Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Not All Americans Have Forgotten

I've told you about Reading and Berks economic woes.

And I know I've talked Reading's violent crime problem.

I don't live in Reading proper (although I grew up there) but in Exeter Township, which borders Reading.

And despite Reading & Berks problems, every now and then we get it just right.


And, according to Will, 1,500 other communities feel the same way.

Hey, Mr Obama & the rest of leftist America, you listening?

Reading Eagle

Exeter Memorial Day Parade has 9/11 note
Trade Center steel evokes strong feelings from crowd
Dan Kelly
Reading Eagle

The weather cooperated and the people came out for what Exeter Fire Department Chief Robert F. Jordan said may have been the best Memorial Day Parade the township has ever seen.

"It was a beautiful day, maybe a little too hot, but beautiful," Jordan said. "And I think the people of the township really enjoyed it, too."

The bright skies were reminiscent of Sept. 11, 2001, when two jets piloted by terrorists crashed into the World Trade Center towers in New York, killing nearly 3,000 people.

The bravery shown by so many Americans on that tragic day was fresh on the minds of Exeter parade viewers, as township firefighters displayed three pieces of steel from the twin towers.

A fire department honor guard escorted the flatbed truck that carried the steel pieces from 9/11.

"People saluted or put their hands over their hearts, and you could see tears streaming down some of their faces as the steel passed," Jordan said.

The largest piece is 6 feet long and 22 inches wide. The two smaller ones are 2 feet long and 18 inches wide.

The fire department plans to create three memorials, one at each of the Exeter fire stations and a larger memorial centrally located in the township.

About 1,500 communities in 50 states have requested that artifacts from Sept. 11 be set aside for use in their communities.

"To my knowledge, no other municipality or agency in the county has acquired artifacts from the trade centers," Jordan said. "We'd like to get the public and Berks County businesses involved in selecting a location and a design for the memorial."

Exeter's Memorial Day parade wound along 36th Street to West Neversink Road, where people lined the streets to watch. It ended with a ceremony in Forest Hills Memorial Park honoring American men and women killed in war.

Afterward, about 400 residents visited the Reiffton firehouse on 33rd Street for an open house and to get a closer look at the World Trade Center steel.

"It was a wonderful day all around," Jordan said.

Exeter Township Fire Department firefighter Ben Ross salutes during Memorial Day ceremonies Monday in Forest Hills Memorial Park. Behind him are pieces of steel from the World Trade Center in New York.

Steel from the World Trade Center in New York proceeds along the parade route on a flatbed truck. The steel will be incorporated into a memorial in Exeter Township.

Photos by Ben Hasty, Reading Eagle

Meanwhile in Latvia

Did Fatima Abdallah really cause her own death by repeatedly striking her face against a coffee table as reported by Tampa Police or was her demise an honor killing?

An anonymous email claimed that Fatima Abdallah is related to a high ranking member of CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations), this has yet to be confirmed, but then again…
If Florida law enforcement agencies decline to properly investigate and file appropriate charges in violent crimes where cultural laws may have dictated illegal behavior then Islamic rule of law will effectively reign in our state. Law enforcements’ unwillingness to properly investigate and bring charges in violent crimes that may have been perpetuated by religious or cultural creeds will undermine our public safety and severely change our value system.

A Tampa Police report states that Fatima Abdallah repeatedly beat her head against a coffee table until she died. Tampa Rescue calls the TPD explanation illogical, says she looked like someone beat her up.

Prestige Investigations, Inc. states “…there is a glaring absence of any suspicion, from either report (TPD and ME reports), that the decedent could have possibly been a victim of an assault that eventually caused her death.”

Click here to send your email urging State Attorney Mark Ober and Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn to conduct a thorough and proper investigation.

It is Florida Family Association’s opinion that given the circumstances of Fatima Abdallah’s personal life and the facts surrounding her death that there is a need for the Tampa Police Department to reopen this case or for the State Attorney to open a new inquiry to fully investigate Fatima Abdullah’s death to determine if her demise was truly and accident or an honor killing.
Go read the whole thing.

Scottish municipality bans Israeli books

A Scottish municipality has banned from its libraries books by Israeli authors, along with booksthat were printed or published in Israel.

The West Dunbartonshire Council, consisting of towns and villages west of Glasgow, ordered new books by Israeli authors to be banned from the council’s libraries, according to reports.

The ban reportedly was ordered after last year’s raid by Israeli commandoes on a ship attempting to break Israel’s blockade on Gaza that led to the death of nine Turkish nationals.

The ban followed a decision made two-and-a-half years ago following the Gaza war to boycott goods produced in Israel. According to that law, the council and all its public bodies are forbidden to sell goods that originated from Israel.


Article Eleven: The Strategy of Hamas: Palestine is an Islamic Waqf
The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine has been an Islamic Waqf throughout the generations and until the Day of Resurrection, no one can renounce it or part of it, or abandon it or part of it. No Arab country nor the aggregate of all Arab countries, and no Arab King or President nor all of them in the aggregate, have that right, nor has that right any organization or the aggregate of all organizations, be they Palestinian or Arab, because Palestine is an Islamic Waqf throughout all generations and to the Day of Resurrection. Who can presume to speak for all Islamic Generations to the Day of Resurrection? This is the status [of the land] in Islamic Shari’a, and it is similar to all lands conquered by Islam by force, and made thereby Waqf lands upon their conquest, for all generations of Muslims until the Day of Resurrection.

A West Dunbartonshire Council spokesman told the UK Express recently that the boycott is not retrospective and that no books have been removed from libraries.
The council told the Express that 10 other councils had agreed to join the boycott.

The Scottish city Dundee also issued a recommendation to boycott goods produced in Israel, but it was set aside after city legal advisers said it was likely illegal under European Union law. The city instead will distribute posters throughout the city asking its residents not to buy Israeli goods and place a special sticker on products that are made in Israel.


Hamas has been looking forward to implement Allah’s promise whatever time it might take. The prophet, prayer and peace be upon him, said: The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him! This will not apply to the Gharqad, which is a Jewish tree (cited by Bukhari and Muslim).

“A place that boycotts books is not far from a place that burns them,” Ron Prosor, Israel’s ambassador to the UK, told Ynet last Tuesday.

European Jewish Congress President Moshe Kantor called the banning of Israeli books and the marking of Israeli products in Scotland “eerily reminiscent of darker times and perhaps there is a level of hatred that connects them.

“While those behind the boycott will claim that this is not antisemitic, targetting only the Jewish state, a democracy, while ignoring serial human-rights abusing nations tells us that this is indeed antisemitic in intent and in effect,” Kantor said in a statement released last Tuesday. “This demonstrates how far ‘respectable antisemitism’ has come. Clearly it has become acceptable to boycott and discriminate against Jews, as long as there is a thin veneer of anti-Zionism, which purportedly covers the hateful act.”

He called on Britain and Scotland to pronounce the boycott illegal
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Jerusalem Post:

Report: Over 400 al-Qaida terrorists now in Sinai
05/30/2011 13:33
Egyptian security official tells Al-Hayyat that Palestinian, Beduin, foreign citizens seeking to carry out attacks, have already attacked.

Over 400 al-Qaida members have made their way into the Sinai Peninsula, a senior Egyptian security official told the Al-Hayyat satellite television station on Monday.

Egyptian security officials were pursuing the terrorists, who are composed of Palestinians, Beduins and foreign Arab citizens, according to the report. The group was reportedly planning to carry out terror attacks in Egypt, the official said.

Additionally, the terrorists carried out "a number of attacks against [Egyptian] security forces in the Sinai city of El Arish," the official told Al-Hayyat.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday also addressed Egypt's security problems in Sinai. "Egypt has had difficulties exercising its sovereignty over Sinai," he said at a meeting of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

"We saw this in the two gas pipe explosions that occurred there," Netanyahu said. "What's happening in Sinai is that global terrorist organizations are meddling there and their presence is increasing because of the connection between Sinai and Gaza."
Ynet News:

Iran cleric: Killing Israeli children OK
Iranian Ayatollah endorses evil: Radical religious cleric known as President Ahmadinejad's spiritual mentor says attacks on Israeli civilians permissible, suicide bombings a Muslim duty
Dudi Cohen Published: 05.31.11, 02:09 / Israel News

Evil words in Islamic Republic: A senior Iranian cleric, who is known as President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's spiritual mentor, urged followers to continue suicide attacks against Israelis, including children.

Ayatollah Mohammad Taghi Mesbah, considered one of the Islamic Republic's most radical clerics, issued a religious edict on his website whereby suicide attacks are not only legitimate but are a must for every Muslim, a special paper by the Middle East Media Research Institute shows.

The senior cleric was responding to a question from a follower regarding the difference between "martyr's death" and "suicide." The man, who wrote anonymously, noted that "some people say that martyrdom operations are considered suicide and that they are haram (forbidden) because they contradict Islam."

In response, Mesbah expressed his regret that his follower has fallen victim to "propaganda of the enemies of Islam." He added that the follower was wasting his time instead of focusing on "uprooting the Zionist regime."

"When protecting Islam, the Muslim people depend on martyrdom operations. It not only is allowed, but even is an obligation," Mesbah wrote.

The follower presented another question regarding Islam's position on harming Israelis, wondering whether Hamas and Jihad actions against Israeli civilians are forbidden. He also asked: "How about the Israeli children killed in such attacks?"

The Iranian Ayatollah did not see fit to forbid the killing of children, only noting that Israelis can be harmed unless they openly express their objection to their government's position. He added that even in such cases, harming civilians is permissible if "they are used as human shield and fighting the aggressors depends on attacking those civilians."

Beyond these insights, the cleric did not offer further instructions and failed to censure the killing of children.

Notably, for the followers of Mesbah, his words are considered as a binding religious edict. On several occasions in the past, Iranian President Ahmadinejad also spoke in favor of "martyrdom acts."
Robert Spencer at Human Events:

Egypt Rushes Toward Sharia and War
by Robert Spencer

How hopelessly at odds with America’s best interests is Barack Obama? Less than two weeks ago he declared his support for “political and economic reform in the Middle East,” warmly endorsing the “Arab Spring” uprisings there. Then Sunday, Muslim Brotherhood Sheikh Hazem Abu Ismail announced his candidacy for the presidency of Egypt, promising to transform Egypt into an Islamic state and go to war with Israel. Reform that would indeed be, but not the kind any American president should be applauding.

Maybe Obama is still listening to his ruinously incompetent Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, who at the height of the Egyptian uprising characterized the Muslim Brotherhood as “largely secular.” Secular they’re not, but they’re certainly influential, and Obama knows it: he specifically requested that Muslim Brotherhood representatives attend his speech in Cairo in June 2009. Speaking in a mosque on Saturday, Abu Ismail said that he was confident of victory -- precisely because, unlike the other candidates, he presented a clear call to institute Islamic law in Egypt. “Mohamed ElBaradei, Amr Moussa, and Hamdeen Sabahi, the liberal candidates, will be unable to present a clear vision.”

Abu Ismail was sure all Egyptians would love his pro-Sharia platform: “If I could apply sharia in Egypt, all people, including non-Muslims, would applaud me four years later.” He dismissed all who opposed him as perverts and libertines: “We seek to apply Islamic law, but those who don’t want it prefer cabarets, alcohol, dancers and prostitution, as the implementation of Islamic law will prohibit women to appear naked in movies and on beaches.”

He also promised to go to war with Israel: “The Camp David peace treaty is insulting to the Egyptian people, so it must be canceled, and I will do my best to convince people to cancel it.” Abu Ismail made this pledge as Egypt reopened the Rafah crossing -- the only official point of entry into Gaza other than from inside Israel. Egypt had closed it in 2007 after Hamas took power in Gaza, as part of its uneasy observance of the Camp David Accords, since the Rafah crossing had been an easy route into Israel for jihadis and their weapons suppliers.

But now it appears that peace with Israel is no longer such a high priority. And it is no wonder that Abu Ismail thinks ripping up the Camp David accords is a winning issue. Last week the Tunisian Muslim Brotherhood leader Rachid Ghannouchi predicted that the “Arab Spring” would lead to the destruction of Israel. Clearly he knows the direction of events in Egypt: man-on-the-street interviews conducted during the Egyptian uprisings found ordinary Egyptians explaining that they hated Mubarak was that he maintained peace with Israel. “He is supporting Israel. Israel is our enemy,” protestors explained. “If people are free in Egypt...they gonna destroy Israel.” Many demonstrators carried posters of Mubarak with a Star of David drawn on his forehead.

In January, Mohamed Ghanem, another Muslim Brotherhood leader, said in an interview on Iran’s Al-Alam television station that Egypt should prepare to go to war with Israel. That same month, Iran’s Press TV interviewed an Egyptian international lawyer Marwan al-Ashaal, who explained the popular discontent with Mubarak as a direct consequence of his keeping the peace with Israel: “The American-Egyptian relationships were based on Israeli security and I think Mubarak has been very dedicated to Israeli security more even than to his own people's security or the national interests.” Al-Ashaal claimed that “we see the deals with Israel that provoked people and took them to the edge.” He declared that Egypt is “never going to be a friend of Israel.”

Whether or not Abu Ismail is elected President of Egypt, the opening of the Rafah crossing indicates that Egypt has decided to adopt a belligerent stance toward Israel, and more is certain to come as Egypt marches toward Sharia. Obama in his recent Mideast policy speech proclaimed his ardent support for “free speech, the freedom of peaceful assembly, the freedom of religion, equality for men and women under the rule of law.” There is, however, no indication that the revolutions in the Middle East will lead to regimes that will have any interest in protecting any of those rights. Hazem Abu Ismail’s presidential campaign in Egypt is just the latest indication that when it comes to analyzing the “Arab Spring,” the Obama Administration is engaged yet again in fantasy-based policymaking.

'The Muslim Dilemma', rebutted

By the Anti Jihadist

Today's edition of The Star has an article called 'The Muslim Dilemma' from an esteemed Muslim 'scholar' and 'thinker' on the causes of the malaise of Malaysia and other Muslim nations. 

If the author, one Dr Wan Azhar Wan Ahmad, Senior Fellow/Director Centre for the Study of Syariah [Shariah], Law and Politics proves anything, he proves how hopeless the Muslim world really is. As we Islamophobes are well aware, making Muslim societies both pious and progressive is a sisyphean (i.e. impossible) task.

I've taken this writer's arguments apart over at Jihad Watch.  Have a look.

Grateful Dead Live at Old Renaissance Faire Grounds on 1972-08-27 (August 27, 1972)

Stage Announcements 04:14
2 Promised Land 03:36
3 Sugaree 09:15
4 Me and My Uncle 03:27
5 Deal 04:40
6 Black Throated Wind 07:10
7 China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider 15:05
8 Mexicali Blues 03:43
9 Bertha 05:53
10 Playin' in the Band 18:38
11 Stage Annoucements 02:21
12 He's Gone 08:46
13 Tuning 00:32
14 Jack Straw 05:04
15 Bird Song 12:33
16 Stage Announcements 00:28
17 Greatest Story Ever Told 05:32
18 Stage Announcements 00:58
19 Dark Star 31:13
20 El Paso 05:19
21 Sing Me Back Home 10:25
22 Stage Announcements 00:48
23 Sugar Magnolia 08:30
24 Stage Announcements 02:06
25 Casey Jones 06:12
26 One More Saturday Night 05:26
27 Stage Announcements 06:24
Why Basically All The People Around Me Are Socialists And Fascists, And That’s OK
From Sonic Charmer:
I think the words ‘fascist’ and ‘socialist’ should be reclaimed for polite conversation. They are too useful not to be used.

‘Socialist’ has dropped into this weird uncanny valley where you’re basically not allowed to call anyone socialist, not because they’re not socialist, but simply because if you do, they’ll say sarcastically to other people ‘…but for my views they call me ‘socialist”. Yes, for socialist views one gets called socialist, why not? *shrug* It’s all very mysterious to me for example why we can’t just call the prevailing economic policies of most of the (D) party (and much of the (R) party) socialist. Why shouldn’t we.

Meanwhile, obviously ‘fascist’ long ago became little more than a pejorative, but the actual word is a very meaningful and useful term in its own right in the sense of using state power and monopoly to harness and unify private institutions towards public ends. This is the usage I would like to bring back, only, I’ll need to cleanse it of its pejorative connotations. (Wish me luck on tilting against that windmill!)
I know, I know, the picture doesn't help in the endeavor, but it was just too good to pass up.

Muslim girl, 19, 'stoned to death after taking part in beauty contest'

From Will at The Other News:
A teenage Muslim girl was stoned to death under 'Sharia law' after taking part in a beauty contest in Ukraine.

Katya Koren, 19, was found dead in a village in the Crimea region near her home. 

Friends said she liked wearing fashionable clothes and had come seventh in a beauty contest. Her battered body was buried in a forest and was found a week after she disappeared.
Rural: Katya Koren lived in the Crimea region of the Ukraine where her body was found buried in woodland
Katya Koren, 19, lived in the Crimea region of the Ukraine. Her battered body was found buried in woodland
Police have opened a murder probe and are investigating claims that three Muslim youths killed her claiming her death was justified under Islam.  

One of the three - named as 16-year-old Bihal Gaziev - is under arrest and told police she had 'violated the laws of Sharia'.

Gaziev said he had no regrets about her death because she had violated the laws of Islam.
Read the full story here.
Trace Adkins

Monday, May 30, 2011

Trace Adkins & The West Point Glee Club
Til The Last Shot's Fired


Yemeni Forces Attack Protesters, Al Qaeda
Published May 30, 2011

A Yemeni medical official says soldiers loyal to Yemen's president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, have stormed a protest camp in the southern city of Taiz and fired on the crowds indiscriminately, killing at least 20.

After the attack on the anti-government protesters, residents say Yemen's air force launched an offensive against Al Qaeda and Islamic militants who overran the city of Zinjibar. Residents also told Reuters that Zinjibar was being shelled with artillery.

Hospital sources told Reuters that at least 120 were wounded in the Taiz attack.

The crowds gathered to demand the release of a fellow protester who was arrested Saturday, Reuters reports.

Security forces first tried to clear the square in Taiz with water cannons, tear gas and sound bombs, sending thousands rushing for shelter.

Forces from the Republican Guard, which is commanded by one of Saleh's sons, then moved in before dawn with tanks and bulldozers, said Sadek al-Shugaa, head of a field hospital at the protest camp.

Republican Guard soldiers along with security forces and armed men in civilian clothes attacked the protesters. Some set fire to dozens of tents used by the protesters, and bulldozers ran over hundreds of other tents without checking whether any protesters were still inside, two witnesses said.

One of them, Mohammed al-Zarafi, said he saw tents being set on fire while injured protesters were still inside.

The other witness, protester Boushra al-Maqtali, called the attack "a real massacre."

"The square and the (field) hospital are in ruins," she said. "The tanks took the place of hundreds of tents that were set up there. The artillery units are occupying the whole space to make it impossible for the youth to return to the square," she said.

The violence took place in Freedom Square -- a popular gathering point for thousands of anti-government protesters that have been camping there since January to demand Saleh's overthrow, Reuters reports. As police set two tents in the square on fire, protesters responded by hurling molotov bombs and rocks at them.

Troops also attacked the Majeedi Hotel overlooking the square, where journalists were detained, al-Shugaa said. Then snipers took over the top of the building to shoot at protesters. Amateur video aired by Al-Jazeera TV showed masked men with rifles shooting from rooftops at the protesters in the street.

Al-Shaga said "most of the injuries are critical in the head, chest and neck."

He said several dozen of the injured were dragged away by security forces and vanished.

The city of Taiz has been a hotbed of anti-government protests since crowds began calling for Saleh's ouster in early February.

In Zinjibar, resident Ali Dahmas says he saw fighter jets firing at the southern outskirts of the town and heard loud explosions that sent up columns of smoke. He spoke to The Associated Press by phone on Monday.

Military units battled the militants in Zinjibar overnight and into the morning in an attempt to clear the fighters from the town, where they've blockaded themselves behind barricades and rocks.

Shelling killed at least four of the fighters, bringing the death toll there since Saturday to 34, according to an official at al-Razi hospital who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not permitted to talk to journalists

In the capital city of Sanaa, residents told Reuters that seven explosions were heard Sunday night, although no immediate details were available on their source.

A Yemeni rights activist said Sunday that a brigade of the powerful Republican Guard run by the son of Saleh has defected to the opposition in a southern province.

It's the first reported defection among the elite troops, which have been the core of Saleh's hold on power despite three months of massive street protests and defections by some military and tribal allies.

Activist Abdul-Rahman Ahmed says a letter from Brig. Gen. Ibrahim al-Jayfi, commander of the Guard's Ninth Brigade was read to thousands of protesters in the provincial capital of Damar on Sunday.

Experts say the uprising's future will be determined by the number of tribes and security forces that turn against Saleh. Many already have, including the Hashid confederation, to which Saleh's tribe belongs. Some army units have also left Saleh to back the protesters, though they did not join the fight against his forces.



SEAL Team Six Vet: Unparalleled American Skill, Sacrifice Got bin Laden
Sunday, 29 May 2011 04:48 PM

By Andra Varin and Ashley Martella

The Navy SEALs who took out Osama bin Laden benefited from vital lessons learned the hard way during the bloody Battle of Mogadishu, a former SEAL sniper says.

Howard Wasdin, who was wounded severely in the 1993 battle, told Newsmax.TV that the involvement of the United Nations badly hampered that mission.

“In Black Hawk Down, when we went into Mogadishu, we had no operational security because we were working with the United Nations, and that was the kiss of death,” he said.

Wasdin has written a new book, “SEAL Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy SEAL Sniper,” about his experiences in the Persian Gulf War and Somalia.

He was a member of the same Team Six that executed the May 2 raid on bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

Relations between the United States and Pakistan have become frostier since the attack, but Wasdin says the Americans were right not to include the Pakistanis on their plans.

“I am a die-hard Republican, but President Obama got it right on one large thing — not letting them know that they were coming in,” he said during the exclusive Newsmax interview.

That same lesson should be considered if the U.S. military becomes more deeply involved in Libya.

“If we’re going to go at some point into Libya with the United Nations, then you are setting yourself up for these types of operational security violations,” he said.

Wasdin said he is glad that Team Six and the SEALs were getting public recognition in the aftermath of the bin Laden raid, but he worries that U.S. officials may have released more information than was prudent.

“It’s OK to talk about SEAL Team Six, [but] there are certain things you don’t give up,” he said,

“The deputy national security adviser [John Brennan] spent too much time saying exactly how the raid went and, more detrimentally, how it was supposed to go. That’s basically taking a play out of the playbook and saying, ‘OK, guys, this is how we do business,’ which obviously makes it easier for them to defend against us.”

Team Six draws great strength from the unbreakable bonds of camaraderie forged among its members, Wasdin said.

“It’s all team-driven, that’s the thing that starts day one. There are no Rambos there. The guy who finally pulled the trigger on Osama bin Laden is not patting himself on the back. He’s giving as much credit to his teammates who got him to that position.”

In “SEAL Team Six,” Wasdin recounts his harsh childhood in Florida and Georgia. His domineering stepfather would beat him when he failed to pick up every single pecan that fell from trees into their driveway — a harsh experience that came in handy when he underwent the grueling SEAL training.

He writes about his experiences in the Gulf War and in Somalia, his struggle to recover from the wounds sustained in the Battle of Mogadishu, and his battle to adapt to civilian life after those wounds ended his Navy career.

“This book was written to show that you can overcome adversity at a young age and then to show that you can overcome adversity at a later age, which was the hardest thing I ever had to do, which was to re-assimilate back into society,” he said.

Wasdin said he has received many message from former service members who were inspired by his story to seek help for their own combat-related problems.

“I’ve had hundreds of emails saying, if it’s OK for a former SEAL Team Six member to admit to PTSD, survivor’s guilt, depression, and that he was literally almost ready to eat a bullet, then it’s OK for us to admit that, hey, it’s not a weakness and it’s something we really need to get help for.”

We Pray We Are Worthy of the Deeds

Thank you. You gave all. We are HERE. We remember, and pray we are good enough to be worthy of the deeds

Thank you.

You gave all.

We are HERE.

We remember, and pray we are good enough to be worthy of the deeds

Memorial Day 2011

This Memorial Day 2011, the following has been made possible at Arlington National Cemetery:
This Memorial Day, visitors to Arlington National Cemetery will have a special way to remember and honor a loved one or a fallen hero thanks to a generous donation of 10,000 long stemmed roses.

The American and Ecuadorian Flower Growers donated the roses for Memorial Day as a way to show their appreciation and gratitude for the sacrifices made by the men and women of the United States Armed Forces.

“This thoughtful donation will aid in enriching our visitors experience on Memorial Day and serve as a tangible symbol to honor and remember those interred at Arlington National Cemetery,” said Kathryn Condon, executive director, Army National Cemeteries Program.

Visitors are encouraged to take two roses – one to place on the grave of a loved one and one to take home in memory of that person....
Please remember wherever you are at 3:00 PM Eastern Standard Time today to observe the meaning of Memorial Day by pausing for the National Moment of Remembrance.

Additional reading: "In Honor of Fallen Patriots," an essay by Mark Alexander of the Patriot Post. Worth your time.

Wait a minute Muslims, you can't drink that!

by the Anti Jihadist

The watchful folks in the Malaysian Government are hot on the case of a 'halal beer' that's surfaced here in Malaysia.

An unnamed minister from the Prime Minister's department--near the very top of the Malaysian power structure--has stated that this so-called halal beer, marketed as having only .01 percent alcohol, had been tested by Malaysia's Religious Police and found to have .5 percent alcohol. This goes way over the line; Allah have mercy! Naturally, in the interests of protecting Muslims and Islam, such a beverage will be immediately banned and removed from shops. Arrests of the producers, distributors and/or sellers of said forbidden beverage are likely to follow.

The fact that the Religious Police ('JAKIM', or 'Islamic Affairs Department' in English) in Malaysia routinely conduct such investigations into such minutiae, with sweeping powers of investigation, arrest, and imprisonment, will raise no eyebrows in Malaysia. But for those outside of this country, such a state of affairs should aptly illustrate the totalitarian nature of Islam. JAKIM enforcers are a common sight in Malaysian hotels, nightclubs and other 'sinful' spots, as these thuggish figures struggle to keep Malaysia's Muslims 'safe from vice'. And woe betides anyone who happens to be in their way.

In fact, to be a Muslim here, or anywhere else for that matter, is exactly like being treated as a child. You are permanently rendered as incapable of exercising judgment or having any appreciable freedom in your life, beholden to an never-ending list of 'do's' ('halal') and 'don'ts' ('haram') that govern every conceivable facet of your public and private existence. When Muslims aren't busy persecuting insufficiently devout Muslims or followers of competing belief systems, they endlessly argue about what's 'haram' or 'halal' in our fast-changing modern world, according to 1400-year-old religious teachings from the deserts of Arabia.

So, if you consciously decide to become a Muslim, you might as well turn your brain off--you won't need that where you're headed!
from one of my Squirrely Friends:

--by John Cleese

The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent terrorist threats and have therefore raised their security level from "Miffed" to "Peeved." Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to "Irritated" or even "A Bit Cross." The English have not been "A Bit Cross" since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from "Tiresome" to "A Bloody Nuisance." The last time the British issued a "Bloody Nuisance" warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.

The Scots have raised their threat level from "Pissed Off" to "Let's get the Bastards." They don't have any other levels.This is the reason they have been used on the front line of the British army for the last 300 years.

The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from "Run" to "Hide." The only two higher levels in France are "Collaborate" and "Surrender." The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France's white flag factory, effectively paralyzing the country's military capability.

Italy has increased the alert level from "Shout Loudly and Excitedly" to "Elaborate Military Posturing." Two more levels remain: "Ineffective Combat Operations" and "Change Sides."

The Germans have increased their alert state from "Disdainful Arrogance" to "Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs." They also have two higher levels: "Invade a Neighbor" and "Lose."

Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual; the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels.

The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.

Australia , meanwhile, has raised its security level from "No worries" to "She'll be alright, Mate." Two more escalation levels remain: "Crikey! I think we'll need to cancel the barbie this weekend," and "The barbie is canceled." So far no situation has ever warranted use of the final escalation level.

Mike Before He Was Iron Mike

Listen to the crowd as Mike Tyson is announced. It's like they don't know who he is.

One Helluva Finish To the Centennial Run of the Indy 500

J R Hildebrand has nothing to be ashamed of. It was a great race for the rookie.

Dexter Gordon
I Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out To Dry

Lee Ann Womack
A Little Past Little Rock

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Milk Cow Blues

"The first time you marry a rich guy. The second time you marry for love."

"They won't buy the cow if you give them the milk for free."

Don't ask. Just enjoy.

Sleepy John Estes

Lee Roy Parnell

Kokomo Arnold


Global Warming Brings Record Snow Pack Melt and Spectacular Waterfalls To Yosemite

I (Heart) Global Warming:

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. – Water, water everywhere — and it's a spectacular sight.

Record Sierra snowfall over the winter now means record snow melt as temperatures rise, swelling Yosemite National Park's iconic waterfalls, streams and rivers to their most turbulent level in years.

Yosemite Falls, the nation's tallest, is spewing enough water to fill a gasoline tanker truck every two seconds. The force of water at Bridalveil Falls across the valley kicks up a mist that clouds the meadow below.

It means that until the peak melt around mid-June, visitors will experience more treacherous beauty in Yosemite than even the travel brochures promise.

Even minor creeks and streams are flowing hard, which has forced closure of a few campsites. Because of the mild spring, the danger of flooding has been reduced.

Thanks to a snowpack twice as deep as usual park officials say the ephemeral falls like Yosemite that dry up in early summer will still by flowing into August. For the first time in a long time record melt and the peak visitor season are falling on the same weekend.

7 Americans Killed in Explosion in Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan – Nine NATO service members were killed Thursday in Afghanistan, including seven U.S. troops among eight who died when a powerful bomb exploded in a field where they were patrolling on foot, officials said.

Two Afghan policemen also died and two others were wounded in the explosion in the mountainous Shorabak district of Kandahar province, 12 miles from the Pakistan border, said Gen. Abdul Raziq, chief of the Afghan border police in the province.

"Two months ago, we cleared this area of terrorists, but still they are active there," Raziq said.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the blast.

"A bomb was planted for them in a field," Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi told The Associated Press in a telephone call.

A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to disclose the information, confirmed that seven American service members died in the bombing.

The international military coalition reported that one additional NATO service member was killed Thursday when a helicopter crashed in the east.

U.S. officials said seven American soldiers were killed in the bombing. NATO said an eighth soldier was also killed, but his nationality was not immediately released.

It was the deadliest day for coalition forces in Afghanistan since April 27, when a veteran Afghan military pilot opened fire at Kabul airport and killed eight U.S. troops and an American civilian contractor.

Thursday's blast was the worst single attack against NATO forces by one of the Taliban's crude, homemade bombs since October 2009. Seven soldiers from a unit based in Fort Lewis, Washington, died Oct. 27, 2009 when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb in Arghandab district, also in Kandahar province.

"It was a big, powerful blast," said Gen. Tefeer Khan Ghogyaria, who oversees Afghan border police in three provinces in the south. "A container of explosives was placed in the ground and it exploded when the NATO forces were passing. They were on a foot patrol."

Roadside bombs killed 268 American troops in Afghanistan last year, a 60 percent increase over the previous year, even as the Pentagon employed new measures to counter the Taliban's makeshift weapon of choice. Defense officials attributed the rise in casualties to the surge in U.S. forces in Afghanistan last year.

The number of U.S. troops wounded by what the military terms improvised explosive devices also soared, according to the most recent U.S. defense figures. There were 3,366 U.S. service members injured in IED blasts -- up from the 1,211 hurt by the militants' crudely made bombs in 2009, the figures show.

Officials with the Pentagon's Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization, based outside Washington, has said that additional explosive sensors, bomb analysts and specially trained dogs have helped battle the roadside bombs.

Last year, the Pentagon provided $495 million to buy 34 tethered surveillance blimps that give troops a bird's eye view of certain areas and sent in more unmanned surveillance aircraft so route-clearance patrols would have the benefit of full-motion video. The Pentagon also delivered more than 5,000 hand-held bomb detectors, improved training and sent additional equipment to Afghanistan to counter the threat.

Southern and eastern Afghanistan are the most volatile areas in Afghanistan.

Tens of thousands of U.S., NATO and Afghan forces have been working for months to rout the Taliban from their strongholds in the south. The Taliban have retaliated with targeted assassinations of Afghan officials and attacks on Afghan and coalition forces. Eastern Afghanistan, along the Pakistan border, also has been the scene of heavy violence.

On May 1, insurgents declared the start of a spring offensive against NATO and the Afghan government. NATO has been expecting the Taliban to stage a series of spectacular and complex attacks, and the group has already carried out a number of them recently.

The effectiveness of the Taliban's long-awaited spring campaign, code-named Badr after one of the Prophet Muhammad's decisive military victories, could affect the size of President Barack Obama's planned drawdown of U.S. troops in July. Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, has said the size of the withdrawal will depend on conditions on the ground.

The alliance has committed itself to handing over control of security in the country to Afghans by 2014.

Thirty-eight international service members have been killed so far this month, including at least 13 Americans. So far this year, 189 coalition troops have died in Afghanistan.

OIC Fatwa on Domestic Violence and the Rights of Women in Islam: Beat Your Wife

From Atlas Shrugs:

OIC Fatwa on Domestic Violence and the Rights of Women in Islam
In April 2009, the Islamic Fiqh Academy made a ruling entitled ‘Domestic Violence’.  This is a highly significant document which reflects a high-level consensus of leading Muslim scholars in the world today. It was clearly issued in the context of criticisms of Islam and Muslim societies for the treatment of women.
The Islamic Fiqh Academy (IFA) was established by the Organization for the Islamic Conference in 1981. It is comprised of 43 scholars, who are elite Islamic jurists of their respective nations. Many are chief justices or grand muftis of their nations.  IFA's resolutions are in Arabic, and they can be found on their website at http://www.fiqhacademy.org.sa/.  
IFA's aims are:
  • to unite the Ummah (the global Muslim community, conceived of as a single nation, by conforming conduct to the norms of Islam at all levels (from individual to international); 
  • to apply Islam to contemporary problems; 
  • and to create a body of Islamic jurisprudence to meet the needs of modern life.  

In IFA's deliberations, issues are subjected to extensive research, with prior distribution of papers, extensive consultation and discussion, before rulings are agreed upon and issued.  These rulings are very distilled.  The process “allows for a Muslim to see the final opinion without having to use up time and effort considering the research consultations that may extend to hundreds of pages”.
Undoubtedly IFA speaks for the Islamic mainstream.  In the words of Dr Abdul-Salam Al-Abbadi,  Secretary General of IFA, it is intended to function as the ‘supreme juristic reference for the Muslim world’.  Furthermore, IFA's rulings have the backing of the OIC, which is one of the most significant groupings of states in the world today.
IFA's fatwa or ruling on domestic violence warrants detailed study.  It is not possible to do justice to it in this blog post.  A translation into English is given below.  A few key features are:
  1. This fatwa represents the unapologetic assertion of the absolute authority of the sharia over all understandings of human rights as they apply to women and the family, specifically including international human rights conventions and covenants.  Islamic states are instructed to ignore every article of any convention or covenant which is inconsistent with the sharia.
  2. The fatwa upholds the right of a husband to beat his wife: wife-beating is specifically excluded from its definition of 'domestic violence', as long as the beating conforms to sharia requirements.  The memorable phrase 'non-violent beating' is coined to express this perspective.  Note also the implied threat which warns against 'slander' in the context of resolving marital disputes (implying that a woman must not criticize her husband).
    Here are some hadiths of Muhammad on wife-beating from Sunan Abu Dawud:
    Muhammad: 'When one of you inflicts a beating, he should avoid beating the face.'
    • Muhammad: "A man will not be asked as to why he beat his wife."  – this principle means that a man cannot required to answer to a sharia court for beating his wife.
    • Muhammad: "Do not beat your wife as you beat your slave-girl."
    • Muhammad: "They are not the best among you." – said of women who complained to Muhammad when he gave permission for their husbands to beat them.
  3. This fatwa also upholds the right of a husband to rape his wife, for it is not 'domestic violence' for a man to insist upon his conjugal rights (section 2(F)). 
There is much more. Go read the whole thing at Atlas Shrugs.