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Texas police now say SWAT team officers were involved in the shooting that left two gunmen dead outside a Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest in suburban Dallas.

Garland police spokesman Joe Harn said Monday that a single police officer subdued the two gunmen, but that after his initial shots, SWAT officers nearby also fired at the two men. Harn said police don't know who fired the lethal shots.

Police stopped the two gunmen far away from the entrance to the Curtis Culwell Center, where attendees were about to leave a controversial contest displaying cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

Harn did not identify the officer who initially shot the two gunmen.

Questions below:
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She is listed as one of America's most dangerous hatemongers.
Geller got her start by posting on Little Green Footballs, but its founder, Charles Johnson  was obliged to repudiate her in a Guardian article, 14 October 2010:
There's a much uglier side to Pamela Geller, however, ... in addition to her anti-Muslim activities, Geller often supports and glorifies people who can only be described as white supremacists and genocidal war criminals.

For example, last April, Geller defended South African apartheid advocate and convicted terrorist Eugene Terreblanche, blaming his murder on "black supremacism" and warning that it was the start of "white genocide" in South Africa .... And in July, Geller posted an ode of support to genocidal Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadzic.

A catalog of Geller's fellow rabble is excerpted from an 8 October 2010 NYTimes article by Anne Barnard and Alan Feuer below:
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Nancy Reagan's "War Against Drugs" is still wheezing on in Washington State. One of the latest, and bordering on damn nasty, conflicts occurred in a city council meeting in Federal Way on 21 April.

Statewide, courtesy of I-502, Washington is pro-marijuana, medicinal and recreational. Numerous municipalities beg to disagree, whining about "gateway" drugs, "stepping stone drugs," corrupting kids, the stupid fact that marijuana (and, even more stupidly, hemp), are Class 1 drugs federally, makes regulating pot iffy, as well as crippling the cannabis industry economically because of banking industry fears.

Last week’s council meeting turned out to be one of the most contentious meetings in the last decade as city leaders’ passionate political views and questionable behavior overwhelmed the usually staid and dignified council chambers.

The topic was council bill No. 672, which would ban recreational marijuana-related businesses. Since the legislation was supported on a 5-2 vote at first reading, it was expected to pass with the same margin.

More below.
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In 2004 George Walker Bush named John Negroponte as Ambassador to the newly conquered nation of Iraq. Mr. Negroponte has an interesting history during the Reagan administration in Honduras (1981-1985):

At the time Mr. Negroponte was in Honduras, Honduras was a military dictatorship. Kidnapping, rape, torture and executions of dissidents was rampant. The military top and middle ranks were U.S-trained at the School of the Americas (SOA), the Harvard version of the CIA, based in Fort Benning, Georgia. According to Human Rights Watch, graduates of the SOA are responsible for the worst human rights abuses and torture of dissidents in Latin America. Some of its 60,000 graduates are notorious Manuel Noriega and Omar Torrijos of Panama, Leopoldo Galtieri and Roberto Viola of Argentina, Juan Velasco Alvarado of Peru, Guillermo Rodriguez of Ecuador, Hugo Banzer Suarez of Bolivia and Gustavo Álvarez Martínez, Honduras security police chief and later Honduran top military commander.
Additional documentation below:
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Mon Apr 27, 2015 at 11:29 AM PDT

Fighting Words

by Karen Hedwig Backman

I undertook a quick and dirty look into how often the word "fight" or some variation of the same occurred in the Qu'ran and the Bible. Do not leap to any conclusions but the numbers were 94 to nil:

Qu'ran

Bible

First off, it must be noted that the Qu'ran (as opposed to the Bible which was written by a multitude of men in a multitude of times) was written by only one man, Mohamed, who was essentially a military man, a soldier, in essentially only one rather strife-filled era:  

Sure, Muhammad wasn’t like Jesus, who preached briefly and, in his life, rather unsuccessfully. He wasn’t like Moses either, who died without reaching the Promised Land. If there’s any Biblical figure Muhammad recalls, it’s David. Both start as humble figures of noble ancestry, and end as powerful rulers. When Muhammad was born, Arabs were divided into hostile tribes. Justice was collective, and turned out rather like revenge. In place of this, Muhammad advocated for an ummah, a ‘super-tribe,’ a union of peoples based not on bloodline, class, or gender, but fidelity to a common and universal worldview.

.... Muhammad was not like Jesus, born into a society with a powerful government. He was born into a place with no unifying government. An orphan from birth, who soon lost what little family he had, knew intimately the vulnerability the unattached suffered their entire lives. He created a system to put an end to that.

David, Mohamed, Jesus, editing, stuff, below:
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Damnation to those who think otherwise:

"It is necessary to control women's sexual urges," says Hakim, a stern, bespectacled man in a fez. "They must be chaste to preserve their beauty."
I had hoped that Islam was moving beyond this.

But I was wrong.

Oh, come ye, ye apologists for toleration, who insist:

It is well established that female genital mutilation (FGM) is not required in Muslim law. It is an ancient cultural practice that existed before Islam, Christianity and Judaism. It is also agreed across large swathes of the world that it is barbaric.
Islam has failed to forbid and condemn this practice. Therefore, it is complicit.

And, Goddess bless Bill Maher below:

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Dick Cheney is immortal...

This from 2007:

Lately, word has been spreading that US Vice President Dick Cheney, who was recently the target of an allegedly unsuccessful Taliban assassination attempt in Afghanistan, was in fact hit by the bomb. Eyewitness accounts of surviving bomb victims have reported seeing Cheney hit point blank by the explosion (a suicide bomber-beverage server), which they said sent the 74 year old vice president flying across the room and into a cement wall, partially knocking it down. Witnesses go on to say that while several blast-charred bodies surrounded and even partially covered Cheney, he was seen calmy lifting the bodies off himself, standing up, brushing the dirt and bloody debris from his suit, and walking away in the direction of President Karzai's office.

Do you believe there is any possibility that Dick Cheney is immortal? Is there any chance that Dick Cheney might be dead already, and has arisen Undead?

Will this be the fate of our nation forever?
With respect to trying to define that as torture, I come back to the proposition torture was what the al Qaeda terrorists did to 3,000 Americans on 9/11… It worked… I would do it again in a minute. -- Dick Cheney
Woe and anguish below:
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Wed Apr 22, 2015 at 12:26 PM PDT

Dirt

by Karen Hedwig Backman

Happy Earth Day!
Let's talk about dirt.

In particular:

Azotobacter, Rhizobia,  N. europaea, nitrobacter winogradskyi, Actinobacteria (which could possibly be flushed out and about in a heavy rainfall -- just sayin'), Actinomycetales, Bifidobacteriales, Propionibacteriaceae, Ectomycorrhizae, Frankiaceae, Streptomyces, Achromobacter, Pseudomonas, Cyanophycease, the Chlorophycease, the Bacillariacease ...

Oh my goodness, the list could go on and on forever because we have not discovered and categorized all the little buggers yet -- and besides that they may be evolving and differentiating themselves faster than we mere humans can monitor them.

Them there is just a very, very brief list of soil microbes and I've tried to be fair to the little rascals by including something from the various sorts: bacteria, fungi, algae, I think I skipped out on the protozoa and God only knows that there may be other categories at this moment undiscovered that we don't know about.

And, that is a damnably stupid conclusion because if we haven't discovered them yet we can't possibly know about them.

But, these little critters are incredibly busy: they nitrify soil, they denitrify soil, they decompose, they serve as a telecommunications service for trees and stuff ... and other stuff that we don't even know about yet.

And, we mere humans could not possibly be around without their existence.

So there!

Discuss

First of all, be advised:

Tale spinning runs in my blood.
The correct term is:
Holy Moles!
Moles plural, pronounced Moh - lays, with reverence.

More on the moles below:

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Where I had not been for a while ...

And oh, it had changed.

Considerations below.

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Sat Apr 11, 2015 at 12:28 PM PDT

I am not naked.

by Karen Hedwig Backman

Your hair is naked, your arms are naked; according to God’s law, you are naked.
Mona Eltahaway, in a New York Times opinion piece today, discusses her history with the hijab. Her family's move from Egypt to Saudi Arabia necessitated her adoption of the suffocating garment:
Almost immediately, I missed the wind in my hair. When I caught my reflection in a window, I did not recognize myself. I wanted to reconcile the internal and external me, but I was to discover that choosing to wear the hijab is much easier than choosing to take it off.
However, it took her a while to remove the offending garment.

How the world of Islam changed in that interval, below:

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The Armenian Genocide: Hayots Tseghaspanutyun, also known as the Armenian Holocaust, the Armenian Massacres and, traditionally by Armenians, as Medz Yeghern, "Great Crime", was the Ottoman government's systematic extermination of its minority Armenian subjects from their historic homeland within the territory constituting the present-day Republic of Turkey. The total number of people killed as a result has been estimated at between 1 and 1.5 million. The starting date is conventionally held to be 24 April 1915, the day Ottoman authorities rounded up and arrested some 250 Armenian intellectuals and community leaders in Constantinople. The genocide was carried out during and after World War I and implemented in two phases: the wholesale killing of the able-bodied male population through massacre and subjection of army conscripts to forced labour, followed by the deportation of women, children, the elderly and infirm on death marches leading to the Syrian desert. Driven forward by military escorts, the deportees were deprived of food and water and subjected to periodic robbery, rape, and massacre. Other indigenous and Christian ethnic groups such as the Assyrians and the Ottoman Greeks were similarly targeted for extermination by the Ottoman government, and their treatment is considered by many historians to be part of the same genocidal policy. The majority of Armenian diaspora communities around the world came into being as a direct result of the genocide.
Further considerations below:
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