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Holy Offensive

Agha Shahi, former foreign minister of Paksitan:

The European newspapers which have printed the outrageous cartoons defaming the Holy Prophet of Islam have given the deepest possible offence to more than a billion of his followers across the world.

Publishing cartoons of Muhammed = Deepest possible offence!? Personally, I thought that nuking Makkah would have been the most offensive act by the West. But I guess I was wrong about that.

To justify this outrage they invoke the right to freedom of expression.

This right is not absolute. It is limited by due regard to maintenance of public order, health and morals under the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights. The sacrilegious cartoons are so provocative that many in the world wonder if this is not the opening salvo for a clash of civilizations — the West versus Islam.

That's right. The embassy takeover by the Iranians in the 70s, the murder of 241 servicemen in Lebanon in 1983, the attack on the World Trade Center in 1993, the twin embassy bombings in 1998, the attack on the USS Cole in 2000, 9/11, the Bali bombing in 2002, the Madrid train bombings in 2004, the London bombings in 2005 -- forget all that.

What really kicked this Jihad up a notch was a few cartoons published by a Danish newspaper. So, of course, it's the fault of the West.

The cartoons are also an expression of hate against the Holy Prophet and therefore Islam. As such they violate the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination which outlaws hate speech and incitement to racial hatred, making it obligatory for states to punish those responsible.

Unless I missed something in my ten long years of education in Saudi Arabia, Muhammed unleashed a religion -- he didn't establish a new race.

Or put another way: Which race was ridiculed in the cartoons?

Civil societies in the countries concerned, in particular Muslim organizations and law experts, should take recourse to seeking rulings from their relevant judicatures and most importantly, the European Court of Human Rights for redress against the wound inflicted on the Muslim faithful in the name of freedom of expression.

Redress the wound? (Yes, Your Honor, the cartoons bit my bum. There was, *sob*, bleeding.) This really puts into perspective the emotional child-like state of these Muslims.

I am writing an op-ed which will detail real and painful wounds. And they aren't inflicted by non-Muslims.


Damn You, Disney!

Ahem:

“They can’t comprehend the real impact of their violent acts, because animated victims of firebombings, gunshots and beheadings always immediately appear, clean and unharmed, in the next scene. The rioters are innocent victims of exported American cartoon culture.”

Hey, that makes about as much sense as this.


Pathetic Losers

Oh man, I laughed so hard at this:

Dear Muslim Man Complaint Box,

I am a devoted Muslim man living in the heart of the beast. I live within the Jew-cursed border of the state of Jew Jewrsey in Jewmerica and I am very unhappy. The other day I heard an American man say that Islam is not a religion of peace. This is intolerable and doubly so when the laws of America prevent me from cutting out his tongue, setting fire to his house and taking his wife as my own. I demand that something be done about this and also death to Israel.

Link via Glenn.

Also, read this post at Instapundit; the unholy alliance is still strong.


Spines of Jelly

Tim Blair nails it:

They [the MSM in the US] won’t publish cartoons, but they will run anything they can get out of Abu Ghraib. Both sets of images provoke Islamic anger; note how the media behaves when that anger is directed at them.

Precisely. The story of Abu Ghraib can easily be substituted for the report about the (imaginary) flushings of Qurans.


Such a QT

The comments keep on flowing. This one is by PROUD 2 B MUSLIM:

LISTEN UR AL FUCKED UP BASTARDS. WAT DA FUCK IS UR PROBLEM? HOW DA FUCK DID U MANAGE TO CREATE A PIC OF A GUY THAT U HAVE NEVA SEEN. WEN I C U ROTTIN IN HELL IL BE THER 2, NOT BURNIN TO DEATH BUT LAFIN AT YA. Y DONT U GUYS JUS 4GET IT ALL AND GET ON WID UR OWN LIVES.  THINK BOUT UR OWN RELIGION AND NOT OF ANY OTHER RELIGION. MUSLIMS WILL B HEA TILL DA VERY END N NOTHING OR NO1 CAN STOP ISLAM FROM CARRYING ON. ONCE A MUSLIM, ALWAYS A MUSLIM AND PROUD OF IT. SO BACK OFF NOW!!!!!!!!!!!

Hunh; once a Muslim, always a Muslim. In all the EXCITEMENT, he likely forgot to read the tiny tag line of this blog. I didn't know that artists could only draw pictures of stuff that they've seen. The comment could do with a few more exclamation points; who knows, maybe more people would have been convinced if only there was just one more !

Here's what Henke, a Dane, has to say about it:

DUDE listen to your self... your sop angry... chill out.. burn in hell ok well we might but while were on earth were gonna try to make life as good as possible. and then tell me by drawing a picture of this man we never seen before, have can that make you so angry, we need to know what we did so terribly wrong, and if we have to understand your problem you have to undterstand we are alowed to say what we want, then stick with it or lose it.


Standing Tall

SPIEGEL: Hirsi Ali, you have called the Prophet Muhammad a tyrant and a pervert. Theo van Gogh, the director of your film "Submission," which is critical of Islam, was murdered by Islamists. You yourself are under police protection. Can you understand how the Danish cartoonists feel at this point?

Hirsi Ali: They probably feel numb. On the one hand, a voice in their heads is encouraging them not to sell out their freedom of speech. At the same time, they're experiencing the shocking sensation of what it's like to lose your own personal freedom. One mustn't forget that they're part of the postwar generation, and that all they've experienced is peace and prosperity. And now they suddenly have to fight for their own human rights once again.

Hirsi Ali slams the idiotic literalists:

SPIEGEL: Is the Koran's claim to absoluteness, which you criticize in "Submission," the central obstacle to reforming Islam?

Hirsi Ali: The doctrine stating that the faith is inalterable because the Koran was dictated by God must be replaced. Muslims must realize that it was human beings who wrote the holy scriptures. After all, most Christians don't believe in hell, in the angels or in the earth having been created in six days. They now see these things as symbolic stories, but they still remain true to their faith.

There has been 1400 years of literalist dominance in Islam and I don't think that will change in the next few decades--if ever.

Read the whole thing.

Link via Dhimmi Watch.


Four Wins for the Ages

I started watching the Steelers games last month.

Jan. 08, 2006:

I am watching my first football game of the 2005-06 season: The AFC Wild Card game between Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals. What can I say, I'm a mini-Steelers fan.

The Steelers defeated the 3rd-seed Bengals 31-17.

Jan. 15, 2006:

Commentator: "This is a catastrophic start for the Colts..."

At the start of the 2nd quarter:

Colts are the top-seeded team in the AFC whereas the Steelers barely made the playoffs. That makes the score now even more impressive. Steelers still lead 14-0.

The Steelers defeated the 1st-seed Colts 21-18 after Big Ben made the tackle. Jerome Bettis will never forget that tackle.

Jan. 22, 2006:

A few weeks ago, I watched (or rather read about) my favorite team just barely making the playoffs. And now, this history-making team is astonishingly going to the Super Bowl.

At half time, the Steelers were leading 21-3.
The Steelers defeated the 2nd-seed Broncos 34-17.

STEELERS SUNDAY aka Feb. 05, 2006. The Big Guy has the Big Guy on his side. Bettis finally gets the ring...in his home town!

Steelers defeated, the NFC top-seed, the Seahawks 21-10. Never has a Super Bowl winner travelled through such vicious adversity and hardship to earn the Vince Lombardi Trophy. This is, by far, the greatest triumph of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the past 25 years.

A Steelers fan could not ask for more.


Super Bowl XL

MVPs of the past Super Bowls are coming up. Whoa, the crowd goes nuts when two of the three Steelers MVPs from the 70s appear. Yeah, sadly, Bradshaw is not present. But hey, we'll take two out of three!

Condoleezza Rice is in the crowd. I bet she is rooting for the Steelers. :)

And so it begins. Seahawks win the toss and pick offense.

1st Quarter:

  • Seahawks on their 18. They take the ball forward 20 yards or so.
  • Seahawks 4th down in their own territory.
  • Now, Steelers on offense on their 20. Steelers: 5-yard penalty.
  • Another 5-yard penalty. 3rd and 19! A miserable start.
  • 4th down. Punt, of course. Seahawks on their 38.
  • Seahawks make steady progress. Oooh, 10 yard penalty. 3rd and 16. 4th and 16. Punt, and again the Steelers are on their 20.
  • Steelers: 3rd and 4. 4th and 4. Punt. Seahawks on offense practically in mid-field. At least a field goal is in the cards.
  • Seahawks 28 yards away from a touchdown.
  • TOUCHDOWN...wait no no, penalty. Repeat 1st down. Phew!
  • Steelers finally putting up the curtain. Seahawks: 3rd and 23.
  • FIELD GOAL. Steelers-Seahawks: 0-3.
  • Steelers on their 20. No advance.

2nd Quarter:

  • Big Ben finishes a scoreless 1st Quarter for the Steelers.
  • Penalty for the Seahawks. They start at their 25.
  • After a small advance, 4th and 2. Punt.
  • Steelers on their 20. Bettis in the game. 3rd and 8.
  • Steelers: 1st down. Another 1st down. Steelers got momentum!
  • Sigh. INTERCEPTION.
  • Seahawks: 4th and inches. Punt.
  • Steelers on their 40. Randle El got hit hard on his back.
  • Steelers: 3rd and 6. They get a tough 1st down.
  • 2nd and 9. 1st down; 22 yards away from a touchdown.
  • 2nd and 10. Penalty; 2nd and 20. Big Ben in trouble.
  • Steelers: 3rd and 28.
  • WHOA! The crowd goes nuts! 1st and goal.
  • 3 yards away from a touchdown. It's Bettis Time.
  • 3rd and goal. A Big Ben TOUCHDOWN.
  • Decision under review: tick tock tick tock. It seems to me that Big Ben was short by a few inches.
  • However, the ruling stands. Steelers lead 7-3. Less than two minutes left. Let's see how the Seahawks handle this.
  • 10-yard penalty for the Seahawks. 1st down on their 27.
  • Now, on their 46.
  • Seahawks in Steelers territory. No luck for them.
  • Seahawks miss a 52-yard field goal. End of the second half.

Big Ben had an atrocious 1st Quarter. Though, he made amends in the 2nd Quarter by making that phenomenal play: taking the Steelers from 3rd and 28 to 1st and goal. And then topping it off by scoring a TOUCHDOWN. The Steelers offense really hasn't clicked. Bettis has been simply ineffective so far.

The Steelers defense has been very strong. They've stopped the Seahawks again and again and only given up a field goal. Steelers lead 7-3. The second half should be high-scoring.

3rd Quarter:

  • The Steelers will be on offense.
  • 2nd and 10.
  • TOUCHDOWN. CROWD GOES BALLISTIC. My God, the noise level is unbelievable! The Steelers have come alive.
  • Steelers lead 14-3. We just saw a 75-yard-rush for the TOUCHDOWN -- a new Super Bowl record!
  • The crowd is still on FIRE.
  • Seahawks on offense: 3rd and 4. 1st down.
  • Little advance, 4th and 5. Seahawks miss a 50-yard field goal.
  • The Steelers have every ounce of momentum in this game.
  • Steelers on their 40. Another 1st down.
  • Steelers in Seahawks territory. 3rd and 4. 1st down.
  • 23 yards away from a touchdown. Bettis takes it to the 10.
  • 2nd and goal; 6 yards away.
  • 3rd and goal; still 6 yards away. Queue the bloody ads, AAARGH.
  • Wow, INTERCEPTION. Seahawks on their 16. 3rd and 6.
  • TOUCHDOWN for the Seahawks. Steelers lead 14-10.
  • This game is still alive.
  • Steelers on offense on their 20-yard-line.
  • 2nd and 7. 3rd and 4. 4th and 2. Punt.
  • Seahawks on offense on their 27-yard-line. 2nd and 10.
  • Penalty, 2nd and 15. 3rd and 15. 4th and 2.
  • The penalty really hurt the Seahawks there. Punt.
  • Steelers on offense on their 36-yard-line. 2nd and 10.
  • 3rd and 2. 4th and 2. Punt.
  • Seahawks on offense on their 3-yard-line! 2nd and 5.
  • 1st down on their 16. 2nd and 7. 1st down.
  • Another 1st down in mid-field.

4th Quarter:

  • Steelers lead 14-10 and Seahawks are on offense.
  • They are moving the ball forward.
  • Penalty, 1st down and 20.
  • Sacked! 2nd and 25. Seahawks: 3rd and 18.
  • INTERCEPTION and a 15-yard penalty for the Seahawks.
  • The Steelers are on offense close to mid-field.
  • This has been a magnificent football game. Period.
  • Steelers: 2nd and 9. 3rd and 2. 1st down.
  • TOUCHDOWN! A 43-yard innovative scorcher. Didn't see that one coming. Steelers lead 21-10.
  • Need I mention that the crowd is going bonkers?
  • That was the first touchdown pass by a wide receiver in Super Bowl history. Nice move by the Steelers.
  • Seahawks on offense.
  • FUMBLE! No wait, decision challenged. Tick tock tick tock.
  • DECISION REVERSED. Seahawks: 1st down and 10. 2nd and 6. Less than 8 minutes left in the game.
  • 1st and 10. 2nd and 10. 3rd and 8. Sacked, ha!
  • 4th and 13. Punt. Steelers, on offense, leading 21-10. 6:20 left on the clock. Time to waste time!
  • Steelers: 3rd and 6. Big Ben calls timeout.
  • Steelers get the monster 1st down. Less than 4 minutes left.
  • Steelers lead 21-10. Steelers: 2nd and 6. Bettis makes it 3rd and 3. Sweet, Big Ben takes it forward for a 1st down.
  • The Steelers celebrations are starting. A little over 3 minutes left. Steelers: 2nd and 8. 3rd and 8. 4th down. Punt.
  • 2 minutes left. Seahawks need 12 points to win.
  • 1 minute left. 47 seconds left. 4th and 10.
  • They get the 1st down. Seahawks: 2nd and 10.
  • 27 seconds left. 3rd and 10.
  • It's over. Steelers win 21-10.

The Pittsburgh Steelers -- the 6th-seed AFC team -- wins the Super Bowl and writes pages in NFL history:

Big Ben becomes the youngest quarterback to win the Super Bowl.
A 75-yard rushing touchdown.
A touchdown pass by a wide receiver.
Pittsburgh Steelers win their fifth Super Bowl -- one for the thumb! No other team has won more than five Super Bowls.

And of course, Bettis gets the ring. His parents are in the crowd and their proud tears are flowing. Bettis retires as a champion.


The Power of Steelers

Forging history:

Ben Roethlisberger hopes to become the youngest quarterback ever to win a Super Bowl and Steelers teammate Jerome Bettis strives for what could be a perfect end to a Hall of Fame career, playing in his hometown of Detroit in what might be his final season.

Three almost-impossible successive wins to reach the Super Bowl when no other team in history in the same scenario had won two in a row.

Pittsburgh won in Cincinnati -- a team whose fans hadn't seen a playoff game in 15 years -- for its first road victory in the playoffs under coach Bill Cowher.

Then came the hard part.

The Steelers emerged with a wild 21-18 victory at Indianapolis against a team many predicted would win the Super Bowl following its 13-0 start. Pittsburgh's best performance of the playoffs came in Denver, winning the AFC championship game 34-17 against a club that hadn't lost at home all season.

This Steelers team has won seven games in a row.

"There is a lot of tradition with Pittsburgh and to be a part of that would be really special," Cowher said. "We have the four trophies in our building and I pass them every day and to bring another one there would be very gratifying and very special for the whole team."

If the Steelers win today, then they'll become the third franchise to win five Super Bowls -- the most ever.


Islam = Totalitarianism

DADvocate writes a post titled, "Islam = Totalitarianism?? Maybe So."

Just take a look at the implementation of Sharia law in Saudi Arabia or any place where Sharia is imposed and you'll find utter misery and tyranny. A recurring excuse from certain Muslims is that Saudi Arabia is kinda, sorta, not really a purely Islamic society. Well, if it is not, then why aren't Muslims up in arms about it? Think about it: The very heart of Islam is not practising the "true" Islam, yet we don't hear a peep from hundreds of millions of Muslims.

A lot is also revealed when Muslims don't go bonkers.


The Debate

Christopher Hitchens:

It is revolting to me to breathe the same air as wafts from the exhalations of the madrasahs, or the reeking fumes of the suicide-murderers, or the sermons of Billy Graham and Joseph Ratzinger. But these same principles of mine also prevent me from wreaking random violence on the nearest church, or kidnapping a Muslim at random and holding him hostage, or violating diplomatic immunity by attacking the embassy or the envoys of even the most despotic Islamic state, or making a moronic spectacle of myself threatening blood and fire to faraway individuals who may have hurt my feelings.

The only principles of such Muslims is the total superiority of Islam and the infallibility of their Prophet. In their minds, any freedom that clashes, or any person who disagrees, with these said principles is not worthy of respect. This debate is almost exclusively one-sided. The brave Jordanian who showed reason -- a most remarkable attribute in the Islamic world -- is now behind bars.


Jihadist Pop

Islamist music! Isn't that an oxymoron?

It is surprising that jihadi music are being sold in the market unnoticedly along with the Bangla traditional songs, modern westernised band and concert music in the market. According to this report these Islamic-based songs definitely have found a niche in the music mart. So what do these songs instigate or inspire?

Here's one gem of a lyric:

"What is the use of being born a man if the power goes to women again and again?"

What a lovely appeal to Islamism: The Islamists repress the entire population and the men oppress "their" women. It's a win-win situation.


An Unexpected Hinge

Ibn Warraq, a famous ex-Muslim:

A democracy cannot survive long without freedom of expression, the freedom to argue, to dissent, even to insult and offend. It is a freedom sorely lacking in the Islamic world, and without it Islam will remain unassailed in its dogmatic, fanatical, medieval fortress; ossified, totalitarian and intolerant. Without this fundamental freedom, Islam will continue to stifle thought, human rights, individuality; originality and truth.

Very true.

Unless, we show some solidarity, unashamed, noisy, public solidarity with the Danish cartoonists, then the forces that are trying to impose on the Free West a totalitarian ideology will have won; the Islamization of Europe will have begun in earnest. Do not apologize.

If we do not stand our ground, then it is likely that we will bequeath our children a world far worse than what we inherited.


The West vs. Islam

Port McClellan:

Offensive cartoons and slogans are simply a part of free society. I am offended when some Deaniac shouts that Bush is a terrorist. I deal with it, or perhaps, depending on my mood, I tell him something intended to elevate his progressive furor.

But...but Muhammed is the perfect human being. He set an ideal and peaceful example for all Muslims. Making fun of such an exalted, noble and rarefied personality should invite harsh punishments!

As Amir says in the comments, if Europeans can be punished for denying the Holocaust, then shouldn't the people who drew such hurtful caricatures be punished as well? THE LOGIC IS UNDENIABLE!


The Whine of Islamist Swines

The Daily Times:

“The publication of derogatory caricatures of (the) Holy Prophet (PBUH) has hurt the sentiments of millions of Muslims,” Muhammad Bashir, who led the protesters in Multan, told AFP. “Saying that the press is free is no justification,” he said.

You go girl!

Accordng to AFP, around 100 protesters in Lahore demanded the arrest of the cartoonists before they set fire to the red and white Danish flag and then took turns to trample on it. “We have called for countrywide protests on Friday to condemn the publications,” MMA Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman told a press conference in Quetta.

You very very naughty Jyllands-Posten. VERY NAUGHTY!


America is to Blame...for Suicide Bombers.

The second editorial comments on the SOTU speech where the President talked about oil and American addiction to it.

... while Mr Bush and his team get down to finding alternative sources of energy, it might do everyone a lot of good if they could also review the obsession with Pax Americana in favour of a more multilateral world. They might just find that it is easier to deal with peoples that can walk proudly than those who are prepared to blow themselves up because more powerful actors will not give them the basic necessity of human dignity and self-respect.

That is unhinged. No amount of multilateralism or appeasement of Islamist terrorists will stop these type of people from committing suicide and murder.

By the way, I wasn't aware that suicide bombers were causing mayhem because the US will not give them self-respect! These hideous people think that the Taliban-era Afghanistan was a nirvana; they pray for, and revere, Islamist tyranny and utterly reject the dignity of freedom. So please, stop blaming the US for this evil.


Money Talks

Maryam Hussain:

I HAVE firsthand experience of racism in my own country and by fellow Pakistanis.

Hmm.

The ordinary man cannot have a decent house for rent because the “goras” can pay in dollars so the estate agents run after them. The agent gets a higher commission and the house owner gets the dollars. Who is to be blamed here? Where is our identity and why have we adopted a racist attitude just for getting some dollars? It seem this greed for dollars has made us so blind that we are not respecting our own people.

Goras is an Urdu word for whites. Maryam is confusing racism with simple business. Frankly, I don't think that the Pakistanis care whether one is a desi or a gora as long as one has money--preferably dollars, euros or pounds.

Of course, any foreigner will have estate agents lining up. Think about it: The average income in Pakistan is less than $2500 and foreigners in Pakistan likely spend that amount on their air fare. If your work is commission-based, who would you target? The poor Pakistanis or the relatively royal foreigners?

Applying Maryam's logic in a different situation, all the Pakistanis who study and/or work in the West are racist since they have rejected dark-skinned desis for the economy of goras!


So Very Sad

The Big Pharaoh:

Whenever I discuss the J-Posten cartoons with anyone, I always hear the same comment: why is it OK to draw insulting cartoons of the prophet Muhammed while it is not OK to discuss the holocaust? Go to any Arabic internet forum and you will find the same comment.

See, we are a nation obsessed with Jews. We see them behind everything, behind every rock. It’s so funny that people here are asking why it is not OK to discuss the holocaust in a number of European countries and not whether it is OK to draw insulting cartoons of Jesus or any Christian figure.

Anyway, below is a recent conversation I had with a friend. I’ll call him M.

Read the conversation and cry.


Divine Hair

Abhi:

I’m not sure…but isn’t it kind of blasphemous to take hair offered to the Gods…and then turn around and sell it to Tara Reid?

Damn it! All this time my luscious hair has been wasted. From now on, I shall use my hair as currency (that's a lot of liquidity!). For example, I'll tell the barber to provide the haircut in exchange for my exquisite hair.


The US is Doomed!

What Samuel Alito did last morning:

8:17: Prank phonecall to Cameron Diaz in which he identified himself as “the Patriarchy Police” and informed her that, now that rape has been legalized, she would need to leave Tuesdays and Thursdays open between 11am and 2 pm (with a working lunch, which would “likely consist of strawberries, whipped cream, honey, or flavored gels").

Ms. Diaz dropped the phone and ran away in tears.


Honor in Slavery

A helpless Saudi man describes the hopeless situation of his sisters:

I clearly remember when they were in the college, their ID cards were in their own names, but the photographs on the cards were that of my father! This meant my sisters had no physical existence—they existed in names only—on a piece of paper. Readers please do not be shocked at such an appalling treatment of our women—they are just like domestic animals--always owned by some one. They could not subsist on their own as human beings. The law in  Saudi Arabia, vis-à-vis women, stipulates that no girl/woman in a college could insert her own photograph in her identity card; instead, only the photograph of her father, brother, husband or her mahram (guardian) must be attached.

Read the whole thing. I highly recommend it. Khaled simply describes how life is like for women in Saudi Arabia and in doing so shows the putrid wretchedness of that purely Islamic society.


Muslims are the Victims

Sunni Sister:

Two German papers and one of France’s largest dailies reprint the blasphemous cartoons on their front pages. You see, my friends, it is free speech when they portray the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in such a manner, but a criminal act if someone in those same countries makes provocative (or outright false) statements about the Holocaust. So it’s not about “free speech,” it’s about asserting their dominance over the Muslim world and over the Muslims in their countries, who are already in positions of extreme difficulty. Us Mozzies have gotten a little too uppity for their tastes lately, I guess. Need to be reminded by our old European masters who has the upper hand.

Apparently, in addition to beauty, insanity is in the eye of the beholder.


Test #1783: Conclusion

Pakistan won the match, in 4 days, by a mammoth 341 runs. Considering that Pakistan started their first innings at 0-3 and then they were at 39-6, this is a remarkable achievement. The Indians showcased the most spectacular bowling performance in years and got Pakistan out for 245. Yet, somehow, Pakistan still bested that by getting India out for 238. Thus, making the Test, essentially, a one-inning affair.

Pakistan piled up a massive 599 runs in the second innings leaving India 607 to win. The Indians, tired after being smashed around for two days, crumbled for 265 runs. Osman Samiuddin offers his take:

As they bowled out India twice for under 300...on a Karachi pitch on which they made 599 in their second innings, the time is right to look at the hearty heritage of Pakistani bowling and the lack thereof in India.

It's an odd quirk of history: Pakistan with a current population of 160 million has produced some of the finest bowlers in the world but she relatively comes up short with batsmen. India with over a billion people has a rich tradition of giants in batting but no awesome bowling attacks.

Though, the situation has changed for Pakistan. The Pakistanis now have one of the most potent bowlers in the world and their batting line-up is kicking ass as well. So, in this sense, Pakistan has a more complete and powerful team than India. The credit for this transformation goes to two people:

  1. Bob Woolmer, the coach of the Pakistani team. His emphasis on merit, professionalism, and strategy has made Pakistan a force to be reckoned with. The guy deserves a raise.
  2. Inzamam-ul-Haq, the Pakistani captain. Pakistan has usually had bowlers as captains of the team. That's why Inzi, who is at the pinnacle of his game, has been so important in leading as a batsman. His presence has helped the young team grow into a match winning combination. So much so that in this Test, Inzi was ill and couldn't play. Pakistan won this match without the presence of their star batsman!

Test #1783: Day 4

Yesterday, I wrote that the Pakistanis are overflowing with batting riches. I was more right than I knew. Today, this Pakistani team has become the first in history to have all its top seven players score a 50+ in a Test innings. Now, that is some tremendous depth and strength in batting.

Iqbal got out for a career-best 139 runs. Pakistan leads with 605 runs.

Younis Khan has declared with a lead of 606 runs. Anything can happen with this pitch. India needs to keep the wickets and hope for a draw. The Pakistani bowlers have a chance for glory.

Never has a team scored more than 500 runs in the last innings to win a Test match. The odds are firmly against India.

Whoa! Dravid is out in the first over and Sehwag is gone in the second! The Indians can't handle the thunderbolts.

Asif took three wickets and reduced India to 74/4. Right now, the Indians are at 136/4, still 471 runs short of victory.


A&E. Flight 93.

As the first plane hit the Tower in NYC, there was confusion. How could a plane not miss the building in such clear weather? A few minutes later, the second Tower was hit. America and the world knew that this was no accident.

That realization was showcased in the A&E documentary Flight 93. The phone calls made from 93 were heart-wrenching.
Three conversations were most impactful:

  1. A young woman on Flight 93 calls her mother. The mom is aware of the carnage in NYC but she can't take the situation and attempts to console her daughter when in fact she is trying to calm her own self and be strong.
  2. A man calls her wife and asks her about his options. She agrees with taking back the control of the plane. As he hangs up, she can only say, "Oh God," and after a few moments she can't literally stand and thus slowly drops and sits on the floor.
  3. Todd Beamer on the phone right before "Let's Roll."

It is easy to forget that America didn't retaliate for the first time when she hit the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Instead, just mere moments -- excruciating, emotional, and exceptional moments -- after the evil hit the Twin Towers, the passengers on Flight 93 were taking a vote on attacking the terrorists. In that instant, the one terrorist who was watching them had his look of terror transform into a look of horror.

Americans fought back on 9/11 and thanks to those brave souls the terrorists on Flight 93 failed to cause more mayhem and kill more innocents.

Repeat of A&E's Flight 93 (via Clayton Cramer):

Wednesday, Feb. 1
2:00am
9:00pm

Thursday, Feb. 2
1:00am