If you've done nothing wrong, you have everything to worry about

Pete McMartin

Whenever someone frets about the erosion of personal freedoms in our modern society, such as in the steady proliferation of surveillance cameras in public places, the stock answer, which is one I read all too often in my e-mail, is:

"If you haven't done anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about."

People who say this are fools, not to be too blunt about it. Not only are they willing to trade away my rights, since they haven't a basic appreciation of theirs, but their understanding of the relationship between government and the governed is one of subservience based on fear, and the idea that their fear is not only natural, but justifiably permanent given the state of the world.

Thus, we should all be fearful, all of the time. We should empower government to do whatever it feels necessary to protect us. The unquestioning nature of this logic not only institutionalizes fear, it makes it a patriotic duty. And the good citizen, the one who has done nothing wrong, will have nothing to worry about. -Oh, yeah?

A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World's Muslim Population

Pew Forum Executive Summary

Pew Forum Executive Summary.

A comprehensive demographic study of more than 200 countries finds that there are 1.57 billion Muslims of all ages living in the world today, representing 23% of an estimated 2009 world population of 6.8 billion.

While Muslims are found on all five inhabited continents, more than 60% of the global Muslim population is in Asia and about 20% is in the Middle East and North Africa. However, the Middle East-North Africa region has the highest percentage of Muslim-majority countries. Indeed, more than half of the 20 countries and territories [1] in that region have populations that are approximately 95% Muslim or greater.

More than 300 million Muslims, or one-fifth of the world's Muslim population, live in countries where Islam is not the majority religion. These minority Muslim populations are often quite large. India, for example, has the third-largest population of Muslims worldwide. China has more Muslims than Syria, while Russia is home to more Muslims than Jordan and Libya combined.

The Pot Calls The Kettle Black

Eric S. Margolis

President Karzai will of course establish an anti-corruption commission. Some big turbans will be prosecuted to please Washington. But this charade will fool no one but US voters.

Not so long ago, Hamid Karzai, the US-installed president of Afghanistan, used to be hailed by Washington and the US media as a noble democrat and statesman.

But as things in Afghanistan went from bad to worse, and Taliban gained strength and popularity, Washington directed its ire at Karzai, who had almost no power of his own and was forced to rely on the US, the Tajik-Uzbek-Communist Northern Alliance, and assorted drug-dealing warlords. After some of Karzai’s henchmen become over-zealous in rigging Afghanistan’s last already rigged election, Washington exploded in anger and frustration, blaming its wayward puppet for the growing mess in the Hindu Kush.

On the credibility of climate research

Judy Curry

Having been riveted for the last few days by posts in the blogosphere on the HADCRU hack and the increasing attention being given to this by the mainstream media, I would like to provide an “external but insider” assessment and perspective. My perspective is as a climate researcher that is not involved directly in any of the controversies and issues in the purloined HADCRU emails, but as one that is familiar with this research, the surrounding controversies, and many of the individuals who sent these emails. While the blogosphere has identified many emails that allegedly indicate malfeasance, clarifications especially from Gavin Schmidt have been very helpful in providing explanations and the appropriate context for these emails. However, even if the hacked emails from HADCRU end up to be much ado about nothing in the context of any actual misfeasance that impacts the climate data records, the damage to the public credibility of climate research is likely to be significant. In my opinion, there are two broader issues raised by these emails that are impeding the public credibility of climate research: lack of transparency in climate data, and “tribalism” in some segments of the climate research community that is impeding peer review and the assessment process.

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