Religion of Tolerance watch

November 1, 2009

Funny, I would have sworn I’d been assured that Islam was a religion of peace and tolerance:

Egyptian security forces have intensified their presence in the Upper Egyptian town of Dairout, in anticipation of a recurrence of Muslim violence against Christians. Copts expressed their fear over leaflets entitled “These have to Die!” which are being distributed to all Muslims in Dairout and neighborhoods, enticing them to “burn, vandalize and clean the country of these evil immoral infidels.”

Reports from Dairout, 313 km south of Cairo, confirm that Christian Copts are afraid to leave their homes and have stayed indoors since violence against them erupted on October 24, 2009. This collective punishment of Copts was caused by an illicit sexual relationship between a Muslim girl, Hagger Hassouna, and the Christian Romany Farouk Attallah. It was rumored that he sent videos of them intimately together to cell phones in Dairout before fleeing. This prompted the Hassouna family to kill his father, Farouk Attallah, on October 19, 2009, in revenge. Four of the Hassouna killers were detained by prosecution, leading to Muslim riots against the Copts (AINA 10-27-2009) .

According to Wagih Yacoub of the Middle East Christian Assosiation (MECA), Muslim-owned businesses are now displaying stickers with ‘Allah Akbar’ (Allah is Great) to differentiate between them and Coptic-owned businesses, as a form of pre-planning for a forthcoming wave of Muslim violence.

Handwritten leaflets (Arabic) have been circulated among Muslims in Dairout for the last two days; they call on Muslims to unite to take revenge for their religion and honor, claiming that Hagger Hassouna is innocent and that she was forced into vice, and “all Jews and Christians should come to learn that Muslim honor is precious.” The fliers state that Muslims are the masters of the world since beginning of times until the present day, and entices them to “burn and vandalize and clean the country of the evil immoral infidels.”

Granted, if the rumors about Attallah are true, then he’s a swine. (And I hate to think what the poor girl’s family did to her, given Islam’s notorious treatment of women.) But is it a justification for punishment of an entire community? Maybe that’s easy to accept, when your religion tells you that Believers are supreme and all others are to be submissive, humble and humiliated.

(hat tip: Jihad Watch)


Home-grown jihadis, made in the USA

November 1, 2009

It’s not just foreign jihadis trying to attack America. No, lunatics born and bred here are taking up the sword of Islam to wage war against the West. The Long War Journal reviews recent developments:

In recent months, the US has experienced an alarming rise in jihadist activity. In the last two months alone, five terror plots have been foiled by the FBI, and there have been dozens of other arrests for various related crimes, such as providing material support for terrorists. The plots have been directed at targets at home and abroad, both civilian and military. The arrests clearly demonstrate the potential for al Qaeda and other extremist groups to recruit and carry out attacks in the US.

The extent of influence by al Qaeda and allied groups is evident in their ability to convince potential terrorists in other countries to come to the US with the intention of carrying out attacks; it is also shown by the capacity of these groups to indoctrinate US citizens and nationals. The case of Najibullah Zazi, the Afghan national accused of plotting attacks in the US, stands out in what has been described as the biggest plot against America since 9/11. Listed below are the incidents that have occurred so far in 2009.

Be sure to read the linked article to get the whole depressing picture.

They’re still trying to kill us.


Honduras, perhaps not as bad as we thought?

November 1, 2009

Earlier I went on a tirade about the Obama administration’s foreign policy and its alliance with Latin American dictators against constitutionalism and the rule of law in our ally, Honduras. While I maintain my criticisms of US policy under the President and Secretary Clinton, the situation in Honduras may not be as bad as first thought in the wake of the agreement between the legitimate Honduran government and deposed President Zelaya. Otto Reich at National Review’s The Corner blog explains why:

Contrary to press reports, Zelaya is not in any way automatically returned to office by the accord.  First, there must be a vote by the entire Honduran congress on whether Zelaya is fit to return to office.  Prior to that, the Honduran supreme court, which ruled against Zelaya in June by a vote of 15 to 0, must issue an opinion on the same.

In other words, Zelaya must pass two big tests which he failed before: a judicial review by the highest court in the land, and approval by the legislature.  While Zelaya’s Liberal party has the largest faction in the congress, it is also the party of Micheletti.  According to my Honduran sources, there is no way that Zelaya can win a free and transparent ballot.  At the present time Zelaya can count on less than 25 percent of the congress.  In June, the same legislative body voted 122 to 6 against him.  There will doubtless be a battle this time, and the anti-Zelaya forces fear that Hugo Chavez will try to buy votes for Zelaya.  They are also concerned that the U.S. government not involve itself in the legislative process, especially U.S. Ambassador Hugo Llorens, who is widely seen as favoring Zelaya.  The accord was facilitated when Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Shannon reportedly promised Micheletti that Llorens will not attempt to influence the vote.

If Reich is right, then he correctly calls this a defeat for the leftist ideologues in the White House, something anyone who cares about democracy should be grateful for. He worries that Venezuela’s dictator Hugo Chavez might try to buy-of votes in the Honduran Congress to get a majority to restore his protege Zelaya to power; let’s hope that the Hondurans, who’ve shown great resolve and commitment to the integrity of democratic institutions so far, continue to hold their ground.


I love my hometown…

November 1, 2009

…But there are times I want to nuke Sacramento from orbit. Usually (and in this case) it’s because of some boneheaded move by the State government.  What did they do this time? Oh, nothing, really, except decide to take an extra ten-percent from our paychecks in the middle of a recession:

Starting Sunday, cash-strapped California will dig deeper into the pocketbooks of wage earners — holding back 10% more than it already does in state income taxes just as the biggest shopping season of the year kicks into gear.

Technically, it’s not a tax increase, even though it may feel like one when your next paycheck arrives. As part of a bundle of budget patches adopted in the summer, the state is taking more money now in withholding, even though workers’ annual tax bills won’t change.

Think of it as a forced, interest-free loan: You’ll be repaid any extra withholding in April. Those who would receive a refund anyway will receive a larger one, and those who owe taxes will owe less.

But with rising gas costs, depressed home prices and double-digit unemployment, the state’s added reach into residents’ regular paycheck isn’t sitting well with many.

“The state’s suddenly slapping people upside the head,” said Mack Reed, 50, of Silver Lake. “It’s appalling how brash that is.”

Brittney McKaig, 23, of Santa Ana said she expects the additional withholding to affect her holiday spending.

“Coming into the holidays, we’re getting squeezed anyway,” she said. “We’re not getting Christmas bonuses and other perks we used to get. So it all falls back on spending. The $40 gift will become a $20 gift.”

Sheer genius. We’re now over a year into a severe recession, and this Christmas is when the stores will really feel the pinch. The money the state takes will be unavailable to retailers big and small, who will thus have less money with which to pay for new employees or keep current ones. California’s real unemployment rate tops 17% at least, and many people rely on part-time seasonal retail jobs to help them make it, so every job counts. The last thing you want to do is divert money to non-productive expenses, such as a blueberry commission.

“But at least it’s not a tax!”

What a farce. In California, all tax increases have to be approved by a two-thirds majority of both chambers of the legislature, something that’s hard to get since the Republicans have just enough votes to hold the line.  We are already one of the most highly-taxed states in the Union, so any increases are very unpopular right now.  So the legislature and the Franchise Tax Board get around this by calling it a “loan.”

When Tiquon and Little Dog take a forced “loan” from a South-Central liquor store, it’s called “robbery” or “extortion.” But when Sacramento does it to the whole state, it’s okay, it’s just a loan.

You can call it what you want, Governor, but a tax is a tax.

But wait,” you say, “they promise to pay it back!”

Would you like to buy the Golden Gate Bridge, too? First, this is an interest-free loan. Whatever money you “loan” to California will be worth less when you get it back, because inflation isn’t accounted for. You are permanently losing money. The state gets the benefit of the current value, you have less when you get it back, ergo that forced exaction of value from our money is a tax.

Oh, and remember those IOUs from earlier this year when the state was running out of money? For years now, the government has not been able to accurately project revenues, consistently overestimating them. What makes anyone think they can get it right this time? How will you feel if (more likely “when”) your involuntary loan is repaid with an interest-free IOU?

Sacramento’s irresponsibility and unwillingness to face reality is appalling. These are people we elected to run the state for the best interests of all, yet they continually mortgage our future and dig an ever deeper fiscal hole, refusing to make the admittedly harsh spending and tax cuts needed to begin to restore California to financial health. Instead they pander to the public employees unions ( the prison guards, for example) and other left-wing single-interest groups that live off the taxpayer and in turn are big donors to legislators’ election campaigns. So they kick the can down the road, pretend that “this time, we’ve fixed the problem” and hope that no one remembers the next time it happens.

California’s political culture is sick, and its public servants instead constitute a ruling class. This is not a democratic republic: thanks to safe seats and special-interest donors, our state government is instead a self-perpetuating oligarchy of professional politicians. This farce with accelerated withholding is just another example of how out of touch with the average Californians the Mandarins of the Golden Dome have become.

If California is to have any Hope, it’s time for a major Change.

(hat tip: Hot Air)

LINKS: Gaius at Blue Crab Boulevard calls it outright theft. McQ puts it this way: “California – ‘We Need The Money More Than You.'” Sister Toldjah and Right Wing News.