Archive for May, 2008
27 May 2008

“Nuclear Terrorism” Video Appears on Jihadist Web-Site

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AKI (Italy) reports the appearance on a jihadist web-site of an alarming video.

A new video called “Nuclear Terrorism” has been posted on the worldwide web calling for jihadists to use nuclear or chemical weapons to strike the west.

A simple jihadi propaganda video or a dangerous message to a sleeper cell in the west? That is the question raised by the video and no-one has yet claimed responsibility for it.

“Strike civilians in the west without mercy using weapons of mass destruction” is one of the calls made in the 39-minute video.

The question now being asked is whether the video is presenting a coded message or signalling an imminent terrorist attack.

Read the whole thing.

27 May 2008

Comments

I’m using a WordPress Plugin which has one little glitch. When you post a comment, instead of the intended “Thank you for commenting. Expect a delay before your comment appears.” message, it sends you a bunch of gibberish.

Otherwise, it works just fine.

What it does is: it parks all comments in Comment Purgatory, where they remain unseen, until I come along and eyeball them. If it is a legitimate Comment, and is not abusive or obscene, it will be approved and will appear. Spam gets deleted en masse.

When I get a chance, I’ll try downloading a new version, but I’m not sure this glitch was ever fixed.

26 May 2008

Memorial Day 2008

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WWII Victory Medal

Joseph Zincavage (1907-1998) Navy
William Zincavage (1914-1997) Marine Corps
Edward Zincavage (1917-2002) Marine Corps
Eleanor Zincavage Cichetti (1922-2003) Marine Corps

26 May 2008

Cat Appointed Stationmaster in Japan

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Tama, Stationmaster of Kinokawa, Japan

AFP:

In times of need, Japanese say they can even ask the cat for help. In this town in western Japan, people look to Tama, a nine-year-old cat working as master of an unmanned train station.

The tortoiseshell coloured creature, born and raised at Kishi Station on the provincial Kishigawa Line, wears a formal uniform cap of Wakayama Electric Railway and calmly watches passing passengers who greet her.

There are 10 train stations on the 14.3-kilometre (8.9-mile) line.

“Tama is the only stationmaster as we have to reduce personnel costs. You say you could ask for the cat’s help, but she is actually bringing luck to us,” Wakayama Electric spokeswoman Keiko Yamaki said.

The company feeds her in lieu of salary.

Tama was born from a stray cat brought to the station by a cleaner and kept by Toshiko Koyama, a local who runs a grocery store next door.

The station went unmanned in April 2006 as the line was losing money. But Tama stuck around.

She rose to national stardom in January 2007 as the railway company formally appointed her as “stationmaster”.

Her appointment had an immediately positive effect, boosting the number of passengers using the line in January by 17 percent from a year earlier.

For the year to March 2007, the number of passengers rose to 2.1 million, up 10 percent from the previous 12 months, according to Yamaki.

Happy with her successful job as stationmaster, the company promoted Tama to “super-stationmaster” in January this year, making her “the only female in a managerial position” in the company’s 36-strong workforce.

“She now holds the fifth highest position in the company,” Yamaki joked.

In reward for the promotion, Tama got a new “office”.

The stationmaster’s office, a renovated former ticket booth at the station, opened in April with the attendance of Kinokawa Mayor Shinji Nakamura and Wakayama Electric president Mitsunobu Kojima.

The office guarantees her some privacy.

“She declines to relieve herself when passengers are looking. We set the toilet where passengers can’t see,” Yamaki said.

Those who want to greet her must be careful so as not to miss her.

“She works nine to five and takes Sundays off,” Yamaki said.

Tama commutes with Koyama, the grocery store operator, from a shed next to the station. As Koyama tells her, “Ms Stationmaster, it’s time to work,” Tama comes along to the station, Yamaki said.

The stationmaster is set to appear in a French documentary film, being directed by Myriam Tonelotto, about wonder cats from around the world.

26 May 2008

What She Said!

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Fox News Contributor Liz Trotta tops Hillary.

Editor and Publisher:

Appearing on Fox News today, Liz Trotta, a former editor with the Washington Times and reporter the Chicago Tribune and Newsday, was asked by the host, Eric Shawn, about the Clinton controversy and the 2008 race. This led Trotta to refer to the Clinton misstep, in which she mentioned the RFK killing to show (the candidate later claimed) that previous campaigns, like the current one, went into June.

Trotta, according to video, replied, “And now we have what some are reading as a suggestion that somebody knock off Osama, uh Obama. Well, both, if we could.” She laughed.

The host, Shawn, clearly understanding how far she had gone, quickly commented: “Talk about how you really feel.”

Then he continued: “But do you really think that–she didn’t mean that she thinks that he going to get assassinated, and she apologized–

Trotta: “Well, that’s beside the point, whether she meant it or not.”

Shawn: “And she’s just using it in a historical context?”

Trotta: “She’s tone deaf, because it’s a radioactive word. And the whole question of the first black man becoming a candidate for presidency of the United States has all kinds of overtones and all kinds of caveats that really have to be considered in this thing. And his security has been a real issue. He’s had bodyguards earlier than anybody else. Surely this woman had to know that that was a third rail to say ‘assassination.’ And it’s hard to argue for her on this, because it isn’t the first time she’s made this step.”

3:23 video

26 May 2008

“Dubai, Mumbai, Shanghai or Goodbye”

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ArabianBusiness.com boasts that Dubai is in the process of replacing London and New York as world capital of the financial industry.

Dubai is picking up the mantle of the financial capital of the world, as global banking sectors London and New York continue to fade on the back of the global credit crises.

The new mantra in New York and London is “Dubai, Mumbai, Shanghai or goodbye”, as job losses mount in both cities while opportunities in the east continue to rise.

Lehman Brothers on Tuesday became the latest investment bank moving one of its most senior positions to the UAE. Philip Lynch, the bank’s co-head of equities for Europe and the Middle East, will be relocating to Dubai after serving more than two decades in London.

The US investment bank, which has axed over 6,000 staff in the last nine months, said the move was aimed at serving the growing needs of clients in the Gulf region and the wider Middle East.

Lynch will find himself in good company. Barclays last month dispatched Roger Jenkins, one of London’s highest-paid bankers, to the emirate as chairman of investment banking and investment management.

Earlier in May Citigroup, which has so far cut 1,500 jobs because of the global credit crisis, announced it would send Alberto Verme, co-head of global investment banking from London to Dubai. …

The relocation of roles from London and New York to Dubai, and to a lesser extent Mumbai and Shanghai, reflects the reshaping of global opportunities for investment banks.

With a surge in oil revenue, rapidly rising infrastructure needs, and the emergence of sovereign wealth funds at the head of M&A activity, the Middle East and Asia have become crucial for global investment banks looking to remain profitable.

26 May 2008

They Rather Enjoyed It

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London Times:

A recent history, titled 1940-1945 Erotic Years: Vichy or the Misfortunes of Virtue by Patrick Buisson, argues that France’s surrender to Nazi Germany was more complete than is generally recognized.

A new book which suggests that the German occupation of France encouraged the sexual liberation of women has shocked a country still struggling to come to terms with its troubled history of collaboration with the Nazis. …

Buisson dedicates a chapter in his book to cinemas, which he describes as hotbeds of erotic activity, particularly when it was cold outside. “At a few francs they were cheaper than a hotel room,” he writes, “and, offering the double cover of darkness and anonymity, propitious for all sorts of outpourings.”

The French even had sex in the catacombs, the underground ossuary and warren of subterranean tunnels in Paris: war, Buisson argues, acted as an aphrodisiac, stimulating “the survival instinct”. He said in an interview: “People needed to prove that they were alive. They did so by making love.”

It has been claimed that prostitutes staged the first rebellion against the Nazis by refusing to service the invaders but Buisson called this a myth. The Germans, he claimed, were welcomed into the city’s best brothels, a third of which were reserved for officers. Another 100,000 women in Paris became “occasional prostitutes”, he said.

Elsewhere, members of the artistic elite drowned their sorrows in debauchery. Simone de Beauvoir, the writer, and Jean-Paul Sartre, the philosopher, were devotees of allnight parties fuelled by alcohol and lust.

“It was only in the course of those nights that I discovered the true meaning of the word party,” was how de Beauvoir put it. Sartre was no less enthusiastic: “Never were we as free as under the German occupation.”

De Beauvoir wrote about the “quite spontaneous friendliness” of the conquerors: she was as fascinated as any by the German “cult of the body” and their penchant for exercising in nothing but gym shorts.

“In the summer of 1940,” wrote Buisson, “France was transformed into one big naturist camp. The Germans seemed to have gathered on French territory only to celebrate an impressive festival of gymnastics.” The author said he did not want to make light of a tragic part of French history, but there was a need to correct the “mythical” image of the occupation. “In this horrible period, life continued,” he said.

“It is disturbing to know that while the Jews were being deported, the French were making love. But that is the truth.”

26 May 2008

MSM Studiously Ignores Obama Gaffes and Misstatements

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Early this month, Barack Obama said that, over 15 months, he’d campaigned… (thinking about it)… in all 57 states.

A week later, he confused Sioux Falls (South Dakota) with Sioux City (Iowa).

Last Friday, Obama continued his pattern of confusion, repeatedly referring to the name of the Florida city, Sunrise, he was visiting, as “Sunshine.”

Also, in Florida on the same Friday, while addressing the Cuban American National Foundation,

Since the Bush Administration launched a misguided war in Iraq, its policy in the Americas has been negligent toward our friends, ineffective with our adversaries, disinterested in the challenges that matter in peoples’ lives, and incapable of advancing our interests in the region. No wonder, then, that demagogues like Hugo Chavez have stepped into this vacuum.

Hugo Chavez was, of course, elected president of Venezuela December 6, 1998, while William Jefferson Clinton was in the White House.

32:15 video (Chavez comment appears at 2:50)

Earlier in his Miami speech, Obama cast his own background (17th century WASP colonist plus politically-prominent Kenyan) as similar to that of Cuban refugees from Castro’s tyranny, his Kenyan father as a poor immigrant seeking the American Dream of Freedom and Opportunity.

0:33 in the video:

Miami’s promise of Liberty and opportunity has drawn generations of immigrants to these shores, sometimes with nothing more than the clothes on their back. And I was talking to Jorge
about his father, and the story… the immigrant story that he embodies, and his family embodies, and the extraordinary success… That is the story of America. It was the similar hope that drew my father across an ocean in search of the same promise.

Barack Hussein Obama, Sr. didn’t come to America seeking Liberty and Opportunity. He was sent to America as part of a program created by Kenyan Black Nationalist leader Tom Mboya
to obtain Western educations for future Kenyan government leaders and officials. After he attended the University of Hawaii, bigamously married Stanley Ann Dunham, abandoned her and his son and went to Harvard, he returned to Kenya with yet another American wife, where he took up an economist’s position in a government ministry.

Obama Senior had obviously never intended to work or settle in the United States, so he was hardly an immigrant “drawn across an ocean” by the Land of Opportunity. And Obama Sr. was hardly an admirer of Liberty, being a Marxist. His government career in Kenya stalled and he grew bitter, it is reported, after he published an incendiary paper taking the pro-Communist side against the Kenyatta government.

Compare the absence of coverage the MSM of all these errors and an impressive falsehood, with the microscopic and obsessive coverage of the public statements of Hillary Clinton and John McCain.

H/t to Noel Sheppard and Charles Johnson.

24 May 2008

Tribute to the Confederate Cavalry

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Jean-Adolphe Beauce, Mosby Planning a Raid, 1868, Museum of the Confederacy, Richmond

Civil War song: Join the Cavalry 2:43 video

24 May 2008

2008 Viginia Foxhound Show

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Blue Ridge Morpeth stallion hound

There won’t be much, if any, blogging tomorrow. I’ll be attending the hound show at Morven Park.

24 May 2008

America and the World’s Energy

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Michael Novak puts B. Hussein Obama in his place.

Candidate Obama, like so many lefties, seems to believe anything bad about the United States, without even submitting it to critical thinking. He said on May 19, 2008, for example, that 3% of the world’s population (i.e., in his calculation, the United States) accounts for 25% of the greenhouse gases put into the atmosphere. In the 1970s, the lefties used to talk about 6% of the world’s population using 25% of the world’s energy. Even before Obama, they were blaming America first.

The left’s figures depend on what is meant by “energy.” Before the founding and development of the United States, “energy” meant the human back, beasts of burden, windmills, waterwheels, burning wood, coke, and coal, and the like. The United States is certainly not using 25% of the energy generated by those means today. I don’t think so, although it might be. The darn country is just so efficient.

But if we mean by “energy” only the modern sources of energy – electricity, the Franklin stove, the steam engine, the piston engine propelled by gasoline (and now by electric and/or hydrogen batteries), the processing of crude oil into gasoline, nuclear energy, the jet engine, the development of ethanol and other fuels derived from plants, and other devices – all of these except one were invented by the people of the United States, as their gift to the world. (The exception was the steam engine, invented by our cousins in Britain, and further developed here as well as there.)

In other words, the United States has invented nearly 100% of what the modern world means by “energy.” And it has helped the rest of the world to use 75%.

24 May 2008

China: 15 Radioactive Material Sites Inaccessible

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Depkafile reveals that China’s recent earthquake impacted a large number of Chinese facilities containing radioactive materials, including nuclear weapons plants, and a significant number of the sites impacted by the disaster remain to be secured.

Eleven days after the 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck western China, vice environment minister Wu Xiaoqing first revealed Friday, May 23, that 50 hazardous radioactive sources have been located – 35 recovered and controlled; “three more buried in rubble and 12 in dangerous buildings. At present, tests show no accidental release of radiation,” he reported as the death toll climbed past 55,000.

Two of the most badly damaged cities housed China’s secret nuclear weapons design facility – at Mianyang – and a plutonium processing facility – in Guangyuan – both close to the quake’s epicenter.

Soon after the quake struck, Chinese soldiers were sent to protect nuclear sites and preparations made for an environmental emergency.

DEBKAfile’s military sources note that the Beijing announcement did not specify the nature of the hazardous sources or disclose how they – or the secret nuclear weapons and plutonium facilities were secured – whether sealed with cement and lead like the Chernobyl reactor in Ukraine in the 80s or their contents removed to safe places.

According to the Beijing government’s official Web site, “nuclear facilities and “radioactive sources” included power plants, reactors, scientific research labs and medical treatment facilities, a big concentration of which are located in the worst hit areas.

French sources disclosed that 489 hospitals with laboratories containing radioactive materials, as well as hundreds of high-risk industries, were leveled.

Hans Kristensen, a nuclear arms expert at the Federation of American Scientists, said it was hard to believe that the military plants with nuclear materials had escaped the disaster. Other experts suspect that the damage to radioactive sites and radiation leaks may extend beyond the stricken Sichuan province.

24 May 2008

No Book Review For You!

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Noah Pollak, at Commentary, notes that the blockade is on with respect to reviews of Douglas Feith’s book in the leading organs of the liberal establishment.

Imagine, for a moment, that you are the book review editor of a major newspaper, and a book has been written by someone who was a high-level public official deeply involved in what has been the biggest and most controversial story of the past half-decade.

This official has been mentioned in news stories in your paper on hundreds of occasions, your paper’s editorials have regularly railed against him and his colleagues, and your paper’s op-ed columnists have penned an entire oeuvre of scathing indictments of the policies he helped implement. The official, subjected to years of obloquy in your pages, writes an account of his involvement in the story that by any fair estimation is not just detailed and serious, but one of the most important and useful of its kind to date. Do you choose to review the book, or do you simply pretend that it was never written?

The book I’m talking about, of course, is War and Decision, former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Doug Feith’s account of his role in the Iraq war. And it is being subjected to an astonishing and shameful blackout from many of America’s biggest newspapers. Noting the decision of the Washington Post and New York Times not to review the book, Rich Lowry wrote, “Apparently it’s OK to heap every failure in Iraq on Feith’s head, but then to turn around and pretend he’s a figure of no consequence when he writes a book.”

Curiosity got the better of me, so I checked to see whether the book has been reviewed by other large newspapers. The MSM does not disappoint: There has been no mention of War and Decision in USA Today, the LA Times, NY Daily News, Houston Chronicle, Boston Globe, Philadelphia Inquirer, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, or Miami Herald. What charming behavior from our nation’s journalism professionals. You would think the book interfered with the preferred narrative or something.

23 May 2008

Ceding McDonald’s Drive-Thru Sovereignty

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Mark Steyn parses Obama’s best-known recent quote.

BO: We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times, whether we’re living in a desert, or living in the tundra, and then just expect that every other country’s going to say okay, you guys just go ahead and keep on using 25% of the world’s energy, even though you only account for 3% of the population.

MS: The very next line he said was that’s not leadership. In other words, Barack Obama’s definition of American leadership is you should find out what the European Union prime ministers want, and then you go ahead and do it. So he’ll go and ask them, he’ll go and ask these foreign countries what temperature would you like America’s thermostat to be set to. You can’t eat as much food as you want. We’re going to ask the foreigners how much food you think you ought to be eating. So he’s ceding McDonalds drive-thru sovereignty to the European Union. And what it cumulatively comes across as is basically the 21st Century version of Jimmy Carter malaise, that it’s the opposite of what America is – optimism, progress, and more and more bountiful good for the country and for the planet. He’s saying no, the good times are over, we’ve got to tighten our belts, even though you fat layabouts can’t actually do that.

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