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  • The Scriptorium


    Exit polls: Kadima moves forward in Israeli elections

    Filed under: — Jennifer Rast @ 2:33 pm

    It looks like there will me more unilateral withdrawals, and more terror attacks. The Palestinians learned from this election that terrorism and mass murder pays.

    Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s new centrist Kadima party was projected to claim the largest share of parliamentary seats in elections Tuesday, according to three Israeli TV exit polls.

    The party, formed by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon late last year when he broke from the Likud bloc he helped form in the 1970s, earned between 29 and 32 seats, according to the exit polls. If the results hold, Kadima would have the most seats in the 120-member Knesset.

    However, Kadima’s projected showing was weaker than forecast, meaning party leaders will have to look for coalition partners. The top prospect to join forces with Kadima is the Labor Party, for which the exit polls projected a stronger-than-expected showing to win 20 to 22 seats.


    Ungrateful “Christian” Peace Activists Snub Rescuers

    Filed under: — Ben Rast @ 8:35 pm

    Acting on a tip, coalition forces stormed a house and found the three remaining “Christian” peace activists alive (the fourth, Tom Fox, had been executed earlier). These activists were part of the group Christian Peacemaker Teams. Did CPT bother to thank the soldiers who rescued their activists? No. In their press release, they stated that the activists had been “releases safely”, rather than freed or rescued. Moreover, they blamed the kidnapping on the very military forces that risked their lives to save them!

    “We believe that the illegal occupation of Iraq by Multinational Forces is the root cause of the insecurity which led to this kidnapping and so much pain and suffering in Iraq,” Pritchard said.

    UPDATE: Apparently the outrage at CPT’s press release hasn’t fallen on deaf ears. They’ve added the following addenda to the press release:

    We have been so overwhelmed and overjoyed to have Jim, Harmeet and Norman freed, that we have not adequately thanked the people involved with freeing them, nor remembered those still in captivity. So we offer these paragraphs as the first of several addenda:

    We are grateful to the soldiers who risked their lives to free Jim, Norman and Harmeet. As peacemakers who hold firm to our commitment to nonviolence, we are also deeply grateful that they fired no shots to free our colleagues. We are thankful to all the people who gave of themselves sacrificially to free Jim, Norman, Harmeet and Tom over the last four months, and those supporters who prayed and wept for our brothers in captivity, for their loved ones and for us, their co-workers.

    We will continue to lift Jill Carroll up in our prayers for her safe return. In addition, we will continue to advocate for the human rights of Iraqi detainees and assert their right to due process in a just legal system.

    Perhaps if these people weren’t so “overwhelmed”, they would have realized that the kidnappings and violence are merely an extension of the terrorist attacks that struck the U.S. before we were in Iraq. I wonder what the addenda would have read had the coalition forces been forced to kill the kidnappers to effect the rescue.

    “Religion of Peace” Clerics Want Christian Convert Pulled Into Pieces (Religion of Pieces?)

    Filed under: — Ben Rast @ 8:16 pm

    Many Muslims love to point out that the Qur’an states that there is no compulsion in Islam. In doing so, they are quoting from Surah 2:256 which states, “Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things” (Noble Qur’an, Yusuf Ali translation). Yet it seems the Muslim clerics in Afghanistan have been paying more attention to verses such as Surah 4:89, “They desire that you should disbelieve as they have disbelieved, so that you might be (all) alike; therefore take not from among them friends until they fly (their homes) in Allah’s way; but if they turn back, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them, and take not from among them a friend or a helper.” They also rely on portions of the hadiths like this: “Ali burnt some people and this news reached Ibn ‘Abbas, who said, ‘Had I been in his place I would not have burnt them, as the Prophet said, “Don’t punish anybody with Allah’s Punishment.” No doubt, I would have killed them, for the Prophet said, “If somebody (a Muslim) discards his religion, kill him”‘” (Volume 4, Book 52, Number 260, Narrated by Ikrima). In choosing the later verses preaching violence over the earlier verses preaching tolerance, the clerics are properly utilizing the principle of naskh. Let’s hope they don’t get to fulfill their wishes against the Muslim convert to Christianity currently fighting for his life.

    Senior Muslim clerics demanded Thursday that an Afghan man on trial for converting from Islam to Christianity be executed, warning that if the government caves in to Western pressure and frees him, they will incite people to “pull him into pieces.”

    In an unusual move, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice telephoned President Hamid Karzai on Thursday seeking a “favorable resolution” of the case of Abdul Rahman. The 41-year-old former medical aid worker faces the death penalty under Afghanistan’s Islamic laws for becoming a Christian.

    His trial has fired passions in this conservative Muslim nation and highlighted a conflict of values between Afghanistan and its Western backers.

    “Rejecting Islam is insulting God. We will not allow God to be humiliated. This man must die,” said cleric Abdul Raoulf, who is considered a moderate and was jailed three times for opposing the Taliban before the hard-line regime was ousted in 2001.

    Is this what we want from the new Afghan government? I thought we expelled the Taliban. The U.S. needs to withhold financial aid from nations that would do this.

    College Forced To Readmit Conservative Christian Grad Student

    Filed under: — Ben Rast @ 7:29 pm

    Every now and again, the courts do something right. In this case, they forced Le Moyne college to readmit a conservative Christian graduate student they had previously expelled for expressing his conservative views. I doff my hat to this young man for taking a stand for his rights and his beliefs.

    An army veteran and graduate student at Le Moyne College in upstate New York who was expelled from his degree program because of his conservative philosophy of education is back in the classroom and speaking out.

    Last year Le Moyne College, a Jesuit school located in Syracuse, dismissed Scott McConnell from its masters of education program for writing a paper in which he advocated the use of corporal punishment and criticized multiculturalism. The head of the school’s education department told the “A” student his expulsion was the result of a “mismatch” between his personal beliefs and the school’s program goals.

    McConnell, an evangelical Christian as well as a conservative, filed a civil rights lawsuit, and his attorney argued that his dismissal was “a gross violation of McConnell’s rights to freedom of expression.” An appeals court subsequently ordered Le Moyne to reinstate the education student, and both sides in the dispute have since agreed to stop suing each other.

    The teacher-in-training says he is not concerned about the future. He contends, “I base everything on my faith in the Lord, and because of that, it’s like the song He’s the Rock of my Salvation. Well, that’s my rock. I stand upon it, and I have nothing to worry about.”


    Terrorist Suspect Linked to Nuclear Weapon

    Filed under: — Jennifer Rast @ 10:48 am

    A terrorist on trial in Britain for plotting to blow up the biggest night club in London, attempted to buy a nuclear weapon. Do the people who think it’s unfair for Iran to be denied nuclear technology read things like this? If Iran had nukes, we wouldn’t be reading about the NEAR sale of a nuclear weapon, we’d be reading about the successful sale and detonation of of that weapon. Why don’t liberals get this?

    One of the suspected terrorists on trial for allegedly plotting a nationwide bombing campaign has been linked to a nuclear weapon.

    The Old Bailey jury was told that Salahuddin Amin had been involved in discussions to buy a nuclear bomb.

    The prosecution said contact had been made with the Russian mafia in Belgium, from whom they wanted to buy a radio-isotope bomb.

    Yesterday, jurors heard the prosecution outline its case that the seven-strong gang – all British citizens – planned to blow up pubs, nightclubs, trains and also considered hitting the UK’s power infrastructure.

    The gang had wanted to blow up “the biggest nightclub” in central London, prosecutor David Waters QC said.

    In February, 2004, they were allegedly overheard discussing bomb targets.

    Mr Waters said: “Jawad Akbar referred to attacks upon the utilities, gas, water or electrical supplies.

    “Alternatively, a big nightclub in central London might be a target.”

    The accused deny conspiring to cause explosions between January 1 2003 and March 31 2004.

    Three of them also deny an additional charge of possessing an article for terrorism.

    Mohammed Babar, a US citizen who pleaded guilty in New York to a role in a “British bomb plot”, is expected to give evidence against the defendants.

    Palestinians charged with membership in al-Qaida

    Filed under: — Jennifer Rast @ 10:39 am

    Just as so many of us predicted, the Gaza withdrawal provided just what Al Qaeda needed to set up camp in the Palestinian territories. It’s astounding, in light of reports like this, that Israel is still planning to hand over the West Bank to Palestinian terrorists.

    For the first time ever, two West Bank Palestinians today were charged with membership in al-Qaida, stoking fears here the global jihad group has infiltrated the Jewish state.

    The indictment follows months of warnings by Israeli intelligence officials al-Qaida was able to make it to the area after Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip last summer.

    Two Palestinians from the West Bank town of Nablus were charged in a north Samaria military court with recruiting suicide bombers and seeking financing to carry out a large-scale al-Qaida attack inside Israel.

    ‘Diversity Day’ canceled over Christian Viewpoint

    Filed under: — Jennifer Rast @ 10:10 am

    Homosexual groups consistently accuse Christians of being intolerant, closed minded, and homophobic. But, as this article demonstrates, it’s really the homosexual crowd that is intolerant, closed minded, and phobic about being around anyone who doesn’t agree with them on every issue, especially Christians.

    Amid controversy over a homosexual speaker, a high school in Wisconsin has canceled its “Diversity Day” event scheduled for tomorrow.

    Speakers at Viroqua High School in Viroqua, Wisc., for the biannual event were to include Hmong, Jewish, Muslim, American Indian, African American, Latino, Buddhist, physically handicapped and poor people, the La Crosse Tribune reported.

    The paper said, however, the event was called off late last week after the Florida-based public-interest legal group Liberty Counsel raised a potential challenge, insisting the program include the viewpoint of a former homosexual.

    The last event, in 2004, initially was canceled by the school board after 400 people signed a petition protesting the inclusion of speakers on homosexual and transgender issues. The event was reinstated in the spring, however, when elections changed the board’s membership.

    This time, a fax from Liberty Counsel stated local pastor Don Greven of Bad Axe Lutheran Church and the grandfather of a senior at the high school raised concerns about no Christian, or formerly homosexual, viewpoint being included among the speakers, the Tribune reported.

    Liberty Counsel argued a federal court in Michigan had ruled a similar exclusion unconstitutional.

    “By excluding the Christian and ex-gay viewpoints, the (Viroqua) District violates the Establishment Clause and the Fourteenth Amendment guarantee of equal protection,” the group said.

    Greven, 61, told the paper diversity means, “in our understanding, that the various views are presented, and that was lacking.”

    Gregg Attleson, a teacher on the Diversity Day planning committee, told the LaCrosse paper the intent is to introduce students to minorities and people with alternative lifestyles.

    “Our students are not going to be living their lives out in Viroqua,” said Attleson. “They’ll be out and about in the world – in jobs, in the military, in the university – and they’re going to come into contact with people of different backgrounds. And we feel it would be real helpful for them in a nice safe place, like a high school, to have contact and be able to dispel some of the stereotypes.”

    Attleson said the homosexual couple scheduled to speak refused to be on the program alongside an “ex-gay” viewpoint, saying they would be uncomfortable.

    What hypocrites. They claim to champion diversity and want to expose the students to different backgrounds, and in the next breath they want to ban any viewpoint that makes them feel uncomfortable. As is usually the case, the intolerance and closed mindedness isn’t coming from the Christian side here.

    Christian Faces Death for Regecting Islam

    Filed under: — Jennifer Rast @ 9:14 am

    A country that Americans died to liberate now seeks to execute a man because he converted to Christianity. How is this different from the barbarism seen under the Taliban, and why is our government not speaking up about this? My guess is, they aren’t anxious to discuss the fact that the Taliban was replaced with the same Shariah law used to kill innocent people before the war.

    I sincerely hope the man facing death for his belief in Christ doesn’t become a martyr, but I admire his strong faith and unwillingness to reject Christ even under penalty of death. This SHOULD be a wake up call for the 85% of Americans who claim to be Christian. If Islam is allowed to spread through immigration, forced conversion, terrorism, and the rise of Shariah in liberal governments like Canada and in Europe, Christians will find themselves living through the persecution described in end-times scripture much sooner than they might think.

    An Afghan man facing a possible death penalty for converting from Islam to Christianity may be mentally unfit to stand trial, a state prosecutor said Wednesday.

    Abdul Rahman, 41, has been charged with rejecting Islam, a crime under this country’s Islamic laws. His trial started last week and he confessed to becoming a Christian 16 years ago. If convicted, he could be executed.

    But prosecutor Sarinwal Zamari said questions have been raised about his mental fitness.

    “We think he could be mad. He is not a normal person. He doesn’t talk like a normal person,” he told The Associated Press. (translation: He doesn’t scream Jihad and blow up everything in sight -ed.)

    Read more:

    U.S. cautiously backs Afghan Christian – Monitoring situation while Italy threatens
    to pull troops from ‘liberated’ Afghanistan.

    New Mexico Democrats call for Bush impeachment

    Filed under: — Jennifer Rast @ 8:45 am

    h, how I hope they try this. If the Democrats will just come out and campaign on their belief that the NSA surveillance program infringes on the rights of terrorists, and try to censure President Bush, the ’08 elections will belong to the Republicans.

    The New Mexico Democratic Party is calling for President Bush’s removal from office.

    Party Chairman John Wertheim said Tuesday that delegates to Saturday’s state party convention supported a call for the president’s impeachment largely because of “perceived abuses of power and corruption in the Bush administration.”

    He listed as examples of abuses of power, warrantless wiretapping of U.S. citizens, the misstatement of facts preceding the invasion of Iraq, and the scandal surrounding the indictment of Vice President Dick Cheney’s former top aide in connection with the leak of the identity of a covert CIA operative.

    “Everyone understands President Bush is not going to be impeached,” Wertheim said. “But these abuses of power and corruption in the administration are deeply serious matters and there should be more talk about this abuse of power.”

    The one-sentence amendment, added from the floor to the platform’s section on political and election reform, reads: “Resolved, that the Democratic Party of New Mexico supports the impeachment of President George Bush and his lawful removal from office.”

    Marta Kramer, executive director for the Republican Party of New Mexico, said Tuesday the Democrats “foolishly” voted to “to impeach and punish our president for aggressively waging the war on al-Qaida and terrorist organizations.”


    Vatican accused of helping radicals by backing Islamic hour in schools

    Filed under: — Jennifer Rast @ 9:43 am

    Why does this not surprise me? The Catholic church is supporting a call from radical Islamic groups to have an hour of Islamic teaching each day in Italy’s schools.

    The Vatican has disconcerted Italian politicians – and some of the Roman Catholic church’s most senior prelates – by endorsing a proposal by radical Muslims for a weekly “Islamic hour” in schools with a strong Muslim presence.

    “If in a school there are 100 Muslim children, I don’t see why their religion shouldn’t be taught,” said Cardinal Renato Martino, a minister in the Vatican’s government, the Roman Curia.

    The speaker of the Italian senate, Marcello Pera, who has launched a movement for the defence of Europe’s Christian values, said the suggestion was “the diametric opposite of any kind of attempt at integration”. In a note posted on the internet, he said it “tended, on the contrary, to reinforce the idea of an autonomous Muslim community inside the Italian state”.

    Several commentators reacted by calling for an equal degree of freedom for Christians in Muslim countries. The archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, a candidate for the papacy last year, said religious freedom was “the greatest of all liberties”. The call for an Islamic hour was among the first products of a new Islamic Council, a consultative body set up last year to improve relations with Italy’s Muslim inhabitants who now account for almost 2% of the population.

    Cardinal Martino’s idea won backing from two parties with a strong Catholic component: the National Alliance, which grew out of Italy’s main neo-fascist party, and the Democracy and Freedom party. The Vatican is known to be deeply concerned about the spread of tensions between Christians and Muslims, especially since the riots that followed the recent publication of cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad.

    What worried many observers was the way in which Cardinal Martino, head of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, appeared to be offering support to radical Muslims while undermining moderates.

    Dark days are ahead for Europe if they continue to use appeasement as a defense against Islam.


    Abortion Survivor is Running the Good Race

    Filed under: — Ben Rast @ 9:05 pm

    The pro-abortion industry refers to the unborn as “fetuses”, thereby dehumanizing them. Of course, if the fetus is wanted, then it’s a baby. Read this excellent and moving story of one such “fetus” who survived the abortion attempt, and is now a born-again Christian, singer, and marathon runner.


    Republicans: Ports Deal Doomed in Congress

    Filed under: — Jennifer Rast @ 10:51 am

    I have a theory as to why President Bush has been so silent on the Dubai Ports deal. As he said in one of the first speeches he gave after the story broke, he’s “trying to conduct diplomacy here”. I’m starting to think that Bush didn’t want to be the one to nix a business deal with the U.A.E. because his relationship with that country will affect our national security and the war on terror. Maybe it’s true that a U.A.E. company shouldn’t be trusted, or maybe it’s not, but it’s a fact that the U.A.E. has been a valuable ally in the war on terror since 9/11, and in the war in Afghanistan, and the war in Iraq. We need their ports, we need their cooperation on intelligence, and we will need the military base we have in the U.A.E. should we have to use the military option against Iran.

    Bush could have defended the deal. I’ve heard several news analysts, government officials, and former and present political advisers say that he could have made a convincing case to the American people. The fact that he didn’t even try tells me he’s more concerned about the diplomatic fall out if Dubai Ports is stopped from doing business in the U.S. than he is about the deal going through. That’s understandable. Our war ships are currently using ports in the U.A.E. that are run by Dubai Ports World, and we need to keep using them. If Congress ends the deal and the President at least gave the impression that he tried to save it, perhaps diplomatic efforts will be able to continue uninterrupted and unaffected. He’s got to know that any veto of legislation to stop the deal will likely be over turned by a two thirds vote in Congress. Maybe, he’s counting on that.

    Republican congressional leaders told President Bush Thursday the House and Senate both appear ready to block a Dubai-owned company from taking over operations at several U.S. ports, officials said.

    The GOP leadership delivered the assessment in a private meeting at virtually the same time White House spokesman Scott McClellan reiterated Bush’s vow to veto any legislation to interfere with the deal.

    The developments came one day after a GOP-controlled House committee voted 62-2 to block the transfer, which has prompted an unusual, election-year Republican revolt against the administration.

    Across the Capitol, Senate Democrats demanded a vote on the issue, placing Republicans on the political defensive as they tried to prevent the roll call from occurring.

    A company spokesman said DP World officials were not present at the discussions between congressional leaders and the White House.

    Senate GOP leaders had been hoping to prevent any votes until the conclusion of a 45-day review of the deal. At the same time, administration officials were using the time to try and ease the concerns of lawmakers.

    That strategy collapsed in dramatic fashion on Wednesday, when the House committee overwhelmingly signaled its opposition to the deal.


    The whole problem may be a mute point, anyway. Fox News is reporting that Dubai Ports has announced it will sell the U.S. piece of deal to another investor.

    ‘Mom,’ ‘dad’ to be axed from school textbooks?

    Filed under: — Jennifer Rast @ 6:55 am

    You know it’s getting bad when specifying your parent’s gender can get you in trouble at school. That’s what will happen if the governor signs a new bill that’s currently working it’s way through the California Senate. What are we supposed to call them if not mom and dad – parental unit 1 and 2? Even prom queen and king would have to be banned under this bill. Students will be voting for the prom “its” instead. That one I just don’t understand. Wouldn’t a homosexual guy prefer to be called Queen?

    The fact is that humans come in 2 genders, male and female. But, liberals and homosexual activists have decided this fact of human nature is offensive. Even gender specific bathrooms, in their opinion, must be replaced by one “it” bathroom. It doesn’t bother them at all that non-homosexuals will be uncomfortable going to the bathroom in the same room with people of the opposite sex. What a field day that will be for sexual predators. The homosexual lobby can’t be bothered with trivialities like that, though. All that matters to them is that homosexuals, transgender, and bi-sexual persons feel comfortable using the toilet together. I’m so sick of this group shoving their lifestyle in our face and demanding that we change our language, our values, our morals, our religious beliefs, and our traditions to accommodate them.

    A traditional-values organization in California is warning the state’s residents that a bill pending in the Legislature, if approved, could remove all references to gender in public schools – threatening even references to “mom” or “dad” in textbooks.

    If the bill, SB 1437, were to become law, warns the Capitol Resource Institute, “it could potentially require gender-neutral bathrooms in our schools and all references to ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ or ‘mom and dad’ removed from school textbooks as the norm.”

    Sponsored by Democratic Sen. Sheila Kuehl – a lesbian actress best known for playing Zelda in “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis” in the ’60s – the legislation would add “gender” (actual or perceived) and “sexual orientation” to the law that prohibits California public schools from having textbooks, teaching materials, instruction or “school-sponsored activities” that reflect adversely upon people based on characteristics like race, creed and handicap.

    Palestinians bilked U.S. taxpayers out of millions?

    Filed under: — Jennifer Rast @ 6:24 am

    Why is Congress just now figuring this out?

    Congress today will be presented with a new study that documents the Palestinians have inflated their population numbers by over 50 percent and that almost $3 billion in United States taxpayer funds may have been provided as aid to the Palestinians in part based on fraudulent data.

    “American tax dollars and other international humanitarian aid have been based on inflated population numbers which have been accepted without question by governments and aid agencies. Our researchers pointed out that money has been spent to help Palestinians who were double-counted, never born or not present in the West Bank and Gaza,” Bennet Zimmerman, head of the new study, titled “Arab Population in the West Bank and Gaza,” told WND.


    Yemen editor ‘faces death calls’

    Filed under: — Jennifer Rast @ 7:41 pm

    A Yemeni court used Muhammed as an example to support sentencing the editor of a Yemen newspaper to death for offending Islam. Now there’s a nice religion. The life of the founding prophet can be held up as reason for putting people to death over a cartoon. A CARTOON!

    Yemeni prosecutors have called for a newspaper editor to be sentenced to death for showing cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad, his paper says.

    Muhammad al-Asadi was arrested after his publication, the Yemen Observer, showed the Danish cartoons in February.

    He denies the charges of offending Islam, under which he is being tried.

    The English-language newspaper has had its licence to publish suspended, although its staff have continued to produce material online.

    Prosecutors reportedly requested that the Yemen Observer be closed permanently and have its property and assets confiscated.

    The paper’s website reported that the prosecution lawyers cited precedents from Muslim history when the prophet was insulted by a woman and then praised her killer.

    The trial was adjourned until 22 March.

    Seminaries threaten to stop sending chaplains to military

    Filed under: — Ben Rast @ 6:59 pm

    The Air Force Times has recently reported that at least two seminaries have threatened to stop sending chaplains into the military until their rights to pray in Jesus’ name can be guaranteed. A new Air Force policy still leaves too much gray area, and Christian chaplains still face discipline for praying according to their faith at official functions. An executive order, D.o.D. order, or legislation is needed to protect these rights.

    At least two seminaries are signaling they may stop sending chaplains to the military because of what they believe are restrictions placed on their clergy’s rights to pray.

    Bob Jones University Seminary in Greenville, S.C., and Temple Baptists Seminary in Chattanooga, Tenn., have indicated in letters to Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., that they may quit sending chaplains to the military, according to Rev. Billy Baugham, executive director for the International Conference of Evangelical Christian Endorsers, based in Greenville, S.C.

    Baugham said today that other seminaries, which he has not yet identified, also are writing to Graham. Meanwhile, in a press statement released March 5, Baugham said an ICECE attorney would draft a “letter of concern” from the endorsers for Graham.

    ICECE officials and representatives from a delegation of endorsers met with Graham and Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., in February, to allege their chaplains are not able to pray in accordance with their faith. Baugham said some evangelical Christian chaplains have been punished for invoking Jesus’ name in their prayers.

    “Why should the seminaries provide more chaplains when their graduates will be harmed for representing the faith of their churches as vows require,” Baugham asked.

    Baugham previously has warned that churches and seminaries affiliated with ICECE could pull their endorsements of chaplains unless President Bush issues an executive order freeing chaplains to pray as they see fit, or Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld issues such a directive.

    ICECE member groups, according to Baugham, are the endorsing agents to up to 400 chaplains across the services.


    Triple blasts in Varanasi, 12 killed

    Filed under: — Jennifer Rast @ 10:47 pm

    It wasn’t good enough for the Muslim murderers to kill Christians and Jews. They had to blow up Hindu innocents again.

    At least 12 people have been killed after triple blasts rocked parts of Varanasi on Tuesday evening.

    Several others have been injured in the blasts, which took place between 6:15-6:30 pm (IST).

    The Home Ministry has confirmed the blasts occurred at Sankat Mochan Temple and the railway station in the cantonment area. The third blast reportedly took place on the Shiv Ganga Express.

    The injured have been taken to the SS Hospital in the Benaras Hindu University campus.

    Senior officials of the district administration have reached the spot and the affected areas have been cordoned off.

    The Uttar Pradesh government has announced a compensation of Rs five lakh for the dead and Rs one lakh for the seriously injured.

    The first explosion took place outside the temple just after 6 pm (IST) when a large number of devotees were present at the aarti time.

    Minutes later, another blast took place outside the room of the stationmaster of the cantonment railway station.

    The third blast took place on the Shiv Ganga Express, which was leaving for New Delhi.

    The blast at the temple triggered panic and a near-stampede situation as devotees scrambled to rush out to safety. Four bombs were also recovered at the Dashaswamedh Ghat, two kilometres away from the temple.

    Did you ever notice that when a non-Muslim religious site gets blown up, it’s referred to as a church, a temple, or a synagogue. But, when a Muslim religious structure is bombed (usually by Muslims), it’s referred to as a holy shrine, the 33rd most holy site, or some similar holy name, while the most holy site in Judaism (the temple mount) is always reported as the third holiest site in Islam. . To the media, a violent, bloody religion like Islam is holy, while peaceful religions are not.

    Senate panel rejects bid for NSA inquiry

    Filed under: — Jennifer Rast @ 10:19 pm

    Congress won’t be launching an investigation into the NSA program that was successfully used to spy on terrorists (until it was leaked by Congress). However, they will be giving themselves more oversight of the program. Great. Congress has demonstrated over and over again that they can’t be trusted to know anything that we don’t want splashed all over every major newspaper around the world. Now angry liberal Senators can leak MORE classified information that will help the terrorists.

    Senate Republicans on Tuesday agreed to expand oversight of President George W. Bush’s domestic spying program but rejected Democratic pressure for a broad inquiry into eavesdropping on U.S. citizens.

    Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas, Republican chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said the committee voted to create a new seven-member subcommittee that would scrutinize the eavesdropping under a plan approved by the White House.

    The Bush administration was criticized by rights groups, Democrats and some Republicans for the surveillance program. It started after the September 11 attacks and allowed the National Security Agency to eavesdrop without a warrant on Americans’ international phone and e-mail communications while in pursuit of al Qaeda.

    In addition, the White House has begun discussions with several Republican lawmakers on legislative language that could further regulate the program.

    “I believe the president is prepared to sign a bill once the Congress does work its will,” Roberts told reporters after a closed-door committee meeting.

    “When it comes to national security, I prefer accommodation over confrontation whenever possible. We should fight the enemy. We should not fight each other.”

    Four Senate Republicans, all critics of the program, proposed a plan that would authorize the National Security Agency to eavesdrop without a warrant for 45 days but require the White House to justify every decision to continue beyond that timeframe.

    The legislative proposal, titled the Terrorist Surveillance Act of 2006, also would force the eavesdropping program to cease after five years unless renewed by Congress.

    Good move. We wouldn’t want to spy on terrorists who are plotting our death for too long. After all, they deserve to have their civil liberties restored, right?


    Oscar ratings stunk!

    Filed under: — Ben Rast @ 10:46 pm

    When the Academy Awards choose to pay homage to movies about adulterous gay sheepherders, a gay writer, and a transgendered person instead of quality movies that actually made a lot of money (The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe), ratings plummet. I’m not sad to report that Nielsen ratings found the 2006 Academy Awards show were down 8% from last year, and the second worst in nearly two decades. Waaaaaah!!!

    Some Gitmo Detainees Don’t Want To Go Home

    Filed under: — Ben Rast @ 10:32 pm

    I feel the deepest sympathy for these poor terrorists… not. However, I do find this ironic and amusing. It seems some detainees at Guatanamo Bay find their current accomodations safer than the prospect of a trip home.

    Fearing militants or even their own governments, some prisoners at Guantanamo Bay from China, Saudi Arabia and other nations do not want to go home, according to transcripts of hearings at the U.S. prison in Cuba.

    Uzbekistan, Yemen, Algeria and Syria are also among the countries to which detainees do not want to return. The inmates have told military tribunals that they or their families could be tortured or killed if they are sent back.

    President Bush has said the United States transfers detainees to other countries only when it receives assurances that they will not be tortured. Critics say such assurances are useless. The administration has released or transferred 267 prisoners and has announced plans to do the same with at least 123 more in the future.

    Inmates have told military tribunals they worry about reprisals from militants who will suspect them of cooperating with U.S. authorities in its war on terror. Others say their own governments may target them for reasons that have nothing to do with why they were taken to Guantanamo Bay in the first place.

    A man from Syria who was detained along with his father pleaded with the tribunal for help getting them political asylum — in any country that will take them.

    WA Post Cites Some Poll Numbers, Ignores Others

    Filed under: — Ben Rast @ 10:20 pm

    In this article by the Washington Post, their bias is evident starting with the headline and continuing throughout. The article headline is “Majority in U.S. Fears Iraq Civil War”, and the subtitle is “Poll Also Finds Growing Doubt About Bush”. Check out these excerpts from the article before we fill in the “unmentionable numbers”:

    An overwhelming majority of Americans believe that fighting between Sunni and Shiite Muslims in Iraq will lead to civil war, and half say the United States should begin withdrawing its forces from that violence-torn country, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll.

    The survey found that 80 percent believe that recent sectarian violence makes civil war in Iraq likely, and more than a third say such a conflict is “very likely” to occur. These expectations extend beyond party lines: More than seven in 10 Republicans and eight in 10 Democrats and political independents say they believe such a conflict is coming.

    In the face of continuing violence, half — 52 percent — of those surveyed said the United States should begin withdrawing forces. One in six favors immediate withdrawal of all troops, however, while about one-third prefer a more gradual return.

    The survey highlights how support for the war in Iraq dissolved since the first months after the U.S. invasion. At the end of 2003, nearly six in 10 — 59 percent — said the conflict was worth the cost; today, 42 percent share that view. In the past nine months, the proportion in Post-ABC polls who say the United States should begin withdrawing its troops has increased from 38 percent to a 52 percent majority.

    In the midst of all this, there was a hint of honesty:

    The survey also found growing doubt that the Bush administration has a strategy in Iraq. Two-thirds of those interviewed said they do not think the president has a clear plan for handling the Iraq situation, the highest level of doubt recorded since the question was first asked three years ago. But an even larger share — 70 percent — questions whether Democrats in Congress have a plan for dealing with Iraq, suggesting Americans see neither party as offering a coherent exit strategy.

    While this hints of honesty, it uses semantics to soften the blow. Notice that WAPO states that two thirds DO NOT THINK the president has a clear plan… but the larger share only “questions” whether Democrats in Congress have a plan for dealing with Iraq. Actually, the wording in the actual poll found that 70 percent DO NOT THINK Democrats in Congress have a clear plan for the war in Iraq. And only 65% of respondents felt that way about President Bush. This is slightly less than two-thirds as claimed by the WAPO (two-thirds would actually be 66.67%).
    Notice this begrudging admission of facts and the way it’s worded:

    In only one area — terrorism — does more than half of the public see Bush positively, and even here 46 percent disapprove while 52 percent approve. On every other issue tested in the poll — including the economy, international affairs and health care — Bush received negative marks.

    Here are some excerpts from the actual poll that get little to NO mention in the article:

    23. On another subject: as you may know, the National Security Agency has been investigating people suspected of involvement with terrorism by secretly listening in on telephone calls and reading e-mails between some people in the United States and other countries, without first getting court approval to do so. Would you consider this wiretapping of telephone calls and e-mails without court approval as an acceptable or unacceptable way for the federal government to investigate terrorism? Do you feel that way strongly or somewhat?

    Acceptable (Net): 54%
    Unacceptable (Net): 46%

    11. Compared to before September 11, 2001, do you think the country today is safer from terrorism or less safe from terrorism?

    Safer: 56%
    Less Safe: 35%
    Same: 8%
    No Opinion: 1%

    13. Do you think the war with Iraq has or has not contributed to the long-term security of the United States?

    Has contributed: 50%
    Has not: 48%
    No Opinion: 2%

    The Washington Post has revealed its bias in choosing which poll results NOT to include in the corresponding article. Surprised?

    Newsbusters has more.

    South Dakota governor signs legislation banning most abortion

    Filed under: — Ben Rast @ 9:39 pm

    The new composition of the U.S. Supreme Court will already chew on its first abortion case with a challenge to a partial birth abortion ban coming before the court. South Dakota is set to test the Supreme Court’s willingness to stand by Roe v. Wade.

    Gov. Mike Rounds signed legislation Monday banning nearly all abortions in South Dakota, setting up a court fight aimed at challenging the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.

    The bill would make it a crime for doctors to perform an abortion unless the procedure was necessary to save the woman’s life. It would make no exception for cases of rape or incest.

    Planned Parenthood, which operates the state’s only abortion clinic, in Sioux Falls, has pledged to challenge the measure in court.

    Rounds issued a written statement saying he expects the law will be tied up in court for years and will not take effect unless the U.S. Supreme Court upholds it.

    “In the history of the world, the true test of a civilization is how well people treat the most vulnerable and most helpless in their society. The sponsors and supporters of this bill believe that abortion is wrong because unborn children are the most vulnerable and most helpless persons in our society. I agree with them,” Rounds said in the statement.

    Even with new conservative justices on the Supreme Court, I don’t hold my breath for a complete reversal of Roe v. Wade. I pray I’m wrong, but not hopeful. Liberal baby-killer advocates (pro-choice) like to scare people by claiming that overturning Roe v. Wade would automatically outlaw abortion nationwide. That’s simply not true. Roe v. Wade states that there are implicit rights to privacy in the U.S. Constitution that extend to the medical decision of a woman regarding whether or not to abort a fetus (kill her unborn baby). A reversal of this decision would simply allow states to regulate abortion. Some states, like South Dakota, would enact sweeping restrictions on abortion. Other states would likely impose NO regulations on abortion. If a woman could not obtain an abortion in her home state of South Dakota, Idaho, Utah, etc., she could still travel to an abortion-friendly state.

    Will ECUSA Choose Another Gay Bishop?

    Filed under: — Ben Rast @ 9:18 pm

    In 2003, the Episcopal Church USA drove biblically conservative parishes under the umbrella of conservative Anglican bishops overseas when they ordained Gene Robinson – an unrepentant homosexual – as bishop. Soon, a choice will be made for bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of California. Among the five nominees are two more unrepentant homosexuals – Bonnie Perry of Chicago and Robert Taylor of Seattle. Both of these candidates have longtime same-sex “partners”. If one of these two end up being ordained as bishop, expect a similar fallout. The ECUSA is one of a few “mainline ‘Christian’ denominations” that have chosen to replace biblical truth with a liberal social theology that views homosexuality as a normal lifestyle.

    Following Bishop Robinson’s ordination, an emergency panel of the global Anglican Communion — convened in 2004 — called for a moratorium on installing bishops in same-sex relationships. But apparently the issue of diversity took precedence in selecting candidates for the California position. A spokesman for the Episcopal Diocese of California told the San Jose Mercury News that the search committee did not intend to provoke a political debate, but merely picked candidates who resembled the region itself: men and women from the country, white and black, homosexual and heterosexual.

    Canon David Anderson, president and CEO of the American Anglican Council, says the nominations are no shock to conservatives.

    “This is not surprising to most of us in the Orthodox part of the Episcopal Church,” says Anderson. “We understood that there is an agenda within the Episcopal Church for trying to subvert it into a ‘holy homosexual’ kind of a church. So we anticipated that they would do this again and again.”

    Anderson says the nomination of two homosexuals in California is a clear indication of what he calls the “disrespect and disdain” the leadership of the Episcopal Church has for the Anglican Communion. And like other conservative observers within the denomination, Anderson believes the rift over homosexual bishops is about to explode.

    “I believe there are some other dioceses that before the end of 2006 will probably also put forth some gay or lesbian candidates as well,” he offers. “This is only two people who are in a pipeline. There are going to be more.”

    The diocese will choose its new bishop at San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral on May 6. That selection must be approved by the church’s General Convention in June in Columbus, Ohio.

    We, as Christians, can love sinners without condoning their sins. Why do so many large denominations fail to see this distinction? A-p-o-s-t-a-c-y.

    In related news, a judicial panel of the Presbyterian Church (USA) has acquitted a minister for her role in performing same-sex marriage ceremonies.

    …A regional judicial panel of the Presbyterian Church (USA) has ruled that Rev. Jane Spahr was “acting within her right of conscience in performing marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples.” Spahr presided at weddings for lesbian couples in 2004 and 2005, although the marriages were not recognized by her denomination or the state of California. The church panel ruled 6-1 that the section of the Presbyterian Church’s constitution that reserves marriage for a man and a woman “is a definition, not a directive.” The 63-year-old Spahr, who could have faced removal from ministry, rejoiced at her acquittal. [AP]

    Unanimous Supreme Court Strikes Down RICO Prosecution of Abortion Protestors

    Filed under: — Ben Rast @ 9:03 pm

    The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously decided against the National Organization for Women (NOW) and associated abortion clinics who had, for a time, successfully used racketeering laws to prosecute anti-abortion protestors. This case was Scheidler et al. v. National Organization for Women, Inc., et al., decided jointly with Operation Rescue v. National Organization for Women, Inc., et al.

    Abortion proponents utilized the Hobbs Act and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act to prosecute anti-abortion activists who protested in front of abortion clinics. The court previously overruled the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals that awarded damages against abortion protestors and issued a nationwide injunction against clinic protests based on provisions of anti-extortion provisions in the Hobbs and RICO Acts. However, the Seventh Circuit decided that the Supreme Court only considered one possible application of the Hobbs and RICO acts, and therefore re-imposed its flawed thinking based on another possible application of those acts. The Supreme Court has once again said NO to NOW.

    In essence, the Supreme Court said that the Free Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act already prohibits anti-abortion protestors from blocking access to abortion clinics, and courts overreach when they try to use the Hobbs and RICO Acts. Once again, the pro-murder lobby (NOW, Planned Parenthood, NARAL, etc.) cannot blame this on conservative justices – it was a unanimous decision.

    Unanimous Supreme Court Smacks Law Prof’s Over Military Recruiting

    Filed under: — Ben Rast @ 8:20 pm

    A group of pompous liberal law professors and Ivy League law schools had their ego’s backhanded by a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court decision. This organization of elitist law professors formed the Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights, Inc. (FAIR) and sued the Secretary of Defense over military recruiting on their campuses. They objected to the military recruiting due to the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy banning homosexuality. More specifically, they objected to the Solomon Amendment, which requires colleges to provide equal access to military recruiters as they do other recruiters, lest the college lose federal funding. FAIR cried “No fair!”, alleging that the Solomon Amendment violated their first amendment rights to free speech and freedom of association. Now FAIR is crying “No fair!” because their collective legal insights were deemed legal bunk by the Supreme Court. The unanimous ruling (that’s right folks, it’s not just the conservatives on the bench) overturned a ruling by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals and stated that the Solomon Amendment is quite constitutional. Shocking!! We legal neophytes could have told you that it is not unconstitutional to afford military recruiters the same rights on campuses as other employers’ recruiters. You can read the entire ruling here, but some excerpts of the opinion authored by new Chief Justice Roberts are worth repeating:

    We have held that high school students can appreciate the difference between speech a school sponsors and speech the school permits because legally required to do so, pursuant to an equal access policy…. Surely students have not lost that ability by the time they get to law school.

    Military recruiting promotes the substantial Government interest in raising and supporting the Armed Forces—an objective that would be achieved less effectively if the military were forced to recruit on less favorable terms than other employers. The Court of Appeals’ proposed alternative methods of recruitingare beside the point. The issue is not whether other means of raising an army and providing for a navy might be adequate. See id., at 689 (regulations are not “invalid simply because there is some imaginable alternative that might be less burdensome on speech”). That is a judgment for Congress, not the courts. [refreshing viewpoint from a non-activist court]

    In this case, FAIR has attempted to stretch a number of First Amendment doctrines well beyond the sort of activities these doctrines protect. The law schools object to having to treat military recruiters like other recruiters, but that regulation of conduct does not violate the First Amendment. To the extent that the Solomon Amendment incidentally affects expression, the law schools’ effort to cast themselves as just like the schoolchildren in Barnette, the parade organizers in Hurley, and the Boy Scouts in Dale plainly overstates the expressive nature of their activity and the impact of the Solomon Amendment on it,while exaggerating the reach of our First Amendment precedents.

    To those of you who think that something is so, just because some Harvard law professor says it is, take notice, and read the ruling.


    India’s Christians Face Violence, Intimidation Tactics From Hindu Radicals

    Filed under: — Ben Rast @ 2:55 pm

    Sad. Think we have things rough?

    A spokesman for a ministry to the persecuted Church says anti-Christian hostility and maltreatment of Christian believers in India has reached new levels. According to Gospel for Asia (GFA), Hindu extremists have launched dozens of attacks against Christians and their churches since January.
    Yohannan says Hindu nationalists want India to be what they would call a “pure Hindu” nation. “What they’re trying to do,” he explains, “is say, ‘If you leave the Hindu fold or if you become Christian, we’re going to treat you badly, and we are going to go after you.’” In reality, he notes, what these extremists are doing “is a kind of ethnic cleansing, [warning people to] stay away from Christians and don’t become Christians.”

    The ministry founder says many believers in India are standing strong despite increased persecution and hardship. Believing students have been waylaid and beaten while on outreach, pastors of many churches constantly face death threats, and some radio producers of evangelical broadcasts have been attacked with iron rods.

    “Every week we have at least a dozen stories we hear from somewhere on the mission field,” Yohannan says, “where Christian workers facing such persecution are beaten up and abused, and this is increasing. Yet, one of the best things I am learning is that our people are acknowledging that God is sovereign.”

    What these Hindus fail to realize is that Christianity has always flourished under persecution. Pray for our brothers and sisters in India.

    Temple University Sued for Retaliation Against Guardsman

    Filed under: — Ben Rast @ 2:52 pm

    Temple University in Pennsylvania is being sued for some outrageous retaliatry and discriminatory acts taken against a student who is a sergeant in the National Guard. Sgt. Christian DeJohn was a graduate student at Temple when his unit was activated and deployed to Bosnia. While in Bosnia, he clashed with Temple professors who sent him anti-war emails. After returning home, he found out that he had been expelled from Temple as a result of these ideological clashes. DeJohn, who had an outstanding student record, fought for and won readmission to the university. After being readmitted though, his master’s thesis was flunked. Temple University then falsely reported him as being delinquient on student loans. The Alliance Defense Fund has filed suit against Temple University to right this wrong. Sgt DeJohn’s major crime is being a serviceman and responding to anti-war professors. Considering the liberal bias rampant in academia, this doesn’t surprise me. I hope and pray that the courts hold Temple liable for their actions.


    Olmert Demolishes Jewish Homes While Allowing Illegal Pali Homes

    Filed under: — Jennifer Rast @ 7:55 pm

    There’s no question now who’s side Olmert will take in the 3rd Intifada. Olmert has been busy dragging Jews out of their homes and bulldozing them since he took office. However, he has no problem with illegal Palestinian homes and buildings. Since he plans on giving East Jerusalem to the terrorists anyway, he doesn’t need to enforce the law. There’s also no reason for the Palis to stop killing Jews. They’ll get everything they want anyway.

    While Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has the past few weeks directed large numbers of Israeli forces to demolish several isolated West Bank Jewish homes deemed illegal, a report newly released here charges Jerusalem’s city hall deleted files documenting hundreds of illegal Arab building projects throughout eastern sections of Jerusalem.

    Aryeh King, chairman of the Jerusalem Forum, which promotes Jewish construction in Jerusalem, initiated a state investigation into the deletions, which allegedly took place while Olmert served as mayor of the city. He charged Olmert told senior municipal workers not to enforce a ban on illegal Arab buildings, allegedly saying to them eastern Jerusalem would one day be given to the Palestinians.

    “Ehud Olmert gave the order not to deal with the problem and not to put Israeli security forces to the duty of taking down the illegal Arab complexes. Senior municipal workers told me Olmert said not to bother with the illegal Arab homes because eventually eastern Jerusalem would be given to the Palestinian Authority,” said King.

    Carter Seeks Vote in U.N. Against U.S.

    Filed under: — Jennifer Rast @ 7:24 pm

    Ex-President Carter seems to think he’s still in charge. While campaigning against the U.S. at the U.N., Carter joined countries like Cuba, Egypt, and Pakistan in trying to change the Human Rights Commission. Angered by John Bolton’s unwillingness to bow to Carter’s demands (how dare he opt for the wishes of the current president that nominated him instead of the dhimmified Carter), Carter called Condi to whine about it. The problem was that Carter had promised the communists and Islamists in Cuba, Egypt and Pakistan that the U.S. was not going to “dominate all the other nations of the world in the Human Rights Council”. Carter apparently feels countries like Cuba are more qualified to lead on Human Rights issues. Go figure.

    Carter whined, “Mr. Bolton publicly “demanded” that the five permanent members of the Security Council will have permanent seats on the new council as well, “which subverted exactly what I have promised them.” Perhaps EX President Carter should stop making promises to dictators and Jihadist human rights violators that he can’t keep.

    Further sticking his foot in his mouth and insulting a huge majority of the American public, Carter went on to say, “The essence of my faith is one of peace.” Then in a clear swipe at President Bush’s faith, and to a round of applause, he added, “We worship the prince of peace, not of pre-emptive war.” The supposedly Christian Carter went on to attack American Christians who support Israel, and blamed Israel for the Middle East conflict. Darn those Israelis for building a fence and forcing the Palis to be more creative while blowing up civilians, launching rockets into civilian population centers, and shooting unarmed civilians in their cars!

    “From Dwight Eisenhower to the road map of George W. Bush, our policy has been that Israel’s borders coincide with those of 1949,” Mr. Carter said, adding, “All my predecessors have categorized each settlement as both illegal and an obstacle to peace.”

    Suicide bombings aren’t an obstacle to peace though, nor was the Arab attack on Israel that led to the 67 war and the current Israeli borders. Carter is a terrorist supporting idiot!


    Islamic Jihad man killed in Gaza blast

    Filed under: — Steve @ 8:26 am

    As usual, the pali terrorist are blaming Israel, when they blow themselves up.

    A senior Islamic Jihad fugitive, Khaled Dahdouh, 39, was killed in an explosion while driving in a car in Gaza Wednesday afternoon.
    Palestinian police said that Dahdouh was killed in an IAF air strike.
    The explosion took place on a busy street in the residential area between Islamic University and the Finance Ministry compound in Gaza City. It knocked out electricity in the area and damaged several cars parked nearby, according to Palestinian police sources.
    However, other Palestinian sources said that it was possible the explosion was caused by a work accident.
    The IDF denied involvement in the incident, adding that there had been no IAF activity in the area at the time of the incident.
    In response to the death of Dahdouh, another senior Jihad member in Gaza, Abu Gandel, threatened to retaliate harshly against Israel.
    “The Israelis will pay a heavy price for the stupid actions of their government,” he said.
    Islamic Jihad has been responsible for the majority of Kassam attacks on Israel from since the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip this past summer.
    Earlier Wednesday, IDF troops operating in the village of Anza, south of Jenin, shot Muhammad Zdaka, an Islamic Jihad fugitive attempting to escape arrest.
    Zdaka suffered a gunshot wound to the leg, and after receiving initial treatment by soldiers at the site was taken to hospital in Israel.
    He was allegedly involved in planning and carrying out shooting attacks.
    Also in Gaza on Wednesday, three masked gunmen kidnapped the director-general of the Palestinian Lands Authority, witnesses said.
    The gunmen took Atef Khoudri to an unknown destination. Masked militants have often kidnapped Palestinian and foreign officials, sometimes holding them in custody for several days, but releasing them unharmed.

    Read the article here.

    Jesus is Lord Online Dictionary

    Filed under: — Steve @ 8:12 am


    Main Entry: toon-o-pho-bia
    Pronunciation: toon-o-’fO-bE-&
    Function: noun
    Etymology: -phobia
    : an exaggerated usually inexplicable, irrational and illogical fear of blasphemous line drawings and cartoons, resulting in random acts of violence, destruction and bloodshed against anything remotely perceived to be in any way related to, or in a perceived relationship with, the source of the drawings.

    PA TV Star: Mother Upset Her Daughter Failed as Suicide Bomber

    Filed under: — Steve @ 8:02 am

    How can Israel ever hope to make peace with a people who think like this lady and her mother? The truth is; they can’t.

    Palestinian Authority (PA) controlled television is still broadcasting human interest pieces highlighting parents’ support for their children’s decisions to become suicide bombers.

    In spite of PA pledges not to incite, an interview broadcast last week featured the mother of Wafa Al-Bas, the 21-year-old Arab woman from Gaza (pictured above) who was arrested at the Erez Crossing in June 2005 wearing a 20-pound (9 kg) bomb under her clothes.

    The PA TV interview with Al-Bas’ parents, which aired on February 20th, features her mother saying the event was hard for her – not because her daughter was on a suicide mission, but because she was arrested on her way to carry it out.

    Al-Bas intended to bomb Be’er Sheva’s Soroka Hospital outpatient clinic, where she had been receiving regular treatments for serious burns on 45 percent of her body resulting from a gas stove explosion in her home.

    The failed bomber later told Israeli television that her greatest wish was to kill 30 to 50 Israelis, including children. The hospital attack would likely have killed or maimed the very Israeli doctor who had saved her life.

    Al-Bas’ mother said in the PA TV interview that she knew that her daughter had wanted to be a martyr since she was a little girl, but had not encouraged her – not because she opposed the idea of suicide bombing, but because Wafa was female. “If it was a boy, I would have supported, but since she is a girl I discouraged,” she said.

    Read the rest here.

    Re-Post: MANIFESTO: Together facing the new totalitarianism

    Filed under: — Steve @ 7:57 am

    MANIFESTO: Together facing the new totalitarianism

    After having overcome fascism, Nazism, and Stalinism, the world now faces a new totalitarian global threat: Islamism.
    We, writers, journalists, intellectuals, call for resistance to religious totalitarianism and for the promotion of freedom, equal opportunity and secular values for all.
    The recent events, which occurred after the publication of drawings of Muhammed in European newspapers, have revealed the necessity of the struggle for these universal values. This struggle will not be won by arms, but in the ideological field. It is not a clash of civilisations nor an antagonism of West and East that we are witnessing, but a global struggle that confronts democrats and theocrats.
    Like all totalitarianisms, Islamism is nurtured by fears and frustrations. The hate preachers bet on these feelings in order to form battalions destined to impose a liberticidal and unegalitarian world. But we clearly and firmly state: nothing, not even despair, justifies the choice of obscurantism, totalitarianism and hatred. Islamism is a reactionary ideology which kills equality, freedom and secularism wherever it is present. Its success can only lead to a world of domination: man’s domination of woman, the Islamists’ domination of all the others. To counter this, we must assure universal rights to oppressed or discriminated people.
    We reject cultural relativism, which consists in accepting that men and women of Muslim culture should be deprived of the right to equality, freedom and secular values in the name of respect for cultures and traditions. We refuse to renounce our critical spirit out of fear of being accused of “Islamophobia”, an unfortunate concept which confuses criticism of Islam as a religion with stigmatisation of its believers.
    We plead for the universality of freedom of expression, so that a critical spirit may be exercised on all continents, against all abuses and all dogmas.
    We appeal to democrats and free spirits of all countries that our century should be one of Enlightenment, not of obscurantism.
    12 signatures
    Ayaan Hirsi Ali
    Chahla Chafiq
    Caroline Fourest
    Bernard-Henri Lévy
    Irshad Manji
    Mehdi Mozaffari
    Maryam Namazie
    Taslima Nasreen
    Salman Rushdie
    Antoine Sfeir
    Philippe ValIbn Warraq