Senator Patty Murray resigns

US Senator Patty Murray of Washington said today that she was resigning from office. This announcement was due to the strong response by Democratic leaders to statements Murray made while addressing a group of high school students in Columbia River High School in Vancouver, Wash. Senator Murphy told the students that America should follow the example of Osama bin Laden, who is popular around the world because he builds day care centers, health care facilities, roads and schools. She also told students that the United States does not do these things. When she asked students to consider alternatives to war, she threatened that – “the cost of waging war could result in cuts to domestic programs such as Pell grants for college students”

Democratic furor over her remarks grew, fanned when Representative Nancy Pelosi publicly rebuked Senator Patty. The Democratic Whip’s criticism, and the Democratic Party’s widely reported, if tacit, desire that Senator Patty step down helped to seal the her political fate. Senator Patty apologized repeatedly, but to no avail.

Republicans were also infuriated by her remarks. Former Senate Republican leader Trent Lott issued a public statement which said:

“Like all Americans, I was disturbed by Senator Murray’s comments. They were offensive, hurtful and wrong. Worst of all, they do not appear to be isolated remarks.”

“At a time when our country should stand as one, Senator Murray’s comments serve only to divide.”

“We must continue to be a nation where people are judged by the content of their character. Standing before a group of high school students, praising a man who has murdered thousands of American citizens, is wrong in so many ways. ”

“Americans deserve leaders who will stand up for their citizens and help our nation to move forward.”

Senator Tom Daschle expressed relief that Senator Patty had decided to step down. “She took the honorable course both for his country and for her party,” Mr. Daschle said in a statement issued by his office. Teaching students that we should emulate a mass murderer, threatening them with the loss of student aid if they support the war was an divisive and uninformed act. National unity is essential as we confront the many challenges both at home and abroad.”


Yes, some of the post above is fiction. The Democrats have not criticized Senator Patty Murray in any way. Unfortunately, she is still in office.

But Senator Patty did make those comments about Osama bin Laden’s ‘efforts to help the poor.’ While lying to students about Osama’s generosity (and our lack of it), she neglected to mention that bin Laden’s vision of the perfect Islamic state in Afghanistan included the horrific repression of women, the slaying of the members of rival tribes by the thousands, and the traditional Sharia-law inspired hand-chopping, hanging, and soccer-field executions. Osama’s popularity grew among Islamists after Sept. 11th, and fell when the Taliban ran like rabbits for the Pakistani border.

How did women in Afghanistan respond to to the loss of their ‘benefactor,’ Osama bin Laden? They praised “the fumigation of the Taliban pestilence and their al-Qaeda carriers”

How would women in Afghanistan describe Senator Patty? The senator, who has received more than $90,000 in contributions from the Feminist organization Emily’s list, would probably be seen as one of the typical ‘mealy-mouthed’ western feminists who collude with Islamic fundamentalists.

I wonder how the high school students responded. My son told me that when the kids in his high school were forced to listen to stupid, uninformed speakers, they would put them on the spot, ask difficult questions just to see them sweat. I hope the kids in Columbia River gave Patty Murray hell.

What about the Democrats and the media? There has been a considerable conservative outcry – but CNN hasn’t even covered the story. If there has been any response from the Democrats, it’s been pretty quiet. What will they do? Will they defend her? Or will they deal with Murray as the Republicans dealt with Lott? Will there be outrage, will the Democrats condemn Senator Patty for her remarks? Will they give Senator Patty hell?

Waiting for the Democrats to respond….waiting.

Something tells me that I’ll be waiting a long time….

[Link to Senator Murray’s remarks courtesy of Little Green Footballs]

Yet more proof of Saudi support for terrorism

Terrorism isn’t an act of desperation fueled by a desire for revenge it’s a military tactic fueled by large sums of cash – large sums of Saudi cash. Joel Mowbray, writing for the National Review, has the details. The attack in Bali cost more than $1 million.

Seven Saudis — whom U.S. officials have asked allies to keep tabs on — are dubbed the “main individual sponsors of terrorism”:

Khalid bin Mahfouz (banker): Bin Mahfouz was the CEO of the National Commercial Bank (the first commercial bank in Saudi Arabia) until 1999 — when it was discovered in an audit that he had funneled around $100 million to his brother-in-law, Osama bin Laden. (Interesting historical fact: Bin Mahfouz paid over $200 million in fines in 1991 for misdeeds when he was COO of BCCI.)

Saleh Abdullah Kamel (banker): Kamel was the co-founder and large shareholder of Al Shamal Bank in Sudan, bin Laden’s bank of choice from 1983 onward. Kamel’s bank was used extensively for al Qaeda operations, according to trials stemming from the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings.

Abdullah Suleiman al Rajhi (banker): Al Rajhi is the CEO and founder of Al Rajhi Bank, which serves as a go-between for charities seeking to funnel money to al Qaeda.
Adel Abdul Jalil Batterjee (businessman): Batterjee is the founder of the Benevolence International Foundation — and its main financier.

Mohammed Hussein al Amoudi (businessman): Al Amoudi is the chairman of one of the largest conglomerates in the Kingdom, and he has partnered with bin Mahfouz on a number of oil-related ventures. He was the president of the Al Haramain Foundation in Sudan, which was shut down for its suspected involvement in the U.S. embassy bombings in East Africa.

Wael Hamza Julaidan (businessman): Julaidan is the chairman of the Muslim World League in Pakistan and of its financial arm, Rabita Trust. That, and he’s a cofounder of al Qaeda.
Yasin al Qadi (businessman): Al Qadi is an investor in several front companies, and he is the head of the Al Haramain Foundation.

The report principally covers the financial side of al Qaeda, if for no other reason than because money serves as the cornerstone of the terrorist network. The main al Qaeda operations of the last four years — including the U.S. embassy bombings in East Africa, 9/11, and the recent Bali bombings — cost a collective $1 million or more. Though the materials and logistics necessary to carry out the actual attacks may be inexpensive, the bulk of the money (some 90 percent) goes to cover the costs of infrastructure.

But the biggest expense to propagate the growth of radical Islam is not paid for directly by al Qaeda, but by Saudi Arabia: the madrassas that that churn out rabid young Islamic fundamentalists primed for jihad. If nothing else, Saudi Arabia’s continued insistence on fueling the spread of Wahhabism raises perhaps the ultimate question about whether the House of Saud is a friend or foe: “How can a war against terrorism succeed while the United States has excluded or preserved countries such as Saudi Arabia, which tolerates the emergence of fundamentalism, sometimes instrumentalized [its] goal, and today has become [its] sanctuary?”

The Saudis still have good friends in the State Department.

The good news is that Mowbray is no longer being threatened by State, and victims of 9/11 are suing the Saudis for billions. The bad news is that terrorism is still well-funded. Saudi money is still funding the growth of Islamic fundamentalism and the State Department is still on their side. More than a year after Sept. 11, nothing has changed.

How many people will die in the next Saudi-funded attack? How many people in the Saudi-funded State Department give a damn?

Passaic riverrun

Doing a random search, I found this fan site, They have closed-caption transcripts from the first and second seasons. They don’t read like screenplays, they read like poems – stream of consciousness. If James Joyce had grown up in Jersey, he could have written this…

“Hey! Put the heat up. Today! Oh, fuck! Fuck! What’s the matter? Spider. So, kill it. Uh-uh, you do it. Come here and kill the freakin’ thing. Come here. No way. No, c’mon. It was a leaf, you freakin’ idiot. Mister. Yeah. Some man here to see you. Who? The police. Be right back. Did you let them in the house? Warrant. Warrant. How do you say it in fuckin’ polish? Agent Harris. Who’s your friend? I’m detective Harold giardina. From the essex county task force. Well, I’m pleased to meet you. But if you don’t have a warrant, could you get the fuck out of my house ’cause I’m kind of busy. I can see that. Oh, you’re a comedian. Is that how you broke your nose? Tony, we could have phoned. We paid you the courtesy of a visit. We want you to come down to the station to talk. To talk. About Matthew Bevilaqua. Dad? Take the backboard out of the cabana. I’ll be down there in a couple of minutes. Look a lawyer up, come in one on one, it’s your call. Just name a time at your convenience. On your way out, you think you can roll the garbages down the hill? Tomorrow is pick up day…”

“…If they had enough to pinch you for, there’d be bars between us right as we speak. So, why do they want me to go down there? Lock you into a story, any story. So, later at trial, any contradiction’ll sink you. Are we gonna go? Did you say you’d go? Please. Alright. Procrastinate. Let me get our ducks in a row. In the meantime, keep your cool and go the speed limit. Don’t give them an in. What’d I just say? Don’t give them an in. Are you alright, tony? This is some bad shit here. What’s up, anthony? How did this happen? Mid-life crisis? You can talk to me..”

“…(Carmela) the mothers last year said we should end senior night at sunrise at long beach island. That way they can dance, they’ll do the scavenger hunt and the liquor stores’ll be closed. We count noses. Yeah, okay. Jesus, is that the time? I’m gonna barely get natalie to tap. Chris, need a ride? No, my brother’s coming to pick me up. Eric took my car to a fencing meet. Alright, next week, my house. We’ll tie up the loose ends…”


Conservation and the preservation of animal habitats have been used by the western elites for years to chase indigenous people off their own land in Africa. Guardian writer George Monibot doesn’t blame conservationists for this tragedy – instead, he blames nature programs. According to Monibot, these programs sell us a lie of unspoiled wilderness – and that lie has destroyed lives. As a result, TV addicted tourists pour into African countries, demanding that natives be chased off their land.

According to George, Sir David Attenborough’s lies have caused major damage. Does this also mean that the Discovery Channel and Steve Irwin, the Australian snake & crocodile handler, are also to blame? Whoo – crikey!

As usual, Monibot is full of it. Yes, western influence is to blame. First, western colonists murdered and ‘resettled’ the native people – now western eco-colonists are working to preserve lion habitats in the Serengeti. Driving around the unspoiled areas in their land rovers, living out scenes from ‘white mischief’, these ‘conservationists’ profit at the expense of tribes like the Masai, whose lives and traditions are being destroyed.

George Monibot, shares the eco-colonist’s belief that poverty is good for the native people, and that wealth and consumption leads to depression. Of course, he doesn’t blame the eco-colonists for anything. He doesn’t blame the environmentalists’ ideal, that all animals should live within pristine sanctuaries for the situation. He doesn’t blame the greens’ condemnation of hunting, even by native tribes, for the problem. Instead, he targets Sir Attenborough. The article has to be read to be believed. Unfortunately, Monibot is no expert at spin – this silly attempt to misplace the blame falls flat.

For some sanity, here are the voices of the Masai, who don’t share Monibot’s concerns, and who have absolutely no grudges against Sir David.

..and a story of a guardian of the lions who might have been eaten by one of his charges – if the Masai hadn’t intervened.

Defending the Sauds after 9/11 | Richard Cohen in the Washington Post


Saudi Switcheroo

Saudi Arabia, the home office of oil and a key American ally in the Middle East, is being bashed with abandon. In right-wing circles, there is a palpable hankering for the overthrow of the ruling House of Saud or, at the least, for treating the kingdom as a pariah state — maybe not part of the axis of evil but more problem than solution. Just what and who will replace the ruling family is not mentioned. It just could be an anti-American regime, something like Iran’s.

In the United States, Saudi-bashing has reached a ludicrous stage. A casual newspaper reader would be forgiven for concluding that somehow Princess Haifa al-Faisal, the wife of the Saudi ambassador to the United States, Prince Bandar, passed money to two of the 9/11 terrorists. But her link to them turns out to be so tenuous, so virtually nonexistent, that it amounts to a parody of guilt by association.

For the record, here’s what happened. It appears that Princess Haifa contributed money to a Saudi woman in California who said she needed funds for medical services. Some of that money may have been passed to a Saudi man who, in turn, may have helped two of the 9/11 terrorists rent an apartment in San Diego. Put the local grocery store on the list too. It may have extended the two Saudis some credit.

Yet from Congress and the media came an outcry that set the Saudis back on their heels. It seemed not to matter that for Princess Haifa to have knowingly aided the terrorists, she would be committing suicide by checkbook. The 15 terrorists of Saudi nationality were the sworn enemies of her family. (Her father was the late king.) Prince Bandar himself could be the poster boy for everything the terrorists hate — a cosmopolitan, cigar-smoking, sybaritic downhill skier who, for a time, effectively moved the Saudi embassy to Aspen. Ain’t no way Bandar is going to give a nickel to anyone who’s going to take away his Cohibas.

The current anti-Saudi frenzy is just the latest example of Congress and the federal bureaucracy doing their irresponsible thing — and the media merely taking it all down. It happened not too long ago with China. You will remember how serious it was — a downright threat to the American way of life — that Bill Clinton’s reelection campaign had gotten some money from people in China. You would think Clinton had sold the Washington Monument to Beijing.

You will remember, too, that dangerous, pernicious spy, Wen Ho Lee, a scientist at Los Alamos, the top-secret weapons lab. He had given America’s most valuable nuclear secrets — the “crown jewels,” they were called — to the Chinese. Yet in the end, Lee was never tried for espionage — and, on second thought, maybe China did not have the crown jewels after all. Sorry.

As with China, it’s downright impossible to say anything nice about Saudi Arabia. It’s an authoritarian regime. Its human rights record is abysmal. It has no freedom of religion. It treats women abominably. It punishes criminals with amputations and beheadings. It sanctions anti-Semitism under the guise of anti-Zionism. The government is sometimes cooperative, sometimes not, in assisting the United States in fighting terrorism. Some wealthy — as well as ordinary — Saudis have helped fund Islamic radical organizations, including al Qaeda. Osama bin Laden himself is a Saudi.

But it is what it is: a feudal society feeling its way into modernity. Its government is the product of its culture — not something imposed from elsewhere. If it is reformed too fast — and it is reforming a bit — it could go the way of Iran (remember the shah?) or Iraq (remember the king?). Whatever happens, it’s not going to be a democracy. There are, with the exception of the so-called Zionist entity, none of those in the Middle East. Reform, as Louis XVI found out, can cost you your head.

The current impatience with Saudi Arabia, the compulsion to somehow hold it accountable for terrorism worldwide and, in particular, for the events of Sept. 11, 2001, emits the ugly scent of intolerance — both cultural and religious. The Saudis have much to answer for, but in the vitriol of the criticism and the refusal to make distinctions (Princess Haifa, for crying out loud!), so do some others.

The early blog (whataretheysaying) started as just links:Archived

Officials Worry U.S. Extremists May Team Up With Foreign Groups (Fox News)

ISRAEL: Jewish Supremacy in Action by David Duke (Radio Islam)

David Duke: Israeli Terrorism and American Treason Caused the September 11 Attacks (Islamweb)

The Fabricated Holocaust of the Jews (Islamweb)

White Hope (The New Republic)

The hatred that won’t die Why isn’t the left protesting against the growth of anti-semitism? (Guardian)

The bloody Jordan river now flows through America (Salon)

U.S. brokered peace won’t stop Islamic revolution (Working for Change – 10.17.00)

Muslims Burned To Death In India (CBS News)

Gujarat riot toll climbs to 70; Army on stand-by (The Times of India)

Radical Hindus went on rampage in the Indian state of Gujrat (Paknews)

Old blog (whataretheysaying) archived links

Call for calm after Indian train attack (CNN)

Defusing tension top US priority: Envoy hopeful of early Indo-Pakistan talks (Dawn)

10 shot dead in mosque attack (Dawn)


Our opinion: Fires of fanaticism (Times of India)

It’s him or us It’s time to start saying that the Sharon government is irresponsibly It’s time to start saying that the Sharon government is irresponsibly cooperating in the slaughter of its citizens. (Ha’aretz)

No easy answers for Afghanistan (Guardian)

Scott Simon’s Reflections on Afghanistan NPR Host Recounts Travels Through Ravaged Nation (NPR)

Beware the axis of hubris (Japan Times)

Japan discovers kitten behind the roar (Sydney Morning Herald)

U.S. Islamic Schools Teaching Homegrown Hate (Fox News)

Psychiatrists make case for retention of suicide grounds A group of 10 consultant psychiatrists have said a total ban on abortion on the grounds of suicide would endanger the lives of some vulnerable women (Irish Times)

No Tears for Terrorists (Washington Post)


Cyanide in spaghetti did mobster in (Kathimerini)

Old blog (whataretheysaying) archived links

Warlords pose threat to Afghanistan: US envoy (Dawn)

Afghan leader arrives in India (BBC)

Tehran, Kabul pledge new era of brotherly ties (Paknews)

U.S. presses for Saeed’s extradition (MSNBC)

Journalist Daniel Pearl Was Killed for Being a Jew The Chosen One (Village Voice)

Daniel Pearl’s widow warns of world terror network (CNN)

Bush voices support for Saudi plan Proposal gains momentum EU envoy to meet Abdullah (MSNBC)

Saudis nix Israel visits Abdullah warns against ousting Arafat (Ha’aretz)

Bold US move needed (Dawn)

Unborn baby saved mom Thirty-three-year-old Tamara Fisch-Lifshitz Thirty-three-year-old Tamara Fisch-Lifshitz was hit by a bullet in her belly during the terror attack at Nokdim yesterday, but gave birth to a healthy baby girl (Ha’aretz)

3 Palestinians, 2 Israelis killed In the second such incident in as many days in the city of Nablus, Israeli occupation soldiers opened fire on a car carrying a pregnant woman to a hospital. (Jordan Times)

Honda, Toyota missing from White House ‘hybrid car’ event (CNN)

The Toyota Prius

The Honda Insight

Thanks to Price, Lada Stays Queen of the Road (Moscow Times)

Old blog (whataretheysaying) archived links

Colombian rebels kidnap presidential candidate (Guardian)

Kidnappings make Mexico as dangerous as Iraq: Firm Colombia is the region’s only country where kidnapping rates surpass Mexico’s… (TheNewsMexico)

Israeli President, Peres Support Saudi Peace Plan (Xinhua News Agency)

Arafat welcomes statements by Saudi crown prince on Israeli- Arab solution (Arabic News)

Middle East conflict can turn into war, warns Annan (Dawn)

Fatah and the Saudi crown prince peace initiative with Israel (Arabic News)

Without transparency, democracy doesn’t merit the name (The Daily Star)

Report: FBI Focuses on Former U.S. Scientist as Chief Anthrax Suspect (FoxNews)

Brother Pearl The good man is gone; the bad men are left to deal with. (National Review)

Post-WTC, an Actress Goes On Tour of Duty (Daily News)

OK, George, make with the friendly bombs If only the UK had done something similar in Northern Ireland, we wouldn’t be in the mess we are in today… (Guardian)

Ritual slaughter kept off the streets at Sidon (The Daily Star)

Toyota to make car fuelled by hydrogen (Bangkok Post)

Old blog (whataretheysaying) archived links

Britons in Cuba Could be Repatriated Rumsfeld wants returnees tried (MSNBC)

Reporter Daniel Pearl Is Dead, Killed by His Captors in Pakistan (Wall Street Journal)

A Selection of Daniel Pearl’s Work (Wall Street Journal)

Mariane Pearl: Husband’s spirit lives on (CNN)

Daniel Pearl’s family shares their grief (MSNBC)

Remembering Danny Timothy Noah (Slate)

Pledge to ‘liquidate’ Pearl killers Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf says he will “liquidate” the killers of US journalist Daniel Pearl and other terrorists from his country.(BBC)

Face to face with Sheikh Omar He appeared repentant, but clearly not enough. (BBC)

Pearl’s murder technique proves Jaish link The brutal way in which WSJ journalist Daniel Pearl was murdered is a clear indication of the involvement of the terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed. (Times of India)


The ‘New Anti-Semitism’ A new wave of anti-Semitism is sweeping Europe. (Ha’aretz Daily)

‘Intriguing’ offer: Saudi prince’s pitch to recognize Israel (Miami Herald)

EurasiaNet Culture A photo essay by Vladimir Syomin (Eurasia Net)

Can boards be held accountable? Enron Code of Ethics Handbook…in mint condition — never been used. (Jamaica Gleaner)

No end to stress in modern Japan (Japan Times)


Jacket of the future makes its own heat For centuries, winter coats have worked on a pretty straightforward premise: trap the heat the body generates. (CNN)