New Addy and new old site
Moved over to the new blogger site and it will take a couple of days to get everything up to speed. so for now the one or two of you who have me bookmarked(thanks!) www.narbosa.com or narbosa.blogspot.com
"...Megalomaniac genius with severe god-complex"
Moved over to the new blogger site and it will take a couple of days to get everything up to speed. so for now the one or two of you who have me bookmarked(thanks!) www.narbosa.com or narbosa.blogspot.com
Politics: Here we go, lets give Ellison a nice seat on the committee where he can wreck some havoc on terrorism laws.
|WASHINGTON - Rep. Keith Ellison has been named to the House Judiciary Committee, a panel that has oversight over issues such as civil liberties, immigration and courts.
In a prepared statement Wednesday, Ellison, D-Minn., called the selection an honor and privilege.
"I look forward to pursuing a progressive agenda in the committee, including the restoration of American citizen's civil liberties that have come under increasing attack over the past six years," said Ellison, the first Muslim member of Congress.
Ellison, a freshman lawmaker, said this week he'd like to see a ban on racial profiling, an issue that could come up in the Judiciary Committee.
Also Wednesday, GOP leadership named freshman Minnesota Republican Michele Bachmann to the House Financial
Culture: This is all we need is to bring that sort of mess over here as Detroit doesn't have a bad enough reputation.
|Concerned about the possible spread of sectarian violence in metro Detroit, Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims are set to meet today in a Dearborn Heights mosque to hash out any tensions between the diverse Middle Eastern and Muslim communities.|
As Iraqi-American Shi'ites seethed over the trashing of several of their businesses and mosques in Detroit over the weekend, leaders in the Shi'ite and Sunni sects of Islam worked Tuesday to try to defuse animosity between the two sides that has existed for years but was amplified with the execution of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in December.
There was some talk of reprisal attacks, but no more incidents were reported Tuesday. Detroit police are investigating the vandalism and are aware that Shi'ite-Sunni tensions may be involved, said Sgt. Eren Stephens, Detroit police spokeswoman. The FBI also is monitoring the situation, said Special Agent Dawn Clenney. One Sunni leader, Dawud Walid, spent long hours late Monday in a Shi'ite mosque, where he delivered a sermon urging unity. "It's important that Sunnis and Shi'ites come together," said Walid, head of the Michigan branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Moments after Hussein was hanged, Shi'ites and others celebrated in a public display in Dearborn that was televised around the world. The execution -- along with the cheering -- upset some local Sunni Muslims. They said it was disrespectful, especially since, for them, it came on the day of Eid-ul-Adha, a holy day.
Over the weekend, several businesses and mosques, including the Imam Ali Center, were vandalized and had their windows broken. At the Al-Rafedain restaurant, store employees said they had received two phone calls from a man speaking in Arabic and English. The caller cursed at the owner, noting that he was a Shi'ite, Walid said.
Australia: Via the Herald Sun.
|THE Federal Government says it is powerless to ban a Muslim group calling for Australia to be taken over as part of an Islamic superstate. Attorney General Phillip Ruddock said today there was not enough evidence to ban the Hizb ut-Tahrir group despite its continuing call for Australia to become part of a Caliphate or "Khilafah". The group, already banned across the Middle East, the United Kingdom and Germany - will host a Sydney conference this month to promote an Islamic takeover. A conference advertisement posted on internet site youtube.com shows crowds of Muslims marching, praying and protesting to dramatic and warlike music and explosions. In what appears to be a call to arms, the video features slogans attacking the United States and capitalism, and features militant anti-Western Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad shaking his fist, before the slogan "embrace the revival" "The Muslim world has awakened from its slumber … and is ready to resume its political destiny. "From the darkness will emerge a new light," the video says.|
Politics: Here is the gist of the story.
|New Yorkers and Asian-American leaders had reacted with outrage to the retailer's decision to disqualify the Manhattan baby from its 2007 first baby contest. "How does a company like Toys 'R' Us stick it to a baby on the first day of her life?" asked City Councilman John Liu (D-Queens). Yuki was born at the stroke of midnight at NYU Downtown Hospital - and at that moment she became an American citizen regardless of her Chinese parents' immigration status. Toys "R" Us had promised a $25,000 savings bond to the first "American" baby of 2007. Yuki beat out two other midnight tots in a drawing. But the contest's small print revealed the sweepstakes was open only to mothers who were "legal residents" so the prize was yanked - until Toys "R" Us caved to the criticism.|
|But comments by Ms. Keller, the grandmother of the winning baby, hinted at the wrath that the company risked from the other side at a time when the most stringent critics of illegal immigration have called for an end to birthright citizenship, saying the children born to illegal immigrants are “anchor babies” who encourage illegal entry. “If she’s an illegal alien, that makes the baby illegal,” said Ms. Keller, 50. Told otherwise, she remarked, “Sounds like a double standard to me,” adding, “She was disqualified — that should be it. Don’t go changing your mind now.”|
|Yuki’s parents — Han Lin and Yan Zhu Liu, both 22-year-old restaurant workers — declined to be interviewed. But Albert H. Wang, a corporate lawyer who had mounted an e-mail campaign on the couple’s behalf, said that they were happy, adding, “I think justice has been done.” Some people were concerned that the parents’ status had been exposed, he said. “But the safest place is actually the eye of the storm,” Mr. Wang said, “and any politician who says we should deport the parents, it would be the end of their political career.”|
Crime: They are looking at putting on a curfew.
|With at least eight slayings in the city in the first week of the new year, officials are considering a curfew to help stem the violence, the police superintendent said Saturday. "It's something we're just sort of talking about, to see if that will make a difference," police Superintendent Warren Riley said. Mayor Ray Nagin, meanwhile, urged residents not to leave the city, still rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina, because of the recent killings. He said the slayings could be a tipping point that "galvanizes our community" to find solutions. Some residents have called for a march on City Hall on Thursday to demand action to curb the violence.|
UK: I guess we go from Londonistan to Britistan. Check out the official who has his head in the sand.
|A forthcoming Channel 4 Dispatches programme paints an alarming picture of how preachers in some of Britain's most moderate mosques are urging followers to reject British laws in favour of those of Islam. Leaders of the mosques have expressed concern at the preachers' activities, saying they were unaware such views were being disseminated. At the Sparkbrook mosque, run by UK Islamic Mission (UKIM), an organisation that maintains 45 mosques in Britain and which Tony Blair has said 'is extremely valued by the government for its multi-faith and multicultural activities', a preacher is captured on film praising the Taliban. In response to the news that a British Muslim solider was killed fighting the Taliban, the speaker declares: 'The hero of Islam is the one who separated his head from his shoulders.' Another speaker says Muslims cannot accept the rule of non-Muslims. 'You cannot accept the rule of the kaffir [non-Muslim],' a preacher, Dr Ijaz Mian, tells a meeting held within the mosque. 'We have to rule ourselves and we have to rule the others.' The 12-month investigation also recorded a deputy headmaster of an Islamic high school in Birmingham telling a conference at the Sparkbrook mosque that he disagrees with using the word democracy. 'They should call it ... kuffrocracy, that's their plan. It's the hidden cancerous aim of these people.' The Darul Uloom school said it no longer employed the teacher and that one of the reasons he resigned 'was the incompatibility of many of his opinions with the policies of the school'.|
|Inside the Green Lane mosque in Birmingham, a preacher is recorded saying: 'Allah has created the woman deficient.' A satellite broadcast from the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh, beamed into the Green Lane mosque suggests that Muslim children should be hit if they don't pray: 'When he is seven, tell him to go and pray, and start hitting them when they are 10.' Another preacher is heard saying that if a girl 'doesn't wear hijab, we hit her'. Another preacher says: 'The time is fast approaching where the tables are going to turn and the Muslims are going to be in the position of being uppermost in strength and, when that happens, people won't get killed - unjustly.' In a statement to Channel 4, Lord Ahmed, the convener of the government's Preventing Extremism taskforce, said he was worried about the programme's consequences: 'While I appreciate that exaggerated opinions make good TV, they do not make for good community relations.' A spokesman for Green Lane mosque said Islam does not denigrate women and that the instruction to hit a child was merely a smack. He accused C4 of intensifying the 'witch-hunt' against Muslims.|
Nation: That is just in 2004 at taxpayer expense and some of those who come here are getting angry they are paying for some services now. 40% born in San Diego county are too illegals.
|NORTH COUNTY ---- A state report quietly released last spring shows illegal immigrants made up the largest single group of those giving birth at taxpayer expense in the state and in San Diego County in 2004. The May report, "Medi-Cal Funded Deliveries," states that of the 14,350 taxpayer-funded births in the county that year, 5,814, or 40.5 percent, were to illegal immigrants. That is an 18 percent increase over the 4,916 Medi-Cal-funded deliveries to illegal immigrants in San Diego County in 2001, as shown in an earlier state report.|
|Silvia, a native of Oaxaca, Mexico, said Medi-Cal paid labor and delivery costs for both of her children, and added that she is frustrated that now she has to pay for their medical care and that she expected Friday's doctor visit to cost her $35. "I think they should pay," said the woman who earns $11 an hour at a local factory but receives no health benefits. "I buy things, I pay taxes." A few minutes later, a woman named Maria was leaving the clinic with her 6-year-old son and 5-month-old daughter. The 27-year-old native of San Luis, Mexico, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity, said she is a single mom who struggles to survive by cleaning houses. She said she has lived in the U.S. for 13 years and is an illegal immigrant. Medi-Cal paid the delivery costs for her children, Maria said, adding that she is grateful for the help.|
|San Diego County's 5,814 births to illegal immigrants in 2004 placed it third in the rankings of the 58 counties in the state. Topping the list was Los Angeles County, with 41,240, followed by Orange County, with 10,979 births to illegal immigrant mothers.|
|Opponents to legislation that would remove the right to automatic birthright citizenship say that such a law would face constitutional challenges. They say the only way birthright citizenship will ever end would be through the approval of another constitutional amendment. And that is a much higher hurdle. A constitutional amendment can be made if requested by two-thirds of both houses of Congress or by the legislatures of two-thirds of the states. Then, the legislatures in three-fourths of the states would have to ratify such an amendment for it to become part of the U.S. Constitution. A spokesman for the San Diego-based, human-rights organization American Friends Service Committee said Wednesday it's easy to condemn illegal immigrants when looking at only one part of the picture. For example, many illegal immigrants use Social Security numbers that are made up or that belong to others. Money deducted from wages for Social Security is money the illegal immigrants will never see again, said Pedro Rios, San Diego office director for the Quaker organization. Illegal immigrants also pay sales tax every time they go to the store and other federal and state taxes every time they buy gasoline, he said. "These are all things that aren't being looked at," Rios said.|
|Like Vista Community Clinic doctor Wosk, Rios said that paying for pre- and postnatal care and delivery costs saves the taxpayers more money because it makes for safer, less-expensive deliveries and healthier babies and mothers, who are less likely to be a taxpayer burden further down the road. Bilbray said that such an argument simply shows that illegal immigrants are holding society hostage. "It ends up being an extortion game," he said. "Illegal immigrants are telling taxpayers, 'Either you pay for us now or pay us more much later,' " Bilbray said.|
Politics: Even more fallout from Boxer taking away the guy's award.
|SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) -- The executive director of the Sacramento chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said he believes a death threat against him was fueled by Senator Barbara Boxer’s actions. Boxer had commended Basim Elkarra’s chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations for the group’s efforts to improve relations between Christians, Jews, minority groups and the FBI. Her officer later rescinded the award after investigating an on-line report that accused Elkarra’s group of terrorist sympathies. While investigating the accusations, Boxer learned two former CAIR members were sentenced to prison for crimes related to terrorist groups, according to her communications director, Natalie Ravaitz. Ravaitz said CAIR had also refused to label Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist organizations. Elkarra claims Boxer was misinformed and has caved into the rise of Islamophobia in the United Stated. "It empowers the extremists. Just recently we saw a video that came out, talking about open season on Muslims. It's all over the Internet and people are bragging about killing Muslims. This has to stop. It's unacceptable. Islamophobia is real, it's here and we have to make sure our elected officials speak out against it."|
Crime: The media doesn't want to touch it in that much detail.
|As the Press-Telegram reported on November 3, three white women aged 19 to 21 emerged from a “maze” walk in a house and were confronted by up to 40 black teenagers who pelted them with pumpkins and lemons. The paper said, “The taunts and jeers grew more aggressive, the victims recalled, as did the size of the crowd. Now females joined in, and everyone began saying, ‘We hate white people, f--- whites!’ ” The bizarre case, now in its fifth week of trial, resulted in hate-crime charges against nine girls and three boys, two of whom will be tried later. Yet the story didn’t run in the Los Angeles Times until November 7, buried inside local news. In that piece, writer J. Michael Kennedy quoted the Press-Telegram’s interview with the victims, watering down the racist language to the vague and more acceptable phrase “a series of antiwhite epithets.” While some media tiptoed around the story, another outlook was emerging as the fast-tracked trial — required in youth cases — hurtled toward its late-November start date. Well-known black political columnist Earl Ofari Hutchinson, who has explored both sides of the story in a levelheaded manner, was quoted by City News Service as noting that the latest FBI hate-crimes report showed that blacks now commit more than 20 percent of the hate crimes, the majority of victims white.|
|Then, in an opinion piece on December 3, Times senior editorial writer Michael McGough floated an argument critics said reflected the Times’ shading of news-side race stories. In the op-ed, he wrote that hate-crime laws “could end up punishing blacks who commit violence against whites — which is a far cry from the historical experience that inspired hate-crime statutes.” The piece prompted a fiery response by David Mills, a black former Washington Post reporter turned Emmy-winning screenwriter. In a letter to the popular Romenesko media blog, the Glendale-based Mills wrote: “You don’t have to be a card-carrying Klansman to point out that the L.A. Times surely would be treating this story differently if three black women had been attacked by 30 white teenagers hurling words like ‘F--- black people.’|
World: As Saudi Arabia keeps on funding their own brand of Islam in European countries filling the void.
|Spain's bishops are alarmed by ambitious plans to recreate the city of Cordoba - once the heart of the ancient Islamic kingdom of al-Andalus - as a pilgrimage site for Muslims throughout Europe. Plans include the construction of a half-size replica of Cordoba's eighth century great mosque, according to the head of Cordoba's Muslim Association. Funds for the project are being sought from the governments of the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, and Muslim organisations in Morocco and Egypt.Other big mosques are reportedly planned for Medina Azahara near Cordoba, Seville and Granada. The bishops of those cities are alarmed at the construction of ostentatious mosques, fearing that the church's waning influence may be further eclipsed by resurgent Islam financed from abroad. Up to one million Muslims are estimated to live in Spain. Many are drawn by a romantic nostalgia for the lost paradise of Al-Andalus, the caliphate that ruled Spain for more than five centuries.|
|Spain's Muslims have been long respectful towards civil and ecclesiastical authorities, but as numbers have grown they have turned to more radical leaders. An alliance of Spanish converts, pro-Moroccan and pro-Saudi leaders took control of one of Spain's two main Islamic federations last year. Half of the new leaders are imams from Saudi-funded mosques in Madrid and Fuengirola. Mr Escudero, an ousted moderate who nonetheless remains head of Spain's umbrella Islamic Council, said he did not favour the construction of flamboyant mosques with foreign money. "I prefer more modest, decent buildings that are backed by Spanish local authorities," he said, but added: "Muslims have the right to build mosques big and small wherever they like." Hundreds of mosques have popped up all over Spain. But churches, and many residents, complain that big, shiny mosques are more than just centres for culture and worship, and say they are funded by undemocratic countries promoting Islamic radicalism.|
Terrorism: Lets do our weekly tour of appeasment programs around the world. In Thailand, where after a coup the Muslim general in charge went on a charm tour.
|A police officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to release information, said the insurgents were suspected of carrying out arson Thursday night on a kindergarten in Pattani's Kapho district and a public school in Narathiwat's Sungai Padi district. Earlier in Narathiwat, a 19-year-old Buddhist villager was killed and his companion injured when shot by a motorcycle gunman in Rue So district, said another officer who also insisted on not being named for the same reason. In Yala, eight soldiers were wounded when a bomb on the roadside exploded as the six-wheeled military truck in which they were riding passed by, said police Lt. Weerakit Kaewnuanching. Both incidents were also blamed on the insurgents.|
|A representative of Spain's ruling party has admitted the government's hopes for peace with separatists are in trouble after police found hundreds of kilograms of explosives in Basque areas on Thursday and Friday. "We have to recognize that there was a problem of information and no dialogue," Socialist party official Jose Blanco told a Spanish radio station. "We have to analyze what happened to avoid repeating the same mistakes in the future," he said. Blanco made the comments a week after a car bomb killed two people at Madrid's airport, and after police found 80 kilograms of explosives and bomb-making materials hidden in two caches near the Basque towns of Amorebieta and Durango on Friday. On Thursday, officials found 100 kilograms of explosives in the same area.|
Politics: It took a week, but the LATIMES finally got around to the story made by Newsweek.
|Sen. Barbara Boxer has rescinded an award her office gave to a Sacramento Islamic activist after criticism that the group he represents — the Council on American-Islamic Relations — holds extremist views and has ties to international terrorist organizations. "I'm saying the four words that every elected official hates to say: 'I made a mistake,' " the California Democrat said in a telephone interview Friday. "I hope they won't believe that I did this to hurt the Muslim community…. We just have to be more careful when we reach out."|
|Boxer, who said she was unaware of the initial decision by her office to honor Elkarra, said independent research by her office later revealed troubling information about the organization. "It's the volume of things, not any one thing," she said. "There's a long list." That list includes several individual council members who have been indicted on terrorism-related charges, as well as harsh criticism of the organization by some of Boxer's congressional colleagues. In 2003, Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) said the council was "unusual in its extreme rhetoric and its associations with groups that are suspect." In recent years the council has drawn a carefully calibrated line on terrorism — strongly criticizing individual attacks and suicide bombings but refusing to label Hamas or Hezbollah as terrorist organizations. It's also quick to condemn Israeli attacks in Lebanon and the occupied territories and label them as terrorism against civilians. That criticism of Israel, council officials say, is what's really fueling the campaign against their group. Nothing short of endorsing Israeli policy, they say, will spare them from allegations of extremism. "The minute we criticize Israel, then we become a nonmoderate group," Ayloush said. "You become public enemy No. 1." The group also has a complicated relationship with federal law enforcement agencies. Former FBI counterterrorism chief Steven Pomerantz once said the council's activities "effectively give aid to international terrorist groups."|
Culture: Respect to this man, in need of a quick snack/meal it has done the job many times.
|Momofuku Ando, the founder-chairman of Nissin Food Products Co, who was widely known as the inventor of instant noodles, died of a heart failure this evening at a hospital in Ikeda, Osaka Prefecture, his family said. He was 96. Born on March 5, 1910 in Taiwan, Ando initially ran clothing companies in Taipei and Osaka while he was a student at Ritsumeikan University. In 1948, he founded the precursor of Nissin, before introducing Chicken Ramen, the world's first instant noodle product, in 1958. Ando was inspired to develop the instant noodle after coming upon a long line of people on a cold night shortly after World War II waiting to buy freshly made ramen at a black market food stall, according to Nissin. The experience convinced him that "Peace will come to the world when the people have enough to eat," it said.|
Politics: There is a certain amount of arrogance that comes from him that is amusing.
|Kessler: Do you support the impeachment of the president because of this? Ellison: Well, Pat, let me tell you this. I certainly think that the facts are available. I think that it's certainly justifiable. I certainly think that there is ample reason to do so. But the leadership, the speaker has said, that it is not what she wants to do ... and I'm going to follow her leadership on this. But I do think that if the president is obstructionist, this question of what to do about impeachment should at least come up as an important discussion item.|
Mexico: As 3000 mexican soliders and federal agents arrive to try and clean up the place.
|TIJUANA – The city's entire 2,300-member municipal police force has been ordered to turn in its weapons, leaving doubt Thursday about who would be patrolling this city of more than 1.5 million residents. The surprise directive from Mexico's Defense Secretariat comes a day after President Felipe Calderon ordered Operation Tijuana, a major offensive against organized crime in the city. More than 3,000 soldiers and federal agents are being sent to the city with the aim of tackling the city's crime problems. Federal officials were expected to conduct ballistics tests on the weapons, apparently to see if they could link any of the weapons to the many killings that have been attributed to drug cartels. Dozens of police officers carrying a range of handguns and automatic weapons lined up Thursday at department headquarters on Eighth Street. The Mexican military, which maintains a registry of weapons, routinely checks police weapons, and officers initially thought this was a regular check. Federal officials have repeatedly said corruption is widespread in Tijuana's department, which is charged with responsible for maintaining public order in the city.|
Crime: TMZ has the reports as Candice Sanders, Miss Cali 2003 says a drunk and high Lampley beat her up with his son in the apartment. Lampley out on $35,500 bail says the charges are not true. Given he put himself out there as a nutty liberal who believes weird political conspiracies on the Huffington Post He could always blame the neo-cons.
Culture: As noted earlier last year, the Muslim American Society is behind this push to enforce their beliefs on the entire airport.
|Last year, the airports commission received a fatwa, or religious edict, from the Minnesota chapter of the Muslim American Society. The fatwa said that "Islamic jurisprudence" prohibits taxi drivers from carrying passengers with alcohol, "because it involves cooperating in sin according to Islam." Eva Buzek, a flight attendant and Minneapolis resident, called the new proposal "great news." Buzek recently was refused service by five taxi drivers when she returned from a trip to France carrying wine. "In my book, when you choose to come to a different country, you make some choices," said Buzek, a native of Poland. "I never expected everything to be the same way as in my homeland, and I adjusted. I never dreamed of imposing my beliefs on somebody else." 'A violation of faith' But Hassan Mohamud, imam at Al-Taqwa Mosque of St. Paul, and director of the Islamic Law Institute at the Muslim American Society of Minnesota, one of the largest Islamic organizations in the state, said that asking Muslims to transport alcohol "is a violation of their faith" as well as of the spirit of the First Amendment. Mohamud, an attorney who teaches Islamic law at William Mitchell Law School in St. Paul, said, "Muslims do not consume, carry, sell or buy alcohol." Islam also considers the saliva of dogs to be unclean, he said. Mohamud said he would ask airport officials to reconsider, adding that he hoped that a compromise could be worked out that would serve as a bridge between the American legal system and the cultural and religious values of the immigrants. Currently, he said, more than half of the state's taxi drivers are Muslim and about 150,000 people follow Islam in Minnesota, most of them in the metro area. "So the commission should respect the will of the majority of the taxi drivers, with complete accommodation to the consumers," Mohamud said.|
Culture: Ellison had this to say about his use of the Quran owned by Thomas Jefferson.
|Ellison said an anonymous person wrote him about the Qur’an, and he arranged with the Library of Congress to use it. The chief of the Library of Congress’ rare book and special collections division, Mark Dimunation, walked the Quran across the street to the Capitol and brought it back after the ceremony.|
|I hope when Congressman-elect Ellison takes his oath, he not only takes it on the Quran, but requests to use the one owned by Thomas Jefferson; one of America's founding fathers, kept at the National Archives. Perhaps such a move would educate the dear Congressman from Virginia concerning the longstanding contributions that Islam has made to American life."|
|But Ellison said in Dearborn that Muslims can help teach America about justice and equal protection, suggesting that Muslim activists may be part of God's plan. He spoke at the annual convention of two Muslim groups, the Muslim American Society and the Islamic Circle of North America. The convention ended Monday morning. "Muslims, you're up to bat right now..." he said. "How do you know that you were not brought right here to this place to learn how to make this world better? How do you know that Allah, subhanahu wa ta'ala, (meaning praised and exalted is he) did not bring you here so that you could understand how to teach people what tolerance was, what justice was? How do you know that you're not here to teach this country?"|
Culture: In a word if parents are doing this ....Sick.
|Creating made-to-order babies with genetic defects would seem to be an ethical minefield, but to some parents with disabilities — say, deafness or dwarfism — it just means making babies like them. And a recent survey of U.S. clinics that offer embryo screening suggests it’s already happening. Three percent, or 4 clinics surveyed, said they have provided the costly, complicated procedure to help families create children with a disability. Some doctors have denounced the practice; others question whether it’s true. Blogs are abuzz with the news, with armchair critics saying the phenomenon, if real, is taking the concept of designer babies way too far. “Old fear: designer babies. New fear: deformer babies,” the online magazine Slate wrote, calling it “the deliberate crippling of children.” But the survey also has led to a debate about the definition of “normal” and inspires a glimpse into deaf and dwarf cultures where many people do not consider themselves disabled.|
|Karen Krogstad, a 25-year-old partly deaf student in Bozeman, Mont., said she understands why parents “would go to great lengths to make sure their child will be deaf.” She and her deaf friends “see ourselves as fully functional human beings who can’t hear. People who wear glasses, are they disabled? No, but if you have hearing aids, to assist with hearing, you are labeled as disabled.”|
Middle East: A Hamas/Hezzo lover throws down on Guardian Comment blog.
|The duplicitous nature of international involvement in the region's affairs was unashamedly evident when the Lebanese opposition groups upped the ante in the face of the western-backed Lebanese government's refusal of the opposition's original demand for a national unity government. The opposition is now demanding full-fledged legislative elections and a new election law to replace the farcical one that was drawn up in a hurry in 2003. The US, Britain and Israel have all renewed their support for the Lebanese government rejecting the oppositions' demands. When the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas (another western and Israeli favourite), called for early elections last week, Tony Blair himself was in the West Bank to support the decision despite the fact that early elections were not only unconstitutional but had come after months during which the Palestinians had been literally starved as the US and Israel imposed an embargo on all funding to the Hamas government. Most Palestinians have not been paid for months and many are facing extreme economic hardships. Why? Because the Palestinian people had elected members from a group deemed "terrorist" by western standards. In the Arab world where I live, we usually refer to both Hamas and Hizbullah as "national liberation movements". The hundreds of thousands of Lebanese sleeping out on the streets and the similar number of Palestinians starving in the West Bank epitomise the unwillingness of the west (and Israel of course), to accept democracies in the Arab world which do not result in, well, banana republics. I therefore refer you to my original suggestion to incarcerate those ungrateful Arab populaces and replace them with monkeys.|
Politics: This is a curious reaction by some Somali leaders/groups because of the flying imans want to have a Muslim only prayer room.
|Somali immigrants passing through Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport want a private place to say Muslim prayers. The airport suggests they share a room with people of other religions. Like a new couple learning to dance, immigrants and their adopted countries often trip each other up, and the prayer-room issue is just one of the latest tangles between Somali immigrants and other Minnesotans. "Where you have Christians and Muslims praying at the same time, it will create a problem," said Fuad Ali, a Somali leader who spoke at a meeting of community members and airport officials Tuesday in Minneapolis.|
|Somalis assembled at Tuesday's meeting at the Darul Quba Mosque in Minneapolis also wanted to know whether the airport would provide announcements and signs in Somali. Probably not, officials said. "The challenge is not inundating the air with messages people might start to ignore," said Arlie Johnson, an assistant airport director. At least the issue of the prayer room was met with some accommodation, said Abdirahman Hirsi, imam of the Darul Quba Mosque. "It's a kind of progress," he said. "And we hope the future will be better."|
Culture: Minny airport had enough of this and finally going to point out that the drivers are providing a public service and their refusal hurts the entire airport business and image-wise.
|Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport wants to crack down on Muslim taxi drivers who refuse to carry alcohol or service dogs in their cabs. At a meeting Wednesday of the Metropolitan Airports Commission, airport staff asked the commission to give the go-ahead for public hearings on a tougher policy that would suspend the licenses of drivers who refuse service for any reason other than safety concerns. Drivers who refuse to accept passengers transporting alcohol or service dogs would have their airport licenses suspended 30 days for the first offense and two years for the second offense, according to a revised taxi ordinance proposed by the commission's staff. "Our expectation is that if you're going to be driving a taxi at the airport, you need to provide service to anybody who wants it," commission spokesman Patrick Hogan said. The full commission is expected to vote on the proposal for public hearings at its next meeting, scheduled for Jan. 16. About 100 people are refused cab service each month at the airport. Roughly three-quarters of the 900 taxi drivers at the airport are Somalis, many of them Muslim. In recent months, the problem of service refusals for religious reasons has grown, airport officials have said, calling it "a significant customer-service issue."|
Immigration: Mexico isn't encouraging people at all to break our laws. At what point do we treat Mexico something other than an "ally?"
|Illegal immigrants planning to cross the desert and enter the US on foot are to be given hand-held satellite devices by the Mexican authorities to ensure they arrive safely. Those who get lost or fall sick during the dangerous four-day crossing will be able to activate the device, to alert frontier police on both sides of the border. The satellite tracking service will require would-be illegals to register their intentions before setting off — a paradoxical move, given that secrecy is necessary for success — but Mexican authorities are predicting that about 200,000 devices will be handed out when the project is launched formally in the coming year. "Our intention is to save lives," said Jaime Obregon, the co-ordinator for the state commission for migrants in Puebla, the Mexican state which is behind the project. "There are lots of people looking to cross and we are working with the US authorities to make sure they do not die on the way." Between 20 and 30 migrants succumb to hellish temperatures and insect bites while attempting to cross into Arizona every year. Heat exhaustion sometimes causes short-term memory loss, with trekkers wandering aimlessly into the desert.|
Bidness: Why do liberal cities come up with the dumbest set of laws? In this case the idea behind this is to give people convicted of crimes a second chance by not checking on their background until they are qualified for the job. The usual way is on the application, you check a box and list your past offenses. The Twin cities decided to set an example for private businesses.
|Both cities took steps in December to remove from initial job-application forms the box requiring disclosure of a criminal record. It's not that background checks won't be made; it's that they'll be conducted only if a position requires one and after the applicant has been found otherwise qualified. There are exceptions for certain job categories and other factors. So-called "remove the box" efforts like these are designed to encourage applications by qualified people who have a criminal record -- sometimes long in the past -- and to help rehabilitate job-seekers just out of prison. The latter desperately need two all-important ingredients for success: a job and social/family support. Three out of four people released from prison each year were there for nonviolent offenses, according to the National Employment Law Project. Depending on the offense and the job at hand, they might well be good hires. And, as time goes on, many will mature. As former Hennepin County Attorney Tom Johnson put it, the applicant with a history could well be "someone who did something bad or stupid when they were 20, and now they're 30." Still, employment can be elusive once that past is disclosed. Johnson is president of the Council on Crime and Justice, whose 2006 report on reducing racial disparities in the justice system helped spur local action. He points out that barriers to jobs for people with a criminal record disproportionately affect people of color, particularly when it comes to lower-level offenses and arrests without convictions.|
If I run a business, it save me time and money if someone lists their pass offenses and I dismiss their application right away if they are not someone I would want to work or put my other employees in harms way. What kind of "nonviolent" offense? Caught with drugs? Stealing merchandise and/or money? I shouldn't be able to check into that? Now for the twin cities they are hoping private businesses follow suit. In Boston being Boston, they have taken it much further.
|Boston City Council Ordinance Of special significance, Boston's City Council ordinance (which took effect July 1, 2006) applies not only to hiring in city jobs, but also to the hiring decisions of an estimated 50,000 private vendors who do business with the City. The successful campaign to reform Boston's hiring policy was backed by broad community coalition called the Massachusetts Alliance to Reform CORI (MARC). According to the ordinance, the City of Boston and its vendors cannot conduct a criminal background check as part of their hiring process until the job applicant is found to be "otherwise qualified" for the position. This critical protection ensures that everyone is first considered for employment based on their actual skills and experience before the employer takes into account the presence or absence of a criminal record. The ordinance also requires that the final employment decision, which includes information about the individual's criminal record, also considers the age and seriousness of the crime and the "occurrences in the life of the Applicant since the crime(s)." In addition, the Boston ordinance creates important appeals rights for those denied employment based on a criminal record and the right to present information related to the "accuracy and/or relevancy" of the criminal record.|
Philadelphia is even worse if it came into law.
|City & County of Philadelphia On June 15, 2006, a bill was introduced in Philadelphia's City Council to strictly limit hiring discrimination against people with criminal records. Modeled after the Boston ordinance, the Philadelphia bill would require the employer to "first review the qualifications of an applicant and determine that an applicant or current employee is otherwise qualified for the relevant position before the Employer may conduct a criminal record check." The Philadelphia bill also goes further than the Boston ordinance by applying not only to city agencies and private vendors that do business with city, but also to all private companies employing more than 10 people within the City of Philadelphia. Click here for the bill, which is still pending before the City Council.|
Both liberal/union heavy cities add an expense and waste the time of businesses to make some feel good policy to help people who did time. While there are people who regret doing stupid stuff in the first place and would probably make model employees. Businesses should not be force into this boondoggle of liberal bureaucracy that is lacking any sort of logical sense.
Politics: and Islam is more than up for discussion despite the paper op-ed writers having a hissy fit. Via the Corner
|Damon Linker raises the alarm (TNR again, sub. req'd). He makes the point that under some circumstances, a citizen might have to weigh the theological beliefs of a political candidate against him. As an abstract point, that is correct. Linker may also be correct in warning that the beliefs associated with Mormonism could, under certain circumstances, pose a particular danger. But as he also points out, to debate these matters at a high level of abstraction obscures more than it reveals. And when we come down from those heights, we can see that Linker's article is just more secularist hysteria. E.g.: Does Romney believe that the president of the Mormon Church is a genuine prophet of God? If so, how would he respond to a command from this prophet on matters of public policy? And, if his faith would require him to follow this hypothetical command, would it not be accurate to say that, under a President Romney, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints would truly be in charge of the country—with its leadership having final say on matters of right and wrong?|
|"I'm not a religious leader ..." Ellison said inside Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Detroit. "I'm not here to be a preacher. But in terms of political agenda items, my faith informs these things."|
Africa: Ethiopian force routed them, no one knows where they went or how they can escape with Kenya to the south and supposedly US forces at sea.
|KISMAYU, Somalia - Somali Islamists fled overnight from their final stronghold around the southern port town of Kismayu in the face of an advancing force of Ethiopian and government soldiers, residents said on Monday. "The Islamic courts left Kismayu last night. They left (their front line at) Jilib as well," a Kismayu resident told Reuters. "Nobody knows where they went. There's a lot of confusion." "Fighting stopped at around 10 p.m. (1900 GMT)," a resident of nearby Jilib said. "Then there was big silence. Then the Islamic Courts just left." The besieged Somalia Islamic Courts Council (SICC) had rallied several thousand fighters at Jilib, just north of Kismayu on the shores of the Indian Ocean, after a retreat south 300 km (190 miles) from the capital Mogadishu. Somali government forces and their Ethiopian allies had rained down mortars and rockets on the Islamist fighters dug in near Kismayu on Sunday to start a battle against the Islamists.|
|The Islamists have built trenches with bulldozers and have more than 60 "technicals" -- pickups mounted with heavy weapons -- supporting some 3,000 fighters, witnesses say. Kenya has reinforced its northern border and U.S. forces are also said to be in the region, including the sea, to prevent foreign militants aligned with the Islamists from escaping. Ethiopia says it has 4,000 troops in Somalia, though many believe that number could be far higher. Somalia's government has not given troop numbers, but is thought by experts to have several thousand.|