Monday, October 31, 2011

Next Mormon Migration, You Cain't Do That...

Ruth Marcus
Paul Krugman

David Letterman's "Top Ten Things Overheard At Moammar Gadhafi's Funeral"

10. 'Honestly, how the heck did he spell his name?'
9. 'It's a shame he didn't live long enough to promote himself above colonel'
8. 'Is it too soon to hit on the Ukrainian nurse?'
7. 'After the services, come back to the house for cake'
6. 'Where's his hot daughter Kim?'
5. 'And now, a few words from Moammar's closest friend, Loni Anderson'
4. 'At least he died doing what he loved best — begging for mercy in a storm drain'
3. 'Incoming!'
2. 'Nice of Leno to send flowers'
1. 'Let's bury this guy'

Last week the head of the rebel group setting up a new government in Libya made a statement that pissed off his female audience, according to the NY Times: "In announcing the success of the Libyan revolution and calling for a new, more pious nation, the head of the interim government, Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, also seemed to clear the way for unrestricted polygamy in a Muslim country where it has been limited and rare for decades.

It looked like a sizable step backward for women at a moment when much here — institutions, laws, social relations — is still in play after the end of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s 42 years of authoritarian rule.

In his speech, Mr. Abdel-Jalil declared that a Qaddafi-era law that placed restrictions on multiple marriages, which is a tenet of Islamic law, or Shariah, would be done away with. The law, which stated that a first wife had to give permission before others were added, for instance, had kept polygamy rare here.

“This law is contrary to Shariah and must be stopped,” Mr. Abdel-Jalil told the crowd, vowing that the new government would adhere more faithfully to Shariah. The next day he reiterated the point to reporters at a news conference: “Shariah allows polygamy,” he said. Mr. Abdel-Jalil is known for his piety."

Mr Abdel-Jalil may also be known for his insensitivity and his basic ignorance, the Herman Cain of Libya... Women have been fighting against the polygamy thing for the past 40 years in the Middle East, and traditionally men only have one wife in Libya. Perhaps old Mustafa is having visions of himself as ruler, complete with harem and slaves. Has he sent out requests for Qaddafi's Swedish nurses to return?

The acceptance of old and out-dated laws shows the problems that will have to be debated in countries like Libya, Tunisia, and Egypt, as they try to balance old, old, old conservative views with more lenient modern ones while writing new constitutions for their countries. The response among women at Tripoli University was overwhelmingly negative: "“To follow Islamic rules is a good thing. To have many wives is not a good thing,” said a 24-year-old biology student, Awatif Alhjagi. “I’m worried. People that did not have that right before may now get four wives,” she said. “Because he talked about it, they probably will do it now.”

There was disquiet that Mr. Abdel-Jalil had zeroed in on the marriage issue in a relatively brief speech. Unprompted, the young women circulating in a university courtyard angrily brought up his comments.

“All the girls are mad that he said that,” said Bushra ben Omran, a 20-year-old English student. “I don’t want to marry somebody who is already married.”

“He should not have said this in his speech,” Ms. Omran added. “He didn’t focus on all the injured people” from the revolution, she said. “I didn’t expect this.”

Rehab Zehany, 20, who said Mr. Abdel-Jalil was merely following the dictates of the Koran, added, when asked if she would accept her husband taking a second wife: “Of course not! I would kill him!”

The response in America was immediate: Mit Romney and John Huntsman announced that they might have to withdraw their presidential candidacies so they could lead their people to the next promised land. Conveniently, someone found some gold tablets buried in Indiana that predicted this would happen: their book of Mormon was trance written by an angel named Moroni, Libya was ruled for 40 years by a Moron; the coincidences are too close to be interpreted any other way... It looks like polygamy is the new "in" fad to practice, officially endorsed by every fugitive follower of Warren Jeff, and now old men who dye the color of their beards in Libya. wouldn't it just be cheaper to buy them some Viagra and send them home???

No He Cain't! 

The latest screw-up by the Herman Cain campaign was in response to two women who said that while Herman was CEO of Godfather's Pizza, they were paid a settlement fee on a claim that he sexually harassed them...

At first, Herman claimed that there never were any accusations to Fox News: "During an earlier appearance at the American Enterprise Institute, Mr. Cain declined to address questions about the harassment allegations. But during the appearance on Fox, Mr. Cain for the first time confirmed that he had been the subject of the accusations. In the Fox interview, he did not talk in detail about the allegations against him, but called them “totally false.”

Then, a few hours later, he went on the attack: "Herman Cain called the accusations of sexual harassment against him “a witch hunt” and said he had been falsely accused while the head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s. “It was concluded after a thorough investigation that it had no basis,” Mr. Cain said to questions by Mark Hamrick, the president of the press club after Politico first reported on the allegations. “I am unaware of any settlement. I hope it wasn’t for much, because I didn’t do anything.”

In the press club remarks, Mr. Cain said that he had “recused myself” during the investigation into the charges made by the women. He derided the report in Politico as being based on “anonymous sources.”

“We are not going to chase anonymous sources, when there are no basis for the accusation,” Mr. Cain said. “I have never sexually harassed anyone and those accusations are totally false.”

In her column, linked above, Ruth Marcus talks how Mr Cain's campaign staff should have uncovered this news tidbit, so they would have a better excuse if it ever came up. It's standard operating procedure to leave no stone unturned about your candidate...

But what bothers me is the anger that Herman barely conceals whenever he is confronted, challenged, or asked to explain his views. It is a sign of an ego that won't allow a person to listen, and anger is not the first response I want in a President.

Barack Obama was elected because he was seen as an even-handed response to a hot- headed administration that was all Dick Cheney's way or the highway. It was refreshing to find someone willing to think a situation through before responding to it... Of course, now Obama is being criticized for always doing just that, and we fickle viewers of the national scene want more spectacle and drama from our politicians. On that, Herman delivers...

1 comment:

  1. Maybe America needs someone who just does not keep his reactions and emotions bottled up. We have tried to use a more subtle approach but it didn't work but just made matters worst. Maybe Herman Cain and his 999 tax plan are what we need (view some details of the tax plan from here


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