Monthly Archives: May 2009

Man’s Life Ruined For Identifying As ‘White African-American’

I guess this is worth a LOL or two, even before we get to the actual content…

A guy who was born and raised in Mozambique apparently did this during a discussion on ‘culture and medicine’ where students were asked to define themselves:

After Serodio labeled himself as a white African-American, another student said she was offended by his comments and that, because of his white skin, was not an African-American. Continue reading

Slavery In England

The cultural divide between the average Brit and the Muslim immigrant are already clear — but it gets clearer. The way they ran this family amounted to essentially slave-like conditions — just read, and read the opinions as well:

On the surface Naseebah Bibi did not appear to be an out-of-the-ordinary figure.

Often seen around her home town of Blackburn, she would wear a niqab while shopping for her family.

But behind closed doors the grandmother imprisoned her three daughters-in-law and used one as her slave for 13 years.

Since the details of the 63-year-old’s “enslavement” of the three emerged her actions have been described as “inhumane”, “horrific” and “outdated”.

But to some women she is held in awe and, instead of anger, they pity her.

They blame her incarceration on her three victims who “clearly wanted revenge against this poor lady”.

Blackburn, with a population of 105,000 – of which nearly a quarter are Muslim Asian – is greatly divided when it comes to Bibi. Continue reading

Obama Deals Blow To Israel

Not good news for any of those who support Israel:

Increasingly fractious relations between the US and Israel hit a low unseen in nearly two decades today after the Jewish state rejected President Barack Obama‘s demand for an end to settlement construction in the West Bank, and Washington threatened to “press the point”.

The dispute, which blew into the open hours before Obama was to meet the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, reflects the depth of the shift in American policy away from accommodating Israel to pressuring it to end years of stalling on serious negotiations over the creation of a Palestinian state while continuing to grab land in the occupied territories. Continue reading

G20 Protests Turning Violent Ahead Of Schedule

Typical:

The G20 protests in central London turned violent today ahead of tomorrow’s summit, with a band of demonstrators close to the Bank of England storming a Royal Bank of Scotland branch, and baton-wielding police charging a sit-down protest by students.

Much of the protesting, from an estimated 4,000 people in the financial centre of the capital, was peaceful, but some bloody skirmishes broke out as police tried to keep thousands of people in containment pens surrounding the Bank of England on Threadneedle Street.

A minority of demonstrators seemed determined to cause damage, seeking confrontation as they surged towards police lines. Late tonight, much of the City remained cordoned off. Continue reading

The Case Against Sotomayor

I read a good article concerning the need for concern over Obama’s appointee:

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been talking to a range of people who have worked with her, nearly all of them former law clerks for other judges on the Second Circuit or former federal prosecutors in New York. Most are Democrats and all of them want President Obama to appoint a judicial star of the highest intellectual caliber who has the potential to change the direction of the court. Nearly all of them acknowledged that Sotomayor is a presumptive front-runner, but nearly none of them raved about her. They expressed questions about her temperament, her judicial craftsmanship, and most of all, her ability to provide an intellectual counterweight to the conservative justices, as well as a clear liberal alternative.

The most consistent concern was that Sotomayor, although an able lawyer, was “not that smart and kind of a bully on the bench,” as one former Second Circuit clerk for another judge put it. “She has an inflated opinion of herself, and is domineering during oral arguments, but her questions aren’t penetrating and don’t get to the heart of the issue.” (During one argument, an elderly judicial colleague is said to have leaned over and said, “Will you please stop talking and let them talk?”) Second Circuit judge Jose Cabranes, who would later become her colleague, put this point more charitably in a 1995 interview with The New York Times: “She is not intimidated or overwhelmed by the eminence or power or prestige of any party, or indeed of the media.”

Her opinions, although competent, are viewed by former prosecutors as not especially clean or tight, and sometimes miss the forest for the trees. It’s customary, for example, for Second Circuit judges to circulate their draft opinions to invite a robust exchange of views. Sotomayor, several former clerks complained, rankled her colleagues by sending long memos that didn’t distinguish between substantive and trivial points, with petty editing suggestions–fixing typos and the like–rather than focusing on the core analytical issues. Continue reading

The Long Life, High Position Game

This is a game I invented out of boredom.

When I read the news and see that someone younger than me has died, I think,

“+1 points.”

Or whatever number is appropriate for the number of victims.

I feel like, ‘Yeah, you died younger than me so I have in some abstract way proven to be a superior lifeform. Good on me.’

I also think of younger people as ‘younger, less experienced,’ and thus I think, ‘Yeah, that is good. I like you where you are. Younger. Less experienced. I have a higher position.’

I see older people and I think, ‘Oh jeez, you are older, potentially more experienced. I am below you. -1 on my position.’ Continue reading

Old & New Testament Morals & Their Ramifications

People seem to be confused by the Old and the New and the roles that they play.

I was confused, as well, but my father provided spot on analysis:

Old Testament morals were laws and principles that were necessary for the preservation of Israel.

We will call these Old Testament rules social rules, as they are rules which are kept for the preservation of the society. For God says to the nation of Israel, and threatens to them, that they will surely be destroyed if they do not keep the covenants.

(“Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine,” – Exodus 19:5

“If you pay attention to these laws and are careful to follow them, then the LORD your God will keep his covenant of love with you, as he swore to your forefathers.” Deuteronomy 7:9)

The covenant ends when these rules are violated.

God would no longer shine over the Israeli people but allow their enemies to devour them, such as the instance of the Babylonian captivity.

The New Testament has what we can call individual morals. That is to say, the strict laws are overturned and what is now emphasized is a personal relationship with God and to personally forgive and love one’s neighbors.

The idea is simple:

One set of morals is what God deemed necessary for the success of a society — that a society must keep their covenant with their God.

One set of morals is what God deemed necessary for the success of an indivdiual — what we must do, as people, to prosper. Continue reading

Obama Breaking Pledges To Africa

Looks like he is not doing what he said he would do.

Key pledges to boost money for Aids funds, education programmes and poverty-reduction schemes have all been missed, the Global Aids Alliance (GAA) said.

The Washington-based organisation said that figures from Mr Obama’s May 7 budget request to the US Congress set the administration on a path to breaking its campaign promises to the people of Africa.

A pledge to spend £4.3 billion on bilateral Aids programmes under the Mr Obama’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (Pepfar) has been shaved back to £3.3 billion.

Mr Obama had also promised to contribute about £1.8 billion on the Global Fund to fight Aids, tuberculosis and malaria, but his budget request fell short by £1.2 billion, the GAA said.

It calculated that this meant that one million people will not receive treatment for HIV, and 2.9 million women will miss out on services to help prevent passing the virus to their unborn children. Continue reading

Rats Flee To Pakistan

It is unavoidable.

How are we supposed to deal with it?

We start killing rats in one area they flee to another that we cannot enter… What are we supposed to do?

A US troop build-up in Afghanistan could push Taliban fighters deeper into Pakistan, further destabilising it, the most senior US commander has warned.

Admiral Michael Mullen, who chairs the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was speaking at a meeting of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in Washington.

Thousands of Pakistani troops are already battling Taliban militants in the north-west of the country. Continue reading