Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Stupidest Fatwas of 2011

Here's something for a good laugh: a list of the weirdest Islamic fatwas issued in 2011 courtesy of al Arabiya news.  Some I had heard of, like the banana fatwa whereby women are prohibited from eating any kind of phallic-looking fruits or veggies, because a cucumber is just so sexy. Of course, no melon fatwas for men.

But some of the others mentioned in this article must have somehow slipped by me, like the fatwa that says that necrophilia is cool, for men that is, because hey, it's not mentioned in the Quran so it must be okay. As long as they're not too dead.

In Morocco, the head of the Moroccan Association for Jurisprudence Research stirred both outrage and controversy when he issued a fatwa allowing Muslim men to have sex with their just-deceased wives under the pretext that nothing in Islam prohibits sex with corpses. This fatwa followed a series of sex-related ones issued by the same cleric.

Then there's the one Mohamed al-Zoghbi from Egypt issued last June saying that eating Jinn meat is perfectly acceptable in Islam, because of course those elusive creatures are edible, if you can find them.

Somalia's al-Shabaab, who have banned everything from women wearing bras to school bells, because they sound like church bells this year banned some little pastries (samosas) because they were too Christian looking.
In Somalia, the ultraconservative al-Shabaab al-Mujahedin Movement issued a fatwa during the holy month of Ramadan prohibiting the consumption of sambousak, a triangular pastry stuffed with meat, cheese, or vegetables. The popular snack, they explained, is a symbol of the Trinity in Christianity and is therefore not to be consumed by Muslims.
I couldn't make this up if  I wanted to. The rest aren't quite as interesting, but you can read them here, although I'm sure there were plenty more equally asinine fatwas this past year.

Can't wait for more laughs next year.

Photo source

New Year's Eve Un-Islamic- Fatwa Against Celebrations In Bosnia

There's always some Muslim group taking the fun out of something somewhere in the world. In this case it's Bosnia-Herzegovina, where Muslim leaders have decided that New Year's Eve is un-Islamic and therefore no-one should celebrate.  In fact, not only should they not party they should

 “turn off the lights early and let everyone see you’re boycotting everything happening on that night”

According to a statement by the the Islamic Community, since Muslims already celebrated the Islamic New Year (when Mohammed schlepped from Mecca to Medina) on November 25, they would be violating "...God’s boundaries, and do something their master hates and despises” if they were to celebrate New Years like most everyone else around the world. Okay, so I'm in bed before midnight, but that's because I'd rather stay at home not because anyone has told me it's not kosher. 

Quoting from a book by someone you can't even find on google (Almir Dumica, “Pearls of the Sunnah in the Mosaic of Time”), at least in English, they said in a statement,

“On that night, turn off the lights early and let everyone see you’re boycotting everything happening on that night. Do not fear anyone's objections. Don’t you have a right to choose? Do not say, ‘how can I do that, I will change nothing, most people do it. I will be declared a black sheep’,” Dumica writes in the book. “On that night go to bed on time, happy and satisfied that the Allah gave you many benefits that you do not consider often, and which you would become aware of only if you lost them,” the Islamic Community said in its release. “Think about your health and family ... the peace and security you enjoy. Then, each night of the year will be much more dear to you than the New Year’s night is to any of those who eagerly await it all year, while a blessed feeling of triumph will overcome your soul and body, because piousness and reason will have won over passions and ugly customs.”

Before the Bosnian War, during the mid 1990s, the Muslim population was primarily secular. That unfortunately changed when foreign fighters came to fight alongside the Muslim Bosniaks.  Now this is what they have to deal with.

Friday, December 30, 2011

NYPD Monitoring Prompts NY Muslim Leaders To Boycott Bloomberg's Interfaith Breakfast

Apparently at the end of every year, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg hosts a breakfast where leaders of all the various religious faiths are invited to chow down.  But this year, some Muslim imams  said 'no way' because the New York police department has been poking around their neighbourhoods and mosques, incognito, and they're pretty darn miffed about the attempts at monitoring their community.  I guess they don't quite seem to understand that since they are failing to keep tabs on the radicals in their midst (and there have been plenty), someone's got to do it.

And they're pissed at Bloomberg because rather than tell the NYPD- "naughty boys", he has actually defended their actions. Now, according to Stu Loeser (Bloomberg spokesman) it's only about a dozen or so who are actually boycotting the breakfast, and a "couple dozen" have RSVPd yes, but a few dozen actually sent Bloomberg a missive stating that what the NYPD is doing

“threaten the rights of all Americans, and deepen mistrust between our communities and law enforcement.” “Mayor Bloomberg, the extent of these civil rights violations is astonishing, yet instead of calling for accountability and the rule of law, you have thus far defended the NYPD’s misconduct.”

 “We believe it is unequivocally wrong and fundamentally misguided to invest law enforcement resources in religious or racial profiling, rather than investigating suspicious activity."“We seek your clear, unambiguous, public support for the rights and privacy of all New Yorkers, including Muslims; and a condemnation of all policies that profile and target communities and community groups solely based on their religion or the color of their skin.” “We are deeply disturbed that to date we have only heard your words of strong support for these troubling policies and violations of our rights. We are equally disturbed by (police Commissioner Raymond) Kelly’s denials of what we know to be true as verified by the leaked documents.”

This is what has angered them:

The stories [by the AP] disclosed that a team of 16 police officers speaking at least five languages was assigned to use census information and government databases to map ethnic neighborhoods in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Documents reviewed by the AP revealed that undercover police officers known as rakers visited local businesses such as Islamic bookstores and cafes, chatting up store owners to determine their ethnicities and gauge their views. They played cricket and eavesdropped in ethnic cafes and clubs. The stories also revealed that one of the CIA’s most experienced clandestine operatives began working inside the police department in July as the special assistant to the deputy commissioner of intelligence. The CIA is prohibited from spying domestically. Its unusual partnership with the NYPD has troubled top lawmakers and prompted an internal investigation. Bloomberg in October defended the arrangement, saying it was necessary in a dangerous world. “There are people trying to kill us,” he said. “And if the CIA can help us I’m all for getting any information they have and then letting the police department use it as — if it’s appropriate to protect you and to protect me.”

In another time and another pre-9/11 world I might have agreed about threatened rights, but in light of the fact that some mosques in this country have produced the likes of Anwar al-Awlaki, Major Nidal Hassan, Najibullah Zazi and Burhan Assan, that has changed.  Granted, there are those who have willingly turned over information about radicals in their midst, but not nearly enough.

Amen, Bloomberg! I feel a lot safer knowing that we are keeping tabs on potential homegrown terrorists.

Ron Paul Is Truly Dangerous- Editorial by New Hampshire Union Leader's Joseph W. McQuaid

A spot on editorial by New Hampshire Union Leader's Joseph W. McQuaid on why Ron Paul is truly dangerous:

Ron Paul is a dangerous man. While his domestic libertarian views are quite attractive to some voters fed up with politics as usual, it is Paul’s position on issues of our national security that are truly dangerous.

Those views have been largely overlooked by a news media more interested in the presidential “horse race” than in the candidates’ positions on issues. But we expect New Hampshire primary voters will examine the facts and act accordingly.

A Wall Street Journal columnist notes that Paul is “a leading spokesman for, and recycler of, the long and familiar litany of charges that point to the United States as a leading agent of evil and injustice, the militarist victimizer of millions who want only to live in peace.”

Perhaps this warped view is why Paul believes that al-Qaida terrorists caught in the United States ought to be treated as common criminals, not enemy combatants. He wants them read Miranda rights to which they are not entitled and he wants them tried and sentenced in civil courts rather than by military tribunals.

Read the rest here. It's short but to the point.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ron Paul Video- If China Attacks America (Just imagine)

Video ad from Ron Paul PAC The speech is one of Paul's with the overly dramatic embellishment by revolutionpac. 

Their mission statement:

The Revolution PAC seeks to widen the range of allowable opinion in the public square and to bring to the attention of the American public the neglected alternative of freedom, sound money, self-government, and a non-interventionist foreign policy. This is the answer to the big-government progressives and big-government neoconservatives who have brought our exhausted country to the brink of collapse.
Interesting to note-  the "allowable opinion" pertains to Ron Paul-ites and no-one else.

Buh, Bye Mitt- Romney Says He'd Vote For Ron Paul If He Becomes The GOP Candidate

Any chance that I might have voted for Mitt Romney in the primaries is dead and gone.

But Romney isn't the only one who told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that he would vote for Ron Paul if, God forbid, he happened to get the GOP nomination.  Rick Santorum said he would too.

It was an unfair and stupid question, but what were they thinking!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Hugo Chavez Thinks The U.S. Gave Him and Other Lefty Latin Leaders Cancer

The always laughable Hugo Chavez, has come out with another doozy. This time, the loco Venezuelan President said he thinks that the U.S. might have given him, along with several other lefty Latin leaders, the big "C".  Yes, somehow the U.S. spread some cancer-inducing mojo their way, and voila.  Apparently, these thoughts came to him after he heard Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has thyroid cancer.

“It’s very difficult to explain, even with the law of probabilities, what has been happening to some of us in Latin America,” Chavez said in a nationally televised speech to the military. “Would it be so strange that they’ve invented technology to spread cancer and we won’t know about it for 50 years?”

Now he wants a powwow with others who have had cancer, to compare notes. That would include Fernando Lugo (Paraguay) and Luiz Inacio Da Silva and Dilma Rousseff of Brazil. He also told other lefties to watch their backs:

“I’m just sharing my thoughts, but it’s very, very, very strange,” Chavez said. “Evo take care of yourself, Correa, be careful, we just don’t know,” he said, referring to Evo Morales and Rafael Correa, the leaders of Bolivia and Ecuador.

He also shared some advice that his commie buddy Fidel Castro gave him:

“Fidel always tells me, ‘Chavez be careful, they’ve developed technology, be careful with what you eat, they could stick you with a small needle,’” the Venezuelan leader said today. “In any case, I’m not accusing anyone, I’m just using my freedoms to reflect and issue comments on very strange events that are hard to explain.”

But Chavez has always been uber-paranoid and bizarre. He's convinced the U.S. is planning on invading Venezuela, although he shares those delusional beliefs with many others.  An article posted on back in 2007 claimed that an invasion of Venezuela was imminent. Let's see-  it's been 4 years hence, and nada. In 2009, there was another article on this blog talking about a planned invasion by the U.S. through Colombia, and 2 years later- nada. Then in 2010 on the blog 'Postcards From The Revolution', award winning journalist Eva Golinger who is currently residing in what she terms "a country with a vibrant democracy and the largest oil reserves in the world"  [that would be Venezuela she's referring to] also talks about that invasion. I'm still waiting. But what's even more stupefying is that seemingly intelligent people actually buy into what he says.  Just take a look at the comments on Eva's blog and you'll see what I mean.  Pretty darn strange.

But I still think that the most laugh-inducing Chavez comment was when he claimed that capitalism killed the Martians.

I think I might actually miss him when he's gone.

Ron Paul Is Anti-Israel According To Former Aide

Ron Paul is definitely anti-Israel, at least so says Eric Dondero who worked with Paul (on and off) for 12 years from 1987 through 2003 as a Travel Aide/Personal Assistant, National Organizer, Campaign Coordinator and finally Senior Aide. There have been accusations resurfacing about Paul being anti-Semitic, a racist and homophobic- prompted by some newsletter articles published 20 years ago (which he claims he never read)- but according to Dondero, although Paul is not anti-Semitic, he is however anti-Israel.

In a statement posted on the 'Right Wing News' blog to set the record straight, Dondero says that in all the years he worked with Paul he never heard him utter any racist or anti-Semitic epithets, although he does admit he's definitely "out of touch" with Blacks and Hispanics. And though Paul has no problem with "American Jews", he is

"... most certainly Anti-Israel, and Anti-Israeli in general. He wishes the Israeli state did not exist at all. He expressed this to me numerous times in our private conversations. His view is that Israel is more trouble than it is worth, specifically to the America taxpayer. He sides with the Palestinians, and supports their calls for the abolishment of the Jewish state, and the return of Israel, all of it, to the Arabs"

As for being a homophobe, Dondero says:

"Well, yes and no. He is not all bigoted towards homosexuals. He supports their rights to do whatever they please in their private lives. He is however, personally uncomfortable around homosexuals, no different from a lot of older folks of his era."

The article really only criticizes his stance on Israel, and yet the usual pro-Paul drones are accusing him of lying, and Paul campaign officials are calling him a disgruntled ex-employee.

The former aide "has zero credibility and should not be taken seriously," Paul spokesman Jesse Benton told CBS. In a statement to CBS, the Paul campaign on Tuesday dismissed Dondero as a "disgruntled former staffer who was fired for performance issues."
Israeli/U.S. citizen, Dr. Leon Hadar (one of Paul's foreign policy advisers during his 2008 Presidential bid) seems to concur, saying that Paul is not anti-Israel nor does he advocate for the end of an Israeli state. Of course, Hadar simply advised Paul during one campaign year, and Dondero worked closely with the man for twelve years. What it all boils down to is the classic 'he says/she says', but it wouldn't surprise me at all if he was.

As for the newsletters he claims to have had no knowledge about until a decade later, one has to wonder.  Either he is lying and he's just trying to cover his proverbial behind, or he was stupid enough to allow newsletters to be published in his name without vetting the content.  Either way, he doesn't deserve to be the leader of this country.

Dondero's full statement, including anecdotes of Paul's discomfort with gays.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Egyptian Court Bans 'Forced Virginity Tests' Only In Miltary Prisons

Back in March, 2011, at the height of the 'Arab Spring' protests in Egypt, 18 female protesters who were arrested in Tahrir Square and then detained in a military prison, were allegedly tortured and forced to undergo ' virginity tests'

According to Amnesty International:

20-year-old Salwa Hosseini told Amnesty International that after she was arrested and taken to a military prison in Heikstep, she was made, with the other women, to take off all her clothes to be searched by a female prison guard, in a room with two open doors and a window. During the strip search, Salwa Hosseini said male soldiers were looking into the room and taking pictures of the naked women.  

The women were then subjected to ‘virginity tests’ in a different room by a man in a white coat. They were threatened that “those not found to be virgins” would be charged with prostitution. According to information received by Amnesty International, one woman who said she was a virgin but whose test supposedly proved otherwise was beaten and given electric shocks.

“Women and girls must be able to express their views on the future of Egypt and protest against the government without being detained, tortured, or subjected to profoundly degrading and discriminatory treatment,” said Amnesty International.

“The army officers tried to further humiliate the women by allowing men to watch and photograph what was happening, with the implicit threat that the women could be at further risk of harm if the photographs were made public.”

One of those detainees, Samira Ibrahim (25), filed suit against the military-led government and won.  Virginity tests are now verboten.

“The court orders that the execution of the procedure of virginity tests on girls inside military prisons be stopped,” said judge Aly Fekry, head of Cairo Administrative court. Hundreds of activists inside the courtroom cheered after the ruling was read out.

Note, this only applies to temporary detainees in military prisons, otherwise it's fair game, since virginity tests are cool in Islam. I suppose one can't expect too much change, even from a civilian court.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Iranian Widow Sakineh Ashtiani Will Definitely Be Stoned Or Hanged

In Iran being an accessory to a murder garners only 10 years, adultery on the other hand gets you stoned to death. Or maybe hanged, if you're lucky. That's Shariah law for you.  Widow Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani has been living with the knowledge that one way or another she's doomed to either hang or be stoned to death for something she didn't do.  After news of her pending execution became known last year (and the global outrage that ensued, including an offer of asylum from Brazil that was refused), her death by stoning was postponed for a while.  I think we all hoped that Iranian officials might have a change of heart; that with the spotlight of world attention shining on an utterly barbaric practice they might somehow decide to join the civilized world, but no. On Monday, officials said that Sakineh will definitely be killed, they just don't know how or when just yet.

"This lady is accused of two crimes," Hojatoleslam Sharifi, the judiciary chief of Eastern Azarbaijan province, said at a news conference Monday, the semi-official Iran Student's News Agency reported. "One is adultery, which is punishable by stoning to death, and the other is assisting in her husband's murder. She is currently serving 10 years for helping to kill her husband."

According to Sharifi, the only reason that she wasn't stoned in 2010 was that  "we did not have the needed facility for stoning."  Apparently, the judiciary man in charge at the time ".. was too busy at the time, and this issue was left for his successor to handle." So now the new judiciary head, Ayatollah Amoli Larijani, is debating the best way to off Sakineh according to Islamic law. Choices, oh what fun.  Larijani

 " of the opinion that since the objective is execution, and since stoning is not practical, the execution should be done by hanging. However, (Larijiani) has decided to wait for now and discuss the issue with other Islamic scholars until a clear and accurate decision is reached."
So Ashtiani is languishing in jail waiting to learn her fate, along with one of her lawyers who was jailed for defending her, while another one fled with his family after fearing for his life. The third one, a female, better watch out.  That's Iranian justice for you, no-one gets a fair trial, if they even get one. And Sakineh will be stoned or hanged to death, when they decide which way is best. And more than likely in public, as they are apt to do.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Syrian protesters in Kafrandel miss George 'Dubya' Bush and the Republicans

Like many here and around the world, the Syrians in Kafrandel miss George W. Bush and the Republicans. Their president Bashar al-Assad, ranked number 4 in Parade Magazine's 2011 top 10 worst dictators, has been systematically killing thousands of his people (including allegations of rape, torture and murder of children), as he struggles to hang on to his power.

However, I'm not quite sure what they would have expected Bush to do, other than scare the bejesus out of the bad guys with his so-called cowboy tactics. He was criticized for his cowboy diplomacy, but in many ways it worked.

Photo: H/T Bad Rachel

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Article Praising Hitler Prompts Defunding of Palestinian Youth Magazine By UNESCO

UNESCO, the educational, scientific and cultural arm of the U.N., hoisted the Palestinian flag for the first time ever at its Paris headquarters on December 13, 2011. This week the flag is still billowing, however, the organization announced there would be no more funding of the Palestinian youth magazine Zayzafuna after it discovered the February edition contained a Hitler-loving article by a young girl whose four role models included Adolf.

Of course, UNESCO would have never pulled the plug on funding had it not been for the diligent translation work of Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), which keeps tabs on all things in that region, coupled with the lobbying efforts of the Wiesenthal Center. Not that losing UNESCO's purse strings will make much difference since the magazine is funded by the Palestinian Authority and others.

The Director-General of UNESCO had this to say about the whole situation:

UNESCO is shocked and dismayed by the content of the February issue, and has requested more detailed information and clarification from the editors of the magazine and to Palestinian Authority. UNESCO strongly deplores and condemns the reproduction of such inflammatory statements in a magazine associated with UNESCO's name and mission and will not provide any further support to the publication in question."

And well they should be. But what about the Palestinian people? No-one had any problem with a young teen writing about Hitler in such a positive manner?  No, because they abhor the Jews and they still cleave to the hope that some day Israel will be wiped off the map, though they're not the only ones.

According to the PMW book Deception: Betraying the Peace Process that exposed the article:

The Zayzafuna magazine chose to publish an essay written by a girl in 10th grade in which Hitler is admired because he killed the Jews - an act that is presented as a positive accomplishment for the benefit of humanity. The girl describes a dream in which she meets four historical figures, all of whom are presented as admired role models, and each one's special accomplishment is the topic of a short conversation with the girl. Three of them are the ninth-century Muslim mathematician Al-Khwarizmi; Nobel Prize-winning Egyptian author Naguib Mahfouz; and Saladin, the Muslim leader who defeated the Christian Crusaders and conquered Jerusalem in the 12th century. The fourth and only non-Muslim role model in the dream is Adolf Hitler.
All four are presented as positive figures and each one offers advice to the young girl, which she accepts. Hitler is admired because he killed the Jews "so you would all know that they are a nation which spreads destruction all over the world." Hitler advises the girl to "be resilient and patient" in facing the suffering the Jews are causing. The girl thanks Hitler for his advice.
Not that this is the first time a Palestinian has praised Hitler. To many in the Arab and Muslim world he is a hero, and what the Nazis did to the Jews is something they aspire to.  What PMW found most troubling was the fact that the rest of the magazine is actually very positive- encouraging a democratic society, family values, and  unity & coexistence between everyone in Palestine except the Israelis and the Jews.

As expected, the director of the magazine, Shareef Samhan, claimed she wasn't actually praising Hitler, but rather "accusing" him, and then launched into the whole free speech thing:

"We depend in the content of our magazine on the participation of school students, and it's not our job to prohibit the freedom of speech."

Freedom of speech when it suits them. In response, Ghassan Khatib of the Palestinian Authority said,

"We educate young people in our textbooks about the Holocaust and the massacres of Hitler against Jews and against others, and we refer to these massacres as crimes against humanity. This instance is exceptional, and the editor will try to be more careful in the future."
I'd like to see those books.

Saudi Textbooks Teach Teens How To Chop Off Hands and Feet and That Jews And Gays Should Be Killed

Wonder why Saudi Arabia produces so many terrorists, including the most evil of them all- Osama Bin Laden? It all starts in the Kingdom's educational institutes, where young children are taught to hate.

A while back, the Saudis made promises to clean up school text books, but they obviously lied since the books are just as hateful as they were in the past. According to Ali al-Ahmed of Washington DC's Institute for Gulf Affairs, 9th and 10th grade kids are being taught all sorts of charming Shariah goodies like- how to chop off the hands and feet of thieves. And, of course, those nasty Jews and gays should be killed, because, well, they're just not cool in Islam. Taken straight from the teachings of the Quran, these kids are being taught that Jews need to be wiped off the face of the earth:

'The hour (of judgment) will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them. There is a Jew behind me come and kill him.'

The above quote is from Sahih Muslim Hadith# 6985 Narrated by Abu Hurayrah regarding Islam's Judgement Day.

"Allah's Apostle (peace be upon him) said: The Last Hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; but the tree Gharqad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews."

What do we expect from a people so entrenched in Islamic dogma that it verges on cultism. Yes, there are those who explain away the hadith as merely figurative speech, and perhaps they truly do believe that. But, unfortunately, there are many more (including the Saudis, Palestinians and Iranians) who take it literally, with the extermination of the Jews  a major goal.

And it's not as if those text books were from decades ago, these books were newly published for the 2010/2011 school year and paid for by the Saudi government. 

Those text books also teach that homosexuals should be killed (just like they are in Iran), because according to al-Ahmed "they pose a danger at society." Not surprisingly, those same books denigrate women, describing them as irresponsible and weak. 

And, as expected, no response from the Saudis.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Striking Similarities Between Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama (Video)

A video that highlights the striking similarities between two of the worst presidents in U.S. history: Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama.

Joke of the day: "Jihad Bells" video by Noam Jacobson

From Israeli singer, songwriter, musician Noam Jacobson. Sung to the tune of- you got it- Jingle Bells. It's been around, but worth another watch.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Kim Jong-il's Death Spurs A Slew of Political Cartoons

Since the demise of N. Korea's Kim Jong-il, a slew of political cartoons about him have been published across the globe.  Always a popular target whilst still alive, people are going to miss him now that he's dead. Then again, his son (who even most Koreans know very little about) will prove a most suitable replacement, as evidenced in the above cartoon. 

Carol Hills, at compiled a short video/slide show of some of those cartoons.
As nasty as he was, I suppose he deserves it.

Photo Source: Business Insider

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Hugo Chavez Calls Barack Obama a "Clown"

For some reason Obama, who during the first three years in office has avoided publicly criticizing Hugo Chavez (although a tongue lashing was certainly warranted on many occasions), suddenly decided to blast Venezuela for its ties to Iran and Cuba. There is speculation by certain individuals that it might, indirectly, have something to do with the 2012 election, and that could very well be. Javier Corrales, an Amherst College expert on Venezuela, seems to think it's Obama's way of responding to an 

 ”increasing pressure by conservatives on [sic] the United States to sanction Venezuela, especially because of its ties with Iran. Under Bush, the Conservatives were tolerant with the administration's policy. Under Obama, this tolerance is waning. " 

Chavez has been best buds with Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for a very long time, this is not something new, so why Obama chose this moment to blast him is somewhat suspect, albeit justified.

Predictably, Chavez (who believes it has everything to do with next year's elections), blasted back at Obama calling him "a clown" and an "embarrassment", and essentially told him to butt out. On state TV Chavez told Obama to

“Focus on governing your country, which you've turned into a disaster

"Mr. Obama decided to attack us. Now you want to win votes by attacking Venezuela. Don't be irresponsible. You are a clown, a clown. Leave us in peace … Go after your votes by fulfilling that which you promised your people.”
“Go and ask the black communities of your country what you are for them: the greatest frustration. Go and ask the poor people of your country what you mean for them, a great frustration."

As much truth as there might be in Chavez's words, can you say 'pot- kettle-black. Chavez is one of the world's greatest buffoons, an even greater embarrassment, and has managed to turn his country into a major disaster.

In an interview with the Venezuelan newspaper, El Universal, Obama said,

“It seems to me that the ties between Venezuela's government and Iran and Cuba have not served the interests of Venezuela and its people.”

He also expressed his concerns about the threat to democracy in Venezuela.  Those threats have been around way before Obama took office, so why the concern now is rather odd.

Of course there's also speculation that Chavez, who is also up for re-election in 2012, and isn't about to lose that one, was trying to get some election leverage out of his rebuke. Corrales said that while

"Obama's motives for doing the interview were less predictable [snip] Chávez response was predictable. ”Chávez seizes every opportunity he can find to have a fight with the U.S and his response to this interview follows that line faithfully."

It will be interesting to see if either of their tactics will work in getting them reelected.

I hope not.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Support A Republican Singer and A Novelist

It takes a lot of courage for people in the arts (be they actors, writers, musicians, singers or artists) to speak openly about their non-liberal politics, since it can often adversely affect their livelihood. So when someone does, we should do what we can to support them.  And, since the holidays are the time for giving (be it Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa), I thought I would share with you a few opportunities to support two of those brave souls, especially since I know them.

Jeff Gurner, of the comedy singing duo Joberg & Gurner, also happens to be a great actor that I have worked with. Their lyrics are irreverent and often racy, but very funny. Comedy Central just released their album "MANHOOD", of which the following 'family friendly' video is one of the tracks included.  You can download the CD from i-Tunes and CDBaby

Roy M Griffis is a long-time reader who just shared with me that he finally published his novel, which is now available in paperback and on Amazon Kindle.  I haven't read the book yet, but the synopsis sounds wonderful.

A single spontaneous act of charity on the battlefields of France during WWI will change the life of English Lieutenant Robert Fitzgerald forever. Scourged by the war's brutality, his faith in God and man nearly gone, Fitzgerald follows a soldier out into no-man's land on a mission of charity to euthanize two maimed donkeys. Under fire by the enemy, shamed by the suffering of the only innocent creatures on the field, Fitzgerald unsuccessfully risks his life to aid the poor animals, becoming wounded in the process.

A young nurse, Charlotte Braninov, encounters Robert, first at a front line Casualty Aid station, where he helps her save a dying man, and then at the main hospital, where he is ignobly consigned to Supply Officer, blackballed by the Army for his "lunacy" over the stricken animals. At the hospital, the Russian nurse and English officer slowly find in one another peace from the suffering they have seen, healing, and a meaning to their lives; each act of service or sacrifice building a foundation of love as they have never known, a love they believe strong enough to withstand the hammer-blows of evil and fate.
So, there you have it. Two Republican in the arts you can support, and get something in return.

And as Joberg & Gurner would say:  Happy Chrismanukkah to one and all!

Woman Wins Title Of Best Preacher on Malaysian Islamic TV Reality Show

Malaysia is getting more progressive, they're actually producing reality TV shows. Granted, you won't see any sexy men and women trying to survive on a desert island vying to win a car and $1,000,000. Nope, in Malaysia's popular "Solehah" ("pious female") which aired on Malay cable television station TV AlHijrah, the contestants were veiled young Muslim women between the ages of 20 and 30 who were competing to win the title of best female preacher, along with a trip to Mecca, $10,000 and a car.
The 13-episode primetime program titled “Solehah,” an Arabic word meaning “pious female,” judged young Muslim women on their religious knowledge, oratory skills and personality.
An all male version called "Imam Muda" aired on another TV station, but women are trying to make headway in a conservative Islamic society. 600 women auditioned for the show, and the final episode had the all-female  judges choosing between 10 would-be-preachers.
Clad in colorful traditional Malay clothing with headscarves, the 10 took turns presenting Islamic teachings on moral values on a stage whose magenta lights at times seemed more suited to a song contest. They were judged on their ability to “da’wah” (an Arabic word meaning to spread Islam). In practice, it means delivering religious lectures to Muslims to encourage them to be better Muslims. The contestants were also tested on their ability to complete various tasks, such as helping orphans and renovating a rundown mosque.
Amie Sofia Ahmad, was the grand prize winner. The 25-year-old studied in Egypt and hopes women will be more accepted as preachers.  Good luck with that.  She said,
“We will try slowly ... We will try to change (people’s ideas) without going against Islamic laws,” the serious-looking young woman, her head covered with a yellow scarf, told Reuters. “It may not happen immediately, but eventually it will come, God willing.”
Probably not in her lifetime.

And there might be a season two, which would include foreign contestants.  At least their outfits are colorful.

I wonder if they'd consider a Christian, non-Muslim TV reality show, and could they get any advertisers to commit?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Co-hosts of Dutch TV Show Claim They Ate Each Other's Flesh

This is so disgustingly wrong on so many levels, whether true or just a cheap publicity stunt, or both.

Valerio Zeno and Dennis Storm, co-hosts on the Dutch TV show “Proefkonijnen” ("Test Rabbits" in English) turned Hannibal Lecter-ish when they decided to see what human flesh tasted like, so they did. Each other's. A few centimeters off of Storm's butt, and a few off of Zeno's tummy. Or so they claim.
“We went to the butcher, the surgeon and the studio, then we looked at each other and just ate it,” Storm said. “The special thing is, it was his flesh, of course.” There were no fava beans and chianti. Not even spices, just human flesh cooked medium rare. “The chef cooked it in a frying pan with sunflower oil. We didn’t add any salt or pepper because we wanted to know what it tasted like.”
“The punchline of the show is to get really simple answers on stupid questions, such as, ‘Can you shave with ketchup’ or ‘can you drive blind?’” Storm said. “And we wanted to find out how human flesh tasted.”
This is just as grotesque as Keith Richards (of Rolling Stones fame) claiming he snorted his dad's ashes, along with a little cocaine.

The episode airs Wednesday, for those who live in the Netherlands.

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The Breakdown Of Costs For Obama's $4 million plus 2011 Hawaiian Christmas Vacation

Honestly, I don't begrudge the President a vacation, everyone deserves time off, although most people these days can't afford to go anywhere further than their backyard. I know I can't. I have to scrounge every penny I can round up to pay my $2,300 plus per quarter COBRA health insurance payment. The acting work has been very slow the past few years, so I haven't requalified for my insurance, but at least I'm insured.  I'd love to go somewhere, but I can't.  I'm happy for those who can afford to go somewhere on holiday, and I feel that way about B.O. However, with the economy in shambles, and Barack telling us to 'tighten our belts', spending $4 million plus on his upcoming 17 day Hawaiian vacation strikes me as a tad obscene.

So, your neighbour Joe can't afford to take a vacation this year, but some of his taxes are going to fund the bulk of Obama's.  Doesn't seem fair at all. But what irks the most is that wifey Michelle added at least $100,000 to the total cost of this vacation by refusing to wait until hubby worked out all that payroll tax cut mess at home.

Malia Zimmerman of the Hawaii Reporter breaks down the known costs of this dream vacation for the four Obama's and their huge entourage of White House Staff and Press Corps, Secret Service, Coast Guard, Navy Seals, local police and ambulance.

The biggest expense is President Barack Obama’s round trip flight to Hawaii via Air Force One, a cost the GAO office estimated at $1 million in the year 2000. Contacted today, the GAO confirmed there is no report the independent office affiliated with Congress has prepared since 2000 to operate Air Force One and Air Force Two.

However, the U.S. Air Force provides the most current numbers of $181,757 per flight hour. Travel time for Air Force One direct from Washington D.C. to Hawaii is about 9 hours or $1,635,813 each way for a total of $3,271,622 for the round trip to Hawaii and back.

Obama is picking up his own beach rental tab of $151,200 (isn't that nice of him?), the rest of the estimated $4,113,038 will be paid by you and me.
Here's the rest of the breakdown.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Parade Magazine's 2011 #1 "World's Worst Dictator" Kim Jong-il Is Dead At 69

North Korea's lunatic leader Kim Jong-il, who has hovered in the top ten of Parade Magazine's 'World's Worst Dictators' for as long as I can remember, had the dubious honor of being named 2011's number 1 the day before his death was announced. 

This morning I picked up my Sunday Parade Magazine, and listed were this year's top ten.  At the top of the list was Kim Jong-il. Followed by

2. Isaias Afewerki, Eritrea
3. Omar al-Bashir, Sudan
4. Bashar al-Assad, Syria
5. U Thein Sein, Burma (Myanmar)
6. Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov (imagine having that name) Turkmenistan
7. Raul Castro, Cuba
8. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, Equatorial Guinea
9. Hugo Chavez, Venezuela

I'm not sure what criteria is used for ranking, but over the years they have all at some point switched positions. Although these 10 certainly deserve to be on the list, there are plenty of others who definitely warrant joining them since they are all equally nasty. But as evil as they all are,  Kim Jong-il was one of the more bizarre ones.

Jong-il, aka 'Dear Leader', 'Supreme Leader', 'the General', 'Generalissimo' and 'Our Father', was 69 when he apparently dropped dead on a train a few days ago. According to the BBC, the announcement on state television claimed he had died of  '..physical and mental over-work', but as secretive as N. Korea is, the truth will probably never be known. His youngest son, Kim Jong-un, will take over leadership, and only time will tell whether Jong-un will continue the 'cult of personality' that began with Jong-il's dictator father, Kim il-sung.

I watched a fascinating documentary a few years ago about N. Korea (see part one below). Lisa Ling went undercover and exposed the grotesque manner in which Jong-il was revered and worshipped as a God.  One of the most isolated and secretive countries in the world he has starved, tortured and kept his people in poverty, all the while living a lavish lifestyle.  He is said to have deposited 4 billion dollars in banks in Luxembourg, just in case. A hedonist, he regularly chomped on lobster (with silver chopsticks), airlifted big macs from China, had 10,000 bottles of alcohol in his cellar, and had his personal chefs (many of whom were kidnapped and eventually fled) fetch caviar and other delicacies from around the world. And yet his people starved

And Jong-il was used to getting what he wanted. An ardent film buff, he actually kidnapped a South Korean director and his actress wife in the late 1970s to create propaganda films for the 'Dear Leader'.

Not that things could get any worse for the N. Koreans under his son, but one can hope they get better. Though I doubt it.  His children are all probably very happy living the good life, and like Jong-il continued his father's legacy, I'm sure Jong-un will continue his daddy's.  With nuclear capabilities, this evil, mad dictator won't be missed.


UPDATE: 50 bizarre facts about Jong-il and N. Korea

Pakistani Police Rescue 54 Chained Students Found In Madrassa

Acting on a tip, Pakistani police rescued 54 students from the Zakariya Madrassa (Islamic School) near Karachi, where they were kept like animals in the basement. Both the young and old students were chained, beaten and given very little food by those oh-so-pious clerics. Although the Telegraph says they ranged between the ages of 15 and 45, some of those kids looked much younger, and another news source claims some were as young as 7. The head cleric fled, but several others were arrested.

I wonder if those parents feel guilty, or if they even care. But since some of those madrassas provide free room and board and an education (if you can call learning Arabic, memorizing the Quran and studying Islam an education), I'm sure it's appealing to those who can't afford anything else. Not that everyone there was on a free ticket. One father sent his son to get help with the teen's behavioral problems and was paying $34.00 a month.

Although most of the younger kids were sent for religious education, some of the older 'students' were drug addicts brought there by relatives who saw it as a cheap drug rehab opportunity. Why they had the young kids living with the older druggies is unclear.

Since many of those madrassas are prime breeding ground for would-be-terrorists, police are investigating the possibility of a militant extremist connection.

Christianity, Judaism or Hinduism anyone?

Click here for video news report.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Bangladeshi Man Chops Off Wife's Fingers For Pursuing A College Education

An educated Muslim woman is often a threat to an ignorant, uneducated religious male in certain Muslim-majority countries. They prefer their women folk to remain at home, barefoot and pregnant. An education is a threat to their dominance, that's why they burn down schools in Pakistan and throw acid in young girl's faces in Afghanistan, hoping to keep them so fearful they abandon their educational goals. 

In fact, maiming females is an all too common practice as a retaliatory act for anything from being spurned, to being shamed, to jealousy. Acid is most common, but women have also had body parts cut off as punishment.  Remember the young Afghan woman, Bibi Aisha, who made it to the front page of Time Magazine after her nose and ears were cut off? She had been left to die after shaming her in-laws by running away from her abusive Taliban husband, but miraculously survived.

In the recent case of a 21-year-old Bangladeshi woman, Hawa Akhter Sui, jealousy played a factor in her mutilation. Her husband,  Rafiqul Islam, is the perfect example of the ignorant Muslim chauvinist male. Rafiq works in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as a migrant worker. Married in 2008- while Rafiq worked in Dubai, Sui stayed with her parents in Bangladesh and, in spite of his objections, continued her studies.  He had threatened her with "severe consequences", but little did she know how severe.

Sui, a second-year college student, said that Rafiq had called her and said that he had some presents for her, and that she should fetch them from his sister and brother-in-law's house. She arrived on December 1 at her sister-in-law's house, Naima Begum, and waited.  3 days later, Islam showed up at the house and told her he had a surprise.  This is what happened:

It was around 8:00am.

Jui's husband Rafiq took her into a room and locked her in.

“He told me that he would like to give me a surprise, and covered my eyes with my scarf. I could sense that he was angry with me, but I dared not protest,” Jui said.

“Then, he asked me why I continued my studies despite his objections.”

“I told him that I would sit for the HSC examination, and then quit studies. But he taped my mouth shut, and asked me to put my right hand on a table.”

“Suddenly, Rafiq said he would put an end to my studies, and then hacked off my hand.”

As Jui started groaning in pain, Rafiq's sister and brother-in-law broke into the room.

Then Sui sat there bleeding for 3 hours:

"Instead of taking me to a hospital, my husband Rafiqul Islam and his sister Naima Begum remained busy mopping up the blood on the floor and the bed. Later, Rafiq went out of the house to dump the detached hand into a dustbin"

“On my repeated requests, they took me to the hospital by an auto-rickshaw at about 11:00am, nearly three hours after the incident. On the way to hospital, they threatened to throw me out of the vehicle, if I told the story to anyone."

Had they taken her to the hospital sooner, there might have been a chance to re-attach the fingers. After initially lying to medical personnel at the 2nd hopsital Sui was taken to, Rafiq finally admitted he had thrown the fingers in a dustbin, but by the time they found 4 of them, it was too late. One still remains missing.

Some of the actual details are a tad sketchy-  how much did the sister and brother-in-law know? How much of the hand was chopped off?  But what we do know is that this controlling animal subjected his wife to agonizing pain and disfigurement for life, because he was jealous of her educating herself.

Sui will continue her studies, once she heals and learns to use her left hand. She wants to become a lawyer.  Rafiq, on the other hand is bucking for life in prison, if Human rights organizations get their wish.

Sources: The DailyStar, The Daily Mail UK, The Daily Star

In Islam "Merry Christmas" Is Worse Than Alcohol, Fornication and Killing

According to Brother Abu Mussab Wajdi Akkari, who looks like he's just out of diapers, telling someone "Merry Christmas" is as evil, shirk and kufr as it gets. Yes, those two little words "Merry Christmas" are worse than alcohol, fornication and killing someone. 

There are some who don't take such a bah, humbug attitude towards it, like the first Imam in this video, but the second one, Dr. Zakir Naik, is just as anti-Merry Christmas as the silly young brother in the above video, though not quite so extreme.

Lebanese born Akkari now lives in Saudi Arabia, where I'm sure he feels quite at home with all the other Wahhabi lunatics.

Ho, ho, ho.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Radical Jewish Settlers Allegedly Set Fire to Mosque In West Bank

Although the majority of religious extremists happen to be Muslim, most every other religion has its own coterie of religious fanatics. Be they Jewish, Hindu, Christian or Muslim, extremist acts in any form should be condemned.

Most acts of vandalism are perpetrated by Muslims against the religious institutions of other faiths-Google 'Muslims burn down Christian churches' and you get 1,170,000 pages. On the other hand, Google the inverse and you get about half as many pages.  Christians in most Muslim-majority countries are often persecuted, discriminated against and in some cases subject to having their churches burned down. It's not often you hear about Mosques being burned down or vandalized in the West. For the most part, they live long lives in non-Muslim nations. But they haven't fared so well, however, in the Palestinian West Bank.  Over there, Israelis are dealing with their own kind of extremism in the  guise of radical Jewish settlers. They allegedly have been burning down mosques in what is coined 'price tag' retaliatory violence against the Israeli government's policy of razing illegal settlements. 

The recent spate of mosque burnings has Israeli officials exasperated, and with good reason. Many in the world (especially in that region) already despise Israel, and those kinds of actions are further fanning the flames of anger and hatred towards Israel, as President Shimon Peres put it.

“What these guys are doing is very serious,” he said. “Israel has always been proud of protecting all of the holy sites. Today, when the Muslim world is where it is, to give them justification to attack Israel is a disaster, it’s crazy and it must stopped.”
The latest mosque burning on Thursday in Burqa, a village near Ramallah, occurred in spite of a crackdown by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over escalating violence the past few days. And they're not just attacking mosques, Jewish militants also targeted an Israeli army base located in the West Bank. The 3 days of violence has been condemned by most, and Netanyahu has vowed to "eradicate this evil plague".

The steps announced Wednesday include detention without trial and prosecution in military courts, measures normally applied to Palestinians in the West Bank but not to Jewish settlers there.

Other measures include banning suspected militants from the West Bank and authorizing soldiers in the West Bank to arrest Israelis.
The Israeli government has been criticized for not doing enough to stem the violence, and the Palestinian Authority had the gall to ask the 'international community to hold the Israeli government responsible for the attacks". Right, then Israel should ask the same of the Palestinian government.  And every other country that has been subjected to acts of violence by extremists from a different land should hold their governments responsible.  Israel has as little control over their extremists as Palestine has over theirs.  One major difference, however, is that the Israeli government doesn't encourage the extremism, whereas the Palestinian government does.

'A Voter's Guide To Republicans' For Democrats and Independents

Bill Whittle, conservative editor, screenwriter and director, has put together a great little 'Voter's Guide to Republicans' for all those liberals out there who are convinced we are all evil Greedy, Fascist, Racist pigs.

He sets the record straight with historical facts.  But, as one commenter on YouTube put it, liberals won't have the stomach or attention span to watch this.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Hugo Chavez Is Dead Spam Email Leads To Worm-Infected Website

No, Hugo Chavez is not dead, though some malware creators hoped you'd be interested enough to click on a video in the bogus news article they spammed to people in Latin America last week.  Chavez has been battling cancer this past year, so some might very well have thought (or even hoped) that the story was true.  But bald-headed Hugo is alive and well, cured of cancer, and raring for the next Venezuelan elections scheduled for October 2012, or so he says. Others in the know claim he won't make it to next year's election. One Venezuelan doctor, Salvador Navarrete, who claimed Chavez has only a few years left, was forced to flee the country, and is currently in hiding. Only time will tell how long he has, and why he feels the need to lie, if he is still sick, but he is still kicking, for the time being.

As for that malware email, it certainly looks legit.

It says, that government officials confirm the unfortunate death of 57-year-old Hugo Chavez after an arduous battle against cancer, that was diagnosed this year. It goes on to say, that news of the president's death had upset various world leaders who had expressed their deep felt condolences via media outlets. It also mentions that thousands of Venezuelans took to the streets, and that Chavez's adversaries had claimed that a dark stage in the history of Venezuela had come to an end.

Maybe his buddies Ahmadinejad and Fidel Castro might have been upset, but I'm not sure  many others would have been too broken up over the news. That should have been a tip off, in itself.

According to Naked Security, the blog/newsroom for Sophos security software, if you had clicked on the linked website, you would have found yourself infected with the W32/Dorkbot-AM worm.

It's a good reminder to never click on any link within an email even from friends and family, unless you contact the sender. Email addresses are easily 'spoofed', and might seem as though they came from a friend. And definitely NEVER click on a link from a spam email.

Egyptian Copt Blames Obama For Facilitating Creeping Shariah In The U.S.

Egyptian-born Dr. Ashraf Ramelah, Founder and President of the Voice of the Copts, has some interesting things to say about creeping Shariah in America, and how Barack Obama is facilitating that.

Will we ever know the extent to which President Obama’s most recent submission to the pressured demands of Islamists has endangered American national security? When the Obama administration yielded to the outcries of Muslim-American citizens and Islamic organizations recently with the removal of FBI training manuals containing certain anti-terror material deemed “offensive,” the President was either ignorant of the goals of Islam, complacent about what he knows, or notching up another win for appeasement and promotion of Islam ─ for now a mystery.

He ends with:

Will Americans settle for a repressed society governed by political correctness waiting for Islam to build a stronghold inside our country? Immigrants living in America having once been subject to Islamic law are much more cautious than those who were born into freedom and have only known the freedom of the West. Take the word of the Copt living in America; the signs of Jihad are everywhere, seeking to dismantle our liberty and way of life. It is the Copt living in America who will speak the truth having lived it never allowing the falsehoods of Islam to dominate.

The rest of his article is worth the read.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Pakistani Family In Belgium Gets Jail Time For "Honour Killing"

Honour killings are prevalent all over the world, including Western countries where immigrants (from regions where that practice is common) have settled.  A failure to integrate into their new surroundings, and an almost cult-like adherence to their religion, makes it difficult to let go of  certain religious customs and practices, like female genital mutilation and honor killings. But unlike their homelands, where murdering someone to save a families honour is rarely prosecuted, in the West, they can expect to spend some time in jail for doing that.

A Pakistani family in Belgium found out the hard way, that the those kinds of things are not tolerated in a civilized society.  In 2007, a father and mother, Tarik Mahmood Sheikh and Zahida Parveen Sariya, along with brother Mudusar and sister Sariya murdered Sadia Sheikh for refusing to marry a cousin in Pakistan. It took 4 years to get justice for Sadia, but the Belgian courts finally sentenced the whole family to some jail time. For their parts in the "honour killing" Tarik will spend 25 years in prison, Zahida will spend 20, Mudusar 15 and Sariya a mere five years.

Although the brother allegedly shot his law student sister to death, and confessed to the killing, the parents received a heftier sentence because they were the ones who apparently 'ordered the murder', and then helped carry it out.

Of course, it wasn't just that Sadia had refused the arranged marriage to her cousin, another common practice in Pakistan and other Muslim countries, I'm sure the fact that she was also cohabitating with a Belgian who wasn't a Muslim was a contributing factor, as well.

While Mudusar tried to persuade the jury that he was the only one to blame, and mama and papa concurred, claiming it was all Mudusar's fault- that he'd killed her 'in a fit of rage'- the jury obviously didn't buy it. It probably didn't help matters when Mudusar admitted that it was premeditated "for a long time".  What's even more sickening, though, is that they killed the poor girl while on a visit to reconcile with the family.

What kind of family murders its own flesh and blood because of a refusal of marriage? And what religion values so-called 'honour' above the life of another human being? Too bad they didn't get what the prosecutors wanted: life for the parents and brother, and 20 to 30 years for the sister. They deserved it.

Punk Rockers In Indonesia Detained For Rehabilitation Have Mohawks Shaved

Who would have thought Indonesians were into punk-rock and mohawks.  I certainly had no idea that you could find a punk-rock concert in a country with the world's largest population of Muslims. Granted, most of Indonesia is considered to be relatively moderate and secular, with a constitution that allows for freedom of religion- though only 6 major religions are actually recognized by the government and persecution of non-Muslims is still rampant.  But there are provinces in Indonesia that are ultra conservative, like Banda Aceh, where punk rockers might exist, piercings and all, but they're definitely not tolerated, and often harassed. Here, in Banda Aceh, many modern Western things are considered un-Islamic, including body piercings and mohawks. 

Now, I find excessive body piercing unappealing and mohawks gape-worthy, but the Shariah police in Banda Aceh decided they needed to take action against a bunch of punk rockers at a concert they raided on Saturday. Out of a 100 or so fans, they singled out 59 male and 5 female punk rockers who were taken to a police detention center where the police shaved the mohawks off the men, chopped off the women's hair, confiscated their piercing bling, and stripped them of their "disgusting" clothing. They were then shoved into water for "spiritual" cleansing. According to police chief Iskandar Hasan, they were also given a tooth brush and were told to "use it". What for? Who knows.

The poor kids will spend 10 days at the center,

 for rehabilitation, training in military-style discipline and religious classes, including Qur'an recitation.

Of course, Hasan sees nothing wrong with his actions.

"We're not torturing anyone," the police chief said. "We're not violating human rights. We're just trying to put them back on the right moral path."

Nur Kholis, a national human commissioner would beg to differ, since no crime had been committed, and he insists that the police explain what laws might have been broken.

"Otherwise, they violated people's right of gathering and expression," Kholis said, promising to investigate.

When Shariah is the law of the land, as it is in Aceh, the police don't have to prove anything, and people's rights will continue to be violated.

Jerry Sandusky Lawyer's Gaffe- 1-800-REALITY Is Gay Phone-Sex Line

One would think that when your client's future is hanging on the line, you would be a tad more careful what you say in nationally televised press conferences.  But alleged pedophile Jerry Sandusky's lawyer, Joe Amendola, seems to have made some interesting gaffes over the past few weeks.  First of all, Sandusky's interviews, including the one with Bob Costas, have not painted him in a very positive light.  In fact, that Bob Costas interview pretty much tipped the scales for me, in terms of his guilt. I mean, who horses around naked with young boys, and thinks it's perfectly okay to shower and "touch their thigh", as he so openly admitted to Costas?  This is not normal adult behaviour.

Then we have today's gaffe, not major, but pretty darn bizarre. After Sandusky chose to waive his preliminary hearing rights today, Amendola took to the microphone. 

Trying to be clever, Amendola suggested that we oh-so-naive ones who believe that Paterno et al responded to Mike McQueary's sexual abuse allegations with a simple 'stay out of the shower with young kids, dude', should dial "1-800-REALITY" .  So, took him up on that suggestion and dialed the number , and what they got was a gay phone-sex line.  Ooops.  Or maybe not.  You have to wonder, does Amendola think that his client is guilty and is just letting him hang himself- well, figuratively speaking?  Obviously, the 1-800 gaffe was unintentional, but it is all very strange, nonetheless.

Sources: Sports Grid, NY Daily News

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

"Occupy" The NFL, MLB and the NBA!

So, I admit, I don't care much about sports. I wouldn't know if the Seattle Mariners were football, baseball or basketball players. I do know, however, that most of those athletes are paid obscene amounts of money. 

Let's look at what the top 10 NFL players will get in 2011:

1.    Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts - $23 million.
2.    Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams - $18.4 million
3.    Tom Brady, New England Patriots - $18 million
4.    Michael Vick, yes, that Michale Vick, Philadelphia Eagles - $15.9 million (bumped from $5.5 million in 2010, on a one year deal)
5.    Richard Seymour, Oakland Raiders - $15 million (with a 2 year $30 million extension)
6.    Elvis Dumervil, Denver Broncos - $14 million (with a 61 million extension from 2009, including an 8 million base plus a $6 million bonus this current season)
7.    Mark Sanchez, New York Jets - $13.5 million
8.    Gerald McCoy, Tampa Bay Buccaneers - $12.8 million (with a 5 year $63 million deal, including $12 million bonus this current season)
9.    Haloti Ngata, Baltimore Ravens - $12.5 million
10.  Paul Soliai, Miami Dolphins - $12.4 million

But they aren't the only ones making a killing. Other players in the NFL are profiting quite nicely, thank you very much.

Offensive linemen like Miami’s Jake Long ($11 million a year) and St. Louis’ Chris Long ($6 million) along with premium defensive backs like Denver’s Champ Bailey ($11.5 million), Philadelphia’s Nnamdi Asomucha ($12 million) and the Jets’ Darrelle Revis ($7 million following a holdout last season) certainly rake in their share of the riches.
But Peyton Manning's 23 million greenbacks per year can't compare to what MLB baseball player Albert Pujols just got to join the Los Angeles Angels: 254 million buck-a-roonies over 10 years. And Pujols' $25.4 million per annum pales in comparison to MLB's Alex Rodriquez of the New York Yankees and his whopping $32 million annual salary; followed closely by Vernon Wells of the L.A. Angels and his $26,642,857 million. But don't feel sorry for the others, plenty of Major League Baseball players are making well over $15 million per year for batting a ball with a bat.

With all those millions rolling in to their bank accounts, they definitely qualify as members of that  elite "1%"  club- you know, those nasty millionaires that the 99% Occupy Wall Street types love to vilify. So here's my proposition, why don't the Occupy Wall Street crowd (who obviously have nothing better to do), go 'occupy' the MLB, NFL, NBA, the owners, and all the players who deserve the disapproval. Go camp out at the stadiums and leave our parks alone.

Glenn Beck Would Consider Ron Paul Over Newt Gingrich If He Runs Third Party

According to, Glenn Beck on his radio show said that although he hates Ron Paul's Middle East policies, he would consider voting for him if Paul went Third Party. I'm not sure what Beck would do if he didn't run for Third Party and Newt did happen to get the nomination, but I find that, along with the Ron Paul love-fest in the rightscoop comment section, quite disturbing.

Not many are enamored of Newt Gingrich, but most have the sense to know that he and Mitt Romney have the only chance in hell of winning the 2012 presidential election, and will vote for either if they happen to be the Republican nominee.  The rightscoop  encourages people to vote for Gingrich if he does get the nod, I would encourage people to do the same, or Romney if it goes to him.  However, if Ron Paul happens to miraculously win the Republican nomination, or runs Third Party, I could not in good conscience vote for him.  I would do what I criticized people for in 2008, sit it out. 

Now, let's see how many Paulbots come slinking over here to slam me.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Saudi Arabia Beheads Old Woman Convicted Of 'Sorcery and Magic'

The preferred method of execution in Saudi Arabia is beheading. No, I'm not talking about some random terrorist chopping the head off  some captured infidel, I'm talking about the method in which the Saudi Arabian government executes those sentenced to death. And they happen to enjoy making many of those executions a public spectacle, like Abdul Hamid, the Sudanese man who was beheaded in a parking lot this past September for allegedly agreeing to cast a spell for a man who was working for the Saudi religious police. Entrapment or not, it is thought that Hamid was coerced into admitting to sorcery after he was arrested and then beaten.  You see, thanks to Shariah Law, witchcraft, sorcery and fortune telling, are punishable by death in Saudi Arabia, along with apostasy, adultery, drug use and the usual murder, rape and armed robbery. But in the not-so-magic Kingdom, you are more likely to have your head chopped off  with a charge of witchcraft and sorcery (or stoned to death for adultery) than for murder or rape.  Take this Saudi man who raped his young daughter for 7 long years- he got to keep his head, and will be out after a 13 year jail sentence plus 2,080 lashes to be meted out throughout his prison stay.

But fortune telling and sorcery (as undefined as it is in Shariah law) is obviously far more un-Islamic than rape, given the amount of people who have been sentenced to death and executed for it.  One of the more celebrated cases was the famous Lebanese TV psychic, Ali Sibat, who on a pilgrimage to Medina in 2008 was arrested in his hotel room after religious police recognized him from his show. Sentenced to death in November, 2009 after a secret trial, he was scheduled to be beheaded on April 2, 2010. But after a major outcry from the international human rights community, the sentence was eventually overruled, and a retrial in Medina was ordered, along with a recommendation for deportation.  But there has been no news regarding the outcome, other than a small mention in this September 2011 NPR article that claims he was deported.

Amina Bint Abdulhalim Nassar, a 60-something year-old woman, wasn't so lucky. Nassar was just beheaded for "practicing witchcraft and sorcery". No specific details were mentioned regarding the nature of her 'crimes', but according to British-based al-Hayat daily, the head of the Saudi religious police, Abdullah al-Mohsen, said the old woman had been bilking people out of $800 with claims she could treat their illnesses. $800 is a lot of money for quackery, but does a person deserve a death sentence for fraud?

The Salem Witch Trials took place in the late 1600s in this country.  Saudi Arabia is still stuck there, thanks to Shariah law.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Salafi Leader Bassem al-Zarqa Wants The Word "Civil" Clarified, Says All Egyptians Salafis

Salafis, those uber-conservative, ultra religious Saudi Arabian brand of Muslims that are poised to take control of the Egyptian government alongside their Muslim Brotherhood brothers refuse to get down with the word "civil", at least until they fully understand what it means.  So what exactly is their problem?  What I gather is that in post-revolution, post-Mubarak Egypt the liberals are battling the soon-to-be majority Islamists over a secular "civil" state versus a religious Sharia dominant Egypt. 

The Egyptian Salafi al-Nour Party, via  Bassem al-Zarqa (one of its members), recently told Al Arabiya News, that

“Salafis reject the use of the word ‘civil’ in a way that does not clarify what it entails and they are now trying to reach an understanding on its meaning with other political powers in Egypt."

“Salafism means following the teachings of the Prophet and his companions. It is based on those teachings that both religion and state were founded, so we can say that all Egyptians are Salafis.”

Wrong. Not all Egyptians are Salafis- there are a heck of a lot of Coptic Christians and secular-minded Muslims living in Egypt who would beg to differ, including Hani Nessira, an Egyptian writer. Nessira explains why Salafis have such a major problem with words like "civil" and "democracy":

“From the Salafi point of view, democracy and civil state mean giving people power over God’s laws and this for them is unacceptable. The creation of a civil state is part of Egypt’s history and it can be traced back to even before the 19th century.”

So, of course they would reject those words, because there is no room for democracy in an Islamist,  Shariah compliant country.  Unfortunately,  a non democratic, non "civil" Egypt would be most detrimental to the Copts who even under a predominately secular, civil state have been terribly persecuted over the decades.  Emad Gad, a Copt and member of  one of the more liberal political parties believes that the Salafis' have a problem with the word "civil"  because of their attitude towards non-Muslims living in Egypt.

“Salafis do not recognize the presence of Egyptian Christians and consider a Pakistani Muslim closer to them than an Egyptian Christian. Therefore, they undermine the principle of citizenship,” he said.
Well, if they believe that all Egyptians are Salafis (as al-Zarqa cleary stated), that doesn't leave room for
anyone else, does it.

According to Gad,  there have been

.... several fatwas issued by Salafi clerics and which label Christians apostates and prohibit dealing with them.

“The Salafi discourse is confused and has very dangerous implications which become clear in their statements about democracy as a form of apostasy.”

Gad wants the Salafis to be more upfront about their position on things like, free speech, freedom of religion, rotation of power- you know, all those democratic principles that the liberal activists fought so hard to achieve during their revolution in Tahrir Square.

“They also need to state whether they are willing to accept whatever the majority of Egyptian political powers agrees on or not,” he concluded.

I think it's a little too late, since the Islamists have pretty much won a majority in the elections there. And, somehow, I don't think the Salafis are ever going to come to terms with the word "civil".