The Unknown-The Day I Was Called a Woman by Islam

For more information on Islamic laws on marriage, please see my previous posts:

Marriage under Sharia, part 1

Marriage under Sharia, part 2

It is also important to note that the Islamic Prophet Muhammed said that men and children are not, under Sharia, required to cover their hair:  only women who are either available for marriage or married are to cover their hair.  It is the role of the father (or, in his absence, the female’s wali, or ‘male guardian’, since women are never considered independent humans under Sharia) to determine at which age she is available for marriage and that this guardian is to signal this availability to the Umma (the Muslim community) by ‘imposing the veil on her’.

While the customary age for this is 9 lunar years of age, under Sharia, the female’s wali is the one who decides her eligibility for marriage, regardless of physical age or maturity.  There is no lower limit and under some Islamic rulings, even an infant may be married off and her husband consummate the marriage – though if she is physically damaged by this, the husband will be responsible for her maintenance for the rest of her life (but she will not count towards his total of maximum of 4 concurrent wives).

And then, there is muta’a:  the temporary ‘pleasure marriage’… Of course, if the girl is young, under muta’a, it is her wali who collects the mahr ‘bride gift/price’… because while a woman is entitled to own property, under Sharia, it is her wali who controls it for her – as a proper guardian should.

Isn’t Sharia wonderful?  It can take something sordid and despicable and turn it into something virtuous that pleases Allah himself!

Freedom of Speech: Does Free Speech Help Minorities? – Learn Liberty

Milton Friedman – End The Drug War

Not the latest word, but…

‘Betrayed!’ – a book by Connie Fournier

“F” stands for “Free Dominion”.

That is what Dr. Michael Geist wrote in his ‘internet freedom countdown’.

“F” could just as easily could have stood for “Fournier” – as in Connie and Mark Fournier, who have done more for the freedom of speech and freedom on the Internet than any other Canadians.  And this time, I am not using hyperbole!

20 years to the day and in the very building I had signed my marriage license, I came to observe and blog about a court case involving Free Dominion:  Connie and Mark Fournier.  It was a civil case involving anonymity on the internet and both the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and Dr. Geist’s Electronic Frontier Foundation were intervenors in the case.  Having heard of the latter two and considering any court case they both thought important enough to intervene in to definitely have a significant impact on my own internet and speech freedoms, I came to spectate.  (OK – I have to admit – I am a Geist ‘acolyte’.)

While following this particular case and many, many more, I came to deeply admire Connie and Mark.  Over the years, they have made significant impact on the evolution of our speech and internet rights, always from a deeply principled perspective.

Now, before you get the idea that I agree with Connie and Mark’s political views, let me stop you right there.  They are social conservatives who come from a Christian perspective.  I am a libertarian, just this side of turning into an-cap. And a militant ignostic as well as a registered Kopimist.

Despite the greatly different views we hold on a myriad of topics, I came to like and deeply respect the Fourniers.  Even when we discussed topics we disagreed on, they were respectful and principled and debating things with them has always been a pleasure.

Full disclosure:  the one principle both the Fourniers and I completely and totally agree on – and it is perhaps the most important principle of them all – is the importance of freedom of speech.

I came to understanding the true and essential need for freedom of speech as the cornerstone of our civilization and the internet as the vehicle through which it is anonymously and effectively delivered because I was not only born on the wrong side of the Iron Curtain, I was also born the daughter of a political dissident.  Perhaps because of this, I learned early on that without the freedom to criticize and ridicule political and religious ideologies and figures, you lose the means of defending all your other rights and freedoms. And while I don’t know the route that brought Connie and Mark to the same conclusions, it is a demonstrated fact that they have not only lived by that principle, they have sacrificed all to preserve freedom of speech in Canada (and, by extension, all Magna Carta countries) and have put their financial and physical security – their very well being on the line to protect anonymous speech (in their case, on the internet), which is so very crucial in preventing the abrogation of free speech in public spaces.

OK – I have now sketched in the background so that you, my dear reader, are aware of what I know, think and whatever prejudices I may have regarding  my review of Connie Fournier’s new book:  ‘Betrayed!  Stephen Harper’s War on Principled Conservatism’.

One more thing before I start:  here is a most excellent review of the book by Jay Currie (and, no, I did not read his review before I had made my own mind up).  The comments are excellent!

The Review:

‘Betrayed!  Stephen Harper’s War on Principled Conservatism’ by Connie Fournier is a truly scary book.

Connie Fournier is both intelligent and eloquent and has the skill to line the little pearls up, one by one, till they form a brilliant necklace – or an effective noose…

Yes, I saw a part of the journey that Connie so accurately describes in her book – but I truly only saw a small part.  Yet, step by step, event by event, convoluted happening by convoluted happening, she lights the path and puts forward some very convincing evidence that points not just to the corruption of our ‘progressive’ leaning bureaucracy but also demonstrated how the Harper ‘iron fist’ is affecting things behind the scenes (whether through direct action or through carefully selective inaction).  Limited by the legal rulings still muzzling her, she succeeds in getting the important points across in a logical, accurate and believable manner.

This book has bought into focus the consistency with which the Harper government has sought to control, regulate and stifle internet communication.  The book stops before the Trans Pacific Trade Treaty  –  again, a Harper government ‘baby’, the leaks about which prove the veracity of everything else written in the book.

Yes, I would recommend it as a read – even though I disagree with Connie’s conclusion that the Green Party would be the natural place to cast a protest vote for.  No – I think the Pirate Party of Canada is a much better candidate, as their abid opposition to Bill C-51 is coupled with opposition to copyright consumer right abuses that the TPTT imposes as a supra-national law.  If there is no Pirate Party candidate in your riding, please, do consider running for them.  If my health were better, I most certainly would do my best to try to run for them!

But, again, I digress…

This is an important book to read for everyone who understands the crucial role freedom of speech plays and who would like help navigating the legal jungle of bills and attempts to deny it to us, the citizens – especially as it relates to the electronic medium.

Whether neo-Con or not, this book will open your eyes to the systematic process that is already in place to persecute political foes of the party in power and is written in such an accessible way that even non-techies will understand the implications of the proposed muzzling legislation coming from Harper’s ‘Conservative’ government.

Everyone of my relatives and friends will be getting a copy from me!

Clinton-Petreaus Double Standard

Venezuela: the shocking state of its health service

As someone who had lived the experience of a hospital on my own skin, this shows the inevitable evolution of health car under a communist system:

H/T:  Vlad Tepes

OK, the hospitals I experienced were not quite this dilapidated – but well on the way there.

When my grandmother (1970’s) got breast cancer, it took 8 months for the surgery.  There was no chemo for follow up because there were no chemo drugs.  And the radiation machine in her local hospital was broken – and going to a hospital outside of your district was not permitted.

When her cancer had metastasized into her bones, pain killers where the only treatment option.

The problem was that my grandmother was over 60 – and with the rationing of drugs, people over sixty were the first ones to be denied medication.  You know, like in the UK now.

So, my mother worked hard, bribed everyone she could, used her influence as a very popular teacher with all her students’ parents that she could, and managed to buy some pain meds on the black market which she then brought to my grandma’s doctor to administer to her, to ease the horrible pain.

Promptly, the doctor stole the meds and sold them on the black market…probably to someone else using their best connections to try to relieve pain of their loved one.

Of course, I had my own encounters…

From childhood, I suffered crippling migraine headaches.  The doctors told my mom ‘unofficially’ that that is what it was, but that they were not permitted to diagnose or treat migraines because ‘the officials’ had ruled that ‘migraines are not a medical condition but something that pampered capitalist ladies with not enough to do pretend. to have to get attention’.

And then there was the first time I got appendicitis:  I was admitted to a children’s ward, where there were 54 of us in one room.  No visits on any children’s wards, because children might cry when the parents leave.  We were fed in the middle of the room, in shifts, because only 8 could fit at the table at one time.

Having appendicitis, I was put on a strict diet of tea and toast, so as not to irritate my intestines.  However, there was only 1 type of food served per meal – and the kitchen could not worry about all the special diets.  I was laughed at when I questioned why I was being fed food that the doctors said I was not allowed…

After 3-4 days of strict bedrest (no books or anything), I got ‘walking status’ which meant I qualified for ‘play-room visits.  2 kids at a time were permitted there for 10 minutes per visit, 1 visit per day.

Oh, those were fun times!

Then I got appendicitis the second time.  This time, (grade 5) I went to the emergency room at the children’s hospital.  It was open Monday to Friday, 8 am to 12 noon.  When I did not get in the first day, I got up extra early the next day and got there before they opened.  Still did not make to be seen.

You see, when the doors opened and you got in, you would write down your name in the notebook in the middle of the room in the order in which you arrived.  The nurse would come out, read and call out the next name on the list and cross it off.  That way, first come, first serve – right?

Except that people who wanted their kids to be seen would stand by the door – and when the nurse would come out, they would give her a bribe to let their kid in.  Then, on the way out, they’d cross their name off the list…

My mother did not want to pay a bribe, so, we waited, and waited, and waited.

Just before noon of the third day, I got sick and tired of this.  OK, I may only have been a kid, but I was pretty sure that I would not make it in the next day…  So, I elbowed my way to the door through the throng of adults – which elicited some very loud protests and shoves.  The doctor herself  came out to see what the hubub was all about.  Of course, I did not know she was the doctor – and the head of pediatric surgery…

When she opened the door, I started shouting about the corrupt system – ok, I used smaller words, saying how people were cheating and they were doing nothing to stop it and really sick kids like I would die before they saw us.

Everyone hushed and stared – authorities were not used to getting yelled at – and especially not by a grubby little kid!!!  The only sound to be heard were jaws hitting the ground…

Then the doctor spoke:  “OK, little girl, you think you are so special – you are next!”  And she dragged me in.  The door closed behind me before my mother could make her way through the crowded room to me.

After the examination, the doctor got a serious look on her face and barked – “Her first!”

Not 30 minutes later, I was being operated on, because, apparently, my appendix was beyond burst – it was seriously decomposing and another 2-3 hours without surgery would have seen me dead.

They put me ‘under’ so fast, they did not get the dosage quite right and, trying hard to wake me up afterwards, they knocked 3 of my teeth out.  Apparently it scared the other 5 kids in my 4-bed room.  Yeah, the smaller ones had to double up in beds – that was common practice.

Funny story.  About 6 months later, I had fallen and gotten some rocks and dirt stuck in the palm of my hand.  I cleaned it as best I could, yet, it did get infected because I did not get it all. Still, usually, these things worked their way out, eventually.  Yet, a few weeks later, a thin red line started spreading up my arm, so I knew to go back to the children’s emergency room again.  Having been there before, my parents let me take the bus and go by myself.

Just as I got seated in the waiting room, the very same doctor was walking in to start her shift.  She recognized me right away.  “Oh, our little big-mouthed girl is back – come on in!”  She had a dangerous smile on her face, even though I handed her a package of coffee I had bought with my allowance.  (Coffee was one of the most common bribes, but it was usually ‘good’ coffee while as a kid, I could only get the cheap supermarket brand…)  Or was that an amused smile?

One look at my hand, she took out a scalpel and got started.

OK – I was an ungrateful little big-mouthed girl.  Yes, this doctor had, very literally, saved my life.  But, she resented my bitching and was obviously asserting herself over me.  So, I did the only thing a reasonable person would do…

I did not wince!

I did not gasp!

I gave absolutely no sign of experiencing pain, keeping my face a neutral, slightly smiling mask – even though the cold sweat was running down my back.  Her expectant gaze changing to a look of surprise, and, eventually, respect, was very, very much worth it!!!

Yes, I was an obstinate little child….

Good thing I grew out of it!

“Animal rights come before religion”

Finally, somebody really, really gets it!

Just because somebody believes in an ancient myth does not give them the right to torture animals in the name of that silly myth!

And now, Denmark has banned the religious exemption for Halal and Kosher slaughterers not to adhere to humane slaughtering practices.

Yes!

Yes!!!

YES!!!

From Time.com:

‘The ban, which requires slaughterhouse workers to stun animals before killing them, will now extend to religious communities that were previously afforded an exemption. “Animal rights come before religion,” Danish minister for agriculture and food Dan Jørgensen told Denmark’s TV2.’

Finally, one place where common sense and human compassion wins out over irrational beliefs!

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