Cinnamon Stillwell

I’m the West Coast Representative for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum that focuses on Middle East studies. I was a political columnist for SFGate.com (San Francisco Chronicle online) from 2004-2008. I've written for the American Thinker, Frontpage Magazine, Family Security Matters, Accuracy In Media, Newsbusters, Israel National News, The Jewish Policy Center, J-The Jewish News Weekly of N. CA, Intellectual Conservative and many others. More info at CinnamonStillwell.com.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Thwarted Terror Attack in London

ThreatsWatch.org has a detailed run-down of events in London thus far. As is often the case with thwarted terrorist attacks, the magnitude of the planned carnage will be lost amidst the smugness and denial (some are already blaming it on the Joos, others on the United States [h/t LGF]) with which too many Westerners have been inculcated.

One thing's for sure, the UK is going to have to face its inner demons (i.e. radicalism in the Muslim community) at some point or more such attacks will be inevitable.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Of Penguins and "Climate Change"

It seems that fossils of giant penguins with long, spear-like bills (now there's a scary thought) have been found in Peru, disproving scientists' formerly held belief that prehistoric penguins lived only in colder climes. According to an article in the Los Angeles Times:

"These discoveries tell us about the more complex relationship between penguin evolution and climate change," said study coauthor Sara Bertelli, a paleontologist at the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles.

The fossil penguins lived 30 million to 40 million years ago, just as the planet was beginning a cooling phase. The climate near the equator stayed warm the longest, with the temperature in Peru hovering around 79 degrees.

{snip}

One factor that may have allowed temperature-sensitive penguins to migrate toward warmer climates was the separation of Antarctica from other continents about 40 million years ago. New ocean currents developed, bringing cold, nutrient-rich water northward. Modern warm-weather penguins, such as the Galapagos penguin, still rely on these cold currents for their survival.

For some reason, these scientists are under the impression that the climate changes over time and penguins, among other creatures, adapt. I guess they haven't heard about "climate change," the catastrophic process that, according to Al Gore and Co., is going to take us all down any minute now. Apparently, the penguins will be the last ones standing.

Gitmo: Myth vs. Reality

Those pushing to close down Guantanamo Bay might want to read an op-ed by Air Force colonel and chief prosecutor in the Defense Department’s Office of Military Commissions Morris D. Davis in today's New York Times. As Col. Davis makes clear, the reality of Gitmo is a far cry from the myths put forward by its opponents:
Today, most of the detainees are housed in new buildings modeled after civilian prisons in Indiana and Michigan. Detainees receive three culturally appropriate meals a day. Each has a copy of the Koran. Guards maintain respectful silence during Islam’s five daily prayer periods, and medical care is provided by the same practitioners who treat American service members. Detainees are offered at least two hours of outdoor recreation each day, double that allowed inmates, including convicted terrorists, at the “supermax” federal penitentiary in Florence, Colo.

Standards at Guantánamo rival or exceed those at similar institutions in the United States and abroad. After an inspection by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in March 2006, a Belgian police official said, “At the level of detention facilities, it is a model prison, where people are better treated than in Belgian prisons.”
Clearly, the standards being maintained at Gitmo are above and beyond what, some might argue, hardened Islamic terrorists deserve. But to demand further accomodations is beyond the pale. And why should terrorists who wear no uniform and subscribe to none of its precepts be accorded the rights of the Geneva Convention anyway?

But critics of Gitmo, who conveniently ignore that a growing number of those already set free have returned to the battlefield, will not be happy until the place is shut down and every last inmate is running amok.

Here's an idea: How about an "adopt a terrorist" program for those who are so eager to see the end of Gitmo?

Yeah, didn't think so.

Update: OpinionJournal.com editor and "Best of the Web" blogger James Taranto elaborates on the subject in "The Truth About Guantanamo."