Sunday, March 15, 2009

On Parenting

Mrs. C has written a post that you should read. So go ahead, stop wasting your time here. Go and read Homeschooling and Etc.

What are you waiting for? Go on.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

How Well Do Newspapers Report the News?

The one argument that I've read from people who don't wish newspapers to fade away - as they seem to be doing, is that without our daily paper, there would be no reporters braving uncomfortable and disquieting situations around the world in order to inform us of the happenings in far away places and in our own back yard. That's almost a plausible excuse to keep newspapers being printed, until I think of the simply awful coverage of Israel from my local papers and the slim to nonexistent coverage of other trouble spots that don't involve Jews or Israel.

For example, how much do you know about the civil war that's been raging in Sri Lanka for the past 30 years? Sure, you may be aware of it, maybe you can even name the main players; the government vs. the Tamil Tigers. But what about the thousands of civilians who have been killed, injured, and displaced during this war? Where are the reports and the outcry from the various "peace" and "human rights" groups?

This war entered my view today because Vanderleun over at American Digest has a post on it.

In other news that hasn't been reported by my local papers:
( For the second time in less than a week, a packed Brooklyn, New York, synagogue has been the target of threats of violence by intruders.

On Monday, according to Yeshiva World News, an Arab man in his mid-30s entered Boro Park's 'Sephardish Shul' and began making proclamations of jihad. Members of a Jewish volunteer security organization, the Shomrim, apprehended the threatening individual. They held him until police officers arrived at the scene, arresting the suspect. Detectives spoke with the "Middle Eastern man" at a station house near the synagogue.

Police officials reminded the community, "If you see something, say something." Security in Brooklyn's heavily Jewish Boro Park area has been stepped up during the Purim holiday.

Just two days earlier, a man wielding a butcher's knife burst into a Kerestir Chassidic synagogue in Williamsburg. He initially turned up unarmed and began throwing soda cans at the gathered worshipers, which hit one of them, and returned shortly thereafter with the bladed weapon.

The attacker was prevented from using the butcher's knife on anyone by a young man, described as a "friend" of the knife-wielding intruder, who then fled together with him.

The recent attacks come just over a month after Chabad-Lubavitch World Headquarters at 770 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn was targeted in a series of English-language jihadist videos posted on the Internet. The videos and accompanying texts singled out "770," but also intimated that all Orthodox Jewish organizations were equally worthy of attack by Muslims. The threatening material included images of the 770 synagogue and study house, pictures of the police van out front, and indications of which parts of the building are crowded at what times.

The source of the thinly-veiled threats, a group called Revolution Muslim, is domestic to the United States.
Yes, that was the entire article - from an Israeli newspaper. I'm guessing that this attack was roundly ignored by the American press in general, not just by my local papers. Can you imagine the hysterical outcries though, if a Jew intruded on or threatened violence during a service at a mosque? Yow!

And then there's this incident, the anniversary of which is today, the 1977 Hanafi Siege. I don't recall it at all, but back in '77, I had other things on my mind. According to Wikipedia,
The 1977 Hanafi Siege refers to an incident that occurred March 9-11, 1977, in which three buildings in Washington, D.C. were seized by 12 gunmen. They were held responsible for taking 149 hostages and the death of two people. After a 39 hour standoff all hostages were released from the District Building (city hall) – now called the John A. Wilson Building, B'nai B'rith headquarters, and the Islamic Center.

One of those killed was 24-year-old Maurice Williams, a young radio reporter from WHUR-FM, who stepped off a fifth floor elevator into the crisis. (The fifth floor is where the Mayor and City Council President have their offices). The gunmen also shot DC Protective Service Division, Special Police Officer Mack Cantrell, who died a few days later in the hospital of a heart attack. Then-D.C. council member, later mayor, Marion Barry walked into the hallway of the District Building after hearing a commotion and was hit by a ricocheted shotgun pellet just above his heart. He was taken out a window and rushed to a hospital.

The gunmen had several demands. They "wanted the government to hand over a group of men who had been convicted of killing seven relatives – mostly children – of takeover leader Hamaas Khaalis. They also demanded that the movie Mohammad, Messenger of God be destroyed because they considered it sacrilegious."[1]

Time magazine noted: "That the toll was not higher was in part a tribute to the primary tactic U.S. law enforcement officials are now using to thwart terrorists—patience. But most of all, perhaps, it was due to the courageous intervention of three Muslim ambassadors, Egypt's Ashraf Ghorbal, Pakistan's Sahabzada Yaqub-Khan and Iran's Ardeshir Zahedi."[2]
There's more, of course, but the main thing is that we have to keep reminding ourselves that attacks on Jews by Muslims are not recent. They began at the beginning of Islam. They continue to this day, because no matter how much the apologists want the world to believe that the fault lies with Jews, Zionists, Israel, or its policies, the sickening fact is, Muslims have always had a reason for oppressing and murdering Jews . . . and Christians . . . and any other infidel who happened to cross their bloody path. But they continue to deny responsibility for all of the death and destruction they have caused since their rise in the seventh century.

If our newspapers were worth the paper they were printed on, they would speak truth to power and report boldly and truthfully on the pathologies of Islam. Until they do, and if they ever do, I'm not sure I'll miss them.

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Monday, March 09, 2009

There is the current world-wide recession to consider. Then, if like me, you live in Michigan, you also have to deal with the fact that this state has been on the skids for years. As the auto companies slowly die, Michigan slowly fades. But what if you live in that part of Michigan known as Detroit, you know, the Motor City, Motown, home of what used to be known as "the Big 3", Ford, Chrysler, and GM? Then you really know what failure is.

I've been a Detroit area resident all of my life. (No, I'm not asking for sympathy.) Both of my parents lived and grew up in Detroit. I've had a close up view of the disintegration of a once fine city. I suppose there are a lot of reasons for the current failure of Detroit. Many say its decline began with the 1967 riots. I remember those riots well, even though I was safe in my suburban home, and got no closer than newspaper and TV reports. Except for the first day of the riot. I was at a baseball game at Tiger Stadium, a short distance from 12th Street, where the riot began. We knew nothing at the time, but we did notice smoke rising in the distance and paddy wagons on the drive home.

Between then and now, the city has suffered through the long reign of Coleman Young and the abbreviated reign of Kwame Kilpatrick. Both of these men were freely elected, so one would have to assume that much of Detroit's downfall is self imposed. Yes, there was also the generation of "white flight" after the riots. Detroit public schools are so bad that parents who can, take their children out to my district and other suburban districts. The antics of the Detroit School Board have been news fodder for decades. They've hired, eaten, and spit out superintendent after superintendent. And some of those superintendents were less than stellar. Right now, they're in the process of firing the latest one.

As embarrassing as the Detroit School Board has been over the years, the city council has set the standard for lunacy. That's clear from this editorial by Nolan Finley of the Detroit News, which I'm reprinting in its entirety. Read it and weep for Detroit. Or laugh. After all, these people were freely elected and reelected by Detroit's citizens.
Nowhere is Michigan's brain drain on greater display than in the Detroit City Council chambers.

My hopes for Detroit's future faded as I watched the tape of last Tuesday's council meeting, the one that considered the Cobo Center expansion deal.

It was a tragic circus, a festival of ignorance that confirmed the No. 1 obstacle to Detroit's progress is the bargain basement leaders that city voters elect. The black nationalism that is now the dominant ideology of the council was on proud display, both at the table and in the audience.

Speakers advocating for the deal were taunted by the crowd and cut short by Council President Monica Conyers, who presided over the hearing like an angry bulldog; whites were advised by the citizens to, "Go home."

Opponents were allowed to rant and ramble on uninterrupted about "those people" who want to steal Detroit's assets and profit from the city's labors.

A pitiful Teamster official who practically crawled to the table on his knees expressing profuse respect for this disrespectful body was battered by both the crowd and the council.

When he dared suggest that an improved Cobo Center would create more good-paying jobs for union workers, Conyers reminded him, "Those workers look like you; they don't look like me."

Desperate, he invoked President Barack Obama's message of unity and was angrily warned, "Don't yousay his name here."

Juxtapose the place and the faces and imagine a white Livonia City Council treating a black union representative with such overt racial hostility. The Justice Department would swoop down like a hawk, and the Rev. Al Sharpton would clog Five Mile Road with protesters.

But in Detroit, dealing with the council's bigotry is part of the cost of doing business. As is dealing with its incompetence. (I'll pause here and excuse from that indictment Sheila Cockrel and Brenda Jones, who supported the Cobo deal, as did Kwame Kenyatta, who although he's an avowed nationalist, most often votes in the city's best interests.)

Emmet Moten, the developer who just opened the Fort Shelby Hotel downtown, was at the meeting and found it appalling. Moten went to Lansing in 1983 on behalf of Mayor Coleman Young to successfully lobby for a regional tax to support Cobo.

"And now we're saying, 'We don't want your money,'" Moten says. "If Coleman were alive today, he'd be outraged. It hurts, it really hurts."

Now, Moten says, "we Detroiters gotta be outraged."

Outraged enough to go to the polls in November and elect a brighter, more responsible council. Moten and others I talked with this week are encouraged that mayoral primary voters picked Dave Bing and Ken Cockrel Jr., the two most rational candidates on the ballot.

The test now will be whether it's those primary voters or the angry council crowd who represent the real Detroit.

As Moten notes, "You can't fix this for us. We have to fix it ourselves."

Nobody can help Detroit if voters again elect a City Council composed of separatists, clueless dowagers and the apparently insane.
There they are, exposed as both stupid and racist.

It gets better though. Union leaders in Detroit are willing to excuse Monica Conyers blatant racism.
Union officials agree that Conyers, who is black, was likely trying to make a valid point -- a desire to see more minorities in construction jobs -- but her presentation could have used some polish.

"I think she spoke without thinking, and it was totally unnecessary and something that should have not been said," said Leamon Wilson, chairman of the 18 presidents of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees locals that represent city employees. "Building trades have not integrated like we would like to see, but I don't think that comment should have been made like that. "That was totally improper," said Wilson, who is black.
John Riehl, president of AFSCME Local 207, representing hundreds of Detroit Water and Sewerage Department workers, said there is a separation of growth in the labor movement between public employees, auto workers and steelworkers -- more diverse unions -- as opposed to the building-trade and construction unions.

"President Conyers touched on an important issue that is a global battle, and really an affirmative action issue," said Riehl, who is white. "Her point is that we must keep the employment levels up for black Detroiters, both as public employees and construction workers, and that is totally supportable. Detroiters are very keen on keeping as much work in Detroit as possible and keeping black Detroiters employed. Detroit is an 85% black city, and people want to see their neighbors working."
So what is the message here? Union leaders who depend on the largesse of the Detroit City Clowns - uh - council will excuse hatred, racism, and outright stupidity.

Also, this hasn't been made public, and I'm betting that there is a serious effort to hush this up, and I may be the only person to realize what's going to happen, so listen carefully. It's obvious to me, that in the name of Affirmative Action and diversity (which has replaced skill and competence as the defining factor in hiring workers) the construction trades need more workers who look like Monica Conyers. Are there blacks and minorities - oh, and women - who are seeking these jobs? I don't know, but if not, here's what's going to happen. Union leaders will be staking out bars and lounges where men (and women) gather. They will buy these men (and women) drinks. The drinks will drugged. Men (and women) will disappear, only to reappear as apprentices on job sites around the city. They will claim to be voluntarily working these jobs, but in reality, they and their families will be hostages of the unions, forced to labor for long hours at union wages (and benefits) so that Detroit and its unions can claim a racially and gender based diverse work force.

So Detroit is destined to remain the armpit of the nation as minority members get shanghied into working construction, and Detroit voters continue to elect incompetents. It will continue until Detroit is completely empty and some brave citizen explorers go back into the deserted city to reclaim it.

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Sunday, March 08, 2009

International Women's Day? Not in Islamic Countries

Over at Mere Rhetoric, there is an interesting article on the contrast between International Woman's Day practices in Israel and some of the other countries - which just happen to be Muslim.

A few highlights:
Meanwhile in Saudi Arabia police are shutting down women's only parks because - seriously - there were reports of singing. That's a particularly interesting case because orthodox Jewish law also has qualms about exposing men to the dulcet tones of the female voice. The issue actually came up at an Israeli film festival last year, where the planners were asked by the filmmaker to ban men out of the screening. Being citizens of a modern democracy, the planners responded with a very firm hell no
Like Saudi Arabia, Iran also recently imposed the sharia-mandated "100 lashes for adultery" penalty. Only instead of lashing a besotted girl they tortured a woman who had been forced into prostitution by her husband. This was in between enforcing their new law banishing women to the back of the bus.
In Bangladesh women are being declared too dirty to walk past mosques:
In Pakistan 60 year old sisters are being hacked to death by their brothers, 45 year old mothers are being killed by their sons, and 26 year old brides are getting shot by relatives. For the sake of honor, you see. And that's before we get to the Taliban-controlled parts of Pakistan:
There's more. Go read it. And then we can ask once again, where are the women's groups and other so-called human rights organizations who spend endless hours condemning the sins, both real and imagined of Israel and the United States, but especially Israel? Why do they ignore the documented abuse of women and religious minorities in Islamic countries? And how do they expect anyone to take them seriously in their stated mission of preserving human rights when the only rights they try to preserve are the rights of Muslim men to abuse and murder their women and children, and the rights of these same men to murder Jews - uh I mean Zionists - oh no, wait - I do mean Jews.

Best line in the piece:
In related news, Yakin Erturk, the UN's rapporteur on violence against women, recently noted that "Islamic countries have become stigmatised as being mysogynist societies which are inherently anti-women."
I keep reading that Islam has also been stigmatized as being prone to terrorism. For the life of me, I can't figure out why. Oh wait again, yes I can.

And just because I became curious and followed another link, here's another report guaranteed to turn your stomach.
DHAKA (AFP) – At first glance, Bably Akter looks like any other nine-year-old Bangladeshi girl, dressed in a brightly coloured pink and turquoise skirt and top trimmed with silver sequins.

A matching headband conceals her left ear, badly deformed and the only obvious sign she is the victim of an acid attack, a practice rampant in the impoverished country, used mainly in domestic disputes and against women and children.

As her mother, Parul, recounts the story of how Bably's father put drops of acid on different parts of her body every day for five days when she was a baby, the little girl lifts her skirt to reveal a large scar on her legs and feet.

"Her father wanted a son. He'd been violent towards me before Bably was born but it was not until day five, when he actually fed her acid I realised something was seriously wrong," Parul, 26, said.

She complained to the police but charges were never laid.

"We ran away and spent two years at the Acid Survivors' Foundation (ASF) hospital where Bably had a lot of plastic surgery on her mouth. She still needs more operations."
To answer some of the apologists of Islam; yes I know, these can be called "isolated incidents", except for the fact that they're not all isolated. Many have the support of Islamic governments and religious leaders. And even if they were isolated incidents, how many of these disgusting episodes do we need before we admit that there is a pattern here? Yes, abuse of women happens in every society. In Islam, though, it's codified in Sharia law.

My final question for the organizations that claim to advance human rights: Are you actually trying to advance human rights or are you, with your misleading titles, actually trying to press the rights of Islam to subjugate the rest of us?

UPDATE: Here is another - not quite uplifting piece on how life has changed for women in the Swat Valley since Pakistan has surrendered it to the Taliban.

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Sunday, March 01, 2009

Brigette Gabrielle and the Destruction of Lebanon

I went to hear Brigette Gabrielle speak today. She's quite a passionate speaker, and she's got a frightening story to tell. All of the things that the anti-jihadists have been warning us about for years, have already happened to her. She's Lebanese, and her formative years coincided with the destruction of Lebanese society by Islamic jihadists.

Lebanon used to be a tiny majority Christian nation surrounded by Islamic dictatorships (well, except for that tiny "zionist entity" to its south). Now it's a tiny puppet state of Syria. Beirut, Lebanon's capital, used to be known as the Paris of the Middle East. Now it's - I don't know what it is. We don't hear much about it anymore. And while we read, over the years it took place, about the destruction of Lebanon, I don't think we were really paying attention to the details.

The once free, proud, and democratic country of Lebanon, prided itself on its welcoming attitude to all, even non-Christians including "Palestinian refugees", its multicultural attitude, and its general success in creating a free society. And how have they been rewarded for this generosity?

Ever since they first welcomed the viper, Arafat, to their breast, they've been on the losing end of the Jihad. Thanks to the entrance of the PLO to Lebanon, there's been civil war, desecration and destruction of churches (remember the siege of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, where PLO members were not afraid to desecrate a Christian shrine, but worldwide pressure was placed on Israel to avoid damaging the church?), massacres of Christian civilians, and attacks on Israel, who, after an insanely long period of patience, finally invaded to try and lift the yoke of Islam from the Lebanese Christian population. Since it was Israel, however, who tried to stem the tide of jihadist slaughter, guess who was painted as the bad guy?

Up until Israel entered the fray, nobody really cared about the Lebanese Christians, just as nobody today cares about the various wars, and massacres, and other pathologies throughout the African continent (Sudan, Congo, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, etc.) and the continued slow strangulation of freedom in Lebanon, because nobody really cares - unless Israel is involved.

So when it comes to Lebanon, nobody can say the world community had anything against the Lebanese. It didn't matter that Lebanon was one of two countries in the Middle East where people were allowed and encouraged to create wealth (even in the absence of oil), offer freedom, build an excellent educational system and have access to medical care for all. By ignoring the fate of Lebanon for all these years, even though the destruction has been covered by the world's press, we are ignoring the future that the Islamists have planned for all of us. They've told us, they've shown us. Most of us just don't want to listen. Islam is a religion of peace we've been told. Many westerners have forced themselves to believe it.

As for the ruin of Lebanon? Hasn't that been blamed on Israel. After all, what catastrophe in the Middle East hasn't been blamed on Israel or the Jews?

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