Who told you? WHO TOLD YOU? Er, I mean, how ridiculous. Yeah, that's right, ridiculous. Heh heh...
The protesters heard Islamic leaders denounce the American military build-up against Iraq. One of them, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, said: ''The American attack on Iraq will be an attack on the Islamic world. If today we cannot stop America from attacking Iraq, then tomorrow they will attack Iran, and then it could be Pakistan."
That is the operative section of Thmas Jefferson's Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, and it's one of the finest pieces of writing you'll ever come across. There's an excellent preamble which you should go and read here, and a second section essentially telling future generations that if they try to amend this law, they'll probably be making a huge mistake. It's one of the founding documents of America, it had a big impact on modern western political thought even outside the United States, and naturally enough, this being the USA we're talking about, the place where it became law is now a car park! But it's nice that some at least bothered to commemorate the site with a sign. Meryl Yourish took the photo. I wonder what she thinks of the old capital site in Richmond being a car park? Anyway, the influence of Jefferson's law (which he insisted he was even prouder of that the US Constitution) has been so widespread in the western world that idiots like me can make stupid and offensive jokes about Jesus, change my religion from Christianity to Judaism, not turn up at religious services if I don't feel like it, and not pay taxes to support someone elses established church. Freedom. It's a beautiful thing. And if you live in America, you can support the cause by joining the Council For America's First Freedom as the sign at the car park suggests.
We the General Assembly of Virginia do enact that no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer, on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil rights.
But wait! How is this possible. Islam is the Religion of Peace, surely? I head the President say so on TV. And I keep hearing about how women have lots of rights under Islam. Certainly the Muslim Womens League says so.
A businesswoman who accused three men of gang rape has been arrested in the Arab emirate of Dubai and faces trial on charges of adultery. Touria Tiouli, 39, from Limoges, France, has had her passport confiscated and cannot leave Dubai after being charged under the emirate's Shariah law, according to her statement released by her friends back home. The Shariah law declares any sexual relationship outside marriage to be illegal.
So what's the deal here? The Muslim Womens League and the government of Dubai both claim to have "Islamic" views, and yet they would seem to be utterly contradictory. What to do? As always, you should turn for guidance in the faith to your trusty On-Line Fatwa Bank, where you can find out what the great Islamic thinkers of the day have to say about such topics as "Adding water to Zam Zam", "Attending a non-Muslim's Burial", "Black Magic", and "Anal Sex" - although what "Continuous Urine" might be I'm not brave enough to ask, unless it's defined as "what happens every time Yasser Arafat opens his mouth". It's fun to use, and almost as much fun as having your hands chopped off! Ok, let's find out what well-known expert in Muslim jurisprudence Muhammad Ali Al-Hanooti has to say about rape. Here's the question, sent in by alert reader Jazak Allah Khairun: Does rape exist in Islam, ie. does Islam acknowledge that women have the right to say 'no'. Hmmm, that's a toughie. But Mr Al-Hanootie isn't stumped!
Islam views rape as a violent crime against the victim, against society, and against God. The perpetrator has committed a crime and hence is morally and legally responsible. The victim is an unwilling partner in the sex act and thus bears neither blame nor stigma. To either ostracize or condemn the victim because she was compelled to engage in sexual intercourse is against the laws of Islam as the victim was an unwilling, and therefore, a blameless participant.
Cruxifixion! Crucifixion! Line on the left, one cross each! His blood be upon us and upon our children! Oh, no, hang on, it was this sort of chant that got us into a power of shit over the last nearly 2,000 years as I recall. When confronted by an indignant Christian fundamentalist holding one personally responsibe for the death of Jesus, my standard response has always been "Yeah! And we gave him a bloody good kicking first!" It always manages to raise a smile from the paramedics as I'm being rushed to the emergency ward. But wait! There's more.! Jazak Allah Khairun isn't finsihed, and has a doozy of a follow-up question: What is the difference between zina and being with a slave girl? Can a wife demand that her husband be only sexually invovled with her and no other slave girl? And Muhammad Ali Al-Hanooti responds thusly.
A rape that takes place between a man and a woman other than the husband is punishable. The punishment is left to the judge to consider it as perhaps being more than a crime of zina. It could be included in the category of corruption. In sura 5, Allah says, "Verily, the only punishment for those who fight against Allah and His messenger and endeavor to corrupt on the earth is to be killed, crucified, having their right hands and left feet cut off or being exiled from that territory." A rapist is considered to be a man of corrpution. We could say that he is an outlaw. The punishment will be assigned by the judge. It could execution, crucifiction, or the punishmenet of zina.
When we have slaves? Oh, this will no doubt be after the Mujahadin overrun Palestine, seizing the Jewish women as booty to be distributed amongst themselves as spoils of war. Sorry, I forgot about that part. Carry on, please.
We don't have slaves. When we have slaves, we'll be able to answer your question.
You sure got that right buddy. The prosecution rests.
Have in mind that when you are a Muslim, you will have a question for knowledge rather than argument. This is because if the law is from Allah, we cannot put reason to judge that law. Reason is always under control of Qur'an and Sunnah. Any Muslim who wants to put reason as a dominant factor over Qur'an or Sunnah is getting out of Islam.
Oh yeah, the US is backing away all right. Sending 11,000 troops is what always happens just before you cave in and surrender. Cling to your delusions you fools.
The United States has ordered more than 11,000 desert-trained troops to the Persian Gulf while Western jets attacked Iraqi defence radar as pressure mounted on Baghdad to disarm. The movement of the 3rd Infantry Division, which includes tanks and attack helicopters, is the first deployment of a full US combat division to the area since the 1991 Gulf War.
Oh the pain...the pain of it all...
"A high-level government official said Thursday Belgium would not participate in a war against Iraq under current circumstances," the Associated Press reports from Brussels.
Phillipines Islamonazi-wannabees snatching hostages and demanding ransom. This bunch apparently didn't hear the -rest- of the story of the Abu Saaif Group's attempt at this sort of thing. Pretty soon, their going to get hungry and order a pizza delivery. These schmucks' learning curve is a flat line. Hopefully, the Phillipino military and police picked up a few pointers during the episode with the Burnhams, and this won't drag out into a year long Third World Keystone Kops melodrama.
Thanks to Russell for doing the background research to allow us to play a bit of Jeopardy here on SR. The answer? (in Computers and Technology for $1000, please Alex)
These two gentlemen authored the Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol, which became the standard for the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network on January 1, 1983Yes, today is
Why its an interesting place, just outside the Windy City. I think I like quite a few of the things this fellow has to say (except the parts about a fascination for fall and winter - Omaha DID leave a mark). Have a look, and tell me if you agree.
Again. This review is brought to you courtesy of a reaction to Meryl's review of the remake of H.G. Well's "The Time Machine". To quickly sum up Meryl's review - hated it! Yep, the remake had issues, but some of the things that seemed to irk Meryl came across to me as some of the more notable parts of the effort. The revelation of the answer to Alexander's failure to grasp the paradoxes of time travel was fairly neat. The introduction of the Pshycically overdeveloped Super Morlock was useful for that purpose, if none other. The creature's description of a multi caste ubermind/worker drone structure also somehow seemed more sensible than just a homogenous grouping of otherwise doltish, carnivorous brutes that seem to keep a semi mechanical existence going, as presented in the original. In total agreement with most of Meryl's other assesments. The Eloi friendly temporal explosion, the annoying holo-image (I don't think I'd have power cycled him, but finding the re-boot button and threatening him with it probably would have been some sadistic fun), and the language thing. Aside from being visually spectacular, the underlying theme of the splintering moon angle seemed to be the worn out, 'enviro-friendly' don't screw with mom nature lecture, with graphics. puh-lease. It did look cool though. Also noted the comment of having empowered and uniformed 'do-gooders' running around acting important in the middle of an absolute catastrophy. In this example CHUNKS OF THE FUCKING MOON are de-orbiting, and these guys were rousting Alexander to run for cover somewhere. Where exactly the hell would that be? Overall, gave it about 5 or so on a scale of 10 (Video/DVD release). Still, glad that it didn't cost anything to get in to see it.
Mommabear posted yet another indication of the growing groundswell of internal disgust for the Iranian Theocracy. These ladies sound absolutely pissed (American, vs UK/AU meaning), and rightly so. As Mommabear note - the author isn't asking for anything, just telling her audience whats about to happen. Faster, please. Update - Mommabear points out to me that I misidentified the authorship on this great post - credit belongs with Kathy Kinsley. My apologies, and again, my thanks for posting it.
Hi, Colin, Condi here, look we've got a diplomatic problem on the Pak border, we'd like you to get onto Musharrraf and see if you can straighten out...hang on Colin, Rummy's on the other line...what's that Donald? I see. I see. Okay, right then. Listen Colin, false alarm, as you were. No, no, nothing to worry about. There was a problem, and now it's gone away. Relax. Take a vacation why don't you? Rummy seems to have things under control.
U.S. military authorities announced today that a brief shootout erupted between U.S. and Pakistani troops along the Afghan border Sunday, prompting the U.S. forces to call in an F-16 warplane that dropped a 500-pound bomb on the Pakistanis to end the clash.
Obviously mud walls aren't entirely proof against 500-lb bombs. Nor is there any sanctuary in a madrassa. On the Pakistani side of the border. Splendid work! Carry on...
Reports from Pakistani officials in South Waziristan, the tribal administrative zone on the Pakistani side of the border, said at least two members of the Pakistani Border Scouts were killed in the bombing, which they said hit a Muslim religious school on the Pakistani side of the border in which some of the Border Scouts had taken refuge.
The whole thing looks so serious (and seriously dumb), and it looks like quite a few 'free spirits' are harkening to their idiotic moose bellow . A bit of a closer look, however, finds one place that they slipped up - promoting their 'gear' which will be available 'soon' (emphasis mine)
ID Card: This wallet sized card will come in handy at border crossings, military installations, presidential compounds, nightclubs, college dormitories, or anywhere else your relentless search takes you.Rooting out evil? Rooting out a quickie is more like it. Another example of the originality of a snow bound Canadian Brain. If they truly want to do a service to mankind, how about inspecting why Molson's tastes like Moose piss... The 'sign up' seemed to work almost like a comments section, so I sent one in - but it appears they are being screened, as it never showed up, despite sending the 'confirmation'. Guess they didn't like my helpful suggestions. Such close minded zealots.
Anyone that has spent any appreciable amount of time whatsoever in the city of Birmingham, Alabama has seen him. A freestanding 56 foot tall, cast iron statue of the Roman God of the Forge, Vulcan, standing atop a pedestal at the summit of Red Mountain, overlooking the city (and mooning the community of Hoover with his bare backside). Living in the city, one had only to look up at the statue to tell if everyone had made it safely through the day on the local roadways - Vulcan held a 'torch' in his upraised right hand. It glowed green if all was well, but was switched to red if there had been a traffic fatality that day. Originally conceived and constructed as a show-off exhibit for the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair, Vulcan was disassembled and brought 'home' in pieces, and chucked out like a used dishwasher or refrigerator at the State Fairgrounds in the west end of own. A couple of years later, someone came up with the brilliant idea to actually re-assemble him, and thus he graced the midway for the fair going public. In the 30's a plan was hatched to move him to a more prominent spot for 'permanent' display. A site was selected and purchased at the crest of Red Mountain (actually a rather extended ridgeline that forms the southern edge of the city), at about the mid-point of the geographical long axis of town. A stone turret like tower was constructed, and Vulcan was hoisted upon it, looking out over the City in the valley below. Memories of that old tower from the 60's aren't all too pleasant. There wasn't a lot of financial expenditure on the upkeep of the grounds or the statue at that time, and it was pretty crude. Visitors could ascend a set of stairs inside the tower to an open air observation deck just below the top of the tower, at the base of the statue. This was not an altogether pleasant excursion for folks with even mild vertigo, looking 70 or 80 feet down to the waaay too close edge of the side of the ridge which dropped away steeply for several hundred more feet. Because of the sad state of the surrounding park, and the pretty weathered and worn appearance of the sandstone tower, a restoration/upgrade was commenced in 70-71. This was actually just a cosmetic facelift applied to the existing structure, and very little was done to the statue itself. But it did add an elevator, enclosed observation deck, and of course, a new gift shop. Somewhere along the line, someone came up with the bright idea of filling the thing with concrete to stabilize it on the pedestal. By the mid-90-s, the expansion and contraction of the concrete had begun to seriously damage the statue, to the point that chunks were beginning to fall off, and large cracks visible from the ground were evident. Faced with the prospect of the most visible symbol of the City possibly literally falling over, the City Government did their usual - they basically commissioned some studies, and then commissioned a couple more when the studies recommended they actually should do something about it. Soon. After chucking a lot of money for studies that were hemmed and hawed about, a final study was done by a US Park Service expert, who informed the City in no uncertain terms that if they didn't do something, soon, they could expect the statue to shed an arm or some other key piece in what would surely be an embarrassing and spectacular event. Much useless arguing and bickering and lack of funds wailing ensued (not unlike just about all other city business at the time). Eventually the park had to be closed by emergency order in March 1999, after people actually began to notice that yes, in fact, there were pieces of the statue falling off at random intervals. Fortunately, the city government wasn't the only group interested in saving the statue, and the private group set up to raise funding for the project (versus giving substantial sums away to friends in shady land deals or sham transfers of Water Works Assets) had enough capital to begin the restoration. Lots of good documentation about exactly what's being done, and how, as well as some pretty astonishing photos of where a couple of the engineers climbed out onto the rickety statue to survey it. So, something to look forward to for 2003. Vulcan, cleaned up, strengthened, and returned to his long time repose, mooning the city of Hoover.
Lets have some old Chicago Style, Daly Machine action out there to support Amish Tech Support in Michele's "most intriguing Blog of 2002 over at A Small Victory. Hey, if the judging for the ATS Dead Pool can resemble a bit of Bannana Republic Arbitrary Justicia, why not this here Poll? Admittedly, backing off from making a John Paul funny did hurt his candidacy, but who else causes quite the phenomena, not unlike rubbernecking at a reaaaaaly bad traffic accident, in the blogsphere? So, vote early, vote often. If Laurence doesn't garner the top spot, then the terrorists will have won. Don't forget to Think of the Children™, And vote Simon anyway.
I'll post the answer in 24 hours. It probably won't surprise anyone.
"It has always seemed to me that in dealing with foreign countries we do not give ourselves a chance of success unless we try to understand their mentality, which is not always the same as our own, and it really is astonishing to contemplate how the identically same facts are regarded from two different angles." […]
No, this is not a dead baby or gratuitous dick joke. Channel 4 in the UK is apparently planning to air a program of 'performance artists' from China. Highlights to boost those ratings? Some guy eating a stillborn infant, and another guy drinking wine that was used to marinate a severed penis. Its taken someone a while, but it looks like somebody has finally topped the crucifix in urine for revoltingly disgusting. Not sure which is worse, the Chinese whack jobs that came up with this shit, or the British twits that want to televise it. Art may be in the eye of the beholder, but there's also the opinion that anyone that views this and thinks it is 'art' and not a ridiculously disgusting bid for attention through sheer shock value is seriously screwed in the noggin. Some people are just plain sick. Sick and wrong. ps. sort of makes puns at the pontiff's expense seem pretty vanilla....
Did I read this right?
I just can't do it. It's the Pope, man. You just don't Limerick the Pope.Wow. That's what I thought it said. Lets check that URL, maybe its a 'lookalike' site, run by Laurence's not-so-evil twin. Hmm...http://users2.ev1.net/~file13/blog/ Nope, seems to be the right address. Who is this and what have they done with or to Laurence? Is he being held hostage? Astonishing. Passing on the pontif. Wow. Are the cats Catholic, did they start to hiss and growl as he typed? Did thunderclouds suddenly start to form in a clear blue sky, with pre-rumbles of thunder foretelling of lightning to smite him? Guess it might be a good idea to look west for a possible sunrise. Update: As Meryl points out Laurence has "...animated gifs of Jesus that would offend an atheist, and you won't finish the Pope limerick?".
I think its post-traumatic guilt over the whole Santa number, but thats just a guess.
I got a few more little knickknacks and doohickies and Tim was holding forth to someone about the various cheeses, and I heard one little gem fly out, “blahblahblah…yeah, it’s a real popular cheese with people because it doesn’t offer a big challenge…blahblahblah.” Well, gee-stinkin’-whiz, excuse ME! Don’t I have enough challenges in life without some derned bacteria-laden milk concoction making it worse! I DON’T WANT CHALLENGING CHEESE! I want cheese in a pressurized can, cheese whose ass I can whip, cheese that sits there quietly and takes orders from ME! HEY, you want challenging cheese, be my guest, but go all the way! How about some nice Gouda with blowfish poison sprinkles, huh!? There’s you a challenge! How about a nice U238/Camembert blend, feta with ricin, or a sultry Reggiano Parmigiano with the clap. I got yer challenging cheese RIGHT HERE, bub!
Yitgadal viyitkadash shmeh rabah...
These are the people I live amongst: Shlomo Harel: who pushed a suicide bomber to the ground when he tried to explode himself in a Jerusalem coffee shop, pinning his arms to the floor. Mikhail Sarkisov, 31, a new immigrant from Turkmenistan, living in a trailor with no bathroom or refrigerator, who as a guard on Tel Aviv's beachfront Cafe Tayelet, armed with a fake pistol, threw himself bodily on a suicide bomber to prevent him from detonating, saving dozens of lives. Rami Mahmoud Mahameed, 17, a young Arab Israeli, who asked a suicide bomber waiting at a bus stop for his cell phone, and calmly called the police, who prevented the bomber from boarding a bus, but not from exploding. Rami was badly injured. Eli Federman, who, guarding a Tel Aviv disco, faced the speeding car of a suicide bomber heading straight for him, and the club, and coolly fired, blowing up the car before it could enter. Bus driver Baruch Neuman, who got off the bus to check a passenger who had fallen trying to board the bus from the back, only to find he was wired. He and another passenger held the bomber's hands down until the rest of the bus passengers could flee to safety. Others who paid for their heroism with their lives include Yossef Twitto, head of the response team in Itamar, who ran to save a family whose home had been entered by terrorists, terrorists who killed three sisters and brothers, wounded another two, before killing Yossef Twitto. And Mordechai Tomer, 19, who stopped a car from going into downtown Jerusalem and was blown up. And Tamir Matan, who helped stop a suicide bomber in a gas station from entering a busy cafeteria. He and two young soldiers who helped him, were blown up. This is the face of Israel. These are the people I live amongst. I live among them humbly, knowing that in any place, or time, in a random ten minute period, there are heroes cruising around, ready to give their precious lives for mine.
Terry, over at Possumblog just recently celebrated his one year blogaversary. Congrats Terry. While Meryl was greatly impressed with Terry's hilarious recounting of his office Christmas Party, it takes more than a story with collard greens and descriptions of French Cheese odors to grab my attention. Almost took off when I caught his reference to being one of THEM (an Auburn Fan), but then, gave him a pass because he did actually include the phrase ROLL TIDE on his blog, even if it was in reference to one of those Navy boat thingees. I came to realize that Terry is extremely gifted with the ability to recount life in general in wonderous terms with his description of the the washing machine/microwave adventure. It had everything - intrigue, suspense, a semi-romantic dalliance, a pickup truck, not one but two hardware stores, psuedo international relations, all without bloodshed or gratuitous violence involving the harming of small animals. Also, Terry, since you seem to be in the area, I'd recommend taking Jeff to lunch next time at Andrew's. If you're like Mac and don't get out much, see the directions I gave him earlier (in the comments). I have a feeling though, that if you know where Trussville is, you know where Andrews is, too.
Not that it probably wouldn't be a good idea to consider this with a jaundiced eye, considering the NYT track record for peddling junk science, but... Evidence Mounting That Moderate Drinking Is Healthful. Have a beer everyone. Murray, you buying? Hoo Hooooo!
So, stepping into the huge void left in the 'read the future' arena left by the departure of Miss Cleo, and the shut down of the Psyhcic Friends network, none other than Tim Blair feeds a hungry, but aimless and seeking guidance world, a heapin helpin of insight into what 2003 will really be like. On the subject of who's still making money from the deal, I noticed that almost all the news articles on the subject were Yahoo Premium articles...
If you haven't Trekked out to see the latest Star Trek effort, "Nemesis", be advised that the relative entertainment value renders it well worth waiting for its broadcast television premier. Yes, Patrick Stewart can act, as has been mentioned in other reviews, but his ability didn't even create a bright spot in this latest installment. Beginning with a lame premise, then going downhill rapidly, this feature failed to live up to the expectations of even a mediocre mid season non-sweeps filler episode shot on a existing interior sets, with limited stock CGI shots and very few extra cast members. And they tanked how much money on this pig? Try buying a story instead of paying for the extra 3 minutes of CGI programming next time. Gawd it was awful. Walked out of the theater feeling ripped off - and I didn't have to pay to get in!
Just got the wonderful opportunity to see another example of why so many folks praise Tom Hanks' acting ability. Went to see "Catch Me If You Can". The story is supposedly based on true events, and is if anything, an engaging tale. Hanks is completely believeable as a priggish, uptight FBI Agent, whose life revolves around pursuing his quarry, whoever it may be. Unlike the other performances, Hanks' stood out - you could actually see the character he was playing, as opposed to, oh, there's Christopher Walken being creepy as usual, or, oh, its Leonardo DiCaprio being Leonardo DiCaprio, or oh, its James Brolin acting like a slimeball. The pace and timing of the film is pretty good - it keeps your attention. Solidly entertaining. This one might not jump off the marquee at you, but its worth the time and a ticket to give it a look see. Think I would have liked it, even if I'd had to pay to get in and see it.
Following the arbitrarily shifting rules example adopted by Laurence over at the ATS Dead Pool, Executives from Vegas and Atlantic City released the following announcement:
- all one armed bandits will have the top prize icon removed from at least one of the reels,
- the come/don't come bet is out in craps
- Roulette will no longer offer a simple red/black bet
- all Blackjack hands are an automatic 'do over' if the dealer draws a 12
- the rules for Pai Gow Poker will be re-written to be even more confusing, but not posted at the tables.