August 9, 2010

If You Build It, They May Not Come…

Filed under: Activism,Taxes & Government — Rose @ 6:58 pm

A Muslim victim of 9/11: ‘Build your mosque somewhere else’
By Neda Bolourchi
Sunday, August 8, 2010

I have no grave site to visit, no place to bring my mother her favorite yellow flowers, no spot where I can hold my weary heart close to her. All I have is Ground Zero.

On the morning of Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, I watched as terrorists slammed United Flight 175 into the South Tower of the World Trade Center, 18 minutes after their accomplices on another hijacked plane hit the North Tower. My mother was on the flight. I witnessed her murder on live television. I still cannot fully comprehend those images. In that moment, I died as well. I carry a hole in my heart that will never be filled.

… I worry that the construction of the Cordoba House Islamic cultural center near the World Trade Center site would not promote tolerance or understanding; I fear it would become a symbol of victory for militant Muslims around the world.

… a mosque near Ground Zero will not move this conversation forward. There were many mosques in the United States before Sept. 11; their mere existence did not bring cross-cultural understanding. The proposed center in New York may be heralded as a peace offering — may genuinely seek to focus on “promoting integration, tolerance of difference and community cohesion through arts and culture,” as its Web site declares — but I fear that over time, it will cultivate a fundamentalist version of the Muslim faith, embracing those who share such beliefs and hating those who do not.

… I know Ground Zero is not mine alone; I must share this sanctuary with tourists, politicians, anyone who chooses to come, whatever their motivations or intentions. But a mosque nearby — even a proposed one — is already transforming the site from a sacred ground for reflection, so desperately needed by the families who lost loved ones, to a battleground for religious and political ideologies. So many people from different nationalities and religions were killed that day. This site should be a neutral place for all to come in peace and remember. I believe my mother would have thought so as well.

… I do not like harboring resentment or anger, but I do not want the death of my mother — my best friend, my hero, my strength, my love — to become even more politicized than it already is. To the supporters of this new Islamic cultural center, I must ask: Build your ideological monument somewhere else, far from my mother’s grave, and let her rest.

Not much to add. The rest is here.

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Previous posts:

  • July 15 — NYT: Ground Zero Mega Mosque With Undisclosed Funding Is ‘Planned Sign of Tolerance’
  • July 13 — This Is One Insult Too Far

If You Build It, They May Not Come, Part Deux…

Filed under: Activism,Taxes & Government — Rose @ 6:05 pm

…but they may build a Christian Center next to your mosque. I think Bloomberg just fainted…

From WND:

Holy turf wars at Ground Zero
9-11 Christian Center planned as permanent protest to mosque

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Posted: July 12, 2010
8:25 pm Eastern
By Drew Zahn
WorldNetDaily

In response to the controversial plans to build an Islamic mosque in New York City near the place where Muslim terrorists killed nearly 3,000 people in 2001, an Internet evangelist is planning to establish what he calls the 9-11 Christian Center at Ground Zero.

Bill Keller of LivePrayer.com, an Internet ministry that claims over 2.4 million subscribers, is planning on opening the Center at a temporary location near Ground Zero this September before announcing a permanent home beginning in 2011.

…We are not starting a church,” Keller emphasized in an email to WND, “but this will be an evangelistic center reaching out to people who are searching, looking for hope and answers in their life.”

“The mission is simple,” Keller further explains on the center’s website. “Have a place at Ground Zero where people can come to hear the real, uncompromised Truth right from God’s Word and find the only true hope there is, faith in Jesus Christ. We will combat the lies of this world and Islam with the Truth. We will combat the hatred of this world and Islam with love. We will combat the violence of this world and Islam with peace. Finally, we will combat eternal death this world and Islam brings with life everlasting!”

…The goal of the airtime, Keller declares, is to “keep the daily flow of God’s truth regarding the issues of the day, to minister to people’s needs, to bring the lost to faith in Christ [and] to promote the 9-11 Christian Center at Ground Zero.”

More here. And the new center’s website is here.

Wonder what milquetoast Mayor Bloomberg will say about this? And how much more will CAIR slip him to shut it down thus continuing their mockery of 9/11?

That deafening silence you hear isn’t indifference or acceptance Mayor Mike, it’s people getting ready to rumble…

Stay tuned …

ISM Info Request Update

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 3:19 pm

I intended to post on any response or non-response I might have received to the e-mail contained in this post from last Wednesday (“The Data vs. ISM: A Request for Answers”).

Because of time off taken by the addressee, I am delaying ISM’s opportunity to respond until Thursday, August 12.

Obama Admin’s IT Outsourcing Assistance to Sri Lanka, Armenia Gets Little Press Notice

ReasonToOutsourceIT0810On August 3 (“U.S. To Train 3,000 Offshore IT Workers”), InformationWeek.com’s Paul McDougall reported that the U.S. Agency for International Development is operating at cross purposes with the Obama administration’s stated goal to keep high-tech jobs in the U.S.

USAID has since attempted to do some backing and filling about the assistance it is providing in Sri Lanka, but its arguments may ring hollow, given McDougall’s report two days later that the agency is also helping to fund IT outsourcing efforts in Armenia.

Here are the first four paragraphs of McDougall’s original August 3 report:

Despite President Obama’s pledge to retain more hi-tech jobs in the U.S., a federal agency run by a hand-picked Obama appointee has launched a $36 million program to train workers, including 3,000 specialists in IT and related functions, in South Asia.

Following their training, the tech workers will be placed with outsourcing vendors in the region that provide offshore IT and business services to American companies looking to take advantage of the Asian subcontinent’s low labor costs.

Under director Rajiv Shah, the United States Agency for International Development will partner with private outsourcers in Sri Lanka to teach workers there advanced IT skills like Enterprise Java (Java EE) programming, as well as skills in business process outsourcing and call center support. USAID will also help the trainees brush up on their English language proficiency.

USAID is contributing about $10 million to the effort, while its private partners are investing roughly $26 million.

A short time later, Patrick Thibodeau at Computerworld (“Basic skills, not enterprise Java, in Sri Lanka”), relayed USAID’s contention that relevance of java to the Sri Lankan effort would only be in whatever coffee might be used to keep students awake and alert (that’s my “clever” interpretation, not his). He also offered a humanitarian justification for the effort:

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which is helping to fund development of Sri Lanka’s offshore outsourcing industry, says it made a mistake in announcing that it would provide training on enterprise Java as part of a basic IT work skills program, an agency spokeswoman said today.

… The inclusion of enterprise Java was curious because the USAID also said, in a subsequent follow-up blog post about this training, that the population in this area has “not been exposed to even basic IT technology.”

A USAID spokesman wrote this: “USAID’s partner in the project, a Sri Lankan company, initially requested to teach Enterprise Java to students that may qualify. However, after conducting due diligence, the partner found that the training programs must focus on fundamental computer skills, as the majority of prospective trainees lacked even basic experience with computers.”

… The Northern area of Sri Lanka has seen much killing, including massacres. The war has been particularly brutal, with as many as 100,000 people killed over the course of the war and this in a country with a total population of just over 21 million. The war was settled last year and now the government is trying to stabilize this area with some economic development assistance.

A correct translation of the bolded paragraph would be: They really wanted to do it, but they couldn’t.

Even if the effort in Sri Lanka isn’t harmful to U.S. economic interests, the same probably can’t be said of what McDougall reported on August 5 (“Now It’s Armenia: USAID Funds IT In Eurasia”) about USAID’s involvement in Armenia:

Even as controversy mounts over its funding of IT outsourcers in South Asia, the U.S. Agency for International Development has announced a program under which it will partner with the government of Armenia—a nation anxious to lure computer work from American shores–to promote the development of the country’s information technology industry.

Jonathan Hale, USAID deputy assistant administrator for Europe & Eurasia, is on a four-day trip to Armenia to meet with government and private industry leaders in the country. On his agenda is a meeting with Armenian economic minister Nerses Yeritsyan.

“We look forward to partnering with USAID on the IT sector, which has great potential as Armenia has an advantage in this sector,” Yeritsyan said in a statement released by USAID. “We want companies to come to Armenia and create their innovative environments,” Yeritsyan said.

Among other things, Armenia is looking to establish itself as a center for low-cost IT and engineering work outsourced from the U.S. and other Western countries.

… USAID, a taxpayer-funded federal agency, did not disclose how much it’s contributing to Armenia’s efforts to become a global IT competitor. Among the U.S. companies participating in the project is Oracle’s Sun Microsystems unit.

Apart from what the Obama administration appears to be doing to ruin it, the more recent trend has been to pull call center work, much of which is related to IT support, back from overseas installations. I noted in a May 30 post (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) industry reports that the call centers actually grew during the worst of the 2008-2009 recession as normal people define it. More tangible evidence of this trend is found at this link. Though it goes back to March of 2009, it cites eight specific and significant instances of companies each deciding to “onshore” hundreds of jobs in the U.S. that either had been outsourced overseas, or would have been in previous years. In the AT&T case cited at the link, thousands of jobs are involved.

Though there have been stories in other tech publications about the Sri Lankan and Armenian situations since McDougall’s reports, the U.S. establishment press appears to be disinterested. A Google News search on “Sri Lanka outsourcing” (not in quotes) comes up with few results. A deeper dig into those results shows no U.S. establishment newspaper coverage. There is a mention at a blog post at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, but it turns out to be from a commenter. Associated Press searches on “Sri Lanka” and “Armenia” (neither in quotes) return nothing relevant.

Given “how American jobs disppearing overseas” was a popular establishment and sometimes valid media and Democratic Party theme during the Bush 43 years, it’s a little hard to handle any journalistic contention that a clearly proactive, government-sponsored effort to do just that isn’t sufficiently newsworthy.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Taliban Murders 10 in Afghanistan

Filed under: Activism — Rose @ 9:45 am

Bets on whether or not any of the lamestream media harlots have the guts to ask Barry about this

10 Christian aid workers slain in Afghanistan
6 Americans part of ambushed medical team.

By Kathy Gannon
Associated Press
Posted: Sunday, Aug. 08, 2010

KABUL, Afghanistan They hiked for more than 10 hours over rugged mountains – unarmed and without security – to bring medical care to isolated Afghan villagers until their humanitarian mission took a tragic turn.

Ten members of the Christian medical team – six Americans, two Afghans, one German and a Briton – were gunned down in a gruesome slaughter that the Taliban said they carried out, alleging the volunteers were spying and trying to convert Muslims to Christianity. The gunmen spared an Afghan driver, who recited verses from the Islamic holy book Quran as he begged for his life.

…The bullet-riddled bodies – including three women – were found Friday near three vehicles in a wooded area just off the main road that snakes through a narrow valley in the Kuran Wa Munjan district of Badakhshan, provincial police chief Gen. Agha Noor Kemtuz told The Associated Press.

One of the Americans, Dr. Tom Little, a New York optometrist, had spent about 30 years in Afghanistan, rearing three daughters and surviving both the Soviet invasion and bloody civil war of the 1990s that destroyed much of Kabul.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid told the AP that they killed the foreigners because they were “spying for the Americans” and “preaching Christianity.” In a Pashto language statement acquired by the AP, the Taliban also said the team was carrying Dari-language bibles and “spying gadgets.”

…Team leader Tom Little, 61, of Delmar, N.Y., had been working in Afghanistan for about 30 years and spoke fluent Dari, one of the two main Afghan languages, Frans said. Little and other Christian aid workers were expelled by the Taliban government in August 2001 after the arrest of eight Christian aid workers for allegedly trying to convert Afghans to Christianity.

He returned after the Taliban government was toppled in November 2001 by U.S.-backed forces. Known in Kabul as “Mr. Tom,” Little supervised a network of IAM eye hospitals and clinics.

…Little had been making such trips to Afghan villages for decades, offering vision care and surgical services in regions where medical services of any type are scarce.

…The driver, identified as Saifullah, told authorities that gunmen attacked team members as they returned to their vehicles following lunch in the Sharron valley Thursday, according to Kemtuz, the Badakhshan police chief. The volunteers were forced to sit on the ground. The gunmen looted the vehicles, then fatally shot them, Kemtuz said.

Other reports here and here reveal that IAM (International Assistance Mission), registered as a non-profit organization, has been serving Afghanistan since 1966.

So to sum things up: A group of Christians can go into a Muslim country to provide care for the poor, and to justify their murder, all the government has to say, is that they were suspected of carrying a Bible. Conversely, Muslims can come into America, kill 3,000 of our citizens and our government allows them to build a fricking mosque.

Paper tigers indeed.

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil.” ~Isaiah 5:20

Update: Michelle Malkin has more here.

Lickety-Split Links (080910, Morning)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 9:42 am

From the “It’s Never Too Late to Learn the Truth” Dept.At Heritage (HT Jeff Perren at PJM): “The Chrysler Bail-Out Bust.”

Did you know that “… the Chrysler Corporation Loan Guarantee Act of 1979 that required creditors to make certain “concessions” to Chrysler … (enabled it) to pay off more than $600 million in debts at just 30 cents on the dollar”? Neither did I.

It turns out that what happened in the original Chrysler bailout was a model for the larger-scale ripoff of secured creditors that happened in an actual bankruptcy over 30 years later.

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George Voinovich wants a higher gas tax (HT to a commenter) to “to create jobs, improve our infrastructure and better our climate.”

Point by point:

  • The visible jobs created would be offset, if not more than offset, by invisible jobs lost and/or people not hired who could have been at businesses facing higher fuel costs.
  • Whether it would really “improve our infrastructure” would depend on whether the extra money would really be used for roads and bridges. Given Transportation Ray LaHood’s stated desire to “coerce people out of their cars,” I wouldn’t count on it.
  • “Better our climate”? Even if you buy into the hoax known around here as globaloney — the blind acceptance of the ideas that a) the earth is warming, in spite of strong evidence that it really isn’t; b) humans are causing it, which over 31,000 scientists say isn’t the case; and c) that radical statist controls over all industry and commerce as well as our personal lives and massive redistributions of international wealth are necessary to stop it — the puny impact of reduced pollution because of fewer traffic jams will be wiped out by the rapidly growing greenhouse gas emissions in the “BRIC” countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China). China passed the U.S. in emissions three years ago, and has almost certainly sprinted way ahead since then.

Voinovich will not be missed.

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Such a deal (“Why I’m Not Hiring”):

When you add it all up, it costs $74,000 to put $44,000 in Sally’s pocket and to give her $12,000 in benefits.

Employers might be willing to endure this anyway, as they have in the past, if there were clear prospects of real growth ahead. That’s not the case because of regime uncertainty.

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An August surprise? Given this development, it has already occurred in Ohio (HT RightOhio):

Ohio will get the largest chunk among five states splitting $600 million in foreclosure prevention money, the Obama administration announced Wednesday, Aug. 4.

The $172 million in federal rescue funds for Ohio will, during three years, assist 18,500 home-
owners who are unable to make mortgage payments because of unemployment, according to the Ohio Housing Finance Agency.

It might be one thing if this kind of effort worked. The evidence is in that it doesn’t, and hasn’t.

Positivity: Couple in prison ministry carries faith behind bars

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:31 am

From Enfield, Connecticut:

Aug 7, 2010 / 12:58 pm

What started as a penance after confession has blossomed into long-term labor of love for a husband and wife who hope others will join their efforts. “To whom much is given, much is expected,” said Walter Seibert, by way of explaining why he and his wife Gesuina make up the Prison Ministry of Northern Connecticut.

For the past 15 years, the Seiberts, both septuagenarians, have been involved in prison ministry, which brings prisoners of different faiths together with volunteers. They travel to correctional facilities in Suffield and Enfield three times a week to share their faith with inmates.

Both products of Catholic education, Walter and Ges, as she is known, say the ministry has fortified their faith. Although they describe their sharing of the faith as “Catechism 101,” they are challenged by the questions inmates ask.

“We’ve had to answer questions that we never had to look at before because we just took things on faith. But a lot of these guys say, ‘I don’t want to know based upon faith, I want an answer to that,’” Walter said. “So we go back and look up the Church’s teaching.”

The Seiberts’ ministry is funded entirely by the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal.

“Last year we got a $2,500 grant from that, and thank God,” said Walter, adding that the money is used primarily to buy Bibles and catechisms in English and Spanish.

“We are so blessed,” said Ges. “If somebody had told me, ‘One day, you’re going to enjoy going to prison,’ I would have said, ‘You’re out of your mind.’”The Seiberts, who have been married for 55 years, live at St. Joseph’s Residence, a home for the elderly run by the Little Sisters of the Poor.

They met on a blind date in college in the 1950s, were married in New York during a hurricane and “have done everything together ever since,” said Ges with an infectious laugh.

Walter said when he was in business as a certified public accountant and Ges was raising their three children, they often thought, “God wants us to do something with our faith because we had been given so much, and we kept asking, ‘Lord, what do you want us to do?’ And no matter what we put our hands to,” such as teaching religious education and other volunteerism, “nothing seemed to gel.”

In 1996, Deacon Rene Kieda, then the Catholic chaplain at the MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution in Suffield, put a notice into the St. Martha Parish bulletin for people to help with the prison ministries program

Walter said he thanked God for not calling him to that ministry.

Two weeks later, when the Walter and Ges were at Mass, Deacon Robert Bernd talked about his involvement with the ministry.

Walter said he again thanked God for not calling him to that ministry.

Shortly after that, Walter said, when he went to confession, the priest told him to read Matthew 25 as a penance. It was the line “[For I was] in prison and you visited me” that shaped the couple’s future. …

Go here for the rest of the story.