An expat's commentary on current events in national security, foreign affairs, the media, culture, technology and assorted trivia.

Friday, January 06, 2006


Paragon of virtue insulted

Iran doesn't need any goody-two-shoes UN busybodies telling it when it can or can't make bombs. No matter how loudly their good-conduct medals may clank and clatter.

From the New York Times:

A defiant Iran rebuffed the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency on Thursday, failing to show up for a meeting to discuss Tehran's plans to move closer to uranium enrichment within days.

Diplomats close to the agency described the move as unusual and suggested it was at least partly triggered by criticism of Tehran by agency head Mohamed ElBaradei during a Wednesday meeting with Iranian envoys.

One of the diplomats said the Iranians appeared taken aback by the firmness of ElBaradei's demands for more cooperation in his agency's investigation of Tehran's nuclear activities...

But a diplomat accredited to the agency said the IAEA appeared resigned to not getting the details it had asked for before Monday. He cited ElBaradei as saying he did not expect the high-ranking Iranian delegation to ask for a new appointment.

Agency officials said the delegation, led by Mohammad Saeedi, the deputy head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, was en route to Tehran by Thursday afternoon...

European powers had hoped that a briefing by IAEA officials would help them determine whether to go ahead with planned talks with Iranian officials in Vienna on Jan. 18 or to cancel them and have Tehran referred to the Security Council. (Note to EuroWeenies: What, it isn't clear yet? If the other party doesn't show, consider them cancelled... Where's the mystery? What do you need, a freakin' diagram? Jeez... - ed.)
(Emphasis added.)

Please note that there is one phrase missing from this article, which is replete with references to ElBaradei and the IAEA.

This little phrase is present, without exception, in any recent article regarding either ElBaradei or the IAEA.

That phrase is 'Nobel Peace Prize-winning.'

Yes, for their good works, Mr ElBaradei and his IAEA won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005.

Could this glaring omission be because the Persians just took a rod to the ineffectual international bureacracy and beat it like a redheaded stepchild? Then made water on the IAEA quivering toadies and snorted with derision?

Or is it just an oversight by the New York Times? (We know how cavalier that the Grey Lady has been with the facts in recent years. Isn't that right, Howell?)


Quote for the day

Clearly, a civilization that feels guilty for everything it is and does will lack the energy and conviction to defend itself.

- Jean-Francois Revel (1924 - )
French author and philosopher

Thursday, January 05, 2006


Dubya's great-great^4096 grandfather is to blame, naturally

There is a certain spin on this new study which seems to beg - nay! entreat, importune, implore, plead, beseech - a certain question:

A new study has revealed that an extraordinary burst of global warming that took place around 55 million years ago dramatically reversed the world's pattern of ocean currents, adding weight to modern concerns over climate change.

The research, produced by scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, showed how global warming caused by greenhouse gases can quickly disrupt ocean processes and lead to drastic changes.

The Palaeocene/Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), which occurred 55 million years ago, saw the planet's surface temperature rise by between five and eight degrees Celsius in a very short time, unleashing climate shifts that lasted tens of thousands of years.

The study appears in the respected British journal Nature, and comes after research published in November suggested that global warming is slowing the Atlantic current, giving western Europe its mild climate.

The question is: How many fat Americans were driving SUVs and launching wars for oil... 55 million years ago?


European 'social' 'model' creates no jobs... but plenty of misery and immigration

Schadenfreude alert:

Germans are leaving their country in record numbers but unlike previous waves of migrants who fled 19th century poverty or 1930s Nazi terror, these modern day refugees are trying to escape a new scourge -- unemployment...

High unemployment that lingers at levels of more than 20 percent in some parts of Germany and dim prospects for any improvement are the key factors behind the migration. In the 15 years since German unification more than 1.8 million Germans have left...

According to the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden, the 150,667 Germans who left last year went to 200 countries -- the United States was the top destination with 12,976, following by Switzerland (12,818), Austria (8,532) and Britain (7,842.)...

"There are actually far more Germans moving abroad than the numbers reflected in the official statistics," said Klaus Bade, a University of Osnabrueck professor who studies migration.

"The poor chance of finding jobs at home is the main reason they're leaving," Bade told Stern magazine in a cover story that gave Germans useful tips on how to emigrate.

It's a remarkable change of fortune for Germany, which thanks to the post-war "Economic Miracle" of the 1950s and 1960s was a magnet for millions of foreigners who trekked there from Turkey, Italy and other poor countries in search of jobs.

The main exodus from Germany has been from its formerly communist East, which has been depressed and contracting since just after the Berlin Wall fell in 1989. The East's population has shrunk to 14.7 million from 16 million since 1990.

(Emphasis added.)

Hey, even corrupt, thrice-divorced hair-dyer Gerd is doing it. (And he gets the added bonus of forcing poor Ukrainian untermenschen pensioners to freeze to death whilst raking in millions of Russian petro-dollar dosh.)

Don't forget: the German population was already shrinking before this latest tidbit.

And loyal readers won't be able to say that they never saw it coming. It is not big news. This trend has been gathering pace. And we know why.

The Jerries aren't alone though...

Remember the House of Orange! (The Dutchies are fleeing the Netherlands, too, but at least in Holland, you can find a job if you are not a lazy dole-addicted slob.)