Arena: Fighting the Good Fight

Friday, May 30, 2003

You Cannot Be Serious!

The Outrage of the Week

You know what time it is. We're heading to Florida this week, and no, no, this has nothing to do with hanging chads. Now, I don't know about you, but it seems to me that the entire point of having a photo on a driver's license is so that the individual with the license can be readily identified. That's why we have to take off our hats and whatnot before we get our photo taken at the DMV. The license is a legal form of identification. So what the hell is this lady thinking?

Experts in Islamic law are being called to testify in the lawsuit of a Muslim (search) woman fighting a state order to take off her veil for her driver's license photo.

Sultanna Freeman, 35, says Florida's insistence on photographing her face violates her religious rights.

"I don't unveil ... because it would be disobeying my Lord," Freeman testified Tuesday at the start of her non-jury trial.

Assistant Attorney General Jason Vail argued that having an easily identifiable photo on a driver's license is a matter of public safety.

"It's the primary method of identification in Florida and the nation," Vail said. "I don't think there can be any doubt there is a public safety interest."

Freeman's attorneys argue that state officials didn't care that she wore a veil in her Florida driver's license photo until after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, an allegation the state denies.

"This is about religious liberty. It's about whether this country is going to have religious diversity," said Howard Marks, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida.

Both sides planned to call experts in Islamic law at the trial, which continues Wednesday. A copy of the Quran (search) has been entered into evidence.

This is just ridiculous. Since when does religion supercede the laws of the land here in the U.S.? I would argue that letting this woman get away with this would actually inhibit religious diversity because the law would thereby favor one religion over all others. The ACLU has really chosen a stupid one to side with this time. Ordinarily, I would say, well, if she is just being so violated for this, maybe she would be better off in the Middle East. But look at this! A reader from LGF pointed this out (from CNN):

Driver’s identification rules in Muslim nations:

Saudi Arabia: Women aren't allowed to drive
Iran: Women wear a traditional chador, which does not cover the face.
Egypt: Women do not cover their face in I.D. pictures
United Arab Emirates: Women do not cover their face in I.D. pictures
Oman: Women do not cover their face in I.D. pictures
Kuwait: Women do not cover their face in I.D. pictures
Qatar: Women do not cover their face in I.D. pictures
Bahrain: Women do not cover their face in I.D. pictures
Jordan: Women can drive if their faces are covered but do not cover their face in I.D. pictures

Even in the nations where Islam is the government, the women are still required to show their whole face on their ID photos. Why even have a picture on there at all if you can't tell who it is? Hell, she could have anyone she wants walk in there all dressed up and get a picture taken under her name. Who would know? This case is so stupid, and it's outrageous that the ACLU has chosen to throw their weight behind it. It's also costing taxpayers money and wasting the time of a court system which is already overbooked and underfunded.


Wednesday, May 28, 2003


Mike Tyson hasn’t lost his penchant for saying the outrageous. In a television interview scheduled for broadcast Thursday, Tyson again denied he raped Desiree Washington in 1991 in an Indianapolis hotel room. But he said the burden of being labeled a convicted rapist makes him want to do it now.

“I just hate her guts. She put me in that state, where I don’t know,” Tyson said. “I really wish I did now. But now I really do want to rape her.”

Tyson is clearly insane, and I'm not so sure he should be allowed out of a mental institution. Part of me feels sorry for Tyson. This is a person who, throughout his adolescent and adult life, was consistently lied to and used as a cash animal by others who didn't give a second thought to his mental state. He is now a dangerous, disturbed individual who is exists on the border between delusion and reality, and people like Don King made millions during the process of making him so. Don't get me wrong, Tyson himself is responsible for everything he has done, but the deliberate exploitation of a human being always seems to damage that person, and that, to me, is always sad.


A sad day for hockey fans in Colorado: Patrick Roy has retired.

It's always been important for me to play with consistency, but also leave on my own terms," said Roy, who made the decision to retire before this season. "I think I've accomplished everything I wanted and I think I've done basically what I think I should."

It's hard to imagine doing much more.

Roy won four Stanley Cup titles -- two each with Colorado and Montreal -- and holds nearly every major goaltending record. He is the only three-time winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy, awarded to the MVP of the playoffs, and is the league's career leader in wins and games played.

Roy also has the most playoff wins, games and shutouts, and he helped popularize the butterfly style of goaltending by dropping to his knees to stop shots.

Undoubtedly, Roy is one of the greatest goalies in the history of the game. He wanted to be the best goalie there was ever since he was a little kid, and he went out and did it. There's a certain extra amount of respect you gotta give a guy who bows out while he's still got his game. Thanks Patrick, you'll always be the best in my book.


Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Iowa's talking, and it doesn't look good for the Democrats:

DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa's Democratic caucus voters are weighing the candidates and have some bad news to would-be presidential contenders — not many of them can count on making it very far in the primary season.

...Both Iowa and national polls show Bush with a soaring post-war approval rating. According to a poll taken earlier this month for the Des Moines Register, Bush receives a 67 percent approval rating, although when it comes to the economy, 50 percent disapprove of the job he's doing.

Still, 52 percent of Iowans are ready to re-elect him today. Frank Strickland, a lifelong Democrat and family physician, said not only is he unpersuaded by the Democrats' current campaign push for universal health care, politically he may swing to the other side.

"I actually would think I would vote for George Bush. I don't like Hillary [Clinton], [former President] Bill Clinton was an embarrassment, so I might even become a Republican," Strickland said.

Bush's job performance is relevant when it comes to the Democratic caucuses. Democrats and independents are looking for a candidate who can give them reason to vote against a Republican that many acknowledge is doing a good job. They say they have not yet found it.

Somewhere in New York, Hillary Clinton is smilling.


Blogger is really screwing up lately. For some reason, using Netscape seems to work better than Explorer.


Monday, May 26, 2003

Just in case you haven't laughed in awhile, go here. And it's not a joke either. Things just do not make sense to me anymore...and now my head is starting to hurt.


Sunday, May 25, 2003

Jayson Blair never worked in our intelligence department, did he?

KUWAIT CITY — Syrian President Bashar Assad said in an interview published Sunday that he doubts the existence of Al Qaeda, the terror group blamed for the Sept. 11 attacks and recent strikes in Saudi Arabia and Morocco.

"Is there really an entity called Al Qaeda? Was it in Afghanistan? Does it exist now?" Assad asked, according to the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Anba.

Usama bin Laden, the Saudi-born Islamic extremist who heads Al Qaeda, "cannot talk on the phone or use the Internet, but he can direct communications to the four corners of the world?" Assad said. "This is illogical."

Yep, it's all just a big fantasy:


You Cannot Be Serious!

The Outrage of the Week

Belated outrage this week. This week's subject could probably be worthy of the outrage every week: pork. The amount of money that Congress throws around to highly unnecessary projects is quite unbelievable. Look at what happened to our Defense budget:

The following is from a survey organized by Senator John McCain in conjunction with CAGW. Current Defense budget includes:

$53 million for Distance Learning

$12 million for the 21st Century Truck

$3.4 million for the Next Generation Smart Truck

$19 million for International Sports Competitions

$7.7 million for the Alaska Wide Mobile Radio Program

Look at all of this money. Why on earth is it all in the Defense budget? Because that's how Congress works. You let someone throw in something for their state into a bill, and then you expect to do the same later on. American citizens already pay nearly 50% of what they make in income taxes, but there is always talk about how there is not enough money for education and whatnot. And some idiots like Michael Moore think we should make the tax rate even higher. Because of this BS, here is what is happening to actual Defense projects that are losing funding:

Thousands of military personnel are forced to rely on Food Stamps

The Air Force is projected to be 1,500 pilots short for the fiscal year 2003

The average age of naval aircraft is more than 18 years old

In addition, some Senators pretend to be helping out our Defense but in actuality, are only helping out themselves.

$26 billion (yes, that is $26,000,000,000) is being used to force the military to lease Boeing 767 airliners and then have them converted into military tankers. The Air Force does not need or even want these 767s.

$1.5 billion for a ship that the Navy does not need or want.

$13.1 billion for 262 C-130 airlifters; the Air Force only wanted 5, which at $50 million a piece would have been $250 million.

So there you go. Pork-barrel spending. Outrageous. Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) is an excellent pork watchdog and I urge you to visit it and sign up for their newsletter.


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