Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Global Cooling

I was reading the Netscape Blog today and came across an interesting post on the politicization of climate science. They report:

More than 120 scientists across seven federal agencies say they have been pressured to remove references to "climate change" and "global warming" from a range of documents, including press releases and communications with Congress.
As usual there is a Usenet type discussion going on. Flame wars (not too bad - Netscape is somewhat moderated). And just people with out a clue. Fun to visit. On the odd occasion.

So out of that discussion I pulled a couple of interesting urls.

The first is from Russia
ST. PETERSBURG, August 25 (RIA Novosti)- Global cooling could develop on Earth in 50 years and have serious consequences before it is replaced by a period of warming in the early 22nd century, a Russian scientist said Friday.

Environmentalists and scientists today focus on the dangers of global warming provoked by man's detrimental effect on the planet's climate, but global cooling - though never widely supported - is a theory postulating an overwhelming cooling of the Earth which could involve glaciation.

"On the basis of our [solar emission] research, we developed a scenario of a global cooling of the Earth's climate by the middle of this century and the beginning of a regular 200-year-long cycle of the climate's global warming at the start of the 22nd century," said the head of the space research sector of the Russian Academy of Sciences' astronomical observatory.

Khabibullo Abdusamatov said he and his colleagues had concluded that a period of global cooling similar to one seen in the late 17th century - when canals froze in the Netherlands and people had to leave their dwellings in Greenland - could start in 2012-2015 and reach its peak in 2055-2060.
I first did a piece on increased solar output in November of 2004. In that piece I suggested that the global warming we have been experiencing is mainly due to increased solar output. Since then further reports have come out adding more weight to the evidence.

Here is a report with links showing the connection between solar activity and climate for the last 1,000 years.
During the Medieval maximum of 1000-1300 there was an extremely large Sunspot which is believed to have warmed the Earth higher than normal. There were no accurate measurements of the weather to call upon during this time but the discovery and colonization of Greenland by Eric the Red supports this hypothesis. Eric was exiled from Iceland for manslaughter and sailed west discovering Greenland. He then led many ships, filled with people who wanted to make a fresh start, to this new land. For 300 years Greenland flourished, new communities settled, trade with other countries grew, and the population increased. Around 1325 the climate cooled down considerably, people started to abandon the northern settlements. By 1350 glaciers covered the northern settlements, and the southern most settlements were dying out as well.

The Sporer minimum of 1400-1510 and the Maunder minimum of 1645-1715 were each known as a "little ice age." They were both droughts in Sunspot activity, and a link to a time of abnormally cold weather on Earth. In addition to finishing off the Greenland colonies, the Sporer minimum showed increased rates of famine in the world, and the Baltic Sea froze solid in the winter of 1422-23. Some of the more notable effects of the Maunder minimum included the appearance of glaciers in the Alps advancing farther southward, the north sea froze, and in London there was the famous year without a summer where it remained cold for 21 consecutive months.
That was posted in 2004. What did the poster expect for the future?
The Sun could start going through a down trend in sunspot activity at any time. We could find ourselves back in a state similar to the Maunder Minimum with decades of much colder weather. Or sunspot activity could increase to an even higher level and temperatures could rise more than the amount some models project as a consequence of higher atmospheric carbon dioxide.

My guess is that the chances are greater for a reduction in sunspot activity than for an increase. Why? Most of the time the planet Earth is in an ice age. This is suggestive of the possibility that the Sun just doesn't put out enough heat to keep the Earth out of ice ages most of the time. Also, the higher sunspot activity reported above is at the high end of an over 1,000 year period. Therefore the odds seem greater that we will have more future years with lower sunspot activity than with higher sunspot activity.

My further guess is that a reduction in sunspot activity would cause more harm to humans than a further increase in sunspot activity. A decrease could put large amounts of farm fields out of production and would reduce the useful length of the growing seasons for other fields. The freezing over of rivers and seas along with snows and ice would interfere with transportation more than higher temperatures would.
Which is exacly what is being predicted by the Russian scientist.

He is not alone.
The New Scientist report, along with other scientific assessments warning of global cooling, also come as a blow to the campaign -- led by David Suzuki and one of the directors of his foundation -- to portray all who raise doubts about climate change theory -- so-called skeptics -- as pawns of corporate PR thugs manipulating opinion. If the Suzuki claim is true, then the tentacles of Exxon-Mobil reach deeper into science than anyone has so far imagined.

Dramatic global temperature fluctuations, as New Scientist reports, are the norm. A Little Ice Age struck Europe in the 17th century. New Yorkers once walked from Manhattan to Staten Island across a frozen harbour. About 200 years earlier, New Scientist reminds us, a sharp downturn in temperatures turned fertile Greenland into Arctic wasteland.

These and other temperature swings corresponded with changing solar activity. "It's a boom-bust system, and I expect a crash soon," says Nigel Weiss, a solar physicist at the University of Cambridge. Scientists cannot say precisely how big the coming cooling will be, but it could at minimum be enough to offset the current theoretical impact of man-made global warming. Sam Solanki, of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Germany, says declining solar activity could drop global temperatures by 0.2 degrees Celsius. "It might not sound like much," says New Scientist writer Stuart Clark, "but this temperature reversal would be as big as the most optimistic estimate of the results of restricting greenhouse-gas emissions until 2050 in line with the Kyoto protocol."
Funny thing is that solar output is not handled well in current climate change models.

That was discussed at length at Winds of Change. In fact the discussion basically evicerates the whole cimate change modeling community for over promising on the reliability of their results.

The more I look into this the more I find it is old news. From October of 2000 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA).
Although the processes of climate change are not completely understood, an important causal candidate is variation in total solar output. Reported cycles in various climate-proxy data show a tendency to emulate a fundamental harmonic sequence of a basic solar-cycle length (11 years) multiplied by 2N (where N equals a positive or negative integer). A simple additive model for total solar-output variations was developed by superimposing a progression of fundamental harmonic cycles with slightly increasing amplitudes. The timeline of the model was calibrated to the Pleistocene/Holocene boundary at 9,000 years before present. The calibrated model was compared with geophysical, archaeological, and historical evidence of warm or cold climates during the Holocene. The evidence of periods of several centuries of cooler climates worldwide called "little ice ages," similar to the period anno Domini (A.D.) 1280-1860 and reoccurring approximately every 1,300 years, corresponds well with fluctuations in modeled solar output. A more detailed examination of the climate sensitive history of the last 1,000 years further supports the model. Extrapolation of the model into the future suggests a gradual cooling during the next few centuries with intermittent minor warmups and a return to near little-ice-age conditions within the next 500 years. This cool period then may be followed approximately 1,500 years from now by a return to altithermal conditions similar to the previous Holocene Maximum.
You have to ask yourself, why isn't this being discussed? Why wasn't it in Al Gore's movie on climate? Which I'm told is set to recieve an Oscar this year. I'm willing to bet Gore's movie An Inconvenient Truth will go down with Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will. A triumph of propaganda.

More on the 1,500 year solar cycle

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Guilford Student Cleared

Guilford College student Jazz Favor has been cleared by the school and allowed back on campus.

Greensboro, NC -- A Guilford College football player's mom is speaking out, only to WFMY News 2.

Anita Favors, Jazz Favor's mother, says the players and the Palestinan students were friends. She also says at least one of the accusers have already apologized to some of the football players.

Favors says her son was trying to break up the fight between his teammates and the three Palestinian students.

"Our son told us that it was a fight. It started out as an argument and then a whole bunch of people got involved. Jazz was instructed by an official of that school to break up the fight because he's so big and he grabbed a football player and asked him to leave," Anita Favors explained, "In the process of removing the football player he told one of the accusers just run and leave. He was telling everybody just run get out."

An independent investigation by the college is still underway, but Favors says her son has been cleared and allowed back on campus.
A very good video of Jazz's mother talking about the case is available at the above link. Click on the WFMY Video On Demand box on the page. The video is about two minutes. Jazz's mother stated in the video that before the fight the football players and the Palestinians had been friends.

Now all Jazz has to worry about is the court case.

The details are murky but I have heard rumors that the fight was over stolen beer and that the "brass knuckles" may have actually been a gold watch. All rumor so far.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

New Features

To get all the features of New Blogger I need to switch templates. This is always a shock.

I'll try to minimize it.

If you have any comments let me know. I'm not a big fan of the wide text. I'll see if I can fix that. Fixed

This is starting to look like my old home.

The one change I had to make is that the Site meter is now at the bottom of the sidebar.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Meet The Accusers

The accuseers in the Guilford College fight have finally met with police.

Last Edited: Monday, 29 Jan 2007, 11:21 PM EST
Created: Monday, 29 Jan 2007, 11:20 PM EST

GREENSBORO (WGHP) -- More than a week after a fight on the Guilford College campus, Greensboro police have interviewed the accusers. Three Palestinian students claim members of the football team beat them and used racial slurs during a confrontation January 20.

After two missed appointments last week, the three accusers met with Greensboro Police and the FBI Monday evening at their lawyer’s office in downtown Greensboro.

This is the first step in the police investigation. The accusers have filed criminal complaints six football players.
Note that the complaints were filed directly with the magistrate bypassing the police, until now.

Normally accusers do not do police interviews with their lawyers present. So that is kind of strange. Waiting a week before making contact (time to get the stories straight?) is also not the regular course of action following an altercation.

Not to worry. The Angry Studies people have it under control.
The Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Project chose to enter the public discourse by issuing a news release Monday afternoon.

"May God grant the Guilford College community the courage and wisdom to name, engage, and overcome their own underlying attitudes and cultural prejudices that led to such a tragic event," read the final sentence of the statement.
I wonder if they are talking about prejudice against jocks? Or prejudice against white people?

I suppose it couln't be the white people thing. Half the accused are black.

A look at the Reconciliation Project statement might be helpful.
We pledge to all the members of that college community our whole hearted support as they seek to deal fairly and compassionately with the students involved in this recent event, but also with the underlying spirit of racism and domination revealed in it---a hate-filled spirit from which none of us in this competitive, fragmented, violence-prone society is free.

We pray that God will assuage the wounds of our three young Palestinian neighbors and grant them many friends whose love and support will transcend the barriers of race and culture and hasten their healing in body and soul. May God grant the Guilford College community the courage and wisdom to name, engage, and overcome their own underlying attitudes and cultural prejudices that led to such a tragic event. May God grant the young men who participated in wounding their fellow students the tough love of honest friends and the necessary guidance and support by which they may be freed from the destructive power of the spirit of domination and the exclusive attitudes that drove them into such violent and hateful behavior.
That statement sure looks like a rush to judgement to me. What if it was the Palestinians who did the wounding? What if they started the fight?

What if the The Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Project are tough loving the wrong people? What if they don't have a lock on truth? What if they are really bigots in disguise?

Me? I smell a rat.

Here is how The Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Project got started. The short version: On November 3, 1979, Klansmen shot and killed five communists.

After digging further into The Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Project it looks to me like they are a group of "progressive" organizers. i.e. communists. Although the communists did extraordinary work on civil rights, their goal was never the reconciliation of the races. Their goal was to weaken America in the long cold war between the Soviets and the Western world. I think they are still at it.

I checked out some names mentioned at The Greensboro Truth and Community Reconciliation Project
More than 1,000 people -- Greensboro residents and national and international supporters -- took part Nov. 13, 2004, in the the 25th Anniversary March for Justice, Democracy and Reconciliation. The anniversary was marked by a collection of other religious, cultural and educational events featuring distinguished guests including Naomi Tutu, the granddaughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, nationally acclaimed playwright Emily Mann and veteran national civil rights activists including Vincent Harding, Elizabeth McAllister and Ruby Sales.
Vincent Harding had this to say.[pdf]
Don't let people fool you when they say they went to Grenada because the communists were taking over. Don't let people fool you when they say that someday they are going into Cuba because that's where the trouble starts. I know what Cuba was like before Castro came to power. I know what it means to be a slave. Don't be telling me about sending our young men to fight communism in Cuba.
Yep. Cuba is the model. Land of the free.

The other names mentioned don't seem to have any obvious communist sympathies. If fact Naomi Tutu's father Desmond appears to have been anti-communist.
Desmond Tutu was Bishop of Lesotho from 1976 until 1978, when he became Secretary-General of the South African Council of Churches. From this position, he was able to continue his work against apartheid with agreement from nearly all churches. Tutu consistently advocated reconciliation between all parties involved in apartheid through his writings and lectures at home and abroad. Though he was most firm in denouncing South Africa's white-ruled government, Tutu was also harsh in his criticism of the violent tactics of some anti-apartheid groups such as the African National Congress and denounced terrorism and Communism.
Cross Posted at Classical Values

Palestinian Civil War Watch - 12

The current cease fire is holding. Except for one killing. So far.

A Hamas affiliated gunman was shot dead in Khan Younies on Tuesday afternoon. Hamas officials are holding gunmen from Fateh responsible for the shooting. It is the first fatality to be reported since the cease-fire came into effect at 3 A.M [local time -which is +2GMT - ed.] on Tuesday morning.

The man killed was an operative of the Al-Qassam brigades, an armed wing affiliated with the Hamas movement, according to Palestinian security sources. The gunman who opened fire at him has not yet been identified.

IMEMC called Fawzi Barhoum, the spokesman of Hamas in the Gaza strip. He stated that apparently some groups of Fateh are not commited to the political leadership commands of Fateh movement, and are still acting on an individual basis.
Jeeze, what a surprise. The chain of command is unsound. They don't have orders. They have "suggestions".

Give the situation, in another day or two the battles will be raging again.

It looks like the person killed was a Hamas military leader.
Gunmen shot dead a Hamas commander in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday and the Islamist group blamed a Fatah-dominated security service for the first killing in the territory since a ceasefire went into effect overnight.

Hospital officials in the southern town of Khan Younis said Hussein Shabasi was shot in the head.

A spokesman for Hamas’ armed wing said he was killed by the Preventive Security Service, most of whose members belong to President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah faction. The security service denied any connection with his death.
It looks like the cease fire is holding. So far. In addition Fatah and Hamas have exchanged hostages.
Rival Palestinian factions have swapped hostages under a ceasefire deal that went into effect hours earlier, largely halting gun battles in which at least 30 Palestinians were killed.

The internal Palestinian violence in the Gaza Strip was the fiercest since the Islamist Hamas group, which rejects peace talks with Israel, trounced the more moderate Fatah faction in elections last year, triggering a Western aid embargo.

A total of 20 Hamas and 18 Fatah hostages were freed over a several-hour period, said Samih al-Madhoun, a senior leader of al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the armed wing of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah.

"The process of handing over the hostages has been completed," Madhoun said.

The truce agreed late on Tuesday to end five days of fighting seemed to be generally holding despite the killing of a Hamas commander in Gaza on Tuesday.

The ceasefire went into effect after Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas met an aide to Abbas.

The bloodshed had derailed unity government talks between Hamas and Fatah and prompted some families in the coastal strip to flee their homes.
Shops are opening. Traffic is resuming. People are coming out of their homes after being shut in for 5 days. It is quite possible that this truce will hold. For a while. Which would make my prediction of a couple of days to rest and refit wrong.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Angry Studies

My friend Jim who posts frequently at Durham in Wonderland as RP and Roman Polanski has invented a term for classes in victimology taught in so many universities. He calls them Angry Studies.

I told Jim that at least the first time I used it I woud give him credit. So Jim credit where due.

BTW I did search the term on Google and found nothing matching this useage. It is possible I missed something.

The Duke Chronicle has an example of just how angry the Angry Studies departments can get. Thanks to Durham in Wonderland.

An Incentive, Not A Deterrent

Bernard Lewis says that MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) does not work with people who want to be destroyed.

Outdated Cold war concepts, such as mutually assured destruction (M.A.D) are irrelevant when it comes to Iran , because the Iranian president and his circle see such a scenario "as an incentive, not a deterrent," renowned scholar Bernard Lewis said during a lecture Monday evening at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

Addressing a packed hall, Lewis spoke after a screening of the film 'Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West'.

"Ahmadinejad and his group clearly believe, and I don't doubt the sincerity of their belief, that we are now entering an apocalyptic age, which will result in the triumph of their messianic figure," Lewis said, referring to the twelfth Imam, Mahdi.

"Muslims, like Jews, believe that there are things you can do to hasten the messiah. M.A.D doesn't work with these people."

Lewis added that the threat of many Iranians perishing in a war did not deter the Iranian leadership, which believes "it would be doing them a favor, by giving them a free pass to heaven."

"Iran is a mortal threat, and one also has to take account of the apocalyptic mood of Ahmadinejad and his circle. Islam, like Judaism and Christianity, has an end of time scenario," the scholar said.

"There is only solution to the Iranian threat, and that can only come from the Iranian people," Lewis said.
Let me note that the Jews who believe you can rush the Messiah are few in number and do not run any countries.

I do think that the Iranian people will have to change Iran. However, there are some Iranian people who think that a push from the USA might be helpful.
WASHINGTON - While United States Minister of Defense Robert Gates, along with many specialists on the matter, warn against a military attack on Iran, which in their view will entrap the Iranian people behind the Ayatollah regime, Iranian student leader Amir Abbas Fakhr-Avar believes an attack will have the reverse result.

In an exclusive interview with Ynet, Fakhr-Avar describes his blueprint for how to topple the regime. If the West launches a military attack on Iran , “The top brass will flee immediately. People will come out onto the streets protesting, why are we being bombed? Many of the regime’s mid-level officials will shave their beards, don ties and join the (civilians) on the streets.”
So he does expect at least street protests in opposition to an American bombing. He also thinks thtere is a better way.
He testified before the US Senate, met with President George W. Bush and senior administrators in the State Department and the Pentagon, as well as with experts and analysts on Iran, like Professor Bernard Lewis and others.

His message to the West is: Stop supporting the reformists in Iran. Help us topple the Ayatollah regime. He claims the time is right; all that is needed is a push from the West.

Fakhr-Avar believes the revolution can be accomplished within ten months to a year. He does not ask for much from the Americans: “What we really need is the tools,” he says. “Cell phones, computers, cameras, publication ability. This is the funding we need for our (revolutionary) activities, to coordinate within Iran and outside.”
Publication ability could mean nothing more than copiers. Or fast printers hooked to computers. At 30 pages a minute you can do 1,000 pages in about 35 minutes. Spread that around to 10 or 20 sites and you have a clandestine printing industry. Easily disguised as a business.

So what Amir see as his role in the USA?
Our main purpose and help we can give the administration is to help them to decide better. They don’t know that society that well, they really don’t know the regime or the people. We need to help them – we being the opposition outside Iran.

In my testimony to the senate I told them a few things: Mainly that sanctions will help to make the regime weak, and that they need to put down the regime.

The outside world does not know much about Iran, maybe they know at best 10 percent of what is going on in Iran, what the people’s sentiments are. Seventy percent of the population is under the age of 30, but they’ve had grand experiences. They’ve been through post-revolution, war, robbery during (Akbar Hashemi) Rafsanjani’s era, so-called reform.
Once burned twice shy they say.
Not the mobiles, not the cell phones. They don’t have the technology to stop it, and there are too many. Right now they’re busy controlling each other’s mobiles – the mullahs, so that’s why some of these guys are doing it freely. However, landlines, they do control. But mobiles there are problems.

What is interesting is that the rest of the world believes in the information network of the Islamic regime is very strong, but that is not the case. They are extremely weak. They have a very low IQ.
Say. Where have I heard that before? One must not underestimate the animal cunning, even in people with low IQ.

What we need to do then is flood Iran with cheap or free satellite connections. Uplink and down link. I think we have the technology for that.
Ahmadinejad is stupid. We’ve known him for the past 6-7 years from the political arena in Iran. When he was the mayor Tehran his plans were so stupid that people laughed at him. One of them was to pave the roadway that the 12th imam traveled on. He took all the intersections and removed the traffic signals so everyone can go where they want. A few months later they decided it was stupid and put them all back. It cost something like 2 billion dollars.
I wonder who got the paving contracts?

Amir says there is a generation gap in Iran.
People in Iran react the opposite of what the regime says. If the regime says it’s day, they’ll close their eyes and say it’s night. Whatever the Islamic regime fights against- that becomes important to the Iranians. I don’t represent the entire population of course, but I can give you an idea of what are the sentiments. I was elected by the students and I speak for them. Remember, 70 percent are under age 30.

The older generation is stuck in the 70s, the youngsters speak a language the adults don’t understand

The majority of the population don’t care for Hizbullah or the Palestinian people, mostly because they see that their money is going to them.

Israel’s attack on Hizbullah was they best thing they’ve done in recent years. It helped to clean up the land from the terrorists, when they don’t have land they have no place to run troops, that’s why they drove Hizbullah crazy, regime in Iran wasn’t happy either.
Wow. Israel's fight with Hizballah has cheered the anti-government Iranians. That is a side effect from last summer's war I wasn't even aware of.

I hope the Iranian people get the tools they need. And, if necessary, the mullahs get a good hard shove to help them out the door.

I remember reading a few years ago an Iranian stating that if an American attack kept civilian casualties under 1,000 it would be worth it.

Faster please.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Forced Migration

I have been officially forced to migrate to the New and Improved Blogger.

Let me know if you have any provlems.


Now I'm not sure if magistration is a word. At least in the sense I intend to use it. So what do I mean by magistration? Getting a magistrate to swear out a warrant without any input from law enforcement. Basically a way to get a person jailed with out any evidence except a sworn statement.

Why is this of interest? It has just happened for the sixth time in the Guilford College case.

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) -- A sixth Guilford College football player was charged Monday with assaulting a Palestinian student, court officials said.

The arrest warrant states that Rushing hit one of the victims while he was on the floor being beaten by others.

Micah Rushing, 21, of Albemarle, was released on a promise to appear, the Guilford County Magistrate's Office said.

The charges stem from accusations by three Palestinian students who said they were taunted with racial slurs and called "terrorists" as they were beaten by several members of the school's football team just after midnight Jan. 20, according to court documents. Besides assault, the five other players have been charged with ethnic intimidation.

Faris Khader, one of the three accusers, swore out the assault warrant against Rushing, the magistrate's office said. None of the charges against the players are the result of police investigation.
For those of you keeping a race score card, there are now three black and three white defendants. And as this latest report notes: so far there has been no police investigation. Despite the fact that the accuser's lawyer has said that the accusers would meet with police to discuss the matter.

Just a guess, but I think the accusers were jealous of the football guys. What was that old Rolling Stones' song? "I can't get no...."

Here is a recap for those of you who would like to catch up on the case details:
Guilford College Six's Injuries
Palestinians Lawyer Up
Guilford Is A Street In Rockford

H/T reader linearthinker

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Monday, January 29, 2007

Palestinian Civil War Watch - 11

The Palestinian civil war appears to be raging on. Fighting appears to be heavy and wide spread.

22:43 Jan 29, '07
( Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh was unhurt in heavy fighting near his home and office as he called for a halt in the violence which claimed the lives of at least thee more people Monday.

Heavy exchanges of gunfire between Fatah and Hamas supporters were reported earlier in the evening, and a rocket propelled grenade was fired on the Gaza police station a short time ago.
The Ynet News has more details.
An explosion ripped through the Shati refugee camp near Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh's house after nightfall Monday, witnesses said.

There was no immediate word of casualties.

Haniyeh's Hamas and rival Fatah forces have been fighting for several months. In another incident around the same time, security officials said Hamas militants fired a rocket-propelled grenade at a police station near Haniyeh's office in Gaza City.
All this fighting might explain why the Palestinians were offering the Israelis a ten year truce. The maximum allowed under some Muslim law doctrines. Without a truce to refocus on Israel the Palestinians have begun to focus their anger on each other. Which is one way to work it out.

Great news. A cease fire has been declared.
Warring Hamas and Fatah factions in Gaza declared a cease-fire early Tuesday, set to go into effect at 3 a.m. local time (0100 GMT,) Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Mahmoud Zahar of Hamas announced.

Zahar spoke after a meeting between PA Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas and a representative of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah, with the participation of Egyptian mediators. They flanked him during his statement.
I hope that works out as well as the previous cease fires.

A Palestinian blogger has called on Israel to bomb Palestine. Nope. This is not a joke.
Following the suicide bombing in Eilat Monday, Palestinian journalist Fadi Abu Sada offered his two cents on the attack and the infighting in Gaza through his blog on Palestinian News Network:

“Israel poising to respond on Eilat attack, it could be by the aerial bombardment and artillery, or perhaps they will try to assassinate Palestinian resistance leaders, what a ironically, we really want that to happen quickly, it might be the only solution to stop the bloody fighting between brothers in the Gaza Strip.
Fadi goes on to say:
“No Palestinian faction, and no one seems to be now able to mediate between fighters, and stop the bloodshed, either Arabs and their calls on the parties to meet in the country, and it does not seem that anyone actually will respond to that, despite the welcome media practitioners.

“It's defective to reach such thinking, to call Israel to stop this shameful chapter in the chapters of the Palestinian case, if there is case still after all that has already happened and is happening.

“But if this is the only option, there is no problem in this, if this will remind the fighters for a moment that the occupation is still perched on us, because it seems to be lost on their chest.
So there you have it. The only hope for Palestinian national unity is for the Israelis to maintain the occupation and to regularly attack the Palestinians.

However, I don't think the Israelis will oblige. They have been very restrained of late. What is amazing is that the Sharon Plan for the evacuation of Gaza foresaw all this (not in detail) several years ago. The man is lying in a coma and his plan is working. A true military genius.

Let me note in my "Patterns are Emerging" post (link below) I suggested that the Israelis may be using the civil war to ethnically cleanse Gaza and the territories. Fadi echos that sentiment:
“No many options left: Either do same as what happened in Eilat, either go to hell, or leaving the country with shame of what's happening.”
That didn't take long. The truce was suppsed to go into effect at 0100 GMT Tuesday. It is now 0414 GMT and the civil war is back on. Note Israel time is GMT +2.
Fighting raged in Gaza Tuesday morning despite a cease-fire declaration by warring factions.

Gunfire and explosions were audible in downtown Gaza City as gunmen from Fatah and Hamas ignored the cease-fire, reached at a midnight meeting between Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas and a representative of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah.
It is a wonder they can get together without killing each other.

The latest news is that the cease fire appears to be holding for now. (times given are Israeliy time which is +2 from GMT)
Jan. 30, 2007 0:46 | Updated Jan. 30, 2007 9:52

A cease-fire started taking hold in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, after five days of intense Hamas-Fatah fighting that left 34 people dead.

However, previous truce deals struck in recent weeks of factional clashes quickly collapsed, and it appeared unlikely the two sides would comply with all the terms of the current agreement, such as handing over all those involved in killings and abductions.
I give it two days to get started up again.
In Gaza City, gunfire and explosions were heard throughout the night, but the shooting stopped at about 5 a.m. (0300 GMT), several hours after the cease-fire deal was struck
That explains the earlier reports.

Here are links to the last few Civil war watches. Because you can't tell the players without a score card. You can also click on the tag "Palestinian Civil War Watch" and get all the articles.

Palestinian Civil War Watch - 10
Palestinian Civil War Watch - 9
Palestinian Civil War Watch - 8
Palestinian Civil War Watch - 7

and a few other items of interest:

Patterns Are Emerging
Very Complicated
Iraq Comes To Gaza
Palestinians Unpopular
Its Official
Pulling Out Doesn't Work
It's A Family Affair

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Anti-Railroading Society

Let me state here at the beginning that I do not have it in for the Union Pacific, B&O, Southern Pacific or any of the myriad other rail transportation companiers in America. The kind of railroading I'm against is where police and prosectors home in on a suspect and won't let go despite evidence of innocence.

We have seen that in the Duke case where the charges against the 3 Duke lacrosse players is demonstratively false. The accuser's story has changed in very significant ways over time. None of them matching the evidence. The accuser couldn't identify any lacrosse players in the first two line ups. None of her early descriptions matched any of the boys she picked. And on. The case is a bust and yet DA Nifong couldn't quit. He needed the case to win a hotly contested primary election.

However, similar cases are reported all over America. What is unusual in this case is that the boy's parents were in a positioin to fight back. They have good lawyers who have investigated and destroyed the case before it even came to trial. So badly destroyed that the original DA in the case is now up before the bar on charges.

However, most such cases never get the spotlight or the resources this case did. Who gets buried by such tactics? Poor people. Many blacks, hispancics, and poor white trash. Which brings me to the Duke Chapel. Rev. William Barber spoke yesterday at Duke Chapel. A sermon. KC Johnson discusses what he heard.

I decided to watch the webcast of Barber's sermon to hear what he had to say. With copious references to Martin Luther King, Jr., Barber organized his talk around the "devastation of denial" when Pontius Pilate gave into the mob and denied clemency for Jesus.

"The refusal to acknowledge what is right in front of us," declared Barber, "can be devastating," even more so when accompanied by a denial of responsibility to change what is bad. Any "attempt to deny injustice covers us with the blood of guilt," since "all the denial in the world will not save us from ultimately having to face reality." To replace this atmosphere, "what we need today is a theology of truth and not denial."
Then he goes on to discuss all the Rev.'s individual and collective denials. In other words the Rev. is trying to support a case that doesn't exist.

What he needs to do is turn his whole mind set around. Which is very hard. What Rev. Barber needs to focus on is bigotry free justice. I'm not just talking in a raicial or other similar context. I'm talking about situations where there is a rush to judgement, which in itself is a kind of bigotry. Bigotry is the art of avoiding evidence contrary to preconcieved notions. We know this happens from the numerous cases of people on death row exonerated after many years in prison. We also know the system is reluctant to re-examine the evidence when it is available. Which means that the system thinks it has a lot to hide.

What I think the Rev. should do is join the anti-railroading society. Because, if the prosecutors would pull this on white boys look at how much easier it would be to do to blacks. How do poor people come up with even a retainer for top lawyers?

Rev. Barber needs a serious attitude re-adjustment.

Well any way. We should help our brothers get back on track rather than pick fights with them. It would be the Christian thing to do. Funny thing is I'm Jewish.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

A Stand Up Fight

I seem to be obsessed with war news these days. Kind of a morbid fascination. In any case, US forces in Iraq have some how managed to get a group of insurgents to stand up and fight. As usual under such circumstances the insurgents are taking a beating.

NAJAF, Iraq (Reuters) - U.S. and Iraqi forces killed some 250 gunmen from an apocalyptic Muslim cult on Sunday in a battle involving U.S. tanks and aircraft near the Shi'ite holy city of Najaf, Iraqi police, army and political sources said.

Two Americans were killed, the U.S. military said, when an attack helicopter went down during the day-long battle in what was one of the strangest incidents of the four-year conflict. Iraqi officials said the helicopter seemed to be shot down.

According to one Iraqi political source, hundreds of fighters drawn from both Sunni and Shi'ite communities were still fighting. A Reuters reporter at the scene, 160 km (100 miles) south of Baghdad, saw U.S. tanks and heard blasts after dark and an Iraqi officer said F-16 jets were bombing the area.

Details of the day's fighting were sketchy and the origins of the fighters unclear. An Iraqi army source said some of the dead wore headbands declaring themselves a "Soldier of Heaven."

The governor of Najaf province said the group had gathered in orchards near the city and had been planning to attack the main Shi'ite clerical leadership on Monday. It is the climax of the annual Shi'ite rite of Ashura, marking a 7th century battle which entrenched the schism between Shi'ite and Sunni Islam.
Given that the usual battles against insurgents only kill a few at a time, the death of 250 or more has to mark a turning point.

Normally guerillas do not stand and fight. As this fight shows it is not to their advantage. Worse, is to fight in the open. They must have been in a very bad position to get into a situation where all they could do is go down fighting.

It is possible that the troop surge is having an effect. Not necessisarily beneficial to the anti-government forces.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Patterns Are Emerging

In the ongoing war in Gaza and the West Bank patterns are emerging.

By IBRAHIM BARZAK - The Associated Press - Monday, January 29, 2007; 6:47 AM


The violence in Gaza often appears random, but some patterns are emerging, particularly in the latest round, which began Thursday and has so far left 30 dead.

Hamas has repeatedly targeted police compounds in recent days in an apparent effort to seize control of the Abbas-allied security forces. Hamas gunmen also have kidnapped several senior security commanders loyal to Abbas, but have released them.

Fatah gunmen, in turn, were drawing out Hamas fighters across the Gaza Strip, in what appeared to be a battle of attrition. From Sunday afternoon to daybreak Monday, gun battles raged in the southern town of Khan Younis, in Gaza City and in the north of the coastal strip.

Some of the most intense fighting took place outside the Gaza City headquarters of the Preventive Security Service, which a decade ago led a crackdown on Hamas and is fiercely loyal to Abbas. Hamas gunmen fired dozens of mortar shells at the compound, drawing return fire through the night.
This points to a civil war which will probably go on for months if not years.

If I was cynical I'd say this was the Israeli's method to get the Palestinians to ethnically cleanse themselves.

Gaza Plunged Into Darkness

You knew that already, didn't you? Well a little extra darkness has been added.

10:21 Jan 29, '07 Gunfire and rocket attacks by rival terrorists hit a power transformer, plunging the western part of Gaza into darkness. A sixth militia gunman was killed a short time ago as fighting and kidnappings continued despite agreements by Hamas and Fatah leaders to accept mediation efforts by Saudi Arabia.

Hamas militia men kidnapped the teen-age son and nephew of the commander of the Fatah militia in Gaza.
I guess the killings will continue until the mediator properly mediates. After that they will resume.

This is no longer just about business. It is about family. It could get really vicious. In fact it has already.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Lieberman IS Independent

Joe Lieberrman is going to do what most non-partisans will do in '08.

"I'm going to do what most independents and a lot of Democrats and Republicans in America do, which is to take a look at all the candidates and then in the end, regardless of party, decide who I think will be best for the future of our country," Lieberman said Sunday.

"So I'm open to supporting a Democrat, Republican or even an Independent, if there's a strong one. Stay tuned," said the three-term lawmaker who caucuses with Senate Democrats.

Lieberman is an ally of GOP Sen. John McCain (news, bio, voting record) of Arizona, a 2008 hopeful, and supports President Bush's new Iraq strategy. Lieberman won re-election as an independent last fall when Democrats backed an anti-war candidate who won the party primary.
I'm sure the Democrats are really glad they gave Joe the back of their hand.

What about a McCain/Lieberman ticket? I'd vote for them.
"Obviously, the positions that some candidates have taken in Iraq troubles me. Obviously, I will be looking at what positions they take in the larger war against Islamist terrorism."

He added, "I am genuinely an independent. I agree more often than not with Democrats on domestic policy. I agree more often than not with Republicans on foreign and defense policy."

The senator said he wanted to select someone "I believe is best for the future of our country. ... Party is important, but more important is the national interest. And that's the basis that I will decide whom to support for president."
So he wants to do what is best for the country. Now that really is a novel approach.

H/T Instapundit

War Is A Racket

Major-General Smedley D. Butler: Common Sense (November 1935)
I spent thirty-three years and four months in active service as a member of our country's most agile military force---the Marine Corps. I have served in all commissioned ranks from a second lieutenant to major-general. And during that period I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street, and for the bankers, In short I was a racketeer for capitalism
Thus, I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place to live for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in…. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American Sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras "right" for American fruit companies in 1903. In China in1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested. During those years I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. I was rewarded honors, medals, promotion. Looking back on it, I feel I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was operate his racket in three city districts. We Marines operated on three continents."
So what is a quote like that doing on an avowedly neo-con blog? Sit down swollow your drink. Get your hands off the computer.

I agree with the General.

Whoa. Say it isn't so. Nope. It is true. The purpose of the American military in 2007 and well beyond is to open trade possiblities and keep the trade routes open. If we don't do that job as I explained in Decline and Fall, the world and all its people will be worse off. In fact the outcome would lead to Desolation Row.

What people do not understand is that if war is done as a way to increase trade flows (Gen. S. Butler was right about that part - his Marines were sent to make opportunities for American companies or to protect assets the companies had already invested in) every one involved gets richer.

If it is purely a blood sucking operation (as the Soviets did to their "clients") every one gets poorer.

Now in general (and yes from time to time we have screwed the pooch badly) where do you think America stands?

What about people who think that if we stopped spending on the military the money could go to better uses.


However, those people needn't wait to get the Feds to move on it. They could start in their own communities by demanding the police force be disbanded. Think of all the money that could go to better uses.

Some one is going to be the world's policeman. Given the options I'd rather it was us. We are not so good. But there is lots worse out there.

Suggested by the discussion at Rose Colored Glasses

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Sunday, January 28, 2007


The former head of Israeli Intelligence says that World War III has already started. I actually count it as WW IV since I think WW III was fought against the Soviet menace. However, that is a mere quibble. Let us listen to former Mossad chief Efraim Halevy in his own words.

A third World War is already underway between Islamic militancy and the West but most people do not realize it, the former head of Israel’s intelligence service Mossad said in an interview published Saturday in Portugal.

‘We are in the midst of a third World War,’ former Mossad chief Efraim Halevy told weekly newspaper Expresso.

‘The world does not understand. A person walks through the streets of Tel Aviv, Barcelona or Buenos Aires and doesn’t get the sense that there is a war going on,’ said Halevy who headed Mossad between 1998 and 2003.

‘During World War I and II the entire world felt there was a war. Today no one is conscious of it. From time to time there is a terrorist attack in Madrid, London and New York and then everything stays the same.’

Violence by Islamic militants has already disrupted international travel and trade just as in the previous two world conflicts, he said.

Halevy, who was raised in war-time London, predicted it would take at least 25 years before the battle against Islamic fundamentalist terrorism is won and during this time a nuclear strike by Islamic militants was likely.
He goes on to say that it could be something like a dirty bomb. It doesn't have to be a Hiroshima.

I did take a look at what strangling trade routes means to civilization in:

Decline and Fall
Desolation Row

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Very Complicated

Here is a Gaza resident's view of the Palestinian Civil War.

Independent legislator, Rawya Shawa, said she was not surprised that the situation had come to this.

"This fight has no end," she said. "One group won the election; the other doesn't want to believe they have lost. The feeling on the street is that these two groups are preparing for a real battle. People feel that on every corner, one is waiting for the other."

"Gaza people are very tough people," Shawa added. "We don't miss the beautiful life because there has never been a beautiful life. We are very experienced with misery. But now, we are very afraid. It is very bad when it comes from your own people. We never expected something like this to happen. But now, one expects anything at any time.

"Personally, I cannot go out at night. In the day, I go to my office but I follow the instructions closely."

"We have a few groups working under the table" Shawa said. "Ready to make things worse. Pulling towards a civil war. In one family you can find supporters of Fatah and supporters of Hamas. It is a very complicated situation."
Once the politics begins dividing families, then you do have the true makings of a civil war; not just a Hatfield vs. McCoys family feud.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Guilford College Six's Injuries

Michael Six's injuries in pictures. Mildly graphic.

In other news on the case doubts about the Palestinian's story mounts.

FOX8 News GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) -- On a campus founded by pacifists, a war of words has broken out.

And as the events of the week since the fight at Guilford College have unfolded, uncertainty over what happened has increased as allegations grew, minor details were revealed and speculation abounded.

That which is known for certain is scarce: The FBI is now investigating a fight involving three Palestinian students and a number of football players. Five players -- Michael Bates, Michael Six, Christopher Barnette, Jazz Favors and Jonathan Underwood -- have been charged with assault, battery and ethnic intimidation. The Greensboro police and Guilford College are each conducting their own investigations, and five unnamed students have been temporarily suspended from the school.

Everyone involved appears to be trying to prevent the rush to judgment and storm of accusations that turned the Duke lacrosse case into a national sensation.

The school's dean for campus life, Aaron Fetrow, acknowledged the lack of certainty about the events early Saturday morning: "There are so many varied things out there [that] I don't know what happened, or I would've decided."

Parents of one of the football players said they know what happened: their son was beaten with a belt by one of the Palestinian students. They have photos taken, they said, by Guilford College security personnel as evidence of Michael Six's injuries.
However, not every one is avoiding a rush to judgement.
More than 250 Guilford College students walked out of class Thursday, protesting what they called racism on campus. The students who walked out of class wore red ribbons and gathered at the campus Quad.
I wonder if they mean racism against white people? What are the odds?

The College has already started doing what neither the police nor the FBI have begun to do. Take some statements.
1/27/2007 4:11 PM By: News14Raleigh

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Guilford College officials have about 25 statements from people who witnessed or participated in a racially-charged fight on campus last weekend, but they haven't determined exactly what happened.

Three Palestinian students said they were taunted with racial slurs and called "terrorists" as they were beat and kicked by several members of the school's football team, according to court documents. Five players have been charged with assault and ethnic intimidation, though the charges were not the result of a police investigation.

Rather, the charges were approved by a magistrate judge after the three accusers reported the incident. Greensboro police have not met with the accusers, and a detective has been assigned to the case, police said Friday. The FBI also is investigating.

Based on eyewitness statements, school officials determined the fight broke out just after midnight Jan. 20 near a residence hall. The fight lasted less than five minutes and possibly involved "hate speech during and after the incident," according to the school.

Those involved in the fight were neighbors in a residence hall, and at least a few of them had been drinking alcohol, school officials found. Aaron Fetrow, dean for campus life, said his staff reviewed the information and tried to piece together what actually happened.

"Finally, we couldn't," he said. "Because if we took a stance, or if we said something one way or the other, it could possibly indict in the court of public opinion. And we can't have a process like that."

The accused football players haven't spoken publicly about the case, though the parents of three players said the team members weren't the aggressors.

The accusers - Guilford College students Faris Khader and Osama Sabbah, and Omar Awartani, a student at North Carolina State University in Raleigh - suffered concussions in the altercation, their attorney said.

In a telephone interview Friday, attorney Seth Cohen also said Awartani has a broken jaw, Khader has a fractured nose and Sabbah has nerve damage in a hand. He said none had been drinking alcohol.
The broken jaw and fractured nose ought to be easy to verify. Nerve damage in the hand will be harder to prove.

However, we do have photographs of Six's injuries. Perhaps the Palestinians might want to see that or even raise it with x-rays and MRIs. We haven't seen picture one of those guys.

An earlier anonymous report said Faris was a hot head
Faris and Osama are good guys, I like them a lot, and no doubt they did not deserve this, but as much as I like them they sometimes tend to look for fights.
Here we have confirmation (non-denial) from Cohen, the accusers' lawyer, that Faris was somewhat of a hot head.
Cohen did not answer questions about Faris Khader's suspension from Guilford College last semester or whether any of the Palestinians clashed with members of the football team before Jan. 20.

Palestinian Civil War Watch - 10

No slack Saturday. The bodies pile up.

Deadly battles between rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah have continued in the Gaza Strip, leaving at least five more dead.

Saturday's deaths raise the toll since Thursday night to at least 22.

However, despite tension, the funerals for those killed on the previous day passed off peacefully on Saturday.

Clashes erupted in Gaza after weeks of relative calm and renewed efforts to form a national unity government. Both sides say they have suspended talks.

Those killed on Saturday included a boy of 11 or 12 who was hit during a shootout late at night between the two factions in the northern Gaza Strip.

Earlier at least one person died in a gun battle near Gaza's Islamic University, while another died in a car explosion - rumoured to be caused when explosives being carried in the vehicle exploded.

Shops were shut up and the streets of Gaza City were almost empty on Saturday as people hid inside from the gangs of gunmen stalking the streets.

Members of Hamas and Fatah have fired mortars and grenades at each other and mounted tit-for-tat kidnappings.
This is down a bit from Friday when 13 died. Friday sermons at the mosque seem to be very inflamatory on most Fridays.

The IHT has an even larger body count.
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip: Gunmen from the rival Hamas and Fatah movements battled in Gaza City for a third straight day, firing mortars and grenades in clashes that killed seven people in the increasingly bloody power struggle over the Palestinian government.

Saturday's deaths brought to 25 the number of Palestinians killed since late Thursday, with at least 68 people wounded and efforts to forge a coalition government at a standstill.

The latest fighting, which began late Thursday after a Hamas activist was killed in a bombing, has been among the deadliest in nearly two months of clashes.
Opinions in Gaza show that the situation is bleak and getting bleaker.
A poll conducted amongst Gaza Arabs last month shows that over fifty percent believe that the current violence marks the beginning of a civil war. Sixty-six percent said that they are pessimistic about the situation, and eighty-seven percent said that they feel unsafe. The poll was conducted by an-Najah university in Shechem, with five hundred Gaza Arabs participating, along with eight hundred and sixty Arabs from Judea and the Shomron.
Update: 28 Jan '07 0802z

Fighting rages on.
GAZA CITY (AP) -- Gunmen from the rival Hamas and Fatah movements battled each other in Gaza Sunday, continuing an increasingly bloody power struggle over the Palestinian government that left the coastal strip littered with dead over the weekend, while civilians cowered in their homes.

An explosion early in the morning rocked the home of a bodyguard to Fatah strongman Mohammed Dahlan, but the man was not in the building and no casualties were reported. At least eight people were wounded in exchanges of fire between the sides overnight, Palestinian security officials said.
The longer this goes on the harder it will be to stop. Fortunately.

It looks like some one has it in for Palestinian President Abbas.
Ronny Shaked Published: 01.28.07, 08:46

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas escaped an assassination attempt last week. Four large explosive devices were uncovered by Abbas' security officers on the road leading from the Erez crossing to Gaza, as the Palestinian president left Ramallah and was about to travel on that route.

Upon discovering the devices, Abbas' security officers instructed him to return to Ramallah. The explosive devices were detonated by sappers of the Presidential Guard.

The assassination attempt took place while the Palestinian president was on his way to meet Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh to discuss the establishment of a national unity government.
You know it looks like some one is not negotiating in good faith. That is a surprise. Normally the Palestinians are such honorable men.

The UN has the proper line.
The UN's Middle East envoy Alvaro de Soto called on all the factions "to cease clashes and comply with international humanitarian law by refraining from acts which endanger civilians".

The violence also showed signs of spreading to the West Bank, where Palestinian police clashed with about 200 Hamas supporters on Saturday.
Everything the Palestinians do, from suicide bombs, to rockets shot into Israel, to using human shields is predicated on endangering and harming civilians. Why should they stop now?

Update: 28 Jan '07 1803z

Calm has been restored to Gaza.
A relative halt to the inter-factional bloodshed in Gaza was brought about through mediation by an Egyptian security delegation between various Palestinian groups. However, kidnappings continue in the West Bank and the tense ceasefire appears close to a breakdown.

Funeral processions are taking place in Gaza, where four more people were killed Sunday morning during the fourth day of Hamas and Fatah infighting. Since Thursday night, 24 people have died, including a two year old boy caught in the crossfire.

Violence continued in the West Bank, with riots in Nablus Sunday afternoon. Members of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades – Fatah's military wing – kidnapped at least ten Hamas operatives, including senior municipality officials.
Violence resumes.
GAZA, Jan 28 (KUNA) -- Unknown gunmen shot dead on Sunday a Palestinian Hamas activist in the city of Khan Yonis south of Gaza.

Hamas Radio, Al-Aqsa, in Gaza said "gunmen opened fire toward Nasser Sharab, 22, a member of the Executive Force of the Interior Ministry in one of the streets in Khan Yonis." According to the Al-Aqsa radio, Hamas blames members of Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, Fatah military wing, for the shooting, and directly put blame on Palestinian legislative member Mohammad Dahlan for the incident.
Cross Posted at Classical Values

Saturday, January 27, 2007

The Right Loses Faith

It is interesting to read the hard right's take on the justice system based on the Duke case.

When folks from Free Republic lose faith in the justice system, we are in serious trouble.

Here is a typical comment:

To: TommyDale

"Multiply that in North Carolina, where the legal system can screw innocent people and the general public would never know,"

That is everywhere in the country.

10 posted on 01/24/2007 6:14:39 AM PST by SmoothTalker
Cross Posted at Classical Values

Palestinians Lawyer Up

In an interesting development in Guilford College case the three Palestinian accusers of the five football players have lawyered up.

Three Palestinians involved in a violent incident on the Guilford College campus last weekend have hired attorney Seth Cohen who announced on Jan. 27 that all were cooperating fully with investigators.

His announcement came on the heels of a press release by the Greensboro Police Department stating that the three had cancelled two interviews this week. Cohen said the students had scheduled an interview with the FBI, which is investigating the incident as a possible civil rights violation, and the Greensboro Police Department. He described the police department's statement as "a misunderstanding."

"These are three fine young men," he said of his clients. "Osama is from Jerusalem and Omar and Faris are from Ramallah. They have been caught in a media firestorm."

Cohen did not answer questions about Faris Khader's suspension from Guilford College last semester or whether any of the Palestinians clashed with members of the football team before Jan. 20.

Parents of Michael Bates, one of five football players who have been arrested in conjunction with the incident, released a statement on Jan. 26 accusing the media of prejudging the athletes' guilt. Michael Six has accused Khader of stabbing and belt-whipping him.
Hey, It gets curiouser.

The Jewish anti-Defamation League has come out with a statement.
Washington, DC, January 25, 2007 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has condemned the reported bias-motivated attack on three Palestinian students at Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina.

ADL commends the Greensboro Police Department for the arrests of the alleged perpetrators, and calls upon the university administration to continue its efforts to heal the rifts that have been exposed on campus in the wake of this incident.
The warrants were not instigated by the police. Let me quote from Guilford Is A Street....
The charges weren't requested by Greensboro police but instead stem from statements the injured Palestinians made to a magistrate, who issued the warrants. Police said their investigation is ongoing.
So far the police have not interviewed the accusers. In fact other that executing the issued warrants the police have been bypassed.

The ADL may have a lot of egg on its face if this is a hoax.

Interesting comment on the NC legal system at Free Republic:
To: SmoothTalker

I am speaking of personal experience in North Carolina compared to California, Florida, Texas and Virginia where I have seen much more fairness.

I know several people who have experienced similar treatment as the Duke students, but they didn't have the resources to fight it. Several were out thousands of dollars, one went to prison, and one fought a civil case for 5 years before it was finally tossed out.

In North Carolina, any idiot can go down to the local Magistrate and swear out a false complaint with little (if any) legal exposure.

18 posted on 01/24/2007 7:20:29 AM PST by TommyDale (If we don't put a stop to this global warming, we will all be dead in 10,000 years!)

Friday, January 26, 2007

Guilford Is A Street In Rockford

It is also a Quaker founded college in Greensboro, N.C.

GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) -- Three college students were assaulted on the campus of Guilford College early Saturday morning, according to court documents and the school's Web site.

The Greensboro News & Record reported Tuesday that Faris Khadar, Osama Sabbah and Omar Awartani were the victims of an attack by three others.

According to the newspaper, Khadar and Sabbah are students at Guilford College. Artwani is a student at N.C. State who was visiting friends.

Three football players from Guilford College -- Michael Bates, Michael Six and Christopher Barnette -- were arrested and charged with ethnic intimidation. Bates and Six were charged with three counts of assault and battery each, and Barnett was charged with two counts of assault and battery, according to the News & Record.

Bates is from Reidsville, Six from Greensboro and Barnette from Semora.
Naturally they have the boy's pictures featured at the top of the front page of the story.

Today two more boys were arrested in the case.
From today's News & Record

GREENSBORO — An additional two Guilford College football players were arrested Thursday in connection with a recent attack against three Palestinian students outside a campus dormitory.

The arrests came the same day college officials announced that five people tied to the incident have been charged with violating the school's student code of conduct. And in the morning, students staged a walkout in solidarity with the injured Palestinians.

Police identified the latest people arrested as Jonathan Blake Underwood, of Clinton, S.C.; and Jazz Alfray Favors, of Alpharetta, Ga. Both were released on $5,000 bond.

Their arrests bring to five the number of students arrested in the incident police are treating as racially motivated.

Warrants for Underwood and Favors were issued Sunday but not served until Thursday. The reason for the delay wasn't clear.

Underwood is charged with three counts of ethnic intimidation, two counts of assault and one count of communicating threats. Favors is charged with two counts of assault and two counts of ethnic intimidation.

The charges weren't requested by Greensboro police but instead stem from statements the injured Palestinians made to a magistrate, who issued the warrants. Police said their investigation is ongoing.
Interesting. Police didn't prefer charges.

Here is a press release from the police thinly disgiused as a newspaper report:
The Greensboro Police Department today issued an updated statement regarding the Guilford College case:

As stated in the previous press release, this case was referred to our Metropolitan Criminal Investigation Division and has been assigned to a detective for follow-up. Two interviews have been scheduled with the alleged victims in this case, and the victims have rescheduled on both occasions. As of this time, they have not spoken with us. We have followed up with Guilford College security and have spoken with them about the information they obtained regarding this incident.

On yesterday, warrants were issued on two additional subjects accused of assault. These warrants were not issued as a result of our investigation.

With an assault investigation, we begin by speaking with the alleged victim or victims in the case. At this point, we have not been afforded this opportunity. We will continue to make efforts to interview the alleged victims in this case and anyone who has information that will lead us to the correct version of events. The Greensboro Police Department will conduct a fair and impartial investigation into this matter. We will issue an updated press release as new information becomes available.
You know the police appear a bit sceptical on this one.

Here is a statement from the family of of a football player.

It is very apparent that the media and many uninformed individuals have unfairly prejudged Michael Bates, Michael Six, and Christopher Barnette of the beating of three Guilford College students during an unfortunate altercation involving several students last Friday night. Since media coverage has been so one sided the Bates, Six, and Barnette families issue this statement to allow for more balanced reporting of this event.

None of these accused young men have yet to be interviewed by any college official. The Greensboro Police Department has refused to take their statements and declined to review physical evidence including pictures of a vicious stabbing and belt whipping that was inflicted by Khader (an alleged victim) upon Michael Six during the altercation.

We also believe that a letter emailed on Sunday, by a college official, to all students of color greatly inflamed emotions needlessly. Here is the first paragraph from that letter from the Guilford College Director of Multicultural Education:

"By now, most of you have heard about the situation that occurred on Friday night between some football players and Faris Khader, Osama Sabbah, and Omar Awartini (a student from N.C. State). Faris, Osama, and Omar were defending themselves against students (and possibly perspective students) that were attacking them physically and simultaneously verbally with phrases like "sandnigga," "terrorist," etc. The incident was a hate crime."

We are deeply saddened by the inaccurate portrayal of these young men in this altercation by their school. When all of the FACTS are revealed, we believe that those who are sensationalizing this story will be rightly embarrassed and hope the retractions will receive the same level of visibility as premature and false charges. Under our system of government, our sons are presumed innocent of these charges and we hope that the community and the media will let the system run its course in determining their innocence or guilt.

The Bates, Six, and Barnette families would like to thank those in the communities, who know the true characters of these young men, for their continued support throughout this ordeal.
Isn't that interesting. It appears that the Palestinians may have attacked and then blamed their victims for responding. Where have I heard that story before?

In fact, according to this anonymous reportthat is exactly what happened.
gcstudentathlete, Jan 24, 2007 11:30 PM

As a Guilford College student athlete I have been appalled by the reaction to this incident by not only the student body but also the media. Most of the students that are so intent on screaming hate crime are extremely uninformed about the actual occurance of events that night. No, I did not witness the fight the fight but I withhold judging or condemning the parties of either side until all accounts are fully investigated. It seems that even the news has not refrained from prematurally passing judgement. All of the articles and stories I have viewed on the television have been biased and from the most part over victimizing one party why already passing the other off as guilty. From the eyewitness accounts I have heard it was Osama who struck first, taking off his belt and hitting one of the football player. Osama himself has admitted this Also there were no brass knuckles involved in the fight, these so called brass knuckles were actually a watch. I am not saying that it is ok to beat anyone, I hate violence just much as anyone, but you also have to realize that mistakes were made on both sides. I know both of the parties that were involved. Faris and Osama are good guys, I like them a lot, and no doubt they did not deserve this, but as much as I like them they sometimes tend to look for fights. I also know one of the football players who has been arrested, and he is a good guy. He does not deserve to be slandered all across the news when he has not yet been convicted of anything. So get your story straight, stop being one sided, and stop trying to use this unfortunate event as an excuse to get all riled up and protest a hate crime that didn't occur. Further the student body needs to discontinue their DISCRIMINATION against the athletes of this campus. We are your classmates, and your equals. We get no special treatment, we work hard at our classes, our sports, and our held accountable for all our mistakes just like you. So any divide that has been created on this campus has not been created by me or by any of my teammates. So the question I pose to you is who is hating who right now?
It will be interesting to see if the police get to the bottom of this. So far the accusers don't seem to be very interested in coming forward.

I wonder if the football guys have good lawyers?

This page has a picture of Michael Six's injury alleged to have come from the fight.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Palestinian Civil War Watch - 9

It has been about 20 days since the last Palestinian Civil War Watch. And the Palestinians are at it again:

By Nidal al-Mughrabi

GAZA (Reuters) - Rival Palestinian factions clashed across the Gaza Strip, killing six people, as thousands of Hamas supporters marched on Friday to mark the Islamist group's election victory over Fatah opponents last year.

The escalating violence forced the postponement of talks to form a coalition government which could ease a U.S.-led boycott imposed after Hamas won Palestinian elections last January.
Ah yes, the fabled, mythical, imaginairy, national unity government. Just a little more talking will close the deal and return Gaza to the Paradise it once was.
"The entire dialogue could explode," Fatah spokesman Tawfiq Abu Khoussa said, blaming Hamas for the tension. "How can dialogue go on when there is a bomb underneath the table?"

The talks, due to resume on Friday, were pushed back to Sunday.

Three Hamas supporters, a militant from the Fatah-linked Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and two bystanders were killed in violence which began with a bombing on Thursday night and continued with a spate of shootings on Friday.
I guess he wasn't kidding about bombs under the table. Literally.

Further updates as the civil war war progresses.

Update: 26 Jan '07 2258z

Busy day in "Palestine".
Hamas gunmen stormed the home of a militant from the rival Fatah movement late Friday, witnesses said, sparking a deadly gun battle and capping a day of factional violence that killed at least 12 people, including a two-year-old boy, across the Gaza Strip.

Friday's violence was among the deadliest in nearly two months of infighting and marred the first anniversary of Hamas' upset victory in Palestinian elections. After nightfall, the fighting showed no signs of slowing, as the sound of gunfire echoed throughout Gaza City.

Some of the heaviest shooting was concentrated around the home of Mansour Shaleil, a local Fatah leader in the Jebaliya refugee camp just north of Gaza City.
Hamas is celebrating one year in office:
GAZA: Rival Palestinian factions clashed across the Gaza Strip, killing six people, as thousands of Hamas supporters marched on Friday to mark the Islamist group’s election victory over Fatah opponents last year.
I wonder if their celebrations always include hunan sacrifice?
Both Fatah and Hamas officials said late Friday that unity talks would be suspended until the fighting ends. Both sides blamed each other for the breakdown.
Boy. That really breaks my heart. They were so close to an agreement. Just a little more effort would have done it. And, now this. Pity really.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

War Talk

Bush is starting to make his case for a strike on Iran.

Fri Jan 26, 12:46 AM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush has authorized the U.S. military to kill or capture Iranian agents active inside Iraq, The Washington Post reported on Friday, citing government and counterterrorism officials with direct knowledge of the plan.

The move, approved last fall, is aimed at weakening Iran's influence in the region and forcing Tehran to abandon its nuclear program that the West believes is for nuclear weapons and not energy, the newspaper said, citing the unidentified officials.

For more than a year, U.S. forces have held dozens of Iranians for a few days, taking DNA samples from some as well as photographs and fingerprints from all those captured, the report said.

Several Iranian officials have been detained in three U.S. raids over the last month. Outgoing U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad told reporters on Wednesday that details of accusations against them would be made public in the coming days.

He said they were "going after networks" of security agents, which he said were a mainstay of Iran's involvement in Iraq. The United States has accused Iran of helping arm, train and fund Iraqi militants, notably fellow Shi'ite Muslims.
I discussed in An Act Of War how the USA was starting to provoke Iran. Little insults like the taking of an Iranian Embassy in Iraq and six people from that embassy. Cutting off bank transfers with Iran. That one really hurts. I think they are going to be poked until they do something rash or lose face. Of course Iran is using Hizballah in Lebanon to show they can make trouble too.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Iran Answers American Moves

In An Act Of War I discussed American moves on Iran. It looks like Iran is making a counter move in Lebanon.

BEIRUT, LEBANON - Lebanon's army imposed a curfew on the capital Thursday after hundreds of government supporters and foes wielded rocks, Molotov cocktails and sometimes guns in street battles that dragged past nightfall.

Four people were killed and 150 wounded, officials said, many of them soldiers who at times stood helplessly between the two sides.

The clashes, which began in a university cafeteria and spread to the surrounding neighborhood of Tariq Jedideh, offered a bitter contrast to the optimism of an international conference in Paris where more than $7.6 billion was pledged to help Lebanon's economy recover from last summer's war with Israel.

As the grants and loans were announced, bursts of gunfire echoed along the airport road and columns of black smoke rose from burning cars in some of the worst clashes since Lebanon's 15-year civil war ended in 1990.
America appeals for calm.
WASHINGTON, Jan 25 (Reuters) - The United States appealed on Thursday for calm in Lebanon and reiterated concern that "irresponsible" forces were working to topple the government of embattled Prime Minister Fouad Siniora.

In November, the White House warned that Syria and Iran, acting through the Hezbollah group of Shi'ite Muslim militants, might be on the verge of an attempted coup in Lebanon.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack condemned the latest violence in which at least four students were shot and killed in clashes between pro- and anti-government activists in the capital, Beirut.

"There are certain irresponsible parties in Lebanon who have been provoking an atmosphere of confrontation and antagonism within the political system," he told reporters.

"The links between those individuals and groups and outside entities are well known. And they have been engaged in a cynical manipulation of public perceptions in the political process."

Asked whether the United States still saw the activities of Syria, Iran and Hezbollah as a threat and whether it was nervous about the safety of Siniora himself, McCormack said nothing had changed since November.
You know that sounds like a "talk softly carry a big stick" threat to Iran. I wonder if theu are listening?

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Iraq Comes To Gaza

Evidently the Palestinians have learned a great lesson from the Civil War in Iraq. Road side bombs work.

GAZA, Jan 25 (Reuters) - A roadside bomb killed a member of a Hamas-led security force in the Gaza Strip on Thursday and wounded five others, a Hamas police spokesman said.

The spokesman said the six were travelling in a jeep when the bomb was detonated. No one claimed responsibility for the attack.
I wonder how this will help the moves towards a national unity government? I guess some one is trying to veto the plan.

Update: 26 Jan '07 0614z

Hamas is fighting back.
Hamas gunmen shot dead a member of the Fatah faction's militant Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade in the northern Gaza Strip early Friday, a Fatah spokesman said.

The spokesman said that the militant was "executed" by members of Hamas' security force, who had come to question the slain militant about the death of one of their members.

The Hamas militants surrounded the house, said the spokesman, sparking a gunbattle which killed the Fatah man.
I guess his answer (a hail of lead) was unacceptable.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Personally, I have faith in doubt.

Strict Scrutiny Doctrine

The bloggers are watching.

National Unity Talks Get Results

The Jerusalem Post reports:

The number of combatants dead in Wednesday's clashes between Fatah and Hamas loyalists in Beit Hanoun has risen to four, Israel Radio reported.
In other news
Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said progress on a national unity government was being made, as talks between the Palestinian factions resumed on Wednesday.

"The atmosphere was full of harmony," said Haniyeh, who added he hoped this would be sustained.

Morality Police In Iran

Here is a short video of an Iranian woman confronting the morality police in Iran. Dymphna has this to say about it:

...I think you will enjoy the thirty seconds or so of sweet revenge, I urge you to click on what my friend described as an example how “Iranian women are sick and tired of the women morality police.” Fortunately, you don’t need to understand Farsi to see what is happening.
It looks like Iran may be ripe for a revolution.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

The Revolution Is Free

In my post on the State of the Union I included a video by Stuck Mojo.

I went to their www site and found a tale of woe about how record companies rip off bands and fans. However, Mojo has an answer.

The tracks on our new record, "Southern Born Killers," will be posted at, as well as all over the internet for you to download, FOR FREE! You read that right! Download the songs, share them with your friends and, if you like what you hear, let potential new fans know where they too can get the songs for free.

1. Why would we give the songs away for free? Well, we've been recording records for free for almost twelve years now anyway! Of course it wasn't free to you, the fans. You thought you were supporting the band as you shelled out 16 bucks to a retail store which kept five or six of those dollars for a few inches of shelf space and the rest ended up at a record company in New York, Los Angeles, London or Germany. Yeah, I know, they have a staff to pay, rent, a light bill, advertising budgets, etc. I'm a confirmed capitalist and I want to see everyone that works hard succeed. But most of the guys that I know who play music for a living drive older, used cars, live in small apartments and eat microwave burritos three times a day. I've never once met a record label executive that drives a Toyota Corolla, sleeps on an air mattress and has to take medicine to control his chronic case of diarrhea from Taco Bell. And that's saying something because I've met a lot of them! In fact, most of them have a fresh tan and a golf swing that wasn't perfected just on the weekends. I'm through with them making money off my music.

2. If you like the songs and want to own a copy of the actual "Southern Born Killers" CD, then purchase it at This guarantees you the album at it's highest possible audio quality as well as a full-color, 16 panel booklet, a bonus DVD featuring the new video for "Open Season" shot by British filmmaker Simon Evans and a 20 minute behind-the-scenes documentary.

3. This album was completely financed by the band. By purchasing "Southern Born Killers" directly, you can do so knowing the money will go directly to the creators of the music who will continue investing in another record, another video, another tour.

4. Lastly, if you don't have the dollars to buy the record, then just enjoy the free downloads. Tell everyone to go to or and come see Stuck Mojo live when we are in your town or a town near you.

Thank you for your support.


Rich Ward
Cross Posted at Classical Values