Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Whatever you do...

...don't use a certain phone company!

Actually, Verizon has silenced (temporarily) the voice of AOW. Her landline AND computer are completely out.

So, calling from an undisclosed location, with her cell phone, AOW has instructed me to let EVERYONE know that she is incommunicado.

Hopefully she will be back on line and raring to go later today.

Meanwhile, check the post below for "The Gathering Storm" Blog Talk Radio program for this Friday!
tmw

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posted by Always On Watch @ 4/30/2008 06:52:00 AM  

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Shari'ah Law And Church's Chicken

The story below relates what happened to the Beasleys (Baltimore, Maryland) and illustrates just one aspect of how shari'ah-compliant finance can directly affect us here in the United States.
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From this source:
A Baltimore couple has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the Islamic investment bank that owns the Church's Chicken fast-food chain, alleging their franchise failed because the bank's strict adherence to the religious code of Shari'ah prohibited the couple from selling pork.
Read the entire article HERE.

(Hat-tip to Shariah Finance Watch, interviewed during the last hour of the April 25, 2008 edition of The Gathering Storm Radio Show. CLICK HERE to access the podcast and to learn more about shari'ah finance)

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posted by Always On Watch @ 4/29/2008 07:38:00 AM  

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Weekly Radio Show: May 2 — Bill Warner

Listen to The Gathering Storm Radio Show, which WC and I cohost. The show broadcasts live every Friday beginning at noon, Pacific Time.

The call-in number is (646) 915-9870.

Callers welcome!

Friday, May 2: Our guest for the full hour is Bill Warner, the director of The Center for the Study of Political Islam. He also writes articles for his web site Political Islam and has been interviewed numerous times by Jamie Glazov at Front Page Magazine.
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Additional information about this week's guest:

Bill Warner is a pen name for a retired mathematics professor and research scientist. He had read the Koran and understood the political aspects of Islam before 9/11, so he immediately knew the significance of the bombing of the World Trade Towers.

Since 2003, Bill has been the Director of the Center for the Study of Political Islam and its spokesperson. CSPI is a team of independent scholars and researchers who have written 11 books revealing the ideology of political Islam, using the primary sources, the Koran, the Hadiths or Sunnah, and Mohammed’s biography, the Sirah. The books are written in a clear, direct style and can be used as a reference for quotes, examples of warfare, strategy and political ideas.

"The Two Kinds of Dhimmis" and "Islam Slavery and Rape" are two of his recent interviews at Front Page Magazine.

If you are unable to listen live to this week's edition of the radio show, you can listen later by CLICKING HERE.

UPCOMING SHOWS
May 9: Mohammed Abdul
May 16: Ibn Misr and Chaim
May 23: Cassandra USA
May 30: John Kenneth Press and Radio Free Dar Al Harb

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posted by Always On Watch @ 4/27/2008 06:30:00 AM  

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Not At Gunpoint

(An explanation as to why I haven't felt much like blogging for several days)



I learned a hard lesson several days ago: never let your purse get out of your sight in any public place, including the public library.

The thief was clever. I didn't discover that I'd been robbed until nearly twenty-four hours later.
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When I got up to go to the ladies' room about an hour and a half into a two-hour tutoring session at the public library, I noticed that my purse, instead of being next to my chair, lying on its side behind my chair. I thought to myself at the time, "What is my purse doing there?" I immediately reached inside, felt for my wallet (which was indeed in my purse), and breathed a sigh of relief. I didn't open my wallet until the next morning, when I stepped up to the coffee machine at work and found an the cash compartment of my wallet totally empty.

The best I can figure out, the thief slid my purse from beside me on the library's floor, removed my wallet, stepped into the stacks of books, removed the cash and clients' checks, and placed the wallet back into my purse, which he had slid into a spot which was not the place I had originally placed my purse. Stupid as it may sound, I would not have noticed my purse being stealthily moved because I was concentrating on the tutoring I was doing. Like most of my tutoring sessions, the work the student and I were totally absorbed in the task at hand.

I have, of course, spoken to the library manager. She told me that such thefts, identical to the method described above, have occurred at least five times before in that particular library and near the section where my student and I were working. Those previous thefts happened some time ago. The thief was never apprehended. It is possible that the same thief is again stalking purses in the study section of the library.

The library has filed a report for use in the library system. I have filed a report with the police. The checks can be replaced, but the cash, possibly as much as $300, will not be recovered. Five days have gone by, and nobody has turned in either the cash or the checks.

What an ugly start to my week! I'm just now getting over my feelings of anger and violation.

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posted by Always On Watch @ 4/26/2008 08:30:00 AM  

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Two Kinds Of Dhimmis

Recently, Bill Warner of The Center for the Study of Political Islam and PoliticalIslam.com made the following statement in this interview at Front Page Magazine:
...[W]e have two types of dhimmi—the subjugated dhimmi who is under the political power of Islam and the apologist dhimmi who seeks Islamic favor....[T]he word dhimmi has two separate meanings—a subjugated dhimmi is persecuted and the apologist dhimmi helps the persecutor. The context determines which dhimmi we are talking about. One dhimmi is to be pitied and helped; the other dhimmi needs to be educated. But the apologist dhimmi is the key to defeating Islam.
This April 22, 2008 posting by Robert Spencer indicates that one of our most important leaders, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, falls into that second classification of dhimmi:
A reliable source has informed me that Condoleeza Rice has approved a new lexicon for State Department usage, absolutely forbidding the use of the terms "jihad" and "jihadist" by any State Department official.
Via this posting today at Jihad Watch, the new lexicon at the State Department and other federal agencies has been confirmed. Excerpt from this item at Associated Press:
Federal agencies, including the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security and the National Counter Terrorism Center, are telling their people not to describe Islamic extremists as "jihadists" or "mujahedeen," according to documents obtained by The Associated Press. Lingo like "Islamo-fascism" is out, too.

[...]

At least at the top level, [the memo] appears to have made an impact. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who once frequently referred to "jihad" in her public remarks, does not appear to have used the word, except when talking about the name of a specific terrorist group, since last September.

The memo mirrors advice distributed to British and European Union diplomats last year to better explain the war on terrorism to Muslim communities there.
Why would Ms. Rice take such a position? The AP item gives some "reasons," but this comment at Jihad Watch also provides a possible clue:
About a year ago a story briefly surfaced about Rice's executive assistant, an attractive young Pakistani woman, I believe it was, who was very influential in shaping Rice's views....

Posted by: Eastview at April 24, 2008 6:43 AM
The above commenter Eastview did not have further information, i.e., the executive assistant's name. But if Eastview is correct, the highest-ranking member of our State Department could well have a subverter at her side.

What we have at the highest level of our government is a failure to name the enemy in this so-called "War On Terror." How are we going to win if we can't even identify and name the enemy?

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posted by Always On Watch @ 4/24/2008 08:32:00 PM  

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Murders Of Amina & Sarah Said (Updated)

Other bloggers have been following the story of the murders of these two beautiful girls in the Dallas, Texas area, although I did post about the story HERE.

According to this source and this source, Yaser Said, the girls' father, remains the prime suspect. He is still on the loose, and the reward for his apprehension has been doubled.

Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs is one of the bloggers who have been following the story of the murders of Amina and Sarah Said. The following is an excerpt from Pamela's posting of April 20, 2008:
These girls trusted the West. These believed the West would save them. They believed that education would save them They poured themselves into school, were enrolled in many AP level classes. They played soccer, tennis, ......they got scholarships. They secretly went to certain teachers to express their terrible fear of their father.
Read the entire posting, which has numerous photos and links.

Also see this January 10, 2008 posting at Atlas Shrugs. The posting, with numerous photos and links, provides information about allegations of abuse on the part of Yaser Said. The man's history of accusations previous to the murders of his daughters is ugly and includes stories of physical and sexual abuse perpetrated on his daughters. Although the allegations of sexual abuse were later dropped, the girls' mother, at the time (Amina and Said were only seven and eight years old then) did sign an affidavit as to the truth of those allegations.

On Wednesday, April 23, at noon Eastern Daylight Time, Pamela will interview the girls' aunt on Blog Talk Radio to discuss the cover-up of an Islamic honor killing right here in the United States. Because of my work schedule, I won't be able to listen to the entire show live, but I will definitely be listening to the podcast.

UPDATE #1: Anyone with information on Mr. Said's whereabouts can call Crime Stoppers at 1-877-373-TIPS or go to this web site.

North Texas Crime Commission Said Fund.
NTCC
1601 Elm Street,
Suite 2350
Dallas, Texas 75201

This posting shows pictures of Yaser Said.

UPDATE #2: Yaser Said's possible ties to Al Quaeda.

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posted by Always On Watch @ 4/22/2008 04:54:00 PM  

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Weekly Radio Show: April 25 - Bob McCarty, Elisabeth of Austria, and Allyson Taylor

Listen to The Gathering Storm Radio Show, which WC and I cohost. The show broadcasts live every Friday beginning at noon, Pacific Time.

The call-in number is (646) 915-9870.

Callers welcome!

Friday, April 25 (120 minutes): Our guests this week are Bob McCarty, Elisabeth of Austria, and Allyson Taylor.


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At the top of the first hour, Bob McCarty of the blog Bob McCarty Writes will discuss with us humor, politics, culture, and capitalism. At the bottom of the hour Elisabeth of Austria will bring us up to date on the ongoing Islamification of Europe. At the top of the second hour, Allyson Taylor of Shariah Finance Watch will instruct us on the basics of the threats which shari'a finance pose to Western countries.

If you are unable to listen live to the radio show, you can listen later by CLICKING HERE.

UPCOMING SHOWS
May 2: Bill Warner
May 9: Mohammed Abdul
May 16: Chaim

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posted by Always On Watch @ 4/21/2008 11:59:00 PM  

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All You Need To Know About Hillary

Hat-tip to my dear friend Mustang, who sent me the following (Click directly on the image to enlarge it):



[END OF THIS POSTING - NOTHING ELSE FOR ME TO SAY]

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posted by Always On Watch @ 4/21/2008 06:54:00 PM  

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Protecting A UK "Asian"

"Asian" is the Twenty-first Century code word for Muslim, of course.

For over seven months, Jamie Bauld, who has Down's Syndrome and the mental age of five, was investigated for assault and the crime of racial hate after a minor incident on a school campus.

Excerpt from this article at the Times Online:
Jamie, 18, cannot tie his shoelaces or leave home on his own, nor can he understand simple verbal concepts such as whether a door is open or shut. But his parents said that he was charged with attacking a fellow student, an Asian girl who also had special needs.

[...]

The incident in question took place last September at the special needs department of Motherwell College, in Lanarkshire, where Jamie is a student. Fiona Bauld, Jamie’s mother and full-time carer, claimed that the Asian student, who is only slightly older than Jamie, had been following her son and staring at him. Jamie had earlier complained to his parents that her behaviour scared him, and they had advised him just to walk away.

But one day, his mother said, the girl came close up to Jamie as he was eating lunch. He pushed her with one hand and told her to go away....
Not an unusual action from one with Down's Syndrome, but his rejection of her led to charges of lawbreaking, in part because the "Asian" girl
had scratched her own face to mark it and referred to herself as “blackface”.
The police at first told the Baulds that no legal consequences would occur.

That's not how the situation worked out.

For over seven months, Jamie and his parents endured the legal ordeal. Finally, the charges were dismissed:
Mrs Bauld said: “The incident was blown out of all proportion. I can’t believe that two special needs people should be dealt with like this. The whole thing was handled so badly.”
Apparently, Jamie's mental age isn't enough to prevent an insulted Muslim from finding a way to make an infidel's life miserable. After all, an infidel touched a muslima. Can't have that!

The fear and anxiety which Jamie endured are inexcusable. Jamie did understand that he was in some kind of trouble. From this article in the Daily Mail:
[O]ne night shortly after Christmas, as the family watched TV, Fiona realised to her horror that Jamie was not as oblivious as she'd hoped.

A scene featuring a prison appeared on screen, at which point Jamie said quietly: "I don't want to go to jail, Mum. Please don't let them take me away." He then burst into tears.

"I rushed over, put my arms around him and told him everything was going to be fine," says Fiona.

"All through this nightmare I've done my best to put on a smile and act normally around Jamie, simply to protect him from everything that was happening. But that night, as he sobbed in my arms, I wasn't sure everything would be OK.

"My worst fear was that Jamie would be taken away somewhere that I wouldn't be able to protect him. I said: 'Jamie, you're not going to prison', but I found myself in tears, too."

When Fiona - who lives in Cumbernauld, Lanarkshire, with her husband James, 46, a telecommunications contractor, and their daughter Stephanie, 17 - uses the word "nightmare" she is making no understatement.
It is the insane climate of political correctness which led to a legal and emotional situation which should never have transpired at all.

Further reading: Robert Spencer's take on the above story.

(Hat-tip to Aeneas)

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posted by Always On Watch @ 4/20/2008 11:38:00 AM  

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Friday, April 18, 2008

April 19, 2008, On Blog Talk Radio

WC and I will be the interviewees on the Saturday, April 19, 2008 edition of Radio Free Dar Al Harb, broadcasting from an undisclosed location inside the Nation's Capital,...fighting Dhimmitude one episode at a time....Radio Free Dar al Harb is husband to a 9-11 survivor, son to a Khobar Towers survivor, and a determined patriot.
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In a change of pace, WC and I will be the interviewees instead of the interviewers, and we are looking forward to our interview. Join us by tuning in, visiting the radio show's chat room, or phoning in!

If you are unable to listen live, you can listen later by CLICKING HERE.

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posted by Always On Watch @ 4/18/2008 04:19:00 PM  

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Nation-Building In Pseudostine

Apparently, the dhimmis in charge want to do more than provide Americans with mortgage bail-outs and an "economic stimulus package." Reaching across the globe, they are poised to extend the meaning of nation-building.

Excerpt from this article in the April 15, 2008 edition of the New York Times (Hat-tip to Michael):

RAMALLAH, West Bank — The Palestinian West Bank...got a boost on Monday: the announcement of a plan, led by the American government, to help tens of thousands of people buy homes.

The plan, which establishes a $500 million mortgage company, aims to build 10 new neighborhoods over the next five years and, in the process, create thousands of jobs in construction and real estate. In doing so, it could improve the depressed local economy and the political prospects of the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, of the...Fatah party.

[...]

A secondary aim of the housing program is to send a message to the Gaza Strip, run by the Islamist party Hamas, that its citizens, too, could benefit from international generosity and economic progress if they restore Fatah’s authority, overturned by Hamas forces in a battle last June.

The new company’s name, Affordable Mortgage and Loan Company, yields the acronym AMAL, an Arabic word meaning hope.

[...]

Half of the money for the new mortgage company, $250 million, will come from the United States through the Overseas Private Investment Corporation. The rest will be from the Palestine Investment Fund, the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank and the Bank of Palestine, with a smaller contribution from the British government.
Tony Blair has at least a public-relations role in the program:
At a ceremony in Ramallah, Tony Blair, the former British prime minister who is representing the international community in helping the Palestinian Authority build institutions, called the plan “a major step forward for ordinary Palestinians.”
Ah, yes, those "ordinary Palestinians." Might those be the ones who voted Hamas into office?

Back in 2000, in those pre-9/11 days, many of us voted for George W. Bush because he campaigned on a no-nation-building platform. Instead, he's moved on to embrace the idea that poverty is the root of terrorism and pursues the goal of nation-building without a definitive military or ideological victory. As Debbie Schlussel said in the following comment about the above story:
...Would John Kerry and Al Gore have been any different on this issue? Would they really have been worse? Or just the same.
Attempting to buy off the enemy — what this kind of nation-building really is — will do nothing except embolden and enable the enemy. That lesson will be learned, but at the cost of many, many lives.

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posted by Always On Watch @ 4/18/2008 08:29:00 AM  

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

The U.N. Fit over Fitna

I'm in too much physical pain to post much right now. Nevertheless, I'm posting today because commenter Vlad left an update about further objections to the film Fitna.
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The United Nations has taken a position against Geert Wilders, despite a recent court ruling in Wilders's favor.

From this source:
Muslim countries call for action on Wilders

Wednesday 16 April 2008

Muslim members of the human rights commission of the United Nations want the Netherlands to take steps against Geert Wilders and his anti-Koran film Fitna, reports Trouw on Wednesday.

The comments came during a two-week meeting of the commission in which countries are being judged on their human rights.

Junior justice minister Nebahat Albayrak, who is part of the Dutch delegation, said the public prosecution department is looking into whether the film broke any laws.

Egypt had harsh words for the Dutch judge who said that as an MP Wilders had the right to criticise radical Islam and the Koran and that he was not inciting racial hatred. The judge's comments showed a lack of feeling for the duties and jurisprudence on human rights, the Egyptian delegate said.

The commission plans to hold three meetings each year until all 192 UN member countries have been judged on their human rights. The Netherlands is in the first batch of 16 countries.
What other countries are in "the first batch"?

Don't Fitna's "insults" pale in comparison to Islamic misogyny, female genital mutilation, the stonings of adulterers (whether or not adultery actually occurred), beheadings, the selling of children into arranged marriages, the apparent necessity of an eight-year-old girl's seeking a divorce in Yemen?

The United Nations Human Rights Commission has a lot more wrongs to address than some 15-minute film released on the Internet and nearly ignored by the mainstream media.

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posted by Always On Watch @ 4/17/2008 08:12:00 AM  

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Weekly Radio Show: April 18 - Pamela Geller

(This posting stuck toward the top for several days. Scroll down for newer postings)

Listen to The Gathering Storm Radio Show, which WC and I cohost. The show broadcasts live every Friday beginning at noon, Pacific Time.

The call-in number is (646) 915-9870.

Callers welcome!

Friday, April 18: This week on the nearly famous Gathering Storm Radio Show, our guest for the full hour is Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs. Citizen journalist and citizen soldier, she will share with us the latest news from her blog and the latest news about those Islamists whose goal is to rob us of our freedoms.

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If you are unable to listen live to the radio show, you can listen later by CLICKING HERE.

UPCOMING SHOWS
April 25: Bob McCarty, Elisabeth of Austria, and Allyson Taylor
May 2: Bill Warner
May 9: Mohammed Abdul
May 16: Chaim

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posted by Always On Watch @ 4/16/2008 11:59:00 PM  

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Possibly A Few Days Off


I'm having another round of Prolotherapy treatment first thing tomorrow (April 16). This treatment involves anywhere from eight to twenty injections into the sacroiliac ligament.
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The good news is that these expensive and painful treatments are working!

Following these injections and depending on my reaction to them, I may or may not be around for a few days. I'll check in and make blog rounds as I'm able to do so.

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posted by Always On Watch @ 4/15/2008 09:38:00 PM  

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Six Word Memoir

(Scroll down for more serious postings)

Two of my blog friends, Raven and Kevin, tagged me with the following meme:

The Rules:

1. Write your own six word memoir.
2. Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you want.
3. Link to the person that tagged you in your post and to the original post if possible so we can track it as travels across the blogosphere.
4. Tag at least five more blogs with links.
5. Leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play.
Here's my six word memoir:

Grammar police — red pen in hand.

I even have a badge, albeit with different words:



I hereby tag the following blog friends:

Seth, Dinah, David, Gayle, and Benning.

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posted by Always On Watch @ 4/14/2008 08:25:00 AM  

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FEATURED QUESTION: Society

(Each "Featured Question," an idea which I gleaned from A Republic If You Can Keep It, will remain toward the top of the blog until the next question appears. The previous QUESTIONS are HERE. Please scroll down for recent postings)

Thinking back to my grade school years, I have fond memories of unstructured recess time. You may have similar fond memories.
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The school I attended did not have much playground equipment: a swing set, a slide, and a smaller-than-regulation-size basketball court. Nevertheless, we students had a wonderful time playing tag and dare base. Certainly a few injuries occurred during playground recess, but most of us returned to the classroom without any physical damage.

According to this article in the April 15, 2008 edition of the Washington Post, playing tag at one elementary school in Fairfax County is now forbidden:
A playground pastime is getting a timeout this spring at a McLean elementary school.

Robyn Hooker, principal of Kent Gardens Elementary School, has told students they may no longer play tag during recess after determining that the game of chasing, dodging and yelling "You're it!" had gotten out of hand. Hooker explained to parents in a letter this month that tag had become a game "of intense aggression."

The principal said that her goal is to keep students safe and that she hopes to restore tag (as well as touch football, also now on hold) after teachers and administrators review recess policies....
Apparently, today's schoolyard tag is of a more dangerous kind, even in posh McLean, one of Fairfax County's most elite districts:
Over the past couple of months, [Principal Hooker] had noticed that tag was taking up too much space and sending too many students to the nurse's office.

"This is not the old-fashioned tag, where you could use two fingers and you would be it and move on to someone else," Hooker said. The game, she said, has become much more aggressive. "I call it the nouveau tag."

This tag involves grabbing people who do not necessarily know they are playing and possibly bumping them to the ground. "Then the kids do 'pyramiding' or 'towering.' They pile on each other. [Sometimes] they call it 'jailhouse' or 'jailbreak,' " because the child has to break out, she said....
Parents see Ms. Hooker's restrictions in a different way:
...Michael Haaren, a father, said that if some children are being too aggressive, they should be disciplined. Limiting the activity is a "draconian" measure, he said.

He is concerned that schools are on a bad trajectory. "Where are we headed here? The elimination of recess altogether? It has happened in other schools. Will we eliminate 'duck duck goose' because kids are being touched?" he asked.

Dozens of parents turned out for a PTA meeting to hear the principal explain the decision. Many opposed the plan....
Read the entire article.


FEATURED QUESTION (in two parts): (1) Is the principal taking correct with action in the above story? (2) How much restriction should adults place on childhood games and activities?

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posted by Always On Watch @ 4/14/2008 01:00:00 AM  

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Non-Muslims Are Dogs

So were told some ten-year-old children on a field trip to a mosque in Amsterdam — a field trip to promote understanding and to emphasize freedom of religious choice.

Via this posting over at THE ASTUTE BLOGGERS and discussed a bit at Infidel Bloggers Alliance:
THE HAGUE, 09/04/08 - A primary school in Amsterdam wished to provide its pupils with an understanding for other cultures. But during a visit to a mosque, the children were told they were dogs.

With a view to developing understanding and respect for other cultures among children, primary school De Horizon regularly organises outings to various religious organisations. The chairman of the El Mouchidine mosque told the children from group 7 (aged 10) and their chaperones however that non-Muslims are dogs....
As expected, the children's parents were outraged, the school officials not so much:

..."We will resolve the matter amongst ourselves and I have no inclination whatsoever to discuss the matter with the media", as newspaper De Telegraaf quoted the school's spokesperson Mariet ten Berge. "We have been to the mosque before and it always went well".

Angry parents had sent the letter on to De Telegraaf but were reportedly rapped on the knuckles by the school's management. "The school wishes to play this down. That is precisely the problem", as one mother commented.
Media coverage and public discussion of the matter would be Islamophobic, right? Mustn't show any Islamophobia, no matter what!

According to the article, the school regrets the incident and has declared the mosque chairman's words "unacceptable." The mosque's regret is of the it's-not-my-fault type (hat-tip to WC of The Gathering Storm, citing this source):

According to a press release by Mohamed Guennoun, chairman of the El Mouhahidine mosque, the report above is based on erroneous information. He had never called unbelievers dogs and he rejects such statements.

[...]

There were several tours in March. Since he doesn't speak Dutch well he was assisted by a volunteer during the first three tours. For the fourth group, who had come on March 26th, he had to do without translation.

[...]

Guennoun stresses that he was speaking of the extremists. He doesn't belong to that group and he rejects their way of thinking....
Let's see if we can get this straight. Mosque Chairman Guennoun claims never to have called the children dogs, but now offers the excuse that he had to do without a translator. In other words, he didn't call the children dogs — except that he did by accident — and, in any case, was speaking of others who hold the view that non-Muslim children are dogs.

Whatever.

Guennoun also wants the story corrected. No word yet as to if he's going to the school to apologize personally to the children.

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posted by Always On Watch @ 4/13/2008 12:15:00 PM  

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Friday, April 11, 2008

What A Week!

I haven't been spending much time online this week because of this terrible cold — "the cold from hell." The grapevine has it that this cold and its aftereffects last three weeks. I'm on week two and looking forward to the end of this misery.

As if having a cold is not enough to deal with, home improvements have also been ongoing here at our house — and in spite of my working a full schedule every day but Monday.
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So as to reduce the $500 per month heating bills in this old house, Mr. AOW and I decided to replace our leaky and broken windows (One had a bullet hole in it!). Weeks ago, we contracted with a reputable company and had all sixteen of our outdated windows replaced with double-hung thermal windows. This week, the windows arrived, as did the installers. Of course, in the process of getting the windows installed, all the curtains and window shades had to be removed, as well as the AC window-units; those AC units are still sitting on the floors of the various rooms. As expected, removing the old windows left dust, dirt, paint chips and broken glass in several rooms. Some curtains and blinds went back up last night, but several more days will be needed to get this old house back to normal. In the next few days, the washing machine will hum, and the window-shades section of Home Depot will be be visited — not to mention doing some touch-up painting and spring cleaning.

But the difference these windows make! The house is no longer drafty, of course. The other difference is the quiet. The insulation from outside noise when the windows are closed is so intense that we couldn't sleep on the first night after the windows were installed. After all these years of hearing the hum of traffic, all of a sudden that lulling white noise is gone. If the windows cut the heating bill as much as they reduce the sounds from outside, we've made a good investment.

Just when we thought that we could put the interior of our house back together again, chaos arrived to the outside of our property yesterday afternoon when, on the first decent-weather day in weeks, Mr. AOW and my cousin finally put up the new shed. We had bought the shed months ago, and it had been sitting in boxes in the carport as we waited for a break in the weather. This shed is one of those plastic types and assembling it much like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. But get assembled it did and in a mere four hours! Now we have what looks like a little cabin sitting in our wooded back lot, and we have our carport back.

As if the above is not enough, while I was typing this post, someone hit my Mustang, which I streetparked last night because the boxes the shed came in are still in the carport. ARRRGGGGHHHH!

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posted by Always On Watch @ 4/11/2008 08:36:00 AM  

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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Freedom Of Speech Upheld For Geert Wilders

From this source, on April 7, 2008:
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) - A Dutch lawmaker who sparked protests across the Muslim world with a film criticizing the Quran is entitled to express his anti-Islamic views, a court ruled Monday, rejecting a request to muzzle him.

The court ruled that the views expressed by right-wing legislator Geert Wilders did not exceed the legal boundaries against inciting hatred or violence.

The Netherlands Islamic Federation withdrew its petition to ban Wilders' film "Fitna" after it appeared on the Internet March 27, the day before the case was heard in a heavily guarded courtroom. The movie, linking terror attacks by Muslim extremists with texts from Islam's holy book, triggered angry street protests in Pakistan, Malaysia and Indonesia, and calls in other countries to boycott Dutch goods.

But the federation still asked the Hague District Court to order Wilders to stop making statements "in writing, on film or spoken" that are deemed insulting to Muslims, and to apologize for statements he has made repeatedly in the past. Wilders has called the Quran a fascist book and compared it to Hitler's "Mein Kampf."

In a written judgment published Monday, the court said Wilders' right to free speech and role as a politician allow him to voice his criticisms of radical Islam and the Quran.

As a lawmaker, Wilders "must be able to — sometimes in sharp terms — express his opinions," the judgment said. "In this context, it cannot be said that (Wilders') statements — even though provocative — are an incitement to hate or violence against Muslims."
...
Caroline Webb, in this article in the Middle East Times, has posed this list of questions which Fitna: The Movie raised in her mind:
1) Should Geert Wilders be living under a death threat for speaking up about the problem of death threats and actual murders being committed on a large-scale in the name of Islam?

2) Should Web hosting companies (and all other media companies) be threatened to the point that was done with Live Leak, and which caused Network Solutions to deny the film a space on its servers?

3) Should Muslim leaders be doing more to condemn the practice of death threats, suicide bombings everywhere in the world, murders on the streets of Europe such as that of Theo van Gogh?

4) Should Muslims in Europe be doing more to betray those who are betraying Islam and hand over to the police authorities rabid clerics and others who are fomenting hatred and zeal for inflicting more suffering on Western society – and who use the Koran to incite their audience?
In my view, those questions are the important subtext of Fitna: The Movie.

Caroline Webb goes on to say in her reflections on the film:
These are the questions that I want to see more discussion of and more action on. Even the photograph in the online article about "Fitna" in the Middle East Times, showing an effigy of Wilders being burnt, indicates the double standards at work. Who is speaking to the crowd working itself into a frenzy of hatred and violence, and is able to say to them that this behavior is exactly what "Fitna" is critiquing? Where is the leadership leading people away from their worst and weakest and most destructive side towards something better?

"Fitna" may be criticized for appearing to tar all Muslims with the same brush and that certainly does make it weak. I don't agree with that presentation, as it is grossly unfair. But I think its goal is to raise the question of internal self-regulation of extremism. It is holding up a mirror, composed of real footage from recent years, and asking hard questions about theology and morality in today's necessarily pluralistic world.
Instead of asking the hard questions, however, Western leaders and the mainstream media have done their best to ignore Fitna: The Movie, much in the manner of the government and the media in Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, a futuristic novel about a dystopia in which censorship became the norm because the people simply did not want to face reality, compose analytical thoughts, or find solutions; instead, they wanted to be happy in their ignorance.

It's easier, after all, in the Twenty-first Century not to think too much about the Islamic threat.

[END OF THIS POSTING]

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posted by Always On Watch @ 4/09/2008 06:48:00 AM  

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Monday, April 07, 2008

The Clintons' So-Called Generosity

Hillary balked at releasing her tax-return information for the past several years, but finally did so on Friday, April 4. According to this article in the Washington Post:
...After earning more than $109 million over eight years, the Clintons took tax write-offs for $10.2 million in charitable contributions. In most of those years, that money was donated to the Clinton Family Foundation....

The family foundation is one of several philanthropic groups that bear the former president's name. But unlike the New York-based William Jefferson Clinton Foundation, which has directed more than $10 billion in corporate money and resources toward slowing the spread of AIDS, addressing climate change, and reducing hunger and poverty, the family foundation is a far smaller and more personal operation.

This charity is based at the Clintons' Chappaqua, N.Y., home. Bill Clinton serves as its president, Hillary Clinton as secretary and treasurer, and daughter Chelsea as a director. None takes compensation.

Between 2001 and 2006, the years for which tax records are available, the family put nearly $6 million into the foundation. The Clintons took a tax write-off for that money even though the foundation gave away less than half that amount -- about $2.5 million. A Clinton campaign official said that trend did not continue in 2007 -- the family moved $3 million through the foundation to other charities.
Of course, the Clintons took more care in 2007: Hillary's bid for the Presidency was in the works, and "the eye" was upon her and her finances.

The article goes on to mention the following:
In recent years, there were gifts that generated good will in ways that were potentially helpful to Hillary Clinton's presidential bid....
The article is careful to mention that the Clintons stayed within the letter of the law with their donations to "charity." Considering that Bill and Hillary are lawyers, I'd expect nothing less than their adherence to the letter of the law and still finding a way to give to their favorite charity — themselves.

(Crossposted to THE ASTUTE BLOGGERS)

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posted by Always On Watch @ 4/07/2008 06:52:00 AM  

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Friday, April 04, 2008

Sick As A Dog!

Thanks to this miserable cold, which I came down with on Wednesday, I'm laying off spending so much time online. I have no choice but to rest — I'm taking nighttime cold medication and sleeping the clock around. I will, however, honk my way through The Gathering Storm Radio Show today.

[END OF THIS POSTING]

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posted by Always On Watch @ 4/04/2008 07:52:00 AM  

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Teaching Children To Hate

Found at Women Against Shariah, which states as follows:
"A short story showing how "merciful" Mohammed was as told by Islam's religious texts."

This is a MUST watch two minute video used to educate children about Islamic teachings.




YouTube Link

Here is what happens when hate-filled children grow up:



YouTube Link

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posted by Always On Watch @ 4/02/2008 07:50:00 AM  

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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Now, For Some Comic Relief

Happy April Fool's Day!

Warning! Set down your beverage before continuing on.
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Turn up your speakers. Enjoy!



[Hat-tip to Mr. Beamish for calling my attention to the above video]

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posted by Always On Watch @ 4/01/2008 12:01:00 AM  

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