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The Right of the People to be Secure in their Persons, Houses, Papers, and Effects,
Against Unreasonable Searches and Seizures,
Shall Not Be Violated

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Saturday, August 24, 2013

IRS Targeting The American Legion


 Lois Lerner Contemplates The Little People
The Internal Revenue Service is targeting the veterans’ organization the American Legion, and a U.S. senator believes that Lois Lerner — a key figure in the IRS scandal – is to blame. 
“The IRS now requires American Legion posts to maintain dates of service and character of service records for all members… The penalty for not having the required proof of eligibility is, apparently, $1,000 per day,” the American Legion stated. 
The American Legion was referring to a 13-part section of Part 4, Chapter 76 of the Internal Revenue Manual pertaining to “veterans’ organizations.”
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Does Lack of Education Cause Terrorism?

The following was written by Ramachandra B. Abhyankar, an American from India. He has gotten several letters to the editor published in the Tribune Star. Below is another one. It's short, specific, understated and persuasive. This is the kind of thing that can help change the minds of our fellow citizens.

Wrong on Roots of Terrorism

In his Aug. 8 piece, “I said it before …”, Ronn Mott suggests that the cause of terrorism among Muslims is “a lack of education.” The facts do not bear this out.

Terror icon Osama bin Laden had a degree in engineering. Mohammed Atta, who participated in the 9/11 attack on America, had a graduate degree in engineering. Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the Fort Hood shooter, is a psychiatrist. Terror mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, “the principal architect of the 9/11 attacks,” has a degree in engineering. The current leader of al-Qaida, Ayman Al Zawahiri, is a pediatrician.

Clearly, Mr. Mott’s statement is incorrect.

— Ramachandra B. Abhyankar

You can see the original in the Tribune Star here.
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January 2013 Report: US 'backed plan to launch chemical weapon attack on Syria, blame it on Assad Govt'

UPDATE - Midnight Rider points out that Yahoo India got this story from InfoWars. Apparently, I'm not a very good proofreader. Sorry, guys. This story is almost for sure completely bogus.



From Yahoo News India:
London, Jan 30 (ANI): The Obama administration gave green signal to a chemical weapons attack plan in Syria that could be blamed on President Bashar al Assad's regime and in turn, spur international military action in the devastated country, leaked documents have shown. 
A new report, that contains an email exchange between two senior officials at British-based contractor Britam Defence, showed a scheme 'approved by Washington'. 
As per the scheme 'Qatar would fund rebel forces in Syria to usechemical weapons,' the Daily Mail reports.
Barack Obama made it clear to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad last month that the U.S. would not tolerate Syria using chemical weapons against its own people. 
According to Infowars.com, the December 25 email was sent from Britam's Business Development Director David Goulding to company founder Philip Doughty. 
The emails were released by a Malaysian hacker who also obtained senior executives resumes and copies of passports via an unprotected company server, according to Cyber War News. 
According to the paper, the U.S. State Department has declined to comment on the matter. (ANI)
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“Subverting the Supremacy of Heterosexual Masculinity Was the Key to Genuine Liberation”


Great article. You gotta read it. Here's a little except, then click over.

From Life Site News:
August 23, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – I have been asked recently “what is homosexualism?” I started using the term in my writing on these issues a few years ago when it became clear that we were dealing not with a group of people, but with a particular ideology that is often held by people who are not themselves homosexuals. 
A few days ago in The Guardian, Peter Tatchell wrote a pretty good description not only of that ideology’s goals but its origins. This political ideology, often called “queer theory” by its proponents in academia, is what is being pushed, quite openly these days, by the “gay rights” movement.  
Peter Tatchell is a prominent British homosexualist, which means he is a proponent of a specific political and social ideology that he wants to see adopted in British society and elsewhere. He is also a homosexual man, that is, he experiences sexual attraction for other men, a condition whose origin is still debated by doctors, psychiatrists and geneticists. The two things are not the same. This is a fact that tends to escape a lot of people who read and write about the Culture Wars, especially in its current manifestation that seems to have suddenly become all about homosexuality. Not all homosexuals are homosexualists, and not all homosexualists are homosexuals.  
Tatchell’s Guardian piece was a paean to a document put together in 1971 by what he describes as a collective of “anarchists, hippies, leftwingers, feminists, liberals and counter- culturalists” to bring about “a revolution in consciousness”. He called the “Gay Liberation Front: Manifesto” “a pioneering agenda for social and personal transformation” that started with the proposal that “subverting the supremacy of heterosexual masculinity was the key to genuine liberation.” Tatchell said it was the book that changed his life. 
The Manifesto itself is quite blunt about identifying the main enemies to defeat: “The oppression of gay people starts in the most basic unit of society, the family.” 
“Consisting of the man in charge, a slave as his wife, and their children on whom they force themselves as the ideal models. The very form of the family works against homosexuality.”
CLICK OVER TO READ THE WHOLE THING.
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Israel TV: Chemical weapons were fired by Assad’s brother’s unit


From Will at THE OTHER NEWS:

Israel TV: Chemical weapons were fired by Assad’s brother’s unit.(TOI).


The chemical weapons allegedly used to kill an estimated 1,000 or more Syrian civilians by the regime of President Bashar Assad last Wednesday were fired by the 155th Brigade of the 4th Armored Division of the Syrian Army, an Israel TV report said. 

This division is under the command of the president’s brother, Maher Assad.

The nerve gas shells were fired from a military base in a mountain range to the west of Damascus, the Channel 2 news report said. It said the base was in the Mount Kalmun area.

The embattled regime has concentrated its vast stocks of chemical weaponry in just two or three locations, the report said, under the control of Syrian Air Force Intelligence, itself reporting to the president.

The TV report further added that “the assessment in Israel” is that the attack was intended to serve as the possible start of a wider operation. 

It said Israel was increasingly concerned about the use of chemical weapons in Syria, and their possibility of these weapons falling into still more dangerous hands than those of Assad. Israel was “privately” making clear its concerns to the United States, the report said.

In his first response Thursday to the alleged attack, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that Iran was closely watching how the world would deal with the attack.

Syria has become Iran’s testing ground, and Iran is closely watching whether and how the world responds to the atrocities committed there by its client state Syria and its proxy Hezbollah against innocent civilians in Syria,” he said.

The alleged use of chemical weapons against Syrian civilians on Wednesday “proves yet again that we cannot permit the world’s most dangerous regimes to acquire the world’s most dangerous weapons,” Netanyahu added.

On Wednesday, rebel groups in Syria claimed that as many as 1,300 people were killed in a chemical attack in the eastern suburbs of the capital Damascus. The reports were accompanied by a string of grisly photos and videos depicting scores of dead civilians, including children.

The reports “raise the possibility that an extremely grievous crime has been committed by the Syrian regime against its citizens,” Netanyahu said. 

“This act adds to the roster of crimes committed by the Syrian regime, with the aid of Iran and Hezbollah, against the Syrian people,” he said.

Netanyahu added that it was “absurd that UN investigators, who are in Damascus right now to investigate the possibility that chemical weapons have been used, are being prevented by the Syrian regime from reaching the affected areas.
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THE ISLAMIC INFILTRATION OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS


HERE'S THE SCHOOL WEBSITE.

HERE'S THE "CONTACT US" PAGE.

The five pillars:

Rape
Murder 
Oppression

Genocide
Subversion


From this Facebook page.
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Americans Aren't Buying Muslim Bullshit Anymore

One of my favorite things to do these days is read the comments on Yahoo articles that deal with Islam or with Muslims.

The comments are unrelentingly negative and filled with knowledge of Islamic bullshit, taqiyya, dawa, etc.

People simply are not buying the bullshit anymore.

12 years after 9/11 and Muslims are running out of places to peddle their crap.

The only buyers seem to be those who work in government and the media.

Anyway, check this out, from Vlad Tepes Blog:

Forum on Islam sparks heated debate at Orland Park Library

Americans appear to be getting hip to the BS Islam peddles as we see here in this group of typical Americans.  
Chicago Trib: 
What a southwest suburban library had promoted as an educational forum this week on Muslim life in America quickly turned into a contentious debate about Islam.
The tone for the Thursday evening event was set while the three panelists at the Orland Park Library were still introducing themselves. In the first of many interruptions, a half-dozen audience members stood up and demanded that everyone recite the Pledge of Allegiance. 
Library Director Mary Weimar denied their request. She explained that it wasn’t standard practice to recite the pledge at library events and requested that the attendees show more respect for the panelists.

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Sarin gas seized in Turkey


From Will at THE OTHER NEWS:

Sarin gas seized in Turkey. Cumhuriyet (GoogleTranslate).

Prime Minister Erdogan, U.S. President Obama tried to persuade the Syrian army uses chemical weapons. Assad has used chemical weapons has never been proven yet. However, in Adana, in an operation against the Syrian al Qaeda-linked al Nusra organization seized two kilograms deadly sarin gas.

Republican - linked to al-Qaeda and gloat and an alleged member of Al Nusra Front 12 people were detained in Adana. Addresses, as well as a large number of calls made ​​from the suspects sarin gas in the information, documents and digital data were seized.

Department of the General Directorate of Police Intelligence and Anti-Terrorism teams after bomb attacks killed 52 people in urban areas, especially Reyhanlı'da step was followed by some of the suspects, whom they were in contact was recorded.

Allegedly linked to al-Qaeda and possible action plans to reach members of the security forces in El Nusra Adana connected organization that addresses the 12 people earlier in the morning, "Operation Dawn" by editing the suspects were detained. Addresses staying in a large number of suspects searches of information, documents and digital data are put into hand guns and bullets are still some of the accused is alleged to belong to the Adana Security Directorate, was brought for examination.Calls, the addresses of suspects seized two kilograms of sarin also specified.Hmmmm.........May 30, 2013.

Related:

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Gunmen Kill Senior Criminal Investigator in Libya




The official said gunmen in a car shot and killed police Col. Mostafa Oukeila on Friday.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to journalists.
The colonel's killing came after clashes erupted Thursday night between armed groups in Benghazi's western suburb of Abu Surra. The fighting killed one person and wounded others.
Benghazi has been hit by a wave of targeted killings in recent days. Victims have included political activists, judges and members of security agencies. Security agencies remain unable to secureLibya, which is awash in heavy weaponry and militias following its 2011 civil war
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Boom! Evidence U.S. Bribed Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood?


From Will at THE OTHER NEWS:

Boom! Evidence U.S. Bribed Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood? HT: Shoebat.

By Walid Shoebat
Egypt’s Attorney General Hisham Barakat is looking into evidence that arrested Muslim Brotherhood leaders accepted bribes from the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, according to a report from Almesryoon,an Egyptian newspaper that cites a “judicial source”.
The trials that are scheduled to begin in Cairo on August 25th will feature a litany of charges against the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. Included among them are murders, assassinations, prison escapes, sniping, indiscriminate killing of demonstrators, and collaborating with foreign governments, to include both the United States and Qatar.
Evidence we have obtained lends credibility to the charges of “gifts” (bribes) being taken in U.S. dollars from the U.S. Embassy in Cairo” that were distributed to top ministerial level officials in the Mursi government.
“A judicial source stated that over the past few days, a number of complaints have beenfiled with the Attorney General Hisham Barakat. These complaints accuse the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood and leaders of the centrist party of receiving gifts from the American embassy in Cairo. The sponsors of these complaints stated that among these leaders are Mohamed Badie, General Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, Khairat Al-Shater, deputy leader and businessman, Mohamed Beltagy leading the group, Essam el-Erian, deputy head of the Freedom and Justice Party of, and Abu Ela Mady, head of the Wasat Party, Essam Sultan, deputy head of the Wasat Party.”
Read the full story here.
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The Mardy Bums







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Welcome to My Nightmare







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Team Involved In Tracking Benghazi Attack Suspects Being Pulled Out Of Libya

THEY BEGGED FOR PERMISSION TO GO AFTER THE SUSPECTS.

OBAMA RESPONDED BY PULLING THEM FROM DUTY.

GOT IT?
Two weeks after the Obama administration announced charges against suspects in the Benghazi attack, a large portion of the U.S. team that hunted the suspects and trained Libyans to help capture or kill them is leaving Libya permanently. 
Special operators in the region tell Fox News that while Benghazi targets have been identified for months, officials in Washington could “never pull the trigger.” In fact, one source insists that much of the information on Benghazi suspects had been passed along to the White House after being vetted by the Department of Defense and the State Department — and at least one recommendation for direct action on a Benghazi suspect was given to President Obama as recently as Aug. 7. 
Meanwhile, months after video, photo and voice documentation on the Benghazi suspects was first presented to high-level military leaders, the State Department and ultimately the White House, prison breaks in the country have eroded security. U.S. special forces have now been relegated to a “villa,” a stopover for the operators before they’re shipped out of the country entirely. 
“We put American special operations in harm’s way to develop a picture of these suspects and to seek justice and instead of acting, we stalled. We just let it slip and pass us by and now it’s going to be much more difficult,” one source said, citing 1,200 prisoners escaping two weeks ago. “It’s already blowing up. Daily assassinations, bi-weekly prison escapes, we waited way too long.”
Keep reading…
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Cry Me A River

Diana Krall and Michael Brecker

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The Meaning Of The Blues

Michael Brecker

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9/11 Million Muslim March In D.C. To Be Met By 2 Million Bikers…

Update to this story.


Facebook page here, spread it around.
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Man Arrested At JFK For Plotting To Sell Uranium To Be Shipped To Iran


My name is not Mohammed. It is Patrick Campbell

From the NY Post:
A Sierra Leonean man was charged with scheming to sell 1,000 tons of yellowcake uranium to an undercover agent posing as a broker for Iranian buyers Thursday after he was arrested at JFK airport with the subtance hidden in his shoes and lugagge, officials said. 
Patrick Campbell, 33, of Freetown, allegedly responded to an ad on a Web site from an FBI agent posing as an American broker representing Iranians interested in buying uranium, according to a criminal complaint. 
Campbell agreed to sell the material – which can be developed into the enriched uranium used in nuclear weapons – and offered to present a sample of his goods to the buyer in Miami. 
He claimed to represent a mining company in the African nation that sold diamonds, gold and uranium. 
But Campbell’s business plan fell apart at JFK Wednesday when he was found with the substance hidden in his shoes and luggage. 
“Campbell assisted the agents in removing the Uranium from beneath the inside soles of his shoes and plastic bags containing Uranium were recovered from two of Campbell’s shoes,” according to the complaint. 
Agents found a contract of sale on Campbell and said that he planned to disguise the shipment by mixing it with other types of ore before delivery to an Iranian port, prosecutors said. 
Campbell was arraigned in Brooklyn federal court Thursday and pleaded not guilty to the charges. He faces up to 20 years in prison and up to a $1 million fine if convicted. 
The case was brought by the Southern District of Florida and Campbell will be transferred there to face the charges, officials said. 
Western powers have lobbied Iran to curtail their uranium enrichment program because they fear an effort to develop a nuclear arsenal. The nation’s government has maintained that their nuclear activities are for peaceful purposes only.
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Game Over: Danish Imam Defects, Declaring, "The truth is that there is not a single mosque or Muslim organization in Denmark that is not run by Islamists"


But, of course, people in all the other Western nations will go on telling themselves that their country is different, that somehow, the Muslims in their country are NICE MUSLIMS,

MODERATE MUSLIMS.

From Dispatch International:
Finally he is there – on the podium of The Free Press Society. It is half past seven PM, Thursday, August 22, 2013, as the former Islamicist imam and deadly enemy of the Free Press Society, Ahmed Akkari, faces his most fierce critics. 
A tiny man with more than a hundred deaths and the burning of two Danish embassies on his conscience. – 
Thank you for inviting me. I don’t know if I deserve all this, but perhaps my journey through life may be of use to you, says Ahmed Akkari as he timidly surveys the packed hall in the heart of Copenhagen. 
Since ex-Islamist Ahmed Akkari came out of the closet three weeks ago, he has been the man of the hour. On television shows, in newspaper articles and on radio, he has tried to explain what has happened to him. 
He went from being a hardened and fierce Islamicist to a kindly and thoughtful person, filled with love and gratitude for Denmark. The metamorphosis is difficult to explain and hard to believe. 
Is his conversion sincere or he is he applying taqqiya – the right of Muslims to lie and deceive in the service of Islam? 
In 1985, when Akkari was six, his parents fled to Denmark from war-torn Lebanon. 
They chose Denmark because it was a safe country without too many immigrants – thinking that they would find a peaceful life here. Ahmed Akkari attended public school as the only immigrant in his class. 
He had every chance in the world to adapt and become a normal Dane. But in his teens he was drawn to religious circles and before realizing what was happening, he had become poisoned by extremism. – 
The truth is that there is not a single mosque or Muslim organization in Denmark that is not run by Islamists. As soon as you enter the house of the believers, you are met with Islamism whether you want it or not. As soon as you become a devoted Muslim, you are infected by extremism, says Ahmed Akkari.
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Mel Tillis

Ain't No California


Coca Cola Cowboy


Send Me Down To Tucson

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Friday, August 23, 2013

Luke Bryan
Crash My Party


Country Girl (Shake it for me)

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THE SIMPLE TRUTH ABOUT MAN-MADE CLIMATE CHANGE AKA: IRRITABLE CLIMATE SYNDROME OR "WEATHER, NOW WITH TAXES"



MAN-MADE CO2 CAUSES SUMMERS TO BE WARMER/COOLER/WETTER/DRIER.
AND IT CAUSES WINTERS TO BE COLDER/WARMER/SNOWIER/DRYER.
GOT THAT?
(HAT TIP CNBC'S JOE KERNEN) 

Great post from Reliapundit at Astute Bloggers.
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Sen. Tom Coburn On Obama: Perilously Close To Impeachment




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Materials implicating Syrian gov in chemical attack prepared before incident - Russia


From Will at THE OTHER NEWS:

Materials implicating Syrian gov in chemical attack prepared before incident. HT: RussiaToday.


Materials implicating the forces of Syrian president Bashar Assad in chemical weapons use near Damascus were prepared prior to the alleged incident on August 21, the Russian foreign ministry said.
Moscow continues to monitor closely the event surrounding the “alleged”  chemical attack near Damascus, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Aleksandr Lukashevich, said in a statement.

“We’re getting more new evidence that this criminal act was of a provocative nature,”
 he stressed. “In particular, there are reports circulating on the Internet, in particular that the materials of the incident and accusations against government troops had been posted for several hours before the so-called attack. Thus, it was a pre-planned action.”
The Damascus chemical attack accusations indicate the launch of “another anti-Syrian propaganda wave” and, in this context, the calls on the UN Security Council to immediately use force in Syria“heard from some EU capitals” are “unacceptable”, Lukashevich said.

The Foreign Ministry spokesman said that Assad’s government has demonstrated a “constructive approach” to the chemical weapons issue by allowing UN experts into the country.
 
But it’s alarming that the “same signals” aren’t coming from the Syrian opposition, which so far hasn’t displayed willingness to ensure the safety and efficient operations of UN investigators on the territory it controls, he said.   

“This directly impedes the objective investigation of allegations of possible cases of chemical weapons use in Syria, which is called for by a number of countries and which the Russian side supports,”Lukashevich noted.

The Russian foreign ministry “strongly appeals to those who should put pressure on the opposition, making it take the necessary steps in order to ensure the full realization of the objectives of the international expert mission,” the spokesman said.
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Defense Department Teaching Documents Suggest Mainstream Conservative Views “Extremist”


From Will at THE OTHER NEWS:

Defense Department Teaching Documents Suggest Mainstream Conservative Views “Extremist”.HT: JudicialWatch.

Defense Document Suggests Colonists Fighting British Rule were members of “extremist movement” 

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it has obtained educational materials from the Department of Defense (DOD) depicting conservative organizations as “hate groups” and advising students to be aware that “many extremists will talk of individual liberties, states’ rights, and how to make the world a better place.” The documents repeatedly cite the leftwing Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as a resource for identifying “hate groups.”
The document defines extremists as “a person who advocates the use of force or violence; advocates supremacist causes based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or national origin; or otherwise engages to illegally deprive individuals or groups of their civil rights.”Judicial Watch obtained the documents in a response to a Freedom of Information Act request (FOIA) filed on April 8, 2013. The FOIA requested “Any and all records concerning, regarding, or related to the preparation and presentation of training materials on hate groups or hate crimes distributed or used by the Air Force.” Included in the 133 pages of lesson plans and PowerPoint slides provided by the Air Force is a January 2013 Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute “student guide” entitled “Extremism.”  The document says that it is “for training purposes only” and “do not use on the job.” Highlights include:
  • A statement that “Nowadays, instead of dressing in sheets or publically espousing hate messages, many extremists will talk of individual liberties, states’ rights, and how to make the world a better place.”
  • [W]hile not all extremist groups are hate groups, all hate groups are extremist groups.”
  • Under a section labeled “Extremist Ideologies” the document states, “In U.S. history, there are many examples of extremist ideologies and movements.  The colonists who sought to free themselves from British rule and the Confederate states who sought to secede from the Northern states are just two examples.”
  • In this same section, the document lists the 9/11 attack under a category of “Historical events.”
  • [A]ctive participationwith regard to extremist organizations is incompatible with military service and, is therefore prohibited.” [Emphasis in original]
  • The document details the “seven stages of hate” and sixteen “extremists’ traits.”
  • The SPLC is listed as a resource for information on hate groups and referenced several times throughout the guide.
  • Of the five organizations besides the SPLC listed as resources, one is an SPLC project (Teaching Tolerance) and one considers any politically or socially conservative movement to be a potential hate group (Political Research Associates).
  • Other than a mention of 9/11 and the Sudan, there is no discussion of Islamic extremism.
In April 2013, following a terrorist shooting at the Family Research Council (FRC) headquarters that occurred in August 2012, Judicial Watch filed multiple FOIA requests to determine what, if any, influence SPLC’s branding of hate groups had on government agencies. On its website, the SPLC has depicted FRC as a “hate group,” along with other such mainstream conservative organizations as the American Family Association, Concerned Women for America, and Coral Ridge Ministries. At the time of the shooting, FRC president Tony Perkins accused the SPLC of sparking the shooting, saying the shooter “was given a license to shoot … by organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center.”
Though the document released today by Judicial Watch was obtained from the Air Force, it originated in a DOD office and is, therefore. thought likely to be used in other agency components.

The Obama administration has a nasty habit of equating basic conservative values with terrorism.  And now, in a document full of claptrap, its Defense Department suggests that the Founding Fathers, and many conservative Americans, would not be welcome in today’s military,” said Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton.  “And it is striking that some the language in this new document echoes the IRS targeting language of conservative and Tea Party investigations.  After reviewing this document, one can’t help but worry for the future and morale of our nation’s armed forces.”
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The Raw Story: Ron Paul To Headline September ‘Anti-Semitic Conference’


From Will at THE OTHER NEWS:

Ron Paul To Headline September ‘Anti-Semitic Conference’.The Raw Story:

Former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) is being billed as the keynote speaker at a September conference sponsored by the Fatima Center, which one civil rights organization calls “the single largest group of hard-core anti-Semites in North America.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hatewatch blog noted on Tuesday that Paul had reportedly accepted the speaking engagement at the Fatima Center’s September “Fatima: The Path to Peace” conference in Canada.
Other speakers at the conference will include John Birch Society President John F. McManus, which has been accused of contributing to anti-Semitism for decades.
All speakers share one thing in common: a keen understanding that the nations of the world suffer profound disorder, that evil and shocking immorality are on the rise, that war and violence steadily increase, that the stability of our entire social order is at stake, and that a solution to the present chaos is of utmost necessity,” a statement from the Fatima Center said.
In 2008, the New Republic reported that newsletters published in Ron Paul’s name revealed “decades worth of obsession with conspiracies, sympathy for the right-wing militia movement, and deeply held bigotry against blacks, Jews, and gays.”
Jesse Benton, Paul’s campaign spokesperson, insisted at the time that the congressman “did not see” most of the newsletters before they were published.
Paul’s son, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who is often mentioned as a possible frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, recently parted ways with an aide after he was outed as a neo-Confederate who went by the name “The Southern Avenger.”
“It was a shock radio job,” Rand Paul explained prior to the split. “He was doing wet T-shirt contests. But can a guy not have a youth and stuff? People try to say I smoked pot one time, and I wasn’t fit for office.”
“Are we at a point where nobody can have had a youth or said anything untoward?”
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Montgomery Gentry
Some People Change

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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Quran

From the album My Life In The Bush of Ghosts, by David Byrne and Brian Eno.







David Byrne about self-censorship:
“We didn’t want to provoke”


In the current debate in the Western world about self-censorship contra freedom of expression, and whether it is acceptable that musicians use samples from religious rituals, such as prayer or recital from the Qur’an, singer David Byrne and producer Brian Eno made up their minds already 25 years ago. When they received complaints from a Muslim organisation about a piece of music they had produced which featured samples of Qur’anic recital on their successful 1981-album ‘My Life in the Bush of Ghosts’, they quietly removed it from the re-releases



By Mik Aidt, Freemuse


When the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten printed 12 cartoons of Prophet Muhammed in October 2005, the editor stated that it was to be regarded as a contribution to a debate in Denmark about self-censorship caused by fear of violent reactions from radical Muslims. The debate took off when a Danish author told that he could not find a cartoonist who would illustrate his book with a cartoon of Muhammed because they feared violent reactions.

In the debate that followed, it was often mentioned that sometimes we self-censor ourselves not out of fear but because of respect for other people’s feelings. For many years, a similar debate has been going on in the universe of music: Is it acceptable to use samples from religious rituals, or verses from a Holy Book such as the Bible or the Qur’an? What do you do as a musician if you are being told that a song you have produced is considered offensive?

In 1979-1981, the two successful musicians, composers and producers David Byrne and Brian Eno worked on an album where they used sampled speech from various, mainly religious, people, mixed with multilayered percussion tracks, voice excerpts of singers from the Middle East, street noise, and radio DJs.

On one of the tracks they mixed Algerian Muslims chanting recitals from the Qur’an with their electronic music and rhythm patterns. The recording was taken from the album ‘The Human Voice in the World of Islam’ published by the musicologists Jean Jenkins and Poul Rovsing Olsen on Tangent Records in 1976. They entitled their track ‘Qu’ran’.

Without any explanation, ‘Qu’ran’ was removed from later re-releases of ‘My Life in the Bush of Ghosts’, and for many years rumours were circulating about the reasons behind this. Was it because of fear of a fatwa or death threats from the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt? Did it have to do with the legality of an unauthorized sample, or copyright-issues? Was it blasphemy or was it not?

At the time, neither David Byrne, Brian Eno nor their record company wanted to comment on what over the years became known among fans as “The Qu’ran Controversy”.

The magazine Opal Information, published by Brian Eno’s record company Opal Records, explained in 1989 that a year or so after the release of the album, the record company “received a serious letter from the World Council of Islam in the UK stating that they considered the recording offensive.” Brian Eno and David Byrne explained that “no disrespect was intended” and immediately agreed to remove the track.

After 25 years, David Byrne now confirmed in an interview that, yes, it did happen because of a request from an Islamic organisation in London. In an interview with Pitchfork Magazine, he explained their reasoning behind this act of self-censorship:
“You do self-censor certain things, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing. That’s just the way human social interaction works,” he said.
We will come back to this interview in the end of this article.


Pioneering work
‘My Life in the Bush of Ghosts’ is an album which among many musicians is regarded an important pioneering work. The original version of ‘My Life in the Bush of Ghosts’ became a collectors item and it was later on to be found on an Italian bootleg LP, which was re-issued on CD under the title ‘Ghosts’ by Klondyke Records, and on LP in England under the bootleg name “Utopia Records”.

As such, it created a great deal of attention in the media when the 25th anniversary re-release of the album was published in March 2006, including seven extra tracks. Even though the album was expanded, it was still missing the ‘Qu’ran’ track from the original 1981-album, and it still appeared to be a secret why it had been excluded even from this ambitious re-release.

Fans were disappointed. “Perhaps they’re going to re-issue ‘Qu’ran’ as a single with special cartoon cover artwork,” wrote the blogger MZ as a comment to the fact that it was still missing, refering to the Danish row over 12 cartoons of Muhammed.

The album was first published on vinyl and cassette, but when it was re-released on CD in England, ‘Qu’ran’, the first track on the B-side of the vinyl-LP, was left out without any explanation. On the European release of the CD it was replaced by ‘Very, Very Hungry’ as track number 6. According to The EnoWeb Info Centre, there was a version of ‘Qu’ran’ circulating as a bootleg cassette tape long even before the first vinyl LP was released.

In the light of the current debate following the Danish “Cartoon Crisis” and a self-censoring opera house director in Berlin, this was still “early days” where death threats from religious groups were unheard of. It was seven years before Salman Rushdie was to publish ‘The Satanic Verses’ and receive death threats in form of a fatwa from a Muslim cleric.

Initially, the American market was apparently considered less sensitive to Islamic issues, because a version of the earlier CD releases for the American market included ‘Very, Very Hungry’ along with ‘Qu’ran’.


David Byrne explains 

In an interview for Pitchfork Magazine about the 2006-reissue, Chris Dahlen asked David Byrne very straight-forward about his silence around the “The Qu’ran Controversy”:

“ ‘Qu’ran’ appeared on early pressings of the original album, but was later replaced by ‘Very Very Hungry’. It sampled Algerian Muslims chanting passages from the Qur’an. It’s clear why it’s not on the CD reissue, but it’s interesting that it’s not even mentioned in the liner notes.”

David Byrne:
“Yeah, I sort of didn’t want to go into it. Partly for the reason that I didn’t want to make people feel like something was being withheld, like they were missing something. It also brings up a lot of issues, and I thought, “I don’t know if I can resolve all this stuff.”
Way back when the record first came out, in 1981, it might have been ’82, we got a request from an Islamic organization in London, and they said, “We consider this blasphemy that you put grooves to the chanting of the Holy Book.” And we thought, “Okay, in deference to somebody’s religion, we’ll take it off.” You could probably argue for and against monkeying with something like that. But I think we were certainly feeling very cautious about this whole thing. We made a big effort to try and clear all the voices, and make sure everybody was okay with everything. Because we thought, “We’re going to get accused of all kinds of things, and so we want to cover our asses as best we can.” So I think in that sense we reacted maybe with more caution than we had to. But that’s the way it was.”

Chris Dahlen, Pitchfork: 
“I know these things have flared up over the years, but with the recent Danish cartoon incident, it became not just an issue of respecting someone’s religion. It became very combative. People began taking sides. And I think that’s maybe why people look at the omission of ‘Qu’ran’ a little differently now. At the time you could say it’s out of deference to somebody’s request, but in the wake of this recent controversy, people were lining up saying, “No, you have to print that on a billboard in Times Square, just to show them!” ”

David Byrne: 
“There was an op-ed piece in The New York Times by an evolutionary biologist or somebody — which was a curious place for the opinion to come from — and he said that there’s no such thing as a completely free, uncensored medium, that people censor themselves all the time, in deference to hurting other people’s feelings, or offending other groups, or in their own, not to provoke a fight. He named a whole bunch of examples — the American press, the U.S. press, the European press. There’s tons of things you can think of that they don’t print, that they don’t say, that they tiptoe around very carefully. It is a form of censorship, but that’s also the way people are as animals — that you don’t unnecessarily provoke people unless you really are looking for a fight. And you do self-censor certain things, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing. That’s just the way human social interaction works.
And I thought, that seems kind of reasonable. So my opinion was that somebody certainly has the right to do cartoons that make fun of somebody else’s religion. But to reprint them just to provoke a fight and just to provoke it like thumbing your nose at someone else and going, “What are you gonna do about it? What are you gonna do about it?” Which is kind of what it is. Then it’s kind of like, “Well, if you keep doing that, somebody will do something about it.”  ”

(This excerpt from the interview in Pitchfork Magazine is republished with kind permission from the author and the editor)




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