Monthly Archives: March 2011

Employee Harassed and Fired for “Being a Witch”–in the USA

A competent TSA employee was harassed at her job and then fired after being accused of putting a hex on a coworker’s car’s heater. No kidding. Story here. Sorry it’s a USA Today story and therefore the web page is really annoying.

She was in the top 10 percent in Albany at catching weapons on the X-ray machine. She passed her skills test on the first try. She caught a woman on her way to Vietnam with $30,000 in cash. And she didn’t mind working with the passengers — her training as a massage therapist kept her from being squeamish, as some officers were, about patting down elderly and special-needs passengers.

The assistant director told her he was investigating a threat of workplace violence. He said that her former mentor in on-the-job training, officer Mary Bagnoli, reported that she was afraid of Smith because she was a witch who practiced witchcraft. She accused Smith of following her on the highway one snowy evening after work and casting a spell on the heater of her car, causing it not to work. Well, actually, Bagnoli said she hadn’t seen Smith’s car, but she had seen Smith. “I thought to myself,” Smith recalls, “what, did she see me flying on my broom?”

But people in other countries are crazy, not us.

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Filed under bigoted idiots, outrages, religious conflict

Video: Three Big Pigs

Clip found on Jezebel.

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Filed under arab, arabian, arabist

Homegrown Terrorists, Honor Killings, Theocracy, Etc.

There is too much to blog about lately.

1. Crooks and Liars on 24 acts of domestic terrorism in the US in 2 1/2 years, with interactive map. Of course, the press and the politicians will have you believe each one of these is a “lone wolf” (nevermind that many of them acted in groups), that Christianity has nothing to do with it, and that only Muslims are terrorists.

2. Here’s one with head-exploding irony: Sheriffs in Iowa planned to hold a training drill based on the scenario that White Supremacist militias were shooting minority schoolchildren. A nice change of pace from drills about Muslims hordes invading Iowa. However, when the local white supremacist militias heard about the drill, they threatened violence against children, and the sheriffs canceled the drill.

Kevin Elwood, superintendent of Treynor Community Schools, said the school system received about 100 emails from throughout the nation, as well as some angry phone calls, including one particularly disturbing call that was left as a voicemail message.

“They basically indicated that if we went through with this type of a drill that potentially that type of an incident could become a reality in our school district,” Elwood said. The recording was provided to the sheriff’s office for investigation, he added.

3. An honor killing took the life of an elderly, mentally handicapped man in PA (Pennsylvania, not the Palestinian Authority).

MEDIA, Pa. (AP) — Authorities in suburban Philadelphia say a 70-year-old man was stoned to death with a rock stuffed in a sock by a younger friend who alleged the victim made unwanted sexual advances.

According to the criminal complaint, 28-year-old John Thomas of Lansdowne has told police he killed 70-year-old Murray Seidman because the Old Testament refers to stoning homosexuals.

bolding mine

4. Wild-west theme park Arizona, which has experienced significant financial harm from its recent race laws, is now mulling allowing firearms in all public places.

Under the bill, “public establishments” and “public events” include buildings owned or leased by the state (including courts and libraries) and events conducted with a license or permit from a public entity. While the law exempts events or facilities that serve alcohol — making them provide “gun lockers” if they want to ban guns — events without alcohol would likely have to allow firearms without restriction. Such public places would include “major events such as Arizona Cardinals and Phoenix Suns games or rock concerts.” Or, as one major concert promoter noted, “Sesame Street Live” and “Disney On Ice.”

5. Presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty advocates theocracy, as long as it’s Christianity. He also ended a home-buying program that held to Islamic principles (“no usury”) because he ignorantly and stupidly assumed that it meant Muslims were getting interest-free loans, and so did the imbeciles who made a fuss about it.

Pawlenty on the Islamic loan program: “The United States should be governed by the U.S. Constitution, not religious laws.”

And Pawlenty in an interview with Christianity Today: “I started with the perspective of someone who says that faith is separate from public law and public service; it really isn’t. We have, as a country, a founding perspective that we’re founded under God; our founding documents reference and acknowledge God, and acknowledge that our rights and privileges come from our Creator. […] I remind people that our country is founded under God, and the founders thought that was an important perspective.”

Of course he’s not our only God-pandering presidential candidate, just a recent one.

6. America’s own embodiment of proud and truculent ignorance, Sarah Palin, wants the world to know, through Twitter, that the protesters in Egypt are Muslim. *gasp*

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Filed under bigoted idiots, church and state, domestic terrorism, Our glorious war on terror, Stupidity

Channel Your Inner Orientalist

Too bad I can’t remember what led me to this site, khowaga, which is having an orientalist-writes-about-the-Egyptian-revolution contest. The entries have me giggling. Won’t you try your hand?

A couple excerpts from the current entries:

In fact, I have omitted a final sorrow: the Arab world’s crippling inability to think for itself. Such a problem is hardly unique to the Arab world; it has afflicted the Persians and the Turks for centuries, and even of late some once-noble peoples, such as the French. Lack of thought is a widespread problem through the darker part of the globe, sad as it may be to admit such things. This final failing of the Arabs is perhaps their most injurious, since it prevents them from altering any one of the other four. In a tragic irony, we can see the evidence of this even in the recent events that the fatuous have dubbed “the Egyptian revolution.”

and from a different entry:

Just as we might define ourselves in the west as right, free and true, the Mohammetan would gladly define himself as wrong, indentured and usually false. This lack stems not from an ugly geography, for the desolation of the desert inspires even the savage, but rather from a nature of imbalanced humors surfeited with excess yellow bile, too little sanguine, and only a hint of melancholia and phlegm! How can democracy grow without sufficient phlegm, after Aristotle? No one is adequately prepared to answer that question until about one month after zero oil output is reached.

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Filed under arab, arabist, crackpot etymology

Beheading Revisited Again

Previously I posted on beheading a few times, especially here and here.

Today on Wonkette I found out about some recent beheading, wherein a presumably Christian soldier from Wasilla, Alaska, cut the head off an unarmed civilian Afghani and posed for pictures with the dead guy’s head. Al Jazeera English story here.

Two US army soldiers allegedly involved in a 12-man “kill team”accused of murdering Afghan civilians for sport have been shown in leaked photographs posing with one of their victims.

Specialist Jeremy Morlock and Private Andrew Holmes are shown holding up the head of a man identified by Germany’s Der Spiegel newspaper as Gul Mudin, an unarmed Afghan they are accused of killing on January 15, 2010.

I’m guessing their reasoning was something along the lines of, “But they did it first!”


Filed under miscellaneous, Our glorious war on terror, outrages

Qaddafi Cartoon

In the course of some research, I stumbled on this cartoon. Too bad I can’t understand it very well, and yet it’s still funny. Enjoy.

Oh cool, it turns out that if you click ‘cc’ you get English subtitles. Technology!

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Weekend Cat Photos

calico cat on beige carpet looking up

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Yemeni Protests and Poetry

Dr Justice posted a short piece on Yemeni poetry as it synthesizes with the protests there.


And here we see the long history of Yemeni political poetry coming brilliantly to fruition in a sort of Gesamtkunstwerk of poetry, music, dance, and fist-pumping all in one, performed recently in Taghyir Square, outside the University in San`aa. You would have to go back to the Berlin of the Weimar republic to find any comparably excellent mix of artistry and insurrection. And even that is not really comparable, since Brecht and his buddies performed in the relative safety of fashionable caberets — not in the public square, surrounded by the police.

Dr. Justice has a neat video posted, and I don’t want to steal his thunder, so watch it there.

But on a related note, here’s what I’m fairly sure is the Yemeni national anthem. But it might not be. Anyway, there’s a guy wearing traditional garb, and it’s pretty cool.

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Filed under arab, arabist, Blogroll

Deaths of At Least 10,000 Used As Recruiting Event For Jesus

A Christian pastor in Japan opined that the earthquake and tsunami were God’s punishment upon the unrighteous.

Senior pastor Cho Yong-gi of Yoido Full Gospel Church, the largest Christian church in the world, has faced vicious public condemnation as he called the catastrophic Japanese quakes and tsunamis “God’s warnings.”

“I fear that this disaster may be warnings from God against the Japanese people’s atheism and materialism,” an online Christian press quoted the elderly religious leader as saying Saturday.

“I hope that these series of events will drive the Japanese to turn their eyes towards God.”

So loving.

Just for fun, let’s include this gem, too:

“I mean, the human, the human toll here…looks to be much worse than the economic toll, and we can be grateful for that, and the human toll is a tragedy, we know that.” –Lawrence Kudlow, CNBC economist, on the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.

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Prayer on Plane Perturbs Pilots

haha, these pilots probably feel so silly now that they know they locked down the cockpit for a harmless Jewish prayer, rather than a terroristic Muslimy prayer.

At least the UK’s Daily Mail states that the prayer was “bizarre.” Nice!

Found on Gawker.

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Filed under Our glorious war on terror