Saudi racism revisited


In an earlier post, I railed against Saudi racism because of its insidious and destructive as well as anti-Islamic nature. One point from the editorial that particularly caused my ire was this

…. in most Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia most foreigners rarely interact with locals and if they do, they communicate in a language, which is a mix of badly spoken Arabic and sign language. It could be termed gibberish.

I found this video on YouTube which completely demolishes the argument of the author of that piece.

I regretfully conclude however, that no matter how good the person in the video above speaks Arabic he will never be given the chance for full and equal citizenship rights in any Arab Gulf/Khaleeji country because he’s not a ‘true Arab’.  Doesn’t that sound too much like all the other racists ideologies we’ve fought and overcome in the past?!?

Does this Youtube video threaten the national security of the UAE?


 

Someone there thinks so!

Living black in America


Was Lara Logan’s husband behind the infamously incorrect 60 Minutes piece on Benghazi


The 60 Minutes hatchet job that Lara Logan aired last month and then had to retract because it was based on a lie was most likely based on information fed to her and her colleagues not by the person she interviewed on air, but most likely by the person she sleeps with at home.  Notice how Joseph W. Burkett, Logan’s husband, who has a shady background and an unnamed employer is a stay at home dad with nannies and hired help; shades of David Petraeus and Paula Broadwell where authors of the printed word meet commanders of  military might to produce fanciful fiction designed to encourage imperialism.  In Logan’s case both inhabit the same dwelling.

Nobody at 60 Minutes has been fired or even publicly disciplined for its odd, inflammatory and dead-wrong October 27 story on the Islamist assault in Benghazi that killed U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. But it has apologized. That mea culpa, however, left some large and troubling questions unanswered; the most important one is how CBS’s superstar correspondent, Lara Logan, her producer and other network news executives let security contractor Dylan Davies on the air with his explosive tale about what he did and saw during that attack.

While Davies was the central on-camera personality in that report, the most interesting figure in this mystery was never on screen, nor listed as a contributor to the piece. It is Logan’s husband, Joseph W. Burkett, a former Army sergeant and onetime employee of a private intelligence outfit hired by the Pentagon to plant pro-U.S. stories in the Iraqi media in 2005.

One recent account implied that Burkett, 42, was the Svengali behind the now infamous story that pinned responsibility for the Benghazi attack on al Qaeda, without citing any sources.

“He was an employee of the Lincoln Group, a now-shuttered ‘strategic communications and public relations firm’ hired by the Department of Defense in 2005 to plant positive stories written by American soldiers in Baghdad newspapers during the Iraq War,” the website Gawker reported.

The Gawker account also implied Burkett was a key operator in the covert action. A source intimately familiar with Burkett’s family told Newsweek that he regularly suggested he was some sort of super-spook.

According to an internal company document obtained by Newsweek, the Lincoln Group specialized in producing films, news clips, and print stories in Baghdad that would be fed to the media through cutouts on an unattributed basis, making them appear as originating from legitimate news organizations.

During the 2006 battle for Fallujah, “Our development of documentaries of the Fallujah campaign and our ability to develop non-Coalition attributable messages enabled us to reach out to the Iraqi audience,” the document says. “This multifaceted project produced content for Western, Arab, and Iraqi audiences and is still ongoing. For each audience we have identified content and formatting that is appropriate andnon-attributable to the actual source.” (Italics added.)

But others who claim to have known Burkett in Baghdad paint a starkly different portrait of the former enlisted man, one more akin to the role Steve McQueen played as a gofer for army supply sergeant Jackie Gleason in Soldier in the Rain.

According to a source intimately familiar with his family, Burkett routinely implied, without foundation, that he was a key player in classified operations in Iraq.

“He’s what we call a puffer – he puffs himself up,” said the source, on condition of anonymity. “He alluded to top-secret work, but he didn’t make as much money as a truck driver over there. He had some kind of minuscule position.… He was kind of an errand person or something like that.”

Besides, the source says, “People who are spies don’t really tell people they’re spies.”

When Logan and Burkett began their affair in Baghdad, he was married and she was in a relationship. They were married in 2008. “I knew him for about six years before we got together,” she told The New York Times in a soft-focus feature in 2012. “He had a very secretive job, and I always respected that. I know tons of people in that world, and I never ask them questions because it’s a violation right there.”

“He never crossed my boundaries,” Logan said of Burkett. “I never crossed his.”

After Logan was named CBS’s chief foreign correspondent, she purchased a $1.5 million home in D.C., which she now shares with Burkett and their two children. When asked for comment on Wednesday at the couple’s Cleveland Park home, Burkett angrily ushered me out the door. (CBS also declined to comment.)

Since returning from Iraq, Burkett appears to have cut ties with Lincoln and its various corporate permutations, but he has clearly kept a hand in the world of security contractors. In 2011, according to Texas public records, he was listed as “managing member” of Janus Lares Associates, an Austin-based ammunition dealer. (Burkett is from a prominent family in Kerrville.) In 2011, he was also named as the “governing person” of Sakom Services LLC in San Marcos, Texas, which lists an office in the UAE, whose owner-director is Justin Penfold, a U.K.-based “subject matter expert in the security industry” with experience in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Whatever Burkett is doing now, it doesn’t appear to be a full-time job. When New York Times reporter Sally Singer interviewed Logan at her home last year, she identified Burkett as a “work-at-home Congressional liaison,” without noting his employer. When I spoke to him midday on Wednesday, Burkett was home in jeans and a T-shirt, having just emerged from the shower, helping take care of the couple’s two kids with paid helpers in the kitchen and the backyard.

“Congressional liaison” is another way of saying lobbyist, but a search of public records did not reveal Burkett’s name. Nor did his name pop up in a search of the Justice Department’s registered foreign agents.

None of this would matter or even be a topic of conversation had Logan’s Benghazi story not included so many errors, documented most thoroughly by McClatchy Newspaper’s Cairo correspondent Nancy A. Youssef.

The unmasking of security contractor Davies as a fabricator was the starting point for Youssef and other critics, but what stood out for them was Logan’s unsourced allegations pinning responsibility for the attack solely on al Qaeda, and in particular, operatives with close ties to Osama Bin Laden. The effect of such allegations is to once again undermine the Obama administration’s position that the attack had local origins and came as a surprise, and that all that made rescuing the besieged Americans very difficult, if not impossible. And the 60 Minutes broadcast was hardly off the air when South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham, a persistent critic of the administration for its handling of the Benghazi attack, declared he would block all of Obama’s nominations for government posts until he got more answers.

The State Department and CIA have conducted extensive internal investigations that, to unbiased observers, persuasively debunk charges of an orchestrated cover-up of the events in Benghazi.

Asked about the 60 Minutes report this week, a senior U.S. intelligence official toldNewsweek that, based on what U.S. intelligence has learned, “members of several militia groups and al Qaeda linked affiliates participated in the attack.” However, he added on the condition of anonymity, since he was discussing a still-sensitive matter, “even though it has yet to be determined who called the shots, I have not seen any credible information that it was core al Qaeda.”

So why did Logan put that story on the air? Her pro-military bias is as well known, but so is her mettle – she’s worked in some of those most dangerous parts of war-ravaged Iraq, Afghanistan, and Egypt, where she was sexually assaulted by a mob. She won an Emmy for one of her Iraq reports.

In other words, she’s a smart, tough, experienced reporter. And the producer and writers and reporters who helped her put this Benghazi story together are honored, respected professionals, many of whom have been covering the region for years. Whoever fooled them, whoever convinced them that al Qaeda orchestrated that attack on the U.S. embassy, had to be smart, incredibly persuasive and savvy about the media. And unquotable.

In other words, an intelligence source. And the person closest to Logan with those credentials is her husband. But he’s not talking.

Saudi racism


English: Saudi Arabia

English: Saudi Arabia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The following editorial is not unique to Saudi Arabia, rather it’s an Arab Gulf mentality that is steeped in tribalism and nationalism and from the looks of the comments generates intense feelings among many of the people who live there.  I remarked after reading it, what would the king of Abyssinia or the people of Medina say to the nascent Islamic community that came to them seeking shelter from the oppression of the Quraish; would there even be an Islamic community if they were not afforded freedom from oppression that all mankind is entitled?  If these two diverse communities of faithful….the Christian king of then Abyssinia or the at that time faithless people of Medina (Yathrib) had not been forthcoming with this fundamental right would there even be a Saudi Arabia today?  Of course one could not know that….but equally certain, the all encompassing faith of Islam cannot coexist with the racialism of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Read on and then take time to read the comments posted after the article

Since the beginning of the campaign against illegal workers, some foreigners who were born in the Kingdom or spent years working here have started calling on the authorities to consider granting them Saudi citizenship.
Those born in the Kingdom argue that they have spent most of their lives here, speak Arabic and adapted to its culture. They say it would be very difficult to adjust in their home countries.
This sounds to be a valid argument if one was born in a developed industrialized nation. In those countries, a foreigner makes efforts to assimilate in society by learning local languages and adapting to its ways of life.
However, in most Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia most foreigners rarely interact with locals and if they do, they communicate in a language, which is a mix of badly spoken Arabic and sign language. It could be termed gibberish. Moreover, almost every ethnic group lives nearly in complete isolation from the rest of the local community, and other ethnic groups. Every group lives in self-designated neighborhoods busy with its communal activities. For instance, Ethiopians mostly inhabit Riyadh’s neighborhood Manfouha.
In such neighborhoods, there are community schools that only teach their own curriculum instead of using Saudi textbooks. The students only engage with those from the same ethnic background and are deprived of any possibility of interacting with Saudi children. Moreover, communal activities are limited to the same group, including social visitations and functions, as well as religious celebrations, such as Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha. These communities even have their medial care and business systems, which cater specifically to their needs. How could a person living in such a social and economic setup hopes to become a Saudi, not to mention if that person is living illegally in the country?
On the other hand, there are those who claim that they have lived long years in the country enough to earn the right to Saudi citizenship. But for decades they have taken away jobs that rightfully belong to the Saudis and yet they demand citizenship.
In my opinion, it would be a grave mistake to grant foreigners Saudi citizenship on any basis. These demands run counter to the objectives of Saudization of the labor market, which is controlled by foreigners with skills that can be found among the local population or Saudis can be trained to occupy these jobs.
Observers may recall that when the new naturalization law was introduced a few years back, the naturalized citizens were flocking to government’s financial institutions seeking loans of all types and to even avail themselves of the benefits of Hafez, a program that provides monthly stipends to the unemployed. One can obviously conclude that the primary purpose for seeking citizenship is to acquire monetary benefits rather than a genuine sentiment of belonging to the Saudi society. We have seen in the past that thousands of foreigners succeeded in obtaining Saudi citizenship and most of them started their businesses in various areas. Interestingly, when one visits their establishments, one would find people belonging to their native countries only.
This situation has been exacerbated by the investment law that permitted foreigners with almost trivial financial resources to invest in projects that have no added value to the economy or in the employment of Saudis. Nevertheless, they are eligible to receive all economic benefits. One of the consequences of opening doors to foreign investors is that they began operating as monopolies. Ubiquitously known among Saudis, each ethnic group controls a particular type of trade, and does not like outside competition. When a Saudi decides to start a new business, such groups work to drive this person out of business or force him to sell his business project to the group. Moreover, these ethnically dominated businesses only hire staff belonging to the same group. In case they hire a Saudi national, it is because of the labor law, and eventually this person would be driven out of his job by creating uncomfortable environment or by alienating and undermining his skills and potentials.
The local press frequently reports the same methods being practiced by most foreigners at managerial or mid-level positions in the private sector. It is not hard to imagine what such elements would do to Saudis if they were granted citizenship.
The Saudi education system and various training programs have produced thousands of competent graduates for the job market. They can easily occupy most of the managerial and mid-level jobs currently occupied by individuals from the developing countries. Hence, the cause of the massive unemployment of Saudis is not due to a lack of skills; it is because of an unfriendly environment and the continuous undermining of the skills and potentials of the Saudi youth by foreigners, pushing them away from their rightful jobs.

Courage


Sarajevo_Muslim_Jewish_Veil_Yellow_Star

Muslim veiled woman, Zejneba Hardaga (right) and Jewish woman, Rivka Kalb (2nd from right) and her children (with beret) are guided on the streets of Sarajevo in 1941. Zejneba covered the yellow star on the Rivka’s left arm with her veil. Bahrija Hardasa, sister-in-law of Zejneba, is on the far left.

 

Hat tip-Loonwatch

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rights

You’ve heard of the Arab spring, now meet the Arab irony


Early this month I noted that this article met the classic definition of demagoguery for obvious reasonsemiratis

In January 2011, Bahrain’s labour minister at the time warned against the massive presence of foreigners in the Gulf, saying that their social, cultural and political threats could be intensified by the private economy they set up…….
Even if all unemployed people in Bahrain find jobs, there will be foreigners in the country, a fact that necessitates appropriate measures, Al Alawi said………
“We do support the rights of foreigners, but we need to be aware that the presence of more than 15 million expatriates in the Gulf countries is a serious threat to the local demography. Such a huge number is also a security threat.”

….and there it is. Expats are threats and we all know what countries do to threats!! There’s no doubt to this observer that while these are the words of a Bahraini they no doubt mirror what others believe in the Gulf and on the Arabian Peninsula……that piece of ground that too many Arabs/Muslims who live there claim is holy but treat as a testing ground for their special brand of nationalism.

They have forgotten their historical perspective which was far more inclusive than their narrow minded versions of statehood allow them to grasp. There would be no Islamic state if the citizens of Medina/Yathrib weren’t accepting, embracing of the people of Mecca and the Prophet of Islam. Islam would no doubt have died in the city limits of Mecca as the nascent Muslim community was faced with increasingly hostile and aggressive opposition to their message which culminated in the assassination plot against Muhammad. What would have been the history of the world had Medina’s citizens stopped immigrating Meccans from entering the city?
emiratisation

But that’s just the beginning of Gulf Arabs’ demogoguery Their other problem is their citizens can’t find jobs, the implication being that it’s the “massive presence of foreigners” taking jobs away from locals

The head of an ad-hoc committee on Emiratisation at the Federal National Council says unemployment among Emiratis is a national security issue, describing unemployed young people as “a scarred and lost generation”.
“Young jobless Emiratis can be victims of late marriage, drug abuse and despair. Their future now seems tainted, which threatens economic growth and social stability,” said Hamad Al Rahoumi, a member from Dubai…….Stressing that the jobless rate for youth in the UAE which employs millions of foreign workers is very high, Al Rahoumi said it is unacceptable by all standards for the Government to keep Emiratis unemployed.

There are those pesky foreign workers again, getting in the way of the employment of local citizens. No one in the Gulf wants to consider the obvious, however

Qualified undersecretaries are wanted for at least seven UAE ministries, but the high-profile job has been vacant for years now because of what one minister said was lack of qualified candidates……“Is it because the UAE lacks qualified career public servants, shortage of funds to finance their salaries, or lack of interest on the part of citizens to take on the job?” Al Katbi (Mosabeh Saeed Al Katbi, a member of the Federal National Council from Sharjah) asked.
Al Katbi told Gulf News, when asked, a minister who happened to attend a parliamentary debate of a public issue, said he did not find a qualified person to fill the vacant job.

So, in the case of the United Arab Emirates, Emiratis can’t find other Emiratis who are either interested in or qualified for under secretary jobs in their government……which has nothing at all to do with foreigners in their country but rather in the will of the people who have had that will blunted by an excessive amount of wealth which they’ve used to buy people who have done everything for them for far too long.

The other parody comes from Egypt which after the coup which overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood government of Muhammad Morsy became a close ally of the Gulf states. The present government is now brutally persecuting students who are protesting the military coup with what some say are heavy, unprecedented sentences

Cairo’s misdemeanor court sentenced on Wednesday twelve pro-Mosry students from Al-Azhar University to 17 years in prison on charges related to off-campus rioting in October….Defendants were also ordered to pay a bail of LE64,000 (US$9,300) each. The recent unprecedented sentence against University students is likely meant to be a tough warning message for any Muslim Brotherhood (MP) supporter whether off or on campus that “the judiciary will sharpen its teeth against any MB protests”…..

The present Egyptian government depended on student involvement to justify military intervention which resulted in toppling Morsi, yet now it is stifling students who are protesting the coup. Of course the “students” are different in each case, but the constant is Arab democracy which really isn’t democracy after all but rather totalitarianism.

Lara Logan in the news again?!?


Lara-Logan

Yes she is and it’s because of that disastrous segment she did on 60 Minutes about the attack in Benghazi.  That story was one of many concocted by Obama’s opposition to show the ineptitude of the administration but like so many of the other stories it shriveled and died because there essentially was nothing there.  That hasn’t stopped members of the #DemonicGOP or the press, especially FoxNews from regurgitating stale and inaccurate assertions and rallying politicians to join in the chorus of ‘just how bad the Obama administration is’.

Logan’s hit piece for 60 Minutes however tops the cake and is a case study of how low she and CBS News have gone to imitate the yellow journalism of the conservative opposition.  I remarked how (T)his is on the magnitude of FoxNews if not worse, before I learned CBS News is now being run by someone who once worked for FoxNews.

Few seem to realize that a former Fox News exec became the head of the CBS News in February 2011.  He is David Rhodes…….

Rhodes began his career as a Production Assistant at the newly-launched Fox News Channel in 1996, where he later became Vice President of News. At the network he managed coverage of three presidential elections, wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, hurricanes including Katrina, and was the channel’s Assignment Manager on the news desk the morning of September 11, 2001.

Brit Humes of FoxNews has even gone on record to attest to Rhodes’ bona fides as a conservative journalist. What Logan et. co did was to base their story on what happened in Benghazi the night a US diplomat was killed on the word of a liar they knew was a liar before they even put him on the air!

In the “60 Minutes” interview, Davies described scaling the compound’s 12-foot wall during the attack and knocking one terrorist fighter to the ground with the butt of his rifle. He also spoke about seeing Stevens dead in the hospital, and said Stevens had expressed security concerns just hours before the attack.

But The Post obtained an incident report from Sept. 14, 2012, that revealed Davies provided his employer with a written account of the events that differed greatly from what he said on “60 Minutes”

In other words the source for 60 Minutes segment on how terrible the Obama administration handled the Benghazi affair lied….the segment therefore, was a lie and it was produced under the tutelage of a former FoxNews executive. The symbiosis of conservative ideology with journalism has never been more stark than with this example.    Let’s be clear on one thing, the time line; the source’s account of what he did and what took place that fateful day was clearly on record for CBS to verify before they aired his interview.  He had a written account on record three days after the Benghazi tragedy that was completely contradictory to his TV account that CBS knew about but ignored.

But in a written account that Jones, whose real name was confirmed as Dylan Davies by several officials who worked with him in Benghazi, provided to his employer three days after the attack, he told a different story of his experiences that night.

In Davies’s 21 / 2-page incident report to Blue Mountain, the Britain-based contractor hired by the State Department to handle perimeter security at the compound, he wrote that he spent most of that night at his Benghazi beach-side villa. Although he attempted to get to the compound, he wrote in the report, “we could not get anywhere near . . . as roadblocks had been set up.”

He learned of Stevens’s death, Davies wrote, when a Libyan colleague who had been at the hospital came to the villa to show him a cellphone picture of the ambassador’s blackened corpse. Davies wrote that he visited the still-smoking compound the next day to view and photograph the destruction.

The State Department and GOP congressional aides confirmed that Davies’s Sept. 14, 2012, report, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Post, was included among tens of thousands of documents turned over to lawmakers by the State Department this year.

Were it not for the due diligence of those in print media, CBS would have let their source’s own handwritten account which contradicted what they broadcast  remain swept under the rug; the apology Logan issued was sorrow at being caught, which brings me to the other aspect of this story.

Lara Logan has been the water boy/girl and a strident supporter for super power imperial adventures for a very long time.

Logan sounds like the most devoted member of McChyrstal’s P.R. staff or even his family…..Logan has done good and courageous reporting over the years, but she clearly sees herself as part of the government and military, rather than an adversarial watchdog over it

I took a shot at Logan on the pages of Miscellany101

It’s second nature to her, it’s her job to blur distinctions and make things equivalent when they are not.

Logan like so many others on todays’ airwaves is there to sell news and anyway that can be done to make it attractive, sexy, glamorous is what news executives want.  They are not interested in the truth and they will use anyone/thing at their disposal to increase reader/viewership.  Logan is a tool of corporate media….a misplaced, misused one.  In this latest mishap she has relegated herself to the pile of irrelevance.

George Bush today


Jewish Bible InstituteImagine, we elected this man as president twice!  He couldn’t bring on the apocalypse as president so he’s trying to do it as an ex-president?

Next week, former President George W. Bush is scheduled to keynote a fundraiser in Irving, Texas, for the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute, a group that trains people in the United States, Israel, and around the world to convince Jews to accept Jesus as the Messiah. The organization’s goal: to “restore” Israel and the Jews and bring about about the second coming of Christ.

Bush would not be able to engage in such activity as president because it certainly be viewed as a violation of the First Amendment separation of church and state rights but pursuing such an agenda as a private citizen can only make one ask is this the true George W. Bush?  But isn’t this what Christianity believes, that no one can be saved unless they accept Jesus as their savior?  In that regard Bush is doing nothing more than what his religion demands.  The notion that people aren’t good enough as they already are however, is an idea that has to be abandoned if we are to live as citizens of America.

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hijab

Fareed nailed this one….


When I first read the news headline that Saudi Arabia declined a seat on the United Nations Security Council my first reaction was who cares?  Citing the UN’s inability to solve the Syrian conflict and how Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime continues to kill its one people, including with chemical weapons, without facing any punishment Saudi Arabia has some nerve.  Syria opened itself up tosaudi_arabia_map inspection in ways the Kingdom would never dare do; chemical weapons are no longer an issue there and yes Syria is still embroiled in a civil war but it’s really a matter of degree.  What Middle Eastern Arab country is NOT killing or otherwise oppressing its citizens?  Fareed states the case rather well.

Saudi Arabia was one of only three countries in the world to recognize and support the Taliban-led government in Afghanistan until the 9/11 attacks……

Saudi Arabia’s objections to the Obama Administration’s policies toward Syria and Iran are not framed by humanitarian concerns for the people of those countries. They are rooted in a pervasive anti-Shi’ite ideology. Riyadh has long treated all other versions and sects of Islam as heresy and condoned the oppression of those groups. A 2009 report from Human Rights Watch details the ways in which the Saudi government, clerics, religious police and schools systematically discriminate against the local Shi’ite population, including arrests, beatings and, on occasion, the use of live ammunition. (And not just the Shi’ites. In March 2012, Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti issued a fatwa declaring that it was “necessary to destroy all the churches in the Arabian Peninsula.”)……

Saudi royals have been rattled by the events in their region and beyond. They sense that the discontent that launched the Arab Spring is not absent in their own populace. They fear the rehabilitation of Iran. They also know that the U.S. might very soon find itself entirely independent of Middle Eastern oil.

Given these trends, it is possible that Saudi Arabia worries that a seat on the U.N. Security Council might constrain it from having freedom of action. Or that the position could shine a light on some of its more unorthodox activities. Or that it could force Riyadh to vote on issues it would rather ignore.

The US must learn to say to all those in the Middle East that America will act to preserve its interests and sometime they will not concur with those of our allies in which case we must be able to say good riddance, so long and if an ally has a conniption fit because America is doing something that ally doesn’t like the US must stay the course of whatever interest it has embraced, all others be damned.

 

This is what was said in the American work place


incogniyo

“Hey, wassup, you half nigger piece of shit.  I saw you on Twitter, you been training 10 weeks. [I want to] shit in your fucking mouth. [I’m going to] slap your fucking mouth. [I’m going to] slap your real mother across the face [laughter]. Fuck you, you’re still a rookie. I’ll kill you.”

This isn’t solely about using a racial pejorative, it’s about a pattern of conduct that went on in the work place for a very long time and one’s employer did nothing to solve the problem. What would you do if a co-worker repeatedly said or intimated such things to you; you informed your boss and he/she did nothing about it? Most companies have rules/regulations against harassment of any kind, sexual or physical and a NFL football team is or should be like any other company or corporation.  Jonathan Martin certainly should consider a lawsuit against the Miami Dolphins for allowing a hostile work environment to exist  which prevented him, Martin, from doing his job.

Yes, I know football is a manly man sport where people with muscle and speed compete with one another and should therefore be able to protect, defend themselves from unwanted intimidation but who goes to work expecting to have to fight with a co-worker after they have informed their boss of flagrant violations of social conduct or worse company policy? I know there will be too many who will posit that Martin should have beat the crap out of this really social neanderthal Richie Incognito but that’s not we settle disputes in the work place.  Usually we settle them administratively although there is a precedent for going “postal” and using firearms to settle scores.  Martin should expect his employer to reign in an abusive co-worker, not have to duke it out or have a duel to see who is the better man.  Let’s not forget, Martin comes from a university that probably instills in its graduates notions of civility in the work environment.

 

 

Terrorism rears its ugly head again


This time it was in a mall in New Jersey state.  We were fortunate no one was killed except the terrorist, but he leaves behind a thousand or more on the scene people who will never be the same and a society that is losing this war of attrition on its collective psyche finds itself unnerved again at how unsafe ordinary activity has become.

shoopA 20 year old young white man using his brother’s firearm decided to terrorize the citizens at Westfield Garden State Plaza because, some say, he wanted to die.  What’s troublesome is the way in which he chose suicide….by scaring, frightening, terrorizing Americans.  He probably didn’t consider himself a terrorist; most white people don’t and that begs the question why don’t they?  I think I found the answer

They (white males) didn’t start out mad. No, they were driven crazy by the sense that the world had spun so far off its axis that there was no hope of righting it. Underneath that sense of victimhood, that sense that the corporations and the government were coconspirators in perpetrating the great fleecing of the American common man, lay a defining despair in making things right. And under that despair lay their tragic flaw, a deep and abiding faith in America, in its institutions and its ideals….. they believed that if they worked hard and lived right, they, too, could share in the American Dream. When it is revealed that no matter what you do, no matter how hard you work, that dreams are for Disneyland, then they morph into a tragic American Everymen, defeated by circumstances instead of rising above them.

In the near–ghost towns of America’s factory cities, white workers seethe into their beers, wondering where it all went wrong—and how it all went to hell so fast. Perhaps more menacingly, some of these obedient men have now been replaced by violent men, who lash out at their spouses, while their sons learn their lessons well, as they drive through suburban neighborhoods looking for immigrants to beat up, and even to kill…..

The white working class and the white middle class have rarely been so close emotionally as they are today; together they have drifted away from unions, from big government, from the Democratic Party, into the further reaches of the right wing. Together they listen to Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh. And together they watched Brad Pitt initiate Ed Norton into “Fight Club,” searching for something— anything—that would feel authentic, that would feel real. Middle-and working-class white men—well, they just are beginning to actually understand each other.

Add to this mix belief by far too many that Democrats, government and America’s first black President are intent on taking away their guns along with their  money and redistributing their wealth to those who don’t deserve….to those who they fear…..to Americans who they consider a threat to their very existence, then you can see why and how America’s white males strike out in ways that are reminiscent of terrorism. Yet because we don’t label these acts of murder and mayhem what they are, there is no need on the part of anyone to denounce them…far from it.  In fact to do so with an emphasis on the method of terrorism has been vehemently opposed by people on the right because it strikes too close to their notions of gun control.  So we are stuck in a cycle of violence, some say it is as American as apple pie, and terrorism and has been the case for most of our existence as a Nation, our biggest threat is ourselves.

 

What is offensive about this picture?


snorestop-hed-2013Evidently some in America don’t like the imagery of an American soldier hugging a niqaabi clad woman in this snorestop advertisement that’s appearing in California.  Too many of us are still in the business of deciding for others who they can and cannot mate with.  Perhaps that is the discontent many have with Obama; the thought that a white woman would actually have sex with an African man and produce a child that would be as competitive in the western world as any  white child is too fearful a thought for some.

America is too culturally diverse today to have such limitations placed on people and their choices. There are Americans embracing Islam and Muslim women/men are marrying them and many of them are in the US military. Neither act, accepting a religious belief and being American or in the service of your country  is mutually exclusive unless you’re a bigot who believes in really antiquated notions of racial superiority being diluted with co-mingling.

Meet the players behind the picture

Don’t think for one minute these people are serious about their jobs


113th CongressBecause they aren’t!!  I’m not being facetious, I’m serious.  The Republican controlled House, the Party currently running and ruining the show in Washington is NOT serious about governance, compromise, bipartisanship, ANYTHING except collecting their paycheck.  The party dedicated to reducing the budget, cutting entitlements, waste, fraud and everything else is one of the biggest loafers, welfare recipients to drain the government coffers and they do so by merely showing up for work and doing absolutely N-O-T-H-I-N-G. Remember this?  It was a year ago we brought you the work calendar for the House of Representatives which showed members of that body working a total of 126 days for all of 2013.  That’s a little over 4 months out of the year! Four!  Luckily they were scheduled to work two weeks in September and two weeks before the debt extension deadline but the week of the deadline date itself they were scheduled to be off!! They’ve gone and done one better for 2014.  Next year they’ve lopped off 13 days from their work schedule and will only work 113 days next year.  That’s less than 4 months out of the year. Take a look for yourself house-schedule-2014Last year I wrote

They (members of the House) are scheduled to work for only 126 days for a yearly salary of $174000. That’s almost half the number of days the average American works for a whole lot more money.  In other words, they work half as long as we do and get paid more…..and that’s if you’re just a normal member of Congress.  Cantor gets $19,000 more or $193,000 and the Speaker of the House, John Boehner gets $223,000 yearly….all to obfuscate and obstruct Obama’s legislative agenda to the detriment of the country.

Jed Lewison, writing for Daily Kos put up an interesting graphic comparing the congressional work schedule with that of the average American and the comparison is stark.  If you think there’s anyone in Congress who is a champion of your rights and values, unless you’re a crook, thief or Wall Street banker you should disinvest yourself of that notion right now.  Like anyone else who gets away with murder, or robbery, members of Congress are quite content to do as little as possible for as much as they can get! workcalendaranimated3second

This man deserves his props


Jason R. ThigpenI don’t know him, but I like what he’s written

After discussing it with my wife and family, I’ve decided to run as a Democrat rather than a Republican. I simply cannot stand with a Party where its most extreme element promote hate and division amongst people. Nothing about my platform has, nor will it change. The government shutdown was simply the straw that broke the camels back. I guess being an American just isn’t good enough anymore and I refuse to be part of an extremist movement in the GOP that only appears to thrive on fear and hate mongering of anyone and everyone who doesn’t walk their line. We’ve received some wonderful support by numerous leaders and members within the NC GOP, as the vast majority of Republicans are wonderful, hard-working people that don’t agree with those radical nut-jobs either but unfortunately the extremists in the party, with their ‘burn it all down’ philosophy, appear to be the ones turning out the majority of voters in the primaries and mid-term elections. And I want the people to know there is a choice.

Jason R. Thigpen

Conversion


From this

to this Arnoud van Doorn

I felt ashamed standing in front of the Prophet’s grave. I thought of the grave mistake which I had made by producing that sacrilegious film. I hope that Allah will forgive me and accept my repentance.

 

Arnoud van Doorn has proven extremism is self defeating.  Who would have thought this producer of that once vilified film Fitnah which demonized and slandered Muslims would one day embrace them as his equal but his story is proof that our destinies are not solely ours and neither is the knowledge of our future.  My hope is van Doorn  will be a committed Muslim and citizen of his country who will effectively counteract the bigotry and racism of his countrymen.

The new face of terrorism


Paul Anthony CianciaNo one yet is calling  Paul Anthony Ciancia, 23, a terrorist even though he walked into Los Angeles airport and shot three people, killing one, and the reason he’s not being called one is he cannot be directly tied to Islam or Muslims but that’s what he is.

We in America have politicized crime…only Muslims can be terrorists like only white homophobic men/women can commit hate crimes and in making this statement have diminished the criminal activity of the likes of Ciancia.  Everyone breathes a sigh of relief, Muslims, who won’t be blamed for this assault on America,  government and law enforcement officials, who won’t have to answer questions of how did this murderer escape their scrutiny that billions of dollars in their budgets is supposed to protect us from and perhaps even the general public, glad to be spared the hand wringing, woe and fear that attacks said to target their way of life brings …everyone except the innocent victims of Ciancia’s murderous, terrorist rampage…… all because we failed to use one word to describe him. Fix this America!