Monday, September 27, 2010

Torture Of Syrian Elementary School Kids Caught On Video

These two videos are sickening. It shows Syrian teachers methodically beating young elementary school kids with large sticks on their hands and feet, and in some cases forcing other children to hold the victim down. You can hear the kids howling in pain. If you listen closely you can also hear the teachers invoking "Allah".

And I thought I had it bad when my piano teacher hit my knuckles with a small stick when I was a child, as did an English teacher with a ruler. Although it drew blood and freaked her out as much as it did me, it was nothing in comparison to this. Thank God corporal punishment is not de rigeur in the West anymore.

According to the information on the youtube page, this is a nationwide problem in Syria, and one dissident said that it

".. is a policy of the Syrian regime to raise children with a culture of fear from the day they start their schooling," a Syrian dissidents who prefers to remain anonymous said. "It's funny that the government hasn't identified the teachers yet; if two teachers criticized Assad, it would take the government less than two hours to verify the identity of the suspects. But the Syrian government doesn't really care about corporal punishment on Syrian school children. Syrian prisons apply crueler punishments against political prisoners every day, so I think the governmental response was only a decoration."
Apparently the teachers were eventually identified, thanks to outrage from the Syrian people, included setting up a Facebook page and appealing to the government to do something about it.

Click here for first video.

Click here for second video.

HatTip: GaryRumain

Monday, September 20, 2010

Joke of the day: Why France Banned The Burqa

This gem is in French, but I think you can get the gist of it.

As most should know by now, France banned the burqa in public, and driving safety was one of the issues. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Make Mine Freedom: 1948 Pro-Freedom Cartoon Predicted Where The U.S. Is Now Headed

Directed by Hanna/Barbera in 1948, this cold-war era cartoon was produced by Harding College.

It was quite prophetic in terms of the dissolution of our freedoms, and the spiral towards the bad 'isms' that we seem to be headed for. They warned us about this 60 plus years ago. Worth a watch.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

9/11 2010 -Lest We Forget

There are some things in history that should never be forgotten. What happened on 9.11.2001 is one of those occurrences that should remain indelibly etched in our memories, lest we forget. However, there are many who already seem to have forgotten what happened that horrifying morning, when radical Islamists changed our world forever. They don't seem to realize that when we forget, we become less vigilant, and that's when our enemies take advantage of us. Those with evil intent will capitalize on our inherent goodness, and the supreme stupidity that comes with thinking that everyone should be trusted. They know that when we become polarized as a country, we become weakened, and that's when they will strike. Not necessarily in the form of a terrorist attack, but through dividing and conquering us as a people. They will start by separating us through issues that we all hold near and dear. Like freedom of speech, and freedom of religion.

The whole debate surrounding the proposed mosque near Ground Zero (conveniently changed from the Cordoba Initiative to Park51), demonstrates just how this tactic can work. I have been debating many of my colleagues and friends on Facebook, who in their admirable yet naive efforts to think the best of people, fail to realize that evil does exist in this world. They refuse to see that there is more than meets the eye when it comes to Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, and his so-called attempts to heal the rifts created post 9/11 between Muslims and other religions. In spite of the fact that most of the over 70% of Americans opposed to the mosque being built near Ground Zero have no problems with it being built elsewhere, my friends insist that it should be allowed to be built as planned, and vilify those of us who disagree. We are called Islamophobes, racists, bigots, xenophobes, and no matter what you say, or what arguments you present them, or what articles you forward to them, they are incapable or unwilling to see the truth.

They couldn't care less that Rauf promotes Shariah law and, in fact, has written a book about it.

They couldn't care less that Rauf essentially blamed the U.S. for the 9/11 attacks by claiming we were an accessory to the crime.

They couldn't care less that the financing behind the project is questionable.

They couldn't care less that it was initially called "The Cordoba Initiative", and that the multi-faith prayer room was only included after people balked about both these issues.

They couldn't care less that even Muslims have criticized the decision to build a mosque in that particular space. Here, here and here.

With Islam the fastest growing religion in the world, and the surging trend towards fundamentalism, our freedoms are slowly being eroded in the West. Freedom of religion (which I will defend to my death) is not reciprocated in Muslim majority countries, and yet is demanded of Western nations. In fact, Muslim minority sects ( the Ahmadis and Ismailis, about the only ones you can truly consider moderates) are as persecuted as non-Muslims in Pakistan and elsewhere. Forget freedom of speech. It doesn't exist over there, so they are trying to take it away from us in the West. Muslim organizations worldwide are trying to turn criticism of Islam into a 'hate crime'. Bloggers in Canada have been sued for being critical of the religion, and one Austrian woman has been charged with a hate crime , as has Dutch politician Geert Wilders, who is still awaiting the verdict.

In our over zealous attempts to accommodate everyone, to be the good hosts not wanting to offend, we are losing the battle to what is coined as 'creeping shariah'. I realize there are Muslims in this country willing to adapt, and who love freedom as much as we do, they are the ones opposing Park51; but there are just as many who don't, and who want to turn this into a Shariah compliant nation. Shariah has no place in a modern, democratic, free society, and my good-hearted but very foolish friends can't seem to see that we're headed in that direction.

How can people not see what Islam turns into when faced with criticism, most notably the violence that ensues. I do not condone the burning of Qu'rans, as the Gainesville publicity-whore Pastor Jones had planned on doing (and still might do), in spite of the fact that Bibles have been burned by Muslims in the past. But the monumental global overreaction to this lunatic Pastor of no more than 50 congregants is beyond the pale. And as we all know, this isn't the first time there has been a major, violent reaction to something Muslims take offense to, and it seems that they take offense to pretty much everything these days.

I refuse to tiptoe around anyone, and will continue to criticize anything I feel is worthy of criticism. If we give in, they win. Though it seems they've already won, since all they have to do now is threaten violence and we back down. In fact, Rauf's interview on CNN's "Larry King Live" with Soledad O'Brien says as much, insinuating that if the mosque is not built in the planned location, it will inflame the radical Muslim world. It's obvious that most Muslim clerics exacerbate the problem by either fueling the flames or saying nothing at all; and those that do bother to condemn the violence and extremism are in danger themselves of retaliation.

It might just take another terrorist attack on our soil to open our sleeping eyes and say enough is enough. I just hope we pull our heads out of the proverbial sand before it's too late.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Iran Refuses Brazil's Offer Of Asylum For Woman Sentenced To Death By Stoning

 43-year-old Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, an Iranian widow and mother of two, was scheduled to be stoned to death for allegedly committing adultery, an unproven allegation that she vehemently denies. After a global campaign to stop her execution, Iranian officials begrudgingly did, but who knows for how long. There are those who think she might eventually be hanged, given the Iranian government's penchant for blood. But whether she's stoned or hanged is irrelevant. Yes, adultery is considered morally wrong by most religions, but  does it warrant a death sentence? Only in the barbaric realm of Shariah law, where even a widow or a single person is considered to have committed adultery if they have sexual relations outside of marriage.  Even if she was guilty of committing adultery, that is an issue between Sakineh and her God, not for any 'man' to judge.  Apparently, she was coerced into confessing after being brutally flogged, but she swears she is not guilty.

The whole world has rallied to save this woman, but I'm sure it's only made the rogue leaders of Iran  dig  their heels in even harder. Brazil very kindly stepped up to the plate and has offered asylum to Sakineh, a great opportunity for the Iranians to show their mercy, but they refused the offer, just proving how cruel and inhumane they are.

Despite international pressure, Iran said Tuesday that it rejects Brazil's offer of asylum for an Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva proposed Saturday to give sanctuary to Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, whose case has garnered global attention.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Lula lacked sufficient information about the case, the state news agency Agencia Brasil said.

Iranian human rights activists, along with other human rights organizations across the globe, have been tirelessly campaigning for her release, but nothing seems to have helped other than postponing the inevitable death of an innocent woman.

Meanwhile, a human rights activist who has taken up Ashtiani's case penned a letter to Lula, saying that his offer was an "important step" in saving Ashtiani from undue punishment.

Mina Ahadi of the International Committee against Stoning said the campaign to save Ashtiani's life will continue. She said she hopes Brazil and other governments will keep up pressure on the Islamic regime in Tehran, which she said rules through fear and punishment and should not be recognized by the international community.

"Allow me, as a representative of the oppressed people in Iran, to say that I not only want to save Sakineh and abolish stoning, but that I also ask all heads of state not to recognise the Islamic regime as the representative of the Iranian people but to see it as the murderer of people in Iran," Ahadi wrote in her letter to Lula.

And even though Brazil and Iran have one of the few existing semi-cordial relationships in the global sphere, refusing Lula's offer is a slap in the face of those improved relations.

What harm could there have been in shipping Sakineh and her children off to Brazil? It might have made the Iranian government look a tad better, but they don't really care what others think. So they'll continue to persecute and execute innocent people, because they can.

Freedom of Speech Canuck-Style- Blue Host Shuts Down Blogger At Behest of Canadian Immigrant Dr. Asad Raza

There are some who obviously have no clue about the concept of 'freedom of speech', or 'public domain', 'fair use' or what the definitions of slander, defamation and libel are. Perhaps it's because freedom, let alone free speech, doesn't exist in the countries they emigrated from, but it's something most Westerners cleave to, like a baby to its mother's breast. It's something we cherish deeply and will defend at any cost. We might disagree with what an individual says or does, but we almost always agree that they have the right to say or do it. That is, as long as it harms no-one physically.

Many non-Western immigrants who move to the West are grateful for their new opportunities and new-found freedom. Many others have a challenging time adapting to certain aspects of Western society including the fact that we are all entitled to criticize anyone or anything we choose, right or wrong. And whether they like it or not it's one of our inalienable rights, at least in the U.S. At least for now. I'm not so sure about Canada, as it seems our poor cousins up north are going the way of the UK, and their freedom of speech is being challenged left and right. Using the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) as a weapon, bloggers are being sued by these people for alleged 'hate crimes' for something that is nothing more than criticism. My Canadian blogger buddy Blazing Catfur has written extensively about the problem there. We haven't quite reached that point in this country, yet, but I'm sure we're not too far behind. Thankfully, we can still blast someone here, including our President, without being thrown in jail or killed, like in Egypt or Pakistan or Iran. And suing is something that is becoming very common with many of these entitled immigrants when they feel they are being criticized or their demands are not met. And with the help of the CHRC in Canada, and organizations like CAIR (Council on American and Islamic Relations) in the U.S., they often win. As a result, all they have to do is threaten to sue and people cave in to their demands.

This is what happened to a Canadian blogger, Marginalized Action Dinosaur (MAD), who wrote a post about one Dr. Asad Raza, founder of a website that no longer seems to exist called . Essentially a site dedicated to griping about being an immigrant in Canada, Dr. Raza wrote a list of top 8 things he hated about his adopted country including the health care crisis, high taxes and cost of living, no jobs, no culture and the bad weather. (U.S. Obamacare proponents take note!) An ingrate, sure, however all that criticism was absolutely within his rights in a free country; although I'm assuming no-one put a gun to his head and forced him to emigrate to Canada. MAD then chose to respond with a post of his own, referencing Raza's gripe-fest and commenting on each gripe made. Absolutely within MAD's rights too, in a free country. No slander, no defamation, no libel. Raza has since left Canada and has been working in the U.S. on an H-1B Visa, though I'm not sure what his legal status is since he was querying about it on online immigration forum just seven months ago.

The bizarre thing is, MAD's post was written back in 2007, but for some reason Raza stumbled upon it, got a bug up his you know what and decided that MAD's criticism was slanderous and defamatory and demanded that he remove it. Hmmm. Lets see. What's the dictionary definition of slander:

a malicious, false, and defamatory statement or report: a slander against his good name.

Since all MAD happened to do was re-post something Raza actually wrote, with a link and attribution along with a few side commentaries (none of which were defamatory, as you can see for yourself), there is quite obviously no slander involved. Had he called him an incompetent, psychopathic pedophile axe murder, that's a totally different story; yes that would be defamation of character and slanderous. But being critical of someone for something they said or did is not defamation of character, nor slander if it's based on unequivocal truth. Gossip maybe, but not slander. And in this case, these were Raza's own words. But when the doc didn't get his way, like a spoiled child, he turned to MAD's ISP BlueHost.Com, which in turn threatened MAD and eventually shut him down. It was re-instated, several days later, but not before causing MAD much grief. He was threatened for publishing called personal and private information from the dear doctors website.

Excuse me, but none of the information MAD published was personal or private. The Internet is a public forum, as was Raza's website, and if you don't want people to access that information then stay away from the world wide web. If you're stupid enough to think that anything you write won't be accessible (forever!) through google's cache, and that you won't eventually be tracked down if you post your email address and deep 'private' thoughts on some public forum, then you deserve what you get. People have been fired because they have posted something critical about their work place or bosses on some forum or social networking site or via email, and their bosses happened to discover it. People have not been hired for the same reason. Word to the wise, nothing is private on the WWW. If you don't want the world to know it, don't write it.

So, as a result of the initial shut-down of MAD's blog by Blue Host, fellow freedom-loving Canuck bloggers became naturally outraged, banded together and took to their respective blog platforms to rally against this obvious attack on freedom of speech. This has sent the already angry doc into paroxysms of rage, and now he's on a rampage threatening to sue everyone for defamation. Good luck with that one.

Message to Asad Raza if you happen to google your name and come across this post:

The West is very different, doc. Please adapt. Get to know our laws. And had you understood the concept of 'freedom of speech', and the notion that if you can criticize so can others, and that this post was three years old, and had you left well enough alone and not forced an ISP to shut down a blogger, none of these people would be writing about you on their blogs, and you wouldn't be threatening to sue them if they refuse to remove their posts about your foolish actions. Don't even think about suing me, because this is a free country and your legal status here is questionable. And yes, I am giving you permission to criticize me for my commentary- you have as much right to criticize me as I have to criticize you, so go ahead, I'm a big girl, I can take it. But please just move on with your life. It's not worth it. You made this non-issue into a huge one by challenging those who embrace freedom with as fierce a will as a lion mama protecting her cub. Just know that we will continue to fight for your right to criticize Canada (and wherever, whatever and whomever else you choose) along with our right to criticize you.

Physician, go in peace. You'll have a much better life.