Monday, October 31, 2011

Rich Miller on #OccupySpringfield: This is not what democracy looks like

Springfield's Rich Miller (no Tea Partier Rich) on #OccupySpringfield via This is not what democracy looks like
A handful of protesters has no right to overturn elections nor deny people from exercising their 1st Amendment right to petition the government, no matter how much one might disagree with their employers. I fully support the occupy folks’ rights to protest. I flat out oppose any attempt to take away constitutional rights from others. When we overturn elections we don’t like or allow the government to decide who can and who cannot lobby, we’re gonna be in really big trouble.
Read the comments to his post. Interesting stuff... AFSCME of all outfits, who did so much to elect these reps #OccupySpringfield now wants to vacate. Maybe it's time to Occupy AFSCME instead.

Shabaab names American suicide bomber - Threat Matrix

Shabaab names American suicide bomber - Threat Matrix

Least anyone think these fellows the downtrodden. LWJ via NYT,
He had been an ambitious pre-med student at the University of Minnesota, hoping for an internship at the Mayo Clinic, before he disappeared in 2008. The audio recording, in which the speaker exhorts Westerners to join the fight, appears to reflect those qualities.

Obama crony Pritzker ripped at #OccupyChicago

This qualifies for the "...only difference between liberals and cannibals is cannibals only eat their enemies" catagory.

H/T to Marathon Pundit who's been doing Yeoman's service videoing #OccupyChicago.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Marathon Pundit: Sign at Occupy Chicago tonight: Occupy Wall Street, not Palestine

Marathon Pundit: Sign at Occupy Chicago tonight: Occupy Wall Street, not Palestine

I used to work near the Federal Bldg in downtown Chicago and watched the Palestinian cause link itself onto just about every demonstration by the left. Here's Occupy Wall Street, not Palestine at #OccupyChicago.

#OccupyDenver Thugs Knock Motorcycle Cop To Ground

A member of #OccupyDenver pushes a Cop on his motorcyle over. Not a wise thing to do. H/T Pat Dollard

Marathon Pundit: Video: Alinsky lives, Occupy Chicago protester suggests treat-or-treating at Rahm's house

Marathon Pundit: Video: Alinsky lives, Occupy Chicago protester suggests treat-or-treating at Rahm's house

John took some video of #OccupyChicago debating (if that's what you can call it) trick or treating over at Mayor Rahm Emanuel's house. They left it up in the air but the speaker kept repeating the address in case anyone wanted to know on the Mayor's door.

Hajj detention – Well known Canadian cleric arrested in Holy City of Madina in Prophet’s Mosque

BREAKING NEWS / PRESS RELEASE: SAUDI ARABIA / Canada / Hajj detention – Well known Canadian cleric arrested in Holy City of Madina in Prophet’s Mosque

@Hayder_alKhoe wrote regarding Al-attar's arrest,
It seems the Wahhabi fanatics are still on a mission to harass and harm any Shia who dares openly practise his faith during Umra or Hajj
Fanaticism's like that.

How Stuart Levine — a thief and con man — became star witness - Chicago Sun-Times

How Stuart Levine — a thief and con man — became star witness - Chicago Sun-Times

The Sun Times Natasha Korecki on a central player in Illinois Politics for a decade.
It wasn’t just the drug-binge parties and snorting 10 lines of animal tranquilizer mixed with crystal meth at the Purple Hotel that stunned the courtroom.

It was an interminable list of scams that one man was able to pull off for decades.
Amazing how Levine fooled so many for so long. People who should have known better.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Reactionary Left | The Weekly Standard

The Reactionary Left The Weekly Standard
What happened to the American left’s utopianism, its sense of adventure, its fearless derring-do? Today’s liberals say conservatives are radicals who want to overturn the American political tradition (as liberals understand it). What remains of the liberal confidence in progress seems to be restricted to the culture, where Americans continue to perform occasional experiments of living. But even the cultural left seems withered, exhausted, ready to go to that big Oneida community in the sky. So what’s a Rousseau to do? Ruminate on his glory days, and pretend that Occupy Wall Street is something more than it is.
Trying to rebuild a left that's not about Krugman's plunge to the Donna Reed Show's '50s is the coming challange to the Left.

Matthew Continetti reviews Liberalism's ideological pickle in the above article. Political Liberals, and Religoius Liberals ought view Continetti as a challange (after first accepting the diagnosis), and then begin the task of rethinking, and pinpointing those moments where some very bad path's were followed.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

#OccupyChicago: The city of Chicago is guilty of supporting the Israelis

Friend and fellow blogger Marathon Pundit shot this video of Occupy Chicago on their way to Chicago's City Hall with a message for Chicago's first Jewish Mayor. H/T Marathon Pundit A little flabbergasted this is what's become of the left. Be wary of this crowd Rev Morales. The Israeli film festival's now suppressing the rightful hate of Israel? This is #OWS?

Sean McAllister witnesses torture in Syrian jail

Peter Schiff Speaks for 1 Percent at Occupy Wall Street

Reason TV and Peter Schiff mixing it up at #OWS

Occupy Oakland: Change is Possible

Roberto Lovato via HuffPo,
While President Obama was telling the small crowd at a $7500-a-plate fundraiser in San Francisco that "Change is possible," Pooda Miller was across the bay trying to get her plate back from the Oakland Police Department. "They came, pulled out rifles, shot us up with tear gas and took all our stuff," said Miller, at an afternoon rally condemning the violent evacuation of more than 170 peaceful, unarmed Occupy Oaklanders by 500 heavily-armed members of the Oakland Police Department and other local departments yesterday morning.
Donny Deutsch gets his near Kent State moment at Occupy Oakland while Demorat big Money donors feast.

Trying to recreate 1968 with today's swamp left advocating and even older worn out ideology from 1908 was never my idea of Liberal, Progressive, productive, useful, or of any good to those Americans most in need. Doing it in Oakland of all places with nary a 1 percenter but a Police force known for whacking first and asking questions later lethally foolish.

While Democrats pay Obama $7,500 for a plate and photo op and a chance to pitch their crony capitalist green projects and what not, these fellow travelers in a park in Oakland get cracked skulls.

Fold up the tents now, forget your stuff. Get serious and organize, go vote. Please think really hard too about who that Capitalist enemy is by the way. Change is possible.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Saving the American Idea: Rejecting Fear, Envy and the Politics of Division by Paul Ryan

Powerful Speech where Ryan lays out the case against the Administration's Class War frame. I was on a conference call with Congressman Ryan afterwords where he called upon us to make the moral case in response to the Class War model. So, in future posts, I'll give it my best.

Full transcript here.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

RealClearReligion - You're Not Stupid for Having Faith

RealClearReligion - You're Not Stupid for Having Faith:

In the presence of another human being, you could remain stubbornly in an attitude of mistrust, choosing to accept as legitimate only those data that you can garner through rational analysis; but in so doing, you would close yourself to the incomparable riches that that person might disclose to you.

The strict rationalist, the unwavering advocate of the scientific method, will know certain things about the world, but he will never come to know a person.

The same dynamic obtains in regard to God, the supreme Person. The Catholic Church wants people to use reason as vigorously and energetically as possible -- and this very much includes scientific reason.

Nicely put by Father Barron.

Global Trends in Armed Conflict, 1946-2010

A graph to cheer the pessimists via Systemic Peace

Welcome » Beyond Belief

From Rev Morales first blog post:Welcome » Beyond Belief:
Yet belief, in the sense of agreeing on what is “true,” is a modern preoccupation. For me, religion is much more about what we love, about what we hold sacred, about what moves us at the core of our being. Indeed, I have argued (in a sermon, no less) that belief is the enemy of religion. When we focus on beliefs alone, we tend to lapse into arguments that are at least tiresome and often dangerous.

So my blog is about religion that is beyond belief. It is about how we treat one another, about how we live our lives, about the connections we make and the difference we make.

And if religion is ultimately about what we love, then “faith” is not so much about what we think is true (or hope is true, despite lack of evidence), but about being faithful to what we love.
All those Church councils seem evidence to me getting to the truth a powerful concern.

Our UU polity and democracy another demonstration that for we UUs finding truth important enought it should never be the monoply of some authority, and  instead, truth best found in a plurality of critical thinking and:   ...a fearless sifting and winnowing by which alone truth can be found, as the University of Wisconsin puts it.

Democracy and  checks on authority may lead to unloving discussions. No authority save popular opinion to suppress the outbursts.

While our Universalist forebearers often put 1 Corinthians 13:13 on the wall: For there are these three things that endure: Faith, Hope and Love, but the greatest of these is Love, these were God's spiritual gifts; not truths or things beyond belief, just gifts.

Good of you got them, but not everyone will, and the modern in us, after the last centuries wars, tyrannies, and genocides knows many will cope with lack of faith, lack of hope, and lack of love.

Taking comfort from Thoreau's Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth, we find without God's gifts, but instead as fearless searchers for truth, that we can be noble in a way Gods can.

That's really living I believe.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Marcyites and former Citizen of the Soviet State at Occupy Wall Street

Marcyites from Workers World tangle with a former citizn of the soviet state at Occupy Wall Street.

John Ruskin Clark, D.D. , What's Wrong with Marcuse's One Dimensional Man? (And Occupy Oakland)

A repost below from 2010 and some of Zombie's images of Occupy Oakland.  Unitarian Universalists have been here before.

An interesting sermon on Marcuse (Marcuse's book published by Beacon Press too) delivered in Oct of 1968.  Marcuse the father of the new left and 1968 the marker year (for me) when Liberalism fell apart, and all the New Left "isms" and "ologies" took over.

Clark refutes Marcuse, but I think Clark lost the battle. An important discussion, because the reality of governing under Obama's forcing today's left into a similar reality-check as  Rev Clark confronted  in San Diego in the fall of 68 in Marcuse.

No Frankfort School Prof like Marcuse with an army of kids behind him today shouting the alternative at Occupy.

Not sure how this confrontation with life will turn out for today's left, but a Church with members as heavily invested in Obama is in for a real crack up.

I've heard the anguish, but blaming Glenn Beck won't resolve it.  It's contradiction internal to the ideology.  History's harsh dialectic getting ready to sift and winnow for the truth.  See if we're as fearless as the old Wisconsin Progressives.

Clark concluded,

The assumptions you and I make about the nature of man - whether he is autonomous or social; about society - whether it is dominating or a democracy of influences; about the validation of our choices - whether it is by our personal decision or by our capacity to survive; about the live-options for the future - whether they can entail freedom from the necessity for making  a living for all of us or whether productive work will continue to be a condition of survival; and about the means for inducing social change - whether it should be by revolution or evolution: the assumptions we make in these matter s will make all the difference about what happens in history.  And our assumptions had better be right, for upon them will depend what we leave our children.
Well, it's all in the hands of the Children now.  We're asked the questions again; and as Clark told us, we had better be right.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Health and Morality

Unitarian Universalist like to chat about Healthy this and Healthy that and often in the context where others would talk morality.

So is an ethical transgression immoral or unhealthy? Can it be both? How do I tell which?

Just wondering....

A well run Church

When I've suggested attending UU Churches to friends or family I've usually made the case we know how to run a Church. Our theology can be incoherent at times and some of us prone to hasty plunges with the leftish cause du jour (witness OWS) but, my experience has been we know how to run a Church.

Now the two UU Churches I've belonged to were ministered by the same couple. Never together, but I'm hardly getting a representative sample of styles. They share much, and I'm not sure Ministers really run the Church all that much either.

Rev Dan Harper calls that into question with a book review on the strange case of Rev Church, and Boys in the Band picks up on it here.

I think the era of long serving Ministers beyond us know and the future is Ministers serving for much shorter terms. The Congregation provides continuity now. We'll have to be a bit disciplined and deliberate about it now.

Kilgore: Why There’s No Way Cain Will Survive His Abortion Gaffe | The New Republic

Kilgore on Cain and abortion, Kilgore: Why There’s No Way Cain Will Survive His Abortion Gaffe | The New Republic

I'm not all surprised by Cain's position on abortion and I think Kilgore's missed or never learned some key things about the Tea Party, and Tea Partiers's favorite candidate: Herman Cain. The social issues are deliberately not part of the TP agenda.

If Cain doesn't win, it'll be questions on his experience that decide. Not the GOP right turning on him over social issues.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Cutting Women in the Forgotten Province

Michael Yon on an out-of-the-way corner of Afghanistan, Cutting Women in the Forgotten Province

Read him all, but he concludes,
The war has reached its military apogee. We are looking for a way to land that doesn’t include crashing. We must face the reality that building Afghanistan to any level of modernity will require a century. The hand that rocks the cradle is illiterate yet thirsty for knowledge. Recently, as Bashir and I drove deep into the Dasht-e-Margo (Desert of Death), we passed through a village on the Helmand River. Two small girls looked at us driving through, and Bashir said, “They are future housewives.” In village after village the people waved and smiled. The children of Nimruz Province need schools. The girls and women desperately need education. The governor, police chief, and many others have welcomed our presence. As we reduce our footprint in Afghanistan, we should consider shifting away from expending efforts in dangerous areas in order to invest in the permissive districts.

When I visited the women’s project last year, a woman pleaded that the effort continue. She sounded as if she had been released from a prison and didn’t want to go back. Now sits a pile of fabric, and the sewing machines were covered with so much dust that you couldn’t see the paint. And there was a basket of dusty scissors. I dumped the scissors in the sun for a photograph, and asked Bashir what became of the women’s program. Was it cut? “Yes, it was cut,” Bashir answered. “It was very sad. It was a great program and the women loved it.”
The US did the Military surge but has not followed-up with the civilian surge. That's going to turn out to be a very great loss.

Baltimore Crime Beat: Occupy Baltimore pamphlet on sexual assault causes alarm -

Via Baltimore Crime Beat, Baltimore Crime Beat: Occupy Baltimore pamphlet on sexual assault causes alarm - Baltimore crime news: Police, courts and police stories in the city and central Maryland -

Follow the link above for the full text of Occupy Baltimore's pamphlet on sexual assault. I can't think of a dumber movement for Rev Morales to cast his lot with. He'll smear our Churches with these idiots and who knows what they'll do without doing a thing for creating jobs and employment.
The Occupy Baltimore movement is trying to become its own community, complete with its own rules, committees and general assembly. But a pamphlet advising how victims of sexual assaults should handle alleged crimes has gotten rape counselors concerned.

The pamphlet instructs victims to report to the "security committee" and advises that the group would prefer to mediate issues internally. One paragraph reads:
Though we do not encourage the involvement of the police in our community, the survivor has every right and the support of Occupy Baltimore, to report the abuse to the appropriate law enforcement.
A spokeswoman and the author of the memo -- herself a victim of a sexual assault -- say the directive in no way discourages victims from contacting police. But heads of advocate groups, such as Jacqueline Robarge of Power Inside, complained the tone says different.

"It might actually passively prevent someone from seeking justice," Robarge said.

The pamphlet came to our attention from a blogger posting on Andrew Breitbart's big government web site. The memo's author told me she only wanted to make sure victims knew they had an alternative to calling police.

Crime Surging as "Occupier" Sites - HUMAN EVENTS

Via Human Events, Crime Surging as "Occupier" Sites - HUMAN EVENTS: Looks like we've also got a developing Lord of the Flies scene brewing there.

File under Property is Theft.
Demonstrator Andrew Warner, 36, said homeless people are hijacking tents, getting drunk, “passing out” and stealing.
“It’s turning into us against them,” Warner said. “They come in here and they’re looking at it as a way of getting a free meal and a place to crash, which is totally fine, but they don’t bring anything to the table at all. It gets really frustrating.”
Jackson Bush, manning the Occupy information tent yesterday, said some homeless people have been hoarding free items, including donated coats.

Funny how a mob who wants to redistribute the wealth becomes upset when the homeless want to help themselves to other people's property.

The irony escapes them.

Raymond Flynn to Occupy Boston: ‘Time to pack up... and leave’ -

Via Boston Herald, Raymond Flynn to Occupy Boston: ‘Time to pack up... and leave’ -

I've been to a few Tea Party rallies in Illinois. Never encountered a knife-wielding junkie, or any kind of thefts.
A confrontation with a knife-wielding junkie at Occupy Boston and rampant thefts have tensions simmering between the protesters and the homeless, prompting Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s predecessor to say it’s high time for police to clear the tent city.

“It’s causing disruptions to public order,” former Mayor Raymond L. Flynn told the Herald. “They should have been given one day — 24 hours and that’s it. They have to be removed.”


No bloody images on my blog. If he was executed, it was wrong and the administration ought to say so. Decades of history disappear with him too. I'd much rather have seen him comfortable somewhere, chatting away about all, and whom, he knew.

Update: It was an execution, and a US drone it seems that wounded him. Via The Telegraph: Gaddafi's last moments alive: Dictator begs for his life after being dragged from a drain. Seconds later he was summarily executed

Read more:

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

(10.19.2011) Taybat al-Emam | Hama | Night protests chanting "How beautiful freedom is" - Free Syria

Deaths reported in violence across Syria - Al Jazeera English

Syrians have fought a bloody fight for seven months now.

Occupy Wall Street And The Return Of The McGovernites | The New Republic

Fred Seigel via TNR, Occupy Wall Street And The Return Of The McGovernites | The New Republic

The conclusion, but please read the whole thing, especially the parts on the incredible bureaucracy #OWS builds for itself
In the wake of the debacle of the Carter presidency, TNR wrote that "The biggest challenge for the Democratic party ... is to make good intentions marketable again." That’s true again today. That’s why the biggest problem posed by the Zuccotti Parkers wearing their Che Guevara t-shirts is not that they invited left-over Leninists such as Slavoj Zizek and Naomi Klein to address them. Rather it’s that the protesters, oblivious to our national debt, disregard the understandable disdain with which most Americans currently view the federal government. The denizens of Zuccotti Park seem hell bent on further expanding the bureaucratic black box when the job at hand is to it open it up so that it can be right sized and reorganized.
I'm guessing it's too late and the left-over Leninists, which have grown more cult like over the years --Workers World a nice example--, just take it all over.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Douglas Schoen: Polling the Occupy Wall Street Crowd -

Douglas Schoen: Polling the Occupy Wall Street Crowd - A fine lot Rev Morales cast his lot with as Doug Schoen's polling finds.
...the Occupy Wall Street movement reflects values that are dangerously out of touch with the broad mass of the American people—and particularly with swing voters who are largely independent and have been trending away from the president since the debate over health-care reform.

The protesters have a distinct ideology and are bound by a deep commitment to radical left-wing policies. On Oct. 10 and 11, Arielle Alter Confino, a senior researcher at my polling firm, interviewed nearly 200 protesters in New York's Zuccotti Park. Our findings probably represent the first systematic random sample of Occupy Wall Street opinion.
Fully a third accept violence to advance their political agenda too. So UUA Growth Blog wants to build a Church on the backs of these kids. Been there, done this, it ends badly. That violent one third's gonna take over, and like Billy Ayers, leader from the last go round, someone else takes the crack on the head, while the leader runs off with the girl.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Brave Afghan police catch sucide attacker

Via Pakhtunkhwa Peace Forum on facebook

Do you believe sectarianism is incited or inherent in Egyptian society?

Do you believe sectarianism is incited or inherent in Egyptian society?

An unscientific informal poll still well worth watching.

Occupy Chicago: Hopefully Herman Cain can change this all

Police: 175 Occupy Chicago protesters arrested in Grant Park:

Probably not the guy UU Occupy advocate would pick for the change, but a nice example of the odd turns protests take on the national mood.
Among a crowd of tourists watching the rally was the Mumm family of Coal City. They spent the day at the Willis Tower Skydeck, American Girl Store and Niketown before happening upon the march as protesters walked down Jackson at State.

“I have no idea what’s going on,” said Evan Mumm, 9.

His father Derek agreed that while he wasn’t sure what the goal of the protest was, he was enjoying the spectacle.

“I think it’s awesome people are getting together,” he said. “Hopefully [Republican presidential candidate] Herman Cain can change this all.”

The Chicago group has protested outside the Fed around-the-clock for 23 days.

The protesters have been non-violent, unlike a rally in Rome Saturday that turned into a riot which police quelled with tear gas and water cannons.

Protesters threw rocks at police, lit trash cans on fire and destroyed bank ATMs.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

EDITORIAL: White House admits war with Iran - Washington Times

EDITORIAL: White House admits war with Iran - Washington Times:

Unlike #OccupyWallStreet, this is real and I think it's going to get bloodier.
The United States is engaged in a deadly but seldom mentioned proxy war with Iran. In a rare act of candor, two senior Obama administration defense officials have addressed the open secret of Iran’s active support for insurgent groups fighting U.S. troops overseas.

Hamer Guitars, protests, and entrepenaurs

Fine time last night at Chicago's Cliff Dwellers club at a look back and celebration of Hamer Guitars sponsored by the Hamer Guitar fan club. The protests of the 60's inspired Hamer's entrepreneurship and it was evident throughout the presentation. One of those odd illogical things then, and I suspect now with some budding entrepreneurs out there in #ows; although I'm not so certain the depth is there today in this crowd as it was in Chicago in 68.

Reason TV: Occupy LA

Libertarian TV takes a look at Occupy LA.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Michael Oren: Israel taking Iranian assassination plot seriously - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News

Michael Oren: Israel taking Iranian assassination plot seriously - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News
The ambassador [Oren]applauded the U.S.'s success in thwarting the Iranian plot. "But I think the important thing to keep in mind is Iran is doing all of this without nuclear weapons. Imagine what they could do if they actually had nuclear weapons," he warned in the interview.

MSNBC Analyst Says Donny Deutsch Occupy Wall Street Needs A 'Kent State' Moment

Great.. just great... if Deutsch thinks a provocation will help, imagine what some knucklehead in the protest is thinking.

Obama's lost Brother Miller

Illinois's Rich Miller's column in The Sun Times and his blog. Rich telling Illinois Dems it's worse than they realize.
The situation may be worse than they realize. My father went door-to-door for Obama in his U.S. Senate race. Obama used to call him “Brother Miller.”

Dad loved him.

When Obama decided to run for president, Dad attached giant, custom-made “Obama ’08” stickers to both sides of his vintage 1963 Cadillac convertible. He christened it the “Obamallac” and drove all over Iowa to advertise his guy before the 2008 caucuses.

I called Dad on Tuesday night and he told me he was watching the Republican presidential debate. I asked him why and he said he’s so bitterly disappointed in Obama that he is looking around for someone else to support.

If Obama has lost the Obamallac owner, he’s in gigantic trouble, and so is the rest of the Democratic Party.

A comment I made on Obama in 2008

I think I got it about right here,
Wright said of Obama, He does what politicians do.

I’d only add Obama will do what Illinois Politicans do.

It won’t be pretty. America’s in for a very tough slog with him as Prez. A time of War and great Social Economic change and Obama will drag the small minded politics of Illinois to the White House…. what a mess.
The United States at the precipice of War now with Iran. The UU Peacemaking list gone silent on how our SOC on Creating Peace should be applied to a grave moment, while instead Rev Morales casting his lot with the incoherent at #OccupyWallStreet ?

The Arab Spring and Iraq

Cathy Young via Real Clear Politics, The Arab Spring and Iraq

The take away quote,
Today, democracy promotion tends to be viewed as naïvely arrogant: who are we to bring freedom to other countries? One answer is that "we" -- the United States and other industrial democracies -- are, for all our flaws, the possessors of the only working model of a free society, as well as a civilization with unmatched economic, cultural, and military power. There is no arrogance in seeking to advance the universal values of liberty and human rights -- as long as we do so with a sense of realism, and of our own limitations.

Organizer Behind “Occupy Wall Street” Has History of Anti-Jewish Writing

Via Commentary, Organizer Behind “Occupy Wall Street” Has History of Anti-Jewish Writing: Alana Goodman on the strange case of Adbuster's Kalle Lasan,
That’s not to say the Occupy Wall Street movement itself is anti-Semitic. But if the top organizer behind the Tea Party turned out to have published a blacklist of American Jews he claimed had dual loyalty to the U.S. and Israel, the backlash from the media would be massive. And if the top leader of the Tea Party fought a legal battle with the U.S. Holocaust Museum over an offensive collage he made using Warsaw Ghetto photos, politicians certainly wouldn’t be lining up to support the movement.

USCIRF Condemns Iran’s Continued Imprisonment of Dissident Cleric Despite Grave Health Concerns

A Press Release on Ayatollah Boroujerdi

October 6, 2011 | by USCIRF

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) condemned the continued imprisonment of dissident Iranian Shi’a cleric Ayatollah Mohammad Kazemeni Boroujerdi, who, almost five years to the day of his arrest, reportedly suffered a heart attack a few days ago.

“Ayatollah’s Boroujerdi’s already-poor health has deteriorated and prison authorities continue to deny him access to medical care outside the prison facility where he is held,” said USCIRF chair Leonard Leo.  “Pure and simple, this man, who has suffered from a serious heart condition and other physical ailments, has been unjustly detained and treated cruelly and harshly because his views differ from those of the Islamic Republic’s leadership,” said Leo.

In October 2006, Ayatollah Boroujerdi, who advocates the separation of religion and state and has spoken out on behalf of the rights of Iran’s religious minorities as well as those of its Shi’a Muslim majority, was arrested and imprisoned without charge.  He and 17 of his followers initially were tried by a special court with jurisdiction over Shi’a clerics, and sentenced to death on spurious charges, including “enmity against God” and spreading propaganda against the regime.  After an appeal, the death sentence was withdrawn and Ayatollah Boroujerdi was sentenced to 11 years in prison.  Ayatollah Boroujerdi currently is serving his prison term, and the government has banned him from practicing his clerical duties and confiscated his home and belongings.  Ayatollah Boroujerdi’s supporters claim that he has suffered physical and mental abuse while in prison.
The Special Court for the Clergy, which is under the juridiction of the Supreme Leader and operates outside the confines of the Iranian judiciary,  tries members of the Shi’a religious establishment in Iran.  According to human rights groups, the court’s procedures fall far short of international standards.  Not only are proceedings held behind closed doors, but defendants can be represented only by clergymen nominated by the court and they are not required to possess any legal credentials.

“Ayatollah Boroujerdi is a dissident cleric who has a long record of speaking out in defense of the universal rights of all Iranian citizens, including religious minorities,” said USCIRF Chair Leo.  “The United States and the international community should call for his immediate and unconditional release, especially given news of his deteriorating health,” said Leo.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The PJ Tatler » More Anti-Semitism at Occupy Los Angeles

Via The PJ Tatler.The PJ Tatler » More Anti-Semitism at Occupy Los Angeles:
While there have been intense arguments in the media recently about hints of anti-Semitism which have erupted at New York’s Occupy Wall Street protest, very little attention has been paid to similar problems cropping up at other “Occupy” events around the country.While there have been intense arguments in the media recently about hints of anti-Semitism which have erupted at New York’s Occupy Wall Street protest, very little attention has been paid to similar problems cropping up at other “Occupy” events around the country.

Below you will find some photographs and a video taken at the Occupy Los Angeles encampment which reveal how there is a growing encroachment of anti-Semitic “Jewish bankers” conspiracy theories becoming more and more evident at these events. Obviously not everyone at the “Occupy” protests is an anti-Semite, but the fact that these statements and views fit so neatly into the whole anti-banker milieu, and often go completely unchallenged by fellow protesters, should give everyone cause for concern about where this whole movement is heading.
Follow the link above for pictures and videos. If UU Clergy attending these Demos are Witnessing this and not calling it out, shame on them.

Hate at Occupy Wall Street and the Socialism of Fools

I figured Bebel's note on theSocialism of Fools wouldn't take long to appear in the occupations.

Survey: Frequent Bible Reading Can Turn You Liberal | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction

Survey: Frequent Bible Reading Can Turn You Liberal | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction

Democrat of a sorts. Good article...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

4 illegals arrested in Decatur taken by ICE -

4 illegals arrested in Decatur taken by ICE -

I don't think UUs doing anyone concerned much of a favor pushing out stories of arrests of children, when as of the moment, this seems to be it in Alabama. I'd call ICE for confirmation, but at the moment per this story, their PO guy isn't taking calls.
Four people convicted in Decatur this week on misdemeanor charges under Alabama’s new Immigration law are now in the custody of federal authorities.

Immigrations and Customs Enforcement officials picked up the prisoners at about 7 a.m. Tuesday from the Decatur City Jail, said Sgt. John Crouch, a Decatur police spokesman.


They are the first people to be arrested under the new law. As of Tuesday, no other arrests had been made.ICE spokesman Temple Black said he was only authorized to answer questions via email and would not be able to respond to The Daily’s questions Tuesday, citing the volume of queries ICE has received from media in recent days. He said he would not be able to discuss specific cases.

Update: Posting stories about Children disappearing and genocide is pretty serious stuff. If you can't substantiate it, or at least name the School District involved so others can follow up,  then I think one really needs to do some soul searching. Really deep searching... 'cause this is going to hurt people.  Falsehoods do that.

Articles: The Obama Problem

Articles: The Obama Problem:

Pelerin via The Thinker,
To understand Obama's loss in popularity, it is necessary to recognize that Barack Obama was a fluke. He was an unlikely candidate, pushed to his party's nomination as a result of the media. His election was another quirk, more aberration than achievement. The perfect storm virtually ensured that the Democrat candidate would win in 2008. It is not a strain to conclude that the mainstream media, rather than the electorate, put Obama into the highest office in the land.

In hindsight, a great mistake was made. Even the fawning media and the Democrat establishment now recognize that, although are unwilling to publicly admit it. Their behavior is analogous to refusing to discuss a friend's terminal illness in the hope that it will somehow go away.

The media and the Democratic Party are at risk if the tragedy they foisted on the nation continues. Their future is intertwined with the Obama Problem. Both sponsored him, and both may ultimately be held accountable. The battle so easily won in 2008 may cost them subsequent battles, if not the war itself.

Both know the risk. They just have no easy way of solving the problem.
I'm betting on no solution and the end of McGovern post-68 Progressivism/Liberalism as we've known it in the US. Short of war with Iran which we may well be headed into (really, we're already in it and have been for years), I don't see how Obama gets re elected and the whole experiement of the left comes down in the crash.

Marathon Pundit: Video: OccupyChicago protester is a paid volunteer

Friend and fellow Chicago blogger Marathon Pundit interviews one of the #OccupyChicago prostestors.
Meet Paul, an admitted Occupy Chicago paid protester. When I ask him if he's looking for a full-time gig, He replies, "It is a full-time gig." OccupyChi is, he means. And he's getting paid, or at least accepting donations from "people that like me--benefactors." He judges the worth of his volunteering at $22-an-hour. "And I get overtime too."

The Help Wanted ad via Illinois Review.

Update: Paul walks it back a bit today.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Obama: Alleged Iran Plot Flagrant Violation of US, International Law

Via VOA Obama: Alleged Iran Plot Flagrant Violation of US, International Law

If the regime is this bold without nukes, the world's in for a very tough time when Iran gets 'em.

Torture in Syria أوغاريت التعزيب يطال المسنين ويد الامن والشبيحة لا تميز شيخاً عن شاب

WARNING graphic (although not as graphic as many out of Syria). Must watch for those finding a moral equivalence between #OccupyWallStreet and the Arab Spring.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Remy's Occupy Wall Street Protest Song

Revolution as boring.. Occupy Atlanta Silences Civil Rights Hero John Lewis!

The Revolution should never be a bore. This one looks it. ...not Paris 1968.

Iran actress sentenced to one year in jail: report

Iran actress sentenced to one year in jail: report

Actress Marzieh Vafamehr has been sentenced to a year in jail and 90 lashes for her role in a film about the limits imposed on artists in the Islamic republic, an Iranian opposition website reported Sunday.

"A verdict has been issued for Marzieh Vafamehr, sentencing her to a year in jail and 90 lashes," reported.

"Her lawyer has appealed the sentence, which was handed down yesterday (Saturday)," the report added, without giving further details.

Vafamehr was arrested in July after appearing in "My Tehran for Sale," which came under harsh criticism in conservative circles.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Gone in 60 Nanoseconds - Charles Krauthammer - National Review Online

On the discovery of those neutrinos moving faster than light....

Gone in 60 Nanoseconds - Charles Krauthammer - National Review Online:

It cannot be. Yet, this is not a couple of guys in a garage peddling cold fusion. This is no crank wheeling a perpetual-motion machine into the patent office. These are the best researchers in the world using the finest measuring instruments, having subjected their data to the highest levels of scrutiny, including six months of cross-checking by 160 scientists from eleven countries.

But there must be some error. Because otherwise everything changes. We shall need a new physics. A new cosmology. New understandings of past and future, of cause and effect. Then shortly and surely, new theologies.

Why? Because you can’t have neutrinos getting kicked out of taverns they have not yet entered.

An item of concern « Yet Another Unitarian Universalist

Via Dan Harper, An item of concern « Yet Another Unitarian Universalist:

An excellant post by Dan (please link and read) and a comment on this:
But recently I have become increasingly concerned about the spiritual health of liberal religion in general, and Unitarian Universalism in particular. We religious liberals spend so much time on social justice — and there is indeed an overwhelming amount of social justice work to be done — and we spend so much time on the health of our institutions — and again, there is indeed an overwhelming amount of institutional work to be done — that it has come to seem to me that we are slighting our spiritual well-being.
I suggested a few years back to my SJ committee when working on our mission statement for the year that we include a statement that our work contributed to our own spiritual growth. That was perhaps the most important thing about it.

I was told that didn't fit. If I got any good vibes out of what we did, I should write a testimonial. SJ clearly had nothing to do with spiritual life and whatever I got was tangential. (At least that's how I read the reactions.)

We shouldn't be the spiritual arm of We shouldn't piggy-back onto Occupy Wall Street in a misguided belief it will grow our Churches.

The SJ work can truely be spiritual work, Work that brings understanding of ourselves and our solidarity with others.

It's not politics.

(10.08.2011) Amouda | Protesters attempting to destroy Assad's statue attacked by "Security" forces

Friday, October 07, 2011

Sohrab Ahmari: The Moral Unseriousness of the Occupy Wall Street Movement

Via HuffPo, Sohrab Ahmari: The Moral Unseriousness of the Occupy Wall Street Movement:

Worse than unserious, I'd wager obscene.

Ahmari's conclusion,
So, no, Wall Street is not Tahrir Square. Los Angeles is not Damascus. And to make the comparison is to denigrate the courage of brave young Arab dissidents who took on ruthless dictatorial regimes entrenched for decades. Nor are our financial institutions and the much-detested "top 1%" comparable to Baathist elites.

Boston is not Benghazi.

From both a moral and strategic perspective, then, the protestors would be wise to ground their protest in our basic republican ethos and constitutional culture. Here in Boston, that culture is on full display over at Out of Town News, the legendary Harvard Square newsstand -- from their tent city, just a few stops down the Red line -- which sells hundreds of newspapers and magazines from every corner of the world and across the ideological spectrum. It is on display whenever the Massachusetts General Court deliberates, as it has since the colonial era. It is on display in downtown Boston's magnificent architecture, each building a monument to the power of free societies to unleash human potential.

The King’s Speech

The King’s Speech

The conclusion on the King's speech by a saudi woman blogger,

When the government finally allowed women to carry ID cards a decade ago, they made sure there was a catch. I could only get an ID if my guardian first went to open a file for me and signed a consent form. The illusion of my being an independent woman depended on my father’s being OK with it. The same goes for getting into university, getting a job or travelling.

Will I be able to get a voter registration card without my guardian’s permission? It seems unlikely. What if I want to run for election? Does he have to quit his job and stay with me all day while I campaign, sign all my forms and drive me around? Or will I get a budget from the government for a driver? Maybe I’ll run on a platform of public transport for all.

If change is to come to Saudi Arabia it won’t be through royal decrees.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

You Say You Want a Revolution by Katherine Ernst - City Journal

You Say You Want a Revolution by Katherine Ernst - City Journal:

My Dad bought me Eric Hoffer's Working and Thinking on the Waterfront. History's repeating itself. A new generation of privileged American kids need to read him.
Ernst below on an encounter with the Occupy WallStreet kids,

Indeed, any honest contact with this group brings to mind some textbook Eric Hoffer, True Believer stuff:

The permanent misfits can find salvation only in a complete separation from the self; and they usually find it by losing themselves in the compact collectivity of a mass movement. By renouncing individual will, judgment and ambition, and dedicating all their powers to the service of an eternal cause, they are at last lifted off the endless treadmill which can never lead them to fulfillment.

New York magazine polled “100 protesters who are in it for the long haul.” The numbers: 50 percent of the group is aged 20-29 (a whopping 60 percent are under 30), 66 percent are male, and 55 percent didn’t vote in the last election (you might want to try the ballot box first, guys). The real takeaway is this, though: 34 percent are “convinced the U.S. is no better than, say, Al-Qaeda.” In other words, a significant percentage of this tiny-but-loud group of protesters are chasing a dragon.

Syrian Military Defectors organize - CNN

(10.06.2011) Zabadani | Damascus | Protesters burn Chinese & Russian Flags - Free Syria

Arabs embrace Steve Jobs and the Syrian connection | Reuters

Arabs embrace Steve Jobs and the Syrian connection Reuters:

I didn't realize Job's Syrian heritage until I started tranlating all the obits popping up in Arabic on facebook.
Others hailed Jobs, whose Syrian links have been little mentioned until now, as "a great Arab American" and "the most famous Arab in the world."
In Syria, some people, who all declined to give their full names, said Jobs would have been unlikely to have had such a stellar career if he had lived in the land of his father's birth, where the Assad family has ruled for 41 years.

"I felt sad, not because he is of Syrian origin but because we will miss the inventor and his inventions," said Rana, a 21-year-old student. "But I think that if he had stayed in Syria, he would not have invented anything."

"This is sad and we will miss a lot of his achievements, but the company will continue," said Ali, a website designer. "If he had lived and died in Syria, he would not have accomplished anything."

A 28-year-old Damascus resident, who gave his name as Ahmed, said he was happy to learn that Jobs had Syrian antecedents, although he was unable to afford any of Apple's products.

"I think that if he had lived in Syria he would not have been able to achieve any of this, or else he would have chosen to leave Syria," Ahmed said.
Other Syrians regretted that Jobs had no roots of his own in his father's homeland.

"The sad thing is that he had lived and died abroad, and humanity lost him," said Maneh, a 27-year-old bank employee, who posted an image of the Apple founder on his
Facebook page.

Clinton: UN Security Council Failed Syria | Middle East | English

Via VOA, Clinton: UN Security Council Failed Syria | Middle East | English:
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the U.N. Security Council has failed in its responsibility by not passing a resolution condemning Syria for its brutal crackdown on civilian protesters.

Without mentioning Russia and China by name, Clinton said Wednesday the two countries would have to explain their vetoes "to the Syrian people."

Moscow and Beijing blocked a resolution Tuesday written by France, Britain, Germany and Portugal, sparking U.S. and European outrage. The watered-down measure contained only possible references to sanctions against Syria if Damascus pursues its military crackdown on pro-reform protesters.
A lot of us owe the Syrians an explaination.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

‘Darn Tooting!’ Obama Brags About HHS Reg Catholic Bishops Call Attack on Liberty |

‘Darn Tooting!’ Obama Brags About HHS Reg Catholic Bishops Call Attack on Liberty |

Getting the Feds involved with mandates at this kind of level in our economy is just begging for bitter divisiness.

Combined with Obamacare’s mandate that all individuals must buy health insurance, the “preventive services” regulation would require all American Catholics to buy health care plans that pay for sterilizations, contraceptives and abortions--all of which violate Catholic moral teaching.

A “religious exemption” in the regulation is so narrowly drawn that it does not include any lay Catholics, or any Catholic hospitals, charitable organizations, or colleges or universities. Thus, many major Catholic institutions in the United States would be forced to choose between dropping health insurance coverage for their employees and students or violating the moral teachings of their own church.

In comments on the regulation submitted to HHS last month, the Catholic bishops called for the regulation to be “rescinded in its entirety” and described the proposal as “government coercion of religious people.”

"Indeed, such nationwide government coercion of religious people and groups to sell, broker, or purchase 'services' to which they have a moral or religious objection represents an unprecedented attack on religious liberty," the bishops said.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Gunmen Kill 13 Shi'ite Muslims in Southwest Pakistan

Gunmen Kill 13 Shi'ite Muslims in Southwest Pakistan

Muslims of the wrong sort usually the Jihadists target. A glaring fact frequently omitted when the Islamophobe charge hurled.

A cab driver from Lahore told me a few days ago the cops back in Lahore treated him like a bum. His first week on the job in a grocery store in Chicago thirteen years ago, a Chicago cop called him Sir when asking how much something cost. Don't often hear kind words like that about Chicago cops either.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Illinois Review: Should social issues matter to the Tea Party movement or GOP?

An interesting bit on the Tea Parties for Unitarian Universalists as I suspect most know UUs know little of them. Illinois Review: Should social issues matter to the Tea Party movement or GOP?:
Recently, an individual interested in getting involved in the Tea Party movement queried over 30 Illinois Tea Parties about their positions on social issues. Except for three, all of them responded that they would not address social issues in their groups' because it was too divisive.
Pretty remarkable self discipline and focus on the part of outfits truely grassroots, and from-the-bottom-up, lacking a single spokesperson or leader.

Octavia daughter of God

A blurb on a book mailed me this AM.
In 1919, in the wake of the upheaval of World War I, a remarkable group of English women came up with their own solution to the world's grief: a new religion. At the heart of the Panacea Society was a charismatic and autocratic leader, a vicar's widow named Mabel Bartlrop. Her followers called her Octavia, and they believed that she was the daughter of God, sent to build the New Jerusalem in Bedford.

When the last living members of the Panacea Society revealed to historian Jane Shaw their immense and painstakingly preserved archives, she began to reconstruct the story of a close-knit utopian community that grew to include seventy residents, thousands of followers, and an international healing ministry reaching 130,000 people. Shaw offers a detailed portrait of Octavia and describes the faith of her devoted followers who believed they would never die. Vividly told, by turns funny and tragic, Octavia, Daughter of God is about a moment at the advent of modernity, when a generation of newly empowered women tried to re-make Christianity in their own image, offering a fascinating window into the anxieties and hopes of the interwar years.

Anwar Al-Awlaki strike and what it tells us about Obama | Shadow Government

Anwar Al-Awlaki strike and what it tells us about Obama | Shadow Government: The take away quote:
Obama is, in short, the Rambo of drone warfare and so it isnot fair to accuse him of being soft on terrorists. This is a heavily caveated assessment, for one of the differences between Obama and Bush is that Bush developed a more coherent and systematic strategy and embedded the kinetic dimension within that larger strategy (reasonable people can debate howeffective the Bush administration was in implementing that strategy).Obama's overall strategy is not as coherent and systematic (cf. Iraqpolicy, artificial and arbitrary timelines, inattention to mobilizing support,etc.). And on some of his terror policies, the incoherence does seem tied in part to what critics could consider "softness." But there is no doubt that Obama, as he promised during the 2008 campaign, has shown a vigor in deploying one important weapon in his arsenal: drone strikes.
I'm guessing the GOP candidates will agree on this one in 2012 unless that lack of choerence blows up. That unheard drone in the back a perfect Chicago Style weapon too.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Cain Rises at TeaCon 2011: Straw Poll Win, Communications Director Loss, Disagreements With Jack Roeser « Publius Forum

Good coverage of TeaCon 2011 in Chicago via Publius Forum, Cain Rises at TeaCon 2011: Straw Poll Win, Communications Director Loss, Disagreements With Jack Roeser « Publius Forum:
Herman Cain wins yet another straw poll of conservative activists. This time at Teacon 2011 held in a northwestern suburb of Chicago.

Today's Daily Herald also has some big stories on the event: Cain gets 77% of straw poll votes at TeaCon in Schaumburg and here: Beck rouses crowd at tea party convention in Schaumburg.

I'll hunt down some YouTube of Cain's speech. That's certain to be good.