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Current Affairs

Here comes global cooling?

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Maybe.  R. Timothy Patterson is director of the Ottawa-Carleton Geoscience Centre, Department of Earth Sciences, Carleton University.  He writes in Canada's Financial Post:
Solar scientists predict that, by 2020, the sun will be starting into its weakest Schwabe solar cycle of the past two centuries, likely leading to unusually cool conditions on Earth. Beginning to plan for adaptation to such a cool period, one which may continue well beyond one 11-year cycle, as did the Little Ice Age, should be a priority for governments. It is global cooling, not warming, that is the major climate threat to the world, especially Canada. As a country at the northern limit to agriculture in the world, it would take very little cooling to destroy much of our food crops, while a warming would only require that we adopt farming techniques practiced to the south of us.
I for one prefer a little global warming to another Little Ice Age.  Not that the Sun is going to care what my preference is.

Orphaned orangutan moves to Atlanta

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And hey, who wouldn't?
ATLANTA - Zoo Atlanta is adopting an 8-month-old orphan orangutan from an Indiana children's zoo, officials said Tuesday.

Dumadi is expected to arrive Wednesday and will be given to 25-year-old female Madu, who has been a surrogate mother to another orphan in the Atlanta zoo's 10-member orangutan family. Dumadi was orphaned last year at the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo when his mother died an hour after giving birth to him, likely from a blood clot.
Everybody, click on the link, and . . . one . . . two . . . three . . . AWWWWWWWWWW . . .

Beating the drums of holy war

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Holy war is of course a concept which has (rightfully) been discarded by modern civilization.

Iran's president, however, did not get the memo:

In the past, the Iranian has claimed that his problem is with political ideologies and not religion. Jews and Judaism, when kept in their place were just dandy, he said – his problem was with Zionism and Israel’s existence. At no time, before, or after his presidency, had Ahmadinejad made such a statement, which could be interpreted as hostile against the monotheistic religions which the Koran has declared as holy.

But on Friday, June 15th speaking at an Islamic seminary school, Ahmadinejad charged that “ideologies deviating from God’s teachings are being spread with dollars in the name of Judaism and Christianity around the world. Those who are doing this are saying they want to save humanity, whereas the only way to save humanity is Islam”.

This is the first time that Ahmadinejad has made a statement in which he has accused Jews and Christians of spreading blasphemy, without even bothering to include a hint that it is rogue groups within such religions who are responsible. This is unprecedented.

What is even more worrying is that these comments, which were reported by the Iranian news agency Aftab News, won the support of Moosa Ghorbani, a senior member of the Iranian parliament.

Rather than condemning the president for words which could cause offense and hostility, Ghorbani instead condemned other former presidents for not making similar statements. He went on to say that “Islam completes other religions” and that therefore “other religions are not accepted by God”.

There's at least one adult left in the US Senate

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And, strangely enough, he has an I beside his name, not an R or a D.

Senator Joe Leiberman:
American soldiers are not fighting in Iraq today only so that Iraqis can pass a law to share oil revenues. They are fighting because a failed state in the heart of the Middle East, overrun by al Qaeda and Iran, would be a catastrophe for American national security and our safety here at home. They are fighting al Qaeda and agents of Iran in order to create the stability in Iraq that will allow its government to take over, to achieve the national reconciliation that will enable them to pass the oil law and other benchmark legislation.

I returned from Iraq grateful for the progress I saw and painfully aware of the difficult problems that remain ahead. But I also returned with a renewed understanding of how important it is that we not abandon Iraq to al Qaeda and Iran, so long as victory there is still possible.

And I conclude from my visit that victory is still possible in Iraq--thanks to the Iraqi majority that desperately wants a better life, and because of the courage, compassion and competence of the extraordinary soldiers and statesmen who are carrying the fight there, starting with Gen. Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker. The question now is, will we politicians in Washington rise to match their leadership, sacrifices and understanding of what is on the line for us in Iraq--or will we betray them, and along with them, America's future security?
Perhaps we should all consider sending more Independents to Congress rather than Republicans or Democrats . . .

Iraq: booby-trapped lollypop factory?

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U.S.-Iraqi forces raid lollipop factory:
BAGHDAD - U.S. and Iraqi forces on Tuesday raided a lollipop factory being used to make bombs, finding boxes of explosives and two tons of fertilizer in the basement of the facility in northern
Iraq, an Iraqi officer said.

The entry room to the al-Arij factory was booby-trapped and the building was empty because the workers fled after apparently being tipped off to the raid, according to the officer, army commander Brig. Gen. Nour al-Din Hussein. He said an anti-aircraft gun was hidden on the roof.
OK . . . a BOOBY-TRAPPED lollipop factory.  That's comic-book-movie-bad-guy level stuff.  It's hard to argue, after that one that the Islamist extremists are, in any measurable way, sane.

(Alternative reaction)  First baby milk factories, now lollypop factories.  Does the U.S. military have no sense of decency?

This guy has issues

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Judge suing dry cleaner cries over pants:
WASHINGTON - A judge had to leave the courtroom with tears running down his face Tuesday after recalling the lost pair of trousers that led to his $54 million lawsuit against a dry cleaner.

Administrative law judge Roy L. Pearson had argued earlier in his opening statement that he is acting in the interest of all city residents against poor business practices. Defense attorneys called his claim "outlandish."
I think I can speak for almost everyone when I say . . . oh, wow.

Animal Parts! EWWWW!!!!!

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They're all over the highway!

Part of a Kansas City highway was shut down early this morning when a truck hauling animal parts lost some of its load.

The truck apparently had left a local slaughterhouse and was northbound on U.S. 71 near 63rd Street just before 1 a.m. when the mishap occurred.

A quick quiz

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Answer the following with whether you tend to agree or disagree with each of these statements:
  • There is no truth, only competing agendas.
  • All Western (and especially American) claims to moral superiority over Communism/Fascism/Islam are vitiated by the West’s history of racism and colonialism.
  • There are no objective standards by which we may judge one culture to be better than another. Anyone who claims that there are such standards is an evil oppressor.
  • The prosperity of the West is built on ruthless exploitation of the Third World; therefore Westerners actually deserve to be impoverished and miserable.
  • Crime is the fault of society, not the individual criminal. Poor criminals are entitled to what they take. Submitting to criminal predation is more virtuous than resisting it.
  • The poor are victims. Criminals are victims. And only victims are virtuous. Therefore only the poor and criminals are virtuous. (Rich people can borrow some virtue by identifying with poor people and criminals.)
  • For a virtuous person, violence and war are never justified. It is always better to be a victim than to fight, or even to defend oneself. But ‘oppressed’ people are allowed to use violence anyway; they are merely reflecting the evil of their oppressors.
  • When confronted with terror, the only moral course for a Westerner is to apologize for past sins, understand the terrorist’s point of view, and make concessions.
OK, Done?

Let's score.

If you said that you agree with one or more of the statements, congratulations!

You have been brainwashed by an elaborate disinformation campaign started by the Soviets, that continues to bear fruit over a decade after the USSR collapsed of its own collectivist, totalitarian weight.

Your prize, as described by Former KGB agent and Soviet defector Yuri Bezmenov, if you choose not to fight the brainwashing, is shown in this video:


Money quote, at about 1:20 to go in the clip:  "in the future, these people (those spreading lies like the above questions-ed) will be squashed like cockroaches."  Oh, not by George Bush and the Right, like you believe deep down in your naive little heart.  By the Marxist-Leninists, or by the Islamicists, or by some other band of totalitarian thugs.

If you believe any of the above, you are well on the way to surrendering your very right to exist.  Pardon me if I don't join you in self-immolation.

Questions taken from this article at the "Armed and Dangerous" blog.
Via Instapundit and Pajamas Media.

Tigerhawk unloads on academe

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Which reminds me, I must post a review of "The Trouble with Physics" one of these days . . .

Anyway, esteemed blogger Tigerhawk (well, esteemed in these here parts) has a word or two about the issuing of honorary degrees to African thug Robert Mugabe, and the subsequent reconsideration of said honorary degrees.  Thus wrote Tigerhawk:

I come from an academic family, grew up in college towns, and thought seriously about going to graduate school and becoming a professor. I decided against it because I did not much like most of the academics I knew. The older guys -- those who were born before, say, 1925, were pretty normal, interesting, and tough in their own way. A lot of them had stormed ashore at D-Day or manned a machine gun against the Japanese, and even those who were left wing did not twist their hanky over silliness. They knew the difference between serious and, er, not-serious.

There are few such people running Anglo-American universities today. Take, for example, the mass confusion over whether or not to revoke the many honorary degrees accidentally given to Robert Mugabe, one of the biggest dirtbags on the planet. Years after it has become obvious that the guy is an evil, genocidal maniac, the University of Edinburgh has pumped itself up and pulled his degree, which exceedingly belated and fundamentally bureaucratic act the Guardian regards as all part and parcel of the great campaign to reign in his tyranny:

International efforts to isolate Zimbabwe's president, Robert Mugabe, intensified yesterday after he was stripped of an honorary degree by Edinburgh University and faced similar action by academics in the US. The university said its senate had unanimously accepted a recommendation by a panel of three senior professors to revoke the degree because details of Mr Mugabe's links to atrocities in Matabeleland in the early 1980s had emerged.

I bet Mugabe is quaking in his boots.

More on the "Atkins Hormone"

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Or, Why low-carb works, continued.  From ChemistryWorld--The Atkins hormone:
They are loved and endorsed by celebrities and dismissed as an unhealthy diet craze by critics. But 'low carb', high protein and high fat diets have proven their metabolic worth: scientists in the US have discovered a fat-burning role for a specific hormone stimulated by these eating regimes. The work has also raised the intriguing question of whether the Atkins diet could make you live longer.