April 30, 2006

Jose, Can You See?


From The Times Online: Briton behind anthem that enraged Bush.

A BRITISH record producer who started his career as a tea-boy in a London studio has emerged as the man behind a Spanish-language version of The Star-Spangled Banner, America’s national anthem, that has upset President George W Bush.

Adam Kidron, 46, released Nuestro Himno -- Our Anthem -- on Friday as a gesture of support for Hispanic immigrants. He has outraged rightwingers who complain that the Spanish version's new lyrics are confrontational, and that immigrants do not make enough effort to learn English. ...

One of the Spanish lines -- sung by a Latin star named Pitbull -- translates as: "My people keep fighting/ It's time to break the chains." ...

His idea for a revised national anthem came when a Republican congressman declared on television that illegal immigrants ought to be kicked out. ...

"I suppose I had a faint idea that if you do something a bit different, someone always complains," he said. "But it just seemed really cool to do something that was artful, emotional and, to some extent, patriotic.”

Instead, Kidron’s New York office was flooded with hate mail complaining that he was demeaning the national anthem and discouraging immigrants from embracing American culture. As the US television networks scrambled to book him for interviews he said: "I'm afraid we may be stoking prejudice. We don’t seem to be much of a cultural bridge."

I can sympathize with this guy's disgust at the law passed by the House that would make felons of illegal immigrants. I'm for open immigration, that is, I'm against immigration quotas. But I can think of few things more divisive than changing an adopted country's national anthem. But this is what happens when one looks at the immigration issues through racial/nationalistic lenses. If the guy had made merely a Spanish translation of the American national anthem, that would be one thing -- maybe some immigrants could learn about America (the overriding goal being assimilation to America's individualists values). But to alter the lyrics to have different meanings (e.g., "my people," "Our Anthem") is the exact opposite of what should be done.

Posted by Forkum at 04:06 PM

April 27, 2006

The Real Recycling Problem


Collusion? Forget the oil industry. You have to wonder about the media and environmental scare-mongers. TIME magazine's recent cover story on global warming warned ominously: "Be Worried, Be Very Worried." This week CNN reported: Experts: Global warming behind 2005 hurricanes. And conveniently, this latest round of alarmism comes just in time for the release of Al Gore's global-warming shockumentary "An Inconvenient Truth".

Fortunately not all media are on the apocalyptic band wagon. More articles are appearing that critique "climate change" doomsaying and environmentalism. Here are a few:

From BBC News: A load of hot air? by Simon Cox and Richard Vadon.

Hardly a day goes by without a new dire warning about climate change. But some claims are more extreme than others, giving rise to fears that the problem is being oversold and damaging the issue.

How much has the planet warmed up over the past century? Most people reckon between two and three degrees. They are not even close. The real figure, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is 0.6C.

It's not surprising most people get it wrong. We are bombarded by stories warning us that global warming is out of control. The most extreme warn us we will be living in a tropical Britain where malaria is rife and Norfolk has disappeared altogether.

Dr Hans Von Storch, a leading German climate scientist and fervent believer in global warming, is convinced the effect of climate change is being exaggerated.

"The alarmists think that climate change is something extremely dangerous, extremely bad and that overselling a little bit, if it serves a good purpose, is not that bad."

From The Calgary Sun: Let's put a freeze on global warming hype by Licia Corbella.

Exactly 31 years ago tomorrow Newsweek carried a story that predicted a rapidly cooling world that would result in a "drastic decline in food production -- with serious political implications for just about every nation on Earth."

Hmmmm? It's the same doom and gloom scenario we hear today except turned on its ear -- now, however, it's not about devastation caused by cooling but rather by global warming. ...

"Recently, media and politicians have virtually stopped talking about global warming and are now referring to climate change instead," states [Dr. Chris] de Freitas [a world-renowned climatologist, geographer and environmentalist from the University of Auckland in New Zealand]. "That's because predictions of doom and gloom from warming just aren't coming true. But with 'climate change,' Kyoto advocates can now cite any change or phenomenon as proof that CO2 emissions have upset the global apple cart."

It's the old 'heads-I-win, tails-you-lose' trick played on a massive scale by "the global warming industry" who want to keep their hundreds of millions of research dollars flowing when their dire predictions of catastrophic warming are proven false, if not completely fraudulent.

From FoxNews: The Greenhouse Myth by Steven Milloy. (via Tom Pechinski)

Al Gore's global warming documentary hits theaters on May 28. Entitled, "An Inconvenient Truth," the film purports to make the case for concern over manmade emissions of greenhouse gases.

Meanwhile at JunkScience.com, we’ve produced "The Real Inconvenient Truth" -- debunking two key myths of climate alarmism, including that the Earth's atmosphere acts like a greenhouse and that reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emission will avert significant temperature change.

And finally, I think this article underestimates the staying power of environmentalism as an ideology, but it's a good overview of its history. From The Harvard Crimson: Requiem for Environmentalism by Piotr C. Brzezinski. (via Paul Saunders on HB List)

The contemporary environmentalist movement faces a stark choice: change tactics or fade into irrelevance. Over the past decade, environmentalists have achieved few political victories and utterly failed to influence the general public. As indicated by a recent MIT study, the public knows little about environmental problems, and cares less. Out of 21 national and international issues, Americans ranked environmental problems 13th, well below terrorism, taxes, crime, and drugs.

Alarmism -- the environmental movement's basic strategy—has led to this dead end. Since Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring," the movement has been dominated by doomsday scenarios. Even on the first Earth Day in 1970, biologist George Wald predicted that "civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken" while the New York Times warned that "man must stop pollution and conserve his resources…to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction." Fortunately, such apocalyptic forecasts have repeatedly proven to be wrong.

UPDATE I: From Chicago Sun-Times: Nothing to fear but the climate change alarmists by Mark Steyn. (via Harry Binswanger)

So what should we worry about? How about -- stop me if you've heard this one before -- "climate change"? That's the subject of Al Gore's new movie, ''An Inconvenient Truth.'' Like the trailer says: "If you love your planet -- if you love your children -- you have to see this movie." Even if you were planning to kill your children because you don't want them to live in a nuclear wasteland, see this movie. The mullahs won't get a chance to nuke us because, thanks to rising sea levels, Tehran will be under water. The editor of the New Yorker, David Remnick, says the Earth will "likely be an uninhabitable planet." The archbishop of Canterbury, in a desperate attempt to cut the Anglican Communion a slice of the Gaia-worship self-flagellation action, demands government "coercion" on everything from reduced speed limits to ending cheap air travel "if we want the global economy not to collapse and millions, billions of people to die."

Environmentalism doesn't need the support of the church, it's a church in itself ...

UPDATE II -- April 28: Committees of Correspondence has a good repost of information about global warming and hurricanes.

Posted by Forkum at 05:36 PM

April 26, 2006

Prognosis Negative


This cartoon was originally posted in February 2004, and is one of over 450 cartoons in our book Black & White World II.

From TCS Daily: Animal Rights, Human Wrongs by Iain Murray. (via TIA Daily)

Animal rights extremism -- which the FBI has labeled the biggest domestic terrorism threat -- has encountered a number of serious reverses recently. These reverses are a great victory for science, free inquiry and public health. In particular, Americans could learn from a popular movement in the UK that is standing up to the threats and intimidation of the animal "liberation" movement and asserting the moral arguments for animal testing.

The article quotes Dr Evan Harris, Liberal Democrat MP for Oxford West:

"Several years ago I volunteered to be a human trialist of a potential new AIDS vaccine, developed here in Oxford. I know that would not have been possible without the use of animal models and safety testing in animals. I said at the time that animal research was vital if we are to conquer AIDS, TB and malaria, and every time politicians talk about their concern for the developing world and those diseases they should mention the role that animal research will play.

"My message to the extremists is that you will never win. Every vile action of harassment, intimidation, or violence undermines any legitimacy your cause ever had and strengthens the resolve of those of us who support the rule of law and the role of science to resist you and to speak out against you." ...

"My message to the scientists, researchers and students who carry out biomedical work using animals is that you are heroes -- under paid , under-pressure and under-praised. You have always had my full public support and that of the vast majority of my constituents, of my parliamentary colleagues and of the British people. Your work is legitimate, necessary, carefully regulated and - where authorized -- the only or best way to provide insight into the causes and therapies of human diseases. You are right. You are brave. You are valued."

Meanwhile, The Spain Herald reports: Socialists: Give apes human rights. (via Tom Pechinski and Barcepundit)

The Spanish Socialist Party will introduce a bill in the Congress of Deputies calling for "the immediate inclusion of (simians) in the category of persons, and that they be given the moral and legal protection that currently are only enjoyed by human beings." The PSOE's justification is that humans share 98.4% of our genes with chimpanzees, 97.7% with gorillas, and 96.4% with orangutans.

UPDATE -- April 29: Barcepundit finds a connection between Zapatero and "The Simpsons". (via Tom Pechinski)

Posted by Forkum at 06:28 PM

April 25, 2006

Gas Fumes


From FoxNews: Bush Announces Gas Price Investigation Ahead of Speech.

With gas prices on the rise, President Bush on Tuesday offered suggestions for reducing oil costs, including increasing refinery capacity and conservation, to diversify away from oil through the use of alternative fuels like ethanol.

Under pressure from lawmakers and the public who have alleged price gouging by oil companies, the president also said he has ordered a probe of price manipulation and market speculation. On Tuesday, he also ordered a temporary halt of deliveries to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. ...

In an effort to appease congressional leaders who suspect the oil companies are unfairly raising prices, the president said he asked his Energy and Justice departments to open inquiries into whether the price of gasoline has been illegally manipulated.

The Ayn Rand Institue covered the topic back in February: The Myth of "Price-Gouging" by Alex Epstein.

The term "price gouging" implies that gas stations have an ability to forcibly inflict harm on us--but they do not. Any price we pay for a gallon of gasoline--whether $1 or $3--we pay voluntarily, based on the value of the gasoline to us. If we think we are spending too much on gasoline, we are free to drive less, to buy more fuel-efficient cars, to use carpools or busses, or to travel by bicycle or on foot. Gas station owners cannot force us to buy gasoline; they can only offer us a trade, which we are free to accept or reject.

But, one might ask, without anti-"price gouging" laws won't owners of gasoline charge the absolute highest prices they can? Absolutely, and they have every moral right to do so--just as consumers of gasoline have every right to pay the lowest prices they can find. Gas station owners are not our servants. They are producers who spend money, exert effort, and assume risk to bring a product to market. They own the gasoline they sell, and like any property owner they should be free to set the terms of sale.

Since we pay the lowest price that we can find for gasoline (and never more than it is worth to us), and gas stations sell gasoline for the highest price they can get (and never less than it is worth to them), the price of gasoline is a reflection of mutually beneficial trade--the essence of proper interaction under capitalism. For a gas station owner to charge what the market will bear is no more "gouging" than it is for a computer programmer--or a cashier--to negotiate for the highest salary he can get.

UPDATE -- April 26: From Forbes: Why The Pump Isn't More Painful by Nick Schultz. (via InstaPundit)

But what's more interesting about these stories is what they don't tell you. For example, the Associated Press reports that "surveys indicate drivers won't be easing off on their mileage, using even more gas than a year ago." Now why is that? If prices are rising, one would expect consumers would use less.

The answer might be in some of the long-term trends that the short-term media lens is too cramped to see. Energy prices may be rising, but energy itself is much less important to consumers and to the overall economy than it once was.

Also here's an interesting chart showing an individual's history (to 1979) of gasoline costs adjusted for inflation.

Posted by Forkum at 04:47 PM

April 24, 2006

Hu Jintao


From CNN: China's Hu promotes Mideast peace.

Chinese President Hu Jintao told Saudi Arabia on Sunday that the world's most populous country was ready to help bring stability to the Middle East.

"The Middle East is a vital region in the world and there will be no achievements and development in the world without a stable Middle East," Hu said in the translated comments.

"China is ready to work with Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries to strengthen peace and development in the Middle East and to build a world of peace, stability and prosperity," he told Saudi Arabia's Shura council, an unelected legislature.

Hu is on a three-day visit to cement growing political and economic ties with Saudi Arabia, which was China's top oil supplier in 2005, providing 17.5 percent of its imports with 443,600 barrels per day (bpd).

To see more Newsmaker Caricatures by John Cox, click here.

Posted by Forkum at 07:53 PM

April 23, 2006

Critical Mass


Okay, now we're just goofing off a little...

Posted by Forkum at 07:46 PM

April 20, 2006

Farce of Nature


From The Ayn Rand Institue: Who Will Defend Industry from Eco-Terrorism? by Onkar Ghate.

The individuals singled out for attack by environmental terrorists -- namely, scientists, inventors and businessmen -- are the creators of industrial civilization. As heirs of Newton, scientists discover truths about the workings of nature. As heirs of Edison, inventors use these truths to create new products which improve human life. As heirs of Ford, businessmen figure out ways to perfect and mass manufacture these products profitably.

These three categories of individuals represent the exploiters of nature, those who transform wilderness to support man's life. They find plains and forests, dangerous jungles and insect-infested swamps, in which man's life is precarious, and they build a human environment by creating houses, electric heaters and chemical pesticides. They teach man his method of survival: using his mind to reshape nature to his needs.

As monstrous as it sounds, it is precisely because these heroes are the sustainers of human life that they are targeted by those who are willing to take up arms for their cause, environmentalism.

Each Earth Day we like to plug our wood-based products: Black & White World II and our first book Black & White World (which, by the way, will soon be sold out).

Posted by Forkum at 06:55 AM

April 19, 2006

China Syndrome


This cartoon was originally posted in March 2005.

From CNN: China's leader begins U.S. visit.

China's leader Hu Jintao has arrived on his first visit to the United States since becoming president in 2003, landing in Seattle, Washington, on a four-day trip likely to be used to allay America's trade and currency concerns.

In a statement given to reporters, Hu said U.S.-Chinese relations were enjoying "sound momentum of growth" and the two nations were "shouldering joint responsibility for promoting world peace and development." ...

Hu signaled his focus on Taiwan -- which broke away from the mainland during the 1949 civil war -- on Sunday, when he urged its leaders to take part in a fresh round of talks. But at the same time, he called the island's independence advocates a danger to regional peace. ...

[Derek Mitchell, senior fellow at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS),] told CNN that Taiwan was always on top of the Chinese agenda in visits such as the one Hu was about to make. He said Hu will want the U.S. to ease back in the level of support it gives to Taiwan. While the United States has long acknowledged the "one China" policy, it is pledged to defend Taiwan against hostile action from the mainland.

Posted by Forkum at 06:01 PM

April 18, 2006

Victim Hoods


After yesterday's terrorist attack in Israel, the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority expressed approval and declared that the continued slaughter of Israeli innocents was justified as a matter of "self-defense". Today, Hamas has gone even further, demanding an apology from PA President Abbas because he condemned the act as "despicable" (via LGF). Somehow I doubt even this will change the minds of those who think Hamas can be reformed.

More from FoxNews: Israelis Blame Hamas for Bombing.

Israel said Tuesday that it holds the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority responsible for the deadliest homocide bombing in nearly two years and debated whether to target it directly as an "enemy entity" -- even though the attack was carried out by a different militant group.

Monday's blast outside a packed Tel Aviv fast-food restaurant killed nine civilians and wounded dozens during the Jewish Passover holiday, and troop reinforcements were deployed across Israel for fear of more attacks. The 21-year-old bomber, a West Bank university dropout, was sent by the Iranian-backed Islamic Jihad group.

Israel's U.N. ambassador, Dan Gillerman, warned that the Hamas government's verbal support for the bombing, as well as recent statements by Iran and Syria, "are clear declarations of war, and I urge each and every one of you to listen carefully and take them at face value." Gillerman said a new "axis of terror" -- Iran, Syria and the Hamas government -- was sowing the seeds of the first world war of the 21st century. ...

Hamas officials have defended the blast as a justified response to Israeli military strikes against the Palestinians. Hamas, which has carried out scores of homicide bombings in Israel since the early 1990s, has largely observed a truce since last year, but refuses to renounce violence and recognize Israel. Hamas officials also have said they would not try to stop or arrest members of other militant groups trying to carry out attacks. ...

The bomb, laced with nails and other projectiles, shattered car windshields, smashed windows of nearby buildings and blew away the restaurant's sign. Glass shards and blood splattered the ground. Police said the guard was torn in half by the blast.

Six Israelis and two Romanian workers were among those killed. One woman was killed while standing near her husband and children who were wounded, witnesses said.

In Gaza, Islamic Jihad militants handed out pastries on the streets in celebration.

Meanwhile, Qatar joins, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and United Arab Emirates in providing financial support to the Hamas terrorist government of the Palestinians. (via Michelle Malkin)

UPDATE -- April 19: Sharp-eyed reader James Richard Spriggs pointed out to us that the scorpion on the left has one too many legs. However, it just so happens to be a mutant scorpion. After all, any scorpion that big would have to be a mutant, right? Are you buying this? No? Okay, okay, it's a mistake. Thanks, James.

Posted by Forkum at 06:32 PM

April 17, 2006

Ibrahim al-Jaafari


From AP: Shiite Party Sticking With al-Jaafari.

The political snarl over choosing Iraq's new government tightened Monday as Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari's party indicated it was standing firm for him to keep the post for a second term despite opposition from Sunni Arabs and Kurds.

Ali al-Adeeb, a top official in the Dawa party, said the group would not put forward anyone else as the Shiite Muslim nominee for premier unless al-Jaafari decided to step aside.

The announcement pointed to further delays in negotiations to form a broad-based government, an effort that has stumbled along for four months since the Dec. 15 parliamentary elections.

An alliance of seven Shiite parties has deferred to Dawa to decide whether the bloc should stand with its February decision to nominate al-Jaafari to head the new government. Sunnis and Kurds oppose him, saying he has failed to stop the recent surge in sectarian bloodshed, and neither side has enough votes to force a decision.

The standoff over al-Jaafari forced Iraqi officials to call off a plan for convening parliament Monday.

"Dawa cannot present any candidate unless al-Jaafari decides to step aside," al-Adeeb told The Associated Press. "So far his position has not changed. If he decides to quit, then Dawa will try to agree (by consensus) on a candidate. If not, we will resort to voting."

To see more Newsmaker Caricatures by John Cox, click here.

Posted by Forkum at 09:34 PM

April 16, 2006



The words under "Pretty Please?" are Farsi for "I Plead You to God." Our thanks to Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi for the language advice.

From FoxNews: Tehrean Treatens West With Homicide Bombers.

Iran has formed battalions of suicide bombers to strike at British and American targets if the nation’s nuclear sites are attacked. According to Iranian officials, 40,000 trained suicide bombers are ready for action. ...

Dr. Hassan Abbasi, head of the Centre for Doctrinal Strategic Studies in the Revolutionary Guards, said in a speech that 29 Western targets had been identified: “We are ready to attack American and British sensitive points if they attack Iran’s nuclear facilities.” He added that some of them were “quite close” to the Iranian border in Iraq.

From TIA Daily: Time to Fight the Real War by Robert Tracinski.

Four and a half years after September 11 -- which was supposed to awaken us to the threat of devastating attacks by state-sponsored terrorists -- America is finally beginning to confront the world's largest and most dangerous state sponsor of terrorism: the Islamic Republic of Iran.

For the past week, newspapers and magazines have been filled with discussion of possible military action against Iran. The debate, so far, is between those who merely want to "threaten" the use of force, and those who argue that the Iranian threat is illusory. No one is yet willing to face the fact that Iran is already at war with the United States -- and that Iran is the central enemy we have to defeat if we are going to win the War on Terrorism. ...

[Iranian president] Ahmadinejad isn't interested so much in joining a nuclear club as he is in wielding a nuclear club. He has openly boasted that Iran wants to "wipe Israel off the map." Is Ahmadinejad just a wild-eyed "radical," out of touch with the rest of the Iranian regime? A few years ago, Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani—a man considered "moderate" by the standards of the Iranian regime—boasted that "a single atomic bomb has the power to completely destroy Israel." In case you don't think they're serious, Iran's religious establishment recently released a fatwa sanctioning the use of nuclear weapons. ...

There is no need to invoke the doctrine of pre-emption against Iran. Iran is already fighting a war against the United States. We just haven't been fighting back. We have held our fire as if Iran were protected by a shield of nuclear weapons. How much more aggressive will the Iranians become when they are actually protected by such a nuclear shield? ...

Iran's global ambitions are as grandiose as anything put forward by Osama bin Laden -- but they are backed by control of a country of 70 million people with an army, navy, and air force, a vast network of terrorist organizations across the Middle East, and, very soon, nuclear weapons.

If America's failure to act against the comparatively minor threat from Bin Laden in the 1990s resulted in the horrors of September 11, we can expect far worse if we fail to act against Iran.

From City Journal: Facing Down Iran by Mark Steyn.

So the question is: Will they do it? [Will Iran use a nuclear bomb?]

And the minute you have to ask, you know the answer. If, say, Norway or Ireland acquired nuclear weapons, we might regret the "proliferation," but we wouldn't have to contemplate mushroom clouds over neighboring states. In that sense, the civilized world has already lost: to enter into negotiations with a jurisdiction headed by a Holocaust-denying millenarian nut job is, in itself, an act of profound weakness -- the first concession, regardless of what weaselly settlement might eventually emerge.

Conversely, a key reason to stop Iran is to demonstrate that we can still muster the will to do so. Instead, the striking characteristic of the long diplomatic dance that brought us to this moment is how September 10th it's all been. The free world's delegated negotiators (the European Union) and transnational institutions (the IAEA) have continually given the impression that they'd be content just to boot it down the road to next year or the year after or find some arrangement -- this decade's Oil-for-Food or North Korean deal -- that would get them off the hook. If you talk to EU foreign ministers, they've already psychologically accepted a nuclear Iran. Indeed, the chief characteristic of the West's reaction to Iran's nuclearization has been an enervated fatalism.

And from The Telegraph: The frightening truth of why Iran wants a bomb by Amir Taheri.

Last Monday, just before he announced that Iran had gatecrashed "the nuclear club", President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad disappeared for several hours. He was having a khalvat (tête-à-tête) with the Hidden Imam, the 12th and last of the imams of Shiism who went into "grand occultation" in 941. ...

In Ahmadinejad's analysis, the rising Islamic "superpower" has decisive advantages over the infidel. Islam has four times as many young men of fighting age as the West, with its ageing populations. Hundreds of millions of Muslim "ghazis" (holy raiders) are keen to become martyrs while the infidel youths, loving life and fearing death, hate to fight. Islam also has four-fifths of the world's oil reserves, and so controls the lifeblood of the infidel. More importantly, the US, the only infidel power still capable of fighting, is hated by most other nations.

Posted by Forkum at 11:36 AM

April 13, 2006

Mild and Woolly


Apparently some on the left are mobilizing to prevent military action against the U.S.-hating, terrorist-sponsoring, genocide-threatening, Nuke-seeking, Holocaust-denying, homosexual-executing theocrats of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

From Little Green Footballs:
Moonbats Launch Preemptive Anti-War Petition
Mama Moonbat: Let Iran Get Nukes

And at The Huffington Post, Bill Scher advises the left to start Reframing The Iran Debate. This is a must-read for seeing how far the "anti-war" left will go to evade the reality of what kind of regime is confronting us. Excerpts:

So far, the neoconservatives have done a good job of re-running their Iraq playbook and framing discussion on Iran, by laying out these premises:

1. Iran is close to getting nukes.
2. Iran's President is crazy and irrational and committed to wiping Israel off the map. He can't be reasoned with.
3. Bush is trying real super hard to get the UN to do something about it, but if they won't...

If we are to have any hope of preventing a senseless war with Iran, we cannot accept this frame. If all of the above points are reported as fact and accepted by Americans across the ideological spectrum, anti-war arguments will be seen as knee-jerk, immature and reckless, and not get a fair hearing. In turn, Democrats in Congress will get steamrolled again.

How can we reframe the discussion? Our arguments should flow from the following framework:

1. Iran presently has a strong, rational incentive to get nukes. ...
2. Iran has acted rationally and can be reasoned with. ...
3. There is plenty of time to negotiate. ...

UPDATE I -- April 14: Ahmadinejad reminds us who we're dealing with. From CNN: Iran president: Israel a threat to Islamic nations.

Iran's president said on Friday that the existence of the "Zionist regime", Iran's term for Israel, was a threat to the Islamic world, days after declaring Iran had become a nuclear power by enriching uranium.

But the tone of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speech to a conference on the Palestinian issue was slightly more moderate than fiery rhetoric last year, when Iran's official IRNA news agency quoted him as telling a conference: "Israel must be wiped off the map."

"The existence of the Zionist regime is tantamount to an imposition of an unending and unrestrained threat so that none of the nations and Islamic countries of the region and beyond can feel secure from its threat," Ahmadinejad said on Friday.

UPDATE II: The Jerusalem Post includes some important genocidal details that CNN conveniently left out: Ahmadinejad: Israel will be eliminated. (via Little Green Footballs)

Opening the conference, Ahmadinejad fired a series of verbal shots at Israel, saying it was a "permanent threat" to the Middle East that will "soon" be liberated, and questioning the validity of the Nazi Holocaust against Jews in World War II.

"Like it or not, the Zionist regime is heading toward annihiliation," Ahmadinejad said. "The Zionist regime is a rotten, dried tree that will be eliminated by one storm," he said.

The land of Palestine, he said, referring to the British mandated territory that includes all of Israel, Gaza and the West Bank, "will be freed soon."

He did not say how this would be achieved, but insisted to the audience of at least 900 people: "Believe that Palestine will be freed soon."

So the speech wasn't "more moderate than fiery rhetoric last year" as CNN reported. Ahmadinejad is just getting more poetic about his final solution.

Posted by Forkum at 04:59 PM

April 12, 2006

Fallowed Ground


This cartoon was original posted in May 2005.

From Reuters: Zimbabwe slams aid agency crop reports - paper.

President Robert Mugabe's government has warned aid agencies against conducting so-called back-door crop assessments in Zimbabwe, the official Herald newspaper said on Wednesday.

Aid agencies have warned of another food deficit in the country, which has suffered shortages in the past five years, saying the lack of inputs such as seed and fertiliser has undermined production in the just-ended summer cropping season. ...

In January the government branded the U.S.-based Famine Early Warning System Network, which releases regular reports on Zimbabwe's food balance, as hostile after the group said the country faced worsening supply problems.

Zimbabwe's annual maize output has fallen sharply in the past five years due because of drought and AIDS, which is killing off peasant farmers in the prime of life.

Critics also point to Mugabe's controversial seizures of white-owned farms for blacks, which analysts say has seen commercial agricultural output plunge more than 60 percent. ...

The Commercial Farmers' Union, whose mainly white members were targeted in the government's land seizures, has said Zimbabwe expects another poor harvest of 795,000 tonnes.

Also Gus Van Horn notes Hyperinflation in Zimbabwe (scroll down).

UPDATE -- April 26: From BBC: Zimbabwe 'asks farmers to return'. (via Tom Pechinski)

Zimbabwe's white farmers say they have been invited to apply for land - in an apparent U-turn by the government which has seized their land.

All but 300 of the 4,000 white farmers have been forced off their land since President Robert Mugabe started his "fast-track" land reform in 2000.

A farmers' leader says some 200 applications have already been made and more are coming in.

Critics say the reforms have devastated the economy and led to massive hunger.

Posted by Forkum at 09:14 PM

April 11, 2006



From CNN: French protests target new reforms

French students, emboldened by President Jacques Chirac's cave-in on a youth jobs measure, prepared new protests Tuesday to try to get rid of other government labor reforms.

Unions declared victory on Monday after Chirac abandoned the measure that had spurred nationwide unrest, paralyzed secondary schools and universities and created a crisis for the government.

Chirac's retreat, and school vacations that started this week, may make Tuesday's protests smaller than previous mass nationwide actions. But police deployed around Paris several hours before the protest, on alert for more of the violence that has marred many marches.

Students hoping to make use of the momentum to force the government to back down on other measures planned demonstrations Tuesday across the country.

Scattered groups staged impromptu protests: Dozens of students blocked a bus depot in the southwestern city of Toulouse; others briefly stormed the tarmac of an airport in the western city of Nantes before authorities peacefully removed them, according to radio reports.

UPDATE -- April 12: From TIME: Liberty, Equality, Mediocrity by Charles Krauthammer. (via InstaPundit)

The French are justly proud of their revolutionary tradition. After all, 1789 begat 1848 and 1871 and indeed inspired just about every revolution for a century, up to and including the Russian Revolution of 1917. Say what you will about the outcomes, but the origins were quite glorious: defiant, courageous, bloody, romantic uprisings against all that was fixed and immovable and oppressive: kings, czars, churches, oligarchies, tyrannies of every kind.

And now, in a new act of revolutionary creativity, the French are at it again. Millions of young people and trade unionists, joined by some underclass opportunists looking for a good night out, have taken to the streets again. To rise up against what? In massive protest against a law that would allow employers to fire an employee less than 26 years old in the first two years of his contract.

That's a very long way from liberty, equality, fraternity. The spirit of this revolution is embodied most perfectly in the slogan on many placards: [...] "Against Precariousness." The precariousness of being subject to being fired. The precariousness of the untenured life, even if the work is boring and the boss no longer wants you. And ultimately, the precariousness of life itself, any weakening of the government guarantee of safety, conformity, regularity.

That is something very new. And it is not just a long way from the ideals of 1789. It is the very antithesis. It represents an escape from freedom, a demand for an arbitrary powerful state in whose bosom you can settle for life.

Posted by Forkum at 07:20 PM

April 10, 2006

Harry Reid


From CNN: Bush: Democrats' leader sunk immigration bill

President Bush blamed Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid on Saturday for the potentially fatal blow dealt to compromise immigration legislation.

The landmark bill, which would offer eventual citizenship to millions of illegal immigrants, fell victim Friday to internal disputes in both parties.

But Bush -- echoing earlier complaints from Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tennessee -- sought to place all the blame on Reid, D-Nevada, who refused to permit votes on more than three Republican-backed amendments.

"I call on the Senate minority leader to end his blocking tactics and allow the Senate to do its work and pass a fair, effective immigration reform bill," Bush said in his weekly radio address. ...

Frist and others accused Reid of "putting a stranglehold" on the Senate. The Democratic leader has prevented votes on all but a few non-controversial amendments since debate began on the bill more than a week ago.

Sen. John Cornyn of Texas and other opponents expressed frustration that they were unable to gain votes on proposals to toughen enforcement or to leave immigration policy unchanged until the border had been made secure.

"It's not gone forward because there's a political advantage for Democrats not to have an immigration bill," asserted Specter.

Reid swiftly rebutted the claim: "I respect Bill Frist, but his position on this matter simply defies logic. ... He needed the courage to move forward."

To see more Newsmaker Caricatures by John Cox, click here.

UPDATE -- April 13: From Reuters: Bush, Reid Trade Insults on Immigration.

President Bush accused Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid on Thursday of "single-handedly thwarting" action on immigration legislation, and got a brisk retort in return.

"President Bush has as much credibility on immigration as he does on Iraq and national security," shot back the Nevada Democrat.

The exchange was the latest in a series of maneuvers among party leaders trying to assign blame for Senate gridlock over comprehensive immigration legislation. A pending measure would strengthen border security, create a guest worker program and offer eventual citizenship to many of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the country.

Posted by Forkum at 08:35 PM

April 09, 2006

Assimilation Problem


From TIA Daily's Robert Tracinski: America's Real 'Assimilation' Dilemma.

I agree that the phenomenon of "political correctness" and the attacks on American history -- most notably, the attempt to portray slavery and racism, not the fight for liberty, as the essence of our history -- are real threats to the process of assimilation. And this paves the way for anti-American leftist groups, like ANSWER, to sponsor pro-immigration rallies at which some illegal immigrants have waved the flags of their home countries -- an odd way to make the case for becoming a citizen of this country.

But the argument about political correctness and multiculturalism is not really an argument against immigration. In fact, it only connects to immigration very incidentally. If the ability of our culture to induct people into the values of our civilization is in doubt, then what happens to 11 million illegal immigrants is a relatively small problem. What we really ought to be worried about is a group of 75 million people who desperately need to be assimilated into America's culture of individualism, taught the essential facts about America's history, and encouraged to appreciate the virtues of our political system.

I am talking about 75 million people who are, you might say, on an automatic track to citizenship, and all of whom will become newly eligible to vote in the next two decades.

I am speaking of the 75 million Americans under the age of 18.

Posted by Forkum at 06:57 PM

April 07, 2006

Race Baiting


From AP: NASCAR: Dateline NBC Plan 'Outrageous'

NASCAR said it was "outrageous" that "Dateline NBC" targeted one of its race tracks last weekend for a possible segment on anti-Muslim sentiment in the United States.

NASCAR said NBC confirmed it was sending Muslim-looking men to a race, along with a camera crew to film fans' reactions. The NBC crew was "apparently on site in Martinsville, Va., walked around and no one bothered them," NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said Wednesday.

"It is outrageous that a news organization of NBC's stature would stoop to the level of going out to create news instead of reporting news," Poston said.

"Any legitimate journalist in America should be embarrassed by this stunt. The obvious intent by NBC was to evoke reaction, and we are confident our fans won't take the bait," he said.

This cartoon is based on a combination of ideas by three Michelle Malkin readers: Chris S., Steve B. and Uncle Jack.

Posted by Forkum at 07:03 PM

April 06, 2006

Lott of Pork


From Washington Post: Miss. Lawmakers Advance State Project. (via Tapscott's Copy Desk where there's more)

The high-octane Mississippi Senate delegation is using a mammoth bill funding hurricane relief and the war in Iraq to have taxpayers foot the $700 million bill for a rail line along Mississippi's Gulf Coast.

But there's a catch. The track in question, owned by CSX Transportation and damaged by Hurricane Katrina, has already been repaired at a cost of $300 million.

Now, Mississippi GOP Sens. Thad Cochran and Trent Lott want to tear up the just-rebuilt track -- which divides virtually every city and town along the state's coast -- and use the land to build a much-needed highway along the congested coastline. ...

The ambitious project has critics already comparing it to "pork barrel" projects like the $223 million "bridge to nowhere" connecting Alaska's Gravina Island -- population 50 -- to the mainland. That project drew the ire of the American public and was rescinded in December.

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., said, "It is ludicrous for the Senate to spend $700 million to destroy and relocate a rail line that is in perfect working order, particularly when it recently underwent a ... repair." ...

Lott vigorously defended the rail line plan.

"I'll just say this about the so-called porkbusters. I'm getting damn tired of hearing from them. They have been nothing but trouble ever since Katrina," he said. "We in Mississippi have not asked for more than we deserve. We've been very reasonable."

Here's the Web site for the "so-called" Porkbusters. And Glenn Reynolds has much more here, here and here.

And from CNN yesterday: 'Pig Book' targets government 'pork'.

A watchdog group Wednesday accused Congress of wasting taxpayer dollars to please the people back home, despite the soaring deficit and mounting bills for hurricane damage and the war in Iraq.

Citizens Against Government Waste identified 375 projects -- costing $3.4 billion -- in its "2006 Congressional Pig Book" it says the nation could have done without in fiscal 2006, which ends October 1.

The 53 pages of pork barrel projects "symbolize the most egregious and blatant examples of pork," the report says.

Among the projects the group identified:

* $13.5 million for the International Fund for Ireland, which helped finance the World Toilet Summit

* $6.4 million for wood utilization research in 11 states

* $1 million for the Waterfree Urinal Conservation Initiative in Michigan

* $500,000 for the Sparta Teapot Museum in Sparta, North Carolina ...

To qualify for the "Pig Book," a project must meet at least one of these standards: requested by only one chamber of Congress; not specifically authorized; not competitively awarded; not requested by the president; greatly exceeds the president's budget request or the previous year's funding; not the subject of congressional hearings; serves only a local or special interest.

UPDATE -- April 10: Tom Rizzo did some fact-checking. The infamous "bridge to nowhere" was not merely to connect "Alaska's Gravina Island -- population 50 -- to the mainland." The island is mostly an airport. As Tom notes, "It's still pork," but there was more to the story.

Posted by Forkum at 04:43 PM

April 05, 2006

Thus Always To Tyrants


This cartoon originally appeared on April 10, 2003, and is one of over 450 cartoons in our book Black & White World II.

On April 9, 2003, CNN reported: U.S troops topple Saddam statue.

U.S. troops pulled down a giant statue of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein hours after coalition tanks rolled into the center of Baghdad Wednesday.

The statue in Firdos Square fell after a small group of Iraqis climbed the monument and wrapped a rope around its neck. A group of Marines then backed an armored vehicle up to the monument, attached a chain to the statue and pulled it down.

And this: White House urges caution at 'historic moment'.

Three weeks into a war that divided Europe and raised questions at home, the Bush administration on Wednesday savored the images of jubilant Iraqis celebrating the crumbling of Saddam Hussein decades-long grip on power.

It was, said White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, a "historic moment."

Throughout the day, administration officials blended cautionary notes with their welcoming comments about the events transpiring in Iraq. There was, said some administration officials, a sense of vindication at the White House following weeks of questions about the progress of Operation Iraqi Freedom and continued criticism at home and abroad about the U.S.-led war.

And this: Saddam's regime in ruins.

The toppling of a giant bronze statue in Baghdad -- despite battles raging elsewhere and some anarchy on the streets -- is being greeted as the symbolic crumbling of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's regime.

While the U.S. White House warns that there will be days of fighting ahead, Iraq's ambassador to the United Nations has conceded the inevitable.

"The game is over. I hope the peace will prevail and the Iraqi people at the end of the day will have a peaceful life," Mohammed Aldouri said Wednesday in New York, adding that he had lost contact with Saddam Hussein's regime.

When he was asked if Iraq would "surrender," he said: "I don't know."

Today CNN reports on the status of the tyrant: Hussein grins, reads poetry during cross-examination.

A grinning and poetic Saddam Hussein was cross-examined for the first time in his trial Wednesday, saying he approved 1980s death sentences against Shiites because they were trying to assassinate him.

Hussein, standing alone as the sole defendant in the courtroom, dodged some questions from prosecutors over his role in a crackdown against Shiites in the 1980s, giving long speeches calling the court "illegitimate." ...

The session came a day after prosecutors indicted Hussein on separate charges of genocide, accusing him of trying to exterminate Kurds in a 1980s campaign that killed an estimated 100,000 people. The charges will be dealt with in a separate trial.

In the current trial, Hussein and seven former members of his regime are charged in a crackdown against Shiites launched after a 1982 assassination attempt against Hussein in the town of Dujail. In the sweep that followed, 148 Shiites were killed and hundreds were imprisoned, some of them undergoing torture.

Posted by Forkum at 08:18 PM

April 04, 2006



From The Jerusalem Post: Blix: 'Iran at least 5 years away from bomb'. (via Little Green Footballs)

Former UN chief weapons inspector Hans Blix on Monday said Iran is a least five years away from developing a nuclear bomb, leaving time to peacefully negotiate a settlement.

Blix, attending an energy conference in the Western Norway city of Bergen, said he doubted the US would resort to invading Iran.

"But there is a chance that the US will use bombs or missiles against several sites in Iran," he was quoted as saying by Norwegian news agency NTB. "Then, the reactions would be strong, and would contribute to increased terrorism."

From FoxNews: Iran: Stealth 'Flying Boat' Successfully Tested.

Iran said Tuesday it had tested what it called a "super-modern flying boat" capable of evading radar. State TV showed a brief clip of the boat's launch.

"Due to its advanced design, no radar at sea or in the air can detect it. It can lift out of the water," the television said. It said the boat was "all Iranian-made and can launch missiles with precise targeting while moving."

On Monday Iran said it tested a second new radar-avoiding missile during war games in the Persian Gulf that the military says are aimed at preparing the country's defenses against the United States.

The new surface-to-sea missile is equipped with remote-control and searching systems, the state-run television reported Tuesday.

On Friday, the country tested the Fajr-3, a missile that it said can avoid radars and hit several targets simultaneously using multiple warheads. Iran also has tested what it calls two new torpedoes.

The Revolutionary Guards, the elite branch of Iran's military, have been holding their maneuvers — code-named the "Great Prophet" — since Friday, touting what they call domestically built technological advances in their armed forces.

Posted by Forkum at 04:00 PM

April 03, 2006

Cynthia McKinney


From AP via AccessNorthGa.com: McKinney incident referred to U.S. Attorney's Office.

Capitol Hill police have referred a scuffle between one of their officers and U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Washington, D.C., a spokesman for the office said Monday.

"We are working with Capitol Hill police to fully understand and appreciate the incident," principal assistant U.S. Attorney Channing Phillips told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "Pending review, it is inappropriate for us to comment any further at this time."

Phillips would not say whether a warrant was issued for McKinney's arrest.

McKinney spokesman Coz Carson on Monday also acknowledged the investigation.

"We're aware that the wheels are turning in Washington," Carson said. "We have no control over what they decide to do. We will make the appropriate statement and take the appropriate action once we know where they're going."

At a press conference Monday morning, black clergy and lawmakers came the defense of the firebrand congresswoman. McKinney smiled as her supporters heaped praise on her leadership and her new look -- her trademark cornrows replaced earlier this year by a curly brown afro.

Michelle Malkin has more:
Crazy Cynthia's Case Goes To Feds
Same Old, Same Old (Video Added)
What Will She Say Now?
McKinney Plays The Race Card

And so does Little Green Footballs.

To see more Newsmaker Caricatures by John Cox, click here.

Posted by Forkum at 08:09 PM

April 02, 2006

Seller Beware


As we mentioned in our last post, from AP: Borders, Walden Won't Carry Magazine.

Borders and Waldenbooks stores will not stock the April-May issue of Free Inquiry magazine because it contains cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that provoked deadly protests among Muslims in several countries.

"For us, the safety and security of our customers and employees is a top priority, and we believe that carrying this issue could challenge that priority," Borders Group Inc. spokeswoman Beth Bingham said Wednesday.

The magazine, published by the Council for Secular Humanism in suburban Amherst, includes four of the drawings that originally appeared in a Danish newspaper in September, including one depicting Muhammad wearing a bomb-shaped turban with a lit fuse.

Charles Johnson has some noteworthy commentary: A Thought About the Borders Statement.

Although [Border's] decision to preemptively surrender is appalling, I actually applaud Borders for being honest and acknowledging their real motivation—fear and concern for employees—for not carrying Free Inquiry, instead of concocting an obviously phony statement about “religious sensitivity.”

However, isn’t one of the main complaints by Muslim groups about the Danish cartoons that they promote a stereotyped image of Muslims as violent terrorists—especially the cartoon showing Mohammed with a bomb-shaped turban?

In fact, the accusation of ignorant, racist stereotyping is one of the most common charges levied by Islamic advocacy groups against the people they target for harassment.

So why isn’t CAIR demanding an apology from Borders Books for this open admission that they fear violence from Muslims? Isn’t this a blatant example of “racist stereotyping” by CAIR’s usual yardstick?

Read the whole thing.

This cartoon is based on a suggestion by Rich Chandler.

Posted by Forkum at 08:53 PM

April 01, 2006

Graven Images


See update below regarding the lines in the cartoon.

The jihad over the Danish Mohammed cartoons continues, and the West appears to be losing the battle for free speech:

From Middle East Times: Muslim gang forces Paris cafe to censor cartoon show. (via Dhimmi Watch and Tom Pechinski)

A gang of young Muslims wielding iron rods has forced a Paris cafe to censor an exhibition of cartoons ridiculing religion, the owners of the establishment said on Friday.

Some 50 drawings by well-known French cartoonists were installed in the Mer a Boire cafe in the working-class Belleville neighborhood of northeast Paris, as part of an avowedly atheist show entitled, "Neither god nor god".

The collection targeted all religions - including Islam - but there were no representations of the Prophet Mohammed such as sparked the recent crisis between the West and the Islamic world, according to Marianne who is one of the cafe's three owners. ...

Refusing to dismantle the exhibition, the owners have placed white sheets of paper inscribed with the word 'censored' over the cartoons that were targeted by the gang.

"To take down the cartoons would have been a surrender. But on the other hand we cannot expose ourselves to this kind of violence. This way you can still see the pictures if you lift the paper," said Marianne. ...

"Putting on this type of show in this place was not in the least a provocation. Unless you think that freedom of expression in itself is a provocation," the cartoonist Charb told Le Parisien newspaper.

From AP: Borders, Walden Won't Carry Magazine.

Borders and Waldenbooks stores will not stock the April-May issue of Free Inquiry magazine because it contains cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that provoked deadly protests among Muslims in several countries.

"For us, the safety and security of our customers and employees is a top priority, and we believe that carrying this issue could challenge that priority," Borders Group Inc. spokeswoman Beth Bingham said Wednesday.

The magazine, published by the Council for Secular Humanism in suburban Amherst, includes four of the drawings that originally appeared in a Danish newspaper in September, including one depicting Muhammad wearing a bomb-shaped turban with a lit fuse.

From Western Standard: Western Standard sued from publishing cartoons.

Earlier this month, the Western Standard was sued in human rights court for publishing the Danish cartoons. It’s been ten years since I’ve graduated from law school, and I’ve never seen a more frivolous, vexatious, infantile suit than this.

But that's the point — this complaint is not about beating us in the law. Freedom of speech is still in our constitution; we’ll win in the end. It’s a nuisance suit, designed to grind us down, cost us money, and serve as a warning to other, more timid media.

From American Chronicle: Danish Muslims Sue Newspaper Over Drawings.

A group of 27 Danish Muslim organizations have filed a defamation lawsuit against the newspaper that first published the carricatures of Islam's Prophet Muhammad, their lawyer said Thursday.

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday, two weeks after Denmark's top prosecutor declined to press criminal charges, saying the drawings that sparked a firestorm in the Muslim world did not violate laws against racism or blasphemy.

Michael Christiani Havemann, a lawyer representing the Muslim groups, said lawsuit sought $16,100 in damages from Jyllands-Posten Editor in Chief Carsten Juste and Culture Editor Flemming Rose, who supervised the cartoon project.

'We're seeking judgment for both the text and the drawings which were gratuitously defamatory and injurious,' Havemann said.

From the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education: NYU Surrenders to the Heckler’s Veto in Mohammed Cartoon Dispute.

In violation of its own policies, New York University (NYU) is refusing to allow a student group to show the Danish cartoons of Mohammed at a public event tonight. Even though the purpose of the event is to show and discuss the cartoons, an administrator has suddenly ordered the students either not to display them or to exclude 150 off-campus guests from attending. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is urging NYU’s president to reverse course and stand up for freedom of speech.

The event was hosted by The Objectivist Club at NYU. More on this event at Atlas Shrugs, The Volokh Conspiracy and NoodleFood.

Two good commentaries on the Cartoon Jihad :

From The Ayn Rand Institute: The Fear to Speak Comes to America's Shores by Onkar Ghate.

In the face of such outrages, we must demand that the U.S. government reverse its disgraceful stand and fulfill is obligation to protect our right to free speech.

Freedom of speech means the right to express one's ideas without danger of physical coercion from anyone. This freedom includes the right to make movies, write books, draw pictures, voice political opinions--and satirize religion. This right flows from the right to think: the right to observe, to follow the evidence, to reach the conclusions you judge the facts warrant--and then to convey your thoughts to others.

In a free society, anyone angered by someone else's ideas has a simple and powerful recourse: don't buy his books, watch his movies, or read his newspapers. If one judges his ideas dangerous, argue against them. The purveyor of evil ideas is no threat to those who remain free to counter them with rational ones.

But the moment someone decides to answer those he finds offensive with a knife or a homemade explosive, not an argument, he removes himself from civilized society.

And from Rule of Reason blog: The Ruses of Domestic Islamic 'Rage' Against Freedom of Speech by Edward Cline.

The slippery slope of censorship and "responsible" public policy, also known as self-censorship. Someone please correct me, but I believe that Ayn Rand once remarked that at the rate the West is deteriorating, it will not end with a bang, but with a burp. The foregoing instances of submission to Islamic threats and pressure are warnings and guarantees of more to come.

If you have not already noticed it, endorsement of the display of the Danish cartoons -- indeed, any expression of criticism about Islam -- is steadily being equated with racism, hatred, and discrimination.

(Many of these links via Little Green Footballs and Instapundit.)

UPDATE I -- April 1: Thanks to everyone who notified us about the cartoon being messed up. We did that effect intentionally for a little April Fools Day fun. Such fun is becoming a tradition for us; here's what we did in 2004 and 2005. This year's joke kept evolving as we developed it and ended up somewhat playing into the cartoon's point. That is, the cartoon kind of looks like it might have been censored or hacked because of its content, which some readers suspected. The post itself is serious, and we recommend all the links. Nonetheless, Happy April Fools Day, everyone.

UPDATE II -- April 3: American Thinker has more on the NYU panel discussion by participant Andrew G. Bostom: NYU's Cartoonish Quarantine.

This past Wednesday evening, March 29, 2006, I participated in a panel discussion of the Danish cartoon jihad where life imitated (Grenier’s) art as depressing farce through the actions of the New York University Administration. The NYU Administration’s toxic combination of moral cowardice and absurd, offensive "reasoning" forced a Hobson's choice upon the courageous NYU Objectivist Club student organizers of this important forum ...

On April 11, another panel discussion of the Danish Mohammed cartoons will be hosted by the USC Objectivist Club (details here). Panelists include Daniel Pipes and The Ayn Rand Institute's Yaron Brook [CORRECTION: I had mistakenly billed Peter Schwartz].

Posted by Forkum at 12:01 AM