Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Saudi woman beats up virtue cop

Kind of a strange story, from the Jerusalem Post, but probably encouraging:

A member of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, the Saudi religious police known locally as the Hai’a, asked the couple to confirm their identities and relationship to one another, as it is a crime in Saudi Arabia for unmarried men and women to mix.


According to the Saudi daily Okaz, the woman then allegedly laid into the religious policeman, punching him repeatedly, and leaving him to be taken to the hospital with bruises across his body and face.

“To see resistance from a woman means a lot,” Wajiha Al-Huwaidar, a Saudi women’s rights activist, told The Media Line news agency. “People are fed up with these religious police, and now they have to pay the price for the humiliation they put people through for years and years. This is just the beginning and there will be more resistance.”

“The media and the Internet have given people a lot of power and the freedom to express their anger,” she said. “The Hai’a are like a militia, but now whenever they do something it’s all over the Internet. This gives them a horrible reputation and gives people power to react.”

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Mr. Obama's Legacy

It appears that the 2010 mid-term elections may have several black Republican candidates, due at least partly, to the effects of Barack Obama'a presidency. Obama's influence shakes out in two important, though somewhat contradictory ways:

Party officials and the candidates themselves acknowledge that they still have uphill fights in both the primaries and the general elections, but they say that black Republicans are running with a confidence they have never had before. They credit the marriage of two factors: dissatisfaction with the Obama administration, and the proof, as provided by Mr. Obama, that blacks can get elected.

I am glad to see this happening for a number of reasons. First, though I evidently never wrote it down, I have been saying all along that Obama's presidency would eventually put a nail in the coffin of the trope that America is a racist country. I don't expect that to happen over-night (I am, after all, a conservative) but I am glad to see that this is already begining to happen.

It is ironic that Obama's failure should also be a spur to black Republicans, but that is how politics works. It is especially ironic since (as I noted here and here) much of Obama's success as a candidate was due to his avoidance of tactics typical of black candidates: he did not play the victim or incite racial resentment and he down-played his leftism.

Using many of the same tactics as Kennedy used to break the stigma of Roman Catholics in politics, Obama deserves credit for breaking the racial barrier, whether real or percieved. Now it is time for candidates with better political philosphies to take up the torch and make racial demagoguery truly a thing of the past.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Library Book Overdue 100 Years

This is so awesome:

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. – The book returned to the New Bedford Public Library in Massachusetts this week wasn't overdue by a week, a month or even a year. It was nearly a century overdue, and the fine came to $361.35.

"Facts I Ought to Know about the Government of My Country" was supposed to have been returned by May 10, 1910.

Stanley Dudek told the Standard Times newspaper he came across the book while going through things that had belonged to his mother, who died about 10 years ago. He decided that returning the book to the city was the right thing to do.

The overdue book fine was a penny a day in 1910. But Dudek wasn't asked to pay it.

The library plans to display the book in its special collection.

I totally would have paid that fine, just for bragging rights. Actually, what I probably would have done was wait until it was exactly 100 years overdue. So cool.