Showing posts from January, 2006

Iran's "Green Salt Project"

NY Times: The International Atomic Energy Agency says it has evidence that suggests links between Iran's ostensibly peaceful nuclear program and its military work on high explosives and missiles, according to a report from the agency that was released to member countries on Tuesday. The four-page report, which officials say was based at least in part on intelligence provided by the United States, refers to a secretive Iranian entity called the Green Salt Project, which worked on uranium processing, high explosives and a missile warhead design. The combination suggests a "military-nuclear dimension," the report said, that if true would undercut Iran's claims that its nuclear program is solely aimed at producing electrical power. ... The Green Salt Project derives its name from uranium tetrafluoride, also known as Green Salt, which is an intermediate product in the conversion of uranium ore into uranium hexafluoride — a toxic gas that can undergo enrichment or purifica

Getting things off your chest in Katrina support effort

The Lumberjack Online: Next time you’re working late in the computer lab and catch an eyeful of nudity on your neighbor’s monitor don’t be too quick to deem them a degenerate pervert, they might just be engaged in an act of philanthropy. For HSU senior Mike Eakin philanthropy started shortly after Hurricane Katrina struck when he and his friends were chatting on an online message board. “We were all just sitting around and saying ‘Wow I wish there was something that I could do,’” he said. “Then somebody came out with the idea, ‘Let’s get people to donate naked pictures of themselves and then put them online and make people donate money to see them.’” That comment, which Eakin said started out as a joke, spawned a Web site which has been up and running for about 17 days and has raised more than $24,000 for Hurricane Katrina relief. The site, is asking men and women to donate pictures of their chests. In order to view the pictures visitors must donate $5 or more

Dems sit on their hands until offering grudging support for troops

Watching the President's State of the Union address opened with somber Democrats offering little support for teh President's words unthil he acknowleges the troops and you could see the Democrats finally slowly take their feat and pat their hands. However the moment built as Bush read the words of a Marine Staff Sargeant who was killed in Fallujah. With the introduction of his family there was finally some enthusiastic applause. Later there was enthusiastic applause when the President said that Hamas was going to have to recognize Israel and disarm. That should be a start warning to the religious biggots of Palestine. The Democrats did sit on their hands again when the President asked for reauthoriziation of the Patriot Act. They again sat on their hands when the President discussed the surveillance of enemy communications with agents in the US. More Dem hand sitting when the President called for making the tax cuts permanent. John McCain seemed to be the only person excite

Pregnacy no cure for depression

AP: Pregnant women who stop taking antidepressants run a high risk of slipping back into depression, a study found, busting the myth that the surge of hormones during pregnancy keeps mothers-to-be happy and glowing. The study offers new information but no clear answers for expectant mothers who must balance the risk of medications harming the fetus against the danger of untreated depression. "It's important that patients not assume that the hormones of pregnancy are going to protect them from the types of problems they've had with mood previously," said study co-author Dr. Lee Cohen of Massachusetts General Hospital. The study does not deal with postpartum depression — the depression that sets in after delivery, and is often blamed on hormonal changes. The research looks only at depression during pregnancy, a condition far less understood. ... This does not surprise me.

A new logo for the Buy Danish campaign

For those who want to support freedom of speech support the Danes and reject Muslim religious bigotry and an attempt to impose their taboos on the rest of the world.

IAEA says Iran bought nuke bomb plans on black market

AP: A document obtained by Iran on the nuclear black market serves no other purpose than to make an atomic bomb, the International Atomic Energy Agency said Tuesday. The finding was made in a report prepared for presentation to the 35-nation IAEA board when it meets, starting Thursday, on whether to refer Iran to the U.N. Security Council, which has the power to impose economic and political sanctions on Iran. The report was made available in full to The Associated Press. First mention of the documents was made late last year in a longer IAEA report. At that time, the agency said only that the papers showed how to cast "enriched, natural and depleted uranium metal into hemispherical forms." The agency refused to make a judgment on what possible uses such casts would have. But diplomats familiar with the probe into Iran's nuclear program said then that the papers apparently were instructions on how to mold highly enriched grade uranium into the core of warheads. In th

Mexico nabs four Iraqis in country illegally

AP: Mexico says its arrested four Iraqis who were trying to sneak into the United States without the proper documents. Mexico's Attorney General's office says police -- acting on an anonymous tip -- found the four aboard a bus in the northern city of Navajoa (nav-ah-HO-. That's about 375 miles south of the Arizona border. The statement says the Iraqis were in Mexico illegally. ...

Joining the hunt for Zarqawi

ABC News: There is increasing evidence that the fault lines between local Sunni Iraqi insurgents and the mostly foreign fighters of Abu Musaab al Zarqawi's al Qaeda in Iraq are deepening, according to a number of press reports. If the trend continues, it could help to complete the integration of the Sunni minority into the political process, weaken the violent insurgency, and reduce attacks on U.S. and Iraqi forces. ABC News consultant Fawaz Gerges, author of "The Far Enemy: Why Jihad Went Global," said "the Sunnis are chasing the al Zarqawi men from all over the al Anbar Province. The implications are tremendous for Iraq, the American military presence in Iraq, and the war against al Qaeda. The tide has seemed to turn against the al Zarqawi network in Iraq." ... There is more, most of which you have seen here before it made it into ABC's report. I wonder if Murtha has noticed who the primary target in Iraq is today.

JDAM's replacing artillery in some situations

Strategy Page: The campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan continue to redefine the use of airpower. Since World War II, the air force increasingly emphasized their ability to hit targets farther in the enemy rear, thus crippling the ability of the enemy ground and air forces to continue fighting. But the recent introduction of better, and cheaper, smart bombs and sensors, has changed the way air power is being used. The ability to drop bombs with greater accuracy, in any weather, has made it safer for both the bomber and friendly troops. The GPS JDAM or, in clear weather, laser guided bombs, keep the bombers out of range of ground fire, and put the bombs down with greater accuracy, more of the time, than ever before. After sixty years of fearing your own bombers, because of the pre-GPS rate at which less accurate bombs hit the good guys, troops are enthusiastically calling in air power more and more. It’s gotten to the point where artillery units are complaining that the air force is puttin

Buy Danish, part 2

Michelle Malkin has the 12 drawings that have produced the latest Muslim tantrum. The attempts to suppress them are probably going to result in a wider distribution. The tantrums also highlights Muslim intolerance of those who disagree with them. Freedom includes the right to be disrespectful of ther peoples point of view. You combat that disrespect with reasoned arguments. More images from ancient text to later times are here . Without the tantrum many would never have seen these images.

Alito confirmed

Alito has been confirmed by the Senate. Several Democrats did not vote in the first round, but Alito got 57 votes in the first round of voting. He is expected to be sworn in this afternoon and will attend the State of Union address this evening. He observed the vote with President Bush in the Roosevelt Room in the White House.

Bringing back the stopper

Strategy Page: After two decades of use, the U.S. Department of Defense is getting rid of its Beretta M9 9mm pistol, and going back to the 11.4mm (.45 caliber) weapon. There have been constant complaints about the lesser (compared to the .45) hitting power of the 9mm. And in the last few years, SOCOM (Special Operations Command) and the marines have officially adopted .45 caliber pistols as “official alternatives” to the M9 Beretta. But now SOCOM has been given the task of finding a design that will be suitable as the JCP (Joint Combat Pistol). Various designs are being evaluated, but all must be .45 caliber and have a eight round magazine (at least), and high capacity mags holding up to 15. The new .45 will also have a rail for attachments, and be able to take a silencer. Length must be no more than 9.65 inches, and width no more than 1.53 inches. The M1911 .45 caliber pistol that the 9mm Beretta replaced in 1985, was, as its nomenclature implied, an old design. There are several mod

The Dem's NSA straddle

Rich Lowry: D emocrats are both outraged by President Bush's National Security Agency surveillance program and content to see it continue. They are at this incoherent pass because their reflexive hostility to the program is tempered by the dawning suspicion that they might be on the wrong side politically of yet another national-security issue — thus, the NSA Straddle. Asked on ABC's This Week to respond to a Karl Rove speech saying that Democrats disagree with President Bush that al Qaeda members should be monitored when they call somebody in America, Sen. John Kerry declared, "We don't disagree with him at all." But he went on to blast the NSA program as illegal. Why not, therefore, cut off funding for it? "That's premature," Kerry insisted. Democrats are the first party ever to talk of impeaching a president for creating a program they themselves seem to support. It's as if they had denounced Watergate, but stipulated that there was nothing

Mad as Hellfire

James Robbins: I t looks like Ayman al Zawahiri is pretty mad at President George W. Bush. Who can blame him? You'd be upset too if the Eid ul-Adha feast you were planning to attend was suddenly visited by an unannounced Hellfire missile barrage, taking out some of your best terrorist buddies. It makes sense that you would want to vent a little after the shock wore off. And of course you would want to let your friends and supporters in the radical community know that you hadn't been reduced to a DNA sample. Is this latest video really headline news? I guess any statement from one of the most-wanted criminals in the world will merit some level of attention. Yet the latest al Qaeda tapes simply don't have the spark of their earlier work. They are like a once-great pop group that can still command airtime even though their work is formula and forgettable, or the author whose first novel bursts onto the scene to rave reviews who then grows lazy and self-indulgent. You cannot s

Voting for suicide

Christopher Hitchens: Almost all our commentary on the Israel-Palestine dispute is unconsciously ethnocentric and practically every paragraph on the Hamas election victory has followed this bias by asking what it means either for the Israelis or for the "peace process." It might be worth just thinking about what it could mean for the Palestinians. The preferred analysis, which certainly derives from a kernel of fact, is that the vote represents a repudiation of the baroque corruption of the Arafat gang (which was so brilliantly anatomized by David Samuels in the Atlantic Monthly of September 2005). But there are at least two difficulties with this comforting conclusion. For one thing, anyone voting for a clerical party in the hope of abolishing corruption is asking to be considered a fool and also treated as one: There is corruption all over the Middle East, but it is nowhere as flagrant and exploitative and damaging as in the region's two main theocracies, Iran and Saud

Take Hamas at their word

Richard Cohen: While it is probably true, as everyone says, that Hamas won the recent Palestinian elections not because it promised to wipe out Israel, but because it promised to pick up the garbage in Gaza City (all politics is local, etc.), it is also true that the prospect of increased violence did not deter the average Palestinian from voting for Hamas. History has seen this sort of thing before and it is not very comforting. The rule -- the only rule -- is to take zealots at their word. ... The leaders of Hamas brim with the word of God and the certainty of their cause. From here on they will lie about their ultimate aim and smilingly assure us that what they have always said they no longer mean. Their intention is clean government, efficient garbage service, good

Kamikaze filibuster

Deborah Orin: THE joke in Republican circles now is that if John Kerry didn't exist, Karl Rove would have to invent him. Republicans loved 2004 loser Kerry's flop of a filibuster against Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito because it had Democrats tearing each other's eyes out — over a fight they couldn't win. Not only did Kerry lose, he lost big time — just 25 Democrats were willing to join him as the party split apart over Alito, just as it has ripped apart over the Iraq war. The vote was 72-25 against filibuster, so Team Kerry lost 3-1. Worse yet, plenty of Democrats who did vote for the filibuster — like New York's Sen. Chuck Schumer — left little doubt that they were livid at Kerry's stunt, since it turned into a dream come true for Bush political guru Rove. Senate Democrats had already huddled and agreed that a filibuster would be dumb: They lacked the votes — and Americans backed Alito by 2-1, so it could alienate the desperately needed swing v

Making fun of Bush supporters

Washingtn Post: ... "Patty melts! No one makes patty melts anymore," she is saying to the counterman, Ryan Louderman, who knew she wasn't local as soon as he heard the sound of a car being locked. "Can I get it without onions?" she says. "And can I get mustard? On the side? Dijon mustard?" "I don't think we have Dijon mustard," says Louderman, who is 15 and would have voted for Bush if he could have. "I think we only have regular mustard." But he writes it down anyway and gives the order to Pat Orton, the owner and cook. "No onions? With mustard?" says Orton, who voted for Bush in 2004 and 2000. "Oh, God, we get some weird ones" -- but she cooks it anyway, as requested, and passes the non-patty melt out to the woman, who takes a bite, declares it "fabulous" and wraps up the rest to go. She's on her way to a ski resort. She is going to be lifted by helicopter to the top of a mountain with untouch

Hey Zawahiri, National Guard recruiting is way up

AP via Washington Times: National Guard officials yesterday said recruiting has accelerated so much in recent months that they expect to expand the Guard even as the Bush administration proposes to shrink it. For the first time since 1993, the Guard exceeded a quarterly recruiting goal, signing up 13,466 recruits in the final three months of 2005, up from 12,605 the previous fall, said the National Guard Bureau, the Pentagon office that administers the Guard. Mark Allen, a National Guard Bureau spokesman, attributed the 7 percent improvement to a new advertising campaign, a large increase in financial incentives and a near doubling of the number of recruiters, from 2,700 to 5,100. In a statement released yesterday, the Guard said it is "aggressively working" to reach the 350,000-troop level that it is funded for by the end of the current budget year on Sept. 30, despite Mr. Bush's call to cut the force next year to its current level of 333,000 troops.

Anti war pukes try to suppress President's speech

Washington Times: Make noise, not war. Liberal activists -- among them graying leftovers from the Vietnam-era antiwar movement -- plan to gather near the Capitol tonight, banging pots and pans to drown out President Bush's State of the Union address. Yesterday, opponents of the Iraq war kicked off their latest round of demonstrations with an "Impeachment Forum" held downtown in a private dining room at Busboys and Poets. Featured speakers were 78-year-old former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark; longtime war protester Marcus Raskin, 71, who is head of the Institute for Policy Studies; and Cindy Sheehan, mother of an American soldier killed in Iraq. Mrs. Sheehan -- who became famous last year for staking out the president's ranch in Crawford, Texas, and just returned from a visit with Venezuelan anti-American President Hugo Chavez -- plans to speak tonight to protesters at the Capitol Reflecting Pool. Last week, the group "World Can't Wai

Dean does it again

Drudge reports that Hill Democrats are angry with Dean for leaving them with a much smaller war chest than the Republicans going into the 2006 elections. However if they would just look at how he handled his own campaign in 2004 they should not be tha surprised. Remember he raised more funds than any other candidate going into the early primaries and causcases, but was almost out of money when he left Iowa, even stiffing some deli that had provided food for the staff. While he campaigned as a fiscal conservative, his campaign expenditures were anything but. It looks like he has put Democrats in the same position this year. What this does is make the Democrats even more dependent on the 527's and the kook leftwing bloggers making it even more difficult for them to tack to the center to win an election.

Inside Zawahiri's "message"

Whalid Phares: The new Zawahiri videotape released by al Jazeera today shows a sophistication in the propaganda war waged by the Jihadists worldwide against the US and its allies. Designed to "crumble" the morale of the American public and "boost" the commitments of the Jihadi forces, the tape is another attempt to score points in the War of ideas and media. The results were immediate in the West. The Associated Press immediate leads were stunning: 1) Zawahiri proves he wasn't killed by the US strike, therefore he scored one point against the US. 2) He labeled his enemy, the US President, as "butcher of Washington," hence attempting to rally the widest anti-American axis as possible AP lead . But the tape is not just that, another message from the number two in al Qaida. It is a very well orchestrated political offensive aimed at the nervous centers of the "enemy's public. A shot that may preceed action or asking for it.... ... ... The Jihad

UK's climate change optimist

Times: INTERNATIONAL action to halt climate change must be taken within 20 years or global warming will be irreversible, scientists said yesterday. By 2025 the technology needs to be in place to reduce carbon emissions by 2.6 per cent every year to avoid catastrophic climate change. Leaving it any later will mean that so much carbon dioxide has been released into the atmosphere that it will no longer be feasible to reduce levels sufficiently, the Royal Society was told yesterday. The rate of global warming is already worse than was feared in 2001, with melting ice likely to increase sea levels by up to 40ft unless temperatures are stabilised. In the Antarctic an area of ice big enough to swallow Britain almost three times over could float away and melt. A report published yesterday to provide a comprehensive analysis of climate research gives warning of irreversible damage to the ecosystem unless action is taken on an international level. Tony Blair, writing the foreword to the report,

Radar does not work in finding drug tunnels

AP via Houston Chronicle: A U.S. government effort to find drug-smuggling tunnels underneath the Mexican border with ground-penetrating radar and other high-tech gear has had little success. Human intelligence has proven to be the most effective method of finding the passageways. A case in point: The longest tunnel ever found along the border was discovered last week after a tip. The Homeland Security Department said Monday that a Mexican man, Carlos Cardenas Calvillo, was arrested in connection with the 2,400-foot tunnel, which went as deep as 90 feet and was about 5 feet in height and 5 feet wide. He was to be arraigned in federal court on charges of conspiracy to import more than a ton of marijuana. "The problem is the technology picks up some kind of anomaly or variation of soil," said Lauren Mack, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. "We go in with big backhoes and bulldozers, we spend all day doing it, and all we hit is rock or wat

The degradation of the Zarqawi network

Maj.Gen. Rick Lynch: ... Let me talk about degradation of the Zarqawi network over the course of the last year. For him to be effective, he's got to have leaders and led, he's got to have munitions, he's got to have access, he's got to have freedom of movement, he's got to have places where he can conduct his training, he's got to have safe havens. And all those things, our operations, with the Iraqi security forces, have denied him over the course of 2005. Let's just zoom in on the leadership. Since 2005, 111 of his leaders have either been killed or captured: tier one, leaders who have direct ties to Zarqawi; tier two, leaders who are the leaders in local and regional areas; and tier three, terrorists, Iraqi and foreign fighters, many serving as cell leaders. So we indeed have had significant impact on terrorists and foreign fighters, al Qaeda in Iraq , in terms of their leadership. Now, we're getting help in that from an unexpected source. Over the

Zawahiri whines that he is alive and upset about being target

CNN: Osama bin Laden's right-hand man, Ayman al-Zawahiri, appeared in a new video Monday, saying he is alive and well just weeks after a U.S. missile strike targeted him in Pakistan. He also called President Bush a "loser" and the "butcher of Washington." "I will meet my death when God wishes," al-Zawahiri said in the three-and-a-half minute video, which was broadcast on the Arabic-language television network Al-Jazeera. Al-Zawahiri taunted the U.S. president, saying, "Bush, do you know where I am? I am among the Muslim masses, enjoying their care with God's blessings and sharing with them their holy war against you until we defeat you." ( Transcript ) ... A loser is someone in hiding and on the run and using innocents as his shield.

A clear view of President Bush

Justin Webb, BBC: I was hearing the other day about a woman who went to the White House Christmas drinks party. You are allowed to bring a friend and the two of you get to pose for a 10-second photo-op (they call it a "grip and grin") with the leader of the free world. But this woman had no friends available that evening and queued up to see him alone. When her turn came she explained to the president, "I couldn't get a date." With a charm and wit worthy of Ronald Reagan he pulled her close and asked - mock earnestly - "Nothing I've done I hope?" He knows what you think of him (particularly if you are reading outside the US). But what does he think of you, and what does he have planned to make your life more enjoyable? He says he loves you - at least those of you who don't harbour terrorists. And in some ways he does, though people have a hard time accepting it. ... This is the same corespondent who was savaged last week for giving a fa

Another Katrina T shirt

Boortz has the picture.

Abramoff Dems fail the Dean Test

Gateway Pundit: Many Democratic Senators Continue to Fail the "Dean Test". Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is just one Democratic Senator who fails. "Chairman Dean set a new standard for Abramoff Democrats today and it's clear that Sen. Reid did not make the cut. Dean specifically stated it was 'a big problem' if any Democrats wrote letters on behalf of Abramoff Indian tribes, which is exactly what Harry Reid and other Democrats did. Howard Dean has displayed a stunning level of hypocrisy on this issue, however it now appears that he may be interested in holding his fellow Democrats accountable." Brian Jones RNC Communications Director January 29, 2006 There is much more. Democrats have been more than weird when it comes to using Abramoff's troubles as a political prop. One of the weirdist aspect is an attempt to make what law professors call a distinction without a difference by arguing that since they did not get money directly from Abramoff, th

Saudis may bail out Palestinian Authority

Jerusalem Post: Saudi Arabia could bail the Palestinian Authority out of an impending fiscal crisis following the landslide victory of Hamas if it transfers the $100 million to the Palestinian Authority that it pledged to PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas when he visited there in late December. In addition to bailing out the PA, the money would also give Israel and the world more time to ponder how to deal with the PA following Wednesday's Hamas victory. According to western diplomatic sources, Saudi Arabia pledged the money to Abbas because the European Union refused to transfer payment of some $60 million in November after the PA embarked on campaign economics: raising salaries and putting more people on its payroll. The Saudi money would be enough for the PA to pay January's salaries - about $60 million - and give it some additional breathing room. Israel is scheduled to transfer to the PA some $60 million in taxes and customs revenues it collects for the PA on Friday. Acting Prime

Mysterious release of al Qaeda op

Washington Post: For more than a decade, Osama bin Laden had few soldiers more devoted than Abdallah Tabarak. A former Moroccan transit worker, Tabarak served as a bodyguard for the al Qaeda leader, worked on his farm in Sudan and helped run a gemstone smuggling racket in Afghanistan, court records here show. During the battle of Tora Bora in December 2001, when al Qaeda leaders were pinned down by U.S. forces, Tabarak sacrificed himself to engineer their escape. He headed toward the Pakistani border while making calls on Osama bin Laden's satellite phone as bin Laden and the others fled in the other direction. Tabarak was captured and taken to the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where he was classified as such a high-value prisoner that the Pentagon repeatedly denied requests by the International Committee of the Red Cross to see him. Then, after spending almost three years at the base, he was suddenly released. Today, the al Qaeda loyalist known locally as the "emir&

Buy Danish

Judith Klinghoffer: John Zimmerman is right. The Muslim countries have chosen to pressure liberal little Denmark in order to teach the media and governments, which stand by them, a lesson which does not bode well for free speech or satire. Kuwait has joined the Saudi boycott (the Saudi market alone is worth 1.2 billion) and I suspect the rest will follow. So, here is a plea from my Danish friends: "If you Americans look with this great sympathy on our case, couldn't you then raise a consumer support of DK in the US? The opposite of a boycott. A movement of: "Buy Danish!" Please? You can easily eat and digest all our famous Danish cheese at your millions of breakfast-tables from Seattle to Atlanta. Then the boycott (which is escalating fast down there now) will be harmless. Well, we can and should. In fact the idea immediately occurred to the readers of Charles of LGF who was kind enough to post the news about the Saudi boycott on his popular site. They

The left atacks its own media

Tom Bevan: ... The flip-flop label stuck to John Kerry because he got caught uttering one of the most stupefying phrases in election history ("I voted for the $87 billion before I voted against it") which struck the American people as incontrovertible evidence that he was, in fact, a flip-flopper. The charge that Kerry was somehow treated unfairly by the media because more than a hundred of his fellow veterans came forward to say he was unfit to be Commander in Chief because of his actions both during and after Vietnam also falls flat. The press did just as big of a number on Bush over a few missing records from his days in the Texas Air National Guard. Someone even went so far as to forge documents about the story and the nice folks at CBS were good

Hamas voters

Mark Steyn: ... Oh, no no no, some analysts assured us. The Palestinians didn't vote for Hamas because of the policy plank about obliterating the State of Israel but because Fatah is hopelessly corrupt. Which is true: the European Union bankrolled the Palestinian Authority since its creation and Yasser and his buddies salted most of the dough away in their Swiss bank accounts and used the loose change to fund the Intifada. After 10 years, you can't blame the Palestinians for figuring it's time to give another group of people a chance to siphon off all that EU booty. So I would like to believe this was a vote for getting rid of corruption rather than getting rid of Jews. But that's hard to square with some of the newly elected legislators. For example, Mariam Farahat, a mother of three, was elected in Gaza. She once was a mother of six but three of her sons self-detonated on suicide missions against Israel. She's a household name to Palestinians, known as Um

States looking at banning funeral protest

Washington Post: At least five Midwestern states are considering legislation to ban protests at funerals in response to demonstrations by the Rev. Fred Phelps and members of his Topeka, Kan.-based Westboro Baptist Church, who have been protesting at funerals of Iraq war casualties because they say the deaths are God's punishment for U.S. tolerance toward gays. Though the soldiers were not gay, the protesters say the deaths, as well as Hurricane Katrina, recent mining disasters and other tragedies are God's signs of displeasure. They also protested at the memorial service for the 12 West Virginia miners who died in the Sago Mine. ... These people are even nuttier than the professors who want to ban mulitary recruiters because the don't ask don't tell policy does not go far enough. Using the death of someone in the military as a prop for a political statement is sick and disgusting. I cannot imagine that anyone is persuaded by such activity. In fact it is probably that

Ashes are "marring" the bleakness of Scotish moutains by stulating plant growth

Washington Times: Mourners who scatter the ashes of their loved ones on the mountaintops of Scotland are being warned that they are playing havoc with the environment. The problem, it seems, is that cremated human remains make a dandy fertilizer. Critics say the practice is upsetting the foliage by causing plants to grow too fast and too thick. "The instant you put [human ashes] down on the ground," says one professor, "you are getting luxuriant growth" of vegetation. The Mountaineering Council of Scotland says nature lovers and other admirers of Scotland's picturesque mountains have taken to requesting in their wills that they want their ashes dumped on the summit of their favorite peak when they die. The result, the council says, is that a number of the more popular mountaintops are all too frequently being dusted by cremated remains, and the practice is having an unwanted chemical effect on the ecology of the surrounding area. What happens

Palestinian gun control

NY Times: The Islamic militant group Hamas is poised to come to power and gunmen from the rival Fatah movement are strutting in the streets, yet it is not clear who will have effective control over the most heavily armed Palestinian group: the security forces. Hamas, following its victory over the governing Fatah in the Palestinian legislative elections on Wednesday, says that major changes are needed in the security forces. Many of the forces' commanders and rank-and-file members are from Fatah, and many of them have expressed reluctance, or even outright opposition, to a change in their membership. The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas , has formal authority over the forces, yet they have often seemed beyond his control, even when the government was from his own Fatah Party. ... In Damascus on Saturday, the top Hamas leader, Khaled Meshal, said Hamas would work to build a Palestinian Army, which would presumably feature Hamas members in prominent positions. Security forces hav

The NY Times ignores the case law on NSA intercept question

Powerline: Today the New York Times denounced the NSA's terrorist surveillance program in its usual hyperventilating style, in an editorial titled "Spies, Lies and Wiretaps" . What was most striking to me about the Times' editorial, however, was that the paper doesn't actually want the Bush administration to stop the NSA's international surveillance. On the contrary: the Times' editorialists view the suggestion that the Democrats are opposed to such surveillance as libelous: "President Bush believes if Al Qaeda is calling somebody in America, it is in our national security interest to know who they're calling and why," [Karl Rove] told Republican officials. "Some important Democrats clearly disagree." Mr. Rove knows perfectly well that no Democrat has ever said any such thing.... So monitoring calls between al Qaeda operatives overseas and their American contacts is a good thing. The Times just wants the administration to use FI

Saddam's antics at trial

Gateway Pundit has a full report with links on the staged contempt of court today. For the most part the judge did pretty well. He should have told the lawyers that they would bearrested for contempt of court if they attempted to leave. Instead he said they they would not be allowed to return. They should have been sent to jail for contempt. They also shouldhave been dressed down for failing to control their clients staged antics. All in all, if they were testing the new judge, they found out pretty quickly what his limits are. Until they agree to behave themselves, they should be required to watch the proceedings on a video feed. The Gateway post has a great summary of the bleeding heart liberals worried about the mass murder getting a fair trial. In reality the trial is not for him. He is a dead man walking, but the trial is for the Iraqi people to see that the monster has to face justice. Iraq the Model gives his take on the trial.

Obama criticizes Dem delaying tactics

AP: To more effectively oppose Supreme Court nominees in the future, Democrats need to convince the public "their values are at stake" rather than use stalling tactics to try to thwart the president, said a senator who opposes Samuel Alito's confirmation. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., predicted on Sunday that an effort to try to block a final vote on Alito would fail on Monday. That would clear the way for Senate approval Tuesday of the federal appeals court judge picked to succeed the retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Democrats fear he would shift the court rightward on abortion rights, affirmative action, the death penalty and other issues. "We need to recognize, because Judge Alito will be confirmed, that, if we're going to oppose a nominee that we've got to persuade the American people that, in fact, their values are at stake," Obama said. "There is an over-reliance on the part of Democrats for procedural maneuvers," he told ABC'

The UN scheme to suck $7 trillion out of the world economies

The Independent outlines the scheme that would have the worlds most corrupt organization spending trillions on global warming, health care and poverty bondogles. Of course the Independent thinks this is a terrific idea so their report is a little breathless. The most potent threats to life on earth - global warming, health pandemics, poverty and armed conflict - could be ended by moves that would unlock $7 trillion - $7,000,000,000,000 (£3.9trn) - of previously untapped wealth, the United Nations claims today. The price? An admission that the nation-state is an old-fashioned concept that has no role to play in a modern globalised world where financial markets have to be harnessed rather than simply condemned. In a groundbreaking move, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) has drawn up a visionary proposal that has been endorsed by a range of figures including Gordon Brown, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel

Merkle and Olmert reject dealing with Hamas

AP: Israel and Germany agreed Sunday that there should be no contacts with a Palestinian government headed by Hamas, the leaders of the two countries said after meeting in Jerusalem at the beginning of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit. Merkel's 24-hour trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories makes her the first world leader to visit the region since Hamas won an overwhelming victory in Palestinian parliamentary elections last week. She has refused to meet Hamas officials and has expressed similar concerns to those of other world leaders regarding the Islamic militant group, which has carried out scores of suicide bombings against Israel and does not recognize the Jewish state's right to exist. The Merkel visit to Israel is also the first by a major world leader since Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was incapacitated following a massive stroke on Jan. 4. At a joint news conference after their talk, Merkel and acting Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert too

Anbar al Qaeda roundup doubted

Bill Roggio: ... Omar at Iraq The Model translates and reprints a spectacular claim by Arabic newspaper Dar al-Hayat which purports a massive operation to purge the al-Qaim region by local tribal groups is currently underway . According to Sheikh Usama Jad’aan, the leader of Karabila tribes in Qaim, “the operation will continue to eliminate terror elements according to a quality plan… 270 Arab and foreign intruders have been arrested, in addition to some Iraqis who were providing them shelter… the operation is conducted in coordination between the tribes and the minister of defense Sa’doun al-Dulaimi and since we arrested hundreds of terrorists, I don’t expect the operation to take a lot of time”. While the news would be a positive development, it appears this story has little basis in fact. An inquiry to Lieutenant Colonel Dale Alford, the Battalion Commander of the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, whose unit is parked in the al-Qaim region and would be aware of such a massive operati

The Yon profile

AP: He didn't have to go, it wasn't his job and nobody paid him to do it. But Michael Yon says he went to Iraq because he wanted to see for himself what was going on. The 41-year-old former Army Green Beret, self-published author and world traveler didn't know exactly what he was going to do when he got to the war zone last year, nor did he have any particular plans to report what he saw to the world at-large. But that's what he did. After getting himself embedded as a freelance journalist with troops last year, he used his Internet blog to report on the car bombs, firefights and dead soldiers. But he also wrote descriptively about acts of compassion and heroism, small triumphs in the country's crawl toward democracy and the gritty inner workings of the military machine. Yon's dispatches have been extolled by loyal readers as gutsy and honest reporting by a guy who's not afraid to get his hands dirty. He has been interviewed and his blog quoted by major n

Huffington puffington about Afghanistan punctured

Firepower Forward has an answer to Ariana's misreading of the situation in Afghanistan. Now I normally don't let the simpering drivel of the left wing bother me too much, but a column regarding the stability of Afghanistan by Arianna Huffington showed up in Stars and Stripes the other day and it is so far off the mark that it demands a response. So I hope you will indulge my politicizing this blog for a post. Dear Ms. Huffington, Ms. Huffington, your January 9th column is not only grossly misleading, it is irresponsible. Clearly relying on skewed and second-hand information it draws false conclusions to support your myopic political perspectives. While it’s true that there are severe problems with Afghanistan’s infrastructure to include severe electrical shortages and a sputtering economy, these are problems that pre-dated the toppling of the Taliban and all these problems are exceptionally less severe now than they were then. You indicate that Sen. Hagel is courageo

"Socially responsible" investing a loser for pension funds

Peter Schweizer: B ILL Clinton has made corporate reform one of his top causes since leaving the White House. He calls for more "socially responsible" investing, better protection of workers and greater diversity in corporate management. At the same time, he condemns cronyism, excessive pay for top management and an alleged emphasis on short-term profits at the expense of workers. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton — a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee — has bashed corporations for their failure to live up to their pension obligations. Yet, as the senior adviser to two investment funds managing public pension funds, Bill Clinton has himself promoted an investment fund that promises to put money into "lower-income urban and rural communities" — but instead devotes its cash to Al Gore's upstart cable channel and his wife's financial supporters. ... But a venture that was supposed to help minority businesses and secure the futur

UK women want stricter abortion laws

The Observer , aka The Guardian: A majority of women in Britain want the abortion laws to be tightened to make it harder, or impossible, for them to terminate a pregnancy. Evidence of a widespread public demand for the government to further restrict women's right to have an abortion is revealed in a remarkable Observer opinion poll. The findings have reignited the highly-charged debate on abortion, and increased the pressure on Tony Blair to review the current time limits. The survey by MORI shows that 47 per cent of women believe the legal limit for an abortion should be cut from its present 24 weeks, and another 10 per cent want the practice outlawed altogether. Among the population overall, reducing the upper limit was the preferred option backed by the largest proportion of respondents, 42 per cent, made up of a 36-47 per cent split among men and women. Only one person in three agreed that 'the current time limit is about right', with slightly fewer women (31 per cent)

The war against Addington's war

Newsweak has a long article which attempts to make heros out of lawyers who disagreed with "... David Addington, formerly counsel, now chief of staff to the vice president." ... ... According to those who know him, he does not care about fame, riches or the trappings of power. He takes the Metro to work, rather than use his White House parking pass, and refuses to even have his picture taken by the press. His habitual lunch is a bowl of gazpacho, eaten in the White House Mess. He is hardly anonymous inside the government, however. Presidential appointees quail before his volcanic temper, backed by assiduous preparation and acid sarcasm. ... Addington and a small band of like-minded lawyers set about providing that cover—a legal argument that the power of the president in time of war was virtually untrammeled. One of Addington's first jobs had been to draft a presidential order establishing military commissions to try unlawful combatants—terrorists caught on the global