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City of Brass

I’m watching Obama cast his vote at a school in Chicago live on TV right now. It’s taking him forever – how long does it take to mark the “straight democratic ticket” ? 🙂

I think it’s wonderful Obama has taken his girls with him while he votes. My own daughter is 6 years old and I took her with me to the primary, and also when I filed my early vote a few days ago in the general. It’s important to show kids the basic mechanics of Democracy in action, and it certainly has made her more enthusiastic (she told my dentist yesterday, “I’ll be so glad when this election is over!”). I think my daughter will remember this election for the rest of her life, and certainly so too will Obama’s daughters. Watching your parents debate, discuss the issues, and then cast their vote is the best civics lesson you can have about democracy.

Ah, Obama just finished voting. It took him about 15 minutes! He received a standing ovation from those present.

UPDATE: Obama comments on his vote:

“I feel great and it was fun, I had a chance to vote with my daughters… I feel really good.

“You know I’m sure I will tonight – that’s when polls close. The journey ends but voting with my daughters, that was a big deal. I noitced that Michelle took a long time though. I had to check to see who she was voting for.”


Heh.

UPDATE 2 – video from Associated Press:

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obsession_cover.jpgAs I noted in my statement on free speech, the best answer to bad speech is not to restrict speech, but more speech. In other words, refute it, don’t silence it. This is why in my coverage of the Obsession DVD I have never suggested that there should be some means of regulating or banning such blatantly racist propaganda, as there are in Europe, where hate speech laws are common.

As it happens, there is a Jewish group devoted to First Amendment issues called Jews on First, who embody this ideal of more speech, not less: Jews on First. And they’ve produced a comprehensive rebuttal and refutation of Obsession that completely dismantles the arguments therein and reveals it to be no less than a slander against all muslims and the entirety of the Islamic faith, despite the producers’ lame disclaimer otherwise in the opening segment. They’ve even distilled the rebuttal down to a 13-slide presentation.

This is a fantastic resource and I encourage everyone to share the link with others.

Incidentally, if anyone has a copy of the DVD, I’d really like to borrow/steal it from you. Please let me know in comments if you’ve a copy you can part with!

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Here’s your chance to chime in and share who you voted for (or will vote for tomorrow), and why. What were the issues that mattered most to you? Take Beliefnet’s exit poll and tell the world! And let’s see how well we can forecast the results tomorrow…

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Believe me, the title of this post is mild praise compared to what these subhuman animals deserve:

An Islamist rebel administration in Somalia had a 13-year-old girl stoned to death for adultery after the child’s father reported that three men had raped her.

Amnesty International said the al-Shabab militia, which controls the southern port city of Kismayo, arranged for a group of 50 men to stone Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow in front of a crowd of about 1,000 spectators. A lorryload of stones was brought to the stadium for the killing.

Amnesty said that Duhulow struggled with her captors and had to be forcibly carried into the stadium.

“At one point during the stoning, Amnesty International has been told by numerous eyewitnesses that nurses were instructed to check whether Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow was still alive when buried in the ground. They removed her from the ground, declared that she was, and she was replaced in the hole where she had been buried for the stoning to continue,” the human rights group said.

This is the kind of thing that leaves me shaking with fury. This isn’t about religion, or politics, or anything more complicated than simple barbarism, raw and naked in its primal expression. It’s a cancer that deserves to be stamped from this earth. It is hirabah, and they are muharib.

The one infinitesimal sliver of a silver lining to this story is a tragedy in and of itself:

“Inside the stadium, militia members opened fire when some of the witnesses to the killing attempted to save her life, and shot dead a boy who was a bystander.”

In other words, even in a stadium full of bloodthirsty orcs, there were some mensch, who were willing to risk their lives to prevent the atrocity unfolding in front of them. Allah have mercy on their souls – and take the measure of all those present, who did nothing, on Judgement Day, accordingly.  

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