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:: Friday, January 31, 2003 ::

Ultimate Sondheim Souvenir



"Broadway composer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim is auctioning his 1985 XJ6 Jaguar. Proceeds to benefit Young Playwrights Inc.
Mr. Sondheim is the original and current owner of this silver-grey 4-door sedan. Beige leather interior, walnut dash, phone and Alpine cassette/6-CD changer (to be loaded with winner's choice of Sondheim's shows on autographed CD's) in excellent condition. Car starts and runs perfectly. Doors and windows, lights, sunroof, trunk, electronic climate control and all typical luxury amenities in fine running order.
Mr. Sondheim will autograph the vehicle per the buyer's request."


:: Peter 1/31/2003 03:09:00 PM [+] ::
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$20,000.00 from Microsoft?



I'll let the lede speak for itself, from Financial Times:

"Big international corpora-tions (sic), including Microsoft, UBS and Compaq, were among the donors to an Islamic charity that US officials say was one of the leading financiers for Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda organisation."

And, of course, the rest of the article:

"In evidence filed in its case against Enaam Arnaout, who headed the Chicago-based charity Benevolence International, the US Justice Department says the charity received both direct employee donations and matching grants from those companies.
Microsoft told the Associated Press that it contributed about $20,000 (€18,500) to BIF over "a period of time", but ended the matching grants after it learned of the terrorism allegations. Both UBS and Hewlett-Packard, which acquired Compaq last year, said they had also severed their ties with the charity.
The revelation is the most graphic illustration of how deeply some of the charities implicated in financing terrorist groups had reached into mainstream US donors. Since the September 11 attacks, the US has shut down dozens of Islamic charities in the US and is pursuing complex criminal investigations in an effort to establish clear links to terrorist groups.
The charity told its donors it was raising money for aid to Muslims in war-torn regions such as Bosnia and Chechnya, but US officials believe much of that money was diverted to al-Qaeda.
The case against Mr Arnaout appears to be among the strongest yet laid out by the government. In its submission to the court, the Justice Department spelled out what it called "a 15-year conspiracy to use ostensibly charitable organisations to support violence overseas on behalf of purportedly Islamic causes".
The government alleges that Mr Arnaout was a close associate of Mr bin Laden, and was intimately involved in the creation of al-Qaeda in the late 1980s. It says that several top al-Qaeda operatives also served as officials of Benevolence International, a Saudi charity that established its head office in Chicago in 1992.
The filing also charges that Mr Arnaout was among a network of financiers that included Wa'el Julaidan, who was designated last year as a terrorist financier by the US and Saudi Arabia and is also linked to several US-based charitable groups that are under investigation.
Mr Arnaout will go to trial next month on charges of conspiracy to commit racketeering and providing aid to terrorist organisations. He has denied aiding al-Qaeda or other terrorist groups.
Among the new allegations in the Justice Department's filing is that Mohamed Loay Bayazid, a Syrian-born American who is accused of trying to obtain uranium to help al-Qaeda build a nuclear weapon, was briefly an officer with the charity.
Mr Arnaout's lawyer told the AP that Mr Bayazid had no connections with the charity."


Now that all the horses have escaped it's good to know they're slammin' the barn door.
:: Peter 1/31/2003 09:20:00 AM [+] ::
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:: Thursday, January 30, 2003 ::

ArabNews: Letters



"The three biggest
They’ve got the bombs. They’ve got the greed. The Zionist lobby got them on course, and improvises the charge.
Iraq is a pushover. The slowly mounting reaction in the Islamic world will be right after the good book of Zion. Dummies in American uniforms, commanded by the abject lackeys of Zion, entrench US imperialism in the Gulf — brought to the Arab world by courtesy of American Democracy.
Since Henry Ford wrote his book "The International Jew" in 1920, they’ve done nothing but prove that he was right. Such is the nature of filthy Belial. The success of Zionism is mostly due to its ambitious and useful idiots. The three biggest — Lenin, Hitler and Bush.
Kaj Krinsme, Abildgade, Aarhus N., Denmark, published 30 January 2003"


I don't even know the words to respond to this. I don't think there's anything rational to say to those last three sentences. "Such is the nature of filthy Belial. The success of Zionism is mostly due to its ambitious and useful idiots. The three biggest — Lenin, Hitler and Bush."


:: Peter 1/30/2003 08:40:00 AM [+] ::
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ArabNews: ‘War on Terror’ — or is it?



First, a quote: "The terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks in New York and Washington paid the price for their crimes. They are all dead."

That's the lede. Read it again if you'd like, it'll still read the same. 'Don't do anything to us, we just cheered 'their crimes.' All the perps are already dead.'

:: Peter 1/30/2003 08:38:00 AM [+] ::
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:: Wednesday, January 29, 2003 ::

SotU



Let's roll...


:: Peter 1/29/2003 02:19:00 PM [+] ::
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ECotD



Here's the chance, lower the aim and blow up France.



Not, of course, that that's what M. Kahil had in mind.
:: Peter 1/29/2003 08:34:00 AM [+] ::
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:: Tuesday, January 28, 2003 ::

Conceptualize This...



The things, this State Of The Union day, you can find on Arab News:

"Western secular liberal democracy, its philosophical base rooted in the ideal that man is sovereign, is of course incompatible with Islamic values or political idealism. Yet this is not the only form of democracy, assuming that the term democracy is merely representative of participative and representative governance. The simple conclusion being that Islam, as a State and as a Religion, works and provides for economic, social and political development at all times, levels, and locations."

This is from Islamic Political Development: A Conceptual Analysis by HRH Prince Faisal bin Mishal Al-Saud, PhD. Dr. Prince, I assume.

Here is his conclusion:

"The concept of political development is handled by various scholars of political science without a unanimous agreement on the meaning and definition of the term. Scholars like Max Weber have linked the term closely to bureaucracy and public policy as well as to the means of domination, arguing that bureaucracy is a form of power. On the other hand, Huntington has defined political institutionalization in terms of political development, which is defined by James Bill as the capacity of the political system to absorb and sustain continuous changes and transformations.
The term "political development" is used in this study and applied to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a process of transformation initiated by policy-makers who see political development as a movement away from the status quo, towards systems that are able to obtain emerging goals and provide needed functions. However, for some scholars, political development is equivalent to the concept of nation building. This concept is very useful to this study. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is passing through the vital stage of nation building. However early the stage, it can be argued that Saudi Arabia has reached a critical period of political institution formation, which is the functional basis of the state. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is also managing to cope with some very important challenges within the political system itself. One such challenge is the formation of the Shura Council.
In consideration of the Western concept of political development, the term is closely related to economic factors such as the rate of growth and capital. It appears in this case that political development is closely related to aspects of modernization.
Considering other interpretations, political development in the Marxist approach focuses upon "structural approaches in the political system as a vital condition for modernization." Marxist theory departs from Western democratic theory and capitalism, with its focus on free markets and limited government, saying that classes and social stratification are highly expressed in the form of wealth, power and status, and that the state must regulate these expressions through social and economic policy.
The Islamic concept of political development, unlike the Western concept which depends upon man-made law, depends upon achieving integration of sources of hypotheses by linking revelation and materialism. This is necessary to achieve the required balance between the constants and variables in human life. Revelation determines the former, leaving the latter to be determined by human reason through life experience guided by the Shariah.
It is the truth of the Oneness of God, or Tawhid through which the fundamental Islamic hypothesis derives its insistence on Qur’an and Sunnah, which is the way of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). The major concern of Islamic political idealism is the welfare of human beings, Qur’an and Sunnah being the criteria (al-furqan) or measurement of good and evil, as well as the prohibited and permissible in all social, economic and political affairs. Islamic political development as a concept offers a good deal of consideration to time and environments, recognizing the vital role they play in orienting the nations’ purpose and objectives."

:: Peter 1/28/2003 08:33:00 AM [+] ::
...

:: Monday, January 27, 2003 ::

Super Bowl



Just one thing to say: I haven't watched a Super Bowl halftime show since Up With People. What ever happened to them?
:: Peter 1/27/2003 08:53:00 AM [+] ::
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