daily archive: 07/26/2005
Kyoto Fiasco In Shambles
After New Zealand
, now it's Canada
Ottawa — A team of officials responsible for a key part of the Kyoto implementation plan has been decimated by resignations, raising questions about whether insiders believe the plan can work. The now-depleted team is responsible for securing emissions reductions from 700 companies in mining and manufacturing, oil and gas, and thermal electricity, which account for almost half of Canada's greenhouse emissions.Filed under: it's-not-gonna-work
“The key people that we dealt with are almost all gone," said John Bennett of the Sierra Club. “They had the expertise and the calculations and had negotiated with industry for a couple of years. They have to all be replaced."
He said Environment Canada doesn't have staff in place to fulfill Kyoto implementation, “and it's not just about emissions-trading, it's right across the board."
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Don't Mess With Iraqi Babes!
Iraqi women patrolling Baghdad. Click on the picture!
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Gonzales on drugs
The Telegraph Online
PORTLAND, Maine – Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Monday that “the scourge of methamphetamine" has spread across the nation but law enforcement is making progress in battling the drug.
“In terms of damage to children and to our society, meth is now the most dangerous drug in America, having surpassed marijuana," Gonzales told the summer conference of the National District Attorneys Association.
Did he actually say that marijuana is the second most dangerous drug in America?
A decade ago, he said, meth was a deadly drug that plagued the western states, but has since spread across the entire country. Initially associated with blue-collar users in rural areas, meth has invaded the big cities and its abusers include members of all racial and economic groups, he said.
Recent national figures indicated that 600,000 Americans used meth within a 30-day period, he said, and a survey of the nation’s counties founded that 58 percent of them ranked meth as the No. 1 drug problem, three times that of cocaine.
They seem to think cocaine's the second biggest problem, not marijuana.
It's hard to really trust the federal government when it insists that pot is a deadly menace to society, worse than anything except methamphetamine.
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Musharraf Live Address
He actually said this
live on Pakistani tv. Not bad.
There is no issue over religion in Pakistan. In Pakistan, there are 98 per cent Muslims. Pakistan is an ideological Islamic state. It has been created for the Muslims of this region. Islam is in our blood, it is our spirit, our life, it is our existence and no one should have any doubt about it. The question is not of being a good or bad Muslim, only Allah Almighty knows this. The question is which and what Islam Pakistan should have.
Is it Islam of ignorance, or that of the Taliban, which pushes us towards darkness, or Islam of old rituals? Or is it Islam of lofty ideals, strong character and the one that guides us in our duties to society and the country?
Islam is more than a religion, it is a way of life and is a religion which makes us realise our duties towards people more than our duties towards Allah Almighty. Islam preaches peace, progress, prosperity, enlightenment and moderation. Our extremists and ritual-minded religious elements fully ignore these lofty ideals of Islam. They instead want to portray Islam as a religion which allows extremism and, by doing this, they are creating a distorted image of Islam.
What has happened during the past 25 years has divided Pakistani society into three parts. One part of society has an illiterate and obsolete approach towards Islam, while the other is enlightened and educated and has an enlightened and progressive approach towards Islam. And the third part comprises people who are less educated, and are confused about the religion as to what Islam is.
Is it a religion that teaches terrorism and extremism or the one which is of lofty ideals and advocates noble character? Unfortunately, the enlightened people whohad a progressive approach to Islam left the task of teaching Islam to the obscurantist and illiterate segment. The people, therefore, were unable to get proper guidance about Islam.
It is our duty to free Islam from the shackles of these ignorant people and take it to its real essence. And it is also necessary because the illiterate and obscurantist elements always fail to catch up with the time.
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Israel has summoned the Vatican's ambassador to explain why the Pope left the country off a list of those recently hit by terrorism.
Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday deplored attacks in "countries including Egypt, Turkey, Iraq and Britain".
Israel said he had failed to mention a 12 July suicide bombing in Netanya that killed five Israelis.
The foreign ministry said it would be interpreted as "granting legitimacy to... terrorist attacks against Jews".
"We expected that the new Pope, who on taking office emphasised the importance he places on relations between the Church and the Jewish people, would behave differently," the ministry said in a statement.
The Vatican embassy declined to comment.
Pope Benedict has accepted an invitation to visit Israel but has yet to comment on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in public since taking office in April.
BBC NEWS | Europe | Pope terror 'snub' angers Israel
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Racists in Wonderland
Now as some of you know, I'm a bit of a gamer. Someone who enjoys playing video games. I especially like playing MMO's or 'massively mulitplayer online' games. These games generally take place in a fantasy or science fiction setting and have thousands of subscribers playing at any given time. People play these games for a multitude of reasons: escapism, social interaction, or just plain fun. A way of getting away from reality for a while.
I was playing my favorite game the other day when reality intruded. There I was in fantasy land, doing fantastical things with my fellow gamers, when all of a sudden one of them says "Wow, we really got jewed on this mission." I paused, shocked. What the hell? I debated with myself; should I say anything or not? No one else seemed to bat a eyelash at this remark, so I decided to take a stand. "Hey, I dont like that term. Don't use it around me." I figured he'd be decent, apologize, and we'd move on. But he said, "Oh, what term? Mission? Or jewed?"I said "Dont be a smartass. Thats a racist term and you know it!" His response? "Its not racist. Jews aren't a race, it's a religion. So you can't be offended." Well, too bad idiot, because I was offended. So I /ignored him and stopped helping him. He noticed that right away and started bleating about it. After about 30 minutes of bickering back and forth between him, myself, and my teammates we came to some accord. He said "I'm sorry you were offended. I'm black and people call me n**ger all the time, so I'm not as easily offended." I didn't believe that for a second, so I didn't let him off the hook. "What you said was wrong. I have many Jewish friends, and it is very offensive, not just to me. If someone had used the "N" word against you or any of my black friends, I'd be just as mad." He agreed and we all went our separate ways after the mission.
The whole experience left me feeling dirty inside. It bothered me that even in a fantasy setting where race, gender, even species isn't a factor; despicable racism still rears up its ugly head.
The Internet is a vast place. The layer of anonymity it provides can bring out both the best and the worst in human nature. More likely than not though, it's ususally the worse. As many of us in the Blogosphere have experienced, people who would never dream of saying rotten things aloud have no problem spewing their foulness to the world electronically.
So my question is this: Has the Internet made us uglier or is it exposing ugliness that has always lived in human souls? And is there anything that can be done about it?
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Abbas Relocates to Gaza
DEBKA is claiming that Condi Rice forced Abu Mazen to relocate to Gaza during the disengagement, to be there with his nose in it like any other real leader would. In effect, she's forcing him to assert his authority in Gaza; in other words, if he has his wits about him, this is his excuse to crush Hamas and competing gang and assert the PA's exclusive authority.
If he dares.
Monday, July 25, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and most of his government including prime minister Ahmed Qureia transferred the Palestinian government from its seat in the West Bank town of Ramallah to Gaza City.
The move, according to DEBKAfile’s Palestinian sources, was not of Abbas’ choosing. It was forced on him by US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice during her Ramallah visit Saturday, July 23.
After the fact, Abbas’ spokesmen presented the move as a strategic decision to be on the spot and ascertain that Palestinian terrorists do not accompany Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in mid-August with gunfire.
But that had not been his intention. Asked where he would be during the sensitive period, Abbas told Rice he would be in Ramallah. She replied: “No way are you going to run things by remote control!" Faced with this unyielding demand, he promised to make the move although he knew it was pointless.
Abu Mazen and two Egyptian generals spent all of last week trying to hammer home to the Palestinian terrorist chiefs the need to hold their fire. They did not budge them one inch. In fact, Saturday night, July 22, three Palestinian organizations launched a murderous shooting attack on an Israeli civilian car on the Kissifim road to Gush Katif, killing Dov and Rachel Kol. Abu Mazen declined to condemn the attack when confronted with a microphone. He has not raised a finger to catch the murderers, again betraying his complete lack of authority over the men of violence.
This interesting story at DEBKA
gets Marine Momma a thimbleful or two of cognac AND a tomato.
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Shoot On Sight Policy's Author Defends
Lord Stevens, the Met's former Commissioner, has some common sense.
WHEN I was Commissioner of the Met it was my sad duty to end many, many years of police tradition and bring in what's been called a shoot-to-kill policy against suspected suicide bombers.
Of course, in reality it is a "shoot-to-kill-to-protect" policy, to save innocent lives. I introduced it after much soul-searching over a great deal of time.
Now the revelation that the man killed on Friday by an armed police officer was, in fact, innocent of any bombing intent may lead some to seriously question that policy.
But we are living in unique times of unique evil, at war with an enemy of unspeakable brutality, and I have no doubt that now, more than ever, the principle is right despite the chance, tragically, of error. And it would be a huge mistake for anyone to even consider rescinding it. To understand why, put yourself in the place of a police officer.
Previously, the standing instructions in firearms incidents was for officers to fire at the offender's body, usually two shots, to disable and overwhelm.
But I sent teams to Israel, and other countries hit by suicide bombers, where we learned a terrible truth.
There is only one sure way to stop a suicide bomber determined to fulfil his mission: Destroy his brain instantly, utterly.
Which means shooting him with devastating power in the head. Anywhere else and even though they might be dying, they may still be able to force their body to trigger the device.
My heart goes out to the officer who killed the man in Stockwell Tube station. I've never yet met a firearms officer who has killed in the line of duty who hasn't been traumatised and haunted by the experience. To get close enough to be certain of killing a fleeing man he believed might have been about to trigger a suicide bomb, that officer knowingly put himself in a position where he thought he could be blown to tiny pieces, almost vaporised.
How horrifying, how terrifying...and, yes, despite the way events unfolded, how brave.
Don't forget, either, that like every officer who fires a weapon in a firearms incident his actions will now be subject to a meticulous investigation.
Ultimately, I believe, officers like him will continue to do their job because there's no choice—the danger from real fanatics out there is too acute.
Let's look at the facts...
There are 8,000 active terrorists at large in the world—and they're just the ones we know about. And the vast majority of these people are driven by the most perverted, evil version of Muslim extremism.
It's the kind of extremism that led four suicide bombers to blow themselves and over 50 innocent people to death in London on 7/7. The kind that led others to attempt—but fail—to murder and maim again last Thursday.
And almost certainly the kind that has brought death and destruction to Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt this weekend. So what do we do about it?
One devastating fact we must address is there are EIGHT MILLION stolen or lost passports floating around the world, to be used and abused. So yet again the need for proper border controls becomes obvious.
Then there are ID cards. Over and again I heard terrorism and crime experts this week sing their praises. For instance, ID cards were a vital weapon used in Hong Kong to solve their massive illegal immigration and human trafficking problems.
Similarly, we should consider introducing at our borders the kind of photographic system used in Pakistan which automatically captured those airport arrival pictures and passports of the two 7/7 bombers that were revealed in the papers this week.
Yes these are expensive options. But in a dangerous world, safety doesn't come cheap.
Then there is security at home. I said after 7/7 that those bombers would be British-based and so, sadly, it turned out to be. I believe Thursday's second batch will be the same.
What these two incidents show is the need to further engage the British Muslim community in the war against al-Qaeda.
Communities defeat terrorism. And there's never been a more vital time to realise that.
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