I get it that this woman has a right to free speech albeit offensive to many of us on the left. I get that! However, that does not mean that one has to accept her far right premise of attacking any and all Muslims with vile and offensive rhetoric.
Popular hate blogger Pam Geller has received scrutiny in recent days as the public became aware that the right-wing terrorist in Norway, Anders Behring Breivik, had praised her blog and thoroughly cited her writing in his political manifesto. After a number of blogs made the connection, as well as the New York Times, the Atlantic, and other major outlets, Geller became incensed and began lashing out at her critics.
In a post defending herself yesterday, Geller — who has called Obama “President Jihad” and claimed that Arab language classes are a plot to subvert the United States — reached a new low. Geller justifies Breivik’s attack on the Norwegian Labour Party summer youth camp because she says the camp is part of an anti-Israel “indoctrination training center.” She says the victims would have grown up to become “future leaders of the party responsible for flooding Norway with Muslims who refuse to assimilate, who commit major violence against Norwegian natives including violent gang rapes, with impunity, and who live on the dole.”
A “mythical,” mile-high haboob swept through Arizona on Tuesday evening. And thanks to a quick-witted photographer, we can see it roll in, too…
The video: Near sundown on Tuesday, the people of Phoenix were swallowed in a massive cloud of dust that knocked out power to almost 10,000 people, shut down the airport, and turned swimming pools into mud pits. Although such storms are very difficult to predict, several intrepid photographers had enough warning to ready their cameras for the mile-high, 100-mile-wide haboob — the Arabic term for this kind of dust storm, used in the Sahara and Arizona. The 100-mile-wide storm “moved like a giant wave” through the city, temporarily burying skyscrapers. In this time-lapse video (Watch it below), Mike Olbinski stood atop a four-story parking garage to capture the 60 mph wall of dust.
The reaction: It’s easy to believe Olbinksi when he says that in his 35 years in Phoenix, he’s never seen a haboob like this, says Nancy Atkinson at Universe Today. His video of the storm is “just amazing, if not apocalyptic!” The video would have been even better if Olbinski hadn’t stopped clicking “a bit short of the climax,” says Jennifer Bergen at Geek.com. But of course, another five seconds filming this “storm of mythical proportions” would have destroyed his camera. If this destructive dust cloud has a silver lining, says Bryan Walsh at TIME, at least it brought some much-needed rain to Arizona. Watch the haboob roll in:
Al Jazeera has been the leader in literally changing people’s minds and attitudes. And like it or hate it, it is really effective.
In fact viewership of al Jazeera is going up in the United States because it’s real news. You may not agree with it, but you feel like you’re getting real news around the clock instead of a million commercials and, you know, arguments between talking heads and the kind of stuff that we do on our news which, you know, is not particularly informative to us, let alone foreigners.”
Today there is a “healthy tension” with Al Jazeera, said Shell Smith, who served for two decades as a foreign service officer in the Middle East and Asia, and has seen how Al Jazeera and other networks have helped break state media monopolies.
Tony Berman, Al Jazeera’s chief strategic advisor for the Americas, said that multiple meetings with U.S. officials have smoothed the relationship. Clinton had a frank, one-hour discussion with Al Jazeera’s top executives during a visit to Qatar a year ago that seemed to clear the air, Berman said.
“The cold war that existed between the Bush administration and Al Jazeera has totally ended,” Berman said. “Now it’s a professional relationship between an aggressive government and an aggressive news organization.”
Created in 1996 by the Qatari government, Al Jazeera “is becoming a global media power,” said a November report by the State Department’s inspector general.