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Showing posts from November, 2002
A religion of peace?

From CNN:

KADUNA, Nigeria -- Dozens have been killed in northern Nigeria in rioting that erupted after a newspaper suggested the Prophet Mohammad would have approved of the Miss World beauty contest.

The death toll in the town of Kaduna was an estimated 105 with a further 521 injured taken to hospital, aid workers said on Friday.

Angry mobs in the mainly-Muslim city 600 kilometres (375 miles) northwest of Lagos burnt Christian churches and rampaged through the streets stabbing, bludgeoning and burning bystanders to death.

Shops were looted, cars were overturned and scorched while makeshift barricades were set alight. Fires also burned in mosques and windows were smashed.

Shehu Sani of the Kaduna-based Civil Rights Congress told The Associated Press he watched a crowd stab a young man, force a petrol-filled tyre around his neck and burn him alive. Sani said he saw three other bodies elsewhere in the city.I don't understand this.

I'll even grant you that all re…
Tests, Part 2 & 3


You're not the fool everyone takes you for. You put on a show to stay under the radar. Underneath your bumbling exterior, you are a shrewd and calculating person. You don't enjoy being in the spotlight, but you can take charge if absolutely neccessary. But trust no one, not even your best friend, because you never know who might betray you.

You were portrayed by Derek Jacobi.

Which I, Claudius Character are You? created by

Shiny Objects

Congratulations, you're San Francisco, the city of change.
What US city are you? Take the quiz by Girlwithagun.
Damn, I love the news!

This on MSNBC:

Iraq, facing a Friday deadline and the threat of war, accepted a tough new U.N. resolution that will return weapons inspectors to the country after nearly four years, the country’s U.N. ambassador said Wednesday. Baghdad’s approval of the resolution means inspectors should be on the ground in Iraq within a matter of days, although testing Saddam Hussein’s compliance could take months.

Damn, that makes things sound great, don't it? Only, while they report there are no conditions, Iraq tosses in their favorite kinds of conditions, qualifiers that only they can judge! And I quote from their letter:

We hereby ask you to inform the Security Council that we are prepared to receive the inspectors within the assigned timetable. The parties concerned should bear in mind that wer are in our holy month of Ramadan which means that the people are fasting, and this holy month will be followed by Muslim's Eid. [So we can stall a bit and a bit and a bit more …
The Real Issue

James Q. Wilson writes about The Reform Islam Needs and asks, "The West reconciled religion and freedom. Can Muslims do the same?"

We are engaged in a struggle to defeat terrorism. I have no advice on how to win that struggle, but I have some thoughts as to why it exists. It is not, I think, because Islam is at war with the West or because Palestinians are trying to displace Israelis. The struggle exists, I think, because the West has mastered the problem of reconciling religion and freedom, while several Middle Eastern nations have not. The story of that mastery and that failure occupies several centuries of human history, in which one dominant culture, the world of Islam, was displaced by a new culture, that of the West.This is a point I've tried to make several times, though not nearly as well as here. I tend to simply say, "They must don't like us." I don't believe there is anything the west could do to prevent Osama, Arafat, and other …
Can it be said better?

I think not. Victor Davis Hanson chimes in on The End of an Era and almost makes one nostalgic for the 60's:

The mantras of the 1960s and 1970s were "coalition governments" and "free elections." The United States was supposed to predicate its support on representation of all spectra of views under democratic auspices, i.e., anything other that what had emerged for a time in Taiwan, South Korea, Vietnam, Brazil, Greece, or Argentina. Such right-wing autocracies were corrupt, authoritarian, and murderous. In other words, like the present Palestinian Authority, they brooked no opposition, lynched or shot dissidents with or without show trials, and embezzled foreign aid. Yet today a democratic Israel — with a vociferous press, an antiwar movement, a plentitude of parties, regular elections, and a civilian-controlled military — is as demonized as Mr. Arafat is praised by Western intellectuals. Do we see protest signs that say "Support the d…
The Day After

Such an election night. Felt more like a presidential race. I truly loved the notion that all the media outlets had to do their work the old-fashioned way. That is, analysis had to wait until they got actual vote counts, rather than exit polls. One hopes that last night will set an example for elections to come, but somehow I doubt it. Especially seeing those collapsed, sad, sorry faces on CNN, shocked (shocked, I say) at the notion that Republicans had succeeded so well.

No doubt that includes Jonathan Alter at, who wrote on October 30, 2002:

Even (or perhaps especially) with Republican mourners in attendance, the political message was clear: President Bush may be popular. He may have run out the clock with Iraq talk. The economy might not be cutting for Democrats as much as they hoped. But Democrats are going to bottle that Wellstone passion on Election Day. The strange thing is, it just might work for them -- and not just in Minnesota, where Walter Mondale will…
Once more, pigs take flight

A report I never thought I'd see states:

"The people who carry out suicide bombings are not martyrs, they're war criminals, and so are the people who help plan such attacks," said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. "The scale and systematic nature of these attacks sets them apart from other abuses committed in times of conflict. They clearly fall under the category of crimes against humanity."Aren't you stunned? This is the group which has continuously slammed Israeli actions in response to these attacks. Naturally, this report was necessary to restore to HRW some level of credibility. Equally naturally....

A Hamas political leader disagreed.

"This report is neglecting all the Arab Muslim scholars who are not recognizing these operations as a suicide. [It] is accepting the [terminology of] Israel, describing such operation as suicide operation," said Mahmoud El Zahar. "This operation is not sui…