Honk For Saudi Women

Seriously, what says 21st century like making your women wear bags and not allowing them to drive?

Saudi women encouraged to drive Friday

Saudi women are being encouraged to challenge the status quo and get behind the wheel Friday.

Though there are no traffic laws that make it illegal for women to drive in Saudi Arabia, religious edicts are often interpreted as a ban against female drivers. One female motorist spent more than a week in custody in May, supporters said.

The day is expected to be a test of wills — and authority — between police and the campaign, which has been publicized by Facebook, Twitter and other social media. It was not clear late Thursday how many would participate.

See also:
Saudi women to take fight from Web to road
Campaign Protests Saudi Arabia’s Ban On Women Behind The Wheel
Saudi Arabian women to drive Friday despite ban
Saudi women plan to defy authorities by driving cars Friday
Will Saudi women get in the driver’s seat?
In protest of Saudi ban on women drivers, will any brave the road?
Saudi women set to defy driving ban
Saudi women to protest driving ban
Honk for Saudi Women

Of course, any woman who participates in tomorrow’s driving defiance event will most likely be arrested and punished for an activity most of the rest of the world takes for granted. I hope they have the courage to stand up for themselves and wish them good luck in their protest.

/if it weren’t for their oil, the Saudi Arabian oil ticks would have absolutely zero redeeming value in the civilized world.

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Hackers With A Death Wish

It’s probably not a good idea to taunt the folks who tracked down Osama bin Laden and specialize in covert, extrajudicial killings.

CIA Web site hacked; group LulzSec takes credit

The hacker group LulzSec claimed credit Wednesday for taking down the CIA’s Web site for a couple of hours, the latest in a string of embarrassing Web site disruptions the group has pulled off — apparently more to poke fun and highlight vulnerabilities than to cause real damage.

At 5:48 p.m., LulzSec, which dubs itself “the world’s leaders in high-quality entertainment at your expense,” posted an alert on Twitter: “Tango down — cia.gov — for the lulz.”

The site was back up by 8 p.m.

See also:
Hacker Group Goes After CIA SiteLulzSec’s CIA hack just one of many high-profile hackings
LulzSec Speeds Up Cyber Attacks, Now Claims CIA Website Hack
Hackers say they hit CIA website
Hackers Claim CIA Website Breach
Hackers breach into CIA website
LulzSec claims responsibility for CIA.gov outage
Hackers claim hit on CIA website
Group claims to have hacked CIA website
Senate website, CIA.gov reportedly hacked. LulzSec claims responsibility. [Updated]
Lulzsec Claims Responsibility For Hacking CIA And Senate Websites
CIA website hacked; group claims ‘credit’
Central Intelligence Agency

Apparently, LulzSec stages these attacks for giggles, laughs, and bragging rights, which is all fun and games until they bite off more than they can chew by hitting an entity with unlimited resources and more hacking talent than they have, and then suddenly it won’t be so funny anymore. Maybe LulzSec already has and they just don’t know it yet.

/as Jim Croce warned, you don’t tug on Superman’s cape, you don’t spit into the wind . . .

Egypt Circling The Drain

Here we go again. First Pakistan, then Lebanon, Tunisia, and now . . . Egypt?

Three Dead in Egypt As Protestors Demand Mubarak’s Exit

At least three people have died as tens of thousands of protestors continue to pack the streets of Cairo in what has become the biggest protest in recent Egyptian history.

Two protestors died in the city of Suez and a security officer died in downtown Cairo as protestors calling for an end to President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year reign clashed with police. At least 100 protestors were injured in Cairo, where police used tear gas, rubber bullets, batons and dogs to try to disperse the crowds, and Twitter has been blocked.

The Associated Press said that 10,000 people had flooded downtown Cairo, where demonstrators shouted “Down with Mubarak” and “Tunisia, Tunisia” as part of a protest called “Day of Anger” that was purposely scheduled for “National Police Day.” Earlier this month, protests in Tunisia sparked by the self-immolation of a disgruntled job seeker and spread by social media brought down the government of President Ben Ali.

In Egypt, the protest remained nonviolent for most of the day with marches in the square and around the capital. However, by late afternoon a large group began to move towards the Ministry of the Interior, home of the police force, and security forces responded by using rubber bullets, tear gas and water hoses.

See also:
Rioters Jolt Egyptian Regime
Egypt: Protest Against ‘Repressive’ Mubarak
Protestors shake Egypt’s streets
Egypt Protests Leave 3 Dead; Cairo Rally Broken Up
Egypt Police Disperse Anti-Mubarak Protesters
A dam breaking in Egypt
Egypt protesters report live bullets used
Egypt: President’s son and family ‘have fled to the UK’
Update: Egypt protests
U.S. urges restraint in Egypt, says government stable
White House keeps eye on Middle East protests
Twitter blocked in Egypt as thousands of protesters call for government reform [Updated]
Twitter blocked in Egypt after political unrest
Twitter confirms it is blocked in Egypt

Boy oh boy, you can bet the ranch that the Muslim Brotherhood are just salivating at the prospect of toppling the Mubarak government. Another Western domino would surely fall under the control of radical Islamists and it would be arguably the largest domino in the region. These developments do not bode well at all for U.S. and, especially, Israeli interests. And I don’t think these protests are going to stop either, the masses have a real taste for it now.

/is Obama just going to sit back and watch as the Middle East burns to the ground?

Modern Warfare 2, Update Fail

Modern Warfare 2 Stimulus Package has rocky launch

Gamers who downloaded the $15 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Stimulus Package this morning were in for a nasty shock. According to numerous user reports, when the map pack to Activision’s billion-dollar game launched this morning on Xbox Live, the maps would not actually load, and matchmaking was largely nonfunctional.

The problem was then confirmed by none other than Xbox Live programming director Larry Hryb–better known as Major Nelson–on his Twitter feed. “Matchmaking is in a bad state on Xbox LIVE right now. We’re working on it and will resolve it as quickly as we can,” he said about 10:30 a.m. PDT. Microsoft sent out a patch intended to fix the issues shortly thereafter, when chief Infinity Ward spokesperson Robert Bowling claimed the map pack was functioning.

Much like a pool with no water, the Stimulus Package was of little use to many gamers during the day.

Bowling’s confidence was misguided, however, as matchmaking issues persisted throughout the day. About 12:40 p.m. PDT, Hryb twittered that, “Matchmaking across #XboxLIVE is fixed! You may still have trouble purchasing and we’ll let u know ASAP when fixed.” Bowling also reported that stability was increasing, posting a picture of the rising number of connections on a monitor.

The Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Stimulus Package is set to launch on the PlayStation 3 and PC later this spring.

See also:
Modern Warfare 2 update disconnects Xbox users
Modern Warfare 2 Xbox 360 Stimulus Package incurs glitch
Modern Warfare 2’s Stimulus Package DLC misfires at launch
Modern Warfare 2 Stimulus Package Launches With Problems [Update]
Infinity Ward: Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 Stimulus Package Release Bug Bugs Fix Fixes Problems
Modern Warfare 2 map update gives Xbox Live problems
Stimulate Your Modern Warfare 2 Map Selections
New maps arrive on Xbox Live for ‘Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2’
Modern Warfare 2 Stimulus Package available today on Xbox Live

So, not only are they charging for new maps that used to be free, they don’t even bother to make sure they work before releasing them!

/not only have the greedy Activision/Infinity Ward bastards driven the once awesome Call of Duty franchise into the ditch, apparently they don’t even care who knows it anymore

Hoping For The Worst

Is it true this time? Who knows, we can only hope.

Iran awash with rumors of Supreme Leader Khamenei’s death

Iran’s blogosphere has been awash with rumors since Monday that the Islamic Republic’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has died.

The rumors, spread on the micro-blogging Web site Twitter and other sites across the country, have been given credence by claims that security forces have surrounded Khamenei’s home in Tehran, and that only the leader’s sons are allowed access to him.

There has, however, been no formal confirmation of the reports or any reference to them in Iran’s main news outlets.

The rumors were cited on a number of relatively prominent blogs in the United States on Wednesday.

See also:
Khamenei in Coma?
Khamenei Said to be in Coma
Rumors say Ayatollah Khamenei in coma
Iran: Blogs Stirring, “Ayatollah Khamenei Is In Coma”
Is Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Dead or in a Coma?
Ayatollah Khamenei In Coma Or Dead, Rumors Say
Is Khamenei Dead?
Khamenei: Dead or Alive?
Ayatollah Khamenei dead? How rumours start
If Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei dies, then what?
Iran rejects reports Khamenei is dead
Iranian website: No truth to rumors that Khamenei is in a coma

You know, if this turns out to be true, the ensuing power vacuum and struggle for succession would present an excellent opportunity for U.S. and other Western intelligence services to exploit the situation and bolster the more Western friendly Iranian opposition.

/it would be a good turn of events for U.S. and Western national security interests, not to mention good for the freedom of the Iranian people as well, a win win scenario

The “Religion Of Peace” Is Anything But

It’s just another peaceful day in the world of Islam, without the peace.

Details of deadly Iran protest shooting vague, and reports election was stolen

Pulling out two of the most interesting bits of twitter and bloggerati, here are two reports about the major developments of the day, first the shooting of protesters in Tehran’s streets, from AFP:

One protestor was shot dead and several were wounded during a rally in Tehran on Monday, a local Iranian photographer told AFP.

The incident occurred in front of a local base of the Basij volunteer militia, which was set on fire, the photographer who declined to be identified said, adding that the dead man had been shot in the head. [Ed note, this Twitter link allegedly shows the victim, WARNING, graphic content]

Pictures of the incident which AFP saw showed armed men, wearing helmets and in civilian clothes, pointing guns at the crowds from the rooftop of the Basij base.

The photographer said that the dead man was killed by shots fired by these men from the rooftop.

An AFP correspondent at the rally also said that Iranian police had clashed with protestors and that crowds of people were seen fleeing.

Witnesses told the correspondent that the clashes erupted at the end of the rally when armed men dressed in plain clothes who did not appear to belong to the police force started shooting at people.

See also:
‘One shot dead’ at Iran protest
At least 1 dead in Iran election protests
Shooting raises tensions in Tehran
Protesters rally for Mousavi in election dispute
Shooting Victim, Tehran

PM calls Mubarak to clarify stance

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu telephoned Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Monday night to clarify Israel’s stance on a Middle East peace agreement, according to a report on Egyptian television.

It came after Mubarak blasted the prime minister for Sunday night’s policy speech, saying that “Netanyahu’s demand that Palestinians recognize Israel as the Jewish state is ruining the chance for peace.”

According to Egyptian news agencies, Mubarak further added that “not Egypt, nor any other Arab country would support Netanyahu’s approach” to the peace process.

See also:
Syrian media blasts Netanyahu speech
PA: Netanyahu speech will spur new intifada
Palestinians angered by Netanyahu peace terms
Palestinians reject Benjamin Netanyahu speech

Bodies of foreign hostages found in Yemen: officials

The bodies of several foreign hostages have been found in Yemen, officials said Monday, the first time in almost a decade a kidnapping in the country has resulted in deaths.

Seven Germans, including three children and two female nurses, were abducted last week in the volatile Saada province in northern Yemen along with a male British engineer and a woman from South Korea.

There were conflicting reports coming out of Yemen about how many bodies had been found by the son of a tribal leader in Noshour, east of the mountainous Saada area.

One official, who also said two children had reportedly been found alive, put the number at seven. Another, at the interior ministry, said later only the women — two Germans and one South Korean — had been found.

“We have found the corpses of three women… who were kidnapped alongside six others,” the official told the website http://www.26sep.net, which is linked to the defence ministry.

Another source close to the investigation said examinations had shown the corpses, including one child, had been found shot and stabbed.

The missing nine belong to an international relief group that has worked for 35 years at a hospital in Saada, which borders Saudi Arabia, an official said on Sunday.

The Yemeni authorities have accused Shiite Zaidi rebels of being behind the abductions although there has been no immediate claim of responsibility.

See also:
Yemen hostage killings: the work of Al Qaeda?
Govt ‘very concerned’ over reported Yemen hostage deaths
Yemen hostages ‘found dead’
Yemen Hostages Found Dead

Taliban attack musicians at Afghan wedding

Taliban fighters beat musicians, shaved their heads and left them tied to trees overnight because they performed at an Afghan wedding, a village tribal chief said on Monday, a sign of the fighters’ growing influence.

While in power from 1996-2001, the Taliban banned music as un-Islamic.

The militants have returned to areas in the east and south of the country, where violence has sharply spiked in recent years. They attack government officials, Afghan police, foreign troops and schools that teach girls, another practice they forbid.

“A party was going on when a group of Taliban grabbed five musicians and started beating them and smashing their musical instruments,” said Rahmatullah Khan, a head of Merke Khel village in the east of the country.

“The musicians were tied up with rope to trees last night and villagers found them in the morning when going out for prayers,” Khan said.

Khan said Taliban fighters shaved the heads of the musicians and made them take oaths in the presence of villagers that they would not sing or play music at weddings again.

Afghan weddings and engagement parties in rural areas are traditionally celebrated with hundreds of guests, music and singing that often continues until late at night.

See also:
Taliban Attacks Musicians At Afghan Wedding
Taliban attack musicians at wedding
Taliban attacks musicians at Afghan wedding

Christian Man Raped, Murdered for Refusing to Convert to Islam, Family Says

A young Christian man was raped and brutally murdered in Pakistan for refusing to convert to Islam, and police are doing nothing about it, the victim’s brother and minister told FOXNews.com.

Pakistani police reportedly found the body of Tariq “Litto” Mashi Ghauri — a 28-year-old university student in Sargodha, Pakistan — lying dead in a canal outside a rural village in Punjab Province on May 15. He had been raped and stabbed at least five times.

“They have sexually abuse him, torture him with a knife on his testicle and genitals,” Ghauri’s brother, 24-year-old Salman Nabil Ghauri, said. “They have tortured him very badly, and after that they have stabbed five times with a knife and killed him.”

The family believes Litto Ghauri was murdered by the brothers of his Muslim girlfriend, Shazi Cheema, after they found him in a compromising sexual position with their sister.

The Rev. Haroon Bhatti, a Christian clergyman in the village and a friend of the Ghauri family, said Cheema’s three brothers came to Litto Ghauri’s house on May 11 and gave him an ultimatum: Marry their sister and convert to Islam.

Ghauri agreed to the marriage but refused to accept Islam, and the brothers kidnapped him at gunpoint and drove him to a remote farmhouse, where they tortured and murdered him, the minister said.

See also:
Student Reportedly Raped, Killed in Pakistan
Pakistan: Christian Raped, Murdered for Refusing Islam

So we have reports of Muslims of murdering international aid worker hostages, torturing and murdering a Christian for refusing to convert to Islam, murdering fellow Muslims for protesting, beating musicians for playing music, and, as always, refusing to make peace with the Jews. And that was just today, what will they do for an encore tomorrow?

/based on widely observed behavior over time, the “religion of peace” should be more aptly named the religion of murder, mayhem, and violence