An Unintended Consequence


The Obsession movie distributed to newspapers in so called swing states has produced an unintended consequence, the gassing of a place of worship of Muslims.  It doesn’t help that the place of worship, masjid, was inhabited at the time and full of children and infants.  This is not exactly what the purveyors of the filth called “Obsession” wanted because it forces Americans who are good hearted people and hate injustice to be sympathetic towards Muslims and that’s not what is wanted.  What the organizers of “Obsession” want is for people to vote for John McCain and any acts of violence done towards Muslims in America that can be tied to their efforts, the attack in Dayton happened on the very evening the DVDs were distributed by the Dayton newspaper earlier that day,  will have a negative impact on that outcome.  Perhaps that’s why the news has only been passed along on Dayton’s media outlets and not picked up nationwide.

The Clarion Fund is an Islamophobic organization that has inserted itself into American politics.

Clarion Fund was founded by the writer and executive produce of “Obsession,” Israeli-Canadian Raphael Shore. The group also runs the Web site Radicalislam.org – an educational site which implores its readers to “take action against radical Islam” by exploring its resources under four headings: “fueling terror,” “Sharia law,” “vote 2008,” and “radical Islam overview.” Because of Clarion Fund’s nonprofit, tax-exempt status, it is not permitted to sway voters in a partisan manner. But Radicalislam.org reportedly was, until it was recently pointed out in the media, carrying an article that explicitly endorsed McCain.

Perhaps that last fact is why a writer has called for John McCain to denounce the inflammatory, anti-Muslim message of Obsession; and to do everything in his power to stop any further campaign activities by his supporters that have the potential to incite violence.  I’m betting he won’t do that.

No comment!


The Republicans’ hopes for shotgun weddings and being AWOL


This campaign is about as bad as the 1996 contest between Bob Dole and Bill Clinton.  The Republicans have chosen a hapless candidate and an even more pathetic running mate for him.  I can see John McCain gnawing his teeth in absolute anger at the decision thrust upon him to take Sarah Palin, for this is what her candidacy has been reduced to.

Inside John McCain’s campaign the expectation is growing that there will be a popularity boosting pre-election wedding in Alaska between Bristol Palin, 17, and Levi Johnston, 18, her schoolmate and father of her baby. “It would be fantastic,” said a McCain insider. “You would have every TV camera there. The entire country would be watching. It would shut down the race for a week.”

*snip*

Johnston was greeted with a handshake and friendly slap on the back by McCain in St Paul, Minnesota, and treated as a member of the family during the Republican national convention when he appeared on stage after Palin’s speech.

The ice-hockey player wrote on his MySpace page he was a “f****** redneck” and stated, “I don’t want kids.” But a McCain insider predicted he would marry Bristol whenever his future mother-in-law wanted. “It’s a shotgun wedding. She kills things,” the source joked.

If we’re lucky at all, perhaps she’ll kill any chances of this ticket winning the election. Once again the party of family values is swirling in hypocrisy. Palin’s daughter was off limits as a target by McCain/Palin opponents but can be used to garner sympathy and votes?  And did you get the part about how such an event would shut down  the campaign for a week?!  There’s a lot of that going on lately with this bunch of folks.

On another note, I was taken to task by a reader for a blog I wrote where I questioned McCain and Bush’s decision to not attend the Republican Convention because of a hurricane.  Unless they both were going to go to the affected areas and fill sandbags to help residents protect their homes I thought such pronouncements on their part was political grandstanding.  McCain this campaign season has made it a habit of suspending his campaign or getting out of appearances because of perceived emergencies that didn’t always turn out to be emergencies.  There is his withdrawal from the David Letterman show because of his claim he had to go to Washington, DC to deal with the financial crisis. Letterman aired a live feed of McCain sitting down for an interview with Katie Curic a couple of blocks from the studio of the Letterman show during the time he agreed to appear with Dave to refute the urgency McCain gave for getting out of appearing on his show.  He wanted to suspend the first debate because of the same reason, the economic crisis, but was obliged to show up when Obama insisted he would be there.    This last gaffe is equally distasteful. Simply there was no need for the announced drama by the McCain campaign that their candidate needed to take a hands on approach to the negotiations surrounding the economic bailout but they did, and he was caught making phone calls from his limo instead of going to Capital Hill or meeting with other congressmen/women. He was irrelevant upon his return just as he was during the natural emergencies of the hurricane before the Republican convention, but the necessity of him being personally involved was spun that way and he was caught up in a lie, much like the Letterman fiasco.  It really makes one think perhaps this campaign and its strategist are pathological sociopaths, with all the lying, implied violence and sensational sex and sexism taking place in it.

PALIN: ‘ONLY FLAG IN MY OFFICE’ IS ISRAELI


President Peres of Israel met for the first time with Governor Palin and her running mate John McCain at the  international gathering known as the Clinton Global Initiative, hosted by Bill Clinton. “I wanted to meet you for many years,” Ms. Palin told Mr. Peres, according to an aide to the president. “The only flag at my office is an Israeli flag,” she was quoted as saying, “and I want you to know and I want Israelis to know that I am a friend.”

Yes, Sara we know.

How many availed themselves of this opportunity?


We hear and read alot about the Islamic menace in our midst and their intent to destroy everything we stand for.  A lot of political careers have been built on this tried, true and tested sloganeering done by people on all sides of the political spectrum.  The reality is vastly different.  Muslims throughout this land have stood up and condemned acts of terrorism against all forms of humanity, honored those who sacrificed their lives and even given their own lives in the fight against the unseen enemies of terrorism.

How many banner headlines did you read or see that spoke of the ceremony held in Florida by the Muslim residents of that state, honoring those who died on September 11, 2001?  Or who signed up for the Open Houses held throughout the state of California and sponsored by various Muslim organizations who flung open their doors to various and sundy people who might have questions to ask of the Muslim residents of that state or gripes to pick with them?  Instead we have become a Nation that is force fed a steady diet of Islamophobia via the same main stream media that was wrong 100% of the time when it came to Iraq, WMD, the war on terror and government responsibility towards its citizens.  As it’s said on some of the meaner city streets than the internet, ‘if you don’t know you’d better ask somebody!’  Has anyone done that with any of their Muslim neighbors?

On the offensive!


In response to some pretty sordid stuff coming out of the behind the scenes REPUBLICAN PARTY, an organization, Hate Hurts America Multifaith Community Coalition, has restructured their web site to address head on a lot of the Islamophobia swirling around in the public arena and particularly what comes out of the film being given away for free to subscribers of certain newspapers across the country, Obsession, a movie supposedly about jihadist Islam. (whatever that means.)

HHA’s new website, www.obsessionwithhate.com, offers a point-by-point rebuttal to propagandistic claims made in the film, as well as a list of newspapers that delivered the film’s DVD as an insert, a sampling of bigoted statements made by controversial anti-Muslim figures interviewed for “Obsession,” and examples of the overwhelmingly negative media coverage of the Clarion Fund’s controversial campaign to influence voters.

The HHA site also offers positive actions visitors may take to help challenge the “Obsession” campaign’s promotion of intolerance and misinformation.

This private sector initiative is coming on the heels of one undertaken by the US House of Representatives’ resolution 374, which in part resolves:

    • (1) the United States supports the spirit of peace and desire for unity displayed in initiatives of interfaith dialogue among leaders of the 3 Abrahamic faiths;
    • (2) the United States further supports additional meetings of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim religious leaders aimed at greater dialogue between the religions;
    • (3) the United States encourages the many people of faith around the world who reject terrorism, radicalism, and extremism to join these and similar efforts in order to build a common bond based on peace, reconciliation, and a commitment to tolerance; and
    • (4) the United States appreciates those voices around the world who condemn terrorism, intolerance, genocide, and ethnic and religious hatred, and instead commit themselves to a global peace anchored in respect and understanding among adherents of the 3 Abrahamic faiths.

It would appear therefore, that the start up of the campaign against hate by the website obsessionwithhate.com is in keeping with the wishes of the US Congress and surely consistent with free speech, the very same right the people with the Clarion Fund invoke to propel their propaganda.  It will be interesting to see who wins in the arena of ideas.

The Nation’s first black president disses the Nation’s aspiring black president


The Clintons wanted to be a political dynasty, much like the Bush family, but Obama got in their way and it has been a rocky road between the two camps ever since.

McCain and the Republican party have some serious problems when matched against a polished performer like Obama so big John along with his running mate, Sara,  have been running scared ever since the Republican National Convention and the hurricanes.  The party that has gone the world over fighting wars of aggression has dodged  behind natural emergencies like Ike and Gustav  and national ones, like the economy, when it comes time to face the American public. So what happens?  Bill Clinton comes to the rescue for the Republicans and bails John McCain out of a public relations problem had it been pursued by the media.  Of course the very fact that Bill was out and about trying to reassure people he wasn’t a party wrecker is a sure sign he sees himself in that role, as do most others.

So the nation’s first black and Jewish president has been a bit less than a rousing endorser of the nation’s second aspiring black president. It also doesn’t help that Clinton views his role as getting out the “cracker” vote for Obama.  Let me ask a simple question here.  Does the use of pejorative terms by someone help the candidate they support, especially in a racially charged campaign as this?  Not likely. So, eight more years of THE REPUBLICAN party, invasions of third world countries, or emerging economies and death and destruction.  Gee, thanks Bill!

Republicans: Party of Sleaze and Racist/Ethno baiters


It didn’t take long for the Republicans to descend to the depths of sleaze and racialism when it comes to the economic problems affecting our country.  They’ve been wallowing around in the basement of racism and Islamophobia for the last eight years, frightening people with their ‘there’s a terrorist around every corner’ mantra.  For a very brief moment I thought they would take the high ground about our economic woes and say something like it’s time to tighten our belts, work together to solve this because  bigger government is not the answer.  For awhile they came across making that point,

It’s absurd, and at its heart, it’s un-American, in the sense that America exists precisely because of our desire to rein in government and make it accountable to the people…….Only in a panic, in which Congressional leadership abdicates its role to keep executive power in check, would any American Congress agree to surrender its Constitutional mandate for oversight. And that panic may be taking place now.

Well that sounds so very, very good and it’s a spot on analysis of what’s happening with this Administration’s attempts to push through as quickly as possible measures that would make the executive more distant and removed from the Constitution and more powerful than the Founding Fathers ever envisioned.  But……..well let’s just say, the problem with the above pronouncement is it’s totally against everything THE REPUBLICAN PARTY has stood for these last eight years.  Republicans may believe what was written by the author quoted above, but the party’s position is much more blatant in scope and encompassing in power.  There hasn’t been a single initiative undertaken by THE PARTY which was designed to limit ITS power.  Everything was done to increase power and the economic bailout is just another in a long series of power grabs.  Again, blogger and constitutional lawyer Glen Greenwald does an excellent job citing the hypocrisy of THE PARTY in his blog which I encourage all to read.

I’ve been watching Republican Party politics from the vantage point of a state that welcomed and endorsed and then elected one of the biggest race baiters of all times. He’s passed on now so I won’t speak ill of the dead, but Jesse Helms honed race baiting to a science that got him elected to the US Senate six times and in the process passed on that skill to THE PARTY which has gradually adopted it over the years.  Well, it’s come to fruition.  Leaving the high road of less government, THE PARTY descended to claiming the problem with the economy is because of black people and the employment of people of color in the banking sector.  Yup, you heard it right.  Minorities are the reasons why the United States is in the situation it’s in now.  Oh, and we have to blame Clinton in there somewhere.  Why all the drubbing Clinton gets from Republicans eight years after leaving office, it’s amazing he would say anything nice about John McCain, but that’s for another blog.  Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) citied an article which appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, which states

Clinton saw homeownership as a way to open the door for blacks and other minorities to enter the middle class.

Though well-intended, the problem was that Congress was about to change hands, from the Democrats to the Republicans. Rather than submit legislation that the GOP-led Congress was almost sure to reject, Clinton ordered Robert Rubin’s Treasury Department to rewrite the rules in 1995.

The rewrite, as City Journal noted back in 2000, “made getting a satisfactory CRA rating harder.” Banks were given strict new numerical quotas and measures for the level of “diversity” in their loan portfolios. Getting a good CRA rating was key for a bank that wanted to expand or merge with another.

Loans started being made on the basis of race, and often little else.

“Bank examiners would use federal home-loan data, broken down by neighborhood, income group and race, to rate banks on performance,” wrote Howard Husock, a scholar at the Manhattan Institute.

*snip*

From 1995 to 2005, a Harvard study shows, minorities made up 49% of the 12.5 million new homeowners.

The problem is that many of those loans have now gone bad, and minority homeownership rates are shrinking fast.

Fannie and Freddie, with their massive loan portfolios stuffed with securitized mortgage-backed paper created from subprime loans, are a failed legacy of the Clinton era.

So, there you have it.  Minorities defaulted on their home loans and that’s why banks and investment houses are going under.  Opps….that’s why banks are going under.  There’s this snippet from The National Review Online which takes things a step further by implying that banks that hired a racially diverse staff were the types of banks that failed.  Minorities aren’t good at math and computing, so goes the theory. Now my question is how does a federal government that’s spending billions of dollars a month on the occupation of two foreign countries, one of which had absolutely nothing to do with the tragic events of 911, come up with $700 billion to bail out ANYONE!?? One could make the proposition that it is us who need a bail out, but that’s another crisis which will surely be solved by increased federal power, spending and risks to the public.  Suffice it to say, one of the plans being tossed around will increase the national debt to $11.3 trillion.  (What’s a few trillion among tax payers?)

So we’ve gone from the sublime to the ridiculous in THE REPUBLICAN PARTY’s opposition to the initial Bush bailout plan and instead chosen to draw lines according to race and divisiveness.  Guess that comes natural for the GOP.

Men of courage


Some church leaders in the US are coming under fire for hosting an interfaith breakfast with Iranian President Ahmedinajad.  Why?  Opponents of the affair point to Mr. Ahmadinejad’s nuclear stonewalling, threats against Israel, and questioning of the Holocaust.

The last two are contrivances thrust upon the consumer by a compliant corporate media whose interests is in conflict which sells papers, and access to a government which determines that access based on the “friendliness” outlets give to government’s positions.  Juan Cole has done a pretty good job of blasting holes in the “threats” the Iranian president allegedly made against Israel, attributing the record to sloppy investigating by the press and even sloppier translations of what Ahmadinejad said.  Accuracy has never been a forte of the American press. The presidential candidates are falling over themselves in making Ahmedinejad the next Osama bin Ladin.

In the heat of the campaign, Obama surely overreached himself in appearing to advocate barring leaders of member states from addressing the United Nations because their views are obnoxious to Americans. He also fell into the trap of declining to make a distinction between anti-Zionist views and anti-Semitic ones. If a policy of exclusion had been adopted by past administrations, Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev could not have announced from that podium the reduction of Red Army forces in Eastern Europe in 1988. And if anti-American statements should trigger the denial of a visa to come to New York, should Nelson Mandela, who called the United States the “most dangerous country in the world,” be excluded, too?

Obama’s assertion that Iran’s civilian nuclear energy research program constitutes a “grave threat” may or may not be true. The 2005 National Intelligence Estimate put Iran at least a decade away from having a nuclear weapon if it was trying hard to get one and if the international environment was conducive (i.e., if Iran could import all the equipment it needed easily). Neither of those conditions actually appears to exist, so Iran is very far away from having a bomb. The 2007 National Intelligence Estimate on Iran, parts of which were released last December, concluded that Iranian scientists have not done any weapons-related research since early 2003.

As Ahmadinejad pointed out to Larry King, no country has been as intensely inspected by the International Atomic Energy Agency as Iran. No regularly inspected country has ever developed a nuclear bomb. Although the IAEA’s Mohamed ElBaradei has expressed frustration that Iran failed to declare its nuclear research program before 2003, he continues to say that in current inspections, “the Agency has been able to continue to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material in Iran” to weapons purposes. This consistent IAEA finding through recent years raises the question of whether Obama is right to be so categorical on this issue.

Despite the “white noise” coming from media and politicians looking to score points with voters, the organizers of the “iftar” are pressing on because of their belief in dialogue.

“There’s been background work spanning years with the previous reformist president, Mohammad Khatami, which goes on regardless of the vicissitudes of political leadership,” says William Vendley, secretary-general of Religions for Peace USA, part of a 30-year-old global body.

*snip*

“There are many points where we disagree with Iranian policy,” says Mark Graham, AFSC spokesman. “We believe dialogue is the way to understanding and moving past tensions rather than threats and standoffish behavior.”

It’s  very unfortunate the leaders of the strongest country militarily in the world can’t muster the courage of their conviction to get beyond the ethnic/religious baiting of Iran and its leadership.  More than half a century has passed since that country was thrown into turmoil because of a US backed coup against an Iranian government and relations with Iran post the Shah era have been marked with animosity and deceit.  But because Iran sits on a large quantity of the world’s oil supply one can only expect relations to be based on a power struggle whereby America seeks to dominate the Iranian government and control their oil supply.  Men of courage, however, seek relations on a level of mutual benefit and understanding.

“What we will never cease doing is being absolutely forthright and direct; one goes into discourse intentionally looking for appropriate opportunities to clarify concerns that are deeply felt,” Dr. Vendley says.

For that I salute them!

Bush doublespeak


President Bush appeared before the UN for his last speech there and said somethings that left me scratching my head at the audacity and hypocrisy of it all.  He claims the UN has extraordinary potential and is needed more now than ever before, yet he was the same president who declared the world body  irrelevant if it didn’t agree to his invasion of Iraq.  He chided the organization has to be on the lookout for inefficiency and corruption, bloated bureaucracies, which must be streamlined, yet news from Iraq a country he has occupied for the last five years is that more than $13 billion has been lost, misplaced, misspent or otherwise unaccounted for through elaborate fraud schemes and to date, no major US contractor faces trial for fraud or mismanagement in Iraq. It’s sad to see a public official utter such irresponsible statements before the world community.

No comment!


Hat tip to Du’gas’ blog

Libel in Sarkozy’s France


This constitutes libel in France, not free speech.

“The reports of the Interior Ministry will never acknowledge the hundreds of our brothers killed by the police without any of the murderers being held to account,”( wrote Hamé, now 32, whose parents came from Algeria in the 1950s.)

“The reality is that living in our neighborhoods today means you have a greater chance of experiencing economic abandon, of psychological vulnerability, of discrimination in the job market, of unstable housing, of regular police humiliations,”

France never ceases to amaze me how they always change the bar when it comes to freedom, and free speech.  Cartoons that inflame France’s largest religious minority is free speech and can be reproduced by as many papers as want, but a one sentence jab at another religious minority is worthy of getting the offender fired from his job.  The quotes above were enough for now French President Nicholas Sarkozy who as Interior Minister in 2003 filed charges of libel against the writer, rapper, Mohamed Bourokba.  Bourokba has been cleared of the charge but one can only wonder what will be Sarkozy’s impact as President on speech that he doesn’t like versus speech on or about people he doesn’t like.

America’s steady decline into fascism


It’s been coming since the dawn of this century and accelerated with the events of 911.  America’s response, defined by its political leaders, promulgated by members of the media, and accepted by a large segment of the population has steered the country towards fascism.  The political definition of fascism fits to a “t” what is happening in 21st century America.  Our increased militarism, which has given rise to a new military state which responds even to natural disasters with a military presence, the nationalism spurred by the ‘either you are with us or against us’ mentality, the tackling of a new and equally imaginary  jihadist Islam, to replace an old one, communism and now the nationalization of the banking system all are signs of the encroachment of fascism into the collective.  The last example has raised more than a few eyebrows, mine included, in a piece written for the Huffington Post.

Now, if you do not yet understand that the Wall Street crisis is a man-made disaster done through intentional deregulation and corruption, I have a bridge in Alaska to sell to you….. This manufactured crisis is now to be remedied, if the fiscal fascists get their way, with the total transfer of Congressional powers (the few that still remain) to the Executive Branch and the total transfer of public funds into corporate (via government as intermediary) hands.

From the very beginning Bush’s administration has always tried to remove any and all opposition to its policies, including Congress’ oversight function, and the unfortunate aspect of that is Congress has allowed it to happen.  The reinterpretation of FISA statutes, the Military Commissions Act and now the bail out of financial institutions have been structured in such a way as to bypass the other two main bodies of government, the legislative and judicial, and leave power solely in the hands of the executive.  The concept of the unitary executive, has been expanded under this Administration far more than previous ones and under Bush he deems fit to categorically dismiss laws passed by Congress and signed by him via signing statements which say in some cases he is not bound by the very law he is signing.

What struck me about this latest offense to come from Bush’s government is the way bailouts of Wall Street are designed to give power solely to the Secretary of the Treasury  in a manner which leaves out the other branches of government in the decision making process.

The Treasury Secretary can buy broadly defined assets, on any terms he wants, he can hire anyone he wants to do it and can appoint private sector companies as financial deputies of the US government. And he can write whatever regulation he thinks are needed.

*snip*

Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.

Such language sounds so much like that employed in the Military Commissions Act, where only the President and or the Secretary of Defense can define someone as an unlawful enemy combatant and outside the reach of one of the most cherished rights of American statehood, habeas corpus and the judicial system.

But even in the waning days of the Bush Administration it appears this descent is in free fall.  The Republican Party feels confident nominating a ticket that includes one who claims it’s perfectly ok to look into the personnel records of state employees, while protesting the invasion of her own privacy and emails.  We’ve already talked about the hypocrisy of Sarah Palin’s position vis-a-vis her own party, but her idea that she can invade others’ privacy so early in the election campaign is chutzpah beyond measure and a sure sign that things will continue as they have been for the last 8 years.

I have an endearing hope in the goodness of the American society to overcome these shortcomings in our political leaders.  This is not to say the choices we are presented with at this time are solutions to where we are heading, but before the Brown shirts fully take over, I hope we can reverse this process which has wreaked havoc on societies similarly placed in the not too distant past.

Cry baby politics or the shoe is now on the other foot


Republicans can dish it out but they can’t take it, or so it seems.  Earlier this week when the Obama campaign unleashed some Spanish speaking political advertisements which took pot shots at the McCain campaign and featured excerpts from  Rush Limbaugh’s program where Limbaugh does his usually good job of inserting his own foot in his own mouth, Limbaugh took offense and fired off a response which spoke of Obama’s divisive “racism”.  Talk about the pot calling the kettle black……Then there was the racism card pulled by the Republicans when it came to Oprah’s refusal to have Sarah Palin on her show which had to be muted until the McCain campaign finally decided before they could criticize Winfrey for not having Palin on they first had to make her “available” to the press! The Repubs will resort to this tactic of “crying” how they are being misrepresented or misinterpreted alot during this campaign season and into the next four years if the lose.  Of course they weren’t willing at all to entertain the idea that their opponents could have the same problem when inflammatory quotes were exhibited to demonstrate their opponents lack of patriotism.

Glen Greenwald does an excellent job of demonstrating the Republican’s hypocrisy in his blog on the latest Sarah Palin controversy surrounding her email account that was “hacked”.  I wouldn’t be surprised if this was a part of the GOP’s dirty tricks to get sympathy for their candidate, and it would have worked had  Greenwald not pointed out some of the problems in the Party’s protestations.

The same political faction which today is prancing around in full-throated fits of melodramatic hysteria and Victim mode (their absolute favorite state of being) over the sanctity of Sarah Palin’s privacy are the same ones who scoffed with indifference as it was revealed during the Bush era that the FBI systematically abused its Patriot Act powers to gather and store private information on thousands of innocent Americans; that Homeland Security officials illegally infiltrated and monitored peaceful, law-abiding left-wing groups devoted to peace activism, civil liberties and other political agendas disliked by the state; and that the telephone calls of journalists and lawyers have been illegally and repeatedly monitored.

*snip*

Shouldn’t these same people be standing up today and insisting that if Sarah Palin has done nothing wrong, then she should have nothing to hide? If Sarah Palin isn’t committing crimes or consorting with The Terrorists, then why would she care if we can monitor her emails? And if private companies such as Yahoo can access her emails — as they can — then she doesn’t really have any “privacy” anyway, so what’s the big deal if others read through her communications, too? Isn’t that the authoritarian idiocy that has been spewed since The Day That 9/11 Changed Everything — beginning with the Constitution — to justify vesting secret and unchecked surveillance powers in our Great and Good Leaders?

*snip*

And then there’s the McCain campaign, protesting this “shocking invasion of the Governor’s privacy and a violation of law” even though the GOP nominee has supported every last expansion of surveillance power and stood by the President’s every last violation of our surveillance laws. I wonder if the laws which the Palin hacker violated are similar to the federal statute that makes it a felony — punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine for each offense — to eavesdrop on the communications of Americans without warrants, or the multiple statutes (.pdf) which expressly outlaw the telecoms from allowing government spying on their customers without warrants from a court?

*snip*

All these privacy fetishists and (to use Joe Klein’s term) “civil liberties extremists” screeching today over Sarah Palin’s “privacy” need to get some sense of proportion. If Sarah Palin has nothing to hide, if she’s not a Terrorist, why would she mind anyone going through her emails? And just because these things — those things that some overly-earnest people call “statutes” or “laws” or whatever the new trendy Leftist term for them is today — say that you can’t invade people’s private communications without committing a crime, does anyone other than shrill Leftists really take that seriously, really think that someone who does what the law says you can’t do should get in trouble or — more absurdly still — be arrested? Isn’t it time — just like David Broder and so many other of our Elite Guardians have directed — that we stop criminalizing our politics?

‘Attaboy…sic ’em Glen.

No comment


Gone to Hell in a handbasket


Every Ramadan, since 2001 which occurred AFTER 9/11, the White House has been the scene for the breaking of the fast for Muslims; the last 8 Ramadans! This time Bush hailed the event as a celebration of Muslim professionals who’ve made outstanding strides in their chosen line of work and one of them honored was an…..are you ready for this……..Iranian American! No, he’s not trying to build centrifuges to make nuclear weapons.  He’s a biomedical engineer, named Maysam Ghovanloo.  You can read about him here.  What strikes me is people who dislike the Muslim presence in this country decry certain institutions they claim cave in to Muslim traditions, like companies or institutions that allow time off for Muslim holidays, but they re-elected a President who’s been doing the same thing throughout his presidency!  What next, Muslims praying in the White House?

Opps, appears that’s already happening.

Oh no they don’t!


I saw this editorial and thought how naive of someone to write.   The GOP doesn’t have to accept ANY group of people, and especially Muslims.  I still shake my head at the way the Republican Party treated Sami al-Arian who urged the Muslims of Florida to vote for George Bush in 2000 and then spent the last five years in prison, persecuted by the very party he supported. The GOP has had one major policy battle success after another on the backs of “Islamophobia” and its announcements of the arrests of various Muslim groups and personalities here in the US and abroad.  As for the US arrests, very few of them have amounted to much in the way of revealing a terrorist base, instead they have ended up as immigration violations that merely amounted to paperwork issues.  That hasn’t stopped the Republicans from sounding the alarm over the Muslims in our midst, as we have seen with this latest shameful approach.  I’m a little disappointed by some who stand outside a political establishment banging on the door to be let in or crying to be included.  It’s really a little unbecoming.  I understand where it comes from, however.  Minorities in America have always wanted to participate in American politics, and this very act is a sign of their respect for the institutions this country holds dear, so it’s a good thing to see a Muslim writer say they should be included in the American political process, but it’s beneath human dignity to demand inclusion with those who are oppressing you.  What Muslims should do, and any other group that thinks it is not welcomed among the two major American political parties is what other progressive Americans who are equally interested in the “process” do; form their own party which addresses their concerns and those of other dispossessed groups in America.  As the writer of the editorial mentions, the Republican National Convention was held in a city that elected the first Muslim Democrat to the US Senate who had a broad enough appeal to get elected in a state with a Muslim population of less than 5,000.  So grassroots politics is what Muslims of America should get involved in, but with the goal of defining a party that suits their needs as citizens of the US, not asking for inclusion with a party that exploits and persecutes them.  The former takes a lot of work, the latter is laziness.  Muslims would do well to remember the verse from the Quran, ‘for every difficulty there is relief.’

I’m a little confused


I’m a little confused. Let me see if I have this straight…..

If you grow up in Hawaii, raised by your grandparents, you’re
“exotic, different.”  Grow up in Alaska eating moose burgers,  it is
a quintessential American story.

If your name is Barack you’re a radical, unpatriotic Muslim.
Name your kids Willow, Trig and Track, you’re a maverick.

Graduate from Harvard Law School and you are unstable.
Attend 5 different small colleges before graduating, you’re well
grounded.

If you spend 3 years as a brilliant community organizer, become the
first black President of the Harvard Law Review, create a voter
registration drive that registers 150,000 new voters, spend 12 years as a
Constitutional Law professor,  spend 8 years as a State Senator representing
a district with over 750,000 people, become chairman of the state Senate’s
Health and Human Services committee, spend 4 years in the United States
Senate representing a state of  13 million people while sponsoring 131 bills
and serving on the Foreign Affairs, Environment and Public Works and
Veteran’s Affairs committees, you don’t have any real leadership experience.

If your total resume is: local weather girl,  4 years on the city
council and 6 years as the mayor of a town with less than 7,000 people, 20
months as the governor of a state with only 650,000 people, then you’re
qualified to become the country’s second highest ranking executive.

If you have been married to the same woman for 19 years while
raising 2 beautiful daughters, all within Protestant churches, you’re not a
real Christian. If you cheated on your first wife with a rich heiress, and left your
disfigured wife and married the heiress the next month, you’re a good Christian..

If you teach responsible, age appropriate sex education, including
the proper use of birth control, you are eroding the fiber of society.
If, while governor, you staunchly advocate abstinence only, with no
other option in sex education in your state’s school system while your unwed
teen daughter ends up pregnant, you’re very responsible…   Never mind
that you & First Dude eloped because of your own out-of-wedlock pregnancy…

If your wife is a Harvard graduate lawyer who gave up a position in
a prestigious law firm to work for the betterment of her inner city
community, then gave that up to raise a family, your family’s values don’t
represent America’s. If you’re husband is nicknamed “First Dude”,  with at least one DWI
conviction and no college education, who didn’t register to vote until age
25 and once was a member of a group that advocated the secession of Alaska
from the USA, your family is extremely admirable.

The West’s obssession with “radical” Islam


A few major newspapers, including one in my home town are giving out free copies, courtesy of a group called The Clarion Fund out of, where else, New York, entitled “Obssession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West”.  I think it’s the “September surprise” of the political season, I don’t care what anyone else says about them revealing pictures of a recently killed Osama bin Ladin.  Of course this is meant to influence people to vote for a certain party in the elections and it’s shameful newspapers are hiding behind the First Amendment to push this garbage on the public.  The politics of fear, while subdued has not been totally eradicated from the American psyche.  I fired off a letter to the person in charge of such a poor decision in my hometown saying something to the effect that the Muslim community welcomes the opportunity to answer people’s questions about this movie, for they are bound to have some, and the movie gives Muslims an excellent opportunity to promulgate their faith and define it as they want to and not as some who are hostile to Islam want.  The response was a tepid thanks for my supporting the First Amendment.

Free speech is manipulated by the powers that be as either a weapon of oppression or to stifle dissent.  When it comes to religious expression two blog posts here have already pointed out how free speech was not even remotely considered when people expressed opinions that were against members of other religious faiths not Muslims, and had to pay a dear price for that, including jail and dismissal from their jobs.  What is  hoped is that Muslims will act in an inflammatory way that will wind up on the front pages of the newspapers disseminating this movie and further increase circulation.  Inevitably the bottom line is money, and someone at the Clarion Fund has enough money to satisfy the needs of an industry that’s losing readers.  It doesn’t matter who it is that’s responsible for this what matters is an American public finally getting back to normal from the nightmare of 911 and a disastrous war, because they see hope for change and realize Muslims in their midst are not out to seek their destruction once again are faced with this made up crisis.  As always, I want to contribute to free speech by posting a link to one of the installments of the video on youtube.com.  I encourage any and all to view all of the segments posted there, and then find your nearest Muslim community and ask them questions about everything in the movie.  I assure you they won’t bite and you might come away feeling quite comfortable with the fact that they are your neighbors.

Computer game encourages killing Muslims


Since the end of the article below says the game became popular because of bloggers who linked to it, let me be one of the bloggers who links to it, not because I want people to play the game which features killing Muslims but because I want someone to hack the game and change the players around a bit.  Let’s see how quickly the game would come down if it featured Christians and Muslims killing Sikhs and Jews, or hmm..let’s say Sikhs and Muslims killing Christians and Hindus, or Hindus and Sikhs killing Jews and Buddhists or Muslims killing Jews, or better yet, Palestinians killing Israelis or Anglicans killing Roman Catholics.  Here’s the article.

A computer game in which players control an American soldier sent to “wipe out the Muslim race” has been condemned as offensive and tasteless by a British Muslim group.

The goal of Muslim Massacre, which can be downloaded for free on the internet, is to “ensure that no Muslim man or woman is left alive”, according to the game’s creator.

Players control an “American Hero” armed with a machine gun and rocket launcher who is parachuted into the Middle East.

Users progress through levels, first killing Arabs that appear on screen and later taking on Osama bin Laden, Mohammed and finally Allah.

The game’s creator, a freelance programmer known as Sigvatr, described the game on the SomethingAwful.com website as “fun and funny”.

In a “How you can help” section, he writes to visitors: “Don’t whinge about how offensive and ‘edgy’ this is.”

British Muslim youth organisation The Ramadhan Foundation expressed its “deep condemnation and anger” at the game.

The group said: “This game is glorifying the killing of Muslims in the Middle East and we urge ISP providers to take action to remove this site from their services as it incites violence towards Muslims and is trying to justify the killing of innocent Muslims.

“We have written to the British Government to urge an inquiry into this game and take action to shut down the site. This is not satire but a deliberate attempt to demonise Muslims.”

The foundation’s chief executive, Mohammed Shafiq, added: “Encouraging children and young people in a game to kill Muslims is unacceptable, tasteless and deeply offensive.

“There is an increase in violence in this country and some of it comes from video games. When kids spend six hours a day on violent games they are more likely to go outside and commit violence.

“If it was the other way around, with a game featuring Muslims killing Israelis or Americans, there would be uproar and rightly so.

“I would urge ISPs to take action against sites like this and there can be no justification for this sort of video game. I hope the person who made this game thinks again.”

The game was first released in January this year but has become more popular in recent days after being linked to by several prominent blogs.