Saturday, July 30, 2005

10th planet discovered

Scientist claim to have found a tenth planet. I think they should stop looking after this. Ten planets is a good number. Having 10 planets might make us feel safter as if there was a logical and stable order to the universe.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Islam as the religion of peace

On the blog Anwarrhyme, a Bangladeshi student has posted Islamic verses that forbid terrorism and advocate peace. The verses are worth quoting:

Translation: They commit a gross sin, then say, "We found our parents doing this and God has commanded us to it." Say: "God never advocates sin. Are you saying about God what you do not know?"(Qu’ran: Surah Al-Ahraafh, verse 28)

Translation: "You will not kill. God has made life sacred, except in the course of Justice. These are His commandments to you, that you may understand." (Qu’ran: Surah Al-Inaam, Verse 151)

Translation: "Whoever killed a soul not to retaliate for a soul, nor for creating disorder in the land, then it is as if he had killed all mankind. And whoso gave life to one soul, then it is as if he had given life to all mankind"(Qu’ran: Surah Al-Maida, Verse 32)

Translation: “… and cast not yourself in destruction with your own hands (Suicide) and be good doers; no doubt good doers are the beloved of Allah” (Quran: Surah Al-Baqra, Verse 195)

Translation: "There shall be no compulsion in religion"(Qu’ran: Surah Baqra, Verse 256)

Translation: "God does not enjoin you from befriending those who do not fight you because of religion, and do not evict you from your homes. You may befriends them and be equitable towards them and be equitable towards them. God loves the Just."(Qu’ran: 6, verse 88)

Translation: If anyone slays a person- unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land -it would be as if he slew all people. And if anyone saves a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all people. Qu’ran 5:32

Translation: Invite all to the way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching. And argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious . . .And if you punish, let your punishment be proportional to the wrong that has been done to you. But if you show patience, that is indeed the best course. Be patient, for your patience is from God. And do not grieve over them, or distress yourself because of their plots. For God is with those who restrain themselves, and those who do good. Qu’ran 16:125-128

Translation: Oh you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to God, even against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be against rich or poor, for God can best protect both. Follow not the cravings of your hearts, lest you swerve, and if you distort justice or decline to do justice, verily God is well acquainted with all that you do. Qu’ran 4:135

Translation: The recompense for an injury is an injury equal thereto (in degree), but if a person forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from God, for God loves not those who do wrong. But indeed, if any do help and defend themselves after a wrong done to them, against such there is no cause of blame. The blame is only against those who oppress men with wrongdoing and insolently transgress beyond bounds through the land, defying right and justice, for such there will be a penalty grievous (in the Hereafter). But indeed, if anyone shows patience and forgives, that would truly be an affair of great resolution. Qu’ran 42:40-43

Translation: Goodness and evil are not equal. Repel evil with what is better. Then that person with whom there was hatred, may become your intimate friend! And no one will be granted such goodness except those who exercise patience and self-restraint, none but people of the greatest good fortune. Qu’ran 41:34-35

Friday, July 15, 2005

"Shanghai" Revisited

Stop-loss is essentially a draft and it's an unfair one at that since it exploits the endless loopholes in military contracts in order to deceive young people signing up. Regarding stoploss, I came across the following interesting posting on Spidel Net.

My son in law in Iraq said they are being pressured round the clock to re-enlist or face stop loss. They are being offering $30,000 signing bonus, tax free and told if they don't re-enlist, they are going to be stop lossed and get zero dollars. They are pushing the troops round the clock and Mark only got 3 hours sleep in 48 hours and when they get back, they are faced yet again with re-enlisting. Mark said many guys are scared and signing up and their families at home are very upset. (with good reason) We really need to push our media and congressmen to expose the horrible way our troops are being treated.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Why We Don't Do Body Counts

I found this at Dohiyi Mir:

An Iraqi humanitarian organization is reporting that 128,000 Iraqis have been killed since the U.S. invasion began in March 2003...[which] includes everyone who has been killed since that time, adding that 55 percent of those killed have been women and children aged 12 and under.

'Iraqiyun obtained data from relatives and families of the deceased, as well as from Iraqi hospitals in all the country's provinces. The 128,000 figure only includes those whose relatives have been informed of their deaths and does not include those were abducted, assassinated or simply disappeared.

'Iraqiyun's figures conflict with the Iraqi Body Count public database compiled by Geneva-based Graduate Institute of International Studies. According to the Graduate Institute of International Studies' database, 39,000 Iraqis have been killed as a direct result of combat or armed violence since March 2003.

For those of you keeping score at home, 128k is ~43 times how many Americans died on September 11th, 2001. Proportionally, it's equivalent to ~466 September 11ths.

Monday, July 04, 2005


Patrick Ruffin has a good article on using Google adwords to estimate the "mindshare" of a particular name or issue. He comes up with the following estimated search for leaders:

George W. Bush 130440
Bill Clinton 42240
Condoleezza Rice 36520
John Kerry 20912
Hillary Clinton 16040
Ted Kennedy 8800
Howard Dean 7280
John Edwards 6988
Barack Obama 6080
John McCain 5280
Dick Cheney 4560
Jeb Bush 4360
Bill Frist 3640
rge Allen 3360
Rudy Giuliani 2680
Harry Reid 2520
Alberto Gonzales 2480
Nancy Pelosi 2400
Mitt Romney 1960
Mark Warner 1280
Evan Bayh 1160

How in the world is Clinton number 2?