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July 2007
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September 2007

Religion of Peace Speaks

Associated Press of Pakistan via LFG:

Taslima Nasreen, an exiled controversial Bangladeshi writer, who is in India, has asked the Indian government to provide her security in the wake of the Fatwa for death to her, issued by Indian Muslim scholars for writing a blasphemous book.

Media reports quoted Majidulla Khan Farhad of Hyderabad-based Majlis Bachao Tehriq while addressing a rally at Tipu Sultan mosque in Kolkata after Juma prayers as saying Taslima has defamed Islam and announced “unlimited financial reward” to anybody who would kill her.

More via Gateway Pundit:

Muslim clerics in Kolkata issued a "death warrant" against controversial Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen on Friday, threatening her life if she did not leave the country where she lives in exile.

The threat came after a meeting of dozens of clerics from prominent mosques in Kolkata - where the writer lives - who said she had invited their wrath through her "repeated criticism" of Islam in her books and speeches.

You see, Islam is the answer to everything. And don't you dare question that.

It says a lot about the inherently weak nature of this religion. If anything, Taslima Nasreen presents an excellent opportunity for Muslims -- they can openly refute her words and showcase that she is an ignorant fool. Instead, they attack her physically and offer rewards for her death. By their very actions, these Muslims prove that their religion has rotten foundations. For Islam cannot withstand the true words of a lone woman.

In this, these Muslims are unintentionally right.

Black Hole of History

Living Scotsman via Done with Mirrors:

In The Himmler Brothers, Katrin Himmler assiduously picks apart all those comfortable family myths, unchallenged for six decades, showing the full extent of the complicity of both his parents and both his brothers in his career. "So horrendous are Heinrich Himmler's crimes," she says, "that the natural temptation is to assume that he came from nowhere, that he was such a black sheep that family had nothing to do with his views. Yet the more I researched, the more I found out about just how much help they had given him."

Near the end:

Some day soon, she'll have to tell that story to her son, who's now seven. "He knows a bit about it," she says. "He knows that great-uncle Heinrich was a very bad man and that I've written a book about him and his brothers. But he's too young to really understand what the Holocaust was."

When he does, he'll discover how one side of his family tried to wipe out the other.

Costly Religion

The Vancouver Sun via LFG:

A blind Vancouver man who was shunned by a taxi driver who didn't want a guide dog in his cab has reached a $2,500 settlement with North Shore Taxi.


[...] Saidy, the cab driver, claims he also suffered discrimination because he was told by a citizenship judge 15 years ago that he could practise his religion and culture.

He said that as a Muslim, he cannot associate with dogs because they are considered impure.


"In my own company they say if you don't take the dog you're going to be fired. This is torture for me."

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you THE FACE OF TORTURE:


Pure evil, I tell you. EEEVIIL!

Not in Hollywood

Full2 Faltu on one of the greatest 'dance items' in Bollywood history:

Madhuri Dixit became famous after this one song. I remember that when the movie was released, we only had Doordarshan and the song was such a rage that every home would be playing that song. Madhuri Dixit is one actress who really likes to dance. You can see the happiness on her face when she dances. Another actor who enjoys dancing is Govinda. She went on to dance in many songs after that but ek do teen was the birth of a superstar.

Quite right.

There are details of other items as well. My personal favorites are from Khal Nayak (again with Madhuri Dixit) and Rangeela.

Convoluted Reaction


The designation of the Revolutionary Guard will be made under Executive Order 13224, which President Bush signed two weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to obstruct terrorist funding. It authorizes the United States to identify individuals, businesses, charities and extremist groups engaged in terrorist activities. The Revolutionary Guard would be the first national military branch included on the list, U.S. officials said -- a highly unusual move because it is part of a government, rather than a typical non-state terrorist organization.

I would prefer a state of war with that, er, state.

The US should also put ISI on the list.

Naagin Reloaded

I don't know about the movie but the review is a classic:

Everybody knows that the one thing every young girl fears is discovering, once she has given her heart to someone, that she was a serpent in her past life and that her snake husband wants her back. Guess what? That fear comes true for the poor Monisha.

Oh, I laughed so hard at that.

Link via DesiPundit.

Marriages of Convenience

What tortured lives these people must lead.

On a Web site for gay South Asians, 27-year-old Syed Mansoor uploaded the following message last summer:

Hi, I am looking for a lesbian girl for marriage. I am gay but I would like to get married because of pressure from parents and society. I would like this marriage to be a ‘normal’ marriage except for the sex part, please don’t expect any sexual relationship from me.   

Haram Washing

I wrote on June 6, 2005:

Sometimes on the weekend, my dad would offer 5 riyals (US$1.33) to have the car waxed. The whole process would take around two hours. Once, on Thursday, I was wiping the wax off when there was the azaan for Asr, the third prayer of the day. Indifferent Arabs passed me by to the mosque with the exception of one. This bearded Saudi grabbed hold of my arm and swung me around and then started a mini-lecture in Arabic on stopping all activities and praying. In the end, he pointed towards the mosque and left in disgust. I was out in the scorching heat for a little money and didn’t expect that outburst. I slowly left the unfinished job for the prayer time and finished the work afterwards.

August 12, 2007 via LFG:

A Bangladeshi man died of fright after being arrested by Saudi Arabia's controversial religious police for washing a car instead of praying, a local newspaper reported on Sunday.

His, likely Muslim, family in Bangladesh will always wonder about the senseless nature of his death and the irrational state of Arabia.

Dismal Results

The New York Times via Greg Mankiw:

Studies have shown that when students are tested about their knowledge of basic economic principles six months after completing an introductory economics course, they score no better, on average, than those who never took the course.


I knew many engineering students in university who had to take an econ course. Without exception, they all loathed it.

A few reasons why:

  • The course was not related to their field. Ergo, it was a waste of time and little effort was put into it.
  • The material itself was arcane and a pain in the ass. Who the hell cares about marginal cost / utility!?
  • The professor was incompetent. Often unclear and sometimes he would, word-for-word, repeat a previous lecture.

So, we have problems on both sides.

On the 'supply' side, the university doesn't assign good teachers. (They're hired on their research ability mostly. This doesn't imply that they're good teachers.)

On the 'demand' side, many students won't take any further econ courses after finishing the introductory course. Also, after being subjected to the awful teachers many decide, "No thanks."

I have always found it ironic that economists who write about inefficiencies can't / don't apply the same logic to their own profession in the university setting.

This is truly a disgrace.

Hillary's Main Problem

MSNBC on Hillary Clinton:

The problem is her political baggage: A whopping 49 percent of the public says they have an unfavorable view of Clinton compared to 47 percent who say they hold her in high regard, according to a Gallup Poll survey Aug. 3-5.

What makes this even worse:

A candidate's unfavorability scores almost always climb during campaigns. If the pattern holds, Clinton has a historically high hurdle to overcome.


Thin Skin

Chicago Sun Times:

The student, who is Jewish, was doing well in class and Gorby [the professor] pondered whether his religious training -- which from a young age encouraged critical analysis of written Scripture -- explained why Jews pass the bar at higher rates than African Americans.

Gorby opined that blacks were brought up in religions such as Baptist churches that "emphasize an emotional and spiritual religious experience rather than discussion and debate about the meaning of scriptural language."

You can probably see what's coming:

The student shared some of Gorby's comments with classmates, resulting in an elevator confrontation in which an African-American student asked Gorby if it was true that he said blacks don't do well in his class.

She filed a complaint with an assistant dean. The Black Law Student Association demanded Gorby be suspended for 30 days without pay. Gorby addressed the student group trying to straighten things out.

The Code Monkey nails it:

What this incident does is it shows that there is a remarkable spinelessness in the Black Law Student Association and probably in Gorby's class as well among at least a few of his black students. His remark was clearly not racist, as it was a comparison between two religious traditions. Anyone who is that quick to jump all over him, to try to silence him and push him out of the way simply does not have the sort of intellect capable of functioning in a heated courtroom; all the black student did was prove that she could not handle an intellectual debate that hit a little close to home.

Exactly. If Gorby's opinion was truly wrong and hideous, then this student should have taken him apart rhetorically. Instead, she filed a complaint. This implies that the comments by Gorby were hurtful -- not false.

Jihadist Sympathisers in Canada

Damian Penny: Hezbollah Propaganda - In Windsor.

Hezbollah is listed as a terrorist organization in Canada (and rightly so), but I have my doubts about this billboard contravening Canadian law. (Anti-terrorism provisions of the Criminal Code can be reviewed here.) It's vile, but I think it should be protected speech. Indeed, if people in my country openly support Hezbollah, I want them to be as open about it as possible.

I agree.

So Touching

Umar Lee writes about Sex and Muslims.

Here's Part II:

A convert married to a woman from overseas came home from work one night (he worked late nights). His wife came out of the bedroom and said “Your cousin called and said that your mother died” and then she turned around and went back to sleep leaving him to cry on the couch. Anything beyond that was just beyond her “job description”. That was “his thing”.


Open Savagery

Taslima Nasreen is one of the twelve writers who signed the Manifesto Against Islamic Totalitarianism in response to the Muhammad Cartoons. She is an exiled Bangladeshi ex-Muslim. Recently, she was attacked by Muslim members of the Indian senate. Oh, how brave of them! Fortunately, journalists protected her from the assault and got the whole thing on video.

These thugs are unabashedly proud of their behavior. Around 01:10 in the clip, many of them are shouting in public, "Taslima Nasreen murdabad" which peacefully translates to "Death to Taslima Nasreen".

Upgrading from the Dark Ages

Reuters via Eye on the World:

Mauritania's parliament has passed a law making slavery a criminal offence punishable by up to 10 years in prison after years of lobbying by rights groups in the Saharan Islamic state.


Although banned by decree since 1981, rights groups say hundreds of thousands of Mauritanians are still enslaved, the highest proportion in a population anywhere in the world.

Herding camels or goats in the sun-blasted dunes of the Sahara, or serving hot mint tea to guests in the richly carpeted villas of the capital Nouakchott, slaves are passed on as family chattels from generation to generation.

Going Through Hell

Victor Davis Hanson:

Controversy still rages over the morality of dropping the two atomic bombs that ended the war before the American invasions of Kyushu and Honshu. But we forget that President Truman’s decision was largely predicated on avoiding the nightmare that Marines like E. B. Sledge had just endured on Peleliu and Okinawa. If today Americans in the leisure of a long peace wonder whether our grandfathers were too hasty in their decision to resort to atomic weapons, they forget that many veterans of the Pacific wondered why they had to suffer through an Okinawa when the successful test at Alamogordo, New Mexico, on July 16 came just a few days after the island was declared secure. Surely the carnage on Okinawa could have been delayed till late summer to let such envisioned weapons convince the Japanese of the futility of prolonging the war.

The New York Council of Hos

The Nanny State knows no bounds:

Is bitch a four-letter word?

The New York City Council thinks so. It's trying to officially albeit symbolically ban the use of the word. Councilwoman Darlene Mealy of Brooklyn introduced a measure on July 25 that would make the term verboten.

What a whiny little bitch.

Its inspiration - as with so many things these days - is hip-hop music, with ten rappers cited in the legislation. "Ho" is also banned in the same bill.

Of course. Why be niggardly?

Human Relativity

The New York Times via Greg Mankiw:

When asked whether they’d rather have a 4,000-square-foot house in a neighborhood of 6,000-square-foot McMansions, or a 3,000-square-foot home in a zone of 2,000-square-foot bungalows, most people opt to lord it over their neighbors.

I have never fully understood this mindset since I would have chosen the 4000 square footer. This thought process doesn't stop with a hypothetical house. Some years ago, in one of my university courses, a student presented research which basically showed that most people would prefer to make $80,000 in a world where the average income was $60,000 rather than make $100,000 in a world where the average income was $120,000.

I've never cared what most people think about me, so that factor hasn't influenced me much. Still, I've always found this odd: many would prefer to be financially worse off for this small thing called status. I've seen people devote much time and energy to one-up their colleagues and their social strata -- that it often seems to be their purpose in life. Their appetite can't be satiated because there is always someone "better".

Such people remain forever poor.

TNR Shattered Again

Uncle Jimbo:

So as it turns out US troops are not heartless barbarians and that far too many people on the left can't accept that. Well from one of those barbarians who just happens to have more humanitarian and disaster assistance work under his belt than any of the smirking elite sitting around the table at Franklin "Which way is the door?" Foer's editorial meetings, F**k you very much!

I don't think he'll get a "you're welcome".