Yellow journalism at its finest from a Murdoch “rag”


The Sun newspaper in England ran a story with a photo given to it by one of the local British rednecks/islamophobes of a British bus driver praying in the bus he drove.  The article stated quite clearly the driver had forced everyone off his bus and inconvenienced them so that he could pray.  Turns out it was all a lie and it seems The Sun newspaper makes  a hobby of lying and inciting public passions against Muslim residents of the UK.

Here is more evidence of the Sun paper doing the same thing, entirely making up a story of supposed Muslim excess when there wasn’t anything to it.   By the time the smoke clears what’s left is a public that is misinformed, angry and mistrustful of one another and an industry that has profited from lies and deception.

I wish Mr. Raulynaitis had received a lot more than the paltry sum of 30,000 pounds for the Sun’s lies.  The Sun is owned by K. Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp which had revenues of 25 billion USD in 2006.  I would have suggested to Mr. Raulynaitis that would be a great figure from which to start bargaining  in settling his lawsuit against the Sun.

Clinton’s run in with the Lobby


I was really blown away by the headline, Jewish Leaders Blast Clinton over Israel Criticism and see it as one more descent into the abyss of extremist Zionism taking over American politics.  What is it Clinton criticized Israel for?

“Israel is not making enough effort to improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza,” senior U.S. officials told Israeli counterparts last week, and reiterated Washington’s view by saying that “the U.S. expects Israel to meet its commitments on this matter.”

Sources at the defense establishment confirmed last night that pressure is increasing on Israel to reopen the crossings to larger volumes of aid for the Gaza Strip. Defense sources said that Israel will find it increasingly difficult to counter the pressure, and may agree to more extensive use of the crossings for aid. Currently, fewer than 200 trucks carrying aid are allowed through daily. The U.S., the EU and the UN are demanding that at least 500 trucks carrying aid be allowed into the Strip daily.

When Senator John Kerry visited the Strip, he learned that many trucks loaded with pasta were not permitted in. When the chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee inquired as to the reason for the delay, he was told by United Nations aid officials that “Israel does not define pasta as part of humanitarian aid – only rice shipments.”

American Jewish leaders are upset that a US secretary of State insists the Israeli government allow in pasta, and because she, Clinton, has demanded the Israeli government allow that aid into Gaza, America’s Jews are angry?  Why, would be the logical question, are they angry?  Clinton was elected to the US Senate as a senator from New York, one of the most heavily populated Jewish states and has given Israel everything it has asked for in the form of American largess yet a simple declarative sentence that Israel must allow aid to the Palestinians has leaders turning on their heads.

Methinks what has happened is the old slight of hand trick, where the media pundits have used words to categorize Clinton’s remarks on the issue to inflame public reaction.  In fact, the only direct quote from Clinton I could find was this statement from the above link:’ “We are working across the government to see what our approach will be,” Clinton said’, otherwise Kramer, the CBS reporter goes on to characterize Clinton’s remarks as “hammering”, a “change of position”, “a swift about face” and “angry messages”, all terms designed to signify a change in Clinton’s positionvis-a-vis Israel.

However, even if the essence of Clinton’s remarks was that Israel must allow aid into Gaza is that such a bad thing?  The Gazan people’s ability to maintain themselves has been decimated; their agricultural subsistence is threatened daily by Israeli snipers who shoot at people working in the farm fields of Gaza or Israeli navy ships which intimidate fisherman as they fish in Gaza’s territorial waters.  In effect the Israelis “own” Gaza and the people living there are wholly dependent on what aid the Israelis allow in.  A territory with over 1 million people living there deserves more than 200 truck loads of aid a day.  That’s a nobrainer!  So American Jewish leaders don’t have anything to cry about.   Israel always had carte blanche with the Bush administration, which meant they got away with doing whatever they wanted, no questions asked, not a peep was made, and therefore Clinton’s protestations are markedly different in style than Bush’s way of handling things.  In order to get things back to “normal” as it were, this article was able to drum up the necessary sentiment that Clinton, and by extension the entireObama administration, should keep quiet.

It will be interesting to see what Clinton’s reaction will be.  If she buckles and gives in to the white noise about her remarks it means she probably has future political aspirations.  If she ignores them and continues on the same way she began it means she realizes she has reached the end of her political career and she should finally ‘do the right thing’.  Clinton is 62 years old and if  Obama is a two term president and she tows the line, she will be gainfully employed until she reaches 70 and the party nomination for president will most likely be only a twinkle in her eye.  I wish I could say she’ll do the right thing, but American politics and the closed door wheeling and dealing that goes on with it don’t make that possibility a sure thing.  Most likely what will happen is she will moderate her comments and send all that need assurance the sign that hers will not be a wayward State department as the Powell department of State was during the first Bush term.  Remember that one, where we heard talk from the religious right about how it should nuked? I’m not much of a Clinton fan and whether she’s able to win me over depends a lot on how she deals with Jewish leaders  in and outside America.




Not a very smart politician


dean_groseTruth CAN be stranger than fiction. Dean Grose, mayor of Los Alamitos, California  sent the questionable image below to an African American constituent and then claimed mea culpa when it blew up in his face.  His claim should have been, i’m_an_idiot.  Where do they find these people?

watermelon_patch1

George Bush had no sense of humor and for that a man spent 7 years as a terrorist


I’ve written about a lot of bizarre things surrounding the George Bush administration’s 8 year tenancy and this story ranks right up there as one of the strangest, sickest and abusive to come to light.

A British ‘resident’ held at Guantanamo Bay was identified as a terrorist after confessing he had visited a ‘joke’ website on how to build a nuclear weapon, it was revealed last night.

…The Mail on Sunday can reveal that the offending article – called How To Build An H-Bomb – was first published in a US satirical magazine and later placed on a series of websites.

Written by Barbara Ehrenreich, the publication’s food editor, Rolling Stone journalist Peter Biskind and scientist Michio Kaku, it claims that a nuclear weapon can be made ‘using a bicycle pump’ and with liquid uranium ‘poured into a bucket and swung round’.

Despite its clear satirical bent, the story led the CIA to accuse 30-year-old Mohamed, a caretaker, of plotting a dirty bomb attack, before subjecting him to its ‘extraordinary rendition programme’.

The satirical article, published in Seven Days magazine, says its authors were given ‘three days to cook up a workable H-bomb. They did and we have decided to share their culinary secrets with you’.

It adds: ‘Not that Seven Days supports nuclear terrorism. We don’t. We would prefer to die from familiar poisons like low-level radiation, microwaves, DDT or food dyes, rather than unexpectedly, say as hostage to a Latvian nationalists brandishing a home-made bomb.’

The recipe is highly detailed and plainly ridiculous. The prospective bomb maker is instructed to transform uranium gas into liquid by ‘subjecting it to pressure’, adding: ‘You can use a bicycle pump for this.’

The instructions continue: ‘Then make a simple home centrifuge. Fill a standard-size bucket one-quarter full of liquid uranium hexafluoride.

‘Attach a 6ft rope to the bucket handle. Now swing the rope (and attached bucket) around your head as fast as possible. Keep this up for about 45 minutes.

‘Slow down gradually, and very gently put the bucket on the floor. The U-235 – a uranium isotope which can be used to cause an explosive chain reaction – will have risen to the top, where it can be skimmed off like cream. Repeat this step until you have the required 10lb of uranium.’

There you have the essence of the war on terror.  Billions of American tax payer money spent chasing, rendering, and torturing people over satire, because a slightly insane president of the United States didn’t want to deal or work  with  his own institutions of government.

Pedophilia in Israel and other non-kosher news


Evidently Old Testament law allows for marriage with young girls like it’s sister religions.

A 14-year-old Israeli girl has got a divorce from her 17-year-old husband, making her what media are describing as the country’s youngest divorcee. The two sweethearts had exchanged vows in front of friends, exchanged a ring, and the union had been consummated.

The pair went on to get a divorce after the boy’s parents offered the bride a sum she couldn’t refuse.  I like the rather casual and informal nature of their wedding ceremonies; gather a few friends, get a ring and voila, you’re married!    We could go digging through scripture and find where marriage with girls even younger is justified in Judaic religious law just as the Islamophobes have done, providing us with voluminous and erroneous information about this subject as it applies to Islam, but I’ll spare the readers what would be a chore for me.  However, there’s more!!

Pigs are now kosher in Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian territory.  Some Israelis think pigs are better at detecting terrorists than dogs.  At first when I read this article I thought the settlers were hoping the pigs would be protection against Palestinian intrusion on their land, a kind of natural animalistic force field. Evidently it’s against religious law to raise pigs so this is a big step to get approval allowing  them.  Perhaps pig farms will be in Israel’s future, in which case there might be something to the purported claim that Israelis are the descendants of monkeys and pigs.  I guess for now they’ll have to import them, the pigs that is, from their main ally, the US.  Oink!

The Elephant party with an un-Elephant like memory


The  ‘era of big government is back’ screamed the headline with a quote from republican minority leader John Boehner, talking about the stimulus package President Obama is trying to implement. “My question to my Democratic friends is how are you going to pay for it?”, claims Boehner and my answer to him would be why don’t we try to recoup all the money wasted on the Iraqi misadventure, that was documented here

Overall, the Defense Contract Audit Agency has found $4.9 billion in overpricing and waste in Iraq contracts since 2003. US auditors have identified another $5.1 billion in expenses charged without documentation.

“Clearly there has been some significant level of corruption,” says Steven Kosiak, director of budget studies at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

But the biggest problem may be the waste that results from doing big-budget projects quickly, with little oversight, in a war-torn country.

“Fraud has not been a significant component of the US experience in Iraq … waste is another matter,” said Stuart Bowen, special inspector general for Iraq, at a House hearing on February 15.

here

The three top auditors overseeing contract work in Iraq told a House committee of $10 billion in spending that was wasteful or poorly tracked. They pointed to numerous instances in which Defense and State department officials condoned or otherwise allowed poor accounting, repeated work delays, bloated expenses and payments for work shoddily or never done by U.S. contractors.

and here.

Though Defense has long been notorious for waste, recent government reports suggest the Pentagon’s money management woes have reached astronomical proportions. A study by the Defense Department’s inspector general found that the Pentagon couldn’t properly account for more than a trillion dollars in monies spent. A GAO report found Defense inventory systems so lax that the U.S.

Army lost track of 56 airplanes, 32 tanks, and 36 Javelin missile command launch-units. And before the Iraq war, when military leaders were scrambling to find enough chemical and biological warfare suits to protect U.S. troops, the department was caught selling these suits as surplus on the Internet “for pennies on the dollar,” a GAO official said.

Let’s not forget the $700 billion with a “b” Bush got Congress to approve that would place no restrictions on the administration of that money other than requiring semiannual reports to Congress.  That some of that money went on to build up the personal wealth of many people at the expense of the American taxpayer is without question.

The 116 banks that are receiving billions in taxpayer-provided bailout money this year actually paid out $1.6 billion in compensation and benefits to their top executives last year – even though the results at some of these institutions were so poor that they would soon have to turn to Washington for a government-engineered rescue.

The $1.6 billion was paid out to nearly 600 executives at the 116 banks that have so far accepted federal money to bolster their financial foundations, The Associated Press concluded after a review of U.S. securities filings. In addition to salary, the compensation included bonuses paid in both cash and stock. The benefits reaped by top executives included the use of company jets for personal purposes, personal chauffeurs, home-security services, country-club memberships and professional-wealth-management services, the news service said.

All of this happened during the Republican watch, so it’s really disingenuous of Boehner to claim that Obama has returned to big government spending…it’s never gone away or at least not in the last eight years.  With the Republican track record on the economy the way it is, the Party really shouldn’t throw rocks while they live in their glass houses.  My last parting shot at the Republicans who claimed the stimulus package bill was not read before passage comes this

This is not the first time this has happened. It happened with the TARP bailout bill (2008) that was rushed through Congress with few provisions for accountability; the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 which was Congress’ Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bailout and the PATRIOT Act (2001) that was rushed through Congress before the bill was even printed.

Congressional legislation, which can consist of hundreds or even thousands of pages of text, is routinely drafted by congressional staff members, special interest groups and/or lobbyists and oftentimes is not even read by the members of congress themselves. Although the people, via the U.S. Constitution, have exclusively given Congress the power to write our laws, many of our representatives have delegated this power to their staff members, government agency bureaucrats, special interest groups and corporate lobbyists who prepare much of the legislation.

There’s nothing new to see here people, just move along.

Hasbara-Taking a swing at integrity and missing!


Buried deep in the pages of a CNN report about a CNN sponsored poll is this

Once again, last week’s question garnered a huge response. And the question was: Are there any political heroes left in this country or anywhere else around the world?

One rule we stated at the outset was that you were not allowed to vote for President Obama. The rule upset a few of you, some of you because you thought it was presumptuous of me to assume you would write in Obama, some because you couldn’t think of anyone else.

Two members of the U.S. Senate were essentially tied for third place, Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy and Republican Senator Arlen Specter. Both have many years under their belt in the Capitol. Both are seasoned political warriors. And both, coincidentally, are fighting battles against cancer.

Specter was often named by you viewers along with fellow Republicans Olympia Snow and Susan Collins for being the only members of their party to vote for the fiscal stimulus.

In second place, an answer we originally thought might get the gold medal, the answer “no one.”

The winner, President Jimmy Carter, edging out all other presidents, congresspeople, Nelson Mandela, Aung San Suu Kyi and lots more.

Carter has been at odds with the lobby for some time, especially since the publication of his book “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid,” and his remarks about the Jewish lobby’s influence on U.S. foreign policy.  Former colleagues in his administration have turned against him as well as the average man in the street but that hasn’t stopped Carter from making his case and being well received, even if not at home.  In other words the attempted mud slinging didn’t stick and people have valued Carter’s contribution to the discourse about Israel and Palestine.

Now Bill Moyers is caught in the cross hairs of the mudslingers for his views on the latest Israeli attempt at controlled genocide in Gaza.  Since his rebuke of Israeli policy he has been attacked in no less than three separate publications for his past indiscretions 40 years ago. Of course this was all meant to blunt the impact of Moyers’ rebuke, discredit him and hope the force of his indignation will not be as well received.  However, taking a page from the Carter notebook, Moyers should press on, write a book about how the lobby tries to silence members of the press by using other members of the press to write dirt about its opponents,  and he should make that a central theme on his PBS show for as long as he has that platform from which to speak.  He should shout out for all to hear and see that free speech and especially responsible free speech is a cherished American tradition that won’t be cowed by innuendo and intimidation or the treat of diminished popularity.  I hope he has the nerve, the chutzpah to do and say that.  I wish him luck.

Here we go again….


A Charlotte, NC credit union wants to discriminate against its customers who wear scarves, hats, sunglasses, et.al.  Of course the move is aimed against Muslim women who wear the hijab as a part of their wardrobe when out in public; all the other folks mentioned in the news report can easily doff their offending clothes item.

The credit union says it’s their way of protecting their employees from bank robbers. (I really wonder how many banks have been held up by women wearing hijab?) but Rose Hamid has it right…it’s simply the bank’s way of taking an offensive jab at Muslims in America and humiliate those Muslim women who are its patrons. No one should pay anyone else to subjugate them to second class citizen status, so, here’s a shout out to the Muslims in the Charlotte area…psssst.  Take your business elsewhere.

American Muslims carving their own niche


muslimsIslam has always been in America; it’s almost as American as apple pie, just like its sister religions, Judaism and Christianity.  However, with it has come the historical baggage of these three great monotheistic religions, each taking its turn on the sacrificial altar of distrust and dislike against the other two.  Since Islam in America is a homegrown phenomenon, its adherents have had the luxury of defining themselves and what they think their mission is, yet that definition has sometimes been at odds with what other Muslims not native to America have had in mind, and the result is the two groups have butt heads a time or two.  I ran across this letter that speaks to that confrontation and the resulting frustration that has arisen as a result. Hat tip to Muslim Matters!

So Very Tired

Dear brothers and sisters in Islam, and specifically you in North America who will understand this best.

I have a problem.

I know where I came from, I know who I am, and I have a pretty good idea of where I want to go.

But I am tired.

Tired of the Muslim Identity Crisis Conferences.  Tired of Muslims in America conferences.  You’re a human being that was created for the sole purpose of worshipping the One who created you.  Get over it and move on.

Tired of confused pseudo-intellectuals who keep trying to legitimize their deepest, darkest insecurities under the cover of academic acceptance.  Women can’t lead men in prayer, and homosexuality will never be acceptable.

Tired of the explicit condemnation of Muslim terrorists that comes without the explicit condemnation of all terrorism, particularly against Muslims.  Can the Ummah of Muhammad please unite, the Ummah of the likes of Umar ibn al Khatab, Khalid ibn Waleed, Sad ibn abi Waqqas, and Hamza please find the necessary pieces of spine required to call George Bush et al what they are?

Speaking of which, I’m tired of the games Muslim politicians and political organizations play to put a position forward that deludes no one except yourselves for believing they’d believe you.

Tired of victim-culture fatwas that turn every situation into a necessity, and that coddles our ummah into weakness for the sake of ease and some overarching goal of dawah that never seems to be properly articulated in simple, coherent language.

Tired of Islamic teachers of any calibre who complain about the adab and khuluq of people and are badly in need of it themselves, in all forms of communication.

Tired of all the acronymed organizations and their leadership, and their inability to establish an agreed upon method for moonsighting.  Really.  All the opinions are correct, so please, just put them all in a hat, draw one out, and if you all unite on it, we’ll follow it.  Even me.  I promise.

Tired of the word Islamophobia.  Who came up with this ridiculous word?  Whoever it was, they need to be shot…with a super soaker.  I want to curl myself up in the fetal position every time I hear that word.

Tired of you telling me we need fiqh of minorities, and that we should combine prayers in the work place.  This isn’t Muslim Spain, we have rights that can be exercised – please stop cowering in the corner, or at least stop trying to get us to join you there.

Tired at your exasperation over Barack Obama not wanting to talk to you during the election.  Who would want to talk to a pack of sniveling lackeys who have no respect for themselves and act as though they are embarassed at the religion they profess to follow?

And I’m tired of you acting like Obama’s theMahdi incarnate.  We only rooted for him because we wanted to stick it to GWB, not because we like his politics of homosexuality, late term abortions, and worst of all, restarting the war in afghanistan.

I’m so, so very tired of it all.  And if you looked at the list above, you may be tired of it as well.  But you know what?  I’m tired of you too.

Tired of you sitting behind your computer, writing in a style that makes you sound like ranting and raving lunatic.

Tired of you complaining about everything and doing absolutely nothing.

Tired of the online chickenhawk hate brigade who hates everything about America and happily pay their taxes after clicking “Submit” on their latest online rant against it.

Tired of people who call for Hijrah and never go, citing the reasons of the people who are against hijrah – “But dude, there are no ANSAR on the other end, otherwise, like, I’m sooo there!”  It’s called planning, genius, see lessons of the Prophet’s (SAW) escape from Makkah for a primer on how to plan AHEAD.

Tired of your open hatred of all nonMuslims / kafirs in the name of al wala w’al bara.  Yes, I said kafirs.  Does that make you feel better?  Then I’m also tired of your pettiness.

Tired of your delusions of mind and intention reading.  Don’t you see the potential aqida problems here?

Tired of your PDF refutations.  I have absolutely no idea who the author of the document is, or his credentials to say and interpret as he has.  Please tell me what you understand, or don’t bother.

Tired of you taking every fiqh issue and making it an aqeedah issue such that if it’s not in accordance with what the scholar du jour spoonfed you yesterday, that person must most certainly either be off the manhaj, a sell-out, or both.

And I’m tired of you not knowing anything about the fundamentals of Islam, like, for example, the Seerah!

Tired, tired, tired.

Did you like the list above?  Really?  I’m tired of you too.

Tired of you expecting everyone to follow you blindly and stupidly.

Tired of you looking down your nose at people who are far more qualified to deal with logic, analogy, and argumentation and telling them, “But you don’t know Arabic.”  Yeah, I don’t know latin either, but if I have a medical condition, my doctor will still explain it to me, and if he’s any good, he’ll tell me to get a second opinion if I have doubts.

Tired of your partisanship, and tired of you calling it a mercy.  Really?  Coulda fooled me.  Visit my community on the first and last day of Ramadan, I’ll show you mercy.

Tired of you expecting me to disconnect my mind on fiqh, believe the most ridiculously esoteric ideas about God, and then strive for spiritual ecstacy.  Are you kidding me?

But I’m not done yet, oh no – I’m tired of you too.

Tired of you prioritizing your career, your family, and all your weaknesses over the worship of Allah.

Tired of you complaining to scholars about what a victim you are.

Tired of you saying you need to live in a house.  You liar.  You can rent a house – you just don’t want to lose money.  Admit it.

Tired of you looking for easy fatwas rather than picking yourselves up by the bootstraps and working at being a Muslim, and struggling with the challenges.

Tired of your back home mentality that keeps the child you think is fair from marrying an African American.  The only thing black here is your heart.

Tired of you believing your donations entitle you to run the masjid.

Tired of the way you run the masjid.  It stinks, figuratively and literally.

Tired of you complaining about the poor ethics of Muslim governments, while you have the same ethics, the only thing separating you and them is the scale of the violation.

Tired, tired, tired, so very tired.

The ironic thing of all this is that despite all that, I still love you for the sake of Allah.  As I said to begin this letter, you are my dear brothers and sisters in Islam.  I have my flaws, I have my weaknesses, and I am by no means perfect.  At any point in my life, I could have fit into multiple categories in that complaint list.

But do you know why I’m tired?  I’m tired because we have so many issues, and I feel obligated to do something about all of it.  I want to fix it.  I want to make it right.  You probably do too.

In the end, we are here to worship Allah.  I don’t know a lot, but I know that much.  All I can do is ask Allah to guide us all to come together, to be the people whom He Loves, to be people whom He will be pleased with.

A Horrific crime of domestic abuse-That’s All!


muzzammil-hassanI am always amazed at people who see signs in everything when there’s nothing much to see. In today’s age, every act of any Muslim is examined for signs of association or affiliation with al-Qaida or any other such organization deemed by the Western press as terrorist. The recent crime of Muzzammil Hassan, who murdered his wife in the most brutal way in upstate New York is another example of the divining of random acts of humanity with Islam. Aasiyah Zubair Hassan was killed by Muzzammil Hassan, after filing for divorce from him yet the Islamopundits the likes of Daniel Pipes who claims her death was an “honor killing” for her attempts at escape from a torturous marriage and opines Muzzammil was a secret Wahhabi insurgent in collusion with other Wahhabis to do destroy the American way of life have turned this tragedy into their hatefilled lust.

Yet the reality is Hassan was no more than an abuser, a predator against women, and not just this last victim he killed.  Most news accounts allude to his marriage with Aasiya as his third but not many tell of his previous marriages and how his former wives suffered at his hands as well.  Check out this description from a former in-law of what Hassan’s marriages were like

It’s been five days now that my family along with the whole American Muslim community has been in shock. The fact that Muzzammil was married to my first cousin before marrying the victim still horrifies us. Ms. Zubair was his third wife. Both of his earlier wives filed divorce on the same grounds of severe domestic violence and abuses.

My cousin lived with him for only a year. Yet, it took her several years to get rid of the fear of living with a man in marriage. He was known as violent and abusive in the community. He had nothing to do with Islam. He had changed his name from Syed Muzzammil Hassan to Mo Steve Hassan. He had no background of community service or involvement in the Mosque or in any other organization. Neither his character and nor his faith were sound. In addition, he had no background or expertise in TV production or media.

But it did not matter. Even with this bad reputation, horrible background and lack of experience in media market, he still got the stage at the most reputable American Muslim conventions. Our leaders and established organizations did not bother to vet him. No questions or flags were raised about him. He was introduced at these conventions with huge respect and the Muslim community was told to give him generous funds for Bridges TV.

The crime of negligence was committed by the greater society, American as well as Muslim and all who were silent are conspirators in the tragic death of Ms. Zubair, but Islam was as irrelevant  to this woman’s death as football was to the death of Nicole Simpson at the hands of her husband. Until we separate the evil that men do from the divinely inspired theology they may embrace that really has nothing at all to do with their evil, we show our prejudices  and bigotry which  gets us nowhere.

NeoCon cons-The Ultimate Holocaust Deniers


perle-02-20Few people have raised my hackles more than the group of people dubbed “neocons”  who were responsible for the misguided adventure in Iraq and Richard Perle stands at the top of that list of evil, lying, traitors to all that is America.  But even Perle has outdone himself in his latest attempts to shed the “neocon” title and his responsibility for the Iraq war.  Sounding ever so much like every other Holocaust denier, Perle asserts

I know of no statement, public or private by any neoconservative in or near government, advocating the invasion of Iraq primarily for the purpose of of promoting democracy or advancing some grand neoconservative vision.

This is what he said in the days before the invasion of Iraq

My own view is that Iraq is more capable of democratic reform than almost any other country in the region, and so I would hope that if there is military action, our objective should not be to simply to remove Saddam Hussein, but to replace him with a decent regime ideally a regime that, at least, in the long term could become pluralist and democratic.

Perle is a liar, and part of his pathology is he really enjoys  pissing people off with his lies, and watching them scurrying around trying to document them.  It’s a form of entertainment for him.

There was this grand meeting he held recently,  like a ruler summoning his court, where he sat at the head of the table and beguiled all assembled with the many lies he has made a career making, and afterwards he probably sat back to read the reviews of what he said and chuckled; it’s  entertainment.  The man is mad and perverted and it’s a shame a President of the United States allowed him, Perle, to shape American influence as disastrously as he did, and who now sits back and claims he is innocent.  It’s  pathological. He’s a denier much like the Holocaust Revisionist who claims the Holocaust  never happened.  They  can be forgiven for time has erased the evidence they say never existed and people have rebuilt what was destroyed during the dark days of human history and WWII; Perle can’t be forgiven because he still makes the claim that he had nothing to do with the destruction of Iraq and its destruction wasn’t his aim, while millions of Iraqis have died or been displaced and thousands of American soldiers have died and are still dying in a remote land of his, Perle’s choosing, for no reason  except regime change.  Perle is rabid, and like most rabid animals, he should be put out of his misery and spare us ours.

White man speak with forked tongue


The last years of the Bush administration have been one big lie after another, and it hasn’t taken much time to unravel all of them.  Here goes the latest revelation.

The super conservatives, led by the neocons betrayed even their main mentor Ronald Reagan, with their adoption of torture as an instrument in the war on terror, for it was Ronald Reagan who signed the Convention against torture and other cruel, inhuman degrading  punishment.  It defines torture as

any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity.

The Convention left no wriggle room for Bush and his cronies.  It expressly says there are no legitimate reasons for torture, even the phony war on terror.

No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat or war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.

So why isn’t Bush in jail?  He certainly should be

Each State Party shall ensure that all acts of torture are offences under its criminal law. The same shall apply to an attempt to commit torture and to an act by any person which constitutes complicity or participation in torture.

Each State Party shall make these offences punishable by appropriate penalties which take into account their grave nature.

Moreover, why aren’t we the public who put him in office more outraged at his criminal behavior? Bush steadily encroached on  the rule of law very early on in his term, declaring the UN irrelevant and declaring to all that America was willing to go it alone if it could not get the support of the world community. Along the way, he simply ignored laws that got in the way of his grand schemes and paid no attention to the voices of international bodies and agencies which clamored for the US to follow the laws it signed, agreed to or even wrote. Instead he listened to the polls and until 2006 after all the damage was done, took delight in the fact that the American electorate simply went along with his programs. Our lack of condemnation and outcry for his lawlessness was all he needed to complete his coup d’etat against the American government.  We are as much to blame for torture carried out under the Bush Administration as Bush himself. But there were voices of dissent, opposition to what Bush was doing.

A United Nations anti-torture panel yesterday urged the United States to shut down its Guantanamo Bay detention camp, close any secret overseas CIA prisons, and halt the use of what it said are cruel and degrading interrogation techniques.

The panel also found that many of the detention and interrogation policies the Bush administration put in place for the war on terrorism around the world were at odds with the commitments the United States made when it ratified the global Convention Against Torture treaty in 1994.

The report said that holding detainees in secret prisons, as the CIA is reportedly doing overseas with high-level Al Qaeda suspects, violates the treaty.

So there really isn’t any  excuse for Bush not to be in jail, or Cheney or any of the others within his administration who violated a treaty that the US  Congress ratified.  It simply is a case of the people not demanding accountability of their elected officials to the law.

This is why we lose wars


I read  on some forums how what we see in the video is supposed to be a kick in the seat of the pants motivational speech for the Iraqi police.  Somehow I got the impression the person for whom the tirade was directed, the one who was supposed to get something out of this was not the Iraqi police but the US soldier himself.  He probably had come to the realization at the time he went on his rant that the war for him was over, that the wizard had been revealed and the reason for his being there was a lie, yet he had to get something out of the experience of being in a land that posed no threat to him or his country; he had to find some meaning out of the deception of it all so that it could make sense to him.

On another level however, the words and the method of that military officer are indicative of where the US has come in the last 50 years of wars and deception.  We have become a vulgar nation intent on dominating people.  We made up reasons for being in other people’s territory; made these reasons up just enough to get young men and women to sign on to the idea of fighting non-threatening people only to have that very fighting force realize mid-way through it was not worth the human sacrifice they were asked to make.  That epiphany turned itself into a rage that was directed toward essentially a non existent enemy, and eventually onto ourselves.  The statistic that more US military men died at their own hands, suicide, in January, 2009, is an indication of the futility of this and all other wars we’ve fought since WWII.  No longer able to say we are a light onto the nations, that we have an ideology that is liberating when practiced fully, we have turned into a nation of torturers, invaders, exporting an obscene philosophy of death and destruction and corruption and ignorance.

On yet another level, what was shown in that video should have been expected by all, and the way the Iraqi police endured the diatribe marks the beginning of the end for them as well.  Once they acquiesced to the invasion of their country by a foreign force clearly intent on destroying them, not just getting rid of their corrupted ruler, they signed on to the notion of indentured servitude.  The American officer despite all that’s wrong with where he is at this time still has a human nature that revolts at the idea that people can accept slavery  and that too contributed to his anger towards them.

I suspect in the end, the officer’s rage was directed towards himself, as he probably asked himself the very question many of us have asked these last eight years, and then some; how in the hell did we get here as a country? What is really going on?

Can I get an “Amen”


wwjdI am very encouraged by the news that the Arkansas state legislature is considering allowing citizens who have a concealed carry license to carry their firearms in church.  I’m somewhat sad to read the the biggest opponents of the pending legislation are the ministers and pastors themselves.  I know firearms are a cause of concern for many people, but I do firmly believe an overwhelming majority of people who legally possess firearms are responsible with their use.  I know I have been in the over 20 years I’ve owned both handguns and a rifles.  There have been several cases in the US where the absence of a firearm led to a high death rate and where the presence of one saved lives, during the commisson of a crime by a criminal, but I don’t know of a case where the presence of a firearm in the hands of a citizen contributed to the death of innocent vitims .  If someone does know of such a case perhaps they’ll comment here with specifics.

I like the spirit of responsible firearms owners….they’re independent and see themselves accountable for their own safety, not reliant on a government agency or police force.  I am put off however by the Rambo types who view firearms as a physical extension of some body part they flagrantly whip out to impress any and everyone who happens by. Theirs is a voyeurism with weapons I don’t share, a bloated Clint Eastwood, ‘make my day’ attitude that is responsible for the negative image many people have of firearms owners.  Instead I prefer those who you would never dream of possessing a firearm and being able to use one well.

I have a real problem with being told where I can and cannot carry my firearm; if I can carry it in some places why can’t I carry it in others, like churches or banks (the tellers at my local bank surely know who I am and that I’m not a violent person; they also have come to this realization from behind bullet proof glass!) and places where I have to pay for admission but aren’t allowed to carry are just as dangerous as some neighborhoods of my city.  Why can’t I carry when I go see the university football or basketball game, for instance?  Perhaps the problem is one of alcohol, and as a teetotaler I can’t begin to understand that one, and the fear is that once a person imbibes a little too much he/she may lose all control of their senses and return to the ‘my firearm is bigger than your firearm’ childish behavior.  But there are times like that just when I need to be able to protect myself from  some alcoholic who’s had more than a little too much drink and wants to impress and gets carried away at the high school Friday night football game.

I don’t like government telling me where I can and cannot go with my firearm, and that’s really the bottom line for me.  I’m glad Arkansas is coming around to that realization too that that’s not government’s job.  I hope that’s what they have realized, and note with a bit of tongue in cheek that Arkansas was the home of Bill and Hillary Clinton.  But be that as it may, it’s a positive first step and long over due.  I salute them and encourage all who go to church there to be as responsible with your weapon in the pews as you might be in the streets.  Practice a helluva whole lot and know who the enemy is.

Paper is a WMD according to Israel


We’ve blogged about how israel considers clothes a WMD and has blocked them from entering Gaza but now comes word the Israelis are blocking paper that will be used to print textbooks from entering Gaza as well.   Now before you go off and think the textbooks will be about pigs and monkeys, a term I was called by an Israeli for insisting what’s happening in Gaza is “genocide”, you should know the textbooks that will be printed are human rights courses which are modeled on those developed by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, with input from the human rights community in Gaza. They will be taught by specialist human rights teachers in every school, and human rights organizations in Gaza will evaluate the teachers’ performance. This should come as no surprise since the Israelis the biggest violators of human rights in the Middle East want to continue the myth that they are the victims.

First they came for the……


The effects of letting a rabid state like Israel get away with murder, literally, is that they consume everything and everyone in their path.  Their hatred for Palestinians is widely known and easily documented despite the protestations that their actions are only a reaction to what befalls them.  They have also issued an indirect and veiled threat towards those states that are neighbors as well as distant that they have the power to strike their capitals and reap the same destructive power against them they unleash on the Palestinians should such countries insist Israel adhere to universally accepted standards of conduct.  Despite all this aggression and hostility they still have allies among those people they’ve threatened.  Perhaps the hope is that by feeding the Israeli blood lust for others they somehow can escape their wrath?  Think again.

A few weeks ago, a senior Greek Orthodox clergyman in Israel attended a meeting at a government office in Jerusalem’s Givat Shaul quarter. When he returned to his car, an elderly man wearing a skullcap came and knocked on the window. When the clergyman let the window down, the passerby spat in his face.

The clergyman prefered not to lodge a complaint with the police and told an acquaintance that he was used to being spat at by Jews. Many Jerusalem clergy have been subjected to abuse of this kind. For the most part, they ignore it but sometimes they cannot.

On Sunday, a fracas developed when a yeshiva student spat at the cross being carried by the Armenian Archbishop during a procession near the Holy Sepulchre in the Old City. The archbishop’s 17th-century cross was broken during the brawl and he slapped the yeshiva student.

Both were questioned by police and the yeshiva student will be brought to trial. The Jerusalem District Court has meanwhile banned the student from approaching the Old City for 75 days.

But the Armenians are far from satisfied by the police action and say this sort of thing has been going on for years. Archbishop Nourhan Manougian says he expects the education minister to say something.

“When there is an attack against Jews anywhere in the world, the Israeli government is incensed, so why when our religion and pride are hurt, don’t they take harsher measures?” he asks.

According to Daniel Rossing, former adviser to the Religious Affairs Ministry on Christian affairs and director of a Jerusalem center for Christian-Jewish dialogue, there has been an increase in the number of such incidents recently, “as part of a general atmosphere of lack of tolerance in the country.”

I’d say that last quote is an understatement. Here is another manifestation of that lack of tolerance.

In a society which sees its neighbors as inhuman and treats them accordingly, and which demands citizenship tests for its own citizens who are not Jewish, a throwback to the days of Jim Crowism in America and the final solution of Nazi Germany, their behavior towards Christian is only a natural evolution of fascism. That the largest Christian community, the US,  continues to give support and comfort to such flagrant abuses against its own brethren is nothing short of amazing………. and dangerous.

No comment


Goodness shows


woldteven when you’re wearing a black abaya, or at least that’s what  one one young lady found out while traversing the streets of Arab, Alabama.  The deep south is my home and even I’m amazed at the changes that have gone on there during my lifetime.  The people are generally good, and kind, although easily misled at times.  The main stream media realized that a long time ago and joined with the Bush Administration to demonize a segment of the American population so that the rest would never want anything to do with them.

Hailey Woldt found out their plan hasn’t quite worked.  You can read about her story here.  It echoes the stories of countless others who are different have been maligned by demagogues in our not too distant past, but who are still accorded their rights of citizenship and respect by other law abiding Americans.  We’re trying to fight our way through the haze of fear and suspicion of the last eight years and at the moment we seem to be winning the fight. Take a look at the video below to see what I mean.

Stay tuned!!

The REAL Dirty Bomb Plot


I really don’t know where to go with this, the story has such potential.  There was a plot to explode a dirty bomb, bomb making material was found along with literature that explained how to assemble it and the person responsible was a member of a known subversive group.  His name was James G. Cummings, of Belfast, Maine and the group he belonged to was the National Socialist Movement.  Before the plot could go anywhere, Mr. Cummings was shot and killed, by of all people……….his wife, who just got fed up with the domestic abuse she endured during their married life.

Jose Padilla should now be released from jail and every member of the National Socialist Movement should be rounded up and herded to some remote island prison camp, shackled, put under sensory deprivation and forced to listen toMarvin Gaye,  James Brown or the Average White Band blaring through loudspeakers continuously for months at a time because they constitute a threat to the United States and one of their own was caught red handed in an act of terrorism.  And for that matter, too, perhaps we should round up every white male who looks like Mr. Cummings because they hate the president of the United States and his values and therefore by extension, us.

This would be the  rhetoric applied to Muslims, yet the story of Cummings hasn’t spiked the front pages of most newspapers, let alone the muliti-colored  Homeland Security fear index whose needle pegged whenever terror and Islam were mentioned in the main stream media. Just as with most of what’s “good” about America, self expunging took place with regards to  Cummings and there wasn’t the need for another level of government bureaucracy to protect us from him.  All it took was a law abiding citizen who had the nerve, or strength and steady hand, to shoot him and rid us of the evil he intended for the “homeland”.  In fact, his wife did more to combat terrorism than George Bush did in all the 8 years of his presidency.

We know that will not be the approach of people in government.  Their goal is to make us more dependent on them and fearful of them as well, even if it means pitting one group of people against another.  Don’t fall for it.  The laws we have absent those enacted during the Bush administration, are enough to protect us, as long as we have the courage and strength of Cummings’ wife  keep a steady hand and act.  Are you feeling me, President Obama?

Islam is here to stay, so let’s move on


amalAmericans, and those who live within its borders, come in all shapes, sizes and colors, and while some of the American dream and the meaning of the words, ‘send me your tired and your poor; your huddled masses yearning to be free’ has not always turned out the way those huddled masses wanted at the time, America has been a largely successful experiment.

It is however, a work in progress, continually defined, reshaped, molded in a way that meets the needs of most of the 300 million plus who live within its borders.  America has seen all sorts of people come and go.  Many have blended and integrated themselves into the social fabric, indistinguishable from the whole, while others have chosen to retain their identities.  The common thread has always been the rule of law that’s kept the entire cloth from unravelling.

Sure there are times in the Nation’s history we can point to when the administration of the law has not been equitable, but social agitation (something sorely missed in today’s citizenry) always corrected that inequity which resulted in a better mix of brown, whites, reds, and yellows.  We discovered along the way that it wasn’t necessary to lose those colors or attitudes in the elixir of America; that sometimes it was healthy to keep them distinguished not seperated, visible, not homogenized, ‘in order to form a more perfect union.’

So it is that now we have black, white, Jew, Gentile, Muslim unbeliever living, perhaps askew, but in relative peace and with the knowledge they can take their grievance to the Law should the need arise.  This is what happened to Amal Hersi  a Somali American Muslim woman who was told service at a credit union was only possible if she blended and forsake her Muslim identity.

For Amal this was not an option, so she took her case to a higher authority, in this instance the people in charge of the credit union.  No doubt the employee of the bank forgot their roots, forgot that despite the finely coiffed hair and contemporary styled clothes they wore that day, they most likely had an acestor, perhaps not too far in their past who looked like Amal and chose to stay that way…….or not.  Most likely that distant relative decided when he/she ran into an obdurate public servant bent on defining their place in the American fabric they weren’t going to bend and that act of resistance made it possible for Amal to refuse today, which made the quilt that much more pretty and pliable for the common good.

Muslim women in the West have defined their role as one of modesty wrapped in clothes they’ve chosen to express their identity.  In most cases, if not all, it is their conscious choice to wear hijab just as they also choose to obey the law and just as there is no penalty for embracing the latter, neither should there be for the former.  The officials of the credit union, more in touch with the spirit of the Law than the wayward employee who started this all, recognized that instantly and issued a statement which said in part:

Navy Federal values and respects all its members. Working with the law enforcement community, we have recently implemented a policy to make sure we can positively identify everyone we serve in our many branches.

Navy Federal weighed very carefully the need to accommodate religious and cultural customs, as well as medical conditions. Our policy does not prohibit nor discourage the use of headscarves, and will make sure it’s thoroughly understood to all employees.

I salute them and nothing further needs to be addressed to them. To the employee who lost her way I would encourage a quick visual primer on American history. Perhaps they will see someone they know or someone who looks like them. While they’re at it they’ll most likely see someone who looks like Amal Hersi too.

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