Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Call Arnold: Protect the Wages (and Lives) of Over 200,000 California Workers

It'll only take a few minutes of your time, and each of us made the call we could make a HUGE difference. $6.55 is not a living wage in California, and the inefficiency of (some of) our legislators should not be used as a justification to put the lives of 200,000 workers on the line.

From the activists at the Courage Campaign:

Call Arnold: Watch the video and then call the governor to protect 200,000 state workers

Tell Governor Schwarzenegger to halt the wage cuts

On the same day that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger received 28,016 petition signatures from the Courage Campaign, True Majority, and CREDO Mobile, Arnold announced that he would delay signing an Executive Order slashing the wages of over 200,000 state workers to $6.55 an hour, the federal minimum wage.

That's the good news. The bad news is that Arnold delayed the Executive Order signing to Thursday.

That's 24 hours from now. Which means we still have time TODAY to pressure Arnold to stop holding state workers hostage to his political budget negotiation games.

As a community of concerned citizens, we've got just a few hours to take action together. On behalf of hundreds of thousands of state workers, please pick up your phone right now and call Arnold.

Let's flood the Governor's phone lines. Here are several numbers for Arnold -- call one, call some or call them all:

Sacramento: 916-445-2841 (press 1, 2, and 0 to speak to a live person)

Fresno: 559-445-5295 (a live person should answer your call)

Los Angeles: 213-897-0322 (a live person should answer your call)

Riverside: 951-680-6860 (a live person should answer your call)

San Diego: 619-525-4641 (a live person should answer your call)

San Francisco: 415-703-2218 (a live person should answer your call)

Washington D.C.: 202-624-5270 (press 0 to leave a general message)

Here is a sample script for your call:

I am calling to demand that the Governor not sign the Executive Order that will cut the pay of state workers to the federal minimum wage of $6.55 an hour.

Governor Schwarzenegger needs to stop holding working people hostage and make sure that his fellow Republicans in the legislature support a responsible budget.

The Governor needs to show leadership, instead of threatening the ability of innocent state workers to afford basic necessities. We need solutions to this budget crisis, like closing the Yacht Tax loophole which allows yacht and private jet purchasers to get off tax-free.

No more games and gimmicks. Don't use workers as pawns and push them to the brink of financial disaster. Thank you.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


I caught myself giving somebody fewer than 70 excuses this weekend. It's one of those things that's easier said than done. "What 7o excuses" you ask?

Hamdun al-Qassar, one of the great early Muslims, as narrated by Imam Bayhaqi in his Shu`ab al-Iman [7.522].

He said (Allah have mercy on him),

"If a friend among your friends errs, make seventy excuses for them. If your hearts are unable to do this, then know that the shortcoming is in your own selves." Id.

Source: SunniPath

Think you might need some practice? Here's a fun game: a Muslim Walks into a Bar

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I'm in Love, Again!

Maybe I need to stop saying it so often. People may think things...

Anyhow, I'm absolutely in love with the new NYC Subway Car Dawah Project! Check it out: as little as a $48 donation will help sponsor a dawah poster in an NYC subway car this Ramadan!

Think about how often we will drop $50 over the course of the weekend? $15 for a movie, $10 for parking and $25 for a wedding present or dinner. :-\

This is $50 that will go soooo much further! It's something other religious and political groups have been doing for ages; it's our turn!

What better way to prep for Ramadan?

I linked to the video in the Muslamics post, but I'm linking it here again. I can't embed it, but it's definitely worth watching!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Loving San Francisco

I will admit this city took some time to grow on me. However, two years after moving here I have come to terms with the fact that I'm madly in love with this place. What's not to love?

  1. The hijab friendly weather
    • Summer? What's that? You can still find long sleeved shirts available for purchase here in mid-June.
  2. The public transportation
    • It costs me $6/round trip to work, in Oakland, every day. With gas, insurance, parking, idiot drivers and bridge toll costs to consider, this is definitely a bargain over driving.
  3. The diversity
    • When walking thru a "strange" area you get more "Salaams!" (from Muslims and non-Muslims) than stares, you can't help but to be happy about the world.
  4. The politics!
    • OK, I'm not sure how much the other items combined even compare to this. If I wasn't sure about my love affair prior to reading this story, after reading it I'm now ready to make a lifetime commitment to this crazy place:

San Francisco voters will be asked to decide whether to name a city sewage plant in honor of President Bush, after a satiric measure qualified for the November ballot Thursday.

Backers of the measure, who for several months circulated a petition to place the measure on the ballot, turned in more than 12,000 signatures on July 7, said organizer Brian McConnell. The Department of Elections on Thursday informed those supporters, the self-proclaimed Presidential Memorial Commission, that they had enough valid signatures - a minimum of 7,168 registered San Francisco voters - to qualify for the November ballot.

McConnell, who came up with the idea over beers with friends, often donned an Uncle Sam outfit to drum up support for the petition. The all-volunteer group of signature gatherers often carried around an American flag and blasted patriotic music from a boom box to attract attention. He said the campaign to pass the measure will be an equally grassroots effort.

The measure, if passed, would rename the Oceanside Water Pollution Control Plant the George W. Bush Sewage Plant. McConnell said the intent is to remember the Bush administration and what the group sees as the president's mistakes, including the war in Iraq.

Some people aren't laughing, including the San Francisco Republican Party, which sees the measure as an embarrassment, even to this famously liberal city. Chairman Howard Epstein has vowed to fight the measure with all means available to him.

A White House spokeswoman, when asked about the measure several weeks ago, refused to comment.

What's not to love? SF Gate

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Do You Drink Tea?

If you see anyone drinking tea, and you ask him what he is drinking, he will tell you "tea." There is sugar in the tea, but he will not mention the sugar, no one ever says he is drinking tea-and-sugar. No doubt the sweetness of the sugar fills the tea, but the person drinks and says nothing about it.

The long standing tradition of Qur'anic memorization is analogous to the sugar, doing its work in secret. In a child who embarks on the journey of memorizing Qur'an we see that the hands, nose, ears, eyes, and tongue are dynamic, but no one can see what the soul is accomplishing. Their ears come across as listening, and their tongues seems to be reciting. But no matter what it may seem to be, it is not only the tongue that recites. And in spite of form, it is not only the ears that hear. That which speaks and hears is the invisible soul within. The effect of the long standing tradition of Qur'anic memorization on a child is similarly invisible.

And this is what happens to a child when he memorizes the words of Allah, the Exalted. We might think they are just memorizing words. But in actuality, every letter they say, every sound they make, makes an imprint in their hearts and minds which enables them to take the imitated step of converting his oral recognition of Qur'anic language into a physical act.

The best education we can give our children is the memorization of the Holy Qur'an. As Rasulullah(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said: "No group of people gathers in one of the houses of Allah to recite the Book of Allah and study it together, but tranquility descends upon them, the angels surround them, mercy comes down upon them, and Allah mentions them to those who are with Him." (Muslim).

The vessels for preservation of Islam are in our children's hearts. Allah says: "Nay, but they, the clear ayat, are preserved in the breasts of those who have been given knowledge…" [Qur'an 29:49]

It is our duty to plant these seeds in our children for we must equip them for what lay ahead of them. There is no better time to preserve our heritage than today, in these critical times.

As there are numerous schools and institutions available that teach hifz, it is time that we as parents invest our children's time memorizing the Qur'an and join the ranks of thousands who seek to earn the pleasure of Allah (azza wajal) and preserve the very foundation of our Islamic identity.

Buraydah (radhiyallahu anhu) said: "I was sitting with the Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) and I heard him say: ..The Qur'an will meet its companion on the Day of Resurrection when his grave is opened for him, looking like a pale man, and it will say to him, 'Do you know who I am?' He will say, I do not know you.' It will say to him, 'Do you know who I am?' He will say, I do not know you.' It will say, 'I am your companion the Qur'an, who made you thirsty on hot days and kept you awake at night. Every merchant will benefit from his trade, and today you will benefit too.' He will be given power in his right hand and immortality in his left, and on his head will be placed a crown of dignity. His parents will be given two garments the like of which could never be made by the people of this world and they will say, 'How did we earn these?' It will be said, 'Because your child learned the Qur'an.' Then it will be said to him, 'Read and go up through the levels and rooms of Paradise. He will keep on ascending as long as he reads or recites.'" (Ahmad).

Sayyidina Abu Hurairah (Radhiallahu anhu) stated that Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said :Whosoever read the Qur'aan, learnt it and acted upon it, his parents will be made to wear a crown which will glitter like the light of the sun and they will be made to wear such clothing which is more rich than the garments of the entire world. They will then inquire as to why they are being so adorned. They will be informed that their son memorised the Qur'aan Kareem. (Narrated by Hakeem : Reliable on the conditions of Muslim.)

Sayyidina Anas (Radhiallahu anhu) says that Rasulullaah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:"Oh people, there are some special servants of Allaah Ta'aala. We inquired :"Who are these Oh! Rasulullaah? He said:"Those who memorise the Qur'aan Kareem are the special servants and friends of Allaah. (Narrated by Nisai, Ibne Maja, Hakeem.)

Sayyidina Uthmaan bin Afaan (Radhiallahu anhu) narrates that the Merciful Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: "The best person from you is that person who learns the Noble Qur'aan and teaches it to others." (Narrated by Ahmed and companions in six reliable books.).

Monday, July 14, 2008

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Basement Sex Slave

The world just gets more and more disturbing each day:

Man faces 20 years for keeping sex slave in basement

REDWOOD CITY — A Daly City man accused of housing a teenage girl in the basement of his parents' home and molesting her hundreds of times will face up to 20 years in prison after copping a plea on Wednesday to more than a dozen felony counts of child abuse and domestic violence.

John France Gonzales, a 23-year-old former pharmacy technician, had been charged with 142 felonies, including more than 100 counts of child abuse, many involving sodomy and oral copulation.

Prosecutors slapped Gonzales with every possible felony count to hold him accountable for more than 500 occasions of sexual conduct with the victim, according to Morley Pitt, San Mateo County's assistant district attorney.

But the district attorney's office had always planned to reduce the multiple felony charges against Gonzales as long as he accepted responsibility for his criminal behavior, Pitt said.

Prior to the plea bargain, Gonzales faced up to 132 years in prison, according to the prosecutor. Now he will spend no more than 20 years in prison.

"It's a fair resolution that will enable the victim to hopefully move on with her life and not face the terrible specter of having to testify and relive what went on in her life when she was a teenager," Pitt said.

Gonzales met the girl in 2000, when she was 10 years old and living in San Bruno with her aunt, whom Gonzales was dating, according to former defense attorney Jeffery Neubarth.

Prosecutors say that Gonzales molested the girl for the first time when she was 12 and maintained his relationship with the girl for several years while she lived in San Bruno and with her grandmother in Healdsburg.

Gonzales allegedly took the girl from her grandmother's home in August 2005 and told her that she could not return, eventually moving her into a bedroom at his parents' Daly City home in October 2005, according to prosecutors.
Full Story: Inside Bay Area

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The Rain

"Life isn't about how to survive the storm,
but how to dance in the rain."

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


Reader commentary re: censoring pictures of a suicide bombing in Anbar:

"Respect for the dead in any of these pictures is not an issue. To say it [is] disrespectful is a pretense of morality. They are dead and in pieces. There was no respect for them when they were alive. Respect for the living is not an issue either. These pictures show no respect for those who were alive. Those of us who are left alive do not deserve the kind of respect of being denied the reality of war. These pictures ought to be shown to show the world, to show us, the repugnance of war . . ."

Monday, July 07, 2008

An Ideal Husband

Father Pat Connor, a 79-year-old Catholic priest born in Australia and based in Bordentown, N.J., says we should be considering:

  • Does he have friends?
  • How does he spend (or not spend) his money?
  • Is he a doormat?
  • What is his relationship with his mother like?
  • Does he have a sense of humor?
  • Have you ignored any problems in him, because you think you can change them?
  • What is his family like?
  • “Finally: Does he possess those character traits that add up to a good human being — the willingness to forgive, praise, be courteous? Or is he inclined to be a fibber, to fits of rage, to be a control freak, to be envious of you, to be secretive?"
Full Story: An Ideal Husband

Thursday, July 03, 2008

"The Same Be For You"

We've got a few big days ahead of us. Please do the Billoo folks, and yourselves, a favor and remember us in your duas.

Making dua for others

The Prophet (saws) said: 'There is no believing servant who supplicates for his brother in his absence where the angels do not say, 'the same be for you'' [Muslim]

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Second Job

I've been toying with the idea of a second job for a while now. The non-profit legal sector pays the bills, but just barely. It likely won't work out given the weekend travels and such, but I thought I'd still check to see if I found anything worth applying to. I think I may have:

Reply to:
Date: 2008-07-02, 11:19AM PDT

[Apartheid] Israel and Jewish Peoplehood Commission Coordinator

[Apartheid] Israel and Jewish Peoplehood Commission Senior Planner

Assist with management and coordination of the daily activities of the Jewish Community Federation’s [Apartheid] Israel and Jewish Peoplehood Commission operations, including the Federation’s [Apartheid] Israel Office . Provide administrative support for the Senior Planner, staff and lay leadership of the Peoplehood Commission.


General Administrative Assistance:

• Word processing: write drafts of meeting minutes, memos, letters, grant summaries, mail-merge, labels
• Mailings: prepare and mail correspondence to commission members
• Filing: keep files organized/accessible for supervisor; create new files and filing systems when required; keep existing files current; file incoming/newly generated material as appropriate.
• Phone reception: provide information/referral over phone; perform switchboard relief when necessary.

Assist with Communications and Coordination with JCF’s [Apartheid] Israel Office:

• Faxing or preparing emails to the [Apartheid] Israel Office as needed for ongoing communication.
• Filing and tracking correspondence from [Apartheid] Israel Office related to accounting and expenses.

Assist with Management of JCF San Francisco [Apartheid] Israel and Jewish Peoplehood Commission:

• Maintaining close communication with Accounting Department. Set up for meetings including ordering catering, creating and maintaining name cards, entering meeting set up forms, supervising meeting set up.
• Take notes at meetings and draft minutes.
• Help to draft operating budget

Visit Coordination

• Help to develop and coordinate itineraries for overseas visitors
• Help to develop and coordinate itineraries for consultation visits overseas
• Staff overseas visits
• Responsible for overseas visits follow-up including paying invoices, billing participants

PostingID: 740472422
Any volunteers to help me tailor/polish my resume and draft a cover letter?