Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Page 23, chapter four of the Stern Report:
Gender inequalities will likely worsen with climate change.
UPDATE. Climate change will also cause forced marriage.
(Via Joe Cambria)
THREATEN US SOME MORE
So far as threats go, this probably ranks somewhere below North Korean nuclear tests:
Papua New Guinea is threatening to dramatically reduce the money it receives from Canberra ...
(Via Hal G.P. Colebatch)
The Age’s Russell Skelton spins for Ole Catmeat:
Provocative Muslim cleric Sheikh Taj al-Din al-Hilali has taken leave from his duties at the Lakemba Mosque to recover from a mild heart attack but is strongly resisting pressure to stand down permanently.
“Provocative”? “Provocative”? You’d think the Sheik’s belief that women are Satan’s minions would at least earn him the universal bad-guy media adjective: “controversial”.
Many Muslims are privately angry at Prime Minister John Howard’s continued criticism of Sheikh Hilali, saying it is only rallying support for his cause and distorting the issues.
Hilali’s cause involves the removal of the White House, support for jihadists, and an evident loathing of female liberation. Kind of difficult to distort, seeing as Hilali makes his views so plain. Oh, and look who else is siding with the great Islamic scholar ...
NO APPEARANCE GANG ON THE MOVE
Two of the Australian men arrested in Yemen on terrorism charges are the sons of Abdul Rahim Ayub, the man who set up a Jemaah Islamiah cell here and fled after the Bali bombings.
The Herald can also reveal that the mother of the two brothers is an Australian-born woman called Rabiah Hutchison and is regarded by security agencies as possibly more radical than her former husband.
Ms Hutchison is in Yemen with her sons, Mohammed Ayub and Abdullah Ayub, and the Herald has been told that their tour group was joined by some of the wives of the men who were arrested on terrorism charges in Sydney one year ago.
The group - most of whom have been intensely monitored by ASIO for years - insist they went to Yemen to further their religious instruction.
And they seem to have done so.
Chicago Sun-Times columnist Zay N. Smith:
News Item: Muslim leader condemns Danish court for exonerating the newspaper that caused Muslim riots by publishing cartoons of Muhammad, saying this is another instance of those in the Western world wanting “to impose their way of thinking on all other nations.”
Could the leader accept, at least, our imposing a sense of irony?
Them leaders ain’t big on irony. Meanwhile, reader Slammer notes a spelling error in comments, leading to a killer comment of his own:
You forgot to put the “al” in “multiculturalism”. Which is kinda funny, because misguided multiculturalism put all those unwanted als in Australia.
BODY BATTLE II
I guess when you can’t argue the facts (except to put forward bogus ones distorted to fit your agenda), it’s time to turn to empty ad hominem smears.
Distort, divert, evade, smear. You should write a handbook for propagandists Tim.
Much more on never-wrong Lambert here.
I’m not convinced by University of Chicago professor Robert Pape’s arguments, but his 2005 analysis (here summarised by Business Week’s Stan Crock) of suicide bomber stats remains extremely interesting:
Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tigers, a Marxist-Leninist Hindu group opposed to religion, committed the largest number of suicide attacks, 76. The Kurdish PKK, which used the tactic 14 times, is headed by a secular Marxist-Leninist, Abdulah Ocalan. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, another Marxist-Leninist group, and the al-Aqsa Brigade, which has ties to the socialist Fatah movement, account for a third of the attacks against Israel. Communist and socialist groups account for 75% of the attacks in Lebanon. Islamic fundamentalists, he concludes, were associated with about only half of the attacks from 1980 to 2003.
Only half! For the rest of the time we should be going after commies.
Police are looking for the two men.
The first is described as being of Middle Eastern/Mediterranean appearance, about 179 centimetres tall, large build, black hair with a thin plait at the back, and wearing a cap, dark-blue hooded jumper, and dark-coloured long pants.
The second is described as being of Middle Eastern/Mediterranean appearance, about 175 centimetres tall, skinny build, long face, wearing a red cap, light-coloured singlet and long dark baggy pants.
Good for them.
(Via Nick C.)
NATIONAL KNEE DAY PROPOSED
Protest marches mean little now. Anger can be expressed on Nov. 7. But we need to express our shame.
I would like to propose a national day of apology. On this day, all Americans, those who supported the war and those who did not, will come together without rancor and apologize to the Iraqi people for what we have done. It will be a day without politics, without anger, maybe even without words. A day simply to say we’re sorry. And to say it, figuratively or literally, on our knees.
To the people of Iraq, from one American: Baqiya ib hayatkum. Akhir il ahzan.
Republican candidates in close races might consider quoting Kamiya in their speeches. He could be a last-minute October surprise.
(Via Jim Treacher)
BAN THE BULB
The Guardian’s George Monbiot demands society’s complete restructuring:
Here is a plan for drastic but affordable action that the government could take ...
Every citizen is given a free annual quota of carbon dioxide. He or she spends it by buying gas and electricity, petrol and train and plane tickets. If they run out, they must buy the rest from someone who has used less than his or her quota ... Timescale: a full scheme in place by January 2009.
There’s much more, including a ban of “wasteful and unnecessary technologies” (incandescent lightbulbs, patio heaters, garden floodlights) and the reduction of airport landing slots by 90%. Monbiot’s conclusion:
If you believe that these are worse than mass death then there is something wrong with your value system.
Climate change is not just a moral question: it is the moral question of the 21st century. There is one position even more morally culpable than denial. That is to accept that it’s happening and that its results will be catastrophic, but to fail to take the measures needed to prevent it.
Monbiot is mistaken. There is one position even more morally culpable than failing to take preventative measures, and I’m proud to say it’s mine: encouraging the continued (and increased) consumption of fossil fuels. Don’t cry, George; you’ll ruin your makeup.
(Actually, that last paragraph from Monbiot isn’t quite the conclusion. Another line follows: “George Monbiot’s latest book is Heat: How to Stop the Planet Burning.” No word from Central Controller Monbiot on the banning of useless books. By the way, Australia is holding firm against Kyoto.)
Monday, October 30, 2006
SMH reader Ted Harkness asks:
Why would the floating pontoons at the Spit disappear by 2100?
SHEIK RATTLED, ROLLED
A claimed heart attack for Ole Catmeat:
The nation’s most senior Islamic cleric Taj Din al-Hilali was rushed to hospital after suffering what is believed to be a mild heart attack as the federal Government faced pressure to investigate the imam’s support for Islamic jihad in Iraq.
It is believed that Sheik Hilali was ferried by ambulance and a police escort to Canterbury hospital in Sydney this afternoon suffering chest pains that started while he was meeting with the Labanese Muslim Association executive members to discuss his position at Lakemba Mosque.
I am deeply saddened and distressed by the acts of some devious groups which lurk in the dark watching me, and who cannot tolerate the moderate, balanced way which I adopt to advocate for women’s issues, national harmony and co-existence, and to hold fast to the love of our Australian home, to protect it from all forms of extreme thoughts and to reject all acts of violence and any act that breaches the rule of law.
Yes, I feel deeply saddened that such an ordinary lesson has been used to slander and defame me after it had been translated with the ill intention of dubious media that wishes to incite and they present an unfair campaign, the aims of which are very well known.
Former prime minister Paul Keating, the man who foisted the radical preacher upon the nation against the wishes of more moderate Muslims, yesterday told reporters to “nick off” rather than explain why he was adamant the Egyptian imam be granted Australian citizenship.
UPDATE. What happened to Hilaliloolilayli’s heart attack?
The embattled Muslim cleric Sheik Taj el-Din al Hilaly has succumbed to a range of health woes, says his close friend and spokesman Keysar Trad.
The leader was admitted to hospital yesterday as a media and political storm raged on over his comments about women and rape, and Mr Trad said “he may well be in there beyond a day”.
French youths—they’re so youthful!—have graduated from burning cars to burning buses to burning people:
The French government is holding an emergency meeting on transport security after youths set a bus ablaze on Saturday, critically injuring a woman.
The attack in the southern city of Marseille left 26-year-old Mama Galledou from Senegal with burns to nearly 70% of her body ...
A group of teenagers reportedly forced open the doors of the vehicle and threw an inflammable liquid inside before fleeing.
About 200 vehicles were set alight in incidents around the country on Saturday, and nearly 50 people were arrested.
CNN reports that in the first six months of 2006, “some 21,000 cars were burned out and 2,882 attacks on police, fire and ambulance services were recorded.” This follows last year’s Citroen bake-off, which apparently resulted in just one jail term among minors charged:
Only one minor in Seine-Saint-Denis was imprisoned out of 85 prosecuted.