Articles of Interest, December 14th, 2007

‘I Am Legend’ Effective but Irksome

Remarkably eerie yet annoyingly larded with cheap horror-film shock effects, “I Am Legend” stands as an effective but also irksome adaptation of Richard Matheson’s classic 1954 sci-fi novel. In what is to a considerable extent a solo turn as the last healthy human on a post-plague planet Earth, Will Smith strongly holds the screen in a one-man Alamo besieged by marauding cannibals. Potent box-office looms worldwide.

Matheson’s pioneering novel, which worked a lot of science into a story populated by vampiric predators, hasn’t fared too well on the big screen thus far. The first adaptation, the 1964 Vincent Price starrer “The Last Man on Earth,” filmed in Italy by helmer Sidney Salkow, was a cheesy affair, while the 1971 “The Omega Man,” starring Charlton Heston under Boris Sagal’s direction, murkily altered the story to put the leading man up against an albino cult called “the Family.” A direct-to-vid item called “I Am Omega” (from the Asylum, specialists in parasitic low-budget versions of big-budget studio fare) has just been produced.

The scripters of “The Omega Man” get credit on this new version (curiously, given the many differences between the two films), initially penned by Mark Protosevich when Warner Bros. first announced a remake a decade ago. That pic was to have starred Arnold Schwarzenegger with Ridley Scott directing; at various points in the interim, Tom Cruise and Michael Douglas have been attached as stars, as was Michael Bay as director. Akiva Goldsman subsequently came aboard to help produce and give the script a final go.

  • Well I’m definitely going to go see it.  There hasn’t been a good movie in a while in my opinion that’s Will Smith’ish 🙂 so expect a review from me in the near future…that is if you care.

Huckaboom and Hillabust

WASHINGTON – Sen. Hillary Clinton’s campaign is teetering on the brink, no matter what the meaningless national horserace numbers say. The notion that she has a post-Iowa “firewall” in New Hampshire is a fantasy, and she is in danger of losing all four early contests, including Nevada and South Carolina – probably to Sen. Barack Obama, who is now, in momentum terms, the Democratic frontrunner.

On the Republican side, meanwhile, the race is shaping up in an even more unexpected way: a contest between two former Northern moderates (Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney) for the right to take on a Southern Baptist preacher, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who believes in the inerrancy of Scripture but not in Darwinian evolution.

  • I must admit that at this point, I’m just waiting for the actual votes.  Many are predicting that Hilary will fall, but right now, we have to wait and see.  You can’t trust predictions when it’s this close.  Remember Kerry was going to win Ohio?  I do hope Huckabee beats Romney and at this stage, while I’m part of that don’t like Hillary’s personality, I will go with either her or Obama at this point, but I must admit there is a side of the that really wants to see Obama make history, I do believe he is what America needs to resolve many issues especially the dreaded race problem.


More Blacks Lean Toward Obama

Barack Obama’s rising poll numbers among white voters in Iowa and New Hampshire are having an unexpected ripple effect: Some black voters are switching their allegiance from Hillary Clinton and lining up behind him too. That could mean a further tightening of the Democratic presidential race, especially in southern states where blacks make up as many as half of Democratic primary voters.

The evidence of movement is most clear in South Carolina, site of the first primary where black votes figure to make a significant impact. There, four polls now show Illinois Sen. Obama with a lead among African-American voters for the Jan. 26 vote. As a result, the race in South Carolina has tightened, with some polls calling it a dead heat. A Rasmussen poll completed last week among South Carolina voters shows Mr. Obama now attracting 51% of the African-American vote, compared with 27% for Mrs. Clinton. A month ago, the candidates were tied among South Carolina black voters. Along with other polls, Rasmussen shows the two candidates essentially tied among all South Carolina voters.

  •  I really need to know, how many of you believe Obama will go all the way?  Trust me, I have “The Audacity of Hope” on my desk right now and I really want to see that happen.  I want to have hope and faith in his presidency, but politics really have me jaded.  Especially after the last two presidential elections.  It just seems that Americans refuse to elect who is best for them and we are too caught up in superficial things, meanwhile that last election has netted us a ballooning debt, more war and rumors of war, and more disrespect on the world stage.  Let’s see what happens.  It is very interesting to see black voters get in line, finally that whole”black enough” crap has faded, but true to form, we had to wait and see what white people did first…..

Iowa Republicans consider another debate

DES MOINES — Dissatisfied with the debate here Wednesday that drew widespread scorn, Iowa Republicans will discuss on Friday the possibility of holding another forum before the January 3rd caucuses.

The debate this week, sponsored by the Des Moines Register and Iowa Public Television, was to have been the final gathering of the GOP contenders, but one well-placed Iowa Republican said tonight that they were interested in getting the candidates back together

“We’d prefer if the Register debate did not leave a bad taste,” said this source, who requested anonymity.  “Iowa deserves a little better than that.”

The most likely possibility would be the week after Christmas, when many of the contenders are expected back in the state to make a final push before the voting.

Political observers of every stripe were almost uniformly unhappy with the newsless hour-and-one-half session Wednesday, and even two candidates, Rudy Giuliani and John McCain, said publicly after the forum that they were disappointed hot topics like immigration and Iraq were preemptively taken off the table by Register editor Carolyn Washburn.

  • I would have to agree here.  That debate was horrible and I don’t believe it was the candidates fault.  The format sucked and the moderator seemed like she wasn’t really interested at all.  Just don’t invite Alan Keyes back PLEASE!!!!!!


Israel Crushes Palestinian Dignity: ICRC

CAIRO — The dignity of the Palestinians is being trampled underfoot day after day by Israel’s harsh security measures which are causing an enormous humanitarian cost in the occupied territories, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has said in a new report.

“The Palestinian territories face a deep human crisis, where millions of people are denied their human dignity. Not once in a while, but every day,” said the strongly-worded report highlighted by The Independent on Friday, December 14.

“Rules can change from one day to the next without notice or explanation.

“They live in an arbitrary environment, continuously adapting to circumstances they cannot influence and that increasingly reduce the range of their possibilities.”

The ICRC said Israel’s closures of Gaza’s crossings since Hamas’s takeover prevented 823 sick Palestinians from leaving the besieged strip for treatment.

“Three of these cases, in which the ICRC had directly intervened, had subsequently died because of administrative and security clearance delays,” said the report, which was released on Thursday, December 13.

Nael Al-Kurdi, 20, died last month of cancer, becoming the fifth patient to die that month because of the Israeli closure of the impoverished coastal territory.

  • This is not really news.  The sad part about the entire thing is that people who talk peace and resolution never consider the inhumane manner in which Palestinians have to live under Israeli occupation, however constantly remind us of what terrorists do to Israelis.  Are the Palestinian less human?  Are Palestinian children less innocent?  I just wish the UN would enforce a border and deploy troops to defend it in both directions.

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Second Life Hajj Program Attacked

CAIRO — Just a week after its launch, IslamOnline.net’s educational hajj program on Second Life has come under an attack that reflected a rising Islamophobia in the virtual world.

“We heard on Wednesday, December 11, an avatar at Al-Haram Al-Makki area pleading for help,” Frozen Fire, a member of IOL’s educational hajj program, told IOL’s correspondent in the Internet-based virtual world.

“We then rushed to the Hajj Information Center to find a number of griefers encircling it.”

Frozen Fire said the griefers (Persons who are harassing others by using any offensive language or doing subversive or immoral acts in Second Life) started making several insults about Islam and Muslims.

“They said, ‘we will not leave this place unless this island is shut and Muslims are out,’ and ‘we are fed up with Muslims in Second Life. They must leave this world immediately,'” the virtual hajj guide recalled one of the attacker as shouting.

The griefers also inundated the hajj training area for Second Life Muslim visitors, with pornographic materials and slogans reading “Hey Muslims, sop racism”.

More and more, they briefly seized the 3D-modelled area and did not let Muslim avatars in before IOL’s hajj team rushed to the area and forced the attackers out.

  • But of course.  Cowards love to try to bully when they have a cover.  The internet is filled with e-thugs and cowboys.  I guarantee these same people would never have the courage to do or say half of these things to a Muslim to their face.  So they flock to the internet to air their cowardice, because they probably were beat up in school and their lunch money taken, or daddy wasn’t around!

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Vatican Defends Proselytizing

VATICAN CITY — The Roman Catholic Church on Friday, December 14, defended its “right and duty” to spread its message to non-Christians and stressed the importance to avoid “undue pressure” to convert.

Evangelization is “an inalienable right and duty, an expression of religious liberty,” read the “Note on Some Aspects of Evangelization” document, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters.

The Vatican said the 19-page document had been made necessary to contrast notions that attempts to convince others of the primacy of Christianity or Catholicism was a limitation of their freedom.

“There is today a growing confusion which leads many to leave the missionary command of the Lord unheard and ineffective,” said the document, which is endorsed by Pope Benedict XVI.

The document was written by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which Pope Benedict headed until his election as pontiff in 2005.

Evangelization by Pentecostal and evangelical missionaries has angered Muslims.

Last October, Gordon Showell-Rogers, the General Secretary of the European Evangelical Alliance (EEA), called for proselytizing Muslims across Europe, considering Muslim immigration into the continent is an “evangelistic opportunity.”

Germany-based Evangelical Alliance distributed in the last holy fasting month of Ramadan calendars that contained prayers for Muslims to be guided to Christianity.

And in July, the private secretary of Pope Benedict XVI of the Vatican warned against an “Islamized Europe” and urged defense of Europe’s “Christian roots.”

  • Well at least our religion (Islam) teaches that there should be no compulsion in religion, because (drumroll) TRUTH STANDS CLEAR FROM FALSEHOOD!!!!  If Christianity was a much better alternative to Islam, there would be no need to beg Muslims to convert, they would just do it.  However, Christians feel the need to beg people to become Christians under the guise of “Evangelism” through cable TV, billboards, etc.  yet Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world and many come to Islam because they read about it or sought it out because of an experience they had.   So once again why the Christians plot the next marketing strategy to convince people to believe as they do, Muslims sit back even with the negative press and see the Ummah continue to grow.  Hint Christians: People don’t like to be sold on a belief that if truth, it’s truthfulness should be self evident. 🙂


Hajj of the Prophet: Lessons to Learn

Almighty Allah says,

(For Hajj are the months well known. If any one undertakes that duty therein, let there be no obscenity, nor wickedness, nor wrangling in the Hajj and whatever good ye do, (be sure) Allah knows it. And take a provision (with you) for the journey, but the best of provisions is right conduct. So fear Me, O ye that are wise! It is no crime in you if ye seek of the bounty of your Lord (during pilgrimage). Then when ye pour down from (Mount) Arafat, celebrate the praises of Allah at the Sacred Monument, and celebrate His praises as He has directed you, even though, before this, ye went astray. Then pass on at a quick pace from the place whence it is usual for the multitude so to do, and ask for Allah’s forgiveness. For Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.) (Al-Baqarah 2:197-99)

As far as Prophet Muhammad’s Hajj and his everlasting message during the Hajj are concerned, the Hajj of the Prophet is known as Hijjat Al-Wadaa` (the Farewell Pilgrimage), because after three months  of returning from Hajj, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) left this world.

This Hajj is also known with other names: It is called Hijjat Al-Islam because this is the only Hajj that the Prophet performed after receiving the message of Islam.

It is also called Hijjat Al-Balagh because in this Hajj the Prophet conveyed the final message of Islam. It is called Hijjat Al-Kamal and Hijjat At-Tamam because in this Hajj Allah revealed to him the good news that the message of Islam is perfected and Allah’s favor is fully granted for those who shall follow the way of Islam.

This Hajj took place in the 10th year of Hijrah. Many details about this Hajj are available in the books of Hadith and Sirah [the Prophet’s Biography]. One can prepare a whole diary of this Hajj from Prophet’s departure from Madinah to his return to Madinah.

The Prophet left Madinah on the 25th of Dhul Qi`dah. People kept joining him from all directions. When he arrived in Makkah, the number of those who joined him reached to about 125,000 people. The Prophet explained to them at every step the basic rules and principles of Hajj.

In `Arafat he gave his famous Khutbah and then next day in Mina he repeated some of its points and gave some more points. The speech had many important points and it was communicated by different people in the crowd who would repeat after the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). The main theme of this famous speech can be summarized as: “Do not wrong any one.”

Here are some basic points of this speech:

O People, do you know in what month, what day and in what city you are?” They said, “In a sacred day, in a sacred city and a sacred month.” He said, “Your blood, your properties and your honor is as sacred among you as the sacredness of this day of yours, this month of yourS and this city of yours.

Then he said, “Listen to me and you shall live (happily): Behold do no injustice, Behold do not injustice, Behold, do no injustice.

It is not permissible to take the money of a Muslim without his/her good pleasure. Behold, every blood demand, every money demand or any special privilege that you held in the time of Ignorance (before accepting Islam) are under my feet until the day of Judgment. Every demand of interest is cancelled. You can only have your capital with doing wrong or being wronged.

All people are equal like the teeth of the comb. All of you are descendants of Adam and Adam was created from dust. There is no superiority for an Arab over a non-Arab or for a white person over a black person except in the matters of piety.

A Muslim is a brother of another Muslim. All Muslims are one brotherhood.

Behold, do not turn infidels after me by striking at the necks of each other.

Behold, Satan has lost all hope that the people of Salah will worship him, but he shall still try to create dissentions among you. (So beware of Satan and his plots.)

Be conscious of Allah concerning women. They are your helpmates. They have some rights on you and you have some rights on them.

Behold, whosoever has any thing entrusted to him by someone else, he should give it back to the one who entrusted him.”

Then he spread his hands and he said, “Behold, I have conveyed. Behold, I have conveyed.” Then he said, “Let those who are present convey this message to those who are not here. Indeed some who may receive it later may follow it better than those who heard it.

Here the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) emphasized the following principles:

1. Honor the life, dignity and property of others.

2. Do not do injustice and oppression.

3. Be honest in your business and financial dealings

4. All human beings are equal.

5. Muslims are brothers to each other.

6. Do not fight each other.

7. Avoid quarrels and disputes among yourselves.

8. Recognize the rights of women.

9. Fulfill the trusts.

10. Convey the message of the Prophet to others.

This message was delivered more than 1,400 years ago and it is always needed. Muslims need it and the whole world needs it. This is the message that we have to live with and should convey to the world.

Distrust and racial tension high among U.S. nonwhites

Distrust and racial tension among Hispanics, Asians and blacks in the United States are pressing concerns for all three groups, a new national poll conducted in English, Spanish and five Asian languages has found.

The poll, published Wednesday, found a stark gap between Hispanics and Asians, who are mainly immigrants, and blacks about their prospects for success.

About three-quarters of Hispanics and about two-thirds of Asians believe they will progress in the United States if they work hard, the survey found. But only 44 percent of blacks polled said they believed that hard work would bring them success and 66 percent of blacks said they did not believe that everyone in the country had an equal opportunity to succeed.

The poll was published by New America Media, a national association of about 700 ethnic media organizations that promotes better relations among racial and ethnic groups. It was conducted by Bendixen & Associates, a polling organization in Miami.

  • I don’t think any blacks are surprised by these results….

 


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3 Comments

  1. Woo this is a long post! My replies:

    1. You didn’t like Pursuit of Happyness?!

    2. I actually don’t think Obama can go all the way. Although I wish he would. My own personal favorite (Kucinich) is not even on most people’s radar. I hate the racial stuff around him, though.

    The articles saying “blacks support Obama” seem to promote the idea that black people don’t have real opinions or beliefs, they support Obama JUST ’cause he’s black; that they’re very simplistic. If that was true, you’d be a fan of Alan Keyes. 😉 (It’s sort of like “women support Clinton”…)

    I haven’t read Audacity yet, but I wish Obama all the luck in the world. Although I’m still supporting Kucinich. 🙂 Maybe you can convince me out of it? 😀

    3. I hadn’t heard about the Second Life commotion. The internet is a real paradise for sickos. I use Second Life frequently and haven’t encountered hatred at all. In fact I’ve made good friends there.

    4. The success in the US poll is sad. I’d like to see some extended posts from you about issues like that.

    Reply

  2. ASA Leenoo,

    1. I loved “Pursuit” I was referring to other movies that don’t have Will Smith in them and lacking that certain blockbuster Smith thing….

    2. I can’t convince you from Kuccinich, as I’m trying to convince myself of “something” I know I sound like an Obama fan, but the truth is, I’m still undecided.

    Reply

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