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December 2005

Feel the Love


We shouldn't really cry over Friday sermons delivered by a right honourable member of parliament, religious leader and imam Shaikh Jassim Al-Saidi when he ends his sermons with:
Oh Allah curse the Jews, Christians and the Shi'a and show me in them a black day.

Try to imagine the sheer scale of the

  • Islamic meltdown.
  • And Western condemnation.

...if an MP in the West had made such vile statements about Muslims. When it comes to the usual reaction of the vast majority of Muslims to the excerpted text, we don't need to imagine.

... the [Bahraini] government does have a responsibility in facing people like The Right Honourable Shaikh Jassim Al-Saidi who spread hate, sedition and sectarian discord. It is people like him through their spread of hate who would be the first to disassociate themselves from acts of terror that they themselves have incited and supported.

Very true.

I don't think the government is going to do anything about this matter. If they do, then they'll be tarred as un-Islamic since imams in general have way too much street-cred within the community.

Not Buying It

Matt Leiss:

... you’re just a poor student, trying to get by. You’ve managed to put yourself into debt now so that you can go to school, get a job and eventually pay off your student debt. Wait, something doesn’t sound right here. What comes next? A car, a house, a couple of kids. And, a hell of a lot more debt to pay for it all! Enough to keep you working for longer than you actually believe you’re going to live. I didn’t sign up for that, so I’m going to see about holding out for something better. If you’re with me keep reading.

[Emphasis mine]

Excuse me. If a "poor" fellow does have a lot of student loans to pay off, then getting a car, a house and having kids is his/her bad choice. It ain't fate.

I for one don’t want the rest of the world living like us. Most of the time I don’t want to live like us either. As a student, I’m considered a number and a grade by most, if not all, of society. But, I’m also someone who came to school to figure out what I want to do with my life. I’m slowly figuring out that the “what” isn’t as important as the “how,” but the point is the same.

So, what would you change about modern life?

Buy Nothing Day was started by Adbusters, the Culture Jamming magazine and general instigator of all things radical. It’s placed, conveniently, on the Friday following American Thanksgiving. This is key because Americans don’t get Boxing Day. This Friday is, for those who shop, the biggest shopping day of the year. In protest of this consumerist frenzy, activists and others do everything from credit card chopping to blockading around Wal-Marts. If that’s your thing, then more power to you, but as for me, this year I’m going to take part in some of the exchanges going on in the student centre, and talk with friends about the consuming I do on a regular basis and why I support Fair Trade movements and local farmers. Although I can’t grow most of my own food, I can know the folks who grow a lot of it. And, I like that. It makes me feel closer to the food chain and farther from the stock market.

This is quite interesting. Overall not very smart but interesting. You see, Matt started off his opinion piece by talking about the huge debt we accumulate over the years. Yet, here he is talking about local farming and going "farther from the stock market."

Question: would the "poor" folks see their overall purchasing power increase or decrease by buying food from local farmers?

I bet that those who do switch to only local food would, in addition to being "closer" to their food, have less money to spend on other items. If the "Fair Trade" movements have their way, then prices of most items would go up and we'll all be far worse off.

How does that fit into the strategy of lowering debt? Um, it doesn't.

The point isn’t to convince you to never buy anything, because, unfortunately that isn’t possible. The point is to get you to think about where your money comes from and where it’s going. And, as a bigger question: why can’t I live outside of the market economy? Life is short and maybe I don’t want the same things as the next guy.

Who exactly is forcing you, or anyone else, to buy stuff in this market economy? The whole point of it is that it's free. You want to purchase something, then race to the store or go online and buy it. If you're not interested, then meh. Simple as that. Life is short, stop whining.

The Holy Land of Disgrace

I've been to a hospital many times in Saudi Arabia. I don't remember coming across a single Arab nurse. Most of the nurses there are from the Philippines. I distinctly remember that once a senior nurse was from Britain.

So it is true. Only in Saudi Arabia can such a noble profession be turned into a stigma. And to think that most Saudis consider their (brain-dead) culture to be supreme. What a sad joke.

Be Gone, Aye

The Globe and Mail:

Canada's opposition parties brought an end yesterday to the turbulent life of Paul Martin's 17-month-old minority Liberal government, paving the way for an election that will see voters weigh the desire for change against the trustworthiness of Conservatives who would provide it.

Mr. Martin will call on Governor-General Michaëlle Jean this morning to dissolve the fractious 38th Parliament, sending voters to the polls for what sources say will be a Jan. 23 election. A new poll for The Globe and Mail and CTV News suggests a close contest as voters express their desire for new blood, but are not ready to embrace the Conservatives led by Stephen Harper.

The Liberals will definitely lose seats. The question is will the Canadians vote for Jack Layton, the psycho socialist or Stephen Harper, the calm conservative? It'll be horrible if the Canadians elect a more left-of-center government.

Update 05:45 AM ET
Paul Martin calls the Canadian Conservatives "neoconservatives." He'll use anything to portray the Conservatives as supporters of the uncouth warmonger to the south. It all fits into the "Conservatives are un-Canadian" template.

This will get very ugly very fast.

The Sweet Success of Socialism

Canadians are still proud of their oh-so-compassionate health care system.

I really don't know why.

According to Statistics Canada, approximately 1.2 million Canadians don’t have a family doctor and are looking for one. American companies now routinely advertise in major Canadian dailies, offering timely health care — in the United States. And north of the 49th parallel, private health services are a booming business despite the fact that many operate in violation of federal law. The prime minister’s own family doctor, incidentally, runs the most successful chain of private clinics in the country.

I bet he's a liberal.

Link via Polipundit.

Update 03:44 AM ET
Speaking of, ahem, Canadian success, read this article.

Link via Belmont Club.

15 Nanoseconds of Fame

The Iraqi butcher was in court today. The utterly shameless Ramsey Clark is on his defense team.


It’s the trial again, and the streets in Baghdad are nearly empty as most people are sitting at their homes watching the proceedings of the trial; the best way to describe this is to say that it feels as if it were world cup in soccer where Baghdad usually looks like as if it were under curfew!

The trial resumes on December 05. I can't wait for the Iraqis to support Saddam Hussein. With a rope.

Patriotism: Die Hard

Times Online:

Angered by negative portrayals of the conflict in Iraq, Bruce Willis, the Hollywood star, is to make a pro-war film in which American soldiers will be depicted as brave fighters for freedom and democracy.

Oooh, how do you like that heartburn Michael Moore?

It will be based on the exploits of the heavily decorated members of Deuce Four, the 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry, which has spent the past year battling insurgents in the northern Iraqi town of Mosul.


He is expected to base the film on the writings of the independent blogger Michael Yon, a former special forces green beret who was embedded with Deuce Four and sent regular dispatches about their heroics.

Yon was at the soldiers’ ball with Willis, who got to know him through his internet war reports on “What he is doing is something the American media and maybe the world media isn’t doing,” the actor said, “and that’s telling the truth about what’s happening in the war in Iraq.”

Good on ya, mate. I will definitely watch the movie.

Link via Daimnation.

Covert Operations

The Telegraph:

Early on a warm summer morning, a few hours before traffic began to fill the streets, a 16-man SAS patrol took up ambush positions around a Baghdad house, writes Sean Rayment.

A bad day for "Iraqi Minutemen."

Expectation among the 16 soldiers, attached to Task Force Black (TFB), the secret American and British special forces unit based in the Iraqi capital, was high. Each member of the four four-man groups was a veteran of many missions where the intelligence promised much - only to deliver little.

Oh, this time they did.


A letter from Shakir Lakhani:

George Bush and his cronies may deny that they ever intended to bomb Al Jazeera, but most people on the planet are willing to believe that they did. It is increasingly hard to decide whether Mr Bush or Al Qaeda is the greater evil. Future generations may well conclude that Bush and Tony Blair caused more harm to the world than the terrorists they were ostensibly fighting.

[Emphasis mine]

Yeah, I know it's "increasingly hard." Consider:

  • Al Qaeda supported the Taliban in Afghanistan - the most brutal Islamist regime of its time. Al Qaeda deliberately attacked two US embassies in Africa, the USS Cole and killed almost 3000 innocents on 9/11. Today, its minions kill Iraqis on a daily basis.
  • Mr. Bush has pushed for democracy in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Middle East. Under his orders, the Islamists have taken a harsh whipping. Today, more than 50 million Muslims are free because of Mr. Bush.

I just can't decide which of the two is more evil. Can you?

Psychotic Tribal Punjabis

Western Resistance:

Five young women have been ordered to be either abducted, raped or killed for not honouring marriages arranged for them when they were children.

In 1996, when they were then aged six to thirteen, a mullah in their Punjabi village ordered that the five girls were "married" to the illiterate sons of their family's rivals. This arrangement was part of a compensation claim after the father of two of the girls shot a man dead.

The family the girls were "promised to" has now called for the "debt" to be paid. The village council has backed them up with its outrageous order, and has also sentenced two men, the fathers of the girls, to death for not honouring the agreement.

[Emphasis mine]

But remember, in Islam women are treated with respect.

When Authoritarians Squirm

The Yemeni love keeps on flowing for Jane Novak. Go there for the link.

From the Thawrah, the government newspaper, to the Congress Party’s newspaper (Al-Methaq) and between them, all the government and the websites newspapers even the small bulletins and independent journals which they use the public money all of them have nothing to say only talking about Jane Novak the describing her as a conspirator, Zionist, traitor, unemployed and the owner of a bad website and lying sources.

Not to mention that she has bad hair! I actually find this whole episode to be quite entertaining. Think about it. The corrupt Yemeni regime is all bent out of shape because of a single blogger. I love it.

Taking Away the Pen

Troubling news from Bangladesh.

RSF recently said that politicians from both sides accuse the media of trying to destabilize the country through their reporting. Over the past few years, the government has been particularly critical of both domestic and foreign reporting about signs of Islamic extremists operating in the country. In reality journalists like Tipu Sultan and Hasan Imam were threatend and attacked physically for writing against lawmakers of both the recent regimes, Awami League and now the ruling BNP-Jamaat qualition [sic].

It's going to get worse.

Now Drishtipat reports that the government is thinking of taking more strict measures against journalists.

It appears to me that many Bangladeshi journalists are repeatedly showcasing the incompetence of their government and thus hurting its public support. The government is responding by muzzling the journalists.

In a free press, untrue news, intentionally or not, will always make the airwaves. The proper response should be to calmly set the record straight -- not bring down the iron fist.

Students, Not Taxpayers, Should Pay for Tuition

Nathan Shaw:

Have any extra change lying around? Hold onto it, because you’re going to need it. There are few burdens as large on a student’s bottom line as the cost of tuition, and if Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty has his way, that bottom line is going to grow next year. To the dismay of students and parents all across the [Ontario] province, McGuinty “quietly” confirmed recently his plans to lift the tuition freeze for 2006-2007.

Good idea.

There are two different sides to which the tuition pendulum can swing when it comes to who pays. One side is the zero-tuition system that exists in countries like France and Sweden, where post-secondary education is funded fully by the government. On the other side is a system where the student pays the entire amount out of their own pocket — a very harsh prospect indeed. Ontario’s system is somewhere in the middle, leaning closer to the former than the latter.

Isn't it odd that the harshness of the tuition is limited to only the students. The taxpayers who, as is pointed out, pay for most of the tuition are basically automated teller machines.

Hands down, the worst model for students from a financial perspective would be a system of deregulation. Deregulated tuition would give each university the ability to set their own tuition rates, independent of provincial government restrictions. While it certainly provides an influx of capital, the harsh reality is that it would allow universities to charge students the maximum price they can — leaving so many students who cannot write a blank cheque out in the cold. Tuition would simply soar.

This is Canada, so leaving someone out in the cold could be deadly! Seriously, the end of government-subsidized tuition would add transparency to the system. At the moment, many students enter university to put a few years between themselves and the real oh-so-harsh life. They shamelessly exit after failing multiple first and second year courses. Do the taxpayers get their money back in such cases? Nope. Do these selfish kids apologize? Nope. Telling the students to take full responsibility for their tuition will deter many of these dim "scholars."

In the end, we'll have less and more motivated students entering the universities. Those who're willing but who can't afford the full tuition will always have the option of loans. Canada, no question, is one of the richest countries in the world. She has the most dynamic and ferocious economy to her south. The Canadian students who graduate with debt can easily pay it off over decades with their earning power. It is simply asinine to subsidize some of the most fortunate and wealthy students in the world.

Do note that the linked opinion piece doesn't argue for helping poor students but recommends paying for a huge chunk of everybody's tuition -- rich, poor, and everyone in between.

A two-tier system where the rich can afford it and the extreme poor get partial subsidies squeezes out the rapidly decreasing middle class. Instead of new debt-management strategies, students need debt reduction, plain and simple. The government must focus on making tuition lower, not simply easier to pay over the long term.

Harry Potter is not running the Canadian government. Otherwise, the government might have been able to make the tuition lower. In reality, the government can only shift the burden of tuition to taxpayers. Is that fair?

Interesting question: if the Canadian taxpayers can collectively provide for most of the tuition of students, then why can't the current students individually pay for their own tuition in the near future via loans?

Ontario need only look to its provincial neighbour next door for a fascinating case study. Quebec undergraduate students continue to pay the lowest fees in the country this year as a result of a continued tuition freeze, leaving the average tuition costs at about $1,900. This is compared with Ontario’s average of over $4,800. Quebecors value true accessibility for their students. Ontario should ask itself whether it truly does too.

Yes, let's look at the provincial neighbor. Quebec has an unemployment rate of 7.7% compared to a 5.9% rate in Ontario. I wonder if the relatively higher taxes (in part to pay for their squalid students) in Quebec have anything to do with their high unemployment rate.

The Premier let the ugly cat out of the bag with his plans to let tuition rise yet again. With over 400,000 college and university students in this province, surely we should be the ones with the upper hand when it comes to negotiating a reasonable tuition fee framework.

"Upper Hand" = Transferring your burden to others.

The consequences come next September will be all too real. You have nothing to lose by speaking up over the tuition increase. It is your future and you will be the ones footing the price tag over which the backroom bureaucrats at Queen’s Park are debating. Let them know what you think. If you don’t speak up, get ready to pay up.

My God! Pay for what you get. That's such a radical idea. The students in Ontario are doomed.

The Giant

I remember watching him bursting on the scene in 1994. He scored a record 375 runs in a Test innings. Gary Sobers congratulated him on the magnificent feat. Then, just a few weeks later, he smashed 501 runs in a first-class match. He surpassed the previous record of 499 which was set by Hanif Mohammad.

Though, he struggled in the past few years with the captaincy. The West Indies -- winner of the first two world cups -- were then at the bottom of the world rankings. His scores became erratic. He had no consistency. He was quickly becoming a has-been. More powerful and dependable batsmen had overshadowed him. Matthew Hayden of Australia had bludgeoned 380 runs in 2003 to surpass Lara.

But then came the innings for an age. No man has reclaimed the world record for the highest score in a Test innings. Except Brian Lara. He scored an epic 400 runs not out in a Test innings. It remains the first and only quadruple century in Test cricket history.

Recently, he added another record to his most impressive resume. Brian Lara is now the highest run-getter in Test cricket. I can only think of three other modern batsman who rank in the stratosphere: Haq, Hayden, and Tendulkar.

Moderate Islamism is an Oxymoron

The Big Pharaoh:

Mona Eltahawy, a New York-based journalist and a columnist for the pan-Arab daily Al Sharq Al Awsat, appeared on Al Hurra not many days ago to discuss Egypt's parliamentary elections. The interviewer asked her if she considers the Muslim Brotherhood to be a "moderate Islamist group".
Mona refuted this and told him about what happened during a recent interview she had with Mehdi Akef, the MB's superior leader. She asked him if the MB were planning to alter the constitution if they reached power and whether that will include women issues.

Akef was firm in conveying his organization’s belief in full women rights. He gave her a proof to what he just told her. “See, you are now sitting with me even though you are naked” he said.

See, this proves that the Muslim Brotherhood is moderate. A hardcore Islamist would have called her a whore.

The Halaal Way of Destruction

See the video. It's quite chilling. I heard a lot of Arabic there.

Link via LFG.

Via a comment, we get this link:

After confronting the clerk behind the counter they push him aside, topple some groceries, open the wine, soda and alcohol coolers and throw the goods on the floor. Working in the store at the time, the owner's son, 17-year-old Khalid Saleh, who said one of the men was armed.

“So I was standing there keeping my hands up watching them break all these windows, glass bottles and stuff,“ said Saleh. “They said ‘We're Muslims,’ and selling liquor to the community, that we ain't supposed to be doing that.”

Oh, it was just a friendly reminder for the neighborhood Muslims to "keep it real halaal." Aren't they such nice brothers?

English: The Safe and Easy Option

Ziauddin Ahmed makes good points in his letter:

The Indians continued to use English as the medium of instruction in science and mathematics, and took bold steps to steer science education on the pattern of the best universities of America. Obviously, this would be unthinkable if local languages were used as mediums of instruction. As a result, the expertise of Indians in science and technology is now rated among the best in the world.

We in Pakistan adopted the opposite policy and have seen how badly this policy has affected our students.

This was inevitable because switching of languages without having first prepared the requisite groundwork could not have produced any other result. The experience of Russia, Japan, and China shows that an essential prerequisite is to establish an elaborate organization to translate thousands of scientific and technical books into the national language. This would have to be a continuous process rather than a one-time event, requiring tremendous human and financial resources. Regrettably, such an organization is conspicuously absent in Pakistan, and we do not even have a plan or conceptual framework for one.

[Emphasis mine]

Imagine even attempting to translate the various Biology, Physics or Chemistry journal articles from the West into Urdu. It would be a nightmare. Most of the time, there aren't even any Urdu words in existence for many of the scientific terms in the West. So, in the end, we'd likely end up with a soup of Latin, Greek, English, and Urdu. It just makes the material more complicated than it already is.

In this India vs. Pakistan match, India is definitely the winner.

Slavery in Sindh

One escapes:

A girl, who had been sold, escaped her captors in Sindh and reached home after one year. Sumaira of Owais Qarni Road in Noshehra Sansi had been working at Khalid’s house in Shaheenabad.

Her story:

A year ago, Khalid took her to Sadiqabad saying that he would get her meet her relatives. Khalid sold Sumaira to Nazar Muhammad in Sindh for Rs 25,000 [US$417]. She alleged that Nazar Muhammad had raped her. On Tuesday night, Sumaira escaped from Sindh and reached Sabzi Mandi Police where she recorded her statement.

What happens next?

Sumaira said Nazar Muhammad had other 13 girls, whom he had bought for marrying. She said Nazar Muhammad had forced her to marry him, although she was married and had a child. Sumaira said the accused had been allegedly raping all the 14 captive girls. She said a gang from People’s Colony sold girls to people with influence in Sindh after kidnapping them. Sumaira said that her husband’s brother’s wife had also been kidnapped and was still in private detention in Sindh. She said whenever Punjab Police tried raiding these captors in Sindh, the Sindh police informs them in advance and they shift the girls to some other place.

[Emphasis mine]

One can buy anything in Pakistan.

Dell is Cheap

This is very odd. Volokh bought his laptop with Microsoft Windows XP pre-loaded but DELL didn't give him the XP CD!

That means that the Dell service was atrocious from the beginning. What if Volokh (or any customer) wished to format the drive and re-install the operating system?

Why would someone do that?

Many reasons: fresh install, wanted a partitioned drive, didn't like the Dell setup etc. The point is that Dell left the customer hanging from the very start. Dell didn't always do this. I remember when I bought my Dell laptop in 1998, it came with all the features pre-installed plus the Windows CD. This present double-charging of the same operating system is not the way to please customers.

See also what the Indigent Blogger wrote. Dell is basically ripping off its customers.

A Small Target

Brian J. Dunn:

The Chinese build up is narrowly focused to take Taiwan and to keep us out of the fight long enough to win. In this narrow band of capabilities, China is getting ready to take Taiwan. And Taiwan isn't helping by refusing to arm up in the face of the Chinese threat.

That is correct. China, at present, doesn't threaten the US. However, the Chinese do threaten an American ally. The question is, do we have the capability and more importantly the desire to protect that ally?

Defeating the Purpose


Are orgies popular in South Asian communities in Canada (if so I am leaving Jesusland tomorrow)?

Trust me, they're not. I agree that the in-your-face content of the posters distracts from the overall message, even in Canada. But, it's a start. Can you imagine "healthy" posters in Pakistan or in large parts of India? Me neither.

Freedom and Compassion

The Instawife provides answers to a few personal questions.

Her reply to this one is beautiful:

I thought you would be a sweet psychologist who was out the save the world from the oppression of a capitalist society. Do you have no compassion for the poverty stricken, the disabled, victims etc.?

I am the epitome of capitalism--it is the only system that holds human nature accountable for its failings. I despise socialism and victimhood. From a young age, I believed that the rights of the individual and freedom were the most important principles a nation could stand for. Compassion is not telling people what to do and giving handouts--it is teaching people to stand up and care for themselves as best they can.

The Instapundit is one lucky dude.


Donald Rumsfeld:

Iraq is free and sovereign, the rape rooms closed, the shredders disabled, the tyrant in shackles awaiting his hanging, the people living with all the blessings of liberty. Thanks to our military and the will of this administration not to cave in to those who never learned, or have forgotten that sacrifice is the cost of any worthy goal. We have now achieved one, for the people of Iraq, the rest of the Middle East and to remind the world that we have the will to stand up for freedom, wherever it is crushed by the boot of tyranny.

The photo at the end adds a nice touch.

No Perspective

Graeme Douglas:

In a country such as Canada, it is impossible to grant one group possession of the absolute truth. By saying that one faith is absolutely right, the converse becomes true as well: that anyone who believes anything else is absolutely wrong.

I am not going to argue against having faith in your religion or even believing it to be the sole source of the ìtrueî answers. Most Canadians believe in one faith or another, and what I may think about any one of those faiths really has no relevance. The problem however, is when a person takes their faith from being a personal matter and begins trying to force it on other members of society.

Note that the writer is talking about religion and those who try to force it on others and yet he manages to avoid the 80 ton brachiosaurus. Though, later on, he sneakily fits in the "crusaders."

Do we let ourselves regress to some pre-enlightenment point, where church and state are no longer separate, where religious leaders form government policy instead of our elected politicians, and where one groupís beliefs are forced upon all?
No, we must rail against a descent back into the Dark Ages.

Which country does he bring up as an implicit example of this descent? Just read the last line. It's a killer!

Schrödinger's Hero

You scored as Maximus. After his family was murdered by the evil emperor Commodus, the great Roman general Maximus went into hiding to avoid Commodus's assassins. He became a gladiator, hoping to dominate the colosseum in order to one day get the chance of killing Commodus. Maximus is valiant, courageous, and dedicated. He wants nothing more than the chance to avenge his family, but his temper often gets the better of him.



William Wallace


Indiana Jones


Neo, the "One"


Batman, the Dark Knight


Lara Croft


The Terminator


The Amazing Spider-Man


El Zorro


James Bond, Agent 007


Captain Jack Sparrow


Which Action Hero Would You Be? v. 2.0
created with

Link via Provoking the Muse.