links for 2010-10-12

  • But as manager Shiralee Reith told me Tuesday, the restaurant’s closure has nothing to do with the bike lanes. The Anderson family, which owns the restaurant, simply wants to move on.“The owners’ interests lie elsewhere,” Reith said. “They haven’t been actively involved in the restaurant for about five years. So they’ve just decided they’ve had enough. But, no, it doesn’t have anything to do with the bike lane.”

  • In Toronto, the research released this month by the Clean Air Partnership states that 75 per cent of merchants surveyed along Bloor St. W. between Spadina Ave. and Bathurst St. don’t believe their businesses would suffer if the city removed street parking in favour of a bike lane or sidewalk widening, in part because sufficient parking exists in nearby municipal lots.

    Only about one-quarter of the 61 businesses that responded to the survey last July thought they would lose customers if the city took out on-street parking.

    Among the merchants and pedestrians surveyed, half of people who lived or worked in the area said they spent between $100 and $499 a month there.

    Of those who came from outside the neighbourhood, only 29 per cent spent that much.

    Among the people who spent in that range, 52 per cent got to the stores by walking; 42 per cent biked; 28 per cent used transit and 30 per cent travelled by car.

  • Robert Pape, a University of Chicago political science professor and former Air Force lecturer, will present findings on Capitol Hill on Tuesday that argue that the majority of suicide terrorism around the world since 1980 has had a common cause: military occupation.

    Pape and his team of researchers draw on data produced by a six-year study of suicide terrorist attacks around the world that was partially funded by the Defense Department’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency. They have compiled the terrorism statistics in a publicly available database comprising some 10,000 records on some 2,200 suicide terrorism attacks…

    “We have lots of evidence now that when you put the foreign military presence in, it triggers suicide terrorism campaigns, … and that when the foreign forces leave, it takes away almost 100 percent of the terrorist campaign,” Pape said in an interview last week on his findings.

  • In 2004, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld commissioned a task force to study what causes Terrorism, and it concluded that “Muslims do not ‘hate our freedom,’ but rather, they hate our policies”: specifically, “American direct intervention in the Muslim world” through our “one sided support in favor of Israel”; support for Islamic tyrannies in places like Egypt and Saudi Arabia; and, most of all, “the American occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan”