Oh, for Fox Sake – Stewart Eviscerates Stewart and in doing so points to more Right Wing hypocrisy


Media’s right wing spin machine’s attacks on Stewart’s parody of Cain was not only immature but underscores their victimology tactic when it comes to criticism they receive. They are thin skinned and emotionally immature. There was nothing ever to their claim in the beginning that Stewart was racist and so to make them not look so childish and irrelevant, Stewart lets them off the hook by pointing out some of his other dare we say “racist” parodies. Is there any reason why you look at FoxNews besides Stewart’s comic relief?

 

NOW, they say bin laden wasn’t all that important so does that mean 10 more years of war until we get the REAL leader of al-qaeda? I’m just saying…


A still of 2004 Osama bin Laden video

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We’ve seen his picture blasted across TV screens and computer monitors the world over for the last ten years; we’ve heard his speeches speak of the doom our civilizations would suffer at the hands of his followers and the humiliation we would face at their victory and our defeat, and we watched as two presidents decided their political fate based on his words, but never mind.  Seems Usama bin Laden wasn’t the real deal after all if this article is to be believed.

Osama bin Laden was out of touch with the younger generation of al Qaida commanders, and they often didn’t follow his advice during the years he was in hiding in northern Pakistan, U.S. and Pakistani officials now say…..bin Laden clearly wasn’t in control of al Qaida, though he was trying to remain involved or at least influential.

“He was like the cranky old uncle that people weren’t listening to,” said a U.S. official, who’d been briefed on the evidence collected from the Abbottabad compound and who spoke only on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. “The younger guys had never worked directly with him. They did not take everything he said as right.”

What does it mean for the greatest power in the world to spend all of the manpower and money it did  over the last 10 years to bring to justice a man who it turns out was not really the leader of the most despised movement known to man after all? Opps, my bad.  Does that also mean we’ll have to spend another decade hunting down the REAL leader of al-Qaeda?

 

Go Ahead, Shoot! We Don’t Care!


Seal of the United States Department of State.

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That seems to be what Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State seems to be saying to the Israelis who are facing the possibility of confronting another Gaza bound flotilla.  The last one ended in the murder of 9 people, and it doesn’t seem to bother the Israelis or the US State department that this latest one could end up that way as well.  Once again the illegality of the blockade on the part of Israel is completely forgotten in Clinton’s statements and the fact that she, and by extension we, seems to be indifferent to the safety of Americans is equally distressing.  Clinton has even received some support for this shoot first, ask questions or even deal with questions later attitude by other Americans in the press.

It’s not like the Israelis are being “attacked”, they aren’t, it’s just that they’re being asked to treat Palestinians like any other member of the world community, entitled to territorial integrity and the right to self-determination….something the Israelis demand for themselves and it’s not like the flotilla is armed with the latest and greatest existentially threatening military hardware. It’s not, but the histrionics of the Israelis and the American State dept cabal would have you believe otherwise.  So if you’re under the illusion that America looks out for its own, even those who may faithfully, patriotically and legally disagree with American policy, then dispel yourselves of that notion immediately.

 

You can be a barely naked cross dresser and ride several times on US Air, but if you’re a black male with a US Air ticket, bought and paid for who doesn’t pull up his pants fast enough you get arrested for trespassing


Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction and in the case of the male cross dresser who flies several times a month in scant women’s attire  for fun on US Air, with out any problems from airline personnel juxtaposed with a young African-America student athlete going back to his university after attending the funeral of a life long friend who was arrested by the pilot of a plane he boarded with his ticket, because he didn’t pull up his pants fast enough reads like something out of The Twilight Zone.

In the UK Muslims are better neighbors to have than many Christians who are deemed “militant”!


All we hear on this side of the pond is how Europe is being threatened by Muslim hordes hell bent on the destruction of Western society.  It seems, however that is Muslims who are preserving and honoring Western society more so than their Christian counterparts, if this article is to be believed.

“I think there’s an awful lot of noise about the Church being persecuted but there is a more real issue that the conventional churches face that the people who are really driving their revival and success believe in an old time religion which in my view is incompatible with a modern, multi-ethnic, multicultural society.

Muslim communities in this country are doing their damnedest to try to come to terms with their neighbours to try to integrate and they’re doing their best to try to develop an idea of Islam that is compatible with living in a modern liberal democracy.

The most likely victim of actual religious discrimination in British society is a Muslim but the person who is most likely to feel slighted because of their religion is an evangelical Christian.

Imagine that!

 

Glen Greenwald’s definition of terrorism is right on the money, really


He nails it and has nailed it for some time.  This is what he says

I’ve often written that Terrorism is the most meaningless, and thus most manipulated, term in American political discourse.  But while it lacks any objective meaning, it does have a functional one.  It means:  anyone — especially of the Muslim religion and/or Arab nationality — who fights against the United States and its allies or tries to impede their will.  That’s what “Terrorism” is; that’s all it means.  And it’s just extraordinary how we’ve created what we call ”law” that is intended to do nothing other than justify all acts of American violence while delegitimizing, criminalizing, and converting into Terrorism any acts of resistance to that violence….

it’s not remotely criminal that the U.S. attacked Iraq, spent 7 years destroying the country, and left at least 100,000 people dead.  To even suggest that American officials responsible for that attack should be held criminally liable is to marginalize oneself as a fringe and unSerious radical.  It’s not an idea that’s even heard, let alone accepted…..

The U.S. repeatedly tried to kill Saddam at the start of the Iraq War, and — contrary to Obama’s early pledges — has done the same to Gadaffi in Libya. NATO has explicitly declared Gadaffi to be a “legitimate target.”  But just imagine if an Iraqi had come to the U.S. and attempted to bomb the White House or kill George Bush, or if a Libyan (or Afghan, Pakistani, or Yemeni) did the same to Obama.  Would anyone in American political circles be allowed to suggest that this was a legitimate act of war?  Of course not:  screaming “Terrorism!” would be the only acceptable reaction.

I applaud Greenwald’s courage in taking a stand against the very obvious racist application of the terrorist term.  It’s use is meant to conjure up images of a ‘clash of civilizations’ where no such clash exists.  When one hears the term it can only mean one thing, the destruction of the values that we hold so dearly by Muslims who want to impose Sharia law on an unwitting population.  Quite frankly it is demagogic, designed to elicit a fear and loathing response that it’s hoped will drive America to systemically oppress a group of people based on their race and religion.  I renew my call for all good people of conscience to reject such grandstanding and bigoted behavior and to call it what it is, just like Greenwald, whenever the opportunity presents itself.

 

Alice Walker has a much better sense of history than Herman Cain! Maybe she should run for President


Reading and talking about "Why War is Nev...

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Alice Walker gets it, she understands her responsibility to humanity as a result of the struggles she and people before her went through in this country.

there is for me an awareness of paying off a debt to the Jewish civil rights activists who faced death to come to the side of black people in the South in our time of need. I am especially indebted to Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman who heard our calls for help – our government then as now glacially slow in providing protection to non-violent protestors-and came to stand with us.

They got as far as the truncheons and bullets of a few “good ol’ boys’” of Neshoba County, Mississippi and were beaten and shot to death along with James Cheney, a young black man of formidable courage who died with them. So, even though our boat will be called The Audacity of Hope, it will fly the Goodman, Cheney, Schwerner flag in my own heart.

And what of the children of Palestine, who were ignored in our President’s latest speech on Israel and Palestine, and whose impoverished, terrorized, segregated existence was mocked by the standing ovations recently given in the U.S. Congress to the prime minister of Israel?

I see children, all children, as humanity’s most precious resource, because it will be to them that the care of the planet will always be left. One child must never be set above another, even in casual conversation, not to mention in speeches that circle the globe.

As insightful as it can get. I admire someone who risks it all, including her life if we are to go on Israel’s past deeds towards such endeavors, to stand up for the rights of people and a cause that’s not politically correct. Perhaps Herman can and all the other demagogues of the GOP can learn a thing or two from Ms. Walker. The WSJ’s James Taranto’s claims of political correctness prohibiting him and others from advancing bigotry ring hollow when weighed against the moral certainty of Walker’s position. Respect!

The GOP is bad for business, which means they’re bad for America


The Republican Party encourages every form of ...

Image by Cornell University Library via Flickr

All the talk about terrorism and fighting a war on terrorism led to the biggest American deficit in the history of our country, under the direction of George W. Bush…..you remember him don’t you?  Well the GOP doesn’t want you to, because they’d rather blame Obama and the Muslims.  Turns out the Republicans are their own worse enemy, brilliantly executing the cutting off of their own nose to spite the face of American business and the American people, what with all their talk about “sharia” law.  It’s a natural extension, “sharia” law and the Repub’s attempts to scare you about it, to the war on terror.  This bit of news shouldn’t come as a surprise

Islamic finance is growing, but politics, and perhaps prejudice, might be hamstringing this business in the United States.

In the past few years bills have been introduced in at least 20 states to forbid courts from invoking foreign laws in rulings. Proponents have touted the bills as a way to prevent Sharia, a code derived from Islamic law, from becoming the law of the land — a risk that many attorneys say is nonexistent. Arizona, Louisiana and Tennessee have passed “Sharia ban” laws, which critics call a way of scoring political points by exploiting anti-Muslim sentiment.

It is unclear whether those laws would directly affect the growth of Islamic finance, which follows the tenets of Sharia law, such as a ban on paying interest. But at the very least, the political climate for Muslims is certainly not fostering a welcoming environment for what experts call an emerging market.

“The U.S. is behind. There is a strong and rapidly growing Muslim population,” said Steven Watts, a partner with KPMG’s financial services consulting practice in Toronto. “The holdup seems to be largely political, but it is to the detriment of the U.S.”

Watts said there are more opportunities, namely “ethical” investments that avoid putting money in gambling or alcohol and could appeal to Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

However, Sharia-compliant mortgages (which are permissible under Islamic law because they are structured as lease-back or co-ownership arrangements) are a great entrance to the Islamic finance world, he said.

“There’s not enough of a business to attract a major bank,” said Stephen Lange Ranzini, University’s president and chief executive officer. “It is a big enough niche for us to make a small profit.”

Ranzini said that while anti-Sharia legislation has largely been passed in states that have small Muslim populations, he sees it as harmful.

“Passing laws to ban Sharia when we have American soldiers in two Muslim countries and bases all across Europe where there are large minority Muslim populations is an ill-considered idea,” Ranzini said. “The people that are hyped up about this issue are just very uninformed.”

Ranzini said there are 300,000 Muslims in the United States who are renters, despite having the attributes of creditworthy borrowers.

“Bringing these Muslims onboard as homeowners is good public policy and would assist with solving the housing crisis,” Ranzini said.

’nuff said.

 

It’s time to call a spade a spade and a bigot a bigot


Muslim bashing by GOP candidates? Nothing new here
By John L. Esposito (I’m glad I’m not the only one who has noticed!)

It’s no surprise that two candidates could not resist playing the “Muslim card” in the recent GOP debate. The bigger surprise is that more candidates did not follow suit.

Park 51 (the plan to build the so-called mosque at ground zero) surfaced the deep roots of fear of Islam and Muslims and triggered a tsunami of hate crimes. Shariah has become the code word and symbol to exploit voters fears and engage in Islam and Muslim-bashing without any push-back because nobody, including most of the candidates, knows what it is. And lets us not forget the Peter King congressional hearings.

Poor Herman Cain knows shariah is a problem, but does not know what it is or why it is a problem? Cain is “uncomfortable” including a Muslim in his cabinet or having one as federal judge because “…there is creeping attempt to gradually ease Shariah Law and the Muslim faith into our government. It does not belong to our government.”

Cain insisted, “There have been instances in New Jersey and Oklahoma where Muslims did try to influence court decisions with Sharia Law.” Is he sure? If so, who, when and where? Why does fellow Republican Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey refuse to toe that line? Pressed in the debate as to why he would not be comfortable having a Muslim in his administration, he replied, ‘I wouldn’t be comfortable because you have peaceful Muslims and militant Muslims – those that are trying to kill us. I meant the ones that are trying to kill us.’ So would he appoint African Americans, Hispanics, Italian-Americans and members of other groups associated with past crime waves or whose members have been imprisoned for violent crimes?

Cain wants to question Muslims about their commitment to the Constitution “to make sure we have people committed to the Constitution working for this country.” But he wouldn’t do the same with Christians or Jews. So much for equality of all citizens.

Newt Gingrich could not afford to be “left” behind: “I’m in favor of saying to people, ‘If you’re not prepared to be loyal to the United States, you will not serve in my administration, period.’ We did this in dealing with the Nazis and we did this in dealing with the communists and it was controversial both times, and both times we discovered, after a while, there are some genuinely bad people who would like to infiltrate our country. And we have got to have the guts to stand up and say no.”

So ALL Muslims, not just an infinitely small number of terrorists, are to be compared to Nazis and communists? Is that the magnitude of the threat? Gingrich and Cain should be real patriots and turn over their evidence to the FBI, Justice Department, Homeland Security and local police because law enforcement offices certainly have not found evidence to support these allegations.

Surprisingly, Tim Pawlenty did not weigh in. Pawlenty has touted the fact that he shut down a program for Sharia compliant mortgages, a program whose creation his administration initially supported. Of course you can’t blame him because, like other candidates, he knows that many potential voters from the right wing of the Republican Party believe Sharia-compliant finance is part of a stealth jihad to subvert the Constitution.

The far right is long on fear mongering and short on providing supportive evidence. They ignore major polls by Gallup, Pew and others that show that the vast majority of Muslims are politically, economically middle class and educationally integrated into American society. Their desire not to be confused by the facts contributes to a growing climate of Islamophobia that has led to discrimination, hate crimes, violence, desecration of mosques and the violation of the civil liberties of Muslim Americans. Surveys have shown that Muslims are not looking to install Islamic law in the U.S., promote terrorism or undermine the American Constitution.

Let’s get it right. Should candidates address issues of national security and concerns about Muslim terrorists in America? Of course they should. What candidates have succumbed to is the exploitation of legitimate fear about domestic terrorism with the brush stroking (or perhaps better the tar and feathering) of a faith and the majority of its mainstream believers. Most states that have moved to pass anti-Shariah legislation have not acted because of a major Muslim attempt to replace American law with Islamic law. Indeed, as a mystified Muslim in North Dakota said when a legislator announced he would push for anti-sharia legislation: “There are only 2,000 of us in the entire state.” In fact, there are far more right wing politicians, political commentators and Islamophobes talking about Shariah than the vast majority of American Muslims who, like Jews and Christians and followers of other faiths, accept and follow the Constitution and American laws.

It’s time to call a spade a spade, a bigot a bigot and stop those who would resurrect the intolerance of the past and add Muslims to a long list of groups that has included Jews, African Americans, World War II Japanese Americans and others who have been victims of religious discrimination and racism.

If you think black people can’t be racist, look no farther than Herman Cain to dispel that notion


A 66 year old black man from the state of Georgia had this to say about Muslims.

You have peaceful Muslims, then you have militant Muslims, those that are trying to kill us…I was thinking about the ones that were trying to kill us.

I guess he forgot about the history of lynchings of people like him in his home state of Georgia by terrorists. Perhaps Mr. Cain doesn’t know the history of these terrorists whose tactics sound strikingly familiar to ones being used by members of Mr. Cain’s party today!

William J. Simmons renewed the KKK at a Stone Mountain, Georgia, ceremony in 1915. Later, Christian fundamentalist ministers aided recruitment as the Klan portrayed itself as the protector of traditional values during the Jazz Age.

As its membership grew into the millions in the 1920s, the Klan exerted considerable political influence, helping to elect sympathetic candidates to state and national offices. The group was strong not only in southern states such as Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas, but also in Oklahoma, California, Oregon, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York. Strongly opposed to non–Anglo-Saxon immigration, the Klan helped secure the passage of strict quotas on immigration. In addition to being racist, the group also espoused hatred of Jews, Catholics, socialists, and unions.

No doubt, Mr. Cain probably believes that black citizens of America wanted to be kept as slaves, so shallow and misguided is his understanding of his own history and that of his country, but what he says sounds good enough to enough Americans to be considered a serious contender to the Republican Party’s nomination!  And you thought we didn’t have a race problem in this country!

Assaulting adherents of a faith because of their religious texts is a funadmentally flawed concept for Christians


and here’s why.

the Bible overflows with “texts of terror,” to borrow a phrase coined by the American theologian Phyllis Trible. The Bible contains far more verses praising or urging bloodshed than does the Koran, and biblical violence is often far more extreme, and marked by more indiscriminate savagery….

portions of the Bible, by contrast, go much further in ordering the total extermination of enemies, of whole families and races – of men, women, and children, and even their livestock, with no quarter granted…..

Commands to kill, to commit ethnic cleansing, to institutionalize segregation, to hate and fear other races and religions . . . all are in the Bible, and occur with a far greater frequency than in the Koran.

and so it goes.  With all the Biblical references to death, murder, terror does that mean that Christians are terrorists and murderers and in order to preserve mankind we must institute collective punishment against all those who proclaim the Christian faith.  Such talk is ludicrous, yet it is the type of talk directed towards Muslims who have been living peacefully, relatively speaking, for decades if not centuries in North America.  The purveyors of this idea of collective punishment, a Biblical injunction ironically enough, claim that they are not racist or bigoted because Islam is an ideology, not a race, but they seek to make  illegal practices of Muslims associated with the Islamic religion, like the ritual washing before prayer, or even the prayer itself even when such actions are beneficial to the greater society and not just Muslims like interest free banking, and they claim this is not racism or bigotry?  It is the very definition of bigotry: intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself  and xenophobia.

To say that terrorists can find religious texts to justify their acts does not mean that their violence actually grows from those scriptural roots….The difference between the Bible and the Koran is not that one book teaches love while the other proclaims warfare and terrorism, rather it is a matter of how the works are read. Yes, the Koran has been ransacked to supply texts authorizing murder, but so has the Bible…If Christians or Jews want to point to violent parts of the Koran and suggest that those elements taint the whole religion, they open themselves to the obvious question: what about their own faiths? If the founding text shapes the whole religion, then Judaism and Christianity deserve the utmost condemnation as religions of savagery. Of course, they are no such thing; nor is Islam.

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

 

WSJ writer claims there’s political correctness in the media when it comes to Muslims and terrorism


I fell off my chair when I read what James Taranto  had to say in an article in the WSJ entitled Losing His Religion.  Taranto seems to think political correctness gets in his way as well as others in the news media from making the erroneous assumption that any act of terrorism must be committed by a Muslim and so news outlets didn’t want to say that Yonathan Melaku was Muslim.  I immediately fired off this comment to the editor:

Please stop inferring that media and others in the public sphere are hindered by political correctness or that you are either courageous for making the connection or victimized by a climate that oppresses you for saying this latest perpetrator was a Muslim, when neither is the case, especially after a week that began with Newt Gingrich insinuating that Muslims are like Nazis during a political appearance where no one spoke out against such blatant anti-Semitic remarks, or only a few days ago when Congressman Peter King held his radicalization hearings, for the second time, on Islam which spoke exclusively about the dangers Muslim inmates poise to the prison population and by inference to others not in prison. You are writing, according to BurrellesLuce in November of last year as ‘not only one of the few daily newspapers to post an increase in daily circulation during the year ending Sept. 30, 2010, but it also opened up a 230,000 lead over second-ranked USA Today.’ It takes no courage to write racist tinged op/ed pieces for a publication where other similarly minded people write with the result being a first place ranking among American publications. That’s not to say however, that others haven’t joined you in reciting the meme so often heard that not all Muslims are terrorists but all terrorists are Muslims, when they have and it doesn’t take a genius to realize such proclamations can result in profits for news organizations like yours and Fox. Unless you are Muslim, you are not a victim, so stop portraying yourself as one.

It’s been mentioned here in Miscellany101 more than a few times the terrorism appellation is a selective and discriminatory one that has come to be seen as applicable only to Muslim and that even when non-Muslims commit and are  motivated to commit the same crimes as those commonly associated with terrorism, they are given the politically correct pass-over from the media.  Members of the right however want to insist that people are intimidated into not saying what to Taranto and others like him think is the obvious that most if not all acts of terrorism are committed by Muslims.  I would like to remind him of this news story of just over a year ago which  took place at the Pentagon and resulted in the wounding of two officers of the law and the death of the “terrorist” and there was NO mention of Patrick Bedell’s Christian beliefs despite Taranto’s rantings to the contrary.

Peter King-At it again-Racism and bigotry in the US Congress


It should come as no surprise that King is back at hammering his racist meme of the threatening Muslim terrorist.  It’s probably an orgasmic experience for him to have the bright TV  lights and media attention on him while he makes his case for fear and instability in America.  It’s a tiring rehash of the racism America has for too long been accustomed. This time he wanted to focus on “radicalization” of Islam in the prisons, yet King didn’t call anyone from the federal Bureau of Prisons to make that case.  Instead he and his fellow GOP members along with a few experts repeated the same tired rhetoric for which little substantiation was given.  So because we’ve heard it all before, let’s read what others not so insanely committed to bigotry and divisiveness have to say.

There is no question that a congressional hearing, which targets an entire religion, is morally and strategically wrong-headed. First, it is un-American. This is not the America that I know and have helped build as a lifelong public servant. The America that I know has always provided refuge for those fleeing persecution, from early settlers to recent refugees. The America that I know does not hate and discriminate based on race, religion or creed.

Second, it is counterproductive. King is undermining his own objective. In hosting these hearings, King, as chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, has declared, erroneously, that the Muslim-American community does not partner actively enough to prevent acts of violence—or in the case of prisons, extremism. Despite the offensive and fallacious nature of King’s concern, given extensive evidence that contradicts his claim, the Homeland Security chairman’s strategy makes future partnerships unpalatable. (Rep. Michael Honda)

I think the purpose of King’s hearings is to call into question the Americanness of U.S. Muslims by branding their religion a threat to the nation. And once again I observe that we have been here before, including in 1855 when Protestants circulated an image of Pope Pius IX crumbling the Constitution in his right hand while plunging a sceptre into an American eagle with his left…..the “real issue” here is not the radicalization of Islam in U.S. prisons. It is the sacrifice of American values of liberty and tolerance on the altar of anti-Islamic prejudice. More specifically, it is the abuse of the coercive power of the federal government (something conservatives used to care about) to attack one religion and one religion only. (Stephen Prothero)

The American Muslim blog has an excellent rundown of the above articles and others that clearly show the bias intent of King’s hearings and the deleterious effect they have on American politics and policy.  The one thing King does well is appeal to the basic instincts of his constituents and ostensibly everyone else with the time worn vices of hatred and fear.  Again and again we see and hear that coming from the GOP who live on the premise that if you repeat a lie often enough it becomes believable or true. I got news for you King, baby…..that ain’t so!

Remember the Peace Dividend? You don’t?


How fast time and certain unpopular ideas fly. The peace dividend was a political slogan popularized by US President George H.W. Bush and UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the early 1990s, purporting to describe the economic benefit of a decrease in defense spending.  The term was frequently used at the end of the Cold War, when many Western nations, except ours, significantly cut military spending.  In fact even after the “Cold War” and the Gulf Wars you would think there would be plenty of opportunities for a “peace dividend”.  We killed Saddam Hussein….no peace dividend, we got rid of bin laden, no peace dividend. President Obama’s Pentagon 2011 budget was the most its ever been, over $700 billion.  Stay tuned.

Trouble spelled P-E-R-R-Y


Rick Perry, governor of Texas is trouble, no matter how you look at it.  He’s trouble for non-Christians and Christians alike, especially after his recent announcements here where he encroaches on everyone’s constitutional right to freedom of religion by proclaiming ‘there’s hope if people will seek out the living Christ.’ One can only guess what happens if you don’t seek out Christ….despair, hopelessness, darkness…..which leads me to Perry’s other troubling announcement, where he likens himself to a prophet!?!  So Prophet Perry wants to convert you to the living Christ, and refusing to accept his invitation means what for you the citizen of Texas and/or the United States?  Does this imagery come to mind to any of you, from a time when someone else maybe foisted upon  himself such divinity?

 

Too Many Strings Attached


The Egyptian government has decided not to accept any funds from Washington to help it along with its democratization after the overthrow, somewhat peacefully I might add, of former president Hosni Mubarak.  The government has warned non-governmental organizations not to accept money from Washington saying doing so only undermines the security of Egypt at a very delicate time in its history.  Normally that would be good advice and even Americans should be happy that an ally is not extending its hand during our hard times but removing Washington’s ability to control the internal politics of a country once under its sway is most likely an anathema to career politicians who will use such information as this to start to discredit the Egyptian government.  Let’s not forget elections have not taken place in Egypt yet; it is still under the control of the  military which means any rejection of US aid could merely be posturing on Egypt’s part.  Moreover there may be some things that have to be addressed as far as Washington is concerned before such aid is actually given, or perhaps more sinisterly such aid is extended to lay the seeds for future discord should things not go according to Washington’s plan.  For now, Egypt with a history that dates Americas by several centuries has declared itself independent of American money, and that’s a good thing for them and us.

Agenda Driven Terror


America with enough manly men to populate the planet Earth is the most scared country in the world when it comes to terrorism, terrorists and terror, or at least that’s what government wants you to think.  We are a country where even our women are manly men; we have two women running for President who think they can do a better job than the present occupant and one of them has even been heard telling other men to put their man pants on before going off to work, a sort of way of encouraging men who might otherwise not be up to the task of being men.  However, when it comes to brown or funny named people we just loose all sense of proportionality and turn to government, which always solves problems by throwing money at things, to calm us down and protect us.  Tom Engelhardt talks about this phenomenon in his article, The 100% Doctrine in Washington.

…in the near decade since 9/11, while hundreds of Americans died from E. coli, and at least 30,000 from food-borne illnesses generally, only a handful of Americans, perhaps fewer than 25, have died from anything that might be considered a terror attack in this country….in the near decade since 9/11, while hundreds of Americans died from E. coli, and at least 30,000 from food-borne illnesses generally, only a handful of Americans, perhaps fewer than 25, have died from anything that might be considered a terror attack in this country.

…in only one area of life are Americans officially considered 100% scared, and so 100% in need of protection, and that’s when it comes to terrorism. Having lost its communist super-enemy in 1991, it now lives, breathes, and grows on its self-proclaimed responsibility to protect Americans 100% of the time, 100% of the way, from any imaginable terror threat. The National Security Complex has, in fact, grown fat by relentlessly pursuing the promise of making the country totally secure from terrorism, even as life grows ever less secure for so many Americans when it comes to jobs, homes, finances, and other crucial matters.  It is on this pledge of protection that the Complex has managed to extort the tidal flow of funds that have allowed it to bloat to monumental proportions, end up with a yearly national security budget of more than $1.2 trillion, find itself encased in a cocoon of self-protective secrecy, and be 100% assured that its officials will never be brought to justice for any potential crimes they may commit in their “war” on terrorism.

Right now, even in the worst of economic times, the Department of Homeland Security, the Pentagon, and the sprawling labyrinth of competing bureaucracies that likes to call itself the U.S. Intelligence Community are all still expanding.….Any potential act of terrorism simply feeds the system, creating new opportunities to add yet more layers to one bureaucracy or another, or to promote new programs of surveillance, control, and war-making — and the technology that goes with them.  Every minor deviation from terror safety, even involving plots that failed dismally or never had the slightest chance of success, is but an excuse for further funding.

We have been conditioned to gasp and cry for help whenever we hear about an act of terror or an impending act, even though bin Laden is dead.  The military complex has managed to dredge up some others who are equally frightening, ominous and reason for continued vigilance at the expense of American tax dollars.  It doesn’t matter that we have placed ourselves in harms way on the soil of countries that were heretofore not our enemies but have since become after our destruction of their infrastructure and way of life.  Their anger only serves to emphasize, in some perverse way, the need for our continued presence in their country with the possibility of expansive forays into their neighboring countries. 

At a time when the opposition is talking about ways of reducing government they make no mention of pairing down the military complex that Engelhardt talks about, instead choosing to reduce the over trillion dollar deficit, much of it because of militarization on the backs of the elderly and the poor.  We’ve managed to look the other way while the Pentagon robbed us and our allies of billions of dollars as well as investment bankers like Bernie Madoff, who made the Pentagon look like petty thieves, who made away with another couple of hundred billion all under and during the fog of war on terror.  The major players of this shell game, the where did the money go, have managed to escape into obscurity untouched while finger pointing goes on in ways that are so funny it’s pathetic.   Yet there are several constants that remain throughout and that is, terror can only be committed by people of color with funny sounding names who we need to eliminate and whatever other acts of criminality take place on American soil are reason enough for an ever increasing federal government determined to grow even bigger, and less efficient at taxpayers’ expense.  There are a lot of players who are guilty of keeping you stupefied.  Please discover who they are, so you can remove the blinders.

Weiner’s lying demeanor


Some people can get away with the most ignominious of crimes with the simple excuse the devil made me do it.  Flip Wilson used that line for years as a comedian and got plenty of laughs with it, but it’s not funny now in regards to Anthony Weiner who has decided to get help in order to be a better husband and a healthier person.  What kind of help that is, or where he’s going, news reports don’t say and they needn’t.  Whatever he does short of resigning, something most members of the Democratic party’s higher echelon have called for, will not satisfy the cries for his immediate departure nor will justice be served.  I don’t care that most of his constituents want him to stay, the irritating and common thread of his story and the many that have gone before him is the idea that he is otherwise perfect but is now  somehow sick and needs help, that his actions weren’t calculated and well thought out but rather impulsive or due to a suddenly appearing imperfection that can be cured.  It’s really an arrogant excuse that inherently places the one that uses it above everyone else, chosen as it were to be head and shoulders above all others but who has now suffered a fall from Grace. The imperfection that drove Weiner to descend into the bowels of humanity to this recent bad judgment is  simply his  humanity.  We all have given in to the dark side of human behavior in one way or another, either grandiosely or insignificantly and thereby acted inappropriately by some measure or other, but such lapses in moral judgment come with a price….especially for those who are in the public eye.

Moreover, why is Weiner dragging himself, his family his colleagues and his constituents through all this drama and revelation about his embarrassing behavior.  What is it about a person that makes them so insensitive to the pain they cause others even at their own expense that they inflict this emotional trauma upon themselves and by extension us repeatedly?  Perhaps it is the same ethos that drives them towards the political and very public spotlight.  Conversely, it is the personality trait that leads to their downfall. Weiner isn’t sick, he just let run loose inhibitions he didn’t want to control.  In that sense he’s just like everyone else and equally he must face the consequences of his actions.  Kudos to a unified Democratic party leadership that is calling for his resignation.  It’s sad scandal united the Democratic party;that seems to be the way of politics these days.  Weiner go home and stay there!

The Face of American Terrorism


American based terrorism doesn’t get much mention in mainstream media, maybe because those who are responsible for it in many cases reflect the ethnicity of those who write about terrorism.  I mean it’s much easier to call someone who looks different from you and has a funny name a terrorist than it is to call your next door neighbor or the person who attends your church or synagogue one.  Janet Napolitano knows a thing or two about what happens to people who take an even handed approach to this issue of homegrown terrorism because she was excoriated in the media by pundits for a 2009 report released by Homeland Security entitled, Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment. Because there’s no mention of Islam in the title, the report was denounced by many across the political spectrum.  Media Matters does a pretty nice job of detailing the arguments of some of the people opposed to labelling American terrorism just that, and their analysis can be found here.  Needless to say, the 2009 report doesn’t follow the meme so often repeated in public discourse that ‘all terrorists are Muslim’ because such a statement is false on its face, racially charged and bigoted.

Do you know who the people pictured above are?  They are members of Hutaree who see law enforcement as the enemy and  they planned to kill a police officer, possibly at a traffic stop, and then attack the funeral procession to kill more officers. Sounds much like terrorism to me, but instead these folks were charged with seditious conspiracy against the government, attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and possessing a firearm during a crime of violence.  Ever  hear of the group The Sovereign Citizen?  You can see for yourself the width and breadth of this group across the country here.  The FBI has a full page on them which says in essence they do not feel bound to obey the laws of America, do everything to circumvent the law up to and including murder of public officials and the destruction of government institutions.  The ubiquitous federal government isn’t the only entity to see the danger Sovereign Citizen members present to the general public.  A local Texas sheriff, Chief Smith has issued his  own terrorism warning saying in part

Chief Smith wants the Citizens to be aware that these people could be practicing their beliefgs in this area.  Chief Smith warns that these persons have the potential to act out in very violent manners with both citizens and law enforcement if the contact with them is negative.

The Chief has every reason to be concerned.  Just last week a ‘sovereign citizen’ in Florida, claiming he “did not have to follow the law or obey law enforcement officers” fired an AK-47 weapon at a store after calling them repeatedly to demand a product they did not have.  Larry Kelly then led law enforcement officials on a chase through the city of Ensley, Florida before being captured.  Again, last week another ‘sovereign citizen’ Matthew O’Neill was arrested after sending a white powder substance to the Colorado Department of Revenue which was dealing with his tax issues.  It doesn’t take a genius to understand the significance of that in post 911 America does it?  Then it was an act of terrorism, now it’s a disgruntled tax case.  But ‘sovereign citizen’ encounters with the law have also been deadly.  What’s significant is if one were to replace each of the above linked news stories with someone’s Arabic name or reference to their religious belief it would be a sure indicator of their terrorist inclinations, BUT absent such identifying tags, while still abhorrent and deadly, the acts are crimes which we have all too often been accustomed, absent the accompanying terrorism hysteria.  Conservatives have for some time bemoaned the increase in laws on the books to handle what they consider situations already adequately addressed in law, yet many on the right are the first to claim the need for increased laws to save America from ‘sharia law’, for instance to the presence of municipally approved places of worship to articles of clothing to any number of other things associated with Islam and Muslims in America. This is the dilemma America faces today; how to deal with the hypocrisy and demagoguery of politicians and political parties, such as the Republican  and Tea Party, while still legitimately addressing the role of the rule of law.  What’s good for the goose IS good for the gander as well.  It’s either all terrorism or it’s not, but most likely chances are it will not be classified terrorism, especially by the main stream media, as long as people who write about it look like the people above who perpetuate it.

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