Saturday, April 08, 2006

Nuke Iran

Seymour Hersh says plans are already in place, and Bush is determined to nuke Iran.

To my shock, when I told my wife about this story, and voiced my concern that we should not use nukes on Iran, her response was,

"But, isn't it the same thing as the Cuban Missile Crisis? We were ready to use nukes then?"

Since when is my wife more hardcore than me?

Her point is very good. And, i had never thought of it this way. However, the difference between the two situations is that

1) we have time with Iran and could, presumably, attack with conventional weapons, and if that didn't work THEN hit them with nukes

2) Ahmadinejad is more dangerous than the Cuban situation all those years ago, because he believes it is his mission to nuke other nations. The Cuban situation was tactical, although, of course, we could not have known that at the time.

My biggest fear is that we won't attack Iran. If we don't, then I believe this world is doomed to tens of millions dead.

The Cranky Insomniac has some good thoughts on the subject of whether we should go that far:

I confess to being highly skeptical of the idea that the Administration is seriously considering using tactical nukes. Even if it makes military sense (which given the suspected underground nature of Iran's nuclear facilities it well might), from a public relations standpoint it is conceivably the worst possible idea in the world.

As a former senior intelligence official tells Hersh, "we’re talking about mushroom clouds, radiation, mass casualties, and contamination over years. This is not an underground nuclear test, where all you see is the earth raised a little bit."

No war has ever required the winning of hearts and minds throughout the world more than the Global War on Terror, and images of mushroom clouds and children with radiation poisoning would damage America's reputation perhaps irreparably. And, maybe even more importantly, nothing would create more jihadists whose only goal would be "death to America."

On the other hand, having senior officials "leak" the "fact" that the use of nukes is being seriously considered is a great piece of psyops if you want to scare the hell out of Iran and bring them to the bargaining table.

Or, maybe this is true (from the Jerusalem Post):

"On Monday, Russia's Novaya Gazeta newspaper reported that part of Ukraine's Soviet-era nuclear arsenal may well have found its way to Iran. With the breakup of the Soviet Union, the Ukrainians agreed to transfer the Soviet nuclear arsenal that remained in Ukraine after its independence to Russia.

According to Novaya Gazeta, some 250 nuclear warheads never made it to Russia and are thought to have been sent to Iran instead. The report further noted that the warheads will remain operational until 2010."Responding to the report, Gen. Yuri Baluyevsky, Russia's deputy defense minister and the chief of General Staff, said, 'Russia's General Staff has no information about whether Ukraine has given 250 nuclear warheads to Iran or not.'

"It is impossible to assess the accuracy of the report. The Ukrainian government has dismissed its allegations. Russia may well have invented the story to shift media attention away from the growing awareness that Russian support for Teheran, Damascus and Hamas effectively places it in the enemy camp in the US-led war against global jihad.

"But whether this particular report is true or false, there is no doubt that the danger to Israel and the rest of the Western world emanating from Iran and its allies is growing by the day. In recent testimony before the US Congress, John Negroponte, director of National Intelligence, said that the danger that Teheran 'will acquire a nuclear weapon and the ability to integrate it with ballistic missiles that Iran already possesses' is a cause 'for immediate concern.'

Read the rest. This article is one of the best I have seen in summing up where we are right now in history. These are, indeed, amazing times.

News Story
Associated Press

"Leak-Hating President As Leaker-In-Chief?"


WASHINGTON - President Bush insists a president "better mean what he says." Those words could return to haunt him.

After long denouncing leaks of all kinds, Bush is confronted with a statement — unchallenged by his aides — that he authorized a leak of classified material to undermine an Iraq war critic.

The allegation in the CIA leak case threatens the credibility of a president already falling in the polls, and it gives Democrats fresh material to accuse him of hypocrisy.

A reader may notice that I ordinarily stay out of the day to day political fighting here on CUANAS. It's just boring and stupid to me, like watching Soap Operas. But, I guess, in this case, I will have to actually think about the "Leak" case a bit.

Ok, here goes.

The President did not deny that he authorized the "leak" because he didn't authorize leaking Plame's name. In fact, as the President has the authority to classify, and declassify, information by his own orders, no revelation of any information can be defined as a leak anyway.

AP admits as much in the very article quoted:

As president, Bush has wide latitude to declassify material. And there was nothing in the legal papers filed by Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald to suggest Bush or Cheney did anything illegal, or had specifically authorized Libby to identify Plame.

But, in the following paragraphs, their "news" story goes here:

The latest flap comes as things seemed as if they could hardly get worse for the president and his Republican allies: Iraq, continued fallout over the botched Katrina response, the Dubai ports debacle, shortcomings in the new Medicare prescription drug program, the resignation of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and the collapse of a proposed immigration overhaul.

A new AP-Ipsos poll showed just 36 percent of the public approve of Bush's job performance, a low-water mark for his presidency.

Ok, so let's look at AP-Ipsos:

... if one were to judge by AP-Ipsos polling, one would have to conclude that American attitudes toward their President -- and indeed themselves! -- were beginning to seem positively… well, French.

AP press releases identify Ipsos coyly as an "international polling firm". Ipsos's own releases on its AP work describe the company as "a leading global survey-based market research company" -- as well as "non-partisan" and "objective".

One would hardly expect them to say otherwise. But here is what neither AP nor Ipsos want Americans to know and assiduously avoid saying: Ipsos is a French polling firm. Not that this should matter per se. But AP and Ipsos undoubtedly fear that to many Americans it might or that, in light of the current climate of Franco-American relations, it might at least raise some doubts about Ipsos's impartiality and objectivity.

And what is worse: about this particular French polling firm, these doubts would be highly justified. On its home market, Ipsos is well known precisely for the unreliability of its polls and for being especially tight with the French political establishment.

Here's how a November 2001 profile in the French economics weekly l'Expansion described the cozy relationship of Ipsos co-President Jean-Marc Lech to the occupant of the Elysée Palace:

"During the two seven-year-terms of François Mitterrand, he was one of the advisors to the prince and he held open house at Copenhagen, the famous restaurant on the Champs Elysées not far from the "castle". Since he began working for Jacques Chirac, he has left the Champs and stays put in the XV arrondissement at lunchtime. Now, he merely delivers his confidential polls personally to the antechamber of the President.

According to the latest Ipsos financial report, a holding company controlled by Lech and his partner Didier Truchot controls 35 percent of Ipsos capital and nearly half of the voting rights in the firm.

Ipsos's international expansion in the late 1990s was, incidentally, largely financed by the Artémis investment group of French businessman François Pinault. This is the same Artémis and the same Pinault that were heavily implicated in the Executive Life fraud and that only avoided being indicted in US courts presumably through the intercession of Pinault's close personal friend Jacques Chirac and by coughing up some $185 million. Artémis sold its stake in Ipsos when the firm went public in 1999.

Notice, you had never heard of Ipsos. To start with, many of us do not believe "polls" anyway. But, we at least, do know the names of the polling companies. The most commonly used poll companies are Gallup and Zogby. But, it seems, when AP needs to really hit Bush hard, they trot out Ipsos.


Who killed J.R.? Did Carey marry Big? Has Luke cheated on Laura? Ipsos could probably take a poll and tell you. But, of course, they are probably too busy plotting their coup on the United States government.

Friday, April 07, 2006

The World
Has Finally
Proved It:
Christ's Love
Does Not Exist

Congratulations world:

I have noticed that for the past week or so we’re being treated to stories in the press which seem designed to foment doubts about the tenents, stories and beliefs of Christianity and the efficacy of prayer. Today we get the Judas just did what Jesus asked him to do story from the NY Times and where.

Yesterday it was, Jesus walked on Ice, not water (complete with an article illustration using “The People’s Jesus” from a few years ago. Ugh.)

A few days before that it was oh, yeah, and by the way, prayer? It does nothing.

Can’t help but wonder if some of this is meant to be a prelude to the release of the Da Vinci Code movie - advance work, if you will. Here we have a plethora of stories trying to debunk common Christian understanding, and I am wondering if it is all part of the movement to mush-up soggy Christians - to foment doubt - and to soften up the non-believers to the idea that if everything Christians believe is worthless, well then, their influence is to be discounted or even disdained, lessened and disresepected.

There is a game afoot - already in play, I think. The gameboard is so huge that we can’t see all the pieces. Chesterton used to write about the paradox of a man riding on the back of a beast so big he didn’t know it was a beast and merely thought it was the world.

Oh, And Jesus didn’t die on the cross.

Got that? That’s the latest “theory” which someone came up with and which NBC’s Dateline saw fit to “explore”.

Easter is coming, too. That always brings out a few “let’s debunk Christianity” stories - but this year, it’s really an all-out assault.

Yes, and now we know for sure the media agrees with the Islamofascists, because they, also, say Christ did not die on the cross. Instead, Judas died for him.

Got that?

Think about it, my friends, who is it that twists truth up into such byzantine braids?

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Criticism Of Pastorius

A guy whose opinion I very much respect sent me the following email:

About your recent blogging, I was kinda sad to see how down you've been on Afghanistan recently.. of course I understand and agree with the outrage, but (here's my 2 cents) it seems to me that times like this are when Glenn Reynolds's wise dictum "democracy is a process, not an event" really come into play. We can say Afghanistan is a "failure" because of the apostate case, because the apostate case is/was definitely an injustice. But doesn't that set up an impossible standard for democratizing countries whereby we must erase every injustice or it's a "failure"?

You can say "well we did it in Japan" etc., but

(1) no, of course we didn't erase every injustice in Japan,


(2) to the extent that we *were* able to impose a decent society on them, it was because we devastated them with the nukes & then had an imposing occupation force.

Similar with Germany.

But in this case we are simply not able to spare the troops & cost to occupy Afghanistan to that extent. (And devastating them would be counterproductive...)

The fact of the matter is that Afghanistan is now a democratic republic (however flawed), and the good news is that killing (even prosecuting) a person for apostasy is, by any logical reading, unconstitutional under the Afghan constitution. But (absent the willingness/ability to put the entire society under our boot and issue their constitutional rulings ourselves) we're going to have to let *them* come to that conclusion (because it's their institutions that will have to do the enforcing, or not). And that's the "process" part.

Apparently, they have not come to that conclusion yet. That's too bad, in fact it's shameful and wrong. That judge is *wrong*, those prosecutors are *wrong*, to allow prosecution of apostates, and of course it's depressing that no decent voices in Afghanistan's institutions have seen fit to stand up and point that out. But neither did we come to the conclusion that slavery was wrong, for decades. That doesn't mean the US "not a democracy" or a "failure" during that time. It had the *engine* for change/improvement, which is the important thing. And now, Afghanistan does too.

That doesn't mean I'm saying we can kick back and say "whatever happens it's all cool". Democracy is a process!

Notice that part of that process is international pressure on them to improve their institutions. You (I think it was you?) lamented that it required international pressure to help save that guy. Actually, that was a good development. The government of Afghanistan is (at least to some extent) amenable to international pressure!

Wow! Isn't that good?

When they are doing something objectively evil, we can and should shame them. If it were still the Taliban in power, of course, they wouldn't care less. But now....I guess I'm saying, you've become far more pessimistic than me. It's made for good blogging on your part, but makes me kinda sad.

Often, my readers are more reasonable than me.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

I Wish

Song by
Stevie Wonder

Looking back on when i
Was a little nappy headed boy
Then my only worry
Was for christmas what would be my toy
Even though we sometimes
Would not get a thing
We were happy with the
Joy the day would bring

Sneaking out the back door
To hang out with those hoodlum friends of mine
Greeted at the back door
With boy thought I told you not to go outside,

I wish those days could come back once more
Why did those days ev-er have to go
I wish those days could come back once more
Why did those days ev-er have to go
Cause I love them so

Brother says he’s tellin’’bout you playin’ doctor with that girl
Just don’t tell I’ll give you
Anything you want in this whole wide world

Mama gives you money for sunday school
You trade yours for candy after church is through
Smokin’ cigarettes and writing something nasty on the wall (you nasty boy)
Teacher sends you to the principal’s office down the wall

You grow up and learn that kinda thing ain’t right
But while you were doin’it-it sure felt outta sight

I wish those days could come back once more
Why did those days ev-er have to go

Hamas Says
They Are Broke

Palestinian women's affairs minister, Dr. Mariam Saleh, attends the first Cabinet meeting of the Islamic group Hamas at the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday April 5 2006. Hamas held its first Cabinet meeting via video conference, with simultaneous sessions taking place in Gaza and the West Bank. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti) Pastorius note: Do you think that might have anything to do with the fact that she is a woman? Notice she is the only one at the videoconferenced meeting.

Yes, they just got started and they have already bankrupted the Peaceful State of Palestine:

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - The new Hamas-led government is broke and missed the April 1 monthly pay date for tens of thousands of Palestinian public workers, Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said Wednesday.

It was the Islamic militants' first admission they will have difficulty running the West Bank and Gaza without massive foreign aid.

Haniyeh offered no solutions to the cash crunch, pledging only to do his best to make up for tens of millions of dollars in aid being withheld by international donors and appealing to the Arab world to send more donations.

The Palestinian Authority is the largest employer in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, providing salaries for 140,000 people that sustain about one-third of the Palestinians. Haniyeh said it was unclear how the government will meet its payroll.

Finance Minister Omar Abdel Razek said he is waiting for $80 million from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.

I've got an idea for them How about starting some businesses, and building and creating things. That way people can make money without the government simply having to hand over cash to one-third of the people.

That's friggin' pathetic.

University of Connecticut
Professor Predicts
Human Time Travel
This Century

Listen to this:

With a brilliant idea and equations based on Einstein’s relativity theories, Ronald Mallett from the University of Connecticut has devised an experiment to observe a time traveling neutron in a circulating light beam. While his team still needs funding for the project, Mallett calculates that the possibility of time travel using this method could be verified within a decade.

Black holes, wormholes, and cosmic strings – each of these phenomena has been proposed as a method for time travel, but none seem feasible, for (at least) one major reason. Although theoretically they could distort space-time, they all require an unthinkably gigantic amount of mass.

Mallett, a U Conn Physics Professor for 30 years, considered an alternative to these time travel methods based on Einstein’s famous relativity equation: E=mc2. “Einstein showed that mass and energy are the same thing,” said Mallett, who published his first research on time travel in 2000 in Physics Letters. “The time machine we’ve designed uses light in the form of circulating lasers to warp or loop time instead of using massive objects.”

To determine if time loops exist, Mallett is designing a desktop-sized device that will test his time-warping theory. By arranging mirrors, Mallett can make a circulating light beam which should warp surrounding space.

Because some subatomic particles have extremely short lifetimes, Mallett hopes that he will observe these particles to exist for a longer time than expected when placed in the vicinity of the circulating light beam. A longer lifetime means that the particles must have flowed through a time loop into the future.

“Say you have a cup of coffee and a spoon,” Mallett explained to “The coffee is empty space, and the spoon is the circulating light beam. When you stir the coffee with the spoon, the coffee – or the empty space – gets twisted. Suppose you drop a sugar cube in the coffee. If empty space were twisting, you’d be able to detect it by observing a subatomic particle moving around in the space.”

And according to Einstein, whenever you do something to space, you also affect time. Twisting space causes time to be twisted, meaning you could theoretically walk through time as you walk through space.

“As physicists, our experiments deal with subatomic particles,” said Mallett. “How soon humans will be able to time travel depends largely on the success of these experiments, which will take the better part of a decade. And depending on breakthroughs, technology, and funding, I believe that human time travel could happen this century.”

Step back a minute (sorry, only figuratively). How do we know that time is not merely a human invention, and that manipulating it just doesn’t make sense?

“What is time? That is a very, very difficult question,” said Mallett. “Time is a way of separating events from each other. Even without thinking about time, we can see that things change, seasons change, people change. The fact that the world changes is an intrinsic feature of the physical world, and time is independent of whether or not we have a name for it.

“To physicists, time is what’s measured by clocks. Using this definition, we can manipulate time by changing the rate of clocks, which changes the rate at which events occur. Einstein showed that time is affected by motion, and his theories have been demonstrated experimentally by comparing time on an atomic clock that has traveled around the earth on a jet. It’s slower than a clock on earth.”

Although the jet-flying clock regained its normal pace when it landed, it never caught up with earth clocks – which means that we have a time traveler from the past among us already, even though it thinks it’s in the future. Some people show concern over time traveling, although Mallett – an advocate of the Parallel Universes theory – assures us that time machines will not present any danger.

“The Grandfather Paradox [where you go back in time and kill your grandfather] is not an issue,” said Mallett. “In a sense, time travel means that you’re traveling both in time and into other universes. If you go back into the past, you’ll go into another universe. As soon as you arrive at the past, you’re making a choice and there’ll be a split. Our universe will not be affected by what you do in your visit to the past.”

In light of this causal “safety,” it’s kind of ironic that what prompted Mallett as a child to investigate time travel was a desire to change the past in hopes of a different future. When he was 10 years old, his father died of a heart attack at age 33. After reading The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, Mallett was determined to find a way to go back and warn his father about the dangers of smoking.

This personal element fueled Mallett’s perseverance to study science, master Einstein’s equations, and build a professional career with many high notes. Since the ‘70s, his research has included quantum gravity, relativistic cosmology and gauge theories, and he plans to publish a popular science/memoir book this November 2006.

I think I almost understand what he just said.

What The ...?

Is this satire?

The guy is a member of the Howard Stern "Wackpack," and a complete joke.

Whither Goest
Democracy Project?

We are a nation with a history of making the world a better place. We brought Democracy to the world. In the Civil War, we fought again for the greater establishment of Democracy when we realized that we could no longer tolerate the sin of slavery. We pulled Europe out of its private circle of hell in WWI, we beat back the demonic forces of Nazism and Japanese barbarity in WWII, and we braved the poisonous seas of diplomatic sorcery in bringing the Soviet Union to an end.

We want to and, indeed, we need to believe we are doing good in order to gather the strength to go on.

The recent revelation that Abdul Rahman could be tried, found guilty, and executed for the "apostasy" of converting from Islam to Christianity in Afghanistan, has, seemingly, rendered our efforts, in that godforsaken country, useless. The reality is, life is better for Afghanis than it was under the Taliban. Women now go to school and learn to read. Schools are being built, and infrastructure is being put in place, and the Islamofascist circus of public beheadings is no longer prime entertainment in the public squares and stadiums of Afghanistan.

But, that is not enough. How could we be a partner in the creation of a Sharia state, however, relatively, benign? And, if Afghanistan has gone medieval on our watch, what does that bode for Iraq? Have we spent thousands of lives, and hundreds of billions of dollars, to install the same old bosses in the Arab world?

At Belmont Club, Wretchard points out that Francis Fukuyama, George Will, and William F. Buckley have all become sibilant seamstresses stitchhing together their white flags of surrender. Like tired lounge musicians, they vamp in repetition on pathetic choruses of "the Arabs just don't want to be free."

Such is the postmodern, multicultural bigotry of conservatives without vision.

And whose fault is all this, ultimately?

It is George Bush's fault for not learning the lessons of our own American history. In Japan, we turned an alien culture bent of barbarity, enamored with suicide warriors, inured in a squalid honor/shame mentality, into a modern capitalistic democracy. And, how did we do it?

Well, let me be blunt. We did it through something very akin to fascism. We forced the Japanese to quit their ugly habits at the point of a very sharp sword.

Why did we do this?

Because, we believe that freedom beats in the breast of all human beings. We believe that men are all created equal to pursue their own idea of happiness, and to live without the fear of expressing themselves in worship, creation, or against the hand that feeds. In short, we forced the Japanese to learn freedom and democracy because we believed they would be better off.

To an American, any other course for life is a Satanic lie.

Oh yes, indeed, the Buckleys, Wills, and Fukuyamas of the world have practical reasons for why Iraqis/Arabs/Muslims can not govern themselves morally. You see, they have too many "animosities," history is too viscous for change, traditional hatreds trump progress:

These arguments essentially say that while America can win the military struggle in Iraq it can never win the political struggle. The reasons may vary. Maybe "Iraqi animosities have proved uncontainable"; maybe the country "lacks a Washington, a Madison, a Marshall"; or maybe it plain "doesn't want it" -- some form of democracy that is. But whatever the cause, so the argument goes, any success in the military field is negated by the "fact" that the political battle is unwinnable. Therefore the campaign as a whole must fail.

Of course the argument is valid only if the US in fact loses the political struggle. If the US wins the political struggle in some meaningful sense then the whole syllogism falls apart. Because the entire issue pivots on an empirical question it's important to examine just what US policymakers are trying to achieve in current negotiations to form an Iraqi unity government.

Wretchard points to an article by David Ignatius which avoids the totems of fear which lead to hopelessness by outlining the specifics of the Iraqi rifts which are delaying Democracy:

Khalilzad recounted the items that the Iraqi political factions have agreed on in private negotiations over the past month. On Sunday, the leaders signed off on the last of these planks of a government of national unity. The Iraqis have saved the hardest issue for last -- the names of the politicians who will hold the top jobs. That bitter fight will play out over the next several weeks. ... given where Iraq was six months ago -- when Sunni and Shiite leaders were barely talking -- their agreement on the framework for a unity government is important. These negotiations may not succeed, but they are not a fairy-tale fantasy, as some critics argue. "All the elements of the deal are there, up in the air, and they could come down and click into place," Kurdish leader Barham Salih told me by telephone from Iraq. "We have come to the real crunch."

It seems the real disagreements arise over the practical matter of how to share the oil revenue.

The real force driving the formation of a Unity Government is not some desire to satisfy an American obsession with spreading democracy so much as the need to come to agreements over oil and security. All the ethnic groups in Iraq want to share in the oil revenues. The Sunni need a share in oil revenues of which they have none themselves; while the Kurds and Shi'a need to agree how to tranship and manage the oil resources in their areas.

Without a negotiated settlement under a Unity Government, the Sunnis, Shi'ites and Kurds would have to fight for territory and oil resources. It is better to conclude a series of agreements to be administered by a Unity Government than escort every barrel of oil by force of arms to the market.

This should not be a surprise to us. It is a truism as old as Adam Smith that the free market principle of disparate selfishnesses creates the invisible hand which guides our society forward.

However, I believe we must learn from our failures in Afghanistan. Order is not the priority of democracy, freedom is. We can not allow Iraq to become a rigid Islamofascist state administered by purveyors of crude. We must, once again, find the courage of our convictions, the faith of our fathers. We must believe in our own Declaration of Independence and our own Constitution. We must know with a fervor that it is for everyone, and we must become willing to impose it at the point of a gun.

This may seem like an oxymoron, the imposition of freedom by force of arms, but forcing one's worldview on another is the essence of war. So, the question isn't whether my point is accurate. Instead, the question is, do we think our worldview is better.

If we do not, then what is worth going to war for?

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Agnus Dei

Alleluia, Alleluia
For the lord God Almighty reigns
Alleluia, Alleluia
For the lord God Almighty reigns

Holy, Holy are you lord God Almighty

Worthy is the Lamb
Worthy is the Lamb
You are holy,
Holy are you Lord God almighty
Worthy is the Lamb
Worthy is the Lamb

The "Youths"
The "Students"
Of France

The "students" were demonstrating, and the "youths," who are thought to be from "tougher suburbs," were violently rioting:

PARIS - Rioting youths swarmed across a downtown Paris plaza, ripping up street signs and park benches and hurling stones and chunks of pavement at police at the end of the largest of massive but mostly peaceful protests Tuesday across France against a new jobs law.

Riot police fired tear gas and rubber pellets and made repeated charges into the crowds of several hundred youths at Place d'Italie on the Left Bank, carrying away those they arrested.

The clashes came as more than 1 million people poured into the streets across the country,


including 84,000 in Paris, according to police. Union organizers put the figure in the capital at 700,000 — and 3 million nationwide.

But the violence in Paris was less intense than at previous marches against the law, and the country was less affected by an accompanying national strike. As before, the Paris violence appeared to involve youths from tougher suburbs and extremists from both the far right and far left.

"It is giving them too much credit to ascribe an ideology to them. These are just hoodlums, who come to break and pillage. I'm not sure there is an ideology behind all this," Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy said.

Groups of these youths attacked bystanders, news photographers and protesters, kicking and punching some. They used metal bars to break up chunks of pavement that they hurled at helmeted riot officers, who advanced behind raised shields to sweep the


square clear.

Youths also smashed store windows, bus shelters and clashed with police in Rennes, in northwest France. Store fronts, cars and telephone boxes also were damaged in Lille in the northeast.

Police said they took 383 people into custody in Paris, where 18 people also suffered slight injuries, and another 243 elsewhere in France. The violence marred another day of demonstrations against the jobs law, which would make it easier to fire young workers.

There were 268 marches nationwide, according to police. It was the second Tuesday running that unions and student groups had mobilized so many protesters, maintaining intense pressure on President Jacques Chirac's government to withdraw the measure.

Strikers again shut down the Eiffel Tower, where tourists stood bewildered before the closed gates. Parisian commuters flattened themselves onto subway trains limited by the strike. Garbage bins in some Paris neighborhoods stood overflowing and uncollected by striking sanitation workers.

Paris police stepped up their efforts to thwart troublemakers, deploying 4,000 officers Tuesday. Armed riot officers pulled over train travelers disembarking from the suburbs before the protest, searching their bags and checking identities.

The Paris march snaked from the Place de la Republique and crossed the Seine River to finish at Place d'Italie on the Left Bank.

Students backed by unions have spearheaded ever-larger marches for two months against the jobs law. Chirac signed it anyway Sunday, saying it will help France keep up with the global economy.

He offered modifications, but students and unions rejected them, saying they want the law withdrawn, not softened.

"We are really close to getting the government to give in," said Marc Dago, a high school geology teacher at the Paris march. "If we give in now, the government is going to carry out much more harmful and far-reaching reforms that will affect all workers, not just the young."

I don't know about you, but I find that article funny. Is it just me?

The Professor
Who Would
Cull Humanity

There's more today on Pianka, the University of Texas professor who seems to have advocated for the spread of ebola virus as a means of population control:

AUSTIN -- A University of Texas biology professor has been targeted by talk radio, bloggers and vitriolic e-mails _ including a death threat _ after a published report that he advocated death for most of the population as a means of saving the Earth.

But Eric Pianka said Monday his remarks about what he believes is an impending pandemic were taken out of context.

"What we really need to do is start thinking about controlling our population before it's too late," he said. "It's already too late, but we're not even thinking about it. We're just mindlessly rushing ahead breeding our brains out."

The public furor began when The Gazette-Enterprise of Seguin, Texas, reported Sunday on two speeches Pianka made last month to groups of scientists and students about vanishing animal habitats and the explosion of the human population.

The newspaper's Jamie Mobley attended one of those speeches and also interviewed Forrest Mims, an amateur scientist and author who heard Pianka speak early last month before the Texas Academy of Science.

After the newspaper's report appeared, it was circulated widely and posted on "The Drudge Report." It quickly became talk radio fodder.

The Gazette-Enterprise quoted Pianka as saying disease "will control the scourge of humanity. We're looking forward to a huge collapse."

Pianka said he was only trying to warn his audience that disease epidemics have happened before and will happen again if the human population growth isn't contained.

He said he believes the Earth would be better off if the human population were smaller because fewer natural resources would be consumed and humans wouldn't continue to destroy animal habitats. But he said that doesn't mean he wants most humans to die.

But Mims, chairman of the academy's environmental science section, told The Associated Press there was no mistaking Pianka's disdain for humans and desire for their elimination.

"He wishes for it. He hopes for it. He laughs about it. He jokes about it," Mims said. "It's got to happen because we are the scourge of humanity."

David Marsh, president of the Texas Academy of Science, did not return telephone and e-mail messages seeking comment. No recording or transcript of either that speech or another delivered last Friday at St. Edward's University in Austin was available for review by the AP.

The Gazette-Enterprise said it reviewed a transcript of the original speech, which was provided on the condition that it not be distributed.

Allan Hook, a St. Edward's biology professor who heard both speeches, said Pianka "wasn't so perhaps adamant in his own personal views of what he thinks might happen" in his second lecture.

But Hook declined to elaborate on what Pianka said in the earlier speech, which Pianka delivered while being honored as the academy's 2006 Distinguished Texas Scientist.

University of Texas officials don't plan to take any action against Pianka, university spokesman Don Hale said.

"Dr. Pianka has First Amendment rights to express his point of view," Hale said. "We have plenty of faculty with a lot of different points of view and they have the right to express that point of view, but they're expressing their personal point of view."

Here's the good Doctors website.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Let Me Assure You,
The Euros Are So
Much More Sophisticated
Than Us
Ugly Americans

It's true:

It started with a Hitler salute. Two eastern German soccer teams in the fourth division, FC Sachsen Leipzig and Hallesche FC, had just drawn 2-2 on March 25 in Halle, and the fans weren't happy.

Leipzig's Nigerian midfielder Adebowale Ogungbure was walking off the pitch when hooligans ran up to him, spat at him and called him "Dirty Nigger," "Shit Nigger" and "Ape." He ignored it and walked on. Then, when he passed the main stand and heard fans making whooping monkey noises at him, he decided he'd had enough. He put two fingers above his mouth to symbolise a Hitler moustache and stuck out his right arm in a Nazi salute to the crowd.

Given their behavior, one might think they would have appreciated the gesture and even returned it. But a Halle supporter attacked him from behind with a corner flag and another grabbed him in a stranglehold.

What year is it?

Well, anyway, I wish I was up to speed on the Europeein nuancin. I just can't seem to get it down.

Scientist Advocates
Worldwide Genocide -
Peers Give Standing Ovation

Eric Pianka -
Scientist and Intellectual

This may be the most stunning thing I have ever heard:

What would happen if a world-renowned scientist and evolutionary ecologist told hundreds of his colleagues that 90 percent of the human race needed to be wiped out by exposure to Ebola or some other deadly virus?

Apparently, according to a scientist who claims to have witnessed such a remarkable event one month ago, the fiend would get a standing ovation and an award.

That's the story being told by
Forrest Mims III, a member of the Texas Academy of Science, chairman of its environmental science section and editor of the Citizen Scientist.

The speech Mims heard was delivered by
Eric R. Pianka, a lizard expert from the University of Texas. It is recounted in detail in the latest issue of the Citizen Scientist.

"We're no better than bacteria," Mims quoted Pianka as saying in his condemnation of the human race, which, he claimed, is overpopulating the Earth.

The only way to save the planet for the rest of the species is to reduce the human population to 10 percent of its current number.

"He then showed solutions for reducing the world's population in the form of a slide depicting the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse," writes Mims. "War and famine would not do, he explained. Instead, disease offered the most efficient and fastest way to kill the billions that must soon die if the population crisis is to be solved.

Pianka then displayed a slide showing rows of human skulls, one of which had red lights flashing from its eye sockets. AIDS is not an efficient killer, he explained, because it is too slow. His favorite candidate for eliminating 90 percent of the world's population is airborne Ebola (Ebola reston), because it is both highly lethal and it kills in days, instead of years. However, Professor Pianka did not mention that Ebola victims die a slow and torturous death as the virus initiates a cascade of biological calamities inside the victim that eventually liquefy the internal organs."

Pianka notes in the online syllabus for his Diversity and Ecology class that the deadly form of Ebola – Ebola zaire – that has killed nine out of the 10 people infected currently only spreads by direct contact with infected blood, while Ebola reston, the close relative that currently kills only monkeys, is an airborne virus. Evolution, he says, will in time result in an airborne form fatal to humans.

Mims notes that when Pianka finished his remarks, the audience of fellow scientists and students burst out in sustained applause.

During a question-and-answer sessions, the audience laughed approvingly when Pianka offered the bird flu as another vehicle toward achieving his goal. They also chuckled when he suggested it was time to sterilize everyone on Earth.

"What kind of reception have you received as you have presented these ideas to other audiences that are not representative of us?" asked one member of the audience.
"I speak to the converted!" Pianka replied.

Mims said he spoke glowingly of the police state in China that enforces a one-child policy.
"Smarter people have fewer kids," Mims quoted Pianka as saying.

Following the question-and-answer session, Mims says "almost every scientist, professor and college student present stood to their feet and vigorously applauded the man who had enthusiastically endorsed the elimination of 90 percent of the human population. Some even cheered. Dozens then mobbed the professor at the lectern to extend greetings and ask questions."

Mims notes five hours later, the Texas Academy of Science presented Pianka with a plaque in recognition of his being named 2006 Distinguished Texas Scientist.

"When the banquet hall filled with more than 400 people responded with enthusiastic applause, I walked out in protest," he writes.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

This Is A
Religion Of Peace

Eyes All Around has developed her blog into a must read. Day to day, you never know whether you're going to get science, worship, anti-Jihad, or hardcore conservative humor, but, it's always gonna be something good. Today, she brings us a few servings from the koran:

Qur’an 33.27 And He made you heirs to their land and their dwellings and their property, and (to) a land which you have not yet trodden, and Allah has power over all things.

Qur’an 21:44 Do they see Us advancing, gradually reducing the land (in their control), curtailing its borders on all sides? It is they who will be overcome.

Qur’an 9:123 “murder them and treat them harshly”

Qur’an 3.28 Let not the believers take the unbelievers for friends rather than believers; and whoever does this, he shall have nothing of (the guardianship of) Allah, but you should guard yourselves against them, guarding carefully; and Allah makes you cautious of (retribution from) Himself; and to Allah is the eventual coming.

Qur’an 5:51 “Muslims, do not make friends with any but your own people.”

Qur’an 8:12 cp. 8:60 “Instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers”; “smite above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them”Qur’an 2:191 “...kill the disbelievers wherever we find them”

Qur’an 9.33 He it is Who sent His Apostle with guidance and the religion of truth, that He might cause it to prevail over all religions.

Qur’an 2:193 “And fight with them until there is no persecution, and religion should be only for Allah”

Qur’an 22:19-22 “fight and slay the Pagans, seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem”

Qur’an 8:7 “Allah wished to confirm the truth by His words: ‘Wipe the infidels (non-Muslims) out to the last.’”

Qur’an 8:39 “So, fight them till all opposition ends and the only religion is Islam.”

Qur’an 8:59 “The infidels should not think that they can get away from us. Prepare against them whatever arms and weaponry you can muster so that you may terrorize them. They are your enemy and Allah’s enemy.”

Qur’an 8:7 “Allah wished to confirm the truth by His words: ‘Wipe the infidels (non-Muslims) out to the last.’”

Qur’an 9.29 Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Apostle have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection.

Qur’an 47:4 “Strike off the heads of the disbelievers”; and after making a “wide slaughter among them, carefully tie up the remaining captives.”