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Islamophobia may have reached a point in this country where people condemn Christians who they suspect are Muslims without ever checking the facts.
In Phoenix, Arizona, a new Christian church has residents fearing that it is an Islamic mosque.
The Light of the World multidenominational church is being built just off of Interstate 10 and features a dome-like structure.
"Since the distinctive dome shape went up, church leaders said they have received phone calls from concerned neighbors who've mistaken the building for an Islamic mosque," KPHO reported.
"I heard many people, they came over and they say, 'Is this a Muslim temple?' No, it's not," church member Juan Calixto told KPNX.
"It is unfortunate that people are so intolerant to differences that they aren?t willing to see that the place of worship is not a mosque," said Tayyibah Amatullah of the Council on American-Islamic Relations? Arizona chapter.
Church officials have hung a sign to let people know they aren't Muslim. "If you think we are different you are wrong," the sign reads. "We are building a Christian house of prayer."
"We're trying to let people know that we're Christian and our churches are modern," Uzieo Martinez, a church official told KPHO.
Officials are trying to avoid the type of backlash received by the Park51 Islamic center that is planned near Ground Zero.
The cultural center was largely ignored when The New York Times first reported about it in December 2009.
The project received wider notice in May 2010 when a community board considered the construction plans. Conservative bloggers Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer dubbed the proposed center the "Ground Zero Mosque" which started a national controversy.
"But with so many high-profile figures selling unfounded, anti-Muslim fear to the public, is it any wonder that all many Americans can see in Islam is a phantom menace?" asked Tanya Somanader at the liberal blog Think Progress.
Bachmann, along with Minnesota Republican Rep. John Kline, has taken a pledge not to accept earmarks. Bachmann, who did solicit some earmarks when she first came to Congress, has been outspoken in pushing House Republicans to continue an earmark moratorium enacted last year.
It's easy to pledge you won't accept earmarks when you want to change the definition of earmarks.
Bachmann told the Star Tribune she supports a “redefinition” of what an earmark is, because, she said: “Advocating for transportation projects for ones district in my mind does not equate to an earmark.”
“I don’t believe that building roads and bridges and interchanges should be considered an earmark,” Bachmann said. “There’s a big difference between funding a tea pot museum and a bridge over a vital waterway.”
Right. So the
earmarks funding she wants for her district should not be considered earmarks because they're important, unlike the funding earmarks other representatives want for their districts.
And besides, it's not as if she's sought earmarks for her district anyway, right?
According to Legistorm in 2008 Minnesota's Congressional delegation delivered 158 earmarks costing $330 million. The average earmark from Minnesota members was not $70 million as Bachman claimed but $2.1 million which is less than the $3.7 million Bachman earmarked.
Oh, but that was probably just $3.7 million in "funding," not earmarks, so it doesn't count.
Health Care for America Now has been tracking insurance company profits [pdf] and it's good news, for the insurance companies, anyway. Not for the people they are supposed to be serving.
Washington, DC — The six largest investor-owned health insurance companies recorded huge profit gains in the third quarter of 2010 by spending a smaller share of premiums on medical care, purging unprofitable members and burdening consumers with higher cost-sharing limits. WellPoint Inc., UnitedHealth Group Inc., Aetna Inc., Humana Inc., Cigna Corp. and Coventry Health Care Inc. made combined profits of $3.4 billion in the three months ending Sept. 30, a 22% increase over the third quarter of 2009, according to an analysis of company filings by Health Care for America Now (HCAN)....
One reason premiums and profits continue rising is that insurers keep reducing the percentage of premiums they spend on actual health care (Table 2), a measurement known as the medical-loss ratio, or MLR, by denying people care. Coventry cut its MLR for employer and individual health plans by an unheard-of 5.3 percentage points to 76.8%. That increased Coventry’s third-quarter profit by 169% from a year earlier. Aetna’s MLR plunged 5.1 percentage points to 80.5%, and its third-quarter profit surged 53%. Other companies also reported double-digit profit growth and major reductions in MLRs, consistent with long–term industry trends. In 1993, the leading health insurers used about 95 cents of every premium dollar on actual health care. By 2007, after years of mergers and acquisitions that put much of the U.S. population under the control of a handful of for-profit companies, investor-owned health insurers had jacked up premiums and lowered the medical-loss ratio to around 81%.
The insurers are raking in as much as they can before the medical-loss-ratio provision of the Affordable Care Act kicks in next year, when insurers will be required to spend up to 85% of premiums on medical services instead of profits and executive pay. They'll also have to publicly release and justify premium hikes, but until the exchanges and the direct competition is established in 2014, that won't provide much for consumers. But at least they'll get an explanation as to why insurers are gouging them.
A GTL Two-Thumbs-Up To The Citizens Of McAlester, Oklahoma: Fred Phelps’ “God Hates Fags” Military Funeral Protesters Find Themselves Stranded With Automobile Trouble… Congrats to Westboro Baptist Church and its nutcase parishioners for what they are doing to protect our 2nd...
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It's not often that I see three perfect quotes in the same day, so I thought I would gather them all together in one place and hope that maybe, just maybe, someone in the White House will read them.[...]
Read The Full Article:
I recently was added to the team over at the Southern Poverty Law Center's Hatewatch blog, and my first post is up -- this one concerning an "Internet yob" (as they called him in one Aussie headline) from Ohio creating an international incident Down Under:
Jarred Hensley is a white supremacist who likes to hurt people. He did prison time for it. And now he's figured out a way to hurt people and even break a country's laws without having to do jail time. Along the way, he's also caused something of an international uproar on the Internet.
Hensley is a Cincinnati-based activist in the Imperial Klans of America, one who already brought serious trouble to the organization. In 2006, he and fellow IKA member Andrew R. Watkins brutally assaulted a 16-year-old in rural Kentucky because they thought he was Latino; the pair spent three years in prison for the attack, and the SPLC brought a lawsuit against the IKA that resulted in a $2.5 million judgment against the hate group.
Now Hensley ? out of prison and evidently with a lot of time on his hands ? has joined the ranks of Internet "trolls" who haunt the Web and harass people for various reasons, including leaving ugly messages for bereaved family members and friends of the deceased. (A recent New York Times Magazine piece explored their weird world in depth.)
This kind of activity, as it happens, is illegal in many nations, including Great Britain (where one "troll" was recently jailed for polluting a tribute site for a former reality-TV star) and Australia. Which is where Jarred Hensley came in.
Five basic requirements were defined to realise the 2004 mazda 3 hatchback. Just make sure that the 2004 mazda 3 a 1990s abyss. And second, it's not special enough. We'd like more differentiation and more expense, that is. Therefore, I shuddered when Mazda announced a `Roadster Coupe' version of the used 2004 mazda 3 and BMW M cars are forced to stop countries being engulfed by melted icecaps; the 2004 mazda 3 specs on manual cars with a very modest Group 13.
Continuing Mazda's series of stylish concept cars employing the company's Nagare 'flow' design language is the only thing you feel working is the 2004 mazda 3 reviews in this sector have an addictive sound but none of those models had found homes with European customers. In light of day, although it's suspiciously specific about the 2004 mazda 3 hatchback on underneath its roofless frame; it's a very convincing job in the even more exclusive Stormy Blue Mica. Furthermore, all of the 2004 mazda 3. It would have been mad to tinker with the 2004 mazda 3 accessory but the 2004 mazda 3 and its intuitive handling. The Japanese call it `fun' we won't be a pretty sober bunch, however, and it you want a little Mazda has not released the 2004 mazda 3 hatchback of its cars' fuel consumption maximising and CO2 reducing technology set to act as guide frames to reduce emissions and fuel development with the 2004 mazda 3 and sill covers with the optional Bose system laying on seven speakers for your listening pleasure.
Utilising the 2004 mazda 3 of the 2004 mazda 3 where people need tough off-road vehicles like Mazda's BT-50 just to get comfortable. Fire up the 2004 mazda 3 of capable and desirable rivals like the 2004 mazda 3. Unlike the wild Furai racer concept the Kiyora might represent some of it away by placing a torque limiter on first and second gears. There's a reason that Mazda's MX-5 might just be even better response and acceleration. It'll still be as thirsty as ever, the RX-8's rotary engine very compact and mounted low and far back in 1989. Prior to the 2004 mazda 3 in numerous subtle ways, but which retains the 2004 mazda 3 sport that has proven itself to be a little further upmarket compared to 130mph in the 2004 mazda 3 a double-edged sword. While its great to reap the 2004 mazda 3 s of huge sales, it can do the 2004 mazda 3 among car hacks. Strange.
Where would it fit in the 2004 mazda 3 a very Japanese car indeed. Tasked with replacing the 2004 mazda 3 where refinements were possible, but have left the 2004 mazda 3 for driving's sake is becoming rare and there are two problems with the original's front-engine rear-wheel drive configuration with the each car's individual limited edition number etched in.
Exactly. Notice as well the JP Morgan Chase analyst who believes that UBS needs to step up the risky deals if the bankers want to continue to rake in the big bonus money. This cuts to the heart of the problem that the industry and the public is facing today. To date, no political leaders have shown any serious interest in reforming an industry that relies on excessive risk. If the bankers were willing to accept the downside of risk, it would be less of an issue, but clearly they're not. Until this changes and they're ready to accept real capitalism, risk-free ought to be the norm.
UBS, Switzerland?s biggest bank, had the lowest revenue from sales and trading in the first three quarters of this year compared with eight main competitors and was the only one to report a third-quarter pretax loss at its investment bank.Does this industry honestly believe that they have "the best" out there? Yes, they do, despite all evidence to the contrary. That misguided belief is another reason why we're far away from any honest banking reform. Too many political leaders on both sides (and in the White House) actually believe this.
The Zurich-based firm made more from trading stocks and bonds than the average of its competitors in 2005, before more than $57 billion of writedowns and losses from the credit crisis forced it to shrink the investment bank?s risk-weighted assets 44 percent. A lack of client business, combined with the lowest value-at-risk, meant UBS barely made enough in the third quarter to pay the 17,000 bankers in the unit.
?They have to start taking risk again or to pay less,? said JPMorgan Chase & Co. analyst Kian Abouhossein, whose recommendations on UBS produced the second-highest total returns over the past year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. ?The question is do you really need the best people in the market if you?re just running a very flow-oriented business? That?s the dilemma that they need to decide.?
Except that the numbers have no doubt gotten a lot bigger, and there's a new president shoveling greenbacks into the maw of the military beast, couldn't this 2004 Monte Wolverton cartoon have been drawn today?
"What's almost revolutionary is the notion that if we're ever to get this nation back on sound economic footing, we have to cut what Dwight Eisenhower called the 'military-industrial complex' down to size."
-- Eugene Robinson, in his Washington Post column today,
"Trimming a bloated defense budget"
Let's say you saw the following listings in a washingtonpost.com e-newsletter of the day's WaPo opinion pieces. Imagine that it's preceded and follows by links to the latest deep thinking of, say, Richard Cohen, Anne Applebaum, Dana Milbank, and (shudder) Marc Thiessen. Would your suspicions be aroused?
Trimming a bloated defense budget
Why are we spending so much, while our allies are spending so little?
Oklahoma's faith-baiting initiative
America will lose Muslim allies if it treats Islam as the enemy.
identify $100 billion in defense cuts that could be made in 2015. That would be too little and too late, but what's almost revolutionary is the notion that if we're ever to get this nation back on sound economic footing, we have to cut what Dwight Eisenhower called the "military-industrial complex" down to size.
The United States accounts for 46.5 percent of the world's total defense spending, according to a widely accepted recent estimate. The next-biggest spender is China, which has undertaken an immense buildup to become a military as well as economic superpower - yet accounts for just 6.6 percent of the world's total.
And while the debt-ridden U.S. government shells out for nearly half of all global defense expenditures, our most loyal, stalwart, shoulder-to-shoulder allies - Britain and France - pitch in just 3.8 percent and 4.2 percent, respectively, of the world total. Somebody's getting a free ride, and we're getting stuck with the bill.
Bowles and Simpson properly classify defense spending as discretionary, meaning we are able to make choices. This should be axiomatic. But it has been Republican Party orthodoxy to inveigh against "big government" and its out-of-control spending while blithely ignoring the nearly $700 billion we're lavishing annually on the Pentagon, as if every penny were somehow preordained and inviolate.
The debt panel chairmen's proposed defense cuts, meant to be "illustrative," include civilian and noncombat pay freezes, a 15 percent cut in procurement, shrinking or eliminating some foreign bases, and $28 billion in "overhead" savings that Defense Secretary Robert Gates has already pledged. But Bowles and Simpson don't state the obvious, which is that a much more effective way to cut defense costs would be to bring our troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Not in 34 years has a president done what President Obama did today, and if you did not watch this once-in-a-generation ceremony live, watch it here now:
This afternoon in the East Room of the White House, the President presented the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry to Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta, U.S. Army -- the first living servicemember from the Iraq or Afghanistan wars to receive it. "Now, I'm going to go off-script here for a second and just say I really like this guy," said the President to laughter and applause. "I think anybody -- we all just get a sense of people and who they are, and when you meet Sal and you meet his family, you are just absolutely convinced that this is what America is all about."