Thursday, August 16, 2012

Saudi Arabia objects to dot gay domain

Because Saudi Arabia is clearly such a 'moral' society:
Opposition to the creation of the internet address ending .gay has been voiced by Saudi Arabia. Its Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) said the action would be "offensive" to some societies and cultures.

The authority has filed an official objection to the move with Icann - the organisation overseeing the rollout of hundreds of new generic top-level domains (gTLD). "Many societies and cultures consider homosexuality to be contrary to their culture, morality or religion," its submission said.

"The creation of a gTLD string which promotes homosexuality will be offensive to these societies and cultures. We respectfully request that Icann refuse the application for this gTLD."

The country has also objected to:

.sex on the grounds it would increase the proliferation of pornographic material on the web.

.virgin, .sucks, .dating and .baby because they might also be used by pornographic sites.

.tattoo because the practice is contrary to religions "such as Islam and Judaism".

.wine and .vodka since they could glamourise the consumption of alcohol.

.africamagic because it "implies that it is linked to black magic and this is considered offensive".
More

85 comments:

Bruno said...

Ah yes, Saudi Arabia, bastion of freedom, democracy and tolerance. No Arab Spring for them,

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
Apparently they're no longer content with merely blocking sites they don't like.

Bruno said...

Here's a blast from the past, for anyone that might be interested

"In Iraqi town where Saddam Hussein was captured, the man who hid him speaks up"

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/in-iraqi-town-where-saddam-hussein-was-captured-the-man-who-hid-him-speaks-up/2012/08/15/4802d188-db33-11e1-9745-d9ae6098d493_story.html?tid=pm_world_pop

Marcus said...

Arab spring Bruno? Well, Tunisia that used to be one of the most secular of all arab muslim countries had one of those. Look what it got them:

"Thousands of Tunisians have protested in the capital, Tunis, against moves by the Islamist-led government which they fear will reduce women's rights.

The government has unveiled a draft constitution which refers to women as "complementary to men"."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-19253289

When the rulerss try to change the constitution in that way you can bet they have plans to use that to enact various other legislation based on that text. One example: if women are "complementary to men" then perhaps they need to be chaperoned by a male if they go outside? Because what reason does a mere "complement" have for walking around (or existing even) without that which it is a complement to?

Further: there's a campaign now by the Islamists to strip olympic silver medalist Habiba Ghribi of her Tunisian citizenship because she had the audacity to run the 3000 meter race in shorts. And swimmer Ousamma Mellouli who won a gold- and a brons-medal is he welcome home Tunisia? No, because he was seen breaking the ramadan fast by drinking juice.

It's not an Arab spring Bruno, it's an islamist winter. Their tourism is dying right now by the way, and why shouldn't it? Who would want to go there now? Same with Egypt, they will soon be broke ans starving. They would have been starving now if not for loans from the KSA and Quatar. They should build a landing strip by the pyramids so tourists can fly in, snap a picture and fly out again because that's all the tourism they'll have left now that tha salafist moral police roams the streets and beaches.

But I do agree with you on Saudi Arabia. They are still in a league of their own. The sad part is others are catching up.

Bruno said...

Good points all, Marcus.

I haven't been following the aftermath of Tunisia, for example, and what you posted is sobering.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

PeteS,

I will continue that series in the comments section below.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
Re:  American politics.

Those of you who closely follow American politics (or even those who've been following my occasional commentary here on the same subject) may recall that Mitt Romney secured the Republican nomination mostly by outspending his rivals by ratios of three, four, five, or, sometimes, even seven to one.  These expenditures were mostly made on ‘attack’ ads directed against whichever rival had most recently risen in the polls to challenge him.  By this method he successfully dispatched several challengers in sequence.  The strategy came to be known as ‘carpet bombing’, and it was wildly successful.

Figures are just in for last month's spending.  Pro-Romney ‘super-PACs’ outspent the one pro-Obama super-PAC by a ratio of eight to one.

(And these numbers don't include Romney's own fundraising which has significantly outstripped Obama's fundraising for several months in a row now.)

Petes said...

On making my annual trip over to Paul Edwards's blog, I see that he has now become a Muslim (quite seriously), and prays five times a day and fasts for Ramadan. He hopes to take over the mosque and deliver pro-Western speeches at Friday sermon.

Over at his religious website he also makes this offer:

"For members of the Mu'tazilah faith, there is an exciting accommodation offer about to start. I (Paul) am about to buy my own property, and will make the master bedroom (with ensuite) available for use by guests. You will have the master bedroom so that you can have privacy and be comfortable. The room will be completely free of charge, and you are just expected to leave it in the same condition you found it in, for the next person. I'll take care of washing the sheets though, so you don't need to worry about whether the instruction manual for the washing machine is in Japanese etc."

"There is a catch though. You need to be able to convince me via online chat that you really are a member of the Mu'tazilah religion, and would thus not steal my property while you are a guest in my house. I will do my best to determine if you are a genuine devotee. E.g. if you have publicly written to your government requesting that your military is deployed to protect the rights of the Syrian freedom fighters. More details will be provided as soon as possible. Expected availability is in the last half of 2012 (I won't say "later in winter" because my target audience includes northern hemispherans who will be very confused - hint, it's currently (2012-06-29) winter and my feet are fucking freezing at the moment). You will also need to join God's Army. Oh, you will also need to take the shahada at the Auburn Gallipoli mosque, to more formally register your new faith, and attend at least one prayer. If you're worried about going into a real (and alien) mosque, don't be. These people are the friendliest and most accepting people I have ever met. And I'll be there with you.
"


(Those friendly and accepting people include the guy he just called a "f*cking pr*ck" in his latest blog post for making anti-Western speeches).

:-)

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Paul Edwards is still around?

Judging by that date and the season, in Australia, is he?

Hmmm...no, I don't think I'll be taking him up on his offer.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Lee,

That tax return thing is still going to hurt Romney. Even if he did pay not less than 13%(which is low, anyway), that doesn't mean he actually filed on time within each year. As someone pointed out in a recent news show, the IRS was offering amnesty during a couple of those years for those who didn't file. It shouldn't be that big of a deal to publish your tax returns, so if he won't, there's a reason

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
      "As someone pointed out in a recent news show,
      the IRS was offering amnesty during a couple of
      those years for those who didn't file. It shouldn't be
      that big of a deal to publish your tax returns, so if he
      won't, there's a reason.
"

The Swiss government, rather reluctantly and after considerable pressure, decided to start cooperating with the IRS regarding Americans who might be hiding assets in Swiss accounts.  This wasn't about just ‘didn't file’, but, rather, included people who did file but lied, outright tax fraud.  When the Swiss agreed to reveal the Americans identities and stashes, the US government offered amnesty to folks who wanted to declare their profits and pay their taxes on the money they'd hidden, so long as they did it before they were given up by the Swiss.

The Obama campaign has offered to shut up about the tax returns if Romney will go back just five years--which, perhaps coincidentally, just happens to cover the period of the amnesty program.  Romney has refused the offer.
And, yeah, I agree; this ain't goin’ away any time soon.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
More re:  American politics

I was watching FoxNewsSunday, and then NBC's Meet The Press, and then This Week on ABC this morning.  All three had political hacks from both major political parties trying to talk about ‘cuts’ to Medicare and anticipated spending on ObamaCare.  My overwhelming takeaway from the experience was that none of those clowns understood even basic economics.  Perhaps an understanding of basic economics isn't an advantage in a career as a political hack.  Then it occured to me that maybe they understood better than they let on, and had made the very political calculation that telling the truth would be counterproductive to their politically centered purposes.
(ABC actually had on some politicians who knew what the hell they were talking about, Chris Van Hollen (D) and Pat Toomey (R), as well as a couple of economics guys, but they managed to ‘balance’ the econ guys with the likes of Grover Norquist and Kimberly Strassel, which kept the conversation from becoming too high level.)

Petes said...

[Lynnette]: "Paul Edwards is still around? Judging by that date and the season, in Australia, is he?"

It seems so. I feel very sorry for him -- his writing is even more bizarre than previously. It seems he has been committed recently, and that wouldn't be the first time. Eight years ago when I first came across him he claimed to be married, but no longer (even though he claims he was arrested recently for threatening to shoot his non-existent wife).

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

This wasn't about just ‘didn't file’, but, rather, included people who did file but lied, outright tax fraud.

Ahhhh...oh, yeah, if that's what he did, then that would put his campaign six feet under. Even the Republicans aren't too thrilled with someone who cheats.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Eight years ago when I first came across him he claimed to be married, but no longer (even though he claims he was arrested recently for threatening to shoot his non-existent wife).

lol!

Ah well, maybe the arrest was also non-existent?

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Whoever said Russia had freedom of speech?

2 years for Pussy Riot?

Miiiiiiisssstaaaaakkkkkkeee...!

Okay, even though Zeyad has stopped speaking to us(does anyone else find this odd?), sometimes there is a tweet in Zeyad's Twitter I must take note of.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
      "does anyone else find this odd?"

Not me.  He can, and does, sometimes lay off making blog entries or responding to comments for months at a time.

Bridget said...

Ummm, having money in a Swiss bank account is perfectly legal, so long as you disclose it and pay money on any income earned. I'm guessing we wouldn't even know that Romney had a Swiss account unless he had properly DISCLOSED it and paid any taxes due. He prolly shouldn't have done it since he's running for President......but if the US continues to insist on electing the likes of Obama/Pelosi/Reid, having some assets stashed legally in a superior political environment is a smart thing.

I really do think that it's time for Romney to release his transcripts and test scores. Then the campaigns can really get into some good discussions about offering to shut up about things.

Bridget said...

" It shouldn't be that big of a deal to publish your tax returns, so if he won't, there's a reason"

Probably the same reason Obama refused to release his birth certificate.

Bridget said...

I'm guessing that PE has given up on converting Muslims to his religion and has decided instead to see about subverting theirs.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
      "I really do think that it's time for Romney to
      release his transcripts and test scores.
"

And maybe his long form birth certificate too?
I'd be willing to bet agin that happenin’, even without the birth certificate.  I'd be willing to give odds too.

      "Probably the same reason Obama refused to
      release his birth certificate.
"

And, again, I'd be willing to bet agin that proposition.  Obama refused to release his birth certificate for so long because he was somewhat indignant about the ‘birthers’ allegations.  The demand was beyond uncommon; it was unprecedented.  Nobody else has ever been asked for that.  Not to my knowledge anyway.  It was insulting, black dude got his back up about the insult is my guess.
I'm willing to guess that Romney does not think that it's uncommon or unprecedented for folks to ask for a look at his tax returns.  I'd be willing to bet, and give odds, that Romney knew going in to the election that this was a common and expected disclosure. 
(However, I don't know how we'd settle a bet over what Romney knew and didn't know.)

Bruno said...

"he was arrested recently for threatening to shoot his non-existent wife"

LMAO! That does indeed sound like our fruitcake supreme. I still regret that he and the simian never really got to grips. :(

Bridget said...

"And maybe his long form birth certificate too?"

Definitely. Paul Ryan too.

Bridget said...


 "The demand was beyond uncommon; it was unprecedented.  Nobody else has ever been asked for that.  Not to my knowledge anyway.  "

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/01/AR2008050103224.html

 

Bridget said...

Presidential candidates whose eligibility was questioned:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_Born_Citizen_Clause#Presidential_candidates_whose_eligibility_was_questioned

But why not play the race card any time anybody wants to see your credentials.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

[Lynnette] does anyone else find this odd?

[Lee] Not me. He can, and does, sometimes lay off making blog entries or responding to comments for months at a time.

Yes, this is true in the past, although not this year, and normally I wouldn't question it. I guess it is just after what he told us about the difficulties he was having with his family and reading stuff like this that I start to look at his behavior differently. Even his tweets are few and far between.

*sigh* Maybe I'm just paranoid after reading so much about Middle Eastern "honor" crap.

Hmmm...we'll see...

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

[Bridget] I'm guessing that PE has given up on converting Muslims to his religion and has decided instead to see about subverting theirs.

It worked for Islam in Iran.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...


[Lynnette] It shouldn't be that big of a deal to publish your tax returns, so if he won't, there's a reason.

[Bridget] Probably the same reason Obama refused to release his birth certificate.

Then a missed opportunity on Romney's part to one up Obama. But now he's just got people wondering what he wants to hide.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
      "Bridget @ 8:23 AM" and again @ "8:31 AM"

I don't see any indication that any of your examples include a demand for production of a long-form birth certificate.  Did you intend to concede that point, or did you instead think you'd successfully controverted it?

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
      "Definitely. Paul Ryan too."
     

Well then, I'd have to hazard the guess that releasing school records in lieu of releasing tax returns would only have the effect of intensifying the interest in and demand for a look at those tax returns.  It strikes me as an obviously counterproductive maneuver for the Romney campaign.  I'd be willing to bet that even they can see that, and so it'll never happen.

Bridget said...

"But now he's just got people wondering what he wants to hide."

Maybe he knows that the Obama campaign will make stuff up about his returns. They might even go so far as to accuse him of being a felon. Oh wait, they already did that. He could even be accused of killing a cancer patient. Oh wait, that's been done also. Maybe they might twist the fact that he once had a Swiss bank account (properly disclosed and taxes paid) into innuendo that he's evading taxes.

here is an article about why someone might want a Swiss bank account.

http://www.dailyfinance.com/2012/04/11/mitt-romney-swiss-bank-accounts/
Our own Petes wisely kept his money out of Irish banks when they were going under. Obama crony Jon Effing Corzine is apparently not only not going to be prosecuted for losing hundreds of millions of customer funds, he is thinking about starting a new hedge fund. :(

Who wouldn't want an alternative to the sewer that our financial system has become?

Bridget said...

"I don't see any indication that any of your examples include a demand for production of a long-form birth certificate."

So, it's your position that the black dude was down with the birthers questioning his eligibility, but it was the long form birth certificate that got him feeling all insulted?

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...


      "So, it's your position that the black dude was
      down with the birthers questioning his eligibility, but it
      was the long form birth certificate that got him feeling
      all insulted?
"

Well, he put his official birth certificate (a ‘certificate of live birth’--that's what they gave me when I asked for a copy of mine) up on the web when he was running, back in 2008, and the question of his birthplace first came up, and he didn't seem to mind all that much.  So, yeah, I kinda think it was the demand that he go that extra mile nobody else has ever been asked to go that might have gotten his back up.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
Lynnette,

I'm reading that Romney is a different fella on the campaign stump, more energized and more relaxed, when he's got Ryan at his side.  I'm seeing that from conservative and liberal writers alike.  Whadda you make of that, if anything?  (I would also note that he gets larger and more enthusiastic crowds if Ryan's gonna appear on stage with him; like McCain and Palin, the veep candidate seems to be the one drawin’ the crowds.)

Marcus said...

US politics aside, are we taking bets?

I bet that within a year (and maybe much sooner) we'll see upheval in Egypt due to diminishing incomes and food scarcirty.

I say Egypt will be the first victim of the so called "spring". And that the sparks that light the fie will be a lack of fuel and food.

To better my odds I'll give it a year, but we'll probably see it before then.

Anyone taking bets?

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
You got a firm definition for ‘upheaval’?

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
By the way, Intrade has recently opened a book on whether or not Romney will be compelled to offer up tax returns for any years prior to the 2010 returns he's already offered up.  Current betting is only 30% for the proposition.  (I said long ago that this ought to be a bettable event; it has become so.)

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Bridget,

Maybe he knows that the Obama campaign will make stuff up about his returns. They might even go so far as to accuse him of being a felon. Oh wait, they already did that.

Yup, give them an inch and they'll take a mile. That's why so many people opt for transparency.

Our own Petes wisely kept his money out of Irish banks when they were going under.

Unfortunatly he was forced to convert his retirement account from dollars to Euros when he retired...er quit. Bad timing, perhaps.

Obama crony Jon Effing Corzine is apparently not only not going to be prosecuted for losing hundreds of millions of customer funds, he is thinking about starting a new hedge fund. :(

There now, as I've said in the past, prosecute the lot of 'em. However, I have a feeling no one listens to me. :(

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Lee,

I'm reading that Romney is a different fella on the campaign stump, more energized and more relaxed, when he's got Ryan at his side.

I get the feeling that Ryan is a charismatic kind of guy. Probably works on Romney too. And too, just having the support of another warm body helps to take the edge off the stress level.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Marcus,

I bet that within a year (and maybe much sooner) we'll see upheval in Egypt due to diminishing incomes and food scarcirty.

Yet the MB is intent on consolidating their power. Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.

No, I don't think I'll bet against you on this, Marcus. As we discussed in the prior thread, food shortages are very likely globally, and those who import the most are going to be paying a premium. Egypt, and other countries who can least afford it, will be put under much greater stress.


Petes said...

[Bridget]: "Our own Petes wisely kept his money out of Irish banks when they were going under."

[Lynnette]: "Unfortunatly he was forced to convert his retirement account from dollars to Euros when he retired...er quit. Bad timing, perhaps."

Two different things. The dollar conversion was after the sale of shares quoted in dollars. The bank account thing was a lack of willingness to hold euros in an Irish institution. As it happens, I got enticed back to an Irish bank earlier this year by a rate of return that seemed to justify the risk. Now that rates are dropping I will be moving back out again.

Regarding the Swiss bank account thing, at least one of my siblings and lots of other average people have Swiss bank accounts, as a hedge against perceived currency risk. It puzzles me that Americans are quizzical about Romney doing likewise, especially since in other financial areas such as share ownership and trading, the average Yank in the street is generally ahead of their European counterpart. Maybe it's just that the concept of currency risk is a novelty to most Americans, since the dollar has traditionally been a safe haven currency. But that can hardly last forever with your national debt level and annual budget deficit. It seems a bit bizarre to blame a Republican who presumably acknowledges this for putting his money where his mouth is.

Petes said...

Bruno, that nasty business at the Marikana mine can't have been too far from you ... couple of dozen miles north west iirc?

Petes said...

Lynnette, plus ca change! ... just as that 1862 Minnesota climate article I referenced mentioned that trade was very much at the whim of Minnesota/Mississippi water levels, I read that it's once again a concern this year.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
      "Regarding the Swiss bank account thing… It
      puzzles me…
"

There were quite a number of well-monied Americans who ‘fessed up to prior tax evasions back when they were turning in their 2008, 2009 tax returns.  When the Swiss unexpectedly agreed to cooperate with the IRS's efforts to identify tax cheats who were hiding their untaxed taxables in Swiss banks there were a bunch of high rollers suddenly lookin’ to get hooked deep and hard for tax evasion, the proof was suddenly and unexpectedly available.  High rollers and politicians both bein’ what they are, pretty much the world over, this was considered an unacceptable outcome.  An amnesty program was quickly conceived and implemented.  All they had to do was ‘fess up before the IRS got the numbers on them from the Swiss.

Other than John McCain, whose finances were of no interest to anybody ‘cause he lived high mostly off his wife's money, no candidate for the American presidency has released less than five years' worth of back tax returns since Romney's father first instituted the practice back in the late 1960s.  Coincidentally, this five year period just happened to cover the time period for the IRS's tax cheat amnesty program.

Are you still puzzled?  Or do you perhaps get it now?

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
      "All they had to do was ‘fess up before"

Well, they had to ‘fess up and pay the unpaid taxes, and maybe interest, I'm not sure about whether they had to pay interest or not.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

PeteS,

...in other financial areas such as share ownership and trading, the average Yank in the street is generally ahead of their European counterpart.

That's mostly due to the creation of retirement plans, such as 401ks or Simmples. Stock mutual funds are a big part of the options given. Ask if they really understand the risks involved and the answer is probably "no". That's why so many were hurt after the meltdown. And now the fixed income options are horrible as well because of the low interest rates. The only sure safe haven is if you have a job and can collect a paycheck.

...just as that 1862 Minnesota climate article I referenced mentioned that trade was very much at the whim of Minnesota/Mississippi water levels, I read that it's once again a concern this year.

Yes. A lot of our goods are sent via barges on the river. Sending things by truck is a lot more expensive. That means higher costs at the grocery store. Even without the spectacular events caused by climate change, the little things could nickel and dime us to death.

Bridget said...

"There were quite a number of well-monied Americans who ‘fessed up to prior tax evasions back when they were turning in their 2008, 2009 tax returns"

The man has been planning to run for, or actually running for, president for more than five years now. It verges on birther-think to believe that he evaded taxes and then fessed up in 2008 or 2009. At an effective tax rate of 13%, AND considering his political aspirations, he has absolutely no incentive to do anything other than pay his taxes with a big smile on face.

Bridget said...

Speaking of odds, I wonder what the odds are that the Obamacampaign puts out a hit on Biden before the first Vice Presidential debate. :)

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
      "It verges on birther-think to believe that he evaded
      taxes and then fessed up in 2008 or 2009.
"

That depends on how surprised one might have been by wholly unprecedented Swiss decision to begin cooperating with the IRS and to start revealing names and numbers.  A fair number of well-monied, supposedly sophisticated people got caught with their pants down. 

Bridget said...

Now I'm totally insulted. Passport applicants born in Texas or California have to present their long form birth certificate.

http://www.visarite.com/birthcertificate.htm

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
I'm pretty sure Obama already had a passport.  I seem to recall he made several trips abroad prior to becoming President.

Bridget said...

Oh yes, his foreign policy experience, I remember it well.

Fortunately, he was not forced to undergo the indignity of being forced to produce his long form birth certificate at such a tender age, being as how he was born in Hawaii and not in the red haired stepchild states of Texas and California. He was thusly steeled against the rigors of being forced to produce it after he became the leader of the free world, with presumably far more taxing experiences to deal with.

Petes said...

[Lynnette]: "The only sure safe haven is if you have a job and can collect a paycheck."

That's very comforting to know ... seeing as how it's the thing I just gave up :-)

Petes said...

Anyone else finding it increasingly hard to read the word verifications? Last comment just took me four attempts. It's like the scrunched-upedness has been dialled up a couple of notches.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
Bridget, are you actually intending to try to lend credibility to the birthers fantasies, or have you maybe just let yourself get too wound up here?

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
      "Anyone else finding it increasingly hard to read
      the word verifications?
"

Yep. 

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
I see that ‘Herbert Hoover: Landslide’ is on PBS this evening.  A retelling of the wondrous success of our last greatest businessman/president.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
Lynnette,

Another quaere for you here.  Republican partisans have long played up a fantasy scenario which has Obama replacing Biden with Hillary Clinton.  It's resurfaced time and again over the last four years.  (And, may have popped up in this thread just here recently.)  I don't get it, never did.  You got a clue what secret dream is behind this fantasy of theirs?

Bridget said...

 
"Bridget, are you actually intending to try to lend credibility to the birthers fantasies, or have you maybe just let yourself get too wound up here?"

I don't know what you are talking about. I was poking fun at the notion that it was some bfd for Obama to get a long form birth certificate. If you are from Texas or California, you have to get one to get a passport.

I just read a Vanity Fair article that states that Romney has refused in other political races (preceding the amnesty years,btw) to release his tax returns.

Why would anyone willing to undergo a Presidential campaign get hung up on releasing birth certificates and tax returns? I don't have a clue. Like I said, maybe they both have the same reason.




Petes said...

Apropos of Zeyad's post about Saudi Arabia being a "moral" society, I came across some quite risque Arabic poems which are supposed to have been hung on the very walls of the Ka'ba in Mecca (hence al Mu'allaqat -- the hanging poems). They are pre-Islamic, but were transmitted orally until first written down about 100 years into the Islamic era. Apparently the later Rawis (reciters) may have modified them to make sure they accorded with Islamic theology, but they seem to have only been interested in purging polytheistic allusions, and not interfering with the saucy bits.

I came across them circuitously, from looking up information about the lovely Pleiades which rise around midnight these nights. That led me to Tennyson's poem, Locksley Hall:

"Many a night I saw the Pleiads rising through the mellow shade
Glitter like a swarm of fireflies tangl'd in a silver braid"


Apparently Tennyson was directly inspired by "The Moallakat; or Seven Arabian Poems which were Suspended on the Temple at Mecca, with a Translation and Argument", the first European translation by Sir William Jones in 1782. In Jones's translation of The Poem of Amriolkais (Imru' al-Qais), Tennyson read:

"Besides these, with many a spotless virgin, whose tent had not yet been frequented, have I held soft dalliance at perfect leisure.

To visit one of them, I passed the guards of her bower, and a hostile tribe, who would have been eager to proclaim my death.

It was the hour when the Pleiads appeared in the firmament, like the folds of a silken sash variously decked with gems.

I approached: she stood expecting me by the curtain; and, as if she was preparing for sleep, had put off all her vesture but her night-dress.

She said: "By Him who created me," and gave me her lovely hand, "I am unable to refuse thee; for I perceive that the blindness of thy passion is not to be removed."


The last line may be one of those Islamic monotheistic doctorings -- they seem not to have been too put out by the rest of the content. Anyway, I thought it was pretty, especially the astronomical bits ;-)

Here's the poem in English, the Arabic text, and an Arabic recital (which sounds enchanting even if completely unintelligible to me).

Petes said...

It's D-day -- Curiosity rover goes for its first drive today.

Bridget said...

The Vanity Fair hatchet job is here:

http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/2012/08/investigating-mitt-romney-offshore-accounts

Upon rereading it, I think I better understand Romney's reluctance. Although this sort of thing comes with the territory. If you are the type of thin skinned person who gets all insulted about nonsense, then you are not very adequately equipped to be the leader of the free world.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
      "Why would anyone willing to undergo a Presidential
      campaign get hung up on releasing birth certificates
      and tax returns?
"

I seem to recall that Romney took Ted Kennedy to task for not releasing tax information when Romney challenged him for that Massachusetts' Senate seat (although that's not exactly customary for senators, unlike presidential candidates).  Romney didn't reveal his either, of course; but presumably that's because Kennedy didn't do it first.  This was, however, back before the tax amnesty of the late double aughts.
More to the point, it's fairly well expected of presidential candidates, and recent polling seems to show this is hurting Romney with the general public and especially with potential swing voters; there's about a 30 point spread on perceptions on that particular issue.  NBCNews  Presumably Romney knows this is hurting him with swing potential swing voters, and has decided to just take the hit.  (I have not yet read the Vanity Fair article.)

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
And, just for the record, I do think that trying to equate Romney's tax secrecy with the birthers' fantasies is more than just a bit of a stretch.  Has this been workin’ for ya before?  Or are you maybe tryin’ it out here?

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

[Lynnette]: The only sure safe haven is if you have a job and can collect a paycheck.

[PeteS] That's very comforting to know ... seeing as how it's the thing I just gave up :-)

lol!

Oh, sorry Pete. :) Well, how's this, they say when stocks are low it's a good time to buy. And really, if one had bought right after the crash when other people were selling, and held on, then you'd be looking pretty good right now, even with the market volatility.

Yup, I've noticed too that some of the word verifications are even squishier than usual.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Lee,

You got a clue what secret dream is behind this fantasy of theirs?

Republicans? Democrats I could understand, but Republicans? Maybe a death wish?

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Btw, a magnifying glass really helps with the squishy word thing. ;)

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

PeteS,

Doing poetry? I thought you didn't like it?

Risque? That sounds more like something Dayez would write about, rather than Zeyad. ;)

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
      "Maybe a death wish?"

Probably that's not it.  But, yes, I meant Republicans.  It, that is the Hillary replaces Biden as veep fantasy, regularly makes the rounds of the Glenn Hannibaugh circuit, but occassionally breaks into sites like Real Clear Politics or Politico or, less often, even mainstream media.  Most recently it was a writer named Ed Klein who got air time with Shawn Hannity among others just this past week, even got a mention on CBS.

It seems you have no better insight into that one than I have.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
Post Script:

In the most recent iteration of the Hillary replaces Biden fantasy, Hillary actually turned down the offer of the veep slot.  Normally she's said to be still considering it, or, occasionally, to have already accepted the offer, public announcement soon to follow.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
Today's entry re:  American politics
A public service announcement:

Couple of guys from MIT have created a free iphone app that rats out the super-PACs running TV ads.  It's available here

      "It works not unlike Shazam: The app identifies a
      political TV ad by its audio, then uses PolitiFact,
      FactCheck.org and other sources to track the ad’s
      truthfulness and funding sources. Funded by a
      $240,000 grant from the Knight Foundation, the app
      is free to download, doesn’t contain ads and, its
      creators insist, nonpartisan.
"
      Politico.com
      (emphasis added)

Petes said...

[Lynnette]: "PeteS, Doing poetry? I thought you didn't like it?"

I make an exception for astronomy-related poetry :-)

"Shall I compare thee to a thirty solar mass black hole", and such. :-)

Petes said...

That last comment must have taken 20 word verifications! :(

Marcus said...

Tunisia:

http://www.english.rfi.fr/africa/20120823-france-calls-meeting-tunisia-over-assault-french-politician

"[French] Agriculture minister Stéphane Le Foll went further, telling the French television news channel ITele, “If this is democratic transition, then Tunisian leaders have some serious questions to answer.”"

Marcus said...

It's not many news items that escape out of Bahrein these days, but here's one I picked up on:

http://www.voltairenet.org/Bahraini-regime-uses-toxic-gasses

Apparently while gassing people is a very bad thing to do for some rulers it's not that big a deal for others. Wonder why that is?

Zeyad said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zeyad said...

Apparently while gassing people is a very bad thing to do for some rulers it's not that big a deal for others. Wonder why that is?

Maybe Bahrain housing the US fifth fleet and largest US naval base in the region has something to do with it? Perhaps if they ever decide to liberate the Bahraini Shia ten years from now they'll bring it up then.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
I'd prefer to just close the base and move somewhere else.  Rent in a better neighborhood.  That might not be practical though. 

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Pete,

"Shall I compare thee to a thirty solar mass black hole", and such. :-)

lol!

Okay, fair enough.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

[Marcus] Apparently while gassing people is a very bad thing to do for some rulers it's not that big a deal for others. Wonder why that is?

Perhaps that's something Hilary Clinton should be asked.

{Zeyad] Maybe Bahrain housing the US fifth fleet and largest US naval base in the region has something to do with it?

Unfortunately, hard to find allies in that region that have clean hands, I'm thinking.

[Lee] I'd prefer to just close the base and move somewhere else. Rent in a better neighborhood.

There are many people who agree with you, including the nuke 'em all crazies.

That might not be practical though.

Indeed. Also, I don't think it would stop the teargassing of protesters or other civilian areas. Which I should think is the outcome we would desire, irregardless of where the US navy is hanging its hat.

My guess is that right about now the administration is focusing more on Syria and the massive amouont of bloodshed, and flows of refugees, caused by the fighting there, rather than what is happening in Bahrain.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.      said...

 
      "Perhaps that's something Hilary Clinton should be
      asked.
"

Speaking of Hillary Clinton, it's my theory that the reason the right-wing crazies want Hillary on the Obama ticket, to the extent that they fantasize about it, has to do with Clinton, and not Obama nor Biden.  Bill whupped ‘em.  They thought they had him dead to rights, caught him cheatin’ on Hillary, caught him red handed, so to speak.  In the Oval Office no less.  And damn if the bastard didn't survive the impeachment; come out even more popular while they came away from bruised all up, and Hillary was on his side.  If Hillary had just done the damaged wife thing like she should have done, instead of publicly siding with him anyway….  She helped him beat the rap, and they're really, really wanting some payback for that one.  They're afraid she won't run again and they'll never be able to pay either of them back for that whuppin’ they took.

      "Also, I don't think it would stop the teargassing of
      protesters or other civilian areas. Which I should think
      is the outcome we would desire
"

Sure, that'd be the preferable resolution; in a more perfect world we might even want to work to achieve that goal.  But I don't see much advantage to our getting involved in what's already become a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and the Iranians.  "Liberating" Arab religious fanatics for the sake of liberating Arab religious fanatics doesn't seem to me to be an activity that's likely to be worth the trouble it takes to do it.  I'd just as soon stay out of that one.  Highly unlikely that it wouldn't come back around to bite us.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

But I don't see much advantage to our getting involved in what's already become a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and the Iranians.

I tend to agree with you on this, Lee. As far as I can tell Syria is of far more immediate concern. Its violence has a risk of spreading far more rapidly throughout the region. Although I wouldn't be against some private behind the scenes diplomacy to try to get the Bahraini's to lighten up.

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