Friday, October 31, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
"I don't think there's any secret about this," Obama said. "My father was from Kenya so I've got an Arab-sounding name, and I think most people know that I was raised by my mom who was from Kansas, which is why I've got a Kansas-sounding accent…"
Sure thing, Barry. Why, everyone says Tal-ee-ban and Pak-ee-stan in Kansas!
Friday, March 7, 2008
Ivan Rios was the second member of the ruling secretariat of FARC to be killed in a week.
The guerrilla force was already shaken by the death Saturday of its spokesman, Raul Reyes, in a cross-border raid by Colombian troops into Ecuador.
"The FARC has suffered a new, major blow," Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos said at a news conference.
Santos said troops launched an operation designed to capture Rios on Feb. 17 after receiving tips that he was in a mountainous area of the western province of Caldas.
On Thursday, he said, a guerrilla known as Rojas came to the troops with Rios' severed hand, laptop computer and ID, saying he had killed his boss.
It was unclear what motivated Rojas to kill his boss, but Santos said it was to "relieve the military pressure."
Santos did not say what happened to Rojas, and he didn't take questions.
The U.S. State Department had a standing bounty of $5 million for Rios, whose real name is Jose Juvenal Velandia. He has been charged with drug smuggling by the United States, and is on a U.S. Treasury Department list of terrorists and drug traffickers.
When David A. Karnes, a California lawyer, sent letters late last month to members of Congress with a picture taken of a man standing in front of the Times Square recruiting station, he could not have imagined that weeks later, F.B.I. agents would swarm his Los Angeles home and interrogate him. Law enforcement authorities have ruled out a connection between the bombing of the recruiting station on early Thursday morning and Mr. Karnes, who has become an odd footnote to a story that has perplexed investigators...
Mr. Karnes, whose mother spoke to The New York Times on Friday about her son, worked for a number of years as a lawyer for Universal Television, which syndicates television programs like “Law & Order.”
In a way, Mr. Karnes’s story resembles the first few minutes of many a “Law & Order” episode, in which an unlikely coincidence send the authorities down a wrong trail. According to officials, he sent the letters to lawmakers in late February, more than 30 pages each, indexed with numbers indicating they were mass produced and mailed with a return address from California. At first, officials thought the claim, “We did it,” might be a claim of credit for the bombing.
F.B.I. agents tracked Mr. Karnes down late Thursday, waited for him as he left a health club, pulled him over in his car near his Hollywood home and talked to him. His account — and his denials of being the bomber — were found to be credible. It turns out that the man was only trying to send Democratic politicians a message.
Ms. Karnes said her son told the agents that he had written the letters and sent them to Washington out of a deep conviction about politics and social issues. “He sent it and the timing was wrong,” she said. “He had no idea. He didn’t even really know there was a bombing that took place the other day. He is just completely innocent of any of that. This all had to do with his personal conviction.”
“I’ll tell you, he is the most gifted, creative person,’’ she said. “He’s been writing letters since he was 13 years old in school.” She added: “He is one of the most sensitive people I have ever known. He is one of the most rare people. He tries to contact congressmen and speak out against the war. He’s gifted and he’s got a background in education like you’ve never heard.” She added that the family was always “politically minded".
Ms. Karnes said she had received a Christmas card that featured a photo of her son standing in front of the Times Square military recruiting station. “I know when he said, `We did it,’ he was talking about the Democratic Party,” she said. “He’s a very moral kind of a guy. I know very few kinds of people I would put in the category of my son David. He’s really in his own wonderful world.”
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Yet another fugitive covered by America's Most Wanted has been caught:NEW Zealand fugitive Nai Yin Xue, suspected of murdering his wife and abandoning his toddler daughter, has been arrested in the US.
Mr Xue is suspected of murdering his wife, Anan Liu, in Auckland last September and stuffing her body in the boot of a car.
He is also suspected of dumping his three-year-old daughter, Qian Xun Xue, who became affectionately known as Pumpkin, at a Melbourne train station.
"He was arrested in Atlanta," said Tom Hession, head of the Los Angeles US Marshalls, today.
Mr Xue had been living with members of the Chinese community in the southern US city and his acquaintances tipped off local authorities after seeing news reports about him."He was either associated with, or staying with some folks, who realised he was wanted and they called authorities," Mr Hession said.
Mark Johnson of Chamblee Police in Georgia said Mr Xue had been prepared for capture by his informers.
"They took matters into their own hands," he said. "When we arrived he was hog-tied with rope and duct tape."
University of Michigan history professor, Juan Cole, goes to absurd lengths to say that Obama's name doesn't matter
In response to the brouhaha over controversial remarks made by talk radio's Jim Cunningham as the opening act to a John McCain rally, Cole has a blog post entitled, Barack Hussein Obama, Omar Bradley, Benjamin Franklin and other Semitically Named American Heroes, where he argues in great detail that names like Barack Hussein Obama are no different than names like John Adams because they share "semitic" roots:
I want to say something about Barack Hussein Obama's name. It is a name to be proud of. It is an American name. It is a blessed name. It is a heroic name, as heroic and American in its own way as the name of General Omar Nelson Bradley or the name of Benjamin Franklin. And denigrating that name is a form of racial and religious bigotry of the most vile and debased sort. It is a prejudice against names deriving from Semitic languages!
Cunningham is a serial jackass in my opinion, but this theory ignores the Judeo-Christian Biblical roots of names like "John" (you know, like John the Baptist) and the Muslim roots of names like "Hussein". This fatuous thinking would have us believe that the fact that Arabs and Jews are Semites somehow trumps their chasmal religious and cultural differences.
He then takes it a step further and implies that not only was it bigoted for Cunningham to use Obama's middle name, Cunningham wants to take away the citizenship of people with Muslim names:
I won't go into all the great Americans with Arabic names in sports, entertainment and business, against whom Cunningham would apparently discriminate on that basis. Does he want to take citizenship away from Kareem Abdul Jabbar [meaning "noble the servant of the Mighty"] and Ahmad Jamal [meaning "the most praised, beauty"]? What about Rihanna ["sweet basil," "aromatic"]? Tony Shalhoub [i.e. Mr. Monk]?
Uh, no, Mr. Cole, I don't recall anyone demanding any such thing (unlike the New York Times, who fantasize that John McCain is ineligible for the White House because he was born in Panama, but I digress). And what pray tell does the fact that a name can be translated to mean "sweet basil" have to do with the topic at hand? Isn't he getting a bit off course here?
Cole goes on to makes a questionable claim here:
Barack Obama's middle name is in honor of his grandfather, Hussein, a secular resident of Nairobi. But it has been reported that that Obama's grandfather, Onyango Hussein, was one of the first Muslim converts in the village.
Barack's grandfather's religion may be be irrelevant (unless Obama were to romanticize it to the point of where it adversely affected his foreign policy positions). Personally, I am more troubled by the fact that Barack's spiritual mentor Rev. Wright, who gave him the phrase, the audacity of hope, is an afro-centrist who greatly admires Louis Farrakhan and traveled with him to meet with Khadafi. However, when history professors claim that a Muslim convert is "secular" it raises questions about their agenda.
Indeed, If one reads Professor Cole's biography, one learns that he is (surprise!) a "progressive". At his home page he goes into great detail about his own American roots and genealogy, and we learn:
He married the former Shahin Malik in Lahore in 1982, and they have one son, Arman, born in 1987.
Gosh, I wonder if that could be clouding his perspective, and mushing all people with "semitic" names into one big bowl of progressive oatmeal, while ignoring the cultural and religious influences of the upbringing of men like John Adams and Benjamin Franklin, which were in no way, shape, or form Middle-Eastern, African, or Islamic?
The simple fact is, we are not all the same, and it's more than our names which make us different. Obama clearly thinks his heritage is important, and identifies with his biological father's African side, so why should we be asked to ignore it?