Friday, January 6, 2012
Thursday, January 5, 2012
The novel is of the space opera subgenre.
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Happy New Year
lowering taxes on capital gains and undistributed profits,
reducing government spending and balancing budgets,
restoring peace to the relationship between labor and industry,
resisting government competition with private enterprise,
recognizing the importance of profit in private enterprise,
protecting collateral as a prerequisite for credit,
maintaining states' rights,
aiding the unemployed in an economical and locally responsible manner, and
relying on American free enterprise.
While iPods, Kindles, and Angry Bird stuffed animals were some of the hottest items of the 2011 Christmas season, December saw record-breaking numbers for gun sales, as droves of Americans found firearms and ammunition under their Christmas trees. According to FBI statistics, gun dealers requested more than 1.5 million background checks to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System in December, the highest single-month figure since the statistics first began being recorded.
Nearly 500,000 of those took place in the six days before Christmas and an astounding 102,222 background checks were administered on December 23 alone, the second-busiest single day in history. However, the actual total may have been even higher if individual buyers purchased more than one gun each, because exact sales are not recorded or reported. The FBI indicates that there is not a one-to-one correlation between background checks and the total number of guns sold because of "varying state laws and purchase scenarios."
USA Today reported:
For the first 11 months of 2011, the FBI did a record 14.6 million checks, an increase of more than 70% from the 8.5 million in 2003. Kentucky led the nation, with more than 2 million background checks conducted through November, double the No. 2 gun-check state, Texas. The Bluegrass State, with a population of about 4.3 million, has been tops in background checks the past five years and has the most checks of any state since 1998 — more than 12.6 million.
The surge in gun sales has provoked an array of explanations, including theories that the stale economy has incited crime waves or that buyers are scrambling to gun shops because they fear that tighter firearm regulations are just over the horizon. The National Rifle Association (NRA) suggested that self defense has become a growing concern, as tight local budgets are spurring a decline in the number of employed police officers. "I think there’s an increased realization that when something bad occurs it’s going to be between them and the criminal," NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam told CNN.
Gun owner Jerry Green of Douglasville, Georgia, attributes the spike in sales to stagnant economic growth and the country’s stubbornly high unemployment. "People are desperate these days with the economy," he said. "There’s a lot more robberies due to that and we just feel like we need to have ourselves protected in case something does happen."
Jim Irvine of the Buckeye Firearms Association offered several explanations, including "relaxed conceal-and-carry laws in Ohio, more women learning about guns and the pro-gun message resonating." He added, "Owning a gun for self-defense is like owning a fire extinguisher or smoke detectors for safety. All of the fears about all of the nonsense about guns, they’re really myths that are falling by the wayside."
Dave LaRue, part-owner of Legendary Guns in Phoenix, Arizona, said Christmas sales climbed a whopping 25 percent this year. "There are a lot of people concerned about pending gun legislation and the sense about the current administration," he affirmed. "People think future availability will be limited and there’s a feeling of 'get it while you can.'"
However, some anti-gun groups object to these theories, asserting that current gun owners are simply hoarding more firearms due to political propaganda hawked by the NRA. "The research we’ve seen indicates fewer and fewer people are owning more and more guns," argued Caroline Brewer, Director of Communications for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, an activist group which promotes federal and state gun laws and regulations. "All the trends indicate the number of Americans who own guns has declined."
Further, Brewer contended, "It would appear because of fear-mongering by the NRA since Obama’s election that people are adding more guns to their arsenals out of fear Obama and the Democrats will take away their guns, which is absurd." Toby Hoover, executive director of the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence, echoed a similar sentiment:
It's a false sense of security, but they might go purchase a gun… I'm bothered by, especially at the holiday time, how many people think that these things ought to be holiday gifts, Christmas gifts for their families and their children. We're seeing more of that, which means it's becoming sort of an accepted thing. Firearms and weapons don't seem to go with holidays and peacefulness to me. I think we have a problem.
Of course, Hoover seems to assume that new gun owners plan to use their new Christmas gifts for criminal acts, and not for self defense or recreational purposes. In reality, countless studies have found that an increase in the number of gun registrations, in fact, leads to reduced crime rates.
Photo: Mac Tilton, owner of MT Guns
In 2008, many who agreed that he lacked executive qualifications nonetheless raved about Obama's oratory skills, intellect, and cool character. Those people -- conservatives included -- ought now to be deeply embarrassed. The man thinks and speaks in the hoariest of clichés, and that's when he has his teleprompter in front of him; when the prompter is absent he can barely think or speak at all. Not one original idea has ever issued from his mouth -- it's all warmed-over Marxism of the kind that has failed over and over again for 100 years.
Mexico's Grand Warlock predicted US President Barack Obama would fail to win re-election and two more Latin American leaders would be diagnosed with cancer, in a traditional New Year's forecast Tuesday.
The Grand Warlock, or "Brujo Mayor" in Spanish, leads a Mexican tradition of "brujeria" or sorcery centered in the southeastern city of Catemaco.
The Grand Warlock, also known as Antonio Vazquez, said that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who claims to have beaten an unspecified cancer, would have a "terrible relapse."
Argentina's President Cristina Kirchner, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, former Brazilian leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Paraguay's Fernando Lugo have been diagnosed with cancer in recent years.
Chavez suggested last month that the spate of cancer among leftist leaders could be a US plot.
Vazquez, who sports a long grey beard, put the cancer cases down to "witchcraft" against Latin American leaders, during a Mexico City news conference giving his 25th annual predictions.
Mexico's Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which ruled for more than 70 years to 2000, would return to power with its candidate Enrique Pena Nieto winning the presidency in July, according to Vazquez, who bases his predictions on tarot card readings and observations of the stars.
Vazquez, who claims to have a 75-80 percent accuracy rate, last year said the euro would weaken and recession would return to developed economies but he also predicted, incorrectly, that a Latin American leader would be assassinated.
Copyright AFP 2008, AFP stories and photos shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
|Albertson v. Subversive Activities Control Board (No. 3) |
118 U.S.App.D.C. 117, 332 F.2d 317, reversed.
[ Brennan ]
[ Clark ]
|HTML version |
SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
382 U.S. 70
Albertson v. Subversive Activities Control Board
CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CIRCUIT
Despite the order of the Subversive Activities Control Board (SACB), sustained in Communist Party of the United States v. SACB, 367 U.S. 1, the Party failed to register under the Subversive Activities Control Act of 1950, and no list of members was filed. The Attorney General, in accordance with § 13(a) and §§ 8(a) and (c) of the Act, asked the SACB to order petitioners, as Party members, to register and submit a registration statement. The SACB did order petitioners to register and submit the registration statement, and the Court of Appeals affirmed these orders, finding the Fifth Amendment self-incrimination issue not ripe for adjudication.
1. Petitioners' claims of the privilege against self-incrimination are ripe for adjudication. Pp. 73-77.
(a) As distinguished from the Communist Party case, the contingencies upon which the members' duty to register arises have matured, the petitioners have claimed the privilege, and the Attorney General has rejected such claims. Pp. 74-75.
(b) Petitioners are faced with the choice of registering without a decision on the merits of their claims or subjecting themselves to serious punishment. Pp. 75-76.
(c) Respondent's attempt to distinguish between claims of privilege relating to the SACB's power to compel registration and submission of a registration statement, concerning which it concedes that the Court of Appeals' holding of prematurity was erroneous, and claims of privilege against "any particular inquiry" on the registration form or registration statement, is without merit. The statute and regulations issued thereunder require petitioners to register and submit the forms fully executed in accordance with present regulations. Pp. 76-77.
2. The requirement of filing the registration form (IS-52a) is incriminatory within the meaning of the Self-Incrimination Clause because the admission of Party membership, required by the form, might be used as an investigatory lead to or evidence in a criminal prosecution. Pp. 77-78. [p71]
3. The requirement of completing and filing the registration statement (IS-52), considered apart from the registration form, would also be incriminatory because the information might be used as evidence in, or supply leads to, a criminal prosecution. United States v. Sullivan, 274 U.S. 259, distinguished. Pp. 78-79.
4. The Act's immunity provision, § 4(f), does not save the orders to register from petitioners' Fifth Amendment challenge. Pp. 79-81.
(a) The immunity provision does not preclude the use of information called for by the registration statement (IS-52) either as evidence or an investigatory lead. P. 80.
(b) The immunity provision does not preclude the use of an admission of Party membership on the registration form (IS-52a) as an investigatory lead, a use barred by the self-incrimination privilege. P. 80.
(c) Respondent's argument that, since an order to register follows an SACB finding of Party membership, the admission of Party membership by registering is of no investigatory value, and thus not "incriminatory," would make the right to invoke the privilege depend upon an assessment of information in the Government's possession. This would negate the complete protection from all perils that an immunity statute must provide according to Counselman v. Hitchcock, 142 U.S. 547. P. 81.
Post Study Work Visa to be abolished April 2012 as part of student visa clampdown | Immigration Matters
Following the UK Home Secretary’s consultation on the reform of the student immigration system last December, the government has today announced a crackdown on student visa abuse and the closure of the popular Tier 1 post study work visa next year.
Tier 4 sponsors were informed of a number of changes by the UK Border Agency and Home Secretary Theresa May made an announcement in Parliament this afternoon.
May plans to slash the number of student visas by up to 80,000 following a series of measures including:
- Limits on the number of hours student can work
- Increased language requirements
- Restrictions of dependants
- Ending the post study work visa from April 2012
In a notice to sponsors the UK Border Agency outlined a number of changes:
- A limit on the overall time that can be spent on a student visa to three years at lower levels, as now, and five years at higher levels, with exceptions for students studying for professional qualifications or a PhD;
- Only the very best international graduates being allowed to stay on and contribute to the UK economy.
- Current arrangements for international students who graduate in the UK are seen as ‘overly generous’. So government will ‘close the Post Study Work route from April 2012’.
- Those graduating from a UK university with a recognised degree, PGCE, or PGDE will be able to switch into Tier 2.
The UKBA website has summarised the main changes:
- From April 2012, any institution wanting to sponsor students will need to be classed as a Highly Trusted sponsor, and will need to become accredited by a statutory education inspection body by the end of 2012. The current system does not require this, and has allowed too many poor-quality colleges to become sponsors.
- Students coming to study at degree level will need to speak English at an ‘upper intermediate’ (B2) level, rather than the current ‘lower intermediate’ (B1) requirement.
- UK Border Agency staff will be able to refuse entry to students who cannot speak English without an interpreter, and who therefore clearly do not meet the minimum standard.
- Students at universities and publicly funded further education colleges will retain their current work rights, but all other students will have no right to work. We will place restrictions on work placements in courses outside universities.
- Only postgraduate students at universities and government-sponsored students will be able to bring their dependants. At the moment, all students on longer courses can bring their dependants.
- We will limit the overall time that can be spent on a student visa to 3 years at lower levels (as it is now) and 5 years at higher levels. At present, there is no time limit for study at or above degree level.
- We will close the Tier 1 (Post-study work) route, which allows students 2 years to seek employment after their course ends. Only graduates who have an offer of a skilled job from a sponsoring employer under Tier 2 of the points-based system will be able to stay to work.
Keith Vaz, Chair of the Home Affairs Committee, which advised the government not to close the post study work route, commented:
“Students are not migrants. They come from all over the world to study here, contributing to the economy both through payment of fees and wider spending. Whilst we are right to seek to eliminate bogus colleges and bogus students, we need to ensure that we continue to attract the brightest and the best.
“The Government’s policy ought to be evidence-based. Generating policy based on flawed evidence could cripple the UK education sector. In the case of international students this could mean a significant revenue and reputational loss to the UK. We strongly urge the Government to examine the data which it currently uses to extrapolate migration figures and recognise that for any genuine student the doors to Britain’s fine education institutions are always open.”
“If the door is shut they will simply study elsewhere.”
If you need any immigration advice or help with Sponsorship or Work Permits, Visa, ILR/Settlement, Citizenship, dependant visa or an appeal against a refusal please email:ILR, Indefinite Leave to Remain, JCWI, Post Study Work Visa to be abolished, student visa, Student Visa Public Consultation ends 31 January, Tier 1 Post Study Work Visa, Tier 2, Tier 4, Tier 4 for students, UK Border Agency, visa appeal
the printed page, it adorns and ennobles that literary landscape but at
the same time it is a great distress to the new student, for it blocks up
his way; ...
~ Mark Twain
Well, when Mark Twain speaks about grand mountain ranges in the quote above, he is probably referring to German phrases and sentences that are composed of mammoth German words like generalstaatsverordnetenversammlungen, waffenstillstandsunterhandlungen, stadtverordnetenversammlungen, etc. Well, if you're not yet appalled by this almost-frightening introduction to the long-words-happy German language (I salute your courage, pal!), here is a list of funny German phrases and sayings that are great for lightening up the atmosphere even as the gigantic terminology weighs down the vocabulary!
Supreme Court case involving Idaho lake house ignites conservative cause against EPA - The Washington Post
Time to change time
A 24-hour day is inefficient
Mar 28th 1987 | from the print edition
Monday, January 2, 2012
"We have finished the romance of the Revolution, we must
now begin its history, only seeking for what is real and
practicable in the application of its principles, and not
what is speculative and hypothetical."
His critics charge that he was not significantly troubled when faced with the prospect of war and death for thousands, turned his search for undisputed rule into a series of conflicts throughout Europe and ignored treaties and conventions alike. His role in the Haitian Revolution and decision to reinstate slavery in France's oversea colonies are controversial and have an impact on his reputation.
Sunday, January 1, 2012
Posted by Jim Hoft on Sunday, January 1, 2012, 11:52 AM
The #Occupy thugs tore down the barricades at Zuccotti Park last night and surrounded the police until reinforcements were called in.
Some 800 Occupy Wall Street protesters began the new year by trying to retake Zuccotti Park last night, starting a massive clash with police in which one officer was stabbed in the hand with a pair of scissors.
A suspect was arrested in the 11:30 p.m. incident, according to a law enforcement source.
Hundreds in the crowd of occupiers then surrounded the ambulance as it tried to leave with the wounded officer, the source said.
The officer, who was not identified, was taken to Bellevue Hospital in stable condition.
Shortly before midnight OWS protesters took to Twitter to proclaim their assault on Zuccotti — from which they were booted by cops in November.
“Barricades being torn down at liberty [Zuccotti] park,” they wrote. “Happy new years!!”
They later tweeted: “Big crowd at liberty square. We have taken back the park.”
Some 100 cops initially responded to the scene, including mounted police to maintain crowd control.
At one point, some of the protestors surrounded the circle of cops, before reinforcements were called in.
RNC Compiles 500-Page Book of Clips to Be Used Against Obama—Report - Alexandra Jaffe - NationalJournal.com
The book, compiled by RNC staffers and interns who spent time patrolling the Internet and television in a windowless room at the RNC headquarters, is entirely online and already in use today. It documents hundreds of specific promises Obama made during his campaign and presidency, juxtaposed with news clips and statistical evidence that prove he has not delivered.
Ezra Klein, Chris Hayes Reveal What DC Media Knew: Obama Was Willing to Let Payroll Tax Cut Expire - Big Journalism
Yesterday, on MSNBC, left-wing journalists Chris Hayes of The Nation and Ezra Klein of the Washington Post–no strangers to Democrat-media collusion–revealed that they had been part of an off-the-record White House briefing in which it was made clear that President Barack Obama planned all along to let the temporary payroll tax holiday expire, and then blame Republicans.
Gingrich, Gerson, and Sharia
condemns Gingrich’s apt summary conclusion (made during a July 2010 speech at the American Enterprise Institute) that “Shariah in its natural form has principles and punishments totally abhorrent to the Western world,” while deriding the former speaker’s “qualifications” to make such an assessment. The crux of Gerson’s vitriolic, uninformed “argument”—that Gingrich has deliberately misrepresented as normative Sharia “the most radical form of Islamic law,” and dared to identify this sacralized code as “totalitarian”—is factually-challenged and dangerous drivel.
With vanishingly rare intellectual honesty and resolve, Gingrich has described how normative Sharia—antithetical to bedrock Western legal principles—by “divine,” immutable diktat, rejects freedom of conscience, while sanctioning violent jihadism, absurd, misogynistc “rules of evidence” (four male witnesses for rape), barbarous punishments (stoning for adultery), and polygamy.
Sharia in its natural form has principles and punishments totally abhorrent to the Western world, and the underlying basic belief which is that law comes directly from God and is therefore imposed upon humans and no human can change the law without it being an act of apostasy is a fundamental violation of a tradition in the Western system which goes back to Rome, Athens and Jerusalem and which has evolved in giving us freedom across the planet on a scale we can hardly imagine and which is now directly threatened by those who would impose it.Moreover, Gingrich warned about efforts—deliberate, or unwitting—to represent Sharia as a benign system.
So let me also be quite clear that the rules are radical and horrific. I think again it’s fascinating that even when people go out and do polling and they say to, for example, Muslims in general, do you believe in Sharia, they don’t then explain what Sharia is. Sharia becomes like would you like to be a Rotarian and it sounds okay.Gingrich’s unflinching portrayal of the existential threat Sharia represents—whether or not this totalitarian system is imposed by violent, or non-violent means—was accompanied by a clarion call for concrete measures to oppose any Sharia encroachment on the US legal code.
Stealth jihadis use political, cultural, societal, religious, intellectual tools; violent jihadis use violence. But in fact they’re both engaged in jihad and they’re both seeking to impose the same end state which is to replace Western civilization with a [radical] imposition of Sharia.
The fight against Sharia and the madrassas in mosques which teach hatred and fanaticism is the heart of the enemy movement from which the terrorists spring forth. It’s time we had a national debate on this. One of the things I’m going to suggest today is a federal law which says no court anywhere in the United States under any circumstance is allowed to consider Sharia as a replacement for American law.
Reminiscent of Robert Conquest’s appellation “mindslaughter”—a brilliantly evocative term for delusive Western apologetics regarding the ideology of Communism, and anticipating reactions to his own speech, albeit from “See No Sharia” cultural relativists not confined to the Left, such as Michael Gerson—Gingrich also wondered:
How we don’t have some kind of movement in this country on the left that understands that Sharia is a direct mortal threat to virtually every value that the left has is really one of the most interesting historical questions and will someday lead to many dissertations being written.According to the most authoritative 20th century Western Islamic legal scholar, Joseph Schacht (d. 1969), the Sharia, or “clear path to be followed,” is the “canon law of Islam,” which “denotes all the individual prescriptions composing it.” Schacht traces the use of the term Sharia to Koranic verses such as 45:18, 42:13, 42:21, and 5:48, noting an “old definition” of the Sharia by the seminal Koranic commentator and early Muslim historian Tabari (d. 923), as comprising the law of inheritance, various commandments and prohibitions, and the so-called “hadd” punishments. These latter draconian punishments, defined by the Muslim prophet Muhammad either in the Koran, or the hadith (the canonical collections of Muhammad’s deeds and pronouncements), included: (lethal) stoning for adultery; death for apostasy; death for highway robbery, when accompanied by murder of the robbery victim; for simple highway robbery, the loss of hands and feet; for simple theft, cutting off of the right hand; for “fornication,” a hundred lashes; for drinking win, eighty lashes. Schacht also elucidates how Sharia—via the uniquely Islamic institution of jihad war—regulates the relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims. These regulations make explicit the sacralized vulnerability of unvanquished non-Muslims to jihad depredations, and the permanent, deliberately humiliating legal inferiority for those who survive their jihad conquest, and incorporation into an Islamic polity governed by Sharia.
Independently endorsing Schacht’s views, Professor Carl Brockelmann (1868-1956), the renowned scholar of Semitic languages, and arguably the foremost Orientalist of his generation, made these candid observations about the Sharia’s injunctions pertaining to jihad, and penal law, in 1939—Islamic Law being “valid” eternally, and all too widely applied in Brockelmann’s era, till now.
The Muslim may show only hostility to infidels when encountered: war against them is a religious duty. Idol-worshippers must always be attacked without more ado, Jews and Christians, however, only after they have ignored a summons made three times, to accept Islam. After defeat the men are to be killed, women and children sold into slavery. Whoever is killed in the Holy War [Jihad] is sure of paradise, as a martyr. In addition, it is permitted to conclude treaties with Jews and Christians, following the example of the Prophet; later on the Parsee Zoroastrians were placed on the same level as these “People of the Book.” But the obligation of the Holy War is merely postponed by such contracts, not annulled.
The penal code of Islam has remained on a rather primitive level and only marks a slight advance over the ancient pagan concepts of law. The murderer is subject to death through blood vengeance; manslaughter through negligence is recompensed by an indemnity to the survivors. Bodily injuries may be atoned for by the culprit according to the principles of lex talionis—but the culprit may also redeem himself by paying damages. Theft is punished by amputation of the right hand, in case of relapse by additional maiming. Adultery is punished by a hundred strokes of the lash; but if an infidel seduces a Muslim woman, he is subject to the death penalty. Blasphemy with respect to God [Allah], the Prophet, and his predecessors is punished by death, as is defection from Islam, if the culprit persists in his disbelief.A brutal contemporary example of the application of hadd punishment in Khartoum, The Sudan, during December 2010, was documented in this interview of Khartoum’s Governor, Dr. Abd Al-Rahman Al-Khadr.
Governor of Khartoum, Dr. Abd Al-Rahman Al-Khadr: “What was aired was the implementation of an Islamic punishment. The sentence of a court of the state was carried out in that manner. We should distinguish between two things: the punishment in and of itself, and the way it was carried out, about which something might be said…We should consider the more important issue in this case – our penal code is in keeping with Islam, and the shari’a is the main source of our legislation. Islamic punishments are carried out to purge the perpetrator. [emphasis added]…The people who made this public could have concealed the girl’s face. There are many techniques that allow you to do so. Things that were kept hidden were exposed by this harmful media publication. This proves that their goal was not to discuss the crime or the punishment. Rather, this is a case of political harassment.”
Interviewer: “This is not a case of a woman wearing pants, is it?”
Dr. Abd Al-Rahman Al-Khadr: “No, it is not. I did not mention the nature of the crime, because I do not want to slander her. It has to do with immoral activity and prostitution. The verdict was issued by judges, [emphasis aadded] not by the police.”Rising Restrictions on Religion, a report by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion and Public Life issued August 9, 2011, examined the issue of “defamation” of religion, tracking countries where various penalties are enforced for apostasy, blasphemy or criticism of religions. “While such laws are sometimes promoted as a way to protect religion, in practice they often serve to punish religious minorities whose beliefs are deemed unorthodox or heretical,” the report noted. The Pew report, consistent with Brockelmann’s assessment from 1939, found that application of the Sharia at present resulted in a disproportionate number of Muslim countries, twenty-one—Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Brunei, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Maldives, Morocco, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Western Sahara and Yemen—registering the highest (i.e., worst) persecution scores on their scale. Furthermore, the Pew investigators observed:
Eight-in-ten countries in the Middle East-North Africa region have laws against blasphemy, apostasy or defamation of religion, the highest share of any region. These penalties are enforced in 60% of the countries in the region.As a predictable consequence of this Sharia-based application of apostasy and blasphemy laws by Islamic governments, the Pew report also documented that:
the share of national governments that showed hostility toward minority religions involving physical violence was much higher in countries where laws against blasphemy, apostasy or defamation of religion are actively enforced than in countries without such laws (55% versus 22%).Another important mid 20th century scholar of Islamic Law, G.H. Bousquet (d. 1978), explained how Islam’s unique institution of jihad war, and its eternal quest to impose the Sharia on all of humanity, represented a “dual” totalitarianism. Writing in 1950, Bousquet further warned that these ancient Muslim doctrines remained vibrant and relevant to the modern era.
Islam first came before the world as a doubly totalitarian system. It claimed to impose itself on the whole world and it claimed also, by the divinely appointed Muhammadan law, by the principles of fiqh, to regulate down to the smallest details the whole life of the Islamic community and of every individual believer…Viewed from this angle, the study of Muhammadan Law (dry and forbidding though it may appear to be to those who confine themselves to the indispensable study of the fiqh), is of great importance to the world of today.Bousquet’s characterization was reiterated by one of Mr. Gerson’s former mentors at the Bush White House, the contemporary sage of Islam, Bernard Lewis. In a 1954 essay comparing the totalitarian natures of Communism and Islam, Lewis provided this pellucid analysis which belittled the ahistorical, treacly apologetics of Muslim fantasists, and applies equally to their dilettante, non-Muslim champions, such as Gerson:
I turn now from the accidental to the essential factors, to those deriving from the very nature of Islamic society, tradition, and thought. The first of these is the authoritarianism, perhaps we may even say the totalitarianism, of the Islamic political tradition…. Many attempts have been made to show that Islam and democracy are identical-attempts usually based on a misunderstanding of Islam or democracy or both. This sort of argument expresses a need of the up- rooted Muslim intellectual who is no longer satisfied with or capable of understanding traditional Islamic values, and who tries to justify, or rather, re-state, his inherited faith in terms of the fashionable ideology of the day. It is an example of the romantic and apologetic presentation of Islam.. …[I]t [Islam] was authoritarian, often arbitrary, sometimes tyrannical. There are no parliaments or representative assemblies of any kind, no councils or communes, no chambers of nobility or estates, no municipalities in the history of Islam; nothing but the sovereign power, to which the subject owed complete and unwavering obedience as a religious duty imposed by the Holy Law.
And Gerson, unlike Newt Gingrich, remains willfully blind to Sharia encroachment in the US itself. Predictably, Gerson ignores all evidence of this phenomenon, from ominous polling data, to jihad funding trial revelations and the content of more banal Muslim litigation proceedings, mosque surveillance reports, analyses of Islamic education institutions and their Muslim schoolchildren’s textbooks, the issuance of obscurantist “fatwas” (Islamic legal rulings) by the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America, and finally, an open declaration by one of America’s largest mainstream Muslims organizations, the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), in its 2010 ICNA Member’s Hand Book, calling for the (re-)creation of a global Muslim Caliphate, and the imposition of Sharia law in America. Salient details from these illustrative examples, include:
- Data (compiled here) from an April 2001 survey performed by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) revealing that 69% of American Muslims in America affirmed that it was “absolutely fundamental” or “very important” to have Salafi (i.e., fundamentalist Islamic) teachings at their mosques, while 67 % of respondents agreed with the statement “America is an immoral, corrupt society.” Another poll conducted in Detroit area mosques during 2003 found that 81% of the respondents endorsed the application of the Sharia where Muslims comprised a majority.
- An internal Muslim Brotherhood statement dated May 22, 1991, whose contents were revealed during the Texas Holy Land Foundation jihad-terrorism funding trial. Written by an acolyte of the Brotherhood’s major theoretician, lionized Qatari cleric, popular Al-Jazeera television personality, and head of the European Fatwa Council Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the document entitled “An Explanatory Memorandum On the General Strategic Goal for the Group In North America,” is indeed self-explanatory: The Ikhwan [Muslim Brotherhood] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and by the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.
- The “Sharia and Violence in American Mosques” (Kedar M, Yerushalmi D. The Middle East Quarterly, Summer 2011, Vol. 18, No. 3, pp. 59-72) studied 100 mosques randomly selected across the U.S. testing the hypothesis that Sharia adherence within mosques (including, among many other factors, gender separation, clothing, male facial hair, jewelry, strictness on alignment shoulder-to-shoulder during prayer, etc.) would correlate with incitement to jihadism. This key summary finding was highlighted by the authors:
…51 percent of mosques had texts that either advocated the use of violence in the pursuit of a Shari’a-based political order or advocated violent jihad as a duty that should be of paramount importance to a Muslim; 30 percent had only texts that were moderately supportive of violence like the Tafsir Ibn Kathir and Fiqh as-Sunna; 19 percent had no violent texts at all.Thus 81% of this statistical sample representative of US mosques were deemed as moderately (30%) to highly (51%) supportive of promulgating jihad violence to impose Sharia
- A provisional inquiry “Shariah Law and American State Courts” evaluated 50 Appellate Court cases from 23 states that involved conflicts between Shariah (Islamic law) and American state law. Examples of American judges accepting “input” from Sharia in rendering judgments, included an odious, widely publicized New Jersey ruling that upheld Sharia-sanctioned marital rape. Appellate court intervention was required to reverse this ruling in July 2010-Western legal norms prevailing over the Sharia-with the presiding judge soberly concluding that the Muslim husband’s “…conduct in engaging in nonconsensual sexual intercourse was unquestionably knowing, regardless of his view that his [Islamic] religion permitted him to act as he did.” Completely ignored at the time of these New Jersey proceedings was the fact that marital rape is not recognized as criminal, i.e., it is sanctioned, by a fatwa of the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America! (see below)
- Investigations of textbooks widely used in the New York city area Islamic schools, as well as the Islamic Saudi Academy of Fairfax Virginia which discovered the inculcation of Sharia supremacism, including sacralized disparagement and hatred of non-Muslims, especially Jews. When questioned for the March, 30 2003 NY Daily News story on New York area Islamic school textbooks, Yahiya Emerick, head of a Queens-based nonprofit curriculum development project for the Islamic Foundation of North America, defended the language in these books, denying they were inflammatory. Emerick opined: Islam, like any belief system, believes its program is better than others. I don’t feel embarrassed to say that…[The books] are directed to kids in a Muslim educational environment. They must learn and appreciate there are differences between what they have and what other religions teach. It’s telling kids that we have our own tradition.
- The Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA), whose mission statement maintains the organization was, “…founded to provide guidance for Muslims living in North America…AMJA is a religious organization that does not exploit religion to achieve any political ends, but instead provides practical solutions within the guidelines of Islam and the nation’s laws to the various challenges experienced by Muslim communities…”, is accepted as such by the mainstream American Muslim community. Notwithstanding this mainstream acceptance, including uncritical endorsement of its recent seventh annual American conference in Houston (October 15-18, 2010) to train American imams, AMJA has issued rulings which sanction the killing of apostates, “blasphemers” (including non-Muslims guilty of this “crime”), or adulterers (by stoning to death), condone female genital mutilation, marital rape, and polygamy, and even endorse the possibility for offensive jihad against the US, as soon as Muslims are strong enough to wage it.
- Finally, as reported by the Investigative Project on Terrorism, the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), one of the largest mainstream U.S. Muslim organizations, in its 2010 ICNA Member’s Hand Book, openly acknowledges being the American branch of a global jihadist phenomenon referred to as the ‘Islamic Movement.’ The 2010 Hand Book observes, that branches of this movement “…are active in various parts of the world to achieve the same objectives. It is our obligation as Muslims to engage in the same noble cause here in North America.” These efforts will culminate in the (re-)creation of a transnational Islamic superstate, the Caliphate, under the Sharia. …the united Muslim Ummah [community] in a united Islamic state, governed by an elected khalifah in accordance with the laws of shari’ah.
Déjà Vu? Watch Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt Harmonize Together
Kinda. The 500 Days of Summer costars have reunited on screen, except this time, instead of going through an emotional rollercoaster, Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt sing a rendition of "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?"
The darling duo, looking casual and comfortable, sit in front of the camera with ukulele and guitar, ready to give us a mini performance. And we'll tell you right now, our hearts melted.
READ: Karaoke Fan Surprised by Drake: "It Was a Total Hollywood Moment"
Deschanel kicks off their cover of jazz singer Nancy Wilson's tune with her hypnotizing voice, which is soon followed by Gordon-Levitt sharing his singing chops (which only makes him that much sexier).
She & Him's female half posted the video on her website HelloGiggles, and wrote, "I have known Joe Gordon-Levitt for going on 12 years. We first met in the summer of 2000 while doing a tiny movie called Manic, where we bonded over a mutual appreciation for Harry Nilsson and Nina Simone and I have been lucky enough to call him one of my dearest friends ever since.
"When we did 500 Days of Summer 8 years later, we spent every lunch hour dancing to Marvin Gaye in the hair and makeup trailer; we had loads of fun. I hope to do a thousand more movies with him because he's simply the best. But in the meantime, we made a little New Year's duet for all of you! The original by Nancy Wilson. ENJOY! Don't forget to check out Joe's website http://hitrecord.org/"
We know New Girl star Zooey just separated from her hubby and who knows what J.G.L is up to with the ladies these days, but deep inside, we kinda (and by kinda we mean really) hope that one day we'll write a "new couple alert" story on these two.
Read more: http://www.eonline.com/news/deacutejagrave_vu_watch_zooey_deschanel/283335#ixzz1iDW6LDXI