Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Arming the Middle East

Which of the 123 Billion expressions of despair would be most appropriate here?

Amplify’d from

This week, as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian President, staged his annual visit to the United Nations -- he denied the Holocaust, called Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, a "killer" and taunted the United States, saying Americans have "never entered a real war" -- Arab states were putting the final touches to the largest peace-time rearmament program in history, with orders for US$123-billion-worth of weapons.

In the largest order, Saudi Arabia plans to spend US$67.8-billion
Riyadh is expected to follow up with a second arms package: US$24-billion to US$27-billion
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has already received clearance to purchase a US$7-billion
This week, the Financial Times reported that the UAE is poised to buy an additional US$35-billion-US$40-billion in military equipment,
Kuwait is also expected to spend US$7-billion
Oman is said to be looking at acquiring US$12.3-billion-worth of military gear,
Yemen is already scheduled to receive almost US$1-billion in military aid

The flood of arms into an already volatile region has been underway ever since the fall of Saddam Hussein in Iraq in 2003.

In 2004 to 2007, the region signed arms contracts totaling $63.05-billion, or 30% of all weapons sales worldwide.

See more at

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Vatican Library goes hi-tech with £7.5m refit

"Around 5,000 scholars are given permission to conduct research each year but only the Pope is allowed to take a book out of the library."

I wonder what His Holiness is fined per day for late returns?

Amplify’d from

The Vatican Library is to reopen to scholars after a three year, £7.5 million
renovation, with 21st century technology enlisted to safeguard books and
manuscripts dating back nearly 2,000 years.

The Vatican Library is to reopen to scholars after a three year, 7.5 million pound renovation, with 21st century technology enlisted to safeguard books and manuscripts dating back nearly 2,000 years.

Each one of the library's 70,000 books, which are stored in a bombproof bunker, has been fitted with a computer chip capable of emitting radio signals in order to prevent loss and theft.

The undertaking was in part motivated by an attempted theft by an American art history professor, who smuggled pages torn from a 14th century manuscript that once belonged to Petrarch.

He was sentenced in 1996 to 14 months in prison after admitting that he took the pages during a research visit in 1987.

The electronic chips are also designed to ensure that each priceless document remains in its proper place in the vast repository beneath the Vatican.

"In this kind of library, if a book is misplaced, it is as good as lost," said Ambrogio Piazzoni, the library's vice-prefect.

"But with this new radio frequency system of identification, it will be much easier to locate a lost book and return it to its rightful place."

Around 5,000 scholars are given permission to conduct research each year but only the Pope is allowed to take a book out of the library.


Friday, September 17, 2010

Israel and Palestine: Talks going well. Do not expect peace

I wrote this story today about the current Middle East peace talks

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US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Channel 10 news in an exclusive interview on Thursday, "talks will "take time" and are "complicated."
Hamas has declared its objection to the recent relaunch of direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, saying that Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas does not represent the Palestinian.people and is not authorized to negotiate on its behalf.
In the midst of it all George Mitchell says: "In negotiations brokered by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas were having a "serious and substantive" discussion.

Opinion: Israel and Palestine: Talks going well. Do not expect peace

Opinion: Israel and Palestine: Talks going well. Do not expect peace

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Computers set for quantum leap

Somehow, I still see an impatient, soft fingered whip in stylish eyeglasses, on the DC shuttle, pounding away on his blackberry, complaining about the slowness of the speed of light.

Amplify’d from

A new photonic chip that works on light rather than electricity has been built by an international research team, paving the way for the production of ultra-fast quantum computers with capabilities far beyond today’s devices.

Future quantum computers will, for example, be able to pull important information out of the biggest databases almost instantaneously. As the amount of electronic data stored worldwide grows exponentially, the technology will make it easier for people to search with precision for what they want.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

A cooler view on the Qu'ran

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Actually, he’s been calling for it for years, but struggled to get the same kind of attention that Pastor Terry Jones got in a week or Afghan protestors, in a day.

Al Qadri in the home of his son-in-law. A Pakistani Muslim scholar, Al Qadri founded Minhaj-ul-Quran, an international organization promoting moderation which claims to have over a million followers. He hit the headlines earlier this year after holding an anti-terrorism summer camp in England, teaching 1,300 young Muslims how to argue against extremists, and in March for issuing what’s thought to be the world’s first fatwa against terrorism.
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 02:  Islamic Scholar a...

With his focus on religious sensitivity, it’s not surprising that Al Qadri says, in his own roundabout way, that it might not have been the best idea for Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf to build an Islamic cultural center where he did. “If it creates problems in the community, and certain reactions are being anticipated, it may be wrong,” he says in a thick, Pakistani accent. “The best kind of policy should be to avoid any kind of litigation, dispute and unrest that leads to a lack of confidence between the two communities.”


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Is it Christian to burn the Qu'ran?

This is the article I wrote and published today on the pending Gainesville problem.

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Terry Jones, "pastor" of Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida plans to burn Qu'rans in front of his “church” Saturday.

Is that “Christian”?

Now, what if some random fellow of equally massive insignificance as "pastor" Jones situated in some Muslim village about the size of Gainesville Florida (pop. 124,000), say 'A?barah, Sudan (same population) managed to convince around 50 people, (about one or two families in his clan) to burn Christian Bibles this coming Saturday. How would things be going in that regard? My guess is that those Bibles would come and go with nary a Christian on earth ever hearing a word about it

What's going on here?

Christians seriously talking about throwing themselves on bonfires! To protect what? The Qu'ran! Full page ads? We know what those cost. For what? The Qu'ran.

It is incumbent upon every decent and conscientious Muslim to act swiftly and effectively to disseminate by all means possible the lengths to which Americans and Christians worldwide are going to protect and honor the Qu'ran.


Opinion: Is it Christian to burn the Qu'ran?

Is it Christian to burn the Qu'ran

New York Church & State |

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Quake devastates New Zealand

Haiti Quake: 7.0

Christchurch (NZ) quake: 7.4

Port Au Prince pop.: 704,776

Christchurch pop: 340,000

Christchurch deaths: 0

Haiti deaths: 230,000

Christchurch injured: 2

Haiti injured: 300,000

Christchurch damage: "building facades crashed to the ground, crushing parked cars and showering the roads with shattered glass, while gas and water electricity supplies were cut"

Haiti damage: "1,000,000 made homeless, 250,000 residences and 30,000 commercial buildings had collapsed"

Amplify’d from

Officials said it was “extremely lucky” no one was killed when the 7.0 magnitude quake shook the island nation's second-largest city of Christchurch just before dawn. Frightened residents fled their homes to find streets covered in rubble and glass, but despite the extent of the damage only two people were seriously injured in the city of 340,000 people.