Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Yay Nader!

We lost Kucinich, but Nader's coming to the rescue:

MR. RUSSERT: Will you run for president as an independent in 2008?

MR. NADER: Let me put it in context, to make it a little more palatable to people who have closed minds. Twenty-four percent of the American people are satisfied with the state of the country, according to Gallup. That's about the lowest ranking ever. Sixty-one percent think both major parties are failing. And, according to Frank Luntz's poll, a Republican, 80 percent would consider voting for a independent this year. Now, you take that framework of people feeling locked out, shut, shut out, marginalized, disrespected and you go from Iraq to Palestine/Israel, from Enron to Wall Street, from Katrina to the bungling of the Bush administration, to the complicity of the Democrats in not stopping him on the war, stopping him on the tax cuts, getting a decent energy bill through, and you have to ask yourself, as a citizen, should we elaborate the issues that the two are not talking about? And the--all, all the candidates--McCain, Obama and Clinton--are against single payer Health insurance, full Medicare for all. I'm for it, as well as millions of Americans and 59 percent of physicians in a forthcoming poll this April. People don't like Pentagon waste, a bloated military budget, all the reports in the press and in the GAO reports. A wasteful defense is a weak defense. It takes away taxpayer money that can go to the necessities of the American people. That's off the table to Obama and Clinton and McCain.

The issue of labor law reform, repealing the notorious Taft-Hartley Act that keeps workers who are now more defenseless than ever against corporate globalization from organizing to defend their interests. Cracking down on corporate crime. The media--the mainstream media repeatedly indicating how trillions of dollars have been drained and fleeced and looted from millions of workers and investors who don't have many rights these days, and pensioners. You know, when you see the paralysis of the government, when you see Washington, D.C., be corporate-occupied territory, every department agency controlled by overwhelming presence of corporate lobbyists, corporate executives in high government positions, turning the government against its own people, you--one feels an obligation, Tim, to try to open the doorways, to try to get better ballot access, to respect dissent in America in the terms of third parties and, and independent candidates; to recognize historically that great is sues have come in our history against slavery and women rights to vote and worker and farmer progressives, through little parties that never ran--won any national election. Dissent is the mother of ascent. And in that context, I have decided to run for president.
MR. RUSSERT: How would you feel, however, if Ralph Nader's presence on the ballot tilted Florida or Ohio to John McCain and McCain became president, and Barack Obama, the first African-American who had been nominated by the Democratic Party--this is hypothetical--did not become a president and people turned to you and said, "Nader, you've done it again"?

MR. NADER: Not a chance. If the Democrats can't landslide the Republicans this year, they ought to just wrap up, close down, emerge in a different form. You think the American people are going to vote for a pro-war John McCain who almost gives an indication that he's the candidate of perpetual war, perpetual intervention overseas? You think they're going to vote for a Republican like McCain, who allies himself with the criminal, recidivistic regime of George Bush and Dick Cheney, the most multipliable impeachable presidency in American history? Many leading members of the bar, including the former head of the American Bar Association, Michael Greco, absolutely dismayed over the violations of the Constitution, our federal laws, the criminal, illegal war in Iraq and the occupation? There's no way. That's why we have to take this opportunity to have a much broader debate on the issues that relate to the American people, as, as, as a fellow in Long Island said recently, M . Sloane, he said, "These parties aren't speaking to me. They're not speaking to my problems, to my family's problems."

Full Meet the Press Transcript: Counter Punch

Monday, February 25, 2008

Ya Allah . . .

. . .I thank You for today. I thank You for my being able to see and to hear this morning. I'm blessed because You are a Forgiving deity and an Understanding and Compassionate one.

You have done so much for me and You continue to bless me in ways I cannot count. I know that You will forgive me and continue to bless me if I turn to You in a sincere and humble fashion. You continue to bless us even when we fail to be grateful and appreciative.

I now appeal to You in humility for your promise of forgiveness. Please keep me safe from all danger and harm. Help me to start this day with a new attitude and plenty of gratitude. Help me and give me the courage, patience, and strong will to make the best of each and every day.

Please help me to broaden my mind so that I approach problems, confusion, despair, misfortune, happiness, clarity, and good fortune with appreciation and wisdom.

I know that sometimes negative things happen for seemingly no reason, and I am a human, created by you weak and humble, and limited in my ability to understand some things. Help to me realize the lessons behind hardships when I'm being pushed beyond my limits.

Let me not fall to the weaknesses of complaining about things I have no control over, and help me to fulfill the best of my full potential when I do have the power and ability to make positive change or fulfill obligations.

Give me the courage, strength, fortitude and willingness to be a blessing of aid and comfort unto others.

Keep me strong that I may help the weak. Help me to work towards justice and fairness for everyone and everything, even if it means standing up against my own faults and wrongdoings.

Keep me uplifted that I may have words of encouragement for others. And empower me to avoid destructive greed and to be generous to others.

Help me to become and grow as a constructively active individual and as a constructive member of groups, and help me to defeat the weaknesses of passivity if I ever fall into such traps.

I pray for those that are lost and can't find their way, for them to seek clarity and confidence about themselves and their surroundings.

I pray for those that are misjudged and misunderstood and who, as a result, are wronged.

I pray for peace, love and joy for every human and that all can free themselves from the imprisonment of debt and that their needs are met.

I pray that every eye that reads comes to know there is no problem, circumstance, or situation that is insurmountable. All it takes is that we just believe and have confidence in ourselves and in Him and that we strive earnestly for improvement.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Fake Plaques Sent to Lawrence Police for Being 'Corrupt'

Once more, I almost fell out of my chair laughing . . .

LAWRENCE — They were real looking enough. Three wooden plaques each embossed with a gold police shield, a small gun piece and each engraved with an officer's name.

But these "plaques" sent to the police department Sunday were no awards. They came from a bogus address in Puerto Rico, supposedly sent from a former assistant district attorney and were in recognition for the officers being "corrupt." They were dated "9-11-2007."
. . .
Lawrence police also notified the postal inspector in Boston. The sender could face federal charges for using the U.S. Postal Service "to threaten, harass or intimidate," Romero said.
Full Story: Eagle Tribune

I want to be happy. I want to think to myself, "yay! Some cops finally had the roles reversed on them and now know what it means to feel intimidated or threatened." However, I'm not quite there. I have a hard time believing receiving a plaque compares to 'driving while Black' or 'flying while Muslim' or heck living while poor or 'of color.'

If it's not the first time these folks have been called corrupt, I've got an inkling the accusations are based in seeds of truth.

...still laughing at the idea of these cops feeling intimidated by a plaque!

Mabroooook ...

...to my sister in uniqueness, Lena Khan! Remember what I said about loving creative activism?

"We are proud to announce the winners of our One Nation, Many Voices Online Film Contest: including Grand Prize winner Lena Khan for her music video, 'A Land Called Paradise'."

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Oppressed Muslim Men

I almost fell off my futon laughing! (Hijab tip: Aicha Sebaa)

Update (02/21): Folks, calm down I'm pretty sure he's joking. If not that, then he's making a "single & lookin'" announcement for himself. Think about it, first he tells you he knows all of his Islamic duties and then he casually adds in that he's single. Either way, I'm pretty sure he isn't serious.

Monday, February 18, 2008


Begging and solicitation = serious problems in San Francisco; and it's expected given the ridiculously high level of poverty here. In my year and a half here, I've seen some great signs and heard some great requests.

However, the best thus far came yesterday. Saly, Shereen and I were walking up Powell Street on our way to Union Square and all of a sudden we heard:

"Habibi! Habibi, spare some change? I'll make da'wah for you! Come on habibi, just a little change?"

He kept going and we kept walking.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day?

(No, I do not actually celebrate this religious turned corporate fiasco of a holiday.)

February 14, 2008
To: Michael Chertoff, Chief, Homeland Security
cc: President Bush, Congressional leaders, and members of the media

Dear Michael Chertoff, Chief, Homeland Security

I am asking you in the name of decency to stop the ICE raids at the homes and workplaces of the immigrant community. No family should have to endure armed squads bursting into their houses with shotguns and automatic weapons drawn. One's home should be a place of security and peace. Children should not be left alone or have to lose their parents through raids at their work, resulting in depression, traumatic stress disorder and separation anxiety. Children should live with love and joy. This is what America stands for.

This Valentine's Day, please have a heart and STOP THE RAIDS!

Zahra Billoo

(Folks send your own letter ASAP, by clicking HERE. Do it for the kids. It'll only take a couple of minutes!)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Random Fabulous Moment of the Week

Monday afternoon I'm studying at my favorite place (Panera Bread) and the man in the booth next to me, leans over and says:

"Excuse me, I just want to say you're really brave for wearing a head scarf."

I'm not sure I would classify myself as brave and of all places San Francisco is a relatively easy city to wear a hijab in. That doesn't however change the niceness of the comment.

Alhamdulillah for open minded people.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Top Commanders & Officials ...

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — A senior Taliban commander was wounded and arrested by Pakistani forces as he tried to slip across the Afghan border into Pakistan with a small band of men, the Pakistani military spokesman’s office said Monday.

The commander, Mansoor Dadullah, is the brother of one of the Taliban’s most prominent and brutal operational leaders, Mullah Dadullah, who was killed last year. Mansoor Dadullah is not of the same stature within the Taliban.
Full Story: NY Times

Here's what I'm trying to figure out: we've been at this war on terror business for 6+ years now. Every few months (sometimes more often) we get news about another top or key official from a terror organization being captured. Who are these men? And how many key officials did Al Qaeda and the Taliban have? Isn't everybody stuck at Guantanamo a key Al Qaeda official? And have you seen how small Afghanistan is? Given it's relative size and the fact that they did not have power over all of Afghanistan, how many top leaders did they need?

This is getting ridiculous. It's bad enough our money is being spent on an imaginary War on Terror. The US and their allies conducting this imaginary war in an inefficient manner, simply adds insult to injury.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Last Night?

Did anybody manage to TiVo/record Prince Among Slaves last night?

(If you say yes and let me borrow/watch, I'll bake you cupcakes?)