Bravery, Thy Name Is Woman Mood:
special Now Playing:the 96th thesis
I listened to a clip of this woman a couple weeks ago and am pleased to see that her profile is rising in the world. From the New York Times:
LOS ANGELES, March 10 — Three weeks ago, Dr. Wafa Sultan was a largely unknown Syrian-American psychiatrist living outside Los Angeles, nursing a deep anger and despair about her fellow Muslims.
Today, thanks to an unusually blunt and provocative interview on Al Jazeera television on Feb. 21, she is an international sensation, hailed as a fresh voice of reason by some, and by others as a heretic and infidel who deserves to die.
In the interview, which has been viewed on the Internet more than a million times and has reached the e-mail of hundreds of thousands around the world, Dr. Sultan bitterly criticized the Muslim clerics, holy warriors and political leaders who she believes have distorted the teachings of Muhammad and the Koran for 14 centuries.
She said the world's Muslims, whom she compares unfavorably with the Jews, have descended into a vortex of self-pity and violence.
This woman is a true heroine. The kind that all right-thinking American liberals of either party should be able to stand together in unity to applaud.
As Dr. Sultan feels betrayed by the practice of her native religion, I must confess that I feel something similar for those of my fellow Americans who cannot get past their disapproval of the war for Iraq and against Islamofascism to unambiguously and explicitly recognize the importance of this woman's moment of Lutheran defiance.
Avail yourself of this story, as well as the links to be found at All Things Beautiful, where this story, according to Tom Maguire, really took off in the blogosphere.
(Accompanying photo by J. Emilio Flores for the New York Times. Thanks also to Tom Maguire.)
Via the boys at the Power Line, have a look at this AP report about the efforts by Sunnis in al-Anbar province to drive out the al-Qaedists:
After the U.S. invasion in March 2003, residents of the province — which also includes cities like Fallujah, Haditha and Qaim — became known for their violent anti-American sentiments. The province is still the most dangerous in Iraq for U.S. troops. In the past two days alone, two U.S. Marines were killed by hostile fire there.
Relations between residents and the foreign fighters started to sour, however, when the foreigners started killing Iraqis suspected of having links to the Americans or even for holding a government job.
The rift became an outright split four months ago, with a wave of assassinations and bombings that killed scores of Anbar residents. The attacks were blamed on al-Qaida.
The consensus also seems to be that it was al-Qaedists who committed the desecration and destruction of the Golden Mosque. So what happens when the indigenous minority feels like the psychopaths from Saudi Arabia and Syria and Jordan and elsewhere are putting the bull's eye on their backs?
"We are against the killing of civilians for sectarian or ethnic reasons. That's why we are shedding the blood of Muslim extremists, especially al-Qaida," said Abul-Rahman Mansheed, a top Sunni politician in Hawija.
Army Maj. Gen. Anwar Mohammed Amin, in the nearby city of Kirkuk, said the military soon would launch a major attack, with help from the local tribesmen, to clear that region of al-Qaida as well.
Claims such as those issued by the tribesmen and local military officers are nearly impossible to confirm, but the considerable drop in suicide bombings throughout the country recently indicates operations by al-Qaida foreigners have been hampered.
The greatest thing that could happen to Iraq would be for one of these Sunni tribal leaders to go before the cameras of al-Jazeera tonight with Zarqawi's severed head in his hand.
After encountering a large troop of Boy Scouts at a local slopping trough just now, I can confirm for you a new addition to my list of favorite pornographic desires:
1) The Frustrated, Large-Breasted Nun (with habit) 2) The Catholic High School Girl (in trouble and in the standard-issue plaid skirt, white stockings, and black shoes) 3) The Uptight, Horn-Rimmed Librarian (with pull-string bun) 4) The Airline Stewardess with the Barbie Thang Going On (with lilting Australian accent) 5) The Den Mother
Leave that bandana thing on, madame: it devastates me.
Herr Spengler Grumbled...
Jeff Goldstein hips us to a very interesting essay in ---where else?--- the Marxist organ Workers' Liberty.
It's a rather exhaustive rant, but quite enlightening (my emphasis added):
Marx wrote truly in 1844, of a German society where religion had only recently been dominant and all-pervasive:
“The criticism of religion is the prerequisite of all criticism”. In history that is what it was.
It took us centuries of battles between dissenters and established religion, and the stages with which it was symbiotically entwined, to win the rights that the short-memoried invertebrate liberals now cravenly surrender!
The secular and social rights we have, the freedom from power-inflated superstitions armed to the teeth with the coercive power of a state, the right to think for ourselves and express our thoughts — all these we owe to the heretics who risked and often lost their lives in the struggle to let non-clerics read what they thought was the word of God, the Bible, and construe it for themselves in their own way.
The translator of the Bible whose work was the main basis of the King James version, William Tyndale, was in the early 16th century part of a free-thinking religious underground: he was kidnapped by Papal agents and burned at the stake. In 1880s Britain Charles Bradlaugh had to win four elections in succession before he gained the right for elected atheists to sit in the House of Commons as MPs without first hypocritically taking a religious oath. There were many many battles in between Tundale [sic] and Bradlaugh — and afterwards too. All that is being betrayed and prostituted by those who meekly accept the diktats of medievalist-minded political Islam. So are all those who now fight an equivalent battle for the same rights in Muslim countries.
Before the War for Iraq, it was the conventional wisdom (of some) that the Saddamites would never make common cause with Islamofascists.
We now know otherwise.
But what do we know of the supposedly enlightened Liberal Left in this regard? How are these pacifist bastards keeping the faith with their own principles when they can't even bring themselves to condemn what the Mohammedans have done over some goddamned cartoons?
Common cause now being the overthrow of the Establishment, eh?
Yeah, baby. Terrorists are created every time Fatima bleeds.
Prolepout Now Playing: "Talk" by Coldplay
Not to reveal too much of my socioeconomic status, but I get my gas bill today and it's almost identical to last month's! Why? There's no way I kept my heat going as much in the past month as I did earlier this "winter."
Our New Insect Overlords
I, for one, welcome this movement to politically coerce the representatives of a wealthy Arab country into coming to our country and blowing smoke up our collective ass. The UAE are going to do a big media and ad blitz on America? They're going to explain their Arabness? Okay.
Once all the facts are in, of course, the logic of the Dubai ports deal will dawn on everyone and then shall commence the Greasing of the Many Palms. The President's pinata said as much today.
I wouldn't have thought that the President would have saved up his first veto for such a commercial concern, but maybe he's doing it as an homage to past second-term disasters. No? Maybe he's parceling out his lame duck in pieces that can be easily swallowed, thereby giving his party's politicians the opportunity to defy him in limited, bite-sized ways. Yeah: let the Democrats try to get to the right of the Republicans on a national security issue. It looks awful funny but might, by dint of repetition, eventually assume the sheen of plausibility. I'd love to see some Neo-Nativism in the Democratic Party. Let's have it.
Quit beating your bishops, lads, and break us off a piece of Mo and his Mosqueteers! I wanna see some piss and vinegar!
Note to Texas Voters
Remember to forget about voting in tomorrow's party primaries. You're going to want to stay out of them so that you will retain your eligibility to sign the petition to get Kinky Friedman's name on the ballot as an independent gubernatorial candidate come November.
There's nothing to vote for, anyway. The Republicans own all the statewide offices and the Democrats do not.
Show your contempt for the status quo in Texas politics and make Kinky our governor.
Incoherent Now Playing:SCOTUSbait
I read today that the state legislature in South Dakota has passed a law that will eventually ban all abortions there, except to save the life of the mother.
Needless to say, this is a step backwards for women's reproductive rights.
But the provision I noticed most particularly is the one that says that a doctor in South Dakota who performs one of these illegal abortions faces up to five years in prison. Huh?
That's a rather tame punishment for premeditated murder of another human being, isn't it? Don't the doctor and would-be mother, together in their foul deed, constitute a conspiracy leading to capital murder?
Why don't law enforcement agencies in South Dakota dispatch their officers to wherever an abortion is suspected to have happened and arrest the doctor and the woman for murder? Why not? I mean right now, goddammit.
Is that not how it works?
People should understand that a woman who seeks an abortion is exactly the kind of woman who knows her own limitations as a mother best; knows her own situation and is obviously the first cause in herself of whatever child may come from her own body. What sort of madness would make someone think that he or she knows better than the expectant woman herself what is best for her? Fucking nonsense.
Let us have a world where only children who were wanted ab initio may be born.
Mildly Surprised, Basically Pleased Now Playing:salma hayek is Goddess
I was pretty surprised to see Crash win Best Picture. A very cute lady I know at work loaned me a copy of it and I watched it a couple of times and I really liked it ---but Best Picture? I don't know about that.
Lots of deserving winners tonight, though. That Hoffman cat and the incredibly beautiful Reese Witherspoon. The penguin movie won Best Documentary, which I was pleased to see.
Oh, and Jon Stewart did a really good job, although I'm sure all the squares out there will pan him. But how about those parody ads? They were fantastic.
Less said about that hip hop number the better. "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp"? Whatever. It's not because I'm a tin-eared racist who can't get into pop culture; it's because that song is a suck-ass piece of crap. Period. Put something else up from that same genre and I might like it. Maybe even enough to say it was the Best Song. But that song? No. I don't have to like it to be a good person and I won't like it just to appear tolerant.
I'll tell you what, though. That Salma Hayek is just perfection. Good God!
(Thanks to E! for the pic. I'll take it down if you want me to, but I really don't wanna, so deal.)
Asleep at the Switch Now Playing:LOL
Ha, ha! I had heard in passing that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had fallen asleep during the arguments in the Texas House redistricting case, but did she really slump that far forward?!
Ha, ha, ha! That's the hardest I've laughed in days.
Why didn't one of those dopes sitting beside her do something chivalrous and give her an elbow in the rib cage?
Hee-hee. Thanks to all concerned. And to those who really weren't all that concerned, no.
See How They Snide Now Playing: "I Am the Walrus" by the Beatles
Bob Schieffer starts off tonight's CBS Evening News broadcast with the snide remark that President Bush is now closer to Osama bin Laden than ever before ---considering that they are both in Pakistan tonight.
In the sense of personal proximity? Yeah, I reckon that's so, Bob.
The contempt for this Administration comes rather easily anymore.
But we don't know anything about Osama's present situation. Not officially. Not even really.
It's going to take a lot more effort than what's been seen thus far to justify perpetual war against the Mohammedan menace, Mr. President. You have rarely been the man to make the case. But that's what this new struggle between civilizations requires.
Until something dire happens again to reawaken both the American People and this President to the dangers of extremist Islam, we will continue simply to stumble through these days.
I was just asking this question at another blog: wouldn't you think that your Government was stupid if it didn't use all the surveillance means at its disposal? Why wouldn't you sift through all these electronic communications if you thought there might be some plot afoot to destroy some place in this huge country? Terrorists operate online and do so while hiding in plain sight. That's where they chatter: go there, man.
I would be insulted if the people whom I elect to represent my interests and execute decisions to effect them didn't go after potential murderers.
It's childish to believe that the Freedom of Information Act is a real-time mandate. Maybe we can let some stuff slide a while, eh?
The Prophet's Hairdresser
You know, when I first heard of the name of the Iraqi town of Salman Pak, I was curious about such an alien-sounding name in the midst of a country of al- this and an-that. Nevertheless, I hadn't bothered until now to get the scoop on that name (emphasis mine):
BAGHDAD, Iraq — Gunmen fired two rockets in a village which includes a sacred Shiite tomb south of Baghdad, but there were no casualties nor damage to the shrine, U.S. and Iraqi officials said. U.S. officials said one round exploded around a nearby hotel.
The incident occurred near the tomb of Salman Pak, a seventh-century Persian convert to Islam who served as the barber to the Prophet Muhammad. Jamal al-Saghir, an aide to Shiite political leader Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, said one hit the gate of the tomb and one exploded a few yards away.
That's very interesting. I wonder if Salman was to Mohammed anything like what Antinous was to the Roman Emperor Hadrian.
Distaff to Discharge Now Playing: "Anarchy in the UK" by the Sex Pistols
Charles Johnson gives us a story that demonstrates not only the intrinsic evil of radical Islam, but the insanity of motherhood in a death cult. It really doesn't get more fucked up than this:
In spite of PA pledges not to incite, an interview broadcast last week featured the mother of Wafa Al-Bas, the 21-year-old Arab woman from Gaza who was arrested at the Erez Crossing in June 2005 wearing a 20-pound (9 kg) bomb under her clothes.
The PA TV interview with Al-Bas' parents, which aired on February 20th, features her mother saying the event was hard for her - not because her daughter was on a suicide mission, but because she was arrested on her way to carry it out.
Al-Bas intended to bomb Be'er Sheva's Soroka Hospital outpatient clinic, where she had been receiving regular treatments for serious burns on 45 percent of her body resulting from a gas stove explosion in her home.
The failed bomber later told Israeli television that her greatest wish was to kill 30 to 50 Israelis, including children. The hospital attack would likely have killed or maimed the very Israeli doctor who had saved her life.
Sounds like it's time to drop a giant Pill in the Car Swarm People's water supply. These things cannot continue to breed.
Almost Entirely Blank
The fine folks over at The Counterrorism Blog remind us that today is the 13th anniversary of the bombing of the World Trade Center with a link-filled post you really ought to take for a spin.
I was in college when the 1993 WTC Bombing occurred. I recall that our local newspaper (the Austin American-Statesman) ran some of the stock market pages the next day, leaving them almost entirely blank except for the one-line explanation ---dead center--- for why there was no stock activity to report. I tacked one of those pages up in my apartment for probably a year or more. A big, blank, and yellowing piece of newsprint that you had to walk up to and read to understand why it was up on my wall.
The clever people always cluck and chirp about the one little thing that starts these conflagrations; some minor offense that begat a generation of punishment that they would have known better than to have allowed.
And for many years, they had their way. And the punishment was postponed.
Until, well...yeah. It's always that date, isn't it?
Clever people know shit.
(Did you know that Sandy Berger never had to do any jail time? That's because he's clever and knows better than you.)
CLARIFICATION: I wrongly implied in the text above that the WTC Bombing of 1993 had halted trading on the stock exchanges. I don't believe this is true. But it is true that the stocks pages in our newspaper here could not be updated because of massive comm losses in Lower Manhattan that day.