These are all the Blogs posted on Saturday, 10, 2011.
Saturday, 10 September 2011
Mortality tables turning?
An actuary, so the story goes, is someone who finds accountancy too exciting. And it is better to dance with an accountant, because he will look at your shoes, while an actuary will look at his own. Who could imagine, then, that insurance could be part of the counter-jihad? From the Pittsburgh Tribune Review (my favourite reading matter), with thanks to JW:
Saudi Arabia and several Saudi organizations and banks should cover the $215 million a group of insurers paid out in claims related to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, according to a federal lawsuit the group filed on Thursday in Johnstown.
Lloyd's Syndicate 3500, part of the company more commonly known as Lloyd's of London, filed the lawsuit in Western Pennsylvania because United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in Somerset County. The group of insurance underwriters also wanted the case heard in a court covered by the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, according to Stephen Cozen, a Philadelphia lawyer representing the underwriters.
They believe the Philadelphia-based circuit that hears appeals of Pennsylvania cases would be more sympathetic to the lawsuit than the 2nd Circuit, whose jurisdiction includes New York. The 2nd Circuit ruled in 2008 that Saudi Arabia was immune from a lawsuit brought against it by the families of the 9/11 victims in New York federal court.
Other circuits have ruled that American citizens can pursue terrorism-related claims against foreign governments, and the 3rd Circuit is likely to agree with their reasoning, Cozen said.
"U.S. citizens have the right to have their cases heard in U.S. courts," he said.
The lawsuit claims Saudi Arabia and the organizations knowingly provided material support and resources to al-Qaida in the years preceding the 9/11 attacks.
The defendants include the Saudi High Commission for Relief of Bosnia & Herzegovina, Saudi Joint Relief Committee for Kosovo and Chechnya, Saudi Red Crescent Society, the Saudi-based National Commerce Bank, Al Rajhi Banking and Investment Co. and three Saudi citizens connected to the organizations.
"Absent the sponsorship of al-Qaida's material sponsors and supporters, including the defendants named herein, al-Qaida would not have possessed the capacity to conceive, plan and execute the September 11th attacks," the lawsuit states.
A spokesman for the Saudi Embassy in Washington could not be reached for comment.
Cozen said the group filed the lawsuit yesterday -- three days before the 10th anniversary of the attacks -- because it had to wait until a lawsuit that 9/11 victims filed against the companies it insures was concluded. The New York judge in that case barred the insurers from adding terrorism groups and terrorist sponsors as third-party defendants who could have been held liable for paying claims to the people suing airlines and security companies, he said.
Those claims added up to more than $215 million, the attorney said.
"We now have the right to pursue the recovery of that money," Cozen said. He said he is confident that his clients could collect damages from Saudi Arabia if they win the lawsuit.
$215 million is a drop in the ocean - or a grain of sand in the desert - when you consider what Dar al Islam owes the West. Aid squandered or turned against us, vast unearned oil money, and huge sums spent in Western lands on security, to say nothing of welfare benefits. It's a start though, and there is something pleasing about an insurance company going where politicians fear to tread.
Incidentally, while we're in the numbers game, Lloyds has around 34,000 names, while Allah has but 99.
This video, currently causing a stink on Twitter, rather confirms what draws many young middle-class liberals towards anti-English Defence League campaigning: it provides them with a semi-legit cover for expressing their fear and loathing of the white working classes.
The incident is part of the attack on the homeward bound EDL coach; she seems to have fallen/been dragged out of the coach when the emergency door, which on such coaches is in the stairwell leading to the on coach toilet, unexpectedly opened. At this point her personal views, or views she may have held in the past are irrelevant. All that anyone can have known of her when they started to beat her was that she was a lone Englishwoman, and thus a very easy victim.
In the video, two well-bred kids say things about working-class EDL supporters that could have been lifted straight from the pages of John Carey's The Intellectuals and the Masses, that exposé of early twentieth-century snobs' disdain for vulgar little people. The anti-EDL campaigners describe a female supporter of the EDL as "the most tattooed, horrible scrote of a woman" they have ever seen and then laugh as they talk about how she was "kicked up the arse" by a left-wing protester. It's not normally okay to hit women, they admit, but you can make an exception when it comes to female EDL supporters because "they aren't women – they're dogs". "You don't hit a woman but you do kick a dog", is how they end.
The video has proved enormously embarrassing for Left-wing campaigners against the EDL, who are desperately trying to distance themselves from the naked class hatred expressed by these two twits. Yet the fact is that a great deal of anti-EDL protesting is driven by a barely disguised hatred for that apparently ugly, uncouth, un-PC blob of white flesh that inhabits inner-city council estates. I have been saying this since the very beginning.
It's hard to avoid the conclusion that this is moralistic disdain for Certain People dolled up to look like a principled political campaign. Read any article about the EDL and you'll be left with the distinct impression of the white working classes as whiffy and racist, always a "mob" rather than marchers, always a "rabble" rather than a collective. . . clear why Leftists have leapt upon this small political grouping and blown its threat out of all proportion – because campaigning against the EDL provides them with a PC platform from which to express their disappointment and/or disgust with the white masses.
An Albanian man living in New York City was charged with attempting to travel to Pakistan and join up with a radical jihadist fighting group with the goal of martyring himself.
Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn said they arrested Agron Hasbajrami, 27, on Tuesday at New York's John F. Kennedy airport as he prepared to board a flight to Turkey, where he intended to join up with other members of the group, which was unnamed in the indictment.
Hasbajrami arrived in court Friday afternoon for his arraignment wearing a Puma t-shirt and gray jeans. During a brief hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Lois Bloom, he entered a plea of not guilty.
During the hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth DuCharme said the evidence gathered so far against Hasbajrami - including emails from several different accounts sent to Hasbajrami's contact with the fighting group - indicate 'his desire to support violent jihad.'According to a filing from the government, Hasbajrami planned to travel to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan to join a jihadist fighting group that he knew had killed American troops.
He exchanged emails with a contact, saying he wished to travel overseas to 'marry with the girls in paradise,' which prosecutors said was code to describe his intent to die as a martyr. Prosecutors said Hasbajrami sent more than $1,000 to Pakistan to support his contact's efforts.
According to law enforcement officials, a search of Hasbajrami's residence in Brooklyn turned up a note reading, 'do not wait for invasion, the time is martyrdom time.'
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) chose to publish an op-ed by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf of the Cordoba Initiative entitled "A Call to All Religious Moderates." The sub-heading for his WSJ op ed was “building a global coalition will not be easy. Moderation is a dangerous place to be.” We have drawn attention to Imam Rauf’s project to build an imposing 13 story mosque, posing as an interfaith cultural center at 51 Park Place, near the hallowed Ground Zero of the 9/11 Islamic terrorist attack.
The attacks were “a reaction against the U.S. government politically, where we espouse principles of democracy and human rights, [yet] … ally ourselves with oppressive regimes in many of these countries. … [U.S.] policies were an accessory to the crime that happened."
Not the crimes Muslims committed: “the crime that happened.” He continued:
In … the most direct sense, Osama bin Laden was made in the USA (28).
David Beamer, father of Flight 93 hero, David, took the prospect of Imam Rauf’s Ground Zero Mosque project to task in our interview with him published in the September NER. Note Beamer’s response:
Gordon: Why have you opposed the construction of the 51 Park Place Ground Zero Mosque in lower Manhattan?
Beamer: The notion that we should somehow welcome with open cooperative arms our enemy and allow them to construct a victory symbol, which they see as an absolute victory, namely the destruction of thousands of Americans in the middle of one of our great cities, is to me unconscionable. The notion that it’s a center for interfaith outreach and communication is just another Islamic lie. It clearly is indicative of our Islamic enemy to foster deceit, to lie and to play to our general feelings of liberty and tolerance. Interfaith outreach is an oxymoron when it comes to the goals and objective of Islam. There is no such thing. The bumper stickers that I see some naive Americans sporting on their cars, “coexist with every religious symbol known to man,” do not understand something. Coexistence is an anathema to the ultimate goals of Islam which is to dominate planet earth.
Now let’s look at a key excerpt from Imam Rauf’s WSJ Op ed to see how he responds to Beamer’s criticism:
But the fact of true adherence to Islam at its essence is as peaceful as true adherence to Christianity. The Holy Quran says that whoever kills an innocent, it is as if he has killed all mankind. True adherence to Islam would end terrorist attacks not just against civilians in the West but also among Muslim groups that still are blowing each other up in Iraq and Afghanistan.
At some point, we must recognize that the real battlefield in the world is not between Muslims and non-Muslims but between extremists of any stripe and the anti-extremists of all faiths.
We hear very little about the underlying fundamentals of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. These are three faiths based on the Abrahamic principle that the purpose of humankind is to praise God and to help each other. The tenets of each religion provide common ground to work out the underlying issues of power and control that actually are at the root of conflict.
Moderate people in the west and the Muslim world understand this. But too often, especially in this time of indiscriminate communication, the moderates have let themselves be hijacked by extremists.
Now, read what Harold B. Reisman, a PhD in bio-chemistry and a fellow Columbia University alumnus, as is, ironically, Imam Rauf wrote in a letter to the WSJ:
Imam Rauf performs the usual editing of Sura 5:32 when he writes that the Qu'ran "says that whoever kills an innocent, it is as if he killed all mankind." (Sept 9). It is always best to go to the foundational text. The Sura reads: " For that cause WE decreed for the children of Israel that whoever killeth a human bring for other than manslaughter or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind, and who saveth the life of one, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind, and who saveth the life of one, it shall be as if he has saved the life of all mankind." (Italics added) What is "corruption in the earth"? It refers to those who do not follow the eternal, perfect and unalterable words of Allah through the final prophet Muhammad. The dar al-harb (the world of war) is the realm of non-believers or corrupters. The editorial deletion by Imam Rauf is purposeful, as he knows, is impermissible except when spreading da'wa (or peaceful spread of Islam followed by Jihad should that be insufficient)."
What Beamer and Reisman have done is expose the reality behind the Da’wa spin of Imam Rauf and others, Muslim and not, who cultivate the objective of peaceful co-existence among the world’s major faiths. This is a valued service on the occasion of this tenth anniversary of 9/11. Let’s see if the WSJ publishes Reisman’s cogent comment to Rauf’s op-ed. If it does, then perhaps Beamer would be among the first to commend them for doing so. Let us see if that eventuates.
Converting between cat years and human years isn't as simple as using a factor of 7 (as some people erroneously think with dogs, and sometimes cats). The main reason is that cats mature quickly in the first couple of years of life. To convert cat age to an equivalent human age, an accepted method is to add 15 years for the first year of life. Then add 10 years for the second year of life. After that, add 4 years for every cat year. This means that by year two, a cat has matured to about the same as a 25 year old human.
So it isn't terribly complex, but you would have to do some figuring on paper or in your head. That's where this cat years calculator comes in handy.
I had hoped to watch the US Open Tennis championship today (9/10 Saturday) featuring Robert Federer and Novak Djokovic to take my mind off “current events.” It didn’t last long as the commentators reminded the audience of a heightened terror alert and rumors of planned car bomb attacks on the anniversary of 9/11 so I turned off the sound. That didn’t help for more than a minute as I began to read the ‘Breaking News” tape at the bottom of the screen that a frenzied mob had demolished the Israeli embassy in Cairo while Egyptian police idly stood by. The screen news item reported that the mob was screaming in favor of tearing up the Israel-Egyptian peace treaty by which they had the entire Sinai Peninsula down to the last millimeter and its oil wealth returned to them.
At that time, Egyptian and other Arab poets wrote paeans of praise to their great heroic immortal and unforgettable leader Anwar Sadat for restoring their pride – the same man they later murdered and whose successor is now a wounded animal in a cage.