A Democratic coven 2

The Democratic Hurray Chorus, otherwise known as the Mainstream Media, mined the depths of their malice to blacken the name of Governor and Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, an honest and honorable public servant if ever there was one, with lies, in the hope of destroying her. They did this because they feared her. The degree of their viciousness was the exact measure of their fear. She was a real threat to the election of their chosen One. 

Will they tell the damaging truth about certain iniquitous Democratic women in the public service and/or the public eye?  Probably not, is our guess.  

Fortunately Michelle Malkin has taken on the task: 

Mrs. Blago, the former Patti Mell, won the hearts of old-school thugs everywhere with her f-word-filled rants captured on FBI wiretaps, some of which were colorfully detailed in the criminal complaint against her hubby last week. It’s old news to folks in Chicago, but the woman who masquerades as a sweet gubernatorial spouse dedicated to children’s advocacy is a cutthroat wheeler-dealer in heels who schemed with the gov to fire pesky editorial writers and get herself placed on paid corporate boards in exchange for naming the president-elect’s pick to the Senate. First Lady by day, Dragon Lady by night.

Potty-mouthed Patti is the daughter of famed Democratic Chicago Alderman Richard Mell. Hardball ward politics runs in her blood. "Pay to play" is the family way. As a high-powered realtor, the Chicago Tribune reported, Mrs. B. raked in more than $700,000 in commissions on business deals after Hot Rod began raising money in 2000 for his first gubernatorial campaign. The feds have been investigating for years.

Close political observers are waiting for the other shoe to drop on Mrs. B. – or be used as leverage to force her hubby, to whom she has been fiercely loyal (to the point of alienating Daddy), to ‘fess up.

Corrupto-convict and Barack Obama fundraiser Tony Rezko was one of Mrs. B.’s biggest clients of the last decade. Behind him stood his housewife-in-hot-water, Rita, who whiled away some of her time as a patronage appointee to an obscure Cook County government board before getting entangled in the land swap couples’ deal between her husband and the Obamas – the one the president-elect called "boneheaded." On Tuesday, Rezko’s sentencing was postponed, suggesting he’ll be singing even more to the feds.

Michelle Obama was apparently friendly with the sordid sorority, according to Chicago Magazine. Writer James Merriner reported on a fashion show/political back-scratching gala chaired by Mrs. Rezko and co-chaired by Mrs. Blago two days before the November 2006 elections:

"Michelle Obama, wife of the Democratic U.S. senator and presidential candidate Barack Obama, was a special guest that day (even though the news had just broken about Rezko’s participation in a funky real-estate transaction involving the Obamas’ Hyde Park home). The fashion show attracted little if any media coverage, which may have been exactly as its organizers and sponsors had hoped. Just three weeks earlier, Tony Rezko had been indicted on charges of extorting kickbacks from businesses seeking contracts from the Blagojevich administration."

Then there’s Anita Mahajan, wife of Chicago Mutual Bank owner Amrish Mahajan. Hubby is the Obama supporter and Blago fundraiser who handled that boneheaded Obama land deal and loaned cash to Rezko. Mrs. Mahajan hired Mrs. Blago to sell properties for her. In 2007, Mrs. Mahajan was indicted on fraud charges related to a contract from the state Department of Children and Family Services – awarded to her by the Blagojevich administration. Prosecutors say she bilked taxpayers out of $2.1 million. For the children, of course.

 

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, December 17, 2008

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How dangerous is Russia? 4

The population of Russia is shrinking rapidly. The global economic downturn has hit Russia hard. Is this declining nation a serious threat to the US? It shows signs of wanting to seem menacing, but is it in fact a toothless old tiger?  Is it modernizing its armament, or letting its military striking power degrade?   

 Consider this piece of information (Debkafile) –

The Russian Kommersant reported Tuesday, Dec. 16 that Gen. Vladimir Popovkin, head of Russia’s armed forces, visited Israel in November for talks on the purchase of a first batch of the unmanned reconnaissance drones which Georgia used successfully in its conflict with Russia last August.

– along with this (AP):

Russian warships have been plying the waters off Venezuela and Panama in recent weeks and are now heading for Cuba, but U.S. officials are not so much wringing their hands as yawning. Asked about a Russian warship transiting the Panama Canal earlier this month, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice — who saw the ship while crossing the canal last week — told The Associated Press: "I guess they’re on R&R. It’s fine."

The Pentagon, while puzzled by the Russians’ actions, also is taking a ho-hum attitude. The U.S. military commander for the region, Adm. James Stavridis, head of the U.S. Southern Command, said that from his vantage point, there is no reason to be concerned about the Russian naval activity." They pose no military threat to the U.S.," Stavridis said in an e-mail to the AP on Tuesday. It was the first such passage by a Russian or Soviet warship since World War II.

There is no suggestion of a military confrontation, but the Russian moves are notable in part because they appear to reflect an effort by Moscow to flex some muscle in America’s backyard in response to Washington’s support for the former Soviet republic of Georgia and elsewhere on the Russian periphery. That includes U.S. missile defense bases to be erected in Poland and the Czech Republic. The Russians were unhappy with a U.S. decision to send a state-of-the-art warship into the Black Sea as part of an American humanitarian aid mission for Georgia in the aftermath of last August’s war with Russia. The Russians also are angry about the Bush administration’s push to add Georgia and the former Soviet republic of Ukraine as members of the NATO military alliance.

Under the gaze of the U.S. Southern Command, Russian ships this fall held joint exercises with the navy of Venezuela, whose president, Hugo Chavez, is a fierce U.S. critic. Navy Rear Adm. Tom Meek, the deputy director for security and intelligence at Southern Command, said in a telephone interview Tuesday that he sees little chance of Russia teaming up with Venezuela in a militarily meaningful way."I don’t think that Russia and Venezuela are really serious about putting together a military coalition that would give them any kind of aggregate military capability to oppose anybody," Meek said. "Frankly, the maneuvers they conducted down here were so basic and rudimentary that they did not amount to anything, in my opinion."

And it’s not just the Russian navy that is showing up in the West. In September, two Tu-160 long-range bombers, known in the West as Blackjacks, landed in Venezuela — the first landing in the Western Hemisphere by Russian military aircraft since the Cold War ended. Rice shrugs it off. "A few aging Blackjacks flying unarmed along the coast of Venezuela is — I don’t know why one would do it, but I’m not particularly going to lose sleep over that," she said in the AP interview Monday. She said Russia is welcome to have relations with countries in the West. "I don’t think anybody’s confused about the preponderance of power in the Western Hemisphere," Rice said.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has made no effort to hide his irritation at what he considers American arrogance."God forbid from engaging in any kind of controversy in the American continent," he said, referring to his Blackjack bombers flying to Venezuela for a training exercise. "This is considered the ‘holiest of the holy,’" he said during a meeting with Western political scholars at his Black Sea residence in Sochi. "And they drive ships with weapons to a place just 10 kilometers from where we’re at? Is this normal? Is this an equitable move?"

On Monday, the Russian navy announced that a destroyer and two support vessels will visit Cuba for the first time since the Soviet era. The ships are from a squadron that has been on a lengthy visit to Latin America; they are scheduled to put in at Havana on Friday for a five-day stay, navy spokesman Capt. Igor Dygalo said. Moscow’s support for Cuba fell sharply after the 1991 Soviet collapse, but the Russians have bolstered ties recently.

The joint naval exercises with Venezuela were Russia’s way of "demonstrating to the U.S. that it has a foothold in a region traditionally dominated by the U.S.," said analyst Anna Gilmour at Jane’s Intelligence Review. Still, she and many Russian analysts say Moscow’s deployments of warships are largely for show. Russia’s navy is a shadow of its Soviet-era force, having suffered from a serious lack of investment since the 1991 Soviet collapse. Many ships and submarines have rusted away at their berths, and deadly accidents occur regularly.

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, December 17, 2008

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Pre-emptive surrender of the ‘Free World’ 0

 Mark Steyn writes (in part – read it all, for the sheer pleasure as well as the wisdom):

There remain a handful of us who think “the war” was not entirely a construct of Rove-Cheney’s dark imagination, and valiantly tootle around town with our “FEAR, NOT HOPE” bumper stickers. Brian Kennedy of the Claremont Institute had a grim piece in The Wall Street Journal the other day positing an Iranian-directed freighter somewhere off America’s shores capable of firing a nuclear-armed Shahab-3 missile that explodes in space over Chicago:

Gamma rays from the explosion, through the Compton Effect, generate three classes of disruptive electromagnetic pulses, which permanently destroy consumer electronics, the electronics in some automobiles and, most importantly, the hundreds of large transformers that distribute power throughout the U.S. All of our lights, refrigerators, water-pumping stations, TVs and radios stop running. We have no communication and no ability to provide food and water to 300 million Americans.

This is what is referred to as an EMP attack, and such an attack would effectively throw America back technologically into the early 19th century.

If Brian Kennedy were to switch it from an Iranian freighter to an Iranian freighter secretly controlled by a Halliburton subsidiary, he might have a scenario he could pitch to Paramount. But he’s got a tougher job pitching it to America. This is the Katrina nation: Our inclination is to ignore the warnings, wait for it to happen, and then blame the government for not doing more. That last part will prove a little more difficult after an EMP attack. I doubt there’ll be a blue-ribbon EMP Commission for Lee Hamilton to serve on, or much of a mass media for him to be interviewed by Larry King and Diane Sawyer on. “An EMP attack is not one from which America could recover as we did after Pearl Harbor,” writes Mr Kennedy. “Such an attack might mean the end of the United States and most likely the Free World.”

Are there really people out there who want to do that? End the entire Free World? The very term sounds faintly cobwebbed. When nukes were confined to five reasonably sane great powers, the left couldn’t get enough of Armageddon: There were movies, novels, plays, even children’s books about the day after, and the long nuclear winter. When it was crazies like Reagan and Thatcher with their fingers on the buttons, the liberal imagination feasted on imminent nuclear immolation. Now it’s Ahmadinejad and Kim Jong-Il and who knows who else with their fingers on the buttons, and nobody cares: What’s the big deal?

Well, the Iranians have held at least two tests in the Caspian Sea to launch missiles in the manner necessary to set off an EMP meltdown. And if you were, say, Vladimir Putin and obsessed with restoring Russia’s superpower status, you might reasonably conclude that that might be well nigh impossible without diminishing the superpower status of the other fellow. And, while you wouldn’t necessarily want your fingerprints on the operation, you wouldn’t go to a lot of trouble to dissuade whichever excitable chaps were minded to have a go.

But beyond that is a broader question. In Afghanistan, the young men tying down First World armies have no coherent strategic goals, but they’ve figured out the Europeans’ rules of engagement, and they know they can fire on Nato troops more or less with impunity. So why not do it? On the high seas off the Horn of Africa, the Somali pirates have a more rational motivation: They can extort millions of dollars in ransom from seizing oil tankers. But, as in the Hindu Kush, it’s a low-risk occupation. They know that the western navies that patrol the waters are no longer in the business of killing or even capturing pirates. The Royal Navy that once hanged pirates in the cause of advancing civilization and order is now advised not even to take them into custody lest they claim refugee status in the United Kingdom under the absurd Human Rights Act.

“Weakness is a provocation,” Don Rumsfeld famously asserted many years ago. The new barbarians reprimitivizing various corners of the map are doing so because they understand the weakness of what Brian Kennedy quaintly calls “the Free World”. One day the forces of old-school reprimitivization will meet up with state-of-the-art technology, and the barbarians will no longer be on the fringes of the map. If that gives you a headache, I’m sure President Obama will have a prescription drug plan tailored just for you.

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, December 16, 2008

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The cruelest religion 0

 The following extract is the second part of an article on the oppression and suffering of Muslim women. The first part is about Female Genital Mutilation. The whole thing is worth reading, and the links are worth following for a fast education in the cruel nature of Islam. 

Violence In The Name Of Allah

 Afghanistan may not be one of the countries where FGM is "justified in the name of Islam" but the treatment of young girls is harsh. I have discussed forced marriage and child marriage, as well as honor killings in Afghanistan. One aspect of Islamist ideology in the country is the opposition to the education of young girls. The Taliban, friends of Al Qaeda and supposedly the "fundamental" proponents of Islam have consistently tried to prevent women from being educated.

 The word "Taliban" meant "students". They tried to revive the form of Islam practiced in the 7th century. Most Taliban leaders had been educated at Deobandi madrassas, such as theHaqqania seminary in Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province. Deobandi teachings accord women second-class status. Deobandis believe that "Women must not mix with men in public.  Deoband tradition teaches that men are more intelligent than women and that there is no point in educating girls beyond the age of eight."

The Taliban came to power onSeptember 27, 1996, when they castrated and tortured President Mohammed Najibullah, and hung him from a lamp-post alongside his brother. During their rule, the Department for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice enforced the Taliban decree that women should stay at home and not be in employment. They beat women with sticks, wire cables and hose pipes. Women were forced to wear the burka, which even covers the eyes with a grille of crochet work.

 A US State Department report claimed: "In 1977, women comprised over 15 percent ofAfghanistan’s highest legislative body. It is estimated that by the early 1990s, 70 percent of schoolteachers, 50 percent of government workers and university students, and 40 percent of doctors in Kabul were women. Afghan women had been active in humanitarian relief organizations until the Taliban imposed severe restrictions on their ability to work."

 Forced to live indoors, unable to make an income, with many widowed, the regime of poverty and privation led to women becoming malnourished. As one 35-year-old widow said in the State Department report: "The life of Afghan women is so bad. We are locked at home and cannot see the sun."

 Confined indoors away from sunlight and starved, many developed osteomalacia, a symptom of rickets, caused by a lack of sunlight and Vitamin D. The condition involves softening of the bone, making it liable to green-stick fractures. Dr Sima Samar was given the John Humphrey Freedom Award for her work for the human rights of women in Afghanistan. She ran schools and health clinics, and was subjected to death threats from the Taliban. She said at her medical clinic in Kabul in 2001: "Almost every woman I see has osteomalacia. Their bones are softening due to a lack of Vitamin D. They survive on a diet of tea and naan (bread) because they can’t afford eggs and milk and, to complicate matters, their burqas and veils deprive them of sunshine. On top of that, depression is endemic here because the future is so dark."

 When the US invaded Afghanistan in late 2001 the cruel regime of the Islamofascists in the Taliban came to an end, but their influence has not gone away. They continue to fight coalition forces and the Afghan government, but they also continue to deprive women of education. Those who defy their edicts against educating girls are dispatched in revolting fashion.

 In November last year, 46-year-old Mohammed Halim from Ghazni paid the price for educating girls. He was snatched at night by Taliban members. He was partially disembowelled and then his limbs were tied to motorbikes. As the bikes sped apart, his body was ripped. His remains were publicly displayed as a warning to any who dared to teach girls. Halim was the fourth teacher in succession to be killed in the region. Fatima Mustaq is a woman director of education in Ghazni, and she and her family of eight children were subjected to death threats for educating girls.

On July 23, 2006, Michael Frastacky, a Canadian carpenter from Vancouver, was shot dead inAfghanistan. His crime had been to help build a school in the Nahrin Valley, a remote part of theHindu Kush, where half the students were girls.

 On March 8 2006, on International Women’s Day, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said: "From fear of terrorism, from threats of the enemies of Afghanistan, today as we speak, some 100,000 Afghan children who went to school last year, and the year before last, do not go to school."

 A 2006 report by Human Rights Watch stated that last year, attacks upon teachers, students and schools increased dramatically, particularly in the southern regions. In January, there were 24 such attacks, in February there were 14, 8 attacks in March, 28 in April, 22 in May and 12 in June. From January to June 2006, the highest number of such attacks took place in Kandahar (36 incidents), followed by Helmand (27), and then Ghazni and Khost with 16 cases each.

 A report from Oxfam from November last year paints a gloomy picture for the future of education, particularly for girls, in Afghanistan. More than half of Afghan children of school age – 7 million – do not attend schools. This is in denial of Article 43 (1) of the national Constitution, adopted on July 11, 2006, which states: "Education is the right of all citizens of Afghanistan, which shall be provided up to secondary level, free of charge by the state."

 Only one in five girls is able to make her way to primary schools, but only one in 20 girls receives a secondary education. Human Rights Watch and Oxfam agree that the presence of accessible schools is a problem, and where there is access to education, it is often provided by poorly trained teachers working in run-down buildings, often with only one or two rooms. These schools can be in need of repair, and most have no clean drinking water or toilet facilities. Textbooks are few and far between.

 Oxfam claimed that 53,000 trained primary school teachers are needed immediately, with a further 64,000 in the next five years. There is a need for more women teachers, as only one in three is female. Teachers in Daikundi province in central Afghanistan receive only $38 per month. Sometimes these teachers have to offer bribes, just to receive their wages.

 There are 20,000 "ghost" teachers who are paid salaries but do not attend schools. The international community, states Oxfam, must donate $563 million to rebuild 7,800 schools across the country. An additional $210 million is needed to print and distribute textbooks over the next five years. Currently, $125.6 million has been given to Afghan’s education sector. The largest donors of these funds are USAID and the World Bank. Coalition military forces inAfghanistan also contribute towards education.

 When the Taliban were in power, their behavior towards women was contemptuous. A woman doctor was stopped while traveling without a male escort (mahram) in a taxi. She said: "The Religious Police chased my taxi, and when I got out in front of the hospital, they stopped me and asked why I was traveling alone. I said I was a doctor and had to go to work, but they said women of Kabul are just prostitutes and addicted to traveling in cars alone. I had to call my boss to identify me as an employee of the hospital, but my boss said he could not confirm who it was because I was wearing a chadari (burka). The Taliban asked me to put up my veil, and once my boss identified me, they hit me with their wire on my head and injured my eye. It took fifteen to twenty days to heal."

 The Taliban may be seen as extremists, but there are plenty of "devout" Muslims who are still funding their activities. The Taliban experiment, which allowed Osama bin Laden a refuge where his cronies could plot atrocities such as 9/11 and work on chemical weapons and bombs in the Derunta training camp, was designed to be a return to original "Islamic values". Islamists and "devout" Muslims criticize the decadence of the West, but rarely if ever do these same people consider the social abomination that made up the Taliban regime.

 All of the worst, most primitive aspects of Islam were exemplified by the Taliban – who were true "fundamentalists". They took to heart the notion that a woman’s testimony was worth only half that of a man, and with their Deobandi ideology they even believed women were half as intelligent. They denied women education, health and human rights, and did nothing to prevent the Afghan culture of honor killings and violence against women. They believed in Sura 4:34 which gives a man the right to beat his wife to keep her under control.

 Currently we have politicians in both the United States and Britain who are trying to "negotiate" with the Muslim Brotherhood. The true face of the Brotherhood can be found in the Gaza Strip, in the violence of Hamas against their opponents. Although the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood may dress in suits and ties, they are still ideologically primitive and rooted in the sexist tyranny of the 7th century. Their spiritual leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi supports Type 1 female genital mutilation, and preaches that it is acceptable to kill Israeli civilians. For Hamas, women are expected to go around veiled, and like women under the Taliban they are denied sunlight. Not surprisingly, cases of rickets amongst Palestinian children have increased with the rise of Hamas’ Islamist factions. The WHO reported last year that more than 4 percent of all children on the Gaza Strip aged between 6 and 36 months were suffering from clinical rickets.

 There are no women with positions of authority either in Hamas or the Muslim Brotherhood. Until there are, there is no point in discussing issues with these groups. Women in the West have equal rights to men, and that means having access to power. Islamists would deny women that power, and until they can acknowledge women as equals, they live in another ideological universe to our own.

 Muslim women are probably more oppressed today by Islamist conventions than they were 20 years ago. Two decades ago women did not have to wear veils to prove their religiosity. Now, women who do not cover their hair, or even their faces, are bullied by their peers into compliance. For women to have genuine equal rights under Islam, the tenets and texts of that faith would have to be interpreted allegorically and not literally. Islamists do not understand allegory. They are slaves to dogma and expect everyone else, their womenfolk included, eventually to become their slaves.

Posted under Uncategorized by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, December 16, 2008

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The cruelest religion 4

 The following extract is the second part of an article by Adrian Morgan on the oppression and suffering of Muslim women. The first part is about the horrors of Female Genital Mutilation. The whole thing is worth reading.

 

Violence In The Name Of Allah

 Afghanistan may not be one of the countries where FGM is "justified in the name of Islam" but the treatment of young girls is harsh. I have discussed forced marriage and child marriage, as well as honor killings in Afghanistan. One aspect of Islamist ideology in the country is the opposition to the education of young girls. The Taliban, friends of Al Qaeda and supposedly the "fundamental" proponents of Islam have consistently tried to prevent women from being educated.

 The word "Taliban" meant "students". They tried to revive the form of Islam practiced in the 7th century. Most Taliban leaders had been educated at Deobandi madrassas, such as theHaqqania seminary in Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province. Deobandi teachings accord women second-class status. Deobandis believe that "Women must not mix with men in public.  Deoband tradition teaches that men are more intelligent than women and that there is no point in educating girls beyond the age of eight."

The Taliban came to power onSeptember 27, 1996, when they castrated and tortured President Mohammed Najibullah, and hung him from a lamp-post alongside his brother. During their rule, the Department for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice enforced the Taliban decree that women should stay at home and not be in employment. They beat women with sticks, wire cables and hose pipes. Women were forced to wear the burka, which even covers the eyes with a grille of crochet work.

 A US State Department report claimed: "In 1977, women comprised over 15 percent ofAfghanistan’s highest legislative body. It is estimated that by the early 1990s, 70 percent of schoolteachers, 50 percent of government workers and university students, and 40 percent of doctors in Kabul were women. Afghan women had been active in humanitarian relief organizations until the Taliban imposed severe restrictions on their ability to work."

 Forced to live indoors, unable to make an income, with many widowed, the regime of poverty and privation led to women becoming malnourished. As one 35-year-old widow said in the State Department report: "The life of Afghan women is so bad. We are locked at home and cannot see the sun."

 Confined indoors away from sunlight and starved, many developed osteomalacia, a symptom of rickets, caused by a lack of sunlight and Vitamin D. The condition involves softening of the bone, making it liable to green-stick fractures. Dr Sima Samar was given the John Humphrey Freedom Award for her work for the human rights of women in Afghanistan. She ran schools and health clinics, and was subjected to death threats from the Taliban. She said at her medical clinic in Kabul in 2001: "Almost every woman I see has osteomalacia. Their bones are softening due to a lack of Vitamin D. They survive on a diet of tea and naan (bread) because they can’t afford eggs and milk and, to complicate matters, their burqas and veils deprive them of sunshine. On top of that, depression is endemic here because the future is so dark."

 When the US invaded Afghanistan in late 2001 the cruel regime of the Islamofascists in the Taliban came to an end, but their influence has not gone away. They continue to fight coalition forces and the Afghan government, but they also continue to deprive women of education. Those who defy their edicts against educating girls are dispatched in revolting fashion.

 In November last year, 46-year-old Mohammed Halim from Ghazni paid the price for educating girls. He was snatched at night by Taliban members. He was partially disembowelled and then his limbs were tied to motorbikes. As the bikes sped apart, his body was ripped. His remains were publicly displayed as a warning to any who dared to teach girls. Halim was the fourth teacher in succession to be killed in the region. Fatima Mustaq is a woman director of education in Ghazni, and she and her family of eight children were subjected to death threats for educating girls.

On July 23, 2006, Michael Frastacky, a Canadian carpenter from Vancouver, was shot dead inAfghanistan. His crime had been to help build a school in the Nahrin Valley, a remote part of theHindu Kush, where half the students were girls.

 On March 8 2006, on International Women’s Day, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said: "From fear of terrorism, from threats of the enemies of Afghanistan, today as we speak, some 100,000 Afghan children who went to school last year, and the year before last, do not go to school."

 A 2006 report by Human Rights Watch stated that last year, attacks upon teachers, students and schools increased dramatically, particularly in the southern regions. In January, there were 24 such attacks, in February there were 14, 8 attacks in March, 28 in April, 22 in May and 12 in June. From January to June 2006, the highest number of such attacks took place in Kandahar (36 incidents), followed by Helmand (27), and then Ghazni and Khost with 16 cases each.

 A report from Oxfam from November last year paints a gloomy picture for the future of education, particularly for girls, in Afghanistan. More than half of Afghan children of school age – 7 million – do not attend schools. This is in denial of Article 43 (1) of the national Constitution, adopted on July 11, 2006, which states: "Education is the right of all citizens of Afghanistan, which shall be provided up to secondary level, free of charge by the state."

 Only one in five girls is able to make her way to primary schools, but only one in 20 girls receives a secondary education. Human Rights Watch and Oxfam agree that the presence of accessible schools is a problem, and where there is access to education, it is often provided by poorly trained teachers working in run-down buildings, often with only one or two rooms. These schools can be in need of repair, and most have no clean drinking water or toilet facilities. Textbooks are few and far between.

 Oxfam claimed that 53,000 trained primary school teachers are needed immediately, with a further 64,000 in the next five years. There is a need for more women teachers, as only one in three is female. Teachers in Daikundi province in central Afghanistan receive only $38 per month. Sometimes these teachers have to offer bribes, just to receive their wages.

 There are 20,000 "ghost" teachers who are paid salaries but do not attend schools. The international community, states Oxfam, must donate $563 million to rebuild 7,800 schools across the country. An additional $210 million is needed to print and distribute textbooks over the next five years. Currently, $125.6 million has been given to Afghan’s education sector. The largest donors of these funds are USAID and the World Bank. Coalition military forces inAfghanistan also contribute towards education.

 When the Taliban were in power, their behavior towards women was contemptuous. A woman doctor was stopped while traveling without a male escort (mahram) in a taxi. She said: "The Religious Police chased my taxi, and when I got out in front of the hospital, they stopped me and asked why I was traveling alone. I said I was a doctor and had to go to work, but they said women of Kabul are just prostitutes and addicted to traveling in cars alone. I had to call my boss to identify me as an employee of the hospital, but my boss said he could not confirm who it was because I was wearing a chadari (burka). The Taliban asked me to put up my veil, and once my boss identified me, they hit me with their wire on my head and injured my eye. It took fifteen to twenty days to heal."

 The Taliban may be seen as extremists, but there are plenty of "devout" Muslims who are still funding their activities. The Taliban experiment, which allowed Osama bin Laden a refuge where his cronies could plot atrocities such as 9/11 and work on chemical weapons and bombs in the Derunta training camp, was designed to be a return to original "Islamic values". Islamists and "devout" Muslims criticize the decadence of the West, but rarely if ever do these same people consider the social abomination that made up the Taliban regime.

 All of the worst, most primitive aspects of Islam were exemplified by the Taliban – who were true "fundamentalists". They took to heart the notion that a woman’s testimony was worth only half that of a man, and with their Deobandi ideology they even believed women were half as intelligent. They denied women education, health and human rights, and did nothing to prevent the Afghan culture of honor killings and violence against women. They believed in Sura 4:34 which gives a man the right to beat his wife to keep her under control.

 Currently we have politicians in both the United States and Britain who are trying to "negotiate" with the Muslim Brotherhood. The true face of the Brotherhood can be found in the Gaza Strip, in the violence of Hamas against their opponents. Although the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood may dress in suits and ties, they are still ideologically primitive and rooted in the sexist tyranny of the 7th century. Their spiritual leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi supports Type 1 female genital mutilation, and preaches that it is acceptable to kill Israeli civilians. For Hamas, women are expected to go around veiled, and like women under the Taliban they are denied sunlight. Not surprisingly, cases of rickets amongst Palestinian children have increased with the rise of Hamas’ Islamist factions. The WHO reported last year that more than 4 percent of all children on the Gaza Strip aged between 6 and 36 months were suffering from clinical rickets.

 There are no women with positions of authority either in Hamas or the Muslim Brotherhood. Until there are, there is no point in discussing issues with these groups. Women in the West have equal rights to men, and that means having access to power. Islamists would deny women that power, and until they can acknowledge women as equals, they live in another ideological universe to our own.

 Muslim women are probably more oppressed today by Islamist conventions than they were 20 years ago. Two decades ago women did not have to wear veils to prove their religiosity. Now, women who do not cover their hair, or even their faces, are bullied by their peers into compliance. For women to have genuine equal rights under Islam, the tenets and texts of that faith would have to be interpreted allegorically and not literally. Islamists do not understand allegory. They are slaves to dogma and expect everyone else, their womenfolk included, eventually to become their slaves.

 

Posted under Uncategorized by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, December 16, 2008

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‘If Obama really is that dumb ….’ 3

 We don’t agree with everything that follows from Power Line.

First, we do want to know what contacts Obama and/or his team had with corrupt Governor Blagojevich. Obama swam in the sewers of Illinois and Chicago politics for years, and the chances that some of the sewage stuck to him and will stink again in due course are very high.

Secondly we aren’t keen on government creating an infrastructure for ‘alternative’ sources of energy. We would like to see massive drilling for oil and natural gas, the continued use of coal, and the building of many nuclear power plants. 

But we do agree that Obama manifests no understanding of  economics.

Speaking for myself, though, I’m a lot less alarmed by anything Emanuel did than by Barack Obama’s utter ignorance of economics, a subject that was raised again at today’s press conference. It’s an interesting question whether we’ve ever had a President who understands less how our economy works than Obama. There is some pretty stiff competition, but Obama has never had a job in the business world, has never studied economics, and, as far as the public record shows, has never made any effort to understand the vast and diverse economy that he proposes to regulate and transform.

I find this scary, and it gets scarier every time Obama talks about how the federal government is going to create "green jobs" having to do with wind power, etc. It’s possible that the federal government could have a role in helping to facilitate development of an infrastructure that would enable alternative energy technologies, and if Obama made a coherent argument along those lines I’d be receptive to it. But he’s never done so. As far as I can tell, and as far as his press conference today reveals, Obama suffers from the misconception that the government can create wealth and jobs by subsidizing the inefficient production of energy. If he really is that dumb, we are all in big trouble.

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, December 16, 2008

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Exposing the global warming myth 9

 From WorldNetDaily:

 A United Nations climate change conference in Poland is about to get a surprise from 650 leading scientists who scoff at doomsday reports of man-made global warming – labeling them variously a lie, a hoax and part of a new religion.

Later today, their voices will be heard in a U.S. Senate minority report quoting the scientists, many of whom are current and former members of the U.N.’s own Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

About 250 of the scientists quoted in the report have joined the dissenting scientists in the last year alone.

In fact, the total number of scientists represented in the report is 12 times the number of U.N. scientists who authored the official IPCC 2007 report.
Here are some choice excerpts from the report:

  • "I am a skeptic … . Global warming has become a new religion." – Nobel Prize Winner for Physics, Ivar Giaever.
  • "Since I am no longer affiliated with any organization nor receiving any funding, I can speak quite frankly … . As a scientist I remain skeptical." – Atmospheric Scientist Dr. Joanne Simpson, the first woman in the world to receive a Ph.D. in meteorology  and formerly of NASA who has authored more than 190 studies and has been called "among the most pre-eminent scientists of the last 100 years."
  • Warming fears are the "worst scientific scandal in the history … . When people come to know what the truth is, they will feel deceived by science and scientists." – U.N. IPCC Japanese Scientist Dr. Kiminori Itoh, an award-winning Ph.D. environmental physical chemist.
  • "The IPCC has actually become a closed circuit; it doesn’t listen to others. It doesn’t have open minds … . I am really amazed that the Nobel Peace Prize has been given on scientifically incorrect conclusions by people who are not geologists." – Indian geologist Dr. Arun D. Ahluwalia at Punjab University and a board member of the U.N.-supported International Year of the Planet.
  • "The models and forecasts of the U.N. IPCC "are incorrect because they only are based on mathematical models and presented results at scenarios that do not include, for example, solar activity." – Victor Manuel Velasco Herrera, a researcher at the Institute of Geophysics of the National Autonomous University of Mexico.
  • "It is a blatant lie put forth in the media that makes it seem there is only a fringe of scientists who don’t buy into anthropogenic global warming." – U.S. Government Atmospheric Scientist Stanley B. Goldenberg of the Hurricane Research Division of NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
  • "Even doubling or tripling the amount of carbon dioxide will virtually have little impact, as water vapor and water condensed on particles as clouds dominate the worldwide scene and always will." – Geoffrey G. Duffy, a professor in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering of the University of Auckland, New Zealand.
  • "After reading [U.N. IPCC chairman] Pachauri’s asinine comment [comparing skeptics to] Flat Earthers, it’s hard to remain quiet." – Climate statistician Dr. William M. Briggs, who specializes in the statistics of forecast evaluation, serves on the American Meteorological Society’s Probability and Statistics Committee and is an associate editor of Monthly Weather Review.
  • "For how many years must the planet cool before we begin to understand that the planet is not warming? For how many years must cooling go on?" – Geologist Dr. David Gee, the chairman of the science committee of the 2008 International Geological Congress who has authored 130 plus peer-reviewed papers, and is currently at Uppsala University in Sweden.
  • "Gore prompted me to start delving into the science again and I quickly found myself solidly in the skeptic camp … . Climate models can at best be useful for explaining climate changes after the fact." – Meteorologist Hajo Smit of Holland, who reversed his belief in man-made warming to become a skeptic, is a former member of the Dutch U.N. IPCC committee.
  • "Many [scientists] are now searching for a way to back out quietly (from promoting warming fears), without having their professional careers ruined." – Atmospheric physicist James A. Peden, formerly of the Space Research and Coordination Center in Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • "Creating an ideology pegged to carbon dioxide is a dangerous nonsense … . The present alarm on climate change is an instrument of social control, a pretext for major businesses and political battle. It became an ideology, which is concerning." – Environmental Scientist Professor Delgado Domingos of Portugal, the founder of the Numerical Weather Forecast group, has more than 150 published articles.
  • "CO2 emissions make absolutely no difference one way or another … . Every scientist knows this, but it doesn’t pay to say so … . Global warming, as a political vehicle, keeps Europeans in the driver’s seat and developing nations walking barefoot." – Dr. Takeda Kunihiko, vice-chancellor of the Institute of Science and Technology Research at Chubu University in Japan.
  • "The [global warming] scaremongering has its justification in the fact that it is something that generates funds." – Award-winning Paleontologist Dr. Eduardo Tonni, of the Committee for Scientific Research in Buenos Aires and head of the Paleontology Department at the University of La Plata.

 

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Monday, December 15, 2008

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Wishing nuclear weapons away 3

SHMUEL ROSNER writes at the ‘contentions’ website of Commentary Magazine: 

WorldPublicOpinion.org polled 21 countries and found that most people favor an international agreement to eliminate all nuclear weapons:

In 20 of the 21 countries large majorities, ranging from 62 to 93 percent, favor such an agreement. The only exception is Pakistan, where a plurality of 46 percent favors the plan while 41 percent are opposed. All nations known to have nuclear weapons were included in the poll, except North Korea where public polling is not available.

Now we know the “world” would like to get rid of nuclear weapons. What’s next? The world opposes disease? The world stands foursquare against natural disasters? Consider the uselessly hypothetical nature of the way the question was framed:

Now I would like you to consider a possible international agreement for eliminating all nuclear weapons. All countries with nuclear weapons would be required to eliminate them according to a timetable. All other countries would be required not to develop them. All countries, including [respondent’s own country], would be monitored to make sure they are following the agreement. Would you favor or oppose such an agreement?

The question doesn’t specify how all countries involved would be monitored. It just assumes successful monitoring as a given. Who wouldn’t be in favor of this fantasy agreement?

But the devil is in the details, and so, too, are specific reasons to oppose specific anti-nuke efforts. With that in mind, here’s are three questions for WorldPublicOpinion.org’s next poll: “Do you think that international monitoring of regimes in Iran and North Korea could guarantee that these countries do not develop nuclear weapons in secret? In your opinion, has international monitoring aimed at preventing nuclear proliferation been a success so far? Would you trust international monitoring to be the guarantor of the safety of your own children?”

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Saturday, December 13, 2008

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Respecting Christmas 0

 Burt Prelutsky writes:

Liberals are so intolerant they often can’t even bear to have people say “Merry Christmas” in their presence. In fact, they can’t even bring themselves to recognize it as a celebration of a specific event. Instead, they dismiss it as the holiday season or the winter solstice. Isn’t it funny how nobody feels the compulsion to exchange gifts or attend church services or decorate their homes for the summer solstice? Well, in spite of Kwanzaa and Chanukah, this is Christmas season because most Americans are celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Even though I’m Jewish, even I have to acknowledge it’s a special occasion, and those who feel entitled to disparage it are worse than Scrooge. They are bigoted, intolerant, ignoramuses.

We entirely agree with him. 

And we think that the Jewish mother who protested about the singing of ‘Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ at her kid’s school was being narrow, intolerant, stupid, and wrong.  

However, about that atheist statement next to the Christmas creche in a government building in Washington, D.C., and the comments being bandied about that Christianity should be treated with respect, we have this to say: No religion has to be treated with respect. While it is good to treat people with respect, there isn’t an idea ever conceived that should not be criticized, with whatever emotion the critic feels, including contempt and disgust. Religious ideas are only ideas like any others, and trying to protect them by law (as the UN is now trying to protect the horrid ideas of Islam) is narrow, intolerant, stupid and wrong. 

Posted under Christianity, Commentary by Jillian Becker on Friday, December 12, 2008

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Respecting Christmas 5

 Burt Prelutsky writes:

Liberals are so intolerant they often can’t even bear to have people say “Merry Christmas” in their presence. In fact, they can’t even bring themselves to recognize it as a celebration of a specific event. Instead, they dismiss it as the holiday season or the winter solstice. Isn’t it funny how nobody feels the compulsion to exchange gifts or attend church services or decorate their homes for the summer solstice? Well, in spite of Kwanzaa and Chanukah, this is Christmas season because most Americans are celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Even though I’m Jewish, even I have to acknowledge it’s a special occasion, and those who feel entitled to disparage it are worse than Scrooge. They are bigoted, intolerant, ignoramuses.

We entirely agree with him. 

And we think that the Jewish mother who complained about the singing of ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ at her kid’s school was being narrow, intolerant, stupid, and wrong.  

However, concerning that atheist statement next to a Christmas Nativity scene in Washington State’s Capitol in Olympia, and the comments being bandied about that Christianity should be treated with respect, we have this to say: No religion has to be treated with respect. While it is good to treat people with respect as a general rule, there isn’t an idea ever conceived that should not be criticized, with whatever emotion the critic feels, including contempt and disgust. Religious ideas are only ideas like any others, and trying to protect them by law (as the UN is now trying to protect the horrid ideas of Islam) is narrow, intolerant, stupid and wrong. 

Posted under Christianity, Commentary by Jillian Becker on Friday, December 12, 2008

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