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#125 - 7th May 2006
Animal Rights Activists Love Halal (and Kosher)
How about cutting the neck, arteries and oesophagus,
without bothering with stunning or other anaesthetic, and allowing the
heart to continue pumping until all the blood has been drained out?
Nice way to die?
That's both the Kosher and the Halal method of
slaughter. Jews and Muslims claim it is painless, unlike the infidel
method where the animal is knocked out before being killed.
to Hassan Malik, President of the Islamic society in Oxford
University, “Halal is the best method of slaughter for animals and humans
alike [because] the killing takes less time.”
I can only hope that Daniel
Pearl and Ken
Bigley would agree, though judging from the despairing shouts followed
by gurgles during
the one ritual IslamoNazi beheading whose video I have viewed - with
horror - on the internet, Halal/Kosher does not seem as painless as its
It's recently become an issue at Oxford University because
infidel students have just found out that, for goodness knows how long,
they've been unwittingly
Halal meat at seven of the university's colleges, who didn't bother to tell
And they're pretty mad about it. Not just for the
deceit and for the kow-towing to Islam, but because they don't like the
animals having to suffer more than they have to. In other words, for
it's an animal rights issue, a matter of ethics.
So where are the animal
rights activists who are always getting into the news? For
those who don't hesitate to dig
up corpses of old ladies whose grandchildren are involved in
those who are perpetrating indiscriminate assaults,
arson and threats to prevent the building of an animal
testing laboratory at, yes, Oxford University?
those whose terrorist actions and intimidation against
staff, suppliers, customers and shareholders of Huntingdon
Life Sciences, which used to conduct tests on 75,000 animals a
year, caused the near-collapse of the company?
In the UK some 2.7
million creatures, mostly rodents, were used in animal testing in
2002, the latest year for which figures are available. By
comparison, animals killed for food were 6.8m
in the first three months of this year or 27m for the full year.
I have no idea how many of these are killed by Halal or Kosher methods,
but since Jews and Muslims comprise around 1.9
million, or 3.3% of the UK's population, it's reasonable to assume that
a similar proportion of animals suffer that particularly barbaric form of
death, or 0.9m.
The proportion of creatures subjected to testing who
actually suffer is a moot point, both in terms of the particular tests to
which they are subjected, many of which are pretty benign and do not
involve pain, and their
individual degree of sentience. But the prolonged death by knife and
bleeding of 900,000 large, very sentient farm-animals is unmistakable;
they feel, and they know what's happening to them as their life ebbs away
through their open veins.
So why the silence from, for example, the Animal Liberation
Front (whose logo* is this menacing hooded man in black, with a dog)?
Don't they care about the suffering caused by Halal and Kosher killing
methods? Why do you think they expend all their efforts and energy only on animal
testing and none on Halal/Kosher?
was changed a couple of months after this post
Well, here's the (convenient) thing.
Animal testing is confined almost exclusively to Western
countries, that is the familiar old white fascist imperialist bugbears of
America, Europe, Australia etc, where there happens to be inordinate
respect for something called human rights, embedded in the respective
governments as well as their populations. Thus you can be as bad as you
like, knowing that, whilst you may risk prison, there will never be a
concerted effort, either by the military or the populace, to summarily
exterminate you and your kind from the face of the earth. Why, the
West is so soft and fair-minded it has even spared
Nine-Eleven's 20th hijacker Zacarias Moussaoui from execution (see next
You can upset, at will, the natives of the Western
democracies without any fear of
personally suffering a bullet-and-Halal-style
slaughter with a five-page note knifed into your chest as Theo
van Gogh experienced in Amsterdam, or
and burnings across the world's cities with people screaming
“Death to the Animal Rights Activists”
- and meaning it.
On the other hand, Halal killing of animals takes place
right across the broad swathe of the Islamic world; around
a billion Muslims depend on it for their food, or 20%-ish of the
world's population. (So do the world's Jews, but there are only 15m
of them.) The animals suffering death by Halal far exceed those
in Western animal laboratories.
So Muslims, Muslim livestock-farmers and Muslim abattoirs
surely constitute a ripe and plentiful target for terrorist attacks by
Animal Rights Activists. Yet they're doing nothing. So, again,
You may think that such Activist/Terrorists would not want to object
to Halal because they believe, in their ignorance, that all Muslims are
terrorists and thus feel a certain kinship for their fellow
professionals. Honour among thieves, and all that. But can
their knowledge of IslamoNazi terrorism, and the tiny proportion of
Muslims who so indulge, really be that shallow?
Or it might be their view that anything a Muslim does, or
a Jew (ha!), is by definition OK, including torturing animals to
death. So for this reason it should be ignored.
Alternatively, is it possible that the Animal Rights
Activists are just the teeniest bit nervous about criticising a key
practice of one of (all right, two of) the mighty Abrahamic religions, in
case it brings blood-thirsty retribution down upon their own
Can these old-lady-disinterrers really be so
craven that they fear a genuine fight-back?
Is it simply that they can dish it out (terrorism,
that is) but not take it?
That they believe that tolerating the suffering of
animals is far preferable to actually experiencing it
But then, isn't that the whole purpose of animal-testing
in the first place? No wonder Animal Rights Activists love Halal
(and by association Kosher) killing methods.
to List of Contents
to Zacarias Moussaoui
It came as a surprise to many of us non-Americans that
Zacarias Moussaoui, the so-called 20th Nine-Eleven hijacker, has escaped
with his life. America, and Virginia in particular where he was
tried, have a well-earned reputation for executing killers at a rate
unmatched in the democratic world (though far behind the judicial killings
of totalitarian utopias like China, North Korea, Cuba, Sudan, Iran,
Belarus ... need I go on?).
The six life-sentences-without-parole are notable for two
Firstly, though Mr Moussaoui by his own admission
fully intended to join in the Nine-Eleven outrage had be not then been
under lock and key for immigration offences, he was not actually convicted of killing anybody,
only of failing to tip off the authorities. That is a somewhat
thin reason to take someone's life, notwithstanding the highly
Secondly, the jail sentence denies the defendant the
death that he apparently sought. As a punishment, judicial
would doubtless have been celebrated with grim satisfaction across
much of America.
But it would also have caused delight - for diametrically opposite reasons - across the IslamoNazi
world, who would be celebrating a famous martyrdom. As
for the man himself, he would be demanding that Allah furnish the
70 virgins pronto, which are likely to be in thin supply at his high-security
federal penitentiary in Colorado.
I am on the side of the jury who decided not to execute,
instance Froma Harrop of Clear
Politics. I disapprove of the death penalty in all
circumstances, because (a) it is morally wrong to take a life if you don't
need to and (b) there is always the chance of a mistaken
conviction. (Mark Humphrys disagrees.)
Moreover, as I've argued
previously in respect of Amrozi Bin Nurhasyim, the Bali bomber
sentenced to death by Indonesia in 2003, a lifetime in jail is probably a
worse punishment. Imagine. Day after monotonous day, devoid of
companionship, family, stimulation and purpose, with no end in sight other
than your own slow deterioration and death of old age many decades into
So let Mr Moussaoui, prisoner 51427-054, rot away in permanent confinement, to
become a forgotten nobody, the ennui relieved perhaps only by the
occasional bouts of prisoner-on-prisoner violence for which US jails are
And when the end eventually comes, let him be cremated and
his ashes scattered somewhere obscure, so that there can never be a Yasukuni-style
shrine to him. This should form part of his sentence.
to List of Contents
Love Will Find
a (Technological) Way
Last week we learned
that Dr Patricia Rashbrook from Sussex in England is to give birth at the
ripe old age of 63 - thanks to IVF treatment costing her £50,000. She and
her husband John Farrant are delighted, and seem not at all concerned that
they will be in their mid-eighties by the time their child reaches the age
of maturity. I say
“their”, but “his” would be more accurate because
the baby was conceived using a donated egg, and thus to misquote an old
Jamaican song, “your mommy ain't your mommy but your mommy and everyone
else don't seem to realise”.
have reacted with horror at the selfishness of bringing into the world a
child with such ancient parents, although once conceived you have to say
the child, indeed any human being, is lucky to be getting born at all,
even if his/her parents are antediluvian. This constitutes quite a moral
dilemma even if you abhor the idea of elderly parents.
since the natural mother is someone else altogether, and by definition is of child-conceiving and child-bearing age, you have to wonder why the
63-year-old Dr Rashbrook didn't go the surrogate route, which would be
safer and easier for both her and more importantly the baby.
many older couples will undoubtedly be cheered at the thought that
technology is now able to nurture new life out of aging female
least the starry-eyed Malaysian newly-weds Muhamad Noor Che Musa
and his blushing bride Wook Kundor. Muhamed is a strapping gentleman
of 33 in the prime of his fatherhood days and this is his first
marriage. Wook, by contrast, already knows a thing or two, having - how
can I put this delicately - been around the block a few times. That
is, twenty times. So this makes it her 21st trip down the
aisle. (Her parents' views are unknown and her 20 exes are
out of the limelight.)
Like most newly-weds, Mohamed and Wook no doubt plan to
have a large family, but there are a couple of problems. Firstly,
Wook is poor, which if nothing else demonstrates that it was purely for
love that the young buck Muhamad married her. However, this lack of money wouldn't
matter quite so much if they didn't need, as Dr Rushbrook has illustrated,
£50,000 per child. You see, Wook recently celebrated her
birthday. Her 104th
birthday. So the couple are a bit late for the conceiving bit, but
as we now know - thanks to medical technology - certainly not for the
When they are not wrestling together with this problem (or
in the boudoir), and not watching Coronation Street on the TV like any
other married couple, Muhamad apparently spends his time explaining to
Wook the intricacies of Roman Script while she teaches him all about
Islam. Though she would be unwise to tell him too much about about
those legendary 70
us, meantime, wish the happy English and Malaysian couples a long
and, er, fruitful future.
there no limit to the ways in which modern technology and attitudes can
enhance people's lives?
to List of Contents
A Valediction for
Jeepers! I never realised that Tony Blair would be
one of the listeners to my Podcast
last week about his quadruple
quandary (prisoners, peerages, sex and nurses). It seems my
thinly-veiled ridicule of Charles Clarke and his colleagues was the Straw
(sorry, Jack) which broke the Dear Leader's back.
Clarke gets the boot;
Briskett - oops, Prescott - gets emasculated
Straw is cast to the winds;
though Hewitt/Blowit somehow survives, at least for
Mr Clarke's valiant attempt to introduce anti-terrorist
Identity Cards so as to frighten off the bad guys (yeah, right), is one of
the big things that Mr
Clarke, ex Home Secretary, will be remembered for.
Of if not that, then at least we should remember last
year's magnificent song, which points out that his ID cards were truly the
Model of a Modern Labour Minister”.
Is that Gilbert & Sullivan applauding? Click here
for a valedictory performance (MP3, 2 Mb); and sing-along with the words here.
to List of Contents
Week 125's Letters to the Press
Two letters this week, neither of them published, the
first possibly because it does not sufficiently revere Gay Byrne,
Ireland's most iconic broadcaster now turned road-safety tsar.
at Drink-Driving Arrests
Chairman of the Road Safety Authority Gay Byrne finds the increase in drink-driving arrests and continued fatalities on the roads over the May bank holiday weekend
depressing”. The continued fatalities are of course very disappointing, but he should rejoice at the increase in drink-driving
is a Success (not a Failure as Fintan O'Toole would have it)
Fintan O'Toole bemoans Ireland's lack of a "national" education system, health system, childcare or pre-school system, telecommunications system, sufficient public housing etc. From the context, it is clear he means "nationalised".
He also thinks the Irish should be paid more, to work less and have more holidays
to List of Contents
Quotes of Week 125
- - - - - - - - - - N I N E - E L E V
E N - - - - - - - - - -
Moussaoui, you came here to be a martyr and to die in a great bang of glory. But, to quote TS Eliot, you will die with a
Judge Leonie Brinkema, handing down six
to be served without parole and mainly in solitary confinement,
at a Virginia court, after a jury said
Zacarias Moussaoui should not receive the death penalty
for his role in the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001
“God curse America. God save Osama bin Laden. You'll never get him”
Mr Moussaoi's response.
He's right about the last bit - you can't catch a dead
because of his words, his colour, his race, that he was sentenced to
In a curious twist, Aicha el-Wafi,
the unfortunate mother of Mr Moussaoi,
seems to blame racism for her son not being executed
- - - - - - - - - - I R A N - - - - -
- - - - -
“We have announced that wherever America does something evil, the first place that we target will be
of Iran's senior Revolutionary Guards commanders,
Rear Admiral Mohammad-Ebrahim Dehqani,
virtually guarantees that Israel will have to bomb Iran's nuclear sites,
with or without American involvement
“This is what we know and this is what we’ll do if you continue to do
Meir Dagan, chief of Mossad, Israel's
famed intelligence service,
gives it to the Americans straight, when in Washington
to discuss options over Iran's nuclear programme
[is] considering military action over Tehran's refusal to halt uranium enrichment and Europe
[does] not want to join a ‘coalition of the
EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana
talking to America at a transatlantic Brussels Forum.
And how can he say no European country will support such a strike?
“There is only one thing worse than military action, and that is a nuclear-armed
Iran ... The United States [will] not stand by and let Iran wipe out
Israel, as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad [has] called for.”
Senator John McCain,
the hardman, responds
to List of Contents
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Now, for a little [Light Relief]
Cuddly Teddy Bears
looking for a home
Click for details
Neda Agha Soltan;
shot dead in Teheran
by Basij militia
Good to report that as at
14th September 2009
he is at least
FREED AT LAST,
ON 18th OCTOBER 2011,
GAUNT BUT OTHERWISE REASONABLY HEALTHY
Atlantic Blog (defunct)
Broom of Anger
Cox and Forkum
Carey / GUBU
Thinking Man's Guide
Victor Davis Hanson
Tales from Warri
Graham's Sporting Wk
My Columns in the
What I've recently
“The Lemon Tree”, by Sandy
is a delightful novel-style history of modern Israel and Palestine told
through the eyes of a thoughtful protagonist from either side, with a
household lemon tree as their unifying theme.
But it's not
entirely honest in its subtle pro-Palestinian bias, and therefore needs
to be read in conjunction with an antidote, such as
This examines events which led to BP's 2010 Macondo blowout in
the Gulf of Mexico.
BP's ambitious CEO John Browne expanded it through adventurous
acquisitions, aggressive offshore exploration, and relentless
cost-reduction that trumped everything else, even safety and long-term
Thus mistakes accumulated, leading to terrifying and deadly accidents in
refineries, pipelines and offshore operations, and business disaster in
The Macondo blowout was but an inevitable outcome of a BP culture that
had become poisonous and incompetent.
However the book is gravely compromised by a
litany of over 40 technical and stupid
errors that display the author's ignorance and
It would be better
to wait for the second (properly edited) edition before buying.
As for BP, only a
wholesale rebuilding of a new, professional, ethical culture will
prevent further such tragedies and the eventual destruction of a once
mighty corporation with a long and generally honourable history.
Note: I wrote
my own reports on Macondo
A horrific account
how the death
penalty is administered and, er, executed in Singapore,
the corruption of
Singapore's legal system, and
enthusiastic embrace of Burma's drug-fuelled military dictatorship
More details on my
nonagenarian Alistair Urquhart’s
incredible story of survival in the Far
East during World War II.
After recounting a
childhood of convention and simple pleasures in working-class Aberdeen,
Mr Urquhart is conscripted within days of Chamberlain declaring war on
Germany in 1939.
From then until the
Japanese are deservedly nuked into surrendering six years later, Mr
Urquhart’s tale is one of first discomfort but then following the fall
of Singapore of ever-increasing, unmitigated horror.
After a wretched
journey Eastward, he finds himself part of Singapore’s big but useless
Taken prisoner when Singapore falls in
1941, he is, successively,
part of a death march to Thailand,
a slave labourer on the Siam/Burma
railway (one man died for every sleeper laid),
regularly beaten and tortured,
racked by starvation, gaping ulcers
and disease including cholera,
a slave labourer stevedoring at
shipped to Japan in a stinking,
closed, airless hold with 900 other sick and dying men,
torpedoed by the Americans and left
drifting alone for five days before being picked up,
a slave-labourer in Nagasaki until
blessed liberation thanks to the Americans’ “Fat Boy” atomic
distraught and traumatised on return to Aberdeen yet disdained by the
British Army, he slowly reconstructs a life. Only in his late 80s
is he able finally to recount his dreadful experiences in this
There are very few
first-person eye-witness accounts of the the horrors of Japanese
brutality during WW2. As such this book is an invaluable historical
“Culture of Corruption:
Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies”
This is a rattling good tale of the web
of corruption within which the American president and his cronies
operate. It's written by blogger Michele Malkin who, because she's both
a woman and half-Asian, is curiously immune to the charges of racism and
sexism this book would provoke if written by a typical Republican WASP.
With 75 page of notes to back up - in
best blogger tradition - every shocking and in most cases money-grubbing
allegation, she excoriates one Obama crony after another, starting with
the incumbent himself and his equally tricky wife.
Joe Biden, Rahm Emmanuel, Valerie Jarett,
Tim Geithner, Lawrence Summers, Steven Rattner, both Clintons, Chris
Dodd: they all star as crooks in this venomous but credible book.
ACORN, Mr Obama's favourite community
organising outfit, is also exposed for the crooked vote-rigging machine
This much trumpeted sequel to
Freakonomics is a bit of disappointment.
It is really just
a collation of amusing
little tales about surprising human (and occasionally animal) behaviour
and situations. For example:
Drunk walking kills more people per
kilometer than drunk driving.
People aren't really altruistic -
they always expect a return of some sort for good deeds.
Child seats are a waste of money as
they are no safer for children than adult seatbelts.
Though doctors have known for
centuries they must wash their hands to avoid spreading infection,
they still often fail to do so.
Monkeys can be taught to use washers
as cash to buy tit-bits - and even sex.
The book has no real
message other than don't be surprised how humans sometimes behave and
try to look for simple rather than complex solutions.
And with a final
anecdote (monkeys, cash and sex), the book suddenly just stops dead in
its tracks. Weird.
A remarkable, coherent attempt by Financial Times economist Alan Beattie
to understand and explain world history through the prism of economics.
It's chapters are
organised around provocative questions such as
Why does asparagus come from Peru?
Why are pandas so useless?
Why are oil and diamonds more trouble
than they are worth?
Why doesn't Africa grow cocaine?
It's central thesis
is that economic development continues to be impeded in different
countries for different historical reasons, even when the original
rationale for those impediments no longer obtains. For instance:
Argentina protects its now largely
foreign landowners (eg George Soros)
Russia its military-owned
businesses, such as counterfeit DVDs
The US its cotton industry
comprising only 1% of GDP and 2% of its workforce
The author writes
in a very chatty, light-hearted matter which makes the book easy to
However it would
benefit from a few charts to illustrate some of the many quantitative
points put forward, as well as sub-chaptering every few pages to provide
natural break-points for the reader.
This is a thrilling book of derring-do behind enemy lines in the jungles
of north-east Burma in 1942-44 during the Japanese occupation.
The author was
a member of Britain's V Force, a forerunner of the SAS. Its remit was to
harass Japanese lines of
command, patrol their occupied territory, carryout sabotage and provide
intelligence, with the overall objective of keeping the enemy out of
is admirably yet brutally frank, in his
descriptions of deathly battles with the Japs, his execution of a
prisoner, dodging falling bags of rice dropped by the RAF, or collapsing
in floods of tears through accumulated stress, fear and loneliness.
He also provides some fascinating insights into the mentality of
Japanese soldiery and why it failed against the flexibility and devolved
authority of the British.
The book amounts to
a very human and exhilarating tale.
Oh, and Irwin
describes the death in 1943 of his colleague my uncle, Major PF
Click for an account of this momentous,
of March 2009
Click on the logo
to get a table with
the Rugby World Cup
scores, points and rankings.
crackling, compelling, captivating games, the new World Champions are,
England get the Silver,
Argentina the Bronze. Fourth is host nation France.
No-one can argue with
the justice of the outcomes
Over the competition,
points per game = 52,
tries per game = 6.2,
minutes per try =
Click on the logo
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the final World Cup
scores, points, rankings and goal-statistics