China, an atheist regime that forces "religion" into a state-run box and prosecutes practitioners of serious religion, has called for three days of mourning for the tens of thousands of victims of last week's devastating earthquake.
Who will the country mourn to? A vacuum? The spirit of Mao, who, decomposed as he is, does not offer much eternal hope?
The answer is in the heart of those that suffer, as this AP story reveals:
Oh God, give them comfort. The state certainly can't.
Dozens of students were buried in new graves dotting a green hillside overlooking the rubble, the small mounds of dirt failing to block the pungent smell of decay wafting from the ground. Most graves were unmarked, though several had wooden markers with names scribbled on them.
Zhou Bencen, 36, said he raced to the town's middle school after the earthquake, where relatives who arrived earlier had dug out the body of his 13-year-old daughter, Zhou Xiao, crushed on the first floor.Zhou cradled his wife in his arms, holding her hand and stroking her back while she sobbed hysterically. "Oh God, oh God, why is life so bitter?"
Moral Relativism Alert!
Before straying too far from AP, let's turn our attention to a story filed by Terence Hunt earlier this morning about Prez Bush's address to assembled Arab leaders in Egypt. Hunt tells us:
Winding up a five-day trip to the region, Bush took a strikingly tougher tone with Arab nations than he did with Israel in a speech Thursday to the Knesset. Israel received effusive praise from the president while Arab nations heard a litany of U.S. criticisms mixed with some compliments.Gosh. I wonder why the tone would be different.
One of the rules of thumb I teach my employees is that when your opposition is lying, distorting or just being ignorant, use their own words against them. That would apply with Hunt's story. Let's look at Hunt's reporting on what Bush said to the Arab leaders and see if there's a reason for the contrasting tones, shall we?
"Too often in the Middle East, politics has consisted of one leader in power and the opposition in jail," Bush said ...Israeli Arabs have the right to vote and are represented in government. On the other side, there's Mubarik, Assad and a host of other power-barons who have jailed or suppressed their opposition, and not one functioning democracy save the nascent one in Iraq and the crumbling one in Lebanon. Point Bush.
"America is deeply concerned about the plight of political prisoners in this region, as well as democratic activists who are intimidated or repressed, newspapers and civil society organizations that are shut down and dissidents whose voices are stifled ..."Israel's' "political prisoners" are people who have carried out or planned violent attacks with real weapons against Israel. In the rest of the region, jails are full of people whose only weapon is the pen or the tongue. Freedom of speech in Israel, repression in all the Arab lands leads to point Bush.
"I call on all nations in this region to release their prisoners of conscience, open up their political debate and trust their people to chart their future ..."Israel has no prisoners of conscience, just prisoners of action. It has an open political debate, and it trusts its future to its people. Anyone want to speak from the Arab side? Anyone? Anyone?
Point, game and match Bush.
On The Wrong Foot
The EU asked Interpol to look into the state of Islamist terror in Europe. Interpol found that it's bad and getting worse ... and it blamed England.
Britain's controversial foreign and military policy has made UK the hub of Islamic terrorism across Europe, and turned the country into a fertile ground for jihadist recruiters, a report by the EU warned.So the problem isn't the EU's policy of appeasing radical Islamists who promote race hatred under the protection of the EU's tolerance laws? And it's not Islam itself and its long history of violent jihad, sharpened in recent years by the phenomena of international migration, the Internet and Saudi-funded radical education?
The EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report revealed that British foreign policy presented critical dangers for all Europe: "The conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq have a large impact on the security environment of the EU." (Source)
The EU study may be worlds off in its finger-pointing, but it's probably right about this: It predicts more terror attacks in Europe from a "rejuvenated" al-Qaeda.
Where are we fighting al-Qaeda? Well, we and the Brits are fighting them in Afghanistan and Iraq. Where aren't we fighting them? Europe.
Big News From The Nanosphere
Advances in nanotechnology appear poised to dramatically increase the efficiency of thin film solar cells. As in from a theoretical cap of 31% efficiency all the way up to 45% efficiency.
Put on your techie hat and read about it here.
More indications that the global warming debate is anything but over:
The Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine (OISM) will announce [Monday] that more than 31,000 scientists have signed a petition rejecting claims of human-caused global warming. The purpose of OISM’s Petition Project is to demonstrate that the claim of “settled science” and an overwhelming “consensus” in favor of the hypothesis of human-caused global warming and consequent climate damage is wrong. No such consensus or settled science exists. As indicated by the petition text and signatory list, a very large number of American scientists reject this hypothesis. (source, via ICECAP)The OISM list doesn't focus on climatologists, so the Warmies will discount the announcement. But all have university degrees in science and over 9,000 of them have PhD's so we can postulate that they know the difference between good and bad research methods, and the difference between evidence and proof.
Meanwhile, as we look at ten years of global cooling having no effect whatsoever on the prognostications and pontifications of our electeds, Richard Rahn writes in WashTimes that global warming constitutes the greatest intelligence failure of our era, concluding:
You may wonder — if the data from the last decade show the Earth is not getting warmer, and the climate models have been making incorrect predictions — why are so many in the political and media classes continuing to shout about the dangers of global warming and insisting the "science" is settled when the opposite is true. (You may recall that Copernicus and Galileo had certain problems going against the conventional wisdom of their time.)This One's A Stand-Alone
The reason people like Al Gore and many others are in denial is explained by cognitive dissonance. This occurs when evidence increasingly contradicts a strongly held belief. Rather than accept the new evidence and change their minds, some people will become even more insistent on the "truth" of the discredited belief, and attack those who present the new evidence — again an "intelligence" failure.
Finally, many people directly benefit from government funding global warming programs and care more about their own pocketbooks than the plight of the world's poor who are paying more for food. This is not an "intelligence" but an "integrity" failure.
SF Readies For Big Gay Bucks
While the 60-plus percent of us in CA who voted that marriage in our state is between a man and a woman are unhappy with this week's CA supreme court decision overturning our will, tourism officials in San Francisco are decidedly ... uh, gayer.
San Francisco's tourist industry is betting that gay marriage will lead to a boon in same-sex wedding and honeymoon packages.If the ruling stands, gays from any state will be able to wed in California, unlike Massachusetts, which only lets its own gays marry.
Nationally, gay tourism amounts to a $60 billion-a-year industry. Thanks to Thursday's ruling by the state Supreme Court striking down the ban on same-sex marriage, California stands to become a destination spot for gay and lesbian couples from around the world who want to get hitched.
And San Francisco is hoping for the biggest slice of the wedding cake.
No sooner did the court decision come down than the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau fired off a release to the gay press, inviting couples to get married in the city where "lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history continues to be made." (source)
Cue up quickly, my friends. A constitutional amendment is likely to cut your fun short soon enough. Had gays gone the legislative route, they very well might have secured the right to marry in California, but as long as they rely on courts stripping the majority of the sanctity of their vote, the majority will stand together against gay marriage -- because they support the sanctity of a democratic, free vote, not necessarily because they support the sanctity of marriage.