Friday, July 30, 2004

Bush Losing the Arab Vote

In the Detroit Free Press, Guest Columnist Derrick Jackson reveals Why Bush is losing ground with Arab Americans

Hashim Raza...This year, he will vote for Democrat John Kerry. "After 9/11, things started adding up," he said at a reception Tuesday for Muslim attendees to the Democratic National Convention hosted by the Islamic Society of Boston. "Muslims were unfairly targeted; we were presumed guilty; Ashcroft, Rumsfeld, and Cheney acted like they have no use for Muslims. The Republican Party has become a refuge for far right religious extremists.

now anything about being a delegate to the convention. Before 9/11, he and many of his professional friends were never involved in politics. But the aftermath of the terrorist attacks, when many Muslims were detained, made him concerned. "America is the best country in the world, but it's not easy to be a Muslim," he said.

The invasion of Iraq, which Gafur said was unnecessary, pushed him and other South Asian Muslims to register 1,000 voters and elect delegates to district, state and national delegations. Of the about 5,000 delegates to the convention, about 40 are Muslim and six are from Texas, including himself.

"Sometimes, on Middle East policy, Kerry seems to come across as Bush Lite," Gafur said. "But on domestic policy, with the Patriot Act and the racial profiling of Muslims, the Muslim community was awakened to the fact that we had to get involved."

It is trouble because families like the Khan family of Toledo have felt the sting of Bush's post-9/11 policies.

Quick get ready for the terrible sting:

Husband Abdul Hafeez and wife Meena Khan [and] Their two daughters, Zeenat, 29, and Zeba, 23, were with them at the reception. . . .They all originally supported Dennis Kucinich of Ohio for president.

Bush must have lost their vote if they're going from supporting Kucinich to Kerry. But wait, the sting of Bush's post-9/11 policies is still coming:

All four members of the family say they have been singled out for antiterrorism searches in airports. Abdul Hafeez, Meena and Zeba missed their flight to Boston because the father was pulled out of line and was not cleared until their flight was closed.

Oh, post 9/11 policies where is thy sting? They missed a flight because they didn't clear security in time? You mean they weren't beaten, detained or deported? Does anyoine think we would not have these security procedures in place after 9/11 under ANY President?

"In 35 years in this country I never had this experience," Abdul Hafeez said. Zeenat said, "When you can nullify the Bill of Rights, the current administration is out of control." Meena said, "All of the things America stands for -- freedom, charity, rights -- these are Muslim values, same as Christian values. But with all that's going on, how can you call this a Christian country?"

Well it hasn't been 35 years since 9/11 and lets face it, you're from the population from whence the terrorists came, so don't be surprised that you need to clear security just like anybody else. I love the appeal to Christian valuses and claiming that Muslims have the same values - where is freedom and rights in the Koran? In any Islamic country?.

None of the attendees or delegates were naive that Kerry completely supports their views. Kerry has angered Arab Americans for agreeing with significant parts of Bush's Israel/Palestine policy and his vote authorizing Bush to invade Iraq. What they hope is that Kerry's pledge not to be a unilateralist will mean he will at least listen to Muslims before acting.

Yet another reason to vote for Kerry - under him both the French and Muslims will get a veto on our future actions.

Gulten Ilhan, 38, a philosophy professor at St. Louis Community College and a Missouri delegate, said, "After there were no weapons of mass destruction, after it was clear we were not there to liberate Iraqis, Bush has lost many Arab Americans. We have no choice but to stay in Iraq now. But Bush cannot stay as president."

A philosophy professor no less. No weapons of mass destruction? How about all those Sarin and mustard gas shells that have been found?

I guess according to him the Iraqis have been enslaved by Haliburton, as deposing Saddam didn't "liberate Iraqis". Philosophically he probably preferered them to still be living under Hussein.

Yet another reason for you to vote for Bush in the election - make up for the loss of the Arab American vote.

Mayor Weighs in on the Speeding Ticket

Sometimes the best course in a controversy is to not say anything.

Mayor Kilpatrick's recent statements exemplifies why this is so.

Of the traffic stop where is Chief of Staff was pulled over for speeding he said "It sounds like a setup to me.". He then went on to say It's the biggest piece of crap," Kilpatrick said on the radio. "I was incredibly surprised that the Free Press would even write about it."

The Chief of Police also contributed a real morale-boosting line:

Bully-Cummings made [remarks] Wednesday that she believed the two officers recognized Beatty and stopped her to harass her. Beatty oversees the Police Department.

Bully-Cummings said she based her suspicions on a review of an in-car video, which she said shows the patrol car following Beatty longer than necessary and pulling alongside her car.

Bully-Cummings and other officials said that because of a technical glitch, there is no audio on the tape.

Both officers told the Free Press they did not recognize Beatty and were checking her license plate and speed. Their supervisor said he was surprised by the chief's and mayor's comments.

"I'm a little bit disappointed in what him and the chief have said. Being out there, I can guarantee anybody that what they said was the truth," Sgt. Robert Lalone said.

Lalone was called to the scene as Beatty phoned Bully-Cummings from her car. He arrived and talked to Beatty, who handed him the phone so he could talk to his chief. Lalone said she didn't tell him what to do, but he decided his officers didn't need the grief a ticket might bring.

This just gets curiouser and curioser.

New Detroit Police Policy on Speeders?

As reported in The Detroit Free Press,  Christine Beatty, the chief of staff of the Mayor of Detroit, was stopped for speeding.

Once she was pulled over she demanded of the cops  "Do you know who the (expletive) I am?" and proceeded to call the Chief of Police on her cell phone.

The police then decided to quash the speeding ticket.  The Sergeant in charge of the stop,  Sgt. Robert Lalone has stated that  he'd "show the same courtesy to any city worker. Because we're all underpaid and overworked."   Looks like that can be a great new excuse to get out of a ticket: Show a Detroit employee ID and claim to be overworked and underpaid.  Perhaps the Detroit PD will extend this excuse to all who drive in the motor city, after all we're all overworked and underpaid, regadless of whether we work for the City of Detroit or not.

Impressively, Ms. Beatty's license has previously been suspended four times for nonpayment of previous tickets., I guess she's just too overworked and underpaid to pay them.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Dearborn Heights wants to recognize Islam and Islamic Holy Days

From The Detroit News: Resolution on Islam Questioned

A City Council member is offering a resolution to recognize Islam and Muslim holy days, but critics questioned the timing and merit of his proposal.

City Councilman Robert Constan says that his resolution, which could be considered as early as tonight by the City Council, is intended to foster unity.

“There has been a lot of bad press about the Islamic faith and some extremists in the Islamic faith, and this was to sort of say that the Islamic faith is a faith of peace,” Constan said. Ah, the ROP Kool-Aid strikes again. Nevermind that the council never seems to have previously passed a "Christianity is a religion of peace, or Judaism, or even Buddhism for that matter.

But look who is opposed:

But Nasser Beydoun, executive director of the American-Arab Chamber of Commerce.. said “He is providing a resolution that is recognizing Islam, but we really don’t need the Dearborn Heights City Council to recognize Islam,” Beydoun said..

Apparently Constan is making this resolution to make amends (or perhaps appease, nay perhaps capitulate) to the Islamic community for his past 'transgression' against them. Apparently, during the City Council campaign one of his advisers had the audacity to poll residents asking if they were aware that some candidates were of Arab descent and that one was Muslim.

Apparently he's learned his lesson like a good dhimmi and is now pushing the religion of peace angle.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Hamtramck Voters Uphold Law Letting Mosques Use Loudspeakers

According to the Detroit News, broadcasting the Muslim call to prayer over a loudspeaker five times a day is now "protected speech". Voters upheld the amendment allowing the city's Islamic mosques to have amplified calls to prayer, 1,462 to 1,200.

Possible future requests for the Hamtramck City Counsel from the Mosque:

1. Implementation of Sharia within city limits.
2. Changing the name from Hamtramck to Islamtramck as the Ham reference is clearly offensive and derogatory to the City's Muslim residents.

Friday, July 09, 2004

World Court Pathetically Yet Unsurprisingly Condemns Israeli Security Fence

Referred from Little Green Footballs

The court's head judge, Shi Jiuyong of China, said in the ruling: "The wall ... cannot be justified by military exigencies or by the requirements of national security or public order.

"The construction ... constitutes breaches by Israel of its obligations under applicable international humanitarian law. Israel is under an obligation ... to dismantle forthwith the structure," he said.

The sheer moral blindness of such a decision is only tempered by the richly ironic delivery of the decision: The Chinese head judge ruling that "WALL cannot be justified by military exigencies or by the requirements of national security or public order".

Is this the first case ever of a Great Wall calling a Security Fence Illegal?

This decision is laughable, has no binding effect and should be treated as the joke that it is, not worht the paper it is printed on.

Baby Blogging Time - The First Tooth!

Introducing my daughter Abby to the Blogosphere: Abby meet the Blogosphere Blogosphere meet Abby As you can see, she's pleased to meet you. At Seven Months, we have the signs of a first tooth. We also have a 1 am and 4 am wake-up crying and screaming sleeping cycle which is making this blogger a little less than clear-eyed and focussed at times. I don't know if there is a "Babies of the Blogosphere" Carnival yet, but I'd be pleased to host one if there's interest. I claim the cutest baby prize though, completely objectively of course.
The First Tooth Posted by Hello

UAW poaching on CAW territory

In an interesting look at Union dynamics, accroding to The Detroit News article: UAW pushes into Canada, the UAW is trying to unionize a Honda plant in Ontario.

As the Canadian Auto Workers are already well-established in Cnaada, what is the deal with the UAW pushing onto their turf? The answer of course is members and their dues money.

Union membership in the US in the private sector is down significantly, as reported in the Detroit News the UAW’s U.S. membership ranks have fallen below 625,000 from 1.5 million in 1980. As such thwere's a need for more bodies for their dues. Canada is seeing an increase in Union membershiop, for example, once again according to the Detroit News, the CAW has more than doubled its membership to 265,000 since 1985.

So in a quest for more bodies, dues and of course the power and perks that follow them, the UAW is aggressively trying to expand in Ontario.

The problem apparently is that the Honda employees don't seem to enthused about joing any Union:

Gibson said he doesn’t believe Honda would close up shop if workers established a union. But “I don’t think we’ll see any (union) activity here,” he said.

Al Gonneau, a contract pipefitter at the plant, also predicts that status quo for Alliston. Basing his assessment on restroom graffiti, Gonneau said: “I’d say it’s 60 to 70 percent against.”

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

PPOs are only worth the paper they're printed on

And perhaps even less than that.

From the Detroit Free PressCourt orders were not enough to save woman

On the kitchen floor lay Paulette Litzan, ... who police say was killed by her ex-boyfriend, the father of the boy who found her body.
. . .
She had gone to police. She had gone to court. She had gotten a personal protection order against Stanley years ago and had filed for another -- which was denied -- three months before she was killed.

Her slaying was predictable and avoidable, said those who knew her. And to domestic violence experts, Litzan is a symbol of a flawed law enforcement system that too often ignores the pleas of women.

It should be noted that the PPO was not the only interface her boyfriend had with the justice system:

-in 1997 he was convicted of assault against her and given probation

-Her family and friends said Litzan filed many reports with the Sterling Heights Police Department describing harassing calls, violent behavior and threats.

-Court records show Stanley was convicted of at least two assaults related to Litzan, including an attack on her boyfriend a few years ago.

-He also pleaded guilty to domestic violence in 41A District Court in Sterling Heights for an April 2003 incident. He was ordered to stay away from Litzan for a year, but he violated his probation, court records show.

-he was charged with stalking. His last court appearance was two days before Litzan's death.

He also had been beating his son's dog with a hammer. Telling their son he would someday kill his mother. Stealing Litzan's cell phone and threatening all the men in the address book -- even young friends of Litzan's other son, a teenager.

Every possible sign that he intended to do Ms. Litzan severe harm was well and truly present, how the judge turned down her request for the second PPO is quite astonishing. But even if it had been granted the PPO would have done no good for her on the day he murdered her.

As the article states, the "system" clearly failed her and was clearly incapable of protecting her, reliance on such a system for protection is clearly misplaced for victims of domestic violence.

Moore deceptively claimed that Saddam's Iraq had never murdered an American

As noted at Fahrenheit Fact Blog,

Fahrenheit asserts that Saddam’s Iraq was a nation that “had never attacked the United States. A nation that had never threatened to attack the United States. A nation that had never murdered a single American citizen.”

Jake Tapper (ABC News): You declare in the film that Hussein’s regime had never killed an American …

Moore: That isn’t what I said. Quote the movie directly.

Tapper: What is the quote exactly?

Moore: “Murdered.” The government of Iraq did not commit a premeditated murder on an American citizen. I’d like you to point out one.

Fahrenheit Fact then points to a series of incidents that Saddam has been implicated in. However Fahrenheit neglects to mention the USS Stark Incident.

In 1987, an Iraqi Mirage launched two Exocet missiles at the Stark, after the Stark had radioed the aircraft and requested it identify itself. The attack killed 37 Americans. Firing missiles at an American vessel in international waters after it had identified itself is certainly killing, if not murder.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

The International VIN Trade

And we're not talking about the French word for wine either.

As noted in The Detroit News Article: Too many cars, too few digits, US Auto producers are running out of Vehicle Identification Numbers. The problem is a nice example of problems with centralized and anticipatory planning: a numerical scheme started in 1981 that was supposed to last 30 years when designed is now facing a shortage.

As simply adding digits to the 17 digit code would cause some massive reprogramming efforts, one of the creative ideas floated is to buy more of the VINS from other nations such as Botswana and other countries as [m]ore than two dozen countries, from Armenia to Zimbabwe, have up to 288 WMI codes each. All are dormant. Would this be a case of in-sourcing VIN numbers to offset outsourcing in other areas?

The article also has a nice graphical explanation that demonstrates how to decode your VIN number.

Fieger Features Fahrenheiht 911 at Film Board Post

As noted in The Detroit News Article Fieger's '9/11' Film Contest Should Hit Cutting Room Floor, Geoffrey Fieger, Michigan's flamboyant Plaintiff's attorney has now

decided to use his position to promote Michael Moore’s new film, “Fahrenheit 9/11,” an anti-Bush diatribe that the Michigan filmmaker hopes will influence the outcome of this fall’s presidential election.

Fieger is offering a $2,500 scholarship to the high school student who writes the best essay about the R-rated film. The prize money, Fieger notes, will come out of his own pocket. But he is using his state office and Web site to promote the contest.

Interesting, a Democrat, appointed by a Democrat Governor, using a Michigan Executive Agency Office to assist a Democrat candidate for office? Say it isn't so!