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Saturday, September 03, 2011

Craig Thompson "humanizes" Islam

At the beginning of the year, I'd noted the graphic novel called "Habibi", which is writer Craig Thompson's so-called exploration of Islam. He's now given an interview to the New Statesman (via CBR Robot 6's Brigid Alverson, a leftist herself), where he splutters out with the following:
Could you elaborate a bit more on the themes?

It was born out of 9/11 in the sense that Islam was being vilified in the media, and I wanted to humanise it a bit and understand it, and focus on the beauty of Arabic and Islamic culture. My experience of speaking to Muslims was that they weren't any different to the Christian communities I grew up in -- they had the same morals and the same lifestyles, and the same stories that shaped their religions. Then also I got really inspired by the Islamic arts -- Arabic calligraphy, geometric pattern and design, architecture, and a lot of those details infused the book.
A most disgusting, blatant lie. What exactly is so similar about a religion founded by a pedophile, Muhammed, to the morals and lifestyles of Christianity, or even Judaism? Does Christianity contain skin-crawling verses like Sura 2:223, "Your women are your fields, so go into your fields whichever way you like"?

But wait'll you see the next part in Thompson's interview, really bizarre:
From the advance pages I've seen, Habibi seems to be infused with some very interesting imagery - triangles interlocking into a star shape as two characters kiss for example. Is that something that runs throughout the book?

The structure of the book is based on a North African Arabic talisman which is the magic squares symbol. It's essentially like Sudoku -- it's a three by three magic square with nine Arabic letters within the squares. So, that's reflected in the structure of the book as there's nine chapters, and each chapter is thematically based around an Arabic letter which also has a numerological component, and with that number is also a geometric component. The page you mentioned was from a chapter entitled 'Ring of Solomon' which is structured around a six-pointed star -- a Star of David, or Solomon's Seal. Every theme in that chapter also focuses on the prophet Solomon and the number six on that six-pointed star.

That's really interesting as the comic is about Arabic and Islamic culture, yet the Star of David is a Jewish symbol, as well as having undertones of the Biblical Old Testament. Were you trying to draw the three religions together?

Oh definitely. A big part of it was to explore the connections between the three Abrahamic faiths, starting obviously with Abraham, being the connecting father of all three. Each chapter is also based on a prophet of Islam. There are 124,000 prophets in Islam, but the most important ones are the same Judeo-Christian characters we grow up with like Abraham, Moses, Noah, Solomon, and even Jesus. Jesus is the second most important prophet in Islam after Mohammed. So I focus on those characters. And when I say that, they're just supplemental, the main narrative is a fractured love story between these two child slaves, Dodola and Zam, and all those other things are almost like decoration or extra layers of ornamentation.
Jesus - who was Jewish - is a prophet of Islam?!? And does he consider Solomon such a thing too? Aside from how I doubt the inclusion of David's Star is going to impress many Muslims, it is downright offensive and insulting that he tries to hijack other religions' prophets for the sake of his own weird beliefs. Especially when followers of Muhammed continue to persecute Jesus' followers. It's worth noting that Abraham disinherited Ishmael - who founded the tribe many Arabs grew out of - because he was performing idol worship, and split up with his mother Hagar too after she supported this, and that's why I'm not sure Islam's supposed worship of Abraham is genuine so much as it built on vindictive motivations. Thompson's blather is an insult to many Judeo-Christians, including Jewish comics creators (speaking of which, there's an article excerpt here about Jewish-Christian influences on comics).
What kind of artists were you looking at besides the Arab and Islamic influences for Habibi? You've mentioned in previous interviews that the impressionists inspire you. Was that a continuing influence, or were there others this time?

I love impressionists, but I was drawn to the era right before that of French Orientalist painting. That stuff, to me, is very self-aware of the racist and sexist quality of the paintings, which came out in the 1860s, by, say, Jean-Léon Gérôme. All that stuff is sort of bawdy and sensual. I look at it like you might look at an exploitation film. At least now we're more self-aware and it seems very deliberately sensationalistic and fantastical, but there are still pleasures to have in it.

Edward Saïd talks about Orientalism in very negative terms because it reflects the prejudices of the west towards the exotic east. But I was also having fun thinking of Orientalism as a genre like Cowboys and Indians is a genre -- they're not an accurate representation of the American west, they're like a fairy tale genre. The main influences and inspirations though were Arabic calligraphy, geometric patterns, and ornamentation though.
So he even considers Said - who faked his autobiography - someone worthy of note? Another problem going against his tomfoolery.
Are comics being accepted in the literary world? There are still big prejudices against them, yet there's this huge oeuvre of great comic literature which many people don't know about, or aren't interested in.

I think it's changed a little bit, certainly because it seems like the publishing world has warmed up to the idea of graphic novels if only for crass commercial reasons. I don't know if cartoonists are too worried about being canonised in some sort of academic fashion because I think we embrace being a bastardised art form. It's like rock music or something like that -- I think there's a pride in the rawness and non-stuffiness of the medium.
There haven't been serious prejudices against comics for a long time - it's not like most people think they're just kids stuff and haven't for many years now - but if people like Thompson continue to litter the medium with intellect insulters like Habibi, then some are going to develop a distaste for the medium on the grounds that the people involved are degrading leftists who exploit it as a platform for their political positions, which is symbolic of how there is a perception today that comics publishers have an insular approach to how they do things. To make a comic about Arabic culture, that's one thing, but to make it about Islam is another.

Update: on that same CBR posting I found this interview on, Alverson linked an interview with the writer of another graphic novel set in nazi-occupied France. I do wonder what Thompson would say if he knew about the Mufti's collaboration with the nazis at the time?

Update 2: The Boston Phoenix wrote a gushing take on the graphic novel, but what's really eyebrow raising here is what's said at the end:
ON DRAWING MOHAMMED "I was approaching [Islam] in a more reverent and at least not insulting way. And I was consulting friends and Muslim readers. In the end, if anything, they all seemed fairly comfortable with the depiction of Mohammad."
It's not clear if he actually did draw Mohammed in this GN, but if he did, isn't that surprising that he would do the very thing that got those Danish cartoonists in trouble.
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Happy Labor Day 2011!

With a hat tip to Brooke:


Does the above graphic resonate with you, MR?

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Obama Pursues The Bush Foreign Policy

My opinion is, Obama does, indeed, pursue the Bush Foreign Policy. In fact, Obama has been much tougher in Pakistan, using drone attacks/targeted assassinations repeatedly despite warnings from China that an attack on Pakistan would be war.

From Ron Radosh at PJM:
Recently, some of our most able pundits have been arguing that neoconservatism is dead. As usual, The Daily Beast’s Peter Beinart leads the pack. He could not have stated his case more clearly than here: “the ideology that 9/11 made famous — neoconservatism — has died.” Beinart is certain of this. His evidence? Al-Qaeda is finished; not only Osama bin Laden is dead, but now his second in command, Abd al-Rahman, has been killed by the U.S. No longer is jihadism a major threat, “a threat on par with Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union,” he argues. It is “sliding into irrelevance,” leaving the U.S. with quite a different challenge — that of China’s authoritarian capitalism. What killed al-Qaeda, he says, is “exactly the narrow targeted policies that neoconservatives derided.”

Obama has gained his ends through intelligence and drone strikes, Beinart argues, and any resulting democracy in the Middle East comes not from the United States, but from the local rebellion of young Muslims. He also argues that Republican candidates are not attacking the president along neoconservative lines; instead, they largely avoid the issue, since they “have little appetite for the neconservative agenda of continued war in the Middle East.”

He implies that we should get out of Afghanistan, because it is not worth the cost of American lives, and because we can’t afford it. Right or wrong, the money is not there, something he says neoconservatives never paid attention to. America, he says — sounding like a conservative — must pay attention to limits, and we must hold in our grandiose ambitions.

Is Beinart right? First, let us point to a factor he pays little attention to: that despite a confused and ambivalent doctrine in foreign policy, President Obama is pursuing much of the same “neo-con” policies advocated by George W. Bush and Dick Cheney in their administration. No one has made a stronger case for this than Walter Russell Mead. Obama’s defenders, he writes,
must also squirm; in general, President Obama succeeds where he adopts or modifies the policies of the Bush administration. Where (as on Israel) he has tried to deviate, his troubles begin.
He writes the following:
The most irritating argument anyone could make in American politics is that President Obama, precisely because he seems so liberal, so vacillating, so nice, is a more effective neoconservative than President Bush. As is often the case, the argument is so irritating partly because it is so true.
President Obama is pushing a democracy agenda in the Middle East that is as aggressive as President Bush’s; he adopts regime change by violence if necessary as a core component of his regional approach and, to put it mildly, he is not afraid to bomb.
And finally, the heart of Mead’s case:
In many ways we are living through George W. Bush’s third term in the Middle East, and neither President Obama’s friends nor his enemies want to admit it. President Obama, in his own way and with his own twists, continues to follow the core Bush policy of nudging and sometimes pushing nasty regimes out of power, aligning the US with the wave of popular discontent in the region even as that popular sentiment continues to dislike, suspect and reject many aspects of American power and society. And that policy continues to achieve ambivalent successes: replacing old and crustily anti-American regimes, rooted deeply in the culture of terror and violence within and beyond their borders, with weaker, more open and — on some issues at least — more accommodating ones.
In Libya, as we have seen, a humanitarian effort became, in reality, a use of force to promote regime change. True, he moved too slowly, and casualties may have been avoided had he promoted his real aim from the start. And in Syria, he began by proclaiming Assad a “reformer,” only to finally, in the past few weeks, call for the Syrian dictator to step down. Yet, as Mead concludes, “half way through President Obama’s tenure in office, we can see that regime change and democracy promotion remain the basis of American strategy in the Middle East — and that force is not excluded when it comes to achieving American aims.”  So Mead writes — somewhat I think with tongue in cheek — “the Bush-Obama agenda marches on.”

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Oh, Goodie! Look What's Coming To Washington On September 17 (Correction: October 6)

From Front Page Magazine:
Bringing Tahrir Square to Washington

A coalition of leftist groups is promising to occupy part of downtown Washington, D.C. “with the intention of making it our Tahrir Square, Cairo” next month.

This exercise in Marxist mobocracy is just one of many scheduled nationwide in coming months. It will take place nearly three weeks after the Left’s “Days of Rage” occupation of Wall Street scheduled for Sept. 17.

The Washington protest is modeled after the demonstrations that brought down the Egyptian government earlier this year. It is being organized by an umbrella group called the October 2011 Coalition, which is run by David Swanson, a former spokesman for ACORN and the International Labor Communications Association....
And check out this portion, toward the end of the article:
Joanne Dowdell, a Democratic congressional candidate in New Hampshire, said she is seeking office because the 2012 election is about “class warfare.” Dowdell is not on the fringes of her party. She is a former DNC committeewoman and was a delegate at the 2008 party convention that nominated Obama for the presidency.
Maybe the September 17 demonstration won't amount to much.

But we are seeing how the 2012 election will be framed by the Left: as class warfare.

It's going to be a rough ride to November 2012.

Mark my words: "You ain't seen nuthin' yet."

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UK - Imam killed after morning prayer in Finsbury Park

(BBC).A imam who died in suspicious circumstances at a mosque in north London was killed after taking morning prayers, it has emerged.The religious leader, understood to be Sheikh Maymoun Zarzour, was found at the Muslim Welfare House in Seven Sisters Road, Finsbury Park, on Friday. 

A man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder. A post-mortem examination is being arranged.The Metropolitan Police said it was not believed to be a faith hate crime.Officers believe the suspect attended the mosque.A statement on the Muslim Welfare House Trust's website read: "Our imam has passed away after he led prayer."

The police is investigating the case but it is thought that he was killed inside his office."We would like to send our condolences to all the Muslims in north London and the UK."

It continued: "The sheikh was very friendly and never had an argument with anyone in the community during his career in this mosque."

The imam was blind after a childhood accident.Local MP Jeremy Corbyn knew Sheikh Zarzour well, holding regular surgeries at the Muslim Welfare House. He had helped him to his seat at a supper just last week.Mr Corbyn said: "He was a very good man. He was quite quiet, a good listener and good at supporting the community.

"He was exactly the kind of person Finsbury Park needs and I'm very sad he's gone. 
The Finsbury mosque is a well known hub for Salafist radicals .

Read the full story here.
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Michael Coren Asks Three Questions of Islam

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Terrorist Arrested In Northern Virginia

And CAIR will be providing him an attorney.

View more videos at: http://nbcwashington.com.

More information HERE and HERE. The man arrested was a legal and permanent resident of the United States.

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One reason the nation's businesses are failing is because the schools suck, and they suck because our standards of success equate to failure

While reading this SCROTUM TIGHTENING ARTICLE, Decline of America: Have We Given Away the Store?, they mention the following study PROPERLY from the NYT, damning it as demonstrative of failure.

The Department of Education recently released the results of its national geography survey of students in grades 4, 8 and 12.

The good news is that students did not do all that poorly: Fifty-six percent of high school seniors knew, for instance, that glaciation formed the Great Lakes. The bad news is that students have not shown much improvement from previous exams and that only about one in four fourth graders was able to identify all seven continents correctly.

Sorry to have be the one to tell you NYT, but if only half of high school students (I was taught this in 8th grade) have a clue how the Great Lakes came to be, the schools have failed.

They have failed not only because they cannot teach the facts, and insist they be comprehended or students REMAIN where they until until they are, they have failed because the CURRICULA (now handed down from DC, Dept of Eductaion and Dr. WILLIAM AYERS heavy involvement…yes that’s right..Ayers was elected Vice President for Curriculum Studies by the American Educational Research Association in 2008), teachers and their training, have FAILED to make learning what is previously unknown a LOVE of their students.

They have FAILED to ignite intellectual curiosity except in self starters who would see something and find out all that needed to be found out on their own if schools were not even there.

The result, from the first article…

The free-market model of capitalism is dysfunctional, one hears. The markets are in for a prolonged period of frightening see-sawing. Nobody knows how to create jobs or induce corporations to invest in them. Deprivation and shrinkage are necessary preludes to future growth (on a smaller scale). For recent graduates, the only thing to do is “Go East, young man (or woman).” There is little left on the home front unless you like the spectacle of a gradual downward drift.

That line of thought certainly squares with the experience of a professor friend who teaches at a college in Connecticut and took some of his students to China this summer. Before departing for the Middle Kingdom, they visited the old Pratt & Whitney plant in East Hartford. Not so many years ago, the aircraft-engine maker employed 18,000 highly skilled engineers, technicians, and machinists. Now it employs almost none. In one far corner, past the rows of empty factory sheds, they found a small R&D shop with a few live bodies still at work. That was all.

When the group got to China, it went to the Pratt & Whitney plant in one of the industrial zones along China’s southeastern coast. There they found thousands of engineers, technicians, and machinists. China already owns 53 percent of the facility. The New Zealander running it figured Pratt & Whitney had 10 to 15 more years to profit from the place; after that, the plant and everything it made and earned would belong to the Chinese. If the Kiwi is right, another blue-chip American name (this one 86 years old) will be no more.

We have many problems here. We have a BIG HUGE FAT problem in the economy, which is to say, JOBS. I have postulated that only manufacturing can create the structure fast enough to impact us now. I have postulated that Free Trade as implemented has benefited only large multinationals and those who have impactful stakes in them and of course the workers in destitute nations, who replaced unionized american workers who lived a nice life. I have postulated that engineering and research will follow this along to where the wealth now is and that will be that.

I may be right or I may be wrong. But other critical thinkers on this, apparently will be absent in the numbers we need them because the schools (and NYT) think if half the kids know where the Great Lakes come from, we are doing fine.

Except, of course, if the policy makers think they came from the actions of some ‘Gabriel’ or run off from an ancient hurricane caused by neanderthal induced global warming, and these policy makers were passed along from grade to grade, and given govt guaranteed loans and scholarships to a college which had to accept them, to be taught that govt employment was the best way, and entered the long ladder to policy making by acting as they saw others act in the only job growth industry left.

Happy Labor Day.

WAKE UP AMERICA.

It is sickeningly CLEAR around us.


(Correction in caption.. that is the engine of the new F-35 fighter, not the 'J-35' engine..apologies)
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Finally! An Invitation!

About a year ago, I wrote THIS. Much of what I wrote then has remained the same. Mr. AOW and I are isolated because of his physical disabilities.

Then, out of the blue, we have received an invitation for a cookout today!

Plenty of men will be there to help me unload Mr. AOW from the car and to help him during the cookout.

The bathroom in that particular home is not handicapped friendly because of the narrow door and lack of grab bar, so the issue of bathrooming is the one the most worries Mr. AOW and me. He will have to use a quad cane and walk a few steps from the hallway and through the bathroom door. As a precaution, I'll also take along a change of clothing for him.

Mr. AOW is mentally sharp now. In fact, last spring, about a year and a half after Mr. AOW's brain hemorrhage of September 15, 2009, the neurologist pronounced my husband mentally competent. The brain does heal, but the healing takes time and proceeds at a snail's pace.

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The Racist Truth

From Jawa:

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Friday, September 02, 2011

Brad Mehldau
My Favorite Things


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No Depression

Today is a milestone.

Today is 2 years since my job was eliminated.

Prospects are not good. I can't even get an interview to stock shelves at the local Lowe's or Target.

I'll be 50 in November. That doesn't help. Especially when 4 out of 5 college graduates can't find a job in their field of study.


dpression cities america 1930s, great depression by presiedent hoover, people of the great depression, 1940 tent cities
I've been out of work for 2 years. "Unemployed need not apply."

Yet for 3-1/2 years, through my wife's unemployment and then my own, I've been able to keep the bills paid. It has cost me nearly every sent I have in savings and early retirement withdrawals. That's about to end.



The August numbers are out today. On my two year anniversary.

Unemployment is holding steady at 9.1%.

They say that like it's a good thing.

Truth is, unemployment is holding steady because the 99ers are starting to expire at a faster and faster pace now. People who have expired their benefits and are no longer counted as unemployed although they have not found a job.



Now they're just counted as bums I suppose.

To hear the idiots and morons on the TeeVee we have a chance to turn this all around in 2012.

For myself and millions like me, that is too late. By then we will be finished.

The President has a BIG JOBS SPEECH next week.

To the media the big deal with it is how will it affect the Packers game?



Meanwhile, The August numbers show NO JOBS were created in August.

None.

That hasn't happened since 1945.

And President Barack Obama, back home from his 10 day Martha's Vineyard Vacation, refreshed and ready to work, is heading to Camp David for the next couple days.

While Congress, who fled town right after passing that debt debacle in early August, has yet to be heard from.

None of them seem to care about the un(der)employed, except as how it will affect their chances in 2012.

Kids are living in their cars and under blue tarps in the woods. They tape screening to the windows to keep the mosquitos out but let air in during the warm summer nights. They're dropped off at school in the same vehicle they sleep in and do their homework in afterwards. Spaghettios are a luxury meal to them. A can split among 3 or 4.

This is not the America my father left me. Nor yours.

But hang in their, kids. 2012 is coming.

It's just 72 weeks until a new administration.

You can hang on that long, can't you?

Employers add no net jobs in Aug.; rate unchanged
Employers added no net jobs in August, while unemployment rate was unchanged at 9.1 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Employers stopped adding jobs in August, an alarming setback for an economy that has struggled to grow and might be at risk of another recession.

The government also reported that the unemployment rate remained at 9.1 percent. It was the weakest jobs report since September 2010.

Stocks tumbled on the news. The Dow Jones industrial average sank more than 190 points in early-morning trading.

Total payrolls were unchanged in August, the first time since 1945 that the government has reported a net job change of zero. Economists warned that the economy can't keep growing indefinitely if hiring remains stalled.

"Underlying job growth needs to improve immediately in order to avoid a recession," said HSBC economist Ryan Wang.

Fears that the United States will slip back into recession have been rising since the government reported over the summer that the economy barely grew in the first half of the year. Consumer and business confidence has been sapped by the political standoff over the federal debt limit, a downgrade in the U.S. government's credit rating and a debt crisis in Europe.

Job growth had already been sputtering before it stalled completely last month. The economy produced an average 166,000 a month in the first quarter, 105,000 a month in the second quarter and just 28,000 a month so far in the third quarter, said John Silvia, chief economist at Wells Fargo.

The dispiriting job numbers for August will put more pressure on the Federal Reserve, President Barack Obama and Congress to find ways to stimulate the economy. So far, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has been reluctant to try a third round of bond purchases designed to jolt the economy by further lowering long-term interest rates.

Obama next week will deliver a rare address to a joint session of Congress to introduce a plan for creating jobs and boosting economic growth. But House Republicans have resisted any federal stimulus spending.

The weakness in employment was underscored by revisions to the jobs data for June and July. Collectively, those figures were lowered to show 58,000 fewer jobs added. The downward revisions were all in government jobs.

The average work week also declined, and hourly earnings fell by 3 cents to $23.09.

"There is no silver lining in this one," said Steve Blitz, senior economist at ITG Investment Research. "It is difficult to walk away from these numbers without the conclusion that the economy is simply grinding to a halt."

With job creation stalled and wages declining, consumers won't see much gain in incomes. That will limit their ability to spend, which undercuts growth. Consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of the economy.

"The importance of job growth cannot be overstated," said Joshua Shapiro, chief U.S. economist at MFR Inc.

The economy needs to add roughly 250,000 jobs a month to rapidly bring down the unemployment rate, which has been above 9 percent in all but two months since May 2009.

In August, the private sector added 17,000 jobs, the fewest since February 2010. That compares with 156,000 in July and 75,000 in June.

"The stagnation in US payroll employment is an ominous sign," said Paul Ashworth, an economist at Capital Economics. "The broad message is that even if the US economy doesn't start to contract again, any expansion is going to be very, very modest and fall well short of what would be needed to drive the still elevated unemployment rate lower."

Hiring fell across many different sectors. Manufacturers cut 3,000 jobs, its first decline since October 2010. Construction companies, retailers, and transportation firms also cut workers.

The health care industry added 30,000 jobs last month.

The economy expanded at an annual pace of only 0.7 percent in the first six months of the year. That was the slowest six months of growth since the recession officially ended in June 2009.

In August, consumer confidence fell to its lowest level since April 2009, according to the Conference Board.

Most economists forecast that growth may improve to about a 2 percent annual rate in the July-September quarter. But that's not fast enough to generate many jobs.

The Obama administration has estimated that unemployment will average about 9 percent next year, when Obama will run for re-election. The rate was 7.8 percent when Obama took office.

The White House Office of Management and Budget projects overall growth of only 1.7 percent this year.

"The economy continues to stagger," said Sung Won Sohn, economist at California State University Channel Islands. "It wouldn't take much (of a) shock to tip it onto a recession."












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The Obama Administration Takes on ‘Islamophobia’ and trashes the 1st Amendmendment

From Will at The Other News:
An unprecedented collaboration between the Obama administration and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC, formerly called the Organization of the Islamic Conference) to combat “Islamophobia” may soon result in the delegitimization of freedom of expression as a human right.

The administration is taking the lead in an international effort to “implement” a U.N. resolution against religious “stereotyping,” specifically as applied to Islam. To be sure, it argues that the effort should not result in free-speech curbs.

However, its partners in the collaboration, the 56 member states of the OIC, have no such qualms. Many of them police private speech through Islamic blasphemy laws and the OIC has long worked to see such codes applied universally.  

Under Muslim pressure, Western Europe now has laws against religious hate speech that serve as proxies for Islamic blasphemy codes.Last March, U.S. diplomats maneuvered the adoption of Resolution 16/18 within the U.N. Human Rights Council (HRC). Non-binding, this resolution, inter alia, expresses concern about religious “stereotyping” and “negative profiling” but does not limit free speech.

It was intended to — and did — replace the OIC’s decidedly dangerous resolution against “defamation of religions,” which protected religious institutions instead of individual freedoms.But thanks to a puzzling U.S. diplomatic initiative that was unveiled in July, Resolution 16/18 is poised to become a springboard for a greatly reinvigorated international effort to criminalize speech against Islam, the very thing it was designed to quash.Amb. Zamir Akram, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative on behalf of the OIC to the HRC, commented regarding the initiative that the OIC would not compromise on “anything against the Quran, anything against the Prophet and anything against the Muslim community in terms of discrimination.

As for reciprocity — for example, reforming the Saudi national curriculum that continues to teach students to “kill” Jews, “fight” polytheists, view Christians as “enemies,” and spread Islam through “jihad” — there probably won’t be any.

Citing a need to “move to implementation” of Resolution 16/18, the Obama administration has inexplicably decided to launch a major international effort against Islamophobia in partnership with the Saudi-based OIC. This is being voluntarily assumed at American expense, outside the U.N. framework, and is not required by the resolution itself.

In his 2009 Cairo speech, President Obama said, “I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam whenever they appear.” There are a number of problems with this statement: One is that it encourages the diplomatic folly that is this conference.

Read the full story here.
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Keb Mo
Two Trains Running



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Thursday, September 01, 2011

This Week On The Gathering Storm

Listen to The Gathering Storm Radio Show, hosted by WC and Always On Watch. The show broadcasts live every Friday beginning at noon, Pacific Time, for 30 minutes.

The call-in number is 646-915-9870.

Callers welcome!

Our scheduled guest this week is September 2: Camera Mom.

Listen to the September 2, 2011 edition of The Gathering Storm Radio Show, live or later, by CLICKING HERE.

UPCOMING SHOWS
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Google Search Addition?

I just noticed something while doing a Google search via Mozilla Firefox.

In the left sidebar, I see "Location." Under that label, I see the first word of my street name, followed by my state. Just below those elements, I read "auto-detected."

Maybe I've been asleep or something, but I don't recall seeing those items in my Google-Firefox sidebar before.

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New Rasmussen Poll Shows Perry As Only Republican Candidate Beating Obama (All Others Trail)

And Rasmussen is a Right-leaning polling agency.

From Ace:
Prior to this poll, Rasmussen -- oddly, Republican-leaning Rasmussen -- has always had Obama ahead in head-to-head match-ups, against any candidate, except, apparently, for a period earlier in the year, where Romney edged Obama:
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney currently trails the president by four percentage points, 43% to 39%. That’s a slight improvement for the Republican compared to a week ago. Earlier in the year, Romney held a one-point edge when matched against the president. Prior to today’s release, that was the only time a named Republican has held any kind of lead over President Obama.
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Update on Cong. Andre Carson's Lynching Smear, the 2nd US Congressman who happens to be muslim

Remember this one? The Hill, 3/20/10:

Rep. Andre Carson (D-Ind.) said Saturday that healthcare protesters at the Capitol directed racial epithets at him and Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) as they walked outside.

Carson, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus along with Lewis, told The Hill that protesters called the lawmakers the N-word.

Tea Party protesters held a rally outside the Capitol on Saturday, which included speeches by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and actor Jon Voight, and then proceeded into the halls to lobby members at the 11th hour.



Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/08/31/andre-carson-serial-racebaiter/#ixzz1WizHHjhJ
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Publisher Calls FBI Over Muslim Backlash From 9/11 Coloring Book

From CBS St. Louis:

CLAYTON, MO (KMOX) – Taking heat from Muslim groups upset with a coloring book about the 9/11 Attacks, a publisher says he’s been in contact with local police and the FBI.
Wayne Bell, the Publisher of Really Big Coloring Books, Inc., says there’s been a negative backlash against the book “We Shall Never Forget 9/11: The Kids’ Book of Freedom.”
“These are people from Al-Jazeera that have called in here numerous times, people from Iranian TV, people from Palestinian Hamas TV,” Bell said, “A lot of people from the Islamic community have called in here and said increasingly negative things prior to the book being made and then after we made the book too, about the book itself.”
The book features images of Osama Bin Laden and Islamic terrorists.  It also shows American citizens upset by the attacks, including a woman with a cross around her neck.  But it shows no Muslim Americans mourning the attacks.
The Council on American Islamic Relations has criticized the book as one-sided, only portraying Muslims as either “extremists” or “terrorists. ”
Bell was asked to explain the absence of patriotic Muslim Americans in the book who were also opposed to the attacks.
 Publisher Calls FBI Over Muslim Backlash From 9/11 Coloring Book
Publisher Wayne Bell with 9/11 coloring book
“Well, I don’t know, I mean this is what our research showed us,” Bell said, “Every time we mention one of the hijackers we call them what they are.  And that’s what parents wanted.  Radical, Islamic, Muslim Extremists.  And every time we mention one of the hijackers like the three guys that drove the plane into the Pentagon, there’s nothing else you can call them.  I mean, what do think,  they’re having a bad hair day?”
The book has been selling briskly, so fast that Bell said he had no extra copies for reporters to take with them today.   Bell declined to disclose how many copies have sold, except to say “a lot.”
When asked about whether he has had any threats because of the book, Bell stopped short of saying he had.
“That’s our C.O.O., ” Bell said, pointing to a co-worker, “He’s talked to the Clayton police department, a sergeant at the Clayton police department and the FBI, regarding your question.  That’s the answer to your question.  And so, it’s really good to be aware of your surroundings.   We’ll put it that way.
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Obama Administration Justice Dept. Raids Gibson Guitar To Increase Employment In Madagascar?

WTF?

From Jawa:

Feds Raid Gibson Guitar Company


(Original post is below the fold)
Update II by DMartyr: The Obama Administration apparently did it to create jobs - for Madagascar!
CHRIS DANIEL: Mr. Juszkiewicz, did an agent of the US government suggest to you that your problems would go away if you used Madagascar labor instead of American labor? HENRY JUSZKIEWICZ: They actually wrote that in a pleading.
CHRIS DANIEL: Excuse me?
HENRY JUSKIEWICZ: They actually wrote that it a pleading.
CHRIS DANIEL: That your problems would go away if you used Madagascar labor instead of our labor?
HENRY JUSKIEWICZ: Yes
RedState has more, including audio of the allegation.
Read More "Feds Raid Gibson Guitar Company (Updated & Bumped)"
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The Rise of Islamic No-Go Zones

In these areas they are left to themselves
The Power of the state is completely out of the picture

Welcome to Tower Hamlets

by Esmerelda Weatherwax (September 2011)

Why I am going to Tower Hamlets on Saturday.

I am of an old East End family. We define the East End as the three old boroughs of Bethnal Green, Stepney and Poplar which since 1965 make up the current London Borough of Tower Hamlets, plus that area of Shoreditch around Shoreditch Church which since 1965 is part of the London Borough of Hackney. Although my mother was born in Hoxton (which is adjacent to, but not part of, the East End) where my grandfather had a market stall, her parents were born in Bethnal Green as were all of my father’s family. My cousins and I have traced many lines of our families back to the 18thcentury. We span 4 centuries and 10 generations in the area, at least. Welcome to my ancestoral homeland.
The East End encompassed London docks which meant that people have always arrived from all over the world and many settled nearby. Just in the relatively small circle of my own family history, through blood, marriage, kinship or family friendship I know of Irish, Welsh, Italian, Scottish, Jewish, Polish and Russian, French Huguenot, Indian, West Indian and Yorkshire. Every group that came to the East End brought their own customs. The Huguenot influence can be seen in our love of bright colours of clothing and the flowers of our little gardens, even if the only garden available was a yard or a veranda. The Jewish influence is famous and goes far beyond the food and the delicatessens (and bread). Limehouse was Chinatown for many years although it is now in Gerrard Street W1. They integrated while giving us the best of their culture. Until recent years. 
Sylheti speaking seamen from the nation now called Bangladesh came through the docks even before the Second World War. During the war a mosque opened along Whitechapel Road for their use and that of other Muslims. From the late 1960s onwards more came and brought their families. But they didn’t integrate. The East London Mosque now covers the whole block between Plumbers Row and the Whitechapel Bell Foundry to the east, New Street to the west, Whitechapel Road to the north and Fieldgate Street to the south, other than the small and valiant Great Fieldgate Street Synagogue which the mosque covets but cannot have.

It isn’t the size of the Mosque complex (they are now building upwards, nine floors and counting) which is cause for concern, however, but the nature of their speakers and preachers, the malign influence of the Islamic Forum of Europe, the corruption of local politics and the imposition of Sharia law. The Telegraph Journalist Andrew Gilligan chronicles this regularly.
The following are a few the reasons why the English Defence League will be rallying in Tower Hamlets next week. The Home Secretary Theresa May, at the request of the Metropolitan Police, acting under the orders of the notorious Lutfur Rahman, the Mayor (for elected mayor, read Islamic dictator) has banned any march for a month through 5 London boroughs, Tower Hamlets, Newham, Waltham Forest, Hackney and Islington. So the demonstration will be a static one, which is our democratic right from which we cannot be banned.
Imposition of a Sharia controlled Zone.
 
I photographed these in Ford Square and nearby Sidney Street.
The treatment of Women
The hijab is near universal. The niqab is imposed on women in greater numbers than in Bangladesh itself.

In April a pharmacy assistant, not a Muslim and married to a Christian was threatened, as was the chemist shop where she worked under Hindu management, if she did not adopt a veil and Islamic dress code. “If she keeps working here and continues to dress like that, then we will boycott you because this is a Muslim area,” the chemist’s owner was told. 
Advertising posters for swimming costumes have had burkas painted on to them. The same young man responsible for some of the anti gay stickers we spotted in October last year, about which more later, has also been convicted of criminal damage to advertising hoardings. But he is not alone. 
The niqab is imposed as compulsory school uniform on girls as young as 11 at the Madani Islamic girls school in Mrydle Street behind the East London Mosque. I witnessed a young girl tearing off the face covering as she turned the corner of the road when I was there last year. At the time I thought she was waiting until she was out of sight of the mosque; I now suspect she was hurrying out of sight of her school.

I photographed these women entering and leaving the pupil's gate of the school before the summer holiday began in July. Inset top left, the school address.
I can only conclude that this arrangement below which I photographed in Poplar in July is designed to allow the women of this ground floor flat to reach the veils and other garments just visible on the washing line at the far left above the curtains without having to don a previously laundered niqab before venturing into the sunshine.

These incidents do not stand alone. Others can be found by searching my blog articles going back to 2006.
Treatment of gays.
The most obvious example is the declaration, some months prior to the Sharia Controlled Zone, that Tower Hamlets is a “Gay Free Zone” My daughter spotted this sticker left at the Aldgate end of Whitechapel in October, and right in Sidney Street in August.

In 15 years the number of gay pubs in the borough has declined from flourishing to three. They have been targeted for harrassment and intimidation.
Even at council meeting supporters of the aforementioned Lutfur Rahman hurled homophobic abuse at opposition councillors, one openly gay, the other Jewish. 
The Islamic Forum of Europe regularly hosts preachers whose preaching includes such teaching aids as the “Spot the Fag” contest.
A Gay Pride march against the Gay Free Zone campaign did not take place as proposed. The excuse given was alleged links by one of the organisers to the EDL. 
Treatment of Jews
There are very few Jews left in the East End; most have moved into the general East End diaspora in Essex. As I said above a Jewish councillor is regularly abused, even during council meetings. The East London Mosque would love to get its hands on the land occupied by the Great Fieldgate Street Synagogue .
In 2008 Jewish tourists on a walking tour of the historic East End were pelted with stones and abuse by ‘Asian Youths’ with a ‘narrow religious view’. This made the national press but I gather that it was not an isolated incident.
In 2005 the then MP, black and Jewish Oona King was attending a memorial service to commemorate 60 years since the Hughes Mansions Disaster in Bethnal Green, when 134 people, almost all Jewish, were killed by the last V2 missile to land on London. ‘Youths’ pelted her and mourners with eggs and rotten vegetables. 
To quote one of the ‘youth’ “We all hate her. She comes here with her Jewish friends who are killing our people and then they come to our back yards. It is out of order. What do they expect?"
The ‘youth’ were believed at the time to be supporters of George Galloway who was later elected MP for the constituency, saying after the election that he owes more(of his election) to the Islamic Forum of Europe ‘than it would be wise to admit’.
In 2009 following Israeli action in Gaza a petrol bomb was hurled at Starbucks in Whitechapel and Tesco’s stores and delivery vans were attacked. “Kill Jews” was daubed on a children’s playground at the Chicksand estate.
Treatment of Christians and Christianity
Attempted Murder of English Christian RE Teacher
Gary Smith, Head of Religious Studies at my cousin’s old school, Central Foundation Girls' School in Bow, was attacked by four Muslim men, (already under surveillance suspected of a terrorism plot) because 'He's mocking Islam and he’s putting doubts in people's minds...How can somebody take a job to teach Islam when they’re not even a Muslim themselves? . . . This is the dog we want to hit, to strike, to kill.’
Attacks on historic churches, Christian clergy and congregations.
In 2008 Canon Ainsworth of St Georges in the East Shadwell was beaten seriously enough to merit time in hospital after he asked some ‘Asian youth’ to behave.
The church had previously been targeted when a brick smashed a window during a service. Allan Ramanoop, a member of the parochial church council, said: “On one occasion, youths shouted: ‘This should not be a church, this should be a mosque, you should not be here. The youths are anti-Christian. It’s terrible what they have done to Canon Ainsworth’. 
The boy convicted walked free; the prosecution decided that the attack was not racially or religiously motivated and decided that a beating which put a man in hospital for 12 days was mere ABH (assault occasioning actual bodily harm) instead of the more serious GBH (grievous bodily harm). 
This summer ‘youths’ put parents and children in fear at a toddlers sports day at the Montessori nursery at St George’s. 
St George’s in the East is a 17thcentury Hawksmoor (pupil and colleague of Sir Christopher Wren) church. When we visited in August all was peaceful at midday during Ramadan; just one elderly Asian man having a quiet smoke between the gravestones. But there was graffiti.




Also in 2008 the Rector of St Matthew’s in Bethnal Green was assaulted by three youths he had asked not to bend the churchyard Cross out of shape and use it as a basketball hoop. This was not the first time they had abused him and he described a history of religious and racist taunts.

Three and a half years ago, one of the Church of England's most senior bishops, Pakistani-born Michael Nazir-Ali, warned that Islamic extremists had created "no-go"areas across Britain too dangerous for non-Muslims to enter. His politically incorrect concern sparked a firestorm of denial and criticism.  

The Muslim Council of Britain, for example, dismissed it as the Bishop's "frantic scaremongering" and "intolerance," and scoffed,We wouldn’t allow "no-go" areas to happen. I smell extreme intolerance when people criticise multiculturalism without proper evidence of what has gone wrong. 

Well, the evidence of how multiculturalism "has gone wrong" is in. This week Soeren Kern at the Hudson Institute documented the proliferation of such no-go zones throughout Europe -- autonomous Islamic "microstates" under Sharia rule (having rejected their host countries' legal systems), where non-Muslims must either conform to the cultural, legal, and religious norms of fundamentalist Islam or expect to be greeted with violence. As Daniel Pipes puts it, "a more precise name for these zones would be Dar al-Islam" -- the House of Islam, or the place where Islam rules.

England, Sweden, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands -- in every European country with a large Muslim immigrant population, the story is the same: Islamic supremacists refuse to assimilate into the Western melting pot; instead they carve out a foothold in a neighborhood, and then, through intimidation or outright violence, push out the infidels whose failed secular values are no longer acceptable. Even public services such as police, firefighters and ambulances are often driven out of such neighborhoods with stones, bottles or bullets. Lacking the political and cultural will to assert control in areas that in some cases have become urban war zones, the authorities have simply retreated and abandoned them.

As Germany's Chief Police Commissioner Bernhard Witthaut confesses,In these areas crimes no longer result in charges. They are left to themselves. Only in the worst cases do we in the police learn anything about it. The power of the state is completely out of the picture.

In Britain, where there are already as many as eighty-five Sharia courts in operation, an Islamist group called Muslims Against the Crusades has launched an ambitious campaign to turn twelve British cities into independent Islamic states, including Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, and what the group calls "Londonistan."  

In the Tower Hamlets in East London -- or as the Muslims there refer to it, "the Islamic Republic of Tower Hamlets" -- imams known as the "Tower Hamlets Taliban" issue death threats to unveiled women, and gays are attacked by gangs of young Muslim men.

The neighborhood has been littered with leaflets announcing, "You are entering a Sharia controlled zone. Islamic rules enforced." It was in East London, remember, that the Islamist Abu Izzadeen challenged former Home Secretary John Reid by saying: “How dare you come to a Muslim area?”

In France, there are an astonishing 751 so-called Sensitive Urban Zones (ZUS). "Sensitive" indeed: the nature of the ZUS, and chaos like the nightly burning of cars in Paris, are topics that the French media largely downplay to avoid accusations of racism or Islamophobia -- hence, for example, their generic description of the immigrant gangs running wild in Paris Métro stations as "youth." 

An estimated (as of 2004) five million Muslims live in these ZUS, and there is barely a single French city that lacks at least one.

In Paris and other French cities with a high percentage of Muslim populations, like Lyons, Marseilles and Toulouse, thousands of Muslims make their presence felt by blocking streets and sidewalks for Friday prayers. Some mosques have begun broadcasting sermons and chants of "Allahu Akbar" via loudspeakers into the streets. Local authorities sit on their hands rather than confront this "occupation without tanks or soldiers," because they are afraid of the situation escalating into violence in the streets. 

The Dutch government has released a list of forty “no-go” zones in the Netherlands. In Brussels, Belgium, which is twenty percent Muslim, police have to patrol with two police cars, to watch each other's back.

And yet the multiculturalist mindset is so deeply entrenched in Europeans that it is the police who are expected to avoid offending cultural sensitivities: officers, for example, who frequently are targeted with rocks by Muslim youth, have been ordered not to drink coffee or eat in public during the Islamic month of Ramadan.

In Sweden, which an imam there has labeled "the best Islamic state," whole patches of the city of Malmö -- which is more than twenty-five percent Muslim -- are no-go zones. There and in Gothenburg, Muslim teenagers have been burning cars, attacking emergency services, throwing.stones at patrolling officers and temporarily blinding them with green lasers.

Read the full story here
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