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2009 August 02 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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Terrorism Or Hate Crime?

The BBC reports on a hate crime in Israel: Gay Israelis rally after shooting

Hundreds of Israelis have joined a rally organised by the gay community after shootings at a gay youth centre.

Two people died and at least 11 were hurt when the gunman opened fire at the Tel Aviv Gay and Lesbian Association before fleeing.

The city’s Mayor, Ron Huldai, said the motive was unclear and police declined to comment except to say a Palestinian link was not suspected.

But the protesters condemned the attack as Israel’s worst hate crime.

Actually, other sources are reporting that the police are saying it was a criminal act and not terrorism, but given that the Israelis label anything the Palestinians do as terrorism and anything that civilian Israelis do as crime, saying that there is no link to Palestinians is the equivalent of saying it wasn’t terrorism to the Israeli government. Exactly how some individual in a ninja outfit coming in to a club and indiscriminately shooting people isn’t an act of terrorism, is unclear to me. It looked to me like the point of the attack was to terrorize people.

Of course, if the suspect is identified as a member of one of the ultra-othrodox groups, the charge will be reduced to disturbing the peace. They certainly don’t charge them with assault when they gather in mobs and stone people they feel are violating some rule or another that only they believe in.

Fundamentalists are dangerous, no matter what book they quote from, and they all endorse their own brand of terrorism to impose their views on others.

August 2, 2009   4 Comments

Wildfire in La Palma

FireEven tropical islands are feeling the effects of climate change, as the BBC reports: Fires rage across Canary island

A huge forest fire is out of control on the island of La Palma in the Canary Islands, forcing the evacuation of up to 4,000 people, including tourists.

Military aircraft are fighting the flames but firefighters have been pulled back from the worst-hit areas.

Officials said they were “cautiously optimistic” that cooler weather conditions could enable firefighters to control the fire by nightfall.

The government has promised to help those affected by the fires.

Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said on a visit to La Palma that an “appropriate decree regarding aid” would be approved at the next cabinet meeting on 13 August.

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August 2, 2009   2 Comments

Too Bad The US Can’t Protest This

The BBC reports on the Gitmo military tribunals Iranian show trials: Torture claim against Iran trial

Defeated Iranian presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi says opposition detainees put on trial have been subjected to “medieval torture”.

He denounced the trials, which started on Saturday, as fraudulent and said the prisoners had been forced to confess.

Earlier, ex-President Mohammad Khatami said the hearings were “show trials” that would harm the establishment.

There is no significance difference between what the Iranians are doing in Tehran, and what the US is continuing to do in Guantanamo. Coerced testimony is no better in English than it is in Farsi.

August 2, 2009   2 Comments

A Needed Auto Accessory

Some of the advocacy groups for the visually impaired community have noted that when running on the battery alone, the hybrids, like the Prius, don’t make any sound, and are a danger for their members. This problem would also be a feature of the all electric vehicles, like the Nissan Leaf, that are in the pipeline.

Someone with the time needs to sample a 426 hemi and burn those samples onto a PROM and build a player that is controlled by the accelerator. A couple of water-proof speakers, front and rear, and the problem is resolved. It will also make the vehicles easier to sell to the NASCAR crowd.

You could sample other cars, like the Ferrari, or an actual current NASCAR engine, and market them as accessories [with appropriate decals].

Of course, you could do some variation on the playing card flipping against the spokes that was done on bicycles, but that would be pretty lame.

August 2, 2009   Comments Off on A Needed Auto Accessory