Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Monday, August 28, 2006
Monday, August 21, 2006
Friday, August 18, 2006
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Monday, August 14, 2006
This year's laureate in Chemistry is being rewarded for his pioneering investigation of fundamental chemical reactions, using ultra-short laser flashes, on the time scale on which the reactions actually occur. Professor Zewail's contributions have brought about a revolution in chemistry and adjacent sciences, since this type of investigation allows us to understand and predict important reactions.Go to the Nobel prize website to learn more about Femtochemistry, and Professor Zewail's contributions to it. This series is going to highlight the good Muslims not only for my Western audience out there. Really, this series is for the Muslims. There are some great and inspiring Muslims out there - heroes to look up to. There are many reasons to value life, learning, advancement, and achievement, because Muslims have achieved and contributed a great deal to this world. So this is only part one in what hopefully will be a long series, showcasing these great achievements. Thanks to The Sphinx for pointing out Professor Zewail to me!
Sunday, August 13, 2006
So what do the Community of British Muslims do about it ? Not a lot it seems. They appear to be obsessed with playing the victim anytime a young Muslim is arrested for terrorist related offenses and to be fair they do have some room to complain. But in a perverse way they have set themselves up as victims by not tackling the problem of radical Islam. In fact they tend to hide behind the Koran and say that those who commit acts of Terrorism are misguided and others who are thinking about following the same path need to be taught what Islam is really about. But the funny thing is they don't appear to be teaching those young men and women those lessons at all.
Even after the 7/7 bombings in London the families of some of the bombers would not be believe there children, brothers etc had committed such acts of barbarity.
Muslims in the UK seem to be in denial about the threat of Fundamentalist Islam.
Now one of two things will happen:
Muslims will wake up to the threat and help those angry young men channel their anger about British policy in Iraq etc through democratic means.
They will carry on being in denial and more Terror attacks that kill all sections of the UK population will become a regular occurrence.
This will of course feed the likes of the British Nationalist Party who will use it as propaganda to attack Muslims. So Muslims will become victims of hate crimes and that will also fuel the fires of radical Islam in the UK. So we all have to work together to get this problem sorted out and under control as i do not want to have to go through 30 years or more of terrorism. I may sound racist, but I'm not really.
I would love for all sections of the UK's multicultural society to get along with one another. As it is beneficial for everyone if that happens. There are some long and dark days ahead of everyone in the UK, no matter what religion you might follow.
Saturday, August 12, 2006
Friday, August 11, 2006
This clearly outlines "why they hate us." They hate us because we exist. And they will not be happy until we die. That is the only condition for peace - our death. Well I am NOT dying anytime soon. If they want me, they will have to fight. And thank (non existent) God that Israel is fighting the fight the US is unwilling to do. Let us hope that Israel's hands will not be too constrained, and they will be able to finish the job. One can hope, right? Next time someone tells you that we have to look within as to why they hate us and see if they have any legitimate demands, remember the words of David Mamet. It is not a "legitimate demand" to desire the annhilation of the West. And the sooner the West and the pathetic, blind, and moral equivalence-riddled media realize this, the better. UPDATE: the commentator aps added a useful sidebar to Mamet's eloquent column.
Many Jews are upset with Mel Gibson because they believe in something called "the public relations war."
Israel, these co-religionists think, is endangered because the Arabs, sworn to the annihilation of the Jewish State, are, somehow, putting a better spin on their case.
Israel is a sovereign nation, founded by United Nations Charter in 1948. Since then, she has been both chronically and acutely under attack. Since 1948 Israel has staved off those invaders dedicated to killing the Jews, and each time, after each war, Israel has given back to those invaders, the land acquired in Israel's defense.
Israel wants peace, the Arabs want Israel gone (in 2000 Arafat on the eve of ending a territorial dispute which would have given him 98% of the land he desired, withdrew and went to war). Yet most of the Western Press, European and American, pictures Israel as, somehow the aggressor, and the Israelis as somehow inhuman, and delighting in blood.
There is no "cycle of violence." Israel wants peace behind the 1949 armistice borders, with some relatively minor variation. There is no indictable "disparity of force." Israeli civilians are being bombed. Hezbollah knows where the Israeli military bases are, but chooses to bomb civilians. Hezbollah murderers put their armaments exclusively in the midst of civilians. The Israeli aim is not to invade Lebanon (they left Lebanon) but to force Hezbollah to stop killing the Jews.
That the Western press characterizes the Israeli actions consistently as immoral is anti-Semitism. What state does not have the right to defend itself - it is the central tenant of statehood.
The Jews are not the victims of bad p.r. They are the victims of anti-Semitism.
Europe has always been devoted to the destruction of the Jews. At times, again, it is acute, it is always chronic. The Inquisition, the Russian Pogroms, the mass-murders of Jews by Crusaders "going to save Jerusalem," and the Shoah are only the more notable examples of a civilization happy to designate a different group the helpless-stateless "other," and rape, steal, and murder them at will.
The supposed "cause" of this hatred changes, "Jews spread the plague, they kill Christian babies, they are money-grubbing, greasy, unpatriotic, as a state they are psychotic murders, they are capitalist banker, they are the Communists" in short, Jews are inhuman.
THE PROTOCOLS OF THE ELDERS OF ZION, is a spurious 19th Century libel of the Jewish people. It purports to reveal that the Jews kill Christian children for their blood, which they used for ceremonial purposes. (The document is widely disseminated today in the Arab world.) A modern, Western person might read the PROTOCOLS with wonder at the naiveté of anyone who would credit it; but the current Western bias against Israel is The Blood Libel, it is, quite simply, the PROTOCOLS, shifting shape.
No, we are told, it is not that Jews, somehow, need Christian blood for their nefarious ceremonies, they need Arab blood, and, for some reason, delight in murder. And much of the Liberal West, thrilled to have a Victim to worship, nods along.
To ask "must there not be a cause for this anti-Semitism?" is an outrage, similar to asking the rape victim "how short a skirt were you wearing?" The question cannot be posited without at least the implication of the victim "having, somehow, at least in part, 'brought it on yourselves.'"
The question cannot be asked of Jews, any more than a European American could ask an African American "why did your people stay in slavery so long...?" But one might ask the question of a non-Jew. And here is one answer:
Twelve hundred years of European anti-Semitism, murder, rape, and theft, may be laid in large part, at the foot of the Gospel of John. ("He would not go about in the Temple, because the Jews sought to kill him," JOHN 7:1 "You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires," JOHN 8:44, etc New Oxford Annotated Bible.)
Now, any and every religion has some portion of its foundation text which is morally and ethically repugnant. (C.F. Jewish Morning prayers, where the man "thanks God that he was not created a woman," (Deuteronomy 21:18-21) "the rebellious child must be taken outside the camp and stoned to death.")
The gospels did not cause anti-Semitism, but they licensed it, to Christian Europe.
Beginning with Pope Benedict VI in "Nostra Aetate" published in 1965, down through Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, the issue of Christian anti-Semitism has been addressed, and enlightened Christians around the world, many, people of good faith, having done so independently, are now facing and redressing the issue of anti-Semitism and the Gospels, in an organized manner.
But those things learned in childhood, before we recognize that we are learning them, persist. This is the operative notion of psychoanalysis - that in order to forget we must remember.
I was raised in a time of separate washrooms and water fountains for African Americans. White Americans of my age and experience had and have to confront those racial prejudices imbibed as a matter-of-course, before we knew we were imbibing them. Mel Gibson was raised as a Catholic, and studied the Gospels. Indeed, he made a film of them (I haven't seen the film).It is not impossible that Mr. Gibson, at a time of great stress, reverted to a catch-all solution learned as a child - that he, in effect, "regressed."
Q. What was the catch-all solution? A. "Jews are bad."
This might seem to be a rather tenuous connection, "I was stopped for drunk driving - therefore the Jews are bad." But consider: this is exactly how the Western World acted in the 1930's - the Jews are Bad, "they are bringing the world to the brink of war." Germany is going to imprison, deport, kill, in short, relieve you, Europe, of them.
Q. What is the cause of unrest in 1930's Europe? A. The Jews.
Absurd, one might say, how did "The Jews" cause Hitler to kidnap Europe? But see the same mechanism today. Israel (read "the Jews") we are told, has somehow so inflamed the Arabs, that they (Israel/the Jews) will bring the world to the brink of destruction. Arab Jihadists bomb the West and the West blames "the Jews."
But Israel's Jews are no more the cause of Arab Fundamentalist rage than they were the cause of European Fascism. We, as always, are the miner's canary, singled out as, and the first victims of national or global unrest.
What happened to Mr. Gibson is the same thing that happened to the West faced with the specter of Jihadist killers: he became frightened. He regressed, and started speaking the absurd.
Mel Gibson was pulled over for drunk driving, and, perhaps, because he was frightened - as you or I might be in the same situation - he said something regrettable. Then he apologized. Good for him.
UPDATE: I just want to note that Mamet was factually wrong about a few things. 1) Israel was not formed by the UN resolution. That legitimized Israel's existence. It formed when Ben Gurion declared statehood, and then became a functioning state after it won the war for independence. 2) I think many Israelis would not be content with the 1949 borders, but that is because those borders are not defensible, and have been proven to be indefensible borders.
Shhhhhh. David....You're NOT allowed to mention the "A" word - anti-semitism. Its Taboo. You can mention any other type of bias under the sun - conservative, liberal, democratic, racist, but NOT anti-semitic bias...Its the elephant in the room on one is supposed to talk about.We're supposed to gullibly believe that it's all about genuine concern for human rights. Of course several hundred thousand died in Darfur in the last three years. And the Arab world (in fact most of the world) doesn't give a tinker's damn about that. Or the thousands killed in Chechnya; or the killing in the Kashmir; or any of the other ethnic conflicts going on. Ever hear the Arabs, or the so called "progressives" call for any of them to disappear? Ever hear anyone deny Russia's, Sudan's, or India's right to exist? Of course not. But Israel? Of course.
So why the hypocrisy? Why the double standards? Its not hard to figure out. We all know the reason. Its called anti-semitism. We're just not allowed to say it.
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Read the rest of the links! I want to edit one thing...I do believe that there are many Lebanese who didn't ask for this and don't support Hizballah. Even if it's 20% of the Lebanese, that is significant. And I do feel bad for them. But as I have said on numerous occasions...war is hell. But sometimes it is necessary.
Lebanon has now declared war on Israel and its citizens are bearing the consequences. Lebanon is no more a victim of Hezbollah than Austria was a victim of Nazism. In fact a higher percentage of Lebanese--more than 80%--say they support Hezbollah. The figures were nearly as high before the recent civilian deaths.
This is considerably higher than the number of Austrians who supported Hitler when the Nazis marched into Austria in 1938. Austria too claimed it was a victim, but no serious person today believes such self-serving historical revisionism. Austria was not "Hitler's first victim." It was Hitler's most sympathetic collaborator.
So too with Lebanon, whose president has praised Hezbollah, whose army is helping Hezbollah, and many of whose "civilians" are collaborating with Hezbollah. According to a news report in the New York Times on Sunday, August 6th, Hezbollah is Lebanon and Lebanon is Hezbollah. It is "as much a part of society as is its Shiite faith." As a car mechanic put it, "we are Hezbollah." A café owner was even more direct: "Just because I'm sitting here in this café doesn't mean I'm not a resistance fighter." Of course if he were killed fighting Israel, his death would be listed as a "civilian" casualty. Nor is he alone. He continued: "Everyone has a weapon in his house...There are doctors, teachers, and farmers. Hezbollah is people. People are Hezbollah." Except, of course, when they are killed or injured fighting against Israel--then they become just 'people,' just "civilians." As a doctor asked rhetorically, as he pointed to dead bodies resulting from a battle between Israeli and Hezbollah forces, "Do you see anybody from Hezbollah?"
It is virtually impossible to distinguish the Hezbollah dead from the truly civilian dead, just as it is virtually impossible to distinguish the Hezbollah living from the civilian living, especially in the south. The "civilian" death figures reported by Lebanese authorities include large numbers of Hezbollah fighters, collaborators, facilitators and active supporters. They also include civilians who were warned to leave, but chose to remain, sometimes with their children, to serve as human shields. The deaths of these "civilians" are the responsibility of Hezbollah and the Lebanese government, which has done very little to protect its civilians.
Lebanon has chosen sides--not all Lebanese, but the democratically chosen Lebanese government. When a nation chooses sides in a war, especially when it chooses the side of terrorism, its civilians pay a price for that choice. This has been true of every war.
We must stop viewing Lebanon as a victim and begin to see it as a collaborator with terrorism. Nor is there any excuse for this choice. Lebanon was not "driven" to support Hezbollah by Israel or the U.S., as some Lebanese leaders falsely claim. Lebanon included Hezbollah in its government, knowing that it is a terrorist organization. It abdicated the responsibility for providing social, economic and police services in the south to Hezbollah.
The Nazi party too provided social, economic and educational services to the poor in Germany and Austria. Yet the people who chose to submit to such evil paid a heavy price. People make choices and they bear the consequences of choosing to collaborate with terrorism. Lebanon has chosen the wrong side and its citizens are paying the price. Maybe next time a democracy must choose between collaborating with terrorism or resisting terrorism, it will choose the right side.
It's really just beyond belief that the MSM swallows this hook, line, and sinker. Considering this and the recent bruhaha about Reuters doctoring photos...it really makes one wonder about every single image that is broadcast by the MSM.
Question everything. The MSM cannot be trusted.
True! Then I read this crap about how Israel has delayed troop expansion into Lebanon because of US pressure. GRR!!! Israel needs to finish the job NOW. Delays will only cost more lives and achieve nothing. There is nothing to negotiate when one side desires the annhiliation of the other. Let Israel negotiate after its won.
The government's decision comes late, very late, but not too late. Destroying Hizbullah's fighting capacity and missile arsenal remains the objective that Israel must achieve. Clearly, air power alone cannot do so and a major ground offensive is necessary. While this should have been done considerably earlier, it nevertheless should be done today.
Firstly, on the military front, our goal should be victory over Hizbullah, a proxy military force for Iran.
Secondly, on the hasbara (public relations) front, we have to fend off the attacks and vilification of Israel in order to gain time for the military objective.
And thirdly, on the civilian front, the government must immediately declare a state of emergency. This is a war that, for the civilians, is worse than previous wars - longer and more costly in lives and property.
These are the objectives that I will support. In war, you must achieve your objectives. It is painful, but it will be much more painful for the country - in lives lost, cities paralyzed and security imperiled - if we have to face future rounds because we did not win this one.
Read the rest right here. What is amazing is my personal connection to this man. I am friends with valiant_200, and he is friends with someone who was in a band with John McCusker. The story is just sad all around. Really depresses me about the state of the world. I wish that stories like these received the press they deserve. EDIT: The man who is friends with John McCusker wrote this in his live journal (friends only)
A man who police said was depressed after he found out he didn't have enough insurance money to rebuild his Katrina-ravaged New Orleans home was arrested Tuesday after trying to get police to shoot him to death, New Orleans police said.
John McCusker, a photographer for The Times-Picayune, was taken into custody. Police said he will be charged, but were unsure what charges will be filed. He was being held under psychiatric observation. "The individual is a really fine professional who was so depressed that he set out today to commit suicide by cop," said James Arey, commander of the police negotiation team during SWAT and other emergency situations.
A friend snapped.
Photographer, researcher, historian, tourguide, amateur musician -- real good at all of 'em.
A year ago we got a band together, rehearsing weekly at his house. We elected him the leader, as exuding the most maturity and leadership.
We rehearsed, and our tryout went well. Our second regular gig would have been the day of the mandatory evacuation.
The day after that, the London Avenue Canal levee failed 2 blocks from his house, putting 10 feet of water and a half foot of silt in it.
He stayed in town through the storm and aftermath working for the Picayune.
He looked understandably harrowed when I first got back in town. The Picayune gave him a vacation.
More recently I'd thought he'd been doing better....well...
Like much of the city who didn't have the savings or weren't able to swing a loan to repair or rebuild out of pocket, he was waiting for the fabled money supposedly coming from insurance companies &/or FEMA. He said constantly trying to contact them and doing paperwork in Post-K NOLA was "like doing your taxes every day", an apt line which I've passed around...and...[he snapped]
Just very sad.
Wednesday, August 9, 2006
Friday, August 4, 2006
On a side note, it seems that this actually did lead to the hacking into Wikipedia of the "elephants" entry. Brilliant!
Thursday, August 3, 2006
Yes, that is a shack. No, it's not as bad as it gets. I saw worse shacks in Jamaica, but happened to take a picture of that one. It makes one grateful for being born...well...not there! Then there's the water protest I passed on the side of the road, en route to the airport. I had to take pictures, of course. I actually walked outside of the van, and took pictures...thinking "Hmm...these people may be armed, but I don't care. I just want to take these pictures." Blogger won't let me upload other pictures, so I went to a photo hosting place of mine... and
In any case, the people in Jamaica are some of the friendliest in the world. You want somethingf, and they deliver it with a smile - "Yeah mon, no problem, mon!" Therein lies their problem. Terrorism works, it just works!
As an example...so you see there was this road blockage, using rather primative materials. The van I was traveling in was stuck as a result of this road blockage, but then the protestor immediately helped the van get through the blockage, after he was paid what is American $.75! That is all it took! These people are just nice people! Even their angry protestors are nice people.
And that's why this third world nation gets no press coverage. If they started wearing kafiyehs and terrorizing the resorts, then suddenly their cause would reach international attention, and aid money would fly into Jamaica. It's just so sad, that that's how the world works.
While I was away in Jamaica, the band played on. Only it wasn't the tune I was listening to.