Articles of Interest, December 3rd, 2007

I figured I would try something different today…my actual thoughts on the articles I find interesting 🙂

Mummified dinosaur may have outrun T Rex

WASHINGTON – One of the most complete dinosaur mummies ever found is revealing secrets locked away for millions of years, bringing researchers as close as they will ever get to touching a live dino.

The fossilized duckbilled hadrosaur is so well preserved that scientists have been able to calculate its muscle mass and learn that it was more muscular than thought, probably giving it the ability to outrun predators such as T. rex.

– I read this article and immediately thought “Jurrasic Park”. I admit I’m a sci-fi fan, but imagine if they are able to extract dinosaur DNA from this specimen….if they haven’t already done so in some lab already!

Why check it out? What’s not to like about the sci-fi implications? They say real science sometimes begins as science fiction!

Sudan frees Briton in teddy row

KHARTOUM, Sudan (CNN) — A British teacher in Sudan jailed over the naming of a teddy bear has been released from police custody, the British Embassy in Khartoum said, several hours after Sudan’s president Omar al-Bashir pardoned her.

Gillian Gibbons, freed after Sudan’s president Omar al-Bashir granted her a presidential pardon earlier Monday, apologized for any distress her actions may have caused.

– I was so happy to read this article. It was stupid in the first place that she was even arrested, but at least there was no punishment per se, except to her and those of us who had to bear the brunt of the usual backwardness that occurs when some Muslims, can’t quite seem to grasp the meaning of Islam..

Why check it out? Good news is always great, especially when it shows that Muslims are able to stand in contrast to their “radical” brethren.

Rove tells Obama how to beat Clinton

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is getting advice from an unlikely source: former top Bush aide Karl Rove.

The man behind Bush’s two presidential victories took to the pages of the Financial Times Sunday to offer the candidate some unsolicited suggestions on how to beat rival Hillary Clinton.

In an open memo to Obama, Rove said the Illinois senator currently appears “weak and ineffectual,” and should start sharpening his attacks on the New York Democrat.

– Come on now, the Sith finally show their faces to the Republic yet again! 🙂 You can never put your finger on the Sith Lord’s intentions. There can only be two scenario’s that adequately fit his intentions as a commenter on CNN noted: Either he’s doing this because he wants Clinton supporters to rally behind her and she gets nod because he believes a Republican can beat her, or he wants Obama to get the nod because he believes a Republican can beat him, either way, there is no way that this disturbance in the force is because Rove has decided to be benevolent and help Obama and the Democratic party. If Palpatine can get young Anakin and the whole Senate, you better believe Rove who is much stronger in the ways of the Dark Side is craftier, his proof of success: The last 2 Presidential Elections!

Why check it out? What’s not to love about Karl Rove giving “advice” to a Democrat? Furthermore, he fit’s the Star Wars saga so well! 🙂

The Thong Vs. The Veil

November 26, 2001 – The sudden discussion and expressed concern for Afghanistan’s female population is striking. To us it seems to have that same hollow and disingenuous feel as the campaign to stop slavery in the Sudan and the effort to keep Elian in America, away from his father. We also are picking up that same whiff of moral equivalency violations that are so prominently associated with the Elian and Sudan discussions. We thought of this over the weekend as we pondered the condition of women all over the world, including those in the United States of America. We thought of this as we watched the latest music videos on MTV and BET which featured the most scantily clad White, Black and Latino women to be found anywhere on the earth. We wondered at the end of the day, of the two groups of women most prominently featured on American TV these days, who gains more respect for their intellect and spirit – the Afghan woman who is so totally veiled that you can’t even see her eyes or the Black woman in the R&B and Hip-Hop video who dances while wearing a bikini and thong? Is less more?

It was interesting to see women lament over the plight of Afghanistan’s women, women who now want the U.S. government to ensure that the rights of women are protected in the newly-constituted Afghanistan. But we couldn’t help but remember that it was over 100 years before women obtained the right to vote in the newly-constituted United States of America. Paradoxical.

– This is a good “throwback” from blackelectorate.com. This article is still timely and it expresses the irony that we have in the “West” in our discourse on modesty and the way Muslims perceive it. One of the biggest debates is the Hijab and while many non-Muslims (and some Muslims) vilify it’s significance and purpose, these same people appear to be perfectly OK with the “soft core porn” that is entertainment in the Western media. The debate rages on….what’s more respectful to women? To be covered modestly or “liberated” to be scantally clad and desired?

Why check it out? This discourse is timely and goes a long way toward a mutual interfaith and cultural exchange.

Attacking Muslims under the veil of free specch is wrong

A few weeks ago, something called Islamofascism Awareness Week came to almost 100 college campuses across the United States. Organized by the David Horowitz Freedom Center, this speaker series was intended, in its own words, to “alert Americans to the threat from Islamo-Fascism and focus attention on the violent oppression of Muslim women in Iran, Saudi Arabia, the Sudan and other Islamic states.”

A simple survey of modern Middle Eastern history will show that the number of Muslim women killed by American empire and its puppet regimes is more than the most egregious Muslim patriarchs could ever hope to accomplish with all the stones in Arabia. In Iraq alone – a country terrorized for decades by the American-backed dictator and former CIA agent Saddam Hussein – civilian casualties as a result of current U.S. occupation and U.S.-led sanctions that preceded it are now over one million.

Yet, white racists like Horowitz, who have no interest in the liberation of the Middle East, repeatedly whine about the veil and the lack of freedom in Muslim societies. This Horowitz-led diatribe against “Islamofascism” is not a good faith attempt at solidarity with Muslim women suffering under patriarchy, but a shallow, opportunistic demonization of an entire religion and culture, all for the ultimate purpose of justifying American imperialism in the Middle East. These people do not feel anything for the women of Islam. They preach from a pulpit of bones.

– We have to really look into this idea of “freedom”. How can one truly be free, if their not free to live as they choose without harassment and various forms of attack. Am I truly free if I can’t live daily without the mass propaganda efforts against my beliefs?

Why check it out? Because we really have to look at ourselves in the mirror. Freedom should have a direct tie to Justice and Equality. We should be Equally able to live in a Just society where we are able to be free from public sanctioning of persecution.

Come back to Islam, come back to Justice, please!

It would be possible, of course, to say that the media are always covering damaging stories about the Muslims and the Islamic majority countries. It would be possible, of course, to blame this ongoing campaign against Islam, its Book, its Prophet and its values and practices .. Of course .. and not everything is illegitimate in the feeling that there is a kind of campaign in the hands of some populist politicians and sensational media .. Of course!

But there comes a time where one should look at the state of affairs of the legal system in the Islamic majority countries and draw some imperative (and constructive) conclusions. It is simply a shame! In the name of Islam, innocent, poor people and women are accused, jailed sometimes beaten and sometimes executed with no evidence and, moreover, no way to properly defend themselves. The honest and embarrassing judges are fired in Pakistan; a woman, victim of a rape, becomes the accused in Saudi Arabia and is asked to prove her innocence while a British teacher is jailed because her students decided to name a teddy bear Muhammad! Where are we heading?

– It should be of no surprise…except to those who vilify Islam, that many Muslims believe that many Muslims and nations have fallen off the path of Islam. We can only pray that their is an immediate reversal and a “revolution” of sorts in the mentalities of various Muslim ideas and actions.

Why check this out? It’s always easier to be part of a choir than singing solo…trust me, I have done both!

US Officials: Iran Has Nuke Capability

WASHINGTON (AP) – Iran halted its nuclear weapons development program in the fall of 2003 under international pressure but is continuing to enrich uranium, which means it may still be able to develop a weapon between 2010 and senior intelligence officials said Monday. That finding is a change from two years ago, when U.S. intelligence agenciesnuclear capability and was continuing its weapons development program. It suggests that Iran is susceptible to diplomatic pressure, the official said. believed Iran was determined to develop a

“Tehran’s decision to halt its nuclear weapons program suggests it is less determined to develop nuclear weapons than we have been judging since 2005,” states the unclassified summary of the secret report, released Monday.

– Something here sounds very fishy in my opinion. Maybe it’s just me…

Why check it out? What’s not to love about more news that Iran now has WMD?

CNN: Corrupt News Network

THE United States is at war in the Middle East and Central Asia, the economy is writhing like a snake with a broken back, oil prices are relentlessly climbing toward $100 a barrel and an increasing number of Americans just can’t afford to be sick with anything that won’t be treated with aspirin and bed rest.

So, when CNN brought the Republican presidential candidates together this week for what is loosely termed a “debate,” what did the country get but a discussion of immigration, Biblical inerrancy and the propriety of flying the Confederate flag?

– You gotta love all this criticism about the debate. People were so quick to complain about planted questions, but then want to complain about what questions are asked and who’s asking them! We can’t have it both ways. Either we are going to have pre-determined questions only from the same party, or we are going to let any and everyone ask what they want.

Why check it out? Well if your a politics geek like me, or remotely care, you will find it interesting how cookie cutter some people expect debates to be.

Clinton says she’ll increase criticism of Democratic rivals

Cedar Rapids, Ia. — Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton ramped up criticism of Illinois Sen. Barack Obama today, and said his positions on health care and handling of campaign finance rules have begun to reflect on his character.

The latest Des Moines Register poll shows Obama in the lead for the first time with 28 percent of caucusgoers saying he is their first choice. Clinton slipped to second place with 25 percent, down from 29 percent in October.

– Way to go Hillary! No better way to get support than to formally announce that you plan to get more dirty in your campaigning! We all know that’s what we want to see. A candidate that complained about getting “piled” on, now formally planning to “pile” on…no wonder people don’t trust politicians…….

Why check it out? Classic politics and hypocrisy at its best!

Savage lawsuit calls CAIR “vehicle of international terrorism”

Trend-setting radio talk show host Michael Savage has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against the Council on American-Islamic Relations,

and has accused the organization of being a “political vehicle of international terrorism” that seeks to do “material harm to those voices who speak against the violent agenda of CAIR’s clients.”

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in California, seeks damages equal to the ongoing donations from CAIR supporters “who expect CAIR to act in this manner in exchange for continuing financial support” as well as “actual damages according to proof.”

– For those who can’t read in between the lines….basically CAIR and every Muslim associated no matter how many homeless you feed, or interfaith work you do, are all terrorism sponsors and supporters. Who knew?

Why check it out? How often do you get legal proof of more Muslim blanket accusations?

Young Chimp Beats College Students

NEW YORK (AP) – Never mind that TV show that asks if you’re smarter than a fifth- grader. Is your memory better than a young chimp’s? Maybe not. Japanese researchers pitted young chimps against human adults in two tests of short-term memory, and overall, the chimps won. That challenges the belief of many people, including many scientists, that “humans are superior to chimpanzees in all cognitive functions,” said researcher Tetsuro Matsuzawa of Kyoto University.

“No one can imagine that chimpanzees—young chimpanzees at the age of 5—have a better performance in a memory task than humans,” he said in a statement.

– This isn’t much of a surprise considering the behavior of many college students. But it sure is funny! I bet if they had used women in this study and see if the male college students could remember how they looked….The chimps would lose everytime!

Why check it out? We all love to see another example of how chimps are often smarter than us!

“You Muslims!”

I don’t have a problem with someone initiating a discussion on any contentious Arab or Muslim issue, so long as they genuinely want to listen to what I say. Curiosity is a good thing. I often stop people in the street, especially in London, and ask them what language they’re speaking, where they’re from. I’ve never offended anyone because it’s clear that I’m really interested, and because if I discover differences of perspective or tradition I consider these differences to be enriching (a very traditional Muslim position this, not trendy multiculturalism. The Prophet said, “al-ikhtilaf rahmeh,” meaning “Difference of opinion is a blessing.”)

Problems arise when your interlocutor is motivated not by curiosity but by the certainty of prejudice. My friend’s ex-girlfriend didn’t need to ask my position on women’s rights because she already knows what people like me think of women’s rights. Whatever I said about bombs in London was irrelevant; she knew what murderousness was in my mind.

This is a great blog post that reflects what so many Muslims go through on a day to day basis. It’s hard to have a simple conversation with a non-Muslim without a “Muslim” question coming up, but most of the time it’s pointless to even answer questions, because the questioner isn’t really listening anyway, and already came to their conclusions long before we show up!

Why check it out? Because it’s a good story with great insight to the thoughts of everyday Muslims…..If you care of course! 🙂

Iran’s Unlikely TV Hit

Every Monday night at 10 o’clock, Iranians by the millions tune into Channel One to watch the most expensive show ever aired on the Islamic republic’s state-owned television. Its elaborate 1940s costumes and European locations are a far cry from the typical Iranian TV fare of scarf-clad women and gray-suited men.

But the most surprising thing about the wildly popular show is that it is a heart-wrenching tale of European Jews during World War II.

The hour-long drama, “Zero Degree Turn,” centers on a love story between an Iranian-Palestinian Muslim man and a French Jewish woman. Over the course of the 22 episodes, the hero saves his love from Nazi detention camps, and Iranian diplomats in France forge passports for the woman and her family to sneak on to airplanes carrying Iranian Jews to their homeland.

On the surface, the message of the lavish, state-funded production appears sharply at odds with that sent out by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has repeatedly called the Holocaust a myth.

In fact, the government’s spending on the show underscores the subtle and often sophisticated way in which the Iranian state uses its TV empire to send out political messages. The aim of the show, according to many inside and outside the country, is to draw a clear distinction between the government’s views about Judaism — which is accepted across Iranian society — and its stance on Israel — which the leadership denounces every chance it gets.

– You have to love the irony here. This just goes to show how damaging media can be when they aid in the public perception that all people of a certain group is this way or that way. In this case, we are bombarded on the cable news cycles about how bad Iran is and how they hate the Jews. If you believe just a quarter of most reports, you would believe that every Iranian is a die hard Shia or Hezbollah militant. They would have you believe that you would never see anything but Muslims in Iran……but of course that’s if you never did just a few minutes of research (which sadly many Americans don’t).

Why check it out? You have to love how Jew-hating Iran produces a popular show that sympathizes with the Jews under Nazi Germany!

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2 Comments

  1. This is a good format and idea, hope you keep it up.

    Oh and please pray that no stupid scientist starts making dinosaurs!! Remember Dr. Malcolm’s comment from Jurassic Park: “your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should.” This mistake happens all too often in every aspect of life everywhere on the globe…

    I hadn’t heard about that Iranian TV show… interesting stuff. 🙂 Thanks

    Reply

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