Saturday, April 5, 2008

Did the Dept of Homeland Security Just Publish a Hitlist?

A new study funded largely by the Department of Homeland Security ranked 132 American cities according to vulnerability to terrorist attacks. full story here
Benchmark Analysis for Quantifying Urban Vulnerability
to Terrorist Incidents here

AP: Soldiers' deployments to go back to 1 year

This is way overdue. The Army is the only service with this long a deployment Marines, Navy and AirForce all have shorter rotations. Last I heard Secretary of Def Gates also mentioned increasing the size of the armed forces which is also long overdue.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Bush administration plans to announce next week that U.S. soldiers' combat tours will be reduced from 15 months to 12 months in Iraq and Afghanistan beginning later this summer, The Associated Press has learned. (more here)

human rights are rooted not in the state but in the Creator

Another (belated) from Pro Existence:
Now comes this from the AP, "Clinton promises to expand homosexual rights":
Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said she would defend and expand homosexual rights as president.Clinton said states such as New Jersey and Massachusetts are extending rights to homosexual couples "and the federal government should recognize that and should extend the same access to federal benefits across the board. I will very much work to achieve that." Clinton's comments came in an interview with the Philadelphia GayNews that was posted on its website Thursday. The problem, in a word, rogue government. Rogue, as in "vicious and solitary."

Vicious and solitary? Yes. Go here and read why.

Casting Crowns

Last night I went to a concert with my son. Casting Crowns. Good Stuff. Good music.
Not your everyday concert, as this was/is a ministry tour. The focus is on World Vision. World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. The focus last night was on the pure water project, providing clean water to villages in Africa and India. There are many options on the website including a gift catalogue that allows you to purchase fishing kits and goats and other items if you prefer. 86% of each dollar given to this organization goes to children and families. But you can get bottled water for your family and/or youth group/church whatever, and donate to the clean water project at the same time. 80% of the profits of Aquasis Life H2O is donated toward this cause

What a great idea for our churches, small groups, Sunday school classes or families as we pray on ways to be the body of Christ. I hope you'll pass the word.

No McDonalds Today

From the Pro Existence Blog
...McDonald's has decided, apparently, to declare war on my family. And to declare war on the civilization of liberty, independence, creativity, and humanity under God that my Dad fought for in World War II.
Reports such as this -- "Pink Arches? McDonald's Buys Into Homosexual Agenda."
And reports such as this: "McDonald's Gives Support to Homosexual Agenda."
And this: "McDonald's Signs Onto 'Gay' Agenda."
For Christians, this is a matter of stewardship and "loving thy neighbor" -- Why spend good money on a morally and socially corruptive business?
For families, this is a matter of child protection -- Why support a business that helps fund organizations that disrespect the heart of family life? (more here)

I always thought the clown was a little weird anyway. This is sad.
Want to do something? Read this Action Alert from the AFA

The Weeks Best Posts from Life Hacker

LifeHacker is a site of "Tech tricks, tips and downloads for getting things done." Most are technologically way over my head (which isn't saying much) but there are some neat things in here. They've also written a book "Upgrade Your Life" which you can find under the GEE Whiz section of this blog on the right. The weeks best posts from from LifeHacker.

Top 10 Harmless Geek Pranks"Since the dawn of time, geeks have been playing harmless pranks on their beloved (but unsuspecting) associates, and it's up to all of us to carry the torch forward."
Trim Down Windows to the Bare Essentials"When you're installing Windows in a virtual machine or on old, slow hardware, you want the leanest, meanest and fastest-running configuration possible."
Five Best Instant Messengers"On Tuesday we asked for your favorite instant messaging applications, and over 550 comments later, we've culled it down to the most popular five."
Seven Body Signs and Pains You Shouldn't Ignore"There are those who fear impending death at the slightest change in nasal congestion, and then there are those who constantly push abnormal aches and pains aside, hoping they'll just go away."
To name a few
Read the rest here

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Report: Non-Muslims Deserve to Be Punished

The report below irroneously identifies Islam Watch as a site run by Muslims who oppose intolerant teachings. I was hoping this was from the moderates. According to thier site. IslamWatch it is run by former Muslims.

A report posted on Islam Watch, a site run by Muslims who oppose intolerant teachings and hatred for unbelievers, exposes a prominent Islamic cleric and lawyer who support extreme punishment for non-Muslims — including killing and rape.
A question-and-answer session with Imam Abdul Makin in an East London mosque asks why Allah would tell Muslims to kill and rape innocent non-Muslims, including their wives and daughters, according to Islam Watch.
"Because non-Muslims are never innocent, they are guilty of denying Allah and his prophet," the Imam says, according to the report. "If you don't believe me, here is the legal authority, the top Muslim lawyer of Britain."
The lawyer, Anjem Choudary, backs up the Imam's position, saying that all Muslims are innocent.
(story here)

Models 'key to climate forecasts'

The only way to predict the day-to-day weather and changes to the climate over longer timescales is to use computer models. ...
However, it is not possible to represent all the detail in the real world in a computer model, so approximations have to be made. (full article)

And when the computer models can get next weeks weather right, I'll start worrying about the weather years down the road....maybe.

A Good Reason to Vote For McCain

Beer executive could be next first lady.

I got no problem with that.

Michigan Fifth-Grader Finds 27-Year-Old Mistake at Smithsonian Science Museum

From Fox News:
ALLEGAN, Mich. — Is fifth-grader Kenton Stufflebeam smarter than the Smithsonian? (go here)

Nato bars ex-Soviet states in win for Russia

Nato, led by Germany and France, wilted in the face of a sustained campaign of pressure and intimidation by the Kremlin, which has argued that the two former Soviet states must stay within Moscow's sphere of influence... article here

And yet they allowed for the missle defense shield

Sounds like a fine bit of negotiating on the side of the U.S.

'No Sun link' to climate change

The BBC reports:
Scientists have produced further compelling evidence showing that modern-day climate change is not caused by changes in the Sun's activity.
The research contradicts a favoured theory of climate "sceptics", that changes in cosmic rays coming to Earth determine cloudiness and temperature
. .... read on

I'd not heard that particular theory, though it does not seem to address solar flare activity which seems to be on the decrease and has been responsible for major cooling in years past. Still, you don't have to go that far. Just read the next days BBC report

Global temperatures 'to decrease'

From the BBC: Global temperatures this year will be lower than in 2007 due to the cooling effect of the La Nina current in the Pacific, UN meteorologists have said.
The World Meteorological Organisation's secretary-general, Michel Jarraud, told the BBC it was likely that La Nina would continue into the summer.
This would mean global temperatures have not risen since 1998, prompting some to question climate change theory....
full story

Giving and Taking What is God’s

From the Dailey Devotional-Slice of Infinity:
But sacrilege, said Morgan, does not only consist of such profane use. In its worst form, it consists of taking something and giving it to God when it means absolutely nothing to you. That was the charge God brought against his people when He said, “You bring the lame and the blind and the sick as an offering, is this not evil?” (See Malachi 1:8). read it all here

Fitna and the Challenge to Moderate Muslims

From FrontPage:
...As a Muslim, I experienced a range of emotions in viewing the film. At a fundamental level, while I found the content and substance disturbing in its simplistic indictment on Islam, and the Qur'an in particular, I believe its unfettered distribution is necessary to demonstrate "putative" Islamic tolerance, and to support the absolute right to freedom of expression. Nevertheless, the film instilled a sense of anger in me, as I suspect it does for most genuinely moderate Muslims. My anger however, is directed inward, towards Muslim thinking, rather than Mr Wilders or other critics of Islam. ..
...But as the Islamist reaction to Fitna grows, moderate Muslims must not only accept the Fitna challenge, but must also play a central leadership role in ensuring that the blame for Fitna is not placed on Mr Wilders, but squarely on the shoulders of Islamists. For moderate Muslims, this is a defining moment.
read article here

I agree with this. I hope the moderate Muslim scholars speak loudly and convincingly. I do not hold Mr. Wilders view that Islam as an ideology should be destroyed. I am not yet convinced that it is inherently a violent religion but I am distrubed at the silence of the moderates Mr Haidon makes some very good points.

Atheists Infiltrate Events for Intelligent Design Film

( - Outspoken opponents of the Intelligent Design (ID) movement, including scientists Richard Dawkins and Paul Zachary "PZ" Myers, have managed to infiltrate private screenings for a soon-to-be released movie on the subject, according to a film producer who helped to organize the events. ...

.."Expelled" calls attention to the plight of highly credentialed scholars who have been forced out of prestigious academic positions because they proposed Intelligent Design as a possible alternative to Charles Darwin's 150-year-old theories about the origins of life . Instead of entertaining a debate on the merits of competing theories, the scientific establishment has moved to suppress the ID movement in a "systematic and ruthless" way at odds with America's founding principles, the film asserts. .. (full article here)

The Violence of Double Standards

Over at First Things an interesting comparison of the Boston Globes editorials regarding the Danish Mohamed cartoons and the Piss Christ exhibit:
We should start raising money for a secret Christian commando force—the special-action arm of the Poor Clares, maybe, or the rapid-response team of Beeson Divinity School.
Well, probably not. But why, in fact, shouldn’t we? Violence works, after all. The mere threat of violence works.
Here’s a recent example: .... (
full article here)

....Christianity could start getting some respect again, and all it would take is a little violence.
Well, a little violence, together with the loss of much of what it means to be Christian. And that, of course, is the problem. It’s easy to mock Christianity, because the people who do it know that the rioters aren’t actually going to come after them. They’re too Christian, and the Poor Clares aren’t actually going to start their commando training. But can we at least stop hearing about how brave people are when they insult Christianity and carefully—oh, so carefully—leave out Islam?
read the article

The Audacity- Obama Stands Up To Big Oil

From CNN we hear: Obama, meanwhile, said Monday a crackdown is needed on oil companies. "[We] need a president who can stand up to Big Oil and big energy companies and say enough is enough," Obama said Monday.

And a new ad says: I don’t take money from oil companies or Washington lobbyists, and I won’t let them block change anymore.

FactCheck points out: It's true that Obama doesn't take money directly from oil companies, but then, no presidential, House or Senate candidate does. They can't: Corporations have been prohibited from contributing directly to federal candidates since the Tillman Act became law in 1907.Obama has, however, accepted more than $213,000 in contributions from individuals who work for, or whose spouses work for, companies in the oil and gas industry, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. That's not as much as Sen. Hillary Clinton, who has received more than $306,000 in donations from people tied to the industry, but it's still a substantial amount. (read the rest here)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Top 20 Books Nobody Reads

Back in 2007, over at the Touchstone blog Mere Comments:
..So that has set me to wondering if I could come up with a top 20 list of great underrated or underread books. The problem these days would be in limiting them to 20. My criterion is not greatness simply, or oblivion, but the degree to which a book has been neglected and doesn't deserve to be. Here's the list:

And I've tried to find as many as I could and linked them on the right. I'll be starting my summer reading early this year.

Good Reason Not to Vote For Obama

Obama: I'd hire Gore
rest of the story here

Bush urging Nato expansion east

From the BBC:
US President George W Bush has repeated his call for Nato to expand eastwards.
Speaking in Romania ahead of Nato's summit in Bucharest, he said the former Soviet states of Ukraine and Georgia should be offered paths to membership

Russia's response: "This will not be left without an answer, I can assure you," ... (full story)

New French force for Afghanistan

Viva la France!

France has offered to send a battalion of troops to eastern Afghanistan, a Nato spokesman at the alliance's summit in Bucharest has confirmed. (full story here)

Al-Qaida's No. 2 defends deadly attacks

Too late for an April Fool? Apparently not. but on a serious note Al Qaida in Iraq obviously feels the need for some "spin" and some PR. Recruiting is, after all, down.
From the AP:
"We haven't killed the innocents, not in Baghdad, nor in Morocco, nor in Algeria, nor anywhere else," al-Zawahri said, according to a 46-page English transcript that accompanied the audio message posted on Web sites linked to al-Qaida.
The answer was in response to the question: "Excuse me, Mr. Zawahri, but who is it who is killing with Your Excellency's blessing the innocents in Baghdad, Morocco and Algeria?"
Al-Qaida has claimed responsibility for the Sept. 11 attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people in New York and Washington in 2001, while its affiliates in Iraq, Afghanistan and Algeria regularly set off bombs in crowded urban areas that have taken thousands of lives.
"If there is any innocent who was killed in the mujahedeen's operations, then it was either an unintentional error or out of necessity," al-Zawahri said.
(more parsing here)

Ten Books That Shaped America's Conservative Renaissance.

Read Jeff Nelson's Ten Books That Shaped America's Conservative Renaissance. Over at Intercollegiate Studies. You can also view them on the sidebar of this blog.

Seven Questions: Waiting for a Cyber Pearl Harbor

I'm not a fan of Clarke but he makes a good point here in Foreign Policy:
Chinese hackers are growing increasingly bold in probing critical U.S. defense networks. But former U.S. counterterrorism chief Richard A. Clarke tells FP that if the United States waits for a dramatic, 9/11-style attack on its critical infrastructure to act, it will be missing the real threat.
Foreign Policy: Last year, a Pentagon computer network serving Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates was hacked into, allegedly by the Chinese military. Do you think the Chinese military was behind the attacks, and if so, what was it trying to accomplish with these attacks? (go here for Clarke's answer and the rest of the article)

At Least She has A Sense of Humor

Day late- sorry

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton walked somberly into a press conference Tuesday and stood before microphones. Reporters tensed, sensing something big might be afoot.
"This has been a very hard-fought race," she said. "We clearly need to do something so that our party and our people can make the right decision. So, I have a proposal."
The tension grew. Reporters shifted in their seats. Was she dropping out of the race? Offering to join rival Barack Obama as his running mate?

"Today, I am challenging Senator Obama to a bowl-off," Clinton said, provoking relieved laughs from the assembled scribes. (link here)

McCain Compiles List of Running Mates

At least he has a sense of humor:
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Sen. John McCain said Wednesday he has begun "getting together a list of names" to choose a vice presidential running mate, and hopes to make an announcement before the Republican convention in early September.
"I'd like to get it done as early as possible. I'm aware of enhanced importance of this issue given my age," said the Arizona senator, 71.
(full article)

Obama Declares He Doesn't Want His Children "Punished with a Baby"

JOHNSTOWN, PA, April 1, 2008 ( - In a comment deemed insulting to single mothers and their children, presidential hopeful Barack Obama announced during a town hall meeting on Saturday that he did not want his children "punished with a baby."Following comments insisting that information on contraception be included alongside abstinence education, Obama stated, "I've got two daughters. 9 years old and 6 years old. I am going to teach them first of all about values and morals. But if they make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby. I don't want them punished with an STD at the age of 16."...

...Obama drew criticism in February for a statement that his biggest mistake as a Senator was his March 2005 vote for a Senate bill permitting Terri Shindler Schiavo's parents and brother to make their case before federal courts to keep their brain-injured daughter alive via feeding tube."Is it so incredulous that a family had the 'audacity of hope' to believe its government would care about one profoundly disabled woman? It is a shame that Senator Obama, who claims to embody 'hope,' is crushing it for the families of people with profound disabilities." Responded the Terri Shindler Schiavo Foundation.... (full story)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Bush's Approval Rating Still 10% Better than Congress

Real Clear Politics polls:

A Stable Majority: Most Americans Still Oppose Same-Sex Marriage

From the Pew Forum:

In the time since the Massachusetts high court declared the state’s ban on gay marriage unconstitutional in 2003, public opinion on the issue has remained relatively stable. Indeed, majorities of Americans have consistently opposed legalizing same-sex marriage – from 53% opposed in a summer 2003 survey conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life and the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, to 55% opposed in an August 2007 Pew survey. The 2007 poll found 36% of the public in favor of allowing gay and lesbian couples to wed, about the same as in 2003. (See An Overview of the Same-Sex Marriage Debate.) (link is here)
This is not as good as it first sounds as most are in favor of civil unions. Civil unions are a very slippery slope and will in time lead to the redefining of marriage which will have vast societal and economic impacts on this country. Stay tuned for more on this discussion.

The Real Bush Intelligence Failure

From the WSJ:
(regarding the office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) ODNI) ...we do not know all of its failures, although some dramatic ones have already come into sight.
The most significant of these is the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) of last November, which stated flatly in the first sentence of its declassified summary that Iran had halted its nuclear-weapons program. This was deeply misleading. As the NIE summary acknowledged only in a footnote, the most important element of that program -- uranium enrichment -- was proceeding at full tilt. In February, Mike McConnell, the current DNI, disavowed the document, acknowledging that it should have been handled differently. But by that time the damage to America's Iran policy -- and to the ODNI's own credibility -- had already been done...

Late last year, under his guidance the ODNI unfolded a 500-day master plan to set things right. Along with a good number of unexceptionable steps, its number one "core initiative" is to "treat diversity as a strategic mission imperative" -- in other words, as the document explains, "We need to have an IC workforce that looks like America." Toward that end, the plan calls for the design of "mechanisms to hold IC leaders accountable for excellence in EEO [Equal Employment Opportunity] and diversity management."...

...Should U.S. intelligence have a workforce that "looks like America," or would we be better off with one that looked like those of our adversaries whom we have been unable to understand, let alone to penetrate?

full story

Bleeding Hearts but Tight Fists

From George Will:
Residents of Austin, home of Texas's government and flagship university, have very refined social consciences, if they do say so themselves, and they do say so, speaking via bumper stickers. Don R. Willett, a justice of the state Supreme Court, has commuted behind bumpers proclaiming "Better a Bleeding Heart Than None at All," "Practice Random Acts of Kindness and Senseless Beauty," "The Moral High Ground Is Built on Compassion," "Arms Are For Hugging," "Will Work (When the Jobs Come Back From India)," "Jesus Is a Liberal," "God Wants Spiritual Fruits, Not Religious Nuts," "The Road to Hell Is Paved With Republicans," "Republicans Are People Too -- Mean, Selfish, Greedy People" and so on. But Willett thinks Austin subverts a stereotype: "The belief that liberals care more about the poor may scratch a partisan or ideological itch, but the facts are hostile witnesses."
Sixteen months ago, Arthur C. Brooks, a professor at Syracuse University, published "Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism." The surprise is that liberals are markedly less charitable than conservatives. (full story)

Will Europe Resist Islamization?

From FrontPageMag:
Some analysts of Islam in Western Europe argue that the continent cannot escape its Eurabian fate; that the trend lines of the past half-century will continue until Muslims become a majority population and Islamic law (the Shari‘a) reigns.
I disagree, arguing that there is
another route the continent might take, one of resistance to Islamification and a reassertion of traditional ways. Indigenous Europeans – who make up 95 percent of the population – can insist on their historic customs and mores. Were they to do so, nothing would be in their way and no one could stop them... (article here)

Now what about our American culture (historical customs and mores)? Will we act before it's too late?

'Bush killed' in Palestinian kids TV show

Repeatedly stabbed after White House 'turned into a great mosque'
From WorldNet Dailey:
A child stabs President Bush to death and turns the White House into a mosque in a children's puppet show broadcast on the television channel of the ruling Palestinian Authority party, Hamas. (article here)

A Commentary from Eutychus

You know, I just don't understand those who think this is "Bush's War" or that he lied. Here is some ammo for discussions with your friends (though I know you don't need it)
I will be the first to say that mistakes were made in the prosecution of this war, and I will name them for you, and I think those things should be talked about. But we seem to lose sight of a few things. Namely:
1. There was never a question about whether there were WMD. He used them on numerous occasions. The question is, "where did they go?"
2. Once someone has chemical or biological weapons, he doesn't have to have them to be a threat. He is a threat because a.) he can easily make them again and/or b.) he can show someone else how to make them.
3. He flaunted numerous U.N. resolutions which threatened him with military action
4. Regime change was a Clinton Policy
5. He had numerous ties with terrorist groups as reported by the Washington Times. One of these later became associated with Al Qaida.

Having said that, we should know understand that not even the democrats are proposing getting out right away. Even Obama is saying we take one brigade away at a time and keep troops near by or in country for contingencies and defence of the embassy. Taking troops out a brigade at a time will leave us there for years.. which is a good thing because if we leave, that will not be the last we hear of war in that part of the world. Because we will not let Israel fight alone. Nor should we.


From the NY Post:
March 31, 2008 -- IT was bound to happen and may well be happening right now: a war between the Islamic Republic in Iran and the new Iraq.
Much of the media have portrayed the latest battles for Basra, and attempts by armed groups to undermine the recently improved security in Baghdad, as a power struggle among rival Shiite factions.
(full story)

A sign of things to come..

British policy advisor says Gore is in 'panic' mode

British environmental analyst Christopher Monckton says Al Gore's latest attack on global warming skeptics shows the former vice president and other climate alarmists are "panicking." ...

...Lord Christopher Monckton, a policy advisor for former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher during the 1980s, says the former vice president can enjoy his "flat earth fantasies" for a few months, but in the end, the world will be laughing at him.... (more here)

Monday, March 31, 2008

Weather Porn- Undular Bore Waves

My former commander sent me these NASA links here and here. These are videos of Undular Bore Waves. These "gravity" waves, very similar to the water pushed up ahead of a motor boat crossing a lake, are thought to be very important inthe formation of tornados. In the weather business this is pretty cool stuff. Actually they're pretty cool if you are not in the business too. And if you'd like to GET in the business you get send me an e-mail as we have a few openings in my unit.

Ten Truths About The Election

4. If Obama is the nominee, this is the GOP campaign commercials I envision. It begins by showing the rantings of Wright: America deserved to be attacked on 9/11, the government sponsors the Ku Klux Klan, AIDS is a federal plot, God damn America! These images are ccompanied by a voice-over noting that Wright is Obama's longtime mentor, and that Obama has attended this church for two decades. Then we see Obama saying he will no more disavow Wright than he would disavow a family member. Finalloy we see pictures of the two men embracing while a voice says, “Is this the man who is going to bring America together and stand up to our enemies?” At this point, it's done! (9 more truths here)

Maliki vs. Sadr

The Iraqi government’s battle against Moqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi army in Basra is playing in the U.S. as a blow to progress in the war over the last year. But viewed from the perspective of recent Iraqi history, it is a welcome development. It used to be that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki blocked U.S. forces from taking on Sadr’s militia in Baghdad, and it was a plausible fear that Sadr would take over Iraqi security forces from within. Now, Iraqi security forces have been directly battling the “outlaw” elements of Sadr’s army and al-Maliki compares Shia “gangs” to al-Qaeda: “It’s unfortunate that we used to say these very words about al-Qaeda, when all the while, there were people among us who are worse than al-Qaeda.” Keep reading

Sunday, March 30, 2008


Watch Fitna here

Government to lift Baghdad curfew

With apologies to Mark Twain, "Rumors of the death (failure)(of the surge) have been greatly exaggerated. some are so anxious to declare failure...

The Iraqi government is due to lift a curfew in Baghdad, after Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr ordered his fighters off the streets of Iraqi cities. full story

“Keep libraries safe for kids”- ACLU asks board to relax pornography controls computers

Are Libraries safe? I'm beginning to wonder. You may remember this post from earlier about the librarian who was fired for reporting the "patron" viewing child porn?
Maybe the ex-ACLU exec busted for child porn had friends?

The Sacramento Public Library Authority Board is being pushed by the American Civil Liberties Union to increase access to pornography on taxpayer-funded computers. ...

A Pacific Justice Institute affiliated attorney will be present to counter ACLU claims that the First Amendment requires taxpayer-funded access to porn, and to remind the board of the many tragic instances where lax policies have resulted in sex crimes taking place at libraries. ...

In a letter to the Sacramento library board, the ACLU specifically identified the needs of youth to have access to information about gay and lesbian issues, contraception, and other sexual materials without their parents' knowledge. (link here)

Islam’s ‘Public Enemy #1’-Coptic priest Zakaria Botros fights fire with fire.

Though he is little known in the West, Coptic priest Zakaria Botros — named Islam’s “Public Enemy #1” by the Arabic newspaper, al-Insan al-Jadid — has been making waves in the Islamic world. Along with fellow missionaries — mostly Muslim converts — he appears frequently on the Arabic channel al-Hayat (i.e., “Life TV”). There, he addresses controversial topics of theological significance — free from the censorship imposed by Islamic authorities or self-imposed through fear of the zealous mobs who fulminated against the infamous cartoons of Mohammed. Botros’s excurses on little-known but embarrassing aspects of Islamic law and tradition have become a thorn in the side of Islamic leaders throughout the Middle East. (full article)

Cleric orders Mahdi army ceasefire

I'm thinking Iran has reined him in. Since they were caught off guard as Reuters reports. Still, it's interesting that the Sadrists are complaining that Iraqi and US forces have exploited a truce called by the cleric last August. Hmm, sounds like America has learned the Islamofascist tricks.

MUQTADA AL-SADR, the radical Shia cleric, yesterday called on his followers to stop battling Iraqi government forces after a week of fighting in southern Iraq and Baghdad threatened to spiral out of control.
A crackdown on Shia militants in Basra has provoked an explosion of violence that risked undoing the past year's improvements in Iraq's security."Because of the religious responsibility, and to stop Iraqi blood being shed ... we call for an end to armed appearances in Basra and all other provinces," Sadr said in a statement issued in the holy Shia city of Najaf. "Anyone carrying a weapon and targeting government institutions will not be one of us."

(article here)