Chas' Compilation

A compilation of information and links regarding assorted subjects: politics, religion, science, computers, health, movies, music... essentially whatever I'm reading about, working on or experiencing in life.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Farm Report 05/28/06


Here is a photo of Pat sitting in the run. We have intergrated the pullets with the Bantams, and they seem to get along just fine. We have moved them all together in the largest run, and they seem to enjoy the extra space. In the forground is Bantam Bertie Rooster. In the background, sitting on Pat's arm, is the buff pullet "Runtie". She is slightly smaller than the others, very shy, and is often picked on. When ever Pat is in the run, she flies up to him.

There has been high drama in the coop this week:


The 3 stooges, the unsexed chickens our neighbors gave us, are not so funny anymore. They are acting very "cocky" these days. Here they are, going at it with each other:


They've started to do the flaring neck "jurassic park" thing. Dinosaurs with feathers!


They pick on the pullets, so they can't live with them. They pick on the Bantams; I caught one of them biting Bertie Rooster in the back of the neck in a firm grip, trying to kill him. So they have to live by themselves, and their names need to be changed to something like, breakfast, lunch and dinner. I'd call them Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, but those are Turkey names ;-)

Alfie, Bettie and Cecil have also had to be kept separate, as they don't get along with the pullets, Bantams or stooges. No one has lost their heads... yet. But we are running out of space. It's easy to understand why people eat roosters.

And as if we don't have enough space problems, the population of Bantams continues to grow:


These ones in the picture are all hatched by Turendot. But now the Bantam renigades with their illegal nests UNDER the nesting box, have began hatching theirs... three so far. But I will have leave this story for the next Farm Report. I've got chicken coop "issues" I need to deal with today, now that the rain has stopped.

So I'll end this with the special report mentioned last week:


DEVIL DUCKIES

Everyone thinks they are so cute. Well o.k., I guess they ARE, especially when they are ducklings... but any parent should think twice before putting one of these MONSTERS in some unsuspecting kid's easter basket.

Why is it nobody ever talks about the CLAWS these things have? Look at these:


Andy is holding them the safe way; feet OUT. There is a claw on the end of each toe, and on the back heel. Those claws are there, and sharp, even when they are ducklings. As they get older, the claws just get bigger and sharper.


Because of the claws, you have to hold them feet out, or tuck them in close against your body. But they can still scratch you when they kick, so wear a thick shirt or a jacket. AND, something else no one talks about... those "cute" little webbed feet. As if the claws aren't bad enough... if they have been standing in duck poop, and you pick them up, they use their poopy feet like trowels and smear it all over your clothes. They are dirtly little devils! When I have to carry them both at the same time, one tucked under each arm, I make sure to wear my old beat up windbreaker or something that I won't mind getting soiled.

It almost seems unfair to call them dirty, because they love the water so much and are constantly grooming themselves:


They can rotate, angle and turn their heads in more directions than Linda Blair.

Here they are in their new plastic wading pool:



They prefer only an inch or two of water; they won't go into the pool if it's full. They love to forage for things in the water. Whenever I want them to try a new kind of food, I just drop it in water, and they go for it.


They are very fond of eating slugs, which is fortunate because we have a lot of them. They love to eat them in the pool, but will also forage them out of the grass.

I think they are a pair, male and female. She is slightly bigger, and doesn't quack but squeeks. She will eat out of my hand, is calmer, and doesn't kick as much when I hold her.

He is smaller, has a white spot on the back of his head, quacks a lot and likes to make a fuss whenever I pick him up. He is excitable and bold. I'm not positive about their sex, but that is the way it seems to me. We call him Daffy, and her Dilly.



Digby watches over them from a safe distance. The ducks often like to be near him, they will follow him around the yard, but at the same time, they don't like him to get too close, and will snap at him if he comes too near. When I guide the ducks back to their pen with a stick, Digby likes to follow; I think he wants to herd them.

And that's it for this weeks Farm Report!
   
 

Saturday, May 27, 2006

$100 laptop prototype is here


From the article "First pictures of the $100 laptop", some excerpts:

...Nicholas Negroponte heads up the One Laptop Per Child organisation which hopes to get massive orders from third world governments in order to put the devices into production. The idea is to provide every child in some developing countries with one of the machines...



...The machines look like rubberised children's toys and include covers which swing over connection plugs. The three designs are slightly different - some include speakers and four-way controllers around the screen and some do not...



...But will they ever be anything more than working prototypes? For OLPC's calculations on the bill of materials to add up, production has to kick off with a minimum run of five million units. Until this target has been achieved, manufacturing won't begin. OLPC is pinning its hopes on massive orders - up to a million units a pop from the big economies of the emerging world - Brazil, India, China, Nigeria. And it needs for these countries to pay for the units in advance.

As the head of one NGO told us: "To achieve this production run elected politicians in China, Brazil, India, Nigeria etc. will need to put their reputations and political careers on the line and gamble millions of dollars from already over-stretched education budgets on an unproven, Beta Ver 1.0, non-standard technology being produced by an outfit with no prior track record. I don't really expect experienced politicians to do this."

While the concept is great and the product possibly worthwhile, I think it's unrealistic to expect massive orders for a beta product that is untested, with no track record.



I couldn't agree more with that assesment. IMO, this project needs some BUSINESS people involved. There has been a great deal of interest from individuals who are interested in purchasing these, so why not sell them first in more affluent countries, and TEST market them? Also test them out in American Schools. Even American schools need to save money, and even American kids don't need really fancy and expensive laptops for schoolwork; in fact, many can't afford regular laptops. A computer like this would likely be the only laptop option available to American kids from low income families.

When the devices have the bugs worked out, and a proven track record, THEN approach poorer nations and try to sell them something that is actually known to work.



What is the $100 Laptop, really?

The proposed $100 machine will be a Linux-based, with a dual-mode display—both a full-color, transmissive DVD mode, and a second display option that is black and white reflective and sunlight-readable at 3× the resolution. The laptop will have a 500MHz processor and 128MB of DRAM, with 500MB of Flash memory; it will not have a hard disk, but it will have four USB ports. The laptops will have wireless broadband that, among other things, allows them to work as a mesh network; each laptop will be able to talk to its nearest neighbors, creating an ad hoc, local area network. The laptops will use innovative power (including wind-up) and will be able to do most everything except store huge amounts of data.

Source: OLPC Frequently Asked Questions

Also, I see that these prototypes are running an altered version of Linux Fedora Core as their operating system. That might be fine, but there is already a free Linux operating system with a small memory footprint, that would be perfect for running on these machines. It's called Puppy Linux:





The whole operating system is only 60 megs! It can be launched from a USB storage chip, and run entirely in RAM, it doesn't require a hard drive. It's very capable, and can even handle multimedia functions. And it's free to download and use.





It can be configured in any number of ways, extra programs are available, most of them free of cost. It's ideally suited for a computer like the $100 laptop, but is also well suited for running on older PC's that don't have a lot of memory. It can be run off a portable USB chip, which is very convenient for people who travel a lot but don't want to lug a laptop with them. You can plug the USB chip into any computer with a USB port, and run the whole thing in RAM, without touching the host computer's hard drive. You save your work to the chip, just like you would with a hard drive.

I hope the $100 laptop and Puppy Linux will join forces one day. There is already talk that it may happen, I read somewhere that Puppy Linux has approached the OLPC project about the possibility.


Related links:

One Laptop Per Child Homepage

More photos of the $100 laptop

More photos of Puppy Linux

     

Friday, May 26, 2006

Should congress members be exempt from search laws that apply to the rest of us?


Hat tip to Cox and Forkum for the cartoon. You can read their related commentary and links HERE.

William F. Buckley, in his article "Cold Cash", maintains that assertions by Pelosi and Hastert that the search of Rep. William Jefferson's office was unconstitutional are a real stretch. An excerpt:

...stare down hard at the language. The Constitution holds that lawmakers are "privileged from arrest during their attendance at the session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same."

That provision was intended to protect legislators from arrest for statements made in the course of their legislative duties. This has nothing to do with Mr. Jefferson's case. Which means that those who say that the FBI should not have had access to the congressman's home or office are extending that constitutional provision to the point of immunity from search.

Most Americans believe profoundly in extending to reasonable lengths the ancient premise that one's home is one's castle. For that reason the executive branch is prohibited from searching an individual's premises except when authorized to do so by a judge. Needed for success here is persuasive evidence that the citizen being searched has committed a crime. There seems to have been no question that the FBI persuasively made its case for proceeding to conduct the searches. And of course, retrospectively, the FBI's suspicions were validated...

(Bold emphasis mine) You can read the entire article HERE.
     

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Thomas Sowell on illegal immigration, our borders and our politicians


Hat tip to Cox and Forkum for the cartoon (published March 28th). You can read their related commentary and links HERE.

Thomas Sowell points out how the debate about immigration legislation is not being talked about honestly. An excerpt:

...Let's return to the question of what would happen if border control legislation were to be voted on separately from amnesty legislation, instead of in the current package deal.

First of all, we would find out who is serious about border control, especially if the question of amnesty (by whatever name) is postponed for some definite period of time, in order to first see what happens at the border before taking that irrevocable step.

Who would lose anything by this separate consideration of the two pieces of legislation? The country would not lose anything. Neither would the illegal aliens already in the country.

The biggest losers would be politicians. They could no longer be on both sides of the issue by voting for a package deal but would have to stand up and be counted on border control.


Some say that the Democrats would filibuster a bill that offered border control separately. Fine. Let them!

Let them show their true colors in an election year and then go face the voters in the fall.

Of course, those Republicans who are either weak-kneed or who share the Democrats' views would also lose the political cover of being able to vote on both sides of the immigration issue.

But the country would be better off not to commit itself to guaranteeing the permanence of millions of illegal aliens and all their descendants thereafter without getting anything more than pious hopes about controlling the border...

(bold emphasis mine) Excerpt is from part II, but all three articles in the series are well worth reading. Very clear thinking, which is much needed in this debate.


May 23, 2006 : Bordering on fraud
The immigration bill before Congress has some of the most serious consequences for the future of this country. Yet it is not being discussed seriously by most politicians or most of the media. Instead, it is being discussed in a series of glib talking points that insult our intelligence.

May 24, 2006 : Bordering on fraud: Part II
Of all the insults to our intelligence in the current discussions of immigration legislation, the biggest insult is the claim that border control legislation and legislation on the illegal immigrants already in the country must go together.

May 25, 2006 : Bordering on fraud, part III
Some people are worried that amnesty will give illegal aliens the same rights that American citizens have. In reality, it will give the illegals more rights than the average American citizen.
   
 

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Saudi Wahhabi education in the USA


Hat tip to Cox and Forkum for the cartoon. You can read their related commentary and links HERE.

I had made a post about this just recently. The teachings of the Saudi Wahhabi cult of Islam are not limited to Saudi Arabia, but are actively exported worldwide, even to schools here in the United States.

One writer, Laura Mansfield, has written a series of articles about what is being taught in American Muslim schools. She is an ex-Muslim who speaks fluent Arabic. While visiting a school in the USA, she heard a talk given in arabic. They assumed she couldn't speak arabic. She heard the following:

...I checked the mosque schedule on the web, and discovered that there was going to be an Arabic language session an hour before. So I showed up an hour early. The imam met me at the door, and told me that the presentation didn’t start for an hour, and suggested I come back in an hour. Fortunately I had anticipated this. I explained that since I had quite a bit of reading to do for a class I was taking. “Can I just sit here and read?”

He hesitated a moment, then agreed. I sat in the back of the room, with my book open, and made a mental note to remember to turn the pages every so often, as I listened to the speakers in Arabic...

...At that point another student took the podium. His name was Khaled, and he began to recount his recent trip to New York City. Khaled and three of his companions had gone to New York for several days in January. He told of how uncomfortable his trip up to NYC had been. He felt like he was being watched, and thought he was the victim of racial profiling.

Khaled and his friends were pretty unhappy about it, and while in New York, they came up with a plan to “teach a lesson” to the passengers and crew. You can imagine the story Khaled told. He described how he and his friends whispered to each other on the flight, made simultaneous visits to the restroom, and generally tried to “spook” the other passengers. He laughed when he described how several women were in tears, and one man sitting near him was praying.

The others in the room thought the story was quite amusing, judging from the laughter. The Imam stood up and told the group that this was a kind of peaceful civil disobedience that should be encouraged, and commended Khaled and his friends for their efforts.

He pointed out that it was through this kind of civil disobedience that ethnic profiling would fail...

(bold emphasis mine)Is this kind of behavior actually being taught and encouraged for political ends? Laura Mansfield also stayed for the 2nd session, in English, which was very different from the first, in Arabic. The same Imam spoke in both sessions, and completely contradicted himself. The English session was a recruiting session, meant to draw people in. You can read the whole thing HERE.

Keeping in mind the Imam's comments about undermining ethnic profiling, consider this story on Michelle Malkin's site:

SOMETHING DOESN'T SEEM RIGHT...
...with the story of the two lying Saudi men who boarded a school bus in Florida. And it is not racist to say so.

An excerpt:

...Two men from Saudi Arabia were arrested today after they boarded a public school bus taking students to Wharton High School, the sheriff's office reported.

Mana Saleh Almanajam, 23, and Shaker Mohsen Alsidran, 20, both of Tampa, were charged with trespassing on school grounds as unlawful riders on a school bus.

Deputies say the two boarded the bus at a regular bus stop at Fletcher Avenue and 42nd street. Deputies said the bus driver and the students saw them and became concerned by their presence. The driver notified her supervisors who, in turn, called authorities.

A sheriff's deputy met then at Wharton High school and charged with them with trespassing.

The two men "initially told deputies they were from Morocco, but later admitted to being from Saudi Arabia," the sheriff's office said. "They told authorities they are enrolled at the English Language Institute at the University of South Florida. The defendants gave several versions of the reason they took a school bus to a high school, among those being they wanted to enroll in easier English language classes."

Investigators say the two arrived in the United States about six months ago and are required to be enrolled at the English Language Institute.

A sheriff's spokesman say they are registered students at the university.

Local, state and federal agents searched the residences of the two men and found nothing of concern...

(bold emphasis mine) I'm just waiting for CAIR to call this racism. So what is this all about? Could this be an example of a kind of "civil disobedience" meant to undermind any kind of ethnic profiling, making it easier for terrorists to move about in our country?

You can read the whole thing HERE. Next time you hear and odd story like this, remember what the Imam said about undermining ethnic profiling.


Islamic Schools in our own country aren't the only ones we should be concerned about. Look what is happening in many of our public schools, where you aren't allowed to express the Christian religion, but Allah and Islam are more than just fine:


Teaching Johnny About Islam
Some excerpts:

...In a recent federal decision that got surprisingly little press, even from conservative talk radio, California's 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled it's OK to put public-school kids through Muslim role-playing exercises, including:

Reciting aloud Muslim prayers that begin with "In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful . . . ."

Memorizing the Muslim profession of faith: "Allah is the only true God and Muhammad is his messenger."

Chanting "Praise be to Allah" in response to teacher prompts.

Professing as "true" the Muslim belief that "The Holy Quran is God's word."

Giving up candy and TV to demonstrate Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting.

Designing prayer rugs, taking an Arabic name and essentially "becoming a Muslim" for two full weeks.

Parents of seventh-graders, who after 9-11 were taught the pro-Islamic lessons as part of California's world history curriculum, sued under the First Amendment ban on religious establishment. They argued, reasonably, that the government was promoting Islam...

...In the California course on world religions, Christianity is not presented equally. It's covered in just two days and doesn't involve kids in any role-playing activities. But kids do get a good dose of skepticism about the Christian faith, including a biting history of its persecution of other peoples. In contrast, Islam gets a pass from critical review. Even jihad is presented as an "internal personal struggle to do one's best to resist temptation," and not holy war.

The ed consultant's name is Susan L. Douglass. No, she's not a Christian scholar. She's a devout Muslim activist on the Saudi government payroll, according to an investigation by Paul Sperry, author of "Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives Have Penetrated Washington." He found that for years Douglass taught social studies at the Islamic Saudi Academy just outside Washington, D.C. Her husband still teaches there.

(bold emphasis mine) So what? By infiltrating our public school system, the Saudis hope to make Islam more widely accepted while converting impressionable American youth to their radical cause. Recall that John Walker Lindh, the "American Taliban," was a product of the California school system. What's next, field trips to Mecca?...

You can read the whole article HERE.


Related Link:

GOD - NO; ALLAH - YES
     

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Iran teaches the EU appeasement...


Hat tip to Cox and Forkum for the cartoon. You can read their related commentary and links HERE.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Saudi Education Reforms... NOT


Looks like more two-faced tricks from the Wahhabi cultists. The textbooks used in Saudi government schools were filled with hateful anti-western propaganda. We complained, and now, the Saudi's assure us, this situation has been corrected. From and article in the Washington Post called "This is a Saudi textbook. (After the intolerance was removed.)", here are some excerpts:

...A 2004 Saudi royal study group recognized the need for reform after finding that the kingdom's religious studies curriculum "encourages violence toward others, and misguides the pupils into believing that in order to safeguard their own religion, they must violently repress and even physically eliminate the 'other.' " Since then, the Saudi government has claimed repeatedly that it has revised its educational texts.

Prince Turki al-Faisal, the Saudi ambassador to the United States, has worked aggressively to spread this message. "The kingdom has reviewed all of its education practices and materials, and has removed any element that is inconsistent with the needs of a modern education," he said on a recent speaking tour to several U.S. cities. "Not only have we eliminated what might be perceived as intolerance from old textbooks that were in our system, we have implemented a comprehensive internal revision and modernization plan." ...

Well that SOUNDS good, doesn't it. But like so many things involving the Saudis, you have to ask, "Is it true?" Read on:

...A review of a sample of official Saudi textbooks for Islamic studies used during the current academic year reveals that, despite the Saudi government's statements to the contrary, an ideology of hatred toward Christians and Jews and Muslims who do not follow Wahhabi doctrine remains in this area of the public school system. The texts teach a dualistic vision, dividing the world into true believers of Islam (the "monotheists") and unbelievers (the "polytheists" and "infidels").

This indoctrination begins in a first-grade text and is reinforced and expanded each year, culminating in a 12th-grade text instructing students that their religious obligation includes waging jihad against the infidel to "spread the faith."

Freedom House knows this because Ali al-Ahmed, a Saudi dissident who runs the Washington-based Institute for Gulf Affairs , gave us a dozen of the current, purportedly cleaned-up Saudi Ministry of Education religion textbooks. The copies he obtained were not provided by the government, but by teachers, administrators and families with children in Saudi schools, who slipped them out one by one.

Some of our sources are Shiites and Sunnis from non-Wahhabi traditions -- people condemned as "polytheistic" or "deviant" or "bad" in these texts -- others are simply frustrated that these books do so little to prepare young students for the modern world.

We then had the texts translated separately by two independent, fluent Arabic speakers...

(bold emphasis mine) The Saudi public school system totals 25,000 schools, educating as many as 5 million students. These books are not only used there, but in also world wide in "acadamies" sponsored by the Saudi government. How these books are used and what they contain is appalling:

...Saudi Arabia also distributes its religion texts worldwide to numerous Islamic schools and madrassas that it does not directly operate. Undeterred by Wahhabism's historically fringe status, Saudi Arabia is trying to assert itself as the world's authoritative voice on Islam -- a sort of "Vatican" for Islam, as several Saudi officials have stated-- and these textbooks are integral to this effort. As the report of the commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks observed, "Even in affluent countries, Saudi-funded Wahhabi schools are often the only Islamic schools" available.

Education is at the core of the debate over freedom in the Muslim world. Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden understands this well; in a recent audiotape he railed against those who would "interfere with school curricula."

The passages below -- drawn from the same set of Saudi texts proudly cited in the new 74-page review of curriculum reform now being distributed by the Saudi Embassy -- are shaping the views of the next generation of Saudis and Muslims worldwide. Unchanged, they will only harden and deepen hatred, intolerance and violence toward other faiths and cultures. Is this what Riyadh calls reform?

religion@freedomhouse.org

FIRST GRADE

" Every religion other than Islam is false."

"Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words (Islam, hellfire): Every religion other than ______________ is false. Whoever dies outside of Islam enters ____________."

FOURTH GRADE

"True belief means . . . that you hate the polytheists and infidels but do not treat them unjustly."

FIFTH GRADE

"Whoever obeys the Prophet and accepts the oneness of God cannot maintain a loyal friendship with those who oppose God and His Prophet, even if they are his closest relatives."

"It is forbidden for a Muslim to be a loyal friend to someone who does not believe in God and His Prophet, or someone who fights the religion of Islam."

"A Muslim, even if he lives far away, is your brother in religion. Someone who opposes God, even if he is your brother by family tie, is your enemy in religion."

SIXTH GRADE

"Just as Muslims were successful in the past when they came together in a sincere endeavor to evict the Christian crusaders from Palestine, so will the Arabs and Muslims emerge victorious, God willing, against the Jews and their allies if they stand together and fight a true jihad for God, for this is within God's power."

EIGHTH GRADE

"As cited in Ibn Abbas: The apes are Jews, the people of the Sabbath; while the swine are the Christians, the infidels of the communion of Jesus."

As it goes on, it gets worse. What it says about blood money and the value of women... has no place in this century. If this is from "reformed" textbooks, can you imagine what the old texts must have said? Of course, you have to ask if our "friends" the Saudis even reformed anything at all. It would not be the first time they told us one thing publicly, while they did something else entirely. These "lessons" lead up to fully endorsing Jihad. Is it any wonder that the majority of 9-11 terrorists were Saudis? What else could come from such an "education"?

It's worth reading the whole article, which you can do HERE.


Related Links:

Saudi Virtue and Vice

Saudi Religious Police

WAHHABISM; the form of Islam
that tolerates no other

   
 

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Sunday Funnies 05/21/06


Hat tip to Cox and Forkum for the cartoon. You can read their related commentary and links HERE.


Hat tip to Cox and Forkum for the cartoon. You can read their related commentary and links HERE.









Hat tip to Cox and Forkum for the cartoons.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Farm Report 05/20/06

Last week there was no farm report, because the farm was just too busy! It started when Turandot, the Chinese Coachen-Bantam, hatched her first chick:



We decided to let her keep it and raise it, "natures way". Well that turned out to be a mistake; it was dead the next day. She had another chick at the same time, and we let her keep that one, to see how it would go.

The second chick we named "Joy", because she was a little bundle of joy, hopping up and down, extremely cute (all baby chicks are cute, but Bantam chicks even more so, because they are so tiny). Here is a photo of Joy, with her new sister, "Blondie". Joy is the one with the black makeup around her eyes, like Britney Spears. Blondie is the plain old ordinary one:



Unfortunatly, not long after this photo was taken, little Joy "Brittney Spears" Chickie Chick was beheaded by Alphie and Bettie, the two Leg Horn hens on the other side of the partition in the coop. Andy had lined the bottom of the partition with chickenwire to keep any chicks from getting through, but apparently, Bantam chicks, being so small, can manage to do so. I only discovered she had gotten through when I saw Bettie chasing Alphie around the chicken run, trying to snatch the decapitated little body of Joy out of Alphie's mouth.

Chickens are barbaric savages! Such behavior is hardly endearing, although I don't doubt that it probably qualifies them to have their own seat at the U.N.

After this incident, I put a board across the bottom of the partition, and I kept a close eye on Blondie. Turandot is not a bad mother, she would lead Blondie out of the nest, and show her how to scratch the ground to look for food, and how to drink water. But there was no decent food for the chick, and the edge of the water feeder was a little too high for her to reach.

Also, Turandot would protect the chick from the other chickens, which was great. Blondie would jump about happily, much like Joy did. But the moment she hoped around behind Mommie, out of Mommie's view, the other Bantam hens would peck at her and toss her about. The Leghorns watched from behind the partition door, cackling wildly, trying to find a way to get at the tasty morsal dancing in front of them only inches away.

When it was time to return to the nest, it was too high up for the chick to get back in, so Turandot would just leave it and go back to the nest to sit on the eggs. I expect this happened to little Joy; the other Bantam hens probably chased her through the partition, where the big hens finished her off.

It is said that the mortality rate for chicks raised by their mothers is about 70 to 80 percent. If the chicks are taken away and raised in an incubator, the mortality rate drops to only 20 percent. Clearly, this was the best option for Blondie and future chicks. Here are some pics of one of the newborn Bantams:



The newborns are not much bigger than my thumb! And when they dance around and jump up and down, it's unbelievably cute, but trying to get an IN FOCUS photo of them doing so is next to impossible.



The chicks are now being raised in their SAFE new foster home; a cardboard box in the spare room with a heat lamp:





There are six so far. There has been one crushed egg that didn't get born, and one that got shell stuck to it; by the time we found it and pulled the shell off it, it was so exhausted that it died anyhow a short time later. So now we lift up Turandot twice a day to check under her. She has seven unhatched eggs left. The new chickies are doing quite well:



Meanwhile, three Bantam hens are hatching a conspiracy under the nesting box. At least, they seem to be TRYING to hatch something under there. Here are the three main culprits; Zsa Zsa Gabor, Tannie Tarental, and Aida Lota Slugs:



It started off with just Zsa Zsa. I felt sorry for her, and left her to do her own thing. But you give these dinosaurs an inch, and they take 3 feet. The other two Gabor sisters started helping, then Tannie wanted her own nest, then Aida decided SHE wanted one too... now this morning, I find a new FOURTH nest, it's Mimi, I think...



This is out of control! I need those eggs for dog food! They are hoarding them, been doing so for weeks, and no chicks have been hatched. Pat and Andy say to give them more time, because they started a little later than Turandot. But I've seen broken egg shells under there. I suspect that they have been eating their own children, and if there are no chicks by the end of the month, I may declare a FATWA on their nests.

In other chicken news, the juveniles are big enough now that they are just about ready to be integrated into the general population:



Be sure and see the next Farm Report to see how that turns out, and also, a special report:



Naughty Devil-Duckies!


Related Link:

Why liberals shouldn't own chickens

An excerpt:

...What the liberal eventually learns after he recycles all the self-help books he has read is that a rooster will always be a rooster and he will act in the only way he knows how, like a rooster. He will always sexually assault every hen within reach and in full view of everyone, including the children who are being raised without television because of its gratuitous sex and violence. He will always rip tail feathers from bedraggled hens who begin to resemble tonsured monks without the beatific aura. He will always attack small children whose job it is to fill the food trays. He will show no mercy until that child has nightmares about doing her chores and being attacked by a hideous three-headed gorgon with spurs of iron.

The liberal chicken owner, ever the optimist and with his vast experience in conflict resolution, will automatically try to make it work out in the chicken-yard. He will erect elaborate fences, to safeguard the terrified and traumatized child while still preserving the rooster's integrity and right to be a rooster. But one day the rooster will escape and attack the child again, this time drawing blood and the liberal chicken owner will snap. He will grab that heavy ax, previously used only to chop wood for the blazing hearth, and discover it has another use...

(bold emphasis mine) Well I can vouch that our big rooster is nothing like Big Bird from Sesame Street, he could easily be a small child's nightmare. You can read the whole article HERE.
 

Friday, May 19, 2006

Iranian girl, 18, faces death sentence



This Iranian girl is facing a death sentence, for fighting and killing her rapist, while defending herself and her young niece from an attack by three men. A few excerpts:

This website was created to spread information about the 18-year old Iranian girl Nazanin Mahabad Fatehi, who has been sentenced to death by hanging. Nazanin`s "crime" was killing a man who ambushed and tried to rape her. Please take a few moments to read about her case and what you can do to stop the execution and save Nazanin`s life...

In a western country Nazanin would probably be acquitted or at most receive a short prison sentence, as the murder was obviously committed in self-defense. Furthermore, since she was only 17 years old, she would be treated as a minor. In Iran however, the minimum age for the death penalty is 15 years for males, and 9, yes nine years for females. Although there is no record of girls that young being executed, the fact that the law opens for this speaks clearly about what kind regime Iran is.

Another point worth noticing, is that if Nazanin had let the men rape her, she could in the worst case have been arrested for extra-martial sex, which carries a maximum penalty of 100 lashes.

This case has received little attention from the rest of the world, and one may wonder why.

We would not accept this if it happened in USA or Europe, so why should we accept it from Iran?...

Remember all the attention the execution of Stanley Tookie Williams received all over the world. Does not Nazanin deserve 100 times that attention? ...

(bold emphasis mine) BTW, I have read about at least one case, at the begining of the Iranian revolution, where the state hanged a 10 year old girl. Cases like Nazanin's aren't uncommon, and may even be increasing. And the "lashes" they give people are so severe, they can kill people. I read about one Iranian woman who was given 60 lashes for swimming in her back yard pool while wearing a bikini. A neighbor saw her and reported it. The lashes she recieved killed her.

You can read the rest of the article about Nazanin HERE.


Related Link:

Hanging in Iran
Iranian Mullah hangs 16 year old girl Ateqeh Rajabi.


Hat tip to Little Green Footballs.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Is Mexico in big trouble?


From the Washington Post:

Mexico Voters Fear Nation on Edge of Chaos
By JULIE WATSON, The Associated Press, Wednesday, May 17, 2006; 6:12 AM

MEXICO CITY -- Police enraged by the kidnapping of six officers club unarmed detainees. A bloody battle between steelworkers and police leaves two miners dead. Drug lords post the heads of decapitated police on a fence to show who's in charge.

Less than two months before Mexicans elect their next president, many fear the country is teetering on the edge of chaos _ a perception that could hurt the ruling National Action Party's chances of keeping the presidency and benefit Mexico's once-powerful Institutional Revolutionary Party, whose candidate has been trailing badly.

Some blame President Vicente Fox for a weak government. Others say rivals are instigating the violence to create that impression, hoping to hurt National Action candidate Felipe Calderon, who has a slight lead in recent polls.

A poll published Friday in Excelsior newspaper found 50 percent of respondents feared the government was on the brink of losing control. The polling company Parametria conducted face-to-face interviews at 1,000 homes across Mexico. The poll had a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

The conflicts are "a warning sign," said Yamel Nares, Parametria's research director.

Security is the top concern for Mexicans, and Fox has struggled to reform Mexico's notoriously corrupt police. Meanwhile, drug-related bloodshed has accelerated, with some cities seeing killings almost daily...

You can read the whole article HERE.

Hat Tip to Tammy Bruce for the link. She has been speculating on her blog about what all this Mexican lawlessness means:

...I think this explains, in part, President Bush's rush to open the border and allow the US to officially become Mexico's steam valve. With violence of this sort leading up to their elections, and the profile of revolutionaries increasing in the lead up, there must be concern about everything collapsing if the voting ends up rigged or the "wrong candidate" wins. If Mexico melts down, perhaps president Bush realizes the border will require the National Guard to keep the chaos from causing a catastrophic flood of Mexicans, drug runners, rebels, etc from streaming across--an invasion, if you will, that will make what we're dealing with now look like child's play...

You can read the whole of Tammy's post HERE.

It makes you wonder too, about the Mexican Government's threat to sue the U.S. if we use the National Guard to detain Mexicans illegally crossing our border. Is suing the US is a way to effectively deal with THEIR problems? Are they losing their grip?




Be sure and check out this article by Tony Blankley:

The Price of Secure Borders

He gets right to the heart of the matter. Some excerpts:

...Ultimately, this country of 300 million can absorb the current 10 to 20 million illegals in the country. It probably cannot absorb and culturally integrate the further scores of millions who inevitably will come if the border is not soon secured. Thus, for me, the central question is whether we can negotiate a sufficiently secure border...

...the question remains whether the anti-illegal immigrant and resident movement should accept some undesirable guest worker or path to citizenship provisions -- if that is the price we have to pay for getting a secure border.

This is where the sanity matter comes into play. Especially regarding the guest worker provision, if we pass no legislation this year, we will continue to have a de facto guest worker program with millions of new arrivals every year and no secure border. Moreover, it is inconceivable that the November election will elect a congress more amenable to our cause. The next congress will have, if anything, more Democrats. Disgruntled conservatives will have no way of strengthening the anti-illegal immigrant vote: Their choice will be a soft Republican, a bad Democrat or abstention (which in effect is the same as a bad Democrat). It would seem to me that we lose nothing by trading an otherwise inevitable de facto guest worker condition for a genuinely secure border and employer sanction regimen.

On the other hand, the path to citizenship is not inevitable and should be fiercely resisted. Granting sacred citizenship to scofflaws is reprehensible...

You can give the whole article a read HERE, it makes a lot of sense.




There are a lot of widely diverging views about what should be done. This problem with immigration and our borders has been ignored for a long time, by many administrations, precisely because it is so contentious, and the resulting inaction has led us to where we are today.

As our government works on a compromise solution, it's likely nobody is going to get everything they want. But I think Tony Blankley wisely points out, that if we do not pass a compromise bill, the situation will just continue as it is, and that would be even worse.

Tony paraphrases an old rock'n roll song:

"...you can't always get what you want, but sometimes you can get what you need".

Yes indeed! Let's hope so.


Related Links:

Illegal aliens not an "immigration" problem?

I pick my battles carefully


Why hasn't Bush responded?

 

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Hirsi Ali, facing deportation, decides to leave Holland and come to the US


Hirsi Ali to quit parliament and the Netherlands
Controversial politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali looks set to leave the Netherlands. The conservative member of parliament will announce later this week that she is to move to the United States where - according to Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant - she will be working for the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank based in Washington D.C.

Hirsi Ali's quitting of Dutch politics and the Netherlands follows on from a television documentary, shown last week, which reported that she lied in the early 1990s about how she fled her native country, Somalia, in order to gain asylum in the Netherlands. Since the broadcast, there have been calls from various quarters for her to lose her Dutch passport.

Stormy
Ayaan Hirsi Ali's departure from the Netherlands bears a strong resemblance to her arrival on the country's political stage: stormy and with a 'big bang'. Right from the outset, in 2003, she was the focus of much attention, and her clear and tough position towards Islam helped put that subject at the very top of the national political agenda. People are either for her, or against her - there seems to be no middle ground when it comes to opinions about Ms Hirsi Ali.

The latest, rapid developments surrounding her were sparked by the television documentary, in which journalists took a closer look at the story Ms Hirsi Ali told the immigration authorities when she arrived in the Netherlands in 1992. At the time, she did not provide correct information about her name, her age or the country from which she had travelled to the Netherlands. And it was partly on the basis of these inaccurate details that the Somali-born refugee later became a naturalised Dutch citizen in 1997...

You can read the entire article HERE.

What many of these articles don't mention is that in 2002 Hirsi Ali confessed that she lied on her asylum application to immigrate to the Neatherlands. She did so publicly, before running for and winning a seat in the Dutch Parliament. No one made an issue of it at the time.

However, since then she has changed parties, leaving the socialist labor party in favor of the conservative "liberal" party. No doubt that has turned some people against her. As for the details of what's happening, right now there seems to be more questions than answers.

UPDATE 05-17-06:

Hirsi Ali's resignation speech to parliament is great, it answers some questions, too. Some excerpts relating to her immigration status:

... But why am I not remaining in parliament for my full term, until next year’s election? Why, after only three and a half years, have I decided to resign from the Lower Chamber?

It is common knowledge that threats against my life began building up ever since I first talked about Islam publicly, in the spring of 2002. Months before I even entered politics, my freedom of movement was greatly curtailed, and that became worse after Theo van Gogh was murdered in 2004. I have been obliged to move house so many times I have lost count. The direct cause for the ending of my membership in parliament is that on April 27 of this year, a Dutch court ruled that I must once again leave my home, because my neighbors filed a complaint that they could not feel safe living next to me. The Dutch government will appeal this verdict and I grateful for that, because how on earth will other people whose lives are threatened manage to find a place to stay if this verdict is allowed to rest? However, this appeal does not alter my situation: I have to leave my apartment by the end of August...

What a way to live! It's practically impossible for her to stay. About her asylum application:

... Another reason for my departure is the discussion that has arisen from a TV program, The Holy Ayaan, which was aired on May 11. This program centered on two issues: the story that I told when I was applying for asylum here in Holland, and questions about my forced marriage.

I have been very open about the fact that when I applied for asylum in the Netherlands in 1992, I did so under a false name and with a fabricated story. In 2002, I spoke on national television about the conditions of my arrival, and I said then that I fabricated a story in order to be able to receive asylum here. Since that TV program I have repeated this dozens of times, in Dutch and international media. Many times I have truthfully named my father and given my correct date of birth. (You will find a selection of these articles in the press folder). I also informed the VVD leadership and members of this fact when I was invited to stand for parliament.

I have said many times that I am not proud that I lied when I sought asylum in the Netherlands. It was wrong to do so. I did it because I felt I had no choice. I was frightened that if I simply said I was fleeing a forced marriage, I would be sent back to my family. And I was frightened that if I gave my real name, my clan would hunt me down and find me. So I chose a name that I thought I could disappear with – the real name of my grandfather, who was given the birth-name Ali. I claimed that my name was Ayaan Hirsi Ali, although I should have said it was Ayaan Hirsi Magan...

... Following the May 11 television broadcast, legal questions have been raised about my naturalization as a Dutch citizen. Minister Verdonk has written to me saying that my passport will be annulled, because it was issued to a person who does not hold my real name. I am not at liberty to discuss the legal issues in this case.

Now for the questions about my forced marriage. Last week’s TV program cast doubt on my credibility in that respect, and the final conclusion of the documentary is that all this is terribly complicated. Let me tell you, it’s not so complex. The allegations that I willingly married my distant cousin, and was present at the wedding ceremony, are simply untrue. This man arrived in Nairobi from Canada, asked my father for one of his five daughters, and my father gave him me. I can assure you my father is not a man who takes no for an answer. Still, I refused to attend the formal ceremony, and I was married regardless. Then, on my way to Canada -- during a stopover in Germany -- I traveled to the Netherlands and asked for asylum here. In all simplicity this is what happened, nothing more and nothing less. For those who are interested in the intimate details of my transition from a pre-modern society to a modern one, and how I came to love what the West stands for, please read my memoir, which is due to be published this fall...

(bold emphasis mine) She says lots more in her speech, about her work, what she wanted to achive and what was actually possible; thanking people and expressing gratitude to Holland and the Dutch people. It seems she was not going to stand for election again in 2007, because she wanted to bring her work to an international audience. It looks like she won't have to wait, and can now begin doing just that.

You can read her entire speech HERE.



Related links:

Ayaan Hirsi Ali Resigns from Dutch Parliament

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: "I am not an Islam basher"

Hirsi Ali and the battle between secularism and pluralism

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: hero or phony?