I love the season of Lent, it's about the only Christian holy day(s) that Madison Avenue hasn't commercialized. OK, well it's a little bit commercialized, as seen by these Ash Wednesday T-shirts at Zazzle:
I hope that my Catholic readers - and the growing numbers of other Christians who observe Lent - have a holy and fruitful Lenten season. It's a time (46 days, to be exact) that we are called to fast, to give alms and to pray. Father Jack has suggestions here for Lenten practices.
The Archdiocese of Boston has a terrific program underway this Lent called "The Light Is On For You," aimed at bringing more Catholics back to confession. At every church in the Boston Archdiocese, confession will be offered every Wednesday during Lent (except for Ash Wednesday tomorrow) from 6:30 PM to 8 PM. Many churches are combining this with prayer services and Eucharistic adoration. Sounds very cool, we are fortunate to have this Sacrament.
If you're a little rusty on confessing your sins, you can refresh your memory here. Lots more useful links here. Go confess your sins! You'll feel so great afterwards!
"An MIT-trained Pakistani woman was convicted this afternoon (2-3-2010) for trying to kill Americans while detained in Afghanistan in 2008."
"The tirade-prone Aafia Siddiqui, 37, was found guilty of attempted murder by a jury in Manhattan federal court, even after she denied charges that she had opened fire on US soldiers and FBI agents in Afghanistan."
"After the verdict was read, Siddiqui turned to the gallery, pointed her finger in the air and said, 'This is a verdict coming from Israel, not America, and that is where the anger belongs. I can testify to this and I have proof.' "
Aafia has been found guilty and now awaits sentencing. We didn't learn during the trial where she was during her missing years of 2003 to 2008. We don't know what happened to two of her three children. (One son, Ahmad, is now in the custody of Aafia's sister, Harvard-trained doctor Fouzia, and the Siddiqui family has refused to let Dr. Muhammed Khan, the child's father ,to see him. And I thought shariah law gave greater custody rights to the father than the mother.) We don't know how or when Aafia was pulled into the Islamist jihadi world, although it's likely that it was through people she met at Muslim groups at MIT and at Boston area mosques, where she gave lectures and raised funds for Chechnya and Bosnia.
To all Americans loyal to the USA: This comes from someone the ignorant among you may consider to be their “enemy” based on the propaganda put forth by the Zionist controlled US media. I am someone who spent in 12 years in the US and am grateful to the US for my college education, that with God’s will has allowed me to be able to analyze things and see them for what they are.
.....The US economy CANNOT handle more wars, especially wars designed to “benefit” Israel at the expense of the existence of the USA. Study the history of the Jews. They have always back-stabbed everyone who has taken pity on them and make the “fatal” error of giving them shelter. This was the “crime” of the Arabs of Palestine and least is the “crime” of th USA – and it is this cruel, ungrateful back-stabbing of the Jews that makes these has caused them to be mercilessly compelled from whatever thy gain strength. This is why “holocausts” keep happening to them repeatedly! If they would only learn to be grateful and change their behavior!! But they will not! And history will repeat itself, as it always does!
Aafia wanted this to get to the President. Good gracious, Lord Almighty.
Pakistan is no doubt up in arms over this, this feeds the flames of anti-Americanism there, as if that needed any more oxygen. Meanwhile in Peshawar, Afghanistan, the Taliban are threatening to execute an American soldier they claim they're holding if Aafia is not released. The senior Taliban commander claimed that "AafiaSiddiqui’s family had approached the Taliban network through a Jirga of notables, seeking their assistance to put pressure on the US to provide her justice." The American soldier is Bowe Bergdahl of Hailey, Idaho. According to the Idaho Mountain Express, "He is a member of the 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, based at Fort Richardson, Alaska. He is the only U.S. soldier in captivity in Afghanistan."
More to follow on this. I'm glad she was found guilty and she's not walking around Afghanistan or Pakistan or Boston. Clearly, something was up with this woman.
Phyllis Chesler discusses here. There was an interesting comment (#34) by Annie:
"Met Aafia Siddiqui in a social setting. She was charming and absolutely nothing she said of substance was true. She was clearly at that gathering to obtain information, if she could, from certain people there. She very closely shadowed people in the US who would have been of value to al qaeda, if kidnapped. When I questioned her about the details of her 'dance company' and her decision to dance her way into MIT, she turned on a dime and became who she was…a terrorist. She told me that she was in town on business for her charity, Benevolence International, and that she was certainly here to visit her good friend, Tanya binLaden.She escaped to Pakistan shortly afterwards, ahead of the feds."
"She didn’t like Jews and she was shadowing one at this social event."
"She wasn’t the sort of person to carry a laundry list of places to bomb…but perhaps a laundry list of databases to access, buzz words to allow her to visit other cells of al qaeda worldwide, or perhaps she was simply in charge of destroying leftover data the day she was captured."
"I know nothing about studying the proclivities of women to violence, but she is not a nice woman. She is a terrorist. I would hope the Pakistani government would not support extended appeals of her sentence. They have much to regret".
I'm taking piano lessons, in an effort to keep the Wurlitzer piano I inherited from my parents. My husband thinks it's a waste of space. "No one plays it,why should we have a piano?" So to keep it in the house, I've signed up for lessons. It'll get some use since I'll have to practice. I have a wee bit of knowlegde, having had piano lessons in the 3rd grade. Every good boy deserves fudge, and all that. I came across this helpful video on how to play chopsticks. Enjoy!
Kudos to the Saints! That was quite an entertaining Super Bowl game, and the best team did win! Love those interceptions that turn into a TD!! I'm very happy for the Saints and for New Orleans. They deserved it and they won it.
The Green Police ad was funnny on one level and unfunny on another. Funny that Audi believes that this ad will be viewed positively with their consumers!
Unfunny because there are many, many people out there who for would only be too happy to promulgate regulations just like you see in the commercial! I work in the environmental consulting field and there are plenty of enviro-zealots who dream about mandatory recycling, garbage police and banning plastic bags altogether. They put the "mental" in environmental. And hasn't our own Congress banned incandescent bulbs? Ahh, the antics of the Green Police may not be far off.
If recycling were worth it (i.e., if there was markets for them), we wouldn't have to force people to do it. Cradle to grave, plastic bags are less harmful to the environment than paper bags. The technologies developed by the plastics industry will be leading the way when bio-plastics become viable alternatives to oil-based plastics. How long will it take for people to be up in arms over the health hazards and environmental harm caused by the mercury in flourescent bulbs?
Don't be suprised when the Green Police ad turns out to be prophetic, unless we smarten up and replace enviro-religion with science, basic economics and truth.
"NASHUA – President Barack Obama will host a town-hall style forum focused on jobs and the economy at Nashua High School North on Tuesday, The Telegraph confirmed Thursday night."
"New Hampshire Democratic Party officials said they had not received any information yet about the site, the timing of the event and any details on how to obtain free tickets to it."
!Excelente! Tea Party People, let's get going and tell Mr. Obama how we feel about the deficit, bailouts, the 2,000-page health care bill, lobbyists in the White House, key donors scoring all the ambasssdor positions, insulting SCOTUS at the SOTU address, etc., etc., etc. If you hear of any Tea Party gatherings, let me know!
“ 'It was important, I felt, to come and reach out to the leaders of this community and tell them about who I am and not be defined by anybody else, but let them look in my eye and ask honest and frank questions,' Brown said, flanked by leaders of the Black Ministerial Alliance and the Boston TenPoint Coalition at a press conference in Roxbury, a community that voted overwhelmingly for his opponent. 'While we may not agree on everything, I think we’re going to find more common ground than not.' ’’
"There was a very natural quality about the interaction. There was no defensiveness. There was none of the characteristic uptight liberal 'let me say the politically correct thing' ."
When NECN reporter asked Rivers what he attributed Brown's "natural quality" to, Rivers replied that Brown had "an organic connection to the Black community through a Black sport: basketball." Rivers noted that Brown played high school and college basketball and had interacted with many Black basketball players for years.
Love the smiles in the photo, love the quote! (Globe photo/Pat Greenhouse) Direct speech beats PC every time. The Globe characterized yesterday's meeting as Brown venturing into the "urban Democratic heart of Massachusetts." Mix it up, Scott!
But Aafia promised no more outbursts in court! The shenanigans continue at the Aafia Siddiqui trial in NYC. From the New York Times:
"The defendant was ejected from a Lower Manhattan courtroom — not once, but twice — on Monday (1-25-2010) for loudly proclaiming her innocence. And, in a separate episode between the two ejections, a spectator who pointed his thumb and index finger like a gun at the jury while mouthing an expletive was taken into custody and later released."
Isnt that contempt of court or something like that? Juror intimidation? They should have kept him in custody for the remainder of the trial. The two jurors who said they felt threatened were dismissed by Judge Berman, and replaced by alternates.
"The trial, which is in its second week, is taking place under heavy security in United States District Court, with a metal detector and guards at the courtroom door. Still, there have been breaches. On Monday, Judge Richard M. Berman noted some of them in explaining his ruling against a defense motion for greater public access to the court."
"So far, three people have sneaked recording devices into the courtroom, said Judge Berman, adding that one audience member had even passed a cellphone, which is also banned, to a member of the defense team."
"Other grounds for a mistrial cited by (defense lawyer) Ms. Moreno were beefed up security measures outside the courtroom requiring visitors to the trial to provide personal identification and sign in."
"After jurors were dismissed for the day, defense attorney Linda Moreno once again asked for a mistrial, saying that the U.S. Marshals had removed Siddiqui roughly from the 'courtroom in front of the jury in a manner that 'denigrates the presumption of innocence.' The judge declined Moreno's request and said that perhaps the defense should focus more on 'reigning in' their client. 'Dr. Siddiqui doesn't talk to us,' Moreno said in reference to herself and the other members of the defense team. 'I tried to talk to her today,' said Moreno. 'She indicated if I didn't leave immediately she was going to accuse me of harassment.' "
This is a zoo, a fiasco and an outrage. As Michelle Malkin notes:
"Now, imagine the scene being repeated in 12 or 20 or 25 more courtrooms across America simultaneously with similar high-value suspects and the jihadi dregs of Gitmo."
Neat article at The Weekly Standard, Mugged by Ultrasound, on the impact of ultrasound images on abortion providers. Recently Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson resigned her job after watching an ultrasound image of an abortion being performed on an unborn child. She is not alone. The article describes the emotional toll on doctors, nurses and aides who perform D&C abortions and the cleanup afterwards. It's a powerful read.
"Benotafraid.net is an online outreach to parents who have received a poor or difficult prenatal diagnosis. The family stories, articles, and links within this site are presented as a resource for those who may have been asked to choose between terminating a pregnancy or continuing on despite the diagnosis. The benotafraid.net families faced the same decision and chose not to terminate. By sharing our experiences, we hope to offer encouragement to those who may be afraid to continue on."
Many poignant stories there, including stories about babies who only lived for a few hours or minutes after birth. Sometimes, parents donate the organs of their short-lived infants, thereby providing eyesight or a functioning liver or heart to other babies with abnormalities, giving them a chance for a healthy life. That's a powerful testament to choosing life, even under difficult circumstances.
Blogger Signy (an ex-Muslim), who blogs at Here in Glitnir , wrote about Aafia some months ago. I've excerpted pieces from the blogpost, but I encourage you to read the whole thing. (The bolding is mine.)
"AafiaSiddiqui is one of the live-martyrs of the Islamist armchair jihobbyists. Yvonne Ridley, everyone’s favorite shrill hardcore convert, dubbed her the ‘grey lady of Bagram’ and insists, with a large chorus of fans, that Siddiqui was held at Bagram for four years, tortured and raped daily by those mean awful kafir Americans. It is no different than the fairy tales that are made up – or those stories which turn out to be somewhat true – about the treatment of any accused Islamist terrorist, except that she is a woman. And nothing offends the jihobbyist and Muslim masses more than when someone who isn’t a Muslim man is said to be mistreating a Muslim woman."
"And let me say this, with respect to those who wish to harm us, I believe that our Constitution and laws exist to protect this nation - they do not grant rights and privileges to enemies in wartime. In dealing with terrorists, our tax dollars should pay for weapons to stop them, not lawyers to defend them."
"For a preview of the some of the antics that may be on display when Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four others are tried in New York federal court, it's instructive to look at the unfolding trial of another accused terrorist. Aafia Siddiqui was tossed from her own trial Tuesday by Manhattan Federal Court Judge Richard Berman after she ranted about her innocence during witness testimony, the New York Daily News reported. "
"Siddiqui, dubbed 'Lady al-Qaida' by the tabloids, is charged with attempted murder after being accused of grabbing an unattended rifle at an Afghan police station and opening fire on U.S. personnel. When she was arrested, she was carrying an alleged list of potential terror targets, including the Statue of Liberty and Empire State Building. But as Capt. Robert Snyder testified about the shooting incident, Siddiqui interrupted.... The outburst prompted her removal from the court; it was the trial's opening day. "
"It also wasn't the first volatile behavior by the defendant. On Jan. 11, Siddiqui said she wanted her defense team fired. A few days later, she demanded, in vain, that Jews be excluded from her jury pool. Such disruptions from a suspected terrorist unfamiliar with the U.S. judicial system aren't surprising, except she doesn't fit that profile. The Pakistani-born Siddiqui received some of the finest education America has to offer, receiving an undergraduate degree from MIT and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Brandeis University."
"Except that she doesn't fit the profile"??!?! This is the woman who signed her e-mails with a quotation from the Koran warning believers (Muslims) from taking Jews and Christians as friends. How many times do journalists have to report about Islamic terrorists with master's degrees, medical degrees and PhD before they get it? In fact, being highly educated and educated in Western universities - like the 911 leaders and the Christmas undies bomber - exactly fits the profile. Who better than Western-educated terrorists would know how to take advantage of our court system? ,
"Siddiqui is an MIT- and Brandeis-educated Pakistani native accused of conducting financial transactions with al-Qaeda (a Suspicious Activity Report was filed several years ago), conspiring with al-Qaeda, and actually shooting at an FBI agent (and soldiers) overseas in a theater of military operations. Although prosecutors have made clear that the charges against her will not even mention any affiliation with al-Qaeda — she will simply be charged with attempted murder, assault, and other criminal violations — when the accused was captured, her handbag contained various bomb-making guides, as well as notes about a mass-casualty attack on various NYC landmarks. And she has been long suspected of maintaining high-level al-Qaeda connections."
There's a NY Times article here and Boston Globe coverage here.
Her lawyers are complaining because "spectators at her trial have to show identification and sign in." That's SOP at the Moakley Court House in Boston, what's the big deal? "Her defense team said Thursday the precautions are depriving her of a fair trial." Oh stop! As the Jawa Report writes, "Suck it up....would be threats from supporters of Siddiqui are real."
Cindy Sheehan is attending the trial. She must miss being in the media limelight. Luckily for Cindy, there's no shortage of anti-American causes to embrace.
Stay tuned for updates on the trial. Somehow, I don't think this trial will answer the questions of where Aafia Siddiqui really was between 2003 and 2008, the "missing years." Previous blogposts on Siddiqui here.
"Millennials (those 18-29) consider abortion to be 'morally wrong' even more (58%) than Baby Boomers (those 45-64) (51%). Generation X (those 30-44) are similar to Millennials (60% see abortion as 'morally wrong'). More than 6 in 10 of the Greatest Generation (those 65+) feel the same."
"... the survey has been tracking an increasing trend toward the pro-life position – a trend confirmed by Gallup and Pew surveys in mid-2009. "
Is it the Roe Effect? Or the advances in medical technology that let us see that even a very young fetus certainly looks like a baby? Or maybe because a generation of women has delayed child-bearing and then found it difficult or impossible to conceive - maybe there's a growing sense in our society that life is precious and sacred.
I've always thought our culture has serious disconnects on this matter. On one hand, doctors can and do successfully perform surgeries in babies while still in utero, yet at the same time, other doctors are aborting six-month old fetuses. There are still over 800,000 abortions performed a year in the U.S., yet there are many thousands of couples who desperately want children and a shortage of adoptable children in the U.S. Like I said, we've got a disconnect here. I hope hearts continue to change.
What a wild ride! I confess to be actually disappointed that the election is over..... I'm delighted that our candidate won. Massachusetts now has Senator Elect Scott R. Brown (R!) to represent its good people. It was exciting and gratifying to work on the campaign, I've never been that involved before. The world feels like it's shifted and broken up a bit, and it won't go back to the way it was before. Here's ten things I learned along the brief but intense campaign trail, in no particular order:
1. Scott Brown ran a superb campaign, it was disciplined, agile, connected, upbeat and authentic. Just like Mr. Brown, I suppose. Whoever was in charge of this campaign was brilliant. Every interaction I had with the campaign - be it their website, campaign office, other volunteers or Scott Brown himself - was positive. The website was updated all the time, it was engaging and visually appealing. The campaign office manager in Littleton (Karl) was always appreciative of the volunteers, thanking me and others each and every time we came to phone bank. We felt needed and valued. What a good feeling! Phone banking is a drag. Being told you're appreciated never gets old.
2. The long reign of the ultra-liberal Democrats has come to a close in Massachusetts!! Hoorah!! We're in a post-Camelot era, the tribal loyalties that kept voting Ted (and John Kerry and Mayor Menino) year in and year out are dying out. Expect a lot more competitve races starting right now!
I attended one of four Scott Brown rallies held today, this in Littleton MA. It's a small, pretty town west of Boston (pop. ~9,000). A crowd of some 300-400 revved up people stood in the slushy, cold, slippery sidewalk in front of the Scott Brown campaign office, across from the Littleton common. We were all waiting for the Scott Brown bus!
"New York Federal Court Judge Richard Berman on Monday decided that the jury selection for the trial of Aafia Siddiqui, the Pakistani neuroscientist, will begin on Wednesday, Jan 13, and the trial will begin on Tuesday Jan 19."
"Dr Siddiqui is charged with attempted murder of American troops while in custody in Kabul in July of 2008. She was flown to New York in August, 2008, and formally charged."
"Siddiqui had vowed at previous pre-trial hearings to ignore her legal team and demanded a meeting with US President Barack Obama about bringing peace to Pakistan and Afghanistan. 'They are not my attorneys,' Siddiqui blurted out to spectators moments after being escorted into a Manhattan courtroom Monday. 'I have fired them many times'. "
Anecdotal evidence 1: my husband came back last night from playing in his over-40 ice hockey league, and he said everybody was talking about Scott Brown, and all of them were voting for Scott Brown. This is not a bunch of guys who normally pay much attention to politics, but they're paying attention now. They've had it with the Democrat Machine on Beacon Hill and Washington, and they're sick of the ever growing "redistribution" of their hard-earned money.
Anecdotal evidence 2: I just got back from phone-banking at the Scott Brown campiagn office in Littleton, MA, and the place was buzzin' like a beehive. There were over 20 volunteers there, mostly manning the slick automated phone banks and getting out the vote. Yee haw!
"Massachusetts doesn't need to elect yet another person who will toe the Democratic Party line and kowtow to leadership. Massachusetts needs a senator who will challenge the status quo, is strong enough to take a stand on controversial issues, and will put Bay State residents first when making decisions."
"In the race to fill the seat held by the late Sen. Edward Kennedy in the U.S. Senate, Republican Scott Brown is the candidate who promises to best represent the state's 6.3 million residents."
I love this comment in the Lowell Sun from Floyd:
"I am a union member with a so-called Cadillac health insurance plan that I fought 30 years for. Me and all the rank & file are voting for Brown."
That's what I ask everyone I'm talking to these days about voting for Scott Brown in the Special Election to be held Tuesday, January 19th. And I'm talking to a lotta people: family, friends, co-workers, mail man, manicurist, hairdresser, supermarket cashier, neighbors, the UPS guy. Enough already of another liberal Democrat going to the Senate from Massachusetts, let's end that era, shall we?
OK, I'm late to jump on this bandwagon, but I'm on it! It's not even that I'm crazy about Scott Brown, although he has many solid conservative values, something dearly needed in Massachusetts. It's that I'm beyond sick and tired of The Kennedys running everything around this state. This Senate seat isn'tTed Kennedy's seat. It is one of two Senate seats that belong to the Commonwealth of Massachusestts. It belongs to us. The MA Senator is supposed to represent us, not The Kennedys.
History: Ted "inherited" the senate seat after his brother Jack was elected president in 1960.