Saturday, August 22, 2009

Rifqa's Next Hearing: Sept. 3, 2009

I made a brief mention in an earlier post of a Sri Lankan girl who ran away from her family in Ohio. She had to leave, because after her Muslim father learned of her conversion to Christianity he is bound by the precepts of Islam to kill her. Honorably.

Pam Geller, on her blog
Atlas Shrugs
writes, "Rifqa has been given a reprieve. SHE WILL NOT BE SENT TO OHIO! Praise G-d. She will not be sent back to her terrorized home in Ohio, at least not for now. Next hearing September 3rd at 2:30 p.m."

Rifqa, you remain in my prayers.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

27th Wedding Anniversary*

My husband and I have been married 27 years! It's true. Americans tend to gush, "I love you," give hugs, and publicly compliment their spouse. My dear husband may not say it in words, but he does in his actions. Thank you, for all the sacrifices you make for me and our children. May I, too, be a wife who helps her husband in word and deed.

Tevye and Golda's song is not quite ours, but it comes to my mind from time to time. (Maybe it was this way for my parent-in-law. I don't know.)

Marriage is work. The following episode of Issues, Etc. is about vocation - any vocation - and how God is at work through people to serve their neighbors. New concept: my husband is my neighbor.

* Actually the 19th was our civil ceremony. In Japan, you must marry at the designated city office where you live. First we had to go to the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. Then we had to go the Japanese city hall. Two days later on the 21st was the day our family and friends came to witness our pledge to each other in the presence of God.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Save your Unsolicited White House Emails

So the idea was to help the White House keep track of anyone that wasn't in agreement with Barack Obama's "healthcare" plan, be it in an email, or a website or blog, or even casual conversation! Isn't that like ---- uh, tattling? When I first saw that report, I sarcastically thought, hey, I'll just send the White House their own link. I didn't, though. I wasn't willing to have them collect my data (not that they probably don't have it anyway).

But then I learned that there were a lot of people who actually did that. There were even some who tattled on themselves. Cunning, huh? Americans with spunk!

After that there was the question that Major Garrett asked Robert Gibbs: Why are people who have never signed up to receive emails from the White House receiving emails from the White House? Look at Garrett's face? I'm suspicious, too. And Gibbs? Pathetically patronizing a legitimate question.

You would think that these "lawmakers" would know that "there is a right way to collect peoples emails and a wrong way to do it. Collecting solicited emails – good. Collecting unsolicited emails – bad." Read Obama’s Legal Troubles Starting To Grow. Citizen Spy Program – Public Relations Nightmare? And How The Heck Did I Get I Get An Email From David Axelrod? It'sabout the backlash of the White House's fishy directives here.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

On Good Faith and Intellectual Honesty

Today I learned:

Who M. Cherif Bassiouni is:
(from wikipedia)
M. Cherif Bassiouni is a United Nations war crimes expert. He is a Distinguished Research Professor of Law at DePaul University College of Law in Chicago (since 1964) and President of the university's International Human Rights Law Institute (1990-2006; 2007-09).[1] He is also President of the Istituto Superiore Internazionale di Scienze Criminali (International Institute of Higher Studies in Criminal Sciences) (ISISC) in Siracusa, Italy (since 1988), he was also Dean of ISISC (1976-1988). He was the Secretary General of the International Association of Penal Law (Internationale Association De Droit Penal) (IADP) from 1974-1989, he was the President of the IADP from 1989-2004, and is currently the Honorary President of IADP. He has been a non-resident Professor of Criminal Law at the University of Cairo since 1996, and was a Guest Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. in 1972. He was also a Visiting Professor of Law at New York University Law School in 1971, and was a Fulbright-Hays Professor of International Criminal Law at the University of Freiburg, Germany in 1970. In addition, he is a frequent lecturer at universities in the U.S. and abroad. He is also admitted to the practice of law in Illinois, Washington, D.C., the United States Supreme Court, and the Second, Fifth, Seventh, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits and the United States Court of Military Appeals. He is also admitted to practice before the Egyptian Supreme Court. He has handled many international cases on extradition and international cooperation in criminal matters, and coordinated major litigation involving multiple parties, including states, on matters involving international law. In 2007, he was awarded the Hague Prize for International Law for his "distinguished contribution in the field of international law". The winner of the Hague Prize is given the honour of selecting the fundamental principal of law on which the Hague Colloquium will be organized.

The qualifications of practicing law in New York, according to a comment on the
best thread I read today:
Whenever I see a post or story regarding an attorney of the Muslim faith, I am reminded of a paradoxical story concerning constitutional law and the qualifications to practice law here in New York (all other states have similiar rules). The background: a number of organizations and individuals representing a "class" of law students and law graduates challenged the constitutionality of New York's system for screening applicants for admission to the New York Bar. Note that this was the late 1960's and the big concern at the time was Communism, but it is still relevant today. Most noticeable was their issue with two questions the applicant was given on the questionnaire:

"26. (a) Have you ever organized or helped to organize or become a member of any organization or group of persons which, during the period of your membership or association, you knew was advocating or teaching that the government of the United States or any state or any political subdivision thereof should be overthrown or overturned by force, violence or any unlawful means? _____ If your answer is in the affirmative, state the facts below. [401 U.S. 154, 165]

"(b) If your answer to (a) is in the affirmative, did you, during the period of such membership or association, have the specific intent to further the aims of such organization or group of persons to overthrow or overturn the government of the United States or any state or any political subdivision thereof by force, violence or any unlawful means?

"27. (a) Is there any reason why you cannot take and subscribe to an oath or affirmation that you will support the constitutions of the United States and of the State of New York? If there is, please explain.

"(b) Can you conscientiously, and do you, affirm that you are, without any mental reservation, loyal to and ready to support the Constitution of the United States?" _______.

The Supreme Court ruled in LAW STUDENTS RESEARCH COUNCIL v. WADMOND, 401 U.S. 154 (1971), that New York's Rule that an applicant furnish proof that he "believes in the form of government of the United States and is loyal to such government," is not constitutionally invalid in light of appellees' construction that the Rule places no burden of proof on the applicant, that the "form of government" and the "government" refer solely to the Constitution, and that "belief" and "loyalty" mean no more than willingness to take the constitutional oath and ability to do so in good faith. Pp. 161-164. They also found that the challenged items on the modified questionnaire are not constitutionally invalid, as one is precisely tailored to conform to this Court's decisions on organizational membership and association, and the other is merely supportive of appellees' task of ascertaining the applicant's good faith in taking the constitutional oath. Pp. 164-166.

To quickly summarize the Supreme Courts ruling and New York's requirements to practice law:
1. You must believe in and be loyal to the form of government of the United State;
2. That form of government refers to the Constitution;
3. You must take an oath to that effect;
4. That oath must be made in good faith;
5. Your good faith may be determined by your organizational membership and associations.

In light of the SCOTUS [Supreme Court of the United States] ruling, one can legitimately ask the question: how is it possible for any Muslim to practice law in the United States? Has any attempt been made to disbar attorneys (especially CAIR's) who have shown a preference for sharia or have associated with or supported any number of Islamic organizations devoted to the destruction of the US and the Constitution?

How to do good to someone who opposes you. Luke 6:35.

Go and read for yourself about
An Exchange with an Islamic Scholar. Robert Spencer is good at what he does.

Honor killinghas come to America. Rifqa, you are in my prayers.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Obama's "Health Care" - One of the Things that Bothers Me

It doesn't seem to be much about health. And the care doesn't sound very impressive, either. (.....thinking of my mom and her cancer.....)

'Death Panels' in Oregon?
Ethel C. Fenig

Perhaps former Governor Sarah Palin (R-Alaska) was referring to the tragic predicament of Barbara Wagner of Oregon when she wrote how she feared for the fate of her Down Syndrome son under "Obama's 'Death Panels.' "

Susan Donaldson James of ABC News reports on the letter Ms. Wagner received from the Oregon Health Plan in response to a $4000 a month drug her doctor prescribed after her lung cancer, long in remission, returned..

the insurance company refused to pay.

What the Oregon Health Plan did agree to cover, however, were drugs for a physician-assisted death. Those drugs would cost about $50.

Hmmmm, let's do the math. Yep, a one time prescription of $50 sure is cheaper than $4000 a month for who knows how many months to keep a 64 year old woman alive. So the Oregon "Death Panel" graciously offered suicide pills. Or doctor assisted murder.

But Ms. Wagner had an understandably different reaction.

"It was horrible," Wagner told "I got a letter in the mail that basically said if you want to take the pills, we will help you get that from the doctor and we will stand there and watch you die. But we won't give you the medication to live."

Ah, but Ms. Wagner wanted to live. And she didn't care what the Oregon "Death Panel" - uhm, Oregon Health Plan decided. And her situation is not unique.

But a 1998 study from Georgetown University's Center for Clinical Bioethics found a strong link between cost-cutting pressures on physicians and their willingness to prescribe lethal drugs to patients -- were it legal to do so.

The study warns that there must be "a sobering degree of caution in legalizing [assisted death] in a medical care environment that is characterized by increasing pressure on physicians to control the cost of care."

Cancer drugs can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $6,000 a month. The cost of lethal medication, on the other hand, is about $35 to $50.

So Sarah Palin's "death panels" aren't as quite off the mark as those afflicted by Palin Derangement Syndrome and mocking her seem to think. Apparently they're called Centers for Bioethics and people are sincerely grappling with these issues. The issues are deep, the problems are complex. And alas there are no easy answers. But let's keep the Barbara Wagners in mind. For one day, a loved one may be in the same predicament. Or you.

American Thinker

Monday, August 10, 2009

Jesus Chuckled?

The book has been on my Books-I-Should-Read-Someday list. Below are a few excerpts that popped out at me, and made me think that maybe I never will get around to reading this book afterall.

Chuckling in the Shack

Andrew Walker, who has lectured on the theology of The Shack at King’s College, London, writes here about his personal view of the book.

I've tried very hard to like The Shack, especially having read some of the nonsense that its traducers have written about it. The claims by some evangelicals, for example, that the book is riddled with heresies are simply wrong. William Young, the author, may be unorthodox, but he is not on the whole heterodox. In my view, the book is more personal catharsis and therapy than Christian doctrine, despite Young's claim that he wrote it as a testament of his religious beliefs for his children and grandchildren.

It must seem churlish of me to criticise a book which hundreds if not thousands of people claim has changed their lives. At the very least, you'd think I could have the decency to acknowledge that The Shack has brought Christian ideas out of the ghetto and into the heart of the secular marketplace. And yet, despite these caveats, I cannot quite shake off my irritation with the book. I'll begin with a small issue that has snowballed in my mind to become a river I cannot cross. The word "cross" brings me to Jesus, and after a snippet of theology and a snatch of scripture, I'll show why I had trouble at The Shack.

We learn about God's love for the world and are able to love him in return by grasping the fact that the incarnation of His Son had serious consequences for Jesus as well as for us. He assumed our flesh so we could be restored to our own good selves, but in taking into his divine person our human nature and sharing it with his own, he became a "man of sorrows and acquainted with grief". For us, restoration entailed reconciliation with God; but for Jesus it entailed death on a Roman gibbet.

This Son of God become Son of Man is at his most poignant and vulnerable in the Garden of Gethsemane when, afraid of dying and in great distress, he calls on his heavenly Father to rescue him from his anticipated torture. His prayer is in a language that touches our hearts; he addresses his Father as "Abba", an Aramaic term of intimacy close to the English word "daddy", but closer still to the French tu. But we also have a foretaste of the vulnerable and frail humanity of Jesus from the shortest verse in the Bible, "Jesus wept". While a holy God demands our obedience and earns our respect, a weeping Jesus commands our love and wins our loyalty.

By contrast, in The Shack, Jesus seems to be done with weeping. We learn in the shortest trope of the novel that "Jesus chuckled". This chuckling Jesus chortles and giggles his way through the book, but it is hard to believe that like the first disciples we would give up our lives and follow him, let alone love him.


The trouble for me with the tittering Trinity is best demonstrated by the Jesus character in The Shack. He does not resonate with the Jesus who wept in the Gospel. With St Thomas, I am prepared to call Jesus "Lord and God", but the Jesus of The Shack is another matter. When he is out fishing with Mack, he rebuts his suggestion that he could use his power to catch fish with a surprising reply. "'What would be the fun in that then, eh?' He looked up and grinned." At this point, I am compelled irreverently to call Young's Jesus a "chucklehead" – not a divine title, admittedly, not even a surrogate for a "holy fool", but according to most dictionaries, "a stupid person or a dolt".

Read the whole articlehere.

HT: 92nd & State

Friday, August 7, 2009

A Summer Delight! - Yaki Nasu (Japanese Deep Fried Eggplant)

Yeah! It's finally really SUMMER TIME for me! So along with summer, comes time to spend cooking s-l-o-w food. Thanks go to Nozomi for taking the photos.

Step 1

Wash the eggplant and cut according to the size you like. These eggplants were a bit smaller than the usual Japanese variety. I cut them in half and then made three slice marks in the skin side. Not sure that it matters much, but it may help lessen the cooking time. It does add a bit of a decoration, though, to have the cuttings.

Step 2

Fry in your tempura vat until they look just right.

Let them drain and cool off for a bit.

Step 3
Dip in soy sauce with grated ginger or garlic. Sooooo good.