Blood Of The Vikings

Diverse — Drokles on July 30, 2012 at 4:33 am

En hel BBC dokumentar om dengang vi stadig havde gejst at dele ud af.

Blood of the Vikings is a 5 part 2001 BBC Television documentary series that traces the legacy of the Vikings in the British Isles through a genetics survey.

The research confirmed that the Vikings did not just raid and retreat to Scandinavia, but settled in Britain for years. They left their genetic pattern in some parts of the UK population. Concentrations of Norwegian genetic heritage were found in part of Cumbria in northwest England, the area around Penrith, the Shetland and Orkney Islands and the far north of the Scottish mainland.

In addition the research reveals surprising new information about Celtic and Anglo-Saxon heritage on the British mainland. Men who were tested in mainland Scotland had a percentage of Celtic genetic heritage similar to the population of southern England. This showed 1) that Celtic heritage persisted among men in southern England after Anglo-Saxon settlement; and 2) that the Scots were not predominantly Celtic

Søg og du skal finde

Diverse — Drokles on July 30, 2012 at 2:29 am

Den ofte oversete pointe i disse vise ord hedder confirmation bias, nemlig at vi gerne ser vores antagelser bekræftet. The Register havde for en del tid siden en foruroligende artikel om højre- og venstreorienteredes syn på klimavidenskab i forhold til deres generelle videnskabelige indsigt.

Thus, in a just-published US National Science Foundation-funded study, participants’ science knowledge and numeracy was tested and compared with levels of concern regarding climate change. The soft-studies profs were amazed, however, to find that as one moves up the scale of science knowledge and numeracy, people become more sceptical, not less.

According to the profs, this is not because the idea of imminent carbon-driven catastrophe is perhaps a bit scientifically suspect. Rather it is because people classed as “egalitarian communitarians” (roughly speaking, left-wingers) are always highly concerned about climate change, and become slightly more so as they acquire more science and numeracy. Unfortunately, however, “hierarchical individualists” (basically, right-wingers) are quite concerned about climate change when they’re ignorant: but if they have any scientific, mathematic or technical education this causes them to become strongly sceptical.

As scientific/tech knowledge and numeracy appears to be more common among “hierarchical individualists” than among “egalitarian communitarians”, this meant that in the sample as a whole the effect of more scientific knowledge and numeracy was to increase scepticism.

Undersøgelsen konkluderer derfor at man skal være varsom med at undervise i videnskabelig forståelse. I stedet stal regeringen lægge en anden kommunikationsstrategi med brug af “culturally diverse communicators”

Perfecting such techniques through a new science of science communication is a public good of singular importance.

Og det bekræftes i videnskaben!

Make love then war

Diverse — Drokles on July 29, 2012 at 3:08 am

En hollandsk demograf, Stijn Hoorens, slår til lyd for at Europa skal øge indvandringen da den europæiske befolkning skrumper. Mere præcist betyder det ifølge Jyllands-Posten

Tyskland – Europas folkerigeste land med 81,7 mio. indbyggere – skal ifølge FN bruge 188 mio. indvandrere frem mod 2050, og Storbritannien skal bruge 60 mio.

De høje tal skyldes ifølge FN, at indvandrerne over generationer tilpasser sig den vestlige livsstil, bliver ældre og ofte rejser tilbage til oprindelseslandet.

Som seniordemograf Carl Haub siger, vil indvandring i teorien, hvis den bliver brugt effektivt, booste økonomien og fødselsraten en smule.

Teori er godt og således kan man i sektionen Ideer i Weekendavisen læse at et tværnationalt hold af fysikere har opstillet en matematisk model over krig og konflikt mellem sproggrupper, som en funktion af befolkningsudvikling og areal.

Og det afgørende er som sagt, hvem der har den største populationstilvækst, når der opstår konflikt om et territorium.

“Populationerne kæmper om arealerne gennem væksten i populationen,” opsummerer den danske post.doc., der har en ph.d.-grad i molækylære netværk fra Niels Bohr Instituttet.

(…) “Det afgørende er, at så længe vi har tal på populationer og areal, så kam vi regne ud, hvor meget grupperne kæmper med hinanden.

Uden at kende formlen for konflikt så kan man godt antage at der med 188 mio ekstra fremmedsprogede i Tyskland alene, fremmedsprogede der erfaringsmæssigt hverken lærer sig vestlig livsstil eller rejser hjem, vil være lagt i kakkeloven til en heftig konflik. Så smid bukserne og drop preservativerne, hvis den krig skal vindes.

Thomas Sowell om venstrefløjens vulgære hovmod

Diverse — Drokles on July 25, 2012 at 5:04 am

Geopolitiske forandringer om hjørnet?

Diverse — Drokles on July 24, 2012 at 8:11 am

Walter Russel Mead har i den seneste tid skrevet en række gode artikler for American Interest om de enorme olie- og gasreserver man i disse år finder udenfor Mellemøsten.

By some estimates, the United States has more oil than Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran combined, and Canada may have even more than the United States. A GAO report released last May (pdf link can be found here) estimates that up to the equivalent of 3 trillion barrels of shale oil may lie in just one of the major potential US energy production sites. If half of this oil is recoverable, US reserves in this one deposit are roughly equal to the known reserves of the rest of the world combined.

(…)

Domestically, the energy bonanza changes the American outlook far more dramatically than most people yet realize. This is a Big One, a game changer, and it will likely be a major factor in propelling the United States to the next (and still unknown) stage of development — towards the next incarnation of the American Dream.

The energy revolution is first and foremost a revolution that affects jobs. We are in the very early stages, but since the financial crisis of 2008, fracking alone has created something like 600,000 new jobs in the United States, says the FT. Throw in more jobs in both extracting and refining the new energy wealth, and add the manufacturing and processing industries that will return to US shores to benefit from cheap, secure and abundant energy and feedstock, and it is clear that the energy revolution will be a jobs revolution.

Også Kina har en del energi under Muren, hvilket kan lette trykket omkring dets grænser

On the whole, a world of energy abundance should be particularly good for U.S.-China relations. If both China and the United States have large energy reserves at home, and if new discoveries globally are making energy more abundant, there is less chance that China and the U.S. will compete for political influence in places like the Middle East. More energy security at home may also lessen the political pressure inside China to build up its naval forces.

Oil may calm the troubled waters around China’s shores. The maritime disputes now causing trouble from Korea and Japan to Malaysia and the Philippines will be easier to manage if the potential undersea energy resources are seen as less vital to national economic security. Nationalist passion will still drive tough stands on the maritime issues, but nationalism is a much stronger force when powerful economic arguments share the agenda of radical nationalist groups. If the South China Sea issue is seen as both a question of national pride and, because of perceived energy supply issues, a vital national interest, Chinese policy will be much tougher than if it is simply a question of pride.

Depending on the size of China’s unconventional domestic reserves (and some analysts think the country could have something like the equivalent of double Saudi Arabia’s oil reserves), China will feel marginally less constrained by Washington’s global naval supremacy. As it now stands, in any serious clash with China, the U.S. could bring Beijing to its knees with a naval blockade. With much larger domestic energy production, China would be less vulnerable to this threat. This could translate into a greater willingness to take a hard line on international issues.

On the other hand, China is unlikely to gain complete energy independence, and in any case it will still need access to the global system for trade and investment. Indeed, assuming that the new energy abundance promotes global economic prosperity, access to the global market will become more attractive for China and its deepening economic independence with world markets would make China less willing to risk cutting off its maritime connections to the rest of the world.

Også Israel har enorme energiforekomster og det betyder flere venner og svagere fjender.

Even at this very early stage, the impact of Israel’s energy wealth is dramatic. On President Putin’s visit to Jerusalem, he donned a kippah and went to pray at the Western Wall of the ancient Temple. As one press report has it, at the close of his visit, Putin turned to one of the Russian Jews present and said

I came here to pray that the Temple should be rebuilt, and I wish that your prayers will be fulfilled.

Putin had more honeyed words for his Israeli hosts. Touring the Wall, he said “Here, we see how the Jewish past is etched into the stones of Jerusalem.” This is not quite a formal recognition of Israeli claims to the Old City, but it is much more than Israelis usually hear. (Many Arabs and Palestinians insist that there is no connection between the Jews and the Western Wall, known in Arabic as the Al Buraq Wall after the mysterious heavenly steed said to have brought the Prophet Mohammed to Jerusalem on his famous Night Journey.)

The reaction from the Arab side to Putin’s statement about the historically Jewish character of Jerusalem was correspondingly furious. The Al Aqsa Institute issued the following statement:

We tell Putin and people like him that the Al-Buraq Wall is exclusive Muslim Waqf property, is an inseparable part of the blessed Al Aqsa Mosque and non-Muslims have no rights at this wall or at the blessed Al Aqsa Mosque, and all historic facts and international documents stress the fact that the Al Buraq Wall is Islamic…

We stress that every stone in the Al Aqsa Mosque and its buildings shows is evidence that it is Islamic and every stone in Al Quds is testimony to Al Quds’s Muslim and Arabic nature.

If the oil and the gas start to flow in anything like the quantities experts think now may be possible, expect many more visitors to Jerusalem to say similar things to Israelis and the Al Aqsa Institute will have to issue a lot more angry rebuttals. An Israel with vast energy endowments may be less coolly received in certain circles than it is today.

De svagere fjender er araberne, som sammen med Rusland må se frem til mindsket indflydelse

What Iran is discovering today, others will feel tomorrow. Since the 1970s, the states on both sides of the Gulf have been central to all kinds of global issues, and the great powers have focused enormous amounts of time and attention on their wants and needs. As the energy revolution proceeds, they won’t completely sink into insignificance (and the US concern to protect the independence of countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the rest won’t disappear), but the days when the world hung on every word that fell from the lips of OPEC are gone.

More, the political importance of the Gulf derives in part from the intersection of energy politics and national policy in many European countries. In places like Italy, France and Greece, national oil companies have much greater power in national politics than they do in the US. (The US has more oil companies, and there are more corporate and regional interests competing against what the oil companies want.) The ability of the Gulf countries to make or mar the fortunes of foreign oil companies has been an important source of political power for them. This power won’t go away, but it won’t be the same. There are lots of new places to look for oil these days, and with more countries interested in attracting international investment, the balance of power will shift from resource rich countries to firms with the capital and skill to turn those resources into revenue.

Coming back to Russia, the biggest threat to Moscow’s hopes for rebuilding its power based on energy resources comes from the discovery of huge natural gas reserves under the eastern Mediterranean seabed. Russia can and will do what it can to join in the exploitation of these resources; Greece, Cyprus and Israel are all willing to cooperate with the Russians when it comes to exploitation and processing.

So Gazprom won’t starve — but it could lose its ability to stop the flow of natural gas into western Europe. New pipelines will be built from Greece north and east and while a friendly Greek government and a strong capital position for Russian companies in the Greek gas business could give Moscow an edge, the Greeks are unlikely to allow Russia to turn Europe’s gas taps on and off at will.

Artiklerne kan med stor fordel læses i sin helhed. Der er flere nuancer og også sunde forbehold beg Meads optimisme for energireserverne er ikke lette at udnytte og potentialet afhænger af at den teknologiske udvikling kan gøre udvinding i større stil rentabel og især af politisk vilje. Og med de europæiske erfaringer in mente er der ingen grænser for den politiske dumheds tyrannisering af nødvendigheden - men USA er vel klogere.

Efter Batman-massakren: Guvernør undviger spørgsmål om våbenkontrol

Diverse — Drokles on July 23, 2012 at 9:12 pm

Overskriften er fra Danmarks Radio, der ikke kan forstå at mennesker frivilligt vælger at leve i andet end socialdemokratisk bobleplast

Debatten om bedre våbenkontrol er igen blusset op i USA efter denne uges massakre i Denver-forstanden Aurora, hvor den 24-årige James Holmes dræbte 12 og sårede 50 under en filmpremiere.

Men guvernøren i delstaten Colorado, John Hickenlooper, vil ikke kommentere, om han mener, det er på tide at stramme op for tilgængeligheden af skydevåben, fortæller den amerikanske netavis Huffington Post.

Mon James Holmes, som man først havde forsøgt at gøre til en repræsentant for tea party bevægelsen,virkeligt ville have afholdt sig fra sine ugerninger blot det havde været forbudt at bære våben? Det stoppede ikke hans norske ligesindede Anders Breivik. Men et våbenforbud stopper ærlige mennesker fra selv at forsvare sig selv og deres samfund. Som man kan se på nedenstående video, ville mindehøjtideligheden på Utøya have handlet om hvorledes norsk ungdom trodsede verdens ondskab i stedet fors, som nu, i et afmægtigt chok over at ondskaben eksisterer i al sin vilkårlighed.

Det er en gyselig tanke at denne helts generation er ved at uddø og blot efterlader os andre til at debattere transkønnethed og fedtafgift.

Terror er for de helt store røvhuller

Diverse — Drokles on July 19, 2012 at 10:23 am

Der er blevet slået tvivl om rigtigheden af den fatwa, som retfærdiggjorde at en ung og lovende selvmordsbomber måtte underkaste sig en hel del sodomi, der skulle sikre hans evne til at indeholde mere sprængstof og således dræbe flere mennesker. Altså, det er faldet nogen for brystet at islam skulle indeholde en klausul, hvor man må underkaste sig sodomi, ikke at man må myrde løs. Men det omtalte klip, hvor fatwa’en bliver forklaret af en imam bosiddende i London (hvor ellers?) er skam rigtig nok. Og en muslim må jo som bekendt ikke lyve.

Billedet herunder viser resultatet da den muslimske bøsse ’sprang ud‘.

halv-bomber

Keld Koplev slår fast af omskæring af piger er muslimsk praksis

Diverse — Drokles on July 18, 2012 at 7:54 pm

Keld Koplev skriver et indgående indlæg i Politiken ikke overraskende om sin egen pik. Mere overraskende er det derimod at Koplev slår fast at omskæring af kvinder er muslimsk praksis

Lige så lidt som modstanden mod omskæring af piger ikke er udtryk for had til islam, har modstanden mod drengeomskæring ikke det ringeste at gøre med antisemitisme.

Så sandt som omskæring af drengebørn er jødisk praksis er omskæring af pigebørn muslimsk praksis ifølge Koplev.

Islam, hvad skal man mene?

Diverse — Drokles on July 17, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Politiken skriver at “Forbud mod omskæring af små drenge udløser fælles religiøs front

Intolerancen mod religion vokser, og regeringer forsøger i stigende grad at hindre den frie udfoldelse af religion.

Sådan lyder advarslen fra en stribe europæiske rabbinere og imamer, som på et møde senere på ugen i Stuttgart i Tyskland vil drøfte, hvad de betragter som et stigende antal overgreb på troende.

Advarslen kommer, efter at en domstol i Köln tidligere på måneden udstedte et forbud mod omskæring af meget små og mindreårige drenge. Ifølge domstolen kan omskæringen skade dem fysisk, og den bør først finde sted, når drengene selv kan bestemme. Men det anfægter muslimer og jøder.

»Omskæring har været grundlaget for at tilhøre det jødiske fællesskab. Det har været praktiseret i 4.000 år, og det kan ikke ændres«, lød det fra formanden for de europæiske rabbinere, Pinchas Goldschmidt. Lignende formuleringer brugte ledende imamer i Tyskland.

Det første der slår mig er fraværet af religionshistorikere, til at belære disse muslimer og jøder om at religion er noget man gør og at man derfor bare kan gøre anderledes. Som man ikke kan stille en religion til ansvar for, hvad der står i teksten, som f.eks islams evigt kalden til blodig kamp mod alle anstændige mennesker, fordi det er mennesker selv der skaber teksten som de læser den, kan man vel også forlange at disse mellemøstreligioner læser deres tekster ind i en nutidig tysk og demokratisk kontekst. Er de de små drengebørn under kniven tyske statsborgere med friheden til selv at vælge kirurgiske indgreb? Eller er de en del af en etnisk minoritetsgrød underlagt et selvbestaltet kleresis dogmer?

Artiklen fortsætter med at fortælle at “i Frankrig klager de jødiske organisationer over en voksende antisemitisme”, men stik mod sine sarte læseres interesser nævnes det at det er muslimer der overfalder jøder. Det gør muslimerne ikke bare på grund af “konflikten i Mellemøsten” og jalousi over at jøderne ikke er fucking tabere som dem selv men også fordi “medlemmer af jødiske ungdomsorganisationer optræder provokerende i de kvarterer i Paris, hvor muslimer og jøder bor tæt sammen“! ‘Optræder provokerende’ er det muslimske udtryk for jødisk eksistens. Muslimerne kan altså simpelthen ikke lade være med at være skiderikker i det daglige, så hvor meget sværere vil det så ikke være at vælge en ulogisk læsning af grundteksterne? Med andre ord, hvis dette piksnitteri er så vigtigt at det også afskærer dem fra at blive et med civilisationen, hvad byder islam så ikke på af  endnu vigtigere praksis der skal udføres endnu mere kompromisløst?

Det leder mig lidt klodset til et andet eksempel på hvorfor ret læsning af religionens essens - med forbehold for små tidsafhængige variationer - er hvad der altid vinder over lallende ønsketænkning. Gatestone Institute skriver nemlig om sodomi i islam efter at en ung jihadist, altså en rettroende muslim, forsøgte at myrde en eller anden saudisk prins i et selvmordsangreb. Den unge jihadist havde fundet et hul i koranen til at kombinere sin seksualitet med sin tro og pakket en mængde Semtex op i røven. For at sikre sig så stor en sprængladning som muligt havde den unge jihadist endda stået på mål for sine venners begejstring og således over tid udviddet hans potentiale. En sheik retfærdiggør teologisk denne form for sodomi således

However, jihad comes first, for it is the pinnacle of Islam, and if the pinnacle of Islam can only be achieved through sodomy, then there is no wrong in it. For the overarching rule of [Islamic] jurisprudence asserts that “necessity makes permissible the prohibited.” And if obligatory matters can only be achieved by performing the prohibited, then it becomes obligatory to perform the prohibited, and there is no greater duty than jihad. After he sodomizes you, you must ask Allah for forgiveness and praise him all the more. And know that Allah will reward the jihadis on the Day of Resurrection, according to their intentions—and your intention, Allah willing, is for the victory of Islam, and we ask that Allah accept it of you.

Og Raymond Ibrahim drager den logiske konsekvens

Two important and complementary points emerge from this view: 1) that jihad is the “pinnacle” of Islam—for it makes Islam supreme (based on a hadith, the formerly oral history of the life of Muhammad); and 2) that “necessity makes permissible the prohibited.” These axioms are not limited to modern day fatwas, but in fact, were crystallized centuries and ago agreed to by the ulema [Islam's leading religious scholars]. The result is that—because making Islam supreme through jihad is the greatest priority—anything and everything that is otherwise banned becomes permissible. All that comes to matter is one’s intention, or niyya.

From here one may understand the many ostensible incongruities of Islamic history: lying is forbidden—but permissible to empower Islam; intentionally killing women and children is forbidden—but permissible when performed during holy war, or jihad; suicide is forbidden—but also permissible during jihad, only then called “martyrdom.”

Indeed, the Five Pillars of Islam—including prayer and fasting—may be ignored during the jihad.

Måske bliver man belønnet med 72 she-males, hvem ved?

Stadig kvaler med Euro’en

Diverse — Drokles on July 13, 2012 at 3:49 pm

Landene i Euro-zonen glider stadigt mere bag om dansen. I Jyllands-Posten kan man læse om at Italien lider endnu et økonomisk tilbageskridt

Ratingbureauet Moody’s stak i nat kniven dybt ind den italienske økonomi ved at nedgradere landets kreditvurdering med to trin fra A3 til Baa2, som er to trin over junk-status. Årsagen til nedjusteringen er svagere økonomiske udsigter i Italien, og det skaber usikkerhed, om Italien kan opfylde de økonomiske stramninger, som det sydeuropæiske land har lovet.

“Tendensen med, at vi skridt for skridt nærmer os afgrunden, fortsætter. Man kan sammenligne Italien med en overvægtig mand, der er på kur. I stedet for at tabe vægt, som han har lovet, holder han vægten eller tager ligefrem på,” siger Steen Jacobsen, der er cheføkonom i Saxo Bank, til epn.dk.

(…)

“Lige nu befinder vi os i den forlængede spilletid i forhold til gældskrisen. Hvis der ikke er sket forandringer i den italienske økonomi til den tid, bliver Italien formentlig nødt til at bede om en hjælpepakke. Problemet er, at det nuværende beredskab ikke er stort nok til at kunne håndtere, hvis Italien kommer i problemer,” siger Steen Jacobsen til epn.dk.

Jyllands-Posten fortæller at Danmark allerede nu ville hæfte for 338 mia. kroner ekstra, hvis vi havde været medlem af Euro’en.

»Det var klogt dengang, og det har vist sig at være endnu klogere, end man troede,« siger Christian Bjørnskov, lektor i international økonomi ved Handelshøjskolen, Aarhus Universitet.

Enorm regning

Christian Blaabjerg, cheføkonom i FIH Erhvervsbank er enig.

»Den regning, som Danmark ville have hængt på, er enorm i forhold til vores BNP. Det er vel også de færreste, der vil være med i en klub, hvor man ikke ved, hvor meget kontingentet stiger, men hvor man ved, at det stiger,« siger Christian Blaabjerg.

Problemet er, at flere lande ikke har overholdt reglerne. Havde de gjort det, havde vi ikke haft de problemer, som vi har i dag.” siger Marianne Jelved om Euro’en krise og definerer tilhængernes grundlæggende fejlslutning. Mit ægteskab ville være herligt havde min kone ikke været en møgmær. Netop medlemslandenes ansvarlighed er en del af Euro’ens struktur og ikke en udefra kommende anomali. Ekkoet fra marxister der bortforklarer deres samfunds kollaps med at menneskerne eller måske endda mennesket ikke er modent til de høje tanker er tydeligt. Ansvarlighed kan kun læres hvis man stilles til ansvar.

»Euroen er en konstruktion, som opfordrer landene til at opføre sig uansvarligt, for uanset hvad man giver af politiske løfter – det som økonomer kalder billig snak – kommer eurolandene i sidste ende til at hæfte solidarisk for de andre landes gæld,« siger Christian Bjørnskov.

Eller som “veteranen” og “psykoteknikeren” Ib Christensen så rigtigt siger det i Jyllands-Posten, mens han slår til lyd for at droppe fastkronekursen

I skarp modsætning til den danske klamren sig til euroen lader Sverige sin krone flyde frit. De ved, at tilliden til en valuta afhænger af, om det pågældende land fører en ansvarlig økonomisk politik, og det gør svenskerne. Jyllands-Posten kunne 11/7 oplyse, at den svenske krone nu styrkes over for den danske krone, og Sveriges industriproduktion vokser.

Nationalbanken nærer en panisk rædsel for, at den stigende danske kronekurs vil skade vores konkurrenceevne. En tilsvarende bekymring næres åbenbart ikke i Sverige. Og ser man på fordelene ved et stærk valuta, er de åbenbare: Det giver tillid, investeringer, enorme valutareserver, billigere importvarer og lavere udlandsgæld. Landbruget har en eurogæld på 152 mia. kr. En højere kronekurs ville være en kolossal lettelse for landbruget.

Danske virksomheder er nu i den situation at måtte kurssikre for at foregribe et muligt euro-kollaps. Hvad stabilitet er der i det?

De fire gamle partier indskibede sig i D-marken (nu euroen) efter at de i 70érne og begyndelsen af 80érne havde ført en uansvarlig økonomisk politik. De havde åbenbart tabt troen på egen ansvarlighed, og de har siden ført en økonomisk og europæisk politik som om Danmark var en delstat i forbundsrepublikken, og den politik fortsætter de med.

Det er vigtigt at man begår og hæfter for sine egne fejltagelser.

The Great Euro Crash - 2012

Diverse — Drokles on July 12, 2012 at 7:55 pm

En BBC dokumentar om Euro’en

For more than two years Europe has teetered on the edge of an economic precipice - one of the factors that has pushed Britain back into recession. How exactly did Europe get itself into the current financial mess? Talking to historians, economists and politicians, BBC business editor Robert Peston takes a long view of the euro - from Churchill’s vision of a United States of Europe to the bail-outs of Greece, Portugal and Ireland. Meeting a property developer in Ireland, a taxi driver in Rome and a German manufacturing worker, the film exposes the high cost being paid by European workers today for the dream of monetary union - and how close Europe came to a complete banking meltdown. The crisis could yet claim another victim - Britain, with its vast financial sector, would be dragged down by the collapse of the euro. The cost for saving the euro may be high, but the alternative would be a return to the economic mayhem of the 1930s

Arafat slår igen

Diverse — Drokles on July 10, 2012 at 6:23 pm

Fra Politiken

Det palæstinensiske selvstyres præsident Mahmoud Abbas har givet tilladelse til at grave resterne af PLO-lederen Yassir Arafat op, syv år efter at han døde.

Det sker, efter at Arafats enke Suha overleverede blandt andet hans tandbørste, tøj og keffiyeh - frihedskæmperens karakteristiske sort og hvide tørklæde - til tv-stationen al-Jazeera, som har fået testet ejendelene på et schweizisk laboratorium.

I urin og blodrester på Arafats tøj fandt eksperterne rester af det radioaktive stof polonium-210, som er mest kendt for at slå den tidligere KGB-spion og senere Putin-kritiker Alexander Litvinenko ihjel.

Men schweizerne kan ikke sige, om stoffet kan have været med til at dræbe Yassir Arafat uden adgang til hans knogler, som enken Suha sent søndag besluttede at lade grave op.

Og det er selvfølgelig israelerne der skulle stå bag. Bortset fra at det er forkert af flere indlysende årsager, som Barry Rubin gør rede for

First of all, anyone who saw Arafat during the last year of his life knew he was seriously ill and steadily worsening. His lips trembled, he looked disoriented, and he wasn’t as articulate as usual.  Even on television you couldn’t possibly miss his distress. Parkinson’s disease was a likely diagnosis though Crohn’s disease was said to be another probable medical problem for the dictator.

His doctors obviously knew that he was in bad shape. But, and this is what’s most important, they didn’t do anything about it. The prospect of Arafat’s death was so traumatic for the movement—which had known no other leader during 43 years for Fatah, 36 years for the PLO, and its entire ten year life for the Palestinian Authority. By not taking serious action and giving him better treatment, the key to the mystery is this: His own doctors and movement killed Arafat. So if Israel killed Arafat then his own doctors and the entire PLO, Fatah, and PA leadership were in on the conspiracy. Indeed, Arafat himself, by not more actively seeking medical help or speaking about his problems was also in on the conspiracy. This is unlikely.

Second, the doctors were shut up and the report of his death was kept secret by Arafat’s widow Suha Arafat. Since his colleagues had access to a lot of this information they also kept quiet. In other words, we are supposed to believe that those who in the world who most hated Israel had evidence that Israel had something to do with his death but they kept it secret?

Third, suddenly, almost eight years later Suha and other Arafat loyalists are making claims. But there is no new evidence whatsoever. Obviously, this is a publicity stunt. Let them release the huge medical report on his death. Let them permit the French doctors to have a press conference. Let them dig up Arafat. Until one of those things happens why should the Western media fall for this trick? So again, if there was the slightest suspicion that Arafat was being murdered, Arafat’s wife, doctors, and all of the Palestinian leadership were helping the conspiracy. This is also unlikely.

Fourth, the claims that Arafat was poisoned by Israel using some exotic radioactive means has been made from the day Arafat was planted but have always faded away, at least internationally, because no evidence was offered.  Old fables are being treated like new revelations. Such claims of Zionist conspiracies are always promoted in order to slander and discredit Israel when just about anyone significant dies in the Arab world.

Fifth, if Arafat had been poisoned by radioactive substances his symptoms would have been extreme and evident. They include nausea, hair loss, throat swelling and paleness Moreover, Arafat would have died really fast, but he lingered for a long time.

The history of this myth shows that it is the Palestinian leadership, not Israel, that has something to hide, that has kept everything secret. I suspect the secret is the incompetence of his own doctors.

Men det skræmmer selvfølgelig ikke medierne herhjemme fra at kolportere løgne om jøderne.

Jordansk debatkultur

Diverse — Drokles on July 8, 2012 at 11:19 am

Lydordet barbar har sjældent været mere passende

Hat tip til Jihad Watch, hvor man også kan læse mere om hvad diskussionen drejede sig om (selv om det er underordnet debattørernes kulturelle ophav)

Drill, baby, drill

Diverse — Drokles on July 4, 2012 at 4:50 pm

Leonardo Maugeri har for Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs udarbejdet rapporten “Oil: The Next Revolution” der, som titlen antyder, ikke ser enden på olien foreløbig.

Mark Perry trækker nogle konklusioner op på Carpe Diem

1. Contrary to what most people believe, oil is not in short supply and oil supply capacity is growing worldwide at such an unprecedented level that it might outpace consumption. From a purely physical point of view, there are huge volumes of conventional and unconventional oils still to be developed, with no “peak-oil” in sight. The full deployment of the world’s oil potential depends only on price, technology, and political factors. More than 80 percent of the additional production under development globally appears to be profitable with a price of oil higher than $70 per barrel.

2. The shale/tight oil boom in the United States is not a temporary bubble, but the most important revolution in the oil sector in decades. It will probably trigger worldwide emulation, although the U.S. boom is difficult to be replicated given the unique features of the U.S. oil (and gas) arena. Whatever the timing, emulation over the next decades might bear surprising results, given the fact that most shale/tight oil resources in the world are still unknown and untapped. China appears to be the first country to follow the U.S. example. Moreover, the extension of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing combined to conventional oil fields might dramatically increase world’s oil production and revive mature, declining oilfields.

3. In the aggregate, conventional oil production is also growing throughout the world, although some areas (e.g. the North Sea), face an apparently irreversible decline of the production capacity.

Guardians George Monbiot, der er en uofficiel talsmand for en stor del af miljøbevægelsen (eller det indtryk får man i hvert fald af hans formuleringer) har også erkendt dette og med ham er det kun et spørgsmål om kort tid før det bliver alment accepteret så også Danmarks Radio beskæftiger sig med det. Monbiot indleder tro mod sin konstruktivistiske overbevisning - og meget bemærkelsesværdigt i øvrigt - med at konstatere “The facts have changed” (Ja, det er fakta der har ændret sig) og angler derfor efter at miljøbevægelsen sadler om.

Among environmentalists it was never clear, even to ourselves, whether or not we wanted it to happen. It had the potential both to shock the world into economic transformation, averting future catastrophes, and to generate catastrophes of its own, including a shift into even more damaging technologies, such as biofuels and petrol made from coal. Even so, peak oil was a powerful lever. Governments, businesses and voters who seemed impervious to the moral case for cutting the use of fossil fuels might, we hoped, respond to the economic case.

Some of us made vague predictions, others were more specific. In all cases we were wrong. In 1975 MK Hubbert, a geoscientist working for Shell who had correctly predicted the decline in US oil production, suggested that global supplies could peak in 1995. In 1997 the petroleum geologist Colin Campbell estimated that it would happen before 2010. In 2003 the geophysicist Kenneth Deffeyes said he was “99% confident” that peak oil would occur in 2004. In 2004, the Texas tycoon T Boone Pickens predicted that “never again will we pump more than 82m barrels” per day of liquid fuels. (Average daily supply in May 2012 was 91m.) In 2005 the investment banker Matthew Simmons maintained that “Saudi Arabia … cannot materially grow its oil production”. (Since then its output has risen from 9m barrels a day to 10m, and it has another 1.5m in spare capacity.)

Peak oil hasn’t happened, and it’s unlikely to happen for a very long time.

(…)So this is where we are. The automatic correction – resource depletion destroying the machine that was driving it – that many environmentalists foresaw is not going to happen. The problem we face is not that there is too little oil, but that there is too much.

We have confused threats to the living planet with threats to industrial civilisation. They are not, in the first instance, the same thing. Industry and consumer capitalism, powered by abundant oil supplies, are more resilient than many of the natural systems they threaten. The great profusion of life in the past – fossilised in the form of flammable carbon – now jeopardises the great profusion of life in the present.

There is enough oil in the ground to deep-fry the lot of us, and no obvious means to prevail upon governments and industry to leave it in the ground. Twenty years of efforts to prevent climate breakdown through moral persuasion have failed, with the collapse of the multilateral process at Rio de Janeiro last month. The world’s most powerful nation is again becoming an oil state, and if the political transformation of its northern neighbour is anything to go by, the results will not be pretty.

Humanity seems to be like the girl in Guillermo del Toro’s masterpiece Pan’s Labyrinth: she knows that if she eats the exquisite feast laid out in front of her, she too will be consumed, but she cannot help herself. I don’t like raising problems when I cannot see a solution. But right now I’m not sure how I can look my children in the eyes.

De ændrede fakta, som Monbiot kalder det at han og hans slags ikke vidste en hujende fis, mens og vel også fordi de argumenterede ‘moralsk’, har andre påpeget meget længe. Nemlig at menneskets evne til at løse tekniske udfordringer er en opadgående kurve og at lysten til at kaste sig over nye udfordringer stiger med gevinsten. Så jo dyrere olien bliver jo større incitament i at lede efter nye forekomster og at udvikle nye teknikker til at hive olie op fra steder, hvor det førhen ikke har kunnet svare sig økonomisk eller ladet sig gøre teknisk.

Denne manglende tiltro til menneskets evner leder også Monbiot og andre fascister udi den forvirring, hvopr de ikke ved om de skal juble over civilisationens sammenbrud fordi de ikke ved om den bryder sammen på en miljømæssig forsvarlig måde. Så mens miljøtosserne ikke ved om de skal græde eller rase ser Paul D Miller i The National Interest udviklingen i et geopolitisk lys

The geostrategic importance of the Middle East is vastly overblown. The region matters to the United States chiefly because of its influence in the world oil market, but that influence has been in terminal decline for a generation, a fact almost wholly unnoticed by outside observers. A confluence of developments—including rising prices and production costs, declining reserves, and the availability of alternate fuels and unconventional sources of oil—will decisively undermine the defining role of the Middle East in the global energy market. Meanwhile, the United States has vital interests at stake elsewhere in the world at least as pressing, if not more so, than its interests in the Middle East. These include thwarting the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, fighting transnational terrorism and maintaining stability in key strategic locations of the world.

For centuries prior to World War II, the Middle East was considered strategically irrelevant. Alexander the Great marched across the impoverished Arabian Peninsula only because it lay between him and his goal: the fabled wealth of Persia and India. The region was merely an expanse to be crossed for traders on the Silk Road between Europe and China in the Middle Ages. The great empires of modern Europe turned to every other region in the world, including Africa, before colonizing the Middle East late in the age of empire because the vast desert appeared to be of little use to them. The British occupied Egypt in the nineteenth century and invested in the Suez Canal not because of anything Egypt had to offer but because it was the fastest way to get to India.

The contemporary strategic importance of the Middle East stems from its comparative advantage in producing oil, a commodity vital to the modern world economy. This comparative advantage is based on four factors. First, Middle Eastern oil is the cheapest in the world to produce because of simple geology. Middle Eastern oil lies under flat desert, not under an ocean or in the Amazonian river basin. In 2008, producing a barrel of oil cost between $6 and $28 in the Middle East and North Africa, compared to up to $39 elsewhere in the world and up to $113 per barrel of oil shale.

(…)SINCE 1945, the United States has rightly sought to prevent any single power from dominating the Middle East’s oil supplies. An oil hegemon, whether Soviet, Baathist, Nasserite, Iranian or Islamist, would have had the capacity to blackmail the United States and the world with economic warfare. To that end, the United States supported anticommunist monarchies and autocracies in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain, among others, during the Cold War. It has armed Saudi Arabia with a staggering $81.6 billion of arms sales since 1950, almost a fifth of all U.S. weapons shipments. It supported Iraq against Iran in the 1980s before fighting Iraq to defend Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in 1990–1991. After the 2001 terrorist attacks, it further bolstered ties in the region, adding Kuwait, Bahrain and Morocco to its collection of major non-NATO allies, which includes Egypt, Israel and Jordan. In 2003, it invaded and occupied Iraq over fears, later proven overblown, that Iraq’s WMD proliferation might give Saddam Hussein or allied terrorists unacceptable leverage in the region. The U.S. military’s Central Command, formed in 1983, has a forward headquarters in Qatar, and the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet is based in Bahrain. This military infrastructure guarantees a long-term U.S. military presence in the region.

Those policies were largely sensible efforts to maintain the security of world energy supplies. However, they make less sense in light of the brewing realities in the world oil market. These developments—the world’s increasing energy efficiency and the Middle East’s loss of its comparative advantage in oil production—will take time to play out fully. But they have been under way for several decades already. In two decades or so, the global oil market and the Middle East’s geopolitical influence will be dramatically different from what they are today. The Middle East will remain an important player, but it will no longer be able to act as the “central bank of oil,” as the princes of Saudi Arabia style their kingdom. Moreover, it will forever lose the ability to credibly threaten to wield oil as a weapon. The sword of Damocles that has implicitly hovered over the West since the 1970s will be gone.

That means the central goal of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East will essentially be achieved: no power will be able to threaten the United States with unacceptable leverage over the American economy. That is because oil itself will be less important, and the world oil market will be more diffuse and diverse. The importance of this development cannot be overstated. It is a tectonic shift in the geopolitical balance of power, a strategically pivotal development only slightly less momentous than the fall of the Soviet Union. It is the slow-motion collapse of the Middle Eastern oil empire.

Ikke alt går den gale vej.

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