Articles of Interest, December 18th, 2007

Obama Describes Faith Amid False Rumors

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) – Democrat Barack Obama on Sunday confronted one of the persistent falsehoods circulating about him on the Internet.

He went to church.

His attendance here at the First Congregational United Church of Christ, with the news media in tow, was as much an observation of faith as it was a rejoinder to the e-mailed rumors that he is a Muslim and poses a threat to the security of the United States.

Obama did not address the rumors, but described how he joined Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago two decades ago while working as a community organizer.

  • You have to admit, this is kind of sick. I mean come on, the guy says he’s not a Muslim. Just so people know: Allah (swt) doesn’t want anybody who is a Muslim but claims they are not. If he says he is a Christian, then let it go. This is getting old and tired. People have nothing else but to pull the scary Muslim card as if we are a disease or something. Hell, in most countries it’s more of an insult to be called an American than a Muslim, why don’t we focus and deal with that!

Pope Benedict XVI waves to the faithful during the Angelus prayer in St. Peter's square at the Vatican, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2007. The Pontiff warned Sunday against seeking happiness in drugs or other 'artificial paradises'' and in the selfish quest for 'pleasure at all costs.'' (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Pope decries ‘pleasure at all costs’

ROME – Pope Benedict XVI warned Sunday against seeking happiness in drugs or other “artificial paradises” and the self-centered quest for “pleasure at all costs.”

Instead, the pope held up Mother Teresa — the Roman Catholic nun who devoted her life to serving the poor in India and elsewhere — as an example.

“Every day, she lived next to misery, human degradation and death,” the pope told thousands of faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square. “Yet, she offered the smile of God to everybody.”

The pope, speaking during the traditional Sunday noon Angelus prayer, said real happiness cannot be found in cultures “that put individual happiness in the place of God, a mentality that has its emblematic effect in the quest for pleasure at all costs, in the spread of the use of drugs as an escape, a shelter in artificial paradises, which turn out to be completely illusory.”

  • Can’t argue with the Pontiff on this one. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if he had a choir of religious leaders proclaiming the same exact thing? Not only that, but actually have believers follow them?

Bill Clinton Says Obama Isn’t Ready

Former President Bill Clinton made an unusually direct attack Friday night on Senator Barack Obama, one of his wife’s leading rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination, suggesting that voters who would support someone with Mr. Obama’s experience were willing to “roll the dice” on the presidency.

Appearing on “The Charlie Rose Show” on PBS, Mr. Clinton repeatedly questioned Mr. Obama’s preparedness for the White House, noting that he took office in January 2005 and became a presidential candidate about two years later. (Mr. Obama was an Illinois state senator before that.)

“When is the last time we elected a president based on one year of service in the Senate before he started running?” Mr. Clinton said. At another point, he appeared to compare Mr. Obama to a “gifted television commentator” running for president. “They’d have only one year less experience in national politics” than Mr. Obama, he said.

  • All these comments from the Clinton camp proves one thing: At least some people believe Obama could go all the way. Think about it: Would the Clintons spend so much time on Obama if they didn’t believe he actually has a chance to dethrone them? They run one of the best political machines in politics and President Clinton is by far one of the greatest politicians ever, so why would they waste so much time on Obama?

Mitt Romney

Mitt wept when church ended discrimination

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” today that he wept with relief when the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the Mormon church, announced a 1978 revelation that the priesthood would no longer be denied to persons of African descent.

Romney’s eyes appeared to fill with tears as he discussed the emotional subject during a high-stakes appearance that he handled with no major blunders.

Watch video of Romney on “Meet the Press,” courtesy of BreitbartTV.

“I was anxious to see a change in my church,” said the Republican presidential candidate, appearing for the full hour just two weeks ahead of the crucial Iowa caucuses.

“I can remember when I heard about the change being made. I was driving home from — I think it was law school, but I was driving home — going through the Fresh Pond rotary in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I heard it on the radio and I pulled over and literally wept.

  • You know, I watched that interview on Sunday. I for one, will not judge Romney’s sincerity, however I would like to point out that issues such as race, are some of the reasons why Mormonism is being highlighted the way it is. I remember when I was siting with some of my friends and two Mormon missionaries rang the doorbell….we invited them in and let them share their faith with us, after that we continued to ask the hard questions like God having a physical body with wives and children, black people being cursed, etc. and they really didn’t have any answers. The Romney camp surely must know that as long as religion is a factor, the “ideas” of the Mormon religion are going to be questioned especially in the light of the Abrahamic faiths, beliefs, and traditions.

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Israel Expedites Al-Aqsa Digs

CAIRO — Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert ordered expediting controversial excavations near Al-Maghariba Gate, one of Al-Aqsa Mosque’s 14 gates, two days after the Annapolis peace conference, Israeli Haaretz daily revealed on Monday, December 17.

The government has instructed the Israel Antiquities Authorities (IAA) to complete the work “as soon as possible,” allocating a total of INS17.5 million ($4 million) to complete the project.

Israeli bulldozers started in February demolishing the wooden bridge leading to Al-Maghariba Gate and two underground rooms, sparking widespread protests from Palestinians, Muslims and international archeological and cultural bodies.

Israel claims the works intend to strengthen an access ramp to the Al-Maghariba Gate, which was damaged during a snow storm two years ago.

But archeologists warn that leveling the mound upon which the wooden bridge is built would threaten the foundation of Al-Aqsa Mosque Islam’s third holiest, and open the way for more Israeli excavations.

UNESCO has urged Israel to halt the excavations, insisting that the process should be supervised by a team of international experts.

A team of Turkish experts who had examined the excavations also recommended that Israel stop work immediately.

Olmert’s bureau told Haaretz Monday that the excavations and the construction had been halted since June due to planning problems, not political pressures.

Zeidman, an Israeli legal counsel, said the cabinet instructions to the IAA, which is supposedly an independent body, showed the extent to which archaeology had been politicized.

Now wonder, he added, since a large amount of the IAA’s income and almost all its digs in Al-Quds (occupied East Jerusalem) were being financed by settler associations.

  • I don’t know why people continually put the onus on Muslims for the peace process. Why can’t we see that the Israeli government continues to continue with policies that do nothing but inflame the hearts and minds of Muslims? Surely, possibly destroying the 3rd holiest site for Muslims would be good for the peace process!

art.vitiligo.makeup.ap.jpg

Disorder turning anchor’s skin from black to white

DETROIT, Michigan (AP) — Lee Thomas’ skin is betraying him.
His once brown, even complexion is now mottled with pale patches around his eyes and mouth, along his nose and on his ears; his arms, shoulders and chest are speckled and blotched.

“I’m a black man turning white on television and people can see it,” says Thomas, an anchor and entertainment reporter for the local Fox Broadcasting Company affiliate. “If you’ve watched me over the years, you’ve seen my hands completely change from brown to white.”

Thomas has vitiligo, a disorder in which pigment-making cells are destroyed. White patches appear on different parts of the body, tissues in the mouth and nose, and the retina.

“There is no cause. There is no cure, and it’s very random,” Thomas says. “I could turn all the way white or mostly white.”

As many as 65 million people worldwide have the disorder, including up to 2 million in the United States.

Few people, outside medical professionals and those with the disease, had heard the term “vitiligo” until Michael Jackson revealed in the early 1990s that the disorder was behind his skin turning brown to white.

  • See I knew it! MJ is exonerated! 🙂 This is very interesting to say the least. While this may definitely back MJ’s skin color claim, it still doesn’t explain the nose, but that is another story….

Palestinians win $7.4bn aid pledge

International donors have pledged $7.4bn in aid at a one-day conference in Paris aimed at helping improve the Palestinian economy and underpin the Middle East peace talks.

Bernard Kouchner, the French foreign minister, said on Monday that the Palestinians would receive the money over the next three years.

“Our goal had been for $5.6 billion. Now we have $7.4 billion,” he said at the end of the conference.The Palestinian government had asked the more than 90 assembled donors for $5.6bn to finance an ambitious development plan to stem the economic decline in the West Bank and Gaza.

“Without the continuation of this aid and without the liquidity needed for the Palestinian budget, we will have a catastrophe in the Gaza Strip and in the West Bank,” Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, said.

Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, also spoke of the need to secure the funding, calling the conference the Palestinian government’s “last hope” to avoid bankruptcy.

  • While this is good news to a degree, one has to wonder how feasible it would be to use this money productively toward needed infrastructure, when little to no infrastructure exists, and Israel is controlling the “flow” of things if you will, how can we expect results? Until the same community that donated the funds has the moral clarity, honor, and backbone to stand up to the Israeli government and ensure at the very least the Palestinians get a chance, they just as well have given that money to the fire.

US Must Reevaluate Its Relationship With Israel

by Scott Ritter

I have for some time now publicly articulated my sympathy and support for the state of Israel, even while criticizing those cases that I believed constituted poor judgment and bad policy. My stance was based upon my past experiences with Israel, which began indirectly in 1990-1991 when I was involved in counter-SCUD activities during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, and continued in a much more direct fashion as a weapons inspector with the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM), charged with disarming Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.

As a weapons inspector I made numerous visits to Israel for the purpose of coordinating with the Israeli intelligence community on matters pertaining to Iraqi WMD. I was greatly impressed not only with the professionalism of the Israeli intelligence services, but also with the Israeli people and society. During my time in Israel, I was witness to numerous horrific events, including several terrorist bombings and the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. The resilience of the people of Israel in absorbing these blows yet continuing to live life to its fullest was remarkable, and worthy of admiration.

As a firsthand witness to the remarkable vigor of the Israeli state and its people, and as someone who considers himself to be their friend, it saddens me to see just how poorly the current Israeli government returns this friendship, not to me personally, but to my country, the United States of America. The government of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has embarked on policies that are questionable at best when one examines them from a purely Israeli standpoint; they are nothing less than a betrayal of the United States when examined from a broader perspective.

The insidious manner in which the current Israeli government has manipulated the domestic political machinery of the United States to produce support for its policies constitutes nothing less than direct interference in the governance of a sovereign state. The degree to which the current Israeli government has succeeded in this regard can be tracked not only by the words and actions of the administration of President George W. Bush and the American Congress, but also by the extent to which a pro-Israel lexicon has taken hold within the mainstream media of the United States. Witness the pro-Israel bias displayed when discussing the situation in southern Lebanon, the air strike in Syria, or the Iranian situation, and the retarding of any effort toward a responsible discussion of anything dealing with Israel becomes apparent.

  • Look, I know it would be quite easy for readers of this blog and article to put me in a box because I’m Muslim and black, but let me reiterate that I am in no shape or form anti-Jew, Judaism, or an anti-Semite (Arabs are Semites by the way). However, one has to be able to use reason and be able to tell the truth, even when it’s not popular or inconvenient (thank you for increasing my vocabulary Al Gore). Therefore, I agree with the author that America has to re-evaluate our relationship with Israel. There is nothing wrong with supporting the government against terror, but blanket support without reprimanding when Israel is wrong is not in our best interests as a nation. Ultimately, when the President, Congress, Military, etc. take the various oaths of service we all state that we “swear or affirm, that we will protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic” our oath is to the United States and by judging our policies as it relate to the Middle East, it appears that maybe we should add Israel in our oath.

Ahmadinejad Among Tens of Thousands at Mecca for Hajj

Muslim pilgrims gather at holy mount for zenith of hajj

  • The first link is a video, the second a related article. The comments to the video are sickening for example:
  • “If ever there was a need for a massive nuclear explosion in Mecca…now is the time…Talk about ridding the world of about 80% of it’s known problems…”
  • “Is the ringleader who this guy reports upward to, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the REAL source of 80% of the world’s problems, there with him? If so, I agree with the sentiment to nuke Mecca…and Madina, and Teheran, and Karachi, and Lahore, and Quetta and Peshawar and….hey, do we have enough nukes left over for every city of reasonable size in Dar al-Islam??? If the Supreme Leader isn’t there, he’ll just find a replacement cloned from Ahmad-dinnerjacket. Or was that Ahmadi-genocide? Thus nuking Ahmadi-jihad wouldn’t permanently solve the problem in and of itself. A note to Muslims reading this: Americans didn’t consider themselves enemies of Islam until you collectively declared us as such!”
  • Normally, I ignore this ignorance, but for the record I wanted to leave the trolls a message ponder on, heres my reply:
  • You trolls are hilarious. Many of you sit behind the protection of a keyboard, calling for the death of 2 million plus men, women, and children who gather with the intention to remember God and the sacrifice of Abraham (as). Many of you claim to be Christians yet, Jesus (as) would never accept you with hearts and minds such as the ones you expose to the world on the net. Many of you still claim to be patriotic citizens of America that care about the country you live in, yet many of you have never worn the uniform of the US and the closest way you ever get to supporting the troops is by a bumper sticker, a yellow ribbon, and watching Fox News.Well let me tell you something: I am an American Muslim, I have honorably served this great nation in the United States Marine Corps. In my civilian life I have actively worked within the US Government to continually defend this nation. There are over 20k Muslims currently serving in uniform against terror defending our nation, and thousands still within the DC area supporting various government agencies.It makes me sick to my stomach that our sacrifices and service to so-called patriots is spit at because you hate our religion so much, that you wish that we were all nuked. Go to Arlington National Cemetery, I dare you after you look at all the Muslim headstones to dare say any of this crap to a Muslim Marine like me!Your nothing but a bunch of fake wannabes who crave attention through your hate and ignorance. If you want to impress those of us who actually fight for this country, do us a favor and get off your lazy backsides, grow a pair, and march down to the local USMC recruiter, we are still open for business and we are still the few and the proud.

    Semper Fidelis and As Salaam Alaikum

Hillary Clinton / AP

‘Are we ready to see Hillary age?’

RUDY Giuliani is no oil painting, nor is John McCain. Fred Thompson may have cracked it in Hollywood, but he’s hardly leading man material.

Barack Obama has those ears to contend with, while every time Joe Biden opens his mouth it’s like watching an old episode of Mr Ed. Even pretty boy John Edwards is starting to show signs of wear.

But according to the US’s leading radio shock jock, Rush Limbaugh, it all matters little for the male presidential candidates, because when men age they look “more authoritative, accomplished and distinguished”.

  • This is just sickening. Surely America we can do better than this. Anything to create divisiveness is the plan of the day! Now we are talking about aging truly showing our sexist colors. This makes no sense, we all age it happens, but now we want to show our true colors or attempt to sway the ignorant in order to ignore policy and real political differences. Can we please stick to the issues! Race, Religion, and Age should and that’s a big should be left out of it. As far as Rush goes, he has a lot of nerve talking about looks. Why not focus on why many Americans don’t trust the Republican party first then we can get to trivial matters because many of you are trying you best to make Hillary out to be a demon!
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One Comment

  1. […] Obama Describes Faith Amid False Rumors MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) – Democrat Barack Obama on Sunday confronted one of the persistent falsehoods circulating about him on the Internet. He went to church. His attendance here at the First Congregational United Church of Christ, with the news media in tow, was as much an observation of faith as it was a rejoinder to the e-mailed rumors that he is a Muslim and poses a threat to the security of the United States. Obama did not address the rumors, b source: Articles of Interest, December 18th, 2007 […]

    Reply

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