Friday, August 31, 2007

Celibacy, Spanish style

A man in Salamanca, Spain whacked hacked off his own Unit so that he would "stop sinning".
A man cut off his own penis and threw it in a toilet ‘so he would stop sinning’.

The 30-year-old was recovering in the Hospital Clinico Universitario in Salamanca in western Spain.

Doctors said his condition was ‘stable’ and he was not in danger of losing his life.

[ ... ]

The newspaper said it was not known if the man’s penis could be sewn back.

There was also a suggestion he may be suffering from psychological problems.
Gee...d'ya think?

Sarkozy talking out of both sides of his mouth

While the media (and more than a few blogs) make much out of French President Nicolas Sarkozy's apparent alignment with American interests, he's off equipping and training Libya's armed forces.
France intends to sell military hardware to Libya and train up its special forces as part of a confidential defence accord struck with Tripoli last month, a French newspaper reported Wednesday.

Le Canard Enchaine, an investigative and satirical weekly, published a facsimile of the agreement, which was announced following the release of six foreign medics convicted of infecting Libyan children with the AIDS virus, but whose details were kept under wraps.

The accord was followed days later by the announcement of military contracts with European defence firm EADS, forcing President Nicolas Sarkozy to deny that France traded a promise of arms sales for the medics' release.

[ ... ]

It also mentions the "possibility of carrying out joint military manoeuvres" and the "training of special military units, special forces and border patrol units".

[ ... ]

Following the lifting of a European arms embargo in 2004, the Canard Enchaine reported that Libya was planning to acquire fighter and transport jets, border surveillance equipment, a full range of military vehicles, ships and air defence systems.
Ain't that just dandy.

Belgian court upholds suppression of free speech

A group opposed to the Islamization of Europe has had their 11 September demonstration quashed by the Belgian government. The group, known as Stop the Islamization of Europe (SIOE) had been advised earlier this month that their demonstration would be banned, and an appeals court this week upheld the ban.
An appeals court has upheld the ban of an anti-Islam protest planned for 11 September in Belgium's capital, six years after the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.

The organisers - an alliance of Europeans opposed to the ''Islamisation'' of Europe - failed to prove the ban causes them ''irreparable damage,'' the Council of State, an administrative appeals court, ruled late Wednesday.

Brussels Mayor Freddy Thielemans banned the demonstration on 9 August fearing it would disturb public order and calling the Stop Islamisation of Europe alliance an inflammatory group.

[ ... ]

Since 2001, Thielemans has approved more than 3,500 demonstrations in the Belgian capital and banned six, including the one of SIOE which calls itself 'an alliance of people across Europe with the single aim of preventing Islam becoming a dominant political force in Europe.'
And that's where the pressure has to be applied...not on Islam the religion, but on Islamism, the political-military movement.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Pre-paid calling cards purchased with stolen credit card Saudi Arabia

Here's a disturbing little story from Arab News involving a rash of purchases of pre-paid calling cards for Saudi Telecom company SAWA using stolen credit card numbers.
A comment appeared recently on a consumer-products-review website from a credit card holder in the US state of Virginia who claims that Citibank recently called him about a suspicious transaction earlier this month: Two $80 purchases for Saudi Telecom SAWA prepaid calling cards.

“Citibank was only able to tell me the charge was made via telephone or web and that a card was not swiped,” he wrote.

“Searching on the Internet I found another person who was the victim of fraud with the same charges only a few days before me.”

“Same thing happened to me,” replied another post on the same forum.

“Hi, same thing happened to me,” replied yet another post. “I emailed my concerns via the ‘Contact Us’ page on”

Then another post appeared from a credit card holder in Mexico saying the same thing happened to him for one $80 charge to a card issued at a Mexican bank!

The consumer advocacy website pointed out that these charges don’t seem to be a result of stolen card numbers.

“There’s seems to be no correlation between vendors victims used their cards with, perhaps pointing to a breach at the credit card company level,” said a post on the popular US website.
Now why, if you had a list of valid credit card numbers, would you squander your larceny on pre-paid calling cards?

I checked, and sure enough, I found this thread in their forums. The number of people who've been hit with charges from STC SAWA is alarming, and not just because of the widespread fraud. This sounds like a jihadi operation to acquire a large number of untraceable calling cards, which can typically be used world-wide.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

And we fart more, too

Not only are men oppressive patriarchs and every one of us a potential rapist, but now the Swedish Foreign Ministry concludes that men are worse for the environment than women.
Men are worse for the environment than women, spending more on petrol and eating more meat, both of which create greenhouse gas emissions. These are the conclusions of a new report by the Swedish Foreign Ministry.

"Three out of four cars in Sweden are today driven by men. Around ten percent of all drivers, mainly main, account for 60 percent of car journeys," report author Gerd Johnsson-Latham told Svenska Dagbladet.
It was not made immediately clear what the Swedish Foreign Ministry (compare to our State Department) was doing studying the environment, instead of, say, their equivalent of the EPA.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Power of snobbery

In a moment of weakness tonight, I caught myself watching a portion of Power of Ten, a summer fill-in game show hosted by Drew Carey in which contestants try to guess Americans' opinions on, well, just about everything. Hey, the remote was out of arm's reach, and I was really trying to finish James Lee Burke's latest book, The Tin Roof Blow Down.

One of the contestants tonight was a gentleman from LA, who was doing fairly well until faced with guessing what percentage of Americans would be willing to adopt a baby of a different race. He was quick to say that he, of course, would have no problem doing so, nor would anybody he knows. But, to paraphrase, he said something about living in LA where people don't have such hang-ups. Drew encouraged his bigotry by making some comment about "people in Idaho". I knew right then the guy was going to blow it and guess too far on the low side. I wasn't disappointed. The number came in at around 60%.

Many people, liberals mostly, who live in the big metropolitan areas like LA, New York, Chicago, etc., look down on Middle America as a bunch of bigoted half-wits who can't possibly be as broad-minded as the "progressive elite" of the big cities.

I chuckled with satisfaction as the guy went down in flames.

Saudi life laid bare

In our latest installment of this continuing topic, we have two more cases of sexual abuse of immigrant domestic workers by their employers masters.
A Filipino domestic helper allegedly raped by her employer’s sons was rescued by members of the Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, ABS-CBN Middle East News Bureau reported yesterday.

[ ... ]

Rosa said she was raped by one of her employer’s sons last June 14, 2006. The incident was repeated in November.

[ ... ]

The victim said that on the second incident, the other sons of her employer gang raped her. She said one of her rapists took footage of the crime through his cellular phone.

Meanwhile, the report said the Philippine Consulate in Jeddah is continuing to search for another Filipina named Melissa, who was similarly allegedly raped by her employer’s son and videotaped on a cell phone.
The record of Saudi families' treatment of their immigrant domestic help does not reflect very well on Saudi society.

Confirmed: George Bush greener than Al Gore

For all of Al Gore's preening about how environmentally conscious he is, he's not exactly walking the walk. This mail's been floating around the Internet since around March, and the good people at Snopes say it's true:

HOUSE # 1:
A 20-room mansion (not including 8 bathrooms) heated by natural gas. Add on a pool (and a pool house) and a separate guest house all heated by gas. In ONE MONTH ALONE this mansion consumes more energy than the average American household in an ENTIRE YEAR. The average bill for electricity and natural gas runs over $2,400.00 per month. In natural gas alone (which last time we checked was a fossil fuel), this property consumes more than 20 times the national average for an American home. This house is not in a northern or Midwestern "snow belt," either. It's in the South.

HOUSE # 2:
Designed by an architecture professor at a leading national university, this house incorporates every "green" feature current home construction can provide. The house contains only 4,000 square feet (4 bedrooms) and is nestled on arid high prairie in the American southwest. A central closet in the house holds geothermal heat pumps drawing ground water through pipes sunk 300 feet into the ground. The water (usually 67 degrees F.) heats the house in winter and cools it in summer. The system uses no fossil fuels such as oil or natural gas, and it consumes 25% of the electricity required for a conventional heating/cooling system. Rainwater from the roof is collected and funneled into a 25,000 gallon underground cistern. Wastewater from showers, sinks and toilets goes into underground purifying tanks and then into the cistern. The collected water then irrigates the land surrounding the house. Flowers and shrubs native to the area blend the property into the surrounding rural landscape.

HOUSE # 1 (20 room energy guzzling mansion) is outside of Nashville, Tennessee. It is the abode of that renowned environmentalist (and filmmaker) Al Gore.

HOUSE # 2 (model eco-friendly house) is on a ranch near Crawford, Texas. Also known as "the Texas White House," it is the private residence of the President of the United States, George W. Bush.

So whose house is gentler on the environment? Yet another story you WON'T hear on CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC, MSNBC or read about in the New York Times or the Washington Post. Indeed, for Mr. Gore, it's truly "an inconvenient truth."
Hat tip to my buddy Jason B. for sending me the e-mail.

'How persistent can a failed ideology be?'

Such an excellent question posed by Nima Sanandaji in Sweden's The Local. Mr. Sanandaji, of the Swedish pro-free market think-tank Captus, takes a look at students' perceptions of communism and what they're being taught.
A recent study by polling company Demoskop, commissioned by the 'Upplysning om Kommunismen' (Knowledge about Communism) association, showed that Swedish students have a skewed view of the history of communism. Few are aware of the massive loss of life caused by followers of this ideology, and 90 percent of Swedish students aged 15-20 do not even know what a gulag was.

A recent opinion piece in Biblioteksbladet magazine (a periodical for Swedish librarians) denounced the government's plan to spread knowledge to students about the horrors of communism.

In the article, two school librarians write that informing students about the crimes of communism would be wrong as it would risk making the pupils' views more right-wing.

Former foreign correspondent Kjell Albin Abrahamsson, who has spent many years reporting from the former communist countries in Europe, reacted strongly to the piece.

Writing in tabloid Expressen, Abrahamsson points out how strange it is for two librarians to be so keen to preserve students' support for socialism that they are are not willing to acknowledge the crimes of communism. He notes that a Russian government commission has admitted that the country's former communist rulers killed 32 million people.

Support for communism, both hidden and visible, is still quite prevalent among many groups of intellectuals, such as journalists, librarians and those writing in the culture pages of the daily papers. Indeed, outright supporters of communism can be found not only in the Swedish Left Party but also in the Green Party and in the ranks of the influential Social Democrats.

One symptom of this tendency is the widely believed myth among Swedes that Cuba is a relatively prosperous welfare state, offering a decent quality of life and fantastic healthcare to its citizens. Few bother to question the official statistics from a communist country where thousands of citizens have lost their lives whilst attempting to escape on rafts to the United States. Cuba might have gone from being the richest country in Central American to being the second poorest due to Castro's rule – but this has not stopped Swedish intelligentsia from spreading a positive view of his policies.

Similarly, Swedish journalists seem more interested in pointing out that Venezuela's Hugo Chavez is a morally superior socialist standing up to the vile Americans, than looking at his dubious moves towards a socialist planned economy and authoritarian rule.
Time to go have my blood pressure checked.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Sea piracy ends well for sailors

I posted back in June about the Danish ship Danica White which was hijacked off the coast of Somalia and five of her sailors held for ransom by the pirates.

The story ended well for the five sailors and their families, but not so well for Danish prestige in dealing with piracy.
An 83-day nightmare is over for five Danish sailors whose ship was taken hostage by Somalian pirates after the ship’s owner paid an undisclosed sum for its release.

[ ... ]

The pirates originally demanded DKK 8 million for the ship’s release, but its owners, H. Folmer & Co of Copenhagen, had indicated they were only willing to pay DKK 1.9 million. Neither Folmer & Co nor the Foreign Ministry would comment on the final amount paid.
No matter. Nothing changes the fact that these dirtbags profited from an act of sea piracy and got away with it unchallenged.

Hizb ut-Tahrir in Denmark crosses the line (finally)

Denmark is a pretty tolerant state, but the Islamic supremacy group may have finally worn out their welcome there.

At their annual hate-fest in Copenhagen, HuT members had some, ahem, stern words for the West, and for Jews in particular:
‘The Caliphate can arrive in an hour, two months or two years from now,’ said Fadi Abdullatif, Hizb ut-Tahrir’s president, who owns a previous conviction for publicly urging his members to kill Jews. ‘We are working for a Caliphate from Morocco to Indonesia and from Khazakhstan to Saudi Arabia.’

The union of nations under a common Islamic law could be created by force if necessary, according to another of Hizb ut Tahrir’s leaders, Atta bin Khalil. Khalil also told those in attendance to ‘continue their state of war against the Jewish nation’.

A third speaker at the congress, Emir Shamil, said that ‘heads may roll’ in the recreation of the Caliphate.
No word on whether Denmark would be included in Hizb ut-Tahrir's fantasy Caliphate.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


I meant to post something before leaving, but I'm on vacation for the next week or so. I'll be back in more or less full operation on 27 August.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Thought for the week

I happened to notice this posted outside a church here in Fredericksburg, VA today. Very appropriate, I think, in this age of pervasive victimhood.
"It is as much a Christian duty to avoid taking offense as it is to avoid giving offense."

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Dumb bumper stickers

Every once in a while, I'll see a bumper sticker that makes me chuckle, but it's not often I see one that really pisses me off. Not even the really vapid left-wing or enviro-fascist bumper stickers bug me, so it was with some surprise that I found myself really irritated by a sticker I saw in Kansas City this morning, where I'm visiting on business this week. Unfortunately, I was driving and couldn't get a picture of it, but it read as follows:

Kansas: As bigoted as you think

The car had Kansas plates, and sported another sticker which read "The religious right is neither", leaving me little doubt as to where the driver's sentiments lay.

My first reaction was one of bemused confusion, followed by anger. Why did this guy assume I'd think Kansans are any more bigoted than anyone else? I've visited Kansas a few times, and I've found Kansans to be fine people with no more (or less) tendency towards bigotry than anyone else I've met.

If this guy is so down on his fellow residents, maybe he should consider moving. Might I suggest California or Massachusetts?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Russia's return to Soviet-era policy

Back in the bad old days of the Cold War, a favorite tactic of the government in repressing dissent was to declare the dissident "insane" and have them institutionalized. It seems that with the neo-Soviets in charge of Russia, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Naked and with her hands and feet bound to the corners of a metal bed covered by a rubber incontinence sheet, Larisa Arap eyed with quiet defiance the doctors who wanted to declare her mad.

It was a futile gesture. The men in white coats standing over her were bitter adversaries.

Enraged by the allegations that she had levelled against them, they also knew that, as an open Kremlin critic, the state would do little to help her.

A needle sank into her arm. Over the coming weeks, as the treatment took its effect, Mrs Arap would become everything the doctors declared her to be: her head lolled to one side, her tongue hung out of her mouth and her face went slack.

"When she was brought out she was covered in bruises," said Taisia, her daughter. "She couldn't stand, could hardly speak and was drifting in and out of consciousness."

The practice of "punitive psychiatry", perfected by Nikita Khrushchev in the aftermath of Stalin's Great Terror as a more palatable way of dealing with political dissidents, was once thought to have been buried with the Soviet Union.
Mr. Bush may do well to take another look into the eyes of Mr. Putin.

Martial arts, Islam clash in Sweden

From The Local:
Eleven Iranian woman were prevented from competing at the Konishi Cup karate championships in Kalmar at the beginning of August after they refused to remove their Muslim veils.

Despite travelling to Sweden solely to take part in the event, the women ended up watching the competition from the stands when head referee Javier Escalante declined to give them a special dispensation, Sveriges Radio reports.

Escalante pointed instead to the rulebook, which clearly states that all competitors are forbidden to wear jewelry, necklaces or headgear.
All dressed up and nowhere to go.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Keystone Kops

Europeans like to think of themselves as progressive, having transcended their brutal history and, indeed, of having surpassed us heathen colonials on this side of the Atlantic. Well, maybe they've transcended their history a little too much. In Norway, one in five convicted criminals don't bother to show up to serve their time.
20 percent of convicted criminals do not show up for their prison terms, according to the Norwegian Correctional Services. Prison authorities can do little but hope that the criminals will eventually come knocking on the prison door.

[ ... ]

Criminals sentenced to long prison terms are particularly prone to bunking off. [Gee, d'ya think? --ed.] Almost every fourth person sentenced to six months or more in prison failed to meet in 2006. The situation is only becoming graver, with a total a [sic] 1799 people failing to show up during the whole of last year, compared to as many as 1068 people so far this year.

"It’s difficult to make plans for the prison terms when we have no idea who will show up and who won't," said Ellinor Houm, director of the Norwegian Correctional Services, section for eastern Norway.

[ ... ]

The dilemma facing the prison authorities is that failure to show up at prison is not yet illegal. Although Parliament has passed new legislation making it a criminal offence to skip prison, the law has not yet been implemented and until it is, prison authorities can do nothing but hope that the criminals will eventually show up at the prison gates.

"Some people just don't get that it's better to get the sentence over and done with as soon as possible," said Houm.
Better to get it over and done with? Yeah, right...not when it's perfectly legal to not serve the time at all.

The rotten music industry

Record companies take a lot of heat for ruining the music business, and rightly so. Unfortunately, much of what's wrong with the industry comes from the artists themselves.

Hip-hop artist 50 Cent has announced that he'll quit his solo music career if his new album is outsold by Kanye West's new album. Many may shrug and say "So what?" in response to something like this -- competition is nothing new in the music business. No, it's not anything new, but that doesn't make it good for music.

When we see things like this, it's the most blunt reminder that too many musical "artists" are really business people. They're not creating art, they're manufacturing a product they're convinced will sell.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

We'll pay for our lousy politics with our lives

Long-shot GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee showed that he's up to speed on a broad variety of issues when he spoke up about our national infrastructure, and in particular our air traffic control system. The problem is that when his name is mentioned, most people say "Hucka-who?".

Guys like Huckabee get no press compared to the "first-tier" candidates like Romney, Giuliani, Obama and Clinton. See? I didn't even have to include first names and you knew who I was talking about.

But things like aging infrastructure don't get voters fired up the way national security and universal health care do, so Huckabee will most likely fade into obscurity, unless he's caught in bed with an alien dwarf who's carrying his love-child.

I'll add as a footnote here, since this post is really about our shitty politics, that he's right about the ATC system. One easy short-term fix for this would be to require airlines to fly less frequent runs. The small regional jets that have become so popular with the airlines take up just as much space in the ATC system as a large airliner. So if US Airways, for example, replaced four daily ERJ-145 flights from Washington to Pittsburgh with a single Boeing 757, that's three less flights per day burdening the system.

As a frequent air traveler, I'd regret having fewer choices of flight times. But knowing that the tiny RJ I'm flying on isn't in a nose-to-tail traffic jam with a bunch of other RJs would be worth it.

Russia commits act of war against neighboring Georgia

A shot across the bow

The neo-Soviets in charge of Russia have escalated the tensions with Georgia, this time by firing a dud missile into a potato field near the town of Tsitelubani.
Georgia appealed for urgent international support against Kremlin "aggression" yesterday after Russian fighter jets reportedly attacked a village close to its capital city.

The incident has dramatically worsened already tense relations between the two neighbouring countries.

While Russia moved quickly to deny any responsibility for the strike, its ambassador was handed a formal protest note by Georgia condemning it as an act of "undisguised aggression and a gross violation of the country's sovereignty".

Officials said that two Sukhoi attack aircraft entered Georgian airspace at 7.30 pm on Monday and fired at least one missile at the village of Tsitelubani, 40 miles west of Tbilisi, the capital.

The missile left a 16ft crater in a field but failed to detonate. Sappers later defused the missile, fragments of which bore Cyrillic markings.

"We now have incontrovertible evidence that these aircraft travelled more than 80 km into Georgian airspace and fired a 1,000 kg precision guided, Russian-made missile," said Gela Bezhuashvili, Georgia's foreign minister.
The most likely of the possible explanations offered for this act is the theory that a crisis with Georgia would serve to keep president Vladimir Putin in power:
Some say it may be the work of Kremlin hardliners hoping to provoke a military crisis and provide an excuse for changing the constitution to allow Mr Putin to serve a third term after elections in March.
Georgia is the most vulnerable of the once Soviet-dominated countries who've run afoul of the Kremlin for leaning too far westward.

Update: US media finally notices this's been in the news elsewhere for a couple of days.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Telegraph: Ignorance is bliss

According to the London Telegraph, the management of Britain's Channel 4 is "under fire" for "offering a platform" to radical Islam by airing an interview with an Islamic freakazoid going by the name of "Abu Muhammed".
Using the name "Abu Muhammed", the man was interviewed with his features disguised by a scarf as he claimed British Muslims were "at war" with the government and said the July 7 bombings were "very justified''.

The man is banned from entering Britain, but has held meetings here in the past and maintains contact with other radicals through a website he runs.

Interviewed in an unnamed European location, he told the Dispatches programme that Britain was waging a "war against Islam" and that retaliation was justified.

"A Muslim in the UK should realise that we are in a state of war and that the covenant [of security] has been broken by the British government and its Western allies," he said.

"They want to kill you unless you turn back from your faith."

Asked by interviewer Phil Rees if the July 7 suicide attacks that killed 52 people were justified, he said: "Of course, it was very justified because Allah says if someone is committing aggression against you, you commit aggression towards him. "

He also said: "Even if you need to deceive the British government and get a visa to get into the country to perform your duties as a Muslim.

"If Allah orders us to terrorise the kuffar [non-believer] and I am doing something that will be labelled as terrorising them then I will be happy to have a label on my forehead that says I am a terrorist."
The trouble is, though, nowhere in the article does the Telegraph inform us from whom Channel 4 is under fire. The reader is left to assume, therefore, that Channel 4 is under fire from The Telegraph's editors. Apparently, the Telegraph would prefer that Channel 4 only show Muslims cuddling with puppies and helping little old ladies (relatives, of course!) across the street.

Pigs like Abu Muhammed should be put on the air at every opportunity so that the world can see them for the animals that they are.

Thank you for flying Air Dachau

Some genius has come up with a way to make the Airbus A380 even more abhorrent. How culturally unfortunate that Lufthansa, Germany's national airline, is the first to embrace this idea. where have I seen accommodations like this before?

Oh, I remember!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Vandalism, or rehearsal for attack?

Yeesh...Arab News is just full of great news today.

After a couple of depressing articles on life in the kingdom, there's this tidbit about the destruction of an underwater scuba diving platform. I wouldn't have even noticed it if the phrase "Scuba vandals" hadn't struck me as so odd.
Two submersed diver-training platforms at a popular beach north of Jeddah have been destroyed in an apparent act of vandalism that is believed to have been committed by a team of divers.

Divers using underwater pipe-cutters reduced the 10-year-old scaffolding structures off Palm Beach (formerly Al-Nakheel Beach, north of Jeddah) to little more than piles of scrap metal.

[ ... ]

“There must have been a team of experienced divers with special cutting equipment,” said Bedenham who was consulted on the extent of the damage. “This is a result of a planned and focused exercise.”

The divers interviewed estimate that, based on the number of pipes cut, the operation took a cumulative of 10 man-hours, underwater — the more divers used the less time it would have taken — and the team believes that this would have been a job for about four divers.
So, let me get this straight. Something like four people, trained in scuba diving, using special underwater cutting tools, spent approximately 10 man hours on an act of vandalism?

That's not vandalism...that's a dress rehearsal for an underwater attack operation.

More Saudi life laid bare

From the "No good deed shall go unpunished" department.

Immigrants in the kingdom aren't doing so well. It seems a Nigerian immigrant and recent convert to Islam in Saudi Arabia wanted to boost his Islamic street cred by helping an elderly woman who needed medical care. While he succeeded in finding care for the woman, his efforts required him to occasionally be alone with the woman, who is not related to him. And we all know what that means...
A new convert to Islam, fired with zeal to do a righteous act, had no idea that he would pay a heavy price for helping a sick woman, one that has landed him 50 days and counting behind bars.

The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice found him guilty for committing a crime: Being in the presence of a woman who is not a relative (a so-called “illegal state of seclusion”).

[ ... ]

Ibrahim Mohammed Lawal, a Nigerian student of Islamic studies at Badiya Islamic Center in Riyadh, learned that his neighbor, a 63-year-old woman, was indisposed and needed medical attention. So he took her to various hospitals in Riyadh, including the Riyadh Medical Complex at Shumaisy, all of which refused to treat her. It was only after the intervention of Sheikh Fawaz, director of Badiya Islamic Center, that the Badiya Hospital admitted the case. Despite the charitable act Mohammed ended up in detention, accused of immoral behavior because he was neither married nor related by blood to the elderly woman.
Hey, Ibrahim...while you're reconsidering your conversion to Islam, you may want to reconsider your country of residence.

Saudi life laid bare

Here's another in my irregular series of posts on the joys of life in Saudi Arabia.

A 17 year old is being held in a mental institution after beating to death two household maids and beating two others severely enough to require hospitalization. Police have detained the boy's father.
Two Indonesian maids were beaten to death and two others remain in the intensive care unit at a Riyadh hospital in an assault authorities believe was committed by the son of the maids’ employer. The 17-year-old suspect in the double-homicide and assault is reportedly being held in a mental hospital while police have detained his father.

[ ... ]

According to hospital staff, the police believe the suspect smashed the women against walls and beat them with an igal (the black headband used to hold down the shumag, the Bedouin headdress commonly worn by Saudi men) because he thought they were possessed by the devil and performing witchcraft on him. [Wanna bet there's a sexual dimension to this? --ed.]

[ ... ]

Two of the women were pronounced dead on arrival at Aflaj General Hospital at about 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. The surviving assault victims were identified as Romini Shurti, 30, and Tari Bibitarfin, 27.

[ ... ]

Speaking in broken Arabic, Bibitarfin told Arab News that the youth (one of nine siblings) attacked them one by one while they were working and was saying they “had the devil inside” and that they “did magic”. The large household is located in a suburban area.

Bibitarfin was unable to explain where the other members of the family were when the assault took place. She has been working at this household for about 18 months with no issues with the family members.
Yes...where were those other family members? How did this kid manage to separately beat four women, two of them to death and two of them severely enough to put into intensive care, with a piece of clothing, with nobody else intervening?

Sunday, August 05, 2007

In case you don't believe me...

...let Jackie Mason tell you how the Democrats suck more than anything has ever sucked before.

Hat Tip: Hot Air

Iran fighting us not only in Iraq

Iran's meddling in Iraq has been pretty widely reported (even if the left largely denies it), but their work in Afghanistan seems to be a bit less well-known.
The news that Taliban rebels are being armed with Iranian-supplied weapons poses an added threat to the 5,000 British troops battling insurgents in southern Afghanistan. “I have to tell the truth. It is clear to everyone that Iran is supporting the enemy of Afghanistan, the Taliban,” Colonel Rahmatullah Safi, head of border police for western Afghanistan, told The Sunday Times.

Afghan intelligence sources believe that many deals between the Taliban and the Iranians are conducted through a drug smuggler in southern Afghanistan who acts as a middle man. He is from the minority Baluch tribe; as well as smuggling heroin through Iran to Europe, he is also believed to have bought weapons off the Iranian government and sold them on to the Taliban.

[ ... ]

Along with supplies of Kalashnikov assault rifles and mortars, Afghan military sources fear that the Iranians may also have supplied heat-seeking missiles. International forces rely heavily on helicopters to transport troops as the roads are too dangerous to drive along, but they are especially vulnerable to this kind of weaponry.

[ ... ]

“The Taliban are Sunni extremists and the Iranians definitely don’t want them to take control of Afghanistan again, but right now they support them as there is a bigger enemy, America. The enemy of my enemy is my friend,” said Haji Rafiq Shahir, a law professor at Herat University.

A western official in Kabul said he was aware that the Iranian government had offered weapons to the Taliban: “The Iranian government offered weapons for free but the Taliban refused as they didn’t want to be beholden to them.”
I'm sure they'll stop waging this proxy war on us just as soon as we engage them diplomatically.

Second 'blogiversary'

Mojito: The official drink of The Pool Bar

I almost overlooked the fact that today marks The Pool Bar's second 'blogiversary', until I saw a couple of referrals come in from bRight & Early. If you have a blog, follow this link to add it to their blogiversary database.

I'll have to whip up a celebratory batch of Mojitos for pool side consumption later on.

They were against it before they were for it

After all the Democrats' teeth-gnashing, hand-wringing and bed-wetting last year over the Bush administration's counter-terrorism surveillance programs, the now Democrat-controlled Congress gives the administration more authority to conduct surveillance.

In other words, they were against it when they could make political points enough to sway the November elections, but now they're for it.

Is it safe now to say that the Democrats use national security as a political plaything?

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Why the Democrats suck more than anything has ever sucked before - Revisited

No further comment necessary.

Giving in to the Saudis

Hot Air has been all over this one. The short version: Saudi businessman Khalid bin Mafouz succeeded in bullying British publisher Cambridge University Press into recalling Alms for Jihad by J. Millard Burr and Robert O. Collins, which was shining too much light on how Saudi money is financing the global jihad. The once-respected publisher has requested retailers and libraries to return all copies so they can be pulped.

Sadly, compliance with the request has been swift and complete, and Cambridge has gone to great lengths to kowtow to bin Mafouz. It seems that Mr. bin Mafouz makes a bit of a habit of bringing suit in Britain against authors and publishers, due to Britain's archaic libel laws which place the burden of proof on the accused. Bin Mafouz has done this no less than seven times, as described on his own web site.

Here's the text of Cambridge's apology:
In 2006 Cambridge University Press published Alms for Jihad written by J. Millard Burr and Robert O. Collins which made certain defamatory allegations about Sheikh Khalid Bin Mahfouz and his family in connection with the funding of terrorism.

Whilst the allegations were originally published in good faith, Cambridge University Press now recognises that the information upon which they were based was wrong. Cambridge University Press accepts that there is no truth whatsoever in these serious allegations.

Cambridge University Press accepts that the entire Bin Mahfouz family categorically and unreservedly condemns terrorism in all its manifestations, and that at no time has any member of the family contributed to any terrorist organisation, nor has the family ever had reason to believe that funds it has given over the years to a wide variety of charities, including the Muwafaq Foundation, have been used other than for the charitable purposes intended.

Cambridge University Press has given its sincere apologies to Sheikh Khalid and his family for the distress and embarrassment caused, and has undertaken not to publish those allegations or any similar allegations in the future.

To emphasise their regret, Cambridge University Press has agreed to pay Sheikh Khalid substantial damages and to make a contribution to his legal costs, both of which Sheikh Khalid is donating to the charity UNICEF.
Note how Cambridge has recognized and accepted the accusations. Nowhere in the apology do they state that they've determined the accusations to be true.

And if you're thinking of shopping online for a copy of the book, fuhgedaboudit (click an image if you want a full-sized view):

Amazon's not sure when they'll have it again. How does "never" sound?

Alibris? Nope.

AbeBooks? Try again. gives you a glimmer of hope, but when you click "buy"...

Friday, August 03, 2007

Red Sox watch

Hey, I'm traveling this week so this is all I have time for.

Magic Number: 47

Well, we're into August now, and while the Sox have stumbled ever so slightly, they're still in first place in the AL East, they've still got the best record in baseball, and they're eight games ahead of the Evil Empire.

Me? I'm shopping around for good deals on champagne.