Monday, October 30, 2006

It's...U.N. Man!

Alison at Making Headlines unearthed this great cartoon from the 1970s. How timely. Oh, and read the post that goes with it.

Aussie rape-mongering Imam to step down?

Australian Muslim leader Sheik Taj al-Din al-Hilaly, who caused a bit of a shit-storm with his comments likening rape victims to uncovered meat left out for cats, said from his hospital sickbed that he may step down. The Imam reportedly suffered chest pains and collapsed during a meeting with other Australian Muslim leaders at his Lakemba mosque.

Reading between the lines, I suspect what really happened is that he was persuaded by others in attendance that this was a way for him to exit stage left and still save face. In the backlash of his outrageous comments, al-Hilaly declared he'd never quit until the world was "clean of the White House". Not that that the others in attendance necessarily disagree with al-Hilaly. He was just overplaying their hand.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

ACLU withdraws Patriot Act suit

Buried in the bottom-left corner of page A-10 of today's Washington Post was the news that the ACLU had withdrawn its lawsuit over the Patriot Act due to "improvements in the law".

Naturally, the American Commies and Libertine Union is claiming victory:
"While the reauthorized Patriot Act is far from perfect, we succeeded in stemming the damage from some of the Bush administration's most reckless policies," Ann Beeson, the New York-based associate legal director of the ACLU, said in a written statement.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Watching the watchers

I check my Sitemeter stats off and on to see who's visiting my blog, how they got there, and so on. This is pretty easy for me, since this is a pretty low-traffic blog.

This evening, I noticed a visit from someone in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Sitemeter reports the entry page, which is the page of the blog the visitor first pulled up. If it's the main page, the entry page shows up as But if they follow a link to a specific post, it'll be the main page, plus the name of the post.

As with a previous visit from Amman, Jordan back in June, this entry page URL was a bit odd. This one was file:///F:/Adnan/HT/HT%20Web/hizb-ut-tahrir-spokeshater-convicted.html, which is a locally-stored copy of this post I made back in August. This form of URL is a way in which one can open an HTML file stored locally on their computer, in this case, a copy of my post stored on the reader's F: drive, in a directory path named Adnan\HT\HT%20Web. The HTML source that updates my Site Meter stats would be embedded in that file, so when the visitor opened up the page in his or her browser, Sitemeter registered the hit.

As I said before of the visit in June, it appears that some folks out in the Muslim world are harvesting web pages with articles critical of Islamic fascism and passing the files around. And I'll say the same thing to my visitor from Dhaka as I did to the visitor from Amman:
Don't look outside of Islam to see what "they" are saying about your religion. Look inside Islam and ask why so many are saying it.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Seethe alert

Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten has been acquitted in the courts after facing civil charges of racism. The publication had been dragged into court by Islamist groups in Denmark after publishing the Mohammed cartoons that led to the Great Cartoon Jihad earlier this year.

But Muslim organizations in Denmark aren't giving up:
The decision is the third time the Muslim organisations have had their efforts to have the newspaper charged with racism turned down by the courts. They will appeal today's decision.
[ ... ]
[Islamic Faith Association spokesman Kasem Said] Ahmad added that his group would use 'all the legal options available to it' to try to overturn the decision and win 'society's understanding' for its position.
Prepare for more seething and anger!

Jihadis not giving up on hijacking

Aftenposten reports that in September of last year, three Egyptians were apprehended by Czech authorities after they attempted to gain access to the flight deck on a plane bound from Oslo to Prague.

The attempt was foiled by flight attendants, and the three men claimed "
they were looking for a staff member because they wanted to buy chewing gum". Czech authorities believe this wasn't an actual hijacking attempt, but more a "rehearsal" for gaining access to the flight deck, presumably for some future flight.

Czech authorities escorted the gum-seekers back to Egypt.

Monday, October 23, 2006

I HATE regional jets!

A great airplane...when it's running on time.

I used to love RJs. For flights under two hours or so, they were great. You never had to worry about room for your carry-on bags because you could just drop it planeside and grab it when you got off the plane.

But lately, I've not had a single flight on an RJ that wasn't delayed for some reason or another. Maybe it's because all the airlines are flying so many of them that there are just too many of them in the sky. A little known drawback of RJs is that while they carry about half the passengers of a typical short-haul "normal" jet like an MD-80 or 737, they take up every bit as much space in the air traffic system.

I'm sitting at the airport in Richmond because my 12:35 flight was going to be so late that I would have missed my connection in Atlanta for Orlando. The Delta ticket agent, helpful as always, got me on a 16:05 flight, which just happens to be direct from Richmond to Orlando. Now, I don't know why our ace corporate travel folks couldn't have gotten me on this flight to begin with, but I'm on it now.

Of course, that direct flight is also on an RJ...

French police: "Permanent intifada"

French police are describing the violence in Muslim neighborhoods as a state of "permanent intifada":
National police reported 2,458 cases of violence against officers in the first six months of the year, on pace to top the 4,246 cases recorded for all of 2005 and the 3,842 in 2004. Firefighters and rescue workers have also been targeted — and some now receive police escorts in such areas.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

LA Times report: Europeans wearying of appeasement

According to the Los Angeles Times, Europe is "betraying its ideals by trying to appease fundamentalists".

The article gives much reason to hope that Europeans on both the right and the left are fed up with tip-toeing around their immigrant Muslim population. A few examples of the current sentiment:
"It's a fear of brutality, and you submit to that brutality," said Henryk M. Broder, whose book "Hurray, We Capitulate" is a polemic on what he sees as Europe's submission to Islamists. "It's surrender to an enemy you're deathly afraid of…. Europe is like a little dog on his back begging for mercy from a big dog. The driving factor is angst."
[ ... ]
"We live in Europe, where democracy was based on criticizing religion," said Philippe Val, editor of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. "If we lose the right to criticize or attack religions in our free countries … we are doomed."
[ ... ]
Hans Neuenfels, director of the German Opera's "Idomeneo," had similar sentiments when the show was canceled: "Where will we end if in the future we allow ourselves, in foresighted obedience, to be artistically blackmailed?"
[ ... ]
"Europe has tacitly accepted that from now on the freedom of satire is valid for everything but Islam," Angelo Panebianco wrote last month in an editorial in Italy's Corriere della Sera newspaper. "Now [Islamists] are aiming for a more ambitious objective to strike at the religious heart of the West, forcing us to accept that not even the pope is free to reflect aloud on the specificity of Christianity or that which differs from Islam."
[ ... ]
"We must have courage and not give in to angst," said Klaus Staeck, president of the Berlin Academy of Arts. "The freedom of opinion is a basic right laid down in our constitution for everybody. And this has to be defended."
I've got a trip to Europe coming up in a couple of weeks. I feel a sudden need to patronize the arts while I'm there.

A closer look at CAIR action alerts

The graph clearly shows that nothing gets CAIR's PR machine
rolling like a few bad cartoons

I was looking through the "action alerts" on the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) web site this morning, and noticed that they've posted on their site every alert issued since June, 1996. I thought it might be fun to graph the number of alerts issued for every month from that point through September of this year. What I found was, I thought, revealing.

Their first alert was issued in June of 1996, with no others issued until July, 1997. There are a few alerts issued almost each month for the next few months, then none again until May, 1999. From that point on, they're issued on a regular basis, with only a month here and there passing with no alerts issued.

In the second half of 2004, the CAIR PR machine gets serious. From May, 1999 to July, 2004, CAIR averages just under 2.5 action alerts per month. From August, 2004 to present day, the average jumps to 11.2 per month.

One might think that some of the big terror attacks (WTC/Pentagon, Sep. 2001; Madrid train bombings, Mar. 2004; London transit bombings, Jul. 2005) might elicit a flurry of action alerts. One would be mistaken. The only spike correlating to either of those events is July, 2005, but a review of the alerts issued during that time shows a slew of alerts concerning WMAL radio host Michael Graham's anti-Muslim remarks along with similar alerts regarding other anti-Muslim remarks.

The other major spike occurs in February, 2006 during the height of the Great Cartoon Jihad. That just happens to be the biggest spike.

Friday, October 20, 2006

CIA ghost flights...booga booga!

This is one of the most ridiculous things I've seen. In an attempt to make the US seem like some evil, sinister empire, leftist politicians everywhere make a big fucking deal out of clandestine flights operated by the CIA to transport terror suspects.

Jyllands-Posten reports that Danish opposition political figures' calls for investigation into the flights are falling on deaf ears within the government:
The number of landings in Denmark underscored the need for an investigation, said Morten Østergaard of the opposition's Social Liberal party. [As if being a Socialist wasn't enough? --ed.] He noted that the US has admitted that it has used secret prisons around the world to house terror suspects.

'The government initially refused to broach this subject and called it just a bunch of rumours,' said Østergaard. 'That's why it's noteworthy that the government continues to refuse to investigate the matter. When Americans admit it, why can't the Danish government also do so?' [Because they don't have the New York Times to answer to perhaps? --ed.]

Østergaard called for a commission that would investigate the accusations of secret flights, but PM Anders Fogh Rasmussen stated that the government has no plans to initiate an investigation.
How, exactly, do these idiots expect the US to transport these scumbags? Book a seat on a regular commercial flight? Oh, wait, that's right. We're not supposed to capture and detain them at all. Which I suppose leaves just one battlefield option: take no prisoners and bayonet the wounded.

Dutch forecast: 50/50 chance of heavy seething

Dutch Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk (I love typing that name almost as much as I like saying it) favors a burka ban in the Netherlands.

In a country where film producer Theo Van Gogh was murdered for making a film critical of Islam's treatment of women and an apostate Muslim MP was forced into hiding, you can bet that a ban, if passed, will make for some interesting news items.

Dutch terror suspects not the sharpest tools in the shed

There's a follow-up piece on about the terror suspects now on trial in the Netherlands. It seems two of the suspects traveled to Germany to acquire materials for a suicide bomb belt:
Crown witness Lahbib B. — who also stands accused in the Piranha investigation — said Samir A. asked him in the summer of 2005 — shortly after the arrest of El F. — to travel to Germany with him.

He said A. wanted to see how many checks were carried out along the border. B. said further that Samir A. wanted to obtain the "ingredients of a bomb belt" in Germany.
I drove from Amsterdam to Duesseldorf last year. You cross from Holland into Germany and don't even know it until you notice the difference in the road signs.

German President to German Muslims: "Feel German"

According to, German President Horst Koehler is urging Muslims to feel more like Germans rather than immigrants:
In a message to mark the feast of Eid al-Fitr, which ends the fasting month of Ramadan next Monday, Koehler said, "Muslim life is part of German normalcy." He said change was already under way with young people perceiving themselves less as having foreign origins.
Nice idea, but with the best things in Germany (beer, schnitzel, bratwurst...women) being haram, I think old Horst has got a long row to hoe.


Thursday, October 19, 2006

Gaza smuggling tunnels

I saw this picture this evening, showing an Israeli soldier looking into the opening of a tunnel in Gaza. The tunnels are thought to be used to smuggle weapons into Gaza from Egypt.

But what really caught my eye about the photo was the background. It looks an awful lot like the remnants of the greenhouses the Israelis built prior to their withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. The greenhouses covered large areas, and were used for growing produce. Of course, the Palestinians looted and trashed the one thing they could have used to provide jobs and revenue for them as soon as they took over the area.

The tunnel entrance appears to be inside one of the ruined greenhouses.

Bad week for Hugo

Earlier this week, Venezuelan Thug-in-Chief Hugo Chavez failed in his efforts to get a seat on the UN Security Council. Yesterday, reported that Spain will drop its sale of aircraft to Venezuela. It seems the cost of producing the aircraft with substitutes for the vetoed American components would simply be too high.

Back in June, I wrote about the proposed sale of military aircraft to Chavez.

French police arrest Muslim man over death threats against teacher

French police have arrested a Muslim who sent death threats to philosphy teacher Robert Redeker. Mr. Redeker is under 'round the clock protection after an article he wrote was published on 19 September in Le Figaro. In the article, Mr. Redeker was critical of Islam:
In it he described the Koran as a "book of extraordinary violence" and Islam as "a religion which ... exalts violence and hate"

[ ... ]

Likening Islam to communism, Redeker said that "violence and intimidation are the methods used by an expansionist ideology ... to impose its leaden cloak on the world".
According to's article on the arrest:
Though a practising Muslim, the suspect apparently has no links to Islamic extremism, according to police who said he acted alone out of "hatred" for the author.
And that's the most disturbing part. If organized groups like al-Qaeda and others represent a "tiny minority" of Muslims, just how many of the "vast majority" are like this guy?

'Piranha' network plotted Dutch assassinations

Dutch authorities have arrested members of a group known there as the 'Piranha' network for plotting to assassinate Dutch political figures. The group also had plans to blow up Dutch Security Service headquarters.

Naturally, no "M" or "I" word is used in the article, but it's not hard to read between the lines.

Gay terrorists welcome, Part Deux

Sorry...I couldn't resist

Back in May, I posted this entry about Norway's decision to permit entry to any Iranian claiming to be gay. is reporting that the Dutch are about to do the same.

The Netherlands' Immigration Minister, Rita Verdonk (yes, the same Rita Verdonk who tried to boot Ayan Hirsi Ali from the country), ruled that Iranian asylum seekers claiming to be gay will be issued a residence permit, reversing an earlier decision.

The decision comes with one string attached, though:
Iranian asylum seekers who can prove they are gay or lesbian will be issued with a residence permit. Abuse of regulations will result in the loss of the right to stay.
I won't speculate on just how the Dutch government expects an asylum-seeker to prove he or she is gay or lesbian.

As with Norway, The Netherlands is a signatory to the Schengen agreement, which allows unrestricted travel between Schengen member countries.

Now, if I were Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, I'd see this as the perfect way to flood Europe with jihadis. Take a bunch of suicide bombers, run them through the Queer Eye for the Straight Guy boot camp, and send them off to Norway and Holland.

In the same announcement, Verdonk reveals her opinion of Christians:
Iranian Christians will not be deported until at least May next year, by which time Verdonk hopes to have more information regarding the threat posed to Christians in the strict Islamic nation.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Why is this woman smiling?

Can it really be this easy? According to The Daily Mail (UK), Pakistani immigrant Zainab Bibi has applied for asylum in Britain, and has been granted a two-year visa pending a decision. The grounds for her seeking asylum are a bit, well, unusual:
"Miss Bibi lodged her application for asylum claiming she was repeatedly attacked in her home town near Faisalabad, Pakistan. She said youths in her home town of Toba Tek Singh threw stones and rocks at her and often pulled at her clothing.

"Miss Bibi says one man hit her with a stick breaking her wrist and now she is too afraid to return to her home country for fear of further attacks."
I'll admit that it sounds like things were pretty bad for her at home. So, why was she subjected to such abuse? It seems Ms. Bibi is tall. Very tall. Seven feet, two inches to be exact.

Why Britain? Well, it seems Ms. Bibi is also diabetic and requires continued medical care:
"Miss Bibi said a major appeal of living in Britain is that she can receive free NHS treatment instead of paying for costing private care in Pakistan.

"After flying in from Pakistan, she clamed asylum in June and was given a council flat in Stockport, Greater Manchester, where she pays no rent or council tax and receives £40 a week in benefits."
Given the apparent low standards for considering an applicant for asylum in Britain, I can just see the next request they get:

Dear Sir or Madam,

I'm under constant threat of death in my adopted country. I'm pursued mercilessly by countless men who hate me and taunt me. Oh, and I also have a condition requiring regular kidney dialysis.

Mind if I come to Britain and stay a while?

Osama Bin Laden

Monday, October 16, 2006

Boycott Indonesia

The Jawa Report is leading the charge in getting a boycott of Indonesian products rolling. I think this is a great idea, and will do my little part.

The persecution of Christians by Indonesia's Muslim majority has been going on for quite some time. Remember those Christian schoolgirls attacked and beheaded last year in Indonesia? Unfortunately, Muslim-on-Christian violence is hardly ever prosecuted, if at all. The government of Indonesia is turning a blind eye.

Hat tip: LGF

Chavez fails in bid for UN Security Council seat

It appears that Venezuela's raving lunatic commie "president" Hugo Chavez didn't win enough hearts during his recent rant at the UN. His bid for a non-permanent seat has apparently failed in the first round of voting, with Guatemala leading Venezuela 109 votes to 76. Of the 10 non-permanent seats on the UNSC, five are up for grabs.

Unfortunately, among the four seats that have been decided, Indonesia will occupy one.

19 million Indonesians favor violent Jihad

Back in May, I posted this item in an attempt to put some perspective on that "tiny minority" crap we constantly hear about militant Islam. In typical Pool Bar fashion, it was just my personal opinion and guesswork. Today, Michelle Malkin has this post on much the same topic, only backed by actual studies and statistics.

A poll conducted in "moderate" Indonesia which revealed that 1 in 10 Muslims there favored violent Jihad. This backs my guess that the "tiny minority" of Muslims who are potential head choppers is around the 10 percent mark. And that's in a presumed "moderate" nation.

These facts, of course, will be ignored by columnists like Charles Townshend and Matthew Carr at The First Post who claim that the US and British reaction to Islamic terrorism is overblown paranoia (Townshend) and that the media whips up anti-Muslim sentiment by focusing on acts of Islamic terrorism while ignoring the isolated non-Muslim terror acts (Carr).

Sunday, October 15, 2006

David Davis: British Muslims creating 'voluntary apartheid'

It seems some politicians in Britain are reaching into the cluebag and coming up with something other than air. Britain's shadow home secretary (see here for a description of Britain's Shadow Cabinet), David Davis, had this to say:
"What Jack [Referring to Jack Straw's controversial call for Muslim women to ditch the veil --ed.] touched on was the fundamental issue of whether, in Britain, we are developing a divided society. Whether we are creating a series of closed societies within our open society. Whether we are inadvertently encouraging a kind of voluntary apartheid.

"At the starkest level, we may be creating conditions in the recesses of our society that foster home-grown terrorism." [Gee...d'ya think? --ed.]

Evening, infidels!

Friday's Daily Mail (UK) had a great opinion piece by Richard Littlejohn. In it, he discusses the BBC's plans to launch two new channels; one an Arabic news channel to compete with al Jazeera and the other in Farsi to be beamed into Iran. Mr. Littlejohn wryly asks:
Wouldn't it be cheaper just to put out the BBC's domestic service on satellite? No one would notice the difference.
Indeed. The BBC is so pro-Arab, pro-Muslim and anti-Western as to be indistinguishable from al Quaeda's PR firm. Here's an amusing snip from his column on Littlejohn's mental image of al-BBC:
(Roll titles)

Good evening, infidel dogs. I spit on you. The mujahideen are coming to murder you in your beds and the blood of your kafur children and your drunken whores will run through the streets of your decadent, godless cities. That's our top story tonight - and, of course, every other night.

Some breaking news this evening - a plane has crashed into a skyscraper in New York. Unfortunately, only two people were killed.

We also celebrate the fourth anniversary of the glorious Bali martyrdom operation, a shining day in history for all true believers.

In an exclusive interview from Lebanon, the president of Iran tells our diplomatic editor, Sheikh Omar Bakri, of his plans to wipe the pariah, pigs-and-monkeys state of Izza-ray-el off the map in a nuclear holocaust, just as soon as he receives the plutonium from North Korea.

Our crime correspondent, Abu Izzadeen, reports on the progress in the fatwa against the Danish cartoonists who insulted Islam.

Later in the programme, in our consumer affairs slot, I'll be presenting a special report from West London on how you can become a property tycoon while living on benefits - and, indeed, while in prison.

Our legal aid correspondent, Anjem Choudary, will be bringing you an update on the imposition of Sharia law in East Ham.

There'll be the latest news on the campaign to have London Underground stations renamed after the four members of the July 7 martyrdom brigade.

We've got exclusive footage from our brothers in Iraq showing a Western aid worker slut having her head sawn off. If you can't wait for that, it is available right now on our website, where you'll also find easyto-follow instructions on making Ricin in your own kitchen.

Sir Ian Blair apologises to all Muslims for something which hasn't actually happened yet.

In sport, we ask if England goalkeeper Paul Robinson should have his right leg amputated to punish him for letting in that soft own goal in Croatia.

And coming up after the break, a shocking report from the Great Satan on how, in their latest outrage against Islam, the rapacious, infidel running dogs of the illegitimate and immoral Bush regime have, er, banned online gambling.

Medical moonbats

Some years back, I read a news item about the American Medical Association's efforts to have gun violence categorized as a medical issue. I don't recall if they succeeded or not, but I do remember that the strategy behind the effort was to get guns regulated in much the same manner as controlled drugs -- only available to professionals. To this day, Googling the AMA and gun violence results in an avalanche of hits, many containing phrases such as "epidemiology of gun violence" and "public health crisis".

More recently, the British medical journal Lancet published a Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health report on civilian deaths by violence in Iraq since the 2003 invasion. An editorial in Investor's Business Daily commented on it, and exposed the flawed "science" used in the study, as well as an earlier 2004 study:
This study is an update of an earlier Johns Hopkins study, one released just before the 2004 presidential elections. The lead researcher on that study, Les Roberts, admitted that the timing was deliberate.

The earlier study, published in the Lancet in October 2004, was a calculated attempt to influence the election, with the claim that nearly 100,000 deaths had resulted from the U.S. liberation of Iraq.

[ ... ]

As pointed out by Michael Fumento, former IBD reporter and now senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, the first Lancet "study" did not involve counting actual bodies or death certificates, but rather sending teams to interview 998 families in 33 allegedly randomly selected communities in Iraq and extrapolating the "results" to Iraq as a whole.

These families were asked how many people had died in each household and of what. It just took their word for it, without factoring in religious or political affiliation or whether respondents might be former regime supporters or members of a terrorist cell.

That sample was so small that the researchers estimated the number of deaths throughout Iraq at anywhere from 8,000 to 194,000. So Roberts and friends used the scientific method, split the difference and came up with the 100,000 number, which they called "conservative." A better word would be "worthless."

They used a methodology known as "cluster sampling," which can be valid if using real data and not anecdotal reporting. Most of the original Lancet clusters reported no deaths at all, with the journal admitting, "two-thirds of all violent deaths were reported in one cluster in the city of Fallujah." Fallujah? Hello?

Fallujah at the time just happened to be a major concentration of pro-Saddam and anti-American sentiment, the home base for the homicide bombers and terrorist "resistance" before the U.S. Army and Marines cleared out that nest of thugs.

[ ... ]

For Burnham's study, researchers from late May to early July gathered data from 1,849 Iraqi households with a total of 12,801 residents. That sample, which likely includes jihadists, terrorists and others who want the U.S. out of Iraq, was used to extrapolate the total.

This methodology is like determining how many Americans wear dentures by surveying only nursing homes. Yet the new mythical number will be endlessly quoted by those who silently ignore the atrocities of Hussein or the millions of purple fingers that signified democracy's struggle to take root in Iraq.
How is this kind of work even remotely related to the practice of medicine? Like the AMA's efforts to influence the gun control debate, it's not. Gun violence is a criminal problem with underlying social causes. Civilian war deaths, actual or exaggerated, are a political issue, tragic though they may be. The sloppy methods used in the study and the timing of its release are pure politics.

One wonders how many advances in medicine might be achieved if the medical establishment's financial and intellectual resources were focused purely on medical research and improvements in medical technique.

Garmin's Nuvi 350 rocks!

I travel on business a lot, one symptom of which is light to non-existent posting during the weeks that I'm on the road, such as last week. Oftentimes I'm in an area I've never been before, which makes getting around difficult.

A few years back, I got a Garmin iQue 3600, which is a Palm OS-based GPS unit and provides turn-by-turn driving instructions. It worked great and served me well. The only ass-ache with the iQue was that it came with no detailed maps pre-loaded, a requirement for the turn-by-turn directions. In order to use detailed maps, one has to load "tiles" of maps for an area to an SD card. I got burned by this once this past summer when I had to visit customers in New England. I thought I had all of southern New England loaded on my SD and was a bit dismayed when I had to find a route from Hartford, Connecticut to East Providence, Rhode Island only to find that my detailed maps ended at the CT/RI state line.

When my iQue started acting up recently (short battery life, failing to acquire satellites), I decided it was time for a new unit. I knew Garmin had just introduced the Nuvi line of GPS units, and when I saw that I could get one with my Marriott Reward points, I ordered one. At a retail price of around $800, they're not cheap, but for 160,000 Marriott points, I considered it a "freebie". I couldn't be happier with my decision.

Another must-have gadget for me when I'm on the road is my MP3 player. I hate going somewhere and trying to find a decent radio station, so I always bring along my Creative Labs Zen Touch and an FM radio dongle to listen through the car radio. The combination of the iQue, MP3 player and various power adapters and external antenna for the GPS made for quite a mess in the rental car. So another attractive feature of the Nuvi 350 is its integrated MP3 player. While I can't put nearly my entire library of music on it, I was able to load around 120 of my favorite tracks, with a bit of room to spare. That's without resorting to loading up an SD card with music, which I can still do if I so choose.

Since my new toy arrived at home while I was in Houston and Dallas last week, I had to wait until yesterday to try it out. We had to take my son out to buy a new guitar strap, so I set a route to the music shop, and fired up the Nuvi. Of course, I wanted to try out the built-in MP3 player as well, so I ran a cable from the headphone jack of the Nuvi to the auxilliary input of my truck's stereo.

A quick word about the voice prompts available on the Nuvi. Most GPS units have natural-sounding voices preloaded in the unit. The limitation with that is you'll get a prompt telling you to "turn right in X feet/meters", but you must look at the display to see the name of the street you're supposed to turn to. The Nuvi supplies natural voices, but also offers "text to speech" voices which will also tell you the name of the street you're supposed to turn on. The only bad thing about the TTS voices is that they're synthesized, and they sound that way. I can't wait to try it out in places like California with a lot of Spanish street names.

When traveling with the iQue and MP3 player, I'd occasionally (OK, always) have the music up so loud that I'd frequently miss a voice prompt. This isn't a problem when using the Nuvi's MP3 player. I can have the Nuvi in nav mode while playing music through it. When it's time for the Nuvi to give a voice prompt, it pauses playback, gives the prompt, then resumes playing. Very cool feature. The only problem here is that the voice prompts seem to play at a considerably lower volume than the music. This can be a problem when the playback pauses and your ears are still ringing when the prompt is issued. A separate volume setting for MP3 and voice prompts would be a cool feature to add.

The interface with the computer is exceptionally easy. Just plug it into your computer's USB port, and the unit appears as an external USB drive. Drag and drop your MP3 files to the unit, and use your computer to make a complete backup of the unit in case you manage to trash a critical file.

Standard with the Nuvi 350:
  • Full-coverage detailed maps of Canada and the US pre-loaded
  • Massive points of interest (POI) database
  • Car kit, including suction cup window or dash mount
  • Car charger
  • AC charger
  • USB cable
The Nuvi also offers some nice traveler's tools:
  • Currency converter (built-in)
  • Measurement converter (built-in)
  • World clock (built-in)
  • Calculator (built-in)
  • Audio book listening (available on SD card)
  • Language translation (additional cost)
  • Travel guide (additional cost)
  • RDS traffic updates (optional antenna, subscription fee)
The Nuvi's integrated antenna sensitivity is pretty impressive, too. While it includes a jack for an external antenna, I've found that it's not really necessary. This is the first GPS unit I've had that picks up the satellite signals indoors.

Finally, there's the size. The Nuvi 350 is about the size of a deck of playing cards, so it's easy enough to pull from the provided car mount and take with you to prevent theft.

As mentioned above, the retail price for the Nuvi 350 is around $800, but shop around and you can get one for around $600. Or, spend around 100 nights a year with Marriott like I do and get one for "free".

Monday, October 09, 2006

North Korea as a nuclear power

If this doesn't scare you, you're probably Kim Jong Il. I'll not get into condemnations of administrations past and present for allowing this to happen, but the situation needs to be fixed. Quickly. Kim Jong Il is not a sane man. Think Col. Kurtz from Apocolypse Now, but with nukes and a million man army under his control.

Some analysts are busy downplaying the extent of North Korea's capabilities, but that's little comfort. Assuming the best case scenario, that the yield from the nuclear test was "only" 4 kilotons as some have said, and that North Korea's missile capabilites don't (yet) threaten the continental United States, the nuclear Rubicon has still been crossed. There's now little if anything to stop the "dear leader" from sharing his new toys with the rest of the world through various third parties.

Denmark water poisoning an apparent non-story

OK, I give up. With the exception of a few news outlets and blogs that have run the story, there's little coverage of the water supply poisoning in Greve, Denmark. And only The New Anatolian has reported anything about Koege, so I'm beginning to think that's a bungled story incorrectly naming the location of the incident.

One would think that the intentional poisoning of a water supply in a country facing, once again, the wrath of militant Muslims over perceived insults to Islam would be a major story. But maybe that's just me.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Denmark water poisoning update

Unless The New Anatolian got their story completely wrong, there appear to be two separate incidents of water supply poisonings in Denmark.

The first, and more widely-reported incident is reported to be in Greve, seen here on the map near the top. Koege is well south of Greve.

Hopefully, there'll be more reporting on this to clarify just what's going on over there.

More on Denmark's poisoned water

There's very scant coverage of the water poisoning in Denmark, but I did find this piece at The New Anatolian. The trouble is, it appears to be a different incident. Here's the article in its entirety, since it's fairly brief:
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) - Police said Friday they were investigating how someone was able to open a manhole cover and drop in a container filled with rat poison that caused a temporary shutdown of water service. The small container containing the strychnine was found Tuesday by a waterworks technician doing a routine check on the manholes that make up part of the water works for the town of Koege. Medical authorities said the amount of strychnine was too small to cause any harm. The waterworks protectively suspended its distribution of water to the southern Copenhagen suburb's 35,00 residents, and replaced it with water from Copenhagen. Police said the manhole cover, which had been sealed with a padlock, was opened and the container dropped in the shaft. "We consider it a serious case. We don't know who did it or why," police spokesman Ove Pedersen told Denmark's TV2.
Can there possibly be two separate incidents of water supply poisoning? The town discussed here is Koege, while the one discussed in my earlier post is Greve. Also, the circumstances of the discovery are different, as well as the description of the "manhole".

Any visitors from Denmark familiar with the incident(s) are welcome to fill in the details!

Dan Rather still depressed

A buddy sent me this, and I just had to post it.

Denmark water supply poisoned with strychnine

Denmark's Jyllands-Posten reports that a water supply serving 35,000 customers in the municipality of Greve was deliberately contaminated with strychnine.

This is one of the nightmare scenarios people worried about after 9/11, and while it's too soon to know whodunit, this clearly is an act of terrorism. It's just a question of which brand.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Did Oslo murderer have accomplices?

Oslo police are looking at whether the man accused of murdering his three sisters had help:
Investigators are now trying to determine if it was possible for one person to kill all three sisters without any of them managing to escape from the large house - the sisters were found at different spots in the house.
I'd be taking a close look at the guy's two appears they were at home at the time of the murders. And as we all know, honor killings are a family affair.

Does British Muslim cop have extremist ties?

A couple days ago, Charles Johnson at LGF reported on a London news item about a Muslim cop who asked to be reassigned from his duties guarding the Israeli embassy. He said he objected to the duty on 'moral grounds'.

The Telegraph has a follow-up report which states that the officer in question was married by radical Islamic cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed, founder of the now-banned extremist group al Muhajiroun. Bakri, in fact, is now living in Lebanon after being barred from Britain.

It's almost certainly for the best that this guy isn't guarding the Israeli embassy (fox guarding the henhouse, anyone?), but that he's on the police force at all is pretty troubling.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Oslo triple-murderer mentally ill? Don't believe it.

Aftenposten reports that the brother of the Pakistani man who murdered his three sisters sought psychological help for him. This may be the case, but I'm not buying the story that his mental instability is what led him to shoot his three sisters. If that was the case, why did he stop with the sisters? The news item answers that question:
The two elder sisters had been victims of earlier violence in the household, related to the arranged marriage of the oldest sister. Her husband had been brought from Pakistan to Norway, and cultural differences reportedly arose quickly between the two.

The new husband was also known for a violent temper and was convicted a few years ago of having stabbed both of the older sisters during a marital quarrel. The couple later divorced, which also led to conflict in her family, because some family members believed she had become "too Norwegian."

The oldest sister, meanwhile, had recently bought her own flat and planned to move out of the family home. TV2 also reported that she had a new boyfriend who wasn’t popular with some members of her family. [which I read to say "he wasn't a Muslim" --ed.]
This seems to be a pattern. If a Muslim does something like this, or succumbs to Sudden Jihadi Syndrome, the family immediately comes forward and says he was mentally ill. See my earlier posts on Mujtaba Rabbani Jabbar.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Honor killing in Norway?

As usual with Aftenposten, at least the English language version, details are sketchy. But it appears that a 30 year old man shot to death his three sisters:
The three sisters, aged 13, 24 and 27, lived in the flat in Oslo's Kalbakken district with their three brothers, their wives and children. The 30-year-old brother was the oldest, and police said he functioned as head of the household when the retired patriarch of the family was on one of his trips to Pakistan, as he was this week.
It may be to early to speculate, but I will anyway. I'm thinking this is yet another "honor killing". One or more of the sisters rebelled in some way against the "head of the household", and the others backed her up. Bang, bang, bang. Honor restored.

As usual, the neighbors are shocked:
Neighbours also described the shootings as baffling, describing the family as "very nice" and "completely normal," noting that they often invited neighbours in for Pakistani food.

British PC watch

The Brits have a word for young punks who cause trouble and intimidate the law-abiding public. That word is 'yob'. The word has been used by the news media, police and government officials, including Tony Blair, when describing the perpetrators of every day street crime and vandalism.

According to the Daily Mail, though, the Metrolitan Police and Scotland Yard will no longer be using the term. It seems the word is a bit too offensive to yobs:
Objecting to the phrase, Cindy Butts, the police authority's deputy chairman, told Sir Ian that the term was 'alienating'.

She added: "I have a problem with the language of 'yobs'. It sort of sets up and defines too much a 'self' and 'other'."
"Too much a 'self' and 'other'"? Is she supposed to be a psychologist or a cop? What utter nonsense. Unfortunately, the chief of the Metropolitan Police seems to agree with Ms. Butts:
The extraordinary edict - described by critics as 'pathetic' - has the backing of Met Commissioner Sir Ian Blair, often referred to as Britain's most politically-correct policeman.
It's exactly this type of politically correct groveling that limits the British police in efforts to round up terrorists in their midst.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Sunday night senseless post

Gratuitous sax

Cycle of violins

Saudi life laid bare, Part II

I don't know if Arab News is stealthily trying to let the world know just how truly screwed up Saudi Arabia is, or if stuff like this is just routine, dog bites man-type news there.

It seems there's a bit of a water crisis in Saudi Arabia right now, and the impact on the every day Ahmed is getting worse. Now, the news that there's a water shortage isn't odd in itself. This is a desert kingdon we're talking about, after all.

From what I can glean from the article, people purchase water coupons at a window, then hand the coupons to a tanker driver, who's supposed to then deliver the water to the purchaser's home. Instead, tanker drivers have been taking the coupons, then dashing off to sell the water on the black market and never delivering the water to the buyer. This has necessitated the customer to accompany the driver in the truck to the customer's home to ensure delivery.

But neither the water shortage nor the crooked delivery drivers are the big problem, according to this news item:
Women — young and old, shrouded in black, most with their faces totally covered — climbed up to seat themselves into the cabs of water tanker trucks alongside the drivers.

“It is either that or the driver will run off with your water,” said a security officer to a twenty-something Saudi woman, who called herself Muna, when she drew back from joining a water tanker driver in the passenger seat. She said her brothers were angry enough because they had already bent the rules in allowing her to come to the Water Distribution Center in a taxicab. With her father dead, Muna’s brothers, some studying and others employed, had full legal guardianship over her, but none had the time to either fetch water or even give her a ride to Aziziya.

Citizens waiting at the center remarked that this practice was improper. “How can they ask them (the women) to ride in the cab without a mehram (legal guardian). This is a clear violation.”

“Ride in the water truck beside the driver alone and all the way home? Ya rabi — oh my God — what do I do?! I thought things here would be different today,” she cried raising her black-gloved hand to her black-covered head.
Too bad you can't drink crude oil.

Tariq Ramadan: Little pig, little pig, let me in!

Islamic supremacist Tariq Ramadan has an op-ed piece in the Washington Post today, a really whiny, woe-is-me monologue over the US government's decision not to allow him entry into the United States so he can invite us all to Islam.

If all you knew about Tariq Ramadan was from this source you might think, "well, why not let him in?". Needless to say, Ramadan leaves out a few important details about himself. Besides being the grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna, a quick search of Little Green Footballs provides a treasure trove of, well let's just say less attractive tidbits on this "moderate Muslim".

In one LGF item, Charles Johnson cites a UPI news item which, by itself, makes one wonder why we'd even let him submit a visa request:
For France’s influential Jewish intellectuals — Bernard-Henri Levy, Andre Glucksmann, Bernard Kouchner — Ramadan is a dangerously skillful anti-Semite.

[ ... ]

In a televised debate with France’s then Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy late last year, Mr. Ramadan declined to condemn “lapidation” — the stoning of adulterous wives as mandated by a strict interpretation of the Koran. Instead, Mr. Ramadan said he favored a “moratorium” in the practice.

[ ... ]

The 21st century, he says, will see a second role reversal between Islam and the West: “The West will begin its new decline, and the Arab-Islamic world its renewal” and ascent to seven centuries of world domination after seven centuries of decline.

The fully European Islam, he predicts, presupposes a violent upheaval against the Western values Mr. Ramadan rejects. But he quickly cushions the supposition with hosannas to democracy and free expression. He is a past master of dissimulation and disinformation.
A Daniel Pipes column linked in another LGF item is even more damning:
  • He has praised the brutal Islamist policies of the Sudanese politician Hassan Al-Turabi. Mr. Turabi in turn called Mr. Ramadan the "future of Islam."
  • Mr. Ramadan was banned from entering France in 1996 on suspicion of having links with an Algerian Islamist who had recently initiated a terrorist campaign in Paris.
  • Ahmed Brahim, an Algerian indicted for Al-Qaeda activities, had "routine contacts" with Mr. Ramadan, according to a Spanish judge (Baltasar Garzón) in 1999.
  • Djamel Beghal, leader of a group accused of planning to attack the American embassy in Paris, stated in his 2001 trial that he had studied with Mr. Ramadan.
  • Along with nearly all Islamists, Mr. Ramadan has denied that there is "any certain proof" that Bin Laden was behind 9/11.
  • He publicly refers to the Islamist atrocities of 9/11, Bali, and Madrid as "interventions," minimizing them to the point of near-endorsement.
Tariq Ramadan is an advocate for a world-wide Islamic caliphate in which non-Muslims would be less than second-class citizens. He's a master of taqiyya (religious deception), whose own style of jihad is cloaked in words crafted to appeal to western liberals.

No, Tariq. Not by the hair on my chinny-chin-chin.