Wall Street Journal says Egypt needs a Pinochet – heartwarming to hear financial flunkies endorse murder, rape and torture!

Nothing new about a Murdoch newspaper endorsing a criminal

On Friday, the Wall Street Journal published an editorial entitled “After the Coup in Cairo”. Its final paragraph contained these words:

Egyptians would be lucky if their new ruling generals turn out to be in the mold of Chile’s Augusto Pinochet, who took over power amid chaos but hired free-market reformers and midwifed a transition to democracy.

Presumably, this means that those who speak for the Wall Street Journal – the editorial was unsigned – think Egypt should think itself lucky if its ruling generals now preside over a 17-year reign of terror. I also take it the WSJ means us to associate two governments removed by generals – the one led by Salvador Allende in Chile and the one led by Mohamed Morsi in Egypt. Islamist, socialist … elected, legitimate … who cares?

Presumably, the WSJ thinks the Egyptians now have 17 years in which to think themselves lucky when any who dissent are tortured with electricity, raped, thrown from planes or – if they’re really lucky – just shot. That’s what happened in Chile after 1973, causing the deaths of between 1,000 and 3,000 people. Around 30,000 were tortured.

Such quibbles notwithstanding, I’m presuming the WSJ envisages that the Egyptian general or generals will then be allowed to retire, unmolested. Possibly to Wentworth, where the golf’s good. But if any molestation does occur, perhaps by some uppity human rights lawyer, they will receive further assistance from the governing classes of Britain and America. He or they will then retire and, unlike his or their victims, die a free man – or men – in bed.

Yup. A newspaper run by the same sort of pigs who say that “Mussolini made the trains run on time” or “Hitler provided full employment”.

To fight religious monuments Atheists will erect their own symbols

Atheists unveiled the nation’s first public monument to secularism outside a county courthouse in Florida last week — a 1,500-pound gray granite bench engraved with quotations extolling the separation of church and state.

The group American Atheists said it had decided to put up its own monument only after failing to force Bradford County to remove the six-ton statue of the Ten Commandments that a Christian group had put up nearby.

The atheist group has vowed to erect 50 more such monuments around the country on public sites where the Ten Commandments now stand alone. It says that an anonymous donor will foot that bill — the monument in Florida cost about $6,000 — and that it is hearing from atheists who are already offering to serve as plaintiffs in lawsuits if there is opposition and lead the charge in their communities.

“True equality means all or none,” said Ken Loukinen, a retired firefighter in Florida who volunteers as director of state and regional operations for American Atheists. “Christianity has had an unfair privilege for at least the last 150 years. We want to level the playing field by stripping them of privilege, and bringing them to equality with all other ideologies.”

The atheists’ monument-building campaign is a new tactic in a long-running battle over the boundary between church and state. Having failed to persuade the courts that it is unconstitutional for a private organization to put up Christian monuments on government property, the atheists figured they should get in the game.

But building monuments to atheism from sea to shining sea is not really their goal. They figure that once atheists join the fray, every other group under the sun will demand the same privilege — including some that Christians might find objectionable, like pagans and Satanists. In the end, the atheists hope, local governments and school boards will decide that it is simpler to say no to everyone…

There are hundreds of Ten Commandments monuments and plaques across the country, many erected in the 1950s and ’60s by the Fraternal Order of Eagles, a charitable group based in Grove City, Ohio…

In Starke, the atheists’ monument is dwarfed by the Ten Commandments…At one end of the six-foot-long granite bench is a four-foot-tall square-top pillar bearing quotations from John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Madalyn Murray O’Hair, who founded American Atheists in 1963.

“It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service [writing the Constitution] had interviews with the gods or were in any degree under the inspiration of Heaven,” Adams is quoted as saying.

I’d read enough science by the age of thirteen to become an atheist. I’d studied sufficient philosophy by the age of eighteen to become a materialist, able to embrace the dialectics of science and history.

I don’t care what you wish to believe as long as your deeds do not harm others, keep them from knowledge or prevent them from ordering their own life’s decisions. That puts me in opposition to pretty much all of the hypocrites and opportunists who quote religion as part of their political mantra.

June green-car sales rise 35% over 2012 numbers

June marked the second-fastest year-over-year growth rate for US green car sales for 2013 so far and helped put sales of green vehicles – pure electrics, hybrids and diesels – for the first half of the year about 19 percent ahead of 2012 levels. Americans bought 57,614 advanced-powertrain vehicles last month, up 35 percent from June 2012. Only January’s 58 percent year-over-year growth rate was faster than last month’s, which represented a bit of an acceleration from May’s 30 percent growth rate.

June 2013 plug-in vehicle sales more than doubled from 2012, to 6,862 units, and that doesn’t include the Tesla Model S.

While Toyota, with its Prius hybrid, continues to be a bellwether of sorts for green car sales, numbers were particularly helped by increased demand for plug-in vehicles such as the Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in and Nissan Leaf battery electric. Volt sales jumped 53 percent to 2,698 vehicles, while Nissan sold 2,225 Leaf EVs, quadrupling year-earlier figures and falling just short of the model’s March 2013 monthly record of 2,236 units. Because of this demand, total June plug-in sales more than doubled from a year earlier to 6,862 units, and those numbers don’t include Tesla’s Model S (Tesla doesn’t publish monthly figures)…

Ford also continued to come up big on its newer C-Max models and recently reintroduced Fusion Hybrid, which almost quadrupled year-earlier sales to 3,057 units. Ford sold 2,889 C-Max hybrids and 455 C-Max Energi Plug-in Hybrids last month while moving 390 Fusion Energi PHEVs. The US automaker also increased Lincoln MKZ hybrid sales by 70 percent to 768 units while moving 177 Focus Electrics. Overall, Ford’s green-car sales surged almost sixfold to 7,736 units.

Honda also continued to turn things around, increasing its green-car sales by 12 percent compared to 2012 by selling 1,758 green vehicles. While Civic Hybrid and CR-Z sales were pretty much the same, Honda’s Acura ILX Hybrid increased sales by 42 percent – to 163 units – and the Japanese automaker moved a monthly record 208 Fit Electric Vehicles. Volkswagen also did well, boosting diesel sales by 23 percent from a year earlier to 8,981 units while moving 438 of its new Jetta Hybrid model.

The first half of the year went well for green-car manufacturers. Through June, Americans bought 318,346 hybrids, plug-ins and diesels, up 19 percent from a year earlier. Highlight the plug-in models and the numbers get even better, with Americans boosting sales of PHEVs and EVs by 83 percent to 30,655. Add in the Tesla, and plug-in sales through June may have exceeded the 40,000 mark, or more than 80 percent of 2012’s full-year total.

I don’t need a new car, of course; though, I admit my 20-year-old pickup has seen better days and way too many gasoline pumps. Fortunately, my wife’s new Ford Fiesta – used for her work commute and our shopping trips into town – has averaged 41+mpg overall the six months she’s had it. I drive so much less, now, it would be hard to justify a new truck.

But, if I did? 🙂 It would be the 2014 Ram 1500 that will have a 3-litre V6 turbo-diesel with an 8-speed automatic as an option. MPG is expected to be 23-29 which for a work class pickup is unheard of in the GOUSA.

Saudi women activists face jail for taking food to woman who said she was imprisoned by her husband

Two female human rights activists are facing prison sentences in Saudi Arabia for delivering a food parcel to a woman who told them she was imprisoned in her house with her children and unable to get food.

Wajeha al-Huwaider, who has repeatedly defied Saudi laws by posting footage of herself driving on the internet, and Fawzia al-Oyouni, a women’s rights activist, face 10 months in prison and a two-year travel ban after being found guilty on a sharia law charge of takhbib – incitement of a wife to defy the authority of her husband.

…Campaigners argue the women have been targeted because of their human rights work, and fear that the sentences send out a chilling message to other activists who dare to criticise the repressive regime, under which women cannot drive and can only cycle in recreational areas when accompanied by a male guardian.

“These women are extremely brave and active in fighting for women’s rights in Saudi Arabia, and this is a way for the Saudi authorities to silence them,” said Suad Abu-Dayyeh, the Middle East and north Africa consultant for Equality Now, which is fighting for the women’s release. “If they are sent to jail it sends a very clear message to defenders of human rights that they should be silent and stop their activities – not just in Saudi Arabia, but across Arab countries. These women are innocent – they should be praised for trying to help a woman in need, not imprisoned.”

The women were arrested in June 2011 after going to the aid of the Canadian national Nathalie Morin, who contacted Huwaider and said her husband was away from their home in the eastern city of Dammam for a week and her supplies of food and water were running out. When they arrived they were immediately arrested and released a day later.

More than a year later, in July 2012, they were called in for further questioning. Huwaider previously said she was repeatedly asked about her involvement in the Women2Drive campaign, which lobbies for women to be allowed to drive in the kingdom. In May 2011 Huwaider and Manal al-Sharif defied Saudi law and gained international media attention by driving a car, posting widely viewed footage on YouTube. She was also asked about a women’s rights protest she organised in 2006 on the King Fahd causeway and her 2009 attempt to cross to Bahrain without the approval of a male guardian…

Following a trial which concluded last month the judge deemed the pair were guilty of “supporting a wife without her husband’s knowledge, thereby undermining the marriage“. Their appeal is to be heard on 12 July and they are asking the Saudi king, Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, for a pardon.

Life in a theocracy. Please don’t delude yourself into thinking there aren’t any Christians who would practice the same sort of sharia law in the United States – if they thought they could get away with it.