Glad to be included….


In the state where 911 occurred seven years earlier a community has placed the “Islamic symbol” star and crescent in a Christmas display.  I for one, welcome the attitude behind the “inclusion”, that law abiding citizens of any and all religious faiths are welcomed in the town of Armonk, NY, but don’t think that necessarily means having your religious symbol displayed during the prominent holiday of another religion.

“We’ve decided to go in the direction of being all-inclusive,” said Reese Berman, supervisor of the town of 11,000, about 30 miles north of New York City and the site of IBM headquarters.

Armonk’s display is centered on a gazebo in a towering pine grove. One tree about 11 feet tall, strung with white lights, has been placed inside. A silver menorah is a few steps to the right of the cobblestone walk leading to the gazebo. The bright-white crescent and star are on 6-foot-high stanchions to the left.

Craig Mason, 63, a retired town resident who was walking past the display on a rainy morning last week, said he had no strong religious feelings but felt the display “says nice things about the people here, about how we welcome everyone.”

He found the star and crescent symbol “very attractive in its simplicity.”

Judy Wesley, director of the Armonk Chamber of Commerce, said she was raised Catholic and “in my opinion there’s nothing wrong with having a spirit of inclusion. Jesus Christ himself would have gathered everyone around him.”

To the good people of all faiths everywhere, I salute you for your tolerance and good citizenship.

The Liberator’s reception in Iraq


Take that!

Another day another couple of billion dollars


I read stories like this, Wealth of richest Arabs plunged in 2008

The wealth of the richest Arabs plunged in 2008, with Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the richest of all, seeing his investments shrivel nearly 20 percent, according to a list published in Dubai on Sunday.

The Saudi prince’s wealth has shrunk by four billion dollars to 17.08 billion under the impact of this year’s global financial turmoil, Arabian Business online magazine said in a survey of the richest 50 Arab people.

The combined assets of the top 50 have plummetted by 25 billion dollars or 12 percent to 199.48 billion dollars, based on data calculated on December 2, the magazine said.

Despite his losses, Prince Alwaleed remains top of the list, though his wealth sank twice as much as that of second placed Nasser al-Kharafi, a Kuwaiti businessman whose value is estimated to have dropped by two billion dollars to 9.6 billion.

In May, Prince Alwaleed ranked 19 in the Forbes list of world billionaires with 21 billion dollars. His wealth includes a five percent stake in the troubled US banking giant Citigroup and a private Airbus superjumbo A380, dubbed as the “flying palace” and valued at 330 million dollars.

and am forced to remind one and all that all of those “Arabs” losses put together don’t equal what this one guy swindled from American investors!

Bernard Madoff, a quiet force on Wall Street for decades, was arrested and charged on Thursday with allegedly running a $50 billion “Ponzi scheme” in what may rank among the biggest fraud cases ever.

The former chairman of the Nasdaq Stock Market is best known as the founder of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, the closely-held market-making firm he launched in 1960. But he also ran a hedge fund that U.S. prosecutors said racked up $50 billion of fraudulent losses.

Madoff told senior employees of his firm on Wednesday that “it’s all just one big lie” and that it was “basically, a giant Ponzi scheme,” with estimated investor losses of about $50 billion, according to the U.S. Attorney’s criminal complaint against him.

No excuse now!


Guantanamo Bay can be closed, and America’s allies are willing to help in that effort.

European Union countries should offer to take in any detainees released from the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo, Portugal’s foreign minister said in a letter published Thursday.

Portugal is willing to grant asylum to Guantanamo detainees who cannot return to their home countries, Foreign Minister Luis Amado said in the letter sent to his EU counterparts.

Let’s see how long it takes for impediments to get in the way of seeing this travesty of justice shut down.

Mumbai and more memory hole material


Sometimes things aren’t always what they seem.  I wonder how long it will be before the carnage carried out in Mumbai late last month will turn out that way as well?  The news story highlighted below has some interesting twists that resemble too close for comfort to this obersever what happened in Mumbai.  First off the rush to blame the usual suspects, i.e. Muslims.

India is in something of a state of shock after learning from official sources that its first Hindu terror cell may have carried out a series of deadly bombings that were initially blamed on militant Muslims. The revelation is forcing the country to consider some difficult questions.

Bomb attacks are not uncommon in India – there has been a flurry in recent months – but police usually blame them on Muslim extremists, often said to have links to militant groups based in either Pakistan or Bangladesh. As a result, the recent cracking of the alleged Hindu cell has forced India to face some difficult issues.

…senior right-wing leaders have made no secret of their wish that Hindus should form suicide squads to protect themselves against Muslim extremists. Bal Thackeray, leader of a group called the Shiv Sena, which has been responsible for communal and regional violence in Mumbai, wrote recently in the party’s magazine: “The threat of Islamic terror in India is rising. It is time to counter the same with Hindu terror. Hindu suicide squads should be readied to ensure the existence of Hindu society and to protect the nation.”

Observers say the fact that the police have arrested the alleged cell members amid considerable political pressure suggests the growing professionalism of its security forces. “It’s the first Hindu cell and it’s the first time Hindus have been shackled and taken to jail,” said Professor Dipankar Gupta, a sociologist at Delhi’s Jawarlahal Nehru University. “I’m quite pleased with the way the police have done their jobs.”

It should be pointed out one of the casualties in Mumbai was the counter terrorism police official Hemant Karkare, Maharashta Police’s Anti-Terrorism Squad chief, who was among 11 police officials who were killed.  He was investigating the bomb blast initially blamed on Muslims but as it turned out was carried out by Hindus.  His death reportedly will affect the probe into the Malegaon blast in the western state of Maharashtra in September, which left six people dead.  Karkare’s death at the hands of Muslims who his investigation had exonerated in previous terrorist acts and amid cries by Hindu terrorists to ensure the existence of Hindu society and to protect the nation through acts of violence is more than coincidental.  Doesn’t  anyone see a setup here?

Unacceptable


mary1This is unacceptable and Playboy realized that, which is why they issued an apology. The apology was made because Playboy acknowledged the cover was offensive to many Roman Catholics in Mexico.   Read about the controversy here. There hasn’t been any hue or cry about the holding hostage of a free press by those who were offended by this image; their mere objection and expression thereof was enough to warrant an appropriate apology from Playboy.

turbanbomb This is unacceptable too, but the difference is the religious community offended by this image was vilified because they took offense, and the image was used to incite anger and rage.  The followers of Muhammad should now know how media is used to provoke a certain response which is in turn highlighted to demonize Islam.  Knowing that, they should never fall into the trap of being prodded to react by images like the one above, while joining with the worldwide community in condemning any inappropriate images of religious figures anywhere in the world.  I hope that’s the lesson Muslims learn from Playboy’s foray into obscene religious images, but I doubt it.  You can expect Miscellany101 to highlight them whenever and wherever he can.  Stay tuned.