WASHINGTON — Scientists from around the world are providing even more evidence of global warming, one day after President Barack Obama renewed his call for climate legislation.
“A comprehensive review of key climate indicators confirms the world is warming and the past decade was the warmest on record,” the annual State of the Climate report declares.
Compiled by more than 300 scientists from 48 countries, the report said its analysis of 10 indicators that are “clearly and directly related to surface temperatures, all tell the same story: Global warming is undeniable.”
Concern about rising temperatures has been growing in recent years as atmospheric scientists report rising temperatures associated with greenhouse gases released into the air by industrial and other human processes. At the same time, some skeptics have questioned the conclusions.
The new report, the 20th in a series, focuses only on global warming and does not specify a cause.
“The evidence in this report would say unequivocally yes, there is no doubt,” that the Earth is warming, said Tom Karl, the transitional director of the planned NOAA Climate Service.
Things are getting worse, and the powers that be continue throwing money and lives at the quagmire.
What are we even fighting for over there? What’s the goal? The end game? Do we have one? No. So, can we get the fuck out of there already? How many more of our soldiers have to die before Obama admits the situation is FUBAR?
I’m afraid to even ask for the civilian death count.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Bright studio spotlights illuminated the faces of four nervous young men, arms linked as they anxiously awaited their fate. Cameramen stood poised, ready to capture the climactic moment. Finally, the chief judge broke the suspense.
Two of the contestants had been eliminated. The other two had taken a step closer to their dream. Winners and losers, each clad in crisp, dark suits and formal black hats, took turns hugging each other.
The competition is called “Imam Muda,” or “Young Leader” — a Malaysian venture into religious-themed reality TV.
The basic premise may replicate that of reality shows, but here, inside an auditorium at one of Kuala Lumpur’s largest mosques, are notable variations on the tried-and-true formula.
Before each episode, the contestants have gathered to recite a prayer, while the challenges they are judged on have included washing corpses in preparation for burial and ensuring that animals are slaughtered according to Islamic principles.
The prize pool, too, offers a clear indication of the detour the show takes from the usual reality show script. Cash and a new car are up for grabs, but the winner will also be offered a job as an imam, or religious leader, a scholarship to study in Saudi Arabia and an all-expenses-paid pilgrimage to Mecca, Islam’s holiest city.
This is possibly one of the most awesome ideas Malaysian TV has ever invented. And I mean that sincerely. Islam in Malaysia does tend to be more liberal and modern than various other places, but it also has its weird idiosyncrasies that mostly come from a fear of youth and the fear of loss of authority. I remember reading a book a while back that reflected on how young Middle Easterners were approaching Islam and Arab politics, and there was this section about a (Jordanian?) imam who had become a major celebrity, simply for being youth-savvy. He wasn’t especially liberal in his politics or offbeat with his faith, but he did connect to young people better than any other imam, and basically made Islam trendy again.
I’d be curious to see if Imam Muda would ever accept a non-Malay contestant, given that (mostly due to a constitutional passage declaring all Malays to be Muslim) a lot of Malays can’t seem to wrap their heads around the idea of a non-Malay Muslim, especially one that came from a different school of thought or even sect of Islam.* My family’s Bangladeshi, and Bangladesh has tons more Muslims than Malaysia both in numbers and in percentage, but for some reason people kept telling us that we were “doing it wrong”. How about a women-only episode? Or someone who is a Shii’te or Sufi instead of Sunni? Would they accept the openly gay South African imam that was in A Jihad For Love (awesome documentary about Islam and queer culture)? Or would that be too contentious?
* There’s three main “sects” of Islam: Sunni (majority of the world), Shii’te, and Sufi (more mystic school). They’re about as different as Catholics and Protestants, maybe more so, with differences in theological history. Within Sunni you have a few schools of thought which differ in orthodoxy, and these schools tend to spread on a regional basis. South Asians like my parents follow the Hanbali school of thought, which is the most relaxed and liberal one, but in Malaysia the Shafii’e school - the most orthodox - is practiced. Hence the occasional clashes on wearing hijab (not mandatory for Bangladeshis, almost mandatory for Malays) or keeping dogs (less of a taboo in Bangladesh than Malaysia). I think Shii’tes and Sufis aren’t allowed to come and teach at the International Islamic University in Malaysia but I’m not sure whether there’s avenues for them to practice and congregate.
Nifty! Non-Malays should be included… and women, too. Ah well, we can keep dreaming, but in general, really neat idea! More interesting than other “reality” TV ideas floating in US/Canada anyway.
Oh man, i used to joke about the thought of this never thinking it’d actually happen but man, it’s actually real; and leave it to my mom’s people to make it happen. how awesome! And i agree, non-malays and sisters definitely should be allowed on this show, hopefully they allow for some variation soon. I wonder if a show like this could ever start up in other muslim countries considering ideological opinions, state of the media, and willingness and desire to participate of the demograpic, and etc?i’d love to see Dubai, Pakistan or India attempt something like this. but straight up props to Malaysia television for making this a reality show a reality.
“Two qualities are indispensable: first, an intellect that, even in the darkest hour, retains some glimmerings of the inner light which leads to truth; and second, the courage to follow this faint light wherever it may lead.”—Karl Von Clausewitz
Jailbreaking — the practice of unlocking a phone (and particularly an iPhone) so it can be used on another network and/or run other applications than those approved by Apple — has technically been illegal for years. Most jailbroken phones are used on the U.S. T-Mobile network or on overseas carriers, or are used to run applications that Apple refuses to sell, such as Safari ad-blocking apps, alternate keyboard layouts, or programs that change the interface to the iPhone’s SMS system and the way its icons are laid out.
vruz: of course, you won’t hear this bit of news from the faithfull fanbois.
“I gave up my job, my career, my clearance, and I staked my freedom on a gamble: if the American people knew the truth about how they had been lied to, about the myths that had led them to endorse this butchery for twenty-five years, that they would choose against it. And the risk that you take when you do that is that you’ll learn something ultimately about your fellow citizens that you won’t like to hear—and that is that they hear it, they learn from it, they understand it, and they proceed to ignore it.”—
Daniel Ellsberg, one year after the release of the Pentagon Papers.
Fourth: The WikiLeaks war diary will absolutely spur our powerful institutions to look for increasingly draconian ways to clamp down on how we share information. What WikiLeaks represents is what governments and corporations fear: a threat to their cultures of secrecy and dominance in their domains.
Look for Washington and our corporate media to call for new laws to stop this kind of thing. Politicians and bureaucrats who don’t trust us to know what’s really going on — they are legion in both major parties — have allies among the traditional media and the entertainment industry that would gain enormously if the Internet were to be turned into a slightly more interactive version of 20th century print and broadcast media.
If you think the rich and powerful people who run governments and corporate media aren’t working every day to turn back the clock on information they can’t control, you’re not paying attention. WikiLeaks may well have given them new ammunition for pushing the harshest kinds of restrictions. Do we want to be like Saudi Arabia and China? We may find out one of these days, sooner rather than later.
Hiring should be decided on merit, not ethnicity, Mr. Kenney said.
“We can continue to achieve greater diversity in the public sector without prohibiting people from applying for jobs on the grounds of their race or ethnicity,” Mr. Kenney said. “It’s a very simple principle and I think it’s something the vast majority of Canadians would appreciate.”
Apparently today is my day for reblogging dorianisms on the subject of affirmative action…
I’m learning about Canadian racism, the particular and pecular version of white supremacism which is manifest here in the north. It doesn’t have that aggressive edge of lynch-mentality fury you find in the US, but it certainly builds on the same misleading discourse of white victimization and white normativity and social/historical erasure disguised as colorblindness. I realize this sounds like I’m stereotyping Canadians but it really is kind of a more polite version of the same racist politics I’m accustomed to in the US: the conservatives playing the white victimhood card and attacking affirmative action as discrimination against whites; the liberals meekly defending affirmative action and accusing the conservatives of pandering to their white base before an election; and no genuine discussion of racism or colonialism or the architecture of inequality.
I mean, listen to this pro-white soundbite from Treasury Board President Stockwell Day: “While we support diversity in the public service, we want to ensure that no Canadian is barred from opportunities in the public service based on race or ethnicity.” Wow, that is some mild-mannered reasonable-sounding racism! He supports diversity, to an extent! What he’s really saying is: Now I’m not a racist, but yo white people! let’s not get carried away with all this politically correct equality stuff and end up giving away the family farm to the darkies!
“Bin Laden would love to be able to say that in America you can build a church or synagogue anywhere you want, but not a mosque. That fits perfectly with his recruiting pitch — that America has declared war on Islam. And bin Laden would thrill to the claim that a mosque near ground zero dishonors the victims of 9/11, because the unspoken premise is that the attacks really were, as he claims, a valid expression of Islam.”—A Mosque Maligned via NYT (via afghanipoppy)
My Canadian dude. I heard that Canadian troops are handing over some part of Afghanistan to the Americans. I don't really know exactly why or what the story was, but they're basically taking over it. What do you think it all means? And protecting pipe-lines? Yeesh, have I been hood-winked? I don't see what the fighter jets would be good for either but seriously, have I not been watching enough news?
Oh and I was going to ask you...you want to go to Law school? Me too...maybe...Which ones are you considering?
my aspiring planetary globe-trotting friend,
yeaahh that was a couple of weeks ago, wasn’t it? it looks like our “peace-keeping mission” is finally coming to a close soon. it appears as though Canada is handing over the colonializing reigns directly over to the americans now in their former region.
and it’s true, Canadian troops aren’t the only one’s doing it either. i say this because i was fortunate enough to be enrolled in a political science course here in Calgary where my professor invited a former soldier who had just been serving out in Afghanistan to come and speak of his time spent in the army, on his experiences and insights. everything he discussed was revelatory for everyone (minus our sage-like prof); the whole class got schooled in canadian-afghan foreign policy in a matter of minutes.
the whole matter of the pipelines was one of the most poignant points he made (one of many poignant points he made) where he responded to a student asking him something like “why do you really think we’re in Afghanistan?” with “i don’t know but it has something to do with protecting oil pipelines, that’s for sure.” and that’s when the imaginary light bulbs above all of our heads exploded (not lit up, exploed, shattered to pieces). when you do the research and connect the dots, the answer becomes even more convoluted or more apparent, though the situation is far more complex than i’m making it seem. (well then, that isn’t convoluted at all.)
though recounting the speech now is more disheartening than exciting now that i think about it. the guy, though a very collected young man, clearly hadn’t come to terms with everything he experienced and everything he realized and shared and you could see the unease in his aura. it’s some crazy stuff, wouldn’t you agree? who would have thought Canadian affairs could be so fascinating? and thanks for the message/question! :D
lastly about Laws schools, i’ll get back to you when i seriously start considering them; i only know Canadian one’s off the top of my head but to say i’m considering them is a joke. i can hear the schools themselves laughing now at the thought: that i’m considering them. as if i’d even be considered by them lol. how about you though? which ones are you considering? (or are you in the same fobby boat as me lol)
“This Ramadan we are calling on mosques to get their act together. Besides mentioning quitting in sermons, imams should delegate to a committee a plan to make the iftars “green” - that is, recycling paper plates and cutlery and cutting back on lights, at the very least. Related to concern for the environment, mosques should post no smoking signs that make clear that smoking outside the mosque doors is also not acceptable. And leaders need to take a deep breath and also make clear that Hookah smoking is unacceptable behavior.
What’s that you say? “See you later”? Or… “playah hater” perhaps? Yes, I can imagine a young Muslim woman giving me a look as if to say “how dreary!” as she flaunts her chic and daring independence in the El Moot Hookah Bar. Our study showed that Muslim women are smoking shisha at significantly greater levels than they smoke cigarettes. And among young men Shisha pipes are nearly as popular as baggy plaid shorts and flip flops - probably even more addictive, and certainly more dangerous. And this trendy young scene is growing because it is an Arabian nights Orientalist version of identity - because some people apparently like inhaling strawberry vanilla passionfruit and maple nut fudge along with their tobacco - and because our community is minimizing the dangers through lack of information and deliberate denial.
But young Muslims have escaped the mosques in droves because of such moralistic scolding. How are we to counter the corporate onslaught that insists that slowly poisoning yourself and your friends is cool?”—
An interesting article about the undeniable smoking crisis in America, and what we should be doing as Muslims to help one another get over the hump.
he raises some interesting questions and offers some brilliant ideas, about how getting one’s act together in the month of Ramadan means a lot more than just putting out the cigarette or putting the shi’sha nights on hold; rather, it’s about actually becoming holistically pure, which includes our actions that would influence the environment and by really thinking “green”, and using the momentum of the Holy month to have those improved habits continue on into the coming months long after Ramadan is gone.
And i hate to burst anyone’s bubble about shi’sha but read the article, rethink second-hand smoke, and rethink the pass-time. Honestly, you could be playing basketball instead =)
“So I don’t know if readers have been following the Shirley Sherrod affair. It goes like this: Ms. Sherrod was an Agriculture Department official; a right-wing blogger released clips of a video that purportedly showed her making racist remarks; the clips were featured big on Fox News; and the Obama administration promptly fired her.
But whaddya know, the scandal was fake. The clips were taken completely out of context. It was basically as if I said, “Some people say that violence is always the answer; they’re wrong”, Fox ran with the story “Krugman says violence is always the answer”, and the Times fired me.
What’s shocking here isn’t the behavior of the right, which was par for the course. It’s the seemingly limitless credulity of the inside-the-Beltway crowd. I mean, there’s a history here: ACORN, Climategate, Vince Foster, Whitewater, and much much more. (Someone recently reminded me that the GOP held two weeks of hearing on the Clinton Christmas card list.) When the right-wing noise machine starts promoting another alleged scandal, you shouldn’t suspect that it’s fake — you should presume that it’s fake, until further evidence becomes available.”—Krugman on Sherrod (via jonathan-cunningham, thingsimreading, robot-heart-politics, & think4yourself)
Each and every morning, the Day calls out to mankind and says: ‘O son of Adam! I am a new creation and a witness upon your actions. So seize this opportunity and derive benefit from me as I will not return until the Day of Judgment.’ And when the Day returns on the Day of Judgment, it will either give a witness for us, or against us.
“A man once asked the Prophet [s.a.w] if bigotry was to love one’s tribe.
“No,” replied the Prophet “Bigotry is to help your tribe to tyrannize others.”—ibn majah, related by ubadah ibn kathir ash-shamsi (via rangeenhaseena) (via thingsimreading)
“[…] Do not, therefore, do injustice to your own selves [by doing it to others]. O God, have I conveyed your message?
Woe betide you [o people]. When I am gone, do not become kufr and start killing each other.”—
excerpted from his Khutbah on the farewell pilgramage. Bukhari, Abdullah ibn Umar
In no particular order. These are the people I don’t wait to see their posts in my dashboards, but actually have them in my RSS feed. This may take some time, but they are all great people. Funny, talented, smart, affectionate and lovely. Oh and most of them contain actual reading, you know…text posts. :3
Thanks claerwen for adding 4fr on this list, now it’s looking like a real list of some of the most awesome personalities here on Tumblr (except for 46, 4fr is too gracious). If you aren’t following these people, you’re Tumblr experience is SIGNIFICANTLY lacking.
In order to distract myself even further, I shall make some Tumblog recommendations.
Comments Full of Win: This blog is dedicated to weeding out the win from the kill-me-now boring in which the gems are buried on such sites as Reddit and Engadget (just to name a few). With the help of others,…
Today is possibly the best Tauesday i’ve witnessed in years. Why? Because i, for reasons i still cannot entirely comprehend, have been fortunate enough to be recommended by one of my most favourite Tumblrs, Ayatollah.
I cannot do an injustice to her by trying to explain her awesomeness to you but rather i’ll recommend that you read her recommendations. Her post, which is only an infantile percentile of her enchanting marvellousness, is all you need to read to be a believer.
Here’s to you, Aya(tollah). =D
Stop depriving yourself of daily Ayatollah goodness. Get to following her now, Tumblr Fam!
sweeeeet, I didn’t realize your family was from Sri Lanka. Post pictures! Now that the civil war is over (cross fingers), I’m trying to convince my rents to swing by after our trip to India in nov
Lol don’t tell me you assumed I was Pakistani (i have nothing against them really, it’s just that it’s what people always assume. all the time. and then they forget and assume again lol). But yes, i only have prints and the rest are with the fam (can’t post those) but if i ever get around to scanning the prints, i’ll post them for sure!
And i hope you’re able to! It’s really such a beautiful country, with sights beyond compare and the friendliest people you’ll ever meet. i’m sure everyone says this about their motherland but Sri Lanka is seriously where it’s at. You’re making me want to ask my parents the ideal getaway spots for tourists and for locals alike, actually you know what i’ll ask them anyway, let me know if you want to know! =)
“Israel is an unnatural state. It was created by terror that was accommodated by craven British and US “diplomacy”. Israel exists for one reason only: the US government provides the money, weapons, and diplomatic protection. Any other government that murdered thousands of civilians in other countries, as Israel does routinely in Lebanon, Gaza, and the West Bank, would have its entire government and military on trial before the War Crimes Tribunal at the Hague. Israelis have no worst enemy than their own government. Every time the rest of the world tries to hold the Israeli government accountable for its crimes, the US vetoes the UN resolution. America has become the enabler of the Zionist-hijacked Israeli government. And the Israeli government knows it. Israeli government leaders have publicly bragged for decades about their control over the US government.”—
“Mosque construction in the United States has become a catalyst for increased anti-Islam and anti-Muslim sentiment, discrimination and hate crimes in recent years”. On that note, US construction in the Middle East (namely Saudi Arabic in the 1980s) became a catalyst for increased anti-American and Anti-Western sentiment, discrimination and terrorism in recent years. Pot and kettle. As for why I think the WTC site is considered “sacred ground”, aren’t most cemetary-like places? We can get into semantics and deconstruct “sacred ground”, but I’d consider any place where people have an deep emotional connection to the area… WTC site, Native American burial grounds, Machu Picchu, Mecca, Jerusalem, Arlington, the place where your ancestors are buried… all significant, relevant and will make some one emotional if its desecrated.
Hope I didn’t piss anyone off with my reblog and opinion… but I just thought that article provided a deeper context.
It’s hardly the US building in Saudi Arabia that has ramped up Middle Eastern (and beyond) anger toward the US. It’s the ongoing military involvement, demonization and control of the Middle East and increasingly Southwest Asia that many Arabs and/or the broader Muslim community (because they aren’t the same thing) find infuriating. It’s the politics of control, not simply of encroaching upon sacred spaces. This anger goes back to the colonial period, when local peoples were subjugated under foreign rule for decades or longer. It doesn’t matter whether the US is in their holy lands or not. The problem is ongoing Western interference and suppression in their political landscape, and the struggle for control of natural resources, under the pretense that Middle Easterners/Southwest Asians/Muslims/non-white people are too primitive and barbaric to take care of themselves.
There is a vast gulf between this anger and being angry because there is one mosque, inside a building that will be open for community use and provide a variety of services, two blocks from Ground Zero. They aren’t even comparable. Furthermore, much of the white American anger directed at the building of this mosque stems from the same ideas that keep us interfering in the affairs of the non-Western Muslim world: the idea that these are low, nefarious barbarians who are incapable of taking care of themselves but insist upon destroying everyone else and dragging everyone into the mire with them.
I think this idea that Muslims are upset because of American encroachment on “holy lands” is shallow and an almost entirely wrong understanding of the situation, based on stereotypes of Muslims who only care about Allah and never think about higher-minded ideals like independence and self-determination and not being condescended to and controlled by people with racist ideas thousands of miles away. Focusing on the tensions over “sacred spaces” and not on higher level issues like oppression, control, and racism is missing the point entirely.
I’ve found that people who avoid cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs are extremely uninteresting persons. Vos Savant should try “Idiot” as an alternative to “Vos.” It would more accurately describe her condition. Of course so would “Stick Up The Ass,” but that would be a terribly awkward last name. — Ryking
Actually, if one’s charm or interesting-ness is situated on their use of cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs then their middle names should definitely be replaced by “idiot.” Sure, there are many of us who do not abuse any of the above who are, for lack of a better word, boring —but kudos to them if they’re actually adhering to their principles. and I know we live in a time where people do all of the above without anyone knowing but i secretly love finding people who don’t smoke, drink, or get high because of the people i know, they are actually the most fascinating people i’ve ever met. i guess i’ve been very fortunate that way. (oh, and it’s always fun exchanging embarrassing stories with someone whose gone through the similar struggle of always being the DD or the only sober one from those oh-so-crazy nights =P)