Archive for January, 2008

“My Headscarf Headache” by Dr. Phyllis Chesler

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

My headscarf is giving me a headache! What I mean, is that the issue of the Islamic headscarf is a tricky, thorny one with no hard-and-fast solution in sight precisely when one is required. Just yesterday, a dear friend challenged me on this very subject.

She said: “How can you favor the state forbidding women from doing something that they want to do for religious reasons?”

A fair enough question.

My immediate response: Women’s freedom may depend upon the separation of religion and state. What one does at home or in one’s mosque, church, temple, or synagogue is one thing. But, is it wise to subsidize diverse religious expressions in a taxpayer-supported public school? Especially in the West where the headscarf is as much a symbol of jihad and women’s subordination as it is an expression of a modest, religious choice?

In 2004, the headscarf was a burning issue in France when the country passed a law forbidding the wearing of “ostentatious” religious symbols. This meant that no one could wear a cross, a turban, or a yarmulke either but the law was truly aimed at hijab—the wearing of headscarves by Muslim women. Feminists argued both sides of this controvery.

In 2008, the headscarf is again a burning issue in Turkey where an increasingly religious population, including women, is demanding the right to veil in university. This is seen as a complete reversal of the enormous gains made by Attatturk in 1921.

It is also a pendulum swing from the various Arab and Muslim feminist movements of that era in which unveiling was a linch-pin issue. Egypt’s Huda Shaarawi must be turning in her grave. I wonder what she would say?

Yes, it is true: Religious families in the West rarely give their children “freedom of choice” when it comes to religious education and practices. Both girls and boys are indoctrinated from an early age. This is true for secular fundamentalist families as well. Western law does not intefere with this. On what basis could we do so where only Muslims are concerned? Or rather, like France, are we now willing to interfere in the private religious realm because of new, Islamist “clear and present dangers?”

Ideally of course, tolerating diverse ethnic and religious choices is a great Western virtue. The problem arises when those who themselves are intolerant wish to use such Western virtues in order to achieve separatist, hostile-parasitic enclaves. But, hasn’t some degree of separatism been true for every immigrant group—at least in America? Hasn’t the genius of America resided precisely in allowing each immigrant group to remain identified in separate ways while simultaneously becoming identified similarly as Americans?

My friend is a religious Jew and is therefore very sensitive to the dangers involved when Jewish religious expression is forbidden. Indeed, even today, the Jews of Europe have been advised by their rabbis to hide their yarmulkes and stars of David lest they be scorned or beaten on the streets—something which has, alas, been happening.

But, said I, with a heavy heart: We can’t really compare apples and oranges. Crosses and yarmulkes are not the same as hijab or niqab. With some exceptions, both Jews and Christians are not only or solely defined as members of their religious group. They also partake of the public, secular, modern culture. Also, there are only about 15 million Jews world-wide. There are 1.2 billion Muslims and counting. If every single Jew covered every inch of themselves with Jewish symbols it would be as a drop in the sea compared to every single Muslim doing so.

Of course, as a religious Jew, my friend is still concerned with the morality involved. From a Jewish point of view, what’s good for a Jew should be good for every other religious group since all humanity has been created in “God’s image.”

But, what about women’s rights? Where do we stand on a woman’s right not to wear a headscarf? Will we protect her (at least in the West) from being honor-murdered when she refuses to do so? However, what do we do when a woman claims that her right to freely practice her religion is being interfered with if we stop her from veiling? Does the state have the right to force her, against her will, to expose her hair to strange men?

Indeed, this is the subject of a 2007 federal lawsuit brought by the ACLU on behalf of Jameela Medina. She is a Los Angeles PH.D student who was riding a commuter train without a proper ticket. For what should have been a minor matter, she was taken off the train, arrested, kept in jail for several hours where she was forced to remove her headscarf.Medina also claims that she was “intimidated” by a deputy sheriff who accused her of “being a terrorist” and who called Islam an “evil” religion.

No one should be so insulted in America. And, prisoners are actually allowed to wear headscarves in jail—a point which the ACLU is arguing.

Yes, I know that many educated Muslim women choose to wear hijab or niqab. But, I also know that many educated Muslim women who choose not to do so are threatened, pressured, shunned, and even killed for this reason, both in the West and in Muslim lands.

Yes, I also know that some feminists have claimed that historically, veiled women on the streets may have been less harassed by men in the East than unveiled women were at the same time in the West. Today, separate buses and railway cars for women-only have been launched in India and Mexico in response to the still ongoing harassment of women. (Insisting, in ugly or violent ways, that women sit at the back of the public bus used by ultra-religious Jewish populations in Jerusalem, is a slightly separate although equally awful reality and one that the Israeli Supreme Court will hear).

I also know that many Muslim women do not feel “coerced” into wearing a headscarf in the West as much as they feel called upon to register a permanent, visible, protest against promiscuity and the eroticization of women in the West. (Like nuns do).

In the 1960s and 1970s, I thought it was poetic justice for former “colonials” to sport their colorful customs all over London. Bangles, nose-rings, turbans, long flowing robes on both men and women—yes! But, by the 21st century, these exotic garments are ominously value-laden and less lovely. Now, they signify a serious cultural, military, political, and theological invasion of Britain and the West.

Quo Vadis my friends? What shall we do in America? Do we allow headscarves or do we ban them? What about female genital mutilation, daughter- and wife-beating, and secret polygamy? Finally, what about the indoctrination into hating Jews and other infidels which begins in childhood and is theologically driven in certain mosques and religious schools? Right here in the USA?

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Dr. Phyllis Chesler is the well known author of classic works, including the bestseller Women and Madness (1972) and The New Anti-Semitism (2003). She has just published The Death of Feminism: What’s Next in the Struggle for Women’s Freedom (Palgrave Macmillan), as well as an updated and revised edition of Women and Madness. She is an Emerita Professor of psychology and women’s studies, the co-founder of the Association for Women in Psychology (1969) and the National Women’s Health Network (1974). She is currently on the Board of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East and lives in New York City. Her website is www.phyllis-chesler.com.
We are delighted to have Dr. Chesler as a contributor to the Jesus is Lord, A Worshipping Christian’s Blog.

Original Link.

Abuse of U.S. Muslim Women Is Greater Than Reported, Advocacy Groups Say

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

I have recounted my encounter with an abused Muslim woman before, but let me post it here for those of you who might have missed it before.

Not long ago, I visited with a Muslim lady at a local pizzeria. Well, “visited” doesn’t really sum up our brief clandestine conversation.
Let me elaborate:
The lady in question had a black eye. A real shiner.
I sat down behind her and speaking softly, I said “Ma’am, this is the United States. You don’t have to let him beat you like that”.
And she responded to me, her English perfect, but her voice quavering in fear. “Please, don’t talk to me. If my husband sees you talking to me he’ll hit me harder.”
I will never forget this exchange. I do not know who this lady is. I don’t frequent this pizzeria often, so our paths have not crossed since then. I do not know if she has suffered more beatings. I pray that she has not.

WASHINGTON — Two months into an arranged marriage, Fozia Sadiq, a young Pakistani immigrant, found herself trapped in the suburbs of Dallas, Texas, with a violent husband.

She says he routinely beat her and intimidated her into never going anywhere in public without him.

“My neck had so many bruises, and I had scratches all over my arms,” Sadiq told FOXNews.com through an interpreter.

A practicing Muslim, Sadiq finally escaped in 2006, during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

She says she stayed up all night reading the Koran and was physically abused by her husband for not cleaning up the kitchen the next morning.

“He yelled at her, kicked her and punished her,” says Mazna Hussain, an attorney who is helping Sadiq remain in the United States.

“And when she was on the ground [during the beating], at that point she finally decided to leave before he killed her.”

There are no solid statistics on the rate of domestic violence within the Muslim-American community, and it is difficult to determine whether Muslim women are victimized more than women in the general population.

But advocacy groups say Sadiq’s story is not an isolated case.

On New Year’s Day, two teenage Egyptian-American sisters, Amina and Sarah Said, were shot dead in Irving, Texas. Police are searching for their father, Yaser Abdel Said, who reportedly was angry with their American-like behavior, which included dating.

According to the girls’ great-aunt, their father had been abusing them for years. She says they, along with their mother, fled after he threatened to kill the girls.

The great-aunt called the murders “honor killings” for bringing shame to the family, a charge Islam Said, the girls’ brother, denies. Police say they are looking into motives.

Allegations that the girls were killed for dishonoring the family’s name has brought greater focus on all forms of abuse in the Muslim-American community in what some say is a bigger problem than is reported because, they say, it is veiled in secrecy.

“I suspect it’s happening a lot more than we think,” says Hussain, who works with battered Muslim women at the Tahirih Justice Center in Northern Virginia.

“We hear again and again from [abused] women who say, ‘I can’t tell my parents back home because if they find out, my younger sister can’t get married,'” says Meghna Gozwami, client services coordinator for DAYA, a South-Asian immigrant group that provides legal and financial assistance for abused families. The name “DAYA” means “compassion” in Sanskrit.

DAYA, which runs a domestic violence hotline, has seen a dramatic increase in distress calls –almost 20 times more — in the last five years (from 189 calls in 2003 to 3,308 last year).

Read the rest of the article here.

“The War Against Jihadism” By George Weigel

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

“Why can’t we call the enemy by its name? We’re going to have to in order to win.”

What kind of campaign is this? Six-plus years after 9/11; while the Taliban attempts an Afghanistan comeback; as Islamist terrorists cause mayhem in Algeria and occupy huge swaths of tribal Pakistan; despite “United 93” and “The Kite Runner,” a library-full of books, presidential commissions, congressional hearings, and four election cycles—despite all of that, a strange, Victorian reticence about naming the enemy in the contest for the human future in which we are engaged befogs this political season.

Such reticence is an obstacle to victory in a war we cannot avoid and in which we must prevail. For if there is one thing certain in this season of great uncertainties, it is that the war against jihadism will be staring the next president of the United States in the face at high noon on Inauguration Day, 2009.

That is what we are fighting: jihadism, the religiously inspired ideology which teaches that it is every Muslim’s duty to use any means necessary to compel the world’s submission to Islam. That most of the world’s Muslims do not accept this definition of the demands of their faith is true—and beside the point. The jihadists believe this. That is why they are the enemy of their fellow Muslims and the rest of the world. For decades, an internal Islamic civil war, born of Islam’s difficult encounter with modernity, has been fought over such key modern political ideas as religious toleration and the separation of religious and political authority in a just state. That intra-Islamic struggle now engages the rest of humanity. To ignore this, to imagine it’s all George W. Bush’s fault, or to misrepresent it because of a prudish reluctance to discuss religion in public, is to repeat the mistakes the advocates of appeasement made in the 1930s.

Original Link.

Muslim Cab Drivers Convert Break Room to a Mosque

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

As is the norm these days, the Muslims demand that everyone adhere to their sensibilities while they ignore the sensibilities of everyone else.

A shuttle driver has filed a complaint with the FAA against the Salt Lake International Airport, saying officials allowed thousands of religious services to be conducted on public property. Muslim cab drivers began praying in a small airport building used as a break room after 9-11, because, the airport says, they became targets, with people yelling at them and throwing things.

Shuttle driver Jeff Brueningsen took photos inside the building he and other drivers share at the airport. “It was definitely an Islamic center.” He said it didn’t feel right, so he filed a complaint with the FAA against the airport.

“In proper, polite company you never bring up politics or religion. And they introduced both instantly into what’s supposed to be a professional, secular transportation-aviation facility,” Brueningsen said.

In the complaint he details claims that he was harassed by a group of Muslim drivers who he says have threatened to kill him. It came to a head earlier this month when Brueningsen says Mohammed Alahmed and other drivers attacked him.

Original Link.

Maternity Units Turn Away British Mothers as Muslim Immigrants’ Baby Boom Fills Beds

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

The invasion of the U.K. by Islam is not limited to violent terrorist. Eventually, the Muslims will be the majority and will vote the U.K. out of existence.

Maternity wards are being forced to turn away expectant mothers because they cannot cope with soaring demand from immigrants.

One hospital even had to shut its maternity ward for two months because its staff were needed elsewhere to deliver babies from foreign-born mothers.

An investigation has found the cost of providing maternity services for immigrants has more than doubled in only a decade to £350million a year.

The number of babies born to foreigners went up by 64,000 in 2007, piling pressure on maternity services

But the Government has massively underestimated the scale of the problem, and last year the number of midwives actually fell for the first time since Labour came to power.

According to an investigation by the BBC’s Ten O’Clock News, one baby in eight was born to an immigrant mother in 1997.

Now, the figure is almost one in four.

Spending on NHS maternity services has increased from £1billion to £1.6billion a year.

But this has not been enough to cope with increased birth rates.

The number of babies born to British mothers has fallen by around 44,000 each year since 1997 but the number born to foreigners is up by 64,000 a year.

This has raised the overall birth rate to its highest level for 26 years and almost 40,000 more babies were born in 2006 than officials at the Health Department expected.

The baby boom is piling pressure on NHS maternity services.

Original Link.

“A Prophet in the American Cabinet” by Dr. Phyllis Chesler

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

I propose that the next American President appoint a Prophet to the Cabinet. We have entered an era where prophetic views and values are sorely required.

Prophets, (Jeremiah, Isaiah, Cassandra), see what is happening but the people and their leaders don’t listen to them. Perhaps if prophets could once again assume official positions (with calling cards and press secretaries) their voices might be heard. Consigning prophets to the care and keeping of commercial or even academic publishing is a risk we can no longer afford to take.

Of course, I am not talking about False Prophets or lunatics but about the real deal. (I know, whom can we trust to recognize a true prophet, etc.)

But the handwriting-on-the-sky has been alarmingly visible for quite some time. In the 1970s, French novelist Jean Raspail published a Swiftian novel, The Camp of the Saints, in which he envisioned a flotilla of millions of immigrants traveling from the Ganges to France. An all-powerful, multi-culturally correct intelligentsia that has taught Europe that it must atone for its racist, colonial guilt welcomes the invasion. Europe (European culture as we have known it) is destroyed.

In the 1980s and 1990s, the Egyptian-born scholar Bat Ye’or and Italy’s finest journalist Oriana Fallaci tried to warn us in both learned and passionate ways. They continued this work right into the twenty-first century. In the beginning, they were dismissed as “paranoid” and “racist”, viciously attacked, and even sued.

From the mid-1990s on, other voices chimed in: the eminent Daniel Pipes for one, and the equally eminent Ibn Warraq, for another. Post 9/11, both men have continued this work and have been joined by Robert Spencer, Steve Emerson, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Nonie Darwish, Wafa Sultan, and scores of others (Pim Fortyn, Theo Von Gogh, Bruce Bawer, Carol Gould, Melanie Phillips, Fiamma Nierenstein, myself).

So far, what we have said has made little difference. We, too, have often been dismissed and attacked as “racists” and “reactionaries” by other westerners.

Some of my prophet-friends say that the tide is turning, that both European governments and civilians now “get it.”

Welcome news—although rather late in the day.

In my view, the signs are still there for all to see. My email this morning tells me:

In Iran, Hossein Shariatmadari, managing editor of ‘Kayhan’ (Universe), one of Iran’s most influential newspapers, has “issued a strongly worded editorial inviting Muslims to topple moderate Islamic governments and attack US, European and Israeli interests.” In the editorial, entitled “The enemy’s shield”, Shariatmadari argues that in Shia or Sunni Islam “It is legal to strike those who protect the enemy.” ” The real enemies, says Shariatmadari are “The barbaric Zionists, the ferocious Americans and their European allies”.

Not to be outdone, Al-Qaeda has threatened to assasinate Gordon Brown and Tony Blair and to devastate Britain with a wave of suicide bombings unless all British troops are withdrawn from Iraq and Afghanistan and all Islamist prisoners are freed from British jails by the end of March. This threat appeared on a recognized jihadi website (al-ekhlass.net) but has now been taken down. It was also posted in English under “Al Qaeda in Britain” but has also been removed. Despite such threats, Britain continues to groan under the costs of subsidizing the precipitously rising birth rate among immigrants.

The upper house of the Afghan parliament supported a death sentence which was issued against a young Afghan journalist for blasphemy in northern Afghanistan. Pervez Kambaksh, 23, was convicted last week of downloading and distributing an article insulting Islam. (The article concerned women and Islam). He has denied the charge. These MKs are America’s and Europe’s allies.

Turkey’s governing political party agreed to lift the ban on Islamic headscarves for women attending university. (This group almost made it into the European Union—and the Turkish military may stage a coup over this).

In Jordan, a 17 year-old girl was strangled to death by her brother in a Palestinian refugee camp in Jordan in what was reported to be an honor killing. (But this must be due to the Israeli Occupation—oh wait a minute, Israel does not occupy Jordan).

The same Hamas that invaded neighboring Egypt’s sovereign space, has, since Israel withdrew from Gaza, bombarded the Israeli border town of Sderot with more than 4000 rocket and mortar attacks, killing and injuring many innocent civilians. (Much thanks to Jennifer Lazlo Mizrahi of The Israel Project for publishing a Time-Line of these rocket attacks).

And our trendy friends at al-Jazeera are trying to exert more control over the English-language outlet. The editor-in-chief, Ibrahim Hilal, was not pleased by how his mainly western journalists handled the infamous Mohammed-the-teddy-bear incident. According to one source, “Hilal sent an email banning the story from being run on al-Jazeera English because it would upset Muslims. It was only covered when there were riots in Sudan.”

Yes, there are signs of resistance afoot as well: The Danish Royal Library is planning to exhibit the Mohammed cartoons—but the British decision to label all acts of Islamist terrorism as “anti-Islamic” (which columnist Mark Steyn labels as “Orwellian”) is far more characteristic of our times.

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Dr. Phyllis Chesler is the well known author of classic works, including the bestseller Women and Madness (1972) and The New Anti-Semitism (2003). She has just published The Death of Feminism: What’s Next in the Struggle for Women’s Freedom (Palgrave Macmillan), as well as an updated and revised edition of Women and Madness. She is an Emerita Professor of psychology and women’s studies, the co-founder of the Association for Women in Psychology (1969) and the National Women’s Health Network (1974). She is currently on the Board of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East and lives in New York City. Her website is www.phyllis-chesler.com.
We are delighted to have Dr. Chesler as a contributor to the Jesus is Lord, A Worshipping Christian’s Blog.

Original Link.

“Future History” by Jack Kinsella

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

“Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:” (Isaiah 46:9-10)

The Bible contains sixty-six different books, written by forty different men, most of whom lived and died in different centuries, in different countries, many of them unaware of other prophets or other prophecies. The writers of the Bible were shepherds and kings, statesmen and beggars.

All the Bible’s writers were ‘non-profit prophets’ — being a prophet of God was not a sought-after job; most prophets lived miserably and died painfully. Most, like Jeremiah, tried to talk God out of hiring them.

Yet with all of that, every book blends seamlessly into the rest, both the books that came before, and those that came AFTER. Some books of the Bible reference other books not yet written at that time. Others quote earlier prophets or sacred writing, but all are harmonious with one another.

The writing of the Scripture is nothing short of miraculous in and of itself. Its preservation over the centuries is mind-boggling, if you let yourself think about it. You and I have both experienced discussions with non-believers convinced they can prove the Bible is wrong.

They rail and babble and quote everybody EXCEPT the Scriptures, and in the end, come away as convinced as when they went in. Or get mad and just go away.

Think how many times similar conversations take place around the world, every single day.

Then, take a look at the broader view: In every generation since its compilation, the Bible has been the subject of discussion between believers and non-believers. In every generation, non-believers have made it their mission in life to disprove the Scriptures.

Any discrepancy has been analyzed and re-analyzed by both friend and foe, read and re-read, argued and re-argued, in a million conversations over thousands of years.

Whoever successfully proved the Bible wrong on any point; doctrine, history, archeology, law, medicine, science, or geography would have single-handedly destroyed the basic foundation of the Judeo-Christian ethic.

The Bible says of itself, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16)

Such a thinker and philosopher would be world-famous. Think of it! The man who proved God wrong! In all those generations, among all those thinkers over all those centuries, that thinker has yet to claim his prize.

The Bible is wholly consistent with known science. The book of Isaiah said the earth was round tens of centuries before Columbus.

“It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth. . .” (Isaiah 40:22)

Ecclesiates 1:6 reveals that the winds move in cyclonic patterns and Job tells us that light is in motion (Job 38:19-20) thousands of years before weather satellites and Einstein’s calculations proved both to be true.

Medically, the Bible tells us the chemical nature of human life (Genesis 2:7, 3:19) that the life of creatures are in the blood (Leviticus 17:11), the nature of infectious diseases (Leviticus 13:46) and the importance of sanitation to health (Numbers 19, Deuteronomy 23:12-13, Leviticus 7-9) many thousands of years before doctors were still practicing blood-letting as a treatment for disease.

The list goes on. Every historical event described by the Bible has either been confirmed by other sources, or has yet to be confirmed. Not a single historical event described by Scripture has ever conclusively been disproved.

Sometimes, it is necessary to go back and take another look at the Source and meditate on just what a miracle it is in order to get a clearer understanding of what it says. It helps to reconfirm that everything it says is true. Despite thousands of years of editorial criticism, the Bible stands essentially unchanged from when it was first given.

A complete copy of the Book of Isaiah was unearthed as part of the Dead Sea Scroll treasures and is today enshrined in the Dome of the Tablets in Jerusalem. I have personally seen it and marveled at the fact its date could NOT be questioned. It could NOT be younger than the day it was buried in AD 70.

But, apart from grammatical changes made necessary by changes in Hebrew grammar over the centuries, it reads exactly the same way as the Book of Isaiah in your own Bible.

It makes sense to assume the rest of the Scriptures are equally accurate, since there is no evidence to the contrary and all the available evidence supports Scripture.

Where are we going with all this? The Bible’s accuracy is not limited to history, geography, science or medicine. It is equally accurate in describing the events that have not yet taken place.

The prophecies of the Bible are, from God’s perspective, ALREADY history. “. . .yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.” (Isaiah 46:11)

So not only does the God of the Bible know all things, but He has chosen to make known to us, through the Bible, what is still to come! In fact, even more than that, the God of the Bible CHALLENGES any so-called ‘gods’ to do the same.

“Produce your cause, saith the LORD; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob. Let them bring them forth, and shew us what shall happen: let them shew the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come. Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together.” (Isaiah 41:21:23)

From God’s perspective, outside of space and time, everything is now, so to speak. God’s historical pronouncements are given from the benefit of Divine Hindsight. His prophetic pronouncements also enjoy the benefit of Divine Hindsight.

The Bible describes the future, but to God, it has already happened, if you can follow that line of reasoning for a minute. Since to God, it already happened, the events that remain yet future will be fulfilled as specifically as those events that have already come to pass.

Original Link.

Florida City Law Defines ‘Gender Identity’ as ‘Inner Sense of Being, Without Regard to Sex at Birth’

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

You have got to be kidding!!

A Florida city has added itself to the ranks of governments that have decided to ban discrimination based on the “inner sense of being a specific gender … with or without regard to the individual’s designated sex at birth.”

The council in Gainesville this week narrowly voted to approve the gender identity protection plan that already is causing an uproar in Montgomery County, Md., where its implementation is being challenged by a citizens’ group over the apparent open-door attitude the ordinance has regarding public facilities including lockerrooms, showers and restrooms.

The ordinance Gainesville approved allows specific exceptions for “public accommodations” where “being seen fully unclothed is unavoidable,” but still earned the displeasure of a majority of those who attended the second public hearing, at which the plan was formally adopted.

The ordinance adds gender identity as a category of people provided special protections from discrimination. Already the city banned discrimination based on race, religion, sexual orientation and gender.

Commissioner Ed Braddy moved to deny the ordinance, and was joined by Commissioner Rick Bryant.

“When you boil it down the issue is that because of some people who have some sort of emotional or psychological issue, others have to change,” Braddy said, according to a report in the Gainesville Sun.

But a majority of the panel approved the new law, which affects the city laws governing the Human Rights Board, the Equal Employment Opportunity rules, Equal Access to Places of Public Accommodation, Fair Housing and Equal Credit Opportunity provisions.

“Gender identity, as defined in the proposed ordinance, means ‘an inner sense of being a specific gender, or the expression of a gender identity by verbal statement, appearance, or mannerisms, or other gender-related characteristics of an individual with or without regard to the individual’s designated sex at birth,'” the city said.

“The general procedures and prohibitions … would apply to discrimination on the basis of gender identity as it would to discrimination on the basis of other protected classes,” the city continued.

The exceptions would be allowed for “certain shared facilities” such as “a shared shower or dressing facility.”

“Denial of access to such facilities would be permitted if the covered entity provided reasonable access to adequate facilities that are not inconsistent with the person’s gender identity, as established with the entity at the time of initial access, or upon notification to the entity that the individual has undergone or is undergoing gender transition…”

David Caton, who leads the Florida Family Association, told WND that such moves are “outrageous.”

He said his organization has been protesting such plans for some time, pointing out that ordinances like this essentially could be argued before a judge to protect “the right of a person to dress one day as a man, and another day as a woman.”

“It’s absolutely atrocious for our children to have to deal with that kind of social engineering,” he said.

“The worst part of it is when they get one day in the press, and the government gives its stamp of approval to do all kinds of weird things …. Our biggest obligation is saying it’s not ok,” he said.

The Sun reported a “majority” of the standing-room-only crowd at the council meeting opposed the ordinance. In the end Mayor Pegeen Hanrahan was joined by commissioners Craig Lowe, Jeanna Mastrodicasa and Jack Donovan to approve the new rule.

Commissioner Scherwin Henry had supported the law on the first reading, but changed and opposed it on final reading.

The newspaper said several other locations in Florida, including Key West, West Palm Beach and Miami Beach, already have protections for those with “gender identity” issues.

In Montgomery County, Md., there already has been a “trial run” of its new law that arguably would allow coed locker rooms in public accommodations, and women aren’t pleased with the results. Montgomery County’s law contains no specific exception to public facilities such as lockerrooms, showers and restrooms.

The “trial run” happened recently when a man, wearing a skirt and makeup, walked into a women’s locker room at a health club.

“I could see his muscles, I could see his large hands. He was wearing a blue ruffled skirt that came down to above the knee,” Mary Ann Andree told WJLA-Television after the incident at the Rio Sport and Health Club in Gaithersburg.

“I was very upset, I’m still upset,” Andree told the station. “There’s a lot he could’ve seen.”

“It is becoming obvious that this bill will have very real and serious repercussions,” said Michelle Turner, a spokeswoman for the local organization that has adopted the Not My Shower slogan and is working on a petition that would have residents vote on the plan.

The group, Maryland Citizens for Responsible Government, has been critical of the suggestion since before it was given a green light by elected officials in Montgomery County and then signed into law by County Executive Ike Leggett.

Patrick Lacefield, the county’s communications director, told WND the county’s legal team has advised that the provisions of the ban on discrimination by gender would not apply to “intimate facilities.”

However, he admitted nowhere in the law is that stated.

“We do not feel that it was necessary to explicitly state that,” he said.

Original Link.

Homosexuals Squelch Facts About MRSA Outbreak, Conservatives Say

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

We posted about this earlier in January. Instead of squelching the facts about this deadly Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (staph infection), the homosexuals should be doing more to protect themselves. Ceasing to engage in homosexual behavior would a great way to protect themselves from this disease.

(CNSNews.com) – Conservative groups say the truth about a new “multi-drug resistant microbe” prevalent among homosexual men is not being presented to the public because of political correctness.

Almost two weeks ago, researchers announced they have isolated a new form of MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, an infection that is spreading through San Francisco’s homosexual community and could spread to the general community.

“These multi-drug resistant infections often affect gay men at body sites in which skin-to-skin contact occurs during sexual activities,” said Binh Diep, the University of California-San Francisco scientist who led the team that made the finding.

In fact, the researchers determined that this variant of MRSA infection is 13 to 14 times more prevalent in homosexual men than for the general population.

But the media are now obscuring that fact, according to Matt Barber, director of cultural policy for Concerned Women for America (CWA).

“The real story here is the way that the media have whitewashed this outbreak,” Barber told Cybercast News Service. “It is amazing to see what they’ve done with this.”

Barber said the initial reporting of the outbreak was “pretty solid” and news accounts related the facts “as is,” but the coverage began to change after conservative groups like CWA noted that this variant is primarily spread by men having anal sex.

“The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and other organizations began to jump up and down a bit and scream, and The New York Times and other organizations started to backpedal,” Barber said.

“The story was no longer the dangers associated with the outbreak – and the behaviors associated with it,” said Barber. “The story now became about how groups like mine were supposedly misrepresenting the outbreak as some sort of ‘new gay plague’ or ‘the new AIDS’ – things we never said.”

Indeed, HRC accused CWA and others of being “anti-gay bigots” for recommending that one way to stop this outbreak of the infection is for homosexual men to curtail having anal sex – at least for a while.

“Serious medical issues deserve serious consideration, not wildly off-the-mark press releases from anti-gay groups trying to capture media attention,” HRC President Joe Solmonese said in a news release.

“We saw this kind of hysteria in the early 1980s around HIV/AIDS, and I’ll be damned if we will sit idly by in 2008 and let them perpetrate that type of anti-gay hysteria without calling them out on it,” he said.

Since the homosexual backlash, the University of California-San Francisco has apologized for the fact that the study mentions homosexual men.

“We regret that our recent news report (1-14-08) about an important population-based study on MRSA USA300 with public health implications contained some information that could be interpreted as misleading,” the university’s Web site said.

“We deplore negative targeting of specific populations in association with MRSA infections or other public health concerns, and we will be working to ensure that accurate information about the research is disseminated to the health community and the general public,” it added.

Even the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has taken a somewhat politically correct line. In a statement issued recently on the new outbreak, the government agency said it is “not a sexually transmitted disease in the classic sense” – and that spread of the bacteria could be stopped by washing hands and covering open wounds.

“We never suggested that it was a sexually transmitted disease,” CWA’s Barber countered. “We only talked about the specific behaviors that are causing this infection to spread.”

Internationally known infectious disease specialist Dr. John Diggs is siding with the conservatives. The Massachusetts-based physician said treating any infection in a politically correct manner could be dangerous. Treating MRSA that way could prove fatal.

“This outbreak is especially troubling because it is a community-based form of MRSA,” said Diggs, who is an executive committee member of the Physicians Consortium. “Until recently, MRSA has typically been confined to hospitals. The implications are very serious, because we don’t know exactly where this is going to go.”

Medically speaking, any break in the skin that is exposed to the organism can then set off an infection, which can destroy “a lot of tissue” before it’s brought under control, Diggs said.

“You can take something that was relatively isolated in a small place, and suddenly, when it spreads to the general population, things such as school wrestling matches, or football games or basketball games or other sporting events, can take on a specter – they can become deadly,” he added.

The fact is, the epicenter for this outbreak is among men who are having sex with men, Diggs told Cybercast News Service. Researchers identified the rates of drug resistance on the basis of ZIP codes, not ideology.

“The particular ZIP codes they looked at were ones that were associated primarily with men who were having sex with other men,” he said, “the Castro district in San Francisco and also a healthcare center called the Fenway, here in Massachusetts, in Boston.”

Diggs noted that the study itself pointed out that the infection manifests as “an abscess in the buttocks, genitals or perineum” and concluded that it “probably started out in San Francisco, and has been disseminated by the frequent cross-coastal travel” of homosexual men traveling from San Francisco to Boston.

“Men who practice anal sex, men who have promiscuous sex, men who have multiple partners in short periods of time are much more likely to spread this disease,” he said. “It’s not because of who they are. It’s because of that they do.”

“Now I know that a lot of people have attacked those who have brought this to people’s attention as being homophobic, but the real issue – and you have to face the facts – is that men who have sex with men have very high rates of sexually transmitted disease,” Diggs said.

“When you face that reality, then you have to start taking a serious look and deciding that the best public health intervention is to discourage behavior that causes the infection to spread.”

The biggest problem with this new strain – as with any variant of MRSA, Diggs said, is that it is increasingly difficult to find drugs that will effectively combat the problem.

The study appears in the online version of The Annals of Internal Medicine.

Original Link.

“THE PROFESSOR AND THE REBBETZIN” by Fern Sidman

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

The story of Paula (Penina) Lester

Within each Jewish soul there is to be found the most potent of all components, the pintele yid, the Jewish spark that waits to be ignited, and hence to illuminate the world. Throughout history, the Jewish people have been blessed with many great seekers of wisdom and truth. Those individuals who constantly yearn for a genuine connection to the spiritual, who are driven by a desire to create a relationship with the G-d of truth, justice, mercy and compassion. The following is the miraculous story of a Jewish woman who has found her way back to her heritage, to her G-d and to a Torah life, with the personal supervision of Hashem and with the help of a very special Rebbetzin.

At age 58, Paula (Penina) Lester is a tenured university professor at CW Post and veteran academic who never imagined in her wildest dreams that she would ever be lighting Shabbos candles, praying from a Siddur and learning Torah. Having been born and raised in a secular Jewish home, she had limited exposure to authentic Judaism, yet her quest for spiritual fulfillment propelled her on a path that saw a multitude of twists and turns.

“When I was growing up I felt more American than Jewish,” says Penina. “I grew up in the Bronx, my family was basically secular, although my grandparents were Orthodox and we would often spend Shabbos afternoon with them, enjoying a wonderful meal. Our home was kosher, (although we ate non-kosher outside of the house), we would take off from public school on Jewish holidays, we would have Passover Sedorim and celebrate Chanukah but something was missing. I never really had a formal Jewish education as a child, I had never read the Bible and I certainly was ignorant of Torah teachings, yet I knew that I was a Jew. When I was about 13, I recall saving up my allowance so I could buy a sterling silver mezuzah which I still have in my car.”

Penina became immersed in the world of secular academia and went on to pursue a career in teaching like her mother before her. “I knew I wanted to go to Hunter College and become a teacher like my mother. I got my Bachelor’s degree from Hunter and also got my Masters degree in Spanish from Lehman College. Then it was on to Pace University where I received my Masters in educational administration. My last stop was New York University where I received a PhD in organizational and administrative studies. It was while I was in college that I stopped taking days off for Jewish holidays.”

It was while at Pace University that Penina met two people who not only became dear friends but also served as unknowing catalysts on her path back to Hashem and Torah. ” Rose was a professor that I had during my first graduate course at Pace University. Her husband Lloyd was also a professor that I had while I was pursuing my doctorate. They were not Jewish, however we became close friends and I considered Rose to be a mentor of sorts. They moved to Nevada in 1990 to take teaching positions out there and they invited me to visit. It was when I paid them a visit and spent a considerable amount of time with them that I found out that they were both devout Mormons. I’m grateful to Rose and Lloyd for inspiring me to read the scripture and getting me to pray everyday.”

Despite the Mormon influence of her friends, Penina never forgot that she was a Jew. “When I visited with Rose and Lloyd, I attended a Reform temple on Friday nights and Saturday morning but then joined them at the Mormon chapel on Sundays. Needless to say, I was searching for something. I knew something essential and true was missing from my life, yet I wasn’t quite sure what it was. My family and friends were concerned about the Mormon influence in my life. They knew that when I left New York I was a Jew, yet they didn’t know whether or not I would come home a Jew.”

In the aftermath of the 9/11 tragedy, Penina felt drawn to join a synagogue and become part of a community. “I felt the need to be part of something bigger than myself. This was a major commitment on my part. I had never belonged to a synagogue before. I joined a Reform synagogue in my area. I gave up my social life on Friday night to attend services and to worship G-d, yet what I was searching for was still ambiguous.”

It was in the fall of 2006, that Penina felt the direct hand of Hashem in her quest for spiritual fulfillment. “I was asked to teach a course in Rockland County and I have never taught there before. This was my very first time. Only three students in my class were Jewish and one of them was Chaya Rosenberg, a young Orthodox woman who uses the name Cheryl in class. One day we started talking and she didn’t realize that I was Jewish. I told her that I was and we made this instant connection. She asked if I’d like to come and hear Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis of Hineni speak and I said that would be great.”

During this period of time Penina was busy with academic pursuits as well. “At this juncture in time I submitted a paper for an international conference to be held in Israel and I had never been to Israel before. The truth is I never really wanted to go to Israel. I never paid much attention to Israel and really didn’t understand it’s significance to the Jewish people. I figured if G-d wants me to go to Israel then my paper will be accepted. If G-d doesn’t want me to go then my paper won’t be accepted. Well, my paper was accepted and now I was actually going.”

It was now May of 2007 and Penina took her student up on her offer to hear Rebbetzin Jungreis speak. “I attended Rebbetzin Jungreis’ weekly Torah class and I realized that everything that what she was saying was so right, so true. I had tears flowing down my face before the class was over. I was deeply touched and very moved by her words of faith and inspiration. When you talk about G-d, you talk about something that’s an abstract concept, but not with Rebbetzin Jungreis. The Rebbetzin brings the Torah to life, makes you see your own personal connection to G-d. Her words reach deep down inside of you, they touch both your heart and soul and you cannot walk away without a tangible understanding of Hashem in our lives. It was then that I realized that my search was over. I understood that my destiny and role in life was as a Jew and I hungered to learn more and become closer with my G-d.”

Penina recalls her first private meeting with Rebbetzin Jungreis. “I told the Rebbetzin that I would be visiting Israel for the first time, that I was nervous and asked her for a brocha. In her own inimitable loving way, she not only gave me a blessing but gave me ten things to do while in Israel. She told me to go to the Kotel at midnight and pray, just pour my heart out to G-d, to ask His forgiveness for past sins and misdeeds and for an opportunity for to start fresh. At that point, she told me that even though I wasn’t born Jewish, I should still ask Hashem for His blessings. I politely told the Rebbetzin that I was Jewish, born to two Jewish parents. She said that before she meets someone for the first time Hashem her a feeling about that person. It was then that I understood that what the Rebbetzin was sensing was my friend Rose and her influence on me.”

This first meeting between Penina and the Rebbetzin would be the first of many more to come. “The Rebbetzin gave me my Hebrew name of Penina and told me that from now on, she would be my spiritual mother. She gave me two very special blessings. One of which was a blessing that her father would give her and she pointed to his picture on the wall and said remember this face. Remember that my father will always be with you. As tears once again filled my eyes she gave me another blessing and told me that when I’m in Israel, I should keep Shabbos, adhere to its laws and to keep strictly kosher. This was all very new to me and very challenging but I did it along with the many other things she advised me to do.”

Penina’s experience in Israel was a most powerful one as she kept the Rebbetzin and her instructions in mind at all times. She felt the unique connection between herself and her G-d, between the Jewish people and this holy land that G-d gave them. Upon her return from Israel, Penina began to attend the Rebbetzin’s classes regularly and has formed a close and palpable bond with her Torah teacher and spiritual mother. “I felt the direct and personal supervision from Hashem since the day that I was asked to teach in Rockland County and met Chaya who introduced me to the Rebbetzin. It was as if Hashem heard my inner cries for the truth, for meaningful direction on my spiritual journey. I know that Hashem brought me to Rebbetzin Jungreis and the Rebbetzin feels that I was brought to her for a reason. Since that day, the Rebbetzin has set me up with some very special people and lovely homes to spend Shabbos, and now I am becoming more observant of Torah laws each day.

Penina continued, “Here I am, in my late 50s and my seemingly endless search has reached it’s final destination. I have returned home. I have returned to Hashem, to Torah and mitzvos and I am exceptionally grateful and enormously thankful for the guidance, direction and love of my holy and revered Torah teacher, Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis. May Hashem continue to bless her with strength and may her words of Torah fill the hearts of all Jews from all backgrounds and levels of observance and through her love for every Jew, may we be zoche to the coming of Moshiach speedily in our days.”

———————————————-

Fern Sidman holds a B.A, in political science from Brooklyn College. She was the educational coordinator for the Betar Youth Movement in the late 1970s and early 1980s. She was national director of the Jewish Defense League from 1983-1985. She was a researcher for several books written by Rabbi Meir Kahane, ZTK”L. She was the managing editor of the publication entitled, The Voice of Judea, and is a regular contributor to its web site. She is currently a writer and journalist living in New York City. Her articles have appeared in The Jewish Press, The Jewish Advocate, The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles, and numerous Jewish and general web sites including, Front Page Magazine, Daniel Pipes and Michael Freund.
We are delighted to have Ms. Sidman as a regular contributor to the Jesus is Lord, A Worshipping Christian’s Blog.

Turkey Warns EU Against Becoming ‘Club of Christians’

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

Maybe we should just go ahead and rename it the ACEU (Anti-Christ European Union).

Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan warned the European Union against becoming a “club of Christians” as he pushed Saturday for Ankara’s membership in the bloc.

“If the EU finds itself as a club of Christians…. it is against the very soul of the EU,” Babacan told reporters on the sidelines of the annual World Economic Forum in the Swiss ski resort of Davos.

EU heavyweights France and Germany are both opposed to full Turkish membership, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been particularly vocal on the issue, arguing that the mainly Muslim country does not belong in Europe.

Babacan regretted that the issue of religion had apparently become a factor in the debate on Turkey’s accession.

“Religious lines should never be presented as a border,” he said, adding that the current 27-nation composition of the European bloc already contained “huge differences” in terms of culture, religion and language.

“Yet, these countries have been successful to find communality,” he said.

“At the end of the road, the decision has to be made over whether Turkey is going to add new richness to the EU, so that the EU has a truly global voice and a truly representative voice,” he added.

Babacan also argued that allowing Turkey into the EU would allow the bloc to act as a bridge between the West and the Islamic world.

Original Link

The Big List: Female Teachers Having Sex with Students

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

WorldNetDaily has published a comprehensive list of the teachers involved sexually with their students.

Here is a list of the teacher ‘sexpidemic’ cases WND has documented where female teachers have been accused, or convicted, of assaulting students:

Read the whole list here.

Palestinian State Temporary Ruse to Destroy Israel

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

This philosophy is straight out of the Koran:
“Therefore do not falter or sue for peace when you have gained the upper hand.”
-Koran 47:34
Can we actually doubt what the pali terrorist have in mind for Israel? Can we actually doubt what they have in mind to do from their new “country”? No we cannot.

JERUSALEM – The Palestinian goal of a Palestinian state is just a temporary ruse until “all of Palestine” can be “liberated,” declared a leader speaking yesterday on the official television network of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah organization.

Saleh Raafat, a member of the executive committee of Abbas’ Palestine Liberation Organization, was interviewed on PA television about the death last weekend of infamous terrorist leader George Habash, who strongly opposed signing peace agreements with Israel.

In comments screened by WND, Raafat told his interviewer: “Habash was a very positive Palestinian leader who used democratic tools to express opinions. He disagreed with [late PLO leader Yasser] Arafat regarding the present temporary vision of a Palestinian state, but he never used weapons to express his disagreement.”

Raafat said the Palestinians would accept “22 percent of Palestine” as a “temporary and not permanent” state until “all of Palestine” can be liberated.

While Raafat described Habash as “democratic” and as “never” using weapons, Habash’s Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine has carried out scores of notorious deadly terrorist attacks. Raafat was speaking as part of a mourning series on PA television for Habash, the PFLP leader who died in Jordan at the age of 81.

Habash’s PFLP gained notoriety in 1970 for hijacking four Western airliners over the U.S., Europe, the Far East and the Persian Gulf. The aircraft were blown up in the Middle East after passengers and crews disembarked. The PFLP in 1972 then gunned down 27 people at Israel’s Lod airport.

The PFLP continues operating from Syria, Jordan and the West Bank. More recent attacks include scores of deadly shootings against Israelis, the 2001 assassination of Israeli tourism minister Rechavam Zeevi and suicide bombings on an Israeli highway and in Tel Aviv’s well-known Karmel Market.

According to Israeli security officials, the PFLP is the Palestinian terror group most proficient in carrying out successful drive-by shooting attacks.

Habash also led the second-largest faction of the PLO, next to Yasser Arafat’s. Habash strongly opposed interim agreements with Israel and throughout his life advocated terror attacks against the Jewish state. Arafat numerous times said peace accords signed by Israel were part of a “phased plan” for the ultimate destruction of the Jewish state.

Original Link.

“Saddam Testimony Vindicates Iraq Invasion” by Jack Kinsella

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

Up until 2003, the general consensus among Western intelligence agencies was that Saddam surrounded himself with ‘yes-men’ who told him what he wanted to hear and misled him into believing he had stockpiles of non-existent weapons.

We reported on October 7, 2004: “they got the situation exactly backwards. It was Saddam who kept his generals in the dark. Saddam was actually micro-managing Iraq’s weapons policies and kept even his most loyal aides from gaining a clear picture of what was going on — and, more important, not going on — with the program. . .”

“Saddam was convinced that the UN sanctions – which stopped him acquiring weapons – were on the brink of collapse and he bankrolled several foreign activists who were campaigning for their abolition.

He personally approved every [Oil-For-Food voucher]. Saddam focussed on Russia, France and China – three of the five UN Security Council members with the power to veto war. Politicians, journalists and diplomats were all given lavish gifts and oil-for-food vouchers. . . .

Russia, France and China — all permanent members of the U.N. Security Council — were the top three countries in which individuals, companies or entities received the lucrative vouchers. ”

What I want you to pay attention to, almost as much as the content, is the publication date — October 7, 2004. The information itself came from the Iraq Survey Group, headed by Charles Duelfer, who reported the ISG’s findings to the Congress.

Why is that important? Because for the past four years, the politicians, media pundits, political activists and bloggers on the Left have built their worldview around the mantra, “Bush Lied, People Died.”

In the process, they’ve managed to convince a lion’s share of the American public, and the majority of the global public, that the President of the United States knew in advance of the March 2003 invasion of Iraq that Saddam did NOT have WMD and invaded anyway to seize control of Iraqi oil.

This week, CBS “60 Minutes” — perhaps recognizing that it can do the Bush administration no more damage — let the cat of the bag officially, so to speak, running an interview with George Piro, the FBI interrogator who spent nearly seven months questioning Saddam Hussein after his capture.

Piro gained Saddam’s confidence by convincing him he was a high-ranking official of the Bush administration who answered directly to President Bush. Piro became Saddam’s new best friend by ‘smuggling’ him treats like writing materials, snacks and extra toiletries.

That, and the fact that Piro is of Arab descent and spoke perfect Arabic, eventually convinced Saddam to open up to his interrogator.

Saddam told Piro that he was running a bluff because he was certain the US would not invade. Saddam expected something more along the lines of the 1998 four-day aerial attack dubbed “Operation Desert Fox”.

Piro told 60 Minutes’ Scott Pelley, “He survived that one and he was willing to accept that type of attack.”

According to Piro, Saddam wanted Iran to believe he had nuclear weapons because he feared an Iranian attack. If he admitted to the West that he didn’t, the US and its allies might stand down, but he was convinced that Iran would seize the moment and launch their own invasion.

Evidently, Saddam was less worried about his chances with the Americans than he was with the Iranians. Saddam fooled Western intelligence because he convinced even his top generals that Iraq had both a stockpile of WMD and an ongoing nuclear program.

Saddam knew that Western intelligence had compromised his military high command and that they were feeding the West information, so he constructed this elaborate ruse to maintain the fiction.

Saddam still wouldn’t admit he had no weapons of mass destruction, even when it was obvious there would be military action against him because of the perception he did. Because, says Piro, “For him, it was critical that he was seen as still the strong, defiant Saddam. He thought that [faking having the weapons] would prevent the Iranians from reinvading Iraq,” he tells Pelley.

I told you earlier to pay attention to that particular OL’s publication date — not to pat myself on the back — the Duelfer Report wasn’t exactly a secret — but to make the following point.

For almost four years, the Left has been constructing an edifice upon which to run this November — “Bush Lied, People Died.” I’ve amused myself during the Democratic presidential debates by listening to the various candidates compete for the title of “Most Anti-American”.

(John Edwards) “I was against the war from the beginning.” (Barak Obama) “Oh, yeah? I’ve been against the war since BEFORE the beginning.”

But my favorite is Hillary Clinton’s slogan, “It’s time we had a leader in the Oval Office that will tell the truth to the American people.”

In 2003, it was at least possible to argue that Bush knew something nobody else did — because nobody actually knew anything to the contrary. The ISG’s Duelfer Report plugged that loophole in 2004.

The effort to paint President Bush as a war-mongering liar, a global thief intent on swiping oil from a defeated Iraq, and a loose cannon on the deck of Good Ship America by America’s own elected officials, was a carefully crafted, deliberate lie — a transparent one, but a lie, nonetheless.

I knew (and therefore, so did you) that it was a lie in 2004 — while the Democrats were still calling the Bush coalition “a coalition of the bribed, coerced and extorted.”

And if I knew, then you can bet your bottom dollar that the Democrats knew it, too. (I don’t get regular briefings from the Senate Intelligence Committee — they do)

Still, this is how Jay Rockefeller, [D-W. Va] and co-chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee characterized it in 2004:

“Despite the efforts to focus on Saddam’s desires and intentions, the bottom line is Iraq did not have either weapon stockpiles or active production capabilities at the time of the war. In short, we invaded a country, thousands of people have died, and Iraq never posed a grave or growing danger.”

Rockefeller knew the truth in 2004. And it IS the truth. Saddam had little reason to lie to Piro about how he fooled the West — or why.

Duelfer told the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2004: “The Iranian threat was very, very, palpable to him [Saddam], and he didn’t want to be second to Iran, and he felt he had to deter them. So he wanted to create the impression that he had more than he did.”

That is exactly what Saddam told Piro.

Original Link.

How the Relief Money to Palestinians is Being Used

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

I ran across a couple of interesting facts about the Palestinians. Here’s the first one.

Pali Motorcycle

The caption reads:
“A Palestinian smiles as he returns to Gaza with his new motorcycle, bought in Egypt, at the border between Egypt and Gaza, in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, Friday, Jan. 25, 2008. Hamas-backed militants driving bulldozers knocked down more Egyptian border fortifications on Friday in a brazen challenge to Egyptian forces who are trying, with little success, to gradually reseal the breached border using human chains, dogs and water cannons. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)”

Now one might be tempted to ask “Where did a person from a country that is 100% dependent on international aid for it’s survival, get the money to buy a very expensive new motorcycle?”
Not to jump to conclusions, but in a country that depends 100% on aid from the international community for it’s continued survival, what are the odds that this person earned enough money, through honest means, to purchase this motorcycle. Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t. Only he and God know for sure. But wouldn’t the money have gone to better use feeding his family or giving it to the 99% of the Palestinians who are starving to death. Oh yeah, about the starving to death thing, check this out:

Gaza buried in flour

The Boston Globe has just run an op-ed under the headline “Ending the Stranglehold on Gaza.” The authors are Eyad al-Sarraj, identified as founder of the Gaza Community Mental Health Program, and Sara Roy, identified as senior research scholar at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University. The bias of the op-ed speaks for itself, and I won’t even dwell on it. But I do want to call attention to this sentence:

Although Gaza daily requires 680,000 tons of flour to feed its population, Israel had cut this to 90 tons per day by November 2007, a reduction of 99 percent.

You don’t need to be a math genius to figure out that if Gaza has a population of 1.5 million, as the authors also note, then 680,000 tons of flour a day come out to almost half a ton of flour per Gazan, per day.

A typographical error at the Boston Globe? Hardly. The two authors used the same “statistic” in an earlier piece. They copied it from an article published in the Ahram Weekly last November, which reported that “the price of a bag of flour has risen 80 per cent, because of the 680,000 tonnes the Gaza Strip needs daily, only 90 tonnes are permitted to enter.” Sarraj and Roy added the bit about this being “a reduction of 99 percent.”

Note how an absurd and impossible “statistic” has made its way up the media feeding chain. It begins in an Egyptian newspaper, is cycled through a Palestinian activist, is submitted under the shared byline of a Harvard “research scholar,” and finally appears in the Boston Globe, whose editors apparently can’t do basic math. Now, in a viral contagion, this spreads across the Internet, where that “reduction of 99 percent” becomes a well-attested fact.

What’s the truth? I see from a 2007 UN document that Gaza consumes 450 tons of flour daily. The Palestinian Ministry of Economy, according to another source, puts daily consumption at 350 tons. So the figure for total consumption retailed by Sarraj and Roy is off by more than three orders of magnitude, i.e. a factor of 1,000. No doubt, there’s less flour shipped from Israel into Gaza–maybe it’s those rocket barrages from Gaza into Israel?–but even if it’s only the 90 tons claimed by Sarraj and Roy, it isn’t anything near a “reduction of 99 percent.” Unfortunately, if readers are going to remember one dramatic “statistic” from this op-ed, this one is it–and it’s a lie.

Sarraj is a psychiatrist, but his co-author, Sara Roy, bills herself in her bio as a “political economist.” Her research, the bio reports, is “primarily on the economic, social and political development of the Gaza Strip.” You would think someone with this claim to expertise would know better than to copy some impossible pseudo-statistic on the consumption of the most basic foodstuff in Gaza. Indeed, in a piece she wrote a decade ago, she herself put Gaza’s daily consumption of flour at 275 tons. Did she even read her own op-ed before she sent it off to Boston’s leading paper? If she did, what we have here is a textbook example of the difference between a “political economist” and an economist.

“An American Woman Held Captive in Afghanistan” by Dr. Phyllis Chesler

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

UPDATE: The kidnapped American, Cyd Mizell, belongs to a church in Mechanisville, Virginia. She played the keyboard and sang at Sunday services. Her church, the Atlee Community Church, is planning a prayer service for her and may be contacted at (804) 730-3676.

The East is much wilder than the Wild West of yore and once again, an infidel “do-gooder,” 49 year-old Cyd Mizell, who taught English and embroidery to Afghan girls and women and helped them with “income-generating” projects , has been kidnapped in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Mizell worked for the Asian Rural Life Development Foundation. The fact that she wore a burqa and spoke Pashto did not keep her safe. The Afghan government is currently hunting for her and her 35 year-old driver, Hadi Mahdi, but as yet, no group has taken responsibility or issued any demands.

Kidnappings are a permanent way of life in this part of the world; they are undertaken for ransom and revenge, out of lust, when one is in need of a domestic or sexual slave, and as a form of communication with one’s enemies, be they intimate or foreign. In short, one violently takes what one covets or requires. There is no prohibition against doing so.

Once, long ago, I was held captive and kept in fairly posh purdah in Afghanistan. Whenever I would escape, my Afghan husband would beg me to keep my “adventurousness” in check lest it lead to my being kidnapped (yet again) and to his subsequent “shame and ruin.” Actually, he terrified me with tales about other wives who had been kidnapped and raped which, in one instance, led to a husband’s suicide.

Westerners and other infidels have, notoriously, been captured , albeit by strangers and not by husbands, in the Wild East before. Barbary Pirates attacked shiploads of Europeans and sold the male captives into slavery and the female captives into harems. The blonde French-Carribbean mother of a future Sultan was brought to Turkey in chains. Such kidnappings were so commonplace that both Mozart and Rossini featured the theme in their respective operas, Abduction from the Seraglio and An Italian in Algeria.

But people have forgotten all this. We are infinitely susceptible to the faux-photograpic moments created by Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (who gave us the Mohammed al-Dura and Darkness-in-Gaza hoaxes) . And, we remain in a deep sleep —a veritable coma—in terms of this larger historical narrative.

Thus, for the record, let me remind us that Britain’s notorious convert to Islam, Yvonne Ridley, was once kidnapped and briefly held by the Taliban in Aghanistan. Even they released her rather quickly—but that brief experience led Ridley to convert and to publicly and aggressively become a champion for Islam, Jihad, and Palestine in the West. When I debated her on al-Hurrah, she wore a version of Lawrence-of-Arabia headggear which would have led to her arrest for male impersonation had she been living in Mecca, not London.

More recently in Afghanistan: in separate and serial incidents, Red Cross and other humanitarian aid workers, journalists, photographers, and construction workers from Germany, Italy, France, and Columbia, as well as Christian missionaries from South Korea were kidnapped, and either killed or ransomed. Sometimes, their Afghan drivers and bodyguards were be-headed “Arab” style.

Many “infidels” (the phrase is not mine) have been kidnapped by jihadists in Pakistan, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Some (Daniel Pearl, Nicholas Berg) have been grusomely be-headed on video; some (Margaret Hassam) have been forced to beg for their lives on video before they were killed. After extended ordeals, infidels have also been ransomed by their governments or employers.

Today, infidels dare not travel without a driver and a bodyguard in this part of the world. They remain high-profile targets, even if they are grassroots aid workers trying to comfort and aid the civilians who have been caught in the cross-fire of history and war.

Must I remind us that American diplomats were once held hostage in Teheran for 444 days in 1979-1980? Of course, America’s critics insist that such jihadic and Islamist gestures are essentially due to American foreign policy.

I respectfully disagree. Kidnappings are part of the indigenous barbarism of the region and long pre-date any outside presence or influence. In fact, more Muslims are kidnapped by Muslims (and blown up as well) than infidels are. War (intra-family, and between families, tribes, and nations) is a permanent way of life here.

Perhaps Mizell will simply be used for propaganda purposes and released just in order to tell the world how kind her captors really were.

In a brilliant Orwellian move, the provincial governor, Asadullah Khalid, described Mizell’s kidnapping as “against Afghan culture” and described her kidnappers as “the enemy of Islam and the enemy of Afghanistan.” Of course, he is also right. Perhaps his words will lead to a popular religious uprising against her kidnappers. I rather doubt it.

Cyd Mizell is not a soldier or a missionary. She is a ministering angel, just the kind of quiet, grassroots, politically correct “do gooder” that so many western critics of the West seem to admire. Perchance, are they planning to ransom her with private monies? Or, will they merely launch one of their famous Petitions, this time directly addressed to the Taliban, to explain that Mizell is one of the “good” Americans, not one of the crusader-imperialists? Such distinctions make no difference. Appeals to mercy or reason rarely work.

But for Mizell’s sake, I hope I am wrong.

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Dr. Phyllis Chesler is the well known author of classic works, including the bestseller Women and Madness (1972) and The New Anti-Semitism (2003). She has just published The Death of Feminism: What’s Next in the Struggle for Women’s Freedom (Palgrave Macmillan), as well as an updated and revised edition of Women and Madness. She is an Emerita Professor of psychology and women’s studies, the co-founder of the Association for Women in Psychology (1969) and the National Women’s Health Network (1974). She is currently on the Board of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East and lives in New York City. Her website is www.phyllis-chesler.com.
We are delighted to have Dr. Chesler as a contributor to the Jesus is Lord, A Worshipping Christian’s Blog.

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Pray for Kenya

Monday, January 28th, 2008

We need to pray for the situation and the people of Kenya.

Protests erupted in western Kenya and machete-wielding mobs faced off in the Rift Valley on Monday after scores of people were killed in ethnic violence, complicating mediation by former U.N. boss Kofi Annan.

In the normally peaceful Rift Valley town of Nakuru, a mortuary worker said on Monday that 64 bodies were lying in the morgue, all victims of the past four days of ethnic fighting.

Gangs from rival communities have been fighting each other with machetes, clubs, and bows and arrows in Nakuru and nearby Naivasha, both famous for their lakes teeming with wildlife.

In the worst incident of the latest flare-up, 19 people were burned to death locked inside a house in Naivasha on Sunday, police officer Grace Kakai told Reuters.

The total death toll is now more than 800.

The violence since Kenya’s December 27 election now has a momentum of its own, with cycles of killing and revenge linked to land and wealth disputes tied to British colonial policy that politicians have revived during most of Kenya’s elections.

“What is alarming about the last few days is that there are evidently hidden hands organizing it now. Militias are appearing … the targeting is very specific,” Britain’s Africa minister Mark Malloch Brown said on a visit to Kenya.

The government has for weeks accused the opposition of planning ethnic killings in the Rift, and last week watchdog Human Rights Watch made the same accusation after having said police used excessive force in quelling protests.

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Is Ahmadinejad setting a trap for Israel and the US? by James Lewis

Monday, January 28th, 2008

Like the Jedi Knights in Star Wars, much of Israel’s safety depends on an absurdly small number of daring pilots and their jet planes. The Israel Air Force has managed to use that capacity with amazing skill and daring, as it showed last September when a dozen fighter bombers and support aircraft jammed Syria’s Russian-supplied air defenses and destroyed a secret nuclear facility on the Euphrates river — not far from Iran. The nature of that target has still not been revealed, but it must have been important enough to risk triggering a missile attack from Syria. That means the target was believed to be very important: most likely a joint Iranian-Syrian-North Korean nuclear facility.

In a very odd move, the Syrians are now rebuilding that mysterious concrete cube in exactly the same location — even though the whole world knows about it now. Why should they spend vast amounts of money doing that, if it would only become another fat target?

One possibility is that it’s a trap for IAF jets. Surround the concrete cube with enough new Russian anti-aircraft missiles, back it up with radars based on Russian ships that just happen to be doing the biggest naval exercise in years right now in the Mediterranean, and provoke another attack by announcing another nuclear breakthrough. It could be a baited ambush.

The whole thing smells like an Ahmadi-Nejad shell game, with Russian help: put your nuclear materials under a dozen different giant concrete shelters, and dare the enemy to attack all of them, without knowing which one has nuke materials. All of the sites would be heavily defended with state-of-the-art Russian anti-aircraft missiles. Not just one trap for attacking aircraft, but a dozen or more.

Ahmadi-Nejad constantly uses the most provocative language possible. He’s a known Revolutionary Guard fanatic from the Khomeini days, when a million people were killed in the Iran-Iraq war, some of them in blind suicide charges across minefields. A’jad sounds like a religious nut, but he’s shrewd enough to use even his martyrdom complex to intimidate and provoke his enemies.

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Obama’s Pastor Disrespects Memory of Natalie Holloway

Monday, January 28th, 2008

Racism comes in many forms…….

Sen. Barack Obama’s longtime friend and spiritual adviser trashed the memory of a missing and presumed dead American teenage girl, according to church publications reviewed by WND.

Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the controversial minister of Obama’s church in Chicago, cited the case of Natalee Holloway’s disappearance in Aruba in complaining about what he sees as the media’s bias in covering white victims of crime over black victims.

“Black women are being raped daily in Darfur, Sudan, in the Congo and in Sub-Saharan Africa. That doesn’t make news,” Wright said in the August 2005 edition of Trumpet Magazine, a publication of his Trinity United Church of Christ.

But, “One 18-year-old white girl from Alabama gets drunk on a graduation trip to Aruba, goes off and ‘gives it up’ while in a foreign country, and that stays in the news for months!” he added. “Maybe I am missing something!”

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20 Years of Research Reveals Jerusalem Belongs to Jews

Monday, January 28th, 2008

Jacques Gauthier, a non-Jewish Canadian lawyer who spent 20 years researching the legal status of Jerusalem, has concluded: “Jerusalem belongs to the Jews, by international law.”

Gauthier has written a doctoral dissertation on the topic of Jerusalem and its legal history, based on international treaties and resolutions of the past 90 years. The dissertation runs some 1,300 pages, with 3,000 footnotes. Gauthier had to present his thesis to a world-famous Jewish historian and two leading international lawyers – the Jewish one of whom has represented the Palestinian Authority on numerous occasions.
Gauthier’s main point, as summarized by Israpundit editor Ted Belman, is that a non-broken series of treaties and resolutions, as laid out by the San Remo Resolution, the League of Nations and the United Nations, gives the Jewish People title to the city of Jerusalem. The process began at San Remo, Italy, when the four Principal Allied Powers of World War I – Great Britain, France, Italy and Japan – agreed to create a Jewish national home in what is now the Land of Israel.

The relevant resolution reads as follows: “The High Contracting Parties agree to entrust… the administration of Palestine, within such boundaries as may be determined by the Principal Allied Powers, to a Mandatory [authority that] will be responsible for putting into effect the [Balfour] declaration… in favour of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.”

Gauthier notes that the San Remo treaty specifically notes that “nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine” – but says nothing about any “political” rights of the Arabs living there.

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