Best Seller?

From  of The Blaze:

A bookstore in Canada has sold out of an Islamic marriage guide that instructs Muslim men on how to beat their wives, according to the Toronto Sun.

Among the advice dispensed in “A Gift for the Muslim Couple” is to “beat by hand or stick” and “pull [her] by the ears.” The husband may also withhold money to exert control, though should “refrain from beating her excessively.”

The 160-page book’s description says it “deals with the subject of marriage and after marriage relationship, as well as the various pitfalls of marriage, causes of breakdown and their causes.” It was being sold at Islamic Books and Souvenirs in Toronto. The store’s manager told the Toronto Sun it had been sold out for some time. The owner refused to comment to the newspaper.

“[I]t might be necessary to restrain her with strength or even to threaten her,” writes author Hazrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi, described as a “prolific writer on almost every topic of Islamic learning.”

The book lists the husband’s supposed rights, which say the wife is unable to leave “his house without his permission,” and that she must “fulfill his desires” and “not allow herself to be untidy…but should beautify herself for him.”

Thanvi also writes that “the husband should treat the wife with kindness and love, even if she tends to be stupid and slow sometimes.”

Wasim Vania, president of the Islamic Society of Toronto, condemned the book, telling the Sun it “should never have entered Canada.”

“We were the first religion to give power to women. It is sad that someone would write this. We don’t have hatred in our hearts and we don’t teach this,” Vania said.

In January, a Canadian jury convicted a Muslim husband, wife and son of murdering three teenage daughters and a co-wife in what was termed an honor killing. The trial transfixed the country and prompted a debate about assimilating immigrants.

Contrasting Incidents

In the past few years, there have been two major tragedies involving our military personnel. One quite recently, and the other from a few years back. Although they were similar in result, I believe the motivations to be completely different.

The most recent one of course is that of Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales. The incident from a few years back, if you recall, is that of Major Nidal Hasan. You would have to be living under a rock not to know about Sgt. Bales, but when one was the last time you heard about the Major.

If you recall, in 2009 Major Nidal Hasan, yelling “Allahu Akbar!”, ran through a compound at Fort Hood Texas, killing 13 unarmed military personnel and wounded 29 more.

Refusing to call it what it was, an act of terrorism, the Obama Defense Department classified the Fort Hood massacre as “workplace violence”.

Now we have Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales who has charged with multiple counts of murder for the massacre of 17 Afghan civilians. It is doubtful that the Obama administration will tie this one up with a pretty bow.

Evidently what Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales did was far more heinous than the actions of Hasan.

How could this be? How is what Sgt. Bales did so much worse than what Maj. Hasan did?

Well, that’s an easy one to answer. The fact is Maj. Hasan is in a politically protected class. He’s a Moslem. Sgt. Bales is a white American. Yes, Sgt. Bales did allegedly kill innocent civilians, but were the Afghan civilians anymore innocent than the unarmed military personnel murdered by Hassan at Fort Hood?

To any reasonable person, the answer should surely be no.

Contrasting Sgt. Bales and Major Hasan is fairly simple. From interviews of friends and fellow military men, Sgt. Bales appeared to be a model soldier. I’m no psychiatrist, but after four long tours of duty in both Iraq and Afghanistan since 2003, not to mention a foot and head injury, it appears that Sgt. Bales may have just flipped out. That is certainly no excuse for what he did, but from all the accounts I’ve read it certainly doesn’t appear as if this was premeditated. It was still a horrible act of violence and one that he should pay a steep price. He should, however, pay no steeper price than the dear Major.

On the other hand, Major Hasan had at least 18 e-mail communiqués, intercepted by intelligence agencies, to and from known Al Qaeda terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki. I’m sure this is a common occurrence in the military. 

It happens to me every week. There are I was, just sitting in my office, when all of a sudden an e-mail appears from an Al Qaeda operative. If I had a nickel for every time that happened…

Hassan was also known to have tried to convert disgruntled military personnel to Islam and thereby radicalize them.

Major Hasan is still receiving his full military pay plus all his medical expenses are paid for, three years after the fact. I suppose that is reasonable. He is after all, innocent until proven guilty. Hasan is not due to go to trial until June of 2012, three years after the “workplace incident”. This may very well be typical of military trials but it seems to be excessively slow.

I will bet, for political expediency, Sgt. Bales trial will somehow be fast tracked.

The Hasan case sould be a slam dunk. He is guilty. There were plenty of witnesses to attest to that. There apparently are few if any in the Bales case.

If Bales and Hasan are found guilty of these brutal attacks, they should be executed. Let’s hope they both receive a fair trial and let justice prevail.

Did I Say That?

American Crossroads, a 527 organization advised by Karl Rove, has released a new video showing that Barack Obama himself has not always supported the individual mandate at the center of his controversial health care reform plan. Put aside what you may think of Karl Rove & just listen to Obama’s own words:

The Martin Shooting

I would like to discuss the Trayvon Martin shooting. The young kid, I believe he was 17, was shot by this guy George Zimmerman. I guess Zimmerman was supposed to be some sort of neighborhood watch commander.

 Evidently this Zimmerman guy was performing his watch duties, when he spotted Martin apparently roaming around his neighborhood. He called 911 and described the situation. Hearing the 911 call it is apparent that he followed this young man, and what happened after that is anyone’s guess. We hear another call to 911 by some woman where, in the background, we hear screaming. We don’t know who was screaming. We don’t know what they’re screaming about. We don’t frankly know anything.

 This is indeed a tragic situation. I’m guessing this kid didn’t need to die. I’m also guessing, this guy didn’t need to shoot him if that’s what happened. The reason I say I’m guessing is, we don’t know what happened. I don’t know what happened; you don’t know what happened; the media doesn’t know what happened; the president doesn’t know what happened. The only two people that know what happened are Martin, who is now dead and Zimmerman.

 I don’t mean to make light of the situation. As I stated it’s a shame this kid was killed. Things like this happen in America all the time. People get shot needlessly and people get killed needlessly.

 So why is this case garnering so much attention? Do I really need to answer that question? Does anyone really not know what the answer to that question is?

 As Rush Limbaugh says, for those of you in Rio Linda, it is of course a race issue. It is because this 17-year-old kid was black. Pure and simple, that is the only reason this case is receiving national attention.

 Let’s be real here. If this was a white kid shot by a black, do we really think that this would be getting press that it is? Of course not.

 I would like to say that this was simply some dope that took upon himself to be the judge jury and executioner for this child, but I don’t even know that. As I stated no one knows that.

 Now we have Eric Holder and the federal Justice Department involving themselves in this case. The federal civil rights division and The Governor of the State of Florida have convened its own investigation of this case. Then of course, we have race pimps like Al Sharpton and Calypso Louis Farrakhan. I’m not quite sure what’s holding up the wrong Rev. Jesse Jackson. Maybe his flight was delayed. I would fully expect him to show up at some point. These blights on society show up whenever a black man get’s a hangnail.

 Even the President of the United States felt compelled to comment on the situation. He said that everyone should be involved in this case at the federal, state and local level. Why? Why does everyone need to be involved in this case? This case should be local jurisdiction only.

 The president then goes on to lecture us about how we all need to do some soul-searching over this case. Why do we know all need to do soul-searching? What did I do wrong that requires me to do soul-searching regarding this case? What the heck did I or anyone else reading this article, have to do with this case? What is the president trying to imply here? Could it be, that we are all racists at heart? Is that what it is?

 My advice to everyone reading this is to step back up. Let the justice system and the court system work. Pay no attention to the armchair jurists on the cable TV shows and the radio. They don’t know anymore than you. Pay no attention to the politician that tries to inject him or herself into the situation for their own self-aggrandizement. Follow this case if you have interest, but just remember, before you decide to pass judgment, think of what you know and what you don’t.

 So far we know absolutely nothing about this case.

Go South Young Man…150 Feet

It may only have been a tiny error by surveyors 277 years ago, but it could have stirred up major problems.

Part of the small community of Lake Wylie, South Carolina could today find themselves reclassified as being in neighboring North Carolina.

Modern surveyors – using state of the art GPS – have redrawn the state border to within a few inches of where it had originally meant to be in 1735 – some 150ft further south of where it is today.

But the change could be a monumental upheaval for the hundred or so residents who would find themselves residents of North Carolina – where fuel prices are 30 cents more expensive and fireworks are illegal.

Victor Boulware, owner of a small convenience store, the Lake Wylie Minimarket, says a change would destroy his business, stopping the flow of traffic from the more expensive north who flock to his shop for the cheaper fuel.

He said: ‘If I end up across the line, it is going to shut this business down.’

For the owners of 93 properties who suddenly find themselves in another state, it is also a bureaucratic nightmare.

The state line determines so much in their lives – what schools they go to, what area code their phone number starts with and even who provides them gas and electricity.

Small utility cooperatives in South Carolina are banned from extending services across the state line. Most of the properties in question are near Charlotte, N.C.

“I’m having a hard time being funny about this when mysterious forces bigger than you are shoving you around,” said Frederick Berlinger, who suddenly has been told that he goes to bed at night in Spartanburg County, S.C. after 15 years in what he thought was Polk County, N.C.

The seeds of the current problem were sown when the King of England sent surveyors to draw a boundary between the two Carolinas.

His instructions in 1735 were explicit: Start 30 miles south of the mouth of the Cape Fear River and have surveyors head northwest until they reached 35 degrees latitude.

Then the border would head west across the country to the Pacific Ocean. But the surveyors didn’t follow the instructions exactly, and future instructions led to the state line’s twists and turns around Charlotte and in the mountains.

The surveyors used poles and measured chains, determining what direction to head from the sun and stars, doing math in their heads, and putting hatchet blows on trees to mark the boundary. Over time, those trees disappeared, but the state line still needed to show up on maps.

The survey, which is about to draw to an end, was designed to put almost all questions about where the line is drawn to rest.

North and South Carolina wanted to solve their problems with a little Southern cooperation, so they created the Joint Boundary Commission nearly two decades ago.

The commission meets in Rock Hill, S.C.

Members are expected to work on proposals that they hope will be passed in each state to solve problems that arise from any changes – including an amnesty for any back taxes owed to the other state and allow utilities to cross state lines to serve customers without disruption.

Once both Carolinas take action to make the transition easier for the 93 property owners, the commission will submit the new state line to the Legislature in South Carolina and the North Carolina Council of State for approval.

Not approving the border could open either state up to a number of lawsuits.

The survey work is not finished. The team is preparing to draw the rest of the state line all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. Fewer problems are expected because the area is more rural.

Attribution: Daily Mail

The Power of American Exceptionalism

by: Demetrius Minor

This election year’s theme has evolved around one common theme: the identity of America. We’ve heard the rallying voices calling for “restoring”, “believing”, “saving” and “reviving” America. There is this undeniable feeling that America is wayward, distraught and dysfunctional.

The choice is quite simple and fundamental: we can continue to march towards an European socialist society or we can be a nation of economic prosperity, constitutional liberty and freedom. America’s soul has been entrenched by big government welfare and mandates that infringe on individual rights. The enhancement of government, by means of a weak and anemic private sector, has changed America from being an economic promised land to a nation that is being defined by unemployment, joblessness, a divided political front and a lack of efficient leadership at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

It is embarrassing and shameful that we currently have a President who does not understand the power of American Exceptionalism. It is quite common for President Obama to travel worldwide “apologizing” for what he perceives to be the flaws and imperfections of America. I wish he would express gratitude for this country.

American Exceptionalism is about being what you dream to be. It’s about taking advantage of the fact that America is one of the greatest nations known to mankind and that it flourishes with plenty of opportunities for many individuals to succeed. American Exceptionalism is not about government dependency. While the absence of government in its entirety would lead to a society in total chaos and disorder, it is the notion that government will meet all your needs that has caused many to be apathetic and indolent.

American Exceptionalism is about YOU. It is about having a good work ethic. It is the blissful reminder that if you dream and believe in God and yourself, that you can indeed be what you want to be. It is not about piggybacking off of other’s successes and blessings. It is not about being entitled to something without working hard and diligently for it. American Exceptionalism promotes the idea that America is great and that the power of free is what makes individuals successful in life. The idea of big government necessity is pure selfishness. The fact that many just want to depend on the government to provide them services without putting in the work and effort as others, is not only selfishness, but its robbery from those who have worked diligently in their life.

I refuse to adhere to the thought that government serves as a lifeguard and rescue mission. My success in life is dependent on Almighty God, the encouragement of family & friends, and the effort I personally put in to achieving my goals. Many may perceive this to be an egotistical analysis. On the contrary, it’s the beauty of American Exceptionalism. Don’t ride the coattails of government. Empower YOURSELF.

Bullseye

For most professional athletes the Olympic Games is the pinnacle of achievement, their ultimate goal.

And there is one archer who is quite literally chomping at the bit to get to London 2012.

Jeff Fabry, of Tulare, California, is one of the world’s best at his sport, a five-time Special Games world champion, and three-time Paralympics medallist.

But Fabry’s achievement is made all the more impressive by the fact that he has only one arm and one leg, having lost the two other limbs in a horrific motorcycle accident at the age of 15.

His life-changing injuries inspired him to learn how to fire arrows using his teeth, pulling them back by biting on a mouthpiece that he made from a nylon dog leash.

“My buddies were out hitting the hills hunting and I was stuck at home and I was like, no, I don’t like this, so I figured out a way to shoot and it happened to be with my teeth,” he told Fox News.

“It was trial and error to find what I considered to be the perfect mouthpiece, where I could be proficient.”

It’s the kind of thing that would give a dentist nightmares, but Fabry insisted: “I’ve been doing this for 13 years and my teeth still look and feel the same the first day I started. Everything is going good, luckily.”

Fabry will compete on the U.S Paralympics Team in London this summer but international success is not his only goal.

He teaches the sport he loves to members of the Wounded Warriors Project, the nonprofit whose mission is to help injured service members cope in civilian society.

“What I’m really proud of is being able to work with our vets who are coming back from the sandbox with different disabilities,” he said.

I got hurt before I could join the military, and this is kind of a way that I can give back to my country by helping our heroes.”

Jim Castaneda is one veteran to have benefited from Fabry’s passion and skill. A member of the Wounded Warriors, Castaneda suffered a traumatic brain injury and a stroke while stationed in the Philippines with the Navy.

He told the news channel:’It’s changed my life completely … I found something that I can do and I really enjoy it and love something now.’

“I’m not just sitting there anymore, like watching my life go by and feeling sorry for myself. Now I’m actually getting up and doing something for myself and trying something else.”

Fabry is gearing up to coach Team Navy Coast Guard in archery at the Warrior Games in Colorado Springs.

Teams from the Marines, Navy and Coast Guard, Army and Air Force compete against each other in a U.S Department of Defence competition that is similar to the Olympics.

Arribution: Daily Mail

Ever Feel You Were Being Watched?

In the little town of Bluffdale, Utah, between the Wasatch Range and the Oquirrh Mountains, the National Security Agency (NSA) is building what will be the nation’s largest spy center.

 Dubbed the Utah Data Center, the project is already employing thousands of hardhat workers in its construction and will soon have some 10,000 construction workers building a data center that will be more than five times the size of the nation’s capitol.

“We’ve been asked not to talk about the project,” Rob Moore told a local reporter. Mr. Moore is president of Big-D Construction, one of the three major contractors working on the project. Plans for the center include a $10 million antiterrorism protection program, a fence designed to stop a 15,000-pound vehicle traveling 50 miles per hour, closed-circuit cameras, a biometric identification system, a vehicle inspection facility, and a visitor-control center.

Why all the fuss? Why all the security?

Well, the lead story in Wired magazine for April exposed the Stellar Wind program for its intended purpose: to spy on every jot and scribble of any American citizen’s life all the way down to his “pocket litter:” parking-lot stubs, receipts from McDonalds, tickets from his haircut at Cost Cutters, as well as all the way up to the content of his every e-mail, every Google search, every telephone or cell phone conversation.

Stellar Wind is the code name for an effort approved by President George W. Bush following the September 11, 2001 attacks, to mine a large database of communications of American citizens but which was allegedly terminated when Congress pushed back against it.

However, the National Security Agency, awash with funds provided by Congress, is nearly finished constructing the Utah Data Center as the collection point for data provided from around the country and around the world. Its purpose: “to intercept, decipher, analyze and store vast swaths of the world’s communications … [including] all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls and Google searches.”

In other words, according to James Bamford, author of The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America, when the $2 billion facility (consisting of four 25,000 square-foot buildings full of computer servers and their air conditioning units plus a 900,000 square-foot building to house its technical and administration people) is completed in September, 2013, virtually everything one communicates through any traceable medium, or any record of one’s existence in the electronic medium, which these days is everything, will … become the property of the US government to deal with as its sees fit.

William Binney, a former NSA crypto-mathematician who quit NSA after he realized it was openly and deliberately ignoring privacy limitations built into the Constitution, said in an interview with Bamford, holding his thumb and forefinger close together: “We are this far from a turnkey totalitarian state.”

Binney headed up a team that built the infrastructure to spy on everyone all the time and, at the time, recommended that NSA install its “tapping gear” only at the nation’s “landing sites” — physical locations where fiber optic cables come ashore — to limit its eavesdropping to international communications only and preserving Americans’ right to privacy.

But NSA ignored Binney’s recommendation and instead decided to build its spy center in Utah, connecting it with satellites and listening posts in Colorado, Georgia, Texas, Hawaii, and elsewhere, with direct links to NSA headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland, NSA’s research facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and last but not least, the White House.

In addition NSA has two huge data-gathering facilities, each with three 105-foot satellite dishes, one at Catawissa, Pennsylvania, called Roaring Creek, the other at Arbuckle, California, called Salt Creek.

Says Binney, “They violated the Constitution setting it up. But they didn’t care. They were going to do it anyway, and they were going to crucify anyone who stood in their way. When they started violating the Constitution, I couldn’t stay.”

One of the challenges NSA faced was decrypting data, such as that encoded by PGP or the much more robust encryption software used by governments. The Advanced Encryption Standard is used to protect most commercial e-mail programs and web browsers and has, until very recently, been considered unbreakable.

To break a 128-bit encryption code, for example, the number of trial-and-error attempts — call “brute force” — requires an incomprehensibly large number of attempts before succeeding: 340 undecillion (10 to the 26th power). But current breakthroughs by NSA, using Cray super computers, now can break such codes in fractions of a second, exposing all information to the light of day and the peering eyes of NSA observers.

At the moment it appears that the two strongest barriers to intrusions on privacy, technological and constitutional, have been shredded. But courts are involved in a variety of challenges to the NSA’s efforts, and the project isn’t due to come online in full flower until a year from September. Such an operation, now out in the open, requires enormous funding.

Congress, given sufficient encouragement and electoral change of heart this November, could just shut it down by defunding it. It’s really up to informed Americans to see where their elected officials stand on privacy versus security and then take appropriate action in the voting booth.

Attribution: Patriot Update, The New American

Constitution 101 (5)

http://www.hillsdale.edu/constitution/week_05_overview.aspx

Lesson 5:“The Separation of Powers: Ensuring Good Government”

Study Guide

Overview
The separation of powers helps to ensure good government at the same time it guards against tyranny. Independent in function but coordinated in the pursuit of justice, the three branches of government—legislative, executive, and judicial—must each have enough power to resist the encroachment of the others, and yet not so much that the liberty of the people is lost.

A political regime has three dimensions: the ruling institutions, the rulers, and the way of life of the people. In America, the rulers—the people themselves—and their ruling institutions—staffed by the people’s representatives—aim at securing the Creator-endowed natural rights of all citizens. The Framers did this in two ways. “Vertically” considered, our ruling institutions are defined by federalism, or the division of power between the national, state, and local governments. “Horizontally” considered, the ruling institutions of the federal government itself are separated and co-equal.

In the American regime, the Constitution is the “supreme law of the land.” No one branch is superior to it; all three branches have a duty to abide by it. While each of the three branches plays a unique role in the passage, execution, and interpretation of laws, all of the branches must work together in the governing process.

The legislative branch is closest to the people. It is also the branch in which the danger of majority tyranny lurks. The passions of the people are reflected most in the House of Representatives, where the members are elected for terms of two years. The Senate, with its six year terms, was designed to be a more stable legislative presence than the House.

The defining characteristic of the executive is “energy.” The president can act swiftly and decisively to deal with foreign threats and to enforce the law, and can also provide a check on legislative tyranny through the veto.

Members of the judiciary, the third branch of government, must exercise judgment in particular cases to secure individual rights. Through “judicial review,” the judiciary is given the authority to strike down laws that are contrary to the Constitution. But judicial review is not judicial supremacy; even the Supreme Court must rely upon the other branches once it has rendered judgment.

The checks that each branch can exercise against the encroachment of the others ultimately protect the liberties of the people. The separation of powers promotes justice and good government by having each branch perform its proper function. This institutional design allows the sovereign people to observe and to know which branch is responsible for which actions in order to hold each to account. The sense of mutual responsibility built into the separation of powers is a reflection of the moral and civic responsibility all Americans share.