and the indignation of people to whom knickknacks have more value than human life.

If you ask such folks whether all those missing artifacts are worth a single life otherwise spent in bondage and indignity, not to speak of millions of lives, they'd have to think long and hard before answering. Recall the universal outrage in March of 2001, when the Taliban (search) destroyed the giant Buddha statues in Afghanistan (search), an incident which to this day causes cultural elitists to shake their lowered heads in mournful disapproval. Nothing--not Sept. 11 nor the forced burqa-zation of Islamic womanhood--has been so unsettling or horrifying to the "arties" as the dynamiting of those artworks.

After all, this is the same sort who in the early 90s, upon hearing that my family and I were Soviet refuseniks (search), would burst out, "Wow, you had the Hermitage (search)!" and would go on to relate their own, post-Perestroika (search), experience of its splendor. This is the same sort as the Denver antiquarian book dealer who informed my friend that he was holding Bush personally responsible for the destruction of the Iraqi archives and for the museum thefts, adding that he could have lived with a great many more Iraqi deaths if only these items had been saved.

The truth, however, is that this man would hate Bush regardless, for he is of the variety that bristles at men like George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld because they are not ones to spend hours in museums or theaters. Note the following passage, written with a straight face, from a recent article by a Matt Taibbi in the new New York Press (search), titled "I, Rumsfeld": "The charm of Rumsfeld is something that is really hard to figure....Can you picture Rumsfeld...looking at a painting? Reading aloud from 'Where the Sidewalk Ends?' These things are impossible to imagine."
But to the folks in Washington, people ARE more important than things. We could have gone in and nuked Baghdad to a crispy glow, we could have done indiscriminate bombing of population centers.

We didn't.

We attempted to minimize civilian casualties - and did a damn fine job of it. What other nation has done the same?

But we got blamed for the looting of the museum. We get blamed for everything that goes wrong. We don't get credit for putting an end to a dictator who fed his people into chippers - we get blamed for a broken vase.

Gee. Well, may as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb - Iran and Saudi Arabia, anyone? And then we'll send the 82nd Airborne after Hamas.

J.



 
Two point to whoever can identify THIS.

Here's a hint.

It first became operational in the mid-60s, and is still in use today - though not as much. No private vehicles are allowed inside the gate, and whatever comes out is HEAVILY guarded until it gets to where it's going and installed.

And - it's in Wyoming.

Enjoy!

J.



Monday, June 23
 
Thought so...

Inside ‘Order of the Phoenix’
Rowling: “It’s a war. Essentially a war has broken out again and when I say the beginning of the deaths, I mean the deaths that are meaningful, I suppose, to the reader. In this book, what I consider to be a major character dies. It was awful to write. It was absolutely awful. And I was literally, well I did, I cried after doing it, and walked into the kitchen afterwards in tears. And Neil said to me, ‘What’s the matter?’ And I said, ‘Well I’ve just killed the person that I’m going to kill.’ He doesn’t know who it is. And Neil said, ‘Well, don’t do it then.’ Which showed he completely didn’t understand that you need to be very unpleasant and vicious to your characters to write heart-warming children’s books. He’s a doctor, he just doesn’t get it. He’s more into saving people than killing them.”
Now the wait for book 6 begins.

J.



Sunday, June 22
 
Okay - comments should work right again. Had to reload the YACCS commenting system...

J.



 
Just finished the new Harry Potter book at 10:03 AM. (Only required staying up till 3:30 and then getting up at 7, and a few other interruptions...)

I see some serious and interesting parallels to WW2 history here. The Ministry of Magic's been in serious denial about Voldemort's return, and pushing hard to discredit Potter and Dumbledore. (Think of Chamberlain and Hitler.) When it becomes VERY evident that there's a problem, the "Daily Prophet" starts running articles on home defense and what to do if attacked by Death Eaters.

I won't go any further into the plot than that. A number of very interesting details are filled out - including what draws the carriages that take the 2nd through 7th years to Hogwarts, AND a rather interesting and amusing subplot regarding Forge and Gred...

Well worth the money, and the lost sleep.

J.



Saturday, June 21
 
E-mail spam.

"Response to your request" - no request, sorry.
"re: Margeret" - who's dat?
"Here's your check!" - send it by mail, or don't bother me.
"Try viagra. It will be our secret." - You try it, and keep it even more of a secret.
"Test this ESCORT anywhere in the world" - Didn't Ford discontinue the Escort?
"Re: I can’t get rid of it" - Too bad. Have you tried a doctor?
"Did I offend you?" - Yes. Now go away.
"Fwd: Magic trick" - Watch me make your e-mail disappear in the trash can.
"my body needs your attention tonight" - Try the yellow pages, under Massage.
"Its Celeb Taboo for a reason" - and I'm not interest in the reason.
"Re: our conversation yesterday" - What conversation?
"Receive a free night with a escort xkldiv" - did Ford do a xkldiv model? Hmmm. No thanks.
"Receive a free night with a escort jfzadfjlop" - I have no idea what an escort jfzadfjlop is.
"Re: please re-send the email" - never sent it in the first place...

Gee. Anything to get you to open the e-mail...

J.



Thursday, June 19
 
You know, there's a big difference in the folks in our country.

On the one hand, you've got the raving moonbats over at Indymedia - you know, the ones who post signs like "We support our troops - when they shoot their officers." (And yes, it WAS there over at SF.Indymedia for a long time on their main page - then they apparently realized they were alienating people, and took it down...)

On the other, you've got folks like this... Warning - glurge alert. And it's even more touching because it's true...

From Jessica's Well
"

"What follows is a message from Vicki Pierce about her nephew James' funeral. He was serving our country in Iraq:

'I'm back, it was certainly a quick trip, but I have to also say it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. There is a lot to be said for growing up in a small town in Texas.

The service itself was impressive with wonderful flowers and sprays, a portrait of James, his uniform and boots, his awards and ribbons, his boots. There was lots of military brass and an eloquent (though inappropriately longwinded) Baptist preacher. There were easily 1000 people at the service, filling the church sanctuary as well as the fellowship hall and spilling out into the parking lot.

However, the most incredible thing was what happened following the service on the way to the cemetery. We went to our cars and drove to the cemetery, escorted by at least 10 police cars with lights flashing and some other emergency vehicles, with Texas Rangers handling traffic. Everyone on the road who was not in the procession pulled over, got out of their cars, and stood silently and respectfully, some put their hands over their hearts, some had small flags. Shop keepers came outside with their customers and did the same thing. Construction workers stopped their work, got off their equipment and put their hands over their hearts, too. There was no noise whatsoever, except a few birds and the quiet hum of cars going slowly up the road.

When we turned off the highway, suddenly there were teenage boys along both sides of the street about every 20 feet or so, all holding large American flags on long flag poles, and again with their hands on their hearts. We thought at first it was the Boy Scouts or 4 H club or something, but it continued .... for two and a half miles -- hundreds of young people, standing silently on the side of the road with flags.

At one point we passed an elementary school, and all the children were outside, shoulder to shoulder, holding flags ... kindergartners, handicapped, teachers, staff, everyone. Some held signs of love and support. Then came teenage girls and younger boys, all holding flags.

Then adults.

Then families. All standing silently on the side of the road. No one spoke, not even the very young children.

The last few turns found people crowded together holding flags or with their hands on their hearts. Some were on horseback.

The military presence...at least two generals, a fist full of colonels, and representatives from every branch of the service, plus the color guard which attended James, and some who served with him ... was very impressive and respectful, but the love and pride from this community who had lost one of their own was the most amazing thing I've ever been privileged to witness.

I've attached some pictures, some are blurry (we were moving), but you can get a small idea of what this was like.

Thanks so much for all the prayers and support."
The Indymedia idiots think because they scream loudly and nobody bothers to take them to task most of the time that they're on the right side of things and people support them.

Yet for a soldier fallen in Iraq, this was the turnout. No screaming, no sign-waving, no press attention. Simple, quiet patrotism and dignified respect for those fallen.

The country is in good hands, with people like these at the core. The Indymedia folk may scream about how corrupt it is, how it's all about the oil, how it's all a farce - but the people who matter, the 'vast unwashed' that the leftists think are brainwashed, know better.

And my heartfelt salute to Army Spc. James M. Kiehl. Thank you. You died while helping make the world a better place for all. And at this point, the words are pretty late, and nowhere sufficient - but thank you.

J.



Wednesday, June 18
 
How the West grew rich - The Washington Times: Commentary

Ali's point was that although the institution of slavery was oppressive for the slaves, paradoxically it benefited their descendants because slavery was the transmission belt that brought African-Americans into the orbit of Western freedom. And the same is true of colonialism: against the intentions of the European powers, who came mainly to conquer and rule, colonialism proved to be the mechanism by which Western ideas like democracy, self-determination, and unalienable human rights came to the peoples of Asia, Africa, and South America.

These truths cast a new light on the issue of reparations. Reparations are a bad idea, not only because people living today played no role in the evils of slavery and colonialism, but also because the descendants of those who endured servitude and foreign rule are vastly better off than they would have been had their ancestors not endured captivity and European rule. Reluctant though he would be to admit it, Jesse Jackson has a much better life in America than he would have had in, say, Ethiopia or Ghana.
The idea that Africa at the time the slave trade was going on was some sort of peaceful paradise flies in the face of the established history. And it's also really interesting that it's still going on today.

Makes the US seem pretty good in comparison... not that some folk would admit that.

J.



Sunday, June 15
 
Iran Blasts U.S. for Backing Pro-Democracy Protests (washingtonpost.com)

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iranian officials closed ranks Sunday to criticize the United States for backing a series of pro-democracy demonstrations after thousands staged a fifth night of protests in Tehran.

There were reports of smaller demonstrations in at least three other cities, a sign the momentum of the protests, which Washington hailed as a cry for freedom, may be gathering pace.

Iran's Foreign Ministry accused the United States of "flagrant interference in Iran's internal affairs" and said U.S. officials were overstating the significance of the events.

"The Americans ignore the presence of millions of people to welcome the Supreme Leader and President, but they call the protests of a few individuals the voice of the people," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said in a statement.

Sandwiched between Afghanistan and Iraq, Iran's clerical establishment is unnerved by U.S. pressure mounting since the end of the war in Iraq. Washington accuses Iran of seeking nuclear arms, sponsoring terrorism and fomenting unrest in Iraq.
Okay - is there any proof that the US is backing the demonstrations? Or is simply noticing what's going on considered support by those paranoid theocrats? (Then again, it isn't paranoia when someone IS trying to get you... at least, get you out of office.)

Couldn't be that they're just tired of the current mullatocracy, could it?

Nah, the kids just LOVE being repressed.

Now, it's kind of funny. I contrast the demonstrations here with the stuff put on by the Indymedia crowd, and I'm just kind of amazed. The folks at Indymedia are convinced they're repressed and everyone will revolt when they realize just how oppressed everyone is - while they say darn near nothing about students who ARE repressed and demonstrating against it.

Big surprise, eh?

Of course, I guess that's the difference between playing at rebellion and actually having to do it. The Indymedia crowd make a big thing about how repressive things are in the US - while they're ignored by the mainstream.

Good luck to the Iraqis! They deserve support in their quest for freedom, while Indymediots deserve their obscurity.

J.



 
FOXNews.com
BAGHDAD — A daughter of Saddam Hussein (search) said last night that she is convinced her father is still alive. In her first interview, Raghad, 36, said: "I know he survived the war."

Raghad described how she, one of her sisters and their children escaped being killed by American missiles at a family farm on the first night of the war. The former Iraqi dictator's eldest daughter said she was no longer in touch with her father or brothers Odai (search) and Qusai (search) but believed they had all survived.
It's really rather amazing how Osama and Saddam have both survived, but they can't find anyone with a videocam to give some evidence.

Let's see... Saddam stole billions, but can't afford a camcorder. Osama's got the support of the entire Islamic world, but can't find anywhere to charge his batteries so he can get the camcorder running again...

Yeah. He's alive. Sure he is... and he's got photos of him and Elvis to prove it...

J.



Saturday, June 14
 
Iran's having problems. From Foxnews...


FOXNews.com
TEHRAN, Iran — Dozens of militants stormed at least two university dormitories, beating up students in their beds and detaining several of them as violence aimed at silencing government critics raged through Iran's capital.

Across the city, supporters of Iran's hard-line clergy beat pedestrians with clubs, brandished knives, fired machine guns in the air and hurled rocks at homes earlier Friday night. It was the most intense and widespread fighting in four consecutive nights of violence in Tehran.
Oh, yeah. That's going to suppress the problems...

One difficulty is that the students are VERY aware that they're being screwed by the mullahs, and the mullahs are aware that they've just about reached the limits of what the population can stand. However, they've got a very limited range of responses that they're programmed for, and they can't break out of their authoritarian mold. And the students know this.

Koorosh Afshar on Iran on National Review Online
When my peers and I gather for our regular underground meetings, we often discuss that article. It helps to remember it as we plan our next moves against the 24-year-long plague that has hit our homeland, the land of the Persians.

The article did not strike me because I suddenly lost my own security after 9/11. We had no security to lose. My generation in Iran has never known security or, for that matter, real happiness.

Many of my peers have been lost to the Islamic Republic's dens of torture or solitary confinement. But, as cruel as 9/11 had been for the world, it gave me hope that the tragedy in New York and Washington would mark the beginning of many changes. I sensed that the world would finally seek to cure the illness, rather than merely treating the symptoms of a disease we, in Iran, know all too well: clerical fundamentalism and militancy.

But even as we Iranians push against our regime, we wish to share with you our story, in hopes of arousing in you an urge to lend moral support to our desire to end the mullahs' regime. Clerical militancy has not only brought upon us the wrath of the Western world, but has also led to desperation for the many Iranians suffering under the Islamic Republic.
For some, it would seem like an Islamic republic, or a theocracy, would be a good thing. In practice, I'd say from looking at the ME in general and at Iran specifically, that it doesn't work long-term. Think Communism, with a religious theme...

Iran's about to boil. And the mullahs can't stop it...

J.



 
Well, foo.

Looks like the right-click "Blog This" doesn't seem to be working...

So, back to the old fashioned way...

J.



Wednesday, June 11
 
Okay - updates are in order.

Father's doing fine - he's feeling much better.

Sue's feeling better - she had a cold over the weekend.

Aaron's feeling fine.

Me, I'm tired and a bit depressed.

Rainy night in Georgia... I hate nights like this. But, we make do.

The bus bombing in Israel is... terrible. I can understand that the Palestinians want a homeland of their own. I can understand that they feel there's no hope of getting one. But why is it every time that Israel and the PA start talking, and progress is being made, groups like Hamas have to blow themselves up and stall the process?

Well - maybe it's because the know if there IS peace with Israel, then their funding (and their reason for existance) disappears. And so does their power. So does Arafat's power, for that matter...

So, any step towards peace will be stopped by Hamas or other terrorist group if at all possible...

Or so I think.

J.



Saturday, June 7
 
Parental unit update...

Father's out of the hospital - apparently he had an atrial fibrullation event. Medication's been prescribed - we'll see how it goes.

Sigh.

J.



Friday, June 6
 
Father's in the hospital again - chest pains. Mother just called with the news.

It's not like this is ...unexpected. Mother and Father are up there, they're rather frail - and Father just had a heart attack and they put in stents into some arteries. So we'll see where that goes.

Don't know if I'm going to have to make a trip out there or not. But I do know that lack of sleep won't make things any easier - I'm going to try to get some tonight and call out there in the morning to see what's what.

I was hoping to get them to move out here - but I'm... well. I'm not optomistic.

J.



Thursday, June 5
 
The jet powered beer cooler
What follows is my story about a shed, a warm beer and a home made jet engine. It is being presented for entertainment purposes only and no-one should attempt to emulate what I have done here. The risks should be obvious but it is worth pointing out that beer is a very dangerous substance when used without due care.
It's...

Well...

Hmmm. I never would have thought to use a jet engine to cool beer. Just goes to show that engineering can solve almost any physical problem... and a bit of innovative thinking can really lead to interesting results. I wouldn't have thought you could GET 2 degrees centigrade from a jet engine...

J.



 
Arab Street Hate - Arab Leader Hate - On Point Commentary by Austin Bay  StrategyPage.com
The charge made by international critics that America is dangerous is true. America has been dangerous since 1776 -- dangerous to autocrats and the vicious elites that still control much of the planet.
Liberty remains a threat to the autocrats, as it remains a great hope to those they oppress. If you doubt this, then you are blind to the toppling statues of Saddam. Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Abdullah can give The New York Times his plans for Mideast peace, but don't ask him about the oppressed in his own kingdom. Very few in Saudi Arabia have the guts to raise that lurking issue -- it leads to jail, or worse.
Yet you'll see folks on the left complain about how we're not free in the US...

Guess it's a matter of perspective on that. Maybe they're compaining about how they're not free to live on the dole and be 'activists' 24/7/365 - that they actually have to get funds from somewhere. Maybe they're mad because they can't go in and trash corporation offices under the guise of free speech without getting arrested. Maybe they're upset because most people can recognize a tantrum when they hear it, and the best way to deal with a tantrum is to ignore it until it becomes destructive.

Or, maybe they're just mad because no matter how much they protest, they're not seriously oppressed. They've got their fantasies about being 'freedom fighters' - and how can you be a freedom fighter without being crushingly oppressed first? So, if you aren't oppressed, you've got to MAKE like you're being oppressed....

Sigh. They haven't a clue about oppression...

J.



Wednesday, June 4
 
Students in Burqas at Paris' School of Eastern Languages
"L'Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales" (INALCO) (The National Institute for Eastern Languages and Civilizations) is the perfect example of a successful melting pot. People of various traditions, cultures and customs rub shoulders in the establishment. At times, the coexistence nears perfection. Turks, Armenians and Kurds study Turkish together. Jews and Arabs mingle to learn Arabic or Hebrew. One person may converse with another in a dialect of the Maghreb, while the other responds in Judeo-Arab. Hundreds of individuals jostle at the gates for a chance to immerse themselves in the cultures and languages of Japan, China or Russia. The main campuses are in Dauphine, Clichy and Asnières.
There's a severe and growing intolerance cropping up - on the Islamic side of the house.
A professor of Near Eastern contemporary history was told by some students that she did not have the right to quote or interpret the Koran during her classes. Their argument was that she is not a Muslim and therefore cannot talk about the holy book. Her classes touch upon sensitive issues in places like Israel, Palestine or Iraq. After her class, some students handed out partisan documents refuting the elements of her course.

A dozen students left an Arabic culture course given by a professor of North African origin. She had been illustrating a point by making the class listen to classical Arabic music. The departing students argued that the Koran forbids the faithful from listening to music. After the course, one of the students told her that since they paid tuition, they had the right to demand that their faith be respected. The students walked out of another class during which an Egyptian film showing courting couples was screened.

A meeting of all the professors of the Arabic studies department was held to discuss this incident. Some professors admitted that they practiced self-censorship to avoid such problems. A classical poetry professor confessed that he no longer taught secular poetry that spoke of wine, love or physical desire and that could "shock" some individuals. Self-censorship seems to be afflicting many professors and students.

A student prevented a female professor of Arabic grammar from teaching. He then followed the professor and exhibited "very unpleasant" behavior, forcing the other students to intervene. Our utter bafflement is accompanied by a simple question : Why ? The school president's response is unnerving : "She has a degree from the Ecole Normale and she is a modern Muslim woman." The student was summoned by the president, but did not show up. He will be brought before the disciplinary board of the university.
But wait - it gets more interesting.

These are only the facts that have been publicized, which means that there are many more. The rising number of such events shows an intensification of Islamist acts that go beyond proselytization and veiled or open threats to students. They indicate a religiously oriented opposition to the contents of university courses, which are constitutionally protected in France.

Do the professors sometimes bow to the dictates of the Islamists ? Officially, the answer is no. However, the school president has failed to investigate the matter among the professors faced with this fundamentalism. He has been content to record the incidents that have been brought to his attention. No one can say whether certain professors have succumbed to the pressure and modified their courses or the manner in which examinations are conducted.

"We have to strike hard. We won't give them free rein," INALCO's president stresses. He adds, "We are not on a religious battlefield. A student can go to class in Afghan clothes as long as he doesn't disturb the course." The idea is to strike hard in order to check this insidious infiltration within France's largest Arabic studies department. Gilles Delouche says, "When female students who have arrived in October in jeans and T-shirts start wearing headscarves in February, you tell yourself there's a problem."

No organized Islamist groups have been found within the department yet. The school president says, "Forces outside the school appear to be pulling the strings of these student activists. We have identified a preacher who is not a student. And as chance would have it, he is very close to the student who will be brought before the disciplinary board."
But not everyone from those regions agree with the tightening of the screws by the Islamists.
A 25-year-old Muslim student who arrived from an Arab country last year is flabbergasted by the problems encountered in France. "I've traveled 1,700 km so I don't have to see these people. And now I find them in Paris. It's crazy." he says. "You don't have these issues at the Arabic department of University of Paris IV. Why ? There's a striking complacency in Asnières." He handed out leaflets in Asnières before the student elections. "Too many Hebrew students on this list," he was told. According to an elected member, there are three Hebrew students out of a list of 16 representatives. "Crazy" and terribly worrying.
Good luck, folks. You're facing a hard time, I think, with no easy resolution...

J.



Tuesday, June 3
 
Islam Denounced By Muslim Dissidents: A study of the Quran, Muhammad and Islamic Terrorism
Faith Freedom International echoes the voice of Muslim dissidents that strive for freedom of faith and freedom from Faith in Islamic countries. We are against Hate, not Faith. We revere human rights not human beliefs. We endeavor to be factually correct not politically correct. You may not like to hear what we say, but you cannot afford not to listen.
Take a look. It's worth examining...

J.



 
CNN.com - Dixie Chicks ruffle more feathers - Jun. 3, 2003
Just as the controversy appeared to be dying down after the Dixie Chicks' Natalie Maines mildly ridiculed President Bush before the start of the Iraq war, country radio programmers are disappointed in the group once again.
This time, they take issue with the fact that Maines apparently chose to take a shot at fellow country musician Toby Keith during her May 21 performance at the Academy of Country Music Awards. Maines wore a sleeveless shirt with the letters F.U.T.K. on the front.
You'd think they'd learn.
KNIX Phoenix music director Gwen Foster is "disgusted with certain artists who just cannot see that the world doesn't revolve around them and their pettiness all the time."
But they're STARS. The world revolves around them, doesn't it?

J.



 
Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Baghdad Blogger

Salam Pax has a column in the Guardian. Very worth reading... an excerpt follows...
I heard today that one of the infantry divisions is being put back in combat mode. The Military presence has been increased in the streets and soldiers don't look as calm as they did a week ago. Al-Jazeera and Arabiya show angry Iraqis who say things about the promises that America has not kept and the prosperity of which they see no sign. Iraqis are such an impatient lot. How could it be made clear to these people that if they don't cool it and show some cooperation there is no way anyone will see this prosperity? I really don't want to see this country getting caught in the occupier/occupied downward cycle. I know it won't.
Read the whole thing. It gives you a view of Iraq that you won't get from any major news outlet - and likely would be totally ignored by the Indymedia crowd...



 
DEMONSTRATOR SERIOUSLY INJURED BY POLICE IN EVIAN G8 DEMONSTRATION. : SF Indymedia
As a result of actions by the Swiss traffic police as a part of the repression of protestors against the Evian G8 Summit on Sunday 1st June, a UK national, Martin Shaw has been severly injured and hospitalised. The protestor, part of a 15 person international collective blockading a bridge in Switzerland to prevent G8 delegates passing from Geneva to Lausanne, was participating in a banner drop with the slogan “G8 Illegal”. Martin and another protestor who doesn´t wish to be named were hanging from both ends of the same rope from a 30m high bridge over a small stony riverbed alongside the banner.

Two traffic police arriving at the scene panicked about the build up of the traffic and cut the supporting rope of the two protestors despite repeated warnings about the danger of this from everyone present. The police later admitted to their actions in a press statement. Following this, there will be a judicial enquiry. Martin who is a very experienced and careful climber, then fell 20m into a stony river bed and was left there with spinal injuries, pelvic damage, an injured spleen and two broken ankles for an hour before the emergency services arrived with a ambulance helicopter to take him to the hopsital."
You know, this is much more Darwin award stuff. This is just plain STUPID. If that's what the anti-G8 crowd think are effective tactics, they'll be extinct shortly.

And after the accident - if they suspected spinal injuries they SHOULDN'T move him.

No, no sympathy at all...

J.



 
Samizdata.net - The British Islamofascist menace – more than a ripping yarn from the BBC
But episode two was a hell of a lot more than a ripping yarn. It included as convincing an enactment of how a British-based Islamofascist manipulator and unleasher of suicide bombers might go about his evil business as I have ever heard or seen from the BBC, on any programme. It was the complete reverse of escapism. It was facing one of the bitterest and nastiest truths about this country and its future that is now out there for us to face. The only escapist fantasy was that at the end of the episode, two people died in the bomb explosion rather than several dozen. But a bomb explosion there nevertheless was, and we saw the poor silly suicide bomber pull the wire.

The BBC phone lines are probably already buzzing with outraged Muslim fundamentalists complaining about how the BBC is misrepresenting their vile and rancid opinions by presenting them as vile and rancid, such misrepresentation being obvious because the fat bearded bloke had his cloth wound on his head in the wrong direction.
The Brits have (if you'll forgive me) a tendency to ignore cultural problems until it's too late. Witness the prelude to WW1 and WW2. Some shouted warnings - but were ignored until there was a solid and apparent threat.

There's a threat. It can't be ignored much longer. Could this be the beginning of an awakening to that threat?

J.



Monday, June 2
 
Wallace & Gromit's Cracking Contraptions
The Snoozatron (2:18)
Wallace's insomnia cure keeps Gromit awake.
If you're a Wallace & Grommit fan, I don't have to tell you what to expect. If you're not - then you need to be and I don't want to ruin the surprise for you.

Enjoy!

J.



Sunday, June 1
 
Telegraph | News | Come on over the water's lovely
There's no dysentery or cholera, no sign of a human catastrophe, the roads and medical centres are empty and the countryside charming. Yes, writes Mark Steyn, there's no place like Iraq for a holiday

I've spent the past couple of weeks on a motoring tour of western and northern Iraq, and I can't recommend it highly enough. The roads are empty except for the occasional burnt-out tank and abandoned Saddamite limo. You can make excellent time, because it will be several months before a deBa'athified Iraqi highway patrol squad is up and running and even longer before they replace the looted radar detectors. On the boring stretches of desert motorway you can liven things up by playing D-I-Y contraflow. And best of all, if you avoid Baghdad and a couple of other major cities, you'll find the charming countryside completely unspoilt by Western reporters insisting that America is "losing the peace".
Hmmm. Could it be that 'objectivity' and 'fairness' aren't very applicable when it comes to reporters any more?

J.