Nothing much happening these days but moving. While doing so I'm in a throwing a lot of stuff out mode, including the past as moving forward is always best. Yesterday I tore up some pictures and threw them out since they have nothing to do with me anymore, but how's this for ironic? I get a call fifteen minutes after doing this from Lebanon asking me to send those pictures. Um, oops.
My brother came over and took a bunch of my stuff too. That's cool that it can stay in the family. My neices visited last night with him and sis in law. Then we all went to dinner. When asked where the kids wanted to eat, to my shock they said "Hooters!" very excitedly - I guess that's their favorite place now. Only my brothers kids would say such a thing. We didn't go there of course.
Here's a quote I heard the other day i really liked:
"A ship in a harbor is safe, but that's not what ships are built for."
I realize much of my fear about moving and what not is coming from this thought. I've been living life safe. Everytime I start stressing out, I say this quote. Prayer has been good too.
Here's an article that upset me about Israeli's building where Palestinian homes should be: Click here for the article
and another about female detainees getting raped and as a result getting pregnant. Sick. Click here for the article
I probably won't blog again until I get to my new destination. I'm looking forward to seeing Shrek 2 with a new found friend there. The road trip should be fun too. Gonna pass through Memphis and Nashville which should be fun. Graceland here I come. ;-) With gas prices being so high and even higher during the memorial day weekend, I will probably be flat broke when I get there.
A Muslim I know is now a National Delegate - Cool and Congrats!
This is good as we need more Muslims speaking out. Congrats Khadija! You go girl!
So Georgia, my new home is possibly the target for a terrorist attack - the G-8 Meeting. Great.
Phone call to the South
Called Georgia today trying to get car insurance as mine expired and I didn't even know it. Anyhow, here's my question. How am I ever going to understand them? Between the "I'm gonna check on that right quick"'s and that long southern drawl, I had to keep asking, "What was that?" I'm not criticizing the accent because I actually think it's cute, but dang, it's gonna take a while to understand what I'm hearing.
The Dilemma: Which would you choose?
You are driving down the road in your car on a wild, stormy night, when you pass by a bus stop and you see three people waiting for the bus:
1. An old lady who looks as if she is about to die.
2. An old friend who once saved your life.
3. The perfect partner you have been dreaming about.
Which one would you choose to offer a ride to, knowing that there could only be one passenger in your car? Think before you continue reading. This is a moral/ethical dilemma that was once actually used as part of a job application.
You could pick up the old lady, because she is going to die, and thus you should save her first.
Or you could take the old friend because he once saved your life, and this would be the perfect chance to pay him back. However, you may never be able to find your perfect mate again.
The candidate who was hired (out of 200 applicants) had no trouble coming up with his answer. He simply answered: "I would give the car keys to my old friend and let him take the lady to the hospital. I would stay behind and wait for the bus with the partner of my dreams."
I've been reading a lot of Kahlil Gibran lately and you can't read him without feeling something. He would make the hardest person soften. I'm now reading Beloved and also the letters between he and Mary Haskell, his long time friend, and love, in their own special way.... Here's a portion of a letter...
"No human relation gives one possession in another ~ every two souls are absolutely different. In friendship or in love, the two side by side raise hands together to find what one cannot reach alone."
"What difference does it make, whether you live in a big city or in a community of homes? The real life is within."
Whew...what a weekend!
Got up and dreaded the day. Mustered up the energy to go get a storage unit for myself and finalize the move. Sisters/Friends are great...they come through when you really need them. One came over with her two daughers and helped me move my stuff. Whew, that saved the day. But lets start at the beginning. Got up still sleepy and ran out the house to go get the storage unit. Oops, don't have car keys. Have to break into my apartment and climb through the window. I should be a burglar as it took all of two minutes. Ran out again. MS's flight was delayed, uh oh. Plan B. Didn't have a plan B. Aforementioned sis came over and we loaded things up and got them moved, leaving three heavy things for the boys to move. Between loads, ran to the airport, picked MS up. Got the big stuff moved. We were supposed to go to a lecture: Dr. Amina Wadud, "Islam Gender and the Challanges of Modernity". She is the author of Qur'an and Woman: Rereading the Sacred Text from a Woman's Perspective. I wanted to see it but missed it.
Got done with the moving (for the day) and rushed over to my friends house for dinner. AWESOME food. Traditional Pakistani food. Christians, Shias, and Ahmedi's were represented...the three minorities in Pakistan. :-)
The place was set for an elaborate feast, and feast we did. And I got to be hear Pakistani stories. When one said they used to borrow money from the driver to go to the Tuck Shop, all could relate. It was pretty funny watching them reminisce. Lots of laughing and lots of love. The six of us had a great time. Here is what was served (YUM):
Mithai (Gulab Jamun, Ladoo, Jalebi, Barfi)
All homemade and EXCELLENT. It was a great evening and went late. The company was great and I look forward to seeing them all on return visits.
Had one of my usual crying fits (usual for these days anyhow). It seems like whenever moving, friends, mountains, or sunsets come up, I get teary eyes. I'm so freaked out about moving. It hit me when as the day gets closer and closer. So note to all: Do not say anything about those subjects or expect me to start bawling. I really didn't realize how much I was going to miss all of this. My friends, those beautiful Colorado sunsets, the mountains looming over the whole west of the city, and just all of it.
Anyhow, got over it and headed to the mountains, springing a leak only occassionally. drove through the Rocky's listening to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's qawwali's and also Ravi Shankar. Perfect listening for the mystical ride. It's still filled with snow up there and sometimes we were driving along a 12 foot bank of snow with cliffs going straight down on the other side. Thank God MS trusted my driving skills (or tried to) although MS kept looking over nervously making sure my eyes were on the road and sometimes grabbing the steering wheel. It really is beautiful here. For those who haven't seen it: do.
Dropped MS off at the airport :-( and headed home to hit the rest of packing. I still have a lot to do and it's been emotional these days. I hate goodbye's, but I leave Friday so time to get serious. :-)
Just now, we had a massive hail storm. Golf ball sized hail. Eek. Without having a tv it took a while to figure out what was making that noise on the roof. I looked at the weather online a little while ago and it said this:
Some cool and showery weather will spread across the northeastern plains tonight and Tuesday as a push of rather chilly late May air drops down from Canada into Colorado. Scattered showers and thunderstorms can be expected late this afternoon and this evening, with some light showers and areas of fog after midnight.
Sheesh, it didn't say golf ball sized hail nor the pounding of it. Crazy Colorado weather. All right off to pack and just do this. God give me the strength to get through this week.
Oh, and an amusing phone call of the day: I call Mom who has been out of the country for six months or so without a phone and just wanted to see how she was doing. First thing she says is "I don't want you marrying one of "those" men from "those" countries because they lock women up and don't let them go out. Ok Mom, first things first.... Went over it all with her. This is the woman who said after I told her I converted to Islam "What's Islam?" Oh me o my. I guess Mom's been talking to her friends about me and my conversion and getting all the stereotypical stories. I'm going to have to start working on that right away.
Berg Video and it's validity...
Good information in this article for those folks (who like me) think there is something very fishy about the video... I still think the lack of blood is the most bothersome thing but, here's a good analysis of the video and breakdown of the video and frames...shots with military men are in the video...and do look at the colors of the walls...
And think about this too: It is noteworthy to bear in mind that US media claimed in 2001 that al-Zarqawi lost a leg, and was believed to have been fitted with an
artificial leg. Yet, as viewers of the video tape are aware, none of the men
seem to have any artificial limbs. (from www.1924.org)
Click here: Berg decapitation video was filmed inside the Abu Ghraib prison
And on a personal note...
Man o man if stress levels were like terror threats, I'm a code red. I don't know what's going on with me but I've cried daily from stress. Can a 30 year old have a midlife crisis? I've been so emotional, scared, tense, happy, the whole gamut of emotions. Reading Kahlil Gibran is tearing up my heart, the three pigeons that terrorize me on a daily basis are not ceasing. Now I have three who are very determined and headstrong to live on my balcony. I wake to that hideous noise they make and feathers are all over. Yuck. I try and get rid of them but they won't leave.
Packing sucks. Moving sucks. Pigeons suck. This is my mood. Yuck. Insh'Allah it will be better in about 2 weeks.
The Palestinian crisis is getting increasingly worse daily...if you would like information on who to write regarding it, let me know.
But check these out - they are very good:
Rafah's Website...a student living in Palestine
Amazing as it sounds, but fortunately for the Muslims of the world,it is an established act. Have a look at a map of the world and you will find Indonesia on the eastern side of the earth. The major cities of Indonesia are Java, Sumatra, Borneo and Saibil. As soon as dawn breaks on the eastern side of Saibil, at approximately 5:30 am local time, Fajar Azaan begins. Thousands of Muazzins in Indonesia begin
reciting the Azaan.
The process advances towards West Indonesia. One and a half hours after the Azaan has been completed in Saibil, it echoes in Jakarta. Sumatra then follows suit and before this auspicious process of calling Azaan ends in Indonesia, it has already begun in Malaysia.
Burma is next in line, and within an hour of its beginning in Jakarta, it reaches Dacca, the capital city of Bangladesh. After Bangladesh, it has already prevailed in western India, from Calcutta to Srinagar.
It then advances towards Bombay and the environment of entire India resounds with this proclamation. Srinagar and Sialkot (a city in north Pakistan) have the same timing for Azaan. The time difference between Sialkot, Quetta, and Karachi is forty minutes, and within this time, Fajar Azaan is heard throughout Pakistan. Before it ends there, it has already begun in Afghanistan and Muscat. The time difference between Muscat and Baghdad is one hour. Azaan resounds during this one hour in the environments of Hijaaz-e-Muqaddas (Holy cities of Makkah and Madinah), Yemen, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Iraq.
The time difference between Baghdad and Alexandria in Egypt is again one hour. Azaan continues to resound in Syria, Egypt, Somalia and Sudan during this hour. The time difference between eastern and western Turkey is one and a half hours, and during this time it is echoed with the call to prayer.
Alexandria and Tripoli (capital of Libya) are located at one hour's difference. The process of calling Azaan thus continues throughout the whole of Africa. Therefore, the proclamation of the Tawheed and Risaalat that had begun in Indonesia reaches the Eastern Shore of the Atlantic Ocean after nine and half hours. Prior to the Azaan reaching the shores of the Atlantic, the process of Zohar Azaan has already started in east Indonesia, and before it reaches Dacca, Asar Azaan has started. This has hardly reached Jakarta one and half hours later, the time of Maghrib becomes due, and no sooner has Maghrib time reached Sumatra,the time for calling Isha Azaan has commenced in Saibil! When the Muazzins of Indonesia are calling out Fajar Azaan, the African Muazzins are calling the Azaan for Isha.
If we were to ponder over this phenomenon thoughtfully, we would conclude the amazing fact that there is not even a single moment when hundreds of thousands of Muazzins around the world are not reciting the Azaan on the surface of this earth.
Even as you read this material right now, you can be sure there are atleast thousands of people who are hearing and reciting the Azaan!!!
I found me some terrorists! Can I get my reward Mr. President?
For those of you that have had insomnia, you know what the phrase "intrusive ache of morning" means. If you can't fall asleep until 4am, then wake to pray, and then try to fall back asleep with the insomnia creeping back up on you, you spend your days in a dazed sleep deprived state and it's like a dream world where nothing is real but it is. It's a surreal feeling.
I've been restless and sleepless for almost three weeks now. Maybe it's the packing and my place being in a permanant state of disarray, maybe it's because I don't have my tv anymore putting me to sleep like a bedtime story, maybe it's because my life is changing very fast. The speed limit is 75 and I'm doing about 100. The last six months have been full of change and everything is new.
Moving isn't fun either. I hate doing it. There's not much in this life that I would pack up all my belongings and move for. In fact, I've never moved out of state so maybe this is where some lingering restlessness lies. I'm looking forward to it, but it's scary at the same time. My life has changed so dramatically and usually i love change and newness, but it still leaves a little nervousness in the recess of my soul. Insh'Allah, this will leave upon arrival to my new city (and life).
It doesn't help when friends keep asking me "Are you sure this is what you want to do?" I love them for having the concern, but it does make me nervous when so many people are asking it. I usually grab life by the horns, but these days I'm just walking the plank and trying not to lose balance. I know I'm moving for a good reason..the best reason really. I'm not sharing it with the general public because well that makes it lose it's sacredness. It will be public insh'Allah one day.
Over the last few weeks I've been coming out to my friends about being Muslim too. Those people I've respectfully declined going out with for the last year. It feels good for everyone to know why i've been living like a hermit, not showing up at social fuctions where drinking is involved etc, but it's also a burden on the soul to even have to explain yourself and have them eye your hijab. Some friends have been lost forever (a tear shed), some fully accept it and in their own way are proud because they know it can't be easy as they say "I wouldn't have the strength to do what you are doing" and for them I am eternally greatful. Others ask "Why did you do it?" It's not an easy question to answer. I mean how to you explain to someone that you have always had a deep love and fear of God and have always been religious but it wasn't externalized? Most people in this country can't talk about religion - it's almost a bad word - often being equated with extremism. I don't know how it got that way, but if you ever want to make someone uncomfortable ask them "How do you feel about God?" It's a very personal thing and something that can't really be explained. It's just there inside you. But when you change religions and it becomes so apparant on the outside, people ask. I'm glad they do in a way, as I have always been forthright in my opinions and beliefs as anyone who knows me knows this. And opening someone's eyes to Islam, not to convert, but just to shed some light on the religion that has been synonamous with terror, is a good thing. But I don't have an answer regarding God. My answer varies every time. It's here in my heart and words can't conjure the love I have for God.
The best thing about converting (aside from the blissful feeling inside for finally finding the way and the love for Him) is the friends I have made. I have never in my life met such good people. The sisterhood within Islam is a fringe benefit of converting. I've met some great women (and guys too) and these relationships are different because we can talk openly and honest about anything. It makes me sad to know I have to start over in another city and leave the people I've met here. There's the internet thank God. And I've already made contact with a few women over there who I am already attached too and have made plans to meet but Denver is where I found myself and for that reason, it has a grasp on my heart.
So much going on but nothing at all either...just some ponderings of my soul which really needs some rest.
The Jesus Landing Pad Article - click here
Why do all the rules in the Bible get put aside (forbidden pork, lust, occupation, the list could go on forever...) but the issue of Jesus not returning until Israel is a Jewish state is always upheld?
Quote from the article: The e-mailed meeting summary reveals NSC Near East and North African Affairs director Elliott Abrams sitting down with the Apostolic Congress and massaging their theological concerns. Claiming to be "the Christian Voice in the Nation's Capital," the members vociferously oppose the idea of a Palestinian state. They fear an Israeli withdrawal from Gaza might enable just that, and they object on the grounds that all of Old Testament Israel belongs to the Jews. Until Israel is intact and David's temple rebuilt, they believe, Christ won't come back to earth.
If i were those guys, I would prolong the return of Jesus as long as possible since that would mean the Day of Judgment and hell is a little hot this time of year.
Abrams attempted to assuage their concerns by stating that "the Gaza Strip had no significant Biblical influence such as Joseph's tomb or Rachel's tomb and therefore is a piece of land that can be sacrificed for the cause of peace."
Come on.... and Bush and Kerry are both adamently pro-Israel. This is scary stuff.
Another atrocity... Click here for the article about a wedding getting fired on killing 40 innocent Iraqi's
On a good note, Sistani is requesting Sadr and Co. to leave Karbala. Thank God. I wonder when he was going to speak up. Insh'Allah, they will listen and go.
A reminder that not all of the soldiers are inherently bad.... I do respect some of them who voice the atrocities and I really respect those who got the pictures out into the media...
Full Article can be read by clicking here (I killed innocent people for our government)
And it just gets worse...
Reuters, NBC Staff Abused by U.S. Troops in Iraq
Click here for the article
Yup, both my arms are gone now. Ouch.
What does Sister Soljah mean?
Some people have gotten to my blog by Google searching for this answer and I've also had questions as to what it meant so i figured I'd put it out there.
It was an old nickname of mine. There's a song that my friends used to say reminded them of me. It was called Even After All performed by Finley Quaye. It can be found on the soundtrack of Around the Fire, a Rasta/Hippy movie.
Before finding Islam I had to go through a lot of religions. Buddhism, Taoism, Catholicism, Rastafarianism, Sufism, all the -isms essentially. I even looked into Hasidicism (loved the curly locks and hats)...okay it isn't an -ism so I couldn't do that one - and I liked Jesus too much to give him up as most hippies do- many fashion themselves after him hence the hair and Jerusalem Cruisers (Birkenstocks).
And yes, I was a little hippie granola chick too. I was a serious vegan for a couple months too. One of my favorite t-shirts back then had pictures of animals and said "I don't eat my friends" and I refused to wear or eat animal products. I was a tree hugger (environmentalist) too. Then came the hippie chick stage. Jerusalem cruisers became my choice footwear or Doc Martin's or thongs. I often wore indian styled shirts that you see many hippie chicks running around in with baggy patched jeans. I love granola and yogurt and indian food. I loved sleeping on the floors of my friends places and bucking the system. I chanted with Buddhists and ate off the floor with them. I wore Doc Martins to protest rally's - back then i protested everything - I once laid down with my friends in front of a bulldozer to stop them from tearing down a building I/we had strong feelings about. I'm a little more picky now. I took many roadtrips in response to reading On the Road by Jack Kerouak and slept on trains in Europe. I dreamed of going to India or Morocco as it seemed the perfect place to find oneself, but well, being a hippie chick doesn't land you primo jobs. I played poker for money and worked in the finance field slaving for the man and that's the only time i sold out. Believe it or not there's lots of us (hippies/rastas/grungers) in that field so don't take their words to heart. I wrote funky artsy coffeehouse poetry and recited it with zeal in the flavor of Avant Garde at local coffeehouses. It used to be that I could be found on any given night at a place called "Sancho's - A thinking place" - that's actually it's name - it's a little hippie dive bar. I played my three songs (John Lennon - Let it Be, Bob Marley - Redemption Song, and Bob Dylan's Tangled Up in Blue) on the jukebox and ran the pool table all night long with my friends. I loved bohemian film and dreamed of living in parks in Paris as Hemingway did trying to squeeze out a novel. Next was the Sufism stage which ultimately led me to Islam. The wanderer still lies within, but she has tamed a bit, okay- a lot, since converting. I had to change absolutely everything. How I got here, I sometimes wonder. I mean I was a free spirit. It's hard to be a free spirit when you get tied down with rules and a hijab. But anything for Allah. My love of God was always there and in a way all of it was in search of Him.
Many wonder when I'm going to get out of my Muslim phase and into another. For me it's not a phase though, it's what I was searching for for those ten or so years. And I think I already went through all the interesting phases. Getting too old for all that now anyhow. That was a realllllly long tangent so back to the original point.
In basic terms, the name Sister Soljah breaks down to this:
Sister = female Muslim (it used to have a different meaning but now it works in the Muslim sense - did i tell you about the Black Panther phase?...lol...and I'm white)
Soldier = people i used to hang with called me a revolutionary in heart and soul
Soldier was spelled Soljah (originally SoulJah) because I'm a soulful soldier - using the mind for combat not physical strength. Jah comes from Rastafarian...it means God in Rasta. So Sister Soljah means a soulful Muslim soldier for God. Yeah, it doesn't work so well Islamically, but well it's sentimental for me and multifaceted which is a good word for me.
Running down a deen
Woke up Sunday with a raging hangover from late night chatting. Met this cool girl in my new city and we just have hit it off. Rolled out of bed so i could drive down to see Masooma and go place some geocaches. First stop: Army Surplus Store. Okay, once i pulled into the lot i realized going in there with full hijab was probably not going to be a good idea, but well, I did it anyhow. I found two ammo boxes for the cache, and everyone was looking at me funny. So I decided to have some fun. I went to the front of the store and flipped through all the militia handbooks (Guerilla Warfare, Hand to Hand fighting, Boobytrapping, etc.). I mean if they want to discriminate, discriminate for a reason right?
Well I get in line and am about to pay (with cash) and she asks for my id. What are we in? Nazi Germany? I mean come on. I'm buying two empty ammo boxes. They don't id the militia guys when they go in there. And i was paying cash for a reason. The FBI has been watching me forever. They questioned me for 9 hours and yes Mr. John B. I know you probably read my blog or one of your cronies and basically have my life deprivatized... As I told you before, please do a better job of phone tapping. It's irritating to hear that clicking and lose reception. My friends even hear it. So get a better tapping system okay? And when you tap my new home, please don't break anything. The door slams kind of hard with the gust of wind from the corridor.
Anyhow, sorry about the tangent. I don't pay with credit card or debit card for anything anymore except gas and food. It's not that i'm hiding anything, i just don't like them knowing my daily doings. Them knowing my library books and book stores selections are irritating enough. Well i refused. I said "you didn't ask anyone else for their id so you don't need to ask for mine. If you want to know what I'm doing ask. That ID thing is getting old." I mean if I were a terrorist I wouldn't come in here with my scarf, I'd remove it and blend in as you know "terrorists" like to do. "I'm buying these here ammo cans to do a fun thing called geocaching...it's a family thing..." not an underground terrorist training exercise. By the time the line was getting backed up but they weren't even mad about it. They wanted to know what i was doing in there too. Well hopefully they will explore the fun world of geocaching.
After that little frenzy I hit the road and drove to Masooma's. Anytime I drive a decently long distance i get weird thoughts. Today's was "let's do a Muslima Fear Factor" - just one episode with hijabbed women competing for $50,000. The rules would have to bend for the eating part but they could find other gross things for us to do. But how fun would that be. And I think people would actually watch it out of curiousity. You know, to see what Muslims are really like - they would watch it i'm sure. And they could see how Muslims are just like other people. What do you guys think?
I got there on SSST (Sister Soljah Standard Time) which is usually about an hour late. Sometimes less, but often 45-60 minutes late. Hint to anyone... When you need me to be somewhere just tell me an hour earlier and that would put me right on time. And if I by some act of God make it on regular time, I would have to wait. I would prefer inconveniencing me rather than someone else. :-)
Well we went on some nice little mild hikes placing geocaches in the wonderful outdoors and had a blast doing it. We filled em up with some good stuff too. One was full of DVD's that we got at the dollar store for a dollar each. How cool is that? And the other with lots of fun useful stuff. We did a cache along the way too. It was a grand adventure to find the perfect hiding spot. We were going to do one by the airport but we look at each other and say "eh, not today, don't feel like getting arrested or questioned, etc.
Went back to her place and ate homemade ;-) cheese enchiladas and pomegranite juice. Yum. And chocolate creme pie. Double Yum. Prayed and then watched Zoolander. Very cheesy but Funny movie. I was about to fall asleep. Too much fun for this kid i guess plus with the late night chatting hangover, I was about to pass out but determined to finish the movie. I don't like leaving things unfinished. Except my writing...for that I truly need deadlines.
The drive home was interesting. Eyes watery and blurry, I aimed to stay in lanes occassionally missing the mark, so I decided to listen to some white trash music (you know the type don't ya?) instead of my typical jazz. Haram to some, but well playing chicken on a highway is too...that's suicide. So to make the music non Haram i was bobbing my head and changing the lyrics to songs...I changed Running Down a Dream by Tom Petty to Running Down a Deen and Mickey (yes..that cheesy eighties song) to Allah. It was quite funny and amusing (to me) and kept me from falling asleep.
Got home, very tired, and laid down but thoughts began racing in my mind and well a wave of insomnia hit me and i couldn't sleep. I hate that. My mind keeps me awake.
I'm gonna miss my girls here when i move. They've been there from the get-go and am sad to leave em. Thank God for the internet. Oh, that's a funny story i have to throw in too.
Phone rang rather early (after Masooma's wake up call ;-) and i answered it half asleep and they said something funny so i actually said "laughing out loud" - this is a sure sign that i have been a little too attached to my computer. I started cracking up when i heard myself say it.
The lyrics from Running Down a Deen in honor of Running Down a Dream by Tom Petty but performed by Sister Soljah (okay it doesn't sound so amusing now, but it was last night):
Running Down A Deen
It was a beautiful day, sun beat down.
I had the radio on, I was drivin'
Trees went by, Me and Me were singing
Little Muslima, I was flyin'
Running down a deen
Never thought it would come to me
Working on my prayers
Going wherever it leads
Runnin' down a deen
I felt so tired, but knew anything was possible
Hit cruise control, rubbed my eyes
The last three days the rain was unstoppable
It was always cold, no sunshine
Running down a deen
Never knew it would come to me
Working on my prayers
Going wherever it leads
Runnin' down a deen
As I rolled on, the sky grew dark
I put the pedal down, to make some time
There's somethin' good, waiting down this road
I'm pickin' up whatever good deeds i can find
Running down a deen
Never knew it would come to me
Working on my prayers
Going wherever it leads
Runnin' down a deen
YIP E I AY!
Poll: Bush hits new all time low! I am soooooo happy about this. 42% Can we get it down to 0 before election day? Hot Dog! (halaal hot dog of course). Even with the video out there can't make it go up. What's plan B Mr. Man?
I am an idiot
I used to work with a Pakistani lady and over the years we've met up for dinner every six months or so. Well I went to her house this afternoon for tea and she had prepared some yummy pakistani snacks. I LOVE samosas and anything else with potatoes and spice. They were the perfect level of spiciness too. Didn't make me break out in a cold sweat and rush for liquid...just parfait.
Spent a good four hours there with her and her husband...great people. But this is how I am an idiot. I assumed she was Muslim. But she is married to an American Christian so I was a little confused about that. She told me she was Christian. Silly me thinks she converted to Christianity, but no, she was born into a Christian family in Pakistan. I felt so stupid for assuming there weren't Christians in Pakistan. I knew they were in Palestine and Lebanon and what not...yup, i'm an idiot. And I thought i was rather worldly. Hmmm.
Anyhow, it was a great day/evening and now I'm going for a Pakistani dinner next weekend at her house along with some of her Pakistani friends. I love desi's. I do. Love the food, the accent (vorld not world, tunderstorm instead of thunderstorm, etc.), I just love 'em. Maybe I was a desi in my past life.
What else? Dad was reelected as mayor...that's cool for him until i come hijabbed to his place of business and everyone runs me out of town. But YAY for Dad.
I just finished reading The Nanny Diaries and now I feel like being a Mom. And I just started reading Khalil Gibran's Broken Wings. Wow...intense. Also started Jihad vs. McWorld: How Globalism and Tribalism are Reshaping the World. Looks interesting. The pic on the front is of a chadorred Saudi woman drinking a Pepsi. We'll see what it has to say.
Nothing else is new. Blah. I am starting to miss my tv. Need some braindead activity for a couple hours. I'm missing Globetrekker. I like that show. :-(
Imam Ali's Shrine damaged... Sadr is not acting right... Why did he drag them over there. Is Sistani going to get assassinated now?
I didn't want to blog Berg but well i'm gonna.
The slain man's father, Michael Berg, told reporters that his son met Moussaoui while riding the bus to classes, and had allowed the suspect to use his computer.
Isn't that a little odd? Like the article also says: an American who inadvertently gave away his computer password to one suspected al Qaeda operative is later murdered by another notorious al Qaeda operative, Zarqawi. I also find it odd that Berg's sister married an Iraqi.
All I want to know is where was the blood? I saw the video and there wasn't any. What's up with that? Here are some conspiracy links (I'm saying I buy them (all) but here they are for review) - I'm too lazy to link them for you guys today but highlight and paste to your heart's desire:
Some interesting links from the last couple weeks:
Who will Al Qaeda vote for in November?
Sonia Gandhi's website:
A funny girl (Muslim comic) - Check out Ahmad Ahmad sometime too):
The headscarf reaches new heights (sports and hijab):
Headscarf row stops soccer match:
"President Bush is asking for $80 billion dollars to rebuild Iraq. And when you make out that check, remember there are two L's in Halliburton." - David Letterman
"The first casualty when war comes, is truth." - Hiram Johnson
"Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the US media." Noam Chomsky
"They misunderestimated me." George Bush (I'm surprised he used such a big word)
"There are known knowns. These things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things we know we don't know. But, there are also unknown unknowns. These are things we don't know we don't know." Donald Rumsfield
"He knows he can't win the round, so he's just camping where we can't find him, waiting for time to run out. Saddam is such a lamer. He's probably wallhacking too. This is just another example of his pattern of behavior. It's these cheaters and lamers that are ruining the fun of war for the rest of us." Donald Rumsfield
Interesting article about homosexuality and Islam...a much debated topic these days...http://www.muslimwakeup.com/mainarchive/000784.php
or check out Hijabman's Blog
- His blog is often compelling and always amusing...
I just wrote this. I wrote it in 5 minutes or so. Therefore, it's no masterpiece but anyhow...
I prostrate Northeast for the third time today
Taking the loneliness away
Purifying me once again
Keeping me from sin.
I ache to be closer to Him
Closer than I've ever been
I long to feel complete
And tears on the stone meet.
I thank You for your gift.
Through these thoughts I sift.
And regain focus on You.
I realize my faith is true.
Accept my Du'a.
I ask you why you chose to guide me?
I can't see.
Although I accept your trust
For you must see something I don't. You must.
Now I ask in my Supplication
Help the state of this nation.
Let them see You as we Muslims do
The reason for living is only You.
Help those who can't see
that believing in You
is their only hope
It's a sad state of affairs here on Earth today.
You see it so I don't have to say.
Help us through this life
In this Du'a
I ask you "Please keep me with you."
In reality, It's all I ask of you.
Something opens our wings. Something
makes boredom and hurt disappear.
Someone fills the cup in front of us.
We taste only sacredness.
I like this quote and read it today. For me this passage encapsulates exactly why I converted to Islam. This is what God does for the soul. Fills us up.
Yesterday I ran into a couple I used to know. I say "used to" because they really don't know anything about me anymore. They didn't know I converted to Islam or any of that. When I converted I kind of dropped off the face of the Earth. I had to or I wouldn't have been able to break my bad habits. But anyhow, they asked me why I quit playing poker. I told them that i converted and that it is forbidden to me now. They were at first awestruck but then called me later and we had a nice chat about Islam.
Here's the deal. I used to play poker for a living. Poker players don't consider themselves gamblers and if you play right, it really isn't (except in Islamic terms). Well, I was getting well known for being one of the best players and was making a decent living at it. I was able to pay rent and my bills with it and have money leftover. Not bad for not really working. The fact of the matter is that I could have started playing tournaments for the big money had i wanted to. Many people were willing to "finance" me. Payouts from tournaments range from thousands to a million. The easy life.
Well then I converted and gave it up and people could not believe it because I was so good. But I took my new faith seriously and although I didn't consider poker gambling, it is in Islamic terms because it does "hurt" people and it's not good for us. And it really isn't.
I enjoyed the game immensely though. There's nothing like sitting at a table of ten and figuring out the inner workings of each and every mind, and also calculating probability and odds. It takes brains to play it right and be able to make a living off of it. But I never did like the environment: mostly guys, smoky dark rooms, and a lot of lonliness in the players. I used to combat that by hiking before or after playing to bring me back into the real world. But I did enjoy the game. I'm a number person. I like calculating odds, etc. It's why I like the stock market so much too... I do miss the game - not necessarily the money, but the game.
Why am I saying all of this? I don't know. But what i began thinking about last night after talking to them was that as a convert, we have often tasted much of the things that are now forbidden to us (alcohol, pork, dating, gambling, etc). I realized how strong this makes us. We have been there and done that and were able to turn our backs on the vile and embrace the pure. I felt really good about the things I gave up because in all actuality, I didn't really enjoy the occassional drink, gambling, etc. I missed pork at first but not anymore - that one was the hardest (and eating halaal). I didn't really enjoy dating either. And my life gained a lot of clarity when I gave it up.
Anyhow, my friends liked to watch me play (it really is amusing to see me in action). Friends who never played would occasionally go and watch and were amazed to see me in action. It's the one place in life where i had complete confidence and strength. I played a good game. So my friends have invited me to play penny poker and all money will be returned to the respective players. Just a friendly game for old friends to catch up and give me a chance to play for fun (which was why i liked it).
My question to you guys.... Would it still be haram if there was no exchanging of money?
I knew it would happen sooner or later. I would see Bush and take my tv and throw it over the balcony. Well it has been done. No more tv for me. Okay okay I didn't really do that but the tv is broken and it makes me happy. Well sort of. It's one less thing to move. I was moving a heavy bookshelf by myself yesterday and lost grip and bang - right into the tv.
Matatma Ghandi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of callouses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail. And with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath.
That made him what?
A super calloused fragile mystic plagued with halitosis.
Is Bush dumb?
I often say yes and the reasons are apparent, but I have to reconsider.
Who else could do all that he has done and still have a huge following? Who else could get the media to spin things the way he does? Who else could say the stupid things he does and not get criticized by the majority?
So here's my question to you, Do you think he is dumb or smart?
This is sick! I just saw a picture of a woman being raped by a soldier with a gun and it's sick. What the hell??? I am not posting the picture because I don't agree with posting the ones with nakedness of women. Not that the men ones should be posted either but we've all seen them. The words say enough but if you want to see it check out this blog:
Here's another tidbit of the day... My neighbors...good people...have been taking some of the stuff I'm getting rid of for my move and yesterday when in my apartment she saw the Quran and said "Oh, how beautiful. What is this?" Her hands were flipping the pages which I didn't really like, but didn't want to hurt her feelings. "It's the Quran...don't you know I'm Muslim?" I mean the headscarve gives it away doesn't it? But she responded with "Oh, that's interesting." This statement can be taken a variety of ways depending on the tone of the voice, etc. Hers could be translated as "I don't know what to say so i'll say this." Thought is was funny that's all. The day before this she had said "You are the only cool neighbor we have. I wonder if she still thinks so.
If these guys had been Muslim, the media would have reported that they caught two terrorists. Damn the media. Israeli's can do all this and have "Learn to Fly" brochures but don't get the label. And what was the substance they had? I believe that the hijackers had a serious connection to Israel anyhow...this just makes me believe it more.
Couple of interesting things.
Found this poll online today:
Simple Question. Should Rumsfeld resign?
Also, cooked lamb shanks last night....sooooo good. Lamb is a meat I never really worked with much so it's fun experimenting. I love cooking and these days have been hard (not buying new groceries since i am moving and using only that which i have...makes things interesting) but those shanks were tasty. Fell right of the bone. Yummmmm. MS - they turned out sooo good. I wish you were here to taste them.
Two happy days in a row.
Wow. I was beginning to think it was an oxymoron to be a happy and American. But here it is day two of being happy. Can I make it to three? I turned off the tv, refused to read the papers, or even scan the net for news. But I did get one terrible email which I will share. Should have made me mad, but I guess I'm too busy packing to rage about it. Check these links out. Awful stuff. And here's a few quotes by Mr. Man that irked me. But I'm not going to be mad or angry anymore. I'm going to do something about it as that will be more productive.
- If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier - just
so long as I'm the dictator. George W. Bush, 18 December 2000
- International law? I better call my lawyer; he didn't bring that up to
me; George W. Bush, 12 December 2003
Typical Bush right? Dumb (Bush) and Dumber (Rummy)
Various abuse stories...very sickening...
Iraqi Girl Aged 12 was stripped and beaten by military personnel:
'I was beaten for three days by British soldiers':
My major aggravation the last two days is this pigeon that I fight with every time the warm weather comes around. He or she is winning completely and has even put a guilt trip on me. I don't like pigeons. Hemingway impresses me the way he'd eat them, but that was him and this is me. I don't like them and one has taken residence on my balcony again. Now I have for the last year been successful in our disagreement but now he completely has the upper hand. I keep taking the nest down, blocking where he's building but he just tears down what I've blocked him with and rebuilds his nest. Ugh. And then when I go out there to shoo him out, he throws me this sad look like "Lady, please quit tearing down my home." Then I think of Israeli's bulldozing homes and I get a guilt trip from a dang pigeon. I am much too empathic for my own good. The pigeon wins and I just have to deal with the annoying "gaws" or however you would spell that sound they make. This is my battle and it's just another one that I can't win.
Here is the story/joke from last night:
A man goes to his rabbi and says that his son has come back from college converted to Christianity, and he says, How can this happen? I send my son away to school and he becomes Christian. The Rabbi replies, Funny you should say that! The same thing happened to me! I sent my son to study in Jerusalem, in Israel, and he converted to Christianity there. In Jerusalem of all places, and the son of a Rabbi! How can this be happening? So, I complained to God about it and told him, God, I sent my son to Jerusalem and he became a Christian! And God replied, Funny you should say that! The same thing happened to me!
I thought it was cute.
Also, another thing from last night that I really liked. When asked about hijab, two women spoke and both had very good points. But this puts it in a nutshell. A woman is like a diamond. When you go into a jewelry store, diamonds are kept under glass because they are the most valuable of jewels. Wearing hijab treats women like a diamond. That really put it in a nutshell for me. Lately, I've been struggling to wear it because it's been so hot and i like to do so much outside. It's my first summer being Muslim so it's probably going to be the hardest, but I'll get through it and figure out a way to make it work, just like I did when I started wearing it to work to everyone's dismay.
Learning curves are good as they make us stronger. Just like the morning prayer does. Being able to do that everyday really teaches us about committment and faith. It's the hardest thing to do as a Muslim (in my opinion) to wake up on a Sunday morning at 5am or so to pray. But what it does to our character is the payoff, let alone having an early morning conversation with God and then watching the sun rise. It's really a gift. A beautiful experience and actually my favorite prayer even though it is the hardest one.
Okay so I've been ranting and raving for about a week now, but today I am nothing but utterly happy. Today is the Prophet's (saw) Birthday and the program was great. I also saw everyone I haven't seen aside from email and the internet all in one place again. I'm going to miss them all dearly when I permantly move. And all the hugging and kissing going on tonight made me feel the love. Not only am I emotionally/socially satisfied, but I learned some new stuff, got a new book, and got a Quran in nothing but English so I can read it anytime.
The lectures were great. Masooma
did a great job. She is so brave. I don't think I could get up in front of a room and have the composure, let alone the intelligence, to do what she does. She is just wonderful. I have the utmost respect for her. The way she answered questions with such composure and confidence amazes me.
It was nice to see Sister Scorpion
too... We don't see each other enough. But insh'Allah we are all going to have a girl's night soon for her birthday. I can't wait. These girls are my inspiration. I look to both for the information they contain and also the friendship they give. Love you both. :-)
The visiting scholar, Sayyid Muhammad Hijazi, was great. Progressive in my opinion and the best speaker I've heard at a function. A couple things that stood out were (I'm sure I'm forgetting many...wish I had used pen and paper):
- The importance of the hadith "The ink of a scholar is more sacred than the blood of a martyr." This is one of my favorite hadiths... Probably because I am a writer (or wannabe anyhow). But he took it a notch further by attributing "the ink" as knowledge.
- The Quran being the only "living" miracle of God.
- I also liked the discussion of "we" in the Quran... That had confused me before as I wondered who the others were in the "we". He explained how it is the "royal we" in Arabic and therefore doesn't translate the way it should. See Masooma's blog
for a better explanation.
- He said he didn't like the name convert because it doesn't convey what converts are really doing. He said they are actually perfecting their religion (emphasizing the validity and importance of Christianity, etc.). Many converts use revert as a name because we are actually reverting back to our natural state (submissive to God), but this was a new interesting way of looking at it. Liked it.
There's much more but I'm tired. I spent 6 1/2 hours there and just wanted to get some stuff down. I liked this guy though.
After the lecture, I asked him to answer a question for me. I still can't believe I did it because I am so shy and also the whole female talking to a sheik makes me uncomfortable. I guess it's because with the sheik we have had at the mosque, I didn't feel I could talk to him. Probably more me than him, I don't know. But anyhow, this guy was progressive and I felt I could. So we went aside and talked. I confessed that I'm struggling with the whole Imams being infallible issue. He answered my questions much better than anyone else I have asked. He didn't just say "It's in the Quran." He gave a good answer. And when I asked "If the prophets are infallible, what about Adam disobeying God?" He didn't look at me like I was a kefur, he answered it logically and with examples...although I still feel that Adam disobeyed God... Maybe it's the Catholic upbringing, but I respected his knowledge and explanation. And his not saying "You aren't Shia if you don't believe this" answer. And he also emphasized the most important part of being Muslim.
What else... Oh this was funny... a sister had said to me with a big hug and kiss "I'm so glad we have a revolutionary female Shia who is going to convert so many with her writing." Wow. What a statement. And a compliment. I didn't realize she had thought of me in that way. She has called me a radical before, but not a revolutionary. I swallowed that statement with much pride.
So many people believe in me and feel I am going to do great things with my writing. I dream it's true, but often don't feel it. But after hearing it so many times, insh'Allah I am going to start on a book right away. I have much to learn and study while doing so, but it will be a motivator, especially since I'm not working now and really don't have an excuse. Pray that I can accomplish this... Please.
Oh...one more thing. I've been looking forward to hearing Dr. Liyakat Takim speak as I heard he is very good and he was. He told a story that made me laugh but I'm having a hard time remembering the whole thing. When I remember it all I will post it. Insh'Allah.
I love days like this. I could hug the whole world. Much love tonight.
2004 Presidential Election Canceled
Bush Cites National Security Concerns, Inconvenience
WASHINGTON, April 1 - President Bush announced today that the 2004 presidential election will be canceled due to the war on terrorism and other scheduling conflicts.
Although the U.S. Constitution expressly mandates that presidential elections be held every four years, a little-known clause in the USA Patriot Act, which Congress hastily approved in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, gives the sitting president the option to cancel a presidential election and remain in office indefinitely if he deems it in the national interest.
In a brief statement from the Oval Office, Bush said, "A dictatorship would be a heck of a lot easier, there's no question about it," adding, "My administration is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream."
Upon hearing the news, Democrats on Capitol Hill promptly rolled over and capitulated.
Former Vice President Al Gore was unavailable for comment, as he could not be immediately resuscitated.
Experts agree that the election likely would have been only a formality anyway, with Bush currently enjoying approval ratings unmatched in presidential history. The latest Fox News Opinion Poll put Bush's job performance rating at 165 percent.
The 2004 Re-Election Security Act is the latest in a series of presidential initiatives intended to bring Americans aid and comfort during a time of unprecedented fear and uncertainty. It comes on the heels of Bush's highly touted Economic Security Act and Energy Security Act, as well as the more controversial Snack Food Security Act.
The cancellation of the election is expected to save the oil, energy, accounting, tobacco and gun industries an estimated $50 million in expenditures over the next two years. Instead, the corporations will be asked to make voluntary donations to a new pet project Bush announced today.
Under the plan, known as the Mt. Rushmore Security Act, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt will be joined by new stone carvings of both George W. Bush and his father, former President George H. W. Bush. A dedication ceremony will be held on the first Tuesday of November 2004 in lieu of the presidential election.
It is not clear when, if ever, another presidential election will be held. But congressional researchers announced today that they had discovered another obscure clause in the USA Patriot Act that sheds some light on the matter.
The clause, buried in a subsection called the Bush Dynasty Security Act, states that in the event George W. Bush should ever leave office, anyone not named Jeb, Jenna or Barbara is expressly prohibited from governing the country.
Iran next? This one isn't humor...
QUIETLY, U.S. PREPARES FOR ISRAEL STRIKE ON IRAN
WASHINGTON [MENL] -- The United States has been examining the prospect that Israel will attack Iranian nuclear facilities in an attempt to prevent the Islamic republic from completing an atomic bomb as early as this year.
U.S. analysts and government sources said the Bush administration has discussed the prospect of an Israeli air strike at several levels of government. They said the issue has been examined in terms of the diplomatic, military and security implications for the United States, particularly its military presence in Iraq and the Persian Gulf region.
The issue of Iran's nuclear weapons program was discussed by President George Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon during the latter's visit to the White House on April 14. The sources said the two men were alone during the brief discussion in an effort by the president to gauge a likely Israeli response to the completion of an Iranian nuclear bomb.
"It would be intolerable for the Middle East if they [Iran] get a nuclear weapon," Bush said after meeting Sharon.
(when they have the text online i will put in a link to the entire thing.)
Okay, I woke up sleepy eyed and determined to have a good day and not being angry, but then I flipped on the tv to watch the morning news (my first mistake) and there's the Rumsfield hearing. An angry day once again. Oh boy. Great. This is going to be one long sarcastic angry blog.
His stupid smirk made me mad and then him saying that adjustments needed to be made in the military, but then he knew of this stuff for months so all in all he didn't care until it became public so he should have saved his "sorrow" and "apology" as everyone knows he doesn't give a damn. He looked like a little boy getting reprimanded with no intention of fixing his behavior.
Then I got really happy. During the middle of his testimony some of the people in the audience (there were public seats available) starting yelling "What are you doing about the other atrocities in Iraq?" Then the whole group back there stood up holding signs and yelling "Fire Rumsfield." Then I got a really big smile on my face. Then the police led them out. But good for them.
What really made me mad though is how he kept saying that it makes us, er, them look
bad. They don't care if they are
bad, as long as they don't look
bad. And then he goes on to say how "now the terrorists will exploit this...as that is their natures as they think they can kill men and women for power."
What terrorists Mr. Rumfield? Where are they? You mean those people who are trying to protect their country from becoming a colony of America? Where are all these terrorists? That's my only question. When is the general public going to start asking this question? Yes, there are insurgents fighting back ... isn't that what war is? One country attacks another and then the other one fights back? Or are they supposed to sit there, get shot, or get detained and get raped with a broomstick? I guess they are just supposed to invite the US to build bases all over their land and be controlled with American ideals.
Rumsfield said "God knows we don't want to be over there." God does? Really? Why are we there if we don't want to be there then Mr. Rumfield?
You guys didn't go get Saddam and leave which you could have. Ted Coppel had an interview with him not long before we went to war. How can Ted Coppel sit across from Saddam and interview him but you guys need to start a war to find him and kill thousands and thousands of innocent people to get at him? I'm confused.
As one comic put it, why didn't you guys learn from the Palestinians and strap an explosive backpack to Ted Coppel and do a suicide bombing to get Saddam? Then Ted Coppel could have been a martyr and Saddam would have been gone and no war would be required? A war that can't be won.
And then during the hearing an emergency broadcast system came on and bleeped over a section of the hearing of a general. Nice timing NBC...you idiots.
One of the committee members said "People may turn against this war like they did in Vietnam." Well good - dammit. It would be time for that to happen don't you think? This war IS
wrong. It's not really an issue. We aren't liberating, we are dictating.
"Mr. Rumsfield this is an easy question to answer...." says one of the committee. "Who was in charge of these interrogations?" He got all snippy with him which thrilled me. He starts talking but not answering the question so he asks again. "I'm asking you... Please answer the question." Still no answer. Now in a harsh tone "It's an easy question Mr. Rumsfield." Whew wee... He gets even snippier "Sir, you can't answer these questions?" Finally, Rumsfield answers "We're trying to come up with an answer." LOL - trying to come up with an answer, er, an excuse, you mean. Again, "It's a very simple, straightforward question." Rumsfield starts stuttering..."are..are...uh". Stumbling. And then he still didn't answer the question. What is it with our dictators not being able to answer questions, their bad grammar, and inability to have a frown without a smirk? Maybe it's because the educational system is lacking in funds? More bombs. No funding for schools.
No matter how much the senate may be against him, and I do have to give some of them some kudos because many are obviously against him and they didn't take it as easy on him as I thought they were going to, Rumsfield won't go.
One brought up the 25 people who died in US custody many by blunt force in Guatamo Bay and how Rumsfield said that the detainees in Guat. Bay the Geneva Conventions didn't apply.
Another said that what Rumsfield and company are doing is creating a PR plan instead of fixing the problem.
"There have been 43,000 captured in Iraq." Now I don't know the population of Iraq..but that's a whole lot of people being detained.
They also knew Jan 13/14...and the public knew said Rumsfield. And then he slipped and said Bush knew in March....so Bush is lying too (but we knew that didn't we?).
I believe that the government did condone these abusive interrogations....the idea that they used nudity as a way of wearing them down and questioning them. But I also want to know the stories of the abused. What are they guilty of? Why aren't those questions being asked? That's a whole lot of people to be held.
A couple of nice comments made by Rumsfield:
- "I don't know the legal term for it, but..." (we know you don't know law, so that's okay)
- "I don't know how to respond to your question." (how to come up with a lie for your question?)
- "I don't know when i told the president. I don't keep notes of what i do.
I don't know when it was. I didn't know there was hundreds of these things (pictures) and that they could make it to the public."
Robert Boyd said "I see an extreme arrogance and disdain towards the senate." Go Robert Byrd. Call Rummie on that. His arrogance is sickening. Then he asked "Is an apology enough?" Of course he couldn't answer it, so Boyd kept asking it and then Rummie finally said in so many words Bush would have to answer that. Then he asked "Did you read the report (which is two feet high)?" Rumsfield said "I read the executive summary (50 pages)." Dear God. He didn't even read the report. Robert Boyd impressed me. Cool old guy. Kudos for him!
Rumsfield says we don't want peoples rights infringed upon...so we do need to be careful...talking about the reports and reprimanding soldiers. So he protects the rights of those who may be guilty, yet anyone outside the military is detained and then questioned later, sometimes years as in Guat. Bay.
He also said "Who knew there would be people with digital cameras and they would pass the pictures off to the media... How are we supposed to respond to that?" I guess you thought there were more people out there like you and less that give a damn huh Mr. Man?
The really sad thing is that he said he looked at all the thousands of pictures last night and they are awful. He hasn't seen the video. It sounds like the pictures that haven't been released are the worst of them. I can't believe there is anything worse but I am not shocked by anything anymore. I wonder if they'll release them. They should - no matter how graphic. Insh'Allah it will turn more and more against the war and more importantly turn against Rumsfield and Bush, the perpetrators.
One of the commission members said "Americans are different than the enemy." We are better. Say what? You know all Americans Mr. Joseph Lieberman? And how are we better? Aren't we just doing what Saddam was doing? Killing and torturing?
Elizabeth Dole..."we have done great things...and freed many people and set them on the road to democracy." Okay lady...how have we done this? From what I hear, there is still fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq and democracy is no where near being the way of life. Bosnia isn't even considered a democracy yet...it's considered an emerging democracy.
The current number of detainees is 11,821. This is not normal.
Hillary had some good points and the more I hear her speak the less opposed I am to her running as a presidential candidate. I think she has the brains and brawn to do a decent job.
Also, there are good soldiers over there and I am proud. I want to give them kudos too. The soldiers that turned these photos in probably saw nothing was going to be done about it so they went to the media. These are good soldiers and the type of people we need in the military. Thanks guys.
The really sad thing is that Rumsfield knows nothing will happen to him as Bush backs him 100% percent.
Yeah, I was going to be a happy person today and be in a good mood, but of course, our lovely government had to go and ruin my day again. I thought they were here for the people. But they are making my life miserable. They are also making this country unsafe and more likely creating more "terrorists" than they are catching.
The killing/murder won't stop. Those soldiers will spend no time in jail. Hell is going to be overpopulated with government officials/employees for sure. Enjoy the flames boys and girls. Maybe you'll get sodomized down there and feel some of the wrath you have created here on Earth.
I've got to leave this country to keep my sanity. The presidential election is getting me down too. We are put in the position to choose the lesser evil... Kerry who says that "We will protect Israel 100%." We've seen Bush in action. Who the hell do we vote for? Nader can't make it unless we could get more people voting. I seriously believe if everyone voted, we could beat the money and get a real president rather than a racist corporation. But as it stands, it looks like Bush will win. And I still believe his trump card will be pulled out right before the elections...the already captured Bin Laden.
Now I'm going to go find a sandbox and bury my head in it so I could insh'Allah have a good rest of the day. It's either that or a plane out of here. I guess we'll find out tomorrow. This stuff is personal to me. I can't push it aside. I have a deep empathy for people and this stuff ties my emotions in a big ball deep in my stomach. The state of this nation, the world, and humankind scares me. I can't just keep pushing it inside.
So much anger, so little time. Today is a ranting and raving day. Attribute it to the 90+ degree weather and being stuck in my third-floor-apartment-without-air-conditioning packing so i can move. Ugh.
To find out that there are over 1,000 different abuse pictures. This is sick! And I started the day only mad at WalMart. But the anger grows by the hour. What is happening in the world? It's pure chaos. Good ole Rush Limbaugh stated today that the pictures were not of horror, abuse, or anything else. What?!? I expect a lot of rubbage to come from Rush but dang, didn't expect that one! And I swear if I hear that damn ad of "I am president George Bush and I authorized this ad...blah blah blah" or the equally bad "John Kerry was born at Ft. Simmons AFB in Colorado....blah blah blah". And is that running everywhere or just Colorado. Sick of them both. We need fresh blood in the oval office not either of these doofuses. I do know I can't take this face
Now about WalMart... I've never cared for them. But now I despise them. I dislike them because of the fact that they build their gigantic stores full of crap (sorry, i have no other word for it) in green areas and recently in Denver they were trying to take over a lake area. Protestors have been fighting it forever here. But when I read a recent article about them I got doubly angry. Some facts about WalMart I read in In These Times:
Number of Georgia children on subsidized healthcare whose parents work
at Wal-Mart: 10,260
Percent of Wal-Mart workers who can't afford the company health plan: 55%
Percent of health care premiums Wal-Mart workers have to pay: 40
Percent that workers have to pay at average Fortune 500 company: 20
Rank of Wal-Mart among biggest employers in Georgia and U.S.: 1
Amount taxpayers subsidize average Wal-Mart store through welfare programs a year: $420,750
Number of world's 10 richest people that are Wal-Mart executives: 5
(Sources on file at the Institute for Southern Studies)
I haven't seen a WalMart in Georgia yet, but when I do I'll be sure to...oh never mind. Anyhow. Grumpy day towards the world, the heat, and moving.
And isn't that lovely picture of a Iraqi detainee leashed proof of how a first world civilized country's government employees (as opposed to third world) are more civilized than those third world uncivilized people? A year ago Bush said, "We are going to free Iraqis from the most brutal of all regimes." So when is he going to pull out of the war and end the regime?
for some real funny images of the dictator.
Okay......... whenever Bush opens his mouth, scrunches up his nose, leans on the podium and spews his sad mind I get angry. These two comments really bothered me:
1. Bush said the abuses were "terrible" for America's image abroad. "I think people in the Middle East who want to dislike America will use this as an excuse to remind people about their dislike," he told Al-Arabiya television, a satellite channel based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, that is popular around the Arab world.
How did he turn it around so that the Arabs are wrong and he is right? I mean dang...an excuse??? It's not like they are raising hell about namecalling or anything. This is actual physical abuse and an atrocity to any human being. The more he says, the more I think he is Shayton or nonhuman.
2. "It's also important for the people of Iraq to know that in a democracy, everything is not perfect, that mistakes are made," the president said.
Okay....so democracy isn't so wonderful is it? We know the mistakes of democracy...war, killing, raping, beating, terrorizing civilians, and controlling the world by any means necessary. And it will take many many years before Iraq will even become a democracy. Bosnia is doing well and they are still only considered an emerging democracy. Democracy for Iraq won't come until the people run it and the US is completely out...not with 14 US bases dotting the land.
I have lost total faith in mankind. Seeing women partaking in this stuff and how sexually sick so many people are, I am truly disgusted. What makes people do these things? I can't even imagine intentionally hurting someone...how do they do it so easily and then laugh about it?
Got back home Monday night and my brother and neices picked me up from the airport. Driving towards the mountains with a beautiful sunset made me realize the great things Colorado has. I hate that I'm giving up sunsets...it's one of my favorite things. There's a quote from a book a read as a teenager that I always think about. The book was called "The Unoriginal Sinner and the Ice Cream God" - it's out of print, but a great read. It's about a Catholic boy righting letters to an athiest pretending to be God. Great insights in it though. A Jewish teacher recommended it to me in the ninth grade. Anyhow...here's the line from the book:
Dear God: Why do you let people grow old? Signed: Conroy
Conroy: Although I've created all of you, I often find the way you think quite puzzling. For me, the most beautiful moment on earth is old people. They are my human sunsets. Signed: God
I don't know why I often relate sunsets to that passage... I guess it's because I feel it's a great gift from God and a great way to end the day. I'm sad that I won't see them anymore.
The other thing. Driving. Driving in Denver versus Atlanta. This is what I have learned. Atlanta drivers are crazy, they drive fast and reckless and scare me. I'm sure it is how I will die. In Denver they drive rather polite in comparison. But here's the thing. Yesterday while running errands (in Denver) I realized this city is going through a major facelift. Cone zones are everywhere. I had to go through 4 zone areas of construction and then 2 detours. It sucks driving here lately. It did turn green while I was gone though. Nothing of the Atlanta green though. I am still excited about the move though. I like the South. And the people amuze me. Rednecks, hiphoppers, and old money. Oh, and then there's us. The accent makes me laugh too. God help me if I start talking laak dat. ;-)
Okay...here's something amusing. I haven't gone grocery shopping (except for dairy) for weeks now and my goal is to eat all the contents of my frige, freezer, and cabinets before I move. The meals are getting interesting to say the least.
FYI.... Hackers are at it again. I've received a ton of bad email. Last year, I had my email account lost because I didn't know this. Since I'm getting these emails again, I want to warn you all.
If you get an email from Yahoo, Ebay, Hotmail, etc....basically anyone...that says that your account will be deactivated, your credit card info needs to be updated, please login into your account before it gets deactivated. These are all hoaxes. Don't fall for it.
I did last year. Someone sent me an email with Yahoo heading, and the Yahoo address and it said that I needed to sign into my account so it wouldn't get deactivated (that they were cleaning up their server)... I did. From that point the hacker had complete access of my email, personal info in the email, and made my life hell for a while. They got onto Ebay and tried selling cars, boats, etc. all under my name. It's a pain to clean up. Just wanted to let you guys know. The messages look authentic but they are not.
Okay...time to whine... Where is everyone? I don't get comments anymore. I'm not feeling the love. :-(
Am I really that boring?
The Orwellian Olsens
By MAUREEN DOWD
Published: April 25, 2004
It's their reality. We just live and die in it.
In Bushworld, our troops go to war and get killed, but you never see the bodies coming home.
In Bushworld, flag-draped remains of the fallen are important to revere and show the nation, but only in political ads hawking the president's leadership against terror.
In Bushworld, we can create an exciting Iraqi democracy as long as it doesn't control its own military, pass any laws or have any power.
In Bushworld, we can win over Falluja by bulldozing it.
In Bushworld, it was worth going to war so Iraqis can express their feelings ("Down With America!") without having their tongues cut out, although we cannot yet allow them to express intemperate feelings in newspapers ("Down With America!") without shutting them down.
In Bushworld, it's fine to take $700 million that Congress provided for the war in Afghanistan and 9/11 recovery and divert it to the war in Iraq that you're insisting you're not planning.
In Bushworld, you don't consult your father, the expert in being president during a war with Iraq, but you do talk to your Higher Father, who can't talk back to warn you to get an exit strategy or chide you for using Him for political purposes.
In Bushworld, it's O.K. to run for re-election as the avenger of 9/11, even as you make secret deals with the Arab kingdom where most of the 9/11 hijackers came from.
In Bushworld, you get to strut around like a tough military guy and paint your rival as a chicken hawk, even though he's the one who won medals in combat and was praised by his superior officers for fulfilling all his obligations.
In Bushworld, it makes sense to press for transparency in Mr. and Mrs. Rival while cultivating your own opacity.
In Bushworld, you can reign as the antiterror president even after hearing an intelligence report about Al Qaeda's plans to attack America and then stepping outside to clear brush.
In Bushworld, those who dissemble about the troops and money it will take to get Iraq on its feet are patriots, while those who are honest are patronizingly marginalized.
In Bushworld, they struggle to keep church and state separate in Iraq, even as they increasingly merge the two in America.
In Bushworld, you can claim to be the environmental president on Earth Day while being the industry president every other day.
In Bushworld, you brag about how well Afghanistan is going, even though soldiers like Pat Tillman are still dying and the Taliban are running freely around the border areas, hiding Osama and delaying elections.
In Bushworld, imperfect intelligence is good enough to knock over Iraq. But even better evidence that North Korea is building the weapons that Saddam could only dream about is hidden away.
In Bushworld, the C.I.A. says it can't find out whether there are W.M.D. in Iraq unless we invade on the grounds that there are W.M.D.
In Bushworld, there's no irony that so many who did so much to avoid the Vietnam draft have now strained the military so much that lawmakers are talking about bringing back the draft.
In Bushworld, we're making progress in the war on terror by fighting a war that creates terrorists.
In Bushworld, you don't need to bother asking your vice president and top Defense Department officials whether you should go to war in Iraq, because they've already maneuvered you into going to war.
In Bushworld, it's perfectly natural for the president and vice president to appear before the 9/11 commission like the Olsen twins.
In Bushworld, you expound on remaking the Middle East and spreading pro-American sentiments even as you expand anti-American sentiments by ineptly occupying Iraq and unstintingly backing Ariel Sharon on West Bank settlements.
In Bushworld, we went to war to give Iraq a democratic process, yet we disdain the democratic process that causes allies to pull out troops.
In Bushworld, you pride yourself on the fact that your administration does not leak to the press, while you flood the best-known journalist in Washington with inside information.
In Bushworld, you list Bob Woodward's "Plan of Attack" as recommended reading on your campaign Web site, even though it makes you seem divorced from reality. That is, unless you live in Bushworld.
Article that has the media in an uproar...
It is harsh, but he brings up some good points... click the link to read Pat Tillman is not a hero: He got what was coming to him
What I don't get is how this article has people upset, but how 10,000-15,000 dead Iraqi civilians don't? Or the maltreatment of prisoners? Or wars being fought in error? I do think it was a noble thing that Tillman did, the problem is that he was fighting in an unnoble war. A lot of people fighting the war are good people, and really didn't know what they were getting into. And many have given up their military careers because of what they saw and the wrongdoing.
I am completely against the war as it's not a solution. Things won't change over there with occupation. Much more blood will spill before they figure it out. Tonight on the news was a story of a woman who is 57 or so (can't remember exactly) - she's a grandmother, mother, etc. and she has been called up for up to 400 and some days as a reservist. That's just crazy to me. What is a grandma going to do? They keep sending all these reservists who have no clue, no training, and most were probably just trying to get their student loans paid off. One weekend a month isn't bad until you get called to war.
Unbelievable...how arrogant...and idiotic... The beautiful mind comment really irked me. I don't know why I'm surprised but I actually am. How do we let these people run our country? And why don't we revolt?
Barbara Bush's remarks to Diane Sawyer in a TV interview (March 18, 2003):
Why should we hear about body bags and deaths and how many, what day it's going to happen? It's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind
on something like that?
the link: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article5041.htm
Iraq Leaflets dropped by US military
Here's an interesting site...about the leaflets dropped in Iraq. They have a bunch in there...
The Weekend...rain, rain, rain
What a great weekend. Had brunch with a good friend of mine on Saturday. It rained all weekend here with sporadic thunderstorms. I had never heard lightening in the morning. That was truly weird for me. Went to a small town named Marietta... pretty cool. The South has lots of relics, buildings and otherwise. Also went around a graveyard where there were pauper's graves, confederates, and Margaret Mitchell (writer of Gone with the Wind) is also buried there. Atlanta is strange in a way. It's huge with tons of little unique neighborhoods. Pretty cool. I've never seen a town laid out like this. The only bad things so far: bugs and bad drivers. But it's cool that it has so much history. Went geocaching this weekend too. Grabbed some travel bugs to take back to Colorado. Then I'll be packing up and moving and seeing what the next chapter of my life holds. Everything's gonna change and that's scary but what is a life unless we take some chances? I can't say I'm comfortable with all the changes I've gone through in the last 5 months - converting and what not...but I also think it's all good.
I was looking over my blog and realized I haven't been writing about Islam. I don't know if it's because I'm more comfortable being one or whether it's because I've become complacent. In any case, it's good not to be so stressed out about it.
The news consistently has been driving me crazy. With the photo's that came out last week I was sure it would cause a tidalwave...but instead it has just fallen in the backdrop. Right after I saw the photo's I was sick to my stomach but when i thought it would create some sort of backlash I was sort of happy. Not about the abuse because we already know that goes on with soldiers all the time - we just don't see it. I mean towelhead is synomous with Middle Easterners for them and that is abuse. I was happy because I thought it would make the public angry and turn some people against the war. The more that happens I just get the feeling that nothing changes. Makes me sad.
Oh...another amusing little thing that happened this weekend. I preface this by saying that in Atlanta, people are always asking for money. They are everywhere and they are aggressive. One person can only do so much here in regards to giving money to those who ask. Anyhow, we were at a store and were getting in the car when a guy asked us for some change and at the same time I noticed a dollar bill near the car door. I picked it up and handed it to him and he started laughing. I think he realized he could have picked that one up himself as he had been sitting there before we parked. And then he would have got another buck from us. He looked at me as though I had miraculously made that dollar bill appear. His laugh was funny. A silly mirthy laugh. Kinda cute. He probably hadn't laughed in a long time.