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 on: May 23, 2015, 07:00:20 PM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog
LONDON — HUMZA ARSHAD pokes fun at Pakistani accents and emotional soccer fans. He jokes about his weight, his voice and his own mother. But mostly, he laughs at jihadists.

“Have you noticed how in those terrorist videos they’re always sitting on the floor?” Mr. Arshad asked a group of high school students the other day. “What’s up with that? I swear they can afford a chair.”

And their pants: “Always coming up to here,” he said, pointing at his shin, “like, did you borrow this from your little brother or something?”

Mr. Arshad, 29, is no ordinary comedian. A practicing Muslim in hip-hop gear whose YouTube videos have drawn millions of views, he is the centerpiece of the British government’s latest and perhaps cleverest effort to prevent students from running off to Syria and joining the Islamic State. Since March, Mr. Arshad has been on tour with the counterterrorism unit of the Metropolitan Police. They have already taken their double act (“Ten percent message, 90 percent comedy”) to more than 20,000 students in 60 high schools across London.

Now Mr. Arshad, who says he first discovered stand-up as a 10-year-old watching American shows like “Russell Simmons’ Def Comedy Jam,” hopes to take his act across the Atlantic: At the end of the month he is headed to New York and Los Angeles to meet with Hollywood studios and television networks — and hold exploratory talks with American schools on his counterextremism work.

About 700 British Muslims have traveled to Syria, including dozens of minors. Schools here have been on high alert especially since February, when three teenage girls left their family homes in east London. The footage of them calmly passing airport security has become emblematic of the youthful following faraway militants have established in the West — often using the same social media that has given Mr. Arshad his fan base.

He knows the brother of one of the girls well.

“I wish I could have prevented my friend’s sister from going,” he told the packed auditorium at a west London high school that recent afternoon. It was one of the rare serious moments in a 45-minute stand-up show that mostly saw him mocking converts with “beards to their belly buttons,” terrorists with dry ankles (“from all that sitting on the floor”) and — affectionately — his own mother, a Muslim who came to Britain from rural Pakistan and wears a head scarf. (“Is she really as bad as you say on YouTube?” one student asked. “No,” Mr. Arshad replied. “Much worse.”)

“Listen, I’m here for two reasons,” he said. “No. 1, I’m a British citizen, and I’m proud of where I’m from. No. 2, I don’t want people losing their lives. That’s not what Islam is about.”

“But there are some misguided individuals who are giving us a bad name,” he said. “We all have to do our part.”
The Saturday Profile
A weekly profile of the individuals who are shaping the world around them.

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IT is a message that police officers find harder to communicate, said Rick Warrington of the Counter Terrorism Command, or SO15, who held the session with Mr. Arshad.

Continue reading the main story

“There is always that barrier,” he said. “I remove all badging from the presentation; I come in plainclothes but I’m still a 45-year-old white police officer.”

Sometimes the police bring in Muslim charity workers to talk to students one-on-one. That does not always go over well.

“They bring in all these ‘moderate Muslims’ to talk to us,” sighed one 15-year-old girl of Bengali descent, who preferred not to be identified. “What does that make us?”

Like many students in the schools he visits, Mr. Arshad takes his religion seriously. Back in his purple-colored south London bedroom, the backdrop to many of his YouTube videos, the first item on a to-do list on his white board is “pray.”

But that does not stop him from ridiculing jihadists.

“Their ankles are very dry,” he said. “I’m just, like, looking at the ankles, and I’m thinking, bro, I don’t even think they have E45 cream in Syria. Maybe we should make a donation.”

Why do you always wear a beanie, a student heckled, pointing at Mr. Arshad’s hallmark woolly hat. “It’s like the male version of the hijab,” he shouts back. “This is the man-jab, know what I mean?”

At one point, the fire alarm went off. Mr. Arshad did not miss a beat: “What the heck? Terror attack! ISIS!”

At times lacking in subtlety, his humor still provides comic relief to an audience that has found itself under the microscope in the news media, in school and sometimes at home. These days, jokes about terrorism are not just frowned upon, “they can get you into trouble,” explained one girl of Somalian descent after seeing Mr. Arshad’s show.

BORN and raised in south London, Mr. Arshad experienced firsthand how perceptions of Muslims changed in Britain. He was 15 and on the school bus home when terrorists flew two planes into the World Trade Center in 2001. Four years later, a series of suicide bombs blew up on London’s public transport system. Each time, he found his mother glued to the television, his mother “who never watches television,” and each time she told him, “It will be even harder to be a Muslim now.”

After finishing drama school and seeing one friend after another land jobs in television or on stage, Mr. Arshad found himself being offered minor roles as, well, the terrorist.

“I didn’t want to be typecast as the Muslim, you know, Terrorist No. 2 on the plane with just one line: ‘Allahu akbar!’” he said in a recent interview at his home (he still lives with his parents).

The idea of creating his own show on YouTube came in September 2010, after a video he uploaded went viral. It was a nine-minute clip about a young Muslim in high-top sneakers and a hoodie complaining about his Pakistani mother, who beat him up and cooked too many lentils. The video hit 5,000 views on the first day. “I thought to myself, ‘Either I’m onto something, or some freak has watched this 5,000 times,’ ” he said.

But within 10 days, the clip had more than a million views. “Diary of a Bad Man” was born, a YouTube satire of life as a young British Asian that rapidly attracted a mass teenage following. Today, Mr. Arshad’s YouTube channel has over 245,000 subscribers.

Continue reading the main story

Continue reading the main story

Continue reading the main story

One of the teenagers who got hooked on “Bad Man” was the 11-year-old son of Rizwaan Chothia, a police constable. Constable Chothia, an officer in an East Midlands special operations unit, watched over his son’s shoulder one night and later scrolled through Mr. Arshad’s other videos, noticing his follower numbers and calling around his extended family across Britain.

“Every teenager in my family knew him,” recalled Constable Chothia.

Soon after, he met Mr. Arshad and they agreed to produce a video together to show in schools as part of a police counterextremism presentation.

In the video, titled “I’m a Muslim not a terrorist,” Mr. Arshad, in character as Bad Man, notices his cousin changing as he falls into the orbit of an extremist group.

“Bro, why are you looking at people getting their heads cut off and stuff?” he asks his cousin, later speculating to a friend, “Maybe he’s going through puberty.”

“He’s 23,” the friend replies.

“He’s Asian, you know,” Bad Man answers. “Maybe he’s late.”

In the end, thanks to a series of frank conversations with Bad Man, the cousin abandons extremism.

It was a big decision to work with the police, Mr. Arshad said: “Of course I was worried that it would hurt my street cred.” But he wanted to do his part. The hate mail still gets to him. “I’m not a politician, I’m a comedian,” he said.

 on: May 23, 2015, 06:47:57 PM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by DougMacG
When supporters say they can't think of an accomplishment of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, they are missing an obvious one.  The disaster in Libya is her accomplishment.

HILLARY’S REAL BENGHAZI PROBLEM    (John Hinderaker, Powerline)
Yesterday the State Department released a handful of Hillary Clinton’s emails relating to Benghazi. They have been selected at least twice for release to the public, once by Hillary’s minions and once by the Department, so on one expected any bombshells. Nevertheless, I find them surprisingly interesting. This post addresses what I think is the most important point. I will cover a few smaller matters in a future post. This batch of emails, in their entirety, are at the bottom of this post, so you can read them for yourself.

In my opinion, Hillary’s biggest problem isn’t Benghazi per se, it is the broader issue of Libya. Why were Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans murdered? Because by September 2012, Libya was a terrorist playground. Since then, things have only gotten worse. Libya has become a failed state, a 21st century source of boat people, as refugees from ubiquitous violence stream across the Mediterranean. Libya is now a haven for ISIS and other terrorist groups; it was on the Libyan coast that ISIS beheaded 30 Christians. Some of the “refugees” now making their way into Europe are, in fact, ISIS agents. In short, Libya is a disaster.

Whose disaster? Hillary Clinton’s. It was Hillary who, more than anyone else, pushed to overthrow Moammar Qaddafi. Why? No compelling reason. Qaddafi had been tame ever since the Iraq war, which he interpreted as a threat to his rule. Almost incredibly, Clinton and her cohorts in NATO overthrew Qaddafi (who was subsequently murdered by a mob) without having a plan for what would come next.

Who says Hillary Clinton is responsible for the Libya fiasco? She does. In fact, at one point she was poised to claim Libya as the notable accomplishment of her term as Secretary of State. In August 2011, Jake Sullivan, Hillary’s deputy chief of staff, wrote an email in which he summarized “Secretary Clinton’s leadership on Libya.” He sent to it henchwoman Cheryl Mills and State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland, who passed it on to Hillary. Sullivan’s email begins:

this is basically off the top of my head, with a few consultations of my notes. but it shows S’ [Secretary Clinton's] leadership/ownership/stewardship of this country’s libya policy from start to finish. let me know what you think.

The email continues, with bold print in the original:

Secretary Clinton’s leadership on Libya

HRC has been a critical voice on Libya in administration deliberations, at NATO, and in contact group meetings–as well as the public face of the U.S. effort in Libya. She was instrumental in securing the authorization, building the coalition, and tightening the noose around Qadhafi and his regime.

Sullivan goes on to itemize, day by day, how Clinton drove the Libya policy not just in the U.S., but in NATO as well. This is a screen shot of the first page of the email; it goes on and on thereafter, showing how Hillary “owned” and was “the public face of,” our Libya policy, “from start to finish.” Click to enlarge:

Screen Shot

Hillary’s problem is not primarily the murder of four Americans in Benghazi, outrageous as those murders were. Rather, her real problem is that she bears primary responsibility for a policy that was not just a failure, but a disaster. Further, it was a policy that, as you can see from Sullivan’s email, she intended to be a crown jewel of her years as Secretary of State and, no doubt, a chief credential in her run for the presidency. Instead, it blew up in her face–worse, in ours–like an exploding cigar.

The Benghazi murders are of course important. But it is critical to recognize that they resulted not just from a lack of adequate security or other misjudgments that may have been made at the time. Rather, the fact that terrorists were largely in control of Benghazi by September 2012 was the direct result of Hillary’s bad judgment in leading the overthrow of Qaddafi while having no plan for what would come after, and no ability to influence events on the ground. It is that poor judgment that disqualifies her as a candidate for the presidency.

 on: May 23, 2015, 06:34:05 PM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by DougMacG
Old old email joke updated slightly.

Dear Abby,

My husband is a liar and a cheat. He has cheated on me from the beginning, and when I confront him, he denies everything. What's worse, everyone knows that the cheats on me. It is so humiliating.

Also, since he lost his job more than 14 years ago, he hasn't even looked for a new one. All he does all day is smoke cigars, cruise around and shoot the bull with his buddies, while I work to pay the bills.

Ever since our daughter went away to college he doesn't even pretend to like me, even hints that I may be a lesbian. What should I do?

Clueless in New York

Dear Clueless in New York, Grow up and dump him. Good grief woman! You don't need him anymore! You're running for President of the United States. Act like one.


 on: May 23, 2015, 06:29:05 PM 
Started by DougMacG - Last post by DougMacG
Sometimes uneven source Dick Morris cheesy says that free flow of labor is in there and I have seen assertions that foreign companies will be able to challenge US environmental standards.

These are things I've heard too.  I wonder what a "free flow of labor" looks like if it happens within our existing laws for foreign, legal, documented workers.  And I'm not sure that hurts us.  The key to our sovereignty is that these agreements do not supercede the US constitution and existing US laws.  All trade agreements tend to be opposed based on the threat to our labor and environmental laws.  Critics generally claim that international companies will just build the products elsewhere, if we let them, where the laws aren't as strict.  All things otherwise equal, they already do that.  

I don't see how anyone who builds a factory here thinks they will not be subject to EPA regulations.  All it takes is one sentence in the trade agreement:  "Nothing in this agreement shall be construed to change or weaken US environmental laws, or labor laws, or immigration laws."  It shouldn't even take that.

The WSJ (years ago) made a point that global trade is both a) beneficial and b) inevitable.  If you don't agree with a), then see b).

If the US cannot compete on an even playing field with Asia or Mexico or whoever, then we have bigger problems than a trade agreement.  Global competition might be the only motivator left to correct our  over-taxation and over-regulation problems.  If we right-size all of that, I don't know anyone who believes the US cannot compete successfully in the global marketplace.

We are down to the fact that this President will negotiate a bad agreement.  In that case, vote it it down and let these countries know we are trying to get a better President.

 on: May 23, 2015, 03:57:17 PM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog

 on: May 23, 2015, 03:43:34 PM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog
Haven't read this yet , , ,

This seems intriguing , , ,

 on: May 23, 2015, 02:14:57 PM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog

 on: May 23, 2015, 02:11:03 PM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by G M

Strange, it is almost like CAIR is an enemy organization embedded inside the US.

 on: May 23, 2015, 01:39:19 PM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog

 on: May 23, 2015, 01:14:29 PM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog

The point made here seems very interesting to me and to be one worthy of remembrance.

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