Politics and bedfellows


Eric Cantor

Eric Cantor

Eric Cantor, Republican congressman from Virginia was defeated in his state’s primary election Tuesday night by someone from the Tea Party, oddly enough that group that Cantor had some hand in shaping, named David Brat.

William Gheen

William Gheen

No big deal really until you see who Brat asked for help to defeat Cantor, one David Gheen of ALIPAC (Americans for Legal Immigration Political Action Committee) a rather innocuous sounding name until you read what that group stands for.

  • Warns of violent revolution if the Tea Party can’t stop the immigrant “invasion.”
  • Says violence may be needed to stop Obama’s war on “white America.”
  • Wants President Obama arrested for his immigration policies, possibly through a military coup .
  • Calls immigration “national rape” that takes the power away from “traditional Americans.”
  • Fears that America will no longer be “governed by people of European descendancy.”
  • Warns of “black mobs roaming many U.S. cities targeting and beating the crap out of white people.”
  • Demanded that Sen. Lindsey Graham come out as gay because he claimed he was being blackmailed into supporting immigration reform.

Notice how Gheen has wrapped himself in the American flag which some say is usually what “scoundrels” do.  This is the constituency Brat will be expected to listen, cater to when and if he takes office. Let’s hope the people of the 7th Congressional district in Virginia have the sense not to elect him.  Brat’s victory comes a day after Juan Cole wrote another brilliant article detailing the latest white American terrorists and their attacks on the Homeland.   In it he lays the connection between white terror and white supremacy….something people of color have been asserting for quite some time in America.

The American far Right, with its white supremacism, fascination with guns and explosives, profound hatred for the Federal government, poses the biggest terrorism threat in the country by far.  Worse, they receive support from right wing media in the U.S. because they hate taxes just the way the ultra-conservative media moguls doe.  Although their attacks are ideological, directed at civilian victims and violent, they are seldom categorized as ‘terrorists.’  Rather what they do is “mass shootings.”  In the meantime, plots hatched by Muslims in the U.S. during the past few years appear almost always to be a form of entrapment by the FBI.

 

 

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Main stream media hypocrisy and presidential campaigning


There is no greater an indication of how desperate American society has become than Rick Santorum who is being considered a serious presidential candidate.  He has managed to escape the type of  media scrutiny of his racist rants that is currently being heaped on Ron Paul and this observer wonders why.  Perhaps it’s because his target, Muslims and Arabs, is the cause celebre of people who want to score points with Americans during an election year, whereas Paul’s newsletter attacks on African-Americans is viewed as far less acceptable.  Max Blumenthal hashes it all out in this piece

For the past two weeks, the entire mainstream American media homed in on newsletters published by Republican Rep. Ron Paul, an anti-imperialist, conservative libertarian who finished third in last night’s Iowa caucuses. Mostly ghostwritten by libertarian activist Llewelyn “Lew” Rockwell and a committee of far-right cranks, the newsletters contained indisputably racist diatribes, including ominous warnings about the “coming race war.” At no point did Paul denounce the authors of the extreme manifestoes nor did he take responsibility for the content.

The disturbing content of Paul’s newsletters was a worthy campaign outrage, and one he should have been called to account for, but why did it gain mainstream traction when the reactionary views of the other candidates stayed under the radar? One reason is that Paul threatened the Republican establishment by attacking America’s neo-imperial foreign policy and demanding an end to the US-Israel special relationship.

Those who pushed the newsletters story the hardest were neoconservatives terrified by the prospect of Paul edging into the mainstream with his call for a total cut-off of US aid to Israel. In fact, the history of the newsletters was introduced to the American public back in early 2008 by Jamie Kirchick, a card-carrying neocon who has said that Muslims “act like savages” and once wrote that I possessed “a visceral hatred of my Jewish heritage.” Having declared former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney as their favorite wooden marionette, the neocons had a clear ideological interest in resuscitating the newsletters story once Paul emerged this year as a presidential frontrunner.

Though Romney won Iowa, he succeeded by a mere 8 votes over former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. The mainstream press is now fixated on Santorum, praising him for his “authenticity” and predicting he will continue to win over “gritty Catholics,” as MSNBC host Chris Matthews said today. But now that Santorum is in the limelight, he is also going to be thoroughly vetted. So the question is whether the media will devote anywhere near the same level of attention it gave to Ron Paul’s newsletters as it will to Santorum’s record of hysterically Islamophobic statements and anti-Muslim activism. So far, I have seen nothing to suggest that it will.

In 2007, a few months after Santorum was ousted from the Senate in a landslide defeat, he accepted an invitation from right-wing provocateur David Horowitz to speak at “Islamo-Fascism Campus Awareness Week.” As I documented in my video report on Horowitz’s appearance at Columbia University that year, “Islamo-Fascism” week was a naked ploy to generate publicity for the frenetically self-promoting Horowitz while demonizing Muslim-Americans as a dangerous fifth column who required constant government monitoring and possibly worse. The event was so extreme that even Jewish groups like Hillel known for promoting Zionism on campus rejected it.

There is no video documentation or transcript of Santorum’s speech at Horowitz’s “Islamo-Fascism Awareness” event. However, I was able to find a transcript of a speech Santorum delivered at Horowitz’s invitation in March 2007. During his address, the ex-Senator declared the need to “define the enemy,” but he made little effort to distinguish between the general population of Muslims and violent Islamic extremists. If anything, he seemed to conflate the two.

Here are a few of the remarkable statements Santorum made at Horowitz’s event:

“What must we do to win? We must educate, engage, evangelize and eradicate.”

“Look at Europe. Europe is on the way to losing. The most popular male name in Belgium — Mohammad. It’s the fifth most popular name in France among boys. They are losing because they are not having children, they have no faith, they have nothing to counteract it. They are balkanizing Islam, but that’s exactly what they want. And they’re creating an opportunity for the creation of Eurabia, or Euristan in the future…Europe will not be in this battle with us. Because there will be no Europe left to fight.”

We should “talk about how Islam treats homosexuals. Talk about how they treat anybody who is found to be a homosexual, and the answer to that is, they kill them.”

“…the Shia brand of Islamist extremists [is] even more dangerous than the Sunni [version]. Why? Because the ultimate goal of the Shia brand of Islamic Islam is to bring back the Mahdi. And do you know when the Mahdi returns? At the Apocalypse at the end of the world. You see, they are not interested in conquering the world; they are interested in destroying the world.”

“The other thing we need to do is eradicate, and that’s the final thing. As I said, this is going to be a long war.”

The Islamophobic rant Santorum apparently delivered at an event organized by a known bigot was no less extreme than anything contained in Ron Paul’s newsletters. But don’t wait for the American mainstream press to discuss Santorum’s disturbing views on Muslims as anything other than proof of his “authenticity.”

All those cowering in fear about an impending sharia take over of America, ignore the fear mongerers and fear no more


GOP Presidential Debate June 13, 2011 in New H...

Image by DonkeyHotey via Flickr

It’s all a “myth”, but that’s something I’ve been telling you many times here and at the same time highlighting the incendiary, racist and seditious nature of those who are trying to scare the Nation into enforcing a pogrom against Muslims in America. So, read carefully

If you are not vitally concerned about the possibility of radical Muslims infiltrating the U.S. government and establishing a Taliban-style theocracy, then you are not a candidate for the GOP presidential nomination. In addition to talking about tax policy and Afghanistan, Republican candidates have also felt the need to speak out against the menace of “sharia.”

Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum refers to sharia as “an existential threat” to the United States. Pizza magnate Herman Cain declared in March that he would not appoint a Muslim to a Cabinet position or judgeship because “there is this attempt to gradually ease sharia law and the Muslim faith into our government. It does not belong in our government.”

The generally measured campaign of former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty leapt into panic mode over reports that during his governorship, a Minnesota agency had created a sharia-compliant mortgage program to help Muslim homebuyers. “As soon as Gov. Pawlenty became aware of the issue,” spokesman Alex Conant assured reporters, “he personally ordered it shut down.”

On Religion
Faith. Religion. Spirituality. Meaning. In our ever-shrinking world, the tentacles of religion touch everything from governmental policy to individual morality to our basic social constructs. It affects the lives of people of great faith — or no faith at all. This series of weekly columns — launched in 2005 — seeks to illuminate the national conversation.

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich has been perhaps the most focused on the sharia threat. “We should have a federal law that says under no circumstances in any jurisdiction in the United States will sharia be used,” Gingrich announced at last fall’s Values Voters Summit. He also called for the removal of Supreme Court justices (a lifetime appointment) if they disagreed.

Gingrich’s call for a federal law banning sharia has gone unheeded so far. But at the local level, nearly two dozen states have introduced or passed laws in the past two years to ban the use of sharia in court cases.

Despite all of the activity to monitor and restrict sharia, however, there remains a great deal of confusion about what it actually is. It’s worth taking a look at some facts to understand why an Islamic code has become such a watchword in the 2012 presidential campaign.

What is sharia?

More than a specific set of laws, sharia is a process through which Muslim scholars and jurists determine God’s will and moral guidance as they apply to every aspect of a Muslim’s life. They study the Quran, as well as the conduct and sayings of the Prophet Mohammed, and sometimes try to arrive at consensus about Islamic law. But different jurists can arrive at very different interpretations of sharia, and it has changed over the centuries.

Importantly, unlike the U.S. Constitution or the Ten Commandments, there is no one document that outlines universally agreed upon sharia.

Then how do Muslim countries use sharia for their systems of justice?

There are indeed some violent and extreme interpretations of sharia. That is what the Taliban used to rule Afghanistan. In other countries, sharia may be primarily used to govern contracts and other agreements. And in a country like Turkey, which is majority Muslim, the national legal system is secular, although individual Muslims may follow sharia in their personal religious observances such as prayer and fasting. In general, to say that a person follows sharia is to say that she is a practicing Muslim.

How and when is it used in U.S. courts?

Sharia is sometimes consulted in civil cases with Muslim litigants who may request a Muslim arbitrator. These may involve issues of marriage contracts or commercial agreements, or probating an Islamic will. They are no different than the practice of judges allowing orthodox Jews to resolve some matters in Jewish courts, also known as beth din.

U.S. courts also regularly interpret foreign law in commercial disputes between two litigants from different countries, or custody agreements brokered in another country. In those cases, Islamic law is treated like any other foreign law or Catholic canon law.

What about extreme punishments like stoning or beheading?

U.S. judges may decide to consider foreign law or religious codes like sharia, but that doesn’t mean those laws override the Constitution. We have a criminal justice system that no outside law can supersede. Additionally, judges consider foreign laws only if they choose to — they can always refuse to recognize a foreign law.

So if sharia is consulted only in certain cases and only at the discretion of the court, why has it become such a high priority for states and GOP candidates? One answer is that sharia opponents believe they need to act not to prevent the way Islamic law is currently used in the U.S. but to prevent a coming takeover by Muslim extremists. The sponsor of an Oklahoma measure banning sharia approved by voters last fall described it as “a pre-emptive strike.” Others, like the conservative Center for Security Policy, assert that all Muslims are bound to work to establish an Islamic state in the U.S.

But if that was true — and the very allegation labels every Muslim in America a national security threat — the creeping Islamic theocracy movement is creeping very slowly. Muslims first moved to the Detroit suburb of Dearborn, for example, nearly a century ago to work in Henry Ford‘s factories. For most of the past 100 years, Dearborn has been home to the largest community of Arabs in the U.S. And yet after five or six generations, Dearborn’s Muslims have not sought to see the city run in accordance with sharia. Bars and the occasional strip clubs dot the town’s avenues, and a pork sausage factory is located next to the city’s first mosque.

Maybe Dearborn’s Muslims are just running a very drawn-out head fake on the country. It’s hard to avoid the more likely conclusion, however, that politicians who cry “Sharia!” are engaging in one of the oldest and least-proud political traditions — xenophobic demagoguery. One of the easiest ways to spot its use is when politicians carelessly throw around a word simply because it scares some voters.

Take Gerald Allen, the Alabama state senator who was moved by the danger posed by sharia to sponsor a bill banning it — but who, when asked for a definition, could not say what sharia was. “I don’t have my file in front of me,” he told reporters. “I wish I could answer you better.” In Tennessee, lawmakers sought to make following sharia a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison — until they learned that their effort would essentially make it illegal to be Muslim in their state.

During last year’s Senate race in Nevada, GOP candidate Sharon Angle blithely asserted that Dearborn, as well as a small town in Texas, currently operate under sharia law. And Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann used the occasion of Osama bin Laden’s death to tie the terrorist mastermind to the word: “It is my hope that this is the beginning of the end of Sharia-compliant terrorism.”

The anti-communist Red Scare of the 1950s made broad use of guilt by innuendo and warnings about shadowy conspiracies. If GOP candidates insist they are not doing the same thing to ordinary Muslims, they can prove it by explaining what they believe sharia is and whether they’re prepared to ban the consideration of all religious codes from civil arbitration. Anything less is simply fear mongering.

fear mongering has become a tenet of the Republican Party and many of those who’ve run for political office in that party; by promoting a non-existing threat Republicans have relegated themselves to a party of irrelevance.  Vote for them at your and the Nation’s peril.

American elections spun to enable Israeli aggression


The American election cycle of every two years is increasingly being used to advance or stifle political positions in favor of one political party or special interest, to the detriment of the country’s interests.  Presidential appointments are delayed, bills filibustered or back room maneuvers made in order for one group to gain an advantage over another.

Now, however the tactic has turned to making war and not a war that would be fought initially by Americans but it is hoped would certainly see them as participants at one point or another.

During election years in the U.S. (including mid-terms), Israeli leaders are particularly confident of the power they and the Likud Lobby enjoy on the American political scene.

This prime minister learned well from Menachem Begin and Ariel Sharon……

The power of the Likud Lobby, especially in an election year, facilitates Netanyahu’s attempts to convince those few of his colleagues who need convincing that there may never be a more auspicious time to bring about “regime change” in Tehran.

And, as we hope your advisers have told you, regime change, not Iranian nuclear weapons, is Israel’s primary concern.

Pandering Politician


I don’t care who his opposition is, although it is Jesse Jackson, jr. unless he is as distasteful and repugnant, the people in the Illinois 2nd Congressional should summarily and resoundingly refute the politics of one Isaac Hayes, republican, running for that district.  No, unfortunately, it is not the singer Isaac Hayes of Hot Buttered Soul and Shaft fame, although if that Hayes were exhumed and wound up on the ballot he would be a better candidate DEAD than the live pungently loathsome Hayes running today.

Isaac Hayes, the alive one, is morally unsavory, and an embarrassment to what America stands for, what America has gone through, and especially as a black American, what his ancestors fought for so many years ago, respect for the rights of the individual and the rule of law.  He has descended into the lowest common denominator of hate politics,  and succumbed to the dark side of racial pandering.

In fact any politician who embraces the meme of the evil, dark, terror ridden Arab mentality and religion is a throw back to the years when fear and hate were the overriding emotions that drove human interaction.  For the gutless, unprincipled aspiring politician who sees a quick buck from a grateful donor who peddles this racism, the motivation for this is clear; a large, wealthy life living off the trough of the United States government.  I hope the people are smarter than Hayes and throw him out on his ear.

This is what has raised my ire, a statement his campaign issued addressing the Palestinian Menace. Substitute the name of any other ethnic group living any place in the world and perhaps you can see the problem with his statement.  A minority candidate invoking racial stereotypes against another group of people in order to win votes is demagoguery at its worst.

It is evident from the last incident in the eastern Mediterranean that the flotilla of peace was a rouse to smuggle terrorists and weapons to Gaza in order to attack Israel. Specifically, the supporters of the so-called flotilla of peace were pro-Palestinians and pro-Hamas organizations and individuals in various European nation-states mainly from Britain, Greece, and Turkey. These specific organizations were involved in sending previous aid convoys to the Gaza Strip by land and sea. The main purpose of these organizations and individuals was to make a show of sending humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip in order to embarrass Israel and exert diplomatic and media pressure. I will stand with Israel in the U.S. Congress and expose these terrorist activities and support a strong U.S.-Israeli nexus in fighting global Jihad.

Straight out of the Israeli government’s hasbara handbook.  The fact that someone gleefully runs with such outdated and erroneous information should be embarrassing even to the Israelis. The fact that it isn’t reflects poorly on the state of affairs of American politics. It would be pointless to go over what’s wrong with this statement…..we’ve done that rather extensively here on the pages of Miscellany101 but the common thread of a victimized Israel, albeit this time embarrassed, still manages to come through in this statement.  Haven’t American voters grown weary of the politics of destruction and hate?  Are we  not yet fed up with pitting one group of people against another in a hate filled caricature laden orgy of religious and ethnic excesses clearly designed to inflame passions and incite hostility against one another.  Indeed, anger/wrath is one of the 7 seven deadly sins which has provoked the Palestinian debate for the last 70 years, and caused our Nation to lose sight of the rule of law, justice and equality.   Hayes clearly has no shame; I hope the voters in the 2nd congressional district don’t either and kick this ne’er do well to the curb. Can you say ‘uncle tom’ boys and girls?

France’s Fascism Rears it’s Ugly Head Again!


Twenty-first century France  has  replaced 20th century  Nazi Germany as  the European hotbed of political fascism, climbing on the backs of its Muslim population to claim this distinction much like German socialism climbed on the graves and skeletons of the European Jewish minority in the 30s and 40s.  Nationalism and secularism are the reasons given for this decision on the part of French government  to curtail the rights of a vibrant Muslim minority,  making a mockery of the French motto of ‘liberty, equality, fraternity’ while inciting its citizens to turn against one another based on the clothes they wear and the religion they profess.  While the tombstones of French Muslims are desecrated,  French feminists, who claim advocacy of  a woman’s right to choose, bemoan and denounce the candidacy of a French women who supports contraception and abortion rights because she chooses to wear a scarf on her hair!  The hypocrisy of the French position, so steeped in bigotry and irrational hatred have led Ilham Moussaid to point out

It is with great sadness that I watch … my life reduced to my headscarf. It is with great sadness that I hear that my personal beliefs are a danger to others while I advocate friendship, respect, tolerance, solidarity and equality for all human beings.

It would appear based on what she says above, Moussaid is more French than any of her detractors.  Touche!