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How Low Can You Go?


When you hate people irrationally, you can go this low

Look at David Koresh. He had a religious institution until the government decided to load up their missiles and blowed it up and killed everybody.

That from Joe Brandon Jr, attorney for the plaintiff’s in the suit to stop the construction of the Murfreesboro, TN mosque from being built.  Brandon wants to deny citizens their right to religion based on what he thinks the federal government may do to them if they exercise that right.  In other words blame the victim. Perhaps he was giving a backhanded victim status to himself and all those who oppose the construction by saying Murfreesboro will become another Waco, Texas  and the good “other” citizens will be the worse for it because the presence of a mosque made the US government go Waco on it.  The devil made me do it is an even better excuse than the one Brandon was offering.

The judge ruling in the case, Judge Robert E. Corlew III who wasn’t persuaded by the absence of Brandon’s logic declared that county officials had legally approved the building of the mosque and the construction could proceed, declaring ‘Islam is still a religion’. That simple declarative statement, which Brandon and the plaintiffs he represented tried to nullify with innuendo guarantees the followers of Islam the same right to worship as  any other religious denomination in the country.   The rule of law, so preciously trumpeted by neocons for marauding, invading armies of empire was competently and successfully applied to several hundred families of Muslims in Murfreesboro, Tennesse.

A Mind is a terrible thing to waste


…..and FoxNews has lost its mind!  In a theme picked up by most Islamophobes, FoxNews went on the air with several different shows ( see here and here ) claiming The Council of American Islamic Relations CAIR, was able to get an exemption from TSA for Muslim women travelers so that they would not have to go through invasive full body pat downs.  Of course it was a lie, easily proven as such with a little bit of investigation which  when certain groups are mentioned by certain individuals NEVER gets done.

The policy has always been in place since full body scanners were introduced into airports that one could refuse going through one but had to subject themselves to a full body pat down instead. In other words the so called naked body scanners are optional for the flying public.   The TSA in its own press release has also said that Muslim women or any passenger who is wearing something that is covering their head and upper body because of medical or religious reasons…..using the very general term baggy clothing to describe such garb, and who does not want to remove it in order to be cleared must then face the options of a trace portal, trace detection or pat down of the covered area.   The first two, trace portal and trace detection are done mechanically to detect the presence of explosive residue on the body or clothing of someone.

Anyone who refuses AIT or full body image scanning that clearly shows the naked human body, MUST go through the invasive groping body search or pat down.  It is significant to point out that CAIR and other Muslim groups in America have declared the AIT scanners are not an option for Muslims and encouraged their followers to submit to the pat down search instead.  Why anyone thinks that is asking to be exempt from the prying eyes and groping hands of government is beyond  me.

After the full body pat down, a person can risk a secondary screening because of some alarm raised on the part of TSA personnel about the passenger, and this secondary screening involves either trace portal, trace detection or pat down of the covered area.  This screening is obviously meant to discover traces of explosives since the passenger has already been patted down by security and it is here where CAIR suggests that a person may ask to pat down the covered area instead of having TSA personnel do so since that has already been done by a security officer. The intent of the pat down here is to detect explosive residue, not determine what object is under the baggy clothing.  It may be that the person has been in contact with explosive material that is not on their person or in their carry on luggage but have trace amounts found on their clothes which might suggest suspicious behavior and grounds for further investigation before allowing that person on the plane.  What is plain by looking at the steps paggesngers go through is at the point where a woman is asked to have her hijab touched, groped, felt, whatever you want to call it, she has ALREADY gone through the invasive pat down that anyone who rejects the AIT scanners goes through and this part of the screening process is a more fine tuned one to check for exposure to explosives.  Those airports that do not have trace portal devices which cost, according to TSA $160,000 per unit might opt for a pat down of the suspected body part to resolve security concerns.  CAIR goes so far as to say that should a Muslim woman undergo the secondary pat down, she has the right, as any member of the flying public, to have someone with her other than TSA personnel, and the pat down can be done in private, out of sight.  That is not an exemption, rather an explanation of the rights any member of the flying public has available if they should undergo the vigourous and intrusive nature of the security apparatus instituted under the Bush Administration and maintained by the Obama Administration.

Isn’t it an axiom of government and especially a free government that has decided to change course and pursue  infringing upon the rights of its citizens that such a turn of events will take place gradually and that any gains it acquires towards this purpose it will not give up?  That day in 2001 when the TSA became a part of the federal bureaucracy was a day it was stamped forever into government and would attempt with the help of both political parties presently in existence  to get ever increasing powers at the expense of American citizens.  These invasive security measures upon our person are our fault and ours alone for we’ve allowed them, through our votes and the election of officials who engage in the political process for personal power and aggrandizement to usurp the power of the people.  If FoxNews really wants to make headlines, why don’t they investigate how many trace portals bought by TSA are manufactured by one of the two companies who make them, GeneralElectric, parent company for now, of  Fox’s competitor NBC.  Corporate media however, is fixated on its own survival even at the cost of the general public.  It is far more lucrative in the short run to demonize segments of society than it is to look into back room machinations of corporations who solidify by diversification their grip on a terror driven society intent on eating its own.

For American Jews Hating Muslims is good for Israel


Well that’s not really the title of this op/ed, but it says that’s what many are being encouraged to feel among some in the Jewish community.  A few excerpts appear below

I don’t know why I am at all surprised that the American Right – including the Republican Party – has decided that scapegoating Muslims is the ticket to success. After all, it’s nothing new.

I remember right after 9/11 when the columnist Charles Krauthammer, now one of the most vocal anti-Muslim demagogues, almost literally flipped out in my Chevy Chase, Maryland synagogue when the rabbi said something about the importance of not associating the terrorist attacks with Muslims in general.

It was on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year, but that did not stop Krauthammer from bellowing out his disagreement with the rabbi.  Krauthammer’s point: Israel and America are at war with Muslims and that war must be won.

It was shocking, not only because Krauthammer’s outburst was so utterly out of place but also because the man was actually chastising the rabbi for not spouting hate against all Muslims – on the Day of Atonement.

The following year, the visiting rabbi from Israel gave a sermon about the intifada that was then raging in Israel and the West Bank.

The sermon was a nutty affair that tearfully made the transition from intifada to Holocaust and back again.

I remember thinking, “this guy is actually blaming the Palestinians for the suffering of his parents during the Holocaust.” I thought I had missed something because it was so ridiculous.

Then came the sermon’s ending which was unforgettable. The rabbi concluded with the words from Ecclesiastes.

“To everything there is a season. A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, a time to reap … A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance…”

He then looked up and said: “Now is the time to hate.”

At first, I thought I had not heard him correctly.  He could not be calling on the congregation to hate. There were dozens of children in the room. It wasn’t possible.

But it was. To their credit, many of the congregants I spoke with as we left the sanctuary were appalled. Even the right-wingers were uncomfortable with endorsing hate as a virtue.

Yet, the rabbi was unrepentant. I emailed him to complain and he told me that he said what he believed. Nice.

One could ask what the Middle East has to do with the vicious outbreak of Islamophobia (actually Islamo-hatred) that has seemingly seized segments of this country.

The answer is everything. Although the hate is directed at Arab-Americans (which makes it worse) it is justified by invoking 9/11, an attack by Muslims from the Middle East.

This hate is buttressed by the hatred of Muslims and Arabs that has been routinely uttered (or shouted from the rooftops) in the name of defending Israel for decades

Just watch what goes on in congress, where liberals from New York, Florida, California and elsewhere never miss an opportunityto explain that no matter what Israel does, it is right, and no matter what Muslims do, they are wrong.

The writer of the piece doesn’t spare either side of the political spectrum with special contempt for liberals.  We expect such insanity from the “right” that has increasingly shown itself to be a lunatic fringe of social thought and political discourse, but liberals have been so ineffective in combating the “right’s” insanity that they too have become rabid in opposition to the insane right as ineffective in contributing to coherent, responsible and productive political discourse.

YouTube – Keith Olbermann Special Comment: False Promise Of ‘Objectivity’ – 11/15/10


Putting a lie to Ted Koppel’s bemoaning press impartiality/objectivity
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Why the outrage?


Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia

Image via Wikipedia

It appears Eric Cantor’s declaration to Benjamin Netanyahu that the Republican Party would, in essence, stand with Israel against the President of the United States has become somewhat of a news item.

Eric stressed that the new Republican majority will serve as a check on the Administration and what has been, up until this point, one party rule in Washington. He made clear that the Republican majority understands the special relationship between Israel and the United States, and that the security of each nation is reliant upon the other.

I like the one party rule reference, because in a way, the Republicans have  done nothing but obstruct the Democratic party’s initiatives since Obama came to office.  Remember, their stated policy/political goal, or rather as stated by Mitch O’Connell is to see that Obama is a one term president, so anything they can do to make him ineffective and look bad, is a plus for them!  But what is also obvious is the “talking point” of mutual reliance.

Despite the fact that America has lived as an independent country far longer than Israel, it appears we cannot live without them any longer; our survival depends on whether Israel survives goes the rational and no one seems to find that insulting.  What is apparent is that the Republican Party will magnify, out do the Democrats in pursuing the Israel agenda in Washington to the extent of becoming a lobbying agent for the government of Israel.  Those efforts at appealing to Israeli leadership most probably will include more wars of aggression against Israeli enemies, who are presently not ours, at the expense of the American economy and lives; already several Republican party members since the elections a few short weeks ago have called  for military action against Iran, while the Israeli economy prospers at the expense of America’s.

But what is truly pathetic about all the hoopla about Cantor’s remarks is the false indignation it has  raised. Cantor has indeed done something he and his Party once criticized those outside his Party for doing during the Bush years, but ever since Obama’s coming to power, the Republicans have taken unprincipled stands against this present Administration in attempts to score political points and the future  indicates the same strategy will prevail.  Let us not forget who Eric Cantor is.  He is quite comfortable with lying to suit his political agendas and wouldn’t hesitate to do so again for Israel which holds a special place in American politics.  She is able to carry out the most egregious crimes in our name yet still command, nay demand rapt attention from American politicians and dismissal for her illegal activity, as well as the full faith and backing of America’s financial institutions.  If you ask me, that’s where our outrage should be directed.  Cantor is just one of many in the political system who’ve taken us down that road.  Shame on him, yes, but shame on us for ignoring the bigger picture!