News and Opinion Based on Facts

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Michelle Obama, An Extraordinary American

Michelle Obama's speech at the Democratic Convention last night not only dispelled the image of ambivalence that the Republicans tried to label her with, it showed her to be an intelligent and beautiful woman, a true American, and above all, a Mother.
She is an example of the American dream, a lady who came from a hard-scrabble background to rise to prominence as an attorney and soon, a First Lady with the same type of ideals as the mass of Americans.
Many in the crowd wept as Ms Obama spoke, the beauty of the speech and the emotion it conveyed were indeed overwhelming.
Michelle Obama is one of us, and that came through loud and clear at the Convention last night.

You can read the text of the speech here.

Part of the theme of the Democratic Convention is to highlight the gains women have made.
One has to admire the strength and determination of our nation's women, they raise our children and run our businesses and fight in our wars.
The future looks bleak if John McCain should be elected.
He has made no secret of his feelings about women, and his plans for women's rights.

Michelle Obama didn't discuss politics last night, she spoke from her heart, about family and love and compassion.
As her family took the stage and the unrehearsed interchange went on between Michelle, Barrack, and the charming little girls, one knew that this was the best face America could show to the world.
I felt proud of my country once again.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Talking Snakes and Air Conditioners in Heaven

What can you say about a country where torture is legal and marijuana isn't?
That's what Bill Maher asked on Larry King tonight.
Bill and Larry King discussed the election campaign, Maher quipped
"The media keeps saying McCain will pick someone younger..ya think?
Who could he pick that's older, Lauren Bacall or Abel?"
He brought up the question asked by Rick Warren at the "Faith" interview of last week,"What to do about evil, Obama gave a nuanced answer, you know, there is evil all over, not just OVER there.
Look at the prison system, look at the judicial system.
He lost the crowd.McCain just said two words , 'defeat it.'The crowd loved it because they believe evil is the devil, he pokes you in the ass and burns you if you are bad, the air conditioner if you're good.
Bill Maher asked rhetorically, "How can America continue to be a super power when we believe the story of Adam and Eve and the talking snake and the earth being 5000 years old?"
A few months ago, when it looked Like Senator Obama was going to be the Democratic nominee, Michelle Obama said, "This is the first time I've been proud of America."
She was viciously attacked, but you know, it was the first time I was proud of America.
At last it seemed that this country, founded on the enforced labor of men, women and children who were powerless and exploited, had finally stopped hating and decided that Black people were equal human beings, worthy of leading a United America.
Bill Maher expressed a fear that people would vote for McCain because to vote for Obama they'd have to read, and watch CNN and C-Span, he didn't think that was going to happen.
Mr Maher is releasing a movie entitled "Religiosity" which, he hopes, can get the 16% of Americans that don't believe in fairy tales to say so, instead of keeping quiet.
I've seen some outtakes, it looks like it will be hilarious.
Check it out.
It may open your eyes.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Rush Limbaugh, Drug Addict, Viagra Smuggler

He wedges his massive, drugged,
bulk behind the microphone and spews forth a new torrent of
When he was caught faking prescriptions for drugs, or
smuggling Viagra into Thailand, many thought this hypocrite's
radio days were numbered.
No such luck.
He just doesn't condemn drug users or pedophiles anymore.
He does viciously attack anyone else that strikes his fancy, however.
The number of generally uneducated Americans that listen to his drivel insure that he will remain employed even though he is a drug addicted, flatulent, pedophile.
Some of the stupid things he has said are:

"Why should Blacks be heard?
They're 12% of the population.
Who the hell
"I think this reason why girls
don't do well on multiple
tests goes all the way back to
the Bible, all the way back to
Adam and Eve. God said, 'All
right, Eve, multiple choice or
multiple orgasms, what's it
going to be?'
We all know what was
"And we have laws against
selling drugs, pushing drugs,
using drugs, importing drugs.
And the laws are good
because we know
what happens to
people in societies and
neighborhoods which become
consumed by them. And so if
people are violating the law by
drugs, they ought
to be accused and they ought to
be convicted and
they ought to be sent up."

"well ditto heads? I bet you
still love this drug
law-breaking drug
freek. Ever hear of 'just
say no' or how by buying
you are supporting

You are actually supporting Limbaugh.
Obama only used drugs recreationaly, as a youth.
“have you ever noticed how all
composite pictures of wanted
resemble Jesse
This guy is an idiot.
Or, as Al Franken said, “A big fat lying idiot.”

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Is Honesty A disqualification?

Does the Democratic ticket have a chance if both of their choices are honest men?
It has been rumoured that Joe Biden may be Senator Obama's pick for VP.
Senator Biden has earned a reputation for honesty and straight talking, Obama has likewise been noteworthy for speaking the truth, not descending to the Republican Party hate and fear tactics.
The question, will the American people vote for candidates who tell them what they need to hear?
Biden is brilliant, an academician with the common touch.
He is brutally frank, however.
On a question regarding Iraq a while back he answered, “For G-d's sake, don't ask Rumsfield, he doesn't know squat about Iraq.”
True, but abrasive?
I must admit, as politicians go, I love Biden.
I also really like Joe Lieberman, who, if McCain's bosses have any brains at all, is their VP pick.
America is really becoming a mean country.
We have the world's largest prison population.
Many more Americans caged like animals than Chinese citizens locked up in China.
We also have an abundance of traditional Americans, like Oprah, Susan Sarandon, Willy Nelson and so on.
People who share Senator Obama's view that America is about helping others, not helping oneself to all one can grab.
Are their enough American voters left to make the dream of a compassionate and decent America a reality?
For the sake of my little children, I hope so.

Items On Joe Biden From Wikepedia
110th Congress
Biden serves on the following committees in the 110th U.S. Congress[10]
Committee on Foreign Relations (Chairman)
As Chairman of the full committee Biden is an ex officio member of each subcommittee.
Committee on the Judiciary
Subcommittee on Antitrust Competition Policy and Consumer Rights
Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs, (Chairman)
Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law
Subcommittee on Immigration Border Security and Citizenship
Subcommittee on Technology Terrorism and Homeland Security
Caucus on International Narcotics Control (Co-Chairman)
For a comprehensive accounting of Biden's voting record see Project Vote Smart[11] and other material noted in the Reference section.
[edit] Judiciary Committee

Biden on Meet the Press
Biden is a long-time member of the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, which he chaired from 1987 until 1995 and served as ranking minority member from 1981 until 1987 and again from 1995 until 1997. In this capacity, he dealt with issues related to drug policy, crime prevention, and civil liberties. While chairman, Biden presided over two of the most contentious U.S. Supreme Court confirmation hearings: Robert Bork in 1987 and Clarence Thomas in 1991.[12]
Biden has been involved in crafting many federal crime laws over the last decade, including the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, also known as the Biden Crime Law. He also authored the landmark Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA), which contains a broad array of measures to combat domestic violence and provides billions of dollars in federal funds to address gender-based crimes. Although part of this legislation later was struck down as unconstitutional, it was reauthorized in 2000 and 2005. In March 2004, Biden enlisted major American technology companies in diagnosing the problems of the Austin, Texas-based National Domestic Violence Hotline, and to donate equipment and expertise to it.[13][14][12]
As chairman of the International Narcotics Control Caucus, Biden wrote the laws that created the nation's "Drug Czar," who oversees and coordinates national drug control policy. In April 2003 he introduced the controversial Reducing Americans' Vulnerability to Ecstasy Act, also known as the RAVE Act. He continues to work to stop the spread of "date rape drugs" such as Rohypnol, and drugs such as Ecstasy and Ketamine. In 2004 he worked to pass a bill outlawing steroids like androstenedione, the drug used by many baseball players.[12]
Biden's legislation to promote college aid and loan programs allows families to deduct on their annual income tax returns up to $10,000 per year in higher education expenses. His "Kids 2000" legislation established a public/private partnership to provide computer centers, teachers, Internet access, and technical training to young people, particularly to low-income and at-risk youth.[15]
Throughout his career Biden has vehemently opposed tort reform, while continuously joining Senate Republicans to support stricter bankruptcy laws.[16]
[edit] Foreign Relations Committee

Biden gives his opening statement and questions to U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker and General David H. Petraeus at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing on Iraq; September 11, 2007
Biden is also a long-time member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. In 1997, he became the ranking minority member and chaired the committee from June 2001 through 2003. His efforts to combat hostilities in the Balkans in the 1990s brought national attention and influenced presidential policy: traveling repeatedly to the region, he made one meeting famous by calling Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic a "war criminal." He consistently argued for lifting the arms embargo, training Bosnian Muslims, investigating war crimes and administering NATO air strikes. Biden's subsequent "lift and strike" resolution was instrumental in convincing President Bill Clinton to use military force in the face of systematic human rights violations.[citation needed] Biden has also called on Libya to release political prisoner Fathi Eljahmi.[17]
Following the September 11, 2001 attacks, Biden was supportive of the Bush administration's efforts, calling for additional ground troops in Afghanistan and agreeing with the administration's assertion that Saddam Hussein needed to be eliminated. The Bush administration rejected an effort Biden undertook with Senator Richard Lugar to pass a resolution authorizing military action only after the exhaustion of diplomatic efforts. In October 2002, Biden voted for the final resolution to support the war in Iraq. He has long supported the Bush administration's war effort and appropriations to pay for it, but has argued repeatedly that more soldiers are needed, the war should be internationalized, and the Bush administration should "level with the American people" about the cost and length of the conflict.[18]
In November 2006, Biden and Leslie Gelb, President Emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, released a comprehensive strategy to end sectarian violence in Iraq. Rather than continuing the present approach or withdrawing, the plan calls for "a third way": federalizing Iraq and giving Kurds, Shiites, and Sunnis "breathing room" in their own regions.[19]

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Irshad Manji Fighting Islamic Abuse of Women

Geraldine Bedell
The Observer,
Sunday August 3 2008
Article history

She is a lesbian feminist Muslim whose ambition is nothing less than to reform Islam.
She has been compared by the New York Times to Martin Luther; by others to Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Salman Rushdie, Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan and, when I met her, casually, by herself, to Vaclav Havel.
Irshad Manji, a spiky-haired, opinionated, mouthy Canadian Muslim, lives in New York behind bulletproof glass and doesn't use a mobile phone because it would make finding her too easy.
She has a lot of enemies: her book, The Trouble With Islam Today, is banned across much of the Middle East.
But it is also a bestseller in many countries, including the US, and has been downloaded in its Arabic, Farsi and Urdu translations more than half-a-million times. In the last couple of weeks, she has been in Washington advising Democrats on Capitol Hill about a potential Obama administration's policy towards the Muslim world and reminding the National Organisation for Women to speak out against human-rights abuses perpetrated under cover of religion.
Her recent documentary, Faith Without Fear, has just been nominated for an Emmy.
I meet her at her office at New York University in downtown Manhattan, where she has recently become a professor.
Manji is slight, dynamic and blazingly articulate, the words pouring out in a stream of rhetorical tropes for two-and-a-half hours. I feel like I'm at a public meeting.
What she has to say - that Islam has become calcified and that in its name millions of people around the world are being denied human rights - is offensive to many and troubling even to progressive Muslims and non-Muslims who agree with her but wouldn't say so out loud, for fear of provoking what she calls the beards and the veils.
She can't seem to move without annoying someone; she is also loathed by those ghastly, blogging Christians who prefer Muslims to be the enemy and think they should be converted or stay in their 'own' countries.
Where has she got it from, this nice-looking, petite girl (she was born in 1968 but appears much younger) from suburban Vancouver? How did she get the nerve to become one of the leading voices demanding reform of one of the world's great religions, at a time when Islam has become so controversial?
Irshad Manji arrived in Canada at the age of four as a refugee from Idi Amin's Uganda.
One night, when she was 10, her father chased her through the house with a kitchen knife after she threatened to report him to the police and social services for his violence towards her mother.
Hiding on the roof, out of reach, she had an epiphany - or that's how she tells it now: 'I realised I was grateful because there were people I could go to, talk to, whereas if we'd still been in East Africa that may not have been the case. I realised I lived in a society where the story of who we are as a people was not finished, which meant that I, as an individual, mattered. I could be a partial author of this grander story.'
Aged 14, she was thrown out of the madrassa, her religious Saturday school, for asking too many questions.
Why couldn't girls lead prayers? Why couldn't they read the Koran in a language she could understand? What was this Jewish conspiracy they kept going on about?
She could easily have walked away, but with typical pugnacity she refused to give up on her religion. In her book, she makes a rational case for the role of religion in her life.
Her faith is in tension with the materialism of the modern world, she says; religion encourages her to keep thinking, 'to avoid lapsing into a fundamentalism of my own, be it feminist, nationalist or multiculturalist. Religion has compelled me to bow to no one but the God dwelling restlessly in my conscience, a precious skill to develop in an era of boundless spin'.
She read up on Islam at her local public library but otherwise got on with growing up, studying the history of ideas at the University of British Columbia, from which she emerged with the governor general's medal as top humanities graduate.
She worked for a feminist politician, on the editorial board of a newspaper, and then in television, both as presenter and producer of a programme called Queer TV. She met her first girlfriend in her twenties, came out to her mother a few weeks later and has been an out lesbian ever since.
She prefers not to think that her sexuality, deplored by most Muslim religious leaders, or her childhood, with a father who believed abuse of his wife and three daughters was sanctioned by culture and religion, were determining factors in her desire to reconfigure Islam.
She would much rather see that as the logical conclusion of rational thought.
'There will always be people who assume that my trouble with Islam has to do with my childhood,' she says with ferocity. 'Nothing could be further from the truth. People who say that give my experiences too much power.
The fact that in the last 100 years more Muslims have been tortured and maimed in the name of Islam than by any other people - can that be laid at the feet of my childhood?'
Her parents eventually divorced, some seven years after the knife incident, and Manji has not seen her father since. 'There was a time, years ago, when I hated my father because of the abuse to which he subjected us, but I didn't want to hate him for the rest of my life. I made a decision to keep a critical distance from him, so as to develop a measure of indifference and perhaps, eventually, empathy.'
As for her sexuality, it seems absurd, to me at least, that it wouldn't have sensitised her to the contradictions in religion. (She acknowledges that she wondered quite early why if God has made everything excellent, as it says in the Koran, but hates gays, he had allowed her to be born lesbian.)
But she is keen to downplay its influence on her work. 'There are bigger issues here, and I don't make a big deal, much to the consternation of many gays and lesbians, of being gay and a Muslim. It's not very interesting to me, because I haven't achieved it.'
She believes Islam needs to revive its tradition of critical thinking, ijtihad, if it is to avoid what she sees as its current fate of ossification and glorification of its founding moment in the 7th century.
(Some Muslim scholars dispute that ijtihad was ever the wide-ranging, inquiring tradition of intellectual ferment that Manji maintains, arguing that it was a narrower, more legalistic issue. She dismisses this interpretation as restricting and self-serving. But whatever the details of scholarly debate, they obviously do not invalidate her point that Islam needs to find a way of accommodating itself to the 21st century.)
The moment Manji identifies as revelatory came when she was working at a religious television station and her (Jewish) boss placed a newspaper cutting on her desk.
The cutting concerned a young woman in northern Nigeria who had been sentenced by a sharia court to 180 lashes, even though she had rounded up seven male witnesses to testify that she had been raped.
'Irshad,' her boss scribbled in the margin, 'one of these days you'll tell me how you reconcile this kind of insanity, and female genital mutilation, with your Muslim faith.'
She recalls being initially offended by the question, but also gradually realising that, in asking it, her boss had been showing respect for her maturity and intelligence. Feeling offended, she observes, is not the same thing as being discriminated against.
This seemed to her to lead to some rather topsy-turvy situations. If, she says, she were to ask similar difficult questions of her fellow Muslims - to treat them as adults, rather than as over-sensitive potential terrorists - she would be accused of racism or of being a self-hating Muslim.
She started asking the questions anyway, first in her book, then on her website, where she launched Project Ijtihad, 'which exists to create the largest network in the world - sorry, let me be more humble - which hopes to create the largest network in the world of reform-minded Muslims and non-Muslim allies who come from a human-rights perspective, rather than an anti-terrorist perspective'.
Humility, you suspect, doesn't come that easily. When I ask about the comparison in the New York Times to Martin Luther, she says: 'I rolled my eyes at that; I cringed.'
But this turns out not to be because of the aggrandisement involved in being bracketed with the founder of the Reformation, but, 'because here I was under the impression that people like me are seeking to update Islamic interpretations for the 21st century, not the 16th'.
She has received many death threats, some histrionic, a few serious. 'I acknowledge the fact that I can't use a mobile phone, because GPS technology makes it very easy for ill-wishers to track you down and do you harm. I usually have security at my events. But I live as if I can't be paying attention to any of that. If I were to be offed tomorrow, I would have no regrets.
That doesn't mean I cruise for a fatwa, but Vaclav Havel in his own time of dissent in eastern Europe liked to say that he had to live as if he were permitted to express himself fully. He had to compartmentalise the fact that he was under threat.'
She admits that the constraints that follow death threats made life difficult for her former partner.
'I'm single at the moment, but when Michelle and I were together, it was hard for her. She adapted to it, I have to say, with great strength. What broke us up eventually wasn't that; it was my 24/7, away-from-home life. I had to make a choice between my relationship and this mission and I know, frankly, what I've been put on this earth to do. I don't mean to sound like a diva when I say that. I truly believe that each one of us has a calling and even if my work goes down as a mere footnote in the history of the real reformers who come after me, that's fine.'
Manji remains close to her mother, although you get the impression it's a needling, nettling relationship.
When she told her mother she was writing the book, her mother said: 'I'm just going to ask you one thing, please do not anger God.' 'I respectfully reminded her that angering mullahs and imams and Muslim political lobbyists does not necessarily mean angering God.
She did not buy the argument at all. My mother, my hero, my role model: she wasn't and she still isn't.'
Once the book came out, her mother was forced to endure a sermon at her mosque in which the imam claimed that Manji was worse than Osama bin Laden. 'And you know why? Because apparently my book had caused more debate among Muslims than al-Qaeda's terrorism! What does that say about us?' Other worshippers reassured her mother afterwards that Manji was saying what needed to be said. 'And she finally saw this for the first time. And I said, "You know, what, Mom? I'm thrilled that you've come to this conclusion. I'm only sorry that you needed social approval to see this."'
Ouch. There is no denying, though, that Manji is right about the paradoxes of multiculturalism.
When it comes to Islam, it often seems to be easier (and not only for Muslims) to attack freedom of expression than defend it. It is shocking that in pluralistic societies there are young people at her events 'who are there to heckle, to denounce, not just me as a human being, but the very idea of pluralism. There are very rarely those who will take them on. They come up to me afterwards and whisper, "Thank you"'.
'At a well-known university in the Boston area recently - I won't say which - I noticed there were fewer people in the audience than I would have expected. I asked some girls about it afterwards and they said an email had gone round that afternoon to all the Muslim students saying "If you are caught at that bitch's lecture you will pay the price." This from a university in America.' .......

She is generating a debate that needs to be had, nor that many of her insights about the West's multicultural muddles are humiliatingly acute. She comes across as messianic, prickly, monomaniacal. But what she is attempting - 'To capture the experiences of those Muslims who have not felt permission to voice their lives, to develop their voices' - is audacious. It does take an extraordinary person to change history or even to try.

My Friends...

One can define G-d in many different ways.
I'm reminded of a local radio host who used to say, “Some call him Buddha, some call him G-d, I just call him Jah Rastafari.”
Or George Carlin's brilliant summation of religion “Think about it. Religion has actually convinced people that there's an invisible
man -- living in the sky -- who watches everything you do, every minute of every
day. And the invisible man has a special list of 10 things he does not want you
to do. And if you do any of these 10 things, he has a special place, full of
fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to
live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever 'til the
end of time!
But He loves you.
He loves you, and He needs money! He always needs money! He's all-powerful,
all-perfect, all-knowing and all-wise; somehow just can't handle money!”
There are those, chiefly on the right wing of American politics, that have called for more religious involvement in our lives.
Tonight on Cable Tv there was a Debate of sorts on “Faith”.
Obama was, as usual, brilliant.
McCain, as usual, seemed stilted and struggling, somewhat confused.
McCain said that he thought that none of the Liberal Judges should have been nominated to the Supreme Court.
McCain will do his best, if elected President, to return women to the kitchens and bedrooms, where, he apparently believes they belong.
McCain talks pretty tough, he says that there is evil around the world and the U.S. has to confront it.
He doesn't say how, but one must assume he means militarily.
This is not a brilliant man, and to many on the right, lack of polish and brains is considered an advantage.
The world is very complex, and we need a man who can think on his feet to lead America back to her place in the world of nations.
Obama says he wants to be president because he believes Americans believe in empathy for others.
Aside from the obvious fact that Mcain is just not bright enough to lead America, his continuation of Republican pro-bussiness anti-poor platform means more bad news for the economy and more people joining the ranks of those the Republicans believe should shift for themselves.
Finally, on Israel.
Obama has stated that he shares the administration view on Israel.
That we will protect them with everything we have.
I believe him.
I believe the reason Obama speaks so well is that he believes what he says.
I believe McCain struggles when speaking because he says whatever he thinks will make him President, and he can't keep his “views” straight, he can't remember from day to day what his views are.
He compared himself to Ronald Reagan on several occasions during the “debate”.
I met Ronald Reagan, I spoke to Ronald Reagan, and John McCain is no Ronald friends.
The voters need to listen to these men, Obama and Mcain, and use your heart as well as your head.
Look into their eyes and you be the judge, not hannity or Limbaugh, YOU be the judge.

Friday, August 8, 2008

John Edwards, Rielle Hunter, Acting Like Humans Do

Trot out the hypocrites.

John Edwards is a human with a sex drive.
According to various polls, almost everyone does it.
Around 75% of married persons admit to having extra-marital affairs.
Rielle Hunter is a beautiful young woman, intelligent and charming.

What man would not find her attractive?

Eddie Murphy once said, “A man is only as faithful as his options.”

The National Enquirer, known by most as a “rag”, has their reporters on most of the media outlets giving their racy, spiced up version of the scandal.
One can only use caution on reports from a publication that made its name by publishing “Proof there are Martians among us” for years.

Edwards has made his statement, accepting responsibility for his mistake, and being very frank about how the affair happened and why.
Elizabeth Edwards has issued a statement saying that she forgives her husband for the mistake, which, she pointed out is made by thousands of other people.
She asked for privacy to heal, she has been diagnosed with an inoperable form of cancer.

Yes, the media has proved John Edwards is human.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

She Kissed a Girl....

'The View' Video: Whoopi Goldberg Kisses Katy Perry On The Lips!

Whoopi Goldberg Kissed a Girl on The
Actress Archives, NY - Jul 29,

Best. Lesbian. Week.
(Aug. 1, 2008) - Jul 31, 2008

Cyrus says Katy Perry is trying to get back at her” links
Infos Jeunes
France, France - Jul 31, 2008
Miley Cyrus says she doesn't want to kiss Katy
Gay Wired, CA - Jul 30, 2008
While Sherri and Lil Lissy— interrogated cutie-pie Katy Perry, about her infectious tunes, “I Kissed a Girl,” and “Ur So Gay,” Whoopi ..

This rather sexy song has generated a lot of buzz, much of it understandably silly, and some downright ridiculous.
Katy Perry was raised in a strict protestant household where human sexuality was not discussed.
This tune and its popularity is a welcome sign that the times are indeed changing.
It expresses the innocence and sensuality of sexual experimentation amongst young women.
And it downplays the guilt which is often forced on young people by a religously deluded group of conservatives.

Whoopi Goldberg has always impressed me as highly intelligent and frankly honest.
She speaks her mind and is not politically correct, bless her heart.

Its reported that she kissed Katy to help defuse some of the negative comments being hurled at her.

Nice song, Katy.

You can watch the video "I Kissed a Girl" by clicking below!