“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Friday, December 04, 2009

Swiss Ban Minarets, Obama Looks At Washington Monument And Goes "Hmm"

GENEVA – Swiss voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional ban on minarets on Sunday, barring construction of the iconic mosque towers in a surprise vote that put Switzerland at the forefront of a European backlash against a growing Muslim population.

"The Swiss have failed to give a clear signal for diversity, freedom of religion and human rights," said Omar Al-Rawi, integration representative of the Islamic Denomination in Austria, which said its reaction was "grief and deep disappointment."


  1. Poor Amanda!
    Italian Jury Convicts Student of Murder
    Amanda Knox, an American college student, and her sometime boyfriend were convicted of murdering her housemate after a closely-watched trial.
    Speaking of Evil Women...

  2. A step in the right direction. Perhaps they should go further and ban the structures underneath.

    Until Jews and Christians can build synagogues and churches in Saudi Arabia.

  3. I'm thinking that Bush Derangement Syndrome is fading, so the scales of the Euros are falling from their eyes, and they see they are surrounded by a bunch of murdering, women-abusing 7th Century thungs.

  4. Don't have the time to type it all out, but Washington was often in his day thought of as an American Moses, and still is today, by some.

    See: "America's Prophet: Moses and the American Story" by Bruce Feiler.

    But here's one passage---"A letter from George Washinton hangs in the lobby, sent after his election to the presidency. May the same wonder-working Deity, who long since delivered the Hebrews from their Egyptian oppressors, planted them in the promised land, whose providential agency has lately been conspicuous in establishing these United States as an independent nation, still continue to water them with the dews of Heaven. Exodus, on Washington's pen in the first weeks of the presidency."

  5. Expect to see Sharia rejected wholesale since there's no longer a Bush nose to tweak. The whole flirtation with Sharia was like when girls get their tongue pierced in retaliation for Dad's rule that she has to be in by 9pm.

  6. Years following 911, I had many Muslim children in my classroom. I treated them no different than, I would have my own children. Their religion, like yours and mine, is no different. I never felt threatened and I truly feel sorry for the good ones who are alienated for their religion.

  7. The Swiss are, pretty much, Rational People.

  8. That building is fucking awesome, I don't care what it represents.

  9. MLD: That building is fucking awesome, I don't care what it represents.

    For some reason I don't like what the Washington Monument reminds me of. I seem to be more attracted to buildings like this.

  10. My daughter attends a christian college and doesn't believe in God. Explain that one.

    When she went for her interview she told the Dean that she doesn't believe in God and he said it didn't matter but she had to take the religion classes required to graduate.

    I'm not proud and it took me a long time to except it. And now, I'm not afraid to admit it. You have to except people for who they are and what they believe in if not we'll be living in a world like we live in today. It sucks.

    It sucks that people make bad choices. It sucks that people judge and it sucks that people can't just get along.

    I don't care what kind of evidence you have, I can't believe that a religion teaches to kill.

  11. I've seen that building before where is it?

  12. It doesn't matter to me, T, I like diversity.

  13. MLD: My daughter attends a christian college and doesn't believe in God. Explain that one.

    There is a Wicca dorm at Jesuit-run Seattle University.

    I think of it this way: I can discuss and debate Tolkien's creation myth in the Silmarillion, and even contemplate taking a college course on Elvish history, without believing in it.

  14. Their religion, like yours and mine, is no different.

    Think you are wrong there, MLD. The kids surely are innocent, till a certain age, but the koran would put you in your place, make you stay there, and go on to make Rufus and me bow down to an irrational god, or pay the tax, or die.

    The muslims are kinda one off from the rest of the religious world, in this respect.

  15. And they'd stone Miss T to death. At least in some of their countries.

  16. She feels the same way. She had to drop her first religion course because the teacher kept preaching. She spoke up and said how am I suppose to get an A if you keep preaching and not teaching the text? He told her she better drop the class because she'll never get an A. So she dropped it. She took world religion in community college and loved it.

  17. Rules are rules it doesn't matter what religion right? Catholics have more rules than, I have panties. And that is saying a lot. What, I'm saying is that, I don't believe in my heart and I could be wrong, that religion teaches people to kill and that is what people believe Muslims are, killers. Just like they believe catholics are pedophiles. I don't believe that their religion teaches them to be pedophiles but they sure made a name for themselves.

  18. Buy her Joseph Campbell's books for Christmas.

  19. And why would they stone, T, because she's a lesbian? I bet she's not a catholic, either, because they don't except same sex relations. I know because a very good friend of mine is a lesbian and she doesn't practice because they don't except her.

  20. Koran 2:216 – You are commanded to fight although you may dislike it. You may hate something that is good for you, and love something that is bad for you. Allah knows and you do not.

    I'm goin' back out for one more T-Shirt drawing. Besides, I need more coffee.

  21. I still don't believe it. I'm a free spirit, I can't help it.

  22. More Friday night Banking news:
    WASHINGTON – Regulators on Friday shut down Ohio's AmTrust Bank, the fourth-largest bank to fail this year. They also closed five others, bringing to 130 the number of U.S. banks to be brought down so far in 2009 by recession and mountains of bad debt.

    The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. took over AmTrust Bank, based in Cleveland, with about $12 billion in assets and $8 billion in deposits. Its failure is expected to cost the federal deposit insurance fund an estimated $2 billion.

  23. Where's that casino, bob? Across the street?

  24. Heard on the John Batchelor show that Fritz Henderson was forced out of GM because a GM subsidiary in South Korea, Daewoo, gambled on derivatives and lost a pile of money. In order to cover the loss, GM sold 1% of GM China to Shanghai Motor Company giving them 51% control of the most promising car market for the foreseeable future.

  25. Oh dear Lord, Whit, that was the funniest thing, I've heard all week. I didn't know you had it in you. I have a whole new level of respect for you, now. I just snorted laughter out of my nose.

    Thanks, I've had a, should have stayed in bed, kind of a day, I needed that.

  26. I think it's going to snow tomorrow. I'll believe it when I see it.

  27. I guess that casino was further than we thought. But what is the difference, Bob, whether you get a t-shirt or not it's only come off anyway, right?

  28. No luck.

    About 6 or 7 miles out there.

    Deal is, you have to wear one of their t-shirts or coats or something to put your name in the drawing. 2 hundred and fifty bucks.

    10am to 10 pm, every two hours. We've been going in the morning when hardly anyone is there, maybe to names in the barrel, and have breakfast too. Good restaurant. We've won five times this year. On Fridays.

    Other big deal is Wampum Day. I thought they had shut it down due to finances, but it was the computer program, back up now. So, might as well gamble with their money. Between the two of us we get forty bucks. And, another excuse to eat out. This is one day a week too.

    Coffee is always free, beats Starbucks.

    And I might bump into someone I know.

    A friend from high school won a Harley Davidson motorcycle at a monthly drawing. It'll probably be the death of him.

    In the early days, when they were trying to get people hooked on gambling, they had some great prizes. Jet boats, motorhomes, all sorts of stuff. Now it's tapered off.

  29. It's cold enough to snow here. Temp plummeted, and Bob shivered from not being used to it.

    Winter is Icummen in
    (Ezra Pound)

    Winter is icummen in,
    Lhude sing Goddamm,
    Raineth drop and staineth slop
    And how the wind doth ramm!
    Sing: Goddamm.
    Skiddeth bus and sloppeth us,
    An ague hath my ham.
    Freezeth river, turneth liver
    Damn you, sing: Goddamm.
    Goddamm, Goddamm, tis why I am,
    So 'gainst the winter's balm
    Sing Goddamm, damm, sing Goddamm
    Sing Goddamm, sing Goddamm,

  30. Only as you say, Melody, it stays or goes.

  31. MLD: And why would they stone, T, because she's a lesbian? I bet she's not a catholic, either, because they don't except same sex relations.

    You'd win that bet MLD. I've been with one woman for 20 years, but I can't marry her because Catholic priests set aside their boy butt sex long enough to successfully organize campaigns like Prop 8 in California to ban marriage equality. And I want to be nice, but I don't want to be stupid, so why would I practice a religion headed by such as those?

  32. By the way, Miss T., your Thu Dec 03, 09:29:00 AM EST was very good.

    Something of the same point was made in Chaim Potok Wanderings--A History of the Jews

  33. International "success" for Team Obama!

    Washington Post - Mary Beth Sheridan - ‎6 hours ago‎
    BRUSSELS -- NATO allies welcomed President Obama's new Afghanistan strategy Friday, as Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton received pledges of 7000 extra troops to back up the US escalation.

    Ms Clinton as Jerry Lewis, receiving "pledges", seems so quaint, having a Telethon for Afpakistan, in Brussels.

  34. The bottom line of Jewish migration, bob, 3 million are in the US, of those, 73% voted for Obama.

    Which is certainly a "good thing' for US, aye.

    Right there with ACORN in their community organizational skills, putting "The One" over the top and into the White House!

  35. More success for Team Obama, as unemployment rates drop, due to that marvelous stimulous packaging, which is only now creating an economic impact, which will grow as we approach the 2010 election.

    As designed.

    Bloomberg - Timothy R. Homan - ‎5 hours ago‎

    Dec. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Employers in the US cut the fewest jobs in November since the recession began, and the unemployment rate fell, signaling that the recovery is lifting the labor market out of the worst slump in the post-World ...

  36. Two perspectives of the same events.

    Efforts to Strip Health Care Provisions Fall Short - New York Times

    Senate's Progress on Health Care Bill Grinds to Halt Over Democratic Divisions - FOX News

    What you see, depends upon where you stand.

  37. Candido Godol, a small town in Brazil, has long astonished the world with its very abnormally high level of birth rates for twins. The rate is nearly a thousand percent higher than the global average: "the 80 households in a one-square-mile area have reportedly some 38 pairs of twins. Blond, blue-eyed twins."

    National Geographic Explorer is digging into this mystery and they have come up with a pretty out there, and horrifying, theory. They investigate claims that mad Nazi scientist Joseph Mengele, who escaped to Brazil, continued his research into using twins as a way to build a perfect Aryan master race. One historian thinks Mengele succeeded, and this town is the proof.

    National Geographic

  38. We need to protect the Mosques, in Pakistan, from radical Islamics?

    If the radicals are really fighting for "Islam" then they'd not attack the Mosques.

    It give lie to the entire concept that this is a religious conflict.

    This raid makes the case that all we are witnessing is the normal ebb and flow of political violence that is the norm, in most of the whirled.

    Not some grand threat of "them" vs US. Or there'd have been the "follow on" attacks, which US officials promised, but have never materialized.

    Because their pronouncements concerning their threat assessment were way of the mark. Fear had put them in the wrong place, unable to see the realities of the ISI sponsored attack, upon US.

  39. RAWALPINDI, Pakistan — A Taliban suicide squad targeted Pakistani military officers and their families praying at a mosque Friday close to army headquarters in a gruesome display of the militants' ability to strike at the center of power in this U.S.-allied, nuclear-armed nation.

    The barrage of bombs and bullets left 37 people dead, including seven senior officers and 17 children.

    The deaths of so many top brass inside a heavily fortified area a few miles from the capital was a major coup for the Pakistani insurgents, who are under pressure as the army pushes an offensive against their stronghold of South Waziristan along the Afghan border.

    Friday's carnage also dramatized the risks Pakistan faces if it steps up its support for the United States in the war against Islamic extremists on its side of the border with Afghanistan.

    President Barack Obama believes Pakistan is a key partner in that war, but critics contend that Pakistan, hedging its bets in the event the Taliban eventually regain power in Kabul, has held back against Afghan insurgents who use the lawless border region as a safe haven.

    The attack on the mosque, which was largely reserved for military families, was the latest in a relentless Taliban onslaught against mostly military targets across Pakistan.

  40. Or perhaps there is a general war against Islam, and anyone in a Mosque deserves to die.

    In which case we must celebrate that attack, in Pakistan, against a Mosque reserved for their Army of Jihadi.

  41. Well, Rat, if it's not laryngitis, it has got to be carpal tunnel.

  42. To put us back on topic, here is the US Jewish Communities response to the Swiss vote.

    In fact, the best quote, creating an excellent example of applying the same standard equivalency to all, comes from the fellow that thinks Glenn Beck is a threat to our Republic.

    “A century ago, a Swiss referendum banned Jewish ritual slaughter in an attempt to drive out its Jewish population.”

    From the Baltimore Jewish Times:

    “The referendum result amounts to an attack on the fundamental values of mutual respect,” American Jewish Committee Executive Director David Harris said Tuesday.

    “While there are certainly understandable concerns in Europe over Islamist extremism, these cannot be legitimately addressed through a blanket assault on Muslim communities and their religious symbols.”

    The Anti-Defamation League in a statement Tuesday urged the Swiss government to be vigilant in its commitment to ensuring freedom of religion.

    “This is not the first time a Swiss popular vote has been used to promote religious intolerance,” Robert Sugarman, ADL national chair, and Abraham Foxman, its national director said in a released statement. “A century ago, a Swiss referendum banned Jewish ritual slaughter in an attempt to drive out its Jewish population.”

    U.S. Sen. Benjamin Cardin, chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) and his co-chairman, Rep. Alcee Hastings, expressed concern over the minaret ban.

    “The Swiss vote to ban minarets is worrying for a number of reasons, including the fact the Swiss people have seen fit to limit the religious practice of one particular group,” Cardin said. “I trust the Swiss government will work swiftly to be sure the Swiss are not viewed as an intolerant people.”

    “I hope the Swiss courts will overturn this referendum, and that the Swiss government will double its efforts to implement anti-discrimination laws and have an open and honest dialogue about religious and ethnic tolerance,” Hastings said.

    The Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities opposed the measure.

  43. Could there be a difference between Mr Abraham Foxman's public statements and private beliefs?

    Could he say one thing while believing another, would that be ethical?

    Better ask your new tenant, bob.

  44. Don't let facts get in the way of your beliefs MLD!
    ...although I wouldn't brag about if it were me.

    A God Who Hates
    - Wafa Sultan

  45. "This is a woman who has received hundreds of death threats for simply telling the truth as she experienced it.

    Having just completed my own careful reading of the Qur'an using Muslim commentaries I affirm that her picture of the message pervasive in the Qur'an is absolutely accurate.

    She devastates the usual arguments brought against so-called "cherry-picking" of negative things in the Qur'an.
    Most importantly, she shows, with the acumen of a trained doctor, the results of a consistent application of this world-view to children and adults.
    The results are devastating.

    The closer you get to orthodox Arabic Islam, the worse it gets. Having lived in Muslim countries for 11 years I found myself over and over saying, "wow, for the first time I have an explanation for the behaviors that I saw". This is a book that I am going to buy 50 copies of and give to friends, especially Muslim friends. They may become angry, but some will quietly admit, this is the problem. The problem of the Muslim world is not its lack of application of Islam. The problem of the Muslim world is Islam...period. We need to have the love, courage and compassion to give Muslims an opportunity to consider an insider's critique of their own system.

  46. "Wafa Sultan does not claim to be an Islamic scholar, but she has seen Islam close up for the first thirty years of her life.

    The ogre that has a billion and a half people cowering in fear and shame is reflected in the oppressed lives of his subjects.

    What is so gripping about Dr. Sultan's account is how the affliction is passed from one generation to another -- diminished women give birth and nurturing to children who end up equally diminished. Worse yet, women embrace their defectiveness in a kind of Stockholm Syndrome.

    Dr. Sultan writes, "[W]omen have become convinced of their defectiveness and have indeed sanctified that defectiveness as divine decree."

    The solution, according to Dr. Sultan, is for Muslims and non-Muslims to read the Islamic sacred documents first-hand without distortion or falsification.

  47. The Swiss ban on minerets was foolish. Since their objections were to the Muslim "call to prayer" all they had to do is pass an anti-noise ordinance that banned loud, amplified "noise".
    Hell, it's Europe. No one would have objected if it was passed on "environmental" grounds.

  48. Thanks, Doug, I live a very sheltered life and only want to see the good in people. I will do my research and then get back to you.

  49. "NY Times Outraged by Obama's Behavior!

    I agree with Obama not releasing the photos. Everyone knows what's in them anyway. Why add to the fire.

    On the other hand, the editorial makes one very good point:

    ”Under the new law’s perverse logic, the more outrageous the government’s conduct, the greater the protection from disclosure.”


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