February 12, 2006

Women Bloggers and Punditeers Go Wild in a “No Dhimmi” Zone

Filed under: News from Other Sites,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 4:27 pm

The blogosphere and punditry in general have been blessed this weekend by gals with guts. It seems unfair to have to list them in any kind of order, as they’ve all brought their A game:

  • Dr. Sanity notes the impending 50th anniversary of the speech that should have shattered the illusions of the left about the ultimate resuls of communism for all time (and didn’t), why it didn’t, and why it’s still relevant today. The UK Guardian column by Martin Kettle she refers to is a keeper. A significant portion of the speech in question to is here.
  • Anchoress finds an AP story linked at Michelle Malkin about Muslim objections to the “vileness” of Valentine’s, and goes into a V-worded rant for the ages. Also, go back to her priceless 2004 post on where she and her, uh, V-word stand.
  • Columnist Diana West (HT Michelle Malkin) rips the Dhimmitudinous (my word) reaction to the Cartoon Jihad of so many in the West who should know better.
  • Atlas Shrugs has a post that’s worth it just for the cartoon, but has so much more: “(U.S. newspapers have opted not to publish the Muhammed cartoon images) are the same newspapers that sued the federal government for the right to run the dead floating bodies in the KKKatrina afternmath. But run the hundeds of bodies hitting the ground after throwing themsleves out of the World Trade Center? Never. These dhimmi thumbsuckers make me sick to my stomach.”
  • Michelle Malkin distances herself from Ann Coulter’s “raghead” comment, and I understand why she needs to. This is particularly troubling to me, as Coulter has written THE definitive piece on Cold War traitors from the 1940s, through the McCarthy Era, and all the way up to early 2004 in her book “Treason.” The unfortunate thing is that the more she engages in over-the-top rhetoric and turns herself into the shock-jock of the American Right, the less persuasive she becomes, the more what she does rubs off on more temperate conservatives, and the more she gives cover to the “everybody does it” excuse-makers on The Left, which has legions of venom-spewers who go far beyond anything even Coulter has said, and would make stones blush. Enough. Pull it together, Ann — you seem oddly out-of-step right now.
  • Moderate Mainstream“Sorry, but if those that want to protect the sensibilities of Moslems were to for a moment THINK about it, they would laugh at the Moslems protesting their poor insulted sensibilities. Sticks and stones may break our bones, but cartoons….please!”
  • Tammy Bruce rips the Swedish government for shutting down a site that depicted cartoons “offensive” to Muslims.

I’m not saying that guys aren’t holding up their end of the bargain defending freedom of expression — not (HT Amy Ridenour), by a, long shot.


But maybe the outstanding work of the women I have just cited (and there are SOOOOO many others) has a special edge to it that you trace to a very basic kind of motivation — It’s stories like this one that make it clear that talented women have the most to lose if Dhimmitude and Sharia, God forbid, ultimately come to dominate, or even consistently intimidate:

Journalist stoned for not wearing a head-scarf

Aliye Cetinkaya, a journalist from the Turkish daily Sabah newspaper, who was reporting on the recent protests over the offensive caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed, was stoned in Konya for reasons demonstrators said were provocative – as she did not cover her head. Cetinkaya was taken away by male colleagues after stones hit her head and shoulders. The female journalist was attacked for being ‘sexually provocative’ for not wearing a head scarf at the demonstration organised by the Peoples Education Research and Support Group in Konya (He-Da-Der) and entitled ‘Loyalty to the Prophet’.

A group of protestors insisted that Aliye Cetinkaya get off the bus where she was reporting the march, as they claimed she was provoking the crowd. At this moment, somebody started reciting the Koran into a microphone.

Approximately 30 people then started throwing stones at Cetinkaya, seated with her legs dangling from the back of the vehicle and taking notes. They claimed that her clothes and way of sitting was inappropriate while the Koran was being read, and shouted words of abuse at her.

Cetinkaya had to be rescued by her colleagues and said, “We were doing our job as journalists. But apparently some people found that not covering my head was provocative. They called me a blasphemer while I was sitting on the bus. They threw stones and shoes. As a reporter from Konya I was ashamed.”

And a final reminder about what is driving people who should know better to Dhimmitude:


This Weekend’s Unanswered Question 3 (021206): On Bottled Water

Filed under: Economy,Environment,Taxes & Government,TWUQs — Tom @ 11:45 am

QUESTION 3: Why hasn’t somebody made these points about bottled water before?

This story makes a lot of sense when compare what it takes to get bottled water into a person’s hands and disposing of the bottle, vs. just going to the tap for a drink. But I’m very surprised at some of the stats involved:

Bottled water, a natural resource taxing the world’s ecosystem

Arnold said although in the industrial world bottled water is often no healthier than tap water, it can end up costing 10,000 times more.

“At as much as 2.50 dollars per liter (10 dollars per gallon), bottled water costs more than gasoline,” the study says.

It added that the United States was the largest consumer of bottled water, with Americans drinking 26 billion liters in 2004, or about one eight-ounce (25 cl) glass per person every day.

….. That has translated into massive costs in packaging the water, usually in plastic bottles made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) which is derived from crude oil, and then transporting it by boat, train or on land.

“Making bottles to meet Americans’ demand for bottled water requires more than 1.5 million barrels of oil annually, enough to fuel some 100,000 US cars for a year,” according to the study. “Worldwide, some 2.7 million tons of plastic are used to bottle water each year.”

….. Once the water is consumed, disposing the plastic bottles poses an environmental risk.

The study, citing the Container Recycling Institute, said that 86 percent of plastic water bottles in the United States end up as garbage and those buried can take up to 1,000 years to biodegrade.

In addition, some 40 percent of the PET bottles deposited for recycling in the United States in 2004 ended up being shipped to China.

“….. roughly 40 percent of bottled water begins as tap water,” the study says. “Often the only difference is added minerals that have no marked health benefits.

Maybe those against the Iraq war should change their slogan to “No war for water bottles.”

The people who sell home water-filtering systems and the like just got a very big shot in the arm.

There’s a bigger point here that the second-last excerpted paragraph raises, which is that much of what we dutifully throw into the recycling container doesn’t get recycled here (as noted above), or doesn’t get recycled at all. E-mail me if you have any information or ideas on how to find out more about this dirty little secret.

This Week’s Unanswered Question 2 (021206): On Canada’s Economy

Filed under: Economy,MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:35 am

QUESTION 2: Why haven’t we heard anything about the troubles of Canada’s manufacturing sector and the entire eastern half of its economy?

You think we have problems? Check out Canada.

First, its manufacturing sector is in the tank:

Manufacturing loses most jobs in 15 years
TAVIA GRANT – Globe and Mail Update

Canadian manufacturers struggled under the weight of a strong currency and foreign competition in January, cutting 41,600 jobs in January. It was the sharpest decline since February, 1991, according to Statistics Canada.

Of those January cuts, 33,000 occurred in Ontario, the country’s manufacturing heartland.

Those reductions come on top of more than 100,000 job cuts last year, with two thirds of those in Ontario.

The Canadian Labour Congress called the manufacturing decline a “crisis.”

Since the end of 2002, employment in manufacturing has dropped by 8.2 per cent because of a strong Canadian dollar and heated competition from abroad.

The article goes on to note that total employment in the entire economy continues to go up. But the apparently rapid shift away from manufacturing has to be troubling for those affected, and predictions are that another 100,000 manufacturing jobs will be lost this year too — in a nation with about 11% as many people as the U.S.

Second, Canada appears to have develpped two distinct economies, one that’s struggling mightily in the eastern half of the country, and the other in the western half that is nearly at what economists consider full employment (i.e., when unemployment is in the 4%-5% range).

Canada’s nationwide nemployment stands at 6.6% (quite a bit above our current 4.7%), but how it varies in different parts of the country is stunning. Here are the figures, moving from east to west across the nation’s provinces, with the January 2006 rate listed first, and December 2005′s rate in parens (from the same link as the manufacturing information excerpted above):
— Newfoundland 16.5 (15.4)
— Prince Edward Island 10.8 (11.1)
— Nova Scotia 7.8 (8.5)
— New Brunswick 8.9 (9.6)
— Quebec 8.4 (8.2)
— Ontario 6.5 (6.2)
— Manitoba 4.3 (4.2)
— Saskatchewan 5.2 (5.3)
— Alberta 3.5 (4.2)
— British Columbia 5.1 (5.1)

I would not be at all surprised to find out that the western half’s economy is performing much better because it is less shackled by bureacracy and regulation than the eastern half.

As to the question of this post, I believe that the business press is reluctant to criticize Canada’s economy because of its sacrosanct (as far as American liberals are concerned) nationalized health care system. Dumping on Canada’s economy implicitly means dumping on what liberals still consider to be the Holy Grail of health care.

Positivity: U.S. Army Doctors Aid Badly Burned Afghan Baby

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 7:08 am

A baby badly burned when only two days old is on the road to survival and recovery.

From Defend America (HT S.O.B. member Camp Katrina, who suggests, and I agree, that “some prayers are in order for this special little girl and the soldiers from the 249th, Katrina Campers!”):

Personnel at the 249th General Hospital developed a close bond with the infant, badly burned
on her face and head at two days old when a kerosene lamp exploded in her home.

By U.S. Army Pfc. Vincent Fusco
20th Public Affairs Detachment
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan, Feb. 7, 2006 — Soldiers from 249th General Hospital, Task Force Strength visited Zargona, a special Afghan girl who, in the first five months of her life, received inpatient care for life-threatening injuries.

Zargona, like many Afghans, has only one name and was badly burned on her face and head at two days old when a kerosene lamp exploded in her home in May.

U.S. Army Dr. (Capt.) Patrick Raney

At her checkup Jan. 17, doctors maintained that her health is “looking very good” despite extensive facial scarring.

“Her wounds really look very good,” said U.S. Army Dr. (Capt.) Patrick Raney, a family practice physician with 249th General Hospital. “From when she came in (until) now, she’s had a dramatic improvement.”

“She’s lucky to be alive,” said Raney, who has been Zargona’s family practitioner since she was first admitted. “With burns to the face and neck, (the injuries) could have caused her airway to become constricted.”

U.S. Army Dr. (Lt. Col.) Joseph Kolb, the chief of plastic surgery at Walter Reed Army Hospital, D.C., is assigned to 249th General Hospital, Task Force Strength to help Zargona. He is also a plastic surgery consultant for the surgeon general.

Starting in September, Kolb performed four reconstructive surgeries on Zargona’s eyes and one ear.

Though she can now close her eyes and listen without impairment, the extent of her injuries will continue to cause short- and long-term problems that will require more surgeries.

Unfortunately, reconstruction will need to take place at different times (in her life),” Kolb said. “I fixed the things that were the most immediate threats to her well-being.”

“I’ve seen many burn victims, and she’s certainly the youngest,” Raney said.

In November, she was discharged from the hospital and has been seen every two to four weeks for regular checkups and immunizations.

In the time Zargona spent in the hospital, the staff developed a close bond with her and her parents, Raney said. At every checkup, they receive food and baby supplies donated from the troops who have helped restore her health.

The hospital has been invaluable to improving Zargona’s health, but lacks the necessary equipment to follow up on her conditions.

Hospital and the Afghan Ministry of Health officials are making plans to fly her and a family member, for a month-long visit, to the Boston Shriners Hospital for further treatment, Raney said.