Pulled Over

A Georgia State Trooper pulled a car over on I-95 about two miles south of the Georgia/South Carolina state line. 

When the Trooper asked the driver why he was speeding, the driver answered that he was a magician and a juggler and he was on his way to the next city to do a show that night and didn’t want to be late. 

The Trooper told the driver he was fascinated by juggling, and if the driver would do a little juggling for him that he wouldn’t give him a ticket. 

The driver told the Trooper that he had sent all of his equipment on ahead and didn’t have anything to juggle. 

The Trooper told him that he had some flares in the trunk of his patrol car and asked if he could juggle them. The juggler stated that he could, so the Trooper got three flares, lit them and handed them to the juggler. 

While the man was doing his juggling act, a car pulled in behind the patrol car. 

A drunk good old boy, from S.C., got out and watched the performance briefly. He then went over to the patrol car, opened the rear door and got in. The Trooper observed him doing this and went over to the patrol car, opened the door and asked the drunk what he thought he was doing. 

The drunk replied, “You might as well take my ass to jail, ’cause there’s no way in hell I can pass that test.”

Dusseldorf refugee camp burned down by migrants ‘for not receiving wake-up for Ramadan’

Welcome them with open arms! (OB)

A refugee camp in Germany was burned down by migrants amid claims they were angry they had not received a wake-up for Ramadan breakfast, it has been reported.

The large fire ripped through the centre – home to 280 refugees – completely levelling the hall in the western German city of Dusseldorf on Tuesday.

Emergency crews treated 25 people for smoke poisoning before police started an arson investigation amid claims a mattress had been sprayed with lighter fluid then torched.


Morning Briefing – The Telegraph

Good morning.

Tory Eurosceptics have been increasingly annoyed by the gusto with which David Cameron and George Osborne have campaigned for Britain to stay in the EU, and now Margaret Thatcher’s defence secretary Sir John Nott has taken the step of suspending his membership of the Conservative party “until we have a change of leadership” due to their “frenetic” warnings about Brexit. Sir John told Peter Dominiczak that they were “alienating Conservatives”, and Harry Boparai, the Tory voter who challenged Cameron during Tuesday’s ITV debate over “uncontrolled migration”, has proved this by telling the Sun he will vote to Leave.  

William Hague is unlikely to have encouraged Sir John, who served as defence secretary during the Falklands War, yesterday after suggesting that Brexit could put the Falklands’ sovereignty at risk. Sir John previously admitted to voting Ukip in the European Elections in order to “put a bomb under” David Cameron’s leadership, so the fact he is suspending his membership for as long as Cameron remains in place suggests he has lost all confidence in him. The Prime Minister might be tempted to conclude he is just part of the cost of trying to win a referendum, as the Remain side now welcomes a new recruit – Dr Sarah Wollaston MP – from the Brexiteer ranks. Dr Wollaston, chair of the Health Select Committee, said she felt the Leave side’s claims about Brexit boosting the NHS were wrong, so Remainers will no doubt be keen to shout about her support for their side. The significance of her support for staying In was underlined by the furious reaction her decision got from Brexiteers, with one accusing her of being a “Remain plant” all along. 

Remainers have also wheeled out Sadiq Khan as their latest weapon, with the London Mayor assuming control of Labour’s campaign to keep the UK in the EU amid concerns that Jeremy Corbyn is not doing enough to win over voters. Khan is expected to warn his party today that it faces a “monumental and historic responsibility” to help Remain win, and his message will be heard by many according to YouGov’s latest poll, as it suggested he was the most trusted politician on the EU among voters in the capital. Archbishop of York John Sentamu has written in today’s paper setting out the moral case for voting to Remain, urging Britons to “continue to work and walk together” with their European partners. Allister Heath has set out the compassionate case for Leaving, urging Brexiteers to “ooze…kindness and hope”.

Eurosceptics are also up in arms about David Cameron’s decision to respond to a crash in the Government’s voter registration website – which stopped tens of thousands from registering – by extending the deadline to sign up to vote in the referendum by 48 hours.  Senior figures in the Vote Leave campaign were said to be left “seething” over the “cynical” attempt to maximise support for remaining in the EU by giving young people – who tend to lean towards Remain – more chance to register. Bernard Jenkin, chairman of the Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, warned that ministers were “on the cusp of legality”, while Arron Banks and Richard Tice of Leave.EU threatened to fund a judicial review of the decision. Europhiles have given them short shrift, with Education Secretary Nicky Morgan deriding Leavers on this as a “bunch of conspiracy theorists”.

Brexiteers may not endear themselves to voters by complaining about the extended opportunity they have to register, but they have a ready audience on the issue of immigration. Tory MP Anne Main has uncovered the full scale of how unprotected Britain’s borders are, with research showing European countries have hundreds more boats patrolling their coasts.  Meanwhile, Michael Gove has warned that EU passports are now on sale in Cyprus for as little as €4,000, increasing the risk of an Isil terror attack on the continent.

Today’s referendum campaign highlight will inevitably be ITV’s two-hour “3 v 3” debate tonight, when Boris Johnson will lead fellow Brexiteers Gisela Stuart and Andrea Leadsom into battle against Angela Eagle, Nicola Sturgeon and Amber Rudd. George Osborne has taken the risky step before it of popping up in Scotland to warn that Brexit trigger a “profound economic shock that would cost tens of thousands of jobs and hit house prices. His warnings have been dismissed previously as “overblown” by Sturgeon, so the Chancellor risks provoking the pro-EU First Minister yet again. This evening looks to be the first keynote clash between politicians on stage at the same time, so a lot could happen. Both sides will be hoping enough unsure and undecided voters tune in for the clash to make a difference. You can follow everything that happens today on our liveblog.


Why Islam is Violent

Islamic violence is nearly impossible to deny. But why is Islam violent? The usual answer is to point to Koranic verses calling for the conquest and subjugation of non-Muslims. That certainly covers the theological basis for Islamic violence. But it fails to explain why Muslims continue to practice it. Even against each other. Violence has become the defining form of Islamic exceptionalism.

Optimists speak of reforming Islam. But such reforms had over a thousand years in which to take place.

Islam is an ideology. Its violence is a strategy. That strategy fit the needs of Mohammed. Mohammed chose to use force to spread his ideology. He needed to recruit fighters so he preached the inferiority of non-Muslims, the obligation for Muslims to conquer non-Muslims and the right of his fighters to seize the property and wives of non-Muslims as incentive for them to join his fight. Furthermore he even promised them that if they should fall in battle, they would receive loot and women in paradise.

The strategy was barbarous, but quite effective. Mohammed had created a new super-tribe in a tribal society. The tribe of Islam united different groups in a mission of conquest. The Islamic religion allowed the varying clans to be more effective and ambitious than their victims. Within a surprisingly short amount of time the chain of conquests made Islam into a world religion. The most effective Islamic conquerors could not only claim vast territories, carving up civilization into fiefdoms, but they could prepare their sons and grandsons to continue the chain of conquests.


Turkey: “We Need a Religious Constitution”

The Speaker of the Parliament is no ordinary office in Turkey. The speaker comes second in the state protocol only after the president (and even before the prime minister). Such is the seat occupied since November by Ismail Kahraman, an MP from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Along with Erdogan, former president Abdullah Gul and eight AKP heavyweights (mostly cabinet ministers) Kahraman comes from the ranks of the National Turkish Student Union (MTTB in its Turkish acronym). Another MTTB bigwig, Huseyin Velioglu, later formed what became the militant Islamist group, “Turkish Hizbullah.” Especially between 1965 and 1980 when a military coup administration dissolved it, the MTTB operated as the youth organization of Turkish political Islam. Kahraman, in late 1960s and early 1970s, was MTTB’s president.

In 1969 Kahraman publicly campaigned against funeral services to be held for Imran Oktem, then president of the Court of Appeals and a well-known anti-Islamist judge. When, finally, a mufti agreed to have the service, MTTB militants attacked the funeral.

Also in 1969, MTTB members attacked a left-wing protest rally and stabbed two students to death.


Trump and Democratic Political Incorrectness

Remember the time a presidential candidate suggested that Gandhi used to run “a gas station down in St. Louis.” No it wasn’t Trump. That was Hillary Clinton. Had Trump said it, we would still be hearing about it. But since Hillary Clinton was responsible for it, it went down the memory hole.

Along with her more recent “Colored People Time” gag.

And who can forget the time that Trump said, “You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent.”But that wasn’t Trump. It was actually Vice President Joe Biden.

But still it was indisputably offensive when Trump told the Asian Chamber of Commerce, “I don’t think you’re smarter than anybody else, but you’ve convinced a lot of us you are.”

Then he followed that up by joking, “One problem that I’ve had today is keeping my Wongs straight.”

You would have to be ridiculously politically incorrect or an outright buffoon to say something like that to the Asian Chamber of Commerce. And this is exactly why Trump is… but wait, those lines actually came from Democratic Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid.


Reading the Qur’an during Ramadan 4: Juz Lantanalu al-Birra

Allah asserts that Jewish dietary laws were invented by the Jews (or Jacob — Israel — himself, 3:93-4), and in 3:95 calls the Jews to reject what Maududi calls “hair-splitting legalism” and return to the true monotheism of Abraham — i.e., Islam.

Allah says that the shrine at Mecca (Bakkah) was the world’s first house of worship (3:96). It was built, says Ibn Kathir, by Abraham, “whose religion the Jews and Christians claim they follow. However, they do not perform Hajj [Pilgrimage] to the house that Ibrahim built by Allah’s command, and to which he invited the people to perform Hajj.” The People of the Book “disbelieve in the verses of Allah” (3:98) and try to obstruct others on the path of Allah (3:99). If Muslims listen to these Jews and Christians who reject Islam, they will become apostates (3:100). On the Day of Judgment, the faces of the blessed will be white, and those of the damned will be black (3:106).

On earth, meanwhile, the Muslims are “the best nation produced,” while most Jews and Christians are “defiantly disobedient” (v. 110). However, the Muslims need not fear, for the Jews and Christians are also cowards: “And if they fight you, they will show you their backs” (v. 111). They are covered with shame — “except for a covenant from Allah and a rope from the Muslims” (v. 112). This, says Bulandshahri, refers to the non-Muslims’ agreeing “to pay the atonement (Jizya) to the Muslim state, in which case they will be accorded the rights of a Dhimmi.” These rights are not equal to the rights of Muslims: the dhimmis must accept subservience and second-class status (cf. 9:29) in exchange for a guarantee of protection — as long as they do not offend the Muslims.


Reading the Qur’an during Ramadan 3: Juz Tilka ar-Rusul

If Allah had willed, the nations would have believed the prophets he sent to earth, but this was not his will, although his reasons are left unexplained (2:253). It would have been interesting to know why he sent prophets while willing that they not be believed, but we’re not let in on the secret.

Then comes the Throne Verse (Ayat al-Kursi), 2:255. According to Islamic scholar Mahmoud Ayoub, this verse is “regarded by Muslims as one of the most excellent verses of the Qur’an. It has therefore played a very important role in Muslim piety.” The Prophet of Islam, Muhammad, is said to have agreed with a claim that this verse is so powerful that “whenever you go to your bed, recite the Verse of ‘Al-Kursi’ (2.255) for then a guardian from Allah will be guarding you, and Satan will not approach you till dawn” and with another about its being the “greatest verse in the Book of Allah.”

Qurtubi reports that “when the Throne Verse was revealed, every idol and king in the world fell prostrate and the crowns of kings fell off their heads,” and recounts a saying by Muhammad in which Allah tells Moses of the many blessings that people will receive if they recite the Throne Verse — another manifestation of the assumption that the People of the Book had at least some of the contents of the Qur’an, but perversely effaced them from their own Scriptures.


Hugh Fitzgerald: You Don’t Have To Be Muslim To Love Ramadan

Why is it that Western politicians, including Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and David Cameron, think they must send out messages of such heartfelt solidarity to the world’s Muslims on Ramadan? Of course they send out messages as well for Diwali (Hindus and Buddhists), Passover (Jews), Christmas and Easter (Christians), but not with the suggestion that this or that religious holiday is somehow meant to include all of us as well-wishers, when some of us only wish to be counted out, or – equally disturbing – to sing the praises of a religious observance that is insufficiently understood.

Why does Ramadan appear to get special treatment? And why do these politicians presume to speak for us, as when Hillary Clinton sends a brief message that starts “As we begin Ramadan,” with that “we” implicating non-Muslims in what is, after all, a religious observance for Muslims only. That “we” is properly a “they.” Why did she not write, more accurately because less inclusively: “As Ramadan begins, I wish all Muslims….”or “As Ramadan begins for Muslims, I wish them…,” thus being polite, but no longer implying that “we” all share in Ramadan?

David Cameron offered an especially treacly and “inclusive” Ramadan greeting this year, and the very first sentence of his message to Muslims everywhere insists on implicating all of us in what should only be their epithet:

It’s the holy month of Ramadan…