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Takfiris American Style

Adam Serwer argues in his article American Takfiris that in order to rationalize the killing of innocents which is forbidden by the Muslim religion, Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri needed to find a justification for their killing of innocents. That justification was provided by Sayyid Imam al-Sharif, aka Dr. Fadl. Dr. Fadl argued in his book “The Compendium of the Pursuit of Divine Knowledge” that apostates could be murdered and that Al Qaeda by declaring anyone they wanted an apostate justified their killing. This is known as takfir, “.the practice of declaring that an individual or a group previously considered Muslims are in fact kafir(s) (non-believers in God)” and in some cases legalizing the shedding of their blood”.

For Your Consideration: NYT Olympic Coverage

Since the television coverage by NBC is so abominable and there is lack of live coverage of the most popular events, like Alpine Skiing, I give you the NYT’s coverage as an alternative that you can customize to your favorite event and/or country. The Multimedia has a very nice Tracker that is interactive that includes information about when a medal event is scheduled and who has won already. There is a blog, interviews and videos of athletes, as well as analysis and “fluff”. The best part is, that unlike watching NBC and Bob “isn’t my hair nice” Costas, you can pick and choose what you want to know.

They even cover Curling in depth, even explaining some of the colorful terms used for those of us who are unfamiliar. Both the Men’s and Women’s Canadian teams are unbeaten and face off today with the Swiss and USA, respectively.

The only way the Olympics would not be watched in this house is for a major power blackout and, even in that event, we would still have power adequate to turn on a TV, damn solar panels.

This Week In Health and Fitness

Welcome to this week’s Health and Fitness. This is an Open Thread.

I am back in NYC, sleeping in my own bed and trying to get back to “normal” which will take a few days, especially the cold. It was cool in New Orleans but not like NYC and, ugh, snow. I stopped in at my local Duncan Donuts yesterday and was warmly welcomed home. My daughter had told the staff where I was, so there were lots of hugs and free donuts for Dr. TMC who is addicted to the chocolate ones.

I’ll be making the Greek Zucchini Fritters tonight with Blackened Cat Fish and a Sauvgnon Blanc. Thank you all again for your support of the Haitian people. Please do not forget them, this is far from over.

Haiti: “We are not out of the emergency phase yet”

Dr. Marie-Pierre Allié, president of Médecins Sans Frontières-France, who recently returned from a field visit to Haiti, analyses the situation there one month after the disaster. At present, areas of concern include the vacuum caused by the withdrawal of some of the international medical teams who rushed to scene after the earthquake, the ongoing lack of shelter, and the slow pace of aid distribution.

One month after the earthquake, what is the situation in Haiti?

(emphasis mine)

Poor Sanitation in Haiti’s Camps Adds Disease Risk

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – As hundreds of thousands of people displaced by last month’s earthquake put down stakes in the squalid tent camps of this wrecked city, the authorities are struggling to address the worsening problem of human waste. Public health officials warn that waste accumulation is creating conditions for major disease outbreaks, including cholera, which could further stress the ravaged health system.

Some American and Haitian public health specialists here consider the diseases stemming from the buildup of human waste in the camps as possibly the most pressing health threat in the city. Doctors are already seeing a spike in illnesses like typhoid and shigellosis, which arise from contaminated food or water.

“We’re witnessing the setup for the spread of severe diarrheal illnesses in a place where the health system has collapsed and without a functioning sewage system to begin with,” said Ian Greenwald, chief medical officer for a Duke University team of doctors working here this month. Some American and Haitian public health specialists here consider the diseases stemming from the buildup of human waste in the camps as possibly the most pressing health threat in the city. Doctors are already seeing a spike in illnesses like typhoid  and shigellosis, which arise from contaminated food or water.

“We’re witnessing the setup for the spread of severe diarrheal illnesses in a place where the health system has collapsed and without a functioning sewage system to begin with,” said Ian Greenwald, chief medical officer for a Duke

University team of doctors working here this month.

The problem has become impossible to overlook in many districts of Port-au-Prince, with the stench of decomposing bodies replaced by that of excrement. Children in some camps that are still lacking latrines and portable toilets play in open areas scattered with the waste. The light rains here this week caused some donated latrines in the camps to overflow, illustrating how the problem would grow more acute as the rainy season intensified in the months ahead.

Tarps, toilets are priorities for quake-hit Haiti: U.N.

PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) – Haiti urgently needs tarpaulins, tents and 25,000 toilets one month after a magnitude 7 earthquake killed more than 200,000 people, the United Nation’s top aid official said on Friday.

U.N. Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes said the emergency medical care phase of dealing with earthquake trauma patients is “mostly over.” He added that one month after the disaster the two top priorities for impoverished Haiti are shelter and sanitation.

“It is urgent to get everybody with some kind of reasonably waterproof covering over their heads,” Holmes told reporters after a tour of earthquake recovery sites in Port-au-Prince and surrounding towns.

Majority Rule and the Senate

Whatever happened to majority rule? When is a “super” majority (2/3 of the House and Senate) was required by the constitution?


Section 3: PRESCRIBES composition of Senate (2 Senators from each State), term of office (6 year elective term), and voting power (one vote per Senator). REQUIRES qualifications for Membership: 30 years of age, nine years a US Citizen, and a resident of the State electing him/her. Vice President is President of the Senate, with one vote that he may exercise only to break a tie. GRANTS power to choose their Officers, and a President Pro Tem; GRANTS power to try impeachments, with conviction only by a 2/3 majority. LIMITS penalty of impeachment to removal from office and disqualification from receiving government honor, trust or profit, but explicitly withholds any grant of immunity from separate criminal charges.

Section 7: REQUIRES all taxing bills to commence in the House, with the Senate having right of amendment. PRESCRIBES procedure for President to approve or refuse to enact legislation within 10 days (or it becomes law automatically); PRESCRIBES that a 2/3 majority of the Congress may override Presidential veto of legislation. REQUIRES Presidential approval or legislative override for all legislative enactments.


Section 2:


     Title of Commander in Chief of the Army, the Navy and the Militia

     Power to require written opinions of the Principal Officer of each Executive Department on any subject relating to their duties

     Power to Reprieve and Pardon for Offenses against the United States (except in cases of Impeachment)

    To make Treaties with 2/3 concurrence of the Senate

     To Nominate ambassadors, Supreme Court judges, and any other US Officers whose jobs aren’t defined in the Constitution (however Congress may create offices to be filled by appointment by the President, the Courts, or Dept Heads)

     To fill Senate vacancies


PERMITS Congress to amend on 2/3 vote.

PERMITS 2/3 of State Legislatures to call for a Constitutional Convention.

PERMITS 3/4 of State Legislatures to adopt an amendment to the Constitution.

PROHIBITS Constitutional amendment that would deprive any State of its voting representation in the Senate without the State’s consent.

For Your Consideration: Conservative Beliefs, Values and Principles

Today a group of 80 Conservatives are meeting in Mount Vernon, VA to sign what is being called “Constitutional Conservatism: A Statement for the 21st Century”:

The Mount Vernon Statement

   We recommit ourselves to the ideas of the American Founding. Through the Constitution, the Founders created an enduring framework of limited government based on the rule of law. They sought to secure national independence, provide for economic opportunity, establish true religious liberty and maintain a flourishing society of republican self-government.

   These principles define us as a country and inspire us as a people. They are responsible for a prosperous, just nation unlike any other in the world. They are our highest achievements, serving not only as powerful beacons to all who strive for freedom and seek self-government, but as warnings to tyrants and despots everywhere.

   Each one of these founding ideas is presently under sustained attack. In recent decades, America’s principles have been undermined and redefined in our culture, our universities and our politics. The selfevident truths of 1776 have been supplanted by the notion that no such truths exist. The federal government today ignores the limits of the Constitution, which is increasingly dismissed as obsolete and irrelevant.

Would that these Conservatives could get their facts straight, the Constitution was penned in 1787. Do they even know the difference between the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution? Details aren’t important to these guys, nor is history, so long as it doesn’t interfere with their agenda, the continued corporate strangle hold on America and the government.

H/T to Demonsheep who is “off to sign the Mount Vernon Statement, in your blood.”

This Week In Health and Fitness

Welcome to this week’s Health and Fitness.

I will be traveling most of today. As time permits and access allows, I’ll be “popping in”. I leave Haiti reluctantly but in a few months I will return, mostly in an administrative capacity. I’m headed for New Orleans for a short vacation and then back to NYC. I want to thank everyone here for their support for the Haitian people in there time of extreme need. This is going to be a very long road for recovery if they ever do.

Haiti: Steps Toward Recovery

MSF Haiti, 2/09/10

Jerry is seven years old. On January 12, he was seriously injured in the earthquake that devastated his hometown of Port-au-Prince, suffering a severe open fracture to his femur when his house collapsed.

Jerry’s mother, Louismerre, lost two of her five children in the quake. Determined not to see a third child die, she immediately brought Jerry to a Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) hospital for emergency medical care.

MSF staff started Jerry on antibiotics to prevent the spread of infection. He was then taken to an operating theater, where an MSF surgeon performed a debridement of the wound, cleaning it out and removing dead tissue. A few days later, the doctors brought Jerry back so they could examine and clean his injury again. They discovered the infection had not abated and they became extremely concerned that it would spread to the rest of his body, putting his life at risk. They were forced to make a difficult choice. “The wound was very near the groin,” said MSF’s Dr. Karin Lind. “If the infection went above it, there would have been very little we could have done to save him. We knew we had to amputate if we wanted to keep him alive.”

Haiti: Working through the disaster (Feb 11, 2010)

On Flying

While waiting for my ride to the air port, I read this about air port check in from tigerwater @ Dependable Renegade, I thought maybe I should just hop a cargo flight to Miami.

Douchemook #1: Yes, I understand you paid a pretty penny for that fine Corinthian leather carry-on bag. That doesn’t mean you should stroke it and pet it and call it “George” while the line behind you multiplies like bunnies fucking. Throw the fucking thing on the conveyor belt; it will be fine. The cow managed to wear it all those years without worrying about being rolled over a few metal bars, so you shouldn’t either.

Okay, now for douchemook #2: yes, you, young bankstress, future Master of the Universe (assuming you can break the glass ceiling – good luck with that). You, with the three carry-on bags and little regard for the fact that there are other passengers on your flight who might need the overhead compartment space. You who were too fucking busy texting to notice that the line was leaving without you, stranding those of us unfortunate enough to be stuck behind you, while you made plans for dinner at some ludicrously expensive restaurant. Fine, I don’t know that the restaurant is expensive, but you were acting like such a entitled twatwaffle that I can only assume the worst.

And just in case you are drinking and/or eating any thing while reading the rest of this, PUT IT DOWN. Asthmatics have your inhalers handy.

For Your Consideration: “Yes, They Are Serious” Category

I’m not sure what is in the water coolers in the South Carolina Legislature but one must give them credit for “creativity”

23 – Law Enforcement and Public Safety



South Carolina now requires groups and persons who intend to overthrow the United States government to register with the Secretary of State. They must file a form and pay a $5 registration fee

Warning: Please do not eat or drink while reading.

For Your Consideration: The “Jobs” Bill

Reid Stiff-Arms Baucus, Cuts Giveaways And Ornaments Out Of Senate Jobs Bill

For Your Consideration: Up Dated

On Wednesday, February 10 will conduct a special teleconference that will be streamed live on line.

MSF Conferenece 2/10

Hear first-hand how our medical teams set up makeshift clinics to triage patients on the grounds of destroyed hospital structures; how we accomplished complicated surgical procedures in an inflatable hospital and tents; and the future of our work as we continue to address medical challenges the Haitian people are facing.

Find out how donations are being put to work. Ask your questions.

   * Location: Online at Ustream – Haiti Earthquake Update

   * Date: Wednesday, February 10, 2010

   * Time: 12 noon EST / 11 am CST / 10 am MST / 9 am PST / 8 am AST / 7 am HST

Weekend News Digest

Welcome to Sunday Weekend Edition and Open Thread. Ek hornbeck is busy with Super Bowl and America’s Cup essays, so today the news is hosted by me, TMC.

Blizzard paralyzes mid-Atlantic; two killed

Feb Blizzard, DC

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A blizzard dumped two feet of snow across much of the U.S. mid-Atlantic on Saturday, paralyzing travel, leaving tens of thousands without power and creating a winter wonderland in a region not used to big snows.

Snowfall totals of 20 to 38 inches blanketed a crescent from West Virginia to southern New Jersey by early evening when the flakes stopped falling after more than 24 hours.

More than 230,000 homes lost power in the Washington area, according to The Washington Post, after the snow felled trees, brought down power lines and damaged utility poles. Pepco electric company said its workers were scrambling to restore power, but said it could be a few days before everyone was back up.

Traffic was at a virtual standstill in the nation’s capital and surrounding areas as the sun set on many deserted, unplowed streets. Up to 32 inches of snow had fallen in suburban Washington in the biggest snowfall to hit the city in decades.

For Your Consideration

Gen. McChrystal says conditions in Afghanistan war are no longer deteriorating

ISTANBUL — The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, whose gloomy assessment of the war last summer prompted the White House to boost troop levels, said Thursday that conditions are no longer deteriorating and predicted further improvements this year.

“I am not prepared to say that we have turned the corner,” Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal told a group of U.S. reporters during a NATO conference here. “I’m not prepared to say we are winning. I am prepared to say we are very much engaged, and I’m confident we’re going to see serious progress this year.”


Asked why he thought the situation had improved, McChrystal said he could not point to specific measurements, but rather a general sense that security was better in some areas and that the mood among Afghan leaders was more optimistic.

My favorite quote from the comments

erwinroots wrote:

Isn’t “no longer deteriorating” the same as “can’t get any worse”?

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