Archive for June, 2006

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Supreme Court: 'Unlawful Combatants' do have rights

June 30, 2006

Anti-War.com reports:

“In a major defeat for President George W. Bush with potentially far-reaching implications for his conduct of the “war on terror,” the U.S. Supreme Court Thursday ruled that military tribunals established by the Pentagon to try suspected terrorists held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, violated the U.S. Constitution.”

Full Story

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Muslim countries using Free and Open Source Software

June 27, 2006

NewsForge.com is running an article entitled “FOSS in Islamic Countries”:

“The promise of free and open source software (FOSS) in Islamic countries rests on issues such as helping build capacity. FOSS also provides greater flexibility, especially in terms of customization for local needs. In addition, FOSS can reduce the cost of deploying information and communications technologies (ICT) by permitting unlimited and free distribution of software, thus making it more affordable than comparable proprietary products. FOSS’s security benefits take on added importance in the wake of recent reports that computers with Windows XP have been sending information, daily and without the knowledge of their owners, to Microsoft. Finally, FOSS will free Islamic countries from boycotts ad sanctions imposed by other countries and owners of proprietary software.”

Read the Full Story

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Four Virtues

June 26, 2006

Ibn al-Muallim, Muhammad b. Muhammad b. al-Nu`man, al-Mufid (may Allah make his grave fragrant) met with his students on Saturday, 29th of the month of Ramadan and dictated that Musa b. Ja’far reported from his father through his forefathers, peace be upon them all, that:

The Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, said:

“Whoever has four virtues, Allah shall write his name among the people of Paradise: One who saves oneself by testifying that there is no god but Allah and that I, Muhammad am His Messenger; and one who says: Praise be to Allah, when blessed with any bounty from Him; and one who says: I seek forgiveness from Allah, for the sin committed; and one, when afflicted by any calamity, says: To Him we belong, and unto Him shall we return.”

(Al-Amaali by Shaykh al-Mufid, Ninth Assembly.)

My useless comments: There is a certain simplicity in these four virtues. They are not difficult to follow outwardly. There is, of course, a certain inner certainty (yaqin) and sincerity (ikhlas) that must be present for them to be true to the heart (qalb), but the words are not difficult to say. They are easy on the lips and bring joy to the one who says them.

In a time when many Muslims are, unfortunately, consumed with mundane issues and minor disputes, this advice touches at the core of our existence and our journey, which is complete submission (al-Islam) to and love of Allah, glorified and exalted.

“In love’s circle there’s another kind of serenity;
in love’s wine, another kind of hangover.
What you learned in school is one thing —
love is something entirely different.”

— Mawlana Rumi

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My gutter runneth over

June 22, 2006

It has been a very rainy day. I decided to take some video footage of the gutter overflowing (yeah I have some time on my hands — one month vacation). I find serenity in the rain. I hope you will too. Enjoy.

It’s in MPEG2 format. That should play in most (if not all) video players.

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We have windows…

June 20, 2006

No, not the operating system. Our new house now has real glass windows.

Picture of our living-room window

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Goodbye PNAC

June 14, 2006

It would seem as though the PNAC (Project for the New American Century) has met its end. For those of you who still believe everything on CNN and don’t bother to look for real truth, the PNAC is the neo-conservative group that has influenced U.S. politics since Mr. Bush came into office, that called for, among other things, the invasion of Iraq, the total support of Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, and attacks on Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran.

This group did not actually do anything, mind you. They did not sit on top of poorly-armored assault vehicles and fire indiscriminately into crowds of Iraqi civilians. No, they left that job to the hundred thousand or so U.S. service men and women (if you can even call the kids men or women), who only joined the armed forces to get money for college, not to fight some crazy man’s war.

What the PNAC did was send letters. They sent a lot of letters, each one “requesting” that the U.S. government would shape the world according to their vision. They described themselves as a “think tank,” although they could easily be called “Big Brother.” So, they sent letters to Clinton, and he apparently ignored him. That meant that “regime change” was even necessary inside of the U.S. Gore would be Clinton times 3, so they had to ensue that someone who would do their bidding got elected. Enter: Bush.

Now the question is, who is on this committee that could be so influential as to dictate their schemes to the “leader of the free world”? Several people who would later become members of the Bush administration, including: Vice President Richard Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Cheney’s chief of staff, I. Lewis Libby, Paul Wolfowitz, Elliot Abrams, and U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan and Iraq, Zalmay Khalilizad make up a list of about 27 influential members of Bush’s first term administration. The list also includes several neo-conservatives, right-wing groups, and Zionist organizations outside of the Bush administration.

But now, the organization has melted into non-existence, or at least dormancy. Lobe explains:

“That period — Sep. 20, 2001, to the run-up to the Iraq war in early 2003 — marked the high-water mark of PNAC’s existence. Since then, things have generally gone downhill, as the hawks they represented, including the group’s dominant neo-conservatives, have fallen prey to internal disagreements: over Rumsfeld’s stewardship of Iraq and the Pentagon; over the wisdom of democratic “transformation” in the Arab Middle East; over Sharon’s Gaza disengagement plan; over China; and even over the latest administration moves on Iran. “

Unfortunately, most of the damage is already done. Bush is still in office until 2008. Iran could become a fizzling nuclear wasteland by then. Israel might have reached its dream of extending from the “Nile to the Euphrates” by 2008. Iraq might no longer exist by 2008. But even his own supporters would not let Bush go that far. Would they?

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Baytuna

June 12, 2006

We have a roof! Let’s move in!!!

complete house frame