30 May 2009

Burger run to Five Guys!

No word on if VP Biden was washing his Trans Am on the White House driveway again.

This time, by the big, giant, expensive, stupid Nationals Stadium In which the president discovers an American intelligence agency at Five Guys!

Awesome!  Just awesome.  I feel so much more greater for voting for him!

On his trip to get a burger with Brian Williams at Five Guys this afternoon, the president appears to have learned of the existence of a Defense Department intelligence arm, the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, from an agency employee also at the burger restaurant.
"So explain to me exactly what this National Geospatial..." Obama said, after the worker mentioned his employer, according to a video of the event.
"We work with, uh, satellite imagery," the worker, Walter replied.
A POLITICO reader caught the exchange, which starts around 5:45 on this C-SPAN video.
The transcript:
Obama: What do you do Walter?
Walter: I work at, uh, NGA, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
Obama: Outstanding, how long you been doing that?
Walter: About six years
Obama: Yea?
Walter: Yes.
Obama: You like it?
Walter: I do, keeps me...
Obama: So explain to me exactly what this National Geospatial...uh...
Walter: Uh, we work with, uh, satellite imagery..
Obama: Right
Walter: [unintelligible] ...support systems, so...
Obama: Sounds like good work.
Walter: Enjoy the weekend.
Obama: Appreciate it.
According to the Defense Department:
The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) is a Department of Defense combat support agency and a member of the national Intelligence Community (IC). NGA develops imagery and map-based intelligence solutions for U.S. national defense, homeland security and safety of navigation.

NGA provides timely, relevant and accurate geospatial intelligence in support of national security objectives. The term "geospatial intelligence" means the exploitation and analysis of imagery and geospatial information to describe, assess and visually depict physical features and geographically referenced activities on the Earth. Geospatial intelligence consists of imagery, imagery intelligence and geospatial (e.g., mapping, charting and geodesy) information.
Guess they're not getting much airtime in the president's Daily Brief.

Sorry, the map for this one is still secret.

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Early Father's Day for Me

My awesome son is here visiting for the weekend and is taking me out here and there, since he will be away performing military duty on Father's Day.

Have a great weekend!

Following on John's Theme from the Previous Thread: More Apologists for Terrorists

How do people who financially support terrorists confuse this with anything else? They like to use pretty phrases like freedom fighters, helping the children, etc. Yes, I understand fine that Hamas has built a school or two. They probably have a pension fund for their suicide bombers too.

Take a look at this article:

Jail Time for Jihadists
By: Robert Spencer FrontPageMagazine.com Friday, May 29, 2009

In a major blow to terrorism financing on American soil, the founders of
the Holy Land
, once the nation’s largest Muslim charity, were both sentenced this week to
sixty-five years in prison
for funneling at least $12.4 million in
charitable contributions to the terrorist group Hamas. The decision, which can
still be challenged by appeal, also has important implications for the nation’s
most prominent Islamic organization, the Council on American-Islamic Relations,
as well as for American Muslims in general.

The HLF founders,
Shukri Abu Baker and Ghassan Elashi, were convicted in November 2008 of aiding a
terrorist organization by sending money to Hamas.
The two were also convicted of tax fraud and money laundering.

Pretty straightforward, right? Well, maybe not to some:

Abu Baker’s daughter, Zaira Abu Baker, sounded the notes of victimization
that Islamic jihadists and their allies invariably sound when found guilty of
aiding the spread of jihad and Islamic supremacism. “I’ve been with my dad 100
percent of the way,” she said. “I saw the work he did. He devoted his life to
helping needy children. But after 9/11, I guess, there’s hysteria. They pick and
choose people, and unfortunately it’s us.”

Another defendant, Mufid Abdulqader, who received a twenty-year sentence,
also claimed victim status. “I never imagined,” he complained, “I’d be put in
jail for taking people out of their jail of poverty and starvation.”
other defendants, in an appeal for leniency, told
their life stories
before their sentences were handed down.

However, if their intention was to distract the focus from their
involvement in financing terrorism, they did not succeed. U.S. District Judge
Jorge Solis would have none of it. “You weren’t convicted of singing,” he told
Abdulqader. “You weren’t convicted of freedom of expression. You were convicted
of supporting Hamas.”

John calls that kind of excuse making "Loveline caller talk" and I agree with him. It is one step away from dating "shady" people (is that your phrase or mine John?) and making excuses for them.

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Cathy Young covers Apologists for Terrorists

The Media, Islam, and Political Correctness

Last week's arrest of four men in the Bronx, New York on charges of plotting to bomb two synagogues and shoot down a military aircraft with a missile has revived an ongoing debate about the connection between Islam and terrorism and the twin pitfalls of religious bigotry and willfully blind political correctness.

The New York Times has been assailed by conservative critics such as Dallas Morning News columnist and blogger Rod Dreher for downplaying a troubling aspect of the case: all the suspects are Muslims. (They had converted to Islam while in prison for drug offenses, theft, and other crimes.) The first Times report on May 20 mentioned this fact only in passing—despite a statement by New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly at a press conference that the four had talked frankly about wanting to "commit jihad."

. . .

By contrast, the opening line of the New York Post story on the arrests referred to "four homegrown Muslim terrorists on a mission from hell"—inflammatory, to be sure, but arguably far more accurate.
As is frequently her way, Ms. Young beats me to the punch:

To some on the left, any mention of Islamic extremism is a bigoted right-wing scare tactic. On his blog, Nation magazine columnist Robert Dreyfuss dismisses the New York terror plot as "bogus" and asserts that every alleged plot by Muslim terrorists on U.S. soil after the World Trade Center attack has been "nonsense" cooked up by the FBI: "Since 9/11 not a single American has even been punched in the nose by an angry Muslim, as far as I can tell." (Tell that to the victims of Mohammed Taheri-azar, who plowed a Jeep into a crowd of students at the University of North Carolina in 2006 and later told authorities that he wanted to follow in the footsteps of September 11 hijacker Mohammed Atta and "avenge the deaths of Muslims around the world.") And while most of the plots uncovered by the authorities seem to have been the work of inept losers, one does not have to be a genius to inflict a lot of damage. If the September 11 hijackers had been caught, how many people would have scoffed at the plot to fly hijacked planes into buildings as absurdly improbable?

And she beats me to another frequent observation of mine.  I was not aware of this specific item, but I have gotten tired of pointing the main point out to my 'Conservative' friends, who are just like Leftists, they just have a different set of issues:

Yet anti-Muslim hysteria on the right is no myth, either. In February 2007, when a teenager named Sulejmen Talovic went on a shooting rampage at a Salt Lake City, Utah shopping mall, killing five people, some right-wing websites excoriated the media for ignoring the "Muslim connection"—the shooter's background as a Bosnian Muslim immigrant. Never mind that there was nothing to suggest that Talovic was a Muslim zealot or that religion had anything to do with his actions. (Shooting sprees by troubled young men of other religious backgrounds are not exactly unknown.)
The whole article is quite excellent.

Some surprisingly good comments too, and they include some marketing advice for Muslims.  I could do without the "white southern redneck" talk, but see my comment above about people really being alike, just with a different set of issues.

I vote this as the winning thread comment:

Mister DNA | May 29, 2009, 5:57pm | #

Changing the spelling of fatwa to phatwa would go a long way towards changing Islam's image.

Also, I would suggest replacing the Koran with something more recent. Say, the January 1973 issue of National Lampoon, for example.

I linked to another story about these guys a few days ago:  Shilling for Small Time Terrorists

Side note, in the book Suki I, the world is generally at peace, most of the current bad actors have discovered productive commerce and our military is generally advising on peacekeeping operations.

Looks like a few more exellent comments came in on the Reason blog:

Omar | May 30, 2009, 9:52am | #


" . . . your wall-of-bullshit approach to posting means that nobody bothers to read what you have to say."


I read it, to the end.


As for our Salt Lake teenager . . . Maybe not "jihad" in the usual way, but there are several disturbing indicators. Seems he was wearing a miniature Quran around his neck at the time of the shooting (a detail that somehow escaped disclosure until recently) and shortly before the shootings he'd bragged about his grandfather being "part of the jihad."


If I'm not mistaken, his cousin "Omerovic" was also jailed for sending threatening jihadic letters to US officals. . . . "Death to US, death to Israel" stuff. Here's the most complete run down I've seen. Mentions eveything except the miniature Quran, which was (apparently) DELIBERTATELY withheld from the media. Wonder why?


MJ | May 30, 2009, 10:07am | #

"let's just call it 'violent religious extremism' in all media from here on out."-isildur

While we're at it we can call violent Marxist movements "violent atheist movements".

Buck Smith | May 30, 2009, 10:26am | #

The DC sniper is another example of domestic attack by Muslim since 9-11.
One of the attacks that has been foiled since 9-11 was an plot by some Bosnian Muslims to attack a US army base. Their motivation was anger at the US for NOT intervening to stop the massacre of Bosnians by Serbs in the 90s. If we intervene the jihadis are mad cause we intervene, if we don’t they're mad anyway. My opinion is one more attack in the US on the scale of 9-11 and the gloves will come off. Radical Islam contains the seeds of its destruction.

Anonymous | May 30, 2009, 10:29am | #

Back to the Islam slogans...
"Islam, it's a blast!"
I suggest going to the Reason comments section and reading the rest :)

My proor child

My son is visiting.

Got to talk how ROTC is now and how it was in the day, and hear about crap the my coworkers need to hear.

Condo is still a wreck, so he crashed in his personal sleeping system.

That craziest date story ever, that I am not sharing here, took up a great amount of time and he seems to think it was funny too.  Did not take a great amount of time telling it, the story just came up several times.

Day by Day is the cartoon of the year

Day by Day today, KKK Sotomayer

29 May 2009


Good thing home renovation is not my line of work.

The new doors for the bedroom, to replace the ones that were water damaged during the flood, are still sitting in my livingroom.

The bedroom is almost completly painted.

Looks a little out of order to me.

E-mailed the supervisor and waiting to hear back from him.

For some reason, I thought the guys who installed the new baseboards would be the ones installing the doors too.  Who knows.

Update 1208pm:  Yep, the guys who were in yesterday were supposed to do the doors.  Looks like that happens one week from today.

My Neighborhood is so Beautiful on Nice Weekdays

My Lord!  Crystal Drive (see map, the neighborhood is Suki's neighborhood) is one of the most beautiful places on earth during a sunny weekday.

Everyplace I look, beautiful ladies of all ages.  Lovely dresses.  The simple black spike heeled pump seems to be back by the score.  Ladies, you can't go wrong with those.

Something else I noticed, that looks fine, but several women I knew made a big deal about it last year: bare legs.

Must have been some popular article or something, but last year I recall several women complaining about bare legs in the office.  That there is some unwritten rule about it.  I even have Suki's friends informing her about it in Suki I.

The justification from one of the gals, a Homeland Security employee, was that if the men must wear ties then the women must wear hosiery.  I never bought into that logic, but just thought it was a parallel office rule, like the other folks who brought it up.

Today, loads of bare legs, smooth and pretty.  No complaint here, even though I am a fan of sexy stockings too.

Of course, I saw all of this a few moments ago as I strolled to Starbucks, looking a bit on the bum side.  No, of course I am not in one of my fine double breasted suits.  I am in a five year old polo, that does not fit as well as it did new, black jeans and sneakers.

Joe Biden keeps giving

If you missed VP Joe Biden's teleprompter comment this week, it should be easy enough to find with The Google.

Look how brilliant I am!

Where is that sarcasm tag?

So, I have put off getting my corporate resume updated in the system to what is nearing the last moment.  Of course, right now would be a perfect time to do it, since I am sitting here in the living room with most of the stuff that I own while the painters are in the bedroom, with a little of the stuff that I own.

Guess what else is in the bedroom, in my suit pants from yesterday, laying on the bed (covered in plastic)?  My RSA security key for the secure portal that I need to go through to update my resume and emergency information!

Of course, this is my own place and I could go in there, rip through the plastic and get the key.  That will not get the painters out of here any quicker.

The proper way would have been to get the thing done weeks ago.  Would have been a better distraction from being all down in the dumps about the major disasters that have cropped up this year and last.

Productivity is my new word for today!  Right after I go to Starbucks for another mocha ;)

Arresting people for profit?

I am a big fan of Amy Alkon and do not recall a time that I disagreed with her.  Granted, I have not been reading her that long, but now I do read her daily.

Have to disagree with her position on this:
May 29, 2009 

Make Crime Pay Us Back

By doing something I've always thought we should do -- charging criminals for their jail stay. Tracy Loew writes in USA Today:

Get arrested in Springfield, Ore., this fall, and you might spend the night in jail -- then get a bill for your stay.

The city plans to charge convicted criminals up to $60 a night, depending on their ability to pay, when a new 100-bed lockup opens in October, Springfield Police Chief Jerry Smith says. Thus, the city could recoup most of its cost of about $70 a day.

"These people are the ones who cause the cost to operate a jail, so they ought to be the ones to pay it, not private citizens," Smith says.

The economic recession is spurring several local governments to turn to pay-to-stay programs, says Sara Totonchi, public policy director for the Atlanta-based Southern Center for Human Rights, which fights legislation that imposes such fees on inmates.

"In these difficult economic times, policymakers are looking for different options to save money," Totonchi says.

Oh, boohoo. You do the crime -- don't expect me to pay for your time. And that has nothing to do with the way our elected and appointed idiots mismanage our tax dollars and our prisons.

And while we're at it, I think criminals should have to stay in jail until they earn money to pay restitution to their victims.

I disagree about as strongly as possible.  All this does is set-up a system of perpetual employment for the legal and law enforcement system.  We already have enough problems with cops taking property under questionable circumstances.  We have for decades.  Now we are going to begin a billing system for housing convicted criminals?

How about this:  make jail as expensive and safe as possible and get rid of a bunch of stupid laws that make it all too easy for government actors to incarcerate such a large percentage of our population.  Perhaps if jail was more expensive to society our representatives would not be so happy to make so many perfectly harmless things illegal.

In the future, at least the one I was thinking in my book, pretty much the last things people will be getting jailed for (in the USA) are non-violent crimes.  Sadly, every time I think we are about to go in that direction we are deflected.

Reason on Craigslist and Prostitution

Ever since Craigslist became the victim of numerous government types trying to look good, Reason Magazine has been on the correct side of the issue, in my opinion. Here are some of their latest blurbs. Interesting comments by their readers at the links.

A great piece from Slate on how attorney general grandstanding has made life worse for cops andprostitutes

Prostitutes Get Screwed (and a Happy Ending)

 . . .

• Why shutting down Craigslist's "Erotic Services" section could make prostitution more dangerous, and make it more difficult for police to solve cases where prostitutes have been harmed.

Since these government types truly deserve some sort of punishment, don't forget to check out the Nina Hartley walling demonstration video.(NOT work safe).

Another Day Another Contractor Crew

Painters coming today for bedroom side of my place.  Oh joy.

After this step I get to take my bed apart and prepare for the carpet crew next week.  That should be fun.  Move bed to livingroom, crew removes the carpet that was destroyed in January, then installs new carpet.  Then move all of my belongings from livingtoom to bedroom and they replace that carpet.

Some later week the kitchen flooring gets replaced.

Son is coming to visit for the weekend too.  Just gave me a call last night.  Good thing he is not too picky about where he sleeps.  At least the futon pad is laying flat on the livingroom floor.

Might be a good idea to stash the riding crop, spreader bars and this:
someplace out of sight during his visit.

28 May 2009

FBI and CIA lighters

After several recent experiences, I decided to bust out the FBI and CIA Zippos.

I am hoping it will be "shady people insurance", seriously.

Numerous shadies, to include one who got much too close for comfort, may have just left me alone if they saw me firing up a Dunhill or Winston with an FBI Zippo.

Got both from buddies who work with those agencies, back when I lived in the Reston, VA area.  The FBI one was from an FBI agent.  The CIA Zippo was from a guy who was as CIA analyst, retired and still works there for SAIC.

If needed, I have both NRO and George Bush Center for Intelligence Zippos too.

Day by Day has a good storyline going

If you are not familiar with Day by Day by Chris Muir, you need to be.

Chris has a fantastic storyline going right now about women who make themselves victims and, it looks like, how to break out of that.

The scene of the flood is finally fixed

Balcony utility/heat pump room is finished.

Thank goodness I can get out of here and go to the office for a while.  Losing too much time there during this process.

Painters in the morning, carpet and kitchen flooring next week.

Bedroom baseboards done

Bedroom is ready for paint now and that crew is coming by tomorrow.

The crew is out in the balcony utility area insulating.

Looks like I might be getting ready for work just in time to miss Rush Limbaugh :(

Finally, today's destruction crew arrives

New baseboards are being installed in the bedroom as I type.

Too bad I am not cuddled up with a raven haired beauty five to fifteen years my senior playing hookie from work.

More on the destruction

Lovely, just lovely.

Got home from a few glasses of wine last night to discover the destruction crew left a 20" television on my bed.  The old kind, heavy.

Tipsy me still managed to move it to the floor and get a bit of sleep.

Still woke before five and was at Starbucks before the doors opened.  Distinctive lack of eye candy there this AM too.

At least my pornograph is up and running.  Hot Asian office girls are so cute ;)

27 May 2009

More on the book

Noticed that I had not mentioned this.  Some feedback on the web page for Suki I.

While I was editing it on Sunday during the Indy race, a former Marine buddy liked the bit about same sex marriage and the unexpected effects.  He was also of the same mind as me that the smoking in public places pendulum will be swinging back in about 20 years.

I mentioned in an earlier post, "Big D", seemed to glean a whole lot of things that I was not really intending.  I guess the actual book will be a surprise for folks who read the page and their takeaway is like his.

Note 28 Mar. 09:  Big D was not able to open the file, not sure why.

He is expecting a "dark" world, more of a dystopia I suppose.  The mention of the BDSM fashions becoming more common is just for two necklaces mentioned in the book.  Maybe some of the other fashions, but it reminded him of how sometimes news reporters were leather tops, odds and ends and that it is a bigger theme in the book.  It might be mentioned more in the second book.

I think it is written generally happy.  The characters are successful but not filthy rich, other than one minor character who retired at 30 and drinks way too much, but straightens up before the end.  There is some tragedy, the couple nearly does not begin to date, John is attracted to the wrong woman, etc.  But it works out to a happy ending.

Have had good feedback from people who have read chunks of it.  One I am not sure was an honest assessment, but people are that way sometimes.

Time for lunch, maybe, after I check on my destruction crew.

Dating break and other random thoughts

My GOD, this remodeling crap seems that it will never end.  Kinda puts a dent in the dating scene too.

Bringing a lady home to a wall-to-wall disaster frequently spoils the romance.  Have been with a few in the past who did not have a problem with messes.  One would frequently say "I didn't care if your place was a mess as long as I could find you."  Might be one reason why she was the longest non-marriage relationship I ever had too.

So, as I settled in to pretty much avoid a bunch of badly overdue tasks and oversee the destruction crew removing drywall from the bedroom half of my condo, my best friend Danielle gives me a call.  Her husband, Dennis, had another seizure at his job site in DC.  The only help I got to give was Googling up the hospital for Danielle.

She just called, Dennis is okay now.  I am not sure if it is bad or good that when I am feeling depressed and I am reminded that there are people in much worse shape than me, I stop feeling so bad about myself.  But then I feel bad that I can't help them like I wished I could.

Danielle was a big help on the latest dating mistake, so I don't need to vent about it here :)  But she did invite me to the hospital to pickup chicks.  Not a bad idea, but I think I need a few weeks off from that.

Just emailed the office to tell them I am stuck here all day and at least tomorrow morning.

Should be getting some book feedback from a bartender buddy today, I hope.  He was off yesterday and only bar tends two days per week.  He is one of the people I renamed a background character for (Big D at the brat bar) and will have a bigger role in the next book.

Back to resume editing, job hunting and the pile of bills that are still backed up from the January condo mess, while surrounded by said mess.

Shilling for Small Time Terrorists

Expect more of this, until we get some actual facts in this case:

Reports last week suggested that the Newburgh four -- the men arrested Wednesday for plotting to bomb two New York synagogues -- perhaps weren't theswiftest ships in her majesty's fleet. But over the weekend, people close to the four came forward to describe how the government informant at the center of the case against them -- the man known to the suspects as Maqsood -- aggressively courted the men before luring them into an imagined jihad.
Expect comparisons to the Randy Weaver case too, no matter how they are completly different.  Just how are they completly different?  Weaver was just a guy who wanted to be left alone, well he and his family.  He was asked to infiltrate a group he wanted nothing to do with and refused.   And he shortened a shotgun to a length that required yet another stupid federal license.

Cases where the various actors were 'talked into' plots to blow stuff up, talked into smuggling jewelry or drugs, talked into all sorts of other bad stuff I have no sympathy for.  I have little sympathy for people who "just knew bad people" too.  Try staying the hell away from them.

It certainly does not help my point-of-view that when I have actually known people who turned out to be shady, the people making excuses or otherwise defending them them ended up being just as shady.

On the other hand, when given a multiple choice quiz and one of the answers is 'the government is at fault', that is my answer until proven otherwise.

Did the FBI create this whole plot just like they were shown in court to have done with a Georgia Militia in the 1990's?  Don't know yet and neither does anybody else writing about it.

I do enjoy the retro-Leftist nastalgia titling of the TMP story.  David Horowitz has mentioned that style from his days as a radical Leftist during many speeches and interviews.

Some interesting comments from the Reasonoids:

Kyle Jordan | May 26, 2009, 8:08am | #

"D.C. councilman blames pizza for crime."

That article made my head hurt.

"How a government informer wooed the Newburgh 4."

I don't really feel sorry for these guys simply because they chose to carry it through but there is definitely something wrong if this "Maqsood" badgered them as much as claimed. I guess it's no longer enough to just claim terrorism threats or let would be actual terrorists use our systems against us (something that will ALWAYS happen). We now have to actively manufacture them.

Abdul | May 26, 2009, 9:09am | #

I doubt there is a ton of Al-Qaeda operatives in Kansas to recieve such messages...


They got 19 people into America for September 11th. After that, they got Jose Padilla in (even if he was captured soon thereafter). Whatever you want to say about his treatment or detention, no one questions that Padilla recieved training from Al Quaeda.

And all Al quaeda needs is a few people to get in to america to amount an escape attempt. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_helicopter_prison_escapes

Unlike these guys in the 27 helicopter escapes in the Wikipedia article, Al Quaeda has shown that they are willing to trade their own lives for publicity in suicidal attacks.

One of the great advantages of gitmo is that we got Castro to run interference for us. The US is an open society, one where stealing firearms or hijacking a helicopter is far easier than in Cuba. 

The decision to close gitmo has nothing to do with the issues of due process for detainees or concerns about humanitarian treatment. Detainees can be denied due process and treated inhumanely in the US just as well as outside it. This decision is only about public relations.

P Brooks | May 26, 2009, 11:06am | #

I'm still waiting for the FBI to place an order for my "You can be a TERRORIST- ask me how!" t-shirts.

Same Sex Marriage still banned in California, sort of

From the Washington Post:
Calif. Ruling Shows Hurdles Remain for Gay Marriage
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The California Supreme Court upheld a voter-approved constitutional amendment Tuesday that bans same-sex marriage in the state.

The court said, however, that those couples who wed in the state under an earlier opinion from the court, will be considered married.

Now, if they would just get rid of heterosexual marriage maybe we will be approaching equality.

Some interesting comments from the Reasonids:

♪ May 26, 2009, 1:45pm #

There was actually a brief filed at the time after the first ballot proposal was overturned that would have put a halt on marring same-sex couples until the second ballot proposal was voted on. This would have been prudent in a time when the question was in flux.

Also, "gay marriage" is a misnomer. Nobody asks for sexual preference when filling out a marriage license.

ellipsis May 26, 2009, 5:47pm #

The Hef seems to be able to find multiple girlfriends. What if he wanted to marry all of them? The only thing that would change is the (now) wives ability to get tax deductions and estate matters.

Marriage used to be a license to have sex. That's why polygamy was banned, because the LDS was considered a freakshow. In modern times, marriage has nothing to do with sex. And yes I know I'm condensing, but bear with me. Polygamy wasn't even banned in the US until 1862, and only because of what amounted to religious persecution. The Merrill anti-Bigamy Act should have been overturned on first amendment grounds. But the majority is always willing to throw any odd practices under the bus for the morality of America.

I think polygamy should be legal - along with any other human marriage arrangement - but considering how hard it is to get same-sex marriage legalized, I doubt it'll happen any time soon.

Jeff May 26, 2009, 5:54pm #

Marriage is a union between one man and one woman. Anything else is NOT marriage. It may be a civil union, but it is not marriage.

I think the argument that the government should not issue marriage licenses is a valid one. Perhaps the government should issue "civil union" licenses and then if a man and woman want to get married, they may do so in whatever ceremony they wish. Then, everyone has equal rights and we don't redefine words.
For me, it's as much a logical argument as anything else. We might as well pass legislation that says day is night and night is day. That won't change the fact that the sun is visible at about the same time every day (oops, night) - we'll just change what that period of time is called.

For the record: I am against government involvement in marriage and that is one thing my fictional character of this name shares with me.

In other news, our crazy immigration policy was a factor in a friend of mine, who I used to date, getting married so that she does not have to keep going back to England for visa renewals.

25 May 2009

Amy Alkon has a great observation. BONUS! Country talk at the end!

A Big Howdy To All You Muslim Ladies Out There

from Advice Goddess Blog by Amy Alkon

A Big Howdy To All You Muslim Ladies Out ThereIf you are a legal immigrant who appreciates Western values and wishes to join Western society, by all means, melt right in. If, however, you hail from a primitive culture where women are considered possessions and your religious leaders advocate husbands beating wives who get a little out of line, and you're cool with all that, well, why would you want to leave Saudi Arabia for the land where men cordially greet women in the halls of their apartment buildings, and other such Western barbarism?

There's an astonishing story in the Canadian Nat Post about a man who was reported to his landlady for -- get this -- saying hello to his Muslim neighbors, one of whom happens to be a woman. Matthew Coutts writes:

When the landlady of my Toronto apartment building said an outraged
neighbour had filed a complaint about me over an apparently inappropriate
hallway interaction with his wife, my mind raced through the countless
conversations I've had with fellow tenants, none of which seemed a possible
source of offence.

It turns out, it wasn't a salacious transaction that had caused the
complaint, but rather a neighbourly and -- to me -- entirely forgettable
greeting, little more than a brief "good morning" as I passed my neighbours on
the way to work.

Still, it was enough of an affront for the man -- once a doctor somewhere
in the Middle East, my landlady clarified -- to feel I had broken a cultural
taboo. The incident started an awkward feud which has involved warnings not to
repeat my indiscretion and one face-to-face shouting match, which included
allusions to my impending death.

Muslims so often take the high road. Of course, their Quran commands them to convert or kill the infidel -- even the friendly, hello-saying infidel -- so the offended, allegedly death-alluding doctor is really just being a good Muslim if he is indeed offering these death threats.
As somebody who smiles at strangers and says hello to them with frequency, I just love the absurdity of this complaint. The cordial neighbor script, Islam-style, apparently goes something like this:

Western man to Muslim man and his Muslim wife/possession: "Good morning, neighbors!"

Muslim man: "I will behead you, Western dog!"

Western man: "And y'all have a nice day, too!"

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