October 2008

Anyone in the Greater Los Angeles area interested in some election-season laughs should stop by comedian Evan Sayet’s “Right to Laugh” tomorrow, Wednesday Oct. 29:

I heaped praise last week on an Arizona chairwoman of a Republican women’s group, named Marcia Stirman, for being — as I lately call such people — “unaffected,” for having said this:

…”I believe Muslims are our enemies.”…[She] also called Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama “a Muslim socialist.”…Asked for a response to Awad’s concerns, she said of Muslims: “I don’t trust them at all. They’ve sworn across the world that they are our enemies. Why we’re trying to elect one is [beyond] me…I still have freedom of speech and an opinion. If the Islamic group doesn’t like it, well, I don’t like what’s going on in their camp, either.”

I would be remiss if I didn’t heap at least as much praise on a British-Muslim artist named Sarah Maple, for this:

UK: Artist depicts Muslim women “cradling pig” and “suggestively sucking on a banana”

And, quite naturally, incurs wrath from the Muslim community. Of course, crucified frogs don’t exactly endear Christians to such “artists” either. But such are the natural outcomes of freedom of speech, or, in this case, “expression.” The question is, what will Muslims do? What if protests don’t work, will they take it a step further?

“Sarah Maple’s exhibition poses questions that anger Muslims,” by Tim Walker for the Telegraph, October 10:

She’s been described as the new Tracey Emin, but even that femme terrible would probably fear to tread the territory that Sarah Maple is currently negotiating.

The artist, who has shown at Ronnie Wood’s Scream gallery, has a new exhibition with a headline picture showing a Muslim woman cradling a pig.

Already, Mokhtar Badri, the vice-president of the Muslim Association of Britain, tells Mandrake that his organisation plans to visit the SaLon Gallery, in Notting Hill, west London, to demand that it remove Maple’s painting when it exhibits it next week.

“Although we condemn violence, Muslims have a right to express their disgust at this work,” he tells me. “An artist has the right to free speech and to express him or herself, but people also have the right to protest. She clearly wants to provoke a strong reaction from Muslims and that is what she will get.”

Maple, 23, who was brought up as a Muslim, has already evoked Islamic wrath. Her exhibition at Rolling Stone Wood’s gallery earlier this year depicted Muslim women in provocative poses, including one suggestively sucking on a banana.

Badri explained the upset that would be caused over the image. “Muslims believe that all of God’s creatures should be treated with respect, but we are taught to keep our distance from pigs because they are unclean,” he said. “That is why this picture is so offensive to us.”

A spokesman for the gallery explained: “She doesn’t intend to offend anyone but simply wants to pose questions about Muslim culture and identity.”

When people ask me how long it will be before any of our leaders finally call a spade a spade and start to fight back against the war that Islam has declared and is waging against us, my answer is 17 years.

Thirty-five years passed between the year 1945 — when WWII ended and the post-Nazism scourge of Communism took over — and the year 1980, when the man ascended who unequivocally declared Communism an evil then delivered the world from it. The man was Ronald Reagan and the year was 1980.

If Communism fell in 1991, ushering in the next scourge — expansionist, political Islam, which had been contained by the previous evil — then we can expect our deliverer to come along somewhere around 2025 or 2026.

The deliverer already exists, but it will probably take the country another 17 years to allow her to ascend to power. By that time, she will be John McCain’s age. Allow me to introduce Marcia Stirman, of New Mexico:

Stirring the pot
Islamic group calls on NMGOP to repudiate remarks made by Marcia Stirman
Alamogordo Daily News

ALBUQUERQUE The chairwoman of an Otero County Republican women’s group on Tuesday defended a letter to the editor in which she wrote, ‘’I believe Muslims are our enemies.'’

Marcia Stirman, a 56-year-old interior decorator, also called Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama ‘’a Muslim socialist.'’

A national Islamic group expressed outrage over Stirman’s letter and called on state and national Republican Party officials to repudiate the publication of ‘’anti-Muslim comments.'’

‘’Because these hate-filled remarks were made by a prominent Republican, it is incumbent on state and national GOP officials to repudiate her divisive and intolerant views,'’ said Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Officials with the Republican Party of New Mexico had no immediate comment.

The letter ran Tuesday in the Alamogordo Daily News. It was titled ‘’Why I’m a Republican'’ and listed 16 reasons for her party affiliation.

The list ends with Stirman saying Obama is ‘’a Muslim socialist.'’ She also wrote, ‘’I believe war is a fact of life and we should always win.'’

Stirman told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that she was surprised by reaction to her letter, which she said included support from all over the country. She wrote it after the newspaper recently published another reader’s letter titled ‘’Why I’m a Democrat.'’

Asked for a response to Awad’s concerns, she said of Muslims: ‘’I don’t trust them at all. They’ve sworn across the world that they are our enemies. Why we’re trying to elect one is beside me.'’

Obama’s Kenyan father was Muslim, but Obama grew up in a Christian family. Although he has professed his Christianity repeatedly and explained how his Christian faith shapes his politics, he has battled Internet-fueled rumors throughout the campaign that he is Muslim.

Somehow I don’t think the Internet was around yet when this Indonesian school application was filled out by Obama’s parents.

I also don’t think that Obama’s teacher, childhood friends or half-brother were communicating by Internet when they saw him going to services at the mosque on Fridays in Indonesia.

Stirman said she carefully considered what she wrote in the letter, refused to apologize and defended her right to express her views.

‘’I still have freedom of speech and an opinion. If the Islamic group doesn’t like it, well, I don’t like what’s going on in their camp, either,'’ Stirman said.

It’s also amazing that the newspaper actually published her op-ed, which took some cojones to do on the part of the paper. While certainly it’s an opportunity to make Republicans look “bad,” it’s still a huge risk.

Now THAT’s hot!

Colin Powell has just endorsed Barack Obama for president, saying it’s not because Obama is black.

In that case, perhaps the endorsement comes because Obama is Arabic — and I dubbed Colin Powell an “honorary Arab” back in 2001. I explained that Powell in February of that year “demanded that Israel lift its ’siege’ on the Palestinians, and later thanked Yasser Arafat for a commitment to do everything possible to end the violence.”

Sure enough:

Powell also said he was “troubled” by Republican personal attacks on Obama, especially false intimations that Obama was Muslim….Stressing that Obama was a lifelong Christian, Powell denounced Republican tactics that he said were insulting not only to to Obama but also to Muslims.

“The really right answer is what if he is?” Powell said, praising the contributions of millions of Muslim citizens to American society.

Or perhaps Powell supports the socialist Obama because he has some leftist sympathies of his own, as can be gleaned from this item:

[Powell] said Obama is better suited to handle the nation’s economic problems…Powell said he remains a Republican, even though he sees the party moving too far to the right. Powell supports abortion rights and affirmative action….

He’s also called Obama “a transformational figure.” What could he be saying needs transforming if not the American system? Coincidentally, socialism appeals to blacks as a group. So if Powell’s support for Obama isn’t because Obama is black, then it’s because Powell is black.

So now we have to determine whether it’s Powell’s blackness, or his Arabism (his tennis partner Saudi Prince Bandar gave Powell’s wife a Jaguar), that accounts for his anti-Semitism — which was reinforced with this statement: “[Powell] said he welcomed Obama’s president to ‘talk to people we haven’t talked to,’ a reference to Obama’s controversial statement that he would be open to direct diplomacy with Iranian leaders.” (In case it needs spelling out, here’s how that ends up killing Jews.)

Now, as the above-linked explanation mentions, anti-Semitism is closely tied to anti-Americanism. Note not only the Muslim accusations against the “Jewish” U.S. military in Iraq, but also the anti-Americanism of Palestinians. So if Powell is pro-Palestinian, he is anti-American. And that is why, when he announced his support for Barack Obama this weekend, Powell reiterated something he’s brought up before: “This is the time for outreach,” Powell said, saying the next president would have to “reach out and show the world there is a new administration that is willing to reach out.”

This harkens to Powell’s statement last year to GQ Magazine that America needs to be more “open”:

“What is the greatest threat facing us now? People will say it’s terrorism. But are there any terrorists in the world who can change the American way of life or our political system? No…Only we can change ourselves.” Powell adds…that to improve its image in the world, the USA should focus on welcoming newcomers… Powell said the number of Arabs and Muslims who visit the U.S. has dropped since the attacks and reflected negatively on educational institutions and leisure destinations.

Arabs and Muslims complain of heavy security searches in U.S. airports and denial of access to the country. Many Arab students, mainly from Gulf Arab states, left the United States after the attacks on fears of discrimination. “This is bad, not good for America,” said Powell.

“The greatest weapon against terrorism for America is to open up for the rest of the world.”

Indeed, it doesn’t take a President Obama to follow this Powell Doctrine. The white Republican adminstration of George W. Bush has been doing a grand job on its own toward this end as it opens our shores and borders to ever increasing numbers of Middle Eastern immigrants. So Powell is already getting the infiltration of America that he seeks, but clearly he wants the infestation to include the very top echelons of American power.

Rush Limbaugh made quick work of Powell’s assurances that his endorsement has nothing to do with race, saying, “OK, fine. I am now researching his past endorsements to see if I can find all the inexperienced, very liberal, white candidates he has endorsed.”

The item carrying this continues:

As for Powell’s statement of concern this morning about the sort of Supreme Court justices a President McCain might appoint, Limbaugh wrote: “I was also unaware of his dislike for John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy and Antonin Scalia. I guess he also regrets Reagan and Bush making him a four-star [General] and Secretary of State and appointing his son to head the FCC. Yes, let’s hear it for transformational figures.”

So either we have yet another typically implacable and bitter minority member, or what the Powell endorsement may boil down to — given that a McCain presidency is being called a third Bush term — is nothing more than a petty attempt to get back at the Bush administration, which we know he had major differences with.

The Obama endorsement, as with other “Republicans” who endorse and/or advise Obama, has something to do with ego, revealing that even for Powell, the country comes second. There is no other way to explain Powell’s statement that:

By contrast [to Palin], Obama’s running mate, Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, “is ready to be president on day one.”

There is no way that Powell really thinks Joe Biden would be a fit vice president, much less president. Powell knows full well that Biden is an even bigger pathological liar than Barack Obama.

Anyone in the Los Angeles area interested in some election-season laughs should stop by comedian Evan Sayet’s “Right to Laugh” today, Tuesday Oct. 21:

If this is too short notice for some, there will be a second show next Wednesday Oct. 29th in Long Beach, CA:

I just realized that the 1999 Kosovo “war” ended on June 10th, ushering in the occupation of Kosovo by NATO the next day. June 10th was the date of the League of Prizren conference in 1878, where the official plans to create a Greater Albania were agreed on. (More deliberately, June 10th was also the date that Bush’s historical visit to Albania occurred last year.)

From JihadWatch.com in September: Turkish Prime Minister: “Islamophobia” a “crime against humanity”

And he wants it outlawed, pronto, which will mean that those who dare to expose the Islamic roots of the global jihad and Islamic supremacism will pay hefty fines and spend long stretches in the slammer. Of course, it can’t happen here. Can it?

“Enmity with Islam ‘crime against humanity,’” by Thomas Seibert for The National (UAE), September 17 (thanks to Jack):

ISTANBUL // In a sign of his simmering anger about what he sees as baseless accusations against Islam in the West, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s prime minister, has called on the international community to declare the enmity against Islam a “crime against humanity”.

Addressing Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, his Spanish counterpart, and about 2,500 other guests in Istanbul at a celebratory iftar meal on Monday, Mr Erdogan said: “No culture, no civilisation should belittle the other, despise the other or see the other as an enemy.” […]

“Islamic countries are watching closely what he does,” Mr Idiz said about Mr Erdogan’s role in the Alliance of Civilisations. “He is a sort of spokesman, representing the Islamic world in the platform.”

But at the same time Mr Erdogan had to take into account that he himself had to take “brave steps”, Mr Idiz said. After the murders of the Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink and of three Christians in the central Anatolian town of Malatya last year, the Erdogan government was criticised for not being outspoken enough in its condemnation of the killings.

In his speech at the iftar on Monday, Mr Erdogan stressed the need for a dialogue without prejudices.
“The principle mission of the Alliance of Civilisations is an effort to understand each other correctly,” he said. The fear of Islam that has spread in the West, a development he called a “paranoia”, makes it harder to reach that aim, he said.

“The fear called Islamophobia is a pathological state of mind, as the name says,” Mr Erdogan said in his speech, according to reports in Turkish newspapers and television stations. “We expect members of other civilisations to declare Islamophobia a crime against humanity, especially while we say that anti-Semitism is a crime against humanity.”

Mr Erdogan has criticised the West for harbouring “Islamophobia” before, saying that Muslims felt “under siege”. But this time, the prime minister went further, accusing the West of trying to define values of a global civilisation all by itself.

“We think that civilisation is global, and that civilisation cannot be interpreted like an ideology that belongs to the West,” he said. After a first international forum held in Madrid in January this year, the Alliance of Civilisations will hold its second forum in Istanbul in April. […]

Madrid — isn’t that where Muslims killed 190 people in 2004? And Istanbul — isn’t that where the Muslims trying to make Turkey more Islamic killed 16 people and injured 154 this past summer?

I’d say that the “paranoid” Western “prejudice” of Islam is based precisely on understanding Islam all too well. No “dialogue” needed to muddy that understanding, Mr. Erdogan.

Kosovo: Serb villagers bleak about future

Velika Hoca - Just 600 Serbs now live in Kosovo’s Velika Hoca enclave and many houses now stand empty after their owners moved to Serbia in search of a more secure and better life.

The isolated 12th-century village lies some 60 kilometres southwest of Kosovo’s capital Pristina, amid rolling hills that are dotted with vineyards.

“My family roots here are centuries old, and I want to remain and raise my children in this place, but it’s not going to be easy,” Marko Spasic, 24, told Adnkronos International (AKI).

An elementary school art teacher in Velika Hoca, Spasic is one of some 200 young people who decided to stay in this isolated remote village when the Serbian army and police pulled out of Kosovo after NATO’s airstrikes in 1999 and it was placed under United Nations control.

“Apart from security, though, the key problem here is what to do and how to survive economically. There are no jobs. We can cultivate only about 20 percent of our land and we can’t move far away from the village,” Spasic told AKI.

To make things worse, electricity and water shortages are a part of every day life. “We measure time here by the hours when there is electricity, and when there is not,” Spasic added.

The nearby city of Prizren was the seat of the Serbian medieval state, founded by Stef an Nemanja.

Wine growing in the area dates back to the same era and is a Serb tradition.

Neglected vineyards are a sure reminder that there is no one to tend them and that their Serb owners had fled.

Three Serbs were killed while working their vineyards in Velika Hoca and Swiss peace-keepers from the international peacekeeping force (KFOR) stationed in Kosovo are now guarding the area from a hilltop above the village.

Before 1999, Kosovo produced some of the best wines in the former Yugoslavia, deriving mostly from area around Velika Hoca and from Suva Reka in the Prizren district of southern Kosovo.

Now, the villagers produce delicious, full-bodied, dry, red wine for their own use, although there is more wine than can be consumed.

“We live here like Martians,” says 67-year-old Dimitrije Micic, the head of the village office. “No one can come to visit us, nor can we go out without police escort.”

Driving through Kosovo with Serbian number plates is very risky and Velika Hoca’s villagers are escorted by KFOR peacekeepers when they take a bus to the Serbian part of Mitrovica for supplies.

About one half of Kosovo’s 100,000 remaining Serbs are concentrated in the north of Mitrovica, next to Serbia, and they have barely felt the effects of Kosovo’s independence.

But the rest are dispersed in isolated enclaves throughout Kosovo protected by peacekeepers.

Last week an escorted bus was stoned in the nearby town of Malisevo. Some Serbs have acquired Kosovar automobile licence plates and travel unescorted.

“But what do you do if you get stuck in a hostile Albanian village? You may just vanish,” says Novica Savelic.

Three thousand Serbs have been killed or have disappeared since since 1999, according to the Red Cross.

“There are still some good Albanians,” says Bogoljub Stosic, sipping his exquisite home-made grape brandy
rakija with his visitors. “There are good and bad people everywhere.”

His pre-war Albanian friend from nearby town of Orahovac calls at least once a week and asks if he needs anything. “Occasionally he drops in and brings supplies,” says Stosic’s wife Vida.

Their two sons have immigrated to Norway and started a new life there. They had paid 1,200 euros each to mediators to get visas. Thousands have emigrated over the past several years, villagers said.

“There is no life here, just bare survival,” says Micic. Serbia is fighting a diplomatic battle to retain Kosovo under its control and is paying each family in the enclaves an equivalent of 150 euros per month in Serbian dinars to help them stay.

In the enclaves much trading is still done in dinars, although euros are the official currency throughout Kosovo…“The future here is very bleak,” Micic, a retired economist, said. “As long as there is any Serbian state presence here, there is some hope. But if that vanishes, the village will simply die away.”

A young French diplomat who came from Pristina, felt uneasy about France’s recognition of Kosovo independence.

He referred to the long-standing friendship between Serbs and the French, pointing out that France was “always on the side of the oppressed.”

“In 1999 it seemed to be the ethnic Albanians, but now the situation is completely reversed,” he said. […]

More typical news from an “independent” “Kosova”:

Incident prevents Serbs from visiting Kosovo village

SUVA REKA, Oct 16 (Tanjug) - Six Kosovo Serbs displaced from the Dvorane village in Suva Reka municipality were prevented from visiting their former homes by unidentified persons who opened fire on them from a nearby wood as they were lighting candles in the local cemetery, Kosovo Police Service
spokesman Veton Elshani told Tanjug Thursday.

The incident occurred about 10:30 am as the Serbs were visiting the cemetery escorted by police and UNHCR officials, he said.

No one was injured, but the Serbs felt it was unsafe to proceed to the village and inspect their homes, he said.

The escort was provided by 25 KPS officers, Elshani noted.

This is what we are being told will improve in Kosovo with less international oversight. Since the declaration of independence, meanwhile, there have been three attacks, at least one of them fatal, on the few Serbian members of the KPS (Kosovo Police Service).

It’s no coincidence that on Fran Drescher’s State Department-sponsored international cancer-awareness tour, the obscure territory of Kosovo made it onto her list of stops. Celebrities are high-profile and as they go about promoting their various causes they are very useful in helping to legitimize Kosovo as a “country” in the world’s psyche. I’d say that at least this actress — unlike Nicole Kidman during her UN-sponsored “good will” tour in 2006 — met with Serb women in the non-country. However, that too is all part of the State Department’s PR effort. As our NATO peacekeepers may know, it must be a pretty futile feeling trying to “help” a population that your own government has marked for extinction.

US actress visits Kosovo to raise awareness of women’s cancer

Women need to take responsibility for their own health and fight cancer, said US actress Fran Drescher on a two-day visit to Kosovo last week.

“Kosovo, as a new country, must be focused on raising the awareness of women regarding this disease, because it’s easier and cheaper to treat a cancer caught early,” said Drescher, who spent October 7th through 9th in Kosovo as an envoy of the US State Department for women’s health issues.

She was also representing the Balkans Breast Cancer Initiative, a partnership founded late last year 2007 by the then-US Office in Pristina and Kosovo healthcare institutions and leaders.

“I am seriously concerned about women’s rights … Women need to take control of their health,” she said following a meeting with members of the Women of Kosovo’s Parliamentary Group, whom she asked to do more in the war on cancer.

Drescher herself overcame uterine cancer. “I needed two years and eight different doctors to treat the cancer right,” she said, urging women to undergo screening in order to ensure early detection of any malignancies.

Best known for starring in the US TV comedy series The Nanny, Drescher had a busy itinerary during her short visit to the fledgling country. She interviewed with ten media outlets, including several serving the Kosovo Serb market, and taped an introduction to a documentary on women’s health that aired on Kosovo TV on October 8th. She met with the Women’s Caucus of the Kosovo Assembly and with young Serb women in north Mitrovica. […]

The subject of celebrities and Kosovo gives me an opportunity to follow up on rumors, based on Serbian media reports in January, that George Clooney along with Sharon Stone (who grew up near Pittsburgh, PA with many Serbian friends) would mobilize Hollywood against Kosovo independence. I had blogged at the time that Clooney was opposed to the land theft and said so to the Frankfurt-based Serbian daily “Vesti.” Most likely he did, but we’ll never know for sure — at least from his people — since the damage-control kicked in after he was swamped with emails related to the statement, with his publicist denying that Clooney said anything of the sort.

How it went down:

During his humanitarian campaign in Darfur in Sudan, the Hollywood actor George Clooney expressed his disagreement with George Bush’s idea of unilateral declaration of Kosovo independence. However, UN soon exerted pressure on the actor, who has recently been named a Messenger of Peace of this world organization. This accounts for the statement of Stan Rosenfield, Clooney’s publicist, which appeared on “Clooney Studio” site, that George “neither made those statements nor did he authorize anyone to make it on his behalf.”

Hollywood actors are currently working on an interesting and important project directly related to Kosovo and Serbia. Numerous famous names from the American film industry, who do not agree with Washington’s policy in the Balkans, are incorporated in the project, according to “Blic” interlocutor from the centre of world film industry. However, he could not confirm whether Clooney will take part in the project due to the pressure from UN.

When asked to explain the stance of Sharon Stone concerning the Kosovo issue, PR agency “Momentum” gave a brief comment that there is no truth in the newspaper articles, not clarifying the issue at all. In an interview for the weekly “Europe”, Stone expressed her attitude against the unjust situation related to Kosovo seeking independence.

One hopes that the rumored project is the one that has been speculated upon, but which is taboo to talk about unless one wants to have it killed before it even gets to theaters: a historical tribute to the WWII hero whom the Allies betrayed: Draza Mihailovic and his Chetniks.

On a more recent celebrity-related note, Robert De Niro — whose nannies and other household help consist of Serbian immigrants — tried to explain his bizarrely unaffected-by-official-truth affinity for Serbs by speculating, “Maybe I’m part Serb.” Here he is a couple weeks ago meeting with Serbian president Boris Tadic:

(Thanks to de-construct.net.)

Finally, Richard Gere comes to mind here as well. After sticking his nose into Kosovo in 1999, visiting Albanian “refugees” in Macedonian refugee camps (Macedonia promptly then becoming the next target of Albanian aggression), Gere ultimately got the (correct) impression that the truth of the situation wasn’t as black-and-white as it was sold to us, saying, “We had been told it was a totally black and white situation and in my estimation it’s not black and white. Obviously the violence is horrific, but it’s horrific on all sides.” Though it didn’t occur to him to apply the same skepticism to Bosnia, about which he made the deserved flop “The Hunting Party.”

[Thanks to SerbBlog’s Melana Pejakovich for the Drescher tip.]

Recent reports have surfaced about a baby doll that utters various gibberish including “Islam is the light.”

People, you don’t want this thing in your house. Remember what happened the last time there was a serial killer doll on the market:

Fisher Price is not recalling the item. But that’s because it’s not Muslims who are complaining. Perhaps we can somehow convince a Muslim that an infidel-made doll talking about Islam is offensive. Or we can point out that the doll also says “Satan is king,” which could offend Muslims — or not.

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