Is Bush telling the truth?

I check internet hoaxes on a great site called Snopes.com

But Google has bigger things in mind.

Imagine being able to check instantly whether or not statements made by politicians were correct. That is the sort of service Google Inc. boss Eric Schmidt believes the Internet will offer within five years.

Dvorak Uncensored » Google head warns politicians about truth and the Internet

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Canadian deported to Syria for torture is cleared

Maher Arar was guilty. But only guilty of being Muslim.

Having heard Arar interviewed, I must say his story sounds legitimate. Authorities over-reacted.

Arar is waiting on a personal apology from the Prime Minister.

A Syrian-Canadian has been totally exonerated of having ties with Al Qaeda — after the RCMP and US Department of Homeland Security conspired to have him shipped to Syria, where he was tortured for ten months.

Maher Arar was passing through the US on the way back to Canada when the DHS detained him. The Mounties sent the US authorities bogus intel about him, saying that he had “links with Al Quaeda” because he was friends with someone who might be an Al Quaeda sympathizer. The US authorities sent him to Syria, where they (and the RCMP) fed questions to his Syrian torturers for months. Eventually, his torturers extracted a “confession” from him.

When he returned to Canada, he publicized his plight and the RCMP responded by smearing him, publicizing his “confession” and saying that he’d gotten what he deserved.

Now a public Canadian inquiry (which the DHS boycotted, refusing to disclose any information) has totally cleared Arar, and the RCMP has apologized for sending a citizen to a corrupt totalitarian state to be tortured because he was friends with someone they didn’t like.

… Three other Canadian citizens were also tortured in the Middle East under similar circumstances: Abdullah Almalki, Ahmad El Maati and Muyyed Nurredin.

Boing Boing: Canadian deported to Syria for torture is cleared

criticism of Islam

If you read this blog regularly you know I am pro-Islam.

I have had nothing but wonderful experiences travelling in the Muslim world and am mortified at the stupid things I see in the Western media.

That said, there are aspects of Islam with which I disagree including these listed on the (locked down) Wikipedia page:

  • The use of fatwas to punish violations committed by Muslims (e.g. the death edict against British writer Salman Rushdie).
  • Apostasy in Islam, which is punishable by death under Islamic Law (in some countries).
  • Human rights abuses by the Taliban and other fundamentalist governments.
  • The use of violence by Islamist militant organizations as a means of spreading Islam.
  • The state of women’s rights in muslim societies. (Especially disallowing girls to attend school.)
  • The censorship of criticism of Islam (e.g. Muhammad Cartoons).
  • I don’t list the current debate about whether the religion was historically more spread by the sword than Christianity. It is an unimportant issue. Ancient history. A hot button which diverts attention from the far more important issue of women’s rights.

    Certainly there are many Muslim societies that have evolved past all of these (often exaggerated) criticisms.

    The good works of Islam far outweighs the bad.

    Of course I also disagree with some of the traditions of other religions, especially Catholicism and Hinduism. (Lets save those for future posts.)

    Now unlike some religious defenders, I welcome criticism of my point of view. If you believe I am wrong please post a comment below.

    Newsweek the lapdog of the right?

    That is the claim sweeping the internet.

    Check their cover story in different regions:

    newsweekcover.jpg

    I am sceptical. The American cover story is a feature on photographer Annie Leibovitz who just shot the fabulously profitable Suri Cruise photos.

    This month’s cover is Angelina and her kids.

    I expect the decision was based on which would move the most product.

    John Hodgman – comedian – net neutrality

    Everything this guy does breaks me up.

    And Hodgman is everywhere right now.

    He is the Bill-Gates-like PC in the hilarious Apple computer Get-a-Mac ads.

    His bits on the Daily Show are classic. Here’s one where Hodgman explains Net Neutrality. Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.