Okay, I'm back from my football weekend, and just beginning to recover from TMF (too much fun). After a busy workday today, I began to peruse the stories out there, and here are some links and some thoughts.
- Six Muslim imams were removed from a US Airways flight for
being Muslimacting suspiciously in a post 9/11 world. CAIR has, of course, weighed in with indignation over the racist and discriminatory action.
“CAIR is receiving more reports of ‘flying while Muslim’ and racial profiling incidents from members of the Islamic community nationwide. We therefore call for congressional hearings to deal with the issue of racial, religious and ethnic profiling in our nation’s airports.
“We also call on the Department of Justice and the Transportation Security Administration to conduct thorough investigations into the incident in Minnesota and to ensure that security procedures of US Airways and other airlines conform to constitutional standards mandating the protection of religious freedom and other civil rights.”
Unfortunately for CAIR, it seems that at least one of the individuals has significant ties to terrorist financing organizations, summarized at Power LIne. In addition, there certainly were some suspicious behaviors.
Flight 300 was still at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport when the incident occurred. Before the imams boarded, they were ``praying loudly in the gate area. Some were heard to be making statements against the U.S. involvement in Iraq,'' Pat Hogan, spokesman for the airport, said in an interview today.
Some of the six repeatedly said ``Allah'' as they boarded, then asked to change seats and requested safety-belt extensions that they put under their seats, Hogan said. One was overheard to say he would ``go to whatever measures necessary to obey all that is set out in the Koran,'' Hogan said.
Why do you suppose they needed the belt extenders? Were they intentionally doing unusual things to create a scene? At any rate, it's not as if there are any reasons to have your antennae up when you're flying, really. Others: Hot Air, Classical Values, Scrappleface, Riehl World View, Flopping Aces.
- Speaking of air travel, entering the US will soon require a passport no matter your point of origin. Gee, I can't think of any reason why that should be the case, either.
"Right now, there are 8,000 different state and local entities in the U.S. issuing birth certificates and driver's licenses," [Homeland Security Secretary Michael] Chertoff said. Having to distinguish phony from real in so many different documents "puts an enormous burden on our Customs and Border inspectors," he said.
The Sept. 11 Commission said in its report, "For terrorists, travel documents are as important as weapons."
The commission recommended strengthening security of travel documents. A 2004 law passed by Congress mandated the change to require passports as the only acceptable travel document, with few exceptions, but the exact date had been in question.
Now, about that voter ID ...
- I'm sorry, but the show Seinfeld wasn't funny enough to be as celebrated as it was and is. I didn't watch it then, and I don't watch reruns now. I found the characters more annoyingly stupid than charmingly eclectic. Michael Richards, as Kramer, was too over the top to be even a sitcom character. And now he's really gone over the top. Of course, if he was funny, he wouldn't have been heckled.
- Minnesota's Justin Morneau won the AL MVP award. No, really. Yup, ahead of this guy. Go figure. Here's the thing. David Ortiz was so dominant in the Red Sox lineup this year that opposing teams pitched so as to minimize the damage he could do whenever possible, and yet still he hit .287, slugged .636 with a .414 OBP (OPS 1.050), hit 54 homers, drove in 137, and was known far and wide for game-winning and walk off hits, as in this report not from a Boston paper, but from San Francisco. Morneau's stats? .321 BA/.375 OBP/.557 SLG/.932 OPS/37 HR/130 RBI. I'll take Papi, then Jeter, then Morneau.
- I tend to immediately dismiss anyone who suggests that we could improve the situation in Iraq (and the middle east in general) by including Iran and Syria in the discussion as unserious. This is an example of why I dismiss such talk.
BEIRUT, Lebanon - Pierre Gemayel, an anti-Syrian politician and scion of Lebanon’s most prominent Christian family, was gunned down Tuesday in a carefully orchestrated assassination that heightened tensions between the U.S.-backed government and the militant Hezbollah.
Christopher Hitchens is similarly inclined.
The summa of wisdom in these circles is the need for consultation with Iraq's immediate neighbors in Syria and Iran. Given that these two regimes have recently succeeded in destroying the other most hopeful democratic experiment in the region—the brief emergence of a self-determined Lebanon that was free of foreign occupation—and are busily engaged in promoting their own version of sectarian mayhem there, through the trusty medium of Hezbollah, it looks as if a distinctly unsentimental process is under way.
Was Syria involved? The suspicion is yes. Though it certainly could be Hezbollah, which is backed by Syria and Iran. Lebanon is a secular democracy in the middle east, and as they've shown in other arenas militant Muslims would certainly prefer an Islamic theocracy. Others: Decision '08, Rick Moran, Confederate Yankee, Michael Totten.