Monday, June 28, 2010

Soccer Dad

Soccer Dad

IRIB: "Chavez met Assad, urged fight against capitalism"

Posted: 28 Jun 2010 07:51 PM PDT

Chavez doesn't have his own gulag yet, but he's networking:

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez met with Syrian President Bashar Assad on Saturday and called on Latin America and the Arab world to fight America's imperialist and capitalist interests abroad.

During a meeting at Venezuela's presidential palace, Chavez told Assad it was an honor to host the Syrian leader on his first visit to Latin America.

The two leaders signed an agreement to create a $100 million trade and development fund.

"Arab civilization and our civilization, the Latin American one, are being summoned in this new century to play the fundamental role of saving the world from the imperialism and capitalist hegemony that threaten the human species," Chavez said.

Assad praised Chavez for standing up to the United States and supporting the Palestinian struggle.

"There are few politicians who are courageous to speak out when it's necessary," he said. [...]

Yeah, it's so hard to find pro-Palestinian politicians when you're an Arab dictator. Capitalism isn't the only evil that needs to be fought: EOZ noted the following at Fars News:
A senior Iranian commander took the US and the Zionist regime of Israel responsible for the spread of drug addiction in the world, stressing that they use drugs as a biological weapon against the freedom-seeking nations.
Not to worry--help is on the way. At ISNA we learn that passengers of the next flotilla might be singing the Song of the Volga Boatmen:
An Iranian law-maker said the country is examining dispatch of parliament members to Gaza through Caspian Sea and Volga River.

Iran has deleted Egypt from its options for sending parliamentarians to Gaza since it did not receive a written response from Egyptian officials, but the choice of Caspian Sea and Lebanon are being considered, said Mahmoud Ahmadi Bighash who is in charge of sending Iranian lawmakers to Gaza Strip.

"If we want to sail from Caspian Sea, we need to cross Volga Sea which needs Russia's agreement, but we have not received any written response from them yet." [...]

They're falling into our trap!

Crossposted on Judeopundit

If You Think Conservatives Hate Soccer--What Do Islamists Think Of The World Cup?

Posted: 28 Jun 2010 11:22 AM PDT

Even assuming that David Zirin is right when he claims that The Far Right Hates Soccer, I think he overlooked an interesting angle when he ignored how radical Muslims feel about the game. After all, it's not as if conservative members of congress ever tried to pass resolutions condemning the game.

But this article from 2006 about Muslim attitudes towards soccer describes some of the fatwas issued against soccer:

On August 25, 2005, anonymous radical Islamist clerics published in the Saudi daily newspaper al-Watan, an anti-soccer fatwa (ruling). This fatwa, as well as other similar anti-soccer fatwas, caused three Saudi players of al-Ta'if region's well-known al-Rashid soccer team, not only to leave the team but also to believe that soccer was forbidden by religious law. One of those three, Majid al-Sawat, was arrested while planning to carry out a suicide bombing in Iraq. The fatwa declared that soccer is permissible to play only when its rules are different from the accepted international rules. The ruling is based on a hadith (prophetic tradition) which forbids Muslims to imitate Christians and Jews.1

Thus, for example, this fatwa called Muslim players not to "play soccer with four lines

[surrounding the field], since this is the way of the non-believers". It further made use of punishment threats towards the ones who use "the terminology established by the non-believers nd the polytheists, like: 'foul', 'penalty', 'kick', 'corner kick', 'goal' and 'out of bounds'".

Furthermore, one should "not set the number [of players] according to the number of players sed by the non-believers", and thus, only a larger or smaller number than eleven players can lay together. This fatwa included more rules, such as to wear normal clothing while playing, nstead of the colorful pants and numbered jerseys; not to play for 45 minutes in each half; not to play two halves, but rather in one half or three rounds; etc. The most important thing written in this fatwa, however, is that "once you have fulfilled [these] conditions and rules; you must play the entire game with the intention of improving your physical fitness for the purpose of fighting jihad for Allah's sake and preparing for the time when jihad is needed". Moreover, "when you finish playing, be careful not to talk about the game, and not to say 'we play better than the opponent', or 'so-and-so is a good player', etc. Moreover, you should speak about your body, its strength and its muscles, and about the fact that you are playing as [a means of] training to run, attack, and retreat in preparation for [waging] jihad for Allah's sake".2

As it turned out, not only moderate Muslims--but also other radicals--condemned the fatwas themselves. Of course, some of those same radical imams who allowed playing the game, did forbid watching it.

Overall, radical Islamist scholars denounced these games as a corrupt show of Western influence. Even before the World Cup games began, one Islamist warned his fellow Muslims against what he called "this plot aiming to corrupt Muslim youth and distract them from jihad".

Another called it "a cultural invasion worse than military war because it seizes the heart and soul of the Muslim". A Kuwaiti radical Jihadi-Salafi Sheikh, Hamed al-'Ali, one of the leading younger Jihadi clerics, wrote in the fatwa page of his website that "it is illicit to watch these matches on corrupt television channels while our nation is decimated night and day by foreign armies". This fatwa was circulated later in most of the Jihadi forums on the Internet.7

Some Islamists even called for a boycott of what they called the "Prostitution Cup", following references that several thousand prostitutes were arriving in Germany for the event. One Islamistwho signed his name as Abu Haytham wrote that "while our brothers in Iraq, Palestine, and Afghanistan are being massacred in cold blood by the Crusaders and the Jews, our young people will have their eyes riveted on depraved television sets which emit the opium of soccer to the extent of overdose". The same author named "12 vices" linked to the world Cup, particularly"idolatry of infidel players" and the "distraction of Muslims from jihad".8

This of course has not prevented radical Muslims from indulging in a least a little jeering of the opposing team:

An Islamist, who signed his name as Abu Hamza, wrote a day after Iran lost to Mexico 1-3, "Praise Allah! Omar, the Sunni, has crushed the rafidha". He was alluding to the fact that two of Mexico's goals were scored by Omar Bravo who, despite his first name, is not of Arab origin.

I suppose one must take one's victories where he can get them.

Needless to say, nothing can stop interested Muslims from watching the game--and apparently Muslim women cannot be prevented from playing the game either. In Zanzibar, there is a team of women players, The Women Fighters, who wear pants and a hijab. Naturally, the team has sparked outrage from Muslim men, though it is not clear if it is because of the way the women dress--or because the womens team has beaten the male team on more than one occasion. Still, the only other female Muslim soccer team is in Sudan.

Radical Muslims may see soccer as a tool in their struggle against Western culture, but it is also a tool for change that is being taken up by those who oppose the extremists.

Something I don't think conservatives need to be afraid of.

Hat tip: My Right Word

by Daled Amos

Go Figure: Allowing More Aid Into Gaza Devastates Gazan Economy

Posted: 28 Jun 2010 08:24 AM PDT

I suppose that may be one of the reasons that the Hamas terrorist 'government' refused to let Flotilla 'aid' into Gaza.

More to the point, the free flow of aid disrupts the very backbone of the Gazan economy--the tunnels. In The Myth of the Siege of Gaza, Jonathan D. Halevi writes:

"Smuggling" is not the correct word to describe the network of tunnels along Gaza's border with Egypt. Whereas smuggling connotes illegal activity carried out clandestinely, the Palestinian tunnel network is out in the open and extends the whole length of the border.

The Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC) published an abstract in May 2009 of an investigative article that appeared on the Al Arabiya network which presents the method of operation of the tunnels on the Gaza-Egypt border. The following are the main points as described on the ITIC website:

The reporter for the Al Arabiya network, Waal Issam, toured Egyptian Rafah, in the market where goods sent to Gaza through the tunnels are sold. The report said that the market is the major source of the fuel supply to Gaza. Some 10,000 people work in the "tunnel industry" on a daily basis. The value of the trade via the tunnels is estimated at approximately $200 million annually. Along the border, which is some 13 kilometers long, nearly 800 tunnels have been excavated. According to the report, most of the tunnels that were attacked during Operation Cast Lead have been reconstructed. The smugglers who were interviewed claimed that a tunnel can be built nowadays in 10-15 days. One of the smugglers reported that the tunnels end in buildings, groves, chicken coops, etc.20

But now, even the rumor itself of the easing of restrictions had an immediate impact. In Tunnels for Sale, Cheap, Legal Insurrection quotes from an article in The Daily Star:

As the news spread that Israel would ease its four-year blockade on the Gaza Strip, merchants in the territory's main smugglers' market raced to unload their merchandise.

The prices of televisions, refrigerators and washing machines that had been hauled hundreds of meters through tunnels beneath the Egyptian border plummeted in the Rafah border town's sprawling Al-Najma market....

Israel and Egypt sealed Gaza off from all but basic goods in June 2006 following the capture of an Israeli soldier by Palestinian militants and tightened the closures a year later when the Hamas movement seized power.

Since then nearly all goods in the territory, including fuel, cigarettes, animals and appliances, have been brought in through a vast network of tunnels taxed and regulated by the Hamas-run government.

Legal Insurrection sees news such as this as justification for Netanyahu's decision to ease restrictions. I suppose that only time will tell, especially as one of the main points against easing restrictions is that it would enhance the prestige of Hamas.

So far, that does not seem to be the case--especially if you are a Gazan. According to Ma'an News:

Several of Gaza's tunnels have been shut down temporarily as traders search the market for goods following Israel's decision to allow certain previously banned products in, tunnel owners say.

Abu Ahmad, who supervises three tunnels under the Gaza-Egypt border, says the industry has seen a sharp drop both in import and profit.

...Abu Ahmad said the tunnel industry also saw a sharp drop after Egypt completed construction of its underground wall, under US pressure. As a result, between 80 to 100 tunnels are operational, down from previous estimates of 2,000.

The number of tunnel workers has dropped significantly as well, from 25,000 to 3,000.

Dissatisfaction with Hamas within Gaza may be one of the reasons that elections at the beginning of the year have been postponed.

It is all very well for pro-Hamas apologists to crow that Hamas is the democratically elected government of the Gaza--the trick is whether they will ever be known as the democratically re-elected government of Gaza. Given Hamas's reluctance to put their popularity up to a vote, Hamas is going to the "democratically elected" government of Gaza for a long, long time.

by Daled Amos

How much will israel be an issue in november

Posted: 28 Jun 2010 04:14 AM PDT

Three months ago Daled Amos asked if Israel would be a major campaign issue in 2010 and presented polling data to show the difference between Democrats and Republicans.

Yesterday Meryl picked up on a story that Israeli Ambassador MIchael Oren has been warning that there's been a tectonic shift in relations between the United States and Israel.

Now the Telegraph is reporting it too. (via memeorandum) It remains to be seen if this is confirmation from an additional source, or just reporting what was reported elsewhere.

Ynet reported on Friday that administration officials were meeting with members of Hamas, but as Gateway Pundit observes:

They want to keep the meetings secret for fear it would rouse the Jewish lobby in the United States.

Whether all of these recent reports are accurate is uncertain. What is clear is that they're perceived to be true. Solomonia tells us that in Massachusetts, campaigning as a pro-Israel politician may have advantages:

Remember when Barney put his foot in his mouth over the flotilla (later he desperately backed off)? Bielat took the opportunity to issue a strong statement in defense of Israel's actions...

Is the administration's coldness towards going to be exploited more and more as November approaches?

Crossposted on Yourish.

Musical monday #147

Posted: 28 Jun 2010 03:54 AM PDT

After a recent Musical Monday, Clayton and I discussed one of the songs. That discussionn led to an idea for a theme. I had a few ideas, but Clayton did a lot of research and came up with some very fascinating stuff (about the English language.)
So thanks to Clayton, this week's Muscical Monday co-author. The last group is miscellaneous songs that fit the theme.

1) I ain't a lookin' for a smart guy school guy
2) I try to think about hair-do's, tattoos
3) "And if my hands are stained forever, and the altar should refuse me"
4) "And he just smoked my eyelids and punched my cigarette"

5)"Bring me southern kisses from your room"
6)"You can fall for pretty strangers and the promises they hold"
7) "You say you wanna stay, I say I wanna be alone"
8) And it was clear she couldn't go on"
9) "Lonely days turn to lonely nights"
10) "...'Hey man, gimme a cigarette' and they all reach for their pack"
11) "And if you never hear from me, that just means I would rather not"
12) "I think, yeah I guess we can, say I"
13) "And maybe he sings off key, but that's all right by me"
14) "I'm going to listen to my 45's, ain't it wonderful to be alive"
15) "You are my destiny, I can't let go baby can't you see"
16) "Yeah, yeah, my heart's in a whirl"
17) "What comes around goes around, I'll tell you why"
18) "She leads them on a wild goose chase now"

19) "But the big, bad world doesn't owe you a thing"
20) "Fire flew from his fingertips"
21) "I've been in my mind, it's such a fine line"
22) "...beckons you to enter his web of sin"
23) "She's been married seven times before"

20) The brightest light that shines
21) Invisible transfers, long distance calls,

22) Rings of smoke through the trees
23) I ain't the sharpest tool in the shed
24) You can fool some people sometimes,but you can't fool all the people all the time.

25) Show with everything but Yul Brynner
26) I got a fever of a hundred and three

27) But you still mystify, and I want to know why.
28) You are the antibody

29) But you still mystify, and I want to know why.
30) I kinda hope we get stuck
31) Leaves behind a tragic world
32) I set out to get you with a fine tooth comb
33) Try a new translation
34) Corporation t-shirts, stupid bloody Tuesday.

Here the heavenly answers to Musical Monday #145. I don't know that anyone explicitly guessed the theme of heaven/sky but Yitz and TRN certainly implied it.

1) The memories are grey but man they're really coming back
Heaven - Warrant
2) don't get caught with foolish pride put all the other things aside,
Heaven knows - Donna Summer w/ Brooklyn Dreams
3) And we're spinning with the stars above
Heaven is a place on earth - Belinda Carlisle
4) I'm face to face with an angel, how'd you get those eyes so blue
Holdin' heaven - Tracy Byrd
5) There's a rainbow over my shoulder
Heaven must be missing an angel - Tavares
6) I've cried through many endless nights
Heaven must have sent you - Bonnie Pointer
7) 'Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings
Stairway to heaven - Led Zeppelin
8) It's getting dark too dark to see
Knockin' on heaven's door - Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Guns n' Roses
9) Spinning on that dizzy edge
Just like heaven - The cure
10) Beyond the door there's peace I'm sure.
Tears in heaven - Eric Clapton
11) Nobody gets too much love anymore
Too much heaven - The Bee Gees

12) Gonna go to the place that's the best
Spirit in the sky - Norman Greenbaum
13) Made of silver, not of clay
Wheel in the Sky - Journey
14) Don't try turning tables instead
Eye in the Sky - Alan Parsons Project
15) Bluebird, flying high tell me what you sing
Voices in the Sky - Moody Blues
16) The smell of gun grease and the bayonets they shine
Sky Pilot - The Animals
17) Their brands were still on fire and their hooves were made of steel
Ghost riders in the sky - Johnny Cash et al.
18) Look at the way I glide caught on the wind's lazy tide
Skybird - Neil Diamond
19) and though my conversation doesn't always rhyme
Speak to the sky - Rick Springfield
20) Hey you with the pretty face, welcome to the human race
Mr. Blue Sky - ELO
21) Newspaper taxis
Lucy in the sky with Diamonds - The Beatles, Elton John
22) I Thought That We Had Made It To The Top
Sky High - Jigsaw
23) Have you seen a valley green with spring
Skylark - Hoagy Carmichael, et al.
24) How long have I been running for that morning flight
Late for the Sky - Jackson Browne

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