"Eyjafjallajökull, the volcano that closed Europe's airspace and stumped English-speaking newscasters trying to pronounce its name, is estimated to have emitted between 150,000 and 300,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a day. That's less than the grounded flights would have emitted, making it the first carbon-negative volcano."
Lors de ses vœux aux Français pour 2011, Nicolas Sarkozy s’est voulu protecteur, protecteur des Français tentés par le Front national et a assuré son intention de maintenir le cap des réformes à l’intention de son électorat traditionnel, vantant notamment la réforme des retraites. Le chef de l’Etat a répondu point par point aux thématiques de Marine Le Pen : protectionnisme, laïcité et sécurité.La fille du fondateur du Front national propose d’abandonner la monnaie unique. « Ne croyez pas, mes chers compatriotes ceux qui proposent que nous sortions de l’euro. L’isolement de la France serait une folie. La fin de l’euro serait la fin de l’Europe », a assuré M. Sarkozy, qui se targue de défendre une Europe qui protège. « J’ai toujours milité pour la préférence communautaire, et je me suis toujours battu pour la protection de notre industrie », a assuré M. Sarkozy. De même sur la République, M. Sarkozy a expliqué que « la loi portant interdiction de la burqa sera appliquée dans l’esprit comme dans la lettre”. Le chef de l’Etat, a ajouté, en direction des immigrés : « le respect dû à la France par ceux que nous accueillons est une exigence ».Enfin, sur la sécurité, M. Sarkozy dit vouloir protéger les Français « de la violence chaque jour plus brutale de la part de délinquants multi-réitérant en ouvrant nos tribunaux correctionnels aux jurés populaires. Ainsi c’est le peuple qui pourra donner son avis sur la sévérité de la réponse à apporter à des comportements qui provoquent l’exaspération du pays ».
CAIRO – An Egyptian security official says an explosion went off in front of a Coptic church, injuring scores of Christian worshippers who were attending a New Year's Eve Mass.
The official says the number of casualties from the blast in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria was not yet clear. The explosion went off from a car parked in front of the Saints Church and a nearby mosque. Ambulances rushed to the area.
The official says that afterwards some Christian worshippers from the Mass clashed with police in anger over the blast. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the press.
The plight of Coptic Christians in Egypt continues, to the indifference of the rest of the world. If only the Coptics could receive one-hundredth of the attention given to the "Palestinians".
ATLANTA – The rate of teen births in the U.S. is at its lowest level in almost 70 years. Yet, the sobering context is that the teen pregnancy rate is far lower in many other countries. The most convincing explanation is that contraceptive use is much higher among teens in most Western European countries.
Last week, U.S. health officials released new government figures for 2009 showing 39 births per 1,000 girls, ages 15 through 19 — the lowest rate since records have been kept on this issue.
That's close to the teen birth rate for Romania, Turkey and Bulgaria in 2007, the latest numbers available from the World Bank, which collects a variety of data gauging international development.
The teen birth rate for Western Europe and a few other countries is dramatically lower. In the United Kingdom it's 24 per 1,000 girls. In traditionally Catholic Ireland, it's 16 and in Italy it's 5. France's rate is 7 per 1,000. Canada's rate is under 13, Sweden's is under 8, Japan's is about 5, and in the Netherlands it's close to 4.
It is oddly difficult to get accurate data on teen pregnancy in Dar al Islam, but in Nigeria for example, where the population is 50.4% Muslim, the teen birth rate is 103 per 1,000. And in Niger, where the population is 95% Muslim, the teen birth rate is 233 per 1,000.
Some anti-jihadists would see a high teen birth rate in the U.S. as a positive. They see the conflict between Islam and Dar al Harb as a breeding contest. Victory is defined as numerically outbreeding Islam, and the role of government is to encourage and enable ever higher birth rates. Let the culture with the most members win.
Jihadis and their apologists triumphantly proclaim that the Muslim woman's womb is their greatest weapon. Should we take the bait and agree to play their game, as they define the rules?
Births are a blessing, but only if one is able to sustain one's offspring. There is no blessing in the high birth - and mortality - rates in Africa, for example. Assuming that the earth has a carrying capacity (and unless one is a religious cornucopiast, and believes that God will always provide for His children, one has to agree that there is some limit), then an ever-increasing population will eventually lead to population collapse. The closer we are to that carrying capacity, the less time before we begin to feel the effects, if we are not already.
We are often told that increased Muslim immigration is necessary to offset declining birth rates in North America and Europe. We need an ever-increasing work force, so the story goes, to maintain our standard of living. If that were true, then we eventually are guaranteed to reach the maximum population limit. Then what?
If Muslims want to outbreed the rest of the world, let them. However, they should do it without aid from the non-Muslim world. Let Allah provide their food, water, energy, housing, and medical care. And they should undertake their biological breeding experiment within their own borders. The non-Muslim world should not be the pressure-relief valve for their overpopulation.
Under those conditions, their high birth rates become not a weapon for the destruction of the infidel, but a weapon of self-destruction. And possibly a weapon for the destruction of Islam, and a return to sanity for a significant portion of the world's population.
At least four killed in Nigerian capital after army barracks bomb
A bomb ripped through a military barracks in the Nigerian capital Abuja on New Year's Eve killing four people and wounding a dozen others, in the second such attack in three months, an official said.
"Sixteen victims were brought into the hospital. Four were brought in dead... 12 are quite in a stable condition," the director of medical services with the Federal Capital Territory Administration, Udofia Enefiok, told reporters at a government hospital Friday.
The bomb went off early in the evening at a market inside Abacha barracks, a popular spot for food and drink in the Nigerian capital on New Year's Eve, the military and civil chiefs said.
President Goodluck Jonathan condemned the attack which came hours after Christians in Jos buried 16 of the dozens of victims of the Christmas Eve bombings claimed by a radical Islamist sect. "Basking in their nefarious success in Jos on Christmas Eve, they have once again knifed at the heartstrings of a nation decked out in gaiety, celebrating New Year's Eve.
"This is extreme evil. It is wicked," Jonathan's spokesman Ima Niboro said in a statement. "The president... condemns this attack," he added, describing it as a "new and dangerous challenge to our peace and stability". He said the attackers "must be made to pay. No one ... can make this nation ungovernable".
An Islamic sect, calling itself Jama?atu Ahlus-Sunnah Lidda?Awati Wal Jihad has claimed responsibility for the Christmas Eve attacks in Jos.
From Holocaust Poems for our Time, Introduced & Translated from the Hungarian by Thomas Ország-Land(January 2011)
ÉVA LÁNG, a Hungarian Holocaust survivor (b. 1926), has unleashed a fury of verse of stunning beauty and intensity. Her relentless output is reminiscent of the chanting of the ancient prophets. The work breaks the embarrassed and almost complete silence that has been the response of the world’s poets to the organized, racist murder of six million Jews in the heart of Europe. And it has been largely ignored by literary editors. more>>>
They Came For The Guineas: An Allegory For These Times
by David Asia (January 2011)
The chicken yard was a fenced, rectangular opening in the middle of the meadow. Inside the yard, in addition to an area for feed and water, a sturdy, wooden shed with a galvanized metal roof served as nighttime roost, shelter from the sometimes overpowering sun, and as protection from the winds that breathed life into the little devils of dust sleeping just below the surface of the soft, yellow powder covering the ground. Beyond the fence, an expanse of open ground buffered the yard from the encircling tree line.more>>>
I touched on the origins and popularity of pub signs called the Crown and/or Rose and Crown in my very first article on pub signs back in 2009. Since then I have taken quite a lot of photographs of signs of that name which is popular in every county I have had cause to visit. more>>>
Protecting the Public from Gangs: Sheffield in the 1920s
by David Hamilton (January 2011)
Amajor problem for decent people living their everyday lives is the take over of towns and cities by violent gangs. This is usually compounded by weakness on the part of the authorities or, as now, fear of offending Political Correctness. This allows the gangs to develop and move into ilicit businesses and corrupt more young followers and harm innocent members of the public. The massive and exteremy violent LA gangs are infamous throughout the world but there is a similar proliferation in England and ignoring them does a lot more harm than dealing with the early manifestations. In Birmingham, England the local authorities have allowed gangs to develop and the consequences are that ordinary members of the public are put in danger. more>>>
"When I first saw you, I thought you were handsome. Then, of course, you spoke."- Helen Hunt in As Good As It Gets
All literature is the search for a better metaphor. If this is true, cinema might be described as a quest for a better image, literally and figuratively. Film and the associated crafts play a large role in the way Americans see themselves and the way others see America. For good or ill, movies are celluloid and digital records of shifting American values and culture. more>>>
On Settlements, Agreements and Legitimacy: a midnight monograph
by Michael Zebulon (January 2011)
Not in Our Name, Mr President
If I “propose” to a lady, it will strain neither comprehension nor credulity to suggest that whatever her response to the overture, it’s certain to be vastly different (even, I daresay, in the present, quaintly confused age) from what it would be, had I “propositioned” her—despite the evident morphological similarity of the two verbs. By the same token are the nouns, “legality” and “legitimacy”—which likewise share a common root [lex < L.: “law”]—seen, in their turn, to be related. more>>>
Due to the success of part one of this paper,* many recommended that I continue writing on similar lines. Originally, my plan was not toward that end. But soon the theme of part 2 developed itself within my vision. The essence of this part relates to the fact that political Islam cannot but be reactionary and terrorist. Today’s facts, with no doubt, support such a conclusion. more>>>
Suppression of Emotion: A Danger to Modern Societies?
by Thomas J. Scheff (January 2011)
This essay proposes that suppression of emotions is a key institution in modern societies, and that it underlies the denial of death and both interpersonal and inter-group violence. The thesis begins with a comparison of traditional and modern societies with respect to their treatment of the social-emotional world. Next a relatively minor instance of suppression is considered: wholehearted belief in an afterlife in heaven. The next step in to review a much more serious process: studies that suggest that war and collective conflict, such as terrorism, may be caused by humiliation and vengeance. Finally, some preliminary steps toward change are discussed. more>>>
It started with a Cuban song, Sofrito, recorded by Mongo Santamaria Y Amigas on the Fantasy record label in early 1960s, just after the Cuban revolution. In Spanish Sofrito means “lightly fried” as in an open air restaurant and I suspect the word has something to do with the Cuban male fascination for brown skinned women, not quite black and not quite white. more>>>
The Religious Left, J.B. Matthews and the Censure of Senator McCarthy
by Norman Berdichevsky (January 2011)
While the term “Religious Right” is one of the most frequently used terms in the political lexicon, notably since the rise of what is usually referred to as the Evangelical Churches, the Political Left is alive and well and a strong crutch for the Democratic Party calling for “social justice.” During the first term of the Eisenhower administration, the role of American churches in politics became a major issue and helped precipitate the campaign to defame and censure Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin. more>>>
It is glorious for religion to have enemies such as this. - Pascal
Considered in the light of intellectual history, the truly remarkable thing about the reception of Charles Darwin’s work is not the nature or the extent of its apparent theological implications; the remarkable thing is the fact that anyone could believe that it had any real theological implications at all. That great masses of men would come to consider – with either jubilance or indignation – a theory about how species of organisms change over enormous expanses of time an apt challenge to certain theological positions is certainly one of the perverse wonders of the modern world. more>>>
Often I read more than one book at a time. When I tire of one I fly to another. This is because the world has always seemed to me so various and so interesting in all its aspects that I have not been able to confine my mind to a single subject or object for very long; therefore I am not, never have been, and never will be the scholar of anything. My mind is magpie-like, attracted by what shines for a moment; I try to persuade myself that this quality of superficiality has its compensations, in breadth of interest, for example. more>>>
While The World -- And The Unthinking West -- Gang Up On Laurent Gbagbo And Ivoirien Christians....
The world did not intervene to stop Jean-Bedel Bokassa or Idi Amin or a dozen other despots in sub-Saharan Africa. The West did not intervene to prevent the deaths of more than 2 million Christian black Africans in the southern Sudan over several decades. Nor has it intervened to prevent or halt the murder, by the same northern Muslims (who call themselves "Arabs") to murder or drive out a million or more black Africans in Darfur. After the attacks on Christians in northern Nigeria, when the independent state of Biafra was declared in response to the "jihad" (Col. Ojukwu's words in the Ahiara Declaration of July 1969), the West not only extended no aid to the Christian side (while Egyptian pilots in Egyptian Migs gaily strafed Ibo villages, killing tens of thousands of helpless villagers), but took the side of the Muslims. According to the Scott Report, the government of Great Britain gave twelve times as much military aid to the Nigerian government's troops as had been given before the Biafra War.
It was not black Africa, but rather two Western powers, former colonial rulers, that started the anti-Gbagbo ball rolling. The French have not always played a malevolent role as colonial powers, but in West Africa, both France and Great Britain always favored the local Muslims. Many Ibo and Christian Hausa resent how, when it came time for Nigeria's independence, Great Britain turned power over mostly to northern Muslims. And the indigenous peoples of French West Africa know how the French favored local Muslims, perceiving (and misperceiving) them as steadier local enforcers of colonial authority.
Black Africans merely followed suit. But among the Christians in Nigeria, in Togo, in Benin, in other countries in West Africa -- and especially among the Christians in distant Angola (a country whose administrators are keenly aware of the Muslim threat in black Africa) there is not great hostility to Gbagbo, and even (as in Angola) support that has simply not been reported in the Western press. It is as if the Western governments decided that the worry, by the Christians, that they were being demographically swamped, and electorally having their own country taken away from them (if they could not vote in much of the country, and if illegal Muslim immigrants could, surely that means their country is being taken away from them), had no validity. They do not dare to take the side of the Christians, as they did not in the case of Biafra, or in the case of the Sudan. The pusillanimity, and geopolitical heedlessness, combine to create what may not be yet, but may well be down the line, a disaster for black African Christians and for Western interests, rightly understood.
One of the African neighbors now so indignant about Laurent Gbagbo is The Gambia. Why should the ruler of The Gambia care about the well-justified fears, among the Christians who built the Cote d'Ivoire, that their country is being taken over by Muslims who have held the north, and allowed in still more illegal Muslim immigrants to swell their ranks and to intimidate Christians in the rebel-held territory and, still more important, tilting -- through their intimidating tactics and their fiddling with voting -- the recent elections to the Muslim side.
Here's a bit more about the Gambian president, possibly king, perhaps someday, if he plays all his cards right, the Emperor of All Gambia And Of Ice Cream, to boot:
Nov 08, 2010
Gambia's president once claimed to have developed a cure for AIDS that involved an herbal body rub and bananas. His administration rounded up nearly 1,000 people last year in a witch hunt. And now he may soon have a new title in this tiny West African nation: His majesty.
Tribal chieftains are touring the country to rally support for President Yahya Jammeh's coronation.
"The president has brought development to the country, and for that he deserves to be crowned King of The Gambia," said Junkung Camara, chief of the western region of Foni Brefet. "This is the only way the Gambian people can express our gratitude to a leader who has done a lot for his country."
Like many rulers in this part of Africa, Jammeh, 45, came to power in the wake of a coup. He was elected president [what kind of free and fair election do you think that was?]two years later, and is currently serving his third elected term in the tiny country surrounded on three sides by Senegal.
If he were crowned king, he could dispense with the formality of elections altogether.
For a ruler who likes to be called His Excellency the President Sheik Professor Alhaji Doctor Yahya Jammeh — identifying himself as a doctor, scholar, and elder, among other honorifics — "king" would suit him well.
"It's image construction," said Abdoulaye Saine, professor of political science at Miami University in Ohio who specializes in Gambian politics. "He's not a scholar, he's not a doctor, he's not a professor. But he covets these titles."
Saine says Jammeh's coronation would give him a new title but would not change anything politically.
"Jammeh is already king," Saine said. "He practically owns the country of Gambia. He controls the press, the opposition, the clergy, and the coffers of the state."
While sub-Saharan Africa has just one remaining absolute monarchy — in the southern African nation of Swaziland — other leaders have tried to similarly solidify their role. Idi Amin, the brutal dictator who ruled Uganda during the 1970s, titled himself His Excellency President for Life. And Central African Republic's Jean-Bedel Bokassa crowned himself emperor in 1977.
The call for Jammeh's coronation is the latest in a series of controversial events that have marked his presidency. In 2007, the ruler claimed to have developed a cure for AIDS and insisted that patients stop taking their antiretroviral medications so his cure could have an effect.
More recently, Jammeh's administration rounded up nearly 1,000 people last year in a witch hunt that spanned the nation of 2 million. Authorities forced the supposed witches to drink a hallucinogen that caused diarrhea and vomiting. The unidentified liquid led to serious kidney problems, and two people died after the forced treatment, according to international rights group Amnesty International.
Sam Sarr, editor of the main opposition newspaper Foroyaa, says Jammeh's move to be crowned king will never work.
"It's unconstitutional," Sarr said. "According to the constitution, his position is an elected position. Sovereignty resides in the people."
Not that making Jammeh king would change much.
"The presidency is already like a monarchy," Sarr said. "As far as power is concerned, he has absolute power."
Indulge me tonight with a few photographs of what I have been up to every month this year. Some of it purely for pleasure, other events are with estimed comrades about the business of counter dawa, and counter jihad.
The music is from an album I bought at the last Sweeps festival in Rochester. The first time I wrote about the sweeps and Morris dancing I said it was only a matter of time before there was a Morris/Bhangra crossover, both styles of dance being based around agriculture and allied trades. Tickled Pink may have had similar thoughts when they recorded this - Green Potatos-Bombay Mix.
After giving some thought to the opinion of Hugh's wise Nigerian (or should that be "American citizen of Nigerian extraction"?) fishmonger, a man untrained in political science but in many ways an "expert" more so than the self-annointed "experts", I am worried. He, the fish market man, was of the opinion that the U.S. government prefers stability over all else.
Much as the financial market wants to avoid uncertainty, and prefers bad news to no news at all, the U.S. government seems to prefer a Muslim-lead, sharia-compliant government with it's iron-fisted rule and clear societal pecking order. A democracy is a messy, unpredictable beast. A democracy that attempts to give equal rights to all citizens regardless of, say, religious affiliation, when members of certain religions have no intention of ever accepting equal rights to their perceived inferiors, and is willing to use terror attacks on unarmed civilians to avoid it , is even messier and more unpredictable.
Think of all those Islam-dominated, Islam-tyrannized, nations that we have supported: Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, "Palestine", Iraq (think Saddam Hussein before he went so far as to threaten his Kuwaiti and Saudi neighbors), and now Afghanistan. Each of them stands in opposition to every value in which we supposedly believe, yet they remain our "good friends" and "strong allies" in the war on something-or-other.
Think of how we stood idly by as Lebanon was transformed from a pluralistic, peaceful, beautiful nation (remember when "the Riviera of the Middle East" didn't sound sarcastic?) into just another Islamic hell-hole - BUT - a stable and predictable Islamic hell-hole. You don't hear many whimpers from the Christian Lebanese any more, do you? Peace.
Our government has apparently accepted the Islamic definition of "peace": When everyone, EVERYONE, submits to Allah, there will be "peace". Any resistance to the will of Allah brings war and discord in the lands. Therefore, resistance to Allah must be avoided, discouraged. Crushed. Then, peace.
If the goal is to encourage stability, then Islam is the answer. Islam answers every question. Islam regulates the behavior of every waking moment. There is no room for doubt or discourse in Islam. Everything everyone ever needed to know was written down in the holy and immutable Qur'an 1400 years ago.
Assuming that the above is true, read about the possible impending breakup of Sudan, or the crisis in Côte d'Ivoire, and ask yourself how the U.S. government will seek to influence the outcomes.
But then again, we live in a messy and unpredictable democracy. And if all of the above is true, it need not remain so.