Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Voted Most Likely To Be A Martyr

According to a November 29, 2005 story on this news channel (all emphases this blog author's):
American Citizen Convicted For Terrorism: Man Conspired To Assassinate The President

"FALLS CHURCH, Va. -- An American citizen whose father worked for the Saudi Embassy is convicted for conspiring with Al Qaida operatives to assassinate President George W. Bush.

Ahmed Abu Ali, of Falls Church, Va., admitted to the crime in a videotaped confession.

"As a boy, Abu Ali attended the Saudi Islamic Academy in Alexandria. He even became a member of the National Honor Society. In his senior year, Ali's classmates voted him 'the most likely to become a martyr.'

"In the video, the 24-year-old said he went to Saudi Arabia in 2002 to study Islam, and met an Al Qaida operative who invited him to join the Jihad against America.

"'I immediately accepted because of my hatred of the U.S., for what I felt was its support of Israel against the Palestinian people,' Abu Ali said on the tape.

"Abu Ali also admitted that he suggested blowing up American warplanes, warships, or targeting hi-ranking U.S. officials.

"He also said it was his Al Qaida contact's idea to kill the president.

"Ali Abu went on to say on the videotape, 'I preferred this idea because it was easier to carry out since the U.S. president often appears in pubic places.'

"The group then plotted exactly how they would carry out the assassination.

"They agreed that they would 'either use at least three snipers who would fire simultaneously to increase the hit probability, or to carry out a martyr operation when the U.S. president goes out to greet the people.'

"During his trial, Ali testified that the Saudis beat the confession out of him. But jurors saw him on tape pretend to cock a rifle and laugh.

"'What was striking was how relaxed he looked, almost carefree...[he] didn't look like someone tortured, pressured into confessing,' said Roger Cressey, an NBC News Terror Analyst.

"Now the little boy voted most likely to become a martyr is facing 20 years to life in prison.

"Abu Ali will be sentenced in February."
Note: As we locals well know, the name of Abu Ali's high school is the Islamic Saudi Academy, not the Saudi Islamic Academy.

If the following information from the Washington Post is accurate, no wonder Ahmed Abu Ali was so willing to conspire with Al-Qaeda:
"The 11th-grade textbook, for example, says one sign of the Day of Judgment will be that Muslims will fight and kill Jews, who will hide behind trees that say: 'Oh Muslim, Oh servant of God, here is a Jew hiding behind me. Come here and kill him.'..

"Some teachers 'focus more on hatred,' said one teenager, who recited by memory the signs of the coming of the Day of Judgment. 'They teach students that whatever is kuffar [non-Muslim], it is okay for you' to hurt or steal from that person..."
In light of the conviction of Ahmed Abu Ali, isn't it time for an extensive investigation of ISA on the part of Homeland Security? The Islamic Saudi Academy published a caption saying "Voted Most Likely to be a Martyr" to appear below Abu Ali's yearbook photo!

A bit of background information on ISA is very interesting. According to "The Madrassa on Main Street: Teaching Fundamentalist Islam on U. S. Route 1,
"A few miles outside of Washington and a stone's throw from Mt. Vernon Plantation - George Washington's home - the Saudi government is teaching Wahhab Islam to hundreds of Muslim-American children. The school, called the Islamic Saudi Academy, is one of an estimated 200-600 in the U.S. that indoctrinate 30,000 students in the teachings of Koran."
And just how did ISA get such a prime piece of property, so close to our nation's capital
"In 1988, 'Dusty' Rhodes, the Fairfax County official in charge of renting school facilities, bragged to a local pastor that the Saudis had not paid the county a dime for the deed to the school. According to Rhodes, the Saudis got the use of the building in exchange for making renovations. Once renovations were complete they were given the deed. At the time, Fairfax County discriminated against churches who used public school facilities by charging them commercial rates, rather than the lower rates charged other community groups. The county was forced to halt the discrimination after a lawsuit.

"In a county where just the tax assessment on a vacant acre can exceed $250,000, the Saudis not only got the building but acres of athletic fields."
Where did Abu Ali acquire his deep hatred of the United States? In Saudi Arabia? Or did his hatred begin with his Wahhabist education at the Islamic Saudi Academy in Fairfax County, Virginia?

Addendum: I sent this story to Jihad Watch, Robert Spencer's site, which graciously printed the story as "American Citizen Convicted For Terrorism."

Continue reading....

Monday, November 28, 2005

Returning To Bad News

After a delightful week in Southern California, I came home to a gigantic pile of mail. As my cat-sitter put it, "You get more junk mail that anyone else I've ever seen!" In fact, the pile of mail filled to the brim and overflowed the edges of one huge box.

As I went through the items, I came to two envelopes from my accountant, and thinking that these were mere newsletters about end-of-tax-year matters, I put them aside for a few hours. What a nasty suprise I got when I opened the letters!

"We are writing to alert you that some of the personal and confidential information you have provided may be at risk. On Monday, November 14, 2005, burglars broke into our office suite breaching several layers of security. The break in occurred between 2:00 and 4:00 a.m. The theives stole computer equipment, some of which contained client information including names, addresses, social security numbers, dates of birth and bank account information...

"There is an immediate risk that confidential information may be used for identity theft and other illegal purposes. We strongly recommend that you immediately place a 90-day fraud alert on your account by calling Equifax..."

Of course, I called Equifax immediately and, following the simple prompts in the automated system, I placed the fraud alert. But because of the timing of my Thanksgiving vacation, I have to wonder if my identity is already jeopardized.

In the same batch of mail was a letter addressed to my father, who has been dead almost nine years. In order to protect his identity--never mind that he is dead--I am supposed to send to various agencies three copies of his death certificate. Do I still have on hand three death certificates? I doubt it. If my father's identity has been stolen, can such a theft really have substantial impact on me? His estate was settled years ago, but his name still appears on the deed to his house. I'll have to contact the accountant on that one, I suppose.

No sooner had I tended to the fraud alert than I found serious problems with two of my email accounts. I was able to read email but unable to reply, forward, or compose. After three grueling hours on the phone with The Geek Squad and after multiple attempts to deleted adware and spyware, I finally have the laptop email working again. The desktop is another matter and will just have to wait until my Christmas break, which begins on December 10. After what I went through with the Geeks from Jamaica and Bangladesh, I think I'll pay the extra bucks for a house call.

And now, just when I thought computer matters on this laptop were settled, in Blogger "Compose" my enter key doesnt' work! At least the key works in "Edit HTML"--so far, that is. Well, if my blog suddenly falls silent or has no paragraphs, you readers will know that I'm having computer problems.

Coming back to reality after a memorable vacation is always difficult. But somehow I didn't expect that getting back to the grind at home would be this bad!

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Saturday, November 26, 2005

No Bibles For Prisoners At Gitmo

My husband and I had a wonderful vacation in Southern California. We gazed at the sunset on Laguna Beach, toured the Getty Center, enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner with family, checked out the glitz on Hollywood Boulevard, shopped in Chinatown and on Olvera Street, ate lunch at Fabiolus Cafe on Sunset Boulevard, strolled the pier at Santa Monica, cruised through Beverly Hills--all those touristy things we never tire of when we visit my in-laws, who live right on Hollywood Boulevard. Unlike last year's visit, this year the weather cooperated, and, for the most part, we had cerulean-blue skies and summerlike temperatures.

But, of course, we weren't completely in fantasy land because every morning I picked up a copy of the newspaper. And one day the following surreal story appeared in the Los Angeles Times:
Guantanamo Bay Prisoner Sues U.S. to Get a Bible:
The government says certain books are withheld because they could 'incite' inmates

"At the U.S. prison for suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, everyone can get a Koran, but no one gets a Bible.

"Saifullah Paracha, a 58-year-old former Pakistani businessman with alleged ties to Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, has been in U.S. custody since 2003. Like the other inmates at Guantanamo Bay, he has a copy of the Koran. But he also wants an English translation of the King James version of the Bible.

"Paracha believes that because the Bible is one of the scriptures accepted in Islam, he is entitled to a copy to read in his small wire-mesh cell. But after his lawyer shipped him a Bible, along with two volumes of Shakespeare, prison officials confiscated the package.

"Paracha's American lawyer filed suit in U.S. District Court in Washington, demanding that Paracha be given the Bible and copies of Hamlet and Julius Caesar. The government responded that certain books were kept from prisoners because they could 'incite' them....

"Although a judge has not sorted out the dispute, the prison has recently 'cleared for release' the Shakespeare plays. But still no Bible for Paracha."
Maybe I'm missing the point here, but I don't understand why Paracha cannot have a copy of the Bible. Furthermore, I'm relatively certain that should the inmates at Gitmo decide to desecrate Bibles Christians will not riot in the streets.

In his Weblog article "Working out the Counterterrorist Kinks," Daniel Pipes made the following comment about the above newspaper article:
"In considering U.S. policy toward terrorists, I argue that the authorities face a whole new set of issues for which, however slowly and clumsily, they are developing a coherent set of regulations and guidelines.

"Just how slow and clumsy that process comes vividly to light in an article by Richard A. Serrano in the Los Angeles Times....

"That the U.S. government provides suspected Islamist terrorists with Korans but refuses them Bibles exactly sums up its confusion."

Continue reading....

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Thanksgiving Break (Until November 27)

"Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name.

"For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endureth to all generations."
--Psalm 100: 4-5 (KJV)

During my absence, please check out some of the right-sidebar links to other blogs. I highly recommend this one for insightful articles about Islam. I also recommend these sites: here and here. And if not taking a Thanksgiving break, my friend Mustang, my first stop every day, puts up interesting articles about once a week.

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Monday, November 14, 2005

U.S.-Saudi Relations

From a recent article in the Washington Post:

U.S.-Saudi Plan Aims To Expand Relations:
'Strategic Dialogue' To Include Energy, Counterterrorism

"JIDDAH, Saudi Arabia, Nov. 13 -- With skepticism still deep on both sides four years after the Sept. 11 attacks, the United States and Saudi Arabia on Sunday inaugurated a new 'strategic dialogue' to expand cooperation on six key issues, including terrorism and energy.

"Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called on Saudi Arabia to play a stronger role in confronting terrorist groups and their financiers. 'I'm certain the Saudi government can do better,' Rice said at a news conference with Prince Saud Faisal, the Saudi foreign minister. 'All of us can do better. But there is, I think, no lack of political will.'

"The Bush administration has been under pressure from both Republicans and Democrats to win greater cooperation from Saudi Arabia. Fifteen of the 19 men who carried out the 2001 attacks were Saudi citizens, and the oil-rich kingdom is the birthplace of al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden....

"Congressional criticism of Saudi Arabia has been particularly harsh. 'We can't continue this sort of cat-and-mouse game that has characterized the relationship,' Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) said at a Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday. At the same session, Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) said Washington was 'far too cozy' with a country whose citizens were responsible for the deadliest attack ever on U.S. soil.

"After Rice's talks here, the Saudi foreign minister said the kingdom was 'fighting as hard as we can. I would dare anyone to say there is another country that is fighting terror as hard as we are.' Faisal, the U.S.-educated son of the late King Faisal, noted that Saudi Arabia has outlawed incitement and cracked down on Saudi financing destined for militant groups inside and outside the country.

"'There is what I would call a misunderstanding about Saudi Arabia among the U.S. public, as there is a misunderstanding about the United States among the Saudi public. That is why we are trying to influence this,' Faisal said, adding that the news media were partially responsible for image problems...."
What Faisal refers to as "a misunderstanding" and as "image problems" goes much deeper than such innocuous words. The Senate Judiciary Committee is supposed to be investigating Saudi's support of inciteful material distributed at mosques in the United States. Yet our State Department seems to be avoiding those committee hearings, and at the same time, Saudi appears to be lobbying to have the hearing scrapped.

Returning now to the above-cited article from the Washington Post:
"[N]oticeably missing from the dialogue are the issues of political reform and democracy, which are at the top of Washington's foreign policy agenda but are the most politically sensitive issues in the Persian Gulf nation. Six new U.S.-Saudi groups will instead focus on counterterrorism, military affairs, energy, business, education and human development, and consular affairs."
Is it reasonable to expect much cooperation from Saudi, the home of Wahhabism? On page 156 in his bestselling book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), Robert Spencer gives, in the insert "A Book You're Not Supposed To Read," a capsular review of Dore Gold's 2003 book Hatred's Kingdom: How Saudi Arabia Supports the New Global Terrorism:
"Gold's history demonstrates the foolhardiness of entering into lasting accords with Islamic states that regard bonds with any non-Muslim state not as genuine alliances between equals, but as temporary arrangements that are useful only as long as they strengthen the Muslims, and not a minute longer."

[More on Dore Gold's book here, from Liberty and Culture. More on whether Saudi is our friend or foe here, from Gates of Vienna]

The United States, indeed all Western nations, should be wary of "strategic dialogue" which doesn't further the spread of Islam! After all, strategy may have a definition which differs from that which our State Department means.

Continue reading....

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Sometimes You Have To Laugh

A special thank-you to the former student who shared these items with me!

Question: If you could live forever, would you and why?
Answer: "I would not live forever, because we should not live forever, because if we were supposed to live forever, then we would live forever, but we cannot live forever, which is why I would not live forever."
--Miss Alabama in the 1994 Miss USA contest.
(On September 17, 1994, Heather Whitestone was selected as Miss America 1995)

"Whenever I watch TV and see those poor starving kids all over the world, I can't help but cry. I mean I'd love to be skinny like that, but not with all those flies and death and stuff."
--Mariah Carey

"Smoking kills. If you're killed, you've lost a very important part of your life."
--Brooke Shields, during an interview to become Spokesperson for federal anti-smoking campaign.

"I've never had major knee surgery on any other part of my body."
--Winston Bennett, University of Kentucky basketball forward.

"Outside of the killings, Washington has one of> the lowest crime rates in the country."
--Mayor Marion Barry, Washington, D.C.

"I'm not going to have some reporters pawing through our papers. We are the president." ["We"?]
--Hillary Clinton, commenting on the release of subpoenaed documents.

"That lowdown scoundrel deserves to be kicked to death by a jackass, and I'm just the one to do it."
--A Congressional candidate in Texas.

"Half this game is ninety percent mental."
--Danny Ozark, manager of the Philadelphia Phillies

"It isn't pollution that's harming the> environment. It's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it."
--Al Gore, Vice President (DUH !) and he wanted to be President!!!!!!!!!

"I love California. I practically grew up in Phoenix."
--Dan Quayle

"We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
--Lee Iacocca

"The word "genius" isn't applicable in football. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein."
--Joe Theisman, NFL football, quarterback and sports analyst.

"We don't necessarily discriminate. We simply exclude certain types of people."
--Colonel Gerald Wellman, ROTC Instrutor.

"If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure."
--Bill Clinton, President

"We are ready for an unforeseen event that may or may not occur."
--Al Gore, Vice President

"Traditionally, most of Australia's imports come from overseas."
--Keppel Enderbery

"Your food stamps will be stopped effective March 1992 because we received notice that you passed away. May God bless you. You may reapply if there is a change in your circumstances."
--Department of Social Services, Greenville, South Carolina
Years ago, my boss, the director of a private school, used to remind us teachers of the importance of thinking before speaking (The same applies to writing and proofreading): "Be sure your brain is in gear before you engage your mouth." Somebody needs to remind various public figures of that good advice.

Note to readers of this blog: You are invited to share some of your favorite bloopers, political or otherwise, by adding other malapropisms and inanities to the comments section.

Continue reading....

Friday, November 11, 2005

Action Alert!

The following information comes from GM's Corner from Online Coalition:
"Right now – there are TWO bills in Congress that will affect bloggers – one good, one bad. The bill that deserves our support is HR 1606 – The Online Freedom of Speech Act.

"The other bill – HR 4194 – is a substitute offered by those most interested in regulating the internet. Its supporters are engaged in an aggressive campaign to pass this legislation in Congress, in an effort to muddy the waters and distract Congress from passing real protections for bloggers. They're so terrified of your freedom to speak your mind that they've actually compared giving freedom to bloggers to the scandal involving Scooter Libby in the White House. No, we're not making that up."
Here's GM's advice:
"Write your congressmen in no uncertain terms. Put a notice on your blog, send e-mails to friends letting them know. Do something or this media that we love will change and not for the better. If you really value the First Amendment, do this now!!!!"
Hop to it, folks--be you righties or lefties!

Contact your Congressional Representative here.

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Thursday, November 10, 2005

The End Of A Tradition?

According to a November 10, 2005 article in the Washington Post, a fall tradition, the Friday night football game at the local high school, is suffering some hard times. The article, "Friday Night's Lights Are Going Dark: Football Game Violence Imperils a Rite of Youth," indicates that our society is, in effect, surrendering to the strong-arm tactics of a very few:

"This week, after the accidental shooting of a 17-year-old girl at an Oct. 28 game, Annapolis High School has moved its traditional Friday night homecoming game to this afternoon. At tomorrow's homecoming parade, marchers will reach the City Dock and then just go home. The game will have already been played.

"The cherished ritual of Friday night high school football -- hot chocolate, marching bands and blankets under the lights -- has long been as sure a sign of fall as the changing of the leaves. But this season, a series of shootings and stabbings during and after the games threatens to upend the tradition here and across the country....

"Before this fall, the last fatality at a high school football game was in November 2003 in Sugar Land, Texas, according to Trump's database."
An inset in the above-cited article provides the following chronology:
Aug. 19 Miami: High school student shot to death in stadium parking lot.

Aug. 19 Morrow, Ga.: Student and a spectator wounded in a parking lot.

Sept. 2 Anchorage: Student charged with attempted murder after shooting wildly in a parking lot before a game.

Sept. 9 Racine, Wis.: Two students suffered minor gunshot wounds near a game.

Sept. 9 Edmond, Okla.: School band member shoots into the air after a game.

Sept. 16 South Salt Lake, Utah: Teenager fired at a school bus after a game, injuring one person.

Sept. 17 Decatur, Ga.: Two males shot outside a game.

Sept. 23 Silver Spring: Teenager stabbed to death in a parking lot after a game.

Oct. 7 Richardson, Tex.: Student shot to death during a fight after a game.

Oct. 28 Annapolis: Teenager shot in the thigh at a game.
According to the article, parents are scrambling to rearrange their schedules in order to take their children to the games, and some teams are playing games without any substantial number of spectators:

"School officials in Anne Arundel County have rescheduled remaining Friday night games this year for times when fewer people will attend. Games have been played at twilight, on Saturday afternoons and, in the case of today's Annapolis contest, after school on a Thursday.

"The kickoff times are wreaking havoc with schedules. Parents have had to take time off from work. Referees have had to shuffle assignments. The new varsity game times have affected junior varsity teams, which now play at odd hours. Coaches are grumbling about lost revenue at the gates and concession stands; attendance was off by one-third at last Friday's Annapolis game.

"'I had to get off two hours early to come to the game,' said Sheree Brown-Queen, a juvenile probation officer who was at the Annapolis game Friday to cheer nephew Justin Brown, a Panthers safety."

"A former Annapolis High School cheerleader, Brown-Queen said she remembers seeing her mother in the stands at every game, and she intends to do the same for her nephew: 'It's important to kids to see people there at the game who support them.'...
Athletic events such as football games are an important part of the lives of both the team members and their families and friends. Perhaps the saddest part of the change in the schedule of games is the following:

"It was definitely quiet when the Mount Vernon Knights played their oldest rival, the New Rochelle Huguenots, said Ric Wright, Mount Vernon's coach. 'There was no one there except for the police,' he said. Players had to help the referees move the down markers. Mount Vernon ultimately lost, 40-16, despite its theoretical home-field advantage.

"New Rochelle students learned their team had won only after the game was over, in an announcement on the school intercom.

"'Everybody just kind of looked at each other,' said Eileen Fener, 17, a New Rochelle senior who had planned to attend. 'Nobody cheered. Nobody knew what to do.'"
Why are these events having such problems? Again, according to the article:

"High school football is a magnet for violence, according to coaches, principals and security officials. In many suburbs, the game is the biggest event in town on Friday nights. It draws an audience far beyond the school community, a group that sometimes includes members of gangs.

"Team rivalries can fuel tempers. A packed stadium provides an ideal stage for committing a violent act and then slipping into a crowd....
And what measures are being taken?
"School officials in both Anne Arundel and Montgomery have tightened security in response to the violence. Montgomery had to contend with two deaths within a week. In the second case, a 23-year-old Germantown man was beaten with a miniature baseball bat a block away from a Sept. 16 Seneca Valley High School football game. It is unclear whether either the victim or the suspects in the case attended the game, said schools spokesman Brian Edwards.

"Additional police and school staff members have been assigned to remaining games in both counties.

"No tickets are being sold after halftime at games in Anne Arundel, and no one who leaves the stadium is allowed to return. Starting most games at twilight means 'we're going to be able to look at them and eyeball them as they're walking into the stadium' to better judge who might pose a threat, said Roy Skiles, assistant superintendent of Anne Arundel schools."
Even those of us who are not loyal fans of high-school football are the losers as our communities enter crisis-management mode. Our society is allowing gangs, thugs, and bullies to steal something of inestimable valuable--the sense of community spirit. Once gone, that sense cannot be restored by throwing more money and extra security officers at the problem.

Continue reading....

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

About Those Riots In France

Over at this site, an author in the United Kingdom today posted the following article (All emphases in this color are mine):
Napoleon died long ago!

Clearly, France is sliding into civil war. Last night saw mayhem all across France in the twelfth night of extreme violence. The best the French cabinet can come up with is the approval of the introduction of curfews, if the local authorities deem curfews necessary. The local authority can now declare a state of emergency, too. Can mark you! Wow! How Draconian these measures are! Further, Dominic de Villepin even went so far as to say that the government would take the necessary measures to re-establish order very quickly throughout France! Monsieur, you'll have to come up with a hell of lot more than this if you want La Belle France to survive!

A state of emergency should be declared across the whole of France - now, since the riots now stretch from North to South and from East to West. The country is in the grip of a civil war. Things are spiralling out of control. Where is the heavy hand of strong government? Where has that Napoleonic spirit disappeared to? Where is that French pride and determination to save the nation? Where is all that intellectuality - you know, what the French have always prided themselves on - to be able to think this thing through?

That this is an extremely grave situation is obvious to all. Now, there have been copycat outbreaks of violence in Belgium (5 cars have been set alight around the Gare du Midi, where Eurostar terminates) and Germany (5 cars have been destroyed in Berlin; six, in Bremen). Recent tensions in the Netherlands, after the murder of Theo van Gogh, will not help to make that country immune from the ire of the Muslim community, either. All this, and not a strong leader in sight!

Here in the United Kingdom we have a lame duck Prime Minister. Chirac in France is no better, especially since the vote on the European constitution, the USA has a President who has yet to convince me that he knows what Islam is all about and who is showing himself to be more of a little pussy at heart rather than that strong, assertive leader he seems to so wish to be!

I wouldn't give you a dime for the damn lot of them! They all want the power, the money and the glory that goes with high office, but none - I repeat, none - has the stomach to take the necessary measures to deal with the Islamization of the West. Islam is growing apace, growing in the West like a cancer in the stage of metastasis: it is metastasizing here and metastasizing there. And the West is in a feeble state, in a state of cachexia, with not a good surgeon for thousands of miles around!

The editor of The Telegraph this morning states that it would be tempting to draw historical comparisons with the events in France in May 1968 and with the revolutions of 1848, but adds that the events are distinguished more by their differences than their similarities. The reason, he states thus:The rioting in France this autumn has no clear political aim beyond an expression of disgust with the government and, in particular, the interior minister, Nicolas Sarkozy. Really! He needs to think again! These riots are indeed politically motivated - motivated by the politics of Islam!

It beggars belief that educated men in the know have yet to get a grip on the reality of what is happening in Europe today. These riots are but the first salvo shot across the bow of Europe! There is evidence aplenty of the intentions of the Islamic communities to turn Europe into Eurabia.

Three books come to mind as I write this: Eurabia, by Bat Ye'or, who describes extremely well, and in erudite fashion, what is going on here; The Rage and the Pride by Oriana Fallaci - another excellent book, and pertinent, because we see the rage of the Muslim communities of France, and the pride they have in feeling superior to the indigenous, infidel population; and, if I might suggest my own book, The Dawning of a New Dark Age [by Mark Alexander] which is exactly what will come about if the force of darkness that is Islam overcomes the force of the enlightenment of the West. [This last book is available here]

We need to ensure that our powder kegs are dry for the long and arduous battles ahead. This conflagration has all the makings of dragging the world into war. This is why it is so necessary to take tough measures to stop the rot NOW! This is no time for mealy-mouthedness, no time for political correctness, no time for the multiculturalists, and certainly no time to be thinking of bringing Turkey into the heart of Europe!

We need to roll back the frontiers. We need to drop the iron veil, the veil of which I wrote in my book. We need to stem the flow of immigrants into Europe, that means we must put an end to the crescades,waves of Muslim immigrants which have been allowed to enter Europe over the past decades without even a serious attempt to stem the flow.

This is a battle for the soul of Europe. A battle which must be won if we are to secure our civilization. Make no mistake about it: What is going on in France right now will impact on us all: the UK, the US, all of Europe, and even Australia and beyond. This is the clash of civilizations of which Samuel P Huntington wrote, and it will be the re-making of the world order if we fail to act decisively. There is no time to waste. Our task is clear: We need to re-assert our authority in our own lands, and win back control. For now, France needs its Napoleon. Stand up! Your country needs YOU!

©Mark Alexander
Some friends of mine just a few days ago returned from their tour of Italy. On their way back to the United States, their airplane touched down for a brief layover at De Gaulle International Airport. According to my friends, the sight of smoke billowing over Paris brought back memories on 9/11.

Are we--Mark Alexander, my friends who just returned from Europe, and I--worrying about nothing? Or is something more insidious afoot, with France as the newest flashpoint? Has Eurabia arrived, in flames and violence? Have the Islamic chickens come home to roost?

Note: Readers are also advised to have a look at many of the articles posted about the riots in France at this web site, where Gindy has been keeping a running account. See Gindy's right sidebar to pull up several pieces to consider. Gindy is one of several doing an excellent job of keeping the account and of analizying the deeper meaning. Also see this site, this site, and this site, to name three more.

Continue reading....

Saturday, November 05, 2005

"Imagine You're A Woman"

This article from the October 31, 2005 edition of Asharq Alawsat is published in its entirety:
Imagine You're a Woman
by Badriyya Al-Bishr

Imagine you're a woman. When your brother is born, people say 'It's a boy, how wonderful,' yet when you are born they say, 'A little girl, how wonderful!' Why do they use diminutive form? Your arrival is welcome if you are the first or second girl; it is best your mother has no more than two. On the other hand, the arrival of boys is always welcome! The more the merrier, the saying goes.

Imagine you're a woman. You will always need to seek permission from your guardian not only for your first marriage, according to Islamic legal scholars, but in every other matter. You cannot study without your guardian's permission, even at the level of PhD and you cannot get a job and earn a living either. Furthermore, many shamelessly argue that a woman must have permission to work even in the private sector.

Imagine you're a woman and picture your 15-year old son or your brother accompanying you on every journey. Your guardian might request a bribe in return for setting you free from his unwanted company but will not accept cash since his self-respect prevents him from touching a woman's money. Instead, he will ask for a car or the money to be paid in installments.

Imagine you're a woman, and you are subject physically abused and maybe even killed. When the press publishes your photograph and exposes the brutality of the beatings, the public will only care whether you were veiled. When the man who broke your ribs is your husband, people will believe there was a reason behind his actions.

Imagine you're a woman whose husband breaks your nose, arm, or leg. When you file a complaint, the judge responds reproachfully, 'Is that all?' He believes physical abuse to be a natural occurrence amongst all families as the saying goes 'Beating the beloved is like eating raisins.'

Imagine you're a woman who must be driven in a ‘limousine’ by your Indian or Sri Lankan driver because you yourself are not allowed behind the steering wheel.

Imagine you're a woman in the 21st century at a time when experts in Islamic law are issuing religious edicts on sexual intercourse with the enemy’s womenfolk, but you do not know to which enemy they refer to.

Imagine you're a woman who writes in a newspaper, and every time you write about women issues such as poverty, unemployment, and legal issues, they say: 'Never mind her, it is all women's talk.

Why don't the others commit Suicide?

Badriyya Al-Bishr is a lecturer in social sciences at King Saud University.

Continue reading....

Thursday, November 03, 2005

The Baseball Stadium And Eminent Domain

According to this Washington Post article, "D.C. Seizes 16 Owners' Property For Stadium: Move Gives Tenants 90 Days to Vacate," the District of Columbia has invoked eminent domain in order to seize private property for the construction and operation of a publicly owned baseball stadium:
"The District government filed court papers yesterday to seize $84 million worth of property from 16 owners in Southeast, giving them 90 days to leave and make way for a baseball stadium.

"By invoking eminent domain, city officials said last week, they hope to keep construction of the Washington Nationals' ballpark on schedule to open in March 2008. The city exercised its 'quick take' authority, in which it takes immediate control of the titles to the properties...."
The area for this proposed baseball-stadium complex is Anacostia, synonymous with drug dealers, a high crime rate, and unrelenting poverty. No doubt a baseball stadium would improve the area and, most important to the D.C. government, would substantially increase tax revenues. But many of those who live in Anacostia are longtime residents; some are home owners, some are rental tenants, some are small-business owners. Where are they going to go? Housing and retail space in most of the Metro area is outrageously expensive. Furthermore, disenfranchising these residents will result in further breakup of their sense of community, as did Great Society projects of the 1960's.

I know the Anacostia area from some first-hand contact. From the 1950's through the 1970's, my father worked at D.C. Transit's Southeast Garage. I watched the area deteriorate until it finally reached the point where most of us hesitated even to drive through that section of our nation's capital, despite the fact that the route through Anacostia provided a shortcut to the National Mall. In fact, my father took early retirement in part because the problems with vehicle theft in Anacostia had resulted in his vehicle's theft in September, 1970, even though Dad's beat-up 1958 Chevy had been chained to a tree; the theft insurance on the car didn't pay much, and Dad had to buy another vehicle just to go back and forth to work.

Just two years ago during a microburst rainstorm, my husband's truck had two flat tires on the route through Anacostia, and I again got an up-close look when I drove there to deliver the needed tools and a second spare tire. Not pretty! We had to fend off crack dealers and small-time criminals as we tried to get the tires changed; one fellow brought us a tire--which he bragged that he had just boosted from another stranded vehicle. The police drove by on patrols, but stayed in their patrol units; businesses--including garages which might have helped us with the untenable situation we were in--closed and locked down because the power was out. Tow-truck companies we phoned turned down our requests for picking up my husband's truck. If not for my cousin's car club, we might have had to abandon the truck! Needless to say, after that bad several hours broken at the side of the road, we have never tried to cut through Anacostia again. (For more information on Anacostia, click here)

Returning now to the article,
"In all, 23 property owners control 14 acres at the stadium site near South Capitol Street and the Navy Yard along the Anacostia River.

"City officials said they have agreed to buy land from seven owners, who were not named in the court filing. The city had offered them a total of $13 million, but it is not known whether that was the final sale price.

"The other 16 property owners have not agreed to sell, and their holdings include some of the largest and most expensive properties: an asphalt plant, a trash transfer station and adult-oriented businesses."
Among the properties now is question is that owned by Trans-Waste, which has hired legal representation:
"...M. Roy Goldberg, an attorney for Eastern Trans-Waste, the trash transfer station that the city valued at $8.7 million, said yesterday that the company intends to fight.

"The company's owners have told the city their property is worth $14.3 million, plus $18 million if they cannot find another site.

"'We're going to fight the amount of the taking and the way they've gone about doing it,' Goldberg said. 'I don't think they've been negotiating in good faith since Day One.'"
The city doesn't have to negotiate in good faith, especially since the Supreme Court's Kelo decision.

As of now, the $84 million dollars sits in a court-monitored trust. Those of us who live in the D.C. area tend to snicker at the phrase "court-monitored trust," as funds are forever inexplicably disappearing from various city-affiliated accounts.

According to the article,
"Property owners have 20 days to challenge the constitutionality of the takeover. As long as the District can show that the land was taken for a legitimate public purpose, the court probably will have no objections, land-use lawyers said.

"Some activists have argued that the stadium is a private project for Major League Baseball, but District leaders say the $535 million project will create significant tax revenue. Developers have snatched up land just outside the stadium plot in anticipation of a waterfront revival, and the city is planning to create a 'ballpark district' featuring restaurants and retail.

"If the court does not block the city's action, property owners can continue to negotiate with the city, but in lieu of an agreement, a jury would ultimately decide the sale prices. But that could happen months, even years, after the owners are forced to leave, land-use lawyers said."
Are the property owners in Anacostia getting a fair price? Is being forced to leave within such a short period of time, without having more extensive due process, truly Constitutional? Since the Kelo decision, apparently what's happening is perfectly legal.

Again, according to the article,
"The city's offers for the land are about 2 1/2 times as high as the amounts that it had assessed the properties to be worth for tax purposes last year. But some owners said they want more money because owners of property just outside the stadium land have received higher offers from developers.

"Patricia Ghiglino, who owns an art studio assessed by the city at $1.7 million, said yesterday that she is meeting with city officials Nov. 14 to discuss the offer. She said she has hired an appraiser to conduct an independent analysis of how much money her property is worth.

"'I don't know if the city will want to avoid litigation and just come up clean,' Ghiglino said. 'But if they decide they don't want to agree with our appraiser, then I guess I don't have too much recourse' but to let the court decide.

"Ghiglino, who has been in her property 15 years, said she felt strange that the city now controls the title to her land.

"'I've cried so many days since this first came up' last year, she said. 'It was very, very personal to me. We created the center. I worked 60 to 90 hours a week here, on Saturdays and Sundays. This became not just a business but also my home. . . . At end, this just becomes a business issue. I have to look for ways that are best for me personally. But we will continue the center regardless of where we go. That's our mission.'"
Ms. Ghiglino may have some options, but others do not. I keep thinking about the individuals, both business owners and residents, who are losing their properties. Where are these people going to go? Assessments from a year ago aren't valid now, in my opinion, as property values through the Metro area have skyrocketed since that time. Furthermore, I think about this matter on a personal level. Were I to be offered two and one-half times my last assessment, I would find it impossible to replace my modest 1940 home in the hot real-estate market of Northern Virginia because homes with the same small amount of square footage are simply unavailable; thus I'd be forced into trying to purchase a home at least $500,000 more.

Another thought keeps running through my mind. If these 16 had sold to developers, would the city still be seizing the properties? At the same dollar figure? In a more recent article from the Washington Post, the headline "Stadium Cutbacks Considered" appears:

"The rising price of construction materials has significantly increased the projected cost of the District's baseball stadium complex, prompting officials to begin discussing what to eliminate from the project, city leaders said yesterday.

"Officials declined to say how much more the $535 million project would cost under their most recent analysis, which was conducted by the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission. But they said potential cutbacks could come from features inside or outside the ballpark, such as reducing the size of concourses, suites and other amenities or moving parking above ground and reducing the number of retail stores at the site.

"'We'll have to reduce some things and not be able to do a Cadillac stadium, but we could do a Buick or a Ford,' D.C. Council Chairman Linda W. Cropp (D) said at the council's monthly legislative meeting.

"Her warning came shortly before the council voted 10 to 2 to give preliminary approval to three technical amendments to the stadium financing package, which relies heavily on public money.

"The amendments, which deal with tax issues, were sought by city financial officials who said Wall Street bond raters would not grant the project an investment-grade rating unless the changes are made. Such a rating would give the city a lower interest rate and reduce its payments.

"A final vote on the amendments is scheduled for Dec. 6. City financial officials said they need to issue bonds before the end of the year to secure the funds to begin construction....

"[T]he federal government owns a small parcel on the stadium site and that a congressional committee is considering legislation that would sell the plot to the District for 'fair market value.' That could add an unexpected $11 million to the city's tab, Catania said.

"But a spokesman for the House Committee on Government Reform, headed by Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.), said that committee is considering drafting legislation that would give the District the land for free."
So, an act of Congress can hand over $11 million dollars' worth of land, but the owners of private property must take a lower offer? Just how did a baseball park become this important?

According to Leon Trotsky (The Revolution Betrayed, New York: Doubleday, Doran & Co., 1937, 76),
"Where there is no private ownership, individuals can be bent to the will of the state, under threat of starvation."
(Hat tip to Felis , who regularly contributes to this site, for the above quotation from Trotsky)

Note: For information about H.R.4128, the new Private Property Rights Protection Act of 2005, click here. You can contact your Congressional Representative here.

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Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Announcement: I'm Sick Of Spam!

I've turned on Blogger's "Word Verification" because I'm spending too much time deleting spam in the comments sections. Sorry for any inconvenience to real commenters here.

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