Monthly Archives: January 2011

Huckabee Misses the Point Completely

When it comes to the eternal question, “Are they being stupid, or evil?” it’s probably a safe bet that Mike Huckabee was just being stupid when he

told Jewish settlers Monday that attempts to prevent them from building in east Jerusalem are as outrageous as housing discrimination in the United States.

“I cannot imagine, as an American, being told I could not live in certain places in America because I was Christian, or because I was white, or because I spoke English,” he said.

Hmm, governor,* can you imagine being told you can’t live in certain places in America because somebody else owns the land and lives and farms there? Yeah, I thought so.

*or is “governor” reserved for the ones who quit halfway through their term?

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Filed under Stupidity

Weird-Funny-Interesting Video

The man in the video (the one in the thobe and keffiyeh, not the red guy) is quite easy on the eyes and I’d like to post his picture here. I know this is a long shot, but does anybody happen to know the actor’s name?

Thanks in advance. And enjoy.

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Friday Cat Picture

so atmospheric

Tortoiseshell up close and beautiful.

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Gay Man Beaten to Death by Religious Zealots

The New York Times has the story.

NAIROBI, Kenya — An outspoken Ugandan gay activist whose picture recently appeared in an anti-gay newspaper under the headline “Hang Them” was beaten to death in his home, Ugandan police said on Thursday.

David Kato, the activist, was one of the most visible defenders of gay rights in a country so homophobic that government leaders have proposed to execute gay people. Mr. Kato and other gay people in Uganda had recently warned that their lives were endangered, and four months ago a local paper called Rolling Stone published a list of gay people, and Mr. Kato’s face was on the front page.

He was attacked in his home Wednesday afternoon and beaten in the head with a hammer, said Judith Nabakooba, a police spokeswoman. But police officials said they don’t believe this was a hate crime.

“It looks like theft, as some things were stolen,” Mrs. Nabakooba said.

Gay activists disagreed and said Mr. Kato was singled out for his outspoken defense of gay rights. “David’s death is a result of the hatred planted in Uganda by U.S. Evangelicals in 2009,” said Val Kalende, the chairperson of one of Uganda’s gay rights groups, in a statement. “The Ugandan government and the so-called U.S. evangelicals must take responsibility for David’s blood!”

Mrs. Kalende was referring to visits in March 2009 by a group of American evangelicals who held anti-gay rallies and church leaders who authored the anti-gay bill, which is still pending, attended those meetings and said that they had worked with the Americans on their bill.

Don’t you hate the way Muslims Christians are always resorting to violence? You’d almost think that Jesus ever said anything about homosexuality.

I’m guessing press coverage here would be slightly different if we had any reason to believe the murderers were Muslims. “Honor killing” springs to mind. But when it’s Christians, they don’t even mention it.

Take David Bahati, for instance, the Ugandan MP who introduced the “death-to-gays” bill. His Wikipedia entry makes no mention of his religion (Christian). Think it’d be the same if he were Muslim?

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Motivating the Mathematician

So far I am not fully settled in yet, but I do have internet access once again. Here’s a photo I couldn’t resist sharing, as the spawn of a mathematician and friend of others.

will calculate for noms

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Back Soon, Inshallah

There are some interesting comments to the last couple of posts, just when I’ll be away from the internet and the blog for a few days until I get resettled. I have every intention of coming back.

Here’s a cute animal for the meantime.

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Movie Recommendations, Muslim Theme

Please see How to Meet Muslims: a (Cinematic) Primer over at Religion Dispatches.

Short of putting Muslims on buses and driving them around the country to be gawked at, talked to, and interacted with, what more can be done?

The next best thing to a living, breathing Muslim is an approximation of one. That is, the silver screen (had you said robots, I’d counter: Muslims will be the last people on Earth to come up with robots). Why not? Movies explore the lives and experiences of Muslims in a format that can be watched as easily at home as on the train (that’s what iPads are for).

He recommends several movies. I just added one to my Netflix queue. Enjoy.

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But What Religion is Loughner, Part 2

The AP had a long piece giving a little bit of background on America’s latest bigtime terrorist, Jared Loughner, who they refuse to label a terrorist although he was proud to declare himself one. All these paragraphs, yet neither the reporter nor the editor nor, apparently, the public thought to give a damn about his religion. This would be completely different if only one factor were different. It could be his name, say if there were a Muhammad or an Ahmad or even a Samir in there. It could be the appearance of being of African descent. A few tones darker, and the Malkins and Gellers would be making assumptions. It could be having taken a class in comparative religions or an attempt at learning a challenging foreign language. Or travel. All of those things would send the media machine shrikeing about “radicalization,” politicians bloviating, and reporters digging up Loughner’s and his family’s religious background like a pack of bloodhounds.

But Jared Loughner is named Jared Loughner and he’s blindingly white and apparently went through his life without being charmed by any other cultures. So although he very cleary carried out a premeditated act of multiple murder in a public place with the intend to change other people’s behavior, our media and politicians will not label him a terrorist.

Peter King, congressman and Irish terrorist sympathizer will continue with his plans to hassle the Muslim community in the US. The Jewish Anti-Defamation league will continue to be silent about anti-Muslim and anti-Arab bigotry. Geller, Malkin, Schlussel, Pipes, Spencer, and the rest of the “I’m a xenophobic ignoramus” choir will sing the same song they’ve been singing. “Muslims bad. Christian good.”

There is actually this one little bit about Christianity in the article. Notice how the reporter downplays it. This is the No True Scotsman fallacy: although Loughner is expressly talking about Christianity, the reporter (the supposedly impartial, unbiased reporter who is just giving us the facts, mind you) interjects his little disclaimer:

Loughner was arrested in October 2008 on a vandalism charge near Tucson after admitting he scrawled the letters “C” and “X” on a road sign in a reference to what he said was Christianity.

See? “In reference to what he said was Christianity.” I imagine the reporter or editor or both were expecting a firestorm of outrage if they left out “he said was.” Because the American public knows that if you leave out the ETA, the IRA, the Lord’s Resistance Army, the KKK, folks who assassinate doctors, and myriad others, Christianity is always peaceful today. Nevermind the Crusades and the Inquisition, which happened back in the mists of time.

Interestingly, to show how Christianity-soaked our country is, the Sheriff’s captain mentioned in the article is named Chris, the 9-year-old that Jared murdered is named Christina, and one of the reporters of this piece is named Christy. (Turns out there were five reporters involved, and although I used the male pronoun, most of them were women–good).

So as a friend of mine pointed out, there is no outcry that Loughner “lawyered up.” He remained silent and sought the legal help of a lawyer, just as we expect white Americans to do when they massacre. There were no calls to throw him into Guantanamo and let him moulder there. He was embraced by the US justice system, and the US public is perfectly happy with that. After all, he had mental problems and just needs help, the poor boy.

US citizens it's okay to shoot on sight

US citizen who just needs some help, poor boy

US citizen killed by Israeli commandos, no protest by US

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Filed under arabist, domestic terrorism, names, Our glorious war on terror

But What Religion is Loughner?

Now, I’m not saying Sarah Palin ordered Jared Loughner to shoot a bunch of people. Sarah makes an easy target [ha!] because her team created a nice graphic that I can easily post to my own blog. Glenn Beck, on the other hand, has probably done a whole lot more to stir up people like Loughner than Sarah Palin has. Unfortunately, Beck’s ouevre is mostly video, and I can’t bring myself to post any of his work on my blog.

To concentrate on the point of this blog, did you notice that we haven’t heard yet what religion Loughner is? If his name had a Muhammad in it, of course, we’d have heard within the first hour. The usual islamophobes would be screeching and howling. What news outlets have even dealt with the issue of Loughner’s beliefs have said that he had strange ideas. They aren’t bothering to find out what they would have found out in the first day if his skin were dark: in which religion was he brought up? What a perfect example of white, Christian privilege. If you open fire in a crowd in the US, targeting political figures and also mowing down bystanders indiscriminately, and you’re white, you’re a disturbed individual who should have gotten the mental health care he deserved. Do all the same while Arab and you’re undoubtedly a Muslim terrorist acting on behalf of a terrorist organization.

Oh yeah, about Sarah Palin, according to this The Telegraph story of Nov 2008,

The Secret Service warned the Obama family in mid October that they had seen a dramatic increase in the number of threats against the Democratic candidate, coinciding with Mrs Palin’s attacks.

Found at Monkey Muck blog.

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UPDATE: I had to add this because it is awesome:

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Filed under domestic terrorism, Our glorious war on terror

Terrorism in Action in America

This delightful and very illuminating poster was the brainchild of Sarah Palin and her supporters. When asked about the use of gunsight crosshairs, Ms Palin defended the choice of words at the time, “Those are fine. They’re used all the time.”

Shortly after the publication of this poster, Ms Palin tweeted, “Commonsense Conservatives &; lovers of America: “Don’t Retreat, Instead – RELOAD!”

Now that one of the people on Palin’s hit list has been shot, along with several other people (at least six dead, including a 9-year-old), this is all the Palin has to say: “My sincere condolences are offered to the family of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the other victims of today’s tragic shooting in Arizona. On behalf of Todd and my family, we all pray for the victims and their families, and for peace and justice.”

The shooter is a non-Arab non-Muslim with a fair skin tone and an Anglo last name. He would never be profiled by law enforcement in the United States. Who gets profiled instead? This guy:

Palin didn’t shoot Giffords. Maybe the shooter never even heard of her, because he’s been chained in a basement–wait, no basements in Arizona–hell yeah he’s heard of Sarah Palin. You can’t avoid that woman any more than you can avoid Lindsay Lohan, who is blameless in this.

Xenos, a commenter at Balloon Juice, said it well, “I would try to put it a bit more simply: when you go around demonizing people you should not be surprised when some nut who believes in demons takes action in accordance with your statements.”

And worst of all, I still won’t be at all surprised if Palin ends up president one day. But then, I also won’t be surprised if Trig Palin ends up president one day.

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UPDATE: I know anyone who reads my tiny blog probably already read this on the big blogs. I found this on John Cole’s Balloon Juice. One of Madam Palin’s minions is trying to claim that the bullseyes on the map are really surveyor symbols.
However, Dennis G. dug up this Twitter post by the Palin reading:

Remember months ago “bullseye” icon used 2 target the 20 Obamacare-lovin’ incumbent seats? We won 18 out of 20 (90% success rate;T’ain’t bad)

You should be able to see the image here.

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Filed under domestic terrorism, nonpologies, nonpology, unpologies, unpology