Archive for December, 2007

Tip o’ the Ice Cap

Via Small Dead Animals, a chill wind blows for the global warming crowd:

Southern Hemisphere’s ice cover now is at the same level as last June, i.e., a level seen during the last winter in the Southern Hemisphere. Besides, there are two more millions square kilometers of ice now compared to December 2006. And the large positive anomaly has persisted since September.

Icecap note: In the Northern Hemisphere, the ice and snow cover have recovered to within 1% (one snowstorm) of normal with the official start of winter still more than 12 days away.

Don’t believe it? Have a look.

arctic4.jpg

See that pixel on the middle right of the picture, the white one? That’s my back yard. I coulda f**kin’ told ya.

In a related story:

Dual storms could drop up to a foot of snow in Boston area

The first storm system was expected to hit last night between 10 p.m. and midnight and carry up to 4 inches of snow for the city and along the coast, said Walter Drag, spokesman for the National Weather Service in Taunton. The accumulation, weather service spokesman Charles Foley said, is almost certain to surpass the 1.1 inches needed to break the record for the snowiest December in Boston history, set in 1970 when 27.9 inches of snow fell.

The first storm proved to be a dud (maybe an inch, gone by the afternoon), but isn’t that the point about grand statements about the weather? They’re s**t.

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Palestinian New Year’s Celebration

A Palestinian leader calls for unity, yet they’re at each other’s throats hours later. And where am I? Arguing with my host about bandwidth limit (I won, and they were actually very helpful).

Sorry about the delay, but who’s ready to get dirty and do some real work?

At least five Palestinians were killed and dozens wounded late Monday in armed clashes between Hamas policemen and Fatah supporters in the Gaza Strip.

Among those killed in the fighting were an elderly man, a child and a Hamas police officer.

The violence erupted less than two hours after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called for a “new page” in relations between the bitter enemies.

I think they took that “new page”, wiped their bums with it, and threw it back in your face, Mahmoud.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum rejected Abbas’ speech. “It is full of incitement and words calling for divisions. There is no new initiative or practical step in this speech that can pave the road to start an immediate dialogue,” he said.

But don’t take it too hard. All of you guys hate each other:

Fatah’s armed wing, the Aksa Martyrs Brigades, on Sunday called for the murder of Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salaam Fayad for “collaboration” with Israel and the US.

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Boobs and a Prick

When I saw the story in today’s Boston Globe, I nearly flipped. But Hot Air beat me to reporting it:

A pair of U.S. lawmakers visited the Syrian capital on Sunday in an attempt to persuade the Arab state to make peace with Israel and woo it from the Iranian sphere of influence.

Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) and Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy (D-R.I.) visited Syria after a trip to neighboring Israel, which gave its blessing to the lawmakers’ mediation effort. Israel and Syria have been in a state of war for decades despite occasional diplomatic forays between the two nations.

What, Nancy Pelosi’s hijab was at the cleaners?

From the Globe story:

Specter said he hoped US intervention would revive a dormant dialogue between Syria and Israel.

“The time is right now, and prospects are very good,” Specter told reporters yesterday on his 16th visit to Syria since 1984.

Prospects are good???

Anti-Syrian politicians in Lebanon are dying like Spinal Tap drummers, Hezbollah re-arms blithely under UN eyes, Israel is compelled to take out a mysterious site in Syria—and times are favorable?

I guess there’s nothing wrong with idiots talking to tyrants. But what point does it serve?

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Lame-Brained Dames

When Jeff Jacoby wrote the column “The Islamist War Against Muslim Women” (linked to today at FrontPage Magazine), you might have thought that the baying pack of leftie Glob readers would lay off its token conservative columnist.

After all, Jacoby recounted the horror of violence and intimidation visited on Muslim women for the crime of being Muslim women. Who could argue against that?

You’re kidding, right?

Women mistreated in the West, too

IN APRIL 2007, a man broke into the apartment of a Columbia University graduate student, tied her up, and taped her mouth shut. He proceeded to rape and sodomize her for 19 hours, stopping only to slit her eyelids and burn her with hot water and bleach. According to the Department of Justice, 115,010 women were raped in the United States in 2005. Americans have even joined the war against women in Iraq: Four US soldiers gang-raped and murdered a 14-year-old girl in June 2006.

None of this is meant to excuse the horrible events relayed by Jeff Jacoby. It does, however, indicate that no single culture holds a monopoly on the “subjugation of women” or that such incidents are “unthinkable by Western standards,” as Jacoby suggests.

Yes, sweetheart, but those are crimes, not doctrine. Something of a difference.

But that letter’s nothing compared to this one:

US enabled war on Muslim women

While the argument might be made that our intervention in Afghanistan in 2001 helped the plight of women, our failure to finish the job has led to a comeback by the Taliban and an erosion of women’s rights there. Perhaps that teacher of girls would be alive today if we had done the job right.

But in Iraq, we took a country that was secular, where women had full rights, probably the freest in the Middle East, and turned it into an Islamic theocracy. All the rights women once enjoyed there – driving, going to school, walking unescorted, and wearing Western dress – have been taken away. Women can now be murdered for not wearing the hijab. Their life is now a living hell.

I’m stunned.

Never mind the crazed logic that we somehow over-fought Iraq and under-fought Afghanistan—simultaneously—who could possibly think (much less write) that Iraq under Saddam had the freest women in the Middle East? Two words, toots: rape rooms.

And if Iraq is a “living hell” of an “Islamic theocracy”, so are Canada, Britain, Holland, France, and other Western nations where so-called honor killings of women have been committed.

Not to mention the Left’s beloved Palestine.

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Holy Crisco!

Ah, these two love-birds are meant for each other. I’m sure they’ll work this out.

A Palestinian women died of a heart attack on Monday as more than a thousand Palestinian pilgrims set fire to temporary camps in the Sinai set up by the Egyptian government to house them until a dispute over how they will return to the Gaza Strip is resolved.

The Palestinians arrived by bus at 11 temporary camps outside the Mediterranean coastal city of el-Arish on Sunday but refused to occupy them, protesting Egypt’s attempts to have them return to Gaza through the Israel Defense Forces-controlled Kerem Shalom border crossing.

The pilgrims include at least 10 well-known figures from the radical Islamic group Hamas – including Khalil al-Haya, a leader of the group – who fear Israel will arrest them if they cross through Kerem Shalom.

Isn’t the hajj meant to symbolize unity among Muslims? I’m only asking.

Maybe the folks there could use some of this sure-fire, money-back-guaranteed holy oil.

Akran Al-Hashemi, Iraqi journalist: I survived an assassination attempt in Iraq. I was hit by bullets – more than 70 bullets. I used oils, lotions, and all sorts of medicine, but unfortunately, nothing helped. I happened to meet Hajja [Samiya], and she said: “I can heal you. I will recite Koranic verses over olive oil for you – the Al-Fatiha chapter, the Al-Kursi verse, and the Al-Ma’wiztein.” From the very first night, I felt a difference, and after one week I started walking normally.

Hajja Samiya: Allah be praised, he was healed the very next day. To be honest, I myself was surprised. I’m not the one who needs to be thanked – I feel that God has given me a gift. I still don’t know how it works exactly, but it works.

I don’t watch as much late-night TV as I used to. Is this a Ronco product?

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Palestian Pilgrims, Peace, And Fires

Some folks think that if only Israel would give just a bit more, peace and smiles would break out across the land. I doubt it. They are a rowdy bunch and Egypt has her hands full:

EL-ARISH, Egypt – More than a thousand Palestinian pilgrims set fire on Monday to temporary camps set up by the Egyptian government to house them until a dispute over how they will return to the Gaza Strip is resolved.

The Palestinians arrived by bus at 11 temporary camps in the Sinai outside the Mediterranean coastal city of el-Arish on Sunday but refused to occupy them, protesting Egypt’s attempts to have them return to Gaza through the Israeli-controlled Aouja border crossing.

As they rampaged Monday, the pilgrims shouted angry slogans against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and his government for not allowing them to cross into Gaza through Rafah, where Israel has no control.

A large number of riot police responded by surrounding the pilgrims and securing the area, as firefighters attempted to put out the blaze. Several Palestinian women fainted from the fire’s heavy black smoke and were taken to El-Arish hospital.

Why can’t Egypt get a handle on this?

Here’s a clue:

The pilgrims include at least 10 well-known figures from the radical Islamic group Hamas — including Khalil al-Haya, a leader of the group — who fear Israel will arrest them if they cross through Aouja.

Israel, in turn, fears that if the pilgrims are allowed to return to Gaza through Rafah Hamas militants might get through and sympathizers could smuggle cash to Hamas in Gaza.

The standoff is the latest outbreak of tensions over efforts by Egypt, Israel and the Palestinian Authority to isolate the Gaza Strip since Hamas took over the tiny coastal strip in June.

And on and on and on…

Happy New Year.

- Aggie

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One Grenade or Two?

Europe is shocked—shocked!—to discover the Palestinians using EU aid as a cover for terrorism (which we reported yesterday):

The EU on Sunday condemned attempts to smuggle chemicals used to make explosives into the Gaza Strip in bags marked as humanitarian aid from the European Commission.

The IDF released a statement Saturday saying a truck carrying 6.5 tons of potassium nitrate, a substance banned because it is used to manufacture explosives and Kassam rockets, had been stopped at a crossing in the West Bank. The statement said the potassium nitrate was disguised in sugar bags that were marked as humanitarian aid provided by the EU.

“We condemn any abuse of any humanitarian aid for non-humanitarian purposes, and those who commit such acts do such to the detriment of the Palestinians,” an EU diplomatic official said.

“If this was an attempt to misuse the name of the EU or European Commission it would be an isolated criminal act and we condemn it.”

Sure you do. BUT

[T]his criminal act cannot put into question the efforts by the EU to provide aid that is vital for the most vulnerable Palestinians.”

Why can’t it? European aid to Palestinians pays to kill Jews. It should stop (the aid and the terror). How hard is that to understand?

And it’s not exactly unprecedented: see frequent cases of Palestinians using of ambulances, baby carriages, women, etc. as vehicles of terror.

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Our Sympathies

If you think you’ve had a bad year, won’t you spare a thought for the Dadullah family? Not only did they they lose their beloved son, Mullah Dadullah (or what was left of him) to American forces, but now their other male heir, uh, Mullah Dadullah (hey, I didn’t name him) just got fired from the family business.

A key Taliban commander in southern Afghanistan has been dismissed for disobeying the militant group’s rules, a Taliban spokesman said Saturday.

Mansoor Dadullah was “disobeying orders” and conducting activities “against the Taliban’s rules and regulations,” said Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid.

“For this reason Mullah Mansoor Dadullah is no longer in the Taliban and no longer a Taliban commander,” Mujahid said in a statement he attributed to Taliban leader Mullah Omar.

And like the punk that he is, Mansoor isn’t going quietly:

“Mullah Omar is the Taliban supreme commander. We will always obey his orders. But this message, this order, is not from Mullah Omar,” Muhibullah Mahajir told The Associated Press.

Mujahid, the Taliban spokesman, reiterated on Sunday that the order came from Omar and said he would soon provide an audio clip with Omar ordering Dadullah out of the militia.

Which I would expect to sound something like this.

But Mullah Minor, who took over after Mullah Major got blown up, thinks there’s more to the story:

Mahajir said that Mansoor Dadullah had interrogated some “spies” and found that some Taliban commanders were involved in Mullah Dadullah’s death.

“That’s why some of these commanders who were involved in the killing of Mullah Dadullah have made a conspiracy against us,” said Mahajir, a spokesman who has contacted the AP in the past.

Taliban treachery? Next you’ll tell me that these devout men kill fellow Muslims. No, I can’t believe it. I won’t believe it.

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A Pain in the Pasadena

Michelle reports that Cindy Sheehan is planning to protest at the Rose Parade this year.

The impeachment mob plans to stink up the Rose Bowl parade. It’s all part of the New Year’s wave of BDS activities I’ve been telling you about. Prepare for the ultimate moonbat convergence:

“There could be some discord during the Tournament of Roses Parade as demonstrators promise to raise issues during the holiday spectacle that has been going on for more than a century. Human rights advocates plan to protest a float honoring the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and anti-war activists, including “Peace Mom” Cindy Sheehan, intend to rally for peace…”

Dear God, let her try!

She thinks the police are rough, she’s never seen a beauty queen upstaged by a bedraggled, middle-aged crone—no matter how “absolute” the latter’s moral authority. Get one of these dentitionally-enhanced honeys coked up (which won’t be difficult, based on recent experience), and watch the fur fly (metaphorically speaking, I hope).

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I’m into Nuggets, Y’all

It’s a few days old, but if you stick it in the microwave with a little gravy, it’ll be good as new.

McDonald’s exemplifies the role of small businesses in Americans’ upward mobility. The company is largely a confederation of small businesses: 85 percent of its U.S. restaurants — average annual sales, $2.2 million — are owned by franchisees. McDonald’s has made more millionaires, and especially black and Hispanic millionaires, than any other economic entity ever, anywhere.

Now, if you want to make the point that McDonald’s has done so by also creating a generation or two of obese, hypertensive, pre-diabetic black and Hispanic youth, go right ahead. As if the kind of person who lives off of fries and a Coke would choose carrot sticks and tofu pups if McDonald’s weren’t around.

Anyhow, guess what’s coming to dinner?

The food fascists are not pleased. Pursing their lips and waxing censorious at the mere mention of McDonald’s, they blame it for fat people. But although it might seem peculiar to cite McDonald’s customers as evidence of Americans’ increasing health consciousness, consider this: Red meat has become suspect and McDonald’s now sells as much chicken as beef — 150 percent more chicken in dollar volume than just five years ago.

Asked if McDonald’s now offers salads because they sell well or to silence those who think McDonald’s is causing the nation’s obesity epidemic, Skinner candidly and succinctly says: “Both.”

Exactly. McDonald’s is relevant because McDonald’s stays relevant. I haven’t eaten at one since I can’t remember, but I raise my ice-filled plastic jug of Coke to them.

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If Not NOW, Who?

BTL reader Barb wrote to ask if NOW had issued any statement about the appalling murder of Benazir Bhutto by Muslim radicals (of whatever stripe).

James Taranto had the same thought, and checked. This is what he found. I repeated the search and came up with similar results.

Taranto:

So what does the National Organization for Women, America’s premier feminist organization, have to say about Bhutto’s life and death? Only this: . We did a search for “Bhutto” on NOW’s Web site and it came up empty. The top item under “Hot Topics” on NOW’s homepage is “NOW’s Naughty List: Stereotyping Toys” Here’s NOW head Kim Gandy:

Naturally the NOW office has been abuzz about the ubiquitous “Rose Petal Cottage” TV commercials. If you haven’t seen these ads, count yourself lucky. Honestly, if I didn’t know better, I would think they were beamed in from 1955, via some lost satellite in space. . . .

According to the makers at Playskool, the Rose Petal Cottage is “a place where her dreams have room to grow.” And what might those dreams be? Well, baking muffins, arranging furniture and doing the dishes. The voiceover even declares that the toy house will “entertain her imagination” just before the little girl opens the miniature washing machine and says–I kid you not–”Let’s do laundry!” . . .

Through the world of toys, girls and boys are given separate dreams to follow. Girls are prepared for a future of looking pretty, keeping house and taking care of babies. Boys are given a pass on that domain, and instead pointed toward the outside world of challenge, physical development and achievement.

NOW has a different vision. When your daughter grows up, she can follow the example of Kim Gandy: grab a broom and sweep invidious stereotypes right out of the toy aisle! International politics? That’s icky, leave it to the boys!

Why do I think that if Bhutto had been gay, NOW would have sent a hit squad over to P-stan to kick ass and take names?

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Manly Manchester

If it weren’t for all the TV remote trucks clogging up the highway, I have half a mind to zip up I 93 to join them:

On Saturday, January 5, we will know who won Iowa. Candidates will be all about New Hampshire. And it will be debate night in Manchester and National Review Online will be there — and we want you to join us for the evening.

“Right Night: NRO Takes Manchester” will feature our version of the three wise men: the tremendous trio of Jonah Goldberg, Rob Long, and Mark Steyn.

Just my luck, I’d get stuck behind John Edwards’ bus while he was styling his hair. That thing’d never move.

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