Friday, February 24, 2012

Sharia law in Pennsylvania

Utterly chilling. This will give new life to the efforts to enact anti-sharia laws on the state level--and justly so, if this judge's actions have been reported correctly. The Constitution must trump Islamic law, if we are to have any sort of free future together with large Muslim populations in this country.

UPDATE: Further investigation at Reason magazine clarifies things. Judge is not a Muslim after all, and the purported smoking gun video was not so conclusive. He's still faulted for the sensitivity lecture he gave, though.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Black troops mutinied against white officers at Australian base in WWII

"An Australian historian has uncovered hidden documents which reveal that African American troops used machine guns to attack their white officers in a siege on a US base in north Queensland in 1942."

A sensational find, if it's true.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

RIP Whitney Houston

No details yet, but it looks like her self-destructive ways finally caught up with her. So sad, my sympathies to her family & fans. There was no reason for her to be a modern Billie Holliday, no reason for her to be so self-destructive, no reason to respond to the Blacker Than Thou types with anything other than a flipped bird. It was her life, her career, and no one had a right to push her into a template of what they thought a black entertainer ought to be.

Just sad...

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

The Himalayas and nearby peaks have lost no ice in past 10 years, study shows

The self-correcting nature of science at work. From The Guardian:

The world's greatest snow-capped peaks, which run in a chain from the Himalayas to Tian Shan on the border of China and Kyrgyzstan, have lost no ice over the last decade, new research shows.

The discovery has stunned scientists, who had believed that around 50bn tonnes of meltwater were being shed each year and not being replaced by new snowfall. [...]

The scientists are careful to point out that lower-altitude glaciers in the Asian mountain ranges – sometimes dubbed the "third pole" – are definitely melting. Satellite images and reports confirm this. But over the study period from 2003-10 enough ice was added to the peaks to compensate.

In brief, they had at first been basing calculations on glaciated regions that were easiest to reach, on the lower slopes. Now with this more sophisticated equipment, they can measure the ice fields further up, and factor them in. The scientists hasten to insist that global warming is still happening, and that this new finding is a refinement, not a refutation, of that fact. But don't expect to hear too much of that from blogs which will misrepresent this news.

I just wish I understood the science better, so I could follow along more intelligently.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

China, Russia veto Security Council resolution on Syria violence

Makes sense. Neither of the big powers approve of the Arab Spring, with its dangerous example of dictators coming to bad ends. Plus, Russia wants to save a customer for its military hardware. And it is surely the horselaugh of the week, to hear the Russian foreign ministry make noises about using its influence to liberalize the Asad regime. Very cynical

But China's opposition is more troublesome. The present state of things in China may well be the shape of things to come in a post-democratic world order. It gives hope to dictators, to think that they can have totalitarian control over a country that is nevertheless stable and prosperous, as China's communist party does. Doesn't bode well for the future of freedom, for that reason as well as for the failure of democratization in Egypt, so far.