Monday, February 27, 2006

Hamas: We'll give you peace.. in stages.

Until now, Hamas has been openly and consistently calling for the destruction of Israel, the genocide of Jews and the tactic of suicide bombings.

After winning the Palestinian elections, the international community has for once stood firm and sent a fairly consistent message that Hamas must renounce its genocidal goals, recognise Israel and negotiate towards peace. Failure to do so has resulted in all finances being frozen.

The previous Palestinian Authority was well-known for its doublespeak. It would manage to play the media game very well and fool the international community by denouncing terrorism and stating that it is fully committed to the peace process. Despite the fact that it continued to physically and financially support terrorism, the international community kept funding Arafat's kleptocracy in order to "build confidence and trust", in the misguided hope that his government would use its power to bring about peace.

Well.. it shouldn't have taken Hamas long to realise that they too can play the media game. Just issue a few statements here and there about "the peace process" (a concept very different to peace) and that should keep the pressure on Israel. So Hamas' latest gem is an offer of peace in stages.

"The answer," he said, "is to let Israel say it will recognise a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders, release prisoners and recognise the rights of the refugees to return to Israel.

"Hamas will have a position if that occurs."

Friday, February 24, 2006

History surely repeats itself

Right now the world is witnessing a violent uproar in response to 12 Danish cartoons. The situation seems so ridiculous, that there couldn't possibly be a precedent.. or could there ?

In 2002, treasurer Peter Costello described an old story of how in the 1930s, cartoons by Australian David Low published in British newspapers deeply offended Nazi sensitivities: (hit tip: Tim Blair)

Whilst in some quarters in Britain Hitler was attracting admiration, for David Low, a natural democrat and liberal who distrusted totalitarianism, Hitler was a regular target of attack and ridicule.
Low's regular depictions of the Fuhrer caused enormous diplomatic problems for the British Government, but they were to prove remarkably prophetic. Throughout the decade he portrayed the German dictator as a ludicrous, vain, pompous fool with unbridled ambition.
In 1933 the Nazis banned the Evening Standard and all newspapers carrying Low's work because of a cartoon he had drawn depicting Germany's withdrawal from the League of Nations.
In 1936 during the Berlin Olympic Games Low received his first request to tone down his depiction of Hitler in the interests of "good relations between all countries". In 1937 the British Foreign Secretary Lord Halifax visited Germany and met with the Propaganda Minister Goebbels, who told him that Hitler was very sensitive to criticism in the British press, and he singled out Low for attention. Lord Halifax contacted the manager of the Evening Standard to see if Low could be toned down. He said:
"You cannot imagine the frenzy that these cartoons cause. As soon as a copy of the Evening Standard arrives, it is pounced on for Low's cartoon, and if it is of Hitler, as it generally is, telephones buzz, tempers rise, fevers mount, and the whole governmental system of Germany is in uproar. It has hardly subsided before the next one arrives. We in England can't understand the violence of the reaction."

I encourage you to read it all..

Quote of the day

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!" - Benjamin Franklin, 1759

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Taxes going to waste

Let me start with this simple statement of fact. Resources are scarce, but needs are infinite. There are all kinds of things people value - time, labor, food, clothes, health, transport. In this modern age, we use money as a medium of exchange. We can exchange money, also known as savings, for whats valuable to us.

Savings are scarce. The only reason individuals work towards savings is to use it for selfish reasons. By selfish, I objectively mean that a person is doing something that they themselves value. If a father wants to support his family, that is a selfish reason, because he chooses to do it because he himself values it. If I give money to a starving orphan, I am doing it for selfish reasons - because it gives me satisfaction. Allowing people to pursue their "selfish" goals doesn't necessarily result in a greedy and materialistic existence. As Adam Smith famously stated, free markets work in such a way that if you let people pursue their selfish goals, everybody benefits.

The Victorian ALP have no respect for freedom. Rarely does a day go by where I don't hear another story of a new way they have found to control my life and spend my taxes. Even if I did agree with how they regulated things, and how they spent my taxes, I know deep down that millions of other taxpayers would disagree. Therefore the entire principle of taxing and spending is immoral. Its hard to justify it, except for the really basic stuff like roads, airports, police, customs and a very basic public health sector.

Its clear that Commonwealth Games project boss Ron Walker has an open chequebook. When questioned how much it would cost to create 72 giant metal floating artworks on the Yarra River, he arrogantly replied:
"A balance sheet will be provided after the Games,"
And he ain't the only one who is saying that:
THE Bracks Government's $697 million Games budget is on track, Games Minister Justin Madden said yesterday.

But the real cost will not become clear until after the Games.

The Government is keeping its separate security budget a secret but reports put the cost as high as $100 million.

Some estimates say that it will cost Victorians close to $1bil to host this big event. And that doesn't take into account the traffic jams and inconveniences it will bring to the CBD. If the Commonwealth games is as popular as our media elites make out, then why can't it survive on its own without taxpayers subsidising it with huge amounts ?

I think its because people would rather spend their money on other things.

Why the Aussie welfare system is wasteful

This morning on talkback radio covered the case of a grandmother who is looking after two children because the children, have no mother and the father committed a crime and was sentenced to 8 years prison.

The grandmother was already on welfare, and at first was receiving an additional $75 per week from Centrelink as part of an "orphans payment".... however, after a few months of this, and speaking to a different Centrelink representative, they found that according to the legislation, the children could only be considered orphans if their parents were imprisoned for 10 years or greater.

So.. the decision was reversed and the payments were cancelled. The talkback host suggested contacting the minister, lobbying the government etc so that the legislation could be amended to cover this case. The grandmother was on the radio saying that she is using up her savings, and that the payments were very helpful, and although they didn't come close to covering the cost of raising the 2 children, it helped her a great deal.

What followed then was several callers ringing up to show their generosity. One caller offered the family $500/month. Other callers offered huge amounts too.

So what we have is a perfect example of why a public welfare system will fail individuals, and why private welfare and charity is far more succesful.

* At the moment, to qualify for a particular payment, you provide Centrelink with every little private detail about your life and they see if your income, age and status fall in the particular thresholds. There is a lot of bureaucracy, its very difficult for individuals to determine if they qualify before they apply, mainly because Centrelink has a challenging and confusing website.
The threshold for the children to be treated as orphans is 10 years jailtime for the parents. Its obviously there for a reason, if you reduced the threshold, then more people would qualify and that would add $millions to the cost of the program.

* Even if a family does qualify, who is to say that $75 a week is the right amount. What if the family are comfortable and the carer has a good income? What if they are struggling and the carer has no income ?

* Where do the actual Centrelink payments come from ? From taxes. Which are stolen. From everyone, regardless of whether they volunteer their assistance or not. It came from my pocket, and it most likely came from your pocket. Like it or not, you gave charity to strangers today.

Contrast all the failures and issues above with the simple concept of private charity. It can be through recognised charity groups. It can be through talkback radio or TV. When private citizens hear about a tough situation, they can donate as much as they feel comfortable with, and they know who its going towards.

And... if we all paid less taxes, we'd all have more money to give to our favorite private charities.

Socialism is nothing more than government treating us like cattle, justifying theft and coercion by telling us that they know how to spend our money better than we do.

Real blasphemy - in Iraq

Shocking news from Iraq, with civil war looming after a revered Shi'ite holy site is bombed in Iraq.

THE United States suspects al-Qaeda is behind today's bombing in Iraq which destroyed the dome of one of the world's holiest Shiite shrines, a senior US official said.

"We believe this can be traced back to the al-Qaeda movement," James Jeffrey, the State Department's coordinator for Iraq, said of the blast that sparked a wave of reprisal attacks against Sunni mosques in Baghdad.
Meanwhile back in the West, our media elite are still wringing their hands over the Danish cartoon incident, wary of insulting Muslim beliefs. Whilst millions of Muslims rampage through Nigeria and Libya over the Danish cartoons, with the death toll still climbing. Western diplomats continue grovelling and apologising to the Arab world for their media exercising freedom of speech. But this atrocity in Iraq still doesn't put things into perspective for the mainstream media. They have decided to ignore the issue of Muslims slaughtering other Muslims and really blaspheming against the religion. Time Magazine has an online photo essay:

Of course, back in Pakistan where the mosques and state-owned media report the incident, enraged Muslim's are encouraged to direct their hate and anger at you know whom:

Al-Qaeda was most likely behind the attacks, and the only reason was to provoke civil war and destabilise the region so they can move in. As far as their objectives go.. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

Iraqis rally in reaction to the explosion at a Shiite shrine. The poster shows the radical Shiite cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Another reason The Age is for fools

Ross Gittins is economics editor at The Age, and the one thing he surely fails to grasp is basic economics.

Brookesnews has the details of his latest nonsense. Gittins has his knickers in a twist believing that humans are going to run out of resources and starve to death because of China's economic growth.

He fails to take into account that the supply of resources is hardly constant. Its like going back 1000 years when the world's population was a few million humans, and forecasting doom and gloom because there won't be enough food (at current production levels mind you) for future generations.

The sorry state of the Victorian Liberal Party

Brookesnews has a couple of good articles on the sorry state of the Victorian Liberal Party under party power-broker Michael Kroger. Money quote:

Isn’t it very strange that all of this, and much more, is flying below Kroger’s political radar? There are plenty of other places where Bracks is vulnerable. His wasteful and ridiculous funding of highly expensive and grossly inefficient windmills for generating electricity. His refusal to build more dams. His phoney energy conservation policies that have driven up the price of housing. Outrageous taxes on new blocks of land and restrictive regulations that have further reduced supply of land and priced thousands more out of the housing market.

You would think that even if Bracks was a competent leader who respected freedom and commerce, instead of pandering to environmentalist fringe groups at every turn, his chances of surviving another election would be pretty slim. The way the election cycle works, most people start to get pretty sick of the same guy after 5 years and are ready to boot him out.

But unfortunately the opposition is a total rabble, and you barely hear them opposing Brack's authoritarian policies and soviet style economics.

Toilet seat etiquette - a formal analysis

An economics student does a full analysis utilising game theory to determine the optimal strategy for people to follow when deciding on whether to leave the toilet seat up or down.

His conclusion is that it is utility-maximising to follow the selfish option and leave the toilet as is when finished. This leaves the next person to use the toilet responsible for moving the seat if necessary.

Any other option, such as always leaving the seat down does not minimise effort and inconvenience.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Norwegian law surrenders to Islamic law

Generally, if there is a sovereign state with a police force, you expect them to be responsible for law enforcement and the prevention of violence.
Unfortunately, in Norway where the editor of a magazine who published the 12 cartoons that have so enraged many millions of Muslims, has received many death threats from various Muslim groups.

Rather than rely on the police to protect him, he issued an apology and showed his allegiance to the head of Norway's Islamic Council, in order to avoid death.

On February 10, in Oslo, came a dramatic capitulation that seemed a classic case of sharia in action. For days, Velbjorn Selbekk, editor of the tiny Christian periodical Magazinet – the first publication to reprint the now-famous Muhammed cartoons from the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten – had firmly resisted pressure by Muslim extremists (who made death threats) and by the Norwegian establishment (which urged him to give in). But then, on that morning – the day before a planned mass demonstration against the cartoons – Norway’s Minister of Labor and Social Inclusion, Bjarne Hakon Hanssen, hastily called a press conference at a major government office building in Oslo.

There, to the astonishment of his supporters, Selbekk issued an abject apology for reprinting the cartoons. At his side, accepting his act of contrition on behalf of 46 Muslim organizations and asking that all threats now be withdrawn, was Mohammed Hamdan, head of Norway’s Islamic Council. In attendance were members of the Norwegian cabinet and the largest assemblage of imams in Norway’s history. It was a picture right out of a sharia courtroom: the dhimmi prostrating himself before the Muslim leader, and the leader pardoning him – and, for good measure, declaring Selbekk to be henceforth under his protection, as if it were he, Hamdan, and not the Norwegian police, that held in his hands the security of citizens in Norway
At least the Danish editor has the common sense to not issue an apology over his exercising of freedom of speech.

Get over it losers !

Whilst some otherwise sane leftists still have their head stuck up their asses believing that moderate Islam is more widespread than fundamentalism, more mass-demonstrations of rage, violence and bloodlust emerge from the publication of 12 Danish cartoons:

Internet jihad

Looks like some enemies of the west have attacked Israellycool. The website is currently down, probably a denial of service attack. Hope you're up and running again soon Dave.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

The Victorian ALP is full of commie thieves

Economic illiterate John Brumby holds the post of Victorian Treasurer. His latest Marxist vision is reported by the Herald-Sun:

Treasurer urges more cash for ideas

THE Federal Government needed to spend an extra $860 million each year on scientific research and development if Australia was to compete in the world, Victorian Treasurer John Brumby said today
"Private sector R and D funding in Australia is very, very low by international standards and one of the reasons for that is the lack of encouragement within the tax system."
I can't believe its 2006 and we still have such incompetent morons running the show. The sheer idiocy of suggesting that government (e.g bureaucrats, politicians and lobby groups) is super-intelligent and able to run an economy and allocate resources to a better outcome than millions of citizens who would otherwise make many millions of decisions each day, is naive.

Only true entrepreneurship and innovation in a free and unregulated market, not reckless spending, can result in progress. I'm sure that these socialist politicians will tell you that there isnt enough R&D spending and produce some statistics to compare us to other countries to justify the theft of hundreds of millions of dollars of taxes.

Fools such as Brumby rarely consider the fact that useful, i.e productive gains from technology, are measureable in terms of profits to firms. Who honestly cares if we spent billions to have some high-tech fancy breakthrough if the benefits can't be measured in terms of dollars? If it doesn't improve our productivity, reduce resources and/or save time, well then people wouldn't spend on it. Any R&D, whether it be electronics or pharmaceuticals, is undertaken by the free market in the expectation that it will produce something new that the market is willing to pay for.

Government expenditure on R&D is a misallocation of resources, as is all government spending.

Washing instructions for men

Fundamentalists attack red-haired clown

Via Israellycool, a hilarious example of stupid mobs burning down shops in rage at.. whatever. They always seem angry these days, especially since 12 cartoons were published in Denmark.

"Suck it you stupid clown!! All infidel clowns will perish !"

: Not content with burning down McDonalds, the Pakistani students went after that symbol of evil American imperialism and military might - the Colonel:

Damn you KFC, you're just so tasty ! Feel Allah's wrath !

Maybe this is part of the left-wing's war on fast food. It reminds me of the left-wing students here in Australia who go on their anti-capitalist marches through the city. Once again, we see how the extreme left and the extreme right meet up.

Abortion debate heats up over RU486

For what seems like the first time in Australia, the abortion issue is getting widespread coverage in the media as parliament debates whether the abortion pill RU486 should be approved.

Now, most people react to the issue by giving their own personal opinion on abortion. And if you listen to 2 people, you get 2 different opinions.

Most people frame the debate by giving hypothetical scenarios including unintended pregnancies to justify abortion. The other side tend to talk about the sanctity of life, and hold the view that having abortions readily available (in pill form) is an endorsement of the procedure, making it too easy.

So what do I think ? What is the libertarian perspective on abortion ? Well according to Wikipedia, libertarians still haven't reached consensus on the issue.

Libertarian positions tend to mirror those of other views: Many libertarians believe that a woman's ownership of her own body, and therefore her right to control it, includes her right to terminate her pregnancy without any interference. Others believe the unborn child has a right to live, and believe that an abortion is the initiation of fatal force against an utterly helpless victim.
So libertarians don't focus on the social engineering aspects of a policy. Whats good for one family is not always good for another. You can't claim to know the values of every single person in society and then get government to intervene and regulate their lives. Libertarians are only interested in government intervening to stop one person using violence, coercion or the threat of violence against another.

So instead they frame the abortion debate in terms of liberty and rights. One might immediately think this is the same as a pro-choice position, where a woman is free to do as she pleases. This would be the case, up to the point where you consider the fetus as a life and an individual in itself. Therefore it too should have the right to life, and government would have a role in preventing that life from being taken.

One of the basic foundations of libertarianism is a person's property rights, to do what they please with their property ( including their own body-otherwise we would have slavery). A woman should be able to do what she wants with her body. But a woman who voluntarily falls pregnant has made a contract of sorts. She has agreed to grow the fetus in her womb for 9-months. An abortion is a woman using coercion to destroy the contract she has made. Much like a landlord forcefully evicting a tenant who has a 9-month lease.

But the other extreme holds true if you view the fetus as a woman's property rather than a life. No libertarian could justify government intervention because all libertarians believe a person should be free to do with their property as they please.

And in the end, with no clear cut answer.. most libertarians default to their usual position of not giving government the power to ban abortion and tell millions of citizens that they know whats best for them.

Unfortunate headline of the day

Kickbacks in briefs to grain regulator. (via The Australian website)

Sounds painful to me.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Photo of the Day

Via LGF, a great photo of a Danish appease-nik welcoming his new overlords. Throughout modern history, there have always been a lot of people on hand ready to appease violent ideologies, from communism to Nazism to Islamofascism. The trend continues....

Public vs Private property

The Ludwig von Mises Institute have a great essay on why public property is always a dismal failure and private property is always better. Heres an extract:

Privately owned companies adjust to the needs of their customers. If there is too much traffic on the road or the road is not paved well enough, adjustments will be made in the name of profit. Any profit maximizing company would make adjustments to meet the consumer not from their humanitarian hearts but from their wealth-maximizing goals. Government roads are public property. There is no incentive to make things better. The only incentive for improvement is through political economy. A politician feels that interest groups will vote for him or her if the roads are improved. In that case, there may be a small improvement. Usually, these improvements will last only a short period of time. Politicians don't build roads that last forever. They build roads that generally last as long as their political careers.

Joke of the day

A man had 50 yard line tickets for the Super Bowl. As he sits down, a man comes down and asks if anyone is sitting in the seat next to him.
"No," he says, "The seat is empty." "This is incredible," said the man. "Who in their right mind would have a seat like this for the Super Bowl, the biggest sporting event in the world, and not use it?"

He says, "Well, actually, the seat belongs to me. I was supposed to come with my wife, but she passed away.
This is the first Super Bowl we haven't been to together since we got married."
"Oh...I'm sorry to hear that. That's terrible. But couldn't you find someone else, a friend or relative, or even a neighbor to take the seat?"

The man shakes his head. "No" he says. "They're all at the funeral."

Dirty joke of the day

A male whale and a female whale were swimming off the coast of Japan when they noticed a whaling ship. The male whale recognized it as the same ship that had harpooned his father many years earlier.

He said to the female whale, "lets both swim under the ship and blow out of our air holes at the same time and it should cause the ship to turn over and sink."

They tried it and sure enough, the ship turned over and quickly sank. Soon however, the whale realized that the sailors had jumped overboard and were swimming to the safety of the shore. The male was enraged that they were going to get away and told the female, "let's swim after them and gobble them up before they reach the shore."

At this point, he realized the female was becoming reluctant to follow him. Look," she said, "I went along with the blow job, but I absolutely refuse to swallow the seamen."

Monday, February 13, 2006

We interrupt this blog to bring you..

My latest cooking creation.. Japanese finger food delicacies. I've never acheived anything quite like this before, but boy was it a lot of work !

California rolls, with salmon or tuna, avocado and toasted sesame seeds.
Inari with mushroom and cucumber, and salmon/egg sushi pieces.

Freedom of speech is a wonderful thing

Just ask the Zimbabwean refugees broadcasting opposition radio, via the only free non-government Zimbabwean media outlet, Radio SW. Under Mugabe's police state, the only way they can broadcast such material is from the suburbs of northern London. Johann Hari has a fascinating article on the subject:

Radio SW Africa was founded by Gerry Jackson, a smart-suited white woman who had been one of Harare’s most popular radio DJs – until she crossed Mugabe’s unspoken line. On the day of the first food riots in 1997 – when the starving population began to rebel – Gerry did something you just don’t do in Zimbabwe: she opened the phone-lines to ordinary people, so they could explain what was happening. Until that moment, the radio had been a means for the government to talk to the people, not the other way round. Panicked, pitiful people called in, appealing for help – and Gerry was kicked off air for “insubordination.” She tried to set up an independent radio station, only for it to be smashed up by goons on its sixth day on air.

This city is scattered with Radio SW Africas. The main Saudi Arabian opposition station broadcasts from a semi in Fulham. The Falun Gong dissidents broadcast to China from Packham
You've gotta salute these people. Escaping torture and imprisonment in totalitarian states is one acheivement. But once they reach the free world, they remain the only voice of truth and freedom for the oppressed people back home.

Syrian government mouthpiece attacks Israel

Guess what they're blaming the Jews for now ? Nothing less than Bird Flu !
The state-run Syrian daily al-Thawra lately hinted that Israel developed the bird flu virus to harm the genes of its Arab neighbors.
An article published by the newspaper argues that Israel spread the virus in the Far East to mislead the world.
The newspaper backed its suspicions by citing a 1998 report in the Sunday Times that Israel is developing a biological "ethnic bomb" that would kill Arabs and not Jews.
According to the Times, Israeli scientists are trying to identify genes characteristic to Arabs and then develop viruses that attack these genes. The newspaper said the program is being carried out at the Institute for Biological Research in Nes Tsiona near Tel Aviv.
Now I'm just waiting for the thousands of protestors throughout the world to boycotts Syrian products and burns down Syrian embasses...

Spineless European watch

French supermarket chain Carrefour have decided to boycott Danish goods and appease the violent mobs. The French sure have a long history of covering their asses and retreating.

Friday, February 10, 2006

European cowards oppose freedom of speech.

Freedom of speech is unarguably one of the most important liberties in any society. When governments decide to outsource their authority to multinational bodies like the European Union,(or even worse the U.N) people's freedoms will eventually be disregarded as every aspect of life is regulated and controlled by power-hungry bureaucrats working for a centralised authority. Looks like Europe will soon have their freedom of speech curtailed in much the same way we Victorians have experienced under Steve Bracks ridiculous anti-blasphemy laws.

In an interview with Britain’s Daily Telegraph, EU Justice and Security Commissioner Franco Frattini said the charter would encourage the media to show “prudence” when covering religion.

“The press will give the Muslim world the message: We are aware of the consequences of exercising the right of free expression,” he told the newspaper. “We can and we are ready to self-regulate that right.”

Vladimir Putin - dealing with terrorists

When genocidal, mass-murdering terrorist groups have been shunned by world leaders and had their funding cut by European diplomats, where else can they turn to ? Good old anti-Western Vladimir Putin.

Speaking through a Spanish interpreter, Putin said: “We haven’t considered Hamas a terrorist organization. Today we must recognize that Hamas has reached power in Palestine as a result of legitimate elections and we must respect the choice of the Palestinian people.”
Thanks a lot Vladimir.

Happy Ashoura festival !

Word to all the Shi'ite Muslims flagellating themselves:

Keep it real man.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

A book in a gutter causes riots in Pakistan.

That's my ridiculous sounding headline of the day, and unfortunately, it isn't made up.

The trouble erupted late on Tuesday when copies of the Muslim holy book were found lying in a drain in the Bhatta chowk area on the fringes of the sprawling city.

“The news of the desecration of the Koran spread quickly in the neighbourhood and within no time some three to four thousand people took to the streets shouting slogans against the desecration,” Abbas said.

SMH reveal their stripes

Look at the URL below and tell me the SMH are unbiased. The content of the article is different to what the URL suggests, but you can just picture lots of SMH journos salivating and drooling over the prospect of John Howard resigning:

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Hugo Chavez - hero of the left

And the jailor of pro-democracy activists in Venezuela.

Lets get one thing straight. Socialism is the opposite of freedom.

Islamic propaganda exposed !

Sounds like the name of a late night TV show on Fox. But here it is nonetheless. A Danish Muslim leader touring the middle east used the image below to enrage Muslims by claiming that this cartoon shows that the Danish media is racist and hostile towards Muslim citizens:

As we've seen over the course of the last week, as well as during Newsweek's fake koran-flushing story, riots and violence have resulted and people have died from the rage created by these kind of stories.

But of course, it turns out that this photo was not a Danish cartoon directed against Muslims at all, as it was taken last August at a French pig-squealing contest.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

eBay auction of the month

A guy sells a motorcycle helmet on what ?
The story behind it is hilarious and will have you on the floor.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Eyes on Europe

This weekend resulted in the Norwegian and Danish missions in Syria being burnt down by angry mobs. Right now, European embassies throughout the Arab world are on high alert and have extra security guards. Although I don't mean to sound like I'm gloating, I guess the embassies now know how the Jewish community feels. It's synagogues, which have mostly been wiped-out throughout the Arab world, are prime targets of Islamic violence throughout Europe, Canada and Australia.

Michelle Malkin has a shocking photo essay of British Muslim protestors promising a "holocaust" and another terrorist bombing. Europe had better start waking up to the threat real soon. Andrew Sullivan says it best when he gives us the best description of these fanatics - brownshirts.

Friday, February 03, 2006

The Arab world's double standards

You know, most people figure that for each and every person to get along, you've gotta give a little and take a little.

You might want to argue over small things that annoy you, but you should try and let it go. You also gotta think twice before doing something that will directly hurt another person.

If everyone had thicker skin and a bit of sensitivity, then there probably wouldn't be any long lasting conflicts, especially those involving any violence.

But.. problems arise when one side believes in violent jihadi retribution, doesn't tolerate any criticism and doesn't respect the rights of other nations, cultures or religions. So it ain't gonna help much if Western culture has skin as thick as anything and bends over backwards to be politically correct and sensitive to Arab culture. Nothing exemplifies this much better than the young, mainly white, French teenagers marching in a demonstration against inequality, who were assaulted by black and Arab youths. This quote from a Tunisian teenager shows the mentality behind the attack:

Heikel, who attends a secondary school in the area, told Le Monde that the mainly white Parisian students who took part in the march - known in street parlance as “bolos” - were seen as spoilt and privileged, and therefore fair game.

Talk about biting the hand that feeds you. And this week, we saw even bigger examples of Arab rage and anger directed against people who have been friends and supporters in the past. All this over a bunch of cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed getting published in newspapers in Denmark, followed by France, Germany, Spain and Italy. Palestinian gunmen surrounded E.U headquarters in Gaza and stormed hotels looking for foreigners to take hostage. Flags of Denmark and Norway were burnt, Danish products face a boycott throughout the Middle East and Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have protested against the cartoons. The reaction has been universal outrage in every Muslim country, including Libya and UAE and even Egypt and Jordan. And in a country recently liberated from a dictator's rule:
In Iraq, Islamic leaders urged worshippers to stage demonstrations from Baghdad to the southern city of Basra following weekly prayer services Friday. Afghanistan and Indonesia condemned the drawings, and Iran summoned the Austrian ambassador, whose country holds the EU presidency.
Remember the issue at hand here is a cartoon in a few European newspapers. No bullets fired, no tanks, no rockets or missiles or explosives. No threats of violence. This particular issue is very illustrative of the conflict between the West and the Arab world as a whole. Since the early '70s when Palestinian terrorists went on a hijacking rampage and European leaders across the continent bent over backwards to let them out of prison, right up till today when the global media has endless sympathy towards Palestinian statehood, to the point where they turn a blind eye to Palestinian terrorism, violence, anti-semitism, misogyny and corruption and ignore Israeli historic ties to the territories, calling them "occupied territories" full of "illegal settlements".

The US has poured billions into the middle east peace process. It intervened to prevent Kuwait from being invaded by Saddam Hussein. It helped Afghanistan in its struggle to end the soviet occupation. NATO intervened and removed Milosevic to prevent Muslim's from being slaughtered in Kosovo. Even the most loathed country in the world, Israel, has spent billions developing Palestinian infrastructure, providing food and aid and employment, arming and training the Palestinian police authority during the Oslo accords.

And what do they get in return ?

Terrorism. Suicide bombings. Kidnappings in Iraq. Beheadings. Friday sermons delivered in mosques calling for death to all infidels. Burning of flags. Rage... and more rage. When France-2 broadcasted images of Mohammed Al-Dura being shot throughout the Arab world, it blamed Israeli soldiers for the death despite evidence to the contrary. Synagogue throughout Europe were attacked and anti-semitism rose drastically. When Newsweek falsely reported stories of a US prison guard desecrating the koran, massive riots took place in Pakistan, with British and US embassies on high security after being the target of attacks and demonstrations.

The Western world has shown that its willing to be sensitive and compromise more often than people realise. Europe, the US and Israel have had a foreign policy based on appeasement for decades. The Arab world has reacted violently to the smallest of incidents, some of them imaginary.

Leftists always suggest that the solution to the conflict involves more dialogue. Well theres only one message the Western world should be sending out: Stop getting so easily enraged and offended. Stop resorting to violence. We aren't your enemy so stop treating us like one.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Cuba : What Fidel Castro hath wrought

There is a photo exhibit online of Cuban television sets.

Stuff capitalism ! Behold the magnificent standard of living over in the Cuban socialist paradise. You will be amazed at the the technological complexity and superiority of the manufactured goods in a socialist command economy
[/sarcasm off]

I guess the journalists over at The Spencer Street Soviet currently under the authority of commisar Andrew Jaspan, will be disappointed to see that their beloved socialist Cuba is not such a paradise after all. More like a shit-hole actually.

Political Correctness: 1 - 0 :Freedom of Speech

The latest development is that a handful of newspapers across France, Germany, Italy and Spain had the balls to publish the Danish cartoon's that enraged millions of Muslim's worldwide. Unfortunately, the owner of France Soir newspaper caved in to political correctness:

France Soir originally said it had published the images in full to show "religious dogma" had no place in a secular society. But late on Wednesday its owner, Raymond Lakah, said he had removed managing editor Jacques Lefranc "as a powerful sign of respect for the intimate beliefs and convictions of every individual".
Now if that isn't a case of double-speak, I don't know what is. When you fire an editor, it shows you have respect for the beliefs and convictions of only one side. And that is the side of an intolerant religion which demands death from anyone who dares to draw the prophet Mohammed.

Please note that I have not commented on the content of these cartoons. The fact that they have offended people is beyond question. But in the civilised world, we write letters to the editor, not burn flags and declare war on Denmark. I myself have been shocked by the stream of anti-semitic cartoons from the Arab world and from local communist ratbag Michael Leunig. But they all have the right to say and draw what they please, just as readers have the right to say and draw what they think in response.

An amusing quote from the BBC article contains an illuminating quote:
The president of the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM), Dalil Boubakeur, had described France Soir's publication as an act of "real provocation towards the millions of Muslims living in France".
Drawing cartoon = act of real provocation ? I think he reveals how volatile and aggressive large parts of the Muslim community is within France with those words. It doesn't take much more than a cartoon to set off racial tensions and violence from one particular group. It would be hard to imagine a world where Jewish leaders respond to anti-semitic cartoons, or gay activists respond to homophobic articles, by saying that they would lead to provocation (i.e violence is coming). No.. instead, they reason and destroy the cartoons on an intellectual ground, not through violence against its authors.

Going to war over a cartoon ?

I think the Cox and Forkum post on this subject sums it up well, but not nearly as well as their brilliant cartoons.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Hey big spender !

The Bush administration is off on another wild spending spree. Here are some interesting excerpts from yesterday's S.O.T.U speech, that may alienate a few Republicans:

We will choose to build our prosperity by leading the world economy or shut ourselves off from trade and opportunity. In a complex and challenging time, the road of isolationism and protectionism may seem broad and inviting yet it ends in danger and decline.
Umm.. paleo-cons and libertarians, who normally vote Republican, are an isolationist bunch when it comes to foreign policy. But Bush was not wise to mix up the two issues of trade and foreign policy. It makes perfect sense to have open trade to just about everyone (except the socialist left), but only the liberal hawks and neo-cons would support an interventionist foreign policy.

Democracies replace resentment with hope, respect the rights of their citizens and their neighbors, and join the fight against terror.
Ummm, Mr President ? I don't think Hamas received your memo. Maybe you should be talking about liberal democracies.

The Palestinian people have voted in elections now the leaders of Hamas must recognize Israel, disarm, reject terrorism, and work for lasting peace.
Fat chance.

Saudi Arabia has taken the first steps of reform now it can offer its people a better future by pressing forward with those efforts
You've gotta be kidding me. Wonder if they still call for the destruction of America and Israel every week ? Do they still have a "no Jews" immigration policy ?

Every year of my presidency, we have reduced the growth of non-security discretionary spending and last year you passed bills that cut this spending

Yeah I wish, but you ain't a fiscal conservative. This president is one of the biggest spending presidents in history.

Keeping America competitive requires affordable energy. Here we have a serious problem: America is addicted to oil, which is often imported from unstable parts of the world. The best way to break this addiction is through technology. Since 2001, we have spent nearly 10 billion dollars to develop cleaner, cheaper, more reliable alternative energy sources and we are on the threshold of incredible advances. So tonight, I announce the Advanced Energy Initiative a 22-percent increase in clean-energy research at the Department of Energy...
Here's where the president goes off the rails into full lefty mode.... "addicted to oil" ?? Whoah there. You have a massive economy that produces a quarter of the world's output and consumes a quarter of the world's resources. What the hell is the problem if the economy chooses to meet its energy requirements from oil anyway, and why should it be referred to negatively as an addiction ?

Haven't you heard of free-markets ? To suggest that a commodity needs to be regulated is Marxist thought. Its been known for a long time, thanks to the Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises, that prices act as signals to market players. If oil supplies become scarce, prices rise and markets balance themselves. Thanks to our free markets which trade in futures, even if oil is anticipated to become more scarce given the available information, the price of oil will rise to accomodate this. If the price of oil skyrockets, markets will work efficiently and people's will meet their energy needs using other alternative sources that are cheaper. Market's work so why interfere and ruin things ?

Breakthroughs on this and other new technologies will help us reach another great goal: to replace more than 75 percent of our oil imports from the Middle East by 2025.

Yeah good luck on that, I bet oil will still be cheaper than all alternatives for the next 100 years. Why do you think we consume so much of it now ? Because it is cheap. Why isn't it much more expensive if all these doomsayers predict we will run out of oil ? Well, because they don't put their money where their mouth is and because informed speculators disagree and aren't willing to stockpile oil today in anticipation of some hypothetical global shortage.
Tonight I announce the American Competitiveness Initiative, to encourage innovation throughout our economy, and to give our Nations children a firm grounding in math and science.
Oh great, pour MORE money into public schools. Lots of wasteful spending and bureaucracy there.

First: I propose to double the Federal commitment to the most critical basic research programs in the physical sciences over the next ten years. This funding will support the work of Americas most creative minds as they explore promising areas such as nanotechnology, supercomputing, and alternative energy sources.
What bollocks ! You think American research needs government subsidisation to succeed ? Look at all the investment done by private markets, look at how research quickly gets built into commercial products and profitable ideas by entrepeneurs in America, and yet he still thinks big government needs to play a role here.

These gains are evidence of a quiet transformation a revolution of conscience, in which a rising generation is finding that a life of personal responsibility is a life of fulfillment. Government has played a role.
WHAT A FRICKIN PARADOX. Yeah, you're all responsible individuals, because of government !
Tonight I ask you to pass legislation to prohibit the most egregious abuses of medical research human cloning in all its forms creating or implanting embryos for experiments creating human-animal hybrids and buying, selling, or patenting human embryos. Human life is a gift from our Creator and that gift should never be discarded, devalued, or put up for sale.
Now that's more like it ! That's more like the religious conservative president I know. Still, its another stupid policy.

How to commit blasphemy

A graphical example.
Step1 - draw a man:

Step2 - explain that you are portraying the prophet Mohammed:

Step3 - sit back and wait for the fundamentalist Islamic clerics to put a fatwa on your ass and declare war against you and your country.

The events surrounding the publication of drawings of the prophet Mohammed in the Danish daily newspaper Jyllands-Posten a couple of months ago has taken an even more dramatic turn for the worse.

A large Islamic extremist party in Pakistan has offered a reward of 50,000 kroner to anyone who kills any of the artists.

I forgot to mention Step4 - if you live in Victoria, you can expect to be prosecuted under our blasphemy laws for offending people's religious views.

Chewbacca blogs !

Now this is what happens when an individual with Photoshop skills has too much time on their hands.. enjoy !

Chewbacca's blog

Kim Beazley's big fat vision

I was just watching 10 minutes of Kim Beazley delivering a speech to the Canberra Press gallery broadcast by the Australian Bolshevik Collective. And all I heard was blah blah blah, blah blah blah as he outlined Labor's vision of a better Australia and insinuated lots of things against the Liberals.

When describing what Labor would do, Beazley pulled out the old meaningless slogans like "build a nation to be proud of" and "in the national interest" and "helping individuals create partnerships with government rather than dependancy on them"... hey, did he pull those words from Stalin's speeches?

You wanna simple translation to what all these phrases actually mean in terms of policy ? It means a socialist command economy, heavily regulated, high taxing country which will strip away freedoms from business and individuals alike. If Labor doesn't like something, they can ban it or tax it to death, all in the name of "the national interest".

Of course he tried to milk the AWB scandal for what its worth, saying that the current government is morally bankrupt. One interviewer from the Herald-Sun had the common sense to actually ask Beazley what he was basing his allegation on. Beazley could only answer that because the government didn't actually ask for a royal commission to investigate its own involvement, well, then they must be hiding something bad of course !?

Oh yeah, and Labor think that the U.S should stop investigating the AWB involvement in the U.N oil-for-food scandal simply because the U.N is already investigating it ?

The U.N, the most corrupt political group in the world, is "investigating" itself and Labor don't see any possible problems ? Pfffttt ! Surely this is a case of doublethink.