Thursday, December 29, 2011

Muslim condmemnation of violence

Muslims Stand Up Against the Horrific Attacks Against Christians in Nigeria

This article, written by a Muslim believer and columnist, condemns violence against Christians (and all believers) on Islamic grounds, including scriptural references for the writer's position drawn from the Qur'an
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In the Name of God The Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Dear Fellow Brothers and Sisters in Islam, it is with great sadness that we have heard the devastating news of the deplorable acts of violence committed against our brothers and sisters of the Christian faith in Nigeria. Our prayers go out to the family, friends and community of all those who have lost loved ones and those who were injured.
These horrific acts of violence demand from us Muslims and people of all faiths around the globe to stand up against all those who perpetrate such horrific acts. Violence of any kind against any people cannot be ignored. Transgressions against people's rights are occurring today across all boundaries. Regardless of what perpetrators of such acts claim to hold over any other person, to live safely is a right, and we must all stand up to protect the right for all people. "Stand for justice even if it is against yourself" (Quran Surat-un-Nisa, Chapter 4, Verse 135).
It is those who truly know the religion of Islam who, despite our differences, engage in peaceful dialogue and wholeheartedly forsake acts of violence like this. As dedicate worshippers we recognize that an injustice in one part of the world is never validated by another injustice. Human life is sacred and it is never acceptable to take a person's life to promote a political agenda.

Putting on a good face

Putting on a good face

Saving face?

Why am I not surprised that this was invented in Japan?

Halloween huh?
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1. The disturbingly accurate mask of your own face 
A Japanese startup called REAL-f began selling "three-dimensional photo forms," or frighteningly realistic masks of human faces made from a chloride resin modeled on several photos of a person's face taken from a variety of angles and positions. (See some samples here.) If you have a spare $4,000, said Mariella Moon at Tecca, it's essentially "the best Halloween mask ever."

The formal end of Bachman

Michelle Bachman has been toast for a long time already, but her comment on defector Sorenson marks the official end of her bid.

Politics is politics. There comes a time in the path of each novice hopeful in which they reveal that they are unfamiliar with the nature of politics in big leagues.

In the case of odd-ball and spoiler Ross Perot, he goofily blurted that opponents darkened his daughter's wedding. That was the end of Perot. It was as much as saying "Hi, I know nothing about politics. Vote for me"

Here Bachman makes the absurd declaration that her boy bailed out for money. Good night Ms. Bachman. Please give us a call if you are interested to know any other realities about politics in the big leagues.

Some things are known. Some things are not said.
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Michele Bachmann just lost one of her most high-profile advisers to none other than Ron Paul. Iowa State Sen. Kent Sorenson ditched the Minnesotan and jumped on the Libertarian bandwagon, announcing at a Paul rally, "Tonight's a little tough for me; I've been serving as Michele Bachmann's state chair for the last year. And while Michele has fought tremendously for my conservative values, I believe we're at a turning point in this campaign. I believe that we have an opportunity to elect a conservative, someone who holds our values dear." The two-timing aide had appeared with Bachmann at another event in Iowa just a few hours before he announced his loyalty to Paul. Bachmann, meanwhile, said that Sorenson said he was “selling out” after being offered a large sum of money.

Bachmann's Iowa Chair Endorses Paul
See more at

Thoughts on mortality

Same car

Bigger me!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Youcef Nadarkhani of Iran to serve another year in prison

The Qur'an itself does not prescribe any earthly punishment for apostasy; Islamic scholarship differs on its punishment, ranging from execution – on an interpretation of certain hadiths – to no punishment at all as long as they "do not work against the Muslim society or nation."

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TEHRAN, IRAN (BosNewsLife)– Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani has to serve at least one more year in prison before he may be executed for refusing to abandon his faith in Christ and return to Islam, an official assisting him has said.

Iran’s judiciary wants to use that time to “use whatever means necessary to cause him to convert to Islam”, explained Jason DeMars, director of advocacy group Present Truth Ministries (PTM).

“The order was to not issue a verdict and hold Youcef in prison,” DeMars quoted an attorney of the pastor as saying. The court was told “to use whatever means necessary to cause him to recant and return to Islam,” DeMars added.

The 34-year-old Nadarkhani, who has a wife and two children, was detained in his home city of Rasht in October 2009 while trying to register his house church.

Nadarkhani was eventually found guilty of “apostasy”, or abandoning Islam, in September 2010 and sentenced to death by the Rasht court.

In June this year Iran’s Supreme Court did not overturn the ruling but instead asked the Rasht court to “re-examine” whether the pastor was a practicing Muslim before he became a Christian at age 19.

Nadarkhani told the court however that he would remain faithful to Christ, said an official of the Church of Iran house church movement.

“Pastor Youcef was [therefore] four times invited [by the court in the northwestern city of Rasht] to recant [his faith] in Christ in order to avoid the execution,” explained Firouz Khandjani, a council member of the pastor’s Church of Iran movement to BosNewsLife earlier.

“He answered that he will not,”Khandjani said.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Hunger in America

(US 2011 military spending: $1.030–$1.415 trillion)

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A growing number of families in the United States are struggling to put food on the table as poverty rises in major cities,

Half of those asking for emergency food assistance were people in families, while 26 percent were employed. The elderly accounted for 19 percent, with the homeless making up the remaining 11 percent.

About 24.4 million Americans are either out of work or underemployed and employment remains 6.3 million jobs below its level in December 2007 when the recession started.

According to government data, a record 49.1 million Americans were living in poverty in 2010.


Sunday, December 11, 2011

US and Pakistan - question of national sovereignty

An area where we can ill afford to be so unwelcome

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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — The Central Intelligence Agency has vacated an air base in western Pakistan that it had been using for drone strikes against militants in the country’s tribal areas, the Pakistani military said on Sunday.

Pakistan had ordered the C.I.A. to leave the Shamsi air base in protest over NATO airstrikes that killed at least 25 Pakistani soldiers near the border with Afghanistan on Nov. 26. Pakistan has also blocked all NATO logistical supplies from crossing the border into Afghanistan since the clash.

Pentagon and Obama administration officials declined to comment publicly on the departure from the Shamsi air base.


Monday, December 5, 2011

Stanford University offers free on line courses covers more on these matters, not only this good news from Stanford.

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Two weeks ago, we mentioned that Stanford will be rolling out seven new courses in its experiment with online learning. Fast forward to today, and yet another seven courses have been added to the winter lineup, bringing the total to 14.

Courses start in January and February. Enroll today for free. And, if something doesn’t pique your interest below, don’t miss our big list of 400 Free Online Courses.


Sunday, December 4, 2011

US - no official response to killing Pakistani soldiers

Is there something a bit odd about killing people and then calling their friends and family on the phone to express condolences?

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(CNN) -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke Saturday with Pakistan's prime minister, the latest bid to address strained relations between the two nations exactly one week after 24 Pakistani soldiers were killed inadvertently in an NATO airstrike.

After the attack -- which took place in western Pakistan, near the Afghan border

NATO later called the subsequent mass casualties caused by the strike "tragic (and) unintended." Clinton and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta have called the incident a "tragedy" and offered condolences, though Washington has not issued a formal apology.

No such apology came in Saturday's phone conversation, according to a statement from the U.S. State Department.

Clinton "once again expressed condolences to the families of the soldiers and to the Pakistani people for the tragic and unintended loss of life," the statement said.

"She reiterated America's respect for Pakistan's sovereignty and commitment to working together in pursuit of shared objectives on the basis of mutual interest and mutual respect."

During an exclusive interview Monday with CNN, Gilani said the country wants to maintain its relationship with the United States as long as there is mutual respect and respect for Pakistani sovereignty.

Asked directly if Pakistan is getting that respect, the prime minister said: "At the moment (it is) not."

"If I can't protect the sovereignty of my country, how can we say that this is mutual respect and mutual interest?" he asked rhetorically.