Margaret Thatcher, “The Iron Lady”, has died at the age of 87 following a stroke. I will remember her best for her interview with former Australian 60 Minutes reporter George Negus where she ‘owned’ him good. The above video is an excerpt and the complete interview can be found here:
It is a sad fact that antisemitism is rife in the Islamic world, but it is also sad that it is rife amongst Muslims who live in Western countries, and often instilled in their locally born children.
The first Muslim member of the British House of Lords, Nazir Ahmed, was briefly imprisoned in 2009 for dangerous driving. On Christmas Day 2007, he was sending SMS text messages on his phone whilst driving and struck another car, which resulted in the death of a 28 year old man who was the passenger. He pled guilty and ended up serving a trivially short prison sentence of 16 days.
When he was interviewed in Pakistan in April 2012, he blamed his imprisonment on a crazy Jewish conspiracy:
Filed under: International News, International Politics
The death of the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il at age 69 has made news all over the world. Apparently, he had a heart attack whilst on a train.
He will be remembered for his skillful use of nuclear brinkmanship to protect his tyrannical regime and how he starved and brutalised his people, whilst lavishing the country’s limited wealth on himself and the military.
Here are a few sites with collections of reputed crazy facts about his lunatic, eccentric and brutal rule:
His son Kim Jong-Un has taken over. No-one really knows what to expect – he is young and baby-faced, in his late 20’s. Some in the media hope that he may be more modern-minded as he was educated in Switzerland, and so he may liberalise North Korea. I don’t buy this type of wishful thinking.
I recall the case of another long-ruling dictator – Syria’s Hafez al-Assad. When he died in 2000, his son Bashar al-Assad took over. Prior to becoming leader, Bashar was an opthamologist who spent several years studying in the UK – a democratic society. People believed he would bring democratic ideals to Syria. They were proven wrong.
The fact is, Bashar had to maintain the loyalty of the old guard of military men and politicians, and act ruthlessly to prevent civilian unrest from toppling his regime, so he had to continue in his father’s tyrannical ways. It is only due to the momentum of the “Arab Spring” that began at the end of 2010 that Bashar’s rule is now at risk, with popular protests fueled by the Islamic movement.
The people of North Korea are far more isolated that the people of Syria and do not have a passionate political or religious movement to rally the population. Nonetheless, we will see what happens.
I congratulate the US government and their special forces for successfully tracking down and eliminating Osama Bin Laden, who was captured in his hideout located 60km north of Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad.
You would have to have been living in a cave (pun intended) to have not heard this by now, but just in case, here are some fantastic articles with timelines, details and lots of photos:
I wish to add my few cents to this ordeal.
I do not condone what Julian Assange and Wikileaks have done by releasing classified US diplomatic cables, but I do not condemn it either.
Diplomacy is a sensitive area and sometimes sensitive issues, especially where there is huge difference between both sides, or are controversial, need to be discussed quietly outside the public eye. For example, meeting with a belligerent force to negotiate a ceasefire, surrender or peace treaty.
But where is the accountability? When is it okay for our politicians and bureaucrats to tell lies, and when does it cross the line? How does the voting public know? How can the public judge the effectiveness and competence of our government without knowing the truth.
When Scotland released the Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, I knew that something was amiss. Although he reportedly was dying of prostate cancer and only had months to live, prisons do not usually hesitate to let someone die in prison, especially one convicted of mass murder.
It was clear that the West wanted to benefit from Libya’s petrol money (they have nothing else to offer), which is controlled by the whim of madman Muammar Gadhafi. Now, thanks to Wikileaks, we have some insight into the matter.
Other matters of interest are the fact that Arab countries wanted military action against Iran, Saudi Arabian royalty enjoy parties with liquor and prostitutes whilst ordinary folk get lashed or stoned to death.
Julian Assange is only responsible for publishing, but not the actual leaking. It is the people who are leaking the information that are deciding for themselves whether something should be leaked. The only controversy that Julian Assange could be legitimately questions about is if he is releasing some information but not others, then he could be proven to have an agenda. Kind of like when CNN admitted that they had kept quiet about the most brutal actions taken by the former Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein.
Also, isn’t it amazing how VISA, Mastercard, Paypal, Amazon and other organisations quickly stopped handling money transfers (or web hosting). Never before have I seen this kind of action by these symbols of capitalist freedom in any other matter, be it terrorism or child pornography.
Malcolm Turnbull had something interesting to say about making a martyr out of Julian Assange as well.
Filed under: International News, International Politics, Middle-East Affairs, Religion
The former Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid has died in hospital at the age of 69, after a prolonged illness. His presidency commenced after the fall of dictator Suharto in 1999.
Wahid’s leadership and policies attracted much controversy amongst Indonesians. Eventually, he was alienated within his own party and removed from office in 2001.
During and after his presidency, he promoted religious and ethnic tolerance. He wrote a seminal article published in the Wall Street Journal on December 30, 2005 titled “Right Islam vs. Wrong Islam” in which he called on “people of good will of every faith and nation” to unite to defeat the ideology of religious hatred that underlies and animates terrorism. He advocated for relations with Israel. When the Iranian government held a Holocaust Denial Conference in 2006, President Wahid convened a counter conference in Bali to promote the true historical view.
Filed under: International News, Politics and Policy
The only certainty from the climate summit was that in the process of hosting the summit they would spent a lot of money, generate a lot of CO2 and attract a lot of crazy people.
I must say that I am half impressed with the outcome – I was half expecting that the summit would be terminated by a walkout by disgruntled countries, but I am sure they realised that would be bad PR.
Instead, they have announced a non-binding declaration – a US-brokered deal with India, China, Brazil and South Africa – that they say will limit global warming to 2 degrees.
Here are a couple of links:
I am trying to work the meaning and impact of the declaration. My understanding is that they have a few pledges from countries to achieve certain drops in CO2 emissions by 2020, but the specific figures have not been disclosed.
Also, they may impose additional tax air and sea travel to raise billions of dollars yearly to assist island nations who believe that they are at risk of being submerged.
Naturally, most opposition and criticism is coming from countries that don’t thing the measures go far enough, and other countries who do not want to harm their economies atoning for the sins of the developed world.
More to come as things are clarified in the media.
Filed under: Australian News, Australian Politics, International News, International Politics, Science
‘ClimateGate’ is the name given to the controversy surrounding the leaking of emails belonging to the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia that took place in late November. This institute is a major research centre that played a key role in promoting Global Warming Alarmism and contributing to the IPCC report on Global Warming.
There has been some coverage in the Australian mainstream media, but most of it has completely ignored the meat of the issue, and instead focussed on ‘computer hacking’ or how it could impede the Copenhagen climate summit. The most thorough coverage has been in the Australian newspaper and the blogs of News Ltd. columnists Andrew Bolt and Tim Blair.
For those of you that are unfamiliar, emails contained in these archives strongly suggest that academics at CRU have prepetrated widescale scientific fraud and engaged in highly unprofessional, if not criminal conduct. Furthermore, it casts a strong shadow of suspicion and doubt on their conclusions of future global climate catastrophe.
These practices include:
- Suppressing the views of dissenting scientists
- Mathematically manipulating climate data to hide features of the curve that disagree with alarmist opinions
- Knowingly incorporating poor quality, unreliable data into their research
- Subverting the peer review process
- Withholding and destroying information in response to Freedom of Information requests
I have no doubt that ClimateGate played a significant role in increasing opposition to the Australian ETS legislation and the fall of Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull.
Plenty of great posts have been written that explain the content of these emails and surrounding issues in depth, so I will just include the links:
Nobel Prizes have traditionally been awarded for ACHIEVEMENT in a certain field, not INTENTION or ENCOURAGEMENT.
Barack Obama might have grand plans for his own vision of peace, but he has not made any sort of measurable achievement that deserves this kind of recognition.
In my opinion, the Nobel Prize for Peace completely lost all credibility long ago, judging from the long list of recent questionable [undeserving] recipients: Al Gore, Jimmy Carter, Kofi Annan, Yasser Arafat, Mikhail Gorbachev, Henry Kissinger & Le Duc Tho.
My advice to the Nobel Committee: stick to prizes for solid science.
Filed under: International News, International Politics, Middle-East Affairs
Long-serving Egyptian Culture Minister Farouk Hosny has lost his bid to become the new Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation – UNESCO. The position was instead won by former Bulgarian Minister Irina Bokova, who received a majority of the final vote 31-27, amongst the 58 delegates.
Farouk Hosni’s campaign was hampered by a threat he made in the Egyptian parliament last year to personally burn any Israeli book he found in Egypt’s famous Library of Alexandria.
According to the linked article, “Critics also said that Mr Hosni was unfit to be UN guardian of culture because he censored books and films and stifled media freedom to support the authoritarian Egyptian government of Hosni Mubarak”.
In true Arab Muslim style, he blamed his election loss on a “Jewish Conspiracy, cooked up in New York”.