First up is a video from a movie that is likely to be far more influential and controversial than An American Carol, The Stoning of Soraya M that may finally break through the reality of Islam to Westerners.
(Important: Before you watch this clip keep in mind that it contains brutal violence and depicts a whipping of one woman and the stoning of another one.)
I would argue that The Stoning of Soraya M is what the War on Terror needs far more than making jokes about Michael Moore.
It's been a long sad and ugly week, from the fleeting commemoration of 9/11 combined with the media stepping up the attacks on the McCain campaign to the unsurprising revelation that Jerusalem is on the table and being negotiated.
But what 9/11 reminds us is that the battle against evil is involved and must be fought on multiple shifting fronts at the same time. There is something as important as not letting the terrorists win and that is not letting their appeasers win. Because terrorists are alone can only do so much without the work of those in power who appease them, out of sympathy or corruption.
There is little doubt among the terrorists which side of the table Obama sits on. Farrah has called on people not to vote for anyone because McCain isn't good enough and 4 years of Obama will lead to a backlash. I've taken that premise apart before in A Lot Can Happen in Just 4 Years and Just 4 Years .
Caroline Glick though put it succinctly, "you don't win by losing." Practicing a kind of cynical political Gandhism by remaining netural in the hopes that when everyone else self-destructs, you'll be able to claim what's left is not a policy that anyone who genuinely cares about their country can afford to practice.
You don't win by losing. The enemy does win by you losing. There is no telling what kind of damage can be done in 4 years of Obama, but we can use the damage done by the Carter administration in only 4 years, such as the Islamic regime in Iran. Anyone who is prepared to pay that kind of price in the hopes of winning an election 4 years later is either naive or simply mad.
As a little preview of what we can expect from Obama's brand of liberal religion, the World Council of Churches and the Mennonite and Quaker groups responsible for a great deal of aid to terrorists in Israel will be hosting Ahmadinejad
Ahmadinejad represents a rejection of everything these religious groups stand for," Abraham Foxman, national director of the ADL,
Foxman of course doesn't get it, because Ahmadinejad has enough common ground with them to allow a second meeting. And the common ground is the defeat and destruction of America and Israel combined with a worshipful attitude toward Islam.
Meanwhile in Israel, Anti-Israel Jerusalem consul Jacob Walles, whom I have written about this week in The US Consulate in Jerusalem's War Against Israel, stated what everyone already knew, that Jerusalem was on the negotiating table.
Olmert's Kadima party is naturally outraged because the government rests on the willingness of Shas to keep taking money in exchange for privately selling out Jerusalem, so long as nothing is mentioned in public about it. Meanwhile Shas' dirtiest boy Aryeh Deri is back with plans to run for Mayor of Yerushalayim, even as Shas conspires to divide the city. Despite a long chain of corruption and at least one murder, Deri is back and his Shas supporters continue to whine that he was unfairly persecuted.
As the Haredim, Modern Orthodox and Shas sellouts battle over who will be Mayor, the government itself is busy dividing Yerushalayim all over again, making the original words of Noami Shemer's Yerushalayim Shel Zahav all too painfully relevant again. And that song should be the theme for the resistance to that division.
By the time Olmert does his job and signs the deal, and is put through the facade of a trial, Israel's capital will be partially under terrorist control.
At the same time that a 69 year old Jewish woman with two strokes is led out in leg irons with two guards to meet with visitors held as hostage because her daughter escaped with her own child from Yaron Rotem, her rich politically influential and abusive husband who worked as a director at Egged.
Anyone who understands the connections between Egged and the Labor old boys network that continues to be responsible for most of the corruption in Israel knows also that Isabella Belfer will die in jail while Ehud Olmert will spend his retirement in the Riviera while Jerusalem is under siege... if this entire system is not overturned.
With that Jeremiad done, let us turn to the great big ball of the blogsphere
Judith Klinghoffer looks at Bush's India treaty triumph
It is easy to despair of democracies. Indeed, it is fashionable to do so. The US-India nuclear deal is an excellent case in point. It is good for democracy. It is good for the US. It is good for India and it is popular in India. Still, for the longest time it looked as if a combination of virulent partisans, leftists (including those taking their marching orders from China), and Islamist Indians will succeed in defeating the deal by making sure that the Indian Parliament will fail to ratify the agreement cut with George W.
Israel Matzav asks if Livni can get away with it after the Walles admission
Livni's chief rival in the upcoming Kadima primary, Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz, responded to the Walles interview by slamming Livni, saying she could no longer get away with not revealing whether she thought Jerusalem should be divided, and whether she has divided it in the negotiations that she is leading.
"What was published is nothing less than a scandal," Mofaz said. "The future of the capital of Israel is not a matter for secret negotiations. I say clearly, I will not allow Jerusalem to be harmed.
Atlas Shrugs has more questions of Obama's Pakistani connections
Who was Senator Obama’s host in Pakistan? The Friday Times broke this story in early March and revealed the host to be none other than Mian Muhammadian Soomro, the caretaker prime minister.
Obama's background just gets curiouser and curiouser. I am still stumped as to how Dr. Al-Mansour came to mentor Barack Hussein Obama before he attended Harvard. How did Obama come to know Dr. Khalid al Mansour, Senior Advisor, HRH Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal, and where did Obama get the money for his long strange trip? For a "poor, starving, student" Obama sure had/has a collection of rich, wealthy and politically connected muslims all over the world.
How is it that Obama had these dark powerful connections in his youth while, at the same time, his brother George subsists on a dollar a month?
"Now is the time to keep the promise of equal pay for an equal day's work," Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama said Aug. 28 in his convention acceptance speech. He told the crowd in Denver: "I want my daughters to have exactly the same opportunities as your sons."
Obama's campaign website is even more specific. Under the heading "Fighting for Pay Equity," the women's issues page laments that, "Despite decades of progress, women still make only 77 cents for every dollar a man makes. A recent study estimates it will take another 47 years for women to close the wage gap with men at Fortune 500 corporate offices.
A watchdog group called LegiStorm posts online the salaries for Capitol Hill staffers. "We have no political affiliations and no political purpose except to make the workings of Congress as transparent as possible," its website explains. Parsing LegiStorm's official data, gleaned from the Secretary of the Senate, offers a fascinating glimpse at pay equity in the World's Greatest Deliberative Body.
Based on these calculations, Obama's 28 male staffers divided among themselves total payroll expenditures of $1,523,120. Thus, Obama's average male employee earned $54,397.
Obama's 30 female employees split $1,354,580 among themselves, or $45,152, on average.
Why this disparity? One reason may be the under-representation of women in Obama's highest-compensated ranks. Among Obama's five best-paid advisors, only one was a woman. Among his top 20, seven were women.
Again, on average, Obama's female staffers earn just 83 cents for every dollar his male staffers make.
McCain's 17 male staffers split $916,914, thus averaging $53,936. His 25 female employees divided $1,396,958 and averaged $55,878.
On average, according to these data, women in John McCain's office make $1.04 for every dollar a man makes. In fact, all other things being equal, a typical female staffer could earn 21 cents more per dollar paid to her male counterpart -- while adding $10,726 to her annual income -- by leaving Barack Obama's office and going to work for John McCain.
How could this be?
One explanation could be that women compose a majority of McCain's highest-paid aides. Among his top-five best-compensated staffers, three are women. Of his 20-highest-salaried employees, 13 are women. The Republican presidential nominee relies on women -- much more than men -- for advice at the highest, and thus, best-paid levels.
Finally I close with a look back at my posts on 9/11 of previous years
Lessons from 9/11
the lesson of murder should never be tolerance but intolerance, intolerance of evil. Not intolerance of nationalism or religious extremism or fanaticism or any other generic euphemism but evil. What is evil? In this case the answer is surprisingly simple. Evil defines the sort of people who would perpetrate another Holocaust or another 9/11.
In the face of evil, remembrance is the last resort of the defeated. Six years after 9/11 its own commemoration has traveled the same path as that of the Holocaust commemorations in a fraction of the time. 9/11 has spawned its own historical revisionists, the Truthers, determined that 9/11 never happened or that the Jews or the government was behind it. 9/11 has become a fit subject for snickering, for jokes and for satire. The very act of remembering or commemorating 9/11 is itself mocked as phony and self-indulgent.
Guantanamo Bay is a better memorial for 9/11 than any construction of stone, glass and steel that will ever rise. A bullet in the head of an Al Queda terrorist is a better commemoration for this terrible day than any act of verbal elocution. A tower rising to the sky, an airplane passing overhead, are a fist clenched high in defiance by the civilized world against the uncivilized, by men against savages and human beings against subhuman barbarians.
The Fragmented Shapes of an Uncertain Future
It is the end of summer at South Street Seaport Pier 17. August is ending, September is beginning and the cold wind is already here. The sky is overcast yet in places piercing glints of light still shine. By the water along the deserted pier a rock band is playing to an audience of a handful. A middle aged couple, man and wife, stand leaning on each other, swaying back and forth, their hands in each other's jeans pockets. The band begins another set. They aren't good but they aren't bad either.
Above Seaport and its mall gulls circle the American flag hanging on its roof like vultures. Grey clouds drift closer. A thin trail of smoke pours from the greasy kitchen of a luncheonette. 2001 is ending but it is also beginning and in the air there hangs the sense that all the good times are ending now.
Landscapes of Loss
And we too, we forget.
After a while your eye gets used to seeing what's missing and no longer even expects it to be there. You no longer look up and expect the towers to be there. You no longer peer along Broadway or look downtown from a skyscraper expecting those two familiar shapes to be there. The maps still point to the world trade center, subway stops still direct you there and soon they will be replaced by an ugly commonplace forgettable construction. And that is the final stage of loss, to replace what has been lost with something truly inferior and to forget so that even the degree of difference is no longer recognized anymore.
Wander the streets of the city. Walk to 23rd and look up at the Flatiron building. Able along the river to the gray shadowy bulk of the Intrepid Aircraft carrier like a small town resting on water. Pass on to the spire of the Empire State building, the art deco ascension of the Chrysler Building. Meander through Central Park, follow the ramble and sit on the mushroom besides the Mad Hatter, go to the ocean and watch the tide come in and out marking the sand. Stand besides the lions at the library, explore the treasures of the Metropolitan Museum, walk over Brooklyn Bridge and think of Walt Whitman, watch the sunset come to the arch at Washington Square Park.
Do all these things and more and remember, a terrible enemy waits outside the gates.
Remember and enjoy the city while you can. Enjoy the towns and the cities you live in. Remember their history. Remember too that their future is not set.