Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Harold and Kumar go to North Korea,

Eugene Robinson
Dana Milbank
Kathleen Sebelius

"Only 42% of Republicans believe Obama was born in the United States. That's an amazing statistic. How come in America, Christians are the ones who won't take anything on faith?" -Bill Maher

I thought that one of the casualties of war was free speech. That's certainly so in Pakistan, who arrested an Islamic sheik for speaking against the democratic government. from the Long War Journal: "The Pakistani government has charged the leader of a pro-Taliban group and seven of his associates with treason, inciting rebellion, terrorism, waging war, and conspiracy against Pakistan.

Police have filed charges against Sufi Mohammed, the leader of the banned pro-Taliban Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammed [TNSM, or the Movement for the Enforcement of Mohammed's Law], and seven others at the Saido Sharif Police Station in Swat.

“We have registered a case of treason, rebellion and terrorism against Sufi Mohammad,” Sajid Khan Mohmand , the chief of police for the district of Swat, told news agencies. “A case of waging war and conspiracy against the country has also been registered.”

The charges revolve around statements made by Sufi at a rally in Swat on April 19. During the rally in Mingora, the main town in Swat, Sufi denounced Pakistan’s democratic system and called for the entire nation to be put under sharia, or Islamic law. “There is no room for democracy in Islam,” Sufi told the crowd.

"We hate democracy," Sufi told a crowd of thousands of followers back in February. "We want the occupation of Islam in the entire world. Islam does not permit democracy or election.’’

Sufi helped broker the truce in Swat that allowed the short-lived sharia law experiment. Now they might make him a martyr. It also gives a glimpse of the dreams of some Talibans, to take over all Islamic countries, impose sharia law but more strict than in Saudi Arabia, then on to the rest of the world. These dreams of domination fueled by the cache of Pakistani nuclear weapons bringing the wild-eyed boys streaming out of the mountains...

In Iraq, freedom of speech happened in 2003 when the US occupied the country. Book publishing, internet cafes, and artists flourished. Underground there are even their own pornographic stars. They are currently the most liberal Arab state in the Middle East. As reported by the NY Times: "In rushed a wave of music videos featuring scantily clad Turkish singers, Web sites recruiting suicide bombers, racy Egyptian soap operas, pornography, romance novels, and American and Israeli news and entertainment sites that had long been blocked under Saddam Hussein’s rule.

Now those doors may be shut again, at least partially, as the Iraqi government moves to ban sites deemed harmful to the public, to require Internet cafes to register with the authorities and to press publishers to censor books.
The government, which has been proceeding quietly on the new censorship laws, said prohibitions were necessary because material currently available in the country had had the effect of encouraging sectarian violence in the fragile democracy and of warping the minds of the young.

“Our Constitution respects freedom of thought and freedom of expression, but that should come with respect for society as a whole, and for moral behavior,” said Taher Naser al-Hmood, Iraq’s deputy cultural minister. “It is not easy to balance security and democracy. It is like being a tightrope walker.”

But opponents of the proposals question why Iraq would seek to impose the same sorts of censorship that had been among the most loathed aspects of daily life under Saddam Hussein and suggest that they are another example of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki’s working to consolidate his power. The new policies will put Iraq more in line with neighboring Islamic states." Along with arresting his enemies, bombing religious foes, and now restricting citizen's freedoms, it looks like he is going to be a Mini-Saddam, another corrupt dictator. Let's hope he doesn't build any statues of himself, sculpting balding hair is really difficult to do...

Hillary scored another coup, getting Bill out of town for awhile by sending him to North Korea. He is going to try and bring home the two American journalists who were sentenced to 12 years in prison for walking across the border. Here's hoping that his charm will work on lil' Kim. I understand that Mr Kim loves American movies and music, perhaps Bill brought him a collection of leftover Obama DVD's, beginning with Apocalypse Now... And the only thing that might have been better than Bill showing up in North Korea, is if Herbert Walker Bush was with him. They work well together and the prestige alone might sway North Korea in our favor...

Well, that was quick. As soon as I posted this and turned on the tv, it was announced that Kim Jong-Il gave a special pardon to the two journalists. If we actually give them a little love they become our new best friends forever? Now the bickering back home begins between friends and enemies of Clinton over how appropriate it was to send Bill over there. Hey, it wasn't like he was looking into yellow-cake uranium or anything... So let's send him to Burma next.

late night jokes:

"I know why you're happy today: racism is over, and we did it with beer. We did it with beer! See, this is the change we can believe in, that Obama was always talking about. Black Americans and white Americans coming together to get shitfaced. When you think about what could have been accomplished if they lit up a joint. Wow. ... If they had lit up a joint and then said, 'This incident is completely forgotten,' that would really have the ring of truth." --Bill Maher

"No, it was a great summit, the beer summit, and I think it's important to note what Sergeant Crowley said. He said, 'It's funny. The guys back at the station always joke how they wished they had a beer for every time a black man was arrested. And now it came true.'" --Bill Maher

"I don't think he's a racist. I don't. I think he's a cop. Seriously. But there was one little awkward moment when he arrived at the White House and got out of the car and he threw Obama the keys." --Bill Maher

"And then, when Sonia Sotomayor came out with the guacamole, I said, 'What the hell is going on here?' ... People were so fascinated about what beer they were drinking. Apparently Gates had Red Stripe. ... And Crowley had Blue Moon. And Obama, just to screw with the conservatives, had a forty of King Cobra." --Bill Maher

"Now, this was awkward. He actually had a Bud Light. At one point, Obama said he had Bud. And the professor took out his pipe." --Bill Maher

"But apparently, it went so well that the professor and Crowley plan to meet again. But not at the White House. It's a little tense there." --Bill Maher

"But a lot is sliding around him. But one program that is an unqualified success that's working, the Cash for Clunkers. Have you done this? Have you traded in your clunker? See, you can take your old gas-guzzling clunker to your GM dealer and trade it in for a new, gas-guzzling clunker. 250,000 people have already done this. ... For the first time in years, people in Kentucky can see their front yard." --Bill Maher

"Some people have misunderstood this concept of trading old for new. For example, today, South Carolina Governor Sanford tried to drop off his wife" --Bill Maher

"This is nice, though, President Obama served Professor Gates and Officer Crowley beer and pretzels. Did you know that? Pretzels. Yeah, it's the first time pretzels have been served at the White House since the time one attacked President Bush. Remember that one?" --Conan O'Brien

"This is good, though. Last night's meeting went so well, Gates and Crowley plan to meet again. Isn't that nice? ... Yeah. Apparently they'll meet the next time Gates tries to get into his own house. It's a habit now that's hard to break." --Conan O'Brien

"Everything's OK now. President Obama has invited myself and Sarah Palin down to the White House for a beer." --David Letterman

"President Obama -- and the guy's been hardworking. I mean, we don't know if he's getting anything done, but he's sure hardworking. ... And so, he's going on vacation. They're going to be on Martha's Vineyard. They've rented a big beach house on Martha's Vineyard for the summer. I want to tell you something -- nothing says 'vacation' like two weeks on an island with your mother-in-law." --David Letterman

"Sarah Palin left office on Sunday. She's just not sitting around. A lot of people are thinking, 'Oh, what's she going to do?' Reality TV show! That's what she's got. 'Todd And Sarah Plus Eight.' Look out, look out." --David Letterman

"No longer governor of Alaska, so whenever she waves at Russia, nobody waves back." --David Letterman

"Thank you all for coming to my beer summit. I'm so happy. I read online today that, this morning, President Obama's approval rating has dropped to an all-time low of 48%. Or as George Bush calls it, 'kickin' ass.'" --Jimmy Fallon

"President Obama said today that Congress probably won't vote on his health care bill until October. Yeah, what's the rush, Congress? Take your time. It's not like there's some crazy flu epidemic out there or anything like that. Swine!" --Jimmy Fallon

"Yesterday, Nancy Pelosi accused insurance companies of deliberately trying to kill the health care bill. Pelosi was so angry that she started arranging her face into a scowl." --Jimmy Fallon

"President Obama's awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Stephen Hawking. Not for his work in physics; just for being the voice that inspired Kanye West" --Jimmy Fallon

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