General David Patraeus

Petraeus Bashes Quran-Burning Plan

General David H. Petraeus, Commanding General ...
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The Daily Beast

General David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, is upset—and rightfully so—at Terry Jones, a Florida pastor who plans to burn Qurans with his church on September 11. “It could endanger troops and it could endanger the overall [Afghanistan war] effort,” Petraeus told The Wall Street Journal. “It is precisely the kind of action the Taliban uses and could cause significant problems. Not just here, but everywhere in the world we are engaged with the Islamic community.” Hundred of Afghans demonstrated in Kabul on Monday to protest the plans, chanting “death to America” and throwing rocks at a passing military convoy. Jones, meanwhile, denies his book-burning protest will put troops in danger, despite not receiving a permit for the demonstration. He said his church expects to go forward with the protest anyway.

Read it at The Wall Street Journal

Islamophobia · Religious Intolerance

American Muslims Ask, Will We Ever Belong?

That’s an interesting question…

The New York Times

For nine years after the attacks of Sept. 11, many American Muslims made concerted efforts to build relationships with non-Muslims, to make it clear they abhor terrorism, to educate people about Islam and to participate in interfaith service projects. They took satisfaction in the observations by many scholars that Muslims in America were more successful and assimilated than Muslims in Europe.

Now, many of those same Muslims say that all of those years of work are being rapidly undone by the fierce opposition to a Muslim cultural center near ground zero that has unleashed a torrent of anti-Muslim sentiments and a spate of vandalism. The knifing of a Muslim cab driver in New York City has also alarmed many American Muslims.

“We worry: Will we ever be really completely accepted in American society?” said Dr. Ferhan Asghar, an orthopedic spine surgeon in Cincinnati and the father of two young girls. “In no other country could we have such freedoms — that’s why so many Muslims choose to make this country their own. But we do wonder whether it will get to the point where people don’t want Muslims here anymore.”

Eboo Patel, a founder and director of Interfaith Youth Core, a Chicago-based community service program that tries to reduce religious conflict, said, “I am more scared than I’ve ever been — more scared than I was after Sept. 11.”  Continue reading…

Michael David Gross · Vanity Fair

Vanity Fair’s Sarah Palin Profiler Admits Error

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin on June 2, 2007.
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The Huffington Post

A writer for Vanity Fair has acknowledged a case of mistaken identity in an unflattering article about Sarah Palin in the magazine’s October issue.

Reporter Michael Joseph Gross describes Palin’s youngest son, Trig, being pushed in a stroller by his older sister, Piper, before a rally in May in the Kansas City suburb of Independence.

“When the girl, Piper Palin, turns around, she sees her parents thronged by admirers, and the crowd rolling toward her and the baby, her brother Trig, born with Down syndrome in 2008,” according to the article. “Sarah Palin and her husband, Todd, bend down and give a moment to the children; a woman, perhaps a nanny, whisks the boy away; and Todd hands Sarah her speech and walks her to the stage.”

Later, Gross describes Piper joining her mother on the stage to “allow Palin to make a public display of maternal affection.”

The problem, which was first reported by the website Politico, was that the boy the reporter described was another child with Down syndrome.

The mother of that child, conservative activist Gina Loudon, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that she told Gross during the rally that the child in the stroller was her son, not Palin’s. She said she tried to make it clear because the two children look a lot alike.

“I told him that. And he ignored it,” Loudon said. “It’s not even like he didn’t fact check – he just ignored facts.”

Gross said in a written statement sent to The Associated Press that he was mistaken.

“Trig was with his mother the next day in Wichita (Kan.), but the child in Independence was someone else, and I regret the error,” he said.

Palin was quick to call the article “yellow journalism” in a tweet. The article describes everything from stingy tips given to hotel staff to heated fights between Palin and her husband.

Doug McMarlin, a spokesman for Palin’s political action committee, said in a written statement Friday that the article was a “collection of lies.”

“As the message continues to succeed, the messenger will continue to be attacked by yellow journalists seeking to increase sales,” McMarlin said. “Our focus remains on the historic 2010 election and the brave Americans that have courageously entered the public arena to bring commonsense leadership back to our federal, state and local offices.”

Sen. David Vitter

Jindal won’t endorse scandal-plagued Vitter

Bobby Jindal, 55th and current Governor of the...
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Well, it appears that Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has declined an endorsement to Sen. David Vitter because of his past dalliances with hookers and other shady activities.   Score one for Jindal.  Vitter only won that primary because a significant amount of Louisianans never read or heard about Vitter’s scandals.

Think Progress

While the latest polls indicate Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) has a commanding lead on his Democratic opponent Rep. Charlie Melancon (D-LA), the top Republican in the state — Gov. Bobby Jindal — still refuses to give the scandal-plauged incumbent Senator his endorsement:

“Voters can make up their own minds,” Jindal said.

The Republican governor said he does not get involved in federal races.

However, Jindal was a special guest at a 2008 fundraiser for Baton Rouge Rep. Bill Cassidy’s campaign.

The governor also endorsed Woody Jenkins in his failed bid for Congress.

Last week, the Louisiana Democratic Party produced a five-and-a-half minute video documenting Vitter’s prostitution scandals. (HT: Political Wire)

White House

Oval Office rug wrongly attributes quote to MLK

(CNN) – Remember the big makeover the Oval Office got last week while President Obama was on vacation?

Well, there’s a problem with the presidential rug.

The floor piece has quotations from four U.S. presidents and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. — or does it?

One quote reads, “The Arc of the Moral Universe Is Long, But It Bends Towards Justice.”

As the Washington Post’s Jamie Stiehm points out, the quote attributed to King is not really King’s quote at all.

It’s Theodore Parker’s.

King often quoted and paraphrased Parker, an abolitionist and minister from Massachusetts, who in 1853 proclaimed, “I do not pretend to understand the moral universe; the arc is a long one … And from what I see I am sure it bends towards justice.”

While the origins of Parker’s proclamation are rarely cited in today’s public discourse, a search on even the most basic of research tools, Wikipedia, reveals Parker as the voice behind the words.

White House Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton on Saturday stood by the quote on the rug, noting that Martin Luther King Jr. did utter precisely the same words on September 2, 1957. Burton said that Theodore Parker’s quote is slightly different.

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