Archive for February 19th, 2008

Five Questions About University Shootings by Dennis Prager

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008

Question 1: Why are murderers always counted in the victims tally?

The day after the mass murder of students at Northern Illinois University (NIU), the headline in the closest major newspaper, the Chicago Tribune, was: “6 Dead in NIU Shooting.”

“6 dead” included the murderer. Why wasn’t the headline “5 killed at NIU”?

It is nothing less than moronic that the media routinely lump murderers and their victims in the same tally.

This is something entirely new. Until the morally confused took over the universities and the news media, murderers were never counted along with their victims. To give a military analogy, can one imagine a headline like this in an American newspaper after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor: “2,464 Dead in Pearl Harbor Attack”? After all, 55 Japanese airmen and nine Japanese crewmen also died in the attack.

One can only assume that this mode of reporting murders is part of the larger movement toward non-judgmentalism and egalitarianism. To many Americans in academia, the media, and elsewhere, all the dead constitute a tragedy. Suggesting that some dead are more important than other dead is forbidden.

At the San Francisco Zoo, after a young man was mauled to death by a tiger that had escaped its confines, the administrators of the zoo even lumped a killed animal with its human victim: the Zoo set up a memorial to both the man and the tiger. And, unsurprisingly, given the egalitarianism that now also lumps human beings with animals, the tiger received more condolence messages than the human it killed.

Question 2: Which of these three options is more likely to prevent further murderous rampages: a) making universities closed campuses and increasing the police presence on campus (as the president of NIU has promised to do); b) making guns much harder to obtain; or c) enabling specially trained students and faculty to carry concealed weapons on campus?

Because political correctness has replaced wisdom at nearly all universities, colleges are considering options a and b. But the only thing the first option will accomplish is to reduce the quality of university life and render the campus a larger version of the contemporary airport. And the second option will have no effect whatsoever since whoever wishes to commit murder will be able to obtain guns illegally.

But if would-be murderers know that anywhere they go to kill students, there is a real likelihood that one or two students will shoot them first, and if in fact some would-be murderer is killed before he can murder any, or at least many, students, we will see far fewer such attempts made. Even though many of these murderers end up killing themselves, they don’t want to die until they have first murdered as many students and teachers as possible.

Of course, there is virtually no chance that the uniformly left-thinking individuals who run our universities will ever consider this option. To do so would mean abandoning what is essentially a religious-like conviction that guns are immoral rather than the people who use them immorally.

Question 3: Why are “shooter” and “gunman” used instead of “killer” or “murderer”?

If a murderer used a knife to murder five students, no news headlines would read, “Knifeman Kills Five.” So why always “shooter” and “gunman”?

The most obvious explanation is that by focusing on the weapon used by the murderer, the media can further their anti-gun agenda.

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Counselors Ordered to Argue for Homosexuality

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008

A ruling by the American Counseling Association that members must not help homosexual clients change their sexual orientation is not sitting well with some in the professional organization who are seeking clarification to avoid “future legal actions.”

The official policy of the ACA is that counselors asked by clients for help in changing their sexual orientation must offer only “gay affirmative” arguments. If the client persists, counselors must explore the “religious influences that underpin homophobia that may be harming the client.”

At issue is a ruling from the association concerning clients who seek help in clarifying their sexual orientation as that matching their physical characteristics.

Such questions from clients need to be met with that “gay affirmative” response, the organization’s leaders have stated, and if a client insists on seeking such treatment, a counselor who even refers a client to anyone offering reparative counseling could be violating the association’s ethical guidelines.

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‘Bomb, Slaughter Danes Due to Republication of Muhammad Caricatures’

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008

More rhetoric from the so-called “Religion of Peace” aka Islam.

Muslims worldwide should bomb Denmark’s embassies and kill it diplomats following last week’s republication of caricatures of Muslim prophet Muhammad, a spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committees in the Gaza Strip said on Monday.

Israel Radio reported that the spokesman, speaking to demonstrators burning Danish flags, said anyone involved the drawing, printing, or publication of the caricatures should be “slaughtered.”

Danish newspapers reproduced the drawing on Wednesday to show their commitment to free speech after police foiled an alleged plot to kill the cartoonist who created it.

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Muslim Astronomer: “The Earth is Flat”

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008

Following are excerpts from an Iraqi TV debate on whether the earth is flat, which aired on Al-Fayhaa TV on October 31, 2007.

Fadhel Al-Sa’d, Iraqi researcher on astronomy : The Koranic verse that I have just recited – “The breadth of Paradise is as the breadth of the heavens and earth” – attests to the fact that the Earth is flat.

[…]

Iraqi physicist ‘Aboud Al-Taei: If the Earth is not round, what shape does it have? I have proof today, as a result of scientific development – using satellites, modern devices, and spaceships… In particular, considering the spaceships and space shuttles that constantly circle the Earth, and some have left Earth for the solar system… The photographs they took prove that the Earth is round.

[…]

When you watch a ship sailing towards the shore, all you see at first is the mast. Then you see the ship’s bow, and eventually the entire ship.

[…]

Fadhel Al-Sa’d: When you stand on the beach and you look into the distance, everything you see is in the visible distance. In the blurred distance, you cannot see a thing. Later on, as the ship gets closer to the shore and the harbor, you see its upper part. How do you see it? The eye, as I have said… So far, no doctor has succeeded in understanding how the eye works. How come you see things as round when they are in the blurred distance, but when they get within visible distance, you see them as straight? It happens the same way. When we stand on the ground, we are close to it. Therefore, we see with only half of the eye. If we split the iris into half, we see with the upper half things that are far, and with the lower half things that are near.

[…]

In 1999, there was a full solar eclipse. We went to Mosul, and over there we climbed to Mar Matti Monastery, the altitude of which is 3,600 feet.

The sun began to disappear slowly behind the moon. This is because the moon is half the size of the sun. The moon’s diameter is 1,200,000 km, while that of the sun is 2,400,000 km.

[…]

‘Aboud Al-Taei: The figures he mentioned regarding the size of the moon… By means of scientific methods, and physical and astronomical principles, scientists have managed to determine the mass of the moon. It is one-sixth the mass of the Earth. This explains the gravity on the moon, which was determined by the astronauts who reached the surface of the moon. They proved that the moon is round. Gravity was less there. It was six times less than the gravity on the Earth, which is why the weight of things is one-sixth there.

[…]

Interviewer: Lunar and solar eclipses, sunset and sunrise, and the changing of seasons – how would you explain all these phenomena, if the Earth is not round, as you claim?

Fadhel Al-Sa’d: The sun circles the Earth because it is smaller than the Earth, as is evident in Koranic verses.

[…]

Have you ever seen how the sun moves? I have seen the sun moving. The sun makes one move every 24 hours.

[…]

What I say is based on Koranic science. He bases his arguments on the kind of science that I reject categorically – the modern science that they teach in schools. This science is a heretic innovation that has no confirmation in the Koran. No verse in the Koran indicates that the Earth is round or that it rotates. Anything that has no indication in the Koran is false.

Original Link to Video.
Original Link to Transcript.

Fidel Castro Resigns Cuban Presidency After Half-Century in Power

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008

It’s about time.

HAVANA — An ailing Fidel Castro resigned as Cuba’s president Tuesday after nearly a half-century in power, saying he will not accept a new term when the new parliament meets Sunday.

“I will not aspire to nor accept — I repeat, I will not aspire to nor accept — the post of President of the Council of State and Commander in Chief,” read a letter signed by Castro published early Tuesday in the online edition of the Communist Party daily Granma.

The announcement effectively ends the rule of the 81-year-old Castro after almost 50 years, positioning his 76-year-old brother Raul for permanent succession to the presidency. Fidel Castro temporarily ceded his powers to his brother on July 31, 2006, when he announced that he had undergone intestinal surgery.

Since then, the elder Castro has not been seen in public, appearing only sporadically in official photographs and videotapes and publishing dense essays about mostly international themes as his younger brother has consolidated his rule.

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“First They Came for Ayaan..Don’t Ask for whom the Bell Tolls” by Dr. Phyllis Chesler

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is begging the EU to undertake the enormous expense of funding her security. This article, below, suggests that she has begged in vain. Taslima Nasrin has been under house arrest for her own protection in India and has now been advised that she must either accept this or leave the country. (Nasrin lived in hiding for years in Sweden but chose to leave her European haven). Geert Wilders has been (temporarily?) banished from Holland and his film put on hold. Kurt Westergaard , the heroic Danish cartoonist, has been in hiding and on the run for three months. (PJM’s own Flemming Rose has covered his plight and informed us of the principled decision of 17 Danish newspapers to reprint the original Mohammed cartoons).

Either the democratic West will have to fund each person, one by one. Or we will all—millions of us at a time—have to commit similar acts of resistance. If we fail to fund, and absent that, fail to resist, our civilization will suffer a fatal, self-inflicted blow.

Below, please read about Hirsi Ali’s current plight.

Source http://www.expatica.com/nl/life_in/feature/EU-politicians-make-empty-promises-to-Hirsi-Al.html

EU politicians make empty promises to Hirsi Ali 15/02/2008 00:00

Ayaan Hirsi Ali has been in Brussels to plead for political backing for a controversial proposal to get the EU to pay for her protection. By Vanessa Mock

She was invited by French Socialist MEPs, who launched the initiative to set up a special fund for the former Dutch Parliamentarian who has received death threats because of her critical views of Islam.

“Today I find myself in the embarrassing position that I have to come to ask for help,” she told the European Parliament. “I need you to support this fund to protect people like me whose only crime is free speech.”

Ms Hirsi Ali has been living under police protection since the murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh in 2004, with whom she made a film about Islam’s treatment of women. A note targeting her by name was found on van Gogh’s body.

The Dutch government stopped paying her security bills last year when she left to work in the US. “I think it was the wrong decision. I am forced to do fundraising and will have to go into hiding when the money runs out,” she said simply.

Despite a high-publicity campaign in Brussels, the Somali-born Hirsi Ali is likely to come away empty-handed. The proposal has received the backing of just one in seven MEPs (85 out of 785) – and just two Dutch MEPs.

A tragedy for Ayaan

“This initiative is going nowhere,” says Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, a Dutch MEP and a former colleague. “It’s tragic for Ayaan because she needs security but the EU is not the place to provide it. She is being made to believe in something that does not exist.”

The EU fund is the brainchild of French Socialist MEP Benoit Hamon, who says the EU must urgently protect any citizens whose lives are at risk because they exercise the right to speak out. “Europe has to prove it’s serious about freedom of expression as a fundamental right, not just as an ideal on paper.”

Diplomats however say the idea is unworkable because it would need the political backing of all 27 member states, whereas providing security for individuals has until now remained in State hands.

Protection for Wilders?

Many EU politicians would also balk at the idea of footing the bill to protect controversial figures, such as the radical, right-wing Dutch politician Geert Wilders. “Where do you set the boundaries for who would be covered by this fund?” asks Ms Hennis-Plasschaert.

It is telling that even EU Commissioner Nellie Kroes, Ms Hirsi Ali’s political mentor during her early days in The Hague, has given a cautious response. “She is an extremely courageous woman and deserves support,” Mrs Kroes, one of the most powerful politicians in Brussels, told RNW. “But it is still early days, things are being discussed. We have to wait and see.”

Shame on the Dutch

Earlier this week, Ms Hirsi Ali was invited by French intellectuals and Socialists in France, who had called for her to be granted French citizenship so that Paris could pay for her security. They criticised The Hague for suspending her security costs, estimated at Euro 2 million a year.

“As a European, I feel ashamed,” said French writer, Bernard-Henri Levy. “Ayaan is a true European, she defends European values of freedom to judge and to express herself and dare to criticise.”

Ms Hirsi Ali stressed that her love for the Netherlands was undiminished but that she felt let down. “The government supported my decision to leave as life had become impossible in the Netherlands and they promised to continue paying for my safety.”

This week, the Justice Ministry reiterated that it would resume payment if she returned from the US but Ms Hirsi Ali says it would be impossible for her to lead a normal life there. She was forced to leave her previous Dutch apartment after her neighbours filed court proceedings against having such a high-profile resident.

The US has refused to cover the cost because it is against its policy to pay for the safety of individuals.

Who is Ayaan Hirsi Ali?

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is the daughter of a Somali scholar and revolutionary opposition leader Hirsi Magan Isse.

Her screenplay Submission, and her autobiography Infidel, led to death threats from Muslim organisations.

She obtained political asylum in the Netherlands in 1992, where she was parliamentarian for the VVD Party from 2003-6.
A political crisis surrounding the potential stripping of her Dutch citizenship led her to resign and indirectly prompted the fall of the second Balkenende cabinet.

She is currently a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank.

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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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