Sunday, May 31, 2009

Saudis block American woman's blog in kingdom

"Susie of Arabia," an American woman married to a Saudi, blogs about life in the desert kingdom. Of course, despite it's royal wrappings, Saudi Arabia is a brutal dictatorship. For instance, a few years ago the US State Department said that there is no freedom of religion there, and Muslim reformer Irshad Manji remarked in a lecture I attended that like automobiles, women are merely property in that country.

Susie keeps her spirits while residing in the Wahhabi nation, and her blog is to me, only mildly critical of such quaint Saudi traditions as prohibiting women from driving cars. She admonishes Saudi drivers--they're all men of course, which makes me wonder if the wrong gender is banned from getting behind the wheel there.

Last week Susie discovered that Saudi censors have blocked her blog from being viewed in the kingdom, although readers elsewhere can still see it.

From her most recent post:

I had an epiphany one day when I realized that maybe I was painting too rosy of a picture about life here. Maybe I was glossing over and ignoring the rough spots, the issues that Saudi Arabia would rather sweep under the rug and pretend don't exist.

Be safe, Susie.

UPDATE June 2: Susie's blog has been unblocked in Saudi Arabia.

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Will "rage" defeat Illinois income tax hike?

As we all know, when you make an ASS of U and ME.

While legislators in Springfield are trying to foist a massive income tax hike on already overtaxed Illinoisans--Cook County residents like myself already pay the nation's highest sales tax--former Republican state representative Cal Skinner's sharp eye caught this bizarre quote from Rep. Art Turner (D-Chicago):

"We're looking for courage. We're close. We've got it spelled C-O-U-R, but we're looking for the rest of it."

Skinner notes that RAGE is part of cou-rage. Turner is alluding that the legislators who don't want to raise taxes lake courage.

But if that tax increase passes, even if it's "temporary," General Assembly members will have to deal with RAGE.

Illinois' finances are a disaster, but the Rod Blagojevich enablers who let this happen are to blame. The Dems have controlled both chambers in Springfield since 2003, the same year Blago was sworn in.

The spring session of the Illinois General Assembly ends in three hours.

There is a way to balance the budget without raising taxes, the Illinois Policy Institute has a plan.
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Late term abortionist George Tiller shot to death, suspect arrested

George Tiller, the late, late term abortionist, was shot to death in Wichita this morning while serving as a church usher.

Opponents of Tiller, and he had many, often referred to him as "Tiller the Baby Killer."

The Wichita Eagle reports that a suspect has been arrested in Johnson County, Kansas, which is near Kansas City.

Tiller was shot in 1993, and his clinic was bombed in 1986.

Earlier this year, Dr. Tiller was acquitted in a trial where was accused of violating Kansas' late term abortion law. The charges centered on whether Tiller had an independent doctor offer a second opinion about on the abortion.

Tiller was a frequent target of scorn on Bill O'Reilly's "The O'Reilly Factor."

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Illinois' Obama campaign signs rank #3 on Hannity's Waste 101 list

Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity and his staff inspected Barack Obama and the Democrats stimulus and omnibus bills, and came up with its Waste 101 list--which was broadcast Friday night.

Coming in at #3 was what I call the "Obama campaign signs in Illinois.

Here's one of them--which you can find on Cicero Avenue in Lincolnwood.

Related posts:

Obama stimulus campaign sign in LaSalle, Illinois
Obama signs, Obama signs, everywhere Obama signs
Lincolnwood's Obama stimulus "campaign sign"
Sen. Coburn to propose amendment to ban Obama stimulus "campaign" signs
This stimulus project has been brought to you by the perpetual Obama campaign

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Illinois Senate passes "temporary" income tax hike

"Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program."
Milton Friedman

And Illinois may have a "temporary" income tax hike. Last night the Illinois Senate, with no Republican support, voted to temporarily raise the state income tax by 2 percentage points--a 67 percent jump. The bill states that the corporate sales tax rate will go up by 0.2 percent. And for the first time, services such as dry cleaning and oil changes will be taxed.

The bill now heads to the state House.

What ever "temporary" tax emerges from the General Assembly, Gov. Pat Quinn is expected to sign it.

A few Democrats voted no, and one, following Barack Obama's example, voted present, my state senator, Ira Silverstein of Chicago.

Related posts:

Illinois' tax problem

Chicago has nation's highest gasoline prices

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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Ted Rall calls for Obama's resignation

One of the angriest of the angry left, Ted Rall, creator of that hateful cartoon about Pat Tillman, is calling for Barack Obama to resign.

Some stuff is too weird to make up.

Believe it or not, he makes a couple of good points. Rall is right about Obama and Turkey, for instance.

We expected broken promises. But the gap between the soaring expectations that accompanied Barack Obama’s inauguration and his wretched performance is the broadest such chasm in recent historical memory. This guy makes Bill Clinton look like a paragon of integrity and follow-through.

From health care to torture to the economy to war, Obama has reneged on pledges real and implied. So timid and so owned is he that he trembles in fear of offending, of all things, the government of Turkey. Obama has officially reneged on his campaign promise to acknowledge the Armenian genocide. When a president doesn't have the nerve to annoy the Turks, why does he bother to show up for work in the morning?

Obama is useless. Worse than that, he's dangerous. Which is why, if he has any patriotism left after the thousands of meetings he has sat through with corporate contributors, blood-sucking lobbyists and corrupt politicians, he ought to step down now — before he drags us further into the abyss.

I refer here to Obama's plan for "preventive detentions." If a cop or other government official thinks you might want to commit a crime someday, you could be held in "prolonged detention." Reports in U.S. state-controlled media imply that Obama's shocking new policy would only apply to Islamic terrorists (or, in this case, wannabe Islamic terrorists, and also kinda-sorta-maybe-thinking-about-terrorism dudes). As if that made it OK.

He later muses, "Obama is cute. He is charming. But there is something rotten inside him."

Related post:

Sean Hannity and Ted Rall argue over Rall's 2004 Pat Tillman cartoon

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