Sunday, 30 August 2009
EEOC succumbs to CAIR in Nebraska Muslim Prayer case
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The Chicago CAIR chapter trumpeted another ‘victory’ in a string of Muslim prayer cases brought before the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).   An EEOC letter issued August 25th indicated that a Grand Island, Nebraska meatpacking firm, JBS Swift & Co wasn’t complying with federal religious worship “reasonable accommodation” guidelines. Guidelines that appear totally unclear to puzzled management and union leaders, as well as non-Muslim fellow workers frequently riled by demands of  their Somali Muslim co-workers.  An AP report  noted:

Muslim advocates said Friday that federal officials determined a Nebraska meatpacking plant wasn't doing enough to accommodate the religious needs of its Muslim workers but stopped short of laying out specific recommendations.

The Chicago-based Council on American-Islamic Relations said the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission outlined its decision in a letter sent to the organization this week. The decision comes after a nearly yearlong investigation into conditions at the Grand Island JBS plant, where hundreds of Muslim workers walked out in protest last September because they weren't given time to pray.

"It's a favorable finding ... it's definitely a victory," said Rima Kapitan, an employment attorney who worked on the case for the council.

Company and union officials said Friday they were disappointed with the timing of the letter because they've already made progress to alleviate workers' concerns. The letter came a week into the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

EEOC spokesman James Ryan declined comment, saying the agency is barred from publicly discussing complaints or its investigations.

The day after the Sept. 15 walkout, plant management adjusted work schedules to accommodate the Muslim workers. But that prompted a protest by hundreds of non-Muslim workers who said Muslims were given preferential treatment. Plant managers responded by ending the shift changes, saying the new break times weren't working.

The Greeley, Colo.-based company later fired 86 workers at the plant for walking off the job. It eventually hired back about a dozen.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations helped file some of the dozens of complaints with the EEOC that alleged discrimination based on religion, race and tradition or national origin. The council received the EEOC letter because of the group's involvement, said council spokeswoman Amina Sharif.

The problem is that this EEOC ruling as noted came without instructions as to how to provide reasonable accommodations to the roughly 250 Somali Muslim workers. Further it comes at an awkward moment at the start of the month long period of Muslim Ramadan observances.  Last year at both the Grand Island, Nebraska and Greeley, Colorado JBS Swift & Company plants near riots broke out over shift and prayer times and workers at both plants were fired.  Further, the Grand Island plant pitted Hispanic and South Sudanese Christians against Somali Muslim workers. In Greeley, it was Somali Muslims against Hispanic co-workers and supervisors.

It is this acquiescence that Coloradans Against Sharia Task Force (CAST) has protested at the Greeley JBS Swift plant on which we have reported.  It is manipulation by CAIR of federal EEOC rules that have forced the issue of Somali Muslim Sharia doctrine on fellow non-Muslim workers at meat packing plants throughout the American heartland in Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Colorado.   The Chicago CAIR chapter calls it ‘unlawful harrassment’; we call it “Stealth Jihad.” 

Perhaps, the Delphic oracle quality of the EEOC letter in the Grand Island JBS plant case may require a federal law suit by a class of companies, unions and non-Muslim workers endeavoring  to define the limits of reasonable accommodation for religious observances. Added to that are sex-segregated  Muslim worship areas in work places that could constitute violations of US Civil Rights laws.  Christians, Jews, Buddhists and Hindus in America hold religious observances in their own houses of worship, but not in the workplace. The EEOC issuing such administrative letters makes any workplace with Muslim workers into sex-segregated Mosques, replete with foot baths, bidets and other Sharia compliant paraphernalia.

 

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Posted on 08/30/2009 6:38 PM by Jerry Gordon
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Sunday, 30 August 2009
Who are Amrit Singh and Jameel Jaffer?
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Who are Amrit Singh and Jameel Jaffer? They are attorneys for the ACLU which in the past has defended American Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan in the name of "freedom  of expression." I found a story about them, with their pictures, in the New York  Times  for August 30, 2009. ( Scott Shane, "ACLU Lawyers Mine Documents for Truth About Detainees and Interrogations," New York Times).  I was curious and decided to do a a cursory Google search. Although the information was sparse, I did learn that Jaffer is a Muslim born in Canada. According to Law.Com, Jaffer went to "Williams College, worked as an investment banker for Lehman Brothers, attended Cambridge University and then returned to the United States for Harvard Law School." Singh is a graduate of Cambridge, Oxford, and Yale Law School. She holds joint American and Indian citizenship and is the youngest daughter of Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh and is married to Barton Beebe, a professor at NYU School of Law. She co-authored with Jaffer the book, Administration of Torture: A Documentary Record from Washington to Abu Ghraib and Beyond , a documentary history.  

I also learned from Der Spiegel, the German weekly news magazine, that Jaffer has complained that the scope of the Special Prosecutor's proposed investigation is too narrow.  Apparently referring  to Vice President Cheney and perhaps former President Bush, Jaffer was quoted as declaring that the probe should include "higher-ups."  ("
Obama Should Make Sure that Cheney is Brought to Justice") Googling a little further, I learned that Jaffer had successfully argued before the federal appeals court in New York City that a lower court ruling allowing the government to bar Tariq Ramadan from entering the United States should be reversed. The government argued that Ramadan had contributed to a charity with connections to Islamist terrorism. On August 18, 2009 Ramadan was fired by the City of Rotterdam and Rotterdam's Erasmus University from his positions supposedly aimed at "fostering integration" between immigrant Muslims and the indigenous Dutch population when Rotterdam authorities learned that Ramadan' s weekly program on Iran's Press TV was paid for by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Iranian government. ("Rotterdam Fires Ramadan over Iranian TV Show," NRC Handelsblad, August 18, 2009)

I was perplexed. I asked myself, "Could it be both weird and extremely dangerous that, in the name of "human rights," two highly-trained, recent immigrants to the United States, one with dual citizenship, not only can place CIA agents and even a former President and Vice President of the United States in such jeopardy but can with impunity jeopardize the security of the United States? Could it be that by threatening to punish CIA agents for attempting to prevent a repetition of 9/11 or worse, Attorney General Holder was sending  a very unpleasant message to those Americans responsible for interrogating terrorists? Even the New York Times carried a major op-ed piece protesting Holder's decision to place the CIA agents in "double jeopardy." (Joseph Finder, "The CIA in Double Jeopardy," New York Times, August 30, 2009.) On Saturday August 29, 2009, the Wall Street Journal carried a major article by Reuel Marc Gerecht, "Interrogating the CIA," outlining the permanent damage to national security the special counsel's probe is likely to engender. 
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Posted on 08/30/2009 4:04 PM by Richard L. Rubenstein
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Sunday, 30 August 2009
Obama Should Tell The Grim Truth About New Orleans
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Someone other than Obama might tell some unpleasant home truths about climate change and the folly of huge investments made to rebuild New Orleans, placed in an area that was always inappropriate for a city, but now will be subject to the climate disruption that makes events such as Hurricane Katrina, formerly regarded as once-in-five-hundred years events, much more common..  A president has to be the one to break the news, and for all the obvious reasons Obama is the perfect president to make clear that New Orleans, always perilously poised, is more and more a city that should not be massively rebuilt but instead allowed to shrink. Time, and especially in this case Tide, wait for no man. For who else but Obama can avoid having his melancholy message rejected by the black population of New Orleans who, were he white bearing the sad tidings, would be charged with choosing to “write off New Orelans” because of a “racist agenda” or some such variant on the usual nonsense.  

There are all kinds of truths about the future of New Orleans that are not being forthrightly told. Sometimes they are not being told because the implications are too disturbing. Sometimes they are not told because those in power do not know enough. Sometimes it is sheer go-with-the-flow don't-upset-any-applecarts cowardice. In the case of New Orleans and its "rebuilding," it appears to be the latter.

No profiles in environmental courage here.

 

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Posted on 08/30/2009 12:34 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Sunday, 30 August 2009
Cash-Check
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This was truly the Check-Cashing That Will Live Forever.

Or, as the Russians are sure to call it: 

Cash-Check Bessmertnij.



30 Aug 2009
Send an emailRebecca Bynum

What is Cash-Check Bessmertnij?


 

30 Aug 2009


Hugh Fitzgerald

Read here.


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Posted on 08/30/2009 12:27 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Sunday, 30 August 2009
Olmert At Long Last Charged With Corruption -- Stupidity, Apparently, Is Not A Crime
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Read here.

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Posted on 08/30/2009 12:24 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Sunday, 30 August 2009
Obama Goes With The Flow On New Orleans
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Read here.

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Posted on 08/30/2009 10:02 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Sunday, 30 August 2009
A Musical Interlude: What'll You Do? (Sophie Tucker)
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Listen here.

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Posted on 08/30/2009 9:28 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Sunday, 30 August 2009
Sophie Tucker In The Times
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Read here.

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Posted on 08/30/2009 9:26 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Sunday, 30 August 2009
Deceits Inside Confusions Inside Ramifications Inside Mis-directions
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Can we ever know what is really going on?

Last Tuesday (25th. August, ’09) Daily News Egypt, which calls itself ‘Egypt’s Only Independent Newspaper in English’ but is in fact an offshoot of the International Herald Tribune, reported the fact that the trial of what’s known as the ‘Hezbollah Cell’ case began on the previous Sunday in Cairo. This is a trial of twenty-six suspected terrorists allegedly linked to, or controlled by, the Islamic Hezbollah terrorist group which currently occupies and ‘governs’ a large part of Lebanon. Four of the accused are on the run and are being tried in absentia.
 
The charges leveled [sic] against the 26 defendants, four of whom are not in custody, were “conspiracy to murder, spying for a foreign organization with intent of conducting terrorist attacks and weapons possession.”
 
            [...]
 
State Security Prosecutor Hisham Badawi accused the two Lebanese members, Muhammed Qublan and Sami Shihab of entering Egypt with falsified passports in order to form an organization that smuggled weapons into Israel as well as target Israeli ships passing through the Suez Canal.
 
He cited that they rented houses near the canal to monitor the movement of ships. Badawi claimed the leader was Hezbollah commander Muhammed Qublan, who is not in custody.
 
At this first hearing the usual allegations of mistreatment whilst in custody were made by the defendants – straight from the al-Qaeda playbook, of course.
 
The trial judge Abdel-Salam Gomaa asked each defendant in turn how he pleaded to the accusations leveled [sic]. All pleaded not guilty, with some describing the charges as “lies” while others said, “we were tortured while in the custody of State Security.”
 
However, let me draw more closely to your attention the part of this report which tells us about the alleged potential targeting of shipping (specifically Israeli shipping according to this report) in the Suez Canal. This is a very worrying development in the strategy of the Islamic Hezbollah terrorists and I find it very hard to believe that had this ‘cell’ been successful that it would have limited its attacks to only Israeli shipping.
 
The BBC has the same story with some other details.
 
Hezbollah's leader has admitted one of the men was an agent for the movement but denied any plan to harm Egypt.
 
Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah said the Hezbollah member was tasked with smuggling weapons to Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip.
 
            [...]
 
Hezbollah has said the charges are politically motivated and in revenge for the movement's stance on Egypt's support for the Israeli blockade of Gaza.
 
In my opinion that obviously adds up to a tacit admission that this ‘cell’ was indeed yet another Hesbollah sponsored attempt to export its particular brand of mayhem and terrorism. However, the desperate attempts to mislead and confuse the public within Egypt, and internationally, have already begun.
 
"There was never any question in this case of a plot for the assassination of figures inside Egypt," said the lawyer, Montaser al-Zaiat.
 
The Egyptian authorities have not actually levelled the charge of conspiracy to assassinate inside Egypt against the defendants – just conspiracy to murder a person, or persons unknown, at an unknown place and at an unknown time. This statement is simply deliberate mis-direction by the defendants’ lawyer and is perfectly in line with the way Islamic terrorists behave when they get caught. They muddy the waters as much as possible in order to win public sympathy even if they are eventually convicted on the charges actually filed against them. It’s cunning, but it’s nothing more than deliberate confusion: mere propaganda and once again straight out of the al-Qaeda playbook.
 
Way back in April Haaretz Daily News reported on this story in an article which you can find here. This article maintains that:
 
The active Hezbollah cell recently discovered in Egypt planned to use Israeli Arabs to smuggle explosives and detonators into Israel for the purpose of perpetrating terror attacks, the London-based Arabic-language Asharq al-Awsat newspaper reported Saturday [April, 18th. 2009].
 
The article also reports the fears about this alleged ‘cell’s’ potential targeting of shipping in the Canal.
 
Egyptian security sources had claimed earlier in the week that Hezbollah agents arrested in Egypt had plotted a series of terror attacks against tourist sites in Sinai, where Israeli and western tourists vacation.
 
However, the Egyptian sources also noted that the Suez Canal was a potential target along with larger ships that pass through the strategic waterway.
 
Let’s disentangle a few of the many threads here from the confusing ball of twine that this case threatens to become. Hezbollah, al-Qaeda and Hamas are mutually supportive Islamic terrorist organisations. Hezbollah and al-Qaeda are known to be supplying weapons and advice to the Somali pirates who are hi-jacking ships as they emerge from the Red Sea into the Indian Ocean, and vice-versa. Both of those terrorist organisations want to convert the pirates, almost all of them simply in it for the money, into Islamic fighters with a real chance of disrupting this important shipping lane. Imagine how much easier such disruption could become if the Somali pirates had foreknowledge of exactly which ships had debouched from the Suez Canal into the Red Sea and whether or not they appeared to be carrying cargo.
 
It’s not only about attacking ships in the Canal itself, it’s also about gathering knowledge about potential targets that have to sail through the pirate infested waters off Somalia’s coasts after they have passed through the Canal and the Red Sea. One should also bear in mind a strange little snippet of a reply to Jo Swinson’s (UK Liberal Democrat MP for East Dunbartonshire) question to Caroline Flint, a member of the UK Government, on the second of June of this year in the House of Common which most people would overlook.
 
Ms. Swinson’s question (find it here):
 
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received of allegations that intelligence services in the UK are supplying intelligence to Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean; and if he will make a statement.
 
Ms. Flint’s reply (at the same website):
 
We [the UK Government] are aware of recent press reports, upon which we assume the question is based and which originate in a speculative Spanish radio report, citing allegations that Somali pirates operating in the Gulf of Aden have been receiving information from shipping consultants in London. The allegations contained in the original report and subsequent press reporting are unsubstantiated and unfounded.
 
Regrettably I cannot find the original ‘speculative Spanish radio report’ which Ms. Flint’s reply refers to, but obviously there is some serious concern at senior levels within the UK government or such a heavy-handed blanket denial would never have been stated in the House by Ms. Flint. In parliamentary terms Ms. Flint’s reply was tantamount to telling the Honourable Member for East Dunbartonshire to ‘sit down, shut-up and don’t rock the boat’.
 
On the same subject here's the good and percipient Dr. Walid Phares writing at Worldpress back in April of this year:
 
...these water thugs actually belong to a wider chess game. The grand ensemble of the army of little boats is in fact part of a regional Jihadi apparatus being deployed in the Horn of Africa and beyond. The Jihadi grand circle building in the region is not limited to the pirates but involves hostile forces from the mid-Red Sea to East Africa. The Somali pirates are merely one facet of this grand circle.
 
            [...]
 
...A view of the operations map of these Somali Qursaan leaves little doubt that the end aim is to create a vast zone of insecurity stretching from East Africa to the Red Sea. A closer look allows strategists to easily realize that these are the maritime passages from the oil-rich Gulf to the Mediterranean via the Suez Canal, and also parts of East Africa, the most economic alternative routes via Cape Town.
 
            [...]
 
...This is nothing more than a maritime Jihad striking at the Western/international lifeline on high seas to bring about a change in balance of power.
 
If the West (with other democracies or powers) decides to engage the Qursaan on high seas only, there will be more waves of piracy action, and revenge actions will gradually take place against the countries whose vessels conducted the military interdictions. When such escalation takes place the options are only two — either the powers suspend the operations and negotiate with the pirates/corsairs or take offensive against their ports of launching, that is, on Somali soil.
 
If the United States and its allies drop the naval campaign and assign diplomats to negotiate the matter, the Qursaan will grow in numbers and influence. Eventually their outreach will close the waters between the Arabian Peninsula and Africa. But if the international coalition (which yet has to take shape) decides to take on the attackers' points of origins, this will lead to a massive campaign along the Somali-Kenyan coastlines, forcing actions to be taken against large ports, many smaller ports and eventually beachheads to establish security enclaves.
 
Such a military projection would re-create a multinational force to perform the missions, reprisal operations and eventually inland deployment deeper and deeper inside Somalia. That's precisely what the Jihadists are looking for — brigades of international forces landing in that country, Kuffar (infidels) in nature, so that the Shabab al Jihad and other remnants of the Mahakam have the honor of fighting.
 
The so-called pirates are being used by land-based forces to drag the enemy into a wider war in the region, with all probabilities and possibilities open. To each decision made by the West and its allies, a counter plan will be applied. These are the types of complex threats that twenty-first century terror forces will develop to upset the balance of power. For, by challenging a previously stable area of transportation and commerce, the forces behind the Qursaan will be scoring a major victory. If the foe negotiates, they win, and in their view also, if the foe engages militarily, the Jihadists win too.
 
Indeed, if full-scale war erupts around Somalia, the forces engaged in such a campaign would involve many navies in the area.
 
Two months ago, Eritrea and the Iranian regime signed [February, 2009] an agreement granting naval facilities to the Khomeinist military ships to use the country's ports and eventually build a base on the Red Sea. Last month, reports signaled [sic] an alignment of military intelligence between the Sudanese and Iranian regimes and Hezbollah's networks in the region.
 
In our media debate we are still at the stage of sensationalist stories and footage of modern day piracy. In the war rooms of the other side, the Qursaan are probably a tip of an Islamic iceberg moving slowly towards one of the most sensitive regions of the world. The gap between our debate and strategic realities has always been at the core of failures. This time we should catch up before we fall behind and stumble terribly.
 
Please read the whole article by Dr. Walid Phares at Worldpress and then consider the implications of the upcoming trial in Egypt of the twenty-six members of that Hezbollah cell which set out to watch, and allegedly probably violently disrupt, the shipping in the Suez Canal.
 
You will have noted also, I have no doubt, from Dr. Phares’s article, the fact that the Iranian government now has carte blanche to build a naval base on the Red Sea coast of Eritrea.
 
I do think that’s it time that we became ever so slightly worried about the penetration into the Horn of Africa by the various Islamic terrorist groups and their supporting governments. Don’t you?
 
You can find the Red Sea and its relationship to the Suez Canal by using this map.
 
You can find the Suez Canal by using this map.
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Posted on 08/30/2009 7:33 AM by John M. Joyce
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Sunday, 30 August 2009
Muslim cop sues city after identity theft flap had him labeled a terrorist
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From The New York Daily News
A Muslim NYPD cop is set to sue the city and the feds after he was targeted by air marshals, triggering a year-long probe in which he was stripped of his gun and badge.
Shahin Miah, 32, was eventually cleared of wrongdoing and is back on the job - but the Bangladeshi-born officer says he's tormented by colleagues who call him "Al Qaeda."
"I'm a good citizen of this country," Miah told the Daily News in an exclusive interview.
"All my family are hardworking. We are normal. This only happened because my color is brown and I'm Muslim. Nobody has ever given me an answer - what made them think I was a terrorist?"
The NYPD investigated the rookie because the feds suspected him of overseas money laundering, but it turned out he was the victim of identity theft.
Miah says that's news to him - and insists that if he had not been racially profiled at Kennedy Airport, the entire mess could have been avoided.
It started July 4, 2007, when Miah drove his sisters and nieces to JFK for a flight to London and accompanied them to the British Airways counter.
Two air marshals approached and asked him for ID.
"They laughed at me when I showed my ID, and one guy says, 'I work for the federal, you work for the city - I have more authority than you,'" Miah said. "He said I looked 'suspicious' and asked me how long I had been in the country."
When Miah returned home to Queens, a sergeant from the local precinct showed up and said he'd been notified of the airport stop. The next day, Miah was ordered to turn in his badge and gun while he was investigated.
"The Police Department bought into the air marshals' racial stereotyping, even though there was no basis to investigate their own employee," said Miah's lawyer
When Internal Affairs interrogated Miah 10 months later, it was clear his financial and travel records had been examined. A lieutenant asked Miah if he knew any terrorists. "It was insulting," said Miah, whose uncle died working at Windows on the World on 9/11.
Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne said the NYPD placed Miah on modified duty because of the feds' suspicions.
"He was modified until it was determined that he was the victim of identity theft, and that someone using his identity was engaged in overseas money laundering," he said.
A spokesman for the air marshals said racial profiling is not practiced.
Miah  intends to sue the city and the Department of Homeland Security for "the worst nightmare I ever went through in my life," he said. "It's like someone on the street making a false allegation against you - but this was the government."

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Posted on 08/30/2009 3:39 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Saturday, 29 August 2009
What the Admiral got wrong
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Rebecca published this story, detailing the statements of Admiral Mike Mullen in the Joint Forces Quarterly report.

After the events over the past few years, our political and military leaders are no longer able to make blanket statements like "Islam is the Religion of Peace" without being called on it.  The falsehood is just too blatant, the evidence against is just too glaring.  Slowly, painfully, we have progressed to the point that we get such grudging admissions as that possibly the Afghans are not welcoming us with open arms and tossing flower petals at our soldiers' feet.  Of course, the reasons behind that reticence is the fault of the kufirs, for not communicating clearly, in deeds rather than words, our fondness for the Afghan people (who parenthetically harbored and protected Al Qaeda before and after the attacks of 9/11).

Admiral Mullen can admit that "terrorism" is a problem, but only in the sense that Muslims are the victims of it.  "Muslims abroad live in fear of terror," he tells us, in exactly the sort of pleonasm that John J. mentioned here, and on which Bentham elaborated.  How could one not live in "fear" of "terror"?  But of course he doesn't mean "terror," he means "Islamically inspired violence."  Muslims abroad live in fear of Islamically inspired violence.   He won't say it, he is forbidden from saying it, but he means it, and in that sense he's getting closer to the truth.  Muslims are one of the most frequent victims of Islamically inspired violence.

"Our biggest problem isn't caves, it's credibility," he says.  But he doesn't explain where we kufirs have broken our promise to the honorable Afghans.  If we had stayed in Afghanistan after the war with the Soviets in the 1980's, we would have been assailed as Crusaders and imperialists.  In the event, we left, leaving them to live their lives as they saw fit, free from the influence of the Soviets or any other outsider.   Mullen and other Westerners now portray this as "abandoning" our close friends the Afghans.  It is taken as "breaking our promise" to the Afghans, a promise they never wanted us to make or keep.

Our biggest problem isn't caves, and it isn't credibility;  it's the Qur'an.  Our biggest problem is that the Afghans, being devout Sunni Muslims, see the world as permanently divided into 2 camps, the Muslim True Believers, and the filthy kufirs, whom Allah has damned to hell and whom Allah commands His followers to slay and conquer.  No amount of foreign aid will change that.

Surely Admiral Mullen has received reports of Afghans who are more than willing to give accurate targeting data leading to their rival tribesmens' timely deaths at the hands of the guillible and useful kufirs.  Surely the Afghan political leaders are full of glad-handing smiles as they take the latest cheque from the kufirs.  But what Admiral Mullen has not seen, and never will see, is Muslims accepting kufirs as equals.  Our money is welcome, but it is seen as jizya, the payment that is owed them according to Allah.  We will never see an apology from the Afghans, we will never see an acceptance that our presence in their country was ever in any way justified.  Our presence will never be seen by them as anything other than an invasion by infidel foreigners who must be expelled.

Mullen says that the Afghan government fails to provide services, while the Taliban never does.  The Afghan government is supported financially by the U.S., to the tune of billions of dollars.  Afghanistan is an extremely impoverished agrarian nation.  So where does the Taliban get the money to provide services to the majority of Afghanistan?  It ain't cheap running a country.  How is the Taliban able to outspend the U.S. in providing services?  And first of all, is it even true?  Or are the services provided by the kufirs taken for granted, while the services provided by the Taliban are greatly appreciated and cherished since they are coming from their dear co-religionists?

Mullen tells us that the Taliban is very efficient at setting up courts and collecting taxes.  But, with our money and our assistance, the central government in Kabul surely has functioning courts and tax collectors.  So, what makes the majority of the Afghan people accept the authority of the courts and tax collectors of the Taliban, and reject the authority of the courts and tax collectors of the central government?

It's the Qur'an, of course.  The Afghans are a deeply religious people, and the Qur'an has very explicit instructions on setting up courts and on collecting taxes.  The Taliban have the legitimacy of Islam on their side.  In Afghanistan and in Dar al-Islam in general, Islam trumps everything earthly.

Since 2001, the West has promised $25 billion, but delivered "only" $15 billion (as of 2008).  Their entire GNP is approximately $25 billion, much of that from opium production.  And yet Admiral Mullen believes that we haven't invested enough, we haven't proven ourselves worthy of their trust.

Has Admiral Mullen, or anyone else at the Pentagon or in the White House staff, ever turned his statement around, and considered that the words of the Afghan leaders are lacking in credibility, and that their actions send a very clear message to us?

From their dithering in inter-tribal-bickering for three years in writing a Constitution, to finally writing a Constitution that enshrines sharia as its basis, to an unwillingness to forcefully confront the Taliban, to the complete lack of authority of the government in the eyes of its citizens, the Afghans actions have spoken clearly as to their priorities.

When Abdul Rahman was sentenced to death in Afghanistan for apostasy, and was forced to flee for his life to Italy, the Afghans spoke loudly and clearly.

When Afghans enshrined in law the right of husbands to rape their wives, the Afghans spoke loudly and clearly.

It has nothing to do with how much money we have spent in Afghanistan.  It has nothing to do with how long we promise to stay in Afghanistan.  It has everything to do with the book that underpins every part of their society, the Qur'an.

The Afghan people will not stop attacking our troops, the Afghan people will not live peacefully amongst each other, the Afghan people will not create a life of prosperity and education for themselves, no matter how much money we spend there, no matter how many bridges and roads we build for them, no matter how clearly we communicate with them.

We are kufirs.  They are Muslims.  Nothing more need be said.

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Posted on 08/29/2009 9:25 PM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
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Saturday, 29 August 2009
And The Teller Cashed The Check
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From a story in the Wall Street Journal on the corruption scandal in New Jersey:

"Bid Rig's latest chapter kicked off in 2007, with the help of Mr. Dwek. A year earlier, Mr. Dwek had been charged with bank fraud, after he cashed a $25 million bad check at a drive-through teller. Agents recognized his name from the earlier investigations. In debt, and facing prison, Mr. Dwek was persuaded to become a confidential informant, people familiar with the matter say."

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Posted on 08/29/2009 6:43 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Saturday, 29 August 2009
Misty water-colored memories...
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Posted on 08/29/2009 6:56 PM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
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Saturday, 29 August 2009
Bishop of Rochester: Church of England must do more to counter twin threats of secularism and radical Islam
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I have been saying this for years but its good to have my view confirmed by no less a person than the Dr Michael Nazir Ali.
From
The Telegraph
The Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, who ends his time as Bishop of Rochester next week, said the established religion must speak out more to preserve the country’s Christian heritage and offer moral guidance to the masses.
Dr Nazir-Ali, who was born in Pakistan, became the Church’s first Asian bishop when he was appointed to Rochester in 1994 and came to be seen as a contender for the next Archbishop of Canterbury.
However the job went to Dr Rowan Williams and as the global Anglican Communion tore itself apart over the ordination of homosexual clergy, Dr Nazir-Ali instead became known as one of its leading conservative voices.
In a final interview with The Daily Telegraph before stepping down on Tuesday, Dr Nazir-Ali said he did not believe the history of the church would have been different had he been given the most important job in Anglicanism.
“This is not about one man – these are currents in culture and they happen in different ages. I am happy that I’ve been able to do what I’ve been asked to do.”
But he also said that the Church of England, which is used to working with society, should speak up more often to defend the country’s customs and institutions, most of which are based on Christian teaching.
“I think it will need to be more visible and take more of a stand on moral and spiritual issues,” the bishop said. “What’s our basis for thinking that people are equal? It’s the Judeo-Christian tradition that has provided us with these resources and we will continue to need it.”
He said that the Church should defend the traditional two-parent family and Christian festivals, which are opposed not by followers of other faiths but by atheists who want to remove religion from the public square.
“I think there’s a double jeopardy – on the one hand an aggressive secularism that seeks to undermine the traditional principles because it has its own project to foster. On the other is the extremist ideology of radical Islam, which moderate Muslims are also concerned about. This is why there must be a clear recognition of where Britain has come from, what the basis is for our society and how that can contribute to the common good.”
Dr Nazir-Ali, who has just turned 60 and could have remained in his post for several more years, announced earlier this year that he would step down to work with persecuted Christians around the world.
He said he plans to help “develop leadership” in countries such as Iran and Pakistan, where church buildings have been confiscated and Christians attacked.
The bishop denied he would be taking up a formal role in one of the movements for orthodox Anglicans that have been set up recently to resist the liberal direction of the church.
And from
The Times
Although he denied that this was behind his decision to step down, he received death threats after his comments on “no-go areas”. For that reason, the location of the new home to which he and his wife, Valerie, are moving is being kept secret. It has come to a pretty pass when a Church of England Bishop, in England, has to hide his address.
Dr Nazir-Ali wants to help to train Christians in Islamic countries to be lay and ordained leaders. He said: “One reason I have decided to do this is to point by example to the wide and very important mission for the Church in the world and not continually have time and energy consumed by internal squabbling.”
Anglicans are “undoubtedly damaged in the mission sense by what has happened”, he said. “Certainly in the world I am talking about, Anglican credibility has suffered.”
He believes his background in Karachi, where he read Islamic history, and his two years as the first Bishop of Raiwind in West Punjab in the 1980s have equipped him uniquely to work with Christians in Muslim countries.
He will draw on his experience of discrimination against Christians in Pakistan, when he was building and opening churches. He worked with bonded labour, fighting for equal pay for women and non-Muslims.
“That was not popular. That was the main reason for having to leave, as is well known. But I continue to engage with these issues.”
He is also in talks with a leading theological college attached to a university — not Oxford — about accreditation for the courses he will be offering.
“The overall point is to enable countries and religious communities to agree on and then respect fundamental freedoms, freedom of belief and expression and freedom to change your belief. In terms of churches, I am very concerned that they should be strengthened to live in their very demanding contexts."
Please pray for his safety and that of his family and for his continuing work. Athiests can think positivie thoughts - God will hear them quite clearly.

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Posted on 08/29/2009 3:53 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Saturday, 29 August 2009
A Musical Interlude: 'Deed I Do (Ben Pollack Orch.)
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Listen here.

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Posted on 08/29/2009 1:25 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Saturday, 29 August 2009
Army base guards 'had dodgy training'
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Thanks to Dumbledore's army for more on the corruption case that has placed numerous undesirable characters insideAustralian army and airforce bases.
SECURITY guards have been stationed at sensitive Sydney defence sites at Holsworthy and Glenbrook despite being given bogus security qualifications by a company under investigation by the corruption watchdog.
The ICAC yesterday heard Security International Services, a company providing security guards to "high profile" sites in Sydney, sent about 80 staff to the Roger Training Academy.
They were meant to be learning skills like "managing conflict through negotiation" to meet higher standards under new legislation.
But at the Roger Training Academy, if their money was paid, students weren't strictly required to show up, ICAC was told.
Four guards employed by Security International Services have told an Independent Commission Against Corruption inquiry that Roger Training Academy supplied answers to vital assessment booklets, needed to upgrade their security licences.
All copied the answers in the so-called "learner's guide", with one guard stationed at Glenbrook RAAF Base, Liaquat Ali Khan, saying his daughter filled out his workbook.
Ali Khan said the head of Roger Training, Ahmed Moosani, supplied him with his workbook and answers.
He said his daughter filled out the book using the learner's guide and the internet, and nobody at Roger Training ever questioned if it was his handwriting. He said she filled it out because his written English was poor.
"My daughter said I can fill that out for you very quick - that's why she done it,"
Guards were even issued with first aid certificates without doing any training, after making under-the-table payments to the company.
Two guards who have worked at Holsworthy Army Base, Waleed Hamady and Yusef Syed, said they were given bogus first aid certificates by Roger Training after paying $100.
"I go to reception, there is a lady who asked if I knew first aid, she ask me to give her $100," said Mr Hamady
Student Nick Bosnyak told the inquiry through an interpreter he paid for his security certificate with a $4000 opal.
Liaquat Ali Khan, who worked at the Glenbrook air force base in the lower Blue Mountains, was asked by Independent Commission Against Corruption counsel Carolyn Davenport  yesterday if he had ever been trained to screen baggage.
"What does baggage screening mean?" Mr Khan asked before admitting he checked bags at the base without the necessary certification.
Security at the Holsworthy barracks has been under the spotlight since August 4, when members of an alleged terrorist cell were caught plotting an attack on the base.
Mr Mossani has been accused of earning $1.3 million from the training scam before Roger Training was deregistered in March.
What is of concern is not just the corruption, or that untraind men with poor English language will end up in positions of responsibility but that all so far of these men have islamic names. What if there were a plot beyond the scam to plant jihadis or potential jihadis inside defence establishments?

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Posted on 08/29/2009 10:11 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Saturday, 29 August 2009
Twice Branded: Western Women in Muslim Lands
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Judy Bachrach writes in World Affairs Journal about the way women, especially western women, are treated in Muslim countries. No surprises for NER readers, but worth reading.

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Posted on 08/29/2009 9:04 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Saturday, 29 August 2009
Hambali off hook over 2002 Bali bombings
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From The Weekend Australian
HAMBALI, the terrorist mastermind believed to be behind the Bali bombings, is set to escape justice for his role in the 2002 attacks that killed 202 people, 88 of them Australians.
Senior US officials have told The Weekend Australian that military prosecutors lack the evidence to charge the Indonesian terror suspect over the bombings of the Sari Club and Paddy's Bar on October 12, 2002.
The news will come as a blow to relatives of those who perished in the deadliest terrorist attacks ever perpetrated against Australians. It follows the execution in Indonesia last year of the three bombers, Imam Samudra and brothers Amrozi and Mukhlas.
While authorities are confident they can tie Hambali to other terrorist attacks across the archipelago - ensuring he is almost certain to remain in custody - US officials say it is unlikely the 45-year-old will be charged over his role in the Bali bombings.
A senior US official close to the investigation said the problem boiled down to a lack of admissible evidence. "As it stands now, the case against Hambali on Bali is weak," he said. "But the investigation has not stopped. It is ongoing."
Despite the lack of evidence, there is a near universal consensus among experts, intelligence analysts and government officials that Hambali was involved in the twin blasts in the Kuta tourist strip.
Former Office of National Assessments Indonesia analyst Ken Ward said while Hambali was probably not involved in the operational planning, he was believed to have contributed $US30,500 to fund the crime.
"He didn't necessarily choose the Sari Club or Paddy's Bar but he was the one who directed that soft targets be the object of Jemaah Islamiah's operations in Indonesia," Mr Ward said.
Hambali, whose real name is Riduan Isamuddin, was arrested in 2003 in Thailand as part of a US-led operation.
As al-Qa'ida's chief of operations in Southeast Asia, he is implicated in a string of attacks across Indonesia, including the 2003 attack on Jakarta's Marriott Hotel that claimed 12 lives and a series of Christmas Eve church bombings that killed 19.
Hambali was the head of Mantiqi One, the JI cell covering Malaysia and Singapore. His deputy, Mukhlas, was the field commander for the nightclub blasts.
It is understood that while the Bali case against Hambali may be weak, prosecutors are much more optimistic about proving his participation in the Marriott bombing, which, according to US authorities, Hambali helped finance.
US military prosecutors have hinted strongly they would seek the death penalty for Hambali. Former chief prosecutor Colonel Mo Davis said in 2007 there was a good chance Hambali would be charged with murder.

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Posted on 08/29/2009 8:03 AM by Esmerelda WEatherwax
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Saturday, 29 August 2009
Weasel Words
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A few years ago I pulled into the car park of a Company I was currently doing some business with and was confronted by a sign which read:

“PLEASE PARK IN THE CENTRE
HERONS ARE SEEDING THE VERGES”
 
OK, I thought, storks bring babies so why can’t herons sow seeds!
 
I was reminded most forcibly of that sign when I read, just a few hours ago, some words from a sentence in a book about the animal heroes of WWII which read: “...suddenly, scores of Buffalos carrying hundreds of amphibious Weasels appeared on the shore...”
 
As you, dear readers, might imagine I was unable to read on. Paroxysms of mirth engulfed me!
 
Sometimes, context is all and background knowledge is an absolute necessity. Regrettable, on both occasions, I possessed neither and my sense of the ridiculous triumphed – I ended up a helpless, laughing heap of humanity!
 
Fortunately, a well-known search engine saved my sanity.
 
But I wish that I had written both that sign and those words. Priceless!
 
Almost as good as a sign I saw some thirty years ago at a ferry terminal on the Northern Isles which simply read:
 
“DO NOT PARK YOUR LORRY IN THE TOILETS”
 
The indicated toilets were a scant eight square yards in extent – even in that day and age trucks were significantly larger than that! I’ve wondered about that sign ever since!
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Posted on 08/29/2009 7:42 AM by John M. Joyce
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Saturday, 29 August 2009
Things Which Are Easy To Forget But A Joy To Remember
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Way back in The Merry Month Of May I meant to remind all of you of the anniversary of Harry Lillis Crosby’s birth – that’s ‘Bing’ Crosby for most of us – by posting my two favourite songs by that great crooner. Well, better late than never, here they are:

 
 
Now, why are these songs important – well, just contrast this Western attitude towards women with the attitude towards women one finds in the Islamic world!
 
Maybe these songs are a little antiquated but the attitude is one of respect – and the music is lush and gorgeous and his voice is so, so sensuous.
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Posted on 08/29/2009 7:36 AM by John M. Joyce
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